Fort Plain

Geographic position

42.9308° N, 74.6247° W


Bollen, Norman J. "Fort Plain/Fort Rensselaer." Fort Plain Museum and Historical Park. Web.; Gannett, Henry. The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1905. Print; Greene, Nelson. The Story of Old Fort Plain and the Middle Mohawk Valley. Fort Plain: O'Connor Brothers Publishers, 1915. Web.; Knittle, Walter Allen. Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1937. Web.; "The Village of Fort Plain, NY." 2015. Web.; Geo coordinates at

General note

Fort Plain is a village on the Mohawk River in central New York's Montgomery County. The area's original inhabitants were the Mohawks, who also built fortifications in the bordering settlement of Canajoharie. By the 1660s, Dutch settlers began to encroach on Mohawk land, but the major wave of European settlement to Fort Plain began in the early 1700s with the arrival of Palatinate German immigrants. The Protestant Palatinates arrived in New York to escape persecution at home, and in return for their labor in work camps along the Hudson, they received land on the Mohawk River in 1718 in what would become Fort Plain. There may have been a fort in Fort Plain during the French and Indian War in order to protect both European settlers and Canajoharie, but Fort Plain's namesake fort was not built until the eve of the Revolution. Fort Plain was located on a hilltop at the junction of the Mohawk and Osquaga Rivers and gave the patriots a view of the surrounding area. It was briefly known as Fort Rensselaer until General Rensselaer fell out of favor with the colonial army. In 1778, the Fort and its surrounding settlements became an established village as more and more white settlers sought refuge nearby, and in 1780 Fort Plain became the primary fort in upstate New York. In 1783, after news of the American victory spread to the entire upstate New York region from Fort Plain, General Washington used it as the base for his visit to the area. Occom often visited Fort Plain in the late 1780s into the early 1790s when he travelled along the Mohawk River from his home in Brotherton. Fort Plain was home to James Dean, the Dartmouth graduate and Oneida interpreter, whom Occom visited at least once. Today, the village remains very small at about 2,000 residents.