Most authorities have accepted the discovery date of petroleum in this country as 1627 quoting a letter by Pere Joseph de la Roche Daillon which has been interpreted as referring to the famous oil spring near Cuba, New York. Daillon's letter can hardly be taken as an authentic first reference as he probably didn't get near the Cuba oil spring, and referred to "huile" rather than "petrole." The earliest actual reference was in 1656 when Jesuit missionaries came to Cayuga Lake and reported they had heard of a petroleum spring; this spring was noted in 1664 by Pierre Boucher.

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