Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 519
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OSWEGO COUNTY.    519

The portion of the co. of Oswego lying near the mouth of the river was discovered in 1654 by
French Jesuits, who established missions here for the conversion of the Iroquois.1 The French had
previously explored the St. Lawrence; and in 1615 Champlain, in an expedition against the Onon-
dagas, passed through the
e. part of the co. In 1700 the English explored the country occupied by
the Five Nations as far w. as Oswegu; and in 1722 a trading house was built here under the direc¬
tion of the N. Y. colonial government. From that period considerable trade was carried on by
the English between Oswego and Albany through Oswego River, Oneida River and Lake, Wood 1
Creek, and the Mohawk.2 In 1727 the English built a fort on the w. bank of the river, near
its mouth.3 The French, claiming this whole territory, remonstrated against the action of the
English, and several times planned expeditions to destroy the fortifications, but did not carry them
into effect. Upon the commencement of the “Old French War” of 1753, Fort Ontario was erected
on the
e. bank of the river; and another fort was built upon the summit of the w. ridge in 1755.4
In the summer of 1756, 5,000 French under Montcalm, with a heavy train of artillery, consisting
of 30 guns of large caliber, crossed the lake from Fort Frontenac (now Kingston) and appeared
before this place. The forts were invested Aug. 11, and, after 3 days’ hard fighting, they were
surrendered on the 14th.5 The victors demolished the forts, burned the English vessels, and retired.
In 1758, Col. Bradstreet, with 3,350 men, crossed the lake from this place and reduced Fort Fronte¬
nac. After destroying the fortifications and securing the military stores and vessels, he returned to
Oswego and rebuilt the forts there. Fort Ontario was greatly enlarged, and built in the most sub¬
stantial manner. In the summer of 1760, the powerful army of Lord Amherst embarked here on
an expedition down the St. Lawrence. From this time Oswego became the most important military
station upon the western frontier. During the Revolution it was strongly garrisoned, and formed the
headquarters of many of the marauding parties that desolated the frontier settlements. It continued
in possession of the British until 1796, when it was surrendered under the provisions of Jay’s treaty.

In 1790, George Scriha, a merchant of N.Y. City, and a German by birth, purchased 500,000
acres of land lying between Lakes Oneida and Ontario, for the sum of $80,000.® This purchase,
known as “ Scriba’s Patent,” was hounded on the
e. by Fish Creek and on the w. by Oswego River,
and embraced 14 towns in Oswego co. and 4 in Oneida. In 1794, Mr. Scriha caused a settlement
to he made and a sawmill built on the shore of Oneida Lake, to which he gave the name of “
Rot¬
terdam
,”—now Constantia. In 1795 he built a gristmill—the first in the co.—and several other
buildings at the same place. During the same year his patent was surveyed and divided- into
townships and subdivided into lots.7 About the same time he commenced a settlement at the
mouth of Little Salmon Creek, on the shore of Lake Ontario, 12 mi.
n. e. of Oswego, which he called

The Pulaski Advocate, and was published hy Daniel Ayer until

1838. It was then sold to Dickinson and united

with the Port Ontario Aurora, the united papers taking
the name of

The Advocate and Aurora. The name, Aurora, was dropped in
1840, when the Advocate again passed into the hands
of Daniel Ayer, and was discontinued in 1842.

The Pulaski Courier was started in 1843 hy W. Winans. In
1847 it passed into the hands of A. A. Mathewson, and
was changed to

The Richland Courier. In 1850 it was sold to Joseph Hatch,
who changed its title to

Tlie Pulaski Democrat. In 1856 it passed into the
hand3 of Miller, its present publisher.

The Fulton Chronicle was started in Nov. 1S37, by Thomas
Johnson. In 1840 it was sold to Isaac S. Clark and
Edwin Thompson, who gave it the name of the

Ben Franklin. It was discontinued the following year, and suc¬
ceeded by

The Weekly Despatch, published by E. C. Hatten about 1 year.

The Fulton Sun w^s started in 1841 by N. B. Northrop. In
1842 it was united with the Mirror.

The Fulton Mirror was established Aug. 20, 1S42, hy Daniel
Ayer. It was soon after united with the Sun and issued
as

The Fulton Sun and Mirror. In Sept. 1844, it was sold to
Spencer Munroe, and soon after discontinued. It was
succeeded by

Tlie Fulton Patriot. M. C. Hough, John A. Place, and
T. S. Brigham were successively interested in its publi¬
cation. The latter was succeeded by It. K. Sandford,
its present publisher.

The Oswego County Gazette, commenced at Pulton in 1853 by
Geo. E. Williams, was merged in The Pulton Patriot in
1858.

The Port Ontario Aurora was published by Van Cleve and

subsequently by Dickinson from 1837 to 1839, when

it was united with The Pulaski Advocate.

The Oswego County Deimcrat was started at Mexico in 1838 by
Thomas Messenger. It was afterward styled

The Messenger, and was discontinued in 1839.

The Phoenix Gazette, started at Phoenix in 1851, was published
hy Jerome Duke, and afterward by Geo. E. Williams
until 1853, when it was removed to Pulton
The Phoenix Democrat was established in 1852 hy an association.
In 1854 it was sold to James H. Pield, and the next year
he gave it the name of
The Phoenix Banner. In 1855 it was published a short time as
The American Banner and Oswego County Times. It was sus¬
pended in 1855, and in 1856 it was revived by Mary
Prances Tucker, and called
The American Banner and Literary Gem. fiight months after¬
ward it was sold to Levi Murrill, by whom it was pub¬
lished as

The American Banner until 1857. After being suspended two
months, it was revived, under the title of
Tlie Phoenix Reporter, hy Joshua Williams, hy whom
it is still published.

1 There is a tradition that the French established a military
post here at a very early period; hut research among the papers
of that period does not corroborate the statement.

2 There were several portages on this route,—around the falls
in the streams, and across from Wood Creek to the Mohawk.

3 Not a single trace of this fortification now remains.

4 This fort stood at the junction of West 6th and Van Buren
Sts.

6 The French landed 50 mi. e. of Oswego, and marched along
the lake shore under cover of their naval force. The English
garrison numbered 2,000 strong. Col. Mercer, the English com¬
mander, was killed by a cannon shot on the 2d day of the siege

6 In this grant the State made reservations of the territory at
the mouth of the river, within the limits of the city of Oswego,
and also at the falls in the village of Pulton. Most of these
reservations were disposed of at public sale in 1827. At an
earlier date, considerable tracts in Scriba’s Patent, on Oswego
Biver, were jointly purchased by Gen. Alexander Hamilton,
John Laurence, and John B. Church. Several other grants were
also made along the river. Other tracts of considerable magni¬
tude were purchased by Schroeppel, Rosevelt, and others.

f This survey and subdivision was made by Benjamin Wright,
who in 1793-94 ran the base line from Borne to Fort Ontario,
on which the towns of Scriba’s Patent were laid out. The town*



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