| E.G. Squier | Aborignal Monuments | Table of Contents |


ON the site of the village of Cazenova, situated in the township of the same name, which adjoins Pompey, Onondaga county, on the east, it is said an ancient earth-work once existed. No vestige of it now remains. By some it was represented to be circular, by others rectangular. Many rude relics have been found here.

In the town of Lenox there were still visible, in 1812, the traces of a work of more modern date. It occupied a position corresponding with most of the defensive structures of the aborigines, at the junction of two deep ravines, the precipitous banks of which not only afforded protection, but precluded the necessity, in . great part, of artificial defences. Within the point thus cut off and defended there is a small eminence, in which there are a number of excavations, containing traces of decayed wood.

It may be suggested (though, not knowing their dimensions, the suggestion may be absurd) that the pits were originally designed for caches. Mr. Schoolcraft supposes that this work was erected by the French,—a supposition which finds support in the regular form of the palisaded outlines, and the circumstance that the ground within and around the work has not yet returned to a forest state.


IT is stated, upon very good authority, that an ancient circular earth-work once existed near Unadilla, in this county. Nothing is known concerning it, further than that it was situated on low ground.


There was formerly an ancient enclosure, of small size, within the limits of the village of Oxford, in the township of that name, on the banks of the Chenango River. It is described by Clinton as occupying a small eminence, three or four acres in extent, which rises abruptly from the flats bordering the river. At the base of this eminence, upon the western side, flows the stream, and here the descent is precipitous. A line of embankment and a trench extended in a semicircular form from this bank, leaving narrow interruptions at the ends, for ingress and egress. The area thus enclosed was about three-fourths of an acre. At the period of the first settlement, it was covered with a dense forest; yet, says Mr. Clinton, "the outline of the work could be distinctly traced among the trees, and the elevation from the bottom of the trench to the top of the embankment was about four feet. The stump of a decayed pine which stood upon the wall exhibited one hundred and ninety-five cortical layers, and there were many more which could not be counted, as the heart of the tree alone remained. Probably the tree was three or four hundred years old,—certainly more than two hundred. It probably stood many years after it had completed its growth, and it is reasonable to suppose that some time elapsed from the period of the construction of the work to the commencement of the growth of the tree.

"Probably the work was encircled with palisades, but no traces of the wood were discoverable. The situation was very eligible, elevated, commanding a fine prospect, and having no eminence near from which it could be commanded. No implements or utensils have been found, except some fragments of coarse pottery, . roughly ornamented. The Indians have a tradition that the family of the Antones, which is supposed to belong to the Tuscarora nation, is the seventh generation from the inhabitants of this fort; but of its origin they know nothing.

"There is also a place at Norwich in this county, on a high bank of the river, called 'the Castle,' where the Indians lived at the period of our settlement of the country, and where some vestiges of a fortification appear, but in all probability of much more modern date than those at Oxford."

In Greene township, about two miles below the village, was formerly a mound of some interest. It was situated about thirty rods back from the bank of the Chenango River, and was originally about six feet in height and forty in diameter. "Until within a few years a large pine stump stood on its top, and a variety of trees covered it when first discovered. One of these showed two hundred consecutive growths. An examination of the mound was made in 1829 by excavation. Great numbers of human bones were found; and beneath them, at a greater depth, others were found which had evidently been burned. No conjecture could be . formed of the number of bodies deposited here. The skeletons were found lying without order, and so much decayed as to crumble on exposure. At one point in the mound a large number, perhaps two hundred, arrow-heads were discovered, collected in a heap. They were of the usual form, and of yellow or black flint. Another pile, of sixty or more, was found in another place, in the same mound; also a silver band or ring, about two inches in diameter, wide but thin, and with what appeared to be the remains of a reed pipe within it. A number of stone gouges or chisels, of different shapes, and a piece of mica, cut in the form of a heart, the border much decayed and the laminae separated, were also discovered."5

It may be mentioned here, that the character of the lower deposit, and also some of the relics, coincide with some of those found in the mounds of the Mississippi Valley. The ancient mound-builders often burned their dead. The upper and principal collection of bones had probably a comparatively late date, as is shown by the silver bracelet, which, it is presumed, although not so expressly stated, was found with this deposit.

5. Annals of Binghampton,

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