Long Lake - Purple Mountain Press


by John Todd

Introduction by Warder H. Cadbury

From beginning of Long Lake:

"In the upper part of New York, between the St. Lawerence, the Mohawk, and Lake Champlain, is an almost unbroken wilderness of perhaps one hundred and fifty miles long and one hundred miles wide. It is the region of mountains, several of which are but little inferior to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As you pass down Lake Champlain you find yourself turning from the beauties around you, and throwing your eyes upon the outer row of these solitary dwellers, and trying to pierce their rich blue curtains to see what lies beyond them. These lofty points gather the clouds, of course, which pour down their rains and make it the home of storms. These rains and snows demand resevoirs to hold their waters. And these, in the shape of a multitude of most beautiful lakes and ponds, the hand of God hath dug. Here is the birth-place of rivers and floods. The Hudson, the Black, the Oswegatchie, the Beaver, the Racket, the Saranac, the AuSable, and the Bouquet, all rise here, high up among lakes that are nearly 2,000 feet above Champlain. Most of these lakes are surrounded and fed by beautiful ponds. The upper Saranac, for example, is surrounded by forty-two ponds, some of which are five or six miles in length."

"The record of the first settlement on the shores of Long Lake is contained in a little book, now exceedingly rare, written by Dr. John Todd . . .". This is how Alfred Donaldson began his story of Todd's visits to Long Lake in the years 1841-1844, in his History. So already in 1921, when that was written, he considered the book a great rarity. Today, an original edition of Todd's book has become virtually unobtainable. It was the first printed book to deal exclusively with an Adirondack topic, preceded only by Charles Fenno Hoffman's Wild Scenes in the Forest (1839) which, however, merely, contained one or two chapters of Adirondack interest.

John Todd's book offers much of interest for the earliest history of the Adirondacks, decades before it became the place of summer camps and sporting adventure. This classic has been enhanced greatly by Warder H. Cadbury's scholarly introduction, in itself a brief history of Adirondack pioneers. Professor Cadbury, one of the foremost experts on early Adirondack writers, has done extensive research on this particular chapter in Adirondack history and over the years has uncovered new source material on the subject. In the introduction is told the interesting story of Todd's relationship with Joel T. Headley, another poineer writer, and their dispute over the projected future of the Long Lake colony. A number of Headley's Adirondack letters to New York newspapers in the 1840s, not printed in his bookThe Adirondacks,are included in this introduction.

This first paperback edition is a facsimile of the first edition of Todd's book, only the margins have been widened.

100 pages, 5 x 7, facsimile of 1845 orignal, 1997
$12.50 paperback--A Purple Mountain Press original

Copyright © 1998 Purple Mountain Press. All rights reserved.