Geneseo is a town in Livingston County in the Finger Lakes region of New York, United States. It is at the south end of the five-county Rochester Metropolitan Area. The population of the town was 10,483 at the 2010 census.The English name “Geneseo” is an anglicization of the Iroquois name for the earlier Iroquois town there, Gen-nis-he-yo (which means “beautiful valley”). The village of Geneseo lies within the western portion of the town. The village and town are known today mainly as the home of the State University of New York at Geneseo. Near Geneseo was the largest Seneca village, Chenussio, a center of power for the Iroquois Confederacy. It was also the confederacy’s “bread basket”, with orchards, vineyards, and fields of maize and vegetables.
During the American Revolution, the Seneca joined the British and the Tories against the colonists who were fighting for independence. The alliance’s raids from the west were a major threat to the American cause, and General Washington sent the Sullivan Expedition to neutralize the Iroquois. As Sullivan’s army approached Geneseo with their “scorched earth” policy, the Senecas repeatedly fell back. However, a large Seneca party ambushed one of Sullivan’s scouting parties, carried them as prisoners to Geneseo and tortured them to death. When Sullivan’s troops arrived and found the savagely mutilated bodies, they became enraged and destroyed anything that could support the Iroquois.
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