Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 478
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478    ONONDAGA    COUNTY.

It is reported, upon the authority of the missionaries, that the principal chief of the Onondagas
invited the French to establish another colony among them, for the purpose of instructing the In¬
dians in the arts of civilization. Accordingly, in 1665, a number of French families, under the
guidance of the missionaries, came into the country and located near the Indian fort and village
which stood in the vicinity of the present village of Jamesville. After living in peace for about
3 years, they were visited by
a party of Spaniards who came in from the s., and the Indians be¬
came jealous of both and murdered them all.1 It is supposed that several other attempts were
made by the French to colonize the country, as numerous remains of French works are found in
several places.2 In the wars that ensued between the English and. French the Onondagas bore
their part, and were generally allies of the English. In 1695, Count Frontenac, the French Go¬
vernor of Canada, invaded the Onondaga country; but he retired after burning a few villages ant
murdering one old man. During the Devolution the Onondagas espoused the English cause, and
many of their warriors, under the leadership of Brant, were engaged in the various attacks upon
the frontier settlements. On the 19th of April, 1779, Col. Yan Schaick, at the head of 150 men,
invaded the Onondaga country by the way of Oneida Lake. A skirmish was fought near the s. w.
limits of the present city of Syracuse, in which the Indians were defeated.2 In the fall of the
same year, Col. Ganseyoort, at the head of 100 men, was detached from Gen. Sullivan’s army, at
Geneva, and sent through the country of the Cayugas and Onondagas to complete the work of
destruction which had been commenced. The villages of the Onondagas were burned, their corn
was destroyed, and their sacred council fire was put out. In revenge, small bands of the Indians
attacked the defenseless frontier settlements upon the Mohawk and committed the most horrible
atrocities.

In 1788 a treaty was made with the Onondagas, in which they ceded to the State all their lands
except the Onondaga Reservation.4 The land thus obtained, and another tract lying
w. of it, were
set apart for bounty lands to Revolutionary soldiers, and became known as the Military Tract.3 It
included all the lands lying within the original limits of Onondaga co., and now constituting Onon¬
daga, Cayuga, Cortland, and Seneca, and parts of Tompkins, Oswego, and Wayne cos.

Springs Reservation was subdivided in 1821-24, by John Ran
dall, jr.

6 The Military Tract was laid out into 25 townships, each in¬
tended to contain, as nearly as possible, 60,000 acres; and each
township was subdivided into 100 lots. Three more townships
were afterward added, making 28 in all. The following is a
complete list of them:—

1 ^ 1

t

Township.

Present Towns.

County.

l

Lysander.....

Lysander........................

and s. part of Granby ...

Onondaga.

Oswego.

2

Hannibal.....

Town and w. part of city of
Oswego, Hannibal, and
N. part of Granby.........

Oswego.

3

Cato............

Victory and Ira, and N.
parts of Conquest & Cato,

Cayuga.

4

Brutus .......

Mentz and Brutus, and
parts of Conquest, Cato,
Montezuma, Throop, and
Sennett.......................

Cayuga.

5

Camillus.....

Van Buren and Elbridge,
and part of Camillus.....

Onondaga.

6

Cicero.........

Clay and Cicero................

Onondaga.

7

Manlius......

Dewitt and Manlius, and

part of Salina...............

Onondaga.

8

Aurelius.....

Fleming, Auburn City,
and Owasco, most of
Throop and Sennett, part
of Aurelius, and 1 lot in
Montezuma..................

Cayuga.

9

Marcellus....

Skaneateles and Marcellus,
parts of Spafford and
Otisco.........................

Onondaga.

10

Pompey......

Pompey, most of La Fa¬
yette, 3 lots in Otisco ....

Onondaga.

11

Romulus.....

Romulus, w. parts of Fa¬
yette and Varick, 4 lots

in Seneca Falls.............

Seneca.

12

Scipio.........

Scipio and Venice, s. part
of Ledyard, 5 lots in
Niles, and small point
■ (n.w. cor.) of Moravia...

Cayuga.

13

Sempronius

Moravia, Sempronius, and

most of Niles...............

and part of Spafford ..V...

Cayuga.

Onondaga.

14

Tully..........

Tully, s. part Spafford, and

Otisco..........................

Scott and Preble..............

Onondaga.

Cortland.




1

It is reported that 23 Spaniards came up the Mississippi, Ohio,
and Allegany Rivers to Olean, and thence across the country to
Onondaga, under the guidance of an Iroquois. They had been
informed by the Indians that in the n. there was a lake the
banks of which were covered with something shining and white,
which they understood to be silver. Their disappointment was
great when they found that the Indians meant salt instead. A
quarrel arose between the French and Spaniards, which resulted
in the murder of both by the Indians.

2

The official report makes the Indian loss 12 killed and 34
prisoners.

3

the townships of Marcellus and Camillus, n. by the townships of
Camillus and Manlius and the public Reservation bordering
upon Onondaga Lake. The n. e. corner was originally at the
former n. e. corner of Syracuse. The Reservation was about
Ilf mi. long n. and s. by 9^0 mi. wide e. and w., and included
parts of the present towns of La Fayette, Camillus, Geddes,
DeWitt, and the city of Syracuse, and all of Onondaga. In
1793 it was purchased of the Indians, reserving a tract in the
s. e. corner 4J mi. n. and S. by nearly 4 e. and w., and subdi¬
vided into 221 lots, mostly of 250 acres each, exclusive of the
sq. mi. originally granted to Webster by the Indians in 1788.
The Lots 8 to 19, 25 to 33,39 to 47, and 53 to 65, inclusive, were
made no account of, having been converted into a public Salt
Reservation. The remainder were sold in 1796. The second pur¬
chase was that of Feb. 25,1817, being a strip
H mi. wide from the
e. side of the tract reserved in the first purchase, and was sub¬
divided into 27 square lots of 160 acres each. The third purchase-
was that of Feb. 11,1822, being a strip J mi. wide from the s.
end of that remaining after the purchase of 1817. It was sub¬
divided into 7 lots. The present reservation is 4 mi. n. and s.
by a little less than 2J e. and w., containing—exclusive of 300
acres in the N. w. portion, granted by the Indians to Ephraim
Webster in 1823—about 6,100 acres. It is situated one-half in
Onondaga and one-half in La Fayette. The number of Indians
remaining of the once powerful Onondaga Nation, as reported
by the last census, is 349. An Indian school is taught; but it
has had little success. The condition of the tribe has visibly
improved within the last few years, and they appear to be
slowly .learning the arts of civilization. The Onondaga Salt


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