Where the Indian Trail

Current Sign Text

Where the Indian Trail
Crossed the creek (34 rods west) on May 24, 1788
landing a crude boat Major Asa Danforth and his
noble wife Hannah Wheeler Danforth builded the first
Christian home in this county.

Problematic issues

While this marker does not include the oft used and erroneous words "Discovered" or "First Settler", it places importance on these people moving into and occupying Indigenous land. This particular marker notes their being Christian. White settlers right to occupy and settle land was based on several problematic principles and events - the Doctrine of Discovery (1), the destructive Sullivan Clinton Campaign (2), illegal treaties signed by New York State and the establishment of Military Tracts(3). The Onondaga Nation occupied the land for over 1,000 years and yet Europeans believed they had the right to move in supported by the Doctrine of Discovery based on 15th Century Papal Bulls. The Trade and Intercourse Act of 1790 restricted the negotiation of treaties with foreign powers to the federal government. NYS dealt not with the Onondaga Council to acquire this land but with individuals without the power to negotiate treaties for acquiring land. Military Tracts of land which was questionably owned by NYS were given to soldiers who served in the Revolution. Much of the land acquired was held by speculators.


South Salina St. directly across from Heath Park.



Indigenous Place Names for Site


Circumstances of Marker Placement

Erected 1915 by the Daughters of the American
Revolution, Onondaga Chapter
Located on South Salina Street, almost directly across
from Heath Park and diagonal to the stone in Heath Park

Additional Information

Asa Danforth was a prominent early settler of Onondaga
County and is referred to in many histories and articles.
There is a General Asa Danforth Chapter of the DAR
founded in 1917, 2 yrs after this marker was placed.


1. http://www.doctrineofdiscovery.org/
2. http://sullivanclinton.com/intro.php
3. http://www.townoflysander.org/history_town.html

Review Details

Researched by Sue Eiholzer, 2012