Rome is a city in Oneida County, New York, United States. It is located in north-central or "upstate" New York. The population was 32,850 at the 2010 census. It is in New York's 24th congressional district. In 1758, British forces began construction of Fort Stanwix at this strategic location, but it was not completed until 1763. In 1796, the city was founded around the fort and named Lynchville. Some time later, the city's name was changed to Rome, presumably after the Italian city of Rome. Rome was listed in the 1820 Federal census of Oneida County, but the exact date and reason for the change is unknown. Rome is one of two principal cities in the Utica–Rome, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is in the south-central part of the county. In the heart of the Leatherstocking Region made famous by James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, Rome is known as the City of American History.
For hundreds of years, the area occupied by the modern City of Rome, NY has enjoyed great strategic and commercial importance, sitting along an ancient east/west and northern trade route from the Great Lakes and Canada to the Hudson River and the sea. The city is built astride the Oneida Carrying Place, known to the Six Nations or Haudenosaunee people, as Deo-Wain-Sta, or The Great Carrying Place. These names refer to a portage road or path between the Mohawk River to east and Wood Creek to the west, leading to Lake Ontario. Located within the modern city limits, this short portage path was the only overland section of a trade route stretching over a thousand miles between Lake Ontario and the lower Hudson. Boats coming up the Mohawk River from the Hudson had to transfer their cargo and boats overland between 1.7 and six miles (depending on the season) to continue west to Lake Ontario.
The region was the scene of bloody fighting during the French and Indian War. The British had erected several small forts to guard the Oneida Carrying Place and the lucrative fur trade against French incursions from Canada. However, a combined French, Canadian and Native American force overwhelmed and massacred a British force in the Battle of Fort Bull. Later in 1758, after several abortive attempts to fortify the area, the British sent a very large force to secure the Oneida Carry and build a stronger rampart complex named Fort Stanwix. The fort was abandoned at the conclusion of the war.