First Settler

Current Sign Text

First Settler
The home of the first white settler in the township of Lysander, Jonathan Palmer, Revolutionary Soldier, was built on this site, 1793.

Problematic issues

This marker correctly identifies Jonathan Palmer as the "first white settler". Many markers omit that point. He was a Revolutionary soldier (see Add. Info. Below) White settlers right to occupy and settle land was based on several problematic principles and events - the Doctrine of Discovery (1), the destructive Clinton Sullivan Campaign (2), illegal treaties signed by New York State (3) and the establishment of Military Tracts.


On County Road at Jacksonville



Indigenous Place Names for Site


Circumstances of Marker Placement

Erected by New York State Education Department in
1933. "The State Historic marker Program began in
1926 as a program of the State Education Department
to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the American
Revolution. Over 2,800 of the small, cast iron site
markers. . . "were erected statewide during the duration
of this program (1926-1939). (4)

Additional Information

A Jonathan Palmore is listed as having drawn a lot in the Military Tract. The Military Tract describes a land area in Central New York of nearly two million acres that New York State used as an incentive to attract soldiers to fight in the American Revolution War. The promise of "land bounty pay" was made even though the land was in Haudenosaunee territory. New York state did not have clear title to Haudenosaunee territory. ( For additional information on the Military Tract Process.)


1. 2. 3. Legal cases related to Indigenous land are based on NY making treaties after the US Trade and Intercourse Act stipulated that only the federal government had this right. While some federal cases recognized this illegality, those decisions were overturned due primarily to a concern regarding restitution. While the Onondaga were not asking for land or monetary compensation but being heard about their environmental concerns, their case was dismissed without their having a hearing in court. 4. NYS Museum, "Outreach: State Historic Markers",

Review Details

Researched by Sue Eiholzer, 2012