Mohawk or Iroquois Trail

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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[United States Migration Internal|Migration]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[US Migration Trails and Roads|Trails and Roads]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[New York|New York]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Mohawk Trail|Mohawk Trail]]''  
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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] [[United States Migration Internal|Migration]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] [[US Migration Trails and Roads|Trails and Roads]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] [[New York|New York]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] [[Mohawk_or_Iroquois_Trail|Mohawk Trail]]''  
  
The '''Mohawk Trail''', also known as the Iroquois Trail, or Great Indian Trail, started as an Indian footpath from [[Albany, New York|Albany]], a major early [[New York]] trade center, to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego Fort Oswego], the first British fur trading post on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario] established in 1722. An important fork of this trail from Fort Schuyler (Utica) to Fort Niagara (Youngstown) is also described in [[Great Genesee Road]]. Each end of the Mohawk Trail connected [[Image:Mohawk Trail map.png|right|420px]]to other important migration pathways. The length of the Mohawk Trail from Albany to Fort Oswego was about 190 miles (306 km).<ref name="HBG">''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.'' (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 851. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/50140092 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|1049485|item|disp=FHL Book 973 D27e 2002}}.</ref><ref name="Oswego">Wikipedia contributors, "Fort Oswego" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego (accessed 30 June 2011).</ref><br><br>  
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The '''Mohawk Trail''', also known as the Iroquois Trail, or Great Indian Trail, started as an {{Wpd|Great Trail|Indian footpath}} from [[Albany, New York|Albany]], a major early [[New York]] trade center, to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego Fort Oswego], the first British fur trading post on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario] established in 1722. An important fork of this trail from [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utica,_New_York Fort Schuyler (Utica)] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara] (Youngstown) is also described in [[Great Genesee Road]]. Each end of the Mohawk Trail connected [[Image:Mohawk Trail map.png|right|420px|Mohawk Trail map.png]]to other important migration pathways. The length of the Mohawk Trail from Albany to Fort Oswego was about 190 miles (306 km).<ref name="HBG">''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.'' (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 851. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/50140092 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|1049485|item|disp=FHL Book 973 D27e 2002}}.</ref><ref name="Oswego">Wikipedia contributors, "Fort Oswego" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref><br><br><br>  
  
 
=== Background History  ===
 
=== Background History  ===
  
[[Albany, New York]] was founded by the Dutch colony of [[New Netherland]] in 1614 and quickly became their premier fur trading center and second largest town. In 1664 [[England]] conquered the former Dutch colony and renamed it [[New York]].<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Albany, New York" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albany,_New_York (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref>  
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[[Albany, New York]] was founded by the Dutch colony of [[New Netherland]] in 1614 and quickly became their premier [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fur_trade fur trading] center and second largest town. In 1664 [[England]] conquered the former Dutch colony and renamed it [[New York]].<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Albany, New York" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albany,_New_York (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref>  
  
In 1722 the British built a fur trading post near the mouth of the Oswego River on the southeast side of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario]. In 1727 they constructed log palisades, the first of a series of fortifications in the area. This was the first British military outpost on Lake Ontario. More nearby forts were also added in 1741 and 1755. These forts around the trading post helped establish the British as a power on the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes Great Lakes], and were sometimes collectively were called [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego Fort Oswego].<ref name="Oswego" />  
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In 1722 the [[Great Britain|British]] built a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fur_trade_in_North_America fur trading] post near the mouth of the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswego_River_%28New_York%29 Oswego River] on the southeast side of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario]. In 1727 they constructed log palisades, the first of a series of fortifications in the area. This was the first British military outpost on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario]. More nearby forts were also added in 1741 and 1755. These forts around the trading post helped establish the British as a power on the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes Great Lakes], and were sometimes collectively were called [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego Fort Oswego].<ref name="Oswego" />  
  
Indian trails through the forests existed for hunting, for trading, and for making war. To reach what became Fort Oswego and build it up, the British most likely improved an already existing Indian path between Albany and Fort Oswego. The route for carrying furs and skins to Albany, for communication, and for military troop and supply movements became known as the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail.<ref name="HBG" />
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[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Trail Indian trails] through the forests existed for hunting, for trading, and for making war. To reach what became [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego Fort Oswego] and build it up, the British most likely improved an already existing Indian path between Albany and Fort Oswego. The route for carrying furs and skins to Albany, for communication, and for military troop and supply movements became known as the '''Mohawk or Iroquois Trail'''.<ref name="HBG" />  
  
In 1726, after a period of absence, the French re-settled and fortified the Fort Niagara area on the southwest side of Lake Ontario and guarding the Niagara River.  
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In 1726, after a period of absence, the [[New France|French]] re-settled and fortified the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara] area on the southwest side of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario] guarding the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara_River Niagara River].<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Fort Niagara" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref>
  
The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_and_Indian_War French and Indian War (1754-1763)] led to improvement of Indian pathways into roads for the military and for settlers. In 1758 the British built Fort Schuyler (now [[Utica, New York]]) to guard the central Mohawk Trail to Fort Oswego and the junction with the Mohawk Trail to Fort Niagara at a Mohawk River ford.  
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The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_and_Indian_War French and Indian War (1754-1763)] led to improvement of Indian pathways into roads for the military and for settlers. In 1758 the British built Fort Schuyler (now [[Utica, New York]]) to guard the central Mohawk Trail to Fort Oswego and the junction with the Mohawk Trail to Fort Niagara at a Mohawk River ford.<ref>"History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 Chapter 130: The City of Utica" in ''Schenectady Digital History Archive'' at http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/resources/mvgw/history/130.html (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref>
  
In 1759 British troops from Fort Oswego were shipped along Lake Ontario to Fort Niagara. The British besieged Fort Niagara for 19 days and captured it. This made the Mohawk Trail an important supply route from Albany to Fort Schuyler to Fort Niagara. The west fork of the Mohawk Trail from Utica to Fort Niagara was about 212 miles (341 km) long. From Albany to Fort Niagara it was about 306 miles (492 km).  
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In 1759 British troops from Fort Oswego were shipped along Lake Ontario to Fort Niagara. The British [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Niagara besieged Fort Niagara] for 19 days and captured it.<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Battle of Fort Niagara" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Niagara (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref> This made the Mohawk Trail an important supply route from Albany to Fort Schuyler (Utica) to Fort Niagara. The '''''west fork''''' of the Mohawk Trail from Utica to Fort Niagara was about 212 miles (341 km) long. From Albany to Fort Niagara it was about 306 miles (492 km).  
  
As settlers moved west these two branches of the Mohawk Trail were used heavily. New York invested in road improvements to from Albany to Utica in 1793. Further, in 1794 New York authorized work on the [[Great Genesee Road]] from Utica to Caledonia and after 1798 to Buffalo.<ref name="Rte5">Wikipedia contributors, "New York State Route 5" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 (accessed 28 June 2011).</ref> The Genesee Road partially overlapped the west Fork of the Mohawk Trail as far as Oneida and Madison counties on its way to Fort Niagara. However, near Syracuse the original Mohawk Trail took a more northerly route. In 1797 a weekly stagecoach began service between Utica and Geneva on the Seneca/Ontario county line. Each leg of the round trip took three days.<ref>"The Way West Through Northern Seneca County," http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/The%20Way%20West%20Through%20Northern%20Seneca%20County.pdf (accessed 29 June 2011).</ref> In 1798 the Great Genesee Road became a turnpike, a high quality toll road under private control.
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During and shortly after the [[Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783|American Revolutionary War]] 1775-1783, many [[American Loyalists]] sought refuge from angry American neighbors by leaving for Canada. Those Loyalists from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania that made it to [[Ontario]] usually reached there by following the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail.<ref>William Dollarhide, ''Map guide to American migration routes, 1735-1815'' (Bountiful, Utah : AGLL, c1997), 14. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/38096564 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|660781|item|disp=FHL Book 973 E3d}}.</ref>  
  
But New York toll roads had competition. Water travel on canals was less expensive than road tolls. The [[Erie Canal]] was completed in sections: Rome to Utica 1819, Utica to Syracuse 1820, Brockport to Albany 1823, and the entire canal Albany to Buffalo opened 1825.<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Erie Canal" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Central_Railroad (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref> Moreover, several railroads charging about the same as the canal began offering passenger service farther and farther west. Railroad service from Albany to Schenectady began 1831, to Utica 1836, to Auburn 1839, to Rochester in 1841, and to Buffalo in 1842. In 1853 the several railroads were merged into a mainline from Albany to Buffalo.<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "New York Central Railroad" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref> The decrease in toll revenues made the road company unprofitable. By 1852 it was dissolved and the former toll roads from Utica to Buffalo became public roads again.<ref name="Rte5" />  
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As American settlers moved west the two branches of the Mohawk Trail were used heavily. [[New York|New York]] invested in road improvements from Albany to Utica in 1793.<ref>"The Mohawk Turnpike" in ''RootsWeb'' at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tqpeiffer/Documents/Ancestral%20Migration%20Archives/Migration%20Webpage%20Folder/%281%29%20NORTHEASTERN%20US%20ROUTES/Mohawk%20Turnpike.htm (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref> Further, in 1794 New York authorized work on the [[Great Genesee Road]] from Utica to Caledonia and after 1798 to Buffalo.<ref name="Rte5">Wikipedia contributors, "New York State Route 5" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref> The Genesee Road partially overlapped the west Fork of the Mohawk Trail as far as [[Albany County, New York|Oneida]] and [[Madison County, New York|Madison]] counties on its way to Fort Niagara. However, near [[Syracuse, New York|Syracuse]] the original Mohawk Trail took a more northerly route. In 1797 a weekly [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stagecoach stagecoach] began service between Utica and Geneva on the Seneca/Ontario county line. Each leg of the round trip took three days.<ref>"The Way West Through Northern Seneca County," http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/The%20Way%20West%20Through%20Northern%20Seneca%20County.pdf (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref> In 1798 the [[Great Genesee Road|Great Genesee Road]] became a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toll_road turnpike], a high quality toll road under private control.<ref name="Rte5" />
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<div style="float: left; width: 147%">
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But New York toll roads eventually had competition. Water travel on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canal canals] was less expensive than road tolls. The [[Erie Canal]] was completed in sections: Rome to Utica 1819, Utica to Syracuse 1820, Brockport (west of Rochester) to Albany 1823, and the entire canal Albany to Buffalo opened 1825.<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Erie Canal" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Central_Railroad (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref> Moreover, several [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroads railroads] charging about the same as the canal began offering passenger service farther and farther west. Railroad service from Albany to Schenectady began 1831, to Utica 1836, to Auburn 1839, to Rochester in 1841, and to Buffalo in 1842. In 1853 the several railroads were merged into a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Central_Railroad New York Central Railroad] mainline from Albany to Buffalo.<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "New York Central Railroad" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal (accessed 2 July 2011).</ref> The decrease in toll revenues made the old turnpike company unprofitable. By 1852 it was dissolved and the former toll roads from Utica to Buffalo became public roads again.<ref name="Rte5" />  
  
=== Route  ===
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=== Route&nbsp; ===
  
The counties along the Mohawk Trail route (southeast to northwest) were as follows:<ref name="HBG" />  
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The counties along the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail route (southeast to northwest) were as follows:<ref name="HBG" />  
  
 
:*[[Albany County, New York|Albany County]]  
 
:*[[Albany County, New York|Albany County]]  
Line 31: Line 33:
 
:*[[Oswego County, New York|Oswego County]]
 
:*[[Oswego County, New York|Oswego County]]
  
The Mohawk trail had a west fork from Fort Schuyler to Fort Niagara that partially overlapped the [[Great Genesee Road]]. Counties along the west fork of the Mohawk Trail route (east to west) were:<ref>"Great Genesee Road" in ''Handybook'', 849.</ref>  
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The Mohawk or Iroquois Trail had a '''''west fork''''' from Fort Schuyler (Utica) to Fort Niagara that partially overlapped the [[Great Genesee Road]]. Counties along the west fork of the Mohawk Trail route (east to west) were:<ref>"Great Genesee Road" in ''Handybook'', 849.</ref>  
  
 
:*[[Oneida County, New York|Oneida County]]  
 
:*[[Oneida County, New York|Oneida County]]  
Line 41: Line 43:
 
:*[[Genesee County, New York|Genesee County]]  
 
:*[[Genesee County, New York|Genesee County]]  
 
:*[[Niagara County, New York|Niagara County]]
 
:*[[Niagara County, New York|Niagara County]]
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:*[[Lincoln County, Ontario]], Canada, the trail continued westward in Canada following the base of the escarpment south of Lake Ontario
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'''Connecting trails.''' The Mohawk or Iroquois Trail linked to other trails at each end of the main trail, and each end of the west fork.<ref>''Handybook'', 847-54.</ref>
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The migration pathways connected at the southeast end of the '''Mohawk or Iroquois Trail''' in [[Albany, New York]] included:
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:*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_River Hudson River] a navigable river stretching from north of [[Albany, New York|Albany]] then flowing south to empty into the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Ocean Atlantic Ocean] at [[New York City, New York|New York City]]
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:*[[Lake Champlain Trail]] a pre-historic Indian path from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lawrence_River St. Lawrence River] via the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_River Hudson River], [[Champlain Canal]], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Champlain Lake Champlain], and in [[Quebec]] the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richelieu_River Richelieu River] (and [[Chambly Canal]])
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:*[[Mohawk_or_Iroquois_Trail|Mohawk or Iroquois Trail]] 1722 from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Rome, New York|Rome]] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego Fort Oswego] on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario]
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::*with a Mohawk or Iroquois Trail west fork by 1758 from [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara]
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::*and that fork was partially overlapped in 1794 by the [[Great Genesee Road]] from [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]], [[Erie County, New York]]
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:*[[Forbidden Path]] (later Catskill Turnpike) a pre-historic Indian path from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]] on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Erie Lake Erie]
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:*[[Old Connecticut Path]] a pre-historic Indian path from [[Boston, Massachusetts]] to [[Springfield, Massachusetts]] to [[Albany, New York|Albany]] with a fork from Springfield to [[Hartford, Connecticut]]
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:*[[Albany Post Road|Albany Post Road]] (or Queen's Road, or King's Road) 1669 from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[New York City, New York|New York City]]
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:*[[Greenwood Road]] from [[Hartford, Connecticut]] to [[Albany, New York|Albany]]
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:*[[Champlain Canal]] 1819 connected the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_River Hudson River] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Champlain Lake Champlain] (New York City to Montreal)
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:*[[Erie Canal]] 1825 connected [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]] on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Erie Lake Erie] (New York City to the Great Lakes)
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The migration pathway connected at the northwest end of the '''Mohawk or Iroquois Trail''' in [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego Fort Oswego] included:
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:*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario] with connections to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto,_Ontario Toronto, Ontario], the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lawrence_River St. Lawrence River] and the other [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes Great Lakes]
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:*[[Mohawk_or_Iroquois_Trail|Mohawk or Iroquois Trail]] 1722 from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Rome, New York|Rome]] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego Fort Oswego] on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario]
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:'''West Fork.''' The migration pathways connected at the east end of the '''Mohawk or Iroquois Trail''' (west fork) in [[Utica, New York|Utica]] included:
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::*[[Mohawk_or_Iroquois_Trail|Mohawk or Iroquois Trail]] by 1758 from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara]
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::*[[Great Genesee Road|Great Genesee Road]] 1794 from [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Caledonia, New York|Caledonia]] and later [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]]
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::*[[Erie Canal]] 1825 from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]]
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:The migration pathways connected at the west end of the '''Mohawk or Iroquois Trail''' (west fork) in [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara] included:
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::*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Erie Lake Erie] with connections to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]], [[Cleveland, Ohio|Cleveland]], [[Toledo, Ohio|Toledo]], and [[Detroit, Michigan|Detroit]]
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::*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara_River Niagara River] with connections to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara], and [[Ontario|Ontario]] in [[Canada|Canada]]
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::*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario] with connections to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto,_Ontario Toronto, Ontario], the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lawrence_River St. Lawrence River] and the other [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes Great Lakes]
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::*[[Mohawk_or_Iroquois_Trail|Mohawk or Iroquois Trail]] by 1758 from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara]
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::*[[Great Genesee Road|Great Genesee Road]] 1794 from [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Caledonia, New York|Caledonia]] and later [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]]
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::*[[Erie Canal]] 1825 from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]]
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::*[[Shore Line Path]] from [[Buffalo, New York]] to [[Cleveland, Ohio]]
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::*pathways into [[Ontario]], Canada including the extension of the Iroquois Trail westward along the south side of Lake Ontario
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'''Modern parallels.''' The modern roads that roughly match the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail from Albany to Fort Oswego are:
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:*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 New York State Route 5] from Albany to Deerfield (near Utica)
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:*New York State 49 from Deerfield (near Utica) to Rome
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:*where it becomes New York State 69 from Rome to Mexico
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:*turn west onto New York State 104 from Mexico to Oswego
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The modern roads that roughly match the '''''west fork''''' of the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail to Fort Niagara are:
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:*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 New York State Route 5] from Albany to two miles east of Sherrill, Oneida County
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:*two miles east of Sherrill turn northeast on New York State Route 31 from near Sherrill to the outskirts of Lockport, Niagara County
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:*at the outskirts of Lockport, turn northeast on Cold Springs Road which becomes Old Niagara Road which becomes Stone Road
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:*which merges into westbound New York State Route 93 from Lockport to Fort Niagara
  
 
=== Settlers and Records  ===
 
=== Settlers and Records  ===
  
*
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Early settlers in central New York most likely traveled there via [[Albany, New York|Albany]]. Albany was a hub of pathways from [[New York City, New York|New York City]], [[Vermont]], [[Connecticut]], [[Massachusetts]], [[Pennsylvania]], and [[Quebec]]. Probably the largest group to settle were New Englanders, many from Vermont. But people from almost every part of the eastern seaboard and Europe also were common in the area.
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Many of the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania [[American Loyalists|Loyalists]] who fled to [[Ontario]] during or shortly after the American Revolution followed the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail. For a list of over 300 Loyalist families is the Niagara area of Ontario see:
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*Norman K. Crowder, "1784-1785 Niagara Return" ''Early Ontario Settlers: A Source Book'' (Baltimore: Genealogical Publ., 1993), 132-42. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/28416689 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|632644|item|disp=FHL Book 971.3 H29c}}.
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No complete list of settlers in New York who used the '''Mohawk or Iroquois Trail''' is known to exist. Nevertheless, local and county histories along that trail may reveal pioneer settlers who arrived 1722 to 1850, and therefore who were the most likely candidates to have traveled the Great Genesee Road or Seneca Turnpike.
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For partial lists of early settlers who may have used the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail, see histories like:
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'''''Oswego County'''''
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*Crisfield Johnson, ''History of Oswego County, New York, 1789-1877&nbsp;: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers'' (Philadelphia&nbsp;: L.H. Everts, 1877). [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1302975 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|287027|item|disp=FHL Film 874492}}. Indexed in ''Index to History of Oswego County, New York'' (Salt Lake City&nbsp;: Family History Library, 1991). {{FHL|135331|item|disp=FHL Fiche 6087924 (4 fiche); Book 974.767 H2j index}}.
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'''''Oneida County'''''
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*Samuel W. Durant, ''History of Oneida County, New York&nbsp;: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers'' (Microreproduction of original published: Philadelphia&nbsp;: Everts &amp; Fariss, 1878). [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/15238689 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|240000|item|disp=FHL Film 823718}}.
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'''''Niagara County'''''
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*Samuel T. Wiley and W. Scott Garner, ''Biographical and portrait cyclopedia of Niagara County, New York'' (Microreproduction of original published: Philadelphia&nbsp;: Gresham Pub. Co., 1892). [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/3009409 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|317821|item|disp=FHL Film 317821 Item 4}}.
  
 
=== External Links  ===
 
=== External Links  ===
  
*[
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*[http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gentutor/trails.html#Mohawk Mohawk (Iroquois) Trail] RootsWeb description of the route and a brief history.
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*[http://inheritage.ca/2010-06-06-04-18-02/local-history/2010-06-24-02-13-52.html Iroquois Trail] Heritage Village, Vineland, Ontario brief description of the Canadian part.
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*[http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/resources/mvgw/history/101.html History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925] focuses most on modern Mohawk Turnpike.
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:The Great Genesee Road partially overlaps the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail.
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:*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 New York State Route 5] Wikipedia's excellent brief history of New York roads, especially the Great Genesee Road.
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:*[http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tqpeiffer/Documents/Ancestral%20Migration%20Archives/Migration%20Webpage%20Folder/%281%29%20NORTHEASTERN%20US%20ROUTES/Great%20Genesee%20Road.htm The Great Genesee Road] RootsWeb brief history and maps.
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:*[http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/The%20Way%20West%20Through%20Northern%20Seneca%20County.pdf The Way West Through Northern Seneca County] good history of roads, canals, and railroads in Seneca County.
  
 
=== References  ===
 
=== References  ===
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[[Category:Migration_Routes]] [[Category:US_Migration_Trails_and_Roads]] [[Category:New_York]] [[Category:Albany_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Schenectady_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Herkimer_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Oneida_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Oswego_County,_New_York]]
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[[Category:Migration_Routes]] [[Category:US_Migration_Trails_and_Roads]] [[Category:New_York]] [[Category:Albany_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Schenectady_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Herkimer_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Oneida_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Oswego_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Madison_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Onondaga_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Cayuga_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Wayne_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Monroe_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Genesee_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Niagara_County,_New_York]]

Revision as of 15:17, 11 March 2013

United States go to Migration go to Trails and Roads go to New York go to Mohawk Trail

The Mohawk Trail, also known as the Iroquois Trail, or Great Indian Trail, started as an Indian footpath from Albany, a major early New York trade center, to Fort Oswego, the first British fur trading post on Lake Ontario established in 1722. An important fork of this trail from Fort Schuyler (Utica) to Fort Niagara (Youngstown) is also described in Great Genesee Road. Each end of the Mohawk Trail connected
Mohawk Trail map.png
to other important migration pathways. The length of the Mohawk Trail from Albany to Fort Oswego was about 190 miles (306 km).[1][2]


Contents

Background History

Albany, New York was founded by the Dutch colony of New Netherland in 1614 and quickly became their premier fur trading center and second largest town. In 1664 England conquered the former Dutch colony and renamed it New York.[3]

In 1722 the British built a fur trading post near the mouth of the Oswego River on the southeast side of Lake Ontario. In 1727 they constructed log palisades, the first of a series of fortifications in the area. This was the first British military outpost on Lake Ontario. More nearby forts were also added in 1741 and 1755. These forts around the trading post helped establish the British as a power on the Great Lakes, and were sometimes collectively were called Fort Oswego.[2]

Indian trails through the forests existed for hunting, for trading, and for making war. To reach what became Fort Oswego and build it up, the British most likely improved an already existing Indian path between Albany and Fort Oswego. The route for carrying furs and skins to Albany, for communication, and for military troop and supply movements became known as the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail.[1]

In 1726, after a period of absence, the French re-settled and fortified the Fort Niagara area on the southwest side of Lake Ontario guarding the Niagara River.[4]

The French and Indian War (1754-1763) led to improvement of Indian pathways into roads for the military and for settlers. In 1758 the British built Fort Schuyler (now Utica, New York) to guard the central Mohawk Trail to Fort Oswego and the junction with the Mohawk Trail to Fort Niagara at a Mohawk River ford.[5]

In 1759 British troops from Fort Oswego were shipped along Lake Ontario to Fort Niagara. The British besieged Fort Niagara for 19 days and captured it.[6] This made the Mohawk Trail an important supply route from Albany to Fort Schuyler (Utica) to Fort Niagara. The west fork of the Mohawk Trail from Utica to Fort Niagara was about 212 miles (341 km) long. From Albany to Fort Niagara it was about 306 miles (492 km).

During and shortly after the American Revolutionary War 1775-1783, many American Loyalists sought refuge from angry American neighbors by leaving for Canada. Those Loyalists from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania that made it to Ontario usually reached there by following the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail.[7]

As American settlers moved west the two branches of the Mohawk Trail were used heavily. New York invested in road improvements from Albany to Utica in 1793.[8] Further, in 1794 New York authorized work on the Great Genesee Road from Utica to Caledonia and after 1798 to Buffalo.[9] The Genesee Road partially overlapped the west Fork of the Mohawk Trail as far as Oneida and Madison counties on its way to Fort Niagara. However, near Syracuse the original Mohawk Trail took a more northerly route. In 1797 a weekly stagecoach began service between Utica and Geneva on the Seneca/Ontario county line. Each leg of the round trip took three days.[10] In 1798 the Great Genesee Road became a turnpike, a high quality toll road under private control.[9]

But New York toll roads eventually had competition. Water travel on canals was less expensive than road tolls. The Erie Canal was completed in sections: Rome to Utica 1819, Utica to Syracuse 1820, Brockport (west of Rochester) to Albany 1823, and the entire canal Albany to Buffalo opened 1825.[11] Moreover, several railroads charging about the same as the canal began offering passenger service farther and farther west. Railroad service from Albany to Schenectady began 1831, to Utica 1836, to Auburn 1839, to Rochester in 1841, and to Buffalo in 1842. In 1853 the several railroads were merged into a New York Central Railroad mainline from Albany to Buffalo.[12] The decrease in toll revenues made the old turnpike company unprofitable. By 1852 it was dissolved and the former toll roads from Utica to Buffalo became public roads again.[9]

Route 

The counties along the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail route (southeast to northwest) were as follows:[1]

The Mohawk or Iroquois Trail had a west fork from Fort Schuyler (Utica) to Fort Niagara that partially overlapped the Great Genesee Road. Counties along the west fork of the Mohawk Trail route (east to west) were:[13]

  • Lincoln County, Ontario, Canada, the trail continued westward in Canada following the base of the escarpment south of Lake Ontario

Connecting trails. The Mohawk or Iroquois Trail linked to other trails at each end of the main trail, and each end of the west fork.[14]

The migration pathways connected at the southeast end of the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail in Albany, New York included:

The migration pathway connected at the northwest end of the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail in Fort Oswego included:

West Fork. The migration pathways connected at the east end of the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail (west fork) in Utica included:
The migration pathways connected at the west end of the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail (west fork) in Fort Niagara included:

Modern parallels. The modern roads that roughly match the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail from Albany to Fort Oswego are:

  • New York State Route 5 from Albany to Deerfield (near Utica)
  • New York State 49 from Deerfield (near Utica) to Rome
  • where it becomes New York State 69 from Rome to Mexico
  • turn west onto New York State 104 from Mexico to Oswego

The modern roads that roughly match the west fork of the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail to Fort Niagara are:

  • New York State Route 5 from Albany to two miles east of Sherrill, Oneida County
  • two miles east of Sherrill turn northeast on New York State Route 31 from near Sherrill to the outskirts of Lockport, Niagara County
  • at the outskirts of Lockport, turn northeast on Cold Springs Road which becomes Old Niagara Road which becomes Stone Road
  • which merges into westbound New York State Route 93 from Lockport to Fort Niagara

Settlers and Records

Early settlers in central New York most likely traveled there via Albany. Albany was a hub of pathways from New York City, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Quebec. Probably the largest group to settle were New Englanders, many from Vermont. But people from almost every part of the eastern seaboard and Europe also were common in the area.

Many of the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania Loyalists who fled to Ontario during or shortly after the American Revolution followed the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail. For a list of over 300 Loyalist families is the Niagara area of Ontario see:

  • Norman K. Crowder, "1784-1785 Niagara Return" Early Ontario Settlers: A Source Book (Baltimore: Genealogical Publ., 1993), 132-42. WorldCat entry. FHL Book 971.3 H29c.

No complete list of settlers in New York who used the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail is known to exist. Nevertheless, local and county histories along that trail may reveal pioneer settlers who arrived 1722 to 1850, and therefore who were the most likely candidates to have traveled the Great Genesee Road or Seneca Turnpike.

For partial lists of early settlers who may have used the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail, see histories like:

Oswego County

Oneida County

  • Samuel W. Durant, History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers (Microreproduction of original published: Philadelphia : Everts & Fariss, 1878). WorldCat entry. FHL Film 823718.

Niagara County

  • Samuel T. Wiley and W. Scott Garner, Biographical and portrait cyclopedia of Niagara County, New York (Microreproduction of original published: Philadelphia : Gresham Pub. Co., 1892). WorldCat entry. FHL Film 317821 Item 4.

External Links

The Great Genesee Road partially overlaps the Mohawk or Iroquois Trail.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 851. WorldCat entry. FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wikipedia contributors, "Fort Oswego" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego (accessed 2 July 2011).
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Albany, New York" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albany,_New_York (accessed 2 July 2011).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Fort Niagara" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara (accessed 2 July 2011).
  5. "History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 Chapter 130: The City of Utica" in Schenectady Digital History Archive at http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/resources/mvgw/history/130.html (accessed 2 July 2011).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Battle of Fort Niagara" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Niagara (accessed 2 July 2011).
  7. William Dollarhide, Map guide to American migration routes, 1735-1815 (Bountiful, Utah : AGLL, c1997), 14. WorldCat entry. FHL Book 973 E3d.
  8. "The Mohawk Turnpike" in RootsWeb at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tqpeiffer/Documents/Ancestral%20Migration%20Archives/Migration%20Webpage%20Folder/%281%29%20NORTHEASTERN%20US%20ROUTES/Mohawk%20Turnpike.htm (accessed 2 July 2011).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Wikipedia contributors, "New York State Route 5" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 (accessed 2 July 2011).
  10. "The Way West Through Northern Seneca County," http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/The%20Way%20West%20Through%20Northern%20Seneca%20County.pdf (accessed 2 July 2011).
  11. Wikipedia contributors, "Erie Canal" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Central_Railroad (accessed 2 July 2011).
  12. Wikipedia contributors, "New York Central Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal (accessed 2 July 2011).
  13. "Great Genesee Road" in Handybook, 849.
  14. Handybook, 847-54.