Fort Handiver

Discussion in 'Revolutionary War' started by Yanky, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Yanky

    Yanky New Member

    I'm reading Howard Swiggett's War Out of Niagara, about the infamous Tory leaders John and Walter Butler, and in several quoted letters a "Fort Handiver" is mentioned. If this is a less-used alternate name of a New York fort during the Revolution, it is impossible from the context to figure out what the better known name is. A Google search of "Fort Handiver/Ft Handiver" turns up nothing. Does anyone have any info on this fort?

    By the way, they just don't make books like War Out of Niagara (1933) anymore. With its reams of contemporary correspondence, usually quoted in full and accompanied by the author's opinionated interpretation (Swiggett is the Butlers' advocate), it much more resembles a blog than a popular historical narrative. It's certainly worth reading, though, just slow going.
  2. jmkell33

    jmkell33 New Member

    Looked for the name in all my references, back to the French & Indian Wars, without success. It could be that this was the residence and trading outpost of a private citizen. Everything west of present-day Rome NY (Ft. Stanwix) was pretty wild unsettled country, but could have been the site of individual fur-trader posts. In that event, the trader would have put up a stockade around his main building (usually not much more than a shack) for protection. These "forts" would be called by the name of the trader, as in later years in the American West (e.g., Sutter's Fort, etc.).

    Just a guess in this case.


    Jack Kelly
  3. Yanky

    Yanky New Member

    Thanks a lot for searching.

    The more letters by Walter Butler I read, the more I realize that this guy is not good at spelling proper names. Or, to put a more positive spin on it, he's a "creative" speller. So "Handiver" could translate to almost anything, from "Andover" or "Hanover" to something less obvious.

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