Oswego (pop. approx. 18,000) is a city on Lake Ontario. The area was settled in 1722. Over the next six decades the British built three successive forts, ceding the last fort to the U.S. only thirteen years after the end of the Revolutionary War. American forces erected the fourth and current fort between 1839 and 1844; since 1949, it has been a historic site and is currently being restored.
Oswego was a key part of abolitionist philanthropist Gerrit Smith's business empire. The city offered the lake port closest to Smith's home in Peterboro. Smith invested heavily in Oswego waterfront development and for decades owned much of its downtown property. From Oswego's docks Smith and his employees, notably his business agent John B. Edwards, dispatched numerous escaping slaves toward Canada.
Still a major lake port, Oswego was once a major rail hub also. It is the home of physician and dress reformer Mary Edwards Walker, the only woman Medal of Honor recipient.