Port of Ogdensburg
Review and History

The Port of Ogdensburg lies on the southern banks of the St. Lawrence River where it meets the Oswegatchie River just 1.6 kilometers (one mile) across the river from Prescott, Ontario, Canada. The Port of Ogdensburg is in St. Lawrence County, New York, about 238 nautical miles (330 kilometers or 205 miles) east-northeast across Lake Ontario from Canada's Port of Toronto. The Port of Ogdensburg is about 40 nautical miles upriver (70 kilometers or 43 mile) northeast of New York's Port of Clayton.

The Port of Ogdensburg is the only United States Port on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Port of Ogdensburg is part of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway System, and it is connected to Ontario by the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. The US Census reported that mover 11 thousand people call the Port of Ogdensburg home.

Port History

Long before Europeans came to the future Port of Ogdensburg area, it was home to the St. Lawrence Iroquoians (Laurentine Iroquois) that had lived there before 1300AD. Speaking a different language, these people were distinct from the historic Iroquois League (or Confederacy). By the late part of the 16th Century, the Laurentine Iroquois had disappeared. Historians think they were conquered by the Mohawk, a tribe of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Iroquois, as a result of warfare over the fur trade with white traders.

By the time Samuel de Champlain arrived in the early 17th Century, the Iroquois Confederacy controlled the area around what is now the Port of Ogdensburg, and Onondaga settlements spanned the south shores of Lake Ontario. In 1749, Abbe Picquet built a French mission on the site of the future Port of Ogdensburg, naming it Fort de la Presentation where the indigenous people came to trade. Many Onondaga who settled there became Catholics. By 1755, about three thousand Iroquois lived at the mission, and they allied with the French during the French and Indian War.

The Port of Ogdensburg is near the place where the British and French fought the Battle of the Thousand Islands in 1760. After France surrendered its lands to England, the English renamed the mission fort to Fort Oswegatchie. They did not interfere with the relationship between the native people and the Catholic priests. The British held the village until 1796 after the American Revolution when it became part of United States' territory.

When the United States took over, they more or less drove the indigenous people out of the Port of Ogdensburg area. Samuel Ogden, an early landowner, inspired the name of the town when the first American residents arrived. During the War of 1812, the British captured the Port of Ogdensburg.

The Port of Ogdensburg was incorporated as a village in 1817. It was an important city for trade, and it played a major role in the development of New York and southeast Canadian railroads.

In 1940, the Ogdensburg Agreement between Canada's Prime Minister and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was signed at the Port of Ogdensburg, renewing the ties between the two countries after World War II started. German POW Franz von Werra escaped from Canada to the Port of Ogdensburg in a rowboat.

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