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Letter from Frederick Follet to Henry R. Schoolcraft

Letter from Frederick Follet to Henry R. Schoolcraft Batavia, Oct. 25, 1845. Dear Sir My private and public duties together prevented my making a visit to “Fort Hill,” until the 22d inst. and I proceed to give you my ideas of that formation. The ground known as “Fort Hill” is situated about three miles north of the village of Le Roy, and ten or twelve miles northeast from Batavia, the capitol of Genesee county. The better view of “Fort Hill” is had to the north of it, about a quarter of a mile, on the road leading from Bergen to Le Roy. From this point of observation it needs little aid of the imagination to conceive that it was erected as a fortification by a large and powerful army, looking for a permanent and almost inaccessible bulwark of defense. From the center of the “Hill,” in the northwesterly course, the country lies quite flat immediately north, and inclining to the east, the land is also level for one hundred rods, when it rises nearly as high as the “Hill,” and continues for several miles quite elevated. In approaching the “Hill” from the north it stands very prominently before you, rising rather abruptly, though not perpendicularly, to the height of eighty or ninety feet, extending about forty rods on a line east and west, the corners being round or truncated, and continuing to the south on the west side for some sixty rods, and on the east side for about half a mile, maintaining about the same elevation at the sides as in front; beyond which distance the line of...

Letter from C. Dewey to Henry R. Schoolcraft

Letter from C. Dewey to Henry R. Schoolcraft, Fort Hill. This is celebrated as being the remains of some ancient work, and was supposed to have been a fort. Though the name is pronounced as if hill was the name of some individual, yet the place is a fort on a hill, in the loose use of the word. The name designates the place as Fort Hill, to distinguish it from the hills which have no fort on them. Neither is it a hill, except as you rise from the swale on the north, for it is lower than the land to which it naturally belongs. As you pass towards Fort Hill in the road from LeRoy village, which is about three miles to the south, you descend a little most of the distance to this place. The road passes a little west of the middle of the space nearly north and south. The shape is quadrangular, and is shown in the diagram or ground plot. On the right and east side is the deep water course of Allen s Creek, cut down through the rocks for a mile or more, perhaps one hundred and thirty feet deep; on the north is that of Fordham’s Brook, of nearly the same depth, which drains a wide swale from the north and northwest; and on the west is a short and deep ravine, which is a water course in some seasons of the year, where the waters fall over a precipice a little south of the quadrangular space, or fortification. This ravine is not so deep as the watercourses on the east...

Ancient Entrenchments on Fort Hill, near Le Roy, Genesee County

The following diagram of this work has been drawn from a pen-sketch, forwarded by the Rev. Mr. Dewey, of Rochester. The work occurs on an elevated point of land formed by the junction of a small stream, called Fordham’s Brook, with Allen’s Creek, a tributary of the Genesee River. Its position is about three miles north of the village of Le Roy, and some ten or twelve northeast of Batavia. The best view of the hill, as one of the natural features of the country, is obtained a short distance north of it, on the road from Bergen to Le Roy. To attain a proper conception of its susceptibilities and capacity, as the site of a work of defense, it is essential to conceive the country, for some distance, to have had the level of the extreme plain, forming the highest part of the fort. The geological column of this plain, after passing down through the unconsolidated strata, appears to be composed of various strata of coniferous limestone, Onondaga or hydraulic limestone, and perhaps Medina sandstone. Geological causes, originating, so far as we can immediately perceive, in the two streams named, have cut down this series of stratifications, on the north, east and west, unequally, to the depth of some eighty or nine ty feet, isolating the original plain, on three sides, by the vallies of Allan s creek and Fordham brook. Availing themselves of this heavy amount of natural excavation, the ancient occupants of it further strengthened its position, by casting up a wall and ditch along the brow of the two vallies, at the points of their...

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