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The Onondagas live near the Salt or Onondaga Lake, about twentyfive miles from the Oneida Lake. In the spring of 1779, a regiment of men were sent from Albany by General J. Clinton, against the Onondagas. This regiment surprized their town—took thirty-three prifoners— killed twelve or fourteen, and returned without the loss of a man. A party
of the Indians were at this time ravaging the American frontiers. There are very few of the Delaware tribe in this state.
The Five confederated Nations were settled along the banks of the Sufquehannah, and in the adjacent country, until the year 1779, when General Sullivan, with an army of 4000 men, drove them from their country to Niagara, where being obliged to live on salted provifions, to which they were unaccustomed, great numbers of them died. Two hundred of them, it is said, were buried in one grave, where they had encamped. General Sullivan burnt several of their towns, destroyed their provisions, and defeated them in an engagement at Newton. Since this irruption into their country, their former habitations have been mostly deserted, and many of thein have gone into Canada.
On the 13th of November, 1787, John Livingston, Esg; and four others, obtained of the Six Nations of Indians a lease for 999 years, on a yearly rent reserved of 2000 dollars, of all the country included in the following limits, viz. beginning at a place commonly known by the name of Canada Creek, about seven miles west of Fort Stanwix, now Fort Schuyler, thence north-eastwardly to the line of the province of Quebec ; thence along the said line to the Pennsylvania line; thence east on the said line, or Pennsylania line, to the line of Property, fo called by the state of New-York; thence along the said line of Property, to Canada Creek aforesaid. And on the 8th of January, 1788, the same persons obtained a lease of the Oneida Indians, for 999 years, on a rent reserved for the first
year of 1200 dollars, and increaling it at the rate of 100 dollars a yeas, until it amount to 1500 dollars, of all the tract of land commonly called ahe Oneida country, except a refervation of several tracts specified in the lease. But these leases having been obtained without the consent of the legislature of the state, the senate and assembly, in their feston, March 1788, resolved, · That the said leases are purchases of lands; and therefore, that by the constitution of this itate the said leases are not binding on the said Indians, and are not valid.'— This very important and interefting dispute remains to be fettled.
We shall conclude this account of the Indians, with an Indian speech to Sir William Johnfon, superintendant of Indian affairs, at a treaty held with the Six Nations and others, at Fort Stanwix, in October 1768, for the settlement of a boundary line between the Colonies and the Indians.
• We remember that on our first meeting you, when you came with your ships, we kindly received you-_entertained you~entered into an alliance with you, though we were then great and numerous, and your people inconsiderable and weak. And we know that we entered into a covenant-chain of bark with you, and fastened your ship therewith. But being apprehensive the bark would break, and your ship be lost, we made one of iron, and held it fast that it should not Nip from us--but seeing the former chain was liable to ruft, we made a silver one to guard against it.'
Mands.] There are three islands of note belonging to this state, viz. York Inand, which has already been described, Long Island, and Staten Land.
Long Ifand extends from the city of New York east 140 miles, and terminates with Montauk-point. It is not more than ten miles in breadth, on a medium, and is separated from Connecticut by Long Island Sound. The island is divided into three counties; King's, Queen's, and Suffolk.
King's County lies at the west end of Long Illand, opposite New-York, and is not above ten miles long, and eight broad. The inhabitants are principally Dutch, and live well. It contains a number of pleasant villages, of which Flatbush, Brooklyn, or Breucklin, and Bedford, are the principal.
Queen's County lies next to King's, as you proceed eastward. It is about thirty miles long, and twelve broad. Jamaica, Newton, Hampstead, in which is a handsome court-house, and Oyster-bay, are the principal villages in this county.
Suffolk County is about 100 miles long, and ten broad, and comprehends all the eaftern part of the iBand, and several little islands adjoining, viz. Shelter Island, Fither's Iland,'Plumb Illand, and the Ife of Wight. Its principal towns are Huntington, Southampton, Smith-Town, Brook, Haven, Eaft-Hampton, in which is the academy, Southhold and BridgeHampton.
The south side of the island is flat land, of a light sandy soil, bordered on the sea-coast with large tracts of salt meadow, extending from the west point of the island to Southampton. This foil, however, is well calculated for raising grain, especially Indian corn. The north fide of the island is hilly, and of a strong foil, adapted to the culture of grain, hay and fruit. A ridge of hills extends from Jamaica to Southhold. Large herds of cattle feed upon Hampstead plain, and on the salt marshes upon the south side of the island.
Hampstead plain, in Queen's county, is a curiosity. It is sixteen miles in length, east and west, and seven or eight miles wide. The soil is black, and to appearance rich, and yet it was never known to have
any natural growth but a kind of wild grass, and a few shrubs. It is frequented by vast numbers of plovers. Rye grows tolerably well on some parts of the plain. The most of it lies common for cattle, horses and Theep. As there is nothing to impede the prospect in the whole length of this plain, it has a curious but tiresome effect upon the eye, not unlike that of the ocean.
East of this plain, on the middle of the island, is a barren heath, overa grown with shrub oaks and pines, in which, it is supposed, there are feveral thousand deer. It is frequented also by a great number of growse, or heath-hens, a very delicious bird. Laws have been passed for the prefervation of thefe birds and the deer.
It is remarkable, that on Montauk-point, at the east end of the inland, there are no fies. Between this point and East Hampton is a beach, three quarters of a mile wide, in the center of which was found, about fifty years ago, under a fand-hill which was blown up by the wind, the entire ikcleton of a large whale, nearly half a mile from the water,
There are very few rivers upon the ifland. The largest is Peakontok, which rises about ten miles west of a place called River head, where the court-house stands, and runs easterly into a large bay, dividing Southhold from Southampton. In this bay are Robin and Shelter Ilands.
The south side of the island is indented with numerous streams of vari. ous sizes, which fall into a large bay, two or three miles over, formed by a beach, about eighty rods wide, which appears like a border to the island, extending from the west end of it to Southampton. Through this beach, in various places, are inlets of such depth as io admir of vessels of fixty or seventy tons.
This bay was formerly fresh water. As evidences of this, the stumps of trees are to be seen in gaat numbers on the falt marsh, near the upLand, Oysters, clams, and fish of various kinds, are caught with ease, and in great plenty in this bay, with seines, during the winter seafon. It is not uncommon to see forty or fifty vessels here loading with oysters at the fame tims. And what is almoft incredible, though I was told of it by two gentlemen of truth, and who were well informed as to the matter, thirty Waggon loads of bass have been caught in this bay at one draught.
Roskonkama pond, kes about the centre of the idand, between Smithtown and Ilip, and is about a mile in circumference. This pond has been found by observation, to rise gradually for several years, until it had arrived to a certain height, and then to fall more rapidly to its lowest bed; and thus it is continually ebbing and flowing. 'The caufe of this curious phenomenon has rever been investigated. Two miles to the southward of this pond is a considerable stream, called Connecticut river, which empties into the bay.
There are two whale fisheries ; one from Sagg harbour, which produces about 1000 barrels of oil annually. The other is much smaller, and is carried on by the inhabitants in the winter season, from the south side of the iAand. They commonly catch from three to feven whales in a feason, which produce from twenty-five to forty barrels of oil. This fifhery was formerly a source of considerable wealth to the inhabitants, but through a scarcity of whales, it has greatly declined of late years.
There is a considerable trade carried on from Sagg-harbour, whence is exported to the Weft-Indies and other places, whale oil, pitch-piae boards, horses, cattle, flax-feed, beef, &c. The produce of the middle and western parts of the island is carried to New-York.
The island contains 30,863 inhabitants.
Staten Island lies nine miles fouth-weft of the city of New-York, and forms Richmond county. It is about eighteen miles in length, and, at a medium, fix or feven in breadth, and contains 3,152 inhabitants. On the south side is a considerable tract of level good land; but the island in general is rough, and the hills high. Richmond is the only town of any note on the inland, and that is a poor, inconsiderable place. The inhabitants are principally Dutch and French.
Hifory.] Hudson's River was firft discovered in 1608, by Henry Hudfon, an Englishman, who fold his claim to the Dutch.
In 1614, the States General granted a patent to several merchants, for an exclusive trade on the river Hudson. The same year this company buila
a fort on the west side of the river, near Albany, and named it Fort Orange.
In 1615, a fort was built on the southwest point of Manhattan's, now York island; but the first fettlers planted themselves about two miles from this fort, and built a church there, the ruins of which, it is said, are Aill visible, near the two milc stone on the public road. In this situation, finding themselves insecure during the wars between the English and Dutch, they left this place, and planted their habitations under the guns of the fort, which laid the foundation of the prefent city.
In 1614, Captain Argall, under Sir Thomas Dale, governor of Virginia, visited the Dutch on Hudson's river, who being unable to refift him, prudently submitted for the present, to the king of England, and under him to the governor of Virginia. Determined upon the settlement of a colony, the States-general, in 1621, granted the country to the West India company; and in the year 1629, Wouter Van Twiller arrived at Fort Amiterdam, now New York, and took upon himself the government.
In August 27, 1664, governor Stuyvefant surrendered the colony to colonel Nicolls, who had arrived in the bay a few days before, with three or four ships, and about 300 soldiers, having a commission from king Charles the Ild. to reduce the place, which then was called New Amsterdam, but was changed to New York, as was Fort Orange to Albany, ie hovour of his Royal Highness James Duke of York and Albany. Very few of the inhabitants thought proper to remove out of the country; and their numerous descendants are itill in many parts of this state, and New Jersey.
In 1667, at the peace of Breda, New York was confirmed to the English, who in exchange ceded Surinam to the Dutch.
The English kept peaceable pofleffion of the country until the year 1073, when the Dutch, with whom they were then at war, sent a small fquadron, which arrived at Staten Irland, on the 30th of July. John Manning, a captain of an independent company, who had at that time the command of the fort, sent a messenger down to the commodore, and treacherously made his terms with him: on the same day the ships came up, moored uider the fort, landed their men, and entered the garrison, without giving or receiving a fhot. All the magistrates and conftables from Eatt Jersey, Long Isand, Æsopus, and Albany, were summoned to New York; and the major part of them swore allegiance to the States General and the Prince of Orange. The conquerors, however, did not long enjoy the fruits of their success, for on the oth of February the year following, a treaty of peace between England and Holland was signed at Westminster; by the fixth article of which, this province was restored to the English, in whose hands it remained until the late revolution.
While New York remained in poffeflion of the Dutch it was called New Netherlands, and governed by a Scout, Burgomatters and Schepens. From its surrender to the English in 1664, to 1683, the province was ruled by governors, appointed and commissioned by the Duke of York, and their council, whose rules and orders had the force of laws. From the laft named period, the people were admitted to a share of the legislative - authority.
The confederated Cantons of Indians, before the incorporation of the Tuscaroras, a people driven by the Carolinians from the frontiers of Vir. ginia, consisted of five nations, viz. the Mohawks, Oneidas, Senecas,
Onondagas, and Cayugas. The alliance and trade of these fix nations, inhabiting the territory west of Albany to the distance of more than 200 miles, though much courted by the French of Canada, have been almoft uninterruptedly enjoyed by the English.
In 1684, the French attempted the destruction of these Indians, because they interrupted their trade with the more distant tribes, called the Far Nations. The Seneca Indians interrupted this trade, because the French supplied the Miamies, with whom they were then at war, with arms and ammunition.
To effect the destruction of the Indians great preparations were mado by the French. But famine and fickness prevailing among them the expedition proved fruitless. Four years after this, 1200 Indians attacked Montreal, burnt many houses, and put 1000 of the inhabitants to the sword.
In 1689, Colonel Dongan, the governor, being called home by king James, and a general disaffection to Government prevailing at New York, one Jacob Leiser took posesion of the garrison, for king William and queen Mary, and assumed the supreme power over the province. His reduction of Albany, held by others for William, and the confiscation of the estates of his opponents, was an impolitic measure; and sowed the seeds of mutual animosity, which for a long time greatly embarrassed the public affairs.
The French, in 1689, in order to detach the fix nations from the British intereft, fent out several parties against the English colonies. One of the parties, conGifting of about 200 French, and some of the Caghnuaga Indi-, ans, commanded by D'Ailldebout, De Mantel, and Lemoyne, was intended for New York. But by the advice of the Indians; they determined first to attack Skenectady,
For this place they accordingly directed their course, and after twenty days march, in the depth of winter, through the snow, carrying their provisions on their backs, they arrived in the neighbourhood of Skenectady, on the 8th of February, 1690. Such was the extreme distress to which they were reduced, that they had thoughts of surrendering themselves prisoners of war. But their scouts, who were a day or two in the village entirely unsuspected, returned with such encouraging accounts of the absolute security of the people, that the enemy determined on the attack. They errored, on Saturday night about eleven o'clock, at the gates, which were found unshut; and, that every house might be invested at the same time, divided into small parties of six or seven men.
The inhabitants were in a profound seep, and unalarmed, until their doors were broke open. Never were people in a more wretched consternation. Before they were risen from their beds, the enemy entered their houses, and began the perpetra. tion of the most inhuman barbarities
. No tongue can express the crueltjes that were committed. The whole village was instantly in a blaze, Women with child ripped open, and their infants cast into the fames, os dashed against the posts of the doors. Sixty perfons perished in the massacre, and twenty-seven were carried into captivity. The rest fled naked towards Albany, through a deep snow which fell that very night in a terrible storm; and 25 of the fugitives loft their límbs in the light, through the severity of the frost. The news of this dreadful tragedy reached Albany, about break of day, and universal dread seized the inhabitants of that city,