Phelps & Gorham Purchase

Map of the north part of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase.

In 1788 a syndicate controlled by Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham purchased the preemption rights to western New York, allowing them to negotiate the purchase of the land from the Seneca Nation. Short of funds, Phelps and Gorham could acquire clear title to only about 2.6 million acres. This map detail shows the northern part of their purchase, including the Mill Lot Tract west of the Genesee (“Geneseo”) River. The Middle and Lower falls are marked on the map, along with Ebenezer Allan’s gristmill and sawmill. (Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation/River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester)

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