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Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association : ... annual meeting with constitution and by-laws and list of members (Volume 6) online

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town situated on the flats bordering the inlet at Dunham's Bay.
From this point the trail ran southeasterly for some miles (a day's
journey for an Indian) to a station on the County line road lying
about the sources of Cold Brook. Here the remains of occupancy
are spread over many acres, and encroach upon and partly cover
a permanent village site of the earliest inhabitants, whose remains
have been already described. The relics of these two sites are
exactly of the same character as those from Iroquoian stopping-
places on their westernmost route by way of the St. Lawrence.
They consist of fragments of the well-known clay pottery of the
Mohawk tribes; pipes of red pottery; small triangular flint arrow
heads ; acutely edged celts ; a few small flint knives ; and lastly,
pebbles of black limestone and yellow jasper with likenesses of
the human face carved upon them. Some of these are sculptures
in relief, as in the case of a beautiful medallion head of a sleep-
ing or dead warrior worked from an oval jasper pebble. I suc-
ceeded in gleaning at first hand some twenty specimens from
the last-mentioned station, after examining the two considerable
collections kept by the o"\vners of the land.

Traces of the Mohawk after his acquaintance with Europeans
arc also quite abundant in the Queensbury tract. On the site
at the Big Bend, already described, in company with jSTorman
Cole, a few years ago, I rescued a fine specimen of the steel
" trade axe " with which the traders first armed their red neigh-



114 NEW YORK STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

bors. It is in a fine state of preservation, due to the sandy
matrix which had enclosed it. Mr. Cole picked up a well-pre-
served metal button on the same occasion. A fine and keen steel
arrow and shaft I obtained from, a site at the western base of
Sugar Loaf Mountain. Objects of copper have been found at
the same place. A broken stone pipe drilled with steel tools of
the white man comes from Glen Lake. On the Bay Road, on
the farm owned by Eber Titus, was a Mohawk camp of late date.
In addition to the usual small flint implements supplied by such
stations, this field yielded one of the choicest objects of Mohawk
manufacture which it has been my fortune to acquire. It is
a flat limestone pebble three inches in mean diameter, carved into
the form of young buck's antlers, and perforated at one side near
the base for purposes of suspension. Both surfaces are delicately
carved into ridges, giving a corrugated appearance. It belongs
to a class of objects termed personal ornaments. x\bout Lake
George and on many of its islands are frequent finds of Mohawk
relics made. But the Mohawk never returned to occupy the
country as a permanent residence. What we find of him here are
but the remains of his temporary hunting or war camps, for he
was often attracted this way from his home on the Beautiful
River, by the scent of game or scalps; but it was only as an
intruder that he came.



Local Material Used by Aborigines.

In their manufacture of stone implements the Aborigines used
such material as was found in their neighborhood. Where sup-
plies of flint were lacking they made use of native quartzite and
even sandstone for their smaller weapons, as arrow heads, knives,
and spear points, as well as for heavier tools. These native sup-
plies they supplemented with flint in the block obtained by way
of trade with neighbors occupying a flint-producing region. In
Queensbury we find the occupants of all periods using the local
quartzite pebbles freely for large axes, celts, or hand-axes, the
larger class of spears and knives, and scrapers; while the local
sandstones supplied the place of harder material for certain
gouges and adzes. Laminae of fine sandstone served for the



ABORIGINAL STONE IMPLEMENTS OF QUEENSBURY 115

manufacture of finely- wrought knives and lance-heads (Cole's col-
lection). The Eskimo worked the silex, or white flint deposit
on French Mountain for material in the manufacture of large
knives and spears, and even small arrow heads ; while the neigh-
boring slate quarries of Washington County served him in the
matter of material for slate knives, ground and unground. And
certain ceremonial stones, as the perforated gorget, bird, and bar
amulet, and often a banner stone, used by his predecessors, were
of the same material. Many chisels and axes were made of the
black limestone of the region, which was a favorite on account
of the high polish it is capable of receiving. Greenstone and
conglomerate pebbles were utilized for celts and banner stones.
I found at the foot of Glen Lake a thick celt, or hand axe, of
brown hematite, or iron-stone. Hornstone and various flints often
occur in limestone deposits ; and doubtless the native miner under-
stood the location of material of such value to him, in these
eastern tracts. I^Tevertheless much flint in the rough must have
been brought in from the west — Ohio in particular, where it was
easily obtained, and in enormous quantities. A cache of un-
worked flint blocks was found a few years ago by Reuben Ripley
on the south end of Long Island in Lake George. There was
in the cache upwards of half a bushel of crude material for
making weapons. A little west of Glen Lake, some time ago, a
cache of finished tools was ploughed up. It contained upwards
of one hundred specimens of the leaf-shaped knife. Another large
cache was discovered at the " Corners " on Lake Sunnyside.
These were small implements, chiefly arrow heads, many of which
were of local white flint. The cache — as this kind of deposit
is termed — • represents the stock-in-trade of the ancient flint-
knapper, an important personage in his day and community.
While speaking of weapon and tool-making we must not neglect
the opportunity to state that without doubt the greater part of
the instruments of domestic use among the Aborigines were made
of horn, bone, and wood. These all have perished with time on
these Queensbury sites, of course. Yet in the Mohawk Valley,
bone awls, knives and arrow points often come to light on the
later sites.

Also, before quitting this phase of our review, we must pay a
tribute of sincere respect to the Aborigine of all periods as an



116 NEW YORK STATE HISTOKICAL SOCIETY

artist in his field of operations. Trom about the earliest of Paleo-
lithic times down to the close of the jSTeolithic, he has displayed a
pure and quite surprising artistic taste, coupled with a judg-
ment and a manual dexterity that is one of the wonders of human
achievement. Notwithstanding the multiplicity of modern tools,
there is no man living to-day who could approach these ancient
people in the production of the delicate workmanship in flint-
chipping displayed in their arrows, perforators and larger knives.
And it is a curious fact that this exquisite art existed in its
highest perfection among the Cave Dwellers of the Dordogne in
the Madelinian period tens of thousands of years ago. In Queens-
bury the makers of the cylindrical stone pestle often decorated
that useful tool at the upper end with a bold, lifelike figure in
relief of a beast's or a serpent's head. Here also they worked
small flints into fanciful and symbolic forms, purely by flaking.
Of the tools used to produce such astonishing results, nothing
remains that we can pronounce upon save the pitted hammer
stones, in frequent evidence in our fields, as they are all over the
earth. Other fabricators were of more perishable stuff, as antler,
bone and horn. Thus we have in a round, briefly sketched-in
outline, rather than in an exhaustive treatise, an account of the
stone implements of Queensbury, as far as exploration has carried
us. It is to be hoped that the explorers and collectors resident
in Queensbury may bring forth still other facts bearing upon the
subject, for the benefit of science. AYhat a study it is! It is no
wonder that the collector becomes an enthusiast almost from the
first. Scarcely any pursuit offers such a field for the study of
man, in his relation to the world he has inhabited during such
vast stretches of time. Behind every implement however rude,
which the student handles, there is a man. AYhether it be the
man of the River Drift period, or the Rock Shelter era in far-off
Paleolithic times ; or the man of the Lake Dwellings, or the
Mohawk wigwam, it is a human being like himself that confronts
him when he handles these old weapons. What a wealth of human
experience they reveal — human struggle, human aspiration, hu-
man achievement. What migrations, what battles, what calam-
ities, what sudden and tremendous changes of climate, of environ-
ment are involved in the view we get of this brother man through
tlie medium of his surviving handiwork !



ABORIGINAL STONE IMPLE^[ENTS OF QUEEXSBUEY llV

Appeoximate Classification or Implements.

Earliest Period. — Massive spears and knives of flint and sand-
stone, polished adzes and gouges, large rough chipped axes,
chipped sandstone disks, broad flat scrapers. Sites. — County
Line Road, East Lake George, Glen Lake, West Queensbury.

Agricultural Period. — Mortars and pestles, celts, drills, pot-
tery, knives, arrow heads, chisels, ceremonials. Sites. — Cald-
well, East Lake George, Harrisena, Glen Lake, Big Bend, Dun-
ham's Bay, West Queensbury.

Eshimo Period. — Polished slate knives, ground slate knives,
flint and quartzite dagger blades, arrow points, scrapers, sand-
stone gouges, spears. Sites. — Outlet of Glen Lake, East Erench
Mountain, Lake Sunnyside, East Lake George, Meadow Run,
Bolton.

Intermediate Period. — Later pattern celts and chisels, broad
barbed arrow heads of flint and hornstone, spears of like pat-
tern, large unground slate knives, grooved axes, steatite pot-
tery, copper implements, obsidian, skeletons. Sites. — Assembly
Point, Caldwell, Warrensburgh, Chestertown, West Queensbury,
outlet Glen Lake, East French Mountain.

MohawTc Period. — Small acutely edged celts, small triangular
arrow points, small flint knives, steel axes and lances, Mohawk
pottery, stone engravings and carvings, fire arms, pipes. Sites. —
Big Bend, Titus farm. County Line, East French Mountain,
Harrisena, Caldwell.



IN'oTE OF Collections in Queensbury.

First. — The Holden Collection, Academy building. Glens Falls.
Second. — The Cole Collection, Glens Falls.
Third.— The Pike-Taft Collection, Glens Falls.
Fourth. — The Van Heusen Collection, West Mountain.
Fifth. — The George Brovni Collection, Caldwell.



118 NEW YOEK STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

POSTSCEIPT.

'No account of the Indian antiquities of Queensbury would be
complete without a word of tribute to the late Dr. Holden, the
pioneer antiquarian of northern New York. His monumental
History of Queensbury, especially that portion relating to Queens-
bury archaeology, has been quoted by authorities everywhere, and
contains the archaeological virus which has produced no in-
considerable outbreak of antiquarian zeal in Queensbury. It
was he who, years ago, possessed the observation and knowledge
to write, respecting ancient remains : " They are everywhere —
scattered broadcast over the town." This is the seed sentence
which has produced all subsequent investigation.



PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS



By James A. Roberts.



It is at the suggestion of the Committee on Program that I have
prepared a very brief and cursory review of works relating to
American History, which have appeared during the past year. In-
deed I have not confined myself strictly to the period since our
last annual meeting, but in view of the fact that no such review
was presented at that time, I have arbitrarily taken as my starting
point January, 1906. I do not claim to have fully covered the
publications of the period ; doubtless some of interest have escaped
me. I have not gone at all into the magazines, even those devoted
to history, but have confined myself simply to published volumes.
It may be said that the period covering the past eighteen months
has been quite prolific in the production of works on American
history and biography, and of romances dealing with historical
characters and events. The historians have been busy upon the
general story of the nation's birth and growth, and upon special
phases or incidents of that growth. There seems to have been an
effort all along the line to preserve records pertaining to localities
rich in historic and romantic associations.

The Centennial Exhibition of 1876 directed especial attention
at that time to study of the progress of the nation during the first
century of its existence. When the Columbian Exposition at Chi-
cago came along, that occasioned much historical research and
writing pertaining to the era of Columbian discovery. A similar
remark might be made as to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition,
and the event which it commemorated. This year's exposition,
the Jamestown Tercentenary, has occasioned the publication of
several historical works relating to what has been termed the birth
of the nation, ^. e., the settlement of Jamestown, the first perma-
nent settlement by Anglo-Saxons on American soil. The wife of



120 NEW YORK STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

General Eoger A. Pryor lias written a volume dealing with events
of the period. Another of the books called out by the celebration is
" The Story of Bacon's Rebellion," by Mary JSTewton Stannard,
which narrates incidents in the early history of Virginia. Those
who visit the exposition tread the gTOund where Bacon, the pop-
ular leader, and Sir William Berkeley, the royal governor, en-
gaged in the first important conflict in this country between the
royal power and the people. The Library of Congress has pub-
lished, with notes, bibliogTaphy and index, " The Records of the
Virginia Company of London, 1619-1624," and they contain a
careful transcript of what has been termed " one of the great
manuscripts fundamental to American history." The founders of
Virginia figure in them while the Eiiglish is that of the Eliza-
bethans. The two original volumes were purchased by Colonel
Byrd, of Virginia, in 1688, for sixty guineas, and were in the
library of Thomas Jefferson. When Jefferson's books were sold
the Library of Congress purchased these, and the publication is
now made to save the original manuscripts from wear and tear.
The library offers the work for sale at $4.00 per copy. The edit-
ing was done by Miss Susan Kingsbury.

Thomas Y. Crowell & Company have brought out in their
" Young People's Series," " The Boy's Life of Captain John
Smith," by Eleanor Johnston.

Colonial history is further treated in the work, entitled, " Cad-
wallader Colden, a Representative 18th Century Ofiicial," by
Alice Maplesden Keys, Ph. D., issued by the Columbia University
Press, through the Macmillan Company in 1906. A period of
still earlier American history is covered in the volume by Edmond
S. Meany, Professor of History in the Washington University and
Secretary of the Washington University Historical Society, on
" Vancouver's Discovery of Puget Sound." It contains a portrait
of Vancouver and many other interesting illustrations.

The era of French exploration and settlement in the region of
the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, which had such attractions
for Francis Parkman and John Eiske, still fascinates historical
students and writers of historical romance. One of the most im-
portant of the recent works in this field is that entitled " Voyages
of Samuel de Champlain," edited by W. L. Grant. It includes



president's address. 121

many extracts from the wi'itiiigs of the great explorer and colon-
izer, and drawing made by him, which give the work an excep-
tionally picturesque and quaint character. ,

The efforts to mark historic spots often prove the occasion for
the writing and publication of historic sketches. Lovers of local
history in Buffalo and along the Niagara Frontier have formed
what is termed the Niagara Frontier Landmarks Association, and
imder the auspices of this society tablets and other memorials are
being placed in spots where historic scenes have been enacted.
L^sually the addresses connected with such ceremonies are after-
ward published and this historic data accumulates. Similar
societies elsewhere, and the j)atriotic societies of national scope,
are encouraging the preservation of the ancient landmarks and
the history pertaining to them. Works like the series on " His-
toric Towns," to which President Roosevelt contributed, are most
stimulating to such study. A recent work of this kind is the
volume by Miss Esther Singleton, entitled " Historic Buildings
of America." The author has brought together and made readily
accessible to the casual reader many facts that might not else-
where be obtained, except through considerable research. A new
volume in " The Grafton Historical Series," by Charles Burr
Todd, is entitled " In Olde Massachusetts." It is devoted to de-
scription of the places and customs of the Old Bay State in early
days. Pioneer days in the adjoining State of New Hampshire
are the subject of a sketch by the Dean of the Episcopal Theologi-
cal School at Cambridge, Mass., the Rev. Dr. George Hodges. It
is called " Holderness ; an Account of the Beginnings of a New
Hampshire Town." The work forms a study in New England
history and local self-government.

Frederick Albion Ober, who has devoted a lifetime to study of
Latin America, and whose writings are especially popular with the
younger generation, has contributed, within the period under dis-
cussion, four volumes to the series published by the Harpers, en-
titled "Heroes of American History." These volumes are:
" Columbus, the Discoverer," " Ferdinand Magellan," " Amerigo
Vespucci " and " Pizarro and the Conquest of Peru." His knowl-
edge of these subject has been obtained not only by long study, but
by extensive travels in the countries where the scenes of his his-
tories are chiefly laid.



122 NEW YORK STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

For some years now the appearance of a volume of James Ford
llhodes' History of the United States has been distinctly an event,
and the publication of volumes six and seven early this year, com-
pleting the work, was doubly an event. Mr. Rhodes has covered,
in his history, the period from the introduction into Congress of
the compromise measures in 1850 to the restoration of home rule
in the South, in 1877. The fact that he has devoted nearly twenty
of the best years of his life to the work is evidence of his care and
thoroughness. Added to this, Mr. Rhodes brought to his chosen
task an unusually clear and felicitous style, and in a marked
degree, the historical temperament. The period covered is a great
epoch in itself. There is a rapidly diminishing number of us who
participated in, or at least distinctly remember, the exciting
events preceding the war, the terrible military struggle and the
intense bitterness of the reconstruction days, and ordinarily it
would be an accepted fact that sufficient time had not yet elapsed
to remove the prejudices and animosities which the times so
strongly produced, and enable an American to give a correct his-
torical view. It is greatly to Mr. Rhodes' credit that he seems to
have held the scales throughout in perfect poise, and to have
permitted no bias or partisan feeling to enter his work. It
is doubtful if a better history of that period will ever be produced.
It is certain that no history of the period will follow which does
not rely very largely upon Mr. Rhodes.

Still another work fresh from the press takes up the period
from 1885 to 1905, a period almost immediately following that
covered in the history by Rhodes. The author is Dr. Harry Thurs-
ton Peck, of Columbia, and he calls his work " Twenty Years of
the Republic." Dr. Peck stands high as an intelligent and phil-
osophical observer and critic of contemporary movements and
events. Still another Columbia professor, Herbert L. Osgood,
Ph. D., is the author of " The American Colonies in the I7th
Century," the third volume of which was published last April.

October, 1906, witnessed the publication of the sixth volume of
John Bach McMaster's History of the " People of the United
States." The period covered is from 1830 to 1842. Professor Mc-
Master's work is too well known to admit comment. His history
is broader than is ordinarily understood by the term, " history of



president's address. 123

the people;" it is a political and economical history as well. He
might argue in answer to this suggestion that politicians and those
with economical fads and theories are a part of the people, and we
should be compelled reluctantly perhaps, to admit the proposition.
One is almost appalled in McMaster at the vast amount of digging
into musty and forgotten documents, newspaper files, speeches and
congressional archives which the completed volume shows. The
great lesson can be learned in his pages, never to despair of the
republic. You find, vividly set forth, in almost every chapter,
some question agitating the public mind, and in popular belief at
the time, the safety and perpetuity of our institutions depended
upon the proper solution of a question which seems to us so trivial
that Carlyle could well have said of it as he did so contemptuously
of some tempest in a teapot in England, ^' What says Bootes to all
this ? " While Professor McMaster's work does not tend to make
lis ancestor worshippers, it does make us feel that perhaps some of
the questions about which we grow so excited at the present day
may seem to our children's children like very small matters. It
would be difficult to marshal immense aggregations of facts and
theories in more vivid and interesting form than does Professor
McMaster in his history.

Another work on the same subject, but of somewhat different
scope, by another historical writer of high rank, President Wood-
row Wilson of Princeton University, was published between two
and three years ago by Harper & Brothers, but they have recently
issued a new and popular edition.

The same firm is at present engaged in issuing a notable series
of historical studies, entitled " The American Nation in History."
Twenty-two volumes in the series have now been published, most
of these within the period under present consideration, and four
more volumes are to come. The history is intended as a compre-
hensive work on the birth, growth and general development of the
nation and is the outcome of the associated labors of various
scholars, under the editorial supervision of Professor Albert Bush-
nell Hart of Harvard, in consultation with advisory committees
from numerous State Historical Societies. Each period has been
treated by a trained specialist. The twenty-second volume, which
has just come from the press, is entitled " Reconstruction, Political



124 NEW YORK STATE IIISTOEICAL SOCIETV

and Economic," and is bj William Archibald Dunning, Ph. D., of
Columbia University. It is a thorough and illuminating account
of the events of the period following the Civil War and the prob-
lems and issues uppermost at the time. Other volumes in this
important series are : " The Appeal to Arms " and " Outcome of
the Civil War," by J. K. Hosmer ; " Causes of the Civil War,"
by Rear-Admiral F. E. Chadwick ; " Parties and Slavery," by
Theodore Clarke Smith, of Williams ; " Westward Extension," by
George P. Garrison, Ph. D., of the University of Texas, and
" Slavery and Abolition," by Professor Hart.

A work that is perhaps of more immediate interest to us both
as relating to the history of our own State and also as the work of
one of our own members, is "A Political History of New York,"
by the Honorable D. S. Alexander, LL. D. The two volumes
already published have received far more than the attention and
commendation usually bestowed on a work local in its field. Elat-
tering reviews have appeared in leading papers and magazines-
from Maine to California. Indeed they are deser^^ed. The style
throughout is clear and fascinating and the story at no point lacks
living interest. Mr. Alexander has been particularly successful
in his delineation of the prominent men who have made or marred
the history of our State. In its pages appear no ghostly forms
stalking with unnatural tread but real men of flesh and blood,
with human ideals, ambition, and passions, keeping step to the
music of their times. Xew York has been so prominent a part
of the nation and its politics have so largely affected the whole
country that it is not enough to say that Mr. Alexander has made
a valuable contribution to the history of our State, — it is equally


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Online LibraryNew York State Historical Association. MeetingProceedings of the New York State Historical Association : ... annual meeting with constitution and by-laws and list of members (Volume 6) → online text (page 11 of 26)