“Everything Here is So Different”: Changing Cultural Landscapes

  • Rebecca J. Fraser
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


When Ben brought his new bride home to Clifton Grove in September 1853, the marriage had raised many an eyebrow among Sarah’s New Hartford neighbors, friends and family. New Hartford village, where the Hicks family home was, is located in the town of New Hartford in the county of Oneida, central New York State. Founded in 1789 by Jedediah Sanger, the village had demonstrated some remarkable transformations in terms of its economy and industry in the years following the American Revolution through the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. The wealth of the town developed rapidly owing to Sanger’s keen involvement in the purchase of turnpike company stock, which allowed him to hold some influence in determining location and routes. While the opening of the Erie Canal in October 1825 did much to move New Hartford’s trade toward the county seat of Utica, the village retained the use of water power with Sauquiot Creek and thus remained a presence in the emerging industrial boom of the Northern States.2 In Utica, industries such as textiles and paper manufacturing dominated the economic landscape alongside the continued existence of artisans and smaller craftsman, in addition to a sizeable number of those employed in white-collar occupations such as managers, clerical workers and shop assistants.


Nineteenth Century Cultural Landscape Planter Class County Seat Black Slave 
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© Rebecca J. Fraser 2013

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  • Rebecca J. Fraser

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