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The  Admiral  Franklin  Hanford 

Collection  in 

The  New  York  Public  Lihrary 

1929  • 


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History  of  Organisation  and  List  of  Officers,    Constitution, 
By  Laws  and  Certificate  of  Incorporation, 


INCORPORATED  UNDER  THE  LA  WS  OF  THE 
STATE  OF  NEW   YORK. 


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CONSTITUTION.    BY-LAWS    AND    CERTIFICATE 
OF    INCORPORATION  , 


OF  THE 


/ 

LIVINGSTON   COUNTY 


5©t(Dir*i(e©,l^O(0ii©tj. 


INCORPORATED  FEBRUARY,  1877. 


MT.  MORRIS,  N.  Y. 

A.  O.  BITNNKLI..  PRINTBB,  OFPICK  DANBVILLK  ADVBRTISRR. 
1877.    . 


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THE  NEW  YORK 
PUBLIC  LIBRARY 

486820  A 

-ASTO!^.  LENOX  ANO 

TlLDtN   FOUNDAT,     n 

«  1930  :. 


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LIVINGSTON   CpUNTY 

Historical  Society. 


In  December,  1875,  initiatory  steps  were  taken  at  a  meet- 
ing of  a  few  persons  in  Dansville  to  organize  a  historical  socie- 
ty for  Livingston  county. 

An  adjourned  meeting  was  held  at  Mt.  Morris  in  January, 
1876.  There  were  present  at  this  meeting,  L.  B.  Proctor  of 
Dansville,  Norman  Seymour  and  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills  of  Mt.  Mor- 
ris, Richard  Peck  of  Lima.  George  W.  Root  of  York,  and  E. 
P.  Fuller  of  Grand  Rapids,  Mich.,  formerly  of  this  county. 
The  meeting  was  organized  by  appointing  Dr.  M..  H.  Mills 
chairman,  and  Norman  Seymour  secretary. 

The  request  of  the  Centennial  Commission  at  Philadelphia 
that  in  each  county  in  the  United  States  a  historical  address  be 
prepared,  publicly  delivered  July  4th,  1876,  and  then  forwarded 
to  the  capitol  at  Washington  for  record,  was  complied  with  on 
behalf  of  the  society  by  its  secretary,  Norman  Seymour  of  Mt. 
Morris.  The  address  has  been  largely  added  to,  and  when 
completed  will  comprise  a  full  history  of  the  county,  its  most 
prominent  pioneers  and  notable  reminiscences.  Should  it  not 
be  published  by  the  state,  as  contemplated  by  the  Centen- 
nial Commission,  it  will  be  published  at  an  early  day  under  the 
auspices  of  this  society,  or,  if  the  author  prefers,  by  private 
enterprise. 

The  work  is  voluminous,  and  one  of  great  local  interest. 


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4  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

The  following  gentlemen  were  chosen  officers  of  the  society 
for  the  year  1876: 

President— Dr.  D.  H.  Fitzhugh. 

Vice  Presidents — Dr.  James  Faulkner,  William  Scott, 
Adolphus  Watkins,  Dr.  D.  H.  Bissell,  Deacon  John  McCall. 

Secretary — Norman  Seymour. 

Executive  Committee — Hon.  B.  F.  Angel,  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills, 
Samuel  P.  Allen,  L.  B.  Proctor,  Richard  Peck,  George  W.  Root. 

The  meeting  adjourned  to  meet  in  Geneseo  on  the  14th 
day  of  June,  to  determine  at  what  village  in  the  county  the 
historical  address  should  be  delivered.  Present,  Hon.  B.  F. 
Angel,  Samuel  P.  Allen,  Hon.  W.  H.  Kelsey  and  Dr.  M.  H. 
Mills.  Dr.  Mills  was  chosen  chairman  and  S.  P.  Allen  secre- 
tary. It  was  decided  by  ballot  that  the  adciress  should  be  de- 
livered at  Geneseo,  the  county  seat  of  Livingston  county.  The 
meeting  then  adjourned  sine  die, 
>mmJ*  Due  notice  was  given  that  a  meeting  of  the  society  would 
be  held  on  the  13th  of  February,  1877.  The  society  met  at  the 
*  beautiful  rooms  of  the  Hook  and  Ladder  company,  the  use  of 
which  was  very  kindly  tendered  by  the  officers.  Dr.  M.  H. 
Mills  was  chosen  chairman  and  Norman  Seymour  secretary. 

The  chairman  gave  a  brief  history  of  the  society  and 
mentioned  the  great  work  it  has  already  accomplished  by  the 
indefatigable  efforts  of  its  secretary,  in  preparing  a  heretofore 
unwritten  history  of  the  respective  towns  of  the  county.  This, 
when  completed  and  published,  it  was  believed,  would  be  a 
thorough,  reliable  and  complete  history  of  the  county.  All 
this  had  been  accomplished  the  first  year  of  the  society's  exist- 
ence, and  that,  too,  before  the  organization  had  been  completed. 
The  object  of  the  meeting  was  to  adopt  a  constitution  and  by- 
laws for  the  government  of  the  society,  and  also  a  certificate  of 
organization  of  the  society,  which,  under  the  laws  of  the  state, 
is  required  to  be  put  on  file  in  the  Secretary  of  State's  office 
in  Albany,  and  in  the  office  of  the  county  clerk  of  Livingston 
county. 

The  Constitution  and  By-Laws  and  Certificate  of  Organ- 
ization, as  given  herewith,  were  then  unanimously  adopted. 


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Livingston  County  Historical  Society.  5 

The  following  officer?  of  the  society  were  chosen  for  the 
current  year : 

President — Dr.  D.  H.  Bissell,  of  Geneseo. 

Vice  President— Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  of  Mt.  Morris. 

Secretary  and  Treasurer — Norman  Seymour,  of  Mt.Morris. 

Councilmen,  or  Board  of  Administration — L.  B.  Proctor, 
L.  J.  Ames,  Dr.  D.  H.  Fitzhugh,  George  W.  Root,  Samuel  P. 
Allen,  Hon.  B.  F.  Angel,  Richard  Peck,  Jno.  F.  Barber,  E.  H. 
Davis. 

The  certificate  of  organization  was  signed  by  those  pres- 
ent, after  which  the  president  was  escorted  to  the  chair  by  L. 
B.  Proctor  and  A.  O.  Bunnell.  On  taking  his  seat  he  thanked 
the  society  for  the  honor  conferred  upon  him,  &c.  Then  eulo» 
gies  were  pronounced  upon  the  late  Hon,  William  Scott,  one  of 
the  vice  presidents  of  the  society,  by  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills  and  L. 
B.  Proctor.  The  latter  also  pronounced  a  eulogy  upon  the  late 
Adolphus  Watkins,  another  vice  president  of  the  society. 
Both  of  these  members  had  died  since  the  last  meeting  of  the 
society  in  June.  Dr.  Bissell  and  Norman  Seymour  also  paid 
high  tributes  of  respect  to  the  memory  of  Deacon  Adolphus 
Watkins  in  brief  remarks.  Dr.  L.  J.  Ames  arose  to  a  question 
of  privilege  and  said  that  Daniel  Shay,  the  leader  of  Shay's 
rebellion  in  Massachusetts  in  1786,  was  buried  in  the  town  of 
Sparta  near  the  farm  of  the  late  Gen.  W.  S.  Fullerton,  and  not 
at  Williamsburgh  in  the  Genesee  Valley,  as  had  been  stated. 

The  society  then  adjourned  to  meet  on  the  second  Tuesday 
in  January,  1878,  at  such  hour  and  place  as  shall  hereafter  be 
designated  by  the  president  and  secretary. 


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CONSTITUTION. 


Section  i.  This  Society  shall  be  called  The  Livingston 
County  Historical  Society. 

§  2.  The  general  object  of  the  Society  shall  be  to  discover, 
procure,  and  preserve  whatever  may  relate  to  the  history  of 
Western  New  York  in  general,  and  Livingston  county  and  its 
towns  in  particular,  and  to  gather  such  statistics  of  education 
and  population,  growth  and  prosjperity,  and  business  of  this 
region,  as  may  seem  advisable  or  of  public  utility. 

§  3.  The  Society  shall  consist  of  resident,  corresponding 
and  honorary  members,  who  shall  be  elected  by  a  majority  of 
ballots  ;  and  of  life  members,  as  hereinafter  provided.  Resident 
members  shall  consist  of  persons  residing  in  Livingston  county, 
N.  Y.  ;  corresponding  and  honorary  members  of  persons  resi- 
ding elsewhere. 

§  4.  The  officers  of  the  Society  shall  consist  of  a  Presi- 
dent, a  Vice  President,  a  Secretary  and  Treasurer,  and  nine 
councilors  of  administration,  who  shall  constitute  a  **  Board  of 
Managers  "  and  shall  be  elected  annually  on  the  second  Tues- 
day in  January  in  each  year  by  a  majority  of  ballots. 

§  5.  None  but  resident  and  life  members  shall  be  eligible 
to  office  or  qualified  to  vote. 

§  6.  Members  shall  pay  an  admission  fee  of  one  dollar, 
and  also  an  annual  due  of  one  dollar,  which  shall  be  paid  on  or 
before  the  first  day  of  July  in  each  year  following  their  election. 
The  election  of  a  resident  member  shall  confer  no  privileges  of 
membership  until  his  admission  fee  shall  be  paid.  The  pay- 
ment of  the  annual    dues  shall  be  a  condition  of  continued 


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8  Livingston  County  Historical  Socitey. 

membership.  In  case  any  member  neglects  to  pay  his  annual 
due  before  the  first  day  of  July  next,  after  it  becomes  payable, 
he  shall  thereby  forfeit  all  his  privileges  of  membership.  'Resi- 
dent clergymen  are  exempt  from  dues. 

§  7.  The  payment  of  $\o  at  any  one  time,  for  that  pur- 
pose, shall  constitute  a  life  member,  exempt  from  all  annual 
dues. 

•  §  8.  The  Society  shall  meet  annually  on  the  second  Tues- 
day of  January.  The  President,  or  in  his  absence  the  Vice 
President,  or  the  Secretary  and  Treasurer,  may  direct  the  call  of 
a  special  meeting  in  such  manner  as  the  By-Laws  shall  provide. 

§  9.  Those  members  who  shall  attend  at  any  regular 
meeting  of  the  Society  shall  constitute  a  quorum  for  the  trans- 
action of  business.  The  same  rule  shall  apply  to  any  other 
meeting  of  the  society,  providmg  its  action  is  approved  of  by 
the  Board  of  Council  or  a  majority  of  the  members  thereof 

§  10.  All  officers  shall  continue  in  office  until  their  suc- 
cessors are  elected  or  appointed.  Their  duties  when  not  here- 
in defined  may  be  prescribed  by  the  By-Laws.  All  vacancies 
in  office  may  be  filled  for  the  unexpired  term  by  the  Board  of 
Council.  A  majority  of  the  members  present  at  any  regular 
meeting  called  for  the  purpose,  by  the  President  or  Secretary 
and  Treasurer  of  the  Society,  shall  constitute  a  quorum  to  do 
business. 

§  1 1.  This  constitution  may  be  amended  and  changed  from 
time  to  time  by  a  majority  vote  of  the  members  present  at  any 
annual  meeting  of  the  society,  provided  due  notice  of  the  pro- 
posed amendments  be  given  at  least  four  weeks  previous  to  a 
final  vote  thereon. 


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BY  -  LAWS. 

Clausjb  I .  The  annual  meetings  of  this  Society  shall  be  held 
on  the  second  Tuesday  in  January,  at  such  village  in  the  coun- 
ty as  the  President  shall  designate,  and  at  such  hour  as  the 
Secretary  in  the  notice  of  such  meeting  shall  name. 

Clause  2.  The  Secretary  shall  give  notice  of  such  meeting 
by  publication  in  all  of  the  county  papers  for  two  successive 
weeks  prior  to  the  meeting,  and  also  enclose  by  mail  a  special 
notice  to  the  post  office  address  of  each  officer  of  the  society  at 
least  ten  days  prior  to  such  meeting. 

Clause  3.  Any  meeting  may  be  adjourned  to  such  time  as 
a  majority  of  the  members  present  shall  determine. 

Clause  4.  The  President  shall  preside  at  the  meetings  of  the 
society,  regulate  its  proceedings,  preserve  order  and  decorum 
and  have  a  casting  vote.  He  shall  also  be  the  chairman  of 
the  Board  of  Council. 

Clause  5.  The  Vice-President  shall  discharge  all  the  duties 
of  the  President  in  case  of  his  absence. 

Clause  6.  The  Secretary  shall  have  the  custody  of  the  Con- 
stitution, By-Laws,  Records,  property  and  effects  of  the  Socie- 
ty. He  shall  give  due  notice  of  all  its  meetings,  and  keep  in  a 
book  provided  for  that  purpose,  a  record  of  all  its  business. 
He  shall  also  by  virtue  of  his  office  be  Secretary  to  the  Board 
of  Council  or  Managers,  and  keep  a  record  of  its  proceedings. 
He  shall  also  under  the  direction  of  the  Society,  prepare  all 
the  communications  to  be  addressed  to  others  in  the  name  of 
the  Society,  and  keep  true  copies  thereof 

Clause  7.  The  Secretary  shall  also  under  the  Board  of  Man- 
agers have  the  custody  of  books,  minerals,  manuscripts,  papers,        ^    , 

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lO  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

documents,  coins,  maps  and  relics,  and  shall  provide  suitable 
cases  for  their  preservation,  and  for  convenient  reference  and 
inspection.  He  shall  keep  a  record  of  all  donations,  of  what- 
ever name  or  kind,  and  report  the  same  to  the  society  at  the 
annual  meeting. 

Clause  8.  As  Treasurer,  the  Secretary  shall  keep  all  securi- 
ties and  sums  of  money  due  and  payable  or  belonging  to  the 
society.  He  shall  keep  the  funds  of  the  society  on  deposit  to 
his  credit  as  such  Treasurer^  in  some  banking  institution  of 
good  repute  ;  shall  pay  all  sums  which  the  Board  of  Council 
shall  direct;  and  shall  keep  a  true  account  of  all  his  receipts 
and  disbursements  and  render  a  full  and  detailed  statement 
thereof  at  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Society. 

Clause  9.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Board  of  Council  to 
control  and  manage  the  affairs  and  funds  of  the  Society.  They 
shall  make  annually,  on  the  second  Tuesday  of  January,  a  re- 
port to  the  Society  of  all  its  doings  and  transactions  for  the 
preceding  year. 

Clause  id.  Any  member  of  this  society  may  be  expelled 
by  a  two-thirds  vote  of  the  members  present  at  a  special  or  reg- 
ular meeting  of  the  Society,  but  no  such  action  shall,  be  taken 
Without  a  notice  two  weeks  previous  to  expel  shall  have  been 
given  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society  in  writing  and  sent 
through  the  mails  to  the  post  office  address  of  the  defaulting 
member. 

Clause  ii.  At  the  annual  meeting  there  shall  be  an  ad-* 
dress  delivered  before  the  Society,  by  the  President  or  by  some 
other  person  appointed  by  the  Board  of  Council. 

Clause  i  2.  At  the  meetings  of  the  Society,  and  as  far  as 
applicable  at  the  meetings  of  the  Board  of  Council,  the  follow- 
ing shall  be  the  order  of  business : 

1.  Reading  of  the  minutes  of  the  last  meeting. 

2.  Reports  and  Communications  from  officers  of  the  Society. 

3.  Reports  from  Committees. 

4.  Election  of  Members. 

5.  Miscellaneous  Business. 

6.  Reading  of  papers  and  delivery  of  address. 


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Livingston  County  Historical  Society,  II 

Clause  13.  After  the  annual  election  of  officers,  the  Presi- 
dent shall  appoint  from  the  Board  of  Council  the  following 
standing  committees  to  consist  of  three  members  each : 

1.  On  Finance. 

2.  On  Publications. 

3.  On  Membership. 

Clause  14.  The  Finance  Committee  shall  have  general 
charge  of  the  books,  accounts,  receipts,  finances  and  expendi- 
tures of  the  Society.  It  shall  examine  and  report  upon  all  ac- 
counts and  claims  against  the  Society  and  upon  propositions  for 
the  expenditure  of  its  funds,  as  well  as  measures  to  increase  the 
revenues  of  the  Society,  and  promote  economy  in  its  expen- 
ditures. 

Clause  15.  The  Committee  on  Publications  shall  have  the 
charge  and  supervision  of  all  publications  made  by  direction  of 
the  Society,  and  shall  carefully  examine  all  manuscripts  and 
papers  and  other  things  directed  to  be  published,  in  order  to  dis- 
cover all  errors  and  defects,  and  correct  the  same,  also  when 
necessary  to  make  abstracts  or  abridgment  of  papers. 

Clause  16.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Committee  on  Mem- 
bership to  consider  and  report  upon  all  questions  relating  to 
membership,  which  may  be  referred  for  that  purpose,  and  as  far 
as  practicable,  to  induce  all  proper  persons  to  become  mem- 
bers of  the  Society. 

Clause  17.  In  the  course  of  the  future,  should  it  become 
advisable,  the  President  may  in  his  discretion,  after  the  annual 
election  of  officers,  appoint  the  following  committees,  each  to 
consist  of  three  members  of  the  society  : 

1.  On  the  increase  of  Books  and  Library. 

2.  On  the  increase  of  Members. 

3.  On  Donations  and  Subscriptions. 

4.  On  Statistics. 

5.  On  Portraits,  Pictures  and  Photographs  of  Pioneer  and 
early  Settlers. 

6.  On  Local  History. 

7.  On  Indian  Reminscences,  Pictures,  Memorials  and 
History. 


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12  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

Clause  i8.  The  duties  of  these  respective  committees 
may  be  defined  hereafter,  in  case  the  future  requirements  aiid 
interest  of  the  society  make  their  appointment  necessary. 

Clause  19.  If  any  members  of  the  Board  of  Council  fail  at 
any  time  to  pay  their  dues  to  the  society  or  fail  to  qualify,  and 
thus  become  ineligible  to  the  office  to  which  they  have  been 
elected,  a  majority  of  councilmen  elected  and  qualified,  shall 
have  the  power  to  declare  such  offices  vacant  and  shall  pro- 
ceed to  fill  the  same  from  the  resident  members  of  the  society. 

Clause  20.  A  majority  of  the  Board  of  Council  present  at 
any  meeting  of  its  members,  special  or  otherwise,  of  which  due 
notice  shall  have  been  given  to  its  respective  members  by  the 
Secretary  of  the  Society,  who  by  virtue  of  his  office  becomes 
the  Secretary  of  the  Board  of  Council,  shall  constitute  a  quorum 
to  transact  business. 

Clause  21.  All  reports  of  committees  shall  be  in  writing, 
either  in  form  of  resolutions  or  otherwise,  as  they  may  deem 
expedient. 

Clause  22.  Any  of  these  By-Laws  may  be  suspended  in 
case  of  temporary  exigency,  by  a  two-thirds  vote  of  all  the 
members  present  at  any  annual  meeting.  They  may  also  be 
amended  and  changed,  and  new  matter  added  by  a  majority  of 
all  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting,  provided  no- 
tice of  the  proposed*  amendments  be  given  in  th^  call  of  the 
annual  meeting  at  least  two  weeks  previous  to  final  action 
thereon. 

Clause  23.  It  is  recommended  that  the  members  of  the 
Society  in  the  different  towns  and  villages  in  the  county  form 
local  clubs,  and  meet  monthly,  especially  during  the  winter,  in 
their  respective  localities,  at  private  residences  by  invitation  of 
its  members.  The  reading  of  an  appropriate  paper,  followed 
by  such  remarks  and  discussion  as  the  subject  might  suggest, 
would  disseminate  much  valuable  information,  and  add  increas- 
ing interest  to  the  occasion,  and  make  such  meetings  in  their 
informal  and  social  character,  a  valuable  acquisition  to  the  So- 
ciety, and  create  an  interest  and  marked  influence  in  promoting 
historical  research  among  the  members. 


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CERTIFICATE  OF  INCORPORATION.  . 

We,  the  undersigned,  citizens  and  residents  of  Livingston 
county,  in  the  state  of  New  York,  of  the  full  age  of  twenty- 
one  years  and  upwards,  and  citizens  of  the  United  States,  do, 
in  pursuance  of  the  statute  in  such  case  made  and  provided^ 
hereby  associate  ourselves  together  for  historical  purposes. 

The  name  or  title  by  which  such  society  or  corporation 
shall  be  known  in  law  is  the  Livingston  County  Historical 
.  Society.  The  particular  business  and  object  of  such  society 
and  its  general  design  is  to  discover,  procure  and  to  gather  up 
and  preserve  whatever  may  relate  to  the  unwritten  history  of 
Western  New  York,  and  the  respective  towns  and  villages  of 
Livingston  county  in  particular,  whether  it  relates  to  the  pre- 
occupancy  of  the  country  by  the  red  man  or  to  the  white  race, 
atid  to  gather  such  statistics  of  population,  education,  manu- 
factories, and  business  of  the  country  as  shall  be  of  public  util- 
ity and  of  use  to  the  society.  The  officers  of  such  society 
shall  be  a  President,  a  Vice  President,  a  Secretary  and  Treas- 
urer, and  nine  Councilors  who  shall  constitute  a  board  of  man- 
agers of  said  society  as  aforesaid,  and  their  names  for  the 
first  year  of  its  existence,  are  as  follows : 

D.  H.  BissELL,  President, 
M.  H.  Mills,  Vice  President, 
Norman  Seymour,  Sec.  and  Treas. 

L.  B.  Proctor,  L.  J.  Ames,  D.  H.  Fitzhugh,  G.  W.Root, 
S.  P.  Allen,  B.  F.  Angel,  Richard  Peck,  J.  F.  Barber,  E.  H. 
Davis,  Councilors. 

The  principal  office  and  place  of  business  of  such  Society 
shall  be    located   at   Geneseo,  the  county  seat  of  Livingston 


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14  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

county,  but  nothing  herein  contained  shall  prevent  the  Society 
frorti  holdinjg  its  meetings  as  provided  and  specified  in  its  by- 
laws. 

We,  the  undersigpied  members,  officers,  and  managers  of 
such  society,  do  hereby  certify  the  matters  above  stated,  to  the 
end  that  we,  our  associates  and  successors,  may,  pursuant  to  the 
statute  of  the  state  aforesaid,  in  such  case  made  and  provided, 
be  a  body  politic  and  corporate,  by  the  name  above  stated,  and 
in  witness  whereof  we  have  severally  hereunto  subscribed  our 
names,  the  thirteenth  day  of  February,  1877. 

Livingston  County,  Mt.  Morris,  N.  Y. 

On  this  13th  day  of  February,  1877,  personally  appeared 
before  me,  M.  H.  Mills,  Norman  Seymour,  Loren  J.  Ames, 
Levi  Parsons,  D.  H.  Bissell.  A.  O.  Bunnell,  L.  B.  Proctor, 
severally  known  to  me  to  be  the  persons  described  in,  and 
who  executed  the  above  instrunient,  and  they  severally  ac- 
knowledge the  execution  of  the  same. 

Reuben  Wallace, 
Justice  of  the  Peace  in  and  for  Livingston  County. 
Dated  February,  1877. 

Filed  in  the  office  of  the  Secretary  of  State  of  the  State  of 
New  York,  and  in  the  office  of  the  clerk  of  the  county  of 
Livingston. 


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\ 


LIVMSTON  CODHTY 


SECOilD  ANNUAL  MEETING. 


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^\^^?f-/€^f'''^'^^^^  jf 


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SECOND   ANNUAL  MEETING 

OF   THE 

Livingston  County 

Historical  Society 

HELD  AT  GENESEO, 


Annual  Address  by  Hon.  B.  F.  Angel,  and  Addresses  by 

Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  L.  B.  Proctor,  Esq.,  Mr. 

Norman  Seymour,   and  others. 


Also  Histoty  of  Organization,  Constitution,  By-Laws,  and 
Certificate  of  Incorporation, 


DANSVILLE,  N,   Y,  : 

A.  O.  BUNNELL,  PRINTER,  ADVERTISER  OFFICE. 

1878. 


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€s£-€-0IIB  AmmiAh  mBETmB 


OF 


Tbe  Lifingston  Count;  listorical  Society. 

The  annual  meeting  of  the  Liyingston  County  Historical 
Society,  at  Geneseo,  on  the  8th  of  January,  1878.  was  largely 
attended  by  leading  citizens  from  all  parts  of  the  county.  A 
business  meeting  of  the  society  took  place  at  the  Robinson 
house  at  ten  o'clock  in  the  forenoon  of  that  day,  at  which  time 
the  annual  election  of  officers  for  the  ensuing  year  took  place. 
The  following  officers  were  elected : 

President — D.  H.  Bissell. 

Vice  President — M.  H.  Mills. 

Secretary  and  Treasurer — Norman  Seymour. 

Counselors — L.  B.  Proctor,  F.  M.  Ferine.  Dan.sville ;  D.  H. 
FiTZHUGH,  Groveland;  G.  W.  Root,  York;  L.  J.  Ames,  Mt. 
Morris  ;  Wm.  M.  White,  Ossian;  E.  H.  Davis.  Avon  ;  B.  F. 
Angel,  S.  P.  Allen,  Geneseo. 

Finance  Committee— ^.  H.  Davis,  F.  M.  Ferine,  S.  P.  Allen. 
Publication  Committee — L.  B  Proctor.  B.  F.  Angel,  W.  M. 
White. 

Membership  Committee — U  J.  Ames,  D.  H.  Fitzhugh,  G.  W. 
Root. 

The  report  of  the  Secretary  and  Treasurer  was  read  and 
approved. 

A  letter  from  Hon.  Angus  Cameron,  U.  S.  Senator  from 
Wisconsin,  and  a  former  citizen  of  this  county,  was  read  and 
ordered  placed  on  file. 

The  President  reported  that  room  had  been  courteously  ten- 
dered to  the  Society  in  the  Wadsworth  Library  building  for 
depositing  the  books,  maps,  charts  and  relicsDofzefhe  Soci^t^. 


4  Livingston  County  Historical  Society,  • 

The  meeting  then  adjourned   to  the  Chapel  of  the    Normal 
school. 

At  2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  the  Society  met  in  the  large 
and  elegant  Chapel  of  the  Normal  school,  which  was  filled  by 
an  audience  that  represented  a  large  portion  of  the  intelli- 
gence, culture  and  respectability  of  Livingston  county. 

It  is  .no  affectation  to  say  that  this  was  an  important  and  in- 
teresting occasion.  All  who  were  present  felt  that  it  was  one 
of  those  events  that  is  destined  to  live  in  memory  as  long  as 
the  county  shall  exist,  and  leave  its  impress  on  the  annals  of 
the  state. 

Precisely  at  2  o'clock  Dr.  Bissell,  in  a  few  well  chosen  and 

happy  remarks  called  the  meeting  to  order,  when  the  following 

programme  was  carried  out: 

Prayer  by  Rev.  Dr.  Ward. 

Music  by  W.  W.  Kllllp'u  Qaartette. 

Annnal  Address  by  B.  F.  Angel. 

Music 

PresentatioD  to  the  Society  of  a  medal  formerly  owned  by  William  Soott,  by 
Mrs.  Dr.  Hovey  of  Rocbester. 

Music. 

Presentation  of  a  portrait  of  the  late  GK>vernor  John  Young,  with  Biographical 
Address  by  L.  B.  Proctor. 

Acknowledgment  of  the  gift  on  behalf  of  the  Society,  by  Norman  Seymour. 

Music 

Dr.  M.  H.  Mills  with  a  well  defined,  but  brief  address,  gave 
a  list  of  the  books,  periodicals,  and  bound  volumes  of  news- 
papers presented  to  the  Society  by  the  late  William  Scott  of 
Scottsburgh. 

The  medal  presented  by  Mrs.  Hovey  was  accompanied  by  a 
very  pleasing  address  on  the  part  of  the  donor.  This  interest- 
ing relic  was  made  from  wood  taken  from  the  tomb  in  which  the 
venerated  remains  of  Washington  were  placed  before  their 
removal  to  their  present  resting  place. 

The  annual  address  by  Mr.  Angel  was  precisely  what  the 
occasion  demanded.  It  evinces  vigorous  enlargement  of  mind, 
and  great  depth  of  research.  It  is  a  valuable  contribution,  not 
only  to  the  Society  and  the  people  of  the  county  of  Livings- 
ton, but  to  the  land  holders  of  Western  New  York,  and  it  pos- 
sesses elements  of  interest  that  will  extend  far  into  the  future. 


Sicond  Annual  Meeting,  5 

The  biographical  address  of  L.  B.  Proctor  on  presenting  the 
portrait  of  Gov.  John  Young,  was  a  delightful  and  instructive 
feature  of  the  day.  To  use  the  language  of  a  leading  journal 
of  the  state,  "  The  language  of  the  speaker  was  chaste  and 
pure — as  rich  in  thought  as  it  was  elegant  in  expression.  It  is 
indeed  a  rare  exhibition  of  biographical  writing.  It  presented 
an  exquisite  mental  portrait  of  John  Young — so  perfect  in 
execution,  that  his  every  characteristic  stands  out  from  the 
canvass  in  bold  relief" 

Mr.  Seymour's  address  on  receiving  the  portrait  was  a  just 
and  highly  finished  tribute  to  the  favorite  Son  of  Livingston 
county. 

These  addresses  were  all  of  a  high  order  of  merit.  They 
give  to  the  Historical  Society  of  Livingston  county  dignity  and 
importance,  and  exhibit  the  mental  characteristics  of  its  officers 
and  members.  They  will  be  found  in  the  following  pages 
arranged  in  their  appropriate  order. 

The  excellent  music  furnished  by  Pro(f  Killip  greatly  en- 
hanced the  pleasure  of  the  occasion. 


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ANNUAL  ADDR£88 : 

BY   HON.   BENJAMIN    F.   ANGEL. 

HISTORICAL  FALLACIES, 

Mr.  President  and  Gentlemen  of  the  Livingston  County 
Historical  Society: — An  eminent  and  learned  clergyman 
recently  declared  in  one  of  his  sermons,  that  what  we  call  his- 
tory, was  little  better  than  a  tissue  of  fable  and  falsehood,  as 
unreliable  as  "  the  stuff  that  dreams  are  made  of!"  If  this. 
learned  divine  had  said  that  there  was  a  vast  amount  of  fable 
and  falsehood— of  partisan  prejudice  and  religious  bigotry-*-of 
personal  hostility  and  fulsome  adulation — mixed  up  with  every 
historical  narrative,  there  are  few  scholars  of  the  present  day 
who  would  dissent  from  his  proposition.  Modern  historical 
criticism  has  indeed  made  sad  havoc  with  many  of  our  pre- 
conceived ideas  in  regard  to  the  past,  and  we  are  sometimes 
forced  tc»  conclude  that  the  whole  fabric  of  ancient  history,  and 
the  more  recent  history  of  nations,  is  built  upon  such  a  sandy 
foundation,  that  it  will  topple  and  fall  before  the  searching  in- 
vestigations of  our  learned  antiquarians.  This  doubt  and  un- 
certainty might  perhaps  be  expected  of  compiled  histories,  like 
those  of  Gibbon  and  Hume  and  Allison,  but  when  modern 
writers,  and  original  memoirs,  treating  of  events  in  which  the 
writers  were  participants,  are  pioved  to  be  equally  fallacious — 
"  full  of  falsifications,  exaggerations  and  distortions  of  fact  " — 
we  lose  faith  in  original  memoirs  and  modern  records  also. 
Every  one  familiar  with  courts  of  law  is  aware  of  the  conflict 
in  testimony  between  two  parties  to  a  contest.  Two  witnesses 
of  feir  character  who  are  called  on  different  sides  where  it  is 
material  to  know  what  transpired  on  a  particular  occasion 
when  they  were  both  present,  give  entirely  different  statements. 

No  wonder,  therefore,  in  view  of  such  things,  that  Sir 
Walter  Raleigh  exclaimed :  **  How  is  it  possible  for  me  to 
arrive  at  facts  that  transpired  3,oco  years  ago,  when  two  men 
^\^  such  a  different  account  of  a  street  brawl  which  took  place 
before  their  eyes ! "  What  student  of  the  present  day  places 
feuth  in  very  early  Grecian  or  Roman  history  ?  Who  is  so  cred- 
ulous as  to  believe  that  the  Trojan  wai^  as  related  by  Homer,  is 
anything  more  than  what  a  brilliant  poet's  fancy  makes  it  ?  or 
that  the  early  history  of  Rome — the  suckling  of  Romulus  and 

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8  '      Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

Remus  by  a  she  wolf — the  wars  of  the  tribes — the  purchase  of 
the  Sybilline  leaves — the  wrongs  of  Lucretia — the  draining  of 
the  Alban  lake — the  battle  of  Regillus  won  by  the  aid  of  Cas- 
tor and  Pollux — the  loves  of  the  Vestal  and  Mars — of  rivers 
dried  up  in  a  day — of  whole  provinces  famished  by  a  meal — of 
a  passage  for  ships  hewn  through  mountains,  or  of  a  road  for 
armies  spread  upon  the  waves — are  anything  but  the  fancies  of 
the  early  bards,  amusing  fables,  or  shadowy  legends !  It  is 
now  universally  conceded  that  Herodotus,  who  has  not  inaptly 
been  styled  the  father  of  history,  drew  upon  a  brilliant  and 
poetic  fancy  for  his  facts,  that  Thucydides  and  Tacijus  and 
Livy  wrote  pleasant  but  extravagant  romance,  and  that  Gibbon 
and  Hume  were  inventors;  and  that  Macaulay  and  Froude  are 
but  clever  partisans,  guilty  of  suppressing  or  distorting  facts  to 
help  out  an  argument.  A  notable  instance  of  this  is  related  of 
Hume.  It  is  said  he  submitted  his  manuscript  history  of  the 
•reign  of  Elizabeth  to  an  eminent  scholar  and  man  of  taste,  who 
fullv  approved  what  he  had  written  regarding  the  unfortunate 
M^y  of  Scotland;  but  when  the  book  was  published,  this 
friend  was  astonished  to  find  heinous  sins  recorded  against  the 
Scottish  queen  which  had  not  sullied  the  manuscript, — and 
seeking  the  author  he  asked  the  meaning  of  it.  *'  Why,"  re- 
plied Hume,  "  the  printer  said  he  would  lose  £^oo  if  that  was 
allowed  to  stand,  so  I  altered  it  to  suit  his  views!*'  Even 
Macaulay,  who  very  severely  criticises  both  these  authors, 
although  a  clever  essayist  and  polished  writer,  was  intolerant 
towards  Catholics,  Puritans  and  Quakers ;  making  James  II.  a 
bigot  and  miscreant  under  the  control  of  his  wife :  while  he 
makes  William,  the  stupid,  silent,  hard-headed  Dutchman,  an 
immaculate  sovereign,  possessed  of  every  virtue  under  heaven. 
Prior  to  the  publication  of  Froude's  history  we  had  been 
taught  to  believe  King  Henry  VHI.  of  England  a  monster  in 
human  form,  a  gross,  brutal  sensualist,  a  sort  of  Bluebeard  who 
violated  every  law,  human  and  divine ;  but  Froude  makes  him 
quite  as  good  as  it  was  possible  to  be  at  the  time  in  which  he 
lived,  and  quotes  Ulpin  Fulwell  approvingly,  who  wrote  in  the 
reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  as  an  estimate  of  the  character  of 
Henry  in  the  generation  which  followed  him.  **  Among  the 
most  fortunate  kings  and  princes  that  ever  reigned  (says  Ful- 
well) let  the  fortunes  of  King  Henry  VIII.  have  a  special  place. 
This  I  may  boldly  say,  that  he  was  blest  of  God  above  all 
kings  and  princes  that  ever  I  have  read  of,  and  happy  was  that 
prince  that  might  stand  most  in  his  favor ;  for  the  which  divers 
made  great  suit ;  and  especially  when  they  stood  in  need  of 
aid  against  their  enemies,  because  they  perceived  that  fortune 
followed  his  power,  as  handmaid  to  all  his  proceedings.  A 
rare  example  no  doubt  it  is,  and  meseemeth  most  strange  that 
one  king   should  reign  thirty-eight  years,  and  that  almost  in 

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Annual  Address  by  Hon.  B.  F,  Angel.  9 

continual  wars,  and  never  take  foil,  but  always  prevailed  as  a 
victor  invicted,  which  without  the  assistance  of  Almighty  God 
he  could  never  have  achieved ;  an  evident  token  that  God  was 
on  his  side,  and  therefore  who  could  stand  against  him.  He 
was  a  prince  of  singular  prudence,  of  passing  stout  courage,  of 
invincible  fortitude,  of  dexterity  wonderful.  He  was  a  spring- 
ing well  of  eloquence,  a  rare  spectacle  of  humanity,  of  civility 
and  good  nature  and  absolute  precedent,  a  special  pattern  of 
clemency  and  moderation,  a  worthy  example  of  regal  justice. 
a  bottomless  spring  of  largess  and  benignity.  He  was  in  all 
the  honest  arts  and  faculties  profoundly  seen ;  in  all  liberal 
discipline  equal  with  the  best ;  in  no  kind  of  literature  inexpert. 
He  was  to  the  world  an  ornament,  to  England  a  treasure  to 
his  friends  a  comfort,  to  his  foes  a  terror,  to  his  faithful  and 
loving  subjects  a  tender  father,  and  to  innocents  a  sure  pro- 
tector. A  man  he  was  in  gifts  of  nature,  and  of  grace  peerless. 
Such  a  king  did  God  set  to  reign  over  England,  whereof  this 
realm  may  vaunt  above  all  nations." 

There  is  scarcely  any  portion  of  history  more  familiar  than 
the  exploits  of  William  Tell,  the  Swiss  patriot,  who  on  account 
of  his  independence,  had  offended  the  tyrant  Gessler  and  was 
ordered  to  shoot  an  apple  from  the  head  of  his  son.  This  inci- 
dent is  first  related  by  a  Swiss  historian  in  1680  as  having  trans- 
pired in  1492,  near  200  years  previous.  At  Altdorf  in  the 
Canton  of  Uri,  the  traveler  will  be  pointed  to  Tell's  lime  tree, 
and  Tell's  chapel,  as  unimpeachable  testimony  of  the  correct 
oess  of  the  story.  It  has,  however,  been  proved  beyond  ques- 
tion that  Switzerland  never  had  a  ruler  by  the  name  of  Gessler, 
or  a  subject  by  the  name  of  Tell !  It  is  a  legend  common  to 
all  countries  where  archery  was  practiced.  In  Scandinavia  it 
is  a  feat  attributed  to  a  member  of  King  Harold's  body  guard 
in  950.  In  England  it  was  William  of  Cloudeslie.  The  Finns 
have  a  similar  legend,  and  it  has  been  traced  by  Baron  Goold  to 
our  Aryan  ancestors,  before  they  left  their  primitive  dwelling 
place  in  Central  Asia. 

The  traveler  who  visits  Cologne  will  be  shown  the  bones  of 
St  Ursula  and  her  1 1,000  virgins,  who  figure  in  mediaeval  his- 
tory as  having  been  sacrificed  by  the  Huns  while  on  their  way 
to  join  the  crusaders  ;  and  a  little  further  up  the  Rhine  the 
mouse  tower  of  Bishop  Hatto,  who.  in  970,  was  eaten  by  an 
innumerable  army  of  rats,  supposed  to  represent  the  souls  of 
those  who  had  come  to  this  wicked  bishop  in  the  time  of  a 
great  famine,  and  had  been  murdered  by  him  rather  than  that 
he  should  part  with  his  ample  stores  of  grain. 

In  the  refectory  of  a  convent  near  Granada,  in  Spain,  I  saw  a 
large  number  of  historical  paintings  of  saintly  Romanists  suf- 
fering martyrdom  at  the  hands  of  the  wicked  English,  German 
and  Dutch  Protestants,  and  my  guide,  a  Carmelite  monj^^Lp^ 


lo  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 


of 


sured  me  he  could  give  me  the  names  of  hundreds  w1l!>i  jff  irre 
thus  burnt  at  the  stake  or  who  died  from  starvation  in  Irafli- 
some  dungeons  for  opinion's  sake,  far  outnumbering  the  cata- 
logue given  by  Fox  in  his  book  of  martyrs  on  the  other  side. 

You  will  readily  recall  the  pathetic  story  of  the  six  Burghers 
of  Calais,  who  in  1 847  offered  themselves  as  a  sacrifice  to  Edward 
III.  in  order  to  save  the  lives  of  the  remainder  of  the  people  of 
that  unfortunate  city  after  a  long  siege,  and  who  led  by  St.  Pierre, 
went  barefoot  with  halters  about  their  necks  to  the  camp  of  the 
irate  Edward,  but  whose  lives  were  finally  spared  through  the 
personal  intercession  of  Edward*s  good  queen,  when  St.  Pierre  is 
made  to  say,  '*  Edward  conquers  our  cities,  but  Phillippa  wins 
our  hearts."  Instead  of  this  being  true,  it  is  proved  by  docu 
mentary  evidence  that  St.  Pierre  was  in  collusion  with  the 
enemy  to  deliver  up  the  city,  and  was  afterwards  pensioned  by 
the  English  king. 

We  have  a  legend  here  in  the  valley,  located  at  Fall  Brook. 
A  respectable  writer  says,  **  where  this  stream  plunges  a  hun- 
dred feet  down  a  dizzy  chasm,  General  Sullivan,  after  one  of 
his  battles  with  the  Indians,  drove  many  of  his  dusky  foes, 
covering  the  rocks  below  with  their  mutilated  bodies."  This 
same  exploit  has  been  located  at  Watkins  glen  and  at  Niagara, 
but  the  truth  is,  it  never  occurred,  as  the  Indians  knew  the 
country  too  well  to  be  caught  on  the  brink  of  a  precipice ;  be- 
sides, Sullivan  came  into  this  valley  after  the  ambush  of  a 
portion  of  his  force  near  the  head  of  Conesus  lake,  on  their 
return  from  a  reconnoitering  expedition,  and  no  Indians  were 
found  in  the  vicinity.  In  his  report  of  his  march  no  mention  is 
made  of  such  an  exploit.     Yet  this  in  some  minds  is^ history. 

A  clever  Frenchman  some  time  ago  wrote  and  published  a 
book,  which  he  styles  "  The  Pearls  of  History,"  on  which  he 
has  bestowed  a  vast  amount  of  careful  and  laborious  investiga- 
tion to  prove  that  the  world  has  been  cheated  in  the  pithy  say- 
ings, the  **  bon  mots," — good  words — and  oratorical  explosions 
attributed  to  distinguished  personages.  That  Talleyrand  did 
not  originate  the  apothegm  that  "  language  was  given  to  con- 
ceal thoughts,"  but  the  saying  was  used  by  Voltaire,  Gold- 
smith and  Young  and  others  a  century  before  Talleyrand  was 
born  !  That  Nelson  did  not  say  at  the  battle  of  Trafalgar  that 
"  England  expects  every  man  to  do  his  duty,"  but  that  a 
boatswain  did  during  the  reign  of  William  of  the  Netherlands. 
That  the  abbe  Edgeworth  did  not  make  the  famous  invocation 
to  Louis  XVI.  on  the  scaffold,  which  every  history  of  the 
French  revolution  records,  **  Son  of  St.  Louis,  ascend  to 
heaven,"  but  that  the  words  were  put  into  his  mouth  by  a 
journalist,  or,  as  we  would  say,  a  reporter,  in  giving  an  account 
of  the  execution  the  next  morning.  That  the  Compte  d' Artois, 
brother  of  Louis  XVIII.  did  not  make  the  speech  attributed  to 


j 


Annual  Address  by  Hon,  B.  F,  Angel.  1 1 

him  at  the  restoration,  but  the  way  of  it  was  this :  As  his 
royal  highness  rode  into  town  he  was  received  by  a  brilliant 
company,  and  in  reply  to  an  address  from  Talleyrand  stammer- 
ed out  a  few  incoherent  sentences,  for  which  it  was  felt  by  the 
shrewd  statesman  that  some  substitute  must  be  prepared  for 
publication  in  the  Moniteur.  The  task  of  writing  out  the 
speech  was  assigned  to  Beugnot,  who  was  ordered  by  his  chief 
to  invent  an  answer  suitable  to  the  person  and  occasion.  After 
sundry  efforts  Beugnot  made  the  prince  say,  *'  No  more  dis 
cord ;  peace  and  France ;  at  last  I  visit  my  native  land ;  noth- 
ing is  changed  except  it  be  there  is  one  Frenchman  the  more." 
This  speech  proved  a  perfect  success,  and  the  expression,  one 
Frenchman  more,  became  a  pass  word  in  all  quarters.  When 
the  prince  afterwards  complained  to  his  ministers  that  he  never 
made  the  speech,  he  was  told  there  was  a  necessity  for  his  hav- 
ing uttered  it,  and  it  became  history. 

The  watchword  of  "  Booty  and  Beauty  *'  attributed  to  the 
troops  under  Packenham  at  the  battle  of  New  Orleans  on  this 
day  in  1815,  is  denied  by  every  officer  in  that  memorable  en- 
gagement. The  statement  that  the  gallant  F'arragut  was  lashed 
to  the  top  mast  when  passing  forts  Gaines  and  Morgan  in 
Mobile  bay,  is  equally  untrue.  Farragut  says  he  was  not 
lashed  to  the  mast  and  did  not  go  aloft  to  encourage  his  men, 
but  he  did  go  into  the  rigging  at  one  time  to  get  a  better  view 
of  the  situation ;  that  Sheridan  did  not  ride  twenty  miles  after 
the  battle  in  the  valley  of  Virginia  and  single  handed  change 
defeat  into  victory,  but  it  was  the  coinage  of  a  sensational  army 
correspondent,  and  a  poetic  invention  of  Buchanan  Reade. 
One  of  the  most  entertaining  little  books  of  travel  which  has 
fallen  under  my  observation  is  Thackeray's  "  Cornhill  to  Cairo." 
He  describes  his  embarkation  at  Southampton,  gives  a  graphic 
description  of  the  vessel  and  passengers,  their  various  peculiar- 
ities and  quaint  but  natural  expressions,  the  touching  affection 
of  the  ship's  cook  in  ever>'  day  serving  them  a  lock  of  his  hair 
in  the  soup  at  dinner ;  what  the  author  saw  at  Malta,  his  land- 
ing at  Alexandria,  journey  up  the  Nile,  arrival  at  Cairo,  and 
first  impressions  of  a  purely  oriental  city  ;  all  very  well  written 
and  full  of  amusing  anecdote,  yet  it  was  all  fiction.  The  jour- 
ney was  not  performed  and  the  author  says  he  was  never  in 
Elgypt  in  his  life ! 

If  any  one  will  take  the  trouble  to  refer  to  a  file  of  the 
London  Times  during  what  is  known  as  the  Italian  war  of 
Independence,  he  will  find  the  letters  of  their  army  cor- 
respondents with  both  armies  published  some  times  in  the 
same  issue,  full  of  the  most  glaring  contradictions.  Giving  an 
account  of  the  battle  of  Solferino,  the  Austrian  correspondent 
states  the  loss  of  the  allies  to  be  8,000,  and  the  Austrians  in- 
considerable ;    while  the  other  letter  asserts  that  the  loss  of  the 

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12^  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

Austrians  was  8,000  and  the  allies  inconsiderable !  Army  dis- 
patches are,  however,  proverbially  unreliable,  and  it  is  a  prov- 
erb to  say  of  a  doubtful  story,  *'  It  lies  like  a  dispatch  ;'*  yet  we 
are  all  aware  that  the  history  of  a  war  is,  in  the  main,  compiled 
from  these  dispatches. 

It  does  not  follow  from  my  illustrations  that  ail  history  is 
false  and  unreliable,  as  undoubtedly  the  leading  events  narrated 
are  generally  authentic ;  but  I  may  state  it  as  a  rule  that  where 
statements  are  made,  which  are  based  upon  supernatural  agen- 
cies, they  may  safely  be  rejected,  and  allowance  should  always 
be  made  in  personal  biography  for  the  warmth  of  partisan 
friendship  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  bitter  malignity  of  personal 
and  party  prejudice  on  the  other.  Tt  is  a  trite  saying,  however^ 
that  '*  history  repeats  itself,"  and  as  truthful  as  trite.  Take  a 
single  example  from  the  hundreds  that  are  encountered  in  a 
generation.  Two  hundred  years  ago.  after  the  close  of  the 
civil  war  in  England,  a  writer  said  :  "  At  the  commencement 
of  the  established  government,  which  had  no  means  of  enforc- 
ing obedience,  50,000  soldiers  laid  down  their  arms  and  retired 
into  the  mass  of  the  people,  thenceforward  to  be  distinguished 
only  by  superior  diligence,  sobriety  and  regularity  in  the  pur- 
suits of  peace,  from  the  other  members  of  the  community  they 
had  saved."  Two  centuries  later,  the  same  language  could  be 
used  with  marked  emphasis  at  the  close  of  our  own  unhappy 
conflict,  and  with  equal  force  and  truthfulness. 

History,  it  is  said,  is  "  philosophy  teaching  by  Example,"  but 
what  philosophy  gains  in  soundness  and  depth,  the  examples 
are  apt  to  lose  in  truth  and  effect ;  notwithstanding  the  careful 
investigations  of  such  scholars  as  Niebuhrand  Winckleman  are 
sure  to  lead  us  to  the  conclusion  that  all  history  "  begins  in 
&ble  and  ends  in  romanoe,*'  it  is  by  no  means  pleasant  to  have 
our  idols  broken  or  defaced  before  our  eyes.  It  destroys  the 
charm  of  our  early  reading.  No  boy  desires  to  be  told  that 
Defoe's  attractive  story  of  Robinson  Crusoe  is  nothing  better 
than  a  romance,  or  that  th :  philosophical  conversations  of 
/Esop's  Animals  are  fabulous — it  is  nevertheless  a  stern  duty  in 
this  practical  age,  that  as  far  as  possible  we  should  sift  the  real 
from  the  imaginary,  and  I  have  thought  it  not  out  of  place  in 
an  inaugural  address  before  our  infant  society,  to  bring  before 
you  ^ome  of  these  **  pearls,"  as  my  French  author  calls  them, 
in  order  to  impress  upon  you  the  necessity  of  care  and  caution 
in  the  collation  of  facts,  which  it  is  the  object  of  this  society  to 
record  and  perpetuate. 

Although  the  county  of  Livingston  is  at  this  time  little  more 
than  a  half  century  old  as  a  county  organization,  the  territory 
which  it  embraces  forms  no  unimportant  part  of  the  country 
known  as  the  "  Genesee  country,"  or  western  New  York,  which 
has  been  the  theatre  of  some  of  the  most  stirring  events  that 

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Annual  Address  by  Hon,  B.  F,  Angel,  1 3 

have  stamped  their  impress  upon  the  pages  of  history.  In  the 
time  which  I  have  assigned  to  myself  on  this  occasion,  however, 
I  shall  refer  to  them  only  as  they  may  relate  to  the  important 
question  of  Title  to  the  Soil.  In  the  outset  1  find  myself 
greatly  embarrassed  with  the  multitude  of  notable  facts,  which 
deserve  attention,  but  which  it  is  difficult  to  embrace  within  the 
limits  of  an  address. 

THE  SIX  NATIONS  OF  INDIANS, 

On  the  discovery  of  this  continent,  the  state  of  New  York 
was  occupied  by  a  fierce  and  warlike  confederacy  of  Indians ; 
the  Iroquois,  who  had  carried  their  conquests  into  the  valley 
of  the  Mississippi,  and  who  held  in  subjection  most  of  the  east- 
ern and  southern  tribes  as  far  as  the  gulf  of  Mexico.  This 
confederacy  embraced  at  that  time  five  tribes  or  nations,  the 
Mohawks,  the  Oneidas,  the  Onondagas,  the  Cayugas  and  the 
Senecas,  but  in  1712  the  Tuscaroras,  who  lived  in  North  Caro- 
lina, and  who  had  formed  a  conspiracy  to  exterminate  their 
white  neighbors,  were  driven  from  the  country,  and  were 
adopted  by  the  Iroquois  as  a  sixth  nation,  and  lived  on  the 
lands  assigned  them,  between  the  Oneidas  and  Onondagas. 
The  country  of  the  Iroquois  was  admirably  adapted  to  their 
wants  and  protected  against  the  incursions  of  hostile  tribes. 
*'  It  was  called,*/  says  Governor  Seymour,  "  the  '  long  house  * 
or  castle,  and  the  different  tribes  were  made  guardians  of  its 
outlets  and  defenses.  The  Senecas,  in  western  New  York,  were 
the  keepers  of  the  great  western  gate,  which  led  into  the  valley 
of  the  Mississippi,  and  the  Mohawks,  the  fiercest  and  most 
powerful  clan,  the  keepers  of  the  eastern  idoor  or  gate,  from 
which  they  issued  to  conquer  the  Algonquins  in  Canada,  or 
the  Mohicans  and  other  tribes  of  New  England."  Each  nation, 
according  to  the  testimony  of  Governor  Clinton,  was  divided 
into  three  tribes,  the  Tortoise,  the  Bear  and  the  Wolf,  and  each 
village  was  like  the  cities  of  the  United  Netherlands,  a  distinct 
republic,  and  its  concerns  were  managed  by  its  particular  chiefs. 
A  distinguishing  feature  in  the  character  of  the  confederates, 
(says  the  same  author,)  was  an  exalted  spirit  of  liberty,  which 
revolted  with  equal  indignation  at  domestic  or  foreign  control. 
They  looked  upon  themselves  as  sovereigns,  accountable  to 
none  but  God  alone,  whom  they  called  the  "  Great  Spirit." 
The  office  of  sachem  was  the  reward  of  personal  merit,  of  great 
wisdom,  or  commanding  eloquence.  It  was  conferred  by  silent 
or  general  consent,  as  the  spontaneous  tribute  due  to  eminent 
worth.  Their  captives  were  never  slaves,  but  were  either  killed 
or  adopted  as  a  portion  of  the  tribe  and  on  equal  terms;  gener- 
ally to  supply  the  place  of  a  son  or  brother  killed  in  war. 
They  have  not  inaptly  been  compared  to  the  ancient  Greeks 
and  Romans.     In  the  language  of  President  Dwight,  "  ^^r^fffjip 


1 4  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

quois  were  a  very  extraordinary  people.     Had  they  enjoyed 
the  advantages  possessed  by  the  Greeks  and   Romans  there  \s 
no  reason  to  believe  they  would  be  at  all  inferior  to  those  cele- 
brated nations.     Their  minds  appear  to  have  been  equal  to  any 
efforts  within  the  reach  of  man.     Their  conquests,  if  we  con- 
sider their  numbers,  and  circumstances,  were  little  inferior  to 
those  of  Rome  itself     In  their  harmony,  the  unity  of  their  ope 
rations,  the  energy  of  their  character,  the  vastness,  vigor  and 
success  of  their  enterprises,  and  the  strength  and  sublimity   of 
their  eloquence,  they  may  be  fairly  compared  with  the  Greeks.*' 
Each  year  their  principal  sachems  met  in  general  council   to 
discuss  and  settle  important  questions  of  peace  or  war,  and  to 
provide  for  the  general  welfare  of  the  various  tribes.     Unfortu- 
nately for  them,  and  for  us,  they  were  induced  to  take  up  arms 
against  us  in  our  great  struggle  for  American  independence, 
and  in  conjunction  with  their  Tory  and  British  allies  "  hung 
like  the  scythe  of  death  upon  the  frontier  settlements,*'  and 
their  deeds  are  inscribed  with  the  scalping  knife  and  the  toma- 
hawk, in  characters  of  blood  on  the  fields  of  Wyoming  and 
Cherry   Valley,   and  on  the  banks  of  the   Mohawk.     In  this 
great  struggle  it  became  necessary  that  the  confederates  should 
receive   a   signal   chastisement   for  their  barbarous  and  cruel 
incursions,  and  accordingly  General  Washington  ordered  Gen- 
eral  Sullivan,  in  1779,  with  a  large  force  to  march  into  the 
Indian  country  for  that  purpose.     He  defeated  and  drove  them 
from  their  fortifications  near  Elmira,  and  afterwards  continued 
by  way  of  Cayuga  and  Seneca  lakes  to  the  Conesus,  finally 
reaching  their  principal  settlement  in  this  county,  destroying 
their  orchards,  cornfields  and  forty  villages,  the  one  at  Leices- 
ter— Little  Beard's  village — containing  128  houses.     This  ex- 
pedition was  the  finishing  blow  to  savage  cruelty  and  insolence 
in  this  state.     Their  habitations  were  destroyed,  their  provinces 
laid  waste,  and  they  were  compelled  to  take  refuge  under  the 
British  cannon  at  Fort  Niagara. 

ORIGIN  OF  REAL    ESTATE   TITLES  IN    WESTERN 

NEW   YORK, 

The  earliest  records  I  have  found  bearing  upon  this  branch 
of  my  subject,  is  the  charter  granted  by  James  I.,  king  of  Eng- 
land, in  1620,  to  the  Plymouth  company,  of  a  tract  of  land 
called  "  New  England,"  extending  from  the  Atlantic  to  the 
Pacific.  In  1628  a  charter  was  granted  by  Charles  I.  to  Mass- 
achusetts, and  a  second  charter  to  the  province  of  Massachu- 
setts bay,  extending  also  from  "sea  to  sea"  was  given  by 
William  and  Mary  in  1684.  In  1663  Charles  II.  granted  to 
the  Duke  of  York  and  Albany,  afterwards  James  II.,  the  prov- 
ince of  New  York,  also  extending  to  the  Pacific  ocean,  and 
embracing  portions  of  the  same  territory  granted  to  Massachu- 

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Annual  Address  by  Hon,  B,  F,  Angel,  1 5 

setts.  As  the  country  was  much  of  it  an  unbroken  wilderness, 
inhabited  only  by  Indians,  there  was  no  occasion  for  a  conflict 
of  jurisdiction  until  after  the  close  of  the  revolutionary  war  in 
1783.  On  the  1st  of  March.  1784,  New  York  ceded  to  the 
general  government  all  the  territory  which  the  state  theretofore 
claimed  west  of  the  present  western  boundary  of  our  state ;  and 
in  1785  Massachusetts  made  a  similar  grant.  The  conflicting 
claims  of  New  York  and  Massachusetts  to  that  portion  of  the 
state  west  of  what  is  now  the  eastern  boundary  of  Ontario  and 
Yates  counties,  running  through  to  the  Pennsylvania  line  on 
the  south,  and  Lake  Ontario  on  the  north,  was  left  unadjusted  ; 
but  the  whole  subject  was  by  consent  referred  to  a  commission 
agreed  upon  by  the  two  states,  which  met  at  Hartford,  Conn., 
on  the  lOth  of  December,  1786.  This  commission  decided 
that  Massachusetts  should  cede  to  New  York  all  claim  to  the 
"  government  sovereignty  and  jurisdiction  **  of  the  territory  in 
controversy,  and  New  York  should  cede  to  Massachusetts  the 
"  right  of  pre-emption  of  the  soil  from  the  native  Indians." 
This  embraced  the  whole  territory  known  as  western  New 
York.  Massachusetts  having  thus  acquired  an  undisputed  pre- 
emptive title  to  the  soil,  subject  to  the  Indian  ownership  and 
occupancy,  it  was  put  into  market. 

On  the  1st  of  April,  1788,  Oliver  Phelps  and  Nathaniel 
Gorham,  two  enterprising  New  England  speculators,  associated 
with  others,  purch,ased  of  the  state  of  Massachusetts  the  pre- 
emption of  this  whole  region  estimated  at  between  7,000,000 
and  8,000,000  acre^,  but  finding  it  impracticable  to  meet  their 
payments,  they  subsequently  surrendered  all  that  portion  of 
the  territory  which  lies  west  of  the  Genesee  river.  In  July 
of  that  year  these  gentlemen  made  a  treaty  with  the  Seneca 
Indians  on  the  borders  of  Canandaigua  lake,  by  which  the 
Indian  title  was  extinguished  on  the  land  lying  between  the 
eastern  boundary,  (the  center  of  Seneca  lake)  and  the  Genesee 
river,  and  commenced  the  settlement  of  western  New  York  on 
this  territory.  On  the  1 8th  of  November,  1 790,  Messrs.  Phelps 
and  Gorham  sold  to  Robert  Morris  of  Philadelphia,  known  as 
the  great  financier  of  the  revolution,  1,200,000  acres  of  their 
purchase,  reserving  what  had  been  previously  sold  by  them, 
and  two  townships  in  addition.  Mr.  Morris  the  next  year  sold 
this  whole  tract,  through  William  Temple  Franklin,  a  grandson 
of  Benjamin  Franklin,  to  Sir  William  Pultney,  Governor 
Hornby  and  others,  and  the  lands  were  conveyed  to  Charles 
Williamson,  as  their  attorney,  to  manage  and  sell.  This  is  the 
origin  of  the  Pultney  estate  successively  managed  by  Colonel 
Williamson,  Robert  Troup,  W.  W.  McKay,  Joseph  Fellows  and 
B.  F.  Young,  embracing  the  now  counties  of  Ontario,  Yates 
and  Steuben  and  large  portions  of  Wayne,  Monroe,  Schuyler, 
Allegany,  Chemung  and  Livingston.     At  this  early  perio^(5h^^ 


1 6  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

principal  settlements  were  at  Geneva,  Canandaigua,  Bath  and 
Sodus  Bay. 

THE  TREATY  OF  BIG  TREE. 

In  1790  there  were  less  than  1,000  white  inhabitants  in  this 
whole  region  from  Seneca  lake  to  the  Niagara  frontier.  The 
next  year,  however,  encouraged  by  the  situation,  climate  and 
soil,  a  considerable  addition  was  made.  That  year  Robert  Morris 
purchased  the  pre-emption  from  Massachusetts,  of  all  the  land 
west  of  the  Genesee  river  theretofore  surrendered  by  Phelps 
and  Gorham,  estimated  at  4,000,000  acres,  for  a  shilling  an 
acre.  In  1792  Mr.  Morris  sold  the  principal  part  of  this  vast 
domain  to  a  company  of  Dutch  capitalists  known  as  the  *'  Hol- 
land land  company,"  the  trustees  being  Herman  LeRoy,  Will- 
iam Bayard,  Matthew  Clarkson,  Gerrett  Boone  and  John  Link- 
laen,  and  by  the  terms  of  the  sale  bound  himself  to  extinguish 
the  Indian  title.  One  hundred  and  seventy-five  thousand  dol- 
lars of  the  purchase  money  being  retained  by  the  purchasers 
until  this  should  be  accomplished.  Five  or  six  years  trans 
pired  before  Mr.  Morris  deemed  it  prudent  to  apply  to  the 
president  to  appoint  a  commission  t<^  make  this  treaty.  As 
characteristic  of  the  man  and  the  times,  I  have  thought  it  o! 
sufficient  interest  to  re-produce  the  letter  addressed  to  "George 
Washington,  Esquire"  for  this  purpose.     It  is  dated  : 

Philadelphia,  Aufcust  2.>th.  179tt. 

Sib:— In  the  year  1791 1  purcbased  of  tbe  state  of  MaRSHchuseits  a  tract  of  country 
]ying  within  the  boundaries  of  the  state  of  New  York,  which  had  been  ceded  by 
tne  latter  to  the  former  state  under  the  sanction  and  with  the  concurrence  of  tbe 
congress  of  the  United  States.  This  tract  of  land  is  bounded  on  the  east  by  the 
Qenesee  riyer,  to  the  north  by  Lake  Outarlo,  to  the  west  partly  by  Lake  Erie,  and 
partly  by  tbe  boundary  line  of  the  Pennsylvania  triangle,  and  to  the  south  by  tbe 
north  boundary  line  of  the  state  of  Pennsylvania.  A  printed  brief  of  title  I  take 
the  liberty  to  transmit  herewith.  To  perfect  the  title  it  is  necessary  to  purchase  of 
the  Seneca  nation  of  Indians  their  native  right;  which  I  should  have  done  soon 
after  tbe  purchase  was  made  of  the  state  of  Massachusetts,  but  that  I  felt  myself 
restrained  from  doing  so  by  motives  of  public  consideration. 

The  war  between  the  western  Indian  nations  and  tbe  United  States  did  not 
extend  to  the  six  nations  of  which  the  Seneca  nation  is  one;  and  as  I  apprehended 
that  if  this  nation  should  sell  its  right  during  tbe  existence  of  that  war,  they 
might  the  more  readily  be  induced  to  Join  the  enemies  of  our  country,  I  was  de- 
termined not  to  make  the  purchase  while  that  war  lasted. 

When  peacA  was  made  with  the  Indian  nations  I  turned  my  thoughts  towards 
the  purchase,  which  istomean  object  very  interesting;  but  upon  It  being  repre- 
sented that  a  little  longer  patience,  until  the  western  posts  should  be  delivered  up 
by  the  British  government,  might  still  be  public  utility,  I  concluded  to  wait  for 
that  event  also,  which  is  now  happily  accomplished,  and  theie  seems  no  obstacle 
remaining  to  restrain  me  from  making  the  purchase,  especially  as  I  have  reason 
to  believe  the  Indians  are  desirous  to  make  the  sale. 

The  delays  which  have  already  taken  place  and  that  arose  solely  from  the  con- 
siderations above  mentioned,  have  been  extremely  detrimental  to  my  private 
atnairs:  but  still  being  deslrou  to  comply  with  formalities  prescribed  by  certain 
laws  or  the  United  States,  although  those  laws  do  not  probably  reach  my  case  I 
now  make  application  to  the  president  of  the  United  States  and  request  that  he 
win  nominate  and  appoint  a  commissioner  to  be  present  and  preside  at  a  treaty 
which  he  will  be  pleased  to  authorize  to  beheld  with  the  Seneca  nation  for  the 
purpose  of  enabling  me  to  make  a  purchase  in  conformity  with  the  formalltle« 
required  by  law  of  the  tract  of  country  for  which  I  have  already  paid  a  lar»fe  sum 
of  money.  My  right  to  the  preemption  is  unequivocal,  and  the  land  has  become 
so  necessary  to  the  growing  population  and  surrounding  settlements  that  it  is 
with  difficulty  that  the  white  people  can  be  restrained  frona  squatterinir  or  settling 
down  upon  these  lands,  which.  If  they  should  do  it,  may  probably  brlnir  on  V»nn. 
tentions  with  the  six  nations.  '  ^  ^  "iiug  on  con 

This  will  be  prevented  oy  a  timely,  fair  and  honorable  purchase 

This  proposed  treaty  ought  to  be  held  immediately  before  the  huntlnff  seaaon  nr 
another  year  will  be  lost,  as  the  Indians  cannot  be  collected  durlnaLdthat^SSo^ 


Annual  Address  by  Hon,  B,  F,  Angel,  \J 

The  loss  of  another  year  ander  the  payments  thus  made  for  these  lands  would  be 
ralnoas  to  my  aflblre ;  and  as  I  baye  paid  bo  great  defierence  to  pnbllc  oonsldera- 
tloofl  whilst  they  did  exist.  I  expect  and  hope  that  my  request  will  be  readily 
granted  now,  when  there  can  be  no  cause  of  delay ;  especially  If  the  Indians  are 
vHllDg  to  sell,  which  will  be  tested  by  the  offer  to  buy. 

With  the  most  perfect  esteem  and  respect,  I  am,  sir,  your  most  obedient  and 
molt  humble  servant, 

ROBERT  MORRIS. 

GEORGE  WASHINGTON,  Esq  , 

President  of  the  United  States. 

The  president  appointed  Colonel  Jeremiah  Wadsworth  of 
Connecticut,  General  Shepard  was  designated  by  Massachu- 
setts, Captain  Horatio  Jones  and  Captain  Jasper  Parish  were 
selected  as  interpreters,  and  James  Rees  of  Geneva  as  secretary. 
Captain  Chapin,  then  superintendent  of  Indian  affairs,  Charles 
Williamson  in  behalf  of  the  Pultney  estate,  William  Bayard  to 
represent  the  Holland  land  company  ;  Thomas  Morris,  in  be- 
half of  his  father,  and  two  young  gentlemen  from  Holland,  by 
the  name  of  Van  Staphorst  were  also  present.  The  residence 
of  William  Wadsworth,  a  log  house  west  of  the  present  site  of 
Genesee,  and  near  "  Big  Tree's"  village,  was  hired  for  the  use 
of  the  commissioners  ;  and  a  large  council  house  covered  by 
branches  and  boughs  of  trees,  was  prepared  for  the  conven- 
ience of  the  negotiation  which  lasted  three  or  four  weeks.  The 
sale  was  violently  opposed  by  Red  Jacket,  and  a  majority  of 
the  sachems,  and  had  finally  to  be  made  with  the  women  and 
warriors,  as  according  to  their  usages  their  sachems  have  a 
right  to  transact  all  the  business  of  the  nation,  whether  it  refers 
to  their  lands  or  otherwise,  but  where  it  relatet  to  their  lands 
alone,  and  they  are  dissatisfied  with  the  management  of  the 
sachems,  the  women  and  warriors  have  the  right  to  divest 
them  of  their  power  and  take  the  matter  in  their  own  hands. 
This  was  done  at  this  celebrated  treaty  at  Big  Tree  in  1797, 
thus  giving  us  the  first  practical  illustration  of  "  Women's 
rights,"  in  the  early  period  of  our  settlements. 

The  constitution  of  this  state  prior  to  the  adoption  of  the 
federal  constitution  in  1787  prohibited  the  purchase  from  the 
Indians  of  lands  within  the  boundaries  of  the  state  without  the 
sanction  of  the  legislature.  But  in  order  to  evade  this  provis- 
ion John  Livingston  of  Oak  Hill,  Columbia  county,  associated 
with  a  company  for  that  purpose,  in  1786,  procured  from  the 
Indians  two  leases  of  all  the  lands  possessed  by  the  Six  Na- 
tions for  a  term  of  999  years,  the  consideration  being  J>20,ooo 
in  hand,  and  an  annual  payment  of  ^2,000;  and  a  number  of 
sales  were  made  by  this  company  to  settlers,  who  took  pos- 
session of  various  portions  of  the  land.  The  legislature,  how- 
ever, under  the  recommendation  of  George  Clinton,  the  then 
governor,  promptly  declared  these  leases  a  violation  of  the  law, 
and  the  sheriff  of  Herkimer  county,  which  then  extended  over 
the  territory,  was  ordered  with  a  posse  of  sixty  men  from 
Whitestown  and  vicinity  to  remove  these  intruders  upon  the 
Indian  lands  and   burn   their  dwellings.     Two  of  the  number. 

^  Digitized  by  VljOOgle 


1 8  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

were  arrested  for  treason  and  taken  to  New  York,  the  then 
capital.  Subsequently,  however,  Mr.  Livingston  and  his  asso- 
ciates made  a  daring  attempt  to  set  up  an  independent  state 
government  for  central  and  western  New  York.  These  efforts 
were  continued  for  several  years,  and  produced  the  most  seri- 
ous alarm  among  those  settlers  who  were  favorably  disposed 
towards  the  constituted  authorities.  The  formidable  character 
of  this  movement  is  best  exhibited  by  the  proceedings  of  a 
public  meeting,  held  at  Canandaigua  in  opposition,  in  Novem- 
ber. 1793,  which  was  presided  over  by  a  gentleman  who  after- 
wards bore  a  distinguished  part  in  the  annals  of  Ontario  county, 
Judge  Timothy  Hosmer.     The  proceedings  state  that, 

Whereas,  Certftln  restless  and  turbulent  characters  trom.  the  eastern  district  of 
this  state,  eylUy  disposed  towards  this  country,  have,  for  some  time  past,  endeav- 
ored to  stir  up  sedition  among  the  peaceable  inhabitants  thereof,  and  to  excite 
them  to  acts  both  treasonable  and  improper;  and, 

Whereas,  They  have  proposed  to  many  Individuals  of  the  county  that  the 
county  of  Ontario,  in  conjunction  with  that  of  Otsego,  and  j>art  of  Tioga  and  Herk- 
imer,  should  immediately  shake  off  all  allegiance  and  dependence  from  the  state 
of  New  York,  and  support  iheir  independence  by  force  of  arms,  in  case  the  state 
should  be  unwilling  to  ratify  and  confirm  the  same;  and, 

Whereas.  The  passions  of  the  dishonest  and  disorderly,  of  the  ambitious  and 
the  timid,  nave  been  flattered  by  the  expectation  of  having  laws  passed  for  the 
screening  of  individuals  from  the  payment  of  their  Just  debts  for  six  vears,  and 
they  have  been  falsely  told  that  all  the  Tndlan  lands,  as  well  as  those  belonging  to 
the  state  of  New  York  as  those  which  the  said  state,  together  with  Massachusetts, 
have  guaranteed  to  individuals,  should  become  a  prey  to  the  rapacity  of  their 
hungry  followers,  and  have  engaged  to  support-  these  measures  by  a  number  of 
armed  troops,  collected  troxn.  Vermont  and  elsewhere  in  case  of  opposition ;  there- 
fore. 

Resolved,  That  the  inhabitants  of  Ontario,  sensible  of  the  many  advantages 
that  they  have  derived  from  their  connection  with  one  of  the  most  respectable 
states  in  the  unioii,  and  desirous  of  the  continuation  of  the  same  advantages, 
highly  resent  the  iil-timed  and  improper  attempt  made  by  the  characters  above 
alluded  to,  to  disturb  their  peace  and  harmonv,  and  they  conceive  their  measures 
are  pregnant  with  danger,  and  such  as  if  carried  Into  effect  would  introduce  into 
our  infant  country  all  the  complicated  evils  which  anarchy  and  confusion  can 
create. 

The  new  state  was  to  embrace  the  whole  of  western  New 
York,  but  by  the  energetic  action  of  the  state  authorities,  aided 
by  the  efforts  of  the  better  class  of  citizens,  the  scheme  was 
abandoned.  It,  however,  forms  a  most  interesting  episode  in 
our  early  history,  and  we  should  be  grateful  to  those  sturdy 
patriots  who  raised  their  voices  against  it.  By  the  terms  of 
the  treaty  of  1797,  no  less  than  338  square  miles  was  still  re- 
served to  the  Senecas.  But  the  **  land  sharks  and  speculators 
were  on  their  trail,**  and  in  1838  a  treaty  with  this  once  powerful 
tribe  was  made  at  Buffalo,  at  which  the  remainder  of  their 
lands  were  sold,  and  there  is  now  scarcely  an  Indian  to  be 
found  within  the  borders  of  .our  territory.  In  the  order  of 
Providence  they  have  been  compelled  to  recede  before  the 
march  of  civilization  and  improvement,  and  I  am  free  to  confess 
that  I  do  not  sympathize  with  those  whose  maudlin  philan- 
thropy for  the  savage  would  desire  it  otherwise. 

Before  concluding,  I  may  be  pardoned  for  expressing  the 
obligations  which  our  society  and  the  citizens  of  our  valley  owe 
to  those  who  have  taken  so  much  pains  to  preserve  in  endur- 
ing form,  the  history  of  western  New  York.     Mr.  Stone,  in  his 

Digitized  byCjOOQlC 


Annual  Address  by  Hon,  B.  F,  Angel,  19 

life  of  Red  Jacket,  Mr.  Turner,  in  his  history  of  the  Holland 
purchase,  Mr.  Seaver,  in  his  life  of  Mary  Jamison,  Henry 
O'Reilly,  in  his  history  of  Rochester  and  Western  New  York, 
and  his  valuable  contributions  to  the  New  York  historical 
society.  Dr.  0*Callahan.  in  his  documentary  history  of  New 
York,  the  late  Thomas  Morris,  for  his  excellent  personal  nar- 
rative, the  late  lamented  poet  Hosmer.  who  has  made  the 
scenes  of  his  boyhood  classic,  Mr.  Proctor,  in  the  field  of  biog- 
raphy, also  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  Mr.  Norman  Seymour,  our  secre- 
tary, and  especially  the  late  Lockwood  L.  Doty  and  A.  Tiffany 
Norton,  for  their  elaborate  history  of  Livingston  county. 
Some  of  these  publications,  like  all  human  efforts,  are  open  to 
criticism,  and  I  feel  compelled  to  notice  a  natural  error  in  the 
last  named  work  regarding  the  origin  of  the  name  *'  Big  Tree," 
the  original  name  of  the  village  of  Geneseo.  On  page  520  it 
is  stated  that  "  th'e  name  is  a  designation  rather  vaguely  given 
to  that  part  of  the  town  embracing  the  village  and  immediately 
west  of  it,  derived  from  a  great  oak,  which  stood  on  the  bank 
of  the  river."  This  is  an  error.  The  name  was  derived  from 
an  Indian  chief  of  that  name,  whose  village  was  here,  as  Little 
Beard's  village  in  Leicester  was  named  from  a  chief  who  bore 
that  name.  This  I  was  assured  by  the  late  Captain  Jones,  who 
was  for  a  long  time  a  captive  with  the  Senecas,  and  I  observe 
Big  Tree  signed  the  treaty  of  1797,  and  his  name  is  also  ap- 
pended to  a  communication  with  Corn  Planter  and  Half  Town 
to  General  Washington  in  1790.  The  site  of  Big  Tree's  village 
was  something  over  a  third  of  a  mile  west  of  what  is  now  the 
most  populous  part  of  the  present  village  of  Geneseo,  and  it 
was  near  there  where  the  log  house  of  General  Wadsworth 
stood,  which  was  hired  for  the  use  of  the  commissioners  pend- 
ing the  negotiations  which  resulted  in  the  treaty  of  1 797,  to 
which  I  have  referred. 

As  will  be  observed,  I  have  been  enabled  to  glance  at  only 
two  or  three  of  the  more  important  events  in  our  history, 
which  do  not  seem  to  have  attracted  the  attention  they  deserve. 

The  early  years  of  the  century  which  has  just  closed,  are  full 
of  dramatic  and  stirring  incidents  in  this  valley,  which  have 
had  an  important  bearing  upon  the  character  of  our  population. 
The  pioneers  of  "the  Genesee  country,"  whether  impelled 
hither  by  a  love  of  adventure  or  the  desire  to  improve  their 
financial  condition,  were  in  the  main  a  devoted  band  of  hardy 
and  enterprising  adventurers,  in  whose  veins  might  be  found 
the  best  blood  of  New  England,  intermingled  with  that  of  Hol- 
land and  Scotland,  and  it  may  be  justly  said  they  were  "  a  race 
that  would  not  bow  the  knee  to  aught  but  God," — bold,  enter- 
prising and  independent;  they  subdued  and  brought  into  cul- 
tivation a  region  unequaled  in  natural  fertility  and  beauty,  and 
have  left  us  a  heritage  which  has  not  inaptly  been  styled  th4e 


20  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

"  Garden  of  America."  Having  myself  had  an  opportunity  of 
seeing  no  inconsiderable  portion  of  the  earth's  surface,  I  am 
justified  in  saying  that  it  is  difficult  to  find  on  this  continent,  or 
elsewhere,  a  fairer  land,  or  one  which  at  this  day  combines  in 
a  greater  degree  all  the  elements  which  constitute  moral,  edu- 
cational and  agricultural  supremacy 

It  is  the  mission  of  this  society  to  preserve  in  an  enduring 
form,  and  with  religious  care,  a  truthful  record  of  the  interesting 
events  of  our  early  history,  and  of  the  sacrifices,  privations  and 
dangers  of  those  to  whom  we  are  so  deeply  indebted.  Let  not 
the  splendor  of  their  achievements  be  dimmed  by  the  lapse  of 
time. 


ADDRESS  BY  L.  B.  PROCTOR,  ESQ/, 

ON  PRESENTING  PORTRAIT  OF  GOV.  yOHN  YOUNG, 

Mr.  President  and  Gentlemen  : — The  primal  object  of  our 
society  is  to  gather  up  the  facts  and  incidents  connected  with 
the  history  of  Livingston  county,  together  with  the  fitst  fading 
reminiscences  of  those  whose  lives  and  career  are  identified 
with  it,  placing  them  where  posterity  may  look  upon  them,  and 
as  "  history  is  philosophy  teaching  by  example,"  thus  enabling 
them  to  learn  the  struggles,  vicissitudes  and  privations  of  the 
early  residents  of  the  county,  and  to  profit  by  their  example. 
It  \s  scarcely  possible  to  overestimate  the  benefits  which  the 
future  history  of  the  county  will  derive  from  keeping  steadily 
before  its  citizens  the  career  of  its  worthies.  For,  the  effect  of 
high,  pure  and  generous  characters  on  the  public  mind,  secured 
as  we  hope  to  secure  them  by  our  society,  is  always  beneficial. 
The  history  of  Livingston  county  is  second  to  no  other  in  in- 
terest, at  least  among  the  rural  counties.  It  has  been  made  so 
by  the  names  of  men  who  have  a  historic  record — names  familiar 
in  the  annals  of  the  state  and  nation. 

It  has  become  my  duty — a  pleasant  duty  indeed — as  a  mem- 
ber of  our  county  historical  society,  to  refer  briefly  to  a  former 
citizen  of  our  county — one  who,  without  advantageous  circum- 
stances to  aid  him,  gained  a  conspicuous  place  in  the  annals, 
not  only  of  his  native  county,  but  a  place  among  those  who, 
from  the  executive  chair  of  the  Empire  state,  governed  its 
destinies  as  its  chief  magistrate  and  ruler^.  ,^1  Jtd^Hiytec^'^'^'^  ^^ 


Address  by  L.  B.  Proctor,  Esq,  2 1 

Livingston  county,  to  your  distinguished  citizen,  the  Hon.  John 
Young — eminent  at  your  bar  and  the  bar  of  the  state,  in  our 
own  legislature,  as  a  representative  in  congress,  a  leader  in  par- 
liamentary debate,  possessed  of  much  of  the  subtle  knowledge 
of  men,  and  the  springs  of  human  action,  constituting  the 
skillful  and  successful  parliamentary  leader.  While  the  world 
is  wearied  with  statesmen  and  legislators  degraded  into  mere 
politicians,  and  of  orators  who  pander  to  the  tastes  of  the  times, 
for  their  own  petty  aggrandisement,  it  is  pleasant  and  profitable 
to  turn  to  the  career  of  a  man  like  John  Young,  above  the 
managing  horde  of  politicians — ignoble  to-day — inflated  into 
ephemeral  greatness  by  political  trickery  to  morrow,  and  the 
next  day  lost  in  their  original  obscurity. 

Though  nearly  thirty  years  have  passed  away  since  all  that 
was  mortal  of  Mr.  Young,  still  in  the  prime  of  manhood,  was 
consigned  to  the  tomb,  yet  before  that  event  the  painter,  seiz- 
ing a  favorable  moment,  by  the  beautiful,  almost  life-like  and 
exquisite  blending  of  lights  and  shades,  preserved  his  features 
from  "  time's  effacing  fingers."  As  the  gods  in  their  wrath 
turned  Niobe  into  stone,  and  as  the  chisel  of  Praxiteles,  in  vivid 
lineaments,  restored  her  to  youth  and  beauty,  so  has  the  pencil 
of  the  painter  restored  or  preserved  the  features  of  John 
Young,  rescuing  them  from  the  hand  of  death.  In  the 
discharge  of  my  duty  I  have  brought  them  here  to-day  as  a 
meet  offering  to  the  historical  society  of  the  county  he  so 
fondly  loved  in  life,  and  where  with  honest  industry,  with  laud- 
able ambition,  with  all  life's  great  duties  well  done,  he  won  his 
&me  and  name.  Citizens  of  Livingston  county,  as  in  life  you 
loved  to  honor  him,  as  you  often  trusted  him  in  high  and  re- 
sponsible places,  your  historical  society  will  discharge  a  high 
and  pleasing  duty  in  carefully  preserving  his  portrait  as  an  em- 
bellishment to  the  halls,  where,  in  coming  years  this  society 
will  meet  as  we  have  met  to-day.  Having  thus,  sir,  presented 
the  portrait  of  Mr.  Young,  as  executed  by  the  artist,  may  I  be 
permitted  in  an  humble  way  to  present  briefly  here  a  mental 
portrait  of  the  honored  original. 

John  Young  was  a  native  of  the  state  of  Vermont,  born  in 
the  year  1802,  and  removed  with  his  parents  to  the  neighbor- 
ing town  of  Conesus  when  but  eight  years  old.  It  may  well 
be  said  he  was  a  native  of  Livingston  county.  His  parents 
were  in  humble  circumstances,  but  honorable,  intelligent  and 
worthy — true  representatives  of  the  pioneers  who  first  made  the 
wilderness  bloom.  Hence  the  growth  of  John  Young's 
capacity  was  not  obscured,  nor  his  mind  enervated  by 
pampered  indulgence  nor  by  the  want  of  strong  incentive  to 
action.  "  He  enjoyed  what  most  parents  through  life  strive  to 
shield  their  sons  from,  the  benefits  of  early  poverty."  His 
wkoA  g^rasped  after  knowledge  with  the  same  intuition  which 


22  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

causes  the  tendril  burled  in  darkness  to  lift  itself  into  the  per- 
vading, bright,  life-giving  sunbeam.  What  could  not  be  taught 
him  in  the  common  school,  the  only  institution  of  learning  he 
ever  had  access  to,  he  learned  by  his  father's  fireside,  with  no 
other  tutor  but  self-reliance,  energy  and  perseverance.  He 
purchased  the  best  classical  works  of  the  day  and  devoted  him- 
self to  them  with  such  untiring  industry  that  he  became  an 
excellent,  practical  classical  scholar.  He  prepared,  too,  for 
that  most  useful — may  I  not  say  for  that  greatest  of  all  profes- 
sions,?— the  profession  of  a  teacher.  In  this  vocation  he  ac- 
quired a  reputation  which  was  his  pride  through  life,  and  which 
gave  him  the  choice  of  the  schools  of  Livingston  county. 

The  benefits  derived  from  his  experience  as  a  teacher  were 
of  great  value  to  Mr.  Young.  It  gave  his  mind  that  peculiar 
discipline  so  necessary  to  the  active  duties  of  life.  It  taught 
him  self-government;  it  taught  him  how  to  govern  others. 
He  was  one  of  those  teachers  who  look  with  reverence  upon 
every  human  being  committed  to  his  care ;  and  as  Canova  or 
Phidias  saw  in  unhewn  marble,  the  majesty,  grace,  beauty  and 
emotions  of  the  almost  breathing  statue  to,,  be  carved  from  it, 
so  he  saw  in  the  undeveloped  mind  of  his  pupils,  the  great,  the 
good,  the  useful  of  coming  years,  and  he  labored  to  quicken 
the  young  mind  to  a  consciousness  of  its  inward  lofty  nature. 

As  Mr.  Young  grew  in  years,  he  naturally  gravitated  towards 
the  legal  profession.  In  due  time  he  commenced  the  study  of 
law  at  Geneseo,  supporting  himself  through  his  student  days 
by  teaching.  His  toil,  self-denial,  and  devotion  to  his  studies 
were  rewarded  by  a  call  to  the  bar  of  the  supreme  court  of  the 
state.  This  event  took  place  at  Albany  in  October,  1829.  He 
had  been  at  the  bar  but  a  few  years  before  he  was  conceded  a 
place  in  the  front  rank  of  his  profession. 

To  attain  eminence,  surrounded  as  he  was  by  lawyers  of  the 
peerless  eloquence  and  acute  professional  skill  of  Mark  H.  Sib- 
ley, Dudley  Marvin,  Luther  C.  Peck,  John  B.  Skinner  and  the 
inimitable,  the  accomplished  and  witty  John  Baldwin,  nothing 
further  need  be  said  of  the  abilities  of  Mr.  Young.  Like  most 
lawyers,  John  Young  had  a  natural  love  of  politics.  He  com- 
menced his  political  career  as  a  democrat.  Dazzled  by  the 
popularity  of  Andrew  Jackson,  he  became  his  ardent  supporter 
and  gave  his  first  political  labor  to  the  hero  of  New  Orleans. 
But  when  political  anti-masonry  swept  over  western  New  York, 
Mr.  Young  with  William  H.  Seward,  Thurlow  Weed.  Frederick 
Whittlesey,  Albert  H.  Tracy,  and  others,  gave  his  allegiance  to 
that  party,  adhering  to  it  throughout  its  ephemeral  existence. 
When  the  great,  and  now  historic  Whig  party  was  founded,  he 
became  one  of  its  leaders.  He  adopted  its  political  tenets  with 
sincerity,  and  finally  died  in  an  honest  faith  in  their  truth.  In 
the  autumn  of  1832  he  was  elected  by  the  anti-niasons.  member 


Address  by  L,  B.  Proctor ^  Esq,  23 

of  assembly  from  this  county,  Hon.  George  W.  Patterson  being 
his  colleague.  In  the  session  of  1832  the  anti-masons  were  led 
by  Francis  Granger  in  the  assembly,  and  in  the  senate  of  the 
state  by  that  brilliant  and  powerful  debator,  William  H.  May- 
nard  of  Utica.  Mr.  Seward  was  at  this  time  a  member  of  the 
state  senate,  but  he  was  overshadowed  by  Maynard.  His 
great  rival  was  soon  removed  by  death,  and  Seward  soon  enter- 
ed upon  that  resplendent  political  career  that  made  him  illus- 
trious as  a  statesman  and  a  diplomat.  On  entering  the  legisla- 
ture Mr.  Young  soon  distinguished  himself  by  the  modest, 
notable  manner  in  which  he  discharged  his  duties.  Several  of 
his  speeches,  delivered  by  him  during  this  session,  evince  his 
ability  as  a  debator.  In  the  year  1836  Hon.  Philo  C  Fuller, 
another  name  honored  in  the  annals  of  Livingston  county,  then 
a  representative  in  congress  from  this  district,  resigned,  and  in 
the  autumn  of  that  year  John  Young  was  elected  his  successor. 

His  congressional  record  was  honorable  though  not  brilliant, 
and  he  retired  with  more  than  the  usual  popularity  which  a 
new  member  of  congress  secures.  He  was  succeeded  by  Hon. 
Luther  C.  Peck,  and  Young  gave  his  undivided  attention  to  his 
profession.  In  the  memorable  and  exciting  contest  of  1840, 
John  Young  was  again  elected  to  congress.  He  took  his  seat 
in  that  body  at  the  famous  extra  session  called  by  John  Tyler 
— the  successor  of  President  Taylor.  In  this  session  Mr. 
Young  by  his  experience  was  enabled  to  take  a  more  conspic- 
uous part,  and  he  was  soon  regarded  as  one  of  the  ablest 
members  of  that  house.  The  extra  session  continued  until 
August  13,  1841.  It  again  assembled  in  December  following, 
adjourning  August  30th,  1842.  It  reassembled  December  5th, 
1842,  and  continued  until  March  3d,  1843.  The  labors  of  Mr. 
Young  during  the.se  protracted  sessions  were  intense  and  ex- 
haustive. To  his  party,  in  the  committee  room,  by  his  saga- 
cious advice  on  great  partisan  measures,  by  his  speeches  on  the 
floor  of  the  house  he  distinguished  himself.  His  speech  on 
the  bank  bill,  vetoed  by  President  Tyler,  on  the  distribution  of 
public  lands,  the  tariff  of  1842,  are  still  living  mementoes  of  his 
labors. 

On  his  return  home  from  congress  he  was  publicly  received 
by  the  citizens  of  Geneseo,  in  a  demonstration  that  reflected 
great  credit  not  only  «pon  the  returning  legislator,  but  upon 
the  citizens  themselves.  If  my  memory  serves  me  right,  he 
was  received  by  Hon.  William  H.  Kelsey,  in  an  eloquent 
speech,  to  which  Mr.  Young  replied  in  an  address  which  com- 
bined the  charm  of  inimitable  grace  and  urbanity,  with  expan- 
sion of  thought — deviating  at  times  from  his  subject  for  the 
purpose  of  humor,  with  engaging  ease — passing  from  the  sever- 
ity of  reason  to  the  festivity  of  wit.  In  the  autumn  of  1844 
the  Whigs  of  Livingston  county  again  summoned  Mr.  Young 

Digitized  by  VjjOO^TC 


24  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

from  his  professional  duties  inducing  him  to  accept  the  nomi- 
nation for  member  of  assembly.  He  was  elected.  His  powers 
as  an  orator  and  legislator  were  never  fully  developed  until  he 
entered  the  legislature  of  1845.  Here  he  attained  an  eminence 
seldom  reached  in  a  legislative  body,  and  from  which  he  easily" 
reached  the  executive  chair  of  the  state.  Horatio  Seymour 
was  also  a  member  of  this  body,  and  as  the  Democrats  were 
largely  in  the  ascendency,  he  was  elected  speaker  of  the  house. 
He  was  then  attaining  that  brilliant  reputation  that  placed  him 
among  the  most  distinguished  men  of  the  nation.  He  found  in 
John  Young  a  rival  that  required  all  his  skill  and  talents  to 
meet,  one  that  taxed  his  powers  as  a  legislative  tactician  to  the 
uttermost. 

The  great  measure  before  this  legislature  and  the  people  of 
the  state  was  the  proposed  convention  for  the  amendment  of 
the  constitution.  The  measure  was  popular  throughout  the 
state  for  the  correction  of  evils  that  could  only  be  eradicated 
by  constitutional  convention.  In  the  legislature  of  that  year 
the  Democrats  were  divided  into  factions  known  as  "  Hunkers" 
and  "  Barnburners."  Between  these  the  Whigs  held  the  bal- 
ance of  power.  Mr.  Young,  who  early  understood  the  popu- 
larity of  the  proposed  convention,  adopted  that  measure  as  a 
party  policy,  which  he  saw  must,  if  properly  managed,  lead  to 
success.  Under  his  direction  no  means  were  left  untried  which 
promised  to  widen  the  breach  in  the  Democratic  party  in  the 
house.  His  management  was  admirable  and  successful.  The 
Hunkers,  or  radicals,  as  they  were  called,  were  in  favor  of  an 
amendment  to  the  constitution,  but  were  opposed  to  a  conven- 
tion, while  the  Barnburners,  or  conservatives,  were,  in  fact, 
opposed  to  both  amendment  and  convention.  When  the  ques- 
tion came  before  the  assembly  Mr.  Young  delivered  a  speech 
against  the  amendment ;  the  Whigs  sustained  him,  thus  com- 
pelling the  radicals  to  insist  upon  a  convention  rather  than  en- 
counter the  unpopularity  of  opposing  it  The  bill  for  a  con- 
vention could  not  pass  without  the  assent  of  the  Whigs,  who. 
of  course,  would  not  consent  to  the  passage  of  any  measure 
which  did  not  tend  to  strengthen  them  in  the  state.  And  thus 
the  question  of  a  convention  was,  for  a  long  time,  one  of  all  ab- 
sorbing interest  in  the  legislature,  leading  to  frequent  and  excit- 
ing debates  which  brought  Mr.  Seymour  and  Mr.  Young  in 
collision.  The  final  debate  which  took  place  between  them  has 
rarely  been  equaled  for  eloquence  and  ability.  It  drew  to  the 
capitol  crowds  of  deeply  interested  auditors,  creating  as  much 
interest  at  Albany,  as  did  the  great  senatorial  debate  between 
Webster  and  Uayne  at  Washington  in  1825.  Each  was  the 
chieftain  of  his  party — contending  for  a  prize  worthy  the  ambi- 
tion of  such  contestants.  Both  won  distinguished  honors,  and 
it  is  not  invidious  to  say  that  Mr.  Young,  in  this  debate  placed 

Digitized  by  VjjOOQIC 


Address  by  L.  B.  Proctor,  Esq.  25 

bimself  among  the  most  distinguished  parliamentary  orators  of 
the  state  and  nation.  The  convention  bill  finally  passed  the 
assembly  on  the  22d  of  April,  1845.  The  senate  concurred, 
and,  receiving  the  signature  of  the  governor — the  immortal  Silas 
Wright — became  a  law.  The  passage  of  this  bill  was  an  aus- 
picious day  for  John  Young.  It  was  the  successful  consum- 
mation of  a  policy  which  would  have  added  luster  to  the  laurels 
of  Pitt,  Fox,  Grattan,  Clay  or  Webster.  It  did  not  alone 
aggrandize  him,  but  in  the  next  gubernatorial  election  it  tended 
largely  to  the  success  of  the  Whig  party  in  the  state. 

Mr.  Young  was  again  elected  to  the  assembly  in  the  autumn 
of  1845.  A  prominent  feature  in  Mr.  Young's  character  as  a 
parliamentary  leader  was  his  intellectual  independence.  This, 
too,  was  one  of  his  faults — a  fault  that  divorced  him  from  his 
early  friends  whose  advice  he  openly  and  somewhat  cavalierly 
declined.  His  style  of  speaking  was  chaste,  forcible  and  har- 
monious,— sometimes  a  model  of  graceful  variety — without  the 
slightest  mannerism  or  straining  after  effect.  Good  sense  and 
wit  were  strong  weapons  in  his  oratory;  shrewdness  in  detect 
ing  the  weak  points  of  his  adversary,  while  the  stability  of  his 
intellect  enabled  him  to  expose  them  with  happy  facility. 

On  the  22d  of  September,  1846,  he  was  nominated  for  gov- 
ernor of  the  state  at  the  Whig  convention  that  assembled  at 
Utica.  A  hotly  contested  election  resulted  in  his  success 
against  that  great  American  statesman,  Silas  Wright.  He 
entered  on  his  executive  duties  and  sustained  his  party,  then 
triumphant  in  the  state. 

His  first  message  was  distinguished,  and  severely  criticised 
for  its  singular  brevity ;  and  yet,  in  many  respects,  it  was  a 
dignified  state  document.  It  was  in  this  message  that  he  rec- 
ommended standing  by  our  country  in  the  then  pending  Mex- 
ican war,  right  or  wrong. 

I  have  already  alluded  to  Mr.  Young's  native  independence 
of  character.  As  governor  of  the  state  he  ignored  the  advice 
of  the  great  father  of  the  lobby,  Thurlow  Weed,  creating  a 
breach  with  that  great  Almoner  and  himself  that  was  never 
healed.  It  is  related  that  soon  after  Mr.  Young  assumed  the 
duties  of  his  office,  Mr.  Weed  and  another  leading  politician 
called  upon  him  for  the  purpose  of  influencing  him  on  the 
question  of  exeutive  appointments.  "  Gentlemen,"  said  he,  after 
listening  to  them  for  some  time,  "  Gentlemen,  allow  me  to  in- 
quire who  is  governor  of  the  state  of  New  York  ?"  "  Why, 
you,  of  course,  Mr.  Young/'  was  the  reply.  "  Then  I  propose 
to  discharge  the  duties  of  that  office  myself."  "Are  we  to 
understand  that  you  decline  to  appoint  these  men  ? "  "  Cer- 
tainly, until  I  am  myself  satisfied  concerning  their  qualifications 
and  merits."  They  withdrew.  '*  High  reaching  Buckingham 
is  growing  circumspect,"  said  Weed,  as  he  descended  ^K'^ftfps 


26  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

of  the  executive  mansion.     "  And  his  circumspection  will  send 
him  to  private  life/'  said  his  companion. 

Among  the  first  acts  of  his  administration  was  pardoning 
almost  indiscriminately  the  anti-renters  in  state  prison  for  arson, 
outrage  and  murder.  In  this  act  he  incurred  the  displeasure  of 
the  conservative  wing  of  the  Whig  party,  and  the  usual  severe 
criticism  and  condemnation  of  the  press  followed.  The  friends 
of  the  governor  defended  him,  however,  by  arguing  that  the 
offences  of  the  convicts  were  merely  political,  and  therefore 
called  for  the  interposition  of  the  pardoning  power. 

During  his  administration  the  question  of  the  extension  of 
slavery  in  the  territory  to  be  acquired  from  Mexico  began  to 
be  agitated,  and,  recommended  by  him,  resolutions  were 
adopted  in  the  legislature  instructing  our  senators  and  repre- 
sentatives in  congress  to  vote  for  the  prohibition  of  slavery  in 
such  teritory,  thus  evincing  his  views  on  a  question,  the  settle- 
ment of  which  subsequently  led  to  such  a  bloody  arbitrament. 

The  manners  and  bearing  of  Mr.  Young  were  affable,  free 
from  reserve  or  false  dignity  or  affectation.  In  fact,  he  pos- 
sessed many  traits  of  character  that  rendered  Daniel  D.  Tomp- 
kins so  eminently  popular.  1  do  not  insist  that  John  Young 
was  a  great  man  in  the  sense  that  we  regard  Seward,  Wright, 
Webster  and  Clay,  but  he  ranks  as  the  superior  of  many  of 
the  governors  of  our  state,  and  as  the  inferior  of  few. 

Thus  we  have  seen  him  as  the  artificer  of  his  own  fortune, 
the  solitary  humble  student,  teacher,  lawyer,  legislator,  and 
finally  governor  of  the  empire  state.  Often  eulogized,  fre- 
quently vituperated,  but  in  all  phases  of  his  life  more  than  or- 
dinarily successful.  As  governor  of  the  state  his  administra- 
tion may  not  be  distinguished  for  any  striking  policy,  nor  may 
it  dazzle  as  by  any  striking  contrasts  between  its  good  and  bad 
qualities,  but  between  the  vicissitudes  of  prosperous  and  ad- 
verse politics  ;  apart  from  the  censure  of  its  enemies,  and  the 
commendation  of  its  friends,  the  impartial  historian  will  accord 
to  it  as  much  ability  and  eminence  as  has  been  awarded  to  his 
predecessors. 


Digitized  by 


Google 


Address  by  Mrs,  B,  Z.  Havey,  27 

ADDRESS  BY  MRS.  B.  L  HOYEY, 

PRESENTING  THE  WILLIAM  SCOTT  RELIC 

It  is  with  pleasure  and  interest  I  meet  you  on  this  occasion, 
to  fulfill  a  sacred  trust  committed  to  me  by  the  late  Wm.  Scott 
of  Scottsburgh.  who  died  at  Rochester  in  June,  1876.  During 
his  last  days  I  was  often  by  his  bedside  and  listened  to  his  last 
and  earnest  words.  Among  his  sayings  then  was  the  request 
that  I  should  secure  from  the  Monroe  County  Pioneer  Society 
(that  was  disbanded,)  a  medal  held  and  owned  by  the  oldest 
female  member.  This  niedal  was  made  from  a  piece  of  General 
Washington's  coffin,  and  was  obtained  by  Mr.  Scott  on  one  of 
his  visits  to  the  Arlington  House,  Virginia,  the  home  of  Mr. 
Custis,  the  second  youngest  son  of  Martha  Washington.  The 
wood  with  which  the  medal  is  made,  is  beyond  doubt  a  piece 
of  the  coffin  which  contained  the  body  of  the  father  of  his 
country,  as  it  was  obtained  by  Mr.  Scott  soon  after  his  remains 
were  finally  removed  in  a  sarcophagus  at  Mount  Vernon. 

In  the  name  of  William  Scott,  deceased,  I  present  this  relic 
to  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society.  Its  value  is  most 
appreciated  by  those  who  knew  the  donor  best,  and  will  be 
cherished  by  those  who  have  so  often  listened  to  the  historic 
tales  of  a  citizen  so  deservedly  respected.  You  owe  much  of 
the  authentic  history  of  your  country  to  him.  I  am  pleased  to 
be  here  to  record  his  deep  interest  to  the  last  in  the  people  and 
history  of  Livingston  county. 


ADDRESS  BY  MR.  NORMAN  SEYMOUR, 

OR  RECEIVING   THE  PORTRAIT  OF  GOV.    YOUNG, 

Sir: — In  receiving  from  you  at  this  time  this  invaluable  gift, 
it  will  be  expected  that  I  should  add  a  word  to  the  eloquent 
tribute  you  have  given  of  the  eminent  man  whom  in  his  prime 
and  manhood  it  so  faithfully  delineates. 

John  Young  was  born  in  Bennington,  Vermont,  in  1804;  he 
removed  with  his  parents  in  1808,  when  four  years  old,  to 
Freeport,  now  Conesus,  Livingston  county;  he  attended  and 
graduated  from  the  academy  at  Lima ;  at  the  age  of  16  he 
taught  his  first  school  in  Conesus ;  (the  venerable  Jotham  Clark 
then  trustee  ;)  his  wages  JI9  per  month;  about  1823  he  entered 
the  law  office  of  A.  A.  Bennett  of  East  Avon ;  in  1829  he  was 
admitted  to  practice  in  the  supreme  court,  and  opened  an  officii 


28  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

at  Geneseo;  in  1832,  with  Hon.  Geofge  W.  Patterson  be  was 
elected  member  of  assembly  from  this  county  ;  he  was  repre- 
sentative in  the  24th  congress  from  this  congressional  district 
from  1833  to  '37,  and  in  the  27th  congress  from  1841  to  '43  ; 
he  was  also  member  of  assembly  in  the  years  1845-6.  As  a 
Whig  in  1846  he  was  chosen  governor  of  this  state,  by  about 
1 1,000  majority,  over,  at  that  time,  the  Nestor  of  the  Democra- 
cy, Hon.  Silas  Wright. 

Geneseo,  on  the  night  of  the  fourth  of  November,  that  year, 
was  brilliant  and  enthusiastic,  and  the  ovation  it  so  generously 
gave  to  the  governor  elect  was  as  highly  creditable  to  the  town 
as  it  was  deserved  by  the  worthy  and  honorable  citizen  who 
had  been  chosen  to  the  gubernatorial  chair  of  the  empire  state. 
In  July,  1849,  he  was  appointed  to  the  responsible  position  of 
assistant  United  States  treasurer  at  New  York,  which  position 
he  held  most  acceptably  to  the  public  until  his  death. 

John  Young  was  an  accomplished  gentleman  and  able  law- 
yer, an  earnest  man,  of  extensive  legal  knowledge,  who  occu- 
pied the  front  rank  in  his  profession ;  in  his  public  speeches  and 
at  the  bar  he  was  the  same  logical,  terse,  and  impressive  speak- 
er; his  addresses  and  arguments  were  rarely  written  out,  but 
thoroughly  worked  up  in  his  room  or  office.  He  was  an  emi- 
nent jurist  and  a  most  successful  advocate.  Some  of  the  most 
complete  and  exhaustive  arguments  in  legal  cases  ever  pre- 
sented before  our  state  and  I  United  States*  courts,  flowed  from 
his  lips,  with  not  a  paper  or  brief  before  him.  He  had  a  re- 
markable memory,  and  a  most  thorough  and  true  discernment 
of  men,  and  human  nature  in  all  its  phases.  As  a  public  man, 
either  as  a  legislator,  congressman,  or  governor,  he  shared 
most  fully  the  confidence  of  the  people  and  was  highly  respect- 
ed by  all.  The  most  humble  citizen  of  our  commonwealth, 
always  even  in  the  press  of  business,  would  find  him  ready  to 
listen  to  and  if  possible  assist  him ;  he  was  a  positive  and  true 
man,  one  of  the  people,  a  representative  man,  of  rare  kindness 
of  heart,  genial  disposition,  bland  manners,  and  of  untiring 
industry,  his  public  and  private  record  proved  his  integrity  to 
have  been  as  unbending  as  granite. 

In  the  prime  of  life,  surrounded  by  many  warm  and  ardent 
friends,  his  constitution,  which  for  years  had  been  impaired  by 
a  conscientious  discharge  of  every  duty  that  devolved  upon 
him,  finally  gave  way,  and  he  died  in  the  city  of  New  York, 
April  23,  1852,  his  death  widely  lamented.  In  the  beautiful 
cemetery  at  Temple  Hill,  Geneseo,  he  was  buried,  in  accord 
with  his  last  desire,  to  rest  in  the  town,  and  with  the  people  he 
so  dearly  loved.  Around  the  marble  shaft  that  marks  his 
resting  place  the  world  gently  treads,  the  memories  of  his  stir- 
ring and  eventful  life  inspiring  all  to  a  keener  love  and  devotion 
to  humanity  and  our  common  country.  .    ^^^1^ 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


Address  by  Mr,  Norman  Seymour,  29 

Livingston  county  has  had  but  one  John  Young;  his  name 
and  &me,  his  unflinching  integrity,  rare  natural  abilities,  and 
earnest  devotion  to  our  country,  "  either  right  or  wrong,"  is 
now  her  glory  and  her  pride,  and  for  all  time  will  his  manly 
virtues  add  lustre  and  renown  to  the  historians'  page. 

Sir,  it  is  with  great  pleasure,  then,  that  the  Livingston  County 
Historical  Society  accepts  this  truthful  portrait  of  one  of  Liv- 
ingston county's  favorite  and  noble  sons.  We  assure  you  it 
will  be  cherished  **  as  one  of  our  household  gods."  It  shall 
ever  be  our  pride  to  point  our  sons  to  the  marked  and  active 
life  of  John  Young,  who,  though  denied  a  liberal  education,  by 
his  patience,  determined  industry,  and  indefatigable  efforts, 
early  arose  from  the  humble  walks  of  life  to  distinguished  posi- 
tions of  trust  and  fame. 

In  closing,  allow  me  to  remark,  that  it  is  eminently  fitting 
that  with  a  record  so  historic  and  prolific  of  public  men,  who 
have  adorned  so  many,  positions  in  our  state  and  nation, 
our  county  should  take  earnest  and  prompt  measures  to  per- 
petuate their  great  abilities  and  indomitable  patriotism  ;  their 
success  was  our  joy,  their  reward  an  illustrious  immortality. 
In  all  of  the  active  duties  of  life  may  we  who  now  occupy  this 
"beautiful  valley"  do  honor  to  the  brilliant  and  imperishable 
record  of  the  pioneers,  and  long  line  of  worthy  men  who  have 
honored  the  county  of  Livingston. 


ADDRESS  BY  DR.  M.  H.  MILLS, 

ON  THE  WILLIAM  SCOTT  LEGACY, 

Mr.  President  and  Board  of  Councilmen  : — I  am  gratified 
on  being  able  to  announce  to  you  that  the  late  Hon.  William 
Scott  of  Scottsburgh,  N.  Y.,  made  in  his  dying  will  a  "bequest" 
to  the  Livingston  County  Historical  socie^. 

The  following  letter  and  extracts  from  the  will  explain  the 
intent  and  wishes  of  the  testator : 

^  SCOTTSBURQU,  JUNB  15,  1876. 

niiKfD  ViYUiM  :— By  request  of  Wm.  Soott,  I  send  you  to-day,  by  mail,  Oen. 
WafhlDgtOD's  manuscripts,  contalnlDg  his  accounts  with  the  United  States  for 
^t  years,  fMm  June,  1775,  to  June  178S,  covering  the  period  of  the  revolutionary 
war. 

Mr.  Scott's  request  is,  that  you  and  Mr.  Sevmour  have  the  use  of  this  book  for 
HM  benefit  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical  society,  and  when  done  with  it, 
Preient  it  to  the  Wadsworth  library  in  the  name  of  the  Hon.  Wm.  Scott  of  Sootts- 

Mr.  Scott  is  comfortable  to-day,  and  thinks  of  going  to  Rochester  to  St.  Mary's 
DQipltal  on  Monday  next,  where  he  can  receive  the  best  of  medical  treatment  and 
owe.  .  Yours  respectfully. 


30  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

Extracts  from  the  last  will  and  testament  of  William  Scott : 

**  I  give  to  Dr.  Mills  and  Norman  Seymour  of  Mt.  Morris,  for  the  benefit  of  the 
Livingston  Ck>unty  Historical  society,  all  my  manuscript  letters,  bound  newspa- 
pers, and  all  my  library  which  they  may  want.  I  order  and  direct  that  a  sold 
medal  presented  by  me  to  the  Monroe  Pioneer  society,  which  is  now  disbanded,  be 
handed  over  to  Dr.  Mills,  and  by  him  presented  to  the  historical  society  of  LiiviDg- 
ston  county  from  Wm.  Scott.  The  medal  was  last  worn  by  Mrs.  Enos.  Said  medal 
belongs  to  me  now.*' 

Dated  June  5th,  1876. 

John  Shbpabd, 

Executor  of  the  last  will  of  Wm.  Scott,  deceased. 

The  following  is  a  schedule  of  the  bound  books  and  manu- 
scripts : 

Newspapbrs—1  bound  vol.  Livingston  Democrat,  1835:  1  do.  Livingston  R<«ei«ter, 
1827 :  1  do.  Ontario  Repository,  1^7 ;  2  do.  Albany  Weekly  Journal :  8  do.  JN^.  T. 
Advertiser  and  Express,  1888,  ^89  and  '40;  8  do.  National  Journal;  1  do.  Athenian 
and  Visitor;  2  do.  Trumpet  and  Universalists*  magazine. 

Books— 1  bound  volume  Geological  Survey  of  New  York,  1886;  1  do.  Sample- book. 
Doty's  Histojnr  of  Livingston  County ;  1  do.  All  Religion  to  the  World ;  1  do.  Oen. 
McClellan's  Report  of  the  War:  1  do.  Valentine's  History  N.  Y.  City;  1  do.  Memoir 
of  Aaron  Burr;  1  do.  Hay  wood  ^s  U.  S.  Gazetteer :  1  do.  American  AntlQuiti««:  1  do. 
Livingston  County  Directory,  1868;  1  do.  Dictionary  U.  S.  Congress ;  1  do.  Constitu- 
tion ofU.  S.;  1  do.  History  U.  8.  by  Miller;  8  do.  Documentary  History  N.  Y. ;  2  do. 
Biography  of  Millard  Fillmore;  1  do.  Colonization  of  U.  S.,  by  Bancroft;  1  do.  His- 
tory of^the  World;  1  do.  Biography  of  John  C.  Calhoun ;  1  do.  Gazetteer  of  New 
York ;  1  do.  Vienna  Bread ;  John  Quincy's  Oration  on  Ijafayette,  1835 ;  Historical 
Lecture,  by  George  P.  Folsom,  1868;  Life  of  John  Tyler,  1848;  Wm.  Scott's  Scrap 
Book. 

MiscEiiLAVBOua— 1  map  of  Stonerburg's  Expedition;  Farmer*s  Almanac,  1841;  Da- 
boll's  Arithmetic;  Washington's  manuscripts,  containing  his  personal  accounts 
with  the  U.  S.  firom  1775  to  1788,  covering  the  entire  period  of  the  war  of  indopend- 
ence. 

The  foregoing  letter  informing  me  of  Mr.  Scott's  bequests 

to  the  society,  was  not  received  until  a  year  after  it  was  written. 

It  was  then  found  in  a  book  in  Mr.  Scott's  library.     This  will 

account  for  no  mention  being  made  of  the  "  legacy'*  at  the  last 

meeting  of  this  society,  which  was  the  first  one  following  Mr. 

Scott's  death.     At  that  meeting  the  pleasing  though  sad  duty 

was  imposed  upon  me  to  announce  the  death  of  the  Hon,  Wm. 

Scott,  a  member  of  this  society,  coupled  with  a  brief  history  oi 

his  life  and  character.     Little  therefore  remains  for  me  on  this 

occasion  to  say,  more  than  to  refer  you  and  those  present,  to 

my  remarks  on  that  occasion,  which  were  published  in  our 

county   papers.      1   beg  your  indulgence  for  a  few    minutes, 

whilst  I  briefly  allude,  at  this  time,  to  some  of  the  many  virtues 

and  excellent  traits  of  character  of  an  esteemed  and  worthy 

deceased  friend,  in  connection  with  his  bequest  to  this  society. 

Mr.  Scott  was  born  in  Bethel,  Northampton  county.  Pa.,  on 

the  1 8th  day  of  July,  1790.     He  died  in  Rochester  on  the  24th 

day  of  June,  1876,   from   chronic  gastritis,  in  the  86th  year  of 

his  age,  after  a   somewhat  protracted  illness,  accompanied  with 

much  suffering.     He  came,  when  16  years  of  age,  into  what  is 

now    Livingston  county,  with   his  father's  family,  in  1806,  and 

settled  four  miles  east  of  the  present  village  of  Scottsburgh. 

The  first  income  received  from  his  industry  in  the  valley,  was 

two  bushels  of  ears  of  corn,  worth  forty  cents,  for  a  day's  work. 

Remaining  thus  engaged  nearly  one  month,  a  staple  article  of 

food  when  manufactured  into  meal  was  thus  provided,  and  laid 

in  store  by  young  Scott  lor  the  family's  winter  use. 

Digitized  byCjOOQlC 


Address  by  Dr,  M.  H,  MUls,  31 

He  was  the  founder  of  the  village  of  Scottsburgh  in  this 
county,  and  was  justice  of  the  peace  for  nearly  20  years.  Un- 
like the  profession  generally,  if  his  neighbors  came  to  him  be- 
fore they  got  into  the  law,  it  rarely  happened  that  he  failed  to 
keep  them  out  of  the  law  by  adjusting  matters  between  them, 
on  the  basis  of  a  compromise  and  settlement.  At  the/same 
time  he  preserved  and  maintained  a  kindly  neighborhood  feel- 
ing. He  was  emphatically  a  peace  maker,  as  well  as  the  ad- 
ministrator of  justice,  for  so  many  years  in  the  community  in 
which  he  resided.  He  was  elected  a  member  of  the  legislature 
'"  1837,  re-elected  in  1838,  and  declined  the  nomination  for  a 
third  term.  In  politics  he  was  a  Henry  Clay  whig.  His  name 
is  a  ^miliar  household  word  among  the  pioneers  and  early  set- 
tlers of  this  county.  His  associations  were  among  the  most 
eminent  men  of  our  locality,  and  extendefi  even  to  the  most 
distinguished  men  of  the  nation. 

Before  the  era  of  railroads  in  our  country,  he  traveled  from 
Scottsburgh  with  a  mule  team  to  Washington  city  and  Arling- 
ton Heights,  taking  with  him  an  only  child,  and  little  son. 
The  real  purpose  of  the  journey  was  to  visit  George  Washing- 
ton Park  Custis,  out  of  the  love  and  admiration  he  had  for  his 
step-father,  George  Washington.  He  desired  to  learn  person- 
ally from  Mr.  Custis  something  more  of  the  public  and  private 
character  of  the  father  of  his  country.  On  arriving  at  Wash- 
ington Mr.  Scott  sought  and  obtained  from  the  mayor  of  the 
city  a  letter  of  introduction  to  Mr.  Custis.  He  was  hospitably 
received  at  Arlington.  He  remained  one  day  and  two  nights. 
During  the  visit,  Mr.  Scott  was  shown  all  of  George  Washing- 
ton's relics  in  the  possession  of  the  Custis  family,  including  his 
table  furniture  in  dining-room,  &c.,  &c.  He  learned  from  Mr. 
Custis  also  the  personal  and  domestic  habits  of  George  Wash- 
ington at  home,  in  public  life,  and  on  the  plantation.  One  cir- 
cumstance the  writer  remembers  hearing  Mr.  Scott  relate. 
That  on  the  ringing  of  the  bell  announcing  the  meal  was  ready, 
Washington  allowed  his  guests  and  family  five  minutes  in 
which  to  assemble  and  be  seated  at  the  table.  If  the  guests 
^  not  at  the  table  by  that  time,  the  family  proceeded  with 
their  meal  without  further  delay.  When  the  guest  or  guests 
W  appear,  Gen.  Washington  would  simply  say,  "  You  wiU 
/W  observe  we  are  prompt  people  here'' 

It  was  on  the  occasion  of  this  visit  that  Mr.  Scott  obtained  a 
P«ce  of  Washington's  coffin.  It  is  this  bit  of  wood,  mounted 
with  gold,  which  is  the  medal  presented  to-day  to  the  society 
ly  Mrs.  Dr.  B.  L.  Hovey  of  Rochester,  accompanied  by  well 
chosen  remarks,  delivered  in  a  pleasing  manner.  Shortly  prior 
to  this  visit  the  remains  of  Washington  and  his  wife  had  been 
f^oved  from  the  mahogany  coffins  and  placed  in  marble  sar- 
cophagus, which  to-day  enshrines  their  precious  dust 

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32  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

The  unbounded  affection  which  Mr.  Scott  entertained  for 
his  own  family  was  perhaps  the  most  central  and  distinguish- 
ing trait  in  his  character.  We  doubt  whether  there  could  be 
found  a  man,  in  any  part  of  the  world,  who  entertained  a  deep- 
er and  warmer  regard  for  the  members  of  his  family.  This 
sacred  family  circle,  we  trust,  is  again  complete,  the  last  living 
member  having  now  departed. 

In  conclusion,  it  may  be  said  of  the  Hon.  Wm.  Scott,  that  he 
led  a  blameless  life,  and  died  without  leaving  a  personal  enemy 
to  speak  unkindly  of  his  memory.  Whether  in  circumstances 
of  affluence,  or  in  limited  means,  he  was  the  same  considerate 
gentleman — cautious,  and  careful  not  to  offend  or  injure  the 
feelings  of  others.  In  the  meridian  of  life  he  was  wealthy ; 
though  his  setting  sun  was  clouded  by  misfortune  and  pecunia- 
ry losses,  yet  he  died  rich.  He  left  a  good  name  and  memor}' 
to  his  kindred,  which  will  be  perpetuated  on  the  pages  of  his- 
tory, when  crumbling  marble  shall  cease  to  hand  down  to  pos- 
terity the  names  engraved  upon  it. 

Mt.  Morris,  N.  Y ,  Jan.  7,  1878. 


RESOLUTIONS ; 

OFFERED  BY  HON,  W.  M,  WHITE, 

Resolved,  That  the  thanks  of  the  Society  be  given  to  Hon. 
B.  F.  Angel  for  his  scholarly,  interesting  and  eloquent  address, 
and  that  a  copy  of  the  same  be  requested  for  publication. 

Resolved,  That  the  thanks  of  the  Society  be  tendered  to 
Major  L.  R.  Proctor  for  his  valuable  and  historical  offering  to 
the  Society,  the  portrait  of  the  late  Gov.  John  Young. 

Resolved,  That  the  Society  accept  this  cherished  memorial 
of  one  of  Livingston's  favorite  sons,  one  whom  she  delighted 
to  honor,  and  whose  memory  she  loves  to  cherish. 

Resolved,  That  the  Society  recognizes  and  appreciates  the 
thoughtfulness  and  kindness  that  has  prompted  this  gift,  as 
well  as  the  wisdom,  the  happy  choice  of  expression,  and  the 
eloquent  words  accompanying  the  presentation. 

Resolved,  That  the  Secretary  be  directed  to  convey  to  Mr. 
Proctor,  in  writing,  the  above  assurances. 

Resolved,  That  the  papers  of  the  county  be  requested  to 
publish  the  proceedings  of  the  Society  with  ^he.  addresses,  &c 


HISTORY  OF  THE  ORGANIZATION 

OF 

THE  LIYINGSTON  COUNTY  fflSTOWCAL  SOCIETY. 


In  Decbxbeb,  1875,  Inltialory  steps  were  taken  at  a  meeting  of  a  few  persons  In 
DiDSTllle  to  organise  a  historical  society  for  Livingston  county. 

An  adjourned  meeting  was  held  at  Mt.  Morris  In  January,  1876.  There  were 
present  at  this  meeting,  L.  B.  Proctor  of  DansvlUe,  Norman  Seymour  and  Dr.  M. 
a  Hills  of  Mt.  Morris,  Richard  Peck  of  Lima,  George  W.  Root  of  York,  and  E.  P. 
Fuller  of  Qrand  Rapids,  Mich.,  formerly  of  this  county.  The  meeting  was  organ- 
ised by  appointing  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills  chairman,  and  Norman  Seymour  secretary. 

Tbs  request  of  the  Centennial  €k>mml88lon  at  Philadelphia  that, In  each  county 
In  the  United  States  a  historical  address  be  prepared,  publicly  delivered  July  4th, 
lS76,aDd  then  forwarded  to  the  capltol  at  Washington  for  record,  was  complied 
with  CD  behalf  of  the  society  by  its  secretary,  Norman  Seymour  of  Mt.  Morris. 
The  address  has  been  largely  added  to,  and  when  completed  will  comprise  a  full 
history  of  the  county,  Itfi  most  prominent  pioneers  and  notable  reminiscences. 
Should  it  not  be  published  by  the  state,  as  contemplated  by  the  Centennial  Com- 
mission, it  will  be  published  at  an  early  day  uiider  the  auspices  of  this  society,  or. 
If  the  author  prefers,  by  private  enterprise.  The  work  is  voluminous,  and  one  of 
great  local  Interest. 

The  following  gentlemen  were  chosen  officers  of  the  society  for  the  year  lb76 : 

Presldent-Dr.  D.  H.  Fitshugh. 

Vice  Presidents—Dr.  James  Faulkner,  William  Scott,  Adolphns  Watkins,  Dr.  D. 
H.  Blasell,  Deacon  John  McCalL 

Beeretary^Norman  Seymour. 

Exeeotive  Commlttee-Hon.  B.  F.  Angel,  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  Samuel  P.  Allen,  L.  B. 
Proctor,  Richard  Peck,  George  W.  Root. 

The  meeting  acUoumed  to  meet  in  Geneseo  on  the  14th  day  of  June,  to  determine 
at  what  village  in  the  county  the  historical  address  should  be  delivered.  Present, 
Hon.  B.  F.  Angel,  Samuel  P.  Allen,  Hon.  W.  H.  Kelsey  and  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills.  Dr. 
Mills  was  chosen  chairman,  and  S.  P.  Allen  secretary.  It  was  decided  by  ballot 
that  the  address  should  be  delivered  at  Geneseo,  the  county  seat  of  Livingston 
county.   The  meeting  then  adjourned  gine  die, 

Dne  notice  was  given  that  a  meeting  of  the  society  would  he  held  on  the  Idth  of 
^^obroary,  1877.  The  society  met  at  the  beautiful  rooms  of  the  Hook  and  Ladder 
eompany,  the  use  of  which  was  very  kindly  tendered  by  the  officers.  Dr.  M.  H. 
Mills  was  chosen  chairman  and  Norman  Seymour  secretary. 

The  chairman  gave  a  brief  history  of  the  society  and  mentioned  the  great  work 
it  has  already  accomplished  by  the  Indefiatigable  efforts  of  its  secretary,  in  pre- 
paring a  heretofore  unwritten  history  of  the  respective  towns  of  the  county.  This, 
when  oomplet-ed  and  published,  it  was  believed,  would  be  a  thorough,  reliable 
and  complete  history  of  the  county.  All  this  had  been  accomplished  the  first  year 
of  the  society's  existence,  and  that,  too,  before  the  organization  had  been  complet- 
ed. The  object  of  the  meeting  was  to  adopt  a  constitution  and  by-laws  for  the 
government  of  the  society,  and  also  a  certificate  of  organization  of  the  society, 
which,  under  the  laws  of  the  state,  is  required  to  be  put  on  file  in  the  Secretary  of 
State's  office  In  Albany,  and  in  the  office  of  the  county  clerk  of  Livingston  county. 

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34  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

The  following  Ck>Q8titDtiOD  and  By-Laws  and  CerUflcate  of  Organization,  xab- 
mitted  by  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  were  then  nnanlmously  adopted: 

CONSTITUTION. 

Section  1.   Tbis  Society  shall  be  called  The  Livinoston  (Bounty  Uistori^ai. 

SOCTBTY 

9  2.  The  general  object  of  the  Society  shall  be  to  discover,  procure,  and  preserve 
whatever  may  relate  to  the  history  of  Western  New  York  in  general  and  Living- 
ston county  and  its  towns  In  particular,  and  to  gather  such  statistics  of  education 
and  population,  growth  and  prosperity,  and  business  of  this  region,  as  may  seem 
advisable  or  of  public  utility. 

I  8.  The  Society  shall  consist  of  resident,  corresponding  and  honorary  members, 
who  shall  be  elected  by  a  majority  of  ballots;  and  of  life  members,  as  hereinafter 
provided.  Resident  members  shall  consist  of  persons  residing  in  Livingston 
countjr,  N.  Y^  corresponding  and  honorar>'  members  of  persons  residing  elsewhere. 

I  A,  The  officers  of  the  Socletv  shall  consist  of  a  President,  a  Vice  President,  a 
Secretary  and  Treasurer,  and  nine  councilors  of  administration,  who  shall  consti- 
tute a  "  Board  of  Managers,"  and  shall  l>e  elected  annually  on  the  second  Tuesday 
in  January  in  each  year  by  a  majority  of  ballots. 

\  o.  None  but  resident  and  life  members  shall  be  eligible  to  office  or  qualified  to 
vote. 

J  6.  Members  shall  pay  an  admission  fee  of  one  dollar,  and  also  an  annual  due 
of  one  dollar,  which  shall  be  paid  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  July  in  each  year  fol- 
lowing their  election.  The  election  of  a  resident  member  shall  confer  no  privileges 
of  membership  until  hlsadmlssion  fee  shall  be  paid.  The  paymentof  tbeannual 
dues  shall  be  a  condition  ol  continued  membership.  In  case  any  member  neglects 
to  pay  his  annual  due  before  the  first  day  of  July  next,  after  It  becomes  payable, 
he  shall  thereby  forfeit  all  his  privileges  of  membership.  Resident  clergymen  are 
exempt  trota  dues. 

S  7.  The  payment  of  f  10  at  any  one  time,  fbr  that  purpose,  shall  constitute  a  life 
member,  exempt  fV*om  all  annual  dues. 

I  8.  The  Society  shall  meet  annually  on  the  second  Tuesday  of  January.  The 
President,  or  in  his  absence  the  Vice  President,  or  the  Secretary  and  Treasurer, 
may  direct  the  call  of  a  special  meeting  in  such  manner  as  the  By-Laws  shall 
provide. 

1  9.  Those  members  who  shall  attend  at  any  regular  meeting  of  the  Society  shall 
constitute  a  quorum  for  the  transaction  of  business.  The  same  rule  shall  apply  to 
any  other  meeting  of  the  Society,  providing  its  action  is  approved  of  by  the  Board 
of  Council  or  a  m^loritv  of  the  members  thereof. 

2  10.  All  officers  shall  continue  In  office  until  their  successors  are  elected  or  ap- 
pointed. Their  duties  when  not  herein  defined  may  be  prescribed  by  the  By-Laws. 
All  vacancies  in  office  may  be  filled  for  the  unexpired  term  by  the  Board  of  Ck>un- 
oll.  A  majority  of  the  members  present  at  any  regular  meeting  called  for  the  pur- 
pose, by  the  President  or  Secretary  and  Treasurer  of  the  Society,  shall  constitute  a 
quorum  to  do  business. 

I  11.  This  constitution  may  be  amended  and  changed  fkx>m  time  to  time  by  a 
majority  vote  of  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting  of  the  Society  pro- 
.  vlded  due  notice  of  the  proposed  amendments  be  given  at  least  four  weeks  previ- 
ous to  a  final  vote  thereon. 

BY-LAWS. 

Clause  1.  The  annual  meetings  of  this  Society  shall  be  held  on  the  second 
Tuesday  in  .Tanuary.  at  such  village  in  the  county  as  the  President  shall  designate, 
and  at  such  hour  as  the  Secretary  In  the  notice  of  such  meeting  shall  name. 

Clause  2.  The  Secretary  shall  give  notice  of  such  meeting  by  publication  in  all 
of  the  county  papers  for  two  successive  weeks  prior  to  the  meeting,  and  also  en- 
close by  mail  a  special  notice  to  the  post  office  address  of  each  officer  of  the  society 
at  least  ten  days  prior  to  such  meeting. 

Clause  3.  Any  meeting  may  be  adjourned  to  such  time  as  a  mi^Jority  of  the 
members  present  shall  determine. 

Clause  4.  The  President  shall  preside  at  the  meetings  of  the  society.  re|ni1ate 
its  proceedings,  preserve  order  and  decorum  and  have  a  casting  vote.  He  shall 
also  be  the  chairman  of  the  Board  of  Council. 

Clause  5.  The  Vice  President  shall  discharge  all  the  duties  of  the  President  in 
case  of  his  absence. 

Clause  6.  The  Secretajr  shall  have  the  custody  of  the  Constitution,  By-Laws, 
Records,  property  and  effects  of  the  Society.  Se  shall  give  due  notice  of  all  its 
meetings,  and  keep  in  a  book  provided  for  that  purpose,  a  record  of  all  its  business. 
He  shall  also  by  virtue  of  his  office  be  Secretary  to  the  Board  of  Council  or  Manag- 
ers, and  keep  a  record  of  its  proceedings.  He  shall  also  under  the  direction  of  the 
Society,  prepare  all  the  communications  to  be  addressed  to  others  in  the  name  ot 
the  Society,  and  keep  true  copies  thereof. 

Clause  7.  The  Secretary  snail  also  under  the  Board  of  Managers  have  the  cus- 
tody of  books,  minerals,  manuscripts,  papers,  documents,  coins,  maps,  and  relics, 
and  shall  provide  suitable  cases  for  their  preservation,  and  for  convenient  refer- 
ence and  inspection.  He  shall  keep  a  record  of  all  donations,  of  whatever  name  or 
kind,  and  report  the  same  to  the  society  at  the  annual  meeting. 

CLAUse  8.  As  Treasurer,  the  Secretary  shall  keep  all  securities  and  sums  of 
money  due  and  payable  or  belonging  to  the  society.    He  shall  ke^  Ui^  flrnds  of 


Livingston  County  Historical  Society.  35 

the  society  on  deposit  to  his  credit  as  such  Treasurer,  in  some  banking  institution 
of  Kood  repute;  shall  pay  ail  sums  which  the  Board  of  Ck>uncil  shall  direct;  and 
Bhall  keep  a  true  account  of  all  his  receipts  and  disbursements  and  render  a  full 
md  detailed  statement  thereof  at  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Society. 

Clause  9.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Board  of  Council  to  control  and  manage 
theaflklrs  and  funds  of  the  Society.  They  shall  make  annually,  on  the  second 
TQesdsy  of  January,  a  report  to  the  Society  of  all  its  doings  and  transactions  for 
the  preceding  year. 

Clausk  10.  Any  member  of  this  society  may  be  expelled  by  a  two-thirds  vote 
of  tbe  members  present  at  a  special  or  regular  meeting  of  the  Society,  but  no  such 
aetion  shall  be  taken  without  a  notice  two  weeks  previous  to  expel  shall  have 
been  given  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society  in  writing  and  sent  through  the  mails 
to  the  post  office  address  of  the  defaulting  member. 

Clause  II.  At  the  annual  meeting  there  shall  be  an  address  delivered  before 
tbeBocIety,  by  the  President  or  by  some  other  person  appointed  by  the  Board  of 
Connell. 

Clause  12.  At  the  meetings  of  the  Society,  and  as  far  as  applicable  at  the  meet- 
logs  of  the  Board  of  Council,  the  following  shall  be  the  order  of  business : 

L  Reading  of  minutes  of  last  meeting. 

2.  Reports  and  Communications  ttoux  officers  of  the  Society. 

5.  Reports  troia  Committees, 
i  Election  of  Members. 

k  Miscellaneous  Business. 

6.  Reading  of  papers  and  delivery  of  addreso. 

Clause  18.  After  the  annual  election  of  officers,  the  President  shall  appoint 
fmoi  ihe  Board  of  Council  the  following  standing  committees  to  consist  or  three 
members  each : 

L  On  Finance.       2.    On  Publication.       8.    On  Membership. 

CLAUdE  14.  Tbe  Finance  CommlHee  shall  have  general  charge  of  the  books,  ac- 
ooQots,  receipts,  flnances  and  expenditures  of  the  Society.  It  shall  examine  and 
report  upon  all  ctcoounts  and  claims  against  the  Society,  and  upon  propositions  for 
tbe  expenditure  of  its  ftinds,  as  well  as  measures  to  increase  the  revenues  of  the 
Society,  and  promote  economy  in  its  expenditures. 

Clause  15.  The  Committee  on  Publications  shall  have  the  charge  and  supervis- 
loo  of  all  publications  made  by  direction  of  the  Society,  and  shall  careftilly  exam- 
ine all  manuscripts  and  papers  and  other  things  directed  to  be  published,  In  order 
to  discover  all  errors  and  defects,  and  correct  the  same,  also  when  necessary  to 
make  abstracts  or  abridgment  of  papers. 

Clause  16.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Committee  on  Membership  to  consider 
sDd  report  upon  all  questions  relating  to  membership,  which  may  be  referred  for 
that  purpose,  and  as  far  as  practicable,  to  induce  all  proper  persons  to  become 
members  of  the  Society. 

Clause  17.  In  tbe  course  of  the  ftiture,  should  it  become  advisable,  the  Presi- 
dent may  in  his  discretion,  after  the  annual  election  of  officers,  appoint  the  follow- 
ing committees,  each  to  consist  of  three  members  of  the  Society : 

L  On  the  increase  of  Books  and  Library. 

2.  On  the  increase  of  Members. 

1  On  Donations  and  Subscriptions. 

4.  On  Htatistica.  « 

&  On  Portraits,  Pictures  and  Photographs  of  Pioneer  and  early  Settlers. 

1  On  Local  History. 

•  7.  On  Indian  Reminiscences,  Pictures,  Memorials  and  History. 

Clause  18.  The  duties  of  these  respective  committees  may  be  defined  hereafter, 
in  case  tbe  future  requirements  and  interest  of  the  society  make  their  appoint- 
ment necessary. 

Clause  19.  if  any  members  of  the  Board  of  Council  fail  at  anv  time  to  pay  their 
does  to  the  society  or  Ibil  to  qualify,  and  thus  become  ineligible  to  the  office  to 
which  they  have  been  elected,  a  majority  of  councilmen  elected  and  qualified, 
shall  have  the  power  to  declare  such  offices  vacant  and  shall  proceed  to  fill  the 
■sme  ttam  the  resident  members  of  the  society. 

Clause  20.  A  majority  of  the  Board  of  Council  present  at  any  meeting  of  its 
members,  special  or  otherwise,  of  which  due  notice  shall  have  been  given  to  its 
J^qiective  members  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society,  who  by  virtue  of  his  office 
Moomes  the  Secretary  of  the  Board  of  Council,  shall  constitute  a  quorum  to  trans- 
act bosiness. 

Clause  21.  All  reports  of  committees  shall  be  in  writing,  either  In  form  of  reso- 
intlons  or  otherwfse,  as  they  may  deem  expedient. 

Clause  22.  Any  of  these  By-Laws  may  be  suspended  in  case  of  temporary  exi- 
ijBooy,  by  a  two-thirds  vote  of  all^he  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting. 
They  may  also  be  amended  and  cnffnged,  and  new  matter  added  by  a  majority  of 
ul  tbe  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting,  provided  notice  of  the  proposed 
amendments  be  given  in  the  call  of  the  annual  meeting  at  least  two  weeks  prevl- 
OBS  to  final  action  thereon. 

CiutusE  23.  It  is  recommended  that  the  members  of  the  Society  in  the  diffiBrent 
toirnsand  villages  in  the  county  form  local  clubs,  and  meet  monthly,  especially 
dorlog  the  winter,  in  their  respective  localities,  at  private  residences  by  invitation 
Q<  Its  members.  The  reading  of  an  appropriate  paper,  followed  by  such  remarks 
And  discussion  as  the  subject  might  suggest,  would  disseminate  much  valuable 
information,  and  add  increasing  Interest  to  the  occasion,  and  make  such  meetings 
in  their  infomaal  and  social  character,  a  valuable  acquisition  to  the  Society,  and 
ci^tate  an  interest  and  marked  influence  in  promoting  historical  research  tonong 
theiiMmbers.  .  , 

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36  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

CERTIFICATE  OF  INCORPORATION. 

We.  the  aDderaigned,  ciUzens  and  reaidento  of  Llvlogstou  county.  In  the  state  of 
New  York,  of  the  fall  age  01  twenty-one  years  and  upwards,  and  oitlsensof  the 
United  States,  do,  in  pursuancA  of  the  statute  in  such  case  made  and  provided, 
hereby  associate  ourselves  together  for  historical  purposes. 

The  name  or  title  by  which  such  society  or  corporation  shall  bvknown  in  law  is 
the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society.  The  particular  business  and  ob- 
ject of  such  society  and  its  general  design  is  to  discover,  procure  and  to  gather  ap 
and  preserve  whatever  may  relate  to  the  unwritten  history  of  Western  New  YorlC 
and  the  respective  towns  and  villages  of  Livingston  county  in  particular,  whettier 
it  relates  to  the  preoccnpancy  of  the  country  by  the  red  man  or  to  the  white  race, 
and  to  gather  such  statistics  of  population,  education,  manufactures,  and  busi- 
ness of  the  county  as  shall  be  of  public  utility  and  of  use  to  the  society.  The 
oflHoers  of  such  society  shall  be  a  President,  a  Vice  President,  a  Secretary  and 
Treasurer^  and  nine  Councilors  who  shall  constitute  a  board  of  managers  of  mUd 
society  as  aforesaid,  and  their  names  for  the  first  year  of  its  existence,  are  as  foi- 
lows: 

D.  H.  BissBLL.  President. 
M.  H.  Mills,  Vice  President, 
NoBMAN  Seymour,  Sec  and  TreaR. 

L.  B.  Proctor,  L.  J.  Ames,  D.  H.  Fitzhuoh,  G.  W.  Root,  S.  P.  Allen,  B.  F.  An- 
gel, Richard  Pbck,  J.  F.  Barber,  K  H.  Davis,  Councilors. 

The  principal  office  and  place  01*  business  of  such  Society  shall  be  located  at  Gen- 
eseo,  the  countv  seat  of  Livingston  county,  but  nothing  herein  contained  sball 
prevent  the  Society  from  holding  its  meetings  as  provided  and  specified  in  Its  by- 
Taws. 

We,  the  undersigned  members,  officers,  and  managers  of  such  Society,  do  hereby 
certify  the  matters  above  stated,  to  the  end  that  we,  our  associates  and  successont. 
may,  pursuant  to  the  statute  of  the  state  aforesaid,  in  such  case  made  and  provid- 
ed, be  a  body  politic  and  corporate,  by  the  name  above  stated,  and  In  witness 
whereof  we  have  severally  hereunto  subscribed  our  names,  the  thirteenth  day  of 
February,  1877. 

Livingston  County,  Mt.  Morris.  N.  Y. 

On  this  13th  day  of  February,  1877,  personally  appeared  befon*  me,  M.  H.  Mills, 
Norman  Seymour,  Loren  J.  Ames,  Levi  Parsons,  D.  H.  Bissrll.  A.O.  Bunnbll, 
L.  B.  Proctor,  severally  known  to  me  to  be  the  persons  described  in,  and  who 
executed  the  above  instrument,  and  they  severally  acknowledge  the  execution  of 
the  same. 

Reuben  Wallace, 

Justice  of  the  Peace  in  and  for  Livingston  County. 
Dated  February,  1877. 

Filed  in  the  office  of  the  Secretary  of  State  of  the  state  of  New  York,  and  in  the 
office  of  the  clerk  of  the  county  of  Livingston. 

The  following  officers  of  the  society  were  chosen  for  the  current  year: 
'    President— Dr.  D.  H.  Bissell  of  Geneseo. 

Vice  President— Dr.  M.  H.  Mills  of  ML  Morris. 

Secretary  and  Treasurer— Norman  Seymou>  of  Mt.  Morris. 

Couu3ilmen  or  Board  of  Administration— L.  B.  Proctor,  L.J.  Ames,  Dr.  D.  H. 
Fitzhugh,  George  W.  Boot,  Samuel  P.Allen.  Hon.  B.  F.  Angel,  Richard  Peck,  Jno. 
F.  Barber,  E.  H.  Davis. 

The  certificate  of  organisation  was  signed  by  those  present,  after  which  the  pres- 
ident was  escorted  to  the  chair  by  L.  B.  Proctor  and  A.  O.  Bunnell.  On  taking 
his  seat  he  thanked  the  society  for  the  honor  conferred  upon  him,  ^kc  Then  eulo- 
gies were  pronounced  upon  the  late  Hon.  William  Scott,  oneof  the  Vice  Presidents 
of  the  society,  by  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills  and  L.  B.  Proctor.  The  latter  also  pronounced  a 
eulogy  upon  the  late  Adolphus  Watk ins,  another  Vice  President  of  the  society. 
Both  of  these  Inembers  had  died  since  the  last  meeting  of  the  society  in  June.  Dr. 
Bissell  and  Norman  Seymour  also  paid  high  tributes  of  respect  to  the  memory  of 
Deacon  Adolphus  Watkins  in  brief  remarks.  Dr.  L.  J.  Ames  arose  to  a  question  of 
privilege  and  said  that  Daniel  Shay,  the  leader  of  Shay's  rebellion  In  Massachu- 
setts in  1786,  was  buried  in  theScottsburgh  cemetery  in  the  town  of  Conesus,  Liv- 
ingston county,  N.  Y.,  and  not  at  Williamsburgh  in  the  Genesee  Valley,  as  had 
been  stated. 

The  society  then  adjourned  to  meet  on  the  second  Tuesday  in  January,  1878,  at 
such  hour  and  place  as  shall  hereafter  be  designated  by  the  President  and  Secre- 
tary. .  , 

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/^<^  M  /t^^^^^^^ 


THIRD   ANNUAL  MEETING 


OF  THE 


LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 


ISTORICAL  SOCIETY, 


HELD  AT  GEXESEO, 


uesday,  January  14th,  1879. 


OPENING  ADDRESS  by  PRESIDENT  MILLS. 
ANNUAL  ADDRESS  by  L.  B.  PROCTOR. 


DAShVILLE.  N.  Y.: 

A.  O.  BL'KNeLL,  PRINTER,  AOVKBTISBR  OFftCI. 

1879. 


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THE  NEW  YORK 

PUBLIC  LIBRARY 

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THIRD  ANNUAL  MEETING 

or  THC 

Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 


The  third  anmual  mebtino  of  the  LivlDgsion  County  Historical  Society  was 
held  at  Qeneseo,  Jan.  14th,  1879.  A  business  meeting  was  held  at  11  o'clock  a.  m. 
tt  the  American  Hotel,  Vice  President  Mills  in  the  chair,  Norman  Seymour,  Sec- 
retary and  Treasurer.  Letters  were  read  from  Hon.  B.  F.  Angel,  Hon.  J.  R.  Mc- 
Pherson,  Hon.  Oeorge  W.  Patterson,  and  Thomas  Warner,  the  latter  enclosing  an 
**  old  round  bouse  medal.''  L.  B.  Proctor,  Chairman  of  the  Publication  Committee, 
reported  and  his  report  was  accepted.  The  Treasurer's  report  showed  a  balance  in 
the  treasury  of  $25.06,  and  his  report  was  accepted.  Dr.  L.  J.  Ames  offered  the  fol- 
lowing resolution,  which  was  adopted : 

Resolved,  That  the  Committee  on  Membership  be  authorized  to  issue  a  circu- 
Isr  for  the  purpose  of  Inyitlng  citizens  of  the  (jounty  of  Livingston  to  become 
members  of  this  Society,  and  that  the  said  Committee  be  authorized  to  receive 
foch  persons  as  may  present  themselves  and  comply  with  the  requirements  of  the 
Society,  as  members,  and  report  the  same  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Society,  who 
•hall  epter  their  names  on  the  roll  of  membership. 

On  motion  of  A.  O.  Bunnell,  the  Secretary  was  authorized  to  procure  a  book 
toir  recording  the  proceedings  of  this  Society  since  its  organization,  and  to  have 
tbe  same  recorded  therein. 

The  Society  then  elected  the  following  officers  for  the  ensuing  year: 

Presldent^M.  H.  Mills. 
Vice  President^William  M.  White. 
Secretary  and  Treasurer— Norman  Seymour. 

Coundlmen— L.  B.  Proctor,  L.  J.  Ames,  D.  H.  Pitzhugh,  Qeorge  W.  Root,  Sam- 
uel P.  Allen,  B.  F.  Angel,  John  F.  Barber,  A  A.  Hdndee,  F.  M.  Perlne. 

The  following  committees  were  appointed : 

Finance  Committee- E.  H.  Davis,  F.  M.  Ferine,  S.  P.  Allen. 
Publication  Committee— L.  B.  Proctor,  B.  F.  Angel,  A.  A.  Hendee. 
Membership  Committee— L.  J.  Ames,  D.  H.  Fitzhugh,  Q.  W.  Root. 

McOor  Amos  A.  Hendee  offered  the  following  preamble  and  resolution,  which 

were  adopted : 

Whereas,  The  Livingston  County  Pioneer  Society  have  recommended  the 
dae  observance  of  the  Centennial  of  the  Battle  of  Groveland  under  Oen.  Sullivan 
Id  September,  1779,  therefore 

Resolved.  That  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society  recommend  that 
the  said  Centennial  be  duly  observed^nd  that  a  committee  of  five  be  appointed 
to  act  with  the  Committee  of  the  said  Pioneer  Society,  or  by  themselves  for- this 
Society,  to  complete  arrangements  for  the  celebration  of  said  Centennial,  and  that 
the  Committee  of  this  Society  have  ftill  power  to  act  for  this  Society  in  reference 
thereunto. 

The  Chairman  appointed  the  following  members  as  such  committee :  Amos 
A.  Hendee,  Chaihnan,  William  M.  White.  Dr.  F.  M.  Perine,  Dr.  L.  J.  Ames,  E.  H. 
Davis. 

Secretary  Seymour  announced  that  he  had  recently  held  a  personal  conference 
with  Hon.  Horatio  Seymour,  and  that  he  had  consented  to  deliver  the  address  at 
the  Centennial  celebration,  on  the  ISth  of  September,  1879.  This  announcement 
was  received  with  much  enthusiasm. 

At  2  o'clock  p.  m.  a  public  meeting  of  tbe  Society  was  held  in  the  beautinil  and 

conuDOdlous  chapel  of  the  Qeneseo  Normal  School,  President  Mills  presi; 

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4  Ufinngston  County  Histatical  Society, 

supported  by  other  officers  of  the  Society.  The  President  opened  the  meeting  l>y 
delivering  the  following  address,  which  gives  a  condensed  history  of  the  Society, 
its  object  and  Its  work,  together  with  many  valuable  suggestions  in  oonneotion 
therewith:  - 

ADDRESS  BT  PRESIDENT  HILLS. 

The  annual  meetings  of  this  Society  are  events  of  much  Interest  to  the  mem- 
bers ot  the  association,  and  I  am  graUfled  to  say  from  evidences  evinced  from 
year  to  year,  of  growing  Interest  to  the  pabllc.  It  is  upon  these  occasions  we  elect 
officers  for  tne  euRulng  year ;  deliver  an  annual  address;  the  formal  presentation 
of  gifts  and  legacies  to  the  Society ;  the  announcement  of  deaths,  Ir  any,  of  ibe 
members  of  the  association  the  past  year,  coupled  with  a  brief  biographical  sketcb 
of  their  lives ;  to  learn  trom  the  records  of  the  Society  the  Increase  of  our  numbers 
by  new  members  joining  the  association,  and  also  the  flnanelal  condition  of  tbe 
Society,  together  with  other  interesting  ceremonies  incident  to  the  occasion. 

It  is  a  source  of  congratulation,  that  while  a  direful  scourge  has  visited  por- 
tions of  our  country  the  past  summer,  with  unparalleled  destruction  tohaman 
life,  our  locality  has  been  favored  by  divine  grace,  with  ordinary  good  health,  and 
I  am  happy  to  announce  no  deaths  have  occurred  among  the  members  of  oar  Ho- 
clety  the  past  year.  I  take  this  opportunity  also  to  congratulate  the  officers  and 
members  of  this  association  upon  the  success  of  their  enterprise.  I  de«>m  it  prop- 
er, and  of  sufficient  Importance  In  this  connection,  to  present  for  the  considera- 
tion of  members  of  the  association  and  the  public,  a  brief  statement  of  what  the 
Society  has  accomplished  since  Its  organisation.  Three  years  ago  the  Initiatory 
steps  were  taken  in  Dansvllle  to  organize  this  Society.  An  adjourned  meeting  was 
had  at  Mount  Morris  in  the  month  of  January,  1876,  in  which  the  organization  wa« 
more  fUlly  perfected,  by  the  adoption  of  a  constitution  and  by-laws,  but  was  not 
fully  perfected  under  the  laws  of  our  state  until  February  iJt,  1877,  when  articles  of 
association  were  gotten  up,  subscribed  to,  and  placed  on  file  In  the  office  of  the 
Clerk  of  Livingston  County,  and  in  the  office  of  the  Secretary  of  State  at  Albany. 
In  this  brief  period  of  time  there  has  been  added  through  the  auspices  of  this  Soci- 
ety to  every  town  In  the  county,  during  the  centennial  year,  more  cr  leas  new 
historical  matter.  There  have  been  two  annual  historical  addresses  delivered. 
The  first  one  by  Mr.  Norman  Seymour,  Secretary  of  the  Society,  the  other  by  the 
Hon.  B.  F.  Angel,  both  of  which  contain  historic  matter,  which  in  the  no  distant 
future  will  be  referred  to  by  historians  of  that  day,  as  authority  upon  the  subjects 
which  they  treat,  and  will  form  additions  to  the  already  written  history  of  West- 
em  New  York  and  Livingston  County. 

L.  B.  Proctor's  biography  of  John  Young,  on  the  occasion  of  the  presentation 
of  the  deceased  statesman's  portrait  to  the  association,  is  a  fitting  tribute  to  the 
memory  of  a  public  man,  it  being  a  fitlthful  record  of  his  public  acts,  and  will 
form  new  matter  of  historic  Interest  of  much  value,  to  be  added  to  the  future  his- 
tory of  our  locality,  and  its  public  men.  Honorable  mention  should  also  be  made 
of  eulogies,  containing  orlgflnal  historic  fscts  Arom  the  early  settlement  of  this 
county  down  almost  to  the  present  time,  pronounced  by  members  of  the  asaocla- 
tlon  on  the  deaths  of  those  worthy  pioneers,  the  Hon.  William  Scott,  Adolph us 
Watkins  and  Deacon  John  McColi,  members  of  this  Society.  They  nave  been 
called  to  their  fathers,  and  have  left  their  associates  in  this  Society  to  carry  on  the 
good  work  which  they  were  co-laborers  in,  and  aided  by  their  means  and  pree- 
ence  and  force  of  character  to  establish,  and  to  carry  forward.  Let  us  prove  wor- 
thy to  the  trust  committed  to  our  hands  Let  us.  If  necessary,  sacrifice  personal 
preferences  for  the  success  and  public  wel&re  of  this  association,  believing  that  in 
so  doing  we  best  piromote  the  interests  and  objects  of  the  Society,  and  be  enabled 
to  transmit  to  our  successors  an  institution  worthy  of  their  flbthers,  and  worthy  of 
preservation  by  them,  and  their  descendants. 

Under  the  auspices  of  this  Society  there  has  been  organised  and  established 
the  Livingston  County  Pioneer  Assodai ion.  This  association  is  also  a  success; 
fh>m  a  small  t>ee1nning  Its  annual  gatherings  are  now  attended  by  as  many  as 
10,000  people.  The  Infiuence  of  a  society  like  that  Is  beneficial  to  the  general  pub- 
lic In  many  ways.  The  wonder  now  Is  that  It  was  not  in  this  county,  where  the 
early  settlers  were  largely  men  of  Intelligence  and  culture,  and  where  an  Intelll- 

Knt  and  reading  class  m\  people  compose  almost  the  entire  population,  organised 
fore.  It  Is  an  offiihoot  of  the  Historical  Society,  and  like  it,  promotes  historical 
research.  It  enables  the  historian  to  gather  up  scraps  of  unwritten  local  history 
fh>m  pioneers  and  old  settlers  present,  which,  when  preserved  and  added  to  the 
already  written  history  of  the  county,  will  make  it  more  full  and  coo^plete,  and 
therefore  more  acceptable. 

The  panorama  and  dissolving  scenes  of  life  to-day,  are  painted  upon  the  same 


canvass,  which  Is  rolling  still,  upon  which  our  fathers  were  palnteu.  The  present 
Is  )M>una  to  the  past  by  Its  vei^  existence,  and  the  great  highway  of  progress  which 
the  generation  of  to-day  walk.  Is  but  the  continuation  of  the  first  paths  trod  by 


onr  fkthers.  History  is  but  the  preservation  and  delineation  of  a  former  age 
handed  down  to  us.  To  paint  on  the  moving  canvass  of  to-day  the  lessons  they 
teach,  together  with  events  and  changeable  scenes  of  life  In  this  age,  are  among 
the  objects  of  the  pioneer  association.  But  I  must  not,  at  this  time  and  place  en- 
large upon  the  objects  and  benefits  of  that  society,  and  will  only  dwell  to  remark 
that  three  annual  historical  addresses  Lave  been  delivered  before  that  associa- 
tion, one  by  Mr.  Norman  Seymour,  one  by  Major  Hendee,  and  one  by  the  Speaker 
The  two  former  of  which  show  labor  and  research,  and  are  a  flruitfm  sooroe  ftx>m 
which  to  obtain  new  and  original  nuttter  for  the  future  historian.  ^  ^^  i  ^ 

gitized  byVjiOOQlC 


TTtird  Annual  Meeting.  5 

Tlirough  the  coartesv  and  llberalit  j  of  the  Wadtwortta  library  committee,  a 
portion  or  a  room  In  the  buDdlDg  has  been  assigned  to  the  uses  of  this  Society.  It 
will  therefore  be  observed,  that  the  Boclety  is  pre]>ared  to  receive  legacies,  dona- 
tion*, and  glfU,  in  the  form  of  books,  mannscripts,  portralM  and  relics  of  historic 
Interest,  and  have  also  a  secure  and  safe  place  to  preserve  and  keep  them. 

It  will  be  perceived  fk^m  this  brief  sketch,  that  the  labor  and  work  acoom> 
pllshed  by  the  Historical  Society,  daring  its  three  years  of  existence,  have  been 
varied  and  extensive,  and  beyond  the  most  sanguine  expectations  of  Its  foanders 
and  admirers,  and  Is  rapidly  commanding  as  a  result,  that  high  esteem  and  con- 
sideration from  the  public,  which  its  labors,  and  the  preservation  in  an  enduring 
form,  the  local  history  of  the  age.  Justly  entitle  it.  Much  credit  however  is  due  for 
tbeee  result*  to  the  press  of  the  county,  who  have  sealonsly  labored  with  open- 
banded  liberality,  at  all  times,  and  under  all  circumstances,  to  fhrther  the  Inter- 
ests of  this  Society. 

To  become  a  member  of  this  Society  costs  one  dollar  a  year,  or  ten  dollars  for 
a  life  membership.  The  work  of  this  Society  cannot  be  accomplished  from  year 
to  je^r  without  financial  aid,  to  defh^y  necessary  and  unavoidable  expenses.  At 
present  we  have  no  resources  to  raise  funds  from,  except  from  contributions  from 
members  of  the  Society,  and  from  the  admission  fee  of  membership.  We  are  ena- 
bled, however,  to  make  the  statement,  that  our  Society  is  solvent,  and  that  there 
are  funds  in  the  treasury  to  pay  every  indebtedness  of  the  association  up  to  the 
present  time,  and  that  our  mission  here  is  not  to  solicit  charity. 

Ladles  are  eligible  to  become  members  of  the  association  as  well  as  gentlemen. 
Women's  thread  of  life  forms  a  portion  of  the  warp  of  history,  and  as  the  shuttles 
of  the  flying  days  and  years  throw  across  it  their  woof  of  circumstance,  the  ftibrlc 
becomes  more  beautiful  and  perfect  until  the  final  end  approaches,  when  It  re- 
sembles fine  gold,  and  like  it,  is  non -destructible. 

I  take  the  llbertv  on  this  public  occasion  to  speak,  not  by  the  temporary  au- 
tbofity  in  which  I  find  myi^elr  clothed  by  thepartfallty  of  this  Society,  but  simply 
as  a  member  of  the  association,  to  suggest  and  recommend,  during  the  long  win- 
ter eveningSi  that  the  members  of  the  Society,  In  the  different  villages  of  the  coun- 
ty, hold  monthly  or  semi-monthly  meetings  at  the  residence  of  some  member  of 
the  association*  on  which  occasion  ihe  guests  are  to  be  specially  invited,  and  a 
member  of  the  Society  will  be  expected  to  read  a  paper  upon  some  subject  selected 
by  the  writer,  and  its  merits  to  be  discussed  by  the  company  present.  Such  meet- 
IngB.  It  is  believed,  would  materially  aid  the  Society  In  Its  objects  and  mission. 
Wnlch,  I  may  say  In  a  word,  are  to  discover,  procure,  and  preserve  In  an  enduring 
form,  whatever  may  relate  to  our  local  bistorv.  and  to  disseminate  such  statistical 
Information  upon  all  subjects,  as  Feem  advisable,  or  of  public  utility. 

At  such  meetings  it  would  be  an  attractive  feature  in  the  exercises,  for  a  lady 
to  read  a  pai>er  upon  some  subject  suggested  to  her,  or  upon  a  subject  of  her  own 
choosing.  Ladies,  think  of  this.  Remember  that  each  age  makes  its  own  history, 
and  the  more  faithfully  it  is  preserved  and  recorded,  the  more  honor  is  attached 
to  that  age  by  the  one  which  succeeds  It.  The  fftltbfhl  written  record  of  a  people. 
Is  the  most  flttlna  and  enduring  monument  the  living  can  erect  to  their  memory. 
Xf  these  be  worthu  and  the  record  trutf^ful,  time,  which  destroys  all  thlnss  but 
good  deeds  and  loay  thoughts,  will  embalm  their  memory  for  eternity.  In  the 
spirit  of  this  truth  let  usaud  our  associates  and  successors  firom  year  to  year,  ad- 
dress ourselves  to  the  task  before  us. 

At  the  close  of  the  address,  which  was  received  with  applause,  Mr.  Klllip's 

quintette  sang  **  Auld  Lang  Syne  "  with  a  fervor  which  sUnred  every  heart.    Then 

Rev.  Oeorge  K.  Ward  of  Dansvllle  off^ered  the  following  prayer: 

Almighty  and  Eternal  Gkxl,  ttom  whom  cometh  every  good  and  perfsot  gift— 
we  acknowledge  Thy  protecting  care  which  has  been  over  us  during  the  past  year, 
and  we  render  our  united  thanks  to  Thee  that  Thy  tender  mecoles  nave  failed  not 
unto  us,  nor  to  our  households.  We  Invoke  Thy  benediction  to  rest  npon  the  as- 
sembly which  is  here  convened.  We  thank  Thee  for  the  pleasant  occasion  which 
calls  us  together,  for  the  sweet  associations  connected  with  this  day,  and  the  grate- 
All  memories  which  are  awakened  as  we  meet  in  this  room,  we  ask  that  our 
gathering  together  may  result  in  the  more  perfect  cementing  of  ftiendships  formed 
in  other  days  and  here  so  sweetly  renewed.  Asour  minds  shall  turn  reverently  to 
eontemplate  the  events  of  anotner  year,  grant  that  the  retrospect  noay  awsJien 
eratltnde  and  Inspire  to  nobler  aims  and  endeavors.  We  recognise  Thee  as  the 
God  of  history,  oh  Thon  who  sittest  npon  the  throne,  ruling  among  the  armies  of 
heaven  and  the  Inhabitants  of  the  earth ;  and  because  we  know  and  honor  Thy 
name  we  come  to  ask  Thy  benediction  this  day  upon  all  our  deliberations,  that  we 
may  be  brought  into  loving  fellowship  with  Thee  as  wecommunewith  one  another. 
Enable  us  to  perceive  that  the  events  which  are  embodied  In  the  record  of  each 
passing  year,  are  but  the  unfoldings  of  Thy  sovereign  will,  and  Thy  eternal  pur- 
pose. As  we  study  the  pages  of  history  may  we  trace  Thy  ruling  hand,  above  all 
and  through  all  and  ordaining  all,  for  the  well  being  of  men  and  the  glory  of  Thine 
own  name.  If  we  have  succeeded  In  doing  anything  that  Is  worthy  to  be  remem- 
bered. It  is  because  Thou  hast  inspired  it.  If  we  have  spoken  any  words  which 
shall  find  a  permanent  place  In  the  hearts  and  minds  of  our  fellow  men.  It  Is  be- 
oaose  Thou  hast  spoken  through  us.  If  we  have  been  In  anywise  helpftil  to  those 
who  stand  In  need  of  help  and  encouragement,  we  render  unto  Thee  all  the  praise, 
and  we  ask  that  those  who  honor  us,  may  honor  us  as  the  Instruments  of  Ood  for 
the  promotion  of  the  truth.  Heavenly  Father,  help  us  to  understand  that  the 
srvents  which  seem  to  our  foeble  minds  to  occur  by  chauce,  or  in  obedience  to  the 
irtll  of  nan.  are  foreordained  of  God.  Grant  that  the  veil  may  be  removed,  so  that 
there  may  shine  In  upon  our  darkened  perception  some  apprehension  of  the  gran- 

r  or  the  purposes  which  are  conceived  in  the  oounclla  of  eternity,  the  marvel- 


6  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

lous  adaptation  of  human  events  to  the  oonsummatlon  of  the  Divine  plan  which 
Is  the  redemption  of  men  from  the  bondage  of  sin ;  Thy  will,  oh  Oodj6erfeoted  In 
human  acts,  is  the  foundation  of  all  history,  and  to^av  we  reoognlceThy  wisdom, 
and  praise  Thee  for  Thy  goodness.  We  entreat  Thee,  oh  God,  to  prepare  us  In  body 
and  soul  and  mind,  for  the  duties  of  another  year.  The  past  we  ctinnot  recall ;  its 
failures  and  its  successes.  Its  lack  of  true  zeal,  and  Its  earnest  labor;  Its  shame  and 
its  honor;  its  enthrall  men  t  to  sin,  and  Its  glorious  freedom  of  thought  and  action, 
these  have  escaped  beyond  our  grasp,  but  we  thank  Thee  for  the  blessed  opporto- 
nitles  for  benefitting  ourselves  and  our  neighbors,  which  shall  come  to  us  this  new 
vear.  If  Thou  shalt  be  pleased  to  spare  our  lives.  May  we  have  no  less  exalted  aim 
before  us  in  life  than  to  be  Christ- like.  Qod  forbid  that  our  aspirations  should  lift 
us  no  higher  than  the  attainment  of  worldly  gains  and  honors;  but  may  we  seek 
to  attain  the  strength  and  beauty  of  a  perfect  manhood,  even  **  the  measure  of  the 
stature  of  the  fulness  of  Christ."  And  so  may  our  names  be  recorded  in  the  history 
af  this  commonwealth  as  representatives  of  all  that  is  tiue  and  honest  and  praise- 
worthy. May  the  blessing  of  Ood  rest  upon  the  members  of  this  association,  in 
their  corporate  existence  and  as  individuals.  Bless  the  families  here  represented, 
and  may  our  lives  be  so  ordered,  both  at  home  and  abroad,  that  we  shall  not  bring 
dishonor  upou  this  society  during  the  year  upon  which  we  have  now  entered! 
Guide  us  in  all  our  deliberations,  on  Thou  AlUwlse  Ruler  of  Men  and  Nations.  May 
this  occasion,  in  Its  social.  Intellectual  and  religious  aspects,  bring  great  Joy  to  oar 
hearts,  and  may  the  peace  of  Gkxl  which  passeth  all  understanding  keep  our  hearts 
and  minds  in  the  knowledge  and  the  love  of  the  truth,  to  the  end  that  we  may  have 
the  blessing  and  God  the  honor  and  glory  throughout  eternity.    Amen. 

Then  Mr.  KilUp's  boy  choir  gave  as  a  song  and  chorus,  **  There's  a  Land  that  is 
Fairer  than  Day,"  eliciting  the  most  hearty  applause.  The  president  then  intro- 
duced L.  B.  Proctor,  Esq.,  of  Dansvllle,  who  had  been  chosen  to  deliver  the  annual 
address.  This  address  is  given  elsewhere.  It  bears  the  Impress  of  much  thought 
and  labor,  and  abounds  In  humor,  wit  and  pathos.  At  its  close  the  audience  en- 
thusiastically applauded,  and  the  following  resolution  oflbred  by  Dr.  Ames  was 
unanimously  adopted: 

Resolved,  That  the  thanks  of  this  Society  be  given  to  Mr.  L.  B.  Proctor  fbr  his 
very  able,  instructive,  eloquent  and  entertaining  address,  and  that  a  copy  of  tbe 
same  be  requested  for  publication. 

Mr.  Killlp's  quintette  sang  "TheTwoChaflfbrs,"  to  the  great  delight  of  the 

audience.    Oapt.  8.  Adams  Lee  was  then  felicitously  introduced  by  the  President, 

and  gave  a  spirited  account  of  the  naval  battle  of  Hampton  Roads  In  which  the 

Marrimac  was  engaged,  and  where  the  speaker,  an  officer  in  the  Federal  navy,  left 

one  of  his  limbs.     At  tbe  close  of  the  address,  the  following  resolution  ofTered  by 

Hon.  William  M.  White,  was  adopted  amid  applause : 

Resolved,  That  the  thanks  of  the  audience  be  and  are  hereby  tendered  to 
Capt.  S.  Adams  Lee  for  his  thrilling  and  able  address  on  the  Battle  of  Hampton 
Roads. 

The  fbllowing  preamble  and  resolutions  ofTlBred  by  Dr.  F.  M.  Perlne  were 

adopted: 

Whereas.  It  has  come  to  our  knowledge  that  our  worthy  and  venerable  Presi- 
dent. Dr.  D.  H.  Bissell,  ha»  had  the  misfortune  to  break  his  leg,  and  is  now  lying  in 
Washington  suflfisring  troxn.  the  same;  be  it 

Resolved,  lliat  we  have  heard  with  deep  regret  of  the  same  and  express  our 
sympathy  for  him  In  this  personal  misfortune,  that  we  greatly  regret  his  absence 
ttotxi  our  meeting  and  wish  him  a  speedy  recovery  and  allappy  New  Year. 

Resolved,  That  the  Secretary  be  directed  to  place  this  resolution  upon  the 
minutes  and  send  a  copy  of  the  same  to  Dr.  Bissell. 

The  quintette  then  sang  with  spirit  and  enthusiasm,  *'  The  Flag  of  Our  Union,' 

receiving  therefor  great  applause. 

Mr.  White  offered  the  following  resolution,  which  was  adopted : 

Resolved,  That  we  tender  our  hearty  thanks  to  Mr.  W.  W.  KllUp  and  bis 
able  corps  for  the  delightful  music  with  which  we  have  been  favored  on  this  occa- 
sion, and  take  pleasure  In  acknowledging  our  Indebtedness  once  more  to  them  fbr 
their  valuable  services  in  rendering  our  annual  gatherings  so  additionally  at- 
tractive. 

President  Mills  presented  to  the  Society  a  copy  of  The  Genealogy  of  John 

Eweil,  and  offered  the  fbllowing  resolution,  which  was  adopted: 

Resolved,  That  the  thanks  of  this  Society  be  presented  to  E.  H.  Ewell,  author 
of  The  Genealogy  of  John  Ewell,  and  by  said  author  present^  to  the  Livingston 
County  Historical  Society,  and  that  the  Secretary  be  requested  to  enter  this  reso- 
lution on  the  record  Journal  of  the  Society,  and  transmit  a  copy  of  the  same  to  the 
author  at  Alden,  Erie  County,  N.  Y. 

The  meeting  closed  with  prayer  and  benediction  by  Rev.  George  K,  Ward,  and 

thus  ended  one  of  the  most  suooessfhl  meetings  of  the  Society. 

Digitized  by  VjjOOQ IC 


THE  ANNUAL  ADDRESS : 

Tke  Jttd^s  and  Lawyers  of  LlYlngston  Connty  ud  their  Relation  to 
the  Istory  of  Western  Hew  Tort 

13y   L..    IB,    nPIt-OCTOIl., 


In  the  year  1821  tbe  ooantieB  of  Livingston  and  Monroe  were  formed  from  parts 
of  Ontario  and  Genesee.  The  same  year  Erie  county  was  formed  ttoxn.  territory 
taken  ftom  Genesee.  Immediately  after  their  formation  the  bars  of  the  new  coun- 
ties  were  organised.  Theoonspioaons  part  that  the  members  of  these  bars  have  taken 
In  all  that  pertains  to  the  development  of  the  resources  of  that  beautifhl  region  of 
eonntry,  posseaslng  all  the  elements  of  a  great  and  powerfhl  State  In  itself. 
Western  New  York,  has  passed  Into  history,  the  repetition  of  which  here  would  be 
but  tbe  work  of  supererogation.  Suffice  it  to  say,  that  this  influence  has  extended 
to  evenr  department  of  its  olvlL  religious,  educational,  political,  agricultural, 
Jndiclaf  ana  legal  departments.  These  bars  have  been  represented  in  the  halls 
of  legislation.  State  and  National,  leaving  upon  their  records  indubitable  evidence 
of  commanding  abilities.  Thev  have  been  represented  in  the  executive  chairs  of 
the  State,  of  the  Republic  Itself,— in  foreign  embassies,  in  cabinets,  among  dlplo- 
mftta,  on  the  highest  bench  of  the  highest  courts  of  our  great  nation,  where  srhol- 
aia  have  most  congregated,  and  in  the  fields  where  literature  and  science  radiated 
their  beauties. 

It  is  with  pride  and  pleasure  that  I  turn  to  the  bar  of  Livingston  county.  Its 
old  roll  has  become  a  classic  thing.  As  we  gaze  upon  it,  memories  of  the  pastcome 
throbbing  to  our  hearts.  It  brings  before  us  the  learned,  the  genial,  the  courteous. 
The  powerful  adversary,  whose  steel  was  worthy  the  sturdy  loeman.  whose  gener- 
oef  ty  and  manliness  were  as  bright  as  the  steel  they  wielded.  But  alas  I  the  names 
of  most  of  them  have  been  transformed  ftrom  tbe  roll  to  the  cold  marble  thatstands 
over  their  sleeping  dust.  Faint  and  more  fttint  grows  the  history  of  their  strug- 
gles, their  triumphs,  their  influence  and  their  noble  deeds.  It  is  the  duty  of  our 
Qoelety  to  preserve  their  memory  in  its  archives.  To  aid  In  thai  duty  I  stand  here 
to-day.  The  tajne  of  the  lawyer  and  the  Judge,  no  matter  how  bright  in  its  day. 
Is  sJmost  as  fugitive  as  the  leaves  of  the  Bybil.  The  first  makes  a  legal  argument 
belbre  the  Gonrt  in  which  learning  and  senins  are  blended— over  the  preparation 
of  which  he  has  spent  weary  days  and  nightly  vigils.  When  the  ease  is  reported 
tke  only  notice  he  receives  is.  Smith  for  the  plalntiflTand  Jones  for  the  defendant, 
while  toe  results  of  all  his  labors  are  incorporated  In  the  opinion  of  the  Judge  who 
decides  the  case. 

What  of  the  Judges  themselves  f  Many  of  their  exquisite  Judgments,  bearing 
the  impress  of  elaborate  study,  and  which  for  power  of  thought,  beauty  of  illustra- 
tion and  elegant  demonstration  are  Justly  numbered  among  the  highest  efforts  of 
the  human  mind,  flnd  no  admiration  in  literary  or  scientific  circles,  or  among  the 
people,  and  no  where  except  in  the  ranks  of  the  few  lawyers  who  thoroughly  read 
ao4diseetthem. 

A  distinguished  divine  has  spoken  eloquently  and  truthfully  of  the  connection 
between  the  pulpit  and  the  bar,  which,  he  says,  should  be  readily  acknowledged. 
As  the  high  minded  Jurist  keeps  before  the  minds  of  men  the  great  idea  of  law— a 
binding  moral  force,  which  the  very  word  religion  in  its  etymology  suggests,  so 
snch  men  help  preserve  the  true  stability  of  society  in  which  Christian  insututions 
have  their  best  growth. 

Onr  business  to-day  Is  with  the  history  of  the  bar  of  Livingston  county— that 
eoonty  which  takes  its  name  fh>m  one  of  the  most  Illustrious  Jurists  of  the  State— 
a  symbolic  name,  for  she  Is  indeed  the  Living  stone  among  her  sister  counties, 
smote  by  the  hardy  pioneer,  out  1 1  which  for  over  fifty  years  living  waters  have 
flowed,  irrigating  every  avenue  of  industry  and  enterprise,  every  department  of 
religion,  of  education  and  of  agriculture. 

MILLABD  FILLMORE. 

To  begin  with  these,  let  me  refer  briefly  to  one  name  who.  though  not  a  member 
of  our  bar,  yet  whose  history  was  In  a  measure  connected  with  our  county.  Fifty 
years  ago  there  stood  in  the  western  woods  of  the  valley  of  the  Canaseraga,  a  few 
miles  below  Dansville,  a  small  wool  carding  and  cloth  dressing  shop.  At  this  time, 
within  this  humble  building,  there  was  engaged  a  young  man,  not  yet  quite  of  age. 
who  bad  traveled  on  foot  from  his  tkther's  home  in  Cayuga  county,  a  distance  of 
-     '         •    '^ 'the * 


seTenty-flve  miles,  to  this  then  secluded  valley,  for  the  purpose  of  learning  the 
bostness  conducted  In  that  shop.  Here  he  engaged  in  arduous  daily  labor.  Mere 
he ato  his  dally  bread,  earned  by  the  sweat  of  his  brow.    He  had  nothing  to  rely 


8  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

upon  save  hU  own  brave  heart  and  strong  arm,  and  those  beneficent  inrtitutiona 
which  foster  and  protect  the  rich  and  the  poor.  In  this  obscurity  he  exhibited  that 
indomitable  and  untiring  energy  which  so  strongly  naarked  his  subsequent  career. 
He  felt,  too,  the  Promethean  flame,  and  took  an  appeal  to  the  ftiture  for  the  con- 
summation of  those  hopes,  and  the  realization  of  that  ambition,  which  stimulated 
all  bis  energies.  He  was  assiduous  in  his  efforts  to  acquire  knowledge;  indeed, his 
thirnt  for  it  was  intense.  His  flrlendle^s  condition,  his  sharp  necessities,  his  oon- 
stant  struggle  with  poverty,  his  unyielding  determination  to  ri^e  above  the  condi- 
tion in  which  he  was  born,  all  tended  to  develop  in  him  a  sturdy  Independence  of 
thought  and  action,  givlnk  him  in  this  respect  a  great  endowment,  better  than 
wealth— ability  to  latnir.  well  It  has  been  said  that  resolution  to  work  and  ability 
to  work  are  substitutes  for  everything  el^cept  genius,  and  that  they  often  become 
the  rival  of  genius  itself.    Time  went  on ;  tne  magniflcent  future  of  the  great  Be- 

gublic  Was  being  developed,  and  so  was  the  career  of  the  humble  youth.  In  his 
ours  of  rest  ft-om  his  daily  labor^ln  the«>ilenceofthe  night,  by  the  llghtof  a  can- 
dle purchased  with  his  scanty  means— he  unrolled  the  ample  page  of  knowledge 
and  of  science.  Books  were  almost  the  foundation  of  his  life;  be  nad  no  pleasure, 
no  amusement  but  in  them.  Tnrough  them  he  vlKlted  past  ages;  with  them  be 
summoned  around  him  philosophers,  sages,  poets,  heroes,  brave  warriors,  inhaling 
Intellectual  vigor  n*om  statesmen,  oratorn,  jurists  and  legislators  of  the  past,  until, 
like  Michael  Angelo,  in  whose  hands  marble  was  flexible,  he  turned  hard  fortune 
into  success.  He  entered  with  zeal  and  success  that  noblest  and  grandest  profes- 
sion, the  tescher's;  he  became  a  student  at  in w,  and  then  a  lawyer,  then  a  legislator, 
and  minister  of  state.  "Allied  by  his  antecedents  to  the  sons  of  toil,  he  never  ftttled 
to  recognize  their  rights  and  was  ever  ready  lo  defend  their  wrongs.  He  wa«  of 
the  people  and  for  the  people,  and  therefore  they  loved  to  honor  him.  This  they 
did  in  no  scanty  measure.  Bearing  their  standard,  he  was  elevated  by  them  from 
one  poet  of  honor  to  another,  always  large-hearted,  and  imbued  with  adeep  human 
sympathy,  born  with  his  early  adversity."  He  became '*Pr<mu*<n/er  Pare*"  the 
Cbier  Magistrate  of  our  great  Republia  This  was  Millard  Fillmore  Young  man, 
whoever  you  are,  learn  flrom  his  history  that  the  institutions  which  made  him 
what  he  was  will  make  sou  what  you  endeavor  to  make  yourKcU.  But  to  return 
to  the  history  of  the  Livingston  county  oar. 

MARK  H.  SIBLEY. 

Msrk  H.  Sibley  was  one  of  the  flrst  lawyers  who  signed  the  roll  of  attorneys  in 
Livingston  connty.  His  is  truly  a  historic  name ;  for  years  he  was  one  of  the  chief 
eontestanta  at  the  Livingston  bar,  and  Monroe  bar,  when  Selah  Mathews  and 
other  distinguished  lawyers  were  in  the  zenith  of  their  profession.  *' The  severe 
and  intellectual  structure  of  Mathews,  was  lar  removed  from  the  Attic  elegance  of 
Sibley."  As  a  lawver  the  former  was  remarkable  for  the  clearness  and  closeness 
of  his  reasoningand  the  unadorned  simplicity  of  his  style  and  manner,  earnest,  calm 
and  deliberate.  He  never  soared  into  regions  too  elevated  for  ordinary  comprehen- 
sion, never  sank  Into  dullness.  His  argumentaweresohd,  massive,  effective, dry  but 
beautiful  in  their  structure  and  In  their  good  sense.  He  was  the  Brougham  of  the 
Western  New  York  bar.  Sibley *s  great  strength  lay  in  his  almost  unequalled 
eloquence,  and  in  his  bright  plerclne  wit.  The  beautiful  lines  dedicated  to  Bnshe 
will  apply,  in  a  happy  manner,  to  him : 

**  Sedate  at  first,  at  length  bis  passion  warms. 
And  every  word  and  every  gesture  charms." 

Mr.Slbley's  language  was  always  pure,  always  elegant:  **the  best  wordsdropped 
easily  from  his  lips  into  the  best  places  with  fluency  and  ease;  but  the  ftusulty  in 
which  few  surpassed  him,  was  his  wit,  a  wit  so  genial  that  it  relieved  the  weary, 
calmed  the  resentful  and  animated  the  drowsy ;  it  drew  smiles  from  such  as  were 
the  objecu  of  it,  it  scattered  flowers  over  a  desert,  and  gave  spirit  and  vivacity  to 
the  dullest  and  least  Interesting  case.  Not  that  his  accomplishments  as  a  lawyer 
consisted  of  eloquent  language  and  volubility  of  speech  or  the  liveliness  of  raillery. 
He  was  endued  with  an  Intellect  sedate,  yet  penetrating,  clear,  profound,  subtle, 
yet  strong."  Mr.  Sibley  was  a  resident  of  Canandaigua,  out  was  identified  with 
aiid  a  member  of  our  bar.  His  practice  extended  into  almost  every  county  in 
Western  New  York.  He  commenced  his  practice  at  the  Ontario  bar  in  1819.  John 
C.  Spencer,  the  most  learned  and  able  lawyer  of  his  times,  was  then  a  lawyer  of 
Canandalgua.  He  was  Illustrious  as  reviser  of  the  statutes  of  the  state  of  New 
York— those  pandlet;s  that  through  all  innovations  and  popular  agitations  stand 
unaltered  and  firm,  like  the  pyramids,  still  liaing  the  same  point  upward  amid 
the  sands  and  whirlwinds  ol  the  desert.  With  such  an  intellect  as  Spencer's  Mark 
H.  Sibley  measured  himself  at  the  beginning  of  his  practice  Few  men  possessed 
so  much  calm  self-poNsession  under  sudden  and  unexpected  emergencies  as  Mr. 
Sibley.  As  was  said  of  James  T.  Brady,  he  could  bridge  a  non-suit  with  surprising 
facility  and  ingenuity.  He  could  withstand  the  frowns  of  the  bench  with  singular 
composure,  and  the  satire  of  an  opponent  glanced  harmlessly  from  his  invulnera- 
ble armor.  Mr.  Sibley  represented  his  county  in  the  Legislature  of  1885  and  in  18S8.  In 
1810  he  was  State  Senator.  From  1837  to  18iy  he  was  a  Representative  In  Congress. 
In  all  of  these  bodies  he  distinguished  himself  as  an  able  and  distinguished  legis- 
lator. 

JOHN   B.  SKINNKR. 

John  B.  Skinner,  as  a  forensic  orator,  had  no  equal  at  the  bar,  particularly  In 
cases  where  imagination  and  pathos  could  enter.  He  was  also  strong  In  oases 
where  severe  logic  and  dry  detail  were  used.  His  powers  of  invective  were  strong, 
and  his  sarcasm  withering,  though  he  frequently  used  his  sarcasm  In  a  manner 
that  resembled  the  grave  severity  with  which  a  Jud>;e  silences  contempt,  rather 
than  the  attack  or  defense  of  an  advocate.     Mr.  Skinner,  in  his  practice,  evinced 


AnnucU  Address  by  L.  5.  Proctor,  g 

the  power  aod  effect  of  integrity  aad  candor.  These  qaalitles  cavA  sucb  iqfluence 
wltli  eoarta  and  lariee,  that  opposins  counsel  often  complained  that  It  was  his  in- 
llaence,  not  the  Justloe  of  the  ctise,  that  rendered  him  so  successful.  On  one  ooca- 
tAon  the  Jury  retired  after  listening  to  Skinner's  summing  up.  During  their  delib- 
eration, one  of  the  Jurors  quoted  his  language.  **  That  is  not  evidence,  that  is  only 
wbat  Skinner  said/*  was  the  reply  of  another  Juror.  **  I  don't  care  if  it  is,  I  be- 
Itore  every  word  of  it,  for  nol>ody  ever  knew  him  to  lie,"  was  the  answer.  **  All 
lawyers  lie,  for  the  sake  of  their  clients,"  was  the  rctjolnder.  **  I  know  that,  but 
Mr  Skinner  don*L  and  I  am  going  to  take  what  iie  said  for  evidence,"  returned 
the  other  Juror.  Mr.  Skinner  began  his  practice  at  Wyoming,  in  1820,  then  In  the 
County  of  Genesee,  noir  in  Wyoming  County.  Here  he  continued  to  practice  until 
1855,  when  he  retired  from  the  bar  and  soon  removed  to  Buffalo,  where  he  died  in 
I87t.  Notwithstanding  his  great  fame  as  a  lawyer,  he  never  had  any  political  am- 
bition, never  made  a  stump-speech.  The  only  offices  he  ever  held  were  entirely 
aosoaght  by  him— ihev  were  tendered  to  bim  by  the  united  voice  of  the  people, 
aimoai  withont  distinction  of  party.  In  1^1X7  and  182S,  he  represented  GenesAe 
Cionnty  in  the  assembly.  In  the  month  of  May,  1846.  he  was  Hj;>polnted  first  Judge 
of  Wyeming  County  Common  Pleas,  by  Governor  Young,  under  the  provisions 
of  the  constltntlon  of  that  year,  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  was  abolished  and 
Judge  Skinner,  after  holding  his  office  one  year  retired  to  private  life,  leaving  a 
Jodietal  re«|ord  as  bright  a^  was  his  professional  fame.  In  February  1828,  he  was 
appointed  by  Martin  VanBuren.  then  Governor  of  the  state,  a  Circuit-Judge  and 
Vice-Chancel  lor  of  the  eighth  circuit,  through  the  influence  of  Hon  Henrv  R.  Sel- 
den  and  others.  When  Judge  Selden  was  advised  of  Mr.  Skinner's  appointment, 
l^arinff  that  his  native  modesty  and  dislike  of  qfficUl  nosiUon  would  prompt  him 
to  decline  the  positlon.iie  made  a  Journey  from  Kochester  to  Wyoming,  for  the  pur-* 
pose  of  inducing  Mr.  Skinner  to  accept  the  office.  "  We  started."  said  Judge  Sel- 
den, **  in  the  afternoon  of  a  cold  irlnter'n  day,  and  reached  Mr.  Skinner's  residence 
about  S  o'clock  the  next  rooming.  Calling  up  the  newly-appointed  Jndge,  we 
stated  to  him  the  object  of  our  visit.  Mr.  Skinner  listened  with  attention,  but  sig- 
nifled  to  u-<  what  wn  greatly  feared,  his  intention  to  decline  the  Judgeship.  We 
renewed  our  entreaties,  using  all  our  persuasive  powers  to  prevent  him  from  so 
dolntf .  But  all  the  encouragement  he  would  give  us  was :'  *  well,  I'll  think  of  it.' 
He  did  think  of  It."  continued  the  Judge,  "  and  in  a  day  or  two  after  our  return  to 
Rochester  we  had  the  pleasure  of  seeing  a  letter  from  him  In  a  newspaper  declin- 
ing the  office  we  had  taken  so  much  pains  to  obtain  for  him."  Mr.  Skinner  was 
tor  many  years  a  member  of  the  Presbyterian  church,  yet  he  ever  recognised  a 
aphereor  Christian  activity  outside  his  own  ohnhsh,  his  own  denomination;  was 
always  the  friend  of  the  great  cause  of  Christian  benevolence.  Judged  always  by 
hlmaelf  as  to  their  utility.  He  disliked  all  display  of  religious  sensibility,  yet 
when  its  manifestations  were  gennlne  and  appropriate,  no  heart  more  warmly 
responded  to  it  than  his  own.  Finally,  without  fear  of  contradiction,  I  can  say 
thai  John  B.  Skinner  was  a  model  character  as  a  lawyer  and  a  man.  He  proved 
this  not  only  in  life,  but  in  htsdeath,  vindicating  the  saying  of  antiquity,  "Call 
no  man  fortunate  until  you  see  how  hp  dies." 

GEORGE    HOSMER. 

One  of  the  most  aeoompUshed  members  of  the  Livingston  bar  was  George 
Hosmer.  He  was  fbr  many  years  its  acknowledged  leader  and  Justly  regarded  as 
one  of  the  most  eminent  of  his  profession  in  Western  New  York.  To  his  many 
(Atnlngand  attractive  qualities,  I  may  Justly  add  that  he  was  a  ready,  ingenious, 
and,  at  times,  impressive  speaker,  possessing  a  strong,  rich,  clear  and  sonorou<« 
volee.  At  the  bar,  and  in  social  intertourse,  he  was  polished,  easy  and  familiar. 
His  person  was  slightly  below  the  medium  height,  but  well  formed.  If,  however, 
Dyibing  ocoorred  to  Irritate  him.  he  was  Irascible,  hasty  and  harsh.  He  had 
1  at  his  command,  ready  fbr  instant  use  when  occasion  required.     In  his 


[ 


haada  It  was  a  keen,  piercing,  flashing  weapon,  worn  with  ease,  and  subordinate 
tojndgment,  discretion  and  a  strong  sense  or  right  and  Justice.  Meanness,  treach- 
ery, fraod  and  deceit,  when  touched  by  it,  shrunk  and  withered  into  their  natural 
datormlty.  or  fied  before  it  like  guilty  things.  Few  men  possessed  a  more  thor- 
ODsh  practical  knowledge  of  law  than  George  Hosmer.  He  seemed  to  be  thor- 
cn^fy  imbued  with  the  spirit  of  that  great  lesal  commentator  who  said,  "  Law  is 
tbesdence  which  inculcates  the  difference  between  right  and  wrons,  which  ena- 
bles us  to  assert  the  one  and  to  prevent,  punish  or  redress  the  other."  He  was 
also  a  finished  classical  scholar,  accomplished  in  the  study  of  belles  tettres.  Through 
bis  long  career  at  the  bar  he  relieved  his  professional  labors  by  extensive  literary  , 
and  scientific  reading.  He  was  a  close  student  of  England's  great  poets— the  hon- 
est manliness,  keen  wit  and  pleasing  humor  of  Pope;  the algnifled  and  solemn 
utterances  of  Young;  that  noblest  monument  of  human  genius,  Paradise  Lost; 
tbelntoltivesagacity,  keen  appreciation  of  line  and  vivid  picture  of  the  passions, 
which  appear  on  the  pasres  of  Shakespeare;  the  fTeshnesStVlgor  and  beauty  of 
rural  life  which  the  powerful  pen  of  Thompson  describes.  With  works  like  these, 
he  refreshed  his  Intellect^refined  his  views  of  life,  keeping  unquenched  the  enthu- 
siasm that  warmed  the  springtime  of  his  life.  George  Hosmer  was  born  at  Farm- 
logton.  Conn.,  August  80th,  1781.  His  father  was  Dr.  Timothy  Hosmer,  a  man  of 
fine  education,  rare  talents,  and  a  nicely  balanced  sense  of  honor.  When  Oliver 
Phelps  removed  to  Canandalgua  Dr.  Hosmer  and  his  family  accompanied  him. 
In  toe  year  1798  Ontario  county  was  formed,  and  Mr.  Phelps  was  appointed 
sreskllD|r  Jndge  of  lu  Court  of  Common  Pleas.  But  as  his  extended  duties  as  a 
umd-lioider  prevented  his  discharging  the  duties  of  a  Judge,  he  resigned  and  Tim- 
dlliy  Hosmer  was  appointed  In  his  place,  and  he  presided  at  thefirstjury  trial  that 
enft  oeoorred  in  a  couri  of  record  in  Ontario  county.    Although  Judge  Hos^r 


lo  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

was  not  bred  to  the  bar.  bnt  a  physloUm  and  sorgeon  by  oooapatlon,  he  was  realty 
one  of  the  ablest  Jadlclal  ofllclals  of  bin  day.  holdlDK  tbe  scales  of  lustioe  with  a 
flrm  and  steady  band.    His  great  sagacity,  his  firmness,  bis  plain,  outspoken  hon- 
esty, bis  keen  sense  of  Justice  and  the  stralgbtforward  manner  in  wnicb  head- 
ministered  it,  rendered  nim  very  popular  with  the  bar  and  tbe  public    It  was  a 
lavorite  maxim  of  bis  tbat  Justice  and  common  sense  go  band  in  hand,  thai  com- 
mon sense  is  tbe  foundation  of  law,  tbat  lawyers,  with  their  tiulrks,  quiddities  and 
sharp  points  are  always  tryluK  to  see  how  far  apart  they  can  get  law  and  common 
sense.    **  Bnt  for  my  part,*"  be  would  say,  **  1  mean  to  keep  them  together,  not- 
withstanding tbe  lawyers."    After  finishing  his  elaasical  education,  Qeorge  Hoa- 
mer  entered  the  oflSce  of  Hon.  N.  W.  Howell  of  Oanandalgua,  a  distlngnlsbed  pio- 
neer lawyer,  whose  life  and  professional  career  adorned  the  ba**  for  many  yearn. 
After  his  admission  to  tbe  bar  young  Hosmer  practiced  a  short  time  at  Oinandai- 
gua.     His  first  case  after  his  admission  to  the  bar  was  tried  at  a  term  of  the  Onta- 
rio Common  Pleas,  and  his  father.  Judge  Timothy  Hosmer,  presided.    Tbe  old 
Judge  did  not  fhliy  appreciate  the  new  dignity  bis  son  had  a'*quired  as  a  oouusel- 
inr  At.  inw  An«i  fhiiy  sensible  Of  hls  own  dignity  and  Importance,  proposed  to 
B  **  boy,"  as  he  called  his  son.     When  the  young  lawyer  was 
volving  the  admissibility  of  certain  evidence  that  had  been 
ing  counsel,  the  JudKe  interrupted  him,  saying  with  some 
ou  are  wrong."    **  I  think  not,  I  believe  I  understand  myself 
»k  at  the  point  in  this  light,"  and  the  young  man  proceeded 
Ion  in  that  light.     "  That  won't  do,  George,"  said  the  Judge, 
ou  don't  comprehend  the  question  at  all.^'     **  I  think  tbat  Is 
with  the  Ooim,"  said  Qeorge.    **8it  down,  sir  I"  thundered 
beyed:  but  true  to  the  Instincts  of  bis  profession,  he  was  on 
loment.     "What  do  you  mean,  sir?  do  you  think  you  can 
r"  roared  the  Judge,  who  was  now  rapidly  losing  bis  temper, 
ind  to  trifle  with  this  Court,  but  I  am  determined  to  try  this 
understand  that  I  am  Qeorge  Hosmer,  Esq.,  Attorney  and 
id  that  you  are  nothing  but  a  Judge  I"   1  he  astonishment  of 
bounds;   for  a  moment  he  lookedupon  his  son.  Incapable  of 
ot  be  seemed  utterly  confounded.    Finally  he  recoveredhlm- 
on,  sir ;  you  have  two  excellent  qualities  for  a  lawyer     You 
ice  of  your  fore&thers,  and  brass  enough  to  carry  it  out." 
After  this  Judicial  skirmish  the  young  lawyer  proceeded  with  his  case  without  in- 
terruption.    In  the  year  1806  Mr.  Hosmer  removed  to  Avon.  N.  Y.,  where  he  soon 
took  a  leading  position  as  a  lawyer,  his  retainers  extending  Into  all  the  adjoining 
counties.    In  the  year  1821,  when  Livingston  county  was  founded,  he  was  appoint- 
ed its  first  District  Attorney,  Moses  Hayden  was  appointed  for  first  Judge,  Jamea 
Oanson  County  Clerk,  Gideon  T.  Jlnklns  Sheriff,  and  James  Rosbrougb  Surrogate. 
Mr.  Hosmer  discharged  the  duties  of  his  ofiSce  until  1824,  when  he  was  succeeded 
by  that  able,  accomplished,  learned  lawyer  and  pure  dtisen,  Orlando  Hastings, 
who  was  then  In  practice  at  Gtoneseo,  and  subsequently  an  eminent  member  of 
the  Monroe  bar.     Though  a  District  Attorney  occupies  a  place  where  he  is  against 
tbe  bar  and  the  bar  against  him— a  sort  of  ofllelal  Isbmaellte— Mr.  Hosmer  was 
peculiarly  qualified  for  the  place  he  occupied.    He  brought  to  It  much  vigor  of 
mind  and  grasp  of  thought.     He  drew  that  most  difllcult  and  technical  document 
known  to  Taw— an  Indictment— with  surprising  strength  and  correctness.     Often 
bis  case  would  be  apparently  shattered  under  ponderous  blows  of  some  able  law- 
yer for  the  defense,  but  be  would  gather  it  up,  condense  and  correct  it,  and  proceed 
in  most  cases  with  success.     One  day  when  Hosmer  had  made  a  powerful  and 
eloquent  address  to  tbe  Jury  in  a  criminal  case  of  great  importance,  he  was  accost- 
ed while  on  his  way  to  thehotel  by  a  Ikrmer  living  In  the  town  of  York,  who  said, 
**  Mr.  Hosmer,  I  would  like  to  speak  a  word  with  you."    **  Proceed,'*  was  tbe  reply. 
**  I  have  a  boy.  'Squire,  whom  I  want  you  to  take  and  make  a  lawyer  of."     How 
old  Is  he  r"  asked  Hosmer.    **  About  eighteen,  stout  and  my  ged ;  he's  got  a  pair  of 
lungs  like  a  blacksmith's  bellows  and  he  can  talk  forever."  said  the  man,    ^*  That 
Is  very  well  as  far  as  it  goes.    Has  he  any  other  qualsflcatlon  t"  asked  the  lawyer. 
'*  Yes,  sir,  I  guess  he  has  got  the  greatest  qualification  In  the  world  for  a  tip-top 
lawyer,"  was  the  reply.     **  what  Is  that?"  asked  Hosmer.    **  Why,  heavens  and 
earth  I  he's  the  confoundedest  Uar  In  the  who*e  town  of  York.    Nobody  pretends  to 
believe  what  he  says.    Now  If  that  ain't  a  big  qualification  for  a  lawyer  I  am  no 
Judge.     I  thought  when  I  heard  yon  In  the  court  house  Just  now  that  it  wouldn't 
take  my  son  a  great  while  to  come  up  to  you,  Mr.  Hosmer."     Hosmer  assured  the 
man  that  bis  qualifications  might  soon  bring  him  to  the  bar  in  a  way  that  might 
not  be  so  pleasing  to  him,  and  passed  on.     The  political  arena  never  had  any  at- 
tractions for  Mr.  Hosmer,  but  in  the  autumn  of  1823  he  was  elected  Member  of 
Assembly  itom.  Livingston  county.     He  entered  upon  his  legislative  duties  Janu- 
ary 6th,  1824.     He  was  honored  with  the  position  of  Chairman  ot  tbe  Judiciary 
Committee— a  position  which  he  adorned  by  bis  rare  qualifications.    His  legislat- 
ive career  terminated  with  the  close  of  the  year  1824.     In  May,  1824,  Orlando  Has- 
tings relinquished  his  duties  as  District  Attorney,  and  Mr.  Hosmer  was  Immedi- 
ately re-appointed  in  his  plsce.    He  dlBcbarged  the  duties  of  tbe  office  twelve  suc- 
cessive years— down  to  January  20th,  1886,  when  he  was  succeeded  by  George  Has- 
tings.    When,  in  1826,  William  Morgan  was  abducted,  and  was  alleged  murdered 
by  the  Masons  for  his  dastardly  revelation  of  the  secrets  of  the  order,  the  courts  in 
Western  New  York  were,  for  several  years,  burdened  with  prosecutions  bronsbt 
against  his  alleged  murderers.     In  this  exciting  field  of  litigation— a  field  that 
summoned  to  it  the  ablest  lawyers  In  tbe  state-the  legal  abilities  and  forensic 
eloquence  of  George  Hosmer  shone  out  with  peculiar  splendor.     He  continued  to 
practice  at  the  bar  actively  until  old  age  fell  upon  him.     Always  honored,  always 
held  in  high  esteem  by  tbe  bench  and  the  bar,  and  when  finally  be  left  that  arena 
where  he  had  so  long  and  successfully— may  I  not  say  brilliantly  contended  ?— he 


Annual  Address  by  L.  B.  Proct^,  1 1 


( regMided  as  a  legal  gladiator,  retstiDg  beneatb  his  panoply.    Mr.  Hoamer  died 
—  .heWihyaarof  hisage.M      •    —   ^  ~  •  -  ^ 

ter.  Mra.  WelU.of  that  city. 


in  theWihVaar  of  his  a^,  March,  1881,  at  Chicago,  while  on  a  visit  to  his  dangh- 


DUDLKY   MARVIN. 

Few  members  of  the  Livingston  bar,  or  the  bar  of  Western  New  York  have 
won  a  more  vivid  remembrance  than  Ondley  Marvin.  Like  Mr.  Sibley.  Marvin 
was  a  member  of  the  Ontario  oonntv  bar,  bai  when  the  Livingston  bar  was  formed 
he  signed  Its  roll  and  became  one  of  its  members.  He  was  in  every  sense  of  the 
wora  a  jnry  lawyer,  possessing,  in  a  sarprising  degree,  the  power  to  sway  tbe 
emottons,  notonly  of  tbe  Jnry  bat  the  popular  assembly ;  he  was  also  one  of  the 
wita  ofthe  bar.  As  was  said  of  Canning,  *^He  gained  more  triumphs  and  incurred 
more  enmity  by  the  nse  of  his  wit  than  any  other  manner  at  tbe  bar. '  He  was 
geoermlly  dfgnlfled  and  courteons,  tbongh,  when  ruffled  or  displeased  he  was  un- 
civil, coarse  and  rough.  His  extreme  subtlety  of  observation,  and  knowledge  of 
human  nature,  rendered  him  powerful  and  searching  in  the  examination  of  wit- 
ncwca>  He  wfte  often  an  opponent  of  John  C.  Spencer  at  tbe  bar.  Tbe  latter,  it  is 
known,  was  stern,  severe  and  sometimes  cynical  in  his  bearing  toward  his  oppo- 
nents—too  dignified  and  impressive  to  indulge  in  any  humor  or  pleai*antry.  In 
■aany  tbingshe  was  more  than  a  match  for  Marvin.  But  he  always  dreaded  the 
brigbt,  piming  satire  of  the  latter— a  weapon  which  he  never  failed  to  use  when 
SpMieer,  as  he  often  did.  impaled  him  on  some  sharp  legal  spike.  On  one  occa- 
sloii,  daring  a  fierce  legal  contest,  in  which  Spencer  was  last  gaining  the  advan- 
tage. BCarvin  asserted  a .  proposition  wbich  he  said  could  not  be  doubted.  **  I 
doabt  it."  said  Spencer,  wltb  an  expressive  shake  of  the  head,  **  I  doubt  It,  sir." 
**  It  ean  not  be  possible,^*  said  Marvin.  ^  I  doubt  It,  I  sav,  did  you  not  understand 
me,  sir?**  *^  Yes,  sir,  I  understand  you  to  say  you  doubt  my  law,"  said  Marvin. 
**  I  said  so,  air,*'  answered  Spencer  sharply.  **  well,  then,  your  flbte  is  inevitable, 
it  to  sealed/'  said  Marvin.  **  What  do  you  mean,  sir  7"  asked  Spencer  in  some  sur- 
prtae.  **  Why,  those  who  doubt  sball  be  damned,'*  was  tbe  quiet  reply.  The  deep 
fluati  Uiat  mounted  the  cbeek  of  Spencer  told  that  the  shaft  had  taken  elTect. 
Marvin  was  one  of  those  lawyers  who  had  little  faith  in  trials  by  Juries.  In  vindi- 
cation of  bis  views  be  was  in  tbe  habit  of  relating  instances  of  the  want  of  sagacity 
and  penetration  in  Jurors,  one  of  which  was  tbe  following:  '*  1  once"  said  he. 
"nodertook  thedetense  of  a  physician  chaiged  with  assault  and  battery  upon  a 
woman  in  trance  who  went  sailing  around  the  exhibition  room  singing,  in  a 
sheimber  from  wbich  no  one  could  awaken  her.  The  Doctor  thought  be  could  do 
ft,  and  quickly  applied  some  Cayenne  pepper  to  her  nostrils.  She  awoke,  and  %D<t» 
wide  awake,  and  being  a  very  strong  and  powerfhl  woman,  she  proceeded  to  give 
the  good  Doctor  a  tremendous  thrashing,  and  then  brought  an  action  against  nlm 
fbr  burning  her  with  pepper.  The  Jury  retired  and  were  out  the  greater  part  of 
tbe  night,  They  ail  agreed  upon  a  verdict  of  six  cents  for  the  plaintiff;  except  one 
man.  He  would  neither  agree,  nor  give  any  reason  why  he  would  not  agree.  At 
last  one  of  the  Jurorsasked  him  to  tell  him  confidentially  why  he  refused  to  Join 
in  tbe  verdict.  '  I  will  tell  you.'  said  he.  *  Did  you  see  that  Doctor  all  through 
tiM  yrlal  have  in  his  hand  a  gold  headed  cane,  with  which  he  was  knocking  bis 
^talrr  *  I  did,'  said  his  fellow  Juror.  *  Now,'  said  the  obstinate  one,  *  I  will  never 
ftve  a  verdict  Ibr  a  man  who  comes  into  court,  especially  a  Doctor,  with  a  gold 
leaded  cane,  more  especially  if  he  keeps  knocking  it  against  his  chair,  as  that 
Bootor  did,  and  I'll  give  a  large  verdict  against  him.^  *  Well,'  said  the  other  Juror, 
*  fhat  la  my  sentiment,  exactly;  but  suppose.  Instead  of  tbe  cane's  having  a  gold 
head.  It  should  turn  out  to  be  only  brass,  what  would  you  say  then  V  *  Oh,  I 
WOQid  agree  upon  a  verdict  of  six  cents,  at  once.'  *  Well,'  said  the  other  luror,  *  I 
am  a  brass  founder,  and  did  not  like  the  ostentatious  display  of  the  gold  headed 
eane,  and  meant  to  beat  him  on  that  account,  but,  during  tbe  trial,  I  had  a  chanre 
to  examine  the  cane,  and  iu  head  is  brass  ana  no  mistake.'  It  Is  needless  to  add," 
Hdd  Marvin,  **  that  the  intelUgerU  Jury  immediately  agreed  upon  a  verdict  in  tbe 
Doctor's  Ihvor."  Mr.  Marvin  was  a  representative  in  Congress  in  1824,  25.  27.  2S),  47 
and  40.  He  closed  bis  professional  career  in  the  city  of  New  York.  He  died  In 
Jane,  1866. 

JARED  WILSON. 

Jared  Wilson  was  another  eminent  member  of  tbe  bar.  He  was  a  lawyer  in 
the  severest  acceptation  of  the  term,  making  no  pretension  to  eloquence,  yet  in 
tbe  true  sense  of  the  word,  truly  eloquent,  for  he  was  convincing.  He  was  per- 
haps the  ablest  legal  debater  at  the  bar  of  Western  New  York.  He  possessed  that 
knowledge  of  law.  that  acquaintance  with  precedent,  and  all  rules  of  evidence- 
that  ready  use  of  all  his  faculties  that  enabled  him  to  meet  every  question  where 
be  fbund  it,  to  granpie  with  an  antagonist  at  a  moment's  warning  and  to  avail 
himself  of  every  advantage  which  springs  from  a  perfect  command  of  all  his  pow- 
ers and  resources.  Mr.  Wilson  was  also  a  resident  of  Canandalgua,  and  was  in  full 
practice  when  the  Livingston  bar  was  organized,  and  was  one  of  tbe  earliest  sign- 
ers of  Its  roll.  Hon.  E.  G.  Lapharo,  our  distinguished  and  honored  Member  of 
OoDgress,  now  standing  at  the  head  of  the  bar  or  Western  New  York,  completed 
his  legal  education  in  the  office  of  Mr.  Wilson. 

JOHN  BALDW^IN. 

John  Baldwin,  distinguished  throughout  the  state  for  his  wit  and  humor,  as 

weir  as  legal  ability,  began  his  practice  at  Moscow,  Livingston  county,  in  the  year 

1881,     He  was  an  acc«>mpll8hed  lawyer,  but  his  accomplishments  were  often  lost 

-  IB  the  buffoon.    And  yet,  if  his  wit  sometimes  descended  to  coarseness.  If  it  was  at 

a  tarnished  weapon,  the  public  excused  htm  for  his  coarseness— even  his 


12  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

vulgarity  was  like  tbeoffliil  and  rubbish  that  sometimes  surrouud  Uie  claasloool- 
umn,  which  rises  above  all  In  g^randeur  and  beauty.  His  ecoentrloiUefl  increased 
with  the  lapse  of  tlme»  until  his  fine  mind,  like  a  tangled  chain,  with  polished 
links,  glittered  In  brilliant  confusion.  With  all  his  fttulu,  Mr.  Baldwin's  wit  and 
humor  was  marked  with  so  much  irood  nature,  that  it  was  always  admirable.  He 
fUlly  exemplified  the  description  of  wit  and  humor  given  by  an  elegant  writer : 
'*  Wit  laughs  at  things ;  humor  laughs  with  them;  witlashes  external  appearaoces 
or  cunningly  exaggerates  single  foibles;  humor  glides  into  the  heart  of  lU  object, 
looks  lovingly  on  the  infirmities  it  delect«,  and  it  represents  the  whole  man;  wit 
is  abrupt,  darting,  scornful,  and  tosses  its  ahalogies  Into  your  face;  humor  is  more 
slow  and  sly,  insinuating  its  fun  into  the  heart.'*  There  were  occasions  when 
Baldwin's  wit  and  humor  would  keep  the  court  room  in  a  roar  of  laughter,  wblob 
the  Judges  themselves  could  not  refrain  trom  Joining.  He  could  asKume  a  itolemn, 
impressive  manner,  when  the  soectatorH  were  convulsed  with  'augbter  at  some 
sally  of  his  wit,  but  such  laughter  seemed  to  intensify  the  gravity  of  his  counte- 
nance; he  would,  perhaps,  Mt  such  times,  be  the  only  one  In  the  court  room  who 
wore  a  serious  flace.  Judge  Robert  Monell,  whose  long  and  distinguished  ludlclal 
career  has  given  him  a  memorable  place  In  legal  history,  once  said,  **  Baldwin,  in 
the  trial  of  a  certain  class  of  cases^lll  provoke  more  laughter  than  the  best  come- 
dian I  ever  saw  on  the  stage,  ue  is  both  a  genteel  and  low  legal  comedian;  a 
Chesterfield  and  a  boor.  He  can  be  eloquent,  Togtoal  and  convincing,  and  then  he 
can  carry  his  point  by  wit,  sarcasm,  and.  If  need  l>e.  by  swaggering  abuse.  He 
carries  all  kinds  of  intellectual  weapons,  from  a  cudgel  to  the  finest  and  roost  pol- 
ished rapier,  the  Damascus  bladed  poniard,  and  the  sdmeter  of  Saladln."  Bald- 
win's attendance  upon  a  circuit  court  was  always  regarded  as  an  event  of  great 
interest  to  all  classes.  The  anecdotes  related  of  him  are  almost  endless,  and  will 
never  be  forgotten.  He  was  several  years  a  resident  of  Dansville.  In  the  year  18S5 
he  removed  to  Hornellsville  and  became  a  partner  of  the  late  Judge  Hawley.  For 
some  reason  he  never  liked  Hornellsville.  never  ceased.  If  occasion  required,  to 

ave  it  a  sarcastic  hit.  It  Is  related  of  him  that  on  one  occasion  he  was  at  break- 
Bt  at  a  hotel  in  Blmira,  where  he  was  attending  court.  A  lawyer  at  the  table 
said,  '*Mr.  Baldwin,  how  are  matters  at  Hornellsville,  now?"  **Oh,  about  as 
usual,  some  improvement,  I  guess,"  was  the  reply.    **  I  learn," said  the  gentlemao. 


that  the  village  is  Improving  in  every  respect,  is  it  so?"  **  Oh,  yes,  it  is  improv* 
.  jg  very  rapidly,  very,  very ;  it  h  is  improved  so  much  that  it  has  got  to  be  almost 
as  good  as  hell,  which  is  only  sixteen  feet  below  it«"    Baldwin's  singular  and 


amusing  escape  ft*om  arrest  for  contempt  upon  an  Allegany  Justice  of  the  peace, 
before  wiiom  he  was  trying  a  cause,  exhibits  one  phase  of  his  character.  The  Jus- 
tice had  decided  to  commit  him  to  Jail  at  Angelica,  and  proceeded  to  draw  the 
mittimus  or  warrant.  The  oflRBudLig  lawyer  watchi'd  him  with  the  most  intense 
interest,  until  the  dreaded  instrument  was  completed,  when  he  suddenly  seized  a 
large  inkstand  standing  on  the  table,  full  of  ink.  and  turned  it  on  the  paper,  oblit- 
erating every  letter  upon  it.  **  There,"  said  Baldwin,  **  give  that  to  the  Constable 
and  see  If  he'll  know  what  to  do  with  it."  It  was  nearly  night,  and  Baldwin, 
mounting  his  horse,  rode  away.  But  the  animal  was  slow,  somewhat  lame,  and 
the  county  line  was  ten  miles  distant.  The  lawyer  made  the  best  speed  be  could 
to  reach  this  goal  of  safety.  But  when  be  was  within  a  mile  of  it  be  beard  the 
Constable  with  the  mittimus,  riding  rapidly  toward  him.     Escape  was  now  im- 

Sosslble,  and  vlslonw  of  dungeons  and  grated  doors  turning  on  their  rnsty  hinges 
oated  before  him.  He  was  not  the  man,  however,  to  yield  easily  to  his  fate.  He 
came  to  a  sudden  halt,  wheeled  his  horse  and  Ihoed  his  pursuer.  The  moon  was 
shining  brightly,  and  both  men  had  a  fair  view  of  each  other.  **  What  do  you 
want,  sir?"  roared  Baldwin  as  the  oflBcer  was  nearing  him.  *'  You  must  go  to  Jail. 
Mr.  Baldwin,  I  have  the  papers  to  take  yon  there,"  said  the  officer.  *^ Never! 
keep otr,  you  villain,  touch  me  and  you  die!"  thundered  Baldwin ;  then  thrust- 
ing nis  hand  into  his  pocket  he  suddenly  drew  one  of  those  long,  bright  brass-cased 
inkstands  used  in  that  day.  The  moonbeams  fell  upon  it,  giving  it  the  appearance 
of  a  very  deadly  looking  pistol.    As  he  drew  it  trova.  his  pocket,  ne  gave  It  a  quick 

ierk,  causing  it  to  dick  like  the  cocking  of  a  pistol.  At  the  sight  of  this  the  officer 
lalted.  **Sund  ofT,  I  tell  you,  or  I'll  blow  a  bole  through  you  in  a  second."  **  Oh, 
Mr.  Baldwin,  don't  pint  your  pistol  this  way,  don't,  your  hand  trembles  and  It 
may  go  off  and  kill  me,"  cried  the  officer  in  terror.  **  Qo  ofT?  of  course  It  will  go 
otr.  It  was  made  to  go  off  and  kill  such  scoundrels  as  you  are,  following  honest 
m^  with  your  Allegany  county  warrants,  that  are  not  worth  the  paper  Cney  are 
written  on.  Leave  me,  I  say,  or  by  the  heavens  above  us,  you'll  be  a  corpse  In  a 
minute,"  said  Baldwin.  This  was  enough.  The  next  instant  the  officer  was  gal- 
loping homeward  as  fast  as  his  horse  could  carry  him,  at  first  expecting  to  hear  a 
bullet  ftrom  Baldwin's  pistol  whizzing  after  him.  Baldwin  rode  aaJely  home, 
thinking  as  he  used  to  say,  **  that  Inkstands  were  my  especial  protectors  that 
night"  Mr.  Baldwin  died  at  Almond,  N.  Y.,  In  18iS,  at  an  advanced  age.  When 
John  Baldwin  was  in  the  zenith  of  his  career,  the  star  of  two  other  distinguished 
lawyers  appeared  in  the  legal  horizon,  and  began  their  ascendent  course.  One  of 
them  was  a  member  of  our  bar,  the  other  often  appeared  there.  One  of  them  was 
Martin  Qrover,  the  other  Luther  O.  Peck. 

MARTIN  GROVER. 

The  name  of  the  former  never  appeared  on  the  roll  of  our  bar,  though  he  was 
fk>equently  a  contestant  there.  Mr.  Peck  began  his  practice  at  the  Allecany  bar  a 
short  time  before  Qrover  became  a  member  of  it.  No  two  men  ever  dlflTered  more 
widelythan  these  really  great  lawyers.  They  appeared  at  the  bar  as  rival  gladia- 
tors. They  opposed  each  other  in  the  political  arena,  one  as  the  leader  of  the  whig 
party,  the  other  was  considered  a  dictator  in  the  democratic  party.  Their  oppo^ 
iion  In  both  places  was  Intensified  by  a  hatred  that  knew  no  bounds.    Both  Mtain- 


Annual  Address  by  L.  B,  Proctor,  1 3 

ed  tbe  hfgheai  poliileal  and  legal  honors,  both  were  dlstlDgalshed  in  the  natiooal 
l^fislatore.  Grover  won  high  honors  as  a  iadlclal  officer  on  the  bench  of  the  Sn- 
preme  Goart  and  the  Court  of  Appeals.  Many  of  my  audience  have,  doubtless. 
ffe«n  that  striking  picture  **  Fashion  and  Famine,'*  where  the  keen  exempliflca- 
Uon  of  contrasts  Is  so  vividly  given.  But  this  picture  is  scarcely  less  startling  than 
tlie  contrast  between  Martin  Orover^n  attire  and  his  almost  majestic  Intellect. 
Tbe  one  was  admirable,  the  other- what  shall  I  Fay  of  It?— it  was  nearly  allied  to 
aqoalor.  And  yet  as  I  have  said  on  another  occasion,  he  was  intellect  in  Its  am- 
plitude, eloqnence  almost  in  Its  perfection.  talenU  in  their  affluence,  mind  in  its 
irinmpns.  He  was  one  of  the  most  formidable  opponents  that  ever  stood  at  the 
bar.  Yon  could  do  nothing  with  him,— make  no  calculations  for  him,— could 
never  tell  in  what  manner  or  where  his  blows  would  tail,  or  where  his  point  of 
attack  would  be.  As  a  Judge  his  character  rested  **  on  a  granite  bose.'*  An  inflex  • 
fble  independence  kept  guard  over  his  Intellect.  He  had  strong  partisan  feeling, 
and  bitter  political  prejudices.  But,  In  the  discharge  of  his  Judicial  duties,  party, 
politics  and  niends,  were  alike  forgotten.  His  Integrity  was  never  called  in  ques- 
tion in  his  public  or  private  relations.  And  yet,  his  career  as  a  trial  or  nUi  prius 
Judge  was  f^requently  criticised  by  counsel,  who,  to 'use  his  own  language,  when 
ihey  got  beat,  **  would  either  appeal,  or  go  down  to  the  hotel  and  swear  at  the 
CoujrL*'  In  his  early  years.  Judge  Qrover  was  careless  In  his  dress,  as  we  have 
alraady  stated,  but  after  his  election  to  Ck>ngress,  and  his  elevation  to  the  bench 
he  dressed  with  scrupulous  care  and  taste. 

LUTHER  G.  PECK. 

I^uther  C.  Peck  to  whom  I  have  already  referred,  like  Martin  Qrover  was  the 
artificer  of  his  own  fortune  and  fkme.  The  world  upon  which  he  first  opened  his 
eyes  was  stem  and  bleak  lo  him,  and  no  where  in  all  his  Jour..ey  through  it  did 
any  green  and  beautiful  thins  gladden  bis  sight  which  his  own  handsdld  not  plant, 
hlaown  industry  water,  and  his  energy  sustain.  Tbe  flowers  that  bloomed  in  his 
pathway,  and  there  were  many,  were  no  exotics,  they  were  natives  of  his  own  soil, 
beautifbl  In  the  sanctities  of  his  own  domestic  home.  **He  gained  success  fkx>m  the 
very  Jaws  of  adversity,  and  he  was  fitted  for  the  work  of  his  life  lust  as  the  right 
arm  of  the  artisan  grows  strong  through  the  very  blows  it  strikes.'^  Mr.  Peck  pos- 
sessed many  scholarly  attainments.  In  his  early  years  he  was  a  student  at  the 
Wyoming  academy,  obtaining  means  to  defray  his  expenses  by  teaching  and 
during  his  whole  life  he  submitted  to  the  most  laborious  private  study.  In  bis 
youth,  with  but  little  to  make  life  genial,  he  drew  genius  fW>m  its  citadels  in  books 
and  libraries,  and  made  it  his  playmate  and  companion.  In  this  way  he  acquired 
a  keen  appreciation  of  literary  t>eauty  and  finish,  a  command  of  language,  the  mas- 
ter of  style  so  terse  and  vigorous  that,  like  Swift,  **  he  could  put  upon  our  English 
tongue  its  keenest  edge.*'  •*The  principles  of  things,"  says  Dr.  South,  *Mie  in  a  very 
small  oompass  If  the  mind  can  be  so  fortunate  as  toonce  light  upon  them."  It  was 
the  felicity  of  Mr.  Peck's  mind  tbat  he  lighted  with  such  ease  upon  the  principle  of 
things,  that  he  applied  them  so  readily  and  that  he  conveyed  them  so  forcibly  to 
the  minds  of  others.  In  person  Mr.  Peck  was  tall  and  commanding.  He  dressed 
with  a  taste  that  exhibited  the  true  gentleman.  There  was  a  severity  in  his  man-  . 
ner  tbat  repelled  strangers  and  gave  terrible  force  to  his  irony  and  invective. 
Among  his  mults  was  his  uncompromising  prejudice  and  the  bitterness  with  which 
be  exercised  it  But  it  was  relieved  by  an  honesty  almost  crystalline  in  its  nai  ure 
aod  practice.  He  was  no  politician.  He  hated  political  thimble  riggers,  as  he  called 
the  managers  of  caucuses  and  conventions,  with  an  unmitigated  hatred,  and  he 
had  reason  for  his  hatred.  In  the  fhll  of  1855,  at  a  Judicial  convention  held  at  Can- 
andalgua,  he  was  fairly  nominated  asa  candidate  for  a  Judge  of  the  Supreme  Court, 
but  through  some  adroit  movementof  Benjamin  P.  Harwood.  as  he  alleged,  he  was 
manipulated  out  of  the  nomination,  and  a  nomination  was  then  equivalent  to  an 
election.  Mr.  Peck  represented  the  Thirtieth  Congressional  district,  consisting  of 
Allegany  and  Livingston  counties.  In  the  25th  and  26th  Congress,  with  marked 
ability.  His  Congressional  career  extended  flrom  1887  to  1841.  This  was  the  only 
official  position  he  ever  held.  As  a  lawyer  Mr.  Peck  was  always  at  his  post,  always 
prepared.  As  a  speaker  at  the  bar  he  was  animated,  argumentative,  often  impres- 
sive. Force  and  strength  were  striking  attributes  in  his  character.  He  knew  noth- 
luf  of  the  leaal  skirmish,  nothing  of  the  plans  and  plots  by  which  one  lawyeroflen 
entraps  another.  He  moved  right  on  in  his  course  with  resistless  force.  Irony,  bit- 
tar  and  galling,  was  always  ready  at  his  command,  and  his  sarcasm  rendered  him 
a  dreaded  opponent.  He  sometimes  assumed  the  duties  of  a  public  prosecutor  In 
great  criminal  cases.  In  this  sphere  he  was  often  terrible ;  so  terrible  that  on  one 
ooeaslon,  the  trial  of  Ewalt,  one  of  the  Jury  afterwards  remarked:  **If  I  am  ever 
tried  for  a  crime  I  should  dread  Luther  C.  Peck's  denunciations,  if  he  should  be 
against  me,  more  than  a  conviction.'*  His  self-confidence,  admirable  enough  when 
he  was  right,  was  no  less  unmistakable  and  glittering  when  he  was  wrong. 

ORLANDO  HASTINGS. 

This  distinguished  lawyer,  pure  citizen  and  Christian  gentlemen  was  for  over 
thirty  years  regarded  as  the  Nestor  of  the  bar.  His  assured  position  and  high 
standing  during  that  time  was  woven  into  the  very  framework  of  the  legal  organ- 
laatloD  of  Monroe  and  Livingston  counties.  He  gained  this  in  the  thee  of  sharp 
rlvalHea,  by  hard  mental  labor  and  by  superior  talent.  The  secret  of  his  success 
lay  In  his  dear  intellecctual  perception  of  truth,  aided,  guided  perhaps  I  should 
laj.  by  an  equally  cl^ar  moral  perception  of  truth.  It  resided  in  a  great  measure 
tn  th^  fliollity  with  which  he  could  apply  principles  to  fhcts  as  they  presented  them- 
artTM.  It  resided  In  his  power  of  conveying  to  the  minds  of  others  the  precise  idea 
Ilui4  iBflT  Id  his  own  mind.    If  eloquence  Is  the  power  of  transmitting  our  own 


14  Uvingstoft  County  Historical  Society, 

thoughts  to  others,  if  it  is  the  power  to  bring  oonvlcUon  in  the  minds  of  others, 
then  Orlando  Hastings  was  indeed  an  eloquent  man.  There  was  nt>thlng  ornate 
in  his  arguments.  There  was  a  certain  lack  of  style  in  them,  which  was  more  vig- 
orous than  style.  They  partook  of  the  character  of  their  author,  characterised  by 
modesty  and  simplicity,  and  presided  over  by  an  unconquerable  honesty.  He  was 
born  in  Oneida  county  in  170S.  in  that  decade  In  which  Lord  Mansfield  died.  One- 
third  of  his  career  ran  parallel  with  that  of  Chief  Justice  Marshall:  fhlly  one-half 
of  it  with  that  of  the  illustrious  Kent,  the  whole  of  it  with  that  of  Chief  Justice 
Oakley.  In  the  long  period  of  time  he  was  at  the  bar,  numerous  great  Jurists  passed 
over  the  law  desk,  wntle  many  superior  luminaries  did  not  culminate  until  merid- 
ian age  had  matured  bis  powers,  which  were  radiating  the  light  of  his  learning 
upon  our  system  of  Jurisprudence.  In  1821,  when  Livingston  county  was  formed, 
he  was  a  resident  of  Genesen.  In  January.  1824,  he  succeeded  George  Hosmer  as 
District  Attorney  of  this  County.  He  werved  until  May  following,  when,  becoming 
disgusted  with  criminal  law  practice,  he  resigned,  and  Mr.  Hosmer  was  reappoint- 
ed. He  subsequently  removed  to  Rochester,  and  took  a  commanding  position  at 
the  Monroe  bar— a  bar  that  stands  unequaled  in  the  history  of  the  State  (br  its  dis- 
tinguished advocates  and  Jurists.  As  has  well  been  said  by  another,  **the  Monroe 
bar  has  been  the  nursery  of  Judicial  talent  and  learning." 

CALVIN    H.  BRYAN. 

Calvin  H.  Bryan  was  a  lawyer  whose  life  and  career  adorned  our  bar.  Por  a 
truth  it  may  be  said  there  cannot  be  (bund  upon  it  one  unseemly  action  or  trans- 
action, though  it  embraces  a  period  of  many  years.  He  made  no  pretension  to 
brilliani  talents,  to  any  oratorical  powers;  but  he  was  a  ftiithful,  safe  counsellor, 
and  a  firm  champion  of  of  the  counsel  he  gave,  and  be  was  held  in  high  esteem  by 
the  people  of  Livingston  countv.  Mr.  Bryan  was  one  of  those  whose  life  reminds 
us  or  the  saying  of  an  elegant  ethical  writer,  that  the  real  post  of  honor  Is  in  private 
life,  that  official  glamour  obscures  the  man,  but  the  duties  and  trials  of  private, 
every-day  life  presents  him  in  his  true  character.  Bryan  never  aspired  to  official 
position.  If  he  occupiedplaces  of  honor  and  trust,  as  he  often  did.  the  office  sought 
him,  not  he  the  office.  He  was  a  native  of  Dut.ohess  county,  N.  Y.,  where  he  was 
bom  in  1787.  He  studied  law  in  the  office  of  Knickerbaoker  A  Davis  of  Hooelck, 
N.  Y.  His  call  to  the  bar  took  place  in  1815.  An  elegant  classical  education  gave 
strength  to  his  mind  and  vitality  to  his  legal  learning.  He  commenced  his  prac- 
tice with  Judge  William  G.  Angel  in  the  county  of  Otsego.  In  the  sprint  of  I&S2  he 
married  Miss  Mancy  Angel,  a  sister  of  Hon.  B.  F.  Angel.  He  removed  to  Geneseo 
soon  after  his  marriage,  where  he  continued  to  reside  the  remainder  of  his* Hie.  In 
the  autumn  of  1827  Mr.  Bryan  was  elected  Member  of  Assembly  from  Livingston 
county.  He  entered  upon  the  duties  of  his  office  January  ist.  1878.  The  celebrated 
ErastUB  Root,  one  of  the  most  accomplished  presiding  omoers  that  ever  soverned  a 
parliameutaiy  body,  whose  career  exhibits  the  most  beautiful  and  striking  display 
of  genius,  and  the  most  melancholy  example  of  dissipation,  was  speaker  oi  the 
House.  The  Legislature  of  1838  was  made  memorable  by  the  sudden  death  of  the 
Illustrious  Clinton,  then  Governor  of  the  State.  This  melancholy  event  took  place 
February  ilth  of  that  year.  Between  Mr.  Bryan  and  DeWitt  Clinton  a  lon<  and 
Intimate  acquaintance  existed.  Mr.  Bryan  died  at  Geneseo  in  1878.  A  life  of  un- 
pretending usefulness,  of  a  foithfui  discharge  of  the  various  duties,  public  and  pri- 
vate, embalms  his  memory.  It  is  Indeed  a  pleasing  duty  to  commit  the  recollec- 
tions of  such  a  man  to  the  keeping  of  our  society. 

SAMUEL  H.  FITZHUGH. 

Bamuel  H.  Fitxhugh  Is  another  name  without  which  much  would  be  wanting 
In  the  history  of  Livingston  County.  His  career  at  our  bar  and  on  our  bench  Is  full 
of  Interest.  He  was  a  scholar  of  fine  attainments;  a  lawyer  deeply  and  thoroughly 
read  in  the  learning  of  his  profession.  His  manly  nature,  his  generous,  high  toned 
Impulses,  anu  chivalrous  sense  of  honor  rendered  him  what  he  really  was-a  gen- 
tleman by  Intuition  and  association.  There  were,  however,  dissimilar  features  in 
his  character;  an  abruptness  of  manner  that,  to  strangers,  amounted  to  rough- 
neftn;  and  there  were  extremes  In  his  disposition  which  were  sometimes 
difficult  to  reconcile.  With  htm  hypocrisy,  smooth  lipped  deception,  hon- 
eyed teaching  and  fttwning  deceit,  all  kinds  of  dishonesty  were  loathsome. 
Finally,  at  the  bar,  on  the  t>ench  and  In  private  life  he  was  one  of  those 
men  who.  like  Marie  Antony,  spoke  '*  right  on.**  He  was  born  in  Washington 
County.  Maryland,  In  1796.  He  graduated  at  Jefferson  college,  Pennsylvania.  In 
1817  he  removed  to  Canandaigua,  where  he  prepared  for  the  bar  in  the  office  of  N. 
W.  Howell,  whom  I  have  already  mentioned.  Flts»iugh*s  generosity  was  prover- 
bial. It  was  unstudied  and  dlsmteresttHl.  But  it  frequently  exhibited  Itself  In  a 
questionable,  even  in  a  ludicrous  manner.  The  following  illustrates  the  opposite 
phases  which  his  generosity  assumed.  He  once  owned  a  valuable  timber  lot  ad- 
joining which  was  another  owned  by  Judge  Carroll.  One  day  Fltzhugh  received 
notice  that  a  man  had  been  cutting  timber  from  his  lot,  that  he  had  destroyed  some 
of  his  most  valuable  trees.  Now  stealing  timber  in  those  days  ftrom  Judge  Carroll 
was  almost  a  matter  of  course.  Fitshugh,  however,  was  hUbly  indignant  at  the 
larceny  committed  on  his  tint  her,  and  he  Immediately  caused  the  arrest  of  the 
offender,  who  in  due  time  was  brought  to  his  office.  **You  scoundrel !  **  said  he, 
stroking  back  his  long  black  hair  and  fixing  his  piercing  black  eyes  upoa  the  man, 
"  how  dare  you  steal  my  timber?  1*11  send  you  where  you  won't  see  a  tree  again 
for  a  year ! "  "I— I— did— dldn*t  mean  to  cut  your  timber  Judge,  I  dldn*t  surely." 
"Dldn*t  mean  to  cut  my  timber!  *'  roared  the  Judge,** what  the  devil  did  you  mean 
to  do?  You  have  cut  two  hundred  dollars  worth,  you  rascal !  **  "I— I— thought— I 
thought—**    **Well,  sir,  what  did  you  think,  you  villain  ?"  said  Fltzhugh,  growing 


Annual  Address  by  L,  B,  Proctor,  1 5 

more  ftnd  more  wratby.  ^I— I  thought  it  wm  Judge  Carrol Ps  timber  I  was  oottlng/* 
said  the  mau  bursting  Into  teara,  and  trembling  with  terror.  Fltzhugh  walked  the 
offfloe  floor  a  few  moments  without  uttering  a  word.  Finally  he  halted  in  front  of 
the  prisoner  and  taktng  a  ten  dollar  bill  ftom  tiis  pocket  handed  it  tuhim.  saying, 
**Here,  take  that,  damn  you,  and  the  next  time  you  out  timber  that  don't  belong 
U>  you,  see  that  you  get  on  the  right  lot."  He  then  ordered  the  man  lobe  discharged, 
pMjlog  the  costs  of  the  proceedinss  himself.  Judge  Fltzhugh  In  1820  married  a  Miss 
Addlson,adaughterof  Judge  Addison,  of  Wheeling,  Virginia.  He  practiced  his 
profevion  at  Wheeling  until  he  removed  to  Mt.  Morris,  New  York,  in  1881.    In  the 

f^eMr  1840  he  was  appointed  an  Associate  Judge  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  of 
Jringston  County.  At  this  time  Willard  H.  Smith  of  Caledonia  was  first  Judge, 
James  Faulkner  ot  Pansvllle,  and  Daniel  H.  Blssell,  now  the  honored  President  of 
this  society,  constituted  the  Judiciary  of  our  county.  Judges  Smith  and  Fltzhugh 
long  ago  left  the  scenes  of  earth,  but  Judge  Faulkner  and  Judge  Blssell  are  still  In 
oor  midst  honored  represenUtives  of  the  Common  Pleas  of  Livingston  County. 

GEORGE  HASTINGS. 

It  would  be  dlfBcult  to  select  ftrom  the  honored  dead  of  our  bench  and  bar  a 
name  more  thoroughly  associated  with  probity  candor,  unassuming  dignity,  and 
oseftil  learning,  divorced  Arom  all  pedantry,  all  affectation,  than  that  of  this  truly 
exemplar/,  upright  Judge  and  able  lawyer.  He  possessed  a  strong  native  Intellect, 
enltlvated  by  an  excellent  education,  enlivened  and  enriched  by  a  thorough,  pa- 
tient research.  His  legal  education  was  founded  on  a  practical  ibmlliarlty  with  the 
greskt  rudimentary  legal  commentators,  therefore  la^  to  hira  was,  in  its  strictest 
sense,  a  science  as  well  as  a  rule  of  action.  His  mind  and  method  were  logical  and 
aecorate,  rather  than  brilliant— profound  rather  than  ready.  All  his  acquirements, 
legal  and  classical,  were  poised  on  i^trong  common  sense  and  moved  by  an  uncor- 
ruptible honesty.  At  the  outset  of  his  life  he  chose  for  his  emplovment  the  pnr- 
anlt  of  the  arduous  and  toilsome  practice  of  law.  From  the  beginning  of  his  career 
the  dictates  of  conscience,  of  honor,  and  of  duty,  as  a  man,  as  a  Christian,  as  a 
member  of  the  legal  profession  and  of  society,  were  his  guiding  principles.  Mild- 
oesa  and  urbanity  were  also  prominent  features  In  his  character;  those  who  knew 
him  will  never  forget  these  traits.  Ir  they  were  pleasing  in  the  lawyer  and  citizen. 
may  we  not  say  they  were  beautiful  In  the  Judge.  Judge  Hastings  was  not  an  elo- 
quent man.  He  always  had  his  mind  so  practically  bent  upon  the  analysis  and 
management  of  bis  cases,  and  so  regardfUIof  his  client's  Interest  that  he  never  at- 
tempted snvthing  like  eloquence  for  the  purpose  of  displaying  himself  In  the  court 
room.  Besides  this  his  voice  was  not  toned  to  the  fine  music  of  oratory.  He  was, 
however,  the  advocate,  faithful.  Indefhtigable,  who  with  untiring  energy  exhausted 
every  honorable  means  of  gaining  his  cause.  If  Judge  Hastings  was  not  eloquent, 
he  could  make  a  string,  even  a  powerfhl  legal  argument,  and  his  brlefb  were  mod- 
els of  learning.  I  have  spoken  of  Judge  Hastings's  candor.  In  proof  of  whati  have 
said  permit  me  to  quote  the  laneuage  of  Luther  C.  Peck,  long  his  compeer  at  the 
bar:  **The  character  of  George  Hastings,"  said  he,  *'fbr  candor  and  honesty  isworih 
more  to  him  than  all  the  talents  of  the  Livingston  bar  put  together.  There  Is  noth- 
ing more  to  be  dreaded  in  the  trial  of  a  cause  than  that  honest  flice  of  his.  No  mat- 
ter what  he  says,  the  Jury  take  it  for  law  and  gospel,  and  one  might  as  well  flght 
the  ten  commandments  with  Tom  Palne's  Age  of  Reason :  or  the  Bible  with  the 
Koran,  as  George  Hastings  with  that  truth  telling  fsuM  of  his.  I  have  seen  John  B. 
Skinner  keep  a  Jury  in  tears  through  his  whole  powerful  address  when  every  one 
tn  the  court  were  ready  to  swear  that  he  would  carry  his  case  by  sympathy,  which 
no  man  could  arouse  like  htm :  and  then  I  have  seen  Hastings  put  that  biblical 
look  on  his  ftuse  and  reply  to  his  eloquent  opponent  in  language  so  unassuming, 
•Uered  so  conscientiously,  that  before  he  closed  his  argument  every  Juror  In  the 
box  believed  that  Skinner  had  lied  Arom  beginning  to  end,  (and  I  think  Skinner 
btiiered  it  himself)*  and  that  he  had  only  been  boring  for  water."  The  same  moral 
onalltles,  the  same  mental  acquirements  that  adorned  his  character  as  a  lawyer, 
oeepened  respect  for  him  asa  Judge.  He  was  bom  at  Clinton,  Oneldacounty,  March 
9th,  1807.  At  the  age  of  nineteen  he  was  a  graduate  at  Hamilton  college.  In  the 
year  1829  he  was  called  to  the  bar  where  he  commenced  his  practice  and  where  the 
san  of  his  life  went  down.  He  represented  his  district,  the  28th,  consisting  of  Liv- 
ingston and  Steuben,  in  the  86th  Congrress.  He  was  always  firmly  attached  to  the 
Democratic  party,  always  firmly  but  mildly  advocated  its  principles,  and  notwith- 
sUmdlng  at  the  time  of  his  nomination  for  Congress  the  whig  party  were  strongly 
dOBlnant,  he  was  elected  bv  a  handsome  mi^onty,  though  his  opponent  was  Hon. 
William  Irvine,  then  one  of  the  most  brilliant  lawyers  at  the  Steuben  bar,  and  now 
the  leader  of  the  bar  in  the  state  of  California.  It  Is  due  Mr.  Irvine  to  say  that  at 
tlie  next  Congressional  election  he  was  triumphantly  elected,  his  opponent  being 
Hon.  R.  B.  Van  Val  ken  burgh,  now  a  Judge  of  the  Supreme  Court  or  Florida.  In 
tbeaatnmn  of  1855  Judge  Hastings  was  elected  County  Judge  of  Livingston  County. 
His  opponent  was  Hon.  Scott  Lord,  who  had,  by  his  learning  and  suavity,  and  lu- 
dldaf  accomplishments  adorned  the  bench  for  six  years.  The  political  contest  that 
reenlted  in  the  defeat  of  Judge  Lord  was  closely  conte8te<1  and  memorable.  So 
stroDgly  was  Judge  Lord  intrenched  in  the  hearts  of  the  people,  that  Hastings, 
with  all  his  elements  of  strength,  was  elected  by  a  majority  of  less  than  one  hun- 
dred. A  few  years  ago  Judge  Lord  removed  from  Geneseo  to  Utlca,  where  he  Im- 
■ledlately  took  a  leading  position  as  a  lawer.  So  rapidly  did  he  advance  in  popu- 
lert^  that  within  three  years  after  leaving  Geneseo  he  was  elected  to  Congress, 
wiMre  be  greatly  distinguished  himself  as  a  parliamentary  debater  and  taotloian. 
After  be  retired  f^m  C«>ngress  he  removed  to  the  city  of  New  York  where  bis  legal 
aMUtjr  la  recognized  to  an  extent  thatplaces  him  among  the  leading  lawyers  of  (he 

^Is.    But  to  return  to  Judge  Hastings.    He  continued  on  the  bench  ftrom 

,  when  he  was  succeeded  by  Hon.  Solomon  Hubbard.    After  retiring  ttova 


J 


1 6  Livingston  County  Histotical  Society, 

the  bench  Judge  Hasttngs  retarned  to  the  praotice  of  his  proftMion.  But  he  wa» 
soon  destined  to  leave  ft  forever,  for  It  began  to  be  evident  that  death  would  soon 
close  his  earthly  career.  But  while  disease  weakened  and  wasted  his  body,  it  had  no 
power  over  his  spirit.  Patience  and  resignation  characterised  his  last  days.  His 
life  finally  terminated  August  29th,  1806. 

JOHN  YOUNG. 

It  has  been  said  that  the  grandeur  of  American  democracy  never  exhibited 
Itself  more  perfectly  than  when  It  took  the  rude  strength  of  Jackson,  the  soldierly 
simplicity  of  Taylor,  and,  later,  with  awakened  conscience,  that  great-hearted 
child  of  nature,  Abraham  Lincoln,  and  sent  them  to  the  executive  chair  of  the 
nation,  crowning  their  undassic  brows  with  the  laurel-wreath  of  history.     May  I 


not  say  that  the  people  of  the  empire  state  never  evinced  their  appreciation  of  oar 
beneficent  institutions  more  strongly  than  when  they  made  John  Young  their 
governor— when,  in  this  act,  ibev  said  to  the  youth  of  the  country,  the  rich  and 


the  poor,  the  high  and  tne  low,  that  the  honors  of  the  great  republic  belong  to  all. 
Just  as  In  the  Olympic  gaines,  the  prize  was  within  the  reach  of  all,  where  the 
swifter  in  the  race  secured  it.  Many  reflecting  persons  affect  to  believe  that  in  a 
country  and  age  so  eullghteued,  so  free,  so  self-governing  as  ours,  we  do  not  need 
statesmen  of  lofty  and  surpassing  genius  to  rule  over  us;  that  owing  to  the  supe- 
rior IntelljyEenoe  of  the  people  we  can  dispense  with  great  men  better  than  most 
nations.  There  may  be  a  kind  of  greatness  we  can  dispense  with ;  but  It  Is  certain 
there  is  another  kind  we  do  require.  We  may  not  need  now  men  of  vast  capacity, 
like  Webster;  of  profound  systematic  pollcv  and  fervid  eloquence  like  Clay;  of 
commanding  genius  and  thought,  like  Wright;  of  Imperious,  overbearing  reaola- 
tlon,  like  Calhoun  ;  or  inflexible  determination,  like  Jackson.  The  day  of  such 
men  is  past  They  would  And  no  fltting  scope,  no  place  on  a  stage  where  little 
great  men  have  become  prominent  actons.  This  Is  a  day  when  the  unrecognised 
are  often  far  more  Influential  than  the  recognized  statesman.  I  do  not  Insist  that 
Mr.  Young  belonged  to  this  class  of  statesmen  I  have  named,  but  I  do  claim 
that  he  was  endowed  with  special  gifts  of  legal  and  legislative  ability,  and  that 
peculiar  organizing  and  arranging  faculty  that  gave  him  a  paramount  and  oom- 
manding  position  at  the  bar  and  In  the  politics  of  the  state  and  nation.  Cicero 
has  said  that  the  eloquent  speaker  is  a  man  who  speaks  In  the  forum  and  In  the 
public  assembly  in  such  a  manner  as  to  prove,  to  delight,  and  to  persuade.  In 
this  sense  Mr.  Young  was  an  eloquent  speaker,  and  this  Is  an  adequkte  description 
of  his  abilities.  His  career  at  the  bar  was  brilliant.  In  his  early  practice  he  meas- 
ured himself  with  many  of  the  great  legal  lights  of  the  bar  1  have  named,  and  with 
such  men  as  George  P.  Barker  of  Buffalo,  and  James  Mullett  of  Chautauqua,— men 
possessing  all  the  requisites  constituting  poweWtil  legal  gladiators— whose  elo> 
quence  may.  without  alTectatlon,  be  compared  to  the  stx>ne  In  the  ring  of  Pyrrtaas, 
having  the  figure  of  Appollo  and  the  nine  muses  in  Its  veins.  In  his  contest  with 
such  men  Mr.  Young,  like  Anteus  In  the  fkble.  wrestling  with  Hercules,  was  often 
overthrown,  but  when  he  touched  the  earth,  he  sprang  with  renewed  power  to  the 
conflict.  Mr.  Young  was  born  in  the  state  of  Vermont  June  12th.  1802.  With  his 
father,  Thomas  Young,  he  removed  to  Conesus  at  an  early  age.  when  old  enoagta 
he  entered  the  common  school  of  that  town,  where,  in  due  time,  he  prepared  him- 
self for  a  teacher.  In  which  occupation  he  attained  considerable  distinction.  With 
no  other  advantages  than  those  derived  ft-om  the  common  school,  and  Intense  sol- 
itary Htudy,  he  commenced  the  study  of  law.  entering  the  legal  profession  as  an 
attorney  of  the  supreme  court  in  October,  1820.  He  rapidly  rose  In  his  profession, 
reaching  its  front  rank  when  he  had  been  at  the  bar  but  a  few  years.  In  the  Call 
of  1886  Mr.  Young  was  nominated  and  elected  member  of  congress.  In  place  of  Hon. 
Phllo  C.  Puller,  who  had  resigned  that  office  In  the  summer  previous.  In  the  7estr 
1810  he  was  again  elected  to  congress,  where  he  served,  with  acknowledged  ability, 
until  March, l84S.  in  the  autumn  of  1844  he  waM  elected  member  of  assembly  fW>m 
Livingston  county.  He  entered  upon  his  duties  in  January,  1845,  in  that  memora- 
ble session  of  our  state  legislature  which  developed  the  splendid  talenU  of  Horatio 
Seymour  and  prepared  the  way  not  only  for  his,  but  for  Mr.  Young's  oocapa- 
tion;or  the  state's  executive  cdatr.  The  whig  party  in  the  state  had  been  pros- 
trated by  the  sweeping  democratic  victory  that  elected  Mr.  Polk  president.  John 
Young,  as  the  confessed  leader  of  the  whIgs  In  the  legislature  of  1815,  adopted  a 
policy  which  gave  bis  party  a  victory  as  triumphant  as  Its  defeat  had  t>een  depres- 
Ming.  In  the  autumn  of  1846  Young  was  nominated  and  elected  governor  or  the 
state  over  that  Illustrious  statesman,  Silas  Wright.  Thoush  the  measures  of  his 
administration  were  not  pleasing  to  Thurlow  Weed  and  other  leaders  of  the  whl^ 
party,  as  I  have  said  on  another  occasion,  and  though  It  is  not  celebrated  for  any 
striking  policy— though  it  does  not  dazzle  us  by  brilliant  contrasts  between  Its 
good  and  Dad  policies,  the  Impartial  historian  will  accord  to  it  as  much  ability  as 
has  been  accorded  to  most  of  his  predecessors. 

CHARLES  H.  CARROLL. 

The  history  of  the  Livingston  county  l>ench  could  not  be  written  without  the 
life  of  Charles  H.  Carroll.  He  became  a  member  of  our  bar  in  1821,— the  first  who 
signed  his  name  to  its  roll.  Judge  Moses  Hayden  was  appointed  first  Judge  of  the 
county  immediately  after  its  formation.  In  January,  ISIS,  he  resigned,  and  Judse 
Carroll  succeeded  him.  Through  the  period  of  six  years  he  presided  on  the  benon, 
with  accurate  discrimination,  spotless  integrity,  undoubted  learning  and  impar- 
tiality. Few  men  ever  gained  and  retained  thn  confidence  of  the  bar  and  the  pnb- 
lie  to  an  extent  Judge  Carroll  did;  When,  in  1829  he  retired  from  the  bench,  law- 
yers and  laymen,  all  classes  exclaimed,  **  Well  done,  good  and  flalthful  servant, 
future  honors  are  in  store  for  thee."     This  prophecy  was  fully  fulfilled.     He  was 


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Annual  Address  by  L.  B.  Proctor,  1 7 

tftOQored  with  a  SMi  In  the  state  seoate  in  182S,  Joat  before  leaving  the  beneh. 
Here  he  became  a  member  of  that  ooort  which  has  left  an  imperishable  impress 
00  thejodidal  history  of  the  nation— the  court  for  the  oorr«otion  of  errors,  then 
tiie  court  of  dernier  resort  in  the  state.  He  served  in  this  body  until  March,  i82S, 
when  he  resigned  and  retired  to  his  seat  In  Groveland,  N.  Y.  In  1S46  he  was  again 
called  ftom  his  retirement  by  the  voice  of  the  people  to  become  their  representa- 
tive Id  congress.  He  continued  in  that  body  until  March,  1847,  when  he  retired 
forever  to  private  life.  His  consressional  record,  though  not  brilliant,  was  highly 
honorable  and  eminently  useful  to  his  constituents  and  <  he  state  itself.  Though 
Judge  OarroU  made  no  pretension  to  the  qualities  of  a  legislative  orator  and  de- 
bater, vet  such  were  his  executive  abilities  and  his  capacity  for  the  detail  of  legis- 
lative bunlness,  that  he  could  enforce  any  bill  or  measure  he  desired  adopted  by 
s^igumentsof  much  force  and  power.  He  had  the  rare  fttculty  of  withdrawing 
frotn.  the  outward  and  objective  into  the  calm  retreat  of  the  reason,  where  he 
would  fiftbricate  those  arguments  which  always  carried  conviction  with  them. 
Therefore  he  wielded  an  Influence  that  few  men  of  his  unpretending  nature  could. 
Judge  Osrroll  had  an  exquisitely  sensitive  nature,  which  vibrated  to  the  slightest 
touch,  and  his  affections,  especially  his  love  of  kindrea  and  Arlends,  was  as  deep 
and  tender  as  a  woman's.  He  was  affable,  winning  and  dignified  in  his  manner. 
His  aoholarly  attainments  were  polished  with  refined  and  cultivated  society,  and 
he  oever  assumed  a  patronizing  or  overbearing  manner  towards  the  humbleat. 
Few  men  have  ever  lived  In  the  county  of  Livingston  more  thoroughly  identified 
with  its  progressive  agricultural  interesto  than  Charles  H.  Carroll.  A  name  lUus- 
trlous  In  the  annals  of  American  history,  allied  to  its  grand  declaration  of  fk^e- 
dom.  Which  he  honored  in  all  relations  of  life,  made  him  dear  to  her  people,  and 
hla^memory  amoug  them  will  be  perpetuated  In  the  hearts  of  generations  yet  to 

REUBEN  P.   WISNER. 

Reaben  P.  Wisner  was  In  many  respects  a  lawyer  of  admirable  ability.  He 
waa,  like  others  whom  we  have  mentioned,  the  artificer  of  his  own  fortunes.  In 
early  life  he  evinced  a  strong  love  of  learning,  but  the  limited  means  of  his  parents 
refHrtcted  his  advantages  to  a  few  months  attendance  in  the  winter  months  at  the 
eommon  school.  But  his  ambition,  industry  and  determination  made  him  his 
own  Instructor,  and  every  leisure  moment  was  devoted  to  the  culture  of  his  mind. 
In  this  way  he  made  considerable  progress  In  the  languages,  in  rhetoric,  logic  and 
btotory.  **  You  would  be  astonished,"  said  Daniel  S.  Dickinson,  who  acquired  his 
edacatlon  in  this  way,  **  did  you  know  how  much  progress  one  can  make  In  any 
sUidy  by  devoting  a  single  hour  In  each  day  to  It.  In  this  way  I  acquired  my 
classical  education,  while  learning  the  trade  of  a  wool-carder  and  cloth-dresser.^' 
And  In  this  way  Mr.  Wisner  obtained  a  very  excellent  classical  educatlou.  He 
was  bom  at  Springport,  Cayuga  county,  N.  Y.,  January  4th,  1815.  When  old 
enough  be  became  a  term  laborer,  working  by  the  month  in  summer.  In  winter 
fporklng  at  the  business  of  cabinet-making.  At  length  a  friend,  who  was  the  pro- 
prietor of  a  hotel  la  Auburn,  aave  him  the  position  of  bar-tender  and  clerk.  As  it 
was  then  the  principal  hotel  in  the  village,  lavryers  firom  abroad,  attending  court 
at  Aobom  became  auests  of  this  house.  Here  be  made  the  acqqalntanoe  of  many 
of  the  dtotlngnlshed  lawyers  of  central  New  York,  and  as  the  court  house  was  op- 
posite hlsplaoe  of  business  he  often  witnessed  the  trial  of  causes  conducted  by 
wlUlsan  H.  Seward,  B.  Davis  Noxon.  Mark  H.  Sibley,  John  C.  Spencer  and  other 
great  legal  luminaries,  with  Esek  Cowen  presld'ng  on  the  bench.  In  this  way  he 
took  his  first  lessons  In  legal  lore.  They  were  practical,  real  life  illustrations  of 
tke  law,  the  working  out  of  legal  problems  In  that  great  crucible  of  Justice— the 
cirealt  court.  There  was  something  in  these  contests  of  the  bar  peculiarly  attract- 
ive to  Wiener's  bold  and  ardent  mind,  and  It  was  his  ambition  to  become  a  con- 
iflBtant  In  an  arena  so  congenial  to  his  taste.  During  his  residence  at  Auburn  he 
seeorod  the  fMendshIp  of  Mr.  Seward  who  invited  bira  to  enter  his  ofllce  as  a  stu- 
<|eot  of  law.  The  offer  was  accepted  with  pleasure.  As  Wisner  was  an  admirable 
penman.  Mr.  Seward  gave  blm  a  salary  sutllolent  to  support  him  until  his  studies 
were  finished.  After  receiving  bis  license  to  practice,  be  remained  in  Mr.  Sew- 
anl*s  ofllce  as  an  assistant  two  or  three  years,  frequently  appearing  as  Junior 
eooneel  in  cases  tried  by  that  great  mau.  In  this  way  Reuben  P.  Wisner  prepared 
himself  for  the  responsiblllMes  of  his  profession.  In  1887  be  settled  at  Mt.  ftiorrls, 
forming  a  co-partnership  with  Judge  Samuel  H.  FItzhugh.  The  practice  of  this 
admirable  firm  soon  became  lucrative  and  extensive.  Mr.  Wisner  at  once  took  a 
high  position  at  the  Llvlnustfm  bar,  and  at  the  bars  of  adjoining  counties.  In  1841 
he  represented  Livingston  county  in  the  state  legislature;  his  colleague  was  Au- 
gustas OlbtM  of  Livonia.  Peter  B.  Porter  of  Buflklo,  distinguished  in  the  history 
of  Western  New  York  for  his  public  spirit  and  energy  In  promoting  Internal  Im- 
provement, was  speaker  of  the  house.  In  recognition  of  Mr.  Wlsner's  merits  Mr. 
Porter  gave  him  the  second  place  on  the  Judiciary  committee.  Mr.  Seward  was 
then  governor.  AmonK  other  measures  recommended  In  his  annual  message,  was 
the  passage  of  a  law  reducing  the  fees  of  lawyers,  although  a  lawyer  himself;  This 
bmoght  on  a  bitter  contest  between  tbe  lawyers  and  laymen  In  the  legislature.  A 
bill  In  tsvor  of  the  measure  was  Introduced,  and  was  referred  to  the  house  Judicia- 
ry eonmlttee.  The  chairman  made  an  elaborate  report  In  Its  favor,  and  Wisner 
sntomltted  an  able  minority  report  against  it.  But  the  bill  passed  b6th  branches 
hf  the  leprtslature,  became  a  law,  and  thereafter  lawyers  were  compelled  to  work 
for  half  their  former  fees.  But,  as  a  member  of  the  legislature  remarked,  "They 
will  manage  to  pick  their  geese  close  enough  to  make  up  what  the  governor's  mes- 
■i^e  iMW  taken  away  from  them."    Mr.  Wisner  declined  a  renomlnatlon.  Through 


Digitized  byCjOOQlC 


1 8  Liinngston  County  Historical  Society. 

the  remainder  of  his  life  his  ambitloo  was  ooDflned  to  his  profewioii.  He  died  at 
Mt.  Morris  in  the  autumn  of  1872.  Reuben  P.  Wiener  poesessed  great  energy,  nrm- 
ness  of  purpose,  ardent  temperament  and  emotions  that  Were  frequently  lut^nae. 
His  strong  fhrte  was  trying  causes  before  Juries.  In  this  sphere  he  was  suooesirftii. 
Asa  speaRer  at  the  bar  he  was  animated^  often  impressively  eloquent.  Some- 
times ne  became  too  vehement  and  excited,  so  that  he  lost  his  influence  with  ibe 
Jury.  But  this  was  not  often.  He  was  sanguine,  always  expecting  to  succeed,  but 
he  tools  defeat  as  one  of  the  vicissitudes  of  a  lawyer*s  life.  Another  remarkable 
feature  In  his  character  was  the  strength  he  seemed  to  gather  in  dlfllcult 


The  greater  the  doubt,  the  stronger  the  opposition  brought  to  bear  against  him  by 
distinguished  counsel,  the  more  extraorainary  were  the  efforts  he  mitde  to  over- 
throw his  adversary.  He  seemed  to  excel  himself  when  hard  pressed  by  his  oppo- 
nents. His  genial  nature,  social  qualities  and  fund  of  anecdote,  were  among  t.tae 
happiest  traits  of  his  character.  He  has  gone  to  his  rest,  but  pleasant  memorim 
are  blended  with  his  career  at  the  bar,  and  as  a  cillzen.  An  examination  Into  bis 
professional  life  presents  auseful  example  to  future  lawyers,  while  it  exhibita  the 
result  ol  energy  and  self-reliance  when  applied  to  professional  duties,  and  directed 
to  the  task  of  overcoming  difficulties. 

ISAAC  L.    £NDRESS. 

Isaac  L.  Endr(>ss  became  a  member  of  the  Lfvingeton  bar  in  the  spring  of  1832. 
He  was  born  at  Baston,  Pa.,  Sept.  Uth.  1810.  He  w^  a  graduate  of  Dickinson  col- 
lege, Carlisle,  Pa.  He  was  the  son  of  Rev.  Christian  Endress,  an  eminent  Luther- 
an clergyman,  and  an  early  friend  of  Nathaniel  Rochester,  the  founder  of  the  city  of 
Rochester  Mr.  Endress  designed  bis  son  for  the  niklnistry.  But  the  bar  presented 
superior  attractions,  and  young  Endress  •determined  to  make  the  practice  of  law 
hin  future  occupation.  In  the  autumn  of  1828  he  removed  to  Rochester.  Here  he 
entered  the  office  of  Daniel  D.  Barnard,  one  of  the  most  eminent  lawyers  and 
scholars  then  at  the  Monroe  county  bar.  Judge  Endress  completed  his  legal  edu- 
cation under  the  Instruction  of  this  accomplished  gentleman,  and  was  called  to 
the  bar  in  October,  1831.  After  practicing  a  short  time  at  Rochester  he  removed  to 
Dansville  and  became  a  member  of  our  bar.  This  was  in  the  fall  of  1881.  He  was 
an  excellent  classical  scholar,  a  man  of  reflned  taste,  polished  by  an  intimate  ac- 
quaintance with  the  best  authors,  ancient  and  modern.  His  mind  was  one  of 
uncommon  strength  and  versatility.  He  wrote  with  elegance  and  vigor.  His 
reasoning  powers  were  of  a  high  order,  and  he  was  capable  of  the  most  pnngent 
and  scathing  satire  if  occasion  required.  With  these  attributes  he  possessed  a 
discriminating  Judgment  and  a  reflned,  polished  elocution.  As  a  conversational- 
ist he  had  few  equals,  and  he  shone  with  great  brilliancy  In  polished  and  cultivat- 
ed circles.  Judge  Endress  was  profoundly  acquainted  with  law  as  a  science— a 
science  that  he  believed  opened  to  him  a  vast  field  of  intellectual  researcb.  He 
regarded  it  not  only  as  a  rule  of  action,  but  a  system  of  ethical  and  Inductive  phi- 
losophy, by  which  the  intellect  Is  alike  invigorated  and  enlarged.  He  felt  that 
the  administration  of  Justice  presents  the  noblest  field  for  the  exercise  of  human 
capacity.  It  forms,  as  has  been  well  said,  the  ligament  which  binds  society  to- 
gether. Upon  its  broad.foundation  is  erected  the  edifice  of  liberty.  It  Is  the  high 
calling  of  the  lawyer  to  aid  in  perpetuating  this  structure.  Through  bis  whole 
professional  life  Judge  Endress  evinced  his  thorough  early  legal  education.  It 
gave  him  what  is  called  a  legal  mind.  He  was  too  retiring  and  sensitive  fbr  the 
harsh  contest  of  Jury  trials,  but  was  admirably  qualified  for  the  argument  of  cases 
before  the  court  In  banc,  where  purely  legal  questions  are  settled.  But  as  be  was 
not  stimulated  with  that  great  motor  of  the  lawyers,  professional  ambitlon.be 
did  not  enter  very  ardently  into  the  practice  before  any  court.  He  was  for  sixteen 
years  the  law  partner  of  that  able  and  efficient  lawyer,  John  A.  VanDerllp.  whose 
duty  H  was  In  conducting  the  business  of  the  firm  to  try  Its  causes  before  the  Jury, 
and  often  the  argument  of  cases  in  its  courts  of  appellate  Jurisdiction.  In  the 
preparation  of  a  case  for  trial  Judge  Endress  had  no  superior.  His  examination 
of  tne  law  was  thorough  and  untiring,  and  his  opinions  well  and  deeply  consider- 
ed :  he  never  willingly  relinquished  their  vindication  until  the  final  and  author- 
itative Judgment  of  the  court  was  pronounced  upon  them.  Politics  bad  a  singular 
AMclnatlon  for  him.  In  this  field  ne  was  an  aooomplished  and  ski llfhl  manager, 
quick  in  his  discernment,  a  ready  and  accurate  reader  of  the  popular  mind,  catch- 
ing easily  the  'Hunesof  the  times,**  always  suocessftol  until  be  undertook  to  ad- 
vance bis  own  interest,  and  accelerate  his  own  political  fortunes.  Then  bis  All- 
ure was  almost  certain.  There  was,  too,  a  certain  useless  subtlety  in  all  his  move- 
ments, that  caused  even  his  friends  to  sometimes  doubt  his  sincerity,  and  which 
gave  his  enemies  an  opportunity  to  complain  of  what  they  termed^bnt  without 
cause— his  trickery.  In  the  year  1840  he  was  appointed  an  associate  Judge  of  the 
court  of  common  pleas  of  our  county.  The  law  in  those  days  gave  the  associate 
Judges  of  the  common  pleas  equal  power  with  the  first  Judge.  Thus  Judge  Endress 
occupied  a  position  where  he  exhibited  Judicial  abilities  of  no  common  order.  In 
1856  he  was  one  of  the  presidential  electors,  and  in  1867-8  he  represented  the  county 
In  tbe  constitutional  convention  which  convened  at  Albany  that  year.  These  are 
all  the  official  positions  he  held.  He  was  a  man  of  great  weight  of  character,  a 
gentleman  under  all  circumstances.  Finally  he  was  an  honor  to  the  bar,  adorned 
the  bench,  was  a  fhivorite  in  the  social  circle,  abounding  in  anecdote  and  pleasant 
repartee.  For  several  years  previous  to  his  death  he  retired  flrom  the  practice  of 
tbe  law.  He  died  In  January,  1870.  His  death  was  considered  a  loss  to  tbe  vllla£e 
and  to  tbe  county.  It  was  Irreparable  to  bis  family  to  whom  he  was  tenderly 
attached. 


Digitized  byCjOOQlC 


Annual  Address  by  Z.  B.  Proctor.  19 

BBNJAMIN  F.  HARW^OOD. 

Mr.  Harwood  was  born  at  Hornby,  Steab^n  couDty,  N.  Y.,  August  lOtb.  laid.  He 
v«s  the  son  of  poor  but  reputable  parents.  He  therefore  began  life  with  nothing 
to  rely  upon  for  success  except  bis  own  unaided  exertions.  Hence,  self-exertiou 
was  the  troe  key  to  whatever  success  he  attained  Without  scholastic  training,  he 
covfted  knowledge  with  intensity,  and  the  difficulty  he  encountered  in  attaining 
it  ereated  that  independence  of  thought  which  afterwards  became  so  prominent  an 
element  in  his  life.  Belf-wrought,  self-reliant,  be  was  molded  into  that  type  of 
manhood,  that  professional  excellence  which  gives  his  name  and  fame  to  us  on  this 
ocoaslon.  He  early  learned  the  art  of  seir-oulture.  In  this  way,  by  the  aid  of  a 
limited  attendance  upon  the  common  school,  and  the  most  intense  application,  he 
aeoul red  sufficient  learning  to  become  a  teacher.  To  this  great  and  responsible 
cailioK  Harwood  gave  his  time  and  talents  for  several  years,  so  successfully  that  In 
after  life  he  nsed  to  say  that  his  success  as  a  teacher  gave  him  more  pleasure  than 
any  of  his  triumphs  at  the  bar  or  In  politics.  At  length  an  event  occurred  that 
changed  the  whole  current  of  his  life,  intu«ing  Into  him  new  hopes— a  new  and 
higher  ambition.  He  was  subpoenaed  to  attend  as  a  witness  before  a  circuit  codrt 
held  at  Penn  Yan,  and  he  there  witnessed,  for  the  Urst  time  In  his  life,  contests  of 
the  bar.  saw  those  weapons  used  with  which  lawyers  war  each  other.  Harwood 
ItsteDed  to  the  speeches  of  the  counsel  with  wonder  and  delight,  almost  with  awe, 
and  he  thought  he  wonld^exchange  the  world,  were  it  at  his  command,  to  be  able 
to  talk  as  those  lawyers  talked.  Krora  that  day  he  determined  to  become  a  law- 
yer, and  he  made  every  other  Interest  subservient  to  this.  Accordingly  he  entered 
the  office  of  Morris  Brown,  ELsq  ,  long  a  distinguished  lawyer,  who  was  then  prac- 
tlelng  at  Haramondsport.  and  commenced  the  study  of  law.  When  Mr.  Brown 
removed  to  Penn  Yan  Harwood  accompanied  him.  For  a  while  he  supported  him 
i^elf  by  teaching  school  winters  and  pursuing  his  studies  in  the  snmmers.  But, 
having  prepared  himself  t/>  try  causes  in  justice's  court,  he  abandoned  his  former 
nccopation.  In  those  days  the  ablest  members  of  the  profession  often  appeared  In 
these  courts,  and  it  opened  a  field  of  labor  in  which  no  one,  without  considerable 
ability,  could  sustain  himself.  Hence,  young  Harwood  was  forced  to  study  hard, 
think  closely,  act  with  energy,  and  watch  every  point  to  sustain  himself  against 
the  attacks  of  his  experienced  and  able  opponents.  But  this  gave  him  success  and 
for  several  years  he  was  a  champion  lawyer  in  Justices*  courts.  At  length  his  stu- 
deut  days  ended  and  be  became  a  lawyer  entitled  to  practice  in  all  the  state  courts 
This  was  in  July,  1889.  In  the  autumn  of  that  year  he  removed  to  Dansville  and 
commenced  there  the  practice  of  his  profession  with  a  success  that  soon  gave  him 
an  eminent  position  at  our  bar.  Strength  of  mind  and  executive  ability  were 
distinguishing  features  in  young  Harwood*s  character.  He  was  most  industrious— 
IndeftigitabieTs  perhaps  the  better  word.  He  possessed  an  iron  frame  that  never 
tired,  a  mind  that  never  lost  its  tone.  He  came  out  of  a  long  and  wearisome  trial 
as  Aresh  as  when  he  entered  it.  He  knew  no  timidity,  no  apprehension,  and.  to 
osa  the  language  which  Reuben  P.  Wisner  once  applied  to  him,  he  had  a  metallic 
front  that  never  changed  under  any  circumstances,  that  gave  him  independence 
almost  sublime.  He  was  always  sanguine,  always  hopeful,  and  always  expected 
Bttccess  and  usually  gained  It.  In  the  cross-examination  of  an  unwilling,  dishon- 
est or  nntrathfnl  witness,  he  was  terrible.  He  would  search  their  very  souls,  reach 
Into  their  heart  of  hearts  and  drag  the  truth  fkx>m  villainous  deceit  with  wonderful 
findllty.  He  knew  how  to  create  an  atmosphere  around  a  cause  favorable  to  his 
elleot.  He  Knew,  too,  that  the  trial  of  a  cause  is  very  much  like  a  game  of  chess, 
and  a  game  of  chance,  that  more  depends  upon  the  skill  of  an  advocate  than  the 
law  and  Josttoe  of  a  case.  Another  strong  point  with  Harwood  was  his  inimitable 
maoner  of  opening  a  cause  to  the  Jury,  rendering  the  saying  true  that  a  cause  well 

rded  Is  half  won.  In  the  midst  of  his  professional  success  Harwood  yielded  to 
fiudnation  of  politics,  and  from  that  time  to  the  close  of  his  life  the  legal  arena 
was  a  secondary  matter  with  him.  As  he  possessed  rare  accomplishments  for  this 
new  field,  his  success  was  certain,  and  he  soon  became  one  of  the  leaders  of  the 
Whig  party  In  the  state.  He  was  fortunate  in  gaining  the  friendship 
of  Mr.  Seward  and  Mr.  Weed,  and  he  soon  became  indispensable  to  these  Illustrious 
statesmen.  On  his  entrance  into  the  political  field  he  Joined  his  fortunes  to  those 
of  David  H.  Abel,  or  Farmer  Abel,  as  he  was  call(»d,  and  their  united  talents  gave 
them  singular  success.  If  their  career  has  been  criticised,  I  can  only  say  they  were 
|i6lltlelans  and  used  the  resources  of  their  calling.  Mr.  Abel  was  In  every  sense  a 
marked  and  singular  character,  a  man  of  action  and  of  few  words,  but  those  words 
were  always  to  the  point  and  in  the  right  place.  It  is  said  that  as  a  politician  he 
was  dishonest.  Could  he  be  a  politician  and  be  honest?  His  memorable  corres- 
pondence with  Martin  Grov^r  exhibits  the  humor  and  wit  of  the  man.  When  he 
was  a  candidate  fur  state  senator,  Grover,  who  lived  in  his  district,  wrote  him  as 
follows:  D.H.  Abel,  Esq.— Dear  Sir:— There  are  manv  things  in  your  character 
that  I  like.  They  say  you  are  dishonest,  but  if  you  will  promise  me  in  writing  that 
If  yoa  are  elected  you  won't  steal.  I  will  support  you.  Yours,  ete.,  M.  Grover. 
Abel  replied  to  this  letter  in  the  following  characteristic  manner:  Hon.  Martin 
Obovrr— Dear  Sir:  Your  letter  is  received,  contents  noted.  I  cannot  comply  with 
your  request,  as  I  desire,  if  elected,  to  enter  the  senate  unpledged.  Yours  truly, 
D.  H  Abbu  When  Grover  received  this  letter  he  was  so  pleased  with  it  that  he 
CRTO  Its  anthor  a  hearty  support.  *'I  think  much  more  of  this  reply,"  said  he, 
^ttian  I  should  had  it  contained  the  usual  claim  of  untarnished  honesty,  which 
pblHIciaos  persist  in  making."  In  the  autumn  of  1855  Mr.  Harwood  was  nominated 
lUld  eleoted  by  the  Whigs  of  the  state  clerk  of  the  court  of  appeals.  Mr.  Harwood 
died  at  Albany,  in  April.  1856,  while  discharging  the  duties  of  that  office.  He  was 
at  the  time  of  his  death  in  the  37th  ye»r  of  his  age.  In  many  respects  he  was  a 
marked  character,  possessing  the  mental  affluence  and  abtll^  to  mold  the  opinions 
and  direct  the  acU  of  others.     We  have  considered  him  as  th^i^f^^^^^Cj^m^^ 


20  Livingston  County  Historical  Soctety. 

really  the  sphere  for  whioh  natare  deBlgoed  him.  We  alao  have  considered  him  mm 
H  polltlolaD.  Here,  though  emloeotly  saoceesfuK  he  was  out  of  his  sphere.  Here 
he  was  severely  criticised.  But  so  flagrantly  corrupt  has  become  party  machinery 
that  with  rare  exceptions  the  best,  the  ablest  men  who  mingle  in  politics  are  taint- 
ed with  corruption. 

SNORESS  FAULKNER. 

The  professional  career  of  Endress  Faulkner  though  brief  was  brilliant  and  ex- 
emplary. Long  enough,  however,  to  exhibit  strong  Intellect  and  unusual  forensle 
powers.  As  a  law-student  he  fully  explored  the  science  of  Jurisprudence,  and  as  a 
lawyer  his  mind  was  a  well  arranged  law  library,  in  which  he  could  easily  lay  bts 
band  on  whatever  he  desired.  His  was  what  is  rarely  found,  a  legal  mind  io  Its 
truest  sense  It  was  imbued  with  the  spirit  of  the  science ;  it  InHtinctively  perceiv- 
ed and  observed  all  its  limitations,  harmonies,  modulations  and  discords,  just  as  a 
cultivated  musical  ear  perclves  what  is  congruous  or  Incongruous  with  the  harmo- 
nies of  sounds.  In  this  he  manifested  the  true  dlsllnctlon  between  a  lawyer  and  a 
rahdom  speculator  upon  law.  betwt-en  the  case  lawver  and  the  legal  scientist.  As 
a  real  estate  lawyer  It  is  doubtfhl  whether  the  Livingston  bar  ever  produced  his 
superior.  He  studied  the  old  writers  on  this  branch  or  law  with  the  purest  delight. 
I  can  recall  repeated  instances  when  I  have  (bund  him  in  his  ofllce  late  at  night 
absorbed  in  the  study  of  one  of  those  great,  subtle  and  philosophic  writers  on  the 
law  of  real  property,  on  the  doctrines  that  govern  the  devolution  of  estates  and  the 
interpretation  of  devises— Sugden  or  Feme  or  Preston— drawing  as  much  delight 
firom  their  black  lettered  law  page  as  the  novel  reader  finds  in  the  enchantment  of 
romance  or  the  beautiful  flotluns  of  the  poet.  As  a  legal  debater  Mr.  Faulkner  was 
so  modest  and  unassuming,  that  a  stranger  might  mistake  bis  modesty  for 
timidity.  His  language  was  plain,  direct,  forcible  and  free  from  tawdry  rhetoric 
He  possessed  a  real  talent  for  legal  disquisition,  and  there  whs  a  pleasing  oonourd^ 
between  his  thoughts  and  his  language.  His  brieft  were  elaborate  and  careftillv 
prepared,  they  were  a  logical  analysis  of  cases  In  full  legal  sequence,  and  althoogn 
mr  from  being  a  case  lawyer,  no  one  was  better  versed  in  reported  cases  than  be« 
knowlngas  be  did  when  and  how  to  apply  them,  but  he  never  piled  them  one  npoo 
another,  never  launched  them  indiscriminately  at  an  opponent,  as  soldiers  some- 
times load  and  fire  at  will.  Endress  Faulkner  was  bom  at  Dansville,  N.  Y.,  in  the 
year  1819.  He  was  a  son  of  Hon.  James  Faulkner.  He  prepared  for  college  at  Oan- 
andaigua  academy,  entering  Yale  college  in  July,  1887,  and  graduated  trom. 
that  Institution  in  1811.  In  conformity  with  his  early  intentions  he  immediately 
commenced  the  study  of  law,  and  was  called  to  the  bar  in  January,  1848.  Opening 
an  oflSce  in  Dansville,  he  commenced  there  the  practice  of  his  profession.  He  was 
for  a  time  the  law  partner  of  Hon.  Cyrus  Sweet,  now  of  Syracuse,  the  eminent  sod 
learned  surrogate  of  Onondaga  county.  He  was  also  a  partner  of  Hon.  Solonooa 
Hubbard  of  Geneseo.  His  professional  advancement  was  flattering  to  himself  and 
his  friends.  Very  soon  aOer  his  call  to  the  bar  he  conducted  the  trial  of  several 
important  cases,  with  a  degree  of  ability  and  success  that  could  hardly  have  been 
expected  in  one  so  young.  Among  these  was  the  case  of  Streety  agt.  wood,  Barry 
agt.  Bassett,  McQuIgg  agt.  The  Central  Railroad,  and  other  equally  important  oases. 
In  these  trials  he  was  opposed  by  the  ablest  lawyers  at  the  bar.  In  one  John  B. 
Skinner  and  Orlando  Hastings,  to  whom  I  have  referred,  were  his  opponeuts.  The 
trials  were  conducted  In  a  manner  that  elicited  the  sharpest  collisions  and  ail  the 
subtle  tactics  of  the  forum,  but  Faulkner  won  ttom  his  opnonents  that  respect 
which  is  due  to  ability,  learning,  and  more  than  all,  to  high  toned  professlooal 
courtesy.  He  won  more  than  this,  he  won  his  causes.  A.t  the  circuit  at  which 
these  cases  were  pending,  a  lawyer  Arom  New  York  dty  conducted  a  case.  He  was 
one  of  those  lawyers  who  believe  themselves  modem  Ciceros.  or,  what  is  more, 
rlvalK  of  the  fkmous  old  lawyer  who  tried  causes  in  old  Rome.  In  summing  up  the 
case  he  made  an  attempt,  as  some  city  lawyers  often  do,  to  astonish  ths  country 
bar.  He  was  evidently  a  man  of  ability,  and  his  speech  though  clumsy  was  strong. 
When  he  closed  some  one  asked  Faulkner  what  he  thought  of  the  speech.  **  WeH/' 
said  he  with  an  expression  of  the  infinite  humor  at  his  command,  '^I  can  only  say 
of  him  as  Harrington  once  said  of  an  orator,  *  It  was  venementand  fluent,  and  the 
man's  language  was  just  what  came  uppermost.  It  had  power,  but  it  was  the 
power  of  a  runaway  horse,  plunging  and  kicking  all  that  approached.' "  In  the 
midst  of  Mr.  Faulkner's  protessTonal  career,  then  becoming  so  profltable  to  him- 
self and  gratifying  to  his  friends,  the  hand  of  disease  fellheavlly,  though  insidiously 
upon  him— fell,  as  it  often  does,  when  hope  was  highest  and  the  fhture  seemed  the 
most  promising,  when  the  ties  or  life  were  the  strongest  and  he  had  much 
to  live  for.  For  a  time  he  indulged  the  hope  that  his  disease  would  yield 
to  skillftil  medical  treatment.  But  as  months  wore  away  It  t>ecame  more  and  more 
obstinate,  until  hope  deferred  began  to  make  the  heart  sick.  He  sought  more  gen- 
ial dimes,  but  in  vain.  It  soon  becnme  apparent  that  his  life  was  slowly  but  surely 
drawing  to  a  close.  As  disease  wasted  his  form  his  mind  seemed  to  strengthen, 
seemed  to  fall  back  upon  itself,  and  Intellectual  objects  became  more  attractive  to 
him.    Though  possessing  wealth  for  beyond  every  ^ant,  real  or  anticipated,  his 


love  of  pro^ssional  labor  grew  more  and  more  Intense  as  his  physical  powers  de- 
clined. He  even  uudertooa  the  management  of  a  case  that  took  the  strongest  bod- 
ily and  mental  powers.  With  this  case  there  was  a  circumstance  so  analagous  to 
one  related  by  Judge  Kent  of  an  eminent  Jurist,  who  was  sutTerlng  under  the  rav* 
ages  of  consumption,  that  I  can  not  refrain  irom  relating  it  here.  **1  was  engaged,*' 
said  Judge  Kent,  '*wlth  him  In  the  conduct  of  a  case  which  for  voluminous  and 
complicated  pleadings  and  proof  was,  perhaps,  unparalleled  In  our  courts.  It  was 
deemed  necessary  tba'  a  condensed  statement  of  the  evidence  of  the  whole  case, 
and  legal  points,  with  minute  references  to  the  authorities  affecting  every  point, 
should  be  prepared  for  the  court.    I  shrunk  from  the  task  as  uXteuy  J>e3|cmd  my 

Digitized  by  VjjOO*/IC 


Annual  Address  by  L.  B.  Proctor.  2 1 

powers,  and  It  fell  to  bis  Mir-SAOrtflclDg  indagtry.  Oor  oonfereDOM  tn  remrd  to  it 
were  n'eqaeut,  and  I  observed  witb  alarm  Its  n^aal  elTecls  oo  bis  healtb.  Often 
I  lea  him  at  noon  bending  over  bis  task,  and  wben  I  returned  in  tbe  evening  be 
was  In  tbe  same  poeture;  wblch  bad  been  varied  in  tbe  Interval  by  only  a  brief  in- 
termission. I  remonstrated,  often  serlouHly,  almost  angrily,  but  it  was  impossible 
to  draw  bim  from  bis  work ;  and  wben  bis  task  wa«  flnlsbed.  tbe  anxioos  eye  of 
fMendsblp  saw  too  sarely  tbat  he  had  made  rapid  prugress  toward  tbe  grave*'  At 
last  Paalkner's  fHeuds  induced  him  to  slve  up  all  professional  care;  but  it  was  too 
laie.  He  lingered  long  alter  all  hope  or  bis  recovery  was  gone,  and  finally,  witb 
calm  fortltode  and  Christian  resignation,  the  inevitable  hour  came.  He  died  in 
December,  18Gc2.  In  tbe  S5th  year  of  bis  age.  And  so  lived,  so  died  Endress  Faulkner. 
Am  In  life  he  adorned  tbe  bar,  may  I  not  say  tbat  his  history  will  embellish  our 
society  r 

COL.  JOB  C.    HEDGES. 

Job.  C.  Hedge9  was  a  member  of  the  Livingston  bar  who  wore  tbe  wreath  of 
Justinian  twined  with  laurels  of  the  soldier.  He  left  the  forum,  at  bis  country's 
call,  where,  though  yet  young,  be  was  rapidly  growing  eminent,  and  a  practice 
already  remunerative  and  increasing.  True  to  his  duty  heserved  on  many  a  weary 
march,  on  many  a  blood-F.talned  field,  amid  the  harvest  of  death,  leading  his  col- 
umn of  nery  valor  where  ^showered  the  death-bolts  deadliest  the  thin*d  files  along.*' 
T<»-day  we  turn  to  him  In  memory  as  we  do  to  many  of  the  unretuming  brave 
who  lell  where 

"Tbe  earth  vas  covered  thick  with  other  day. 
Which  her  own  clay  soon  covered,  heaped  and  pent,— 
Rider  and  horse,  friend  and  foe,— In  one  rude  burial  blent.*' 

For  bIm  as  for  them,  nbtere  have  been  tears  and  breaking  hearts.'*  Though 
time  wear  out  tbe  keener  pangs  of  agony,  though  surviving  ft>lend8  discharge  life's 
dotlee,  foster  its  affections,  sufnsr  no  pause  in  their  career,  yet  the  death  of  the 
loved,  on  tbe  field.  In  camp  or  in  prison,  caused  a  wintry  change  to  come  over  their 
heartM,  dimming  a  sun-beam  tbat  once  radiated  their  homes.    Col.  Job  C.  Hedges 


was  bom  In  the  city  of  New  York  In  June,  1836.  While  yet  very  young  his  parents 
removed  to  Dausville.  where  Job  spent  tbe  remainder  of  bis  life  witb  tbe  excep- 
tion of  a  few  years.    He  received  his  rudimentary  education  and  prepared  for  col- 


lege at  Dansville,  and  was  graduated  with  bonors  at  Lima,  N.  Y.  Having  decided 
to  adopt  the  legal  profession  for  his  fbture  calling,  he  entered  tbe  law  oflflce  of 
Meiwra.  Hastings  A  Newton  of  Rochester.  Under  the  iosi  ruction  of  these  accom- 
plished lawyers  be  prepared  for  the  bar,  and  In  October,  1868.  took  his  degree  as  an 
attorney  and  counsellor  at  law.  He  commenced  bis  practice  in  the  dty  of  New 
York,  as  an  assistant  of  Hon.  Stephen  B.  Cushing,  who  had  recently  retired  f^m 
tbe  ofllce  of  attorney  general  of  the  state.  Such  were  tbe  legal  qualifications  of 
yoong  Hedges  that  his  services  soon  became  Invaluable  to  Mr.  Cushing,  who  oflRBred 
to  make  bim  his  partner  on  terms  the  most  flattering,  but  he  preferred  to  practice 
bis  profession  alone,  and  yielding  to  tbe  solicitations  of  his  friends  returned  to 
Dansville  and  opened  an  ofllce.  His  severe  labors  in  Mr.  Cushlng's  oflflce,  though 
they  gnmtly  taxed  bis  mental  and  physical  energies,  were  profitable,  giving  him  a 
tboroagh  preparation  for  tbe  professional  career  he  had  marked  out  for  himself. 
His  first  professional  eflbrt.  In  yonder  court  bouse,  was  tbe  trial  of  a  cause  of  much 
importanoe^ttractlng  considerable  I  nterest.  His  opponen  t  was  one  of  the  veterans 
or  tbe  bar.  Hedges  conducted  his  case  unaided.  Though  there  was  then  at  our  bar, 
as  ttaore  was  In  those  days  at  most  bars,  two  orbits  in  which  lawyers  moved,  tbe 
inner  circle  for  the  older  lights,  who  were  not  disposed  to  allow  any  rising  young 
Bun  to  enter  it,  ftowningdown  all  who  were  bold  enough  to  make  tbe  attempt 
Hedges,  believing  there  was  no  royal  road  to  legal  eminence.  Indifferent  to  all  dis- 
tlncUons,  bold  and  self-reliant,  entered  on  tbe  trial  of  the  cause,  as  we  have  said, 
wiiboat  a  legal  chieftain  to  aid  him;  not,  however,  without  tbe  usual  advice  and 
warning  of  mends.  **Had  you  not  better,'*  they  said.  **  have  Mr.  8o-and-8o  to  help 
yoaT  He  Is  Just  tbe  man  you  want,  be  hat>  so  much  influence  witb  tbe  Judge  and 
with  tbejury,'*  etc  Thecase  proceeded,  contested  inch  by  inch.  As  Hedges  represent- 
ed tbe  plaintiff  he  dosed  theargument  tothe  jury  In  an  add  rees  that  exhibited  foren- 
sie  talents  of  a  high  order,  and  a  strong,  vigerous,  well-stored  mind.  Unlike  most 
yoang  men  who  occupy  such  places,  be  made  no  attemptat  eloquence,  but  be  made 
atbor  ugh,  practical  analysis  of  the  evidence,  presenting  It  to  tbe  Jurors  fW>m  a 
stand -point  like  their  own,  which  was  an  earnest  effort  to  reach  the  real  Justice  of 
the  case.  He  caught  all  its  weak  and  strong  points,  cautiously  selecting  bis  grounds 
of  defence  and  attack.  Tbe  Jury  retired  and  the  labors  of  the  young  lawyer  were 
soon  rewarded  by  a  verdict  in  his  ftivor.  The  result  of  this  trial  greatly  accelerated 
bis  professional  progress.  One  of  Col.  Hedges's  characteristics  was  the  rapidity 
witb  wblch  his  intellectual  powers  moved.  1  bough  he  was  somewhat  precipitate 
in  his  conclusions,  he  was  cautious  in  bis  manner  of  conducting  a  legal  campaign, 
and  be  was  regarded  as  a  safe,  carefbl  and  flar-seeing  adviser,  and  a  rising  young 
lawyer.  But  in  tbe  midst  of  bis  promising  career  the  war  for  the  Union  broke  out, 
and  Hedges,  inspired  by  tbe  patriotic  spirit  that  everywhere  pervaded  tbe  north, 
engaged  with  Captain  C.  S.  Benjamin  in  the  work  of  recruiting  tne  depleted  ranks 
of'^Uie  bloody,  flgbtlng  18th  Regiuient  N.  Y.  S.  V.  Their  efforts  were  crowned  with 
SQoceas,  and  Hedges  was  commissioned  flrst  lieutenant,  and  very  soon  afterward 
was  promoted  to  tbe  rank  of  adjutant.  In  this  position  be  marched  with  bis  regi- 
ment to  tbe  peninsula.  He  was  engaged  in  all  tbe  battles  tbat  were  fousht  on  it, 
and  in  all  tbe  other  battles  in  which  his  regiment  were  subsequently  engaged.  To 
OM  tbe  language  of  a  difttlnguisbed  and  gallant  officer  who  was  flgbtlng  by  his  side 
whtia  be  fell :  *^M^Jor  Hedges  was  a  brave  and  efl^dent  officer,  and  his  conduct  on 
bard-fought  battle  fields  elicited  the  highest  commendation  from  his  supe- 
'    His  gallant  conduct  on  the  bloody  field  of  I^;^^f|J<5^(^f\[|^^^® 


22  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

18th  or  December,  1862,  when  serving  as  aid  to  Oen.  Barnes,  who  oommaDded  the 
first  division  of  the  5th  corps,  was  esp^ially  mentioned  by  that  officer  in  his  re- 
port. Though  severely  wounded  Hedares  kept  the  field  until  the  battle  ended.  Id 
the  summer  of  1864  the  far-famed  14th  Heavy  Artillery  was  recruited  at  Rochester. 
E.  G.  Marshall  was  commissioned  colonel  and  Hedges  a  maJor.  On  the  2d  of  May. 
1864,  the  regiment  marched  to  the  Rapldan.  crossing  it  on  the  6th.  It  participated 
In  the  battles  of  the  WiJLderness  and  Spotsylvania  where  It  was  under  nre  four  sao- 
cesslve  days.  From  that  time  until  the  fatal  17th  of  June  1864,  the  regiment  was  In 
constant  active  service.  At  Petersburgh,  Va..  on  the  morning  of  that  day,  MflJor 
Hedges  was  instantly  killed  while  bravely  leading  his  regiment  to  a  charge  on  the 
enemy's  lines.  The  Meverity  of  the  fighting  in  this  assault  is  attested  by  our  loesea, 
which  were  estimated  at  1,000  men.  The  losses  of  the  rebels  were  heavy.  In  tiie 
entrenchments  they  lay  three  orfDur  deep,  while  the  ground  between  their  en- 
trenchments was  covered  with  their  dead.  Indeed  it  was  a  bloody  day  when 
Hedges  fell,  but  he  fell 

'*With  hlM  back  to  the  field,  and  his  feet  to  the  foe! 

And  leaving  In  battle  no  blot  on  his  name. 

Looking  proudly  to  heaven  from  a  death-bed  of  Ikme.*' 

I  met  him  a  few  weeks  before  his  death,  and  I  nhall  never  forget  the  touching, 
even  beautiful  manner  in  which  bespoke  of  his  wife,  child,  his  father,  mother,  sis- 
ters, and  other  Triends,  whom  he  was  destined  never  to  meet  again.  The  moistened 
eye,  tbe  quivering  lip,  and  the  stifled  utterance  told  how  tender  and  deep  was  his 
aflfbctlon  for  these.  A  very  short  time  before  his  death  he  was  made  Colonel  by 
brevet,  of  his  regiment  for  gallant  conduct  on  the  field,  but  he  fell  befbre  bewae 
aware  of  this  dlMtingui^hing  recognition  of  his  valor  and  efficiency  as  a  soldier. 
Though  the  LivlngKton  bar  was  valiantly,  Ihad  almost  said  gloriously,  represented 
by  the  private  soldier,  through  all  grades,  un  to  the  general  officer,  in  many  a  bloody 
field  in  the  late  war,  Col.  J.  C.  Hedges  was  the  only  member  of  it  who  died  in  battle. 
It  is  meet,  therefore,  that  his  memory  should  be  embalmed  in  the  archives  of  oar 
society,  for  he  was  not  only  an  able  lawyer,  but  a  splendid  example  of  the  calling, 
career  and  valor  of  the  citizen  soldier. 

McNKIL    SEYMOUR. 

No  member  of  the  Livingston  bar  was  held  in  higher  esteem  than  Mr.  Seymour. 
He  was  one  of  those  men  who  without  apparent  effort  inspire  confidence  and  es- 
teem. In  the  alchemy  of  his  character  there  was  no  dross.  He  made,  no  preten- 
sions to  showy  talents,  or  any  of  those  attributes  that  win  popular  applause,  and 
yet  few  men  stood  higher  in  tbe  estimation  of  the  public  than  he.  This  was  ex- 
hibited when  a  candidate  for  county  Judge.  He  accepted  the  unanimous  nomina- 
tion of  the  democratic  county  convention  with  reluctance.  Impressed  with  the  be- 
lief that  it  would  be  degrading  in  a  candidate  for  a  Judicial  office  to  enter  thu  can- 
vass in  bis  own  behalf.  He  remained  Inactive  during  the  campaign,  and  though 
the  republican  party  was  strongly  dominant,  in  the  county,  such  was  Mr.  Seymour^s 
popularity  that  he  was  dei'eated  by  so  small  a  mnJority  it  was  evident  that  a  tri- 
fling eflort  on  his  part  to  succeed  would  have  resulted  in  a  triumphant  election. 
Wtien  a  friend  expressed  his  regret  at  his  inactivity,  he  replied :  **  I  am  better  sat- 
isfled  with  my  defeat  than  to  have  secured  my  election  at  the  loss  of  my  self-re- 
spect; any  candidate  for  a  Judgeship  that  will  electioneer  for  himself  ought  to  be 
defeated  for  he  would  not  be  fit  for  the  position."  Another  instance  in  which  Mr. 
Seymour's  popularity  was  exhibited,  occurred  in  the  autumn  of  1854  when  he  was 
a  candidate  fbr  member  of  Assembly,  from  the  second  assembly  district  of  Living- 
ston county.    Notwithstanding  his  opponent  was  a  very  strong  and  popular  man. 


he  was  elected  by  a  very  large  majority.    In  the  legislature  he  took  a  high  poal 
er,  his  solid  but  unostentatious  attributes,  his  ' 
latred  of  legislative  pyrotechnics  gave  him  i 

standing  as  a  legislator.     Mr.  Beymour  possessed  a  Judicial  mind  and  method. 


tlon.    His  unassuming  manner,  his  solid  but  unostentatious  attributes,  his  tiappv 
eccentric  abilities,  and  his  hatred  of  legislative  pyrotechnics  gave  him  a  high 


hence,  the  members  of  the  bar  knowing  his  legal  learning,  fairness  and  impartial- 
ity, were  in  the  habit  of  referring  the  must  important  and  intricate  cases  to  htm. 
HlH  decisions  were  usually  acquiesced  in  by  the  defeated  party  as  the  only  true  re- 
sult of  a  Just  construction  of  the  law  and  facts  or  the  case.  The  theatre  of  Mr.  Sey- 
mour's career  was,  I  believe,  mainly  in  Livingston  county.  He  settled  In  Mount 
Morrlssoonafter  his  admission  to  the  bar,  where  he  resided  until  his  death.  He 
died  in  the  prime  of  his  manhood.  In  the  midst  of  his  usefulness  as  u  lawyer  and 
citizen.  He  died  regretted  by  all  who  knew  him.  particularly  by  his  fellow  mem- 
bers of  the  bar.  As  was  said  by  an  eminent  writer  of  Sir.  Robert  Peel,  **  the  failing 
of  the  column  revealed  the  extent  of  the  space  it  had  occupied."  Mr.  Seymour  was 
a  brother  of  the  Hon.  Norman  Seymour  of  Mount  Morris,  the  eloquent  and  effi- 
cient secretary  of  our  society,  and  one  of  lis  founders. 

HARVEY  J.  W^OOD. 

One  of  the  most  agreeable  and  pleasant  members  of  tbe  Livlngrston  bar  was 
Harvey  J.  Wood.  He  was  an  accomplished  practitioner,  profoundly  learned  in  the 
law.  His  counsel  was  always  received  not  only  by  his  clients  but  by  members  of 
the  profession,  in  entire  confidence  that  they  could  be  salely  Kulded  by  IL  During 
the  sittings  of  a  circuit  court,  at  the  general  or  special  term,  Mr.  Wood  was  a  sort 
of  legal  oracle  in  the  practice  of  drawing  rules,  orders,  decrees  or  Judgments  in  difl*- 
icult  cases.  He  always  disliked  the  trial  of  causes.  If,  however,  he  was  forced  to 
conduct  a  trial,  a  prosecution  or  defense,  as  he  often  was,  he  was  strong,  vigorous, 
able,— an  opponent  to  be  dreaded.  He  prosecuted  his  case  in  such  a  manner  that 
all  its  best  features  were  exhibited  with  advantage,  but  he  made  no  pretension  lo 
oratory.  In  his  address  to  the  Jury  he  was  plain,  direct,  sincere,  but  pointed  and 
searching.  Wood  had  lively  sensibility  and  quick  perceptions,  a  thoroughly  culti vat- 


Annual  Address  by  Z.  B,  Proctor,  2  3 

ed  mlod,  a  chaste,  Uterarv  tastejpollshed  by  an  enlarged  acquaintance  wltb  the  best 
writers,  ancient  and  moaem.  His  refined  taste  extended  to  the  fine  arts  and  to 
line  mechanism.  Finally,  all  bis  talenls  and  instincts  were  those  of  a  gentleman. 
High  minded,  generous  and  honorable  himself  he  demanded  these  qualities  in 
those  he  selected  as  his  intimate  friends.  He  detested  fraud,  trickery  and  every 
form  of  rascality.  His  word  was  sacred  among  his  professional  and  other  friends, 
and  no  client  ever  feared  that  his  rights  would  suffer  while  intrusted  to  him.  His 
social  qualities,  his  genial  nature,  his  deep  sympathies  were  exhibited  in  his  every 
day  life,  among  his  own  immediate  Hrlends  and  extended  to  all  with  whom  he 
came  in  oontacL  He  loved  to  meet  and  enjoy  the  bociety  of  the  young,  and  t^ke 
by  the  hand  the  newly  admitted  members  of  the  bar,  struggling  to  gain  their  first 
foothold  in  the  thretbold  of  proiesHional  life.  His  favorite  amusement  was  fish- 
ing, and  excepting  Judge  Fltzhugh,  Izaak  Walton  never  bad  a  more  accomplished 
pupil  at  our  bar  tnun  be.  In  his  earlier  years  his  gun  resounded  on  every  marsh, 
every  wooded  hillside,  in  every  dell  or  glen  within  his  reach,  where  a  bird  could 
be  flushed  or  game  of  any  kind  started.  Several  years  before  his  death  he  pur- 
chased a  beautiful  site  on  Conesus  lake  where  he  erected  a  cottage,  and  which  he 
embelllhhed  in  a  style  that  Calypso  and  her  nymphs  might  envy.  Indeed,  Pope 
never  bad  any  higher  enjoyment  in  Binfleld  or  Twickenham  than  Harvey  J. 
Wood  found  in  this  retreat,  which  he  appropriately  named  '*Bllssport."  Here,  in 
ihe  heated  months  of  summer,  he  invited  his  friends  to  share  with  him  the  delio- 
ions  coolness  of  bis  beautiful  place.  Here  judges,  lawyers,  merchants  would  come, 
and  forget  their  cares,  cast  aside  their  labors,  unbend  l^om  their  dignity,  and  in 
tbe  ft-eedom  of  nature  around  them  be  boys  again,  happy  in  the  enjoyment  of  the 
flLne  conversational  powers  and  rich  humor  of  wood.  He  possessed  one  of 
those  minds  that  finds 

•Tongues  in  trees,  books  In  the  running  brook/' 

and  there  were  times  when,  like  one  of  Shakespeare's  pensive  characters,  he  loved 
to  Uirow  himself 

**  Under  an  oak  whose  antique  roots  peeped  out 
Upon  the  brook  that  brawled  along  the  woods," 

and  there  for  a  time  forget  his  professional  cares  in  the  beauties  of  nature.  Love  of 
raillery  was  a  strong  feature  in  the  character  of  Mr.  Wood,  and  he  was  remarkable 
for  bis  quick  and  happy  repartees.  If  occasion  required  he  could  use  sarcasm  with 
fearful  etTeot,  but  he  was  too  aimiable  in  his  disposition  to  resort  to  the  use  of  this 
weapon  unless  driven  to  it  He  was  a  nativd  of  Cayuga  county.  After  completing 
his  classical  education  he  entered  the  ofiElce  of  Amos  Gould,  an  eminent  lawyer  of 
Anburn,  with  whom  he  studied  law  for  a  year  or  more.  He  completed  his  legal 
education,  I  believe,  in  the  ofl!ice  of  Governor  Young  at  Qeneseo.  He  was  admitted 
to  the  bar  in  1842,  and  commenced  practice  in  Lima,  N.  Y.,  where  he  continued  to 
reside  until  the  close  of  his  Hie.  He  died  In  1870.  Such  was  Harvey  J.  Wood.  If  he 
had  faults,  as  all  have,  the  grave  covers  them ;  his  virtues,  accomplishments  and 
his  genial  nature  outlive  the  grave  and  his  name  is  surrounded  with  pleasant 
memories. 

JOSEPH   VI,  SMITH. 

Joseph  W.  Smith  was  born  near  Bath,  N.  Y.,  in  the  year  1821,  hence  at  the  time 
of  his  death  he  was  fifty-five  years  of  age.  His  ftither  was  a  respectable  farmer  who 
died  when  Joseph  was  yet  quite  young.  He  was  reared  principally  under  the 
flnDsrdianship  of  bis  uncle,  Jason  Stone,  Esq.,  now  a  highly  respected  citizen  of 
Bath.  TOO  frail  to  endure  the  occupation  of  a  farmer  he  was  early  sent  to  the  best 
aobools  in  the  country,  attaining  an  excellent  education.  Often  In  his  boyhood 
days  he  witnessed  the  stirring  legal  contests  that  took  place  at  the  court  house  in 
Bath.  One  of  these  was  the  first  trial  that  the  present  Judge  Rumsey  of  the  su- 
preme oourt  conducted  as  counsel.  In  this  way  his  mind  was  directed  to  the  legal 
profession,  and  his  early  aspiration  was  to  become  a  lawyer.  In  this  be  was  en- 
oouraged  by  his  fk>iends,  particularly  by  two  uncles,  Henry  GotT.  Esq.,  of  Corning, 
and  Jason  Stone  of  Bath.  In  the  year  1842,  on  completing  his  education,  he  came 
to  DansviUe  and  entered  the  oflSce  of  the  late  Benjamin  F.  Harwood,  then  in  the 
plenitude  of  bis  brilliant  prsotJoe.  He  applied  himselfto  his  studies  with  great 
utf  nstry  and  perseverance.  With  a  delicate  constitution  he  sucoessftilly  mastered 
the  great  elementary  law  writers.  He  delighted  in  studying  the  old  metaphysical 
roles  of  special  pleading.  Bacon's  Abridgments,  with  its  antique  phraseology,  was 
an  admirable  instructor  for  him.  He  lingered  with  delight  over  the  gracefhily 
written  commentaries  of  our  own  learned  and  illustrious  Kent,  a  work  that  is  still 
the  text  book  of  Judges  and  lawyers  in  our  own  country,  and  it  has  called  forth  the 
eulogy  and  guided  the  labors  of  the  learned  in  other  climes.  Mr.  Smith  always 
thoroughly  and  severely  investigated  the  law  applicable  tocases  submitted  toblm, 
and  be  made  strong,  exhaustive  briefs.  His  preparatory  course  ended,  we  believe, 
in  1847,  and  he  was  immediately  called  to  the  bar.  He  commenced  practice  as  the 
nartn^  of  Moses  Stevens,  who  for  a  time  was  his  fellow  student  in  the  ofllce  of  Mr. 
Barwood.  After  a  brief  period  this  partnership  was  dissolved;  Mr.  Stevens  re- 
mored  to  Wellsville,  and  Mr,  Smith  continued  to  practice  alone  at  Dansville  for  a 
short  time,  then  removed  to  Almond,  AUegahy  county,  pursuing  there  bis  profes- 
skm.  About  the  time  of  his  removal  to  Almond,  in  the  year  1849,  he  was  united  in 
marriage  to  Miss  Mary  Reynale,  an  accomplished  young  lady,  the  only  daughter 
of  the  late  Dr.  Wm.  H.  Revnale,  and  a  favorite  in  society.  She  survives  her  hus- 
band, and  is  almost  the  sole  survivor  of  a  large,  happy  and  refined  family  circle. 
At  Almond  Mr.  Smith  entered  at  once  upon  a  lucrative  and  successfhl  practice. 
Bat  in  Ihe  autumn  ofl849,  through  the  influence  of  his  father-in-law.  Dr.  Reynale, 
a&4  OCIierB,  Mr.  Smith  was  induced  to  return  to  Dansville,  and  there  resume  his  prac- 


24  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

tloe.  Here  profesKional  sucoeM  again  awaited  him.  After  praotlciDg aloDesome  Mme, 
the  well  remembered  firm  of  Hubbard,  Smith  A  Noyes  was  formed.  With  thin 
combination  of  learning  and  talent  HuoceM  was  an  Inevitable  reealt.  But  for  some 
reason  the  firm  was  dissolved  after  the  lanse  of  a  year,  and  a  new  firm  under  the 
name  of  Smith  A  Noyes  was  Immediately  formed.  This  business  relation  continued 
two  or  three  years  with  considerable  success,  when  It  was  dissolved,  each  of  the 

Krtlee  continuing  to  practice  alone.  In  the  fl»ll  of  1850  the  eminent  firm  of  Van- 
irllp  ASmith  was  formed.  This  relation  continued  through  the  long  period  oC 
seventeen  years,  and  was  dissolved  bv  the  death  of  its  Junior  member,  its  success^ 
fUl  career  is  too  well  known  to  the  public  to  require  any  comment  here.  In  the 
trial  of  a  cause  he  detected  with  keen  quick  observation,  the  weak  points  •  f  his 
adversary,  while,  with  an  Instinctive  Ingenuity  and  skill,  he  defended,  disguised 
or  strengthened  his  own  assailable  points  as  occasion  required.  In  the  thrust  and 
In  the  parry  be  was  equally  at  home.  When  opposed  by  a  sharp,  pettifogging 
trickster— one  who  i-esorted  to  knavish  shrewdness  for  success.  Instead  of  the  learn- 
ing of  his  profession,  or  when  a  deep,  shrewd,  deceitful,  lying  witness  came  against 
him.  then  his  sarcasm  fell  withering,  heavy  and  effectual.  With  his  brethren  of 
the  bar  he  was  honorable,  high  minded  and  courteous,  and  everywhere  his  word 
was  his  bond.  At  the  bar  and  In  the  popular  assembly  Mr.  Smith  was  a  forcible,  log- 
ical and  persuasive  spe^iker.  As  a  politician  be  was  bold,  ardent  and  adroit,  a 
democrat,  who  never  farled  the  banner  of  his  party  for  the  sake  of  policy,  but 
always  carried  it  aloft  in  triumph  or  defeat— like  Bruce  at  Bannookburn,  planting 
its  standard  on  the  hard  rock.  Mr.  Smith  represented  his  town  in  the  board  of 
supervisors  several  successive  years.  In  the  (kill  of  1><60  he  was  a  candidate  for 
member  of  assembly.  Although  In  his  district  there  was  an  overwhelming  repub- 
lican minority,  he  reduced  the  minority  of  his  opponent,  a  very  popular  man.  to 
barely  thirty-flve.  He  would  have  been  elected  but  for  some  disaffection  In  his 
party  in  one  of  the  towns  of  the  county.  In  1872  he  sustained  au  irreparable  loss  In 
the  death  of  his  only  son— his  only  child.  He  was  ^  young  man  of  much  intellec- 
tual promise.  From  this  terrible  blow  Mr.  Smith  never  recovered.  Like  a  strong 
tree  that  has  withstood  the  whirlwind,  though  many  of  Its  green  leaves  have  been 
swept  away,  among  whose  broken  boughs  the  birds  no  longer  warble,  so  he  with- 
stood this  terrible  stroke  of  fate.  To  his  friends  It  was  plain  that  nothing  could 
banish  his  lost  boy  fkt>m  his  thought.  In  my  confidential  interviews  wltn  him, 
when  his  sad  heart  was  laid  open  to  me,  as  It  often  was,  I  felt  that  in  his  musings, 
at  his  home  or  In  his  office, 

**Ortef  filled  the  room  up  of  his  absent  child. 
Laid  in  his  bed,  walked  up  and  down  with  him ; 
Put  on  his  well  known  looks,  repeated  all  his  words. 
Reminded  him  of  all  his  gracious  paru. 
Stuffed  out  his  vacant  garments  with  his  form." 

But  his  sorrow  is  at  an  end,  the  valley  and  the  shadow  is  past,  he  sleeps  well 
and  peaoeftilly  by  the  side  of  hire  whose  loss  silenced  the  music  of  his  life.  In  pri- 
vate life  Mr.  Smith  was  a  valuable  and  influential  citizen.  Kindness  was  innate 
in  his  nature.  As  he  possessed  a  fund  of  pleasing  anecdote,  set  off  by  lively  wit 
and  sparkling  repartee,  he  was  a  fhivorlte  In  the  social  circle.  "To  those  who  loved 
him  not  he  was  lofty  and  sour,"  and  to  his  enemies  who  crossed  his  path  In  hatred 
he  was  Implacable  and  aggressive  in  his  resentment ;  he  knew  how  to  be  a  turbulent 
and  effective  hater.  By  a  singular  providence  the  Dansvllle  bar  within  a  brief 
period  lost  three  of  its  members.  Tney  were  In  every  sense  of  the  word  not  only 
ornaments  to  the  home  bar  but  to  that  of  the  county.  Two  of  these,  Faulkner  and 
Smith,  I  have  already  mentioned,  the  third  was  the  young,  gifted  and  lamented 

JOHN  G.  W^ILKINSON, 

who  died  in  the  morning  of  his  life— in  the  dawn  of  his  profsssioual  career.  As  he 
possessed  talenta  of  a  high  order,  accurate  and  practical  learning,  laudable  and 
well  balanced  ambition,  well  directed  determination  and  untiring  industry,  his 
career  must  have  been  eminently  successful  If  not  brilliant.  He  died  in  the  spring 
of  1875. 

SAMUEL  D.  FAULKNER. 

The  death  of  Judge  Faulkner  occurred  so  recently,  memoirs  of  his  life  more  or 
less  elaborately  written,  for  the  Journals  of  the  county,  are  so  fresh  In  the  public 
mind,  that  any  reference  to  him  on  this  occasion  may  at  first  seem  the  work  of 
supererogation.  But,  conscious  that  a  brief  biography  of  a  lawyer  so  eminent,  and 
of  a  judge  so  eulivbtened.  Impartial  and  useful,  even  though  Imperfectly  written, 
will  be  a  rare  embellishment  to  the  archives  of  our  society  and  a  treasure  to  our 
bar,  I  shall,  in  obedience  to  my  duty,  give  you  an  outline  of  his  life.  I  begleave, 
however,  to  do  so  In  language  used  by  me  In  another  place.  Samuel  Dorr  Faulk- 
ner was  born  at  Dansvllle.  N.  Y.,  November  14th,  1885.  He  was  a  son  of  Judge 
James  Faulkner  and  a  brother  of  Kndress  Faulkn.er,  whose  life  and  career  I  have 
already  attempted  to  describe.  Nature  was  prodigal  of  her  intellectual  gifts  to  him, 
and  f^m  his  earliest  ye^rs  to  the  close  of  hltf  life  tie  evinced  a  grateful  sense  of  her 
favors  by  doing  all  In  his  power  to  enhance  the  value  of  her  gilts.  Under  the  In- 
structions of  an  accomplished  private  tutor  he  commenced  his  classical  education 
at  home,  making  rapid  proficiency  In  his  studies.  He  completed  his  preparation 
for  college  at  Berkshire.  N.  Y.,  and  entered  Yale  In  the  year  1855.  He  was  graduat- 
ed in  the  class  of  1859  with  distinguished  honors,  the  rich  reward  of  the  most  dili- 
gent and  untiring  study.  While  In  this  institution  he  was  one  of  the  five  editors  of 
the  Yale  Literary  Magazine,  a  publication  of  high  rank  at  home  and  abroad.  The 
written  and  oral  productions  of  his  college  years  were  dlstli)gnUhMl|for  such 


Annual  Address  by  Z.  B.  Procter.  25 

AMlllty  of  expression,  by  snob  argnmentative  foroe,  soch  ibrensle  point,  that  bis 
firleadfl  were  earJy  oonvlneed  that  the  bar  woald  be  his  ftitnre  fleid  or  action.  And 
it  was  so.  Soon  after  leaving  college  be  entered  f^e  AlbMny  law  school,  where  be 
chiefly  prepared  for  bis  call  to  the  bar.  He  was  admitted  to  all  the  state  courts  in 
the  year  18B0,  and  immediately  commenced  the  practice  of  his  profession  in  his 
naUve  village.  His  professional  advancement  was  rapid  and  permanent,  placing 
hJm,  at  an  early  age,  among  the  leaders  of  the  Uviogston  bar.  His  practice  soon 
extended  Into  the  adjacent  counties,  where  bis  abilities  as  an  advocate  were  liber- 
Ally  acknowledged.  Like  moet  lawvers,  Judge  Faulkner  was  naturally  attracted 
to  the  political  field,  where,  under  the  banner  of  the  Democratic  party,  he  became 
a  leading  and  influential  partisan.  On  the  platform  he  vindicated  and  sustained 
the  doctrines  of  his  party  with  well-digested  arguments,  and  in  the  language  that 
liad  the  grace  at  once  of  spontaneity  and  art.  and  he  soon  ranked  with  the  leaders 
of  the  democracy  in  this  state.  It  was  believed  in  the  beginning  of  his  political 
lUlB,  that  as  the  republican  party  was  so  strongly  dominant.not  only  in  Livingston 
eounty  but  in  hif>  congressional.  Judicial  and  senatorial  districts,  the  chances  of 
the  young  lawyer  for  political  advancement  were  extremely  limited.  Notwith- 
■tanding  this,  in  the  autumn  of  1866,  the  democrats  of  the  second  assembly  district 
of  Livingston  county  nominated  him  as  their  candidate  for  the  legislature.  His 
opponent  was  a  popular,  energetic  and  determined  man,  who  entered  the  contest 
with  the  prestige  of  a  large  Republican  majority  in  his  favor.  After  an  earnest 
canvass  Faulkner  was  elected  by  a  decisive  majority.  He  was  the  first  democrat 
ever  elected  bv  his  party  in  Livingston  county  to  the  assembly.  This,  with  his 
aekDOwledged  ability,  gave  him  a  high  position  on  his  first  entrance  into  the  leg- 
islature. His  sobsequent  career  as  a  legislator,  his  speeches  delivered  on  the  floor 
of  ibe  bouse,  the  various  reporu  and  memorials  of  which  he  was  the  author,  are 
Indubitable  evidence  of  his  talents  as  a  parliamentary  speaker  and  writer.  Thongb 
one  of  the  youngest  members  of  the  house,  he  was  one  of  the  most  influential  and  . 
respected.  On  retiring  irom  his  legislative  duties  he  resumed  more  actively  than 
ever  the  duties  of  his  profession.  In  the  fall  of  1867  he  was  tendered  a  renomina- 
tlon  for  the  assembly.  It  was  not  only  tendered  to  him  but  he  was  strongly  urged 
by  bis  party  to  accept.  He  neremptorlly  declined,  saying  that  he  would  never  ac- 
cept another  office  in  the  fAvi  of  the  people,  except  one  that  was  in  the  line  of  bis 
profession.  In  the  Ikll of  1870  be  was  nominated  for  coun ty  Judge,  by  the  democrats 
of  his  county.    Though,  as  In  the  case  of  his  nomination  for  the  assembly,  his 

Srty  was  In  an  almost  hopeless  minority,  he  was  elected,  and  in  January,  1871, 
>k  his  seat  upon  the  bench.  With  a  mind,  habits  and  attainments  eminently 
practical,  he  entered  upon  the  duties  of  his  office  destined  to  achieve  eminent  suc- 
oesR.  He  closed  his  six  years  of  Judicial  service— the  term  flxed  by  the  constitution 
—prepared  to  lay  down  the  ermine  without  one  spot  or  blemish  upon  it  But  he 
was  not  permitted  to  lay  It  down.  In  the  fall  of  1876  he  was  nominated  and  re- 
elected county  Judge,  entering  upon  his  second  Judicial  term  in  January,  1877. 
Bnring  his  firstterm  bis  health  began  to  fail,  and  his  ftiends  soon  became  pain- 
mlly  conscious  that  he  was  suflisrlng  under  the  ravages  of  consumption.  To  avoid 
the  rigor  of  our  northern  winters  and  with  the  hope  of  being  restored  to  health, 
besought  the  mild  and  softer  climate  of  the  south,  where  for  several  vears  pan  he 
•pent  his  winters.  This  for  a  time  resisted  the  insidious  disease,  inspiring  in  him- 
self and  Mends  strong  hope  of  his  ultimate  recovery.  But  the  hope  was  only  an 
illusion.  There  was  a  time,  when,  had  his  ambition  been  Icbs,  when,  had  he  re- 
tired ftom  his  Judicial  and  professional  labors,  he  might  have  recovered  his  health. 
But  he  loved  the  labors  of  his  office  and  of  bis  profession.  He  never  undertook,  in 
sickness  or  in  health,  the  discussion  or  decision  of  any  legal  question  that  he  had 
not  ftilly  Investigated,  and  of  which  he  bad  not  made  himself  the  master.  He 
loved  his  duties.  Judicial  and  professional,  with  enthusiastic  devotion,  and  there- 
Ibre.  rc«ardless  or  fhlling  healtn,  he  pursued  them  with  untiring  energy.  Perhaps 
be  JbncUy  looked  forward  to  recovery.  But,  alas !  it  never  came,  and  he  fell  with 
bis  armor  on,  intent  on  the  discharge  of  his  duties;  and  dying  in  early  manhood 
a  victim  to  bis  own  ceaselens  devotion  to  them,  and  of  the  profession  t^at  now 
mourns  his  loss. 

**  Ro  the  struck  eagle  stretched  upon  the  plain. 
No  more  through  rolling  clouds  to  soar  again. 
Views  his  own  feather  in  the  fatal  dart 
That  winged  the  shaft  that  quivered  In  his  heart." 

In  his  struggle  with  a  lingering  and  ffttal  disease,  accelerated  if  not  wholly 
caused  by  unremitting  devotion  to  bis  duties,  there  Is  a  mournlul  resemblance  be- 
tween his  fste  and  that  of  his  distinguished  brother,  Endress.  Judge  Faulkner  was 
a  cloae,  though tfhl  lawyer.  He  was  well  aware  that  it  Is  often  the  case  that  young 
men,  conscious  of  possessing  fine  Intellectoal  powers,  depend  too  much  upon  them, 
and  thus  neglect  tnat  severe  mental  discipline,  that  thorongb,  patient  investiga- 
tloD,  without  which  distinction  Is  seldom  attained,  especially  in  the  legal  profes- 
sion. He  knew  that  few  persons  leap  Pallas-like  into  full  professional  honors  and 
sueoess,  though  in  the  legal,  as  in  other  professions.  Impudence,  pretentious  ignor- 
aiiee  and  swelling  conceit  often  push  men,  for  a  time  at  least,  rapidly  up  the  deli- 
cately graduated  professional  ladder.  Hence  it  was  his  ambition  to  be,  as  Cicero 
recommends,  able,  apu^  dUtincte^  ornate^  diacere.  How  well  he  succeeded  his  career 
at  the  bar  fhlly  attests.  His  mind  was  one  of  singular  elasticity  and  power.  All  of 
bis  mental  focultles,  all  of  his  passions,  predilections  and  prejudices  were  subordi- 
nate to  self  control— to  a  calm  Judgment  that  presided  over  all.  As  a  speaker  at 
tbe  bar  or  in  the  popular  assembly,  he  was  ready.  Ingenious,  often  impressive— 
alir«ya  interesting.  He  was  possessea  of  a  clear,  pleasant  voice,  appropriate  gestie- 
slatlon :  never  affected,  churlish,  ostentatious  or  pedantic;  always  expressed  him- 
.self  la  language  simple,  natural,  idiomatic.  As  a  Judge  be  was  acut&  sMiusi^and 


26  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

reflecting.  Even  duriDK  the  tanrry  find  exoitement  of  a  trlftl,  his  active  mind  and 
his  ready  knowledge  of  the  law  enabled  him  to  dispose  with  much  acoaraoy  of  a 
large  amount  of  basiness.  With  the  Ughtof  his  experience,  with  rare  sagacity,  be 
soon  discovered  the  right  and  wrong  of  a  case.  Usnally  in  his  charge  to  the  Jury 
he  divested  a  case  of  those  artlfldal  incumbrances  and  entanglements,  theoreation 
of  artftil  counsel,  and  presented  the  pointt*  in  a  clear,  fttir  and  distinct  manner. 
His  opinions  exhibit  research,  are  written  with  care  and  perspicuity,  always  ap- 
proaching the  point  on  which  the  case  turned  with  directness  and  celerity  which 
renderedlt  apparent  even  to  the  casual  reader.  This  was  exhibited  in  his  reoent 
charge  to  the  Jury  in  the  Hlnman  case— a  case  that  was  hotly,  stubbornly  contested 
on  both  sides  to  a  degree  seldom  equaled  at  the  bar,  a  case  full  of  conflicting  evi- 
dence, sharp,  angular  and  novel  legal  questions,  that  seemed  impossible  to  harmo- 
nise ;  and  yet  Judge  Faulkner  divested  the  case  of  everything  except  the  real  ftusts 
pertinent  to  It,  with  fairness  and  perspicuity,  that  opposing  counsel  were  eminent- 
17  satisfied,  and  the  almost  impossible  task  of  the  Jury  rendered  easy.  To  say  that 
the  death  of  such  a  roan  is  a  public  loss  is  to  repeat  the  genera,  opinion  of  the 
community. 

CLOSING  RKMARKS. 

Thus  I  have,  in  an  Imperfect  manner,  discharged  the  high  and  honorable  duty 
assigned  me  through  the  courtesy  of  this  society— the  duty  of  sketching 
the  lives  of  the  Judges  and  lawyers  of  Livingston  county  who  are  numbered  with 
the  dead.  To  a  large  extent  my  field  of  labor  presents  a  history  of  that  county.  In 
view  of  the  great  research,  labor  and  the  peculiar  qualifications  which  the  task  re- 
quires, I  venture  to  undertake  it  with  much  dlfiidenoe,  and,  I  trust,  with  an  entire 
abnegation  of  all  personal  considerations.  In  reverence  to  the  memory  of  the  dead, 
in  respectful  recognition  of  the  feelings  of  their  surviving  friends,  I  have  appreci- 
ated the  high  responsibility  and  delicacy  of  the  position  loccupy  here  to-day— feel- 
ing almost  conscious  of  acting  under  the  mandate  of  a  voice  coming  Arom 
the  past,  saying,  **Put  off  thy  shoes,  for  the  ground  on  which  thou  standeet  is  holy 
ground ! "  Therefore,  reverent  to  this  voice,ln  dosing  my  task,  permit  me  to  add 
that  while  striving  to  shun  the  (iftults  and  to  emulate  the  virtues  of  those  whose 
history  and  career  have  been  committed  to  me,  to  the  alTections  and  gratitude  of 
the  people  of  Livingston  county,  and  of  western  New  York,  to  the  safe  keeping  of 
the  impartial  historian  and  the  honored  archives  of  our  society  we  commit  their 
memory. 

Note.— As  I  designed  this  address  as  a  history  of  the  life  and  times  of  the  de- 
ceased. Judges  and  lawyers  of  Livingston  county,  and  to  that  end  a  blstonr  of  the 
county,  I  have  in  preparing  it  for  publication  given  an  extended  sketch  of  several 
eminent  members  of  the  profession  to  whom  1  had  only  time  to  briefly  allude  in 
delivering  it;  giving  It  more  the  appearance  of  a  series  of  biographies.  In  this  re- 
spect It  will  be  more  appropriate  for  the  archives  of  our  society. 


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FOURTH    ANNUAL    MEETING 


i  .  OF    THE 


LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 


HISTORICAL  SOCIETY, 


N£LD    AT    GENESEO, 


Tuesday,  January  13th,  1880. 


DAN8VILLE.  N.  Y. : 

.  O.  KUNMKCI^,  PHIMTES,  ADyKHT18i:B  OFFICB. 

18H0. 


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jP^feUCLIBRARyl 


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f^ 


FOURTH  ANNUAL  MEETING 

OF    THE 

Livingston  Coonty  Historical  Society. 


BUSINESS  MEETING. 

The  fourth  annual  meeting  of  the  Livingston  County 
Historical  Society  was  held  at  Geneseo  on  Tuesday,  January 
13th,  1880.  At  II  a.  m.  a  business  meeting  was  held  in  the 
parlors  of  the  American  Hotel.     President  Mills  in  the  chair. 

The  report  of  the  last  annual  meeting  was  read  by  the 
Secretary  and  on  motion  approved.  The  report  of  Treasurer 
was  read  and  approved.     Balance  on  hand  1 16.28. 

Dr.  L.  J.  Ames,  Chairman  of  Committee  on  Membership, 
reported  the  following  applications:  John  F.  Barber  of 
Nunda  for  life  membership.  Hugh  T.  McNair  of  West  Sparta. 
On  motion  Messrs.  Barber  and  McNair  were  duly  elected 
members.  Subsequently  Francis  Kellogg  of  South  Avon  was 
made  a  member. 

Rev.  A.  J.  Massey  of  Mt.  Morris,  Rev.  Dr.  F.  DeW.  Ward 
of  Geneseo,  and  Rev.  George  K.  Ward  of  Dansville  were 
elected  Jjonorary  members. 

The  following  officers  for  the  ensuing  year  were  elected  by 
ballot,  viz : 

President — Hon.  William  M.  White. 

Vioti.  President — Hon.  Benjamin  F.  Angel. 

'"rt-vetaiy  and  Treasurer — Norman  Seymour. 

Ccuncilmen — Dr.  Myron  H.  Mills,  Dr.  Lorin  J.  Ames, 
Dr.  Daniel  H.  Fitzhugh,  Samuel  P.  Allen,  Benjamii^  F. 
Angi  Amos  A.  Hendee,  Dr.  Francis  M.  Perine,  E.  H. 
Davis,  John  R.  Murray,  L.  B.  Proctor. 


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4  Livingston  County  Historical  Socitty. 

The  following  committees  were  appointed  : 

Finance — E.  H.  Davis.  S.  P.  Allen,  J.  R.  Murray. 
Publication — E.  H.  Davis,  F.  M.  Perine,  L.  B.  Proctor. 
Membership — L.  J.  Ames,  D.  H.  Fitzhugh,  A.  A.  Hendee. 

The  thanks  of  the  Society  were  unanimously  tendered  the 
outgoing  President,  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  for  his  valuable  services. 

The  following  resolutions  offered  by^^Secretary  Seymour 
were  unanimously  adopted : 

Whereas,  The  centennial  of  the  battles,  skirmishes  and 
memorable  expedition  of  Gen.  John  Sullivan  in  1779,  against 
the  Iroquois,  the  Six  Nations,  has  during  the  past  year  been 
most  appropriately  observed  at  Elmira,  Waterloo,  Geneseo 
and  Aurora,  therefore 

Resolved,  That  our  assemblyman  and  senator  at  Albany 
be  requested  to  take  earnest  measures  to  procure  the  passage 
of  an  act  authorizing  the  secretary 'of  state  to  cause  to  be  pre- 
pared and  published  the  proceedings  of  all  the  centennial  cel- 
ebrations of  1879,  iocluding  the  official  action  of  the  respect- 
ive local  authorities,  with  a  full  report  of  all  local  town  and 
county  committees  having  had  these  celebrations  in  charge ; 
and  also  a  full  statement  of  the  exercises,  civil,  military, 
etc. ;  all  historical  speeches  and  all  addresses  and  poems,  de- 
livered at  such  gatherings,  together  with  the  complete  news- 
paper reports  given  by  the  several  papers  in  the  several  coun- 
ties, as  well  as  the  record  of  public  meetings  held  to  arrange 
for  these  several  centennial  celebrations. 

Resolved,  That  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society 
hereby  tenders  its  hearty  acknowledgements  to  the  citizens  of 
Geneseo  for  the  generous  and  magnificent  manner  in  which 
they  entertained  the  thousands  that  were  present  in  their 
town  at  the  observance  of  the  Gen.  Sullivan  centennial ;  that 
we  recall  with  pleasure  the  beauty  of  their  village,  which  with 
the  cordial  greetings  of  its  citizens  added  so  greatly  to  the 
festivities  and  gayety  of  that  memorable  occasion  ;  their  gen- 
erosity and  patriotism  history  will  perpetuate ;  theT^cord  of 
which  will  be  eagerly  read  by  the  thousands  that  will  gather 
at  the  second  centennial  of  Gen.  Sullivan's  expedition  into  the 
Genesee  Valley. 

Resolved,  That  these  resolutions  be  offered  to  our  county 
and  Rochester  papers  for  publication  and  a  copy  bdlbrVfarded 
to  our  senator  and  representative  at  Albany,  and  also  to  the 
pai^rs  published  at  Elmira,  Waterloo  and  Aurora. 

The  meeting  then  adjourned  till  afternoon. 


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I 


PUBLIC  MEETING. 

The  public  meetinor  of  the  Society  held  in  the  chapel  of 
the  Normal  School  building  Tuesday  afternoon,  was  called  to 
order  at  2  o'clock  by  the  President,  who  made  the  following 
brief  address : 

ADDRESS   BY    PRESIDENT  MILLS. 

Ijzdies  and  Gentlemen  : — It  was  eighty- nine  years  last  June 
since  this  locality  where  we  are  assembled  to  day  (Geneseo) 
became  the  permanent  abode  of  the  white  man.  During  all 
these  years,  which  have  been  successively  marked  by  the 
progress  and  development  of  the  country,  the  advancement 
in  literature,  the  arts  and  sciences,  all  of  which  have  been  so 
characterized  by  a  high  order  of  attainment,  and  notwith 
standing  the  fact  that  our  county  abounds  in  historic  matter, 
dating  back  to  the  imperial  sway  of  the  Iroquois,  and  em- 
bracing the  history  of  the  first  white  settlement  among  their 
descendants  in  this  valley,  still  it  remains  for  this  age,  it  re 
mains  for  us,  to  inaugurate  the  Livingston  County  Historical 
society,  a  pioneer  institution  of  its  kind  in  this  county,  and 
one  which  has  by  common  consent,  and  the  endorsement  of 
an  enlightened  public  sentiment,  become  one  of  the  fixed 
institutions  of  the  day.  A  year  ago,  on  a  similar  occasion,  I 
gave  a  brief  history  of  this  society,  its  objects  and  its  doings. 
I  will  therefore  only  dwell  on  the  present  occasion  to  remark, 
that  it  costs  one  dollar  a  year  to  become  a  member,  or  ten 
dollars  for  a  life  membership,  and  that  ladies  are  eligible  to 
become  members  of  the  association.  Woman's  thread  of  life 
forms  a  portion  of  the  warp  of  history,  and  cannot  be  omitted 
in  constructing  and  perfecting  the  historic  fabric.  I  would 
therefore  be  pleased  to  see  ladies'  names  enrolled  among  the 
list  of  members.  The  faithfully  written  history  of  a  people  is 
the  most  enduring  monument  the  living  can  erect  to  their 
memory.  This  together  with  preserving  in  an  enduring  form 
the  local  history  of  our  times  are  among  the  chief  objects  of 
this  society.      There  will  be  an  ^opportunity  at  the  close  of 

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6  •  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

the  exercises  for  any  who  may  desire  to  become  members,  to 
do  so,  by  handing  in  their  names  to  the  secretary  of  the  soci- 
ety, or  at  the  speaker's  stand,  on  retiring  from  the  hall. 

The  Geneseo  Glee  club,  (N.  A.  Gearhart.  leader,  D.  Bur- 
roughs first  bass,  Frank  Spencer  first  tenor,  G.  C.  Merrill 
second  tenor,  Miss  Culver  accompanist,)  sang  a  song  to  the 
tune  of  Auld  Lang  Syne ;  and  the  following  prayer  was 
offered  by  Rev.  J.  A.  Massey.  D.  D..  of  Mt.  Morris. 
REV.    DR.    MASSEY'S   PRAYER. 

Our  Father  who  art  in  heaven,  hallowed  be  thy  name,  thy 
kingdom  come,  thy  will  be  done  on  earth  as  it  is  in  heaven. 
Give  us  this  day  our  daily  bread,  and  forgive  us  our  trespasses 
as  we  forgive  those  who  trespass  against  us.  *  And  lead  us 
not  into  temptation,  but  deliver  us  from  evil,  for  thine  is  the 
kingdom  and  the  power  and  the  glory,  for  ever  and  ever. 
Amen. 

Almighty  God,  Father  of  all  mercies,  in  whom  we  live  and 
have  our  being,  and  from  whom  all  good  things  do  come, 
confessing  our  sins  and  imploring  forgiveness  in  the  name  of 
Jesus  Christ,  we  render  thee  hunible  and  hearty  thanks  for 
all  the  goodness  and  loving  kindness  to  us  as  individuals  and 
as  a  society.  And  we  beseech  thee  to  give  us  all  grace  to 
show  our  thankfulness,  not  only  with  our  lips,  but  in  our 
lives,  by  giving  up  ourselves  to  thy  service  and  by  walking 
before  thee  in  holiness  and  righteousness  all  our  days,  through 
Jesus  Christ  our  Lord  to  whom  with  thee  and  the  Holy 
Ghost  be  all  honor  and  glory  world  without  end.  Amen.  O 
Almighty  God,  whom  truly  to  know  is  everlasting  life,  and 
who  hast  so  loved  the  world  as  to  give  Thine  only  begotten 
Son  for  it,  grant  us  so  perfectly  and  without  all  doubt  to 
believe  Thy  Son  Jesus  Christ  to  be  tfie  Way,  the  Truth  and 
the  Life,  that  our  faith  in  Thy  sight  may  never  be  reproved, 
and  that^we  may  steadfastly  walk  in  the  way  that  leadeth  to 
everlasting  life,  through  the  same.  Thy  Son  Jesus  Christ  our 
Lord.  Amen.  O  God,  Holy  Ghost,  .sanctifier  of  the  faithful, 
visit  us.  we  pray  Thee  as  individuals  and  as  a  society  with 
Thy  love  and  favor;  enlighten  our  minds  more  and  more 
with  the  light  of  the  everlasting  gospel ;  graft  in  our  hearts 
a  scion  of  the  truth,  increase  in  us  true  religion ;  nourish  us 
with  all  goodness ;  and  of  Thy  great  mercy  keep  us  in  the 
same,  O  blessed  Spirit,  whom  with  the  Father  and  the  Son 
together  we  worship  and  glorify  as  one  God,  world  without 
end.     Amen. 

The  Secretary  then  made  the  following  report : 

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Fourth  Annual  Meeting,  7 

SECRETARY   SEYMOUR'S    REPORT. 

As  Secretary  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society 
we  would  report:  To  day  brings  us  to  the  fifth  anniversary 
of  the  organization  of  our  Society.  The  past  year  has  been 
the  most  eventful  one  in  its  history.  The  centennial  of  Sulli- 
van's memorable  expedition  against  the  Iroquois,  the  Six 
Nations,  in  September,  1779,  culminating  in  the  battle  of 
Groveland,  was  most  appropriately  and  honorably  observed 
at  Geneseo,  September  i6th,  (September  13th  being  the  day. 
as  recorded  in  history,  but  changed  to  accommodate  speak- 
ers.) under  the  auspices  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical 
Society,  and  the  County  Pioneer  association.  "  Big  Tree  " 
on  that  day  was  elegantly  attired,  and  the  greetings  she  gave 
to  the  twenty  thousand  people  that  gathered  on  that  occasion 
has  added  another  laurel  to  her  historic  fame.  The  historian 
that  closes  up  the  record  of  the  nineteenth  century  will  most 
justly  record  the  generosity,  intelligence,  and  patriotism,  she 
so  nobly  illustrated  on  that  eventful  day.  Dunng  the  past 
year  500  pamphlets  of  the  annual  meeting  of  1879.  with*  its 
addresses  by  President  Mills  and  L.  B.  Proctor,  Esq.,  a  valu- 
able addition  to  our  county  history,  have  been  published  and 
distributed,  and  also  300  circulars  sent  out  soliciting  mem- 
bership to  our  society,  enlightening  the  public  as  to  the  ob- 
jects of  our  organization,  and  the  importance  of  perpetuating 
for  all  time  the  records  of.  a  county  that  has  no  jSeer  for  its 
historic  interest  in  the  Empire  state. 

During  the  past  year  none  of  our  members  have  died,  but 
to  day  it  is  our  sad  duty  to  mention  the  sudden  and  unex- 
pected decease  of  one  of  our  most  worthy  honorary  mem- 
bers, one  who  was  ardently  attached  to  our  county,  and  who 
once  in  writing  to  your  Secretary  said.  "  It  would  delight  me 
to  receive  a  letter  from  Livingston  County  every  day  in  the 
year." 

HON.   GEORGE   W.    PATTERSON 

Was  born  in  Londonderry,  New  Hampshire,  November 
n,  1799.  ^^  came  to  Livingston  county  in  the  winter  of 
1817  18,  locating  in  Groveland,  thence  going  to  Sparta.  In 
April,  1822,  he  removed  to  Warsaw,  the  same  year  to  Ripley, 
N.  Y.  In  182^  he^  removed  to  Leicester,' locating  near  the 
town  line  of  York,  and  up  to  1841  was  largely  engaged  in  > 
the  manufacturing  of  fanaing  mills.  His  first  town  offices  in 
Leicester  were  commissioner  of  highways,  justice  of  the 
peace,  and  supervisor  in  the  years  1828  and  1829. 

He  was  chosen  to  the  assembly  from  this  county  in  the 
years  1832,  '33,  ^35,  '36,  '37,  '38,  '39,  '40,  and  was  speaker  of 


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8  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

the  house  in  '39  and  '40.  He  was  delegate  to  the  constitu- 
tional convention  in  1841  from  Chautauqua  county.  In  1848 
he  was  elected  lieutenant  governor  with  Governor  Fish. 
Three  years  he  was  supervisor  of  Westfield,  removing  to  that 
town  in  1841,  to  assume  the  charge  of  the  Chautauqua  Land 
office.  In  185 1  he  was  placed  upon  the  Whig  ticket  for 
comptroller,  and  came  within  about  800  votes  of  an  election. 
In  1856-7  he  was  one  of  the  commission,  consisting  of  John 
L.  Talcott  of  Buffalo,  Preston  King  of  St.  Lawrence,  James 
"Bowen  of  New  York,  and  John  Vanderbelt  of  Kings,  to  fix 
the  lines  of  the  harbor  of  New  York.  In  1876  and  '78  he 
ably  represented  the  33d  New  York  congressional  district,  in 
the  45th  congress,  and  was  never  absent  on  any  important 
vote.  For  about  forty  years  he  had  charge  of  the  land  office 
at  Westfield,  and  during  that  time  not  a  single  dollar  had 
been  lost  by  any  one  in  the  office,  nor  his  bank  account  over- 
drawn one  penny. 

Gov.  Patterson  was  a  man  of  rare  executive  ability,  saga- 
cioi4S  and  highly  trustworthy,  and  of  great  native  talent,  and 
uncommon  conversational  powers,  a  model  man,  universally 
popular  with  the  people,  of  commanding  presence,  genial, 
loving  and  beloved,  with  a  kind  word  for  all,  his  acquaintance 
with,  and  knowledge  of  men  was  wonderful.  His  opinions 
were  uniformly  correct,  positive  and  outspoken — the  out- 
growth of  true  manhood.  In  him  the  statesman,  philanthro- 
pist, and  patriot,  most  eminently  blended.  His  simplicity  of 
character,  honesty  of  purpose,  unbending  integrity,  and  un- 
compromising devotion  to  the  public  interests,  gave  him  a 
firm  hold  upon  the  confidence  and  affections  of  the  people. 
His  Christian  life  was  anchored  in  his  unswerving  faith  in  the 
truths  of  the  Bible,  and  earnest  belief  in  the  religion  of  the 
fathers.  His  benevolence  was  unbounded,  quiet  and  unosten- 
tatious, and  flowed  from  a  perennial  fountain.  He  loved  to 
make  all  around  him  happy.  The  silvery  sheen  that  for  so 
many  years  had  so  beautifully  adorned  his  noble  and  gentle 
life,  grew  brighter  to  the  last,  melting  away  into  the  light  of 
heaven  ;  of  such  a  man  we  can  truly  say  : 

"They  need  no  tears,  who  live  a  noble  life. 

We  will  not  weep  for  those  who  died  so  well. 

Bat  we  will  gather  round  the  hearth 

And  tell  the  story  of  their  strife; 

8uob  homage  suits  them  well. 

Better  than  formal  pomp  or  passing  bell.'* 

Fellow  members  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Soci- 
ety, by  the  death  of  Gov.  Patterson,  which  occurred  on  the 
15th  day  of  October,  1879,  at  his  home  in  Westfield,  one 
month  after  his  stirring  address  at  the  Sullivan  centennial  at 
Geneseo,  "  a  link  of  the  past  was  broken,"  and  the  first  of  our 

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Fourth  Annual  Meeting,  9 

honorary  members,  one  of  the  purest  and  most  distinguished 
men  in  this  state,  has  passed  away.  His  warm  and  cordial 
greetings  and  beaming  countenance,  will  no  more  cast  their 
bright  luster  o'er  our  pathway,  but  his  honest  maxims  and 
sterling  virtues  will  for  all  time  perpetuate  his  memory  with 
us.  The  past  has  gone,  the  future  may  we  manfully  meet, 
and  recalling  the  illustrious  and  transparent  life  of  our  vener- 
able friend  who  has  left  us,  let  us  all 

••Sow  with  a  ^eneronR  hand, 

Pauf^e  not  for  toil  or  pain. 

Weary  not  through  the  summer  heat. 

Weary  not  through  the  cold  spring  rain. 

But  wait  till  the  autumn  comes. 

For  the  sheaves  of  golden  grain/' 

After  a  song  by  the  Glee  club,  Dr.  F.  M.  Ferine  of  Dans- 
ville  delivared  the  following  address  : 

DR.  PERINE'S  ADDRESS. 

Mr.  President,  Ladies  and  Gentlemen : — It  is  with  no  little 
embarrassment  that  I  appear  before  you  on  this  occasion,  as 
this  is  so  entirely  foreign  to  my  practice;  but  the  invitation 
to  address  you  comes  from  such  a  source,  that  it  would  seem 
unkind,  at  least  not  to  make  an  effort.  For  your  sake,  if  not 
my  own,  I  can  but  wish  it  had  fallen  into  more  able  hands. 
Another,  and  perhaps  no  less  embarrassment,  is  to  select  a 
subject.  But  as  the  history  of  the  legal  profession  of  our 
county  has  been  so  ably  and  perfectly  elucidated  by  my 
friend  Mr.  Proctor,  I  thought  it  might  not  be  inappropriate  to 
dwell  for  the  few  moments  allotted  to  me  on  some  points  per- 
taining to  the  history  of  my  own  profession. 

Tbe  science  of  medicine  is  historically  almost  twenty-three 
centuries  old;  since,  as  we  might  say,  its  origin  in  Greece,  in 
the  time  of  Hippocrates,  four  hundred  years  before  the  Chris- 
tian era,  it  has  never  ceased  to  be  cultivated  wherever  any 
considerable  degree  of  civilization  has  been  reached.  During 
all  this  long  period,  the  science  of  medicine,  like  its  kindred 
sciences  of  observation,  has  obeyed  its  own  inherent  and  vital 
laws  of  development,  subject  always  to  its  various  and  com- 
plicated relations ;  sometimes  seduced  or  driven  from  its  true 
path;  sometimes  obstructed  or  hindered  in  its  march ;  some- 
times dragged  backwards ;  it  has  still  steadily  struggled  on- 
ward, obedient  to  the  living  principles  of  truth  and  progress 
within  it.  It  has  experienced  the  same  vicissitudes,  it  has 
encountered  the  same  obstacles  and  hindrances,  it  has  achiev- 
ed the  same  triumphs  as  its  sister  sciences — astronomy,  geol- 
ogy, and  chemistry.      And,  although  the  science  was  not  en- 


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lO  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

tirely  unknown  to  the  ancients  prior  to  Hippocrates  time, 
still  it  was  for  him  to  develop  the  teachings  of  the  first  sem- 
blance to  true  pathology,  diagnosis,  prognosis  and  treatment 
of  disease. 

It  may  not  be  inappropriate  to  refer  to,  and  if  time  permit- 
*r^A  J  would  like  to  dwell  upon  the  historic  character  of  this 
ent  father  of  medicine ;  his  remarkable  and  almost  intui- 
foresight  of  prognosis;  his  great  knowledge  of  the 
lus  operandi  of  medicine;  his  manly  and  dignified  deport- 
it,  his  untiring  devotion  to  his  profession,  and  the  rapid 
les  that  he  made  in  the  anatomical,  physiological  knowl- 
2  as  is  shown  in  his  treatment  of  surgical  cases.  But  as 
re  remarked,  time  will  not  permit,  and  suffice  it  to  give 
a  glance. 

rom  history  we  read :  "  On  a  gentle  declivity  looking 
irds  the  southwest,  in  the  small  island  of  Cos,  lying  in 
iEgean  sea,  a  short  distance  from  the  coast  of  Asia 
lor,  stands  the  temple  of  ^Esculapius.  Its  Ionic  columns 
marble  glitter  and  flash  in  the  sunlight  as  we  watch  them 
mgh  the  swaying  branches  of  the  ancient  oaks,  chestnuts 
elms  that  make  the  sacred  grove  of  the  temple.  In  the 
:er  of  the  principal  room  and  fronting  the  entrance,  stand 
Lies  of  ^sculapius  and  his  daughters  Hygeiaand  Panacea, 
each  side  of  the  entrance  are  marble  fonts  of  lustral  water 
the  preliminary  purification  of  the  sick  visitors  to  the 
pie.  Near  a  column  of  a  temple  stands  Hippocrates, 
hered  about  him  are  picturesque  groups.  These  are 
ek  youths ;  they  are  medical  students  who  have  assem- 
l  here  from  the  several  states  of  Greece  to  acquire  the 
ical  skill  and  learn  from  the  experience  of  the  great  phy- 
m  and  surgeon  of  Cos,  and  to  listen  to  his  eloquent  lec- 
s." 

hus  you  see  that  the  art  of  teaching  clinical  medicine  was 
wn  to  the  ancients  and  practiced  in  a  rude  way  by  them, 
bough  Hippocrates  was  the  first  successful  teacher  of  the 
nee,  it  would  be  a  great  mistake  to  suppose  he  was  the 
al  creator  or  founder  of  the  art.  He  may  be  truthfully 
ed  the  historic  father  of  medicine,  but  not  its  discoverer  or 
mtor.  There  were  medicine  men  in  Greece  that  were 
I  in  such  veneration  and  esteem  that  calls  the  poet  to 
[aim: 

**  A  wise  physician 
Skilled  our  wounds  to  beal 
Is  more  than  armies  to  the  public  weal." 

1  some  respects  the  practical  preparatory  treatment  of  the 
:  who  assembled  at  the  temple  for  relief  was  not  very  dis- 

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Fourth  Annual  Meeting,  1 1 

similar  to  some  of  the  institutions  of  the  present  day.  They 
were  subjected  under  a  religious  form  to  a  prolonged  absti- 
nence, or  rigorous  diet,  and  various  purifying  ablutions  and 
inunctions  of  the  body.  After  this  they  were  subjected  to  the 
various  specific  treatments.  ^ 

We  have  not  time  on  this  occasion  to  further  pursue  his 
life  and  personal  history,  or  to  follow  him  from  city  to  city,  or 
from  town  to  town,  in  the  professional  wanderings  through 
Greece  ;  to  witness  the  examinations  of  his  patients  and  his 
method  of  treatment  or  his  lectures  to  his  pupils.  Gratifying 
indeed  would  it  be  if  we  could,  and  also  to  follow  successfully 
down  all  the  salient  and  important  advancements  in  the  heal- 
ing art,  till  we  come  to  perhaps  the  next  most  important 
epoch  in  medicine,  viz:  Harvey's  time. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  it  was  the  immortal  Harvey 
who  first  discovered  and  elucidated  the  circulation  of  the 
blood.  Previous  to  his  time  the  functions  of  the  heart  or  the 
true  relations  it  bore  to  the  circulation  were  unknown.  The 
difference  between  the  venous  and  the  arterial  blood  was  sup- 
posed to  be  the  relative  difference  between  the  good  and  evil 
spirits.  And  then  to  follow  successively  the  different  periods 
until  we  come  down  to  the  present  age  with  all  the  knowl- 
edge that  science  has  given  us,  and  then  see  if  we  are  really 
retrograding  or  advancing. 

It  is  natural  enough,  when  we  look  at  the  popular  medical 
delusions  of  our  day  which  have  seized  upon  the  minds  even 
of  sensible  and  cultivated  men.  that  we  should  have  some 
misgivings  as  to  the  permanency  of  this  art.  But  the  great 
organic  laws  of  nature  are  not  to  be  suspended,  severed  or 
turned  aside.  The  lessons  of  twenty-two  centuries  are  not  to 
be  forgotten  or  made  to  contradict  themselves  for  the  first 
time  to-day.  During  these  long  centuries  it  has  been  record- 
ed, systematized  and  arranged  and  will  continue  to  be  as  long 
as  time  shall  last. 

Not  inadvertently  or  intentionally  have  I  omitted,  Mr.  Pres- 
ident, to  speak  of  the  many  illustrious  and  eminent  brethren 
of  the  profession  of  Livingston  county  who  for  long  and 
weary  years  battled  manfully  with  the  conflicting  interests  of 
those  who  were  mere  pretenders,  and  the  many  other  obsta- 
cles they  had  to  contend  with,  but  who  stood,  amid  all  these, 
like  the  true  sentinel  at  his  post  until  at  last  they  were  called 
to  their  final  reward.  Among  these  I  may  briefly  mention 
the  names  of  Dr.  Dwight  of  Moscow,  the  profound  student, 
the  celebrated  surgeon,  who  met  his  untimely  death 
while  in  the  discharge  of  his  duties,  by  a  railroad  acci- 
dent while  in  transit  as  a  delegate  to  the  national  medical 


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12  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

convention ;  the  venerable  Dr.  Amos  Gray  of  Springwater, 
who,  although  more  than  fourscore  years  had  passed  over 
his  head,  yet  died  with  the  professional  harness  on ;  the 
classical  scholar,  the  deeply  read  physician  in  the  literature 
of  his  day,  X^.  L.  N.  Cook  of  Dansville ;  the  celebrated  sur- 
or^'^n,  Dr.  Wm.  H.  Reynale  of  Dansville,  of  whom  it  truly 
Id  be  said  that  he  had  few  superiors  or  equals  in  Western 
I  York  in  his  favorite  branch,  surgery  ;  the  true-hearted 
E.  W.  Patchin  of  Dansville,  of  analytical  mind,  every  in- 
:t  of  whose  nature  was  true  to  his  friends ;  the  lamented 
'^.  Endress  of  Dansville,  whose  very  presence  in  a  sick 
n  was  almost  a  panacea  to  his  patient — with  his  quick 
ernment,  his  ready  knowledge  of  materia  medica  rendered 
a  valuable  physician,  a  true  friend  long  to  be  remember- 
md  sadly  to  be  mourned.  Dr.  Endress  was  a  prudent 
skilled  physician,  a  gentleman,  an  honest  man.  Also  in 
f  Drs.  Bogart,  Campbell,  Sill,  Jeffries,  Day,  Smith,  Clark, 
ew,  and  others  if  time  would  permit.  But  at  some  futur<i 
^  Mr.  President,  a  just  tribute  of  respect  should  be  paid 
he  deceased  brethren  of  the  profession  for  the  archives  of 
society.  It  may  justly  be  said  of  this  array  of  medical 
nt,  which  is  gone  and  no  longer  illumines  our  profession, 
he  language  of  a  distinguished  judge  in  yonder  court 
se,  in  charging  a  jury  in  a  great  criminal  trial  in  which 
e  a  large  number  of  medical  witnesses  from  various  parts 
the  county,  that  the  physicians  of  Livingston  county  ex- 
ted  in  every  part  of  their  profession  accomplishments  and 
ity  second  to  none  in  Western  New  York, 
have  thus  far  confined  my  remarks  to  the  deceased  mem- 
»  of  the  profession,  but,  Mr.  President,  this  society  is 
er  many  obligations  to  the  venerable  and  distinguished 
Bissell,  our  late  and  esteemed  presiding  officer.  It  will 
lo  digression  for  me  to  say  that  long  may  it  be  before  any 
may  be  permitted  to  eulogize  him  as  among  its  deceased 
nbers. 

*he  science  of  medicine  has  been  the  chief  ministering 
el  to  sick  and  suffering  humanity  in  all  ages  and  amongst 
:ivilized  people.  It  is  so  to  day  ;  it  will  be  so  to-morrow. 
;  laws  ordained  at  the  beginning  will  still  rule  over  us. 
:  sun  that  shone  upon  Athens  shines  still  upon  us,  and  it 
continue  to  shine  upon  all  who  come  after  us.  Spots 
f  sometimes  pass  over  its  surface,  but  they  do  pass  and 
y  neither  dim  nor  darken  its  disc.  Clouds  and  mists  may 
Tcept  for  a  season  its  beams,  but  it  is  only  for  a  season. 
I  hand  that  hung  it  in  the  heavens  will  still  maintain  it 


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Fourth   Annual  Meeting.  13 

there  to  bless  ^he  future  as  it  has  blessed  the  past.       Wc  may 
well  exclaim  with  the  poet :  • 

**  See  where  aloft  lU  hoary  forehead  rears. 
The  towering  pride  of  twice  a  thousand  years ! 
Far,  far  below  the  vast  Incumbent  pile, 
Sleeps  the  broad  rock  from  Art's  ^^gean  isle; 
Its  massive  courses,  circling  as  they  rise,         • 
Swell  from  the  waves  and  mingle  with  the  skies; 
There  every  quarry  lends  its  marble  spoil. 
And  clustering  ages  blend  tlielr  common  toil ; 
The  Greek,  the  Roman,  reared  lt«  mighty  walls; 
The  silent  Arab  arched  its  mystic  halls: 
In  that  flair  niche,  by  countless  billows  laved, 
Ti-ace  the  deep  lines  that  Sydenham  engraved ; 
On  yon  broad  front,  that  breasts  the  changing  swell, 
Mark  where  the  ponderous  sledge  of  Hunter  fell ; 
By  that  square  buttress,  look,  where  Louis  stands. 
The  stone  yet  warm  from  bis  uplifted  hands/' 

After  another  song  by  the  Glee  club,  Hon.  William   M- 
White  was  introduced  and  delivered  the  annual  address. 

The  address  was  attentively  listened  to  and  frequently  ap- 
plauded by  an  interested  audience. 

President  Mills,  on  behalf  of  the  author,  Hon.  O.  H.  Mar- 
shall of  Buffalo,  presented  to  the  Society  **  The  History  of 
the  Building  and  Voyage  of  the  Griffon  in  1679."  A  Conti- 
nental bill  was  presented  to  the  Society  by  the  venerable 
John  M.  Beach  of  Geneseo. 
A  song  by  the  Glee  club  concluded  the  program. 
Hon.  B.  F.  Angel  said  he  had  no  doubt  he  expressed  the 
sentiments  of  the  members  of  the  Society  when  he  said  that 
the  papers  which  had  been  read  before  them  do  great  credit 
to  their  authors  and  are  of  vast  service  to  the  Society  ;  that 
the  address  of  Mr.  White  is  thoughtful,  philosophical  and 
learned ;  and  he  moved  that  the  thanks  of  the  Society  be  pre- 
sented to  all  of  the  speakers,  and  that  the  addresses  be  print- 
ed and  embodied  in  the  proceedings  of  the  Society. 
The  motion  was  seconded  and  unanimously  carried. 
V^r,  Ferine  moved  that  the  thanks  of  the  Society  be  ten- 
dered to  the  president  'of  this  association  for  the  able  and  sat- 
isfactory manner  in  which  he  has  discharged  the  duties  of  his 
position,  to  the  professors  and  the  local  board  of  the  Normal 
school  for  the  use  of  their  beautiful  hall,  and  to  the  Glee  club 
for  its  charming  music.  The  motion  was  unanimously 
adopted. 

The  meeting  then  adjourned,  all  present  regarding  it  as 
in  many  respects  the  most  pleasant  and  profitable  of  the 
meetings  of  the  Society. 


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ANNUAL  ADDRESS  : 

THE    RECENT  DISCOVERIES   IN    HISTORY, 
By  HOJf.  WILLIAM  M.  WHITE, 


This  is  the  anniversary  of  the  Livingston  County  Historic- 
al Society.  The  object  of  the  society  is  to  preserve  the 
annals  of  our  homes ;  to  keep  the  men:iories  of  our  fathers 
and  our  mothers  fresh  and  green  ;  to  preserve  for  our  child- 
ren, and  their  children,  matters  of  local  history,  and  of  family 
interest — the  legends  ;  the  stories  of  the  pioneers,  their  habits 
and  their  personal  characteristics;  to  foster  in  our  posterity  a 
love  and  a  knowledge  of  their  own  kin,  and  to  give  them  the 
gratification  and  the  stimulus  of  an  ancestry  and  a  name,  and 
in  this  age  of  the  world,  when  **  Many  go  to  and  fro,*'  to  re- 
tain to  them  a  memory  of  home,  a  remembrance  of  kith  and 
kin, and  the  friendships  and  associations  of  childhood;  to 
preserve  to  the  family  the  family  records,  the  family  relation, 
and  the  affection  for  home  ;  to  give  to  the  town  an  individu- 
ality and  to  the  county  a  history  of  itself 

The  American  is  a  new  development  of  the  genus  homo, 
and  seldom  stays  where  he  is  born.  The  Arabs  are  wander- 
ers, but  they  go  in  families,  while  the  American,  in  his  in- 
tense cosmopolitanism,  goes  alone.  Our  children  are  scat- 
tered over  a  continent,  no  two  in  a  place.  We  have  families, 
but  we  are  left  desolate  in 'our  old  age.  The  habit  of  wan- 
dering seems  to  be  increasing  with  each  generation ;  and  the 
American  is  at  ease  and  at  home  everywhere  but  at  the  old 
homestead  and  in  his  native  place*.  Blood  is  thicker  than 
water,  the  ties  of  family,  of  kindred  and  of  race  are  sacred — 
are  God-given,  we  labor  to  preserve  them ;  to  perpetuate  the 
bonds  that  bind  the  cords  that  round  our  hearts  are  twined — 
the  loves,  the  memories  of  home. 

Local  history  is  the  romance  of  life,  the  story  of  one's  own. 
As  drops  make  up  the  ocean<  so  lives  make  history.  Liv- 
ingston county  has  already  two  written  histories  of  the  his- 


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1 6  Lwingston  County  Histoncal  Society. 

torical  era.  And  we  have  our  pioneer  meetings,  and  have 
had  during  the  past  summer  our  glorious  centennial.  I  trust 
you  will  pardon  me  if  I  lead  you  off  into  other  paths,  and 
other  fields  for  the  brief  hour  of  our  stay,  and  we  will  try  to 
cull  some  thoughts  (strictly  historical  I  trust)  from  the  bun- 
^1.^  ^f  gleanings  I  have  gathered  for  this  occasion. 

neral  history  has  a  larger  field,  a  greater  scope,  and 
■  uses.  We  may  find  some  matters  of  interest  in  a  gen- 
/iew  of  recent  discoveries — within  our  generation.  But 
I  touch  of  philosophy,  which  may  prepare  the  mind  for 

is  to  come.  God  gave  man  reason  and  speech.  The 
gjives  knowledge,  the  other  the  ability  to  convey  it  to 
s.  Knowledge  is  the  desire  of  all  human  minds.  It  js 
to  the  knind,  it  gives  understanding,  it  give3  power.  By 
t  differ  from  the  brute  With  it,  we  reach  out  to  the 
te.       Prophecy  speaks    of  the    future.     History    is  the 

of  the  past,  the  story  of  yesterday  told  to  day.  It  is  a 
>r  in  which  we  can  see  the  past  and  with  our  reason 
\  of  the  present  and  the  future.  To  us  it  is  the  record  of 
eeds  of  humanity,  the  story  of  man,  a  picture  of  life, 
zing,  and  of  time.  History  is  the  storehouse  of  knowl- 
As  we  read  it  in  childhgod  it  gives  us  our  first  con- 
Dns  of  life  outside  of  the  family  circle.  We  read  of 
1.  of  nations,  of  wars,  of  conquests,  of  the  changes  from 
:o  age  in  the  family  of  nations.  It  gives  us  our  first 
ledge  of  the  powers  of  man,  his  will,  his  energy,  his 
r  of  endurance,  and  his  ability  to  execute.  And  we 
en  to  the  possibilities  that  lie  dormant  within  us.  A 
ledge  of  others  gives  a  knowledge  of  ourselves,  and 
ens  our  capacities,  stimulates  our  ambition  and  develops 
lan.  What  has  been  done,  can  be  done.  We  push  on 
the  energy  of  both  knowledge  and  faith. 

story  is  not  simply  names  and  dates — a  chronological 

Not  simply  the  record  of  human  passions  uncontroU- 

•   strifes  and  struggles,  of  wai*  and  pestilence,  and  fam- 

of  the  lives  of  strong  men  standing  head  and  shoulders 
:  their  fellows  and  ruling  them  with  the  power  of  an 
vill ;  but  rising  above  the  chronicles  of  the  personal  and 
idividual  in  human  life,  we  see  and  study  the  rise  and 
ess  of  nations ;    their  birth,  their  feebleness  in  infancy, 

growth,  their  manhood,  and  their  power ;  then  their 
lal  weakness  and  decay,  and  absorption  by  younger  and 
vigorous  nations.  And  looking  deeper  we  discover  the 
IS,  the  pervading  spirit,  the  great  truth  that  that  nation 
id  out  in  its  giant  life,  that  gave   it  its  vitality  and  its 


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Annual  Address  by  Hon,   Wm,  M,   White,  17 

greatness.      And  that  when  it  failed  to  be  true  to  its  mission 
and  its  destiny,  then  it  died. 

Dionysus  said  history  is  philosophy  teaching  by  example. 
And  Dryden  says  all  history  is  only  the  precepts  of  moral 
philosophy  reduced  to  examples.  And  as  one  has  a  larger 
and  raorp  extended  vision  from  the  mountain  top,  and  takes 
in  a  more  comprehensive  sense  of  the  world  around  him,  so 
rising  above  and  beyond  the  personal  and  individual  in  hu- 
man life,  we  see,  as  in  a  panorama,  the  rise  and  progress  of 
nations,  and  the  onward  march  of  the  race  as  century  after 
century  rolls  on  in  the  ceaseless  course  of  time.  And  we 
gather  from  the  pages  of  history  in  one  view,  the  causes  and 
the  consequences  of  great  events,  and  we  use  the  wisdom  and 
expenence  of  the  past  in  guiding  us  through  the  intricacies 
of  the  present  and  the  dangers  of  the  future. 

The  authentic  history  of  mankind,  aside  from  the  Bible,  is 
now  conceded  to  date  from  the  first  Olympiad,  776  years 
before  Christ,  and  2,656  years  ago,  while  the  biblical 
record  of  the  creation  of  Adam  claims  that  that  event  occur- 
red 5,884  years  ago  Herodotus,  who  is  called  the  father  of 
history,  lived  and  wrote  431  years  before  the  Christian  era; 
and  for  clearness  and  beauty  of  style  has  few  superiors.  And 
while  what  he  states  from  personal  knowledge  (which  was 
very  extensive)  is  simply  stated,  as  one  imagines  truth  would 
he,  yet  he  is  fond  of  the  marvelous,  and  much  of  his  writing 
may  be  entitled  romantic.  Of  the  other  ancient  historians 
*e  may  mention  Xenophon  smd  Thucydides,  Polybius  and 
Deodorus,  and  Dionysius  of  Halicarnassus,  and  many  others 
of  that  era;  and  Livy,  and  Tacitus,  Josephus,  Pliny,  and  Plu- 
tarch, who  wrote  about  the  time  of  our  era, — who  have  re- 
corded the  important  events  of  their  times. 

Since  the  historical  era  began  we  have  records,  fragmenta- 
7.  but  satisfactory  to  the  general  reader,  who  gathers  a  gen- 
eral conception  and  idea  of  the  times  and  the  progress  of 
events.  We  recognize  man  in.  them  all.  and  read  the  same 
story  of  human  passions,  the  same  strifes  and  conflicts,  the 
efforts  of  ambition,  of  pride,  of  power,  and  lust,  that  charac- 
terize humanity.  And  these  oft  told  tales  bear  internal  evi- 
<icnce  of  their  truthfulness.  We  depend  on  the  human  rea- 
^n  to  sift  the  wheat  from  the  chaff",  and  on  the  human  judg- 
ment to  know  the  true  from  the  doubtful.  And  we  depend 
on  both  to  gather  this  wisdom  for  our  day  and  generation  as 
if  we  had  lived  before,  and  could  thus  use  the  wisdom  of 
prior  existfnce  to  aid  and  assist  us  to  avoid  the  mistakes  of 
erring  humanity,  and  clear  away  the  doubts  that  do  so  hedge 
our  pathway  and  block  our  progress. 


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1 8  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

A  distinguished  American  statesman  said,  "  Most  history 
is  false,  except  the  names  and  dates,  whilst  a  good  novel  is  a 
true  picture  of  life  and  only  false  in  names  and  dates." 
While  there  is  something  of  truth  in  the  statement,  and  it  is 
a  conceded  point  that  time  must  bury  the  passions  and  prej- 
udices of  a  period  before  its  history  can  be  written,.yet  we 
confess  to  an  inability  to  see  why  the  histories  spoken  of 
were  not  first-class  historical  novels.  The  truthfulness  of 
history  depends  on  the  knowledge  of  the  historian — on  his 
intellectual  powers,  on  his  powers  of  analysis,  on  his  judg- 
ment, and  on  his  compass  of  ^he  material  for  his  work.  Man 
does  not  intentionally  lie.  He  may  ride  hobbies,  but  that  is 
a  weakness.  The  more  a  man  knows  the  more  truthful  he  \s 
and  the  less  reason  he  has  to  hide  his  want  of  knowledge  in 
glittering  generalities.  The  wisest  men  are  the  simplest  men 
— the  simplicity  of  truth. 

In  small  mathematical  calculations  one  may  be  deceived  or 
wrong,  but  increase  the  figures  and  the  results  will  confirm 
your  calculations  or  prove  them  false.  So  in  history.  Indi- 
vidual cases,  isolated  facts,  may  confound  the  inexperienced 
and  confuse  the  mind — just  as  special  pleading  in  the  law 
only  tends  to  lead  the  counsel  and  the  case  into  the  labyrinth 
of  doubt,  but  the  moment  you  appeal  to  general  principles 
and  the  common  law,  the  cobwebs  of  sophistry  disappear  in 
the  sunlight  of  pure  truth.  So  the  realities  of  history,  when 
viewed  in  the  pure  light  of  reason,  show  cause  and  effect  with 
a  distinctness  of  color  that  malJe  so  vivid  and  clear  a  picture 
in  outline,  shade  and  perspective,  that  the  ordinary  mind 
comprehends  the  indelible  truths  of  human  life  and  human 
experience.  In  its  broader  aspects  and  wider  scope  histon* 
is  true,  valuable,  reliable.     Yet  there  are  doubts. 

As  recent  a  matter  as  the  landing  of  the  Pilgrims  in  1620 
is  celebrated  on  the  2 2d  day  of  December.  Research  proves 
that  it  was  the  21st  and  not  the  22d.  And  further  research 
proves  on  the  highest  authority  that  it  was  on  the  fourth  day 
of  January  of  the  following  year,  1621,  that  the  company  of 
the  Colonists  left  the  Mayflower.  And  yet  no  one  doubts 
the  fact  of  the  landing  of  the  Pilgrims,  and  that  they  landed 
on  the  shores  of  Massachusetts;  that  they  came  away  from 
religious  persecution,  that  they  endured  hardships  and  priva- 
tions for  liberty's  sake,  the  liberty  of  law.  And  no  one 
doubts  that  this  liberty  of  law,  perfect  freedom  of  individual 
action,  the  freedom  of  going  and  coming  at  will,  unmolested, 
of  doing  or  not  doing  at  will,  within  the  law  and*under  the 
law,  is  the  perfection  of  liberty — the  inheritance  of  the  Amer- 
ican people. 


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Annual  Address  by  Hon.  Wm,  M,   White.  19 

So  far  we  have  been  speaking  of  history  as  it  has  existed 
till  within  the  present  century,  as  it  was  known  and  under- 
stood in  our  childhood.  Within  that  time,  within  the  last 
fifty  years,  astute  philosophers,  enterprising,  energetic,  and 
honest,  have  discovered  new  sources  of  knowledge  and 
brought  to  light  ne'w  records  of  the  past.  The  science  of 
geology  has  been  developed  and  perfected.  And  the  geolo- 
gist from  the  study  of  the  stones,  the  clay,  and  the  gravel 
that  form  the  crust  of  the  earth  has  discovered  the  laws  that 
govern  the  formation  and  the  changes  of  the  globe  on  which 
we  live,  and  can  approximate  to  the  duration  of  the  different 
periods  of  the  world's  history.  Can  give  the  order  in  which 
the  vegetable  and  animal  kingdoms  came  into  existence. 
Yes !  The  age  of  the  world  has  been  found  recorded  in  the 
formations  of  the  everlasting  rocks,  and  the  living  creatures 
of  each  era  have  left  their  impress  on  the  very  stones. 

The  students  of  archaeology  have  gathered  the  relics  of  the 
past,  have  searched  Ethiopia  and  Egypt,  have  exhumed  cities 
and  found  tablets  and  inscriptions.  Then,  by  studying  the 
relationship  of  language  and  identifying  and  interpreting 
these  ancient  myths,  and  deciphering  hieroglyphics  and 
archaic  inscriptions  on  papyri,  on  rocks  and.  medals,  and 
slabs  and  coin  ;  by  comparing  the  architecture  of  the  past 
found  in  different  quarters  of  the  world,  they  have  learned  of 
the  existence,  the  habits  and  the  migrations  of  these  pre- 
historic people.  They  have  lifted  the  veil  of  oblivion  which 
shut  out  from  our  knowledge  the  history  of  the  times  that 
intervened  between  the  days  of  Noah  and  the  Grecian  era. 
Showing  that  civilization,  commerce,  and  learning  flourished 
in  that  day  in  Chaldea,  and  in  Arabia,  Egypt  and  Phoenicia. 
And  travelers  Ijave  discovered  a  vast  tableland  in  Arabia — 
where  our  childhood  placed  a  desert,  rich,  productive, 
healthy,  with  a  delightful  climate,  populous,  with  cities  and 
rivers,  and  commerce,  yet  surrounded  by  a  sea  of  sand.  So 
"Araby  the  blessed  "  is  not  a  myth.  And  the  lost  cities  of 
the  plains,  the  cities  of  Bashan,  have  been  found  with  the 
buildings  standing  but  lifeless  and  deserted.  Their  houses 
and  their  temples,  and  even  their  doors  and  windows  of  cut 
stone,  fitted  to  each  other  with  line  and  plummet.  Unused, 
as  though  a  pestilence  had  destroyed  all  human  life  and  time 
had  obliterated  all  knowledge  of  the  past,  save  what  could  be 
deciphered  from  tablets  and  inscriptions,  yet  showing  a  civil- 
ization, a  wealth,  a  culture,  that  would  be  remarkable  in  these 
later  daya. 

The  researches  and  investigations  of  Henry  Brugsch-Bey 
during  the  last  twenty  years,   under  the  patronage  of  the 


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20  Uvingsion  County  Historical  Society, 

Khedive,  have  restored  to  us  the  political  map  of  ancient 
Egypt,  giving  the  provinces,  cities  and  towns  with  a  minute- 
ness— expressed  in  the  location  and  name  of  over  },/yoo 
geographical  localities,  verified  by  travel  and  observation. 
And  he  has  discovered  in  the  papyri  records  and  cuniform 
inscriptions  a  history  purporting  to  cover  a  period  of  4,445 
years  of  national  existence  before  our  era.  Bunsen  makes  it 
3,643  years,  Lepsius  3.893  years,  and  Mariette  extends  the 
period  to  5,004  years  before  our  era.  This  makes  Egypt 
exist,  as  a  nation,  a  thousand  years  before  the  creation  of 
Adam.  Brugsch-Bey*s  labors  have  thrown  much  light  on 
the  home  of  the  Israelites  in  Egypt  and  in  their  exodus,  have 
traced  their  route  from  the  land  of  Goshen  to  the  city  of 
Rameses,  or  city  of  Zoan ;  from  the  land  of  Succoth  through 
Etham  and  Migdol,  and  over  against  Baal  zephon,  as  the 
Scripture  has  it,  to  the  passage  of  the  sea.  History  says  the 
Red  Sea,  or  as  it  should  be  translated,  through  the  Sea  of 
Reeds.  The  mistake  comes  from  the  use  of  the  geography 
of  the  Greeks  and  Romans  instead  of  that  of  the  Egyptians. 
And  it  takes  the  Children  of  Israel  ninety  miles  out  of  their 
way  towards  Canaan  to  start  with,  arbitrarily  and  without 
reason.  Under  the  light  of  recent  research  the  passage  of 
the  sea  is  made,  as  the  Bible  records  it,  shallow  and  full  of 
reeds,  a  neck  of  land  dividing  the  firths,  wind  and  tide  are 
the  means  used  for  the  miracle,  and  the  Israelites  pass  in 
safety — a  host  of  them,  supposed  by  some  to  be  two  millions. 
A  change  of  wind  and  tide  bury  Pharaoh  and  his  hosts. 

Biblical  scholars  agree  with  Dr.  Chalmers  on  the  economy 
of  miracles  He  says:  "  It  is  remarkable  that  God  is  spar- 
ing of  miracles  and  seems  to  prefer  the  ordinary  processes  of 
nature,  if  equally  effectual,  for  the  accomplishments  of  his 
purposes.  He  might  have  saved  Noah  and  his  family  by 
miracles  but  he  is  not  prodigal  of  these,  and  so  he  appointed 
that  an  ark  should  do  it."  In  short,  **  He  dispenses  with 
miracles  when  they  are  not  requisite  for  the  fulfillment  of  his 
ends."  There  is  no  necessity  of  a  doubt  but  what  "the 
word  "  and  the  work  of  the  Almighty  correspond  and  are  in 
perfect  harmony  and  keeping.  It  is  only  the  ignorance  of 
man  that  creates  the  doubt  and  prevents  an  understanding  of 
the  realities  which  will  yet  be  made  so  plain,  so  clear,  so  sim- 
ple as  to  command  universal  confidence  and  belief 

The  history  of  China  has  become  the  property  of  the 
wdrld.  It  dates  back  for  five  thousand  years,  but  all  re- 
searches are  legendary  to  the  date  of  2,207  ^-  t).'  Most  of 
their  records  were  destroyed  to  keep  their  people  ignorant 
and  obedient. 


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Annual  Address  by  Hen,   Urn,  M.   White,  21 

The  conquest  of  India  by  the  English  has  been  the  means 
of  gn'ving  a  version  of  pre-historic  times  from  the  records  of 
the  Brahmans  in  the  Vedas  and  other  historical  or  literary 
works.  These  have  been  preserved  in  the  Sanskrit  language 
which  ceased  to  be  a  living  language  four  hundred  years 
before  our  era.  Yet'  the  study  of  the  Sanskrit  has  given  a 
key  to  all  the  dialects  of  the  Aryan  language.  It  is  regarded 
as  the  only  perfect  written  language.  Sir  William  Jones 
describes  it  **as  more  perfect  than  the  Greek,  more  copious 
than  the  Latin,  and  more  refined  than  either."  With  this 
key  the  student  of  philology  has  been  enabled  to  trace 
nations  to  a  common  language  and  a  common  origin  from 
the  formation  of  their  words  and  the  grammatical  construc- 
tion of  their  language.  He  has  found  three  dififerent  and 
dbstinct  forms  of  language  with  nothing  in  common  and  not 
deducible  from  each  other.  The  one  termed  Radical,  mono- 
syllabic, destitute  of  all  grammar,  making  no  distinction  be- 
tween a  root  and  a  word,  represented  in  the  ancient  Chinese. 
The  second,  The  Tenninational,  in  which  **  two  or  more  roots 
coalesce  to  form  a  word,  one  of  which  retains  its  independ- 
ence" and  which  has  been  termed  Agglutination  or  gluing 
together.  It  represents  the  other  Turanian  languages.  And 
third,  The  Inflectional  **  in  which  roots  coalesce  so  that  neither 
one  nor  the  other  retains  its  substantive  independence."  This 
has  been  termed  the  Indo-European  or  the  Iranian  or  the 
Aryan  femily  of  languages.  This  last  in  all  its  forms,  is  the 
language  of  the  Caucasian  race.  And  it  is  the  only  language 
adapted  to  and  possessing  a  literature,  so  that  to  a  great  de- 
gree the  written  history  of  the  world  is  confined  to  the  na 
tions  of  that  race.  They  seem  to  have  been  the  active  agents 
in  the  changes  made  by  time  in  nations. 

Then  again,  the  science  of  Ethnology  has  been  developed. 
The  different  races  and  families  of  man  have  been  classified, — 
their  peculiarities  of  physical  structure  determined,  their 
habits  of  life  and  action  analyzed.  And  it  has  been  judged 
that  no  lapse  of  time,  no^  local  surroundings,  no  climatic 
influences,  can  account  for  the  difference  of  race,  formation 
and  color.  That  God  must  have  made  the  Negro  a  Negro, 
the  Mongol  a  Mongolian,  and  the  Caucasian  a  Caucasian, 
from  the  beginning,  and  that  they  will  remain  .so  as  long  as 
they  exist  upon  the  earth.  These  discoveries  and  facts  and 
the  deductions  from  them  have  adcfed  much  to  the  positive 
knowledge  of  man,  and  given  form  and  force  to  the  pre- 
historic, the  unwritten  history  of  the  past. 

All  history  is  either  sacred  or  profane.  Sacred  history  is 
claimed  to  be  inspired,  infallible,  true.     Profane  history  is  the 

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22  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

work  of  man  and  fallible  as  humanity.  But  the  rocks  and 
stones  cannot  lie.  The  relics,  the  monuments,  and  the  buried 
but  exhumed  cities,  cannot  lie — if  human  reason  and  human 
research  can  be  trusted.  The  deductions  from  the  formations 
of  language  and  from  the  variations  and  peculiarities  of  phys 
ical  structure  are  as  fully  proved  as  the  results  of  mathematical 
calculations,  and  yet  they*  contradict  or  destroy  the  ordinarily 
ccnceived  opinions  and  teachings  of  the  last  generations,  and 
are  claimed  as  destroying  the  credibility  of  Holy  Writ. 

Humanity  is  made  up  of  three  classes  of  minds.  Those 
who  doubt,  those  who  believe,  those  who  don't  oare.  The 
doubters  look  upon  the  believers  as  weak,  credulous  and  sim- 
ple. Pilate  said  unto  Jesus  *'  What  is  truth  ?'*  And  man  has 
been  asking  the  same  question  and  is  not  able  to  comprehend 
the  answer.  '*  To  doubt  is  to  be  damned,^'  which  bein^ 
translated  means,  he  who  refuses  evidence  and  neglects 
proof  dwarfs  himself  and  surrenders  his  manhood.  But 
only  ignorance  doubts  ;  only  ignorance  fails  to  comprehend 
or  to  know.  The  mind  of  man  was  given  for  understanding, 
for  reason,  for  judgment.  The  exercise  of  it  depends  on  the 
individual.  We,  who  believe,  have  in  addition  to  all  science 
and  profane  history,  the  Bible,  the  inspired,  God  given  rec- 
ords of  the  past  and  of  the  future. 

The  great  question  which  has  staggered  the  scientists  and 
bewildered  the  believer,  has  been  the  reconciliation  of  the 
deductions  of  science  and  philosophy  with  the  Mosaic  record 
and  with  the  "  inspiration  "  of  Holy  Writ.  It  will  be  confess- 
ed that  we  do  not  fully  understand  the  meaning  of  all  that  we 
find  in  the  Bible.  And  it  will  be  acknowledged  that  our 
version  is  not  the  original  language  in  which  it  was  written, 
but  that  it  was  first  translated  into  Greek,  (the  Septuagint) 
and  again  into  English.  Also  that  there  are  frequent  and 
material  diversities  which  vary  the  conceptions  and  deduc- 
tions which  we  draw  from  what  may  have  been  the  meaning 
conveyed  in  the  original  text.  Our  translation,  as  well  as  the 
Septuagint,  is  confessedly  imperfect,  and  before  we  decide 
that  there  are  positive  and  absolute  and  irreconcilable  differ- 
ences between  the  deductions  of  the  philosophers  and  the 
word  of  God,  a  perfect  translation  from  the  original  Hebrew 
must  be  made,  and  the  meaning  of  the  original  text  compre- 
hended. Man  has  been  slow  to  realize  the  facts  of  creation. 
But  during  the  last  fifty  years  knowledge  has  increased. 
Students  and  philosophers,  in  their  search  after  truth,  have 
examined  and  studied  the  world  they  live  in  with  so  much 
zeal,  energy  and  learning  that  isolated  facts  have  been  dis- 
covered, .«*"  full  of  meaning  and  of  cc  nsequences,  that  before 

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Annual  Address  by  Hon.   Wm.  M.   White,  23 

they  could  be  classified  and  grouped,  it  seemed  as  though 
ttje  world  of  science  and  philosophy  was  arraigned  against 
the  word  of  God. 

The  Mosaic  record,  according  to  the  Hebrew,  makes  it 
5.884  years  since  the  creation  of  Adam,  and  4,228  years  since 
the  deluge.  It  gives  items,  facts  and  figures.  It  gives  an 
unbroken  series  of  genealogies  and  an  accurate  chronology 
from  the  creation  of  Adam  to  and  into  the  Historical  era,  and 
thus  connects  it  with  the  present  age  of  the  world.  If  this 
genealogy  and  chronology  is  not  true,  then  we  lose  faith  in 
the  records  of  Holy  Writ  and  class  them  with  the  records  of 
man — as  possible,  but  doubtful.  The  element  of  tittie  is  so 
thoroughly  interwoven  with  all  this  history  that  if  the  time 
be  imaginary  the  history  becomes  a  myth.  Students  of  ge- 
ology, from  the  results  of  their  researches,  have  concluded 
that  the  world  must  be  at  least  20,000  years  old,  and  that  the 
chronology  of  the  Bible  was  erroneolis.  The  Reverend  Ba- 
den Powell,  a  professor  of  Oxford,  in  his  book,  "The  Unity 
of  Worlds,'*  declares  "  that  there  is  a  palpable  contradiction 
between  the  facts  of  geology  and  the  Bible  record  of  the  cre- 
ation." Bishop  Colenso  and  that  class  of  thought  have  be- 
come bewildered  among  the  mazes  of  science,  not  having 
been  successful  in  reconciling  the  work  and  the  word  of  God, 
forgetful  that  while  the  work  of  God  may  perish,  His  word 
nex^er  will. 

We  know  from  scripture  that  Adam  was  created  nearly  six 
thousand  years  ago,  and  that  his  race,  with  the  exception  of 
eight  souls,  was  destroyed  in  the  tenth  generation  by  a  del- 
uge. And  that  his  race  has  been  perpetuated  through  Noah, 
and  still  exists  after  forty-two  hundred  years  have  passed 
away.  There  is  no  other  succinct  satisfactory  history  of  the 
creation  of  man.  It  is  simple,  clear,  positive,  dogmatic. 
Deny  this,  deny  the  inspiration  of  Holy  Writ,  and  we^  have 
no  knowledge  of  the  past,  no  knowledge  of  the  future.  Our 
lives  are  cables  severed  at  both  ends,  dropped  in  the  sea  of 
oblivion.  But  this  does  not  give  time  to  people  the  earth  as 
we  find  it,  if  Adam  was  the  first  and  07dy  man  created  by  the 
Almighty.  Besides,  the  Negro,  the  Egyptian,  and  the  Jew 
existed  three  thousand  years  ago  as  they  exist  to-day.  Pro- 
file, form  and  complexion  are  portrayed  in  the  Egyptian 
paintings  of  that  age,  and  are  recognized  to  day  as  types  of 
three  distinct  races.  What  theni  Make  Adam,  as  the 
scripture  makes  him,  the  last  crowning  work  of  creation — a 
civilized  and  civilizing  man,  endowed  with  reason  and  with 
language  above  other  races  of  mankind  then  existing ;  a  type 
of  the  second  Adam,  superior  mentally,  morally,  physically 


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24  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

to  all  other  nations  and  tribes ;  a  messenger,  a  missionary,  an 
instructor  to  his  fello\y  man — and  chronology  and  science 
join  hands  and  voices,  testifying  to  the  truth — the  inspiration 
of  Holy  Writ.  McCausland  says:  **  If  the  Mongol  was  a 
Mongol,  and  the  Negro  was  a  Negro  before  Adam  became  a 
living  soul,  the  Mosaic  record  harmonizes  with  and  is  con- 
firmed by,  all  that  science  and  philosophy  have  discovered 
and  proclaimed  to  have  been  the  course  of  nature — the  pres- 
ence and  progress  of  God  upon  the  earth.  If  on  the  other 
hand,  the  Mongol  and  the  Negro  are  to  be  considered  de- 
scendants of  Adam,  the  facts  of  science  and  the  words  of 
scripture  are  irreconcilably  at  variation."  ' 

In  the  authorized  version  of  the  first  part  of  Genesis,  (I 
speak  on  the  authority  of  others)  three  different  meanings  are 
given  for  the  Hebrew  word.  Adanv  It  has  been  translated 
man.  a  man.  and  Adam.  Four  different  meanings  are  also 
given  in  the  same  version  to  the  word.  Ha- Adam.  It  has 
been  translated  man,  men.  the  man,  and  Adam.  If  the  word 
Ha  Adam  (with  the  article)  be  translated  the  Adam,  or  the 
Adamite,  indicating  the  peculiar  family  or  race,  a  new  light 
will  be  given  to  the  reading  which  harmonizes  with  many 
things  recorded,  and  elucidates  many  otherwise  obscure  or 
dark  sayings.  And  it  reads.  "  So  God  created  the  Adamite 
in  his  own  image" — *'  a  peculiar  man.  distinguished  from  ait 
others  as  having  been  made  in  God's  image."  This  transla- 
tion is  obviously  suggestiv^e  of  the  existence  of  other  human 
beings.  Eve  welcoming  her  first  born  calls  him  **  ish,"  a 
man.  (a  male)  and  not  **  an  Adam."  The  words  Adam  and 
ish  seem  to  have  different  meanings  ;  one  denoting  the  higher 
race,  the  other  as  including  the  lower  races  of  men.  They 
are  used  in  various  passages  of  the  Bible.  The  following 
illustrations  I  take  from  "The  Genesis  of  the  Earth  and 
Man."  In  the  49th  Psalm :  *'  Both  low  and  high,  rich  and 
poor  together."  literally  translated  reads.  *'  Sons  of  Adam  and 
sons  of  man."  Again  in  the  62d  P.salm :  **  Surely  men  of 
low  degree  are  vanity,  and  men  of  high  degree  are  a  lie." 
The  literal  rendering  is.  "  Sons  of  Adam  and  .sons  of  man." 
In  Isaiah  2d,  9th  :  '*  The  mean  man  boweth  down,  and  the 
great  man  humbleth  himself"  Literally,  **  The  Adamite 
boweth  down  like  as  man  humbleth  himself"  And  in  Isaiah 
^th.  15th,  the  literal  rendering  reads:  "And  the  Adamite 
shall  bow  down  and  the  man  (ish)  shall  humble  himself." 
(And  even  here  they  have  the  words  transposed). 

Cain,  after  killing  his  brother,  is  represented  as  saying  to 
his  offended  God  :  "  I  shall  be  a  fugitive  and  a  vagabond  in 
the  earth,  and  it  shall  come  to  pass  that  every  one  that  find- 


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Annual  Address  by  Hon,   Wm,  M.   White,  25 

eth  me  shall  slay  me."     But  God  insures  his  safety  and  he 
goes  forth  eastward  from  his  father's  home,  marries  a  wife 
and  builds  a  city  in  the  first  generation  of  his  family — before 
he  had  any  grandchildren — and  named  it  after  his  first  born, 
Enoch.       His  genealogy  is  given  through  eight  generations 
and  the  advancement  made  in  the  civilization  of  the  world  is 
recorded.     They   domesticate  cattle,  they  construct  instru- 
ments of  music,  they  smelt  brass  and  iron,  they  manufacture 
tools  and  weapons.      Can  it  be  doubted  that  the  world  was 
peopled  at  that  time  and  that  Adam  was  sent  as  the  Saviour 
was  sent,  on  a  mission  to  man  ?      **  The  first  man  Adam   was 
iTjade  a  living  soul,  the  last  Adam  was  made  a  quickening 
spirit"   Again,  **And  it  came  to  pass  when  the  Adamites  began 
to  multiply  on  the  face  of  the  earth,  and  daughters  were  born 
unto  them,  that  the  sons  of  the  gods  saw  the  daughters  of 
the  Adamite,  that  they  were  fair,  and  they  took  them  wive** 
of  all  that  they  chose.      And  these  bare  children  unto  them, 
the  same  became  mighty  men   which  were  of  old   men  of 
renown."       Could  **  the  sons  of  the  gods  "  have  been  Adam- 
ites? 

So  of  the  deluge.  The  general  belief  that  it  was  universal, 
covering  the  whole  world,  comes  from  a  metonymy  of  ex- 
pression common  in  the  east,  and  in  literature,  of  using  the 
whole  for  a  part.  Hugh  Miller  in  the  "  Testimony  of  the 
Rocks  "  explains  this  lucidly,  and  vividly  describes  the  region 
of  the  flood.  A  great  inland  basin,  partly  below  the  level  of 
the  sea,  (into  which  large  rivers  empty  into  inland  seas;)  a 
tract  covering  a  small  part  of  Europe  and  a  larger  part  of 
Asia;  and  within  which  was  located  the  hom^  of  the  Adam- 
ite; a  region  with  a  diameter  of  two  thousand  miles.  He 
then  describes  how  natural  causes  under  divine  direction 
could  have  produced  the  flood.  That  there  was  a  flood,  that 
in  it  perished  all  of  the  children  of  the  Adamite,  save  Noah 
and  his  family,  is  undoubtedly  true.  But  that  it  covered  the 
whole  earth,  as  we  know  it,  science  and  philosophy  both  de- 
ny. If  we  read  in  Genesis,  period  for  day,  in  the  description 
of  the  creation,  as  we  find  it  in  the  Vedas  of  the  Brahmins 
and  as  the  Hebrew  permits,  the  Mosaic  account  hgrmonizes 
with  the  deductions  of  geology.  And  looking  back  into^the 
remote  past  as  described  there,  we  find  the  Flint  folk  of  the 
Quarternary  gravels  of  western  Europe,  the  Trog-lo-dyte 
occupants  of  Germany,  France  and  England,  the  lake  dwell- 
ers of  Switzerland  and  the  authors  of  the  Kjock-moddens  of 
the  Baltic,  contemporaneous  with  the  elephant  with  long  hair 
and  a  mane,  with  the  gigantic  elk,  the  rhinoceros  clad  in  fur, 
the  cave  bear,  the  cave  lion  and  other  extinct  animals.      And 


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26  Livingston  County  Historical  Society^ 

in  America  the  mastodon  and  the  Moose  (still  living).  Here 
we  find  the  American  Indian  living  on  no  higher  plane  of 
existence  than  when  he  was  found  three  hundred  years  ago, 
except  where  restraint  and  religious  instruction  have  been 
forced  upon  him.  Elsewhere  he  still  presents  the  picture  of 
the  untutored  savage.  Similar  races,  of  the  stone  age,  inhab- 
ited Europe  prior  to  the  advent  of  the  Caucasian  race.  They 
have  died  out  or  been  absorbed  within  the  last  twelve  hun- 
dred years  till  scarce  a  trace  of  them  is  found  to  prove  that 
they  ever  existed.  And  within  the  last  two  hundred  and  fifty 
years  this  same  race  has  been  encroaching  upon  the  red  man 
in  America.  His  fate  seems  destiny.  He  must  submit  to 
the  ways  of  civilization,  be  absorbed  in  citizenship  or  become 
extinct. 

All  these  subjects  and  discoveries  have  been  made  within  a 
lifetime,  and,  like  many  of  the  discoveries  in  the  natural  sci- 
ences, were  considered  dangerous  and  heretical.  Boniface, 
Archbishop  of  Mentz,  condemned  Virgil,  the  Bishop  of  Saltz- 
burgh.  for  propounding  the  existence  of  antipodes.  Roger 
Bacon  was  imprisoned  for  fourteen  years  for  the  magic  he 
found  in  the  physical  sciences.  The  decrees  of  the  church 
were  uttered  against  Copernicus  and  condemnation  given  to 
Galileo  for  holding  that  the  earth  moved  round  the  sun. 
The  earth  was  circumnavigated.  Newton  discovered  the  law 
of  gravitation  and  demonstrated  the  motion  of  the  earth  on 
its  axis  and  around  the  sun.  And  the  laws  of  mathematics 
were  proved  to  be  the  laws  of  God  that  governed  the  spheres 
of  the  heavens.  The  kaleidoscope  in  its  turnings  finds  places 
for  all  the  truths  of  nature.  Intensity  seems  to  characterize 
the  progress  of  civilization,  as  embodied  in  the  Caucasian^  as 
he  takes  possession  of  the  new  world.  England  in  her  island 
home,  with  her  different  nationalities  and  many  dialects,  tes- 
tifies to  the  stationary  character  of  the  old  world  and  the 
effect  of  the  curfew  bell  on  the  habits  of  a  people.  While 
America,  in  the  fullness  of  liberty  and  the  intensity  of  indi- 
viduality combined  with  the  power  of  association,  has  con- 
quered the  magnitudes  of  distance  by  the  wonderful  develop- 
ments of  jnternal  commerce  ;  and  is  making  a  people  out  of 
the  nationalities  of  the  old  world  conform,  uniform,  homoge- 
neous and  cosmopolitan. 

If  it  be  true  that  the  Almighty  created  races  as  well  as 
man  and  that  the  Caucasians  are  the  descendants  of  Adam 
through  Noah,  we  can  see  a  reason  for  the  restlessness  of  the 
race.  We  see  a  purpose  above  and  beyond  the  human  pur- 
pose, in  the  aggressive,  persistent,  enterprising  action  which 
has  marked  and  continues  to  characterize  our  race.      Created  ' 

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Annual  Address  by  Hon,   H'm,  M,   White.  27 

for  and  designed  for  a  special  purpose,  that  object  the  ameli- 
oration, the  civilizatibn,  the  education,  the  improvement  of 
man— themselves  men  yet  innate  with  this  great  purpose — 
their  inevitable  destiny  is  to  push  on  and  be  the  leaders,  the 
actors  in  the  progress  of  the  world — in  science,  in  the  arts,  in 
culture  and  in  commerce,  in  wars  and  in  peace,  in  conquests 
by  arms,  in  cultivation  by  the  arts,  till  the  whole  world  is, 
filled  with  knowledge  as  the  waters  cover  the  sea. 


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LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 

HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 


ANNUAL  ADDRESS: 
Tie  Ratore  and  Kinds  of  Historic  Efidenee,  and  (heir  Respective  Valnes. 

BY  BBV.  LLOYD  WINDSOR,  D.  D. 


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FIFTH   ANNUAL  MEETING 


OF  THE 


LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 


HISTORICAL  SOCIETY, 


HELD  AT  DANSVILLE, 


Tuesday,  January  nth,  1881.  ~ 


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DANSVILLE.  N.  Y. 

A.  a  BUV^BLI.,  PBINTBB,  OFFICE  OF  THB  DAlfSVlLLB  ADVBBTI8EK 
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FIFTH  ANNUAL  MEETING 


Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 


The  fifth  annual  meeting  of  the  Livingston  County  His- 
torical Society  was  held  in  Dansville  on  Tuesday,  Jan.  nth, 
1 88 1.  A  business  meeting  was  held  in  the  parlors  of  the 
Hylaad  House  at  2  o'clock  p.  m.,  Hon.  William  M.  White, 
President,  in  the  chair. 

The  report  of  the  last  annual  meeting  of  the  Society  was 
presented  by  Mr.  Norman  Seymour,  Secretary,  and  on  mo- 
tion the  same  was  approved. 

The  Secretary  reported  the  receipt  of  letters  and  docu- 
ments from  the  following  persons  and  societies,  and  on  motion 
they  were  ordered  placed  on  file,  viz : 

Rev.  George  K.  Ward,  Dansville;  Hon.  Josiah  W.  Be- 
gole,  Flint,  Mich. ;  Hon.  Henry  O'Reilly,  New  York  City  ; 
Hon.  O,  H.  Marshall,  Buffalo ;  New  York  Historical  Society  ; 
New  York  State  Library ;  Bufl&lo  Historical  Society ;  Hon. 
S.  H.  Welles,  Waterloo,  N.  Y. ;  Massachusetts  State  Libra- 
ry, Boston  ;  Massachusetts  Historical  Society,  Boston  ;  Long 
Island  Historical  Society,  Brooklyn;  Minnesota  Historical 
Society ;  Report  of  Centehnial  Celebration  at  Waterloo,  N. 
Y.,  Sept.  3,  1879. 

The  Treasurer's  report  was  received,  referred  to  the  finance 
committee,' examined  and  approved.     On  motion  of  Mr.  Da- 


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Lhnngston  "County  Historical  Society. 

thanks  of  the  Society  were  tendered  to  President 
)r  his  very  generous  donation  of  ^30,  the  expense  of 
ng  the  proceedings  of*  last  year. 

.  H.  Blake  presented  to  the  Society  a  copy  of  the 
ings  of  the  Electoral  College  of  this  State  at  its  last 
and  a  finely  framed  photograph  of  the  envelope  en- 
certificate  of  the  election  of  Judge  Wallace,  contain- 
autographs  of  the  electors,  which  was  borne  to  the 
y  Dr.  Blake  as  the  official  messenger  of  the  Electoral 
This  unique  gift  was  accepted  with  the  thanks  of 
cty, 

H.  Blake  and  Mr.  William  B.  Lemen  of  Dansville, 
lien  Ayrault  and  Dr.  William  J.  Milne  of  Geneseo, 
1.  J.  W.  Begole  of  Flint,  Mich.,  were  elected  members 
»ociety. 
Dllowing  officers  were  elected  for  the  ensuing  year  : 

lent — Hon.  Benjamin  F.  Angel,  of  Genesed. 

President — Mr.  E.  H.  Davis,  of  Avon. 

tary  and  Treasurer — Mr.  Norman  Seymour,  of  Mt. 

cilmen — Dr.  Myron  H.  Mills,  Dr.  Lorin  J.  Ames,  Mr. 

Murray,  of  Mt.  Morris ;  Dr.  Daniel  H.  Fitzhugh,  of 
nd ;  Hon.  William  M.  White,  of  Ossian ;  Mr.  Samuel 
I,  of  Greneseo ;  Dr.  Francis  M.  Perine,  Messrs.  L.  B. 

Charles  Shepard  and  A.  O.  Bunnell,  of  Dansville. 

bllowing  standing  committees  were  appointed : 

ice — Messrs.  White,  Allen  and  Murray, 
cation — Messrs.  Bunnell,  Perine  and  Proctor, 
bership — Messrs.  Ames,  Fitzhugh  and  Shepard. 
Dlogy — Messrs.  Allen,  Proctor  and  Davisl 

neeting  then  adjourned. 

>ublic  meeting  was  held  in  Opera  hall  in  the  evening. 

It  White  gave  a  brief  history  of  the  organization  of 

iety  and  the  general  objects'foi^  which  it  was  organiz- 

ayer      as    offered  by  Rev.  J.   Hill  of  the  Dansville 

ist  church.      "America"  was  then  sung  by  Messrs. 

and  A,  W.  Fielder,  and  Misses  Elizabeth  Dippy  and 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting.  5 

Mary  F.  Bunnell.     Secretary  Seymour  then  presented  his  an- 
nual report,  as  follows : 

SECRETARY  SEYMOUR'S  REPORT. 
Mr.  President,  Members  of  the  Historical  Society  and  Ladies 

and  Gentlemen  : 

Another  cycle  of  time  brings  us  to  the  fifth  annual  meet- 
ing of  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society.  During  the 
past  year  but  one  of  our  members  has  passed  away, — Maj. 
A.  A.  Hendee  of  Avon,  one  of  our  Board  of  Councilmen, 
who  deceased  very  suddenly  in  February  last.  Since  our 
organization  the  kind  Father  has  dealt  gently  with  us.  Only 
four  of  our  number  have  died,  viz :  Wm.  Scott  of  Sparta, 
Adolphus  Watkins  of  Lima,  Hon.  George  W.  Patterson  and 
Maj.  Hendee.  Through  the  kindness  of  E.  H.  Davis  of 
Avon,  one  of  the  members  of  our  board,  a  memorial  of  Maj. 
Hendee  has  been  prepared  and  will  be  presented  to  us  this 
evening. 

Mr.  President  and  associates,  1  congratulate  you  on  the 
success  of  our  organization,  and  the  fact  that  already  it  is 
known  throughout  our  land.  Rarely  a  week  passes  but  what 
your  Secretary  is  applied  to,  from  the  Eastern  coast  to  the 
Pacific  slopQ,  for  our  publications.  We  have  gathered  and 
placed  upon  record  many  important  facts  that  will  add  addi- 
tional brilliancy  to  our  County  History. 

The  historical  Societies  of  our  country  are  making  start- 
ling and  astonishing  researches.  The  Minnesota  Historical 
Society,  in  their  investigations,  have  discovered  that  in  the 
pre-historic  period  the  Copper  Miners  and  Mound  Builders 
worked  together ;  that,  while  Nineveh  and  Palmyra  were  in 
their  glory,  copper  was  being  worked  on  the  shores  of  Lake 
Superior;  that  the  French  missionaries  were  erecting  altars 
to  their  God  at  a  time  nearly  equal  to  the  landing  of  the  Pil- 
grims on  l^lymouth  Rock ;  that  the  noble  and  brave  Mar- 
quette greeted  the  Upper  Mississippi  about  one  hundred 
years  before  the  battle  of  Bunker  Hill ;  that,  at  Grand  Port- 
age, on  the  Great  Lake,  shops  and  saloons  were  open  and 
drinking  places  held  high  carnival  on  the  day  John  Hancock 
placed  his  signature  to*  our  immortal  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence. 

As  we  have  often  remarked,  Livingston  County  has  no 
peer  in  the  State  for  its  historic  record.  Since  the  memor- 
able Sullivan's  campaign,  in  1779,  whose  soldiers  sent  the 
Senecas  like  cJiaflT  before  the  wind,  to  the  British  frontier, 
followed  by  the  advent  of  the  Messrs.  James  and  William 
Wadsworth,  the  early  pioneers,  in  1790,  and  afterwards  by  the 


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6  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

famous  treaty  at  Big  Tree  (Geneseo)  in  1797,  when  3,000  In- 
dians were  gathered  over  twenty  days,  before  Robert  Morris 
consummated  this  most  important  treaty  made  with  the  Six 
Nations.  From  the  date  of  these  events,  civilization  com-* 
menced  in  this  locality  in  Western  New  York,  and  scores  of 
Sullivan's  army,  with  others,  enchanted  by  the  "beautiful 
land,"  returned  and  made  the  Genesee  country  their  home. 
Had  we  time  we  would  be  pleased  to  relate  some  of  the 
many  statements  we  have  gathered  of  pioneer  life,  many  of 
them  most  thrilling. 

Mr.  Donald  McKenzie,  who  came  from  Scotland  to  Big 
Springs,  Caledonia,  in  1803,  and  located  on  the  40,000  acre 
tract  then  not  surveyed,  says,  "after  working  two  days  and 
one  night  clearing  the  underbrush  and  felling  trees,  when 
night  came  they  kindled  a  large  fire  to  keep  them  warm  and 
frighten  away  the  wild  beasts,  and  sang-  for  a  long  time  the 
good  old  psalm  tunes  they  had  been  wont  to  sing  on  the  hill- 
sides of  Scotland,  such  as  *  Old  Hundred,*  *  Martyrs,'  '  Ban- 
gor/ etc.,  and  prayed  to  the  God  of  Heaven  and  America  to 
protect  them  and  prosper  them  in  their  humble  beginning." 
In  speaking  of  the  pioneers,  he  says  :  "  I  must  pay  a  tribute 
of  praise  to  the  fearless  pioneer  mothers,  who  witji  rare  and 
wonderful  fortitude  forsook  all  their  former  associations,  and 
with  the  man  of  their  choice  and  idol  of  their  hearts  went 
forth  from  the  parental  roof  for  the  first  time,  exclaiming  with 
Ruth,  *  Entreat  me  not  to  leave  thee,  or  to  return  from  fol- 
lowing after  thee  ;  for  whither  thou  goest  I  will  go,  and  where 
thou  lodgest  I  will  lodge ;  thy  people  shall  be  my  people,  and 
thy  God  my  God ;  where  thou  diest  I  will  die,  and  there  will 
I  be  buried.'  " 

It  is  a  well  known  fact  that  no  class  of  pioneers  were  so 
poor  as  those  that  emigrated  to  the  Genesee  country.  Very 
few  had  a  dollar  left  after  erecting  their  log  huts,  and  house- 
hold furniture  was  rarely  found  in  any  amount  for  comfort. 

Those  indeed  were  the  days  when  all  most  diligently  labor- 
ed, both  men  and  women, — when  almost  every  woman  was  a 
weaver  or  spinner.  Then  women  looked  noble  in  their  do- 
mestic muslin  and  linsey  woolsey,  and  men  gay,  dressed  in 
tow  cloth  and  sheep's  gray — when  honesty  of  purpose  and 
unflinching  integrity  were  the  guiding  star  of  all ;  when  the 
Sabbath  was  revered  by  almost  every  one ;  when  children 
honored  their  parents ;  when  that  maxim  first  promulgated 
by  the  Divine  Master,  "  Love  thy  neighbor  as 'thyself,  "  was 
daily  illustrated;  when  friendships  were  pure,  strong  and 
lasting ;  when  ofllicial  corruption  and  unfaithfulness  to  public 


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'^. 


Fifth  Annual  Meeting,  .  7 

or  private  trusts  were  rarely  known — thus  quietly  but  surely 
was  the  foundation  laid,  and  a  superstructure  erected  that 
gave  security  and  firmness  to  the  institutions  of  our  beauti- 
fal  land  and  locality,  and  to-day  it  is  our  pride  that  Western 
New  York  is  the  peer  of  any  section  of  the  Empire  State,  for 
virtue,  intelligence  and  patriotism, 

Bancroft  says,  "  Religious  enthusiasm  colonized  New  Eng- 
land." It  may  perhaps  be  said  that  on  the  opening  of  the 
eighteenth  century  in  Western  New  York,  Christianity  and 
civilization  joined  hands  and  for  all  time  swore  eternal  fideli- 
ty to  each  other.  Let  their  descendants  honor  the  compact 
and  unsullied  send  it  down  to  future  generations. 

"Truly,  the  lines  have  fallen  to  us  in  pleasant  places,"  we 
have  a  goodly  heritage — a  salubrious  climate,  a  soil  unequal- 
ed  for  its  fertility,  and  a  noble  ancestry.  May  we  never  for- 
get that  we  tread  upon  the  ashes  of  those  to  whom,  under  a 
kind  Providence,  we  are  indebted  for  all  our  civil  and  relig- 
ious institutions.  I  conjure  you,  by  the  memories  of  the 
long  line  of  men  and  women  who  lived  and  toiled  upon  these 
broad  acres,  that  you  take  earnest  measures  to  perpetuate 
their  honest  industry,  their  indomftable  energy,  their  ster- 
ling virtues  and  their  Christian  example.  In  your  weekly 
journals,  at  your  firesides,  in  the  social  gatherings,  and  in  the 
great  congregations,  recall  the  simplicity  of  their  eventful 
lives  and  their  gentle  ways. 

Let  their  transparent  and  unselfish  life  be  unfolded  in  our 
daily  round,  in  the  field,  in  the  office,  in  the  business  mart. 
Stand  as  they  stood,  like  granite,  against  deceit,  dishonesty, 
immorality,  and  for  the  "  faith  of  their  fathers."  Thus,  in 
transmitting  to  posterity  their  manly  virtues,  will  we  add 
lustre  to  the  rich  legacy  they  have  left  to  us.  Few,  very  few, 
of  those  worthy  pioneers  survive.  Deal  gently  with  these 
aged  ones  that  nestle  aroifnd  your  hearth-stones.  Cherish 
.their  counsels,  let  their  words  be  to  you  like  "  apples  of  sil- 
ver." Let  the  story  of  theh-  early  life,  their  struggles  and 
privations,  inspire  you  to  nobler  needs  and  greater  sacrifices 
for  God,  humanity  and  those  around  you. 

In  the  bustle  and  jostle  of  life,  in  which  all  are  engaged,  it 
'^  our  pride  that  the  great  heart  of  the  American  people  does 
not  forget  the  courageous  band  who,  nearly  a  century  ago, 
almost  friendless  and  alone,  in  the  valley  and  wilderness, 
stood  on  the  outposts  of  civilization  and  laid  broad  and  deep 
the  foundations  of  our  glorious  commonwealth. 

Among  this  long  line  of  heroic  men  and  women  whose 
names  are  enshrined  in  the  nation's  heart,  the  pioneers  of  the 


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Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

ountry  stand  pre  eminent.  Their  homely  virtues 
t  maxims  have  left  their  impress,  deep  and  endur- 
for  all  time,  may  they  be  our  watchword,  our  guid- 
)ur  glory  and  our  shield.     Above  all,  let  us   not 

**  We  Itve  Id  deeds,  not  years,  in  thoaghfcs,  not  breaths, 
In  reelings,  not  In  flgares  on  a  dial. 

He  most  lives, 
Who  thinks  most,  feels  the  noblest,  acts  the  best" 

Iress  received  general  applause.     President  White 

;  as  follows  : 

PRESIDENT  WHITE'S  ADDRESS. 

nd  Gentlemen  : — The  Historical  Society  of  Living- 
^  welcomes  you  to  their  fifth  annual  meeting, 
well  remembers  that  eighty-five  years  ago,  Amari- 
ond  and  Cornelius  McCoy,  with  David  and  James 
Degan  the  foundation  of  Dansville  and  made  the 
It  created  the  largest  village  in  the  county.  His- 
icalls  among  many  names  familiar  to  the  county, 
settlers  Daniel  P.,  Samuel  and  James  Faulkner, 
and  William  Porter,  Jacob  Welch,  Jacob  Martz, 
I  Conrad,  George  Phoenix  and  James  Logan,  Da- 
and  John  VanDeventer,  and  can  tell  of  the  wed- 
illiam  McCartney  and  the  lovely  Mary  McCurdy, 
irriage  in  this  town. 

ibers  that  Dansville  was  called  so  out  of  regard  to 
in  Faulkner  who  kept  the  first  store ;  headquarters 
necessaries  of  life  ;  and  that  Samuel  Faulkner  kept 
ern ;  and  that  the  Faulkners  were  "  well  to  do  " 
lys ;  and  that  the  family  have  kept  it  up  pretty 

ibers  that  David  Scholl  built  the  first  saw-mill  in 
the  first  grist-mill  in  1796.  From  that  time  on 
las  written  its  own  history  and  is  writing  it  yet* 
iking  it  and  your  two  weekly  papers,  the  Adver- 
se Express,  make  careful  diaries  of  all  that's  done  , 
hat  is  said.  To  your  credit  be  it  said,  the  first  re- 
ices  were  held  in  1798  when  the  place  was  not 
old,  and  you  organized  a  church  (Presbyterian)  in 
low  you  have  nine  churches  in  •your  town  with 
;nt  shibboleths  of  creed,  and  yet  I  fear  some  of  you 
in  any  of  them  the  one  you  choose  to  attend.  To 
r  memories  and  to  stimulate  some  of  the  pioneers 
:,  before  it  is  lost  to  the  world,  reminiscences  oi 
J  make  mention  of  these  feicts. 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting,  9 

The  past  year  has  been  crowded  with  incident  and  interest. 
The  American  people  have  proved  their  loyalty  to  their  gov- 
ernment. They  have  shown  for  the  twenty-fourth  time  their 
ability  to  elect  their  ruler  by  the  ballot  and  to  give  him  their 
allegiance.  The  President  who  will  be  inaugurated  on  the 
fourth  of  March  next  had  not  been  thought  of  in  that  capac- 
ity one  year  ago.  He  attended  the  convention  that  nominat- 
ed him  as  a  delegate  earnestly  supporting  the  claims  of 
another  for  the  nomination.  And  though  elected  by  a  very 
small  popular  majority  yet  his  election  is  acquiesced  in  heart- 
ily and  unanimously.  We  have  read  the  tales  of  the  Arabian 
Nights,  and  other  tales  of  the  imagination,  but  there  is  noth- 
ing in  fiction  equaling  the  reality  of  a  nation  of  fifty  millions 
of  people  peacefully  choosing  their  chief  ruler  by  a  majority 
of  one  and  quietly  approving  the  result  as  the  will  of  the 
whole.  Such  a  people  must  be  a  wise  people — must  be  a 
Christian  people. 

They  charge  Americans  with  self-conceit  and  braggadocia. 
Can  it  not  be  as  truthfully  said  that  this  is  only  a  higher  de- 
velopement  of  manhood  and  is  a  literal  **  counting  up  of 
mercies  and  privileges,"  and  an  acknowledgment  of  bless- 
ings? 

The  first  great  act  of  the  year  1880  was  the  fulfilling  of  the 
pledge  of  the  government  to  redeem  its  currency  in  coin.  A 
wonderful  prosperity  has  followed ;  and  this  step  towards 
honesty  has  given  vitality  to  the  old  proverb  that  **  Honesty 
is  the  best  Policy."  A  surplus  of  ninety  millions  of  dollars 
has  been  used  towards  paying  the  national  debt.  Business 
revived,  commerce  prospered,  a  bountiful  harvest  crowned  the 
yearand  the  census  reports  over  fifty  millions  of  population 
—making  it  patent  that  we  are  the  most  prosperous  nation  of 
the  earth.     Our  own  county  shares  in  this  general  prosperity. 

Railroads  are  a  creation  of  the  last  fifty  years.  Prior  to  that 
distance  measured  space  and  controlled  internal  commerce. 
Water  seemed  the  only  common  carrier,  and  our  winter  de- 
stroyed water  transit  The  iron-road  made  transit  possible  at 
all  seasons  and  made  the  resources  of  the  country  available  on 
demand.  The  steel  rail  and  the  Mogul  engine  have  so  reduced 
the  cost  of  transportation  as  to  make  railroads  available  for 
internal  commerce  (a  car  load  of  wheat  can  be  taken  to  Roch- 
ester for  ^5)  location  on  the  route  of  a  through  line  of  road 
is  essential  to  the  greatest  development  of  a  community. 
The  year  1880  has  placed  the  county  of  Livingston  in  that 
position.    Two  new  lines  of  railroad  have  been  organized 


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lO  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

and  located — The  New  York,  Lackawana  &  Western,  a  new 
through  line  from  New  York  to  the  west,  skirts  your  village 
on  the  hillside,  and  wtnds  its  way  through  the  length  of  the 
county ;  and  the  Canal  railroad  is  to  tike  the  place  of  the 
old  Genesee  Valley  canal.  The  Rochester,  Nunda  &  Penn- 
sylvania railroad  is  revived  and  likely  to  be  completed  ;  and 
your  present  railroad  may  yet  reach  Burns,  which  place  it 
started  for  many  years  ago.  With  these  thoroughfares  in 
operation  and  our  inland  towns  placed  on  the  main  lines  of 
travel  and  business,  we  can  look  forward  to  the  future  confi- 
dent of  growth  and  prosperity,  and  record  for  future  genera- 
tions what  the  era  of  eighteen  hundred  and  eighty  has  done 
for  the  county  of  Livingston. 

This  address  was  delivered  w[th  much  force  and  spirit  and 
received  enthusiastic  applause. 

Messrs.  F.  and  A.  W.  Fielder  sang  a  duet,  **The  Chimes," 
with  fine  effect  and  were  roundly  applauded. 

The  President  then  introduced  Rev.  Dr.  Lloyd  Windsor  of 
Hornellsville,  who  delivered  the  annual  address,  holding  the 
close  attention  of  the  audience. 

Messrs.  Fielder  and  Fielder  then  sang  another  fine  duet, 
"The  Pilot." 

On  motion  of  Mr.  John  R.  Murray,  a  copy  of  the  annual 
address  was  requested  for  publication  by  the  Society. 

Dr.  F.  M.  Perine  offered  the  following  resolutions : 

Whereas,  Since  the  last  annual  meeting  of  this  Society, 
Hon.  Amos  A.  Hendee,  who  was  not  only  a  valuable  member 
of  this  Society,  but  for  many  years  a  prominent  and  respected 
citizen  of  Livingston  county,  distinguished  alike  at  the  bar 
as  an  advocate  and  prosecuting  officer,  and  as  a  representative 
of  the  county  in  the  legislature,  and  in  ,many  other  places 
of  honor  and  trust, — has  departed  this  life ;  and 

Whereas,  His  fellow  citizens  have  thus  exhibited  their  ap- 
preciation of  his  services ;  and 

Whereas,  He  never  &iled  to  discharge  with  credit  to  him- 
self and  with  honor  to  the  county  all  the  public  trusts  con- 
ferred upon  him  ;  therefore 

Resolved,  That  it  is  a  duty  which  this  Society  discharges 
with  melancholy  pleasure,  to  publicly  express  its  appreciation 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting.  1 1 

of  a  character  so  estimable,  of  duties  discharged  with  unas- 
suming ability  and  fidelity  ;  that  in  so  doing  we  place  in  the 
archives  of  our  Society  a  record  of  an  exemplary  and  careful 
life,  valuable  alike  to  this  Society  and  to  the  country  at  large» 
and  a  salutary  example  to  all  who  propose  an  honorable  and 
successful  life. 

Resolved,  That  in  him  we  saw  exhibited  hatred  of  all 
crime,  duplicity,  fraud,  hypocrisy  and  oppression — that  when 
it  became  his  duty  as  a  lawyer  and  public  prosecutor  to  bring 
criminals  to  justice,  to  unmask  secret  and  baleful  wrongs, 
against  public  or  private  interests,  he  discharged  it  with  a 
power  of  intellect,  with  a  istern  determination  and  vigor  which 
seldom  failed  to  bring  offenders  to  justice,  and  to  cause  him- 
self to  be  regarded,  what  he  really  was,  a  terror  to  evil  doers. 

Resolved,  That  though  Mr.'  Hendee  was  a  man  of  salient 
points  of  character,  of  decided  opinions,  fearless  in  express- 
ing them,  he  was  never  wanting  in  that  urbanity  the  distin- 
guishing mark  of  a  gentleman ;  that  beneath  a  somewhat  dis- 
tant and  cold  exterior,  he  had  a  warm  heart,  generous  sym- 
pathies and  a  strong  attachment  to  his  friends,  a  broad  and 
ready  humor  that  rendered  him  a  pleasing,  genial  companion. 

Resolved,  That  at  the  bar,  in  the  legislature  and  in  the  pub- 
lic assembly,  his  terse  but  graceful  language,  often  enforced 
by  electrifying  wit  and  original  expressions,  rendered  him 
truly  eloquent  and  attractive. 

Resolved,  That  he  has  left  on  the  records  of  this  Society 
permanent  evidence  of  his  love  and  devotion  to  the  county 
of  Livingston,  and  of  his  desire  to  perpetuate  and  crystalize 
all  that  was  valuable  in  its  history,  and  that  his  loss  to  this 
Society  as  well  as  to  the  country,  will  long  be  felt,  his  death 
deeply  lamented. 

Resolved,  That  his  love  for  agricultural  life,  to  which  he 
devoted  his  last  years,  with  so  much  profit  to  himself,  and 
credit  to  the  calling  of  a  farmer,  unites  his  name  with  that 
noble  and  useful  avocation — therefore  we  add  this  imperfect 
tribute  to  his  memory,  not  only  as  a  sacred  duty  of  this  soci- 
ety, to  him  whose  life  so  richly  merits  their  entry  on  our 
records,  and  thus  we  tender  them  not  we  trust  in  the  language 
of  undue  eulogy,  but  in  that  of  fair  and  generous  apprecia- 
tion, leaving  whatever  faults  he  had  in  the  grave  to  which  all 
that  was  earthly  of  him  now  sleeps  forever. 


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1 2  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

Mr.  E.  H.  Davis,  on  the  motion  to  adopt  the  resolutions, 
presented  the  following  beautiful  tribute  to  the  memory  of 
Mr.  Hendee: 

ADDRESS  BY  MR.  E.  H.  DAVIS. 

What  the  world  terms  character  is  an  aggregation,  made 
up  of  diversities  that  range  themselves  between  the  antipodes 
of  good  and  evil.  The  perfectly  good  and  the  entirely  bad 
are  both  unattainable,  the  one  being  above  the  reach  of  hu- 
man effort  and  the  other  below  the  possibility  of  human  de- 
pravity. The  sum  of  each  individual  existence,  at  its  close, 
contains  both  the  golden  good  and  the  dross  of  evil,  and  ac- 
cording to  the  preponderance  of  the  one  or  the  other  of  these 
the  judgment  of  mankind  is  rendered.  It  is  a  grave  and 
difficult  task  to  separate  and  group  these  diverse  elements 
and  form  a  correct  estimate  of  individual  character ;  and  too 
often  he  who  seeks  to  do  it  is  unfitted  for  the  work.  Dislike 
and  admiration,  intensified  as  they  often  become,  are  both 
equally  blind  in  their  judgments,  shadowing  the  virtues  of 
those  we  do  not  love  and  obscuring  the  faults  of  others  to 
whom  we  are  dearly  attached.  Then  again  we  are  often  mis- 
led. The  good  in  some  characters  is  a  rough  diamond  that 
must  be  cut  before  its  real  value  can  be  known,  and  evil  in 
others  may  shine  with  a  light  so  dazzling  and  deceitful  as  to 
blind  the  eyes  that  seek  to  divine  its  true  nature;  while  faults 
may  be  so  hidden  in  one  and  virtues  in  another  that  years 
must  elapse  before  such  lives  can  be  correctly  judged.  Time 
alone  rectifies  all  mistakes,  and  it  is  constantly  rescuing  names 
from  oblivion  and  consigning  others  to  her  dark  recesses ;  so 
that  he  who  dies  misjudged  is,  some  time,  sure  of  a  vindica- 
tion. Truth  will  outlive  his  monument,  and  error,  sooner  or 
later,  will  crumble  beneath  the  silent  tread  of  the  centuries. 

The  character  of  our  associate  and  brother  whom  we  are 
asked  to  remember  with  just  and  kindly  words  to-night,  is  no 
exception  to  the  rule  we  have  formulated.  Its  golden  veins 
are  deep  and  rich,  outcropping  often,  while,  here  and  there, 
the  shale  of  human  faults  and  follies  covers  the  hidden  wealth 
that  lies  below.  This  Society,  of  which  Mr.  Hendee  was  an 
esteemed  and  honored  member,  will  do  a  kindly  and  brother- 
ly act  in  placing  their  high  estimate  of  his  character  upon 
record,  but  we  must  remember  that  it  will  be  enduring  only  as 
it  is  just.  And  if  we  fail  in  .our  judgment,  we  are  consoled 
by  the  positive  assurance  that  Time,  who  writes  on  rocks 
with  glacier  pen,  will  at  last  trace  his  epitaph  in  lines  of  truth 
alone. 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting,  1 3 

Amos  Alonzo  Hendee  was  born  in  Avon,  N.  Y.,  June  15th, 
1815,  and  died  February  13th,  1880.  He  was  the  youngest 
of  a  family  of  six  children,  all  of  whom  were  reared  upon  the 
farm  which  their  own  industry  and  that  of  their  parents  re- 
claimed from  a  comparative  wilderness. 

In  his  boyhood  he  attended  the  district  school  in  his  neigh- 
borhood and  subsequently  became  a  student  in  the   Avon 
academy.      From  this  institutioA  he  was  transferred  to  the 
•Lima  Seminary,  where  it  may  be  said,  his  education,  aside 
from  his  law  studies,  was   completed.     During   his   school 
life  he  was  studious  and  thorough  but  not  brilliant,  seeking 
rather  to  lay  a  solid  foundation  than  to  build  a  showy  super- 
structure.     His   tenacious   memory  and  power  of  thought 
enabled  him  to  accomplish  almost  any  intellectual  task,  and 
his  scholarly  attainments  were  far  in  advance  of  most  men  of 
his  age  who  had  enjoyed  no  greater  opportunities.      A  farm 
life  being  uncongenial  to  his  tastes,  he  decided  to  enter  upon 
the  profession  of  the  law.     In  accordance  with  this  decision 
and  before  he  had  attained  his  majority,  he  became  a  studjent 
in  the  law  office  of  lohn  Young,  in  Greneseo,  and  was  admit- 
ted to  the  bar,  September  26,  1837.    Soon  after  his  admission 
he  took  up  his  residence  in   Perry,  Wyoming  county,  but 
only  for  a  short  time.     Returning  to  Geneseo,  he  entered  into 
a  law  partnership  with  Elias  Clark,  afterwards  with  H.  H. 
Guiteau,  and  lastly  with  James  B.  Adams,  with  whom  he  re- 
mained from  1857  to  1863.     In  June,  1847,  at  the  first  elec- 
tion held  under  the  new  constitution,  he  was  elected  District 
Attorney.     In  the  spriiigof  1852  he  was  elected  member  of 
Assembly   from   the  first   Assembly   district   of  Livingston 
county,  and  the  following  year  he  was  again  a  candidate  but 
was  defeated  by  Judge  Gibbs.     In  1856  he  was  again  elected 
District  Attorney,  during  which  time  occurred  the  famous 
Wood  trial,  in  the  management  of  which  Mr.  Hendee  showed 
great  power  and  skill  as  a  prosecuting  officer,  conducting  the 
case  successfully  on  the  part  of  the  people.  In  1865  and  6,  he 
was  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Supervisors  from  Greneseo, 
taking  a  prominent  part  in  the  deliberations  of  that  body.   In 
1867  he  was  president  of  the  village  of  Geneseo  and  the 
same  year  was  nominated  for  the  Assembly  on  the  people's 
ticket,  but  was  defeated  by  Jacob  B.  Mead.      In  1 878  he  de- 
livered the  annual  address  before  the  Livingston  County  Pio- 
neer Society,  this  being  the  last  public  act  of  his  life.     He 
took  a  deep  interest  in  the  pioneer  history  of   his  native 
county  and  in  the  preservation  of  its  records  and  traditions. 


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14  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

He  was  an  efficient  promoter  and  a  valuable  member  of  the 
Livingston  County  Historical  Society,  holding  at  the  time  of 
his  death  the  office  of  Councilman.  In  1868  he  removed 
from  Geneseo  to  the  homestead  on  which  he  was  born,  the 
farm  soon  after  coming  into  his  possession  by  the  death  of 
his  mother,  and  the  rest  of  his  life  was  occupied  in  its  im- 
provement and  among  his  books,  of  which  he  possessed  a 
well-filled  library.  For  three  or  four  years  prior  to  his  death 
he  spenf  his  winters  in  the  village  of  Avon,  boarding  with 
his  old  friend  Wm.  E.  Pattee  who,  with  his  family,  became 
much  attached  to  him.  and  here  on  the  mor«ning  of  February 
13th,  1880,  he  was  suddenly  stricken  with  death  and  quietly, 
painlessly,  entered  into  his  eternal  rest. 

In  form  and  person,  Mr.  Hendee  was  tall  and  command- 
ing. His  head  was  large,  full  and  intellectually  moulded  and 
his  features  were  somewhat  serious  in  their  expression  and 
always  in  repose.  Said  a  legal  cotemporary  of  Mr.  Hendee 
to  us  only  a  few  days  ago :  **  When  I  first  knew  Major  Hen- 
dee I  thought  he  was  the  finest  specimen  of  physical  and 
mental  development  I  ever  saw."  Of  the  great  natural  abili- 
ties of  our  deceased  brother  there  is  neither  doubt  nor  dis- 
pute. His  intellect  was  broad  and  deep,  his  memory  capable 
of  retaining  all  that  his  intellect  could  grasp  and  his  reason- 
ing powers  were  of  the  highest  order.  He  was  sometimes 
experimental  in  research  and  argument  outside  of  his  profes- 
sion, but  in  matters  of  law  he  was  steadfastly  fixed  upon  its 
immutable,  underlying  principles.  He  was  an  acute  logician 
and  reasoned  with  method  and  constructive  power.  He  sel- 
dom argued  for  the  argument's  sake  and  always  sought  to 
win  by  the  use  of  legitimate  weapons  of  warfare.  In  speech 
he  was  deliberate,  logical  and  argumentative,  and  he  sought 
to  convince  the  reason  and  control  the  judgment  of  his  hear- 
ers rather  than  appeal  to  their  feelings.  His  arguments  were 
knit  together  by  logical  deductions  and  strengthened  by  pa- 
tient and  exhaustive  research,  and  at  no  time,  and  upon  no 
occasion,  was  he  ever  found  to  be  an  unprepared  or  an  un- 
armed antagonist. 

And  our  departed  brother  was  honest  It  was  not  occa- 
sional, politic,  superficial,  but  real,  fundamental  and  govern- 
ing. It  was  a  principal  underlying  every  public  and  private 
relation  of  his  life.  He  was  honest  in  his  business,  honest  in 
his  profession,  honest  in  his  politics.  He  discharged  every 
trust  with  ability  and  fidelity,  and  in  the  many  responsible 
positions  assigned  him  by  the  people,  he  retained  thfeir  confi- 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting,  1 5 

dence.  That  he  was  elected  to  those  high  positions  is  not  of 
itself,  positive  evidence  of  his  honesty  or  his  ability,  any  more 
than  his  failure  to  sometimes  secure  them  is  an  evidence  of 
his  lack  of  those  essential  qualities.  It  would  be  an  unfair 
test  to  apply  to  any  man  to  make  political  success  the  measure 
of  his  real  worth.  Mr.  Hendee  was  not  a  politician.  He  was 
not  without  ambition  in  that  direction  nor  was  he  unmindful 
of  the  honors  that  political  preferment  brought,  but  he  was 
not  a  caucus  manager  nor  a  convention  manipulator,  and 
could  do  little  in  this  direction  to  advance  his  own  interests. 
What  he  received  in  the  way  of  political  advancement 
came  with  little  or  no  effort  on  his  part,  and  whatever  of  hon- 
or followed  was  the  result  of  an  honest  and  faithful  discharge 
of  his  duties. 

Why,  it  may  be  asked,  did  he  not  acquire  brighter  fame 
and  achieve  a  more  signal  success  ?  With  his  great  intellect, 
splendid  development  of  mind  and  body  and  grand  oppor- 
tunities, why  did  he  not  win  a  higher  renown  ?  As  his  friend 
and  admirer  we  are  not  here  to  condone  his  faults.  We  ad- 
mit them  and  lament  them.  That  he  wasted  precious  oppor- 
tunities is  too  true.  By  neglect,  his  splendid  talents  were 
suffered  to  rust  for  lack  of  use,  and  while  they  slept  the 
grosser  elements  of  his  nature,  which  are  common  to  all  men, 
grew  to  prominence  and  took  possession  of  the  bright  do- 
main of  intellect.  It  was  only  for  a  time,  but  it  was  the  crit- 
ical harvest  time.  When  reason  again  assumed  its  rightful 
sway  the  harvest  had  been  gathered  by  other  hands  and  the 
bright  tints  of  summer  had  faded  into  sombre  autumn  hues. 
A  cloud  was  in  the  east  and  the  noonday  sun  far  down  in  the 
west,  casting  strange  shadows  across  his  path.  The  ruin  of 
his  hopes  and  the  wreck  of  his  ambition  were  about  him  and 
it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at  that  he  resolved  to  leave  the  arena 
where,  but  for  his  wasted  opportunities,  he  might  have  been 
crowned  conqueror,  and  to  seek  repose  amid  the  scenes  and  as- 
sociations of  his  childhood.  Why  this  promising  voyage  was 
arrested  in  mid  ocean  and  the  ship  becalmed  to  float  back  to 
the  port  from  which  it  sailed,  freighted  with  so  many  bright 
hopes  and  expectations,  is  known  only  to  Him  who  foreordain- 
ed the  life  arid  the  event.  We  do  not  judge  our  brother.  We 
have  alluded  to  his  misfortunes  because  it  is  better  that  a  friend 
should  do  it  than  an  enemy.  We  have  faith  in  his  ultimate 
record.  We  could  not  change  it  if  we  would,  for  the  stone 
is  hewn  and  in  its  place.  As  we  contemplate  some  grand 
and  successful  achievement  of  architecture,  we  find  the 
rougher  but  mqre  solid  and  enduring  granite  at  the  base,  and 


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1 6  Livingston  County  Historical  Society, 

as  we  ascend  the  builders*  material  grows  lighter  and  more 
ornamental.  The  vast  fabric  of  human  society,  reared  by  the 
Almighty  Architect  is  similar  in  construction,  and  firmly 
fixed  in  that  enduring  foundation  we  hav^  faith  to  believe  will 
be  found  the  character  of  Amos  A.  Hendee. 

Dr.  M,  H.  Mills  offered  the  following  resolution,  which 

was  unanimously  adopted : 

Resolved,  That  the  thanks  of  this  Society  are  justly  due 
and  are  hereby  tendered  to  Hon.  William  M.  White,  for  the 
faithful  and  efficient  manner  in  which  he  has  discharged  the 
duties  of  President  of  this  society  during  the  past  year. 

On  motion  of  Dr.  Ferine  the  thanks  of  the  Society  were 

voted  the  musicians  for  the  fine  music  furnished.  The  Messrs. 

Fielder  then  sang  with  much  expression  a  fine  Good  Night 

duet.  Rev.  G.  K.  Ward  pronounced  the  benediction,  and  the 

fifth  annual  meeting  of  the  Society  closed. 


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ANNUAL  ADDRESS: 
Tie  latore  and  Kinds  of  Historic  ETidence,  and  tbeir  Respective  Yalnes. 

BY  REV.  LLOYD  WINDSOR.  D.  D. 


In  obedience  to  the  courteous  request  of  your  President,  I 
appear  before  you  this  evening  to  make  a  brief  address.  He 
is  not  aware  of  what  my  subject  is  to  be,  and  gave  me  a  free 
range  of  thought.  I  avail  myself  of  that  liberty,  and  have 
chosen  for  my  theme,  The  Nature  and  Kinds  of  Historic  Evi- 
dence, and  Their  Respective  Values.  I  think  this  appropri- 
ate because  I  am  speaking  to  an  historical  society. 

All  histories  are  necessarily  local,  sectional  or  national,  and 
from  these  universal  history  may  be  compiled.  The  object - 
of  this  Society  seems  to  be  limited  more  particlarly  to  the  af- 
fairs of  Livingston  County.  But  since  these  local  topics  have 
been  so  often  treated  of,  and  are  besides  so  familiar  to  all  the 
members,  1  will,  with  your  permission,  take  a  wider  range  in 
my  remarks- 
History  has  existed  as  long  as  the  race  of  man.  It  is  nat- 
ural to  him  to  wish  to  preserve  the  memory  of  events.  This 
feeling  is  a  part  of  that  general  desire  of  our  nature  for  im- 
mortality, of  which  we  are  all  conscious.  All  men  are 
averse  to  the  idea  of  annihilation,  or  oblivion,  or  death  in 
any  form.  Hence  all  nations  and  tribes  of  men  preserve  in 
some  form  a  record  of  their  history.  In  the  very  earliest 
ages  a  carefully  preserved  tradition  was  handed  down  from 
one  generation  to  another.  Poetry  and  national  songs  recit- 
ed the  deeds  of  heroes  and  the  sayings  of  wise  men.  Public 
games  were  instituted  in  honor  of  great  events.  Religious 
rites  and  ceremonies  were  practiced,  on  sacred  anniversaries, 
to  perpetuate  certain  deliverances  or  mercies  which  the  na- 
tion had  secured  from  God.  All  this  and  more  took  place 
before  and  even  after  the  discovery  of  written  language. 
Monuments  of  stone  were  raised,  like  the  sculptured  obelisks 
of  Egypt.  Medals  and  coins  were  cast  with  the  image  and 
superscription  of  kings.     Triumphal  arches  to  celebrate  vic- 


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were  erected.  BJf&n  cairns  or  huge  piles  of  stone  were 
'  thrown  togetjpr,  ^s  we  read  in  the  Old- Testament, 
Jacob  set  upjBt  pillar  of  stone  at  Bethel  to  mark  the 
where  the  Ddo*  had  appeared  to  him. 

habetical  writing  was  unknown  to  man  at  the  beginning, 
hen  discovered,  was  not  in  general  use.  Some  people 
to  this  day.  are  acquainted  with  nothing  better  than 
)lic  or  in»age  writing,  entirely  unsuited  to  what  we  now 
ritten  history.  So  that  it  is  evident  that  the  matter  of 
y  is  tradition,  and  in  fact,  tradition  is  the  fountain  of  all 

have  a  remarkable  illustration  of  this  principle  in  the 
)f  the  Homeric  Poems,  which  are  among  the  oldest 
)sitions  known.  Critics  had  been  for  ages  divided  on 
lestion  whether  these  poems  were  intended  by  their  au- 
3  give  an  actual  historical  account  of  certain  wars,  of 
eat  wealth  and  splendid  palaces  of  an  ancient  people, 
re  a  mere  work  of  fiction  or  myth.  The  very  existence 
;  supposed  author  was  gravely  questioned.  But  few 
IS  believed  that  there  had  ever  been  such  a  city  as 
or  that  an  actual  war  had  raged  for  many  years  he- 
Greeks  and  Trojans  —  that  Priam.  Agamemnon, 
les  and  Hector  were  real  actors  in  that  war.  The  splen- 
orks  of  art  in  gold  which  Homer  describes,  the  royal 
ets  ati^  sceptres  of  kings  were  regarded  as  mere  crea-! 
of  the  poet^s  imagination.  But  in  our  own  day  the 
lous  discovery  is  made  by  Schliemann  of  buried  cities 
rlics  of  exquisite  design  and   workmanship  in  the  pre- 

metals ;  which  all  go  to  confirm  the  history  of  Troy 
.  No  evidence  could  be  more  convincing ;  for  what 
?  sjnd  know,  w^  must  believe.      All  doubt  is  dispelled. 

is  history  perpetuated  not  only  in  books,  but  in  the 
ments  and  traditions  of  the  past. 

s  principle  may  to  a  certain  extent  be  applied  even  to 
ible.  Moses,  inspired  of  God  for  the  avoidance  of  error 
)  guide  him  into  all  truth,  no  doubt  committed  to  writ- 
any  ages  afterwards  the  early  traditions  of  the  race  of 
:ommunicated  to  him  by  some  of  the  descendants  of 
.  If  it  be  objected  that  traditions  are  often  vague,  un- 
n,  and  even  mythical,  I  admit  the  fact.  But  so  is  writ- 
istory;  many  volumes  of  which  have  been   written  in 

age  of  the  world  which  are  wholly  unreliable,  and  are 
ated  by  scholars  and  critics.  The  value  of  all  history 
ids  entirely  upon  its  ascertained  accuracy  by  extraneous 
onfirmatory  evidence.      And  the  world  generally  gives 


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to  it  that  degree  of  credit  which  it  deserves.  Some  histor- 
ians have  a  high  reputation,  are  regarded  as  authority  and  as 
such  are  cited  by  common  consent.  Now  I  regard  the  histo- 
n'  contained  in  the  Bible  to  be  of  this  character  not  simply 
because  it  is  the  Bible,  but  because  of  the  nature  of  the  tra- 
ditions from  which  it  has  evidently  been  derived,  and  from 
the  c6rroborative  proofs  from  extraneous  and  cotemporaneous 
sources,  from  the  natural  character  of  the  traditions  which  are 
preserved  even  to  our  day.  and  above  all  to  the  infallible 
guiddnce  of  divine  inspiration.  Farther,  it  is  not  a  history  of 
a  private  nature,  or  of  individual  authority.  Afhmy  seem  to 
think  that  the  Bible  was  written  by  private  persons  who,  al- 
though they  claimed  to  be  inspired  and  fitted  for  their  work 
wrote  each  on  his  own  responsibility.  But  thi^^frA  very  im-  • 
perfect  and  partial  view  of  the  case.  The  authors  of  the  Old 
Testament  were  indeed  inspired,  yet  they  were  all  public  and 
ofBcial  personages.  The  Hebrew  leo^islators,  the  Kings,  the 
Prophets,  the  Judges  and  other  official  persons  acting  under 
the  direction  of  a  strict  theocracy,  responsible  to  God  and 
guided  by  Him,  had  at  the  same  time  responsibilities  to  the 
people  as  a  nation.  They  were  ministers  of  God  and  officers 
of  the  people.  Their  writings  bore  a  public  and  national 
character  and  importance.  And  the  nation  was  deeply  inter- 
ested in  all  they  did  or  wrote,  and  were  competent  witnesses 
in  the  case.  They  were  naturally  jealous  for  themselves  and 
their  civil  and  religious  rights,  and  therefore  would  not  fail 
to  detect  frauds,  or  impositions  or  usurpations  in  their  Lead- 
ers. To  question,  then,  the  genuineness  of  any  of  the  books 
of  the  Bible,  accepted  by  the  Jewish  nation,  and  never  discred- 
^dhy  them,  who  were  always  in  a  position  to  judge  of  the 
accuracy  and  purity  of  their  sacred  scriptures,  and  were 
known  to  employ  the  greatest  possible  care  to  protect  them 
from  interpolation,  or  any  other  corruption,  appears  to  me  ex- 
ceedingly unreasonable.  Apart  from  the  fact  of  divine  inspi- 
ration, these  Hebrew  Legislators,  Judges,  Priests,  Kings  and 
Prophets,  all  bore  a  solemn  public  and  official  character  well 
known  to  the  people,  and  with  direct  liabilities  to  the  people 
(under  God)  for  fidelity  and  truthfulness  in  the  discharge  of  all 
their  duties.  The  works  of  Plato  or  of  Cicero  are  wholly 
private  speculations  of  their  own  as  philosophers,  but  those 
of  Moses  are  wholly  different  and  must  be  judged  from  an 
entirely  opposite  point  of  view.  Before  you  can  assail  the 
authorship  of  the  Pentateuch  or  deny  the  truth  of  any  of  its 
statements,  you  must  attack  the  body  politic  and  the  church 
of  God  itself  among  the  Jews.      For  they  as  a  people  ratify 

• 

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20  Livingston  County  historical  Society, 

and  confirm  the  writmgs  of  Moses.  If  there  was  a  fraud  in 
this  matter,  they  are  necessarily  parties  to  it.  On  the  suppo- 
sition that  Moses  was  not  the  author  of  the  Pentateuch  as 
Bishop  CoJenso  and  IngersoU  affirm,  then  the  whole  nation  of 
fVif»  T^ws  were  either  deceivers  or  dupes,  for  they  must  have 
the  fact.  But  just  the  opposite  to  this  appears.  "^The 
everywhere  and  at  all  times,  affirm  the  truth  of  the 
uch  and  honor  Moses  as  the  divinely  inspired  author, 
ept  strictly  all  the  law  and  ceremonial  institutions  laid 
I  these  books.  They  themselves  had  the  custody  and 
tly  used  these  b9oks  in  their  public  worship,  and 
d  to  them  as  ultimate  authority  on  all  questions 
r  civil  or  religious  affecting  their  interests.  Moses 
d  evefy  Sabbath  day  in  their  synagogues.  Would  a 
falsify  its  own  laws  ?  Would  a  nation  keep  the  ordi- 
and  statutes  and  judgments,  and  submit  to  the  pay- 
'  tithes  imposed  thereby,  when  they  knew  there  was 
ing  authority  and  no  truth  whatever  in  the  Legislator 
;^aw  which  he  promulgated  ?  This  is  incredible.  And 
pinion  there  cannot  be  a  rational  doubt  either  as  to 
lorship  or  the  veracity  of  the  statements  contained  in 
ks  bf  Moses.  Now  besides  the  public  and  authorita- 
ureof  the  Mosaic  history,  institutions  and  laws,  and 
anifest  national  character,  and  the  attestation  given  to 
r  the  entire  nation  at  Xh^  first,  and  by  their  successors 
rds,  there  are  extraneous  proofs  of  great  weight 
lU  go  to  (Confirm  their  truth. 

^ill  now  consider  some  of  these  proofs.  The  Sabbath 
,  as  some  may  imagine,  originally  founded  by  Moses 
ional  observance.  It  is  true  he  made  it  such  by  ex- 
w  and  in  conformity  to  the  Divine  will.  It  was  to  be 
>etween  God  and  his  chosen  people.  But  it  may  have 
I  this  and  still  have  had  a  prior  existence.  At  any 
vas  observed  by  the  Jews  before  the  Pentateuch  had 
itten  by  Moses.  But  his  language  on  the  occasion  of 
nulgation  of  the  Law  plainly  implies  that  the  seventh 
1  been  already  kept  as  a  holy  day.  He  warns  the  peo- 
remember  "  the  day  to  keep  it  holy ;  and  then  en- 
\ti  the  precept  showing  the  extent  and  manner  of  its 
.nee.  He  moreover  argues  as  a  reason  for  the  Law, 
actual  commemoration  of  the  act  of  creation  by  an 
ity  Creator.  In  the  book  of  Genesis,  chap,  ii,  2,  3rd, 
ares  that  God  blessed  the  seventh  day  and  sanctified  it, 
;  he  had  rested  from  all  his  work  whicjh  God  created 
de.     The^ery  name  "Sabbath"  whicjh  signifies  "to 

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Fifth  Annual  Meeting,  2  \ 

rest"  shows  the  origin  and  object  of  the -institution,  and 
clearly  implies  that  it  was  the  earliest  religious  institution 
known  to  man.  At  that  time  it  could  not  have  been  Jewish, 
for  Abraham  had  not  been  called,  nor  was  he  living.  And 
this  was  2,500  years  before  the  time  of  Moses.  Now  if  it  was 
set  apart  that,  is  "sanctified"  by  the  Creator  himself  before 
the  separation  or  selection  of  any  one  people,  it  is  evident 
it  was  designed  for  the  whole  race.  All  men  were  equally 
interested  and  equally  bound  to  commemorate  the  creation. 
And  this  statement  of  Moses  in  the  second  chapter  of  Gene- 
sis necessarily  carries  the  institution  to  the  beginning  of  the 
race.  The  Almighty  enacted  the  Law  for  mankind  ;  and,  so 
to  speak,  and  with  all  reverence.  God  first  kept  his  own  Law, 
as  the  text  plainly  declares.  For  these  reasons  I  cannot  be- 
lieve that  the  Jewish  nation  were  the  origttfal-  observers  of  the 
Sabbath ;  nor  that  it  was  at  the  first  a  Jewish  ordinance, 
though  made  so  subsequently.  There  was  nothing  in  the 
purpose,  object  or  nature  of  the  ordinance  to  make  it  pecu- 
liarly, much  less  exclusively  Jewish.  There  are  traditions  of 
the  primitive  Sabbath  among  many  nations.  Philo  says  the 
Sabbath  is  not  a  festival  peculiar  to  any  people  or  country, 
but  is  common  to  the  whole  world;  and  that  it  may  be 
named  the  general  and  public  festival,  and  that  of  the  nativity 
of  the  world ;  and  Josephus  advances  that  there  is  no  city 
Greek  or  barbarian,  nor  any  nation  where  the  religion  of  the 
Sabbath  was  not  known.  Aristobulus  quotes  Homer  and 
Hesiod  who  speak  of  the  seventh  day  as  sacred  and  venera- 
ble. Clement  of  Alexandria  speaks  of  the  Sabbath  in  the 
same  terms  as  Aristobulus  and  he  adds  some  passages  from 
the  ancients  who  celebrate  the  seventjj  day.  Some  Rabbins 
inform  us  that  loseph  also  observed  the  Sabbath  in  Egypt. 
[Calmet,  p.  770.]  There  was  a  Sabbath  before  there  was  a 
Bible.  There  were  public  worship  and  sacrifices  offered  both 
before  and  after  the  flood  of  Noah.  And  this  traditionary  re- 
ligion— the  early  covenants  of  God  with  the  race  founded 
upon  the  first  promise  of  a  Savior — emanating  from  a  divine 
source  and  sanctioned  by  divine  authority,  and  these  institu- 
tions— the  existence  of  which  all  history  attests — we  find 
accurately  stated  and  accounted  for  in  the  Bible.  And  this 
goes  to  prove  both  the  value  and  truth  of  the  sacred  Scrip- 
tures. It  shows  that  Moses  is  a  credible  historian  and  his 
statements  are  in  harmony  with  the  earliest  traditions  of  man, 
and  are  sustained  by  the  evidence  of  universal  history.  The 
Passover  was  kept  long  before  the  Pentateuch  was  written, 
and  before  Moses  settled  the  minutiae  of  its  observance  for 


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generations  of  the  Jews.  It  was  instituted  in 
\  Moses  was  yet  a  bond  man  in  the  land  of  the 
id  as  he  informs  us  by -divine  direction.  This  like 
antedates  the  Scriptures.  Here  then  we  have  a 
religious  rite,  fully  3,000  years  old,  kept  by  the 
heir  generations  and  even  at  this  day.  And  what 
this  rite  teach?  It  is  the  history  of  the  enslave- 
Israelites  for  four  centuries  in  Egypt  and  their 
and  miraculous  deliverance  by  the  Almighty. 
lally  set  forth  in  the  ceremonial  of  .the  rite.  And 
had  not  been  written,  this  institution  was  equally 
qually  binding ;  for  it  does  not  take  its  origin 
>le,  since  it  is  the  older  of  the  two.  It  has  out- 
red  generations  of  men  and  is  as  old  as  the  Pyr- 
y  are  going  to  decay,  and  must  ultimately  per- 
s  tradition  lives  and  annually  repeats  the  history 
I  who  commemorate  it.  This  confirms  the  story 
5  tells  us  in  the  Bible,  of  the  servitude  of  Israel 
he  cruelty  of  that  Pharaoh  **  who  knew  not 
the  wonderful  deliverance  of  the  nation  and  of 
:h  he  himself  took  in  these  interesting  events, 
e  surely  would  not  for  3,000  years  observe  a 
orial  of  something  that  never  occurred.  They 
own  history,  and  the  great  events  which  had 
nong  them,  and  must  have  always  known  the 
ruth  of  that  which  the  Passover  represents. 

)te  an  account  of  the  deluge,  but  besides  his  im- 
rmation  from  God,  enabling  him  to  write  this,  he 
itions  which  everywhere  abounded  testifying  to 
there  were  n^  Bible  we  should  still  have  a  cred- 
>f  this  remarkable  event.  The  asterism  of  the  riv- 
yptian  astronomer,  Ptolemy,  calls  it,  which  starts 
r  the  constellation  of  Orion  (which  the  ancients 
esented  Noah)  points  significantly  to  the  tradi- 
ood.  The  constellations  of  the  Ship  or  Ark,  of 
the  Altar  and  Sacrifices,  all  refer  to  the  history 
hus  is  the  Bible  written  in  indelible  characters  in 
iieaven.  Nearly  every  Eastern  nation  has  tradi- 
I  flood,  as  the  Chinese,  Hindoos,  Egyptians, 
rks,  Persians  and  Phoenicians.  There  can  hardly 
ut  that  the  flood  of  Deucalion  is  identical  with 
ed  by  Moses.  Now  many  of  the  ancient  histo- 
e  the  flood  of  Deucalion,  and  the  details  of  these 
show  plainly  the  two  accounts  refer  to  one  and 
nt.     Besides  these  historical  statements  there  are 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting.  23 

drawings  in  stone  and  metal ;  especially  the  medals  of  Cor- 
inth and  that  preserved  in  the  cabinet  of  the  King  of  France, 
and  pronounced  by  the  Abbe  Bartholemy  to  be  authentic,  and 
of  the  reign  of  Severus  in  the  second  century.     These  very 
plainly  exhibit  the  ark  with  symbols  of  the  dove,  the  olive 
branch  and  persons  coming  forth  from  its  shelter.    .You  may 
strike  out  of  the  Bible  the  account  of  the  deluge  by  Moses, 
and  the  world  would  still  be  filled  with  traditions  ^of  that 
notable  event,  and  amply  confirm  the  scriptural  account  of  it. 
Many  also  of  the  leading  events  and  even  the  sacred  ordi- 
nances of  the  Christian  church  and  the  church  itself  as  a 
visible  organized  body  were  in  existence  before  the  New  Tes- 
tament was  written.     And  their  real  authority  goes  back  of 
the  Scriptures.     Baptism  and  the  Lord*s  supper,  and  religious 
assemblies  of  Christians  for  worship,  and  the  substance  of  the 
first  creed,  and  the  ministry  and  membership  were  all  prior  to 
the  written  word.     True  that  word  is  a  lamp  to  our  feet  and 
a  light  to  our  feet,  yea,  the  sword  of  the  Spirit,  yet  the  spok- 
en word  by  Jesus,  by  the  disciples,  the  apost/es,  was  as  com- 
pletely divine   and   authoritative  as   that    word    which    was 
subsequently  committed  to  writing.     Of  course  we  must  have 
recourse  to  the   writing,  but  the  first  Christians  heard  the 
living  word,  and  upon  that  they  founded  their  religion  and  its- 
institutions.     And  these  have  descended  to   us  in   unbroken 
succession,  with  the  word.      The  Church  is  historical,  tradi- 
tional, and  anniversaries  of  the  great  events   in  her  history 
have  ever   been    observed,  are    now   observed,  and  though 
strengthened  and  confirmed  by  holy  writ,  they  stand  on  their 
original    basis,    before    that    word    was    written.     Such   are 
unquestionably  the  facts  in  the  case.  ^  ' 

To  show  the  character  of  some  of  the  arguments  used  by 
popular  lecturers  who  assail  the  Bible  :  Ingersoll  asserts  there 
are  no  original  manuscripts  of  Moses,  to  prove  that  he  is  the 
author  of  the  books  which  go  by  his  name.  This  assertion 
is  indeed  true.  But  how  could  any  reasonable  man  expect 
such  a  thing?  How  could  he  ask  for  a  proof,  which,  in  its 
very  nature  is  impossible?  Autographs  of  Moses  3000  years 
years  old  !  And  suppose  we  could  produce  them,  what  then  ? 
We  should  then  be  required  to  prove  the  genuineness  of  the 
manuscripts.  But  would  there  be  any  hope  of  this  by  ordin- 
ary evidence?  Would  anything  short  of  a  miracle  answer 
the  purpose?  It  would  be  just  as  difficult  to  prove  the 
manuscripts  to  be  genuine  and  to  be  in  the  handwriting  of 
Moses,  as  to  prove  the  genuineness  of  the  printed  book.  The 
manuscripts  we  havfe  not,  because  they  have  long  since  per- 


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ished ;  and  yet  not  more  certainly  than  the  books  themselves. 
Could  we  produce  one  or  the  other  of  the  age  of  3000  years? 
And  really  does  the  case  require  this  kind  of  evidence  ?     Is 
it  ever  demanded  in   any  similar  instance  whatever  ?     All 
that  could  be  done  in  this  respect  is  to  produce  authentic  and 
certified  (fopies  of  original  documents.     And  that  we  can  do  ; 
and  far  more  efifectually  in  the  case  of  the  Bible  than  of  any 
other  known  book  that  ever  existed.     It  was  the  copy  that 
prove3  the  original  work  ;  and  is  not  this  the  fact  in  respect 
to  all  human  productions  of  this  nature  ?     To  prove  the  gen- 
uineness of  any  history,  any  code  of  laws,  any  book  in  any 
library  in  the  world,  is  it  required  that  we  furnish  the  origin- 
al ?     Could  this  be  done  ?     And  does  any  sane  man  require 
it,  in  the  case,  for  example,  of  the  ancient  classics  of  Greece 
or  Rome  ?     There  are  the  writings  of  Cicero,  of  Virgil,  of 
Pliny,   of  Tacitus,  of  Homer,   whose   authorship   are    never 
called  in  question,  and  yet  who  den^ands  the  autograph  of 
these  great  literary  lights  of  the  world  ?     Before  they  can  be 
received   and   accepted   as   the  productions  of  those  whose 
names  they  bear,  is  it  ever  demanded  that  we  see  the  original 
draft  of  their  works,  and  have  proof  of  their  writing  and  sig- 
nature ?     The  very   supposition   of  this  is  infinitely  absurd. 
.  We  know   that   the   consenting  voice   of  all  men  of  former 
times  have  recognized  their  works  and  believed  tfiem  to  be 
genuine.     That   each  age  has  handed  them  down  to  their 
successors  with  thefir  imprint  stamped  upon  them ;  and  this 
is  deemed  and  is  sufficient.      Is  it  not  true  that  so  solemn  a 
document  as  a  deed  proves  itself  in  a  court  of  law  after  thirty 
years  ?     The  law  has  fixed  this  as  the  limitation,  because 
some  period  ought  .to  be  assigned  when  all  ordinary  evidence 
must  perish.     The  person  who  drew  the  deed  or  executed  it, 
the  witness  who  attested  it,  the  officer  who  took  the  acknowl- 
edgement of  its  execution,  are  all    deemed  to   be   dead,  even 
though  they  are  alive.     If  the  document  has  prima  facie  evi- 
dence or  appearance  of  truth,  if  no  fraud  appears  or  is   proved, 
the  court  admits  it  without  the  usual  formal  proof.  And  this  is 
both  reasonable  and  necessary  as  all  experience  has  shown. 
Now  here  are  cavillers  at  the  Bible  who  would  fix  the  statute 
of  limitation  not  at  30  years,  but  at  3000  years !     The  rea- 
sonable common  sense  view  of  the  case  I  apprehend  to  be 
this.     The  books   of   Moses   and   the   other  books  of    the 
Bible  were  received  as  true  at  the  first,  for  they  were  so  re- 
garded and  s©  used.   A  whole  nation  so  received  them.    And 
copies  were  multiplied  first  in   manuscript  and  afterwards  in 
printed  form;  and  each  generation  was  supplied  with   the 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting,  2  J 

eenuine  Scriptures.  Duplicates  were  made  not  from  one 
original — the  actual  autograph  of  Moses — but  from  previous 
copies,  exactly  as  the  Bible  now  is  preserved  and  certified  to 
by  the  present  generation.  And  there  could  be  no  other  or 
better  way  for  this  or  any  other  book.  When  a  man  objects 
to  a  book,  denying  its  genuineness,  the  burden  of  proof  lies 
on  him  to  show  the  fraud.  If  he  says,  as  Colenso  and  Inger- 
soil  do,  that  Moses  is  not  the  author  of  the  Pentateuch,  we 
demand  of  him  who  the  author  was.  Now,  who  is  it  that 
certifies  to  the  genuineness  of  the  Bible  ?  First,  the  whole 
nation  of  the  Jews;  and  it  is  wonderful  that  we  find  the 
manuscripts  of  the  black  Jews  of  India  in  Malabar,  perfectly 
corresponding  with  the  manuscripts  of  other  Jews  in  far  dis- 
tant parts  of  the  earth,  with  whom  they  had  no  correspond- 
ence or  connection.  Again,  the  Christian  Church  has  been  a 
unit  on  this  subject  for  2000  years  and  certifies  to  the  one 
book  universally  known  and  received  as  the  Bible.  There 
has  been  no  dispute  in  reference  to  its  identity.  It  is  true 
there  have  been  various  critical  readings  of  certain  texts^ 
some  difference  on  points  of  chronology,  some  preferences  of 
different  translations  or  versions — manuscripts  have  been 
carefully  collated — but  I  maintain  that  these  matters  of  de- 
tail, many  of  them  wholly  unimportant,  do  not  affect  the 
Bible  itself  as  a  whole.  Nor  weaken  the  effects  of  its  teach- 
ings, nor  impeach  the  histories  it  contains.  What  more  can 
be  asked  ?  Is  there  another  book  of  equal  volume  and  varies 
ty  of  composition  and  the  subjects  treated  of,  which  can 
show  so  perfect  ^  preservation  and  which  has  a  more  com- 
plete certification  than  this  ?  If,  therefore,  the  Bible  is  under 
these  circumstances  to  be  rejected,  then  I  maintain  that  all 
ancient  histories  must  share  the  same  fate  and  for  the  self- 
same reasons ;  and  that  even  national  records  could  not  be 
authenticated  or  admitted  to  be  true.  Such  scepticism  as 
this,  might  be  proper  for  a  disciple  of  Pyhrro  but  certainly 
shows  a  decided  want  of  common  sense. 

But  adnnitting  the  authenticity  of  the  Bible,  IngersoU  and 
those  of  his  class  object  to  its  spirit  and  its  teachings.  They 
daim  that  the  Jehovah  of  the  Bible  is  revealed  as  a  cruel 
and  merciless  being.  And  after  detailing  instances  of  this 
in  the  slaying,  of  helpless  women  and  children,  and  the  ex- 
tirpation of  whole  races  of  the  wicked,  IngersoU  declares 
that  he  "  hates  such  a  God^  Now  we  may  admit  the  correct- 
ness of  his  q^uotations  but  deny  the  conclusions  which  he 
draws  from  them.  For  these  texts  plainly  refer  to  the  gross- 
ly corrupt  and  depraved  tribes  who  were  guilty  of  every  crime, 


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26  Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 

and  especially  of  outrageous  oppression  of  the  chosen  people 
and  church  of  God.  This  was  the  case  when  Egypt's  King 
oppressed  the  Israelites  in  violation  of  all  the  laws  of  justice 
and  humanity,  and  when  their  leader  remonstrated  artd  peti- 
tioned for  relief,  heavier  burdens  were  laid  upon  the  people 
until  their  cry  for  mercy  arose  from  anguished  hearts  to  heav- 
en. We  are  not  disposed  to  deny  that  the  judgments  of  God 
are,  on  occasion,  terrible  in  their  swift  destruction  of  the 
wicked.  But  if  Mr.  IngersoU  objects  to  the  severity  of  the 
Jehovah  of  the  Hebrews,  what  Deity  would  he  select  instead? 
There  are  but  two  alternatives.  It  must  be  either  the  one 
true  God  of  the  Bible — a  spiritual  being,  infinite,  eternal, 
self-existent,  whose  supreme  will  rules  rules  the  universe— or 
the  materiari  God  of  the  Pantheist.  If  we  choose  the  latter 
with  IngersoU — what  advantage  have  we  in  respect  to  benevo- 
lence or  mercy  ?  The  electric  bolt  from  out  some  black 
threatening  cloud  cares  not  where  it  strikes,  tx  may  strike 
down  in  death  in  an  instant  of  time  the  infant  in  its  mother's 
arms.  The  storm  at  sea  and  the  raging  waves  manifest  no 
respect  of  persons,  no  moral  distinctions,  no  sense  of  justice, 
but  engulf  all  in  indiscrimate  death.  The  pestilencfe  that 
walketh  in  darkness  and  the  sickness  which  destroyeth  at 
noonday,  exhibit  no  pity — young  and  old,  the  helpless  and 
strong,  the  righteous  and  wicked  alike  are  cut  down  by 
the  Destroyer's  scythe.  When  gaunt  famine  stalks  through 
the  land  like  some  blind  demon  of  vengeance,  it  smites  with 
the  awful  death  of  starvation  all  ages,  sexes  and  conditions 
of  humanity.  The  earthquake,  the  hurricane,  the  flood,  the 
volcanic  fire,  are  blind  forces  of  nature  or  destiny  which  spare 
not.  This  then  is  the  unknown  God  ;  the  pantheistic  God.  I 
ask,  are  not  sceptics  stopped  from  their  complaints  against 
the  God  of  Moses  ?  How  can  their  arguments  affect  the 
case  ?  If  they  hate  our  God  and  see  no  goodness  in  him, 
they  must  equally  hate  their  own.  I  suggest  that  they  have 
no  advantage  in  this  line  of  argument. 

I  have  now  endeavored  to  show  that  the  sources 
of  all  history  are  traditions.  It  is  from  these  we 
derive  our  information .  in  various  ways.  And  one  ob- 
ject I  have  in  view  is  to  suggest  to  an  historical  socie- 
ty the  advantage  of  studying  the  earliest  traditions  of  this 
county  as  far  back  in  the  past  as  possible.  But  here  we  are 
met  with  a  great  difficulty  in  our  American  history.  Our 
country  is  not  only  young  in  years,  but  the  materials  are  ex- 
ceedingly scarce.  The  vast  forests  are  silent  and  utterly 
voiceless  in  their   solitude.      They  are  destiutute  of  ruins 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting,  27 

or  the  traces  of  an  earlier  race.  The  Indian  is  httle  more 
than  a  shadow  flitting  among  the  trees.  He  is  reserved,  taci- 
turn, wild  and  savage  in  his  nature,  and  less  qualified  for  a 
life  of  civilization  than  probably  any  other  known  inhabitant 
of  the  earth,  in  human  form.  He  has  left  nothing  behind  to 
lead  to  a  discovery  of  his  origin  ;  without  buildings  or 
books  or  written  language,  without  any  laws  or  institutions 
which  would  give  any  knowledge  of  his  descent  or  his  re- 
lationship to  other  races  of  men.  The  Indian  is  himself  a 
mystery.  And  if  we  explore  the  far  West,  as  for  instance, 
the  great  valley  of  the  Mississippi,  we  find  mounds  of  earth 
built  by  some  unknown  hands.  They  are  without  distinctive 
marks,  inscriptions,  dates,  &c.,  which  will  enable  us  to  assign 
even  a  probable  origin,  like  nothing  elsewhere  in  the  world. 
And  even  if  we  could  find  some  reasonable  solution  of  these 
mounds  and  their  builders,  the  question  of  the  American 
Indian  would  still  be  as  much  a  mystery  as  ever.  In  spite  of 
this  obstacle,  no  effort  should  be  spared  and  no  opportunity 
overlooked  to  obtain  a  key  which  might,  at  some  future  day, 
unlock  this  secret.  It  was  by  a  mere  accident  that  the  Ro- 
setta  stone  was  discovered  in  the  east,  and  ChampoUion  and 
Young  after  much  study  were  enabled  to  decipher  its  sign- 
language,  and  throw  a  flood  of  light  upon  Egyptian  history. 
Could  we  find  something  which  would  serve  to  connect  the 
Indians  with  his  fellow  men — and  tell  us  whence  he  came, 
and  the  object  and  purpose  of  his  coming ;  the  darkness 
which  now  enshrouds  his  being  might  be  dispelled.  I  speak 
now  more  particularly  of  the  North  American  Indian — as  e.  g. 
the  Six  Nations  of  the  Iroquois,  who  were  once  the  occu- 
pants and  owners  of  our  State  of  New  York,  and  whose  titles 
to  the  lands  was  that  of  prior  possession.  From  them  we 
derived  our  title.  But  we  have  but  little  expectation  of  any 
new  light  on  this  obscure  subject ;  and  our  fears  are,  that  it 
will  not  be  long  before  all  that  will  remain  of  our  grand 
American  forests,  and  of  their  strange  aboriginal  inhabitants, 
will  be  found  only  in  the  pages  of  Cooper,  who  has  delineated 
with  the  hand  of  a  magician,  the  thrilling  scenes  which  oc- 
curred during  the  early  settlement  of  the  country,  between 
the  Indian  and  the  white  man.  This  description  of  Indian 
character,  of  skill  and  cunning,  of  bravery  and  stoical  endur- 
ance, the  nobility  of  his  uncultured  nature,  his  savage- feroci- 
ty in  war,  and  bloody  struggles  with  the  settlers,  painted  as 
they  are  in  the  highest  colors  of  the  beauty  of  natural  scen- 
ery peculiar  to  our  forests,  never  fail  to  enhant  the  reader. 
Cooper  will  never  have  a  rival  as  a  writer  of  Indian  story. 


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28 


Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 


Nor  is  it  all  the  work  of  the  imagination.     Far  from  it.     For'l 
accuracy  of  detail  in  perfect  knowledge  of  the  Indian  habits  J 
and  ways  of  life  ;  in  personating  his  modes  of  thought   andf 
feeling,  the  pictures   Cooper  gives   us,  are  life-like  and  mar- 
velously  true  to  nature.     His  description  of  the  footprints  ofl 
the  lightly-treading  moccasins  of  different  tribes,  tracing  the  ] 
movements   of  the   cautious   and  wily   savage   in  his  forest  \ 
haunts,  is  infinitely  skillful,  and  the  work  of  a  master's  hand. 
How  did  the  novelist  obtain  his  information,  unless  he  him- 
self lived  and  moved  and  had  his  being  among  the  various . 
tribes  ?     But  this  we  know  is  not  true.     All  we  ciin  say  is  (to"j 
use  his  own  language)  it  is  the  white  man's  gift. 

It  is  scarcely  necessary  on  this  occason  that  I  speak  of  our: 
own  people  who  first  settled  and  made  so  many  wealthy  and ; 
magnificent  homes  in  this  county,  for  themselves  and  their ; 
children.     They  are   men,   so  to   speak,  of  yesterday.     We: 
knew  them  and  respect  their  memory,  as  men  of  intellectual  \ 
strength  and  high  moral  culture.     They  are  of  that  indomit- 
able Saxon  race,  whose  prerogative  it  is  to  subdue  the  earth,  i 
and  take  the  lead  in  human  progress.     They  have  made  the 
country  what  it  is,  famed  far  and  wide  for  beauty  of  scenery 
and  the  abundance  and  excellence  of  its  farming  products  in  1 
every  branch  of  agriculture.      Mr.  James  Wadsworth's  im- 
provements of  the  valley  at  Geneseo  made  it  one  of  the  most 
attractive  and  beautiful  spots  in  America.     The  scenery  from  [ 
the  old  homestead  was  the  constant  admiration  of  all  vis- 
itors ;  and  was  thought  by  experienced  travelers  not  to  be  i 
surpassed  by  that  of  any  other  country.     Men  of  science  and  i 
literary  culture  and  fame  found  their  way  to  the  old  hospita- 
ble mansion — as  I  remember  it  40  years  ago — from  various  } 
parts  of  the  United  States  and  Europe.     There  were  attrac-  ■ 
tions  which  naturally  drew  them  there.     Mr.  Wadsworth  was  I 
a  man  fond  of  research,  fond  of  books  and  of  the  company 
of  scholars.     Schools  and  academies  were,  so  to  sjJeak,  his  I 
hobby;  and  with  persevering  energy  he  elevated  the  standi* 
ard  of  feeling  of  the  whole  community  on  this  important  sub*  I 
ject,  and  a  lasting  benefit  was  conferred  upon  the  rising  gene- 
ration.    To  him,  perhaps,  was  mainly  due  the  achievement  in  I 
one  lifC'time,  of  transforming  a  wilderness  into  a  region   of  I 
cultivated  and  productive  farms.      And  we  all  know  that  his  I 
far-seeing  policy  and  energy  reaped  their  just  reward.     The! 
nation  in  the  hour  of  its  greatest  peril,  struggling  for  its  very! 
existence  in  a  protracted  and  bloody  civil  war,  had  no  morel 
patriotic,  liberal-hearted,  generous  supporter  than  Gen.  Jas.  S.I 
Wadsworth,  who  laid  down  his  life  in  its  defense.    Upon  his| 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting,  29 

memory  the  nation  has  seen  fit  to-bestow  endearing  memori 
als  of  its  gratitude  and  respect.  Mr.  John  Young  who 
was  famed  for  his  eloquence  at  the  bar,  as  well  as  in 
the  Legislature  and  Congress,  rose  to  the  highest  hon- 
ors in  the  gift  of  the  people  of  the  State,  as  its  Gov- 
ernor. He  was  altogether  a  remarkable  man,  and  natur- 
ally a  leader  among  men.  His  influence  was  widely  felt  and 
acknowledged,  and  he  was  honored  with  many  offices  of 
trust  and  responsibility  from  the  ,  State  and  County. 
The  names  of  Judge  Chas.  H.  Carroll,  Col.  Fitzhugh,  Judge 
Treat  and  Allen  Ayrault  are  inscribed  on  the  tablets  of  many 
hearts,  and  will  ever  be  among  those  which  are  distinguished 
in  the  annals  of  Livingston  County.  Many  others  in  various 
parts  of  the  county,  I  knew  40  years  ago,  but  time  deprives 
me  of  the  pleasure  of  dwelling  on  their  memories. 

At  Dansville,  Mt.  Morris,  Avon  and  other  points  in  the 
county  the  honored  names  of  first  settlers  are  held  in  grateful 
recollection.  And  on  this,  the  anniversary  of  your  Society,  a 
tribute  of  respect  is  due  to  them.  Their  path  was  not  smooth 
like  ours ;  but  rough  and  full  of  perils  and  sacrifices,  that  de- 
manded indomitable  courage  and  perseverance  to  overcome. 
Theirs  the  labor ;  and  ours  the  reward.  We  live  in  homes 
which  they  made,  and  often  in  the  very  houses  which  they 
builded.  On  this  occasion  we  cannot  but  honor  them  ;  while 
we  owe  to  them  a  debt  of  everlasting  gratitude. 


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LIVINGSTON  COONTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 


CONSTITUTION. 


8KCT10N  I.  Thl«»  Society  shall  be  called  The  Livingston  County  Histor- 
ic ai.  Society. 

\  2.  The  general  object  of  the  Society  Bhall  be  to  dlKcover.  procure,  and  pre- 
serve whatever  may  relate  to  the  history  of  Western  New  York  In  general  and 
Livingston  county  and  its  towns  in  pt^nicular,  and  to  gather  such  statistics  of 
education  arrd  jpopuJHtlon,  growth  and  prosperity,  and  business  of  this  regkni, 
as  may  seem  advisable  or  of  public  utility. 

I  3.  The  Society  shall  consist  of  resident,  corresponding  and  honorary 
members,  who  shall  he  elected  by  a  majority  of  ballots;  and  of  life  members,  m 
hereinafter  provided.  Resident  members  shall  consist  of  persons  residing  in 
IJvingston  county,  N.  Y.;  cort  espondlug  and  honorary  members  of  persons  re- 
siding elsewhere. 

g  4.  -  The  officers  of  the  Soeiety  shall  consist  of  a  President,  a  Vice  President 
a  Secretary  and  Treasurer,  and  nine  councilors  of  administration,  who  shall 
constitute  a  "  Board  of  Managers  "  and  shall  be  elected  annually  on  the  second 
Tuesday  In  January  in  each  year  by  a  minority  o.'  ballots. 

\  5.  None  but  resident  and  life  members  shall  be  eligible  to  office  or  quail- 
lied  to  vote. 

g  6.  Members  shall  pay  an  addition  fee  of  one  dullar,  and  alsoan  annoal 
due  of  one  dollar,  which  shall  be  paid  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  July  in  each 
year  following  their  election.  The  election  of  a  resident  member  shall  confer 
no  privileges  of  membership  until  his  admission  fee  shall  be  paid.  The  pay- 
ment of  the  annual  dues  shall  be  a  condition  of  continued  membership.  Incase 
any  member  neglects  to  pay  his  annual  due  before  the  first  day  of  July  next, 
after  It  l>ecomes  payable,  he  shall  thereby  forfeit  all  his  privileges  of  member- 
ship.   Resident  clergymen  are  exempt  from  dues. 

I  7.  The  payment  of  110  at  any  one  time,  for  that  purpose,  shall  consiiteite  a 
life  member,  ext^mpt  from  all  annual  dues. 

\  8.  The  Society  shall  meet  annually  on  the  second  Tuesday  of  January. 
The  President,  or  In  his  absence  the  Vice  President,  or  the  Secretary  and  Treas- 
urer, may  direct  the  call  of  a  special  meeting  in  such  manner  as  the  By-Laws 
shall  provide. 

f9.  Those  members  who  shall  attend  at  any  regular  meeting  of  the  Sodetv 
1  constitute  a  quorum  for  the  transaction  of  business.  The  same  rule  shall 
apply  to  any  other  meeting  of  the  Society,  providing  its  action  is  approved  of 
by  the  Board  ot  Ck>nncll  or  a  majority  of  the  members  thereof. 

\  10.  All  officers  shall  continue  in  office  until  their  successors  are  elected  or 
appointed.  Their  duties  when  not  herein  defined  may  be  prescribed  by  the  By- 
Laws.  All  vacancies  in  office  may  be  filled  for  the  unexpired  term  by  tlie 
Board  of  Council.  A  majority  of  the  members  present  at  any  regular  meetins 
called  for  the  purpose,  by  the  President  or  Secretary  and  Treasurer  of  the  Socie- 
ty, shall  constitute  a  quorum  to  do  business. 

\  11.  This  constitution  may  be  amended  and  changed  trortk  time  to  time  by 
a  majority  vote  of  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting  of  the  Society 
provided  due  notice  of  the  proposed  amendments  be  given  at  least  foor  weeir» 
previous  to  a  final  vote  thereon. 


BY-LAWS. 

CL4Tr8E  1.  The  annual  meetings  of  this  Society  shall  be  held  on  the  second 
Tuesday  in  January,  at  such  village  in  the  county  as  the  President  shall  desig- 
nate, and  at  such  hour  as  the  Secretary  in  the  notice  of  such  meeting  shall 
name. 

Clause  2.  The  Secretary  shall  give  notice  of  such  meeting  by  pablicatlon 
in  all  of  the  county  papers  for  two  suooessive  weeks  prior  to  the  meeting,  and 


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Fifth  Annual  Meeting,  3 1 

ftlao  encloee  by  mail  a  ftpecial  notice  to  the  post  oflUce  address  of  each  officer  of 
tbe  Socielj  at  lea»t  ten  days  prior  to  such  meeting.  ' 

CiAUSE  S.  Any  nJ«4eting  may  be  adjourned  to  such  time  as  a  m^orlty  of  the 
members  present  shall  determine.  < 

CiiAiTdB  4.  The  President  shall  preside  at  the  meetings  of  the  Society,  regu* 
late  its  proceedings,  preserve  order  and  decorum  and  have  a  casting  vote.  He 
&tiail  also  be  the  chairman  of  the  Board  of  OouaciU 

Clause  5.  The  Vice  President  shall  discbarge  all  the  duties  of  the  President 
tn  case  of  bis  absence. 

Clacjak  6.  The  Secretary  shall  have  the  custody  of  the  Constitution,  By- 
Lsws,  Records,  property  and  etTects  of  the  Society.  He  shall  give  due  notice  of 
All  its  meetings,  and  Iceep  in  a  book  provided  for  tbat  purpose,  a  record  of  all  its 
btuiness.  He  shall  alHO  by  virtue  of  his  office  be  Secretary  to  the  Board  of 
(*ODDClI  or  Managers,  and  Iseep  a  record  of  its  proceedings.  He  shall  al80  under 
tbe direction  of  the  Society,  prepare  all  the  communications  to  be  addressed  to 
others  in  tbe  name  of  the  Society,  and  keep  true  copies  thereof. 

Clause  7.  The  Secretary  shall  also  under  the  Board  of  Managers  have  the 
castody  of  books,  minerals,  manuscripts,  papers,  documents,  coins,  maps,  and 
relics. and  shall  provide  suUable  cases  for  their  preservation,  and  for  convenient 
ref^nce  and  inspection.  He  shall  keep  a  record  of  all  donations,  of  whatever 
Dtme  or  kind,  and  report  tlie  same  to  the  Society  at  the  annual  meeting. 

Clause  8.  As  Treasurer,  the  Secretary  shall  keep  all  securities  and  sums  of 
money  due  and  payable  or  belonging  to  the  Society.  He  shall  keep  the  funds  of 
tbe  Society  on  deposit  to  his  credit  «s  such  Treasurer,  in  nome  banking  Institu- 
tion of  good  repute;  shall  pay  all  sums  which  the  Board  of  Ck>uncli  shall  direct ; 
and  Shalt  keep  a  true  account  of  all  his  receipts  and  disbursements  and  reader  a 
fall  aud  detailed  statement  thereof  at  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Society. 

Clause  9.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Board  of  Ck)uncil  to  control  and  man- 
tle the  Affairs  and  funds  of  thf^  Society.  They  shall  make  annually,  on  the  sec- 
ond Tuesday  of  January,  a  report  to  the  Society  of  ail  Its  doings  and  transac- 
tions for  the  preceding  year. 

Clause  10.  Any  member  of  this  Society  may  be  expelled  by  a  two-thirds 
vote  of  the  members  present  at  a  special  ur  regular  meeting  of  tbe  Society,  but 
iM>  sQch  action  hhall  be  taken  without  a  notice  two  weeks  previous  to  expel 
Miati  have  been  given  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society  in  wrii.iug  and  sent 
Ibruagh  the  mails  to  the  post  office  address  of  the  defaulting  member. 

Clause  11.  At  the  annual  meeting  there  shall  be  an  address  delivered  be- 
fore the  Society,  by  the  Presideut  or  by  some  other  person  appointed  by  the 
Board  of  Ck>uncil. 

Clause  12.    At  the  meetings  of   the  Society,  and  as  fletr  as  applicable  at  the 
meetings  of  the  Board  of  Council,  the  following  shall  be  the  order  of  business : 
L    Reading  of  minutes  of  last  meeting. 
%    Reports  and  Communications  from  officers  of  the  Society. 

3.  Reports  from  Committees. 

4.  Election  of  Members. 

5.  Miscellaneous  Business. 

6.  Reading  of  Papers  and  Delivery  of  Address. 

Clause  13.  After  the  annual  election  of  offlceirs,  the  President  shall  appoint 
Anom  the  Board  of  Council  the  following  standing  committees  to  consist  of  three 
membera  each : 

1.  On  Finance.   2.  ^n  Publication.    3.    On  Membership. 

Clause  14.  The  Finance  Committee  shall  have  general  charge  of  the  books, 
aeooonts,  receipts,  finances  and  expenditures  of  the  Society.  It  sliall  examine 
SBd  report  upon  all  accounts  and  claims  stgainst  the  Society,  and  upon  proposi- 
tioos  for  the  expenditure  of  Its  fXinds.  as  well  as  measures  to  increase  the  reve- 
saes  of  the  Society,  and  promote  economy  in  its  expenditures. 

Clause  15.  The  Committee  on  Publications  shall  have  the  charge  and  su- 
pervlPion  of  all  publications  made  by  direction  of  the  Society,  and  shall  care- 
rally  examine  all.  manuscripts  and  papers  and  other  things  directed  to  be  pub- 
lished, in  order  to  discover  all  errors  and  defects,  and  correct  the  same,  also 
when  necessary  to  make  abstracts  or  abridgment  of  papers.  \ 

Clause  16.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Committee  on  Membership  to  oon* 
flder  and  report  uron  all  questions  relating  to  membership,  which  may  be  re- 
ferred for  that  purpose,  ana  as  far  as  practicable,  to  ihuuce  all  proper  persons  to 
become  members  of  the  Society. 

CLAUSE  17.  In  the  course  of  the  future,  should  It  become  advisable,  the 
President  may  in  his  discretion,  after  the  annual  election  of  officers,  appoint 
tbe  following  committees,  each  to  consist  of  three  members  of  the  Society : 

L    On  the  increase  of  Books  and  library. 

2.  On  the  Increase  of  Members, 


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32 


Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 


3.  On  Donations  and  SabscripUons. 

4.  On  Statistics. 

5.  On  Portraits,  Pictures  and  Photographs  of  Pioneer  and  early  Settlers. 

6.  On  Local  History. 

7.  On  Indian  Reminiscences,  Pictures,  Memorials  and  History. 

Clause  18.  The  duties  of  these  respective  committees  may  be  defined  here-  ' 
after,  in  case  the  future  requirements  and  interest  of  the  Society  make  their ' 
appointment  necessary. 

Clausr  19.  If  any  members  of  the  Board  of  Ck>nnoil  fall  at  any  time  to  pay  t 
B  to  the  Society  or  fall  to  qualify,  and  thus  become  inelli^ble  to  the " 
vhlch  they  have  been  elected,  a  majority  of  councllmen  elected  and  -' 
shall  have  the  power  to  declare  such  offices  vacant  and  nhall  proceed  ; 
same  f^om  the  resident  members  of  the  Society. 

>E  20  A  minority  of  the  Board  of  Council  present  at  any  mee^-iasof  I 
ers,  special  or  otherwise,  of  which  due  notice  shall  have  been  ict^en  to  1 
live  members  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society,  who  by  virtue  of  bt»1 
>mes  the  Secretary  of  the  Board  of  Council,  shall  constitute  a  quorum  I 
t  business. 

>E  21.  All  reports  of  committees  shall  be  In  writing,  either  in  form  of  | 
s  or  otherwise,  as  they  may  deem  expedient. 

B  22.    Any  of  these  By-Laws  may  he  rnvrpended  \xi  case  of  temporary  I 
by  a  two- thirds  vote  of  all  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meet- 
}  may  also  be  amended  and  changed,  and  new  matter  added  by  a  ma- 
11  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting,  provided  notice  of  the  3 
amendments  be  given  in  the  call  of  the  annual  meeting  at  least  two! 
vlous  to  final  action  thereon. 

E  23.  It  is  recommended  that  the  members  of  the  Society  In  the  dif*  I 
rns  and  vlllases  In  the  county  form  local  clubs,  and  meet  monthly^l 
during  the  winter,  in  their  respective  localities,  at  private  restdeaeesf 
Ion  of  Its  memt>ers.  The  reading  of  an  appropriate  paper,  followed  bj  I 
arks  and  discussion  as  the  subject  might  suggests  would  disaemtnatc  I 
uable  information,  and  add  increasing  interest  to  the  occasion,  and  I 
h  meetings  in  their  informal  and  social  character,  a  valuable  aoqolsi- 1 
e  Society,  and  create  an  Interest  and  marked  influence  in  promotlDg  i 
research  among  the  members. 


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ElUSUi 


LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 

ISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 


SIXTH  ANNUAL  MEETING. 
1882. 


t  .1  L .1. 1. .1. .1. X.  t. X. X X  X  X  X. X X X X X. X  X  X. X X. X. X. X. X  X. X. X. X X  X.X  X.l  . 


X  X  X. X  X X X. X XX. X X X  X X X X X  XX  x: 


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SIXTH    ANNUAL   MEETING 


OF  THE 


LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 


HISTORICAL  SOCIETY 


Held  at  Genesbo, 


Tuesday,  January  lo,  1882. 


Pansyille,  J^.  y. 

A,  O.    BUNNELL.   PRINTER,  OFFICE  OF  THE    DANSYILLB  ADVERTISER . 


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LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 

Historical  Society. 


The  sixth  annual  meeting  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical 
Society,  held  at  Geneseo,  on  Tuesday,  January  loth,  1882,  was  a 
meeting  of  unusual  interest  A  business  meeting,  held  at  the  Wal- 
lace House,  was  called  to  order  at  1 1  o'clock  a.  m.  by  Hon.  B.  F. 
Angel,  President  of  the  Society.  Among  the  members  present  were. 
President  Angel  and  Ex-President  Bissell  of  Geneseo,  Ex-President 
White  of  Ossian,  Secretary  Norman  Seymour  of  Mt  Morris,  Rev. 
Dr.  Ward  of  Geneseo,  Col.  A.  H.  McLean  of  Caledonia,  Frank 
Kellogg  and  E.  H.  Davis  of  Avon,  Dr.  F.  M.  Perine  and  A.  O. 
Bunnell  of  Dansville.  Solomon  Hitchcock  of  Conesus,  J.  A.  Dana 
of  Avon,  W.  A.  Brodie,  A.  J.  Abbott  and  A.  D.  Coe  of  Geneseo, 
and  H.  P.  Mills  of  Mt  Morris,  were  elected  members.  After  the 
reading  of  the  minutes  of  the  previous  year,  and  some  discussion  as 
to  the  affairs  of  the  Society,  the  following  officers  were  elected :      , 

President — E.  H.  Davis. 

Vice  President — ^A.  O.  Bunnell. 

Secretary  and  Treasurer — Norman  Seymour. 

Messrs.  Dana,  White  and  McLean,  appointed  a  committee  for 

that  purpose,  reported  the  names  of  the  following  members  for  a 

Board  of  Councilmen,  and  they  were  duly  elected,  viz : 

Coundbnen— Dr.  D.  H.  Bissell,  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  B.  F.  Angel,  Dr. 
L  J.  Ames,  William  M.  White,  Dr.  F.  M.  Perine,  L.  B.  Proctor,  A. 
H.  McLean,  Frank  Kellogg. 


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4  UVINGSTON   QOCINTY   HISTORICAL   SOCII-m'. 

The  President  appointed  the  following  standing  committees : 

Finance — Messrs.  White,  McLean  and  Kellogg. 

Publication — Messrs.  M.  H.  Mills, .  Proctor  and  White.  (By  mo- 
tion President  Davis  and  Secretary  Seymour  were  added  to  this 
committee.) 

Membership — Messrs.  Bissell,  Perine  and  Ames. 

Necrology — Messrs.  Bunnell,  Seymour  and  Brodie. 

Mr.  Coe  moved  that  a  committee  of  one  be  appointed  in  each 
town  in  the  County  to  collect  local  historical  documents  and  other 
matters  of  public  interest,  to  be  presented  at  the  next  meeting  of 
the  Society,  and  for  preservation  with  its  archives.  The  motion  was 
carried,  and  the  President  made  the  following  appointments : 

Avon,  J.  A.  Dana ;  Caledonia,  A.  H.  McLean  ;  Conesus,  Solomon 
Hichcock;  Geneseo,  Rev.  F.  DeW.  Ward;  Groveland,  Richard 
Johnson ;  Leicester,  E.  W.  Sears ;  Lima,  George  W.  Atwell,  Jr.  ;  Li- 
vonia, Buell  D.  Woodruff;  Mt  Morris,  Ozro  Clark  ;  North  Dansville, 
Dr.  F.  M.  Perine;  Nunda,  C.  K.  Sanders;  Ossian,  William  M. 
White;  Portage,  Charles  D.  Bennett;  Sparta,  E.  L.  McFetridge ; 
Springwater,  N.  A.  Kellogg ;  West  Sparta,  David  McNair ;  York, 
Neil  Stewart. 

Owing  to  the  unavoidable  absence  of  L.  B.  Proctor,  who  had  been 
selected  to  present  a  memorial  of  the  late  Dr.  Daniel  H.  Fitzhugh. 
Frederick  P.  Allen  was  invited  to  read  the  sketch  of  Dr.  Fitzhugh's 
life  prepared  by  the  late  Samuel  P.  Allen,  and  published  in  the  Liv- 
ingston Republican,  shortly  after  the  lamented  Dr's  death. 

After  discussion  of  matters  pertaining  to  the  work  of  the  Societ}% 
a  most  interesting  business  session  closed. 


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SIXTH   ANNUAL  MEETING. 


THE  PUBLIC  MEETING. 

Public  exercises  were  held  in  the  chapel  of  Geneseo  Normal 
school,  commencing  at  2  o'clock.  The  meeting  was  called  to  order 
1^  President  Angel,  and  prayer  offered  by  Rev.  Mr.  Milward  of 
Geneseo.     President  Angel  then  spoke  as  follows  : 

PRESIDENT  ANGELLS  ADDRESS. 

Ladies  and  GeniUmen  : — I  greet  and  welcome  you,  to  the  sixth 
annual  meeting  of  the  Livingston,  County  Historical  Society.  Al- 
thoi^  our  organization  is  comparatively  of  recent  origin,  it  has 
already  become  a  valuable  aid  in  historical  research.  It  has  drawn 
attention  to  our  local  history,  corrected  errors  and  established  facts. 
^1thm  the  last  year  another  history  of  our  county  has  been  published 
as  a  matter  of  speculation,  by  a  firm  in  the  central  part  of  the  state, 
which  I  am  compelled  to  say,  is  not  what  a  history  of  Livingston 
County  should  be,  yet  it  contains  much  of  personal  biography  in  an 
OMiuring  form,  which  will  be  of  permanent  value.  In  this  connec- 
tion I  may  mention  a  most  excellent  and  valuable  periodical,  The 
Pioneer  Monthly,  published  by  George  W.  Mason,  A  M.,  of  LeRoy, 
^oted  to  the  early  history  of  Western  New  York,  which  I  com- 
mend to  your  favor  and  support. 

The  year  past  will  be  remembered  as  one  of  general  financial 
prosperity.  In  this  county  we  have  been  favored  with  a  bountiful 
^est,  and  our  products  have  commanded  remunerative  prices. 
Business  of  all  kinds  has  been  good,  and  all  our  material  wants  have 
been  supplied 

In  the  world  at  large,  interesting  advances  have  been  made  in  geo- 
graphical and  historical  knowledge.  It  may  not  be  out  of  place  to 
aflude  briefly  to  the  proceedings  of  the  "  Americanista  Congress," 
^ch  recently  held  its  session  in  Madrid,  Spain,  on  the  subject  of 
^  pre-Columbian  history  of  the  American  Continent ;  and  more 
cspeciaDy  to  the  learned  paper  read  before  that  body  by  M.  Beauvoir. 
It  appears  to  have  been  conceded,  that  Iceland  was  originally  settled 
by  the  Irish,  who  were  supplanted  in  a  measure  by  the  Scandinavians 
3hout  the  middle  of  the  ninth  century,  and  that  some  of  their  num- 
ter  were  driven  by  foul  weather  to  the  coast  of  Greenland,  and  a 
setdement  was  formed  there  in  986  of  our  era,  by  one  Eric,  which 
^as  named  Ericsfiord.  In  the  autumn  of  the  year  1000,  Eric's  eld- 
est son  Leif,  with  a  crew  of  thirty-five  men,  coasted  by  Labrador, 
Nova  Scotia,  and  sailing  around  tiie  peninsula  of  Cape  Cod,  went 
into  winter  quarters  in  one  of  the  small  bays  on  the  shores  of  Massa- 


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6  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

chusetts.  On  his  return  to  Greenland  in  the  following  spring,  hi 
brother  Thorvold  came  to  New  England  and  wintered  there.  In  th< 
spring  of  1004,  having  landed  at  Boston  Harbor,  he  had  an  encounte 
with  the  natives  and  was  killed.  "On  the  return  of  this  expedition  U 
Greenland,  Thorfinn  Karlsefne,  a  bold  Scandinavian  navigator 
planned  an  expedition  on  a  more  extensive  scale,  and  in  1007  he  sej 
out  with  three  ships  and  a  hundred  and  sixty  men,  "several  takin| 
their  wives,"  and  landed  in  the  same  place  in  New  England.  The] 
explored  Long  Island  Sound,  Narragansett  Bay,  and  the  contiguous 
territory.  In  the  course  of  that  year  Snorro,  the  son  of  Karlsefnej 
was  born,  and  the  Saga  states  that  he  was  three  years  old  when  th€ 
expedition  returned  to  Iceland. 

It  is  a  curious  fact  that  some  of  the  most  eminent  men  in  Norths 
em  Europe  trace  their  origin  to  Snorro,  this  first  white  child  bom  oq 
our  territory, — ^among  them  Thorwalsden,  the  renowned  sculptor,  and 
Magnusson,  the  great  antiquarian.  A  fifth  expedition  is  spoken  ol 
in  10 II,  and  a  chart  of  that  period  has  been  found  in  Iceland  in 
which  the  positions  of  Greenland,  Labrador,  Nova  Scotia  and  our  New 
England  coast  are  correctly  traced.  It  is  rather  a  humiliating  reve- 
lation, that  these  early  navigators  believed  the  country  they  visited, 
was  a  continuation  of  the  European  Continent,  and  they  had  no  just 
conception  of  their  discoveries.  The  next  meeting  of  this  congress 
is  to  be  held  at  Copenhagen,  Denmark,  two  years  hence,  when  these 
Icelandic  and  Scandinavian  Chronicles  and  Sagas  will  doubtless  re- 
ceive further  attention.  In  the  re-discovery  of  Greenland  in  1721, 
the  ruins  of  several  villages,  and  the  walls  of  a  vast  cathedral  were 
all  that  were  found  to  verify  its  former  occupancy.  It  will  thus  be 
observed  that  America  was  discovered  by  Europeans  nearly  five 
hundred  years  before  Columbus  landed  at  St.  Salvador  !  Indeed,  it 
's  well  known  by  every  student  of  history,  that  the  great  Genoese 
navigator  himself  never  saw  the  American  continent,  and  he  main- 
tained rill  his  death  that  his  discoveries  were  a  part  of  "  India  beyond 
the  Ganges  /  "  His  wonderful  voyage,  however,  led  to  its  re-discov- 
ery and  settlement,  as  at  the  early  age  when  the  Norsemen  came  here, 
Europe  was  in  no  condition  to  spare  colonists,  and  if  any  attempts  at 
colonization  were  made,  they  were  probably  firustrated  by  the  hostility 
of  the  natives. 

It  is  not  yet  known  what  discoveries,  if  any.  Captain  DeLong  and 
his  adve  iturous  compeers  have  made  in  their  futile  efforts  to  find  an 
open  sea  about  the  North  Pole.  We  only  know  that  the  Jeannette 
was  crushed  in  the  ice  last  June.  We,  however,  cannot  but  admire 
their  perseverance,  and  sympathise  with  them  in  their  misfortunes  and 
suffering. 

Another  notable  event  in  the  history  of  the  year  which  plunged  the 
whole  American  people  in  the  deepest  grief,  and  has  brought  out  in 
bold  relief,  the  pernicious  practice  in  our  politics  of  bestowing  official 
rewards  for  party  service,  deserves  a  mention.  For  the  second  time 
in  the  century  of  our  national  existence,  the  highest  officer  of 
government  has  fallen  by  the  hand  of  the  assassin.      On  the  second 


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SIXTH  ANNUAL   MEETING.  7 

day  of  July  last,  the  President  only  four  months  in  office,  was  shot  by 
a  frenzied  member  of  his  political  party,  for  the  declared  reason  that 
the  assassin  was  ignored  in  the  distribution  of  patronage,  or  that  he 
ifidnot  receive  the  reward  to  which 'he  was  entitled  for  party  service. 
This  dastardly  act  has  justly  received  the  condemnation  of  the  whole 
dfilized  world,  and  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  it  may  lead  to  a  radical  and 
mudi  needed  reform  in  our  civil  service,  at  the  present  session  of 
Congress.  President  Garfield,  at  the  time  of  his  elect'on,  was  the 
idd  of  his  party.  To  say  that  afterwards  he  had  bitter  opponents 
and  violent  enemies,  is  only  to  say  that  he  was  an  American  clothed 
in  the  robes  of  office.  True,  he  was  a  partisan — none  more  earnest 
and  decided,  but  he  had  a  kindly  heart,  for  some  of  his  best  friends 
were  among  his  political  opponents.  His  career  seems  almost  like  a 
romance.  No  man  surmounted  greater  difficulties,  and  no  one  at- 
tained a  higher  position.  Bom  in  destitution,  educated  by  his  own 
maided  effort,  he  died  the  President  of  fifty  millions  of  people! 
From  indigence  he  became  a  chore  boy  to  a  country  doctor,  that  he 
nii^t  attend  a  district  sdiool.  He  thus  fitted  himself  to  teach. 
TTien  he  taught,  and  studied,  and  saved,  that  he  might  enter  Wilb'ams 
College.  After  he  graduated,  he  became  a  professor  and  then  presi- 
dent of  a  minor  coU^e  on  the  Western  Reserve.  W  hen  the  war 
<^3ine  on,  he  fashioned  his  pupils  into  a  regiment  and  led  them  to  the 
front  In  a  year  and  a  haJf  he  emerged  a  major-general  of  volun- 
teere!  Then  he  was  sent  to  Congress  where  for  seventeen  years  he 
^as  the  tactician  of  his  party,  and  the'r  leader  in  debate.  Then  he 
▼as  made  Senator,  and  before  his  term  began,  he  was  elected  Presi- 
dent of  the  United  States  !  His  career  has  no  parallel  in  our  history. 
?^c  was  a  scholar — few  more  learned — as  a  writer  he  was  clear  and 
Dioshre.  As  a  soldier  he  had  no  blemish  upon  his  escutcheon.  He 
'^an  orator  superior  to  any  one  of  his  party  in  Congress.  He 
"^<^*nie  a  martyr,  and  all  criticism  is  hushed  by  his  patient  eleven 
»eeb  of  suffering,  which  invoked  the  sympathy  of  all  mankind,  and 
nadc  him  near  and  dear,  to  all  our  people.  Some  one  has  justly 
said  that  "living  he  ruled  our  government — dying  he  ruled  our 
beaitsw" 

The  Society  records  with  profotmd  sorrow  the  death  on  the  ist  of 
Apwil  last  of  Capt  George  W.  Root  of  York,  at  the  age  of  73.  Also 
J»»the  23d  of  the  same  month  of  Dr.  Daniel  H.  Fitzhugh  of  Grove- 
^  at  the  age  of  87.  On  the  nth  of  June  of  Richard  Peck  of 
^  at  the  age  of  73.  On  the  20th  of  October,  of  Samuel  P. 
^en  of  Geneseo,  at  the  age  of  67,  and  on  the  ist  of  November,  of 
John  R.  Murray  of  Mt  Morris  at  the  age  of  70.  All  these  worthy 
°°2ens  were  honored  members  of  this  Society,  and  three  of  them 
^^^<^  at  the  time  of  their  decease.  Suitable  tributes  to  their  mem- 
^  We  been  prepared  under  the  direction  of  the  committee  on 
Qecrologjr,  and  will  be  presented  at  this  meeting. 

'^e  President  then  annotmced  the  annual  report  by  Norman  Sey- 
°*^»  secretary,  which  was  read  by  that  gentleman  as  follows : 


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8  LIVINGSTON    COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

SECRETARY  SEYMOUR'S  REPORT, 

The  year  1881  has  been  one  of  the  most  exciting  in  the  history  ot 
our  nation,  and  one  of  the  most  eventful  that  has  occurred  to  our 
Society.  We  gather  at  this  annual  meeting  with  feelings  of  sadness, 
as  we  remember  that  five  of  the  valued  and  representative  men  of 
the  county,  and  members  of  our  Society,  have  died  the  past  year; 
more  than  during  the  entire  previous  years  of  our  organization ;  one 
by  one,  have  these  worthy  men  at  the  Master's  call,  gathered  up  the 
record  of  a  long  and  useful  life,  and  hastened  to  their  reward.  One  of 
the  most  noted  men  in  this  land  has  said :  "The  most  precious  boon 
conferred  by  a  merciful  Providence  upon  any  man,  is  that  he  may  not 
know  the  hour  or  manner  of  his  death,  when  it  comes  to  him  in  the 
full  vigor  of  activity,  especially  after  long  years  of  a  well-spent  life, 
as  a  relief  from  all  sorrow  and  care,  with  a  humble  Christian  hope  of 
a  future  and  better  life  to  come.  Such  a  departure  calls  for  neither 
tears  nor  mourning  in  his  behalf,  whose  life  has  been  blessed  by  its 
ending.  Yet  it  is  well  to  pause  amid  the  contests  of  life,  its  strug- 
gles and  business,  to  give  thought  to  the  conduct  and  example  of  the 
departed,  to  contemplate  all  that  is  beautiful  and  good  in  his  charac- 
ter, and  to  pay  some  tribute  to  his  services,  and  thus  to  keep  green 
his  memory." 

April  I  St,  George  W.  Root  of  York,  widely  known  throughout  the 
county  as  a  successful  farmer,  and  an  upright  man,  died,  aged  73 
years.      He  was  one  of  our  Councilmen  during  the  years  1876,  '77, 

'78,  '79. 

April  23d,  Dr.  Daniel  H.  Fitzhugh,  a  gentleman  of  the  olden 
school,  beloved  by  all,  and  one  of  the  earliest  residents  of  the  coun- 
ty, died,  aged  87  years,  from  the  effects  of  a  serious  injiuy.  He  was 
President  of  our  Society  at  its  formation  in  1876,  and  also  in  1877, 
and  Councilman  during  the  years  1878,  '79,  *8o  and  '81  till  his  death. 

June  nth,  Richard  Peck  of  Lima,  another  of  our  intelligent  and 
esteemed  farmers,  and  noble  men,  died,  aged  73  years. 

October  20th,  Samuel  Percival  Allen  of  Geneseo,  the  cautious  and 
conservative  editor,  the  veteran  journalist  of  the  county,  died,  aged 
67  years.  He  had  been  unwell  for  some  days,  but  on  the  day  of  his 
decease  he  had  visited  his  office,  and  at  evening  returned  home,  when 

**  Like  a  shadow  thrown, 

SofUy  and  swiftly  from  a  passing  olond, 

Death  fell  upon  him.'* 

He  was  Councilman  during  the  years  1876,  '77,  '78,  '79  and  '80, 
and  chairman  of  the  committee  of  Necrology  for  the  year  '81. 

November  ist.  All  Saints  day,  after  a  painful  illness  of  about  two 
weeks,  John  Rogers  Murray  of  Mt.  Morris,  died,  aged  70  years. 
For  his  rare  kindness  of  heart,  generous  gifts,  and  unostentatious 
mien,  posterity  will  rank  him  among  the  noble  men  who  have 
adorned  and  beautified  the  world. 


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SIXTH    ANNUAL   MEETING.  9 

Our  committee  on  Necrology  will  present  to  the  Society  truthful 
tributes  to  the  memory  of  these  esteemed  and  noble  men,  for  of  each 
we  can  truty  say, 

**  Bat  there  are  deeds  which  Khoald  not  pass  away. 
And  namee  that  most  not  wither." 

Miss  ^i  E.  Parks,  teacher  of  music  in  the  Normal  school,  then  de- 
lightfully sang  Kathleen  Mavoureen,  and  was  enthusiastically  ap- 
plauded 

Rev.  F.  DeW.  Ward,  D.  I ).,  was  then  introduced  and  delivered 
the  annual  address,  an  Ecclesiastical  History  of  Livingston  County, 
giying  in  detail  the  history  of  each  church  soc'ety  in  the  coun- 
ty from  its  organization  to  the  present  time,  and  much  else  of 
interest  in  connection  therewith.  It  evidenced  much  painstaking  and 
Hrtdligent  labor,  and  will  prove  a  most  valuable  addition  to  the  histo- 
I}'  of  the  county.  This  history  has  been  published  in  a  separate 
pamphlet 


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lO  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY'   HISTORICAL   SOCIE'lT. 


MEMORIALS. 

The  following  Memorials  of  members  of  the  Society  whD  hai 
died  since  the  last  annual  meeting,  were  then  read : 

GEORGE  W.  ROOT. 

BY   E.    H.    DAVIS. 

George  Washington  Root,  the  subject  of  this  memorial,  was  bdr] 
in  Pittsfield,  Mass.,  June  8th,  1808,  and  died  at  his  late  residence  i] 
York,  N.  Y.,  April  ist,  1881.  He  came  to  the  latter  place  with  hi 
parents,  Roswell  and  Pamelia  (Dickinson)  Root,  in  the  year  182^ 
and  settled  upon  the  farm  which  he  occupied  till  his  death.  Sera 
idea  of  the  patient,  untiring  energy  of  his  nature  may  be  learner 
from  the  fact,  that  during  this  long  journey  from  Pittsfield,  over  thi 
wretched  highways  of  that  early  diay,  and  when  he  was  only  fourteei 
years  of  age,  he  successfully  conducted  a  huge  wagon,  loaded  witj 
household  goods  and  drawn  by  three  yoke  of  oxen.  The  fourteen 
year-old  boy  of  to-day,  assigned  to  such  a  task,  would  be  likely  to  dii 
of  a  broken  heart  before  reaching  the  first  mile-stone.  It  is  noted  ii 
this  connection  by  one  who  *knew  and  loved  him  well,  that  from  th^ 
day  until  he  died  he  was  the  owner  of  at  least  one  yoke  of  workin] 
oxen,  and  he  worked  them. 

No  great  achievements,  according  to  the  world*s  estimate,  markd 
the  life  of  our  deceased  brother.  His  youth  was  spent  upon  thi 
farm  at  a  time  when  local  educational  facilities  were  limited,  and  ha< 
his  desire  been  to  acquire  a  liberal  education,  the  broad  acres  of  thj 
farm,  then  only  partially  subdued,  demanded  his  time  and  energies 
Says  this  same  neighbor  from  whom,  as  well  as  from  others  of  hi 
near  and  dear  friends,  we  shall  frequently  quote :  "  He  was  not  deep 
ly  versed  in  the  learning  of  schools  and  books,  but  by  native  goo^ 
sense  arrived  at  just  conclusions."  Inheriting  firom  his  parents  \ 
robust  and  healthful  constitution,  his  youthful  lungs  invigorated  bj 
the  buoyant  air  of  his  native  Berkshire  hills,  and  lus  frame  knit  tc 
gether  by  the  free  open  life  upon  his  fathers  farm,  he  early  developd 
into  a  nearly  faultless  type  of  physical  manhood,  and  with  his  year 
grew  that  love  for  his  occupation  that  amounted  ahnost  to  a  passion 
A  farm  of  600  acres  cannot  be  successfully  conducted  without  ai 
intelligent,  energetic  head  ;  and  here  was  a  head  that  could  both  in 
telligently  direct  apd  vigorously  lead.  Full  of  health  and  strengtl 
and  enthusiastic  love  for  his  profession,  he  soon  became  ^the  mod^ 
farmer,  working  by  the  side  of  his  men  in  the  field,  and  eating  bj 
their  side  at  meal  time ;  never  shirking  the  post  of  duty  but  alwa]^ 
taking  an  active  part  n  every  description  of  work  about  the  fanfl 


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SIXTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  II 

and  such  was  his  native  vigor  and  aptitude  for  field  labor  that  at  the 
age  of  three  score  years  few  men  could  cope  with  him  in  the  per- 
formance of  a  da/s  work. 

With  his  love  for  farming  came  success,  both  in  tilling  the  soil  and 
in  raising  of  fine  stock,  and  his  public  spirit  and  the  intelligent  man- 
agement of  his  own  extensive  business,  led  him  to  become  an  early 
patron  and  promoter  of  the  Livingston  County  Agricultural  Society, 
of  which  he  was  an  active  member,  frequently  an  officer  and  always 
m  exhibitor  at  its  annual  fairs.  It  was  at  these  annual  gatherings 
that  the  writer  most  frequently  met  him  and  learned  to  admire  his 
genial,  whole-souled  natuie.  His  expressive  face  on  which  sunshine 
seemed  to  always  dwell,  and  yet  whose  Hps  could  pronounce  that  little 
monosj'Uable  "no"  with  a  meaning  and  force  that  no  one  mistook  or 
asked  to  have  repeated,  the  kindness  that  dwelt  in  his  eyes,  the  de- 
claration that  governed  his  movements,  and  the  transparent  good- 
ness of  his  heart,  seemed  instinctively  and  unconsciously  to  draw 
every  one  towards  him.  He  did  not  crave  notoriety,  but  on  the  con- 
trary sought  to  avoid  it,  and  hence  his  public  fife  was  less  conspicuous 
tiian  it  ought  to  have  been.  Aside  from  the  civic  positions  which  he 
held  in  the  various  agricultural  societies  of  the  town,  county  and 
state,  and  the  Pioneer  and  Historical  societies  of  the  county,  his 
publiclife  is  comprised  within  the  period  from  1861  to  1868,  mclu- 
^'%  when  he  represented  his  town  in  the  Board  of  Supervisors, 
several  sessions'  of  which  he  was  elected  chairman.  This  period 
»Jcluded  the  exciting  and  eventful  years  of  the  great  rebeUion,  some 
of  them  gloomy  and  dark  with  disaster,  and  memory  recalls  the 
unwavering  courage,  the  unyielding  purpose,  and  the  sacrifice  of  time 
and  money  with  which  his  attachment  and  support  of  the  Union 
caiBe  was  evinced.  He  became  a  member  of  the  Livingston  County 
^^^stoncal  Society  in  1876,  was  for  four  years  a  member  of  the  Board 
^  Coimdbnen,  and  was  a  punctual  attendant  upon  its  meetings. 

It  is  a  delicate  and  trying  task  to  publicly  deal  with  the  character 
^^  one  who  has  drawn  "  die  drapery  of  his  couch  about  him  and 
^  down  to  pleasant  dreams,"  and  when  the  sdence  of  the  grave 
^^^nnot  be  broken  to  correct  our  mistakes  or  supply  our  omissions, 
2nd  hence  we  have  not  dared  to  place  our  own  estimate  upon  the 
'^^J^facter  of  our  deceased  brother  and  present  it  here  as  a  fitting 
^hute  to  his  memory  to  be  preserved  among  the  archives  of  this  so- 
^;  for  we  did  not  know  him  as  one  man  should  know  another 
^  he  assumes  so  grave  a  responsibility.  We  have,  therefore, 
^^t  among  his  old  and  life-long  neighbors  and  townsmen  for  a 
Jtst  and  true  estimate  of  his  character ;  for  such  estimate  must  be 
^d  if  anywhere,  among  those  who  trod  with  him  the  daily  round 
^  toil  and  who  have  marked  and  treasured  up  his  acts  and  deeds  of 
*  'ife-time.  Our  search  has  been  rewarded  with  gratifying  results  be- 
pnd  measure,  and  our  own  inadequate  expression  stands  silenced  in 
^  presence  of  the  many  warm  and  loving  tributes  which  these  old 
friends  and  neighbors  pay  to  his  memory.      A  person  will  search  in 


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12  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIET\'. 

vain,  within  the  radius  measured  by  a  correct  knowledge  of  his  mc 
tives  and  acts,  for  an  adverse  criticism  \i\yon  the  character  of  GeorgI 
W.  Root 

Benevolence  was  unquestionably  his  leading  trait.  One  old  frien 
concludes  his  letter  thus :  "  His  benevolence  was  generous,  consistei: 
and  genuine.  No  mere  word  sympathy  or  cheap  advice.  Unsd 
tarian  in  religion,  yet  all  the  various  organizations  relied  on  his  hel^ 
ing  hand,  and  were  never  disappointed.  *  *  •  Nq  highlai^ 
chieftain  was  ever  more  the  head  of  his  clan,  and  followed  with  mo* 
devotion  by  his  clansmen  than  he  in  all  the  length  and  breadth  (j 
family  ties.  To  them,  and  to  his  unfortimate  or  embarrassed  neigj 
bor  his  purse  and  name  were  ever  at  their  service,  and  not  withoii 
the  usual  sequel  of  misplaced  confidence.  The  adage  that  ^he  wU 
begins  with  too  much  confidence  in  his  fellow-man,  ends  by  havii^ 
none,*  was  not  exemplified  in  him." 

Another  writes :  "  During  all  my  acquaintance  with  him  I  founi 
him  to  be  a  man  of  sterling  worth,  honest  and  upright  in  his  dealing 
with  his  fellowmen,  in  every  sense  of  the  word  the  poor  man's  friend 
a  kind  and  indulgent  parent,  and  his  family  who  mourn  his  loss,  atom 
know  his  true  worth.  Those  who  knew  him  best,  respected  hin 
most" 

Another's  testimony  is  as  follows:  "Almost  any  good  thing  yoi 
can  say  about  anybody  you  can  say  about  Geo.  W.  Root  I  le^ 
his  leading  and  prominent  characteristic,  to  be  a  cheerfuf  and  con 
sistent  readiness  to  make  almost  any  personal  sacrifice  for  the  benefi 
of  a  friend.  He  had  the  largest  and  kindest  heart  of  any  man  I  eve 
knew.  A  really  worthy  person  in  want  or  in  need  never  appealed  U 
him  in  vain.  A  character  that  he  admired  always  held  the  key  to  hi 
heart,  and  could  draw  upon  him,  not  by  permission,  but  by  request 
to  almost  any  extent  He  was  a  proud  farmer  in  the  best  sense  d 
the  term — ^proud  of  his  occupation  and  proud  of  his  farm  and  of  th< 
high  state  of  cultivation  to  which  by  his  own  efforts,  he  had  brought 
it.  His  knowledge  of  agriculture  was  respected  by  all  his  neighbor 
and  in  the  management  of  their  lands  and  the  cultivation  of  theii 
crops  they  were  governed  largely  either  by  his  example  or  advice." 

And  still  anodier  writes :  "  It  must  be  a  great  pleasure  to  you  tc 
present  a  memorial  of  our  dear  friend,  since  in  his  character  as  3 
man,  citizen  and  neighbor,  you  have  one  of  the  purest  and  most  hon 
orable  and  lovable  types  of  genuine  manhood  that  it  has  ever  bee^ 
my  good  fortune  to  know.  I  fear  the  people  of  Livingston  countj 
will  never  fully  realize  the  loss  they  have  sustained  by  his  deatii.  H^ 
was  true  and  faithful  in  every  relation  of  life ;  as  a  citizen  for  man^ 
years  holding  important  civil  offices  by  the  almost  unanimous  suppoi] 
of  his  townsmen,  always  faithful  to  his  trusts  and  bringing  to  the  disi 
charge  of  his  duties  a  strong  common  sense  backed  by  the  sense  oj 
honor  and  a  kindly  sympathy  for  all  that  was  elevating  and  ennobling  { 
as  a  friend,  true  as  the  needle  to  the  polar  star;  as  a  man  and  nei^ 
bor,  full  of  good  deeds,  loving  all  that  was  good  and  true  and  de^isi 
ing  all  that  was  mean  and  false ;  and  as  a  father  and  husband,  lo^ 


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SIXTH  ANNUAL   MEETING.  1 3 

and  kind,  devoting  his  Kfe  and  energies  to  the  comfort  of  his  family 
and  fticnds.  None  ever  knew  but  to  love  and  honor  him,  and  no 
man  ever  passed  away  from  the  town  of  York  who  was  more 
lamented." 

Prefacing  this  testimonial  the  writer  says :  "  My  heart  weeps  and 
my  e>es  fill  witli  tears  as  I  recall  the  happy  days  I  have  enjoyed  with 
Iim,  and  the  many  acts  of  kindness  that  seemed  to  flow  spontaneous- 
ly from  his  heart,"  and  we  can  assure  you  dear  friends,  that  the  eyes 
thus  fUling  with  tears  are  not  given  to  weeping  over  trifles. 

We  might  compile  a  volume  of  such  testimony,  but  will  only  add  a 
few  words  from  our  late  lamented  brother,  Samuel  P.  Allen,  written 
at  the  time  of  Mr.  Root's  death,  and  a  resolution  passed  at  the  town 
meeting  in  York,  just  subsequent  to  that  sorrowing  event  Mr.  Allen 
writes :  "  To  the  poor  the  deceased  was  a  generous  friend,  dispensing 
liberally  of  his  means  to  those  who  needed  and  deserved  sympathy 
and  aid.  In  his  family  he  was  beloved  and  none  excelled  hun  m  his 
tome  attachments,  and  here  the  void  created  by  his  death  cannot  be 
6Bed.  The  entire  community  will  moiun  for  his  loss  and  honor  his 
name." 

The  following  action  was  taken  at  the  town  meeting,  on  motion  of 
R.  F.  Dow,  Esq.,  and  the  resolution  adopted  with  deep  feeling  on  tne 
part  of  the  people  : 

**  Whereas,  It  has  pleased  our  Heavenly  Father  to  remove  by 
iieath  from  our  midst,  Capt.  George  W.  Root, 

'^Resohrd,  That  we,  the  citizens  of  York,  his  neighbors,  take  this 
^'y  opportunity  to  express  our  profound  sorrow  for  the  great  loss  to 
this  community  of  one  who  has  tilled  so  conspicuous  a  place  in  all  its 
social  and  civil  relations  for  more  than  half  a  century,  a  man  of  un- 
questioned integrity,  of  most  generous  sympathies,  a  loving  husband, 
a<ievoted  father,  a  man  whom  none  ever  knew  but  to  love  and  honor ; 
and  we  hereby  tender  to  his  bereaved  family  our  warmest  sympathies, 
in  this  their  hour  of  sad  affiiction." 

The  fabric  of  himian  society  is  solidified  and  held  together  by  the 
^ve  men  and  women  who  overcome  adversity  by  patient  and  per- 
sistent toil,  to  whom  honor  is  a  principle  and  virtue,  benevolence  and 
•^ty  living  graces  of  the  heart  controlling  and  directing  their  daily 
fivesu  Poli^img  adds  no  strength  to  these  girders  of  the  human 
temple.  Embellishment  may  beautify  the  structure  and  genius  crown 
rt  with  lofty  spires,  but  the  toughened  ribs  and  solid  beams  still  bear 
^  weight  and  bind  the  massive  superstructure. 

Our  brother  was  one  of  these  strong  supports.  He  performed  his 
'orif  nobly,  bravely  and  well  The  fire-light  on  his  hearthstone  gave 
oot  no  lurid  glow  of  usury,  and  from  his  threshold  the  poor  and  unfor- 
toite  were  not  turned  away  hungry  or  comfortless.  He  has  left  an 
during  monument  and  no  enemy  to  mar  it  It  will  be  the  Mecca 
^  many  sorrowing  hearts,  and  in  die  general  mourning  that  finds  ex- 
pression in  outward  manifestations  of  grief,  it  is  difiicult  to  tell  where 
^^  ties  of  consanguinity  end  and  those  of  friendship  begin ;  and 
*'hile  we  mourn  for  him  let  us  try  and  profit  by  his  example. 


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14  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

DR.  DANIEL  H,  FITZHUGH. 

BY   SAMUEL  P.    ALLEN. 

Dr.  Daniel  H.  Fitzhugh  met  with  a  serious  ace  dent  on  Monday 
morning,  April  i8th,  1881,  while  going  to  survey  some  land  a  few 
miles  from  Mt.  Morris  in  the  direction  of  Sonyea.  He,  with  Mr. 
Sutphen  of  Mt  Morris,  occupied  the  back  seat  of  the  wagon,  and  in 
passing  over  a  bridge  a  sudden  movement  of  the  team  threiv  them 
backward,  both  striking  upon  their  heads  and  shoulders  and  receiving 
severe  injuries.  From  the  first  the  most  serious  apprehensions  were 
entertained,  and  Dr.  Fitzhugh  himself  expressed  the  belief  that  he 
could  not  recover.  He  was  87  years  old  a  day  or  two  after  the  acci 
dent,  and  such  a  shock  to  a  person  of  that  age  would  of  itse'f  be 
almost  certain  to  prove  fatal.  It  aggravated  some  other  difficulties 
under  which  he  had  labored,  and  greatly  intensified  his  sutterings. 
Hope  and  fear  alternated  until  Friday  afternoon  when  it  became 
evident  that  he  could  not  live  many  hours.  He  expired  at  five 
o'clock  on  Saturday  morning.  The  best  medical  skill  and  the  teader- 
est  care  were  constantly  at  hand,  but  nothing  could  avert  the  sad 
event. 

The  grandfather  of  Dr.  Fitzhugh  was  CoL  William  Fitghugh,  who 
resided  before  the  Revolution  at  the  mouth  of  the  Patuxent  river,  in 
the  then  colony  of  Maryland,  and  held  a  colonel's  commission  in  the 
British  army.  He  was  a  man  of  extensive  influence  and  owned  a 
large  amount  of  land  and  a  number  of  mills  and  manufactories. 
When  the  trouble  between  the  colonies  and  the  mother  country  broke 
out,  CoL  Fitzhugh  retired  from  the  British  army,  although  he  was  of- 
fered a  continuance  of  his  rank  and  half  pay  if  he  would  remain 
neutral  This  would  have  assiu-ed  him  the  quiet  possession  of  his 
large  property,  but  he  refused  and  left  his  commission  upon  the  Gov- 
ernor's table,  encouraged  his  sons  to  take  service  in  the  "rebel"  army, 
himself  accepted  a  seat  in  the  Executive  council  of  Maryland,  to 
assist  in  devising  ways  and  means  for  the  defence  and  deliverance  of 
his  country.  His  fine  estate  was  doomed  to  pillage  and  the  torch- 
In  the  absence  of  father  and  sons  a  small  British  party  landed  in  the 
vicinity,  but  they  were  resisted  by  Mrs.  Fitzhugh  who  armed  and  di- 
rected the  slaves.  Carrying  cartridges  in  her  apron,  she  went  out  to 
meet  the  invaders,  and  so  intimidated  them,  that  they  made  a  hasty 
retreat  Disaster,  however,  was  not  long  delayed,  as  a  stronger  party 
followed  and  executed  their  mission,  and  caused  the  family  to  flee 
fifty  miles  up  the  river.  Col  Perigrine  Fitzhugh  was  one  of  the  sons 
of  the  above,  and  at  first  was  commissioned  in  a  corps  of  light  horse, 
but  at  a  later  period  of  the  war  was  enrolled  in  the  military  family  of 
Washington.  He  emigrated  to  Geneva  in  this  State  in  1799,  where 
he  resided  three  years,  and  then  removed  to  Sodus. 

Col  William  Fitzhugh  was  a  brother  of  Perigrine,  and  also  held  a 
commission  in  a  division  of  the  cavalry,  and  after  the  close  of  the 
Revolutionary  war  was  a  member  of  the  Maryland  legislature.  He 
visited  the  Genesee  valley  in  1800.  in  company,  with  Col   Nathaniel 


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SIXTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 5 

Rochester,  Maj.  Charles  Carroll  and  others.  At  that  time  he  secured 
a  third  interest  in  the  "one  hundred  acre  tract"  at  the  Falls  of  the 
Genesee,  covering  the  heart  of  the  present  city  of  Rochester,  and  in 
company  with  Maj.  Carroll  purchased  12,000  acres  of  CoL  William- 
son, on  the  Canaseraga  creek  in  Groveland  and  Sparta,  paying  two 
dollars  per  acre.  It  was  at  the  time  thought  strange  that  they  took 
up  and  instead  of  the  Mt  Morris  flats  at  three  dollars  per  acre.  But 
the  explanation  was  that  they  came  from  a  region  where  timber  was 
scarce,  and  had  learned  to  appreciate  its  value.  The  purchase  em- 
braced the  site  of  Williamsburg,  the  project  of  Col.  Williamson  to 
found  a  village  there  having  been  given  up  after  the  mutiny  and  dis- 
persion of  his  Dutch  colonists.  The  property  of  Messrs.  Carroll  and 
Fitzhugh  was  left  in  the  hands  of  agents,  and  they  did  not  bring  their 
families  until  18 16.  Col.  Fitzhugh  died  at  Hampton,  in  Groveland, 
in  1839,  aged  78  years.  He  was  elected  Supervisor  of  the  town  in 
1821.  His  wife,  a  daughter  of  Col.  Daniel  Hughes  of  Washington 
county,  Maryland,  died  in  1829,  aged  57.  The  descendants  of  Col. 
Fitzhugh  are  quite  numerous,  but  his  children  are  nearly  all  deceased. 
The  sons  were  all  men  of  more  than  ordinary  force.  Henry  Fitz- 
hugh settled  in  Oswego  and  was  in  185 1  elected  canal  commissioner, 
and  re-elected  in  1854.  Five  daughters  became  the  wives  respec- 
tvely  of  Hon.  Gerrit  Smith  of  Peterboro,  Dr.  Frederic^Ei-^ackus 
of  Rochester,  John  T.  Tallman  of  Rochester,  Lieut.  J.  'vv.  Swift  of 
the  U.  S.  Navy,  and  James  G.  Birney  of  M  chigan.  Colonel  Fiti- 
hugh  served  on  the  staff  of  General  Washington  in  the  Revolution- 
ary war,  though  not  of  age  then. 

Dr.  Daniel  Hughes  Fitzhugh,  whose  melancholy  fate  the  people  of 
this  valley  so  deeply  grieve,  was  a  son  of  Col.  William  Fitzhugh,  and 
was  bom  in  Maryland,  April  20,  1794,  where  he  lived  until  he  was 
tweoty-two  years  of  age.  When  but  18  years  of  age  he  was  upon 
the  staff  of  the  General  commanding  at  Washington  city  when  it  was 
burned  by  the  Britisli,  and,  like  his  father,  drew  a  Government  pen- 
sion for  military  services.  In  181 6  he  came  to  this  valley  to  superin- 
tend the  erection  of  suitable  buildings  for  the  family  residence.  These 
he  located  at  the  place  ever  since  known  as  "Hampton,"  and  the  man- 
sion built  under  his  charge  is  the  one  where  he  breathed  his  last,  and 
from  which  liis  remains  were  taken  to  the  Williamsburg  Cemetery,  at 
the  age  of  87  years  and  four  days.  After  his  marriage  he  became 
the  owner  of  1700  acres  of  land  at  and  around  Sonyea,  which  he 
subsequently  sold  to  the  Shaker  Society  for  $92,000.  He  was  after- 
'wls  for  a  number  of  years  a  resident  of  this  village,  but  returned 
to  Hampton  and  occupied  it  until  his  death.  While  residmg  at  Son- 
yea  in  the  town  of  Groveland,  he  was  seven  times  elected  Supervisor, 
^:  from  1830  to  1835  inclusive,  and  again  in  1841.  In  1842  he 
^as  elected  to  the  Assembly  but  positively  declined  a  re-election,  the 
portion  being  repugnant  to  his  tastes,  and  his  own  extensive  affairs 
demanding  all  his  time.  He  was  for  two  years  President  .of  the  Liv- 
ingston County  Historical  Society,  and  in  1879  was  selected  to  pre- 
side at  the  Sullivan  Centennial,  but  was  unfortunately  detained  in 


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1 6  UVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISl'ORICAL  SOCIim'. 

Michigan  by  illness.  He  was  the  successor  of  the  late  Gen.  James 
S.  Wadsworth  as  President  of  the  Genesee  Valley  National  Bank,  a 
position  he  resigned  two  years  ago  when  Hon.  J.  W.  Wadsworth  was 
elected.  The  &nk  building  was  appropriately  draped  on  his  decease, 
and  so  remained  until  after  his  funeral 

Dr.  Fitzhugh  was  manned  to  Miss  Ann  Frisby  Dana,  who  was 
bom  at  Geneva,  Dec  22,  1803.  They  had  thirteen  children,  ten  of 
whom  are  living  and  nine  were  present  at  the  funeral  Mrs.  Fitzhugb 
was  a  daughter  of  William  Pulteney  Dana,  and  was  a  lady  of  great 
loveliness  of  character.  A  friend  to  all  who  were  in  distress,  she  lost 
her  life  in  February,  1850,  by  ship  fever  contracted  in  ministering  to 
a  poor  family  who  came  to  Sonyea  a  little  time  previous.  Their 
married  life  covered  about  twenty-five  years,  and  since  the  decease  of 
the  mother,  thirty  years  ago,  some  of  the  daughters  have  continued 
to  reside  with  their  father.  Dr.  Fitzhugh  made  large  and  profitable 
investments  in  real  estate  in  the  Saginaw  valley,  Michigan,  especially 
the  land  on  which  the  flourishing  place  of  Bay  City  stands,  where 
some  of  his  descendants  reside.  Dr.  Fitzhugh  never  practiced  his 
profession  except  as  suigeon  in  the  army,  in  which  capacity  he  was  at 
the  battle  of  Blandensburg. 

Dr.  Fitzhugh  was  an  energetic  and  prompt  man  in  business  affairs. 
Up  to  the  hour  when  he  met  with  the  accident  which  terminated  so 
fatally,  he  had  been  as  clear  in  judgment  and  active  in  person  as 
dimng  his  long  life.  He  moved  wiSi  alertness,  and  bid  fair  to  num- 
ber yet  many  years  before  his  faculties  failed.  And  it  is  one  of  the 
saddest  reflections  that  one  whose  life  was  still  so  useful  should  have 
been  so  suddenly  snatched  away.  Though  a  general  favorite  with  all 
who  knew  him,  he  shrank  from  promotion  and  public  notice,  and 
found  his  greatest  happiness  in  the  society  of  his  children  and  other 
friends. 

[The  followmg  interesting  addition  has  since  been  made  by  Nor- 
man Seymour:] 

At  the  close  of  the  Revolution,  followed  by  the  famous  Treaty  of 
Big  Tree,  (Geneseo),  Sept  1797,  by  the  extinguishment  of  the  Indian 
titles,  all  the  lands  in  the  then  Genesee  coimtry,  extending  fitjm  the 
old  pre-emption  line  one  mile  east  of  Geneva  west  to  Lake  Erie, 
came  into  market  Robert  Morris,  the  patriot  and  financier  of  Rev- 
olutionary memory,  had  for  some  years  been  the  most  extensive  own- 
er. In  1792  Charles  Williamson,  agent  for  William  Pultney,  the 
Scotch  baron,  who  had  purchased  of  Benjamin  Franklin,  Robert 
Morris's  agenl^  1,200,000  of  these  lands,  paying  for  the  same  ^35r 
000,  laid  out  and  opened  a  road  up  the  Susquehanna,  (rom  Williams- 
port,  Pa.,  to  the  Genesee  river,  Williamsbuigh.  He  at  once  made  a 
tour  throu^  Maryland,  soliciting  emigration  to  the  beautiful  and 
fertile  Genesee.  This  road  at  once  became  famous  as  the  great 
th<»x>ughfare  to  the  goklen  lands  that  lay  in  the  lovely  Ghennessee 
valley.     In   1795,  Uie   Duke  de  liancourt,   and  in   1796,   Louis 


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SIXTH    ANNUAL   MKETING.  1 7 

iiilKppe,  subsequently  the  king  of  France,  and  Lord  Ashburlon 
Alexander  Baring),  came  by  this  wild  and  romantic  road  to  Canan- 
aigua,  and  then  to  what  is  now  Rochester.  In  1800  a  trio  of  noble 
len  (Marylanders)  of  great  pluck  and  energy,  Col.  William  Fitzhugh, 
^oL  .Nathaniel  Rochester  and  Maj.  Charles  Carroll,  came  into  this 
ecton.  Col.  William  Fitzhugh's  calvacade,  as  it  wound  its  way  up 
lie  Northumberland  road,  consisted  of  Pennsylvania  wagons  drawn 
y  twenty-seven  horses,  the  party  numbering  forty  persons.  It  re- 
luired  about  forty  days  to  make  the  trip,  the  entire  party  camping  out 
a  the  woods  two  nights.  Col  Fitzhugh  died  at  Hampton,  Groveland, 
^  1839,  ^^^  7^  years,  leaving  over  eighty  descendants.  His  wiie 
^  a  daughter  of  Daniel  Hughes  of  Maryland,  who  died  in  1829, 
igej  57  years.  Col  Fitzhugh's  children  were  W.  H.  Fitzhugh  of 
^larylLid,  Dr.  Daniel  H.,  the  subject  of  this  brief  sketch,  James  of 
fventucky,  Richard  P.  of  Groveland,  Henry  of  Oswego,  Judge  Sam- 
ad  H.  of  Mt.  Morris,  and  Robert  of  Groveland,  now  all  deceased. 
His  daughters  were  xMrs.  Dr.  Backus  of  Rochester,  Mrs.  James  G. 
feey  of  Kentucky,  Mrs.  Gerrit  Smith  of  Peterboro,  Mrs.  J.  L. 
Tallman  of  Rochester,  and  Mrs.  Lieut  Swift  of  Geneva^two  only 
WW  living. 

Dr.  Fitzhugh  was  bom  in  Maryland  in  1784.  In  the  year  181 6  he 
c^e  to  Groveland  to  superintend  the  erecrion  of  the  house  in  which 
^e  died  His  father,  Col  William  Fitzhugh,  came  into  this  valley  in 
i|ioo,  but  owing  to  the  unhealthy  state  of  the  country,  did  not  remove 
^family  until  the  year  181 7.  Since  his  advent  into  this  section  no 
one  has  been  more  extensively  identified  with  the  early  settlement 
tod  history  of  the  Genesee  valley  from  Rochester  south  to  the  Can- 
iseraga  valley,  than  Dr.  Fitzhugh.  He  was  a  man  of  delightful 
*cial  accomplishments,  and  highly  appreciative  of  humor.  He  was 
^  a  great  talker ;  indeed,  rather  the  reverse.  Hospitable  in  the 
^treme,  a  full  house  was  his  delight  Of  close  business  habits,  he 
"^  never  deceived  by  the  same  person  twice.  He  attended  in  the 
J^nuiest  detail  to  the  care  of  his  estate  to  the  very  last  day  of  his 
^^^-  He  was  a  true  friend,  a  valued  neighbor,  and  a  com-teous  gen- 
^^en,  emphatically  of  the  old  school  in  habits,  manners  and 
JPP^arance.  He  had  large  landed  estates  in  Saginaw,  Mich.  Dr. 
f whugh  was  for  many  years  president  of  the  Genesee  Valley  Bank, 
^  was  executor  of  the  estates  of  Allen  Ayrault  and  Gen.  James 
j^^dsworth,  was  also  president,  during  the  first  two  years  of  its  ex- 
^ce,  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society  and  since  then, 
^  the  time  of  his  death,  was  one  of  the  Board  of  Councilmen, 
^ys  taking  a  deep  interest  in  the  organization.  Dr.  Fitzhugh 
^associated  as  commissioners  with  Gen.  W.  Wadsworth  and  Col 
Markham  in  erecting  the  first  county  buildings.  He  was 
■^  of  the  most  imassuming  of  men,  of  noble  sentiment,  he  died  in 
strength  of  his  manhood  though  almost  a  centenarian,  ripe  in 
^  leaving  a  brilliant  record  and  an  enduring  fame.  He  was 
^t  male  representative  o^  his  father's  family,  and  leaves  four 


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1 8  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOCIEIT. 

sons,  six  daughters,  two  sisters,  and  a  large  circle  of  friends  to  mourd 

his  unexpected  death. 

**0h  wh<*t  a  glory  doth  this  world  put  on. 

For  hlra  who  with  fervent  heart  goes  forth 

Under  the  bright  and  glorious  oky,  and  looks 

On  duties  well  performed  and  days  well  fipent. 

For  him  the  wind,  aye.  and  the  yellow  leaves. 

Shall  have  a  voice,  ana  give  him  eloquent  teachings. 

He  shall  so  hear  the  solemn  hymn,  that  death 

Has  lifted  up  for  all,  that  he  shall  go  ! 

To  his  long  resting  place,  without  a  tear." 

Williamsburg,  where  Dr.  Fitzhugh  was  buned,  one  of  the  oldes) 
burying-grounds  in  Western  New  York,  is  in  the  town  of  Groveland-^ 
a  place  historic  and  memorable  in  the  history  of  the  Genesee  coun 
try.  It  is'a  retired  and  romantic  spot,  and  can  be  seen  by  the  travels 
on  our  railway.  For  over  half  a  century  it  has  been  the  bunal  plac< 
of  the  Fitzhughs  and  Carrolls,  honored  names  in  the  early  settlemeni 
of  the  Genesee  valley.  In  this  cemetery  a  massive  marble  columi 
marks  the  resting  place  of  tliat  honest  man  and  pioneer  in  the  and 
slavery  movement,  the  late  James  G.  Bimey.  By  his  side  sleeps  hij 
son,  Major  Fitzhugh  Bimey,  the  A.  A.  G.  of  the  second  army  corp^ 
army  of  the  Potomac,  who  died  June,  1 864,  aged  twenty-two  yeart 
On  the  north  side  of  the  cemetery  stands  a  beautiful  monument  ered 
ed  to  the  memory  of  Judge  Charles  Holker  Carroll,  who  died  July  2 2d 
1865,  aged  seventy-two  years.  Henry  Fitzhugh,  late  of  Oswego,  hai 
a  monument  here  also,  that  shall  perpetuate  the  memory  of  one  d 
the  most  worthy  and  upright  state  officers  New  York  ever  had 
Robert,  Judge  Samuel  H.  and  Richard  P.  Fitzhugh  were  also  burie^ 
here.  Colonel  William  Fitzhugh,  the  father  of  those  named  canw 
into  the  Genesee  valley  in  1800,  and  was  the  compeer  and  associati 
at  that  early  day  of  the  Messrs.  James  and  William  Wadsworth  and 
Major  Carroll  Colonel  Fitzhugh  died  in  1839,  aged  seventy-eighl 
years,  and  monumental  marble  marks  his  resting  place,  in  this  hum 
ble  and  retired  cemetery. 

RICHARD  PECK, 

BY  GEORGE   W.    ATWELL,    JR. 

Richard  Peck  was  of  that  resolute  New  England  stock  whidi  t^ 
escape  intolerance  and  persecution,  emigrated  from  England  to  find  i 
home  in  this  country ;  he  was  one  of  the  descendants  in  the  sevend 
generation  of  William  Peck  who  was  one  of  the  founders  of  the  Nei 
Haven  Colony  in  1638.  The  subject  of  this  sketch  was  the  son  ci 
Thomas  and  Sarah  Peck  and  was  born  in  the  town  of  West  Bloon^ 
field,  on  the  30th  day  of  November,  181 1,  and  died  in  the  town  c^ 
Lima  on  the  nth  day  of  June,  1881,  having  been  a  resident  of  thj 
latter  township  his  whole  life  excepting  two  years.  He  was  twiq 
married,  and  his  wife  and  three  diildren,  James  B.  and  Asahel  J 
Peck  and  Mrs.  Samuel  Bonner,  all  of  Lima,  survive  him.  ! 

Mr.  Peck  was  a  man  of  wide  acquaintance  and  was  respected  bj 
all  with  whom  he  associated,  as  well  for  his  genial,  pleasant  disposs 


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!  SIXTH   ANNUAL   MEETING.  1 9 

too,  as  his  energy  and  usefulness  as  a  citizen.  He  was  highly  es- 
teemed not  only  by  his  townsmen  who  realized  his  worth  by 
electing  him  to  the  office  of  Supervisor  for  a  series  of  years,  but  by  a 
large  circle  of  friends  throughout  this  county.  His  occupation 
through  life  was  that  of  a  farmer,  and  as  such  he  was  energetic  and 
ecterprising.  Always  a  lover  of  fine  stock,  he  was  for  many  years 
engaged  in  the  importation  and  rearing  of  the  finer  grades  of  cattle 
and  sheep.  In  the  affairs  of  the  Livingston  County  Agricultural 
Society,  of  which  he  was  a  member,  he  always  manifested  an  active 
interest,  and  was  at  one  time  its  President.  He  was  a  man  of  strong 
roavicdons,  who  never  feared  to  act  according  to  the  dictates  •  of  his 
better  judgment,  even  when  to  his  own  disadvantage.  Of  sterling 
btegrity  and  uprightness,  he  was  trusted  by  his  fellows,  and  the  mat- 
ten  confided  to  his  charge  and  management,  attested  how  extensive- 
ly he  enjoyed  the  confidence  of  others.  Public  spirited  and  ever 
ready  to  assist  in  all  laudable  undertakings,  he  endeared  himself  to 
tbe  community  in  which  he  lived  so  many  years,  and  his  memory  will 
abide  with  all  those  who  knew  him  as  that  of  an  honorable,  upright 
maa 


SAMUEL  P,  ALLEN. 

BY   A.    O.    BUNNELU 

It  was  my  good  fortune  to  know  somewhat  of  Samuel  P.  Allen  in 
the  later  years  of  his  life,  to  meet  him  as  a  fellow  journalist  and  to 
enjoy  his  confidence  and  esteem.  But  he  had  entered  upon  his  ap- 
prenticeship some  years  before  your  speaker  was  bom,  and  I  have 
been  obhged  to  seek  for  particulars  of  his  early  life  from  those  with 
whom  he  associated  at  that  period.  I  am  under  special  obligations 
for  bformation  in  regard  to  his  life  as  a  journalist  to  Hon.  Alvah 
Strong  of  Rochester,  and  Hon.  B.  G.  Berry  of  Norwich,  with  both  of 
^m  Mr.  Allen  was  at  different  times  associated  in  his  newspaper 
lije.  I  do  not  think  to  tell  you,  his  old  neighbors,  anything  about 
him  you  do  not  already  know,  to  make  revelations  concerning  a  char- 
acter with  which  you  must  be  better  acquainted  than  I.  I  am  simply 
to  revive  your  recollections  of  one  whom  we  all  knew,  and  thus  to 
repeat  a  familiar  story. 

Samuel  Percival  Allen  was  bom  in  Smyrna,  Chenango  county,  New 
Yorit,  Oct  21,  1814,  and  died  in  Geneseo,  Livingston  county,  N.  Y., 
Oct  20,  1 88 1.  He  could  trace  his  ancestry  back  seven  generations 
to  Edward  Allen,  a  soldier  under  the  brave  Cromwell,  who  upon  the 
fetoration  in  1670,  settled  in  Ipswich,  Mass.,  where  in  1696  he 
<fcd.  The  father  of  Samuel,  Marsena  Allen,  was  eight  years  old 
^  in  1797  the  family  migrated  from  Massachusetts  to  this  State 
*nd  settled  in  Chenango  county.  Thence  in  1834,  he  removed  to 
Mt  Morris,  Livingston  county,  where  he  resided  until  his  death  in 
'^i.    A  noble  Christian  man  was  Deacon  Marsena  Allen,  and  full 


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2  0  UVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIEIT. 

of  good  works.  The  mother  of  Samuel  was  Hannah  G.  Percival 
a' so  from  Massachusetts,  and  the  daughter  of  an  active  patriot  in  th< 
Revolutionary  war. 

In  1830,  at  the  age  of  fifteen,  Samuel  came  alone  from  his  Smym2 
home  to  win  his  way  in  this  village.  He  became  at  once  an  appren 
tice  in  the  office  of  the  Livingston  Register.  On  the  19th  cf  Sep 
tember,  1837,  he  established  the  Livingston  Republican,  whxh  sur 
vives  him,  and  for  which  we  all  hope  many  years  of  useful  life.  Ii 
1846  Mr.  Allen  sold  the  Republican  to  purchase  a  fourth  interest  ir 
the  Rochester  Democrat  of  George  Dawson,  now  the  veteran  editcw 
of  the  Albany  Evening  Journal.  The  Democrat  was  then  under  th< 
editorial  management  of  Henr)'  Cook.  At  the  decease  of  Mr.  Coolt, 
Fome  two  years  later,  Mr.  Allen  became  edItor-in-ch"ef  of  the  paper. 
In  1864,  Mr.  Allen  retired  from  this  position  to  accept  from  Presi 
dent  Lincoln  the  appointment  of  collector  of  internal  revenue  for  the 
counties  of  Monroe  and  Orleans,  which  position  he  held  until  1869 
In  1870,  he  sustained  serious  financial  reverses,  gong  down  almost  a 
total  wreck  with  the  many  who  sank  in  the  troubled  waters  o*  Wall 
street  on  the  memorable  Black  Friday.  Shortly  thereafter  he  re^ 
turned  to  Chenango  county,  and  entered  into  partnersh'p  with  Hon 
B.  G.  Berry,  in  the  publication  of  the  Chenango  Tele^rap'i.  In  the 
autumn  of  1874  he  returned  to  Geneseo.  where  he  first  learnel  to 
set  type,  repurchased  the  Livingston  Republican,  an  i  here  completed 
his  labors.  During  the  last  years  of  his  1  f e  the  cares  of  business 
were  materially  lightened  for  him  by  his  worthy  young  partner  Allison 
R.  Scott 

Mr.  Allen  was  elected  Clerk  of  Livingston  county  in  1840;  Clerk 
of  the  State  Senate  in  1856  and  1858 ;  and  was  assistant  Clerk  oi 
the  Assembly  from  1872  to  1879.  He  also  occupied  other  posi- 
tions of  honor  and  trust.  He  was  a  valued  and  efficient  member  ol 
tnis  society,  and  at  the  time  of  his  death  chairman  of  the  committee 
on  Necrology. 

In  1838,  Mr.  Allen  married  Harriet  C.  Stanley,  daughter  of  Lu- 
man  Stanley  of  Mt.  Morris,  who  survives  him.  Of  their  six  children, 
three  are  living — Mrs.  Alfred  Smith  of  Philadelphia,  Mrs.  Joseph 
Farley,  Jr.,  of  Rochester,  and  Frederick  Percival  Allen,  who  is  at 
present  occupying  the  editorial  chair  vacated  by  the  father. 

Mr.  Allen  early  became  a  Christian,  joined  the  Presbyterian 
church,  and  lived  in  everyday  life  that  which  he  professfed  on  Simday 
He  was  ever  considered  one  of  the  pillars  of  the  church,  and  a  nota- 
ble example  of  his  liberality  in  support  of  the  gospel  was  related  at 
the  late  dedication  of  the  new  Presbyterian  church  in  thi§  village,  by 
Rev.  Dr.  Shaw,  who  said  it  was  as  natural  for  Samuel  P.  Allen  td 
give  as  or  the  stream  to  flow  or  for  the  star  to  shine.  In  his  private 
l.fe  Mr.  Allen  was  faithful  jn  all  his  domestic  relations — ever  the  de- 
voted husband,  the  indulgent,  considerate  father,  the  true  fiiend  and 
good  citizen.  He  was  cadled  to  pass  through  many  grievous  trials,  d 
some  of  which  we  may  not  speak.      The  loss  of  three  daughters. 


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STXTH    ANNUM.   MEETING.  2  1 

beautiful  and  intelligent,  in  the  pride  and  glory  of  womanhood,  made 
ins^nificant  his  great  financial  reverses.  The  former  seemed  to  him 
the  very  bitterness  of  death,  while  the  latter  left  him,  as  he  then  felt, 
Helpless  and  in  utter  poverty.  But  the  Hand  that  bears  creation  u]) 
sustained  him  in  the  one  affliction,  and  his  own  brave,  unconquerable 
spirit  soon  found  relief  from  the  other  in  hard  work.  Mr.  Allen  was 
Dot  counted  demonstrative.  It  was  sometimes  sa'd  of  him  by  his 
opponents  and  by  those  who  did  not  know  him  well,  that  he  was  cold 
and  repellent.  The  truth  is  Mr.  Allen  had  a  warm  and  sympathetic 
lieart  A  man  of  Roman  firmness,  at  proper  times  he  loved  to  give 
rein  to  h's  social  feelings,  and  then  he  was  one  of  the  most  compan- 
ionable of  men,  aid  at  times  was  r  *ally  jo'ly.  He  was  an  ardent 
admrer  of  nature,  and  his  on^  favorite  recreation  was  angling.  "He 
b^ed  fiih  ng,"  writes  his  venerable  companion  sportsman,  George 
Dawbon, — "  proof  of  his  gentle-heartedness." 

Mr.  Allen*s  e  lucation  was  commenced  in  the  common  school  and 
ccHnpIeted  in  the  p>oor  bo/s  college — the  printing  office.  He  was 
studious  and  industrious,  yet  naturally  timid,  and  up  to  the  time  of 
tbe  establishment  of  ihe  Republican  he  had  devoted  himself  mainly 
to  the  work  of  the  practical  printer.  Thereafter  his  pen  was  of  ne- 
cessity gradually  brought  into  requisition.  Though  not  a  ready 
writer,  the  weekly  demands  of  his  editorial  columns  pushed  him  for 
^  best  efforts  in  the  study  of  passing  events  and  the  politics  of  the 
^Y'  Thus  his  mind  was  quickened,  and  his  confidence,  knowledge 
aid  fac'lity  as  a  writer,  were  largely  increased  each  year.  It  is  but 
JiKtce  to  Mr.  Allen  to  say  that  when  he  suddenly  found  himself  edi- 
tof-in-chief  of  the  Rochester  Democrat,  that  he  felt  very  keenly  the 
responsibility  of  the  position,  and  his  deficiency  in  early  culture,  but 
« SDon  adapted  himself  to  the  higher  sphere  and  won  the  approba- 
^n  of  the  public.  Mr.  Allen  made  no  pretension  as  a  writer  to 
literary  attainments.  His  articles  were  marked  with  simplicity  of 
expression,  yet  he  wrote  boldly  and  earnestly.  Some  of  his  editorials 
during  exciting  political  canvasses  were  as  keen  as  a  blade  and 
Dwrked  with  f)eculiar  vigor  and  power.  In  early  life  Mr.  Allen  was  a 
^Tiig,  and  a  Republican  from  the  formation  of  that  party.  He  ex- 
celled as  a  politician  ;  for  foresight  and  keen  judgment  in  the  bear- 
j^  of  a  question  on  the  public  mind,  his  opinion  was  oftener  right 
^  that  of  some  of  the  older  and  more  experienced  journalists. 
He  believed  in  his  party.  He  was  a  strong  partisan,  but  open- 
^i3nded  as  the  .day,  he  could  not  endorse  the  sentiment  of  M.  Thiers, 
^  "  Political  fiughts  are  of  the  night ;  when  day  dawns  one  often 
^figrets  the  blows  that  have  been  given."  Mr.  Allen  was  a  true  type 
^  that  better  class  of  journalists  who  are  self-respecting,  and  thus 
^w  best  how  to  respect  the  rights  of  others.  He  would  not  know- 
^!y  misrepresent  an  antj^onist  nor  strike  him  a  foul  blow.  Best  of 
^  every  line  he  wrote  was  pure  and  wholesome.  He  was  something 
^er  than  his  profession,  something  more  than  his  work.  But  this 
*as  a  natural  result  of  the  faithful  discharge  of  his  duties.      For  the 


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22  UVINGSTON    COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETV*. 

conscientious  journalist  always  feels  an  aspiration  for  larger  vision, 
for  a  more  extended  horizon,  for  purer  thought  and  clearer  expres- 
sion, and  ever  striving  after  the  hights  which  he  may  not  reach,  he 
is  sure  to  plant  his  feet  upon  a  plaiie  far  above  the  common  level 
How  near  Samuel  P.  Allen  came  to  the  realization  of  his  ideal,  we 
may  never  know,  but  judging  from  the  common  experience  of  jour- 
nalists, he  must  have  felt  that  at  the  end  of  a  fifty  years  weary  jour- 
ney he  had  taken  but  the  first  step  up  the  steeps.  Only  those  who 
have  labored  as  he  labored  in  the  field  of  journalism,  which  stretches 
before  the  most  keen-visioned  newspaper  man,  as  the  limitless  ocean 
goes  out  from  the  wondering  child  upon  the  shore,  can  feel  how  far 
short  this  man  came  of  the  accomplishment  of  what  he  must  have 
planned  in  early  youth.  There  is  practically  no  end  to  the  work 
which  a  genuine  newspaper  man  may  find  to  do,  no  resources  of  tal- 
ent which  can  satisfy  his  aspirations.     Therefore, 

**  Deal  gently  with  us,  ye  who  read ! 

Our  largest  hope  is  unfulfllled— 
The  promise  still  outruns  the  deed— 

The  tower  and  not  the  spire  we  build. 

'*  Our  whitest  pearl  we  never  find ; 

Our  ripest  fruit  we  never  reach ; 
The  flow'ring  moments  of  the  mind 

Drop  half  their  petals  in  our  speech." 

Yet  though  our  friend  failed  to  mould  the  matchless  model,  by 
patient  and  persevering  labor,  by  true  living,  he  rounded  out  that 
perfect  Christian  character  which  we  are  told  is  not  an  act,  but  a 
process ;  not  a  sudden  creation,  but  a  development  And  so  he 
zame  to  the  symmetrical  years  when  1  knew  him  best.  To  me  the 
return  to  his  old  home  in  the  evening  of  his  years,  when  the  shad- 
ows stretched  far  toward  the  starting  place  at  dawn,  to  renew  the 
battle  of  life,  when  other  men  would  have  given  up  the  contest  with- 
out a  struggle,  is  the  best,  albeit  a  most  pathetic  illustration  of  the 
manliness  of  the  man.  It  is  the  one  act  which  crowned  the  noble 
fabric  of  his  life.  For  so  true  a  man  there  was  a  compensation.  A 
peace  crept  into  his  heart,  and  he  almost  forgot  the  pain  of  the  early 
days  of  his  adversities.  His  was  a  well  ordered  life,  and  he  waited 
serenely  for  its  end  At  the  last  death  came  to  him  suddenly,  but 
we  would  fain  believe,  without  its  sting. 

Thus  ends  my  delicate  task,  but  poorly  done,  I  fear.     But  after  all, 

my  friends,  what  matters  to  him,  this  human  judgment  or  this  human 

praise  ?     It  has  been  in  the  spirit  of  one  who  feels  that  the  guerdon 

comes  too  late,  that  I  have  spoken  to-day  of  oxir  friend  and  nei^bor, 

of  our  honored  associate  in  this  society.      It  is  the  stereotype  of 

biography,  the  very  "irony  of  fate,"  that — 

"  To  the  quick  brow  Fame  grudees  her  best  wreath. 
While  the  quick  heart  to  enjoy  it  throbs  beneath ; 
On  the  dead  forehead's  sculptured  marble  shown, 
Lo !  her  choice  crown,— its  flowers  are  also  atone.^' 

While  Mr.  Allen's  life  was  not  remarkable  for  incident,  he  lived  the 
life  of  a  true  man,  and  he  labored  faithfully  to  the  end.      Despite  hii 


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SIXTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  23 

afflictions  and  his  embarassments,  he  went  through  life  bettti  and 
with  a  cleaner  record  than  is  given  to  the  lot  of  the  minority  of  men 
even  to  do.  His  influence  for  good  in  the  communities  in  which  he 
lived  is  unmeasured  and  immeasurable.  He  was  therefore  entitled 
to  praise  and  encouragement  while  yet  his  quick  heart  throbbed. 
How  sometimes  this  reserved  man  must  have  yearned  for  the  cheer- 
ing word  and  the  warm  clasp  of  the  hand,  we  may  ask  our  own 
hearta.  For  he  was  of  us,  and  like  us — ^subject  to  the  same  passions, 
susceptible  to  the  same  influences.  While  he  was  a  man  whose  stur- 
dy self-respect  would  cause  him  to  shrink  from  adulation,  he  was 
sensitive  to  pubHc  opinion,  and  approbation  of  friends  came  to  him 
like  dew  to  the  withering  grass,  or  the  cool  breeze  to  the  fainting 
wayfarer.  Treasure  up,  good  people,  you  who  come  to  listen  to 
praises  of  the  dead,  the  eloquent  words  of  our  last  martyr-president : 
"There  is  nothing  in  all  the  earth,"  said  he,  "that  you  and  I  can  do 
for  the  dead.  They  are  past  our  help  and  past  our  praise.  We  can 
add  to  them  no  glory,  we  can  give  to  them  no  immortality."  Re- 
member, my  hearers,  that  the  time  to  idealize,  to  divinize  oxir  friends, 
is  during  their  hves.  Then  may  we  warm  the  beating  heart ;  then 
may  we  cause  to  glow  the  spark  in  tender  eyes ;  then  may  we  win 
from  loving  lips  the  best  thoughts  of  a  quickened  brain,  and  wreathe 
the  living  brow  with  fragrant  flowers.  If  this  thought  shall  sink  deep 
into  your  hearts,  I  shall  not  have  spoken  in  vain,  although  to-day  my 
words  of  praise  have  failed  to  reach  the  ears  forever  closed  to  human 
speech. 

/O/fAT  ROGERS  MURRA  Y. 

BY  NORMAN   SEYMOUR. 

The  civilization  of  this  far  famed  Genesee  Valley  has  reached  a 
tummg  point  and  already  the  thoughtful  enquirer  can  look  upon  its 
new  era.  From  being  the  once  wild  frontier  of  western  progress,  it 
iias  become  a  wealthy  and  reposeful  land  within  the  borders  of  a  rich 
and  progressive  state.  The  splendid  type  of  men  produced  by  that 
early  pioneer  civilization  on  this  and  other  frontiers  has  passed  or  is 
fast  passing  away.  This  valley  will  never  again  bring  forth  such  men 
as  appear  on  the  necrology  of  this  society.  The  causes  that  pro- 
duced them  and  influenced  them  to  pass  their  Hves  here,  no  longer 
«ast,  and  their  prototypes  are  only  found,  either  in  oiu-  large  cities 
Either  the  best  efforts  tend,  or  in  the  far  west  on  what  is  now  the 
frontier  of  this  irresistible  tide  of  human  progress.  The  same  scenes 
that  were  enacted  in  the  Genesee  Valley  in  the  early  part  of  this 
century,  are  now  being  enacted  with  littie  difference  in  Kansas,  Ne- 
l>raskaand  Dakota,  and  with  but  slight  vriations  the  same  type  of 
nien,  whose  lives  we  meet  from  time  to  time  to  commemorate  here, 
^  be  produced  there.  They  in  time  will  pass  away,  and  then  the 
cities  or  the  regions  around  about  will  absorb  the  ambitious  and  best 
of  the  country,  as  they  are  doing  here  in  this  generation.     If  anyone 


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24  LIVINGSTON    COUNTV'   HISIORICAL   SOCIETY. 

doubts  this  statement,  let  him  compare  the  past  of  the  country  >*ith 
its  present.  We  aie  r.cl  er  now,  we  have  more  conveniences,  more 
comforts,  more  labor  saving  machines,  but  where  are  the  successors 
to  the  famous  men  of  the  necrology  of  this  society  ? 

Of  all  the  talented  and  spirited  men  that  were  first  attracted  to 
this  valley  in  its  early  days,  one  of  the  most  famous  and  well  known 
was  the  late  John  R.  Murray  of  Murray  Hill,  Mt.  Morris,  who  died 
beloved  and  universally  lamented,  at  Mt.  Morris,  Nov.  ist,  1 88 1,  after 
a  short  and  painful  illness,  of  Bright*s  disease,  aged  70  years.  Mr. 
Murray  was  born  in  the  city  of  New  York,  October  15,  181 1,  and 
was  the  son  of  the  late  John  Murray  of  that  city,  the  owner  of  that 
portion  of  the  city  known  as  Murray  Hill,  and  also  one  of  the  origin- 
al owners  of  the  "  Mount  Morris  tract,"  and  also  one  of  the  most 
extensive  landholders  in  the  state.  His  great-grandfather,  Robert 
Murray,  was  an  early  resident  of  New  York,  receiving  his  deeds  on 
parchment  almost  directly  from  George  HI.,  and  was  one  of  the 
largest  ship  owners  in  Amenca.  His  residence  was  the  headquarters 
of  General  Wasiiington  in  that  city  in  1776. 

About  the  year  1838,  John  Rogers  Murray  removed  from  New 
\'ork  to  the  beautiful  residence  north  of  the  village  of  Mount  Mor- 
ris, and  long  known  as  Murray  HilL  It  is  said  that  Talleyrand,  the 
lamous  French  traveler,  about  the  year  1 800  visited  the  Genesee  val- 
fey,  and  as  he  stood  on  the  eminence  in  front  of  the  Murray  Hiil 
residence  remarked,  **that  he  had  traveled  the  world  over,  but  hail 
never  seen  such  a  magnificent  prospect  as  the  one  that  lay  before 
him."  Possessed  of  a  generous  and  noble  heart,  Mr.  Murray  s  public 
and  private  benefactions  knew  no  bounds,  and  for  two  of  tiie  finest 
churches  in  Western  New  York,  Mt.  Morris  acknowledges  herself  in- 
debted to  h^s  munificence. 

The  subject  of  this  brief  sketch  graduated  at  Yale  ^College  in  the 
class  of  1830,  and  in  1880  attended  the  half  century  meeting  of  his 
cla<is,  at  New  Haven,  Conn.  He  was  a  great  reader,  and  his  exten- 
sive Hbrary  well  filled,  contained  the  choicest  literature  and  the  noted 
periodicals  of  the  time.  He  was  pre-eminently  endowed  with  a  dis- 
criminating taste  for  beauty,  symmetry  and  order.  He  loved  to  do 
good,  and  unostentatiously  bestowed  his  gifts  without  stint  To  the 
poor  he  was  a  friend  indeed  He  most  ardently  hated  all  shams,  af- 
fectation and  hypocrisy.  His  was  a  character,  in  which  blended  all 
those  traits  which  make  a  man,  viz.,  intelligence,  uprightness  and 
patriotism.  He  loved  his  country,  its  institutions,  its  interests.  Party 
ties  had  no  hold  upon  him.  He  was  an  earnest  Christian,  a  constant 
attendant  upon  the  ministrations  of  the  church.  His  Christian  life 
was  anchored  in  his  unswerving  faith  in  the  truths  of  the  Bible,  and 
earnest  belief  in  the  religion  of  the  fathers.  He  was  a  close  observ- 
er, and  very  correct  in  his  judgment  of  men.  Upright  in  all  things, 
he  despised  dishonesty  in  every  form,  and  was  outspoken  for  truth, 
good  morals  and  purity.      He  usually  declined  all  public  positions 


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SIXTH  ANNUAL  MEEl  INC.  25 

and  if  accepted,  he  faithfully  honored  them,  and  earnestly  sustained 
all  private  and  public  enterprises,  by  his  influence  and  means. 

About  the  year  1862,  after  disposing  of  what  might  properly  be 
called  his  almost  baronial  residence,  at  Mt.  Morris,  he  removed  to 
Dobb's  Ferry,  on  the  Hudson  ;  thence  in  i866,  to  the  beautiful  inland 
\illage  of  Cazenovia,  where  he  continued  to  reside  until  the  year 
1878.  In  this  year,  Mr.  Murray  met  with  the  greatest  loss  that  can 
befall  a  man  of  his  seclusive  nature,  in  the  death  of  his  wife.  She 
n'as  a  daughter  of  D.  W.  C.  Olyphant  of  New  York  City,  an  accom- 
plished, rare,  and  high-spirited  lady,  and  the  man  who  never  wavered 
under  the  loss  of  his  magnificent  fortune,  years  before,  never  recov- 
ered from  the  effects  of  the  loss  of  this,  his  almost  life  companion. 
Her  remains  were  buried  in  St.  John's  churchyard  in  Mt.  Morris,  in 
the  month  of  March,  1878,  and  from  that  time,  Mr.  Murray  took  up 
his  residence  again  in  that  village,  wherein  he  and  his  wife  had  lived 
together  so  many  years,  in  that  home  which  I  have  spoken  of  as  al- 
most baronial.  It  lay  upon  the  banks  of  the  Genesee  river,  many 
hundreds  of  acres  in  extent,  and  its  English-like  park  was  laid  out 
With  that  beauty  and  taste  in  landscape  gardening,  which  Mr.  Mur- 
ray's most  perfect  taste  dictated,  and  which,  even  to-day,  stands  a 
splendid  evidence  of  the  cultured  and  elegant  mind  that  fashioned  it. 

His  last  days  were  those  of  great  suffering,  but  he  was  patient  and 
uncomplaining — most  beautifully  illustrating  the  power  of  the  Christ- 
ian's hope.  He  often  said  "he  thanked  God  he  was  in  his  hands, 
and  if  it  was  his  will  he  was  ready  to  die."  "His  work  was  done,  but 
he  regretted  he  had  accomplished  so  little  for  mankind." 

The  courteous,  dignified,  and  noble  man,  has  departed.  The  last 
member  of  a  family  famous  in  the  early  history  of  the  state,  and  of 
our  county,  has  passed  away.     "On  whom  will  his  mantle  fall  ?" 

*'  Why  weep  ye  then  for  him  who  having  run 

The  bound  of  man's  appointed  yeare,  at  last 
Llfe'b  blessings  all  enloyed.  life's  labor  done. 

Serenely  to  nis  final  rest  has  passed. 
While  the  soft  memory  of  his  virtues,  yet 
Lingers  like  twilight  hours,  when  the  bright  sun  has  set." 

A  member  of  the  Buffalo  bar  who  was  present  at  his  funeral, 
wrote  the  following  account  of  it,  in  a  letter  to  Mr.  David  Gray  of 
the  Courier,  and  I  copy  it  here  as  perhaps  as  brief  and  correct  a  de- 
scription of  that  simple  and  affecting  ceremony,  as  can  be  given : 

**  We  are  all  very  much  gratified  by  your  editorial,  or  rather  obitu- 
an  notice  of  Mr.  Murray.  It  was  very  pleasant  to  see  in  a  paper 
*hich  to  an  extent  is  removed  from  the  influences  and  associations  of 
th'5  beautiful  Genesee  valley  this  notice  of  one  who  had  honored  and 
beautified  it  so  much.  But  I  think  I  must  demur  in  a  degree  to  your 
analysis  of  his  character  so  far  as  it  referred  to  a  cynicism  which  was 
caused  by  his  pecuniary  troubles.  I  do  not  think  he  was  cynical ; 
certainly  if  he  was,  it  was  not  caused  by  his  reverses.  His  was  a 
character  simple  to  the  last  degree,  though  encased  in  culture  and 
breedii^.      His  manner  was  always  brusque  and  abrupt,  and  he,  de-       j 

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26  UVINGSTON   COUNTV   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

tected  shams  of  all  kinds ;  but  he  was  not  cynical,  though  one  wh 
had  never  known  him  in  the  pomp  and  glory  of  Murray  Hill  migh 
suppose  that  his  hauteur  was  the  result  of  his  reverses.  His  oi 
friends,  however,  saw  no  difference  or  change  in  him. 

"  You  can  fancy  the  beauty  of  this  village  and  of  his  late  resideno 
and  the  approaches  to  his  former  estate,  tinged  with  the  tints  o 
autumn,  beneath  as  warm  a  sun  and  amidst  as  soft  an  air  as  evo 
blessed  an  ideal  autumnal  day.  Even  the  roads  were  hidden  iron 
view  by  the  red  leaves  that  have  fallen  by  the  wayside.  Dowt 
around  the  road  that  passes  through  the  miniature  valley,  hard  by  his 
late  home,  amidst  this  profusion  of  dying  foliage,  upon  a  simple  bia 
carried  by  old  friends  and  followed  by  a  long  train  of  mourning  ac- 
quaintances, his  remains  were  carried  to  the  beautiful  church  of  St 
John  the  Evangelist,  which  his  generosity  had  builded ;  and  there  in 
the  beautiful  churchyard  and  beneath  the  yew  trees'  shade,  he  was 
laid  beside  the  wife  whom  he  had  loved  so  well  and  who  was  so 
worthy  a  consort  of  so  brave  a  spirit.  It  was  a  simple  and  touching 
scene." 

At  the  close  of  the  address,  Miss  Parks  sang  with  thrilling  effect 

The  Last  Rose  of  Summer,  and  was  enthusiastically  applauded 

On  motion  of  Dr.  Ferine,  a  vote  of  thanks  was  tendered  Hon.  B. 
F.  Angel,  retiring  president ;  on  motion  of  Mr.  White,  Miss  Parks 
was  made  the  recipient  of  a  like  compliment  with  the  addition  of 
several  graceful  tributes  to  her  accomplishments  as  a  vocalist ;  Rev. 
Dr.  Ward  came  in  for  a  good  share  of  praise  for  his  excellent  histon- 
cal  paper,  and  the  meeting  adjourned  with  a  few  closing  remarks 
by  President  Angel,  who  thanking  the  audience  for  respectful  and 
patient  attention,  hoped  that  another  year  the  society  might  have  less 
of  necrology  and  more  of  history  to  present. 


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CONSTITUTION. 

SscTioK  1.    This  Society  shall  be  called  Thb  Livinoston  County  HianroRiOAi. 

SoCIBTY 

\  2.  The  general  object  of  the  Society  shall  be  to  discover,  procure  and  preserve 
whatever  may  relate  to  the  history  of  western  New  York  In  general  and  Liv- 
ingston county  and  its  towns  in  particular,  and  to  gather  such  statistics  of  edu- 
eatlon  and  population,  growth  and  prosperity,  and  business  of  this  region  aa 
may  seem  advisabln  or  of  public  utllltv. 

\  8.  The  Society  shall  consist  of  resident,  corresponding  and  honorary  mem- 
ben,  who  shall  be  elected  by  a  majority  of  ballots;  and  of  life  members,  as 
hereinafter  provided.  Resident  members  shall  consist  of  persons  residing  in 
Livlogston  county,  N.  Y. ;  corresponding  and  honorary  members  of  persons  re- 
tidiog  elsewhere. 

\  4.  The  officers  of  the  Society  shall  consist  of  a  President,  a  Vice  President,  a 
Secretary  and  Treasurer,  and  nine  oouocllors  of  administration,  who  shall  con- 
Btitate  a  **  Board  of  Managers,"  and  shall  be  elected  annually  on  the  second 
Tuesday  in  January  In  each  year  by  a  mii^orlty  of  ballots. 

\  5.  None  but  resident  and  life  members  shall  be  eligible  to  office  or  qualified 
to  vote. 

\  6.  Members  shall  pay  an  admission  fee  of  one  dollar,  and  also  an  annual 
due  of  one  dollar,  which  shall  be  paid  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  July  in  each 
year  following  their  election.  The  election  of  a  resident  member  shall  confer  no 
privileges  of  membership  until  his  admission  fee  shall  be  paid.  The  payment 
of  the  annual  dues  shall  be  a  condition  of  continued  membership.  In  case  any 
member  neglects  to  pay  his  annual  due  before  the  first  day  of  July  next,  after  it 
becomes  payable,  he  shall  thereby  forfeit  all  his  privileges  of  membership. 
Resident  clergymen  are  exempt  from  dues. 

I  7.  The  payment  of  SIO  at  any  one  time,  for  that  purpose,  shall  constitute  a 
lirememl>er,  exempt  from  all  annual  dues. 

{  8.  The  Society  shall  meet  annually  on  the  second  Tuesday  of  January.  The 
President,  or  in  his  absence  the  Vice  President,  or  the  Secretary  and  Treasurer, 
may  direct  the  call  of  a  special  meeting  in  such  manner  as  the  By-I^ws  shall 
provide. 

g  9.  Those  members  who  shall  attend  at  any  regular  meeting  of  the  Society 
sball  constitute  a  quorum  for  the  transaction  of  business.  The  same  rule  shall 
apply  to  any  other  meeting  of  the  Society,  providing  its  action  is  approved  of 
by  the  Board  of  Council  or  a  majority  of  the  members  thereof. 

i  10.  All  oflSoers  shall  continue  in  office  until  tbelr  successors  are  elected  or 
appointed.  Their  duties  when  not  herein  defined  may  be  prescribed  by  the  By- 
Laws.  All  vacancies  in  office  may  be  filled  for  the  unexpired  term  by  the  Board 
of  Cooncli.  A  majority  of  the  members  present  at  any  regular  meeting  called 
for  the  purpose,  by  the  President  or  Secretary  and  Treasurer  of  the  Society,  shall 
ooDsUtnte  a  quorum  to  do  business. 

1 11.  This  constitution  may  be  amended  and  changed  from  time  to  time  by  a 
Du^ority  vote  of  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting  of  the  Society  pro- 
vided due  notice  of  the  proposed  amendments  be  given  at  least  four  weeks  pre- 
vious to  a  final  vote  thereon. 

BY-LAWS. 

CLA17SB  1.  The  annual  meetings  of  this  Society  shall  be  held  on  the  second 
Tuesday  in  January,  at  such  village  in  the  county  as  the  President  shall  desig- 
nate, and  at  such  hour  as  the  Secretary  In  the  notice  of  such  meeting  shall 
name. 

CLAUSE  2.  The  Secretary  shall  give  notice  of  such  meeting  by  publication  In 
all  of  the  county  papers  for  two  successive  weeks  prior  to  the  meeting,  and  also 
eDclose  by  mall  a  special  notice  to  the  post  office  address  of  each  officer  of  the 
Hociety  at  least  ten  days  prior  to  such  meeting. 

CLAUSR  3.  Any  meeting  may  be  adjourned  to  such  time  as  a  minority  of  the 
members  present  shall  determine. 

Clause  4.  The  President  shal  1  preside  at  the  meetings  of  the  Society,  regulate 
it«  proceedings,  preserve  order  and  decorum  and  have  a  casting  vote.  He  shall 
also  be  the  chairman  of  the  Board  of  Council. 

ClaTjse  5.  The  Vice  President  shall  discharge  all  the  duties  of  the  President 
to  case  of  his  absence. 

Clause  6.  The  Secretary  shall  haye  the  custody  of  the  Constitution,  By-Laws, 
Records,  property  and  efl'ects  ot  the  Society.  He  shall  give  due  notice  of  all  its 
meetlnss,  and  keep  in  a  book  provided  for  that  purpose,  a  record  of  all  its  busi- 
ness. He  shall  also  by  virtue  of  his  office  be  Secretary  to  the  Board  of  Council 
or  Managers,  and  keep  a  record  of  its  proceedings.  He  shall  also  under  the  di- 
rection of  the  Society,  prepare  all  the  communications  to  be  addressed  to  others 
In  the  name  of  the  Society,  and  keep  true  copies  thereof. 

Clause  7.  The  Secretary  shall  also  under  the  Board  of  Managers  have  the 
cattody  of  books,  minerals,  manuscripts,  papers,  documents,  coins,  maps  and 
relics,  and  shall  provide  suitable  cases  for  their  preservation,  and  for  conven- 
ient reference  and  inspection.  He  shall  keep  a  record  of  all  donations,  of 
whatever  name  or  kind,  and  report  the  same  to  the  society  at  the  annual  meet- 

iDf. 

Clause  8.  As  Treasurer,  the  Secretary  shall  keep  all  securities  and  sums  of 
money  due  and  payable  or  belonging  to  the  Society.  He  shall  keep,  the  fhnds 
of  the  Society  on  deposit  to  his  credit  as  such  Treasurer,  in  some  banking  insti- 


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28  LIVINGSTON    COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

tutlon  of  good  repote;  shall  pay  all  sums  which  the  Board  of  Council  shall  di- 
rect; and  shall  keep  a  true  account  of  all  his  recelpta  and  disbursements  and 
render  a  fUU  and  detailed  statement  thereof  at  the  annual  meeting  of  the 
Society. 

Ci^usB  9.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Board  of  Council  to  control  and  manage 
the  affairs  and  funds  of  the  Society.  They  shall  make  annually,  on  the  second 
Tuesday  of  January,  a  report  to  the  Society  of  all  Ite  doings  and  transactions  for 
the  preceding  year. 

Clause  10.  Any  member  of  this  Society  may  be  expelled  by  a  two-thirds  vote 
of  the  members  present  at  a  special  or  regular  meeting  of  the  Society,  but  no 
such  action  shall  be  taken  without  a  notice  two  weeks  previous  to  expel  shall 
have  been  given  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society  In  writing  and  sent  through  the 
mails  to  the  post  office  address  of  the  defaulting  member. 

Clause  11.  At  the  annual  meeting  there  shall  be  an  address  delivered  before 
the  Society,  by  the  President  or  by  some  other  person  appointed  by  the  Board 
of  Council. 

Clause  12.  At  the  meeMnes  of  the  Society,  and  as  far  as  applicable  at  the 
meetings  of  the  Board  of  Council,  the  following  shall  be  the  order  of  business : 

1.  Reading  of  minutes  of  last  meeting. 

2.  Reports  and  Communications  from  officers  of  the  Society. 

3.  Reports  from  Committees 

4.  Election  of  Members. 

5.  Miscellaneous  Business. 

6.  Reading  of  papers  and  delivery  of  address. 

Clause  13.  After  the  annual  election  of  officers,  the  President  shall  appoint 
firom  the  Board  of  Council  the  following  standing  committees  to  consist  of  three 
members  each : 

1.    On  Finance.     2.    On  Publication.     3.    On  Membership. 

Clause  14.  The  Finance  Committee  shall  have  general  charge  of  the  books, 
accounts,  receipts,  finances  and  expenditures  of  the  Society,  It  shall  examine 
and  report  upon  all  accounts  and  claims  against  the  Hociety,  and  upon  proposi- 
tions for  the  expenditure  of  its  funds,  as  well  hs  measures  to  Increase  the  reve- 
nues of  the  Society,  and  promote  economy  in  its  expenditures. 

CLAUSftlS.  The  Committee  on  Publication  shall  have  the  charge  and  super- 
vision of  all  publications  made  by  direction  of  the  Society,  and  shall  carefully 
examine  all  manuscripts  and  papers  and  other  things  directed  to  be  published, 
in  order  to  discover  all  errors  and  defects,  and  correct  the  same,  also  when  nec- 
essary to  make  abstracts  or  abridgements  of  papers. 

Clause  16.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Committee  on  Membership  to  consider 
and  report  upon  all  questions  relating  to  membership,  which  may  be  referred  for 
that  purpose,  and  as  far  an  practicable,  to  induce  all  proper  persons  to  become 
members  of  the  Society. 

Clause  17.  In  the  course  of  the  future,  should  it  become  advisable,  the  Presi- 
dent may  In  his  discretion,  after  the  annual  election  of  officers,  appoint  the  fol- 
lowing committees,  each  to  consist  of  three  members  of  the  Society  : 

1.  On  the  Increase  of  Books  and  Library. 

2.  On  the  increase  of  Members. 

3.  On  Donations  and  Subscriptions. 

4.  On  Statistics. 

5.  On  Portraits,  Pictures  and  Photographs  of  Pioneer  and  early  settlers. 

6.  On  Local  History. 

7.  On  Indian  Reminiscences,  Pictures,  Memorials  and  History 

Clause  18.  The  duties  of  these  respective  committees  may  be  defined  here- 
after, in  case  the  future  requirements  and  interest  of  the  Society  make  their 
appointment  necessary. 

Clause  19.  If  any  members  of  the  Board  of  Council  fail  at  any  time  to  pay 
their  dues  to  the  Society  or  fail  to  qualify,  and  thus  become  ineligible  to  the 
office  to  which  they  have  been  elected,  a  majority  of  councilmen  elected  and 
qualified,  shall  have  the  power  to  declare  such  offices  vacant  and  shall  proceed 
to  fill  the  same  from  the  resideni.  members  of  the  Society. 

Clause  20.  A  majority  of  the  Board  of  Council  present  at  any  meeting  or  its 
members,  special  or  otherwise,  of  which  due  notice  shall  have  been  given  to  Ita 
respective  members  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society,  who  by  virtue  of  his  office 
l>eoomes  the  Secretary  of  the  Board  of  Council,  shall  constitute  a  qnocum  to 
transact  business. 

Clause  21.  All  reports  of  committees  shall  be  in  writing,  either  in  form  of 
resolutions  or  otherwise,  as  they  may  deem  expedient. 

CLAUf«E  22.  Anv  of  these  By-Laws  may  be  swtpended  in  case  of  temporary  ex- 
igency, by  a  two  thirds  vote  of  all  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting. 
They  may  also  be  amended  and  changed,  and  new  matter  added  by  a  majority 
of  all  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting,  provided  notice  of  the  pro- 
posed amendmenu  be  given  in  the  call  of  the  annual  meeting  at  least  two 
weeks  previous  to  final  action  thereon. 

Clause  23.  It  is  recommended  that  the  members  of  the  Society  in  the  dlflTer- 
ent  towns  and  villages  in  the  county  form  local  clubs,  and  meet  monthly  espec- 
ially during  the  winter,  in  their  respective  localities,  at  private  residences  by 
invitation  of  its  members.  The  reading  of  an  appropriate  paper,  followed  by 
such  remarks  and  discussion  as  the  subject  might  suggest,  would  disaemlnaie 
much  valuable  information,  and  add  increasing  Interest  to  the  occasion,  and 
make  such  meetings  in  their  Informal  and  social  character,  a  valuable  acqolai- 
tion  to  the  Society,  and  create  an  interest  and  marked  influence  In  promoting 
historical  research  among  the  members. 


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SEVENTH   ANNUAL  MEETING 


OF  THE 


LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 

HISTORICAL  SOCIETY 

JfEZD  AT  MT.  M  OUR  IS, 

Tuesday,  January  9th,  1883. 


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.H  .         .        .  V%    . 


SEVENTH   ANNUAL  MEETING 


OF  THE 


LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 


HISTORICAL  SOCIETY, 


Jf££n  AT  MT.  MORRIS, 


Tuesday,  January  9th,  1883. 


DAN8VILLR,  N,   Y. 

A,  O,  Bunnell,  Printer,  Office  of  the  Advertiser. 

1883. 


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LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 

HISTORICAL  SOCIETY, 


The  seventh  annual  meeting  of  the  Livingston  County  Histor- 
ical Society  was  held  at  Mt  Morris,  Tuesday,  Jan,  9th,  1883.  It 
was  in  all  respects  a  successful  and  satisfactory  meeting.  The  citizens 
of  Ml  Morris  took  a  lively  interest  in  the  society  as  was  attested  by 
the  many  accessions  to  the  membership  and  the  large  attendance  at 
the  public  meeting. 

BUSINESS  MEETING. 

The  business  meeting  was  held  at  3  p.  m.  in  the  Scoville  House 
parlor.  The  following  old  members  were  present :  E.  H.  Davis,  B. 
F.  Angel,  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  Dr.  F.  M.  Ferine,  Solomon  Hitchcock, 
N,  Seymour,  Dr.  L.  J.  Ames,  J.  A.  Dana,  Rev.  Dr.  Ward,  A.  H. 
McLean,  A.  O.  Bunnell  The  meeting  was  called  to  order  by  Presi- 
dent E.  H.  Davis,  who  congratulated  the  Society  upon  the  appearance 
of  so  many  of  the  old  guard  and  that  the  interest  in  the  Society 
seemed  to  be  on  the  increase.  Mr.  Seymour,  secretary  and  treasurer, 
made  his  reports  which  were  approved.  There  was  a  balance  of 
$2.62  in  the  treasury.  Dr.  Ames  from  the  committee  on  member- 
C^ip  reported  the  following  applications  and  recommended  that  the 
^5  persons  applying  be  elected  to  membership,  viz  : 

^       For  life  membership — Charles  L.  Bingham,  Iv.  C.  Bingham,  C.  O. 
^  Shepard,  Mt.  Morris ;  M.  Wiard,  Avon ;  William  Hamilton,  Caledonia. 

S 


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4  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIEIT. 

For  annual  membership — H.  W.  Miller,  H.  Burt,  O.  D.  Lake, 
Dr.  Z.  W.  Joslyn,  H.  W.  McNair,  Hugh  Harding,  C.  F.  Braman, 
Amos  O.  Dalrymple,  W.  A.  Sutherland,  Mt  Morris ;  John  H.  Mc- 
Naughton,  Caledonia ;  Jotham  Clark,  Sr.,  Conesus  ;  Jerome  A.  Lake, 
N.  B.  Mann,  Groveland;  George  Mercer,  Geneseo;  S.  Sweet,  F. 
Fielder,  Dansville ;  C.  K.  Sanders,  Nunda ;  J.  C.  Bennett,  C.  D. 
Bennett,  Portage ;  David  McNair,  West  Sparta ;  Alex.  Reid,  A.  D. 
Newton,  York. 

On  motion  of  Mr.  Dana  the  report  of  the  committee  was  ac- 
cepted and  their  recommendation  adopted. 

On  motion  of  Dr.  Mills  it  was  ordered  that  the  names  of 
members  of  the  society  be  published  in  the  next  pamphlet. 

REPORTS  BY  TOWN  COMMITTEES, 
On  the  call  of  the  President  the  following  gentlemen  reported  for 
their  respective  towns : 

Caledonia — A.  H.  McLean. 

Caledonia  presents  no  historical  forrifications  or  ancient  ruins,  no 
blood  stained  battle  fields  ;  her  historic  treasures  are  rather  commem- 
orative of  the  arts  of  peace. 

The  ground  where  once  stood  a  plain  building  built  of  logs,  with- 
out either  steeple  or  dome  to  indicate  its  use,  and  believed  to  be  the 
first  building  erected  in  the  State  west  of  the  Genesee  river,  and 
devoted  exclusively  to  the  worship  of  God,  remams  still  an  object  of 
curiosity  to  the  antiquarian.  Altnough  no  vestige  of  the  buildmg  has 
been  visible  for  many  years,  being  built  of  a  perishable  material,  still 
its  recollection  should  stand  as  a  monument  to  the  piety,  sincerity 
and  christian  devotion  of  the  poor  emigrants  who  caused  it  to  be 
erected ;  and  certainly  the  ground  where  stood  the  first  church  in  the 
State  west  of  the  Genesee  river,  should  continue  to  be  an  object  of 
deserving  curiosity. 

A  plain  brick  building,  situated  on  Main  street,  in  Caledonia 
village,  and  now  used  as  a  machine  shop,  was  the  prison  house  from 
Friday  to  the  following  Sunday  morning  of  one  of  the  most  remark- 
able men  of  his  day  and  generation.  He  was  concealed  in  the  cellar 
of  that  old  brick  building  by  the  late  Willard  H.  Smith,  to  screen  hira 
from  the  clutches  of  the  sheriff  of  Livingston  county  who  wanted  to 
imprison  him  for  debt.  He  was  secretly  furnished  the  necessaries  for 
sustaining  life  by  the  kind  judge,  and  on  Sunday  morning,  when  no 
arrest  could  be  made  on  a  civil  process,  the  judge  opened  the  door 
and  pointing  to  the  woods  told  the  prisoner  to  run.  He  gazed  after 
the  fleeing  culprit  until  he  saw  his  coat  tails  disappear  behind  the  oak 
bushes.  Thirty  years  after  that  date  the  renowned  judge  and  the 
fleeing    culprit    met    in    a    steamboat    on    Lake    Erie — the   one 


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SEVENTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  5 

first  judge  of  L'vingston  county — the  other  the  world  renowned 
portra  t  painter  Chester  Harding.  Small  and  comparatively  in- 
significant circumstances  often  decde  the  fate  of  individuals  as  well 
as  of  nations.  In  1857  Chester  Harding,  in  referring  to  these 
circumstances,  told  the  writer  if  he  had  been  successful  in  his  business 
in  Caledonia  as  a  chair  painter  he  probably  never  would  have  painted 
a  poi  trait  He  had  erected  in  Caledonia  a  small  frame  house,  which 
is  still  in  good  repair,  where  h  s  family  lived,  and  wliere  he  and  his 
wife  passed,  as  he  expressed  it  himself,  their  glorious  hone}Tnoon,  the 
pleasantest  part  of  his  life.  Afte-  he  had  taken  lessons  in  his  profes- 
sion in  Italy ;  after  he  had  pa  nted  in  England,  Ireland  and  Scotland, 
and  had  painted  most  of  the  prominent  men  of  his  day  in  this 
country ;  after  he  hatl  acqu'red  a  world-wide  fame,  he  remembered 
his  honeymoon  in  his  own  house  in  Caledonia  as  the  most  satisfactory 
part  of  his  life.  We  justly  point  to  the  house  which  he  built  and 
where  he  lived  as  one  of  Ca!edonia*s  most  interesting  historical 
reminiscences. 

The  springs  of  Caledonia  are  ju.stly  celebrated  as  being  among 
the  largest  in  the  world.  When  at  their  flood  they  are  supposed  to 
discharge  about  8,000  gallons  per  m'nute,  or  four  hundred  and  eighty 
thousand  ga'lons  in  an  hour.  1  he  water  comes  up  from  the  crevices 
01  the  corniferous  limestone  rock  format'on,  clear,  cold  and  pure,  the 
temperature  never  varying  more  than  a  (ew  degrees  either  summer  or 
win*er.  These  springs  form  the  stream  celebrated  among  fishermen 
as  being  the  most  remarkable  trout  stream  in  this  part  of  the  country, 
and  on  wh'ch  the  State  hatchng  house  is  situate!  Trout  not  only 
require  clear,  cold  water,  but  water  that  furnishes  food  in  great 
abundance  for  their  subsistence.  In  this  respect  may  be  found  the 
great  distinguishing  qualifications  of  this  stream  over  others  for  the 
production  of  trout.  In  this  stream  is  found  a  water  plant  growing 
most  luxuriantly  in  the  small  lake  that  receives  the  water  from  the 
springs,  and  it  also  seems  to  grow  spontaneously  along  the  margin  of 
the  stream.  This  water  plant  is  known  in  botany  as  c^ra  fradilis. 
It  produces  in  great  abundance  small  animals  which  resemble  in 
appearance  a  shrimp,  and  is  called  by  many  a  fresh  water  shrimp,  of 
which  the  trout  are  very  fond,  and  whxh  are  found  in  the  stream  at 
all  seasons  of  the  year  in  great  abundance.  This  plant  grows  when 
covered  with  spring  water  in  winter  as  well  as  in  summer,  and  pro- 
duces fish  food  everv  day  in  the  year.  This  water  plant,  besides 
furnishing  food  for  the  fishes,  I  have  ascertained  forms  a  valuable 
polishing  powder  for  gold  or  silver.  It  is  purely  a  vegetable  and 
contains  nothing  except  what  has  been  drawn  from  the  water  and 
absorbed  by  the  pores  of  the  plant,  consequently  contains  nothing 
that  can  injure  burnished  gold  and  silver.  Its  preparation  consists  in 
merely  drying  it  in  the  sun,  when  it  is  readily  pulverized.  Its  con- 
stituents are  silica,  gypsum  and  calcium. 


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6                               UVINGSTON  COUNTS  HISTORICAL  SOaETY. 
CONESUS A.    D.    COE. 

Mr.  Secretary  and  Treasurer— rDear  S.r :  Enclosed  find  $i 
yearly  dues  for  membersh'p  of  Histor.cfil  Society.  As  I  do  not  ex- 
expect  to  attend  in  person  allowr  me  to  suggest  the  plai  of  the  presi- 
dent's appointing  one  mm  in  eaci  tojirn  to  give  some  of  the  early 
history  of  his  tova  to  be  read  or  delivered  extemporaneously,  or  as 
shall  suit  him  best  There  are  in  nearly  every  town  some  particular 
places  having  peculiar  names.  For  instance,  the  town  of  Conesus 
has  very  many  localities  with  singi^lar  names.  Why  is  this  thus? 
Why  is  the  long  hill  on  the  east  side  of  the  town  called  Marrowback  ? 
Why  is  the  valley  running  from  the  Center  to  Webster's  Crossing 
called  Calabjgue?  Then  there  are  Turkey  Hill,  Foot's  Comers 
(formerly  May's  Corners),  and  Ui>ion  Corners,  Grub  H.ll,  Pan  Hol- 
low and  The  Flats.  A  shc»rt  history  of  Calabogue  is  that  in  an  early 
day  the  land  was  owned  by  no i-^esi dents,  and  a  man  by  the  name  of 
Calvin  Bogue  came  in  there  and  finding  good  shingle  timber  cora- 
meicei  making  shing'es  on  sha^res,  the  ovner  finding  the  timber  and 
he  making  up  and  selling,  taking  all  the  proceeds  for  his  share. 
People  from  Livonia  would  cpme  up  and  inquire  for  Calvin  Bogue, 
and  finally  it  would  be  Cal  Bogue,  until  finally  the  name  Calabogue 
became  engrafted  or  dovetailed  into  that  part  of  the  town,  and  has  so 
remainei  Union  Cor.iers  co.Ties  from  the  fact  that  no  two  families 
living  there  can  agree  upon  any  one  thing,  politics  or  religion. 

There  is  also  quite  a  history  attached  to  the  unpoetic  name, 
Marrowback.  In  Livonia  (my  native  town)  there  are  several  publ  c 
roads  called  streets  with  appropriate  or  inappropriate  names.  For 
instance,  there  is  quite  a  public  road  called  Diligence  street,  from  the 
fact  that  no  one  of  the  farmers  living  on  that  particular  road  was 
ever  known  to  get  his  crops  all  secure  i  before  winter  came  in  earnest. 
Generally  the  corn  and  potatoes  would  be  left  for  mo  lerate  days  in 
winter.  Thei  the.e  i^  Vermont  street  and  Pennemlte  street,  Slab 
City,  etc  A  very  short  history  of  Marrowbac  c  is  that  in  an  early 
day  the  young  me.i  living  on  the  hill  became  pitted  against  those 
living  in  the  low  lands,  and  in  many  feats  of  sport,  wrestling  in  par- 
ticular, the  highlaniers  came  oat  on  top,  and  it  was  finally  adm  tted 
that  they  had  too  mach  marrow  in  th^ir  backs,  aid  they  were  called 
Marrowbackers,  and  the  place  was  dubbed  Marrowback.  and  is  likely 
to  so  remain  for  all  time.  With  miiv  good  wishes  for  the  prosperity 
of  your  society  I  remain  yours  respectfully. 

Livonia — B.  D.  Woodruff. 
Mr.  Normw  S«:vmour — K'nd  Friend:  As  it  is  not  convenient 
for  me  to  attend  your  meeting,  would  report  a  few  historical  events 
from  Livonia.  I  see  sDme  papers  are  getting  things  mixed.  Some 
claim  that  S.  Lindsley  was  the  first  white  child  born  in  Livonia,  but  it 
is  not  so.  Philip  Woodruff  was  the  first  white  child  and  he  was  bom 
in  the  year  1792  upon  the  farm  I  own,  it  being  the  first  farm  settled 


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SEVENTH  ANNUAL  MEETINO.  7 

in  Livonia.  Would  further  report  that  we  have  in  to^n  15  picneers 
still  living  who  are  from  80  years  to  95  yeais  old,  which  ndicates  a 
healthy  town. 

NuNDA — C.  K.  Sanders. 

On  behalf  of  his  town  Mr.  Sar  ders  presented  to  the  Society  tl  e 
following  articles:  A  handbill  announcing  Genesee  Valley  Canal 
celebration  1838;  handbill  for  Genesee  \  alley  Canal  celebrat  on 
Sept.  I  St,  1840,  at  West  Avon  ;  handbill  announdng  funeral  honors 
to  President  Harrison,  in  Dansville,  April  16,  1841  ;  a  copy  of  ihe 
Geneva  Palladium,  April,  1819;  Geneseo  Recoider,  Nov.  12,  18.^4; 
Livingston  Register,  April  and  November,  1825  ;  Moscow  Advertiser, 
April,  1820. 

West  Sparta — David  McNair. 

A  Mr.  Duncan  settled  about  1 793  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  the 
Bradner  family.  Soon  after  the  war  of  181 2-15  the  family  left,  settling 
in  the  state  of  Indiana. 

Jeremiah  Gregory  came  in  near  the  same  time  with  Mr.  Duncan. 
His  property  has  passed  out  of  the  name,  though  a  grand  daughter 
lives  on  a  portion  of  the  farm. 

John  McNair  settled  in  1804  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  H.  T. 
McNair. 

John  McNair,  Jr.,  settled  about  1797  on  the  farm  now  owned  by 
John  W.  McNair.     But  one  of  his  descendants  remains  in  the  v.cinity. 

Samuel  McNair  in  1802  purchased  the  farm  now  owned  by  the 
heirs  of  C.  W.  McNair.  He  lived  on  the  place  to  the  time  of  his 
death  in  1858. 

Benjamin  Wilcox  in  1793  or  4  settled  on  the  farm  now  owned  by 
David  McNair.  He  was  a  prominent  and  influential  citizen.  Soon 
after  the  war  of  181 2  he  with  others  went  to  view  the  Wabash 
country.  On  the  way  he  sickened  and  died  and  was  buried  at  Mari- 
etta on  the  Ohio  river. 

Wm.  Stevens  in  about  1793  or  4  settled  on  the  farm  now  owncvi 
by  L  B.  Field.  He  early  planted  an  orchard  and  raised  the  first 
apples  and  made  the  first  dder  in  town.  No  descendants  remain  in 
the  countiy. 

A  Mr.  Wilsey  at  an  early  day  settled  on  the  farm  of  the  la  e 
George  Hartman.  In  his  earlier  life  he  had  some  experience  in  toma- 
hawk practice,  carrying  a  scar  to  his  grave. 

James  Brewer,  now  hving  in  Dansville,  was  bom  in  the  town  in 
1804,  and  is  believed  to  be  the  oldest  person  bom  in  town. 

John  W.  McNair,  bom  in  1806  near  where  he  now  lives,  is  be- 
lieved to  be  the  oldest  native  residing  in  town. 

Samuel  Stoner  settled  at  Byersville  about  1820,  and  built  the  first 
grist  mill  in  town. 

The  reports  were  ordered  published  with  the  annual  proceedings, 
and  the  thanks  of  the  society  were  voted  the  gentlemen  reporting. 


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8  LIVINGSTON  COUNIT  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

THE  ELECTION  OF  OFFICERS 

Being  next  in  order,  a  ballot  was  had  for  each  officer,  and  the  for.ow- 

ing  were  elected  : 

President — A.  O.  Bunnell,  of  Dansville. 
Vice  President — A.  H.  McLean,  of  Caledonia. 
Secretary  and  Treasurer — N.  Seymour,  of  Mt.  Morris. 

Messrs.  Mills,  Perine  and  McLean,  appointed  a  committee  to 

present  names  for  the  board  of  council,  reported  as  follows : 

For  Councilmen — B.  F.  Angel,  chairman,  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  Dr.  F. 
M.  Perine,  David  McNair,  L.  J.  Ames,  J.  A.  Dana,  C.  D.  Bennett,  E. 
H.  Davis,  C  K.  Sanders. 

The  following  standing  committees  were  chosen : 

Publication  —  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  Norman  Seymour,  Dr.  F.  M. 
Perine. 

Finance — E.  H.  Davis,  David  McNair,  C.  K.  Sanders. 
Membership— B.  F.  Angel,  Dr.  L.  J.  Ames,  Charles  D.  Bennett 
Necrology — William  A.  Brodie,  Norman  Seymour,  E.  H.  Davis. 

On  motion  the  following  gentlemen  were  appointed  committeemen 

for  their  respective  towns,  viz : 

Town  Committees. 

Avon — ^J.  A.  Dana.  N.  Dansville — Dr.  F.  M.  Perine 

Caledonia — Alex.  H.  McLean.  Nunda — C.  K.  Sanders. 

Conesus — A.  D.  Coe.  Ossian — Isaac  Hampton. 

Geneseo— Dr.  F.  DeW.  Ward.  Portage— C.  D.  Be.inett. 

Groveland — R.  Johnson.  Sparta — E.  L.  McFetridge. 

Leicester — E.  W.  Sears.  Springwater — E.  N.  Curtice. 

Lima — G.  W.  Atwell,  Jr.  West  Sparta — David  McNair. 

Livonia — Ira  Patchin.  York — A'exander  Reid. 
Mt.  Morris — L.  J.  Ames. 

Their  duty  was  defined  as  follows  :  To  solicit  memberships  to 
the  society,  attend  to  its  interests  in  their  respective  towns,  and  to 
make  a  local  historical  report  at  the  next  annual  meeting. 

Mr.  Angel  gave  notice  of  a  proposed  amendment  to  the  constitu- 
tion to  change  the  day  of  meeting,  and  an  amendment  to  the  by-laws 
providing  for  a  standing  committee  on  necrology  and  a  standing  com- 
mittee composed  of  one  member  in  each  town. 


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SEVENTH  ANNUAL  MEETING. 


THE  PUBLIC  MEETING 

Was  held  at  Livingston  hall  in  the  evening.  A  large  and  intelligent 
audience  was  assembled.  The  exercises  were  opened  with  prayer  by 
Rev.  Dr.  Ward  of  Geneseo.  A  stirring  pathetic  song  was  sung  by 
the  following  quartet :  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Charles  Gladding,  Mrs.  Chap- 
pell  and  Milton  J.  Woods.  President  Davis  then  delivered  the  fol- 
lowing eloquent  and  thoughtful  address  : 

THE  PRESIDENTS  ADDRESS. 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen :  —  In  behalf  of  the  Livingston  County 
Historical  society  I  extend  to  you  a  cordial  welcome  to  its  seventh 
annual  meeting.  Since  its  last  convocation  another  cycle  of  the 
seasons  has  been  added  to  the  century  and  another  year  has  staked 
its  claim  within  the  domain  of  the  future.  As  a  society,  as  a  commu- 
nity, as  a  nation,  we  are  under  additional  obligations  to  Ahnighty  God 
for  another  bountiful  harvest,  another  year  of  businsss  prosperity,  un- 
visited  by  wasting  pestilence  or  the  moie  frightful  disasters  by  sea 
and  land  involving  unusual  destruction  ot  human  life.  While  this 
continued  prosi>enty  has  in  too  many  instances,  stimulated  specula- 
tion beyond  legitimate  limits,  it  has  secured  to  the  laborer  gratifying 
rewards,  and  enabled  our  people  to  make  substantial  advances  in  all 
departments  of  industry  as  well  as  in  the  arts  and  sciences. 

Eleven  thousand  miles  of  new  railroads  have  multiplied  the  avenues 
of  trade  and  opened  uncultivated  wastes  to  the  plowman,  the  school- 
teacher and  to  civilization,  and  they  are  thus  binding  and  riveting 
more  firmly  the  sections  of  this,  the  youngest  of  the  contmcnts,  but 
which  is  destined  to  be  the  abode  of  a  grander  nationality,  a  higher 
civilization  than  the  world  has  yet  known. 

Within  the  year  the  telephone  has  come  into  general  use,  rivaling 
in  wonder  and  prospective  importance  the  telegraph,  while  electricity, 
as  a  means  of  artificial  light,  has  made  rapid  advances. 

The  year  has  witnessed  the  second  centennial  of  the  settlement  of 
our  sister  state,  Pennsylvania,  and  the  organization  of  its  state  gov- 
ernment by  William  Penn,  which  event  was  celebrated  in  Philadelphia 
with  great  pomp  and  lavish  expenditure  of  money. 

In  a  wider  field  we  may  briefly  gl^ce  at  a  few  of  the  more 
marked  events  that  have  transpired  during  the  year,  and  which  are 
calculated  to  have  an  important  bearing  upon  the  future  of  mankind. 

The  war  in  Egypt,  though  confined  to  a  single  campaign  and  that 
of  only  a  few  weeks  duration,  cannot  fail  to  exert  a  commanding  in- 
fluence upon  the  civilization  of  the  east.  The  Turk  and  the  Arab 
both  acknowledge  an  English  master  in  Egypt.  Gen.  Wolesle/s 
cannon  have  made  a  breach  m  the  Pagan   wall   that  will   never   be 


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lO  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

closed,  and  through  it  the  Anglo-Saxon  goes,  with  his  baggage,  to  take 
up  his  permanent  residence  on  the  banks  of  the  Nile  ;  and  whatever 
may  be  thought  of  English  royalty  or  English  methods,  it  must  be 
acknowledged  that  they  are  preferable  to  Turkish  Mohametanism  or 
to  Egyptian  darkness. 

A  war  between  Chili  and  Peru,  two  sister  republics  of  South 
America,  seems  likely  to  result  in  the  almost  entire  absorption  of  the 
latter  by  the  former ;  and  however  regretful  the  event,  it  was  inv.ted 
by  the  inefficient  and  unstable  character  of  the  Peruvian  government 
Tom  by  feuds  and  ruled  by  adventurers  whom  the  fortunes  of  civil 
war  elevated  or  deposed,  she  fell  an  easy  victim  to  the  more  robust, 
better  government  and  better  equipped  Chilian ;  a  lesson  that  can  be 
studied  with  profit  by  all  republics. 

President  Angel,  in  his  very  able  address  before  this  society  a 
year  ago,  alluded  to  the  undoubted  discovery  of  this  country,  late  in 
the  tenth  or  early  in  the  eleventh  century,  by  the  Scandinavians  from 
Iceland.  Now  comes  the  mournful  intelligence  that  the  Ice  King  is 
slowly  but  surely  driving  this  hardy  race  from  their  ancient  inherit- 
ance. We  read  that  fhe  few  weeks  of  summer  heretofore  vouchsafed 
to  the  island  are  gradually  shortening  and  giving  place  to  perpetual 
winter,  and  there  is  danger  that  its  history  will,  ere  long,  degenerate 
into  legend  and  legend  into  forgetfulness.  If  this  is  Fate's  decree,  it 
is  not  impossible  that  some  adventurous,  second  growth  American, 
seeking  for  a  northwest  passage,  may  return  the  compliment  and  pay 
off  this  ancient  Scandinavian  debt  by  discovering  Iceland  in  the  early 
centuries  of  a  future  era. 

That  indefatigable  African  explorer,  Stanley,  has  just  perfected  by 
direction  of  the  Geographical  society  of  Great  Britain,  several  hundred 
miles  of  post  road  extending  from  the  sea-coast  of  Lower  Guinea  far 
into  the  interior  of  Ethiopia,  and  over  which  it  is  expected  that  a 
permanent  traffic  with  the  natives  will  be  carried  on  sufficient  to 
maintain  it.  This  is  certainly  a  sensible  way  of  exploring.  It  not 
only  enables  Mr.  Stanley  to  hold  what  he  discovers  but  it  will  facili- 
tate his  retreat  in  case  some  cannibal  epicure  should  determine  to 
appropriate  his  fleshly  tabernacle  for  a  holiday  dinner. 

By  the  loss  of  the  Jeannette,  and  the  death  by  starvation  of  the 
greater  portion  of  her  officers  and  crew,  we  have  to  note  the  failure  of 
another  expedition  in  search  of  the  north  pole,  the  account  of  which 
adds  by  far  the  saddest  chapter  to  the  many  that  comprise  the  dismal 
history  of  Arctic  explorations.  Considered  abstractly,  the  attempt  to 
pierce  the  center  of  this  polar  mystery  is  the  most  fool-hardy  and,  if 
successful,  would  be  the  most  barren  in  useful  results  of  any  scheme 
that  the  intellect  or  energy  of  man  has  ever  been  engaged  in.  If  it 
were  known  that  a  fireproof  volume  of  agricultural  reports  was  buried 
beneath  the  crater  of  Vesuvius,  it  would  be  as  rational  to  dive  for  it 
as  to  sail  in  search  of  the  north  pole ;  and  if  both  were  found,  in 
point  of  value,  there  would  be  little  to  choose  between  the  book  and 


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SEVENTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  II 

the  pole.  In  a  national  sense  it  might  almost  be  termed  inhimian  to 
commission  men  for  this  service.  Seeking  for  a  northwest  passage 
by  means  of  which  commerce  would  be  advanced  and  intercourse 
between  nations  promoted,  was  rational,  but  has  long  since  been 
abandoned  as  impracticable  ;  to  direct  an  army  upon  a  forlorn  and 
desperate  mission  may  be  justified  by  circumstances ;  but  to  send  any 
more  ships'  crews  upon  a  mission  involving  the  certainty  of  so  much 
and  so  great  suffering,  and  which,  if  successful,  would  not  be  of  the 
slightest  use  or  benefit  to  mankind,  is  cruelty  that  belongs  more 
pro|)erly  to  a  despotic,  if  not  to  a  barbarous  age.  Hunting  for  the 
north  pole  should  be  left  to  that  kind  of  private  folly  that  impels  men 
to  suicide,  for  as  yet  that  undiscovered  polar  sea  has  proved  itself  no 
mean  rival  of  that  other  "  undiscovered  country  from  whose  bourne 
no  traveler  returns." 

The  past  year  has  witnessed  the  death  of  many  eminent  men 
whose  lives  were  made  conspicuous  by  grand  and  noble  achievements, 
and  among  them  1  deem  it  not  out  of  place  to  mention  the  names  of 
Longfellow  and  Emerson.  Both  pre-eminently  American,  they  have 
left  tlie  impress,  not  alone  of  their  individuality  but  of  their  nation- 
ality, upon  the  age  in  which  they  lived  They  strengthened  and 
beautified  our  republic,  and  broadened  and  deepened  the  foundations 
of  rational  liberty  and  human  brotherhood  throughout  the  world. 

As  a  Society  we  are  called  upon  to  mourn  the  death  of  one  of 
our  oldest  and  most  honored  members,  a  fitting  memorial  of  whom 
win  be  presented  here  to-night. 

The  Livingston  County  Historical  Society,  is  doing  a  commend- 
able work  in  collecting  and  recording  local  events  and  in  trying  to 
place  a  just  estimate  upon  the  character  and  lives  of  those  who  have 
helped  to  make  Livingston  county  one  of  the  foremost  in  the  State, 
and  which  is  destined  to  bear  a  conspicuous  part  in  the  grand  destiny 
that  the  future  has  in  keeping  for  the  American  people.  What  the 
Society  needs  above  everythmg  else  is  a  safe  and  convenient  place  in 
which  to  keep  these  historic  records.  And  besides  these,  there  are 
many  things  which,  if  carefully  preserved,  will  record  periods  and 
events  more  forcibly  and  more  ineffaceably  than  anything  that  will 
ever  be  written  about  them.  The  need  of  such  a  depository  is 
seriously  felt  by  the  Society  and  to  provide  for  it  should  be  the  earnest 
effort  of  its  collective  and  individual  membership.  We  realize  that 
there  is  no  brutish  vandalism  that  can  swoop  down  upon  our  civiliza- 
tion from  unknown  regions  of  the  earth  as  in  the  early  centuries, 
when  nothing  valuable  or  beautiful  escaped  its  ruthless  tread,  and  we 
are  prone  to  believe  that  all  the  powers  of  earth's  barbarian  darkness 
cannot  prevail  against  our  nationality,  hence  we  confidently  expect 
that  our  parchment  records  will  be  imperishable.  And  yet,  who  can 
tell  what  weakness  may  overtake  our  national  life  or  what  ultimate 
destiny  is  awaiting  this  people  beyond  the  preseffit  era  ?  Accumulated 
evidence  points  to  the  prior  occupancy  of  this  hemisphere  by  a  race 


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12  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

of  beings  far  in  advance  of  the  rude  savagery  found  here  by  Columbus, 
but  it  is  the  evidence  of  hewn  rocks,  cemented  walls  ani  bro'ten 
pottery ;  nothing  written  tells  of  its  origin,  its  duration  or  the  cause 
and  manner  of  its  decay.  Perchance  this  civilization  is  doomel  to 
similar  retrogression  and  decay.  There  are  elements  that  even  form 
a  part  of  it  which,  if  suffered  to  preva  1,  will  lead  it  back  na'<ed  into 
the  wilderness.  Permitted  to  rule  they  will  overthrow  religion,  debase 
morality,  efface  refinemeat,  dethrone  learning  and  destroy  all  ther 
beautiful  temples.  Influenced  by  them  mankind  will  degenerate  a  id 
lose  all  knowledge  of  the  arts  and  sciences,  the  mound  and  the  forest 
will  cover  another  strata  of  ruined  cities,  and  a  lost  and  forgotten 
continent  will  await  discovery  by  another  Columbus.  In  that  day 
when  all  written  evidence  will  lie  in  mould  and  ashes  and  this  era  will 
be  studied  through  the  medium  of  broken  china  and  buried  arches, 
what  an  advertisement  it  would  be  for  old  Livingston,  and  what  an 
immortality  for  this  Society,  if  the  well  digojer  or  the  relic  hunter, 
delving  through  the  crust  that  covers  the  debris  of  this  civilization, 
should  unearth  a  blue  edged  platter  bearing  on  one  side  the  legend 
"Livingston  County  Historical  Society  anno  mundi  5883,"  and  on  the 
reverse  side  the  names  of  its  officers. 

Possibly  this  picture  is  overdrawn  and  you  may  think  I  am  hunt- 
ing for  the  north  pole  of  history,  but  the  fact  that  one  of  those 
detestable,  old-world  fungi  of  civilization,  Herr  Most,  can  secure  an 
applauding  audience  in  the  most  enlightened  section  of  the  Western 
hemisphere,  is  evidence  that  prophetic  history  lies  in  the  direction  I 
have  indicated,  and  that  scoria  from  the  boiling  volcano  of  soc  alism 
is  falling  thick  and  fast  upon  us.  Besides,  if  we  acknowledge  the 
civilization  buried  under  our  feet,  we  tacitly  admit  the  mound  and  the 
forest  over  our  heads.  We  know  that  the  barbarism  of  primeval 
ages,  out  of  which  has  struggled  the  magnificent  civilization  of  the 
present  era,  still  dwells  as  an  instinct  in  human  nature  and  is  con- 
stantly striving  to  drag  it  down.  Let  it  be  the  mission  of  the  Living- 
ston County  Historical  Society  to  aid  in  the  advancement  and 
perpetuity  of  this  grand  civilization  by  bearing  testimony  to  the 
principles  of  Christianity,  justice,  temperance  and  charity,  which  are 
the  indestructible  and  immortal  elements  and  principles  that  can 
alone  sustain  and  perpetuate  it.  But  by  all  means  let  us  have  the 
depository ;  some  safe  place  in  which  to  keep  our  records  and  such 
relics  as  may  be  deemed  worthy  of  preservation.  Let  us  prepare  a 
collection  that  will  be,  not  only  a  comfort  and  satisfaction  to  the 
Livingstonians  of  the  Fortieth  century,  but  if  the  worst  shall  come, 
if  this  civilization  be  at  last  resolved  into  aboriginal  elements  and 
the  mound  and  the  forest  cover  it,  let  ours  be  a  deposit  in  the 
sub-soil  of  history  and  a  contribution  to  the  wonders  of  that  succeed- 
ing age  that  will  at  least  vie  in  historic  interest  with  the  contents  of 
the  comer  stone  or  th#  buried  fragments  of  the  china  closet 

Secretary  Seymour  being  called  upon,  spoke  as  follows : 


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SEVENTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 3 

MR,  SEYMOUR'S  ADDRESS, 

Mr.  President  and  Ladies  and  Gentlemen : — ^The  flight  of  time 
brinp^  us  to  this  the  seventh  annual  meeting  of  our  Society.  Mr. 
President  and  members,  I  congratulate  you  on  the  fact  that  our 
organization  was  never  as  prosperous  in  numbers  as  to-day.  Within 
the  last  few  years  we  have  gathered  many  important  facts  and  pioneer 
statements  of  the  noble  men  and  women  who  lived  and  toiled  upon 
these  broad  acres,  whose  indomitable  industry,  unflincliing  integrity 
and  fa  thfulness  to  the  God  of  their  fathers,  laid  the  foundations  of 
our  c  vilization  deep  and  lasting.  We  are  therefore  to-day  the  peer 
of  any  county  in  the  State  for  virtue,  intelligence  and  patriotism. 
The  history  of  this  county  has  never  been  fully  written.  It  has  a 
h  storic  record  unequalled  in  the  Genesee  country.  Here  Mary 
Jemison  the  white  woman,  a  century  ago  was  the  link  between 
civilization  and  the  Iroquois,  the  Six  Nations,  and  especially  the 
Senecas,  who  guarded  the  "Western  door  of  the  Long  House."  She 
lived  at  Little  Beardstown,  Ghenishee,  then  lying  between  the  hamlets 
of  old  Leicester  and  Big  Tree.  In  1797  the  famous  treaty  of  Big 
Tree  took  p'ace,  one  of  the  most  important  ever  made  with  any  of 
the  Indian  tribes,  the  full  account  of  which  has  never  been  published. 
Here  culminated  the  campaign  of  Gen.  Sullivan  against  the  Senecas 
who  were  sent  scattered  and  dismayed  to  the  British  frontier.  In 
later  years  one  of  our  presidents  in  early  youth  dwelt  for  a  few  years 
in  West  Sparta.  Conesus  was  the  birthplace  of  one  of  our  governors. 
In  Portage  another  chief  executive  of  our  state  received  his  common 
school  education.  Mt.  Morris  has  given  Michigan  a  governor. 
York  and  Ca'edonia  have  furnished  Wisconsin  and  New  Jersey 
each  a  United  States  senator.  The  one  from  New  Jersey 
honors  us  with  his  presence  this  evening.  York,  Geneseo, 
Groveland,  I^icester,  Mt.  Morris,  have  each  supplied  able  represent- 
atives in  congress,  Geneseo,  Groveland  and  Dansville,  worthy  state 
senators.  All  of  these  representative  men  performed  their  duties 
most  acceptably  to  the  public  and  with  honor  to  our  country.  During 
the  fratricidal  war  Livingston  county  gave  to  the  country  one  of  the 
bravest  generals  that  ever  faced^shot  and  shell.  In  the  memorable 
Battle  of  the  Wilderness,  Gen.  James  Wads  worth  fell,  his  face  to  the 
foe,  his  death  widely  and  deeply  lamented.  Our  county  is  indeed 
eminently  historic  When  the  historian  of  the  nineteenth  century 
shall  write  up  its  records,  there  will  be  found  to  have  lived  here  many 
noble  men  who  have  adorned  and  bettered  the  world. 

England  is  proud  of  her  Westminster  Abbey,  and  the  crypt  under 
the  massive  St  Paul's  Cathedral,  London,  where  on  chiseled  marble 
the  memories  of  her  royal  line  and  great  men  are  for  all  time  to  be 
perpetuated  While  all  over  the  land  in  America,  simple  and  great 
y^  her  republican  institutions,  are  seen  the  marble  and  granite  shafts 
that  mark  the  resting  places  of  her  distinguished  sons,  who  sleep  their 


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14  LIVINGSTON  COUNIT  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

last  sleep  where  the  free  winds  blow — their  brilliant  statesmanship 
and  patriotic  devotion  to  their  country  indelibly  written  on  the 
nation's  heart. 

Mr.  President,  the  kind  Father  has  dealt  gently  with  us  the  past 
year.  Only  one  of  our  number  has  left  us — Dr.  Daniel  H.  Bissell  of 
Geneseo,  who  died  suddenly  Nov.  3.  1882,  aged  87  years.  Mr. 
Brodie,  one  of  the  committee  on  necrology,  will  now  read  a  tribute 
to  his  memory. 

William  A.  Brodie,  then  presented  the  following  eloquent  tribute  to 
the  memory  of  a  departed  member : 

MEMORIAL   OF  DR,  DANIEL  H,  BISSELL, 

An  acquaintance  of  nearly  twenty  years,  and  official  and  other 
associations  with  Dr.  Daniel  H.  Bissell,  the  subject  of  this  ske  ch, 
had  revealed  to  me  much  of  the  true  nobility  of  the  man,  and  1  was 
not  loth  to  accede  to  the  request  of  the  committee  of  necrology  to 
prepare  a  memorial  to  be  read  at  this  meeting.  Yet  I  could  but  feel 
that  to  perform  such  service  for  one  whose  l.fe  commenced  in  the  last 
century,  and  whose  recollection  extended  from  the  time  of  the  first 
to  the  present  president  of  our  nation,  a  more  suitable  selection 
would  have  been  an  associate  of  earlier  years.  About  ten  years  ago, 
at  my  request,  Dr.  Bissell  furnished  me  with  the  following  sketch  of 
his  life,  penned  by  himself,  the  original  of  which  I  present  to  the 
Livingston  County  Historical  Society  with  this  memorial,  for  preser- 
vation. 

"Daniel  H.  Bissell  was  bom  Sept.  21,  1794,  at  Randolph,  Ver- 
mont ;  was  the  oldest  of  six  brothers  all  of  whom  were  named  Daniel 
In  1809  his  father  with  his  wife  and  eight  children  emigrated  to  what 
is  now  Livonia.  He  soon,  however,  removed  to  Richmond,  Ontario 
county,  where  he  d.ed  in  1824.  He  was  a  soldier  during  the  war  of 
the  revolution  (Conn,  troops)  as  well  as  of  the  Indian  war  soon 
afterwards. 

"Daniel  H.  enlisted  in  the  war  of  1812  in  CapL  Claudius  V. 
Boughton's  company  volunteer  dragoons,  and  Gen.  Peter  B.  Porter's 
brigade  ;  was  in  Canada  under  Generals  Brown,  Porter,  Gains  and 
Scott,  during  the  campaign  of  181 4,  and  was  in  all  the  battles  of  that 
year  in  Canada.  The  company  entered  Canada  early  in  July,  160 
strong,  and  left  in  November  with  less  than  60  men.  After  the  close 
of  the  war  he  attended  the  academy  at  West  Bloomfield,  Ontario 
county.  In  the  spring  of  181 7  he  descended  the  Allegany  and  Ohio 
rivers  to  Cincinnati  in  a  skiif,  explored  the  then  wilderness  of  Indiana 
and  Ohio,  returned  in  August,  and  commenced  the  study  of  medicine 
and  surgery  with  the  late  Dr.  Justin  Smith  of  Lima,  N.  Y.,  attending 
the  med.cal  lectures  at  Yale  College  in  1819  and  1820.  A  diploma 
was  given  him  by  the  Connecticut  State  Medical  Society,  and  in  1859 


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SEVENTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 5 

the  Regents  of  the  University  of  the  State  of  New  York  conferred 
upon  him  the  honorary  degree  of  Doctor  of  Medicine.  In  1820  he 
removed  to  Moscow,  then  Genesee  county,  and  commenced  the 
practice  of  h's  profession.  In  1837  he  removed  to  Geneseo.  In 
1857,  Gov.  John  A.  King  appointed  him  physician-in-chief  of  the 
Marine  hospital  at  Staten  Island,  N.  Y.  He  was  for  a  number  of 
years  deputy  health  officer  of  the  port  of  New  York.  He  held 
many  offices  during  the  past  fifteen  years,  viz :  Justice  of  the  peace 
20  years,  under  sheriff,  sheriff,  judge  of  county  courts,  postmaster, 
elector  of  president  and  vice  president,  commissioner  for  loaning  U. 
S.  deposit  fund,  and  for  many  years  was  supervisor  of  Leicester  and 
Geneseo.  He  was  married  at  Lima,  June  5,  1823,  to  Lucy  Grosve- 
nor,  formerly  of  Mansfield,  Conn.,  who  died  Sept.  i,  1868,  aged  70 
years.  For  many  years  he  was  engaged  in  brewing,  distilling,  milling, 
farming  and  mercantile  pursuits.  He  never  had  a  litigated  law  suit 
of  his  own,  and  seldom  prosecuted  any  one  for  debt. 

"  Dr.  Bissell  was  a  Je.fersonian  democrat,  opposed  to  the  exten- 
sion of  slavery  into  the  territories.  He  continued  to  act  with  the 
democrat. c  party  so  long  as  it  adhered  to  the  Missouri  compromise, 
but  when  the  party  proclaimed  that  the  constitution  carried  slavery 
into  the  territor.es  or  free  states,  he  left  it  at  once  and  was  one  of  the 
earliest  to  organize  the  republican  party.  At  the  first  convention  of 
that  party  in  this  state  he  was  its  candidate  for  canal  commissioner." 

I  well  remember  hearing  the  remark  made  to  an  individual,  "when 
you  die  all  that  will  be  necessary  as  an  obituary  will  be  to  publish  a 
list  of  the  offices  you  have  held,"  and  in  the  Qise  of  our  lamented 
friend,  the  list  given  in  the  foregoing  sketch  surely  indicates  remarka- 
ble activity,  popularity  and  success.  His  friend  and  associate  for 
half  a  century,  and  with  whom  he  formed  a  partnership  in  the  fall  of 
1837,  Dr.  W.  E.  Lauderdale,  says  of  him  : 

"While  engaged  in  the  practice  of  medicine  and  surgery  in  Moscow, 
he  gained  an  enviable  reputation,  and  then,  and  for  many  years  after 
removing  to  Geneseo,  stood  at  the  head  of  his  profession.  He  united 
with  the  Livingston  County  Medical  Society  in  January,  1822,  at  its 
first  semi-annual  meeting,  and  continued  an  active  and  valuable 
member  until  his  death.  He  enjoyed  the  reputation  of  an  active, 
energetic  member  of  the  society,  earnest  in  debate,  and  punctual  in 
attendance  upon  its  meetings.  He'  was  present  at  the  last  annual 
meeting  in  June,  and  those  present  will  recollect  with  what  earnest- 
ness he  participated  in  debate,  and  will  long  remember  his  prophetic 
utterance  that  his  sands  of  life  were  nearly  run,  and  that  he  might 
not  again  have  the  pleasure  of  addressing  the  society  ;  that  after  long 
experience  and  close  observation  he  had  come  to  the  deliberate  con- 
clusion, that  the  views  he  then  advocated  were  sound  and  in  accord- 
ance with  the  spirit  of  the  age.  The  society  will  long  cherish  the 
memory  of  our  associate  so  highly  honored  and  esteemed." 

Dr.  Bissell  united  with  the  Masonic  fraternity  in  181 7,  and  retained 


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1 6  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

his  connection  therewith  until  his  death,  being  an  honorary  member 
of  Geneseo  lodge  No.  214,  of^  which  he  was  one  of  the  cha*ter 
members.  He  ever  practiced  the  tenets  of  Brotherly  love,  Rel.ef  and 
I'ruth,  and  until  he  retired  from  active  pursuits  was  earnest  in  ad- 
vancing the  interests  of  the  order.  Among  his  early  acquaintances 
and  compeers  in  the  Genesee  valley  were  Mary  Jemison,  Red  Jacket, 
Com  Planter,  Tall  Chief  of  the  Seneca  Nation,  Capt.  Horatio  Jones, 
Major  VanCampen,  Wm.  A.  Mills,  Jesse  Stanley,  Judge  Jones,  Rev. 
E.  Mason,  the  elder  Wadsworths,  Geo.  W.  Patterson,  Micah  Brojks, 
Daniel  H.  Fitzhugh,  Frederick  \V.  Butler  and  Dr.  James  Faulkner, 
(only  the  last  two  remain,)  with  several  of  whom  he  was  actively 
associated  in  advancing  the  educational  and  other  important  interests 
of  the  county.  In  later  years  he  was  active  in  securing  the  location 
of  the  Normal  school  at  Geneseo.  He  passed  away  |>eacefully  while 
sitting  in  his  chair  on  the  morning  of  Nov.  3d,  last. 

1  hus  I  have  sketched  the  life  of  one  of  the  early  presidents  of 
this  society  and  who  at  his  death  was  chairman  of  the  Board  of 
Councilmen,  but  I  cannot  close  without  reference  to  some  of  the 
characteristics  of  our  deceased  friend  He  was  possessed  of  remark- 
able physical  vigor,  and  though  not  of  a  physique  that  would  attract 
attention,  yet  when  he  folded  his  arms,  a  favorite  attitude,  there 
was  something  Napoleonic  in  his  appearance.  His  recuperative 
powers  were  shown  by  his  rapid  recovery  from  a  broken  leg  occasioned 
four  years  ago  this  wmter  by  a  fall  on  the  street  in  Wash  ngton  where 
he  was  wont  to  go  for  a  tew  weeks  during  the  winter.  Dr.  Bliss  of 
that  city  was  called,  and  on  being  asked  by  Dr.  Bissell  how  long  it 
would  be  before  he  could  use  the  inji^red  hmb,  replied  that  it  would 
depend  ujxjn  his  age.  Dr.  Bissell  said  call  me  sixty-five,  Dr.  Bliss 
then  said  he  would  probably  in  time  recover  its  use.  Dr.  Bissell  then 
told  him  his  age,  when  Dr.  Bliss  said  he  did  not  think  it  probable  that 
he  would  recover.  In  four  weeks  after  the  accident,  Gov.  Patterson 
called  upon  him,  Dr.  Bissell  arose  and  walked  across  the  room  with- 
out aid,  and  in  three  months  had  entirely  recovered.  For  the  two 
years  previous  to  his  death  his  step  was  as  elastic  and  his  carriage  as 
upright  as  in  his  prime.  Dr.  Bissell  was  a  man  of  very  decided  con- 
victions, earnest  and  fearless  in  advocacy  of  the  principles  of  the 
political  party  and  the  school  of  medicine  with  which  he  was  in 
sympathy,  and  ever  ready  to  take  issue  with  opponents.  He  was 
ready  in  speech,  often  carrying  his  point  in  controversy  by  his  ardor 
and  zeal  amounting  to  vehemence,  where  the  argument  on  his  part 
was  not  the  strongest ;  he  possessed  genuine  wit,  and  was  quick  at 
repartee,  frequently  overcoming  his  opponent  by  their  use.  An  illus- 
tration in  point — in  the  days  of  his  affiliation  with  the  democratic 
party,  when  "hunkers"  and  "barn  burners"  designated  different  wings 
of  that  party,  he  was  an  excise  commissioner,  and  there  appeared 
before  him  a  well  known  clergyman  with  a  numerously  signed  petition 
remonstrating  against  the  granting  of  any  Ucenses  in   the   town  of 


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SEVENTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 7 

Geneseo,  which  was  supplemented  by  an  earnest  argument  on  the 
I>art  of  the  clergyman,  who,  in  the  course  of  his  plea,  cited  the  case 
of  a  man,  who,  while  intoxicated  had  set  fire  to  a  barn,  not  only 
destroying  property  but  endangering  life.  Dr.  Bissell  interrupting  the 
speaker  said,  "But  I  am  not  a  bam  burner.^'  The  effect  of  the  re- 
mark upon  the  speaker  whose  sympathies  were  somewhat  with  the 
side  of  the  house  named,  and  upon  the  attendant  listeners,  can  be 
imagined 

My  friend,  Rev.  Dr.  Ward,  whose  acquaintance  with  Dr.  Bissell 
covered  a  period  of  thirty-five  years,  who  frequently  met  him  in  his 
hospitable  home  when  his  wife  was  living,  in  the  room  of  the  sick, 
the  dying,  and  the  dead  ;  in  social  circles  and  at  public  gatherings  ; 
in  the  sanctuary  with  him  as  an  attentive  listener  and  devout  partici- 
pant in  acts  of  devotion,  and  in  the  streets  where  cordial  meetings 
were  ever  exchanged,  on  being  asked  what  characteristic  qualities 
in  Dr.  Bissell  were  by  such  familiar  intercourse  impressed  upon  him, 
replied,  they  were  "intelligence,  courtesy  of  manner,  enthusiasm, 
popularity  and  usefulness." 

In  closing  this  memorial  paper,  let  me  allude  briefly  to  these 
characteristics  of  our  deceased  friend.  His  "intelligence"  was  born 
of  close  study  of  books,  personal  thoughtfulness,  and  mingling  with 
men  of  high  rank  in  the  realms  of  study  and  investigation.  For 
many  years  it  was  his  custom  to  pass  the  winter  at  Washington  and 
Albany,  and  he  thus  made  himself  thoroughly  conversant  with  events 
occurring  in  the  state  and  nation.  The  stirring  events  connected  with 
the  wars  of  1812,  Mexico  and  the  rebellion,  were  familiar  to  liis  oc- 
serving  mind  and  retentive  memory. 

In  his  "courtesy  of  manner"  he  was  a  model  beautiful  to  witness 
and  safe  for  his  juniors  to  follow.  He  was  no  respecter  of  persons 
because  of  the  social  circles  in  which  they  moved  or  the  size  of  their 
pocket  books,  but  for  all  he  had  the  cheerful  courteous  greeting. 

Wliat  Dr.  Bissell  took  an  interest  in,  or  undertook  to  do,  was 
with  all  his  warmth  of  spirit,  force  of  words  and  earnestness  of  man- 
ner. Thirty  years  ago  he  was  an  active  politician,  and  I  have 
frequently  heard  of  the  ring  of  his  brief  but  telling  speeches  at  the 
close  of  election  day.  The  same  enthusiasm  accompanied  him  to 
the  end  His  ''popularity'*  was  great — ^the  multitude  delight  in  ear- 
nestness and  enthusiasm. 

He  did  not  live  in  vain,  and  his  "  usefulness "  covered  a  wide 
nmge ;  the  poor  in  their  indigence  no  less  than  the  rich  in  their 
abundance  had  his  services  with  equal  attention  and  ability.  Such 
was  Daniel  H.  Bissell,  as  many  of  you  remember  him — superior  as  a 
man,  as  a  physician,  as  a  public  officer  and  in  all  relations  in  life. 

The  quartette  sang  "  Fleeting  Years." 

President  Davis  then  introduced  Hon.  John  R.  McPherson,  U.  S. 

Senator  from  New  Jersey.      The  President  said  that  in  introducing 


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1 8  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIKTY. 

the  speaker,  it  was  with  greater  pleasure  and  pride  because  he  was  a 
Livingston  county  man.  He  was  proud  of  him  and  proud  of  the  soil 
that  can  raise  such  men.  The  Senator  was  greeted  with  enthusiastic 
applause.  The  subject  of  his  address  was  "  The  Uses  of  History." 
The  address  occupied  an  hour  and  seventeen  minutes  in  delivery,  and 
was  listened  to  throughout  with  the  close  attention  which  it  so  well 
deserved  In  commcDcing  his  adxiress  the  speaker  said  he  was  at- 
tached to  this  state,  this  county  and  this  people  by  the  ties  of  bkxKl 
and  family,  by  the  tillage  of  paternal  acres,  by  education,  by  all  the 
associations  of  early  life.  Thirty-two  years  ago  this  very  day,  said  he, 
and  at  almost  this  very  hour,  a  youth  scarcely  eighteen  yeare  of  age, 
a  student  at  your  once  proud  and  prosperous  Temple  Hill  academy, 
discoursed  upon  a  subject  selected  by  the  teachers.  You  may  see 
the  youth  in  the  speaker  who  stands  before  you  ;  the  subject  was  The 
Use  of  History.  I  am  with  you  to-night  by  invitation  of  your  hon- 
ored president,  to  continue  that  discourse. 

Senator  McPherson's  treatment  of  this  great  subject  evidenced 
much  study  and  preparation.  At  its  close  he  received  the  enthusiastic 
applause  of  the  audience,  and  a  vote  of  thanks  moved  by  Hon.  R  F. 
Angd  for  the  philosophical,  classical  and  eloquent  address  by  this 
dislinguished  senator,  was  responded  to  by  the  rising  of  every  person 
in  the  room. 

Dr.  Ferine  offered  a  vote  of  thanks  to  the  retiring  president  and 
other  officers,  to  Mr.  Brodie  for  his  fitting  memorial  and  to  the 
quartet  for  the  excellent  music  The  thanks  were  unanimously  voted 
and  the  meeting  adjourned 


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SEVENTH  ANNUAL  MEETING. 


19 


LIST  OF  MEMBERS. 


1875-6. 


Dr.  D.  H.  Fitzhugh,  Groveland 

L  R  Proctor,  Dansville. 

Norman  Seymour,  Mt  Morris. 

Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  Mt.  Morris. 

Richard  Peck,  Lima. 

George  W.  Root,  York. 

Dr.  James  Faulkner,  Dansville. 


Dr.  D.  H.  Bissell,  Geneseo. 
William  Scott,  Scottsburgh. 
Adolphus  Watkins,  Lima. 
John  McCall,  Caledonia. 
Benjamin  F.  Angell,  Geneseo. 
E.  P.  Fuller,  Grand  Rapids,  Mich. 
Samuel  P.  Allen,  Geneseo. 


A  O.  Bunnell,  Dansville. 
Isaac  F.  Barber,  Nunda. 
Dr.  L  J.  Ames,  Mt  Morris. 
William  M.  White,  Ossian. 
Dr.  F.  M.  Ferine,  Dansville. 
A  H.  McLean,  Caledonia. 
John  R  Murray,  Mt.  Morris. 
Charles  Shepard,  Dansville. 
Maj.  A.  A.  Hendee,  Avon. 
E.  H.  Davis,  Avon. 
Richard  Johnson,  Groveland. 
Francis  Kellogg,  Avon. 
H.  E.  Brown,  Mt  Morris. 
W.  W.  Killip,  Geneseo. 
William  A.  Ayrault,  Geneseo. 
J.  H.  Begole,  Flint,  Mich. 
William  B.  Lemen,  Dansville. 
Dr.  Z.  H.  Blake,  Dansville. 
Isaac  Hampton,  Ossian. 
George  Hyland,  Dansville. 
H.  P.  Mills,  Mt  Morris. 


C.  L.  Bingham,  Mt  Morris. 
Charles  O.  Shepard,  Mt  Morris. 
Matthew  Wiard,  Avon. 
William  Hamilton,  Caledonia. 
H.  Harding,  Mt.  Morris. 
H.  W.  MiUer,  Mt  Morris. 
H.  Burt,  Mt  Morris. 
O.  D.  Lake,  Mt  Morris. 
Dr.  Z.  W.  Joslyn,  Mt  Morris. 
H.  W.  McNair,  Mt  Morris. 
C.  F.  Braman,  Mt  Morris. 
Amos  O.  Dalrymple,  Mt  Morris. 
W.  A.  Sutheriand,  Mt  Morris. 
Jerome  A.  Lake,  Groveland 
Jotham  Clark,  Sr.,  Conesus. 
David  McNair,  West  Sparta. 
Joseph  McNaughton,  Caledonia. 
Alexander  Reid,  York. 
A.  D.  Newton,  York. 
George  Mercer,  Geneseo. 
C.  D.  Bennett,  Portage. 


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20 


LIVINGSTON"!  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 


Solomon  Hitchcock,  Conesus. 

A.  J.  Abbott,  Geneseo. 

A.  D.  Coe,  Conesus. 

J.  A.  Dana,  Avon. 

W.  A.  Brodie,  Geneseo. 

L.  C.  Bingham,  Mt  Morris. 


C.  F.  Bennett,  Portage. 
C.  K.  Sanders,  Nunda, 
N.  B.  Mann,  Groveland. 
F.  Fielder,  DansviUe. 
Sidney  Sweet,  DansviUe. 


Dr.  M.  H.  Mills, 
Dr.  D.  H.  Fitzhugh, 
William  M.  White, 
B.  F.  Angel, 
A.  O.  Bunnell, 


Life  Members. 

J.  W.  Begole, 
L.  C.  Bingham, 
C.  O.  Shepard, 
John  F.  Barber, 


H.  P.  Mills, 
C.  L.  Bingham, 
W.  Hamilton, 
Matthew  Wiard 


Honorary  Members. 

Gen.  J.  W.  Denver,  Washington,  D. 
Hon.  Angus  Cameron,  Wisconsin. 
Hon.  J.  R.  McPherson,  New  Jersey. 
Hon.  Henry  O'Reilly,  New  York. 
Hon.  O.  H.  Marshall,  Buffalo. 
Hon.  Horatio  Seymour,  Utica. 
Hon.  G.  W.  Patterson,  Westfield. 
Hon.  James  O.  Putnam,  Buffalo. 
Rev.  A.  J.  Massey,  Mt.  Morris. 
Rev.  F.  DeW.  Ward,  Geneseo. 
Rev.  G.  K.  Ward,  DansviUe. 
Prof.  W.  J.  Milne,  Geneseo. 


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EIGh|Th|-A[s|[slJAL-f^EETI|MG 


OF  THE 


LIVINGSTON   COUNTY 


HISTORICAL  SOCIETY, 


HELD  AT  AVON, 


^Lie^day,  JarzLiapy  Shl^,  1884. 


DANSVILLE,  N.  Y. : 

BUNNELL  &  OBERDORF,  PRINTERS. 

1884. 


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THENEWYORK 

KHBLIC  LIBRARY 

ASrOR,  LENOX  AND 
TILD^N  FOUNDATIONS 

1901 


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LIVINGSTON    COUNTY 

-^h|iSTORIC/yL-SOCIETy>s^- 


The  eighth  annual  meeting  of  the  Livingston  County  Histori- 
cal Society  was  held  in  Avon,  Tuesday,  Jan.  8th,  1884. 
President — A.  O.  Bunnell,  of  Dansville. 
Vice  President — A.  H.  McLean,  of  Caledonia. 
Secretary  and  Treasurer — N.  Seymour,  of  Mt.  Morris. 

THE  BUSINESS  MEETING 

Was  held  in  the  Pattee  House  parlors  at  1 1  o'clock  a.  m..  President 
Bunnell  in  the  chair.  Owing  to  the  unavoidable  absence  of  Secretary 
Se)'raour,  on  motion  Dr.  L.  J.  Ames  was  chosen  secretary  pro  tem. 
Among  the  members  present  were  the  following :  Ex- President  E.  H. 
Davis,  Messrs.  M.  Wiard  and  J.  A.  Dana  of  Avon  ;  Vice-President 
A  H.  McLean,  of  Caledonia;  Messrs.  Solomon  Hitchcock  and  A. 
D.  Coe  of  Conesus ;  Hon.  B.  F.  Angel  of  Geneseo ;  Drs.  M.  H. 
Mills  and  L.  J.  Ames  of  Mt.  Morris ;  Dr.  F.  M.  Perine  and  President 
A  0.  Bunnell  of  Dansville ;  Hon.  Isaac  Hampton  of  Ossian  ;  Mr. 
C.  D.  Bennett  of  Portage ;  Mr.  E.  L.  McFetridge  of  Sparta ;  Mr. 
Da\'id  McNair  of  West  Sparta. 

The  Treasurer  reported  a  balance  on  hand  of  $49.22. 

The  following  town  committeemen  reported :  Messrs.  A.  H. 
McLean  for  Caledonia,  A.  D.  Coe  for  Conesus,  R.  Johnson  for 
Oroveland,  L.  J.  Ames  for  Mt.  Morris,  F.  M.  Perine  for  North 
Dansville,  Isaac  Hampton  for  Ossian,  C.  D.  Bennett  for  Portage,  E. 


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4  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY.- 

L.  McFetridge  for  Sparta,  David  McNair  for  West  Sparta,  Alex.  Reid 
for  York.  On  motion  the  thanks  of  the  Society  were  tendered  these 
gentlemen  and  the  reports  ordered  published  with  the  proceedings. 
These  reports  are  of  a  highly  interesting  and  valuable  character. 
They  are  given  herewith  : 

CALEDONIA— BV  COL.  A.  H.  Mc  LEAN. 

The  State  Fish  hatching  house  is  situated  in  Caledonia,  and  on  the  celebrated 
trout  stream  I  described  in  a  former  article  to  this  society.  The  state  groimds  con- 
tain at  present  about  forty  ponds  containing  on  an  average  from  two  to  five  thousand 
fish  in  each  enclosure.  Fish  can  be  found  here  in  all  the  different  stages  of  growth, 
from  the  embryo  contained  in  the  ova  to  the  well  developed  salmon  trout  weighing 
fifteen  or  twenty  pounds.  They  are  feeding  there  at  present  for  breeding  purposes 
from  175,000  to  200,000  fish  of  various  kinds.  It  requires  daily  from  200  to  250 
lbs.  of  meat  to  feed  them.  This  house  during  the  last  year  deposited  in  the  lakes 
and  rivers  of  this  state  two  millions,  eight  hundred  thousand  California  mountain 
brook  trout,  one  million  bro  )k  trout,  two  millions  of  salmon  trout  and  three  hun- 
dred thousand  McClowd  river  salmon,  aggregating  between  six  and  seven  millions 
of  fish  contributed  to  the  lakes  and  rivers  of  the  state  of  New  York  during  the  past 
year.  Notwithstanding  this  enormous  production,  the  most  gratifying  eWdence  of 
the  increased  interest  manifested  in  fish  breeding  consists  in  the  fact  that  the  demand 
every  year  far  exceeds  the  supply.  During  the  last  summer  a  new  building  has  been 
erected  on  the  foundation  of  the  old  one  containing  all  modem  improvements  and 
with  a  capacity  of  storing  for  hatching  purposes  the  enormous  quantity  of  ii.oocx- 
000  ^gs.  Many  lakes,  rivers  and  small  streams  of  this  stii^e  that  received  contri- 
butiDns  from  this  station  a  few  years  since  are  now  yielding  their  supply  of  new  vari- 
eties of  fine  flavored  fish  in  great  abundance.  There  really  seems  to  be  no  j^)parent 
good  reason  why  every  valuable  fresh  water  fish  of  Europe  should  not  be  plentiful 
ultimately  in  the  state  of  New  York. 

We  are  indebted  for  our  present  system  of  the  artificial  breeding  of  fish  as 
practiced  in  this  country  to  the  dbcovery  of  a  poor  French  fisherman  by  the  nanae  of 
Remy — although  it  is  thought  by  some  zealous  Scotsman  that  the  honors  should  be 
divided  with  a  Mr.  Shaw  of  Drumlanrig,  Scotland,  who  for  a  few  years  previous  to 
Remy*s  discovery  had  practiced  the  artificial  system  on  salmon.  About  the  middle 
of  the  last  century  a  German  by  the  name  of  Jacobi  practiced  the  artificial  system  on 
breeding  trout.  But  to  the  poor  French  fisherman  whose  discovery  is  said  to  have 
been  accidental,  we  are  indebted  for  our  present  system  as  practiced  in  this  counif)'. 
The  mode  of  artificial  spawning  fishes  is  very  simple.  First,  ascertain  that  the 
spawn  is  in  a  perfectly  mature  state,  hold  the  fish  in  the  led  hand  and  gently  press 
along  the  abdomen  with  the  right  hand,  when  if  ripe  the  eggs  will  readily  flow  out 
The  male  is  then  handled  in  a  similar  way,  when  the  contact  of  the  milt  immedi- 
ately changes  the  color  of  the  eggs  and  impregnation  takes  place  instantaneously. 
All  that  remains  now  is  to  place  the  eggs  in  pure  running  water  and  in  due  time  life 
makes  its  appearance.  This  s)'stem  is  practiced  in  most  countries  of  modem 
Europe,  particularly  in  Germany,  Switzerland  and  France,  and  in  Britain  to  some 
extent  I  may  say  here  that  the  rental  of  the  River  Tay  has  been  greatly  increase i 
of  late  by  the  artificial  introduction  of  salmon,  and  that  the  rental  of  that  single  river 
in  Scotland  is  nearly  one  hundred  thousand  dollars  annually. 

It  seems  eminently  proper  in  this  connection  that  a  word  should  be  said  con- 
cerning the  late  John  McBride,  the  most  eminent  fisherman  and  the  most  skilifid 
manufacturer  of  fishing  tackle  that  probably  ever  angled  on  this  stream.  He  was 
bom  in  Ireland,  and  served  his  apprenticesiiip  taking  salmon  on  the  River  Shannon* 
and  angling  in  the  most  celebrated  trout  streams  in  that  part  of  his  native  land. 
McBride  worked  on  scientific  principles.     His  great  success  lay  m  his  skill  in  manufac- 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL   MEETING.  5 

turing  artlAcial  flies  so  perfect  in  their  resemblance  to  the  natural  fly  that  was  found 
upon  the  water,  that  even  the  keen-eyed,  wily  trout  were  readily  deceived.  And 
when  they  refused  to  rise  to  a  fly,  his  skill  was  equally  successful  in  taking  them  by 
the  manipulation  of  bait.  His  great  success  as  a  bait  fisher  was  based  on  his  philo- 
sophic observation  that  trout  do  not  relish  dead  food,  and  in  putting  the  live  worm  on 
the  hook  leaving  the  head  of  the  animal  exposed  so  that  when  thrown  into  the  water 
it  may  exhibit  visible  signs  of  life.  He  reared  a  large  family  and  when  he  died  he 
left  them  ready  money  sufficient  to  settle  them  all  in  industrial  pursuits.  His  for- 
tune was  accumulated  mostly  by  selling  trout  from  the  Caledonia  trout  stream. 

1  have  written  this  arti-le  mainly  for  the  purpose  of  calling  the  attention  of  the 
people  of  this  county  to  the  importance  of  this  subject.  In  France,  Germany, 
Switzerland,  and  Great  Britain,  where  fish  ponds  exist  and  have  been  carefully 
attended,  they  are  always  found  to  be  very  productive  and  remunerative.  There  can 
be  no  doubt  that  in  this  county  may  be  found  many  a  piece  of  land  that  is  at  present 
comparatively  worthless  that  might  easily  be  converted  into  a  pond  and  made  to 
yield  large  quantities  of  excellent  fish. 

CONESUS— BY  A.  D.  COE. 

In  the  year  1819  the  towns  of  Livonia  and  Groveland  were  skimmed  off"  to 
make  the  town  of  Conesus,  then  called  Freeport,  which  was  soon  after  changed  to 
BowersviUe.  The  people  soon  got  to  quarrelmg  over  the  Bowers,  as  to  which  was 
the  right  and  which  was  the  left  Bower,  so  that  the  name  remained  only  from 
March,  1825,  to  April  of  the  same  year,  when  it  was  christened  Conesus.  Whether 
the  land  comprising  the  town  was  first  created  or  the  water  in  the  lake  of  the  same 
name,  is  not  quite  certain,  but  the  people  residing  there  are  very  much  attached  to 
both.  They  append  the  name  of  the  town  or  lake  to  almost  every  place  of  business. 
There  is  the  Conesus  mill,  the  Conesus  hotel,  two  post-offices,  respectively  Conesus 
and  Conesus  Center,  the  Conesus  depot,  better  known  as  the  Round  Pie  station,  the 
Conesus  Brass  Band  and  the  Conesus  Dramatic  club — both  of  the  latter  just  now 
being  laid  up  for  repairs.  The  soil  is  well  adapted  to  the  raising  of  politicians,  of 
which  there  has  already  matured  one  governor  of  the  state  of  New  York,  several 
members  of  assembly,  one  minister  to  Rome,  one  to  China,  and  many  minor  officers, 
and  still  the  supply  is  not  yet  exhausted. 

The  historical  events  which  have  occurred  in  this  town  are  rather  limited,  but 
the  personal  reminiscences  are  many  and  altogether  interesting.  One  thing,  howev- 
er, is  certain,  an  J  that  in  itself  is  sufficient  to  give  the  town  very  great  notoriety,  and 
that  is  the  fact  that  Gen.  Sullivan  p)assed  through  this  town  and  evidently  crossed 
the  inlet  to  the  lake  very  near  where  the  present  highway  now  runs.  The  old  log 
bridge  over  which  he  crossed  is  now  being  replaced  by  a  substantial  iron  bridge. 
Tmie  and  the  elements  have  actually  obliterated  his  footsteps,  and  all  traces  of  his 
march  through  the  town  have  disappeared  except  a  few  marked  trees  which  the 
wiseacres  claim  were  saved  by  his  orders.  From  all  accounts  the  town  was  first 
settled  in  the  year  1793  by  Hector  McKay  and  James  Henderson,  and  soon  after  by 
the  Mays,  the  Amoids,  Davenport  Alger,  James  Steel  and  Thomas  Young,  father 
of  the  governor  just  referred  ta  Andrew  and  Gardner  Arnold  opened  the  first  store 
in  1803,  and  built  the  first  saw  mill  soon  after.  They  sold  from  this  store  the  first 
cut  nails  ever  sold  in  town,  which  were  a  great  curiosity  at  that  time.  There  being 
no  money  in  circulation  they  took  ashes  and  other  truck  in  exchange  for  goods. 

There  are  evidences  that  the  eastern  portion  of  the  town  called  Marrowback 
was  settled  at  a  much  earlier  day,  but  the  records  were  not  preserved  nor  even  kept, 
in  those  days  as  at  present.  There  are  many  remnants  of  log  houses  and  stone  fire 
places  long  since  abandoned,  and  histor}'  gives  no  account  of  their  occupants.  There 
is  a  tradition  that  Marrowback  being  1200  feet  above  the  level  of  the  surrounding 
county  is  the  genuine  old  Mount  Ararat  where  the  ark  rested  ;  and  that  the  old  lady, 
Mrs.  Noah,  and  one  of  the  boys  had  been  out  fishing  on  the  Hemlock  lake,  the  boy, 
having  rowed  out,  said  to  his  mother,  '*  Ma,  row  back,"  and  from  this  expression 
the  hill  derived  its  name  and  was  clinched  still  stronge*   by  the  circumstances  related 


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6  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIET\'. 

bv  me  at  the  last  annual  meeting.  Be  that  as  it  may.  it  is  certain  that  "ow  rtmt  his- 
toric place  is  being  settled  bv  a  thriving  and  industrious  people,  and  as  has  been  saia 
before,  "The  marrow  in  the  whole  length  of  the  back  is  proving  to  be  exceedmgiy 
rich."  About  1852  a  railroad  was  built  through  the  town  running  along  through 
the  Calabogue  vaUey.  The  cars  were  lettered  B.,  C.  &  N.  Y.  Railroad,  and  for  a 
long  time  people  supposed  it  to  be  the  Buffalo,  Calabogue  &  New  \  ork  K.  K.  H 
afterwards  turned  out  to  be  the  Buffalo,  Coming  &  New  York  R.  R.  U  «  now 
called  the  New  ^'ork,  I^ke  Erie  &  Western  R.  R.  This  road  has  recently  been 
narrowed  to  the  standard  guage  of  all  the  main  lines  east  and  west,  and  is  a  very 
great  convenience  to  the  farmers  along  the  line  in  marketing  their  produce.  1  nose 
desiring  to  travel  by  taking  the  cars  at  the  Round  Pie  station  can  visit  the  eastern 
cities  or  the  western  wilds  with  hardly  a  change  of  cars. 

Conesus  contains  many  advantages  as  a  suitable  place  for  the  countv  s^t,  tne 
proof  of  which  is  the  fact  that  the  above  named  railroad  runs  neariy  through  the  cot- 
ter  of  f3ur  of  the  important  towns  of  the  county.  The  highways  throughout  the 
coun'^^v  seem  to  converge  and  center  in  this  town  to  a  very  great  degree,  making  it 
verv  convenient  ff>r  candidates  for  offices  to  visit  the  town,  which  they  frequently  clo, 
esp^ciallv  just  before  election.  But  the  people  are  too  modest  to  ask  for  the  county 
seat,  and  would  not  consent  to  be  taxed  to  put  up  the  necessarj'  buildings,  and  m 
fact  would  hardly  consent  to  have  it  located  here  for  fear  that  the  mhabitants  trom 
the  surrounding  towns  coming  in  to  do  business  here  would  corrupt  the  morals  ot 
the  people,  destroy  the  natural  scenery  of  the  town,  and  make  it  a  hard  task  for  the 
historian  to  chronicle  the  events  necessary  to  so  important  a  change. 

Please  accept  an  apology  for  so  short  and  imperfect  a  historical  sketch.  Utncr 
matters  of  business  have  occupied  my  time  to  prevent  me  from  seeing  the  older  set- 
tlers who  are  best  qualified  to  furnish  the  necessary  material  for  an  early  n^stoi^'  on 
the  town  of  Conesus.  Hoping  you  may  select  a  person  the  coming  year  whose  heaa 
has  worn  out  several  bodies  and  thus  be  able  to  give  more  interesting  historical  data 
than  I  have  been  able  to  furnish,     I  remain  yoiu^  truly. 

GROVELAND-BY  HON.  RICHARD  JOHNSON. 
After  L.  L.  Doty  had  written  his  very  interesting  and  correct  history  of  this 
town,  in  connection  with  the  county  history,  it  would  be  very  difficult  to  add  mucH 
that  would  be  new  or  interesting  to  your  society.  Groveland  is  the  center  town  in 
the  county  and  should  have  the  county  buildings  at  Hunt's  Comers,  \\hen  the 
county  was  formed  and  the  farmers  of  this  town  made  application  for  ^"'^/^""J^ 
seat,  the  answer  was  by  a  lauyer  of  (Jeneseo  that  the  town  was  too  po«r,  that  the 
only  crop  that  could  be  grown  in  Groveland  was  buckwheat.  That  lawyer  was 
always  known  after  that  as  Buckwheat  Bennett.  At  this  time  no  town  in  thecounty 
can  grow  better  wheat  than  Groveland,  and  should  the  county  seat  \ye  removed  from 
Geneseo  this  town  would  l)e  more  central  thnn  Mt.  Morris  and  far  more  he^thv. 
The  air  is  pure,  the  water  is  good  and  there  are  no  liquors  sold  in  this  town.  But  it 
we  do  not  get  the  county  buildings  we  will  not  complain.  The  town  has  been  dulv 
honored  by  the  first  surrogate,  James  Rosebrough,  in  182 1  to  1832  ;  Judge  Carroll 
the  first  to  preside  in  the  court  house  after  it  was  built  ;  the  present  governor  of 
Michigan,  J.  \V.  Begole,  first  saw  daylight  on  the  farm  near  the  Hermitage  on  the 
20th  of  January,  181 5.  But  the  one  we  most  delight  to  honor  is  L.  L.  Doty,  who 
was  born  in  this  town  May  15,  1827.  In  writing  the  history  of  this  county,  Mr. 
Doty  gave  to  it  the  best  years  of  his  life,  spared  no  time  or  labor  in  traveling 
through  the  county  and  in  writing  to  those  in  and  out  of  the  county  where  he  could 
obtain  any  fact  that  would  add  to  the  interest  of  his  work.  When  I  was  a  boy 
Himt's  Comers  was  the  most  important  place  in  town.  At  that  time  there  was  no 
road  on  the  west  shore  of  Conesus  lake,  and  all  the  travel  going  north  and  south 
passed  this  place.  Soldiers  of  the  war  of  1812  from  the  South  traveled  over  Grove- 
land hill  going  to  the  lines,  as  it  was  then  called,  and  an  express  messenger  passed 
over  this  route. 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL   MEETINC^.  7 

MT.   MORRIS— BY  DR.   L.  J.  AMES. 

There  are  in  the  village  of  Mt.  Morris  two  streets,  crossing  each  other  at  right 
angles,  which  from  the  names  they  bear,  have  a  historical  value  and  significance, 
m  :  Stanley  and  Hopkins.  One  was  given  in  honor  of  the  name  of  Deacon  Jesse 
Stanley,  the  other  of  Samuel  Hopkins,  Esq. — two  men,  intimately  associated  by  the 
lies  of  citizenship  of  the  same  town  of  New  England,  whence  they  came  to  Mt. 
Morris,  and  by  the  religious  principles  that  governed  them.  They  were  led  to  act 
up  to  that  standard  of  christian  patriotism  which  builds  for  the  good  of  coming  gen- 
erations. They  were  prompted  to  leave  the  better  organized  community  of  Con- 
necticut, then  a  land  of  schools  and  churches,  for  the  purpose  of  laying  the  founda- 
tions of  society  upon  a  like  basis,  in  this  the  then  far  west.  They  were  also  bound 
together  by  family  ties,  which  renders  the  association  of  their  names  in  historj*  a 
necessity  as  well  as  a  matter  of  eminent  propriety.  They  both  came  to  Ml.  Morris 
from  Goshen,  Conn.,  a  Ioami  of  which  it  could  be  said,  over  80  years  ago,  *'  In  that 
town  of  1200  people  there  was  no  such  thing  as  a  poor  dependent  family,  no  tenant, 
no  rich  man  except  a  single  merchant.  Every  farmer  tilled  his  100  or  200  acres  of 
land,  chiefly  with  the  labor  of  his  own,  or  his  sons'  hand. "  Where  it  was  at  that 
time  rare  to  find  a  person  that  could  not  both  read  and  write  ;  where  a  library  asso- 
ciation existed,  as  was  common  in  other  towns  ;  where  men  read  not  only  the  Bible 
but  history,  and  the  writings  of  Addison,  Pope,  Blair,  Hume  and  Johnson  ;  where 
a  to\*n  election  was  held  with  order  and  decorum  not  much  less  than  that  of  divine 
ser>*ice.  Such  were  the  conditions  and  customs  of  society  where  these  two  men 
were  bom  and  reared.     By  occupation  they  were  farmers,  and  men  of  intelligence. 

They  located  in  what  is  now  the  village  of  Mt.  Morris,  then  known  as  • 'Allan's 
Hill,"  in  the  township  of  Leicester,  Deacon  Stanley  on  the  north  of  the  village  and 
Mr.  Hopkins  on  the  south  of  it.  Mr.  Hopkins  lived  only  about  nine  years  after 
locating  in  Mt.  Morris,  coming  here  with  his  son  Mark  Hopkins  in  1809,  while 
Deacon  Stanley  lived  here  35  years,  long  enough  to  impress  the  savor  of  his  life 
upon  the  community  and  to  leave  a  name  that  can  be  recalled  only  with  veneration 
and  respect,  and  of  whom  it  is  said,  ••  He  never  had  an  enemy." 

Deacon  Stanley  came  to  •*  Allan's  Hill,"  now  Ml.  Morris,  in  1810,  and  pur- 
chased seven  acres  of  land  within  the  present  limits  of  the  village,  which  included  the 
sites  of  the  present  residences  of  N.  A.  Seymour,  L.  C.  Bingham,  and  other  resi- 
dences and  the  Presbyterian  church.  He  with  his  son-in-law  Mark  Hopkins,  built 
the  first  two  framed  houses  (the  priority  of  which  is  a  little  doubtful)  in  the  town. 
They  both  were  erected  on  what  is  now  State  street.  A  part  of  the  original  Stanley 
house  is  still  standing  on  Murray  street,  between  the  residences  of  J.  (i.  Forest  and 
Mrs.  Philo  Thomson.  He  "purchased  98  acres  of  land  on  the  flats  for!|:20  per  acre. 
The  "  Canning  Factory  "  and  the  station  of  the  D.  L.  and  W.  railroad  are  upon 
that  land.  It  was  known  for  many  years  as  the  Stanley  flats.  It  was  afterward 
owned  by  the  late  Gen.  \Vm.  A.  Mills.  Dea.  Stanley  also  purchased  a  farm  south 
of  the  village  of  160  acres,  now  owned  and  occupied  by  the  heirs  of  the  late  James 
H.  McNair,  and  still  farther  south  a  wood  lot  of  150  acres,  which  was  the  residence 
of  his  son,  Luman  Stanley,  for  many  years,  the  same  farm  now  occupied  by  James 
Bevier.  He  did  much  for  the  material  interest  of  Mt.  Morris.  He  caused  the  pub- 
lic square  to  be  grubbed  and  cleared  up.  He  was  largely  instrumental  in  the  con- 
struction of  the  mill  race,  which  has  afforded  such  an  excellent  and  safe  water  power 
to  Mt  Morris,  and  is  to-day  a  monument  to  his  foresight  and  enterprise. 

But  the  chief  glory  and  crown  upon  the  head  of  Jesse  Stanley,  which  dims  not, 
with  the  passing  years,  was  his  religious  character,  which  enabled  him  to  say,  not 
long  before  he  passed  away,  that  in  the  review  of  his  life,  he  could  testify  that  the 
prominent  and  prevailing  reason  that  induced  him  to  leave  his  eastern  home,  was 
that  he  might  aid  in  building  up  society  and  promote  the  cause  of  his  Redeemer  in 
Western  New  York,  where,  at  that  time,  such  a  man  with  such  principles,  actuated 
by  such  motives,  was  greatly  needed.  His  name  stands  at  the  head  of  the  list  of 
those  who  organized  the  Presbyterian  church  at  Mt.   Morris  April  29,  1S14.     He 


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8  LIVINGSTON    COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

was  chosen  an  Elder  and  was  ever  active  in  church  work.  For  many  years  he  led 
the  choir  in  singing.  He  was  bom  in  Cioshen,  Conn.,  Dec  23,  1757,  and  died  at 
Mt.  M  )rris,  N.  V.,  June  24,  1845,  ^S^^  ^7h  years—like  a  shock  of  com  fully  ripe. 
He  was  thrice  marriei— all  three  of  the  wives  preceded  him  to  the  better  land. 

Samuel  Hopkins,  Esq.,  was  bom  in  Waterbury,  Conn.,  Nov.  10,  1748.  He 
married  M  )lly  Miles  June  22,  1771,  and  removed  to  Goshen,  Conn.,  May,  1774- 
After  residing  there  over  30  years,  he  came  to  Mt.  Morris  about  the  same  time  of 
his  son  Mark,  (who  was  a  son-in-law  of  Deacon  Jesse  Stanley),  then  an  agent  for 
the  eastern  proprietors  of  the  Mt.  Morris  Tract,  in  1809.  ■  He  settled  upon  a  farm 
of  fifty  acres  in  the  southem  part  of  the  present  village  through  which  Hopkins  street 
now  runs.  His  first  wife,  who  was  the  mother  of  his  children,  died  in  (ieneseo  at 
the  house  of  their  son,  the  late  Hon.  Samuel  Miles  Hopkins,  Sept.  19,  181 1.  He 
afterwards  married  a  Miss  Pratt,  who  survived  him  over  20  years. 

The  house  in  which  he  lived  so  long  is  still  standing  on  Hopkins  street.  His 
farm  was  left  to  his  widow  during  her  life  time,  and  was  not  divided  into  \'illage  lots 
until  after  her  death.  I^  was  then  divided  among  the  heirs  of  Mr.  Hopkins  and 
b.'X)ught  into  the  market,  and  now  constitutes  a  compactly  settled  j^art  of  our  village. 
Mr.  Hopkins  die  i  at  Mt.  Morris,  March  19,  1818,  aged  69^^  years.  He  was  the 
first  person  buried  in  what  is  now  called  the  old  cemetery.  He  was  a  man  of  ster- 
ling worth,  of  great  benevolence  and  kindness  both  to  man  and  bmte  creation,  and 
of  more  than  ordinary  intelligence.  He  belonged  to  a  family  of  no  little  importiuice 
in  Connecticut  history.  He  was  near  of  kin  to  Samuel  Hopkins  the  great  theolo- 
gian, and  brother  of  Dr.  Lemuel  Hopkins  of  Hartford,  an  eminent  ph}'sician  and 
poet,  an  associate  of  Trumbull,  Humphries,  Wolcott  and  Theodore  D wight  in  a  lit- 
erary club  immediately  succeeding  the  war  of  the  Revolution,  whose  writings  had  an 
important  influence  upon  the  questions  that  agitated  the  people  at  that  forming  stage 
of  the  nation. 

Though  Mr.  Hopkins  was  engaged  in  the  laborious  occupation  of  a  farmer,  "he 
found  time  to  read  nearly  all  of  value  that  had  been  written  on  mental  philosophy. 
He  read  Locke,  Hume  and  Edwards,  and  could  repeat  Pope's  Elssay  on  Man  with- 
out having  purposed  to  commit  to  memory."  He  was  ingenious  and  had  great  me- 
chanical skill  and  inventive  mind.  It  is  said  of  him,  that  he  was  the  inventor  of  the 
whole  tire  of  a  carriage  wheel,  as  he  had  never  heard  of  such  a  thing  till  introduced 
by  himseJf  about  1800.  Before  that  time  the  way  was  to  put  the  iron  on  the  wheel  in 
pieces  and  spike  them  on.     Several  other  inventions  are  credited  to  him. 

Mr.  H  )pkins  and  Deacon  Stanley  could  both  claim  an  excellent  ancestry  and 
the  names  of  both  are  honored  in  their  descendants.  Worthy  men  and  women  have 
been  the  children  and  descendants  of  each,  to  the  third  and  fourth  generation,  noted 
for  their  intelligence,  as  well  as  for  their  moral  worth  and  religious  characters.  Some 
of  them  have  held  civil  positions  of  honor  and  trust.  One  of  these  men  is  repre- 
sented by  a  grandson  who  is  a  clergyman  and  professor  in  Auburn  Theolc^cal  sem- 
inary, both  by  a  great  grandson  each,  as  college  professor  at  Hamilton.  Two 
clergymen  in  the  city  of  Rochester  hold  the  relation,  each  of  them,  of  great  grand- 
son to  both  Dea,  Stanley  and  Mr.  Hopkins.  One  is  the  president  of  a  theolc^[ical 
seminary,  the  other  the  pastor  of  an  important  and  flourishing  church.  So  it  seems 
conclusive  that  the  good  that  these  men  did,  did  not  die  with  them. 

NORTH  DANSVILLE— BY  DR.  F.  M.  PERINE. 
The  first  settlers  in  what  is  now  North  Dansville  were  Mr.  and  Mrs.  McCoy 
and  their  step-son  James  McCurdy  ;  they  came  here  in  June,  1795,  ^""^"^  Buffalo, 
Pa.,  most  of  the  distance  through  an  unbroken  wilderness;  coming  via  Painted  Post, 
Bath,  Avoca,  Cohocton,  and  then  by  a  circuitous  route  through  Springwater  Vallej- 
and  Conesus  to  Havens'  tavern  in  the  town  of  Spa:ta,  as  there  was  no  more  direct 
route.  Arriving  at  Dansville,  there  were  no  wliite  inhabitants  nearer  than  the  Spar- 
tas  on  the  north  and  Judge  Hulburt's  at  Arkport  on  the  south,  eleven  miles  distant 
There  were  no  dwellings  except  a  small  hut  where  the  house  of  the  late  Coiuad 
Welch  now  stands. 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  9 

James  M  K'urdy,  removing  and  marrying  here,  raised  a  large  fJEimily,  some  of 
the  representatives  still  living  here,  viz :  William,  John,  James  and  Hugh  McCurdy ; 
the  daughters  are,  wife  of  the  late  John  McNair,  Mrs.  *  Alexander  Edwards,  Mrs. 
Samuel  Sturgeon,  all  still  living  in  said  town. 

Later  in  the  next  year  (1796)  came  Frederick  Bamhart  from  Sunbory,  Pa., 
with  his  wife  and  one  child,  then  only  eighteen  months  old,  whose  name  was 
Jonathan.  Mr.  Bamhart  was  one  of  the  originators  of  the  first  literary  society 
established  in  Dansville,  **The  Dansville  Polemic  Society."  This  was  established 
Dec  26th,  181 1,  with  Amariah  Hammond  as  the  first  president,  Mr.  Bamhart  first 
secretary  and  John  C.  Rochester  as  treasurer.  On  Jan.  16th,  1812,  the  following 
question  was  discussed  :  ** Would  it  be  advisable  to  go  to  war  with  either  France  or 
England  at  the  present  crisis?^*  After  debate  it  was  promptly  decided  in  the  affirm- 
ative. At  the  age  of  17  Jonathan  entered  as  an  apprentice  in  the  tannery  business 
in  Canandaigua.  After  a  service  of  four  years  he  retumed  to  Dansville  and  engaged 
in  the  same  business  for  himself;  after  successful  continuance  of  it  for  a  numl^r  of 
years,  he  purchased  real  estate  laigely,  and  finally  came  into  possession  of  the  farm 
he  owned  when  he  died,  and  now  owned  by  his  adopted  son,  the  Hon.  J.  B.  Morey. 
He  was  a  man  of  great  industry  and  perseverance  and  acquired  a  fine  competency 
which  was  willed  to  our  townsman,  Hon.  J.  R  Morey,  who  is  still  in  possession  of  it. 

Next,  in  the  year  1796,  came  Amariah  Hammond,  Dr.  James  Faulkner,  (uncle 
to  the  Hon.  James  Faulkner  now  of  Dansville),  Samuel  Faulkner,  Capt.  Dan.  P. 
Faulkner  and  Wm.  Porter.  The  representative  of  Dr.  James  Faulkner  is  our  pres- 
ent townsman,  Judge  James  Faulkner,  who  has  attained  the  unusual  goo  I  old  age  of 
ninety-four  years  and  still  attends  to  business,  remaining  president  of  the  First 
National  Bank  of  Dansville.  Samuel  Faulkner  does  not  appear  to  have  remained 
here  very  long ;  Capt.  Dan.  P.  Faulkner  was  a  prominent  man  of  his  day,  our  vil- 
lage being  named  for  him  Dansville.  Wra.  Porter  left  representatives  here  some  of 
whom  or  their  descendants  remain  hereabouts. 

Amariah  Hammond  came  here  in  1796  on  horseback  prospecting.  The  first 
two  nights  he  slept  under  a  pine  tree  on  premises  he  afterwards  bought.  Remain- 
ing here  that  season  he  built  him  a  house  and  commenced  tilling  the  soil  of  a  laige 
tract  of  land  he  bought,  and  the  next  April  moved  his  family  here  from  Bath,  wife 
and  infant  on  horsel»:k,  and  farming  utensils  and  household  furniture  on  sled  drawn 
by  oxen  and  driven  by  his  hired  man.  They  stayed  the  first  night  at  Bloods,  the 
second  at  the  inlet  of  Conesus  lake,  and  the  third  reached  his  new  residence ;  there 
settling  down  to  the  realities  of  life  in  a  new  country.  With  scarcely  any  neighbors 
except  Indians  (who  were  numerous)  they  commenced  to  make  life  happy  and  them- 
selves comfortable  by  strict  economy  and  frugality  and  hard  work,  and  in  time 
accumulated  a  fine  property. 

Mr.  Hammond  was  a  man  of  strong  impulses,  good  natural  ability,  great  perse- 
verance, and  became  one  of  the  leading  men  of  his  day  in  this  section  of  the  coun- 
try. His  wife  survived  but  a  few  years ;  she  was  a  woman  of  many  good  qualities, 
and  was  mourned  by  many  friends ;  she  had  but  two  children,  the  late  Mrs.  James 
Faulkner,  wife  of  our  present  Dr.  Faulkner,  and  Mrs.  Lester  Bradner,  wife  of  the 
late  Lester  Bradner.  Mrs.  Bradner  still  survives ;  although  a  woman  of  86  years 
she  is  unimpaired  mentally,  and  seems  remarkably  well  preserved  physically ;  she  is 
the  only  remaining  person  now  living  who  was  bom  in  the  town.  Her  recollections 
of  Dansville  as  it  was  in  the  midst  of  a  wilderness,  form  a  striking  contrast  with  its 
now  fkmrishing  condition. 

Next  among  the  early  settlers  canne  Capt.  Wm.  Ferine,  grandfather  of  the 
writer,  in  1798.  Coming  from  the  eastem  part  of  the  state,  traveling  by  ox  teams, 
carrying  their  goods  with  them,  they  settled  at  Williamsburgh  about  three  miles 
south  <?  Geneseo ;  there  was  first  a  settlement  there  which  was  the  prospective  vil- 
lage between  Bath  and  Canandaigua ;  remaining  there  but  one  year  he  removed  to 
Dansville  in  1799.  Capt  Ferine  was  five  years  in  the  revolutionary  army,  captain  of 
cavahy  under  Goieral  Francis  Marion ;  thmking  him  one  of  the  greatest  of  our 
revolutionary  generals  he  named  his  first  grandson  after  him,  the  name  I  have  the 


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lO  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

honor  to  bear.  He  had  ten  children  all  of  whom  grew  up  to  manhood  and  woman- 
hood, all  now  having  passed  to  that  unknown  world  from  whence  no  traveler  returns ; 
the  last  surviving  one  being  my  father  who  .died  last  spring  at  the  age  of  eighty-four. 

Capt.  Ferine  located  east  of  Dansville,  taking  up  a  large  tract  of  land,  in  fact 
all  lying  east  of  what  is  now  Main  street  (but  then  was  simply  a  path  cut  through 
the  woods) ;  afterwards  selling  what  was  known  as  the  Shepard  and  Rowley  trad, 
reserving  what  was  known  as  the  Ferine  tract  until  his  death,  which  occurred  at  the 
age  of  ninety-three.  In  connection  with  the  flat  lands  taken  up  he  also  added  se\'- 
eral  hundred  acres  of  hill  land,  among  which  is  the  land  now  owned  by  the  Water 
Cure,  or  Our  Home  Institute  of  Dansville.  What  a  change  from  the  oak  covered 
hills  to  the  now  cottage  covered  hills,  with  the  new  and  magnificent  fire  proof 
'  building  which  has  no  equal  as  an  institution  of  its  kind  in  this  country.  But  such 
is  the  advancement  of  civilization,  and  the  work  of  improvement  which  our  fore- 
fathers so  nobly  laid  out  and  left  for  future  generations  to  finish. 

By  this  time,  1800,  there  had  been  quite  an  addition  to  the  then  small  hamlet  of 
Dansville.  Capt.  Dan.  Faulkner  had  brought  here  some  fifteen  families.  Faulkner 
had  purchased  6000  acres  of  land  ;  he  brought  the  first  goods  here  from  Albany  by 
sleigh.  Capt.  Williamson,  who  was  at  Bath,  had  built  together  with  Faulkner  a 
grist  mill  and  saw  mill  on  or  near  the  site  of  the  present  Readshaw  milL  Soon  after 
1800  the  Rev.  Mr.  Endress  came;  he  was  a  Lutheran  clergyman  and  father  of  the 
late  Dr.  S.  L.  Endress,  Judge  Isaac  Endress,  and  Miss  Sarah  Endress ;  they  were 
exemplary  men  both  standing  high  in  their  resp>ective  professions  and  closely  indenti- 
fied  with  the  growing  interests  of  Dansville. 

In  1808  Col.  Rochester  made  a  purchase  here  and  erected  and  put  in  operation 
a  paper  mill,  afterwards  selling  his  purchase  to  the  late  Rev.  Endress  and  Mr.  Jacob 
Opp.  Then  in  his  foresight  he  could  see  that  the  water  power  of  the  lower  Genesee 
river  must  be  eventually  largely  utilized  and  he  removed  to  what  is  now  Rochester, 
which  from  the  lamented  Colonel  took  its  name.  Col.  R.  made  Dans\Tlle  some 
gifts  which  they  will  always  cherish  his  memory  for,  viz :  the  public  square  and  the 
burying  ground.  The  Fenstermachers  were  also  early  settlers  here,  being  in  the  em- 
ploy of  Col.  R.  as  carf)enters  and  afterwards  worked  for  him  in  the  village  of 
Rochester. 

The  first  grist  mill  was  built  in  1798,  the  first  tavern  was  kept  by  Samuel 
Faulkner,  first  tanner  was  Isaac  Vande venter,  first  blacksmith  James  Porter,  the  first 
marriage  Wm.  McCartney  to  Mary  McCurdy ;  the  first  established  preacher  and 
founder  of  a  church  was  Rev.  Andrew  Gray,  first  justice  of  the  peace  Dr.  James 
Faulkner,  first  postmaster  Jared  Irving,  and  the  first  death  Capt.   Nathaniel  Porter. 

Among  the  early  settlers  also  was  Joshua  Shepard  who  was  bom  in  PlainfieUl, 
Conn.,  17S0,  came  to  Dansville  in  1814;  commencing  mercantile  business  with  the 
late  Lester  Bradner  (who  came  at  the  same  time)  ;  they  continued  business  some 
years,  finally  buying  out  Mr.  Bradner's  interest  in  the  store  he  continued  it  until  his 
death  in  1829.  He  married  in  181 7  Elizabeth,  the  daughter  of  Judge  Hulburt  of 
Arkport,  N.  V.  ;  she  sur\'iving  her  husband  over  40  years  and  dying  at  the  age  of  79. 
They  had  five  children,  one  dying  in  infancy:  Mary,  wife  of  the  late  Endress  Faulkner; 
Elizal>eth  M.  marrying  Gen.  Reeve,  Sophia  J.  Gen.  Hamilton,  both  of  the  U.  S. 
army ;  and  Charles  Shepard,  (who  is  a  member  of  our  society),  who  with  his  sister, 
Mrs.  Hamilton,  alone  survive. 

Lester  Bradner,  who  came  herein  1814,  together  with  Joshua  Shepard  formed 
a  copartnership  and  conducted  the  business  of  merchants,  distillers  and  millers^ 
Mr.  B.  selling  out  his  interest  in  the  store  and  buying  out  Mr.  Shepard's  interest  in 
the  mill  and  distillery  continued  in  the  business,  and  buying  very  largely  of  real 
estate  became  in  time  one  of  the  wealthy  men  of  the  section,  and  one  of  the  most 
successful  business  men.  He  was  instrumental  in  establishing  the  Bank  of  Dans- 
ville and  was  chosen  its  first  president  in  1839  or  '40,  and  continued  in  that  capacity 
for  many  years,  L.  C.  Woodruff  succeeding  him  and  ccutinuing  until  the  present 
time.  Mr.  Bradner  died  in  Aug.  1872.  He  married  Fanny,  daughter  of  the  !ate 
Amariah  Hammond,  who  still  survives  him  in  full  possession  of  mental  faculties^ 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  II 

They  had  a  large  family  of  children,  several  dying  in  infancy,  and  Mrs.  D.  D.  Mc- 
Nair,  Miss  Alice  and  Josiah ;  those  that  survive  are  Mrs.  L.  C.  Woodruff  of  Buffalo 
and  Mrs.  Minerva  Farwell  of  the  daughters,  and  A.  H.,  the  Hon.  Alonzo  and  Les- 
ter Bradner  of  the  sons. 

Dansville  had  now  emerged  from  its  primitive  state  and  numbered  among  its 
inhabitants  about  one  hundred,  with  the  Browns,  Hartmans,  Bradleys,  Coverts,  Ab- 
ram  Dippy,  Justus  Hall,  father  of  Hon.  C.  S.  Hall,  Smiths,  Melvin  Rowl«r,  who 
was  the  model  tavern  keeper  for  many  years,  Stacy  and  Kingsbury,  Hunt,  nsuness 
maker,  Sedgwick  the  tailor,  Taggart,  hatter,  and  the  famous  Pickett,  grocer.  Soon 
after  this  date  came  Geo.  Hyland  and  S.  Wilson.  Places  of  interest  for  visitors 
were  James  Faulkner's  paper  mill,  also  A.  Bradley  &  Sons*,  and  the  grist  mills  of 
Jacob  Opp  and  Thos.  McWhorter. 

The  present  generation  can  have  no  adequate  conception  of  the  customs,  the 
enjoyments,  the  good  will  existing  with  every  one,  as  compared  with  the  present 
times,  when  now  as  the  old  adage  goes  every  one  for  himself  and  the  devil  for  us  all. 
Then  they  were  as  one  family  bound  together  by  ties  of  love  and  threads  of  con- 
sanguinity, as  it  were  ;  when  one  was  sick  they  all  lent  a  helping  hand,  when  one 
died  they  all  wept.  Neither  can  we  have  any  realization  of  the  struggles  and  hard- 
ships of  pioneer  life,  what  pioneers  endured,  what  they  conquered  to  ultimately  enjoy 
the  fruits  of  their  labor.  All  honor  to  the  brave  men  and  women  vho  by  their  in- 
tegrity and  industry  laid  wisely  the  foundation  of  government,  growing  out  of  the 
agricultural  wealth  of  the  nation. 

OSSIAN— BV  HON.  ISAAC  HAMPTON. 

The  town  of  Ossian  was  first  invaded  by  the  whites  about  the  year  1803.  The 
first  white  child  born  was  Abram  Porter  in  1804.  From  this  time  forward  the 
settlement  of  the  town  was  slow  on  account  of  the  heavy  timber,  and  consequent 
heavy  expense  of  clearing;  the  timber,  of  course,  at  this  time,  was  entirely  value- 
less. But  in  \iew  of  future  prospects,  many  committal  the  mistake  of  settling  on 
the  heaviest  timber  lands,  and  as  their  ideas  of  future  value  of  timber  was  not  real- 
.  ized  as  soon  as  they  expected,  they  were  forced  to  abandon  the  lands,  forfeiting  their 
contracts  with  the  small  payments  made,  together  with  the  little  improvements,  or 
"betterments,"  as  termed  in  those  primitive  days.  This  was  often  the  case,  as 
many  as  three  or  four  trials  (each  one  adding  a  little  to  the  improvements)  before  a 
settler  could  succeed  in  getting  a  living  and  paying  for  the  land.  It  is  difficult  in 
these  days  of  abundance  to  bring  our  minds  to  realize  the  extent  of  suffering  and 
privation  endured  by  these  early  settlers.  As  late  as  the  year  1 835,  when  the  writer 
first  came  to  Ossian,  no  kind  of  timber  was  of  any  value.  Several  years  after  this 
date  the  writer  remembers  assisting  in  logging  and  burning  on  the  ground  good  oak 
and  pine  timber,  simply  for  the  purpose  of  clearing.  Still  later  pine  timber  was 
sold  in  the  tree  for  25  cents  per  M  feet.  It  was  a  relief  at  this  time  to  get  rid  of  it 
at  any  price  as  it  made  the  clearing  lighter.  After  the  Erie  canal  was  finished,  for 
several  years  the  price  of  pine  lumber  in  Dansville  was  about  $$  per  M  feet.  But 
in  the  crash  of  1847  ^^^  writer  saw  good  white  pine  lumber  sold,  delivered  in  Dans- 
ville for  f  3  per  M  feet,  half  cash,  the  other  half  barter  or  "stufT*  at  exhorbitant 
prices.  Fine  shingles  at  this  time  but  75  cents  per  M  in  same  pay.  During  these 
years  a  lumber  note  was  considered  legal  tender,  in  purchase  of  horses,  oxen,  cows, 
etc,  payable  at  some  designated  mill  at  mill  prices.  It  is  needless  to  say  that  the 
mill  price  was  universally  as  high  and  sometimes  higher  than  Dansville  prices.  This 
brought  this  kind  of  currency  at  a  great  discount.  But  money  was  as  scarce  at  this 
time  as  gold  during  the  war  of  the  rebellion,  and  1  am  not  sure  but  that  the  govern- 
ment got  its  idea  of  different  values  of  currencies  from  these  circumstances.  Cer- 
tain it  is,  that  the  town  of  Ossian  corrected  the  abuse  long  before  the  government 
did.  Each  government  found  an  excuse  in  the  same  cause,  viz :  It  took  all  the  good 
money  to  pacify  preferred  creditors — Ossian  to  make  payments  on  land  contracts, 
and  Uncle  Sam  on  U.  S.  bonds. 


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12  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

At  the  time  we  settled  in  Ossian,  the  wolf  was  a  common  denizen  of  the  forest. 
The  bear  and  the  panther  had  become  extinct ;  the  catamount  and  wildcat  had  n-u, 
and  it  was  currently  reported  that  as  late  as  1850,  a  panther  was  seen  by  several 
inhabitants  jumpintj  from  tree- top  to  tree-top.  The  wolves  frequently  came  around 
our  log  bam  at  night,  and  several  times  killed  sheep  for  our  neig'ibors.  We  could 
frequently  hear  them  howling  in  the  woods  in  close  proximity  to  our  dwelling.  It 
was  the  practice  of  the  land  agent  at  Bath  to  visit  our  town  twice  a  year  to  receipt 
payments  on  land  contracts.  On  one  occasion  of  these  visits  my  oldest  brother 
started  just  at  night  with  his  contract  in  pocket  to  make  a  payment.  The  distance 
was  a  mile  and  a  half  through  a  dense  forest  He  chose  this  time  to  save  time  for 
labor  during  the  day  time.  He  went,  made  his  payment  and  started  for  home,  when 
the  evening  was  well  spent.  When  about  half  way  through  the  woods  an  unearthly 
sound  in  a  tree-top  near  by  saluted  his  ears.  In  his  own  language,  as  stated  the 
next  morning,  '*he  thought  his  time  had  come,  for  surely  the  sound  could  proceed 
from  nothing  less  than  a  pianther,  and  as  he  rapidly  contemplated  the  situation  he 
wished  that  the  contract  was  safe  at  home."  Recovering  his  senses  he  hurried  home, 
leaving  the  "screeching  animal  in  the  rear  for  it  did  not  seem  to  follow  him."  For 
several  days  it  was  the  theme  of  conversation  in  family  and  neighborhood.  Shortly 
after  this  event  in  coming  from  the  bam  to  the  house  in  the  evening,  I  heard  a 
screeching  in  the  woods  not  far  off,  and  believing  it  to  proceed  from  the  same  source 
as  that  which  my  brother  had  heard,  I  went  in  and  whispered  to  my  brother  10  go 
the  door  with  me  (there  was  a  neighbor  at  our  house  at  the  time  and  1  being  but  a 
boy  did  not  care  to  speak  of  it  before  him ;)  my  brother  went,  and  on  hearing  it  dis- 
closed it  to  be  the  same  animal.  Our  neighbor  was  then  appealed  to,  and  shortly  he 
and  our  whole  family  were  out  of  doors.  Our  ears  were  soon  saluted  with  the  ter- 
rific yell ;  our  neighlwr,  however,  did  not  seem  much  worried,  but  my  brother  jogged 
him  for  his  opinion  as  to  kind  and  nature  of  the  animal.  **  What ! "  said  he,  "that  'ere 
critter  making  that  screeching?"  "Yes,"  said  my  brother,  "can  you  tell  us  what 
animal  it  is?"  "Why,"  said  he,  "that  *ere  critter  is  a  screech-owl."  Not  much 
was  said  about  wild  animals  by  us  after  that,  and  we  became  the  most  skeptical  of 
all  the  inhabitants  concerning  wild  rumors  sometimes  prevalent.  About  a  year  after 
that  as  I  came  home  from  spelling  school  one  evening,  coming  around  the  comer  of 
the  house  to  the  back  door  I  suddenly  faced  a  large  animal  sitting  on  its  haunches 
looking  into  the  window,  where  a  light  awaited  my  return.  The  animal  was  about 
equally  scared  with  myself,  and  suddenly  disappeared  in  the  direction  of  the  woods. 
The  next  morning  I  traced  the  large  tracks  to  the  woods.  It  was  probably  a  wolf. 
The  circumstance  was  discussed  in  the  family  but  not  outside. 

At  this  early  period  lawsuits  were  of  frequent  occurrence,  growing  out  of  horse 
trades,  petty  thefts,  assaults  and  battery,  etc.  These  suits  were  conducted  by  tAO 
local  pettifoggers,  and  were  usually  decided  in  favor  of  the  party  whose  pettifogger 
could  deal  the  most  telling  hits  at  his  antagonist  and  cause  the  greatest  laugh.  At 
this  period  seed  com  was  a  scarce  commodity,  and  was  generally  obtained  from  the 
flats  or  one  of  the  Spartas.  On  one  occasion  ^pettifogger  Na  I  had  been  out  in 
Sparta  to  try  a  suit,  and  brought  home  his  pockets  lull  of  this  article.  No.  2  soon 
became  acquainted  with  the  fact  and  treasured  the  information  against  the  day  of 
need.  It  soon  came,  for  they  were  fairly  pitted  against  each  other  in  a  bitterly  con- 
tested suit  a*:  no  distant  day.  No.  i  had  succeeded  in  creating  the  greatest  laugh, 
but  No.  2  was  holding  back  his  fire  for  a  proper  time  to  come;  when  he  suddenly 
retorted  by  "  admitting  all  that  the  learned  counsel  had  said,  but  he  hoped  the  time 
was  far  distant  when  he  would  become  so  low  that  he  would  be  obliged  to  go  out 

into  Sparta,  pettifog  all  day,  and  lie  like  the  d 1  for  a  pocket  full  of  com." 

This  happy  nit  turned  the  scale,  and  it  is  needless  to  say  that  Na  2  gained  his  case. 
In  happy  contrast  to  these  events  *he  stern  Puritan  element  of  a  class  that  founded 
our  churches  and  gave  birth  and  tone  to  the  best  element  of  present  society,  stands 
in  bold  relief,  and  may  furnish  topics  for  a  future  communication. 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  I3 

PORTAGE— BV  HON.  C.  D.  BENNETT. 
John  F.  Barber  was  bom  in  Montgomery  county  Sept.  2d,  1809,  whither  his 
father,  Samuel  R  Barber  had  just  movei  from  Vermont.  He  soon  came  on  to 
Cayuga  county  and  thence  in  1820  to  Nunda,  now  Portage.  The  town  was  then  a 
wilderness  then  embraced  in  the  Cottringer  tract  of  50,cx»  acres,  which  came  into 
market  four  years  before.  The  extensive  water  power  and  pine  forests  of  Portage 
induced  a  rapid  settlement.  Younj?  Barber,  not  yet  in  his  teens,  began  work  driv- 
ing the  long  ox  teams  of  Col  Williams,  the  land  agent,  in  breakmg  up  the  oak 
openings  with  the  huge  and  heavy  bull  plows  made  of  wood,  vith  wrought  iron 
fKHnts  and  facings.  When  the  unwieldy  plow  got  too  firmly  fastened  among  the 
roots  for  the  strength  of  the  plowman,  the  lead  yoke  of  oxen  was  hitched  to  a  ring 
set  in  the  hind  end  of  the  land  side  for  that  purpose,  and  drew  the  plow  out  back- 
wards. The  genius  of  Jethro  Wood  had  just  devised  the  cast  iron  plow,  one  of  the 
most  useful  machines  this  century  has  furnished  the  farmers  and  a  priceless  boon  to 
his  countr)'.  Samuel  Barber  was  a  wheelwright,  but  he  made  wooding  plows  his 
leading  bisiness,  bringintj  the  castings  from  Auburn  or  elsewhere.  He  died  untimely 
in  1827,  leaving  John,  (for  his  mother  had  died  before),  with  three  younger  brothers 
and  a  sister,  no  home  or  kindred,  simply  his  tools  and  several  hundred  dollars  in- 
debtedness, a  dark  prospect  for  a  boy  of  seventeen.  With  the  aid  of  friends  he  con- 
tinued to  carry  on  the  shop.  Skill,  industry  and  perseverance  brought  him  credit 
and  patronage.  The  debts  were  paid  and  the  children  educated.  He  rose  at  four 
fi'dock  and  the  light  from  his  shop  window  often  shone  till  midnight.  But  he  pre- 
ferred using  plows  to  making  them.  In  1835  ^^  bought  a  farm  of  fifty  acres,  bor- 
rowing the  money  to  make  the  first  payment.  At  twenty-one  he  had  married  Miss 
Rhoda  Tyler  of  Nunda.  She  died  soon  after  he  moved  on  the  farm,  having  long 
been  in  feeble  health.  Two  years  afterward  he  married  Miss  Mary  Alward  of  Cay- 
ugi  county.  Col  Williams's  large  farm  lay  contiguous  to  his  and  he  worked  much 
of  it  on  shares.  Skillful  in  cropping  and  seasonable  in  seeding,  he  became  the 
most  mccessful  farmer  in  that  region.  The  farmer's  winter  leisure  he  devoted  ♦o 
lumbering;  buvirg  timber  by  the  tree  or  ^>y  *he  acre.  The  lumber  was  sawe  in 
the  mi'ls  on  Coshaqua  creek  and  hauled  five  miles  to  the  river,  rafted  and  run  to 
Rochester.  Th-  river  could  only  be  run  during  freshets  when  the  swiftn'^ss  of  the 
current,  elbows,  eddies,  snat^  and  sandbars  made  running  rafts  very  difficult  and 
dan;;crous.  It  too  often  involved  extreme  hard'Nhip  and  exposu  e.  I^rge  numbers 
of  rafts  were  snaked  or  stranded  and  had  to  be  taken  out  board  by  board  and  rafted 
wer.  The  week  of  toil  and  privation  was  ended  by  the  walk  home,  in  muddy 
roads.  Mr.  Barber  was  among  the  few  who  commonly  walked  th^  fifty  miles  in  a 
day.  The  completion  of  the  canal  to  Mt.  Morris  did  away  with  rafting.  The  roads 
thither  were  strung  with  countless  loads  of  lumber.  He  often  lo^ided  both  ways, 
htulmg  salt  and  other  supplies  far  into  Allegany,  reckless  of  storm  or  cold.  Of 
medium  height,  but  of  full  and  coriipact  physique,  his  capacity  for  hard  labor  and 
for  end-^ring  fatigue  few  could  equal  and  fewer  were  wil line  to  urdertake.  His 
were  the  last  days  of  the  sic"<le,  the  scythe  and  the  cradle,  while  Wm.  Wadsworth 
was  fruitlessly  grasping  for  a  substitute  for  them,  before  McCormick,  Wood  or 
Manny  had  become  the  Arkv>right  of  ihe  farmer,  (iangs  of  men  filed  into  the  hay 
or  harvest  field,  where  generalship  was  needed  as  much  as  in  an  army.  He  ha:i  a 
genius  for  extractir  g  labor  from  his  men.  Long  reaches  of  board  feiices  were  built 
hy  the  plowmen  while  the  teams  took  their  nooning.  The  hum  of  the  thresher  was 
heard  in  his  bam  by  five  o'clock  of  a  winter  morning.  Few  men  had  the  faculty 
of  doing  so  much  with  a  given  gang  of  hands.  But  he  was  ever  the  leader  and 
asked  none  to  be  his  equal  in  the  work.  He  added  adjacent  farms  to  his  firet  one, 
the  executorship  of  some  large  estates  gave  him  the  control  of  funds  which  he  knew 
how  to  make  productive  and  he  was  favored  with  the  luck  that  commonly  follows 
good  minagement  and  close  attention  to  business.  He  was  kind  and  generous  to 
the  needy  and  the  suffering,  but  his  charity  was  diiected  by  discretion,  liberal,  but 
not  lavish.     He  knew   how   to  be  frugal   without  being  mean,   how  to  pro\dde 


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14  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

plentifully  without  profusion  and  how  to  be  liberal  without  extravagance.  Endowed 
with  a  quick  perception  and  sound  judgment  he  had  little  patience  with  the  short 
sighted  and  erring,  so  even  in  pUbiic  matters  he  preferred  to  act  alone.  Even  in 
working  the  ro&ds  he  chose  to  be  a  district  by  hiniaelf,  but  he  took  a  liber?  1  len^h 
of  road  and  kept  it  in  good  repair.  Though  long  a  prominent  citizen,  disdnction 
was  not  the  result  of  social  activity  or  official  position.  He  neither  sought  or  shun- 
ned office.  A  Jackson  democrat  at  his  majonty,  he  was  ever  faithful  to  the  princi- 
ples of  the  party.  He  was  for  several  vears  vice-president  of  the  Genesee  River 
bank,  and  ih  1875  became  the  president  of  the  First  National  bank  of  Nimda.  He 
was  a  member  of  our  Historical  Society  and  probably  no  other  person  had  so  vhnd 
and  correct  a  recollection  of  the  people  and  their  doings*  who  transformed  that  re- 
gion from  a  wilderness  into  its  present  state. 

Mr.  Barber  was  not  a  speculator,  h  e  made  no  investments  where  the  profits 
were  precarious.  He  was  rather  an  instance  of  what  superior  physical  and  mental 
ability  may  achieve  by  common  means,  one  who  b^an  in  debt  and  yet  by  persever- 
ing labor  and  economy  attained  to  affluence,  without  the  adventitious  aids  that  for- 
tune affords  her  favorites.  His  second  wife  dying,  he  married  in  185 1  Miss  Adaline 
Newcomb.  His  only^  child,  Mary,  mamed  Mr.  Clarence  Thornton  of  Auburn. 
He  had  for  many  yean>  iKcn  afflicted  with  a  cancer,  whose  tortures  he  bore  i*ith 
heroic  fortitude.  He  died  Feb.  7th,  1883,  a  sad  instance  of  the  immeiisity  of  suflcr- 
ing  humanity  can  endure. 

SPARTA— BY  JESSE  SMITH,  ESQ. 

Michael  Kline  came  here  from  Pennsylvania  with  John  Hoffman  and  Adam 
Smith  in  April,  1825,  and  settled  on  a  farm  he  bought  of  l^wis  Collar  the  year 
previous,  and  which  now  belongs  to  his  grandchildren,  part  to  the  Hoffiium  family 
and  part  now  owned  by  Jesse  Smith.  Andrew  Shafer  sell. el  in  an  early  day  on  the 
funii  now  owned  by  John  Shafer,  a  grandson  of  Andrew  Shafer. 

l^eter  Kuhn  settle<l  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  Fretl.  K-  Traxler,  a  grandson. 
David  Sutton  settled  in  an  early  day  on  land  at  the  heat!  of  big  gull,  and  now  owned 
hy  Robert  H.  Ross,  William  H.  Carney,  adjoining  west  of  gull,  now  o\^-ned  1^-  his 
son  Hugh  Carney. 

I  am  not  conversant  with  dates  of  many  of  the  old  settlers  that  I  remember. 
Shutts,  Claytons,  Drieslxichs,  Hamshers,  Weidmans,  Collars,  all  settled  in  an  early 
day.  Henry  Shafer  settled  about  1818  on  the  place  now  owned  by  his  daughter, 
Mrs.  Altmeyer  of  Dansville, 

Archibald  McFetridge  settled  on  the  eastern  slope  of  Niblack^s  Hill  in  1826  on 
the  farm  where  he  still  lives.  Mr.  McFetridge  was  a  native  of  the  County  Antrim, 
Ireland,  and  of  Scotch  descent.  He  came  here  in  July,  1819.  He  was  a  wreaver 
by  trade  and  worked  four  years  in  Dansville  woolen  factory,  which  was  run  by  the 
Sills.  The  mill  was  located  l)etween  the  Stone  mill  and  lower  paper  mill ;  also  in 
Bloomfield  woolen  factory  one  year.  He  returned  to  Ireland  in  October,  1824. 
Was  married  in  Ireland  June,  1825,  ^o  Jennie  Craig,  a  sister  of  Dr.  Craig  of  Gene- 
seo.  Sailed  from  lielfasi,  Ireland,  June  27th,  nine  days  after  marriage,  and  landed 
at  Montreal  47  days  afierv^ard.  After  returning  he  worked  at  Bloomfield.  After- 
ward helped  dig  the  Zehner  mill  race  for  Isaac  Havens.  Then  worked  in  a  woolen 
factory  on  Allen's  Creek,  Caledonia.  In  Octolxir,  1825,  bought  the  farm  on  which 
he  still  lives,  and  moved  on  the  place  the  following  May.  He  paid  for  the  impro\'e- 
ments  in  cloth,  money  l)eing  a  scarce  article.  The  children  are  Mrs.  Charles  Brew- 
er, Ellen  and  Sarah  and  Maggie  McFetridge  who  are  at  home,  Mrs.  John  Lo^an, 
Mrs.  John  Millholland,  K.  L.  McFetridge.  Three  sons  are  dead.  Mr.  McFetridge 
and  his  wife  are  two  of  seven  persons  in  louii  alx>ve  eighty  years  of  age,  he  being 
alxnit  ninety-two  and  his  wife  seven  years  y  )unger. 

Erhart  Ran  settled  in  an  early  day  at  Keed's  Comers,  where  he  is  still  li\-ing 
with  his  daughter,  and  is  now  ninety-six  years  of  age  and  hale  and  hearty. 

Willis  Clark,  Sen.,  is  now  living  on  the  farm  where  he  settled  in  an  early  day, 
and  is  ninety-four  and  remarkably  well  preserved  for  that  age. 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 5 

Henry  Hartman  settled  early  on  the  farm  he  still  owns,  at  the  advanced  age  of 
eighty-nine. 

Eleanor  Kuhn,  widow  of  Jacob  Kuhn,  is  an  early  settler  and  is  about  eighty-five. 

Mrs.  Lydia  Driesbach,  mother  of  Elias  Driesbach,  is  one  of  the  early  settlers 
now  living  far  past  80. 

Abraham  Kiehle  settled  in  1818  on  the  farm  where  he  died  in  1868,  and  his 
ttife  died  in  1876  at  the  age  of  ninety-two,  and  the  farm  is  now  o\\Tied  by  his  son, 
Benjamin  Kiehle. 

At  the  time  these  old  settlers  first  came  here  there  were  no  churches  in  town  ; 
the  nearest  church  was  in  Dansville,  but  they  soon  had  schoolhouses  and  churches 
until  the  town  can  now  boast  of  eight  churches  and  nine  schoolhouses. 

Peter  Roberts — By  Jacob  G.  Roberts. 
[.A.  Historical  Sketch  of  Pioneer  Life  of  one  Peter  Roberts,  as  given  by  his 
l^ranison,  Jacob  G.  Roberts,  now  a  resident  of  Tecumseh,  Mich.] 

In  1798  in  the  month  of  June,  my  father  and  my  uncle  John  Roberts,  came 
from  Pennsylvania  to  the  (icnesee  Valley,  Livingston  county,  N.  V.,  and  located  on 
the  flats  near  Squakie  Hill,  where  Horatio  Jones,  the  government  agent,  then  lived, 
bringing  with  them  an  ax,  scythes,  and  a  good  rifle.  These  two  men  at  that  place 
nit  and  put  up  a  number  of  tons  of  hay  with  the  intention  of  having  their  father  and 
fiinily  settle  there.  The  hay  they  carried  on  poles,  and  stacked  it ;  their  only  fork 
fl-as  the  crotch  of  a  sapling.  After  they  had  finished  their  haying,  they  returned  to 
Fennsyhrania,  and  in  the  month  of  August  of  the  same  year  they  returned  with  their 
father  and  family  to  the  Genesee  Valley,  bringing  with  them  their  stock,  consisting 
of  two  yoke  of  oxen,  five  cows,  and  one  span  of  horses,  cutting  their  way  through 
the  woods  most  of  the  way. 

On  their  arrival  at  the  flats,  Horatio  Jones  assisted  them  in  selecting  a  location 
for  them  to  build  a  house.  The  house  was  built  of  logs  and  completed  during  the 
fifl.  .About  this  time  the  Indians  in  this  vicinity  had  a  powwow  and  dance.  In  the 
tribe  was  one  squaw  who  had  committed  some  misdeed  contrary  to  Indian  rules, 
wnsejuently  she  was  not  permitted  to  join  in  their  sport.  They  had  whisky  and 
had  a  high  time,  and  this  squaw  not  being  permitted  to  join  in  their  festivities,  be- 
came so  enraged  that  she  shortly  afterwards  set  fire  to  the  flats  ;  the  weather  during 
t.te  fall  having  been  very  dry,  the  fire  spread  rapidly  and  did  serious  damage,  des-, 
troving  all  the  hay  in  that  vicinity.  Mr.  Jones,  in  trying  to  save  his  ponies  and  other 
5^(Kk,  bejamc  surrounded  by  fire,  and  in  order  to  save  himself  selected  the  greenest 
sp>t  convenient,  dropped  on  his  face  and  the  wave  of  fire  passed  over  doing  him  but 
^:tlc  injury.  Mr.  Jones,  having  the  handling  of  moneys  and  paying  o(T  the  Indians, 
i-ept  back  ^91,  and  paid  the  same  to  the  new  comers  in  silver  for  the  loss  of  their 
hay.  This  so  enraged  the  Indians  at  this  squaw  that  they  drove  a  stake  in  the 
gyotmd,  tied  her  to  it,  piled  wood  around  her,  set  it  on  fire  and  burned  her  to  death. 
They  invited  our  people  to  go  and  see  her  burn,  but  they  did  not  go. 

Winter  now  setting  in  with  nothing  to  feed  their  stock,  prospects  looked 
gloomy.  Something  had  to  be  done.  They  being  woodsmen  and  good  hunters, 
They  set  out  to  find  the  best  place  for  browsing,  which  they  finally  selected  on  what 
w  now  the  southeast  corner  of  the  town  of  (iroveland,  it  being  well  covered  with 
iiasswood,  and  moved  their  family  and  stock  there,  cutting  such  trees  and  brush  as 
H^  best  suited  to  feed  their  stock  on,  and  tried  to  winter  them  through,  but  they 
all  died  except  two  oxen,  two  cows  and  one  horse.  My  grandmother  took  the  grass 
that  was  in  their  beds,  cut  it  and  with  pounded  corn  fed  it  to  the  cows  to  help  to 
k«:p  them  from  starving. 

The  next  season  they  moverl  to  Sparta,  and  located  on  what  is  known  as  Nib- 
iack*5  hill,  where  they  purchased  land.  I  lere  my  grandfather  died  at  the  age  of 
tighty-four  years,  and  my  grandmother  at  the  advanced  age  of  loi  years,  3  months 
and  2  days.  My  father,  Peter  Roberts,  was  married  to  I^lizabeth  Gilman  about  the 
year  1801.  There  being  no  one  legally  entitled  to  perform  the  marriage  ceremony 
nearer  than  Justice  of  the  Peace  James  Wadsworth,  Geneseo,  the  couple  went  on 
horseback  to  said  justice,  she  riding  behind  him  on  the  horse. 


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1 6  UVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

WEST  SPARTA— BY  DAVID  McNAIR. 

West  Spaita  was  first  settled  by  a  few  incomers  soon  after  1790.  The  earliest 
to  enter  the  town  were  Jeremiah  Gregory,  a  Mr.  Duncan,  Benjamin  Wilcox,  Wil- 
liam Stevens,  and  John  McNair.  W  ilcox,  Stevens  and  Gregory  were  from  the  east 
Mr.  McNair  was  from  the  Lehigh  Valley.  These  earliest  settlers  were  hardy  and 
enterprising,  encountering  many  difificulties.  The  hillsides  were  soon  covered  by 
other  arrivals,  and  small  clearings  appeared  here  and  there.  The  whole  town  was 
covered  by  a  dense  forest  such  as  almost  to  defy  the  woodman's  axe.  In  the  valley 
there  was  a  large  number  of  huge  wahiut  trees  from  which  the  early  pioneers  made 
the  best  of  rails  to  enclose  their  clearings..  Many  of  these  rails  made  in  those  early 
days  are  still  to  be  found  doing  service  on  some  farms.  One  of  these  walnut  trees 
the  writer  saw  lying  prostrate,  and  at  the  butt  it  was  six  feet  four  inches  in  diameter 
and  had  a  body  about  fifty  feet  long.  Not  one  representative  of  those  monsters  of 
the  forest  remains.     They  have  passed  away  like  the  Indian,  never  to  return. 

The  hillsides  were  covered  with  as  fine  a  growth  of  white  oak  as  ever  was  seen, 
but  the  woodman's  axe  ruthlessly  destroyed  them,  and  now  fields  of  grain  grow 
where  once  they  stood.  White  pine  also  prevailed  extensively.  Many  of  these  trees 
grew  to  the  height  of  1 50  feet,  the  writer  having  frequently  measured  trees  of  that 
height.  Those  130  feet  nigh  were  very  common,  ihe  bodies  of  many  of  them 
were  fit  for  sawing  purposes  for  So  or  90  feet.  Some  of  the  groves  would  have  as 
much  as  ioo,cxx>  feet  of  lumber  to  the  acre,  and  single  trees  would  often  contain 
from  two  to  three  thousand  feet  The  best  of  shingles  were  made  from  them  and 
roofs  laid  with  these  shingles  remained  good  for  30  years  and  longer. 

There  were  two  mill  streams  within  the  town  in  those  daj's,  but  now  the  water 
has  so  failed  as  to  be  no  longer  available  for  water  power.  On  the  Hartman  creek 
there  were,  within  the  writer's  memory  at  one  and  the  same  time,  eight  or  nine  saw 
mills  and  one  grist  mill,  the  first  in  town.  On  the  Duncan,  now  known  as  Brad- 
ner's  creek,  there  were  two  saw  mills  within  the  town,  a  carding  and  cloth-dressing 
machine,  and  also  a  turning  machine  which  turned  out  wooden  bowls  in  large  quan- 
tities. Many  times  has  the  writer  seen  loads  of  black  ash  knots  drawn  by  for  the 
purpose  of  manufacturing  mto  bowls.  With  care  these  bowls  would  last  a  life  time. 
One  of  the  saw  mills  was  located  on  the  Bradner  farm  near  the  roadside  at  the  cross- 
ing of  the  creek.  The  other  was  located  above.  It  was  on  this  creek  that  Millard 
Fillmore  worked  for  a  time  at  the  cloth-dressing  business  under  the  care  of  Benjamin 
Hui^erford.  At  the  present  time  there  is  not  a  mill  of  any  kind  within  the  town 
on  either  of  these  creeks. 

Lumber  and  shingles  were  at  one  time  extensive  articles  of  commerce.  Samuel 
Stoner,  an  early  settler  of  Byersville,  dealt  largely  in  them,  carting  to  the  towns  in 
Monroe  coimty  and  elsewhere.  At  one  time  he  purchased  a  barrel  of  pork  of  a 
merchant  in  Monroe  county,  agreeing  to  pay  him  in  shingles.  Upon  taking  the 
pork  home  and  opening  the  barrel  it  proved  to  be  damaged.  He  reported  the  ftut 
to  the  merchant,  but  all  the  satisfaction  he  could  get  was  being  told  to  "  smoke  it.'* 
Stoner  was  a  man  of  strict  integrity  and  he  believed  in  the  doctrine  of  "  an  eye  for 
an  eye  and  a  tooth  for  a  tooth."  In  due  time  the  shingles  were  delivered,  having 
the  appearance  on  the  outside  of  being  first  quality.  Uppn  using  the  shingles  the 
inside  of  the  bunches  were  found  to  be  worthless.  Stoner  was  appealed  to  but  the 
only  reply  he  made  was  :     **  Smoke  'em,  smoke  'em," 

Mr.  Stoner  was  once  driving  along  the  road  when,  hearing  a  call  from  a  nei^- 
bor  in  an  adjoining  field,  he  stopped  and  inquired  what  was  wanting.  "  Don't  I 
owe  you  five  dollars,"  said  the  man.  "  Yes,  and  you  will  pay  me  one  time.  Git 
up,  git  up,"  and  on  he  drove. 

Among  the  early  settlers  was  Ebenezer  McMaster,  a  man  of  stalwart  frame  and 
great  physical  powers,  and,  withal,  one  of  nature's  noblemen.  He  had  gathered 
around  him  a  little  live  stock  and  was  then  living  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  Joseph 
Cone.  At  this  time  there  was  a  mad  wolf  that  was  the  terror  of  the  neighborhood. 
This  wolf  came  into  McMaster's  yard,  and  he  seeing  it  biting  his  stock,  went  out. 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  17 

catching  up  a  fence  stake  as  he  went  Bill  Stevens  called  to  him  that  he  was  an 
"imprudent  nian  ;"  but  McMaster  was  nerved  to  the  highest  pitch,  and  as  he  enter- 
ed the  yard  the  wolf  came  at  him  on  a  lope.  As  he  came  within  reach  he  received 
a  powerful  stroke  firom  the  fence  stake  which  killed  him  outright  Seeing  the  wolf 
dead  Bill  Stevens  ventured  up  to  it  and  hammered  it  over  the  head.  When  the 
iieighb'>rs  hearing  of  the  exploit  gathered  around,  Bill  greeted  them  with,  "We 
have  killed  the  wolf." 

Before  coming  to  this  country  Mr.  McMaster  married  a  yoimg  woman  of  Ches- 
ter county,  Pa.  He  brought  her  from  her  mother  and  friends  into  this  new  country. 
She  had  but  little  opportunity  to  hear  from  home,  as  the  means  of  communication 
in  that  day  were  verv  scant  After  a  separation  of  over  thirty  years  Mr.  McMaster 
and  wife  were  enabled  to  make  a  visit  to  the  old  home  and  to  her  aged  mother. 
They  traveled  in  what  was  then  called  a  little  wagon.  It  was  before  the  day  of 
elliptic  springs.  Many  were  the  heart  risings  as  they  neared  the  old  home  and  came 
in  front  of  the  house.  Getting  out  and  hitching  the  horse  they  walked  up  to  the 
piazza  where  sat  an  aged  lady.  Leading  the  way  he  went  directly  to  her  and  asked 
her  if  she  had  a  daughter  that  had  married  long  ago  and  gone  to  Western  New 
York  and  whom  she  had  not  seen  since.  Slowly  and  sadly  the  old  lady  replied, 
**0h,  yes,  yes,"  as  if  she  never  expected  to  see  her  or  hear  from  her  again.  Turn- 
ing around  and  pointing  to  his  wife  he  said,  "Well,  there  she  is."  As  he  told  the 
writer  of  the  meeting  long  afterward  he  said,  **It  was  *Oh,  Betsey,  oh.  Mammy  ! 
oh,  Betsey,  oh.  Mammy?*  "  The  scene  after  the  long  years  of  separation,  and  the 
joy  of  meeting  can  better  be  imagined  than  described. 

YORK— BY  ALEX.   REID. 

Inasmuch  as  there  are  two  published  histories  of  this  county,  the  one  first  issued 
recording  all  the  important  events  in  its  history  and  bringing  the  record  down  to 
within  ten  years  of  this  present  date  ;  the  one  last  issued  dealing  largely  with  the 
biographies  of  the  prominent  men  and  women,  living  and  dead,  and  also  with  the 
important  events  relating  specially  to  the  several  towns,  and  bringing  its  record 
down  to  the  commencement  of  the  present  decade  ;  it  follows  that  we  can  only  be 
gleaners  in  a  field  already  harvested,  and  also  pretty  thoroughly  gleaned 

Yet  every  year  nmkes  material  for  history,  and  perhaps  we  can  do  no  better 
work  as  a  Historical  Society  than  to  put  in  shape  for  preservation  the  noteworthy 
events  occurring  during  the  year  in  our  respective  towns,  and  though  the  items  may 
at  present  seem  trivial,  yet  they  may  be  the  most  desirable  data  for  the  book  writing 
historian. 

We  would  note  the  completion  of  the  Lackawanna  railroad  and  the  Genesee 
Valley  Canal  railroad  through  the  town  of  York,  and  their  opening  for  traffic  about 
the  commencement  of  the  year  1883,  as  notable  events  to  the  citizens  of  our  town. 
Once  the  most  isolated  town  in  the  county,  and  despairing  of  ever  being  traversed  by 
the  iron  horse,  all  at  once  we  find  ourselves  favored  with  the  long  coveted  conven- 
ience. Though  not  expecting  to  become  a  railroad  center,  or  a  financial  or  political 
hub,  yet  we  feel  that  our  citizens  are  specially  well  accommodated  by  the  four  rail- 
road stations  and  five  postoffices  dotted  evenly  over  the  town,  and  can  truly  say  that 
the  wide  world  with  its  busy,  bustling  activities  is  just  at  our  elbow. 

Another  notable  event  is  the  discovery  that  there  is  a  vast  mine  of  crystalized 
salt  underlying  an  extensive  portion  of  Western  New  York.  The  first  discovery 
was  at  Wyoming,  Wyoming  county,  some  four  years  ago,  the  second  at  Greigsville 
in  the  town  of  York.  The  drill  was  started  at  the  latter  place  in  December,  1881, 
and  salt  was  struck  in  the  summer  of  1882,  by  the  Genesee  Valley  Salt  company,  an 
organization,  the  formation  of  which  was  due  mainly  to  the  perseverance  of  Carroll 
Cocher,  the  "  self  taught  geologist."  There  are  now  five  wells  near  the  Lackawanna 
railroad  at  Greigsville,  ranging  in  depth  1050  to  1150  feet,  all  passing  through  salt 
deposit  A  well  at  Piffard  on  the  hne  of  the  Canal  railroad  put  dov^-n  within  the 
post  year  by  the  Livingston  Salt  company,  proved  to  have  about  80  feet  in  depth  of 


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1 8  UVINGSTON   CX>UNTY   HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

crystalized  salt,  and  also  an  abundance  of  brine  of  perfect  quality.  Evaporating 
works  have  been  erected,  and  evaporating  commenced  about  the  25th  of  December 
last,  and  this  short  experience  has  demonstrated  that  the  works  have  a  capacity  of 
about  200  barrels  per  day,  and  the  quality  unexcelled  in  the  world.  Speculations  as 
to  the  future  of  this  industry  may  not  be  in  the  line  of  the  historian,  yet  from  th< 
facts  that  the  crystalized  salt,  and  also  the  brine  Is  nearer  the  surface  than  elsewhere, 
that  the  brine  is  full  strength,  that  the  manufactured  product  is  the  best,  that  rail- 
roads are  convenient  and  ample,  putting  the  salt  field  within  one  hour's  ride  of  the 
cities  of  Rochester  and  Buffalo,  certaimy  justify  the  conclusion  that  the  salt  industry 
will  be  one  of  expanding  magnitude. 

In  Mt  Pleasant,  a  cemetery  midway  between  the  village  of  Vork  and  Fowler- 
ville,  marked  by  a  very  plain  slab  of  some  native  stone,  is  the  grave  of  Moses  Hay- 
den,  first  judge  of  the  first  court  of  record  held  in  Livingston  county,  twice  a  mem- 
ber of  congress  from  this  district,  a  state  senator  dying  at  Albany  during  his  term  of 
office,  Feb.  14,  183a  If  Judge  Hayden  left  any  descendant  or  any  branch  of  hb 
family  at  present  residents  of  this  county,  it  is  unknown  to  the  writer. 

The  following  communication  from  Secretary  Seymour  was  pre- 
sented and  on  motion  ordered  published  in  the  pamphlet : 

To  THE  Livingston  County  Historical  Society— (Ients  :  I  take  pleas- 
ure in  informing  you  that  our  Society  was  never  in  a  more  prosperous  condition 
than  at  present,  and  we  think  it  daily  growing  in  the  estimation  of  the  citizens  of 
our  county.  Of  its  success  and  perp>etuity  I  have  no  doubt.  Among  the  many 
acknowledgements  I  have  received  from  persons  to  whom  I  sent  our  last  pamphlet, 
I  enclose  one  from  Hon.  James  O.  Putnam  of  Buffala  It  deserves  a  pn>minent 
place  among  our  records. 

Regretting  my  inability  to  be  present  at  this  the  eighth  annual  meeting  of  our 
society,  I  am  yours  very  truly, 

Norman  Seymour. 

Following  is  Mr.  Putnam's  letter  : 

Buffalo,  Nov.  i,  1883. 
•  My  Dear  Sir  : — Please  accept  my  thanks  for  the  pamphlet  of  the  Livingston 
County  Historical  Society  for  1883.  I  know  no  better  method  of  preserving  local 
traditions  and  history,  and  so  preserving  the  moral  and  social  continuity  of  our 
Western  New  York  neighborhoods,  than  by  such  organizations.  Compared  with 
European  states,  we  are  as  of  yesterday,  but  in  time  ours  will  be  ancient  states. 
Then  our  records  will  be  of  great  interest  The  debt  we  owe  to  ancestors  we  must 
pay  to  posterity. 

I  remam,  dear  sir,  very  truly  yours, 
Hon.  Norman  Seymour.  James  O.  Putnam. 

The  following  new  members  were  elected:  Dr.  Cyrus  Allen, 
Orange  Sackett,  Florance  VanAllen,  George  D.  Dooer,  Seymour 
Johnson,  and  William  VanZandt  of  Avon ;  Bennett  Gray  of  Caledo- 
nia ;  A.  T.  Norton  and  Charles  Dibble  of  Lima ;  E.  L.  McFetridgc, 
John  Logan  and  Jesse  Smith  of  Sparta.  The  following  gentlemen, 
non-residents  of  the  county,  were  elected  honorary  members :  Jacob 
G.  Roberts,  Tecumseh,  Mich. ;  Gov.  Josiah  W.  Begole,  Flint,  Mich. ; 
Hon.  Charles  S.  Hall,  Allegany  county;  Hon.  Charles  E.  Fitch, 
Rochester. 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 9 

The  following  officers  were  elected  for  the  ensuing  year : 

President — Alex.  H.  McLean,  Caledonia. 

Vice-President — Hon.  Matthew  Wiard,  Avon. 

Secretary  and  Treasurer — Norman  Seymour,  Mount  Morris. 

Messrs.  Mills,  Ferine  and  Coe,  appointed  to  report  members  of 

board  of  councilmen,  etc,  reported,  recommending  as  follows : 

Board  of  Councilmen— B.  F.  Angel,  M.  H.  Mills,  F.  M.  Perine,  Davitl 
McNair,  L.  J.  Ames,  J.  A.  Dana,  C  D.  Bennett,  E.  H.  Davis,  E.  L.  McFetridge. 

Also  the  following  standing  committees  : 

Publication— M.  H.  Mills,  N.  Seymour,  F.  M.  Perine. 
Finance — E.  H.  Davis,  M.  Wiard,  C.  K.  Sanders. 
Membership— L.  T.  Ames,  A.  D.  Coe,  A.  T.  Norton. 
Necrology — W.  A.  Brodie,iN.  Seymour,  E.  H.  Davis. 

The  report  was  accepted  and  recommendation  adopted. 

The   following  gentlemen    were   appointed  committeemen   for 

their  resp^ictive  towns : 

Avon— J.  A.  Dana.  N.  Dansville— Dr.  F.  M.  Perine. 

Caledonia — Wm.  Hamilton.  Nunda — C.  K.  Sanders. 

Conesus — A.  D.  Coe.  Ossian — Isaac  Hampton. 

Geneseo — Dr.  F.  DeW.  Ward.  Portage— C  D.  Bennett 

Groveland — R.  Johnson.  Sparta — Jesse  Roberts. 

Leicester — E.  W.  Sears.  Springwater — E,  N.  Curtice. 

Lima— G.  W.  At  well,  Jr.  West  Sparta — David  McNair. 

Livonia — Ira  Patchin.  York — Alexander  Reid. 
Mt.  Morris — L.  J.  Ames. 

Mr.  Davis  presented  the  resolution  of  the  board  of  trustees  of 
Wadsworth  library  tendering  to  the  society  the  use  of  the  gallery  on 
the  north  side  of  that  building  as  a  depository  for  the  records  and 
other  articles  coming  into  possession  of  the  society,  and  moved  the 
appointment  of  a  committee  to  perfect  arrangements  for  the  occu- 
pancy of  the  place  so  generously  tendered,  and  to  report  at  a  meet- 
ing of  the  board  of  councilmen.  The  motion  was  carried  and  the 
president  appointed  as  such  committee  Messrs.  E.  H.  Davis,  Presi- 
dent McLean  and  Secretary  Seymour. 

The  society  is  under  obligation  to  Dr.  L.  J.  Ames  for  a  copy  of 
his  "  Forty  Years  of  Professional  Life  and  Personal  Recollections  of 
Forty  Years  Ago,"  a  valuable  historical  document 

After  the  transaction  of  some  miscellaneous  business,  the  thanks 
of  the  society  were  voted  to  the  retiring  president,  and  the  company 
adjourned  for  dinner.  This  was  a  bountiful  and  toothsome  dinner 
served  in   Mrs.  Pattee's  best  style.     It  was  partaken  of  with  great 


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20  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOaETY. 

zest  and  enthusiastically  praised  by  all.  As  a  closing  treat,  Mr.  Pat- 
tee  produced  his  ancient  bass-viol,  and  sang  with  great  spirit,  those 
songs  familiar  fifty  years  ago — "  I  am  Monarch  of  all  I  Survey,"  and 
"  Highland  Laddie."  He  received  hearty  applause  and  thanks,  and 
his  older  hearers  confessed  that  it  carried  them  away  back  to  the 
days  of  their  youth. 


THE  PUBLIC  MEETING 

Was  held  at  2:30  p.  m.  in  the  Methodist  church.  Prayer  was  offered 
by  Rev.  K.  D.  Nettleton,  pastor  of  the  church,  followed  by  excellent 
singing  under  the  direction  of  Mr.  \V.  S.  Newman.  President  Bun- 
nell then  delivered  the  following  introductory  address: 

THE  PRESIDENTS  ADDRESS, 

Members  qf  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society  :  I  extend  to 
you  a  cordial  greeting  and  welcome  you  to  the  eighth  annual  meeting  of  this  Socie- 
ty. I  offer  congratuktions  that  through  the  widespread  disasters,  and  the  destroy- 
ing diseases  which  characterized  the  past  year,  we  have  safely  found  oar  way,  and 
not  a  single  member  has  fallen  in  our  ranks.  I  congratulate  you  that  we  meet  in 
Avon,  a  village  noted  for  the  beauty  and  intelligence  of  its  women,  the  integrity  and 
enter i^rise  of  its  men,  the  magnificence  of  its  landscape,  the  fertility  of  its  soil,  and 
lastly,  but  by  no  means  least,  for  the  fragrance  of  its  healing  waters.  This  is  the 
birthplace  ot  the  lamented  Hosmer,  the  modem  Bard  of  Avon,  whose  genius  has 
given  it  a  world-wide  fame.  Two  centuries  ago,  and  at  the  foot  of  this  very  hiD, 
it  is  alleged,  was  fought  the  fierce  battle  between  De  Nonville  and  the  **  Romans  of 
the  West,"  so  vigorously  portrayed  in  Hosmer's  Yonnondio.  Here  came  at  an 
early  day,  the  worthy  successors  of  the  red  woodland  kings,  the  moat  prominent  of 
the  pioneers  of  Western  New  York,  whose  memories  it  is  the  object  of  this  society 
to  honor  and  to  preserve.     This  is  historic  ground.     It  is  meet  that  we  meet  here. 

I^ies  and  Gentlemen  of  Avon,  Citizens  of  Livingston  County :  On  bdiaif  of 
the  Society,  which  I  have  the  honor  to  represent  on  this  occasion,  I  give  you  kindly 
welcome  to  this  meeting.  I  sincerely  trust  that  the  hour  spent  here  may  be  enter- 
taining and  profitable  to  each  and  every  one.  You  should  be  interested  in  this  So- 
ciety, for  it  is  organized  in  your  interest.  As  citizens  of  Livingston,  a  county  ridi 
in  historic  memories,  and  proud  of  our  ancestors,  the  pioneers  of  this  ooanty,  ire 
are  all  concerned  in  their  history.  Our  deepest  r^et  to-day  is  that  this  Sodety  was 
organized  only  eight  brief  years  ago,  when  it  should  have  reached  its  semi-centen- 
nial. Its  members  keenly  realize  the  importance  of  time  in  collecting  the  history  of 
a  past  and  passing  generation ;  that  the  golden  sands  have  been  fast  slipping  from 
the  hour-glass  which  is  never  turned ;  that  the  history  of  many  important  events, 
which  might  have  been  procured  from  eye-witnesses,  was  lost  forever  when  the 
palsying  finger  of  death  touched  their  tongues ;  that  now  it  is  only  through  the  dim 
twilight  of  tradition  that  we  can  trace  the  forms  of  many  of  those  whom  we  would 
honor.     But  r^rets  are  vain.     As  a  Society,  we  have  endeavored  by  faithful  indtts^ 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETtNG.  ,       ^^ 

tiy  to  make  amends  for  the  neglects  of  the  past  by  improving  the  present.  What 
we  as  a  Society  have  done,  and  what  we  aim  to  do,  may  be  my  most  appropriate  intro- 
duction to  the  exercises  which  are  to  follow  : 

The  initiatory  steps  to  organize  a  historical  society  for  Livingston  coimty  were 
taken  at  an  informal  meeting  of  a  few  persons  in  Dansville,  December,  1875.  ^^ 
adKmmed  meeting  was  held  in  Mt.  Morris  in  January,  1876,  of  which  Dr.  M.  H. 
Mills  was  chosen  chairman,  and  Mr.  Norman  Seymour  secretary.  After  earnest 
discussion  the  society  was  organized  by  the  election  of  the  following  officers  for  1876 : 

President— Dr.  Daniel  H.  Fitzhugh. 

Vice-Presidents— Dr.  Tames  Faulkner,  William  Scott,  Adolphus  Watktns,  Dr. 
D.  H.  Bisiell,  Deacon  John  McCoU. 

Secretary — Mr.  Norman  Seymour. 

Executive  Committee— Hon.  B.  F.  Angel,  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  Samuel  P.  Allen, 
L.  B.  Proctor,  Richard  Peck,  George  W.  Root. 

A  singular  mortality  has  attended  these  first  officers.  President  Fitzhugh  is 
dead.  Of  the  five  vice-presidents,  but  two.  Deacon  John  McCoU  and  Dr.  James 
Faulkner  survive,  the  latter  at  the  advanced  age  of  94  years.  Of  the  executive  com- 
mittee, one-half  are  dead — Messrs.  Allen,  Peck  and  Root.  Peace  to  their  memo- 
ries. Of  those  who  remain,  Mr.  Seymour  has  been  the  faithful  secretary  from  the 
first ;  Messrs.  Angel,  Mills  and  Proctor  among  the  most  prominent  and  active 
members. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  Society,  held  in  Mt  Morris  Feb.  13th,  1877,  a  constitutkm 
ted  by-laws  were  adopted,  and  a  certificate  of  incorporation  perfected,  certified  cop- 
ies of  which  were  subsequently  filed  in  the  offices  of  the  Searetary  of  State  and  the 
County  Clerk  of  Livingston  County. 

The  general  objects  of  the  Society  a?  defined  by  the  constitution  are  **to  dis- 
cover, procure  and  preserve  whatever  may  relate  to  the  hbtory  of  Western  New 
York  in  general,  and  Livingston  County  and  its  towns  in  particular,  and  to  gather 
such  statistics  of  education  and  population,  growth  and  prosperity,  and  business  of 
this  region,  as  may  seem  advisable  or  of  public  utility.*'  Ptovision  is  made  for  an 
annual  meeting  on  the  second  Tuesday  in  January  of  each  year,  at  which  the  officers 
are  to  be  elected,  business  transacted,  and  an  annual  address  delivered. 

The  following  gentlemen  have  served  as  presklents  of  the  society  :  1876,  Dr. 
D.  H.  Fitzhugh;  1877-8,  Dr.  D.  H.  Bissell;  1879,  ^-  M.  H.  Mills;  1880,  Hon. 
William  M.  White  ;  1881,  Hon.  B.  F.  Angel ;  1882,  E.  H.  Davis ;  1883,  A.  O. 
BannelL 

The  request  of  the  Centennial  Commission  at  Philadelphia  that  in  each  county 
in  the  United  States  a  historical  address  be  prepared,  p'»blicly  delivered  July  4tK, 
1876,  and  then  forwarded  to  the  capitol  at  Washington  for  record,  was  complied 
with  on  behalf  of  the  Society  by  Mr.  Norman  Seymour.  The  annual  addresses 
have  been  delivered  as  follows:  In  1878,  by  Hon.  B.  F.  Angel ;  subject.  Historical 
Fallacies.  In  1879,  ^Y  ^^'  ^  ^*  Proctor  ;  subject.  The  Judges  and  Lawyers  of 
Ii\'ingston  County  and  their  Relation  to  the  History  of  Western  New  York.     In 

1880,  by  Hon.  William  M.  White ;  subject.  The  Recent  Discoveries  in  Histonr.     In 

1881,  by  Rev.  Lloyd  Windsor,  D.  D. ;  subject.  The  Nature  and  Kinds  of  Historic 
Evkience,  and  their  Respective  Values.  In  1882,  by  Rev.  F.  DeW.  Ward,  D.  D. ; 
subject.  The  Ecclesiastical  History  of  Livingston  County.  In  1883,  by  Hon.  John 
R.  McPherson  ;  subject.  The  Uses  of  History. 

Other  addresses  have  been  made  by  the  Presidents  of  the  Society,  by  Secretary 
Seymour,  Capt  S.  Adams  Lee,  Dr.  F.  M.  Ferine,  Mr.  L.  B.  Proctor,  Mrs.  B.  ll 
HovCT,  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  and  others. 

Biographical  sketches  of  deceased  members  have  been  prepared  as  follows : 
William  Scott,  by  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills ;  Amos  A.  Hendee  and  George  W.  Root,  by 
Mr.  E.  H.  Davis.  Dr.  Daniel  H.  Fitzhugh,  by  Mr.  Samuel  P.  Allen.  Richard 
Peck,  by  Mr.  George  Atwell,  Jr.  Samuel  P.  Allen,  by  Mr.  A.  O.  Bunnell.  John 
Rogers  Murray,  by  Mr.  Norman  Seymour.  Dr.  Daniel  H.  Bissell,  by  Mr.  William 
A.  Brodie.     Tributes  to  William  Scott  and  Adolphus  Watkins  were  also  rendered. 


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22  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

These  addresses  have  all  been  pertinent  to  the  objects  of  the  Society.  They 
were  marked  by  evidences  of  careful  research,  and  were  especially  valuable  in  sug- 
gesting new  avenues  of  investigation. 

The  meetings  of  the  Society  have  been  held  as  follows :  First  and  seventh  at 
Mt.  Morris ;  second,  third,  fourth  and  sixth  at  CJeneseo ;  fifth  at  Dansville.  A  cor- 
dial welcome  was  extended  to  the  Society  by  the  citizens  of  each  of  these  p^ces. 
The  meeting  at  Ml.  Morris  last  year  was  especially  notable  for  the  large  accession  of 
membership — twenty-six  prominent  citizens  of  the  county  joining  the  Socie'y,  five 
as  life  members.  You  will  pardon  me  if  1  state  here  in  a  sort  of  business  way  that 
the  membership  fee  is  one  dollar,  with  annual  dues  of  one  dollar ;  a  life  member- 
ship, ten  dollars,  free  from  annual  dues. 

In  1879,  this  Society  joined  with  the  Pioneer  Society  of  the  county  in  making 
arrangements  for  the  successful  celebration  at  Geneseo  of  the  centennial  of  Sulli- 
van's campaign  in  this  coimfy. 

The  Society  has  been  the  recipient  of  some  valuable  donatkms,  among  which 
I  may  mention  :  A  portrait  in  oil  of  the  late  Gov.  John  Youn«,»,  by  Mr.  I^  B.  Proc- 
tor ;  manuscripts,  books,  periodicals  and  bound  volumes  of  newspapers  and  other 
articles,  by  legacy  of  the  late  Hon.  William  Scott;  books,  etc,  by  Dr.  M.  H. 
Mills  and  other  members  of  the  society.  It  is  confidently  expected  that  arrange- 
ments will  be  made  during  the  preserit  year  for  a  suitable  and  permanent  depository 
for  the  care  and  exhibition  of  these  and  other  gifts  which  may  come  to  the  Society, 
and  that  in  time  we  shall  have  a  historical  collection,  which  shall  be  valuable  ami 
instructive — the  pride  of  our  people. 

I  will  allude  to  one  other  feature  of  the  Society,  which  brings  our  work  to 
your  very  doors.  At  each  annual  meeting  a  committeeman  b  appointed  for  each 
town  in  the  county  whose  duty  it  is  to  collect  local  historical  documents  and  inform- 
ation, to  be  presented  at  the  next  meeting  of  the  Society,  and  for  preservation  with 
other  records.  In  this  connection  I  will  repeat  a  good  suggestion  made  bjr  President 
Mills  in  1879,  that  during  the  long  winter  evenings,  members  of  this  Society,  in  the 
different  villi^;es  of  the  county,  hold  monthly  or  semi-monthly  meetings  at  the  rea- 
dence  of  one  of  their  number,  on  which  occasion  guests  are  to  be  specially  invited, 
a  paper  pertaining  to  the  objects  of  the  Society,  read  and  discussed.  The  import- 
ant suggestion  was  added  that  the  ladies  take  part  in  these  exerdaes.  Such  meet- 
ings, the  speaker  believed,  would  materially  aid  the  Society  in  its  mission. 

I  have  thus  imperfectly  outlined  the  history  of  the  Livingstoii  County  Historical 
Society.  What  it  may  yet  be  able  to  do  is  in  the  future.  How  far  back  iato  the 
dim  past  it  wiU  pav  for  us  to  extend  our  researches,  is  a  question  to  be  considered. 
My  illustrious  predecessor.  President  Davis,  last  year  trulv  testified  iBat  accnmakitsd 
evidence  points  to  the  prior  occupancy  of  this  hemisphere  by  a  ebcc  of  beings  fiar  in 
advance  of  the  rude  savagery  found  here  by  Columbus,  and  he  said  that  periwfs 
this  civilization  is  doomed  to  similar  retrogression  and  decay.  I  might  in  tarn 
point  to  the  late  unmistakable  evidences  of  the  drill,  that  the  time  was  when  <ve 
thousand  feet  below  where  is  now  Livingston  county,  Mas  the  bed  of  a  salf  sea 
whose  sounding  waves  found  no  shore  within  our  present  boundurics»  We  tk& 
certainly  have  a  wide  enough  range  of  inquiry  and  investigatioti  without  goii^  feack 
to  the  azoic  age,  or  even  to  the  cenozoic  time.  We  must  draw  the  line  sofoewhere. 
Let  us,  fellow  members,  draw  it  at  Indians.  The  white  men  are  the  only  historians 
of  the  race  they  have  succeeded.  No  Indian  pen  has  traced,  no  dusky  bard  has 
sung  their  prowess  and  their  wrongs,  excepting  in  the  trackless  air.  Let  us  be  tme 
to  their  history  as  we  would  that  our  successors  should  be  true  lo  ours.  But  let  w 
above  all,  be  true  to  the  history  of  the  noble  men,  our  immediate  ancestors,  who 
swept  aside  those  conservators  of  barbarism,  and  introduced  the  gr>nd  civiKzatioa  of 
the  nineteenth  centurj,  which  is  making  men  purer  and  better,  and  more  and  more 
like  unto  the  image  in  which  man  was  originally  made.  There  is  much  that  we  can 
do  now.  The  country  is  still  young.  There  are  many  early  records  still  obtainable.  We 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL   MEETING.  23 

ask  the  earnest  co-operation  of  you  all  in  our  laudable  endeavor  to  write  the  true  and 
reliabk  history  of  the  pioneers,  so  that  it  may  not  be  said  of  us  that  we  have 
gathered  only  a  few  stray  pebbles  on 

"Tradition*s  shadovry  beach 
Washed  darkly  ever  by  erasing  waves." 

After  the  singing  of  the  Beautiful  Hills,  (a  song  dedicated  to  Dr. 

James  C.  Jackson  of  Dansville  by  James  G.  Clark),  Hon.  Charles  E. 

Fitch  delivered  the  annual  address,  as  follows : 

RURAL  AND  URBAN  LIFE, 

BY  HON.  CHARLES  E.  FITCH. 

The  last  of  the  centennial  anniversaries  of  the  revolution  has  been  celebrated 
recently  with  much  of  pomp  and  splendor.  It  was  distinguished  by  an  address 
rarely  felicitous  in  diction  and  in  consummate  appreciatbn  of  him  who  stands  unique 
in  history  for  a  combination  of  executive  force  and  moral  virtue,  which  made  him  at 
ooce  the  founder  of  a  state  and  the  modest  servant  of  that  nationality,  which  his 
genius  wrested  from  the  tyranny  of  the  king  and  shaped  from  the  confusions  of  a 
people,  courageous  in  the  achievement,  but  untrained  in  the  consolidation,  of  their 
liberties.  In  the  light  which  Curtis  throws  upon  the  character  of  Washington, 
exalted  as  had  been  our  estimate  of  it,  it  seems  to  assume  more  perfect  symmetry 
and  to  become  more  luminous  in  the  view,  than  before.  I  am  sure  that  we  have 
gained  a  clearer  comprehension  of  how  much  depended,  in  the  formative  period  of 
the  republic,  upon  that  one  personality,  towering  above  all  others,  in  the  majesty  of 
its  attributes,  and  yet  reaching  gently  down  into  each  heart,  and  constraining  not 
less  its  love  than  its  esteem.  Had  it  not  been  for  the  superb  equipoise  of  the  facul- 
ties of  Washington,  his  supreme  self-abnegation  and  patriotism,  either  the  throne  or 
the  chaos  of  jangling  principalities  would  have  preceded,  if  not  have  rendered  im- 
possible, that  aggregation  and  expansion  of  free  states,  within  the  firm,  yet  e'astic, 
bond  of  federal  sovereignty,  which  have  taken  place  within  the  hundred  years  of  our 
national  existence.  Without  him,  the  confederation  might  never  have  blended  in 
the  union,  or  the  charters  of  the  colonies  found  theif  best  expression  in  the  constitu- 
tion. When,  therefore,  the  metropolis  holds  high  festival,  and  erects,  within  the 
arena  of  the  money-changers,  a  statue  to  his  memory,  we  turn  from  their  noisy 
shrines  to  read  in  the  marble  semblance  the  worth  of  his  work  and  to  study  in  the 
noble  features  the  lesson  of  his  life,  while  the  graceful  speech  interprets  their  full 
significance.  Something  of  his  life  must,  in  the  contemplation,  flow  into  our  lives 
an  j  clarify  their  currents ;  something  of  his  purpose  must  inforpi  us  in  the  solution 
of  the  social  and  political  problems  that  still  confront  us.  History  were  of  little  val- 
ue, if  it  did  not  prompt  us  to  test  our  conduct  by  its  instruction  to  gather — indeed, 
what  we  may  by  the  wayside,  but  to  mark,  as  well,  the  path  which,  with  high  en- 
deavor, others  have  trodden  toward  the  goal  beyond. 

It  has  been  the  especial  privilege  of  this  generation,  in  a  time  of  profound  peace 
and  abounding  prosperity,  to  retrace  the  whole  story  of  the  revolutionary  struggle. 
We  have  heard,  through  the  lapse  of  years,  the  voices  of  Samuel  Adams  and  James 
()tis  and  Patrick  Henry,  aflame  witn  righteous  indignation  and  keyed  to  the  loftiest 
pitch  of  eloquence,  boldly  affirming  the  principle  that  taxation  without  representa- 
tion is  a  blunder  in  statesmanship  and  an  outrage  in  government.  We  have  seen 
the  first  martyr  to  freedom  fall  in  Boston  street  and  the  grim  masqueraders  6ing 
King  George's  tea  into  Boston  harbor.  We  have  looked  upon  the  calm,  dead  face 
of  Joseph  Warren,  upturned  in  the  trench  at  Bunker  hill,  and  watched  the  light 
leap  into  the  eyes  of  Israel  Putnam  as  the  British  troops  advance  toward  the  ram- 
part to  perish  before  it.  We  have  sat  in  the  solemn  deliberations  of  the  continental 
congress  and  noted  the  signatures  upon  the  parchment,  each  line  of  which  is  immor- 


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24  LIVINGSTON    COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

tal,  while  the  bell  of  Independence  hall  has  sounded  forth  its  jubilant  peal  upon  the 
summer  air.  It  has  been  ours  to  revivify  the  heroisms  of  Oriskany,  and  to  catch 
unth  pained,  yet  attentive  ear,  the  wail  of  Cherry  Valley ;  to  see  the  stacking  of 
Burgoyne*s  guns  in  the  sullen  surrender  at  Saratoga ;  to  pale'  with  emotion  at  the 
blood  stains  upon  the  snow  at  Valley  Forge ;  to  note  the  passage  of  the  Delaware  in 
the  thick  gloom  and  ice  of  the  December  night,  and  the  gleam  of  the  bayonets  at 
Trenton  and  on  the  Brandywine,  and  to  be  with  Washington  and  La  Fayette  on 
that  proud  day  when  Comwallis  laid  down  his  arms  at  Vorktown.  We  have  fol- 
lowed the  story  still  further — in  the  negotiations  for  peace,  in  tne  sacred  treaty  con- 
firming the  arbitrament  of  battle,  in  the  evacu«ition  of  New  York  and  the  embarca- 
tion  of  the  last  of  the  red-coats,  in  the  simple,  yet  sublime,  entiy  into  the  dty  of 
the  Continental  troops,  and  in  the  gracious  return  to  the  congress  by  the  commander- 
in-chief  of  the  commission  he  had  sd  highly  honored. 

And  the  story  has  been  told  in  the  most  effective  way.  In  telling  it,  oratory 
has  made  most  eloquent  and  polished  utterance.  Scholarship  has  searched  the  re- 
cord for  the  verification  of  detail*^  and  has  revealed  new  luster  in  the  exploits  and 
new  beauty  in  the  sacrifices  of  the  fathers.  The  press  has  reported  these  with  the 
same  fidelity  that  it  bestows  upon  the  current  news,  and  art  has  reproduced  the 
figures  and  the  scenes  of  a  century  ago,  with  a  wealth  of  illustration.  A  nation  has 
taken  lessons  in  its  own  history.  There  is  not  a  school-boy  ^\xt  know  s  the  story  b)' 
heart,  can  descdbe  its  prc^ess  and  identify  its  principal  actofs.*  |  have^.^)sed  it  as 
an  introduction,  but  there  is  no  need  for  me  to  emphasize  its  value.  ThepSworama 
has  swept  before  us,  in  the  eight  years  of  its  movement,  and  we  know  how  it  has 
riveted  oar  attention.  An  earnest  believer  in  the  study  of  history  with,  as  I  trust,  a 
realizing  sense  of  the  obligations  under  which  the  present  rests  to  the  past.  I  am 
here  to-day  rather  to  congratulate  you  upon  your  appreciation  of  them,  than  to 
reiterate  them  for  your  benefit.  As  the  nation  at  large  does  homage  to  that  resolute 
spirit,  which  severed  the  ties  of  dependency  upon  the  mother  country  and  thought 
out  and  wrought  out  the  conditions  of  its  own  independent  entity  and  evolution ;  so 
you,  as  a  part  of  that  nation,  honor,  through  this  association,  the  pluck  of  the  pio- 
neer, which,  parting  from  homestead  and  the  endearments  of  kindred  and  friends, 
hewed  its  way  through  the  wilderness,  to  here  fashion,  amid  privation  and  toil,  the 
rare  civilization,  the  fruition  of  which  you  enjoy.  The  soul  that  was  in  the  speech 
of  Henry,  in  the  stroke  of  Hancock^s  pen,  in  the  chivalry  of  Lee,  in  the  glorious 
madness  of  Anthody  Wayne,  also  declared  itself  in  the  strength  which  here  felled 
the  forest,  turned  the  sod,  made  serviceable  the  water  courses,  and  builded  the 
school-house  and  the  church.  It  manifested  itself  in  the  arts  of  peace  as  well  as  in 
the  strategy  of  war.  It  was  one  and  the  same,  whether  it  flashed  in  the  sword,  or 
swung  with  the  axe,  or,  with  the  scythe,  made  blithe  music  in  the  harvest  field. 
More  than  this :  in  large  part,  they  were  the  same  men  who  cleared  the  land  of  the 
invader,  and  then  possessed  it  with  their  patient  industry.  The  soldiers  of  Sulli- 
van's army  chased  the  Iroquois  through  these  valleys,  cutting  a  wide  and  vengeful 
swath,  on  their  way,  and  then  returned  to  plant  the  com  in  the  furrows  and  to  spread 
the  uplands  with  the  waving  grain.  * 

The  fathers  have  double  claims  upon  your  love  and  reverence.  They  com- 
passed both  your  civil  freedom  and  your  social  order.  It  is  meet  that  you  should 
honor  their  names,  preserve  the  memorials  of  their  public  and  domestic  life  and 
trace  in  your  history  the  supremacy  of  their  ideas.  The  Livingston  County  Histori- 
cal society  stands  for  something  very  positive  and  very  profitable  in  your  best  local 
expression,  as  it  reaches  backward  in  a  sincere,  but  not  exclusive,  loyalty  to  the  past 
and  forward  to  the  questions  of  the  future  to  be  largely  tested  by  the  experience  al- 
ready had.  If  the  andirons  and  the  blue  china,  the  musty  manuscripts  and  the 
rusty  fire-locks,  grandmother's  bed  quilt  and  aunty's  well  knit  hosiery  which,  with 
pious  care,  you  collect,  and  with  pardonable  pride  exhibit,  were  all  you  had  to  show, 
they  might  well  be  remanded  to  the  garrets  from  whence  they  were  rescued,  and 
you  disband  as  speedily  as  possible.     But  they  are  not  useless  relics.     Thej*  have  a 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  25 

precious  meaning.  In  the  truest  sense,  they  are  not  insensate.  In  them  are  the 
manners  and  customs  of  the  by-gone  time.  Through  them  pulsates  the  life  of  for- 
mer days,  animate  and  active,  with  its  aspirations  and  its  energies,  its  trials  and  its 
perplexities,  its  duties  and  its  rewards,  and,  above  all,  its  influences  still  vital  and 
persuasive.  It  is  no  mere  barren  sentimental  ism  that  thus  reverts  to  the  past.  It  is 
at  once  a  lively  sense  of  gratitude  and  a, laudable  desire  to  understand  what  manner 
of  men  were  these,  who  so  stoutly  maintained  their  personal  integrity  and  stood  as 
a  wall  of  adamant  against  despotism  and  disorganization  in  state  and  looseness  and 
perversitiei  in  religious  faith.  Such  sentiment  makes  you  worthier  citizens.  If  it  be 
seatimentalism,  I  confess  to  the  weakness,  f  jr  to  my  view  these  men  are  in  truest 
historical  perspective,  and  I  believe  that  when  we  are  false  to  their  teachings  and  un- 
mindful of  their  examples,  we  will  be  false  to  the  essentials  of  our  national  being 
and  the  sanctities  of  our  family  relations. 

In  the  early  settlement  of  this  county,  there  was  a  happy  concentration  of 
various  Slocks,  each  contributing  certain  distinctive  qualities  of  mental  and  moral 
organism,  yet  harmonious  in  the  purposes  that  impelled  and  the  principles  that 
c:>ntrolled  them.  From  Maryland,  which  had  been  blessei  with  the  most  liberal  of 
colonial  charters,  Rhode  Island  excepted,  came  a  select  b^dy  of  proprietors,  accus- 
tomed to  the  elegancies  and  refinements  of  life,  but  with  wills  resolute  to  grapple 
ttith  the  harsh  circumstances  of  a  new  country,  and  with  foresight  to  direct  it  along 
the  best  lines  of  development  The  nearer  commonwealth,  which  had  felt  the 
hene.icent  impress  of  its  foun  ler,  the  efflorescence  of  whose  statesmanship  was  in 
its  good  will  toward  mankind,  furnished  its  quota,  bringing  hither  the  amenities,  not 
less  than  the  economies  which  had  been  fostered  in  their  old  homes.  Through  the 
jjcieroos  proposals  of  Charles  Williamson,  a  man  of  s,ingular  adaptability  for  the 
work  he  had  in  hand,  a  sturdy  force  of  Scotch  immigrants,  in  whose  veins  ran  the 
blood  of  the  Covenanters,  with  the  proverbial  honesty,  thrift  and  perseverance  of 
their  race,  here  cast  their  lots ;  but  the  chief  element — the  dominating  element — 
was  of  New  England  origin.  Hither  Connecticut  sent  men  not  only  of  means  and 
culture,  graduates  of  Yale  college,  such  as  the  Wadsworths,  the  Rev.  Samuel  J. 
Mills  and  others,  but  also  her  very  bone  and  sinew,  the  men  who  had  toiled  amid 
the  spurs  of  the  Green  moimtains,  and  had  tilled  the  fairer  expanse  that  b  ordered 
the  Connecticut  river,  who  were  yet  fresh  from  the  battle-fields  of  the  republic,  and 
who  were  descended  from  Naseby  and  Marston  Moor.  Fortunate  the  region  thus 
allied  with  Lord  Baltimore  and  William  Penn,  with  John  Knox  and  the  psalm-sing- 
ing re^ments  of  Cro»Tiwell,  with  I^yden  and  Plymouth,  with  Norwich  and  New 
Ilaven. 

Here  were  the  foundations,  of  quadruple  thickness,  each  stone  therein  impact 
as  granite  in  its  solidity,  upon  which  to  rear  the  superstructure  of  the  succeeding 
civilization.  I  do  not  ignore  the  fact  that  some  measure  of  that  lawlessness,  which 
always  obtains  upon  the  frontier,  here  manifested  itse'f;  nor  do  I  forget  that  the 
exodus  hither  was  coincident  with  that  flood  of  skepticism  which,  pnxceecling  from 
the  c-Kcesses  of  the  French  reign  of  terror,  was  sweeping  over  the  land — to  be  soon, 
indeed,  stemmed  and  pushed  back  by  the  hands  of  Timothy  Dwi<«:ht  and  other 
divines  of  eminent  learning,  piety,  and  common  sense — did  not  here  fail  to  disclose 
its  presence  in  disregard  of  the  Sabbath  and  in  contempt  for  legal  and  spiritual  re- 
straints. But,  comparatively  speaking,  these  were  mere  surface  stains,  thin  and 
small  and  s^regated,  like  spots  of  filth  upon  a  crystal  stream.  Beneath  them,  and 
bearing  them  swiftly  out  of  sight,  was  the  deep  and  mighty  current  of  a  vital  faith 
in  human  progress,  having  its  spring  in  di\ine  revelation.  So  early,  therefore,  as 
1794  the  gospel  was  preached  in  the  (ienesee  hamlets  by  Aaron  Rinnie,  under  the 
auspices  of  the  legislature  of  Comieclicut,  enjoining  contributions  from  the  churches 
of  that  state,  for  the  support  of  home  missions,  and,  in  1 795,  congregations  were 
organized,  under  the  direction  of  the  Presbyterian  general  assembly  at  Lima  and 
Geneseo,  and,  three  years  later,  the  first  school  house  was  erecte  1.  Henceforth, 
under  this  dual  guardianship,  the  community  was  safe  a^jainst  the  assaults  of  igno- 
rance and  infidelity,  and  went  onward  in  peace  and  security. 


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26  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY.      . 

It  is  not  necessary  to  detail  the  advantages  which  this  region  presented  for  oc- 
cupation— how  varied  was  the  scenery  in  water  courses  and  lakes  ani  valleys  and 
wooded  heights — the  landscape  upon  which  cult  vated  tourists,  like  Talleyrand  and 
Liancourt  and  Louis  Philippe,  gazed  with  rapture — how  rich  the  soil,  how  diversified 
the  products,  how  well  it  repaid  the  labor  of  the  hurbandman  and  the  enterprise  of 
the  manufacturer.  A'l  this  you  know,  far  better  than  I  can  describe  it.  Here  the 
busy  wheels  have  turned  and  the  teeming  acrss  have  yielded  their  substance.  Here  also 
has  arisen  a  cluster  of  villages,  the  peers  of  any  in  the  state,  in  beauty  of  situation, 
in  cleanliness  of  attire,  and  in  the  intelligence  of  their  inhabitants.  Here  is  the  typ- 
ical American  civilization — the  well  ordere  1  farms  and  the  thriving  towns  ;  for  this 
is  still  an  agricultural  land,  and  I  rejoice  at  it.  By  the  census  of  1880,  among  the 
bread-winners,  3,837,112  persons  are  returned  as  engaged  in  manufacturing,  me- 
chanical and  mining  pursuits  ;  1,810,256  in  trade  and  transportation  ;  4.074,238  in 
professional  and  personal  services  ;  and  7,670,493  in  agriculture  ;  and  it  is  said  that 
the  latter  figure  does  not  represent  the  whole  number  of  those  thus  e.nployed,  owing 
to  the  inexactness  of  classification,  many  farm  laborers  being  returned  as  laborers 
simply.  There  has  indeed,  been  an  immense  increase  in  the  population  of  the 
cities,  but  they  have  not  yet  outstripped  the  growth  of  the  rural  communities,  ani 
long  may  it  be  before  they  do  so.  In  view  of  this  general  fact  and  your  individual 
relation  to  it,  I  have  thought  that  I  could  employ  the  moments  that  remain  to  us  do 
more  profitably  than  to  indicate  certain  distinctions  between  urban  and  rural  life, 
and  to  point  out  something  of  your  duties  and  privileges  as  citizens  under  the  latter. 

For  myself,  as  I  think  of  your  granaries  and  your  herds,  your  homes  of  comfort, 
the  untainted  air  you  breathe,  the  peace  that  seems  to  hallow  every  roof-tree,  I  con- 
fess to  something  of  envy  that  my  fortunes  have  not  been  cast  amid  rural  scenes 
"far  from  the  madding  crowd's  ignoble  strife."  You  can  hardly  appreciate  how 
fair,  in  the  contemplation,  is  the  picture  which  the  worn  denizen  of  the  city  draws  of 
the  calm  delights  of  the  country,  how  restful  they  appear  as  a  release  from  the  rum- 
ble and  excitement  through  which  he  moves.  To  you  doubtless  the  country  has  its 
somber  side — its  annoyances,  its  vexations,  its  carking  cares.  There  is  no  Eden 
without  the  trail  of  the  serpent — no  place  where  Duty,  clarion  voiced,  does  not 
summon  man  to  work  ;  but  it  does  seem  as  if  the  trials  of  life  were  less  and  happi- 
ness more  secure,  under  the  unfettered  sky,  than  within  the  smoke  and  dust  of  com- 
mercial marts.  Emerson  says  that  *'  all  men  keep  the  farm  in  reserve  as  an  asjdum, 
where,  in  case  of  mischance,  to  hide  their  poverty,  or  a  solitude,  if  they  do  not  suc- 
ceed in  society."  Most  men  do  more  than  this.  They  idealize  the  country,  and 
read  in  it  the  glowing  poem  of  content.  They  plan  mansions  to  be  built  in  sylvan 
recesses  or  by  purling  brooks,  to  which  they  will  retire,  when  business  shall  lift  from 
them  its  heavy  hand,  and  they  shall  be  permitted  to  pass  their  declining  days,  vHiere 
ease  shall  wait  on  competence.  Alas !  with  the  nK)st,  it  is  but  a  dream,  a  constantly 
dissolving  vision,  but  the  very  aspiration  is  the  revelation  of  that  better  seUi  which 
is  always  in  subdued  revolt  against  the  artificial,  even  when  its  grip  is  most  inex- 
orable, and  which  would  more  and  more  commune  with  nature  and,  through  nature, 
with  nature's  God.  In  the  free  air,  there  is  balsam  for  wounded  spirits,  tonic  for 
tired  souls.  No  ambition  graved  in  stone,  nor  pride  in  carved  devices,  nor  Grecian 
column,  nor  Gothic  arch,  nor  the  infinite  variety  of  decorative  art  can  change  the 
truth  that  **God  made  the  country  and  man  made  the  town.** 

I  am  not  here  to  indulge  in  any  fulsome  adulation  of  country  life,  but  it  has 
certain  relevancies  to  American  citizenship  which  must  be  acknowledged,  in  any 
proper  conception  of  American  nationality.  When  the  stump  orator,  whatever  be 
his  motives,  says  that  the  liberties  of  the  republic  must  be  chiefly  guarded  by  those 
whom  he  patronizingly  calls  the  yeomanry,  he  is  exactly  r^ht  in  his  statenxaU,  al- 
though his  manner  may  be  as  offensive,  as  it  is  effusive.  The  further  guarantees  for 
the  freedom  of  the  people  and  the  solution  of  their  economic  problems  must  depend 
largely  upon  the  intelligence  and  the  morality  of  the  agricultural  population.  This 
is  not  to  deny  that  the  leaders  in  great  intellectual,  political  and  reformatory  nK>ve> 
ments  may  not  still  come  firom  the  cities,  as  they  have  already  notably  so  proceedcd- 


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The  friction  of  thought  there  operating,  the  mental  effervescence  there  generated, 
the  quicker,  if  not  the  clearer,  vision  there  accorded,  the  higher  educational  facilities 
there  enjoyed,  the  gravitation  thither  of  some  of  the  brightest  minds  of  the  country, 
and  the  infusion  of  fresh  blood  into  their  life,  must  probably  continue  to  give  them 
precedence  in  the  origination,  but  not,  I  believe,  in  the  consummation  of  schemes 
vital  to  the  progress  of  the  nation.  Leadership,  however,  without  a  following  is  a 
travesty  upon  progress.  It  may  elaborate  campaigns  upon  paper,  but  it  can  change 
no  boundaries,  or  overwhelm  opposmg  forces.  Victor  Hugo,  in  describing  Water- 
loo, says  the  superb  thing  that  England  there  was  herself.  It  was  not  her  captain  ; 
it  was  her  army.  The  army,  upon  which  this  country  must  rely  for  its  advance- 
ment, is  encamped,  not  in  narrow  streets  or  shabby  tenement  houses,  not  even  in  the 
palatial  homes  that  line  the  broad  avenues,  but  in  the  dwellings  of  the  rural  dis- 
tricts. It  is  average  humanity  that  makes  for  good  or  for  ill,  as  the  world  whirls 
through  the  cycles  of  the  years ;  and  who  can  doubt  the  average  superiority  of  the 
country  over  the  city  in  that  which  pertains  to  well  regulated  living  and  conscien- 
tious citizenship?  Beacon  Hill  is  not  all  of  Boston,  nor  Fifth  avenue  all  of  New 
York.  Even  about  these,  there  is  the  flavor  of  dilletantism,  or  the  chill  of  indiffer- 
ence to  subjects  that  engage  ^he  attention  of  earnest  men.  The  pursuit  of  wealth  is 
engrossing.  Its  possession  tends  to  a  selfish  disregard  of  social  and  political  re- 
generations, although  we  must  not,  in  this  generation,  ignore  many  illustrious  excep- 
tions to  the  rule — the  benefactions  and  the  patriotism  of  those  upon  whom  fortune 
has  smiled ;  but,  in  the  analysis  of  urban  lite,  how  much  there  is  of  culture  that  is 
as  heartless,  as  it  is  refined,  of  wealth  that  never  lifts  the  ministering  hand,  of  cos- 
mopolitanism as  graceful  in  its  bearing,  as  it  is  oblivious  of  p>olitical  forms  and 
essences  which  do  not  disturb  its  tranquillity  of  poverty  which  gnaws  to  the  very 
bone,  of  vice,  with  its  tinsel  trappings  and  its  shameless  mien,  of  crime  that  skulks 
by  day  and  terrorizes  by  night ;  and  when,  upon  closer  investigation,  it  is  observed 
that  the  apathy  of  the  exclusive  classes  is  supplemented  by  the  exactions  of  the 
abandoned  classes,  demanding  not  only  immunity  from  punishment,  but  also  virtual 
license  for  the  vile  arts  they  practice  against  the  peace  and  virtue  of  the  community, 
we  are  constrained  to  admit  that  there  is  force  in  the  remark  of  Wendell  Phillips 
that  there  is  not  an  American  city  of  over  50,ocx>  inhabitants  which  is  not  ruled, 
either  by  the  tacit  assent,  or  the  active  efforts  of  its  dangerous  classes.  In  our  great 
cities,  wealth  has  resolved  itself  into  a  social  caste,  and,  with  the  privileges,  has  as- 
sumed the  state,  of  the  patrician.  As  riches  have  nowhere  been  accumulated  so 
rapidly  as  here,  so  nowhere  have  they  made  such  ostentatious  parade  of  theit 
superiority.  Our  railway,  petroleum,  mining  and  grain  millionaires  lord  it  as  social 
niagnates,  revelling  in  luxury,  and  ordaining  standards  of  gcntili*y  based  solely  upon 
the  length  of  the  purse.  Not,  perhaps,  necessarily,  but  certainly,  as  a  matter  of 
fact,  the  emasculation  of  their  patriotism  has  been  coincident  with,  if  not  resultant 
from,  the  appreciation  of  their  vanity.  A  foolish  Anglomania  betrays  itself  in 
servile  imitation  of  English  manners  and  forms  and  costumes,  in  copying  the  garni- 
ture, without  being  able  to  attain  to  the  dignity,  of  a  titled  aristocracy  ;  and  it  is  a 
subject  for  r^ret,  rather  than  for  surprise,  to  find  certain  families,  even  amid  our 
centennial  rejoicings,  boasting  of  their  Tory  lineage. 

Think  also  of  the  shifting  population  of  our  dties.  In  conversation  not  long 
ago,  with  an  exceedingly  well  mformed  gentleman  of  New  York,  I  asked  him  what 
was  the  average  household  tenure  in  the  territory  bounded  by  Fourth  and  Seventh 
avenues,  on  the  east  and  west  and  by  Twenty-third  and  Fiftieth  streets,  on  the 
south  and  north — the  region  of  brown-stone  fronts  and  extravagance,  the  Belgravia 
of  the  metropolis — and  he  answered,  *'Not  to  exceed  five  years."  Who,  in  their 
majority,  are  these  people  ;  from  whence  do  they  come,  and  whither  do  they  go  ? 
They  are  the  adventurers  of  Wall  street,  merchants  with  swollen  credits,  men  mad 
in  the  quest  for  riches,  with  a  scale  ^  expenditure  far  in  excess  of  their  means  ;  for 
they  serve  fashion  and  mammon  with  equal  assiduity.  The  struggle  and  the  revel 
are  soon  ended  ;  there  are  failure  in  the  mart,  and  the  red  flag  ofthe  auctioneer  in 
May- Fair,  and  they  drift  out  into  the  unknown.     New  names  are  on  the  door-plates 


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28  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOClETi'. 

and  the  newer  faces  succeed.  Of  what  value  are  such  in  the  economy  of  citizen* 
ship  ?  No  question  is  more  exigent  and  none  is  environed  with  more  practical  diffi- 
culties  than  is  that  of  the  government  of  our  municipalities.  There  are  sanitary'  and 
hygienic  requirements,  the  police,  prison  and  hospital  service,  the  assimilation  of 
f  jreign  elements,  the  protection  of  the  producer,  the  tax-payer,  and  the  law-abiding 
against  the  waste  of  the  non-producer  and  the  depredations  of  the  criminal,  the  ad- 
justments of  which  must  try  to  the  utmost  the  resources  of  science,  of  political  econ- 
omy, of  patriotism  and  of  philanthropy.  Do  we  wonder  to  have  seen  that  shining 
city,  upon  whose  whar\'es  the  cargoes  of  distant  climes  are  discharged,  whose  streets 
ring  with  the  hammers  of  labor  and  are  vocal  with  the  clamor  of  trade,  where  art 
has  her  temples  and  refinement  her  homes,  and  Christianity  declares  herself  in 
chaste  architectural  symbolism,  over  which  the  dreadful  genius  of  corruption  presid- 
e  1,  commanding  the  tribute  of  her  merchants,  clutching  the  gains  of  her  industr}-, 
seizing  her  seats  of  power,  dissipating  her  revenues,  defiling  her  robes  of  ermine, 
ruling  as  with  a  rod  of  iron  !  Is  not  the  wonder  rather  that  the  tyranny  was  not 
more  absolute — the  rebellion  against  it  less  successful  ? 

Cities,  we  are  told,  are  the  cradles  of  Hberty,  and  we  concede  the  historic  claim. 
In  the  progress  of  civilization,  no  agent  has  been  more  persuasive  than  that  of  the 
municipality  which,  wresting  its  charter  from  king  or  baron,  administered  its  finan- 
cial concerns  through  officers  of  its  own  selection,  ordained  legislation  through  its 
parliamentary  assemblies,  defined  and  confirmed  the  rights  of  the  individual,  in  turn, 
resisted  the  monarch,  the  noble  and  the  bishop,  curbed  the  excesses  of  the  feudal 
system,  and  preserved,  through  centuries  of  political  and  ecclesiastical  servitude,  all 
there  was  of  popular  sovereignty.  As  through  the  tempest  and  the  night,  with  lus- 
trous trail  across  the  sea,  the  lamp  of  Eddystone  shines,  a  beacon  of  hope  and  of 
cheer  to  the  tossed  and  troubled  ships — so,  through  the  darkness  of  the  Middle 
Ajes,  shine  the  lights  set  in  the  watch-towers  of  F'rank  and  Flemish,  German  and 
Italian  towns,  until  the  morning  comes  in  the  Revival  of  Letters  and  the  Reforma- 
tion. Grecian  democracy  is  in  the  agora  of  Athens  ;  l^tin  freedom  is  in  the  tri- 
bune of  Rome.  The  enfranchisement  of  the  race  has  come  through  the  enfranchise- 
ment of  classes  ;  and,  making  one  marked  division,  in  order  of  time,  first,  has  come 
the  enfranchisement  of  the  towns  and  then  that  of  the  country.  Under  the  sway  of 
feudalism,  the  villein  was  a  mere  appendage  of  the  soil,  bound  by  the  will  of  his 
lord,  subject  to  reclamation  if  he  strayed  from  the  estate,  made  to  perform  the  most 
menial  tasks,  incapable  of  holding  property  and  destitute  of  redress  against  the  most 
outrageous  injuries.  Above  him,  in  the  social  scale,  was  the  nominal  freeman,  who 
was,  however,  liable  to  do  military'  service  for  the  baron  and  to  be  reduced  to  \'assal- 
agc  on  the  slightest  pretext.  Feudalism  did,  indeed,  something  for  mankind,  in  its 
conflicts  with  the  throne  and,  through  its  harsh  texture,  there  runs  the  golden  thread 
of  chivalry  ;  but  it  was  inimical  to  peace  and  good  order  ;  it  enslaved  the  land  ;  it 
upheld  the  most  arrogant  aristocracy,  und  it  kept  the  masses  in  an  imbruted  igno- 
rance, the  dissipation  of  which  was  fatal  to  its  prerogatives. 

From  the  tenth  to  the  fifteenth  century,  liberty  declares  itself,  not  on  manorial 
estates,  but  in  tne  trades,  the  commerce  and  the  self-assertion  of  the  towns.  The 
burgesses  rebel  against  the  nobles  and  model  their  pohty  after  the  republican  insti- 
tutions of  ancient  Rome.  Charters  are  granted  by  the  sovereign,  which  include  the 
right  to  hold  corporate  property,  to  use  a  common  seal,  exemption  from  seignorial 
tributes,  regulations  for  the  title  and  devise  of  private  property,  and  local  executi\-es* 
magistrates  and  parliaments.  The  earliest  charter,  strange  as  it  may  appear,  is  that 
of  l^Mn,  in  Spain,  in  102a  London  obtains  its  charter  from  Henry  I,  in  iicxx 
Manijipal  privile^jes  stimulate  business  enterprises,  and  are,  in  turn,  protected  by 
them.  The  mechanic  guilds  are  commonwealths  in  miniature.  Each  ship  that 
traverses  the  Meiiterranean  or  threads  the  Engli|h  channel  is  freighted  with  liberal 
i  leas,  as  well  as  with  the  laces  of  Antwerp,  the  silks  of  Italy,  and  the  spices  of  the 
Orien*.  Milan,  Pisa  and  Cienoa  l)ecome  centers  of  independence,  not  less  than  of 
opuleiue  and  art,  and  Arnold  of  Brescia  unfurls  the  standard  of  **the  senate  and 
people  of  Rome"  amid  the  seven  hills.     Venice,   most  illustrious  of   the  niediae\-al 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  29 

republics,  attains  commercial  supremacy  of  the  world,  and  the  Doge,  with  jewelled 
ring,  annuallv  weds  her  to  the  Adriatic  From  Cologne  and  Treves,  municipal 
rights  extena  to  the  Rhenish  cities  and  reach  the  industrious  communities  of  Flan- 
ders and  Brabant  The  Hanseatic  League  embraces  eighty-five  thriving  towns. 
The  Zuyder  Zee  conquers  the  Adriatic.  The  knights  and  gentlemen  of  France 
leam  at  Courtrai  that  their  impetuous  valor  may  be  less  than  a  match  for  the  sturdy 
resistance  of  smiths  and  weivers.  The  Dark  ajes,  during  which  there  is  a  popular 
fiction  that  the  world  was  asleep,  were  ages  of  intense  activity.  In  the  hives  of 
traffic  there  Mras  attrition,  agitation,  motion,  progress.  They  began  to  doubt  and  in- 
dulged in  free  inquiry,  while  the  country  districts  still  had  faith  in  monkish*  legends, 
and  clung  to  out-worn  dogmas.  From  them,  came  the  renaissance  of  thought.  In 
Genoa,  Christopher  Columbus  was  born ;  in  Florence  the  birth  of  modem  letters 
was  annoimced  through  the  ryhthmic  tongue  of  Dante ;  in  the  little  city  of  May- 
enoe,  Guttenbei^  moulded  his  types ;  and  from  London,  sailed  the  bold  mariners  who 
swept  the  Spanish  main  and  planted  Anglo-Saxon  civilization  upon  these  western 
shores. 

And  now,  in  the  dawn  of  the  fifteenth  century,  in  the  clearer  light  of  the  six- 
teenth, the  emancipation  of  the  country  follows  that  of  the  cities.  As  Bancroft 
says:  "The  ages  of  feudal  influence,  of  mercantile  ambition,  of  the  enfranchise- 
ment of  the  yeomanry  appear  distinctly  in  succession."  The  assertion  of  the  latter, 
when  it  once  began,  was  most  rapid,  from  the  abolition  of  villeinage,  until  it  occurred 
that  the  men,  who  fought  at  Edgehill  and  turned  the  tide  of  battle  at  Dunbar,  were 
farmers  and  the  sons  of  farmers.  If  Milton's  infant  ears  caught  the  hum  and  con- 
ftiaon  of  a  busy  populace,  John  Hampden  was  a  country  gentleman  and  Oliver 
Cromwell  was  a  rough  riding  country  squire ;  and  it  is  from  "country-folk,"  from 
the  "poor  people,"  with  small  holdings,  or  dwelling  in  the  straggling  villages  of  the 
north  of  England  that  the  Puritan  civilization  mainly  proceeded.  And  that  New 
England  civilization,  which  began  on  Plymouth  Rock,  which  spoke  on  Concord 
green,  which  has  traversed  Western  New  York  and  has  passed  onward  by  the  great 
inland  lakes,  over  the  prairies  of  the  northwest,  to  the  Pacific  slope,  conquering  as  it 
has  gone,  has  been  and  is,  to-day,  essentially  the  civilization  of  rural  communities — 
homy-handed,  honest-headed.  God-fearing.  In  every  contest  with  adverse  forces  it 
has  won — won  through  the  agencies  of  the  church,  the  school-house,  and  the  ballot 
box.  If  the  Puritan  had  done  no  more  for  America  than  to  establish  the  town- 
meeting,  her  obligation  to  him  would  be  supreme.  Because  the  civilization,  which 
was  plaiited  in  Vu^;inia  and  whose  branches  covered  the  south,  did  not  comprehend 
the  town-meeting,  and  did  comprehend  a  landed  gentry  and  servile  labor,  it  failed 
miserably  in  the  struggle  for  supremacy. 

I  have  emphasi^  the  indebtedness  of  civil  liberty  to  the  municipalities  of 
mediaeval  Europe.  None  the  less  do  I  believe  sincerely  that  its  evolution  in  America 
is  due  principally  to  the  vigor,  the  intelligence,  and  the  integrity  of  her  agricultural 
population.  If  the  lesson  was  learned  more  slowly  in  the  country,  than  in  the  city, 
it  was  learned  more  thoroughly.  And  so,  we  may  be  quite  sure  that  the  solution  of 
the  problems,  which  our  nationality  still  presents,  must  depend  largely  upon  com- 
raonilies,  such  as  that  in  which  I  now  stand — the  heirs  and  the  exponents  of  the 
Puritan  principle,  the  owners  of  the  soil  they  cultivate.  Here  is  neither  entail  nor 
primogeniture.  Here  is  no  landed  aristocracy,  and  tenant  farmers  as  a  class  are  un- 
known ;  or  if,  in  this  locality,  there  have  been  a  few  of  the  latter,  they  have  held  by 
a  gentle  and  practically  permanent  lease,  the  landlord  being  desirous  of  promoting 
their  interests  consistently  with  his  own.  For  the  most  part,  titles  are  in  tee  simple, 
and  fixity  of  tenure  helps  the  common  weal.  Like  the  eaglets  who  leave  the  nest, 
when  their  wings  are  strong,  the  farmer  boy  often  seeks  the  haunts  of  men,  but  the 
homestead  passes  from  generation  to  generation.  All  that  is  best  in  the  life  of  the 
city  permeates  the  country,  through  the  medium  of  the  press,  and  the  heart  of  the 
world  pulsates  in  the  smallest  hamlet  The  diffusion  of  education  brings  the  school- 
house  to  every  door,  and  the  church  bell  rings  for  every  household.  Individualism, 
which  is  confused  and  lost  in  mcelstrom  of  the  city,  is  here  preserved  and  identified. 


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3©  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY  HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

Who  so  solitary  as  he  who  treads  the  thronged  street,  unknowing  and  unknown  ? 
Here  friendly  offices  are  proffered  and  accepted;  here  neighbor  greets  neighbor; 
and,  in  the  town  meetiug,  direction  is  given  to  national  policies,  as  well  as  to  local 
concerns ;  and  here  is  raized  that  true  financial  iddependence,  which  does  not  con- 
sist so  much  in  heavy  rent-rolls  and  extensive  blocks  of  stock,  as  in  an  income  which 
is  in  excess  of  outlay  and  is  steadily  kept  so. 

I  am  tempted  to  auote  from  some  discriminating  impressions  by  a  recent 
thoughtful  English  traveler,  descnptive  of  a  New  England  home,  which  is  in  no  wise 
exaggerated  and  which  is  typical  also  of  the  homes  of  Western  New  York :  "I  was 
driving  one  afternoon,  in  the  neighborhood  of  New  Haven,  with  a  gentleman  who 
lived  among  New  England  farmers,  for  many  years,  and  I  told  him  I  should  like  to 
see  the  inside  of  one  of  the  pleasant  looking  farm  houses,  which  we  were  continually 
passing.  He  said,  *  By  all  means,'  and,  at  the  next  farm  house,  he  pulled  upi  1 
asked  him  whether  he  knew  the  people  who  lived  there.  *No.*  My  friend's 
daughter,  a  young  lady  who  has  also  seen  a  good  deal  of  country  life  in  New  Eng- 
land, went  and  asked  whether  two  English  gentlemen  might  see  the  house,  and  in  a 
few  moments,  she  came  to  us  and  said  we  might  go  in.  The  farm  belonged  to  a 
widow.  She  met  us  at  the  door  and  received  us  with  a  quiet  dignity  and  graci, 
which  would  have  done  no  discredit  to  the  lady  of  an  English  squire,  owning  an 
estate  worth  four  or  five  thousand  a  year.  Her  English  was  excellent — the  English 
of  a  refined  and  educated  woman.  Her  bearing  and  manners  had  an  ease  and  quiet- 
ness which  were  charming.  The  house  had  three  good  sitting  rooms,  well  furnished. 
Books  and  magazines  were  lying  about,  and  there  was  a  small  but  pretty  green- 
house. I  went  into  one  bed-room  and  saw  that  it  was  extremely  neat  and  that  the 
linen  looked  as  white  as  the  driven  snow.  I  found  that  the  farm  was  an  unusually 
large  one,  being  about  200  acres.  How  much  of  it  was  under  actual  cidti\'a(ioo, 
and  how  much  was  uncultivated,  it  did  not  occur  to  me  to  ask.  The  farm  work  was 
done  by  the  lady's  two  sons,  and  either  two  or  three  *  hired  men,'  who  lived  in  the 
house.  There  was  another  *  hired  man  '  who  did  *c  hores ' — cut  wood,  lit  the  fires, 
attended  to  the  garden,  cleaned  the  boots,  went  on  errands  and  relieved  the  solitar)' 
*girl'  of  the  rougher  part  of  the  house- work ;  when  the  hay  had  to  be  got  or  the 
wheat  cut,  I  dare  say  he  was  employed  on  the  farm.  The  house  gave  me  the  im- 
pression that  the  people  who  lived  in  it  must  l>e  surrounded  bv  all  the  comforts  and 
many  of  the  luxuries  and  refinements  of  life.  When  we  got  back  into  the  carriage, 
I  charged  my  friend  roundly  with  having  played  me  false.  I  told  him  that  I  fdi 
sure  that  the  house  was  not  a  fair  specimen  of  its  kind,  and  that  the  lady  I  had  seen 
must  be  very  unlike  most  of  the  ladies  of  the  same  class :  that  he  must  have  selected 
the  farm,  in  order  to  give  me  a  favorable  impression ;  but  he  assured  me  that  it  was 
not  so. "     Nor  was  it. 

Such  homes  and  such  circumstances  and  surroundings  are  the  guarantees  of  the 
fidelity  of  the  people  to  the  best  national  development.  They  may  be  trusted.  In 
the  past,  the  rural  districts  have  responded  to  every  demand  made  upon  them  when 
grave  questions  of  public  policy  were  at  stake.  They  established  the  free  school 
system,  and,  whenever  its  validity  has  been  assailed,  they  have  rallied  to  its  defence. 
When  ethical  issues  have  become  political  issues,  the  country  has  determined  thcro 
rightly.  Here  the  anti-slavery  sentiment  grew  and  strengthened,  and,  when  the  life 
of  the  nation  was  threatened  by  parricidal  hands,  from  hence  went  the  best  and 
brightest  of  the  farmer  boys  to  save  it.  The  republic  has,  for  the  present,  passed 
out  of  the  sentimental  era  of  politics, — using  the  phrase  in  its  best  sense.  WTjoi 
there  were  issues,  which  were  the  outcome  of  the  deepest  moral  convictions,  and 
involved,  in  their  settlement,  the  perpetuity  of  the  institutions  that  the  fathers  de- 
creed, nothing  else  was  to  be  thought  of.  The  preser\'ation  of  national  unity,  the 
enlargement  of  the  liberties  of  the  people,  were  quite  sufficient  to  engross  public 
attention,  and  to  subordinate  to  them  all  other  considerations.  They  were  conclud- 
ed in  the  right  way,  so  that  hereafter  there  may  be  no  debate  nor  cavil  concerning 
them.  The  verdicts  of  the  war  are  ^^Titten  indelibly  in  the  oi^nic  law,  and  cannot 
be  disturbed.     We  are  met  now  by  other  issues,  principally  those  of  an  ecrajomic 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETINO.  3 1 

nature,  but  it  were  a  mistake  to  suppose  that  they  lack  either  in  dignity  or  import- 
ance.  Public  virtue,  the  very  freedom  of  a  nation,  are  often  and  largely  dependent 
upon  the  management  of  its  material  concerns.  A  poor  nation,  a  shiftless  one,  can- 
not be  a  great  one.  The  tax-gatherer  was  the  chief  figure  in  the  ancient  regime  of 
France,  and,  while  lords  and  ladies  held  high  carnival,  the  industrial  classes  were 
despoiled  of  their  property,  ground  to  the  dust  by  oppression,  and  roused  at  last  to 
that  frenzy  of  revolution,  which  made  the  streets  of  Paris  run  red  with  blood  and 
crowned  the  guillotine  as  king.  I  have  no  sympathy  with  the  maudlin  cry  of  the 
Commune  which,  assuming  that  the  rich  are  growing  richer  and  the  poor  poorer, 
invokes  the  strong  arm  of  the  government  to  force  a  more  equitable  distribution  of 
property,  than,  it  is  claimed,  now  obtains.  There  are  conspicuous  cases  of  colossal 
wealth,  and  in  some  respects,  this  is  to  be  r^etted,  but  it  is  not  demonstrated  that 
the  rich,  as  a  body,  are  growing  richer  at  the  expense  of  the  poor.  I  have  not  the 
exact  data  before  me,  but  it  is  safe  to  affirm  that  there  were  never  more  men  of 
moderate  means  than  there  are  to-day.  Nor  do  I  take  anv  stock  in  the  pa^emal 
theory  of  government,  toward  which  there  are  manifest  tendencies — tendencies  that 
have  been  aggravated  by  the  strain  which  the  war  imposed  upon  our  resources  and  the 
vast  sums  ofmoney  which  were  raised  upon  credit.  And  now,  with  the  apprecia- 
tion of  our  credit,  with  the  splendid  income  we  enjoy,  bringing  us,  for  the  time 
being,  a  surplus  over  expenditure,  we  make  haste,  through  our  representatives  in 
congress,  to  spend  it  as  rapidly  as  possible  in  largesses  to  various  places,  in  gratuities 
even  to  individuals  and  corporations.  The  old  Whig  doctrine  of  public  improve- 
ments is  being  pushed  to  a  pernicious,  as  well  as  an  absurd,  ultimate.  Witness 
nearly  twenty  millions  of  dollars  appropriated  to  open  Goose  creek  for  vessels  of 
war,  and  to  enlarge  the  inlets  of  the  Atlantic  from  Maine  to  Florida,  while  our  arbi- 
trary navigation  laws  have  torn  our  flag  from  every  mast-head  of  commerce. 
Having  foimd  out  that  government  will  carry  the  letters  of  the  people,  the  cham- 
pions of  paternalism  insist  that  it  shall  take  possession  of  the  telegraph  and  go  into 
the  wholesale  business  of  building  and  operating  railroads,  the  government  having 
already  given  over  200, 000,000  acres  of  land  to  railroad  corporations,  beseeching  its 
bounty. 

But,  while  we  thus  protest  against  paternalism,  we  hold  that  government  has 
the  clear  right — nay,  it  is  its  dutv — to  protect  its  citizens  against  the  exactions  of 
corporations,  which  have  derived  from  it  all  their  franchises  and  privileges,  including 
the  very  means  of  oppressing  those  who  have  given  them  the  opportunities  for 
oppi^ession.  This  is  one  of  the  exigent  questions  with  which,  I  fear,  the  cities  will 
not  deal,  so  long  as  their  relations  with  these  corporations  are  so  intimate.  Not  a 
word  shall  I  say  against  the  value  to  the  country  of  its  lines  of  communication  and 
traffic — those  magnificent  enterprises,  which  belt  the  state  and  connect  it  with  ever)' 
portion  of  the  continent ;  but  I  hold  that  the  sovereign  people  has  some  rights 
which  corporations  should  be  made  to  respect,  and,  when  I  see  them,  not  only 
watering  their  stocks  an:  prescribing  unjust  schedules  for  the  carriage  of  freight,  but 
also  manipulating  caucuses,  controlling  conventions,  and  purchasing  law  makers,  I 
ask  the  creator  to  check  the  creature.  I  appeal  to  the  rural  districts  to  assert  their 
power. 

And  there  is  another  evil — still  another  outcome  of  paternalism — which  I  wsh 
I  had  the  ability  to  denounce  in  terms  commensurate  with  the  magnitude  of  the  in- 
jury it  inflicts  on  the  body  politic  I  refer  to  the  demoralization  of  the  civil  service, 
arising  from  a  partisan  conception  of  its  nature  and  from  the  abuses  in  its  adminis- 
tration thus  ensuing,  as  also  from  the  limitations  which  should  accurately  define  and 
r«trict  its  fimctions.  A  place  in  the  civil  service  has  long  been  regarded  as  an 
individual  right  to  be  confirmed  by  the  dominant  political  party — aye  !  by  a  faction 
within  that  party — in  view  of  faithful  partisan  service.  Thus  its  efficiency  is  im- 
paired, by  its  subjection  to  the  fluctuations  of  politics  and  its  character  is,  for  the 
same  reason,  degraded.  Parties  themselves,  whose  only  object  should  be  the  vindi- 
cation of  the  principles  they  profess,  become  divided  into  two  classes — the  dispensers 
of  and  the  pensioners  upon  official  patronage.     There  is  a  general  scramble  among 


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32  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

the  adherents  of  each  new  administration  for  the  crumbs  that  are  to  fall  from  the 
master's  table,  and  those  who  get  the  crumbs  become,  like  other  mendicants,  the 
servile  instruments  to  execute  the  master's  will.  Add  to  this  the  enforcement  of 
political  assessments,  and  the  corruption  fund  thus  acquired  and  distributed,  and  the 
whole  system  of  patronage  becomes  unique  in  its  viciousness.  Against  the  manner 
of  appointment  and  the  insecurity  of  tenure,  reform  has  sounded  the  slogan  of  revolt 
and  something  has  already  been  effected.  Much  more,  however,  remains  to  be  ac- 
<:omplished.  The  civil  service  reformers,  not  yet  organized  as  a  party,  but.  having 
numerous  advocates  in  both  parties,  are  a  force,  embracing  able,  eminent  and  ener- 
getic men.  Shall  this  force  be  recruited  from  intelligent  farmers  ?  Recruits  will 
not  be  likely  to  come,  in  formidable  array,  from  the  slums  of  the  cities.  The  cause 
must  trust  the  rural  districts,  as  other  good  causes  have  thus  trusted,  and  not  been  disap- 
pointed. When  Spain  sought  an  alliance  with  the  commonwealth  of  England, 
Scotland  and  Ireland,  in  order  to  protect  the  desperate  fortunes  of  her  ruler,  her 
ambassador  asked:  **What  demands  do  you  make  of  my  sovereign  ?"  "Two," 
Slid  Cromwell,  "freedom  of  conscience  for  Englishmen  on  Spanish  soil,  and  equal 
rights  in  commercial  intercourse  with  your  sovereign's  colonies."  "Wliat  T' cx- 
c'aimed  the  ambassador,  astounded  with  these  demands,  **  since  the  one  would  rob 
the  tyrant  of  his  terror  and  the  other  of  his  revenues,"  **  these  be  my  sovereign's  two 
eyes.  Think  you  he  will  yield  them  ?  "  **  Tell  him  for  me,"  said  the  Protector, 
"that  unless  he  yield  them  willingly,  I'll  pluck  them  out."  And  he  was  as  good  as 
his  word.  Political  parties  have  long  held  political  appointments  and  the  assess- 
ment of  officials  as  the  two  eyes  of  the  civil  service.  Reform  asks  them  to  yield 
these  :  and  if  they  refuse,  like  as  stout  Ironsides  seized  the  two  eyes  of  Spanish  des- 
potism, it  will  pluck  them  out  and  cast  them  aside  ;  and  you  and  such  as  you  will 
give  it  the  strength  to  do  the  job. 

I  might  extend  my  references  to  other  issues,  such  as  the  relations  of  labor  and 
capital,  the  tariff  and  internal  revenue,  but  I  forbear  longer  to  tax  your  patience. 
My  object  has  not  been  so  much  to  present  my  own  views  on  these  issues,  as  to  note 
your  responsibility  in  the  premises.  I  fear  that  you  may  be  disappointed  because 
this  address  has  not  had  a  trend  more  purely  historical  than  it  has,  but,  recognizing 
history  as  a  living  teacher,  rather  than  as  a  mere  curiosity  shop,  1  have  followed  what 
seems  to  me  a  line  of  thought  not  inappropriate  to  the  occasion.  I  hope  you  may 
so  regard  it ;  and,  as  the  result  of  this  communion,  that  you  may  carry  hence  one 
earnest  and  unfaltering  resolution,  that,  in  your  citizenship,  you  will  be  true  to  the 
inspiration  of  the  pioneer — that  inspiration  which  is  still  here  a  presence  of  beauty 
and  of  majesty  regnant  over  your  fields.  True  to  this  leading,  and  conscientious  in 
its  present  application,  to  you  and  such  as  you  the  destinies  of  the  republic  may  be 
safely  confided. 


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LIVINGSTON   COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY.  33 

At  the  close  of  the  address  which  was  closely  listened  to 
throughout,  and  frequently  applauded,  Dr.  F.  M.  Ferine  offered  the 
following  resolution  which  was  unanimously  adopted : 

Resolved,  That  the  thanks  of  this  society  are  hereby  tendered  to  the  Hon. 
Charics  E.  Fitch,  for  his  very  able  and  instructive  address,  to  W.  S.  Newman  and 
bis  associates  for  the  finely  executed  and  appropriate  music,  and  to  the  trustees  of 
this  church  for  the  kindly  use  of  their  buildmg  for  the  purpose  of  this  meeting. 

On  motion  of  Mr.  Bennett,  a  copy  of  the  speech  was  solicited 
for  publication  in  the  society  pamphlet. 

Another  song,  and  the  meeting  closed  with  the  singing  of  the 
doxology  in  which  the  audience  joined. 

The  society  then  adjoiuned  until  the  second  Tuesday  in  Janu- 
ary, 1885. 

The  singing  for  the  occasion  was  so  good  that  the  society  must 
commend  by  name  the  members  of  the  fine  choir,  viz :  Messrs.  W. 
S.  Xewman,  W.  J.  Reed,  Misses  Louise  Nowlen,  and  Bessie  Dooer, 
Miss  Louise  Pattee  presiding  at  the  organ. 


— The  exercises  of  this  annual  meeting  were  profitable,  and  its 
literary  and  other  contributions  to  the  history  of  the  county  will  grow 
more  valuable  as  the  years  go  by.  The  society  is  deeply  indebted  to 
the  citizens  of  Avon,  and  especially  to  Messrs.  Davis,  Wiard  and 
Dana  of  the  local  committee,  for  cordial  reception  and  hospitable 
entertainment,  and  the  members  present  will  always  retain  pleasant 
memories  of  the  Pattee  house  and  its  generous  host  and  hostess. 


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LIVINGSTON    COUSTY   HISTCHQ.^.     ^ 

At  the   close    of   the    address   wnur    ^ra. 
throughout,  and  frequently  applauded  Ir  I    l. 
following  resolution  which  was  unanimansr  ix^  ^r 

Resolved,    That  the   thanks  of  thu^  suztsrr  sp-    j^- 

Fries  E.  Fitch,  for  his  very  aWc  and  mstnicnv-  s^Jl. 
associates  for  the  finely  execined  anc  ai^iir^p^,^.   j/^ 
church  for  the  kindly  use  of  then  DuLdn^;  ;.•  i^^  , \^ 
.       On  motion  of   Mr.  Bennett  z  corn  :     iir-  v 
ffcr  publication  in  the  sodetr  psmDinsi 

Another  song,  and  the  meernir  :- _*rtr    t- 
)xolqgy  in  which  the  audience  y^nt^i^ 

The  society  then  adjonrntf  nm:    t 

r>',  iSSs. 

Tfie  singing  for  the  ocxasiji.  m^.  ^^ 
mmeri^d  by  name  the  iiicir.Uir>  o'  :♦►  j^  ^  . 
;  Ktwvr^an,  \V.  J.  Reed,  M's.^  I^jui-  '.  «  ^ 
i  Loiriise  Pattee  presiditiz  a:  tut  j-^ 


^Zxl' 


-Th^^  exercises  of  th$  amiua  t;—       .^ 
and    <:>*her  contriUttKitt  IT  t:-  •..  .- 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING. 


35 


LIST  OF  MEMBERS. 


Dr.  D.  H.  Fitzhugh,  Groveland. 

L.  B.  Proctor,  Dansville. 

Norman  Seymour,  Mt  Morris. 

Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  Mt.  Morris. 

Richard  Peck,  Lima. 

George  W.  Root,  York. 

Dr.  James  Faulkner,  Dansville. 


A.  O.  Bunnell,  Dansville. 
Isaac  F.  Barber,  Nunda. 
Dr.   L.  J.  Ames,  Mt.  Morris. 
William  M.  White,  Ossian, 
Dr.   F.   M.  Perine,  Dansville. 
A.  H.  McLean,  Caledonia. 
John  R.  Murray,  Mt.  Morris. 
Charles  Shepord,  Dansville. 
Maj.  A.  A.  Hendee,  Avon. 
E.  H.  Davis,  Avon. 
Richard  Johnson,  Groveland. 
Francis  Kellc^,  Avon. 
H.  E.  Brown,  Mt.  Morris. 
W.  W.  KUUp,  Geneseo. 
Mrs.  Allen  A]n:ault,  Geneseo. 
J.  H.  Begole,  Flint,  Mich. 
William  B.  Lemen,  Dansville. 
Dr.  Z.  H.  Blake,  Dansville. 
Isaac  Hampton,  Ossian. 
George  Hyland,  Dansville. 
H.  P.  Mills,  Mt.  Morris. 
Sdomon  Hitchcock,  Conesus. 
A.  J.  Abbott,  Geneseo. 
A.  D.  Coe,  Conesus. 
J.  A  Dana,  Avon. 
W.  A.  Brodie,  Geneseo. 
L.  C.  Bingham,  Mt.  Morris. 


Dr.  D.  H.  Bissell,  Geneseo. 
William  Scott,  Scottsburgh. 
Adolphus  Watkins,  Lima. 
John  McCall,  Caledonia. 
Benjamin  F.  Angel,  Geneseo. 
E.  P.  Fuller,  Grand  Rapids,  Mich. 
Samuel  P.  Allen,  Geneseo. 


C.  L.  Bingham,  Mt.   Morris. 

Charles  O.  Shepard,  Mt.  Morris. 

Matthew  Wiard,  Avon. 

William  Hamilton,  Caledonia. 

H.   Harding,  Mt.  Morris. 

H.  W.  MUler,  Mt.   Morris. 

H.  Burt,  Mt.   Morris. 

O.  D.  Lake,  Mt.  Morris. 

Dr.  Z.  W.  Joslyn,  Mt.   Morns. 

H.   W.  McNair,  Mt.  Morris. 

C.  F.  Braman,  Mt.  Morris. 

Amos  O.  Dahymple,  Mt.  Morris. 

W.  A.  Sutherland,  Mt.   Morris. 

Jerome  A.  Lake,  Groveland. 

Jotham  Clark,  Sr.,  Conesus. 

David  McNair,  West  Sparta. 

Joseph  McNaughton,  Caledonia. 

Alexander  Reid,  York. 

A.  D.  Newton,  York. 

George  Mercer,  Geneseo. 

C.  D.  Bennett,  Portage. 

C.  F.  Bennett,  Portage. 

C.  K.  Sanders,  Nunda. 

N.  B.  Mann,  Groveland. 

F.  Fielder,  Dansville. 

Sidney  Sweet,  Dansville. 

Dr.  Cyrus  Allen,  Avon. 


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LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 


range  Sackett,  Avon, 
eorge  D.  Dooer,  Avon, 
'illiam  Van  Zandt,  Avon. 
.  T.  Norton,  Lima. 
.  1^  McFetridge,  Sparta, 
■sse  Smith,  Sparta. 

Dr.  M  H.  Mills, 
Dr.  D.  H.  Fitzhugh, 
William  M.  White, 
B.  F.  Angel, 
A.  O.  Bunnell. 


Florance  Van  Allen,  Avon. 
Seymour  Johnson,  Avon. 
Bennett  Gray,  Caledonia. 
Charles  Dibb'e,  Lima. 
John  Logan,  Sparta. 


Life  Members. 
J.  W.  Begole, 
L.  C.  Bingham, 
C.  O.  Shepard, 
John  F.  Barber, 


H.  P.  Mills, 
C.  L.  Bingham, 
W.  Hamilton, 
Matthew  Wiard. 


Honorary  Members. 
Gen.  J.  W.  Denver,  Washington,  D. 
Hon.  Angus  Cameron,  Wisconsin. 
Hon.  J.  R.  McPherson,  New  Jersey. 
Hon.  Henry  O'Reilly,  New  York. 
Hon.  O.  M.  Marshall,  Buffalo. 
Hon.  Horatio  Seymour,  Utica. 
Hon.  G.  W.  Patterson,  Westfield. 
Hon.  James  O.  Putnam. 
Rev.  A.  J.  Massey,  Mt.  Morris. 
Rev.  F.  DeW.  Ward,  Geneseo. 
Rev.  G.  K.  Ward,  DansviUe. 
Prof.  W.  J.  Milne,  Geneseo. 
Jacob  G.  Roberts,  Tecumseh,  Mich. 
Gov.  Josiah  W.  Begole,  Flint,  Mich. 
Hon.  Charles  S.  Hall,  Almond. 
Hon.  Charles  E.  Fitch,  Rochester. 


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EIGHTH   ANNUAL  MEETING.  37 


Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 


CONSTITUTION. 

Bbctcon  1.  Tbls  Society  shall  be  called  Thb  Livcnoston  County  Uistoki- 
CAL  Society. 

I  2.  The  general  object  of  the  Society  shall  be  to  discover,  procure,  and  pre- 
serve whatever  may  relate  to  the  history  of  Western  New  York  In  general  and 
LlvlDgston  county  and  Its  towns  In  particular,  and  to  gather  8uch  stailittlcH  of 
education  and  population,  growth  and  prosperity,  and  business  of  this  r«rglon, 
as  may  seom  advisable  or  of  public  utility. 

{  8.  The  Society  shall  consist  of  resident,  corresponding  and  hiiuorary 
members,  who  shall  be  elected  by  a  majority  of  ballota;  and  of  life  members,  as 
hereinafter  provided.  Resident  members  shall  consist  of  persons  residing  in 
Livingston  county,  N.  Y.:  corresponding  and  honorary  members  of  persons 
residing  elsewhere. 

{  4.  The  officers  of  the  Society  shall  consist  of  a  President,  a  Vice  President, 
a  Secretary  and  Treasurer,  and  nine  councilors  of  administration,  who  Khali 
ooDstltnte  a  ■*  Board  of  Managers  *'  and  shall  be  elected  annually  on  the  hecond 
Tuesday  in  January  In  each  year  by  a  majority  of  ballots. 

\  5.  None  but  resident  and  life  members  sh&ll  be  eligible  to  office  or  quali- 
fied to  vote. 

{  6.  Members  shall  pay  an  admission  fee  of  one  dollar,  and  also  an  annual 
doe  of  one  dollar,  which  shall  be  paid  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  July  In  exch 
year  following  their  election.  The  election  of  a  resident  member  shall  ci>iir«*r 
no  privileges  of  membership  until  his  aumisslon  fee  shall  be  paid.  The  pay- 
ment of  the  annual  dues  shall  be  a  condition  of  continued  membprship  In 
case  an  7  member  neglects  to  pay  his  annual  due  before  the  first  day  or  July  nexr, 
after  it  becomes  payable,  he  shall  thereby  forfeit  all  his  privileges  of  member- 
ship.   Resident  clergymen  are  exempt  f^om  dues. 

\  7.  The  payment  of  f  10  at  any  one  time,  for  that  purpose,  shall  constltuie  a 
life  member,  exempt  fkt>m  all  annu**!  dues. 

{ S.  The  Society  shall  meet  annually  on  the  second  Tuesday  of  January. 
The  President,  or  in  his  absence  the  Vice  President,  or  the  Secretary  and  Treas- 
urer, may  direct  the  call  of  a  special  meeting  in  such  manner  as  the  By-Laws 

shall  provide. 

{  9.   Thoee  members  who  shall  attend  at  any  regular  meeting  of  the  Society 

•ball  constitute  a  quorum  for  the  transaction  of  business.  The  same  rule  shall 
tpply  to  any  other  meeting  of  the  Society,  provided  its  action  is  approved  of  by 
the  Board  of  Council  or  a  miOorlty  of  the  members  thereof. 

{  10.  All  officers  shall  continue  in  office  until  their  successors  are  elected  or 
appointed.  Their  duties  when  not  herein  defined  may  be  prescribed  by  the  By- 
Lews.     All -vacancies  in  office  may  be  filled  for  the  unexpired  term  by  the 


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^S  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

Board  of  Council.  A  majority  of  tbe  members  present  at  any  regular  meetlog 
called  for  the  purpose,  by  the  President  or  Secretary  andTreasurer  of  the  Society, 
shall  constitute  a  quorum  to  do  business. 

{  11.  This  constitution  may  be  amended  or  changed  fivm  time  to  time  by 
a  majority  vote  of  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting  of  the  .Society 
provided  due  notice  of  ihe  proposed  amendments  be  given  at  least  four  weeks 
previous  to  a  final  vote  thereon. 

CLAUdB  1.  The  annual  meeting  of  this  Society  shall  be  held  on  the  second 
Tuesday  In  January,  at  such  vilUge  in  the  county  as  the  President  shall  dewl^- 
iiHte,  and  at  such  hour  as  the  Secretary  in  the  notice  of  such  meeting  shall 
name. 

CLAU4B  2  The  Secretary  shall  give  notice  of  such  meeting  by  publication 
in  all  of  tne  county  papers  for  two  successive  weeks  prior  to  the  meeting,  and 
also  enclose  by  mall  a  special  notice  to  the  post  ofllce  addreiw  ot  each  officer  of 
the  Society  at  least  ten  days  prior  to  such  meeting. 

Clause  a.  Any  meeting  niny  be  adjourned  to  such  time  as  a  majority  of  •lie 
members  present  shall  determine. 

Clause  4.  The  President  shall  preside  at  the  meetings  of  the  Society,  rega- 
Inie  its  proceedings,  preserve  order  and  decorum  and  have  a  canting  vote.  He 
shall  al8«»  be  the  chairman  of  the  Board  of  Council. 

Clause  5.  The  Vice  President  nhall  discharge  all  the  duties  of  the  President 
In  his  absence. 

Clause  6.  The  Secretary  shall  have  the  custody  of  the  Ckmstltution.  By- 
Laws,  RecordM,  property  and  eflTects  of  the  Society.  He  shall  give  due  notice  of 
hII  its  meetings,  and  keep  in  a  book  provided  for  that  purpose,  a  record  of  all  its 
business.  He  f  hall  also  by  virtue  of  his  office  be  Secri^tary  to  the  Board  of 
Counctl  or  Managers,  and  keep  a  record  of  its  proceedings.  He  shall  also  under 
the  direction  of  the  Society,  prepare  all  the  communications  to  be  addressed 
to  others  in  the  name  of  the  Society,  and  keep  true  copies  thereof. 

Clause  7.  The  Secretary  shall  also  under  the  Board  of  Managers  have  the 
custody  of  books,  minerals,  manuscripts,  papers,  documents,  coins,  maps,  and 
relief*,  and  shall  provide  suitable  cases  for  their  preservation,  and  for  convenient 
reference  and  inspection.  He  shall  kt^p  a  record  of  alt  donations,  of  wbmteTvr 
name  or  kind,  and  report  the  same  to  the  Society  at  the  annual  meeting. 

Clause  S.  As  Treasurer,  the  Secretary  shall  keep  all  securities  and  sums  of 
money  due  and  payable  or  belonging  to  the  Society.  He  shall  keep  (.he  funds  of 
the  Society  on  deposit  to  his  credit  as  such  Treasurer,  In  some  banking  InsUta* 
tion  of  good  repute;  stMtll  pay  all  sums  which  the  Board  of  Council  shall  direct ; 
and  Phall  keep  a  true  account  of  all  his  receipts  and  disbursements  and  render  « 
full  and  detailed  (.tatement  thereof  at  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Society. 

Clause  9.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Board  of  Council  to  control  and  man- 
age the  affairs  and  funds  of  the  Society.  They  shall  make  annually,  on  the 
second  Tuesday  of  January,  a  report  to  the  Society  of  all  its  doings  and  tranaao- 
tlons  for  the  pr  jceding  year. 

Clause  10.  Any  member  of  this  Society  may  be  expelled  by  a  two-thirds 
vote  of  the  members  present  at  a  speolal  or  regular  meeting  of  the  Society,  bat 
no  such  action  shall  be  taken  without  a  notice  two  weeks  previous  to  expel 
shall  have  been  given  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society  in  writing  and  sent 
through  the  malls  to  the  post  office  address  of  the  defaulting  member. 


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EIGHTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  39 

Clause  U.  At  the  anonal  meeting  there  shall  be  an  address  delivered  be- 
fiire  ihe  8i)clety,  by  the  PresldeDt  or  by  some  other  person  appointed  by  the 
Board  of  Council. 

Clause  12.  At  the  meetings  of  the  Society,  and  as  for  as  applicable  at  the 
meetings  of  the  Board  of  Council,  the  following  shall  be  the  order  of  business : 

1.  Reading  of  minutes  of  last  meeting. 

2.  Reporui  and  Communications  from  officers  of  the  Society. 
.1.   Reports  from  Committees. 

•f.   Election  of  Members. 

b.    Miscellaneous  Business. 

6.    Reading  of  Papers  and  Delivery  of  Address. 

Clause  R  After  the  annual  election  of  offlcfirs,  the  President  shall  appoint 
from  (be  Board  of  Council  the  following  standing  committees  to  consist  of  three 
members  each : 

1.   Ou  Finance.    2.    On  Publications.    8.    On  Membership. 

Clause  U.  The  Finance  Committee  shall  have  general  charge  of  the  books, 
acooQuts.  receipts,  finances  and  expenditures  of  the  Society.  It  sball  examine 
hDd  report  upon  all  Hccounts  and  claims  airalnst  the  Society,  and  upon  proposi- 
Uoas  for  the  expenditure  of  its  funds,  as  well  as  measures  to  increase  the  reve- 
naetof  the  Socit-ty,  and  promote  economy  in  Its  expenditures. 

Clause  15.  The  Commit* ee  on  Publications  shall  have  the  charge  and 
^opervlslon  of  all  publications  made  by  direction  of  the  Society,  and  shall 
cxrffuliy  examine  all  manuscripts  and  papers  and  other  things  directed  to  be 
pQbtisbtfd.  in  order  to  discover  all  errors  and  detects,  and  correct  the  same,  also 
vben  Decensary  to  make  abstracts  or  nbridgement  of  papers. 

Clause  16.  It  stall  be  the  duty  of  the  Committee  on  Membership  to  con- 
sider Hiid  report  upon  nil  questions  relating  to  menibersblp.  which  may  be 
Merred  f(»r  that  purpose,  and  as  far  as  practicable,  to  induce  all  proper  persons 
<<'  bfoume  mem  l>ers  of  the  Society. 

Clause  17.  In  the  course  of  the  future,  should  it  become  advisable,  the 
msldent  may  in  his  discretion,  atter  the  annual  election  of  officers,  appoint  the 
toliowlDg  committees,  each  to  consist  of  three  members  ot  the  Society  : 

1.  On  the  increase  of  Books  and  Library. 

2.  On  the  Increase  of  Members. 

3.  On  D<»nat1ons  and  Subscriptions. 

4.  On  statistics. 

5.  On  Portraits.  Pictures  and  Photographs  of  Pioneer  and  early  Settlers. 

6.  On  Local  History. 

7.  On  Indian  Reminiscences,  Pictures,  Memorials  and  History. 

Clvuse  18.  The  duties  of  these  respective  committees  msy  be  defined  here- 
afier.  Id  CMse  the  future  requirements  and  Interest  of  the  Society  make  their 
■PpoiDtment  nccebi^ary. 

Clause  19.  If  any  members  of  the  Boaid  of  Council  fall  at  any  time  to  pay 
ibHrdnett  to  the  Society  or  fail  to  qualify,  and  ihus  oecome  ineligible  to  the 
office  to  which  ibey  have  been  elected,  a  majority  of  councilman  elected  and 
qtnttfled.  stMll  have  the  power  to  declare  such  offices  vacant  and  shall  proceed 
^flll  the  same  from  the  resident  members  of  the  Society. 

Ct.ausb  20.  A  majority  of  the  Board  of  Council  present  at  any  meeting  of 
lU  members,  special  or  otherwise,  of  which  due  notice  shall  have  t)een  Klven  to 
i'f>  respective  members  by  the  Secretary  of  tne  Society,  who  by  virtue  of  his 
<)fl}ce  becomes  the  Secretary  of  the  Board  of  Council,  shall  constitute  a  quorum 
to  transact  business. 

Clause  21.  All  reports  of  committees  shall  b«*  in  writing,  either  In  form  of 
remlQiions  or  otherwise,  as  they  may  deem  expedient. 

Clause  22.  Any  of  these  By-Laws  may  be  suspended  in  case  of  temporary 
exigency,  by  a  two-tnirds  vote  of  all  the  membern  present  at  any  annual  meet- 
log.  They  may  also  be  amended  and  changed,  and  new  matter  added  by  a  ma- 
jority of  all  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeilnK.  provided  notice  of  the 
proposed  amendments  be  given  In  the  call  of  the  annual  meeting  at  least  two 
veelEs  previous  to  final  action  thereon. 

Clause  23.  It  is  recommended  that  the  members  of  the  Society  In  the  dif- 
ferent towns  and  villages  in  the  county  form  local  clubs,  and  meet  monthly, 
♦^peclHlly  during  the  winter,  in  their  respective  locMlltles.  at  private  residences 
*»y  Invitation  of  its  members.  The  reHdlng  of  an  appropriate  paper,  followed  by 
f>uch  remarks  and  discussion  as  the  Huhject,  mit^ht  suKgest,  would  disseminate 
muph  valuable  lurorraatlon.  and  add  increasing  interest  to  the  occasion,  and 
niHkesQch  meetings  in  their  Informal  and  social  character,  a  valuable  acquisi- 
tion to  the  Society,  and  create  an  Interest  and  marked  Influence  In  promoting 
blMorlcai  research  among  the  members. 


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[vlI[NlTK|  •  A[N|[slJ/^L  •  r^EETI[slG 


OF  THE 


LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 


HISTORICAL  SOCIETY, 


HELD  A  T  CALEB  OmA, 


^uc^day,  •  JaQLiapy  •  131:12,  •  1885. 


DANSVILLK,  N.  Y.  : 

BUNNELL  A  OBBRDORP,  PRINTERS. 

1885. 


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LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 

HISTORICALSOCIETY, 


The  ninth  annual  meeting  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical 
Society  was  held  in  Cale  Ionia,  Tuesday,  January  13th,  1885. 

President — A.  H.  McLean,  of  Caledonia. 

Vice  President — Matthew  Wiard,  of  Avon. 

Secretary  and  Treasurer — Norman  Seymour,  of  Mt  Morris. 

THE  BUSINESS  MEETING 

Was  called  about  11  o'clock,  at  the  Ladies*  Library  rooms,  which 
had  been  generously  tendered  for  the  purpose.  The  following  mem- 
bers were  present :  President  A.  H.  McLean,  in  the  chair ;  Secre- 
tary Nonnan  Seymour ;  Ex-Presidents  E.  H.  Davis  and  A.  O.  Bun- 
nell ;  Messrs.  J.  A.  Dana,  J.  A.  McPherson,  Orange  Sackett,  Flor- 
ance  VanAllen  of  Avon ;  William  Hamilton,  Joseph  McNaughton, 
Bennet  Gray,  Caledonia ;  Solomon  Hitchcock,  A.  D.  Coe,  Conesus ; 
A-  T.  Norton,  Lima ;  L.  C.  Bingham,  Henry  W.  McNair,  Mt.  Mor- 
ris; Dr.  F.  M.  Perine,  North  Dansville;  C.  KL  Sanders,  Nunda. 

The  following  new  members  were  elected :      Dr.  W.  Nesbitt, 
Messrs.  Thomas  Wiard,  Donald  McPherson,  Avon ;   C.  H.  Swan,  W. 


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4  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

S.  McKenzie,  E>r.  R.  J.  Menzie,  Angus  Cameron,  Donald  MclAugh- 
lin,  Caledonia ;  N.  A.  Seymour,  Mt  Morris. 

The  following  officers  were  elected  for  the  ensuing  year: 

President — Norman  Seymour. 
Vice  President— Dr.  F.  M.  Perine. 
Secretary  and  Treasurer — Dr.  L.  J.  Ames. 

Board  of  Councilmen— B.  F.  Angel,  M.  H.  Mills,  W.  Hamilton,  David  Mc- 
Nair,  L.  J.  Ames,  J.  A.  Dana,  C  D.  Bennett,  E.  H.  Davis,  E.  L.  McFctridge. 

STANDING  COMMITTEES. 

Publication— M.  H.  Mills,  N.  Seymour,  F.  M.  Perine. 
Finance— E.  ¥L  Davis,  M.  Wiard,  C  K.  Sanders. 
Membership — L.  J.  Ames,  A.  D.  Coe,  A.  T.  Norton. 
Necrology— W.  A.  Brodie,  A.  O.  Bunnell,  K  H.  Davis. 

TOWN    COMMITTEEMEN. 

Avon — J.  A.  Dana.  N.  Dansville — Chas.  Shepard. 

Caledonia — Wm.  Hamilton.  Nunda— C  K.  Sanders. 

Conesus — S.  Hitchcock.  Ossian — Isaac  Hampton. 

Geneseo— A.  J.  Abbott  Portage — C  D,  Bennett 

Groveland — R.  Johnson.  Sparta — A.  L.  Parker. 

Leicester — A.  M.  Wooster.  Springwater — E.  N.  Curtice. 

Lima— A.  T.  Norton.  West  Sparta— David  McNair. 

Livonia — Ira  Patchin.  York — Alexander  Reid, 
Mt  Morris — L.  J.  Ames. 

The  following  interesting  reports  made  by  town  committeemen 
were  ordered  published  with  the  proceedings : 

CALEDONIA— BY  HON.  WILLIAM  HAMILTON. 

I  find  it  difficult  to  write  anything  new  or  interesting  about  Caledonia  that  h» 
not  been  written  before.  The  word  is  historic  and  shows  at  once  through  whom  it 
was  applied.  The  village  was  originally  called  Elon  and  the  town  Southampton. 
But  when  the  name  Caledonia  was  given  the  town  the  vill^e  also  took  the  same 
name. 

Situated  on  the  great  highway  firom  Albany  to  Buffalo  during  the  time  of  stage 
and  wagon  transportation,  it  soon  began  to  vie  with  its  sister  towns  in  Western  N<^ 
York  for  trade  and  eminence  and  held  a  prominent  position  with  same  till  the  open- 
ing of  the  Erie  canal.  Then  the  canal. driver's  whip  superseded  that  of  the  stage, 
and  the  boat  floating  on  the  waters  of  the  ditch  threw  the  broad  wheeled  wagon 
into  oblivion.  Again  in  i»38  when  the  Valley  canal  was  opened  her  business  was 
divided  and  Canawaugus,  situated  in  the  eastern  limits  of  the  town  held  sway,  as  her 
mart  of  trade.  And  it  was  not  till  the  opening  of  the  Coming  &  Buf&lo,  anH  the 
Canandaigua  and  Niagara  Falls  railroads,  which  skirted  the  village  on  either  side, 
that  it  was  able  to  gain  iu  former  position  as  the  focus  for  business  of  the  surround- 
ing  towns. 

The  most  striking  fact  that  comes  to  my  mind  at  the  present  time,  is  the  passing 
away  of  the  early  settlers.  Of  those  that  were  bom  in  the  eighteenth  centuiy  not 
one  remains,  but  in  memory.  And  since  the  last  annual  meeting  of  this  socfcly  it 
seems  as  if  a  kurger  number  than  usual  have  passed  the  tast  Satimlay  night 
James  B.  McKay,  a  man  whose  mind  was  a  perfect  encyclopedia  of  the  reminiscences 
of  the  early  settlers  and  history  of  the  town  was  borne  to  his  last  resting  place,  in 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  5 

his  73d  year.  Deacon  John  D.  McCoU,  one  of  the  first  vice-presidents  of  this  soci- 
ety, an  olntuary  notice  of  whom  will  be  read  this  afternoon — Uved  to  the  ripe  old 
a^e  of  82  and  was  numbered  with  his  fathers.  And  Deacon  P.  P.  CampMl  whose 
name  and  femily  are  historic  with  the  early  settlement  of  the  place  ;  himself  being 
one  of  the  first  white  children  bom  in  the  town,  having  been  a  life-long  resident  of 
the  place  of  his  birth,  and  closely  identified  with  the  moral,  educational  and  busi- 
ness interests  of  the  community,  has  laid  off  his  mantle  in  his  78th  year  and  is  no 
more. 

Not  forgetting  Mrs.  Ewen  Cameron  who  lived  to  Fee  fourscore  and  ten, 
and  Miss  Maigaret  Cameron,  eldest  daughter  of  John  Cameron,  who  settled  here  in 
1805,  aged  76. 

The  year  1884  will  long  be  remembered  for  its  death  rate  of  the  early  inhabi- 
tants of  the  place,  and  the  record  here  made  will  soon  be  the  history  of  the  past 

CONESUS—BY  SOLOMON  HITCHCOCK. 

Mr.  President — I  cannot  give  this  society  the  information  it  mo6t  desires,  viz.  : 
the  early  history  of  the  town  of  Conesus,  not  having  become  a  resident  until  1 831, 
fifty-four  years  ago,  but  with  your  permission  I  will  give  some  of  the  incidents  and 
improvements  that  have  greatly  benefitted  the  inhabitants  and  particularly  the  farm- 
ers of  our  town.  Your  committee  is  informed  that  in  1 816  there  were  but  four 
frame  buildings  in  town,  three  of  which  were  barns,  all  other  buildings  there, 
whether  dwellings,  bams  or  schoolhouses,  were  built  of  logs.  But  now  in  1885 
these  log  buildings  with  the  exception  of  three  or  four  have  been  removed  by  time 
or  otherwise,  and  their  places  filled  with  comfortable  and  convenient  houses,  some 
of  which  show  considerable  el^^nce. 

The  mowing  in  183 1  and  for  some  years  after  was  done  with  scythes.  Often 
eight  or  ten  men  would  be  mowing  in  the  same  field  each  taking  his  lot  swarth.  In 
case  the  hay  got  wet  it  was  turned  over  by  forks  and  raked  by  hand-rakes,  both 
slow  and  laborious  jobs.  I  speak  of  this,  Mr.  President,  from  personal  experience, 
bat  now  and  for  many  years  we  have  had  mowing  machines  and  horse-rakes,  and 
very  good  ones  too,  and  if  our  hay  gets  wet  we  can  use  the  tedder  which  Mali  do 
the  work  of  ten  men  with  forks,  and  allow  us  to  secure  our  hay  in  much  better  con- 
dition. In  1 83 1  and  for  some  years  thereafter  our  grain  was  cut  with  cradles  except 
in  some  bed  places  sickles  were  used,  while  it  is  now  cut  by  reapers  and  by  many 
self-binders  are  used. 

Our  vehicles  a  half  century  ago  were  the  common  lumber  wagon  and  sleigh, 
with  which  we  went  to  mill  and  to  meeting  and  did  all  our  teaming  work.  Occas- 
ionally some  man  more  able  or  aristocratic  than  the  rest  of  us  would  own  a  square, 
plain  double  or  single  democrat  wagoa  without  springs  or  with  wooden  ones,  but 
such  were  not  common.  The  railroad  now  known  as  the  New  York,  Lake  Erie  and 
Western,  built  in  1852-3,  is  also  a  great  convenience  to  Coneaus.  Before  it  was 
built  if  we  wanted  to  travel  east  or  west  we  had  to  go  25  or  30  miles  to  Canandaigua 
or  Rochester  to  take  the  cars,  but  now  a  walk  or  ride  of  fifteen  or  thirty  minutes 
will  bring  nearly  all  our  townsmen  to  our  railroad  depot.  And  the  writer  hereof 
vividly  rememl^rs  on  many  occasions  of  getting  up  by  or  before  midnight  with  the 
themiometer  at  or  below  zero,  and  driving  24  miles  to  this  village  (Caledonia),  and 
waiting  one  or  two  hours  for  the  teams  ahead  of  him  to  be  loaded  with  plaster,  be- 
fore his  turn  to  load  would  come ;  but  now  the  railroad  brings  this  plaster  almost  to 
our  farms. 

Many  of  the  pioneers  of  Conesus  came  from  Vermont  and  other  New  England 
states ;  some  from  Eastern  New  York  and  others  from  New  Jersey  and  Pennsyl- 
vania. They  brought  with  them  but  little  of  this  world*s  goods,  but  many  of  them 
brought  willing  hands  with  energy  to  use  them,  and  also  a  strong  desire  to  obtain  a 
competence.  And  what  was  then  considered  a  competence  ?  If  you  will  excuse 
my  egotism,  Mr.  President,  I  would  say  that  when  I  came  to  Conesus  54  years  ago, 
roy  aspirations  were  to  become  the  owner  of  50  acres  of  farming  land,  a  pair  of  oxen 


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6  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIEIT. 

and  a  cart,  one  horse  and  a  plain  democrat  wagon.  And  with  the  hope  of  such  a 
fortune  the  writer  hereof  b^n  by  working  on  a  farm  for  $12  per  month  in  summer 
and  teaching  school  in  log  schoolhouses  for  from  $11  to  $14  per  month  in  winter, 
making  his  own  fires,  fitting  most  of  his  wood  and  boarding  around.  The  branches 
taught  at  that  time  in  district  schools  were  reading,  writing,  and  spellmg,  gramnur, 
geography  and  arithmetic,  and  most  of  the  children  thus  Uught  made  good  and  use- 
ful men  and  women.  But  now  we  send  our  sons  to  the  Normal  school,  or  some 
academic  institution,  where  they  learn  Greek,  Latin,  and  some  of  the  **ologies," 
but  they  can't  hoe  com,  swing  an  axe  or  scythe  or  flail,  as  their  fathers  did  before 
them.  Some  of  our  townsmen  followed  different  occupations  from  that  of  the 
writer,  but  our  objects  were  all  the  same,  viz:    to  get  a  home  and  a  competence. 

Short  verbal  reports  were  made  by  other  committeemen. 

Mr.  Hamilton  in  cordial  terms  expressed  his  pleasure  in  the 
presence  of  the  society  in  Caledonia,  and  commended  the  wisdom  of 
holding  the  annual  meetings  in  the  different  towns  of  the  county. 

After  some  brief  discussions  thanks  were  voted  to  the  retiring 
president  and  secretary  for  their  efficient  services,  and  to  the  ladies 
of  the  library  for  the  use  of  their  rooms,  and  the  business  meering 
adjourned. 


THE  PUBLIC  MEETING 
Was  held  in  the  afternoon  in  the  handsome  and  commodious  stone 
church  of  the   United   Presbyterian   society,  commencing  at  2:30. 
After  music  by  the  choir  and  prayer  by  Rev.  R.  M.  Russell,  the  pres- 
ident delivered  the  following  interesting  address : 

PRESIDENT  MCLEAN'S  ADDRESS. 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen: — In  behalf  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical 
society  I  extend  to  you  a  cordial  welcome  to  its  nmth  annual  meeting,  and  in  behalf 
of  the  citizens  of  Caledonia  I  welcome  you  to  their  cordial  hearts  and  hospitable 
homes. 

Caledonia  is  historic  ground.  Here  it  is  believed  the  first  grist  mill  in  this  part 
of  the  state  was  erected  and  afterwards  rebuilt  by  John  McKay.  Here  was  erected 
the  first  woolen  factory  for  this  settlement  by  Donald  McKenzie,  and  on  the  same 
ground  now  occupied  by  the  state  fish  hatching  house,  and  here  amidst  the  dreary 
snows  of  a  rigorous  winter  and  the  howling  of  the  Indian  savage  the  early  Scottish 
pioneers  erected  a  church  built  of  logs,  and  dedicated  it  to  the  ever  living  God.  It 
was  without  either  steeple  or  dome  to  indicate  its  use,  but  it  is  believed  to  have  been 
the  first  house  erected  in  the  state  of  New  York  west  of  the  Genesee  river  and  d^ 
voted  exclusively  to  the  worship  of  God.  Here  was  the  home  of  the  late  Hon. 
WiUard  H.  Smith,  who  for  sbcteen  successive  years  was  the  chief  judicial  oflficer  in 
your  county.  He  was  a  lawyer  of  great  ability.  He  was  the  friend  of  DeWitt 
Clinton,  the  boon  companion  of  Martin  VanBuren,  the  associate  of  Govs.  Throop 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  7 

and  Marcy,  and  the  idol  of  the  Livingston  county  bar.  Although  a  lawyer 
by  profession,  he  invariably  discouraged  litigation  between  neighbors,  and  it  was 
liugely  due  to  his  influence  that  he  was  enabled  to  say  near  the  closing  scenes  of 
his  life,  that  during  his  administration  as  chief  judicisd  officer  of  this  county  he  never 
had  a  petty,  malicious,  scandal  breeding  suit  come  before  him  tor  trial  from  the  in- 
habitants of  his  own  town.  Here  he  lived  and  here  he  died  revered  and  respected 
by  the  entire  community.  At  an  early  day  m  the  history  of  this  county,  Caledonia 
was  situated  on  the  great  thoroughfare  connecting  the  east  and  the  west  Undoubt- 
edly Talleyrand,  Lows  Phillip  and  the  great  Irish  bard,  Thomas  Moore,  passed  up 
and  down  these  streets  on  their  way  to  Niagara  Falls.  In  one  of  his  marginal 
notes,  Tom  Moore  mentions  a  corduroy  road  he  encountered  between  Batavia  and 
Buf&lo.  The  only  recommendation  I  have  ever  heard  for  Caledonia  r^arding  pop- 
ulation is  the  fact  that  it  was  at  one  time  larger  than  the  city  of  Rochester,  there 
being  quite  a  flourishing  country  village  here  when  there  were  but  two  solitary  log 
huts  where  the  populous  dty  of  Rochester  now  stands. 

Since  our  last  annual  meeting,  another  yeair  has  gone  with  its  hopes  and  fears, 
its  joys  and  sorrows,  to  join  its  brethren  of  the  past.  The  recording  angel  of  time 
has  entered  up  its  record.  As  a  society  and  as  a  nation  we  have  great  reason  to  be 
thankful  to  Almighty  God  for  peace,  prosperity  and  happiness.  Our  granaries  are 
groaning  beneath  their  load,  the  arts  and  sciences  flourish,  and  no  contagious  di'^ease 
has  desolated  our  land. 

Three  prominent  members  of  our  society  during  the  past  year  have  been  called 
to  the  spirit  land— Dr.  Faulkner  of  Dansville,  Deacon  John  D.  McColl  of  Caledon- 
ia and  Mrs.  Allen  Ayrault  of  Geneseo.  The  above  named  gentlemen  were  promi- 
nent officers  of  this  society  at  its  organization  ;  being  two  of  the  five  vice-presidents 
elected  at  its  inception.  A  singular  mortality  has  attended  the  original  vice-presi- 
dents of  our  society ;  they  have  all  passed  away.  Appropriate  memorial  notices  will 
be  read  here  this  afternoon  of  these  gentlemen  by  Mr.  E.  H.  Davis,  ex-president 
of  this  society,  and  Mr.  William  S.  McKenzie  ;  Secretary  Norman  Seymour  will 
also  read  an  appropriate  notice  of  Mrs.  Allen  Ayrault. 

Through  the  liberality  of  the  trustees  of  the  Wadsworth  Library,  situated  at 
Geneseo,  I  am  happy  to  inform  you  they  have  very  generously  presented  to  the  Liv- 
ingston County  Historical  society  the  use  of  a  room  in  tjieir  fire-proof  library  build- 
ing of  ample  dimensions  and  every  way  suited  to  our  present  necessities  as  a  deposi- 
tory for  our  records  and  other  articles  coming  into  possession  of  the  society.  On 
the  occasion  of  the  visit  of  your  committee  appointed  for  the  purpose  of  securing  a 
room,  Mr.  Austin  Wadsworth  representing  the  trustees  of  the  Wadsworth  library 
kindly  said,  *  •Gentlemen,  you  can  have  this  roonu  We  will  warm  it  and  light  it, 
furnish  a  janitor  to  keep  it  in  order  and  when  you  fill  it  with  your  valuable  docu- 
ments and  relics,  I  will  build  you  a  larger  one  at  my  own  expense."  In  coimection 
with  this  subject  and  intimately  connected  with  it  allow  me  to  suggest  the  propriety 
of  having  a  book  prepared  for  the  reception  and  preservation  of  autographs.  There 
are  many  old  letters  and  leases  written  by  distinguished  men,  Indian  treaties  and 
bits  of  parchment  which  I  have  no  doubt  could  be  obtained,  and  in  a  few  years  we 
would  have  a  collection  of  great  interest,  and  as  time  rolls  on  becoming  yearly  more 
and  more  valuable. 

About  the  most  important  event  of  the  past  year  has  been  our  recent  presiden- 
tial election.  We  have  just  emerged  from  one  of  the  most  exciting  and  bitter  politi- 
cal contests  that  this  country  has  ever  been  called  upon  to  witness  ;  an  election  ex- 
ceeding in  intensity  of  excitement  and  in  excess  of  malevolence,  scurrility  and  def- 
amation anything  before  witnessed  by  this  republic  Yet  in  its  peaceable,  quiet  re- 
sults how  grand — furnishing  substantial  evidence  of  the  stability  of  this  republican 
form  of  government  and  ofthe  steadiness  and  self-possession  of  a  people  alive  to  the 
duties  and  responsibilities  of  citizenship.  I  doubt  if  there  is  another  nation  on  the 
face  of  the  globe  that  would  have  survived  such  a  strain.  How  tranquil  and  patient 
the  country  remained  in  the  crisis  of  its  political  fortunes,  and  by  the  silent  power 
of  the  billot  and  a  trifle  over  one  thousand  majority  in  a  nation  of  fifty-five  millions, 


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8  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

the  party  controlling  for  a  quarter  of  a  century  the  destinies  of  this  country,  calmly 
steps  aside  and  gives  place  to  its  triumphant  opponents.  The  propriety  of  continu- 
ing our  r-esidential  elections  every  four  years,  with  all  this  excitement  increasing, 
necessanly  attendant  on  the  increase  of  population,  I  think  may  very  well  be  ques- 
tioned. It  now  costs  millions  to  elect  a  president.  I  know  of  few  substantial  in- 
dustries that  are  positively  benefitted  by  a  presidential  year.  Political  uncertainty 
and  l^slative  contingencies  have  an  important  influence  in  coloring  men*s  minds 
and  af^cting  the  currents  of  industrial  exchange.  The  uncertainties  involved  by  the 
issue  of  a  presidential  election  and  the  apprehensions  due  to  the  transfer  of  power 
from  one  party  unreservedly  committed  to  the  support  of  one  system,  to  another 
whose  views  are  hostile  or  unknown,  will  invariablv  have  its  effect  upon  the  busi- 
ness interests  of  the  country.  May  it  not  be  well  for  us  all  to  inquire  whether  the 
substantial  business  interests  of  the  country  would  not  be  promoted  by  extending 
our  presidential  term  to  sue,  eight  or  even  ten  years  ? 

One  of  the  main  objects  of  histr»rical  societies  should  be  to  connect  the  past  with 
the  present  From  the  earliest  days  of  recorded  history  it  has  been  a  natural  im- 
pulse of  mankind  to  honor  the  names  of  its  heroes  and  loved  ones  by  placing  those 
names  on  the  thoroughfare  of  public  record.  All  that  there  is  of  any  of  us  will 
soon  become  historical.  There  is  a  generation  t>ehind  us  crowding  us  forward  as  wc 
crowded  the  generation  that  preceded  us.  All  cannot  be  heroes,  but  every  well- 
bom  American  can  approximate  a  career  ^hose  chief  object  should  be  to  leave  the 
world  wiser  and  better  than  we  found  it — "Richer  by  commerce,  easier  by  science, 
and  more  lovely  by  flowers  surrounding  every  home  and  embellishing  every  grave." 

The  veteran  Secretary  then  made  the  following  report : 

REPORT  OF  SECRETARY  SEYMOUR, 

Members  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society,  Ladies  and 
Gentlemen  :  To-day  we  participate  in  the  proceedings  of  the  ninth  annual  mert- 
ing  of  our  society.  This  society  is  now  in  a  prosperous  condition,  our  membership 
increasing,  and  securing  the  attention  and  co-operation  of  community  year  by  year, 
and  we  are  garnering  the  early  history  of  our  beautiful  valley  and  of  the  setilcn»enl 
of  our  county — records  that  years  hence  wiU  be  of  priceless  value  to  the  thousands 
that  will  inhabit  the  Genesee  country.  The  committee  on  necrol<^  will  report  the 
death  the  past  year  of  the  last  two  of  the  first  five  vice-presidents  of  our  association, 
Deacon  Jonn  McColl  of  Caledonia,  who  died  Mav  19th,  1884,  aged  83  years,  and 
Dr.  James  Faulkner  of  Dansville  who  died  Oct  19th,  1884,  aged  95  years,  and  also 
of  Mrs.  Allen  Ayrault  of  Geneseo  who  died  Jan.  5th,  1885,  ageS  92  years,  6  months. 

The  past  year,  besides  the  usual  distribution  of  our  annual  report  to  the  various 
historical  societies  in  our  own  state  and  elsewhere,  I  have  on  request  sent  our  publi- 
cations to  the  Berkley  university  of  California,  and  to  the  mayor  of  Charleston, 
South  Carolina,  and  received  from  the  mayor  of  Charleston,  Hon.  W.  A.  Cortney, 
a  history  of  that  dty  (a  centennial  book),  also  pamphlets  from  the  Oneida  County 
Historical  society  and  from  the  university  of  California  at  Berkley,  also  a  memorial 
card  of  the  death  of  Hon,  O.  H.  Marshall  of  Buffala  In  June  last  I  received  the 
following  communication : 

United  States  Senate,        ) 
Rooms  of  the  Committee  on  Claims,  - 
Washington,  D.  C,  June  i6th,  1884.  ) 
Norman  Seymour,  Esq.,  Sec*y  Liv.  Ca  Historical  Society,  ML  Morris,  N.  Y. 

My  Dear  Sir  :  Please  accept  my  thanks  for  the  pamphlet  containing  the  pro- 
ceedings of  the  Livingston  County  Historical  society  at  its  annual  meeting  held  at 
Avrm,  January  8th,  1884.  I  am  greatly  pleased  and  interested  in  the  reports  made 
by  the  vice-presidents  from  the  different  towns.  These  reports  are  a  valuable  mstm- 
ment  for  the  preservation  of  the  past  and  present  history  of  the  county. 

Truly  Yours, 

Angus  Cameron. 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING. 

We  are  truly  gratified  to  pitch  our  tent  for  a  day  beside  the  j. r—- p-» 

where  near  a  century  ago  a  noble  band  of  men  and  women  from  Scotland's  delight- 
ful clime  pitched  their  tents  for  a  life-time — a  bond  whose  untiring  industry,  indom- 
itable courage,  sterling  integrity,  warm  and  lasting  friendship,  has  had  no  equal  in 
the  settlement  of  the  Genesee  country  ;  a  loving  band  whose  generosity  and  imselfish- 
ness  was  proverbial,  whose  guiding  star  was  love  to  God,  and  love  to  man,  whose 
trials  and  privations^  such  only  as  pioneers  pass  through,  were  endured  with  won- 
derful calmness  and  fortitude,  daily  illustrating  the  graces  of  true  manhood  and  wo- 
manhood. Truly  a  noble  ancestry  whose  memories  are  enshrined  in  the  immortality 
of  history  I 

Before  1797  the  country  west  of  the  Genesee  river  to  Lake  Erie  was  called 
Northampton  and  had  only  three  road  districts.  Jesse  Beach  was  the  first  patbmas- 
ter  west  of  Caledonia.  In  1801  Northampton  had  only  about  50  fiunilies  located  in 
what  is  now  Caledonia,  LeRoy  and  the  Falls  near  Lake  Ontaria  In  1803  there 
were  four  towns  west  of  the  Genesee  river,  viz:  Northampton,  Southampton,  Ba- 
tavia,  Leicester.  Caledonia  was  first  formed  as  Southampton  in  1802  and  changed 
to  Caledonia  in  1806.  "Big  Springs,**  as  it  was  first  known,  became  the  abode  of 
the  white  man,  the  white  settlers  coming  in  1797.  The  first  pioneers  vdio  came 
from  Johnstown  in  this  state  to  Caledonia  in  1797  (at  the  earnest  solicitations  and 
Ubenu  offers  of  Capt  Williamson,  traveling  some  two  hundred  miles  on  foot),  were 
James  and  Maloom  McLaren,  Hugh  McDonald,  Daniel  McPherson,  John  McVean, 
followed  in  1790  by  Peter  Campbell,  John  McKay,  John  Cameron,  Robert  McKay, 
John  McLean,  Hines  Chamberlain.  The  first  death  in  the  town  was  John  McLean; 
the  first  marriage  was  Hines  Chamberiain  and  Widow  McLean ;  the  first  inn  open- 
ed by  Peterson,  followed  by  David  Fuller  in  1798 ;  Alexander  McDonald  had  the 
pioneer  store,  followed  by  John  Cameron  in  1799  ;  in  1801  the  Pultney  Land  Ca 
erected  the  first  mill ;  Dioiiald  McKenzie  biiilt  the  first  woolen  factory  in  1822,  and 
Jeamiette  McDonald  taught  the  first  school  in  1804  near  the  spring;  John  Cameron 
at  an  early  day  carried  a  bushel  of  com  to  Canandaigua  to  have  it  ground  ;  Chester 
Harding,  a  cabinet  maker  of  the  town,  painted  the  pictures  of  Queen  Victoria  and 
Prince  Albert  Une3q)ectedly  to  his  creditors  he  left  for  Europe  where  he  became  an 
enunent  ard< ;  the  Indians  called  Caledonia  De-o-no-go-no,  signifying  cold  water. 
Rev.  Alex.  Denoon  firom  Inverness,  Scotland,  M^as  the  first  installed  Presbyterian 
minister  in  1807.  Before  a  church  was  built,  the  society  held  their  services  in  a  log 
house  near  the  -''Big  Spring.'*  Caledonia  has  sent  out  some  eminent  men,  among 
the  number  we  notice  the  late  fudge  Willard  H.  Smith,  Hon.  Angus  Cameron,  U. 
S.  senator  fix)m  Wisconsin,  and  an  honorary  member  of  our  historical  society  ;  Rev. 
D.  D.  McLaren  and  others  whose  names  I  cannot  recall.  It  will  perhaps  interest 
my  Scotch  friends  present  to  remark  : 

It  was  a  beautiful  afternoon  in  June  1882,  that  I  found  mvself  at  Ayr  the  birth- 
place of  the  greatest  of  Briton's  poets,  Robert  Bums;  20  miles  by  tram  from  Glas- 
gow hrou)^ht  me  to  this  quaint  old  town.  Hiring  a  dog  cart,  1  took  the  front  seat 
wtdi  the  driver,  and  soon  was  going  Gilpin  like,  for  *<Eiobbie  Bums' "  early  home. 
The  driver  with  his  genume  So^tch  tongue  was  interesting  me  with  the  history  of 
the  Scotch  poet.  He  says,  <*What  drives  all  you  Americans  to  come  so  far  to  the 
birthplace  of  *Bobbie  ;'  but  few  of  our  Scotchmen  come  here  ?" 

The  ride  to  Bums'  birthplace,  about  two  miles  from  town  by  a  circuitous  way 
was  most  delightful,  too  charming  to  be  enjoyed  by  only  one  American.  On  either 
side  the  highway  was  girted  by  a  high  and  beautiful  hedge.  The  road  way,  like 
nearly  all  the  roads  in  S»tland,  like  to  a  floor.  Soon  I  stop  at  a  long  one-story 
stone  dwelling  neatly  whitewashed  outside,  with  its  thatchexi  roof,  small  windows 
low  double  door.  With  head  imcovered  I  enter  in,  and  gaze  at  the  bed  with  its 
unique  drapery,  in  one  nook  of  the  room  where  the  poet  was  bom,  the  fire  place, 
the  old  table,  the  ctiairs,  that  once  were  occupied  by  him,  we  wandered  through  the 
dwdHn^  composed  of  several  rooms,  each  historic,  and  for  all  time  to  be  reviewed 
and  visited  by  the  lovers  of  Robert  Bums.  Further  on  we  go  into  the  old  grave- 
yard, and  look  into  the  antique  old  chapel,  where  the  witches  were  seen.     We  turn 


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lO  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOaETY. 

down  the  winding  road  and  stand  on  the  bridge  ov:er  the  river  Doon,  and  I  fancy  I 
see  the  grey  mare,  lofdng  her  narative.  I  also  visit  the  monument  enclosed  in  a  beau- 
tiful flower  garden,  look  into  the  new  chi^l  and  in  a  nave,  take  a  view  of  **Tam 
O^Shanter  and  Souter  Johnny"  in  statuary  quaffing  their  ale.  At  Ayr,  may  be  seed 
the  church  in  which  Robert  Bums  convened  his  parliament.  Ayr  is  a  delightful  old 
town  to  visit,  and  as  the  poet  says  : 

*  •Where'er  the  loving  pilfi[rim  turns 

He  sees  the  lineaments  of  Bums, 

His  step  is  heard,  the  Doon  along, 

His  voice  is  in  the  laverock's  song, 

His  fiEu:e  is  in  the  woodland  dim 

And  all  the  air  is  full  of  him." 

Scotland  has  truly  a  romantic  history.  Ayrshire,  once  the  home  of  Barns 
The  Trossachs,  the  beautiful  and  picturesque  lake  district  of  Loch  Lomond  and 
Loch  Katrine  are  replete  with  memories  of  Rob  Roy,  Roderick  Dhu ;  while  High- 
land clans,  Dumbarton  castle,  the  towering  Sterling  castle,  Edinburgh,  unsurpaaised 
for  beauty  in  Great  Britain,  with  its  Holyrood  and  castle,  Arthur's  Seat,  Carlton  Hill, 
Nelson's  monument,  Jotm  Knox's  home,  etc.,  etc.  Melrose,  Abbotsford  ;  all  these 
delightful  resorts  inspu'e  the  lover  of  the  beautiful,  while  he  is  charmed  with  the 
quiet,  unpretending  manners,  the  earnest  greetings,  and  the  warm  grasp  which 
the  Scotchman  gives  the  American. 

We  were  proud  to  say  to  them  that  about  1797  a  small  company  left  the  high- 
lands of  Scotland  trusting'  in  the  God  of  heaven,  migrated  to  America,  and  to  my 
own  section,  and  greatly  ai>sisted  in  laying  broad,  deep  and  lasting  the  foundatioos 
of  good  government  of  the  Genesee  valley — who  hke  a  wall  of  (ire  held  to  the 
faith  of  their  fathers — that  their  memories  were  cherished  like  household  gods, 
that  their  children  nobly  illustrated  those  graces  which  were  the  crowning  excel- 
lences of  our  early  pioneers. 

October  9th  last  by  invitation  from  the  Buf&lo  Historical  society  I  attended 
the  very  interesting  exercises  at  Buffelo  of  the  burial  of  the  bones  of  Red  Jacket, 
Little  Billy,  Destroy  Town,  Tall  Peter,  Youpg  King,  and  CapL  Pollard,  chiefe 
of  the  tribe  of  the  Senecas.  The  remains  in  six  caskets  were  conveyed  in  six 
hearses  from  the  rooms  of  the  Historical  Society  to  Forest  Lawn  cemetery,  fol- 
lowed by  over  60  carriages.  A  large  number  of  Indians  were  present,  dreswi 
in  Indian  costume,  paint,  ornaments  and  feathers,  etc.  Chiefs  from  tribes  of  the 
Six  Nations — Onondaga,  Oneida,  Cayuga,  Mohawk,  Tuscarora  and  Seneca  acted 
as  bearers.  The  funeral  exercises  were  conducted  by  the  Indians.  Rev.  Mr. 
Jamison  offered  a  prayer  and  a  dirge  was  sung  by  the  choir.  W.  C  Bryant  of 
Buffalo,  an  adopted  si^n  of  the  Seneca  Indians,  delivered  a  very  able  and  histor- 
ical address.  An  elaborate  and  suggestive  monument  is  to  be  erected  over  the 
remains  of  these  noted  chiefs.  It  was  fitting  that  Livingston  county  shooki  be 
represented  at  that  time  and  by  the  Historical  association,  for  it  was  in  this  sec- 
tion and  on  these  once  wild  and  beautiful  acres  that  Red  Jacket,  Sa-ga-ye-wat-ha, 
nearly  a  century  ago  roamed  and  hunted.  It  was  at  the  Big  Tree  treaty  in  1797 
he  made  himself  famous.  Red  Jacket  was  not  a  brave  IncUan.  As  an  orator 
he  was  eloquent,  fearless,  bold,  and  onty  excelled  among  the  Iroquois  by  Logan,  the 
Cayuga  chiet  Capt  Horatio  Jones  of  Leicester,  who  came  to  the  Genesee  rifer 
in  1799,  a  brave  and  intrepid  man  and  Indian  interpreter  of  the  United  States 
was  m  accordance  with  the  Indian  custom  adopted  by  Red  Jacket  as  his  y>n.  Red 
Jacket  was  ot  the  Wolf  tribe  of  the  Senecas,  died  at  the  age  of  78,  Jan.  aoih, 
1830,  at  Seneca  village. 

The  Mt  Morris  cemetery  association  July  loth,  1882,  passed  a  resolotioo  to 
set  aside  an  eligible  burial  lot  of  suitable  size  and  appropriate  funds  to  defray  the 
expense  in  removing  the  remains  of  Wm.  Tallchief,  a  Seneca  Indian  x^^aef,  and  in- 
terring them  m  their  cemetery.  On  the  7th  of  November,  1883,  a  delegatino  of 
Indians  from  the  Cattaraugus  reservation  visited  the  cemetery  and  selected  a  burial 
lot.    June  nth,  1884,  the  remains  of  William  Tallchief,  having  been  disinterred 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 1 

from  a  burial  place  near  Buflalo,  N.  Y.,  were  mterred  in  the  Mt  Morris  cemetery, 
through  the  efforts  of  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills.  The  inscription  on  the  temporanr  marker 
is  as  follows :  "A-Wa-Nis-Ha-Dek-Hah  (or  burning  day),  William  Tallchief,  a 
Seneca  chief  of  the  Six  Nations,  the  white  man's  friend,  was  bom  on  the  Genesee 
river  in  175a  He  resided  with  his  people  in  early  times  on  Allen's  Hill,  now  Mt 
Morris,  in  1825  the  Seneca  Indians  sold  their  reservation  on  the  Genesee  river. 
In  1827  he  removed  to  the  Towanda  reservation;  was  buried  on  the  Buffalo  Creek 
reservation  ;  his  remains  disinterred  May  27th,  1884  ;  reinterred  in  these  grounds 
under  the  auspices  of  the  Cemetery  association,  June  nth,  1884."  The  bunal  took 
place  m  the  presence  of  and  was  witnessed  by  several  officers  of  the  association. 

The  following  memorials  were  then  presented : 


DR.  JAMES  FAULKNER— BY  E.  H.  DAVIS. 

Dr.  James  Faulkner,  of  Dansville,  N.  Y.,  one  of  the  first  vice-presidents  of  the 
Livingston  County  Historical  Society,  died  at  his  late  residence  in  that  village  on 
Sunday,  the  19th  of  October,  1884,  at  the  advanced  aged  of  ninety-four  years  and 
nine  months.  His  death  was  the  occasion  of  deep  mourning  in  the  community 
where  his  long  and  useful  life  was  passed,  and  the  people  of  the  village,  in  apprecia- 
tion of  bis  memory,  very  generally  suspended  business  during  the  hours  of  his  fun- 
eral On  the  occasion  of  the  eighty-third  anniversary  of  Dr.  Faulkner's  birth, 
there  w*n«  assembled  about  his  hospitable  board  a  number  of  contemporary  pio- 
neers, the  united  ages  of  sixteen  of  them  being  131 1  years.  At  that  time  the  Doc- 
tor read  an  autobiography  which  contains  a  record  of  most  of  his  political  and  busi- 
ness life,  and  no  rhetorical  embellishment  can  add  interest  to  the  simple  and  concise 
narative.  A  portion  of  it  is  here  given  as  being  no  doubt  correct  and  as  being,  also, 
a  most  fitting  memorial  and  the  most  worthy  of  record  in  the  archives  of  this  society  : 

THE  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

"My  name  is  James  Faulkner.  I  was  bom  on  the  21st  day  of  January,  1790^ 
in  the  county  of  Washington,  in  the  state  of  New  York,  in  what  was  then  the  town 
of  Cambridge,  four  miles  from  the  county  seat,  which  was  Salem.  My  fiather  start- 
ed from  his  place  there  in  Cambridge  the  day  after  Christmas,  1706.  He  moved  to 
the  village  of  Dansville,  a  new  villi^  then.  I  think  we  were  thirteen  days  coming 
on  the  road  to  Dansville.  About  the  7th  of  January,  1797,  my  father  lived  here, 
and  I  with  him,  until  June  1801.  He  then  moved  down  to  Geneseo  and  died  there 
in  May,  1805.  I  lived  there  till  1807.  then  went  to  Painted  Post,  in  the  county  of 
Steuben,  and  commenced  the  study  of  medicine.  Remained  there  till  1810,  and  spent 
the  winter  at  the  medical  lectures  in  the  dty  of  New  York.  In  1811,  at  Bath,  I 
was  examined  by  the  medical  society  and  licensed  to  practice  physic  and  surgery.  I 
remained  there  till  181 2,  and  in  May  of  that  year  married  Miss  Minerva  Hammond, 
and  the  next  month  moved  back  to  Dansville,  since  which  time  I  have  lived  here. 
Shortly  afier  my  return  I  was  appointed  a  Justice  of  the  Peace  by  the  old  council  of 
appointment  I  held  that  ofhce  about  two  years  and  resigned.  The  next  year  I 
was  elected  town  clerK  of  Dansville.  The  next  year  I  was  appointed  by  the  post- 
master-general, postmaster  here,  and  held  the  office  twenty-six  years.  In  1835  ^ 
was  appointed  one  of  the  associate  judges  of  the  county  courL  I  held  that  uthce 
ten  years^  In  1825,  I  was  elected  member  of  the  house  of  assembly  and  re-elected 
the  next  year,  i  had  been  in  Albany  previously,  in  1822,  with  a  view  of  getting 
this  town  annexed  to  Livingston  county,  which  was  done  in  March  1822.  «  «  « 
In  1834,  I  ran  as  a  candidate  for  representative  in  congress,  but  was  defeated  by 
Luther  C  Peck,  of  this  county.  The  next  congressional  election  I  was  a  second 
time  defeated  by  the  same  man.  In  1840,  I  ran  for  senator  in  the  sixth  senatorial 
district  and  was  defeated  by  Mr.  Piatt,  of  Tioga  connty.  In  1841,  1  ran  again  for 
senator  in  the  same  district  against  Allen  Ayrault,  of  Geneseo,  was  elected,  and 
served  from  1842  to  1846.      In  May  181 2,  I  was  drafted  and  then  expected  to  go. 


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12  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

but  being  married  two  weeks  after,  took  advantage  of  the  scripture  privil^e — 
(Deut ,  XX,  7,  and  Luke  XIV,  20)  to  send  a  substitute,  John  Gibson,  who  fought 
bravely  but  was  taken  prisoner  at  the  battle  of  Queenstowa,  in  the  Call  of  18 13. 
My  substitute  having  been  exchanged,  I  then  volunteered  and  went  to  the  frooL 
Went  in  October,  came  back  in  December.  Stayed  long  enough  to  get  a  pension 
of  160  acres  of  land.  I  was  surgeon  of  the  regiment  in  Gen.  George  McClure'i 
campaign.  We  were  at  Fort  George  on  the  Canada  side  of  the  Niagara  river. 
There  were  nine  officers  in  our  mess.  I  think  I  am  the  only  survivor  of  those  niDe 
mess-mates." 

Of  his  business  life  Dr.  Faulkner  thus  writes  : 

"In  181 5,  I  bought  the  paper  mill  here.  It  was  the  only  paper  mill  then  west 
of  Marcellus,  Onondaga  county.  I  abandoned  my  profession  and  canied  on  the 
manufacture  of  paper  here  for  ten  years.  I  superintended  it  mjrself— the  nles  and 
the  collection  of  materials — traded  in  Canada,  Buf&lo,  and  all  through  the  westera 
part  of  the  state,  supplying  all  the  newspapers  west  of  Geneva,  with  printing  paper. 
*  *  *  After  the  paper  business  became  poor,  I  converted  the  paper  miu  mto 
a  tannery,  took  in  a  good  business  man  for  partner,  and  carried  on  the  coacem  ten 
years.  I  was  also  engaged  in  mercantile  business  with  the  Bradners.  At  the  organ- 
ization of  the  Bank  of  Dansville  I  was  chosen  president,  declined,  and  joined  the 
firm  of  S.  Sweet  &  Ca,  bankers.  After  continuing  ten  years,  we  dissolved  and 
went  into  the  First  National  Bank  of  Dansville,  started  in  1863.  I  was  elected  its 
first  president  and  have  filled  that  office  ever  since." 

To  these  reminisences  recorded  by  his  own  pen,  we  add  an  extract  from  the 
•* History  of  Livingston  County,"  published  by  D.  Mason  &  Ca : 

"In  the  spring  of  181 5,  James  Faulkner  was  elected  Supervisor  of  the  town  of 
Sparta,  which  then  embraced  the  territory  now  included  in  the  towns  of  Dansville^ 
West  Sparta  and  Sparta,  all  of  which  then  belonged  to  the  county  of  Steuben.  By 
nearly  continuous  elections  he  continued  to  represent  Sparta  in  the  boird  of  Super- 
visors of  Steuben  county,  until  the  year  1822,  when  that  town  was  annexed  to  Liv- 
ingston county.  After  this  he  represented  the  town  so  many  years  that,  to  use  his 
own  language,  "I  have  almost  forgotten  their  number."  It  also  stands  to  his  credit 
that,  while  senator,  he  introduced  a  bill  for  the  construction  of  the  Genesee  Valley 
canal  and  its  branch  extending  from  Sonyea  to  Dansville. 

Says  a  writer  in  the  Dansville  Elxpress  of  January  24th,  1884  :  "After  a  pro- 
tracted struggle,  in  which  his  intimacy  with  such  men  as  Silas  Wright,  Wm.  L. 
Marcy,  John  C.  Spencer,  and  others  equally  as  distinguished,  served  him  in  good 
stead  the  senator  won  the  fight  by  the  slim  majority  of  *one.*  The  canal  was  built. 
It  opened  up  Monroe,  Livingston,  and  All^;any  counties  ;  while  the  branch  from 
Sonyea  brought  Dansville  into  a  prominence  it  had  never  known  before." 

We  might,  without  prejudice  to  our  subject,  close  this  memorial  here ;  for  who 
that  has  the  power  of  retrospection  or  is  capable  of  the  crudest  reasoning,  but  most 
adnut  that  a  life  so  long  and  so  laborious,  so  filled  with  responsibilities  which  were 
so  faithftdly  discharge^  was  a  well-rounded  life  and  worthy  of  all  emulation.  To 
know  of  that  lifers  humble  beginning,  to  realize  that  it  spanned  the  century  now 
cloang,  and  to  see  him  at  life's  close  with  his  many  honors  "thick  about  him,"  is  to 
realize  and  to  know  that  such  a  life  was  successful  and  replete  with  ex[>eriences  which 
all  the  preceding  centuries  could  scarcely  give.  But  the  intense  individuality,  the 
marked  character  and  long  public  career  of  James  Faulkner,  demand  som^ing 
more  from  this  society  ;  and  in  placing  our  estimate  upon  that  life,  I  deem  it  alto- 
gether just  that  those  who  knew  him  best  should  have  the  most  to  say.  I  have 
therefore  compiled  a  few  previously  puUished  statements  from  sources  eminently 
trustworthy,  and  written  by  persons  every  way  capable  of  giving  an  intelligent,  fim 
and  unbiased  estimate  of  his  character. 

ESTIMATES    OF    HIS    CHARACTER. 
Fr(m  the  Steuben  Advocate  of  October  22,  1884. 
"Throughout  the  long  term  of  years  of  his  life,  there  were  exhibited,  in  eminent 
d^;ree,  those  essential  elenients  of  success,  self-reliance,   resolution  and  perse vei- 


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NINl-H  ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 3 

aocc  He  recognized  the  fundamental  maxim,  that  labor  is  essential  to  success  in 
any  and  every  sphere  of  the  duties  of  life.  We  honor  his  memory  and  desire  to 
present  to  young  men  of  this  third  generation  for  their  imitation  when  entering  on 
their  business  career,  his  diligence,  determination  and  unswerving  adherence  to  his 
plans,  however  great  might  be  the  obstacles  before  him.  Trace  him  throughout  his 
long  and  eventful  course  in  private  or  in  public  life,  and  you  will  find  that  his  self- 
interests  never  led  him  into  injustice  to  others.  Where  his  interests  were  antagon- 
istic to  others  he  would  contend  strenuously  for  his  own  but  would  not  take  any  un- 
fiur  advantage  of  his  opponents.  In  his  competition  with  men,  in  the  contest  for 
personal  interests,  animosities  w^re  as  usual  a  natural  result,  but  no  one  could  justly 
question  his  honor  or  doubt  his  probity.  Sympathy  with  the  unfortunate,  kindness 
to  the  afflicted  and  toleration  of  adverse  opinions — these  qualities  which  the  strife 
for  wealth  so  frequently  displaces — were  not  lost  from  his  character." 

From  the  DansviUe  Express  of  October  23,  1884. 
*1>r.  Faolkner  possessed,  in  an  unusual  degree,  the  sterling  qualities  of  mind 
and  body  with  which  nature  seems  to  have  especially  endowed  those  men  who  were 
destined  to  be  the  pioneers  in  a  grand  cause,  and  the  architects  of  the  greatest  gov- 
ernment the  world  has  ever  seen.  Gifted  with  a  strong  and  vigorous  constitution, 
he  early  learned  the  lesson  taught  by  nature's  laws,  and  through  all  his  years  was 
rigidly  abstemious  in  his  mode  of  living,  and  enjoyed,  as  a  consequence,  vigorous 
health  and  scarcely  impaired  faculties  up  to  the  last  year  prior  to  his  death.  Endow- 
ed with  a  clear,  comprehensive  and  vigorous  intellect,  and  an  accurate  judgment  of 
men  and  measures,  he  was  successful  in  the  various  business  enterprises  in  which  he 
embarked.  He  was  a  wise  and  cautious  counselor,  and  in  the  days  of  his  vigorous 
manhood,  a  trusted  leader  in  public  affairs.  Two  of  his  prominent  characteristics 
were,  his  scrupulous  honesty  and  his  stem,  uncompromising;  sense  of  justice. 
Through  all  his  private  and  official  life  this  keen  sense  of  justice  ran.  He  looked 
to  see  if  the  thing  to  be  done  was  just  and  right ;  if  so  he  did  it,  regardless  of  the 
consequences.  If  he  did  not  think  it  just,  he  did  not  do  it,  no  matter  what  the  loss 
to  him.  *  ♦♦  In  all  the  long  record  of  his  life  there  is  no  stain  of  injustice  or 
oppression,  no  mark  of  falsehood  or  any  dishonorable  act ;  but  it  is  brightened 
throughout  by  acts  of  blessed  aharity,  cheierfully  and  secretly  done.  All  who  knew 
him  are  happier  that  he  lived  and  sadder  that  he  has  died." 

From  the  DansviUe  Advertiser  of  October  23,  1884. 
**Dr.  FauUner  lived  an  unostentatious  life,  and  as  has  been  said  by  another,  he 
never  sought  that  general  acquaintance  and  notoriety  in  which  persons  differently 
constitated  find  delight.  But  those  who  did  enjoy  his  confidence  and  esteem  un- 
derstood that,  though  not  demonstrative,  his  friendship  was  enduring.  He  was  in 
every  respect  a  strong  man,  and  a  power  in  whatever  rektion  of  life  he  was  brought 
•  *  •  Though  successful  in  every  meaning  of  the  word,  he  was  considerate, 
charitable  and  useful.  Many  have  been  the  beneficiaries  of  his  bounty,  although 
miknown  to  the  general  public.  Throughout  his  long  life  he  was  an  earnest  demo- 
crat and  a  strong  partisan,  often  himself  leading  the  lo^  forces  to  victory  or  defeat, 
but  was  never  unsettled  by  the  former  or  downcast  by  the  ktter.  He  could  take  and 
glive  a  heavy  blow  in  political  warfare.  A  thorough  business  man,  a  simple  liver, 
a  careful  fiiumcier,  an  uncompromising  democrat,  he  earned  the  enmity  of  some  and 
the  esteem  of  many.  There  are  many  things  in  the  life  and  character  of  Dr.  James 
Faolkner  worthy  of  emulation  by  young  men." 

Rev,  George  K,  Ward,  of  DansviUe, 
"I  can  say,  with  all  confidence  of  public  endorsement,  that  Tames  Faulkner 
was  a  strong,  man.  Vigor  of  constitution,  both  mental  and  physical,  was  joined  to 
a  strength  of  character  which  few  have  attained.  Peculiarly  undemonstrative,  both 
in  ^'eech  and  manner,  none  possessed  in  larger  measure  that  subdued  enthusiasm, 
that  stead^tness  of  pmpose^  which  are  essential  to  permanent  success.  «  «  « 
I  think  I  may  safely  say  that  his  personal  integrity  has  never  been  doubted      Occu- 


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14  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

p3ring  for  many  years  a  commanding  position  as  regards  the  Bnanoes  of  die  commun- 
ity, his  unswerving  honesty  won  for  him  the  confidence  of  all  classes.  Dr.  Faulk- 
ner suffered  at  times  from  adverse  criticism,  as  all  of  us  have  suffered,  but  it  is  a 
pleasant  thing  for  us  to  know,  and  it  does  but  enhance  our  admiration  for  him«  that 
such  was  his  innate  sense  of  justice,  so  profound  his  knowledge  of  human  nature 
and  so  perfect  his  self  command,  that  he  could  not  harbor  spite  or  ill  will  *  *  < 
In  the  home  life,  the  amiable  qualities  of  our  venerated  townsman  shone  with  pur- 
est luster.     ♦    ♦    The  poor  were  never  turned  away  empty  handed  from  his  door." 

From  these  estimates  of  Mr.  Faulkner*s  character,  to  which  might  be  added 
many  others  of  equal  merit  not  recorded,  we  are  able  to  deduce  with  absolute  cor- 
rectness— first,  that  he  was  honest ;  second,  that  he  was  industrious  ;  third,  he  was 
charitable ;  fourth,  that  he  was  temperate.  What  more  can  be  required  ?  No 
grand  character  was  ever  made  without  these  attributes.  They  comprise  the  cardinal 
principals  and  virtues  of  the  decalogue.  They  are  the  four  great  pillars  that  uphold 
the  vast  fabric  of  human  society,  and  whoever  builds  upon  them  with  the  intelK- 
gence  and  devotion  that  James  Faulkner  did  Mali  achieve  a  similar  success.  To  ad- 
mit that  he  incurred  the  enmity  of  some  does  not  n<^:essarily  stand  to  his  discredit 
Strong  natures,  in  whatever  field  they  work,  secure  the  ill-will  of  thoa«e  whom  thcf 
outetnp  in  the  race,  and  it  cannot  be  avoided.  The  world  is  not  so  lamblike  that 
the  warrior,  battling  for  success,  can  throw  aside  his  armor  and  go  about  the  real 
business  of  life,  trusting  to  the  velvet  that  hides  the  sharp  daws  of  competitkm  and 
rivalry.  Success  means  "fight,"  and  ten  times  more  emphatically  did  it  mean 
••fight"  when  James  Faulkner  entered  the  arena  with  nothing  but  his  intelligence, 
his  courage  and  his  willing  hands  to  aid  him.  At  no  time  in  his  life  is  he  stronger 
than  when  driving  his  team  about  the  then  thinly  settled  country,  idling  paper  and 
collecting  material  and,  more  than  all,  rigidly  practidng  those  rules  of  economy  and 
abstinence  which  he  had  adopted  in  early  life.  Before  such  pluck  and  industry, 
guided  by  an  acute  and  practical  intellect,  mortgages  and  debts,  and  all  other  obstt- 
cles  were  swept  away.  His  success  seemed  less  a  mystery  to  others  than  to  himself. 
Alluding  to  the  subject  at  one  time  he  said :  **I  worked  hard,  I  was  prudent  in  man- 
agement, I  denied  myself  comforts  to  enable  me  to  pay  my  debts,  and  I  was  success- 
ful ;  but  I  have  seen  other  men  equally  careful,  industrious  and  prudent,  fail  of 
success.  There  is  certainly  something  which  is  inappropriately  called  'luck*  which 
is  not  in  human  prevision  or  power." 

He  was  without  doubt,  the  oldest  acting  bank  president  in  the  world,  and  hb 
physical  vigor  is  attested  by  the  fact  that  on  May  19th,  in  1884,  when  at  the  age  of 
94  years  and  4  months  he  appended  his  signature  two  hundrol  times  at  a  single  sit- 
ting to  a  new  issue  of  notes  of  the  First  National  Bank  of  Dansville.  In  person  he 
was  tall,  erect  and  muscular,  and  his  form  yidded  but  slightly  to  the  weight  of  his 
many  years.  His  head  was  findy  developed,  with  features  strongly  marked  and 
somewhat  austere  in  their  expression,  but  with  benevolence  plainly  discernible  in  the 
back  ground.  Firmness  and  resolution,  however,  were  most  strongly  delineated,  as 
these  traits  were  the  commanding  qualities  of  his  character.  Rarely  does  it  fall  to 
the  fortune  of  one  life  to  compass  so  many  years  and,  rarer  still,  to  gamer  so  rich  an 
experience.  He  saw  the  light  of  the  eighteenth  century  go  out  and  that  of  the  nine- 
teenth kindled,  among  the  falling  foliage  beneath  which  he  peacefully  rests.  He  saw 
steam  and  dectridty  revolutionize  the  world  and  the  canal  he  was  instrumental  in 
building,  filled  up  and  a  railroad  built  m  iu  place.  He  saw  the  prindples  of  a  free 
government  grandly  perpetuated  in  the  country  of  his  birth,  and  the  wilderness  he 
assailed  in  its  primitive  grandeur,  go  down  beneath  the  all-conquering  energy  of  the 
Angio- American  pioneer.  In  this  stubbornly  contested  battle  he  was  no  icfle  looker- 
on.  He  was  ever  foremost  in  the  fight,  and  success  has  crowned  him  "conqueror." 
He  sleeps  amid  the  triumphs  he  has  won,  and  his  memory  is  as  firmly  fixed  and  will 
be  as  enduring  as  the  hills  his  energy  subdued. 

The  unparalleled  advance  which  dvilization  has  made  upon  this  continent  since 
the  wondering  eyes  of  the  infant  Faulkner  opened  to  the  light  of  the  preceding  cen- 
tury, has  been  marked  by  many  distinguishing  characteristicii  the  most  striting  of 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 5 

which  were  the  men  Rpecially  appointed  by  the  Almighty  to  subdue  the  vast  wilder- 
ness which  stretched  in  almost  unbroken  solitude  from  the  Alleghanies  to  the  Pa- 
cific It  would  be  fatal  for  any  ordinary  imagination  to  try  to  conceive  of  the  at- 
tenuated remnant  of  that  stalwart  age,  going  forth  on  his  bicycle  or  his  square-tailed 
horse,  in  all  the  wonderful  paraphernalia  of  the  fashionable  young  man  of  the  peri- 
od, to  conquer  a  continent  of  solitude,  intermixed  as  that  was,  with  Indians,  wild 
beasts,  malaria  and  snakes.  Think  of  this  dapper  pioneer  rising  in  his  stirrups  and 
saying  to  that  howling  and  defiant  solitude  "bc^ne.*'  Think  you  that  wilderness, 
as  it  gazed  upon  his  mild  blue  eyes,  his  soft  white  hands  and  his  balloon  frame, 
would  have  budged  ?  The  wolves  and  the  bears  and  the  Indians  and  snakes,  would 
have  successfully  maintained  their  line  of  defence  along  the  valley  of  the  Genesee, 
and  the  decimated  pioneer  would  have  ridden  back  to  the  pleasures  of  the  town,  and 
wasted  the  remnant  of  his  energies  on  base-ball,  lawn-tennis,  or  the  skating  rink. 

Not  so  that  class  of  heroes,  of  which  Mr.  Faulkner  was  a  noble  type,  who  re- 
ceived their  commisdons  from  God  and  who  entered  upon,  what  must  have  appear- 
ed to  them  in  its  entirety,  a  more  than  human  undertaking.  But  God's  missions 
are  never  given  into  incompetent  or  trembling  hands.  The  work,  vast  as  it  was, 
had  been  measured  by  divine  prescience,  and  the  men  to  accomplish  it  were  divine- 
ly appointed.  They  shrank  from  no  hardship,  faltered  at  no  obstacle,  braved  every 
danger.  On  foot  and  on  horseback,  with  ox  teams  and  in  open  boats  they  assailed 
that  interminable  wilderness,  and  the  lifetime  of  our  venerable  brother  saw  it  vanish 
liice  a  dream,  and  its  vast  area  become  the  abiding  place  of  millions  of  happy  and 
prosperous  freemen.  We  owe  our  heritage  to  these  brave  men,  and  as  generation 
SQOceeds  generation  it  is  well  to  call  up  their  example  and  urge  the  young  to  emulate 
it.  The  more  frequently  we  revert  to  them  and  the  more  we  think  m  the  bard- 
ships  they  endured  the  more  heroic  will  their  lives  appear,  more  lovely  will  be  the 
homes  they  left  us  and  more  valued  the  institutions  of  our  country,  perpetuated  by 
their  many  and  great  sacrifices.     Let  us  keep  their  memories  green. 

JOHN  D.  McCOLL— BY  WILLIAM  S.  McKENZIE. 

I  am  informed  that  John  D.  McCoU  was  a  member  of  this  society  from  its  or- 
ganization. At  that  time  he  was  appointed  one  of  your  vice-presidents.  At  your 
last  annual  meeting  he  and  Dr.  James  Faulkner  were  the  only  surviving  vice-presi- 
dents who  were  then  appointed  and  now  they  too  are  dead. 

While  I  am  not  loth  to  perform  the  service  assigned  me  to-day,  I  can  not  but 
fed  that  a  more  suitable  selection  might  have  been  made  in  one  of  his  earlier  and 
more  intimate  associates,  as  he  was  m  the  prime  of  life  at  my  earliest  recollection. 

JohnD.  McColl  was  bom  May  12th,  1802,  at  Agyleshire,  Scotland.  In  1804 
his  father,  Dunnan  McColl,  emi^;rated  with  his  family  to  this  country  and  located  in 
this  town  on  the  farm  he  occupied  till  his  death,  which  occurred  June  oth,  1S47,  at 
the  advanced  age  of  93  years,  and  the  farm  is  still  in  the  possession  of  hU  descen- 
dants Of  the  thirteen  children  in  his  father's  family  three  died  in  infancy,  and  ten 
Hved  to  maturity.  There  are  at  present  but  two  living,  Mrs.  Mary  Simpson  of  this 
vihage  to  whom  I  am  indebted  for  these  facts,  and  a  sister  residing  in  Nebraska. 

John  D.  grew  to  manhood,  enduring  the  many  privations  inadent  to  a  pioneer 
hfe,  and  enjoyed  its  few  privileges,  having  no  advantages  of  education  except  such 
as  the  settlement  afforded  in  the  line  of  common  schools.  He  inherited  m>m  his 
father  about  loo  acres  of  land  and  to  these  he  added  from  time  to  time  about  300 
more. 

He  was  married  April  8th,  1830,  to  Jane  Stewart  who  died  Feb.  aoth,  1847, 
at  the  age  of  36  years.  To  them  were  born  X)ne  son  who  died  in  early  boyhood  and 
two  daughters. 

In  politics  Mr.  McColl  was  a  firm  and  consistent  republican.  He  never  sought 
for  office  and  never  held  any  official  position  in  the  field  of  pohtics.  Some  men  at- 
tain to  popularity  and  fame  in  scientific  research,  in  the  professions,  in  brilliant  intel- 
lectoal  expbits,  in  apparent  superiority  over  their  fellow  men,  thus  securing  to  them 
on  account  of  greater  ability  5)ocial  and  political  leadership.  But  this  man  was  a  plain. 


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1 6  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HrSTORICAL  SOaETY. 

practical  Farmer,  and  while  he  read  much  and  kept  well  informed  on  the  news  and 
issues  of  the  day,  and  had  in  store  a  vast  amount  of  useful  and  general  informatioa, 
he  found  pleasure  and  profit  in  carefully  managing  his  farm.  He  paid  dose  atten- 
tion to  his  business,  took  upon  himself  the  personal  oversight  of  every  detail,  em- 
ployed skillful  workmen,  by  his  own  peculiar  tact  infused  in  them  an  interest  in  the 
work  so  that  they  were  always  ahead  never  allowing  the  season  to  crowd  them.  His 
regard  for  the  comfort  of  his  herds  and  flocks  and  his  tender  care  of  the  young 
lambs  was  proverbial  Whether  fortune  smiled  or  frowned  he  neither  seemed  to  \x 
elated  with  success  or  depressed  by  reverses.  When  his  daily  task  was  done  and  he 
entered  his  pleasant  home  he  left  his  cares  and  business  on  the  threshold. 

Mr.  McCoU  united  with  the  First  Presbyterian  church  in  this  village  in  1832,  then 
under  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  Alex.  DeNoon.  On  the  19th  of  May,  1842,  he  was  or- 
dained and  installed  a  Ruling  Elder.  He  served  in  this  capacity  till  his  death  wbidi 
occurred  on  the  42d  anniversary  of  his  ordination.  May  19th,  1884. 

As  a  representative  of  the  congregation  in  this  sacred  office,  his  power,  influ- 
ence and  usefulness  have  left  a  deep  and  abiding  impression  for  good,  not  only  upon 
this  community,  but  also  upon  all  with  whom  he  came  in  contact,  and  in  the  higher 
courts  of  the  church,  There '  are  men  present  here  to-day  who  have  known  him 
longer  than  I  have,  and  intimately  too,  who  tell  me  that  they  never  heard  him  speak 
ill  S[  any  man.  Neither  weather  nor  distance  prevented  him  from  visiting  the  sick, 
leaving  with  them  words  of  comfort  and  prayer  for  relief,  and  often  have  we  heard 
these  persons  say  that  the  deacon*s  visits  did  them  as  much  good  as  the  doctor's^ 
In  the  church  he  was  hearty  and  generous  in  his  support  in  the  many  forms  in 
which  it  appealed  to  his  labor  an.  I  benevolence.  He  watched  its  growth  and 
prosperity  with  ever  deepening  interest,  he  strenuously  opposed  all  modem  inno- 
vations, he  gave  liberally  to  its  boards,  especially  for  the  spread  of  the  gospel  in 
heathen  lands,  he  gave  financial  aid  to  students  who  were  preparing  themselves 
for  usefulness,  he  sought  out  the  poor  and  needy  around  him  and  gliuidened  their 
hearts  by  relieving  their  necessities,  and  to  all  he  had  a  word  of  encouragement, 
and  a  cordial  smile  and  bow  of  greeting. 

It  is  no  wonder,  then,  we  loved  him  for  he  was  worthy  of  oiHr  love.  His  social 
instincts  were  strong,  his  sensitive  nature  warmed  at  the  contact  of  congenial  friends, 
his  tact  and  heartiness  banished  formality,  his  graceful  and  winning  courtesy  was  the 
expression  no  less  of  native  refinement  than  of  a  deep  and  generous  aflectionateness, 
and  hia  dignified  and  venerable  face  was  a  benediction. 

During  his  entire  career  he  built  up  an  maintained  an  unblemished  diaracter  in 
business,  he  conduted  himself  nobly  and  tenderly  in  his  domestic  life  and  stamped 
his  christian  character  upon  his  children  and  diffused  the  benign  influence  of  his 
christian  courtesy  over  a  large  circle  of  kindred  and  friends. 

John  D.  McColl  lived  and  labored  for  fourscore  years  within  sight  of  these 
church  spires,  and  although  he  is  dead  the  salutary  influence  of  his  life  will  never 
die,  his  example  is  a  beautiful  model  of  an  humble  and  devout  christian  and  a 
worthy  one  for  us  to  emulate.  His  name  is  carved  in  yonder  shaft  of  marble  and 
will  remain  till  time  obliterates  it — his  name  and  memory  will  ever  be  cherished  in 
fond  recollections  by  those  who  knew  him — his  name  is  enrolled  on  your  historic 
record  and  will  be  handed  down  to  future  generations,  and  better,  happier  far,  his 
name  is  written  in  the  Lamb^s  Book  of  Life  and  will  endure  in  shining  characters 
throughout  eternity. 


MRS.  BERTHIAH  L.  AYRAULT.— BY   NORMAN  SEYMOUR. 

Mrs.  Berthiah  Lyman  Ajrrault  died  at  Geneseo  Jan.  6th,  1885,  aged  92  years 
and  6  months.  She  was  bom  at  East  Haddam,  Conn.,  July  12,  1792,  and  educat- 
ed at  Litchfield  in  that  state.  In  1821  she  came  to  Moscow,  traveling  the  distanoc, 
over  400  miles,  in  a  buggy.  She  returned  to  Connecticut  in  1822.  In  September 
of  that  year  she  was  married  to  the  Hon.  Allen  Ayrault,  who  died  at  Geneseo  Feb- 
ruary, 1 86 1.     In  1822  with  her  husband  she  came  to  Moscow,  residing  there   till 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 7 

iSyOf  when  they  removed  to  Geneseo.  She  was  a  daughter  of  the  Rev.  Dr.  Will- 
iam Lyman,  an  eminent  divine  of  New  England,  and  one  of  ten  children,  seven 
daughters  amd  three  sons. 

Mrs.  Ayranlt  was  a  woman  of  rare  refinement  and  conversational  powers,  cul- 
tured, of  wonderful  energy,  genial,  humorous,  of  proverbial  hospitality  and  benev- 
olent Her  charities  unostentatiously  bestowed,  were  unbounded ;  the  deserving 
poor  had  no  truer  friend,  while  her  quiet  benefactions  have  left  their  sweet  fragrance 
in  many  a  household.  Her  christian  life  was  earnest,  faithful  and  abiding.  Inher- 
iting a  New  England  constitution  she  lived  to  be  almost  a  centenarian.  She  was  a 
member  of  our  Historical  society,  a  great  reader,  and  in  public  aibin  took  a  deep 
mteresL  Mrs.  Ayrault  lived  under  the  administration  of  every  president  finom 
Washington  down  to  the  present  time,  and  witnessed  the  progress  and  development 
01  an  age  that  has  no  parallel  in  history.  Her  mind  was  clear  and  bright  to  the  last, 
and  at  her  Master's  call  gathered  up  a  record  of  a  long  and  useful  life  and  hastened 
to  her  reward. 

Three  sisters  and  two  brothers  survive  her :  Mrs.  Adaline  Hyde  of  Wanms- 
ville,  Illinois,  a^  80  years,  Mrs.  Barlow  of  Mt.  Morris  aged  94  years,  Mrs.  Sleep- 
er of  Mt  Moms  aged  78  years,  Rev.  Huntington  Lyman  of  Cortland  aged  82, 
Rabton  Lyman  of  Arca^  aged  75.  Mrs.  Ayrault  was  the  first  female  member  of 
oar  Historical  society  to  pass  away.  For  future  generations  the  committee  on  ne- 
crology place  among  our  archives  the  record  of  her  beautiful,  transparent  life,  her 
noble  deeds,  her  endiuing  friendships,  her  unlimited  munificence,  and  her  love,  in- 
terest and  admiration  for  over  half  a  century  of  our  unrivaled  Genesee  valley. 

Afler  singing  by  the  choir,  President  McLean  introduced  the 
orator  of  the  day  as  a  gentleman  who  is  said  to  be  the  peer  of  any 
in  Western  New  York.  Mr.  Fargo  delivered  in  pleasing  style  the 
following  annual  address  : 


PROGRESS  AND  DEVELOPMEN^T  OF  THE  CENTUR  K 

BY  HON.  F.  F.  FARGO,  OF  BUFFALO. 

Mr.  President  and  Gentlemen  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical 
Society  :— The  general  object  of  your  Society  is  declared  by  its  constitution  to  be, 
•to  discover,  procure  and  preserve,  whatever  may  relate  to  the  history  of  Western 
New  York  in  general  and  Livingston  county  and  its  towns  in  particular.'*  The  pur- 
pose of  an  annual  address  before  the  society,  is  popularly  believed  to  be,  primarily 
at  least,  to  promote  the  object  of  its  formation,  and  possibly,  secondarily,  to  contrib- 
ntc  to  the  social  and  literary  entertainment  of  its  recurring  anniversary.  It  must  be 
apparent  that  this  agreeable  and  yet  important  duty  can  best  and  most  acceptably 
be  performed  by  one  **native  here  and  to  the  manner  bom."  Livingston  county  is 
not  wanting  in  men  who  are  amply  and  thoroughly  equipped  for  this  interesting  ser- 
vice. Therefore  it  is  that  additional  honor  attoches  to  the  selection  of  a  non-resi- 
dent to  deliver  the  annual  address  on  this  occasion. 

I  am  not  unmindful  of  the  distinguished  compliment  conferred  in  the  cordial 
invitation  extended  to  me  to  stand  in  this  place  to-day.  Nor  am  I  insensible  of  the 
responsibilities  involved  in  its  acceptance.  If  I  fail  to  meet  the  reasonable  expecta- 
tions of  the  occasion,  it  will  not  be  more  my  fault  than  the  mi>ifortune  of  jrour  offi- 
cers in  their  selection. 

Never  having  been  a  resident  of  Livingston  county  I  have  little  personal  knowl- 
edge of  its  local  affairs.  But  of  Western  New  York  in  general  I  am  not  entirely 
ignorant     It  is  my  native  heath,  the  home  of  my  youth  and  the  biding  place  of  my 


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l8  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

manhood  days.  Dearer  than  any  and  all  other  m>ts  on  God*s  gjeen  earth  is  the 
little  country  homestead — that  looks  out  upon  Oatka  valley  which  nearly  bi-sects 
Wyoming  countv  m  twain, — where  I  vns  bom.  Length  of  days,  passing  jreais, 
nor  distant  travel  can  ever  obliterate  the  fond  memories  of  the  place  of  our  nativity. 
Warsaw,  Oatka,  Wyoming,  ever  cherished  names,  are  associated  with  fondest  rec- 
ollections of  childhood  days. 

It  will  be  seen,  therefore,  although  a  non-resident  of  yfnir  county  I  am  a  native 
of  one  that  is  a  near  neighbor.  The  record  of  one  is  a  history  of  the  other.  Dv- 
ingstun  and  Wyoming— jewels  among  the  galaxy  of  counties  carved  out  of  the  Gen- 
esee country  that  once  consisted  of  the  entire  portion  of  New  York  west  of  Canan- 
daigua  lake,  standing  guard  on  either  side  of  the  noble  river  that  bears  the  name 
once  given  to  the  whole  region,  receiving  its  waters  between  deeply  cut  and  tower- 
ing palisades,  enclosing  a  series  of  cascades,  aggregating  hundreos  of  feet  in  descent, 
then  gently  conducting  them  onward  toward  the  greater  plunge,  before  being  swal- 
lowed up  by  lake  Ontario, — are  counties  in  which  any  man  may  be  proud  to  daim  a 
residence,  and  no  one  need  be  ashamed  to  own  as  his  birthplao^ 

But  the  theme  of  my  discourse  to-day  is  "The  Progress  and  Devdopment  of 
the  Century. **  There  appears  no  more  fitting  topic  on  such  an  occasion  as  the  pres- 
ent than  the  historic  events  of  the  immediate  past.  It  may  be  instructive  as  wefl 
as  interesting  to  briefly  glance  at  some  of  the  salient  points  in  the  woodatial  aooom- 
plishments  of  the  nineteenth  century,  the  most  remarkable  period  of  time  in  the 
world*s  history.  It  is  not  alone  in  ^is  iawiCiji  that  evidences  of  great  ptugieas  are 
found,  but  throughout  the  globe  a  d^^ree  of  activity  and  advancement  has  been  ap- 
parent never  before  equaledl 

One  hundred  ycsrs,  as  man  estimates  time,  constitute  a  long  period,  but  they 
are  as  dust  in  the  balance,  a  fleeting  breath,  when  measured  by  the  processiao  nif 
centuries  that  have  been  for  mynads  of  years  in  the  past  and  will  be  for  ages  to 
come,  marching  to  the  goal  of  that  eternity  that  hath  no  ending.  But  to-day  our 
attention  is  chiefly  directed  to  that  period  of  which  we  have  the  most  intimate  per- 
sonal as  well  as  historical  knowledge,  that  portion  of  the  19th  century  already  pasL 
This  period  is  chosen  for  the  reason  that  the  first  settlement  of  Livingston  cotmrf 
and  the  advent  of  the  century  were  contemporaneous.  It  seems  ha^y  possible 
that  eighty-four  years  ago  this  vast  region  of  Western  New  York  was  an  unbroken 
wilderness — a  dense  forest  of  monster  trees,  with  scarcely  a  clearing  for  purposes  of 
cultivation.  And  yet  it  is  true.  The  young  cannot  realoe  this.  Those  of  us  whose 
heads  are  silvered  with  the  touch  of  time  can  better  appreciate  it.  At  the  dawn  of 
the  century  the  site  of  Rochester  had  not  been  chosen  and  the  little  hamlet  of  Buf- 
falo was  not  mapped  out  until  1802.  Now  these  places  are  the  great  centres  of  the 
business  industries  not  only  of  Western  New  York  but  of  contiguous  regions  upon 
the  west  and  south.  Batavk  was  the  center  of  business  and  civilization  in  Western 
New  York  eighty-four  years  ago.  There  was  the  land  office,  and  thence  pilgrims 
from  the  east  wendtd  their  weary  footsteps  to  stipulate  and  pay  for  ''articles'*  calling 
for  tracts  of  land  to  be  improved  as  future  home&  Sometimes  selections  were 
made  from  uninspected  and  unknown  regions  and  often  in  advance  of  official  survey 
or  acurate  measurement  It  is  reported  that  William  Webster,  the  first  settle  oif 
Warsaw,  tramped  about  the  woods  of  Wvoming,  then  a  portion  of  Genesee  county, 
for  days,  and  by  measurements  made  with  strips  of  elm  bark  ascertained  the  loca- 
tion ot  the  vallev  of  Oatka.  Then  repairing  to  Batavia  he  found  no  difficulty  in 
negotiating  for  the  tract  that  not  only  covert  the  choicest  portion  of  the  valley, 
but  embraced  the  site  of  the  pr«»sent  capital  of  Wyoming  county. 

Our  appreciation  of  the  process  inade  in  this  part  of  the  state  in  eighty-lbar 
years  will  be  assisted  in  companng  its  condition  then  and  now.  It  is  doiubtful 
whether  there  were  one  thousand  persons  domiciled  in  the  ten  counties  west  of 
Genesee  river — including  Monroe  and  Livingston  that  are  divided  by  that  stream — 
and  known  generally  as  Western  New  York,  at  the  b^;inning  of  the  present  century. 
One  hundred  to  each  county  seems  a  liberal  estimate.  Now  the  same  area  cootaias 
a  population  of  a  million,  an  average  of  a  himdred  thousand  to  each  county,  an  in- 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 9 

crease  of  a  thousand  fold  in  a  period  of  eighty-four  years.  It  also  has  the  loveliest 
inland  dty  on  the  continent,  riven  by  the  waters  of  the  Genesee  and  surrounded  by 
an  incomparable  rural  district  It  contains  the  third  city  of  the  state  in  wealth, 
population  and  business,^  sitting  at  the  junction  of  the  canal  and  lakes,  commandirg 
the  traffic  between  the  east  and  west  and  contributing  to  the  growth  and  develop- 
ment of  the  large  section  of  country  of  which  it  is,  and  will  continue  to  be  the  me- 
tropolis. 

Beside  these  great  commercial  centers  there  are  other  cities  and  villages  of  no 
mean  importance.  Lockport,  Jamestown,  Olean,  Batavia,  LeRoy,  Geneseo,  Dans- 
ville,  Warsaw,  Perry,  Attica,  Tonawanda,  Niagara  Falls,  Suspenaon  Bridge  and 
others  that  might  be  enumerated  are  among  the  thriving  places  that  have  sprung  up 
herfi  where  b^t  a  few  years  ago  naught  was  heard  in  the  forest  thicket  but  the 
screech  of  owls  and  the  howl  of  beasts,  and  where  the  soil  was  pressed  by  no  hu- 
man foot  other  than  the  untutored  red  man. 

The  increase  in  property  value  shows  equal  progress.  At  the  beginning  of  the 
century  the  value  of  the  soil  embraced  in  the  ten  counties  aforementioned  was  prob- 
ably not  more  than  two  dollars  per  acre.  The  counties  contain  about  7500  square 
miies  and  therefore  have  nearly  ^,000,000  acres,  so  that  by  the  above  estimate  the 
aggiegatc  value  of  the  whole  region  would  be  $io,OQO,ocx)  in  i8oa  Now  the  land 
is  worth  on  an  average^  iaduding  city  property,  one  hundred  dollars  per  acre  or  an 
aggregate  of  $50o,ooo,ooa  To  rh»  may  safely  be  added  an  equal  amount  for  im- 
provements, personal  propertv  and  public  worka^  making  the  grand  total  of  the 
wealth  of  the  ten  counties  of  Western  New  York  f  i,oooyQOO,ocx),  against  f  lO^- 
000,000  eighty-four  years  aga 

But  great  sacrifices  and  waste  have  been  mode  in  accompliithing  these  results. 
There  seoned  no  aHemative  for  the  destruction  of  the  noble  and  valuable  forests 
that  nature  had  given  to  Western  New  York.  The  soil  would  not  yield  sustenance 
for  the  settlers  and  their  families  with  the  wilderness  unbroken.  There  was  no  de- 
mand or  market  for  the  timber  beyond  the  rude  needs  of  the  pioneers  for  cabins 
and  fences.  The  future  value  of  lumber  could  not  be  foreseen,  and  even  if  it  could, 
present  necestdties  prevented  its  advantages  from  being  utilized.  The  rule  among 
the  pioneers  therefore  was  to  slay  the  forest  and  indiscriminately  consume  the  timber 
in  huge  log-heaps.  The  dreadful  work  now  almost  seems  like  desecration.  It  was 
an  enormous  waste.  If  the  forests  that  occupied  Western  New  York  in  1800  were 
now  standing  the  timber  would  be  worth  more  on  the  stump  than  the  soil  on  which 
It  grew  is  K^cd  for  upon  the  assessor's  roll  to-day.  But  the  greater  good,  the  de- 
vebpment  of  this  region  to  its  present  attainment,  could  not  be  accomplished  with 
these  standing  trees,  therefore  it  was  better  that  the  timber,  although  full  of  prom- 
ise in  the  future,  should  give  way  to  the  needs  of  civilization. 

There  has  been  no  hck  of  interest  in  educational,  religious  or  charitable  aflairs 
in  the  development  of  this  r^on.  The  log  cabin  of  the  settler  did  not  long  pre- 
cede the  nide  school  house  and  each  settlement  had  its  chapel  or  church,  and  wnen 
these  were  not  at  hand  services  were  regularly  held  at  private  houses.  It  was  in  re- 
ject to  schools  and  churches  New  England  transplanted  in  Western  New  York. 
Of  course  there  was  more  or  less  of  superstition  and  seeming  intolerance  that  char- 
acterized the  early  Puritan  apparent  m  the  new  settlement.  Yet  notwithstanding 
all  this,  it  was  a  community  whose  religious  foith,  personal  integrity,  benevolent 
spirit,  and  loyal  pntriodsm,  has  had  no  superior  or  better  illustration  in  this  or  any 
other  country,  in  this  or  any  other  age.  The  progress  in  religious,  educational  and 
benevolent  work  is  manifest  in  the  numerous  and  costly  huuses  of  worship  in  city 
and  country,  the  sdiools,  colleges  and  universities  in  all  dh'ections  mid  amply  en- 
dowed charitable  institutions  for  the  care  and  maintenance  of  the  unfortunate. 

But  the  pnnogress  and  improvement  m  Livingston  county  and  Western  New 
York  IS  not  exceptional  The  whole  country  has  m^e  rapid  and  gigantic  strides, 
and  itB  development  has  been  the  marvel  of  the  age  and  the  wonder  of  the  world. 
When  the  century  began  we  had  but  sixteen  states  and  the  area  of  the  Union  was 
all  east  of  the  Mississippi  and  north  of  the  30th  parallel,  with  only  a  million  square 


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20  UVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIEIT. 

inile&  Our  domain  has  been  extended  to  the  Pacific,  reaching  northwaid  to  Beh- 
ring's  straits,  almost  affording  an  opportunity  to  peek  into  Asiatic  dominions ;  and 
to  the  southward  to  the  Gulf,  absorbing  Texas,  Florida  and  portions  of  Mexico,  un- 
til the  total  area  now  reaches  three  and  one-half  million  square  miles,  with  thirty- 
eight  sovereign  states,  and  a  half  a  dozen  territories  seeking  recognition  as  membos 
of  the  sisterhood  of  states. 

In  population  we  have  increased  from  5,ooo^ocx)  in  1800  to  about  60,000,000 
in  1885,  an  average  gain  of  nearly  three  quarters  of  a  million  per  annum.  No  other 
country  has  ever  shown  such  a  marvelous  growth.  Much  of  this  has  been  drawn 
from  other  lands,  so  that  our  increase  has  been  at  the  expense  of  kindred  nations 

The  products  of  the  country  have  kept  pace  with  its  amazing  growth  in  popula- 
tion and  expansion  of  territory.  The  closing  year  completed  a  century  since  the 
first  cotton  shipment  was  made  from  America.  In  1784,  six  bags,  about  one  bale, 
was  sent  from  Charleston,  S.  C,  to  England.  Now  the  annual  product  is  seven 
million  bales,  four  millions  of  which  are  sent  abroad  and  constitute  in  value  the 
largest  item  in  all  our  exports.  Our  extensive  grain  fields  are  the  granaries  of  the 
world.  Instead  of  cultivating  little  patches  after  cutting  away  the  timber  as  in  the 
primitive  days  in  Livingston  county  and  other  portions  of  Western  New  York,  the 
prairies  of  the  wesf  and  the  vast  regions  in  the  northwest,  have  been  utilized  where 
neither  timber  or  stone  obstruct  farming  upon  a  manunoth  scale.  An  idea  of  the 
magnitude  of  western  agricultural  development  may  be  obtained  from  th6  operations 
of  a  farmer  in  Northern  Dakota  who  cultivates  75,000  acres,  a  space  greater  than 
the  area  of  Livingston  county,  and  who  nuu-keted  his  last  year's  crop  of  600^000 
bushels  of  wheat  in  Bufialo.  To  bring  this  product  of  a  single  farm,  or  of  one 
farmer,  down  the  lakes  required  the  carrying  capacity  of  six  of  the  largest  mammoth 
freight  steamers,  and  to  transport  it  to  the  seaboard  by  canal,  one  hundred  of  the 
largest  boats  would  be  needed.  If  carried  by  rail  fifteen  hundred  cars  wodd  be 
essential  for  the  purpose. 

The  coal  product  illustrates  the  development  of  another  important  industry. 
It  was  not  until  1820  that  coal  was  mined  m  this  country.  Until  then  the  limited 
supply  used  here  chiefly  for  domestic  purposes  was  imported.  In  1820  365  tons,  an 
average  of  a  ton  per  day,  including  Sundays,  not  half  enough  to  supply  the  present 
needs  of  a  country  town,  were  taken  from  American  mines.  Now  the  yield  is  about 
100,000^000  tons  annusdly  and  its  use  is  almost  as  universal  as  family  bread.  The 
pig  iron  interest,  closely  allied  with  the  cckJ  trade,  has  grown  until  the  annual  pro- 
duct is  now  about  5,000^000  tons.  Coal  oil,  petroleum  and  other  products  of  the 
coal  deposit  have  been  discovered,  developed,  and  are  not  only  extensively  utilized 
for  domestic  purposes  but  largely  swell  our  export  account,  that  of  petroleum 
amounting  to  $50,000,000  annually. 

The  precious  metals  produced  in  this  country  have  not  only  enriched  our  own 
people  but  contributed  substantial  wealth  to  the  world.  Since  the  discovery  of  gold 
in  California  in  1848  and  the  opening  of  the  silver  mines  in  the  Rocky  mountains 
and  contiguous  rt^ons  there  has  been  an  annual  yield  of  gold  and  silver,  approxi- 
mating if  not  reaching  $100,000,000  or  an  aggregate  of  $3,600,000^000^  enough  to 
pay  the  enormous  cost  of  the  late  civil  war. 

In  nothing  is  the  progress  of  the  century  more  marked  than  in  the  discoveries, 
inventions  and  public  improvements  that  have  been  made.  The  power  and  uses  of 
steam  were  understood  in  the  18th  century,  but  it  was  not  applied  to  the  propulsion 
of  water  craft  until  1807.  In  that  year,  Fulton  astonished  the  people  with  an  auto- 
matic boot  making  its  way  up  the  Hudson.  Although  it  is  but  three  quarters  of  a 
century  sinze  that  event  there  is  not  a  navigable  stream  or  body  of  water  on  the 
globe  that  is  not  ploughed  with  steam  driven  vessels.  The  ocean  passage  firom  the 
old  to  the  new  world  that  required  a  hundred  days  in  a  sailing  craft  in  1800,  is  now 
made  by  the  use  of  steam  in  a  Week. 

The  Erie  canal,  the  great  artery  through  which  business  and  commerce  has 
throbbed  between  the  west  and  the  seaboard,  developed  the  resources  of  the  state 
makmg  New  York  the  metropolis  of  the  continent  and  Buffalo  the  entrepot  of  the 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  21 

great  chain  of  lakes,  was  the  conception  of  the  early  years  of  the  century.  Its  con- 
struction was  began,  in  1 817  and  its  completion  was  made  in  1825.  It  has  served  a 
grand  purix>se  but  its  future  usefulness  largely  depends  upon  the  action  of  the  gener- 
al government  in  making  provision  for  its  enlargement  and  improvement  to  meet  the 
increasing  demands  of  commerce. 

Closely  in  the  wake  of  the  canal  came  the  railway.  Not  a  mile  of  railroad 
was  built  until  the  forests  were  cleared  from  Western  New  York.  The  pioneers 
knew  nothing  of  the  convenience  and  luxury  of  rail  transportation.  The  invention 
of  the  locomotive  belongs  to  England  where  it  ^^•BS  developed  in  181 6.  Ten  years 
thereafter  it  made  its  appearance  on  this  continent  Except  a  few  experiments 
nothing  was  done  in  railway  building  imtil  1830,  during  which  year  23  miles  were 
put  in  operation,  with  fiat  or  strap  rails  bolted  upon  wooden  sleepers  for  a  roadbed. 
And  this  kind  of  superstructure  was  in  use  for  many  years  thereafter.  Now  there 
are  120,000  miles  of  raibt)ad  in  operation  in  this  country,  enough  to  make  five 
tracks  around  the  globe,  exclusive  of  the  thousands  of  miles  of  sidings,  turnouts, 
switches,  and  for  terminal  facilities.  Railroads  permeate  every  section  <5  the  coun- 
try, reaching  almost  every  city,  town  .and  hamlet,  and  are  largely  mstrumental  in  the 
development  of  the  material  industries  of  the  nation.  The  continent  is  spanned 
from  shore  to  shore  with  four  trunk  lines,  the  work  of  the  last  twenty  years,  uniting 
the  two  oceans  with  iron  bands,  and  forming  a  highway  not  only  for  domestic  com- 
merce but  the  important  traffic  between  Europe  and  the  Orient.  The  rich  and  val- 
uable trade  of  the  Indies  that  formerly  made  the  extended  tour  of  the  cape,  now 
crosses  the  country  upon  American  railways. 

It  is  difficult  to  comprehend  the  gigantic  magnitude  of  this  railway  system. 
The  one  hundred  and  twenty  thousand  miles  of  track  in  this  country  would  make 
forty  lines  reaching  from  New  York  to  San  Francisco,  a  distance  of  three  thousand 
miles.  Upon  these  roads  it  is  estimated  that  there  are  20,000  locomotives,  one  half 
of  which  are  in  constant  employment  night  and  day  running  at  an  average  of  twen- 
ty miles  an  hour.  The  combined  distance  traveled  by  these  ten  thousand  engines 
b  therefore  200,000  miles  per  hour,  equivalent  to  making  a  circuit  of  the  earth  in 
seven  and  one-half  minutes,  or  192  trips  around  the  globe  each  twenty-four  houn«. 
The  locomotives,  if  drawn  up  in  line  would  maJce  a  continuous  train  one  hun- 
dred miles  long,  and  the  cars  on  the  various  roads  would  cover  a  track  stretching 
from  Maine  to  Oregon. 

What  a  grand  panorama  would  be  presented  by  these  ten  thousand  trains  dyvng 
over  the  land  freighted  with  human  lives  and  bearing  the  commerce  of  the  country, 
if  human  vision  could  command  the  scene  from  an  elevated  position  ?  And  these 
mads  and  their  equipments  have  all  been  built  in  half  a  century,  at  an  aggregate 
cost  of  ;|5,ooo,ooo,ooo  a  most  wonderful  illustration  of  the  progress  and  development 
of  the  age. 

As  an  important  and  indispensable  adjunct  to  railway  manipulation  the  electric 
telegraph  came  in  good  time.  It  was  fourteen  years  after  the  opening  of  railway 
traffic  before  trains  could  be  directed  by  the  use  of  the  telq^raph.  Prof.  Morse  first 
utilized  his  discovery  in  1844.  He  did  not  succeed  without  the  discouragements 
and  derisions  tliat  seem  common  to  inventors.  He  was  driven  from  the  halls  of 
congress  when  applying  for  a  meagre  appropriation  to  enable  him  to  construct  an 
experimental  line  between  Washington  and  Baltimore,  by  the  declarations  of  grave 
senators  accusing  him  of  being  a  lunatic  and  a  mad  man'.  But  the  madness  of  the 
great  philosopher  and  scientific  discoverer  developed  practical  results.  The  appro- 
priation was  reluctantly  granted  more  to  be  rid  of  Prof.  Morse's  importunities  than 
an  expectation  of  success  in  his  enterprise.  The  wires  were  strung  from  Washing- 
ton to  Baltimore,  and  at  once  communication  by  electric  telegraph  was  established 
between  the  two  cities,  which  was  the  beginnmg  of  a  system  for  the  transmission  of 
intelligence,  that  is  now  in  use  throughout  the  world.  And  this  was  only  forty 
years  ago.  Since  then  electric  wires  have  been  spread  like  a  net  work  over  the  land 
and  are  laid  in  the  briny  deep,  crossing  broad  oceans,  uniting  widely  separated  con- 


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22  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

tinents,  affording  hourly  and  instantaneous  intercourse  between  the  vsrious  nations 
of  the  earth. 

The  total  lenMh  of  submarine  cables  is  about  6S»ocx>  miles.  Each  cable  con- 
tains an  average  of  forty  strands  of  wire,  so  that  altogether  there  are  over  2,500^000 
miles  of  wire  used  in  their  construction,  or  ten  times  the  distance  from  the  earth  to 
the  moon.  Practically  all  of  this  has  been  laid  within  the  last  twenty-five  years; 
the  greater  part  within  a  decade. 

Still  later,  invention  has  devised  a  method  for  transmitting  sound  over  the  dec-  ■ 
trie  wires  and  the  telephone  has  now  become  the  favorite  method  of  communicatiaD  | 
between  neighbor  and  neighbor,  and  is  employed  in  sending  messages  hundreds  of  j 
miles.  j 

Electricity  is  also  made  to  subserve  the  purpose  of  power,  and  is  used  for  the  | 
propulsion  of  locomotives.  Indeed  it  seems  but  a  question  of  time  when  this  won-  j 
deriul  force  of  nature  shall  become  a  substitute  for  steam  in  operating  railroads  and  i 
steamboats  as  well  as  in  all  matters  of  domestic  economy  requiring  power. 

For  purposes  of  illumination,  electricity  has  already  secured  a  firm  fbothokL 
Most  of  the  cities  of  the  country  are  now  partially  or  wholly  lighted  by  its  use,  and 
everywhere  it  is  superseding  gas.  It  is  also  made  to  do  ornamental  work.  Pocket 
liatteries  are  made  which  gentlemen  and  ladies  may  carry  upon  their  person,  and  by 
touching  a  spring  arranged  for  that  purpose  a  current  of  electricity  is  flashed  along 
a  wire  from  the  oattery  to  a  brooch,  necklace,  bosom  stud  or  other  ornament,  and 
at  once  a  small  globe  is  ablaze  with  electric  light.  It  is  doubtful  however  whether 
this  system  of  ornamentation  will  become  popular,  or  very  soon  dispense  with  the 
use  of  diamonds  and  other  precious  stones. 

The  reaper,  mower  and  thresher  are  the  product  of  the  centiuy.  The  cradle 
succeeded  the  sickle,  with  which  the  pioneers  of  this  region  gathered  their  grain. 
It  was  a  slow  and  tedious  process.  But  it  was  the  best  and  only  suitable  way  in  the 
presence  of  the  numerous  stumps  that  necessarily  encumbered  the  ground.  The 
cultivation  of  broader  fields,  and  the  western  prairies  required  other  methods  and 
the  reaper  was  invented,  a  machine  that  performs  the  labor  of  a  score  of  hand  reap- 
ers. Improvements  have  been  made  in  these  implements  of  husbandry,  so  that  now 
in  large  fields  combined  reapers  and  threshers  pass  over  the  land  and  leave  the  grain 
in  well-filled  bags. 

These  labor  saving  machines  have  done  much  to  relieve  the  farmer  of  the  toil 
and  drudgery  that  were  once  indispensable,  and  give  him  time  and  opportunity  for 
more  congenial  employment  Instead  of  the  M  wooden  bull  plow  that  merely 
scratched  the  surface,  furrows  are  now  smoothly  and  evenly  tumcKl  vrith  shares  of 
polished  steel,  frequently  in  gangs,  and  sometimes  driven  by  steam  instead  of  ani- 
mal power.  Grain  is  sown  and  planted  by  machinery  instead  of  being  scattered  by 
hand,  and  the  whole  business  and  routine  of  farm  labor  has  been  completely  trans- 
formed during  the  later  years  of  the  present  century. 

in  household  economy,  improvement  has  been  equally  progressive.  The  sew- 
ing machine,  one  of  the  most  ingenious  and  useful  inventions  of  the  age,  has 
wrought  a  complete  revolution  in  woman's  work.  The  eye  pointed  needle,  the  de- 
>ice  of  Howe,  has  been  utilized  in  a  great  variety  of  machines,  and  a  perfection  has 
been  attained  in  needle  work  by  machinery  that  is  simply  marvelous.  The  sewing 
machine  has  become  as  much  an  essential  in  a  household  as  the  cook  stove.  Inven- 
tion has  supplanted  the  family  loom  and  spinning  wheel,  if  it  has  not  banished 
hand  sew'uig  entirely.  In  the  use  of  machinery  at  the  present  day  material  is  taken 
in  its  raw  condition  and  with  scarcely  any  hand  labor,  it  is  manipulated  from  one 
stage  of  manufacture  to  another  until  it  appears  in  ready  made  garments  How 
unhke  the  custom  of  sbcty  )ears  ago.  Then  the  farmer  grew  a  patch  of  flax,  rotted 
and  broke  the  stalk,  beat  out  the  shiyes,  handing  the  fiber  or  tow  to  wife  and  daugh- 
ters to  spin,  weave,  bleach  and  manufacture  into  wearing  apparel  for  the  family. 
And  for  winter  use  a  few  sheep  were  kept  the  fleeces  from  which  were  carded  at  the 
country  woolen  mill,  and  the  rolls  spun,  the  cloth  woven  by  the  household,  and 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  23 

after  being  fulled,  and  sometimes  colored  at  the  mill,  was  wrought  into  garments  or 
bedding  for  femily  use.  Boots  and  shoes  were  made  at  home  by  an  itinerate  cobbler 
from  hides  taken  from  the  farmer's  stock  and  cured  at  the  village  tannery. 

Such  were  some  of  the  experiences  of  the  pioneers  in  Uie  early  years  of  the 
century.  Now  machinery  and  other  improvements  dispense  with  all  this.  The 
best  of  fabrics,  domestic  and  foreign  are  within  reach  of  the  humblest  citizen,  and 
ready  made  garments  for  both  sexes  are  brought  to  the  door  of  alL  A  few  old 
looms  and  spuming  wheels  are  preserved,  and  now  found  among  the  relics  and  curi- 
osities of  museums  and  histori(^  societies. 

Progress  is  also  noted  in  the  arts,  sciences,  literature  and  government  adminis- 
tration. Daguerreotjrping  and  photographing,  are  the  product  of  the  19th  century, 
and  the  art  luis  been  broi^ht  to  a  high  standard  of  perfection.  By  it  the  human 
features  are  not  only  fittithmlly  likened,  but  objects  and  places  of  interest,  are  cor- 
rectly represented,  so  that  one  can  remain  at  home  and  yet  obtain  a  good  knowledge 
of  persons  and  things  in  all  parts  of  the  world. 

Vast  improvements  have  been  made  in  the  art  of  printing.  Although  it  is  cen- 
turies since  it  was  discovered,  it  remained  for  the  present  era  to  develope  it  to  the 
perfection  it  has  attained.  Newspapers  and  other  periodicals  have  multiplied  to 
meet  the  requirements  of  advancing  avilization  until  scarcely  a  village  or  hamlet  is 
without  its  local  paper  to  chronicle  current  events.  In  the  large  cities  the  great 
dailies  are  marvds  of  literary  and  mechanical  production.  Their  columns  contain 
an  epitome  of  the  news  and  intelligence  from  all  parts  of  the  globe.  Instead  of  the 
old  hand  press  capable  of  printing  upon  one  side,  200  sheets  an  hour,  steam  presses 
are  now  used  that  throw  off  from  their  eight  or  ten  cylinders  20,000  sheets  per  hour 
printed  upon  both  sides  and  delivered  from  the  ponderous  machine  nicely  folded  and 
ready  for  distribution  to  patrons.  Instead  of  pnnting  upon  the  face  of  the  types  as 
set  by  the  compositor,  the  forms  are  stereotyped  and  multiplied  according  to  the 
number  of  copies  to  be  printed  and  the  time  to  do  the  work.  Some  of  the  dailies 
require  as  many  as  a  dozen  forms,  else  they  could  not  issue  an  edition  of  100,000 
copies  after  three  o'clock  for  distribution  the  same  morning. 

And  the  press^through  the  instrumentality  of  the  art  of  printing  has  become  a 
powerful  agency  in  the  world's  aflairs.  As  an  educator  of  the  people  and  in  mold- 
ing popular  sentiment  it  has  no  peer.  This  is  recognized  by  the  fact  that  every  in- 
terest has  its  newspaper  organs  or  representatives.  The  church,  political  parties, 
and  all  descriptions  of  business  industries  deem  it  important  to  maintain  papers  es- 
pecially devoted  to  the  promotion  of  their  respective  interests. 

The  press  would  be  comparatively  useless  without  the  facilities  for  the  distri- 
bution of  publications.  And  these  are  furnished  by  the -postal  system  and  the  ex- 
press lines.  Great  progress  has  l^en  made  in  these  departments  of  business.  In 
1790,  less  than  one  hundred  years  ago,  there  were  only  75  post  offices  established 
in  this  country,  with  but  1875  i^i^cs  of  post  route  over  which  the  mails  were  carried 
by  the  government.  The  revenue  received  by  the  department  was  only  $38,000 
and  the  salaries  of  all  the  postmasters  were  less  than  $9,000  per  annum.  Ten  years 
thereafter,  in  1800  at  the  terminarion  of  the  first  three  presidential  terms  the  number 
of  post  offices  had  increased  to  only  900  with  a  revenue  of  $280,000.  Now  the 
number  of  offices  reaches  48,000  with  an  annual  revenue  of  nearly  $50,000,000. 
The  salary  account  of  postmasters  exceeds  $10,000,000,  exclusive  of  assistants  and 
employees  in  the  free  delivery  department.  Postage  rates  have  been  reduced  five 
hundred  per  cent  and  still  the  enormous  business  transacted  by  mail  yields  an  annu- 
al suiplus  above  legitimate  expenditures. 

The  hbiory  of  the  progress  of  the  century  would  be  incomplete  without  refer- 
ence the  express  enterprise.  It  is  but  a  few  years  since  the  projectors  of  this  busi- 
ness conceive*]  the  idea  of  traveling  from  place  to  place  on  railroads,  steamboats  and 
stage  coaches^  carrying  small  parcels  and  packages  in  satchels  and  doing  errands  for 
which  special  rates  were  charged.  The  business  grew  upon  their  hands  until  now 
much  of  the  traffic  of  railways  is  monopolized  by  express  lines,  and  no  merchandize 
or  other  commodity  is  too  heavy  or  bulky  to  be  transported  by  express.     Offices  and 


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24  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIKIT. 

agents  are  found  at  every  important  station  and  town  in  the  country,  ind  expres 
messengers  are  about  as  numerous  as  postal  officials. 

Of  all  the  great  events  of  the  loth  century  there  is  none'  of  more  transcendanl 
importance  than  the  manumission  of  a  race  of  human  l)eings  that  had  been  held  in 
bondage  for  a  period  of  two  hundred  years.  By  the  voluntary  act  of  the  people  of 
the  United  States  the  fundamental  law  has  been  so  amended  as  to  strike  the  shack- 
les from  the  caloused  limbs  of  four  million  persons,  who  were  thereby  elevated  to 
the  position  of  citizens  of  the  republic,  entitled  to  all  the  privileges  and  immunities 
that  are  enjoyed  by  those  who  so  long  held  and  treated  them  as  mere  chattels.  That 
these  enfranchised  persons  were  worthy  of  this  distinction  has  been  abundantly 
shown  by  the  manner  in  which  they  have  improved  their  opportunities  of  freedooL 
The  race  generally  have  continued  their  labors  in  the  branches  of  industry  in  which 
they  were  formerly  employed,  hut  now  upon  their  own  accoimt  instead  of  as  slave 
to  task  masters.  They  have  developed  an  aptness  and  capacity  for  business  roost 
remarkable  considering  the  fact  that  for  generations  they  were  kept  in  ignorance  as 
a  greater  guaranty  of  faithful  servitude. 

There  are  not  wanting  illustrations  of  talent  and  ability  among  this  peopk. 
Many  have  already  become  eminent  in  the  learned  professions,  and  others  haw 
achieved  success  in  the  business  world.  They  have  also  shown  themselves  compe- 
tent for  public  service  and  have  occupied  with  marked  credit  seats  in  both  branches 
of  the  federal  congress,  and  one  is  now  at  the  head  of  one  of  the  most  important 
bureaus  of  the  executive  department  of  the  national  government  A  few  months 
since  one  of  these  manumitted  people  was  chosen  to  preside  at  a  national  political 
convention,  a  distinction  and  an  honor  to  be  coveted  by  the  most  eminent  of  the 
land.  When  it  is  remembered  that  these  persons  were  bom  in  slavery  and  reared 
under  local  laws  that  made  it  a  crime  to  teach  them  the  alphabet,  it  will  be  s'>eo 
that  their  advancement  gives  evidence  of  some  native  talent  if  not  positive  genias. 
The  enfranchisement  of  the  colored  people  of  the  United  States  and  its  resolts 
upon  the  race  will  stand  recorded  in  history  as  one  of  the  strongest  evidences  of  the 
progress  and  development  of  the  century,  if  not  of  modem  times. 

It  is  something  to  have  Uved  in  a  period  that  is  marked  by  such  a  grand  array 
of  events  that  have  occurred  since  the  year  eighteen  hundred.  It  is  an  era  that  has 
no  parallel  in  the  world's  history.  The  people  of  Livingston  county  and  Wcsteni 
New  York  have  home  a  conspicuous  part  in  this  development  The  condition  of 
this  region  eighty-five  years  ago  and  now  bears  unquestioned  testimony  to  this  state- 
ment It  behooves  the  present  generation  to  see  to  it  that  a  faithful  record  is  uoi 
only  made  of  what  has  been  accomplished  but  of  what  is  now  transpiring,  as  wdl 
as  what  may  hereafter  occur.  No  better  method  can  probably  be  devised  for  this 
purpose  than  in  the  organization  and  maintenance  of  local  historical  societies,  lo 
this  as  well  as  other  counties,  organizations  have  been  perfected  and  already  good 
results  have  been  attained.  The  old  pioneers  are  passing  away  and  soon  it  wUl  he 
too  late  to  obtain  testimony  from  their  lips  of  events  that  happened  in  the  years  of 
the  first  settlement  of  the  country.  As  we  recede  from  that  period  the  importance 
of  its  history  will  be  enhanced.  Those  who  are  now  in  the  prime  of  life  will  look 
back  as  they  advance  in  years  to  the  present  with  absorbing  interest 

I  congratulate  your  society  upon  the  success  attained  in  the  noWe  work  entered 
upon.  The  enterprise  was  undertaken  all  too  late,  but  it  is  better  late  than  not  alL 
Doubtless  many  now  regret  that  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society  has  been 
in  existence  less  than  a  decade. 

But  in  these  few  years  much  has  been  done  to  atone  for  the  n^lcct  of  the  post 
May  your  zeal  be  quickened  for  still  greater  devotion  in  the  accomplishment  of  the 
grand  purposes  of  your  organization. 

The  speaker  was  closely  listened  to  and  frequently  and  enthusi- 
astically applauded. 

The  exercises  were  generously  interspersed  with  fine  music  appro- 


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NINl'H  ANNUAL  MEETING.  25 

priate  to  the  occasion  by  the  choir,  which  was  composed  of  the  fol- 
lowing gentlemen  and  ladies :  Director,  Mr.  L.  C.  Clapp ;  organist, 
Miss  Nettie  Malloch;  Mrs.  D.  Burgess,  Mrs.  D.  D.  Cameron,  Misses 
Anna  McNab,  Jennie  Cameron,  Jennie  Menzie,  Edith  Smith,  Messrs. 
J.  Malloch,  V.  Hamilton,  C.  Rutherford,  F.  Emerson. 

The  thanks  of  the  society  were  unanimously  voted  the  speaker 
and  the  memorialists,  the  trustees  of  the  church  for  the  use  of  the 
same,  the  choir  for  excellent  music,  and  the  citizens  of  Caledonia  for 
their  unbounded  hospitality,  and  the  meeting  adjourned. 

The  ninth  annual  meeting  of  this  society,  in  the  good  attendance 
of  members,  the  great  interest  manifested,  the  character  of  the  ad- 
dresses and  other  papers,  presented  encouraging  evidence  of  the  vital- 
ity and  usefulness  of  the  society.  The  election  of  Secretary  Seymour 
to  be  president  of  the  society  is  a  deserved  tribute  to  long  and  faith- 
ful service ;  as  was  also  the  election  to  the  office  of  vice-president  of 
I)r.  F.  M.  Ferine,  one  of  the  earliest  and  most  devoted  members  of 
the  society,  and  the  election  of  Dr.  L.  J.  Ames  secretary  and  treasurer. 

The  social  features  of  this  meeting  were  without  compare.  The 
Caledonians,  with  proverbial  Scotch  hospitality,  literally  took  the 
members  to  their  hearts  and  homes.  The  reception  committee  was 
composed  of  the  following  well  known  gentlemen :  Wm.  Hamilton, 
Angus  Cameron,  Chas.  Swan,  W.  J.  Williams,  Bennett  Gray,  David 
Menzie,  Foster  Walker,  John  R.  McKay,  M.  M.  Campbell,  A.  Ren- 
wick. 

The  members  were  met  at  the  depot  by  these  gentlemen  with 
carriages,  who  took  all  who  wished  to  the  celebrated  state  fishery 
ponds,  then  home  to  dinner,  and  were  unceasing  in  their  attentions 
until  the  trains  bore  their  guests  away  at  night. 

The  visit  to  these  fishing  ponds  was  a  great  treat,  and  the  pleas- 
ure and  mterest  were  greatly  enhanced  by  the  presence  of  Seth  Green 
himself,  whose  fame  in  this  connection  has  become  world-wide.  The 
exhibition  there  given  of  the  methods  of  fish  culture  and  of  the  fish 
themselves  from  the  bead-like  eggs  with  two  eyes  to  the  monster  of 
eight  years,  is  something  worth  crossing  a  continent  to  enjoy.  The 
hearty  thanks  of  the  members  are  due  to  Messrs.  Seth  and  Monroe 
Green  and  their  gentlemanly  assistants  for  courteous  attention. 


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26 


UVINGSTON  COUNIT  HCSTORICAL  SOCIETV. 


LIST  OF  MEMBERS, 


Dr.  D.  H.  Fitzhugh,*  Groveland. 
L.  R  Proctor,  Daosville. 
Norman  Seymour,  Mt  Morris. 
Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  Mt.  Morris. 
Richard  Peck,*  Lima. 
George  W.  Root,*  York. 
Dr.  James  Faulkner,*  Dansville. 


A.  O.  Bunnell,  Dansville. 
Isaac  F.  Barber,  Nunda, 
Dr.  L.  J.  Ames,  Mt  Morris. 
William  M.  White,  Ossian. 
Dr.  F.  M.  Perine,  Dansville. 
A.  H.  McLean,  CaledonixL 
John  R.  Murray,  Mt  Morris. 
Charles  Shepard,  Dansville. 
Maj.  A.  A.  Hendee,  Avon. 
E.  H.  Davis,  Avon. 
Richard  Johnson,  Groveland. 
Francis  Kellogg,  Avon. 
H.  E.  Brown,  Mt  Morris. 
W.  W\  Killip,  Gcneseo. 
Mrs.  Allen  Ayrault,  Geneseo. 
J.  H.  B^ple,  Flint,  Mich. 
William  B.  Lemen,  Dansville. 
Dr.  Z.  H.  Blake,  Dansville. 
Isaad  Hampton,  Ossian. 
George  Hyland,  Dansville. 
H.  P.  Mills,  Mt.  Morris. 
Solomon  Hitchcock,  Conesus. 
A.  J.  Abbott,  Geneseo. 
A.  D.  Coe,  Conesus. 
J.  A.  Dana,  Avon. 


Dr.  D.  H.  Bissell,*  Geneseo. 
William  Scott,*  Scottsburgh. 
Adolphus  Watkins,*  LinuL 
John  D.  McColl,*  Caledonia. 
Benjamin  F.  Angel,  Geneseo. 
E.  P.  Fuller,  Grand  Rapids.  Mich. 
Samuel  P.  Allen,*  Genesea 


C.  L.  Bingham,  Mt  Morris. 
Charles  O.  Shepard,  Mt  Morris. 
Matthew  Wiard,  Avon. 
William  Hamilton,  Caledonia. 
H.  Harding,  Mt  Morris. 
H.  W.  MUler,  Mt  Morris. 
H.  Burt,  Mt  Morris. 
O.  D.  Lake,  Mt  Morris. 
Dr.  Z.  W.  Joslyn,  Mt.  Morris. 
H.  W.  McNair,  Mt  Morris. 
C.  F.  Braman,  Mt  Morru;. 
Amos  O.  Dalrymple,  Mt  Morris. 
W.  A.  Sutherland,  Mt  Morri& 
Jerome  A.  Lake,  Groveland. 
Jotham  Clark,  Sr.,  Conesus. 
David  McNair,  West  Sparta. 
Joseph  McNaughton,  Caledonia. 
Alexander  Reid,  York. 
A.  D.  Newton,  York. 
George  Mercer,  Genesea 
C.  D.  Bennett,  Portage. 
C.  F.  Bennett,  Portage. 
C.  K.  Sanders,  Nunda. 
N.  B,  Mann,  Groveland. 
F.  Fielder,  Dansville. 


•Dead. 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  27 

W.  A.  Brodie,  Geneseo.  Sidney  Sweet,  Dansville. 

L.  C  6ingham«  Mt  Morris.  Dr.  Cyrus  Allen,  Avon. 

Orange  Sackett,  Avon.  Florence  VanAllen,  Avon. 

George  D.  Dooer,  Avon.  Sejrmour  Johnson,  Avon. 

William  VanZandt,  Avon.  Bennett  Gray,  Caledrmia. 

A.  T.  Norton,  Lima.  Charles  Dibble,  Lima. 

E.  L.  McFetridge,  Sparta.  John  Logan,  Sparta. 

Jesse  Smith,  Spona.  Dr.  W.  Nesbit,  Avon. 

Thomas  Wiard,  Avon.  Donald  McPherson,  Avon. 

C  H.  Swan,  Caledonia.  W.  S.  McKenzie,  Caledonia. 

Dr.  R.  J.  Menzie,  Caledonia.  Angus  Cameron,  CaledonixL 

David  McLaughlin,  Caledonia.  N.  A.  Seymour,  Mt  Morris. 

Life  Members. 

Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  J.  W.  Begole,  H.  P.  Mills, 

Dr.  D.  H.  Fitzhugh,         L.  C.  Bingham,  C  L.  Bingham, 

William  M.  White,  C  O.  Shepard,  W.  Hamilton, 

R  F.  Angel,  John  F.  Barber,  Matthew  Wiard, 


A.  O.  Bunnell. 


Honorary  Members. 
Gen.  J.  W.  Denver,  Washington,  D.  C 
Hon.  Angfus  Cameron,  Wisconsin. 
Hon.  J.  R.  McPherson,  New  Jersey. 
Hon.  Henry  O^ReiUy,  New  York. 
Hon.  O.  M.  Marshall,  Buflala 
Hon.  Horatio  Seymour,  Utica. 
Hon.  G.  W.  Patterson,  Westfidd. 
Hon.  James  O.  Putnam. 
Rev.  A.  J.  Massey,  Mt  Morris. 
Rev.  F.  DeW.  Ward,  Geneseo. 
Rev.  G.  K.  Ward,  Dansville. 
Prof.  W.  J.  Mihie,  Genesea 
Jacob  G.  Roberts,  Tecumseh,  Mich. 
Gov.  Josiah  Begole,  Flint,  Mich. 
Hon.  Charles  S.  Hall,  Almond. 
Hon.  Charles  E.  Fitch,  Rochester. 


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28  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HCSTORICAL  SOCIETY. 


Livingston  County  Historical  Society. 


CONSTITUTION. 
Sbotion  1.   This  Society  sball  b6  called  Thb  LiyiNQSToif  Oouhtt  Hisww- 

CAL  SOCIBTT. 

\  2.  The  greneral  object  of  the  Society  flball  be  to  discover,  prooore,  and  pre- 
serve whatever  may  relate  to  the  history  of  Western  New  York  In  genwal  and 
Livingston  oonnty  and  Its  towns  In  partlonlar,  and  to  gather  snob  staUstlci  of 
edaoatlon  and  population,  growth  and  prosperity,  and  business  of  this  regloo, 
as  may  seem  advisable  or  of  public  utility. 

\  8.  The  Society  shall  consist  of  resident,  corresponding  and  honorary 
members,  who  shall  be  elected  by  a  mt^orlty  of  ballots ;  and  of  life  members,  >• 
hereinafter  provided.  Resident  members  shall  consist  of  persons  residing  in 
Livingston  county,  N.  Y.:  corresponding  and  honorary  members  of  persoM 
residing  elsewhere. 

\  4.  The  officers  of  the  Society  shall  consist  of  a  President,  a  Vice  Presldeni. 
a  Secretary  and  Treasurer,  and  pine  councilors  of  administration,  who  shtll 
constitute  a  "*  Board  of  Managers*'  and  shall  be  elected  annually  on  the  seeond 
Tuesday  in  January  in  each  year  by  a  minority  of  ballots. 

{  6.  None  but  resident  and  life  members  shall  be  eligible  to  office  or  qntll- 
fled  to  vote. 

2  6.  Members  shall  pay  an  admission  fee  of  one  dollar,  and  also  an  annnsi 
due  of  one  dollar,  which  shall  be  paid  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  July  In  eseh 
year  following  their  election.  The  election  of  a  resident  member  shall  oonfer 
no  privileges  of  membership  until  his  admission  fee  shall  be  paid.  The  pay* 
ment  of  the  annual  dues  shall  be  a  condition  of  continued  membership.  In 
case  an  jr  member  neglects  to  pay  his  annual  due  before  the  first  day  of  July  next* 
after  it  becomes  payable,  he  shall  thereby  forfeit  all  his  privileges  of  member- 
ship.   Resident  clergymen  are  exempt  fh>m  dues. 

\  7.  The  payment  of  SIO  at  any  one  time,  for  that-  purpose,  shall  constltate  a 
llle  member,  exempt  ftom  all  annual  dues. 

2  8.  The  Society  shall  meet  annually  on  the  second  Tuesday  of  January. 
The  President,  or  in  his  absence  the  Vice  President,  or  the  Secretary  and  Treas- 
urer, may  direct  the  call  of  a  special  meeting  in  such  manner  as  the  By-Laws 
shall  provide. 

\  9.  Those  members  who  shall  attend  at  any  regular  meeting  of  the  Soelefy 
shall  constitute  a  quorum  for  the  transaction  of  business.  The  same  rule  shall 
apply  to  any  other  meeting  of  the  Society,  provided  Ito  action  is  approved  of  by 
the  Board  of  Ooundl  or  a  majority  of  the  members  thereof. 

\  10.  All  officers  shall  continue  in  office  until  their  successors  are  eleeted  or 
appointed.  Their  duties  when  not  herein  defined  may  be  prescribed  by  the  By- 
Laws.  All  vacancies  in  office  may  be  filled  for  the  unexpired  term  by  tbe 
Board  of  Council.    A  majority  of  the  members  present  at  any  regular  meeting 


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NINTH  ANNUAL  MEETINa  29 

called  for  the  purpo6^«  by  the  President  or  Secretary  and  Treasurer  of  the  Society, 
shall  oonstltate  a  qaomm  to  do  business. 

I  11.  This  constitution  may  be  amended  or  changed  from  time  to  time  by 
a  m%)orliy  vote  of  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting  of  the  Society 
provided  due  notice  of  the  proposed  amendments  be  given  at  least  four  weeks 
previous  to  a  final  vote  thereon. 

BY-LAWS. 

CLAU8B  I.  The  annual  meeting  of  this  Society  shall  be  held  on  the  second 
Taesday  In  January,  at  such  village  In  the  county  as  the  President  shall  desig- 
nate, and  at  such  hour  as  the  Secretary  In  the  notice  of  such  meeting  shall 
name. 

Glausb  2.  The  Secretary  shall  give  notice  of  such  meeting  by  publication 
in  all  of  the  county  papers  for  two  successive  weeks  prior  to  the  meeting,  and 
alto  enclose  by  mall  a  special  notice  to  the  post  office  address  of  each  officer  o 
th^  Society  at  least  ten  days  prior  to  such  meeting. 

Clause  &.  Any  meeting  may  be  adjourned  to  such  time  as  a  me^orlty  of  the 
members  present  shall  determine. 

Clause  4.  The  President  shall  preside  at  the  meetings  of  the  Society,  regn* 
late  its  proceedings,  preserve  order  and  decorum  and  have  a  casting  vote.  He 
fibaU  also  be  the  chairman  of  the  Board  of  Council. 

Clause  5.  The  Vice  President  shall  discharge  all  the  duties  of  the  President 
In  bis  absence. 

Clause  6.  The  Secretary  shall  have  the  custody  of  the  Constitution,  By- 
Lawd,  Records,  property  and  effects  of  the  Society.  He  shall  give  due  notice  of 
all  Its  meetings,  and  keep  in  a  book  provided  for  that  purpose,  a  record  of  all  Its 
bosineas.  He.ohall  also  by  virtue  of  his  office  be  Secretary  to  the  Board  of 
Coancli  or  Managers,  and  keep  a  record  of  Its  proceedings.  He  shall  also  under 
the  direction  of  theSticiety.  prepare  all  the  communications  to  be  addressed 
to  others  in  the  name  of  the  Society,  and  keep  true  copies  thereof. 

Clause  7.  The  Secretary  shall  also  under  the  Board  of  Managers  have  the 
eoAtody  of  books,  mlneralh,  manuscripts,  papers,  documents,  coins,  maps,  and 
relics,  and  shall  provide  suitable  cases  for  their  preservation,  and  for  convenient 
reference  and  Inspection.  He  shall  keep  a  record  of  all  donations,  of  whatever 
name  or  kind,  and  report  the  name  to  the  Society  at  the  annual  meeting. 

Clause  8.  As  Treasurer,  the  Secretary  shall  keep  all  securities  and  sums  of 
money  due  and  payable  ur  belonging  to  the  Society.  He  shall  keep  the  ftinds  of 
the  Society  on  deposit  to  his  credit  hs  such  Treasurer,  In  some  banking  Institu- 
tion of  good  repute;  shall  pay  all  sums  which  the  Board  of  Douncil  shall  direct; 
and  Phall  keep  a  true  account  of  all  his  receipts  and  disbursements  and  render  a 
fkill  and  detailed  ctatement  thereof  at  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Society. 

Clause  9.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Board  of  Council  to  control  and  man- 
age the  aflkirs  and  funds  of  the  Society.  They  shall  make  annually,  on  the 
second  Tuesday  of  January,  a  report  to  the  Society  of  all  Its  doings  and  transac- 
tions for  the  prjcedmg  year. 

Clause  10.  Any  member  of  this  Society  may  be  expelled  by  a  two-thirds 
vote  of  the  members  present  at  a  special  or  regular  meeting  of  the  Society,  but 
no  such  action  shall  be  taken  without  a  notice  two  weeks  previous  to  expel 
shall  have  been  given  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society  In  writing  and  sent 
throQgb  the  mails  to  the  post  office  address  of  the  def'iuitlng  member. 


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30  LIVINGSTON  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

CLAUSE  11.  Attheaoaaal  meeting: there Bhall  bean  address  delivered  be- 
fore the  Society,  by  the  President  or  by  some  other  person  appointed  by  the 
Board  of  Coanoli. 

CiiAUSB  12.  At  the  meetings  of  the  Society,  and  as  fkr  as  applicable  at  the 
meetings  of  the  Board  of  Coandl,  the  fbllowing  shall  be  the  order  of  busiDess: 

1.  Reading  of  minutes  of  last  meeting. 

2.  Reports  and  Communications  from  officers  oi  the  Hoolety. 
8.    Reports  ft*om  Committees. 

4.  Election  of  Members. 

5.  Miscellaneous  Business. 

6.  Reading  of  Papers  and  T>eliTery  of  Address. 

CIjAUBe  is.  Afrer  the  annual  election  of  officers,  the  President  shall  appoint 
from  the  Board  of  Council  the  following  standing  committees  to  consist  of  three 
members  each :  ' 

1.    On  Finance.    2.    On  Publications.   8.   On  Meml>ershlp. 

Clause  14.  The  Finance  Committee  shall  have  general  eharce  of  the  books, 
accounts,  receipts,  finances  and  expenditures  of  the  Society.  It  shall  examine 
and  report  upon  all  accounts  and  claims  against  the  Society,  and  upon  propoitl- 
tions  for  the  expenditure  of  its  fhnds.  as  well  as  meaitures  to  increase  the  reve- 
nues of  the  Society,  and  promote  economy  in  its  expenditures. 

Clause  15.  The  Committee  on  Publications  shall  have  the  ebanre  and 
supervision  of  all  publications  made  by  direction  of  the  Society,  and  shall 
carefhlly  examine  all  manuscripts  and  papers  and  other  things  directed  to  be 
published,  in  order  to  discover  all  errors  and  defects,  and  correct  the  same,  also 
when  necessary  to  make  abstracts  or  abridgement  of  papers. 

Clause  16.  It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Committee  on  Membership  to  con- 
sider and  report  npon  all  Questions  relating  to  membership,  which  may  be 
referred  for  that  purpose,  and  as  for  as  practicable,  to  induce  all  proper  pemons 
to  become  members  of  the  Society. 

Clause  17.  In  the  course  of  the  fhture,  should  it  become  advisable,  the 
President  may  in  his  discretion,  after  the  annual  election  of  officers,  appoint  the 
following  committees,  each  to  consist  of  three  members  of  the  Society  : 

1.  On  the  increase  of  Rooks  and  Library. 

2.  On  the  Increase  of  Members. 

8.  On  Donations  and  Subscriptions. 

4.  On  Statistics. 

6.  On  Portraits.  Pictures  and  Photographs  of  Pioneer  and  early  Settlers, 

6.  On  Local  History. 

7.  On  Indian  Reminiscences,  Pictures,  Memorials  and  History. 

Cl  \use  18.  The  duties  of  these  respective  committees  nisy  be  defined  here- 
after, in  case  the  future  requirements  and  interest  of  the  Society  make  their 
appointment  necessary. 

Clause  19.  If  any  members  of  the  Board  of  Council  fbil  at  anv  time  to  pay 
th«>lr  dues  to  the  Society  or  fail  to  qualify,  and  thus  become  ineligible  to  tbe 
ofDce  to  which  they  have  been  elected,  a  majority  of  councllmen  elected  and 
qualified,  shall  have  the  power  to  declare  such  offices  vacant  and  shall  proceed 
to  fill  the  same  fW>m  the  resident  members  of  the  Society. 

Ct.ausb  20.  A  majority  of  the  Board  of  Council  present  at  any  meetloff  oT 
its  members,  special  or  otherwise,  of  which  due  notice  shall  have  been  given  to 
Its  respective  members  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Society,  who  by  virtue  of  hts 
office  becomes  the  Secretary  of  the  Board  of  Council,  shall  constitute  a  qoomm 
to  transact  business. 

Clause  21.  All  reports  of  committees  shall  be  in  writing,  either  In  fbrm  Qf 
resolutions  or  otherwise,  as  they  may  deem  expedient. 

Clause  22.  Any  of  these  By-Laws  may  be  nupended  In  case  of  tempomrjr 
exigency,  by  a  two-thirds  vote  of  all  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meet- 
ing. They  may  also  be  amended  and  changed,  and  new  matter  added  by  a  ma- 
jority of  all  the  members  present  at  any  annual  meeting,  provided  notice  of  the 
proposed  amendments  be  given  in  the  call  of  the  annual  meeting  at  least  two 
weeks  previous  to  final  action  thereon. 

Clause  23.  It  is  recommended  that  the  members  of  the  Society  In  the  dl^ 
ferent  towns  and  villages  In  the  county  form  local  clubs,  and  meet  monthly* 
especially  during  the  winter.  In  their  respective  localities,  at  private  r(«ldencee 
by  invitation  of  its  members.  The  reading  of  an  appropriate  paper,  followed  by 
such  remarks  and  discussion  as  the  subject  might  suggest,  would  dissemlnaM 
much  valuable  information,  and  add  Increasing  Interest  to  tiie  occasion.  a.T»d 
make  such  meetings  In  their  Informal  and  social  character,  a  valuable  aooot^-^ 
tion  to  the  Society,  and  create  an  Interest  and  marked  influence  in  promoiiiui 
historical  research  among  the  members. 


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JE[slJI-|  •  A[s|[v|J/yL  •  ^|EETI[\IG 


OF  THE 


LIVINGSTON  COUNTY 


Historical  Society 


HELD  AT  NUNDA, 


^ue^day,  Jar2Liapy  i2tl2,  1886 


DANSVILLE,  N.  Y.  : 
BUNNELL  &  OBERDORF,  OFFICE  OF  THE  ADVERTISER. 
1886. 

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Jth,tnk'vvork' 


AdTOk,    LFN€)y   AND 

. 1901 


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LIVINGSTON   COUNTY 

HISTORICAL  #  SOCIETY. 


The  tenth  annual  meeting  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical 
Society  was  held  in  Nnnda,  Tuesday,  Jan.  12th,  1886. 

President — Norman  Seymour,  of  Mt  Morris. 
Vice  President — FftANCis  M.  Perine,  of  Dansville. 
Secretary  and  Treasurer — L.  J.  Ames,  of  Mt.  Morris. 

TAe  Business  Meeting 

Was  held  in  the  Nunda  House  parlors  at  1 1  o'clock  a.  m.,  President 
Seymour  in  the  chair.  Among  the  members  present  were  the  follow- 
ing :  Ex- President  E.  H.  Davis,  J.  A.  Dana,  Florance  Van  Allen,  of 
Avon ;  Ex-President  A.  H.  McLean,  C.  H.  Swan,  Bennett  Gray,  of 
Caledonia ;  President  Norman  Seymour,  Ex-President  M.  H.  Mills, 
L.  J.  Ames,  L.  C.  Bingham,  of  Mt.  Morris ;  Ex-President  A.  O. 
Bunnell,  Vice-President  F.  M.  Perine,  Charles  Shepard,  of  North 
Dansville ;  C.  K.  Sanders,  of  Nunda ;  Isaac  Hampton,  of  Ossian  ; 
C.  D.  Bennett,  of  Portage ;  David  McNair,  of  West  Sparta ;  Alex- 
ander Reid,  of  York. 

Secretary  Ames  made  the  following  annual  report : 

Members  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical  Society  :  Entering 
upon  the  tenth  year  of  the  organization  of  our  society,  I  congratulate  its  members  on 
the  evident  signs  of  confideitce  and  interest  entertained  for  the  society  by  the  public. 
The  usual  number  of  our  annual  reports  for  1885  have  been  circulated  and  acknowl- 


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4  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOaETT. 

edgements  have  come  in  the  way  of  pamphlets,  volumes  and  otherwise  from 
historical  societies  of  the  country.  Among  the  documents  received  are  the  follow- 
ing :  Report  of  the  Union  Defence  Committee  of  the  City  of  New  York  for  i86i 
and  1862  ;  two  volumes  of  Zeiberger*s  Diary,  a  Moravian  missionary  among  the 
Indians  of  Ohio  from  1791  to  1798,  from  the  Historical  and  Philosophical  Society 
of  Ohio,  at  Cincinnati.  During  the  past  year  two  of  our  members  have  died, 
Donald  McPherson  and  Thomas  Wiard  of  Avon,  aged  men,  and  among  the 
pioneers  of  our  county.  By  invitation  from  the  committee  on  the  opening  of  the 
State  Reservation  at  Niagara,  July  ijth,  1885,  the  following  members  of  our 
society  were  m  attendance  on  that  grandf  occasion :  Hon.  F.  R  Angel  of  Gencseo, 
J.  A.  Dana  of  Avon,  Angus  Cameron,  Col.  A.  H.  McLean  of  Odedonia,  Hon. 
Isaac  Hampton  of  Ossian,  Dr.  M.  H.  Mills,  H.  E.  Brown,  Norman  Se3rmour,  of 
Ml  Morris.  The  outlook  is  promising  for  the  ftiture  growth  and  continued  success 
of  this  society. 

On  the  call  for  the  reports  of  town  committeemen,  the  following 
reports  were  presented: 

CONESUS— BY  A.  D.  COK 

I  think  I  stated  in  a  former  article  that  the  eastern  portion  of  the  town  of 
Conesus,  familiarly  known  as  Marrowback,  was  Hrst  taken  up  and  settled.  OeU' 
ings  were  made  and  the  supposition  was  that  they  had  settled  the  dryest  land,  hot 
after  having  cleared  up  and  cropp>ed  the  land  a  few  years  it  proved  to  be  decidedly 
the  wettest  and  most  unpleasant  except  in  the  summer  months  when  it  is  really 
delightful.  There  is  nothing  to  obstruct  the  vision  particularly  to  the  eastward, 
over  the  towns  of  Lima,  Richmond,  Canadice  and  Springwater.  But  the  old  settlen 
found  the  marrow  in  the  back  was  not  quite  as  rich  as  they  expected  and  they  aban* 
doned  their  clearings  or  betterments  as  they  were  called  and  moved  down  further 
west  and  settled  about  the  head  of  Conesus  lake.  A  large  block  house  was  erected 
on  what  is  now  the  McMillen  farm,  at  that  time  occupied  by  the  Henderson  family, 
and  was  used  as  a  hotel  or  tavern  as  it  was  then  called.  The  business  of  the  town 
was  nearly  all  transacted  at  this  place.  The  first  post  office  was  located  here,  the  mail 
being  brought  from  Geneseo  by  Benoni  Fosdick  on  horseback,  the  letters  and  papers 
being  distributed  all  the  way  along  the  route  from  Geneseo  to  Conesus  Center.  The 
letter;;  were  usually  carried  in  his  hat  and  what  few  papers  were  taken  he  usually 
carried  in  his  coat  pockets,  and  he  was  really  a  portable  post  office  on  horseback. 
The  old  Henderson  tavern  was  the  scene  of  many  a  hard  fought  battle  between  the 
early  settlers  of  the  male  sex,  and  not  unfrequently  the  females  would  show  as  macfa 
daring  or  more  than  the  old  man,  as  the  husband  was  usually  called.  Tradition 
tells  of  a  family  that  lived  at  the  foot  of  one  of  the  numerous  ravines  that  make 
down  from  Groveland  to  the  inlet  and  lake.  One  of  the  neighbors  told  the  oW 
man  that  he  thought  a  certain  man,  calling  him  by  name,  was  rather  intimate  with 
the  old  man's  wife.  *'0  no,"  says  he,  "you  ought  to  have  seen  them  the  other 
day,  he  said  something  to  her  he  ought  not  to  and  she  took  after  him  with  the 
broomstick,  and  chased  him  up  this  gully  and  they  were  gone  more  than  half  ao 
hour."  This  incident  shows  the  wives  of  the  early  settlers  had  the  pluck  and  the 
ability  to  defend  themselves  from  any  fancied  or  real  insult. 

Very  much  might  be  written  of  the  hardships  endured  by  the  women  in  the 
early  settlement  of  this  and  other  towns,  often  nding  long  distances  on  horseback, 
or  traveling  on  foot  through  the  dense  forest,  piling  and  burning  brush  in  the  new 
clearing,  pulling  and  spinning  flax  to  make  garments  for  the  family,  while  their 
husbands  and  sons  were  necessarily  absent  at  a  turkey  raffle  or  the  horse  race. 
They  also  enjoyed  a  great  amount  of  comfort  ia  attending  the  old-fashioned  wed- 
dings, quillings  and  camp  meetings.  Although  their  humble  log  dwellings  were 
scarcely  furnished,  often  with  only  one  bed,  a  few  chairs  and  barrels,  and  a  cross- 
legged  table,  they  were  always  equal  to  the  occasion  An  authentic  account  is  given 
of  a  wedding  which  took  place  near  the  head  of  the  lake,  in  which  an  elderly  mai- 


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TENTH   ANNUAL  MEETlNC.  g 

den  lady,  she  beibg  the  sole  occupant  of  a  small  house,  was  married  to  sC  man  in 
the  immediate  vicinity,  and  the  parson,  the  bridegroom  and  the  bride  all  occupied 
the  only  bed  in  the  house,  and  the  parson  declared  in  relating  the  circumstance 
sometime  after  that  "  it  was  a  solemn  occasion." 

Religion  has  always  been  the  unknown  quantity  in  this  town  and  is  yet.  It  is 
in  very  much  the  condition  that  the  man  said  his  town  was  in  an  early  day. 
Being  called  upon  by  traveling  preacher  and  asked  about  the  state  of  religion,  he 
laid,  "  there  is  only  Smith  and  I  that  make  any  pretensions  in  religion,  and  I 
sometimes  very  much  doubt  Smith." 

The  roads  and  bridges  about  the  head  of  the  lake  were  mostly  built  by  Moses 
King,  known  at  that  time  by  the  more  familiar  name  of  Old  Dad  King.  King 
with  his  oxen,  plow  and  home-made  scraper  and  Alfred  Jewett  to  drive  (Jewett  stiU 
lives  in  this  town),  made  the  road  6n  the  west  side  of  Conesus  lake.  This  is  one 
of  the  most  pleasant  drives  in  Livingston  county,  especially  in  the  summer  time, 
when  the  thermometer  is  ranging  about  the  nineties.  The  large  shade  trees  lining 
each  side  of  the  road  protect  the  roadway  from  the  direct  rays  of  the  sun,  while  the 
openings  through  the  trees  and  under  the  branches  give  an  opportunity  to  view  the 
lake  and  opposite  shore.  The  drive  on  the  east  side  is  thought  by  some  to  be 
equally  as  good  taking  into  account  the  fact  that  Jerry's  house  of  entertainment  is 
on  this  side.  The  lake  is  about  nine  miles  long  with  an  average  width  of  about 
one  mile  narrowing  up  to  less  than  half  a  mile  between  Long  Point  and  McPher- 
son*s,  two  very  popular  resorts,  while  the  newly  erected  Salt  works  at  Lakeville, 
situated  near  the  Lake  View  House  kept  by  Johnny  Gray,  makes  an  additional 
attraction  for  travelers  to  spend  a  few  hours  in  this  delightful  drive  around  Conesus 
lake.  Three  steamers  now  stir  the  waters,  and  some  enormous  swells  dash  upon 
the  shore  where  once  the  Indian  canoe,  the  only  craft,  glided  over  the  lake,  causing 
only  a  slight  riffle  as  its  occupants  went  out  for  fish  or  crossed  the  lake  to  hunt  for 
game. 

Several  new  enterprises  have  been  started  in  town.  Not  the  least  in  import- 
ance is  the  Wescott  Brothers*  evaporator  works,  which  have  a  capacity  for  paring, 
teaching  and  drying  from  250  to  300  bushels  per  day.  They  commenced  with  the 
windfall  and  only  closed  their  business  about  the  first  of  the  present  month.  They 
have  paid  five  or  six  thousand  dollars  for  apples  and  several  thousand  dollars  for 
help,  and  that  with  profit  to  themselves.  The  fruit  finds  a  ready  sale,  and  is  shipped 
a$  wist  as  boxed  and  sent  to  market,  getting  prompt  returns,  so  that  with  moderate 
means  the  business  is  made  self-supporting  until  the  apples  are  used  up  or  very 
severe  cold  compels  them  to  close  the  works. 

Another  new  industry  has  struck  Marrowback  and  promises  to  whom  it  may 
concern  a  source  of  profit  as  well  as  great  consolation  to  very  many  indeed.  That 
is  the  raising  of  grapes  and  their  manufacture  into  wine.  Bishop  McQuaid  is  at  the 
head  of  this  enterprise  and  he  finds  ready  sale  for  all  he  can  produce.  He  has 
already  15  or  20  acres  in  bearing,  and  he  supplies  the  Catholic  churches  far  and 
near.  He  has  presses  and  wine  cellars  and  claims  to  make  the  genuine  pure  anii- 
get-drunkative  wine.  Still  another  new  industry  for  that  section  of  ihe  town  is  a 
large  hop  yard  put  out  by  Dell  Price,  being  to  the  extent  of  1$  or  20  a^res.  This 
is  probably  intended  to  supply  the  nerve  force  which  is  supposed  to  be  lacking  in 
the  Bishop's  wine. 

The  soil  of  this  famous  old  hill  also  seems  particularly  adapted  to  raising  barley 
and  oats.  The  air  is  generally  cool  and  the  soil  sufficiently  moist,  so  that  barley 
gets  plump  and  white,  and  always  brings  the  highest  price  in  market.  So  it  will 
be  seen  tlmt  the  top  soil  on  Marrowback  is  sufficiently  strong  to  produce  some  of  the 
luxuries  of  life,  and  when  the  prospectors'  drill  shall  have  penetrated  the  bowels  of 
this  region,  who  can  tell  what  may  come  forth  ?  perhaps  a  blessing,  or  perchance  a 
curse.  I  am  reminded  of  the  query  of  the  woman  about  to  die.  She  called  her 
daughter  to  her  bed  and  told  her  she  wished  to  impart  a  secret,  how  to  tell  good 
indigo.  She  said,  **  You  take  a  piece  of  indigo  and  put  it  in  a  pail  of  water,  and 
if  good  it  will  either  sink,  or  swim,  and  I  forget  which." 


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6  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

NUNDA.— BYC.  K.  SANDERS. 

In  1806,  nearly  eighty  years  ago,  Nunda  was  first  settled.  Phineas  Bates  and 
Beela  Elderkin  were  the  first  permanent  settlers  who  located  near  the  present  vil- 
lage. Other  early  settlers  were  David  Corey  and  brother,  Reuben  Sweet  and  Peleg, 
his  brother,  Gideon  Powell,  Abner  Tuttle,  Wm.  P.  Wilcox,  John  H.  Townsend 
and  James  Paine.  Nunda  is  one  of  the  extreme  south-western  towns  of  the  county. 
Its  surface  is  quite  hilly.  The  early  settlers  went  onto  the  hills»  passing  over  the 
flat  lands  in  the  valley  where  the  village  is  no*v  located,  regarding  these  as  of  little 
worth.  Nunda  was  formed  from  the  town  of  Angelica,  Allegany  county,  in  March, 
1808,  and  in  1846  was  annexed  to  Livingston  county.  lA  I  §07,  James  Scott,  with 
two  or  three  others,  went  up  the  Keshequa  valley  with  a  view  of  locating,  but 
observing  that  the  hazel  bushes  had  hanging  on  them  dead  hazel  nuts  and  conclud- 
ing ihat  it  must  be  frosty  there,  did  not  buy  any  lands.  There  was  then  but  one 
occupied  log  house  between  Brushville,  now  known  as  Tuscarora,  and  Nunda. 
This  house  was  occupied  by  a  squatter  named  Kingsley.  Brushville  was  then 
covered  with  low  brush,  and  from  this  it  was  undoubtedly  given  its  name,  as  do 
trees  of  large  growth  were  found  there. 

In  the  year  18 19,  Azel  Fitch,  Russell  Mesegger,  Abijah  Adams  and  Zopher 
Strong  settled  in  the  town,  and  in  181 7  George  W.  Merrick  came.  The  same 
spring  the  families  of  John  and  Jacob  Passage,  Abram  Acher,  John  White, 
Schuyler  Thompson  and  Henry  Root  settled  in  Nunda,  which  then  embraced  1 
territory  as  large  as  our  present  county.  Mr.  Merrick  was  six  times  elected  super- 
visor, and  was  a  justice  of  the  peace  for  sixteen  years.  He  came  from  Connecticut, 
where  he  was  bom  in  1793.  On  reaching  Nunda  he  purchased  a  claim  on  which  a 
log  cabin  was  standing  with  50  acres  of  land  and  improvements  for  ^o  in  gold. 
The  "improvements  "  were  the  log  cabin  mentioned,  which  was  twelve  feet  square, 
and  one-half  acre  of  land  cleared  and  sowed  to  turnips.  He  finished  up  tne  log 
house  by  raising  it  five  feet  higher  and  put  on  a  roof  of  shingles  of  his  own  make 
without  using  a  nail.  Five  hundred  feet  of  boards  were  all  he  could  procure  any- 
where for  finishing  purposes.  An  eccentric  pioneer  says  at  this  time  a  bird  familiar 
to  all  the  early  settlers  used  to  sav,  "  work  or  die."  Later  when  people  were 
prosperous,  lived  in  larger  houses,  it  changed  its  refrain  to  "cheat  and  lie." 

The  early  records  of  the  town  of  Nunda,  recorded  in  the  books  in  the  town 
clerk's  office,  run  back  to  1808,  in  which  year  Eli  Griffith  was  supervisor.  All  the 
records  of  the  town  meetings  held  seventy- five  years  ago  are  here  each  year  recorded, 
when  the  few  pioneer. residents  were  obliged  to  go  over  to  what  is  now  Pike  Five 
Corners  to  attend  town  meeting,  usually  a  two  days  trip.  There  was  then  a  town 
bounty  on  wolves  of  .f  3.CX).  The  names  of  the  town  officials,  description  of  road 
districts,  etc,  etc,  are  here  recorded  in  the  quaint  and  original  way  of  the  early 
settlers.  A  resolution  adopted  at  the  town  meeting  April  2tl,  1816,  reads  :  "Re- 
solved, that  $8  be  raised  for  the  purpose  of  destroying  the  Canada  thistles  in  four 
spots,  meaning  f  2  for  each  spot."  In  i8i6  there  were  212  votes  cast  in  the  town 
for  governor.  DanU  D.  Tompkins  received  117  and  Rufus  King  95.  The  election 
was  opened  "  at  the  house  of  Russell  Thrall  in  said  town  and  dosed  at  the  house 
of  Suban  Chamt)erlain  pursuant  to  law "  as  the  record  says.  The  survey  and 
description  of  new  roads  laid  out  in  18 1 5 -16  occupied  much  space  in  this  early 
record  of  town  events  and  preserve  the  names  of  the  early  town  officials.  The 
first  town  officers  elected  in  1809  are  as  follows  :  Eli  Griffith,  Supervisor  ;  Asahd 
Trowbridge,  1  own  Clerk  ;  Asahel  Newcomb  and  David  Hoyi,  As.sessors ;  Jonathan 
Millard,  Constable  and  Collector ;  Roger  Mills  and  Thomas  Dole,  Overseers  of  the 
Poor ;  Amos  Conky,  Zebediah  Ward  and  Christopher  Olcn,  Commissioners ; 
Josiah  Hammer,  Constable  ;  Isaac  Granger  and  Aaron  Fuller,  Fence  Viewers  and 
Damage  Appraisers  ;  Peter  Granger  and  Caleb  Mo<>re,  Pound  Keepers.  There  is 
much  of  interest  in  these  early  records  now  yellow  with  age,  and  evCry  town  shouki 
haye  a  safe  depository  for  them. 

In  1820,  Hon.  Charles  Carroll  had  charge  of  the  sale  of  lands  in  this  vicinity 
as  agent  of  the  Tuscarora  tract.     Henry  C.  Jones  was  the  original  proprietor  of  the 


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TENTH   ANNUAL   MEETING.  7 

sice  of  the  present  village  which  was  laid  out  in  1824.  Jones  came  from  Ontario 
county,  and  his  name  is  better  known  in  connection  with  the  sale  of  all  lands  in 
this  vicinity  than  the  name  of  any  other  yerson.  The  conveyances  were  all 
described  "according  to  a  map  made  by  Henry  C.  Jones."  Carroll  afterward 
came  into  possession  by  a  foreclosure  of  mortgage.  The  first  public  house  or  inn 
was  opened  by  Alanson  Hubbell,  in  1820.  The  first  store  was  opened  by  Wm.  P. 
Wilcox,  on  the  hill  at  Wilcox  comers.  Willoughby  Lowell  built  the  first  saw  mill 
in  1818,  and  SamU  Swain  and  Lindsley  Josl3m  built  the  first  grist  mill  in  1828.  In 
1835,  there  were  18  saw  mills  in  operation  with  21  saws  nmning  within  3J  miles  of 
the  village.  Three  flouring  mills  and  soon  afterward  two  more,  one  of  them  run  by 
steam.  The  village  at  that  time  commenced  its  rapid  growth.  There  were  also 
two  large  tanneries,  two  furnaces,  one  of  which  was  afterward  changed  to  a  machine 
shop  for  the  manufacture  of  steam  engines,  employing  about  100  men  and  operated 
by  Calvin  B.  Lawrence  ;  a  large  wagon  factory  was  opened  in  18^38,  by  F.  H.  Gibbs 
and  Thos.  Homer,  employing  about  50  men  ;  a  woolen  factory /employing  35  men, 
by  Edwin  Swain  ;  a  cardmg  mill  by  Wm.  Houghton,  at  Messenger's  Hollow ;  two 
hat  manufactories  were  here  then,  one  by  Joseph  White  and  the  other  by  Peter 
Peterson.  The  canal  was  commenced  through  Nunda  in  1837-8.  At  that  time 
the  population  of  the  village  was  larger  than  ever  before  or  since.  At  that  time 
there  were  18  mercantile  establishments  doing  a  lai^e  business.  In  1844,  ^^^ 
floating  population  began  to  remove  and  the  village  declined. 

So  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  leara  from  that  **  reliable  individual"  the  oldest 
inhabitant,  the  Genesee  Valley  Recorder  was  the  first  newspaper  published  in 
Nunda.  It  was  established  in  September,  1 840,  by  Ira  G.  Wisner  and  published 
about  two  years  by  him,  the  name  being  changed  in  '41  to  the  Independent  Gazette. 
Mason*s  history  of  Livingston  county  is  all  wrong  in  this  respect,  as  it  sscys  :  "The 
Nunda  Gazette  was  started  in  1 841,  by  Ira  Wisner,  (giving  the  name  and  year 
wrong.)  After  about  a  year  it  was  moved  to  Mt.  Morris  and  continued  there  until 
1843  ^  ^^^  Genesee  Valley  Recorder."  The  bound  files  of  the  Recorder  and  Ga- 
zette now  in  possession  of  the  writer  disprove  this  statement  and  show  that  county 
histories  are  not  reliable  in  all  things.  The  Geneseo  Democrat,  which  was  started 
in  1843,  ^"^^  removed  to  Nunda  in  1848,  and  published  here  by  Gilbert  F.  Shank- 
land  and  Milo  D.  Chamberlain  for  a  short  time,  when  it  was  removed  to  Ellicott- 
viUe,  Cattaraugus  county.  The  next  paper  was  the  Nunda  Telegraph,  which  was 
started  by  Chas.  Atwood  in  1850,  and  published  about  a  year.  In  185 1,  Mr.  N.  T. 
Hackstaff  established  the  Nunda  Times,  which  he  published  until  1852,  when  the 
office  was  destroyed  by  fire.  Bound  volumes  of  nearly  all  the  numbers  of  this 
paper  are  now  in  possession  of  the  writer,  together  with  many  copies  of  the  Tele- 
graph and  Democrat.  Mr.  Hackstaff  is  still  in  the  printing  business  at  Rochester, 
and  but  a  few  days  since  took  much  interest  in  looking  over  the  files  of  his  paper 
at  the  News  office  to  which  he  devoted  his  energy  33  years  ago.  A  paper  called 
the  "  Young  America"  was  published  here  in  1855  by  David  B.  and  Merritt  Galley, 
who  had  started  a  paper  called  the  "New  Era"  at  Hunts  Hollow  the  year  before 
and  then  removed  it  to  Nunda.  "Young  America"  lasted  about  one  year  when  it 
went  the  way  of  its  numerous  predecessors.  Mr.  Merritt  Galley  afterward  became 
the  inventor  of  the  "  Universal  job  press"  (well  known  to  printers  as  an  excellent 
press),  from  which  he  reaped  large  profits.  There  was  then  a  lapse  of  several  years 
and  Nunda  was  in  darkness  as  far  as  newspapers  were  concemed  until  October, 
1850,  when  the  News  was  established  by  C.  K.  Sanders,  and  has  been  continuously 
published  by  him  to  the  present  time.  Its  career  we  will  leave  for  future  historians 
to  record.  The  bound  volumes  of  nearly  all  the  papers  published  in  Nunda  from 
1840  to  the  present  time  make  up  a  very  interesting  part  of  the  local  history  of  this 
vicinity  and  are  treasured  with  care  at  the  office  of  the  Nunda  News. 


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8  UVINGSTON   COUNTY  HISTORICAL   SOCIETY. 

OSSIAN— BY  ISAAC  HAMPTON. 

Is  it  a  strange  thing  that  the  average  mind  seeks  ancient  rather  than  present 
history  ?  And  is  it  because  the  average  mind  is  prone  to  the  marvelous,  or  because 
the  past  furnishes  a  pleasing  contrast  to  the  present  ?  Two  years  since  I  furnished 
an  article  containing  sketches  and  incidents  of  the  early  history  of  Ossian.  Thif 
year  I  thought  I  would  give  a  brief  summary  of  its  present  aspect.  But  I  find  it 
hard  work  to  form  an  article  worthy  to  be  placed  in  the  archives  of  the  Livingston 
County  Historical  society  concerning  a  town  that  never  had  a  railroad,  canal,  tele- 
graph, telephone,  oil  well,  or  salt  works.  But  I  am  reminded  that  the  relating  of 
this  fact  even  is  a  matter  of  history,  and  so  I  may  as  well  continue.  At  the  present 
time  Ossian  has  no  resident  lawyer,  doctor  or  minister  of  the  gospel,  and  as  an  oflT- 
set  I  may  say  that  she  has  no  licensed  grog  shops,  skating  rinks,  billiard  tables  nor 
dudes.  Ossian  contains  one  flouring  mill,  now  owned  by  Lester  B.  Faulkner  of 
Dansville  ;  two  feed  mills,  owned  by  Zephyr  Fontaine  and  Elias  Geiger  ;  and  four  sta- 
tionary steam  saw  mills  now  m  use,  owned  by  Zephyr  Fontaine,  Whitney  Bros.,  Elias 
Geiger  and  Isaac  Hampton.  The  two  latter  having  each  two  other  mills  that  have 
become  obsolete.  Ossian  contains  two  church  edifices,  the  Methodist,  of  moderate 
dimensions,  constructed  about  twenty-five  years  since,  and  the  Presbyterian,  first 
built  about  sixty  vears  since,  and  re-built  and  enlarged  in  1878-9,  and  re-dedicated 
in  June,  1879,  snaking  a  fine  country  church  edifice  capable  of  seating  a  large  con- 
gregation. But  it  is  at  present  without  a  pastor.  The  Methodist  church  is  sup- 
plied once  in  two  weeks  from  Canaseraga  charge.  There  are  three  grocery  stores 
in  town  owned  by  John  S.  Kreiley  of  West  Hill,  Martin  Knapp  and  Frank  Milli- 
man  of  Ossian  Center.  There  are  three  blacksmith  shops  in  town  owned  by 
Washington  Forrester  and  Christopher  Sylvester  of  Ossian  Center  (the  latter  a  wood 
worker  also),  and  John  Hen,  West  Hill. 

The  most  notable  improvement  is  the  rapid  pulling  of  pine  stumps  and  puttii^ 
them  into  fences.  There  are  about  ten  stump  machines  in  Ossian  of  various  kinds, 
and  most  of  them  are  kept  busy  during  most  nf  the  summer  seasons.  Many  farms 
in  town  have  been  nearly  doubled  in  value  within  the  last  few  years  by  the  freeing 
the  same  from  their  pine  stumps.  As  the  town  of  Ossian  has  had  more  pine 
stumps  pulled  and  has  more  yet  to  pull  than  any  other  town  in  the  county  it  may  be 
considered  an  authority  on  that  subject.  A  brief  recital  of  the  process  may  not  be 
uninteresting,  especially  to  our  norihern  pioneers,  who  never  saw  a  pine  stump 
pulled — granting  that  they  ever  saw  a  pine  stump.  There  are  three  kinds  ol 
machines  used.  The  oldest  pattern  is  the  screw  machine  worked  by  one  horse, 
taking  two  teams  to  move  it  ;  the  next  in  order  is  the  patent  lever,  taking  two 
horses  to  work,  and  is  moved  with  one  team  ;  and  lastly  the  Empire  worked  by  one 
horse,  but  taking  two  teams  to  move  from  stump  to  stump.  No  progress  can  be 
made  in  pulling  pine  stumps  until  about  fifteen  years  after  the  land  is  cleared.  The 
fibres  of  the  roots  are  then  rotten  and  the  hard  wood  and  hemlock  stumps  arc  so 
far  decayed  that  they  can  be  burned  as  they  stand  in  a  dry  time  or  pulled  with  a 
team  without  machine.  Freed  from  these  the  process  of  pulling  the  pine  stumps 
then  begins,  which  is  usually  done  in  the  spring  and  forepart  of  the  summer,  the 
stumps  being  left  on  the  ground  until  winter  or  until  the  ground  is  frozen.  They  are 
by  this  time  dried  out  so  as  to  be  reduced  in  weight,  fully  one-half,  and  are  pulled 
on  stump  boats  into  fences.  Previous  to  putting  into  fences  the  roots  are  cut  off  on 
one  side,  called  facing,  so  as  to  lie  flat  on  the  ground.  The  price  of  palling  pne 
stumps  varies  from  twentv-five  to  fifty  cents  eadi,  and  the  price  per  rod  for  prilling 
the  stumps  and  making  fences  varies  from  one  to  two  dollars  a  rod  according  to  size 
of  stumps  and  distance  to  draw. 

Another  item  of  improvement  consists  of  the  increase  m  farm  buildings.  It  is 
safe  to  say  that  more  improvements  have  been  made  in  this  respect  within  the  last 
three  years  than  within  the  twenty  years  preceding.  And  this  building  ••  boom  " 
is  necessitated  by  the  improvement  of  farms  by  stumping,  and  the  further  fact,  that 
it  has  recently  been  ascertained  that  the  hills  of  Ossian  are  well  adapted  to  raising  of 
a  fine  specimen  of  barley  and  red  clover.     Among  the  buildings  mentioiied  I  will 


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TENTH    ANNUAL   MEETING.  9 

note  the  following  :  A  fine  dwelling  and  bam  by  George  Nichols,  large  grain  bam 
by  Leraen  Bros. ,  large  grain  bam  by  John  Scott,  bams,  sheds  and  cider  mill  by 
Frederick  Bonner,  fine  dwelling  by  Zephyr  Fonlaine,  do.  by  John  Christian,  James 
R  Hampton  and  Helen  Olen.  Within  the  past  year  may  be  noted  a  dwelling  by 
Thomas  Coltree,  do.  Homer  Blank,  two  bams  by  Kramer  Bros. ,  one  by  Hyland 
Bros.,  one  large  grain  bam  by  I.  F.  Hampton,  horse  barn  by  Peter  Donneck, 
grain  bam  by  J.  B.  Prentice,  grain  bam  by  Whitney  Bros.,  two  mammoth  grain 
bams  with  basements  by  the  writer,  three  dwelling  houses  by  the  same  on  tenant 
fivms,  and  one  fine  hop  house  on  home  farm. 

Speaking  of  saw  mills  and  lumber,  the  writer  remembers  when  ten  water  mills 
were  in  operation  on  Sugar  creek,  and  two  on  Duncan  run,  at  the  same  period,  and 
it  was  not  an  unusual  thing  to  see  ten  to  twenty  teams  a  day  from  York,  Leicester, 
Caledonia,  Avon  and  Mt.  Morris  there  after  lumber.  But  railroads  have  changed 
all  this,  for  lumber  can  now  be  laid  down  at  any  of  these  points  for  not  much  above 
the  cost  of  production  in  Ossian.  It  is  not  therefore  strange  that  the  manufacture 
of  this  commodity  is  very  limited,  and  at  the  present  rate  of  manufacturing  the 
three  establishments  of  Geiger,  Whitney  Bros,  and  Hampton  have  sufficient  timber 
to  last  their  mills  for  twenty-five  years  longer. 

The  future  railroad  interests  of  Ossian  depend  on  two  events.  This  may  not 
be  history.  But  is  it  a  far-fetched  construction  of  the  term  history,  to  sometimes 
pcnnt  to  the  pro-  as  well  as  the  retro-spective  ?  These  two  events  are,  ist.  The 
finding  of  oil,  coal  or  salt  in  such  quantities  as  to  warrant  the  building  of  a  branch 
from  the  Erie  at  Swains  running  up  Baily  brook,  and  through  the  farm  of  Hyland 
Brothers  to  Ossian  Center,  thence  down  the  vailey  by  Burrell*s  and  Whitney  Bros, 
and  reuniting  with  the  Erie  at  Bums.  If  a  mgged  country  is  all  that  is  wanting  to 
warrant  the  production  of  these  commodities,  then  they  can  surely  be  found  in 
abundance.  But  there  are  other  evidences  of  the  existence  of  these  products,  for  a 
deer  lick  in  an  early  day  is  now  r^arded  as  denoting  the  existence  of  salt,  and  gas 
jets  which  bum  when  ignited  denote  the  existence  of  anthracite  or  f)etroleum. 
The  other  event  is  the  posible  location  of  the  Lehigh  extension  through  Ossian. 
Leaving  the  Erie  road  at  Arkport  or  Bums,  thence  through  ^he  valley  by  Whitney 
Bros,  and  BurrelPs  to  Ossian  Center,  then  down  Duncan  run  by  Hyde's  and 
Covert's,  keeping  the  high  ground  back  of  the  residence  of  Hugh  T.  McNair,  and 
just  above  Kysorville,  thence  to  the  high  banks  south  of  Mt.  Morris,  crossing  the 
Genesee  at  or  near  that  point  and  then  on  to  Buffalo.  When  the  Lehigh  road  shall 
have  thus  located  its  track  and  run  its  immense  freight  and  fast  passenger  trains 
through  Ossian  Center,  and  a  thriving  village  shall  have  grown  up  at  this  point, 
then  these  facts  will  be  history  accomplished,  and  it  will  not  be  an  uninteresting 
matter  to  find  in  the  archives  of  the  Livingston  County  Historical  society  sugges- 
tions pointing  to  the  possibility  of  this  enterprise. 

WEST  SPARTA— BY  DAVID  McNAIR. 

The  following  is  an  extract  from  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Matthew  McCartney  of  Dans- 
ville  from  Miss  Nancy  Marlin,  who  ceased  to  be  a  resident  of  West  Sparta  fifty- 
eight  years  ago : 

"Chili,  Monroe  Co.,  July  12th,  1884. 

"Mrs.  McCartney — My  Dear  Friend:  I  received  through  your  kindness 
and  courtesy,  the  history  of  the  first  settlers  of  Dansville,  for  which  please  accept 
my  sincere  thanks  for  your  kindly  remembrance  of  one  whose  early  life  was  incor- 
porated among  that  handful  of  early  settlers.  I  have  been  asked  to  give  my 
recollections  of  my  grandparents,  my  own  parents,  and  also  something  conceming 
my  own  early  life  among  those  with  whom  I  associated  in  childhood,  and  later  until 
my  duty  called  me  firom  all  those  loved  ones,  and  the  place  that  I  loved  so  well, 
after  I  arrived  at  woman's  estate.  It  is  fifty-seven  years  since  I  left  the  home  of  my 
childhood  for  this  place,  which  was  then  an  almost  unbroken  wilderness.  My 
grandfather,  Robert  Duncan,  left  Carlisle,  Pa.,  in  the  fall  of  1793,  got  as  far  as 
Painted  Post,  and  was  obliged  to  spend  the  winter,  till  in  March,  1794,  they  arrived 


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lO  LIVINGSTON    COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOCIETY. 

in  Dansville.  They  were  the  first  white  family  that  settled  in  Dansville.  They 
settled  on  the  Bradner  farm  at  what  is  now  known  as  Woodsville.  My  grandfather 
had  bought  this  farm  of  Capt.  Williamson  previous  to  this  time,  Williamson  prom- 
ising and  expecting  at  this  time  to  settle  this  place  with  a  colony  of  Scotch  people. 
Grandfather  died  in  the  fall  of  that  year  in  a  chill ;  was  walking  around  in  the 
morning,  and  died  in  the  afternoon.  He  was  taken  near  Geneseo  to  be  buried, 
where  there  had  been  some  white  people  buried.  My  grandmother,  Agnes  Dun- 
can,  made  the  journey  from  Dansville  to  Carlisle,  in  the  settlement  of  her  afi&irs 
two  or  three  'imes  on  horseback,  going  through  an  unbroken  wildeme^  sbcty  miles, 
collecting  payments  on  property  they  had  sold  when  they  left  Carlisle.  On  one  oiF 
these  journeys  she  brought  with  her  a  set  of  china  dishes,  and  on  her  homeward 
journey,  she  dismounted,  and  before  she  could  take  off  the  saddle  bags  the  hone 
lay  down  and  rolled  over,  thus  breaking  all  her  dishes  and  greatly  disappointing 
her.  I  do  not  know  as  these  recollections  will  be  of  any  interest  to  you,  but  still  I 
naturally  thought  strange  that  neither  my  grandfather's  nor  my  father's  name  appears 
in  the  history  of  Dansville,  and  had  thought  many  times  that  I  would  address  yea 
on  the  subject.  I  hope  and  trust  without  any  egotism  on  my  part,  but  only  a  desire 
to  see  this  part  of  this  history,  corrected,  or  at  least  (if  this  history  should  be 
rewritten)  to  see  their  names  appear,  as  they  bore  a  large  part  in  the  early  settle- 
ment of  this  town.  My  uncles,  Robert  and  James  Duncan,  had  my  grandfether*s 
farm.  Robert  Duncan,  son  of  my  uncle  Robert  Duncan,  now  lives  in  Indianapolis. 
Himself  and  son  are  practicing  law.  The  son  has  been  governor  of  Indiana.  I 
am  over  fourscore,  but  if  my  health  will  permit  and  my  life  is  spared  I  hope  to  visit 
the  scenes  of  my  childhood  and  my  old  friends  once  more. " 

Black  bears  were  common  in  the  early  history  of  the  country,  frequently  mak- 
ing making  depredations  on  the  pigs  of  the  early  settlers.  On  one  occasum,  in 
what  is  now  West  Sparta,  on  the  farm  now  occupied  by  L.  B.  Field,  then  by  Wm. 
Stevens,  a  hog  was  captured  by  bruin,  creating  consternation  not  only  in  the  swine 
fraternity,  but  bringing  dismay  among  the  settlers.  An  old  hunter  was  sought  by 
name  of  Brooks,  whc#lived  in  backwoods  style,  near  where  Richard  McMaster  now 
lives.  This  man  followed  the  trail  of  the  bear,  finding  the  dead  hog  near  where 
Joel  Masten  now  lives,  drawn  in  between  two  logs  lying  near  together.  The  hun- 
ter loaded  his  rifle,  and  set  it  m  such  a  way,  that  as  the  bear  came  for  his 
next  repast,  the  rifle  would  be  fired.  Everything  was  fixed  to  the  hunter's  satisfiu:- 
tion  and  left.  Upon  a  Sabbath  evening,  shortly  after  dark,  about  seventy  years  ago, 
a  shot  was  heard  in  the  neighborhood  by  one  now  living.     That  shot  killed  the  bear. 

The  following  new  members  were  proposed  and  elected :  Rev. 
James  Marshall,  B.  P.  Richmond,  E.  W.  Packard,  H.  D.  Page,  Vbgil 
Hungerford,  Nunda;  John  Fitch,  Portage;  Mark  J.  Bunnell,  Dans- 
ville. Hon.  Isaac  Hampton,  Charles  Shepard  and  Hon.  Richard 
Johnson  were  made  life  members.  Ex-President  George  Tomlinson 
of  the  Wyoming  Pioneer  society  was  elected  an  honorary  member. 

The  following  officers  and  committees  were  chosen  for  the  ensu- 
ing year : 

President— Dr.  F.  M.  Ferine. 
Vice-president — B.  P.  Richmond. 
Secretary  and  Treasurer — Norman  Seymour. 

Board  of  Councilmen— M.  H.  Mills,  Chairman,  B.  F.  Angel,  Charles  Shoh 
ard,  W.  Hamilton,  David  McNair,  J.  A,  Dana,  C.  D,  Bennett,  C,  H.  Swan,  E.  L 
McFetridge. 


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TENTH   ANNUAL   MEETING. 


Standing  Committees. 


Publication — M.  H.  Mills,  N.  Sevmour,  R.  Johnson. 
Finance— E.  H.  Davis,  M.  Wiard,  C.  K.  Sanders. 
Membership — L.  C.  Bingham,  A.  D.  Coe,  A.  T.  Norton. 
Necrology — W.  A.  Brodie,  A.  O.  Bunnell,  E.  H.  Davis. 

Town  Committees. 

Avon— E.  H.  Davis.  N.  Dansville— F.  Fielder. 

Caledonia — A.  H.  McLean.  Nunda — E.  W.  Packard. 

Conesus — A.  D.  Coe.  Ossian— Isaac  Hampton. 

Geneseo— W.  A.  Brodie.  Portage— C.  D.  Bennett. 

Groveland — J.  A.  Lake.  Sparta — A.  L.  Parker. 

Leicester — A.  M.  Wooster.  Springwater — E.  N.  Curtice. 

Lima — A,  T.  Norton.  West  Sparta — David  McNair. 

Livonia — Ira  Patchin.  York — Alexander  Reid. 
Mt.  Morris — L.  J.  Ames. 

An  excellent  dinner  was  then  served  by  Mine   Host  Posten   of 
the  Nunda  House. 


TJie  Public  Meeting 


Was  held  in  the  Academy  of  Music,  commencing  at  2  o'clock.  The 
following  program  was  observed  :  Song  by  Quartet  Club,  consisting 
of  Messrs.  G.  F.  Spencer,  George  D.  Greig,  James  Lovell  and  H. 
Willard  ;  Prayer  by  Rev.  James  Marshall ;  Address  by  the  President, 
Hon.  Norman  Seymour ;  Memorial  of  Donald  McPherson,  by  Mr. 
E.  H.  Davis ;  Memorial  of  Thomas  Wiard,  by  Mr.  J.  A.  Dana ; 
Song  by  Quartet  Club ;  Annual  Address,  by  Mr.  George  H.  Harris 
of  Rochester.  The  excellent  papers  presented  on  this  occasion  are 
given  herewith  : 


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12  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL   SOaETY. 

PRESIDENT  SE  YMO  UR'S  ADDRESS. 

Ladies  and  Gentlemen  and  Members  of  the  Livingston  County 
Historical  Society  :  We  have  gathered  here  to-day  to  review  the  labors  of  the 
past  and  render  our  tribute  of  praise  to  the  personal  worth  and  character  of  the 
band  of  noble  men  and  women,  who  years  since,  trod  tHe  soil  we  now  tread,  to 
gather  up  the  threads  of  history  of  the  early  settlement  of  our  beautiful  valley  and 
the  Genesee  country,  and  thus  to  perpetuate  the  memories  of  an  ancestry  hallowed 
for  their  indomitable  industiy,  their  noble  deeds,  homely  virtues  and  Christian  ex- 
ample. And  one  of  the  objects  of  our  society  is  to  gather  facts  in  relation  to  the 
early  settlement  of  each  town  in  our  county,  the  progress  and  history  of  each,  the 
recollections  and  incidents  of  the  early  settlers,  anecdotes  and  biography  ol  the 
pioneers,  the  names  of  the  soldiers  of  1812,  the  facts  as  to  the  erection  of  the  first 
grist  mills  and  sawmills,  inns  and  stores,  how  far  the  early  settlers  had  to  cany 
their  grain  to  mill  or  to  dispose  of  it,  what  prices  they  obtained,  how  far  they  drew 
their  logs  to  the  saw  mill,  how  far  they  went  to  church,  the  history  of  their  churcha 
and  their  schools,  a  description  of  their  pioneer  church  buildings  and  log  school 
houses  where  services  were  held  at  early  candle-light,  each  good  woman  carrying  her 
candlestick  with  its  genuine  tallow  dip,  in  the  summer  going  miles  to  church  in  the 
old  lumber  wagon,  m  the  winter  on  the  rude  sled  drawn  by  the  patient  oxen.  In 
fact  every  thing  that  bears  on  the  primitive  settlement  of  localities  is  what  this 
society  desires  to  obtain.  We  therefore  earnestly  ask  one  and  all  to  assist  us  in 
gathering  facts  that  the  future  historian  can  place  among  the  archives  of  our  county. 

One  of  the  most  gifted  orators  and  statesmen  of  our  land  has  said  "  that  no 
people  ever  held  lasting  power  and  greatness  who  did  not  reverence  the  virtues  of 
the  fathers  or  who  did  not  show  forth  their  reverence  by  material  and  Usting  testi- 
monials." Daniel  Webster  in  one  of  his  public  speeches  said  :  "It  did  not  happen 
to  me  to  be  born  in  a  log  cabin,  but  my  elder  brothers  and  sisters  were  bom  in  1 
log  cabin,  raised  amid  the  snow  drifts  of  New  Hampshire  at  a  period  so  early  that 
when  the  smoke. rose  first  from  its  rude  chimney  and  curled  over  the  frozen  hills, 
there  was  no  similar  evidence  of  a  white  man's  habitation  between  it  and  the  settle- 
ments on  the  rivers  of  Canada.  Its  remains  still  exist  I  make  to  it  an  annual 
visit.  I  carry  my  children  to  it  to  teach  them  the  hardships  endured  by  the  genera- 
tions which  have  gone  before  them.  I  love  to  dwell  on  the  tender  recollections,  the 
kindred  ties,  the  early  affections,  and  the  touching  narratives  and  incidents  which 
mingle  with  this  primitive  family  abode." 

Some  writer  speaking  of  the  past  says  :  **  But  the  dear  old  oxen  how  awk- 
ward and  distressed  they  look.  Juno  wept  in  the  face  of  every  one  of  them.  The 
horse  is  a  true  citizen  and  is  entirely  at  home  on  the  paved  streets,  but  the  ox,  what 
a  complete  embodiment  of  all  rural  and  rustic  things.  Slow,  deliberate,  thidc 
skinned,  powerful,  bulky,  ruminating,  fragrant  breathed— when  he  comes  to  town, 
the  .spirit  and  suggestions  of  all  bucolics  come  with  him.  Oh,  citizens,  was  it 
only  a  plodding  unsightly  brute  that  went  by?  Was  there  no  chord  in  your  bosom 
long  silent  that  gratefully  vibrated  at  the  sight  of  that  patient,  herculean  couple  ? 
Did  you  smell  no  hay  or  sweet  cropped  hert)age,  see  no  summer  pastiu-es  with  cir- 
cles of  cool  shade,  hear  no  voice  of  herds  among  the  hiLs?  They  were  truly  the 
only  horses  your  grandfathers  ever  had,  not  much  trouble  to  harness  and  unharness 
them,  not  much  vanity  on  the  roads  those  days.  They  did  all  the  work  on  the 
pioneer  farm,  they  were  the  gods  whose  rude  strength  first  broke  the  sod,  they  lived 
where  the  moose  rambled.  If  there  was  no  clover  and  timothy  to  be  haid,  then  the 
twigs  of  the  basswood  and  birch  would  do.  Their  wide  spreading  horns  gleamed  m 
the  darkness,  their  paths  and  the  paths  of  the  cows  became  tl^  future  roads  and 
highways,  or  even  the  streets  of  the  great  cities." 

NUNDA 

Was  taken  from  the  town  of  Angelica  in  March,  1808.  Among  the  first  set- 
tlers of  the  town  coming  in  about  1806  were  Phineas  Bates  and  Bela  Elderkin, 
locating  near  the  village,  followed  by  Abner  Tuttle,  David  and  Pel^  Corey,  Reu- 


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TENTH  ANNUAL  MEETING.  1 3 

ben  Sweet,  Gideon  Pbwell,  G.  W.  Herrick,  Wm.  P.  Wilcox,  James  Ferine,  John 
H.  Townsend.  Nunda  then  comprised  eight  townships,  four  within  the  Holland 
land  purchase.  In  i8io  it  had  a  population  of  499  and  99  senatorial  electors.  The 
first  inn  keeper  was  Alanson  Hubbell  in  1820,  W.  P.  Wilcox,  the  pioneer  mer- 
chant, the  same  year.  In  181$  Willoughby  Lowell  built  the  first  sawmill,  in  1828 
Lindsly  Joslyn  and  Samuel  Swain  the  fii^t  grist  milL  The  Baptists  organized  the 
first  church  in  18 19,  Elder  Samuel  Messenger  was  the  first  preacher,  followed  by 
Elder  Bennett.  Nunda  was  known  by  the  Indians  as  Nunda  O,  signifying  hilly, 
and  by  some  meaning  "  potato  ground."  This  town  was  known  years  ago  as  the 
place  where  Fort  Hill  is  situated,  the  historic  spot  where  Captain  Horatio  Jones  in 
1777  ran  the  gauntlet  of  the  Senecas.  About  the  year  1800  the  Tuscarofa  tract  on 
which  the  villa^ge  of  Nunda  is  located  came  into  market.  It  formerly  belonged  to 
the  estate  of  Luke  Tierman  of  Baltimore.  In  1820  the  late  Hon.  Charles  H.  Car- 
roll, agent,  commenced  selling  farms.  The  village  was  laid  out  in  1824.  Wm.  P. 
Wilcox  was  the  first  postmaster.  Among  the  early  merchants  were  Samuel  and 
David  Swain,  H.  Grover,  Dr.  Wright  and  Dr.  Gilmore  the  early  physicians,  and 
W.  Hammond  one  of  the  first  justices  of  the  peace.  The  first  town  meeting  held 
in  Nunda,  then  in  Allegany  county,  was  at  the  house  of  John  Potter,  April  7,  18 18, 
Aziel  Fitch  supervisor,  Owen  Mijler  town  clerk.  The  first  list  of  jurors  in  1818 
were  Zopher  Strong,  George  Williams,  Benj.  B.  Earls,  Nathan  B.  Nichols,  Walter 
Bennett,  Ephraim  Kingsley,  Thos.  Olcott,  jr.,  Wm.  Walker,  Allen  Miller,  Prosper 
Adams,  David  Fancher,  Aziel  Fitch.  At  the  town  meeting  in  .1819  the  overseers 
of  the  poor  were  authorized  to  pay  J|20  for  removing  Betsey  Hunt  to  Glean  **  that 
she  may  go  to  her  husband."  James  Payne  came  into  the  town  about  181 7  and 
located  at  what  is  now  called  Dalton.  He  assisted  in  surveying  and  laying  the  state 
road  from  Geneseo  to  Angelica  and  also  in  laying  out  lands  for  Col.  Geo.  Williams. 
He  drew  straw  for  his  stock  from  Geneseo,  and  once  went  to  Dansville  to  mill 
carrying  his  grist  on  his  back.  Samuel  Swain,  sr.,  came  into  the  town  of  Mt.  Mor- 
ris about  1 81 8  locating  before  moving  to  Nunda  on  the  road  near  the  picket  line. 
He  came  all  the  way  from  New  Hamp>shire  in  a  lumber  wagon  drawn  by  a  yoke  of 
oxen  and  one  horse,  the  wagon  containing  all  his  family  and  his  household  goods. 
At  the  census  of  1875  there  were  in  the  town  of  Nunda  84  persons  whose  age  was 
over  70  years. 

PORTAGE 

Was  taken  from  Nunda  and  organized  in  March,  1827.  Its  first  settlers  came  in  in 
1 8 10,  Jacob  Shaver,  supposed  to  be  the  pioneer,  settled  on  lot  150.  The  town  is 
hilly  and  the  extreme  point  is  about  two  hundred  feet  higher  than  the  N.  Y.  and  E. 
R.  R.  that  passes  through  the  town.  Among  the  first  settlers  of  the  town  were 
Messrs.  Adams,  Halliday,  Bennett,  Messinger,  Wilner,  Dr.  tlisha  Moses,  Aziel 
Fitch,  CoL  Geoi^e  Williams.  Sanford  Hunt  was  one  of  the  early  settlers  and 
came  mto  the  town  in  the  fall  of  181 8.  He  was  born  in  Tolland  county,  Conn.,  in 
April  1777.  In  1799  he  married  a  daughter  of  Dr.  Samuel  Rose,  a  surgeon  in  the 
revolutionary  army.  He  resided  in  Greene  county  previous  to  coming  into  Livings- 
ton county.  His  journey  occupied  eleven  days.  Mr.  Hunt  had  a  family  of  nine 
children — Samuel  R.,  John  H.,  Washington.  Horace,  Sanford,  Junius,  Edward  B. 
and  three  daughters.  At  the  time  Mr.  Hunt  moved  into  Portage  there  were  but 
few  settlers  and  the  township  was  almost  an  unbroken  wilderness.  The  pioneers  of 
Portage,  like  those  of  Nuncla,  were  fully  equal  to  the  trials  and  privations  incident 
to  new  settlements.  Their  intelligence  and  force  of  character  were  truly  remark- 
able. They  early  gave  attention  to  the  establishment  of  schools.  No  district  of 
the  same  extent  and  population  has  exceeded  Purtage  in  turning  out  from  its  com- 
mon schools  so  many  scholars  and  business  men.  We  name  among  these  Dr. 
Moses,  Dr.  Parmalee  and  two  brothers.  Col.  Williams  and  Solomon  Williams,  Gov. 
Washington  Hunt,  Lieut.  E.  B.  Hunt,  Sanford  and  Horace  Himt,  David  Bennett 
and  four  brothers,  Nathaniel  and  Hiram  Olney,  George  Gearhari,  Prosper  Adams, 
Zophar  Strong,  John  Boughton,  Curtis  Coe,  Doctor'  Carpenter,  Aziel  t  itch,  Elijah 
Elmer,  S.  Spencer.  In  the  year  1824  a  library  association  was  organized  with  San- 
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f4  LIVINGSTON   COUNTY   HISTORICAL  SOaETY, 

ford  Hunt  librarian,  its  patrons  coming  ten  miles  to  draw  bodes.  John  Moha«^ 
the  Seneca  Indian  that  Major  Van  Campen  tomahawked,  with  his  old  squaw  was  a 
frequent  visitor  at  Mr.  Hunt's  store  and  house  in  Portage,  always  obtaining  food  and 
paymg  for  it  by  invoking  the  blessing  of  the  Great  Spirit  on  Mrs.  Hunt,  and 
occasionally  presenting  her  with  a  nicely  carved  butter  ladle.  Mr.  Hunt  had  a 
large  trade  with  the  Indians  extending  along  the  Genesee  valley  from  Squakie  Hill 
to  Caneadea.  He  shared  their  fullest  confidence.  Sanford  Himt  was  a  worthy 
representative  of  ihe  better  portion  of  the  "  ancient  regime."  He  was  liberal,  pub- 
lic spirited,  of  sterling  integrity,  a  noble,  quiet,  unostentatious  man.  He  died  in 
Portage  in  June,  1849.  ^^^'  George  Williams  was  also  one  of  the  early  pioneeis 
of  the  town,  and  was  one  of  the  most  extensive  landholders  in  the  town  and  coun- 
ty. We  regret  that  we  have  not  been  able  to  obtain  a  history  of  his  early  experi- 
ences.    He  died  in  the  year  181 6. 

Among  the  early  settlers  of  Portage  were  three  g