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Mrs. H. C. Brucker loans one made in 1848, marked Adaliza Dodge.
Miss Florence Mann loans one marked as follows:
“Cast but a smile on this my mean endeavor,
I have tried to mend and be obedient ever.”
Eighteen inches square, Sarah Cornwell sampler wrought in the ninth year of her age while under the instruction of H. L. Cobb, Palmyra, N. Y. Aug. 19th, 1840. Dogs, birds, trees, flowers the schoolhouse and trees embroidered in silk.
THE PURITAN BLOOD OF MICHIGAN
BY W. V. SMITH'
Present conditions, events of recent occurrence, have often a plain connection with events of a much earlier period, the relationship being that of cause and effect, and to trace this relationship, and keep alive in the memory of to-day our due obligation to the activities of other and earlier pioneers, is the pleasant and proper province of a society like this.
That the migration which caused the wonderful growth of our State from the time of its birth as a state up to the period of the Civil War, less than thirty years later, had behind it some cogent cause other than mere wanderlust, must be apparent. Born as a State in 1837, on a census which it is said on good authority had to be grossly padded to make out the requisite sixty thousand inhabitants, so great had been its growth that in the period of the Civil War from '61 to '65, it showed its remarkable resources in its best product by sending into the field fifty-eight military organizations comprising over eighty-nine thousand soldiers; and the homogeneity of its population is evidenced by the fact that no internal sectionalism, no party division, no race prejudice, no draft riots, showed any marked opposition to this contribution to the common cause of the North in its struggle for human liberty.
It is the purpose of this address to call attention briefly to some of those things which, as it seems to me, are of interest as having been of great influence in this growth of Michigan during this period, through the influx of immigrants, and which, to a large extent, has molded the ideas and ideals of the people of the Peninsula State. The Puritan occupancy of New England is one of the most remarkable things of modern history and not the least remarkable characteristic of these people was the increase of its population from the fecundity of the people, which made it a teeming hive, from which went out an immense immigration to the other portions of the Union following generally along lines of latitude. Among this people a dozen or more children to the family was the common, not the exceptional occurrence. This increase augmented by immigration of co-religionists from England, found room for its overflow by spreading along the coast peopling Rhode Island and Connecticut and those parts of New Hampshire and Maine that were approximate to the ocean. The interior formed for a long time an uninhabited hinterland, dangerous, because of French occupation of Canada, and from the fact that any outpost attempted to be established within it was subject to the frightful visitation of the savages from the North, incited and aided by the French, as was the case of Deerfield in the time of Queen Anne's War. These conditions continued down to the time of the French-Indian War. During this war the British in carrying on their various expeditions against the French, and in maintaining their garrisons along their northern frontier, recruited many soldiers along the New England coast and these men, serving in the interior and marching through this heretofore uninhabited region, became acquainted with its resources and, after the close of the war, when French domination in Canada ceased and danger from Indian depredations stopped with that domination, these men were the leaders of a tide of migration from all along maritime New England toward the interior which soon spread over western Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the interior. The Dutch of New York, less prolific than the Puritans, had expanded by following up the Hudson and out into the valley of the Mohawk and here in the westernmost county of the province of New York, named Tryon County, had established those settlements which then formed the frontier against the territory of the Five Nations. I might say here, parenthetically, that there was never any Six-Nations of the Iroquois properly speaking.
'Read at the midwinter meeting, Flint, January, 1910.
?The Five Nations were the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas. They encouraged other nations to incorporate with them and when they had subdued a people they adopted them into their nation. The Tuscaroras after their war with the Indians of the Carolinas fled to the Five Nations for protection in 1713 or 1714 and were incorporated, thus making Six Nations. Schoolcraft in Notes on the Iroquois, says that the traditions of the Tuscaroras affirm that they were descendants of the original family of Iroquois who traveled southward, part of them crossing the Mississippi. He further says that they had no independent claim to territory after they had leagued themselves to the Iroquois Confederacy, but were merely living there as guests, "although the Confederacy had admitted them as an integral number" and called themselves the Six Nations instead of the Five Nations.
These were the conditions existing at the time of the outbreak of the Revolutionary war, and the border warfare of that struggle had its principal scenes in the valley of the Mohawk and along the frontier of Northern Pennsylvania. At the close of that war the British abandoned their Indian allies in New York and left them to make such a peace as they ccould negotiate, which resulted in treaties opening up for settlement the western end of what is now the State of New York, but after the settlement as between the United States Government and the Indians, another contest remained to be settled. Massachusetts claimed this new region because James I, of pious memory, had in 1620 granted to the Plymouth Colony a strip of territory several degrees wide along the Atlantic seaboard and extending westward to the Pacific. This plainly included the territory of western New York. New York claimed it because Charles I, in 1663, had granted to the Duke of York lands along the Hudson from Canada to the sea and running westward indefinitely and this also plainly included the disputed territory. The contention came down to this: James, with royal generosity, gave away to the Plymouth Colony something that did not and never had belonged to him, and the Colony's rights had passed to the State of Massachusetts. Charles, with royal prodigality, had given to his brother, the Duke of York, what his father, forty years earlier, had given away to some one else, and New York had acquired the rights of the Duke of York. Both states gave up to the United States Government all of the disputed section west of a line drawn south from the west end of Lake Ontario, but this cession left about nineteen thousand square miles to quarrel over. A most proper and fitting termination of such a quarrel where it is plain neither party had any claim well founded in equity, was to compromise, which was done by a division giving to New York the governmental control, or sovereignty, of this territory and to Massachusetts the pre-emption rights, that is, the ownership of the land. Massachusetts became a landowner over a great portion of the territory of the State of New York and soon sold these lands amounting to about six million acres, to two New Englanders, Nathaniel Gorham and Oliver Phelps, who in reality represented a syndicate of capitalists, and from them Robert Morris, the financier of the Revolution, purchased about a million and a quarter acres.
These various transactions had occupied some years and in the meantime the French incited by the successful issue of the Revolution in America, had begun an agitation for popular liberty and this agitation had grown into revolution. Amsterdam, then the financial center of the World, was near the scene of its activities. Holland had been the battle ground of Europe. Governmental protection as a sanction
This compromise was brought about by a convention of commissioners held at Hartford, Conn., Dec. 16, 1786.
for the stability of property rights was becoming a thing of uncertainty and shrewd financiers of Amsterdam, foreseeing the hazard to European investments and the unstability of European governments, sought safety by transferring a portion at least of their fortunes to America. One of the results was the formation of the Holland Land Company composed of Wilhelm Wulink, Nicholas Van Strophorst, Pieter Van Eegen, Hendrick Vallenhoven and Rutger Schemmelpenninct and this Company purchased of Robert Morris, directly or indirectly, his holdings in western New York, then amounting to something like three and a third million acres. The title deeds, by which this transfer was consummated, were almost cotemporaneous with the success of the army of the Revolution at the decisive battle of Valmy.
The next decade saw a portion of these immense tracts of land surveyed and some of them opened for settlement and by the first decade of the nineteenth century, land booming, which by the way is no thing of recent days, was carried on in an extensive way throughout the New England States. The Holland Land Company and other similar companies, offered as inducements for the settlement of their new territory, which at that time was generally referred to as the Genesee Country, a long period of credit and easy terms of payments. The result was that tide of migration from out of New England from the beginning of the last century into western New York where farms were to be had at the price of two and a quarter dollars per acre on ten years terms, with no interest to be charged for the first three years. No cash pay. ment was required at the time that the articles, as the contracts were then invariably called, were executed. People who could not obtain title to lands elsewhere, took advantage of these liberal terms relying with pioneer hopefulness on the promises of the future.
Another potent cause for an outflowing of immigrants from New England was found in climatic conditions in the interior into which the tide of migration had poured after the French and Indian War. The summer of 1816 was known throughout New England as a cold summer. In Vermont, New Hampshire, interior Maine and western Massachusetts killing frosts occurred during every summer month and many a settler being discouraged by this condition, looked toward the Genesee Country of New York and this Genesee Country became, within a short time, Newer New England.
The Holland Land Company had established land offices at Batavia, Mayville and Ellicottsville. Their holdings had been organized as a county under the name of Genesee and Genesee County superseded the term "Genesee Country.” At the end of the first quarter of last century their lands were well settled but the average settler had paid little, often nothing upon his contract. The hardships of pioneer life, the maintenance of the large families on the meagre products of the soil, which products were almost entirely unsaleable for cash, had brought the natural results; they had pursued the phantom of hope expecting that the deficiency of the then present, would be supplied by the future which was not the case.
'Ellicottsville was named from Joseph Ellicot, the first land agent who resurveyed the Holland Purchase. It was located as the county seat of Cattaraugus county in 1808. Gazetteer of New York, 1860.
The policy of the company was to allow the utmost leniency to these settlers and those conditions might have continued indefinitely for land was being cleared and fenced and although the interest had accumulated often to the extent of doubling the original indebtedness, still the increased value furnished increased security had it not been for angry words hastily spoken in the little village of Ellicottsville where was the office of the land company. These angry words were passed between the agent of the land company, who was the big man of the place, and a rising politician by the name of Stewart. From these words began the enmity bitter and unrelenting, and a few years later, when Stewart, through his political activity, had secured a seat in the senate of the State, he found occasion to strike at his enemy, the land agent, by striking at the company which he represented, and a bill aimed at it became a law which taxed land contracts held by non-residents to the amount of any unpaid balance. The burden thus placed upon the Holland Land Company and other proprietary companies similarly affected, necessitated a radical change of policy. If these companies were to be taxed upon the unpaid balances, it followed, as a matter of business providence that they should reduce these balances by collecting in the same. Notices were given to delinquents requiring payment of long due indebtedness and delinquents in many communities amounted to everybody. Payment in many instances was impossible and the spirit of resentment at this change of policy on the part of the settlers in some cases resulted in acts of violence.5
In the meantime, Michigan had become a State, Congress had passed laws granting land warrants to the survivors of the Revolutionary War or their widows, and these warrants entitled the holder, or his assignee, to locate anywhere on the public domain one hundred and sixty acres of land. As the recipients of these warrants were necessarily advanced in years, few of them ever used the warrants for personal location and these warrants could be purchased for a very small consideration.
In 1835 the Holland Land Co. sold their outstanding contracts and unsold lands to Trumbull, Cary & Co., of Batavia; the new proprietors impsode such conditions upon the extension of contracts that the settlers rose en masse and demolished the land office at Mayville, Feb. 6, 1836, burning the records in the public highway. The new company demanded compound interest on all sums due and an increase of one-third upon all extensions of contracts. In 1838 the interests of the company were transferred to Duer, Morrison and Seward and the troubles were satisfactorily settled. Gazetteer of New York, 1860, pp. 210 and 322.