On Sunday, October 15, 2023, at 1 :30 pm, the Village of Cooperstown will formally unveil new
historical signage at Council Rock Park dedicated to Indigenous history. The public is invited to
this free event, which will feature remarks by village officials and local historians.

The new signage provides important contextual information regarding both “Council Rock” and
“Clinton’s Dam,” which were memorialized in two New York State historical markers erected on
the site in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It explains the origins of the “Council Rock” story in
local folklore and an introduction to the revised 1832 edition of James Fenimore Cooper’s novel,
The Pioneers. In addition, it discusses the 1779 Sullivan-Clinton Campaign and the broader
history of the American Revolution and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) nations. The new signage
notes that the purpose of the campaign, which was ordered by General George Washington and
occurred in the context of “war on the frontier” with Loyalists and their Native allies, was to
“invade the western Haudenosaunee homelands.” It resulted in th~, destruction of 40 Indigenous
towns and their harvests, creating a large refugee population. Among the Haudenosaunee,
Washington was known as Hanadaganyas, “he destroys towns.” Tjie purpose of the signage is to
provide a factual and balanced account of these events. History is a dynamic pursuit, subject to
change as we learn more about events from the past.

The new signage was created in collaboration with faculty and students of the Cooperstown
Graduate Program (CGP) at SUNY Oneonta. The project was spearheaded by Village Historian
and CGP Associate Professor of History Will Walker in close consultation with William A.
Stama, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at SUNY Oneonta, and Darren Bonaparte, Director
of the Tribal Historic Preservation Office of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. It was designed by
Doreen DeNicola of DeNicola Design.