Thursday, June 26, 2014

Comstock's History Page Three

CAYUGA COUNTY NEW YORK  by Austin B. Comstock

I will be posting each page of this history separately. The index, posted on June 24, 2014 in 4 parts, provides the page numbers; you can also search the blog for a particular name appearing anywhere within it. I hope you find something new!

Page Three
This land was divided in comparatively small lots and given numbers. Then a soldier’s name was called and the ballot box shaken up; a number was drawn out and the
soldier drew that lot. Then, if he was entitled to several times as much, other tickets were drawn. The first ticket perhaps gave him a lot of 120 acres in the Town of Scipio and the next in Cortland County, and another was perhaps near Canandaigua. For this reason there was much trading in soldier’s claims, and also speculators bought much of the and very cheap. Many drew land who had no desire to leave the locality where they lived, so they would sell their soldier’s land for a small sum.
There was also the soldier who was entitled to 600 acres and found that he held land in five different counties 50 to 100 miles apart. He would then try to trade with some soldier who had drawn a lot adjoining one of his lots. He would perhaps succeed in getting two or three lots together and sell the balance to anyone who would buy. I remember some years ago while I was working with Frank Avery Skilton, late of Auburn, we came across a man who had drawn land in Cortland County and also near Canandaigua, and sold the land in Cortland, 120 acres as I remember, to another soldier whose land adjoined it for a yearling ox and a five gallon keg of whiskey. Probably both were overjoyed at the bargain, but be it remembered that the best whiskey sold at that time for only about what a drink now costs, and so the seller only realized about 10 to 15 cents per acre for his land.
Seth Sherwood of Washington County purchased Lot 36 which comprises Sherwood and vicinity. When he arrived in 1792, he found a cleared field, oval in shape, which contained about three acres of land. The foundation of a cabin and a dirt cellar were there, but the place was deserted. Judge (Seth) Sherwood said that the Indians told him that a man by the name of White had come there and wanted to settle among them. This they allowed, and claimed that they cleared this lot and lived there several years, but all died. This is no doubt true, but it is often wondered what was the cause of their deaths.
Col. Lyon bought this farm (the Giles Slocum farm) and plowed it once in 1823, the year after he bought it, and it is said to have raised rye nine feet high, but he never plowed it again during the 40 years he owned it. This was because he and his neighbors all felt that it should not be plowed as it was not known where the bodies of White and his family were buried.
This sounds strange to some of us now, because Judge Sherwood’s body was taken up a few years ago from a hog lot that had once been

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