Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 308

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Buffalo, N. Y., city, port of entry, and capital
of Erie co., stands at the eastern extremity of
Lake Erie, near its outlet through the Niagara
River, and at the mouth of a creek, called Buf-
falo Creek, which empties into the lake at this
point. It is 327 miles W. from Albany, by rail-
road, and 363 miles by the Erie Canal. It is
distant W. from Rochester 73 miles; S. S. E
Niagara Falls, 22 miles ; and S. W. from Mon-
treal, 427 miles. Population, in 1810, 1508;
1820, 2095; 1830, 8653; 1840, 18,213; 1850,
42,261. Since the completion of the Erie
Canal, and the chain of railroads connect-
ing Buffalo with Albany, New York, and Bos-
ton, its position, at the eastern termination of
the commerce through the great lakes, Erie,
Huron, and Michigan, gives it a most command-
ing advantage for business. It is the gateway
between the east and the west; and, although
other channels for this commerce will be opened,
yet, as the vast resources of the west have
scarcely begun to be developed, the traffic which
is destined to pour through this communication
must be immensely increased beyond what it has
ever yet been. The ground on which the city is
built rises gradually from the creek, which
passes through its southern district, and becomes,
at the distance of 2 miles, an extended and ele-
vated plain, 50 feet or more above the lake ; fur-
nishing a most commanding view of the bosom
of the lake and harbor, of the Erie Canal, of
Niagara River, and the Canada shore. From the
same feature of its situation, the place itself pre-
sents a most beautiful appearance, as it is
approached upon the lake. The city is laid out,
with mucli regularity, into streets which are broad
and straight, and usually intersecting each other
at right angles. Main Street, which is more than
2 miles in length and 120 feet broad, is built on
both sides, through a good part of its extent,
with fine and lofty blocks of stores, dwellings,
and hotels, which present an imposing appear-
ance. Many of the streets are paved and lighted.
There are 3 public squares, Washington, Frank-
lin, and Niagara, which are planted with trees,
adding much to the beauty and health of the city.
The houses are generally built with neatness and
good taste. The public buildings are a court
house, jail, county clerk's office, and 2 market
houses, in the upper story of one of which are
the chamber of the common council and the city
offices. There are about 20 churches in the city,
of which 3 are Presbyterian, 2 Episcopal, 1 Bap-
tist, 1 Methodist, 3 German Protestant, 1 Uni-
tarian, 2 Roman Catholic, 1 Universalist, 1
Bethel, and 2 African. Some of the church
edifices are handsome specimens of architecture.
There are an orphan asylum, a theatre, and a
number of spacious and elegant hotels. The
Young Men's Literary Association has a well-
selected library of 3500 volumes, and sustains an
able course of lectures in the winter. There is
1 academy, which furnishes instruction to from
60 to 100 students. The common schools of
Buffalo are under the management of the city
council, and are made free to the children of
every class of the citizens, without charge for

Buffalo is well supplied with water from the
Niagara River, by an aqueduct which has lately
been completed. The water is taken from the
river, at Black Rock, by a tunnel 300 feet long,
and 6 feet square, under the canal, and excavated
through solid rock, and entering the. river through
the pier, 12 feet below the surface ; and through
this, water is conveyed to a well under the bank,
from which it is elevated by forcing pumps into
the reservoir on Prospect Hill, about a mile from
the centre of the town. From thence it is con-
veyed in pipes to its place of destination. The
water is as pure as the best well water.

Buffalo has a most ample and secure harbor
for the boats and shipping which navigate the
lakes. It is a kind of natural dock, formed by
the mouth of the creek, which here enters the
lake, and which has, for the distance of a mile
from its entrance,
12 or 14 feet of water. A bar
at its mouth, which originally obstructed the pas-
sage of vessels from the lake, has been in, a great
measure removed, and prevented from further
accumulation by the erection of a mole and pier,
which serves to direct and strengthen the action
of the current in such a manner as to effect this
object. This work was built by the joint contri-
butions of the U. S. government and the citizens
of Buffalo. At the extremity of the pier is a
light-house, constructed of dressed limestone, 20
feet in diameter and
46 feet high. The harbor is
protected from all winds, and is so spacious that
it might well accommodate several hundred
steamboats and lake vessels. Several other im-
portant improvements have been made, or are
now i.n a coui-se of construction, by which the
facilities afforded by this port and harbor for the
transshipment of merchandise between the lake
and the canal are rendered in the highest degree
eligible and convenient. It is proposed also, in
order to render the harbor more easily accessible
from the lake, especially in severe winds and
storms,- to construct a ship canal across the isth-
mus to the creek, at a point near the upper end
of the harbor. This port is not generally open
for navigation till about the middle of May. By
means of the strong westerly winds which prevail
upon the lake at the breaking up of the ice in the
spring, the floating ice is liable to be accumulated
at Buffalo, so as to obstruct the access to the har-
bor sometimes for several weeks after the broad
lake is navigable. The commerce of the lakes
to this port employs from
50 to 60 steamboats,
many of which are spacious and elegant, and
300 schooners and other vessels. The
largest vessels are generally schooners, because
they are more easily managed on the lakes than
square-rigged vessels. The value of property
sent E. from Buffalo by the Erie Canal in
was $20,991,462, being an increase from 1840
of $14,790,633. The tolls on the Erie Canal re-
ceived at Buffalo in
1850 amounted to $703,498.
Buffalo is connected, by canals and railroads, and
the lakes, with all the great commercial places in
the country. Among the articles imported into
Buffalo during the year ending December
were 1,323,784 barrels of flour; 4,212,979
bushels df wheat; 6,146,519 bushels of corn;
12,507,421 pounds of wool. The estimated
value of property received at this port from the
W. in
1850 was $35,000,000.

Buffalo was originally laid out by the Holland
Land Company in
1801; but its progress was
slow until after it was fixed upon as a military
post in
1812. The very next year, the place
was almost totally destroyed by a conflagration,
which consumed every building excepting two.
This mischief was done, it being in the time of
the war with Great Britain, by a party of the

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