Pioneers of Rochester.

Proceedings at the annual festivals of the pioneers of Rochester, held at Blossom hall, Sept. 30, 1847, and Oct. 13, 1848 (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryPioneers of RochesterProceedings at the annual festivals of the pioneers of Rochester, held at Blossom hall, Sept. 30, 1847, and Oct. 13, 1848 (Volume 1) → online text (page 5 of 6)
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carding and cloth dressing. 1 told him who 1 was
and from whence i came, and alter the family had
dined he asked me to sit by the table and partake
of a farmer's cut, and if ever 1 ate with gusto it
was ih'-n. Thai act of kindiK-ss from Mr. Mc-
Kenzie will never he eflaced from my memory. 1
got my wheat ground and got home in the night.
On examining my flour next day, behold, it was
as black as my boots and about as eatable; bui
nevermind, it won't kill us, for hope keeps the
heart whole.

In three or four weeks after my family arrived,
my Wife was taken down with the ague, and on
one occasion, while groaning, wri h ng, stretch
ing and yawning under the malady, the puppy set
up a tremendous barking under the bed ; an J what
could the ma ter be, when lo ! and behold, a fa-
mous great rattle-snake was under the bed, which
Was soon dispatched, but not until he had shown
ns his musical talents. Bui 1 did not blame the
snake, for our floor was made of split logs, and
many of us had nothing bui the ground. A young
man "in my employ caught a rattle-snake while
reaping wheat where Stone Church now stands,
about the first of August, put it in a box in the
granary, where t lived till the 7th of January
following, without eating or drinking. He was
very fleshy when caught, much of which he lost
by long confinement, but lost none of his spite or
venom. He was four fftet six inches long, and
1 have never seen one more than four feet six or
sevea iachss in length, though I have meueured

perhaps hundreds. I have preserved a grett QiKny

of iheir galls for their medicinal qualities by wei»
ting and rolling them in common pulverized chalk,
and by request sent them to our family phytician
in Connecticut. By the multitude ol bones found
in the crevices of the rocks near Fort Hill, it is
evident that when they become old they crawl
! away, de;) up and die ; but what their age is, who
can tell ? for an old one has commonly lost half or
two-third r^jf his rattles, which is plain to be seen
by those remaining, and I much doubt whethtr
ilieir ages ever can be determined by the number
of tneir rallies. But 1 did not think ol writing a
sunkf siory.

The first general training I attended was^ beldia
ihe mouth of October, Iti^?, at the log hous ■• oi a
Squire Labourn, soqiewhere north of Scottsville,
1 should think, in the town of Wheatland. Oir
regiment was commanded by Col. John Atchi-
son of Braddock's Bay, on Lake Ontario. To de-
scribe ihflaniasiic appearance and ludicious move-
ments of this mass of human beings, is beyond n y
power of description. Suffice it lo say we j,ot
home alive.

The first town meeting I attended was at (now
called) Caledonia. The second town me ti g I
attended was on beech ridge, (now Sweden,) two
miles south of Brockport, at the house of Mr.


in 1808, hard times for money — began to raise
some smutty wheat — did not get our money from
the east — embargo limes — a President to be elect-
ed. O I how It tried nit'n's souls. A gentleman
at lie cast wrote lo his riend here, to know the
political situation of this new country. The fol-
lowing la the reply: — "Our political eituauon
reminds me of l le declaration of a sailor whom a
tariii' r hired to plow in a field with a yoke of oxen
and an old mare called Jenny. While the sailor
Wfis absent for a drink of water, his team got in
much disorder and contusion — some had kicked in
and some had kicked out of the Iraies — each
wanted to go iheir own way and make all the oth-
^:rs lollow. Jack finding it impossible to get them
straightened out and make ihem go the way he
wanted, called lustily for his master, who came
pufiing. What's the matter? — what's the mat-
ter, Jack. Gosh, mas - a ! matter enough, I
guess. Why the larboard ox has got on the star-
board side — old Jin is run foul in the riggio' —
the plow is iin her beam's end — and they are all
going to ihe devil stern foremost."

The follow! g names were among the principal
settlers (pioneers) in West Puliney, but probatily
nol in the order in which they arrived. They
were mostly from Massachuset s, and emigrated
in ihe y.-ars 1805, '6, '7, '8, and so on :— Capt.
Sain'l Church, lOsq. Elihu Church, Jesse Church,
Mr. Samuel Baldwin, Esq. Brewster, Amaaa
Frost, Dea. Frost, Capt. Hill, Mr. Morse, Mr.
Turner, Joseph Thomson, Mr. Holbrook, Mr.
Shepard, T. Gay, Mr. Aplhorp, Mr. Bingham,
and many others whose names I do not now recol-
lect, most of whom are fallen asleep. Those near
Bergen Corners who emigrated about the same
time, mostly from Connecticut, were the follow-
ing : — Dea. Levi Ward, Dea. Benjamin Wright,
Dea. Timothy Hill, Dea. John Ward, Dea. Pit-
man Wilcox, Dea. Josiah Pierson, Mr. Ashbei
Cramptoa, Bela Munger, Doct. Levi Ward, jr..


Joarib Field, Samuel Butler, Alexander White,
John Gilford, Jacob Spafford, VVheaton South-
worth, Stephen Evarts, David G. Evart6, and
some others, most of whom are gone.

These words and lines are from the pen
Of a poor old man, three score and ten :
If they will pay for reading them,
He'd only say, Amen — amen.
Please send me a book, should you m^ke one,
and oblige SIMON PIER^-'ON.

Mrs. D. K. Carter, a pioneer, sect the follow-
ing, which was read : —

David K. Carter came to Rochester, March
10, 1814, and settled in a house where Avery &
Burke keep store. In 1817, D. K. Carter, in
conjunction with Abner Hollister, built the old
Mansion in Rochester — the first three story build-
ing ever built in this place. The first Masonic
Lodge, I think, was instituted in that building
shortly after its completion. Daniel Mack kept
it for a public house. In December, 1817, the
first courts were held in the Mansion House after
Monroe County was erected. D. K. Carter, in
December, 1817, removed on to lot No. 13, on the
east side of the river. He died August 27, 1828.

Prattsburgh, Sept. 23, 1848.

Dear Sir : I am a minister of the gospel, in
connection with the Presbyterian church. I came
into Western New York in the fall of the year 1801,
and settled in West Bloomfield, where I remained
between seven and eight years. J then removed
to Prattsburgh, m the county of Steuben, where
I now reside. My residence in Western N. York
has been longer than that of any other Presbyte-
rian minisjer. The history of Western N. York
is one most interesting in many respects. It is
the commencement of a new era in the history of
new settlements — the history of one of the most
interesting parts of the habitable parts of the
world, its civil history ought to be written by
some one who v ould give himself to the work,
and spare no labor in the collection of materials
and compilation of (he work. An interesting and
useful volume of the biography of the departed
pioneers of Western N. York might be compiled,
which might honor their memories and keep alive
the recollection of their achievments. Could not
something be done at the meeting o forward these
objects? Yours, with the highest respect,


Hon. E. Stone.

Rochester, Oct., 1848.

Gentlemen: The following sketch, relative to
cotton manufacturing, perhaps may be interesting
Co many.

In the year 1815, a company was incorporated
by the name of " The Genesee Cotton Manufac-
turing Company," for the purpose of manufactur-
ing cotton at Rochester. A few of the stockhold-
ers are now living in this vicinity, among whom
are Enos Stone, Oliver Culver, S. O. Smith,
M. Brown, F. Bullard, and W. Kempshall.

In the fall of this year they contracted with
RosBEL Smith of Hopkinton, Mass.. to furnish
the following machinery, viz : 12 throstle-frames
of 84 epindlee each and 2 mules of 192 spindles

each, making iu all 1392 spiiidlee, together with
all the necessary apparatus to operate the same.
' This machinery was put in'a building erected
for that purpose on Brown's race at the foot of
Factory street, (since burnt,) and at ihe time I
believe the only cotton machinery west of Whites-
town, and on the building was hung the first bell
west of Genesee river.

I came here in October of this year, and in the
following spring the factory was ready for opera-

I had anticipated much difficulty in starting, as
we were at least 140 miles from any place where
experienced hands could be obtained. But before
we were ready, three or four large families of ope-
r;}tives came here from the Black River country,
which furnished us with all we wished.

There were many obstacles yet to encounter,
and little progress was made. The prices we had
to pay for such things as we must have and the
difficulty with which many of them were obtained,
may be seen in the following : —

We paid 30 cts. per lb. for cotton in New York
and $3,75 per hundred for transportation. 1 paid
Mr. Silas Smith $5 a gallon for common lamp
oil, 25 cts. per lb. for chalk ; and when I had used
all the oil Mr. Smith had, I had to go to Canao-
daigua for a supply ; there I could buy at whole-
sale for $3,75 per gallon. 1 paid as high as $35
per bbl. for poor prime pork, and dealt it out at 20
cts. per lb.'

Money was scarce. The company was embar-
rassed and disheartened, having paid all their
available means out for their buildings and ma-
chinery, they had neither money nor credit to op-
erate iheir machinery with ; and what made it
still worse, the currency of the country was no
better than the rest. The following is a specimen
of the circulating currency : —


Promises to pay the Bearer on demand

By order of the Board of Directors.
Jan. 1, 1816.
3cts. T. Colling.

Under such embarrassments as these we contin-
ued to operate until January, 1818, when the in-
ternal and external difficulties of the company
prevented further operations, and writs, execu-
tions, and injunctions were substituted for cotton
spinning. The whole effects of the company in
the hands of the sherifl'. Calls v/ere now made
on the stockholders to pay the balance due on their
stock or forfeit what they had pa d. Almost all
preferred to forfeit what they had paid and " be
off" — a few paid up their stock in full, with the
understanding that when sold by the sheriff tliey
would have it bid in, and in so doing they could
save their property and make their stock of full
value. A person was so authorized, and the whole
property was struck off to him at a mere nominal

This, as might be supposed, created more law,
and the whole matter was before the Chancellor.
In this state, things remained until the fall of 1821,


when Amo3 Allcott leased the whole premises.
He run until hia death, and afterwards his sons,
S. S. Allcott & Co., continued to run it until
they built the front part of the building where
Cady & Co. now own.

Doct. Brown sold the factory lot to S. O.
Smith in 1827 ; the same year he sold the ma-
chinery to the Messrs. Allcott. The machine! y
was removed to Messrs. A 's new building, where
they added some looms and other machinery, and
run it some time.

In 1831, Mr. E. F. Smith purchased it from
the Messrs, A., and added to the building and
machinery to the amount of 2000 spmdles, and
looms in proportion. In 1835, Mr. Smith made
a stock company with it, retaining about one-half
to himself, which he subsequently sold to Messrs.
Strong. In this way it was run about two years
by a Mr. Lamb, when it was again seized with
Its old complaint and stopped.

In 1846, Messrs. Cady & Co. purchased the
factory, then containing but about 1000 spindles,
with the looms and other machinery that had been
in use formerly. They now have running about
4000 spindles, turning out about 600,000 yards of
heavy sheetings annually and employing about 80
hands, two-thirds of which are females. Most of
the old machinery has been taken out and new

About the year 1830, Mr. Wm. Rathbun & I.
N. Crosby erected a cotton factory in a building
in rear of the mill recently occupied by 1. F. Mack
as a flouring mill. Satinett warps wis their
principal article of manufacture. After the failure
of Mr. Rathbun, the machinery was sold and re-
moved to Bloomfield.

In 1846, Mr. Seth C. Jones commenced man-
ufacturing in his large new building which he had
previously erected for that purpose near the falls.
Messrs. Jones & CHAMBERLdiN have now in op-
eration 5000 spindles, 113 looms, and turn out
more than 1,000,000 yards of cloth annually. —
They employ about 140 hands, two-thirds of
which are lemales.

The above is respectfslly submitted, hoping it
may be of interest enough to be placed among the
minutes of the Pioneer Association.

With respect, yours, &c.,


On the 13lh of Jane, IS 13, I first saw Roch
ester. I stood awhile on the bridge and soon iRHdi-
Bp my mind that this was my future home. The
October following ( rtUurnerl from Masaachuiett.-
wit . men to baild a saw mill on the West side of
the river, very near a small hg cabin ertcted bj
the persias who built the bridge. There were
so few families tl at board non d not be had. A'
the sag^estion of Eooa Stone, Esq , and Is^auc W.
Stone, ! cleared out the cabin which was then
occupied as a stable by S. O. Smith, Esq , who
kindly gave it op for my use. J. VV. Stone pro-
cared me a housekeeper, and the mill was com
pleied in December. We thought the easiest way
to get rid of the cabin would be to Darn it; we
accordingly set it on fire, and it n quired onr ut-
most exertions to prevent its burning the mill. —
With the assistance of our neighbors ii was final-
ly saved,- ajthangh several times on fire At this

• ime there were., ! believe, bat two dwelling
'loases Oil the west and two on the east side of
the river.

I think it was in Apn., IS 14, an eighteen
pound cannon and a four pounder, the latter of
bra^s, were sent by Gone»fll P B. Porter to the
care of Capt. (afiorwardj Colonel) Isaac W.
Stono. It required seventeen yoke of oxen to
draw the eighteen pounder through from Culver's
to this place,, such was the state of the roads. —
With the caMion came powder and ball. We
soon collected some powder in the village, and bad
a few ironiids very much to the amnsoment of all
of OD. it was suggested that we should see what
efleet a bail would have. The cannou was plac-
■d on Main street at the corners near Blossom's
Elotel. On the rise of ground very near the res-
iden-ie of the lamented Gen Mathews,, a large
limb about 40 feet from the ground, was cat from
a tree, which left a white spot for our target. I
went rather clandestinely to Capt. Stone's barn,
got a ball and intended getting it into the cannon
without his noticing it. He observcd'it, however
and said I ought not to waste the public property
in that way. I replied, "never mind. Captain,
we will find it again." " Find the devil," said
he". Enos Stone and Frederick Handford acted
as chief engineers, and myself as assistant. All
things being ready, the cannon was fired. The
t)all struck the tree about 4 feet beli w the maik.
The top quivered a moment and fell. This
was our experience in gunnery. The boys
soon brought us the ball, so that the United
States lost nothing by the operation.

It was soon known that the British fleet was
on our coast, and that it was at Oswego. Capt.,
now Col. Stone of Porter's Volunteers, was
commissioned to raise a regiment of Dragoons. —
He had recruited about 50 men with whom he
wont to the mouth of the river. He directed the
eighteen pounder to be sent there and the four
pounder to Deep Hollow Bridge. On thc> Sab-
bath we threw up a breastwork on the soath side
of the bridge, loosened all the plank which were
pinned down, and finished our work in the eve-
ning. About sundown on the 14ihor IVIay, 1HI4,
[ received a message from Col. Stone, eaymg
the Briti h fleet weie in sight, a^d requestirg me
to notify the inhabitants; but that we need not
come until the next morning. About 11 o'clock
P. M., another messenger came requesting ns to
conie immediately. H Ey & Co. had previous-
\j received 50 m' skets and 8Ut)0 fixed emmnni-
tion; these were distributed among the inhabitants
ail m all —
We turned and rowed slowly towards the shorp
SoDD a twelve oartd barge was in pursuit of us
and giined en* us very rnpidly We feared tbev
might have a sWivel on board and they were ao
nearns'tbat we cou.d dl^tinctiy count their ours
AftHr a moment's consuliation, we condodtd tc.
head our boat for Irondeqaoit. The cbjact vsa.-
to give oar 1.8 pounder oa shore, an opporiunii)
to fire upon the pursuing boat. Brown observed
to me, " well Ely, I believe we shall have to gn
to Halifax" I replied, "it looks very much
like it." Jehiel Barnard, now of ihib place,
raised his head, and with compressed lij s said,
'• 1 hope yoD will let us fight first " We had
not gone far towards Irondcqaoi' before the Brit
ish boat stopped. Brown observed, " tl ey thinl*
there is some trap." We stopped rowing — they
soon commenced again, and we too. They pa !
ed a few strokes and then tamed towards the
shipping, and we to the mouth of the river. The
guns from the fleet could have sank ns at any

About 10 o'clock a flag of truce put off from the
flag ship of the enemy. Col. Stone asked me
whether 1 was used o receiving a flag of truce.
The answer was, "No," Capt. Brown was
asked ; the reply the same. Col. Stone then
told Brown and myself to do the best we could —
adding, " don't let themcome into the river — don't
let them land at all — their feet shall not pollute
our soil." Up the lake, a little above the mouih
of the river, a very large tree had fallen into the
lake where there was sufficient water for the boat
to lie along side. We went out on the tree and
tied a while handkerchief to a stick. The boat
came along side ; the officer, who was in full
dress and a splendid looking man, proposed going
on shore. We told him our orders were positive.
by this time 12 armed men made their appearance
on the shore of the lake. The officer bearing the
flag said, "Is it your custom f^ receive a flag of
truce under arms?" We told u m he must ex-
cuse us, as we were not soldiers but citizens ; we
however requested the men to return. He then
said tie was commanded by his Exce'lency Sir
James Yeo, to say that, " it we would give up
the public property, private property should be re-
spected." He then produced a paper signed by

quite a number of citizens of Oswego, the contents
of which, as near as ! can recollect, were that, as
the government had left a hTir

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Online LibraryPioneers of RochesterProceedings at the annual festivals of the pioneers of Rochester, held at Blossom hall, Sept. 30, 1847, and Oct. 13, 1848 (Volume 1) → online text (page 5 of 6)