Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 005
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spondents. This plan seemed to be the one most likely to secure accuracy, and with some
modifications it was at first adopted in collecting materials for this work. Agents were sent
into some portions of the State, furnished with printed instructions, questions, and blanks, to
obtain the desired information, either by personal research, or through the assistance of such
competent persons in the various localities visited as would undertake to fill the blanks and
return them to the general office. While a few persons promptly responded to the request
thus made of them, others delayed giving it immediate attention, and still others neglected it
altogether. A large proportion of the matter received from correspondents was found to be
irrelevant, devoted to specialties, or unreliable, and therefore of little value. Much matter
was received which possesses a greater or less amount of local interest, but which could not
be admitted without giving undue prominence to some subjects or localities at the expense
of others. After a fair trial of the plan first adopted, it was found subject to so many objec¬
tions that it was abandoned. The surveyors and agents were then instructed to visit every
city, town, and village, to search records, examine documents, consult the best living, printed,
and manuscript authorities, and to make returns to the general office of all the reliable
matter and information obtained. They were instructed to take no statement on a single
authority, and in cases where authorities were found to differ, to examine diligently and
impartially, and report all the facts, so that in digesting and arranging them for the press,
all the evidence might be at hand. They were particularly cautioned against -taking mere
hearsay or traditionary tales for truth, and not to seek wonders and marvels. A competent
person was employed to examine records and documents in the State Library and State and
other public offices at Albany and in New York City, for information that might be avail¬
able in the preparation of this work. The Documentary History and the State Geology of
New York, general and local histories, biographies, sketches, essays, reports, newspapers,
manuscripts, and all other available authorities that were likely to contain any information
of value, were collected, and in turn consulted, and their accuracy and value tested as the
work progressed.

The plan for the work finally fixed upon, while it embraces a wider range than is usually
taken by similar works, seems to be one that cannot fail to meet the wants and tastes of the
people, as it presents the wealth, resources, present condition, and past history of the State
in a form and style at once convenient, perspicuous, and concise.

The details of description of each county, city, town, and village, have been arranged, as
far as practicable, according to a uniform plan or outline; as has been also the General
Article embraced in the first 154 pages. The subjects embraced in this article seemed to
cover all the ground that properly belongs to the work; and they are treated at as great
length as their proportional importance to the limits of the volume would permit. A
Gazetteer of a State should not be expected to contain, in a connected form, a complete
compendium of knowledge upon whatever pertains to a State. But present condition, brief
and comprehensive statements, short historical sketches of general interest, tables, facts and
figures as connected with the wealth, prosperity, and resources of a State, should be con¬
sidered to aq extent sufficient for a work of reference, such as a Gazetteer is intended
to be.

The general outline of the county descriptions is as follows: 1st. Date of formation of the
county, from what taken, subsequent changes in boundaries, location in the State, and air-line
distance of geographical center from the Capitol at Albany. 2d. Geology, topography, and
drainage; embracing the general geological formations, general contour of the surface, lakes,
rivers, and other watercourses. 3d. Soil, leading articles of production, and occupation of the
people. 4th. Works of internal improvement. 5th. County seat, names of first county officers,
and description of county buildings and institutions.
6th. History of the newspaper press.
7th. Brief historical sketch of the county from the date of first settlement to the present time.
The descriptions of the towns are according to nearly the same general plan, and embrace,
1st. Date of formation, from what taken, subsequent changes in boundaries, and location in
the county. 2d. Peculiarities in geological formations not mentioned in county description.
3d. Topography and drainage. 4th. Names and description of villages, hamlets, and local¬
ities, with their location in town, date of incorporation, institutions, leading branches of
business, and population according to the most recent reliable enumeration. 5th. A brief
historical sketch, embracing incidents of general and local interest, names of first settlers,
first birth, marriage, and death, first church, school, mill, and factory, and number of churches


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