There has long been a legend in Lewiston about Alexander Millar, the famous Mudball ringleader, who in 1810 as a 15-year-old built a makeshift fort on the bank of the Niagara River with his teenage friends. The boys also constructed a wooden cannon and fashioned cannon balls out of clay. They were said to have found some black powder and fired their "mud balls" at a British war ship in the river off of Lewiston, nearly setting off an international incident in the spring of 1810.
Rochester area historian Jim Fischer of Hamlin visited Lewiston on Monday, where he furnished a copy of a letter written in 1865 by Millar that would seem to show that the legend is true. Millar is buried in the village cemetery next to the First Presbyterian church. Fischer obtained the letter many years ago from one of the Millar family descendants.
He addressed the Historical Association of Lewiston at the Barton Hill Hotel & Spa. After telling the story of the legend, and relating how he came to possess the letter, Fischer donated of copy of the letter to the Historical Association.