It is more than suggested, by this evidence, taken together with the
several images of the Fort Hendrick/Upper Castle occupation, that
Fort Hendrick occupied essentially the same land later occupied by
Hudson's Tavern in 1803 and subsequently by the settlers
Smith, Joyce, and Platt in 1851.
This would place the Mohawk cabins, and presumably the residence of
King Hendrick, not on the heights of the plateau to the south, where
the Thruway now runs, but on the lower, rolling elevations along the
southerly margins of the river road. It is this area which has
endured the greatest impact from recent roadway construction. But
mapping and aerial photography do provide some insight into
pre-existing terrain, suggesting ample area of modest slope and
good access to spring-fed brooks to attract such settlement.
Clearly the historic markers which were each intended to designate
and commemorate this historic place, and which have over the years
created the illusion of two discrete and spatially separable sites,
need to be amalgamated and relocated. Decades of "mis-information"
perpetuated by text that is either explicitly or implicitly in error,
needs to be corrected, in part by writing new text and in part by
placing existing text at the proper location.
If nothing else, this study serves as a sobering reminder that
hypotheses, once committed to paper, or in this case to cast iron,
take on a power and validity that often exceeds justification and
possibly even intent. And as with most historical error of this type,
there is a germ of truth underlying each interpretive error.
Unfortunately, historical interpretation, embossed onto a monument
and painted in official colors, is all too often viewed as fact,
not as interpretation of fact. The task yet before us, in this
particular case, is to correct the existing mis-interpretation
without creating, in the act of re-monumenting, a new one.
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