Location: West Point New York

West Point, New York

The long trough of land which runs 384 miles from New York to Montreal, consisting of the Hudson River Valley, Lakes George and Champlain and the Richelieu River Valley, is without doubt the most vital of American natural highways and its importance has been recognized from the earliest days of American history. The French in the days when the lilies of France waved over half of the American continent sent their war parties down this depression to prey upon the English settlements, and hence came about the building of Ticonderoga at the northern entrance to the long march. The American colonists years afterward, when they had need to defend the southern mouth of the valley, fortified West Point and its neighboring points and crags, their first cover being taken at Peekskill some three or four miles south of West Point. It will be remembered that in 1777 came about that menacing campaign in the Hudson in which the British from the south under Sir Henry Clinton and in the north under General Burgoyne attempted a juncture of forces at Albany, the intention being to divide the American colonies along the line of the historic Hudson Valley and then to reduce each half at leisure while the British fleet prevented any efforts at union by way of the seacoast. Burgoyne surrendered in October of that year at Saratoga, which is...

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Biography of John Lane

Colonel John Lane, the senior member of the law firm of Lane & McDonald, has long resided on the Pacific coast, but has made his home in Lewiston for only two years. In that time, however, he has gained prestige as one of the ablest members of the bar of this locality, and is therefore a valued addition to the professional circles of the city. A native of the state of Indiana, Colonel Lane was born in Evansville, May 17, 1837. His ancestors were of Irish and French stock and were early settlers of North Carolina, where they founded the city of Raleigh one hundred years before America sought her independence through the power of arms. Several of the family held military commissions under General Washington, in the Revolutionary war, and the family has always been celebrated for bravery and valor in battle. General Joseph Lane, the father of the Colonel, was born in North Carolina, December 14, 1801, and became a brevet major general in the Mexican war. He was appointed by President James K. Polk to go to Oregon and organize the territorial government there before the expiration of the president’s term. With all expedition he started across the plains, in the fall of 1848, with a small escort of the regiment of mounted rifles. On the approach of the winter, he turned aside and passed through...

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Biography of Charles J. Buchanan

CHARLES J. BUCHANAN AN industrious and accomplished Albany lawyer, who has already gained no little distinction in the legal profession, and whose record in our civil war was most honorable, is Charles J. Buchanan, now of the well-known firm of Moak & Buchanan. Of Scotch-Irish ancestry – an ancestry noted for its strong mental and physical powers – he was born at New Berlin, Chenango County, N. Y., on the 27th of December, 1843. In the common schools of his native town, and in the New Berlin academy, amidst the richness and quietude of rural life, his school-boy days were pleasantly and profitably passed. A studious youth, he was ambitious to lay a substantial foundation on which he might build some useful intellectual superstructure. But when he left the academy in the hope of continuing his studies at college the civil war had broken out and the young student was fired with patriotic zeal in a loyal cause. In the fall of 1861 he enlisted in the First regiment of United States sharpshooters (Berdan’s) and went immediately to the front, his regiment being at once assigned to the army of the Potomac. He was then about eighteen years of age, vigorous in body, unfailing in courage and eager to engage in the deadly conflicts for loyalty whenever they should come. He served three years in Col. Berdan’s regiment, rising...

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From Yonkers to West Point along the Hudson River

Passing Glenwood, now a suburban station of Yonkers, conspicuous from the Colgate mansion near the river bank, built by a descendant of the English Colgates who were familiar friends of William Pitt, and leaders of the Liberal Club in Kent, England, and “Greystone,” once the country residence of the late Samuel J. Tilden, Governor of New York, and presidential candidate in 1876, we come to Hastings to Dobbs Ferry Hastings, where a party of Hessians during the Revolutionary struggle were surprised and cut to pieces by troops under Colonel Sheldon. It was here also that Lord Cornwallis embarked for Fort Lee after the capture of Fort Washington, and here in 1850 Garibaldi, the liberator of Italy, whose centennial was observed July 4, 1907, frequently came to spend the Sabbath and visit friends when he was living at Staten Island. Although there is apparently little to interest in the village, there are many beautiful residences in the immediate neighborhood, and the Old Post road for two miles to the northward furnishes a beautiful walk or driveway, well shaded by old locust trees. The tract of country from Spuyten Duyvil to Hastings was called by the Indians Kekesick and reached east as far as the Bronx River. Dobbs Ferry is now at hand, named after an old Swedish ferryman. The village has not only a delightful location but it is also...

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From West Point to Newburgh along the Hudson River

The steamer passes too near the west bank to give a view of the magnificent plateau with parade ground and Government buildings, but on rounding the point a picture of marvelous beauty breaks at once upon the vision. On the left the massive indented ridge of Old Cro’ Nest and Storm King, and on the right Mount Taurus, or Bull Hill, and Break Neck, while still further beyond toward the east sweeps the Fishkill range, sentineled by South Beacon, 1,625 feet in height, from whose summit midnight gleams aroused the countryside for leagues and scores of miles during those seven long years when men toiled and prayed for freedom. Close at hand on the right will be seen Constitution Island, formerly the home of Miss Susan Warner, who died in 1885, author of “Queechy” and the “Wide, Wide World.” Here the ruins of the old fort are seen. The place was once called Martalaer’s Rock Island. A chain was stretched across the river at this point to intercept the passage of boats up the Hudson, but proved ineffectual, like the one at Anthony’s Nose, as the impetus of the boats snapped them both like cords. Some years ago, when the first delegation of Apache Indians was brought to Washington to sign a treaty of peace, the Indians were taken for an “outing” up the Hudson, by General O. O....

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From Croton River to West Point along the Hudson River

Croton River, known by the Indians as Kitchawonk, joins the Hudson in a bay crossed by the New York Central Railroad Croton draw-bridge. East of this point is a water shed having an area of 350 square miles, which supplies New York with water. The Croton Reservoir is easily reached by a pleasant carriage drive from Sing Sing, and it is a singular fact that the pitcher and ice-cooler of New York, or in other words, Croton Dam and Rockland Lake, should be almost opposite. About fifty years ago the Croton first made its appearance in New York, brought in by an aqueduct of solid masonry which follows the course of the Hudson near the Old Post Road, or at an average distance of about a mile from the east bank. Here and there its course can be traced by “white stone ventilating towers” from Sing Sing to High Bridge, which conveys the aqueduct across the Harlem River. Its capacity is 100,000,000 gallons per day, which however began to be inadequate for the city and a new aqueduct was therefore begun in 1884 and completed in 1890, capable of carrying three times that amount, at a cost of $25,000,000. The water-shed is well supplied with streams and lakes. Lake Mahopac, one of its fountains, is one of the most beautiful sheets of water near the metropolis, and easily accessible...

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Biography of Col. Granville O. Haller

COL. GRANVILLE O. HALLER, U.S.A., Retired. – Granville Owen Haller was born in York, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1819. His father, George Haller, died when he was but two years of age, leaving a pious and most devoted mother in charge of four young children, who, with limited means, but with industry and thrift, had the satisfaction of seeing her eldest son graduate at the Jefferson Medical College of the University of Pennsylvania. She was very desirous of sending Granville to the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to be fitted for the ministry, but conscientious doubts on his part prevented him from conforming to his mother’s wishes. In 1839 a vacancy belonging to his district occurred at West Point Military Academy, when he and several other young men became applicants to fill the vacancy. The Honorable Joel R. Poinsett, Secretary of War, ruled that the recommendation of the representative of the district, giving his preference to one of the applicants, should secure his appointment. Haller received the preferred recommendation, but did not receive the appointment. Walter S. Franklin, of York, Pennsylvania, clerk of the House of Representatives, a warm and consistent friend of the Honorable James Buchanan, senator from Pennsylvania, and also a friend of Secretary Poinsett, had recently died, when Senator Buchanan applied for William B. Franklin, son of the deceased to be appointed. William was thereupon appointed to...

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