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St. Lawrence University Gets Fort de la Présentation Records

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A copy of the Records of Fort de la Présentation (1740-1759) will be available in St. Lawrence University’s Owen D. Young Library.

A press release from the university notes how these records will serve as a research source for Native American history, the history of the Oswegatchie Iroquois, early Ogdensburg and the French and Indian War. Oswegatchie is listed by as an Iroquois town or village where the particular tribes the people belonged to are unknown or collective.

“These materials shed important light on the region's role in the French and Indian War and, by bringing them to St. Lawrence, we have made these resources available to both students doing primary source research and the wider scholarly community,” said Melissane Schrems, an assistant professor of history.

The fort was built in 1749 by Abbé Francois Picquet on the banks of the Oswegatchie and St. Lawrence rivers to convert the Iroquois to Catholicism and win their assistance against the British.

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An online history of the fort at, says the Iroquois let Picquet build his mission because they were concerned about British settlers encroaching on their territory in the Mohawk Valley. By 1755, the fort had attracted about 3,000 Onondagas, Cayugas and other Iroquois to aid France.

Schrems, who arranged to bring the copy to the university, is working with colleagues on translating the records, which are in French.

She said a lot of the information in the records is hard to find elsewhere, like baptismal and marriage records of Iroquois living in the area who were members of the Mission at Fort de la Présentation from 1749-1760 and the names and ages of members of the Iroquois community.

The Owen D. Young Library is off Part Street on the university campus in Canton, New York. The records are also available at the Ogdensburg Public Library, 312 Washington St., Ogdensburg, New York.