New York Public Library
Gansevoort/Lansing Collection

Oriskany June 10th 1829

Well! Well! Well, My dear Brother, I have been again to the Magic or rather Enchanting, Lake of Oneida, and in pursuance of the request contained in your esteemed letter of the 3rd Instant, will endeavor to detail to you the particular occurrences of the jaunt. Well on Wednesday morning, after a late breakfast Richard and myself started from this place with Sancho and a hired man in a Waggon and reached Matthews in time to take some Sun Fish fo rour next morning's breakfast, one of which with several other not much inferior was so enormously large that although blessed with a good appetite and rather hungry for Fish I could not make out to eat that individual one at the same time it was well cooked and suitable to my taste. This I fear you will hardly credit knowing as you do that I am rather more of a gourmond than remarkable for astemiousness in the eating way, but so is the fact, not withstanding your supposed incredulity. "Well!" after breakfast we started for the hospitable mansion of our good Friend Scriba who we found waiting for us and were received with a hearty welcome, at about twelve O Clock, finding the family all well excepting our poor friend Frederick who was down with the ague and fever and felt much mortified that he could not accompany us on the Lake, having as he said promised himself much pleasure in fishing with us & having kept himself up for the purpose as he had been out only once this season. "Well" we found Tobias Duffler commonly Tobe ready to row us out to Richard's new boat every way calculated for safety, and comfort. After, having obtained an ample supply of small Fish & worms for bait we embarked on the bosom of the beautiful Lake, enraptured, as usual, with the sublime scenery presented to our view, from this part of the Lake, we were soon rowed to the nearest island commonly called xx Island, where we took a handsome assort of Pike, Bass, Rock Bass, native perch and Sun Fish and among others hooked a Cat Fish who almost doubled my Rod & who played so long and so strong that I was glad to hand over my Rod to Richard to bring him in so as to let Tobe secure him with the scoop net. In the evening we returned to Scribas and next morning started for Cicero taking our way the different Islands yours of course among the rest; were considerably annoyed by the extreme heat of the solar rays which induced us to remain a considerable time under the shady Trees on the borders of your Island where I was much amused by seeing our attendant, Tobe select a soft bed between two of the largest rocks with a "proper" head stone, and take a comfortable nap for about an hour and a half, after which we went to work again and after taking a number of Fish were rowed over to Landlord Smith's where we remained for the night and next morning. Richard left me on his rout to three xx and Oswego in Smith's waggon, and Tobe & I went again to the Islands to Fish, wtih the usual success. being alone I could not enjoy the sport it being too much like poaching. You was not there my Brother!

My bait being exhausted I made Tobe row me again to your Island and sent him to dig worms, after he was gone a while I felt drowsy and laid down with something under my head on the thwart of the boat and soon got a sleep as sound as Tobe did the Day preceding among the Rocks, it couled nto however have been long, before I was aroused by a loud scream from the adjoining woods, which startled me so much that I fell off the thwart on my back, between the Fish Box and the thwart, where I laid scolding Tobe who had in the mean time come to the Boat and was with a long face making apologies for his impertinent disturbance of my slumbers, his elongated Phiz and the awkward position in which I laid scolding at poor Tobe struck me at the moment as so ludicrous that I burst out into an immediate fit of laughter. Tobe after many excuses, having been forgiven and with a promise made that I would not mention the circumstance to Mr. Scriba, who he was afraid would be angry with him. In the afternoon the wind blew a gale which gave us an opportunity to try the new boat in corssing the Lake in a pretty heavy swell which had no more affect on this well constructed boat than a large Boat in the Erie Canal, we of course arrived safe that evening at Mr. Scribas' where I remained the next, being Sabbath, and on xx Monday morning started for home where I arrived in the afternoon and found all well. And now my dear Brother let me tell that Maria and myself hold your promise sacred to come here again this Season, if your health permits, accompanied we trust by our good Susan, with one or more xx and Maria & myself or one of us, will endeavor to xx you on your return, where is my young friend, the midshipman, you say nothing about him. I should be glad to hear from him, if I cannot have the pleasure of seeing him. Present Maria's and my affectionate best wishes to the whole family as well as my godsons, and remember also our best affectionate wishes to dear Anna & her husband when you write to them, and say that we indulge the hope that his health is restored. Tell dear Sister Susan, that her sister Maria is over head and eyes engaged in manufacturing butter for our next winter's use, having, resolutely, determined that we shall buy no more for the family. Indeed she has grown so stingy of her milk, that I am not allowed to use any without it has previously been skimmed; we have lately received a letter from Bleecker which states that our dear & afflicted Sister Sarah is not worse

Your affectionate Brother

G.G. Lansing

Col. Adam G. Mappa and his family followed Boon from Holland and Mr. Mappa succeeded the latter as agent of the land company. Within a year or two Francis Adrain Vanderkamp and his family, also from Holland, came here to reside. Mappa and Vanderkamp became close friends here, as they had been in Holland. Vanderkamp was imprisoned in Holland for taking part in the revolution of 1786, but was ransomed, and on his arrival in this country settle first at Esopus and afterwards on an island in Oneida Lake. His son, John J. Vanderkemp, was the first clerk in the land company's office here under Colonel Mappa, and later became the company's chief agent with headquarters in Philadelphia.
Town of Trenton, A Descriptive work on Oneida County, New York edited by Daniel E. Wager, 1896.

Garret Boon Esqr. from Rotterdam in the kingdom of Holland likewise commenced a settlement on a tract of about sixty thousand acres, belonging to the Holland Land Company situate about twelve miles north east from Old Fort Schuyler, the village of which he called Oldenbarneveldt after a celebrated Dutch statesman. The Rev. Doctor Van Der Kemp a distinguished literary character and Col. Adam Mappa settled at this place, the Dutch Company having afforded them a place of refuge on their being obliged to leave their country during the political difficulties of Holland about 1786, they having both been active patriots in the Dutch service.
Olden Barneveld Tract, Annals of Cazenovia by Samuel S. Forman, 1837.

Mr. Scriba was a New York merchant, a German, and at the time of his purchase was worth a million and a half dollars. But his great purchase made him "land poor" and he died in Constantia a poor man, on August 26, 1836, at the age of eight four years; his remains were buried in that village. He left an only child, Frederick Scriba, who died years ago, leaving a widow, now residing in the old homestead; she had a son, George Scriba.
Colonial Land Patents, A Descriptive work on Oneida County, New York edited by Daniel E. Wager, 1896.

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