Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 493
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The territory lying within the limits of this oo. was the chief seat of the Senecas, the most
numerous and powerful tribe of the “ Six Nations.” Their chief village was at Kanadesaga, upon
and just w. of the present site of Geneva, at the foot of Seneca Lake. In all the wars of the
Iroquois League the Senecas bore a conspicuous part; and especially did they incur the bitter
enmity of the French occupants of Canada. In 1687, De Nonville, Governor of
“New France,”
at the head of 1,600 French soldiers and 400 Indian allies, invaded the Seneca country by way
of the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario. At a defile near the site of the present village of Yictor
an engagement ensued, resulting in the defeat of the Indians, though with great loss to the French
De Nonville marched forward, burned the village of Gannagaro and several others, and returned.
In the succeeding year the Senecas and their allies in turn invaded the French settlements in
Canada and took bloody revenge.2

In the progress of the wars that ensued, the Six Nations were sometimes neutral and sometimes
allies of the English; but the country of the Senecas was never afterward invaded by the French.
During the Revolution the Senecas espoused the English cause; and in 1779 Gen. Sullivan in¬
vaded their country from the s., burned their villages, destroyed their corn and orchards, and left
the most beautiful region in the Indian domains a desolate waste. At the conclusion of peace, the
force ^nd spirit of the Indians were annihilated, and they quietly yielded to the gradual encroach¬
ments of the whites, until the last acre of their hunting grounds within the limits of this
CO., and
the very graves of tlieir fathers, passed out of their possession.8

lowing month the office was burned and the paper
suspended. In May following it was revived as
Tlie National New Yorker and Ontario Re¬
by H. G. Moore and Dr. B. F. Tifft; and in
May, 1857, it passed into the hands of Geo. L. Whitney
& Son, by whom it is now published.

The Ontario Freeman was established at Canandaigua by Isaac
Tiffany in 1803. In 1806 it passed into the hands of
John A. Stevens, who changed its name to
Tlie Ontario Messenger. It was successively pub¬
lished by Day & Morse, L. B. Morse, B. W. Jones, and
T. B. Hohn. The latter was succeeded in Nov. 1845, by
Jacob J. Mattison, the present publisher.

The Bepublican was started at Canandaigua by A. N. Phelps
in 1824, and was afterward published a short time by
T. M. Barnum.

The Ontario Phoenix was issued at Canandaigua in 1827 by W.
W. Phelps. R. Boyce became its publisher soon after,
and changed its name to
The Freeman. In 1836 it was united with The Repository.

The Clay Club, a campaign paper, was published at Canan¬
daigua in 1844.

The Seminarian, a literary mo., was published at Canandaigua
in 1851.

The Ontario Co. Times was established Jan. 1,1852, by N. J.
Milliken, and in 1855 sold to Wilson Miller, who changed
it to    3

The Ontario Times. In Feb. 1856, the establishment was burned
and the paper suspended. It was re-established in May
following by Mr. Milliken, and is still published by him as
The Ontario Republican Times.

The Vienna Bepublican was started at “ Vienna" (now Phelps)
in Jan. 1831, by C. H. Lowre and A. Kilmer. In 1832
it was published by J. 0. Balch and in 1834 changed to
The Phelps Journal, E. N. Phelps, publisher, and soon after to
The Phelps Journal and Vienna Advertiser ; in 1838 to
The. Phelps Democrat; and again in 1845 to
The Western Atlas. From 1845 until 1856 it was published by
Washington Shaw, Dillon & Phelps, and W. W. Red-
field; and since then it has been continued as
The Ontario Free Press.

The Naples Free Press was established at Naples in 1832 by
Waterman & Coleman, and continued 2 years.

The Neapolitan was started in 1840 by David Fairchild. In

1845 it was sold to Phelps, who changed its title to

The Naples Visitor. It was discontinued soon after.

The Village Becord was published at Naples in 1842.

The Naples Journal was published in 1851 by R. Denton.

The Phelps New Democratic Star was started
Sept. 3,1858, by E. N. Phelps.

1 The commander of the expedition claimed that he desolated
the whole Seneca country; but one of his officers, (La Honton,)
in giving the history of the expedition, lays no claim to a com¬
plete victory; and the Indian traditions state that only a small
detachment of the Senecas were engaged in the battle, and that
the French retreated before the warriors could rally from the
different villages.

2 In this expedition 1000 French were killed and 26 prisoners
taken, who were afterward burned at the stake.

8 Numerous traces of ancient occupation—perhaps by a people
that preceded the late Indian race—are found in this co. Trench
inclosures have been noticed in Canandaigua, Seneca, and other
Squier’s Aboriginal Monuments of N. T., 4to ed., pp.
89. 61, 62, GS.

Seaver, in his Life of Mary Jemison, gives the following:—

“ The tradition of the Seneca Indians in regard to their origin
is that they broke out of the earth from a large mountain at
the head of Canandaigua Lake; and that mountain they still
venerate as the place of their birth. Thence they derive their
name, ‘ Ge-nun-de-wah,’ or ‘Great Hill,’ and are called ‘The
Great Hill People,’ which is the true definition of the word
Seneca. The great hill at the head of Canandaigua Lake, from
whence they sprung, is called Genundewah, and has for a long
time past been the place where the Indians of that nation have
met in council, to hold great talks and to offer up prayers to
the Great Spirit, on account of its having been their birthplace;
and also in consequence of the destruction of a serpent at that
place, in ancient time, in a most miraculous manner, which
threatened the destruction of the whole of the Senecas and
barely spared enough to commence replenishing the earth.
The Indians say that the fort on the big hill, or Genundewah,
near the head of Canandaigua Lake, was surronnded by a mon¬
strous serpent, whose head and tail came together at the gate.
A long time it lay there, confounding the people with its breath.
At length they attempted to make their escape,—some with
their hominy blocks, and others with different implements of
household furniture,—and in marching out of the fort walked
down the throat of the serpent. Two orphan children, who had
escaped this general destruction by being left on this side of the
fort, were informed by an oracle of the means by which they
could get rid of their formidable enemy,—which was to take a
small bow, and a poisoned arrow made of a kind of willow, and
with that shoot the serpent under.its scales. This they did, and
the arrow proved effectual; for, on its penetrating the skin, the
serpent became sick, and, extending itself, rolled down the hill,
destroying all the timber that was in its way, disgorging itself
and breaking wind greatly as it went. At every motion a hu¬
man head was discharged and rolled down the hill into the
lake, where they lie at this day in a petrified state, having the
hardness and appearance of stones; and the pagan Indians of
the Senecas believe that all the little snakes were made of the
blood of the great serpent after it rolled into the lake. To this
day the Indians visit that sacred place, to mourn the loss of
their friends and to celebrate some rites that are peculiar to
themselves. To the knowledge of white people, there has been
no timber on the great hill since it was first discovered by them,
though it lay apparently in a state of nature for a great number
of years, without cultivation. Stones in the shape of Indians’
heads may be seen lying in the lake in great plenty, which are
said to be the same that were deposited there at the death of
the serpent. The Senecas have a tradition that previous to and
for some time after their origin at Genundewah the country,
especially about the lakes, was thickly inhabited by a race of
civil, enterprising, and industrious people, who were totally
destroyed by the great serpent that afterward surronnded the
great hill fort, with the assistance of others of the same species;
and that they (the Senecas) went into possession of the improve¬
ments that were left. In those days the Indians throughout
the whole country—as the Senecas say—spoke one language;
but, having become considerably numerous, the before men¬
tioned great serpent, by an unknown influence, confounded
their language, so that they could not understand each other,
which was the cause of their division into nations,—as the Mo¬
hawks, Oneidas,
&c. At that time, however, the Senecas re¬
tained the original language, and continued to occupy their
mother hill, on which they fortified themselves against their
enemies and lived peaceably, until, having offended the serpent*
they were cut off, as I have before remarked.”


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