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A Shift of Population

A 1756 map.

By that time, families formerly associated with the Upper Castle settlement at Fort Hendrick apparently had begun to infiltrate the more westerly lands along the river terraces. Perhaps by the time the British loyalties of the Mohawks forced their abandonment of these lands prior to the Revolution, the core of the Upper Castle settlement had re-located to the margins of Nowadaga Creek.

This bi-polar settlement pattern is suggested on an anonymous British map (MAP 1756, above), reputed to date to 1756, but possibly later. It shows a fort on the site of Fort Hendrick, surrounded by a cluster of houses, and labeled "Indien Castel", while to the west, on Nowadaga Creek, several inverted Vs symbolic of Indian settlement are shown. This is more emphatically presented by Thomas Jeffreys in his 1768 map of New York, where a fort symbol labeled "Upper Cas." stands on the west side of Nowadaga Creek, while a village symbol labeled "Lower Castle" stands on the site of Fort Hendrick (MAP 1768).

By far the most convincing graphic presentation of this bi-polarization, and seemingly the source for Capt. Holland's later map, is found on a large and detailed map of the water route between Albany and Oswego, anonymous and tentatively dated at 1759 (MAP 1759, below). Here are shown tiny fort outlines at both the Nowadaga Creek location cited above, labeled "Upper Castle", and at the Fort Hendrick site, labeled "Lower Castle," with the empty intervening space carrying the word "Canajockhary." No other houses are indicated within this space, even though individual cabins dot the map along the river elsewhere.

A 1759 map.

Interestingly, at the actual lower Mohawk Castle at Fort Hunter, no suggestion of Mohawk settlement is indicated on this map (not shown in above image).

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