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Old Trails on the Niagara Frontier   By:

Old Trails on the Niagara Frontier by Frank H. Severance

First Page:

OLD TRAILS ON THE NIAGARA FRONTIER

[Illustration]

FRANK H. SEVERANCE

[Illustration: THE VISION OF BRÉBEUF. Drawn by H. H. Green. See Page 15. ]

OLD TRAILS ON THE NIAGARA FRONTIER

BY FRANK H. SEVERANCE

BUFFALO N Y MDCCCXCIX

COPYRIGHT 1899 BY FRANK H. SEVERANCE

THE MATTHEWS NORTHRUP CO., COMPLETE ART PRINTING WORKS, BUFFALO, N. Y.

TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF THE SCHOOLS OF BUFFALO,

MANY OF WHOM, ON SUNDRY PLEASANT OCCASIONS, HAVE ACCOMPANIED ME, IN SCHOOL ROOM TALKS, OVER SOME OF THE OLD TRAILS WHICH RUN IN AND OUT OF OUR HOME REGION, THESE STUDIES OF NIAGARA FRONTIER HISTORY ARE CORDIALLY INSCRIBED. F. H. S.

CONTENTS.

DEDICATION, v PREFACE, ix THE CROSS BEARERS, 1 THE PASCHAL OF THE GREAT PINCH, 43 WITH BOLTON AT FORT NIAGARA, 63 WHAT BEFEL DAVID OGDEN, 107 A FORT NIAGARA CENTENNIAL, 141 THE JOURNALS AND JOURNEYS OF AN EARLY BUFFALO MERCHANT, 163 MISADVENTURES OF ROBERT MARSH, 195 UNDERGROUND TRAILS, 227 NIAGARA AND THE POETS, 275

PREFACE.

The essays herein contained have been written at "odd moments," and for divers purposes. Their chief value lies in the fact that they illustrate, several of them by means of individual experiences, certain typical and well defined periods in the history of the Niagara region. By "Niagara region," a phrase which no doubt occurs pretty often in the following pages, I mean to designate in a historic, not a scenic, sense the frontier territory of the Niagara from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It is a region which has a concrete but as yet for the most part unwritten history of its own. The value of its past to the student, as is ever the case with "local history" in its worthy aspect, depends upon the importance of its relation to the general history of our country. That the Niagara region has played an important part in that history, is an assurance wholly superfluous for even the most casual student of American development. All that the following studies undertake is to give a glimpse, with such fidelity as may be, of events and conditions hereabouts existing, at periods which may fairly be termed typical.

"The Cross Bearers," a paper originally prepared as a lecture for a class that was studying the history of the Catholic Church in America, is, so far as I am aware, the first attempt to review in a single narrative all of the French missions in this immediate vicinity, and the work of the English speaking missionary priests who said mass in the Niagara region prior to its full organization under ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The data are drawn from the original sources the Jesuit Relations, Champlain, Le Clercq, Hennepin, Charlevoix, Crespel and other early writers whose works, in any edition, are often inaccessible to the student. For data relating to Bishop Burke, and for other valuable assistance, I am indebted to my friend the Very Rev. Wm. R. Harris, Dean of St. Catharines.

"The Paschal of the Great Pinch" is an attempt to picture, in narrative form, conditions conceived to exist at Fort Niagara in 1687 '8, when the Marquis de Denonville made his abortive attempt to occupy that point. Lest any reader shall be in doubt as to the genuineness of the memoirs of the Chevalier De Tregay, I beg to assure him that Lieut. De Tregay is no myth. His name, and practically all the facts on which my sketch is based, will be found in the Paris Documents (IV.), "Documentary History of the State of New York," Vol. I. This paper stands for the French period on the Niagara; the two next following, for the British period... Continue reading book >>




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