Ithaca History

Both of these excerpts are from History of Central New York Volume One by Harry R. Malone

“Back into the dim past, the city’s history extends to the time when Sullivant’s army set the forests aglow with the light of burning Iddian village at the head of Cayuga Lake. Lieut.-Col. Henry Dearborn’s detatchment of 200 men in the Sullivan campaign passed across the site of Ithaca in 1779 and camped at the foot of West Hill in the night of September 23. The in April, 1788, eleven men left Kingston on the Hudson, with two Delaware Indians for guides, and visited the Cayuga Valley on an exploring trip. The following year three of hteir number – Jacob Yaple, Isaac Dumond and Peter Hinepaw- returned and planted corn in the clearings before made by the Indians.”

So, basically, these guys came through while on campaign, burned out the natives, thought it was a nice place and came back to plant corn where the Native Americans had cleared space. Oy.

But wait, there’s more:

“One of the unique organizations of the early days was the Moral Society, a group of self-constituted guardians of the morals of fellow citizens. Offenders against temperance were often doused with water and locked up with hogs or their clothes removed and thus exhibited to the society members. On one occasions a group of outraged inebriates after their incarceration caught four of the moralists and confined them in the hog pound. The society demanded tribute of visiting shows and had a semi-official publication, “The Castigator.” “Tecumseh,” the Grand President of the society, was Benjamin Drake, a village merchant.”

Jevon had mentioned “The Castigator” to me once. I’m sure there’s an issue around here somewhere.

EDIT: Found it. The Castigator is in microform.

I heard that Ithaca was once known as Sodom due to the prostitution but I’ll wait until I have textual evidence before I say so for sure.


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