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The West Hill range or ridge succession extends westward from
the Guyanoga Valley clear across the township north and south,
except the depression of Sherman's Hollow in the northwest part of
the township, forming a continuous relay of uplands, steadily ascend-
ing all the way to the Italy line and beyond, forming, finally, the
highest elevation in the township, its highest point being 1191 feet
above the surface of Lake Keuka.

East Hill, with its western line dipping down to Guyanoga Val-
ley, extends from the valley dividing it from Bluff Point, northward
to the Potter line and beyond, gradually dipping toward a lower
elevation as it extends toward the north. Eastward the range grad-
ually slopes till it reaches the shore of the East Branch of Lake
Keuka and the village of Penn Yan, the eastern slope extending into
Benton on the north. The highest point on East Hill is 691 feet
above Lake Keuka.

Bluff Point at the apex of its everywhere noticeable elevation, is
811 feet above Lake Keuka.

The center of Lake Keuka is recognized as the boundary line
between Jerusalem and Pulteney on the west side of Bluff Point, along
the North Branch; and the center of the East Branch the line be-
tween Jerusalem and Barrington and Milo.



There has been a great deal of discussion in newspapers and
otherwise about the character and career of the famous Indian orator,
Sa-go-ye-wa-tha, or as known in the English language, Red Jacket,
because of the bright scarlet jacket presented to him by a British
General during the Revolutionary War. This jacket was long worn
by the celebrated spokesman of the Six Nations till in the course of
time his individual identity became inseparably connected with it as
a cognomen. His Indian name signified in English, "He keeps them

Volumes Jiave been written about this foremost character in the
vivid history of the Iroquois. The recital of even the salient dis-
tinguishments in his intense career could not be condensed into a
single chapter. He took a most prominent part in the greatest strate-
gic events between the Aboriginal and Colonial contestants depicted
on the pages of American history. His torrential eloquence, poured
out with his mighty voice, were like the mythological thunders of
Jove in behalf of his people. His utterance was the trumpet tone of
the great Six Nations in matchless appeals against the sweeping en-
croachments of the pale-face. He stemmed the gigantic tide of racial
conquest, setting in over the continent, with the greatest inspirational
eloquence that ever flowed from untutored lips. Finally, when
treaties were the only alternatives for his people, he voiced their will
in the all-engrossing essentials of the parchment records ere the
chiefs should sign their symbol to transfer the vast hunting grounds
of countless generations of the Sons of the Forest.

Red Jacket was bom in 1752, and died in 1830, aged 78 years. He
was active on the British side during the Revolutionary War. In the
War of 1812-14 he was an useful ally of the Americans and a reliable
agent of the Great Republic. He was to the last an uncompromising
opponent of missionaries and the cession of the Indian lands to the
white people.

No North American Indian was so widely or generally known all
over this continent as Red Jacket. He far excelled any other Indian
in swaying the Red Men by his lofty, impassioned, and wonderfully
symbolical torrent of language. The writer has conversed with sev-
eral men who have listened to the vivid and forceful eloquence of
Red Jacket, especially the late Judge John L. Lewis of Penn Yan, and
Col. Elbert W. Cook of Havana (now Montour Falls), and they each
stated that every gesture and movement Red Jacket made while
speaking was most intensely expressive and significant, consonant
with his vast volume of utterance and the trenchant presentation of
his subject. Unquestionably, Red Jacket was the greatest Indian
orator of which there is any account, oral or written, anywhere.

The writer is in possession of fully substantiated information
that Red Jacket at times was in the habit of going to the Che-qua-gah


Falls at what was then Catharinestown (now Montour Falls) to prac-
tice oratory in the roar of the cataract there, which, in times of
abundant water, is the glory of that place. When the waterfall there
is at its flush it is a picturesque reminder of the wonderful word-
painting of the poet, Robert Southey, in his "Cataract of Lodore."

The wide-spread fame of this Aboriginal orator gave rise to in-
quiries about his birthplace years before he passed on to the happy
hunting grounds of the spirit land of his people. As if to set at rest
these interrogatories for all time, in a speech he made at Geneva on
the occasion of a public welcome there to General LaFayette on June
7, 1825, at the old Franklin House, Red Jacket stated that he "was
born over on the western arm of Ke-u-kuh, pointing, as he said it, to
this branch of the lake. This speech was heard by thousands of
people, and in part was jotted down at the time by Roderick N. Mor-
rison for the Penn Yan Democrat, and was put in type by Alfred
Reed, who was then an apprentice in the Democrat office. Further-
more, he alluded to the Sand Bar as indicating the spot of his
birthplace, according to Judge John L. Lewis who read the speech
after it was printed, a fact which he related unqualifiedly to the
writer, and which certainly renders it more than probable that Red
Jacket was born within the boundaries of Jerusalem.

Col. William L. Stone, in his "Life of Red Jacket," claims that
Red Jacket was born at Canoga, on the west bank of Cayuga Lake,
a statement which will not stand the test of analysis, as Canoga
was in the heart of the Cayuga territory, and as the Senecas and
Cayugas were at enmity, there is no reason to suppose that Red
Jacket's mother, and probably his father, would be away from their
people and on hostile soil at that time. The word Keuka has been
transformed or corrupted into both Cayuga and Canoga by various
historical compilers whom the writer could name, and Col. Stone
naturally embodied this error.

Stafford C. Cleveland in his "History of Yates County," says:

"Red Jacket, the distinguished native orator, was born on the
west branch of Lake Keuka within the boundaries of Jerusalem, and
was an illustrious character whose place of nativity we may well be
proud to claim. He saw what Brant could not or would not see,
that war was the extermination of his people. He was gifted with
rare eloquence and was an able reasoner. Men of the higjhest capa-
city and accomplishments who shared his acquaintance regarded him
as a marvel of his race and a truly great man."

Some of the eminent delvers in Indian lore have been unwilling
to accept of Red Jacket's own public utterance concerning the place
of his nativity. Evidently, there could have been no motive on his
part to make the statement other than to anticipate and end the
questioning pressed upon him by irrepressible scribes of the time.
The persistence with which this question has been asked and ans-


wered oracularly by Indianologlsts to their own satisfaction ever
since, reminds one of the posthumous fate of the immortal poet as to
his nativity, since expressed:

"Seven cities claimed great Homer, dead.
Wherein the living Homer begged his bread."

It has wrought no visible injury to the reputation of Red Jacket
because some of these gentlemen, well versed in Indian lore, have
gone so far in their Canoga ciaim as to erect a monument on the
alleged site with such oracular inscriptions as are supposed to hush
any further intention of lugging out interrogation points. Red Jacket
is dead and cannot defend himself from his friends. So far as a col-
umn of stone has any influence, it may help to perpetuate the mem-
ory of the famous Seneca Indian, but it does not necessarily, inevi-
tably, and unalterably determine the birthplace of Red Jacket. There
is room for honest doubt beyond the shadow of the stone. The erec-
tion of a marble column does not settle a controversial point in
history, real or assumed.

It is not far from thirty years ago — along in the '70's — that the
birthplace of Adam was mooted. Some really able men of Elmlra
went browsing around in occult lore, and by some psychological
somersault came to the conclusion that the Biblical first man was
bom at Elmira Heights, a suburb of the city. Straightway, these
distinguished citizens set about raising a fund with which to erect a
monument to Adam. But the newspapers began to poke fun at the
chimerical and absurd project, and the great progenitor of the genus
Homo is still going down to posterity unmonumented so far as those
over-wrought phantomized imaginings or doings of the Elmira gentle-
men are concerned.

There are corroborative evidences, besides Red Jacket [himself,
that he was born on the shore of Lake Keuka, near Branchport. Asa
Brown, when a small boy, was left by his father with -the family to
which Red Jacket belonged. He was placed with the father and
motjher of Red Jacket and had positive knowledge that the latter was
born on the shore of the lake there where an Indian village was
located. Asa Brown lived among the Indians there a long time.
While his home was with the father and mother of Red Jacket, he
was with other Indians considerably. He occasionally slept in their
wigw3,ms, went with them on hunting and fishing expeditions, and
with them followed the long trails to obtain arrow-heads.

A few years ago the writer asked Dr. James C. Wightman if he
could tell ahout when he had conversation with Asa Brown about Red
Jacket's birthplace and the principal facts related thereto. He re-

"I think probably in 1859 and subsequently at frequent times for
years till near the time of his death. I went with him to show me the
'deerlick' on the Basswood Gully. He said, 'This is historic ground.
Red Jacket was born over there on the Bar,' and I went with him to


the spot, at the base or commencement of the Bar where there were
willow trees. In returning, he said he could show me where Red
Jacket's camp ground was, and in the center or thereabouts he
pointed out where they used to sit and shape their arrows, bows, and
implements. He showed me where there were then very large trees
where he used to see the Indians sit and shape bows and arrows,
and when we reached the spot we found large quantities of arrow-
head clippings. There seemed to be a circular mound plainly dis-
cernible when I began cultivating the ground, and upon this was
where they sat and shaped their arrow-heads. This circular eleva-
tion was some five or six rods in diameter.

"Asa Brown also told me that a stone which I found on these
grounds was a smoothing stone for smoothing out the skins they were
tanning. He also told me about another long shaped stone being
used to grind or crush their corn.

"I asked Asa Brown where they got the arrow-heads. He said,
'They came from a black rock near Buffalo, and some from Pennsyl-
vania.' He spoke of two routes, one around the foot of Canandaigua
Lake and the other by Naples or the head of the lake. 'The squaws
carried the arrow-heads on their backs from Buffalo and brought
them here.'

"On returning from the walk to the Sand Bar and around, he
said he was tired, and that he would come around some time and
show me where Red Jacket's mother was buried. He did so, later,
and sjhowed me the spot. This he did several times, and talked
about it a great deal. He was here often, and related many anec-
dotes about Indians and their mode of life, the making and use of
their various hunting and fishing implements.

"At this identical spot where Asa Brown pointed out as the
burial place of Red Jacket's mother, in the ground when they were
scraping for a new coal yard and steamboat dock, on land of Phineas
Tyler, portions of an Indian skeleton were found."

Dr. "Wightman made a careful examination of the portions of the
skeleton thus found, and by comparative anatomy came to the con-
clusion that they were the bones of an Indian woman.

Asa Brown's integrity or veracity was never questioned by those
who knew him. He was a member of Red Jacket's family — his
father and mother and others — and was in a position to know where-
of he affirmed.

Mrs. Margaret Botsford, mother of the late Samuel Botsford, was
one of the first settlers in this region of the country. She knew Red
Jacket and the family to which he belonged. A few months previous
to her death, when her mind and memory were clear and bright as
ever, she stated to the writer that Red Jacket was born at the Bar
of the lake near Branchport, No one ever questioned the integrity of
Mrs. Margaret Botsford.

Alfred Pelton, a very early settler, knew Red Jacket, and related
that he several times heard him speak of having been born on this
arm of the lake.

The late Judge, John L. Lewis, a gentleman whose word no one
questioned, was well acquainted with Red Jacket, and he related to
the writer that Red Jacket told him several times that he was born
at the Bar of Lake Keuka, on the west side.


The writer has carefully perused all that has appeared from the
pens of the most eminent Indianologists of the State In support of the
Seneca County location as being the birthplace of Red Jacket, and
must say, with all due deference to their studies and investigations
as well as their conclusions therefrom, that he finds no direct, posi-
tive, first-hand, original evidence. The writer is thoroughly convinced
that they were mistaken. The shore of Lake Keuka affords proof
which from every point of view is deemed conclusive, and which
would satisfy any conscientious and impartial inquirer that Red
Jacket was born in the township of Jerusalem. It is as well estab-
lished a fact as human testimony can make it.

Since the above was written, the writer has been favored with a
letter from Hon. Robert P. Bush, well known all over the State, a
native of Jerusalem, in which he alludes to the fact that Red Jacket
"was born down at the base of the Sand Bar, in Branchport. I know
from old Indians who came to pay their tribute of ret>pect to his
memory when I was a boy."

The writer of this volume has other corroborative evidences as
to the nativity of the world-renowned Indian orator, but nothing can
be more convincing than the first-hand testimony of those who saw
and personally knew whereof they stated and had no possible reason
for coloring or concealing their knowledge of facts.


Originally, all this portion of the State was a part of Albany
County, which was organized November 1, 1683. In 1772 a new
county was formed which comprised all the lands west of a line
drawn north and south through the center of what is now Schoharie
County, to which the name of Tryon County was applied in honor
of the Governor at that time, William Tryoh. Soon after the close of
the Revolutionary War the name of Tryon was changed to Mont-
gomery County. On the 27th of January, 1789, Ontario County was
formed out of a considerable portion of Montgomery, and it was
given the name of Ontario from the fact that its northern line was
Lake Ontario. All of what is now Yates as well as Steuben County
was included in Ontario. Steuben wa* formed out of Ontario March
18, 1796. In the formation of Steuben County the southern portion
of Bluff Point, to its extremity, formed a part of that county. When
the townships were organized by the General Sessions of Ontario
County In 1796, the name of Jerusalem was retained in deference
to the original choice of Jemima Wilkinson, the Friend, who named
all this region in which her followers cast their lots, tjhe New Jeru-

By the Ontario County General Sessions in 1796 the present town-
ships of Benton, Milo, and Torrey were given the name of Vernon.
When Yates County was formed in 1823 Jerusalem was included


therein. The southern portion of Bluff Point had been set off from
Steuben County to Jerusalem, previously, in 1814, by act of the Leg-
islature. In 1803 tjie boundaries of Jerusalem were designated as
"township number 7, range 2, and that part of township 7, range 1,
lying west of lot 37 and Lake Keuka."

Phelps and Gorham sold to Thomas Hathaway and Benedict Rob-
inson the whole of township number seven, second range, in Sep-
tember, 1790. This was the original Friend's Tract. Previous to the
sale to the representatives of the Friend, stated, in the summer of
1790, Daniel Guernsey surveyed the tract, or township as it was
called, into lots. Abralham Burdick and his son Nathan accompanied
the surveyors as chainmen. Thomas Hathaway and Benedict Robin-
son were with the parties in making the survey. They were four
days in establishing the outward lines of the township, or tract,
through the dense forest. The east line extended north and south on
a parallel wit|h the line between Benton and Potter. This was the
original east line of Jerusalem which extended along the present
east line of the County Poor House Farm and the eastern boundary
of the Rose estate. All east of this line, to Penn Yan, was then
known as Vernon, which was afterward set off to Jerusalem. In
reference to the size of Jerusalem as first surveyed and the number-
ing and apportioning of the lots, Stafford C. Cleveland's "History of
Yates County" says:

"The township was found to overrun its six mile boundaries, by
72 rods north and south, and 60 rods east and west. This overplus
was equally apportioned to the several lots which were otherwise one-
half mile from north to south and one mile from east to west, con-
taining 326 acres each. The first tier of lots was numbered from
north to south, beginning with number one at the northeast corner of
the township. The second tier commenced on the south at number
thirteen and was numbered northward to twenty-four. The township
contained seventy-two lots by this survey. By agreement of Hatha-
way and Robinson, the inlet creek was made the west boundary of
the first tier of lots, owing to the difficult ground over which the line
had to be traced. This made the first tier much larger than the re-
maining lots and the second tier correspondingly small."

It should be borne in mind that this tract or township purchased
by Hathaway and Robinson included all of what was subsequently the
larger portion of the Beddoe Tract. But Hathaway and Robinson
finding themselves unable to pay for all the township of land, after-
ward re-sold to Oliver Phelps 7000 acres on the south side of the
township, comprising a strip more than a mile in width. The width
of the lake was not included. Oliver Phelps sold this tract to James
Wadsworth, a well-known pioneer of the Genesee, who sold it to
John Johnson, of London, for |10,750. Though that was a price largely
in excess of its value at that time, if the tract was now as then, with
the magnificent pine forest covering it as in those days, its value
would easily be worth that figure multiplied by 100. Johnson con-
veyed this tract of land to his brother-in-law, Captain John Beddoe,


who became the first permanent settler upon it. He sold off 2000
acres of this tract from the east end, and 1058 acres to John N. Rose.
The remaining 5000 acres were afterward re-surveyed into lots of 160
acres each. The numbering of these lots began at the southwest
corner of Jerusalem and extended northward. The second tier of
lots was numbered southward from the north line of the tract, and
so on alternating till the total number reached 32.

The second largest tract of land in Jerusalem was known as the
Green Tract. This 4000 acre tract originally belonged to Benedict
Robinson and Thomas Hathaway, and was a part of their first
purchase. This tract extended along the west side of the township
northward from the Beddoe Tract to the Potter line. Robinson and
Hathaway sold it to William Carter on the first of October, 1794,
and he in turn conveyed it to Oliver Phelps. On the 9th of Febru-
ary, 1795, Oliver Phelps deeded it to DeWitt Clinton, and Clinton
deeded it to Peter B. Porter on the 5th of April, 1796. Porter re-
deeded it to Oliver Phelps a few days later, and Phelps sold off
portions of the tract to William Ogden and Heman Ely. They after-
ward re-conveyed it to Phelps. In 1807 Phelps sold 1350 acres of the
tract to Stephen B. Munn. As the State of Connecticut held a mort-
gage on the tract, the mortgage was foreclosed by that State in 1814
and the land was purchased by Gideon Granger, of Canandaigua, who,
with a conveyance from Stephen B. Munn of his 1,350 acres, became
the owner of the entire tract. On the 30th of June, 1816, Henry and
Orrin Green purchased the entire tract of 4,000 acres for $12,000.
They also obtained lot 56 of Guernsey's survey.

Exclusive of the Beddoe and Green Tracts, which were taken off
from the original township purchased by the Friend's representatives,
the Friend's Tract then contained 4,480 acres. This tract extended
along the east line of the Green Tract as its western boundary,
northward to the Potter line and southward to the Beddoe Tract,
while the eastern boundary was parallel with the east line of the
County Poor House Farm, the original east line of the township of
Jerusalem, which is about parallel with the west line of Henry R.
Sill's land.

It seems strange that the Friend's Tract is ignored on all the
County Maps so far as the writer has been able to inspect them,
and "Guernsey's Survey" designated instead. This is decidedly mis-
leading when one seeks to find the limits or boundaries of the orig-
inal land tracts. Evidently, in the formative period of townships,
Vernon included the greater portion of East Hill from the east line
of the Friend's Tract, referred to, including all of Jerusalem eastward
and southward to Bluff Point. On the east side a considerable por-
tion of Bluff Point, to the southern portion belonging to Steuben
County, was originally a part of Barrington. Out of the Friend's
Tract lot number 56 in the southwestern corner should be placed in


the Green Tract, as it was purchased by Henry and Orrin Green
when they bought the whole of the Green Tract of Gideon Granger
in 1816.

Likewise, lot number 55 should be excluded from the Friend's
Tract, as this was originally the John Hatmaker Tract. He was an
early original settler. A portion of the chimney of his log house was
visible in the boyhood days of the writer. His Tract included all of
the original lands of John Townsend, James S. Rogers, Samuel Davis,
and Joseph N. Davis, on the north side of the highway. These lands
are now owned respectively by Benjamin Stoddard, John Morrison,
Fred. J. Burk, Guy M. Davis and George D. Davis. This Tract is not
indicated on any of the County Maps to which the writer has ever
had access.


In the surveys of the township the numbering of lots appears to
have been quite hap-hazard, no consecutive order having been main-
tained from any apparent starting point.

In the northwest comer of the township is Lot No. 1, and extend-
ing southward along the western boundary line they run consecutive-
ly to No. 9 at the premises of Herbert Robinson. Then starting again
with No. 10 directly on the east the numbers run due north again,
till the Potter line is reached; then south again consecu-
tively to No. 27, in which lot is located lands of the late
Cyrenus Townsend. Then starting again at the southwest corner of
the township, upon which are the W. G. Paddock lands, t|hey extend
north to Lot 9, thence south and north they extend in quite regular
order to No. 32.

Another numbering begins on the north side of the township a
little east of the east line of the Moses Hartwell place with No. 1,
and extends southward well up along the summit of EJast Hill, the
County Poor House farm being on Lot No. 5 of this range which ex-
tends to No. 9, when this series of numbering vanishes near Branch-

Then another series of numbering begins with No. 1 on the west
side of Bluff Point, a little south of west from the Heck School
House and extends southward along the west side of the Point to Its
termination on Lake Keuka; then runs north again, centrally, along
the Point till 29 is reached at the Ketchum estate; then beginning
again with 73, one lot east of the last line, two other lots, 74 and
75, are numbered west of it, and there the numbering of lots on

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