Clinton County New York
Clinton County



     Black Brook
     Schuyler Falls
 Family Histories


Source: Historical Collections of the State of New York, by John W. Barber and HenryHowe. New York: S. Tuttle, 194 Chatham Square, 1841; pp. 105-113
CLINTON COUNTY lies on the western shore of Lake Champlain, at the northeastern extremity of the state, abut 170 miles N. from Albany. Soon after the conquest of Canada, in 1759, the shores of Lake Champlain were visited by speculators in quest of pine and oak timber, but no permanent settlements were made until about the close of the revolution. Its greatest length N. and S. is 40 1/2 miles, greatest breadth 37 miles. The northern boundary being latitude 45 degrees, indicates the rigors of a cold northern country. The natural advantages enjoyed by this county have been undervalued. Along the whole eastern border, adjoining the shore of Lake Champlain, a wide tract of land extends, moderately uneven or quite level, with a pretty strong inclination or depression eastward, averaging 8 miles in width of no inferior quality. It amply repays the labor of the husbandman. The western part is mountainous, but these mountains are covered with timber, and the county with rapid streams and mill sites, and abounds with the richest and best of iron ores, already extensively manufactured. The soil is of various qualities. On the broad belt of comparatively level land abaove noticed, it is principally a clayey with some tracts of a sandy loam. The streams supply a profusion of good natural sites for all sorts of hydraulic work. With these advantages, this countylooks forward with confidence to increased sources of business and profit. About one fifth is settled. Pop. 28,180. The county is divided into 10 towns.

BEEKMAN, taken from Plattsburg in 1820; distant from Albany 167, NW. from Plattsburg, 18 miles. The township is 6 miles in width, and stretches across the country 37 miles; the eastern part of the town is level or undulating, the western mountainous. Pop. 2,763.

BLACK BROOK, taken from Peru in 1839; from Albany 163, from Plattsburg, SW., 25 miles. Black Brook and Union Falls are small villages. Pop. 1,054.

CHAMPLAIN, organized in 1788; from Albany, N., 185 miles. Champlain village, on the left bank of the Chazy, 5 miles from Lake Champlain, has about 4 dwellings. Rouses Point, 23 miles N. from Plattsburg, Corbeau, and Perrysville, are small villages. pop. 2,950.

CHAZY, taken from Champlain in 1804. Pop. 3,592. Chazy, 15 miles N. of Plattsburg on the state road from Albany to Canada, and West Chazy, are small villages. Chazy Landing, on Lake Champlain, is 3 miles from Chazy village.

ELLENBURG, taken from Mooers in 1830; from Plattsburg, NW., 25 miles. Pop. 1,164.

MOOERS, names in honor of Gen. B. Mooers, was taken from Champlain in 1804; from Plattsburg, NNW., 18 miles. Pop. 1,701. Mooers is a small post village on the Chazy river.

PERU, taken from Plattsburg and Willsburg in 1792; bounds since altered. Pop. 3, 183. Peru, post village, 10 miles S. of Plattsburg and 4 from Lake Champlain, has 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist, and 1 Catholic church, 70 dwellings, and 360 inhabitants. Unionville and Port Jackson are post-offices. The first settler in Peru village was John Cochran, who camehere in 1794. Rev. Hernan Garlick was one of the first ministers who preached in this section. It is said that he used to cross the lake, in a boat, and walk 30 miles to preach to a congregation.

View of PlattsburgPLATTSBURG, organized in 1785. Pop. 6,397. Plattsburg, an incorporated village and county seat, is distant from New York 319, from Albany 164, from Whitehall 112, and from Ogdensburg, E., 120 miles. The accompanying view was taken on the eastern bank of the Saranac, about 30 rods above the bridge. The first steeple on the left is that of the Presbyterian church, the second the Methodist, the third the courthouse, the fourth the Episcopal, and the fifth the Catholic. Besides the above-mentioned public buildings, there is an academy, the Clinton county bank, and about 300 buildings.

A settlement was commenced in this village "previous to the revolution, by a Count Vredenburg, a German nobleman, who, marrying a lady of the household of the queen of England, obtained a warrant for 30,000 acres of land, which he located on Cumberland bay, whither he removed, although he did not perfect his title by patent. He built a large house on the spot now occupied by the United States Hotel in Plattsburg, where he resided, as tradition reports, in extraordinary luxury, having his floors covered with carpets, and his windows shaded with damask curtains. When the revolutionary struggle commenced, he sent his family to Montreal, but remained some time after their departure, and then suddenly and mysteriouslydisappeared; his house, and a saw-mill he had built 3 miles above, on the Saranac, 'at Vredenburg's Falls,' being at the same time burned. He was generally supposed to have been robbed and murdered by some one covetous of the money and plate which he displayed.

"A company, consisting of Judge Zephaniah Platt and others, formed soon after the war for the purchase of military warrants, located their warrants on Lake Champlain. In August, 1784, the judge, Capt. Nathaniel Platt, and Capt. Reeve, personally surveyed the Plattsburg patent on Cumberland bay, and laid off, among others, 10 lots of 100 acres each, to be given to thefirst 10 settlers who came on with families. Another tract of 100 acres was allotted as a donation to the first male child born on the patent. Messrs. Jacob Ferris, John Burke, Derrick Webb, Jabez Pettit, and Cyrenus Newcomb, were the first settlers on the 'gift lots,' and Platt Newcomb, Esq., was the fortunate first born male, but not the first child born on the patent; Mrs. Henry Ostrander having previously given birth to a daughter, who intermarried with a Mr. Wilson, of Chateaugua, of Franklin county. From this period the settlement of the county steadily progressed.

"The first court was holden at Plattsburg on the 28th day of Oct., 1788, of which the following persons were officers: Charles Platt, judge; Peter Saily, Wm. McAuley, and Pliney Moore, assistant justices; Theodorus Platt, justice; Benjamin Mooers, sheriff; John Fautfrede, coroner; Robert Paul, John Stevenson, Lott Elmore, Lewis Lezotte, and Jonathan Lynde, constables. Grand jury, Clement Goslin, Allen Smith, Abner Pomeroy, Jonas Allen, Joseph Shelden, Peter Payn, Moses Soper, Edward Everett, Elnathan Rogers, John Hoffnagle, Cyrenus Newcomb, Melchor Hoffnagle, Stephen Cuyler, Jacob Ferris, John Ransom, and John Cochran." - Gordon's Gaz.

Plattsburg is rendered memorable as the place of the victory of Com. McDonough and Gen. Macomb, over the British naval and land forces in Sept. 1814.

The following inscriptions were copied from monuments in the graveyard in Plattsburg.

"In memory of GEN. BENJAMIN MOOERS, who died Feb. 20, 1838. He served aslieutenant and adjutant during the revolutionary war. He commanded the militia at the battle of Plattsburg, Sept. 11th, 1814. He was the first settler in this county who remained here through life. He was the first sheriff of the county, and for 30 years county treasurer. He repeatedly represented this section of the country in the assembly and senate of the state, and discharged the important duties which devolved upon him as a citizen, a soldier, and a Christian, with fidelity to his country, and integrity to his God."
Grave of Commodore Downie at Plattsburgh"Sacred to the memory of GEORGE DOWNIE, ESQ., a post-captain in the British navy, who gloriously fell on board his B.M.S. Confiance, while leading the vessels under his command to the attack of the American Flotilla, at anchor in Cumberland Bay, off Plattsburg, on the 11th of Sept. 1814."

"To mark the spot where the remains of a gallant officer and sincere friend were honorably buried, this stone has been erected by his affectionate sister-in-law, Mary Downie."

SARANAC, taken from Plattsburg in 1834; from Albany, N., 145 miles. Pop. 1,464. Redford, 21 miles southwesterly from Plattsburg, has about 60 dwellings. Here are the extensive works of the Redford Crown Glass Company. Bakersville is a small village about 5 miles NE., from Redford.


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