History of Hancock (1790-1880)

As documented here by Sharon Wilson and John Hope from W.W. MUNSELL 1797-1880 – Including modest modern updates and limited edits by Richard H. Lowe, III. Most of this narrative was composed and told from the 1880’s viewpoint, and will be added to with modern updates over 2022-2023.

The lapse of time and the dimness which the dust of generations throws over the unwritten history of past events render their record more valuable. And this is especially applicable to the experience, perils, trials and hardships of the pioneers and early settlers of our country. Each locality has its traditions of interesting events. It is the duty of the historian to rescue the more important of these from oblivion.

The town of Hancock was named when taken from Colchester, March 8th, 1806, in honor of John Hancock, president of the first Congress of the United States. Until the formation of Delaware county, in 1797, it was in Ulster county. It is situated at the southwestern extremity of the county, in latitude 41,55′ north, and longitude 1, 10″ east from Washington; and contained in 1875, according to the last census report, 97,646 acres of land, of which 11,208 acres were cleared and in cultivation, the remainder being forest, much of it broken up by numerous mountains, hills and ravines, traversed by the rivers and brooks.

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