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TO THE MEMORY
y Quig Brothers,
AN ELDER AND A YOUNGER,
WHO, IN THEIR EARLY MANHOOD,
BOTH DIED THE SAME YEAR,
A few years ago I published in the Troy Times, at the solicitation of its editor, an article entitled "John Brown's Tract, or the Great Wilderness of Northern New York." Since then, my attention, in leisure hours, has been drawn irresistibly to the subject, and that meagre and cursory article has grown into the book now presented to the reading public.
But if the newspaper article was unsatisfactory, I fear the book will be deemed scarcely less so when the wealth of historic incident and legendary lore which clusters about the territory of which it treats is considered, upon which, in this volume, I have, as it were, but opened the door.
In the olden time, Northern New York was disputed ground. It was claimed by the Iroquois of Central New York and by the Algonquins of Canada; by the French colonists of the St. Lawrence, and by the Dutch and English settlers of the Hudson. It was surrounded by the wartrails of the Indian, and by the war-paths of the armies of colonial times. Hence from its first discovery and exploration by Samuel de Champlain in the summer of 1609 to the close of the war of 1812 with Great Britain, it was the
theater of continuous strife between rival powers contending for its mastery. Of the history of this long period much has been written, but more of it still lies buried in our colonial archives. In the following pages I have attempted hardly more than to awaken the attention of the historical student to this most interesting field of research.
To several friends who have kindly assisted me in this task in the use of books of reference and otherwise, and who have aided me with many valuable and practical suggestions my thanks are due. Among them I desire to mention Messrs. John M. Francis, Benjamin H. Hall, James Forsyth, Alexander G. Johnson, Jerome B. Parmenter, William H. Young, Edward Green, and Cha's C. Giles, of Troy; Messrs. Joel Munsell and Henry A. Holmes, State Librarian, of Albany; Messrs. P. Porter Wiggins, A. S. Pease, D. F. Ritchie, E. J. Huling, and J. P. Butler, of Saratoga Springs; Mr. Charles D. Adams, of Utica; the late Nelson J. Beach, of Watson; Dr. Franklin B. Hough, and Mr. W. Hudson Stephens, of Lowville; and Mr. John E. Pound, of Lockport.
Troy, N. Y., 9th April, 1877.