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 militia, caused his drums to beat and drown the reading of the royal commission, saying to Fletcher, ‘If I am interrupted, I will make the daylight shine through your body.’ James Wadsworth of Durham, and his brother William, made their way to the banks of the Genesee in the year 1790, when that whole region was a rude wilderness, from which the Indians had scarcely been expelled. They opened their path, in some places, by their own axes, and established themselves at a point called ‘Big Tree,’ which is now the village of Geneseo. They were the agents of many of the proprietors, whose lands they cleared and brought into market; and they themselves, in process of time, became the most extensive and wealthy landholders of that neighborhood. Mr. Lewis F. Allen, to whose excellent Memorial of General Wadsworth I am indebted for some of the information contained in this paper, intimates that they owed this success to the happy union of their own personal qualities. William, who had a more hardy nature than his brother, carried on all the out-of-door operations, while James, who had received an excellent education at the East, and acquired habits of system and order, managed the finances, entertained the guests, and, by his sound judgment and fine taste, contributed not only to the material prosperity, but to the picturesque beauty of that famous valley. He had graduated at Yale College, and he took into the wild country to which he emigrated a love for letters and refined social intercourse, which made it blossom early with the sweet flowers of mental and moral culture. After the population had sufficiently increased, he caused tracts upon the subject of popular education to be printed and circulated at his own expense; he offered premiums to the towns which should first establish school libraries; he procured the passage of the school-library law in 1808; he suggested the establishment of Normal Schools in 1811; he founded and endowed a library and system of lectures at Geneseo; and he provided that in all his sales a tract of one hundred and twenty-five acres in every township should be reserved for a church, and as much more for a school. When he died, in 1844, his gifts to the
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