This county was formed from Albany, March 7,1809. It is centrally
distant 20 mi. from Albany, and contains 221 Sq. mi. • The greater
part lies between Mohawk River and Schoharie Creek,—one
town only lying n. of the Mohawk. The surface consists of the
Mohawk Yalley and an upland, generally much broken by ridges
and isolated hills, 200 to 350 feet above the river. The highlands
are the northern continuation of the Helderbergh and Schoharie
Mts. The underlying rock is generally the shales of the Hudson
River group, which crop out in the valleys and the bottoms of the
ravines. In portions of Glenville and Duanesburgh this rock
is underlaid by birdseye limestone, from which are obtained both
lime and stone for building. The greater part of the surface is
covered with a thick deposit of drift, consisting principally of clay in the w. part and sand in the e.
The rocks crop out on the banks of the streams and form the declivities of the steeper hills. The
soil in the w. part is a tenacious, clayey loam, underlaid by hardpan on the hills, and in the e. a
light, unproductive sand. The valley of the Mohawk consists of a deep, rich alluvium, well adapted
to tillage, and extensively devoted' to the cultivation of broomcorn.1
The principal streams are Mohawk River, Schoharie Creek, and Normans Kil, and their
branches. The valleys of these streams are generally bordered by the steep declivities of the
uplands, rising to a height of about 300 feet. Many of the smaller streams have worn deep
gullies in the loose drift deposits, giving to the surface a very broken character. These
small streams are mostly dry in summer. The fine alluvial flats near Schenectady, extending 5
mi. w. on the s. side of the river, were called by the first settlers the “ Bouwlandk”2 A tract 2
mi. in extent, n. of the river, was called the “ MaalwycTc;”3 and a tract on both sides, 4 mi. w.
of the city, was known as the “ Woestina.!!i A region immediately about Schenectady was called
“ Oron-nygli-wurrie-gughrethe hills s. were known as the “ Yan-ta-puch-a-berg;"4 and those on
both sides of the river above the city were called “ Tou-ar-e-u-ne.” The streams of “ Woestina"
were “ Yerf Kil,"5 Zantzee Kil,6 and “ Righelbrigh Kil.”6 The valleys are best adapted to tillage
and the hills to pasturage.9 Manufactures are chiefly limited to the city of Schenectady.7 In
Glenville are about a dozen broom factories,.employing 450 persons.
The county seat is located at Schenectady City.8 The courthouse and clerk's office are both
situated on Union St.: the former contains the courtroom, jail, sheriff's and supervisors' rooms,12
and the latter the clerk's and surrogate's offices. The poorhouse is located on a farm of 116 acres,
on the Albany Road, just e. of the city. It has, on an average, about 75 inmates, and the farm
yields a revenue of $1,200. There are 5 newspapers published in the co.9
The Schenectady Gazette was published in 1812, by Ryer Scher¬
The Schenectady County Whig was issued in 1830, by C. G. and
A. Palmer, and was continued until 1834.
The Schenectady Standard was published in 1831, by T. J.
The Schenectady Democrat was begun in 1828, by C. G. and A. '
Palmer. T. W. Flagg became its publisher in 1837, and
the same year it was changed to
The Reflector aifd Schenectady Democrat. It
has heen successively published hy G. Yates, E. H. Kin¬
caid, and A. A. Keyser, and is now published by Fred.
The Censor was published in 1834, hy the students of Union College.
The Parthenon, mo., Was published in 1846^47 by the college
The Mohawker was published in 1835, hy Riggs & Norris.
The Protestant Sentinel was commenced ip 1835, by Rev. John
Maxon, and continued 2 years..
The Wreath was started in 1835, by W. H. Burleigh, and con¬
tinued 1 year.
Freedom’s Sentinel was issued during the campaign of 1840, hy
Stephen S. Riggs.
The Antiquarian and General Review, mo., was started in 1845,
hy Rev. W. Arthur, and continued 2 years.
The Scroll, mo., was published a short time in 1849.
The Schenectady Democrat was founded in 1853, by
Wm. M. Colborne and W. N. Cldrk. In 1857 it was sold
to A. J. Thompson, and in April, 1859, to C. Thayer.
One-half of the entire broomcorn crop of the State is raised
within this co. A considerable portion of the broomcorn land
is annually overflowed, rendering it continually fertile; and
many tracts have produced this crop alone for many years.
“ Arable Land.”
“ Whirl-back,” from the tortuous course of the Mohawk.
6 Mixed Indian and Dutch, signifying “ John-ear-of-corn-hill.”
“ Paint Creek,” from the yellow earth along the banks.
“ Sea-Sand Creek.” 10 “ Rail-bridge Creek.”
19 See page 598.
u By the terms of the act making Schenectady the co.
seat, the courthouse was to be built at the expense of the city.
The first county officers were Gerrit S. Veeder, First Judge;
Peter V. Veeder, Clerk; Jas. V. S. Biley, Sheriff; and Wm. J.
18 The following is a nearly complete list of the newspapers in
The Western Spectator was issued prior to 1807.
The Schenectady Cabinet was commenced in Jan. 1809, by Isaac
Biggs. In 1850 it passed into the hands of S. S. Biggs,
• who continued it until 1857.
The Western Budget was issued a short time in 1809.
The Mohawk Advertiser \fas pub. in 1810 by R. Schermerhorn.
The Floriad, 8vo, mo., was published in 1811.
9 At an early period the Mohawk Valley was celebrated for its