Perhaps your ancestor attended a convention for "internal improvements" in his area. Mine did.
"Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton Railroad Convention," Cortland (New York) Republican, 5 January 1836, p. 1, c. 3; microfilm collection at Cortland Public Library, Cortland.
At a convention of delegates from the several counties on and adjacent to the routs of the proposed "Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton Rail Road," convened pursuant to public notice, at the Court House, in Cortland Village, on the 24th of December; the Hon. William Bartlit, was called to the Chair, pro. tem., and Horatio Bollerd appointed Secretary. On motion of H.S. Randall of Cortland,
Resolved, That a committee
of three be appointed to receive the credentials and collect the names of the delegates in attendance. The chair named the following committee: —
Henry S. Randall, of Cortland,
Vincent Whitney, of Brome,
V.W. Smith, of Onondaga.
The following delegates were found in attendance. [Owing to the numbers present, the Court House being crowded almost to suffocation, and the new delegates arriving every moment, until the close of the convention, it was found impossible to render the list accurate, or any thing like complete. Probably not half of the delegates present are to be found in the list below.]
Syracuse.—E. Lynds, S.S. Forman, H. Baldwin, H. Raynor, D. Elliot, J. Manning, S. Ames, R. Hebard, J.B. Ives, W. Jackson; IL Putname, P. Mickles, M. Williams, E.L. Phillips, T.T. Davis, J. Bradley, J.H. Clark, R. Woolworth, V.W. Smith, S. Towsley, I F. Hinman, A. Burt, T. Rose, O. Teall, S.D. Day, R.A. yoo, L. A. Cheney and R. Warner.
Onondaga Hollow. —T. Patchin, T. M. Dorwin.
Jamesville.—J. W. Brewster, G.W. Holbrook, H.B. Gates, and H.P. Winson.
Tully.—H.T. Tallman, M.T. Tallman, W.E. Tallman, Geo. Buckingham, J.T. Irish, A. King, N. Powell, W. Downs, F. Howell, E. Farnham, O. Parmenter, H.P. Wescott, W.M. Ostrander, G.W. Gowing, N. Van Duzen, J.J. Ostrander and M. Knoll.
Binghamton.—T.G. Waterman, D. S. Dickinson, C. Eldridge, J.S. Bosworth, V. Whitney, J. Paige, G. Park, E. Ely, G. Collins, L. Badger, O. Stiles, F. Whitney, C. Johnson, S.M. Hunt, N. Bosworth, C. Jackson, H. Todd, D. Hobart, A. Jackson, R. Jennings, A. Wheaton, C. Mahan, G.W. Birdsall, J. Smith, J.D. Smith, S.H. French, D. Davis, R. Barns, S. Johnson, J. Mitchell, E. Story, J. Stoddard.
Richford.—S.R. Griffin, P.F. Grow, A. Deming, L. Curtis, H. Daniels, jr.
Berkshire.—J.F. Walde, H. Collins, S. Payne.
Dryden.—J. Southworth, B.A. Potter, A. Lewis, 2d, H.Putnam, B. Sweatland, F. McGraw, G.B. Guinnip, R. Thorne, J.W. Montgomery.
Scott.—J. Gillet, N. Salisbury and ____ Niles.
Preble.—J.B. Phelps, F. Gilbert, J. Hine, W. Skeel, M. Van Hoosen [Van Hoesen], J. Beeman, I. Skeel, D. Beeman, N. Beeman, S C. Skeel, E. Crofoot, A. H. Warner, J.P. Vaatta, B. Egbertson, J. Fowler, D. Beeman Jr. J. Beeman, M.B. Howard, I. Ferguson, R. Callen, O. Curtis, C.D. Littlefield, S. Hine, S. Stevens, E. Stevens, H. Reed, C. Etz, F. Howard, T. Kelsey, S. Kelsey, C. Maxon, T J Howard, O Jacobs, B Le Roy, P B Palmer, H Orton, N Orton, T Wilber, J Wilber M Phelps, A Terwilliger, C Terwilliger, J How
ward, T Frisbie, J Segur, A Segur, C W Hoyt, A G Alred, S Plomteaux, H G Woolston, G A Woolston, C Sante, J Wells, S Cauley, D Kinney, J Croffot, C Crego and E Adams.
Truxton.—F C Bacon, B Fields, I Blashfield, O Glover, T Ross, L Riggs, J W Stone, H Norton, R Williams, Z Williams, G W Bradford, J Barber, H Short, G J J Barber, A H Carpenter, J Saunders Jr, J Hotchkiss, sturtevant, E Stimson, A Hitchcock, J Pratt, D Corey, N Stone, H Bliss, E Shirley, N Curtiss, D Radway, H White, A Pendleton, W Brown, G Fowler, A Dickson, W. Andrews, U Hebard, W. Berry, W. Jewett, C Keep, N Goodwin, J Bishop, D Brown, L B Canfield, W Coburn, J Ives, A W Coburn, W Cummings, H B Coburn, S Pierce, J Burnham, A Austin, W Slauson, S B Woolworth, J Hubbard, W Ives, D Glover, D E Barker, C Lewis.
Solon.—S G Hathaway, J L Boyd, J W Boyd, J Maybury, P Phelps, G Hathaway.
Cortlandville.—J L Woods, W Randall, W Bartlit, H S Randall, C Marsh, O Stimson, J J Adams, H Stevens, H Ballard, T Eels, C Bishop, H Gillet, R Randall, J D P Freer, O W Brewster, W Elder, C Spencer, P C Rowley, G Edgcomb, jr. P Crosby, S Moody, L Legg, H Hopkins, M L Hopkins, J Potter, W G Parker, R Shapley, M Salisbury, J Wood, A Freer, B Merril, G Kinney, R Scouten, R A Reed, E Farrington, N Gillet, J Thomas, J Frazier, J Stewart, O North, D Learned, E Allen, D Hibbrrd [sic Hibbard], H Dibble, H Brewer, M Merrick, G Kinney, M Chapin, E May, M Goodyear, S Chandler, J Chamberlain, D C Burdick, F Hyde, J J Speed, L Boies, H White, H Fox, J Hotchkiss, E Salisbury, H McGraw, R Bell, C Kellogg, J James, S Benet, A Jarvis, R Mallory, H Hutcins, S Crain, E Wilcox. [Probably 30 or 40 more were present from this town whose names have not been obtained.]
Freetown.—C Richardson, G Kelsey, S T Tanner, P T Roe, S Hammond, J H Delavan, W B Robbins.
Marathon.—E Perkins, A Carley, C Comstock, W Squires, J Comstock, L A Burgess, E West, G E Peck, F Reas, T Squires, jr.
Virgil.—J Hemmingway, O Whiston, N Heaton, J Hart, T E Hart, O Fry, A Fry, D L Allen, A Purvois, M Frank, R Edwards, P Chevalier, H Hutchins, J Byram, J Traver, N Smith, C Smith, E. D Roe, N Pierce, S Darling, D Darling, J C Robrobacher, U Higgins, U Smith, N Heaton, J Turwilliger, C Chevalier, M P Hovring, A Smith, A Winters, L. Carr.
On motion of Mr. Stephens of Cortland,
Resolved, That a committee of ten be appointed by the chair to report the names of suitable officers to preside at this convention.
Whereupon the following person were named said committee
George Park and Christopher Eldridge of Binghamton
Elam Lynds of Syracuse
Gurding Jackson of Lisel
John H Hooker of Truxton
Jonathan L Woods of Cortland
Fredas Howard of Preble
William Andrews of Homer
Harvey Baldwin of Syracuse
Alva Jarvis of S'th Cortland
Mr. Park from the committee, reported the names of the following officers, which on motion of Mr. Smith of Onondaga, were unanimously adopted:—
ELAM LYNDS, of Onondaga, President
JOHN MILLER, Cortland; JOHN SOUTHARD, Tompkins; HORATIO COLLINS, Tioga, Vice Presidents
ELIHU ELY, Broome; SAM'L. S. FORMAN, Onondaga, Vice Presidents
DANL. S DICKINSON of Broome; HARVEY BALDWIN, Onondaga; HORACE WHITE, Cortland, Secretaries
On motion of Mr. Waterman of Broome resolved, that a Committee of three be appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the views of the Convention, in relation to the objects for which it is assembled.
The following gentlemen were named said committee:
Thomas G. Waterman,
Henry S. Randall,
Johnathan L. Woods.
Mr. Waterman from the committee reported the following resolutions: —
Resolved, That we regard the present condition, and anticipated progress, of the great system of Internal Improvement, by Canals and Railways, n the state of New-York, not only as justifying, on the part of our citizens, feelings of honorable pride and exultation—but
as leading in its results to the unexampled wealth and property of the State.
Resolved, That the Erie and Champlain canals on the North, and the N. Y. and Erie Rail Road, now in progress through the southern counties, are to be regarded only as the main arteries of internal communication between the great Western Lakes and the Atlantic, and that they afford vastly increased inducements, through all the internal sections of the State, to both public and private enterprises, to supply the minor and connecting veins in the general system.
Resolved. That among the works now in progress, or in contemplation, to unite with those great commercial arteries, the one now proposed, and submitted to our consideration—that of a railway from Syracuse to intersect the N. York and Erie Rail Road, at or near Binghamton---is of commanding importance whether regarded in reference to the profits of investment, or its convenience and utility to citizens on its route.
Resolved, That the friends of the grand system of internal improvement which has distinguished New-York and Erie Rail Raod,—the great thoro'fare which is emphatically destined to give life, wealth and prosperity, to a section hitherto secluded, and virtually bring the fertile regions of the South and West to the confines of the great commercial emporium
[missing section on this column in my copy. Is probably only a line or two at most]
presented in the Legislature at the opening of the Session.
Resolved, That the name of the corporation to be applied for, shall be "The Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton Rail-Road Company," that the petition ask for a grant having Syracuse and Binghamton in view as points of termination, and that, as intermediate places to be named in the bill, as fixed points on the route, shall be both the villages of Homer and Cortland.
On motion, Resolved that the sense of the convention be taken on each of the resolution separately. The 1st, and 2d resolutions passed unanimously,---On the reading of the 3rd Mr. Montgomery of Tompkins moved to amend the resolutions, by striking out the words "to intersect the N. York and Erie Rail Road at or near Binghamton" and substitute the following.—"To strike the Susquehanna river by the most feasible route." The chair decided the motion was out of order.
Mr Montgomery said he most earnestly desired that the amendment might be submitted to the decision of the Convention. There was another route than the one named in the resolution which might be found to answer the same general objects, and which he believed more feasible , viz: one passing through the South part of Virgil, Dryden &c, and ending at Owego.[sic]
Mr. Guinnip of Tompkins, concurred in the views of his colleague, and hoped the amendment might be submitted to the convention.
Mr. Whitney of Broome reminded the gentleman from Tompkins that the motion had been pronounced out of order: if they were unwilling to acquiesce in the decision, their course was a plain one -- they must appeal from it, to the convention.
Mr. Montgomery appealed from the decision of the chair.
Messrs. Waterman, Dickinson and Whitney, of Broome; Messrs. Stephens and Canfield of Cortland, Mr. Baldwin of Onondaga, opposed and Messrs. Montgomery, and Guinnip supported the appeal.
The Chair explained—that having assembled under a call addressed to the friends of a specific object, and delegated therefore to act only in reference to that object, it was obviously beyond the powers of the convention, to entertain and extraneous and adverse proposition to the original one, as the "friends" of which they had assembled.
The question on the appeal was then put, and the chair sustained without a count. The question recurring on the passage of the resolution (3rd) it was put, and carried unanimously.
The 4th 5th and 6th resolutions were read & passed unanimously. On the reading of the 6th, Mr. J. Miller of Cortland moved to amend by striking out the word "Homer," and conforming the phraseology of the resolution to the omission.
Mr Miller siad he was willing to have Syracuse, Cortland, and binghamton as fixed points on the route of the proposed road, but he lived on another branch of the Tioughnioga, the valley of which presented many, perhaps equal facilities for the construction of such a road, with that of the west branch, on which Homer stands. There was both he conten-
ded in the amendment adverse in the objects of the convention.
Mr. Ross of Cortland opposed the amendment, and it being put, was lost, without count. The original resolution (6th) then passed unanimously.
Messrs, Southard and Collins desired to be excused from acting further as officers of the Convention, which on motion of Mr. Stephens of Cortland, was unanimously agreed to. The Hon. SAMUEL G. HATHAWAY, and the Hon. WILLIAM BERRY of Cortland, were nominated, and appointed unanimously, to supply the vacancies.
On motion of Mr. Whitney of Broome it was
Resolved, That the Legislature be petitioned to cause the route of the proposed road to be surveyed at the expence of the State.
On motion of Mr Smith of Onondaga, it was
Resolved, As the sense of this convention that the Legislature of this State may safely adopt the principle of granting Rail Raod charters to incorporated companies upon liberal terms, whenever, the citizens of different sections manifest a disposition to unite their means, and efforts for affecting public improvements of this character.
On motion of Mr. Waterman of Broome it was
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed, to be known, and to act as the "Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton Rail Road Company," he referred to the Central Corresponding Committee, and that they be instructed to fill up blanks &c.
The chair announced the name of the following gentlemen to compose the
CENTRAL CORRESPONDING COMMITTEE,
HENRY S. RANDALL.
On motion of Mr Stephens of Cortland it was
Resolved, That Corresponding Committee of three be named by the chair in such of the places on and adjacent to the routs of the proposed road, as he may deed proper.
The chair announced the following as such committees.
Syracuse—V W Smith, henry Rayner, James Manning.
Onondaga Hollow—Thadeus Patchin, T M Corwin, Samuel S Forman
Jamesville—J W Brewster, G H Richardson, G W Holbrook
La Fayette—Ebenezer Colman, John Spencer
Tully H F King, Nichol Howell, Eli Farnham
Preble—Fredus Howard, P H Burdick, Joseph Crofoot
Homer—Horace White, E C Reed, A Donnelly
Cortland—C marsh, E W Edgcomb, Henry Stephens
Truxton—D Matthews, N V Allen, A W Otis
Solon—S G Hathaway, D Copeland, R Rice
Virgil—Wm Woodard, R Edwards, S Roe
Freetown Corners—C Richardson, WBrirdsall, J M Roe
Marathon—G E Peck, A Carly, E Perkins
Lisle—P B Brooks, J Stoddard, jr C Salisbury
Whitneys Point, (Triangle)—Thomas Whitney, G Collins, J D Smith
Binghamton—Tracy Robinson, J S Bosworth, Julias Paige
On motion of Mr. Andrus of Cortland it was resolved, that the proceedings be signed by the officers of the Convention, and that the several newspapers on the route of the proposed road, the Albany Argus, Evening Journal, N. Y. Times, American, and Courier and Enquirer be required to publish them.
On motion of Mr. H S. Randall of Cortland it was resolved, that the thanks of the Convention be presented to its officers, for the able and dignified manner in which they have presided over its deliberations.
On motion of Mr. J. S. Boswroth of Broome the convention then adjourned sine die,
ELAM LYNDS President.
JOHN MILLER }
ELIHU ELY }
SAM'L. S. FORMAN } Vice Presidents.
SAM'L G. HATHAWAY }
WILLIAM BERRY }
D.S. Dickinson }
H. Baldwin } Secretaries.
H. White ]