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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 88: History of the Mohawk Valley from 1825 to 1865.

[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 1307-1328 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. Some images have been relocated to the area in the text where they are discussed. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Biographies | Illustrations | Maps | Portraits

Go back to: Chapter 87 | ahead to: Chapter 89

Record of Valley events from the opening of the Erie Canal to the end of the Civil War — Town building and manufacturing in the Mohawk Valley stimulated by the Erie Canal — Reform movements of the period, abolition, women's suffrage, and equal rights, temperance — Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Johnstown, pioneer American suffragist, joined by Susan B. Anthony, a school-teacher of Canajoharie, in 1850 — 1831, Building of the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad — 1836, Utica and Schenectady Railroad — End of turnpike traffic — Bouck and Seymour, New York State governors, from the Mohawk Valley — 1861-1865, the Mohawk Valley in the Civil War.

The construction of the Erie canal, during the period from 1817 to 1825, greatly boomed all the Mohawk Valley canal towns. This was the great period of town building in the Mohawk Valley, greater by contrast than any time since then. This great town development period continued up until the beginning of the Civil War. Of course it has continued ever since and is still continuing but the actual making of the chief elements of the towns of the Mohawk Valley lies within the years from 1817 to 1860.

As previously stated, the construction of the Erie Canal marked the beginning of a general period of town building in the Mohawk Valley, as well as along its entire route, from Albany to Buffalo. Before Erie Canal construction work started in 1817, there were but six towns of any size along the Mohawk River from its outlet into the Hudson to Rome, 115 miles by canal westward. These six towns were Waterford, at the mouth of the Mohawk, Schenectady, Johnstown, Herkimer, Utica, Whitesboro, and Rome. There were other towns and hamlets as follows: Niskayuna, a hamlet; Amsterdam, a small but growing village; Tribes Hill, a little village; Amsterdam, Caughnawaga (Fonda), Fultonville, Canajoharie, Fort Plain, St. Johnsville, little villages; Little Falls, a small, lively, growing village; Mohawk and Frankfort, little villages; Ilion and Oriskany, hamlets. Besides the foregoing Schenectady and Utica were cities, small in comparison with these cities today, but nevertheless city centers to the Mohawk Valley people of 1817, when the Erie was begun, and 1825, when it was completed. In 1825, Schenectady had about 4,000 people and Utica about 3,500. Conditions surrounding these towns were still very primitive and very much those which had existed since their foundation. The time during and following the construction of the Erie Canal witnessed the beginning of the development of our Valley towns, from the crude frontier centers of Colonial days into the modern, comfortable, efficient, civilized communities of the present day.

It is difficult for us to realize the enormous amount of human energy that has gone into the building of even our smallest villages. First came the wooden sidewalk, replacing the muddy footpaths, then pounded (not crushed) stone was used on the miry dirt streets, where wagons frequently sank to their hubs in mudholes. This stone treatment was ineffective as the town streets seemed as miry the year following the stone application as they did before. Some towns did some paving with cobblestones. The water question also became important in some cases. Little Falls put in an archaic water system of logs with holes bored through the center and fitted together and laid underground. At certain street corners, stood penstocks with spigots where the housewife could go for a pail of water. They continued to stand until about 1880.

Later in this period the city and village streets were "illuminated" with oil lamps. Then came the general use of gas in cities and incorporated villages. It was in the middle of the next period — that from the end of the Civil War to the year 1900 — that electric lighting for towns began to be introduced along the Mohawk. There was practically no general adoption of civic systems of water supply and sewage until this latter period, and no paving except in Utica and Schenectady. All these developments were generally made so gradually that the people of this day do not realize the enormous amount of human labor and the cost in money which has gone into the making of our Valley cities and towns-entirely aside from the much greater cost of construction of houses, schools, church, business and industrial structures and transportation systems of our Valley.

The development of transportation moved rapidly in the Mohawk Valley, following the construction of the Erie Canal. In the next year after its completion, 1826, a charter was granted to the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad with Stephen Van Rensselaer of Albany, as president and George W. Featherstonaugh [i.e., Featherstonhaugh] of Schenectady County, as vice-president, the latter being the promoter of the railroad.

In 1827 an act was passed by the New York Legislature, setting free the slaves of the State. The number of slaves had been decreasing for some time. Those that were freed generally remained with their former masters, who generally gave them kindly treatment and with whom their position was largely that of servants rather than slaves. For some reason the old colored slave stock in the Mohawk Valley has largely died out.

In 1827, the village of Vernon, Oneida County, was incorporated.

In 1829 Canajoharie was incorporated as a village. It with the other Valley canal towns experienced a rapid growth in the decade following the completion of the Erie Canal. All the Mohawk River towns, with the exception of Herkimer, Fonda and St. Johnsville may be considered as canal towns. Amsterdam and Little Falls were mainly located on the north shore of the Mohawk but the distance to the canal was very short. Port Jackson grew up on the south shore along the Erie Canal at Amsterdam and was subsequently incorporated in the city. In 1829 the first bridge across the Mohawk, on the present site, was erected at Fort Plain.

In 1830, Harry Burrell of Salisbury, Herkimer County, made the first shipment of American cheese to England, the amount being 10,000 pounds. From this time onward, Little Falls rapidly grew to be the chief cheese market in the United States, a position it held up to about 1900, when Utica supplanted it, and when the Mohawk Valley farmers turned to selling their raw milk to milk distributing companies instead of sending it to the numerous cheese factories.

At the period of 1830, however, most of the Valley cheese was made on the farms. "Herkimer County cheese" soon began to have a national reputation.

[Painting: Governor Enos T. Throop]

Johnstown was the birthplace of Enos T. Throop (1784-1875). Here he studied law and began its practice. He later removed to the Auburn neighborhood where he was a resident at the time of his election as governor, serving in 1831 and 1832. He was one of the Empire State's most progressive executives. He was instrumental in abolishing imprisonment for debt and in making the death penalty a punishment for murder only, New York State being the pioneer in this as in many other reforms.

In 1831, Eliphalet Remington, Jr., opened his factory at Ilion for the manufacture of guns and other iron and steel articles. In 1816, the Remingtons lived at Crane's Corners. Then they moved into the Ilion Gulph at a point about three miles south of Ilion where Eliphalet, Sr., and Eliphalet, Jr., conducted a forge and rifle factory until the removal to present Ilion.

The knit goods industry of America had its birth in the Mohawk Valley at Cohoes in 1831. In that year Timothy Bailey and Egbert Egberts invented a power knitting machine, all previous ones having been operated by hand. This was the beginning of this important industry of which Cohoes soon became a busy center. Manufacture was begun there in 1832.

In 1831 the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad was opened, running from Albany to Schenectady. This was the first steam link of the New York Central Railroad. The formal opening of the road was on August 13, 1831. A grand excursion was run September 24, 1831, when a great celebration was held at Schenectady. The original DeWitt Clinton train, which made this famous and historic trip, is now on exhibition on the balcony of the Grand Concourse in the Grand Central Terminal, New York City. It is illustrated in the chapter on the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad.

In 1832 Utica was made a city in a year when the country suffered from a cholera epidemic, which afflicted Utica as well as the rest of the Mohawk Valley. In the same year (1832) Fort Plain was incorporated as a village.

The Herkimer Manufacturing and Hydraulic Co., of Herkimer was organized in 1833. The object of the company was to dam the West Canada Creek for the production of water power. This dam was erected, producing picturesque Mirror Lake on the northern limits of the town.

In 1833, the Schenectady and Saratoga Railroad was constructed, the second to be built in the State of New York.

In 1834, Camden, Oneida County, was incorporated as a village.

Work on the enlargement of the Erie Canal was started in 1835.

1836 marked the opening of the Utica and Schenectady Railroad. Again the celebrated DeWitt Clinton train carried a cheering holiday-making crowd on the first trip which was made on August 1st, 1836. Great crowds of people turned out at all the Valley towns, between Schenectady and Utica, and greeted the first railroad train with great enthusiasm. Another important link had been added to the growing railroad system of New York State and another important step forward had been taken in the Mohawk Valley — Gateway to the West.

Freight traffic over the present New York Central — "America's Greatest Railroad," had its beginning at Palatine Bridge in 1836. A family wished to move its household goods from that station to Schenectady. The railroad had been chartered to carry only passengers but the conductor accepted the baggage or freight, charging $14, a big sum for those days. The New York State Legislature, in 1837, authorized the railroad to carry freight and later passed a law allowing passengers to have a certain amount of personal baggage carried free. See Chapter 87 on early railroad building in the Mohawk Valley.

In 1836, the Chenango Canal was built running south from Utica to Binghamton. It was a considerable carrier of coal in its day. It is now abandoned.

[Photo: Montgomery County Court House at Fonda]

In 1836 the county seat of Montgomery County was changed from Johnstown to Fonda. The increase of population along the Mohawk River, coincidental with the building of the Erie Canal and the Utica and Schenectady Railroad had made a strong demand for this change which was bitterly opposed by Johnstown village and township. The change was carried at an election and the State Legislature thereupon authorized it. Johnstown had been the county seat for 64 years, since the setting up of Tryon County in 1772.

On October 19, 1836, a monument was unveiled in the Stone Arabia Reformed Church to the memory of Colonel John Brown, who was slain at the battle of Stone Arabia just 56 years before. The impressive ceremonies were attended by a number of aged Revolutionary veterans who had fought with their gallant commander on that bloody field.

In 1836 the manufacture of cotton cloth began at Cohoes and that of ready made clothing at Utica.

1838 marked the separation of the County of Fulton from Montgomery and setting up of Johnstown as the county seat of Fulton. This was the last boundary change in the six Mohawk Valley counties, except that Hamilton County was later separated from Fulton.

In 1839 the Utica and Syracuse Railroad was built. This completed the railroad line between Albany and Syracuse, the present Mohawk Division which was the first division of the present New York Central Railroad to be thus finished along its present route.

In 1840 Elizabeth Cady of Johnstown, was married to Henry B. Stanton, a prominent abolitionist lecturer. The abolition movement had gained a very considerable headway at this time, having been agitated in the Mohawk Valley for a period of ten years or more prior to 1840. Elizabeth Cady was the daughter of Judge Daniel Cady, who occupied an eminent position among Valley jurists. In this stern and reactionary parental atmosphere Elizabeth Cady, naturally a rebel, developed the most advanced ideas on the equal political and civil rights of women. Practically all of her later political program was developed in the first 25 years of her life spent in Johnstown prior to her marriage in 1840. Elizabeth Cady is one of the most brilliant and forceful women in the history of the world.

She was the first active figure in the beginnings of the women's suffrage movement and largely its originator in a practical political form. Elizabeth Cady Stanton became interested in antislavery and in women's rights. She had a hearing before the New York Legislature in 1844 on the married women's property bill. Mr. and Mrs. Stanton settled in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1847, and here Mrs. Stanton and Lucretia Mott signed a call for the first women's rights convention which met in Mrs. Stanton's home in 1848, and which was the subject of an enormous amount of ridicule. In 1854 Mrs. Stanton addressed the New York Legislature on the right of suffrage and in 1860 on the right for divorce for drunkenness. In 1865 Mrs. Stanton ran for Congress in New York City and received about 20 votes. Elizabeth Cady Stanton's brave work for the political advancement of women and of legal reform for their benefit makes her one of the great progressive figures of American. [sic]

Mrs. Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony are the founders of the suffragist movement in America, but Mrs. Stanton is the pioneer suffragist of the world because, at the Seneca Falls meeting of 1848, she introduced a resolution calling on the women of America to demand the right of suffrage.

Elizabeth Cady was the progenitor of the cause of women's suffrage for she got her inspiration from her brave soul alone and the idea grew with her from a child. Her weapons were her keen mind and ready wit — for she was one of the world's most brilliant women. As a child in Johnstown, she developed her practical theories and freely argued them, even with her noted father. So that Johnstown truly may be called the birthplace of women's suffrage. In her memoirs, "Eighty Years and More," Elizabeth Cady Stanton gives a very interesting picture of Johnstown and the Mohawk Valley from her birth in 1815 until she married and left Johnstown in 1840.

Elizabeth Cady was closely associated with her cousin, Gerritt Smith, the famous abolitionist. As a charming young woman she took an active part in the life, ideals and work of the famous circle of reformers which met in the Smith mansion in Peterboro, south of Canastota, where many of the progressive movements of the day were inaugurated or forwarded. Gerritt Smith was a friend and supporter of John Brown of Harper's Ferry, whose "soul goes marching on." Among the many brilliant minds gathered at Peterboro, who were considered dangerous radicals in their day, none was more daring or advanced than Elizabeth Cady was on her pet subject of women's suffrage. Not alone was her fine mind and trenchant pen occupied with the cause of the rights of women — she was ever an undaunted champion of all right and all truth. She stood for human rights the world over — abolition of slavery, abolition of war, free speech, religious liberty, child welfare, political, industrial and social rights for all mankind. She was also a strong advocate of the cause of temperance. But Elizabeth Cady felt that all these causes were best served by giving women the vote. Opposition meant nothing to her and, when she and her fellow abolitionists were being hooted, hissed, insulted and abused in the streets and halls of the towns of New York State, this handsome, intellectual gentlewoman only fought the harder for the cause her brave soul knew would eventually triumph.

Surely the seeds of liberty must grow wild along the Mohawk for, not only did women's suffrage first take root here in Johnstown, but the next greatest suffragist, Susan Anthony, in 1850, went from the halls of her academy at Canajoharie, to join Elizabeth Cady Stanton in their mutual and eventually successful lifelong battle for the political rights of women, the world over. No other section of America has had such a potent part in forwarding this world cause as Johnstown and the Mohawk Valley.

Johnstown has had two great citizens who are Citizens of the World as well — Johnstonians whose lives have had a tremendous influence in the shaping of world history — Elizabeth Cady and William Johnson. Of the two, the life of the woman, Elizabeth, has had the greater influence in guiding the onward march of humanity.

Mrs. Stanton died in New York City in 1902, aged 87, when several states had already adopted full suffrage for women.

Women voted in the thirteen original states from 1620 until 1778, when New York abolished it, followed by other states, New Jersey being the last in 1848, the year Mrs. Stanton made her call for liberty — full women's suffrage.

See Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "Eighty Years and More," "History of Women's Suffrage," "The Woman's Bible," etc.

In 1840 (later General) Abner Doubleday invented the great game of baseball at Cooperstown. This was not in the Mohawk Valley. Doubleday, lived in Ballston Springs and traveled back and forth to Green's School in Cooperstown, where the game was first played. This truly great man traveled from Fort Plain to Cooperstown by stage over the Otsquago Trail.

1840 marked the beginning of the great Amsterdam rug and carpet industry when the first carpet factory was established at Hagaman by Wait, Greene & Co.

In 1840 George Westinghouse, Senior, perfected the threshing machine at his factory at Central Bridge, Schoharie County, where he had been working on the invention for over ten years.

The chapter on the Mohawk Valley in 1840 gives a very clear and comprehensive picture of our Valley at that period — which was nearly two centuries after the first permanent settlement of white men in the Valley — at Scotia in 1658 and at Schenectady in 1661-2.

In 1841, the New York Central tracks were located at Schenectady so that they followed the present line into the city. Previously passengers going from Schenectady went by stage to the foot of the bluff where they entered a railroad car and were pulled up the incline by a stationary engine. The cars were then hitched onto an engine and drawn to Albany. A new station was built at Schenectady on the site of the present one. This change gave an all-rail route from Albany to Schenectady over the line of the present Mohawk Division.

In 1842 the Hagaman carpet industry was moved to Amsterdam by William K. Greene. In a few years John Sanford acquired an interest in the business, which was the beginning of the great Sanford rug and carpet manufacturing interests at Amsterdam. The manufacture of woolen goods started at Little Falls in 1842. The manufacture of stoves and furnaces began at Utica in 1842. This was the beginning of the present great heater and furnace industry at Utica.

Another phase in the development of Mohawk Valley transportation was marked by the discontinuance of stages on the Mohawk Turnpike in 1843. This marked the end, for a time, of the Turnpike as a great transportation route. It then lay dormant until the beginning of automobile touring about 1900.

[Painting: Governor William C. Bouck]

William C. Bouck, of the town of Fulton, Schoharie County, was elected governor of New York in 1842, serving in 1843 and 1844. Governor Bouck had been a canal commissioner and had been prominently identified with the building of the Erie Canal. In relation to the election of Bouck it may be remembered that the Mohawk Valley was a democratic region, from 1788 up to about 1880, a period of nearly a century.

In 1843, Clinton, Oneida County, received a village charter.

Mohawk was chartered as a village in 1844. In 1844 the manufacture of matches was begun at Frankfort.

Remsen, Oneida County, was made a village in 1845.

In 1845 the first telegraph line in the United States was run westward through the Mohawk Valley from New York to Albany to Buffalo. The company had its chief office at the central point of Utica. The first through line of steam canal boats, from New York to Buffalo, was started in this year. The manufacture of locomotives was begun at Schenectady in 1845, this being the beginning of the present great locomotive plant of the American Locomotive Company at present Schenectady. In this year the first American college course in engineering was inaugurated in Union College, Schenectady. The manufacture of yarn was begun at Little Falls in 1845.

In 1845 Elihu Root was born in a house standing on the campus of Hamilton College, then occupied by his father, who was a professor of mathematics in the college. This new arrival in the Root family was destined to become one of the greatest citizens not only of the Mohawk Valley, but also of the United States and the world at large — as a lawyer, statesman, senator and as a great international constructive statesman and worker for world amity and understanding.

From 1846 to 1848, the War with Mexico agitated the Valley together with the rest of the United States. The Mexican war only added to the heat of the conflict between the slavery and anti-slavery elements. This conflict already was becoming bitter in the Mohawk Valley. Efforts were made to stop abolitionist meetings, and in many quarters, abolitionists were generally considered in the same light in which the Bolsheviki are looked upon today. The strength of the abolitionists lay in the justice of their cause and their numbers gradually increased until they became a formidable party in the Mohawk Valley as elsewhere in the United States. The temperance element also developed strength coincidentally.

The Mohawk Valley, at this period, and until after the emancipation proclamation, was one of the "underground railways," that is, one of the routes taken by escaping slaves on their way from the South to free Canada. Certain well known abolitionists in the Valley housed the slaves in the daytime and moved them on, to the next station, at night. Abolitionists and pro-slavery people were fanatical in their views, a state of the public mind in which all reforms seem to be brought about.

In 1846 the first kid glove factory was established at Johnstown. The gloves had previously been made in the homes of Johnstown and Gloversville by the women of the family. Payment for the gloves was made by barter with the local merchants, settlements being made on the first of the year. This system prevailed up to the Civil war, when glove making developed into a great commercial industry.

The manufacture of woolens and worsteds began at Utica in 1847.

In 1848 the manufacture of cotton cloth (white goods) started in Utica. The industry had developed in the present Utica district first at New York Mills in 1808. White goods manufacture is now one of the great industries of Utica. In 1848, the Utica gas company and water company were inaugurated.

The Utica Steam Cotton Mills of 1848 was one of the first manufacturing plants in the Valley to use steam instead of water power.

In 1848, a power dam was built across the Chuctanunda at Amsterdam and the water power development of that stream began on a large scale. This power was subsequently increased by the construction of storage reservoirs on this stream in 1855, 1865 and 1875. This enterprise had much to do with the development of Amsterdam into a great industrial city. In 1848, Fultonville received a village charter.

Chester A. Arthur, later President of the United States, was a resident of Schenectady during his boyhood and young manhood, his father being a clergyman in one of the city churches. In 1848, Chester A. Arthur was graduated from Union College, Schenectady.

In 1849 the Black River Canal was built, connecting the Erie Canal at Rome with the Black River northeast of Boonville. The Black River was used as a canal to Lyons Falls and later to Carthage. A considerable commerce was then developed on the Black River and the canal. Passenger and freight steamboats ran on the Black River from Lyons Falls to Carthage.

In 1850, the population of the six Mohawk Valley counties was 193,575, the greater part of which was located on the Valley farms.

[Photo: Canajoharie School]

In 1848, Susan B. Anthony, the later suffrage leader, was a preceptress or lady principal and teacher in Canajoharie Academy. In the history of women's suffrage, Canajoharie takes a prominent place, as it was while living here in Canajoharie, that Miss Anthony became interested in the anti-slavery cause and later in that of women's political rights. Susan B. Anthony finally gave up teaching in 1850, left Canajoharie and joined Elizabeth Cady Stanton at her home in Seneca Falls, where Mrs. Stanton was already advocating women's suffrage. Together these two intellectual leaders made a strong plea for their cause, which might not have succeeded without their united strength. As Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a native of Johnstown and there developed her ideas of women's political and legal rights, and, as Miss Anthony became interested in the same subjects here in Canajoharie — the Mohawk Valley truly may be said to be the cradle of the cause of women's suffrage and of women's political rights — progressive politics and political ideals which have become the political creed of women the world around.

Miss Anthony was born in 1820 and died in 1906, aged 86 years, at a time when many of the western states had adopted women's suffrage.

The going of Miss Anthony from Canajoharie to Seneca Falls, to join Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her suffrage work may be said to mark an epoch in world history. The partnership of these two brillant minds, begun in 1850, has wrought a revolution in world politics — all within a space of seventy-five years. This is none the less true, because the effects of equal rights and suffrage for women have not yet developed to their full strength. However, the women of China and of the most remote and supposedly backward countries of the world are now demanding an equal place and equal justice with men. World-wide suffrage can be predicted within the next fifty years. The women's suffrage movement had its birth in the Mohawk Valley. It was the creation of the mind of Elizabeth Cady and developed by her in Johnstown, prior to the time she left there in 1840, at the age of twenty-five. While a school teacher at Canajoharie for two years, Susan B. Anthony acquired the ideas which led her to join forces with Elizabeth Cady in the fight for world freedom for women. Elizabeth was the thinker and creator while Susan was the unbeatable executive in the partnership.

The people who stood at the Palatine Bridge station, in 1850, and watched a woman, dressed with Quaker simplicity, board a westward bound Utica and Schenectady train would have laughed at the idea that the quiet but determined school-ma'am was then making world history — but world history was being made nevertheless, just as it frequently is put over in just such quiet, unobtrusive ways. Only a minor part of history is made to the blare of trumpets, the rattle of rifle-fire or the boom of cannon. The major part is that which belongs at all times to the quiet lives of decent people all over the United States.

In 1851, Fonda and Gloversville secured village charters. In this year the manufacture of locomotive headlights began at Utica.

In 1852 Ilion became a village. An iron works was established at Utica in 1852.

Bridges were built across the Mohawk at St. Johnsville and Fort Hunter in 1852; the latter bridge being the suspension bridge now in use, one of the first constructed in the state.

In 1853, the New York Central Railroad was formed of all the roads then operating between Albany and Buffalo, inclusive of the Mohawk Valley lines, Mohawk and Hudson (Albany to Schenectady). Utica and Schenectady and Utica and Syracuse. This was the first large merger in the history of railroading in the United States.

In 1853 the Fort Plain Seminary opened its doors. It was an important educational institution of the Middle Mohawk Valley up to the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861. It continued, with waning attendance, until it closed its doors in 1879, being then succeeded by Clinton Liberal Institute.

Horatio Seymour was one of the most noteworthy and brilliant statesmen the Mohawk Valley has produced. He was elected governor of New York in 1852, on the Democratic ticket, serving during the years 1853 and 1854. He was a lawyer with offices in Utica, while his residence was in Deerfield, opposite the city.

In 1854 the Utica and Black River Railroad was opened to Boonville. It was extended to Carthage in 1870. This road is now a division of the New York Central Railroad.

Boonville, Oneida County, received a village charter in 1855.

The Republican party was in process of formation in the years 1854 and 1855, being largely organized from the former Whig organizations, which fell to pieces largely because of its lack of unity on the question of slavery. The abolitionists of the Valley rallied to the new party almost to a man. They supported John C. Fremont for president in 1856 and watched the battle of Lincoln and Douglas in the West with interest. The anti-slavery issue aroused intense bitterness particularly in the Mohawk Valley with its dominating Democratic element. Everybody felt that a crisis was approaching in national affairs.

In 1857, the Fort Plain free bridge was built closely alongside a toll bridge, on the site of the present bridge. This was the beginning of the finally successful fight for free bridges. It is difficult, at this day, to realize that bridges and highways were not free, in many cases up to 1900 and later. The Schenectady-Scotia bridge was not made free until March 11, 1920.

The manufacture of knit goods began at Amsterdam in 1857. This is now one of the largest industries of that city. St. Johnsville was incorporated as a village in 1857. Newport, Herkimer County, received a village charter in the same year.

Webster Wagner of Palatine Bridge, had been working on plans for sleeping cars for some time previous to 1858, when he built his first car, which first ran over the New York Central Railroad on September 1, 1858. A company was formed for the manufacture of the Wagner sleeping cars. Finding that the passengers in his sleeping cars suffered from lack of ventilation, in 1859, Mr. Wagner invented the elevated car roof with ventilators, now in general use on American railways.

An incident of 1858, reminiscent of the passing of the Mohawks, is contributed for this work by Douglas Ayres, Jr., the archaeologist of Fort Plain. It relates to the section known as the Hog's Back south of Fort Plain, between that town and Canajoharie on the south shore of the Mohawk, and is as follows:

"Although the Long Houses of the Mohawks were scattered all about over the Hog's Back and adjoining land, there seems to have been a favorite camping ground on the land now owned by Mr. George Waner. What may be one of the last recorded encampments of Mohawks took place on this farm in the autumn of 1858. Mr. George Waner was then a small boy and he remembers that his father, Mr. John Waner, feared an Indian attack. Consequently he sat up all night with his rifle loaded protecting his family. But the Indians were not on the warpath, and after staying one night on their ancient camping ground they journeyed on. Whither they traveled or what was their mission we do not know."

Indians came to the Valley in small bands and camped in the woods, prior to this date. One of their camp sites was on Luck Hill (then so-called) north of Nelliston. These stays were temporary. The Indians peddled baskets, roots, furs, etc.

In 1859, (later Senator) James Arkell began the manufacture of cloth bags at Canajoharie. This was the beginning of the present-day great Arkell industrial interests at Canajoharie. In 1863, at the height of the Civil war conflict, the village of Frankfort was incorporated. Knit goods manufacture began in Utica in the same year. This has now developed into one of Utica's greatest industries.

Hon. Roscoe Conkling of Utica, was a noted lawyer, a brilliant orator and an astute Republican politician, being the dominant ruling factor in Republican National politics, in the decade from 1870 to 1880. He was born in Albany in 1829 and started his remarkable political career in 1858, when he was elected mayor of the city of Utica. In 1859 he was elected to Congress as the representative of the Oneida County district and served through the Civil War until 1867, when he was elected United States Senator from New York. He was an ardent supporter of President Lincoln and his war policies. Roscoe Conkling was a brilliant man of great talents and probably the most conspicuous example of a machine political dictator in American history. Martin Van Buren and "Tom" Platt were amateurs by comparison with the Oneida County political leader.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln, the "Man of the Ages," was elected President of the United States on the Republican ticket. In 1861, the War of the Rebellion began and Lincoln called for volunteers. The response was immediate and the young men and many older and old ones — of the Mohawk Valley rallied under the Stars and Stripes to fight for their country in its second great battle for national existence and the cause of freedom.

It was a mighty struggle, well recorded in a number of histories. The part the men of the Mohawk played in the terrible conflict was a noble one, deserving of perpetuation in a volume by itself — which it should some day have. It is too great a story to be given detail here, particularly as it was fought on foreign fields. Only the warfare within the confines of our Valley is covered in detail in this history.

The long-drawn out, bloody and discouraging conflict wore along through five dreary years, in the Mohawk Valley, as elsewhere. Like all great wars it developed into a conflict of attrition only enlivened by the stories of the heroism of our citizen soldiery. A long and endless procession of sick, maimed and maimed heroes returned to their homes in the Mohawk Valley, while the Central railroad carried a never-ending cargo of rough boxes containing the shattered remains of the boys in blue who had fallen on Southern fields.

In contrast with this picture we have the sinister and distressing other side which baffles and shames America in all her conflicts — the copperhead, the traitor, the slacker, "the man who loves every country but his own," the profiteer, who turned the blood of heroes into fortunes on which he and his progeny lived in luxury while the soldiers' wives and children lived in proud want or in servile charity. Then we have the unpleasant picture of the substitute buyer — the man who thought it clever and smart to buy others to bleed and suffer in his place — also the ever-present class of brainless snobs who patronized the soldiers and their families, and who later excused themselves and their other friends previously mentioned, with oft-repeated remarks that the Civil war was fought by farmers' boys and city toughs. Then there was the vast class of equally evil and brainless backbiters, crepehangers and general knockers — the people who cannot construct or help and therefore show off by an effort to continually criticise — the great class which always make the worst of things. They are with us constantly but they are particularly obnoxious in times of National stress and warfare. The great Lincoln was the particular target for this mud-slinging, just as our presidents in all our great wars have been objects of vituperation, malice and hatred — Washington, Lincoln and Wilson. We think of Lincoln today as our great national hero, but in the Civil War he got more blame than praise, even from his Northern supporters, while the campaign of envy, hatred, malice and vilification directed against him forms one of the blackest pages in our national history.

Patriotism, like truth, survives, while treason and falsehood fail and fade. The grandchildren of the man, who gloried in his treason, now place wreaths on the graves of heroes on Memorial Day. The grandson of the Copperhead now delivers Lincoln's Gettysburg address at the school patriotic celebrations, and the son of the "clever" man, who boasted that he let others do his fighting, now is careful to conceal the fact that he bought a substitute in the Civil war. As Yates aptly says, "the Copperhead seems always to have died childless." We are coming to the civilized point of view that, in times of national stress or war, man power and money power will be equally and justly conscripted. Presidents Harding and Coolidge have proclaimed it. No longer will the heroes of America die or live maimed or disfigured in order that slackers may live in ease and safety.

The traitorous element was far less in the Civil than in the Revolutionary War. Then, it is estimated, there were three patriots to two Tories in the Mohawk Valley. In the Civil War there were at least four or five patriots to one Copperhead or slacker.

And yet we have the brighter side of the Civil War picture. The undaunted, high-hearted heroes of America who rise, in every emergency, and who actually do save the country. Poor and rich, they went to the front and fought, bled and died. Those greater heroes, the soldiers' wives, stayed at home to often make patriotism and a soupbone "carry on" to the end, while the neighboring slacker reveled in the luxuries of an inflated period. They all, in their hearts, stood by Lincoln, their great commander, and they all fought the good fight to the finish. Fairs were held for the soldiers, there was a constant home-making of soldiers' necessities and comforts. Many brave, dear women went to the front as nurses, and served their country as valiantly there as their husbands, sons or brothers did upon the grimy, bloody battlefields.

Then it was at last all over, — "the cheering and the tumult dies." Men, hardened and changed, by their sacrifices tried to accommodate themselves again to the set and little conditions of the field, farm, factory or store. Many failed; many became drunkards and many became tramps — a menace and scourge for fifty years. There is one cheering side to that terrible war. It made baseball a national sport. Union soldiers from all sections learned it and Southern soldiers in Northern prison camps soon were playing it and carried it back home in 1865. General Abner Doubleday who stood and held this ground in the first wild and bloody day at Gettysburg, had created a sport which fitted the American character, and which during the war made its conquest of the youth of America.

At the end came the sudden and appalling murder of the great Lincoln. Everywhere there was mourning. He was taken back to his Springfield home and everywhere along his route there were demonstrations of the deepest sorrow.

[Portrait: Governor Horatio Seymour]

In 1862, Horatio Seymour was elected Governor of New York, on the Democratic ticket. Seymour served during the critical Rebellion years of 1863 and 1864 and was one of the Union's great war governors and one of the strongest supporters of Lincoln and the Union cause. As the chief executive of the greatest and most powerful Northern state, during one of America's most critical periods, the patriotic services of the great and brilliant Seymour deserve the fullest recognition. He was but the greatest example of the thousands of Mohawk Valley Democrats who were strong Union men.

In passing, it may be here mentioned that the Civil War began in 1861, exactly two hundred years after the settlement of the Mohawk Valley at Schenectady in 1661.

In the Civil War, as in all of America's wars, the Mohawk Valley transportation lines played a great part in achieving the final victory. The New York Central Railroad and the Erie Canal carried great numbers of men, ammunition, ordnance and supplies, from the camps and the factories to the front.

The Mohawk Valley also furnished a considerable amount of supplies to the Union armies. Uncle Sam also found a powerful aid, during this long-drawn out battle, in the Remington arms works at Ilion and its branch at Utica. Great quantities of guns were made at Ilion for the Union armies. The Remington breechloading rifle was perfected during the Civil War.

It is estimated that from 20,000 to 25,000 men from the six Mohawk Valley counties served in the armies or the navy of the United States during the Civil War.

1861-1865 — The following is a record of the Civil War military organizations in which the Union soldiers of the six Valley counties were enrolled. It is compiled from county histories.

Oneida County: The principal Civil War organizations recruited from this county were: 14th infantry; 26th infantry; 81st infantry (350 men); 97th (from Oneida, Lewis, Herkimer and Fulton); 117th infantry; 146th infantry. Oneida County had representation also in 50th (engineers), 53d, 57th, 61st, 68th, 71st, 75th, 76th, 78th, 81st, 93d, 101st infantry regiments, 3d, 8th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 20th, 22d, 24th cavalry; the Oneida cavalry, 1st mounted rifles, 1st, 2d, 3d, 13th, 14th, 16th artillery.

Herkimer County: The principal Civil War organizations largely recruited from this county were 34th infantry, known as "the Herkimer County regiment," five companies coming from this county; 97th infantry, Cos. C, D, E, F and I were largely of Herkimer County men; 121st infantry, from Herkimer and Otsego counties, 152d regiment from Otsego and Herkimer counties (360 men from Herkimer); 16th artillery (over 100 men). Other organizations in which Herkimer men were represented were 14th infantry, 26th infantry, 1st light artillery (Battery A), 2d light artillery (Battery K), 2d rifles, 18th N. Y. cavalry.

Montgomery County: The principal Civil War organizations in which Montgomery County was represented are the following: 115th infantry, 421 men; 153d infantry, 329 men; 32d infantry (Cos. B. and D), 130 men; 43d infantry (Co. E), 69 men; 1st artillery (Co. K), 65 men; 16th artillery, 36 men; 13th artillery, 33 men.

Fulton County: The principal Civil War organizations in which Fulton County was represented are the following: 153d infantry, 269 men; 115th infantry, 162 men; 77th infantry, 101 men; 10th cavalry (Co. I), 92 men; 13th artillery, 71 men; 97th infantry, 53 men; 93d infantry (Co. D), 51 men; 2d cavalry, 31 men.

Schenectady County: The principal Civil War organizations in which Schenectady County was represented are: 30th infantry, 44 men; 77th infantry, 50 men; 43d infantry, 31 men; 2d cavalry, 110 men; 69th infantry, 55 men; 18th infantry, 141 men; 134th infantry, about 380 men; 91st infantry, 156 men; 13th cavalry, 58 men; 25th cavalry, 1st rifles, 13th artillery, 177th infantry, 192d infantry.

Schoharie County: The principal Civil War organizations from Schoharie County were 134th regiment, N. Y. S. V., recruited from Schoharie and Schenectady counties. This might fittingly be called "the Schoharie County regiment," as it contained about 800 men from Schoharie. Co. I, 76th N. Y. S. V., had about 80 Schoharie County men and several hundred other Schoharie men were enlisted in many other organizations.

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