Sunday, May 4, 2014

An 1853 Account of Wrights and Merriams in Denmark, Lewis County, New York

1853 Denmark Document Page One
Courtesy of Bob Tate

1853 Denmark Document Page Two
Courtesy of Bob Tate

One of my readers, Bob Tate, was kind and generous enough to have sent me a document, written in 1853, describing the early days of the town of Denmark in Lewis County, New York, at the turn of the nineteenth century. I don’t think I have ever touched paper so old. I don’t know who the author is, but there are clues enough in the document to identify him if he is included in the area land records. One of the exciting aspects of the piece is that it mentions my four times great grandfather, Charles Wright, his children, and his brother Freedom. It also mentions my three times great grandfather, William Merriam.

I present here a transcription of the document, to which I have added punctuation: Thank you so much, Bob.

Came to Township No. 5 (now Denmark) on the first of May in the year 1802. Bought 125 acres of land on Great Lot 14 in said Township of Richard Harrison and Josiah Ogden Hoffman, by their attorney Abel French Esq. for 3.50 per acre. Found the following families on said township vis. Capt Charles Wright, his sons Charles, Ty, Stephen, Erastus, Chester, Matthew, and son-in-law William Merriam, also Joseph Blodget and his son Calvin, son in law Shadrach Case also Andrew Mills, Freeman Williams, Darias Sherwin also single men Reuben Robbins, Levi Robbins, David Goodenough, John Williams, Isaac Mungen, Joseph Rich and Beralal J. Rich and Abner Whiting except the Wrights. These were all that I knew of on the upper part of the township so-called at above the Big Hill. On the lower part of the township were Joseph Crary, Jesse Blodget, Freedom Wright, James Bagg, Charles Mosely, Simeon Dunham, Solomon Berewell and Peter Beroff, Lewis Graves Esq. and his brother David Graves and Phinchas Woolworth. Bought land on said township the same day that I did.

Single men on the lower part of the township were Abel French Esq., Douglas Wright,  Jabez Wright, William Clark and Daniel Clark. No houses but log and shanties. No building in Copenhagen but a saw mill and a log bridge across Deer River. No wagon had passed from Lowville to Copenhagen only a path under brush and a blind one to be found.

The Township No. 5 was the fifth Township from Lake Ontario. Names of Eleven Numbers as they are in May 1854 beginning at Sackett Harbor Lake Ontario
                                                                                No. 1 Houndsfield
                                                                                No. 2 Watertown
                                                                                No. 3 Rutland
                                                                                No. 4 Champion
                                                                                No. 5 Denmark
Situated on Lake Ontario                              No. 6 Henderson
                                                                                No. 7 Adams
                                                                                No. 8 Rodman
                                                                                No. 9 Pinckney
                                                                                No.10 Harrisburgh
                                                                                No.11 Lowville

No. 5 was divided at first by Deer River all that part was situated east of Deer River ws attached to the town of Lowville all of that part North of Deer River was attached to the Town of Champion and belonged to Oneida Count in the winter of 1802 and three townships No. 5, 9 and 10 were made into a Town and called Harrisburgh and remained so till 1807 then No. 5 was called Denmark. No. 9 was called Pinckney and No. 10 retained the name of Harrisburgh.

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