The following three clippings were found in a scrapbook held by an anonymous friend. The clippings are undoubtedly from the Watertown Daily Times. There was no date on the clippings.

Please observe the internet citation following these three pieces - it may involve parts of these articles.


Reprinted with Permission
of the
Watertown Daily Times

Early Settlers Forced To Conquer Wilderness


Road Making in Early Days of Northern New York Proved
Serious Test to Land Owners Who Sought to Develop
Franklin, St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties




This is the first of a series of three articles by
Richard C. Ellsworth, secretary of St. Lawrence university,
on early roads of the North Country......

Roads. The pioneers in northern New York found here an unbroken wilderness. The early tide of settlement in New York state, feeble though that tide was, passed northern New York by and spread along the Mohawk Valley and westward toward the setting sun. In all New York state there were in 1780 only 340,000 inhabitants, men, women and children. In northern New York, save only for a handful of white men at the site of the mission of La Presentation, where Ogdensburg now stands, and another handful at Plattsburgh--Northern New York from the Adirondacks to the St. Lawrence river and from Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain, was visited only by hunting parties of the Indians. It was not until 20 years later that the advancing march of civilization, settling first along the banks of the great river, gave indication of the flood of life that was to come.

And so again, roads. First the water ways and the Indian trail, then the trace and the wilderness path, and then the road--not the road as we of a later generation know it, but a clearing through the woods, gradually improving until the buckboard and the stage coach bring the traveler in and take him away again, until the heavy wagons and the ox teams bring in the supplies and take the produce out, while settlements spring up and disappear, and the whole face of the country changes. Then the old roads, where traffic currents change, lost their importance and finally, as with old men and old buildings, live on in their recollections of a colorful past.

And so roads are the first necessity of a new country. Without them lands cannot be sold, settlers cannot be encouraged, country cannot be developed. The first roads into St. Lawrence county, built at about the same time, were the roads from Plattsburgh through Chateaugay and Franklin county, and the Ogdensburg road, from Long Falls, now Carthage, first along the south shore of Black Lake, to the East Branch, now Heuvelton, and thence to Oswegatchie, later around the head of Black Lake to the bank of the St. Lawrence at Morristown and thence to what presently became Ogdensburg, then Oswegatchie. But as late as 1800 the Chateagay road extended no farther west than Malone, and travelers thence for St. Lawrence county were confronted with the wilderness.

By 1810, however, settlement of northern New York was well begun. The great road from Brownville and Watertown, in Jefferson County, branching at Antwerp to central and northern St. Lawrence county, was well developed. The great landowners, holders of patents or their successors, had surveyed their possessions and were offering land for sale. Roads, and more roads, were a necessity. Moreover, there were mutterings of approaching conflict with Great Britain and the Antwerp road was close to the border. Hence, through the need of a road through southern St. Lawrence county to attract settlers, and to provide a highway through the country far enough back from the river to prevent interference with traffic, was born the St. Lawrence turnpike.

It was no small task the planners of this road had set for themselves. However, much there was of settlement along the river, all of the southern part of the county was still the forest primeval. Scattered clearings here and there formed outposts of advancing civilization, waiting only opportunity to enter in and take possession. The map which accompanied Spafford’s Gazetteer of the State of New York, published in 1813, gives a graphic idea of the progress of the settlement of the country. Russell and Hopkinton appear on this map, as do Ogdensburg, Lisbon, Madrid and Massena. Potsdam, Canton, and Gouverneur do not. This, however, is rather an evidence of the imperfection of the map, than of the inconsequent character of the places omitted. It is evidence that little was known about northern New York at the time the map was made.

The plan called for a road from a point on the Ogdensburg road, called also the Black River State road, five miles north of Carthage (about a mile north of Checkered House, later Fargo’s), through Sterling Bush, now Lewisburg, in Lewis county, through what are now the towns of Fowler and Edwards, through a corner of Hermon, through Russell, Pierrepont, Parishville and Hopkinton in St. Lawrence county, through Dickinson and Bangor in Franklin county to the view (sic) village of Malone, lately Ezraville, crossing the Oswegatchie, Grass and Racket, and both branches of the St. Regis rivers, and numerous smaller streams, en route. Up hill and down it was to go, across the level stretches and through the woods--a forest that stretched unbroken the whole distance.

By the authority of Chapter 124 of the laws of 1810, passed April 13 in that year, the St. Lawrence Turnpike company was incorporated. The roster of its incorporators is a list of the landed gentry of the first families of northern New York, and is evidence, in the strength of that list of the importance the new road had in the minds of its progenitors. Here is the list: James Donatien LeRay De Chaumont, Daniel McCormick, Abijah Hammond, David A. Ogden, Samuel Boyd, David Parish, Hezekiah B. Pierrepont, David B. Ogden, Joshua Waddington, William Bayard, Herman LeRoy, James M’Evers, Richard Harrison, George Lewis, Thomas L. Ogden, Michael Hogan, Phillip Kearney, John Murray, William Ogden, Charlotte Daubeney, Louisa S. Daubeney, Garrit Van Horne, David M. Clarkson, Frederick DePeyster, Theodosius Fowler, Robert Gilchrist, Nicholas Low, Russell Attwater and Roswell Hopkins. The early history of northern New York is bound up in that list of names. The memory of many of them has been preserved to us in the place of names of today--Chaumont, Hammond, Ogden, Parish, Pierrpont, Waddington, DePeyster, Fowler. Michael Hogan gave his name to Hogansburg in Franklin county, Lowville was named for the Low family, the Kearney iron mines were Philip Kearney’s. Clarkson college preserves the name of the Clarkson family. And Bayard street and LeRoy street in New York city testify to a connection with the aristocracy of old New York. The language of the act is worth quoting: “Whereas, James Donatien LeRay De Chaumont and....have by their petition represented that they have entered into articles of association, for the purpose of making a great turnpike road from the Black River state road, to the town of Malone, in the county of Franklin, to pass through township number eleven of great tract number three, and township number thirteen of great tract number two, of M’Comb’s purchase, and praying for that purpose to be incorporated into a company, upon the principles stated in the said articles of association, by which, among other things that the capital stock of the said company should be divided into shares of eighty dollars each, that the number of shares should be equivalent to sixteen times the number of miles along said road that such of the subscribers to the said articles of association, as are the proprietors of land through which the said road might pass, should be stockholders in the said company, in proportion to the distances which the said road should run through their respective tracts, computing one share to every sixteenth part of a mile, that those stockholders should have the option of paying for their respective shares in money or in lands next adjacent to the road, at the rate of two dollars per acre, and that the remainder of the said shares should be divided and apportioned among all the said subscribers to the said articles of association in proportion to the quantity of land affixed to their respective names thereto subscribed: And Whereas with a view to open for settlement and cultivation, the extensive tract of country, lying adjacent to the intended route of the said road, the legislature desirious (sic) to promote and encourage the object of the said association, Be it enacted---and so forth.”

The first directors to hold office for one year, were James Donatien LeRay De Chaumont, Richard Harrison, Daniel McCormick, Thomas L. Ogden, David Parish, Hezekiah B. Pierpont (sic), Abijah Hammond, Russell Attwater, Samuel Boyd, Moses Kent and Theodosius Fowler, eleven in number. Chaumont was elected president, the date of the annual meeting was to be the third Monday of February in every year, and all officers and directors were to hold office for one year.

The further language of the act gives an idea of the task these men had set before themselves. “The said president and directors shall cause the said road to be cut out and cleared, of trees and timber, not less than four rods wide, twenty feet of which shall be levelled and faced with earth, rising in the middle by a gradual arch, so as to form an even surface, and where the ground shall be so soft as to require it, the same shall be bedded with stone, gravel, sound wood, or other hard substances, so as to secure a firm and solid foundation.”

Benjamin Wright, Charles C. Brodhead and Elisha Camp, Esqs., were appointed commissioners to designate the said point of beginning on the Black River state road, and to survey and lay out the said road according to the best of their judgment and understanding, without favor or partiality, in such manner “that the object of the corporation here created and the general interest of the public shall be in the best manner effected, an accurate map of which survey shall be deposited and filed by the said commissioners in the office of the clerk of every county through which the said road shall pass.” And in the office of the clerk of the county of St. Lawrence at least, that requirement of the charter was duly met. The map is there, on a long strip of linen, neatly rolled, and signed by Benjamin Wright and Charles C. Brodhead. It must have been filed in 1810 or 1811, when the county clerk’s office was in Ogdensburg. It was transferred from Ogdensburg to Canton when the county seat was re-located one hundred years ago, and has been resting safely in Canton ever since. It is probably close onto a hundred years since this map has been asked for, yet so perfect is the system of indexing that when the writer asked to be allowed to see it, it was produced instantly, and spread before him. The cloth is as well preserved and the ink as black on this map, as though it were done yesterday. It is significant that along the whole route of the road, there was then only one settlement in the eyes of the engineers, worthy of record. A little patch of cross-hatching is marked Parishville. Fowler and Edwards had not at that time been formed, but it is a little singular (?). Russell was not indicated, for there was a settlement there before the road was built.


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Reprinted with Permission
of the
Watertown Daily Times

Toll Gates Every Ten Miles On Old Turnpike Road

Schedule of Charges Shows What Settlers Paid to Travel
Through Virgin Forest Lands in Northern New York --
Soldiers Were Allowed Free Transit.



To build the St. Lawrence turnpike cost money. No statement of the financial condition of the road at any time in its history is available. But the statement is made elsewhere that David Parish, who was notably public spirited and openhanded, spent some $10,000 on the St. Lawrence turnpike, and an even greater amount, $10,000 (sic), on the Ogdensburg turnpike. This latter road, of course, served the Parish iron mines in Rossie, and was the direct route to and from Ogdensburg and “the Oswegatchie country.” But while the land owners were willing to spend money to get their lands opened to the public, they were quite willing to get some of it back in another way. The act incorporating the road authorized toll-gates every ten miles, and because the schedule of tolls gives a graphic picture of conditions no longer existing, but under which the country grew up, it is also worth quoting:

“For every cart or wagon drawn by one horse, mule or ox, six cents; for every cart or wagon drawn by two horses, mules, or oxen, twelve and one-half cents; and for every additional horse, mule or ox, the further sum of three cents; for every stage-waggon (sic), chariot, coachee (sic) phaeton, curricle or other pleasure carriage drawn by two horses, twenty-five cents and for every additional horse, six cents; for every chair, sulkey or chaise, with one horse, twelve and one-half cents and in like proportion for every additional horse; for every horse rode, six cents; for every horse led or driven, four cents, for every sleigh or sled drawn by an horse, or mule, six cents; for every score of cattle, horses or mules, twenty cents; for every score of hogs or sheep, eight cents; provided, that nothing in this act contained shall be construed to entitle the said corporation here created to demand or receive toll at any gate, of or from any person, passing to or from public worship, or a funeral, to or from a grist mill for the grinding of grain for his family’s use, to or from a blacksmith’s shop, to which he usually resorts, or from any person residing within one mile of the said gate, or from any person or person who are entitled to vote, when going to or returning from any town meeting or election, for the purpose of giving a vote, or from any person going for a physician or midwife, or returning or from a juror or a witness going to or returning from court , having been legally summoned or subpoenaed, or from any troops in the service of this state of the United States, or from any person going to or returning from any training where, by the laws of this state, they are required to attend. And provided also, that not more than one-half of the above toll shall be demanded or received from an waggon (sic) or other carriage passing upon the state road, the tire or the track of the wheel whereof is six inches wide nor more than one-fourth of the above toll from those of nine inches wide and all carriages the tire or track of the wheel whereof is twelve inches wide shall pass said road free without paying a toll whatsoever.

It was no idle provision, that, which gave free transit to soldiers. With war on the horizon, a back route between the army post at Sackets Harbor and the one at Plattsburgh was a necessity, and, as we shall see, the United State government made full use of the St. Lawrence turnpike in the years immediately following. And New York state was wishing to get back from the frontier for its arsenal, located that depository at Russell, on the St. Lawrence turnpike.

Russell Attwater, one of the corporators (sic), was designated the superintendent of construction. Russell Attwater deserves a paragraph all to himself. He was one of the active, farseeing, energetic men that all new countries bring to the front. He was born in 1762 in Cheshire, Conn. of English descent. His father was one of the committee of safety on New Haven county, Connecticut, during the Revolution. Young Attwater engaged in mercantile pursuits, and it was while in New York city on business that Daniel McCormick, an extensive land holder in northern New York, the patentee indeed of tracts number one and two of the great purchase, induced him to buy parts of the present towns of Russell, Pierrepont, Hopkinton and Norfolk belonging to St. Lawrence county. He became an agent for McCormick and later for the Harisons (sic) and others. He was the first settler in the present village of Norfolk, where he built a mill with “two run of stone,” the third story of which was fitted up as a chapel, with seats and a desk for public worship, the first accommodations of its kind in the whole town. He was active in Russell, which was named for him He gave to the state the lot on when the arsenal there was located. His activities extended even to Jefferson county, for we find him one of the builders of the bridge across the Black river there, built in 1812 to care for the increasing traffic into and from northern New York. He became an associate judge, senator and presidential elector, and died in Norfolk to June, 1851. To the Gazetteer mentioned Mr. Attwater furnished the following note on Russell: “A turnpike road is also opening from Black River to Malone. This intersects the Lake George road from Caldwell, at the head of Lake George to Canton in St. Lawrence county, where that road crosses the river at Russell. The Lake George road will be open in 1810 and will much shorten the distance to Albany.”

Whatever tasks he may have essayed in the course of his long and useful life, assuredly the building of the St. Lawrence turnpike was not the easiest. Nevertheless, he persevered, and presently, after three years of effort, the road was open as far as the east line of Bangor, in Franklin county. The legislature relieved the company of its obligation to continue to Malone, and in 1827 the corporation was dissolved and the road turned over to the authorities of the various towns through which it passed. So ends the history of the St. Lawrence turnpike. Where its records are today the writer has been unable to ascertain. Nothing is on file at the county seat of St. Lawrence county. No trace exists in the state departments at Albany. LeRay De Chaumont was the first president, possibly also the last, but who was the secretary. Few newspapers existed in northern New York during the life of the company, and Hough, who refers to the company in his histories, does not tell us. If there are any Chaumont papers extant, there may be something there. The Parishes might have left something for they were actively concerned in whatever they took an interest in. These records would be interesting reading today.

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Reprinted with Permission
of the
Watertown Daily Times

Following Old Turnpike From Carthage to Malone

Motorist of Today Carefully Follows Old Highway
As It Weaves in and Out Through Once Virgin Forests--
Many Old Landmarks Visible On Historic Road.



The first ten years of its corporate existence were the busy years for the St. Lawrence Turnpike. Settlers began to come in, both from the Mohawk Valley, and from New England, through traffic from the Black River country to England found the new road of service, and military movements, of men and supplies, formed no mean portion of the tide of travel that surged back and forth over the St. Lawrence Turnpike. Hough tells us that settlement did not begin in earnest in the southern towns of St. Lawrence county until the Turnpike had been built. In Pierrepont, for instance, real settlement did not begin until 1811-12, the years when Mr. Attwater reached that middle portion of his road. Picture the old road. Here comes an ox-team, plodding slowing (sic) but steadily, the wagon piled with household equipment , mother and the younger children riding inside, father and the boys trudging alongside. Father is probably walking on the “nigh” side, a distinctive term that does not apply to the automobile. Now comes a “curricle,” which the dictionary tells us is a chaise or carriage with two wheels, drawn by two horses abreast. Perhaps its occupant is Theodosius Fowler, or Daniel McCormick, or perhaps Richard Harison, hastening to his lands in St. Lawrence county. Now a drove of cattle, or a wagon loaded with cattle, or a wagon loaded with potash, going out for a market. Men on foot, tramping along in the dust raised by the hurrying mail coach, men and women on horseback, going to or from the mill, two-wheeled gigs and four-wheeled carriages, carrying all of the picturesqueness, all of the hope and aspiration, all of the ambitions, of a new country. Investors, sober men looking for a place to locate, adventurers looking for what might turn up, all trooping back and forth along the St. Lawrence Turnpike.

The road had its other use. During and before the War of 1812 soldiers, singly and in companies and regiments, tramped out of Sackett’s Harbor, passed through Brownville into Wilna, and thence to the St. Lawrence Turnpike, on their way to Plattsburgh, or to French Mills, now known as Fort Covington. Not all of the troop movement was from east to west. Early in 1814 two thousand men, under the command of General Jacob Brown, were moved from French Mills to Sackett’s Harbor. Why this movement was made is a story by itself, but it belongs to a narrative of the War of 1812. In 1813 three regiments of United States troops were in Hopkinton, commanded by Brig. Gen. Zebulon M. Pike, afterward the discoverer of Pike’s Peak. Contemporary accounts do not say how he got there, but it is a fair guess that he, ahead of his soldiers, passed over the “great military road,” the St. Lawrence Turnpike. During these war years the naturally increasing travel over the Turnpike was greatly increased, not only by these military movements, but by the hauling of supplies of all kinds necessary to feed and equip the men and the horses.

It is reported that on one day alone during the war 300 teams arrived at Hopkinton on the way to the cantonment at French Mills or in the depot at Malone. But after the war and with the coming of peace the old road began to lose its importance. The removal of the fear of invasion caused the river towns to fill up rapidly. The stage routes were changed to the river roads nearer the St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence Turnpike passed into memory. Nevertheless it was still in good condition. A correspondent of the Gazetteer, writing in 1829, says that he has lately traveled over the Jefferson and St. Lawrence part of the road and recommends it as a good road.

But the old road remains, though, in sections, only a shadow of its former self. It is still possible to follow it all the way from Carthage to Malone. Two sections are now improved county road, one section of five miles is state road, and another of three, parts of it have been imported by the several towns through which it passes, and parts are literally, just as its builders left it.

Going out from Carthage towards Antwerp on the Antwerp state road, at a point something over a mile beyond Fargo’s is the beginning of the St. Lawrence Turnpike. From the angle where the state road turns sharply to the left, straight ahead lies a county road and this road from the point where it leaves the state road is the first section of the Turnpike. It is obvious that it is an old rod, the trees, the houses, all show that its history must go back a long way. Follow the road to Lewisburg, once Sterling Bush, a quiet little hamlet in Lewis county, for here the pike travels a few miles in that county. Here the first of the streams is crossed, the Indian river. Here, too, is an abandoned iron furnace, relic of the bog ore days. This furnace is of a later day, however, and was built around the 30’s.

Beyond Lewisburg the country becomes wild and rough and the surface of the road is likewise rough. But it is picturesque and worth the trip. In places the road is indeed just as the builders left it--it runs over the native rock for rods at a time--and this rock was there when Raymond made his survey and when Attwater’s builders came along. Diligent inquiry failed to disclose the location of any of the toll gates, if any were established, and it would seem that they must have been, but about five miles beyond Lewisburg is a house standing close to the road, so close, and in such a style of architecture that the inference is fair that it may have served at the

time as a toll house, and possibly also as an inn. Father on, and off to the right, an eighth of a mile from the pie, is a cemetery. Here are buried successive generations of the Brayton family, who once owned broad acres hereabouts, and whose descendants own farms here today. Asa Brayton, in 1812, settled on these lands, in what was later the town of Fowler, made accessible by the new road, and a Brayton family reunion is held each years.

Approaching Fullerville and the Oswegatchie river the road today diverges slightly from the old pike, joining it again on the south side of the river, about a half-mile back. There was no Fullerville then, and the old road crossed the river a quarter of a mile north of the present bridge. Traces of the crossing may yet be seen. At this crossing John Parker settled in 1812 “where the line of the Turnpike crossed the river,” the first settler in that vicinity.

From Fullerville to Edwards the state road gives a surface that no stage driver of the olden time ever dreamed of. On the top of the little hill at the entrance to Edwards village (named for Edward McCormick, brother of Daniel) bear to the right, leaving the state road, and wind down across the bridge into Edwards’ main street, joining the state road again just before reaching the hotel. The state road is better, but we are following the pike. Through Edwards town the Turnpike was built by Enos Chapin, contractor. From Edwards straight to Russell, straight in the sense of no corner to turn, goes the road. But it winds and turns, over and around hills, up and down big and little ascents. Two miles out from Edwards is the farm whereon in 1811, Guy Earl buried his potatoes under a brush pile in order to hide them from the soldiers. His granddaughter, Mrs. Mina Earl Brisben, lives there today. Farther on is a stone house that assuredly goes back to turnpike days. Just before reaching Russell is another wild section, where houses there are none, and where the road again winds and turns, and presently emerges over a plain to the Russell-North Russell road. Then comes a view of the Russel (sic) Arsenal from a hill-top south of the river.

Across the bridge at Russell village and turn to the right at the hotel. Here are beautiful views of the river and a little further along from a hill-side there is a long vista through a beautiful valley. Around rocky promontories, still up hill and down, the road winds, great trees lining the way and here and there a house, reverend (sic) with age and with a story to tell of the early days if it could but speak. Past the junction with the East road, presently comes the town of Pierrepont and country more open than has heretofore been traversed. Past the site of Packard’s Tavern, now entirely disappeared, through Pierrepont village, with a wide and lovely view to the left, still up hill and down to the crossing of the Racket at the power plant. Here the road at first seems entirely to disappear. It opens again, however, on the top of the hill, and here there is another cemetery, large and well kept.

And then the sands of Parishville begin. The road here is narrow, so narrow that the car runs in a deep trough, and in an apparently uninhabited region. One would hardly believe that one was in a settled country. No two cars could pass here, one of them would have to back up for a long distance to find a passing place. Three miles this side of Parishville village the road of today goes straight down a hill. The old road winds down and around the hill. We are following the old road, so we go down and around. Entrance in Parishville is on what is now the Potsdam-Parishville state road, but what was then the Parishville Turnpike. Straight through Parishville we go, with perhaps the ghost of David Parish watching us from the roadside.

The Parishville Turnpike was one of a net work of roads designed to reach the principal settlements of the north country. It extends from Ogdensburg to Parishville, through Canton and Potsdam, and as late as 1835, was known as the Parishville Turnpike, for in that year land given to the Corporation of Trinity Church in Potsdam, whereon that church stands today, was described as being on the “south side of the Parishville Turnpike.” Spafford, who evidently had traveled northern New York, says of Parishville, “Parishville is pleasantly situated on the St. Lawrence and Malone Turnpike, the great military road between Lake Champlain and Lake Ontario, of Plattsburgh and Sackett’s Harbor. I shall never cease to regret not having located myself at Parishville in 1817, instead of going 500 miles to the backwoods of northern Pennsylvania.”

To Hopkinton the country is open and the road good. At Hopkinton we meet the Hopkinton-Nicholville state road, but the St. Lawrence Turnpike was here first. In 1813 the Potsdam-Hopkinton Turnpike company was incorporated, to build a turnpike from Potsdam to an intersection with the St. Lawrence Turnpike in the town of Hopkinton. Keep to the left down the hill into Nicholville. At the garage at the top of the hill, where the short cut to the Adirondacks begins, is the beginning of another of the historic roads of the North Country, the Northwest Bay road, which has a story all its own. And across the river in Nicholville, turning off at right angles in front of the hotel, is the beginning of the Port Kent and Hopkinton Turnpike. That story should be told along with that of the Northwest Bay road. The St. Lawrence Turnpike, however, keeps straight on (it is no trick to follow it, the rule is keep straight ahead.)

Where the state road turns to the left, just outside Nicholville, the turnpike traveler keeps straight on. Here again the road is much used, but shows its age. Indeed, one or two sections of the road between Hopkinton and Dickinson were built around 1807, and incorporated into the Turnpike later. A few miles brings us to Dickinson and Franklin county. And just before Dickinson is reached there is a railroad crossing, the first since the journey began. This one fact points to the character of the country the old road served--the march of progress has largely passed it by. Old houses multiply as we near Bangor. From a hill there is a remarkable view of the St. Lawrence river and of the Mountain of Montreal. In Bangor village is a stone house, now a private dwelling, that once housed the state coach passengers along the pike in front. Other houses, the long side of the road, and with broad piazzas in front, incontrovertibly declare themselves as long-forgotten inns. Then comes Webster street, Malone, then Franklin street, and the end of the trip is reached. Four counties, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Franklin, have been traversed, and some idea gained of the difficulties of travel in the long ago. The automobile has annihilated time and distance. By stage coach, with four horses, and a driver on the box, would be the way to journey over the old road; but, however, one goes over it, it is with a sense of gratitude to the men of the old time, and of appreciation for their labors, that one rolls into Malone, and looks back over the miles from Carthage that have intervened.


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An entry found via on the Internet via Google:

Ellsworth, Richard C. "The Settlement of the North Country." History of the State of New York, Volume Five: Conquering the Wilderness. Ed. Alexander Flick. New York: Columbia University Press, 1934.

Alexander Flick's ten-volume history of New York State is an excellent source for the entire story of the state of New York, a fascinating set of books written by scholars of the day and edited by State Historian Flick. St. Lawrence County (as known today) is mentioned throughout the various volumes, but it is Volume Five Conquering the Wilderness that contains the most substantial look at the history of the northern region of the state. Written by St. Lawrence University history lecturer Richard C. Ellsworth, Chapter Six is entitled "The Settlement of the North Country" and is an excellent history of the North Country, with much to say about St. Lawrence County. Ellsworth, of course, writes of Ogdensburg's Father Picquet and his Fort La Presentation, of Samuel de Champlain's voyages down the St. Lawrence River, the lives of native Iroquois tribes, the early settlers, and other such landmarks of North Country history However, Ellsworth includes numerous vignettes that are unusual and probably remain largely unknown, even by Northern New York residents-including an account of an early attempt at communal living, "The Union" community located between Potsdam and Norwood in the early 1800s. Ellsworth's retelling of North Country history is unique for both its wide-reaching scope and rich specific detail of small townships and communities. "The Settlement of the North Country" includes histories of five Northern New York counties, but is rich in St. Lawrence County information-highly readable, a great introduction or expansion to ones knowledge of this region's history.

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