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Gf-o. MiCNAMARi, Primer, jft W-suy Street, New York. 



To one whose own neighborhood has been the theatre of 
events prominent in the nation's annals, the history of th(jse 
events is the most interesting of all history. To the intrinsic 
fascination of stirring incidents is added the charm of their 
having occurred on familiar ground. The river is more than a 
volume of water irrigating its banks and turning millwheels — 
more than a blue ribbon woven into the green vesture of the 
earth — to one who knows how it has dictated the course of 
events along its valley for centuries, detemiining the location, 
tirst of the Indian's castle and then of the white man's village ; 
the line, firet of the red warrior's trail and finally of the four- 
tracked railway ; at one time the site of the farmer's clearing 
and again that of the frontier fortress ; now the route of an 
army's march and anon that of a nation's domestic commerce. 
The road that has been traveled unthinkingly for years is 
invested with a new interest if found to have folUjwed an Indian 
trail. The held v.herc one has harvested but giriia or fniit for 
many a season brings forth a crop of associations and ideas 
when it is understood that it was the scene of one of those san- 
guinary conflicts in which the land was redeemed from savagery, 
the character of its civilization determined and its independ- 
ence secvired. The people will look with a heightened and 
more intelligent interest upon ancient buildings in their midst, 
already venerated by them they haidly know why, when they 
read the authentic record of events with which these monuments 
of the jiast are associated. The annals of a region so famous 
in legend and record as that of which these ])ages treat give it 
a new and pnwerful element id interest for its inhabitants, and 
strengthen that niiniatitie but admirable patriotiMu which con- 
sists in tlie hive of one's own locality. 

Where such a series df evt'nt> as we havp hintiMl at has un- 
folded itself Hithin the biiuudarifs ,,f a c.unty. tlic liist(jry of 
that county !■- in some sense an epitome ni liistnry in general. 
In this view, the tHrritory whose annals are jiresented in this 
volume, is very notabli\ Within it. in tlie course of time, the 
beginning and succHssivf stages of civilization have been illus- 
trated with singular completeness. Here the aboriginal race 
has jieopled the jirimeval forest and has disapjieared before the 
Teuton, anil the Celt after a contlict, marked by every tragir 
inrideut. The forest itself has given way before the advance 
of civili/.ed life, and a race with traditions of law, learning and 
religion has here endiodied theiri in forms of its likini:. The 
people of this region with their fellow colonists, having settled 

the tirst problems of their novel situation, had in time to reform 
the government of a continent ; and in the great struggle for 
independence a disproportionate share of stirring events occur- 
ring within the limits of Montgomery and Fulton counties made 
them forever historic ground. Under the beneficent auspices of 
freedom, the great resources of this region have been developed, 
and clearings have become populous towns, and settlements 
thriving vill.iges. By the ordinance of Xature the most practi- 
cable pathway between East and West leads through the valley 
of the Mohawk, and side by side with that storied stream, in 
its passes through the Montgomery hills, run the greatest 
canal and the greatest railway of the continent, separated only 
by the rich meadows throufi-h which the river winds. 

Under the sway of cause and effect liistoric events cannot 
stand alone, they form an unbroken chain. The history of so 
limited a territory as a county in Xew York has its roots not 
only in remote times, but in distant lands, and cannot be jiiatly 
written without going far beyond the eoiinty limits for some of 
its most essential facts. >'or can such a county history be un 
deistood in its due relation and signiticance without ahistnrical 
review of at the State in which the county is a part ; 
hence we feel that in giving such an outline we have been more 
faithful to the main purpose of the work, wliile we have added 
an element of independent interest and value. 

In the preparation of this volume the standard works em- 
bracing the history of the Mohawk valley ha\e been consulted, 
beside nuiny original sources uf information. Anumg those 
who have furuishedthe publishers with valuable material, they 
would acknowledge special obligations to Mr. J. R. Simnis. of 
Fort Plain: Col. Simeon Sammons; David Cady. of Amsterdaui: 
W. II. Shaw, of Mayrteld; Rev. \Vm. B. Van Beuschoten, of 
Ephratah: Hon. Isaac R. Rosa, of Broadalbin ; Hon. .loliii 
Bowdish. .fudge Daniel Spraker and F. P. Moulton, of the 
town of Root. Montgomery county ; Pythagoras Wetmore. of 
Canajoharie ; ,\bram Van llorne. of Mill Point: Rev. Wm. 
N. Irish. D. I>.. of .Vmsterilam : and Rev. C. C. 
of .lohnstowu : the last two of whom furnished the histoiies 
of the Episcopal cliurches of whieh they are reetoj-s. Several 
liersons who have been earnestly applied to have withheld or 
neglected to furnish information which they could best impart, 
and perhaps they only, and which would have contributed 
to the perfection of this woik. 

1,..A,.A X?^ J.fe<?^ i ■ "^^^sA^-^ .'-\t\--\U. -.^ITT^:-- ^-IrL^.^' ■-^'■'. : 

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Outline Map -i "^<,-^r^ ';v ,s.V \- \ J - " '" cbs : t'^v I p.' ,\ t'':^: 


WrTM«4»*C3 0r THE THACTS 8. PAT 



HI S T O K I C -A. L -A. 3Sr X) ID E S C H I 1= T I "V E 


The AbfRgices of Amenca— EJirlieat Explorations and 

Diwwerirt in the New World, ".9 

BivftI ClmaBB of the Enpli-h and Dutch to the Territory of 

New York. ft-10 

French ud Indian Wat^— DisvenBioDS in the Colonial Gov- 

enunot -Capture and Execution of Lrtsler. - - - 10, 11 
Count Frentenac's Compui-jiu— Pievalenc* of Piracy- Mia- 
goTeaaneat of New York- French Trading and MiUtary 

St. Leger'* Siege of Fort fichuvler and the Battle of Ons- 

kany— RMter of the Ijitt«r, 48-31 

A FruitlcM Council with the Iro-^uoia at Johnstown- In- 

dian HostiUtiea— Sir John Johnson's First Raid, - - 51-53 
Sutferingsof tbeMobawk Vnlley I'atnot^-Branfs Decent 

on Canajoharie— The Second Raid of Sir John Juhnrton, 33-55 
Doxtader's R«id on Currytown, and the coose-iueot Fiffbt- 
ing— The Foray of Rosa and Butler— Death of the Lat- 

Peace on the Mohnwk-Resulo of the War-The naming 

and tuecfssive Boundaries of Mouigomery County, - 57. 58 
Immigration from New England -Pioneer Life - New 
Boada and Bndges— Staging on the ilohawk Turn- 

The Town of Johufltown. 50ft-Sl« 

The Town of lUeecker. 21J.213 

The Town of BmaiUlbin, 2U--21* 

The Town of 1 '.iroi-'ft. 220 

The Town of Kphnitiih, S21-221 

The Town of M.iylield, 225-229 

The Town cf N'.rthampton, 232-233 

TheTownof Oppenheim, ..-.-. 237.238 

The Town of Perth. 239, 2» 

The Town of Stratford, HI 


Avery, Anson J , M.D., 234 

Baird, Jacob U., lu« 

Barker. William F., - ... 236 

B.mey. Z. H, M. D.. Hi 

BUuchard, John. 231 

Blake. John F. M. D, 236 

Botteford. Aino.- 3., 203 

Bowduh, Hon. John, 167 

The AUe«Bl Plot to Bum N^w York-French and English 

HortibJiea-The Contest for the Ohio Valley, - - 12. 13 
The EesalU of Four tngii-b Expeditions apuoat the 

Freot*— Moatcalm's aucrt-vifiil Ctunpaigna, - - 13-15 
The Exta»rtioD of French Power in Amenca-The New 

York Jadinary — International L'ontentiona, - - 15. 16 
Th* AppTOMh of the Rerolmion— Piitnotic Attitude of 

NfcwTork-Tho First B.itrle Fought in ITTO, - - 16-19 
The BofltOD Tea Party -M-i-enn^of ttie Continental Coo- 

gTt««— The Battle of Lexington — Canada Invaded, ■ IB. 19 
Ho«tiliti« Traosfenvtl to New York— The Battle of Loo? 

The Mohawk Ri?er— lu Improvement as a Highway by the 

Inland Lock Naiigation Campioy. 30, 61 

Montgomery County in the War of lS12-The Mibtia Sys- 
tem— How the Eleventh Brigade went to War, - - 61-63 
TheConatmclion and Enlanrt^ment of the Erie Canal— .An 

Incident of Lafayette's Tour, M, W 

Early Railtoading 10 the Mohawk Valley— The Utica and 

Scheneoudy and New Yoik Central Linea, • - - GS, 66 
Agriculture in Sir William John:«jn* Time-History of the 

Montgomery County Agricultural Society, - - 66-67 
The Removal of the <ourt-House- Montgomery's Repre- 
sentative* in Congress and Legislature— Codaty Insti- 

Original Land Oranta in Montgomery County— Diaaension* 

Arising from them— The Clarke Entale, - -- • - 70-74 
Features of tlie Geology und Physical! Geography of Mont- 
gomery and Fulton Counties. 74,-5 

Montgomery County in the Civil War-Uiatory of the IlStb 

New York Volunteer Infan'.ry. ..... 75-84 


The Town of Amsterdam, 85—87 

The Vjilap.of ^^—94 

ThnTownof Canajoh-iii^, 95-98 

The^of Can«johnne, 99-102 

TheT-wnuf iharleKlon. 103-107 

The Town of Florida, .... ... 108-1I6 

TheTownof iilen. 117-121 

F.iitonviUe. 122.123 

ThnTownof Mmden, 12t»-lCl 132-134 

TheTownof M..h..wk. 135-140 

F-nd... ... 141-143 

The Town of Palatine, 149-151 

The Town ot lioot. 163-166 

TheT..wnoI .«!- Jr.l,nt.vtlle. 171 

The Vilh.Keof ^! Johnsville. 178 


'■HArTKH I. 
C.u«., Ui.l.n, tn llif 1 rcaiion of ,)„■ r.„.„ir-The Surcc- 

• lonot Uftcjrs-Sun.lrr louniy In-muI,on.. - ■ lT3-i:3 
l.'HM'TEK II. 
On. in. .>0<lMeth.,l. of the Glove >0.iMiI[eii Manu- 
facture of Fullon L'o'inry I7.1~i7» 

Fulton County-. Reroril in li.e \V„r for the Ucion-H..I.:rr 

of the IM.i New Vurk Volunteer., 1;8-IM 

The Re<:ord of Severnl romp-.tiie-t ir. which Fulton County 

Men Fo,.irhlf..tthe.v.ii..n, . . . . j . 1m-1«; 


Bowdish, Nathaniel, 196 

Bowdu.h, D J., l« 

Bowlet. William H., 213 

Boyee, Linn L . 236 

Brown, Col John, 154 

Brower. WiUiom H.. 136 

lirockway, Tiilany. facing 213 

Buchanan, John M. 231 

Bnrdick. John E., M. D., 22) 

Bubby, E.Jwin, 231 

Bnshnell. John 238 

Butler. James?.. 106 

Butler, <:ol. John, 13: 

C^ii.aon. D,.niel, 200 

Cady, David. lit 

The Battlfof Beniiinclon- St Le^er'it Fjilure at On^'kany 

and Fort flehayler- Pnr.-jyoe'a Defeii.t and Surrender, 21-23 
Sir Henry Ointon's Hud-suu P.ner Campan-Ti — France Re- 

cogaiaa the t'nited Stares— Wars the Indians, - 23-24 
Amold'iTTeuKon— Close of the Hevolulion- Adopt Ion of the 

Conjtilotion— Internal Improvements, .... 24-26 
Caiuea of the Lmrt War with Oreat Unr.iin-Eipeditiona 

Affaiu«tC«nsdii — HoHtrlidea .\lauK the Border, - - CU-28 

Cady, Jay. Hi 

(^ri3tie. Edwiipl. 231 

Close, Abniham B., 230 

Cozzens, William, 229 

Cramer, Solomon, . 238 

Davie, William H., 158 

Davis, Hopea, 106 

Decker, Nicholas H., lO) 

Dievendonf. Jacob, 169 

Dievendortf, Williom B., 1C9 

Dixon. Baltus W., 231 

Dom. MtT. Jeremiah, 210 

Dcming, Hiram, ..-...-.- 213 

UpriBM?— The .stare Admmi-itration- New York in the 

Civil V«r. 28-30 

Dennia, Eli. 224 


The Fire NaiioDs- Their Tr,>ditionaof their Ongin— Iro- 

Dunn, Andrew, 134 

Diinkel. Harvey, 102 

Durfte, Abram. 224 

Failintr. John A.. lir 

Fen.'u5on. Sylvester. 231 

The Mohnwk!«and tht^ir Wai^. w^th ihe French-FinJ Coun- 
cil in their Coii'itry—The:r'iintl.^ .... .32-34 
K:itxrum»tanre« of the pHlalinc ImmifTTHtion-The German 

F^lthmentflun the Hud»<iii and the Slohawk, • .34.35 
Til- ronMmct.oTi of Fort n..n'.r-Fin.t Settlemen:i-Sir 

Willi^mJohiiK'n'-. Carter The Burnet-flcid Miu-sacre, 3-5-3; 

Fonda, Jelles. 13T 

Foote, Daniel, 231 

Fn-y Family. ISI 

Frank. Ahrnm, 250 

Georve, Isa.ic, 230 

Gttman. David. 230 

Hanson, Hon. John J , 2«> 

n..iieniao.,, 230 

Hiil, Key. Ni.:hola., nj 

The Mnhitwk Valley ia ITS:— Growth of FopuliitK-n-CiTil- 

izmp the 9a»««ei'—Cre>itii>o of Trjon County, . i:-.rj 
Ti^-.n Tounty on the hv^nf tie Revnluti.-n-Tke .loln-onn 

-PatrwIicGathenn( Itler..n.-«. .... 39.10 

Cniinty Committee to Guy Johi.*on-U« Ku.picious 

Howland, H .rri..m, 231' 

Hnbh.. Hon ihirles, 1R6 

H'l.;. J, Hiiehen. 231 

Jark...n.S.inoel. u,<in. .'iir William. jfui 

J„.l,„. Mr.M.ry, „, 

Keone-ly. Davi.l. j.v 

Knapi.-raniu n.. .,„«. Ahtam. 231 

I.»ii.ii.j. G..rTet I., i« 


wm-HoitileAttitudpof S.r.IoboJohn.u,n, . . , 43.44 
Bchuyler'ii Exp*tl:Iion lo Johti«town and Disarmament of 

the Tonc-The Flight of .^.r John*in. - - - 44-4« 
The Militii«(.'rBBoi7.ilIon— AUnn on the ApproMih of Bur- 

Ki.jne (iimI Ml. Leirer-Fort echuykT Lixesled, ■ - 4C-48 

Lew... M .rvin. 23S 

LoMell. Nalh.n B., 23« 

McKliil.iy. John j-j, ;jj 

Jloore, D;.r.u.. ;k 

U.i.,lt,>n. F IV ^ 

Mup«in. En, 2.51 

U.1"M, Collin., 229 

0^" 6 


OrtuD, Dan 
OrertMuifh, NpVm, 
P»fre. Robert ft . 
Pi4ru, Hud. It^kr 
PftTMiDi Family, 
P«lU?r»on. Jolin. 
Prt^rwo, Hdrvej 

Pott-r. Eon I'Ut 
RwldU, Joseph, 

anb*rt»-ji>, James 
Eooney. Tbolimi 
BoHM, laojxc R , 
EoM, Jnin-^ P.. J 
Rrm. Elder Joho 

Shull Family. 

Smith, WiJirtCD A., 
Smith, Geonre, - 
Snow, jJjmeoD. M.D. 
Spier. JcMeph F.. 

dprtiktir Ftimily, • 
Spruker. iMniel.Jr- 
buno, John a.. ■ 
Sweet, loaiah. - 
Thomas, Henry C, 

Vandenturgh. Pt'i.jf 
V«n Djke. CjileaC , 

. Hon. WeUter. 


Arkell, Jiunes, Canajoharie, E'-sideace. 
Arodt, Alfred, Mimlen, Re«<lence, 

Buk, Muh.Lwk Etrer. Foadii 

BoTOea, Levi G., ' anajuliurie. R'riidenoe, 
Bat«^ Edur J, i^t. Johnsville, Residence, . 
BAuder. B., Mindeu, Residence, .... 
Bftniler, J. G , MinJen, Re^iiuenct; ind Grounds, 
Beach k Corr. PiU.itine BnJie, Cider Manufac^orj-, 
Beoze. H. C, Canjjotmrie. Store. ... 

Bierbiiuer, L., Cannjoharie, Brrwerj, 
Bluke, Dr. J. F.. Northville, Re^j.lenc*-. 
BUnchard. John, M^iyrteM, Residence. . 
BowJish, Hon. John. Ruml Gro^e.Ke^idence and Stoi 
Btockway, Tifl^nj-, BnjiuJalbin. Rwidence. 
Bruwer. U. T. E , Muh.iwk, Rrt/dence. . 
Brown & B« ich. Pdliitine Bridge. He$iden<.'«, 
Brx>wn, J, F., For I.u-k*ou. Lumber un.l Coa! Y.trd, 
Cadv. DaTid. Am-tet-Jum. Residence. 
Carr. A., Fort PUio. Residence and Grounds, , 
Church. EvanKclican Luthena, Palaiine, EJiflce, 
Churrh, U. Fr^byterian, Perth Cantre, Edifice, 
aoeo. A. B , MiijtiPld. Eesiilcnoe, .... 
Cook, J. C PiUatme, Residenix'. . . . . 

tJonntr>m'i". ^^m . Resuleno:, .... 

Court House. Fonda, E.liflce 

Conrt HiiiK-€, Joh.l^lown, b:.litice, . ... 

Crooae. Wra.. Fort Plain, Residence nod Grounds, 
Crouse, S., ilindenvillf, RMi.ienre, 

Davi^ I. M.. Fond I, Kt^-*id,nce 

Davu. John I.. Mih.iwk, R.-*iJenee. 

Dari^i. W. H- PnUtiiie Bridi.'*. Residence. 

Decker, X. H . Joimstown, Rt«. nnd Grounds. . 

DcOmff, Alfred. Moh.iwk. Rc-i-ienee. . . . ; 

De<irair. J. T.. An-ttr-lnm. Krsilente, 

Denaia. Mrt. M. X., RoctwoKl. R<-:sidcnce, . 

Dievendurfl, C . Cmrytown, EwiJenre, 

Dievendorph. J.. Ciirrrtown. Re^^idence and Ccm.. 

thileobock, A. A.. PnUtine, Reiidence. 

Doni. E. J.. JohnsTown. Ho-i.!er.rv, . . . . 

Dom, N., Jolin»town. Ke-id. i!'e 

Dunckl**, Mn. X , Min.|.-ii. II. -u^ and Grouodc. 
Dunii. Arvlrtw, F-rt Pl-.m. R.-iieuce. . 
Dunk, John.Jr..J-.tmHlo«ii. M..Ti.iracrory, 
iirker, D. W.. .\iu--tcniaiti. Hwjdence, . 
Edwards, J. V. S. i Sons, iilen. Residence ind Slort;. 
Erereat, I. M.G.iro.'a, lle-i'ience and i.rist-mill, 
FaiUngr. .T. A., Fal.irine llrlive. Reaid-nce. . 

Failmg, J. 

, Palatl 

, Ho I 

Failinf, R , Mmden, Re»i 
Fitiehout, A , ranaiohiini 
Flnkel. J. J., R«>"t. R'-Md. 
Fiah, F., Fulionville. R-v 
Floyd. PM.tine, R. 
Fort PU.n Scminirr. For 
Fonda Hot*-l. Fond.. ...... 

Pr^nk, David, Frank's ''ornery R'^id.-Dce. 
Prwl-nck, A . John»r>.wn, Ke*ilence. 
Fnwman, C. B., Fulionville. K^-.dence. 
Firoman, i' W. i '•.. Folt.mvdk-, Stoam Mills. 
FnU^r, C. W.. Pil.tme. R.-i lenoe, 
Oetman, B.. Ephntah. R.-idenoe, 
Hall. Robert, Miuicn, Hou-e and Grounds, 
Hall, Wm- For.di, R.-iden'-e, 
Hanson. H.u.. J. J . '.tovcr^vdlp. Store, 
He<«, A.. Pftlfttin.' Hndre. R-."»idenc«, 
Hfvemao. M., 5U. field, n.^.d-ore. 
Hole* i St^itlonl. i;..i.i.j..h .ri.. Store. 
Hottmer, .1. S., J.djii-.i'iwn. fU-idence, . 
Uo>wk. Jrtcob. rinrila. H.Md^noe. 
Howlaod. U^rrv-.n. M,.yti-M. Kt^idence. 
Jotan«on.J. U.. G.ij\pr-«iilio. l:-.'i iim-e, 
Ka«on. A. J., i.Uv^r^vdlc, i:.s. lonre. 
Keck. Ju*eph, S--k4< Vm. r. R-.-idPure ^nd Bm 
Kellotru:. J- Annt.pUm H-.l-n* and Grounds 
KrIloBir * MiUcr. \mau rljin. I.ins.?ed Od Wyi 
Koapp, J. U . 

Lm. I 

, Ma 

kid. Upsi 

, U', 

Lighthall, B- 

Lipe. J . Mmden. H« 

Lipe. J. £.. Mtnlen, Reaid. 

Lotridcre. C. i W. T., Mohawk, Reaid 
McClumjiba, J., Amsterdam. Reaiden 
Mclntyre. M., P^nh Centr*'. Residenc 
McVean, Ed.. Johnstown, Residf^nce, 


'L-ll. J . 

isteniam. Mill a 

1 Reaid 

(ollowing 2 

Maylendcr. M. Johnstown, Residenoe, . . following 2 

Miller, J imes A., Amsterdam, Residence and Grounda,followine 

Motrell. T> S., Palatine Residence following I 

Moyer. vr B., Frey^ Bujh. Residence . - following 1 

Nellia, Abnim, Xellistown, Rea'dence and Grounds, following I 

N'eUis. J- D i R.. St. Johnsville, Residence, " . folLtwing 1 

Xellis, H., J. H. i A. C, Canajoharie, . . . following 

Xellis A. & Co., Canajoharie. Hotel, following 

Sorthrup i Co., W. 3. & M. S., .lohnstown. Faitory, prece-liog 2 

f>strom. Col. Stephen, Glen. Residence. . . following 1 

Parsons, Hon. Levi. Kinir*boro, Residence, . . precediBir -J 

Phillipfl, A. C. Florida. Residence following 1 

Pickanl, M. A., Minden, Residence, . . . foUowins 2 

Prind'.e E. W. i C. Johnstown. Re'idence, . following 1 

Putmai.. John. Ulen, Residence precedinij i 

Fntman & Talmadge, Glen, Residence und Mills, . lollowing 1 

Putman, V. .\-. .\!Jric^vil!e, Residence and Store pr-c^diai 1 

Reese. \ i H.. Florida. Farm RMidence, . foUowinir I 

Resseg'uie. H- J . Nonhvillc. R-^ideoce, . . . following 2 

Roberts, J.. Uayrteld, Residence preceding 1 

Robison, C. H., Cana)oLarie, Hotel, . . following I 

Ro..t J.. Mui.len, Residence preceding I 

Ros.a, I, .\, Fonda. Hotel. precedinu 1 

Eow. S. S., .(olin-tnwn. Residence, . . lollowing I 

Ross EUler J . f^ harleston 4 Corners. Residence. -. followinij 1 
Summons. Cd. s . Mohn-vk. Rpt^idence . facing I 

S.immons. Mr-. H.. Snmmon.-ville. Residence, . following 2 

Srhenck, Benjamin, Palatine, Homestead, 


, Resi 

Schuylor. .1. D.. Olcn, Residence. 
Schiiyter, Thomo.-. Moliawk. Residence, 
S<_-ott, Jame:* D , Juiinstown, Hotel. 
Sl.anahan. James, Tribes Hill. Residence, 
Shaw, Capt. W. H.. Maytield, Residence. 
Sliulcr. D. W., Ainaterilam. Residence, 
«hull. A. \V . Palatine. Residence. . . 


'len, R'sid 

Sitterly. J.. Paatine, Residence, 
Smith, A. A: Son. St. Johnsrille. Residenct 
Sintlh, Ell. S.. Aniiterdara, Store. 
Smith. John, Minden. Re<iJenec and Grou 
Smith. M.-n/o. St-JohnsviUe. Re-.dence. 
Smith. M.-s-s. Minden, Residence and Gro 
SnHl. J . P.alitine, Rc-idence. 

following 1 
following I 
following 1 
following 2 

followinff 1 
f.illuwmiT 3 

precHing I 

aker. Jai 

; Bndir. 



Spraker, H-n. Jn-eph. Palatine. Residence. . 

Stafford. John. Palatine Bndtre, Residi-nce, . followii 

Stnnn, A.. Fulionville, R<^.dence. . . . foll.iwin 

StAnii.JaoubH.. FultoHTille, RcMdence, . . follow, n 

Stann, John n.. Glen. P.eHidence. . prc'-eilii 
star.n. J. U., F.iLlonviUe. St.xk Fann and Residence, followin 

Slewirt, J. a: .\ McI.. Re-id.nce, fullowiri 
Stewart, .Mr-.. M. J,. Am-li-rdam, R^Mdence. . 

Siewart. W. S . ojipenheira. Re«iden.-e, . . preoe-lin 

StirhtK >hul*rr.i:.naiohane. Store. . . . followir 

St.iller. J R.. Mohawk. Rcanlin. e. . . foUnwii 

Swohe. J. II . W.St I'.rth. B-M Icnce. . . . folluwlr 
TalJmadiie & H-ibb*. <Vlen, H..(-l m.l Blacksmith shop, f.illowir 

Thi.mcrt-'n. I. R. P . Fonda, R.--i len<-e. . . f.dlnwir 

Thomt>«in» t Richanli.. Pap«r Mid. Fonda, . f-dlowir 

Tiinernian. C Amitenlam. Residence. . . . followit 
rndiTWOo.1. I 

I.. KphraUh. Residence. 


rp. 1' 6l Son. Ful;<in»ille, 

. fidlowin^ 

1. U. A. i- \y. A.. Sprout Brook. Resid en 

CO. followinc 

,,.. Fiili.mville, R-^idence, 

. following 

J. P.. R.H>t. Rtt-idence, ... 


Prt^r, Glen. Re-idencv. . . 

. preceding 

A.- Glon. Rc-ideocG, . 


S .<ilco, U.-iilenre. . . 

. frdlowmtf 

Walts, Reii»^n. Minden, House and Oro 
Wemple. B.. .Vohawk. Reaidence, . 
Werap e, E., Sammoiwville. Reaidenco ai 
Wiles, Jacob, Slinden. Residence and Groanda, 
Winne. P.., Glen. Residence, 
Wionine, John. Fort Plain. Tannery, 
Wood, G. L, G;over8^^11e, Marble Works. 
»\'oodworth. W. D., Slaytield. Residence, 
Yost. Hon. Geor^je. Fort Plain, Eteaideoce, 
Young. N'.. Minden, ... 

Zimmerman, W., Minden, Residence. 
Zoller, J. I., Mi.iden. Residence. 
Zollcr. J. A.. Fort Plain. Residence. 

1 Zoller Hous€ 
I Zoller, S.. M 

t Plai 


preceding 1C9 
following 204 
following ;<>-i 
followiui; 130 
following 191 
following l'>4 
preceding IJi 
following 120 
preceding 133 

following 131 
preceding IJ7 
following IK 
foUowms 126 
followin^r 132 
preceding 13> 
preceding 127 

Bowdieh, Hon. John, Rural Grove, . 
Brockway, T., Broadalbin. 
WK.K. U. I.,Paiatine, 
Davis, J. I., Fonda, 
Davis. I. M., Fonda. . 
Davis, W. H., Palatine, . 
Davis, Mrs. W. H.. Palatine, 
Decker. X. H., Johastoivn. 
Decker, Mrs. X. H.. John-owu, 
D---Graif. A.. Mohawk, 
DcGraff, Howard. 

D.;Gratf, J. D 

Dt-Uralf. Mr«. J. D., . 
Dievendortf, H. J., Root. . 
DievLndortT. J., Root. 

Diovcndorff. W. B 

Dom.S.. Johiisiown, 
Dom, Mrs-, Johnstown. 
Dunkel. H.. Canaiohane. 
Dunn, A., Fort Plain. 
Failinix. J. A., Palatine llridire, 
Frederuk. A.. Kirk's rent, r, 
Fr-.tman. C. B., FuUonville, 

Han-on.J. J 

Uowland, F. P.. Maytield, . 

ean,E.. John>towi 
wed, J., Ain-tcPlai 

SitiLTly. J-. Palatine Bndj.'e, 
Smith. John. Uall-ville. 
Snow, Simeon, M.D.. 
Spraker, Ilaniel, Fonda. . 


. Hon. Jo~ph. Pftlati 


. Mrs. Joseph, PalaU 


, Joat. 


, Mm. Joat, . 

Zoller, Mrs. John 

a- E isr E i^ ^^ L 









The American Continent, in its natural features, presents a striking and 
diversified display of resources and grandeurs. With the .Atlantic on the 
east, the Pacific on the west ; its coasts indented with numerous gulfs and 
bays ; intersected and drained by large rivers, of which the Mississippi and 
the .\ma20n exceed any other on the globe in length; and the St. Law- 
rence, leading into lakes, equal in ;.xtent to seas, it affords every facility for 
commerce; while its fertile valleys and extensive plains are admirably 
adapted to agricultural pursuits, and its interior is stored with minerals of 
inestimable value. The magnificence of mountain scenery, the dashing 
flood and deafening roar of Niagara, the subterranean labyrinths of Mam- 
moth Cave, are fenniresof nature which fill the hehnlder with wonder and 
amazement. To what people were these resources offered and these grand- 
eurs presented in the dim ages of the past? With only the shadow-y and 
uncertain light of tradition, little else than speculation can furnish anything 
like a beginning to the history of the aborigines of ,\merica. The ruins of 
cities and pyramids in Mexico and Central .\merica, the numerous mounds 
so common in the valley of the .Mississippi and scattered through the State 
of Ohio and Western New York, are monuments which point to a i)eople 
more skilled in arts and farther advanced in civilization than the Indian 
found in occupancy when the first Europeans landed. Some of these 
mounds appear to have been erected for burial places, and others for 
defence. The remains of fortifications present evidence of mechanical 
skill, and no little display of the knowledge of engineering. Metallic im- 
plements of ingenious design and superior finish and finely wrought potter\-, 
glazed and colored, equal to the best specimens of modem manufacture, 
h.-ive been found, showing a higher degree of mechanical skill than the In- 
dian has ever been know-n to possess. Some of these remains ha\e been 
found twenty feet or more below the surface, showing that they must have 
lain there many centuries. .■Ml the investigations of the antiquarian to dis- 
cover by what people these mounds were erected, have ended in uncertainty. 
If these are the relics of a lost people, as many believe they are, it seems 
most probable that they were from Egypt. Their pyramids and skill in the 
arts, together with the fact that bodies have been found preserved 
somewhat similiar to Egyptian mummies, support this theory. At an early 
age the Eg)-ptians, who were noted for their skill in navigation, sailed around 
.\frica, and made many other voyages, in some of which they mav have 
reached .\mcrica, .\ristotle, Plato and other ancient WTlters appear to have 
l>een aware of an extensive body of land in the West, speaking of it as an 
inland greater than Europe or Africa. It is also supposed that the Egyp- 
tians may have re.irhed .\merica through ,\sia. It is related that an .Asiatic 
K'ople emigrated to Egypt and conipiered the Mizraimites, who were then 
in |K)ssession: and that they became distinguished for their arts, built cities 
and erected gigantic pyramids, which still remain as evidence of their skill 
and power. The Mizraimites, smarting under their tyranny, rose against 
Jhini, and after a long struggle succeeded in driving them out of the land. 
I hey r.'tre.ited to the northeast, leaving mounds and walls .is far as Siberia, 
■1' tra. e> of their passage, and, it is thought, crossed liehring's strait, and 
'•'entually settled in the .Mississippi valley and Mexico. 

'civing lonjecturc, in regard to the early inhabitants of this continent, 
■' "IS found when first visited by the whites, the Indians had long been 

in possession. Their personal appearance, language and customs plainly 
indicated a distinct race. There were many points of difference among the 
various tribes, but in many respects they bore a resemblance to each other. 
The Aztecs of Mexico were found with a large and populous city, in which 
were temples and palaces, and well cultivated grounds; while in the more 
northern regions a village of rude huts and a small field of com were about 
the only marks of occupancy. The traditions of the Indians are so dim 
and conflicting as to shed little light on their origin. They obtained a sub- 
sistence chiefiy by hunting and fishing, and were continually engaged in 
bloody wars with each other. They had no written language; no letters 
with which their words could be represented; but to some extent they 
communicated their thoughts to one another by hieroglyphics; certain sym- 
bols denoted certain ideas, and these were either drawn or painted on skins 
or birch bark, or chiselled on rocks. By comparing their languages they 
were grouped into great families, some of which contained many tnbes. 
Of these families the .Algonquin was the largest, occupying ,-ibout half of 
that portion of the United States east of the Mississippi nver, together with 
a part of Canada. The Huron-Iroquois was the next in importance, occu- 
pying the greater part of the State of New York and the Canadian penin- 
sula, formed by lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron. They have rapidly dimin- 
ished in numbers from pestilence and wars with the advancing whites, until 
only fragments remain, and their aversion to civilization, and strong attach- 
ment to a wild mode of life make their fate — extinction — inevitable. The 
pioneer still advances; railroads are connecting ocean w-ith ocean, and the 
war whoop is silenced by the screech of the locomotive as it sounds the 
death knell of the once proud lords of a continent. 

The discovery of America was the most important event of modem times. 
For the honor of this discovery several claims ha^-e been jiresentcd. Welsh 
historians have awarded it to Modoc, a prince of Wales, who went to sea in 
the twelfth century and discovered land far to the west, to which he made 
several voyages, but who with all his crew was finally lost. This claim is 
founded on tradition, however, and unsubstantiated. The Norwegians claim 
discovery and settlement on stronger e\idence: Eric emigrated from Ice- 
land to Greenland in 9S6, and formed a settlement. Leif, a son of Eric, 
embarked with a crew of men in the year 1000 on a voyage of discovery. 
He sailed to the southwest and discovered land, and sailing along the coast 
he finally entered a bay, where he remained through the winter, calling it 
Vineland. In 1007 Thorfinn sailed from Greenland to Vincland. \n 
account of his voyage and history of the country is still extant. Other 
voyages were made, and the .Antiquarian Society, after a careful examina- 
tion of all the evidence, including the geographv of the country described 
in these voyages, do not hesitate to locate this Vineland at the head of Nar- 
ragansett bay in Rhode Island. These discoveries, hov.cver, were so inef- 
fectual, that nothing was known in Europe of land beyond the re ccn, until 
1492, when Christopher Columbus, believing that India might 1 e reached 
by sailing westward, was at his urgent solicitation despatched f 11 i^ voyage 
of discovery by Ferdinand and Isabella, king and queen of Spain. He 
sailed from Palos, and after stopping ,-.t the Canaries, struck out ii] en ihe 
hitherto unknown ocean, discoicring first one of the Bahcma islanc's; then 
proceeding towards the south he discovered Cuba and Hayti and rtturnid 
to Spain, thus opening a highwav o\cr the Irccklcfs Ail.intic. He mate 
other voyages,'and in 149S divovc. d Ihe 1 rntintnt nerr the n'.nr.ih <if the 
Orinoco river. The discovery of land in the west ].romis<.il l.-.rte profits 
and excited maritime enterprise through. lut Eunqie. Henry VII con-.nus- 
sioned John Caliot, a Venetian, in 1497, to sail on a voyage cf discovery, 


and take possession of new lands in the name of Enrbnd. Sailing west- 
ward, in company with his son Sebastian, he di-.( overed Newfoundland, and 
while off the coast of Labrador saw the mam-lnnd of North America. The 
next year Sebastian set sail to discover a nonhuest passage to China. Tht- 
frozen regions at the north compelled hmi to change hi-, course, and sailing 
towards the south, he visited various points along the coast as far as Albe- 
Biarle sound, taking possession of the whole region for the Crown of 
England. John Verazzani, a Florentine in the service of Francis I. of 
France, arrived on the coast of North Carolina in 15^4, and sailed south 
as far as Georg:ia. Turning north, he explored the coast to about 41'' north 
latitude, and entered a harbor, which from his description, is believed 
to have been New York Bay, where he remained about fifteen davs, and it 
is supposed that his crew were the first Kuropeans that landed on the soil of York. He proceeded north as far as Labrador, giving the name of 
New France to the whole country, which was aftenvard confined to Canada. 

Henry Hudson, an English navigator, having tailed in two expeditions to 
£scover a passage to the East Indies, for a company of London merch- 
ants, by sailing westward, offered his ser^■ices in 1609 to the Dutch Ea^t India 
Company of Holland, which was formed the preceding year for traffic and col- 
onization. He left Amsterdam on the 4th of April with a small ship and a crew 
of about twenty English and Dutch sailors, and arrived on the American coast 
near Portland in Maine, whence he proceeded south along the shore to the 
entrance of Chesapeake Bay. P'rom this point he returned northward, dis- 
covered and entered Delaware Bay, and on the 3d of September anchored 
at Sandy Hook. From here he proceeded up New York Bay. sending his 
boats to the Jersey shore and receiving on board the natives, who came in 
great numbers to traffic. On the 12th he entered the river which bears his 
name, and ascended it to a point a little above where the ciiv of Hudson 
DOW stands, having been frequently visited on the way by the Indians, who 
came to traffic, bringing maize, tobacco and other products native to the 
country. To them he impaned a knowledge of the r'ffects of rum. to the 
drinking of which in later years they became greatly addicted. Not con 
sidering it safe to proceed farther with his ship, he sent a boat with a part 
of his crew to explore the river higher up. It is supposed that they went a little 
above Albany. On the 23d he commenced to descend the river, and 
when a little below the Highlands, the Indians made several attempts to 
attack his crew, who, in repulsing their attacks, shot ten or twelve of their 
number. Descending into the bay he immediately sailed for Europe. The 
following year he made a voyage for the discovery cf a northwest passage 
to India, and discovered and entered the bay which bears his name. Con- 
tinuing his search too long, he was compelled to remain through the winter. 
In the spring, part of his crew mutinied, and put him in a boat, together 
with his son and seven others, and left them to perish. In 1607, Samuel 
Champlain, a French navigator, ascended the St. Lawrence river, exploring 
its tributaries; and on the 4th of July discovered the lake which bears his 
name. Hence the three nations, Holland. France and England, founding 
their titles upon discover)-, claimed ownership in a region, a part of which 
Kes within the limits of the State of New York. 

The accounts given by Hudson of his discoveries stimulated the Dutch 
to avail themselves of the advantages that might be gained bv trading with 
the Indians, and accordingly in the following year another vessel was sent 
out to engage in the fur trade on the banks of the river he had discovered. 

In 1612 two more vessels were fitted out by Hendrick Christiansen and 
Adrian Block, which were soon followed by others. The fur trade proving 
successful. Christiansen was ap[)ointed agent of the traffic, and Manhattan 
Island made the chief depot. He erected a small fort and a few rude 
buildings at the southern extremity nf the island, calling the place New 
Amsterdam. The island was covered with giant forest trees and dense 
thickets, which ser\ed as hiding places for reptiles and wild beasts. In 
1614 the States Cieneral granted a charter 10 the merchants engaged in 
these expeditions, conferring the exclusive right of trade in this new terri- 
tory between the 40th and 45th parallels of north laritude for four years, 
and guing the name of New Netherlanrls to the whole region. The trade 
flourished, and had become so [.rnlitable. that at the expiration of the 
charter the States Cieneral refused to renew ir. guing insiend a spc( i.^l 
hcense for its temporary continuance. 

In the meantime the surrounding » onntrv was being explored, .\ 
Block had jiassed up the East river. Long NLind sound and Conne<ii. nt 
river, and into the bays and ahing the islands e.istward to Cape Cod. C.>r- 
nelissen Jacobscn Mav had explored the southern t r.f I Isl.nnd an.! 
southwar.l to Delaware Bav. while Hendri. k Christiansen ascended 

the Hudson river to Castle Island, a few miles below ,\lbany, where he ha(f 
established a trading post and erected a small fort. This fort was so much 
damaged by a flood, that it was removed to the Normans-kill, a little beluw. 
Here a council was held between the chiefs and warriors of the Five 
Nations and the representatives of the New Netherlands, and a treatv of 
alliance and peace formed. 

In 1620 James I. granted to Ferdinando Gorges and his commercial as- 
sociates all the land between the fortieth and forty-eighth degrees of north 
latitude, and extending from ocean to ocean. Cajjtain Dermer, in the 
service of Gorges, appeared at Manhattan, and laid claim to all the territory 
occupied by the Dutch. The English embassador at the Dutch capitol 
had been instructed to remonstrate against Dutch intrusion, but, n 
seems, without effect; for in 162 1 the States General granted a new charter 
to the Dutch West India Company, an armed mercantile association, giving 
them exclusive jurisdiction over the province of New Netherlands for twenty 
years, with power to appoint governors, subject to the approval of the 
States; to colonize the territory and administer justice. The executivL- 
management was intrusted to a board of directors, distributed through 
five separate chambers in the cities of Holland. The charge of the pro\- 
ince had been assigned to the Amsterdam Chamber, which sent out a vessel 
in 1623, under the direction of Captain May and .-Vdrien Joris^ien Tienpont. 
with thirty families for colonization. A portion of these settled on the 
Connecticut river, and others as far up :he Hudson as the present city of 
Albany, where they built Fort Orange. A fort was also erected on the 
Delaware river, near Gloucester, and called Fort Nassau. Their number 
was shortly after augmented by other accessions, and colonization fairly 
commenced. In May, 1626, Peter Minuit arrived at New Netherlands as 
Director-General or Governor of the province. He purchased the whole of 
Manhattan Island of the Indians for trinkets of the value of §24. Friendly 
courtesies were interchanged with the Plymouth colony, and a brisk and 
profitable trade in furs was carried on. 




To encourage immigration, in 1629 an ordinance was adopted, granting 
to any member of the company, who within four years should plant a 
colony of fifty persons, upwards of fifteen years old, the privilege of 
selecting a tract of land sixteen miles in length, on any navigable stream, 
and inland as far as he should choose, with the title of Patroon, denoting 
something lordly in rank and means. The Patroons on their part were u* 
buy of the Indians the right to the lands selected, maintain a minister 
and school master, and pay duty on tr.ade carried on by them, but 
the company resen'ed the exclusive right to the fur trade, which wa> 
becoming extensive, and attracting dealers from the banks of the St. 
Lawrence. Several availed themselves of this privilege, among whom were 
Michael Pauw and Killian Van Rensselaer, the former securing Stalcn 
Island and a large tract on the Jersey shore, and tiie latter a large tract on 
the Hudson river, now the counties of Albany ami Rensselaer. .Although 
the Patroons were excluded in their c barter by the company from partn i- 
pating in the fur trade, their interference brought on a controversv. and 
Minuit, who it was thought favored their pretensions, was re( ailed. The 
vessel in which he sailed was detained by the English authorities at Flv- 
mouth, on the charge that he had traded and obtained her cargo in territorv 
subject to England, and thus the re-i'ctue cl.iuus of the Ijiglish an.! 
Dutch to the title cf New Netherlands were aizain i.illed in .[uesiion. TIil 
Dutch relied on the discoveries made bv HudM.n. :ind their immediate o. 
cupation ratified by charter : and the EuL-lish on the prior dl^. nverv b\ 
Cabot and the grant of James I. < overing the territory. No imal settle- 
ment being obtained, the question was deferred : and in April. 1633. \Vou- 
ter Van Twiller arrived at New Amsterdam as the new Director-General, 
bringmg with him Everardus Bogardus. a . lergynian. Adam Roela^d^en. 
the first schoolmaster to the colony, and a small military force, with whit l> 
he subsc'iuently made considerable display. Soon after assuir-ng" the 
government, he directed Jai ob Van Corlaer to purchase a trar: of lantl 
of the Indians on the Connecticut river, near the present city of Hartford 
The English colonies earnestly remonstrated against this invasion of then^ 
territory, but without effect. The Plymouth colony secured a tract of the 
Indians at Wm.lsor, and sent Lieutenant William Holmes with a force i>. 


take possession and lommcnie a !>ettlfmcnt. Van (orlacr Ijcing unable to 
oppose them with any effect. Van Twiller sent a fun e of soldiers to dis- 
perse them. The courage of the Dutch commander forsook him on pcr- 
ceivmg that they were prc|iared to meet him. and he refrained from 
tn-ing to di-lodge them, Dcttcr success, however, attended him in an e\- 
IKrdition against the Virguiia i olonists. A hand of these, under the lead of 
George Holmes had taken possession of Kort Nassau on the Delaware 
river. Van Twilier immediately sent a force there, which captured and 
brought them as [irisoners to Fort .Amsterdam. During his administration, 
Jacoh Eelkins, who had formerly liecn an agent for the company at I-'ort 
Orange, arrived at .Manhattan as sujiercargo of an English vessel engaged 
in the fur trade. Van 'I'willcr refused to let him proceed without a license 
from the company, which Eelkins declined to ])rcsent ; but claiming a 
right to trade with the Indians as an Englishman, to whom the territory 
belonged, he proceeilcd up the river to Kort Orange, in defiance of the 
(lovemor, and commenced trading with them. Van Twilier, in great in- 
dignation, dispatched a force after him, which took possession of his wares. 
and bringing his vessel back, sent it out to sea. He was so mindful of hi> 
own interests, that he became the wealthiest land-holder in the province. 
Vehemently passionate, he became involved in a bitter (piarrel with Ho- 
gardus the clergyman, and with Van Dincklagcn, a member of his council. 
The latter had very justly complained of his ra|iacity, for which he sent 
him a prisoner to Holland, on a charge of contumacy. His corruption and 
incompetency to govern becoming apparent, he was recalleil, and William 
Kieft, in l6,^S, succeeded him, in the government of the colony. 

The company in the following year obtained a new charter, liiuitmg the 
Patroons to four miles on the rivers .ind eight inland. Other efforts were 
made to encourage immigration. Settlements were extending in all direc- 
tions, and the jirovincc was rapidly tilling with inhabitants. The C.overnor. 
however, instead of proving useful in promoting the pros|)crity of the colony 
with the 0|)portunities presented, became in\obed in difficulties %vith the 
English settlements and the neighboring Indian tribes, which finally brought 
the colony to the verge of extirpation. Ky injudicious management and 
cruelty to the Indians, they were incited to revenge and relentless war on 
the whites. .\ robbery having been committed, a tribe of Indians, though 
innocent, were suspected: and Kieft sent an armed force against them, kil- 
ling several of their number and destroying their property. The Indians 
retaliated for this unprovoked attack by murdering some settlers and burn- 
ing their buildings. The chiefs refusetl to give satisfaction for these out 
rages, and Kieft resolved on a war against them. An Indian, whose uncle 
had been killed by the whites a number of years before, vow ed revenge, and 
killed a Dutchman at Manhattan. Kieft sent a force against his tribe, with 
orders to exterminate them. Seein:; their danger, they sued for peace. 
Before the terms of a treaty had been agreed upon, a warrior, w ho had been 
made drunk and then robbed by the whites, upon reiovering his senses, 
killed two of the Dutch. Just at this lime the River Indians, in a conflict 
with the Moh.-.w';.s, were compelled to t.ike refuge on ihe Hudson opposite 
Manhattan, and solicit protc tion from thtir enemies, but instead of 
its being granted, a party under the s.m. turn of Kieft. and .against the 
rcmonstrani e of the best cui/ens, \, cnt o\er to massacre thcni. This 
wicked and inhuman outrage |,crpctratcd at miilnigh;, and nearly a 
hundred of these helpless and unsuspecting fugitives were murdered or 
driven into the river to perish. .\ desperate and bloody war was the result. 
The neighboring tribes joinetl to avenge this outrage. The dwellings of 
the settlers were burned, their tlclds desolated, and themselves shot by their 
lurking foes. Their settlements were attacked in every direction, and ter- 
ror, despair and death [ircvailed. C iptain John L'nderhill, who had gained 
some notoriety in Infli.Tn warfare, wis ajipiinreii to coinmn 1 ihei." tones. 
aid finally succeeded in bringing the Indians i,. suliiui^sun, nnl vi 1645 ,1 
treaty of peace was concluded. .\n c.irnjsr a;. peal was m i,le for I'u- rec.dl 
of Kieft. who had been the cause of this cal.imit ms war. "iiii h f.nor. 
ably receive.l. and I'eler Stuyiesan', who was appo.nted 10 - 1. .ed him. 
took possession of the governm.-nt May nth, 1647. He hul li.ui in the 
.service of th ■ compiny a. Dire tor-( Icner.'.l of C-ura. oa. I h.- . ..niroversy 
b.-twecn the Dutch .mil Kt^I si, sc ilemjnts stdl continuing. ,irl.i;r,i ors wvrc 
appoinled to .'di 1st liicir i 1, 1,111s. Ilic eastern p.irt ol Lev: M.ind was 
assig.i.d to .he Kn.-'ish, .\ |,-e s|vi iiicd for the l.oundarv between 
Ihefonne. ti.ul and N\w .Scili rl:nd . olonic-. but it »..s i.n ...tisia.icrv 10 
the Dut. h. In 165; a munu ;.overnment was established for Manhat- 
t in. consisting of a revenue agen, to be appointed b\ the 1 oiii|i,iny, and 
two burgomasters and live inferior magistrates to be eletted by the people, 

and to have jurisdiction, except in capital cases. The Swedes sim e the 
early part of Kieft's adminstration had been encroaching upon the Duti h 
territory on the Delaware; and Stuyvesant, by order of the conijiany, went 
against them with an armed force, recaptured the forts, and again resumed 
possession of the territory. While on this expedition, one of the Indians 
having been shot by a settler, the savages a|)pcared at .Manhattan in canoes, 
killed the offender, and crossing to the Jersey shore and Statcn Island, be- 
gan killing other settlers and destroying their property. Stuyvesant 
returned, and by conciliatory measures restored peace. 

In 1664 Charles II. of England, regardless of the claims of the Dutch to 
New NethcHands, granted to his brother, Duke of York and .Albany, after- 
wards lames II.. the whole country from the Connecticut to the Delaware, 
including the entire Dutch possessions. .A fleet was sent out by the Duke 
under Colonel Richard Nichols, to enforce his claim and take possession of 
the Dutch settlements. .Arriving in the bay he demanded a surrender, wlii<h 
Stuyvesant at first indignantly refused, but because of the unwillingness of 
the colonists to fight in his defense and of their insisting upon capitulation, 
together with the favorable nature of the terms offered, he was induced to 
yield, and on the 3d of September, 1664, the province was surrendered, 
and the government of the colony passed into the hands of the English, 
The names of New Netherlands and New .Amsterdam were changed to 
New York, and Kort Orange to .Albany. It is supposed that at this time 
the province contained about six thousand inhabitants. Soon after the sur- 
render, the Duke conveyed to Lord Berkley and Sir Oeorgc l.'artcret 
what now constitutes the State of New Jersey, over which a separate |in>- 
prietary government was established. In 1682 William Henn purchased the 
settlements on the Delaware, which were annexed to Fennsylvama. 
Nichols, who became (Jovcrnor, devoted much time to confirming grants 
under the Dutch government by issuing new ones, and thus making a heavy 
expense to the land owners. He changed the form of the municipal gov- 
ernment June 12th, 1666, by granting them a city charter, and placing the 
executive power in the hands ot a mayor, aldermen and sherilt, all to be 
appointed bv the (lovernor. .An invasion from Holland had been feared, and 
preparations for defence had incurred an increase of taxation, of w hich the 
colony greatlv complained, in conseipience of which, he resigned his ofti. e 
in t668. and Colonel Krancis Lovelace was appointed to suneed him, 
Holland being involved in a war with England, an opportunity was |ire- 
sented for the Dutch to regain their lost possessions in .America, and for 
that purjjose they sent out a si|uadron which anchored at Staten Isl.ind 
luly .^oth. 1673. The fort was in charge of Captain John .Manning, who 
treacherousb surrendered without making any effort to resist. The 1 it\ 
was again in possession of the Dutch, and Captain .Anthony Ckne in com- 
mand of the jirovince. Manning was afterward tried and con\ u tei! b\ 
I luirt-martial for cowardice and treachery, and adjudged to ha\e his sword 
broken over his head in front of the City Hall, and to be inca|iacitated 
from holding any office. Under Clove, the Dutch claims to the pn;- 
vinie were reasserted, and preparations made for a vigorous defence, 
in case of an attempt on the part of the English for its recapture; but 
bv the provisions of a peace concluded Kebruary 9th, 1674, the provini e 
reverted to the English. To silence all controversy respecting his claims, 
tlie Duke obtained a new |iatent from the King to confirm the one 
gr. luted in 1664, and commissioned Major Edmund .Andros as (;overuor. 
His arbitrary loiirse made his administration very unpopular He 
endeavored to extend his jurisdiction to the Connecticut river, but 
his claims were stoutly resisted by the ]icople of that [irovince, and he 
finally coniluded to abandon the design. He quarreled with and disputed 
the right of Philip Carteret, who administered the government ol K.isl 
lersey, arresting and bringing him prisoner to New York. Kor this ad the 
propriettirs of the New lersey government preferred charges against hiin. 
nhuh he was siimmined to England to answer. He returned, to continue 
his o'lprcssions. bit th,' resistance of th- [ijople against him was so stninu- 
that he was rccallel. and Thomas Dongan appointed as his siii cessor. «ho 
arrived .August 2-;i'.\. 168,5. Through the influence of William I'enn. he 
was instrui ted to organize a popular assemble, and accordingly, soon 
after his arrival, issued orders for the choosing of representatives. Ihis. 
the first Colonial .\sscmbly ol New York, was convened October 171I1. 
i'>S^. anil ionsi>!c<! of a coiim il of ten. and sevehteen representatives. A 
charter of liberties was framed, vesting the supreme legislative power in 
the (buern.T and n.uiuil. the people in general assembly, conferring 
the right nf sullr.ige on tile freeholders without restraint ; providing th.ii 
no freeman should suffer but by judgment of his peers, and that all trials 



should be by a jury of twelve men. Tlic imposition of any tax without the 
consent of the a^semMy was i>rohibited. Martial law was not to exist, and 
neither soldiers nor seamen were to be «iuartered on the inhabitants aj^ainst 
their »-ill. The province was divided into counties, and the representatives 
were apportioned according; to the population. 

CH.^n'KK 111. 



.At the time Champlain ascended the St. Lawrence, he found the .Mgon- 
<|uins at war with the Iroquois, .and by an alliance of his forces with the 
former, he enabled them by the use of fire-arms, to them hitherto un- 
known, to gain a victory over their enemies. In consequence of this 
alliance a bitter hostility was created on the part of the Iro(|uois towards 
the French. The French, however, were successful in gaining the confi- 
dence and friendship of the other tribes with whom they came in contact. 
Through the influence of their missionaries, the tr.adcrs were enabled to 
establish their posts among them at pleasure, and navigate the lakes and 
rivers. Although the artful Jesuit missionaries had persistently endeavored 
to win back the friendship of the Iroquois, they effected but little, till after 
New York fell into the hands of the English. Since their trade and inti- 
macy with the Outch, they had availed themselves of fire-arms and a 
knowledge of their use, and had renewed their warfare with success upon 
the .-Mgonijuins. repelled the invasions of the French, and, in turn attack- 
ing them, swept over their settlements with fire and tomahawk, carrying 
consternation in their path even to the gates of Quebec. In i666, the 
French and .Adirondacks successfully invaded the country of the Mohawks, 
but the year following a peace was concluded, chielly through the agency of 
the English colonial government acting in obedience to the instructions of the 
Duke of York, to whom the colony had been granted, and who, in his big- 
otry and blind attachment to the Church of Rome, was desirous of securing 
.1 peace between the French and Irnqunis, in view of handing the latter 
over as converts to that church. 

Trade, after this peace, was ]irofitably prosecuted by both the French 
and English ; but the French, through their artful Catholic missionaries, 
were gaining a decided advantage. Through the instigation of these wily 
priests, hostilities had been committed on the frontier settlements of Mar\- 
land and Virginia by the Five Nations. To adjust this difficulty, a council 
of the chiefs met the Governors of Virginia and New York, at .Mbany, in 
1684. At this council, the difficulties with Virginia were amicably settled, 
and Governor I>ongan succeeded in completely gaining the friendship of 
the Five Nations. While these conferences were in progress, a messenger 
arrived from De la Barre, Governor of Canada, comjilaining of the Sene- 
cas, for their hostilities against the Miamis and other western tribes, with 
whom the French were allied, whereby their trade was interrupted. This 
message was communicated to the Indian chiefs, and served to confirm 
their resolutions of friendship for the F^nglish, and revive their slumbering 
hatred of the I-"rencli. Immediately on the return of the messenger, De la 
Barre, meditating the destruction of ilie live N.iiums, proceeded with an 
army of French and Indians to lake Oniario. The French Catholics 
procured a letter from the Duke of \'ork to Go\ernor, instriu ting 
him to lay no obstacles in the way of the invaders : but Dongan, reg.irdless 
of this command, apprised the Indians of their designs and also promised 
to assist them. Owing to sickness in his army, De la Harre was unalile to 
encounter his foes, and found it neiessiry to c nm hide his campaign In- 
offering terms of jieace, which were haiigluilv ac . c|ited, and he was allowed 
to depart. He was succeeded in the following by the .Mar.piis De- 
nonville, who, with a reinforcement of troops, was sent over to repair the 
disgr.nce of De la liarre. He attempted to erect a fort at Niag.ira, s.i is 
to e\clu.'.e the English from the lakes, i oiimi.ind the fur tr.ide ami suIhIul- 
the Five Nations; but was resisted by C.overnor Dongan, who claimed 
the territory south of the great lakes for I'.ngl.ind. In 10.S7. to prcicnt llie 
interruption of trade with the Mi.iniis. the 1 oiinlry of the .scnci as was in- 
vaded. The French through the agcn. > ot llicir iiiissH.nar> to the llnon- 
dag.Ls, enticed the Iroquois chiefs into ihcir power, under [irctcln e of 
making a treaty, and llicn sci/cd and sent Ihcm, «ilh oihcrs thc\ had taken 
prisoners, to France, where they were consigned to the galievs. The .'Sen- 
eca country was overrun without serious rcsislani c, ami a fort crei tc.l ,11 
Niagara. .-\ pence was finally proposed through the interposition of (lov- 

ernor Dongan, who was for comjielling the French to apply to him in the 
affairs of the F'ive Nations, but its conditions were rejected by the French. 
The Five Nations, maddened by this refusal and by the outrages com- 
mitted upon them, riew to arms, and with twelve hundred warriors de- 
scended upon the French settlements with such terrible vengeance, that the 
terms that had been offered for peace were accepted, and the whole region 
south of the great lakes abandoned by the French. The Duke of \'ork, on 
his accession to the throne of England in 1685, under the title of James II., 
directed Governor Dongan to encourage the Catholic priests who came to 
reside with the Five Nations, ostensibly f6r advancing the Popish cause, 
but really to gain them over to the French interests. Ciovernor Dongan, 
although a Catholic, was apprehensive of the insidious designs of the 
French, and effectually resisted this policy, thereby disjile.asing his bigoted 
master. He also instructed Governor Dongan to allow no printing jiress 
to be established in the colony, and discouraged representative government. 
Catholics were a[)pointed to fill all the offices, and Dongan, who, in his 
endeavors to protect the true interest of the province by opposing the 
Catholic missionaries, became obnoxious to the King, was recalled, and 
Francis Nicholson, the deputy of Sir Edmund -\ndros, who had been com- 
missioned Governor of both New England and New York, assumed tem- 
porary charge of the government in .\ugust 168S. The revolution in 
England, resulting in the abdication of James II., and the accession of 
William and -Mary, caused the authority of Nicholson under the dethroned 
King to be questioned. On one side it was claimed that the government 
in England did not affect affairs in the province, and that Nicholson's 
authority was unimpaired till the will of the new monarch was known; on 
the other side, that the government extending to the colonies was overthrown, 
and as no one was invested with authority in the provinces, it reverted to 
the people, who might ap])oint a person to exercise control until one had been 
commissioned by the ruling power. The advocates of the former of these 
views were mostly the wealthy and aristocratic, while the mass of the peo- 
ple favored the latter. The government was vested in a committee of 
safety, who took possession of the fort, and entrusted the exercise of 
authority Lo Jacob Lclsler, the popular leader, Niciioison in the meantime 
having returned to England. Leisler sent a statement of what had been 
done to King William, and dispatched Milborne his son-in-law to .Albany, 
with an armed force to secure the recognition of his authority, sanction to 
which had been refused. .\ letter from the English ministry arrived, 
directed to Francis Nicholson, or in his absence to such person as for the 
time being might be in charge of the government, directing him to take 
chief command of the province, and to call to his aid such as he should 
deem proper, and Leisler, considering it addressed to himself, assumed 
command, and appointed a touncii of advisors. The revolution in ICng- 
land which placed William and Mary upon the throne was followed bv a 
war between F^ngland and France, and the colonies were of course involved 
in the confiict. Count Frontenac, who had succeeded Denonville as 
Governor of Can.ada, made an effort to dct.ich the Five N.ations from the 
English interest. He sent a secret expedition against Schenectadv, which 
attacked that city, near midnight, on the Sth of February, t6yo, and a 
frightful massacre of the inhabitants ensued. The peril of .-Mhany, from 
such deadly attai ks, induced its inhabitants lo submit to the authority of 
Leisler. Expeditions were fitted out against the French and Indians, and 
a fleet sent out for the reduction of Quebec, but all proved unsuci cssiul. 
In Mart:h, 1691, Henry Sloughter arrived as Go\ernor, having been i 0111- 
missioned by the King in 1O89. His commg was heralded by Ri. Ii.ird 
Ingoldsby, who without proper credentials demanded the surrender ol the 
fort. This. Leisler very properly refused, but . onscnted to defer to .sioiiL,h- 
ter when he should arrive. Sloughter on his arrival sent Ingoldsbv witln eriul 

directions for the surrender of the fort, but l.i 

.■isler still refused, and aski 

for an interview with the Governor. The nt 

■\t dav he complied, but tli 

imprudent hesitation was sei/ed upon bv his ei 

leinies who arrested hiiii .■■: 

his son-in-law on the charge of treason. Thev 


inittee and . ondemned to suffer death. Cm 

ernor Sloughter hesu.iu.l 1 

execute this senlem e, but their enemies, an\i 

Mils f,,r iheir eve. an 

failing in all alleiiiiits to procure his sign.inin 

.-. ax.i.lcd themsci^es ,,1 h 

known intemperate habits, invited him lo a lui 

iquet, persuaded him 10 SI, 

the death warrant while intoxicated, and belo: 

re he reujvercd from his ,!i 

bam h, the prisoners were executed. 

During the agitations attending this foul judicial murder, the Indian 
om neglei t, be. ame disalfei ted toward the ICnglish, insomuch tlu 
:nt an embassy of pe.u e to Count Frontenac; and to cpunteract this, 


council with the Five Nations was held at Albany, and the covenant chain 
renewed. In order to maintain this advantage. Major Schuyler, in whom 
ihe Five Nations had great confidence, led them in an invasion of Canada, 
and signally defeated the French. The intemperate habits of Sloughter 
brought on a severe illness, from which he died on the 23d of July, 1691, 
ihus ending a weak and turbulent administration. Upon the death of 
Sloughter, the cluef command was committed to Richard Ingoldsby, to the 
exclusion of Joseph Dudley, who, but for his absence, would have had the 
right to preside, and upon whom the government devolved ; and as Dudley, 
en his return, did not contest the authority of Jngoldsby, the latter governed 
till the arrival of Benjamin Fletcher, with a commission as Governor, in 
August, 1692. He was a man of small ability and violent temper, active and 
avaricious, but prudently look Major Schuyler into his council, and 
was guided by his opinions in Indian affairs. His administration was so 
successful the first year that he received large supplies from the assembly. 
The unamiable traits of his character were soon exhibited, however, and 
during most of his administration he was engaged in controversies with the 
assembly, principally in regard to appropriations for his expenses, for which 
he made extravagant demands. He was bigotedly attached to the Epis- 
copal form of church government, and encouraged English churches and 
schools in place of the Dutch. He procured an act from the assembly the 
provisions of which, though admitting of a more liberal construction, he 
interpreted as a recognition of the Episcopal, instead of the Dutch church, 
and under this act Trinity church was organized. A printing press was 
established in New York city in 1693. by William Bradford, who was em- 
ployed by the city to print the corporation laws. 



In 1693, Count Frontenac set out from Montreal, with an army of French 
and Indians, and invaded the Mohawk country, capturing their castles, 
killing some of the tribe, and taking about three hundred prisoners. 
Schuyler, with the militia of Albany, hastened to the assistance of the Mo- 
hawks, and pursued the enemy in their retreat, retaking about 50 prisoners. 
In 1696, Count Frontenac made another effort for the subjugation of the 
Five Nations. With an army of regular troops and Indians under his com- 
mand, he ascended the St. Lawrence to Cadara([ui ; then crossing to 
Oswego, made a descent upon the Onondagas, who, apprised of his coming, 
set fire to and deserted their princijial towns. On retracing his march he 
found his progress obstructed by the Onondagas, and incursions into Can- 
ada bv the Five Nations were again renewed. In the following year the 
war between France and England was terminated by the jjeace of Rys- 
wick, and these barbarous hostilities ceased. 

During the late war, piracy had prevailed, and was believed to be en- 
couraged by the governments, for the annoyance of the commerce of their 
respective enemies. Merchant vessels were destroyed within sight of the 
harbor of New York, the commercial depot of the pirates, .some of whom 
had sailed from there, having a good understanding with Fletcher and 
other officers. The extinction of piracy was loudly demanded, and the 
English government found it necessary to resort to vigorous measures for 
this end: and conse(]uenlly in 1695, Fletcher was recalled, and Richard, 
Earl of Bclbmont, appointed in his place, with instructions for the sup- 
pression of this evil. The Earl of Bellamont, whose commission included 
the governments of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as well as New 
York, did not arrive until May, 169S. Before leaving; England, an armed 
vessel was fitted nut by Bellamont and others, and placed under the com- 
mand of Captain William Kidd, who 'tailed from England in 1696, and after 
crui>ing for a while, turned pirate himself, and became the most bold and 
daring of the ocean m irauders. He returned to New York with his 
booty and concealed portions of it on Long Island. He was subseijuently 
arrested in Boston, by oriers of the Governor on a charge of piracy, sent to 
England for trial, and there convicted and executed. Bellamont fa\oreil 
the Democr.itic or Leisljrian party, and the new assembly in 1699, being 
also Democratic, an act was passed by which the families of Leisler and 
Milbome were reinstated in their possessions. Bellamont died in 1701, 
and John the< lovernor. u]ion whdin the gcnernment 
devolved, sue. ceded him until the arrival in 1702. of Lord Cornbury, who 
was appointed by King William as a reward for his desertion of James IL, 

in whose army he had been an officer. His administration was chieflv dis- 
tinguished for its intolerance, and he received the unenviable distinction of 
being the worst (lovernor under the English regime. With savage bigotry 
he sought to establish the Church of England by imprisoning dissenting 
clerg)'men. and prohibiting them from exercising their functions without 
his special license, and he even robbed one clergyman of his house and 
glebe. With insatiable rapacity he plundered the public treasury and op- 
posed every measure of the people for the security of their rights. Destitute 
of gratitude, licentious and base, he completed the universal contempt in 
which he was held by appearing in public, dressed in women's clothes. .\s 
he had become an object of abhorrence, the Queen, through the pressure 
of popular sentiment, felt compelled to revoke his commission. As soon 
as he was deposed he was thrown into prison by his creditors, where he 
remained until the death of his father, when he became Earl of Clarendon. 
Upon the death of King William, his commission was renewed by 
the Queen, who at the same time gave him the chief command of New 
Jersey, the government of which the proprietors had surrendered into her 
hands. He was succeeded December iSth, 170S. by Lord Lovelace, who 
died on the 5th of May following, leaving the government in the hands of 
Lieutenant-Governor Ingoldsby, whose administration is only remarkable 
for an unsuccessful expedition under Colonel Nicholson, for the reduction 
of Canada. This failure was chiefly through the mismanagement ut In- 
goldsby, who was consequently removed April loth, 17 10, and Gerardus 
Beekman, the oldest member of the council, exercised the authority of 
Governor till June 14th, when Robert Hunter arrived with a commission 
as Governor. This year Colonel Schuyler went to England to urge the 
importance of subduing Canada, taking with him the chiefs of the Five 
Nations, who were highly gratified with their voyage and reception. 

The ensuing year another e.xpedition for the reduction of Canada was 
undertaken. Four thousand troops were raised in the colonies under Col- 
onel Nicholson, to join an English fleet and land force before Quebec. 
Arriving in the St. Lawrence, many of the ships were wrecked and about a 
thousand soldiers lost, which put an end to the campaign. Nicholson, 
who had proceeded as far as Lake George, on hearing this news returned, 
and the expedition proved an entire failure. It had entailed a heavy debt 
upon the province, in consequence of which the Governor's influence 
was somewhat impaired, he having entered into it with much zeal. His 
request for a permanent appropriation for the government was refused by 
the assembly, which brought him into several unhappy contests with that 
body. In March, 17 13, the war between England and France terminated 
by the treaty of Utrecht, in which the English supremacy over the Five Na- 
tions was conceded by the French, and an end put to the infliction of 
Indian hostilities. The Five Nations being relieved from hostilities with 
the French, engaged in conflict with the Indians at the south. The Tiis- 
caroras. a tribe kindred to the Five Nations, residing in North C'arolina, 
having been greatly reduced by a war with the whites, and unable to 
resist their encroachments, removed to the north and joined the confeder- 
acy. They Settled near Lake Oneida, among the Five Nations, and the 
confederates were thenceforward called the Six Nations. Hunter remain- 
ed at the head of the government till 1719, when, his health failing, he 
returned to England. His intercourse with the assembly was agree- 
able during the latter part of his administration, and his attachment to 
the interests of the colony made his departure regretted. 

The government devolved upon Peter Schuyler, the oldest member of 
the council, who successfully administered affairs until the arrival of Wil- 
liam Burnet, on September 17th, 1720. A trading post was comnien< id 
at Oswego, in 1722, by Governor Burnet, in order to engross the trade "f 
the Six Nations, and with the farther design of following it up on the l.ikes 
to the westward, to obtain the trade of the more remote tribes. .\ i nn- 
gress of several colonies was held at .\lbany to meet the Six N-Uhuis. 
whereby the chain of friendship was strengthened, and trade with the re- 
moter tribes pro.mtcd. The establishment of this post at ( )sw'.u"> "■i> 
highly displeasing to th:; French, and in order to intercept the tnule lnt?n 
the upper lakes, they obtained consent of the Onondagas, through the m- 
fluence of the Jesuits, to rebuild their trading-house and fort at 
and also decided to erect a chain of military po-.ts to the Ohio river. ■><> .1- 
to'cut off and confine the English trade. Though not without ()|.]H).itinn. 
they succeeded in erecting their fort at Niagara. AlthouL^h the oilier 
members of the Six Nations were opposed to this invasion by the Freu' li- 
it succeeded through the disaffection of a ])arly of merchants and oiIuts 
interested in the French trading policy, who, since the peace of I trecht. 



had carried on a good trade with MontR-al, through the aid of Indian 
c.imers, and were oiijtoscd to the Governor's [joiicy. The assembly was 
aKo «rongly tintlured nith this s|>irit of opposition, and refused a renewal 
of supplies except for short jjeriods. This body was dissolved in 17-7, 
but tic next was .piite as stu'.liurn, and it was likewise dissolved, and the 
(•oicmor rorild cnly crcrt a small milita.y defence for the post at Oswego, 
tthiti, to his credit and the colony's shame, was at his own expense. On 
the accession of Geori;e II., through the efforts of his enemies, Kumet was 
transferred to the go\cmment of Massachusetts, and John .Montgomery 
apiiointed to succeed him. He entered upon his duties .April 15th, 172S. 
His short administration is not distinguished for any iiiiportaiil event. 
In 17^9. the King, against the wishes of the best citizens of the colony, re- 
pealed the acts prohibiting the tratle in Indian rooils between .Vil-any .ind 
MonueaL .\ line was surveyed and agreed upon between Connecticut and 
New York in t73i. The establishment of this partition gave to New York 
a tract of land formerlv on the Connecticut side, called from its figure the 
"Oblong," as an ei]uivalcnt for lands near the Sound, surrendered to Con- 

Montgomery died July ist, 1731, and was succeeded by Rip Van Dam, 
whose administration was unfortimately signalized by the erection of a fort 
at Crown Point bv the Frencli, without resistai.ce f.-om tire acting Gover- 
nor. The arrival of Colonel \Villi,-.m Cosby, .\ ist, 1732, finished liis 
administration, and began one rendered m.'morable for its arbitrary pro- 
ceedings and tumult, rather than for striking or impo: tant events, .\mong 
tile first of Cosby's acts was a demand that Rip Van Dam, liis predecessor, 
>..uiuld divide equally with him the emoluments of the ofTice before his 
.-..-ivaL Van Dam assented, on the condition that Cosby should recipro- 
t .. e \yv an equal division of the percjuisites received by him from the col- 
I'- .^ -ince his appointment and before coming to this country. This de- 
li'. .; .>n the part of Van Dam was sustained by the people generally, but 
Cci.,oy. des|x)tic and avaricious, refused, and commenced a suit against 
Van Itam for half of his salary. .\s the Governor by virtue of his office 
was chancellor, and two of the judges his personal friends, the counsel for 
defence took exceptions against the jurisdiction of the court. The excep- 
tions ttereoverniledby the judges in the interest of Cosby, even against the 
opinion of Chief Justice Morris, who was immediately removed from his 
oflSce and Colonel Cosby's claim ordered paid. The indignation of 
the public at such arbitrary proceedings, found vent in squibs and ballads, 
aimed at the aristocracy, and placing some of the members of the legislature 
in a ludicrous position. The Xew York Weekly Journal, edited by John 1*. 
i^enger, in defending Van Dam, published some severe criticisms on the 
goxemment, arraigning the officials for assuming arbitrary power, and per- 
verting their official stations to purposes of private emolument. These 
pajterswere ordered tt> be burnt by the common hangman, and Zenger was 
arretted anil i.nprisone.I on a criminal charge for publishing a seditious 
libel a;;ainsi the governntent. When the trial came on, the puiilication was 
admitted, and proof offered for its justification, which objected to by 
the .\, on the ground that in a criminal proceeding for the 
publiiarion of libellous matter, the truth of the facts alleged was not proper 
to be admitted in evidence, and he was sustained by the court. .And.-ew 
Hamilton, the counsel for the defence, resisted this decision of the court, 
and insisted that the j.iry were the jutlges of both tlie facts and the law, 
and it was for them to interpose between arbitrary violations of law 
and justice, and their intended victim. The jury after a short deliberation, 
unaniinouslv gave a verdii t of acquittal. Cosby, although repulsed by this 
xerdict, persistently continued to make him-.elf odious to the people by 
other arbitrary measures. .\ few days before hi- ilc.ith he ci]n\Ln';d his 
.luincil in his bed-Miamber and suspended V.Tn D.mi. the -.cninr nuni'cr 
thereof, np-m whom the government woul I devolved upon his ,h, e,i-e. 
lie did March loth. 1736. ...nxcncd immediately cfter !iis 
d. alh, and George Clarke, next senior coi-p.sellnr, was dei lared I'residvnl, 
uid assumed the authority of Governor. The suspension of Van Dam 
w.i- ilo-lared illegal by a [mwerfid party in his fa\or, and a struggle ensueil 
'..twecD him aniU'l.iike for the oftii e, bi'tj e\cn ising authority until ( N tu- 
ber 30th, when IMarke received a 1 r.nimi — mn Ironi l.n-lan.l lu ac t as I.ieu- 
Ttn.ant-Govemor. He sought to lonrdi.tli those hostile t<i him, and to 
in fa\or with the aristoiratii p.irtv at the same rime. He ili-solved 
.-.emblv, that had . onlmued m existence for manv vcars. an.l a new 
.. T-.-L-ited, whi, h. t.. his Oi.igrin ami regret, was in symp.ithy with 
, party, anrl .:t its session loiihl not be prevailed ii|«in lo grant a 
. c for a longer [leriod than one \c,ir. establishing a pre. cdcut 
sui>-.. i.tent assemblies diti not depart from. 





eral fires having 01 curred in New \'ork, suspicions were av.; 
consjjiracy had been formed for the destruction of the ci 

In 1741 
ened that 

It was not long before it was charged upon the negro slaves, who at that 
time constituted about one-fifth of the population. Universal consterna- 
tion seized upon the inhabitants and a general panic ensued, in which 
reason and common sense were scarcely entertained. Rewards were offered 
for the arrest and conviction of the offenders, and a full pardon tendered 
to anv of tlieir number who would reveal their knowledge of the conspiracy. 
A weak negro servant girl, in a low boarding house, named Mary Burton, 
after much importunitv and full promise of jiardon, implicated several 
negroes, by confessing to have heard them talking privately about burning 
the city. They were arrested and executed on this slender testimony. 
Others, among them several whites, were im|)licated by her, and suffered 
the same fate. Other informers appeared, arrests became numerous, and 
the ]>o;)ular fury and delusion did not subside tintil Mary Burton, the chief 
informer, after frequent examinations, began to touch characters above 
suspicion and known to be innocent. Then, as reason began to return, 
the delusion passed away, but not until one hundred and fifty-four negroes 
and twenty-four whites had been committed to prison, and nearly forty 
of these unfortunates executed. In the commencement of his administra- 
tion, Clarke had succeeded in conciliating both parties, to a considerable 
extent, but managed before its close to lose the confidence of both, inso- 
much that his retirement, on the arrival of his successor, .Admiral George 
Clinton, September 23d, 1743, was but little regretted. Favorable accounts 
of Clinton's talents and liberality had been proclaimed, and he was received 
with demonstrations of universal satisfaction. The election of a new as- 
sembly was ordered, and a spirit of harmony so far prevailed that he con- 
curred in all its measures. 

In March, 1744, war was declared between England and France, and 
measures were again taken for the conquest of Canada. The colonies of 
New York and New England united in an expedition, to co-operate with a 
fleet under Commodore Warren, for an attack on the French fortress at 
Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island, which capitulated in June, 1745. The 
country north of .Albany was seriously molested by attacks from the 
Indians and French. The fort at Crown Point was garrisoned with a force 
sufficient to enable its commander 10 send out detachments to destroy the 
English settlements. The settlement at Saratoga was burned, .and nearly 
all the inhabitants either killed or taken prisoners. This was followed by 
an attack on the village of Hoosick. The fort at that place was com- 
manded by Colonel Hawks, who was compelled to surrender, thus leaving 
the settlements, all the way to .Albany, open to the enemy; but measures 
were speedily adopted for putting the frontier in a state of defence. In 
1746 an expedition against Canada was resolved tqion by the English 
government. The colonics, with the promise of assistance from England, 
entered upon the design with much zeal. New York raised sixteen hun- 
dred men for the forces directed upon Crown Point and .Montreal. Eng- 
land failed to furnish the promised assistance and the expedition proved 
unsuccessful. Peace was concluded at .Aix la Chapelle in 1748. Hostili- 
ties ceased, and the colony enjoyed a short period of tranipiility, The 
h.irm-iny between the assembly and the Governor did not long con- 
tinue, for, in 174;, an open disagreement occurred, and almost constant 
bickerings followe.i. In 174S Clinton sent a m.ssagc to the .assembly, de- 
man bag an appropriatio.l for tiie support of the go\urnment, for five years. 
Tile .i--.-ni!.b, iii~dy re.t-r lin ; it j. a direct attempt to render the crown 
ii l.p.-i I.-nt of liie p-ool.-.;in',l. rOiisel; ..nd after a l"ew weeks' 

tioas prj cntcd it from sitting for nearly tw.i years, until the affairs of the 
I olonv w.-re in at alarncag 1 ondition for want of funds. His reiterated 
ilem.mds for a p'.T'iiaaent rev.nue met with persistent relusal. Oppo.sed 
and emiiarrass-d b. pohti. il factions, he tendered his resignation, after an 
aliiiinistrilion of t.-ii ye.irs, an 1 siu reeded ( ictober loth, 1753. by .Sir 
Danxers Osborne, The new Gioernor iiiimedi.itely informed the coiiniil 
that Ills iustriu lioas were lo inainl.iin the royal |irero g.itive and demanil a 
pur.n.ricnt siioport for tile government. He told by the members 
present that the assembly would ncxcrsuliniit to the, and appe.ircd 
grcati) depressed, the loss of his w lie a short time before having already 


throvn him into a melancholy state of mind bordering on insanity. Know- 
ing the difficulties that his predecessor had experienced, and being charged 
with instructions still more stringent, he saw in the tempest before him a 
prospect which so worked upon his morbid mind, that the next morning he 
was found dead, having hung himself at his lodgings. On his death. James 
De l-ancey, by virtue of his commission as Lieutenant-Ciovernor. assumed 
the administration of the government. He had formerly been a leader in 
the aristocratic party, but recently had opposed the demands of the crown, 
and conseiiuently become highly [Jopular. Striving to retain his popu- 
larity by favoring the representatives in measures advantageous to the 
colony, while holding his office at the will of the English government, and 
being com(>elled by the instructions of his predecessor to convince the 
ministry that he ivas zealous to promote the interests of the crown, his 
task was peculiarly difficult; but it was performed with a shrewdness and 
skill creditable to his ability as a statesman. 

By the treaty of .\ix la Chapelle, the boundary between the French and 
English colonies was left as indefinite as before, and consequently those 
lands which both claimed the right to jjossess were still in dispute. l"he 
French had established their trading posts, missionary stations and fortifi- 
cations, from Canada to the gulf of Mexico, and were vigorously pursuing 
their designs for the extension of their power and dominions. The Eng- 
lish Ohio Company, formed for settlement and trade with the Indians, 
obtained, in 1749, a grant from the British government of an extensive tract 
of land on the Ohio river. Christopher Gist was sent out in 1751 to ex- 
plore this region, and found that it had already been visited by the French 
traders, who had so influenced the Indians that they were very suspicious 
of the designs of the English. The claim of the French to the ownership 
of this region was priority of discovery and occupancy. The English had 
from the first claimed from the .\tlanticto the Pacific by right of discovery; 
but they now based their claims on the ground that the country belonged 
to the Six Nations, who had placed all their lands under the protection of 
England. Commissioners were sent to treat with the Ohio Indians and 
win them over to the English interest. They succeeded in obtaining a 
deed of the lands in [[uestion from the Indians, and a guaranty that their 
settlements should not be molested by them. The Governor of Canada, 
perceiving the design of the English to occupy the Ohio valley, informed 
the Governors of New York and Pennsylvania of the encroachments of 
the English traders upon what he claimed as his territory, and of his inten- 
tion to seize them whenever found. .\ccordingIy, in 1752 some English 
traders were seized and confined in a fort at Presfjue Isle, on Lake Erie. 
From this [)oint the French were engaged in establishing a chain of posts 
to the .\llcgheny, opening communication to the Ohio, and keeping it clear 
by means of troojjs stationed at convenient points along the way. The 
Ohio Company, seeing this intrusion upon their lands, compl.iined to the 
Governor of \"irginia, of which colony their territory was a part, under the 
grant of the crown. He resolved to send a trusty messenger to the French 
commander to remonstrate against these encroachments, and George 
Washington was entrusted witli this delicate mission. On reaching the 
post at Venango, he could obtain no satisfaction, tlie officer in coinniand 
boldly declaring that the French iatended to seize on the wiiole valley of 
the Ohio. He proceeded to Waterford, the headi|uarters of the French 
commandant. St. Pierre received him with courtesy, but did not disguise 
the intentions of the French. His answer to the Governor of Virginia 
wa.s, that he had taken pos;e-^sion of the Ohio valley under the authority 
of the Governor of Canada, and by his orders should destroy all English 
posts therein. It was now obvious t!iat the Ohio would not be relini|uishcd 
without a struggle. The Ohio Co npany commenced to construct a fort at 
the confluence of the .Allegheny and Monon;.;aiiela. 01 the pre^ site of 
Pittsburgh. The Governor of Virginia dispatclied a sm ill f,5rre to protect 
the I.-^borers and aid in constructing the fort, and wrote to inform the 
Boar.l of Trade, of the design of the French to occupy the Ohio valley. 
He likewise sent to the Governors of New York and Pennsyhania for aid 
to resist their aggression .. 

When the assembly met in the spring of 1754, Governor He l.ancey, in 
his message to that In 
ments of the Frcm h. 

dy, called their attention to 
ind Id tiie request by Virg 

t encroach- 
ul from the 

ninnv of New Ynrk. 



aid. and to bear u> share in crc( tng forts .' ; t 
Early in the spring of 1754. W .ishingLm. with 
from Virginia, set out for the disputed territory, 
in course of construction at the junction of the 

.\ilh supplies for the fort 
Allegheny and Mononga- 

hela. When near Will's creek, he was met by the ensign of Cajitain Trent's 
company, which had been sent out to protect and help build the fon. 
From him he received the mournful intelligence, that while they were at 
work on the fort, the French troops from Venango came down the ri\er 
with their artillery, and resistance being useless, they were obliged to sur- 
render it to them. The French completed it and named it fort Duquesne, 
after the Governor of Canada. On hearing this news, Washington reported 
to the Governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania the situation of affairs, and 
urged them to hasten forward reinforcements. Moving forward, he soon 
learned that the French were on their way to intercept his progress, and 
not knowing their strength, he fell back to Great Meadows, and began to 
throw up an intrenchment, which he called Fort Necessity. While here, he 
received a courier from Half King, who, with a party of Indian warriors, 
was a few miles distant, informing him that a body of French were in his 
vicinity. He immediately set out with a part of his men for the camp of 
Half King. An attack on the enemy, whose position had been discovered, 
was at once agreed u])on, and successfully executed. Receiving additional 
troops, Washington proceeded towards Fort Uuquesne, but had not gone- 
far before he heard of the advance of a large body of French and Indians, 
and returned to Fort Necessity. Here he was soon after attacked bv a 
superior force, and after an obstinate resistance, accepted the terms of capit- 
ulation offered, which gave him permission to retire unmolested to 

Thus were the French left in undisputed possession of the entire region 
west of the .Alleghanies. The necessity of concerted action on the part I'f 
the English colonies to resist their aggressions had now become ob\ioii ., 
but unworthy sectional feelings often prevented harmony of action for a 
general defence. The Six Nations were also becoming alienated from i , ■ 
English by the influence of French emissaries. The English miii.. 
aware of this critical state of affairs, had advised a convention of ikle. ■ , 
from all the colonial assemblies, to secure the continued friendsiiip .imi 
alliance of the Six Nations, and to unite their efforts in the common de- 
fence. In accordance with this recommendation, a convention of delegates 
from the colonies of New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connec- 
ticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland, was held at Albany, in June, 17^4. 
The chiefs of the Six Nations were in attendance, and the proceedings 
were opened by a speech to the Indians from Governor De Lancey, who 
had been chosen president of the convention. A treaty with the Six 
Nations was renewed, and they departed, apparently satisfied. While this 
treaty was in progress, at the suggestion of the Massachusetts delegates, a 
plan for the union of the colonies was taken into consideration. The su-- 
gestion was favorably received, and a committee, consisting of one member 
from each colony, was appointed to draft (dans for this jnirpose. The fer- 
tile mind of Benjamin F'ranklin had conceived the necessity of union, and 
before leaving home, he had prepared a plan which was adopted. This 
plan was similar in many of its features to our Federal Constitution, framed 
many years afterward. The provincial .assemblies, considering it too much 
of an encroachment on their liberties, rejected it, and it was rejei.ted by 
the English government, because it gave too much power to the people. 


the results of four encilish f.xpeditioss against thf. frli.nch — 
Montcalm's successful campaigns. 

Though England and France were no'ninally at peace, the frontier was 
desolated by sav.age hordes let loose upon the settlements by the Freni h. 
While the pinglish ministry were hesitating, the Duke of Cumbcrlanrl, who 
at that time was ieneral of the ariiiics of (Ireat Britain, sent uM-r, 
early in 1755, liraddock, with a detachment from the 
army in Ireland. Uraddcck, soon after his arrival, met the coIoumI 
(iovcmors in a conference at .Mexandria, to devise measures for repelliiu 
the encroachments of the French. Four separate expeditions were tlu re 
resolved upon : The first against Nova Scotia ; the second, under liraddc" k 
himself, for the recovery of the Ohio valley ; the third against Fort Nii. 
ara, and the fourth aemiist Crown Point, on Lake Champlain, The 1-: " 
resuhid ill the 1 nmplcte rcdu. lion of Nova Srolia. The second ,111. 1 i;,' 
impnri lilt, under l:r,ul,l,» k, fr.iui uhi.h mm ii had been e\|.r,u-,l ■ 
through the fi.ll\ of that officer, dis.islrmis in the extreme. U.isii.n 
had repeatedly urgeil the necessity of seniling scouts in advance, b:il i 
dock, obstinate and imperious, would listen to no warnings of ilan^^.i' : ■» 



Indian ambusiadcs. When within a few miles of Fort l)iii|iiesne, the annv 
wai surpri?.eii by the hirking foe, and only saved from total destruction l>v 
the bravery of Washington, who, upon the fall of Braddock, assumed com- 
mand, and conducted a retreat, but not till more than half the force had 
been sacrificed. The expedition against Fort Ni;:gnra, under (ien. Shirley, 
(Governor of Massachusetts, was also unsuccessful. His troops hearing ot 
Braddoi k's defeat, soon after leaving .Albany, were so disheartened that 
many of them deserted. .\t Oswego, he vvas detained by having to 
wait for the coni[)letion of boats. When these were coiii]ileted, he was 
further detained by heavy storms and other casualties, until the lateness of 
the season rendered it imjirudent to proceed. Leaving a garrison at Oswego 
under Colonel Mercer, he led back the residue of his anny to .Albany, 
and returned to Massnchiisetts. The expedition .Tgainst Crown Point was 
entrusted to (ieneral Johnson. The greater part of the troops were sent 
forward under (ieneral I.yman, of Connecticut, to the head of boat navi- 
gation on the Hudson, which being the nearest point on that ri\er to Lake 
Champlain, was called the carrying place, where they erected a fortification. 
which was aftenvard named Fort Edward. Here they were joined late in 
.August by Johnson, who advancing with the main body of the army to the 
head of Lake George, established a camp, and began to make some 
arrangements for an att.ick on Crown Point, but apparently was in no hurry- 
to prosecute the enterprise. Meanwhile Diesk.iu. the French rommander, 
was approaching by way of Lake Champlain, with the intentic of surpris- 
ing Fort Edward, cutting off Johnson's retreat, and capturing his army ; 
but l>eing mi.sled by his guides, he found himself on the way to Johnson's 
camp on Lake (ieorge. Abandoning his first intention of attacking Fort 
Edward, he continued his advance on Lake George. Johnson, learning 
that the French- were advancing to the Hudson, sent out Colonel Williams 
with a thousand troops, and Sachem Hendrik, with two hundred Indians, 
to intercept them and aid Fort Edward. They only advanced a few 
miles when they fell into an ambuscade, in which both Williams and Hend- 
rik were slain, and the force hurriedly retreated, closely pursued by the 
enemy until they reached the camp, when the Canadian militia and Indians, 
who were in the advance, perceiving the artillery they would have to con- 
front, skulked into the surrounding woods, and left the regulars to begin 
the att.ick. thereby gi\ ing the English time to recover from the confusion 
into which they had been throw-n. and undoubtediv saving them from 
defeat. .A severe struggle ensued, in which the French at length began to 
give way, upon observing w-hich the English leaped over their breastworks 
and dispersed them in .all directions. The French leader, Dieskau, was 
severely wounded and taken prisoner. Johnson was wounded in the com- 
mencement of the action and retired from the tield. and the whole battle 
»-as directed by General Lyman, who proposed and urged a vigorous con- 
tinuation of elTorts by following up the routed enemy, preventing their 
escape down Lake Champl.Tm, and attacking Ticonderoga and Crown 
Point ; but Johnson, through fear or some other cause not easilv explained, 
withheld his consent, and allowed the French to intrench themsebes at 
Ticonderoga, while he spent the residue of the autumn erecting Fort Wil- 
liam Henry-, on the site of his camp. On the approach of winter he garri- 
soned it, disbanded the remainder of his army and returned to .Albany. 

On the 3d of September, 1755, Sir Charles Hardy arrived in New- Vork 
as Governor. He was an admiral, and unacquainted with civil affairs. 
lieing conscious of his deficiencies in executive ability, he soon 
surrendered all but nominal duties into the hands of De Lanccy, and 
in 1757, resigned the government and returned to his former profession, 
.ind I)c Lancey again became (lovernor. .At a meeting of the provincial 
Governors, held at .Albany in December, the plan discussed for the cam- 
]i.iign of 1756 consisted of movements against Fort Niagara with six thou- 
sand men. Fort Duiplesne with three thousand. Crown Point with ten 
thous.-ind, and two thousand were to advance on the Fren< h settlements 
(in the Chaudiere, and on»-ard to Quebec. At this time, 1756. the |iopu- 
Lition of the province of New Vork was 96,775. In Man h. De I.e%y, with 
three hundred French troops from Montreal, penetrated the forests to the 
Onci-li portage, took and destroyed the fort, and returned to Canada with 
the garrison .is prisoners. Although active hostilities had been carried on 
lor two years in the lolonies, the English ministry ilid not arouse from 
iheir imbe. ilit\ enough to issue a furmal dci laration of against Fr.ince 
till the 17th of May, 175O. Lord Loudoun was appuintcl ,<lcr-in- 
chief and Goiernor of \'irginia, and Ab. r. mmbic was pl.i, cd 
.second in command, (ieneral Winslow. who had been cnlrnstcd willi the 
expedition ag.imst Crcuvn Point, finding that he n..t siifti, cut fone for 

the undertaking, waited for reinforcements from England. Late in June, 
Abercrombie arrived with troops, but at the same time blighted any hopes 
that might have arisen regarding a vigorous prosecution of the war, by 
showing his contempt for the Provincials in announcing that the regular 
officers were to be over those of the same rank in the Provincial ser- 
vice. On this announcement all harmony for a united effort was dispelled. 
The men began to desert, and some of the officers declared they should 
throw- up their commissions if the obnoxious rule was enforced. This 
difficulty was finally adjusted by an agreement that the regulars should 
remain to do garrison duty, while the Provincials should advance under 
their own officers, against the enemy. Then, instead of making any effort 
for the relief of Oswego, which was in danger, .Abercrombie ordered his 
troops to be cpiartered on the citizens of .Albany. De Villiers had 
encamped with eight hundred Frenchmen, at the mouth of Sandy 
Creek, on Lake Ontario, whence he could send out detachments to infest 
the water passes leading to the Oswego fort and intercept supplies or 
reinforcements on the way thither. Colonel Bradstreet had succeded in 
throwing some provisions into the fort, and on his return fell in with a 
party of De Villiers' men in ambush, and gained a decisive victory over 
them. Hearing that a large force w-a.s already on its w-av to attack Osw-ego, 
he hastened to Albany, and informed .Abercrombie of the contemplated 
attack and the necessity of immediate reinforcements. But it was all in 
vain, as he could not be induced to move before the arrival of Lord Lou- 
doun. It was nearly .August before Loudoun m.ide his appearance, and 
affairs were not improved by this event. Instead of making an immediate 
effort to avert the threatened blow at Osw-ego, he began slow-ly to make 
preparations for a descent on Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Reinforce- 
ments were sent to Forts Edw-ard and William Henrv. This procrastina- 
tion proved fatal, for the opportunity of relieving Oswego was now lost. 
The -Maniuis de Montcalm, successor of Dieskau, had cut off communica- 
tion with .Albany, and on the 12th of .August opened his artillery on Fort 
Ontario, nearly apposite Oswego. The fire was returned by the garrison 
till their ammunition was exhausted, w-hen, spiking their guns, thev re- 
treated across the river to Fort Oswego. Montcalm immediately occupied 
the deserted fort and turned such guns as were yet serviceable against Fort 
Oswego. Colonel Mercer was killed, and a formidable breach effected in 
the walls. Montcalm was making preparations for storming the intrench- 
ments, when, seeing that the defence was no longer practicable, the garrison 
surrendered themselves prisoners of war. By this atfair sixteen hundred 
men, one hundred cannon, a large quantity of provisions and store.s, and 
the vessels in the harbor, all fell into the hands of the victors, and were 
safely conveyed to Montreal. Montcalm demolished the forts, much to the 
satisfaction of the Six Nations, who afterw-ards sent a delegation from each 
castle to make peace with the Governor of Canada. The F'rench sent their 
emis.saries among them, who now succeeded in seducing them from the 
English interests. 

The fall of Oswego did not awaken the energies of Lord Loudoun— if 
it can be said that he possessed any — but on the contrary he abandoned 
all offensive operations that had been contemplated, and contented himself 
with doing nothing. Having w-asted the season in shameful idleness, he, 
on his arrival in the city of New Vork, billeted a part of his force for free 
winter <|uarters on the citizens, regardless of the remonstrance of the 
authorities against this invasion of their rights. Overawed by his profane 
threats, the colonists found themselves obliged to support the British 
soldiers, w-ho had done nothing in their behalf In June of the following 
year he made an ineffectual effort to capture Louisburg, Before leaving 
New Vork, he rendered himself still more detestable to the colonists, by 
laying an embargo u|)on the seaports from Massachusetts to Virginia, and 
impressing four hundred men from the city of New Vork alone. He went 
to Halifax, where he was largely reinforced, but instead of making any 
advance on Louisburg, contented himself by drilling his troops in mock 
battles, till the complaints of his inactivity became so numerous, that he 
finally gave orders to embark for that place. .Almost as soon as the orders 
were given, receiving intelligence that Louisburg had been reinforced, and 
that the French fleet contained one more ves.sel than his, he countermanded 
his orders and came back to New Vork, having accomplished nothing. 
While he was thus trifling. .Montcalm, watchful of his movements, proceeded 
With a Lirgc f..r. e of French and Indians ag.ainst Fort William Henry, then 
in I ..mill in, 1 ..i t'oLmcl .Monroe, with about twenty-two hundred men. Webb, the English commander in that ipiarter, was at Fort Ed 
ward with f.,ur thousand men. Montcalm landed with his men and 



artillery at a'point about two miles from Fort William Henry, where he was 
entirely sheltered from its guns ; beleagured its garrison, and sent a sum- 
mons to Monroe to surrender, which he defiantly disregarded, confident of 
being relieved by Webb. The French then opened fire on the fort, which 
was spiritedly returned by the garrison. Exi)re ses were sent to Webb 
imploring aid ; but that coward remained inactive, terrified at the distant 
roar of artillery. Finally, after repeated solicitations, he allowed Generals 
Johnson .and Putnam with his rangers, to march to the aid of Monroe; but 
they had proceeded only a few miles when he recalled them, and sent a 
letter to Monroe, advising him to surrender This letter was intercepted 
by Montcalm, who forwarded it lo Monroe, recjuesting him to follow 
Webb's advice, and save further loss of life. Still the intrepid colonel 
held out until his ammunition was nearly e.vhausted, part of his guns dis- 
abled, and all hopes of assistance abandoned, and under these discourag- 
ing circumstances, he was forced to capitulate on the 9th of August, and 
the sixth day of the siege. By the terms of surrender, the garrison were 
allowed to leave the fort with all the honors of war, and furnished with an 
escort to Fort Edward. On the next morning, when they began their 
march, the Indians, who had spent the night in debauch, began an indis- 
criminate massacre and robbery of the English troops. Despite the 
efforts of Montcalm, many of the disarmed and defenceless soldiers were 
slain, and only a thousand reached Fort Edward. Fort William Henry 
was demolished. General Webb, paralyzed with terror, prepared to retreat, 
although reinforced until his army was more than double that of the 




Ey these repeated failures the spirit of the English ministry in meeting 
the exigencies of the occasion was aroused, and ^Villiam Pitt, a very able 
statesman, was entrusted with the management of affairs. His accession 
gave a new impulse to the national energies, and the campaign for 1758 
opened under more favorable auspices. Three formidable expeditions 
were projected for this year against Louisburg, Ticonderoga, and Fort 
Uuquesne respectively. .Admiral Boscawen, with twenty ships of the line 
and fifteen frigates, together with twelve thousand men under General 
Amherst, arrived before Louisburg on the 2d day of June, and entered 
vigorously upon the siege of that fortress, and on the 26th of July the 
French commander, finding farther opposition useless, surrendered at dis- 
cretion. The army destined for the reduction of Ticonderoga and Crown 
Point under (ieneral .Abercrombie, consisting of nine thousand provincials 
and seven thousand regulars with a fine train of artillery, assembled at the 
head of Lake George, from whence they embarked on the 5th of Julv for 
the fortress at Ticonderoga, which was held by .Montcalm with about four 
thousand men. They landed the next day and began their march, neces- 
sarily leaving their artillery behind until the bridges wliich had been 
destroyed by the enemy could be rebuilt. It was the pur|)ose of .Aber- 
crombie to hasten forward and carry Ticonderoga by storm before rc-in- 
forcements which were expected could arrive. The advance [larty fell in 
with a body of the enemy and Lord Howe, the second in command .ind 
the soul of the expedition, was killed. The loss of Howe was severely felt 
and the incom[>etcnt .^bercrombic, uncertain what course to pursue, fell 
back to the landing place. Colonel Bradstreet advanced, rebuilt tlie 
bridges and took possession of some saw mills destroyed by the enemy 
about two miles from Ticonderoga. to which place .Abercrombie advan< cd 
with his army, and sent forward an engineer with a party of rangers to re- 
connoitre. They reported that the works could be easily taken. Stark, who 
led the rangers, thought differently, and so advised .\bcrcrombie, but he 
rejected his advice and ordered an attack without artillery which, after a 
desperate struggle, was repulsed with the loss of nearly two thousand men. 
With the great force still at his command .Abercrombie, instead of bring- 
ing up his artillery to bombard the French works, .sounded a retreat, and 
unpursued by the enemy, returned to the head of Lake George anil sent 
his artillery and stores to Albany. Colonel Bradstreet, anxious to do 
something to retrieve the disgrace of this shameful retreat, asked to lend 
an expedition against l-'ort Frontenac whiihhad been, with the entire fleet 
on Lake Ontario, surrendered on the ;6lh of August. The i i.minand of 
the expedition against Fort Duiiutsne was given to General I'orbes. Con- 

trary to the advice of Washington, Forbes insisted on having a new road 
cut to the fort. \Vith this and other delays, on the 5th of November the 
English forces were still forty miles from their destination, when it was re- 
solved to go into winter ijuarters. Washington, satisfied of the inability of 
the garrison to resist an attack, asked and obtained permission to push 
forward with his Virginians, and, on his approach, the French set fire to 
the fort and fied. On the 25th, Washington took possession of the ruins 
and changed the name from Duquesne to Pittsburg. 

Although Louisburg and Fort Duquesne had been retaken, still there 
could be no security for the frontier so long as Fort Niagara and the posts 
on Lake Champlain were held by the French, nor even while Canada re- 
mained unsubjugated. Accordingly, adequate preparations were made for 
the campaign of 1759. .\bercrombie was superseded in the command of 
the expedition against Ticonderoga and Crown Point by General .\mherst. 
General Wolfe directed to ascend the St. Lawrence to Quebec, and 
General Prideaux was to take Fort Niagara and proceed to Montreal. He 
was joined by General Johnson at Oswego, from which point he sailed for 
Fort Niagara, leaving Haldimand with a force at Oswego. The latter was 
soon afterwards attacked by a body of French and Indians, but succeeded 
in repulsing them. On the 17th of July, Prideaux appeared before Ni- 
agara, but soon after the siege began he was killed by the bursting of a 
shell, carelessly discharged by one of his gunners. Johnson succeeded to 
the command and the siege continued without cessation. In the mean- 
time, DWubrey, aware of the danger of this important post, collected a 
force of nearly three thousand French and Indian troops and made an 
effort to raise the siege, .\ppri5ed of their approach, Johnson, leaving a 
force to prevent the garrison from co-operating with D'.'\ubrey, marched 
against the advancing enemy. .^ sharp conflict ensued in which D'Au- 
brey's forces were defeated and himself taken prisoner, and the next day 
the garrison surrendered. General .Amherst, with a force of nearly twelve 
thousand men arrived at Ticonderoga on the 22d of July, and in four 
days thereafter the garrison abandoned the post and withdrew to Crown 
Point, which also was abandoned on the approach of .\mherst. 

The strength of Quebec was well known, and General Wolfe left Louis- 
burg under convoy of a large fleet and eight thousand regulars to capture 
it. It was intended that Amherst should sweep Lake Ch.amplain, capture 
.Montreal, and form a junction with Wolfe before Quebec, but he failed to 
accomplish his part, and Wolfe alone had the glory of taking that strong 
fortress. On the 27th of June he landed on the Isle of Orleans, a few 
miles below the city. Montcalm occupied the place with thirteen thousand 
men, and a strongly entrenched camp extended below the city from the 
river St. Charles to the Montmorenci. General Monckton took a position 
at Point Levi, o|>posite Quebec, with but little opposition, and erected bat- 
teries from which the lower town was considerably d.amaged, but no im- 
pression could be made on the walls of the city. General Wolfe crossed 
the St. Lawrence and encamped on the left bank of the Montmorenci 
within cannon shot of the enemy on the opposite side, and resolved to 
storm their strong camp. Monckton crossed the St. Lawrence a little 
above the Montmorenci, and at tiie same time the forces on the opposite 
side forded that stream and joined his division. The grenadiers, impatient 
of restraint, rushed up the bank before the troops that were to support 
them could be made available, and were conseijuently repulsed with fear- 
ful loss, when they took shelter behind a redoubt which had been aban- 
doned by the enemy in the commencement of the action. ,\t this time a 
tempestuous thunder-storm broke over the belligerents, and before it 
abated, night came on, and the English were obliged to recross the river. 
Weeks passed, and the capture of Quebec seemed as far off ,is ever The 
arrival of Amherst was looked for in vain, and Wolfe and his officers, 
weary and impatient of delay, concerted a plan for scaling the Heights of 
.\braham, back of Quebec, and thus forcing the French into an engige- 
ment. The camp at Montmorenci was broken up and the troops conveyed 
to Point Levi, .\dmiral Holni-'S ascended the river with apart of ih.e 
troops and artillery. -Vl nig'it thj remiind.T proceeded up the river, and 
Montcalm, thinking they were about to raise the siege, remained in his 
camp, while Bourg.iinville marched up the river to prevent their laniling. 
Before daylight, tile British returning silently down the river, unpercened 
liy tlie French, landed and as. ended the jirecipice. The Frenc h guard 
was dispersed, and by daylight five thousand regulars were drawn up in 
b.ittle array on the Plains of Abraham. When this intelligen, e re.i. lied 

aim h. 


of hi 

cross the St. Charles to attack the English. .\ fierce battle followed 



in which Loth Wolfe and Mont.alm were slain and the Krenrh arnn ilc- 
featCTt and on the iSth of Sci>tenil>er, five days after. (Jucl)et was sur- 
rendrtc<i to the Fnj;Iish. 

In !hc following Sprini;. He l.cvi. the mki essor of Monti aim. attempted 
the rei;ai)tiirc of Queliee. which had liccn left in i h,;ri;e of Ccneral Murray 
with -even thousand men. I)c Levi adianc cd upon the liiv with an army 
of ten thousand, and .Murray, man hing out to aiuu k him. was defeated 
.and lorecd to retreat to the nty. De Levi followed up his success, but on 
the arrival of the Knglish tleet in the St. Lawrence he retired in great 
alarm to Montreal, (leneral .\mherst apjieared before that city on the 6th 
of SejKemlier. 1760. Murray ajiproached from Quebec on the same day. 
and 00 the d.iy following Colonel Haviland arrived with his division from 
C'rowB Point. I)e Vaudreuil. the governor-general, despairing <jf a suc- 
cessful defence, capitulated on the Sth. .\s the result of this campaign. 
C]anaj£a. with all her dependencies, fell into the hands of the English, and 
hostifities between the colonies of the two nationalities ceased. Heace. 
howerer, was not concluded between England and Kr.ancc until February 
10th, 1763, when France ceded to England all her |)ossessions in Canada. 

Oa the 30th of July, 1760, Ciovernor De I.ancey suddenly died, and 
Cadiollader Colden took charge of the government, being president of the 
council. In .August, 1761, he received his commission as lieutenant-gov- 
ernor. The death of De I-.incey left the seat of chief-justice vacant, and 
the remaining judges, having doubted their ability to issue ]irocesscs since 
the dtath of King George IF, under whom they had held their old com- 
missico;?, urged Colden to appoint a successor. Colden rec|ucstcd the 
Colonial Secretary of State to nominate a chief-justice, and he not only 
nomtoated but appointed iJenjamin Pratt, a lawyer from Boston, to hold 
the pooition at the pleasure of the king instead of during good behavior, as 
formerly. 'I'he people regarding this as an encroachment on their rights 
and liberties, vigorously protested, and the remaining judges even refused 
to act longer unless they could hokl their commissions during good be- 
havior. When the assembly met. Colden recpiested that the salary of the 
chief-justice should be increased, but that body not only refused to 
increase it, but refused to provide for it unless the judges' commissions se- 
cured them their seats during good behavior. The chief-justice having 
served some time without a salar\". the income of the royal (piit-rents of 
the province was a]>propriatcd to his compensation. 

Cieneral Robert Mnnckton was ap|iointcd (Jovernor of New York, and 
assumed the reins of government in October. 1761. but left on the 13th of 
the following month to command an expedition against Martinique, leaving 
the administration of affairs again in the hands of Colden. In 176.^ the 
boundary line between New York and New Hampshire became a subject of 
much controversy. I'hc di-puted territory was the tract of land between 
the Connecticut River and Fake Champlain, comprising what is now 
known as the State of Vermont. The patent granted to the Duke of York 
in 1664 included all the land west of the Connecticut River to the cast side 
of OeUware Hay. Controversies had arisen growing out of the mdehnite 
character of their respective <:harters between the jtrovinces of New \'ork 
and those of Connecticut and Massachusetts relative to their boundaries, 
which been adjusted by negotiation and compromise. The line agreed 
upon las to extend north and south twenty miles east of the Hudson 
River. New Hampshire, regardless of justice or title, insisted upon lia\ - 
ing the same western boundary, .\gainst this claim New York vigorously 
protested, but the protests were unheeded, and the (iovernor of New 
Hamiishire continued to issue grants until, in 1763, one hundred and thirty- 
eight townships had been granteil. .•Manned at this encroachment, and 
in order to stop these proceedings. (lovcrnor Colden. in December, 1763. 
issued a proclamation claiming jurisdiction to the Connci tii ut Ki\er under 
the patent granted to the Duke of York, and commanded the sheriff of 
\lbany county to return the names of all persons who. by virtue "f the 
New Hamiishire grants, had taken possession of Finds west of tlu- ( on- 
necticiit River. 'Ihis was followed by a 1 oiuiter pnir l.iin itu.n fn.m the 
(lovemor of New Hampshire, dec Faring tliat llie to the Diikc of 
York was obsolete, and that his grantees should be pni-ci led in the pos- 
session of their lands. Fhrnugh the HoanI of I'rade the disputed .piesiion 
was referred to the crown, and in 1764 a decision was obtained pronounc- 
ing the Connecticut River the boundary between the pnninces of New- 
York and New Hampshire. Upon this ilei ision the government of New 
York dci Fired the grants from the Ciovernor of New Hampshire illeg.Tl, and 
insisted that the grantees should surn-nder or re-piin base the binds upon 
which Ihcy had settled. To this unjust demand tlie gre.iter pan relused 

to aci ede, and the (lovernor of New York thereupon granted their lands to 
others, who brought ejectment suits against the former occupants, and ob- 
tained judgment at the 1 oiirts of .\lbany. .All attempts, however, of the 
executive officers to enforce these judgments met with a spirited resistant e, 
and led to continual hostilities between the settlers and the government of 


IHK. .APPKilACH ol- IHK KKVI IllTIO.V I'VlKlnllc .AlllTlDK OK .\tw 


The reprcsentatiie .issemblies of the provinces had occ:isionally remon- 
strated against the \anous aus of Parliament which tended to abridge 
their liberties, and the regulation of the Moards of Trade by which their 
manufactures and commerce were injuriously affected : yet their attadi- 
ment to the mother country, and regard for her institutions, had not to anv 
considerable extent been weakened. Hut now the borders of the Revolu- 
tionary struggle were reached, and the time had arrived when unipiestioncd 
submission to the exactions of arbitrary power had ceased to be considered 
a virtue, and knowing the value of their liberties, the colonics firmlv 
asserted their rights. They were heavily burdened by the expenses of the 
late war. for which they had liberally contributed, materially aiding in jiro- 
curing for the English government a vast and valuable accession of tern- 
tor)- : yet their generous sujiport of the pow-er and dignity of the realm, 
the British ministry regartled as only -the exercise of a duty, and before the 
smoke had fairl\- drifted away from the battle grounds, began to devise 
plans for taxing ihem to raise a revenue without their consent. 'I'he first 
measure w-huh aroused the colonists to a lively sense of their danger, was 
the issuing of writs of assistance, which the English ministry had deter- 
minetl to fort:e upon them. These w-ere, in effect, search warrants, w-hereb\- 
custom house officers were enabled the better to collect revenues by 
breaking open houses or stores that were susjwcted of containing concealed 
contraband goods. This exercise of arbitrary pow-er'created indignation 
and alarm, and the lolonisis resolved to resist it. Public meetings were 
held, and remonstrances sent to Parliament, but without effect. The min- 
istry were determintti to deri\e a re\cnue from the colonies, either by im- 
port duties or direc taxes. \ igorously levied and collected, and the writs 
were granted ; but the feelings of the people were such that the custom 
house officers never attem|)ied to carry their new- powers into exec-ution. 

In 1764 (ieorge (Ircnville. then at the head of the English ministry, sub- 
mitted to the House of Commons a pro[iosition for raising a revenue by the 
sale of stam|is to the (olonists. at the same time assuring the colonial 
agents that he wmild not press its iiiimidiate adoption, but leave the |ilan 
open for i onsidcration. W hen intelligeni e re.iclied the colonists that sii, h 
.in act was medil.ited bv tlic ministr\. dis, onlent everywhere visiblc- 
The assemblies -i.iniiocsly refuse.! to recognize the right of 
Parliament to li:\ them without llieir eonsent. anti asserted the sole right 
to tax themselves. Ihey p.;ssed resolutions of remonslrancc; and clearly 
demonstrated lavatiou without reprcseiu.itiim in Parliament was unjust 
and t>ranni(..l; but. m 1 (ir.tLmi.liiuiis disre-nnl of all respectful remon- 
stranies and petitions, the St.imp A, t u;is p,i,sed in Manh. 1765. liy its 
pr.ivisionsno ..r , omuu-r, d. .niiKnls were \.llid unless written or 

nature of the instniment, p.u.ible ,0 otti. ers .ippoiiited by the Crown, The 
passage of this act created feelings of reseniment lluoiighoiit the 1 olonics, 
a.-rompaniecl l.v ,1 deterinin.ilmn lo resist or ev.ick- its enfonemeiit. I he 
people of New N ,,rk cicie .iiiion^ the innst bitter in their opposition to the 
measure. .\n .is,o, i.ition, subng r.sell the >"ns of Liberty, held meetings 
to lbs, iiss pl.ins tor rL-isMiu e I lie .„ t reprinlcd .mil 
p,i-,idcd about the slieels ..I Ne-.v \..rk .iM. b.-,inii,4 the ms, riplion. " I he 
fulK of Lni;l,iii.l. .md ruin of Allien, .i." A .oiu.nillee appointed b> 
the New ^.,rk AsseinbK. 111 I 1. lolu-r. 1 71. |. lo , orresponil with the sewr.ll 


Ihe holdii 

V siig.,esl,,i to llu- several c 

islrale .ig.iinst the Molalion of their liberties. Ibis sug- 
iK responded to, and delegates were appointed, who 

in of New ^■..^k on Ihe 71I1 of ( ). lobcr. 1705. I liisbodv 
i-outiniied m s -„ion two weeks, .uvl a.lople.l ,1 de. lar.uion of rights. .1 
petition to the Km-.;. ,in.l ,1 ineiii. to I'.irh.imeut. in wh.. h the prin. iples 
bv whi, h tlu- ..,!. lilies were -.iverile.l llir..iiL;li the Kev.jliition were . IcirK 



The Stamp Act was to take effect on the first day of November. As 
the appointed time drew near, the excitement increased, and when the dav 
had finally arrived, fiags floated at half mast, bells were tolled as on funeral 
occasions, and many other manifestations of public sorrow and discontent 
were made. The stamped pajter, which had [ireviously arrived, had been 
deposited in the Fort for safe keeping, under the direction of Governor 
Colden. who had taken the oath to execute the Stamp .\ct, but McEvers, 
who had been appointed by the Crown to manage its distribution and sale, 
seeing the manifestations of popular indignation, resigned. In the evening 
the Sons of Liberty appeared before the l''ort, and demanded the stamped 
paper. On being refused, they repaired to the Commons, where they hung 
(fovernor Colden in effigy, and returned to the Fort with his image. Not 
being admitted at the gate, they broke into Colden's stable, and brought 
out his carriage, placed the eifigy in it, paraded the streets, and returned to 
the Fort, where it was again hung. They then made a bonfire, and burned 
the carnage and its accomiuniments. .\ [jarty jiroceeded to the house of 
Major James, an artillery officer who had rendered himself particularlv 
obnoxious, destrojed the furniture, and carried off the colors of the Roval 
.\rtillery regiment. The next day Colden announced that he should not 
issue any of the stamped paper while he remamed in office, but lea\e it 
to his successor, vvho was already on his way from England. But the Sons 
of Liberty, not satisfied with this assurance, insisted that the stamped pajier 
should be delivered into their hands, and threatened to take it by force if 
it was not. The Common Council, alarmed at their ungovernable fury, 
requested that the paper might be deposited in the City Hall, which was 
done, and a guaranty given for its safe kee]>ing. In the meantime, at a 
meeting called by the citizens, a committee was appointed to correspond 
with the merchants of the several colonies, inviting them to enter into an 
agreement not to import certain goods from England, which suggestion was 
promptly acted upon, and the trade with England almost ceased. 

\V'hen the new governor. Sir Henry Moore, arrived, he was disposed to 
carry the Stamp Act into execution, but the unanimous advice of his 
council, together with the unmistakable character of public sentiment, soon 
convinced him of the folly of such an attempt. The Sons of Liberty seized 
ten boxes of stamped paper, on the arrival of a vessel containing it, con- 
veyed it to the ship-yards, and it was consumed in a bonfire. The Stamp 
.\ct was so odious to the colonies, and their opposition to it was so effec- 
tive, that it was repealed on the iSth of March, 1766, but immediately on 
its repeal a bill was passed declaring the absolute right of Parliament " to 
tax the colonies in ail cases whatsoever." The repeal, however, was not 
owing to any appeals from the colonists, for Parliament would not receive 
the petitions of the Colonial Congress, because that body had not been 
summoned to meet by it ; but it was because of the influence of London 
merchants, whose trade was seriously affected by the non-importation 
agreement. Notwithstanding the declaratory act that accompanied the re- 
peal, the news was hailed with a delirium of delight, and the city was in a 
bia/e of illumination in honor of the event. On the King's birthday, 
which occurred soon afterwards, the New Yorkers assembled, and with 
enthusiastic manifestations of loyalty erected a liberty-pole, inscribed to 
the King, Pitt, and Liberty. The Assembly met in June, and the Gover- 
nor reipiested its compli.ince with the demands of the ministry in relation 
to furnishing supplies for the troops stationed in New York city. Some 
controversy ensued upon the subject, and only a partial comjjliance could 
be obtained from the .Assembly. 

The sounds of rejoicing which followed the repeal of the Stamp .\ct had 
h.irdly passed away before the ministry, by its unjust acts, again awakened 
the murmurs of discontent, and the declaratory act began to loom up and 
'l.nnpen all the hopes of the colonists. The ]>artial provision of the .\s- 
vniMy for supporting the troops was distasteful to the Sons of Liberty. 
«ho well knew the soldiers were sent to enforce the abridgement of 
^•"■■rican lilierties, and on their arrival did not disguise their feelings. 
\iimosities arose between them, and the soldiers believing that it was 
""ing to the .Sons of Liberty that the ,\ssembly had not been more liberal 
" furnishing them with sup|)lies, retaliated by cutting down the citizens' 
il ■-.i.ilf. The next day, while the citizens were replacing it, they were 
'-■oili,.,| l,v the troops, ,ind several 01 ihcni wnun.lcd. The offi, ers were 
i"'I;ll, nnl lo this conduct of their nun. .mil ollur onlr.ig.s were com- 
'"■"'■! Ihc Assembly met ag.iin in Noi ember, u hen tlie ( ioi ernor placed 
'■•'"ri- It 111,, instructions of the ministry, recpiestmg that immediate pro- 
"•lon for Ihc troops should be made ; but their outrageous conduct had 
"' d'^gnsied the legislators that they rcfu.sed to comply, and were severely 

censured by the Crown. Parliament declared the legislative powers of the 
Assembly annulled, and forbade the fiovernor and Council to give their 
assent to any act passed by that body until unt|ualified compliance with 
the demands of the Government had been obtained. 

In June, 1767, a bill was passed by Parliament imposing a duty on tea, 
glass, lead, paper, and printers' colors imported into the colonies. This 
act was shortly followed by another, re-organizing the colonial custom- 
house system, and establishing a board of revenue commissioners. When 
intelligence of these acts reached the colonies the excitement was renewed, 
and the non-importation agreement revived. The colonists saw that Par- 
liament intended to tax them in some way, and declared that taxes on trade 
for a revenue were as much a violation of their rights as any other taxes. 
In 176S the .Assembly of Massachusetts addressed a circular letter to the 
other colonies referring to the acts of Parliament, and soliciting their co- 
operation in maintaining the common liberties. This so offended the 
ministry that a letter was sent from the Secretary of State to the several 
colonial governors, forbidding their .Assemblies to correspond with that of 
Massachusetts. When the .Assembly of New York was convened the 
Governor placed the document before it, and requested their obedience to 
its mandates. The .Assembly unhesitatingly refused ; declared its right to 
correspond with any other of the legislatures ; denounced the infringe- 
ments upon its rights by Parliament ; and was dissolved by the Governor. 
The people sustained their representatives, and when a new .Assembly con- 

vened in .April, 1769, it m 
effected by the election. 

The death of Sir He 
1769. His mild and pi 
possible, had endeared hii 
Bv that e\ent the govei 

found that but very little change had been 

iry Moore occurred on the nth of September, 
ident course, in avoiding controversy as far as 
I to the colony, and his death was much lamented, 
inient again devolved upon Cadwallader Colden. 
The English merchants, suffering from the non-importation agreement, had 
joined their petitions with those of the colonists for the repeal of the ob- 
noxious custom-house act, and a circular-letter assured the people of the 
colonies that at the next session of Parliament a proposition would be made 
to abolish the duties on all articles, except tea. This attempt at concilia- 
tion was far from satisfactory ; for the right of taxation was not relinquished, 
and the principle was the same, whether applied to one article or many. 
A bill was introduced in the New York .Assembly, in November, for issuing 
colonial bills of credit to the amount of jTi 20,000, to loan out as a means 
of revenue. The project at first met with f,avor from the popular party, 
but when it was followed by an appropriation to support the British troops 
in the colony, to be taken out of the interest arising from the loan, a revul- 
sion of feeling at once took place. Shortly after, handbills were circulated, 
charging the Assembly with betraying the inhabitants of the colonv, and 
advising the people to meet on a certain day, and express their sentiments 
upon the subject. .Accordingly, a large concourse of people gathered, .and 
emphatically denounced the action of the Assembly. That body passed 
resolutions declaring the handbills libelous, and offering a reward for the 
detection of their authors. John Lamb, who had presided over the popular 
meeting, was arrested and brought before the House, but was soon after 

.Animosities continued between the Sons of Liberty and the soldiers. 
Now that their supplies were granted, the latter no longer held themselves 
in check from motives of policy, and on the evening of the 13th of January, 
1769, renewed their attack upon the flagpole of the citizens. The citizens 
hastily g.nhered for its defence, whereu|ion they desisted. Their failure in 
this attempt, together with the derisive jeers of the citizens, so enraged them 
that they charged upon a group of people in front of a tavern, which was a 
favorite resort of the Sons of Liberty, drove them in, and destroyed llie 
windows and furniture. On the evening of the i6th they cut down the ll.ig- 
staff, sawed it in pieces, and juled the fragments before the battered hotel. 
On the following morning several thousands of the citizens assembled at 
the scene of the outrage, and passed resolutions censuring the riotous jiro- 
ceedings of the soldiers, and recommending that whenever found in the 
street after roll-call they sh,,uld be de.ilt with as enemies to the [.eace of 
the city. The next day pl.i. .inls were found j.osted up, ridii uling the 
resolutions, and daring tlie < itizens to eveciite them. During the day the 
Sons of Liberty caught two or three soldiers in the act of putting up these 
bills, and arrested them. While conducting them to the Mayor's office 
the citizens were att.ii ked by a party of twenty of their comrades, armed 
with cutlasses, and a skirmish ensued— the citizens defending themselves 
with clubs. The soldiers were forced back to Golden Hill, as John street, 



between Oiff street and Burling Slip, was then called. Here they were re- 
enforced, and made a furious charge on the citizens, most of whom were 
entirely unarmed. The latter stoutly resisted until a party of officers ap- 
peared on the scene, and ordered the troojis back to their barracks. 
Several of the citizens were severely wounded, some of whom had not 
participated in the skirmish. Several affrays occurred on the following 
day, in which the soldiers were generally worsted. The Mayor issued a 
proclamation forbidding them to leave the barracks, unless accompanied 
by a non-commissioned officer ; and order was restored. 

Thus terminated the first conflict in which blood was shed in the cause 
of American Revolution. It is usually asserted that at Lexington was the 
first battle fought; but the actual beginning of the combat, so doubtful in 
its progress, and so glorious in its results, was the battle of Golden Hill, on 
the i8th of January, 1770, at least five years earlier. The Sons of Liberty 
purchased grounds and erected another pole, which stood until the occu- 
pation of the city by the British forces, in 1776. 




In October, Lord Dunmore arrived in New York and superseded Col- 
den in the government of the province. .Meanwhile the duties had been 
removed from all articles e.xcept tea, and the non-importation agreement 
was restricted to that article. The new governor brought the news of the 
royal approval of the act authorizing the emission of colonial bills of 
credit. This strengthened the spirit of loyalty, .and affairs went on more 
smoothly. On the 8th of July, 1771, William Tryon was commissioned 
as governor in place of Lord Dunmore. who was transferred to the govern- 
ment of Virginia. By a recent order of the Crown the governor's salary 
was to be paid from the revenue, thus rendering the executive independent 
of the people. The East India Company were suffering severely from the 
non-imimrtation agreement in regard to tea, and in 1773, urgently peti- 
tioned the British government to abolish the duty levied u]ion that article 
in the colonies, offering to submit to double that duty as an exportation 
tariff. This would increase the amount of revenue two-fold, but the 
party in power, deluded by false views of national honor, would not in the 
least relinquish its declared right to tax the colonies. It preferred to 
favor the East India Company by a special act allowing them to ship their 
tea to the colonies free of export duty, which would enable them to sell 
it at a lower rate than in England. By this act the ministers imagined 
that they had outwitted the colonists and that this appeal to their pockets 
would end their resistance. Ships were laden with tea and consignees 
appointed in the colonies to receive it, with the expectation that this new 
act would secure its ready sale. When information of this arrangement 
reached the colonies their indignation was dee]ily aroused. The Sons of 
Liberty rallied and re-soKed that the obnoxious article should not be 
landed under any pretence. The tea conin-.i>sioners aiipointed for .\ew 
York resigned in view of such decided demonsirations of resistance. 

Expecting a consignment of tea would soon reach the city the citizens 
held a mass meeting, and regardless of the efforts of Governor Trvon 
to secure its reception, emphatically resolved that it should not be landed. 
The expected vessel was delayed and did not make its appearance until 
April. 1774. When it arrived off Sandy Hook the pilot, acting under the 
instructions of the vigilance committee, refused to bring the ship any 
nearer the city. Captain I.ockyer, the commander, under escort of the 
committee, was allowed to come up and consult with the consignee, but 
the latter refused to receive the carL;o. and adiised the captain to return 
to England immediately. Meanwhile CipMin Chambers, of New \'..rk, 
professing to be a patriot, arrived in the harbi.r. Hi- vessel was boarded 
by the committee, and upon being <piestioned he denied having any ((m- 
traband goods ; but on being informed by the committee that wiih the 
evidence they had to the contrary they should search his ship, he ad- 
mitted that there was tea on board which he had brought out on a [irivate 
venture. The hatches were forced open and the chests brought on deck 
and given air and water. The next morning Captain I.ockyer was con- 
ducted by the committee to his ship, together with Cliamlicrs. his rom- 
paiiinn in the tea trade, and they were sent on an oiit«ard bound vova-e. 
The New Hampshire grants continued a suun e of serious conicniion. 
The civil officers were opposed by for. e in their cflorts to enforce ihe 

judgments obtained in the ejectment suits, and the New York Assembly 
passed an act declaring resistance to be felony. A proclamation was 
issued by governor Tryon, offering a reward for the apprehension of Ethan 
.\llen and other conspicuous offenders. This was followed by a burlcsijue 
proclamation from the proscribed, affirming their iletermination to resist 
and offering a reward for the governor of New York. In the spring of 
'775. ^' 'I'l^ 'itne appointed for the session of court in the disputed terri- 
tory, the settlers took possession of the Court House and prevented the 
New York officers from entering. The officers thereupon colle. ted a 
force and being again refused admittance fired into the house, killing one 
of the occupants and wounding several others. Some of the officers were 
arrested by the enraged inhabitants and lodged in jail, and maiters 
appeared to be approaching a crisis; but the battle of Lexington occurring 
at this juncture, active hostilities between Great Britain and the colonies 
began and caused a cessation of these difficulties. 

A cargo of tea had arrived in Boston Harbor considerably earlier than 
that in New York, and the Bostonians resolved that it should not be 
landed. The vessels containing the obnoxious article were boarded and 
the chests emptied into the water. The ministry, enraged at this spirited 
resistance, determined to subjugate the colonies. Various measures were 
determined upon which were ruinous to the liberties of the American 
people; among them was the celebrated " Boston Port Bill," closing the 
harbor and destroying the trade of the city to punish the citizens for havin" 
destroyed the tea. The people everywhere were awakened to a lively 
sympathy with Boston, seeing by its treatment what was in store for them. 
A brisk correspondence was carried on between Boston and New York 
through the agency of committees appointed for that purpose. Public 
meetings were held for the consideration of their common grievances, and 
among the measures devised and recommended were the restoration of 
the non-importation agreement and the convening of a Colonial Congress. 
On the 5th of September, 1774, this Congress met at Philadelphia and 
j adopted a declaration of rights, setting forth wherein those rights had 
I been violated; agreed on a petition to the Ring for the removal of their 
1 grievances and also on an appeal to the people of Great Britain and 
I Canada; and then adjourned to meet again in May of the following year 
j The assembly of New York was the only colonial assembly that withheld 
; its approval of the proceedings of this Congress. It, however, addressed 
a remonstrance to Parliament, which, however, was treated as all others 
I had been, with disdain. The assembly adjourned on the jd of .\pril, 1775, 
and was never again convened. Its refusal to appoint delegates to the 
j Continental Congress gave great dissatisfaction, and a provincial conventioi 
of county representatives was called by the people to perform that duty. 
.\t midnight on the iSth of .April, 1775, Cleneral Gage sent a detach- 
ment of British regulars from Boston to destroy the military stores col- 
lected by the .Americans at Concord, .Massachusetts. The expedition was 
conducted with great secrecy, but the troops were discovered and the 
people warned of their coming. On reaching Lexington the following 
morning they found the militia assembled on the green. The latter, dis- 
regariling a command to disperse, were fired upon and several of them 
were killed. The British troops proceeded to Concord, but the inhabitants 
having been ap]irised of their design had concealed the greater part of 
their stores, and the British troops on their return were severely harrassed 
by the militia who had gathered from the neighboring towns. 

When intelligence of this event reached New York the excitement was 
intense. The affair was in fact the signal for a general rush to arms 
throughout the colonics. The Sons of Liberty took possession of the 
arms at ihc arsenal in New ^'.irk 1 uv and di-trihuted them among the 
people. .\t the suggestion 0/ the Committee oi C ibservation a provincial 
government for the city was formcil. consisting of one hundred of the 
principal citizens, who were to control affairs until Congress shoulil other- 
wise order. The British troops at New York having been ordered 10 
Boston, the pro\isional government allowed them to de|iart on condition 
that they should take nothing but their own amis whh thein. Regardless 
of this stipulation they attempted to carry off some military stores belong- 
ing to the city but were defeated in their designs by Colonel .Marinus 
Willett with a party of the Sons of Liberty, who confronted them and sui - 
ceeded in retaking the property and replacing it in the fort. 

While the patriots were lUicking toward Boston the Connecticut assem- 
bly was in session, and several of its members agreed upon a plan lo seize 
the cannon and military stores at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, for llie 
use of the patriot army. I'liey appointed a tommittee to repair to itie 



frontier and raise an expedition, under Colonel Ethan Allen, to surprise 
and capture the posts named. A force of two hundred and seventy men 
was soon collected and marched by night under Colonels Allen and Benedict 
Arnold, to a point on Lake Champlam, ojiposite Ticonderoga They had 
but few boats, and when day began to dawn only the officers and eighty- 
three men had crossed. Fearful that delay would be hazardous, .\llen 
resolved to make an attack before the rear division had crossed, and 
marched at the head of his men directly to the sally port. The sentinel 
snapped his musket at him and retreated to the parade with the patriots 
close at his heels. The garrison were aroused and taken prisoners. Col- 
onel .\llen went directly to the appartmcnts of the commander and 
demanded and obtained a surrender of the fort " in the name of the (" 
Jehovah, and the Continental Congress." Crown Point was taken wiiiiout 
resistance two days afterwards, and the command of Lake Cham|)lain was 
thus secured. 

The Congress reassembled and organized on the loth of 
May, the same day that Colonel .\llen cajitured Ticonderoga, and pro- 
ceeded at once to raise and equip an army for the defence of the colonics. 
New York was ordered to raise three thousand men as her proportion. 
The population of the province during the preceding year had increased 
to 182,251. George W.ashington was commissioned as commander-in- 
chief of the .\merican forces. A provincial Congress of New York, con- 
vened on the 22d of May, authorized the raising of troops, encouraged 
the manufacture of gunpowder and muskets in the province and projected 
fortifications at King's Bridge and the Hudson passes in the Highlands. 
Captain Lamb was ordered to remove the cannon from the battery at the 
footof the city, to a place of greater security. On the evening of .\ugust 23d, 
he proceeded to the execution of the order. The Captain of the British 
war-ship .\sia, being informed of the intended movement, sent a barge 
filled with men to watch it. ,\ shot was fired from the barge into the 
.American force, which was immediately answered by a volley, killing one 
of the crew and wounding se\'eral others. The .Asia then opened a can- 
nonade upon the city, doing damage to the buildings in the 
vicinity of the batten', but the patriots were undismayed, and in the face 
of the cannonade, deliberately removed every gun. Governor "Tryon 
returned from England in June and strenuously exerted himself to promote 
the royal cause. Finding that his position was growing more and more 
unsatisfactory, and having fears for his personal safety, he abandoned the 
city and took refuge on a British sloop of war. 

The Continental Congress directed General Schuyler to collect an 
armament at Ticonderoga, and put that post in a state of defence, pre- 
paratory to an expedition against Canada. The forces under Generals 
Schuyler and Montgomery appeared before Saint John's in Se[ilember. 
General Schuyler was compelled by ill health to relinquish the command 
to General Montgomery and return to Ticonderoga. The fort at Cliam- 
bly, twelve miles below, was captured on the 19th of October, by a 
det.ichment of the American force, aided by friendly Canadians. I'liey 
passed the fort at Saint John's during a dark night in boats with their 
artillery and appeared before Chambly. which was feebly garrisoned, and 
soon surrendered. The s[)oils taken at Chambly materially aided in carry- 
ing on with vigor the -.iege of St. John's, which after several unsuccess- 
ful assaults and numerous mishaps was on the 3d of Nosember compelled 
to surrender. While this siege was in progress. Colonel Ethan .\llen. 
acting without authority from the Commantler-in-chief. in a rash attempt 
to t.ake Montreal with a small advance force, was taken prisoner and sent 
to England. General Carlton, when informed of the capture of, 
made an attempt to re-inforce the garrison at St. John's, l.iu l>cin^ de- 
feated by Colonel Seth Warner, only hastened its fall. Mont- 
gomery moved forward to Montreal, wliii h was taken without resist. ime. 

In September Colonel Benedi. t was .lisjiat. heel by Washington 
with a force of eleven hundred men a^.iiiist Canaila. by way of the Ken- 
nebec river, to aid Montgomery, who iiu.ulini; that prf>\ini c In' \\.i\ of 
L.ike Ch.implain. .After surmounling in. rcililile obstacles .in. I suUcring 
terrible privations and hardships. .\rn. .1.1 at last I'omt Levi. 
o]iposite the city of Quebec. He was se\eral days preiente.l from 
crossing the St. Lawrence by tempestuous On the night .if the 
13th of November he crossed the river and scaled the heights to the 
I'lains of .\hraham. Failing to draw out the garrison he deman.led a 
surrender, whi. h was , ontemiituiuisly refused. Finding all of his atlciupts 
useless he retreated up the fiver ali.uil twenty miles an. I awaitc.l the 
arrival of Montgomery, who joined hiin .m the istof Dec, an.l the 

combined forces then moved toward Quebec. A bombardment of the 
city proved unavailing and it was resolved to storm the town, although the 
whole assailing force was considerably less than the garrison. The lower 
town was to be attacked by Montgomery and .\rnold, and at the same 
time feigned attacks were to be made ujjon the upper town. Montgomery 
descended from the Plains of .\braham to Wolfe's Cove, and marched 
through the drifting snow toward the lower town, while -Arnold with 
another division moved around to the north on the St. Charles, in order 
to form a junction with Montgomery and storm Prescott (iate. Mont- 
gomerv in his ad\ance encountered a block-house defended by a battery. 
Pushing forward in a charge at the head of his men he was instantly killed, 
together with his aids, by a discharge of grape-shot from the battery. 
.\ppalled at this disaster, his division fell back in confusion and made no 
further attempt to force a junction with Arnold. Meanwhile the latter 
had pressed on through the snow-drifts, and like Montgomery charged at 
the head of his men upon a battery, and received a wound which com- 
pelled him to leave the field. Captain Morgan took the command, carried 
the first battery and rushed on to a second, which was also carried, after a 
se\ere contest of three hours' duration. Carlton sent a detachment from 
the garrison to attack them in the rear, and while Morgan was pressing on 
into the town he heard of the death of Montgomery, and finding himself 
unsupported and surrounded, was compelled to surrender. The rest of 
the division in the rear retreated. Colonel Arnold took command of the 
remainder of the army, consisting of about eight hundred men, and in- 
trenched himself a few miles from the city, where he remained until 
reinforced by General Wooster. in .April, who took command and renewed 
the siege. Large reinforcements having arrived at Quebec, the .American 
force was obliged to retreat, and by the superior forces of the enemy was 
soon after driven out of Canada 




In March, W^ashington having compelled General Howe to evacuate 
Boston, and apprehensive that New York would be the next point of at- 
tack, made immediate preparations for putting that city in a posture of de- 
fence. General Lee, with twelve hundred men, was ordered forward from 
Connecticut. The captain of the British man of war Asia had threatened 
to cannonade the city if " rebel troops " were permitted to enter it. It was 
the stronghold of loyalty to the crown and disaffection to the patriot 
cause, and the committee of safety in their timidity protested against Lee's 
entrance, but threats and protests were unavailing. Lee came, and the 
Tories either fled or ceased to oppose the cause of the patriots. Sir Henry 
Clinton, who had been sent over on a secret expedition, appeared off 
Sandv Hook at nearly the same time that General Lee entered 
the city, but finding it in possession of the .American troops, proceeded 
south to attac k Chariest. m. Washington hastened forward from Boston, 
and on the 14th of .April arrived at New York and established his head- 
.piarters in the city. Howe went to Halifax, on leaving Kostoh,"- 
biit about the first of July appeared off Sandy Hook, and shortly after 
landed on Staten Island. He was soon after joined by his brother Ad- 
miral Howe, with a force of British regulars and Hessian hirelings, and 
also bv Clinton and Parker on their return from an unsuccessful attack on 
Charleston, making altogether a combined force of nearly thirtv thousand 
men. Howe was here visited by Governor 'J'ryon. who had contrived a 
plot to capture \\'ashington, blow up the magazine, and secure the passes 
to the c ity. The mayor also was in the conspiracy, and was receiving 
money from Tryon to bribe the .Americans. Two of Washington's guards 
vieldcd to the temptations of the enemy, but the third, who could not be 
l.rilie.l. exp.isecl the j.lot. The Provincial Congress of .New York, seeing 
the hostile demonstrations toward the city, adjourned to White Plains, 
where it convened on the 9th of July, and passed resolutions heartily en- 
dorsing the action of the Colonial Congress and approving of the Declar- 
ation of Independence. 

The plan of the . ampaign on the jiart of the British army near New 
York to t.ike possession of the cily and the islands in its vicinity, and 
t.i as. end the lliiclson, «hile Carllon should move down from Canada and 
thus scpar.ile the Kaslcrn from the oilier Stales. Two ships succeeded in 
oassin" the batteries and as, ended the Hudson to furnish the Tories of 



Westchester with arms, but all their attempts to land were frustrated and 
they returned. On the 22d of August a British force of ten thousand 
men, with forty pieces of cannon, landed on the south side of Long Island, 
in the vicinity of New Utrecht, and ad\anced in three divisions upon the 
Americans stationed in and jbout Drooklyn. The Hessians, under 
De Heister, formed the centre. The left, along N'cw York Bay, was com- 
manded by General (Irant. and the right, which led in the action, was 
commanded l>y Clinton and Cornwallis. While Grant and De Heister 
were diverting the .Americans on the left and centre, the division on the 
right was to make a circuitous march and fall upon the Americans in the 
rear. This division left the Flatlands on the night of the 26th, and guided 
by a Tory, gained possession of the Bedford and Jamaica passes before 
General SuMivan, who commanded in that t^uarter, was aware of the move- 
ment. While this advantage was being gained Grant was making a 
movement toward Brooklyn, and early in the morning came into collision 
with the Americans under Lord Stirling on the present site of Greenwood 
Cemetery, when an engagement took place without material advantage to 
either side. De Heister advanced and kept up a r. '.nonade on the works 
at the Flatbush pass. In the meantime, Clinton liad gained a position in 
the rear of the Continental army and commenced to attack them. 
De Heister then pressed forward, and Sullivan, perceiving the peril of his 
army, attempted to retreat, but it was too late. They were met by 
Clinton's forces and driven back upon the Hessians. Some forced their 
way through the ranks and reached the fortifications, but after a desperate 
struggle and great loss of life, Sullnan himself and the greater part of the 
left wing of the .American army were taken prisoners. Cornwallis hastened 
to cut off the division under Stirling, who was not yet aware of the situa- 
tion. A part of his force succeeded in crossing Gowanus Creek in safety, 
but many were drowned or taken prisoners. Sterling himself was captured 
and a decisive victory gained by the British. About five thousand were 
engaged on the side of the .Americans, of whom five hundred were killed 
or wounded and eleven hundred taken prisoners. These were confined in 
loathsome prison-ships on the East Ri\er. where they suffered indescrib- 
able privations and hardships. Fortunately for the .Americans. Howe did 
not dare to attempt an assault upon their fortifications in Brooklyn, but 
encamped about a third of a mile distant, and waited for the support of 
the fleet. 

On the 2Sth, the day after the battle, the British began to cannonade 
the intrenchments. .At night a heavy fog settled over the battle-field and 
remained all of the following day. When night had added its darkness to 
the mist which had obstructed the vision of the hostile parties through- 
out the day, Washington, with the remainder of thetroojjs on Long Island, 
silently crossed the East river in safety to New York. The British forces 
took possession of the .Ameriean works and prepared to attack New York. 
Washington knew that with his dispirited and undisc iplined army he could 
not successfully oj.pose them, and decided to evacuate the city. On the 
15th of September Howe landed with about four thousand men under 
cover of his fleet at Kipp's Hay, on the east side of .Manhattan Island, near 
the foot of what is now Thirty-fourth street. Two brigades uf militia, sta- 
tioned for defence in that ipiartcr, were panic-stricken and retreated dis- 
gracefully despite all the efforts of their officers to rallv them. Putnam, 
who had charge of one column of the army, was compelled to leave in 
great haste, and narrowly escaped being captured 'Ihc .Americans re- 
treated to Harlem, and the British took possession of New York and held 
it until the 1 lose of the war. 

The next <lay an advance party of the Rriiisli were attacked, and after a 
severe skirmish, driven back with considerable bt^s. Howe, perceivin" 
that the American, were strongly intrenc Iv d upon H.irlcm Heights. ,|e- 
teruiined to gain their rear, cut off their 1 Minnuini< .iiiiiii wiih the nt>rth 
and east, and hem them in. He sent a part ol his iket uji tlie Hudson. 
and transferred the main body oi his annv in l">.its to W estchester coiiniv, 
landing them at Throck's Net k. When Washington saw this movement, 
he sent a detachment to opjiose their landing. .Ml the passes were « ell 
guarded, and a detachment was intrenched at White Plains. The main 
army advanced in that direction and intrenched upon the hills from 
Fordham to White Plains. On the aSth of Oaober the enemy came up 
and attacked (ieneral McDougal, on Chatterti.ns Hill Mc I )oiii;al, after 
an obstinate resistance, was fori ed to fall ba. k to intrciu hnienls above 
White Plains. While Howe was jireparing to storm their encampment al 
this place, \\'ashington withdrew, unobserved by the enenn-, to North 
Castle, where strong breastworks had been erei ted, and awaited an 

j attack; but Howe, not deeming it prudent to assail him in so strong a posi- 
: tion, retreated toward New York, preparatory to the contemplated reduc- 
tion of Fort Washington, which was soon environed by the British forces. 
It was gallantly defended by Colonel Magaw until he was overjiowered bv 
a superior force and compelled to surrender. Fort Lee, on the opposite 
side of the Hudson, was abandoned on the approach of the enemy, and 
Washington, who had crossed the Hudson, retreated through New Jersey 
to the opposite side of the Delaware river, closely pursued by the enemy. 
On the night of the 25th of December, he recrossed the river and gained 
an important victory at Trenton, and, shortly afterwards, another at 
Princeton, and then went into winter quarters at Morristown. 

General Gates, who had been appointed to the command of the North- 
ern forces, apprehensive that General Carlton would follow up his success 
in Canada and attempt to capture Crown Point and Ticonderoga, aban- 
doned the former, and concentrated his forces at the latter. A small 
squadron was formed and placed upon Lake Champlain, under the com- 
mand of Arnold, in August. Carlton constructed a fleet at St. Johns. 
Arnold sailed down the lake, but, being ignorant of the strength of the 
armament preparing against him, fell back to Valcour's Island. On the 
nth of October, the British fleet passed around the east side of the 
island and took up a position south of the .American squadron. An 
action began about noon and continued until night. One of the schoon- 
ers in Arnold's fleet was disabled, and burned to prevent it from falling 
into the hands of the enemy. The British force was greatly superior, and 
as another engagement would have been extremely hazardous, it was 
deemed advisable to return to Crown Point. The night was exceedingly 
dark, and the .Americans succeeded in sailing through the British fleet un- 
observed, although the latter had been stationed in a line across the lake 
in anticipation of such a movement. On reaching Schuyle'r's Island, ten 
miles distant from the British fleet, they stopped to make some repairs, 
and, on being discovered at daylight, were pursued by the enemv. On the 
13th, the British ships, three in number, came up with and attacked the 
" Washington," which, after a heroic defence for some time, was com- 
pelled to surrender, and her commander, with all of his men, were taken 
prisoners. The whole force was now concentrated in an attack upon the 
"Congress," which maintained the uneiiual contest with unflinching reso- 
lution for four or five hours, till it was reduced to a complete wreck. Ar- 
nold then ran the craft into a creek and burned it, together with the rest 
of his boats, and, marching to Crown Point, where the remainder of the 
fleet was stationed, sailed for Ticonderoga. (Ieneral Carlton took pos- 
session of Crown Point .and threatened Ticonderoga, but, abandoning his 
design, he prudently withdrew to Canada. 

The Provincial Congress, which had assembled at White Plains on the 
9th of July, and approved the Declaration of Independence, appointed a 
committee to draw up and report a Constitution. The occupation of New 
York city, and part of Westchester county by the British greatly disturbed 
the labors of the convention, and finally, in February, they repaired to 
Kingston, where the draft of a Constitution was prepared by John lav, 
and adopted on the 21st of .April, 1777. George Clinton was elected Gov- 
ernor under the new Constitution, and took the oath of oftice on the jist 
of July, following. 

The principal object of the British in the campaign of 1777 was to carry 
out their cherished cL-sign of separating the Hastern from the Southern 
colonies, by controlling the Hudson river and Lake Champlain. The most 
prominent feature of the plan was the advance of an a-my from Canada, 
under l.ieutcnant-tJeneral Burgoyne, who h.ul superseded (;encral Carll..n. 
It was intended that Burgoyne should force his way down the Hiids.m as 
far as Albany, while Sir Henry Clinton was t,. pnn ccd ii|i the river and 
join him, and thus a free cniuuini, ati.ui l.ctuccn New Ynrk and Canada 
would be established, and the . ..l.mics separated. In order to distract the 
attention of the .Americans, and the mure compittelv subdue the Western 
border. Colonel St. Lcger was to ascend the St l.awreni e with a detachment 
of regulars, accompanied by Sir John Johnson, with a regiment of loyalists 
and a large body of Indians. From Oswego the expedition was to pene- 
trate the country to Fort Schuyler, on the present site of Rome, and after 
its I apture swee]. the Mnhawk valley and join Burgoyne at Albanv. Bur- 
goyne arrived in Can.ula early in Marih. Cn.ivoidable difficulties having 
greatly emlMrr.isscd his lirst movcuunts, it was past the middle of June 
before his army was assembled at Cuniberlanil Point, on Lake Champlain. 
The main army, of more than seven thousand men, appeared before Crown 
Point, and occupied that post on the 30th of June. Having issued a pro- 



clamation, intended to terrify the inhabitants into submission, Burgoyne 
prepared to invest Ticondcroga, then in command of General St. Clair. 
On the east shore of Lake Champlain, on Mount Independence, there was 
a star-fort, so connected with Ticonderoga, on the west side of the lake, by a 
floating bridge, as to obstruct the passage of vessels up the lake. For want 
of a sufficient force to man all its defences the outworks toward Lake 
George were abandoned on the approach of Burgoyne. A detachment of 
the enemy, under General Fraser, took Mount Hope, and thereby cut off 
St. Clair's communication with Lake George ; and at the same time the 
abandoned works of the .\mericans, more to the right, were occupied by 
General Phillips. On the south side of the outlet of Lake George, and op- 
posite Mount Indei)cndence, is a lofty eminence, then known as Sugar-loaf 
Hill, which was found to completely command the works both at Ticon- 
deroga and Fort Independence. A battery was planted on its summit by 
the British during the night, and St. Clair, on perceiving his critical situa- 
tion, at once called a council of war, by which it was unanimously decided 
that immediate evacuation of Fort Ticonderoga was the only chance of 
saving the army. During the ensuing night such military stores and provi- 
sions as could be removed, together with the sick and disabled troops, 
were embarked on batteaux, and sent up the lake to Skencsborough, as 
WTlitehall was then called, under convoy of five armed galleys and a de- 
tachment of six hundred men, under Colonel Long, while the main body 
of the army was to cross the lake and proceed to the same point by land. 
The garrison passed over the floating bridge to Mount Independence 
about two hours before daylight, and would probably have made their re- 
treat undiscovered had not the house of the commander at Fort Indepen- 
dence been set on fire just at this time. This unfortunate occurrence 
threw the Americans into disorder, for the light of the conflagration re- 
vealed their movements to the British, w ho made immediate preparations 
for pursuit. St. Clair's force made a disorderly retreat to Hubbardton. On 
the following morning General Fraser came up with his brigade, and com- 
menced an attack. The conflict was for some time fierce and bloody. The 
Americans had almost surrounded the left " ing of the British when General 
Riedesel came up with reinforcements, and St. Clair made a precipitate 
retreat. The boats which conveyed the military stores and the detachment 
of Colonel Long reached Skencsborough safely. But Burgoyne In a few- 
hours broke through the boom and bridge at Ticonderoga, in which the 
Americans had placed much reliance, and with his fleet rapidly pursued 
them ; and while they were landing at Skenesborough three regiments dis- 
embarked at South Bay with the intention of gaining the road to Fort Ed- 
ward, and cutting off their retreat. On the approach of the British gun- 
boats Colonel Long's men destroyed three of their galleys and several 
buildings, and escaped capture by a rapid flight to Fort Anne. Two days 
after the battle at Hubbardton, St. Clair retreated to Fort Edward. Bur- 
goyne was joined at Skenesborough by the detachments of Fraser and 
Riedesel, and prepared to push forward to the Hudson. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Hill was sent forward to Fort Anne to intercept such as might 
retreat to that post, and to watch the movements of the .Americans. This 
post was guarded by Colonel Long, with about five hundred men, mostly 
convalescents. Hill's force exceeded this number. Colonel Long did not 
wait for an attack, but marched out to give battle, and gained a decided 
advantage; but their ammunition giving out, they were obliged to give way; 
and aware of their inability to hold the Fort against General I'hillips, who 
was approaching with reinforcements, set fire to it, and fell b.ack on Fort 




Burgoyne remained at Ske 
mcnls were building bridges 
delay greatly diminished hi' 
sent a detachment under Col 

le.sborough nearly three weeks while detai h- 
ind repairing the road to I-'ort .Vnne. This 
supplies, and on arriving at Fort .\nne he 
mcl Baiim to surprise and capture a i^uantity 

of stores which he had heard was collected at Bennington, and with the 
expectation of receiving material aid from the loyalists m that .piarter. 
flencral Schuyler had not sufficient force to defend Fort Edward, and 
throwing all the obstructions possilile in Burgoyne's wav from there to 
Fort Anne, retreated down the valley of the Huds.m. Colonel liaum on 
his march to Bennington, reached Cambridge on the ijth of August. 

The American General Stark in the meantime had repaired to Benning- 
ton, and was collecting the militia to join his brigade in opposing any 
invasion in that direction. Hearing that a party of Indians were at Cam- 
I bridge, he detached Colonel Gregg to attack them; and shortly after, 
I learning that a large body of the enemy were in their rear marching on 
Bennington, he moved immediately to the support of Gregg. After going 
about five miles lie met him retreating, and Colonel Baum not more than 
a mile in the rear. Stark at once disposed his army for battle, and Baum 
perceiving its strength began to intrench, and sent to Burgoyne for rein- 
forcements. The next day some skirmishing took place, and on the follow- 
ing day, August i6th. Stark arranged his army for an attack. Two de- 
tachments were sent to flank the enemy, while another was attracting 
their attention in front. .As soon as the attack on the enemv's flank began 
the main body pressed forward, and after two hours fierce conflict, gained 
a decisive victory. The remnant of Colonel Baum's force in its flight was 
met by Colonel Breyman with reinforcements, who pressed forward with the 
combined force to regain the abandoned intrenchments. Stark was also 
reinforced, and the conflict was renewed with vigor. The enemy at length 
giving way were pursued until darkness came to their rescue and enabled 
them with their thinned and broken ranks to escape to the main army. 
Colonel Baum was mortally wounded and taken prisoner. The total loss 
of the enemy was, in killed, wounded and prisoners, nine hundred and 
thirty-four, and all their artillery and military stores. Up to this time all 
had gone well with the boastful Briton, and his path had been illuminated 
with victory, but with the failure of this expedition his glory began to wane 
and his sky to grow dark and threatening, where hitherto it had been 
bright and serene. 

While these events had been taking place with the main division, the 
expedition under Colonel St. Leger had invested Fort Schuyler, earlier 
and even now more commonly called Fort Stanwix on the site of Rome. 
A movement of the Mohawk valley militia to its relief, was arrested by 
the bloody battle of Oriskany, but while most of the beseigers were 
engaged in this coiiflict. their camp was sacked by the garrison ; and 
learning that a more formidable provincial force was on its way to raise the 
selge of the fort, which had held out tenaciously, St. Leger abandoned his 
undertaking and returned to Canada. 

Schuyler, with his army, marched down the Hudson to Stillwater, and 
finally to the mouth of the .Mohawk, still keeping his headquarters at Stillwater 
and exerting all his energies for the augmentation of his force, preparatory 
to 3 conflict with Burgoyne. On the 19th of August, at the instigation of 
his enemies he was very unjustly superseded by General Gates. On the 
Sth of September, the .Vmerican army advanced to Bemis's Heights, above 
Stillwater, which had been fortified under the superintendence of Kosci- 
usko. The British detachment sent to Bennington, instead of bringing 
b.ick any plunder had lost largely of what they already had, as well as 
most of the force, and Burgoyne had hardly recovered from this unex|)ected 
shock when the news was brought him of the defeat of St. Leger at F'ort 
Schuyler. These disasters had a very depressing effect upon his army 
and the Indians and loyalists began to desert, while the .Americans were 
greatly inspirited. In view of these difficulties the British commander 
deemed it expedient to halt at F'ort Edward. Stores having been brought 
forward from the posts on Lake Champlain, he proceeded down the Hml- 
son, and on the iSth of September encamped at Wilbur's Basin, two 
miles from the .American position, and prepared for battle, and the 
next day advanced to the att.ack in three divisions. Cieneral Riedesel 
commanded the left column, which with the heavy artillery moved down 
a road along the margin if the river. The centre was commanded by 
Burgoyne in person, and the left by General Fraser. The front and 
flanks of both the centre and right, were covered by Indians, Tones 
and Canadians. The .American right, which was the main body of their 
army, was commanded by (iates, and the left by (jeneral .Arnold. Col- 
onel Morgan was detached from Arnold's division and encountered the 
Canadians and Indians in the advance and drove them back; but they 
being reinforced the contest resulted in both parties finally falling within 
their respective lines. The action soon became general and the com- 
bined force of Burgoyne and Eraser was engaged with .Vrnold's divis- 
ion. .Vrnold called upon Gates for reinforcements but they were re- 
fused, and he, resolving to do what he could with the forte at his com- 
mand, continued the contest with the most obstinate antl determined 
resolution, both armies alternately advancing and retreating without a 
decisive victory for either. The conflict did not cease until the shades 



of night ffll upon the rombatants. The Americans thun retired to 
their encampment unpursued by the enemy. The British forces bivou- 
acked on the field of battle. The total loss of the former was three 
hundred and nineteen, and that of the latter, more than fi\'e hundred. 
Few actions have l>een more remarkable for determined bravery on both 
sides than this. The number of the British in the engagement was 
about three thousand, and that of the Americans five hundred less. 
Both parties claimed the victor)-. The object of the British was to ad- 
vance and gain groimd, which they failed to do ; while it was not the 
intention of the An^ericans to advance, but to maintain their jiosition, 
which they accomjiiished, and it is therefore not difficult to determine 
on which side the advantage lav. Though the British remained in pos- 
session of the battlefield through the night, they retired to their camp 
in the morning without adxancing to renew the conflict. GeneraUiates, 
in his report of the battle, said notliing of Arnold or his di\ision, 
to whom all the honor was due. He was jealous of the reputation 
that officer had earned, and of his growing po[)ularity with the army, and 
carried his meanness so far as to take from him the command of his 
division. Both parties strengthened their positions after the battle, 
but no general engagement to<jk place for upwards of three weeks. 

Burgoyne saw with painful an.xiety that the American forces were 
rapidly increasint^, v.-hile his own were daily diminishing by the desertion 
of his Indian allies. His provisions began to fail, and the vigilance of the 
Americans not only prevented any supplies reaching him, but deprived him 
of all communication with Sir Henry Clinton for assistance. At length he 
was obliged to put his troops on short allowance, and hearing nothing from 
Clinton, who was to make a diversion in his favor, became seriously 
alarmed. .\mid the thickening perils, he found himself reduced to the 
alternative of fighting or retreating. The latter was not only inglorious 
but difficult, and he resolved to make a reconnaissance in force, for the 
twofold puq)0se of xscertaining definitely the position of the enemy, and 
of collecting forage to su]>ply his camp, of which it was in pressing need. 
On the 7th of October he, at the head of fifteen hvmdred men, and accom- 
panied by Generals Riedesel, Phillips, and Fraser, advanced toward the left 
wing of the American position. The movement was seasonably perceived i 
by the .\mericans, and the enemy were repulsed and driven back to their | 
lines by Morgan, who, at his own suggestion, was dispatched by a circuit- i 
ous route to gain the nght of the British, and fall ujton the flankmg party 
of Fraser at the same time an attack was to be made on the left of the 
British. General Poor advanced towards an eminence upon which were i 
stationed the British grenadiers and the artillery of .Ackland and W illiams. | 
He had given them orders not to fire until after the first discharge of the 
British guns, and they moved onward toward the frowning battery in awful j 
silence until a sudden volley of grape-shot and musket balls made havoc I 
among the branches of the trees, scarcely a shot taking effect upon the 
advancing column. At this signal Poor's men s])rang forward and de- 
livered their fire, and opening to the right and left jiressed furiouslv u[>on 
the enemy's flanks and gained the top of the hill, where the struggle be- 
came fierce and obstinate in the evtreine. One cannon was t.iken and ! 
retaken fi\e successi\e times, finally remaining in the hands of the .\meri- ' 
cans, when Colonel Cilley turned it upon the retreating enemy, and fired 
it with their own ammunition. Williams and .Ackland were both taken 
prisoners, the latter being severely wounded ; and the grenadiers fled in 
confusion, leaving; the field in jmsscssion of the .-Kmericans, thickly strewn 
with their and wounded, 

.\s soon as the action was begun at this point Morgan's command rushed 
down like an .avabmche from the ridge skirting the flanking party of Fraser, 
and a^^aik■.! theniVith su. h a destructive fire that they were lla^lllv driven 
back to their lines. Then, by :i rapid movement, he fell upon the right 
flank of the British with >iicli impetuosity as to throw them into mnfuMon. 
and Major Dearborn, coming up at this criticni moment, c ompleleil their 
discomfiture. The right and left of the British lines were thus broken, 
but the centre had remained firm. General .Arnold, who had so unjustU* 
lieen deprived of his command, had been watching the progress of the 
battle in great exi itement, and now mounted his horse and started for 
the battle-field. (lates sent Major Armstrong to order him back, but 
Arnold, suspecting his errantl, was ipiickly beyond his reach, and ex- 
posed to such perils that the messenger was not anxious to follow him. ing himself at the head of the men he formerly comm.inded, he 
nished like an un* hained tiger upon the British centre, which soon began 
to give way under his furious assault. General Fraser, who was com- 

manding on the right, seeing the centre in such a critical situation, brought 
up reinforcements, and by his courage and skill restored order. He soon 
fell mortally wounded ; dismay seized the British soldiers, and a panic 
s|ircad all along the line, which was increased by the apfiearance of Gene- 
ral Ten Broeck with a reinforcement of New \'ork militia. Burgoyne 
finding himself unable to keep up the sinking courage of his men, aban- 
doned his artillery and ordered a retreat, and the whole force fell back 
precipitately to their intrenchments. The .Americans pursued them, and 
scarcely were they within their fortifications when, under a terrific shower 
of grape and musket balls, .Arnold assaulted them from right to left, forcing 
the outworks, and driving the enemy to the interior of their camp. Here 
he overtaken by Major Armstrong, who delivered to him Gates' order 
to return to camp, fearing he "might do some rash thing." He returned, 
but not until he had achieved a glorious victory, and jnit his life in great 
jieril without a command, while Gates had remained in camp, receiving 
the honors that justly belonged to others. Night came on and the con- 
flict ceased, and before dawn Burgoyne abandoned his encampment, now 
rendered untenable, and the Americans eariy in the morning took pos- 
session of it. 

Burgoyne. who in the beginning of the campaign had boastfullv ex- 
claimed, in general orders, " Britons never retreat," now found that there 
was no alternative for him but retreat, and when night came on again he 
began his retrograde movement in the midst of a drenching rain. This 
had been anticipated, and General Fellows, previous to the acrion on 
the 7th inst., had been sent with a detachment to take a position opposite 
Saratoga ford, on the east side of the Hudson. .Another detachment of 
two thousand men, was now sent to occupy the heights beyond Saratoga, 
to prevent Burgoyne's retreat upon Fort F.dward ; and still another was 
stationed at the ford above. On the evening of the 9th Burgoyne halted 
for the night at Fish Creek. The main portion of his army forded the 
creek and encamped on the opposite bank, while he, with a brigade as 
a guard, passed the night radier iiicrniv wiili some companions in a 
house belonging to General Schuyler. This delay lost him his army. 
Finding the ford across the Hudson strongly guarded by the detachment 
under Fellows, he concluded to continue his retreat up the river to Fort 
Edward. He sent forward a party to repair the bridges, and a detach- 
ment to take possession of the fort, but finding the -Americans stationed 
in force upon the heights, they fell back to the main army. In the after- 
noon of the Toth General Gates came up with the bulk of the .American 
army in pursuit, and occupied the high ground on the south side of Fish 
Creek, opposite the enemy's encampment. The detachment sent forward 
to Fort Edward led General Gates to believe the rumor that the main 
army of Burgoyne had retreated, and he resolved to fall upon he 
supposed was the rear guard. Burgoyne was aware of Gates' error, and 
hoping to profit by it, concealed his troo|is for the pur|iose of falling upon 
the .Americans as soon as a favorable opportunity should be afforded. 
F.arly the next morning, and in a thick fog, which both jiarties con- 
sidered favorable to their re^pcctne designs, the army of (lates advanced. 
Morgan was ordered to cro-^ ihr 1 r^ck and begin the action, .wd at 
once fell in with the British pi. keis. who fired upon him and killed several 
of his party. His reception led hiiu to lic!ie\e that the rumor of the 
enemy's retreat was false; that the ui.un bodv of Burgovne's force was 
still near, and that the |iosition of hl^ own corps was critical. .Another 
brigade had already irossed and captured a picket-guard, and another 
was .about to follow, when a deserter frum the enemv came in, reportiUL' 
that the entire llritis'n army was at,]. and prepared lor iMttle : whi. h 
statement was shortly after loiihnnc.l l.v tlic c aplirrc .if a re. nnnoitcr- 
ing party .\s the f.ig cleared ,i« u .md c\p..>cil the position of Imtli 
armies, a retreat wasilccmed ,i.U i.,il,lr hi li.i.l . n.sscd 
the creek. .\s so.m a-, they tiirnc.l .ili.iirl, the british, uli.i were u.itdiing 
their movements and awaiting their e. opened fire upon them, but 
they made their retreat with the Ins^ nf nnlv a few men. 

Burgoyne was now completely em irmud, (In the opposite bank of 
the Hudson, Fellows was entrenched, with heavy batteries to 0]ien on liilll 
if he should attempt to cross the river. Fort Edward was held by an 
.American force of two thousand men. On the south and west the main 
body of the Americans was posted, while sui.ill dcta. hiiunts were in all 
directions watching his every movement, and contmiLillv harrassing his 
outposts. His jirovisions were almost exhausted, and none could be ob- 
tained, and it extremely hazardous to attempt to get water from the 
river or creek. There was no place of safety for the sick and wounded. 



and the women and children, as well as soldiers and officers, were con- 
stantly exposed to the cannon balls that were flying about the encamp- 
ment On the 1 2th he held a consultation with his generals, and 
it was decided to retreat that night, but the returning scouts brought 
such discouraging intelligence that the movement was postponed till 
mommg. During the night the Americans crushed the river on rafts, 
and erected a batter)' on Burgoync's left flank. Retreat was now hope- 
less. The next morning a general council was called, when it was unani- 
mously decided to open negotiations with lleneral Gates for an honor- 
able surrender. This conclusion was hastened by the passage of a cannon 
ball across the table at which Burgoyne and other generals were seated. 
The negotiations were not completed until the i6th, when the terms of 
his surrender were agreed upon, and were to be signed by the commander 
on the following morning. During the night a Tory succeeded in reach- 
ing the British camp, from down the river, who reported that Clinton had 
taken the forts on the Hudson and ascended the river as far as Esopus. 
This news so excited Burgoyne's hopes that he resolved not to sign the 
articles of capitulation, and to gain time he wrote Gates that he had been 
iofonned that a part of his army had been sent toward Albany, which, 
if true, should be considered a breach of faith, and that he could not 
give his signature until convinced that the strength of the Americans 
had not been misrepresented. He was informed by Gates t i his anny 
was as strong as it had been before these negotiations took place, and 
unless the articles were signed immediately, he should open fire upon 
him. Burgoyne thereupon reluctantly signed the articles of capitulation. 
The surrender of BurgoxTie was of the utmost importance to the Ameri- 
cans in their struggle for inde])endence. The preponderance of success, 
up to this time, had been on the side of the British. The reverses on Long 
Island and at Xew York in the previous year, together with the recent 
defeats in Pennsylvania, had darkened the military horizon with thick 
clouds of doubt and dismay. All eyes were now anxiously watching the 
army of the north, v/hich had also been forced to relinquish Ticondcroga 
and Fort Edward at the commencement of the campaign, and shaded the 
prospect of successful resistance in that direction. The news of a com- 
plete victory filled the patriots with joy and hope, and appalled the Tories, 
who now began to tremble. 


When Burgoyne first perceived the difficulties gathering around him, he 
urged Sir Henry Clinton to hasten the expedition up the Hudson to join 
him, hot Clinton was obliged to wait for the arrival of reinforcements, and 
it was the 4th of October before he was ready to move. The first object 
to be accomplished was the reduction of Forts Montgomery and Clinton, 
in the Highlands. These had been constructed to i)revent the ships of the 
enemy from ascending the river, and each was indefensible in its rear, and 
feebly garrisoned. Clinton landed first at Ver[)lanck's Point, and under 
cover of a fog dropped down with a part of his force to Stony Point, where 
he landed, and marched toward the forts. These were commanded 
liy Gov. George Clinton, and his brother, James. Governor Clinton, on 
learning that the enemy were moving up the river, sent out a scouting party 
to watch their movements, and from them he first learned of their having 
landed at Stony Point. A small force was then sent out by Gov. Clinton, 
which met the advance guaid of the British about three miles out. .Shots 
were exchanged, and the -\mericans retreated to tlle forts. Gov. Clinton 
then sent out a stronger detachment to oppose the enemy's advance, and as 
this was soon engaged in a sharp contlict, another was sent to its assist- 
ance. They were pre-.sed back by a superior force, but not until the enemy 
had met with considerable loss. Cpon nearing the forts the British were 
divided into two columns, and made a simultaneous assault upon them. 
After an incessant fire for several hours the liritish general demanded an 
instant and unconditional surrender. The proposition was rejected, and 
the conflict continued until evening, when part of the besieged fought their 
way out. Governor Clinton made his escape, and likewise his brother, 
though -mounded. Fort Constitution abandoned on the approach of 
the British, which gave them command of the river. A det.achment, under 
Vaughn and Wallace, landed willuiiit mui h opposition, and burned Kings- 
Inn. On hcanng of the disastroM, tcrminalion of liurgovne's campaign 
• he expedition returned to New Vork 

It was obvious that France had no sympathy with Great Britain, but 
looked upon the revolt of her colonies with secret satisfaction, and earnestly 
desired their separation from England. By the war which closed in 17C3 
she had been compelled to relinquish her extensive possessions in North 
America, and she rejoiced to have an opportunity to assist in the infliction 
of a like dismemberment of territory upon Great Britain. The commis- 
sioners at the Court of \'er^ailles, from the revolted colonies, although not 
alwa\'s openlv countenanced, were by no means discouraged, and aid was 
frequently extended to the Americans in a clandestine manner. When in- 
telligence of the capture of Burgoyne reached France, her vacillating 
policy ended, and, casting off all disguise, she entered into a treaty of alli- 
ance with, and on the 6th of February. 1778, acknowledged the indepen- 
dence of the United States. This event made the patriots almost certain 
of ultimate success. 

The Indians and Tories, who had been dispersed at Fort Schuyler, were 
meditating mischief, and making preparations through the winter of 1S77-S 
to invade the Mohawk Valley. Brant, the Indian chief who had prepared 
the ambuscade at Oriskany, was foremost in these threatening movements. 
Sir John Johnson and Colonel John Butler were also active in enlisting 
Tory refugees. A council was called by the Revolutionary authorities, to 
secure, if possible, the neutrality of the Indians. It met at Johnstown in 
March. None of the Senecas, the most powerful of the Six Nations, were 
present, and but few of the Mohawks. General La Fayette, who was to 
command a proposed expedition against Canada, attended the council. 
His attention was called to the exposed condition of the settlements, and 
he directed the building and strengthening of fortifications for their 
protection. The first hostile movement of Brant was the destruction of the 
small settlement of Springfield, at the head of Otsego Lake. On the 2d of 
Julv an engagement occurred on the upper branch of the Cobleskill, be- 
tween an Indian force of four hundred and fifty, and fifty-two Americans. 
The latter were overpowered. The Indians burned the dwellings, and 
slaughtered the cattle and horses they could not take with them. The 
settlers generally were continually harrassed by marauding parties of 
Indians during the summer, but on the approach of winter. Brant withdrew 
with his forces toward Niagara, and hostilities apparently ceased. On his 
way to Niagara he was met by Walter Butler, a fugitive from justice. He 
had been arrested as a spy, and condemned to death, but had been re- 
prieved through the intercession of friends, sent to Albany, and con- 
fined in prison, from which he made his escape. He joined his father. 
Col. John Butler, at Niagara, and obtained the command of two hundred 
Tories, to unite with Brant in an incursion into the Mohawk Valley. Upon 
meeting Brant he prevailed upon him to return and attack the settlement 
of Cherry Valley. Colonel Alden, « ho was in command of the fort at that 
place, received inform'ation of the intended attack, but treated it with un- 
concern. He refused to permit the settlers to move into the fort, believ- 
ing it to be a false alarm. He, however, assured them that he would keep 
scouts on the look-out. to guard against surprise, and he did send them, 
but thev fell into the hands of the savages, who extorted from them all 
necessary information respecting the situation. On the morning of the nth 
of No\ember the enemy entered the settlement, under cover of a thick and 
mistv atmosphere, and began an indiscriminate slaughter of men, women, 
and children. The house of Mr. Wells, of which Colonel .\lden was an 
inmate, was surrounded, and the whole family brutally m.ass,icred. The 
colonel, in attempting to escape, was tomahawked and scalped. Thirty- 
two of the inhabitants, mostly women and children, and sixteen soldiers of 
the garrison, were slain in the most horrible manner. The whole settle- 
ment was plundered, and every house burned. Nearly forty prisoners were 
taken, and conducted down the valley to encamp for the night, promi-.- 
cuouslv huddled together, some of them half naked, without shelter, and 
no resting-place but the cold ground. The next day, finding the women 
and children cumbersome, the captors sent most of them back. The 
infamous Butler not only the author of this savage expedition. but he 
was the director of all the cruelty pr.icliced. With the destruction of this 
settlement hostilities ceased along the frontier until the following spring. 

Through the winter Brant and his colleagues were making preparations 
for a renewal of their incursions, and necessity seemed to demand the 
infliction of severe punishment ujion the savages who threatened to deso- 
late the border settlements. Accordingly on the i8th of .\pril, 1779, Col- 
onel Van Schaick was sent out with a force, from Fort Schuyler, to make 
a descent upon the Onondagas. They had approached to within a few 
miles of their villages and castle before their occupants were aware of the 



expedition against them. The Indians fled to the woods, leaving ever>'- 
thing behind them, even to their anii*i. Their villages, three in number, 
consisting of about fifty houses, were burned, and their provisions and 
cattle destroyed. The council-house, or castle, was spared from the flames, 
but a swivel found in it was rendered useless. Thirty-three of the Indians 
were taiben prisoners, and twelve killed. The expedition then returned to 
Fort Schuyler, arriving on the 24th, having accomplished its object in six 
days, without the loss of a man. White this short campaign was in progress. 
the lower section of the Mohawk was visited at different points by scalping 
parties, and the settlements menaced with the fate of Cherry Valley. The 
Onondagas, fired with indignation at the destruction of their villages, re- 
taliated by a descent upon the st-iilcment at Cobleskill, and more than 
twenty of the militia were killed in defending it. The settlement at Min- 
isink, being uni)rotected, Brant resolved to ravage it. On the night of the 
19th of July, at the head of a party of Indian^ and Tories, disguised as 
savages he silently approached the town and had set fire to several houses 
before the inhabitants were aroused to the danger of their situation. All 
who could sought safety in flight, leaving everything to the invaders, who 
plundered and destroyed all their property, and retired to (.irassy Brook, 
where Brant had left the main body of his warnors. When intelligence 
of this outrage reached Goshen. Doctor Tu^ten, Colonel of the local militia, 
ordered them to meet him at Minisink. and one hundred am' " irty-nine 
responded to the call. A council was held, and it was resolved to pursue 
the invaders. Colonel Tusten was opposed to such a hazardous undertak- 
ing with so small a force, but he was overruled, and the line of march 
taken up. The next morning the pursuers were joined by Colonel Hathom, 
with a small reinforcement. On coming to the place where the Indians 
had encamped the previous night, it was ob\ious from the number of 
camp-fires that the force was much larger than had been expected, and the 
leading officers advised return rather than pursuit, but their rash associates 
were determined to proceed. Soon after, Captain Tyler, who was with a 
scouting pirty, was shot by a hidden foe. hut this circumstance, although 
it gave the company some alarm, did not check the pursuit. When the 
party reached the hills overlooking the Delaware, they saw the enemy 
marching toward the fording place near the mouth of the Lackawaxen. 
Haihorn determined to intercept them, and arranged his men accordingly. 
Hills intervened between the opi)Osing forces, and they soon lost sight of 
each other. Brant was watching the movements of the whites, and antici- 
pating their design turned as soon as they were lost to view, and throwing 
his whole force in their rear, formed an ambuscade. Not finding the 
enemv »here they expected. Hathom's men were greatly perplexed, and 
retracing their steps discovered the Indians in an unexpected quarter and 
greativ superior in numbers. The latter managed to cut off from the main 
body of Hathom's troops about one-third of his entire force in the com- 
mencement of the skirmish. From the summit of ahiil the militia maintained 
the une<]ual conflict until their ammunition was exhausted, and then 
attempted to retreat, but only thirty succeeded in m.iking their escape from 
their merciless enemies. When the retreat began, there were seventeen of 
the wdunded behind a ledge of rocks under the 1 .ire nf Doctor Tusten, 
and in this helpless condition they were ruthlessly murdered, together with 
the doctor, by the Indians. 

But a fearful retribution was at hand, and snon fell on the Indians with 
destructive force. In the spring it was determined to send a large expedi- 
tion into the Indian coL:ntry; and so severely chastise the savages, and 
Tory allies as to discourage them from renewing their depredations upon 
the settlements. (Icneral Sullivan was pl.iced in the chief command of 
this e\|K:dition, the plan of which was a combined movement in two divis- 
ions ; one from Pennsylvania, to ascend the Susquehanna, uniler Sullivan 
himself, and the other from the north, under (leneral James Clinton. The 
two divisions were to unite at Tioga. On llie 17th of June. Clin- 
ton ciimmenced the transportation of his boats across the countr\ from 
Canajoharie to Otsego Lake, and proceeded to its outlet, where heauaitcd 
orders from Sullivan. Whik 'here he built a dam to confine the water 
within the lake, hoping by its sudden to render the navigation of 
the river more certain in case of a long drought. This not onlv i.u ilitated 
the transportation of his boats ujum the ri\er, but it caused an o\ertl.)\\ of 
its bants and destroyed the corn-fields belongmg to the Indians, who being 
ignorant of the cause of their loss were greatly astonished and alarmed. 
General Clintcm formed a junction with Sullivan at Tioga on the 22d of 
August, and the tnmbined forte moved cautiously ii[> the Tioga and 
Chemung. On the 29th the enem\ were discovered occupying an advan- 

tageous position near the present city of Elmira. The light infantry in 
the advance formed for battle, and while waiting for the main body to 
come up, skirmishing was carried on with small parties of Indians who 
would sally out from their works, fire, and retreat, and make the woods 
echo with their hideous war-whoops. The Indians occupied a hill on the 
right, and Sullivan ordered Poor, with his brigade to advance against them, 
while the main body of the army attacked them in front. As Poor began 
to ascend the hill he was fiercely opposed by the savages under Brant, 
and the Tories under Sir John Johnson. It was some hours before the 
latter began slowly to give way. Having gained the summit of the hill. 
Poor moved against the enemy's left flank, which he soon carried, and 
perceiving that they would be surrounded they abandoned their works and 
made a precipitate retreat. Sullivan's army encamped upon the battle- 
field that night, and the next day the wounded were sent back together 
with the heavy artillerv. and the march was resumed toward Catharines- 
town, where the expedition arrived on the 2d of September ; on the follow- 
ing day the place was destroyed, together with the corn-fields and orchards. 
The Indians fled before the inv.iders, who continued their work of destruc- 
tion, pillaging the villages of their enemies and thus depriving them of all 
means of subsistence. On the 7th. Sullivan's army reached Kanadaseagea. 
the capital of the Senecas. This they destroyed, as well as all the smaller 
villages on their way to the Genesee river, which was reached and 
crossed on the 14th. The Genesee Castle was doomed to meet the fate of 
the rest, and the whole surrounding country, including the town which 
comprised 120 houses, was swept as with the besom of destruction. On 
the i6th the expedition recrossed the Genesee river, and retracing their 
steps, arrived at Tioga, tne starting point, on the 3d of October. The 
Indians, although subjected to great suffering, were not wholly crushed by 
these severe losses. Their numerical force was but slightly reduced, and 
they retaliated upon the frontier settlements with savage vengeance when- 
ever a favorable opportunity offered. 


Arnold's tre.\son— close of thr rf.volution — .\doptiox of the 
constitution — intern.\l improvements. 

Early in June of 1779, Sir Henry Clinton conducted an expedition up 
the Hudson, and attacked two small forts, one at Stony Point, on the west 
side of the river, and the other at Verplank's Point, nearly opposite. The 
former had only about forty men to defend it, and they retreated on the 
approach of the British ; but the latter, with its garrison of seventv men, 
resisted, and was captured. Washington much regretted the loss of these 
posts, and although they had been enlarged and strengthened after the 
British took possession of them, he resolved to make an effort to regain 
them. Stony Point was suri)rised on the night of the 15th of July follow- 
ing, and, after a short and fierce conflict, the garrison, of more than five 
hundred men, together with the cannon and military stores, were captured, 
and the works demolished and abandoned. 

In the spring of 17S0 Urant was again upon the war-path, and with a 
band of Indians and Tones, destroyed Harpersfield in April. It was his 
design to attack the upper t<irt of Si hoharie, l>ut on his way he captured 
Captain Harjjer, who represented to him that the fort had lately been rein- 
forced, and he returned to Niagara with his prisoners. Sir John Johnson, 
with a force of five hundred Tories and Indians, ver\' unexpectedly ap- 
peared at Johnstown on the night of .May 21. and the next day swept the 
countrv between that neighborhood and the Mohawk. Several persons 
were murdered, others taken prisoners, and all buildings not belonging to 
the Tories were burned. On the following afternoon the party retreated 
toward Canada. On the 2ist of August. Canajoharie and the adjacent 
settlements were atta* ked by Brant, at the heail of a large body of Indian- 
and Tories, who dicl even more damage than Johnson's party. 

Genera! Benetlit t Arnold, wounded at the hist battle with Burg-nne. and 
unable to take any active position, was a]ipointed .Military Gc.\ern<>r nf 
Philadelphia in the sj)ring of 1778. Feeling the importance <>f his 
station, and fond of making a show, he Itegan living in such an extrava- 
gant manner as to become pei uniarily embarrassed; and rather than 
retrench, and live within his in< onie, he resorted to a system (>( fraud 
which brought him into relations with the citizens of Philadel- 
phia. By i>rder of Congress he was tried before a court-martial, and sen- 
tenced to the mildest form of punishment — simply, a reprimand from the 


Commander-in-chief. He appeared lo aciiuit.'S( c in the sentence, but his 
pride was wounded, aud he thirsted for revenge. While in Philadelphia 
he had married the daughter of a Tory residing in that place. She was 
accustomed lo receive the attentions of British officers durmg their occu- 
pancy of the city, and through her intimacy -with Major .\nUre a corres- 
pondence had been initiated between him and Arnold, by which means 
his treacherous schemes were developed, and culminated in a most infamous 
treason. Still he was loud in his professions of patriotism and attachment 
to his country's cause, and pretended to be anxious to again join his com- 
panions in the field. He solicited the command of West Point, then the 
most important post in the possession of the Americans. Washington had 
assigned him to the command of the left wing of the army, but upon his 
repeated and earnest request, the command of West Point was given him 
instead on the 3d of August, 1780. He established his head-quarters on 
the opposite side of the river, at the house of Colonel Beverly Robinson, 
whose property had been confiscated on account of his espousal of the 
British cause. Arnold well knew that Sir Henry CHnton would richly re- 
ward him for being instrumental in placing West Point in his hands, and 
hinted as much to Major Andre, between whom and himself letters passed 
in disguised hand-writing, and over fictitious signatures. In order to settle 
the terms of this infamous treachery it became necessary for Sir Henry 
Clinton to send Major Andre for a personal interview with Aruoid, not 
only to agree upon the conditions of his contemplated surrender, but to 
guard against a counterplot. Major Andre sailed up the Hudson on board 
of the Vulture, and a meeting was finally effected. Near the village of Hav- 
erstraw resided Joshua H. Smith, who was duped by Arnold to assist in 
carrying put his designs. It was he that brought Major Andre on shore, 
where Arnold was awaiting him, and concealed in a thicket they plotted 
the ruin of the patriot cause from about midnight until day began to dawn, 
and then repaired to Smith's house to complete their plans. Arnold was to 
receive ten thousand jiounds and the oftice of Bngadier-General in the 
British army, while We^it Point was to be given up on the approach of the 
English fleet. Major Andre was supplied with papers explaining the mili- 
tary condition of the fort, which were concealed in his stockings; while a 
pass was given him under the name of John Anderson. In the morning a 
cannonade was opened upon the Vulture, and she was obliged to fall far- 
ther down the river, which reminded Andre of the fact that he was within 
the .American lines. Smith's fears were so much aroused that he refused 
to convey him by boat to the Vulture, but offered to accompany him a con- 
siderable distance by a land route. They crossed the river and jirocceded 
toward White Plains. Near Pines Bridge they parted, and Andre continued 
his journey alone. When near Tarrytown he was stopped by three militia- 
men, who were watching for stragglers from the British lines. From what 
they said to him he was led to believe they were loyalists, whereupon he 
avowed himself a British officer, but upon discovermg his mistake he pre- 
sented Arnold's pass, and endeavored to explain his previous statements; 
they insisted upon searching him, and he was forced to submit, and the 
important pa[>ers were found. His liberal offers of money, if they would 
release him, were of no avail, and he was conducted to the nearest mili- 
tary post. 

On the same morning that Washington arrived at Arnold's head-quarters 
from Hartford, where he had been to confer with some French officers, 
Arnold received intelligence of Andre's arrest, and hastening to his barge 
made his escape to the Vulture. He was apprised that Washington would 
soon be at his (juarters, and left orders to inform him that he had gone over 
to West Point, and would soon return. Washington arrived shortly after, 
and crossing over to West Point found, to his surprise, that Arnold had not 
been there. After spending some time in examining the works, he re- 
turned, when the pai)crs which had l)een found upon Andre were placed in 
his hands, and the whole conspiracy revealed. An immediate pursuit to 
overtake the traitor was made, but it was too late to prevent his escajie. 
Infortunate Andre was tried by a court of fourteen generals, convicted of 
bci ig a spy, sentenced, and executed. Arnold wreaked his malice on the 
AnK-ricans by devastating different parts of the country during the war. 
Afier its close he went to England, where he was shunned and despised by 
al! honorable men. 

( )n the 15th of October, 17.S0, a large jiarty of Tories and Indians, under 
Sir John Johnson and Brant, invaded the Mohawk Valley by way of Scho- 
harie Creek, destroying the settlements on the way to Fort Hunter, and 
thence up the Mohawk, on both sides. As soon as intelligence of this in- 
vasion reached Albany, General Van Rensselaer marched against them 

with a bodv of militia. Colonel Brown was stationed at Fort Paris, and 
receiving orders from Van Rensselaer to attack the enemy, promptly 
obeyed, but his small force was dispersed, and himself and forty of his men 
slain. \'an Rensselaer, after great delay, attacked and routed the invaders, 
who fled, and suet eeded in making their escajie to Canada. The Mo- 
hiwk Valley continued to be devastated by the savage foe On the 9th of 
July, 17S1, Currytown was attacked by a party of more than threehundred 
Indians, commanded by a Tory named Doxstader. They were pursued by 
Colonel Willett, and in a battle forty of their number were slain, and the 
others routed. On the 24th of October Major Ross and Waller Butler, at 
the head of nearly a thousand men, consisting of British regulars, Indians, 
and Tories, made a sudden descent into the Mohawk Valley, and began 
their work of plunder and devastation. They were met by Colonels Wil- 
lett and Rowley near Johnstown, and a sharp engagement ensued, lasting 
till dark, when the enemy fled. They were pursued, and at Canada Creek 
another skirmish took place, wherein the cruel and infamous Butler was 
slain. Upon his fall their whole force fled in the utmost confusion. This 
was the flnal invasion of the Mohawk Valley, and their flight the closing 
scene in one of the most terrible warfares on record. 

While menacing an attack on New York, Washington carefully withdrew 
from the Hudson to attack Cornwallis in his devastating march through 
the South, and was far on his way to Virginia before Sir Henry Clinton was 
aware of the movement. Cornwallis was beseiged at Vorktown, and com- 
pelled to surrender his whole army on the 19th of October. 17S1, This 
virtually closed the war. Sir Guy Carlton was sent to take the command 
of the British forces in place of Sir Henry Clinton, with directions to open 
negotiations for peace. A provisional treaty was signed on the 30th of 
November, 1782, and a definitive treaty, recognizing the independence of 
the United States, was com luded al Paris, September 3d, 1783. On the 
25th of November the British troops took their final departure from the 
city of New York, and on the same day Washington entered it with his 
army, amid the joyous acclaiuations of the emancipated people. Nerer, 
perhaps, was peace more welcome, for the long war had been a terrible 
and trying ordeal for the patriots, and we, who are living in peace and 
plenty, so far removed by the wheels of time from that eventful period, are 
not likely to properly estimate their endurance of great and continued suf- 
ferings, nor fully appreciate the liberties they obtained at so great a sacri- 
fice, and bequeathed to succeeding generations. 

The United States, having been recognized as an independent nation, 
it was early perceived that the powers conferred upon Congress by the 
.Articles of Confederation, were in many essential respects inadeipiate to 
the objects of an effective national government. The States had been 
leagued together for a particular purpose, but retained their individual 
sovereignty, and Congreeis had no power to compel them to obey its man- 
dates. The people were losing their regard for the authority of Congress ; 
its recommendations for ihe liquidation of the debts incurred by the war 
were not promptly complied with, and financial and commercial affairs 
were falling into serious derangement. Each State being independent of 
the others in the Confederacy, jealousies would naturally arise, and without 
concerted action on the fiart of the States it was almost impossible to col- 
lect revenue. In view of these increasing evils the leading minds of the 
country desired a closer onion of the States under a general government. 
A convention was held at .Annapolis, in September, 17S6, lo take into con- 
sideration the establishrrtent of a general tariff on imports and a uniform 
system of commercial regulations. Commissioners were jiresent, however, 
from only five States, among which was New York. rei)resented by Alex- 
ander Hamilton. They recommended the calling of a convention of 
delegates fron\ the several States, in May following, and transmitted a 
report of their conclusions to Congress. Their recommendations were 
atlopted by Congress, and that body deemed it expedient that the delegates 
should be instructed to revise the Articles of Confederation and report to 
Congress, and the several State Legislatures, such amendments and pro- 
\isions as should seem adecjuate to the exigencies of the government. All 
the States except Rhode Island, were represented in the Convention, which 
was held at Philadelphia- Believing that the Articles of Confederation were 
so defective as to be wholly inadetpiate to the wants of the country, the 
delegates went to work to form a new Constitution. Its plan was 
gener.illy approved, but there were many in the convention who looked 
upon the pre.servation of State sovereignty as pre-eminently essential, and 
regarded the ])roposcd change in this particular as an infringement of State 
rights. The delegates from New York, ujjon their appointment, had beeri 



restricted to the revision of the existing Articles of Confederation, and when 
the Convention decided to provide a new Constitution they, with the exception 
of Alexander Hamilton, withdrew. That body then proceeded to form a consti- 
tution, which was adopted and submitted to the several Stales for approval, the 
assent of nine being required for its ratification. A spirited contest ensued 
in the State of New York, between its advocates and opponents, the latter 
being in the ascendancy ; but having been adopted by the requisite number 
of States, it was ratified in convention by the State of New York by a close 
vote, on the 26th of July, 1788, but with the recommendation of several 
amendments which, however, were not adopted. The city of New York 
was chosen for the seat of the Federal Government, and George Washing- 
ton was elected President. 

The difficulties relative to the New Hampshire grants still continued. 
A convention of the people in that disputed territor}-, in 1777, declared it 
an independent State, and petitioned Congress for admission into the Con- 
federacy. New York thereupon sought the mterposition of Congress in 
her behalf, and that body recognized her claims ; but the people interested 
in the New Hampshire grants were determined to maintain their indepen- 
dence, and during the following year organized a State government This 
revived the discord, which had remained inactive since the breaking out of 
the war, and so great was the hatred of the New Hampshire pe^nle toward 
the State of New York, that rather than be subject to her jurisdiction they 
chose to return to their allegiance to Great Britain, and were secretly 
negotiating with the British to become a colony under the Crown ; but 
before the conspiracy was fully matured it was interrupted by the capture 
of Comwallis. Hostile feelings continued after the war, but in 1790 the 
difficulties were amicably adjusted. New York, on receiving a stipulated 
sum for the extinction of land claims, relinquished her jurisdiction, and in 
the following year the disputed territory was admitted into the Union, 
under the name of Vermont. 

Large tracts of wild land were in possession of the State of New York, 
at the termination of the war. In 1786 the State granted two tracts to 
Massachusetts, to satisfy certain antiquated claims of that State, but retained 
her sovereignty over the ceded territory. The largest of these tracts, known 
as the Genesee country, embraced the western part of the State, and was 
designated by a line running south from a specified point on Take Ontario 
to Pennsylvania. The other embraced a portion of the present counties 
of Tioga and Broome. Land commissioners of the State, a few years later, 
authorized by an act of the Legislature, disposed of large tracts of land in 
the northern part of the State, for very small considerations. The largest 
and most important of these was that granted to Alexander Macomb, con- 
taining upward of three and a half millions of acres, at about eighteen 
pence per acre. 

In 1791 the Legislature ordered an exploration and survey to ascertain 
the most eligible method of removing obstructions from the Mohawk and 
Hudson rivers, in view of improving their navigation by the construction 
of canals. The following year two companies were incorporated, styled 
the Northern and Wcstem Inland Lock Navigation Companies, for the 
purpose of facilitating navigation by connecting by canals Lake Ontario 
with the Mohawk and Lake Champlain with the Hudson. 

Governor Clinton, in 1795, having declined to be a candidate for re- 
election, John Jay was chosen as his successor. The State was now rapidly 
gaining in jjopulation, and- in 1800 had reached to nearly six hundred 
thousand. By an act of the Legislature a convention was called to amend 
the State Constitution in regard to the apportionment of members of the 
Legislature. This body convened in iSoi, chose Colonel Aaron Burr to 
preside over it, and fixed the number of Assemblymen at 100. In iSoi 
George Clinton was again elected to the Governorship, which office he held 
until 1804. when he was chosen Vice-President of the United Stales, and 
Morgan Lewis was elected his successor. At this time Aaron Burr was holding 
the office of Vice-President, and failing to receive the nomination for re- 
election was nominated by his friends for the office of Governor of New 
York. Mortified and chagrined at his defeat he sought revenge upon those 
who had been the most prominent and inllucntial in causing it. He 
regarded the influence of Alexander Hamilton as having contributed largely 
to his defeat, and in desperation at his blighted political prospects deter- 
mined to wreak his vengeance upon him. An excuse was presented by 
Hamilton's expressing political views antagonistic to his own, whieh 
having been reported to him in a distorted form he chose to consider as 
personal, and challenged him. The challenge was accepted and the duel 
fought, Hamilton fallmg mortally wounded at the first exchange of shots. 

His deplorable death produced a gloomy feeling throughout the country, 
as his brilliant talents and unexceptionable character had won for him the 
esteem of the whole community. After this occurrence, Burr visited the 
Western States and engaged in treasonable schemes for detaching them 
from their present political associations, to form, in conjunction with 
Mexico, a separate government. He was arrested and tried for treason, 
but escaped conviction for want of sufficient proof. All confidence in his 
integrity, however, was lost, and the remainder of his life was passed in 
comparative obscurity. In 1S07 Daniel D. Tompkins waseiected to succeed 
Morgan Lewis as Governor of New York. In this year Robert Fulton com- 
pleted the Clermont, the first boat that ever succeeded in steam navigation. 
It was launched at Jersey City, and made its trial trip up the Hudson to 

Great Britain and France being at war, the former by a series of "Orders 
in Council." prohibited vessels of neutral nations from trading with 
France or her allies, and in retaliation Napoleon proclaimed the notable 
Berlin and Milan decrees, forbidding all trade with England and her 
colonies. The effects of these ordinances were very injurious to American 
commerce: and inconsequence thereof Congress, on the 23d of September, 
1807, laid an embargo on all vessels in the harbors of the United States, 
which bore heavily on the mercantile interests of the country, and excited 
considerable opposition. 



The country was now rapidly drifting into another conflict with Great 
Britain. The aggressions of the British had, for several years, been a 
subject of great anxiety and bitter animosity, which continually increased. 
Although the United Stales maincaincu a strict neutrality while the 
Napoleonic wars were raging between Great Britain and France, their rights, 
as a neutral nation, were disregarded. The embargo laid by Congress upon 
the shipping in American ports was found so injurious to commercial 
interests that it was repealed, and a non-intercourse act passed in its 
place. In .\pril, 1S09, the English ambassador at Washington opened ne- 
gotiations for the adjustment of the existing difficulties, and consented to 
the withdrawal of the obnoxious "Orders in Council" so far as respected 
the United States, on condition that they should repeal the act prohibiting 
intercourse with Great Britain. Upon this basis an agreement was effected, 
when the President issued a proclamation declaring that as it had been 
officially communicated to the United States that the "Orders in Council" 
would be repealed on the loth of June, trade might be resumed with Great 
Britain after that date. As soon as intelligence of this agreement on 
the part of their ambassador reached the English Government, the 
latter refused to ratify it on the ground that he had exceeded his 
instructions, and immediately recalled him. The proclamation of the Pre- 
sident was then revoked, and the two governments resumed their former 
relations. In addition to other injuries and encroachments upon the rights of 
the United States as neutrals, the English Government claimed the right 
to search .\merican vessels, and authorized its officers to examine their 
crews, seize all whom they chose to regard as British subjects, and 
force them into their service. All remonstrances were unavailing. The 
English officers in enforcing ihis right of search commuted great outrages, 
and the practice became so obnoxious as to demand some decided mea- 
sures for its suppression. Under these circumstances, there appeared to 
be no alternative but war. and Congress having authorized it, war was 
declared against Great Britain on the 19th of June, 1812. The mea- 
sure was far from being universally sustained, however. The Federal 
party, then in the minority, opposed it, and their political opinions being 
apparently stronger than their patriotism, they loudly denounced it. It 
was also but feebly sustained by a portion of the Democratic party, not on 
political grounds, but from the belief that the country was unprepared for 
war. New York and New England were most prominent in their opposi- 
tion, and if they did not directly aid the enemy, their conduct was dis- 
couraging and injurious to those who were perilling their lives in their 
country's cause. 

The Americans, deeming it ex[)edient to invade Canada, directed the 
attention at once toward that point, and measures were taken to collect 
forces along the northern frontier of New York, and westward to Michi- 


gan. They were distributed in three divisions. The eastern rendezvoused 
in the vicinity of Plattsburg, on the western shore of Lake Champlain. 
The central was under the command of General Stephen Van Rensselaer, 
who made his headquarters at Lcwiston, on the Niagara river; and the 
northwestern division assembled at Detroit. In connection with these 
armaments a naval force was fitted up on the lakes, the command of which 
was assigned to Commodore Chauncey. In July a small British fleet made 
an attack upon Sackett's Harbor, on Lake Ontario, which was defended 
by Lieutenant Woolsey, who, from a battery arranged on the shore, so dis- 
abled the hostile fleet that it withdrew. In October an attack on Ogdens- 
burg by a British fleet was repulsed by General Brown. In the same 
month Lieutenant Elliott, by a bold movement, captured on Lake Erie 
the British vessel Caledonia, laden with a valuable cargo of furs, while 
she lay in fancied security, protected by the guns of a British fort. 

After the inglorious surrender of Clen. Hull at Detroit, the ne.-it offensive 
movement on the part of the .\mericans was assigned to the central divis- 
ion, which was eager to offset Hull's disgrace, by a brilliant achievement. 
An attack on the heights of Queenstown was decided on. and was made 
Oct. 13. With inadec^uate means of transportation, about a thousand men 
were transferred to the Canadian bank of the Niagara, drove the British 
from their batteries, and took the heights. Gen. Brock rallied the enemy 
and attempted to recapture the position, but was mortally wourded and 
his force repulsed. The .Americans, however, were unable to huid their 
ground against the British reinforcements which were brought up, having 
no implements for fortification ; and the militia who had not yet crossed 
the river became panic-stricken on seeing some of the wounded brought 
over, and refused to go to the aid of their outnumbered comrades. The 
latter were therefore overwhelmed and forced to surrender, after having 
about sixty killed and a hundred wounded. 

Nothing save a little skirmishing occurred in this quarter during the re- 
mainder of the year. The disgrace which had fallen upon the American 
arms on land this year was alleviated to a considerable extent, however, by 
their splendid triumphs on the water. Soon after the new year had been 
ushered in, the sanguinary conflict at Frenchtown, on the Raisin river, took 
place, resulting in the surrender of the .\merican forces. The prisoners 
taken on this occasion were left to be tortured by the barbarous Indians 
under Proctor, the infamous British commander, in direct violation of his 
pledge for their safety. Several persons in St. Lawrence County were 
arrested by the Bntish authorities and confined in Canada on charges of 
desertion. On the 7th of February Captain Forsyth, the commander of 
the post at Ogdensburg, crossed to the Canadian shore with a small force, 
and captured about fifty prisoners and some military stores. In retaliation. 
Colonel McDonnell, on the 22d of the same month, crossed the river with 
a considerable force, and attacked Ogdensburg. Only a feeble retinue of 
soldiers was stationed there for its protection ; but this, with the aid of the 
citizens, defended the town gallantly, although thev were finally ob- 
liged to abandon it to the invaders. A large quantity of military stores 
came into the enemy's possession, several vessels were destroyed, and 
considerable damage was done to the property of the citizens. 

General Dearborn had been entrusted with the command of the central 
division, and on the 25th of .\pril detached a force of seventeen hundred 
men, under General Pike, for a descent upon Toronto, then known as York. 
They embarked at Sackett's Harbor on board the squadron of Commodore 
Chauncey, and landed on the 27th in the vicinity of York in the face of a 
spirited fire from the enemy, whom they soon drove back. The British 
before leaving their fortifications had laid a train of combustible matter, 
and connecting it with their magazine, thus plotted the destruction of the 
invaders. The scheme was in part successful, for the Americans took the 
redoubts as they advanced, and when within about fifty rods of the bar- 
racks the explosion took place. General Pike was mortally wounded, and 
about two hundred of his followers either killed or injured. The troops 
were appalled at this disaster; but at the order of their dying commander 
they s]irang forward and captured a part of the retreating enemy, and 
drove the remainder from the field. After the capture of Toronto, the 
squadron returned, and preparations were made for an attack ujjon Fort 
George, on the Niagara river, near Lake Ontario. .-K descent was made 
upon this post on the 27th of May, and although meeting a stout resist- 
ance, was in the end successful. On the landing of the troops. Colonel 
Scott advanced to attack an advantageous position held by the enemy, and 
after a sharp conflict succeeded in dislodging them. General Vincent, the 
British commander, in alarm, ordered the evacuation of the remaining posts 

on the Niagara frontier, and on retreating from Fort George caused the 
magazine to be blown up. The greater part of the garrison made their 
escape, but nearly four hundred regulars and five hundred militia were made 
prisoners. General Vincent retreated with the view of taking a position on 
Burlington Heights, and was followed by a detachment of the .\mcricans ; 
but the British turned and attacked their pursuers in the night, and suc- 
ceeded in capturing their generals, and further pursuit was abandoned. 
Colonel Boerstler was detached with a force of about six hundred men to 
dislodge a body of the enemy stationed at Beaver Dam, about seventeen 
miles from Fort George. Arriving in the vicinity of that place he was at- 
tacked by a body of Indians in ambush, who kept up a conflict in their 
skulking manner until the arrival of a reinforcement of British troops. 
The British officer then sent a summons to the Colonel to surrender, at the 
same time magnifying the number of his troops. Colonel Boerstler believ- 
ing that he had a superior force to contend with, and unable to obtain a 
reinforcement, surrendered his detachment as prisoners of war. 

During these offensive operations on the part of the .Americans, like 
expeditions were undertaken by the British. The force at Sackett's Har- 
bor, having been reduced to aid the expedition along the Niagara river, and 
the fleet of Commodore Chauncey being at Fort George, Sir George Pre- 
vost made an attempt to re-capture that post. On the 2gth of May he 
appeared before the place with a force of about one thousand men. It 
had been left in command of Colonel Backus, who, aided by General 
Brown, so successfully resisted the onslaught, that the enemy, after sus- 
taining considerable loss, withdrew. This affair was followed by consider- 
able skirmishing along the American side of Lake Ontario, and on the 
nth of July, Colonel Bishop made an attack upon the village of Black 
Rock, on the east bank of the Niagara river. In this conflict the British 
force was repulsed with considerable loss, and their leader mortally 

Meanwhile Commodore Perry was preparing to dispute the control of 
Lake Erie with the enemy. The Americans had no efficient force upon 
that lake, and Perry, by unremitting exertions, built and equipped a fleet 
of nine vessels. Of these the Lawrence and the Niagara each carried 
twenty guns, and the whole fleet but fifty-four. The Bntish fleet, under 
Commodore Barclay, consisted of six vessels, carrying sixty-three guns. 
On the loth of September the British commander approached the Ameri- 
can fleet with his vessels arrayed in battle order, and Perry at once pre- 
pared for action. With his flag-ship, the Lawrence, he advanced to meet 
the enemy, and maintained an unequal conflict until his ship was reduced 
to a complete wreck, and nearly all of her crew either killed or wounded. 
.\t this juncture, and when the enemy had a fair prospect of obtainingabril- 
liant victory. Captain Elliott, commander of the Niagara, who had perceived 
the crippled and unmanageable condition of the Lawrence, moved for- 
ward to her aid, and Perry, although exposed to a continuous fire from the 
enemy, sprang into a boat and proceeded to the Niagara, to which he trans- 
ferred his flag. The action was then renewed with great vigor by the re- 
mainder of the American squadron. They passed fearlessly among the 
enemy's ships, dealing such a destructive fire upon them that the whole 
fleet soon after surrendered. 

This important and brilliant victory was followed by one under General 
Harrison, commander of the northwestern division, who on the 5th of Oc- 
tober defeated General Proctor at the battle of the Thames. By these 
victories the territory of Michigan, which had been so ingloriously sur- 
rendered by General Hull at the commencement of the war, was regained. 
Late in the autumn of this year, an unsuccessful attempt was made to in- 
vade Canada, under the direction of General Wilkinson, who had suc- 
ceeded Dearborn in the chief command of the northern army. The 
.American Generals, Izard and Hampton, were repulsed near the border 
in Franklin County. General Wilkinson descended the St. Lawrence, and 
on the 19th of November, at Chrystler's Farm, near Williamsburg, an in- 
decisive engagement took pLice, the Americans retreating to their boats, 
and abandoning further operations. 

The forces on the Niagara frontier had been so much reduced, that they 
were inadequate for its defence after the arrival of the British reinforce- 
ments under General Drummond. General McClure, finding he would be 
obliged to abandon Fort George, removed his military stores, and unneces- 
sarily inflicted great distress upon the citizens of the villages of Queens- 
town and Newark, reducing the latter place to .ashes. The British soon after 
retaliated by a series of cruel barbarities along the Niagara frontier. On the 
19th of December a successful attack was made upon Fort Niagara, and a 



large share of the garri.tun, together with the hospital patients, were put to 
death without mercy. General Rial, with a detachment of Royal Scots and 
a large body of Indians, crossed the river, plundered and burneti 
Lewiston, and inflicted barbarous cruelties upon the defenceless inhabitants. 
Youngstown, Manchcstc-r. Schlosscr, and the Indian villaL,'e of Tuscarora. 
were devi^taied in the same manner.- On the 30th of thi>. month, an 
engagement took place near the village of Black Rock, between (lencral 
Rial's force and the militia, resulting in the repulse of the latter under 
General Hall. The ullage-, of Hlack Rock and Iluffalo uere abanduruH 
l^ the Americans, and speedily destroyed by the invaders. 

In February, 1814, (icncral Wilkinson dispatched a [)art of his army to 
Sackett's Harbor, and moved from French Mills to Plattsburg. The 
British had collected a strong force at Ka Colic Mills, un the Sorel. and 
General Wilkinson resolved ut dislodge them. On the 30th of March he 
crosseti the frontier and commenced the attai k, but was repuUcd and with- 
drew with his force to Plattsburg. In consei.|uence of this failure he was 
nrmoved from his command, (icncral I/ard succeeding him. 

The miUtary stores deposited at Oswego Falls attrat ted the attention 
o^ the British, and with a view of capturing them a British sijuadron 
appeared before Oswego. .As soon as it was discovered, information was 
sent to Captain Woolsey of the navy, and the militia gathered under 
Colonel Mitchell and gave the enemy such a spirited recei-tion from a 
battery prepared on the shore that boats approaching found n prudent to 
return to their ships. The fleet advanced, and the .Vmerican force of only 
about three hundred, defended their positions for several hours A landing 
was finally effected, and the little band, havini^ maintained their ground as 
k»g as it was possible against a vastly superior force, withdrew toward the 
Falls to defend the stores destroying the bridges in their rear. The British 
disabled the ordinance of the fort, and on learning that the bridges had 
been destiDyed returned to Kingston. It was deemed jirudent however to re- 
move the stores thus preserved to Sackett's Harbor, and Captain Woolsey, 
akicd by a body of riflemen and Indians, set out for the accomplishment of 
dns object. The British admiral was apprised of the movement, and learning 
their destination, through the treachery of a boatman, dispatched a force 
to intercept them. On the approach of the enemy. Captain Woolsey's force 
pot into Sandy Creek, and Major .\ppling was landed with his troops. 
vhich he concealed in ambush. i'he enemy followed and landed a detach- 
ment to pursue them. The British having ascended the bank of the creek 
to the place of concealment of Major Appling's men, the latter arose and 
opened such a destructive fire upon ihem that they fell back in confusion, 
aod left Captain Woolsey's expedition to proceed to its destination without 
further molestation. 

On the 3d of July, 1S14, Fort F:rie, on the west bank of the Niagara. 
where it leaves Lake Krie, was surrendered to an American force of 3.500 
under Oen. Brown, who then moved on to Chippewa. Here they met and 
defeated the enemv in a general action, the latter retreating to Fort ( ieorge. 
at the mouth of the ri\er. The .\niericans pursued as far as (lueenstown 
Heights, whence they relumed toChip])ewa. 

On the 25lh, (ien. Si ott's brigade while reconnoitering m force, encoun- 
tcied the entire British army advantageously posted, and the battle of 
I.,ondy'> I^ne occurred. The brigade of C.en. Ripley came to the relief c)f 
Scott's when the latter had maintained the engagement into the e\ ening. an<l 
afler the brilliant capture of a British battery, the enemy gave up the field. 
The losses were exceedingly severe on both sides. 

The next day the Americans broke up their camp and retired to Fort 
Erie unmolested. Here they immediately proceeded to strengthen their 
defences. On the 4th of August the enemy, having been reinforced, ap- 
pcaretl and invested the Fort, then commanded by General (Jaines. On 

■s. and before dawn on 
cnced. In their attack 
lines, the enemy were repulsed four times h 
right they met with no better success. 

the extreme, and the eneni 
of the bastion, but the 


the 7th they opened fire upon the Ameri 
ijth a combined and furious assault wa' 
the left of the Amern ai 
heavy lo?»s, and tm th 
the centre the contlit l was desperate 
finally succeeded in gaining possess 
advance was suddenly checked by its explosion, and the combat shortU 
after ended in their defeat at every point. They retreated to their cam] 
with broken columns, having sustained a loss of nearly a thousand men 
The Americans continued to strengthen their tlefenres, and both armie^ 
wefe reinforced. General Brown, havmg recovered from his wnuncis, re- 
sumed the connuand. and fnuliiig (he enemy were intent un [iroser uting tht 
siege, determined Hi make a soriK* to dislndge them anil ilestroy then 

works. The British fori e consisted of three brigades, each of which, in its 
turn, was stationed at the batteries, while the others remained at their en- 
t 3m|)ment about two miles distant. The object in making the sortie was 
to defeat the brigade on duty before it could be reinforced. On the (7th 
of Se[itembcr the sortie was made and resulted in the capture of the British 
batteries and the destruction of their fortifications. A (gw days after- 
ward General Drummond left his encamjjment before the fort, and returned 
to Chippewa. No further offensive operations were carried on in this 
'piarter, and a few weeks later the fort was deniulishcd and the Croups w iih- 
drawn to the American shore. 

While this siege wa.s in i)rogress, hostile movements of greater magnitude 
^vcre being made in other sections of the country. The British army had 
been strongly reinforced during the summer ; the City of Washington had 
been captured and the public buildings deslrojed, and the entire coast was 
held in a state of blockade by their fleet. They contemplated a dismeml)er- 
ment of the Union by obtaining possession of Lake Champlain and the 
Hudson, from the North, and ca|)turing the City of New York ; believing 
that a division of the Republic would thus be accomplished and a separate 
peace concluded with the Kastern States, whose discontent and opposition 
to the war were manifest. The people were now fully aroused, and mea- 
sures were immediately taken for the defence of New York. Its fortifica- 
tions were strengthened and strongly garrisoned. The invasion of New 
York, by the way of Lake Champlain, was entrusted to General Prevost 
with about fourteen thousand veteran troops from Wellington's army, and 
the aid of a strong fleet carrying ninety guns. To oppose this formidable 
annament, General Macomb, at Plattsburg, had only fifteen hundred regular 
troops and about three thousand militia, hastily collected and undisciplined. 
Commodore McDonough, by almost incredible exertions, had in a short 
time constructed a fleet carrying sixty-six guns. General Izard had trans- 
ferred a large portion of the troops from this quarter to the Niagara 
frontier. Knowing the weakness of the American force at Plattsburg, 
General Prevost hastily organized and put his army in motion before the 
fleet was ready for co-operation, and on the 6th of September his advance 
reached Beekmanstown, where their progress was disputed by a body of 
militia and a few regulars who. however, soon retreated towards Plattsburg,. 
and tearing up the bridge over the Saranac, entered their entrenched camp. 
The British advanced, and having taken i)ossession of some buildings near 
the river, attempted to cross, but they were met with a shower of hot shot 
which proved so annoying, that they contented themselves with preparing for 
an assault upon the fortifications. On the morning of the iith the British 
fleet under Commodore Downie was seen advancing in line of battle, to 
engage the .\merican ships at anchor in the bay off Plattsburg. A fierce 
and determined conflict followed, and in less than three hours the whole 
British fleet, excepting a part of the galleys which had made their escape, 
surrendered. Simultaneously with the naval engagement, General Prevost 
opened his batteries on the American lines, and attempted to force passages 
<}( the Saranac at three different points, but at each place his troops were 
repulsed with great loss. On the surrender of the fleet, in sight of both 
armies, further efforts to truss the river were abandoned. When niglit 
. ame on, General Prevost, in great alarm, made a precipitate retreat from 
the town, leaving behind his sick and wounded, together with a large quan- 
tity of military stores. This exjjedition was the last undertaken for the in- 
vasion oC this frontier, and its signal defeat materially aided in bringing the 
war to a close. On the 24th of December a treaty of peace was concluded 
at Ghent, but before the welcome news had reai hed our shores, the British 
met with another disastrous defeat at New Orleans. 


IHF. ST.' 

\11MINIS1 RA i I 

IV11. WAR. 

The construction of the Kne and Champlain canaU, uhi< h had been 
projected just at the breaking out of the war, had been virtually abanduiicd 
by the repeal of the act authorizing the commissioners to borrow funds for 
the prosecution of the work. But on the termination of the war the policy 
was revived, and the attention of the people was again called to this great 
undertaking. The diffitulties of the enterprise however, were formidable. 
The late war had drawn heavily upon the Slate treasury. The preliminary 
measures for the construi lion of the canals had already been attended with 
lunsidcrable expense, and the people were luih to engage in an enterprise 



which they plainly foresaw would be so insatiable in its demands upon the 
public treasury. They were therefore slow to encourage additional legis- 
lation for its prosecution, but through the untiring energy and jjerseverance 
of De Witt Clinton, an act prepared by him was passed in April. 1817. 
authorizing the construction of the work, (lovernor Tompkins having 
been elected Vice-Pre^idcnt of the United States, resigned his otfice as 
governor; and in .\pril De Witt Clinton, the ardent and zealous advocate 
of the system of internal improvements, was elected to succeed him. On 
the 4th of July, 1817, the Erie canal was commenced at Rome, and in Oc- 
tober, 1817, that ]*ortion of it between Utica and Rome was opened for 

In 182 1 an act was passed by the Legislature authorizing a conventitm to 
be called to revise the State Constitution. This convention met at .\lbjn>. 
and after a lengthy session, adopted a Constitution, which was sui)sequently 
ratified by the people, and under its provisions the Slate was governed for 
a quarter of a century. By the new Constitution the time of holding the 
State elections was changed from April to November, and the officers 
elected were to enter upon their official dutiesonthe ist of Tanu.iry. Jose]>h 
A. Yates was elected governor in 1822, and was succeeded, in 1S24, by He 
Witt Clinton. The Krie canal having been completed, the first flotilla of 
canal boats left Buffalo for New York on the 26th of October. 1825. Intel- 
ligence of its departure was communicated to New York in one hour and 
twenty minutes by the discharge of cannon stationed at points within hear- 
ing distance of each other along the entire route. The occasion was cele- 
brated with great rejoicing throughout the Stale. 

The first State charter for the construction of a railroad was granted in 
1826. The points to be connected were .Albany and Schenectady, and the 
road was completed in 1831. Although the road was but rudely con- 
structed, the advantages of this new mode of transportation were so obvious 
that railroads were soon after projected in various parts of the State. 

During the year 1826, William Morgan, a printer in the village of Batavi.i. 
and a Roval Arch Mason, determined to publish a pamphlet purporting i'> 
contain a disclosure of the secrets of Masonry. His intention was dis- 
covered, and on the nth of September .Mr. Cheesebrough, Master of the 
Masonic Lodge at Canandaigua. procured a warrant for his arrest, on a 
charge of theft. Being discharged for want of proof, he was immedi- 
ately re-arrested for a small debt due another person, which Cheesebrough 
claimed had been assigned to him. Judgment was rendered against Mor- 
gan for the del>t, an execution was issued, and he was committed to jail. 
At night he was clandestinely taken from the jail by supposed members of 
the fraternity, gagged, and con\eyed to Canada, and from thence to Fort 
Niagara, where he remained confined until the 29th of September, at 
which time he mysteriously disappeared, it was the universal opinion that 
he was murdered by the masonic fraternity, and measures were taken to 
investigate the matter. No clew to his fate could be found, but it was bt- 
lieved, from the facts obtained, that there was a conspiracy among the 
members of the masonic order for the commission of some great crime. 
Committees appointed for investigating the matter found their efforts con- 
tinually thwarted by persons supposed to be members of the fraternitv. 
This aroused public sentiment against secret societies generally, and 
especially against Free Masons. A political jiarty, styled "Anti-Ma'>- 
onic." was organized, whose avowed object was the exclusion of all sup- 
porters of Masonry from official trust. For several years it constituted a 
formidable political clement in the western part of New York. 

On the evening of February nth, 1828. Governor Clinton suddenly ex- 
pired. This unexpected and sad event was deeply lamented throughout 
the community. Amid discouragements of every kind, and of a magnitude 
that would have filled ordinary men with dismay, he had persevered with 
unflagging energy, and accomplished measures which in succeeding years 
have proved eminently beneficial to the best interests of the State. On the 
death of Clinton, Nathaniel I'ltcher, then Lieutenant-Oovernor, succeeded 
to the governorship for the remainder of the term, and in No\ ember Martin 
Van Buren was elected to succeed him. In March following. Van 
Burcn was appointed to an ofli( e in President Jackson's Cabinet, and 
resigned the governorship, which devolved uiion Knos T. Throop, who 
was ele< ted to the nffn e at the succeeding election in 1830. 

In Fel)niary, i8j2, the State Agricultural Society was formed at a con- 
vention of its friends in Albany, but received no support from the State 
tmtil it was reorganized in 1841, and measures were adopted for raisinj; 
funds and holding annual fairs In April. 18,^2, an ad was passed charter- 
ing a company to construct the New V.irk and Knc Railw.iy. and four 

years later the Comptroller was dire<ted to issue Slate stock to the amount 
of $3,000,000 to aid the enterprise. In November, 1832, William L. 
Marcy was elected to succeed Throop as Governor of the Slate. In 1833 
a legislative act was passed, authorizing the construction of the Chenango 
Canal, connecting the Erie Canal at Utica with the Susquehanna river at 
Binghamton. In April, 1835, the Legislature passed an act by which the 
schools in the State were to be provided with libraries. Near the close of 
this year, a great conflagration occurred in New York city, consuming ]>ro- 
perty to the amount of eighteen millions of dollars. 

In 1837, an insurrection originating in popular discontent occurred in 
that portion of Canada bordering on the State of New York, and received 
the sympathies of some .Americans, who unadvisedly became involved in 
an unauthorized invasion of the British possessions. In Uecember, a ])arty 
of well armed and equipped Americans, under Van Rensselaer, and ac- 
companied by William Loyd Mackenzie, the leader of the insurrectionary 
movement, took possession of Navy Island, in the Niagara river, within 
Canadian territory. The Caroline, a small steamboat, was brougiit from 
Buffalo, and used as a ferryboat between the island and the American 
shore. During the night of December 29th, Colonel McNabb, with an 
armed force from Canada, crossed over to the boat, and while its occupants 
were asleep, loosened it from its moorings, set it on fire, and let it float 
down the river and over the Falls, by which operation several Hves were 
lost. Mackenzie fled to this State, and the Governor of Canada made a 
demand upon Governor Marcy for his surrender, which was refused. .\ 
proclamation was issued, however, by Marcv, and one also by the President 
of the United States, forbidding American citizens to take any part in the 
insurrection, and (General Scott was ordered to the frontier to enforce our 
neutrality laws. The excitement continued for some time, but the insur- 
gents were finally subdued by the British and Canadian authorities. 

In 1838 Wm. H. Seward was elected Governor of the State, and in 1842 
was succeeded by William C. Bouck. After the death of the patrcon, 
Stephen Van Rer.sselacr, disturbances arose in Rensselear, Albany, and 
other < ounties, from the tenants refusing to fulfil the obligation of their 
leases, which in 1844 assumed serious aspects. The tenants organized and 
arrayed themselves in opposition to the enforcement of legal proceedings, 
and outrages were often committed upon executive officers in the discharge 
of their duties. Many of the tenants on the Van Rensselaer manor were 
seriously aggrieved by the demands of their landlords under the provisions 
of ancient leases, which for a long time had been suspended, and the revi- 
val and enforcement of which threatened to ruin them. Silas Wright was 
elected Governor in Novemher, 1S44. and on assuming the duties of chief 
magistrate in January following, called the attention of the Legislature to 
these anti-rent outrages, which continued to increase. Stringent laws were 
passed for the punishment of offenders : but the excitement still prevailed, 
and lawless acts were committed by members of an organization of Anti- 
Renters, disguised as Indians. These occurred so frequently that it be- 
came necessary to order out the military to suppress the insurrection. In 
1846 the Legislature passed laws to abolish "distress for rent," and facili- 
tate legal remedies by extending the time for a "re-entry" on lands for its 
non-i>ayment, and during the ensuing year those who had participated in 
these outrages were pardoned by a proclamation. 

Through the energy and genius of Professor Morse the magnetic tele- 
graph was added to our list of public facilities for intercommunication. 
and as early as 1845 various lines were in process of construction through 
the country. A Constitutional convention having been called, met at Al- 
bany on the tst of June, 1846, and continued in sessions upwards of four 
months. The amendments to the State Constitution, adopted by that body, 
were ratified by the people in November, and John Young was elected 
Governor of the State. 

The annexation of Texas to the Union led to hostilities between Mexico 
and the United States, and on the nth of May, 1846, Congress declared 
that, by the acts of the Mexicans, war existed between the two nations. 
The Americans were victorious in all important engagements with that 
nation, and the part taken by the troops from the State of New York v\as 
conspicuous, and highl) creditable to their valor. Peace was concluded 
on the 2d of February, 1S48. In November of the same year Hamilton 
Fish was elected Governor of New York. 

By the census of 1850 it was found that the population of the Slate 
amounted to upwards of three millions, being an increase of two and a 
half millions in half a century. In November of this year Washington 
Hunt was elvtted to succeed Hamilton Fish as (invernorof the State. 



c was a candidate for re-election in 1852, but was defeated by Horatio 
cymour. In 1854 an amendment was made to the State Constitution re- 
qoiring the appropriation of an annual sum during a term of four years 
for the enlargement of the Erie and the completion of other canals in the 
State. In November of the same year Myron H. Clark was elected Gover- 
nor. In 1855 the State contained about three thousand miles of railroad, 
constructed at an aggregate cost of $125,000,000. In 1856 John A. 
was elected Governor, and at the expiration of his term was succeeded in 
1858 by Edwin D. Morgan. 

The recognition of slavery in the Territories belonging to the United 
States having been earnestly combatted for several years, the difficulty fin- 
ally terminated in a gigantic civil war. On the election of Abraham Lin- 
coln to the Presidency, in 1S60, upon princij^les of avowed hostility to the 
extension of slavery, and the failure to effect a compromise by which 
slavery should be recognized or tolerated in any portion of the Territories, 
the Southern States resolved to secede from the Union, and organize a 
separate government. The capture, by the Confederates, of Fort Sumter, 
has been considered the first open act of the rebellion, and upon its occur- 
rence, in April, 1861, active hostilities were begun, and before the close of 

the year one hundred and fifteen regiments had been put in the field by 
the State of New York. In July, 1863, during the execution of the 
draft ordered by an act of Congress for recruiting the Union army, 
a terrible riot occurred in the city of New York. The police were unable 
to check its progress, and for several days the city was convulsed and over- 
whelmed with tumult, rapine, and murder. The outbreak was finally 
quelled by the interposition of the military, but not until a large amount 
of property had been destroyed, and a considerable number of lives lost. 
The war was prolonged until the spring of 1865, when it terminated with 
the complete success of the Union cause, and peace has since prevailed. 

By the census of 1S75 the State was found to contain 4,705,000 inhabit- 
ants. Within a period of two and a half centuries this immense pojjula- 
tion accumulated, and from the almost pathless wilderness, in the beginning 
trodden only by wild beasts and savages," it has, by industry and enterprise, 
removed the primeval forests, reared large and numerous cities, and con- 
structed vast and magnificent public works, which conspicuously appear in 
all parts of what is justly termed the " Empire State." With the full en- 
joyment of peace, it continues to advance with accelerated and rapid strides, 
in harmonious accord with its proud and becoming motto, "Excelsior." 








The greater portion of what now constitutes the State of New York, 
when first visted by the Europeans, was found to be inhabited by five dis- 
tinct and powerful tribes of Indians who had united and formed a con- 
federacy. T^e tribes that composed this confederacy were the Mohawl^s. 
Oneidas, Otaondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, called by the Enghsh the 
Five Nations,, and by the French, the Iroquois. They bore among them- 
selves the titiSe Aquinoshioni or Konoshioni, signifying Cabin-makers or 
People of the Long House, referring to their organization and territorial 
possessioQs, wliich extended from the banks of the Hudson to the shores 
of Lake Erie^ Their government was, in many respects, republican, and 
the wisdom displayed in the management of their affairs distinguished 
them above aB the other aborigines of the Continent. At what time the 
confederacy was formed is unknown, its origin being as much involved in 
the obscurities of tradition as any other remote event of Indian histor)'. 
Some as the result of their investigations have fixed the period less than a 
century before the Europeans came into the country, while others have 
placed it mone than two centuries earlier. The current tradition held by 
the Iroquois respecting their origin was that they sprang from the earth 
itself : 

"In remote ages, they had been confined under a mountain near the 
Falls of the Osh-wa-kee or Oswego river, whence they were released by 
Tharonhvjaoon, the Holder of the Heavens. Bidding them go forth 
to the east, he guided them to the valley of the Mohawk, and following its 
stream they r>fached the Hudson, which some of them descended to the 
sea. Retracing their stejis toward the west they originated in their order 
and position the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas and 
Tuscaroras, sia nations, but the Tuscaroras wandered away to the south 
and settled on the Cantano, or Neuse river, in North Carolina, reducing 
the number to five nations. 

" Each of tb^ tribes thus originated was independent of the others, and 
they warred wuh each other as well as with the surrounding tribes. Thar- 
onhyjagon stiK remained with the tribes ; gave them seeds of various kinds, 
with the propcir knowledge for pKinting them ; taught them how to kill and 
roast game ; made the forests free to all the tribes to hunt, and removed 
obstructions from the streams. After this he laid aside his divine char- 
acter and rcsoJi-cd to live with the Onondagas, that he might exemplify 
the maxims he had taught. For this purjiose he selected a handsome spot 
of ground on the southern banks of the l.ike called Tfonth, being the 
sheet of water row known as Cross lake. Here he built a cabin, and took 
a wife of the Onondagas, by whom he had an only daughter, whom he 

tenderly loved, and most kindly and carefully treated and instructed. The 
excellence of his character, and his great sagacity, and good counsels led 
the people to view him with veneration and they gave him the name of 
Hi-a-wat-ha, signifying a very wise man. From all quarters people came 
to him for advice, and in this manner all power came naturally into his 
hands, and he was regarded as the first chief :r. all the land. Under his 
teachings the Onondagas became the first among all the original clans. 
They were the wisest counselors, the best orators, the most expert hunters, 
and the bravest warriors. Hence the Onondagas were early noted among 
all the tribes for their pre-eminence, 

" While Hiawatha was thus living in quiet among the people of the hills, 
the tribes were attacked by a furious and powerful enemy from the north of 
the great lakes. This enemy advanced into the country and laid waste the 
villages, and slaughtered men, women and children, until the people had 
no heart to oppose the invaders. In this emergency they fled to Hiawatha 
for advice, who counseled them to call together all the tribes from the east and 
from the west, saying 'Our safety is not alone in the club and dan, but in 
wise counsels.' He appointed a place on the banks of the Onondaga lake 
for the meeting, and thither the chiefs, warriors and head men forthwith 
assembled in large numbers, bringing with them their women and children. 

" The council had been waiting for three days, but as yet Hiawatha was 
absent. Messengers were dispatched to hasten his attendance, but they 
found him gloomy and depressed. He told them that evil lay in his path, and 
he felt that he should be called to make some great sacrifice ; nevertheless, 
he would attend the council. The talismanic white canoe in which he 
always made his voyages, and which the people had learned to reverence, 
was got out and Hiawatha and his daughter took their seats. Gliding 
silently down the deep waters of the Seneca, the canoe reached the outlet, 
and entered on the placid Onondaga, As the canoe of the venerated chief 
appeared he was welcomed with loud shouts, but while he was measuring 
his steps toward the council ground, a long and low sound was heard, and 
instantly all eyes were turned upward, where a compact mass of cloudy 
darkness appeared, which gathered size and velocity as it approached, and 
appeared to be directed inevitably to fall in the midst of the assembly. 
Every one fled but Hiawatha and his daughter, who calmly awaited the 
issue. The force of the descending body was like that of a sudden storm ; 
and hardly had Hiawatha paused, when an immense bird, with long dis- 
tended wings, came down with a swoop and crushed the daughter to the 
earth. The very semblance of a human being was destroyed in the remains 
of the girl, and the head and neck of the bird were buried in the ground 
from the force of the fall. 

" Hiawatha was inconsolable for several days ; but at length took his 
place in the council, and the deliberations opened. The subject of the in- 
vasion was discussed by several of the ablest counselors, and various plans 
proposed to foil the enemy. Hiawatha listened to the debate, and at its 



conclusion, bailc the warriors to dc|»arl until the next day, when he would 
unfold his plan, which he felt confident would ensure safety. 

"The council again met ; and with even more than ordinary attention 
the peo[>Ic hstened to the word?, of their great chief. Hiawatha counseled 
tbcm, that to o|>|K>se these hordes of northern tribes singlv and alone would 
prove certain destruction ; that to oppose them succcssi'ully the tribes must 
unite in one common band of brothers ; must have one vuice, one fire, one 
pijw, and one war club. In the confederacy which he proposed should be 
formed, the several tribes were assi^ed the position they were to thereafter 
occupy, and in conclusion he urged them to weigh well his words ; that if they 
should unite in the bond he had proposed, the (Ireat Spirit would smile 
u|»on ihem, and they would be free, prosperous and happy; but if they 
rei>^-ted his cojnscl, they wjuld be enslaved, rumed, and pjrhaps annihilated 

"The tribes received the address in solemn silence, and the council closed 
to deliberate on the plan recommended. Assembling the next day, the 
union of the tribes into one confederacy was discussed, and unanimously 
adopted. Pending this result, Hiawatha, warned by the death of his daugh- 
ter that his mission was accomphshed, prepared to make his final departure 
from earth. Before the council dispersed he recounted the scr\ ices he had 
rendered to his people, and urged them to preserve the union they had 
formed, telling them that if they preserved it, and admitted no foreign ele- 
ment of power by the admission of other nations, they would always be 
free, numerous, and happy. ' If other nations are admitted to your coun- 
cils, they will sow the seeds of jealousy and discord, and you will become 
few, feeble, and enslaved. Remember these words; they are the last you 
will hear from the lips of Hiawatha. The Great Master of breath calls me 
to go. I have waited patiently his summons, and am ready to go." As his 
voice ceased, sweet sounds from the air burst on the ears of the multitude; 
and while all attention was engrossed in the celestial melody, Hiawatha was 
seen seated in his white canoe, in the mid-air, rising with every choral 
chant that burst out, till the clouds shut the sight, and the melody 

This confederation, which was undoubtedly established for the purpose 
of common defence, was a very powerful and effective alliance. In the 
general council of the Confederacy the Senecas, who were much more 
numerous than the other nations, were represented by two delegates, and 
each of the others by one. The presiding officer at the council was always 
assigned to the Onondagas, and to the Mohawks the principal war-chief. 
Their power was in their union, which differed from that of other nations in 
its perpetuity, the latter frequently securing the same results by temporary 
alliances in case of war. The delegates spoke the popular will of the 
tribes they represented, and to determme their action they were not per- 
mitted to approve any measure which the tribe had not endorsed by a 
unanimous vote. Each nation was governed by its own chiefs, civil and 
military, who might declare war and conclude peace on their own account; 
claimed dominion over territory defined by general boundaries, and was 
perfectly independent of control by other members of the Confederacy, ex- 
cept when national or confederated action required the concurrence of all 
the tribes. When the united tribes in council made a decision, it was 
unanimous. The question then had to be referred to the warriors of each 
tribe, assembled in council, where a unanimous decision was also required; 
hence every resolve was clothed with the full popular will. 

The matrons of the tribe in council could command a cessation of hos- 
tilities, and when they so determined, the chiefs and warriors returned from 
the war-path without compromising their character for l)ravery. For this 
puqiose a male functionary, the messenger of the matrons, who was a good 
speaker, was designated to perform an office which was deemed unsuitable 
to the female. When the proposition for a cessation of war was resolved 
upon, the message was delivered to this officer, and he was Iiound to en- 
for( e it with all the powers of eloquene e he jiosscsscd. The following de- 
scription is given of their national council. "The council-house was built 
of bark. On each side si.x seats were jilaced, cat h containing six persons. 
No one was admitted besides the members of the Council, except a few who 
were particularly honored. If one arose to speak all the rest sat in pro- 
found silence, smoking their pit»cs. The speaker uttered his words in a 
singing tone, always rising a few notes at the close of each sentence. What- 
ever was pleasing to the Council was confirmed by all by the word nee, or 
yes. And at the end of each si)eech the whole company jnined in ai)plaud- 
ingthespeaker, by calling Ho! Ho! At noon two men entered, bearing ui)on 
a pole across their shoulders, a large kettle filled with meat, which was first 

presented to the guests. A large wooden ladle as broad and deep as a 
( ommon bowl, hung with a hook to the side of the kettle, with which every- 
one might at once help himself to as much as he could eat. The whole was 
( onducled in a very decent and quiet manner. Indeed, now and then, one 
would lie flat upon his back and rest himself, and sometimes they would 
stop, joke, and laugh heartilv " 

The Iroquois were divided into clans or families, distinguished by as 
many different sorts of arms or emblems, each being made to represent the 
< Ian or family to which it belonged. A sachem of one of these families 
when he signed an instrument of conveyance or public paper, put his em- 
blem upon it, representing the animal by which his family was designated. 
The first was that of the tortoise, and was first because they pretended 
that when the earth was made it was placed on a great turtle, and when 
there was an earth(iuake it was the turtle that stirred. Other families were 
designated by such names as the wolf and the bear. 

All their aftairs were under the direction of their chiefs, who obtained 
their authority by the general opinion of their courage and conduct, and 
whenever they failed to appear to the Indians in a praiseworthy light, their 
dignity ceased. Though the son was respected on account of valuable 
-ser\ices performed by his father, yet without personal merit he could not 
attain his rank. Whatever pertained to hereditary descent was confined to 
the female line, and the chieftainship fell upon the son of a chief's daugh- 
ter, to the exclusion of his uncle ; but the chiefs brother would succeed 
him instead of his own son in case there were no descendants through the 
female line. The language used by the Iroquois, both in their speeches 
and in ordinary conversation, was exceedingly figurative. Many of their 
chiefs were distinguished for their eloquence, and some of their speeches 
have scarcely been excelled by the greatest orators of enlightened nations. 
An early historian of New York, writing at the time when the Five Nations 
still constituted a powerful body, in regard to their manners and customs, 
says: " The manners of these savages are as simple as their government. 
Their houses are a few crotched stakes thrust into the ground, and over- 
laid with bark. A is kindled in the middle, 2v.d an aperture left at the 
top for the conveyance of the smoke. Whenever a considerable number of 
these huts are collected they have a castle, as it is called, consisting of a 
square without bastions, surrounded with pali.sadcs. They have no other 
fortification, and this is only designed as an asylum for their old men, wives 
and children, while the rest are gone out to war. While the women culti- 
vate a little spot of ground for com, the men employ themselves in hunt- 
ing. The men frequently associate themselves for conversation, by which 
means they not only preserve the remembrance of their wars and treaties, 
but diffuse among their youth incitements to glory, as well as instructions 
in all the subtleties of war." Before they went out they had a feast on 
dog's fiesh, and a great war dance, at which the warriors, who were fright- 
fully painted with vermilion, rose up and sung their exploits, or those of 
their ancestors, and thereby kindled a military enthusiasm in the whole 
company. The day after the dance they would go out a few miles, in 
single file, observing a profound silence. The procession being ended, they 
stripped the bark from a large tree, and painted the design of their expedi- 
tion on the naked trunk. The figure of a canoe, with the number of men 
in it, indicated the strength of their party; and by a deer, fox, or some 
other emblem, painted at its head, it was discovered against what nation 
they had gone. On their return, before they entered the village, two her- 
alds advanced and set up a yell, which by its modulation intimated either 
good or bad news. If the news was good the village was notified of it, and 
an entertainment provided for the conquerors, one of whom on their 
ai)proach bore the scal[>s which they had taken, stretched over a bow. and 
elevated upon a pole. The boldest man in the village came out to recei\e it, 
and then ran at the top of his speed to where the rest were collected. If 
overtaken he was seveicly beaten, but if he outran the pursuers he was allowed 
to participate in the honor of the victors, who neither spoke nor received 
tomplimenls until the feast was over. Then one of the victors wasap[tointed 
to relate the whole ad\cnture, while all the rest listened attentively (ill the 
(lose, when they all joined in a savage danre. 



the most eastern of the Five Nations. They claimed 
ion extending from the vicinity of Albany, on the 


Hudson, westerly to the head waters of the Susquehanna and Delaware, and 
thence northerly to the Si- Laurence river, and embracing all the land 
between this river and Lake Champlain. Their actual northern limits 
were not definitely fixed, but they appear to have claimed as hunting; 
grounds all the lands between the St. Lawrence and St. Johns nvers. This 
was a subject of continual dispute between them and other tribes. 

The French began the settlement of Canada in 1603, under a patent 
granted by Henr>' IV. to Pierre Du Gast, and were the first Europeans 
with whom the Mohawks came in contact. The circumstances were such 
as to make these Indians for a long period bitterly hostile to the French. 
the latter ha\ing bten first met by them as allies of the .-Vlgonquins, enemies 
of the Mohawks. To overcome this hostility, which was most prejudicial to 
the commercial interests of France, was the task of the French priests. As 
soon as the settlement of Canada was fairly begun, La Carnon, a Francis- 
can, at the solicitation of Champlain, governor of the new colony, entered 
the field as a missionan-. and as early as 1616 had penetrated the wilder- 
ness to the Mohawk countr\', being undoubtedly the first white man to be- 
hold the now famous river, and its beautiful valley. The Franciscans 
were succeeded in 1633 by the Jesuits, who, in the interest of trade as 
well as religion, went alone and unarmed among the savages, exhibiting 
in their exposure to perils and hardships the most striking examples of 
courage, patience, and self-denial. Among the Five Nations, however, the 
labors of the priests were for more than half a century of little avail, 
especially among the Mohawks, at whose, hands three of the Jesuit mis- 
sionaries suffered martyrdom with the spirit of the primitive apostles. The 
captivity and fate of Jogues exemplify their persistence, and the heroism 
with which they met death. In 1642 he and a number of others were 
captured, by a party of the Iroquois, on the St. Lawrence. While being 
taken into the interior they came into the hands of the Mohawks near 
Lake George, and were compelled to run the gauntlet . On re:iching rhe 
villages of the Mohawks Jogues was made to run the gauntlet twice more 
for their amusement. During his captivity he was frequently tormented 
with the most heartless cruelty. His fingers and toes were removed joint 
by joint, and his body and limbs mutilated with burning sticks and hot 
irons. He suffered in this way for fifteen months, when, through the 
influence of the Dutch, he was released, and returned to France. He 
afterward came back to this country, and in 1646 repaired to the scenes of 
his sufferings lo prosecute his missionary work. He was immediately 
apprehended, and put to death by the most excruciating tortures, at the 
village of Caughnawaga, where Fonda now stands. However interrupted 
in their labors the Jesuits would not give them up, until they had finally, 
about 1670, converted these very Indians of Caughnawaga, and induced 
them to remo\e to Canada. 

In 1659 the Mohawks, suft'ermg from their conflicts with the French, 
and crippled by their warriors getting liquor from the Dutch, sent a dele- 
gation to Albany, then called Fort Orange, to ask for aid and a stoppage 
of the sale of liquor. The speaker of the tribe complained of the Dut( h, 
saying thai they called his people brothers, and were bound to them by a 
chain; but this continued only so long as they had beavers, after whu h they 
were no longer thought of. He complained because the gunsmith refused to 
repair their arms, and that ammunition was withheld from them when 
they had no wampum. He requested that men and horses might be fur- 
nished them, lo cut and draw timber, so they could build fnrts for their 
protection. The commander at Fort Orange could give them no reply, 
but promised to submit their request to the governor, whose arrival was 
daily expected. The governor, however, not making his appearance in 
''cveral days, the people at Fort Orange began to be alarmed, and deemed 
't prudent to send ambassadors to the Mohawks, to reply to their request. 
\ formal council for this purpose was held at Caughnawaga in September. 
1659. which was the first ever held in the Mohawk country. 

In the spring of 1666, the Governor of Canada resolved upon the total 
dcstnu tion of the Mohawks, and inv.ided their country with the Adiron- 
d.Kks, and a strong French force, but his success wns not so complete ab he 
hid (ontemplatcd. The man h through the primitive forests w .i^^ ledmus 
^Vhen the expedition had finally arrived near the Mohawk vill.i-es the In- 
•h.ins ab.indoncd them and retired to the woods.and .ill that the Kremh were 
•ible t«» do in lessening their numeric al force wj> to murder some of the 
'•1(1 men wh<j (hose to die rather than desert iheir houses. Ha\ ing planted 
die cross, the triumph and glory of which were made the pretence for this 
'■^p«-duion. celebrated Ma^s. and sung the Tv DuM. the in\aders set fire 
'" the palisades .ind wigwams, and retraced their steps to Canada. The 

Indians, who were awed by the great number of the enemy, and their fire- 
arms, thought it proper to ask for peace, which was concluded the follow- 
ing year. 

Not only were the Mohawks harrassed by the French and their Indian 
allies from the north, but they were involved in bloody war with the Mo- 
hicans, through which they became so much weakened and humbled, that 
in the spring of 1669 they sent an embassy to Quebec to solicit aid, ask- 
ing that their nation might be protected from the Mohicans by the King of 
France. They were so far successful as to secure the co-operation of the 
Jesuit missionaries, in resisting an attack upon them by the Mohicans. 
The latter, and their allies invaded the Mohawk country, and on the i8th 
of August, 1669, besieged the palisaded village of Caughnawaga. The re- 
sistance offered by the Mohawks was so spirited and effectual that they 
soon retreated. The Mohawks descended the river in pursuit, and getting 
in advance of them, formed an ambuscade at a place commanding the road 
to Schenectady, where they waited their approach. A conflict ensued, in 
which the Mohawks were at length repulsed. The Oneidas, Onondagas 
and Cayugas joined with the Mohawks and invaded the country of the 
Mohicans, but without success. 

The French, having instigated some of the Iroquois to commit depre- 
dations on the frontier of Virginia, the latter were called to account at a 
council held at Albany, in 1684, at which Governor Dougan so completely 
won them over that they requested that the coat of arms of the Duke of 
York might be displayed in all their castles. Dongan gladly complied with 
a request which could be interpreted as submission to the English au- 
thority, if it should become desirable to put that construction upon it ; 
and he also presented some of the chiefs with medals showing that they 
were English subjects. 

.•Vt the opening of the year 1690, France and England being at war. the 
converted Caughnawaga Indians, who had removed to Canada, ioined the 
French under Count Frontenac in a descent upon the lower Mohawk set- 
tlements. Near midnight, on the 8th of February-, the inhabitants of Sche- 
nectady were roused from their slumbers by the horrid yells of the savages 
as they burst into the town, broke open the doors and began an indiscrimi- 
nate slaughter of men, women and children. The torch was applied to 
complete the destruction, and only one of the eighty well built houses in 
the village was spared. Sixty persons lost their lives in this massacre 
and twenty-seven were carried into captivity. The remainder fled, naked, 
toward Albany, through a deep snow, while a fierce storm was raging, 
and twenty-five of these poor fugitives were so badly frozen that they lost 
their limbs. The Mohawks residing in the village were spared in order to 
show that tribe, as well as the other nations of the confederacy, that it was 
not them but the English whom the French wished to afflict. But the 
Mohawks, instead of being won over to the French by terror of these 
scenes, only sympathized with their suffering and unfortunate neighbors, 
joined with a party from Albany in pursuit of the in\aders in their retreat, 
and sent their war parties to again harrnss the Canadian frontier. 

But the civil commotions which the colony of New York continued to 
experience so engrossed public attention, that the Five Nations were left 
to contend with the common enemy without much assistance from the 
English, and consequently they became disaffected, insomuch that at the 
solicitation of the Caughnawagas. the .Mohawks sent an embassy to Canada 
to confer with Count P'rontence about peace. To defeat this [lurpose, a 
council wa.-; held at Albany with the other nations of the confederacy, 
who renewed the chain of friendship, and resolved to prosecute the war 
against the French. The Mohawks afterwards confessed to having had 
negotiations with the French, and hastened to join in renewmg their league 
with the English. 

Count Frontenac finally finding all his efforts for accomphshing a peace 
with the Five Nations unavailing, determined to invade the country of the 
Mohawks. Collecting an army of six or seven hundred Frem h and Indi- 
ans at Montreal for this purpose, he set out in January, 1693, and after a 
tiresome march through the snow, arrived at and surprised the lower castle 
of the Mohau ks. situated near the confluence of the Mohawk and .^< hc^harie 
rivers. Ihi. castle was ca[.turecl without much re-isianc e. and the middle 
castle was taken with ecpial ease, the warriors being mostly absent. On 
assailing the upper castle, however, the invaders met with more resistance. 
Thev found about fnrty warriors engaged in a war-dance jireparatory to 
some e\))e(Iition thev were about to enter upon. .\ conflict ensued, in 
which the Krem h lost about thirty men before they succeeded in subdu- 
ing their enemies, .\bout three hundred of the Mohawks were taken 



It is difficult to 1^ 
nated ca-stle>, a tern 
some other proteLtio 
less defensible villag 

prisoners in this invasion. The ])eoi>le of Schenectady, though apprised 
of the enemy's march, ga\"e the Mohawks, their neighbors, no assistance 
nor informed them of the ap|)roaching danger. .\t this the Mohawks 
were much displeased. Immediately on hearing of this invasion, Schuyler, 
with the militia of -\lbany. joined by a party of the Indians, pursued and 
harrassed them in their retreat, and succeeded in retaking about fifty of 
the Indian captives. 

ate the site of some of the Mohawk villages dcsig- 
whuh implied places furnished with palisades or 
that distinguished tliein from more migratory and 
,. M an early day these Indians built their huts 
near together, the better to resist an imading foe. tlreat danger from an 
enemy, how-e\er, sometimes compelled a migration of the camp, or con- 
venience of hunting or fishing dictated it. The Mohawks once had a 
strong castle nearly four miles south of Fort Plain, in a well chosen posi- 
tion, on an elevated tongue of land between two streams, called Indian 
Hill. This plateau presents on the west toward the Otsquene an impractic- 
able bluff. The northern declivity of the hill is more gentle, and thirty 
or forty rods below- its termination the stream mentioned "mpties into the 
Otsquago. Upon the hillside the entrance of the casue may still be 
traced, as the ground has never been cultivated. The relics found here, 
including fragments of pottery, bones, bone implements, fresh water clam 
shells, etc., indicate that the place was probably early and long one of the 
chief strongholds of the tribe. It is believed that the occupancy of this 
site should be dated more than 250 years ago. The Mohawks also had a 
castle within the present limits of Fort Plain, at the termination of the 
high ground on the east side of the Otsquago, now called Prospect Hdl. 
This site was occupied much later than the other, as shown by the dis- 
covery of rings, wampum shells, etc., introduced by the Jesuits, or others 
of the first white men who ventured into the valley. The position of this 
village was also well chosen for defence and observation. It is said to have 
been called by the Indians Ta-ragh-jo-rees — Healthy Place. 

For the Last half century of the tribal existence of the .Mohawks m their 
own beautiful valley they had but two villages designated as castles. Of 
these the Canajoharie, or upper castle, was situated in the present town of 
Hanube, and the lower on the east bank of the Schoharie creek, at its 
junction vvith the Mohawk. Ihe latter bore the Indian name of l>yion- 

CH.\PIKR 111 

The wars in F.urope in the latter part of the seventeenth century and 
the beginning of the eighteenth, were waged principally on religious 
grounds. Most of the Kuropean powers still adhered to the Catholic faith, 
and supported the vigorous efforts of the Roman see for the e.xtinction of 
Protestantism. The lower Palatinate in (Icrmany was for many years the 
scene of the rapine and rav.iges so eminently incidental to religious wars, 
until the remnant of the population holding the tenets of the Protestant 
faith could no longer find a hiding place from their implacable enemies, 
the French, and, fleeing from their native land, took refuge in England. 
under the protection of a power which had then assumed its historic posi- 
tion .as the chief bulwark of Protestantism. 

Queen .\nne, u]ion the recommendation of her board of trade, granted 
the petition of loshua Kockerthal. a Lutheran minister, in behalf of him- 
self and fifty-one of his sulTermg co-rcligionists, that they might be trans- 
ported to her Majesty's .\merican colonics. Ihe immigrants are supposed 
to have arrived at New Vork in the latter part of 170.S, as in .\ugiist of that 
year Lord Lovelace, governor of the ...lony of New Vork. was directed 
to provide for their sub^isten. e. Ihey were natur.ili/eil bef.ire leaving 
England, and -ent over at the expense of the gmerniiicni. In June. 1710. 
three thousand more of the I'nlatines. as ilicy were 1 alkd. from the name 
of their native land, arrived in charge of (iov Hunter. Over four hun- 
dred had perished by sickness <lunng the voy.igc. Ihe British (Jovern- 
roent not only transported ihc iniinigrants free of charge, but was to su|)- 
port them for a year, when, it was expelled, ihev would have liei ome 
self-sustaining. In a report of the board of iradelo l^)ueen .\nne, dated 
December 9, 1709, it was su^i;esteil that tlu\ might be located along the 
Mohawk river, where they could be employed in making tar and turpentine 
from the abundant pine trees; and woiiid serve as a protei tioii 10 die 
colony from the French in lanaila. .mil the in iheir interest. 

In pointing out a place as most suitable for the settlement of the Pala- 
tines, the board of trade designated a tract on the Mohawk, about fifty 
miles in length and four in breadth ; and another about thirty miles in 
length, upon a creek flowing into the Mohawk, referring to the Schoharie, 
the land around which, though claimed by the .Mohawk Indians, could 
easily be purchased of them. It was also proposed that the settlers be 
employed for a limited time in making naval stores, and be naturalized in 
the province, free of charge. The F^nglish .\ttorney-Lieneral reported a 
contract, which was executed by them, granting them forty acres of land 
for each person, and exemption from taxes and ([uit rents for seven years 

Governor Hunter came over at the same time with this last body of the 
Palatines, having particular directions where to settle them, according to 
the suggestirms of the lords of trade. Upon a survey being made, how- 
ever, of the lands indicated, they were found destitute of pine timber, and 
hence, though highly fertile, unfitted for the design entertained, (rovernor 
Hunter, therefore, bought of Robert Livingston a tract of six thousand 
acres on the east side of the Hudson, which he describes as good soil ; and 
in December, 1710, he settled a large portion of the Ciermans upon it. 
Some, however, preferred to remain in New York city, and others found 
their way into Pennsylvania, and settled there. 

Having removed to the lands purchased by Hunter, the immigrants 
erected tem|)orary huts, settling in seven s(piads, each vvith a commissarv. 
through whom they received their su]iplies from an agent of the Queen. 
The man Livingston, from whom the land vvas bought, obtained a contract 
for furnishing these supplies, and is said to have cheated the settlers in 
the quantity of Hour delivered by making the tare of the barrels less than 
their actual weight. Governor Hunter, who exercised a supervision over 
the settlement, recommended that five families work in partnership, hold- 
ing their property in common, thinking such an arrangement would greatly 
facilitate the manufacture of tar and turpentine, for which purpose he 
bought a neighboring tract of pine timber. The newcomers were com- 
pelled to work under the direction of government agents, and found the 
business very distasteful. Thev' justly complained to the government 
officials. Some of their children had been bound out to the earlier in- 
habitants of the colony, and the conditions on which they came to New 
York had been disregarded. Governor Hunter's course in settling them 
on lands where they v\-ere employed in improving the estates of others, 
instead of in the fertile precincts of the Mohawk, sorely aggrieved them, 
y conduct." A member of the Hritish 
his colleagues, doubtless with too good 

and led to what was called " 
Government, in a letter to c 
reason, says ; 

" I think it unhappy that 
eniment, fell into ill hands 
vears in that jirovince for a very 
at .Albany, in which he was guilt 
he greatly imjiroved h 

L'ol. Hunter at his first arrival in his gov- 
for this Livingston has been known manv 

man; he formerly victualled the forces 
f the most notorious frauds, by which 

has a mill and a brew-house Ujjon hi- 

land, and if he can get the victualling of those Palatines, who are conven- 
iently posted for his jiurpose, he will make a very good addition to his 
estate, and I am persuaded the hopes he has of such a subsistence to be 
allowed were the chief if not the only inducements that prevailed with him 
to propose to Col. Hunter to settle them upon his land." 

In May, 1711. the number of Palatines on the Hudson was reported 
to be 1,761. They had no idea, how 
of mitigated slavery, and relimpiishi 
They sent some of their number to vi 
a good loi ation for a settlement. 

Early in the summer of 171 1. the 
Colonial Se< retary that the Palatine 
remain on the lands where they were 
Si hoharie and settling upon the trai t 
(Jiieen .\niie. Ihev were disposed to force their 
("iovernor Hunter ».is obliged to bring a bodv of t 
to disarm them .ind comjiel them to resume theii 
dition of Col. Ni. holson for the reduction of Cannd.i. in the fall of 171 
about three hundreil of the Palatines cheerfully enlisted, glad to es. a| 
from their haled toil, and to pay some part of their debt of vengeance I 
the detested French. Hut they had never given up their longing for tl 
rich soil to the westwaril. .ind Governor Hunter found it no easy ta' 
to restrain them. In Scpiember. 1712. he wrote Mr Cast, the siiperii 
tendent. that he had exhauslcd .ill the money and c redit he was ni.isl. 
of, and therein emb.irrass.d hiiiiself with diffi. nines whi. h he knew n. 

er, of rema 
i the regior 
■ the •• |,roi 

ning in their conditio 

designated for then 

used land." and sele. 

rds of tra.l 
would not V 
ttled. but V 
hi. h b 

were informeil by th 
ork at making tar. m 
ere intent on going 1 
een prouiiseil them b 


In the 




how to 5innount; and directed him to communicate to the Germans the 
state of ^airs. and instruct them to seek employment for themselves. 
The tar aianufacture, however, was not to be abandoned, but they must 
retom to it when retjuircd. 

Someflf the Eeading Palatines embraced this opportunity for an emigra- 
tion to tfct banks of the Schoharie, where they had obtained permission of 
the Indians to settle. Thcv threaded on foot an intricate Indian trail, 
bearing s^on their backs their worldly possessions, consisting of "a few 
rude toofa, a scanty supply of provisions, a meagre wardrobe, a small 
number f^ nist>- fire-arms ; they had to manufacture their own furniture, 
if the apofogy for it merited such a name." They had not been very long 
in possesion of the Schoharie valley before Nicholas Bayard, who had 
been coomissioned as an agent of the Crown, appeared at their settlement 
and offeaed deeds from the Sovereign lo those who had taken up land, 
if they would define its boundaries. The poor settlers, however, had been 
so long SMI sed to fair treatment that they regarded this excellent offer as 
a snare, and dna\e the agent from the community. From Schenectady he 
sent a nsssage; repeating his proposition, but it was disregarded, and he 
sold iheinds on which these Palatines had settled to a party of five men 
m Albanr. A patent was taken by the purchasers, who called upon the 
occupanls in the spring of 17 15, and requested them to take a lease, buy 
or remo^t. To none of these terms would the latter consent, declaring 
that the Queen had given them the lands, and they wanted no better title. 
l^gal proceedings were resorted to by the patentees, and a sheriff sent to 
arrest sane of the leading Palatines. No sooner was the officer in their 
midst and his business known than a mob gathered and fell upon him, 
beating hro unmercifully and inflicting other indignities, equally annoying. 
Some of the ofEeriders were after\vard arrested and confined in jail. Con- 
sidering 5Semse1ve<; sorely nnnressed. the Palntines had a petition drawn 
up, setrinj forth their grievances, and commissioned three of their number 
to presenl the memorial to the proper authorities in England. 

In i72ot Hunter was succeeded by \Vm. Burnet in the governorship of 
the pro\TEce, and in consequence of the troubles with the Palatines both at 
Schoharie and at the original settlement on the Hudson, was specially in- 
structed 10 remove such of the latter as might desire to other localities. In 
October, 1722, another company of Palatines arrived at New York from 
Holland, having lost many of their number on the vogage. The progress 
made by Burnet in settling the Palatines in the Mohawk valley, will ap- 
pear in his letter to the board of trade, dated Nov. 21, 1722. in which he 

"When I was at Albany I expected to have fixed the Palatines in their 
new Settlcaoent m-hich I had obtained from the Indians for them at a very 
easy purcfese, but I found them very much divided into Parties and the 
cunninges: of them fomenting their Divisions on purpose that the greatest 
number ni^ht leave the Province and then the great Tract of Land lately 
purchased would make so many considerable estates to the few Kamilys 
that shoaW remain, and with this view they told me that they found the 
land was far short of what the Indians had represented it to them and that 
not above twenty Familys could subsist there which I shewed them was 
a mere prttence by naming a Tract where 130 Familys live and flourish, 
which byd»eir own confession was less and no better soil than theirs how- 
rver since I found it was their humor to undervalue what had been done 
lor them I thouj;^t it best to wait till they should of themselves be forward 
to settle ibis new Tratt rather than to show too muih earnestness in pres-.- 
ing them 10 it Rut as about sixty familys desired to be in a distinct Tract 
from the Kst \- were those who had all along been most heartv for the 
t'fovemment I have given them leave to purchase land from the Indian^. 
W ween the present English settlements near Fort Hunter & part of Can- 
-Kla on a Oeek called Canada Creek where thcv will be stilt more immedi- 
^ttly a ISairier against the sudden incursions of the French, who made this 
their Road when they last attacked iV burned the Frontier Town called 
■^hencttadv. — The other Pal.itines have since my return to New York, 
vrnt vmie wf thnr body to desire a warrant of survey for ye New Tra. t 
■itrcjdy punhasetl. which convinces me that I ha<l done right, in not being 
*'Mt emest in that affiiir when 1 was at Albany. .Xntl indeed in my deal- 
'"Ks with tJm)sc |K.-ople \ find very little gratitude for favors done them. A: 
I-inirnlarhlhat th<isc who were best taken care of iS: settled on good Lands 
hv my PrfA'tcssfir are the most jpt to misrepresent him ;md tliis managed 
h> .1 few cunning [Mrrsons among them that lead the rest as they please, 
»hi> arc fee the j^cnerality a laborious and honest but a headstrong ignor- 
•*nt people." 

As the Palatines began to discover that all their troubles proceeded from 
their own ignorance and stubbomess some of them purchased the lands on 
which they had settled, but a large portion of them in the spring of 1723 
removed to Pennsylvania. Others moved up the Mohawk valley and set- 
tled in and about the present towns of Canajoharie and Palatine and to 
the westward along the river. These dissatisfied Palatines from Schoharie 
were, with but few exceptions, the earliest known white settlers in this part 
of the Mohawk valley. The agents of the Ciermans had doubtless travers- 
ed this region a number of years earlier to spy out the most desirable places 
for settlement ; and that some of them were in occupancy prior to 1723 
clearly appears from the fact that Governor Burnet in November, 1722, in- 
formed the Board of Trade that he had permitted some to purchase lands 
from the Indians between the English settlements near Fort Hunter and 
" part of Canada " on Canada Creek, in which location they would be a bar 
rier against the sudden incursions of the French. 

On the 19th of October, 1723. the Stone Arabia Patent was granted to 
twenty-seven Palatines, who with their families numbered one hundred and 
twenty-seven persons. The tract conveyed by this patent contained 12.- 
700 acres and was divided into twenty-eight equal parts. Fifty-one lots of 
fifty acres each were laid out on the tract, and each twenty-eighth part con- 
sisted of one or more of these lots together with a portion of the undivided 
land, except that two of the patentees. Lodowick Casselman and Gerhart 
Shaeffer took their entire twenty-eighths from the undivided portion. Bar- 
tholomew Picard took with his four lots enough of the undivided land to 
make two twenty-eighths of the grant. With these exceptions each paten- 
tee's portion included enough of the undivided land to make one twenty- 
eighth of the grant when added to his lot or lots ; " these lots being," in 
the language of the patent, set out and granted in severalty as follows, 
viz : 

'* Lots Nos. I and 47 to Warner Digert ; lots Nos. 2, 44. S and 48 to 
Bartholomew Picard ; lots Nos. 3 and 36 to Johannes Schell ; lots Nos. 
4 and 17 to Jacob Schell ; lots Nos. 5 and 25 to Johannes Cremse ; lots 
Nos. 6 and 46 to Johannes Emiger ; lot No. 7 to Wni. V'ocks ; lots Nos. 
9 and 24 to John Christian Garlack ; lots Nos. 10 and 19 to Mardan Dil- 
linbeck ; lots Nos. 11 and 14 lo Adam Emiger ; lots Nos. 12 and 4I to 
John Lawyer; lots Nos. 13 and 38 to Andries Feink ; lots Nos. 15 and 
45 to Hendrick Frey ; lots Nos. 16 and 40 to Theobald ( Jarlatk ; lots Nos. 
iS and 2& to Suffenmas Diegert ; lots Nos. 20 and 34 to Wm. Coppernoll ; 
lots Nos. 21 and 37 to Andries Peiper ; lots Nos. 22 and 50 to Mardan 
Seibert ; lots Nos. 23 and 39 to Hans Deterick Casselman ; lots Nos. 26 
^nd ^s ^o Christian Fink ; lots Nos. 27 and 49 to Johannes Ingolt ; lots 
Nos. 29 and 51 to Elias Garlack ; lots Nos. 30 and 43 to Simon Ercharl ; 
lots Nos. 31 and 35 to John Joost Schell ; lots Nos. ^2 and 42 to William 



Johnson's c.-vREF.R — thf, hvrnetsfield mass.acre:. 

Fort Hunter was built early in the last century at the junction of the 
Mohawk and Schoharie creek to serve as a frontier military post. The 
contract with Governor Hunter for its construction, dated October 11,1711. 
provided that it should be one hundred and fifty feet sipiare with a wail 
twelve feet high made of logs a foot s(piare and pinned together at the 
corners. Within this inclosure there were to be a two-story block house 
with dtmble loop holes and a chapel twenty-four feet square and one story 
high. The work was to be completed by the following July for 
The contract was taken by Garret Symome, Barent and Hendrick Vroo- 
man, John Wemp and Arent Van Petten of Schenectady. The fort was 
afterward enlarged and strengthened. The house of worship within its 
walls, built of stone, was * ailed (^ueen Anne's ihapel, being furnished by 
the queen shortly after its i.impletiDn nnd provided by her witli a com- 
munion st-rvue of silver. Altai hed to it was a glcl>e of three hundred 
acres of good land on which stood a two-story stone parsonage. It was 
under the management of an Epis. opal society in Englan.i " fur propagating 
the gospel in foreign part. ■' 

Fort Hunter was i)iaced under the < nmman.l ot 1 k-.iI. Inhn S.oit, «lio, 
having pur. h.ised a large tra. t i.t land from the Indians on ihe 20th of 
October. 1722, took a patent for tifteen hundred acres exten.ling westward 
from Auriest reek along the south bank of the .Mohawk ; ami on the 23d 
of June. 1725, his son took a patent for eleven hun<lred arres lying nn- 
medialely west and extending to the site of the village of Fultonville. 




Hendrick and Hans Hansen in 17 13 took a patent for two thousand acres 
near Tribes Hill, upon which they afterward settled ; and it is claimed that 
Henry, a son of one of them, was the first while child bom north of the 
Mohawk between Schenectady and Palatine Bridge. In 1714a patent for 
two thousand acres on the north side of the Mohawk at Caughnawaga was 
granted to John, Margaret and Edward Collins, who subsequently con\ eyed 
it to Myndert Wemple, Ilouw Fonda and Hendrick A. Vroornan, descen- 
dants of whom are numerous in the valley. Among the early settlers were 
a family named Groat who located at what is now Crane's Village. The 
Groat brothers in 1730 erected the pioneer gristmill west of Schenectady. 
The latter place had pre\!Ously furnished flour to the Palatines in the Mo- 
hawk valley as far up as the German Flats. 

.\bout this time ap[)eared upon the scene of pioneer labors in this region 
a young man destined during the course of an active and ambitious life to 
far outrank his neighbors in social position and in the extent of his influ- 
ence and possessions ; to fill the largest place in the local annals of his 
time and to found a community which will perpetuate his name in its own 
to the remotest future. William Johnson was sent into the .Mohawk valley 
in 1738 to superintend a large estate, the title to which had been acquired 
by his uncle. Sir Peter Warren, a British .\dmiral. This tract, containing 
some fifteen thousand acres, lay along the south bank of the -Mohawk near 
the mouth of Schoharie creek and mostly within the present town of Flori- 
da. It was called from its proprietor \\"arrensbush. Johnson was bom at 
Warrentown in the county of Down, Ireland, in 1715, and was therefore 
twenty-three years old when he took charge of his uncle's wilderness do- 
main. He was to promote Cai)tain Warren's interests by the sale of small 
farms in Warrensbush ; his own interests by cultivating land for himself, 
and their joint interests by keeping a store in which ihey were partners. 
In 1743 he became connected with the fur trade at Oswego and denved a 
great revenue from this and his other dealings with the Indians. Having 
early resolved to remain in the Mohawk \alley, he applied himself earnestly 
to the study of the character and language of the natives. By freely ming- 
ling with them and adopting their habits when it suited his interests he 
soon gained their good will and confidence, and gradually acquired an as- 
cendancy over them never possessed by any other European. 

A few years after Johnson's arrival on the Mohawk he purchased a tract 
of land on the north side of the river. In 1744 he built a gristmill on a 
small stream flowing into the Mohawk from the north about three miles 
west of the site of .Amsterdam. He also erected a stone mansion at this 
place for his own residence, calling it Fort Johnson. The building still 
stands and bears its old name. Johnson also bought from time to time 
great tracts of land north of the Mohawk, and at some distance from it, 
mostly within the present limits of F'ulton county. 

The Mohawk river early became the great thoroughfare toward Lake 
Ontario for the English colonists in prosecuting their trade with the In- 
dians. Governor Burnet realized the importance of controlling the lake 
for the purposes of commerce and of resistance to the encroachments of 
the French, and accordingly established in 172^ a trading post, and in 17^7, 
a fort at Oswego. The French met this measure by the construction of 
defences at Niagara to intercept the trade from the upper lakes. Thi> 
movement was ineffectually op|ioscd by [he Iroi|Uois, who, to obtain a^si^,- 
tance from the F^ngli^h, gave a deed of their territory to the King of F"ng- 
land, who was to protect them in the possession of it. 

To defend the frontier, which was exposed to invasions by the French, 
especially after their erection of the fortification of Crown Point, it was 
proiio>ed to people the territory in that direction with Scotch Highlandcr>. 
Captain Campbell, a Highland chief, came over in 1737 to view the Ian. Is 
offered, which, to the amount of thirty thousand acre-., it is said, (Anernor 
Clarke promised to free of i hargcs. except the cost of survev and the 
King's ipiii. rent. Sntisfieil with the lands, and with the assurances giwii 
him. Captain ( ain|ibell transported, at his expense, from Scotland more 
than four hundred adults, with their ihildren; but on their arri\al thcv 
were prevented by the intrigues of interested ottirers from settling in the 
tract indicated, and suffered great hardships before they could establish 
and support themselves elsewhere. .Many of them settled in and about 
Saratoga, beioining the pioneers in that quarter, as the I'al.itines were nn 
the .Mohawk. Engl.iml and France being at war. in 1 onsequeni e ol the 
latter cspoiisiii- the . aiisc of " the p(.|.ish rrcteiuler." the Clie\ alier St. 
George, the S. oti h settleiiK-nl was surprised on the mi.rning of Nov 
17th, 174^, In over si\ hmi.lred Fren. h .in,l Indi.ins. wh,. .ner. aiile the 
garrison, [luriu-d .ill the settlers' buildings, .uul either killcil or 1 arned int.. 
<aptiMt\ aim. .St llie nli.ilc p..pill.ltl,in I hirn i, ere niass.i. re. I. 

The village of Hoosic having been similarly destroyed, no obstacle 
remained to the enemy's advance, and consternation prevailed in the out- 
lying settlements, leading many of their inhabitants to flee to Albany. The 
environs of that city were harrassed by parties of French and Canadian 
Indians, and the Six Nations wavered in their attachment to the English. 
.\l this juncture William Johnson was entrusted with the sole manage- 
ment of the Iroquois. It is his services in this most important and deli- 
cate position, wherein he stood for a large part of his life as the mediator 
between two races, whose positions and aims made them almost inevitably 
hostile, that constitutes his strongest claim to lasting and favorable remem- 
brance. His knowledge of the manners, customs, and language of the 
Indians, and the complete confidence which they always reposed in him, 
.pialificd him for this position. .\ high officer of his government, he was 
also in 1746 formally invested by the .Mohawks with the rank of a chief in 
that nation, to whom he was thereafter known as Warraghigagey. In Indian 
costume he shortly after led the tribe to a council at .\lbany. He was 
appointed a colonel in the British service about this time, and by his 
direction of the colonial troops and the Iroquois warriors, the frontier 
settlements were to a great extent saved from devastation by the French 
and their Indian allies, the settlements north of .\lbany being an un- 
happy exception, while occasional murders and scalpings occurred even 
along the Mohawk. 

Johnson's influence with the Indians was increased by his having a .Mo- 
hawk woman, Molly Brant, sister of the famous chief Joseph Brant, living 
with him in the relation of a wife during the latter part of his life. The 
savages regarded the connection with great complacency, as they did the 
pale faced chief's intimacy with their wives and daughters generally. 
Johnson's first wife is understood to have been a German girl, purchased 
by him from a .Mr. Philips, living on the south side of the Mohawk, nearly 
opposite Crane's Village, to whom she had been sold for payment of her 
passage across the ocean — a common custom for twenty-five years after the 
Revolution. She lived with Mr. Johnson but a few years before her death. 
Their children were subsequently sir John Johnson, Mrs. Guy Johnson, 
and Mrs. Col. Claus. The generally received account is, that Johnson 
and his German wife were not married until during her fatal 

Peace nominally existed between France and England from 1748 to 
1756. but hostilities between their .American colonies broke out as early as 
1754. In the following year Col. Johnson was ajipointed a Major-CIeneral 
and led the expedition against Crown Point, which resulted in the disas- 
trous defeat of the French near Lake George. M the same time with his 
military promotion he was re-appointed superintendent of Indian affairs, 
having resigned that office in 1750, on account of the neglect of the govern- 
ment to pay certain claims for services. On resuming the superintendency 
General Johnson held a council with the Iro.iuois at his house, which 
resulted in about two hundred and fifty of their warriors following him to 
Lake George. The victory there gained was the only one in a generally 
disastrous year, and General Johnson's services were rewarded by a 
baronetcy and the sum of ^£^5,000, voted by Pariiament. He was also 
thereafter |>aid ^600 annually as the salary of his office over the Indians. 
The poor Irish trader had become the wealthy baronet. Sir William 

In the spring of 1756 measures were taken for fortifying the portages 
between Schenectady and Oswego, by way of the Mohawk, Wood Creek, 
Oneida Lake, and the Oswego River, with a view to keeping o|)en com- 
munication between .\lbany and the fort at Oswego. The latter was in 
(Linger of being taken by the French, but the English authorities, though 
w.irned of the fact, lo.ik but lardy and inelTei tual measures to defend the 
post. .\ few days before it was actually invested Gen. Webb, a man of 
small abilit) ami . .uirage, was sent with a regiment to reinforce the garri- 
son, .ind Sir U illiaiu Johnson, with tw., battalions of militia ami a liodyof, shorlly followed him. Hefore Webb reached Oneida Lake, how- 
eier. he w.i, informed that the beleagured post had surrendere.l. and fleil 
.lownihe .\1. .hawk to the German Flats, where he met Johnson's for.e. 
1 he lort at 1 isweg.i was ,lein..lisheil l.y the Fren. h. greatly t.. the sjtisfa. - 
tion of 111,, si ,,f the Ir,„pi,,is, who li.i.l .ilw.iys regarded it with .ilarni, an.l 
who now iii.i.le, es with the m. ; .in.l the Mohawk valley. e\poseil 
to the enenn. « as r.iiige.l by s. alping p.irties .jf Canailian savages. 

The .M.ih.iwks. however, throiigli the inlliicn.eof Sir William lohnson, 
reni.uned l.iithfiil t., the English. Ihe H.inmet. with a Mew to . .mnterni t 
the Uliprtssi,,n lii.,.lc iip,.n the Siv .\.ili,,ns by the l-rell. Il sii, . esses, sum- 
in., lud them to UKCI him ni .,>uii. il .11 F,,rl |.,hnsoii. ni liine. it;!.. 



Previous to their assembling an adverse circumstance occurred which 
rendered negotiations at once more ncccssar>- and less hopeful. A parly of 
Mohawks, while loitering around Fort Hunter, became involved in a quarrel 
with some soldiers of the garrison, resulting in several of the Indians 
being severely wounded. Revengeful feelmgs possessed the minds of the 
tribe, but Johnson succeeded in pacifying them, and winnmg over the 
Oneidas and Tuscaroras to the English interest. In the begmning of 
August Sir William led a party of Indian warriors and militia to the relief 
of Fort William Henr>-, at the head of Lake George, which was besieged by 
Montcalm; but on reaching Fort Edward his progress was arrested by the 
cowardice of Gen. Webb, who was there in command, and who used his 
superior authority to leave the beseiged fortress to its fate, which was a 
speedy surrender. The provincials, thoroughly disgusted by the disasters 
incurred through the incompetency and cowardice of their English officers, 
now deserted in great numbers; and while this was the case it was not to 
be expected that the fickle warriors of the Six Nations would remain 

Soon after the capture of Fort William Henry rumors gained circulation 
that a large force of French and Indians was preparing to invade the 
settlements on the Mohawk. The Palatines who had settled on the 
Bumetsfieid Patent were evidently most exposed; and feeling but poorly 
protected by what fortifications there were among them, they were several 
times during the Autumn on the point of deserting their dwellinj,^ and 
removing to settlements further down the river which were better defended. 
The rumors, however, seeming to prove groundless, they became embold- 
ened, and finally neglected all precautions against an attack. Meanwhile, 
an expedition of about three hundred Canadian French and Indians, under 
command of one Belletre, penetrated the northern wilderness by way of 
Black River, and at three o'clock in the morning of November 12, the 
Palatine village, containing sixty dwellings and four block houses, was 
surrounded, and the inhabitants aroused to a sense of their situation by 
the horrid war whoop, which was the signal of attack. The invaders 
rushed upon the block houses. At the first they were received with an 
active fire of musketr)', but the little garrison was soon appalled, as much 
by the blood-curdling yells of the Indians, as the more serious demonstra- 
tions of the French. The Mayor of the village, who was in command, 
opened the door and called for quarter. The garrisons of the other 
block-houses followed his example. These feeble defences, with all the 
other buildings in the settlement were then fired, and the wretched 
inmates of the dwellings, in attempting to escape from the flames were 
tomahawked and scalped. About forty of the Germans were thus massa- 
cred, and more than one hundred persons, men, women and children, were 
carried into captivity by the marauders as they retired laden with booty. 
This they did not do, however, until they had destroyed a large amount of 
grain and provisions, and as Belletre reported, slaughtered three thousand 
cattle, as many sheep, and fifteen hundred horses— figures, doubtless, 
grossly exaggerated. 

Although, as soon as their infamous work was consummated, the raiders 
hastily withdrew in the direction of their approach, the whole Mohawk 
valley was thrown into the wildest panic, which the distressed condition 
and heartrending narratives of women and children who had escaped the 
massacre, served to intensify. The inhabitants of the remaining Mohawk 
settlements hastened to send their effects to Albany and Schenectady, 
with the intention of following them; and for a time the upper towns were 
threatened with entire desertion. The Palatine settlement on the south 
>ide of the Mohawk, near the ore whose destruction has been related, was 
similarly visited in .\pril. 1758. The militia under Sir William Johnson 
rendezvoused at Canajoharie to resist this last invasion, but the enemy 
withdrew, and did not afterward appear in force in this <]uarter. .About 
this time Johnson, with some three hundred Indian warriors, chietly 
Mohawks, joined .Abercrombie's expedition against Croun Point. The 
disastrous repulse and retreat of Abercronibie's force, with the expectation 
(hat it would be followed up by the vittorious enemy, renewed the worst 
fears throughout the Mohawk \alley. which for onte were nut realized. 

In spite of this disaster, the successes of the English elsewhere during 
1758 made so favnralile an impression on the Six Nations, that Sir 
William Johnson «ns enabled in bring nearly a thousand warriors to join 
<'.en. Pridenux's expedition against Niagara, in the following summer, 
which the Martinet londucled ton suct essfiil issue after Trideaux's death 
by the acculental of a shell. Sir William, in 1760. led thirteen 
hundred I^<l.|uol^ warriors in (.encral AmherM's vxpeditmn against Mon- 
treal, whu h eMMiguisiietl the Frun. h power in Norih .Xiiilti. a. 





The settlement of the Mohawk valley previous to the conquest of 
Canada progressed but slowly. A description of the country given by 
a French authority in 1757, furnishes the following interesting representa- 
tion of the state of things at that date, in the present territory of Mont- 
gomery county, after mentioning that the road was "good for all sorts of 
carriages," from Fort Kouari, about 0]jposite the mouth of West Canada 
Creek, in the town of German Flats, Herkimer County, to Fort Cannat- 
chocari, which was at the upper Mohawk castle, in the town of Danube, 
and same county, and was a stockade fifteen feet high, and one hundred 
paces square : 

"From Fort Cannatchocari to Fort Hunter, is about 12 leagues; the 
road is pretty good; carriages pass over it; it continues along the banks 
of the Mohawk river. About a hundred houses, at greater or less distance 
from one another we found within this length of road. There are some 
situated also about half a league in the interior. The inhabitants 01 
this section are Germans, who compose a company of about 100 men each. 
'* Fort Hunter is situated on the borders of the Monawk river, and is 
of the same form as that of Cannatchocari, with the exception that it is 
twice as large. There is likewise a house at each curtain. The cannon at 
each bastion are from 7 to 9 pounders. The pickets of this fort are higher 
than those of Cannatchocari. There is a church or temple in the middle 
of the fort; in the interior of the fort are also some thirty cabins of 
Mohawk Indians, which is the most considerable village. This fort, like 
that of Cannatchocari, has no ditch; there's only a large swing door at the 

" Leaving Fort Hunter, a creek [Schoharie] is passed, at the mouth of 
which that fort is located. It can be forded and crossed in batteaux in 
summer, and on the ice in winter. There are some houses outside under 
the protection of the fort, in which the country people seek shelter when 
they fear or learn that an Indian or French war party is in the field. 

" From Fort Hunter to Chenectedi or Corlar is seven leagues. The 
public carriage way continues along the right bank of the Mohawk river. 
.About 20 to 30 houses are found within this distance separated the one 
from the other from about a quarter to half a league. The inhabitants of 
this section are Dutch. They form a company with some other inhabit- 
ants on the left bank of the Mohawk river, about 600 men strong.'* 

The above having sketched the south bank of the Mohawk, the writer, 
beginning at the west, thus describes the corresponding distance on the 
north bank : 

"After fording Canada creek, we continue along the left bank of the 
Mohawk nver and high road, which is passable for carts, for twelve leagues, 
to Col. Johnson's mansion. In the whole of this distance the soil is very 
good. About five hundred houses are erected at a distance one from the 
other. The greatest number of those on the bank of the river are built 
of stone, and those at a greater distance from the river in the interior are 
about half a league off ; they are new settlements, built of wood. 

"There is not a fort in the whole of this distance of 12 leagues. There 
is but one farmer's house, built of stone, that is somewhat fortified and 
surrounded with pickets. It is situate on the banks of the river, three 
leagues from where the Canada creek empties into the Mohawk river. The 
inhabitants of this country are Germans. They form four companies of 
100 men each. 

"Col. Johnson's mansion is situated on the border of the left bank of 
the river Mohawk ; it is three stones high, built of stone, with portholes 
crenelees and a parapet, and flanked with four bastions, on which are 
some small guns. In the same yard, on both sides of the mansion, there 
are two small houses. That on the right of the entrance is a store, and 
that on the left is designed for workmen, negroes and other domestics, 
i'he yard-gate is a heavy swing gate, well ironed; it is on the .Mohawk 
river side ; from this gate to the river there is about 200 paces of level 
ground. The high road passes there. A small rivulet coming from the 
north empties itself into the Mohawk river about 200 paces below the 
enclosure of the yard. On this stream there is a mill about 50 paces dis- 
tant from the house ; below the mill is the miller's house, where grain and 
Hour are stored ; and on tlie other side of the (.reck, too paces from the 



nd t<.ddL- 

;ire kept 

DO p; 

One hundred 



fifty paces from Col. Johnson's mansion, at the north side, on the left 
bank of the little creek, is a little hill on which is a small house with port 
holes, where is ordinarily kept a guard of honour of some twenty men, 
which serves also as an advanced post. 

"From Col. Johnson's house to Chenectedi is counted seven lea^^es ; 
the road is good, all sorts of vehicles pass over it. About twenty houses 
are found from jioint to point on this road. * * * In the whole coun- 
try of the Mohawk river there are nine companies of militia under Col. 
Johnson ; eight only remain, that of the village of the Palatines being no 
longer in existence, the greater part having been defeated by M. de Belle- 
tie's detachment. Col. Johnson assembles these companies when he has 
news of any expedition which may concern the Mohawk river." 

The French war had involved the government of New York so deeply 
in debt that direct taxation was necessitated. Part of a tax list under a 
warrant sent by the Albany county commissioners to " Mr. John Fonda. 
Collector for Mohawks," in the summer of 1764, is extant, and rtads as 
follows ■ 

'rl^: --• 




Sir Wm. Johnson 
Margrit Fiipse. 
Marte Van 

£^6t £ 
da, 21 


.7 6 
12 6 

1 Peter Young, 
jjohn Nukerk, 
1 Hans Klvn, 



£. .26 
I 12 6 
I 12 6 

Lewis Groat, 




Daniel Clas, 

I 5 

Davit Pruvn. 




' Guy Johnson, 


I 5 

Isaac D. C.raf. 




John Have, 


■ 5 

Hans .\ntes. 


2 6 

1 Jacob Potman, 


' 5 

James McMaster 


Clas D. Graf, 


I 2 6 

Hanne Vedder, 



' Harmanis Mabe, 


I 2 6 

Wouter Swart. 



Cor's Potman, 


I 2 6 

John Johnson, 



1 Cor's Nukerk, 


I 2 6 

The apprehension and dread of French invasion being removed, the 
tide of emigration flowed more rapidly into the Mohawk valley ; and the 
gloom and desolation that had fallen upon the advanced settlements gave 
way before the promise of a prosperous future. For the miprovement of 
his vast estate Sir William Johnson was active in settling families on the 
north side of the river. He built a summer residence within the present 
town of Broadalbin. Fulton County, which was known as Castle Cumber- 
land ; and at the same time a rustic lodge on the Sacondaga river, a few 
miles west, which was afterwards called the Fish House. In 1762 he more 
fully identified himself with the development of his estate north of the 
river by building and occupying Johnson Hall, at the settlement subse- 
quently named from him Johnstown. Much of his time and attention was 
taken up with Indian affairs. Various plans were devised by him for 
christianizing and educating the Six Nations by the introduction of 
churches and schools among them. He interested himself especially in 
the elevation of the Mohawks, several of whose young men were sent to 
the Moor Charity School, at I.abanon. Conn., under the direction of the 
Rev. Dr. Wheelock. It is to be hoped that most of them gave a better 
account of their opportunities than their school fellow, Josei)h Brant, 
whose name was in after years a terror throughout the Mohawk valley, 
which he and his savage followers swept with fire and tomahawk. 

In the summer of 1763 Sir William Johnson had to e.xert himself to 
prevent the Six Nations from joining the league of the western tribes which 
had been effc< ted by Pontiac. chief of the Ottawa confederacy, for the ex- 
pulsion of the English, in whose occupamy of the country he for<;aw the 
doom of his race. Without neutrality, at least on the part of the Iroijuois, 
there was no safety for the frontier settlements. Even with an assurance 
of their neutrality, which Sir William obtained from all but the Senecas, it 
was deemed expedient to order out the militia, who were sent in compa- 
nies to the frontit-r posts, while friendly Indians served as scouts, and 
ranged the forests from Lake Champlain to Oswego in vigilant search for 
the prowling foe. Pontiac's conspiracy faded of the support he had hoi)ed 
from the French; his f..ll(mers dcscrlfd htm beture they had in.uic the 
New York sfttlenK-nts feci the \cngLMn(c that ihey vi-.itcd upon the far 
western posts. 

Sir William Jflin^on thus gamed r)pp<irtunit\ for more constant efforts 
for civilizing the Indians. In i7*>; he drew up an elaborate review of the 
state of ImlKin affairs for the English bcpard of trade, reromnicnding vari- 
ous measures for the advancement of the tribes. When a change in the 
location of the Moor Charitv Sihool was talked of, he endeavored to ha\c 

it removed to the Mohawk valley. He failed in this, but in 1769 he built 
a church expressly for the use of the Mohawks, both of the upper and 
lower castles. Mr. Stone quotes a letter from the Baronet to his agent in 
New York, in which the latter is directed " to get a ball made and gilt ; 
also a weathercock and all the iron work necessary to fix them. They are 
to be proportioned to the building, which is a wooden church now a build- 
ing at Canajoharie of 50 ft. long by 32 wide. Also a bell ^13 to ^^20 in 
price." Mr. Stone writing in 1864 adds, " This little church is still stand- 
ing in the town of Danube, Herkimer County, New York;' the same old 
bell still hangs in the belfry. Tradition states that during the Revolution 
this bei! was carried off by the Indians, who on being pursued cast it into 
the Mohawk, whence it was afterwards fished out and restored to its 
place." At this time the Indians of the Six Nations were enjoying the 
services of teachers of their own race, educated by Dr. Wheelock, at the 
expense of Sir William Johnson. 

The continual increase of population in the Mohawk valley in process 
of time naturally gave rise to the question of dividing the county of Al- 
bany, which originally occupied all but the southeastern part of the State 
as then bounded, including Vermont. A movement for that purpose, in 
1769, failed to meet the approval of the Legislature, and was for the time 
abandoned. The onerous tax imposed upon the people by their being 
compelled to go all the way to Albany to avail themselves of the courts, 
however, caused the project to be revived. -A. second petition, suggesting 
an appropriate line for a division, was forwarded to the Assembly early in 
1772, by Sir William Johnson, who was the principal mover in the enter- 
prise. The Assembly complied with the petition by the creation of a new 
county, embracing all of the State west of a line running due north from 
the Delaware river, through what is now Schoharie County, and along the 
eastern limits of the present counties of Montgomer>', Fulton and Hamil- 
ton to the Car.adian line. The new county was named Tryou, frum the 
Governor of the colony. Johnstown was designated as the county seat 
on the loth of May, and measures for the erection of a jaU and court- 
house were at once taken. 

At the formation of Tryon county its white inhabitants were mostly 
settled along the Mohawk. Instead of towmships, it was divided into five 
large districts. The most eastern district was called the Mohawk, and 
consisted of a strip of the State between the east line of the county already 
defined and a parallel line crossing the Mohawk river at the " Noses." 
The Stone Arabia district extended indefinitely northward from the river 
between the Mohawk district on the east and on the west a north and south 
line through the State, crossing the river at Little Falls. With the same 
breadth the Canajoharie district reached southward to the Pennsylvania 
line. North of the Mohawk river and west of the Stone Arabia district, 
as far as settlements extended, was the K.ingsland district; while south of 
the river, extending westward from the Canajoharie district to the meridian 
of Fort Stanwix and southerly to the Pennsylvania line, was the German 
Flats district. On the first Tuesday in April each year, the inhabitants of 
each district were to elect a supervisor, and two assessors and one collec- 
tor of taxes. This division of districts was made March 24, 1772, the 
boundaries adopted being suggested by Sir William Johnson. A year 
later the name of the Stone Arabia district was changed to Palatine. 

The creation of the new county necessitated a court and civil ofllicers. 
.Accordingly four judges, six assistant judges, a number of justices of the 
peace, a clerk and a coroner were appointed by Governor Tryon, all but 
the clerk being Sir William Johnson's nominees. The first court of gen- 
eral quarter sessions was held at Johnstown on Tuesday, September 8. 
1772. The bench consisted of Guy Johnson, John Butler and Peter 
Conyne, judges; Sir John Johnson, Daniel Claus, John Wells and Jelles 
Fonda, assistant judges; John Collins, Joseph Chew, Adam Loucks, John 
Frey, Young and Peter Ten Broeck, justices. 

The first election in the county occurred pursuant to writs issued 
November 25. 1772. Colonels Guy Johnson and Hendrick Frcy were 
chosen to represent the (ounty in the assembly, in whi«h they touk their 

in { ommand of all the militia m the 
He look great pride in their soldierly 
n his selection of officers. (;o\ernor 
ey m 1772 re\ lewed three regunenls of 
Id and the German llats respe. tixely. 

al Jtthnson was at this time 
north of the Highlands, 
nc. and was very careful i 
1 a tour of the Mohawk vail 
ia at Johnstown, Hiirnctstie 

nbering in all fourteen hundred men. 


Among the mass of papers left by Jelles Fonda, and now in the posses- 
sion of the Van Homes of Fonda, is " a List of the persons that are assessed 
above five pounds, with the sums they are to pay, and the number of days 
they are to work ui>on the King's highways, annexed." Though not dated, 
the document is beheved to have been written shortly previous to the 
Revolution, and furnishes a sort of limited census of the inhabitants of this 
region, with their relative financial standing. Many names now familiar 
in the same district will be recognized under the disguise which the 
orthography of the writer, and perhaps of the times, put upon them. The 
list is as follows : 


John Eleven. 
Abraham Hodges, 
John and Evert Van Eps, 
Wm. and Wouttcr Swart, 
Maninus Van O'Linda, 
Mary Phillipse, 
Abraham Phillipse, 
William Allen, 
John Souts, 
Jacobus Cromwell, 
.\ndrew Frank. 
-\braham Van .\lstinc. 
■Crownidge Kinrade. 
John S. Vrooman. 
.Adam Stenbergh, 
Henry and John Lewis. 
Abraham Vates, 
David and Peter Lewis, 
Hendrick Divindorf. 
David Potman, 
Christian Earnest, 
John Waters. 
■Christopher McClraw, 
James Phillipse, 
William Snook, 
.Samuel Pettingall, 

Patrick McConnclly. 
John Van Dewake, 

Peter Young, 

Timothy Lendersc, 
Charles H.Van Eps. 

Peter Jost, 

Philip' Phillipse. 

lacob Van Dewarkc. 

John Everse. 

Malkart Van Du^esar. 

Mrs. Sophia Dennistun, 
'Capt. Norm'd McLead, 

Widow Vrooman & son, 

Dow Fonda, 

Lips Spinner, 

Samuel Rose, 

Hendri. k HolT. 

(lilbert Tice. 

Peter Cooley, 

Sanis(fn Sunens. 

John Wemplo. 

Andres Wemi.le. 

Peter Conyn. Es<|.. Vishet. 

Hanse Clement, 

Lewis Clement. 

Michael Staller, 


Philip We.mur, 

li.iltiis F.rgctsl^^er, 

Unbert .V.binis, 

M.irtin Lessl.T. 

Krans S.llts. 

Hanse Clvnc. 

la.nb I', 
■Cornelius P.HMi.m. 

1 6 4 


.\dam Gardener, 
j.\rent Bradt, 
JAdam Dagstader, Sen.. 
Fred'k Dagstader. Sen., 
Hendr'k Dagstader, Sen.,! 
lohn Bowen, 
"Uilliam B. Bowen, 
John V. Potman. 
John Butler, Es.i.. 
John Nare, 
John and Jacob Kilts. 
Conrad Linkenfelter. 
.\rent Potman. 
Sir Wm. Johnson, Bart.. 
Sir John Johnson, Kt., 
Col. Daniel Claus, 
;Col. Guy Johnson, 
j Frederick Degrart, 
[Nicholas Degrart", 
jj. Degraff and son Jer'h, 
[Lewis Groat, 
Jacob Bushart, 
Hendrick Bushart, 
[Adam Fonda. j 

Peter Whitmore. 
[john and Conradt Smith,' 
iGuvsbert and Garret ) 
Van Brachler. i 

' lames Davis, 

Peter Fredc 


John Wilson, 

J. Rupart and I.otiridge, 

[Peter Service, 

Hans .\ll)rant. 

Andrcis Snvder. 

Hans Doren. 
T'hilip Cromwell. 

Volkcrt Veeder, 

Widow Smith and sons, 
John V. Veeder. 
John Funda, 
jelles Funda, 

liarent B. Wemple. 

Hannanus .\Ieale>, 

(iarrent C. Newkirk, 

lohn Newkirk. 

Peter Martin. F;s.i . 

Isaac Collier, 

.\dam Zeelie. 

Ephraim Wcmple, 

Parent Hansen, 

Hendrick Hansen, 

Abraham ( lu.u kenl.iish. 

lercmiah (^ua, kenl.ii.h. 

N. and I". (,)ua. kenhnsh, 

Vin. ent ()ua. kcnl.ush. 



John Malatt. 

5 '.!■". 

6 4 

61 4 





Perhaps in no section of the northern colonies were the loyalists so 
numerous or so influential at the beginning of the Revolutionary agita- 
tions as along the Mohawk valley. A state of things e.xisted in this 
quarter unfavorable to the spirit of independence. Many conditions con- 
spired to make the cause of the crown popular and powerful that were 
lacking in other sections, prominent among which was the almost absolute 
power that Sir William Johnson had obtained over the Si.x Nations and a 
large share of the white inhabitants. His domains in the Mohawk valley 
including the 66,000 acres mostly in what is now Herkimer count)-, 
which in 1760 were given him by the Mohawks, and in the possession of 
which he was confirmed by the crown, leading to its being called the Royal 
grant), were exceedmgly extensive, and his influence through man) sub- 
ordinate officers and a numerous tenantry was correspondingly great. His 
opinion on all matters of importance with which he was concerned was 
considered that of a sage; and though not decidedly expressed, it nat- 
urally favored the government which had bestowed upon him wealth and 
rank. The name of Sir William Johnson, who had been the people's 
friend and companion in peace and their leader in war, was a tower of 
strength throughout Tryon County; and it was but natural that his senti- 
ments on so momentous ipiestions as those raised between the colonies 
and the crown should have persuaded to the side of the latter, or at least 
rendered neutral, some who would otherwise have cast in their lot with 
the colonists. By the Indians, not only of the Six Nations, but also of the 
western tribes which had fallen within the circle of his influence, the 
Baronet was regarded with the greatest veneration in spite of his unas- 
suming sociability and his familiar manners, incident to a border life. 

Notwithstanding that royalist influences thus seemed predominant in 
the Mohawk vallev, the stamp act agitation and other excitements that 
followed it penetrated this secluded region and kindled the same patriotic 
flame that was beginning to glow throughout the colonies; so that the 
[)eople were not uninterested spectators while the conflict of power and 
principle was going on upon the seaboard previous to the organization ot 
the continental army. 

Upon the death of Sir William Johnson, July 11, 1774, his son. Sir John 
lohnson. succeeded to his jiost of .Major-General of the militia, as well as 
to his title and most of his estate, and his son-in-law. Col. Guy Johnson, 
became superintendent of Indian affairs. But no heir to the first Bar- 
onet's properly or offices had the record or the personal qualities to 
enable him to sway the sceptre of Sir William. Sir John was unsocial, 
morose and irascible in disposition, and a man of small jjopularity. I'he 
Johnson's, however were strongly supported by the influence of " Miss 
Molly," Sir William's Mohawk housekeeper, over the tribe to which she 
belonged; and her efforts were seconded by the strenuous exertions of her 
brother Thayendanegea, better known as Joseph Brant, who had been in 
the service of the first Haronet during the last years of the latter's life, and 
upon his death became the secretary of Guy Johnson. Thus a great, 
though diminished influence still emanated from Johnson Hall. Its pro- 
prietor was in close official and ]jolitical relations with Col. John Butler, a 
wealthv and influential resident of the county, and his son Walter, whose 
names were rendered infamous by their brutal and bloody deeds during 
the Revolution. The Johnson family, together with other gentlemen of 
the same views, owning large estates in their neighborhood, so far con- 
trolled a belt of the .Mohawk valley as to measurably prevent the circula- 
tion of intelligence unfavorable to the mother country. 

Hut the white settlers were generally the Dutch, who had gradually ex- 
tended their settlements up the valley from Schenectady and occupied the 
eastern part of the county; and the Germans from the Palatinate who had 
located farther west. These people were not disposed lo submit to the 
ne«-fledged aristocrats who assumed a high and mighty style in dealing 
with the sturdy yeoman. The Johnsons soon found that the print iples 
avowed in rebellious Boston had taken root even in their midst; while the 
far-reai hing influence wielded by Sir William was narrowing down to a 
sort of feudal domination over a few hundred tenants and immediate re- 
tainers. Many of the inhabitants of I'ryon County, in common with those 
of other parts of the country, viewed with alarm and indignation the 
oppressive acts of the English ministry, and deeply sympathized with the 



people of Boslon, upon whom the iron hand of tyranny had fallen. Before 
Sir William had been in his grave two months a public meeting was held 
in the Palatine district, warmly approving the calling of a congress for 
mutual consultation upon the political exigencies of the colonies. The 
resolutions adopted breathe the genuine spirit of freedom, and must have 
required noble decision and courage to promulgate in so remote and 
defenceless a region, filled with loyalists and Indians controlled by them. 
They may be read as follows, from the original minutes of the meeting in 
the handwriting of Christopher P. Yates: 

"Whereas^ The British Parliament has lately passed an act for raising 
are^'enue in .America without the consent of our representati\e, abridging 
the hterties and privileges of the .American colonies, and. therefore, block- 
ing np the port of Boston; the freeholders and inhabitants of and in the 
county of Tryon aforesaid, looking with concern and heartfelt sorrow on 
these alarming and calamitous conditions, do meet this 27th day of 
August, 1774, on that purpose at the house of .\dam Loucks. Esq., at 
Stone .Arabia, and conclude the resolutions following, viz. ; 

"First. — That King C.eorge the Third is lawful and rightful lord and 
sovereign of Great Britain and the dominions thereto belonging, and that 
as part of his dominions, we hereby testify that we will bear true faith and 
allegiance to him; and that we both with our lives and fortunes, will sup- 
port and maintain him upon the throne of his ancestors, in the just 
dependence of these, his colonies, upon the crown of Great Britain. 

"Second. — That we think and consider it as our greatest happiness to 
be governed by the laws of Great Britain, and that with cheerfulness we 
will always pay submission thereunto, as far as we consistently can with the 
security of the constitutional nghts and liberties of English subjects. 
which are so sacred that we cannot permit the same to be violated. 

"Third. — That we think it is our undeniable privilege to be taxed only 
with our own consent, given by ourselves, or our representatives; that 
taxes othenvise laid and enacted are unjust and unconstitutional: that the 
late Acts of Parliament declarative of their right of laying internal ta.\es 
on the American colonies are obvious encroachments on the rights and 
liberties of the British subjects in .America. 

"Fourth. — That the act for blocking up the port of Boston is oppres- 
sive and arbitrarj', injurious in its principles, and particularly oppressue 
to the people of Boston, whom we consider as brethren suffering in the 
common cause. 

"Fifth. — That we will unite and join with the different districts of this 
county in giving whatever relief it is in our power to the distressed inhab- 
itants of Boston, and that we will join and unite with our brethren of the 
rest of this colony in anything tending to support and defend our rights 
and liberties. 

"Sixth. — That we think the sending of delegates from the different 
colonies to a Continental Congress is a salutary measure, and 
absolutely necessary at this alarming crisis, and that we entirely approve 
of the five gentlemen chosen delegates for this colony, by our brethren of 
New York, hereby adopting and choosing the same persons to represent 
this colony at the Congress. 

"Seventh. — That we hereby engage faithfully to abide by and adhere 
to such restrictions and resolutions as shall be made and agreed upon by 
the said Congress. 

"Eighth. — That we concei\e it necessary that there be appointed a 
standing tommittee of this county to correspond with the committees of 
New York and .Albany; and we do hereby appoint Christopher P. V.ates. 
Isaac Pans, John Frcy, and .Andrew Fini k, Jr., «lio, together with persons 
to be appointed by the other distru ts of 111 
mitteeof Correspondence to con\ey the sei 
of resolves to New York. 

" NlN fH. — It i^ voted by this meeluif; th 
this, certified by the be 
different distriit^ of this cDuiitv, anil we 1 
of the saiddistri. t to appoint ller^u^^ to 1 iimposc also a committee of c or- 
responden* e."' 

At the meeting of the Continental Congress in .'September, 1774, a 
Declaration of Rights was adopted, showing wherein the colonies were sub- 
jected to injustice. It a jiowerful effect in forming and defining pub- 
lic opinion, and drawing the lines between patriot and tory in this inland 
dislnct. It was beginning to be suspected that Col. (aiy Johnson was 
using his official authority with ihe Indians to alienate thcni from the 
cause of the .Americans, and indiu e ihciii to declare for ihe King in 1 asc 

: of thi; 

. of the 

end If to l\u 

1 Loni- 

ceedings of 
.isorsof the 

of a conflict. Brant, Johnson's secretary, was incessantly visiting the 
tribes, and holding secret conferences with the chiefs. His former 
friendly intercourse with the Rev. Samuel Kirkland, missionary among the 
Oneidas, suddenly ceased, and at the instigation of Brant, an Oneida chief, 
preferred charges against the clergyman before Johnson, and asked his 
removal. It was well known that this faithful minister was a staunch 
patriot, and the action of the wily Sachem could not be misunderstood. 
The Oneidas as a nation, however, rallied to the support of Kirkland ; his 
removal was for a time deferred, and to his influence may be attributed 
the position taken by the tribe during the long Revolutionary struggle, 
and the signal aid which they gave to the cause of freedom. 

The Johnson family and their associates having promptly sided with the 
crown, m.ide active efforts to smother the spirit of liberty, which was 
evidently gaining strength, but by a measure of their own adoption, they 
managed to fan into full blaze, instead of extinguishing the spark that had 
been struck in the Palatine District. In the spring of 1775, just before 
the second Congress assembled at Philadelphia, the exciting intelligence of 
the encounter at Lexington was received in Johnstown, during a session of 
court. The loyalists, thereupon, thinking it time to assert themselves, 
undertook a demonstration against the colonial Congress, by circulating 
for signature a declaration disapproving of the proceedings of that body 
in the preceding autumn. This provoked a spirited altercation, but the 
movers in the affair succeeded in obtaining the signatures of a majority of 
the grand jurors and magistrates of the county. This procedure of the 
tories threw the whigs, who comprised a considerable majority of the 
white population of Tryon county, into a fever of excitement and indigna- 
tion. They judged the time had arrived for a decided step, and public 
meetings were called, and committees appointed in all the districts, and 
sub-committees in nearly every precinct. 

The first mass meeting of the whigs was broken up by the violent 
interference of the tories. Some three hundred patriots had assembled 
unarmed at Caughnawaga 10 jiroclaira their sentiments and raise a liberty 
pole, a most offensive object to Tory eyes. Before their purpose was 
accomplished. Sir John Johnson .and Cols. Claus, Guy Johnson and Butler, 
with a large number of their retainers, armed with swords and pistols, 
arrived on the ground. Guy Johnson mounted a high stoop and harangued 
the crowd with great vehemence. He expatiated on the strength of the 
king and government, and the folly of revolt. .A single British ship, he 
said, could destroy all the navy that the colonies might set afloat. He had 
not a conciliatory word for the people, but denounced their jiroceedings 
in virulent and abusive language. .Among the leading whigs present were 
Sampson Sammons, a wealthy farmer, living a little north of the place of 
meeting, and two of his sons, Jacob and Frederick, Johnson's speech so 
irritated Jacob, that he interrupted the speaker by pronouncing him a liar 
and a villian. Johnson leaped from his rostrum and seized young Sam- 
mons by the throat. .A struggle followed, in which Sammons uas felled 
to the ground by a blow from a loaded whiji-handle, producing a moment- 
ary stupor. Recovering he found one of Johnson's servants sitting astride 
his body. F'linging him off he si»rung up and renewed the fight. Pistols 
were presented to his, but he was destined 10 suffer much more 
rough handling for his country's sake, and they were not fired. He was, 
however, knoi ked down again and severely beaten by the tories. .Mean- 
while, his un.irnied companions had dispersed, and on escaping from the 
clutches of Ihe Johnson men, Sammons was satisfied to retire to his father's 
house, bearing upon his body the first scars of the Revolutionary contest 
in the coiint\- of Trjon. 

.A crowded and spirited whig meeting was held shortly alter in the 
church at Cherry \'alley The orator of the occasion a resident 
named Thomas Sjiencer, \\*ho served as an Indian inlerpreter. He 
delivered a rude but forcible s|ncrh, and resolutions were .adopted sin. ugly 
condemning the conduct of the J'lhn^town tories, and exjilicitly approsing 
the proceedings of the Congress. .\ second meeting at the 
house of .\d.iin I.oiicks, fearing that ihc Johnstown tory declaration might 
pass for the voice of the county, if no notice was taken of it. adopted an 
article of ns^ociation. endorsing the action of Congress, and pledging the 
signers to its support, A committee to correspond with those of other 
di-iricts was ap].ointed, consi,ting of Christopher P. Yates, John Frey, 
Is.1.1, I'.ins. .\n,lrevv lin. k. Jr., Andrew Reeber. Peter \V,iggoner, 
.Vnlhony \-an Ve. hlen. ll.iniel Mi Dougnll, J.icob Klock, George Kcker. 
Jr., Harni.inii, \'an SKik, and ChnsKipher W. Fox. 

Ad.iiii loiuks, at whose house ihis niceling was held, lived on what is 



now kDovn as the Graff fann, being occupied by Erwin Graff, i some two 
miles froin Palatine Bridge. Loucks was a Justice of the Peace, upon the 
bench 3t the sitting of the first "Court of General Quarter Sessions" at 




The patriots of Tr)'on county were early confirmed in their suspicion 
that the Johnson party was preparing to suppress all patriotic demonstra- 
tions in the county; and also inciting the Indians to take up the hatchet 
for the king when actual hostilities should break out. As evidence of his 
intentions. Sir John Johnson planted swivels around the Hali. and organ- 
ized and armed a body of Scotch Highlanders living near it. The Palatine 
committee, in view of the alarming state of affairs, met on the 19th of 
May, 1775, and addressed the following letter to the committee at Albany : 

"We are so |>eculiariy circumstanced in this cT>unty relating to the 
present straggle for Amencan liberty, that we cannot longer defer laying 
the situatioD of this county before you. The district we represent has 
been foremost in avowmg its attachment to liberty, and approving the 
mode of opposition adopted in America, and are now signing an associa- 
tion similar to what has been signed in other counties of this province. 
And we hope in a few days to have the pleasure to transmit it down for 
the press. The county being e.xtensive, it takes a considerable time before 
the people who are favorable to the cause can be got to sign, for we have 
caused copits of the association to be dispersed in divers parts of the 

" This county has for a series of years been ruled by one family, the dif- 
ferent branches of which are still strenuous in persuading people from 
coming into rongres-iional measures, and even last week, nt a numerous 
meeting of the Mohawk district, appeared with all their dependents armed 
to oppose the people from considering of their grievances. Their number 
being so lai^e, and the people unarmed, struck terror into the most of 
them, and they dispersed. We are informed that JoKnson Hall is fortified 
by placing a parcel of swivels round the house, and that Col. Johnson has 
had part of his regiment under arms yesterday, no doubt with a design to 
prevent the friends of Liberty from publishing their attachment to her to 
the world. Besides which we are told, that certain Highlanders 'Roman 
Catholics in and about Johnstown, are armed and ready to march upon like 
occasion. We are also informed that Col. Johnson has stopped two New 
England men and searched them, being, we suppose, suspicious that they 
were going to solicit aid from us or of the Indians, whom we dread * * * 
there being a current report through the county that they had been made 
use of in keejiing us in arms. 

"We recommend strongly and seriously to you to take in your consider- 
ation whether any powder and ammunition ought to be permitted to be 
sent up this way, unless it is done under the inspection of the committee, 
and consigned to the committee here, and for such particular shopkeepers 
as we in our next shall acquaint you of. 

"We are determined to suffer none in our district to sell any but such as 
we approve of, and sign the association. When anything particular comes 
to our knowledge relating to the Indians (whom we shall watch\ or any 
other thing interesting, we shall take the earliest opportunity in communi- 
cating the same to you. And as we are a young county, and remote from 
the metropolis, we beg you will give us all the intelligence in your power. 

We shall not be able to send down any deputies to the Provincial Con- 
gress, as we cannot obtain the sense of the county soon enough to make it 
worth our while to send any; but be assured we are not the les> attached to 
American liberty, for we are determined, although few in number, to let 
the world see who are and who are not such, and to wipe off the indelible 
disgrace brought on us by the declaration signed by our grand jury and 
some of our magistrates, who in general are considered by the majority of 
the county as enemies to their country. In a word, gentlemen, it is our 
fixed resolve to support and carry into execution everything recommended 
by the Continental and Provincial Congress, and to be free or die." 

Shortly after this letter was written, accidental confirmation was ob- 
tained of the helief that the superintendent of Indian affairs was tamper- 
ing with his savage wards in anticipation of hostilities. A communication 
from ihe Mohawks to the Oneidas, in the language of the former, was 

found in an Indian trail, where it was probably dropped by one of their 
couriers. It was written by Joseph Brant, from Guy Johnson's house, and 
was an application for warriors to act as part of a perpetual body guard for 
the superintendent who, the despatch said, was " in great fear of being ta- 
ken prisoner by the Bostonians." It was announced that the other nations 
might be called on. This dispatch was interpreted by those into whose 
hands it fell as an attempt of Johnson to reinforce himself for purposes in- 
compatible with their safety. Col. Johnson himself wrote about the same 
time to the magistrates of the upper districts, urging them to dissipate if 
possible the impression that he meditated an imi^roper use of his influence 
with the Indians. It was learned, however, that the remoter tribes of the 
Si.\ Nations had been invited down to his house. The superintendent's 
own domestic army amounted to five hundred men, and he had already cut 
off free communication between Albany and the upper Mohawk settle- 
ments. The Palatine district committee, at a meeting held May 21, to 
consider these facts, unanimously adopted a series of resolutions including 
the following : 

"Third. — That as the whole continent has approved of the proceedings 
of the Massachusetts Bay and other colonies of New England, we do adopt 
and approve of the same, and therefore we must and do consider that any 
fortification or armed force raised to be made use of against them, is de- 
signed to overawe us and make as submit. 

" Fourth. — That Col. Johnson's conduct in raising fortifications around 
his house, keeping a number of Indians and others constantly about him, 
and stopping and searching travellers upon the king's highway, is very 
alarming to the county and highly arbitrary, illegal, oppressive, and un- 
warrantable, and confirms us in our fears that his design is to keep us in 
awe, and to oblige us to submit to a state of slavery. 

" Fifth. — That as we abhor a state of slavery we do join and unite to- 
gether under all the ties of religion, honor, justice and love for our coun- 
try, never to become sla\es, and to defend our freedom with our lives and 

It was ordered that the German Flats and Kingsland districts be invited 
to join the Palatine for the purpose of a common defence. 

This meeting was held at the house of Philip W. Fo.x, near the Palatine 
stone church, a house which is said, with great probability, to have been 
burned during the Revolution. The owner was called by his Dutch neigh- 
bors Lips Fox. He was a grand juror at a court held March 9, 1779, and 
also at a session which convened at Johnstown June 12, 1781, and ad- 
journed, probably for greater security, to Fort Hunter, where it is believed 
the court sat in Queen Anne's Chapel. They were men of such standing 
who formed the Tryon County committee of safety. 

In the latter part of May, Guy Johnson sent to the common council of 
Albany a letter complaining of the expense to which he was put in pro- 
tecting himself from being kidnapped by certain New Englanders, or 
persons about Albany or Schenectady, who he had been repreatedly 
warned were meditating such an attempt, on the false and malicious rumor 
that he intended to make the Indians destroy the settlers. The savages 
would, however, he declared, do something of the kind if he should be 
taken prisoner in the way suggested. He appealed to the municipality of 
Albany, as having authority and influence, to disabuse the public mind, 
and prevent the alarming consequences which he feared. 

A prompt reply to Col. Johnson's communication contained the follow- 
ing words : 

"We trust that you are so well acquainted with the nature and duties of 
your orfice, that you will pursue the dictates of an honest heart, and study 
the interest, peace and welfare of your county. In which case we presume 
you need not be ap|)rehensive of any injury in your person or property, 
neither can we learn or conceive that there either is or has been any 
intention of taking you captive, or offering you any indignity whatever, 
either by the New England people, or any of the inhabitants of this city, 
or any one else; and we have but too much reason to think that these 
groundless reports have been raised and industriously propagated, in 
your own phraseology', by some busy people in your county, to rouse up 
the Indians from theii peaceful habitations, and take up arms against such 
of our American brethren as are engaged on the part of America in the 
unhappy contest between Great Britain and her colonies." 

The Albany committee in reply to the Palatine comuuttee's letter, said 
they had no ammunition to spare, and advised their correspondent not lo 
attempt to open communication between the two counties by force, and 
the project was accordingly given up. 



Ob the 24th of May, the committees of all the districts but the Mohawk 
met together at the house of William Seher, in the Canajoharie district, 
unanimously approved of the proceedinji;s of the Palatine committee in 
their meetings and voted that Daniel McDuugall, for i'alaime district, 
David Cox. for Canajoharie. and Edward Wall and Duncan McDougall, 
for (ierman Klat«* and Kinj;sland, be sent to Schenectady and Albany to 
confer with the committees at those towns on the situation and the duties 
of the hour; and to j^ct a supply of ammunition, to be sold under the 
supervi>»ion of the body ordering it. It was also " resolved unanimously, 
that whereas the persons of some of the members of this commitee have 
been threatened with imjjrisonment on acLOunt of their being concerned 
in our just opjiositron, in which case we do associate and unite together, 
we will to the utmost of our power do our endeavurs, by force, or other- 
wise, to rescue them from imprisonment, unless such person or persons are 
confined by legal process, issued upon legal ground, and executed in a 
legal manner." 

William Seeber, the committeeman at whose house this meeting was 
held, was the Major of a batallion of militia at Oriskany. He was 
mortally wounded, but survived the battle 126 days, at his house, which 
was near the present village of Fort Plain, and within rifle shot of the Fort 
Plain block house. The farm that was his is now owned by the Lipe 
brothers, David and Seeber. .A tenant is now Dec, 1877 . on the place, 
which for years previous to the spring of 1S77, was owned and occupied by 
Adam Lipe, a brother of the present proprietors. 

On the 25lh of May, a council of the Mohawks was held at Guy Park. 
it was attended by delegates from the Albany and Tryon county commit- 
tees. The principal chief and speaker of the Mohawks was Little Abra- 
ham, a brother of the famous Hendrick. He said he was glad to hear 
that Guy Johnson was in no danger; the Indians did not wish to (|uarrel 
with the whites, but they were alarmed by reports that their powder was 
stopped; they obtained their supplies from the superintendent, and if 
their ammunition was intercepted they should distrust the whiles, but 
would at all times listen to what they had to say in the presence of Col. 
Guy Johnson. The representatives of the committees, after holding a 
consultation, replied that they were pleased to hear the friendly expres- 
sions of the speaker. They assured the Mohawks that the reports of 
ammunition being withheld from them were false, and that when business 
was to be transacted, they would meet the Indians at the council fires, and 
in presence of their superintendent. The Mohawk speaker, in his response, 
said that the love his people had for the memory of Sir William Johnson, 
and the obligations of the whole '6\\ Nations to him must make them 
regard and protect every branch of his family. He promised that he and 
his comrades would exfilain things to all the Indians, and hoped the com- 
mittee men would do the same to their jjcoiile. 

The council broke up in apparent good feeling, but the result was 
unsatisfactory on both sides. No contidem e uas |ihKed in the pledges of 
the Indians. The Mohawks only were rcjjresented. and the suijermtend- 
ent made this fact the excuse for immediately calling another council ni 
the German Flats. Under cover of this appointment, he removed with 
his family, attended by a large retinue of Mohawks, to the residem e of a 
Mr. Thompson, a few miles above the Flats, 

On the 29th of May. a meeting of the Irvon c ((iint\ t onimiitee was held 
at the house of William Seeber, at whit h a resolution was passed prohibiting 
all trade with persons who had not signed the article of association; forbid- 
ding also the owners of slaves to allow them off their premises without a 
written permit, and declaring that whoexcr disregarded these regulations 
should be treated as an enemy (»f the district and the country. 

The first full meeting of the Tryon < ounty eommiltee was held June 2. 
at the house of Warner Tygert. in the Canajoharie district; the Mohauk 
members having thus far been prevented from attending by the Johnson^.. 
Warner Tygert. or Dygert, as the famiK now spell their name, lived in the 
extreme western en«l of the Canajoharie disiru I. at the for)l uf Fall Hill. 
and but a short distance from the (icneral Hrrkinier dwelling. In the 
latter part of the war. Tygert was killed bv Indi.ins. tm the hill abo\e his 
residence, where he had gone to build a lorn cnb. While thus engaged, 
he laid down his gun. struck fire and lit Ins pipe, and was about to resume 
his work, when a party of Indians, tout eakii in the bnslus near by. shot 
him down, tomahawked and scalped hiiu, A little son. (en )e;irs ()l(l. who 
accompanied him, was taken a prisoner to Canada, where he reiiKimLMJ. 
Dygert was one of the first grand jurors at Johnstown. 

It is well here to record the names of the committee — names that must 


never lie l()>t from ihc history of the Mohawk valley, and of the Revolu- 
tion; they arc a^ follows: 

MiiHwvk l>isikiur, — John Marlett, John Bliven, Abraham Van Horn, 
.\< Konda, hrcilcruL Ki'.her. Sampson Sammons, William Schuyler, 
Volkcrt Veeder, James M<. Master, and Daniel Lane. 

Pal.atine DisrKiLr. — Isaac Paris, t'hrisiophcr P. Yates, John Krcy, 
Andrew Fink, Jr., .\ndrcw Keeber. Peter Waggoner, Daniel .NtcDougall, 
Jacob Klock, (;eort;e K, ker, Jr.. H.irmamis V.m Slyck, Christopher W. 
Fo\, and .\nthony Van Vei htcn. 

CAN4JOHARIK Dlx I KK I . — N ii Hc.las Herkimer, Ebenezer Cox. William 
Seeber, John Moore. Samuel Campbell, Samuel Clyde, Thomas Henry, 
and John Pit kard. 

KiNiisi.ANi) A.N'i) (iKk.MAN Ki.Ats Disrkicis. — Edward Wall, William 
Petry, John Petry, .Marcus Petry, .^ugustinus Hess, Frederick .-Khrendorl, 
eorge Wents, Michael E. Ittij;. Frederick Fo.\. Ceo. Herkimer, Dunian 
.McDoiigall. Frederick Hilmer, and John Franck. 

Christopher P. Yates was chosen chairman of the county committee, 
I and Edward Wall and Nicholas Herkimer were deputed to deliver to IJuy 
j Johnson a letter from the committee, of w hich the following is the essential 
I part; 

' ".\ccording to the example of the counties in this and the neighboring 

1 colonies the people of the district we represent have met in a peaceable 

i manner to consider of the jircsent dispute with the mother country and 

j the colonies, signed a general association and appointed us a committee to 

meet in order to consult the common safety of our rights and liberties, 

which are infringed In a most enormous manner by enforcing oppressive 

and unconstitutional acts of the British Parliament by an armed force in 

I the Ma.ssachusclts Bay. 

" \\'as it any longer a duiilit that we are oppressed by the mother country 
1 and that it is the a\owed design of the ministers to enslave us, we might 
i perhaps be induced to use argument to point out in what particular.^ we 
j concei^ethat it is the birthright ot Flnglisti subjects to be exempted trom 
j all taxes except those which are laid on them by their representatives, and 
I think we have a right, not only by the laws and constitution of England, 
to meet for the purpose we ha\e done; which meeting we probably would 
have postponed a while had there been the least kind of probability that 
I the petition of the general assembly would have been noticed more than 
j the united petition of almost the whole continent of America by their 
' delegates in Congress, which, so far from being any ways complied with, 
was treated with superlative lontempt by the ministry, and fresh oppres- 
sions were and arc ilaih- heaped upon us. L'pon whi< h principles — prin- 
ciples which are undeniable — we ha\c been appointed to consult methods 
to cimtribute what little lies in our power to save our devoted country 
from ruin and devastation; whuh, with the .assistance of Divine Provi- 
dence, it is our lived and determined resolution to do; and, if called upon, 
we shall be foremost in sharing the toil and danger of the field. We 
consider New England suffering in the i iimmon cause and commi.serate 
their distressed condition, anil we should be wnnlinu in our duty to our 

III to 



our dctermin.uiiin to the world. 

■ "We know that some of the members ,.f this . ommiltee have been 

I charged with c ompelling people to n.iiie into the measures whuh v\c h.ive 

I adopted, and with drinking tre.isonable toasts. But as we are t on\ini ed 

I that these reports are false and m.ibcioiis, spread by our enemies with the 

sole intent to lessen us in the esteem of the world; and as we are cons< loiis 

of being guilty of no .rime and of h.umg b.irely done our duty. «e are 

entirely uncon. crneil as to anuhin- that is -.jid of us or i an be done with 

us. We should, however, be . arele- of ,uir . har.i, Icr did wend ui>h to 

dete. t the dcspis.ible wrelih w li <l be s,, b.isc .1- to charge us w ,th 

things whi. h we never have entertained the first thoughts of. 

"We are not ignorant of the verv great e of voiir oflneas 

superintendent of the Indians, and. therefore, it is no more our duty 

ini lination to prolei t vo" "i l'"^ di^c h.irge of the diilv of vniir proper 

provime; and we meet vou with pleasure m behalf of ourselves an.l our 

constituents to thnuk you for meeting the Inilians in the iip|Rr pans of 

the -loiinly. win, h iii.iv be the nie.ins of casing the people of the 

remainder of tli>-ir le.irs nn lliis ,i, , oiint anil prevent the Indians ,„,umit. 

; .tingirregiil.irilics on ihcir w.iv down to Cuv I'.irk. .\nd we beg of vou to 

use your endeavors with the Indians to dlssii.ide them from inlerfering in 

, the dispute with the mother loiintry and the colonics. We cannot think 

I that as you and your family possess very large estates in this toiinly. you 



arc mfavorable to American freedom, although you may differ with us in 
the mode of obtaining a redress of grievances. 

** Permit us further to observe that we cannot pass over in silence the 
intemjption which the people of the Mohawk district met in their meeting, 
which, we are informed, was conducted in a peaceable manner; and the 
inhnman treatment of a man whose only crime was being faithful to his 
employers and refusing to give an account of the receipt of certain papers 
to persons who had not the least color of right to demand anything of the 
kind. We assure you that we are much concerned about it, as two im- 
portant rights of English subjects are thereby infringed, to wit; a right to 
meet and to obtain all the intelligence in their power." 

To this letter Col. Johnson returned, from Mr. Thompson's. Cosby's 
Manor, an admirably worded reply, mildly deprecating what he considered 
the unconstitutional means taken by the colonists for a redress of their 
griev-ances, stating that it was only on reliable advices of his danger that 
he fortified his house; denying that he had stopped any travelers, except 
two New England men, and claiming that in that case he did only a mag- 
istrate's duty. He closed with the assurance that the people had nothing 
to apprehend from his endeavors, and that he should always be glad to 
prontote their true interests. 

Any good impression that may have been made by the superintendent's 
letter was dissipated by his movements. He did not hold the council 
called by him at the German Flats, but pushed on to Fort Stanwix, taking 
with him not only his family but a considerable number of his dependents 
and the great body of the Mohawk Indians, who. when they started with 
him on this westward march, left their old home along the river they had 
named never to return to it except in flying incursions for butchery, in- 
cendiansm and plunder. The suspicions of the Tryon county patriots 
were further e.xciled by a communication from the provincial congress of 
Massachusetts to that of New York, in which the former mentioned having 
been informed that Col. Guv Johnson had " taken great pains with the 
Six Nations in order to bring them into a belief that it is designed by the 
colonies to fail upon them and cut them off." The congress of New York 
replied to this communication, disclaiming, as it had repeatedly done, any 
intention to injure Johnson or the Indians. 




The county committee was again convened on the nth of June, and 
having received a letter from the congress of the province recommending 
the appointment of delegates to that body, chose Christopher P. Yates 
and John Marlett as such delegates. The committee also adopted a reso- 
lution recommending that the sub-committee of each district should make 
a list of the freeholders and inhabitants of their respective districts, in 
order that the article of association should be presented to those who had 
not signed it and a list prepared of those who refused to sign. 

The meeting at which tWi-* action was taken was held at the house of 
Gose Van Alstine, which was a common place of assembling with the com- 
mitter. This house — a stone building — since known as the J. H. Mover 
place, is still standing on the east side of the creek in Canajohane. Philip 
and Martin G^ or one of them, sons of Gose Van Alstine, owned it after 
the Revolution. The name Gose has also been written Goose, Gosen, and 
latterly Goshen. The patriot here mentioned was a grand juror at the 
first "Court of General Quarter Sessions" held in the Johnstown court 


I he supi»orters of the colonial cause in the Mohawk valley, concluding 
that Guy Johnson had determined to incite the Indians against them. 
laUned lo win the favor of the savages, or at least secure their neutrality. 
Nf>r were they entirely unsuccessful, for though most of the Iroquois 
•"•nally took up the hatchet against them, the majority of the Oncidas and 
I'waroras retnaincd neutral as the result of a conference with them at 
'he (;erman Flats, June 28. arranged by their missionary, the Rev. Mr. 
^^'Tkland. and [larlicipated in by a deputation from Albany, They also 
pronusedlo communicate any important news they could obtain. 

I he county committee on the 3d of July granted the petition of certain 
vtilt-n for permission to form themselves into militia companies. Learn- 
"^g that the mayor of Albany, who was a tor)-, had left that city for the 

west with considerable baggage, and suspecting he was conveying military 
stores to the Indians, the committee ordered Capt. George Herkimer with 
a sufficient force to stop him and search his effects. Nothing contraband 
was found in his battcau, and he was allowed to proceed. The committee 
also took measures to garrison Fort Stanwix at the recjuest of the exposed 
settlers at that post. 

(iuy Johnson remained but a short time at Fort Stanwix, and pushing 
forward to Ontario, far beyond the verge of civilization, held a council 
with a large number of Indians there, where, he said, their action might be 
independent and unembarrassed by the interference of the colonists. At 
this place Johnson received the letter of the congress of New York, dis- 
claiming any intention of injuring him or the Indians. He rejjlied under 
date of July 8, 1775, in a more hostile tone than he had previously used 
toward the insurgents. He reiterated his assertion of conspiracies to 
kidna[) him, and complained that his mail and other articles on the way to 
him tor himself and the Indians were intercepted, producing a resentment 
among the latter that boded ill to the whites. The following is the con- 
cluding paragraph of his letter: 

" I should be much obliged by your promises of discountenancing any 
attempts against myself, etc., did they not appear to be made on conditions 
of compliance with continental or provincial congresses, or even committees 
formed or to be formed, many of whose resolves may neither consist with 
my conscience, duty or loyalty. I trust I shall always manifest more 
humanity than to promote the destruction of the innocent inhabitants of a 
colony to which I have been always warmly attached, a declaration that 
must appear perfectly suitable to the character of a man of honor and 
principle, .who can on no account neglect those duties that are consistent 
therewith, however they may differ from sentiments now adopted in so 
many parts of America." 

The belief, however, gained ground among the patriots that Col. John- 
son was collecting an army of Indians to invade the Mohawk valley from 
the west, while Sir John Johnson, who was a general of militia, would 
sweep down with a body of his Tory neighbors and tenantry from the Hall, 
which he had fortified and garrisoned. In this emergency the patriots had 
but an inadequate supply of ammunition for the three hundred men they 
could rally, and sent urgent appeals to Schenectady and Albany for assist- 
ance. Fortunately, the expected invasion was deferred. 

Guy Johnson did not return to the valley after completing his business 
at Ontario, but proceeding to Oswego convened another council and suc- 
ceeded in further estranging the Iroquois warriors from the colonics. 
From Oswego he went to Montreal, accompanied by many warriors of the 
Six Nations. There they met Sir Guy Carleton and Sir Frederick Haldi- 
mand, and were induced to engage in the military service of the king. It 
needed no uncommon sagacity to penetrate the motives of Guy Johnson, 
and his removal to Canada was only a fresh justification of the suspicions 
against him which had been continually strengthening. Having, by his 
undisturbed councils with the savages in the dei)ths of the wilderness, 
secured their attachment to the cause of the crown, he remained in Canada, 
continuing to act as their superintendent and distributing liberal rewards 
for " the destruction of the innocent inhabitants of a colony to which " he 
had " been always warmly attached." 

The Continental Congress, aware of the importance of preserving peace 
and friendship with the Indians, appointed commissioners lo treat with 
them. For this purpose the Six Nations were invited to a council at 
Albany. Its result was very promising, as the Indians expressed them- 
selves in favor of neutrality. Soon after, however, a malignant fever, pre- 
viously unknown, made great havoc among them. The Schoharie canton 
of the Mohawks suffered severely, and the survivors concluding in their 
superstition that the (ireat Spirit was angry with them for not taking sides 
with the king, followed their brethren who had left the valley with Guy 
Johnson. In subsequent savage incursions they were among the most 
forward and cruel. 

By the Iroquois' stipulations of peace and neutrality the people of 
Tryon county were considerably relieved from apprehensions of immediate 
danger, but the Committee of Safety were not inactive, and now direi ted 
their attention to a more efficient organization for the defence of the settle- 
ments andthe civil government of the county. Taking upon themselves 
both military and civil functions they exercised them with diligence and 
vigor. They arrested and tried suspicious persons, fined, imprisoned and 
executed when in their judgment the offence required it. They deposed 
the sheriff, .Alexander White, an overbearing Tory, and appointed Col. 



Johfi Frey, an ardent Whig, in his place. White had rendered himself 
odioK to the patriots from the finit. Accompanied by a band of Tories 
he hid cut down the bberty pole erected at the German Flats, the first 
planted in the Mohawk valley. Ha\ing arbitrarily arrested a prominent 
Whig named Fonda, the sheriff put him in jail at Johnstown, but Fonda's 
,net^ibors proiiiprly liberated him, and would have captured White had they 
not been interrupted by the gathering of a superior force of Tones at 
Johnson Hall. Retiring to Caughnawaga they sent a deputation to Sir 
johB Johnson, demanding White's surrender. This was of course refused, 
wheictipon the committee proceeded as stated. 

Tie patriot authonties found it necessary to keep a vigilant watch upon 
the movements of Sir John, who, surrounded by a numerous body of 
Tories^ left no means untned to annoy and embarrass them; laboring to 
destfof popular confidence in the committee; calling i^ublic meetings and 
choosing counter committees; endeavoring to cover the \\'hig leaders with 
ridici^, and anon charging them with illegal and tyrannical conduct. 
Mutuai exasperation was the necessary consequence. It was not to be 
expected that matters would improve under such circumstances, and the 
TryOB county committee finally determined to discover, if possible. Sir 
Johjis intentions. To this end the following letter was addressed to him: 

"Tryok County Co.mmittee Ch.a.mber, Oct. 26, 1775. 
"HowjR.^BLE Sir: 

" As we find particular reason to be convinced of your opinion in the 
questions hereafter expressed, we reciuire you that you'll please to oblige 
us with your sentiments thereupon in a few lines by our messengers, the 
bearos hereof. Messrs. Ebenezer Cox, James McMaster and John James 
KJock, members of our committee. 

"We want to know whether you will allow that the inhabitants of Johns- 
town and Kingsborough may form themselves into companies according to 
the regulations of our Continental Congress, for the defence of our coun- 
try's cause; and whether your honor would be ready himself to give his 
persoBal assistance to the same purpose. 

'* Also, whether you pretend a prerogative to our county court house and 
gaol, and would hinder or interrupt the committee to make use of the same 
public houses to our want and service in the common cause. 

" We don't doubt you will comply with our reasonable requests and 
thereby oblige, honorable sir, 

"Your obedient and humble servants, 
" By order of the Committee, 
"Nicholas Herki.mer, Chairman." 

Sir John's reply left no doubt resting upon his sentiments at least. It 
was thus reported to the committee by their messengers : 

" t. By perusing our letter Sir John replied that he thinks our requests 
very unreasonable, as he never had denied the use either of the court 
house or gaol to anybody nor would yet deny it for the use which these 
houses h,a\e been built for. but he looks upon it that the court house and 
gaol are his property till he is paid ^^'"oo, the amt)unt of which being out 
of his pocket for the building of the same. 

"a. In regard of embodving his tenants into comjianies, he never did 
forbid them, neither should do it, as they may use their pleasure ; but we 
might save ourselves the trouble, he being sure they would not. 

"3. Concerning himself, he said that before he would sign any associa- 
tion or would lift his hand uji against his king, he would rather suffer that 
his head shall be cut off. 

** Further he replied that if we should make any unlawful use of the gaol, 
he woald oppose it, and also he mentions, that there have many unfair 
means l>een used for increasing the association, and uniting the people ; 
for he was informed by credible gentlemen in New York that they were 
obliged to unite, otherwise they could not live there ; and he was in- 
forme<3 bv good authority that likewise two-thirds of the Canajohjrie and 
German Flats pe«tple ha\e been forced to sign the .irtii les ; nntl in his 
opinion the Hosion people are o[ien rebels, and the other (olonies have 
joined them." 

On receiving the answer of the Baronet it "as "moved and resolved by 
the maj^jrity of vote* that our pristjners Lewis Clement and Peter Down. 
sentent ed to be confined in gaol for three months. ha\ing been returned 
by the .Albany committee, shall be sent to our county gaol at Johnstown, 
to find nut whether Sir John shall judge this use of our gaol as unlawful, 
and will op|»ose the same." .\ccordingIy, a guard of eight men under com- 
mand of Captain Jacob Secber, escorted the prisoners to the jail Sir John 

refused the committee the use of the jail, and they had to fit up a private 
house for that purpose. 

The county committee having reported to the congress of New York 
their action in relation to Sir John, received the following reply : 

" Dkc. 9TH. — The Congress have this day entered into the consideration 
of your letter of the 28th of October, and are of opinion that your applica- 
tion to Sir John Johnson requesting an answer from him whether he would 
allow his tenants to form themselves into companies and associate with 
their brethren of your county according to the resolves of the Continental 
Congress for the defence of our liberties, was improper with respect to him, 
and too condescending on your part, as it was a matter that came properly 
within your province, and to which we doubt not but you are competent, 
as you have a line of conduct prescribed to you by Congress. With respect 
to your second question, whether he would take any active part in the 
controversy at present existing between Great Britain and her colonies, we 
conceive it to be very proper, and thank you for information on that head. 

" .^s to the third question, we conceive that he has no claim nor title to 
the court house and goal in the county, as we are credibly told that his 
father. Sir William Johnson, did in his life time' convey the same to two 
gentlemen in trust for the use of your county. However, as an attempt to 
use the same for the purjiose of confining persons inimical to our county 
may be productive of bad consequences, we beg leave to recommend to 
you to procure some other place which may answer the end of a goal ; and 
give our advice not to molest Sir John as long as he shall continue inact- 
ive, and not impede the measures necessary to be carried into execution 
from being completed." 

Some of the .Mohawk Indians having already taken up the hatchet in 
behalf of the British in Canada, the committee of Tryon county questioned 
the sachems of the Canajoharie castle in regard to the return and sojourn 
among them of several of these warriors. The men of the castle met the 
committee, and gave a rather non-committal reply ; they admitted that 
some of the Mohawk braves were in Canada, and said that if they were 
killed there the castle would not resent it. They were glad that others 
had returned, for they had done wrong in going awav contrary to the per- 
suasions of the sacheiys. " We have made a very strong agreement of 
friendship together," said the speaker, " and we beg you will not break it 
for the sake of some wrong done by some who have been debauched. You 
will drop it, we hope, for the present." 

The committee in reply complained that the returned warriors, in- 
stead of coming penitently to them, as became them, had kept out of the 
way, and at least one of them, named William Johnson, had been boasting 
of his course and talking loudly against the .Americans. 



-THE Fill. HI 


:t of the 

Sir John Johnson continued to make defensive prepar.itions about the 
Hall. These, with his numerous tory adherents, the military organization 
of the Scotch Highlanders in his immediate vicinity, and the increasing 
alienation of the Indians, kept the people of Tryon county in continual 
alarm. It was also reported that military stores were collected at the Hall, 
and that three hundred Indians were to be stationed there to be let loose 
on the settlers when it should be deemed expedient. It was evident that 
the tories were actively preparing to take up arms for the king. Congress 
having been notified of this state of things, ordered General Schuyler to 
take proper steps for capturing the material of war reported to be sioreil at 
Johnstown and the tory leaders thereabouts and disarming their followers. 
Schuyler had at the time no force with whiih to execute this order, but 
soon mustered seven hundred men and proceeded toward lohnstown. 

The .Mohawks at the lower castle, under I.ittle .Miraham. had not been 
drawn away by Brant and Guy Johnson, and still kept their pledge of 
neutrality. To preserve the good will of these Indians and guard against 
giving them .my unnei ess.nry surprise and alarm. General Schuyler sent an 
inlcr|ir.eter to their ■ .istlc, vvh'i .addressed them as follows : 

" Itnithcrs ; I am sent by the Commissioners of the United Colonics to 
acipiaint you that the brethren of .Mbany have received information that 
several [.ersons in and about Johnstown are busy in collecting men to cut 
our throats, and are ni.Tking other hostile [ireparations to assist in en- 
slaving this country, and to prevent and stop up the ro.Td of tommunication 



to the westward. Your Albany brothers on this alarming occasion have 
collected their warriors, and are now sending them up the river in order to 
inquire into the truth of the report and act thereupon as they may judge 

" not alarmed at these preparations; nothing is intended 
against you; our own safety and liberty impel us to this measure. Vou can 
rest perfectly satisfied that we will in\-ariably pursue our friendly disposi- 
tion toward you, and expect that you will, agreeable to the promises you 
made at Albany, take no part in the present struggle. 

"Brothers, we promised you last summer that Sir John and his family 
should not be molested while he took no measures against us. We are yet 
of that mind, and if he has acted as an honest man he need not fear any 

" Brothers, lest the preparations and march into your country should 
alarm the Six Nations, we desire that you will send some of your young men 
with this speech to the end of the House of the Six Nations, that no uneasi- 
ness may take place in their minds." 

The Mohawk sachems, in spite of their friendly attitude toward the 
colonists, were roused to senous apprehensions by this address, heralding 
as it did an expedition hostile to their friend. Sir John Johnson. They took 
the matter into grave consideration and sent back by the interpreter a 
message desinng that the troojis that were on their way should be halted, 
suggesting that, perhaps, a mode might be pointed out by which the trouble 
could be more quietly settled, for example, by sending three or four per- 
sons to speak with Sir John ; but promising that if the commissioners did 
not reconsider their intention their message should be forwarded to the 
other tribes as requested. In the meantime, three of the Mohawks would 
go to Sir John and desire him and the other tones at Johnstown to remain 
■ at peace, and allay their uneasiness, which was caused by reports from 
Albany that people were coming from New England to destroy them and 
their possessions. To this message the squaws of the tribe added one of 
their own to the same effect. Such was the anxiety of the tribe that a 
deputation shortly set out from the castle for Albany to further remonstrate 
against the proposed invasion. 

At Schenectady they met Cleneral Schuyler, who had advanced without 
waiting for the return of his messenger. Little .\braham, who led the 
Mohawk embassy, addressed the General at length, and in a more vigorous 
tone than that of the message which he and his warriors had sent. He 
desired General Schuyler to consider the plan of sending a few persons to 
inquire into the state of things at Johnstown and keep his army at home. 
He thought it strange that cannon were being brought along the path of 
peace so lately opened between the Six Nations and .Albany, and which 
was not to be stained with blood. The Mohawks, he said, were mediators 
between the hostile parties, and would consider themselves the enemies of 
whichsoever side began aggressions. Sir John had promised them he would 
not, but he would defend himself if necessary. The speaker thought the 
Baronet was disposed to shut up the path of peace, but he had not the force 
to do it. The sachems had been all along exhorting their warriors to peace, 
but they might be unable to restrain them if so large a body of armed men 
marched into their country; at least they were determined to be present at 
the interview between General Schuyler and Sir John, if the former per- 
sisted in going forward, and if he [mshed things to extremes, they would 
not be accountable for anything that might happen. 

General Schuyler assured the .Mohawks that no hostile intentions were 
entertained against any of the Indians; if they had been, a message would 
not have been sent to the castle, nor would they have been furnished with 
IKjwder, as had recently I)een done. The troops were moving to prevent 
the Johnstown tories from closing up the jiath of peace between Albany 
and the Six Nations, and no blood would be shed unless the Johnson party 
refused to come to an agreement, (ieneral Schuyler ])roniised to invite Sir 
j"hn to meet him on the way to Johnstown, and hoped the Indians would 
'•e present. This was satisfactory to the Mohawk deputation, who ini- 
n>tili;itcly returnedtothcir I a>.tle, while General Si huyler dispatched a letter 
lo the liaronet. annoiim ing his intended march toward Johnstown on the 
("ll'iwing day, Jan. 17. 1776. inviting Sir John to meet him at any point on 
ihc rriiiie, .ind .issuring him of his s.ifety in so doing. 

Sihuyler's march up the valley was .iccordingly resumed, the militia 
)i'ining hmi in such numbers that -by night his force exceeded three thou- 
sand men. At (iuy I'ark, about sixteen miles frcim Sc henei tady, Sir John 
and several of his leading Tory friends were met with. In the interview 
Ihc Haronetlold (leneral Schuyler that he (Johnson) was sustained by the 

Indians, a considerable number of whom were already at Johnson Hall. 
In answer to this threatening intimation Schuyler assured the Tory chief 
that resistance on his part would produce serious consequences, and stated 
his terms for an amicable arrangement. Sir John asked for twenty-four 
hours to consider them, w hich being granted, he returned to the Hall. The 
following were General Schuyler's stipulations: 

"Terms offered by the Honourable Philip Schuyler. Es(|., Major tleneral 
in the army of the Thirteen L'nited Colonies, and commanding in the New 
York department, to Sir John Johnson, Baronet, and all such other per- 
sons in the county of Tryon as have evinced their intentions of supporting 
his Majesty's ministry, to carry into execution the unconstitutional 
ures of which the Americans so justly complain, and to prevent which they 
have been driven to the dreadful necessity of having recourse to arms. 

" FiRSTLV. That Sir John Johnson shall upon his word of honor immedi- 
ately deliver up all cannon, arms and other military stores of what kind 
soever which may be in his own possession, or which he has caused to be 
delivered into the possession of any persons whatsoever, either directlv or 
indirectly, or that to his knowledge may be concealed in any part of the 
said county; that he shall distinguish all such military stores of what kind 
soever as belong to the crown, or were furnished with the design of arming 
the Indians or the inhabitants of Iryon county, from those which may be 
private property, in order that a proper inventory may be taken of the List 
articles, that the same may be restored or the value of them refunded when 
this unhappy contest shall be over. 

" Seconolv. General Schuyler, out of personal respect for Sir John, and 
from a regard to his rank, consents that Sir John shall retain for his own 
use a complete set of armor and as much powder as may be sufficient for 
his domestic purposes. 

"Thirdly. That Sir John Johnson shall remain upon his parole of 
honour in any part of Tryon county which he may choose to the eastward 
of the district of , unless it should appear necessary to the Honoura- 
ble the Continental Congress to remove him to some other part of this or 
any other colony; in which case he is immediately to comply with such 
orders as they may think jiroper to give for that purpose. 

"Fourthly. That the Scotch inhabitants of the said county shall, 
without any kind of exception, immediately deliver up all arms in their 
possession of what kind soever they may be; and that they shall each 
solemnly promise that they will not at any time hereafter during the con- 
tinuance of this unhappy contest take up arms without the permission of 
the Continental Congress or of their general officers, and for the more 
faithful performance of this article, the General insists that they shall im- 
mediately deliver up to him six hostages of his own nomination. 

" Fifthly. That such of the other inhabitants of Tryon county as have 
avowed themselves averse to the measures of the United Colonies shall 
also deliver up their arms of what kind soever they may be, and enter into 
the like eng.agement as is stipulated in the preceding article, both with re- 
spect to their future conduct and the number of hostages. 

"Sixthly. That all blankets, strouds and other Indian articles belong- 
ing to the crown and intended as presents to the Indians, shall be delivered 
up to a commissary appointed by (ieneral Schuyler in the presence of three 
or more of the .Mohawk chiefs, in order that the same may be dispensed 
amongst the Indians for the purpose of cementing the ancient friendship 
between them and their brethren of the United Colonies, for which sole 
purpose they ought to have been furnished. 

"Sf-vf.nthi.v. If Sir John Johnson and the people referred to in the 
aforegoing articles shall justly abide by and perform what is required of 
them, the General, on behalf of the Continental Congress, doth promise 
.and engage that neither Sir John Johnson nor any of those people shall be 
molested by any of the other inhabitants of the said county, or by any of 
the inhabitants of the thirteen United Colonies; but that on the contrary 
they will be protected in the quiet and peaceable enjoyment of their 
property; the sole intent of this treaty being to prevent the horrid effects 
of a civil and intestine war betwixt those who ought to be brethren; 
all the arms which shall be delivered up in consequence of the pre* eding 
articles shall be valued by sworn appraisers; that if the Continental Ccm- 
grcss should have oiiasion for them they may be taken. If nnt, they "ill 
be delivered lo the res|,ective i.roprietors when this iinh.i|.py < ontest sh.ill 

be at . 


On the i.Stli, (ieneral Schuyler advanced to Caughnawag.n, where he 
met Col. Herkimer with the Tryon county militia. In the evening of that 
day he received from Sir John a communication stating that the Haronet 



had no military* stores or Indian supplies belonging to the crown; stipula- 
ting thM only such arms as m-ere not private property should be surren- 
dered; demanding that he should be permitted to go where he pleased, 
and saying no one had power to give hostages for the Scotch or other 

General Schuyler replied, insisting upon his terms, giving the Baronet 
until twelve o'clock that night to accept them; warning him of the dread- 
ful conse<(uences of a refusal, and requesting the retirement of Ladv John- 
son from the Hall, upon which he pro]; to march immcdiatclv. 

Soon after thts (IJNpatrh had been sent. C.eneral Schu\ler wa> visited bv 
all the men of the lower Mohawk casrle and several from the upper castle. 
They had come from Johnson Hall, four miles distant, where the Haronet 
had informed them of Schuyler's requirements. They entreated the latter 
to accept Sir John's proposals. This was, of course, refused, but at their 
solicitations the (ieneral granted him four hours lunger in which to frame 
his answer, during which time the Indians hoped to "shake his head and 
bring him to his senses." In compliance with the appeals of the Mohawks, 
Schuyler also consented not to remove Johnson from the county, telling 
them he did so to show the regard of the colonists for the I' 'ians, and to 
leave Sir John within the reach of benefit from their example and advice. 

At midnight the colonial (ieneral received the expected "answer to the 
terms proposed by the Honourable Philip Schuyler, Esq., Major General 
in the army of the thirteen United Colonies and commanding in the New 
York department, to Sir John Johnson. Baronet, the inhabitants of Kings- 
borough and the neighborhood adjacent." In this communication the 
Baronet demanded to be allowed to go to any part of the countv not west 
of the German Flats and Kingsland districts, and to every part of the con- 
tinent south of the county. He again refused to give hostages for the 
Scotch Highlanders, but said that any six of them might he taken pris- 
oners, with the understanding that they should be "maintained agreeable to 
their respective ranks," and " have the privilege of going to any part of the 
province of New Jersey or Pennsylvania, which the General or the Conti- 
nental Congress may appoint." The hope was expressed that General 
Schuyler would persuade Congress to provide for the support of the pris- 
oners' families. The baronet refused to give hostages or make any engage- 
ments for other Tories, except that they should, so far as depended upon 
him, give up their arms. The Cieneral might seize as many of them for 
hostages as he pleased. The Indians had remained with General Schuyler 
until this letter was received, when they were told that the trouble was 
likely to be settled peaceably, and took their departure, highly gratified. 

Schuyler then sent his ultimatum to Sir John. The latter was allowed, 
together with his friends, to retain a few favorite family arms; he was 
permitted to go to any part of New York east of the s]jecified districts of 
Tryon county and excepting seaport towns; permission for more extended 
traveling might probably be obtained from Congress. Prisoners would be 
taken from among the Scotch, and the Baronet's suggestions in regard to 
them complied with, except that they would be located for a time, at least, 
at Reading or Lancaster, Pa. They were to go at once, however, to 
Albany, where they might remain long enough to settle up their affairs. 

To General Schuyler's onginal stipulations as thus modified, Sir John 
agreed. The Tories not Covered by them were brought together by de- 
tachments sent out through the neighborhood. Jan. rglh the expedition 
moved forward to Johnson Hall, and the Baronet gave up the arms and 
ammunition in his possession, to a much less amount than was expected. 
On Saturday, the zoth. General Schuyler paraded his trooi)s to receive the 
surrender of the Scotch Highlanders, some three hundred in number, who 
on delivering their arms, were dismissed with an assurance of protection 
while ihey remained peaceable. The report of a concealed deposit of 
military stores at a particular spot was found, by a search, to be false. On 
the same day General Schuyler began his return march to Albany, stop- 
ping that night at Caiij;hnawaga. A hundred or more prominent Tories 
were brought into John^^town from the neighboring country and di>armed 
by Col. Herkimer, who remained for that purjtose, and to receive the 
prisoners' hostages, two days after Schuyler's departure. 

The energetic measure carried out by General Schuyler allayed the 
Whigs' fears of immediate molestation ; but ihcir apprehcn>ii>ns were soon 
revived by the conduct of Sir John Johnson, who violated, at least in 
spirit, the compact which he had made, by constantly exerting his inlluence 
to create sentiment hostile to the U'higs. As a consequenLC, the High- 
landers became as bold as ever in their opposition to Congressional rule. 
Gen. Schuyler obtained sufficient evidence that the Baronet was instigating 

the Indians to hostilities along the frontier, and believed that more evil 
would result from his remaining at liberty than from his arrest and 
imprisonment. Accordingly, an expedition commanded by Col. Dayton 
was sent in May to capture Johnson and <|uell the rising disaffection about 
Johnstown. Sir John was seasonably informed of this movement by loyalist 
friends at Albany, and prepared to flee with his retainers to Canada. He 
had scant time for preparations, and as Col. Dayton arrived at the eastern 
side of the village of Johnstown, the Baronet and his party struck into the 
great northern forest, poorly provided with food and equipments for their 
arduous journey. Their little store of provisions was soon exhausted, and 
the danger of starvation was among the perils that beset them, as for nine- 
teen days they threaded the wilderness from the head waters of the Hudson 
to Montreal. Some of their number they had to leave by the way, to be 
brought in afterward by a party of Indians sent out for the purpose. So 
hurried was Johnson's dej)arture from the Hall, that his most valuable 
effects were hustled into an iron chest and buried in the garden by one of 
his black slaves. This fellow was bought by the patriot Col. Veeder, but 
he faithfully kept the secret of the concealed property of his fonner master, 
and was able four years later to point out the position of the chest to its 

Col. Dayton remained with his troops several weeks at Johnstown. Such 
papers as the Baronet had left there were examined, and Lady Johnson 
was removed to Albany, where she was detained as a hostage for the peace- 
able conduct of her husband. He, however, immediately took a com- 
mission as Colonel in the British service, and organized two battalions 
from the Tories who accompanied him in his flight and others who followed 
them. Johnson's men were called the Royal (ireens, and were during the 
Revolution the bitterest enemies of their former neighbors in the Mohawk 
valley, visiting them repeatedly with fire and sword, and even surpassing 
their Indian allies in deeds of cruelty. 

Sir John's estate, the largest, with one exception, then owned by any 
man on the continent, was confiscated under an act of attainder covering 
himself and some sixty other Tories, whose property shared the same fate. 

After Sir John escai)ed to Canada, parties of Tones were continually 
taking the same course. Eighty went at one time, taking with them a pair 
of stolen oxen as food for their journey. While they were disputing as to 
who should command them on their way, a party of Whigs came upon 
them, aided by some militia and State troops, and took them all prisoners 
except fourteen. These were pursued still further, and five more secured, 
and all lodged in the Johnstown jail. 




The Tories who remained in Tryon County after Sir John's flight made 
no further hostile demonstrations. For a time, therefore, the Whigs lived 
in comparative trantjuillity, but they did not relax their vigilance or forget 
that they were living on a frontier always liable to incursions of the savages, 
aided and encouraged by the vindictive loyalists. Scouting parties were 
kept constantly on the alert to give the promptest notice of the appearance 
of the foe. 

The new attitude in which the colonies were placed by the Declaration 
of Independence was heartily approved by the patriots of the Mohawk 
V'alley, who nevertheless foresaw the suffering, toil and loss that would be 
required to sustain it. One necessity immediately created was the strength- 
ening of the militia. A company of rangers was formed during the summer 
of 1776, and placed under command of Capt. Robert McKean. This force 
being ordered to duty elsewhere, another company, under Capt. Winn, was 
stationed in the Valley, in compliance with the urgent a[q.eals of the people 
to the Congress of New York. In August, Capt. (ietman's company of 
rangers was enlisted. The officers were : Captain — Christian Getman ; 
Lieutenants — Jacob Sammons and James Billingston ; Corporals — William 
Kind. John Mulsor and Leonhart Cratzer ; Sergeants— John Smith, Nehe- 
miah Williams and Ri< hard Coppernoll. The following were the names of 
the jjrivates : 

Joshua Agin, Mith.u-I Hiller. John Brame, John Box, John Canton. Adam 
Coppernoll, Samuel Coplin. John Cram, John Dop. William Karb, Jacob 
Empie. Isaac Fuller, Mi< hael Fuller, Jacob Kishback, Jacob Frey, John 
Fluno, Felton Fralick, Richard Freeman, Thomas Getman, George Hoyney 




Frederick Hoyntry, Abraham Hodges, Conrad Hart, Daniel Hart, John 
Hails, George Hawk, Christian (enne, Lodowick Krin^, William Karin, 
Christian leather, Johannes Leather, Geory;e Loux, Johannes Miller, Cor- 
nelius Mills, Jacob Pitkard. Philip Phillips. Johannes Rafe, Johannes 
Spanknable, Johannes Sutes, Jacob Staring, Nicholas Slrader, (ieorgc 
Saitsman, George Salt^man. Jr., John Schnell, Bolson Smith, Hendrick 
Shafer, Jacob Tucsler. Hendrick Van I)er W'erkin, John Van Her Werkin, 
John Van Anwarp. Hendrick Vrooman, Minchan Vrooman, Martin Van 
Der Warkin, Johannes U'ormuood, Chnstian Wormwood, Christian 

The first steps in the organization of a militia had been taken more than 
a year before the declaration of independence. On the 3d of June, 1775, 
the Countj' Committee recommended the appomtmcnt of a committee in 
each district to form the palnols into companies. This duty was performed 
by the Canajoharie committee on the 15th of June, and by the Palatine 
on the i6th. The men of the German Flats and Kingsland districts 
assembled for a similar purpose on the 17th, but the organization was post- 
poned. On the 3d of July the County Committee granted permission to 
the settlers in North Germaniown to form themselves into a company. 
John Eisenlord was chosen Captain, John Key;er, First Lieutenant, Adam 
Bellinger, Second Lieutenant, and John Smith, Ensign. Thib ^.ompany, 
according to an ordinance of the County Committee, was to "begin at 
Jacob Staring's, included, and lake in all the inhabitants from 16 to 50 
years of age on the north side of the high road to Leonard Rickert's ; 
thence all the inhabitants of North Germantown of the ages above men- 
tioned, and extend so far in Sir William Johnson's deceased settlement 
until the company amounts to 60 private men, the sergeants and corporals 
included." .\t the same meeting which made this order held Aug. 26, 
1776; the subjoined resolution was passed : 

'* The following persons are nominated by a majority of votes as field 
officers for each respective district : 
" Canajoharie — 

"ist Colonel Nicholas Herkimer, 

Lieut. Colonel Ebenezer Cox, 

Major Robert Wells. 

Adjutant Samuel Clyde, 
Palatine — 

**Col. Jacob Clock, 

LieuL Col. Peter Waggoner, 

Major Harmanus Van Slyck, 

Adjutant Anthony Van Vechten, J 
** Mohawk — 

** Col. Frederick Fisher, ') 

Lieut. Col. Adam Fonda, 1 , 1, ,- 

Major John Bliven. I -^'^ Mattali. 

Adjutant Robt. Yates. J 

"Kingsland and Gf.rman Fiat^ — 
" Col. Han Yost Herkimer, ~1 

Lieut. Col. Keter Bellinger, 

Major Han Yost Shoemaker, 

Adjutant Jno. Deniooth. J 

By another vote of the committee Nichola-* Herkimer was ajipoinled 
"Chief Colonel Commander for the county of Trvon." At the same time, 
however, a request was made 10 Crencral Schuyler, then at Tit onderoga. 
for a couple (»f the companies under his command to protect the frontier, 
the inhabitants, probably, wishing to attend to their ordinary avocations 
as long as possible. 

In the spring of 1777 a large party of Indians, under Hrant, having come 
down from Canada without committing any depredations, appeared at 
I'nadilla on the Susquehanna. Having required the people of that settle- 
ment to furnish his warriors abundantly with provisions, Mrant told the 
Rev. Mr. Johnstone and the militia ofti. ers of the place that he had en- 
tered the British servii e, and would not allow anv of the M.jhawks to l)e 
seized and confined to their castles, as he understood h.ui been done. The 
savage horde remained at Unndilla two days and when they left, drove off 
some cattle and sheep. This visitation so alarmed the people of the set- 
tlement that they aliandoned it. most of tlu-iii returning to Cherry Valley, 
whence they had emigrated to the Siis<piLh.inn.i, dnd some rcpairin" to 
the German Flats and the Hudson river selilcnunts 

From Unadiila, Hrant dcsrcnded the river to Oi^-hkuaga. There he re- 
ceived reinforcements, and his threatening attitii-U ( aiised great anxietv 
in the frontier neighborhoods. It was determined bv Gencrnl S( huylcr 


2nd Ratta!i( 

■4th Battali. 

and his officers in council that Col. Herkimer should confer with the Mo- 
hawk chief, with whom he had been on friendly terms when they were 
neighbors beside the Mohawk. Herkimer accordingly sent a message to 
invite Brant to meet him at Cnadilla, and proceeded thither himself with 
about three hundred of the Tryon county militia. There he had remained 
for a week when Brant encamped with five hundred warriors, two miles 
distant. The commanders and a portion of their followers met, unarmed, 
in an open field between the encampments. Brant told his visitor that his 
forces were in concert with the king and had opened a war path across the 
country to Esopus, to form a junction with the tories in that quarter. The 
conversation on the part of the chief was hostile in tone, and a battle was 
narrowly avoided. A second interview the next morning was equally fruit- 
less, and Herkimer led back his forces to the Mohawk. Brant and his 
warriors shortly after joined Sir John Johnston and Col John Butler at 
Oswego, where they were gathering a force of refugees and Indians pre- 
paratory to a descent upon the Mohawk valley, and where (iuy Johnson 
had called a council of the Six Nations. At this council were present a 
considerable number of sachems, who still adhered to their pledge of neu- 
trality, given to General Schuyler, until the appeals of the British agents 
to their avarice overcame their sense of honor. Finally they concluded an 
alliance with the English, binding themselves to take up the hatchet against 
the colonists. They were then clothed anew and armed by the British 
officers, and a bounty offered them for every scalp they should bring in. 
Brant was from this time acknowledged the grand sachem of the Six Na- 
tions, and soon after entered upon the murderous career which made his 
name a terror to the people of the Mohawk vallev. 

The intended invasion of that section from the west by St. Leger co- 
operating with Burgoync's descent by the way of Lake Champlain, was 
seasonably announced to the Tryon county authorities by Thomas Spen- 
cer, an Oneida half-breed sachem, who had learned of it in Canada on a 
spying expedition. He reported that there were seven hundred Indians 
and four hundred British regulars at Oswego, who were to be joined by 
six hundred tories, then on one of the islands above Oswegatchie, in an 
incursion into the valley. He urged a reinforcement of Fort Schuyler 
Stanwix), and that the woods about it be cleared awav and trees felled 
into Wood creek, the route by which the enemy would advance from 
Oneida Lake. He was concerned for the safety of his tribe, who would 
be compelled to join the invaders if the latter were not promptly checked. 

This startling information, instead of arousing the whigs of Tryon 
county to active measures of defence, seemed to paralyze them with alarm. 
As the thus far victorious army of Burgoyne advanced from Ticonderoga, 
threatening to overwhelm everything before it, the patriots of the county 
began to waver, while the remaining tories, secretly informed of the move 
nients of the British, again took heart. It was declared that the Indians 
would ravage the whole country, and many of the inhabitants who had 
previously been neutral, now espoused the cause of the crown and stole 
away to the enemy. The residue of the Scotch Highlanders in the 
vicinity of Johnstown, together with some of the Germans adhering to the 
British cause, had fled to Canada, headed by two men named McDonald. 
whom General Schuyler had allowed to visit their families. The wives 
and children of the absconded tories maintained communication with 
thein and administered to their needs. The plan of arresting and remov- 
ing them to a place where they could neither do nor suffer harm was sug- 
gested and ajiproved by Col. Herkimer, or Gencial. as we might better 
style him, since, though appointed a Colonel by the Tryon county com- 
mittee, he outranked the officers of that name commanding battalions, 
being himself commander of all the county troops. So alarming were the 
various reports which reached the settlements that some of the inhabitants 
were obliged to be constantly ranging the frontier to guard against a sur- 
prise by the enemy, while others stood as sentinels around the fields where 
farmers were at work. The deplorable stale of the county is revealed by 
the following extract from a letter of John Jay to Gouverneur Morns, 
dated July 21, 1777: 

"'The situation ot 'Tryon county is both shameful and alarming. Such 
abjection and despondency as mark the letters we have received from 
thence disgrace human nature. God knows what to do with ihem, or for 
them. Were they alone interested in their fate, I should be for leaving 
their cart m the slough till they should put their shoulders to the wheel "" 

In the distouraging communications from 'Tryon county which Mr, Jay 
referred to, the committee of that county reported that with part of their 
militia nt Tort Edward many of those remaining at home thought it hope- 



less to take up arms against the overwhelming invasion that was expected ; 
and that if immediate relief was not afforded by a reinforcement of live 
hundred men, they must fall a prey to the enemy, or else seek their pro- 
tection. A letter by (Jcneral Schuyler, dated Kort Edward, July i8, 1777, 
contains the following sentences corroborative of Mr. Jay's complaint in 
regard to the spirit of the Tryon county patriots ; 

"I am exceedingly chagrined at the pusilanimous spirit which prevails 
in the county of Tryon. 1 apprehend much of it is to be attributed to 
the infidelity of the leading persons of that (juarter. If I had one thou- 
sand regular troops, in addition to those now above and on the march, I 
should venture to keep only every third man of the militia and would send 
them down. The substance of Col. Harper's information had been trans- 
mitted about a month ago. In consequence whereof I sent Col. Van 
Schaick into Tryon county with as many troops as I could collect. After 
the improper agreement made by (leneral Herkimer (with Brant at Una- 
dilla'; these troops were marched back ; but as soon as I was informed of 
the march, I ordered them to remain in Tryon county, where they are 
still, and I have sent up Col. Wesson's regiment to reinforce them. But if 
I may be allowed to judge of the temper of Gen. Herkimer and the com- 
mittee of Tryon county, from their letters to me, nothing will satisfy them 
unless I march the whole army into that quarter. With deference to the 
better judgment of the Council of Safety, I cannot by any mea^- think it 
prudent to bring on an open rupture with the savages at the present time. 
The inhabitants of Tryon county are already too much inclined to lay 
down their arms and take whatever terms the enemy may please to afford 
them. Half the militia from this Tryonl county and the neighboring 
State of Massachusetts we have been under the necessity of dismissing ; 
but the whole should go." 

The committee, a few days previous to this appeal for protection, had 
been called to reinforce Fort Schuyler. Of the two hundred militia 
ordered to muster and form the garrison of that post, a part only obeyed. 
Thev had also ordered two companies of regular troops, stationed at dif- 
ferent points in the county under their direction, to repair to the fort ; but 
even these made various excuses, claiming that their service as scouts had 
unfitted them for garrison duly. They, however, reiuctantiv complied 
At this late hour, with Burgoyne advancing upon .Mbany, little help could be 
expected from a distance ; and it was obvious that the people of the Mo- 
hawk valley must rely mainly upon themselves for their defence against the 
tories and savages of St. Leger. who, if not confronted on the remote 
frontier, would soon be at their doors. Gen. Herkimer, therefore, on the 
17th of July issued a proclamation, announcing that two thousand "Chris- 
tians and savages " had assembled at Oswego for a descent upon the Mo- 
hawk valley, and warning the people en masse to be ready at a moment's 
notice to take the field in fighting order, the men from sixteen to sixty for 
active service, and the aged and infirm to defend the women and children 
at points where they might gather for safety. Those who did not volun- 
tarily muster for service when called upon were to be brought along by 

On the 30th of July the Tryon county committee received a final warn- 
ing from the Oneida sachem, Thomas Spencer, that the enemy would be 
upon Fort Schuyler in three or four days, and an exhortation to make the 
most of the time in pushing the preparations for its defence. On the 2d of 
August, Lieut-Col. Mellon, of Col. Wesson's regiment, arrived at the fort 
with two batteaux of provisions and ammunition and a reinforcement of 
two hundred men, all sorely needed and most heartily welcomed. As the 
last load of supplies was hurried within the stockade, the vanguard of St. 
I.eger's army broke from the border of the surrounding forest. 

ST. I.eger's siec.f. of fort schuvlf.r anp thf. battle of oriskanv — 


At the same time that Burgoyne began his march to the northern 
frontier of New York, Col. Barry St. Leger was dispatched f;./. the St. 
Lawrence to Oswego to join the tories and Indians congregating there 
under Sir John Johnson and Brant, who had been made a cajitain in the 
British army. W. the end of July the invading force, consisting of seven- 
teen hundred Indians, tories, British regulars, and a few Hessians, set out 
for Fort Schuyler. It was St. Leger's intention after capturing that post to 

sweep down the Mohawk valley, crush out the rebellious element and co- 
operate with Burgoyne. 

On the 2nd of .August an advance party commanded by Lieutenant Bird 
and Brant, arn\ed before the fort, which was garrisoned by seven hundred 
and fifty men under Colonel Gansevoort, with six weeks provisions and 
plenty of ammunition for small arms, but lamentably lacking in cartridges 
for the cannon, there being only about four hundred, or nine per day to 
each gun for six weeks. The garrison had no flag when the enemy ap- 
peared, but a curious patchwork conforming to the Congressional regula- 
tions soon waved over the beleaguered fortress. Shirts were cut up to form 
the white strijies ; the red was supplied by bits of scarlet cloth, and the 
ground for the stars was furnished by a blue cloak. On the 3d, Col. St. 
Leger arrived with his whole force and immediately demanded a surrender 
of the fort, sending in at the same time a copy of a pompous manifesto in- 
tended to shake the courageous by its threats and seduce the timid by its 
promises. It was, however, treated with derision, and active hostilities 

.As soon as St. I.eger's ad\ance upon Fort Schuyler was known to the 
committee and officers of Tryon county. Gen. Herkimer summoned the 
militia to the field for the relief of the garrison. The patriots who had 
desponded when the danger threatened them from a distance, roused them- 
selves in its presence to a heroic effort for the protection of their homes 
and families. Not only the militia, but most of the members of the county 
committee took the field. Gen. Herkimer soon found himself at the head 
of more than eight hundred men eager for action. The rendezvous was 
the little stockade fort built at C.erman Flats the year 'oefore by Col. Day- 
ton and named after him. The little army now assembled here was chiefly 
composed of sturdy, resolute farmers, some in uniform, but more in home- 
spun. Gathered in little groups they expressed, excitedly, in a mixture of 
English and German, their even insubordinate eagerness to meet the 
once dreaded foe. 

On the 4th. Gen. Herkimer's force set out for Fort Schuyler along a road 
which was little more than a rude path through the wilderness, and in 
places almost impassable for the baggage wagons. In the evening of the 
5th they encamped in the neighborhood of Oriskanv. From this point 
Gen. Herkimer sent forward Adam Helmer and two others to inform Col. 
Gansevoort of his approach. The discharge of three cannon at the fort, 
in rapid succession, was to be the signal of their arrival there, and for (ien. 
Herkimer to advance upon the besiegers while Col. Ganse\oort made a 
sortie against their camp. 

St. Leger had been notified of the advance of the militia, and early in 
the morning of the 6ih, detached Brant with a large body of the Indians, 
Major Watts, with a division of Johnson's Greens, arid Col. Butler, with his 
Rangers, to intercept them. f;en. Herkimer, brave, but cautious, had de- 
termined not to leave his camp until he should be reinforced, or should 
hear the signal guns. His subordinates, however, in their excessive eager- 
ness to press forward, became almost mutinous on the. morning of the 6th. 
" Doubtless," ihey said, "the messengers had been killed or captured, and 
the sound of the signal cannon was not to be expected." In deference to 
their continued complaints, Gen. Herkimer held a council of his principal 
officers, with whom he discussed the question of an immediate advance, 
showing the folly of his ill-equipped militia attacking double their number 
of well armed troops, without reinforcements, or even an understanding 
with C;ansevoort. His officers, however, were impatient of delay, and did 
not conceal their contempt for the prudent advice of their General. Cols. 
Cox and Paris denounced him as a coward and a tory. Suppressing his 
indignation at this outrageous insult, Herkimer told them that he considered 
himself charged with the care as well as the leadership of his men, and 
did not wish to place them in a perilous position from which it would be 
impossible to extricate them ; he added, that those who were boasting 
loudest of their courage, would be the first to run in the face of the enemy, 
and satisfied the clamor of his officious subordinates by giving the order to 
march. The troops with shoutings, grasped their arms, and the undiscip- 
lined regiments of Cols, Cox, Paris, Visscher and Klock, rushed forward. 

The line of march soon led into a curving ravine, with a marshy bottom, 
traversed by a causeway of logs and earth. Along this road the headstrong 
patriots were pursuing their hasty march, when the guards in front and 
flank were suddenly shot down, and the surrounding forest rang with the 
blood-curdling yells of the savages. The latter immediately closed up the 
gap by which the patriot force had entered their fatal circle. In so doing 
they cut off from the main body the baggage-train and the regiment of 



Cot Visscher. The latter took to flight, as predicted by their general, but 
did not thereby escape the punishment of their temerity; for they were pur- 
sued and cut off by a detachment of the Indians. The regiments sur- 
rounded in the ravine were thrown into dire confusion by the fire of their 
concealed enemy, and for a tmne seemed likely to be annihilated before 
they c»uld make any effectual defence. In this dreadful extremity, how- 
ever, they were not panic-stricken; but, after the first shock, resolving to 
sell tlieir lives dearly, they fought with the courage and skill of veterans. 
The slaughter among them was fearful. Their danger was increased when 
they were disabled by wounds, for at every opportunity the savages darted 
from their coverts, with knife and tomahawk, to complete the work of the 
musket-balls that, from every side, tore through the disordered body of 
patriots floundering in the morass. 

Early in the action Gen. Herkimer was severely wounded by a ball which 
shattered one of his legs, just below the knee, and killed hi^ horse. On 
beingUken up he coolly directed his saddle placed against a tree; support- 
ing himself upon it, he lighted his pipe, and with a hail-storm of bullets 
cutting down his men all about him, calmly directed the battle, nobly re- 
buking those who, a few hours before, in pressing the march into this fatal 
trap, had called him a coward and a traitor. 

The unequal combat had continued nearly an hour before any orderly 
and concerted action was attempted by the patriot troops. Captain Seeber. 
without orders, threw the remnant of his company into a circle, the better 
to repel the attacks of the enemy, who were by degrees closing in upon 
them. The example was followed by other sections of Herkimer's little 
army, whose defence from this time became so effective that it was thought 
necessary for a part of the Royal Greens and Butler's Rangers to make a 
bayonet charge. This brought the Mohawk Valley patriots at last face to 
face with their hated foes in deadly personal struggle. Hardly had the 
battle assumed this terrible form, when a heavy thunder-storm broke over 
the belligerents; the tories, upon whom the fight in its present phase* was 
telling severely, gladly drew off to a safe distance, and there was a lull in 
the strife of arms while the war of the elements continued. 

Herkimer's men took advantage of this circumstance to concentrate in a 
circle upon an advantageous piece of ground, where they more hopefully 
awaited a renewal of the attack. Another piece of tactics now adopted was 
the placing of two men behind a single tree, to fire alternately, thus pro- 
tecting each other from the savages, who, when a marksman was alone, 
rushed upon and tomahawked him as soon as he had fired, and before he 
could reload. As the pouring rain ceased, the enemy renewed their assault. 
They were mostly tory refugees from Tryon county, and their old neigh- 
bors, recognizing them as such, wreaked upon them the resentment engen- 
dered by years of controversy, with their experiences of insult and injury. 
Springing from their lines, the patriots of the Mohawk rushed with tiger- 
like ferocity upon the men who were leading a horde of heartless savages 
to the destruction of their families and homes, and thrust them through 
with the bayonet, or with the knife in closer grajfpie. Meanwhile the In- 
dians, good for nothing at the point of the bayonet, and severely punished 
in the later stage of the battle. lost heart and wavered. 

The booming of cannon in the direction of the fort now came gratefully 
to the ears of the patriot soldiers. Col. Willet was assaulting St. Leger's 
carap. The tory Col. Butler, thinking Herkimer's men might be expecting 
a reinforcement from the fort, had the uniforms of a detachment of John- 
son's Greens disguised so as to make them resemble a company of Ameri- 
cans, and sent them toward the patriot position from the direction of the 
fort. The ruse was well nigh successful. IJeut. Jacob Sammons was 
deceived by it. and announced to Capt. Gardinier the approach of sup- 
port- That officer, however, eyed the advancing jtarty with suspicion, and 
when they were within hearing, hailed them. They were already so near 
that one of the captain's men recognized in their ranks an actjuaintance 
whora he supposed a friend. Stepping fo^^\■ard to greet him. he was seized 
as a prisoner. Capt. Gardinier sprang to the rescue, and in the fierce 
struggle which ensued killed three of the disguised tories. Some of hi§ 
men, not yet undeceived, warned him that he was killing his friends, but 
he cried out: "They are not our men; they are the enemy — fire away!" 
A volley of bullets was sent whizzing among the tories, and thirty of them, 
together with many Indian warriors, fell. The survivors charged furiously. 
They were met in the same spirit, and the forest again rang with the clash 
of steel and the yells of the savages. The latter could not long abide a 
contest on even terms, however brave behind trees and at liac king the 
wounded; and seeing their ranks fast thmning and the stubborn stand of 

the provincials, they became disheartened and raised the signal for retreat 
— "Oonah! Oonahl" Panic seizing them, they fled, followed by a sho^vcr 
of bullets and the frantic cheers of the surviving patriots. The tories, 
deserted by their dusky allies, retreated precipitately, leaving the field in 
possession of the Tryon county militia, whom almost a miracle had saved 
from extermination. Thus ended the battle of Ori^kany, one of the 
bloodiest and most hotly contested fields of the Revolution. During the 
six hours* conflict nearly two hundred of the patriots had perished, and as 
many of the enemy, including nearly a hundred Indian warriors. 

As the shower which deluged the Oriskany battlefield subsided. Col. 
Willet, with two hundred and fifty men and a three-pounder, sallied from 
Fort Schuyler and fell upon the British entrenchments so unexpectedly 
that the troops left in them and the savages remaining in their adjoining 
camp had not time to form, and were driven helter-skelter into the woods. 
The attacking party held the enemy's position long enough to transfer 
from it to the fort twenty-one wagon loads of all manner of spoils, includ- 
ing five British flags and the coat of Sir John Johnson, who was glad to 
escape in his shirt sleeves across the river. Willet's command regained 
the fort without the loss of a man, and hung out the captured standards 
to the view of St. Leger, who returned just too late to intercept the vic- 
torious provincials. 

The patriots who remained unharmed upon the Oriskany battlefield set 
about removing their wounded, of whom about fifty were carried to places 
of safetv. General Herkimer was borne to his residence, where he died 
about ten days after the battle, from the effects of a clumsy amputation. 
Among the prisoners taken by the British was Col. Paris, who was after- 
ward murdered by the Indians, together with many other captives. Maj. 
John Frey was wounded and taken prisoner, and would have been slain 
by his own brother — a tory — but for the interference of bystanders. The 
sense of victory could not console the many homes in the Mohawk Valley 
which were represented among the corpses moldering in the bloody ravine 
of Oriskany, and every hamlet had reason long to mourn the rashness of 
some of the brave men who went forth to save it from invasion. 

The garrison of Fort Schuyler was so completely environed by its be- 
siegers, that nothing could be learned of the result of Herkimer's effort. 
St. Leger took advantage of the fact by compelling Col. Bellinger and 
Major Frey, who were prisoners in his camp, to write a letter to Col. Ganse- 
voort, reporting the disastrous failure of the effort to relieve him, assuring 
him that there was no hope and advising him to surrender. They were 
forced to say that their anxiety for the good of their friends in the fort led 
them to write as they did, since the enemy were in overpowering force, 
and Burgoyne's army jirobably already before Albany, the fall of which 
place would be followed by the contpiest of the Mohawk valley. This let- 
ter was delivered by Col. Butler, St. Leger's Adjutant, to Col. Gansevoort, 
with a verbal demand for surrender, which from its informality, the latter 
refused to recognize. He, however, gave audience next day to three British 
officers who addressed him at length, representing that the only salvation 
of the garrison was an immediate surrender, as the Indians, who were ex- 
tremelv exasperated by their losses, would slaughter his men if they held 
out longer, and were on the point of sending a large party down the valley 
to massacre the inhabitants, who were defenceless, now that Herkimer's 
army was. as they represented, destroyed. They asserted that Burgoyne 
was then in Albany, which insured the fall of the fort. If it was promptly 
surrendered, the garnson would be protected from the savages, but the 
latter would soon become uncontrollable. Col. (iansevoort having refused, 
as before, to recognize any verbal demand, St. Leger on the 9th, sent him 
a written summons to the same effect as his subordinate's speech, and like 
that, betraying a solicitude for the immediate possession of the fort, which 
was incompatible with an assurance that it must certainly fall into his hands. 

Col. Gansevoort briefly replied that he should defend the fort to the last 
extremity. Siege operations were thereupon renewed with increased vigor, 
but the artillery of the enemy was so light as to make but little impression. 
It was feared, however, that the garrison might be starved into capitulation, 
if not relieved, and Col. Willet and Maj. Stockwell set out in the night of 
the loth to pass the enemy's lines, go down the river and rally, if possible, 
the militia of the county, with whom the Colonel was deservedly popular. 
Reathing .\lbany after a perilous journey, Col, Willet found Gen. Arnold 
with a Massachusetts brigade starting for the relief of the beleagured post. 
The force immediately set out, and reaching Fort Dayton, halted for the 
local militia to assemble. 

In the mean time St. Leger was not idle. His next move was to issue 



an address to the people of Tr^'on county, signed by Sir John Johnson 
and Cols. Claus and Butler, in which he hoped by threats of Indian bar- 
bajilies to induce them to influence Col. Gansevoort to surrender. This 
appeal artfully expressed the utmost concern for the fate of those to whom 
it was addressed, and an ardent desire on the part of its authors for peace 
and reconciliation, which they condescended to j^rant, in spite of the in- 
juries to which they had been subjected, and the fact that they were at the 
head of a victorious army. After these words of peace and promise, the 
alternative in case of continued resistance was set forth : 

"^'ou have, no doubt, great reason to dread the resentment of the Indians 
on account of the loss they sustained in the late action, and the mulish 
obstinacy of your troops in this garrison, who have no resource but them- 
selves ; for which reasons the Indians declare, that if they do not surrender 
the garrison without further opposition, they will |iut every soul to death 
— oot only the garrison, but the whole county — without any regard to age, 
sex or friends, for which reason it is become your indispensable duty, as 
yoa must answer the consequences, to send a deputation of your principal 
people to oblige them immediately to what they, in a very little time, must 
be forced — surrender the garrison, in which case we will engage on the 
faith of christians to protect you from the violence of the Indians." 

This document only brought trouble upon some of the messengers who 
circulated it, Walter Butler, son of Col. John Butler, having come down 
the valley on this mission, was arrested near Fort Dayton, tried as a spy 
by Gen. Arnold, convicted, and though saved from death by the interces- 
sions of some officers who knew him, was sent to .-Mbany and their im- 
prisoned. General Arnold issued a stirrmg proclamation, well calculated 
to neutralize the tory manifesto and encourage the patriots of the 

St. Leger ran forward his trenches to within a hundred and fifty yards 
of the fort, but the sharp firing of the garrison prevented a nearer approach. 
He shelled the fortress, but with little eli'ect. Its defenders, however 
ignorant of the relief on the way to them, began to be apprehensive, and 
some even suggested a surrender. Ganse\oort would not entertain this 
idea, having resolved, if his supplies were exhausted, to make a sortie by 
night and cut his way through the enemy's lines, or die in the attempt. 
He was happily spared this desperate resort, for on the 2:nd of August, 
St Leger broke up his camp and hastily retreated, leaving his tents and 
baggage, with most of his artillery, to fall into the hands of the brave gar- 
rison. This movement, as surprising and mysterious as it was welcome to 
the beseiged, was the result of a ruse perpetrated by Gen. .\rnold, who 
released a rough ignorant fellow named Han Yost Schuyler, captured at the 
same time with Walter Butler, on condition that he should go to the camp 
of St. Leger with an extravagant rejiort of the force which was at hand to 
raise the siege. Bullets were fired through his clothes to corroborate the 
story he was to tell of having had a narrow escape, and a friendiv Oneida 
Indian arranged to reach St. I.eger about the same time from another 
Huarter with similar intelligence. The effect of their tale upon the Briti-.h 
commander and his followers need not be repeated- The savage^, dis- 
gusted with the result of the campaign, in the confusion of the fli^^ht 
robbed and even killed some of their white allies, and as .St. I.eger re|)(iried. 
"bctame more formidable than the enemy they had to cxjiect." 

Han V'ost Schuyler managed to escape from the retreating force at \\ ootl 
Creek and returning to Fort Schuyler, explained St. I.eger's sudden de- 
parture and announced .Arnold's approach. That officer on his wav to 
the Fort was met on the 23rd by a messenger, who told him that the besie- 
gers had tied, and learning this sent out a deiacliiiient in pursuit. The next 
day he reached Fort Schuyler, where he was received with li\ely dciiion- 
strations of joy. Cransevoort had also sent a p.irty after the living ciu-in_\-, 
who took a number of [irisoners and ,1 larizc i|iiantity of spoil, ini lu.ling 
.SL I.eger's writing desk, containing his private papers. 

The successful defence of l-'ort Schuyler was one of the priiu ipal laiises 
of the failure of Burgnync's 1 am|iaign. which at one time promised to 
strike a fatal blow at American liberties, 'I'hc co-operation of St. I.eger's army with that of Burgoyne's might, perhaps, have sa\ed the 
latter from capture by the provincials. That it was arrested and turned 
back at the very gate of the .Mohawk valley was duo to the valor of the 
defenders of Fort .Schuyler anil those who went to their siipp.irl. Ihe 
men who beat off the terrible onset in the Clriskany lielile, holding the 
enemy while Willet's little force sac ked their camp, deserve a prominent 
plai e in the record of our forefathers' heroism; but the preserc ation of the 
details of the Revolutionary struggle in the Moh.iwk valley was so neglected 

at the only time when they could have been rescued from oblivion that 
not even a majority of the soldiers of the brave Herkimer can be named. 
Their names so far as known are here inserted ; a due proportion of them, 
it will be seen, went from within the present limits of Montgomery and 
Fulton counties : 


*Brig. Gen. Nicholas Herkimer. 

Col. Frederick Visscher, .Mohawk. 
*Col. Ebenezer Co.x, Canajoharie. 

Col. Jacob G. Klock, Palatine, St. Johnsville. 

Col. Peter Bellinger, German F'lats. 

Col. John Bellinger. 
*Frederick .Ayer Oyer , Schuyler. 
J Major Blauvelt, Mohawk. 
tCaptain George Henry Bell, Fall Hill. 
*Joseph Bell, Fall Hill. 

Nicholas Bell, Fall Hill. 
tCaptain John Breadbeg, Palatine. 

-Adam Bellinger. 

t Lieut. Col. Frederick Bellinger, German Flat.s. 
*Samuel Billington, Palatine, Committee of Safety, 


*.Major John Blevin. 

*Captain Jacob Bowman, Canajoharie. 

John Boyer. 

Lieut. Col. Samuel Campbell, Cherry Valley. 
*Lieut. Robert Campbell, Cherrj- Valley. 

-Major Samuel Clyde, Cherry Valley. 

Jacob Castler, 

John Castler 

.\dam Gassier. 

Jacob Clemens, Schuyler. 

Captain A. Copeman, Minden. 

William Cox, St. Johnsville. 

Richard Coppemoll. 
* Robert Crouse, Canajoharie. 
'Benjamin Davis. 
'Captain John Davi.s, .Mohawk. 

Martinus Davis, Mohawk, ,\ brother of Captain John Davis . 

Nicholas I)e Graff, -\msterdam. 

Captain Marx De.Muth, Deerfield. 
'Captain .Andrew Dillenback, Palatine. 

John Doxiader, German Flats. 
'Captain Henry Dievendorff. Canajoharie. 

Hon. John Peter Dunckel, Freyshiish. 

Hon. Garrett Dunckel, Freysbusii. 

Hon. Nicholas Dunckel, Kreysbush. 
, Francis Dunckel. Freysbush. 
j 'John Dygert. Committee of Safety. 
X^Captain William Dygert, (lerman Flats. 
'-Maj. John Eisenlord, Stone Arabia. 

Peter Ehle, Palatine. 

Jacob F.mpie, Palatine 

Henry Failing, Canajoharie. 

Jelles Fonda. 

Captain .\dam Fonda. 

X'alentine Fralick. Palatine. 
ll-Major John Frey. Palatine. 
'Captain (,'hristcipher IV Fox, I'alatiiie. 

Ca|.tain Christoi'herW I o\, I'.ilatine 

Charles Fox, Palatine. 

Peter Fox, P.alatine. 

Christopher Fox, Palatine, Nephews of Christopher W. Fox;. 

George Geortner, Canajoharie. 

t'aptain Lawrence Gras, .Minden. 
'Nicholas Gray, Palatine. 

l.ieut. Samuel (»ray. Herkimer. 

'Captain Graves. 

tCapt. Jacob Gardinier, Mohawk 
t l.ieut. Samuel Gardinier, Mohawk. 



tl Jeut Petnis Groot, Amsterdam. 

•John Snell, Stone Arabia. 

Henry Harter, German Flats. 

•John Snell, Jr, Stone Arabia. 

Captain George Herkimer. 

John Adam Helmer, German Flats. 

[A son of George, and a fifer.] 
•Frederick Snell, Snellbush. 

•Captain Frederick Helmer, German Flats. 

[Of the Snells, .Mr, Simms writes: It has been said for many 

John Heyck, Palatine. 
Nicholas Hill. 

years that nine Snells went into the battle and that seven 
of the number remained there. We have made an effort 

Lieut. Yost House, Mindcn. 

to trace them out, and here is the result thus far: Five 

*Lieut. Col. Abel Hunt, Canajoharie. 

brothers and a relation, perhaps a cousin, and a son of one 

Andrew Keller, Palatine. 

of the brothers.] 

Jacob Keller, Palatine. 

Lieut. Jeremiah Swarts, Mohawk. 

Solomon Keller, Palatine. 

John G. Sillenbeck. 

•Maj. Dennis Klapsattle, German Flats. 

John Shults. Palatine. 

Jacob Klapsattle, German Flats. 
Peter Kilts, Palatine. 

George Shults, Stone -\rabia. 
Peter Summer. 

John Klock, St. Johnsville. 

Adam Thumb, Palatine. 

John I. Clock, St. Johnsville. 

Jacob Timmerman, St. Johnsville. 

Henry Lonus, Minden. 

tLieut. Henry Timmerman, St. Johnsville. 

Solomon Longshore, Canajoharie. 
•Jacob Markell, Springfield. 
•William Merckley, Palatine. 

Henry Thompson, Fultonville. 
Lieut. Martin C. Van .\lstyne, Canajoharie. 
•John Van .\nt\verp. 

John P. Miller, ^iinden. 

Jacob Moyer now Myers, German Flats. 

Lieut. David McMaster, Florida. 

(ieorge Van Deusen, Canajoharie. 
Henry Vedder. 
tConrad Vols now Foltz) German Flats. 

Adam Miller, Minden. 

Lieut. Jacob Vols, German Flats. 

Henry Miller, Minden. 

•Major Harmanus Van Slyck, Palatine. 

David Murray, Fonda. 

Christian Nelles. 

John D. Nellis, Palatine. 

•Major Nicholas Van Slyck. 
Capt. John Visscher, Mohawk. 
JLieut.-Col. Henry Walradt, German Flats. 

Peter Nestle, Palatine. 

George Walter. Palatine. 

•Hon. Isaac Paris, Palatine, and his son, who was also killed. 

Major George E. Watts. 

John Niarri Petri, Fort Herkimer. 

Lieut. -Col. Peter Waggoner, Palatine. 

•Lieut. Dederiah Marx Petrie, Herkimer. 

Lieut. Peter Waggoner, Jr., Palatine. 

Dr. William Petr)-, Fort Herkimer, Committee of Safety. 
tjoseph Petry, Dayton. 
•Captain Samuel Pettingill, Mohawk. 

George Waggoner, Palatine. 

John Waggoner. Palatine, (whose descendants are the Wagner 
family, of Palatine Bridge., 

tAdam Price, .Minden. 
Nicholas Pritchard, Minden. 

Jacob Wagner, Canajoharie. 
John Wagner, Canajoharie. 

Richard Putnam, Mohawk. 

Garret Walrath. 

Abraham D. Quackenboss. 

Lieut. Henry Walrath. 

fjacob Rachiour, Minden. 

Peter Westerman, Canajoharie. 

George Raynor, Minden. 
Captain Nicholas Rector, Garoga. 

•John Wollover, Fort Herkimer. 
Abraham Wollover, Fort Herkimer. 

Col. John Roof. 

Marx Raspach, Kingsland. 

tPeter Wollover, Fort Herkimer. 
•Richard Wollover, Fort Herkimer 

Henry Sanders, Minden. 

Jacob Wever. German Flats. 

Sampson Sammons, Fonda, Committee of Safety. 
Jacob Sammons, Fonda, uncle of Col. Simeon .Sammons.' 
•William Schaver. 

Peter Jams Weaver, German Flats, 
Michael Widrick, Schuyler. 
•Lawrence Wrenklc. Fort Herkimer. 

Ensign John Jacob School, Palatine. 

tDr. Moses Vounglove, Surgeon. 

•Col. Saffreness Seebcr, Canajoharie. 

Captain Robert Yates. 

fCapt. Jacob Seeber, Canajoharie. 
tMaj. William Seeber, Canajoharie. 
fPrivate Henry Seeber, Canajoharie. 
•Private James Seeber, Canajoharie. 

tNicholas Yerdon, Minden. 
tjacob Yonker, Oppenheim. 



Lieut. John Seeber. Minden. 

JTaken prisoner. 

•.■Vudolph Seeber. Minden. 

Peter Sitz, Palatine. 

Rudolph Siebcrt. 


Henry Spencer, Indian Interpreter. 
Christian Schell, Little Falls. 


George Smith, Palatine. 


Henr)- Smith. 

Col. Henry Staring, ancestor of Hon. John H Starin, of Ful- 
tonville. who now represents the Nineteenth I>i>tri(;t of New 

Early in 1778 the people of the Mohawk Valley were alarmed by the re- 
port that the western Indian tribes were about to unite with the .Mohawks. 

York in Congress. 
Capt. Kudol|>h Shoemaker, Conaioharie. 
•Joseph Snell. Snellbush, now Manhcim. 
•larob Snell, Sneilbush, now Manhemi. 
Peter Snell, SncUbu^h, now Manheim. 
Creorge Sncll, Snellbush, now Manheim. 
[The above were brothers.) 

Cayugas, Onondagas and Scnecas. in a war u|)on the frontier, instigated by 
Johnson, Claus and Butler, and managed by Brant. Congress, in view of 
the outlook, ordered a council held with the Six Nations of Johnstown 
between the 15th and 20th of February, and appointed Gen. Schuyler and 
Volkert P. Doiiw to conduct it. together with a special commissioner to be 
designated by Gov. Clinton. The Governor named James Duane. The 



Indians showed littie interest in the conference, and delayed their coming, 
until it was the 9th of March before the council could be o]»cned. There 
irere then present more than seven hundred of them, mostlv Oneidas, 
Tuscaroras and Onondagas, with a few Mohawks, three or four Cavugas, 
but not one of the Senecas, whose warriors outnumbered those of all the 
other Iro'iuois. Instead of attending the council the last-named tribe had 
the audacity to send a message expressing great surprise that they were 
asked to do so while the Americans' "tomahawks were sticking in their 
beads, their wounds bleeding, and their eyes streaming with tears for the 
loss of their friends." meaning at the battle of Oriskany. 

The proceedings were opened by the reading of an address from Con- 
gress charging the Indians with ingratitude, cruelty and Ireacherv, while 
the conduct of the I'nited States towards them had been true and mag- 
nanimous. The Oneidas and Tuscaroras were excepted from the charge, 
applatided for their fidelity, and assured of friendship and protection. .\n 
Onondaga chief then spoke for his tribe, hypocritically bewailing their 
conduct, and exculpating himself and brother sachems by saying that the 
young and headstrong warriors would not listen to them, but were misled 
b)- the seductive artifices of the tones. The .Mohawks had nothing to say 
for themselves. .\n Oneida chieftain answered eloquently in behalf of his 
nation and the Tuscaroras. He lamented the degeneracy of the hostile 
tribes, and predicted their extinction in consequence. H-^ concluded 
with the solemn assurance that the United States could rely on the abid- 
ing friendship and the assistance of those for whom he spoke. The gov- 
ernment commissioners closed the conference by extolling the faithfulness 
and courage of the two friendly nations, and dismissed the others with a 
warning that the cause of the Americans was just, and the sa\ages who 
opposed it must look well to their ways, else the strong arm of the United 
States would reach with vengeance even to the remotest villages of the 
Senecas. The inhabitants of Tryon county were gratified with the pro- 
ceedings of the Council, hoping it might have a good effect upon the In- 
dians ; but it was a sanguine expectation, for the conference left the most 
important tribes, with Brant for their leader, brooding over their losses 
at Oriskany and their failure at Fort Schuyler, and intent on vengeance. 

The Marquis de Lafayette, who was temporarily in. command of the 
northern department, was (iresent at the council, and, before leaving 
Johnstown, learning of the comparatively defenceless condition of the 
New York frontier, he ordered forts built at Cherry Valley and in the 
Oneida country ; the three on the Schoharie garrisoned and armed with a 
small brass cannon a-piece, and other border fortifications strengthened. 
These and far more efficient ])recautionary measures were necessarv, for 
it was but too evident that the Johnsons and their adherents would make 
extraordinary efforts to reco\er the Mohawk \alley, in which they had so 
large interests at stake. Their scouts and spies were watching every 
movement in this quarter, and at the very time when the council was in 
progress at Johnstown, no less a personage than Col. (aiy Carlton, nephew 
of the (lovernor of Canada bearing that name, was lurking in the neigh- 
borhood to ascertain and report the dis|iosition of the chiefs. Efforts 
were made for his arrest, Lafayette himself offering a reward of fiftv 
guineas for his apprehension. 

Early in the spring. Brant again appeared at ()ghkw.iga, where he organ- 
ized scalping [larties to fall upon the settlers' habitations and cut them off 
in detail. To guard against these marauders, the utmost vigilance was 
neces-sary. Not only by night was it needful to be on the alert for the 
stealthy approach of the mortal enemy, but the laborers in the fields had to 
be protected by sentinels standing on guard. Such was the trymg situ- 
ation of the dwellers in Tryon county to the end of the Revolutmnarv 
contest. In June, it having been re|iorted that Brant was fortifying a 
position .at Unadilla, Cajit. MiKean was sent by the people of Cherry 
Valley, with a few volunteers, to rc( onnoitre the chieftain's encampment. 
On his way. .MrKean learned that Brant was out with a considerable force, 
and fearing that his little party might be sur|irised and overwhelmed he 
thought it prudent to return. In the course of his march McKean injudi- 
ciously wrote a letter to Brant repro.iching him for his predatorv svstem 
of warfare : intimating that he was too cowardly to show himself in honor- 
able conflict, and challenging the Mohawk to meet him in smgic 1 nmhat 
or with an e< number of men. The letter ron( hided by siymg. thai if 
:'ne murderous chief would . ome to Cherry \ .ilkv he wiiliia be 1 li.ingcd 
from i hrititUn ^ f::wsf. This letter wjs fastened to a stii k. and Ir^U" 
placed in an Indian path, soon its way to its ilisim.uiim. liraiit was 
slung to by its re< cipl. but forbcire an answer imul he c nnvcyed it in 
the Cherry Valicy massac re of a few months l.itcr 

Early in the summer of 1778 a party of about a hundred tories, who 
had fled to Canada, made their appearance, collected their families, and 
departed, strange to say, unmolested by the Tryon county militia, though 
they were men in the active service of the enemy. They not only escaped 
with their families, but committed hostilities on the way. Starting from 
Fort Hunter when their arrangements were completed, they proceeded, via 
Fonda's Bush, to F'ish House, now in the town of Broadalbin, in Fulton 
county, taking eleven prisoners on the route; and at the last named place 
captured Solomon Woodworth and Codfrey Shew, with his three sons, 
and burned Mr. Shew's buildings. The tories then repaired to their 
canoes, which were moored on the Sacondaga. and floating down that 
stream to its mouth, crossed to Lake fjeorge and continued their voyage 
to Canada. Woodworth, however, escaped the day after his capture, and 
four of the other prisoners soon after reaching Canada. 

A party of four or five hundred Indians appeared on the Cobleskill on 
the jndof July, and on the upper branch of that stream killed or captured 
half of a force of fifty-two regulars and militia who had engaged them. 
Several dwellings were burned by the savages in that vicinity, and they 
slaughtered the cattle and horses which they did not drive away. The 
Wyoming massacre occurred two days later ; in July the little settlement 
of .\ndrustown, six miles southeast of German Flats, was plundered and 
destroyed by Brant, the people and the live stock being slaughtered or driven 
away, and in September, the German Flats settlement itself underwent the 
same fate, except that the inhabitants were warned barelv in time to save 
themselves by fleeing to forts Dayton and Herkimer. Three or four 
hundred militia pursued the enemy on their retreat, but accomplished noth- 
ing. Col. Win. Butler's Pennsylvania regiment, and part of Morgan's nfle 
corps, which had been stationed on the Schoharie after the Cobleskill con- 
flict, made an expedition down the Susquehanna and destroyed, the Indian 
village of Oghkwaga with its provisions. In November, Brant and Walter 
Butler who had, by feigning sickness, obtained a transfer from the jail at 
.Albany to the house of a tory. intoxicated his guard and escaped, with two 
hundred tories and five hundred Indians, fell upon the Cherry Valley settle- 
ment, killed thirty-two [leaceable inhabitants and sixteen soldiers of the 
garrison, burned all the buildings, destroyed or took away all the moveable 
property, and dragged into captivity most of the surviving inhabitants. 
The women and children were soon allowed to return, except three women 
one of whcjm was murdered in a day or two, and their children. Previous 
to the flight of Sir John Johnson from Johnstown to Canada, he buried his 
own and his father's most valuable papers in an iron chest on his premises. 
Late in the fall of 1778, at the request of Sir John, the Canadian (Governor- 
General, Haldimand, sent forty or fifty men on a secret expedition to 
Johnstown to recover them. The chest was found to have been an in- 
sufficient protection from dampness, and the papers had become mouldy 
and illegible. Intelligence of this expedition was obtained from a man 
named Helmer, who one of the party. He was among the tories who 
fled with Sir John. Being disabled by an injury to one of his ancles on 
this trip after the Baronet's iron chest, he was left at the house of his father 
when the party retired. There he remained concealed until the next 
spring, when he was arrested, tried as a spy by a court martial at Johns- 
town, convicted and sentenced to death. 

In .April, 1779, the settlements in the Mohawk valley were once more 
alarmed by the appearance of scalping parties at different points, menac- 
ing them with the fate of Cherry Valley. On the south side of the river 
a party fell upon a small community, captured three prisoners and some 
horses, and drove the inhabitants into Fort Plain. .At the same time 
another party made a descent upon Stone .Arabia. Having killed a man 
and burned two houses, they attacked that of Capt. Richer, occupied by 
himself and wife, two sons and an old man. The List and one of the sons 
were killed and all the others wounded, but the Indians haung lost two of 
their number gave up the attack and retired. On the same day a party of 
Senecas appeared at Schoharie, drove the people into the forts, plundered 
their houses, and carried two men away prisoners. 

These simultaneous attacks threw the whole valley into a panic. The 
Palatine committee wrote immediately to General Clinton for assistance, 
which W.1S promptly rendered, and a timely t heck given to the marauders, 
Three hundred Onond.agas, however, now took the war path to avenge the 
recent destrui tion of their villages, and de.ath and capture of part of their 
warriors, which had been visited upon them for their treachery. 'I hey ad- 
vanc ed upon the Cobleskill settlement, which a detachment of troops had 
been sent from Schoharie to defend, fhese were drawn into an ambusc.ide 



and part of them killed. The rest with the people of the settlement fled 
to Schoharie. Seven of the soldiers, however, to check the pursuit and save 
the non-combatants, took post in one of the deserted houses and defended 
themselves desperately till the building was fired by the savages, when 
these heroic men perished in the flames. The settlement was then plun- 
dered and destroyed. Brant was meanwhile harrassing the borders of the 
lower Hudson river counties, and the trials of the frontier neighborhoods, 
houriy exposed to rapine and murder, were extreme. The only means of 
protection seemed to be to carry the war into the country of the savages, 
and on this theory was executed the devastating campaign of Gen. Sullivan 
through the territory* of the western nations of the State, which is elsewhere 
recounted. Gen. Sullivan having been misinformed in regard to the actions 
of the friendly Mohawks remaining at the lower castle, most unfortunately 
ordered Col. Gansevoort to take them prisoners and destroy their dwellings. 
The first part of the order was executed, and the second would have been 
had not the white inhabitants needed the houses for their use, their own 
having been destroyed. .A.s soon as the matter came to the knowledge of 
Gen. Schuyler, the prisoners were released. 

For a considerable time after Sullivan's campaign, the Mohawk valley 
enjoyed comparative repose, only disturbed by occasional alarms incident 
to border settlements always liable to invasion ; but it was the calm pro- 
phetic of a storm. The lower section of the valley had for the most part 
escaped the fortunes of war. having suffered more from frequen. ad har- 
rassing alarms than from actual hostilities. The men of this region had 
repeatedly gone forth to participate in the common defence, and their num- 
ber had thus been diminished by death or capture ; while the means of 
self-protection on the part of the lower Mohawk settlements were by no 
means increased by the influx of defenceless people driven from their homes 
further up the nver. The time had now come when the inhabitants of the 
eastern part of Tryon county were to be afflicted with terrible visitations 
at their own doors. 

On the 2ist of May, 1780. near midnight, Sir John Johnson entered 
Johnstown at the head of iive hundred British tro<j|>-., tunes and Indians. 
He had crossed the country from Crown Point to the Sacondaga, a quarter 
from which an invasion was least expected, and stolen upon the settlement 
so quietly that the patriot inhabitants were first warned of the enemy's pres- 
ence by the beginning of the work of murder and destruction in their midst. 
TheVesident tories. who were in the secret, assisted the savage invaders and 
were, of course, exempted from injury. On nearing Johnstown the Baro- 
net's forces were separated into two divisions, one of which he himself led 
directly to Johnson Hall, and thence through the adjacent village down to 
the mouth of Cayadutta creek, there to join the other division, which was 
to take a more easteriy route, strike the Mohawk in the neighborhood of 
Tribes Hill, and thence proceed up the valley. This latter detachment, 
consistingchiefly of Indians and tories, is believed to have been command- 
ed by two brothers named Bowen, refugees from this vicinity, who had fol- 
lowed the Johnsons to Canada. 

The whole course of Sir John's raiders was murderous and disgraceful. 
The first house visited by the midnight assassins composing the eastern 
division was that of Lodowick Putman, two or three miles from the village 
of Johnstown. The family consisted of Mr. Putman and wife, three sons 
and a daughter. Two of the sons were fortunately absent. The other and 
his father were murdered and scalped. The wife and daughter were allowed 
to escape to Johnstown. While Mr. Putman's household was being broken 
np, a party of the savages proceeded to the residence of his son-in-law and 
neighbor Amasa Stevens, whom they dragged out and murdered in the 
most brutal manner, leaving his wife to seek refuge where she might. The 
>etilers at Albany ilush, being tories, were passed without molestation, and 
the s( alping party went on to the house of Gerret Putman, a staunch whig, 
«h() had been marked as a victim. Putman and his son had lately re- 
moved and rented the house to two Knglishmen, who were tones. Ig- 
norant of this fact, the depredators broke into the building and killed and 
scalped the inmates before they could reveal their true rharat ter. The 
'">use of Henr>* Hansen was next assailed, the owner butchered and his 
■^^ns carried away i>risoners. 

At the house of Col. Visscher, the marauders met with ^ome resistanc e 
•'■'.111 the inmates. A few days previou>, the colonel had sent his wife and 
•'I'-dr^n to Schenectady. His two brothers were with him, and now that 
'^ic enemy were upon them, the three men resolved to defend them.selves 
'" ihe last extremity. As the savages tried to break into the house they 
•^*TL- fired upon, but their overwhelining number enabled them to force an 

entrance, and the brothers retreated to the chamber, fighting desperately 
on the stairway. They were at length overpowered, stricken down and 
scalped, and the house set on fire. Col. Visscher was knocked on the 
head with a tomahawk, and had his scalp torn off ; but, although left for 
dead, he recovered and survived for many years. He is mentioned else- 
where in this work by the name of Fisher, that spelling having been 
adopted by some of the family. 

Having completed their work at the Visscher place, the enemy pro- 
ceeded up the river, destroying everything belonging to the whigs ; but the 
alarm was getting abroad, and the people were given some chance to 

The division led by Sir John, on leaving Johhson Hall, passed through 
the village of Johnstown undiscovered by the occupants of the fort, 
which consisted of a stockade about the jail and several block houses. On 
their way to Caughnawaga they surrounded the house of Sampson Sam- 
mons, whom they lapturcd, together with his three sons, Jacob, Frederick, 
and Thomas. Mr. Sammons was well known to Sir John and was re- 
spected by him, insomuch that the Baronet would not give htm and his 
household over to the Indians ; but the family were too prominent and in- 
fluential patriots to be left at large, and it had been decided to take the 
father and sons to Canada. They were accordingly marched away from 
their plundered dwelling, to witness the desolation of their neighborhood. 
Johnson's forces having united at the mouth of Cayadutta creek, pro- 
ceeded up the valley, burning every building not belonging to a tory, 
carrying ott all attractive portable property, slaughtering sheep and cattle, 
and leading away the horses. They carried their devastation only a few 
miles above Caughnawaga, and returning to that place in the afternoon 
burned every building, but the church and parsonage. At this place a vener- 
able old man, named Douw Fonda, had been killed and scalped by a party of 
Indians in the morning ; he was one of nine aged men, four of them over 
eighty, who were slaughtered during Sir John's raid. From the ashes of 
Caughnawaga, Johnson and his ruffianly followers returned to Johnson 
Hall, pausing by the way to burn the Saiiuuons buildings and take away 
the seven horses on the place, leaving the females of the family houseless 
and destitute. 

Sir John remained several hours at the Hall on his return. Here he re- 
gained possession of about twenty negro slaves, left behind when he fled 
from the country. Among them was one called William, who had been 
entrusted with the secretion of the Baronet's plate and some other valu- 
ables, which he buried in the cellar. Under the Act of se(|uestration, the 
Tryon county committee had taken possession of the Hall and estate, 
which they leased to Jacob Sammons. The latter bought the slave Wil- 
liam, but that faithful servant kept the secret of the. concealed treasures 
until he now pointed them out to their owner. Previous to their distribu- 
tion among the soldiers for conveyance, they filled two barrels. 

Toward night the militia from the surrounding country began to gather 
at Johnstown under Col. John Harper, and Johnson deemed it advisable 
to resume his homeward march. He accordingly set out for the Sacon- 
daga, accompanied by a considerable number of tories, who had joined 
his ranks. The whigs about Johnstown, who had been too completely 
surprised and panic-stricken to resist his advance, did not recover in lime 
to harass his retreat. The militia who had assembled were in too small 
numbers to attack him, but Capt. Putman and a few others followed the 
enemy and observed their movements for several miles. Col. Van Schaick, 
indeed, went in pursuit with eight hundred militia, but too late to overtake 
Sir John and his guerillas. 


>fFKF.R[N(; OF THK ? 



The situation of the Mohawk valley was such that it was liable at any 
time to be further desolated by hordes of savages. Shortly after the irrup- 
tion of Sir John, (ieneral Clinton ordered Col. Ciansevoor! to repair with 
his regiment to Fort Tlain. take charge of a large quantity of stores des- 
tined for Fort Schuyler, and convoy the batteau containing them to its 
destination. This caution was necessary to save the supi)lies from ca])ture 
by the Indians. Most of the local militia accompanied C.nnsevoort's com- 
mand. Brant was again on the war-pa'h, watching tor a favorable moment 



to spring upon the unprotected inhabitants, and supplied by the tones with 
information of movements in the settlements. He was early aware of the 
departure of the troops for Fort Schuyler, and when they were well on 
their way, made a descent on Canajoharie with about five hundred Indians 
and tones, chietly the former. There were several stockades in the neigh- 
borhoods desolated by the invaders, but the principal fortification was 
that known as Fort Plain, situated on an eminence near the present village 
of that name, and commanding an extensive view of the valley. The gar- 
rison of Fort Plain was insufficient without help from the militia, who were 
now absent from the neighborhood, to give battle to Brant's force. The 
approach of the latter was announced to the people, then busy with their 
harvesting, by a woman finng a cannon at the fort, whither all who were 
fortunate enough to escape from the savages fled, leaving their property to 
be destroyed. The Indians advanced to the precincts of the fort and 
burned the church and parsonage, beside several other buildings. The 
church spire was adorned with a brass ball, and the savages, believing it to 
be gold, watched eagerly for its fail. When at last it fell they sprang for- 
ward to sei2e the prize, but as gladly relinquished their grasp with blistered 
hands. The columns of smoke rising from the burning buildings were 
seen at Johnstown, and were the first intimation of this latest incursion. 
The farmers left their harvest-fields and joined Col. Wemple, marching up 
the river with the Schenectady and Albany militia; but they re not in 
time to check the work of destruction or cut off ihe retreat of the maraud- 
ers. The Colonel, who has been thought to have been more prudent than 
valorous on this occasion, only reached the desolated region in time to view 
the smouldering ruins and rest securely in the fort that night. 

The next morning some buildings, which had escaped the torch the day 
before, were discovered on fire. Col. Wemple, on being notified of the fact, 
said that if any volunteers were disposed to look into the matter they 
might do so; whereupon Major Bantlin. with some of the Tryon county 
militia, set out for the scene of the fire. It proved to have been set by a 
party of Brant's fulluwcrs, who, as soon as discovered, ned to rejoin the 
main body. In a day the fairest portion of the valley had been desolated, 
sixteen of the inhabitants slain, and more than fifty, chiefly women and 
children, carried into captivity. Fifty-three dwellings with their barns, a 
grist-mill, a church and two small forts were burned, more than three hun- 
dred cattle and horses driven away, and the implements of husbandry and 
the standing grain destroyed. The forts which were demolished were not 
garrisoned, and had been constructed by the people themselves. The in- 
habitants of the desolated neighborhood had protested against helping the 
Government to keep open communication with Fort Schuyler while their 
own homes were but slightly protected, and the result of their doing so 
justified their worst apprehensions. 

Much as the patriotic inhabitants of the Mohawk valley had already 
suffered, their afflictions were not yet over. During the autumn of 1780, 
Sir John Johnson, Brant and the Seneca chief, Cornplanter, led against 
the Mohawk and Schoharie settlements an expedition designed to sweep 
away the last vestige of wealth possessed by the adherents to the cause of 
the colonists. The warriors of the two chiefs named formed a junction 
at Unadilla with Sir John's forces, which consisted of three companies of 
the Royal Greens, one company of German Yagers, two hundred of But- 
ler's Rangers, a company of British regulars and a party of Indians. Sir 
John and his followers came from Montreal by the way of Oswego, bring- 
ing with them two small mortars and a brass three three-pounder, mounted 
on legs instead of wheels, and called from that circumstance a " grass- 
hopper ;" the artillery was transported on packhorses. The plan of the 
enemy was, upon reaching the Schoharie, to pass the upper of three small 
forts on that stream by night and unobserved; destroy the settlements 
between it and the Middle Fort, and attack the latter in the morning. 
This plan was carried out October 16, the homes of all but lories being 
given to the flames. The Middle Fort was bombarded, but no impression 
was made upon it, and an assault was not attempted. The enemy moved 
on toward Fort Hunter, making a feeble attack on the Lower Srhoharie 
fort by the way. not sparing a building or gram stack known to belong to 
a whig, and killing or driving off the cattle and horses. A hundred thou- 
sand bushels of grain were estimated to have been destroyed that day. 
Nearly one hundred of the peaceable settlers were brutally murdered. 
The whigs were so exasperated by the ruin wrought among them that their 
survivors applied the torch to the buildings and stacks of their tury neigh- 
bors, and the desolation along the Sc hnharie was complete. 

The invaders remained in the vicinity of Fort Hunter during the day 

after their appearance, destroying everything in the neighborhood. On 
the 1 8th they moved up the Mohawk, a detachment of the Greens and 
Indians taking the north bank, and all structures left standing in the 
spring, or since put up. were burned. At night Sir John encamped near 
the Nose, and next morning crossed to the north hide at Keder's Rifts. 
From this point a detachment was sent against the stockade in Stone 
Arabia, called F'ort Paris, and the main bodv shortly followed, after keep- 
ing to the river bank about two miles further. 

As soon as intelligence of this irruption reached .\lbany, Gen. Van 
Rensselaer, with the Albany militia, accompanied by Gov. Clinton, marched 
to the assistance of the people of Tryon county. Van Rensselaer reached 
Caughnawaga on the iSth, and learning that F'ort Paris was to be attacked 
on the following day. sent orders to Col. Brown, who was in command of 
that post, to sally out next morning and engage the enemy while he him- 
self would make a diversion in his favor. Col. Brown obeyed, going out 
to confront the enemy with his little force at the appointed time. Van 
Rensselaer was so unpardonably slow in his movements, that before he 
arrived within reach of the enemy. Brown's little band had been over- 
whelmed. The Colonel himself was slain while gallantly fighting at the 
head of his men, and about forty of his followers met the same fate, the 
remainder seeking safety in flight. Having routed Brown's little com- 
pany, Sir John dispersed his own force in small detachments, which, burn- 
ing and pillaging in every direction, left Stone Arabia in ruins. In the 
afternoon, Johnson's guerillas reunited and moved westward to a place 
called Klock's Field, where, wearied with their exertions and burdened 
with plunder, they halted to rest. 

On the morning of the 19th, Van Rensselaer renewed his march, keep- 
ing along the south side of the river, and was joined by Capt. McKean 
with about eighty volunteers and a strong body of Oneida warriors, under 
their principal chief. Louis Atayataroughta, who had been commissioned 
a lieutenant-colonel by Congress. This accession made Van Rensselaer's 
force entirely superior to Johnson's. Sir John had taken the precaution 
to station a guard of forty men at the ford by which he crossed the 
Mohawk, and Van Rensselaer on reaching this point, not attempting to 
force a passage, halted until the guard was withdrawn, and even then pro- 
ceeded without crossing; thus remaining idle and useless on the south side 
of the river while the enemy were annihilating everything combustible on 
the north side. Before noon Van Rensselaer arrived opposite the point 
I where Johnson's men were completing the destruction of Brown's party, 
the firing being still audible. Here the colonial force was halted, and was 
immediately joined by some of Brown's fleeing soldiers, who had forded 
the river without difficulty. One of the latter, a militia officer named Van 
Allen, promptly reported to Gen. Van Rensselaer the state of affairs, and 
inquired if he was not going over. In reply the General said he was not 
ac{[uainted with the fording place. He was told there was no difficulty in 
fording, and Van .Allen offered to act as pilot. Thereupon Captain 
McKean and the Oneida chief led their bands across, expecting the main 
army to follow without delay. Instead of supporting his advance party in 
the promised co-operation with Col. Brown, Van Rensselaer now accom- 
panied Col. Dubois to Fort Plain, to dine with Gov. Clinton. Returning 
about four o'clock, he found that the remainder of his army had crossed 
the river on a rude bridge built upon baggage wagons driven into the 
stream. He was at length stung to something like activity by his officers 
remonstrating against his inertness, and the Oneida chief denounced him 
to his face as a tory; and the provincials advanced with due expedition. 

Sir John seeing that he could not avoid an attack, prejiared to meet it 
by throwing up slight breastworks and arranging his forces in order of 
battle. The tones and Butler's Rangers occupied a small plain partly pro- 
tected by a bend in the river, while Brant with his Indians, concealed in a 
thicket on a slight elevation further north, were supported by a detach- 
ment of German Yagers. It was near evening when the battle began. 
Van Rensselaer's extreme right was conunanded by Col. Dubois. N'ext to 
him was Capt. McRcan with his volunteers, and then came the Oneidas, 
while the left was led by Col. Cuyler. The Indians in ambush constituted 
the left of the enemy. As the provincials approached. Brant raised the 
war-whoop, to which the Oneidas quickly responded, and the engagement 
soon became general. The Oneida warriors rushed upon their Iroquois 
kimlrcd, followed liy McKean; the latter supported by Col. Dubois, whose 
wing of the line of battle was loo extended to match the enemy's disposi- 
tions. Brant's savage legion resisted for a time the impetuous < harge. but 
eventually tied toward a ford about two miles up the river. Brant was 
wounded in the heel, but effected his escape. 



The victorious troops were eager to jmrsue tiie scattered and demoraliz- 
ed enemy, but it was now twilight, and Van Rensselaer once more inter- 
posed for the preservation of the I'oc, by ordering the patriot anny to fall 
back two or three miles, and encamp for the niglit. This order was a 
grievous disappointment to the troops, and was obeyed with reluctance, and 
but in part, as Louis the Oneida chief. Captain McKean and Col. Clyde 
still harassed the flying enemy, capturing one of tlieir field pieces, and 
taking some prisoners. The patriots were the more exasperated at being 
withheld from pursuit on learning from one of their captives that the 
raiders were on the point o( surrendering when Van Rensselaer gave the 
order to retreat. 

Early the next morning, the Oneidas and McKean with his volunteers 
moved up the river, only to find, as was to be expected, that undercover of 
the night the enemy had escaped, fieeing toward Onondaga Lake, where 
their boats were concealed. \'an Rensselaer followed moderately as far as 
Fort Herkimer, from which point he sent forward McKean and the Oneidas 
to harass the fugitives, promising to advance with the main body immedi- 
ately. Coming next morning uj>on the still burning camp fires of the 
marauders, the advance party of the pursuers halted, the Oneida chief 
fearing an an\buscade, and refusing to proceed until Cien. Van Rensselaer 
came up. Instead of that active and valiant officer, came a messenger re- 
porting that the pursuit was abandoned, and the army on its return march. 
Van Rensselaer has been universally censured for his mismanagement of 
this expedition, especially his shameful negligence in allowing Stone .A.rabia 
to be desolated in his presence, and Johnson to escape with his army only 
defeated when it might have been annihilated. 




Gloomy indeed was the prospect at this time in the .Mohawk valley. 
Desolation and destitution were on every side. Of an abundant harvest, | 
almost nothing remained. The Cherry Valley, Harpersfield, and all other 
settlements toward the head waters of the Susquehanna, had been entirely 
deserted for localities of greater safety. Some idea of the lamentable con- 
dition of other communities in Tryon county may be obtained from a state- 
ment addressed to the Legislature, December 20, 1780, by the supervisors 
of the county. In that document it was estimated that seven hundred 
buildings had l>een burned in the county ; six hundred and thirteen persons 
had deserted to the enemy ; three hundred and fifty-four families had 
abandoned their dwellings ; one hundred and ninety-seven lives had been 
lost ; one hundred and twenty-one persons had been carried into captivity, 
and twelve thousand farms lay uncultivated by reason of the enemy. 

Nor were the terrible sufferings indicated by these statistics mitigated 
by a brighter prospect. Before the winter was past, Brant was again hover- 
ing about with predatory bands to destroy what little property remained. 
Since the Oneidas had been driven from their country, the path of the 
enemy into the valley was almost unobstructed. It was with difficulty that 1 
supplies could be conveyed to Forts Plain and Dayton without being 
captured, and transportation to Fort Schuyler was of course far more 
hazardous. The militia had been greatly diminished and the people dis- 1 
I>irited by repeated invasions, and the destruction of their property ; and 
yet what information could be obtained, indicated that another incursion 
might be looked for to sweep perhaps the whole extent of the valley, con- 
temporaneously with a movement from the north toward .\lhany. Fort 
S< huylcr was so much injured by flood and fire in the spring of 17,^1, that 
It was abandoned, the garrison retiring to the lower jiosts ; and all the 
up|)er part of the valley was left open to the savages. 

Governor Clinton was greatly pained by the gloomy outlook, and know- 
ing thai Col. Willett was exceedingly popular in the v alley, earnestly solicit- 
ed his services in this quarter. Willett had just been appointed to the 
command of one of the two new regiments formed by the consolidation of 
the remnants of five New York regiments, and it was with reluctance that 
he left the main army for so difficult and harassing an undertaking as tht I 
defence of the .Mohawk region. The spirit of the people, at this time ; 
lower than at any other during the long struggle, began to revive when Col. 
Willett ap[)eared among them. It was in June that he repaireil to Tryon 1 
county to take charge of the militia levies and State troops that he might be ' 
able to collect. The former did not now exceed a hundred men, and in a | 

letter to Governor Clinton making known the weakness of his command, 
Colonel Willett said : " I confess myself not a little disappointed in having 
such a trifling force for such extensive business as I have on my hands ; and 
also that nothing is done to enable me to avail myself of the militia. The 
prospect of a suffering county hurts me. Upon my own account I am not 
uneasy. Everything I can do shall be done, and more cannot be looked 
for. If it is, the reflection that I have done my duty must fix my own 

It was not long before Col. Willett had to repel an invasion. On the 
gth of July the settlement of Currytown was attacked by some three hun- 
dred Indians and a few loyalists led by a rank tory, named John Dox- 
tader. The inhabitants were at work in the fields when the enemy darted 
from the surrounding forest, and the now familiar scene of murder and de- 
struction was re-enacted. Part of the settlers escaped to a small jiicketed 
block-house, but nine were carried away prisoners, and all the buildings in 
the settlement were fired before the marauders retired, save one belonging 
. to a tory. 

Col. Willett was at Fort Plain at the time of this foray and saw the smoke 
rising from the burning buildings. A scouting and foraging party of thirty 
or forty men under Captain Gross being on the march toward New Dor- 
lach, came upon the trail of the enemy, and later upon their camp, where 
a slight guard remained, while the body of the raiders were attacking Cur- 
rytown. Captain Gross immediately reported with all possible dispatch 
to Col. WiUet at F'ort Plain, and himself repaired to Bowman's creek to 
await orders. Col. Willett, on seeing the smoke of the conflagration at 
Currytown, sent Captain McKean in that direction with sixteen of the 
militia and orders to collect as many more as possible on the wav. The 
party moved so rapidly as to reach Currytown shortly after it was deserted 
by the enemy, and in tune to assist in saving some buildings but partly 

Col. Willett, after despatching McKean to Currvtown, promptlv col- 
lected what force he could and followed, joining the detachments of Gross 
and McKean that evening, when the whole effective force did not e.xceed 
one hundred and fifty men. They encamped in a cedar swamp near the 
present Sharon Springs, intending to surprise the enemy's camp by night. 
In attempting this movement, however, the guide lost his way in the dense 
forest, and when the point of attack was reached about six o'clock in the 
morning, the savages and tories, having been warned of their danger, had 
taken a more defensible position and were prepared for battle. It was 
at once resolved to attack them, but, if possible, to draw them from their 
advantageous post. For this purpose a small detachment was ordered for- 
ward under Lieut. Jacob Sammons, with orders to retreat at the proper 
time and decoy the enemy within a semi-circle formed by the rest of Col. 
Willet's force. The Indians having repulsed Sammons' willing party, 
rushed, yelling, in hot pursuit, and were thus brought into contact with 
Col. Willett's force of one hundred men, while Captain McKean fell upon 
their right. Thus entrapped they broke and took refuge behind trees, 
which they soon relinquished in precipitate flight, leaving their camp and 
booty behind, .■\bout forty of them were found dead on the field. Col. 
Willett lost in killed five men, and five wounded and missing. .Most un- 
fortunately among the wounded was Captain McKean, who died the next 
day at Fort Plain, greatly lamented. 

Col. Willett returned hurrieilly from the battle field to Fort Plain with- 
out burying his dead, which service was performed by Col. Veeder, who 
arrived at the spot soon after with a detachment of militia. Beside the 
fallen soldiers there were discovered upon the ground seven of the Curry- 
town prisoners, whom the Indians, on finding they must retreat, had 
scalped and, as they supposed, killed. Two of them, however, were found 
alive — Jacob llievendorif, aged eleven, and a little girl named Mary .Miller. 
The latter died on the w,ay to Fort Plain, but the boy recovered, as did 
also his brother, Frederick, who had a similar terrible experience at Curry- 
town the day before. 

Soon after the Currytown affair, a party of Indians and tories, led by a 
son of Col. Jacob Klock, who had cast in his lot with the refugees in Can- 
ada, attempted an attack upon Palatine. They encamped one night in the 
vicinity, but Philip Ilelmer, one of their number, learning that a family of 
his relatives, named Bellinger, were among the doomed, deserted and 
informed the threatened settlers. A force of twenty-five patriots hastily 
gathered, and led by Jacob Sammons went in search of the enemy. The 
latter, on finding their [iresence discovered, had retreated, but they were 
overtaken, and in a skirmish which ensued were routed, with the loss of 



their provisions and some of their amis. An Indian, wounded and cap- 
tured; was killed by Helmer, who joined in the pursuit of his late asso- 
ciates. Three who esca|>ed died from their wounds on their way to 

Small guerrilla parties continued to lurk around the frontier settlements 
during the remainder of the summer and early autumn of 1781. but the 
vigilance of Col. Willett's scouts prevented their doing any great damage. 
The tories, houe\er, had lost none of their animf)sity against their former 
neighbors in the Mohawk valley, and in the autumn of this year they ex- 
ecuted one more of their murderous and ruinous forays. The expedition, 
which was led by Major Ross and Walter Kutler. of Cherry Valley infamy, 
consisted of British regulars, tories and Indians to the number of about 
a thousand. Their stealthily approach to the settlements was undiscov- 
ered until they appeared at Currytown, October 24th. There, for once, 
they caused no conflagration, not wishing as yet to announce their arrival 
to the neighboring communities, but passed rapidly on to Warrensbush and 
the vicinity of Kort Hunter, killing or capturing all whom they met. In 
the neighborhood of the fort they were able to destroy the dwellings and 
plunder the people on the south side of the river before any forte could 
be collected to oppose them. 

As soon as the news reached Col. Willett he started to the rescue with 
what men he could hastily collect. Marching through the night he reach- 
ed Fort Hunter the next morning October 25th , but the enemy had 
already crossed the river and directed their course toward Johnstown, 
plundering and burning right and left. Willett's force lost some time in 
parsing the stream, which was not fordable at this point, but this accom- 
plished, the pursuit was vigorously prosecuted and the enemy were over- 
taken at Johnstown. Col. Wiilett had but four hundred and sixteen men, 
and his inferiority of force compelled a resort to strategy in attacking. 
Accordingly Col. Rowley, of Massachusetts, was detached with about sixty 
of his men and some of the Tryon county militia to gain the rear of the 
enemy by a rirruitous march and fall upon them, while Col. Willett at- 
tacked them in front. The invaders were met by Col. Willett near John- 
son Hall, and the battle immediately began. It was for a time hotly con- 
tested, but at length the militia, under Col. Willett. suddenly gave way. and 
fled precipitately to the stone church in the village before their commander 
could induce them to make a stand. The enemy would have won an easy 
and complete victory had not Col. Rowley at this moment fallen vigorously 
upon their rear and obstinately maintained an unequal contest. This gave 
Col. Willett time to rally his men, who again pressed forward. At night- 
fall, after a severe struggle, the enemy, overcome and harassed on all sides, 
fled in confusion to the woods, not halting to encamp until they had gone 
several miles. In the engagement the .\mericans lost about forty ; the 
enemy had about the same number killed and lifty taken prisoners. 

A young Johnstown patriot named William Scarborough, who was 
among the garrison at the fort at the time of this action, left it with another 
soldier named Crosset. to join Willett's force. They fell in with the enemy 
on the way, and Crosset, after shooting one or two of the latter, was him- 
self killed. Scarborough was surrounded and captured by a company of 
Highlanders under Capt. McDonald, formerly livmg near Johnstown. 
Scarborough and the Scotch officer had been neighbors before the war. and 
had got into a political wrangle which resulted in a tight and the beating 
of the Highland chief. Henceforward he cherished a bitter hatred toward 
his adversary, and finding him now in his power, ordered him shot at once. 
His men refusing the butcherly oftice, McDonald took it upon himself, and 
cut the prisoner to [>ieces with his sword. 

McDonald was not the only one with whom SrarborouL;h quarreled 
about the political situation. He once ^o abused an old man whom he 
met at a grist-mill in Johnstown that the miller called a number of soldiers 
from the fort to witness their comrade's conduct. They rebuked S(.ar- 
borough for misusing the poor old man. whereupon he turned his attention 
to them, and having provoked a fight, got a severe drubbing. .-V man 
named Yocknm FoUock. who lived in the neigbborhootl of Johnstown. 
and was killed at the battle near the Ilall. "was found with a i)iece of 
meat placed at his mouth, as supposed, by the Indians in derision." Be- 
side these incidents connected with the engagement, Mr. Simms relates the 

"In the Revolution a hedge fence ran eastward from Johnson Hall, and 
the men under Willett were upon one side of it and those un<ler Ross the 
other. After a few shots the Americans rclreat'.d in contusion, but were 
rallied, returned to the field, and acting in (iinicrtwith troops m the 

enemy's rear, gained a signal victor)'. When the Americans first retreated, 
Wagner [Joseph, who told the story,] was the last man to leave the ground. 
Seeing an officer genteelly clad spring over the fence near, he fired and 
brought him down. In an instant a hundred giins were leveled at his own 
person, and he fled in safety amid their discharge. After the battle was 
over and Willett's men had encamped, Wagner, attended by several of his 
friends, visited the field to learn the fate of the handsome officer he had 
flred at. He found him on the ground near where he had fallen and ad- 
dressed him much as follows; ' My dear sir, I am the man who shot you 
in the afternoon, but I have a fellow feeling for vou; permit me and I will 
take you to our camp, where you shall receive kind treatment and good 
care.' 'I would rather die on this spot," was his emphatic reply, 'than 
leave it with a d — d rebel I' The young officer, who was very good-look- 
ing, with long black hair, was left to his fate. By dawn of day the Ameri- 
cans were put in motion, and Wagner saw no more of the warrior named; 
but on the approach of several Oneidas in the morning, he observed in the 
hands of one a scalp, the hair of which resembled that of his. 

"Capt. .\ndrew Fink, a native of the Mohawk valley, who possessed a 
spirit suited for the times, was also in the Johnstown battle. * * * 
During the action near the Hall the British took from the .Americans a 
field-piece, which Col. Willett was anxious to recover. He sent Capt. Fink 
with a party of volunteers to reconnoitre the enemy, and if possible get the 
lost cannon. Three of the volunteers were Christian and Myndert Fink, 
brothers of the Captain, and George Stansell. While observing the move- 
ment of the enemv from the covert of a fallen tree. Stansell was shot down 
beside his brave leader, with a bullet through his lungs, and was borne from 
the woods by Hanyost Fink. Strengthening his party of volunteers, Capt. 
Fink again entered the forest, soon after which he picked up a British 
knapsack containing a bottle of French brandy and a cocked hat. The 
cannon was soon after recaptured, and it being near night Willett drew off 
his men and quartered them in the old Episcopal church in Johnstown, 
training entrance bv breaking in a window. 

"Most of the Scotch settlers in and around Johnstown either went to 
I Canada with the Johnsons at the beginning of difficulties, or if they re- 
I mained were more the friends of the British than the .American govern- 
I ment. Duncan McCiregor, who resided several miles north of Johnson 
I Hall, was an exception. .At the time of Ross' invasion several Indians and 
t a tory entered this pioneer's house in the evenmg, who left it as they were 
approaching, unobserved by them. He gained the rear of his log dwelling, 
I and through a cranny, watchetl the motions of the party. He was armed 
I with a gun and a sword, and resolved if any injury or insult was offered 
j to his wife, to shoot the offender and flee to the woods. Mrs. McGregor 
I detected a tory in one of the party by observing his white skin, where the 
I paint had worn off. This white Indian inquired of her if she could not 
] give them something 10 eat. She replied that she had some johnny-cake 
I and milk. 'That will do,' said he, and soon they were eating. .As they 
i rose from the table one of them espied a handsomely-pamted chest in one 
corner of the room, and asked what it contained. ' It contains books.' said 
she, 'and other articles belonging to a relative in .Albany.' 'Ah,' said the 
i speaker, ' he belongs to the rebel army, I suppose ?' She replied that he 
j did, and her countenance indicated no little anxiety as he exclaimed, with 
a menacing gesture. 'Be careful you do not deceive us !' One of the in- 
t traders with a tomahawk instantly split the cover, and the books and sun- 
dry articles of clothing were thrown upon the floor. The clothing was 
added to their stock of plunder, and soon after the warriors departed." 
I The morning after the battle. Colonel Willttt started in pursuit of the 
; invaders, halting at Stone Arabia, and sending forward a detachment, with 
i orders to proceed by forced marches to Oneida Lake and destroy the 
encmys boats, which he was informed had been left there. Willett remain* 
t ed for a day at Stone Arabia, thmking the guerrillas might attempt to 
plunder that neighborhood, and then renewed the pursuit, meeting on the 
wav hisadxnnced party returning from t)ncida Lake, without having accom- 
plished anything. The enemy. ha\ing taken the direction of west Canada 
Creek, Col. \\illctt followed them thither, his force being increased by the 
arrival of about sixty Oneida warriors and some white troops. Several 
I of the marauders were killed, and others captured in skirmishes with their 
t rear guard before the creek was reached. Having crossed the stream. Wal- 
I ter Butler tried to rally his followers and contest the jtassage of the .\nieri- 
cans. While thus engaged he was recognized and shot down bv an ( ineida 
Indian, His men thereupon tied, and the Oneida marksmen crossmg the 
( reek with tomahawk and scalping knife, made a fitting end of the lilood- 



thirsty tory who directed the Cherry Valley massacre. 

The pursuit was shortly after relinquished, and Col. Willett returned 
to Fort Dayton, having lost but one man since the Johnstown engage- 
ment, while the loss of the enemy in their flight was considerable. 
Col. Willett, reporting to Ciovernor Clinton said, that the number of 
British and savages killed in the several encounters, " the fields of 
lohnstown, the brooks and rivers, the hills and mountains, the deep and 
glooray marshes through which they had to pass, they alone can tell, 
and perhaps the officer who detached them on the expedition." 

The body of Butler was left unburied where he fell. He was one of the 
greatest scourges of his native county. Of him, Lossing thus speaks : 
" Tender charity may seek to cloak his crimes with the plea that par- 
tisan warfare justified his deeds; and lapse of lime, which mellows such 
crimson tints in the picture of a man's character, may temper the asperity 
with which a shocked humanity views his conduct ; yet a just judgment 
founded upon observation of his brief career, must pronounce it a stain 
upon the generation in which he lived." 



The foray of Ross and Butler was the last serious incursion that afflicted 
the Mohawk valley during the Revolution. The unhappy inhabitants were 
not, however, permitted to relax their anxious vigilance, for small scalping 
parties still hovered about the more e.xposed settlements. As- late as the 
summer of 1782, a band of seven Indians came down through the northern 
wilderness to kill or capture any prominent whigs they might be able to 
surprise. Henr}- Stoner's name was mentioned to them bv Andreas Bow- 
man, a tory, living east of Johnstown, and taking Bowman with them, os- 
tensibly as a prisoner, but really as a guide, the savases repaired to 
Stoner's place, at Fonda's Bush. The old patriot was hoeing com when the 
Indians were discovered by him, and he tried to reach his house where his 
rifle was kept ; but he was overtaken, and in his defenceless condition fell 
an easy prey to the tomahawk. Securing his scalp the savages went to his 
house, which they plundered and burned. Mrs. Stoner escaped injury, 
and saved one of her dresses by throwing it from a window. The house 
having been destroyed, she sought shelter at that of a neighbor named 
Harman. He with several others went to Stoner's farm, and searching the 
fields, found the owner still alive, though near death. On taking a draught 
of water he expired. The Indians had taken prisoners Stoner's nephew, 
Michael Reed, and a man named Palmatier. The former, a mere lad, was 
taken to Canada, where he became a drummer for Butler's Rangers, but 
Palmatier escaped the first night after his capture. On his return to his 
friends he reported the course of Bowman, who had also returned after 
helping the savages carry off their plunder to a hiding place near the Sa- 
condaga. The tory was seized and thrown into the Johnstown jail. There 
he was visited by a party of whigs, who by way of making him confess 
his share in Stoner's murder, hung him by the neck for a very brief 
period. Nothing was learned from him, however, and after some em- 
phatic warnings, he was released. How Stoner's famous son Nicholas, the 
trapper, avenged his father's death, is narrated on another page. 

Reference having been made to the Johnstown jail, another affair with 
which it was connected may be here related. Among the tory refugees in 
Canada was John Helmer. a son of Philip Helmer, who lived at Fonda's 
Bush. Having returned to that settlement, he was arrested and imprisoned 
at Johnstown. The sentinel at the jail one day allowed Helmer to take 
his gun in hand to look at. as the prisoner seemed much pleased with it. 
The inevitable consequence is thus stated by Mr. Simms : "The piece 
hjd hardly i)assed out of the young guard's possession ere his authority 
«"as set at defiame, and its new owner took it to a place of retirement to 
inspect its merits, which were not fully decided upon until he had safely 
Arrived in Canada.'* Helmer had gotten off so easily thai he was em- 
boldened to venture again into the neighborhood of his home on a recruit- 
ing mission. His presence becoming known, he was captured by Bcnja- 
niin De Line, Solonlon Woodworth and Henry Shew, and committed to 
*hc Johnstown jail. Fortunately for the venturesome tory, a sister of his 
^^ad a lover among the garrison stationed at the jail, which was then also 
3 fort ; and he. more true to his sweetheart than to his muntrv, not only 
released Helmer, but together with another soldier, set out with him for 

Canada. Swift justice fell u])on the deserters, who were both shot dead 
by a pursuing party. Helmer, severely wounded by a bayonet thrust, 
escaped for a time, but being subsequently found half dead in the woods, 
was returned once more to the jail. His. wound having healed he again 
escaped, and this time reached Canada, having undergone almost incredi- 
ble sufferings, which he related in an interview with Nicholas Stoner, who 
met him after the war in Canada, where he remained. 

We have said that the raid of Ross and Butler was the last serious in- 
vasion of the Mohawk valley. There was little left to terftpt further in- 
cursions. The patriots of Tryon county had jjassed through a terrible 
ordeal. Those who now live in peace and plenty on the lands once so 
often trodden by relentless foes, cannot comprehend the sufferings of 
their forefathers, and their brave and patient endurance. Especially diffi- 
cult would it be to realize the amount of painful anxiety, hardship and 
self-denial, to which the wives and daughters of the Revolutionary heroes 
were subjected, while fathers, husbands; and brothers were away fighting 
for their country's freedom. All through the long struggle the lives of 
these brave women were made burdensome by incessant toil and watching. 
Not only had they household duties to perform, but it fell to their lot to 
cultivate the farms for their subsistence. The slow and toilsome reaping 
with the sickle having been accomplished, and the grain garnered, they 
had to carry it miles, often on foot, to mill, exposed to the attack of the 
wily Indian or the treacherous tory ; or if the mill was too distant, had to 
pound the grain in a ^vooden mortar at home. Those who had live stock 
were under the necessity of watching it night and day. The housewife 
and daughters had to weave the cloth from which the garments of their 
family were made, for few could afford to buy, even had well stocked stores 
been always at hand. But severe toil was a less hardship than the con- 
stant exposure to being attacked by the Indians, which made it pari of 
their daily work to be on the look-out for the lurking foe, familiar with all 
the footpaths and liable to appear when least expected, seldom sparing the 
innocent and helpless, hut leaving blood and flame as the evidence of his 
stealthy visit. The terrible experiences of the Revolution were impartially 
shared by the wives and daughters of the patriot soldiers, and their trials 
and endurance can never be fully portrayed. 

Toward the close of the war. Col. Willett sent to Gen. Washington a 
lengthy statement of the condition of affairs in Tryon county, from which 
it appears that, whereas at the opening of the struggle the enrolled militia 
of the county numbered not less than 2,500, there were then not more than 
800 men liable to bear arms, and not more than 1,200 who could be taxed 
or assessed for the raising of men for the public ser\'ice. To account for 
so large a reduction of the poj)uIation, it was estimated that one-third had 
been killed or made prisoners ; one-third had gone over to the enemy; 
and one-third for the time being had abandoned the country. No other 
part of America of the same extent had suffered so much; no where else 
had the patriot population been so nearly at the mercy of the Indians and 
tories. Overrun again and again by savage hordes bent on murder, booty 
and ruin, this region presented at the close of the war a heart-sickening 

The sufferings of the unfortunate inhabitants of the Mohawk valley were 
the measure of the delij;ht with which they hailed the return of peace. The 
dispersed population returned to the blackened ruins of their former hab- 
itations, rebuilt their houses and again brought their farms under cultiva- 
tion. With astonishing audacity the tories now began to sneak back and 
claim place and property among those whom they had impoverished and 
bereaved. It was not to be expected that this would be tolerated. The 
outraged feelings of the community found the following expression at a 
meeting of the principal inhabitants of the Mohawk district. May 9. 1783: 

"Taking into consideration the peculiar circumstances of this county 
relating to its situation, and the numbers that joined the enemy from 
among us, whose brutal barbarities in their frequent visits to their old 
neighbors are too shocking to humanity to relate: 

"They have murdered the peaceful husbandman, and his lovely boys 
about him unarmed and defenceless in the field. They have, with a ma- 
licious pleasure, bu'chered the aged and infirm; they have wantonly sport- 
ed with the lives of helpless women and children, numbers they have 
scalped alive, shut them up in their houses and burnt them to death. Sev- 
eral children, by the vigilance of their friends, have been snatched from 
flaming buildings; and though tomahawked and scalped, are still living 
among us; they have made more than three hundred widows and above 
two thousand orphans in this county; they have killed thousands of cattle 



and horses that rotted in the field; they have burnt more than two millions 
of bushels of grain, many hundreds of buildings, and vast stores of forage; 
and now these merciless fiends are creeping in among us again to claim 
the privilege of fellow-citizens, and demand a restitution of their forfeited 
estates; but can they leave their infernal tempers behind them and be safe 
or'peaccable neighbors ? Or can the disconsolate widow and the bereaved 
mother reconcile her tender feelings to a free and cheerful neighborhood 
with those who so inhumanly made her such ? Impossible! It is con- 
trary to nature, the first principle of which is self-preservation. It is con- 
trary to the law of nations, especially that nation which, for numberless 
reasons, we should be thought to pattern after; since the accession of the 
House of Hanover to the British throne five hundred and twenty peerages 
in Scotland have been sunk, the peers executed or tied, and their estates 
confiscated to the crown for adhering to their former administration after 
a new one was established by law. It is contrary to the eternal rule of 
reason and rectitude. If Britain employed them, let Bntain pay them. 
We will not; therefore, 

" REs*)LVEr>, unanimously, that all those who have gone off to the enemy 
or have been banished by any law of this State, or those, who we shall find, 
tarried as spies or tools of the enemy, and encouraged and harbored those 
who went away, shall not live in this district on any pretence whatever; 
and as for those who have washed their faces from Indian paint and their 
hands from the innocent blood of our dear ones, and have returned, either 
openly or covertly, we hereby warn them to lea\e this district before the 
twentieth of June next, or they may expect to feel the just resentment of 
an injured and determined people. 

"We likewise unanimously desire our brethren in the other districts in 
this county to join with us to instruct our representatives not to consent 
to the repealing any laws made for the safety of the State against treason, 
or confiscation of traitor's estates, or to passing any new acts fur the re- 
turn or restitution of tones. 

" By order of the meeting, 

"JosiAH Throop, Chairman." 
In the treaty of peace between (.ireat Britain and the United States no 
provisions were made by the former power in behalf of its Indian allies. 
At the beginning of the war the Mohawks w ere still in possession of a large 
extent of territor\, and were induced to abandon it and take up the hatchet 
for the king, under a promise from the (iovernor of Canada that when the 
contest was over they should be restored to the same position as before it 
at the expense of the English government. The extinction of the British 
power throughout most of the country was not dreamed of. Such being 
the result of the war, the Mohawks could have no more hope of regaining 
their lands than the tories with whom they had fought, and scalped, and 
plundered and burned. .At their urgent soIiLitation, a tract of land in 
Canada was finally granted to them, and such others of the Six Nations as 
chose to remove to it. TheOncidas and Tiiscaroras, having remainetl 
friendlv to the .Americans, were secured in the jiossession of their lands. 
.AH the other members of ihe confederacy having taken up the hairhct 
against the I'nited States, might, as loii-iuercd peoples, ha\e them dispos- 
sessed, and driven over the establishvtl iKjiindarv into the domjins of 
their British employers; hut .ntter . i.nsider.iMc negotiation the Inited ' 
State> gave them peai c on their relimiuislung a large share of their tern- 

During the Revolution, the English official in honor of whom Tryon 
county was n.inied rendered his name odious by a series of infamous 
acts in the service of the Crown ; and the Legislature on the 2nd of .April, 
178+ voted the county should l.eialled .\<v , in honor of 
General Richard .Montgomery, who fell in the attai k on l^iiiebec. early in 
the war. .At the beginning of the Kevolution, the popiil.itiun of the county 
was eslimaleil at about ten thoiis.ind .\t the close of the nar it h.i.l 
probably been reduceil to one third of that number, but so inviting were 
the fertile lands of the county that in three vears .ilter tlie return of j.e.ue 
17.S6 It hail a population of fifteen tliousaiul. 
The boundaries of the several counties m the State were more inmiitelv 
defined, March 7. 1788, and .Montgomery declared to loiiiam .ill that 
part of the Slate bounded cast by the counties ,,i IKier, .All.aiiv. U.ish- 
ington and Clinton, and south by the Slate of Pennsylvania. \\ had 
been districts in Tryon 1 (lunty were, with the exc eption of Old laiglaml, 
made towns ol Montgomery county, the Mohawk distrii t forming tvvu 
towns, Caughnawaga, north of the ruer, .nnd south of it. The 
Palatine oriuinally. Stone .Arabi i . and C.inajnlijrie disiri. ts were organized 
as towns, retaining those names. 

The war of the Revolution had made the people of the other Slates 
familiar with New York, Sullivan's campaign, in particular, had revealed 
the fertility of the western part of the State, and a tide of emigration 
thither set in at the close of the war. This led to the formation from 
Montgomery, January 27, 1789, of Ontario county, which originally included 
all of the State west of a line running due north from the " 82nd mile- 
stone " on the Pennsylvania boundary, through Seneca Lake to Sodus Bay 
on Lake Ontario. On the i6th of February, 1791, the county of Mont- 
gomery was still further reduced by the formation of Tioga, Otsego and 
Herkimer. The latter joined Montgomery on the north as well as the 
west, the present east and west line between Fulton and Hamilton, con- 
tinued westward, being part of their common boundary, and another part 
of it a line running north and south from Little Falls, and intersecting the 
former "at a place called Jersey-fields." Of the region thus taken from 
Montgomery county on the north, the present territory of Hamilton was 
restored in 1797, only to be set apart under its present name, February 12, 
1S16. .April 7, 1817, the western boundary of Montgomery was moved 
eastward from the meridian of Little Falls to East Canada Creek and a 
line running south from its mouth, where it remains. The line between 
Montgomery and Schenectady has always been part of the boundary of 
the former, having originally separated it from .Albany county. The form- 
ation of Otsego county, February 16, 1791, established the line which now 
separates it and Schoharie from Montgomery. The latter took its northern 
boundary and entire present outline on the formation of Fulton county 






Prior to the Revolution, the inhabitants of the .Mohawk valley, as has 
been seen, were for the most part the tjermans, who came over from the 
Palatinate, and the Dutch, who tardily extended their settlements westward 
from Schenectady, together with some Scotch and Irish. But after that 
eventful period, people from .New England, no less industrious and enter- 
prising, came flocking in and took possession of the confiscated lands of 
the tories, obtaining their title from the State, or pushing into the unbroken 
wilderness, brought new farms into cultivation. 

Now pioneer life was lived on a larger scale. The settlers' log cabins 
more thickly dotted the wilderness, and the clearings about them en- 
croached more rapidly upon the surrounding forests. Everywhere was 
heard the ring of the woodman's axe and seen the smoke from whirlwinds 
of flame that were consuming the trees earlier felled and dry enough to 
burn. The first burning, which destroyed limbs and boughs, left the 
ground strewn with blackened trunks. To pile these together .so that 
.mother firing would consume them was the rough and dirty job of " log- 
.;ing up." It was largely done by "bees," to which the willing-hearted 
.ind ready-handed frontiersmen rallied in numbers adeijuate to the heavy 
work to be done. Severe as that was, an afternoon at it left the young 
men with vim enough for a wrestling matih, after they had rested long 
enough to devour the generous supper with « huh the housewife feasted 

The grain grown on the fields thus laboriously cleared was threshed 
with the flail or by driving horses over it, and winnowed bv dropping it 
through a natural draft of air instead of the artificial blast of the fanning 
mill. When ready for market it was mostly drawn to .Albany, some three 
.lays being rcpiircd for the journev. Rude lumber wagons or ox-carts, 
or wood-shod sleighs, were the common vehicles for all occasions. 

.\ variety of work then went on in-doors as well as out, whit h long ago 
generally teased to be done in priv ate houses. Households of that age 
were in wide contrast with those of the present Every good mother 
taught her daughters a range of dcmesti, duties, from w.ishing 
dishes and log-, al.ui ll.inrs to weav ing and making-up fine linen. For the 
home ». IS ,ilso the lac tory, and to none of the good wife's muliifarioils 
duties did luT industrious spirit and proper ambition incline her more 
strongly tli.m to the making from Hax and wool of the fabrics whi.h she 
and hers might need. For weeks and months the house resoumled viith 
the melody of spinning-wheel and loiuu and other simple mai hinery, «iili 
whuh every family answered for itself the ipiestion wherewithal it sho'ild 
be clothed. .Moilier and il.Mr liter were proud to appear, even at . I.iii. h. 



in homespun, if they had made it well, and father and bon were not 
ashamed of the suits which loving hands had fashioned for them. 

This was the period when the disciples of St. Crispin " whipped the 
cat " — a term applied to the practice of itinerant shoemakers, who 
spread tie implements of their craft for a day, more or less, in private 
dwelling re^jairing old and making new equipage for the feet that had so 
many steps to take in rough ways. Common brogans were worn by both 
men and women, who were better pleased w ith the rude style of the log- 
cabin age, than modem ladies and gentlemen of fashion are with the finest 
slipper and grandest gaiter that the art of the day can produce. Such 
was the fife that thnved along the Mohawk after the long and wasting 
war, and •hich laid the foundation of the wealth and refinement that 
reign in die valley to-day. 

Not only was it found necessary' to organize new towns and counties 
for the convenience of the increasing population, but improvement in the 
means of ;ransit and communication was demanded. In .\pril, 1790, the 
Legislature voted "one hundred pounds for the purpose of erecting a 
bridge across the East Canada Creek, not exceeding three miles from the 
mouth thereof, upon the road from the Mohawk river to the Royal Grant." 
Three years later, commissioners were appointed by the Legislature with 
directions to build " a bridge over the East Canada Creek nearly opposite 
Canajohaiie Castle, on the public road leading from Tribes Hill to the 
Little FalSs." 

In 179S a very important bridge was built over the Schoharie Creek at 
Fort Hunter, under the superrision of Maj. Isaac Dupuy. The tide of 
emigration up the Mohawk necessitated the improvement of the thorough- 
fares in the valley, and the principal result of efforts in that direction was 
the Mohawk turnpike, from Schenectady to Utica. The charter for its 
constructioti was granted .April 4, 1800. In 1802 or 1803, Seth Wetmore 
and Levi N'orton came from Litchfield county, Conn., and intending to 
take up land in the valley, interested themselves in the turnpike enter- 
prise. Tley, with Ozias Bronson, Hewitt Hills and three others, formed 
the first boamd of directors. Wetmore being a surveyor and civil engineer, 
superintended the construction of the road. He afterwards sold his stock 
and with the avails bought of the Kane brothers, for about §5 per 
acre, a farm of 200 acres at .Ames, in the town of Canajohane, where he 
lived until his death in 1836. He served as judge of the county court, 
and two terms as sheriff of Montgomery county, while it contained the 
present Folton county and the eastern tier of towns in Herkimer. He 
was the last sheriff named by the council of appointment, and the first 
elected br the people. Ozias Bronson bought a farm near .Amsterdam, 
and his grandsons, James, Edward and George, now live at .Amsterdam 
village, in successful business connections. It will be interesting here to 
read Thuilow Weed's account of staging over the famous turnpike in 
1824, thongh serious errors in Mr. Weed's location of \arious landmarks 
will be deterted by those conversant with the towns to which his notes 
ajjply. In describing the journey from Rochester to Albany in his auto- 
biography, Mr. Weed speaks as follows; 

" From Little Falls we come after an hours ride to a hill by the bank of 
the river which, several years before. Gen. Scott was descending in a stage 
when the driver discovered at a sharp turn near the bottom of the hill a 
Pennsylvania wagon winding its way up diagonally. The driver saw but 
one esra|>e from a disastrous collision, and that to most persons would have 
appeared even more dangerous than the collision. The driver, howe\ er, 
having no time for reflection, instantly guided his team over the precipice 
and into the river, from which the horses, passengers, coach and driver, 
were safely extricated. The passengers, following (jen. Scott's example, 
made the driver a handsome present as a reward for his courage and 

'* We dine at East Canada Creek, where the stage house, kejit by Mr 
Couch, Wis always to be relied on for excellent hain and eggs and fresh 
brook tront. Nothing of especial interest until we reach Spraker's, a well 
known tavern that neither stages nor vehicles of any description were ever 
known to pass. Of Mr. Spraker, senior, innumerable anecdotes were told 
He was a man without education, but possessed strong good sense, consid- 
erable conversational powers, and niurh hiinior. Most of the 
stories told about him are so Joe-.Millerish that I will repeat but one of 
them. On one occasion, he a misunderst.inding with a neighbor, which 
pt'.voked hoth to say hard things of caih other. Mr. Spr.iker having re- 
ceived a verl*a.l hot shot from his antagonist, reflectetl a few moments and 
^fplied, " Ferguson, dare are worse men in hell dan you ; " adding after a 

pause, " but dey are chained." **••*•••*••• 

" .At Canajohane a tall handsome man with graceful manners, is added 
to our list of passengers. This is the Hon. .Alfred Conkling, who in 1820 
was elected to Congress from this district, and who has just been appoint- 
ed Judge of the United States District Court, for the Northern District of 
New York, by Mr. Adams. Judge Conkling is now in 1870 the oldest 
surviving New York member of Congress. In passing Conyne's Hotel, near 
the Nose, the fate of a young lady who ' loved not wisely but too well ' 
with an exciting trial for breach of promise, etc., would be related. Still 
further east we stop at Failing's tavern to water. Though but an ordinary 
tavern in the summer season, all travelers cherish a pleasant remembrance 
of its winter fare ; for leaving a cold stage with chilled limbs, if not frozen 
ears, you were sure to find in Failing's bar and dining-rooms ' rousing fires ' ; 
and the remembrance of the light lively ' hot and hot ' buckwheat cakes, 
and the unimpeachable sausages, would renew the appetite even if you had 
just risen from a hearty meal. 

" Going some miles further east we come in sight of a building on the 
west side of the Mohawk river, and near its brink, the peculiar architecture 
of which attracts attention. This was formerly Charles Kane's store, or 
rather the store of the brothers Kane, five of whom were distinguished 
merchants in the early years of the present century. They were all gen- 
tlemen of education, commanding in person, accomplished and refined in 
manners and associations. * • * Here Commodore Charles Morris, 
one of the most gallant of our naval officers, who in 1812 distinguished 
himself on board the L'nited States Frigate 'Constitution ' in her engage- 
ment with the British frigate ' Guerriere ' passed his boyhood. In 1841, 
when I visited him on board of the United States seventy-four gun ship 
' Franklin,' lying off .Annapolis, he informed me that among his earliest 
recollections, was the launching and sailing of miniature ships on the Mo- 
hawk river. On the opposite side of the river, in the town of Florida, is 
the residence of Dr. .Alexander Sheldon, for twelve years a member of the 
Legislature from Montgomery county, serving six years as Speaker of the 
House of .Assembly. The last year Dr. S. was in the Legislature, one of 
his sons, Milton Sheldon, was also a member from Monroe county. Anoth- 
er son. Smith Sheldon, who was educated for a dry goods merchant, drifted 
some years ago to the city of New York, and is now the head of the ex- 
tensive publishing house of Sheldon & Co., Broadway. 

" The next points of attraction were of much historical interest. Sir 
William and Guy Johnson built spacious and showy mansions a few miles 
west of the village of .Amsterdam, long before the Revolution, in passing 
which, interesting anecdotes relating to the English Baronet's connection 
with the Indians were remembered. .A few miles west of Sir William 
Johnson's, old stagers would look for an addition to our number of passen- 
gers in the person of Daniel Cady, a very eminent lawyer, who resided at 
Johnstown, and for more than fifty years was constantly passing to and 
from Albany. .At, Marcus T. Reynolds, then a rising lawyer 
of that village, often took his seat in the stage, and was a most companion- 
able traveler." 

Mr. Simms, commenting on this sketch, indorses the author's reference 
to circumstances " which compelled the male passengers at times to gel out 
into the mud, and with rails appropriated from the nearest fence, to pry 
the wheels up so that the horses could start anew. Two miles an hour 
was not unfretpiently, in the Spring and Fall, good speed at certain locali- 

Correcting .Mr. Weed's errors as to locality, Mr. Simms says : "Conyne's 
Hotel was three miles east of Fonda, he says near the Nose ; if so there 
may have been two keepers of the same name, and * * * Failing's tavern 
was at St. Johnsville, and some twelve miles to the westward of the Nose, 
and more than twenty miles to the westward of Conyne's. At Palatine 
Bridge was one of the most noted stage houses in the Valley. It was 
built and first kejit by Shepherd, and afterwards by the late Joshua Kved, 
and was as widely and favorably known as any other piililic house wiihm 
fifty miles of it." 

The charter of the Utica and Schenectady Railroad Company, granted 
.in 1833, recpiircd it, before beginning trans|iortation,to purchase the rights 
of the .Mohawk I'urnpike Company, at the rate of $21.50 per share, and 
assume the responsibilities of the latter. One of these responsibilities was 
that of kce|iing the turn[iike in repair. It was provided, however, that the 
railroad conijianv might abandon the turnpike, giving notice to the com- 
missioners of highways, and after such notice it should be kept in order m 
the same manner as other highways. The railroad company for a time 




look toll on the turnpike and kept it in repair, but subsequently removed 
the gates, and is now responsible for the maintenance of only a part of the 
old highway. 

The Legislature in i3o2 authorized the opening of certain roads in the 
State. and in pursuance of this act the highway denominated the State Road, 
leading from Johnstown in a northwestern direction to the Black River 
country, was opened it; was subsequently much u^ed while that part of the 
country was being settled by emigrants from the east. The improvement of 
the road leading from Schenectady to Utica along the south side of the 
Mohawk was deemed expedient, and commissioners were appointed in 
1806, to direct the work, their instructions being to straighten the existing 
road and open it to a width of fifty feet. The towns through which it 
passed were required to repair and maintain it if their population was not 
too small. 

The original towns of Montgomery county were soon subdivided. March 
12, 1793. Caughnawaga was divided into Johnstown, Mayfield, Broadalbin 
and Amsterdam, and Mohawk into Charleston and Florida, their dividing 
line being Schoharie creek. In 1797. Salisbury-, now in Herkimer county, 
was taken from Palatine, and the next year part of Canajoharie went to 
form Minden. 




The Mohawk river seems to have taken its name from the English appel- 
lation of the tribe of Indians inhabiting its banks. They were called Ma- 
quaas by the Dutch, who according to Ruttenber learned that name for 
ihera from the Mohicans, and were generally mentioned by that desig- 
nation during the seventeenth century : being aisu >poken of as the Ma- 
quas, Makwaes, Maquaes, Maquese. and Maques, and in Courcelle's report 
of his expedition against them, as the Mahaukes, Mauhaukes and Mohau- 
kes. The French also called themAgniers. They styled themselves Ka- 
yingehaga. In the latter part of the seventeenth century they were occa- 
sionally mentioned by the title which they subsequently bore, and which 
was prevalent throughout the last century. Sir William Johnson wrote the 
name of the nation Mohock, and the tribe are called Mohocks on Guv 
Johnson's map 1771 of New York, and the adjoining parts of the country 
whereon, however, the river is called the Mohok. The stream was com- 
monly named the Mohawks' river in the early part of the last century, but 
during that century the present spelling became universal. 

From the earh settlement at Albany, and that soon after made sixteen 
miles north-west, the Mohawk river and valley inevitably became the 
common route to still further western settlements, and to the magnificent 
chain of lakes so early explored. To facilitate navigation on the Mohawk 
by removing obstructions, was therefore an object of prime importance. 
and plans to this end were j^ropo-ed as earK a-. 1725. but nothing was 
done until near the close of the century. The cataract of Cohoes necessi- 
tated a portage from Albany lo Schenectady: from there the placid river 
offered its easier j>athway, and the craft called batteaux came into general 
use. These boats were of much greater cajjaciiy than the Indian s lurch 
bark canoe, or the useful, but precarious dugout, which forages had danced 
to the gentle bree/cs on the liosom nf the river. They were of different 
grades and wore rated by the strength of their crews as three and six 
handed batteaux. They were flat bottomed boats of sufficient dimensions 
to carry several tons, and were proi)elled by setting-poles, which were kejit 
for sale at convenient points along the shore. With batks to the pro« the 
batteaux men thrust the poles to the rivers bed. .ind bearing hard uptm 
them and walking aft. gained for their craft toilsunie headway against the 
current. A sort of harmony of nunement was ■secured by the captains. 
" Rowsnu'n up ! " and "Second men up I " .\ tiller suffi( ed for guid- 
ance. Such wa-i the mode of transporting merchandise and Indian tum- 
moditics to and from the West for more than halt a century; such. too. the 
method of conveying munitions of war during the Revolution. Captains 
in this latter service were, under the pension law of 1S3J, cniiihdiothe 
same pensions as captains in the Cnnlincntal army, A list of tin m still ex- 
tant includes the followin.; names: John Vernon. Jacob C. IVak, William 
Peters, Rynier Van Kvera. Tunius Vij.schcr, Cornelius Barimyst. William 
Davis, Stephen Half, Simeon I )e Graff, James Dickinson, and John I.efHer. 
Dennis Flander also ran a supply boat on the Mohawk during the Revolu 

j tion ; he was ambuscaded by the Indians several times, and fired at, but 
j passed through without a wound." 

The earliest boatmen were troubled by the Indians, who took toll for 
the navigation of their river and seem to have believed in high rates. The 
navigators thus stated their grievances to the Lieutenant-Governor under 
j date of June i, 1754." 

" We, the Traders or Handlers to Oswego, most humbly beg leave to 
remonstrate to your Honour, the many hazzards and Difficulties we are 
I subject lo in our passage thither from the ill treatment we meet with from 
I the Indians /. e. in passing the Mohawks and canojohary castles, they Board 
I our Battoes with axes knives dec and by force take what Rum they think 
proper hooping and yelping as if they had Gloried in their depradations 
I and threatening murder to any that oppose them, and on our arrival at the 
; great carrying place, the Oneida Indians force our Goods from us at 
pleasure to carry over, and not content with making us pay a most exorbi- 
tant price for each Freight, but rob us of our Rum, stores and other Goods 
with a great deal of invective threatening language and are generally so 
Numerous that we are Obliged to submit to those impositions or run the 
risk of being murdered and Robbed of everything we have ; and to put 
I their schemes the better in Execution they force away the High Germans 
' who generally attend with their Horses, that we may be under a necessity 
; of employing them and paying whatever they please to demand." 
' The chief obstacles to this primitive and simple means of commerce 

were the rifts or rapids in the river between Schenectady and Little Falls 
— so called in contradistinction to the great falls at Cohoes. These rapids 
were known by such names as Fort Hunter rift, Caughnawaga rift, Keetor's 
rift (at Spraker's), Brandywine rift, at Canajoharie , etc. Much labor was 
required to force the batteaux over these spots, and at such places in the 
river the crews were assisted by men on shore with ropes. At Little Falls, 
' there being a descent of forty feet in half a mile, a portage became neces- 
sary. The goods were transported around the falls on wagons with small, 
wide-rimmed wheels, and a guard set over them while the boats were 
brought up in the same way, when the latter were launched and reloaded 
and proceeded. From Little Falls the river was the commercial artery to 
Fort Stanwix Rome , whence another portage to Wood creek gave access 
to the grand chain of takes through that stream, Oneida lake and river, and 
the Oswego river. 

After the Revolution public attention was drawn to the consideration of 
plans for facilitating the navigation of the Mohawk. To this end the In- 
land Lock Navigation Company was incorporated, March 30, 1792. Gen. 
Philip Schuyler was elected president. In the same year a committee of 
the company examined the stream and reported the result of their investi- 
gations. In their report the bed of the river, at intervals from Schenec- 
tady up, is minutely described, and each rapid or rift laid down. The 
impediments were found to be many, and lor the improvement of the rifts 
it was suggested by the committee that "several of the rapids might be 
deepened by erecting small stone dams nearly across the river, leaving a 
passage for boats; but this, while it would give a sufficiency of water, 
would so increase its velocity as to render an ascent with a half-loaded 
boat of a size to carry three or four hundred bushels of wheat extremely 
difficult without the aid of machinery to draw up the boat, and such ma- 
chinery It would be difficult permanently to erect, on account of the vast 
quantity of ice which suddenly descends whenever the Schoharie creek 
breaks up in the Spring of the year, and which would destroy such ma- 
chinery. Some of the rapids may be deepened by removing the stones in 
the bottom; but this can only be successfully executed when the water 
above the rapid is deep; for if it is not, another rapid is formed immedi- 
atelv above by det[»ening the existing one. But the improvement of this 
jtart of the river, although difficult, yet it is feasible, and would be easily 
so without any extraordinary expense if the bed of the river was a solid 
rock: for then four or five dams at proper distances would create a series 
of ponds covering the immediate rapids, and hence, by means of a lock 
and guard-gates at each dam. boats would ascend or descend from the one 
to the other in succession. Hut lo drive piles to secure all the dams from 
blowing would be so arduous and expensive an operation, that a canal and 
locks in the adjacent grounds would be infinitely preferable." 

It was, moreover, sUj;gested that a more effectual accommodation would 
be obtained by the erection of a dyke of timber and stone parallel lo the 
north bank of the river, above Schoharie creek, "until it shall descend the 
river as far as lo gain height sufficient lo enter the bank below the rocky 
part, which would be at ihe distance of about 1 100 yards ; rrd as tl e fall 



then would be about 9 feet, a lock might be constructed there, and thence 
a canal might be carried through good ground on the low lands, having 
the apUnds on one side until just below Clyne's tavern, where it would 
ag.iin enter the river, continued and confined by a dyke or embankment, 
for about 300 yds, and then again through the low lands, along the foot of 
the uplands, to the river, near the house of the late Guy Johnson, where it 
would enter the river with one or more locks." 

It was not thought necessary to do more than to remove the rocks and 
other obstructions from the bed of the river at Caughnawaga and the rifts 
above. At Little Falls a canal was considered indispensable, and another 
from Fort Schuyler Stanwix to Wood creek. The main part of the work 
for the improvement of navigation was put upon these carrying places. At 
Little Falls the portage was obviated by a canal with five locks, and a 
length of 4,752 feet, cut for more than half its extent through solid rock. 
The work began at this place shortly after the report was submitted, but 
it was not until late in the autumn of 1795, '^hat the canal was ready for the 
passage of boats. Portions of this work yet remain, ser\ing as an import- 
ant feeder for the Erie canal by the substantial aqueduct across the river. 
The work throughout the whole extent cost §400,000, about one-fourth of 
which expense was borne by the State. 

After these improvements were made the Durham boat was substituted 
for the clumsy and unwieldly batteaujc, which had so long been in use. It 
was of sufficient capacity to carry from ten to fifteen tons, and had the 
bow sharf>ened to a cut-water. An oilcloth awning was used when neces- 
sary. Along the sides cleats were nailed down for the boatmen to rest 
their feet upon while propelling the craft with poles. A small caboose was 
the crew's store-house, and the cooking was done on shore, where fuel was 
always at hand. 

Although delay occasioned by the portages was obviated, yet the rifts 
were not so far overcome but that it was found very difficult and required 
a great amount 01 Laburtu furcc these larger boats over thera. It was cus- 
tomary for a number of boats to make the voyage in company, and the one 
in advance when a rift was reached waited for the others to come up. so 
that the crews could avail themselves of each others assistance. Often 
even their united efforts failed, and after a boat had remamed stationary 
for some time upon a rift it would be necessarj- to let it drift back again 
and take a new start. 

The upward voyage was necessarily slow and tedious; coming down was 
far easier, a simple sail often aiding the current. It is related that a Cap- 
tain Larabee left Utica in the morning and arrived at Schenectady in the 
evening of the same day, which was regarded as quite a feat. Though ac- 
cidents sometimes occurred by oversetting or otherwise, loss of life seldom 
happened. A boat, however, was once capsized at the Fort Hunter rift 
and two of its occupants drowned, the third escaping by swimming. 

The expense of transportation from Albany to Schenectady was sixteen 
rents per hundred pounds, from Schenectady to Utica seventy-five cents, 
and from Utica to Oswego one dollar and twenty-five cents. The great 
outlay incurred m the improvements made the cost of transportation so 
much that the enterprise did not prove lucrative, and the company in j8i8 " 
relinquished their nght west of Oneida Lake, and in 1820 sold out to the 
State for $152,718.52, In 1822 notice appeared of the building of a 
steamboat at Schenectady to run between that city and Amsterdam. A 
second notice mentioned, "unavoidable delay in its completion." Thence- 
forward there is no record or any traditional knowledge of the enterprise, 
or the cause of its failure. Mr. David Cady, of Amsterdam, who fur- 
nished a large share of our account of -the enterprises for the utilization of 
the Mohawk, finding consolation for their failure in the quiet beauty of the 
famous river, adds: 

"And while at times one could almost regret that our Mohawk is not 
navigable for even light craft, we mayhap may congratulate ourselves. 
(-"oramerce with its noisy din, the shriek and scream of the steam whistle, 
the murky clouds of heavy smoke, would have robbed our wayward river of 
much of its witching beauty and romance. Tom Moore has sung its 
praise, Harriet Marlineau has admired its gentle flow, and our own Whit 
tier claims to 

** Have seen along its valley gleam 
The Mohawk's softly winding stream, 

"And we dwellers along its shore love well the lovely river in all its 
"loods and phases; we love it in its glassy depths, we love it in its rippling 
we love it in its purple lints of morning; we love it in its amber 



hues of evening; we love its sedgy banks; we love its rock-ribbed 1 

we love its wide alluvials, where the graceful corn-tassels wave, and we 
love its meadow belts; we love the full volume of its freshet floods, and we 
love the silver line of its summer-dwindled current. We cannot but be 
proud of and proclaim our love for our wayward but ever beautiful Mo- 




Though the colonists had secured their independence and with the re- 
turn of peace could pursue their various avocations undisturbed by an in- 
vading foe, they did not beat their swords into ploughshares, for they 
realized the necessity of preserving some military organization. Their 
recent sufferings from savage warfare had warned them to be on their 
guard against Indian depredations as well as a possible invasion by a for- 
eign power. Hence arose the militia system, under which martial exercise 
was regularly practiced, the officers and privates supplying themselves with 
the necessary outfit. The apprehension that led to this military precau- 
tion was too soon justified. Scarcely had a quarter of a century rolled 
away before the signs of the times indicated the rapid approach of another 
war with Great Britain, which would require the yeomen to use their 
arms on the frontier, instead of flourishing them in harmless battles on 
some chosen field at home. 

At this period the state of New York along the Canadian frontier was to 
a great extent an almost unknown wilderness, and communications and 
transportation were still slow and laborious. The Mohawk river, slightly 
improved in its natural wayward course by the Inland Lock Navigation 
Company, was the only route, except the rough highways, for the westward 
conveyance of cannon, which were loaded upon the Durham boats. April 
loth, 1812, Congress authorized the drafting of 100,000 men from the 
militia of the country, 13,500 being assigned as the quota of New York. A 
few days later the detached militia of the State were arranged in two 
divisions and eight brigades. The fourth brigade comprised the loth, 
nth, 12th and 13th regiments in the Mohawk valley, and was under the 
command of Gen. Richard Dodge, of Johnstown. 

The embargo act was extensively violated and much illicit trade carried 
on along the Canadian frontier, smugglers being sometimes protected by 
armed forces from the Canada side. To break up this state of things and 
protect the militiary stores collected at the outposts, a regiment of Mohawk 
valley militia, under Col. Chnstopher P. Bellinger, was stationed in May. 
1812, at Sackett's Harbor and other points in northern New York. These, 
on the declaration of war in the month following, were reinforced by a 
draft on the militia not yet called into service. The Montgomery county 
militia responded promptly to the calls for troops to defend the frontier, 
and were noted for their valor and patriotic zeal, submitting, without com- 
plaint', to the various privations incident to the march and camp. A de- 
tachment of them, under Gen. Dodge, arrived at Sackett's Harbor Sep- 
tember 2ist, and the General took command at that post. 

The house in the town of Florida, now owned by Waterman Sweet, was 
kept as a hotel by one VanDerveer during the war of 1812, and was a 
place of drafting the militia into the service. At Canajoharie a recruiting 
rendezvous was opened by Lieutenant Alphonso Wetmort and Ensign 
Robert Morris of the Thirteeth regiment, residents of Ames, who raised 
two companies, which were ordered to the Niagara frontier in time to take 
part in the first events of importance in that ((uarter. The Thirteenth 
suffered severely at the battle of (^ueenstown Heights, Ensign Morris and 
Lieutenant Valleau being among the killed and five other officers severely 
wounded. After that engagement operations were for some time confined 
to bombardment across the river from the fortifications at Niagara and 
Black Rock. At the latter point Lieutenant Wetmore lost his right arm 
by a cannon shot. He was subsequently promoted to the offices of 
major and division paymaster. 

During the two succeeding years, the militia and volunteers from the 
Mohawk valley were on duty all along the frontier. When the term of 
service of any company or regiment expired, it was sueceeded by another. 
Many of the garrison of Sackelts Harbor, when it was attacked by the 
British May 24, 1813, were from this section. That place was an im- 
portant depot of military stores, a large amount of which was destroyed by 



the garrison in fear of their falling into the hands of the British, who, how- 
ever, were finally repulsed. 

A good number of the Montgomery and Fulton veterans of 1812 still 
sur\'!ve. Among those in the western part of these counties are ; Moses 
Winn, Minden, in his S8th year his father was a cajitain in the Revolution, 
and sheriff of the county after the war ; George M. Bauder, Palatine, in 
his 92d year he has a land warntfit not yet located ; John Walrath. Min- 
den, nearly 82 ; William H. Secher. Minden, about 86 ; iVter G. Dunckel, 
Minden, about 84 ; Henry Nellis, Palatine, about 84 ; John Casler, Min- 
den, nearly 86 after being blind for eight years his sight was restored) ; 
Abram Moyer, Minden, about 84 ; Cornelius Clement Flint, Minden, about 
84; Benjamin Getman, Ephratah, 86; Henry Lasher, Palatine, 88; Py- 
thagoras Wetmore, Canajoharie, 80; John Eigabrandt, St. Johnsville, about 
82. In the eastern part may be mentioned : J. Lout, Mohawk ; David 

Resseguie, Northampton, 94; and Amasa. Shippee and Capt. Reuben Wil- 
lard of the same town. 

When peace was once more restored and the militia were allowed to re- 
main at home, instead of camping on the frontier to dispute the ground 
with a foreign enemy, martial exercises were still required of them by the 
law of the State. The militia consisted of all the able-bodied white male 
citizens, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. State officers, clergy- 
men, schoolteachers and some others when actively employed, were exempt 
from military duty. Students m colleges or academies, employees on coast- 
ing vessek and in certain factories, and members of fire companies were 
also exempt, except in cases of insurrection or invasion. Persons whose 
only bar lo military service was religious scruples, could purchase exemp- 
tion for a stated sum annually. The Major-General, Brigade-Inspector 
and chief of the staff department, except the adjutant and commissary 
generals, were appointed by the State. Colonels were chosen by the 
captains and sabaltems of their regiments, and these latter by the written 
ballots of their respective regimer.ts and separate battalions. The com- 
manding officers of regiments or battalions appointed their staff officers. 
Every non-commissioned officer and private was obliged to equip and uni- 
form himself, and perform military duty for fifteen years from his enroll- 
mentf after which he was exempt, except in case of insurrection or mvasion. 
A non-commissioned officer, however, could get excused from duty in 
seven years, by furnishing himself with certain specified equipments, other 
than those required by law. It was the duty of the commanding officer of 
each company to enroll all military subjects within the limits of his juris- 
diction, and they must equip themselves within six months after being 

The first company of cavalry organized in this part of the Mohawk val- 
ley took in a large district of country, and was raised and commanded by 
Capt. Hudson, a merchant at Indian Castle now Danube , early in this 
century. Peter Young, of Fort Plain, became its second captain ; and 
was succeeded by Ca])t. Wemple. At his death the command of the com- 
pany devolved upon Jacob Eacker, of Palatine. His resignation was fol- 
lowed by the appointment of Nicholas N. Van Alstine, as its captain. .\s 
he was not the unanimous choice of the company, which wns then large. 
his 3pi>oiniment led lo a division of the one into two companies, one upon 
each side of the river ; that on the north side being commanded by Barent 

On the first Monday in September of each year, every company of the 
militia was obliged to assemble within its geographical hmits for training. 
One day in each year, between the ist of September and the 15th of 
October, at a place designated by the commander of the brigade, the regi- 
ment was dire*, ted to assemble for a general training. All the officers of 
each regiment or battalion were required to rendezvous two days in suc- 
cession in June. July, or August, for drill under the brigade-inspector. 
A colonel also appointed a day for the commissioned officers and musicians 
of his regiment to meet for drill, the day after the last mentioned gathering 
being generally selected. Karh militi.iman was personally notified of an 
approaching muster, by a non-commissioned officer l)earing a warrant from 
the commandant of his company ; or he might be summoned without a 
warrant by a commissioned officer, either by visit or letter. A failure to 
appear, or to bring the necessary equipments, resulted in a court-martial 
and a fine, unles.s a good excuse could he given ; dcliminents who could 
not pay were imprisoned in the county jail. When a draft was ordered 
for public service it was made by lot in ea* h comjtany, which was or- 
dered out on parade for that purjiose. 

" General training " was usually regarded as a pleasant occasion by the 
men, as it gave them a chance to meet many acquaintances; and was the 
holiday of the year for the boys. Provided with a few pennies to buy the 
inevitable ginger bread from the inevitable peddler, they were happier than 
the lads to-day would be with shillings to spend among the greatest variety 
of knicknacks. The place of meeting and the extent of the parade ground 
were designated by the commandmg officer. The sale of spirituous liquors 
on the ground could only be carried on by permission of the same official. 
Total abstinence was not the rule, however, on such occasions ; and an 
officer who had the right to throw away the contents of a private bottle, 
did not always practice such extravagant wastefulness, particularly if fond 
of the "critter." being persuaded, that if spared, some of the beverage 
would ultimately find its way down his own throat. A general training 
was once held at Glen, during an exceedingly severe drought, and the in- 
habitants of the neighborhood fearing that their wells would be drained of 
their scanty supply, resorted to the prudent precaution of taking away the 
fixtures for drawing up the water. This measure proved highly profitable 
to the innkeeper, who had plenty of whisky to sell, and water to give only 
to the purchasers of his liquor. 

During the long jieriod of peace which followed the second war with 
Great Britain, the militia who had seen senice dropped out of the lists ; 
and when the riotous anti-rent disturbance, or Helderberg war, as it was 
called, gave the next prospect of belligerent operations, the ranks were 
filled by a generation entirely unacquainted with scenes of carnage, and 
anything but eager to take the field. Their reluctance was increased by 
the fact that many of them had the same grievances as the anti-renters, 
whom they were expected to quell. Particularly was this the case among 
the members of the Fourteenth Brigade, who lived along the south side of 
the Mohawk from Schenectady nearly to Canajoharie. 

This brigade was also distracted with controversies over the office of 
brigade-inspector. Aaron Freeman, of Schenectady county, had held that 
position with great acceptability, but removmg to Albany was obliged to 
resign it. He recommended the appointment of a certain man to fill the 
vacancy thus created, but the governor, probably influenced by political 
motives, made another choice. The appointment required the sanction of 
the Senate, but the Legislature was not in session, and the governor, with- 
out consulting the Senate, appointed Robert Green, of Duanesburgh, 
Schenectadv county. Shortly after the officers of the brigade were sum- 
moned to meet for drill at Minaville. in the town of Florida. When Green 
appeared as l)rigade-inspector, the officers to a man bolted and refused to 
drill under him. Robert B. Harris, now living at Fultonville. who had 
formerly been Colonel of the 26th regiment, covering the towns of Char- 
leston and Glen and ])art of Root, was present, and bv unanimous request 
conducted the drill exercises. At the general muster of the 26th Regiment, 
held at Charleston Four Corners soon after, a similar scene was enacted. 
The Brigadier-General, having refused to recognize Green as brigade-in- 
spector, was put under arrest. Such being the unhappy state of aff.iirs in 
the Fourteenth Brigade at the time of the anti-rent insurrection, no call 
was made upon it. 

The Eleventh Brigade, however, north of the Mohauk, was called to gird 
on the armor and repair to the seat of war to gather its share of laurels. 
The invitation seems not to have been universally appreciated. The mili- 
tiamen did not all grasp their firelocks with the cheerful alacrity and deter- 
mination so becoming to the soldier. On the contrar}-, some rather amus- 
ing feats were performed in the endeavor to evade being warned. One 
reluctant patriot, anxiously expecting the messenger of war, one evening 
heard the sound of hurried footstei)s. He did not jeoi)ardize his chances 
of safety by lingering to scrutinize his visitor, but taking it for granted that 
the dreaded notice had arrived, bolted from the hou^e and tied at the tr.p 
of his speed. As it hajipened. the comer was one in the same strait wiih 
himself, and whether seeing the joke, or hoping to < atch up with the \wz_\- 
tive and have his company in their retreat, or infectctl with the pani< which 
had seized his fellow soldier, he pursued the latter, and both ran until they 
were completely exhausted. 

When the brigade had been mustered and had proceeded as far as 
Schenectady, a halt was made. There were many among the militia whose 
courage was settling toward zero, in anticipation of soon treading fields of 
carnage, and their ['light was cnjoye<l by the majority of the force, who 
were not in similar trepidation. Among the latter was a waggish fellow 
named .\braham Sonic, who had gained some notoriety in horse-trading, 
and wlio took great pride in being heard and observed by the crowd. It 



was suggested to him that he should make a speech appropriate to the oc- 
casion. He promptly prepared himself and addressed the martial assem- 
bly with becoming gravity. If he assured his hearers that they were on 
the way lo glorious triumph, he did not soothe the weak-kneed by promis- 
itig that it would be gained without a struggle. On the contrary, he repre- 
sented that he had been down among the Helderbcrgers and seen how 
desperately they were preparing for the conflict. They had broken up 
their plowshares to charge their lield-pieces with the jagged fragments, and 
even the old gray-headed men with spectacles on were lying behind the 
fences and practicing sharpshooting. The force proceeded to Albany, but 
at roll-call ne.xt morning it appeared as though, during the night, a pestilence 
' of mushroom growth had seized a portion of the brigade. When the drill 
exercises had been performed, and the militia were ordered to the arsenal 
to get their ammunition, a number more were taken. It was something 
wonderful how sickness had depleted the ranks by the time they were 
drawn up for parade and review in the afternoon, in anticipation of an 
immediate march to the seat of war; but on their being unexpectedly or- 
dered home instead of to the front, the suddenness of their recovery was 
equally remarkable. Convalescent symptoms instantly appeared, and when 
the heroes set out for home, they did so in full force and good spirits. 
The militia system was modified not long after, so as to make it less rigor- 
ous and encourage the formation of volunteer organizations. 




DENT OF Lafayette's tour. 

Schemes for the promotion of inland navigation, as we have seen, did 
not at first contemplate anything beyond the improvement of natural chan- 
nels from the Hudson to Lake Ontario. Efforts in that direction proving 
unsuccessful, the construction of an artificial channel from the Hudson to 
Lake Erie suggested itself to commercial and scientific minds. The first 
proposal, if not the original conception, of such an enterprise is claimed 
for Gouvemeur Morris. In conversation with Simeon De Witt. Surveyor- 
General, at Schenectady, in 1803, Morris suggested the project of convey- 
ing the water of Lake Erie direct to the Hudson by means of a canal so 
constructed as to preserve a continuous fall to the high lands bordering on 
the river, which should be sunnounted by the instrumentality of locks. 
The Suneyor-(;eneral, in common with most to whom the scheme was 
mentioned, regarded it as visionary and impracticable, and so represented 
it to James Geddes, a surveyor of Onondaga county, in a subsequent con- 
versation with him on the subject. Geddes, however, on reflection viewed 
it differentlv, and concluded that with some modifications the plan could 
be carried out, and that the enterprise w ould be one of great utilit) . Peo- 
ple generally, however, appalled at the magnitude of the suggested work. 
hardly dared to consider the subject gravely, and for several years after the 
conception of the idea, nothing was done toward realizing it. 

Yet it was not abandoned. .Among the ablest advocates of the project 
was Jesse Hawley, who in a fourteen weeks series of contributions to the 
Genesee Mtssiiij^cr, beginning in October. 1807, elucidated it, and demon- 
strated its feasibility. The jiroposition was first brought before the Legis- 
lature by Joshua Forman, member from Onondaga, Feb. 4, 1808. Pur- 
suant to a resolution oftered by him, a committee was appointed to report 
on the propriety of an exploration and sur\ey to the end that Congress 
might be induced to appropriate the re<|uisite funds. The committee re- 
ported favorably ; a survey was ordered .April 6. 1808, and a small ap- 
propriation made for the expenses of the same. The service was performed 
by James (ieddes. He was directed 10 examine the route for a canal from 
Oneida Ijke to Lake Ontario as well as th.nt from Lake Erie, eastward. 
He reported in favor of the latter, which he pronounced feasible. The re- 
port excited general interest and made such an impression on the Legisla- 
ture that a joint resolution w.ts passed creating a board .of commissioners 
lo make additional explorations and surveys, for whit h §3.000 was appro- 
priated. The work was done in ihc summer of 1810. and a report made 
m the following spring in fa\nr of the route to Lake Erie. The tost of 
the proposed canal «.is estimated at April 8, 181 1, an act was 
passed continuing and enlarging the commission, authorizing it to appeal 
lo Congress and the Legislatures of other Stales for aid and appropriating 
$15,000, for further operations. I'rcci-ely a year later, the commission re- 

ported that the legislatures of Massachusetts, Ohio and Tennessee only 
had asked the congressional delegations of their States to vote for the aid 
requested by New York. The length of the projected canal was estimated 
at 350 miles, and the cost of transportation six dollars per ton. The report 
spoke of the project in glowing terms and recommended its prosecution on 
the credit of the State. The commissioners in compliance with their re- 
quest were authorized to obtain a loan of §5,000,000, and procure the 
right of way. 

The prosecution of the work was prevented by the war with great 
Britain, which so engrossed public attention that the canal project was 
abandoned, and the act authorizing a loan in its behalf was repealed. 

Toward the close of 1815, the enterprise was revived. A large meeting 
in its favor was held at New York, in December of that year, at which 
resolutions were adopted urging the construction of the canal. An able 
memorial from New York, and petitions from all parts of the State were 
presented to Ihe Legislature. The memorial was a strong argument for 
the canal, and a rose-colored prophecy of the results tiiat would follow its 
construction in the development of population and commerce, in spite of 
many obstacles, the efforts of the canal champions out of the Legislature 
and in it, especially of DeWitt Clinton, among the latter, procured the pas- 
sage of an act, April 17, 1816, providing for the appointment of commis- 
sioners to take up the work. The men appointed were Stephen Van Rens- 
selaer. DeWitt Clinton. Samuel Young. Joseph Elliott, and Myron Holies. 
They had the same powers as the previous board, and were voted §20,000 
for the expenses incurred by them. DeWitt Clinton was the president of 
the commission. l"he plan of a continuous slope from Lake Erie, first 
proposed, was abandoned by the commissioners, and that of following the 
undulations of the surface adopted. They also adopted the estimate of 
five millions as the cost of the work. April 15. 1817. an act prepared by 
DeWitt Clinton, was passed, though not without strenuous opposition au- 
thorizing the commencement of actual construction. The canal was still 
considered by many a ruinous experiment, and lamentations were frequent- 
ly heard on the miseries of an o'.ertaxed people and their posterity. 

The canal was divided into three sections, from Albany to Rome, Rome 
to the Seneca river, and thence to Lake Erie. Charles C. Broadhead was 
engineer in charge of the eastern division, Benjamin Wright of ihe middle 
division, and James Geddes, of the western. The canal was planned to 
be forty feet wide at the surface, and twenty-eight at the bottom, and the 
depth of water four feet. The locks were ninety feet long and twelve 
wide in the clear. The commissioners were authorized to borrow on the 
credit of the State sums not exceeding §400,000 in any one year. Nearly 
§50.000 had been spent in explorations and surveys before ground was 
first broken. That event occurred at Rome on the nation's birthday, 1S17. 
in the presence of DeWitt Clinton, the foremost champion of the enter- 
prise, who was then Ciovemor. and the commissioners. John Richardson 
held the plow in oijeningthe first furrow-. It was more than two years be- 
fore any part of the line was ready for use. On the zsdof October, 1819, 
the first boat was laiim hed at Rome, to run between that point and Utica, 
for the conveyance of passengers. It was called the " Chief Engineer;" 
was sixty-one feet long and seven and a half wide ; had two cabins, each 
fourteen feet long, with a flaf deck between them, and was drawn by one 
horse. The next day. the commissioners and some of the most prominent 
citizens of L'lica embarked there for the return trip to Rome, and set off 
with a band playing, bells ringing, cannon thundering and thousands of 
spectators cheering from the banks. 

On the 21st of July. 1820. tolls were first levied, the rates being fixed by 
the commissioners ; the amount received that year was between five and 
six thousand dollars, taken by six collectors. The canal was used between 
Utica and Little Falls, in the autumn of 1821, the contractor at the latter 
point availing himself of the unprofitable labors of the Inland Lock Navi- 
gation Company : and the portion east to the Hudson, was iiniler contract. 
Meanwhile, the river floated the canal boats from Little F.ills 10 Schenec- 
tady. The Mohawk Valley below the former point, was thoroughly ex- 
plored under the supervision of Henjamin Wright, chief enginetr, and the 
intended direct lint from Schenectady to ihe Hudson river near .Albany was 
abandoned in favor of ihe course of the Mohawk river. The accuracy of 
the engineering work on the line was considered wonderful in view of the 
fait that the engineers Wright and Geddes had had no previous experience 
of the kind, having been only land surveyors before their employment on 
this great work. 

In the spring of iSzj, the canal was open uninterru|);edly from Spraker's 



to the western part of the State, and in September following, the St. Johns- 
ville feeder was completed. The spot at the "Nose," however, was still 
unfinished, and at that pomt merchandise was transferred to river boats 
for transportation past the unlinished section. In the later stages of the 
great work, unexpectedly rapid progress was made, its success being now 
assured, and on the 26lh of C>ctober, 1825, the linishing touch had been 
given and the canal was thrown open to navigation throughout by the 
admission of the water from Lake Erie at iilack Rock. The length of the 
canal was 363 miles, and its onginal cost $7,143,780.86. Its completion 
was celebrated with unbounded joy which found expression in extraordin- 
ary civic and military ceremonies, and ail the festivities that a proud and 
happy commonwealth could mvenl. On the morning of October 26, the 
first flotilla of boats bound for New York from Lake Erie, entered the 
canal at Buffalo, carrying the Governor and canal commissioners. Their 
departure was the signal for firing the first of a large number of cannon 
stationed within hearing distance of each other along the whole line of the 
canal and the Hudson river, and at Sandy Hook, by which the momentous 
news of the opening of through travel at Buffalo was announced at the 
Hook in an hour and twenty minutes. One of the signal guns, stationed 
at Spraker's Basin, was fired by the Revolutionary veteran, Goshen Van Al- 
stine. The official voyagers were everywhere greeted with enthusiastic 
demonstrations. The Advertiser^ of Albany, commenting on their arrival 
at that city, said : " Wednesday last was a proud day to the citizens of the 
State of New York, and an important day to the Union, for then we had 
occuiar demonstration, that the great work of the age is completed and our 
inland seas made accessible from the ocean. * * * At ten o'clock the 
* Seneca Chief ' with the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, the Buffalo, wes- 
tern and New York committees on board came down in fine style, and the 
thunders of cannon proclaimed that the work was done, and the assem- 
bled multitudes made the welkin nng with shouts of gladness." Sketches 
of canal scenery were stamped upon earthenware and various implements 
in commemoration of the great achievement. 

As at first constructed, the canal ran through, instead of over the 
streams which it had to cross, especially in the Mohawk vallev. their waters 
being raised to its level, as near as possible, by dams. This gave a surplus 
of water in certain localities, and afforded some fine milling privileges. 
One of this sort was furnished below Canajoharie creek, where John A. 
Ehle built a saw-mill to avail himself of it. To carry the canal through a 
stream of any size required upon both shores of the latter, guard locks, 
with gates, which could be closed during freshets. Considerable difficulty 
was frequently experienced at such places by a long string of boats accumu- 
lating on each side of the stream where, at times, they were delayed for 
several days, during which their crews came to be on familiar, and not al- 
ways friendly terms. Such delays were sometimes caused by a freshet in 
the creek injuring the dam. The passage of the first boat across a creek 
on the subsidence of high water, was a marked event, sometimes drawing 
a large crowd of people together to witness it. The fir^t thing was to get 
the boat within the guard lock and close the gate behind it. Then, with a 
strong team — sometimes doubled — the feat was undertaken. It was always 
attended with excitement and more or less peril. The greatest difficulty 
was experienced at Schohaire creek, that being so large ; and on the part- 
ing of a towiine midway of the stream, in several inbtances. boats were 
borne by an aggravated current over the dam and into the river — occasionally 
with loss of life. In such cases, the boats had to go to Schenectadv before 
they could get back into the canal. The i>assenger packet boats had the 
precedence in passing locks, and it was readily conceded at creek crossings 
in freshet times. 

This leads us to remark that the canal at the outset, far from being ex- 
clusively an artery of commerce, as at present, was the fashionable avenue 
of western travel. The packets were elegantly furnished, set excellent 
tables, and outstripped the freight boats in speed by their comparative 
lightness and their three horse teams. The canal, accordingly, furnished 
the natural route of Lafayette in his grand tour through this part of the 
country in 1825. In connection with this event occurred an interesting in- 
cident not hitherto published : While the Manpiis was at Johnstown, dur- 
ing the Revolution, he was entertained at Johnson Hall by Jacob Sammons, 
who, for al.iout four years of the war, leased the Johnson farm from the 
Committee of Sequestration. There Thomas Samnions repeatedly met 
the French nobleman. In the early days of the canal, Thomas Sammons 
was engaged in boating on the great highway. He octasionally accom- 
panied one of his boats to Albany, returning, sometimes, on the canal. 

though oftener by land. Arriving one day at Schenectady with a boat from 
Albany, accompanied by his boy Simeon — now for many years so widely 
and well known as ('olonel Sammons — he was surprised to find the main street 
of the town streaming with flags, gay with flowers, and lined and carpeted 
with evergreens. Mr. Sammons was not long in learning that the staid old 
place had put on this holiday attire for the fitting reception of Lafayette, 
who was expected to reach Schenectady that day in his journey through 
the grateful country which so well honored its illustrious visitor. It need 
hardly be said that Mr. Sammons resolved to await his coming, confident 
that he could obtain not only the sight of the great Frenchman that would 
be vouchsafed to the crowd, but audience with him. 

Information arrived, however, that Lafayette would not reach Schenectady 
until the next day and the disappointed patriot resumed his voyage, consol- 
ing himself and his son with the assurance that they would see the Mar- 
quis at Fultonville. Their opportunity was not so long deferred. The 
Sammons craft, in due time, came to the point of crossing Schoharie 
creek. Where boats now sail high, if not dry above that stream, over a mas- 
sive aqueduct, they then ran through it as above described, the team cross- 
ing on a narrow towing bridge. Mr. Sammons' boat was at the crossing 
when the packet conveying the illustrious Frenchman bore down upon it. 
decked with streamers and evergreens, even the harness of the horses brist- 
ling with flags. A jubilant crowd upon the tow-path, horseback and on 
foot, kept abreast of the coming boat. Sammons was exhorted to hurry 
across the creek and out of the way, that there might be no unnecessary 
delay to the progress of nobility. He, seeing his opportunity, hastened to 
comply, and landing with his son, came back to the towing bridge from 
which he was able to board the packet as it arrived. 

Stepping to the door of the forward cabin they were met by the captain 
who sternly demanded their object. Learning it, he stoutly forbade their 
entering, saying that the Marquis was resting, and could be disturbed. Mr. 
Sammons, who was a resolute man and far too intent upon his errand to 
allow himself to be balked m it at that stage, promptly convinced the cap- 
tain that he was going in; but young Simeon was so overawed by the 
doorkeeper's menacing attitude, that he would have remained wilhout, and 
the event would have had no narrator, had not his father turned back, 
taken him by the hand and led him into the cabin. 

Lafayette was reclining on a couch with his head upon his hand. As 
his visitors stepped up to him. he looked Mr. Sammons in the face for an 
instant, and then springing to his feet, grasped both his hands in his own, 
and with his eyes sparkling with animation, eagerly asked ; " Where have I 
seen you before ? I have met you somewhere." *' At Johnson Hall," re- 
plied Mr. Sammons ; and as the Marquis with the rapidity of thought re- 
called his sojourn at the old Johnstown mansion, his next question was : 
" Is your brother Jacob living ?" and his next, when told that that much 
tried patriot had passed away: "Is that good woman his wife, alive?" 
Being told that she was, and was living in Onondaga county, the Marquis 
made a hasty note of the fact. 

Here the captain had the pleasure of warning Mr. Sammons that if he 
did not leave the boat, he would not have another chance. " Hold the 
boat !" cried Lafayette, and the packet was actually stopped until the in- 
terview was ended, when Mr. Sammons stepped ashore, as may well besuii- 
posed, a proud and happy man, and his son a proud and happy boy, no 
doubt, or he would ne\er have told the story with such readiness and 
spirit when on the down hill side of life. On arriving at Syracuse, Lafav- 
ette had the committee of reception bring Mrs. Sammons before him, and 
gave her a purse containing ten guineas, telling her not to open it until 
she reached home. 

The canal early became taxed beyond its capacity, and the necessity ot 
enlarging it was made apparent. By an act passed in May, 1835, the canal 
commissioners were authorized to have this work performed, including the 
construction of double locks, as fast as they should judge advisable. Un- 
der this act, the enlargement was begun and carried on with more or les-^ 
activity for more than a quarter of a century before it was completed 
throughout. In its re-construction, the canal, instead of passing through 
streams, was carried over them by aqueducts, thus obviating the trouble 
that had occurred in times of high water. It was reduced in length to 350 i-- 
miles. and increased in breadth to seventy feet at the surface, and fifty-tui- 
and a half at the bottom, while the depth of water was increased to seven 
feet. The cost of the enlargement was over §30,000,000. The results o\ 
the canal in facilitating communication and commerce, and stimulating 



the growth of towns along its line, are before the people and need not be 
commenced upon. 


EASLV railroading; in the moma 



Scarcely was the Erie Canal completed throughout its whole extent, and 
equipped with boats for the transportation of passengers and merchandise, 
when its splendors, which had aroused so much enthusiasm, were threat- 
ened with eclipse by the institution of railroads. The first charter granted 
by the Legislature of New York, for the building of a railroad, was given 
to the Mohawk ami Hudson River Railroad Company, which proposed to 
build a road from Albany to St henertady. This, the [uoneer railway of 
the State, and the setond of any importance in the Union, was finished in 
1S31. It wa-. rudely bvwlt and ecpupped. The rails were like those of a 
horse railroad, and at first indeed horses were the motor, except that at the 
summits of the higher hills, stationary engines were planted to draw up and 
let down the cars by ropes. The passenger cars were modeled after the 
stage coach of the day, being hung on leather thorough-braces ..nd having 
seats both inside and out. A lever attached to the truck, was operated by 
downward pressure as a brake. 

Steam came into use on the road in its first year. The first locomotive 
was one imfX)rted from F'ngland, called " John Bull," weighing but four 
tons. The advantages of this mode of transit even in its infantile stage 
were apparent, and other railroads were projected. Their charters pro- 
vided for the appraisement of property taken for the use of a railroad com- 
pany, named the commissioners for receiving subscriptions, and sometimes 
those for surveying and locating the line. 

It was net to be supposed that Schenectady would long remain the ter- 
minus of a road pointmg up the Mohawk valley toward the growing west. 
Enterprising men very soon resolved on its extension among the thrivmg 
villages creaied by the tide of westward emigration ; and in 1833,2 charter 
was granted for the construction of the Utica and Schenectady Railroad. 
The original capital of the company, §2,000,000, more than sufificed for the 
building and equipment of the road, and the enterprise proved conspicu- 
ously successful The first board of directors consisted of Erastus Corn- 
ing.John Townsend, Lewis Benedict, James Porter, .Alonzo C. Paige, Tobias 
A. Stoughtenburgh, Nathaniel S, Benton, Nicholas Devereaux, Henry 
Seymour, ^Vlfred Munson. James Hooker, John Mason and Churchill C. 
Cambreling. Coming was first President; Porter, Secretary ; \Vm. C.Young. 
Chief Engineer, and on the completion of the road Superintendent, and 
Gideon Dav-idson, Commissioner. One of the provisions of the charter 
was, that each county through which the road passed, must bd represented 
by one or more of its citizens in the board of directors ; under this regula- 
lii»n, Tobias A. Stoutenburgh was chosen from Montgomery county. The 
original charter also fixed the maximum fare at four cents per mile, and re- 
quired the coiMjiany to sell out to the State after ten and within fifteen 
ye.irs if the State desired to purchase. 

The work of construction went on with rapidity, and on the ist of August, 
1X36, the rood was opened for the conveyance of passengers. That August 
day was an event in the valley, both in itself, and in its foreshadowings. 
The long excursion train was packed with delighted passengers, and each 
station furnished yet other crowds seeking places in the overflowing cars. 
I'he train made slow progress, but eager and curious eyes watched the iron 
inonster that puffed its murky breath, and hissed through its bra/en throat. 
A" indicting the dcc[) interest fell in the occasion, we may mention that a 
l>dy confined to her bed by illness, near the route <if the road in the village 
of .Amsterdam, by an ingenious arnngement of lonkmg gia.sscs was enabled 
'<* see the train move past. 

At this time the idea of carrying freight was not entertained. The char- 
ter forlwde it, consequently no preparations fur the transmission of mer- 
*^ had been made by ihe company. The desire of the sui)erinten- 
d«Tit seemed to be to confine the business of the road to carrying passen- 
gt rs. The occa:iion for handling freight, however, of course arose on the 
'l"sing of the i:anal in 1836. On the very day that the frost stopped nav- 
'*i-»t"on, in that year, a Oerman family wishing to convey their effects from 
•'alaiine Bridge to Schenectady, were permitted to ship them on a car, and 

this, it may be said, was the beginning of the way freight business of the 
Central Railroad. The conductor in this case having no tariff of rates to 
guide him, made the rather exorbitant charge of fourteen dollars. The 
Legislature in 1837 authorized the company to carry freight, and subse- 
quently made the regulation, allowing passengers to have a specified amount 
of baggage carried free of charge. The first freight cars were called " stage 

Improvements were made in track and rolling-slock at an early day in 
the history of the Utica and Schenectady road. We have said that the 
rails were originally like those of the present street railroads — namely, 
sticks of timber with bands of iron spiked upon them, called "strap rails." 
The irons had a tendency to work loose at the ends and turn up, forming 
what were called "snake-heads," which were ready, 011 catching the bot- 
tom of a car, to spear the passengers or throw the train from the irat k. 
The first improvement in passenger cars consisted in building frame 
bodies, somewhat ornamented, and placing them on four-wheeled trucks. 
Each car was divided by partitions into three compartments, seating eight 
persons apiece, and entered by a door on either side. 'I"he condu< tor 
traversed a plank tunning along the side of the car, and holding on to an 
iron over the door of each section reached in for the fares. 

At first no time tables governed the running of the trains. One would 
leave Utica at a specified hour each week-day morning, and get to Sche- 
nectady when it could, returning on the same plan. For a long time after 
the completion of the road there were few station agents, and freight con- 
ductors had to hunt up patrons at each stopping place where merchandise 
was to be left, and collect the charges. Freight trains ran about eight 
miles an hour; passenger trains about twenty, or less. Time and expe- 
rience gradually brought order and exactness into every department of 
business on this line, and it enjoyed almost unexampled prosperity. 

In the spring of 1853, the Legislature passed an a( t for the consolida- 
tion of roads then in operation, and some only projected, between .Albany 
and Buffalo, to form the New York Central. This was effecied a few 
weeks later. The new company had a capital of $23,085,600. The Utica 
and Schenectady was, of course, one of the companies absorbed by it. 
One of its original directors, who remained such up to the time of the 
consolidation, states, that at that time *' the stock capital of the company 
was $4,500,000, on which the shareholders received fifty percent, premium 
in six per cent, bonds of the consolidated company, equal, at par, to 
$2,475,000; and how much of the two and a-half millions of increase to 
the original two millions was made up by extra dividends in the old com- 
pany, and how much of surplus has been and will be paid by the trustees 
to the stockholders of the company, I need not name to make good the 
assertion that the Utica and Schenectady Company has turned out the 
most successful of modern railway enterprises." The growth of business 
on this road is evidenced by the fact that its second track was laid before 
it became part of the New York Central. 

The ambition of each railway magnate as the actual and prospective 
greatness of the West became apparent, was the control of a through line 
from the seaboard which could make sure of its share of the transport- 
ation for the great grain regions and populous cities so rapidly developing. 
Cornelius Vanderbilt's first step in this direction was the consolidation for 
five hundred years of the Hudson River Railroad with the New York 
Central, which took place under an act passed by the Legislature in May, 
1S69, the line taking the name of the New York Central and Hudson 
River Railroad. The immense business in the transportation of freight 
commanded by this road required that its freight trains should have trat ks 
to themselves, and made it at once necessary and profitable to double the 
already large capacity of the line from Buffalo to Albany, where nun h of 
its traffic is diverted toward New Kngland. This was accomplished I)y 
the construction of third and fourth tra( ks between those cities, which 
were completed in the autumn of 1874, giving this portion of the line a 
greater rapacity than is possessed by any road in the country. 

The almost inc.i!culal)le advantages to be derived from railroad facilities 
are offered at iheir best to the inhabitants of the Mohawk valley. The 
creation of jtoinis of sale and shipment for agricultural produce increases 
the value of farm properly, and Montgomery county everywhere shows, in 
its rich, well cultivated farms and fine buildings, the benefits of home mar- 
kets and the highest facilities for transportation. The villages which by 
the Central K.iilroad are placed within an hour and a-half of Albany and 
SIX or seven of New York, are far more nearly oiual to those cities in their 
advantages as homes than they could be without it, while possessing their 


own class of attractions, and thus are assured of a solid growth antl 
development. To arrest or seriously delay the conveyance of what now 
comes and goes so promptly by mail and express would be to lake awa)' 
much of what constitutes civilization, and remand the community thus 
afHicted to comparative barbarism. 



The earliest stage of agriculture in the Mohawk valley was that in 
which the squaws culti\ated corn, beans and stpiashes, or pumpkins, on 
the river flats adjacent to the Mohawk castles. The interests of agricul- 
ture, however, received very early attention from the Dutch colonists. 
Though the very first of them who penetrated the wildernesses along the 
rivers were traders, the majority of the pioneers were, of course, farmers. 
There is record of a fair or cattle show at the settlement on .Manhattan 
Island as early as 1641. .Agriculture received legislative notice and 
encooragement in 1692, by the passage of an ordinance providing for hold- 
ing fairs and markets in each county of the province, which remained 
unrepealed until after the organization of the State government. These 
early markets were competitions for custom rather than for premiums. 
The various farm products were arranged in close proximity, so that their 
comparative excellence could be readily decided by the purchaser, and 
thus a very effective spur to the efforts of producers was afforded. The 
expenses incurred in such displays and sales were defrayed by a tax on 
the commodities, equally shared by the buyer and seller. Efforts for the 
improvement of agriculture in the colony during a century of English con- 
trol would seem to have been none too successful, judging from the fol- 
lowing picture of the state of that great industry, which is part of a letter 
from Sir William Johnson to the English Society for the Promotion of the 
Arts, dated Johnson Hall, February 27, 1765; 

"The state of .Agriculture in this country is very low, and in short likely 
to remain so to the great Detriment of the Province, which might otherw ise 
draw many resources from so extensive and valuable a Countrv, but the 
turn of the old settlers here is not much calculated for improvement, con- 
tent with the meer necessaries of Life, they don't chuse to purchase its su- 
perfluities at the expence of Labour neither will they hazard the smallest 
matter for the most reasonable prospect of gain, and this principle will 
probably subsist as long as that of their equality, which is at present at 
such a pitch that the conduct of one neighbor can but little influence that 
of another. 

"Wheat which in my opinion must shortly prove a drug, is in fact what 
they principally concern themselves about and they are not easily to be 
convinced that the Culture of other articles will tend more to their advan- 
tage. If a few of the .Machines m.ide use of for the breaking of hemp 
was distributed amongst those who have Land proper for the purpose it 
might give rise to the culture of it — or if one only properly constructed 
was sent as a model, it might Stir up a spirit of Industry amongst them, 
but Seed is greatly wanted, \- Cannot be procured in these parts, and the 
Germains who are the most Industrious pco[)Ie here) are in general in too 
low circumstances to concern ihcmselves in anything attended with the 
smallest Expence, their Plantations being as yet in their infancy, & with 
regard to the old Settlers amongst the Cermans who live farther to the 
Westward, they have greatly ado[)ted the sentiments of the rest of the in- 
habitants. The country Likewise labours under the disadvantage of nar- 
row, and (in many places) bad roads, whii h would be still worse did I not 
take care that the inhabitants, laboured to repair them according to law. 
The ill Condition of Publit roads is a C.rcat obstruction to husbandry, the 
high wages of labouring men, and the great number of tcpling houses are 
likewise articles which very much want Regulation. These disagreeable 
circumsLim cs must for some time retard the Progress of husbandry; 1 
could heartily wish I had more leisure to attend to these necessary articles 
of improvements to promote wliiih my Influence and E.vninple should not 
be wanting I ha\e formerly had f'cjsc \ery well split at my mills, .ind I 
shall set the same forw.nrd amongst the people as far as I can, I have' Like- 
wise sent for Collections of many Seeds, and uscfull grasses whii \\ I shall 
Encourage them to raise, and from ihc gri.ii nauis cf ^loi k. even lor home 
use. & Consumption, I am <luirt, all 1 i;in lu turn llic intcnlion of the in- 

habitants to raising these necessary articles, for the purchase of which, a 
good deal of cash has hither to been annually carried into the N. England 

" Before I set the Examples, no farmer on the Mohock River ever raised 
so much as a single Load of Hay, at present some raise above one Hun- 
dred, the like was the case in regard to sheep, to which they were intirc 
strangers until I introduced them, & I have the Satisfaction to see them at 
present possess many other articles, the result of my former Labors for 
promoting their welfare and interests, my own Tenants amounting to 
about too Families are not as yet in circumstances to do much, they were 
settled at great Expence and hazard during the heat of the [French] War, 
and it was princijially (I may venture to affirm, solely) owing to their resi- 
dence & mine, that the rest of the inhabitants did not all abandon their 
settlements at that Distressful Period; But tho* my 'Pennants are consider- 
ably in my Debt, I shall yet give them all the assistance I can for encour- 
aging any usefull Branches of Husbandry, which I shall contribute to pro- 
mote thro'out the rest of the country to the utmost of my power, and 
Communicate to you any material article which may occur upon that Sub- 

The Society for the Promotion of .Agriculture, Arts and Manufactures 
was established in 1793 In 1801 this society, for convenience of action, 
divided the State into agricultural districts, each consisting of a county. 
\ secretary was appointed in each district, whose duty it was to convene 
the members of the society within his county, learn the state of agriculture 
and manufactures therein, and report to the president of the society. 
Several years after this arrangement was made premiums were offered 
for the best specimens of home-made cloth, and were awarded partly 
by the general authority of the society, and partly by county judges ap- 
pointed by it. 

By an act of the Legislature, in 1819, for the improvement of agricul- 
ture, a board of officers was created and an appropriation made for two 
years, w'nic'n was to 'oe distri'outed among the different counties of the 
State for the advancement of agriculture and domestic manufactures, on 
the condition that the counties themselves subscribed an equal sum. 
This advance on the part of the State was met with indifference generally, 
and no permanent results were secured by it. The present agricultural 
society of the State was formed in 1S32, but not by Legislative action. No 
appropriation was made in its favor until its re-organization in 1841, when 
measures were taken for raising funds and holding annual fairs. In the 
spring of that year §40,000 was appropriated, partly to the State society, 
and partly for division among the counties in proportion to their repre- 
sentation in the .Assembly. 

It was under this act that The Montgomery County Agricultural So- 
ciety was organized. Pursuant to a notice by the county clerk, a meeting 
was held September 20, 1844, at the court house in Fonda. .A committee 
on nominations reported the following, which were adopted : President, 
Tunis I. Van Deveer; vice-presidents, Joshua Reed and Peter H. Fonda ; 
secretary, John Frey ; treasurer, John Nellis. The board of directors 
consisted of a representative from each town in the county, as follows ; 
.Amsterdam, Benedict .Arnold ; Charleston, Robert Baird ; Canajoharie, 
Jeremiah W, (lardner ; Florida, Lawrence Servoss ; Clen, Richard Hud- 
son ; Minden, Barney Becker ; Mohawk, Lyndes Jones ; Palatine, Wm. 
Snell ; Root, George Spraker ; St. JohnsviUe, John Y. Edwards. A com- 
mittee was appointed to draft a constitution and report it at a subsequent 
meeting, which all desirous to promote the interests of agriculture, manu- 
factures and rural arts, were earnestly reijuested to attend. 

On the 13th of October, the organization was completed and arrange- 
ments made for the first fair, which was held at the court house, on the 
nth and 12th of November following. The receipts amounted to $47 1.50 ; 
the expenses were but nine dollars less. The fair was held at the same 
place for the next three years, the annual receipts averaging about §250. 
The fifth year the fair was held at Canajoharie, October 7 anil 8, 1.S45. 
The next four were held at the court house in Fonda ; the tenth, at Port 
Plain, and the next three at the court house. The fair of 1S54 was held 
at St. JohnsviUe, and that of 1855 at Conajoharie. Since then it has 
been held annually at Fond.i, that (ilace having been fixed upon as the 
permanent locality, by a convention of the society, at "the Reformui 
Dutch Church" in that village, September 24, 1K63. At the s.nme time it ordered that the society be kept distinct froiu .ind imlependeni of any 
other in it, organi/alion and nifairs. 

On the lolhof October, 1 S60, the ( onstnution and by laws were a(lo|ileil. 



by which the societj* has since been governed. Under the constitution, 
the officers comprise a president, two vice-presidents, a secretary, and a 
treasurer. There is an executive committee of three, and the board of 
directors consists of three from each town in the county. The term of all 
the officials is one year. Membership for a year ( osts fifty cents, and life 
membershi[i. $io. The annual meeting of the vitiety is held in the even- 
ing of the first day of the fair. The officers are then elected and enter 
upon their duties on the first of January foUowm^. 

In 1861, a new feature of attraction was added to the fair by a very suc- 
cessful balloon ascension. The number of entries of live stock and in 
some other departments that year outnumbered those of previous years 
by one-half. An address was delivered by Mr. James Arkell, and an 
original poem by Hon. John Bowdish. In 1863, the society decided to 
purchase grounds on which to hold their annual fairs. .\ held of about 
thirteen acres, part of the Van Home estate, on the bank of the Mohawk, 
beginning at the lower side of the bridge, was selected. The fair of 1864 
was the first held on the new ground, and the most successful up to that 
date, the receipts being over $2,000 — double those of any previous year. 
When the ground was purchased there was about $400 in the treasury. 
This sum was, of course, soon exhausted in paying for the land, fence and 
first buildings, and a debt of between five and six thousand dollars was 
created, which was steadily reduced from year to year by the receipts at 
fairs. In his report for 1872, the secretary aunounced that the society 
would be enabled to make further necessary investments — such as per- 
manent buildings for live stock, improvements of Floral Hall, etc. The 
receipts from the fair of 1873 — some $2,000 — hardly met the unusually 
large expenses for that year. The address on this occasion was delivered 
by Hon. John Bowdish. 

Special efforts were put forth to make the fair of the centennial year, 
1876, one of unusual attractiveness, in the hope of increased receipts that 
would cancel the remaining indebtedness of the society. The exhibition 
in the various departments far surpassed those of previous years, and 
many special attractions were introduced, including foot races, a rope- 
walking performance and superior musical entertainment — three bands 
being in attendance. The receipts were, as hoped, much greater than on 
any previous occasion, amountmg to $3,803. It was in this year that the 
grand stand was built. The amount taken in the next year, though several 
hundred dollars less, put the finances of the society in a very gratifying 
condition, there being at the commencement of the year 1878 $987 in the 



The projectors of the village of Fonda conceived that the prospects of 
their enterprise would be brightened by making the embryo city the capi- 
tal of Montgomery county. .\ petition for the removal of the county 
buildings from Johnstown was acccordingiy presented to the Legislature 
in 1836. The immediate vicinity of the Mohawk was by this time so 
thickly inhabited that the old county seat was not central to the popula- 
tion of the county, and it was left comparatively out of the world by the 
construction of the Utica and Schenectady Railroad. The petition made 
a persuasive showing, on a statistical basis, of what proportion of the 
inhabitants would be accommodated by the proposed change; and an act 
authorizing the erection of a court house and jail at Fonda was passed 
during the session in which it was [tresented. The commissioners appointed 
to locate the buildings and superintend their construction were .\aron C. 
Wheelock, Henry .\dams and Howland Fish. The act recpiired them to 
raise and pay into the treasury of the county $.1,500 as a preliminary step, 
ind procure a site of at least three acres for the new county buildings. 
rhc comptroller was authorized on receiving a bond from the county 
treasurer to loan the county the sum retpiired from the common school 
fund, to be repaid at any time, or times, within five years, that the super- 
visors might decide upon. Under tlicse arrangements the court house and 
] lil were Iniilt in 1836. The removal of the county seat from Johnstown 
*as naturally very unsatisfactory to the northern part of the county, and 
resulted in the tlivi-sion of Montgomery two years later. An interesting 
\iew of the state of things in the county at the period now considered is 

afforded by the following extract from TAe Amsterdam Democrat : 

"In 1836, Joseph Smith was postmaster at Amsterdam, David Crane at 
Cranesville, Jay Cady at Minaville, Henry Randall at Port Jackson. John 
C. Van .\lstyne at Auriesville, Peter Enders at Fort Hunter, Thos, Bunn at 
Tribes Hill, Wm. M. Gardinier at Fultonville, Henry V'eeder at Caughna- 
waga, John Hanchet at filen, and T. .\. Stoutenburgh at Johnstown ^which 
was then in the county . 

"The following papers were published in this county: The Intelligencer 
and Mohawk .\dvertise^ at .\msterdam, by John J. Uavis and L. H. 
Nicholas, with the last named as editor; the Johnstown Herald, at Johns- 
town, by Philip Reynolds, Jr.; the Montgomery Republican, at Johnstown, 
by Peter Mix; the Montgomery .-Vrgus, at Canajoharie, by Abraham V. 
Putnam; the Xurthem Banner, at Broadalbin, by William Clark; the Gar- 
land semi-monthly . at Union MilU, by Wm. Clark, and the Christian 
i*alladium semi-monthly , at Union .Mills, by Joseph Badger. 

"The Mohawk and Hvidson railroad commenced in 1830, extended from 
.Albany to Schenectady, and covered fifteen miles of the one hundred 
miles of railroad then in operation in this State. The Utica and Sche- 
nectady railroad was nearly completed. .\ writer says of it: 'This road, 
the importance of which entitles it to a conspicuous station among the 
many improvements of the age, is designed to form no inconsiderate link 
in the extensive chain of communication between the western world and 
the tide waters of the Hudson. Passing through a country famed for its 
fertility of soil and its exuberance of agricultural productions, the route 
can scarcely fail of presenting some interesting features to the contempla- 
tion of the most fastidious traveller. With the Mohawk river almost con- 
stantly in view, as it majestically sweeps onward in its course, confined on 
either side by a succession of lofty and precipitous hills, the eye of the 
amateur may frequently discern landscapes comprising almost every variety 
of picturesque and scenic beauty.' Erastus Corning was president of the 
Utica and Schenectady R. R. Co., and vice-president of the Mohawk and 
Hudson Co. The county contained 1,227,712 acres of land; the value of 
the real estate was $3,753,506, ar.d the personal estate $674,899. Tiie 
county taxes amounted to $19,289.66, and the town taxes $13,023.00. 

"There were four academies in the county, located at .Amsterdam, Can- 
ajoharie, Kingsborough and Johnstown. Horace Sprague and W. A. 
Tweed Dale were principals of the first named. The county also contained 
eight woolen factories, thirteen iron works, five paper mills, sixty-two tan- 
neries, two breweries, two hundred and seventy-four saw mills, seventy-four 
grist mills, thirty-one fulling mills, twenty-nine carding machines and four 
oil mills. Elijah Wilcox was collector of canal tolls at Fultonville, and 
Jubal Livermore was one of the superintendents of canal repairs. David 
Spraker, of Canajoharie. was one of the four senators from this, the fourth, 
district, which included the counties of Saratoga, Washington, St. Law- 
rence and Montgomery, Henry V. Berry of Caughnawago, Joseph Blair of 
Mills" Corners, and Jacob Johnson of Minaville, were Members of .Assem- 
bly. Abraham Morrell and David Spraker were masters and examiners in 
chancery. In the Courts of Common Pleas, Abraham Morrell was first 
judge, and Samuel A. Gilbert. John Hand, Henry J, Dievendorff and David 
F. Sacia, judges. Malachi Kettle was Sheriff ; Tobias .\. Stoutenburgh, 
surrogate; Charles McVean, district attorney; and Joseph Farmer, county 
treasurer. All four resided at Johnstown. There were forty lawyers in 
the county, among whom were Howland Fish of Glen, David P. Corey and 
Deodatus Wright of Amsterdam, and Daniel Cady, R. H. Cushney and 
John Frothingham of Johnstown. Forty-four physicians looked after the 
physical welfare of the people. Benedict .Arnold, of .Amsterdam, was 
Major lieneral of the second division of cavalry. .Aaron C. Whitlock of 
Ephratah. was Brigadier General in the same division. Twenty-three 
clergymen were located in the county, not including the Methodist. Rev. 
James Wood was in charge of the Presbyterian church in this village. In 
the Tioy conference the Troy district contained twenty-two .Methodist 
clergymen, and the -Mbany district twenty-eight. Matthias J. Bovee, of 
.Amsterdam, was .Member of Congress." 


By the courteous care of Hon. John H, Starin, now representing this 
district in Congress, we are enabled to present ihe following summary of 
Montgomery county's ^ep^e^entati.^n in iju- national legislature, from the 
time of the adoption of the I'nttcti bt.ites constitution : 















Jekemi.\h Van Rensselaer, 
James (}i>ri>on, 
Silas Talbdi, 


JAUE-s Cochran, 
JoN-\s Platt. 
Benjamin Walker. 
Thomas Sammons, 
Thomas Sammons, 
Peter Swari, 
Thomas Sammons, 
Th*>mas Sammons, 
Jacok Markall, 
Daniel Cahv, 

XHI , 















Iohn Heri;imer. 




JOHN Fav. 




.\lered C'onkling. 




John W Cai.v, 




Henrv Markell. 




Henry Markell. 




Benedict .Arnold, 




Nathan Sdlle, 



XX 1 1 1., 

t"HARLE.S McVeaN, 




Matthias J. Bovee, 




John Edwarp, 




Peter J. Wai.ner, 




John Sandeord, 




Charles Benton, 




Charles Bento.n, 




C;eor.;e Petrie, 




Henry P. Alexander, 




.Alexander H. Blell, 


'85 '-53 


Peter Rmw. 




Thomas R. Morion. 




Clarke B. Cochrane, 




Clarke B. Cochrane, 




ChAIXCEV \ imiARI), 




James M. Marmn, 




Iames M Marvin. 

XVIIl , 



James .M. .NUkvin. 




Stephen Sanheord. 




John .M. Carroll, 




HysK\ \V. Hathorn, 




Henrv W. Ha 1 horn. 




John H. Si arin. 




Under the first State constitution New York was divided into four sen. 
ztoriaJ districts. Montgomery lounty lieing part of the I\th. Under the 
constitution of 1S2,, there were eight districts, each rc|ircsented by four 
senators; one elected each year. L'nder the cunsiitution of 1S46, the 
thirty-two senators represent as many separate districts, and the whole 
numleer are elected on altern.ite years. Since the adoption of this consti. 
tution, the district includini; Mcmtgoniery county, wiiich is now the .XVth, 
and ts coniiMiscd of Montgomery, Fulton, Hamilton. Saratoga and Sclie- 
nectady counties, h.cs been represented as shown by the subjoined table: 

184S-9. Joseph Blair. 

1850— I. Cieo. H. Fox and John 
S.lnford: the first of whom re- 
signed soon after his election. 

1852—3. Simeon Snow. 

1854—5. tleorge Yost. 

1856-7. Frederick P. Bellinger. 

1858-9. George G. .S< ott. 

1874-9. Webster Wjgne 


Isa.ah Blood. 


John Wiliard. 


Wilbam Clark. 


James H. Cook. 


.Ad.un U". Kline. 


Charles Stanford 


Isaiah Hlood. 


Isaiah Fuller. 

Until ,846 ca< h county, except Hamilton, elected one or more members 
of .Assembly .annually, the number being designated from time to time by 
bw. The number alloied to Tryon, afterward Monrgiunerv county, under 
the several apiHirtionments, together with the names of the members and 
d.itcs of their election, so far as ran be ascertained, will appear from the 
following tabular statement: 

Samuel Clyde, 
Zephaniah Batchelcr, 
.Michael Edie. • 
Jacob Snell. 

George Henry Bell, 
Samuel Clyde, 
Michael Edie, 
Jacob Snell, 
Peter Waggoner, Jr. 

George Henry Bell, 
.\hraham Copcman, 
Peter S. Dygert, 
Frederick Fox, 
Jacob (lardinecr, 
Peter Waggoner, Jr. 

Zephaniah Batcheler, 
.Abraham Cojteman, 
Peter S. Dygert, 
Frederick Fox, 
Jacob Gardineer, 
Peter Waggoner, Jr. 

Jacob Gardineer. 
.Abraham Garrison, 
Peter Waggoner. Jr., 
Zephaniah Batcheler. 

Zejihaniah Batcheler, 
Frederick Visscher. 
John Frey, 
.Andrew Finck, Jr., 
.Abraham Garrison, 
William Harper 

Zephaniah Bat( heler, 
Frederick Vis,cher, 
John Frey, 
.Andrew Finck. Jr. 

.Abraham Copcman. 
Frederick C. Fox, 
William Harper. 
James Livingston, 
Volkert Veeder, 
Christopher P. Yates, 

Frederick C Fox, Harper, 
James Li\mgston, 
Isaac Paris, 
Volkert Veeder, 
Christopher P, Vales 

Abraham .Arndt, 
John Frey. . 



Jame^ Livingston, 
Abraham Van Hor 
Volkert Veeder. 

James Cannon, 
John Frey, 
William Harper, 
James Livingston. 

Abraham Arndt, 
John Frey, 
William Harper. 
John Livingston, 
Isaac Paris, 
Henry Staring, 
Volkert Veeder, 
John Winn, 
Christopher P. Yates. 

.Abraham .Arndt, 
John Frey, 
William Harper, 
James Livingston, 
David Mc.Masters, 
Henry Staring, 
Volkert Veeder, 
John Winn, 
Christopher P. Yates. 

.Abraham Arndt, 
James Livingston, 
David McMasters, 
Volkert Veeder. 

.Abraham .Arndt. 
John Frey, 
James Livingston, 
John r. Visscher. 

Jacob Eacker, 
Douw Fonda, 
John Frey, 
David McMasters, 
Silas Talbot. 
Simon \'eedcr. 


Jacob Kacker, 
David .McMasters, 
Silas Talbot, 
Simon Veeder. 

Jacob Eacker, 
Frederick Getman, 
John McArthur, 
David McMasters, 
Simon \'eeder. 

Douw Fonda, 
Frederick Getman, 
David McMasters, 
Simon Veeder. 

David Cady. 
Jacob Eacker, 
Frederick Getman, 
John C, Van Kps, 
Peter Veeder, 
Simon Veeder, 



Jacob Eacker, 
Frederick Getman, 
John C. Van Eps, 
Peter Veeder, 
Simon Veeder. 

Frederick Getman, 
James Hildreth, 
Robert McFarlan, 
Archibald Mclntyre, 
Henry Pawling, 
Stephen Reynolds, 
Jacob Snell, 
Philip Van Alstine, 
Simon Veeder, 
Peter Voorhis. 

Cornelius Humphrey, 
Archibald Mclntyre, 
Jacob Snell, 
Simon Veeder, 
Frederick Sammons, 
John Herkimer. 

Cornelius Humphrey, 
Archibald Mclntyre, 
Jacob Snell, 
Simon Veeder, 
Christopher P. Yates, 
Alexander Sheldon. 

Archibald Mclntyre, 
Frederick Sammons, 
Jacob Snell, 
Charles Ward, 
Christopher P. Yates, 
Alexander Sheldon. 

Alexander Sheldon, 
Daniel Walker, 
Charles Ward, 
Henry Kennedy, 
John Roof. 

Alexander Sheldon, 
John Herkimer, 
David 1. /ieley, 
Henry Kennedy. 
Archibald Mclntyre. 
John Seeber, 
Alexander Shcldun, 
David I. Zieley, 
James Mclntyre, 
Jonathan Hallet. 

Joseph Wagoner, 
Alexander Sheldon, 
John Herkimer, 
James Mc[ntyre, 
Samuel Jarkson. 

Alexander Sheldon. 
James Lansing. 
H.irinanus A. Vedder. 
I.awrcn. e Cross 
William Van dl.mda. 

Alexander Sheldon, 
Lawrence Gross, 
Henry Fonda, 
Peter C. Fox, 
Harmanus A. Vedder. 

John Fay, 
Daniel Cady, 
John Green, 
Richard Van Borne, 
David 1. Zieley. 

Daniel Cady. 
Richard Van Home, 
John Green, 
James .\llen, 
David I. Zieley. 

Nathan Christy, 
Richard Van Home, 
William Woodward, 
Nathan Kimball, 
Edmund G. Rawson. 

Daniel Cady, 
Jacob Eacker, 
Daniel Hurlbut, 
James Mclntyre, 
Nathan Christy. 

Josiah Bartlett, 
Daniel Cady, 
John Fay. 
Daniel Hurlbui, 
Archibald Mclntyre, 
Daniel Mc\'ean, 
.\lexander Sheldon, 
Richard Van Home. 

Josiah Bartlett, 
r^aniel Cady, 
Daniel Mc\'ean, 
Richard \'an Home. 

Solomon Dievendorff 
John Etsenlord, 
Samuel A. Gilbert, 
.Alexander St. John, 
John Shuler, 
.Sylvanus Wilcox, 
.Andrew Zabriskie, 
,\lvah Soulhwick. 

' Solomon Dievendorff 
• John Eisenlord, 
I Alexander St. John, 
I John Shuler, 

Alvah Southwick. 


Henry Cross, 

Henry Fonda. 

Samuel Jar kson, 

Benedict Arm.ld, 

Isaac Sears. 

Barent K. Vrooman, 
Samuel Jackson, 
Ezekiel Belding, 
Henry I.yker, 
Jacob Shaw. 

Jacob Hees, 
.\aron Haring, 
Duncan McMartin, Jr., 
Robert Hall, 
Samuel Jackson. 


Lawrence Gross. 
Henry J. Dievendorff, 
Jacob Hees, 
Henry Fonda, 
John L. Francisco. 


Howland Fish, 
Lawrence Gross, 
Henry Failing, Jr., 
David W. Candec. 
Archibald Mclntyre. 

John W. Cady, 
James Mclntyre. 
Joshua Webster, 
Henry Valentine, 
Nicholas Gross. 

George D. Ferguson, 
Christian Klock. 
,\lvin Harris, 
Joseph Spier. 

Henry Cunningham, 
Francis H. Van Buren, 
Peter Smith. 
Peter C. Fox. 

Peter Smith, 
Henry Cunningham, 
Alexander St. John. 
Samuel Jackson. 


Abraham A. Van Home 
Augustus Dievendorff. 
John French, 
Alexander Sheldon. 

Lawrence Gross, 
Nathaniel Westcott. 
Howland Fish. 


David F. Sacia, 
Nathaniel WestLOtt, 
John Veeder. 

Phineas Kandall, 
Joseph Spinnard. 
Peter Young. 

Henry J. Dievendorff. 
Daniel Stewart, 
Thomas R. Benedict. 


William Rob, 
Piatt Potter, 
Josiah C. Brc 


Peter W'ood, 
Silas Phillips. 
Jacob Van .\rnan 

Douw .\. Fonda, 
William Carlisle, 
Cornelius Mabee. 

David Morrill, 
Clark S. Grinnell. 
Asel Hough. 

j Henry Adams, 
Ashbel Loomis, 
Collins Odell. 

! Joseph Blair, 
j Henry V. Berry, 
' Joseph Johnson- 

; '836 

Joseph Blair. 
Jacob Hees, 
Richard Peck. 


Marcellus Weston, 
.Abraham V. Putman 

I Jeremiah Nellis. 


Isaac Jackson, 
Isaac S, Frost. 


Peter Wood. 
John S Veede 

Reutien How 
Daniel K. Nc 

Lawrence Mar. ellus. 
J.-imes Dievendorff. 

John Bowdish. 
John I. Zoller. 

Clark B Cochrane. 
Morgan 1.. Harris. 

Peter H Fonda. 
John L. Bevins. 

Thcod.iriL R. l.iddle 
Benjamin Baird. 



Gjsialiel Bowdish, 
Andrew S. Gray. 

IS/ Dist. Asa Bowman, 
id. " \Vm. A. Haslett. 

isi Dist. Frothingham Fish, 
ti. " Lewis Averill. 

Frothingham Fish. 

Nicholas Ncwkirk 

Freeman F. Moulion. 

John Kellogg. 

Mt Disl. 
2i. " 

Samuel H. Cireen, 
Charles Hubbs. 

Simeon Samn 

\sl Disl. 

id. " 

S. P. Heath, 
Conrad P. .Snell. 
isl Dist. John I. Davis, 
2d " William Clark. 



isi Dist. 

id " 

tit Dist. 

id " 

William McClellan, 
Abraham N.Van Alstine 

Aaron W Hull, 
H&zekiah Baker. 

ist Dist. John \ an Der\eer^ 
id " Joseph Spraker. 

ist Dist. Matthew O Davis, 
id. " Hezekiah Baker. 

Hezekiah Baker. 

Jcieniiah SnelL 

Jay D. Bo»*man. 

Isaac S. Frost. 

-\braham Hoffman. 

.Angell Matthewson. 

Darius V. Berry. 

James Shanahan. 

Webster Wagner. 

Wm. J. Van Dusen. 

Martin L. Stover. 

Martin Schenck. 

Geo. M. Voorhees 

Edward Wemple. 

A Democratic majority of from 350 to 40 
the sheriff and member of assembly have Ix 
about as often for the last twenty years. 

i claimed for the county, but 
elected by the other party 


Near the south bank of the Mohawk, about two miles below Fultonviile, 
stands the Montgomery county poor house. Prior to 1866 the buildings 
and farm of one hundred and forty acres belonged to the county, but in 
that year the super\ isors sold this property, under authority of a special 
act of the Legislature. Hiram Sammons was the purchaser, and also con- 
tracted for the support of the mdigent. Each town arranges for the main- 
tenance of its paupers through an overseer at a stipulated [»rice per week, 
which varies from two dollars to three and a half, according to the mental 
and physical conduion of the pauper. Mr. Sammons, the purchaser of 
the poor hou^e and farm, died in 1868. and Robert Wemple bought the 
properly, also contracting for the support of the inmates of the house, of 
which he is still in charge. A part of them are chargea!)le to the county 
at large, and the affairs of the poor in general are attended to by a county 


This association was organized on the first Tuesd.iy of July, 1S06, in 
conformity will) an act of the Legislature, entitled "An .\i t to incorporate 

Medical Societies and to regulate the practice of Physic and Surgery," 
passed on the 4th of .April in that year. The first meeting was held at the 
court house in Johnstown, and the following is a full list of the physicians 
present : Ale.iander Sheldon, Oliver Lathrop, Stephen Reynolds, Wm. H. 
Devoo, Wm. Reed, Benjamin Tucker, Horace Barnum, Abraham Stem- 

The following named persons were chosen officers of the society : 
.Alexander Sheldon, President ; William Reed. Vice-president ; Stephen 
Reynolds, Secretary ; Oliver Lathrop, Treasurer 

-Alexander Sheldon, Stephen Reynolds and Benjamin Tucker were ap- 
pointed a committee to draft a code of by-laws by which the societv should 
be governed, and also to "procure a Seal with such device as they may 
think proper," and report at an adjourned meeting, which occurred on 
the 15th of October, 1806. .At this meeting the membership of the society 
was increased by the addition of the following persons : Jonathan Eights, 
Benjamin Lyon, Joshua Webster, Daniel Cui.k, Jonas Far, of Minden, 
Elijah Cheadle, Thomas Conklin, Christian Tissure. 

The regular meetings of the society were held but once a year, on which 
occasions one or more addresses were usually delivered by members 
chosen by the society for the purpose. Censors were appointed, whose 
duty it was to receive and examine into impeachments, the penalty for 
which, when sustained, %vas expulsion from the society, or a fine not to 
exceed $10. They were also required "to make diligent enquiry into the 
legal qualifications of all persons practising physic or surgery within this 
county," and if any were found who, " in their opinion, had not the qualifi- 
cations required," they were to be published in the public journals 
throughout the State. Candidates for the medical profession were ques- 
tioned by the Censors, and after passing a satisfactory examination they 
were required to sign the following declaration : " I do solemnly declare 
that I will honestly, virtuously and chastely conduct myself in the practice 
of Physic and Surgery, with the privileges of practsiing which profession 
I am now to be invested, and that I will with fidelity and honor do every- 
thing in my power for the benefit of the sick committed to my charge ;" 
upon which the society gave them a diploma, granting them " the privilege 
of practising physic and surgery in this State." .Members were required 
to "keep an accurate history of all important and singular cases" that 
occurred in their practice, and of "all useful discoveries" made by them, 
and report the same to the society. 

The division of Montgomery county, in 1838, necessitated a division of 
this society and its property, and it was re-organized by electing Daniel 
Ayres, Pres.; Zadock Barney, Vice-Pres.; A. T. E. Hilton, Secy., and 
Morgan Snyder, Treas. The following is a complete list of the members 
of the society at that time : Abram J. .Arndt, John .Atwater. Daniel -Ayers, 

Zadock Barney, Henry K. Belding, Thompson Burton, Burbeck, 

Richard Davis, Lebbeus Doty, Jas. Defendorf, Glaves, A. T. E. 

Hilton. Erastus Holmes, Aaron W. Hull, W. H. Johnson, Marcey, 

E. -A. Mumford, Patterson, Uriah Potter, Abm. Pulling, John W. 

Riggs, Daniel Smith, Jacob G, Snell, Simeon Snow, Morgan Snyder, J. D. 
Stewart, Samuel Voorhees, Joshua Webster, Joseph White, David E. 

The place of meeting which up to this time had always been at Johns- 
town, was now changed to Fonda. 




Lender the colonial goiernment it was customary that the aboriginal, or 
Indian title, should be extinguished before land grants were issued to the 
parties miking application to purchase. .A deed from the Indians was 
usually procured by holding a council with them, and this being atiom- 
plished, the Surveyor General was directed to make the survey and in his 
report furnish a m.ip and field notes of the premises. The draft of a 
patent was then prepared by the .Attorney General, and, if appro\ed by 
the Ctovernor of the colony and his council it was granted and recorded. 

Under an established ordinance, only one thousand acres could be 
granted to one person, but this regulation was frequently evaded by .asso- 
ciating as patentees a large number of persons, who were only nominally 
parties to the purchase. Land speculators were plentiful in those early 



times, as well as since, nor was there less corruption, perhaps, among the 
officials. The latter, in addition to the remunerative fees obtained by the 
performance of their duty, were often largely interested as participants in 
the purchase. In a few instances land grants were issued from the Crown 
of England, instead of through the colonial government. In some of the 
grants under the colonial government, the conditions required the payment 
of the annual (|uit-rent, which at that time constituted an important source 
of revenue, and which subsequently became due to the State. The pay- 
ments for quit-rent were sometimes specified to be made in money, but 
oftener in grain or other produce. 

The first two land grants on record, covering territory now embraced in 
Montgomery county, bear date of April 2 2d, 1703. They were issued on 
the same day, one to (Icraldus Camfort, for twenty acres, located in the 
present town of Amsterdam, and the other to John Peterson Mabie. con- 
veying lands on the Schoharie creek. Mabie surrendered his grant of this 
date, and on the 20th of July, 1705, took another for a tract in the same 
vicinity. The description of this piece of land will show how indefinitely 
the boundaries were given in some instances at that period. It was de- 
scribed as **a tract on Tiondowgoes creek, on both ^ides, commonly called 
Kadarode ; as you go up the Mohawk river, about twenty English m^lc^ 
westward of the land of .\dam Vrooman, there comes the said creek into 
the river, and going from the mouth of said creek along the same about 4 
miles up there is the said piece of land, being a flat plain on the west side 
of said creek, containing 80 acres lowland, surrounded by a stony hill, 
near a small island in said creek, the like quantity of upland, also called 
Kadarode, surrounded by a great hill downward of said creek, called 
Tiondowgoes, till you come to a great cove running to the water side, it 
being all on this side of the praying Indians' castle" 

The most fraudulent practices were sometimes resorted to in obtaining 
the lands from the Indians, only the semblance of a purchase being made 
of them in some instances. Conspicuous among the extensive tracts lo- 
cated in this section of the countr>', and obtained in such an underhand 
manner was the Kayaderosseras. which, like some others, was the subject 
of a long controversy. In 1704, Samson Broughton. .\ttorney Gener.d of 
the province, procured of the Mohawk Indians, for himself and associates, 
the above named tract. The Mohawks received but a very small compen- 
sation, understanding the tract to be in quantity only sufficient for a farm. 
With this title, thus fraudulently obtained, a patent was procured on the 2d 
of November, 1708, for about seven hundred thousand acres of land, lymg 
between the Hudson and Mohawk rivers. The watchfulness of the Indians, 
however, deterred the patentees from any movement for maintaming their 
claim to this vast territory for more than half a century, no survey even 
being made. Owing to the inaction of the patentees, the Indians became 
almost unmindful of the transaction, supposing the claim, from the so- 
called purchase, abandoned. 

Several families, however, immediately after the conquest of Canada by 
the English, settled upon the tract. This awakened the slumbering jea- 
lousy of the Indians, who not only demanded that the settlers should re- 
move, but that the claim to the Kayaderosseras tract be relinquished. The 
dispute was renewed and contmued for several years before an adjustment 
of the difficulty was arrived at. Sachem Abraham in conference recalled 
the fact that the Mohawks had helped to conquer the French with the e.\- 
pectation that they could remain in peaceful possession of their territory, 
but they now found that some of their brethren wished to deprive them of 
the chief hunting ground they had left and which they never could learn 
had been sold by the nation. 

Sir William Johnson, in behalf of the Mohawks, represented to the Colo- 
nial Government the fraudulent manner m which the patent had been 
procured and made strenuous e.xerlions to have it vacated, but not meeting 
with success from this source in his solicitations, he endea\ored to obtain 
redress for the Mohawks by placing the matter before the English board 
of trade with a view to procuring through the board an act of Parliament 
annullmg the patent. The patentees, fearing they might lose their claim, 
at length offered to compromise the affair by relinquishing a portion of the 
tract and making some further compensation for the part retamed, but the 
sum offered was so small that the Mohawks declined to accept it. Failing 
in this attempt to cnmitrnmisc. the claimants gave the matter into the hands 
of the governor of the province, with instructions to settle the alfair as he 
should deem projicr. In the summer of 176.S, the governor repaired to the 
Mohawk country and called and held a c.nunil uith the Indians prepara- 
tory to a settlement, but there having been no survey ol the lands in ques- 

tion, it became necessary to wait until a survey could be made. This hav- 
ing been performed by order of the governor, an amicable settlement of 
difficulty was shortly after arrived at. The patentees on their part relin- 
quished a portion of the tract, and the Mohawks, for the consideration of 
five thousand dollars, conveyed the remainder to them. The boundaries 
of this patent as established, include a portion of the towns of Broadalbin, 
Perth and Amsterdam. 

Succeeding the grants issued to Camfort and Mabie, a small tract was 
patented to Wilson and Abeel, in 1706, lying in the town of Amsterdam. 
In 17 13, Hendrick Hansen and his son Hans took a patent for two 
thousand acres in the present town of Mohawk, having obtained a deed of 
the same from the Indians, at a general meeting held at the lower castle in 
1 7 ID. Two thousand acres were granted, in 17 14, in three equal parts to 
John, Margaret, and Edward Collins at Caughnawaga, and two years later 
the same quantity was granted to Harman Van Slyck. as far up the river 
as the present town of Palatine. In the same year. 1716. a grant of seven 
hundred acres was issued to Johannes Harmanse Fisher, near Fort Hunter, 
in the town of Florida, and in the year following another small tract, in 
the same town, was granted to Samuel and Elizabeth Babington. 

These grants were followed by others, some of which were for large 
tracts. In 1722, Lewis Morris, in company with five others, took a patent 
for six thousand acres, and the ensuing year the same party took another 
for the same quantity adjoining it, all on the south side of the Mohawk, in 
the present towns of Canajoharie and Root. The Stone Arabia patent, for 
the benefit of the Palatines, containing nearly thirteen thousand acres, was 
granted in 1723. These industrious people immediately settled upon and 
improved their lands. From this penod many other grants speedily fol- 
lowed, conveying tracts in various localities, some of which embraced a 
large extent of country. 

In regard to some of these patents, serious controversies have arisen. 
The Canajoharie patent, in wKich Philip Livingston was most largely in- 
terested, is noticeable in that respect. The Indian deed for a tract of land 
in which this patent was located, was procured from them in such a man- 
ner as to make its validity doubtful. Only a few of the Indians had 
signed the document, and they were not influential ; whereas, it was cus- 
tomary for all the sachems of the tribe to sign a deed. Not only was the 
title thus questionable, but the surveyor in the interest of the patentees 
fraudulently managed to include, in the lines which he ran, considerably 
more than the deed called for. The line, by which the tract was thus en- 
larged, was surreptitiously run by the light of the moon. When the Mo- 
hawks discovered the fraud practised upon them, they complained so 
loudly, that further proceedings were for many years abandoned by the 

In the mean time the neighboring (iermans rented of the Indians the 
disputed territory, settling upon and improving it. In this situation the 
matter remained until 1762, when the settlers were served with writs of 
ejectment by order of Wm. Livingston, son of Philip, the original patentee. 
This at once revived the contention which had begun by fraud, and which 
was continued by the same means, receiving a new im[)etus and becoming 
more complicated by the rascality of tieorge Klock. He resided at Cana- 
joharie, and possessed a share in the disputed territory, acting also as agent 
for the other claimants. Having invited the Indian proprietors to the 
house he filled them with rum. and when they had become intoxicated he 
obtained their signatures to a paper declaring the legality of the original 
purchase and their relinquishment of further claim to the premises. This 
paper, together with two new deeds procured in like manner, was for- 
warded to the governor. The matter was brought to the notice of Sir 
William Johnson, the Indian agent, who, at the recommendation of the 
governor, held a council with the Mohawks, to ascertain their true feelings 
in regard to the transaction. The council was well attended, not only by 
the Indians, but by others, among whom were several justices, especially 
invited to be present at the occasion. The fraudulent character of the 
proceedings was clearly brought to light; the claimants desisted from fur- 
ther efforts to possess the land, and all except Klock shortly after executed 
a release to the Indians. 

After the State Government was firmly established in place of the Colo- 
nial, the lands remaining in its possession, as well as those deri\ed from 
forfeitures and other sources, were usually sold in small parcels as portions 
of some large tratt. Corry's patent, granted the 19th of November, I7,;7, 
has since the e^tablishnient of the Stale Government been a niaticr fur liti- 
gation, and dissensions in regard to it continue at the present time, This 




grant was obtained from the Crown, and covered upward of iwenty-five 
^ousand acres, lying in what are now the towns of Charleston, Root and 
Glen. It was granted to William Corry and twelve others. George Clarke 
was at that time Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony, and was secretly inter- 
ested in the purchase, but was ]>recluded from taking his share openly for 
rtie reason that an Knglish law forbade a Colonial Governor being an mter- 
ested party in grants of land made by the Government. Clarke was super- 
seded in the office of governor in 174J, and shortly afterward the lands, 
having been surveyed and laid out into lots and farms, were divided be- 
tween Corry and Clarke, the latter of whom returned to Kn^land m 1745. 
He died in 1763, and his possessions were bequeathed to his two sons, 
George and Edward, then living in New Vork. George went to England 
in 1772, and four years later died there. chi!dle:»s. Edward, who also went 
to England, died there in 1744, leaving an only son named (Jeorge Hyde 
Clarke, to whom the pro])erty was devised. Corry sold his share, which 
was confiscated by the State, in consequence of the toryism of its owners, 
during the war of the Revolution. 

George Hyde Clarke remamed in New York during the war, and taking 
the part of the Colonists against the British Government, wa^ confirmed m 
the large landed possessions of his father. Immediately after the war. he 
succeeded in leasing this land to settlers, to whom he granted "three-life" The lessees cleared the lands, built ujjon them, and exi.- ised all 
the rights of ownership. The farms were bought and sold, the occupants 
paying to the landlord the moderate rent of one shilling per acre. In this 
condition the property has descended from father to son until the present 
time, each owner bearing the name of George Clarke. There was no seri- 

ous difficulty until after the present proprietor came into possession. He 
was a minor when his father died. When he arrived at his majority the 
agitations concerning leasehold estates, popularly known as " Anti-Rentism," 
which commenced in 1S44, had extended to this county. 

At the instance of prominent gentlemen, John Van Buren, who was At- 
torney General, began an action in behalf of the State against Clarke, to 
set aside his title to the land, on the ground of its having been fraudulently 
procured from the British Government. It was first tried before the emi- 
nent and learned Judge, Daniel Cady. His decision was. that possessions 
of the tenants were the po;>scsbion of the landlurd. and that he having held 
the property as against the State for more than twenty years, was the ab- 
solute owner. This deci>ion was sustained by the General Term, and by 
the Court of Appeals, to which it was carried. Since then the leases have 
e.vpired in accordance with their conditions. In some few instances, the 
present owner, (ieorge Clarke, extinguished the leases by negotiation or 
purchase. On the expiration of the others, the rent was raised from the 
former price of one shilling an acre until the proprietor now demands, and 
in lome instances receives, from two to three dollars an acre. 

This, however, brought about a most lamentable condition of things. 
On more than one quarter of the Clarke farms, the tenants have refused 
to pay the rents demanded, and on their ejectment, the buildings have been 
fired. Many of the farms arc tbus unoccupied, and those occupied are 
worked by dissatisfied and angry tenants, who make no improvements and 
pay the rents demanded only on compulsion, and until such times as ihey 
can procure other places. This condition of things operates |irejuditially 
to the interests of the towns as well a.s to the «ount). 




The counties of Montgomery and Fulton comprise within their limits the following tracts and parts of tracts of lands granted by the Crowr 
before the Revolution, and in two instances by the State since the treaty of 1783 ; 



Arieskill Patent. 
Alexander Patent, 

Bagley's Patent, 
Bagley's Patent, 
Barclay Tract, 
Babington Tract. 
Bleecker Patent, 
BleecWer Patent, 

Bracken Patent, 
Bradt Patent, 
Burnet Patent, 
Butler Patent, 
Bergen's Purchase, 
Canajoharie Tract, 

Camfort Tract, 
Caughn.iwag2 Patent, 
Claus Patent, 
Colden Patent, 
Colden Patent, 
Corr)''s Patent, 
Collins' Tract, 
Cosby's Patent, 
Cosby's Patent, 
Cosby's Patent, 
Cosby's Patent, 
De Lancev Patent, 
Dick Patent, 
Fisher Tract 
Glen, Bleecker and Lan- 
sing Patent. 
Glen Patent, 
Glen Patent, 
Gros Tract, 
Gunterman Tract, 
Guerin Tract. 
Harrison's Tract, 
Harrison's Patent, 

Hansen Patent. 
Herkimer Patent, 
Haring Patent. 
Holland Patent. 
Hoofe P.itent. 
Jer^yfielil Patent. 
Kennedy Patent. 
Kingsborough Patent, 
Klock'. Patent, 
Kayaderosseras Patent. 
Lansing I'ateni. 
Livingston Patent, 
Livingston Patent, 
Livingston P.itent. 
r.yne Patent. 
Lott P,itent. 
^rcLe(Kl■s Patent, 
Magin's I'atent, 
Masc P.itent. 
Mabie Patent. 
Mabie I'atent, 
Miirris I'atent. 
Miirris Patent. 
Morris Patent, 

James DeLancey and 4 others. 
James Alexander, A. Coevmans, S, 

States, R.Walter, R.Van Dun.Petei 

Hansen, A. Governeur, J. Dunbar, 

J. Mynders. L. Claese. 
Timothy Bagley and C. Williams. 
Timothy Baglev and 12 others, 
Henry Barclay.' 

Samuel and Elizabeth Babmgton, 
Rutger and Nicholas Bleecker, 
Rutger and Nicholas Bleecker. J. 

De Lancev and J. Haskall, 
John Bracken. 

Arent Bradt and Philip Livingston, 
William Burnet, Jr., 
Walter Butler and 3 others, 

Lewis Morris. C. Colden, J. Alex- 
ander, .A. Van Home, John Collins, 
M. Vedder, 

Geraldus Camfort, 

John, .Margaret and Ed. Collins. 

Daniel Claus, 

.■\lexander Colden. 

Elizabeth Colden. 

Wm. Corrv, Geo. Clarke, and others, 

Ed. Collins, 

Henrv Cosby, 

William Cosbv. 

.\lex. Cosby ^-'his sons Wm. & Philip. 

William Cosby, 

James De Lancev and others. 

William Dick, 

Johannes and Harmanse Fisher, 
I Thos. Freeman & wife & D. Martin, 

I J. Glen, 

j Jacob Glen and others, 
I John Daniel Gros. 
, Coenradt Gunterman, 
j Mavnard Guerin and his wife, 
j Ed.' and Phillis Harrison, 
. Franc. Harrison. L.Morris. J. Spratt. 
! J. Schuyler. A.Wendell. J. Haskall, 
Hendrick Hansen and son Hans, 
! J. J. and H. Herkimer, 

! Henrv Holland, 

: Henr'v Hoofe, 

; Henry (lien and 93 others. 

I -Archibald Kennedy. 

I .'Xrent Stevens and others. 

' George Klock and 14 others. 

Naning Heermanse and 12 others. 
' Jacob Lansing and others, 

Philip Livingston and 19 others, 

Philip Livingston and 19 others, 

Robert Livingston, Jr., 

John Lyne. 

Abin. Lott anil 19 others, 

.Norman McLoil. 

Sarah Magin an.l others. Mase'\- J. K. \- I R. Bleecker 

Peter Mabie, 

lohn Petersen Mabie, 

Frederick .Morns. 

Lewis .Morns and others, 

Lewis .Morris and others, 
















Oct 23, ■ 
June 20 

.\pnl 22, 

Nov. 4, 

Sept. 29, 

Dec. 30, 

Dec 30. 

Nov. 19, 

July t6, 

Aug. 29, 

Oct. II. 

Feb. 9, 

June 25, 

Nov. 12, 

.\ug. .2, 

Feb. 14, 

July 3, 


























































13 lots. 








Glen, Montgomer)' County. 

Mohawk. .Montgomery County. 

Root and Canajoharie. 

Charleston chietly . 




Minden and Canajoharie. 

St. JohnsviUe. 



Johnstown and Mohawk. 

Fulton and Hamilton Counties. 

Canajoharie and Root. 






Root, (ilen, Charleston, and Scho 

Northampton. [harie Countv. 









Stratford. Caroga and Bleecker. 
I Florid.i. 

Palatine and St. lohnsville 


Minden and Herkimer County. 



.-Vmsterd.Tin and Florida. 

Stratford and Herkimer County. 


Ephratah, Johnstown S: .\Liyfield. 

0|ipenheim and Ephratah 

.\msterdam and I'erth. 

Mindcn and Herkimer Countv. 

Minden and Herkimer 

Fulton and Saratoga Counties, 


i,ooo Canajoha 

Oppenheim. Ephratah & Stratford. 
' Mayfield and Northamnton, 
( Ippenheim and Ei)h 



I Montg..i, 
I Montgor 

ery County, 
cry County. 

Granted in two tracts, 
one of 4,000, the oth- 
er of 6,000 acres. 

Granted in two tracts, 
[2,000 each. 

To each one-half. 

To each one-fourth. 
Opposite Ft. Hendrick. 

Butler 3-7, Scott 2-7, 
[Milne & W'ms e. 1-7. 

Two tracts of 6,000 ac, 
another one of 450. 

To each one-third. 

In Northampton Pat. 
I Within a tract of 
I 86.000 acres. 
Part of Cadwallader 
[Caldwell Tract. 

Part of 8,000 ac. tract. 

To each one-third. 

Part of 86,000 acres. 
Part of 86,000 acres. 

Purch'd from Indians. 

Ciranted from Mohawk 


Part of Northam|)ton 

Part of Northampton 














Mayfield Patent. 

Francis Beard and 13 others, 

June 27. 



Caroga, lileecker .in 

d Maytield. 

Otsquaga F'atcnt, 

Rutger Hlcci ker anil others. 

Sept. 22. 




Otsqua'jc Patent. 

U'eiser, Lawyer and Wagenar, 

luly 8, 



Provooit Patent, 

Provoost. Cociis, Van Wyck, &c.. 

March 8, 



Koberti' Patent. 

Beiijatnin Roberts. 

Sept. 29, 



Mavlield and North 


Roseboom Patent. 

Johannes Roseboom, 

April 29, 




Sacondaga Patent. 

Lendert Gansevoort and others. 

Dec. 2, 



Johnstown. Perth. 

Mavlield and 

Scott Patent, 

Lt. John Stott, 

Oct. 22, 




Commandant of Fort 

Scott Patent, 

John Scott, Ir., 23. 




Stoi«r .\rabia Patent. 

John Christian Garlack & 26 others. 

Oct. 19, 




Divided into 51 lots. 

Stone Heap Patent, 

Daniel Claus. Howen and i, others. 

Sept. 15, 


Charleston and Sch 

■ harie 

Shuckburgh Patent, 

Rich. Shuckburgh and Jacobus Van 




May 28, 


i 180 


Stringer Patent, 

Samuel Stringer, 

Nov. 26, 




Stephens Patent, 

.\rent Ste|ihens. 

July 16, 



Northampton Pt. 

Schuyler Patent. 

Cornelius Schuyler, 

July 16, 




Northampton Pt. 

Ten Eyck Patent, 

Hendrick Ten Eyck, 

April 2, 




Ten Evck Patent, 

Hcndrick 'len Eyck, 

.\pril 29, 




Van Slyck Patent, 

Harman Van Slyck, 

Sept. I, 




Van Rensselaer Patent, 

Jeremiah \'an Rensselaer. 

Oct. 4, 



Fulton County. 

Van Driessen Patent. 

Petrus Van Driessen, 

May 19, 


St. Johnsville. 

Visger Patent, 

Johannes Visger, 

Feb. 25, 




Van Home Patent, 

Abm, Van Home and 3 others. 

Noy. .3, 




Williams Patent, 

C. Williams and others, 

Aug. 29, 




Called Warren's Bush. 

Wilmot Patent, 

.\nne Wilmot, 

Aug. 29, 



Windecker's Patent, 

Harmtman Windecker, 

Nov. 12, 




Winnes Patent, 

Peter Winne and others. 

Oct. 6, 





Wctnp Patent, 

John Wemp, 

Dec. 16, 




Part of 86,000 acre 

Wilson & Abeel Patent. 

Ebenezer Wilson and John Ahecl. 

Feb. 22, 






Though the counties of Montgomery and Fulton are less rich m minerals 
than some others in the State, yet the subject of their geology is an inter- 
esting one. The facts respecting this topic are derived from the report of 
the geological survey made under the authority of the State, the results 
of vfaich were published in 1842. The two counties are considered 
togeSfaer in this chapter to avoid the repetition which would result from 
treating them separately. The whole area of Montgomery and Fulton 
lies to the north of the Helderberg range, and contains a less number of 
rocks than the counties to the west through which that great elevation ex- 
tends. The rocks are : i, (ineiss of several varieties, granite, etc., being 
the primary rocks ; 2, Potsdam sandstone ; 3, the Calciferous group ; 4, the 
Black river limestone ; 6, Utica slate; 7, Frankfort slate, and its sandstone. 
Of these only Nos. i, 3, 6, and 7 form important masses as to the surface 
which they cover. The primary rocks cover the northern part, their 
greatest breadth being to the northwest. They bound the Sacondaga 
valley at the northeastern corner of Fulton county, turning to the south- 
west a few miles below the line of Hamilton < ounty. forming the high 
ridges known as Mayfield and Kingsborough mountain^, turning west to 
the north of Kingsborough village, and joining Klij) hill, the northern pro- 
longation of the '* Noses." They form Royal hill, and pass into Herkimer 
by an irregular line, inclining to the northwest. Beyond these limits the 
primary ro< k appears but in two places, on Zimmerman's creek, below 
I.a&sellsville, and on both sides of the .Mohawk, formmg the basis of the 

The calciferous group forms three areas to the north of the river, no- 
where extending more than a mile to the south of it. It forms the whole 
surface of the eastern part of these cininiies, ex( eptmg some partial over- 
lying masses. It forms also the great south portion of the Noses, and the 
greater part of the space from the ridge east of Mother creek and the 
I.inle Sprite to the East Canada creek. The Utica slate separates the 
three areas of the calciferous, the eastern edges ranging conformably with 
the lower rocks, and the western unconformably, being the edges upturned 
by the uplifted rocks. The first of these masses forms that fine section of 
country near the centre of whi< h Johnstown is placed ; the other is that 
through which Garoga creek Hows from Kphratah to Palatine chun h. 
'I'here are besides these two large arens on the north side of the Mohawk a 
few isolated pati hes, one on Frenchman's creek, m the town of Hruadalbm, 
a second back of St. Johnsville, a third on Fast Canada creek, extendmg 

by Manheim bridge to the falls at the uplift, and a fourth on Little Sprite 
creek. That portion of Montgomery county south of the Mohawk, excell- 
ing a few strips near its border, is covered by the Utica slate and the 
Frankfort rocks, the latter occupying the whole southern half, and the 
former the space between these rocks and the river. These are the four 
important masses as to the extent of surface covered, the others occujn - 
ing very small areas. The Potsdam sandstone appears upon the primary 
at Klip hill between the two roads which lead to Johnstown. It is in 
small patches of one or two layers, being all that remains of a once con- 
tinuous mass. The Birds-eye limestone is quarried in the town of Mayfield 
at a point in the old Claus patent. It appears in two insulated 
hills to the west of Eva's Kill, in the small i|uarry on the west side of the 
dam back of Amsterdam village, and at the quarries of Tribes Hill. I'hc 
rock at these places is thin, and not suitable for heavy work. On the 
south side of the Mohawk it first appears at Fort Plain. It is there ;n 
thick layers, and was quarried for the canal ; also on the opposite side "t 
the river between the turnpike and the railroad, forming the surface rock 
for many acres of area. North of the river, the birdseye limestone is quar- 
ried in several jjlaces. This rock is also noticed in Garoga creek near the 
village of Ephratah. 

The upper mass of the Black river limestone, of which the birdseye form- 
the lower part, embraces most of the grey limestone at Amsterdam vilhi;^e 
and several <|uarries along the Mohawk. The 'I'renton limestone is but 
little (piarricd. being preferred for making lime. This rock is seen in the 
town of Mayfield, in two places in Broadalbin, to the east of the 
Vlaie. at Amsterdam, along the south side of the uplift of the No->e-. 
at the dam in C'anajoharie creek, at Fort Plain, and north east of the quarr\ 
on the opposite side of the river. The land slopes to the Mohawk ••'a 
both sides of the river throughout its course in these counties, with the ex- 
ception of the northeastern and northwestern portions, the former im lin- 
ing to the Sacondaga river, and the latter to the East Canada creek. I 'it- 
country which is occupied with the primary rocks, is yet a wilderness, ex- 
cepting some portions along its outside Ijorders, and others again, where 
facilities for sawing and getting out timber exist, and it must remain umii- 
habited until conveniences for transportation are made. It is thickly i'"'- 
ered with forest, and contains numerous lakes which are disposed u])on it"* 
southern and western borders, showing the height of the level land from 
which the more elevated hills and ridges of the primary region usually ri--c. 
(tne of the first prominent points going east along the primary range 1^ 
Royal hill. It is one of those high, long, narrow, north and south rang-.-, 
which rise abruptly like Klip hill, and others quite numerous in SaratiV-* 
county. It is composed of gneiss, similar to that of Little Falls, and m 
many parts divided by numerous joints into angular blocks. There wj*^ 



nothing extraneous discovered in this hill but a little [jlumbago and small 
garnets. This hill forms the west side of Pleasant Valley and extends up 
to near Caroga lake. The valley is covered with alluvion, but. it is prob- 
able, was once underlaid by the Utica slate, which may yet exist there, as 
waterMom fragments of it are numerous at the foot of the high bank below 
Pleasant \'alley village, which could not have come from any point south, 
no fact of the kind having been observed in the primary region. 

The valley of (iaroga creek separates koyal htll from Klip hill, the pro- 
longation of the N(tses. From thence the primary mass rises to the east, 
and near K.ingsborough village, attains considerable elevation. For about 
>ix or seven miles, the tourse of the range of primary rocks is to the north 
and east and its height uniform, the range appearing as a ridge. Beyond 
it is broken into rounded or curved masses of dirierent elevations. There 
is a much greater variety of gneiss at the east than at the west end in that 
section of the country, .\bout two and a half miles from Kingsborough, 
the stone has been iiuarncd. It has a striped or ribbony appear- 
ance, being a well characterized gneiss, and contains numerous small red 
garnets, which give a brownish color to the rock, the mica being black ; 
also much green feldspar. Further north there is an abundance of beauti- 
ful porphyritic gneiss suitable for all purposes to which granite is applied, 
being but slightly stratified, which would favor its extraction. The hills or 
mountains, as they are here termed, rise about five or six hundred feet 
above their base, the latter being elevated about eleven hundred . jt above 
the Mohawk, as was ascertained with reference to connecting the waters 
of the Sacondaga with the Mohawk. 

The juncture of the primary and the calciferous sandstone from Royal 
Hill to Lassellsville consists of rounded elevations, sandy, loamy and 
clayey, between which the small water-courses of that section pass on 
their way to the Mohawk. East of the village there are sand hills, and 
from thence to Royal Hill gravel hills. The country is much broken by 
rounded and irregular elevations and depressions, showing from Royal 
Hill to East Canada creek a line of agitated waters resembling the one 
which extends along Black river to Ilooiuille. 

M Pleasant Valley the alluvion is of great thickness, its hills rising to 
about one hundred feet of elevation, and continues up to Garoga lake. 
The great ma-ss of the chain of hills east of IJaroga creek is of yellow sand, 
the same kind with that of the primary region. The Vlaie or natural 
meadow and swamp which extends along the creek of that name to near 
the Fish House, are the remains of a lake, and show the pre-exislent state 
of that country; the drainage of which happened at successive periods, as 
is beautifully shown and the extent of the alluvial action also near where 
the upper and lower roads unite which lead from Cranberry post-office to 
the river, near the hill or mountain side. There four well defined alluvial 
banks exist, resembling great steps on the mountain side, which forms a 
semi-amphitheatre, changing by a cu^ve from a northeast to a south-south- 
east direction. The upper bank of alluvion rises about a hundred feet 
above the river; the next below about eighty feet; the third, from thirty 
to forty feet; and the lowest, from ten to twelve feet. The upper one is 
of sand; the second, of bluish clay covered with sand; and the two lowest 
ones of sand and gravel. The Vlaies, or natural meadows, are numerous 
in many parts of the district, and are the prairies of the \Vesi on a small 
scale. Their soil being composed of fine earth is favorable for grass, the 
rapid growth of which smothers the germinating trees. This is repre- 
sented as the primary cause why trees do not exist where grass is rank; 
the others are but subordinate ones. These natural meadows all show the 
same origin, having been ponds or lakes receiving the wash of the country 
which they drained, the finer particles of which being diffused through 
their waters have, by subsidence, formed their level bottom and their 
highly productive soil. 

-\long the borders of the Mohawk, through Montgomery county, there 
exists a series of parallel upraised masses, extending but a short distance 
south of the river. These ujilifts or upraised masses consist of those rocks 
and groups whose position is below the Utica slate. They have been 
raised in places just as if they were composed of a scries of parallel blocks 
under which a force was ap|ilied which caused them to pierce the slate 
and to appear at various heights above the i omnion level of it. The 
uplifts vary as to length, brcidth and height, sonic traversing the whole 
extent between the primary region and the river, while i.ihers are partial, 
occupying but limited areas. While some h.ive been r..iscd so high as to 
exhibit the whole serie* of rocks from the jirimary inclusive to the Utica 
slate, others show only the upper rocks of that series. 

The first uplift is that of Flint Hill. The lowest part consists of the 
calciferous group which extends to .Amsterdam village, and disappears 
under the Black river and Trenton limestones; the whole of which, further 
west, are lost under the alluvion. This uplift gave rise to quarries at 
.\nisterdam. The second uplift is at Tribes Hill, showing three elevations, 
the layers which are inclined from east to west, ranging parallel with each 
other. The first rise consists of the calciferous group, a quarry having 
been opened in this rock; the second consists of birdscye limestone; and 
the third, the intermediate mass to that rock and the Trenton limestone, 
the two forming with the Cha;y limestone the Black river limestone group. 
Ihcy all dip west ten degrees south, and show the direction of their uplift 
and the effects of denudation in producing their insulation. Between the 
Trenton limestone and the river is the intermediate mass. It has been 
extensively quarried at this jilace, and on the hill near the village. 

The third uplift is by the roadside cast of Fonda, and is but partial, the 
'Trenton limestone only appearing. 

'The fourth uplift is the Noses, which rise in the valley like a huge dyke 
or mountain barrier, and, except where broken by the river, show a long 
continuous wall which faces the east and slopes gradually along the river 
to the west. The Mohawk passes by a gap through the mass, showing on 
either side a cliff of the calciferous group, which often rises vertically to 
two hundred feet or more. The gneiss forms the base at the east end. It 
shows itself in three places on the south side and terminates its range east, 
rising probably one hundred feet above the river. On the north side of the 
uplift the calciferous has been uncovered to considerable extent, showing a 
surface averaging five miles in length from north to south. Further north 
the primary takes its place, showing patches of Potsdam sandstone for 
about two miles from where it emerges from under the calciferous. For 
some distance north of the river at the east end of the uplift, alluvion and 
soil conceal the surface rock, but beyond at many points the Utica slate ap- 
pears dipping to the east at angles of about thirty degrees, the juncture of 
the gneiss and slate being covered with soil. The uplift of the Noses can- 
not be said to terminate along the river short of Palatine church, where the 
slate appears in the creek at its usual low level when not disturbed. The 
whole of the uplift is of great interest, exposing a vast mass of rock and the 
succession of the rocks either going west along the river or south. Quar- 
ries have been opened in its range at Canajoharie, Palatine Bridge, Fort 
Plain, etc. The creek at Fort Plain shows that the rocks on both sides 
have not the same elevation, those on the west side being higher than 
on the east. 

The fifth uplift extends from Palatine church to near East Canada creek, 
exhibiting a large surface of the calciferous group. At St. Johnsville the 
calciferous group forms a high cliff in the rear of the village, extending 
from Crumb beyond Zimmerman's creek in nearly an east and west direc- 
tion. It is not the result of the wearing away of all the parts on its south 
side so as to give passage to the river, for at the foot of the cliff the bird.s- . 
eye is seen, but obscurely; next to it at the southeast are the lower layers 
of the Trenton, and east and north the Utica slate, all within a few rods 
of each other. 




In writing the history of the 115th N. Y. Volunteer Infantry, we record 
the acts of a noble body of men, whose deeds are already written in blood, 
and inscribed high up in the roll of Fame. This regiment was raised in 
the counties of Saratoga, Montgomery, Fullon and Hamilton, and mus- 
tered into the United States service on the 26th day of August, 1862, bv 
Capt. Edgerton, U. S. A., at Fonda, the place of rendezvous of the regi- 
ment. The field staff and captains were as follows: Colonel, Simeon Sani- 
mons; Lieutenant-Colonel, Ceorge S. liacheller; Major, Patrick Henry 
Cowan; .Adjutant, Thomas R. Horton; Quartermaster, .Martin Mc.Martin; 
Surgeon, Richard H. Sutton; .Assistant Surgeon, William H. Ingersoil; 
Chaplain, Sylvester W. demons. Captains: Company A, C.arret Vander- 
veer; Company B, John I*. Kneeskern; Company C, William H. .\lcKil- 
trick; Company I), Sidney I.ingenfelter; Company E, William H. Shaw; 
Comp.iny F, Walton W. French; Company C, Egbert B. Savage; Company 
H, Solomon P. Smith; Company I, Ezra L. Walrath; Company K, William 



Smifh. With the above officers, together with a full complement of lieu- 
tenants and ten hundred and forty enlisted men, the regiment broke camp 
at Fonda on the 29th day of August, and was forwarded to the scat of war 
as soon as possible, arriving at Sandy Hook. Md.. on the lialtimore and 
Ohio R. R., on the ist of Sept.. where. the regiment was furnished with 
arms, but very little ammunition. It then moved on to Harper's Kerry. 
Va^ where it was assigned to guard duty along the Shenandoah Valley K. 
R„»ith head'juarters at Charlestown. \'a. 

The regiment performed guard duty faithfully, untd a few days before 
the surrender of Harper's Ferry, when it and others were ordered to con- 
centrate at that place. On the way to the Ferry James English, a mem- 
ber of Co. n. was wounded in the hand, liy the accidental discharge of a 
raostet, necessitating amputation at the wrist; he was the first man wounded 
in the regiment. On arriving at, or near Haq>er's Ferry, the regiment was 
encamped on Fiolivar Heights, in the rear of the village. From this point it 
performed picket duty, and while so engaged, John Hubbard, of Co. .\, 
was wounded by a guerilla. On the 12th, Companies E and .A were or- 
dered to report to Col. Tom Ford, in command of Maryland Heights, and 
upon doing so, were ordered to proceed up the Potomac, to the old " John 
Brown" school-house, and form a skirmish line from the river as far up 
the mountain as possible, the left resting on the river. 

EarJy the next morning the two companies were ordered b, . to Ford's 
headquarters, and from there to Elk Ridge, at the Lookout, on the highest 
peat of the mountain. Here for the first time members of the 115th regi- 
ment met the enemy in deadly combat. .After several hours fighting, and 
holding their position, the two companies were ordered to evacuate the 
place, and report to Gen. Miles' headquarters, which they did very reluct- 
antly, and not until they had received the third order. Company E had 
one man wounded. About this time Company R moved up, and in a few 
minutes its captain was carried to the rear, having been wounded in the 
thigh by a minie-ball. Upon nenring the foot of the mountain, at what 
was known as Maryland Heights. Companies E and A met the remainder 
of the regiment, who congratulated them upon their safe return. 

The regiment returned to camp on Bolivar Heights. The troops were 
kept moving to and fro until the morning of the 15th, when (Icneral Miles 
made one of the most cowardly and disgraceful surrenders recorded in the 
annals of American history. Eleven thousand men, armed and equii>ped 
in the best style, with plenty of ammunition, holding one of the most de- 
fensible positions in the United States, were ignominiously surrendered, 
instead of aiding to surround Lee's, Longstreet's, Hill's and Jackson's 
corps where there was no possible way of escajie. Thus the Union army 
was reduced, and eleven thousaml as good fighting men as e\er shouldered 
a musket were doomed to bear the taunts of their enemies, at home and 
abroad, as "Harper's Ferry cowards." But every regiment that was 
obliged to participate in ihat farce, and whose honor was sold by the com- 
manding officer, has, upon bloody fields, won briglu laurels, and vindicated 
its soldierly character. By the good graces of the rebel generals, who h;id 
the captured army as an "elephant on their hands," the prisoners were 
paroled the next day, and allowed to depart in peace, which they did with 
sorrowing hearts. 

The regiment returned to .\nnapoIis, Maryland, and them e went to 
Chicago, where it went into camp on the Cook county fair ground, 
which was called "Camp .Tyler," after the general in command of the 
troops around the city. During the stav of the 1 15th in Chicago its duties 
were about the same as those of troops in garriAon. but the men were 
allowed rather more liberties than regular soldiers on duty. While at 
Chicago, the weather being very bad most of the time, and the men not on 
fatigue duty enough to gi\e them healthy exercise, malarial fever <an-.ed 
the death of quite a number. 

About the 20th of November. 186-'. the regiment was ordered to jto- 
cecd to AVashington. The capital uas reached about the 23d, and at the 
sanie time the soldiers of tlie 115th were cm h.inged and marthetl o\cr to 
Arlington Heights. There ihey were sujtposed to go into winter quariers, 
but by the time quarters were built the regiment was ordereil out again. 
and kept in motion between Arlington. Fairfax, Hunter's creek, Alexan- 
dria and Vorktown. where it embarked on the steamer " .\Litnn/as." Jan- 
uary 23d. i86j, an.l Hdton Head. S. C , DepartmenI of tlie South, 
aliout the 26lh of January. 

Here the regiment was divided into detachments for ])ost. camp and out- 
post duty. Companies E and D were detailed to garrison Battery Mitchell. 
an outpost on Scull creek. Conq^any B was stationed at Saybrook. and 

other companies at different points on and around Hilton Head Island, 
until the 28th of May, when the different detachments were relieved and 
the regiment was again a unit at Hilton Head. On the :d of June, Com- 
panies E and B were, by order of C.eneral Chatfield, detailed for special 
field duly, and went with other troops up May river. S. C, and burned the 
town of Bluffion. .\bout the 2-jih of June the regiment was moved 
to the city of Beaufort, S. C, some twelve miles up Beaufort river, where 
it went into camp, .\fter remaining here a while and suffering severely 
from malaria, incident to the dull routine life of the camp, the regiment 
was again divided into detachments and sent to do outpost and picket 
duty on Beaufort, Port Royal and other islands adjacent to them. 

On the 20th of r>ecembcr, the regiment embarked on transports for the 
old camji at Hilton Head, where it was attached to Gen. T. Seymour's 
"ill-starred " Florida expedition. The force left Hilton Head on the 5th 
of February, 1864, reached Jacksonville on the evening ot the 7th, and 01- 
cujjied the city without oj-position. During the night of the Sth the expe- 
dition reached Camp Finnegan, about twelve miles from Jacksonville, ca]i- 
turing a battery of six guns, a quantity of small arms. etc.. and a large 
amount of provisions, upon which the boys feasted until next day, when, 
with well filled haversacks, they moved towards Tallahassee, reaching and 
occupying Baldwin without opposition, and reaching Barber's Plantation 
during the night. The next day the troops advanced to Sanderson's Sta- 
tion, where they burned the railroad depot filled with corn, and several 
resin and turpentine manufactories, and tore up considerable railroad 
track, burning ties and other property belonging to the rebels. By order 
of Oen. Seymour, the army fell back to Barber's Plantation and remained 
there until the igth. 

During this time the 115th, a part of the 4th Massachusetts cavalry and 
a section of the 3d R. I. Flying Artillery were ordered to proceed to Cal- 
lahan, a station on the Femandina and Cedar Keys railroad, and capture 
whatever they might find, which was one pony, seven bushels of sweet po 
tatoes, and one or two Florida Iiugs, of die kind tiiat need to liuve kuo^a 
tied in their tails to prevtyit their getting through cracks. Returning to 
camp, weary, footsore and hungry, the boys of the 115th were allowed to 
rest about one dav, when the whole command broke camp early on the 
morning of the 20th, for the disastrous field of Ohistee. known by the rebel-' 
as Ocean Pond. 

Upon arriving on the field the order of battle was formed, with the 115th 
on the extreme right (^f the infantry line, and the troops ordered to move 
forward, which they did with a steadiness that showed the 15,000 rebels 
that they hatl work to do. Upon arriving on a rise ^>i groiiiul between 
where the line was formed and the rebel position, the advancing force re- 
ceived a murderous fire, at which the colored troops on the extreme left 
broke \ery badly. The white troops upon the left beg:n to double up on 
the 115th. I.ut order was soon restored. About this tune the rebels mad. 
a charge upon the L'nion right, whi.h was repuKed by the 115th. whosenl 
the enemy back o\er their works with heavy loss. The . ombat continued 
to rage «ith fury until the supply of ammuniiion on b.-tli sides gave out. 
and. night coming on, both pariies were willnig to c.ill it a drawn baltlc. 
but C.en. Seymour, by ordering a retreat, gave the rebels to understand 
that he abandoned the contest. Upon this occasion Gen. Seymour took 
oct asiun to publicly compliment the 1 15th, giving it the honor and |)r.ii>c 
of saving his little army from total annihilation, and naming it the "Iron- 
hcarted Regiment." The regiment lost over one-half its number in killed, 
woundeil and missing Col. SaiiiBiun^ijvasjyounded in the foot at the coin 
men. eincnt of the battle. Capl.\J^aiid^^7^Je^was mortally woumled. an.'i^ 
die.I in a few days. Lieiitv ■["(mqiJ^nr'ami Shatfer were killed, beside^ . 
manv of the i>e-t non-eommissinned otiticers and men. 

( )n k.nin^ < Hustee the expedition retraced its steps toward Ja( kson- 
vilte, wlure the 115th di.l picket and .amp duty until lebruary <^th. uhcc 
the for. e enilMrkol <m transports P.r I'aluka. Fla. about one linndrci 
miles up the St, John's river from Ja. k^un\llle. Here the troops rested, 
an.l nothing of interest transpired. On the 14th ni April they again ei:i 
barked on transports for Hilton Head. S. C, making a few hours' st.ip a: 
Jacksonville, and arriving at their destination on the evening of the lOih 
On the 18th the regiment sailed for Cdoucester Point. Va., reaching thi" 
plaie on the 21st. and was attached to the loth army corps. On May 4t' 
It was attached to the Army of the James, under Oen. B. F. Butler. M"' 
army moved up the James river to Bermuda Hundred, and on the 7th '■' 
.May the ir5th particijiated and suffered severely in the ill-fated battle '•' 
Chesterfield Heights. Va., losing about eighty in killed, wounded an-' 



missing. From this time to the i6th of May the regiment was marching, 
fighting, pitkcting, etc. On the morning of that day the disastrous battle 
of Drury's Bluff was fought, and the 115th regiment again brought into 
recjuisition under the immediate supervision of Gen. .-Vdelbcrt .\mes. who 
complimented it for its bravery and skillful movements, which s.ived But- 
ler's army from total rout. 

On the 17th the regiment went into camp at Hatcher's Run. From this 
time it was on picket duty all the time to the ;8th. when it marched to 
City Point, and embarked on board the steamer " De Molay," for White 
House, Va.. landing there on the jtst, at 4 P. M. The 115th took up the 
line of march for Cold Harbor, V,i., reaching that place June ist, at 3 1-2, 
P. M., and immediately, with the rest of the Brigade, charged the enemy's 
works, this regiment capturing two hundred .ind fifty men with their arms 
and equipments. Here the regiment was again complimented for bravery 
by Gen. Devens. 

From that time to the i;th, the regiment was under a continuous fire 
ilay and night. During the night of the i;tb it man hed for White House 
Landing, which place was reached at 6 .\. M., of the T3th. Next day the 
regiment embarked for City Point, landed at Powhattan, on the James, 
and marched the rest of the way. On the ;3d it moved up in front of 
IVtersburgh, Va. From this time the regiment was in the trenches before 
Petersburgh, to July 29th, when Gen. Turner's division, to which ''e 1 15th 
was attached, moved to the left, to assist Biirnside's gth corps in the ex- 
plosion of the mine, and charge upon the enemy's works. This occurred 
at 5 o'clock, on the morning of the 30th of July. Here, again, the 115th 
tlisj>layed its courage and cool bravery by standing as a wall of fire be- 
tween the adv.incing Rebels, and the partially demoralized 9th corps, 
and was again complimented by both (Jens, liurnside and Turner, 

From Petersburgh the regiment marched to near City Point, and then 
to Bermuda Hundred, losing several men by sun stroke, as the weather 
was extremely hot, and the roads dry and dusty. Up to this time the 
regiment had been under nre for thirty seven days, and needed rest, which 
was had at Hatch's farm, until, on the evening of the T3th of August, 
the regiment broke camp and marched to Deep Bottom, on the north 
side of the James river, which was reached at 7 o'clock, \. M., on the 
14th. That day and the next were occupied in marching and counter- 
marching. On the i6th the enemy were found strongly posted at Charles 
(.'ity Court House, where fighting began at once and continued until the 
evening of the iSth, when the 115th was deployed and covered the retreat 
of the Union forces. In this affair the regiment lost eighty-four killed, 
wounded and missing. 

(")n the 20th it returned to the old cam]i at Bermuda, with only one 
hundred and twenty men fit for duty. Comparative rest was the happy 
lot of the decimated regiment until the 28th, when it marched to Peters- 
burgh again and occupied the trenches in front of that city. The regi- 
ment had a little rest, doing only trench and c amp duty until the J.sth of 
September, when it broke camp and mart hed to the north side of the 
James. On the 29th the Hjth partici|)ated in the capture of two redoubts 
"n Chafin's farm, known by some as .Spring Hill. Here the losses of the 
regiment were very se\ere, among the dead being the loved and lamented 
Capt. W. H. McKittrick, of Co. C. During this eng.igement in charges, 
' uuntercharges, victories and repulses, the enemy lost three times the 
number that the 115th did. 

From this time to October 37th, the regiment was doing [licket duty 
most of the time. On that d.ay a reconnoissance was made in force on the 
Darbjtown road, in front of Richmond, the ii5tb taking a i>rominent [)art 
in charging the rebel works, and losing rpiite heavily, .\niong the number 
killed was Sergeant Ide of Company F., the idol of his comrades. Re- 
turning to camp, the regiment five days' comparative rest. C)n the 
■^th of December, the ti5th embarked on board the propellor " Ha«,'" 
.ind particip.ited in the abortive attempt to capture Fort Fisher, N. C. 
In the afternoon of December 30th, the regiment debarked at Jones' 
I anding, on the James river, Va., and just alter dark was .ig.iin in the old 
camp on Chafin's farm. 

l>n January 4th, 1.S65, the 115th ag.dn embarked on bciard the Propeller 
" DcMolay," on its second expedition against the ke>>tnne of the confcd- 
erary. The whole force was under command of (Jen. .\lfred H. Terry. 
I he troops landed at Flay Pond battery, a short distance north of Fort 
Fisher, on the 13th at 9 A. M. The 1 15th lost but two or three men in 
'■indmg. At 3 P. N[. of the 15th, the grand charge was made upon the 
fort, the 115th bearing a noble part in its 1 ajiture, and being again com- 

plimented by General Terry, also by Gen. Ames, who knew something of 
its fighting qualities while in the army of the James. The loss to the regi- 
ment was about 70, and among the killed was Lieut. S. S. OIney, of Co. F., 
whose loss to the regiment and company could not be made good. .\t 
about 8 o'clock, on the morning of the i6th, one of the magazines of the 
fort exploded, killing and wounding more of this regiment than the fight- 
ing of the day before. 

From this time to the surrender of Johnson's rebel army, the 115th was 
continually employed in fighting, marching, picket and guard duty, until it 
reached Raleigh, N. C, where it was assigned to " safe guard " duty in the 
city, from April 23d to June 17th, when it was mustered out of service. 
On the 19th, the regiment left Raleigh for .\lbany, X. Y., where it was paid 
off by Paymaster C. F. Davi^, on the 6th of July, 1865, there being some- 
thing less than two hundred of the original members. Upon leaving the 
Li. S. Service, the men quietly returned to their homes and former voca- 
tions, and to-day the old 115th N. Y. Volunteer Infantry is represented in 
nearly every State in the I'nion, and almost every calling in life. However 
humble or ex.alted they may now be, if you speak of the camp, the bivouac, 
the fatigue, the march, the picket, the fight, .and the camp fires of years 
gone bv. their eves will kindle, and at the fireside they fight their battles 
o'er and o'er, until one could almost hear the roar of musketry, and the 
bursting of shells. But we must stop, for we can add nothing to the laurels 
alreadv wreathed around the brow of one of the best of our country's de- 
fenders, the 115th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry. It only re- 
mains to add the following list of battles which were participated in by the 
regiment, or a part of it. 

Maryland Heights, 




Bolivar Heights, Va., 


West Point, Va., 




Jacksonville, Fla., 




Camp, " 




Sanderson, " 


Callahan Station." 







Bermuda Hundred, Va., .May 


Chesterfield Heights, 


Old Church, 


Weir Bottom Ciiiirch. 


Drury's Bluff. Va., 

14. ■ 





Cold Harbor, -.'a., J 

une 1. 


Chickahominy. " 

Petersburgh, " 


Burnside Mine, J 

uly i°. 

Deep Bottom. " A 


Fort Gilmer. " S, 

-■pt. 29, 

Darbytown, d 

'ct. 27, 

F'ort Fisher, N. C, D 

'ec. 25, 


Fort Anderson, N.C.,! 

'eb. 1 9, 

Sugar loaf battery," 


Wilmington, '' 

The ti5th brought out of the war six flags, which Col. S.immnns, in be- 
half of the regiment, presented to the State. The national ensign, a gilt 
of the l.ldies of the .Wlh Senatorial district. .Vug. :o. 1S62, showed sen ice, 
the staff .and three-fifths of the flag being gone. The regimental banner, 
presented by the State authorities while the regiment wasat Fonda, of silk, 
with eagle .and shield in the center, the national motto in a scroll beneath, 
and thirty-four stars in the field above, bearing the inscription, " 115th N.V. 
Vol. Regiment Infantry," came out rent in the center and lorn from side 
to side. A set ond and similar regimental banner survived in better (~on. 
dition, and with it was a new national Hag inscribed with the names of the 
regiment's battl,. ; also two guidons of bunting. These flags were turned 
over to the general. They are rejiresented by Lieut. Col. N. J 
Johnson, and are carrieil by Sergt. James F.nglish, who lost an arm while 
supporting them in the field. 



The following is a roll of men from Montgomery and Fuiton counties 
who enlisted and served in the 115th Regiment, together with their places 
of enrollment : 


Colotut^ Simeon Sammons, Mohawk. Commissioned in 1862. 

Lifut. Col., E. L. Walrath, Syracuse. .Appointed major in No\etnber. 
1863 ; lieutenant colonel April, 1865. 

Liful. Col., (leo. S. Batcheller, Saratoga. Commissioned and went 
out with regiment. 

N. J.Johnson, Ballston. Commanded regiment in May, 1S64. 

Major, Patrick H. Cowan, Saratoga. 

Surgfon, C. McFarland. Commissioned in 1863. 

" R. E. Sutton, Saratoga. Went out with regiment. 

Asst. Surgeon, Sam'l \V. Peters. " " 

zndAsst. Surgeon, Hiram W. Ingerson, Fonda. Went out with regiment. 

Adjulanl, Thos. R. Horton, Fultonville. 

Q. M., Martin McMartin, Johnstown. Served 3 years. 

Chaplain, S. W. Clemens. 



Captain, Garret Van Deveer, Fonda, N. V. Mortally wounded at 
Olustee. Died Feb. 24, 1864. 

\st Lieuteiuint, Willel Ferguson, Fonda, N. Y. Promoted to captain, 
Feb. 14, 1864. 

2nJ Lieutenant, lo\in\\ . Davis, Fonda, N. Y. Promoted to ist lieu- 
tenant. Severely wounded at Olustee. 

\st Sergeant, C. N. Ballou, Fonda, N. Y. Promoted to 2nd lieutenant. 
In 1864 to captain. 

inJ Sergeant, Stephen Morns, jr.. Glen, N. Y. Mortally wounded at 

id Sergeant, C. C. Cole, Glen. Wounded at Drury's Bluff. 

4M Sergeant. Jas. W. Van .-\rnem, Fonda. Promoted to 2d sergeant, 
June, 1865. 

5M Sergeant, Chas. (iross, (Wen. Died at Washington. 

1st Corporal, Thomas Smeaton, Root. 

znJ Corporal, John .\ Hidibard, Fonda. Lost leg at Harper's Ferry. 

irJ Corporal, Simeon J. Aumack, Glen. Rilled at Deep Bottom. 

\th Corporal, Nicholas Shults, Palatine. 

5M Corporal, Silas W. Horning, Glen. Lost arm at Deep Bottom, Va. 

6th Corporal, Stephen B. Nellis, Palatine. 

^th Corporal, Rodolphus H. Tipple, C.len. 

Musician, Joseph Allin. 

Musician, .Mvergone Ackert, Fonda. Killed at Fort Fisher. 

Wagoner, Geo. H. Bellows, (ilen. Mortally wounded at Olustee. 

Nelson Ambridge, Palatine. 

Geo. W. Blowers, Fonda. Wounded at Olustee and died March 11, 

Michael Byers, Fonda. Killed at Chesterfield Heights, May 7, 1864 

John Brower, Fonda. 

G. H. Bellows. Died at Hilton Head. 

Robt. Baker. Died at Salisbury, N. C. 

Reuben Blowers, Fonda. 

I)aniel Burk, Fonda. 

Joseph Bese, (ilen. 

John D. Bond, Glen. Died of disease, .May 20, 1S65, 

Chas Clapson, Glen. Mortally wounded by accident, at Hilton 

Ezra Coleman, Crlen. Died at Fortress Monroe. 

Jas. I'. Caldwell, Fonda. 

Elisha Carson, Glen. Died at Andersonville. Feb, 20, 1S64 

Rosdell Corlew. Died in North Carolina. 

Alfred J. Castler, Glen. Promoted to corporal. Wounded at Olustee. 

F. Cromwell. Died at Olustee. 

Wm. Crowden, ?onda. 

Joseph Carpenter, Glen. 

John Dutcher, Fonda. 

Jas. M. Dean, Fonda. Died at Hilton Head. 
Chas. Denegar, Glen. Killed at Fort Fisher, N. C, Jan. 15, 1865. 
Chas. DeVan, Palatine. " " Deep Bottom, Aug, 16, 1865. 
Geo. F.nney, Fonda. 
Chas. Ergabroadt, Palatine, 
John F'aus. Died at Andersonville 
Daniel T. Goodbread, Palatine, 
Oswald Glen, Glen, 

John (low, Mohawk, Died at Beaufort, 

Jas. Gardner, Palatine. Wounded at Olustee and died March 19, 1864. 
Wm. Gardner. Palatine. 
Thos. J. Henry, Fonda 

Henry Heaser, Fonda. Killed at Petersburgh. Va., June 30, 1864. 
John Homing, Fonda. 

John Hogan, Fonda. Killed at Petersburgh, Va., July 13, 1864. 
Wm. Hilton, Glen. Promoted to sergeant. 
John Holsner, Glen. Died in Virginia. 

George Hart, Glen. Wounded at Olustee. Died in .Andersonville 

Patrick Joyce. Palatine. 

John Keyderling, Glen. 

H. A. Keyderling, Glen. 

.\. W. Kirkham, Glen. Wounded and taken prisoner at Olustee. 

John Kaiser. Killed in \'irginia 

Henry Keyderling, Glen. 

.\Iex. Lanegar, Glen. 

Jacob M, Lanegar, Glen. 

Solomon Lanegar, (}len. 

Peter Lanegar, Glen. Killed at Fort Fisher, N, C , Jan, 15, 1865, 

A. H. M. Lanegar, Glen. 

John A. Lanegai, Glen. Killed at Olustee, Feb. 20, 1864. 

Ira .\. Lanegar, (ilen 

Mortimer D. Lowell, c;ien. 

Hiram Lusk, Fonda. Died in Hospital, Feb., 1864. 

Whiting A. Lee, Fonda 

Oliver Lighthall, Root. Wounded at Chester Heights. 

Sam'l H, Lusk, Palatine. 

John Lewis, Palatine. 

John Lasher, Palatine. 

Menso Lasher, Palatine. 

Lewis Martin, Palatine. 

Lewis Martin, jr, Palatine. 

McDowell, Palatine. Killed at Olustee. Fla. 

John \. Mayer, Bleecker. 

Edward McCann, Glen. 

Bernard McGuire, Glen. 

Michael McM.ahon, Root. 

Thomas R. Neely, (lien. 

Sam'l I). Osterhout, (lien Died at Hilton Head, May 6, t86j. 

Henry O'Neal, Root. 

John Pettit, CanajohariE. 

Daniel Peeler, C»len. Died at .\ndersonviIIe Prison. 

John H. Peeler, Palatine. Mortally wounded at Drury's Bluff. 

\Vm. .\. Pratt. Died in Virginia, 

Wm. Reynolds, Fonda. 

Joshua W. Ripley, Glen. 

Geo. L. Rice, Glen. 

Niles Reynolds. Fonda. 

John Robinson. Died in Andersonville. 

Jacob Sabcnhart, Palatine. 

Leander Snell, Palatine. 

George Smith. Fonda. 

William Strait, Fonda. 

Fredcricl: Seller, Fonda. 

Levi Smith. Glen. 

W. N. Sar.dt, Glen. Died in hos])ital. 

Conrad' Jmith, Palatine. Wounded at Fort Fisher, missing. 

John Sryder. Died at Hilton Head. 

Daniel 'I . Steel, Mohawk. 

Joseph Sh.annon, Palatine. 



John Sherlock, C.len. Taken prisoner at Deep Bottom. 

Nathan Terrell, Fonda. 

Martin Timmins, Fonda. Wounded at Deep Bottom Died Sept. 

14, 1864 

John J. Van Brocklin. Glen. Died of wounds at Harper's Ferr\, 
September 15, 1862. 

John Van Dusin. Palatme. 

W. D. Van Ausdell. Taken prisoner and missing. 

William Van Alstine. (Men. Wounded at Olustce 

Charles Weeper, C.len. Wounded at Olustee. Died in rebel prison, 
August 1864. 

William Wepcr, C.len. 

l^afayette Waterman. Palatine. Died in rebel prison, Nov. 11, 1864. 



Captain, John P. Kneeskem, Minden. 

ist Liiutenant, H. .X. Dievendorff. Canajoharie. Resigned. 

zd LifuUnant, John Van De Saude. Fort Plain. Wounded at Deep 
Bottom: died at Fortress .Monroe, October 3, 1864. 

\st Strgiant, William J. Lasher, St. Johnsvillc. 

id Sergeant, Isaac E. Smith. St. Johnsville. Promoted to 21^ Lieut.; 
to 1st Lieut., Co. C; to Captain, Co. C. 

^d Sergeant, Daniel K. Peacock. Fonda. 

ifh Sergeant, Jacob H. Snyder, Fonda. 

5M Sergeant, Joseph L. Mosher, Canajoharie. 

ist Corpora/, -Augustus Collier, St. JohnsviUe. Promoted 2d lieuten- 
ant November, 1864; 1st lieutenant June. 1865. 

id Corporal, Job J. Harlow, Minden. 

3</ Corporal, Edward C. Buddie, Canajoharie. 

4/A Corporal, Countryman Jadua, St. JohnsviUe. Killed at Ft. Fisher. 

5M Corporal, John Reardon, St. JohnsviUe. Promoted 2d lieutenant, 
June. 1865. 

6M Corporal, Washington Vosburgh. Canajoharie. 

•jth Corporal, Charles Tucker, Fonda. 

8M Corporal, John F. .Moyer, Fonda. 

Musician, Darwin R. Hicks, St. JohnsviUe. 

Musician, Marius Powell, St. Johnsvillc. 
iVagorur, Alonzo Van Evera, Fonda. 


Henry Albright, Fonda. 

Welber Alpaugh, Canajoharie. 

William L. .\lger, Canajoharie. 

Jacob B. Brown, St. JohnsviUe. Killed near Petersburgh, Va., June 
24, 1864. 

Robert E. Burk, St. JohnsviUe. 

Orin H. Brown, St. JohnsviUe. 

George W. Burk, St. JohnsviUe. 

James Bellis, St. JohnsviUe. 

John Burns, St. JohnsviUe. 

Henry T. Becker. Canajoharie, 

William H. Burden, Can.njoharie. 

James S. Brown, Canajoharie. 

John Becker, Canajoharie. Wounded and taken prisoner. 

David Bowes, Fonda. Died of typhoid fever, August 14, 1864. 

Henry Byer, Fonda. 

David L.' Collins. St. JohnsviUe. 

Norman Cook. Minden. 

Leonard J. Crouse, St. JohnsviUe. 

Seeley Conover, Canajoharie. 

Livingston Derrick, Canajoharie. 

John Denmark, St. JohnsviUe. Died at Hilton Head of lung fever. 
May, 18O3 

William E. Flint, Canajoharie. Killed at Olustce, February 20, 1864. 

William H. Flint, Canajoharie. 

Abram Failing, jr., St. JohnsviUe. 

Robert Gray, Fonda. 

Aaron Garlock, Minden. 

James Green, Minden. 

Daniel Gilday, .Minden. Killed at Olustce, February 20, 1864. 

Lewis H. Goodrich, Canajoharie. 

Henry Goodrich, Canajoharie. Killed at Cold Harbor, June 3, 1S64. 
George Hoyt, L'anajoharie. 
(leorge J. Hickey, Canajoharie. 
.\bram Hanson, Minden. 

Samuel L. Hungcrford, .Minden. ; ■ 

John W. Higgins, St. J(,hnsviUe. 
\ViUiam Hompkey, St. JohnsviUe. 
David Handy, St. JohnsviUe. 
William S. Hess, St, JohnsviUe. 
Robert Kitts, Fonda. 
John .\. Koehler, Minden. 
Charles G. I.appee, .Minden. 
Peter B. Lampman. St. Johnswlle. 
William H. Lam|iinan, St. JohnsviUe. 

John P. Limner. Minden. \\ ounded at Petersburgh, and died Sep- 
tember. 1864. 

William W. Lake. Canajoharie. 
R. .Ma.vfield. Died near home. 
Lewis Magadien, St. JohnsviUe. 
John H. Miller, St. JohnsviUe. 
George Miller, Fort Plain. Died near home. 
Norman Miller, St. JohnsviUe, 
WiUiam J. Miller, Minden. 
Michael Moloney, Fonda. 

Richard Maxfield, Fonda. Wounded and taken prisoner at Olustee; 
died November, 1864. 

Pairick McMahon, .Minden. 
Morgan W. Moyer, Minden. 
Thomas McCireevy, .Minden. 

Lucas Mount, Canajoharie. Wounded, taken prisoner and died. 
B. .Moyer. Died at Savannah, Ga. 
John W. Moak, .Minden. 

George Miller, Mintlen Died at .Minden, N. V., November, 1864. 
Peter Nellis, St. JohnsviUe. 
John C. Nellis, St. JohnsviUe. 

Frank Niederlander, Minden, Killed at Olustee, February 20, 1864. 
.■\nthony Otto, Canajohane. 

Nicholas Rupert, Minden. Killed at Deep Bottom, .\ugust 16, 1864. 
.\bner Snell, St. JohnsviUe. 
OrviUe Snell, St. JohnsviUe. 
E. W. Southerland, St. JohnsviUe. 
Dan. K. Schram, St, JohnsviUe. 
James Sneck, St. JohnsviUe. 
Daniel Starin, St. JohnsviUe. 

,\lonzo "Smith, St. JohnsviUe. Killed at Olustce, February 20, 1864. 
Charles Schuyler, Canajoharie. 

Lucius .A. Smith, Canajoharie, Wounded and taken prisoner at 
Olustee, and died at .^ndersonville. September, 1S64. 
George S, Smith, Canajoharie. 
John Smith, Minden. 
D. C. Tompkins. St. JohnsviUe. 
Charles Tring, Minden. 
James H, Veeder, St. JohnsviUe. 
Fisher F. Van Kjips, Minden. 
Frank Washburn, .Minden. 
Daniel J, Whiting, Minden. 
Nicholas Winne. St. JohnsviUe. 

Reuben Walrath, St. JohnsviUe Mortally wounded at Darbytown 
Road, October 27, 1864. 

William Welch, .Amsterdam. 
John J. Williams. Amsterdam, 
George \Veaver, Amsterdam. 
James J. West, Florida. 


Captain, Sidney D Lingenfelter, Amsterdam. 

ly/. Lifitteiumt, Thomas Wayne, P'lorida. Discharged February 22 
5; disability. 



imi. Lituttnant, Hugh S. Sanford, Amsterdam. Promoted to captain. 

lit Sergtanl, Nicholas De Graff, Amsterdam. Promoted 2d lieuten- 
ant June, lS6j; 1st lieutenant February, 1865. 

tnd Sergeant, \Vm. W McKay, Amsterdam 

yd Sergeant, Charles Kline, Amsterdam. Promoted 2d lieutenant 
November, 1S64; ist lieutenant Ma)-, 1865. 

4/A Sergeant, John C. Brand, Charleston. 

5//i Sergeant. Elbert Slingerland, .Amsterdam. 

lUCoTporal. \Vm. H. Baker, Florida. 

tnd Corpi>ral, Frank Moon, .\msterdam. * 

ird Corporal. Wm. McCollom, Amsterdam. Wounded at Olustee. 

4//4 Corporal, Levi Lmgenfelter, Amsterdam. Killed at Olustee, Fla., 
February 20, 1S64. 

5M Corporal. Henry Hilton, Charleston. 

ith Corporal. Edward S. Montaney. Charleston. 

^tk Corporal. Daniel Grant. Amsterdam. Wounded at Olustee. 

ith Corporal. Schuyler Gordon, Charleston. 

Musician, Chauncey Snyder, .\msterdam. 

Musician. Francis Snyder, .-Amsterdam. 

Wagoner. Clark Vedder, Amsterdam. 

Jacob Albright, Charleston. 

Willard E. Bemus, Amsterdam 

William Boyd, .■\msterdani. 

Abraham Brower, .\msterdam. 

Myron L. Bemus, .\msterdani. Wounded at Fort Gilmer; died Oc- 
tober 1 1, 1S64. 

David R. Brower, Florida. 

Leonard Burns, Florida. 

Harvey Bunsey, Charleston. 

Winslow Burton, Charleston. Died of disease October 24, 1864. 

Roderick F. Barlow, Charleston. Killed at Olustee. Fla.. February 
JO, 1864- 

James Bretton. Charleston. 

Wm. E. Colgrove, Charleston. Died in rebel prison December 3, 1863. 

Philip V. Colgrove, Charleston. 

Frank M. Conover, Charleston. Killed at Deep Bottom. 

J. M. Countryman. Wounded at Olustee. 

.Andrew Clark. .Amsterdam. Died at Beaufort June 28, 1863. 

W. Clark. Wounded at Olustee. 

Williamson Cunning. .Amsterdam. 

-Andrew M. Claflin. .Amsterdam. 

Frank Crow, Mohawk. Died in rebel prison October 21, 1864. 

George Cassidy, Florida. Died at Beaufort, July S, 1S63. 

Charles Dunbar, Fonda. 

Sylvester N. Dodds, .Amsterdam. Killed on railroad at Chicago No- 
vember II, 1S62. 

Alfred G. Eaton, Charleston. 

Nicholas H. Eaton. Wounded at Olustee, 

James English, Florida. 

Peter A. Folensbee, Amsterdam. Killed at Olustee, Fl.i., February 
20, 1864 

Nathan F. F'olensbee, Charleston. 

Charles Frinv. Died at Beaufort 

John French, Florida. Died of fever .May 12, 1S64 

James F'redendall, Florida. 

George Fredcndall, Florida: 

Daniel Goodaiimoot, .Amsterdam. 

John Gillins. Amsterdam. Wounded at Olustee. 

Wm. E. Glover, Amsterdam. Wounded at Olustee, killed .it rctcrsluirgh. 

Thomas Heavey, .Amsterdam. Died in New Vork Hospital .\ugiist 
4. 1865. 

Abner Hall, 

John Hansaw, .\msterdam. 

Henry C. Hart, .Amsterdam 

John H. narrower, .Amsterdam. 

ls.iac narrower. Amsterdam. Died of dise.ise August 7, 1S64. 

Fred Hiitchkins, .Amsterdam. 

Miner H. Humphrey, Charleston. 


J. Johns. Wounded at Olustee. 
Wm. H. Kellogg. Wounded at Olustee. 
George Kline, Amsterdam. 

Charles E. Kellogg, Charleston. Died of fever December 16, 1862. 
Thomas Lepper, .Amsterdam. 
Oscar Lockwood, .Amsterdam. 
James Little, Amsterdam. 
Wm. Little, Amsterdam. 
Samuel Marshall, .Amsterdam. 
Aaron Mcintosh, .Amsterdam. 

James McCollum, .Amsterdam. Died at Deep Bottom, Va. 
James McKercher, .Amsterdam. 
James McNuUy, .Amsterdam. Wounded at Olustee. 
Walter McCowatt, .Amsterdam. 
Daniel Mosher, .Amsterdam. 
Philip McCarthy, Florida. 

John S. McMaster, Florida. Died at Fortress Monroe. 
Wm. H. H. Martin, Charleston. 
Wm. H. Nutt, .Amsterdam. 
Henry Newman. Wounded at Olustee. 
John .A. Ostrander, Charleston. 
B. Owens. Wounded at Olustee. 
Charles Ormand. Wounded at Olustee. 
Henry Rust, Amsterdam. 
Wm. Robinson, .Amsterdam. 
Samuel T, Rider, Charleston. 

Asa B. Rider, Charleston. Died of fever November 23, 1862. 
Lewis Ros.T. Florida. 

John H. Simpson, Flonda. Died at .AndersonviUe. 
Alexander B. Shute Florida- 
Edward Smith. Killed at Olustee. 

Chauncey Snyder, jr., Amsterdam. Died of fever November 15, 1862. 
.Alfred Saltsman. Died of fever November 15, 1S62. 
Michael E. Soules, Amsterdam. 
Alfred C. Shepard, .Amsterdam. 
Chas E. Thayer, Amsterdam. 

John Turner, .Amsterdam Wounded at Olustee, and died of fevi 
September 15, 1S64. 

Cornelius Tymeson, .Amsterdam. 

Elbert Tymeson, .Amsterdam. 

Daniel Tullock, Florida. Wounded at Olustee. 

Kelley S. Tullock, Florida. 

James .A. Tripp. Florida. 

Wm. Thayer, Florida. Died in rebel prison September 21, 1864. 

James W. l>mpler. Florida. 

John H. Wendell, .Amsterdam. 

Robert Welch, Fonda. Wounded at Olustee. 

John W. Wilmot, .Amsterdam. 

Henry Wood. Wounded at ( llustec. 


Captain. William H Shaw, .\!ayfield. 

ist Lieutenant. Frank .Abott, Johnstown. Resigned Oct. 15, 1862. 

id Lieutenant, .Aaron C. Slocum, Fulton Co. 

ij/ Sergeant. Jacob 1.. Haines, Mayfield. Promoted ist lieutenant 
in 1863. 

2(/ .Vv.i.vo///. Charles L. Clark, Johnstown. Promoted 2d lieutenant 
in 1865. 

yi Sergeant, Robert Stewart, Johnstown. \ 

^tli Sergeant. Henry Wright, Johnstown. ' 

^th Sergeant. MeKille H. Foote, .Northampton, 

ist Corporal. .Malhew Van Steanburgh, Johnstown. Killed at ( )ulstee, 
Florida, Februa'v 20, 1864. 

2d Corporal. Henry C. Christie, Mayfield. Died at Hilton Head. 

3<i' Corf'iiral. George Van Rensselaer, Bleecker 

4M Corf'oral. Isaac I'oloney, 0|)penheim. 

5M Cor[;:iat. Webster Shaver, Kphratah. Wounded at Olustee. 

blh Corporal. James H. Taylor, Johnstown. Wounded at Olustee. 

1th Corporal. Peter J, Keck, ()|.penheim. 



iti Corporal. Frederick Meyer, Ephratah. 
Musician, James A. Benson, Northampton. 
Musician. John H. Hale. Mayfield. 

Died at Beaufort, S. C. 

unded and taken prisoner at Ohi^tee. 
njuries January 17, 1865. 

Died of 

Alfred Allen, Johnstown. 
James H. Austen. Johnstown. 
Henry I. BeHington, K|)hratah 
Joseph Bowman. Killed at Oluslee. 
George W. Ruel, ( )ppenheim. W 
Uied in prison, .-Vugust 15, 1864. 
James B. Brooks, Northampton. 
Edmond Burgess, Northampton. 
John I.. Bratt, M.ayheld. 
Darius Baker, Mayfield. 
Charles J. Bishop, .Mayfield. 

Theron Bowman. Mayfield Uied at Beaufort, of fever, June ;6. 1863. 
Benjamin A. Baker, .Maylicld. Died at Washington, D. C , of small 
pox, January 11, 1S63. 

Peter Bums, Johnstown. 
James Bums. Wounded at tjiustee. 
Henry Barclay, Johnstown. 

Franklin H. Barker, Johnstown. Wounded at Olustee. 
James Bolster, Oppcnhcim. Died at Beaufort, July 26, 1863. 
Eli Brooks, Northampton. 
Orin Cross, Johnstown. 
Thomas Craig. V\'ounded at ( >lustee. 
H. J. Cool, Openheim. Died at Fortress Monroe 
Samuel Clemen.s, Oppenheim. Died of wounds at Fort Johnson. \'a.. 
May 14, 1864. 

Augustus C. Canfield, Oppenheim Wounded at Olustee. 
Herman Cool, Johnstown. Died at Fort Monroe, January 3, 1865. 
Thomas Dooly. Died at Andersonville. 

Dan. B. Doxtader, Johnstown. Died at Beaufort, S C, March 14, 
1864, of wounds. 

Philander Do.xtader, Stratford. 

Charles R. Dibble, Stratford. Wounded at Olustee. 

David H Dalryniplc, Stratford. Wounded at Olustee. 

Charles Dyer, Stratford. Wounded at Olustee. 

James H. Eldred. .Northampton. 

Benjamin Ferguson, Mayfield. 

Nelson Fairchilds, Johnstown. 

Joshua Oetman, Ephratah. 

James H. (ictman, Kphratah. 

George C. (iraves, Johnstown. 

William R. Holliday, Johnstown. 

James F. Mallet, Johnstown. 

Albert Helebrandt, Johnstown. 

P. Herman Wounded at Olustee. 

John Hall, Johnstown. 

John Hilton, Johnstown. 

Albon Manner, Northampton. 

Cornelius V. H.ill Mayfield. Wounded at Olustee. 

George B. Harrison, Northampton. 

John F. James, Northampton. 

James R. Jatoby, Kphral.ah. 

Sanders Johnson, Ephratah. Wounded at Deep Bottom. Died 
August 26, 1864. 

Aaron Johnson, Johnstown. Wounded at Olustee. 

•Stephen A. Johnson, Mayfield. Died of wounds June i, 1864. 

Stephen Kirklaml, Mayfield. 

Andrew Kei k. Oppenheim. 

Wm H. H. Keck, Openheim. H. l.ou. ks, Kphr.itah. Died of fever at Beaufort, July 3, 1863 

Moses l.oucks, Ephr.ntah. 

Stephen Mowers, Stratford. 

James N. Matauny, Oppenheim. Wounded at Olustee. 
Wm. Montaney, ( )ppenheim. Died at Virginia. 
S. D. .Mosher. Died at Beaufort, North Carolina. 
Hugh Ml l.aughlin, Johnstown. 

Archibald McLaughlin. Johnstown. Wounded at Cold Harbor, Ches- 
ter Heights, and Olustee 

Frederick .Multer. Wounded at Olustee. 

David I,. Mann, Johnstown. 

Cornell McAllister, Mayfield. 

Thomas D. Perry, Mayfield. 

Philip Plank. Johnstown. 

Steward Putnam, Johnstown. 

Levi Phillip, Oppenheim. Wo 

J.ames H. Piatt, Northampton. 

Charles Rhodes, Northampton. 

Wounded at Olustee. 
iinded at Olustee. 

Died .at Beaufort. July 27, 1863. 
Died at Petersburgh, June 26, 1864. 



John .A. Rhodes, Nurthami^ton. 

Hiram Rhodes, Northami>ton. 

Charles Rood. Died at Petersburgh, Virginia. 

Abram Rathmire. Johnstown. Killed at Olustee, Florida, Feb. 20, '64. 

Peter P. Shiilcr, Baker, Died at Philadelphia, of fever, Feb. 7, 1863. 

Andrew Seit/, Fonda. Died in North Carolina. 

Sanford W. Shaw, Mayfield. Wounded at Olustee and died Nov. 10, 

John Scott, Johnstown. Died in Virginia. 

Mathew H. Snyder. Johnstown. 

William H. Scorsby, Stratford. 

J Stearnocks. Died at Fortress Monroe. 

John -A. Smith, Oppenheim. 

William H. Suits, .Northampton. 

Jeremiah Stenburgh, Ephratah. Died at Fortress Monroe, Aug. 26, 

Smith Travis, Northampton. Died at Fortress Monroe. 
James C. Tompkins, Johnstown. Died at Chicago, Nov. 4, 1864. 
[ames Van .\uken, Johnstown. Died at Yorktown, Va., June 30 '63. 
Died of injuries. Fort Fisher, N. C, 

Died at Hilton Head. 

Peter Van Loon, Oppenheim. 
June 17, .865. 

John N. Ward. Oppenheim. 

Reuben S. Wright, Johnstown 

Reuben T. Wells, Mansfield. 

Joseph Wood, F^phratah. Died at Hilton Head, .\ug. 7, 1863. 

James Welch. Died at Olustee, Florida. 


Michael Maloncy, .Amsterdam. Wounded at Olustee. 

R. S. Quillett, .Amsterdam. 

William Van Slyke, Amsterdam. 

William H. Wiley, .Amsterdam. Wounded and died in rebel prison. 


Eli 1). M., Ephrat 
George H Luck, 
Joshua Lake, Johnsto 
Simon P. Little, Str.itfi 



Lyman Brown, .Minden. 
Michael Dean, Minden. 
Patrick Egan, Minden. 
Michael Flanagan. .Minden. 
John Mart. .Minden. 
William H, Kellogg, Florida. 
Jacob C)nderkirk, .Amsterdam. 
Dennis Ray. .Minden. 
James Richards, Fonda. 
Jatob Smith, Minden. 
Geo. Thorn, Amsterdam. 
J. J. Vosburgh, 
Francis Williamson, .Amsiordam. 





Captain^ Ezra E. Walrath, Syracuse. 

ist. LiiuUnant, David M. Kettle, Canajoharic. Promoted to captain, 
May 1864. 

lit Sergeant, Jeremiah Bovee, Canajoharic. 

znd Sergeant, George O. Smith, Canajoharic, Promoted 2nd Lieuten- 
ant, January 27, 1864. 

ind Sergeant, James M. \'oung, Fonda. Died at home. 

5M Sergeant, George Maxon, Canajoharic. 

id Corporal, Frederick C. Winsman, Canajoharic. Died at Chicago. 

Henry Billington, Canajoharie. Wounded at Deep Bottom, Aug 16, 

Henry W. Babcock, Canajoharie. 

B. C. Christansen, Canajoharie. Died in New Jersey. 

Martin Car>er, Canajoharic. 

R. Crandall, Canajoharie. Died at Andersonvillc. 
John W. Crosby, Fonda. 

Ezra Coleman, St. Johnsville. Died of wounds at Fortress Monroe 
Nov. II, 1864. 

Thomas Clark, .Minden. 

William Disbrow, Glen. Died of disease at Portsmouth, Va. 

Livingston Derrick, Canajoharie. 

Morgan M. Flint, Canajoharie. Killed at Drurys Bluff, Va., Jan. 14, 

Simon Faulkner, Canajoharic. 

James Gardner, Canajoharic. 

Chaunccy Goodbread. Palatine. 

Patrick Hanvey, Mindcn. 

Alexander Kershuckey, Canajoharic. Died of disease in N. Y. city. 

Frederick W. Kcaner, Palatine. 

John Kelly, Canajoharie. 

R. B. Kelley, Fonda. 

Nicholas B. Lewis. Canajoharie. 

Svlvanus Mover. Canajoharic. Killed at Chesterfield Hci';hts, Va.. 

May 7, 1864. 

John McKoy. Canajoharie, 

Michael .Miller, (;icn. Died at licaufori. 

Donald McMirtin. Johnstown. 

Barney Mc(;uirc. C.Icn. Died of disease at .\nnapolis. 

Patrick North. Canajoharie. 

John Pettit, Mohawk. 

.Martin Priie, Can.ajoharic. 

Augustus Price, Canajoharic. 

Daniel Peeler, Palatine. Died in rebel prison, June 22, 1864. 

George Rolf, Can.ijoharic. 

Jeremiah Rightmoyer, P.ilatine. 

Peter X. Rightnioyer, P.ilatine. 

Frank E. Rich, Ro it. 

P. Sullivan. Killed a-. Pctcrslnirgh. 

A. G. Snyder. Am,:erdan). Died at l'ctcr-.bMrgh. 

Charles W. Sharff, Can.ijoharic. Wnunilc.l .it (llustee. 

' J. Stephens, Canajoharic. 

Aaron B. Sncll, Fonda. 

Abijah Smith, Fonda. 

Horatio Smith, Fond.i. Died of disease at Chici-o, in i,S62. 

Noah Suits. Palatine. 

Clark S.iuthwi.k. St. Johnsville. Died in at lieaufort, of 
n'ounds, February 26, 1S64. 

Benjamin Truman. 

Luras Van Kvcra, Can.ijoharic Died .it Norfolk. Va., July 1864. 

Theodnrc Whitfor.l, C.inajnharie. 

James E. Walrath, St. Johnsville. 

Francis Wilmcrson, .Amsterdam. 


Captain, W'm. Smith, .Amsterdam. \\'oiinded at .Maryland Heights. 

li/ Lieuteniiit. Ralf Sexton, Caroga. Discharged May 25, 1863. 

\st Sergemt, Henry P. McMaster, Caroga. 

znJ S:rgeant, Jas. NL Hill, Broadalbin. Promoted 2nd lieutenant; in 
i86j to ist lieutenant. Transferred to 47th N. V. 
\ 3--/ SfrgeanI, Jas. O. F'ox, Broadalbin. Died at Petersburgh. 

; 4//; .Sergeant, Archibald Buchanan, Broadalbin. 

! 5M Sergeant, Caleb Olnislead, Broadalbin. 

' IS/ Corpora/, James A. Swan. Caroga. 

j 2«(/ Corporal, Loren/o E. Bradt, Caroga. 

4/// Corporal, John Park, Broadalbin. Died at Beaufort, S. C. 
I 6M Corporal, Samuel Burr, Broadalbin. Promoted to sergeant. 

j ^th Corporal, Eli Smith, Caroga. 

I 8M Corporal, Henry Luly, Broadalbin. 

Musieian, Samuel Hurd, Caroga, 

Musician, Joshua W. Ripley, Broadalbin. 

Musician, .Melville W. Cole. Broadalbin. 
i H'agoner, Jas. Carmichael, Johnstown. 

J. M. Amstead. Died at Deep Bottom, Va. 
David Anderson, Broadalbin. 
Geo. H. Ackley. Johnstown. 
Wm, Bailey. Wounded at Oluslee. 
, Milligham Bump, Mohawk. 

Peter Bratt, Caroga. Died after being discharged. 
.\bram Backnyre, Palatine. Died at Fortress Monroe. 
Edward Bratt, Palatine. 

Marcus Banta, Broadalbin. Burnt to death at .\msterdam, N. Y., 
Aug. 29, 1862. 

Chas. H. Bradt, Johnstown. Killed at Olustee, Fix, Feb. 20, 1864. 
Promoted to sergeant. 

John Cole, Caroga. Wounded at Olustee. 

Norman M. Cool. Oppenheim. 

John R. Clark, Broadalbin. Died at Petersburg, Va. 

Joseph Carjientcr. Broadalbin. 

Francis Cole, Johnstown. Died at Chicago, Oct. 31, 1862. 

Michael .\. Dorm, Caroga. Wounded at Olustee. 

Peter Dingman, Bro.idalbin. 

Edgar 1). Dimerest, Broadalbin. Promjted to sergeant in 1865. 

William H. Dingman, Broadalbin. 

John H. Day, Mayfield. 

John Demore, .Amsterdam. 

j.ames De Graff, Palatine. 

Philip Erkenbrack, Caroga. Wounded at Olustee. 

Ebene/er Failing, Caroga. 

Martin Frederick, Caroga. 

David F'ailing, Caroga. Wounded at Olustee. 

William L. Frederick, Mohawk. 

Peter Fry, Bro.adaIbin. 

William NL Fox, Broadalbin. Discharged for disability. 

Daniel F'osmire, Broad.ilbin. 

James R. Gage, Caroga. 

A. Harden. Dicil at Raleigh. 

Peter Hanahan, Caroga. 

W. A. Honeywell, Broadalbin. 

A. P. Hart, Broadalbin. 

Grote Honeywell, Johnstown. 

James Hunter. Wounded at Olustee, 

Benjamin Hammond, Broadalbin. Promoted to corporal in 1S63. 

G. G. Honeywell, Broadalbin. Wounded at Drury's Bluff and Win- 

William Hillic, Caroga. DIcii of diseise June, 1865. 

Charles W. Johnson. Wounded at Olustee. 

tieorge S. Jones, Mohawk. 

Thomas Kelly, Broadalbin. 



Francis Kirsh, Glen. Died at Hilton Head. June 21. 1863. 
Franklin E. I^amb, Caroga. 
Frank I.imer. Caroga, 

Charfes I^mb, Caroga. Died of wounds. January 16, 1865. 
Heniy Luloy, Broadalbin. Died at Hilton Head. 
Nathan Layton, Palatine 

Nonaan W. Lyford, liroadalbin. Wounded at Chesterfield Heights ; 
died May 7. 1864, 

Abram Massey, Caroga. 

Charles Moat. Caroga. Died of measles at Washington, Ja 

Charles M. Marcellus. liroadalbin. Promoted to sergeant. 

Isaac Manchester. Broadalbin. Wounded at Chesteriield. 

Alex. Monroe, Broadalbin. Died at Hilton Head. Octobc 

MelTin Miller, Ephratah. Died at Johnstown, N. Y.. Mar. 

BAniey McGuire, .Amsterdam. 

Michael .Miller, Glen. Died of disease at Beaufort. January 

Barney Naughton, Ephratah. 

Cynis Near, Caroga. 

Lei-i Pettit, Broadalbin. killed at Olustee, February ;o, 1864. 

William H. Peck, Broadalbin. Wounded at Olustee. 

William Pedrick, Caroga. Wounded at Olustee. 

William A. Peek, Broadalbin. 

Engaged at Maryland Height; 



15, 1864. 

nd Har- 

Discharged for disability in 1864. 

;d June ig, 1863. 

Died of wounds in rebel hospital. May 


Elijah .\. Rose, Broadalbin. 
per's Ferry. 

William Rowley, Broadalbin. 

William D. Rice, Broadalbin 

Abram Rockmeyer, Palatine. 

Warren J. Se.vton, Caroga. 

Adam Steams, Caroga. 

Henry Seeley, Broadalbin. 

Obediate Sprung, Broadalbin 
II, 1865, 

Albert Solomon, Broadalbin 

Richard A. Thorp. Broadalbin. Wounded at Olustee. 

Stephen S. Treper, Broadalbin. Wounded at Oljstee. 

Joseph VanderpooL Caroga. Wounded at Olustee ; died 
prison, March 10, 1864 

Andrew J. Van Skiver, Johnstown. 

George W. Wait, Caroga. 

James H. Williams, Caroga. Wounded at Olustee. 

Jos. Wistar. Died at Statcn Island 

Aaron Ward, Broadalbin. 

James Young, Johnstown. 

Wm. S. Young, .Amsterdam. Wounded at Olustee. 

Joseph Younger, .Amsterdam. 
Hospital Steward J. Countryman, of St. Johnsville, killed at Fort 
Kisher, N. C, and Sergeant M.ajor E. R. Fonda, of Cohoes, killed at 
Chesterfield, Va., were also members of the 115th. 

While the 115th Regiment included more of the nation's defenders from 
Montgomery county than any other organization, the patriots of the county 
also swelled the r.inks of other regiments, as follows : 


George M. .Algier. 
Samuel Allen. 
Isaac Bandu. 
James Barry. 
John Conrad. 
James Cary. 
James Connor. 
James Dwyer. 
William Drake. 
Charles Drake. 
George Eicher. 
John Farrell, 
John Fralick. 
James Farlan. 
Henry Fero. 
Lewis Hartley. 
Henry Henneman. 
Jerome Hill. 
Richard Hardin. 
Richard Handy. 
William Hillebrant. 
J. Hammersmith. 
John Jolly. 
Frank Jolly, 
Geo. Jackson. 
John Karg. 
John Kiernan. 
Thomas Lynch. 

Peter Lynch. 
Chas. Luckin. 
John McBahen. 
Theodore .Martin. 
Chas. Miller. 
Peter McNinny. 
John McCabe. 
Daniel McMann. 
Wm. Meagher. 
John Murphy. 
Ellis Moyer. 
Or\iIlar .Mann. 
John Neil. 
Harrison Plank. 
Peter H. Reynolds. 
David Race. 
Jonas Race. 
Henry Showdy. 
Chas. Shultz. 
Thomas Smith. 
Chas. Smith. 
Stephen Socks. 
Albert Taylor. 
M. Van Brocklm. 
A. A. Van Valkenburg. 
Frederick W'illick. 
.Abel Weaver. 
James Y'oung. 

CafUin, Jacob AVilson. 
\st. Utiitetuiitt, Hiram \. \Vins!ow. 
zd Sir^^tint, Thomas .Avery. 
id Strgraiit, Frank Shurburt. 
4//t Srrj^'t-t7/i/, ]. W, Hagadorne. 
5M St-ri^filiif, Jackson Davis, 
rx/ O"-/,.™/, John D. Dain. 
2,/C,'if„r„/, William F. Ward. 
ZJ Ci'rf.Tii', Cornelius Alstyne. 
5M Corforal, Christopher Rirbards. 
bih Corf,,,,;,/, Marlin O'Brien. 
Musiain, Charle, Marcy 
Muiiiia,!, William Flint. 


Captahi, Lorenzo Crounsc. 

lit Lieutr'iiiint, S. Walter Stocking. 

2mf Lirut<;tui,it, .Angell .Mathewson. 

\st Ser^ea,it, Geo. W. Fox. 

Q. M. S/ri;,a„t, Wm. J. Canfield. 

Sfr^fant, Mosher Marion. 

Sergeant, Charles Keller, 

1st Corporal, Phelps Conover, 

3/-// Corpora/, .Aden G. Voorhees. 

4//1 Corpora/, Gottlieb Ludwig. 

6//; Corpora/, Wm. E. Smith. 

Tt/i Corpora/, Horatio Fox. 

%t/i Corpora/, Henry Tabor. 

Biig/er, Geo. W. Beardsley. 

Artificer, Clark Burtiss. 

Wago,ier, Martin Sitts. 

Bennett, Peter. 
Bennett, Jesse. 
Bennett, Elisha D. 
Billington, Geo. H. 
Baziel, Peter. 
Burtiss, Albert. 
Brown, Hiram, 
Brownrigg, William 
Christman, Geo. W. 
Carter, .Myron. 
Coine, James. 
Dyslin, Ambrose. 
Dyslin, Azari.ih. 
Drum, Wm. II. 

Dievendorff, John H 
Ellsworth, John B. 
Edick, Geo. 
F^nghauser, F^dward. 
Fricke, Henry. 
Fort, Geo. \\ 
Goodbreatl, Solomon. 
Crimen, Loren A. 
Gallup, Rufus. 
Henniger, John. 
H.anlcy, Jnmcs. 
Holmes, Jvrcmiah. 
Johnson, Francis H. 
Johnson, Dtlos M. 



Knieskem, Lyman P. 
ICaufmann, Jacob. 
Kelscy. Franriv 
Kelley. John. 
Litner, John. 
Monk, Philo. 
Mattice. John. 
Nestell, \Vm. H. 
Netlis, .-\zariah. 
NestelU Wm. 


Parr, Rul.crt 
RoKcrs, Rus,cll \ 
Reynold!,, Wm. J 
RockerfclloK, )„■ 
Stevens, John. 
Smith, (fcor^c. 
Shannon, Richard. 
Trickcy, John. 
VValrath, llco., M.I) 
\\'atennan, .Me.xandi 

White, .Vlatthe 

t6th RE(;iMKN r .VRlll.l.KRY 

Allen, Abraham J. Oinajiih,iric. 
Barlow, Julius 
Barlow, John D, 
Bennett, Samuel F. 
Bowman, Erastus W. 
Campbell, Cornelius K " 
Dyslin, Allen T, St. JolinnilU. 
Fuller, Charles H. Canajoharic. 
Hibbard, Daniel W. St. JohnaiHe. 
Hess, Daniel. 
Hall, Lorenzo It 
Knickerbocker, Sam. 
Nolan, Thomas. Ciinnjohane. 
Rodgers, Jas. L. .SV. Johmxille. 
Kidcricic, Peter H. Caitajohartf. 
Smith, Wm. H. St. Johnnillr. 
Southerland, Clark E 
Sheffer, John W. 

Billings, Lyman. Offcn/itim. 

Brown, Jonas 1), 

Canan, Dennis P .MiniUn. 

Churchell, Jolin K. .SV. Jolinsrillr. 

Clemans. Daniel. Offiii/nim 

Cunningham, Daniel •■ 

Dilanl.eck, Kenj. P C,nMj„/i.,ni: 

Dilanbeck, John \ . 

Fallen, John. Si J.^/nisri//,- 

Hagadurn, Cha^. 1. .Uiii./rn. 

Hagadorn, \\"m. .Sfindfn. 
Hall. (ieo. W, Ouuiji'haru: 
Keck. Jacob. Oppfnhriiti. 
Keller, Henry H. Mimlni. 
Kelly, John A. .SV. Johns-.-illf. 
Klock. Dewitl. 
Lousby, Stephen. 
I.yke. Peter F. Miiultn. 
Moycr, John. Ciiiuljoharii-. 
Real, Jacob. 
Ryan, .Michael B. 
Seevy, .Andrew. 
See-.y. Mich.iel. 
Smith, Michael. Op^ftihfim. 
Stibyney, Earnest. 
Strobuck. John. 
The following smaller representations in various regiments and com- 

panies close our reiord of the brave r 
and suffered to keep the nation whole : 

N. Wormuth. Fort Pla. 

W. Stanton, fiiltomillt. 

P. Winn. .\tin,l!n, 

J. Shiel, Palatini. 

J. Benning, Root. 

C. Neall, Palatine, 

J. Coutant, Rtiot. 

S. McNiel, 

H. Broadstrcet, AmsUri/ai. 

W. McCowart, 

C. Marsh, 

W. C. Putman, 

D. Sikes, 

F. H. Stiles, 

G. J. Van Schaick, 
John Dunn, Canajoharie, 
John Maicos, *' 

J. Bleek, Amsterdam. B; 

J. A. Dawson, 

J. Davis, 

R. Di.xon, 

(;. Finn, 

Geo. E. Lewis, 

J. Bartley, // Plain. 

J. Billingham, Johnst.n^'n. 

E. Burlingame. St. Jolmrrilh 
S.. Jennings. .Stral/nnl, 

L. P. Ballard, //../■/,/,;, 
-A. J. Messenger. 
W. Storms, 

n from Montgomery who fought 

Co. E., 6th Regt. Cavalry. 

L., 15th •■ 
■■ .M., 20th ■• 

B.. 2nd Regt. Vet. Cav. 

Co. E., ist Regt. Mounted Rifle 
Co. K. 76th Infantry. 

Independent .Artillery. 

2lst Regiment. 





The present town of Amsterdam \vas originally included in the town of 
Caughnavaga, a lerriton- that embraced all that part of Montgomery 
county north of the Mohawk river and east of the hold hill spurs known 
as "The Noses." Fomied in 1788, the comparatively young town of 
Caughnawaga was. five years after, itself subdivided into, or rather merged 
in, the new towns of Johnstown, Mayfield, Broadalbin and Amsterdam. 
Thus the formation of Amsterdam occurred on the 12th of March, 1793. 
At that dbte, no village of importance was within its bounds. Embr\-o set- 
tlements had come into beinj; much earlier in the adjacent town of Florida 
— fomierh Warrensbush: while (.■aiighnaw3g;t bnd its sub'^tantial stone 
church — built in 1763 — and surrounding hamlet, and Johnstown, the shire 
town of Montgomery- county, as it had been of Tryon county, was a village 
of considerable impf)rtance. The creation of Fulton county caused a 
division al this town, and the northern portion was set off April i8ih. 1838, 
to form the town of Perth Fulton county . which bounds it on the north. 
It is bounded east by Schenectady county, south by the Mohawk river. 
and west fciy the town of Mohawk. It contains 20.054 acres, three-fourths 
of which are imder cultivation. 

The so3 of the Mohawk river fiats and islands is exceedingly rich, and 
produces !arge and valuable crops, among which broom corn is. perhaps, 
the most iia|>ortant and remunerative. North of the bluffs and slopes that 
hem the ris-er, the soil is of a lighter character, yellowish loam, yet afford- 
mg fair reSum> to a varied agriculture, and is well adapted to gra/.ing and 
the raising of mo-nt i ereals. 

uts in the town, but the land is pleasantly 
northern bounds, affording many a land- 
(ireat ledges i>f gray limestone lie along 
iver; tjuarries of it are worked to a con- 
vcn some miles back from ihe gen- 
cellent quality is obtained for local 

.No monncains rear their sum 
undulating from the river to it: 
scape of -juiet. pastoral beauty. 
the bluffs frn the margin of the 
>iderable e.xtent in several localities, 
era! ridge, from which stone of most 1 


i also in good demand for canal lo( ks, bridges, etc. .\ large 
furnished for the railroa<l bridge, and the new Capitol building 

, the Chuctenunda. which weds th. 
name is regarded as purely Indiar 
in "twin sisters," in albi 
name emptying into tht 

-piantuy ' 
at .Albany. 

The pncripat stream of the 
Mohawk ai Amsterdam village 
<>ur-tc-nun-da in olden re< ords , and said to 1 
Mon to a ssream of similar volume and the sa 
nvcr on the opposite shore, the mouths being but a few rods apart The 
northern Chuctenunda is traceable some fifteen miles, several email brooks 
falling into its channel. Its descent is rapid, and it has allured about 
fifteen manufacturing establishments to its banks. The supply of water 
W'ing too limited and inconstant, a reservoir, covering one hundred acres 
"r more, wa.s constructed in i860, about ten miles from the village, for the 
I'iirpf)se of keeping up the supply. The incre.ising nvimbcr of mills .and 
'ictories 00 this stream necessarily increased the demand for water, and. 
■n 1876, the enterprising mill-owners enlarged this reservoir, or rather con- 
"^Iructed a new and more substuntinl one in the same locality, covering 
■^b'jut seven hundred acres, whit h has proved a valuable adjunct in main- 
Utning a regular and sufficient flow of water. The reservoir is in pla< es 

over thirty feet deep. It has an outlet tube three feet in diameter, and 
cost about §25,000. It is soon to be in telegraphic communication with the 
village. East of the Chuctenunda two other streams, not considerable or 
constant, fall into the Mohawk; while the Fort Johnson creek formerly 
K-ayaderosseras . a large and valuable stream, flows across the western 
part of the town and murmurs close by the substantial walls of Fort John- 
son. Evas Kil creek, flowing into the Mohawk at Cranesville, took its 
name from Mrs. Eva Van Alstyne, who was wounded and scalped by the 
Indians in 1755, while crossing this stream on her way from Johnstown to 


The first settlements in the town are supposed to have been commenced 
as early as 1710 or 1712, the pioneers being (ierman Palatines, who were 
sent here under the patronage of Queen Anne of England, and Holland 
Dutch, from Schenectady and other parts, who settled along the Mohawk 
about the same time. But little, however, is known of them in connection 
with this town at that early period. The title to twenty acres of land ly- 
ing in Amsterdam was issued to (Veraldus Camforl, .\pril 22d, 1703. This 
is probably the first patent granted by the English Colonial Government 
within the present limits of Montgomery county. Another patent was 
granted to Ebenezer Wilson and John .Aheel. "one half to each," called 
the Chatsandai kte Patent, which bears date February 22d, 1706; but there 
IS no evidence that any of the patentees or their representatives settled on 
their lands at that early date. In 1716. Philij) CIroat, of Rotterdam, ac 
.[uired the title, direct from the Indians, to a strip of land in the eastern 
part ol" the town This was. without doubt, the earhest grant obtained 
from the dusky lords of (he forest. It embraced the present site of 
Cranesville. and conveyed "all the land between the creeks " about one 
mile . as far north from the Mohawk as the grantee might desire. When 
removing hither (iroat v 
breaking through the ict 
who was also drowned. Hi- 
Lewis, the latter being then 
made the intended settlement, 
mill at what is now Cranesvilb 
on the north side of the Moh 
(ierman Flats, fifty miles beyond 
put in by John Burns, a (ierman. 
(iroat was taken prisoner by thret 
longing to the Owenagunga tribe, 
Canada, where he was forced to n 

He ^ 

wned in the Mohawk, near Schenectady, by 
vas in a sleigh, ai companied by a woman, 
widow and three sons. Sirnon, Jacob and 
ily four years old, with several domestics. 
In 1730 the (iroat brothers erecleil a grist- 
This was the first mill of the kind erecte<l 
v]i, and for a time served the settlement at 
The first bolting-doth in this mil! was 
n 1772. In the summer of 1755, Lewis 
hostile Indians, a father and sons, be- 
*ho conveyed him to their settlement in 
n the gauntlet. He was soon after sf.UI 
to a French Can.idian, named Louis de Sncjw, with whom he remained as 
a servant until the declaration of war between (ireat Britain and Fran( e. 
when he was claimed as a British prisoner, .ind for six months imprisoned, 
in St. Francis W.iy, near Montreal. He was finally liberated, and returneif 
home after an ab.sence of four years and four months. 



Sir WDIiam Johnson, in the year 1742. purchased a lot of land on the 
Kayaderosscras (now Fort Johnson , creek, aljout three miles north-ucsl 
from the mouth of the Chnrtcnunda, in the town of Amsterdam, " for the 
[lurpose," a-, he asserts, "of seciirmg a valuable water-power, on which he 
proposed to erect a saw-mill, that would he certain to yield a profit of full 
forty pounds [)er annum." He soon after moved from Warrenshush, across 
the Mohawk, to his new pos.sessions. In 1744 he erected a valuable flour- 
ing mill upon the brisk stream, and also built an elegant stone mansion 
for his own residence, conferring upon the estate the name of Fort John- 
son. This massive stone structure, still standing, is 35 feet deep by 60 
feet front, and two stories high, with lofty attic, and large dormer windows 
It was elegamtly finished for that period, as is evinced by the richly orna. 
mented carvings of oak and mahogany, paneled wainscoting, spacious halls 
and aaircasc. Standing, as it does, on the main thoroughfare from the 
East to the far West, on low grounds close by the creek, the hills rising 
abruptly in tfee rear, it bids fair, for many years, to be an interesting relic 
of earliest civilization. "Here, after Srr William had built the " Hall " at 
Johnstown, and removed thither in 1763, his son (afterwards Sir John 
Johnson), continued to reside. 

One mile east of Fort Johnson was the residence 
of Colonel Daniel Claus, a son-in-law of Sir William. 
This dwelling was subseipienlly burned and never 

[The accompanying engraving of Fort Johnson 
was taken from Lossing's " Field Book of the 
Revolution," by permission of Harper Brothers, 
the publishers of that excellent and highly interest- 

„.,... ingwork.] 

Rev. (lideon flawley made a journey, in 1753, from .Albany to Oghkwaga 
(now Windier, Broome Co.), by way of ths .Mohawk valley. Forty years 
later he wrote a narrative of the trip, from which we take the following : 

"At sunset we were politely received at Colonel Johnson's gate, by 
himself in ptrrson. Here we lodged. His mansion was stately, and situ- 
ate a little distance from the river, on rising ground, and adjacent to a 
stream which ttimed his mill. This gentleman was well known in his civil 
military and private character. He was the first civil character in the 
county of .\lbaiiy at that day; and after this, by means of the war which 
commenced in 1755, and his connection with the Indians, of whom he was 
appointed' sole superintendent for that part of the continent, he arose to 
great eminence. In 1756 he was made a baronet. It was favourable to 
our mission to have his patronage, which 1 never lost. In the year 1765 I 
found him at another mansion about eight miles from this, and four from 
the river. This last was a very superb and elegant edifice, surrounded 
with litllebuiklingsfor the accommodation of the Indians when down upon 
treaties or conferences with him. Mr. Woodbriilge .ind I look our leave 
of him in the morning, rode up to the ford anil crossed the river, and came 
over to the south side, and rode to what was called ihe Mohawk castle. 

near which wjis a stone 
creek, not far from the i 

■ of Indi, 


on Sroharr 
into the .Mc 


Still another mile east — each tlom 
story, sirongly-biiilt stone mansion 
(illy Park, where the nephew, as wel 
son, (luy John-Min, resided. I'he hni 
prison .tppear.iTice till 1.S46. when it ] 
art, by whom it was considcrabl> cnl.i 
building reiniMielcd and cimvcrlcd ini 
the name <tf (iuv I'ark. 


1 tin a mile s. 



is the 1 

. :\\U:]. with 




1 a- son-in-l.i 


f Si 


i.issed ml.) 1 

to \ 
c h. 


of Jam 

irjcd, its ro. 

f r.i 


and ll 

to a hands,,n 

e d 


ig, still 

.These pl.l. C-. were abandoned soon after llie brcaki 
luti.inary War. and were sul.sci|iiently declared forfe 
by the Federal <;overnnienI. and sold to other inirlics 
possess!, m of tort Johnson, where he has rcsi.lcd f^ 
- • ■ inging wilh 11 

portion of the 

mile sipiare c 


by Kylet 

, and afterwa 

nis tr 

S. hnirk. Max 

veil. Smith. 

ml, 1 

present 0, , u| 

-T-nt. .\nollK 

r 110 


K. Akin is now in 
.uvL-ral years. A 
s first imrchased 
I,. S.:luiyler. Van 
ng W. Sv\L-t.-t. the 

hands, became the property of Joshua Wilde in 1845, and from him it 
passed, in 1854, to his son, James L, Wilde, who continues to occupy it. 
Still another part, now owned by Abram Lingcnfelder, was first settled 
by Nathan Wells, and afterwards owned successively by Alphenbreck 
Putnam and Benj. Turney, who, in 1863, sold it to its present owner. 

The glove factory of Jame.s Finehout and the skin mill of Coughnet and 
Moore are also located on this square, near Fort Johnson. A grist-mill, 
the third in order, now occupies the site of the one erected by Sir William, 

the tw 

. for 



:d do 


The" farm at present owned by D. W. Ecker and I. CDllins was first 
settled by (ieo. Shuler, before or during the Revolution For a long lime- 
Mr. Shuler kept the valuables and spare clothing of the family in an iron 
bound chest, secreted in a large stone pile, to prevent them from falling 
into the hands of the Indians and Tories 

Peter Van Wormer was among the first to settle in the valley._ He lo- 
cated on lot No 3. Rayadcrosseras patent. Cornelius Dodds settled in 
•793. on the farm now owned by his grand-son, C. Dodds. He was a 
soldier in the war of 1812. 

The farm upon which Wilson Putnam is now located, was originally set- 
tled by Victor Putnam, some time previous to the Revolution. During 
the war Mr. P. often took his family across the river to Fort Hunter, for 
safety. He was at one time stationed there for the purpose of arousing 
the neighborhood, upon the approach of the enemy, by firing an alarm gun. 

James Allen settled in 1792, where J. C. Chalmers resides. Hisoriginal 
purchase also included the farm of James Donnan. 

In the year 1794, Isaac and Samuel Jones, cousins, from Orange, N. J.. 
purchased lands in the eastern part of the town. A small settlement had 
previously b^en commenced in this portion of Amsterdam, and five fami- 
lies were already located in as many log cabins near each other. Their 
names were Robison, Ellis, Glasi, Allen and Olmsted. Isaac Jones, the 
same year, moved his family and settled here. In the following year, Sam- 
uel Jones came on with his family and located where his grand-son, J. V. 
Jones, now resides. A year or two later. John Jones, the father of Isaac, 
moved in and bought out Mr. Robison, and Joseph Baldwin, a relative of 
the Joneses by marriage, purchased and settled on the farm of Mr. Oim- 
stead. Samuel B. Jones, a native of Massachusetts, settled -in 1797, where 
his grand-son, Samuel Jones, now resides. The first school-house erected 
in this part of the town stood on " Olmstead Hill." near the present resi- 
dence of A. Van Vrankin, and .Samuel Jones was among the first who 
taught in it. 

The farm now occupied by M W. Cli/.be, was originally owned by a Mr. 
Kennedy, who settled on it some time previous to 1800. He was an enter- 
j)rising fruit grower and nurseryman, producing several new varieties of 
fruit, hitherto unknown. "The Kennedy farm" was purchased in 1S07, by 
Juseph Clizbe. grandfather of the present owner, 

Jo.jpli H-ig.imm nnde the fir^t settleni.-'nt at H.igainan's Mills, as earl> 
as [777. He came from Dutchess Co.. X. V„ and was the son of Henry 
Hagaman, a native of Holland. He was the first to locate in the northern 
part of the town, having previously purchased four hundred acres of land. 
as follows : one hundred acres from Mr. Vischer, of Schagticoke, for $5 
per acre, and three hundred acres of White and Palmer, of Saratoga Co.. 

.t .m<\ 

.' onlvr 

for $.'.75 per 


The < 

iintrv at 



ii:ils 1 

lere w. 

reoiili th 

-■ gr 

shop, with sii 

ill Jrt 


'or e.u ll 


111 ihi 

i-h the I. 

.Mr at ..11. e ■ 
his new ho:ii.-,;, th.- er.- tija ni a siw mil 
It is related h^-re the name of ".\msterdai 
part of the then I irge district of Caughnawag 
assemliled for the i.iirpose of raising the 
when it was jiroposed to give a nam.* to this ^ 
known and more definitely distinguished. .\ 
sterdam " was almost unanimously agreed up 
at its organieation as an independent town, 

.\ relic of those early times, now in ihe |i(is 
Cashier of the hirst National IJaiik of .\iii- 
(lays when negro slavery existed by conslitiitii 





s.lW I 

mils a 

nd a 



1.1.1 r 


jf M 



t wi. 

e em 





ced 1 



ts on 








ted fo 







f .M 

. H.lg 


's saw 




.•l.y i 


It be 

te \ 

as ta 


ind ■ 





g rel 



of ll. 

vid C.idy, 

Fs,| , 




one 1 

f the 

i HL 

ht e% 

en 1 

1 free 




independent New York, and tlie barier and sale of a human being was a 
legitimate transaction. It is a deed executed Aug. 13th, 1791, by Samuel 
D. Wenner to David Cady, grandfather of the present David Cady , which, 
" in consideration of 50 pounds, current money." conveys the "negro wench 
named 'Catc' aged 25." The grantor also affirms "said wench to be 
honest and sober." 

It is rc()orted that in rSoz there were "five mills upon the Chucte- 
nunda," '.Amsterdam at that time included West Galway . Eleven years 
later, it is recorded that, upon the same stream " there are in all 5 grain 
and 4 saw mills, 2 carding machines, 2 fulling machines, 2 oil mills and a 
trip hammer," besides "the extensive iron manufactory of S. .iv: .\. Waters, 
where mill-saws, mill-irons and grass scythes are annually manufactured and 
sold to the amount of S,ooo to 10,000 dollars. This establishment cost 
^,000, and its enterprising proprietors have obtained a high reputation for 
their wares. They sell about 6,000 grass scythes annually." 

MINOR vili..\c;es of the town. 

Hacamak's Mills is a small village situated on Chuctcnunda creek, 
in the northern part of the town, about four miles north-east of the village 
of Amsterdam. Besides the " Star Hosiery Mills," it contains a post- 
office, two churches — Methodist and Reformed — a grist mil! and saw mill, 
and two stores. Various other industries are also represented. M. V. 
Herrick became proprietor of the grist and saw mills in 187; He is a 
native of this Slate, and has lived in the town since 1840. 

The Star Hosiery Mills of H. Pawbng & Son., is the oldest establish- 
ment of the kind in the county. The hosiery business was commenced 
in 1857, by Pawling & Jackson, on a small scale at first, in connection » ith 
wool carding and the manufacture of woolen goods. The business subse- 
quently merged into knit goods exclusively, under the firm name of H. 
Pawling & Son, who are at present running four sets of machinery, giving 
employment to eighty hands, turning out sixty do^en shirts and drawers 
<iaily, manufacturing about $150,000 worth of goods annually. 

Tribes Hill is located on the western border of the town, just north of 
the N. Y. Central Railroad, on the brow of a considerable elevation. A 
portion of the village lies in the town of .Mohawk. It received its name 
from the circumstance that, upon this elevation, the various Indian tribes 
were accustomed to assemble. The place contains a post. office, a Metho- 
dist and a Roman Catholic church, a store, school-house, and the usual 
numlwr of shops, with a population of about 200. At the railroad station 
near the village, a suspension bridge spans the Mohawk, connecting it 
with Kort Hunter. The bndge was built by a stock company in 1852-3, 
at a cost of $17,500. It is 536 feet between abutments and is supported 
by six cables, each three inches in diameter. The towers are constructed 
of heavy oak timbers, and the bridge will support a weight of 5,000 |)0unds 
per fool. 

Rev. John Taylor, in the journal of his missionary lour through this 
region in 1802, made the following entry ; 

" ya/l z^rJ.—rnye-, alias Tribes Hill, in the town of Amsterdam, 
county of .Montgomery. ♦ ♦ * This pbrc appears to be a perfect Habel 

as to language. Hut very few of the people, I believe, would be able to 
pronounce Shibboleth. The articulation even of .New England people, is 
injured by their being intermingled with the Dutch, Irish and Scotch, The 
character of the Dutch people, even on first acquaintance, .ippears to be 
that of kindness and justice. .As to religion, they know but little about it, 
and are extremely superstitious. They are influenced very much by 
dreams, and apparitions. The most intelligent of them seem to be under 
the influence of fear from that cause. The High Dutch have some singu- 
lar customs with regard to their dead. When a person dies, nothing will 
influence ye connections, nor any other person, unless essentially neces- 
sary, to touch the body. When the funeral is appointed, none attend but 
such as are invited. When the corpse is placed in the street, a tune is 
sung by a choir of persons appointed for the purpose — and continue sing- 
ing until they arrive at the grave ; and after the body is deposited, they 
have some remarks made — return to ye house and in general get drunk. 
12 men are bearers — or carriers — and they have no relief. No will is 
opened, nor debt paid, under six weeks from ye time of death." 

It may as well be remarked here that funerals were not the only occa- 
sions on which the .nncicnt .Amsterdamers and their neighbors m general 
got drunk. Christmas festivities were ec|ually thirsty work ; witness the 
following extract from a journal kept by the missionary Kirkland in 1789: 

" The manner in wch. ye ppl. in yse parts keep Xmas day in commem- 
or'g of the Birth of ye Saviour, as ya pretend is very affect'g and strik'g. 
They generally assemble for read'g prayers, or Divine service — but after, 
they eat. drink and make merry. They allow of no work or servile labour 
on ye day and ye following — their servants are free — but drinking swearing 
fighting and frolic'g are not only allowed, but seem to be essential to ye 
joy of ye day." 

Cranesville, situated on the north bank of the Mchawk, about three 
miles east of .Amsterdam village, is a small station on the N. Y. Central 
Railroad, containing a church, hotel, store, saw mill, a post office, and a 
cluster of comfortable dwellings, mainly of farmers. It was named in honor 
of David Crane, who settled there in 1S04, and kept a hotel for many years. 

Rock Citv, situated one and a half miles north-east of Amsterdam, con- 
tains the .-Xmity knitting mills of John Ma.xwell. In 1S57 Mr. .Maxwell 
formed a copartnership w ith Adam W. Kline, and the firm, converting a 
small saw mill at this place into a hosiery mill, commenced the manufac- 
ture of knit goods, with one set of machinery, to which was subsequently 
added the second set. In 1S60 their mill was burned, after which Mr. 
.Maxwell purchased the entire interest, erected a new mill, and in 1862 
commenced manufacturing again with one set of machinery. He soon 
after added another set, operating them successfully till 1872. when this 
mill, also, was destroyed by fire. It was, however, rebuilt the same year, 
on a much larger scale. .Mr. Maxwell is at present running four sets of 
machinery, with a capacity of eighty dozen shirts and drawers per day. 
He employs about sixty operators, and manufactures for the market about 
§75,000 worth of goods annually. The stone quarry and lime kiln of D. 
C. and N. Hewett, are located at this place, where is cut and carved an 
endless variety of stone for building purposes, walks, bridges, etc. 




Albert (or Aaron) Vedder scaled near the inoulli of the Chuctcnvinda 
iTcek during the RcvoUiiionary war, and then and there laid the founda- 
tion of the present thriving village of Amsterdam, hy erecting a saw-mill 
and a grist-mill. The latter stood un the ground now occupied hy the 

C'hurtenunda knitting-mills of S. huvler an 
gave way to other buildings. 

As the seitlcmcnt began, to grow an 
around *' Vedder's mills," the place begat 
" Veddersburg," which name, by commor 
vcars. Mr. Vcdder was at ()ne time tak 

1 lllood: the s 

mg • 

d the inhabitants to m< rease 
1, naturally enough, to be called 
I consent, it retained for many 
en prisoner bv the In.lians and 

ed to tarry till the next 
)uring the night one of 
sly formed an .it quaml- 

carried to Kort Johnson, where his captors propo 

<iay. and tied him to a tree for safe keeping. 

their number, with whom Mr. Vedder had previo 

ance, cut the rords. released him, and allowed him to es, ape. .\mong ihc 

lirst to follow Mr Vedder. at \edders mills, were K K. 1 >e C.raff, Nl. hola, 

Wilcox and Urn. KIme. 

Ax the beginning of the present century the ptipiilation of the town of 
Amsterdam «js pretty equally div ided between Holland Dutch and the 
desi endants of the early (ierman Palatines on one side, and those from 
New Kngland and New \oTii on the other. The Dutch, revering the 
name of .\msierdam, were desirous of calling their |)resent village after the 
metropolis of their mother c ountry. This desire i ulminated in the spring 
of 1804, when, at a town meeting, the ipiestion of changing the name 
Veddersbiirg to .\ was submitted to a vote, which resulted 

in a tie. James .\llen, being president of the meeting, had the tasting 
vote, and, out of modest courtesy to the Dutch element, decided upon the 
name " .-Vmslertlam." Thus the name '* Veddersburg " was tliscarded. 
to be eventually forgotten, and to-day exists only in history 

The village of Amsterdam is thus des. ribed by one writing in 181.1: 
"(In the Mohawk turnpike, near the mouth of the (.'huctenunda creek, is 
a small collection of houses called .Vmsterdam or Veddersburg. where is a 
post-office, a Presbyterian church, a school-house, 25 dwellings and some 
stores, mechanics' shops, mills. &c.," with a population which probably did 
not exceed 150. .\lthough its geographical position remains the same, its 
boundaries have been considerably enlarged. The " Mohawk turnpike " — 
at thai time the most important thoroughfare west from Albany — has been, 
long since, reduced to the rank of an ordinary road; while to take its place 
have come, first, the Erie Canal, and later, the N. V. Central Railroad.with 
its (Quadruple >rack. The village now extends along the north bank of the 
.Mohawk river for nearly two miles. It has grown to be the largest and 
most important village in the county, containing a population of nearly 
7,000. The principal streets are well paved, and lighted with gas, and 
street-cars traverse the village to its utmost limits, east and west. 

Possessing, as it does, the splendid water power afforded by the rapidlv 
descending Chucteniinda, .Amsterdam has become an imptjrtant center for 
\arious manufacturing interests. It contains, within its corporate limits, 
nine knitting or hosiery mills, all in .active operation, with an aggregate of 
sixiv sets of machinery, which alone give employment to over persons 
of both sexes, and produce §1,500,000 worth of knit goods annually. There 
are two extensive caqiet manufactories, a .steel spring factory, a burial case 
and coffin manufactory, a large foundry and machine shop: steam boiler 
works, two broom factories, linseed oil works, a boot and shoe manufactory, 
paper mills, a kerosene oil refinery, a paper box factory, .and a large 
number of smaller factories and shops. Fully one-third of the population 
of the village is emploved in these factories, a large proportion of them 


( )n the 2(1 of .April, 18,10. acharter was granted for the incorporation of 
.Amsterdam, but no action seems to have been taken under that act. 'I'hc 
following year, however, the enactment was renewed, the organization 
cnm[»leted bv the elei tion of officers, and the place became an incorpor- 
ated village. Hv the original charter, the trustees were made elective and 
the president chosen by them from among their own members. In 
1854 very important changes were made, and greatly enlarged corporate 
privileges were conferred by amendments to this i harter. The president 
also became elective. 


.\mong the first buildings of any pretentions erected in this village wa.- 

one but recenllv destroyed. It st 1 on the margin of the river at the 

foot of Pearl street, and was the original ferry house of the on< e import- 
ant ferry .across the .Mohawk to the Florida shore. Thi- ferry earlv 
obtained the right of way across the river, which franchise has never been 
relincpiished, but has compelled the maintenance of a viaduct under tin 
railroad, as well as the open arch beneath the building. No. 1:9 Main 

THK HRinc.K. 

Not until 1821 was a bridge erected across the .Mohawk, at this place 
This bridge originally i ontemplaled but two sp.ins, but a ]iortion of " 


1.'. '^ '■: ': '■ -^' C3' '-: -:. 

^T^i^^^ ^ Je*] -^ii] i^..liAi-'-^ ^. > 

■;■;, ^-.'----.^^ f 1 '" T 





(jllin^ licforc lompk-tlon, the i.lnn wa-. i hant;Ld ai 
emu-il- II J'd good service till iSi9. when an ur 
It. h^ successor met a similar fate in 1S42. Tht 
until i'*^65, when the northern span was turn away h\ 

il an additional |iler 
usual Hood destroyed 
third one stood firm 
an iie Hood. It was 

faithlul I uslodiai 

K. Si 

Slates. I 

nnner. lai 
d to hav 

ry volui, 

1876. the major par 
:nt substantial stru 

repined by a light, but stron;;, iron arch; but. 
jgain swept away, and, the same year, the |ii 
Kjs completed, at a cost of about §25,000. 


The first burial place for public use was located immediately west of 
Hrid.ue street, l>etween Main and the ri\er. Many tombstones were si.ind- 
ing there when the Central railroatl was built, but encroaching buihimgs 
have long since obliterated all trace of their existence. The second grave- 
yard crowned the hill, upon Market and Prospect streets. This came to 
Jic well peopled, and ceased to afford proper facilities for interments 
within its limits. In November, 1S57, an association was organized, and 
in [he spring of 1858 a tract of fourteen acres was jjurchased, and Circen 
Hill Cemetery located on an eminence on the north side of the village. 
The grounds, possessing a natural beauty, have been artistically jilatted, 
and beautifully ornamented with forest trees and evergreens; gracefully 
winding carriage drives, underlaid with stone, make every pa accessible 
.It all seasons of the year. It has a commodious receiving vault, built of 
undressed, blue limestone, and conveniently located for use in winter. .\ few- 
years have wrought this spot into one of rare loveliness, and many a \ isitor 
is daily attracted to this "city of the dead." .\nthony Holmes, a n.itive 
of F)ngland, is the present superintendent, having had charge of the 
grounds since 1S58. 


The first public school house, built previous to 1800, stood up.n the 
site of the present Ward School No. 1, near Liberty street. Daniel She]>- 
■ird was the first to teach in it. This red school house, later, had a second 
story added, and was. for some lime, under the charge of a Mr. Sill. It 
».is burned in 1856, but was immediately followed by a new brick build- 
ing, which, in 1S76, was enlarged to over twice its original si/.e. liorace 
Sprague once taught in the first school building, as he did also in the 
stone building No. 5 Church street. He afterward erected a tmilding near 
No. 8 drove street, and occupied it as a i>rivatc academy. It was subse- 
• (uently converted into a dwelling, but was long known as the "old acad- 
emy." Mrs. Kisk once occupied part of the Van Wyck house on Church 
street for a young ladies" seminary, which attained a considerable reputa- 
tion. In 1839. the 2d ward stone school house was built on Division 
street. It was enlarged in 1865, and in 1877 a handsome and commndious 
three-story edifii e was added. 

.\nisterdam .\tailem>- was first incorporated by the Legislature -March 
2c)th. iSjQ, and the Regents of the University February 16th, 1S41, under 
'he name of .\msterdam Female Seminary. The Globe Hotel, situated in 
'he central part of the vill.ige, was purchased for its location. A boarding 
•'epartment attached was for ladies only, its day department, for both 
»excs. Dr. Sterling, its first principal, was followed successively by Rev. 
••illwrl Morgan, William M. l.aren, 1). H. Crittenden, .M. T. Cavert, Kev. 
William Howell. M. T. (avert 2d term , O. E. Hovey and William 
^'lmock. reaching down to 1865. On .April 27th of that year, a new char- 
ter was obtained, and its name changed to .\msterdam Academy. The 
"Id building sold, and the present substantial and commodious one 
"r. .\cailemy Hill was erei ted. and fitted up with all the modern improvc- 
"•'-nis. at a cost of {540,000. The boarding department, as formerh, is for 
' 'its, while the day school is for both sc.xcs. The first Board of Trustees 
■■"■!tr the new (barter were: Hon. Stephen Sanford, M. C, president; 
"' n S I'ulvcr Heath, secretary; D. W. Shuler. treasurer; Hon. Samuel 
•■•i'ling. Hon. Adam W . Kline, Abrain V. Morris, S. McElwain, Hon. j 
'• hn Kellogg, John MiDonnell, Leonard V. (iardner and Ch.mdler ] 
''-"tlcll. Dr. C. C. Welsell was the first principal, .and was followed by 
*^ IV Sims. The present incumbent is W. W. Thonijison, who is assisted 
'■> a <or!ipetcnt board of te.nchers. 


^sc.irly as i.S.o. .\inslcr,!.im had established .piilc a respectable public 
•'btarN Mr. William Reid, for a long time a resident of this, was 



Artisans' Lodge, No. 84, received its charier from the Grand I >i>i -e of 
the State in 1824, and completed its organization, through the a<iu,- / 
of W. L'. Chase. It held its meetings in the second story of the stone 
shop, erected by Mr. Chase in 1S23, on the bank of the river at the foot 
of Pearl street, until, through the decline of interest in Masonry, 1 bei .iine 
defunci. In 1854 it was resuscitated, and soon therealier was en.ibud to 
regain its forfeited No., 84, which it now wears, occupying handsome r.-inns 
on Chuclenunda street. 

The Young Men's Christian .\ssocialion was organized June i ith 
as the result of a happy revival of religion in that year It has eve 
maintained an existence, occupying various localities until 
itself in its present iiuarters. It now occupies the whole upper flor 
the First National B.ank building, corner of Main and Chiictenund.i 
The annual election of president and trustees occurs <m the last I 
of June. The regular meetings of the Board of Irusiees o( cur 
first Tuesday of each month. The first president elec ted was |,in 
Bronson. The present presiding officer is N. J. l)e (iraff. 


St. Mary's Total Abstinence and Catholic Benevolent Socictv v 
ganized Jan. 4th, 1874. The first officers were : John Kennedv. 
John Kavanaugli, Treas., and John McNally, Sec. It meets at Sai 
Hall, on the 1st and 3d Tuesdays in each month, and numbers .Xc 
bers. The present officers are; Pres., Jas. E. Ilolan ; Treas,. J. H. l:i 
Sec. John Donahoe. 


st has 

E. S. Young Post No. 33. C, A. R.. was organized 
with E. S. Young and twenty others as charter membe 
membership numbers 53. It meets every Tuesday e' 
quarters. Harmony Hall. Since the organization this I'l 
several hundred dollar? for charitable purposes. Consn 
attention has been given by its members to searching 
those soldiers of the late war who were killed and left 
names have thus far been rescued from oblivion, .ind ei 
placed near the soldiers' monument in Creen Hill Cemel 


The first newspaper published in .Vmsterdam was < ailed 7"/t. i/r'i.m 
J/era/J. Its first appearance was in Dec. 1821. It was issued weeklv. I.v 
Darius Wells, editor and proprietor. While here Mr. Wells loniuui. ed 
the manufacture of vvoodlype. In 1824, he removed to I'aterson, S J. 
and the //rr,;/,/ passed into the hands of Philip Reynolds, who move.l ihe 
office to Johnstown, F'ulton county, where the paper was published bv huu 
till 1834, under the title of T/ie J.^hnstim'n Ilcrahl. 

In 1833, the publication of The Af,>/i,ijrk G.izfl/e was , omnuni < .1 i.v 
Joseph Noonan. In 1S34, it became the Intellif:f}icei\ and under the 
proprietorship successively of Wing Jv Davis, Riggs. and I . H. 
Nichols, it continued to be published till 1S36, when itbeiam.- the prop- 
erty of Simeon B Marsh, who retained the position of editor and proprie- 
tor for eighteen years. In 1854, the /«^///i,'™.rr was pun based bv Xcno- 
phon Haywood, who changed its name to the Recorder, and published 
il as such till 1868, when it was sold 10 A. Z. NcfT, by whom it his 
since been continued under the same title. 



In i860, Wincgar it Van Allen were Induced to try the experiment of 
publishing a daily paper It was tailed The Daily Dis/'aU/i, and wa^ ed- 
ited by C- P. Wmet;ar. It made its appearamc regularly tor about si\ 
months, when it was i hanged to a weekly, and lontinued as such till .N'ov. 
1864, at whii h time it ceased to exist. 

Tlif AmilrrJam Demoa,it was started Oct. 14. 1S70,, (). Smith 
and Walter 1!. MaIihe»son. In about three months .Mr Smith sold his 
share of the concern to .\ngell Matthewson, of Kort Plain, who in March, 
1S71, turned it over to Mr. John E. Ashe, and went west. .Mr. .\she. who 
graduated at I'nion College, in i866. was nominated for the .\ssembly by 
a Democratic convention, at Fonda, in the autumn of 187:!, but was be.iten 
in the ensuing election. His partnership in the Democrtxt establishment 
la.sted until .\ugiist, 1H73. The concern was subsecpiently purchased by 
Mr. \V. J. Kline, of Fultonvillc, who as editor and proprietor of the paper 
^fttill manages it. 



In i8io, a charter was granted by the Legislature of this State ■ ■ Marcus 
T. Reynolds, Benedict .Arnold, and Welcome U. Chase, under tnc corpor- 
ate title of the " .\msterdam .Atpieduct Company." -An organization was 
effected and the work commenced for supplying the village with water for 
domestic purposes. A spring was secured and pipes laid for that portion 
of the village west of the creek. Subsequently additional springs were 
purchased and a like work undertaken for the village east of the Chucte- 
nunda, availing itself of the original " .\(}ueduct " charter. These works 
have done good service in their day, but neither the source nor conduits 
are at all adequate to the present needs of the village. 


The Chuctenunda Gas-light Company was organized in i860. It experi- 
enced unusual difficulty in laying pipes and mains, on account of the 
rocky stratum under the shallow soil. Until 1866, gas was produced from 
resin ; in that year the works were destroyed by fire. They were re-built 
and ready for use again in Nov. 1867, since which time gas has been manu- 
factured from coal exclusively. The increasing demand for light necessi- 
tated an enlargement of the works, and in 1876, the present large and sub- 
stantial buildings on the bank of the river opposite the depot were com- 


The Street Railway Company, of \msterdam, obtained a charter run- 
ning for fifty years, and in 1875 laid the track and commenced running 
their cars through .Main, Market and Division streets. The route is one 
mile and three-quarters in length, and the trip is made once in twenty 

< hascd, at an expense of §3,400, and the second company formed. Kach 
of these companies is supplied with two sets of hose, making in all 4,000 
feet. The steamer J. I). Serviss occupies the engine house on Chuctenun- 
da street, and the F.. 1). Bronson the one on .Market street. Kach engine 
is kei)t ready for instant service. 

.\ hook and ladder company, newly organized and equi]iped, with a 
truck and apparatus which cost §450, constitutes an important .uljunct to 
the fire department of the village. 


The fir-,t "calaboose," or [»lace of detention for alleged criminals, was a 
small room in the second story of the stone shop No. 5 Church street. 
It ans%vcrcd the small need of the quiet town till it was burned down. It 
is supposed to have been set on fire by an insane person who was lodged 
there for safetv over night, and who perished in the flames. In 1855, a 
two story building was erected, the first tloor for jail purposes, the second 
story for the use of the common council. This body, however, in the 
spring of 1877, transferred their room to the Hook and Ladder Company. 


Not until iSj9 did the village attain to the dignity of a bank, at which 
date the "Farmer's Bank" was duly established, with Cornelius Miller 
president, and D. P. Corey cashier ; capital. $100,000. It first occupied 
the south half of a brick building on Market street. Thence it was moved ,^ 
to a small brick structure erected for its use at the corner of Spring and 
Market streets. It again migrated to .Main street, near No. : .Market 
street, where it was continued until 1S52, when a good building and vault 
were erected for it by Marquis Barnes. In 1859 it increased its stock to 
§200,000, and in 1865, under the L^. S. Banking law, it added to its title 
the distinctive " National." In 1875 it erected the fine building it ni.>w 
occupies, corner of .Main and Railroad streets. Its present officers are Isaac 
Jackson, president ; I>. D. Cassidy, cashier. 

The " Bank of .Amsterdam " was organized m t86o. Its first officers 
were Cornelius Miller, president ; Jay Cady. vice president ; Charles l)e 
Wolfe, cashier. In 1865, it re-organized under the National law, and be- 
came the First National Bank of .Amsterdam. Its location was in South 
.Arch Block. Main street, until 1868, when it removed to the beautiful 
structure it had reared and now occupies at the corner of Main and Chuc- 
tenunda streets. .Mr John McDonnell has been its President since 1862. 
In April, 187J, David Cady called to be its cashier. 

The " Manufacturers' Bank " was first organi.^ed as a State bank in May, 
1873, and at once built and occupied the neat structure at the corner of 
Main and Church streets. Its ofhc ers were .\ilam W . Kline, president : 
and Chas. De Wolfe, < ashler On Man h .-jlh, 1.H75. it was re-organized 
under the National law ami became tiie " M.iniifaciurcrs' National Bank." 
It has a cash capital of s« with S-' Mir|.liis I'hc present offi- 
cers are .\. W Kline, prcsulenl. and H. 1' Kline, cashier. 



The earliest movement in 'he way of protection against fire, was the pro- 
curing, by the private enterprise of Jas, Holliday, of a fire engine uf very 
'imited powers. It came to be known by the derisive title of the "Tub," 
and was available only at short range and very diminutive fires In the 
early days of the village, leather buckets were reipiired to be kept in every, the ratio increasing with the dimensions of the building, and when 
a fire occurred every man and woman was a self constituted fireman It 
was not till 1839 that a full grown fire engine was pun based and the 
" Mohawk Engine Company " organized. The engine house on Chuc- 
tenunda street was built for it. Several years later another engine was 
bought and the "Casiade Engine Company " formed. I'he engine 
house on Market street was built for it in 1855. In June, 1870. the steam 
fire engine "J D. Scrviss" was procured at a < ost of $3. 000, and a new- 
company organized with sixty members at first, soon after increased to one 
hundred. The following vcar Steamer No 2, " E. D. Bronson," was pur- 

The first lawyer to locate in .Amsterdam was Marcus T. Reynolds, who, 
in 1825, sought a wider field of operations in .Albany. The profession no» 
has fifteen representatives, prominent among whom are L. .A. Sessions. 
H. C.. Moore. Richard Peck, /.. S Wesibrook. K A. McDuflSc, P.J Lewi", 
and H. B. Waldron. 

Chas. .A. Devendorf, .M.D.. was born in 1839. He graduated from Wil- 
liams College in 1859. and afterward tttok a medical course and graduate! 
at Bellevue Hospital. He served as surgeon in the army four vears, and in 
1866, located at .Amsterdam, where he has since practiced his jirofession. 

J. H. Scoon, M.IJ., was born in Schenectady county, N \ . Oct. 2till' 
1815, and was educated at Amsterdam .\cademy. He ( omment ed tlr" 
study of medicine in 1845. and gr.idiialcd at the Albany .Medical (.'ollcg"'. 

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/^£-s.OF A , H E ES , P/iiAT/(v£: Bridge NY 



liniun' 2jd, 1849. He lirst IcKatcd as .1 physician at (iaiway. Saratojia 
("«. In August, 1862. he was appointed assistant surgeon in the .^;d N.\' 
Krcimcnt ; was subsei|ucntly promoted to surgeon of volunteers, and served 
10 the HepiTtment of the (;ulf for four years ; associated a part of the time 
• ith Maj. <ien. A. J. Snuth, as Medical Director of the Trans-Mississippi 
lleparrmcnl- He was mustered out of ser\t\e in March. 1S67. and im- 
mediately s<ntlcd in Amsterdam, where he still lontinucs in the practice of 
lus profession. 

S. n. I.em-is, M.D., a nephew of I'rof Taylor Lewis, late of Union Col- 
lege, was bom in Ontario County. N V. in 1S29. He graduated from 
I'nion I'oHcge in 1856, when he entered the law office of Hon. Ira Harris, 
of .-Mbany ; was admitted to the bar, and practiced that profession for scv- 
tral vcars. He afterwards turned his attention to medicine, entered the 
.Mhan\ Metrical College, received his diploma, .ind went to Illinois, where 
he continued the practice of medicine for ten years. In .Vpril, 1876. he 
returned to New Vork and located in this place, where he still follows his railing. 

S. H. Fr«>ch, Ml)., was bom in Hroome County. N. V. in 1837. He is 
a gradu.ate of .-Mbany Medical College, class of 1859. He commenced dis- 
[lensmg medicine in Lisle. liroome county, N. V., in 1859. In 1862 he 
was apjjointed surgeon in the army, and served in that capacity two years. 
»hen he renewed his practice in Hroome county. In 1872, he removed to 
Xmsterdam, -where he continues to administer to the wants of the afflicted. 

Dr. Wm. H. Robb located in .Amsterdam in .April, 186?, and became a 
student of r>r. ]. G. Snell. He graduated in medical science Dec. 25th. 
1X65, and on January ist, 1866, became a partner with Dr. .-snell, since which 
time he has been in constant practice as a physician. 

Dr. C. H- Tilton, dentist, was born in N. H.. in 1S35. He graduated at 
the lloston flental College in 1861, and practiced the silence of dentistry 
in that city till 1865, when he removed to .Amsterdam, He is the oldest 
resident in the village. 

J. X. VVhit«, M.I)., surgeon, was born in Dcerfield, Oneida county, ^■.^■ , 
and came to .Amsterdam M.nrch 15th. 1855. where he has since resided at 
14 nivi:»ion street. His father. Joseph White, was from Warwick, Mass. 


The village of .Amsterdam early contained a grist mill and saw mills ; also 
an oil mill, a tannery, a scythe factory, mechanics' shops, etc., yet these en- 
terprises wert all upon a quite moderate scale, and not until 1840 were the 
sjiecial manafactories inaugurated which have since become so large an 
clement in the prosperity of the village. In that year, Messrs. Wait, (Ireen 
*V Co., leased a small satinett factory at Hagaman's Mills, and there com- 
ineni ed the manufacture of ingrain carpets. .At the end of two years, this 
' opartnershij* was dissohed. and Wm. R. (ireene. of the above firm, came 
to .Amsterdam village, and, in a small building, long since <]emolished, but 
then standing on the present site of the (ireene Hosiery mills, set up the 
lirst carpet looms in this place, ."^ubseipiently Mr. John .-ianfurd became 
inti-rcsted in the enterprise, a much larger structure higher up the creek, 
known as the Harris mill was purchased, and their operations largely ex- 
tended. Mr. (ireene at length withdrew from the firm, and the business 
«.)s continued by J. Sanford S; Son till 1853. when J, Sanford retired, 
leaving the entire management to his son, Stephen Sanford. Since that 
lime wonderful changes have taken place in nearly every branch of the 
"irpet manufacture. The slow and cumljrous hand-loom has been super- 
"dcd by the swift-working power-loom, and new and ion\enient appli- 
an' es h.ive taken the [il-ice of old and complicated m,ii hinery. Mr. Sanford a\.-{iled himself of every useful improvement, antl has from time to time 
•nl.irgtd the business until his are now the largest ».)rks of the kind owned 
b> any individual in the country. The wools are taken in the raw condi- 
tion and worked, through all the different |iroccsses, into all grades of in- 
triin ami three-ply carpets, tajicstry, bnisscis, rugs and mats. This factory 
has a t.i|,.i, ity of producing 5.000 yards of car|ieling daily, and gives em- 
l'l">nient to over 700 pe.-sons. 

In 1S57. Wm, K. (ireene, jr., in comi^ny with John McDonnell. 1 oni- 
ni'nccd the manMf,lcliire of knit goods with tw.i sets of mai hinery in an 
"Id null, which stood on ground now occupied by W. K. (ircenc's Son \- 
' ■•.« h<.siery mill. In the spring of |86,S .Mr. .Mi Honnell withdrew from 
II" firm, Mr. (Jrecnc remaining alone, who sn.,n after a.lded a third set of 
'•'■u hinery. He subsequently built a m.i. h l.nrgcr mill, and. from time 10 

time, increased his lac ilities for manufacturing, until in 1870 he was opcr. 
ating with thirteen sels of machinery. His death occurring in that 
the business was thereafter conducted by Wm K. Orccne's .Sons ,\ 1 ,, , 
till January ist, 1877. when, one of the sons dying, the firm name 
changed to Wm. K. (ireene's Son iV Co. This firm employ 10c h, 
.■■nd manufac lure 250 do/cn shirts and drawers per day. prodiu mg ^;oc.- 
000 worth of goods annually. 

.Adam W. Kline » as one of the tirst to engage in the manufac ture of 
knit goods in this town He began the business in 1857 in companv with 
John .Maxwell, at what is now known as Rock City. Being burned out in 
1H60. he disposed of his remaining interest to Mr. Maxwell, cone to 
this village, and, in company with his son, erected a mill near the 
on the east bank of the Chuctcnund.a, and with four sets of mac luncrv 
prosecuted the business till 1866, when their mill was entirely dcstroied 
b\' fire. They soon after built a grist mill on the same site, operating it 
successfully for two years, but preferring their former occupation the 
building was converted into the Pioneer Hosiery Mills, and they .igain 
turned their attention to knit goods. They are at present working four 
sets of machinery, making ninety do/.en shirts and drawers per day, em- 
ploying fifty hands, and doing a business amounting to §100,000 per year. 

The knitting machincrv used by Maxwell \- Kline while m partnership 
was invented and built by the former, and patented in March. 1853. Mr. 
.Maxwell, who is now proprietor of the Amity Knitting .Mills at .Amster- 
dam, was also thein\entor of impro\ements patented September ^zd. 1864. 
and February' 17th. 1S74. 

The Chuctenunda Hosiery .Mills, sjtuated on Market street, are 0|>erated 
by Schuyler ^- Blood, proprietors, who began this branch of tndiisir\ in 
1864. They are at present running six sets of machinery. giMng enipio\- 
ment to one hundred operators and manufacturing about $150,000 worth 
of knit goods annualh- 

Warren DcKorest iV Co. are proprietors of the Riverside Hosiery Mills 
This firm first commenced the business in 1S71 in what was known ..s ihe 
"old furnace property." near the railroad, but upon the laving 01 the 
cjuadruple track they were forced to vacate, when their present new mill 
on Market street was erected. This firm are running ten sets of machiner\. 
employing 140 hands, and doing a business of from $150,000 to $200,000 
per annum 

The Mohawk Valley Hosiery .Mills were established in 1873. They are 
located on the river near .Main street, (lardner Jt Thomas, the proprie- 
tors, manufacture from ten to twenty different grades of white and colored 
goods. They give employment to one hundred men and women, running 
six sets of machinery, making 30,000 dozen shirts and drawers a 
being a business of about $150,000. 

In the year 1848. Supplina Kellogg commenced the manufacture of lin- 
seed oil at West (iabvay. In 1S51 he was succeeded by his two sun-. I., 
and J. Kellogg, who soon after removed their works to .Amsterdam vill.ige, 
locating on Church street. Subsequently James .A. Miller bee .ime ass.i- 
ciated with them, sine e which the business has been prosecuted under the 
firm n.ime of Kelloggs cS: Miller. In the early days of this i.u loiv len 
bushels of seed was the average amount used |icr day: the present . un- 
sumption of seed is from 900 to 1.000 bushels dailv, which iiroduc c- from 
2,000 to 2,500 gallons of oil. The concern is giving employment 10 50 
workmen, and doing an average business of $950,000 annually. 

The burial case manufactory of I. C. Shuler cV Co., situated on the cor- 
ner of Spring and .Market streets, was established in 185S. Thev make an 
endless variety of metallic .and wooden burial cases, which are shipped to 
all parts of the country. They give constant em|iloyment to from -c to 
80 h.ands. and turn out half a million of dollars worth of work anniialK 
Mr. Shuler was born near Manny's Corners in 1823. His father. Cc-ori;. 
Shuler. was born before the Revolution, and the family to whi. h h. be- 
longed so endangered by the Indians as to be obliged to remove t" a 
place of safety. Mr. Shuler began the furniture and iinderl.iking l.i -,. 
ness on a small scale in 1S53, and by 1S5S had a large wholes.ile tr-ide. 
His business is now the largest done by a single house in this line. I he 
founder of the Shuler family in this counin- was Lawrence Shuler. who 
immigrated from (iermany. 

In 18&6 the firm of Stewart \- Carmich.ael, of the Forest City I'.iper 
Mills, commenced the manufacture of straw wrapping pa|icr, ihangingftoin 
that to brown hanging paper at the end of two years. In 1874 this iKci 
W.1S dropped, and the firm ha\e since applied themselves to the prcliic - 
tion of white h.ingmg pajiers exc liisi\ elc , They nianuf.icture 6co tons of 



this i»pcr annuaSly. The mill is kept constantly in operation, employing 
in all fony haml>. The sales amount to $100,000 per annum. 

The manufacture of paper boxes was begun in Amsterdam in 1S74 by 
Horace Inman, uho is at present doing an extensive business, employing 
2Z workmen, consuming 1^5 tons of paper, manufacturing 300,000 l>oxes 
o£ various kinds and domg a business amountmg to $20,000 per annum. 

The fif»it foundr>- m Amsterdam was established by Hell Marrcllus, m 
1837. It was purchased m 1842 by H. S. McKlwam, who has from time 
to time enlargctl his operations as the demands of the community re<.)uired, 
and i> at present the only representative of this branch of industry In the 
town, giving employment to about 30 men, and doing a business amounting 
£0 from §50,000 to S75.000 annually. 

Wm. Bredau, a native of England, who settled in Amsterdam m 1864. 
manufactures knittmg machine needles, thus supplying the wants of the 
numen^s hosiery mills in this direction. He occupies a part of the River- 
side Hosiery Mills and makes $6,000 worth of this kind of needles an- 

The boot and shoe manufactorv- of A. &: W. McElwam was established 
in 1868, by the pre.sent firm, who now turn out $100,000 worth of their pro- 
ductions yearly, and give constant employment to 60 operatives. 

The steam broom factory of G. W. Bronson, located on Cedar street, 
manufactures from $40,000 to $50,000 worth of brooms annually, and em- 
ploys 25 workmen. The broom factory of J. D. Blood &: Son, located on 
Union street, near the railroad, was established in 1S6S. This firm employ 
60 workmen, and manufacture $100,000 worth of brooms and brushes an- 


The first exclusive boot and shoe store in Amsterdam was commenced 
in May. 1820, by Chandler Hartlett, who still continues the business, hav- 
ing occupied his present location since 1822. There are now six estab- 
lishments of this kind. N. J. DeGraff and John Kavenaugh being prom- 
inent representatives of the business. 

One of the foremost business establishments of Amsterdam is the crock- 
ery store of Edward E. Smith, which has been kept for the last twenty 
years. It was bought April i. 1S74, by Aver>' iS: While, who carried on 
both a wholesale and retail trade, until September. 1876. when Mr. J. A. 
Snel! bought out Mr. White. The gentleman now at the head of the 
business. Mr. E. S. Smith, entered the firm in 1877. During that year the 
wholesale trade, which had been rapidly growing, attained such proportions 
as to make it inconvenient to tarry on both that and the retail business 
conjointly, and Messrs Avery \- Snell removed the wholesale department 
to Schenectady, leaving Mr. Smith to conduct the retail branch at the old 
stand- This is one of the most enterprising concerns in the village, 
and the only store which \> devoted so exclusively to the crockery trade. 
Included in the stock are gla.->s and plated ware, cutlery and wall paper. 
The house does a business of about $50,000 annually, principally in 
Montgomery. Kulton, Saratoga. Schenectady and Schoharie rountie-.. 

L. L. Dean & Co.. hardware dealers. Main street, are successors to Dean 
-i V'ischer, who commenced the business in 1864 Thi^ i> the olde'^t hous 
of the kind in the town. The sales amount to from $50,000 to $60,000 a 

Vischer Ct Schuvler. Mam street, are hardware merchants. Mr. Vischer 
began the hardware trade in this location in 1868 ; subsequently J. D. 
Schuyler became interested with him. 'I'his trade has steadily increased 
until it now amounts to from $40,000 to $50,000 annually. 

C. W. Williams, dealer in hardware, on Main street, is a native of this 
State ; he settled in Amsterdam in 1855. and embarked in his present busi- 
ness in 1872. He is at ])resent selling goods to the amount of $25,000 per 

Almarin Young was born in 1 80S at Fort Jackson, opposite Amsterdam, 
where he resided until 1859. ^\hen he removed to Amsterdam vill.ii:o. He re- 
ceived the appointment of ]>ost master in 1861, and held that office sixteen 
consecutive years, resigning in July 1877. 


Tradition and histr^ry con* ur in the statement that misbionary work was 
done in this region some time previous to any religious org.inuatum Rev. 
'Messrs Kirkland an<t Ames are spoken of as having labored here from 

time to time, also Rev. Sampson Occum, a Mohican Indian, educated by 
Rev. Mr. Wheelock, and converted to Christianity, who devoted himself to 
spreading the gospel among his own race. He is said to have often 
preached in a barn standing on the present " Eambier property." History 
speaks of him as being " a man of vigor and piety." His death is recorded 


The first religious organization in this town was formed in 1792, in con- 
nection with the Dutch Reformed Church. Its consistory was composed 
of Michael Sjiore, Tunis Swart. Jeremiah De (Iraff and Ahazueras Marcel- 
lus. Its existence, however, was of short duration, and it was not till 1795 
that an organization was effected with sufficient strength to sustain life. 
It occurred at a meeting held in the open air about three miles north of 
.\m>terdam village, and the title fi.\ed upon was the " Dutch Reformed 
Church of Amsterdam." Jeremiah Voorhees and Cornelius VanVran- 
kin were elected elders, and the following Sabbath a clergyman from 
.Alliany performed the rite of ordination. Vet this body was too weak at 
fir>t to support a pastor, and it was only at intervals that they were favored 
with preaching. The missionary Kirkland was among the first to minister 
to this houseless flock. The first record of baptism occurs on the 25th of 
July. 1799. Hester, infant daughter of Manning Marcellus and Deborah 
Dc Graff, was baptized by Rev. John Demorest, who was. doubtless, only 
otficiating for the time being, for it was not until the following May that 
this society assumed the responsibility of calling a pastor, and that only in 
conjunction with the churches at Fonda's Bush and Mayfield. In that 
month the Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck became their first regular pastor. The 
baptismal record opened by Mr. Demorest was from this time regularly 
kept, thus reaching in an unbroken chain from May, 1799, down to the 
l)resent time. There was as yet no church edifice, and meetings were 
held in barns, groves or dwellings, as suited the members, by which several 
r.dditions were made to their numbers. On July 3d, 1795, Josejih Clizl'c 
was chosen elder, and Aaron I.indsley deacon : also Dec, 30th of the same 
year. Nicholas Marcellus and Isaac Vedder were elected elders and John 
Maulev and John Cram, deacons. 

In 1800, the first church building in the town was erected, by this or- 
ganization, at Manny's Corners, about two miles north of Cranesville. The 
lutation of the building here caused a dissatisfaction with the village 
members of the congregation, who, in consequence, withdrew, and in the 
same year erected a church edifice at .Amsterdam village, on what is now 
the corner of Main and Market streets, conferring upon it the title of the 
■'Dutch Reformed Church of Veddersburg." Rev. Mr. Ten Eyck con- 
tinued to preside over both churches for a time, but each congregation 
being weakened by the separation, he was at length induced to resign his 
I arc of the Amsterdam churt h, and the following year that of the Ved- 
-icrsburg church also. 

M the end of two years, in 1803. the Rev. John Christie was settled over 
the church at Manny's Corners, in ( onjunction with the churc h at West 
Galwav, they having, in the meantime, changed their ecclesiastii a! con- 
nection, and united with the Presbyterian Synod. The Veddersburg 
church remained without a pastor eleven years. Wearied at last with the 
effort to sustain two distinct organizations, the Veddersburg church, in 
the spring of 1812, also became Presbyterian, and the two congregations 
were again united as the "Presbyterian Church of Amsterdam." In the 
fall of 1813 the Rev. Ebenezer H. Sillman was formally called, and settled 
as the first pastor of the re-united church. He remained with it until his 
death, which occurred October 15th, 1815. his age being 32. During ht> 
pastorate, I. Collins, Abraham Hoagland and I.uther Stiles were consti- 
tuted elders. He was followed in 1816 by the Rev. Holsey A. Wood. 
One hundred and thirty members were added to the chun h as the fniiis 
of a revival carried on by this devout man. His ministrations were ab" 
terminated by death, November 26tli, 1S25. in the 33rd year of his age 
During his stay. Nathaniel Hcndrick, Aaron Manellus. Thomas Alhn. 
Harney Stiles and Joseph Hagaman were ele. ted elders. He was fol- 
lowed by his !>rother. Rev. James Wood, who was ordained and installed 
as pastor September 5th, 1S26. 

On March jd. 1832, one hundred and four of the village members touk 
letters of dismissal from the "Church of Amsterdam," and, having oh 
tained the sane tion of the Presbytery, were formally organized, the same 
dav, as the " Presbyterian Church of Amsterdam Village." They at on( c 

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r<minn."ni<^ 'he erection of a new brick edifice on the comer ot Church 
jn.l throve streets, which was finished and dedicated in August of the same 
vc.if. The Rev. .Mr. Wood now confined his efforts to the village church, 
until iSj3, when he resigned, and was succeeded, February 14th, 1834, by 
the Kci. Hugh M. Kont/, who was called from hislaliors by death. ,\ugust 
1,1, 1.S56. In Deceniberof that year, the Rev. Dr. (Joodalc commenced 
^ll^|t.t>lo^ace over this church, which continued the rather unusual period of 
14 jears. He resigned, on account of impared health, in November, 1870, 
jfui is n.>w enjoying a mellow sunset of life among this ])eople. 

In 1K54, Mr. Simeon B. Marsh, (editor of the Intcllifrmer for 18 years 
rn«m 1S36) set up in this church a small organ, mainly of his own con- 
>! mi tion, which did service after its fashion, for several years, and was 
the iirsi organ used in the town. He played it, as also, later, his daughter, 
an a* coniplished musician, who became .Mrs. J. Watts \'an Devecr. Apropos 
til the subject, the first piano liroughl to this town was that of Mrs. 
.M.iri us T. Reynolds, 18^4, and it was an object of no little curiosity to 
:hc many who had never seen an instrument of the kind. Mr. Marsh had 
been for several years a teacher of music, establishing and maintaining the 
ti^iial country singing schools, in many villages of this vicinity. He origi- 
n.iied infant singing classes, m which he was most successful, as well as 
hi,;iily ]H>[iular in hts adult schools. He was a good singer and teacher, 
anil a resi>ectable performer upon violin and organ. For several years he 
w.u leader of the singing in the Presbyterian church of this village. He 
.iKo i»osse-ssed considerable ability as a composer, and published many 
times of real merit, one of which has since girdled the eanh, and to-day 
i-», perhaps, oftener sung in christian worship than any other tune, .-^ges 
mav pass before the simple melody and sweet harmony of " Martyn " will 
I c.i^e to charm, expressing, as it does, the deej) emotion of christian hearts. 
'this tune was comjjosed on horseback, look there its concrete form, and 
wa.. soon given to his various schools on the black-board. It won its sweet 
way, found place in singing books and papers, and has now its niche firm 
.i!id sure in the popular heart. 

I'ht last religious services held in the brick chur'jh built in 1832 oc- 
I iirred May 9th, 1869, immediately after which the structure was razed, 
.ind the erection of the present edifice commenced on the same site, the 
I iirncr stone of which was laid with appropriate ceremonies. July 22nd 
tnlliiMing. .-\ box deposited within this stone contains many stnivfinrs, 
-111 h as books, newspapers, a map of the village. United States tlag, coins, 
i.irilsof business houses, catalogue of church members, village officers. 
<■•« . etc. The building was completed at a cost of over ^40,000. and dcdi- 
' 'trd June rst. 1870. It is constructed of brick, with gray limestone 
'■: i.iinental trimmings, in the Romanesque style of architecture. Its di- 
iii'-'isions are 66 liy 104 feet, and, with the galleries, it has a capacity for seat- 
'!!.; one thousand persons. It is elaborately finished and furnished inside. 
.- -i contains a large organ anfl a jionderous bell. .Annexed to the church, 
••n (irove street, IS a chapel, which will accommodate 250 people, anil is 
■■■-»'l for weekly services, and the infant branch of the Sunday school. 

I ..t south of the church, on the same lot, stands the pleasant and com- 

II ■ 'lious brick parsonage. In .November. 1870. Rev Dr. llonilak- 

• • ted pastor cw^r;/;«. and on the 21st of December following kcv. Henry 
' Teller was installed pastor in charge, who still lontnuies in that 
' ipacity. 

In Kebniary, 17S1, by direction of the presbytery, upon application, the 
' n-.irth at Manny's Corners was designated as the " First " and the village 

• ■ urrh as the " Second I'resbyterian Church of .\insterdam." The present 
"■' inbcrship numbers 470. Its Sabbath school has an enrollment of 300 
- hol.irs. I onstittiting two departments lt> session now consists of Re\ . 
H r,. Telier. Moderator: Chandler Dartleti. Jas. H. ISronson, .|.is, .\, .Mil- 
■•r. K.ivid Cady, Dan'l. I. .McMartin, C.irdiMer lllood. Henry Hernck and 
' .1 Devcer, F.lders ; Josiah Sharplcy, Tlios. S, Sl.inlcy .md 
.' I'. I ir.iir. Deacons The ohicers have been as full,, hs : 

1832— F-:iders: Joseph Cli/bee. Israel Collins, I'h. .111.1, .Mien, 1 lUlicr 
^"les. ILirney Stiles, (handler llartlclt. De.i. ons : Chas. Stiles, John 
.'•-nne, Kfner, John Frccnn re. 

■ 838— F.lders: Jeremiah Warring, Fills Cli/bee. De.icons : (leo. W. 
lif.nson, W. B. Hull. 

'842 — F.lder: Samuel I.efferts. 

'849-F.lders: John J.Schuvler. JohnSanford. De 
'I Pardee. 

'^IT-Khlcrs: J.ihn K. Ha«lcv, Maley C. Vonng. 

■S'.j-Kl.lers; (k-orge W Striker, lames C. Duell 

Thomas S. Stanley, Joshua 
(iardincr Itlo.jd, 

i.H Vou 

.Xcnoi.hon Haywooi 
liiincs H, Hronson. 

1869— Elders: Jo.,cph II. Sturtcvant, Ja 
C. Wetsell, T. Romeyn Hunn. Deacon.- 
Sharpley. • 

1875— Elders: Daniel I. McMartin, Henry H 
John J. Van Deveer. Deacon: Nicholas J. De Graff. 

The Reformed Church of Cranesville was organized June 24th, 1871, by 
delegates from the classis of Schenectady, with eleven members: H. P P. 
Chute and H. J. Swart were elected elders, and Geo. .\. Brewster and Geo. 
Combs deacons. The church edifice was erected in 1870-1, at a cost of 
nearly §4,000. The present membership is forty-eight. 

The church at Manny's Corners, enfeebled by the withdrawal of its pas- 
tor and one hundred and four of its members, was by no means discouraged, 
and January ist, 1833, called and settled the Rev. Charles Jenks. The 
session then consisted of Nicholas Marcellus, .Abraham Hoagland, [oseph 
Hagaman and N. Hendrick. In 1835 the church building at Hagaman's 
.Mills was erected in connection with this church, and for fourteen years 
services were held alternately in the two houses, they being denominated 
res|iectivcly the North church and the South church. Thus began a 
growth and development on the north such as had already taken place on 
the west. In -April, 1838, .Mr. Jenks resigned, and was followed by .Mr. 
Stewart now the Rev. Dr. Stewart ot Minneapolis, Minn.;, who was or- 
dained and installed February 20th, 1839, remaining, however, but little 
over a year. The records now show the peculiar fact that during the in- 
terim that the church was without a pastor thirty-six members «erc added 
to it at a meeting presided over by Rev. James .Arnold. The next pastor 
was Alex. Proudfit, ordained and installed February i6th. 1S41. In March, 
1842, Manning .Marcellus. Thomas P.Johnson and Francis Hagaman were 
elected elders. Rev. .Mr. Proudfit was succeeded by Rev. Charles Milne, 
September 13th, 1848, whose labors with the church terminated in January, 
1850, at which time a separation took [ilace between the north and south 
branches, thus diminishing the membership of the mother church by sixty- 
eight. Nicholas and .Manning -Marcellus were now the only remaining 
elders. In Jan'aary, t852, Sylvester Judson, and in June, 1854, Dr Pniyn 
and John C. .Marcellus were elected elders, .\fter the withdrawal of the 
north branch a succession of ministers followed in the order named: Re\. 
Messrs. Proudfit. Ingalls. James B. Eastman, .Morey, James Frothingham 
and Snyder, down to 1863. On November rst of that year. Rev. W. |. 
Hlain assumed the pastorate of this church, which he has held to the pres- 
ent, a period of fourteen years. The old church building, the first in the 
town, still remains in good repair. The present elders are T. P. JohuMin, 
J. C. .Marcellus and .Alexander Scott. 

The Reformed Church of H.ngaman's .Mills was organized Janii.irv 2isi. 
1S50. with sixty-eight members, and first known as the " I'restn terian 
Church of Hagaman's Mills." It was, however, independent of the Pres- 
bytery and General .Assembly. In October, 1.S55. it was, by applii .iii.iii, 
taken under the care of the Classis of .Montgomery, and was aftcniar.l 
known as the " Protestant Dutch Church." In 1867. the (ieiicral Sv 11..1I 
of the denomination dropped the word Dutch, and from tunc 
this church has been known as the "Reformed Churtli of, 
Mills." Rev. Charles Milne, who assiste.l in its nrg.ini/ation. l.c, .iiik- it, 
first pastor. He was followed successively by Revs. Kellogg. .Viims \\ . 
-Seely. J. Fanning Pearce and E. Slingerland. In the fall of 1863, the 
Rev. .A. J. Hagaman .accepted the pastorate, and still continues in that 

This chiir. h IS a lineal descendant of Queen .\n 
Fort Hunter in 1712 ,ce Church History of Florida , 
of its benefactress, (Jiieen Anne of England. That 
a place of worship until 1820, when it dctroye 
the Erie canal. From its ashes sprung St. Ann's Clliii 
opposite Amsierd.iui. Ihis ihurihwas organized I 
A building was erected in 1830, and comjileted and i 
It soon became apparent, however, that the location n 
at this place was liisadvantageous to the growth and 
parish, and it was resolved to sell the building, which v 
19th, 1849, for $2,400. .At this time the officers were: 
ing and Henry Fhler. wardens; and (Jcorge Warnick, 
Jubal I.ivcriiiore. William H, Hill. J.imcs Riggs. Hen 
B. Chase ami Fr.iiu is Newkirk, sest'rvinen. The last 

He's ( hapcl 

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m honor 

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H.i\ l..r 

•ch ot Port 

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of Fort Jackson, the Rev. A. N. Littlejohn, had resigned April 15th, 1849, 
and the Rev. Thomas I.. Frankjin— now the Rev. Dr Franklin of Phila- 
delphia — was tailed as rector. November I4,lh, 1849. remaining till Decem- 
ber isi. 185^^. I>uring his rectorship, the new names of H \. Hadley and 
S. R. Voorhees appear as vestrymen; and the present St. Ann\ of Amster- 
dam was erected on Division ilreet, and consecrated June 15th, 1851. by 
Bishop De I.ancy of Western New York. The tower of the church, how- 
ever, was not completed till 1S63. The Rev. William H. Trapnell was 
rector from January 27th. 1854, to April 24th, 1857; followed. August 
26th, 1858, bv Ke\. J. A. Robinson, who remained five or six years. Then 
came the Rex. I'orrer Thomas, from ivS64 to 1869. On November i4lh. 
1869, Rev. Thomas (i. Clemson was elected rector; he resigned December 
loth, 1870. and was succeeded in April, 1871, by the Rev. Howard T. 
Widdemer, who remained till January ist, 1875. During his mmistry here a 
new organ was bought, the house and lot adjoining the church on the west 
purchased for a rectory, and a new iron fence for the church. Rev. J. 
C. Hewett became reitor in 1875, and remained fourteen months. The 
present rector. Rev. William N. Irish, took charge of the parish July ist, 
1876. The present officers are: Wardens~W. Max Rcid. John J. Hand. 
Vestrymen — Cvrus B. Chase. D. Carmichael, George S. Devendorf. Abram 
V. Morris, William Ryland. James T. Sugden, I,. S. Strang. John K. War- 
nick. Clerk — F.. H. Finlayson. This church is supported by the contri- 
butions made at the Sunday offertories. The seats are free. Connected 
with it is a prosperous Sunday school: L. S. Strang, superintendent. 

"A most interesting, though unusual, service was held in this church on 
the evening of July 3d. 1876. The singing was very appropriate and 
excellent. After a short service, and remarks by the rector, at 11:55 ^^ 
night, the whole congregation joined with devout reverence in silent prayer, 
and at the hour of twelve, amid profound silence, the signal was given 
that the nation had entered upon its Centennial year. The ringing of 
bells, the firing of cannon, the general illumination — for there was, m an 
instant, light in all the dwellings — and the glare of fireworks, proclaimed 
the joy without, while the voices of a grateful congregation within, rising 
from their knees, added solemnity to a scene never to be forgotten, by 
singing the Te Demn : and the whole congregation then joined heartily in 
the national anthem; 

'God bless our native land I 

Firm may she ever stand 

Thro' storm and night.'" 

The first formal organization of a Baptist church in this village seems to 
have been about 1825, Four years thereafter the congregation erected a 
brick church building on Main street, now occupied as a private residence. 
No. igS. It was occupied by the society till 1S42, when the present edi- 
fice was built on Market street. This was enlarged in 1870, and has the 
distinction of containing a fire-alarm bell and the only town clock in the 
village. [Repeated efforts and solicitations have been made to obtain a 
more complete history of this church, hut without success. — Pu(>lhluis\ 

The first C.Ttholic services of a public character in Am-iterdam were 
held in 1837. by Rev. Father Beauchamp. of Rome, N. V. The buihimg 
secured for the occasion was then a I'niversalist church, new the gru< cry 
store of T. F. Kennedy, comer of Main and Market streets. The first 
formal organization nf a • hurc h in this vicinity occurred in 1844. .\ build- 
ing standing near the « anal bank, in the town of Florida, about a miie and 
a half east of the village, wa- rented and converted into a temporar\ jtlace 
of worship, and the Rev. Father McCluskey. of Schenectady, nunisiLred to 
the wants of the congregation as a part of his extensive mission. In 1847 
Father Cull. aUo of Schcncitady. located here and assumed charge <.f ihe 
church. Knronraged by the nunilier and liberality of his congreg.itirm, he 
was enabkil. June 19th. 1849. to pun base the Fpi-copal chun h proptrty 
at Port J.Kk^on. He was. after this transaction, indu* ed to resign, 
and was su. . ceded, m 1850. by Rev. 1-ather Ma'.dbon. after whom came 
successively Fathers Sheehan. MclWie. O'SuUivan and Furlong, the latter 

of whom, while here, secured of Isaat Jackson a location in Amsterdam, 
preparatory to the erection of a new churt h. whith, however, was soon lost. 
Father Furlong was followed in 1S55 by Rev. J. P. Fitzpatrick, who, after 
a jjastorate of five years, was succeeded by Rev. Father Carroll for a shori 
lime. In 1862 the congregation was favoreil with the services of Re\ K, 
P. Clark, through whose instrumentality, and the co-o|>eration of the peo- 
ple, the church was released from an old debt, and the present site of Si. 
Mary's again purcha.sed and paid for. Failing in health, he was forced to 
resign, and was followed, in 1866, by Rev Philip Keveney, now of St 
Peter's church. Troy, N. V.. who remained until the close of 1874 In 
1869 the present St. Mary's i hurch edifice, on Main street, was ercctcd. 
It is built of brick, with gray limestone ornamental facings, in the Roman- 
esque style of architecture. Its dimensions are 60 by 130 feet, and 174 
feet to the top of the spire, which is surmounted by a large gilt cross. .-Vt 
its completion an organ costing over $3,500 was bought and plated in pi.- 
silion. Immediately after the walls of the strirrtnre were erected, the en- 
tire west side tumbled down, severely injuring two workmen and causing 
considerable delay and additional expense. The parochial residence, built 
the same year, is a two story brick building, 30 by 40 feet, with a wmg and 
piazzas. In 1875 the present pastor. Rev. W. B. Hannett, assumed charge 
of the parish, which had previously been reduced to the villages and vh in 
ities of Amsterdam, Port Jackson. Tribe's Hill and Fort Hunter. Sin< c 
that time he has added to the church a beautiful wooden altar, at a cost of 
$1,500, besides a ponderous bell, weighing nearly 3,000 pounds. In Sept., 
1875. the Rev. John F. Hyland was railed as assistant pastor. In F'eb., 
1S76. during a funeral servii e. a hurricane blew down the spire and tower 
of the church, which, in falling, demolished the roof of, and otherwise seri- 
ously damaged the priest's house. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and in 
repairing the damage several improvements were made, both to the resi- 
dence and church. There are in connection with this church a number of 
auxiliary societies, besides a large Sunday-school, numbering 500 pupils, 
under the superintendency of John K.avanaugh. 

The presence of two priests in this parish induced the Hon Jjiiics 
Shanahan, of Tribes Hill — assisted by a few of his neighbors — to pur* base 
an unoccupied church, located on Main street, in that village, which was 
enlarged, remodeled, tastily finished and furnished, and presented to the 
bishop of the diocese, and where services are now regularly held. 


The Cierman Lutheran Church of Amsterdam was formally organized bv 
Rev. Mr. Peterson, in Sept., 1866, although a society of this persuasion had 
been in existence since Nov.. 1863, which was formed at that time by a Mr. 
Hauch. The meetings were at first held in private dwellings, afterw.trds 
in the Presbyterian session-room. Rev. Mr. Peterson was suet ceded, in 1 868, 
by the Rev. Mr. Matchart, during whose pastorate, which lasted but little 
over a year, the corner-stone of a church was laid, and a j.arsonagc budt: 
but this projierty was afterward sold, and the money appropriated to other 
uses. In 1869 a churc h edifi* e was erected, and on Jan. i ith. 1870, it was 
dedicated by the Rev. Dr. Pholman, of Albany, under the name of 
" Deutsche Evangelische Lutherische Dreieinigkeits Kirche." In March. 
1870. the present pastor, Rev. J. P. Krechting, duly installed, and un- 
der his ministrations the number of communicant meml^ers has increased 
fj-om 20 to 31 1. There are in connection with this church a growing Sun- 
day-school and a young people's literarv society. 


The "West Amsterdam .M. K. Church" was organi/cd about iSio Tht 
present church building was erected in 1S60. and is lo< ated on Fort |ohn- 
son creek, aliout four miles north-west of Amsterdam village. 

The old " Dutch Reformed Church of Veddersburg." built m 1800. wav 
upon the erection of the brick chur<h, in 1832. sold to the M. F^. soriety. 
and by them removed up Main street to what is now the corner of Wall 
street, where it stood, devoid of its steeple, iintd 1S45, when it was a^am 
removed to .M.irket street, where it --iill remains, a part of the j-resent 
Methodist < hurt h buildmg. 

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This town has an aboriginal name, w hich w as first given bv the Mohawks 
[o the creek flowing through it. That stream was so named from a remark- 
able natural phenomenon connected with it. Nearly three-fourths of a 
mile from the junction of the creek with the Mohawk river there is in the 
riHky bed of the former a hole averaging over twenty feet in diameter, 
with a depth when cleared of about ten feet, though it now contains several 
feet of sand and rubbish de[)osited by the .current of the stream. This 
i aviiy, which resembles a large cistern, was formerly nearh- round with vcr- 
tit al walls, but within the last ipiarter of a century its rim has become much 
broken, and the side toward the current of the creek somew hat elongated 
This singular excavation, made in the course of ages by the action of the 
water and rolling stones, some of which, worn into globular shape, have 
liecn found m it, was called by the Indians C'.;«-i7;A'-/m-a/,', which, as inter- 
preted by the notorious chieftain Brant, meant " the pot that washes it- 
self." It is situated at the lower end of a mountain gorge, opposite a bold 
elevation on the eastern bank of the creek, and scarcely half-a-dozen rods 
above the termination of the stream's rocky bottom at that point. There 
arc smaller pot-holes to be seen in the rocks near by. Spafford, in his 
.Stale Gazeteer of 1824, speaking of this freak of nature, says: "The name 
was first applied to a whirlpool at the foot of one of the falls of the creek 
that now Ijears this name;" and subsequent writers, copymg from him, 
have fallen into the same error. There is a beautiful cascade in the creek, 
perhaps a quarter of a mile above this Indians" dinner-pot, where the water 
in a little distance falls forty or fifty feet; but the significant Can-n-io-ha- 
rie is quite at the lower end of the gorge in which the falls are situated. 
They are formed by an outcrop of the hardest kind of slate rock, as 
llie veteran historian, Simms, tells us he " learned with blistered hands 
over forty years ago." when he and a friend "determined, with gush- 
ing zeal — with crowbar and pickaxe — to make a flight of steps from the 
. reek's bed to the summit of the hill beside the falls. If," says Mr. 
Simms, "a trace of our labor is still \ isible on the east side of the 
stream, it probably will not now gi\e secure- footing for the paw of a 
dog. Standing beside it, our conjecture was that this hole was mainb 
formed at a period when the falls were directly above it, the hill, in 
the lapse of ages, having gradually receded nearly one-ipiarter ol a 
niile. The lofty wall, one hundred feet high, ujion the west side of the 
gorge, still shows what physual energies of nature ha\e been called 
into action." 

.\niong the aborigines the name Canajoharie attached to the territory 
on the south side of the Mohawk from the spur of the .Mayfield inoun- 
latn which crosses the river at .Spraker's Basin to the mountain elevation 
known as Fall Hill, the C.eneral Herkimer mansion two miles east of I.itlle 
I- ills being included in the Can.ajoharie district ; hence when the Mo- 
h.iwks located their upper castle near the mouth of the Nowadaga in the 
present town of Danube, they distinguished it as the Canajoh.irie castle. 
\t the advent of the whites a small body of .Mohawks lived on the site 
"f Canajoharie. their wigwams extending up the creek to where .^rkcll and 
-■■inith's sack factory stands. The islands in the river a mile and a hall 
almve and a mile below the mouth of the creek, together with the ailj.m em 
fl.iis, were then cultivated by the Indians, who raised on them corn, beans, 
-'pcishcs and tobacco. .Along the hillsides above and below Canajoharie 
creek, the first fur traders found old apple trees m abundance, but not set 
Mut in any order. 

riiere is a Icgenil that a great many winters ago the Mohan ks and the 
<is»cgat<hie half tribe which is saul to have lived three miles and .1 half 
nMrlh-e.ast of Canajoharie at a called Knockerock Kails, near Charles 
Millers.) ap|x>inled a great feast to take place four miles east of Canajo- 

harie under the eastern brow of a mountain. There large numbers en- 
camped for the great occasion. The full moon was high in the heavens. 
.\ uhite dog had been roasted and the feast was in preparation. .Already 
the medicine man had gone through his incantations, and the war dance had 
begun, when a rumbling sound was heard, the mountain trembled and 
i]uaked, and in a moment its whole summit parted asunder, and an ava- 
lanche of rocks, trees and earth was precipitated upon the throng, few of 
whom escaped. 

.\ document dated 1794 records the laying out of a road from an oak 
post in front of Cornelius Van .Alstine's hotel, westerly along the south side 
of the Mohawk, nearly to the present limits of Canajoharie village, thence 
through a " dug-way." and up the creek to the falls, and on through Kreys- 
bush to Cherry \allcy. 

In 1798. Canajoharie, which extended along the ri\er nearly twenty 
miles, was divided, the westerly portion taking the n. me of Minden. In 
1823 it also contributed to the formation of Root, while a further inroad 
was made upon its territory in 1849. by annexing the fine agricultural dis- 
trict known as Freysbush to Minden. .As at present constituted, Canajo- 
harie has a front of about five miles on the Mohawk, from which it extends 
eight miles southerly to the Otsego county line. The town is a remarkably 
good one for farming purposes, having not only a jiroductive soil but very 
little untillable land, considering us irregular surface. It can not be shown 
with any satisfaition who were the first settlers of this town, or when thcv 
came into it. 


.All pioneer settlements, not abandoned in the Revolution, made some 
provision for their security in the hour ot peril. This usually consisted of 
a palisaded dwelling, a stone one being preferred if favorabl) located. 
Such defences w ere dignified by the title of forts. There were several in 
this town, the most prominent of whicli is still standing on the east 
side of the ( reek in Canajoharie. This was of stone, and was during the 
ke\nlution known as the I'hilip Van .\lstine, and fifty years later as the 
John H. Moyer It became kno«n when fortified as Kort Rens- 

.A mile or two southeast from this, on the Mapletown mad, and a mile 
from the creek, resided John Ehle. whose house was [.alisaded and .ailed 
Fort F^hle. .A little distance from this place, in 1780, or 1781, a party of 
the enemy under Brant surprised and killed .Adam Flights and captured 
Nathan Foster and Conrad Fntcher, who were taken as prisoners to 
Canada, enduring their share of suffering. Lieut. Cornelius Van F^vera 
and ensign John \'an F^vera were on duty in and around Fort FJile. 

F'rench's Gazetteer of the State says that a fort one hundred feet square 
was erected at Canajoharie at an early day as one of the chain of fortifica- 
tions guarding the route to Oswego. This is an error. The fort referred 
10 was at the upper or Canajoharie castle of the .Mohawks, m Danube. 
Herkimer county. It had an F^nglish garrison during the wars with the 
French, and was sometimes called Fort Hendrick, after the famous , iuef- 
lain who dwelt near it, 

Johannes, or John Roof, who had lo. ated at Fort Slanwix, now Rome, 
in i7fio, left that e by the advice of Col. Gansevoort, when it was 
threatened by the enemy, in 1777, leaving his buildings to be burned by 
Gansevoort's order lo prevent their occupancy by the enemy ; and drop- 
ping down the \alle> to Canajoharie, bought alarm upon which Henry 
Schreniling. an early settler, had built a stone dwelling. It stood direitly 
b.ick of the present F^ldridge or l.ovett House until about the year 1840, 


when it was demolished. In the latter ])art of the Revoluiionar)- uar a 
smalt party of Indians t'lred on some men hoeini; corn on Roof's tlaib. hc- 
twren his dwelling and the river, not far from the present river ijridge. and 
killed one of them, but seeing the others securing their tire arms they fled 
to the hiils and est aped. Roof had kept a tavern at Fort Stanuix, and m 
(anajoharie he resumed that hnsiness. continuing it for some ycar.-» after 
the war. He was suiceeded in it by his son and namesake, the late Col. 
John Roof. 

Martin Roof, a brother of the last-named. wa>. a druggist at an earlv day 
in Canajoharie \illagc. and one of its first postmasters, aUo an jLiing 
justice of the |»eai c. John Roof. Jr., married a daughter of t'.corge 
Shaker, of Palatine, and for a time they ke[)t the Roof tavern as one 
family. Dunng this time, probably about 1795. ^^^ house was robbed one 
nigfic of a heavy irf>n (.hcst. which was chained to the post of a bed on 
which some of the family were sleeping ; a trundle-bed was also quite near 
it The chest usually contained several hundred dollars in specie, and no 
inconsiderable sum was in it when it was so mysteriously abducted. Not 
long before it was stolen it was lifted only with great effort by two girls in 
their teens, one of them the young inn-keeper's wife's sister, who is now 
living at the age of ninety-seven. It was never known who took the safe, or 
what became of it. A small tin trunk within it, containing valuable papers, 
was afterward found in an abutment of the bridge over the creek. Of 
Henrv Schremling. above mentioned, little can be learned, Capt. Martin 
G. Van Alstine, and Captain or Sheriff John Winn, married resi)ectively 
his daughters Cathanne and Klizabeth. Schremling, in the latter i>art of 
the last centur\'. had a mill near the site of Arkell & Smith's dam in Cana- 
joharie. His name was pronounced Scrambling, and the place was called 
from him " Scrambling's Mills." At some period before the Revolution, 
three brothers, Henrv. Nicholas and John Failing, Germans, located on 
the rich intervale lands just westward of Canajoharie village. Henry 
pitched his tent where Joshua Williams now resides. It was known after 
the war a.s the Roger Dougherty, and ^itill later as the Adam I. Roof place. 
Nicholas resided nearly a mile farther west, where he built, just before the 
war, one of the better* of stone houses, in a commanding jwsition upon 
a knoll, [t is remembered as a large two-story dwelling, having a spacious 
hall and stairway in the centre. In the autumn of 1833 or 1834 this editice. 
then occupied as a tenement house by several families, took fire one night 
from a keg of ashes under the stairs, and burned down. i'his house, as 
was learned many years ago from the late Jacob H. Failing a son of Henry 
and grandson of Nicholas Failing . who was a boy living in it at the time. 
was rendered defensible during the Revolution by the following process : 
A staging was erected across itb rear or hill side a few feet wide, with an 
oak floor, and was planked up breast high, access being gained to it by the 
chamber windows. The lower windows and outer doors were also planked 
up so as to be bullet-proof ; and as the house had several familii-s in it 
during the war. especially after so many had been burned out by the 
enemy, it was believed it might be defended against a large at;acking 
force; but it was never molested, .\fter the war the place went in[o the 
possession of Rev. Jt^hn Daniel Gros who, after owning it for a time, 
traded it to Col. Hendrick Frey for property in Freysbush, where he built 
a large brick mansion, now standing, in which he lived for some years, and 
where he died in 1.S12. Col. Frey occupied the Failing place fur some 
years, and in it, at a good old age, he died. From it, with a field-glass, he 
could oversee his men at work on the flats of the Mohawk for hal. a mile, north and west. His farm here embraced 200 acres, and liis entire 
possessions south and west of the site of Canajoharie village, 3.200. From 
him Freysbush was namctl. Col. Frey a justice of sessions o. Tryon 
county, and a postmaster, and tarried (►n a lucrative trade with the Indians 
and settlers. He was buried his huuse ab.Ae mentumed. but no 
monument marks the spot. Col Frey was a lo\ahst during the l<e\olu- 
tion. His brother. Major Frf\. was a prominent p.itnot. once C lairman 
of the Trvon Cnunf\ Committee of Saletv 


The first grist mill on Can.ijoh.uie > rcL-k is believed to have be n ere< ted 
by Goshen (iose' AKtinc-.thc father of Cai.tain Martin G. .nd Philip 
Van Alstine. who sm . eeded m i(^ ownership. It is supposed loh.ucbeen 
built about 1760. It was a wf.oden building and stood on the east bank 
of the stream, twenlv-five or ihirtv roiU from the end of the rapid below 

t/ie falls, from whence, near the original Can-a-jo-ha-rie, the water is said 
to have been conveyed to it in a race course. .-Vbout the year iSi^.or 1815, 
this mill burned down, and Mrs. Isaac Flint, who among the superstitious 
was reputed a witch, was from some cause accused of setting it on fire. 
Learning that she was to be arrested, her mind was so wrought upon thai 
she arose one night, fastened a ( ord to a nail m a beam overhead ; then 
standing upon a chair, adjusted a noose around her neck, and pushing the 
chair from under her. was soon beyond the reach of her accusers. Nathan- 
iel Conkling, an uncle of Senator Roscoe ConkUng, as coroner, called an in- 
quest on the occasion, says Peter G. Dunckcl, who was a member of the 
jury, and is now eighty-four years of age. Tradition, at the end of over 
si.xty years, is more ready to implicate a relative of the mill owner-, as the 
incendiary than the poor woman who died by her own act, a victim to the 
superstition of her neighbors. 

Some measures were taken in Preysbush to procure timber to reconstruct 
the mill, but it was not done, and not long after the site and water privilege 
were sold to George Goertner and Henry Lieber, his son-in-law. When 
the mill was built, a small stone dwettitig was erected near by for the miller, 
and one of the last to make it a home a man named Stanton, still re- 
membered as having been quite accommodating. This old dwelling, some- 
what dilapidated and occupied in the interest of Lieber as a coo >er shop 
for the manufacture of flour barrels, was burned down one nigii: in the 
autumn — as believed — of 1828. In 1817, Goertner and Lieber built astonc 
mill fifteen or twenty rods below the site of Van .\lstine"s. where they also 
constructed a substantial stone dam across the stream. At this place they 
also erected a sawmill, distillery, fulling mill and carding machine, and for 
some time a large business was done here, including much of the milling 
for the towns of Palatine, Root, and Charleston. Mr. Lieber shorilv bought 
out his partner's interest. At his death about 1838, Uriah Wood became 
the owner of the mills. W'hile in his possession they were destroved by fire 
and never re-built. Henry Lieber. and John his brother, on coming to 
America about the beginnir.g of this century, were for a time sold ioio .servi- 
tude to pay their passage from Ciermany — a custom long in vogue, and of 
which many good though poor people availed themselves. Henry Lieber, 
on becoming his own master, first learned the weavers trade, an i then be- 
gan life as a pack peddler ; ne.xt had a small store in Freysbush. then one 
at Newville ; and finally became established in trade at Canajoharie. just 
before the advent of the canal. The Lieber brothers were instrumental in 
liringing their parents to this country. 

The second grist mill on Canajoharie creek was built by Col. Hendrick 
Frey about 1770. and near it a nice stone dwelling. Here, at the same 
period, he built a saw mill. This place, which became known as the 
Upper Mill, was not more than forty or fifty rods from the Van Alstine 
mill. It was nearly a mile from the creek's mouth, and stood at the b.-^se 
of the high land on the west side of the stream, and near the Indians' 
Oin-ti-fo-/ni-ric. Col Frey was at this time an extensive landloril. and in 
disposing of farms in Freysbush he stipulated that the buyers sh-mld have 
their milling done at his mill. He lived at this place during the Resolution. 

" Black Pom," or " Miller Pom," as often called, a slave belonging to 
Col. Frey, was remembered after the war as having been a .i|tpen<l- 
age about the mill; but the princijial miller for a long time was an Irish- 
man, named Usher. He occupied a small wooden house not far from the 
Frey mansion. He had a son, John, who was a good soldier in (Ik- war 
of 181 2. Of the miller Usher the following anecd<)te is remembered; 
Col. Frey, like Sir William Johnson— with whom he was ever o i terms of 
intimacy, having been associated with him as an officer in the P"rem h war 
— vvas fond of fun. even if it had to spring from a practical joke. (M.aerv- 
ing Mrs. Henry Hess approaching the mill with a grist mm.- .1 woman 
performed similar labors at that period , he said to Usher: " I'.iat woman 
is very hard of hearing; you will have to talk bnid to her." Phen step- 
ping out to assist Mrs. Hess at the wagon, he took occasion to say to 
her; " My miller is so deaf you can't make him understand unless you 
speak very loud." When the grist was unloaded and the woman entered 
the mill to look after it, the Colonel posted himself in a favorable place to 
listen; when, as he afterward told his friends, he heard some of the loudest 
talking he ever heard in his life. Phe miller's and woman's \oues were 
raised to the highest possible pin h for a long time before the p.iriies dis- 
covered that they had been sold. 

This Upper .Mil! properly, by a deed of gift from his gr.mdfather. dated 
May 4, 1812, passed into the possession of Henry Frey i'ox. and with it 
about seven hundred and fifty acres of excellent land, most of it heavily 




g up 
Mr. St. 

limbered. Much of this timber John A. Khic. who erected a storehouse, 
Aawmrll .ind dry do«:k below Canajoharic vilhige. on the canal at its com- 
,;>IcticH», ^awcd up and took to tide-water in boats of his own construction; 
thus ^*>r several years, giving employment to a larjje number of men. In 
iHj6, and for some years after, I>r. Sherman Hvcd in the stone house 
ap(>eitaining to the mdl property, during which time John l.icber was suc- 
tcssfoily operating the grist mill and distillery adj<jining. The properly 
^-hanged owners a number of times, coming, in 1828, into (he possession of 
Harvty St. John, who, wtih Nit holas (',. \'an .\lstine as a partner, for 
several years manufactured flour for the New York market, w. 
iinost of the wheat raised in this and several adjoining towns. 
John, however, failed, and after being in a good many hands. 
■»c re burned down January H, 1S49, and eight days Inter the mill 
jnel the same fate. Neither of the structures \\c\s rebuilt. 


Small stores were established in the different (ierman settlements soon 
after ibey were planted, but nothing is known of them, except the little 
ahat tiadition has handed down. They contained small stocks of such 
^oods as their white neighbors must, of necessity, have, and certain kinds 
which their traffic with the Indians called for ; the latter consis, ^ of fire- 
arms knives, hatchets, ammunition, trinkets, brass and copper kettles, 
"scarlet cloth, rum and tobacco. The^e. with a few other articles, were bar- 
itered for furs to great advantage. There were, probably, traders in the 
lown of Canajoharie before the Revolution, but it is now impossible to 
name any. The first after the war was William Beekman, who located near 
Van Alstine's ferry, a mile east of Canajoharie village, in 1788, as it is 
(thought, when he was twenty-one years of age. In a few years he removed 
Ro Sharon, and became the pioneer merchant of that town. He was a 
iman of fair ability, and on the organization of Schoharie county, in 1795, 
he wa>ippuinied the first Jud^e of tiie Comnion Pleas Bench, a position 
which he held for nearly 40 years. He died November 26, 1745. aged 
seventy-eight years. He was succeeded in trade in Canajoharie by Barent 
Koseboom ^S: Brothers. John and .Abram. At length Philip Van Alstinc 
t>ccaroe the sole partner of Barent Roseboom in tr^de, the firm occupying 
a store on the east side of the Canajoharie creek, and within the present 
•illage, which then contained scarcely a dozen houses. 

The Kane Brothers, seven in number, came into Canajoharie very soon 
after the ad\ent of Beekman, probably about 1790, and at first established 
themselves in trade in the old stone dwelling ot I'hilip Van .Alstine, which. 
erected about the middle of the last century, is still standing. Tradition 
vays that (ieneral Washington was in this building on his visit to the 
frontier in 1782 . I'he new firm was known as John Kane iS: Brothers ; 
whether all of them were interested is unknown. They were a family of 
*xnart TOunj; men, and when they located there was no store of any 
rvotc in the valley westward of them, so that for a time much of 
t*ic trade of the Herkimer settlements centered here. The names of the 
Kane brothers were John, Klias, Charles. EJisha, Oliver, James and Archi- 
bald. Only John, James and .\rchibald were known in the business. Kre 
Iv^ng they erected a stone dwelling with an arched roof, one mile east of 
(".^najoharie village, where had been established " Martin Van Alstine's 
Ferr)-," at or before the organization of Tryon county — it was in operation 
wi 1776. At this place James and Archibald Kane continued to trade, un- 
tiil about the year 1S05. It is believed no firm in the valley ever before 
hsrcame so widely known. In 1799 their purchases of potash and wheat 
aniounted to §120,000. On leaving the place, the brothers separated widely, 
J■"^n going to New York, Elias to Albany, whither he was subse<iuentiv 
f'-Il'.xicdby James; Klisha to Philadelphia. Oliver to Rhode Island. Charles 
f- (;ien\ FalK. .m.l Art hibaid to Ha\ti. where he married a sister of the 
b^.ifk ruler and where, after a few years, he died. The Kane dwelling. 
* hi. h tame to called the " round top." ha\ ing a modern hi|f in the roof. 
''■ vtill sfonfJing. Its roof, when creeled, was covered with sheet lea.t It 
t*- to be hoped that this relic of the past may be suffered to remain. A 
bitle (anal uhi» h led from the Kane store to the river is still visible, ihoiigh 
nt.uly fiJUd up and lined with willows. 

'I he war of the Revolution, as ail inan.mir.ited a dissolute [.eriod 
"f drinking, gunbling and horse-racir.g winch lasted f<.r years, and ^ at 
•t*- hel^;ht in the time of th- kanes. Their house became a rcnde/^ for 
'a^d pluyers, and a cpiarrel over stakes occurred on one occasion, resulting 


in a duel. April iX, iXoi. in .i -.mall pmc grove on the hill west of iht- 
Kane dwelling, in which Art hibalii Kane was wounded in the ri;;ht arm 
by Barent Roseboom. Dr. Webster, father of l'eter(;. Webster, Km|., was 
Kane's surgeon, and charged him los. — $1.25 — for each of his half do/en 
visits but one, for which the charge was Ss ; llle doctor ti\cd four units 
from his |jaticnt, and the moderateness of his charges is s.iid to have been 
characteristic of the man. 

makri.\<;e kkks and methods 

Col. John Roof, after the death of his first wife, marrie<l the widow of 
Rev. Philii. rick, or I'eek, as usually written : and for the performance of 
the ceremony he gave Rev. John I. Wack seven dollars. Soon after Capt. 
-Vbram Wemple married a daughter of John I.oucks, and gave as his mar- 
riage fc.e ten dollars. Just after these nuptials Henry Erey Cox married 
a daughter of Henry Na/ro, and gave the same clergyman fifteen dollars, .i 
liberal fee for those times in the country. In speaking of his unuMial 
success. Dominie Wack was heard to say soon after that he wished his 
parishioners would keep on doing like that, and he wouldn't care if they 
came every day. At this period U'illiam I.ane married a daughter of I'eter 
Walrath, of Bowman's Creek. He also called into reijuisition the services 
of Mr. Wack, and when the knot was tied, asked the dominie what he 
usually got for the ceremony. '* That," replied the good man, " depends 
upon how much a man thinks of his wife :" he .added, "the legal fee is one 
dollar." Mr. I.ane is said to have given him a dollar. 

.\mong the early incidents related is the following account of a marriage 
in which .Sipiire Bowman officiated. While working in his hay Held .1 
couple came to his house on horseback to be married. 'The party were- 
sent to the hay field, where they found the siiuire upon a load of haj. 
Wishing to dispatch the business with as little trouble as possible, he re- 
fpiested the parties to join hands. He then said, " Hans, you dake dis 
voman to be your vife ?" " \"a," replied the expectant groom. '*l.isbei, 
you dake dis Hans to he your husbant ?" " V'a. ich will." " Den I make 
you one viesh und one peefe. Now vat man has put togcdder, let not Cot 




.An Indian school was taught at the Canajoharie castle by an Indian 
named Philip Jonathan, as early as 1764 ; but the first school in the present 
town stood on Seeher's Lane, on the north line of the (ioertner farm, .t 
mile and a half southwest of Canajoharie village, and the district was styled 
" No. I in and for the tow n of Canajoharie " when the i oiiimon si hool 
system was ailopted. 


RnwM.VN's Ckkkk was about forty years the local name of a dislrii t in 
the southern part of the town, four or five miles in extent, through whuh 
in an easterly direction courses the Canajoharic creek, the stre.iin bcin.; 
called Bowman's creek at this locality, after Jacob Bowman, an early settler, 
who about 1760 bought a large tract about its head-waters, ilus fur a 
number of years was ipiite a business part of the town, and its first post 
office was named Bowman's Creek. .\ number of .Mr. Bowman's nuniL-rous 
descendants reside in the neighborhood. 

Bt Ft, is the name whuh ihi-. post offii e took about iS;o. and .1 litih- 
hamlet has since been known by that name. Its first remembered settlers, 
who went there about the beginning of this lenliirv. Here lohn 
Benjamin Button, an ecientnc ami mgeniuiis blai ksmiih. with the sin imili 
of a giant and the courage of a mastiff ; Hon. I'eicr Walr.iili. lienom Bnl 
lock, a Baptist [ireacher ; .Muli.'el Hukev. I rcdi ru k 
Weller, Audolph Walrath. Richard Horning, Cornelius Mint. James Muuh. 
Noah Dodge, a justice of the peace ; James Adsit, Daniel M. Donald, .\sa 
Kimball, whose place was afterward known as the .Milligan farm ; .\dam 
Brown, and his son Peter, who was a merchant ; Doctor Conklin, who 
died by falling into a kettle of boiling potash ; Wm. Bartlett, a tanner, 
and John Sceber, Esci., who was one of the earliest inn-keepers. He is be- 
lieved to have sold out to Peter Brown and the latter to Henry (i.arloc k, who 
was succeeded by his brother John (larloi k, who at one time was running .1 
grist mill and a distillery, enabling him to sii|iply his table and his 


The post office is believeti to have been kept at (Jarlock's when its name 
was changed to Buel, in honor of Jesse Buel of Albany, then a prominent 
agriculturist of the Stale. Near this place a deaf and dumb asylum was 
established in i&2^, which for a time had some success, but whose pupils 
at the end of a dozen years were removed to New York 

Ames, so called in honor of Fisher Ames, is a hjmlel with a post office, 
in the same valley, between two and three miles east of Huel. and was at one 
period quite a business place. .\ post office was erected not long after 
the name of Buel was given to the Bowman's Creek office. 

The first settler in the town of Canajoharie as now defined is believed 
to have been a man named Taylor, who cleared off some thirty-five acres 
half a mile south of the village of .\mes. planted apple trees and built a 
small house of logs, with a roof of bark. When the locality began to be 
settled, he, having no title, had to lca\ e his clearing. Where he came from 
and where he went to is unknown. He had a son called Harry Taylor, 
who is rememl>ered by aged people now living as having wandered about 
bareheaded, though generally having two or three hats hanging to a bun- 
dle which he carried. He would spend the day beside some stream, fishing 
for homed dace, and at night beg a lodging on a kitchen floor and a bile 
of food after the family had eaten. When asked why he carried hats but 
wore none he would say he had lost his head which in one sense seemed 
true enough and was waiting for one to grow on. 

Early in 1796 a Free Will Bajitist church organization was removed to 
Ames (where some of the members lived, including the minister. El- 
der George Elliott from a point several miles west, where it was established 
in 1794. The following were the original members ; Rufus Morris, 
Wm. Hubbs, Jesse Benjamin, Philip Bonsteci. Ray Guiles, Nathan 
Richmond, Peter Frederick. Samuel Baley, Stephen Smith, Ephraim Elmer. 
Jonathan Elliott, Rufus Elliott, Jon.ih Phelps, Henry Rowland, Joseph El- 
liott, Jacob Elliott. Job \\'ood, John Thomas, Thomas Tallman. Benjamin 
Treadway, Stephen Howard. David Warner. Matthew N'eaiey, Isaac Elliott, 
Hendrick rcnrucrtun, John Hodge jr., .-Mexander Hubbs. Gideon Elliott^ 
Gerard Hubbs, Jonathan Parks, Stephen (iriffeth. Samuel .\llen, James 
Marvin, John Baley, Richard Kimball. Jonathan White. Wm. Griffeth^ 
Abiram Skeel, Jonathan Wheton, Elisha Daniels, Oliver Bartholomew, 
Reuben Hodge. Clemens (.iriffith. John Hodge. Sen., Daniel Marvin. John 
Bishop, John Jackson, .^/ariah Peck. Solomon Scipie. Orlando Mack. 
Simeon Pemberton, James Mar\in, jun,, Samuel Hubbs, Isaac \'an .\lstine 
and 54 females, wives, sisters and daughters of the above, .\mong the num- 
ber, as a relic of Puritanism, is the name of" Thankful Lord." Their first 
meetinghouse was erected a mile east of where the \illage of .\mes is situ- 
ated. The society has had a successful continuance, never being without 
a pastor. A new church was built in 1832 at .Ames, and the society organ- 
ized under the statute as the " .Ames Free Ba[>tist Church," with Jeremiah 
R. Slark, John Bennett, l.uthcr Tavlor, Simon D. Kittle, Willard R. Wheel- 
er, and Lawrence Beach, as trustees. 

The following is a list of its pastors ; lieorge Elliott, .\. Nichols, Thomas 
Tallman, E. Eastman, David R. .McElfresh. O. F. .\Ioulton, Phips W. Lake, 
(;. P. Ramsey. R. Dick, Wm. H. Waldrose, A. Bullock, J. .M Crandall, and 
S F. .Mathews. 

Prominent among the early citizens here were Dr. Simeon Marcy, Jos. 
Jessup, his brother-in-l.iw; Rufus and Charles Morns, brothers, the latter 
being the father of Commodore (Charles Morris, of the war of 1812; Judge 
Phineas Randall, father of the late Governor .Alevander Randall, of Wis- 
consin; Ira Beach, an inn-keeper; Frederick MiiK. William and Squire 
Hills, brothers; Abial Bingham, Seth Wetmore, the first Sheriff of .Mont- 
gomery county elected by the people under the Revised Statutes; three 
brothers, .Abrani, Isaac and Jacob Hodge; Gen. John Keyes, father of the 
eccentric Zach. Ke_\es, longa tavern keejier in Sharon; Ebenezer Hibbard, 
sen., who, with Keyes, on locating, bought a thousand acres of land; John 
Russel, George Mills, who had a l.trge tannery; two or three Whiles, one 
of them .\sohcl, a halter, who sold out lo .Asahel Hawley, the latter after- 
ward removing to Canajoharie; and another .Xbijah, who was the first sur- 
veyor in the town; one Benton, wh«j owned a grist iiiili on the treek; FUien- 
ezer Tillotsnn. Jabin Welch, a s|.inning-wheel maker; Charles Powell. 
Reuben Hodge, Rice Ileach, a silversmith; John .Schuyler, Lebbeus Kim- 
ball, Billings Hodge, Guy Harrow, Joseph Wood, James Marvin, Daniel 
Latimer, F:ider Creorgc FHIiolt and Jonah Phelps Joel \\hite was the 
first white child bom at .Vmes. Russel and Mills were the first merthants 
at Ames, beginning business about tSoo. 

Mrs. F.lecU Bryars, who was found al he/ loom weaving as lively as a 

middle aged lady, says that in her mother's lime the neighbors would li\r 
six weeks in succession without bread, subsisting on potatoes, butter ami 
salt. Bams were so scarce that grain had to be hauled many miles to b,- 
ihreshed; hence farmers put off the job until they had finished sowin- 
their winter grain, living without breadstuffs rather than lose the tinic 
necessary for threshing. .Mrs. Bryars was married in petticoat and shon 
gown, and Mr. Bryars in linen pantaloons; neither wore shoes or stockings. 

Phelps Button, of .\mes, says his grandfather, Jonah Phelps, cleared the 
place where Button lues, and that he used 10 carry his grist on his bai k 
two miles and a half to Sharon Springs. He made the first payment §10 
on his place by burning potash. Mr. Button's great-grandfather. Benjamin 
Button, was in the war of the Revolution five years, and died, aged 
eighty-eight. Being granted a furlough of three days while in the army hc 
went home, walking seventy miles between sunrise and sunset, staid one 
day and returned to his regiment the next. 

John Van Epps, grandfather of R. L. U'esselsof -Ame.s, was in the Revo- 
lutionary war He was taken prisoner by the Indians and held by them 
for three years. When captured he was on his way to a neighbor's with 
some money which his father owed the latter. He had time to hide the 
money at the foot of a certain gate-post, where, on his return, he looked 
for it, to find only the pocketbook. He then enlisted as a captain. George 
Harring, the grandfather of .Mr. Wessels, once incurred the hatred of an 
Indian at Fort Plain by throwing mud in his face. The insulted savage 
was afterward caught trying to shoot Harring, was driven off and never 
seen again. Most of the pioneer settlers at Buel and .Ames were New Eng- 
land men, but the order of their coming to this town has not been pre- 
served. .About 1797, a grist-mill, a saw-mill and a wheelwright's shop 
were set in operation. .A pottery and nail factory followed, while as vet 
there was no communication with other settlements, except a trail to Can- 

Sprolt Brook is the name of a small village vvith a post-office a nv!-_- 
to the westward of Buel, near which place Justus \'an iJeusen has an 
establishment for the manufacture of woolen yarn. 

M.\PLF.TOwN, a hamlet three or four miles southeast of Canajoharie vil- 
lage, is a place of some interest. Here as eariy as 1791, Jacob Fjhle and 
James Kno.x, his brother-in-law, located, paying for their lands S2.62I per 
acre. Mr. Ehle built his house on the old Indian trail from Canajoharie 
to .New Dorlach ; and in clearing near his dwelling he left all the promis- 
ing hard maple trees, which sugar-bush , gave the place its name. .Mr 
Knox was for years an efficient su]»ervisor of the town, and for a Inn-^ 
time a popular justice of the peace ; so conscientious was he, and so lit- 
tle did he covet the fees of the office, that he made it a rule to notify ile- 
fendants before issuing a summons; hence his legal business did not in 
rich him. During the war of i.'<i2, there were thirteen justices in tin 
town, made such by the council of appointment, and eleven constable- 
chosen by the people ; it is not to be presumed that any of them dependcil 
on the avails of their offices for a livelihood. .Mr. Knox's oldest son, tin 
late (Jeneral John Jay Knox, of .Augusta, Oneida county, was one of tli. 
best and most widely known men in central New ^'ork. His brother Wil- 
liam remained upon the homestead and died there, while his brother- 
Herman and James went to Illinois, and there made their mark. Dtlur 
pioneer settlers at .Mapletown were John St. John, Philander Barnes, Wea- 
sel Cornue, John Sweatman, a tanner and shoemaker ; lohn Perrigs an<i 
Elisha Payton. .A Reformed church was built at this place near the be- 
ginning of the present century and Doinine roll. If not iti first pastor, ».i- 
one of the earliest. 

Marshvili.f. is a hamlet near the center of the town. Here the rir-i 
extensive saw-mill in the town was built at an early day by one of th' 
Seebers. Stephen and Henry Oarlock subsequently bought the propcru 
and operated the mill successfully for several vears. At this place one 
Joe Carley did the horse and ox shoeing for a large circle of countrv 
being near the main route to Cherry Valley. Carley was alive after tlf 
war of 1812, and about the shinplaster period. Some sheep having lieir. 
stolen from Mr. Goertner, a wealthy farmer in the vicinity, the thief w '' 
traced to a dwelling near by, where bones and horns were found iimh ' 
the floor. Shortly after maniiscrqit shinplasters appeared purporting 10 I 
issued by "the Multonville Bank," signed by "Joe Carley, President," ."'■ 
" payable in good merchantable miittem." Heme the name of Mutton 
ville, by which the little hamlet is still .sometimes 1 ailed George WatH' 
an apprentice of Carley, bought bun out and earned on the blacksmi''' 
business until his death, when he was succeeded by his son 




It has already lH;en mentioned that in the closing years of the last cen- 
tury Cajiajoharie consisted of less than a do/cn houses. It is impossihlc 
to say when the first settlement upon its site was made, or to sketch thu 
exact condition of the village at all siai^es of its growth, from its small 
beginnings to its incorporation April 30, 1829, and thence to a thriving 
town of about two thousand inhabitants. Its progress is best traced under 
the principal divisions of a community's development — religious, educa- 
tional, business, etc. 


The first village church, a pretty edifice with a steeple, was built by men 
of different denominations, in 181S. When the canal was opened, it ran 
so near this building as to leave. barely room for the tow-path. Rev. 
(ieorge B. Miller, a Lutheran, was the first settled preacher. He had 
many difficulties to contend with, among them that of having to be his 
own chorister. In this musical cajiacity he had to compete with the bugles 
played on the " Ime " and "packet ' boats, just before the church windows, 
in the summer of 1826, the first year of through canallmg. ^'hese instru- 
ments were e\en sounded before the 0[)en windows in prayer time. This 
annoyance was only broken up by an appeal to the State authorities. Mr. 
Miller died at the Hartwick Seminary, of which he was long principal. 
His ministrations at the union church continued for nine years from its 


On the 13th of January, 1827, Rev. Douw Van O'Linda, (.lerrit A. Lans- 
ing, Jacob Hees, John Cooper. John M. Wemple. Jacob (iray and Henry 
I.oucks met at the house of Mr. Lansing, a little red wooden building. 
a few hundred feet east of the present Reformed Church. " for the purpose 
of taking into consideration the subject of organizing a Protestant Dutch 
Church in this place." Messrs. Lansing and Loiicks. Silas Stiiwell and 
John Comue were elected elders. The church thus organized was under 
the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Van OT.inda until 1831. by which time 
considerable progress had been made; though it was not until 1830 that 
the society had a settled pastor — Rev. Ransford Wells, under whose 
administration it increased largely in niembershii). His successor, Rev. 
Richard D. Van Rleck, served the church but a year and a-half. leaving in 
the autumn of 1835. At this time an ineffectual effort was made to raise 
fimds for building a church edifice, the society having thus far used the 
union church Rev. Samuel Robertson followed Mr. Van Kleek, and 
from his departure in .\pril, 1339. services were not held for more than 
two years. About the end of the year 1841, a union Sunday-school of 
this society and the Methodists across the river they had as yet no organ- 
ization in Canajoharie was formed, which met m the little red school 
house then standing about where K. L. Allen's house now is, and was 
■superintended by Pythngoras Wetmore. a \eteran f>f the war of 1812, who is 
"•'ill living. In 1841, the present stone church of the society was built, 
the dedication occurring Man h 10. 1842. Rev. E. P. Dunning, a young 
^'mgrcgational clergyman of New Haven, was called to the pastorate, 
whose duties he performed very successfully for three years. His suc- 
Msss(>r was Rev. James McKarlane, during whose ministry here, which 
< I'lscd in 1S48, dc.icons were first rhos^n. The next pastor, Rev. John 
>>eWiit. held the posit. nn but a when he was siu<eeded by Rev. 
Nathan V. Chapman* who came in 1S50 and remained until 1S54. Rev. 

E. S. Hammond was pastor during the next two years. Rev. Alon^o 
Welton then supplied the pulpit for a year, when Rev. Benjamin F. 
Romaine entered upon a five years' pastorate, during which the church 
was repaired, the galleries removed, the pulpit taken from the south to the 
north end, and the pews correspondingly reversed. The next pastor was 
Rev. B. Van Zandt, D T)., who ministered from 1862 to 1869, when the 
present pastor succeeded him. 


St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in 1835 
under Rev. John Eisenlohr as pastor, the membership including C. Scharff, 
C. Sauerland, Henry Otto. F. Jones, Henry Lieber and F. Miller. Charles 
Aebeling was superintendent of the Sunday school. In 1836 the place of 
meeting was in the academy building. A frame church was built in 1848, 
and in 1871 a stone one. which was consecrated in March, 1872. The 
present pastor is Rev. J. A. Hoffman. The Sunday school numbers one 
hundred and fifty scholars, under the superintendency of H. Herk. 


This church was organized in 1S39. by Rev. since Doctor Wm. N. 
Scholl. and in that year or the next, the union church building was bought 
by the society. It was dedicated in February, 1841, the sermon being 
preached by Dr. Lintner, of Schoharie, who gave the first sermon in the 
same building twenty three years before. Mr. Scholl was pastor of the 
new church until 1850. Its first trustees were Herman I. Ehle, Daniel 
Verdon, Joseph White, George Goertner, jr., Jacob Anthony, D. W. Erwin, 
Livingston Spraker, James Wagner and J. W. Netter\'ille. Rev. F. W. 
Brauns was pastor during most of 1852, and was succeeded in January, 
1853, by Rev. Reuben Dederick, whose ministry covered a period of five 
years. Next came the Rev. .Mr. Hersh, after whose one year pastorate the 
Rev. Mr. Whipple labored for the church seven years, leaving the field in 
i866. His successor was the Rev. Mr. Luckenback, whose stay was less 
than two years ; then for about the same time the church was without a 
pastor. In the mean time the old building was torn down and the present 
stone edifice on Church street was built, together with a chapel, at a cost of 
$15,000, The new building was dedicated August 10, 1870, and Dr. 
Lintner, who had delivered the first dedication sermon, fifteen years before, 
again preached. The present pastor, Rev. L. D. Wells, was installed Dec. 
28, 1870. The membership of the church is 115. 


The Protestant Episcopal Church in Canajoharie was organized under 
the auspices of Rev. I. Leander Townsend, rector at Cherry Valley, early 
in 1852. The first wardens were John E. Young and .\mos A. Bradley, 
and the first vestrymen, George Yost, David W. Erwin, Sumner S, Ely, 
Samuel G. Wilkms. Abraham Seeber. John I. Brandon, Chester S. Brum- 
bly and Joseph White. These gentlemen, together with Wm. McMiMer. 
Andrew Gilchrist, Daniel S. Read, Morgan L. Harris, Delevan Corey. Tni- 
man M Riciiards. Peter D. Betticher, John I. Roof, Daniel It. LubHell. 
George Smith. Ralj.h R. Lathrop, and Charles Miller, signed the re>|uest 
for the organization of an Episcopal church at Canajoharie. At the sug- 
gestion of Rev. Mr. Townsend, the name of St. Polycarp was given to the 



parish. This was chan(;cd three or four years since to "The (lood Shcp- 
hold." Meetint;^ were held at first in the Lutheran, and afterward in the 
other village churches, or in the academy. The present church buiMinj; 
w» ero-ted at an expense of §9,000, furnished ahnost entirely by one 
pefson, who holds the title to thccdilkc, which has not yet been consecrated 
It seats aluput two hundred anil fifty persons. ( Ici asional preaching servi- 
ceswerc held until .Mar. h 1854 when Rev. Joseph \V. .\tcllwain began an 
engagement of si\ months, l-rtun his removal occasional serxices were 
held by Kev. Mr. I)<jwdneyand ke\. Mr. Howard until 1S73, when Rev 
Mr Widdeiner of .\msterdam began holding semi-monthly meetings, uhn h 
have since been continued by his successors, Re\. Messrs. Poole, I.usk, 
ScJiuylcr and Van Uyne. 

ROM.W c.\i HOI.IC. 

Sts. Peter and Paul's Roman Catholic Church edifice was built in 1S62, 
at a cost of alwut §5,000, and dedicated in .\pril, 1S63, by Kather Daly, of 
Utica. '(Tie society was organized immediately after, with a membership 
of about seventy families. The first pastor, Rei. Kather Clark, was fol- 
lowed in 1865 by Rev. John J. Brennan, who was succeeded by Rev. John 
P. Harrigan. in 1858. He remained until 1875, when the present pastor. 
Rev. Charles Zucker, took charge of the congregation, which now includes 
about one hundred families. 


Canajoharie's first newspaper was the 'TfU^^raph, published in 1825 and 
i8j6, by Henry Hooghkirk. 

'The Canajoharie Sentinel followed in 1827, with Samuel Caldwell as 

The Caruijoharie Jiepultiieaii was published in 1827 and the following 
year. It was edited at the outset by Henry Bloomer, and subsequently by 
John McVcan and I). F Sacia. 

The first of these gentlemen in 1831 started 'Thf Montj^omery Ar^ 
which he retained the management for about two years, when it passed 
into the hands of S. M. S. (".rant, who conducted it until 1836. 

Andrew- H.Calhoun published The Ciiniijv/iane /mes/igator, from 1833 
to 1836. 

The Mohavk Valley Gazette wii. published by W. H. Riggs, from 1847 
to 1849, and The ATonlxumery I'liinn by W. S. Hawlcy. from 1850 to 1853. 

In 1837, Levi S. Backus, a deaf mute, started the Radii, He continued 
its publication until November, 1840, in which month the office was 
burned out. When Mr. Backus renewed his journalistic labors in the 
February following, it was at Fort Plain. The Caiiajoharie J<aJii was re- 
vived in the spring of 1858, and at the opening of the year 1S63 came 
under the management of Mr. James .\rkell, the sack manufai turer of 
almost worlil-wide reputation. In the spring of the same year .Mr. 1. F 
Allen purchased a share of the pajicr. It was at this time enlarged and 
called the CaiiajWiarie Jia.lii ami Tax-Payers Joi,r„al. a name now famili,ir 
to so many readers. On the first of January, 1866, .Mr. .Arkcll sold his in- 
terest in the RaJii to .\ngell Matthewson, and he in May 1868 to .Mr. 
.Mien, who thus become sole jiroiirietor. Later in the same year, however, 
.Mr. .\lvin J. Plank, of Fort Plain, bought a share of the concern, and 
.Messrs. .Vllen and Plank compose the jiresent firm of L. F. .Mien i\: Co. 

Mr. .Allen, who was born in Schenectady, learned the art of jirinting at 
the office of the Ref/eefnr in that city, and aftcnvard practiced it in .\lbany 
before a.ssuniing the m.inagement of the A'ailir. The historian Simms is an 
occasional contributor, aiul .Mr. .Arkell and .\lr. Ch.Tries C. Barnes write 
regularly for the paper, which is in a highly [irospenuis condititm. It is 
the only l»«-al journal taken to any extent in the rich old \illage in which 
it IS located, .IS well as in Palatine Brulge and Stone .\raliia on the norih. 
and Ames, M.irshville, Rural (irove .and Sprakers Basin on the south ,iml 
east; while its ciri iilaliMn in the adjoining cnunlics of Fulton, Sihenc. lady. 
Schoharie, ( Itsc-go .and Herkimer is considerable, and it has a scattered 
subscription list of about three hundred in the western Sl.itcs It thus 
stands on a secure basis, and is stc.idily increasing itscin iiLiiion. «hu h has 
more than doubled sinie .Mr. .\llen entered the concern 

It is very creditable to the citi/ens of the village, that in its mf.incy lliL'y 

established an academy, w hich was in successful operation before the canal 
was com])leted. The building was erected about 1S24, and the institution 
incorporated by the Regents of the I niversity about 1826. The lirsl 
principal was Rev. (leo. B. Miller, who, previous to the creation of the 
academy, taught a select school in the old Roof stone tavern building. 
In 1S26 or 1S27 Samuel Caldwell was principal of the school ; about which 
lime lie edited a village newsp.iper, afterward conducted by Henry Hoc.gli- 
kirk, a practical printer. Caldwell, who was a lawyer of some .ibility, re- 
moved to Buffalo, where he died. .\mong the early managers of the 
academy we find, as late as 1832. the Rev. .Mr. Canning, a Congregation.U 
clergyman from Massachusetts, assisted by two sons. The eldest of these-, 
Ebenezer S. B. Canning, for a tunc held a position in the navy, which he 
finally left, and was just beginning to make his mark as a journalist in 
Buffalo, when he fell a victim to the cholera, in its second visitation 
.After the Cannings a Mr. Parker was for some years principal of theacad- 
cniv. and with him, about 1834, was the accomplished preceptress, .Miss 
Allen, now Mrs. C.eo. G. Johnson, of Palatine Bridge. Henry Loucks. 
FNii-, of Palatine Bridge, was for many years a most efficient trustee of the 
institution. The academv bell vvas a novel one, being a bar of 1 ast steel, 
in triangular form. .As the village church had no bell, that of the academy 
was used on the Sabbath to call the worshipers together. A similar bell 
was then in use on the Lutheran stone church in Palatine, and another on 
the court-house at Johnstown. The original wooden building of the acad- 
emy still stands near the old site, having been moved to give place to the 
present structure. The institution, which has a large library, and cheniii al 
and philosophical apjiaratus, is now the academic department of the vil- 
lage free school. 


This place has been peculiarly unfortunate in its experience of fires. 
Three times has it specially suffered, in 1840, 1849, and the spring of 1877, 
the flames in each case sweeping over almost the same ground, namely, all 
the business blocks on both sides of Church street, from Main street to the 
canal. The last great fire occurred .April 30th, and destroyed nearly 
one-half of the business part of the village, including projierty worth over 
a cjuarter of a million dollars, and insured for a little more than one-third 
of that amount. In place of the burned buildings have arisen massive and 
handsome brick structures, which, it is hoped, will not prove so easy a prey 
to the devouring element. 


About 1805, Henry Nazro began to trade within the jiresent limits of 
Canajoharic village. .At the end of a few years he removed to Troy and 
W.1S succeeded by .Abram Wemple, a good business man, who for a time 
commanded a company of cavalry. He was a tall, handsome and resolute 
officer, and died greatly lamented, about 1815. When he began trading. 
Ills father was with him. Their place of business was " the yellow build- 
ing " vacated by Barent Roseboom, which occupied nearly the site of the 
dwelling subsequently built by the late Thomas B. Mitchell ; but having 
built a store across the creek he took possession of it, and Joseph Failing 
began trading in the vacated building, where he also kept a tavern. His 
brother Warner joined him in trade, but soon sold out to John Usher. In 
1817, this store took fire from ashes stored under [the stairs and burned 
down, entailing a heavy loss on F'ailing and Usher. The former still beinn 
' indebted to Warner Failing, turned over to him all his property, even to J 
silver watch, setting an exanqile of integrity not always imitated in the 
present generation. The old .Abram Wemple store was occupied in iS2'j 
bv the somewhat cc centric Richard Bortle, without a mention of whom 
the village record of that period would be incomplete. In this building 
■• hick Bortle." as faiuiliarily known, fixed up .at his opening a lot of bottles 
of c olorccl lluids so as to make a very noticeable liquor show, and here he 
kcpi a saloon. He drew an easv fiddle bow, spun an inimitable yarn, 
anti could gracefully cnicrt:iin any guest from a beggar to a prince. He 
came from Sc hoharic c ciiintv. and did not live long in Canajoharic. 

James P. Alton, who had previously kept a store and |iubli. house it 

Ames, traded for a time at Canajoharic, after the death of \Vciii|ilc, .md 

I during the construction of the canal, but he failed before its completion in 

' 1S25 In 1S21. Herman I. Khic to trade here, and in 1S24 erected 





JK^^:-#-r^ fa 



his store on the canal. Henry Lieber estaMished hinisclt as a mtrchant in 
1822 or 1823, and in connection with his mills did a lucrative Imsiness 
He bailt several canal boats to facilitate his own traffic, and one, the " Prince 
Orange," was the first of the class called lake boats constructed in this 
part of the State. It was built in 1S26, and was launched near the site <>f 
ihr brewery which Mr. I.ieber built in 1827. This building, which was of 
brick, and known latterly js a malt house, uas destroyed by the great lire 
of the year 1877. One of the industries of this period, removed to 
Ijnajoharie from Palatine liridge. was a furnace for plow and other 
castings, in which Mr. P^hle was a partner, the firm being Gibson. John- 
.ion & Ehle. Mr. IChle, with whom the historian J. R. Simms was for 
two years a clerk, and afterward a partner, was for a number of years 
known as one of the I>est dry goods dealers in central New York. Edward 
H. Winans was in trade here in 1S26, and John Taylor as a partner of 
K hie moved in in 1827. 

The first remembered physician at Canajoharie wa*» Dr. Jonathan 
Kights» who removed to AUiany prior to 1820. He was succeeded by John 
Atwaler, and I.ebbeus Doty, and to the craft was added, as early as 1825, 
Walter L. Hean. 

To represent the legal profession, the village had in its earliest days 
Roger Dougherty, and Alfred, father of Roscoe Conkling, and a little later, 
Nicholas Van Alstinc, a native of the locality. The two former were suc- 
ceeded by David F.acker. afterward First Judge of the county Common 
Fleas Bench, and David F. Sa< ia. Van Alstine early became, as did 
James B. Alton, an acting justice of the peace. A number of legal prac- 
titioners came in soon after, among whom was Charles Mc Vean, one of the 
first Congressmen from Montgomerv- county, and afterward surrogate of 
the county of New York. 


John Roof kept an inn at Canajoharie as early as 1777, and this was 
the first of which there is any knowledge, although it is reasonable to sup- 
pose that "mine host " was there before Roof's coming. In the summer 
tif 1779 (.ien. James Clinton and a body of Sullivan's troops, destined to 
invade the Indian villages of western New York, were at this place several 
weeks, waiting for supplies and the arrival of batteaux building at Schenec- 
tady and elsewhere. During that time they opened a road through Spring- 
field to the head of Otsego Lake, along which the boats were drawn on 
wagons. Tradition says that (ien. Clinton boarded with Roof at this time, 
and it is not unlikely that many of his ofificers were quartered with Roof 
and Philip Van Alstine. While Clinton's men were here, two spies. Lieut. 
Henr)- Hare and Sergt. Wm. Newberry, were captured in Florida, tried here 
and hung, (ieneral Clinton is said to have spent the day with Domine 
<".ros, at Fort Plain, to avoid the importunity of the friends of the con- 
demned. A deserter named Titus was shot about the same time. The 
imdy of Hare was given to his friends, but Newberry and Tilus were 
buried on the fiats, and the bones of one of them were unearthed in digging 
tie canal some forty years after their burial. Washington is said to have 
siopifcd, when in this quarter, at Roof's house, which was of stone rubble 
work) 22x38 feet, and a story and a half high, with gable end to the public 
square. The accommodations were rather meagre, but sauerkrout, Dutch 
cheese, bread and maple sugar abounded. 

The modern house erected in front of the old stone edifice bought of 
Henry Schreniling by John Roof, and kept as a tavern by him, and his 
snn after him , whii h is i ailed the "Stage House." and has a coach and 
four pictured on its front, was kept in 1S26 by Reuben I'eake, and a few 
years later by ICIisha Kane Root', who. about 1S33 was sxu 1 ceded by C-eorge 
H. Murray. When Murray left. Morgan L. Harris, who had married a 
daughter of K. K. Roof. kei>t the Iioum- lur about another decade. The 
Mages ran to Cherr\ Valkn, and (triginalh had two hordes, instead of four; 
but in 1S44 fuur horse ^ta_'e^. < arrving inul .inrl passengers, began running 
to Cherry Valley and CMuperstown. leaxing the Kldridge House daily; this 
bne was kept up fur about iv\enty vears 


Arkell \- Smith's paprr .md miinn tlunr s,i. k m.iniifa. tory is r 
".K- of the imp')rt uu t■^t.lhll^llnH.nI> m the \ilLi-e, but the la 
its kind in the world. I he b^sl^es^ was ^.siablished in 1X5.). an 

1 1853, was the first bank]in Cana- 
in successful operation. James 
It was organized as a national 

employment to a large number of operatives. The works are run by water. 

They occupy two fronts on Mill street ; the main building has over thirty 
thousand feet of floor, and the cotton warehouse, machine shops, etc., have 
m addition, a front of nearly three hundred feet in length on the opposite 
side of the street. The machines producing sacks have a consuming 
i apacity of over six tons of |>aper per day. Sacks are pasted, cut off, one 
end softened for tying, a thumb hole put in one end, bottoms folded and 
pasted down, a card printed on and are counted by the same machinery at 
the rate of over seventy thousand per day. Six large drum cylinder presses, 
running at high speed, are used in the printing dei)artinent. The paper 
mills are at Troy, N. V., and use nearly six hundred horse power of water, 
being the largest two manilla mills in the L^nited States. The firm have a 
branch house in Chicago, and agencies in St. Louis and San Francisco, 
and ship their goods to every part of the United States and to foreign 

The Spraker National Bank, chartered i 
joharie under a State charter, and is still 
Spraker has always been its president, 
bank in 1865 ; capital $100,000. 

The Canajoharie Bank was organized as a State bank in 1855, and as a 
national bank ten years later. A. N. Van Alstine was the first president, 
and P. Moyer the first cashier; C. G. Barnes and A. G. Richmond hold 
those offices at present. The capital of the bank is §25,000. 

The Phoenix Block, of which an illustration appears on another page, is 
a fine, large fire-proof building, erected in the summer of 1S77. over the 
ruins of a frame structure, formerly the Masonic Hall building, and at the 
time of the disastrous fire of April 30, 1877, owned by Hodge & Stafford. 
The present building is of brick, the front being composed of "Crolon 
pressed brick," with iron cornice and trimmings outside, and metal roof, 
and is, taken altogether, one of the best looking and most substantial 
blocks in the village. 

The south half of this building is owned and occupied by Sticht & 
Shubert, as a boot and shoe store, below; while the second story is rer^ted 
of them by the Canajoharie Reform Club, as a club room; and the third 
story by Professor Dobson for his dancing school. 

The firm of Sticht & Shubert is composed of Christopher Sticht and 
Frank Shubert, both of German nativity, but long residents of America. 
Mr. Sticht, the senior member of the firm, came to America from Germany 
in 1S54, and began work at shoe making for his brother, John ^L Sticht, 
on this site. In 1861, he purchased of his brother a half interest in the 
business. In 1S65, Frank Shubert, who came from Germany in 1851, pur- 
chased of John M. Sticht the remaining half interest, making the firm ol 
Sticht & Shubert, which has ever since successfully traded here. In the 
fall of 1877, after this building was nearly completed, the firm of Sticht A 
Shubert purchased of Hodge ^: Stafford the south half of it, as now occu- 
pied by them. The Stichts had occupied the same store and been in the 
same business up to the 30th of .April, 1S77, the date of the fire. 

Mr. Sticht enlisted at the first call for troops in 1S61, with the three 
months men, and faithfully served out his time. Mr. Shubert also, at the 
call of his country in .\ugust, 1S61, enlisted as a private in Co. R, 43d 
Regiment N. Y. S. V., and served with honor as sergeant until April, 
1865, when for bravery and devotion he was given a lieutenant's commis- 
sion, which he proudly brought home with him at the close of the war. 

P'or honesty and fair dealing this firm has built up an enviable reputa- 
tion, as they make a specialty of first-class work. 

The present drug and medicine firm of Hodge &: Stafford was founded 
in the year 1856. by Horace Rush and Dr. John H. Stafford, father of one 
of the present proprietors, and occupied the corner store in the old Concert 
Hall building, erected by James T. Easlon. .\fler about ten years the 
interest of Mr. Bush was purchased by A. M. Hodge, who had been a 
clerk in the store from its tommencement. Shortly after Dr. Staflord 
transferred his interest in the business to his son Charles T. The new 
firm, within a short time, ptirchased the block. In the memorable fire of 
Apr. 30. 1S77, the entire block from Canal to Main streets was conMinu-fl. 
Within five months, on the site of the old building, but embracing in depth 
forty feet additional, the new and substantial three story brick bl(M k 
above des. ribed, and cKeuhere illustrated, was ere* ted. "Ahith i- n..w o. - 
cupied in part by the firm 

The i>rcsent store as to si/e. t onvenience and general finish, is < lann. d 
to be superior to anv in the cunty. and < ertainly indi 

s that the 



Among the principal business men are John Finehout& Son, who opened 
a grocery and crockery store in i860. G. F. Hiller located here in the 
grocery business in 1870. 

W. G. Winsman, boot and shoe dealer, began business in 1862, succeed- 
ing his father, who commenced the trade in 1834. 

Louis Bierbauer began brewing ale and lager beer in 1856. and is still 
engaged in it, being located in Mill street. 

In the hide, leather and wool business may be mentioned James Halli- 
gan, the only dealer in that line, who began in 1859. 

Peter Sloan, dentist, was the only one in the village when he opened his 
office in 1861. 

William Hatter, who settled here in 1848. began thebusinessof aclolhier 
and merchant tailor m 1S51, and still contmues it. 

The cut stone and lime business is carried o i by Charles Shapcr, who, 
beginning in 1856, has built up a thriving trade. There arc four others m 
the same line. 

Philip Betts located here in 1861, and opened a meat market, which he 
still keeps. 

S. A. Field has kept a Hvery stable since 1857. 

E. Roberts has been a machinist in the village since 1852. 

E. I^ Vates built the Yates malt house in 1863. It was managed by 
Wemple and Read until 1S69. when Mr. Vates took charge of the business. 
This is the only establishment of the kmd now in the village, one having 
been burned down in the fire of 1877. 

^ L. B. Clark &: Son have a large planing mill, run by steam, and an eleva- 
tor and feed mill. 

An apiar)' is carried on by J. H. Nellis, who is an importer ' nd breeder 
of Italian bees, manufacturer of artificial honey comb, and general dealer 
in apiarian supplies. 

A. C. Xellis, as a florist and seedsman, furnishes plants, seeds, bulbs, etc., 
of every description. 


Hamilton Lodge. No. 79. F. ^: A. M.. has an elegant hall in the village 
of Canajoharie. Its charter dates back to 1806. when it was No. 10 in the 
list of lodges. Dr. Joshua Webster was the first master. 

A chapter of Royal Arch masons also have an interest in the hall and its 

St. Paul's Lodge, F. & A. M., was organized at Buel. a year or two earlier 
than Hamilton Lodge, with which it was afterward united. 

The subject of this sketch is of German descent, his great-grandfather, 
Peter Dunkel, having emigrated, with his family of four sons, from Zwei 
Breucken on the Rhine, and settled at Frey^bush, in the town of Canajo- 
harie, about the year 1765. His grandfather, John (iarret Dunkcl, who, 
upon his arrival here, wa^ only si.\ years of age, also had four sons, \tz: 
George, Peter, John, and 1 )aniel. His father, John Dunkel, jr.. who is stilt 
living, was bom in Canajoharie in May, 1797, and, in turn, was blessed 
with four sons and two daughters, to wit; William J., Peter J., Moses, 
Harvey, Lucy and Ann Eliza, the latter being the present Mrs. S. W. 
Beardsley. His mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Fox, whose grand- 
father came from Germany, and located in the same vicinity as early as 
1770. Both his grandfathers and great-uncles naturally espoused the 
cause of liberty, and took an active part in the Revolutionary struggles. 
His paternal grandsire lost his right eye in an engagement at Sharon Hill. 
ano was also prevent at the surrender of Hurgoyne;at Saratoga, in October. 
1777, and he and his brothers took part in the battle of Oriskany. Many 
Revolutionary relics, once a part of his accoutrements, are still in the 
possession of the family. Harvey Dunkel was born in the town of Cana- 
joharie, Montgomery county, April 26th, 1837. He received an academic 
education, studied law at Cherry Valley, Otsego county, with James E. 
Dewey. Esq., now of Albany, and in the spring of 1859 was admitted to 
the bar. On October 15th, 1861, he united in marrige with Althea H.. 
daughter of Joshua S. Williams, of Canajoharie. Fannie L, their onlv 
child, was born July 25th, 1862. In December, 1858, he located in the 
village of Canajoharie. where he .soon after commenced and still continues 
the practice of his profession. In November, 1874, he was elected district 
attorney of Montgomery county for three years, and in the fall of 1877 was 
again elected, by an increased majority, being the only man re-elected to 
that office since the organization of the county. As the people's atlornev, 
he has conducted some of the most important criminal cases ever brought 
before the courts of Montgomery county. In February, 1878, he tried two 
murder cases of great interest, in the short space of five days, which re- 
sulted in the conviction of both crimmals ; and for the able and impartial 
manner in which these cases were prepared, presented and prosecuted, he 
received the untjualified commendation of the bar, the encomiums of the 
press, and the plaudits of the public generally. .Although three genera- 
tions removed from his native German ancestry, he speaks the language of 
his forefathers with ease and fluency. He is also possessed of rare musi- 
cal talent, and has a high rejjutation as a singer. His genial disposition 
and social and sympathetic nature have won him hosts of true friends in all 
classes of society, while his intellectual attainments, professional abilitv, 
sound judgment, love of justice and uncompromising integrity, command 
the respect of all with whom he comes in contact. 






The town of Charleston, the third in point of age in the county, was 
fonned from the original town of Mohawk on the 12th day of March. 1793. 
The eariy history of the town of Glen, given in another part of this volume, 
is in part the early history of this town, from the fact that during the year 
182J Charleston was reduced to less than one-half of its former proportions 
by the creation of the towns of Root and Glen; the former having been 
organized January 27, and the latter April 10. The list of the first officers 
of the town and much other interesting historical matter are lost, owing to 
the fact that in the year 1867 Schuyler Gordon, who was the town clerk, 
kept the records in his store at Oak Ridge, and in the autumn of that year 
the store was burned and the town records were consumed in the flames. 

Among the early settlers in the town was John E. Van Epps, who 
located at the site of the present village of Fultonville, in the town of 
Gien. From his nephew, Charles, who came about the same time, the 
town received its name. 

Charleston, the only town in Montgomery county which does not border 
on the Mohawk river, is about five miles distant from it, the nearest point 
being where the town line strikes the Schoharie creek. The latter forms 
its eastern boundary, and is the line of separation between it and the 
to»-n of Florida, and also in part the dividing line between Montgomery 
and Schenectady counties. The surface is generally a rolling upland, 
descending abruptly to the beds of the small streams which riow in every 
direction; the principal one. Mill brook, flowing east and uniting with the 
Schoharie about two miles north of the village of Burtonvilie. In the 
eastern part of the town the land bordering ui>on the Schoharie consists 
* hiefly of bluffs, varying in height from 50 to 100 feet. 

When the first white settlers came into this section, the adaptability of 
the water of the Schoharie for milling purposes was at once seen, and 
numerous mills were erected along its course. 


Among the early settlers i)rior to the war of the Revolution, were : 
Thomas Machin. Capt. John Stanton, Robert Winchell, Adin Brownley, 
Henry Mapes, David Kimball, Nathan Kimball, E/ekiel Tracy, Nathan 
Tracy, Abner Throop, John Eddy and Abiah Beaman; and these were 
followed later by Judah Burton. Abram Davi^ John Hutler, Charles Ear- 
mg, Benjamin Beard, Juhn Reimer, John Brand. John Hamilton, Isaac 
Conover, Peter Fero. Edward Montanye, Henry Shihly. John Schuyler. 
Garret I. Lansing, Alexander Hubbs. George Teeple, John Cochley, John 
Hoag, Elijah Herrick, Abram Guile. Ephraim Burtch, William Jamison, 
Joshua Tuhbs, Christian Overbaugh. Sylvanus Willoughby, James Sut- 
l»heo, Benjamin K. Kneeland. Elias Cady, Francis Hoag, Nathaniel Bow- 
dish. Ira H. Corbin. James Jermain, Henry (i. Staley, David Hamilton, 
James Pcttcys, Peleg Petieys. Cornelius Wiser. Sergeant Heath, Daniel 
Bryant, Cljrk Randall. Thoma> Leak. Michael Winter. Jacob Weed, Jacob 
Smith. Ethan Eaton. Stephen Borden, Epra (iordon. Richard Davis. Moses 
Picrson, Richard Cliiie. William Fero and John Onderkirk. 

This town witnessed much of the distress suffered by the dwellers on 
the frontier during the Revolution, from the fact that the raiding parties 
«'f British, Indians and tories usually chose the Schoharie valley as their 
"►ute from the valley of the Sus-pichanna to that of the Mohawk. The 
r-iad leading directly north from O.ik Rid^L- was the old Indian road, and 
"n one occasion, during one of the hurried m;inhL-s from the Sus.juehan- 
nu to the Mohawk, the lintiOi and IndKins were pursued by a party of 
Americans, and. a shnrt di-.tan( e north ol the hou!%c of late occupied by 

Noah Davis, built a barricade of their baggage-wagons, and for some time 
resisted the advance of the Americans, but were finally forced to retreat, 
burning the barricade as they left. 

It was also on this road that the famous " stone-heap " was situated. 
There is a tradition that, long prior to the Revolutionary war, a white 
man was murdered at this spot, and the edict was issued that every In- 
dian, in passing the spot, should throw a stone upon it. Who issued the 
command, and when it was issued, are questions whose answers are lost 
in the dim distance of time. The fact remains that every Indian who 
passed the spot did cast a stone upon it. One authority says: " Somewhere 
between Schoharie creek and Caughnawaga commenced an Indian road or 
foot-path which led to Schoharie. Near this road ♦ * * h^^^ been 
seen, from time immemorial, a large pile of stones, which has given the 
name ' Stone-heap Patent ' to the tract on which it occurs, as may be seen 
from ancient deeds." Rev. Gideon Hawley, in the narrative of his tour 
through the Mohawk country, by Schoharie creek, in 1753, makes the fol- 
lowing allusion to the stone-heap; ''We came to a resting-place and 
breathed our horses, and slaked our thirst at the stream, when we pfrreivcd 
our Indian looking for a stone, which, having found, he cast to a heap 
which for ages had been accumulating by passengers like him who was our 
guide. W'xi inquired why he observed that rite. He answered that his 
father practiced it and enjoined it on him. But he did not like to talk on 
the subject. » * * This custom or rite is an acknowledgment of an 
invisible being. We may style him the unknown god whom this people 
worship. Tiiis heap is his altar. The stone that is collected is the obla- 
tion of the traveler, which, if offered with a good mind, may be as accept- 
able as a consecrated animal. But perhaps these heaps of stones may be 
erected to a local deity, which most probably is the case." On this. Kul- 
tenber remarks: "The custom referred to had nothing of worship in it. 
* * * The stone-heaps were always by the side of a trail or regularly 
traveled path, and usually at or near a stream of water. The Indians 
paused to refresh themselves, and. by throwing a stone or a stick to a < er- 
tain place, indicated to other travellers that a friend had passed." 

It was the custom of many of the early settlers, especially those who 
came from adjoining counties, to come to their new possessions in the 
spring and fell the trees, and in the fall burn them, and return to their 
homes to spend the winter months. After two or three years they uould 
have sufficient space cleared to cultivate, and would then bring their fami- 
lies and build their log-houses. 

The first woman in the vicinity of Charleston Four Corners was Elizabeth 
Caw. She occupied a log-house, with blankets hung in the doorways and 
windows to keep out the night air. 


Bl'RTonvim.v, — Shortly after the close of the Rev(»lutionary wai 

I of land, in the south-east end comer of the town, one mile s<pi 

I granted to Judah Burton and others. The date of the first setth 

I this ])oint is not definitely known, but it was probably very shortly . 

close of the war. if not a year or two previous to that date, from 

that Judah Burton in the year 17S5. erected the first saw and gri;; 

the town. This building stoo.l about half a mile below the loraii. 

present mill at Burtonvilie, and was built by Feli.\ Holt. A brisk 

was tarried on here, as it was for many years the only mill in to« 

hiiilding remained until the vear 1S14, wh^n a heavy freshet « arn 

the dam, and the busmess was abandoned at that point In the sj 

are. was 
.-ment at 
after the 
the fart 
t-mill in 
U10) the 



however, a mill was erected at the site of Burtonvillc, by Jonathan, Eben- 
exer and Abrani Mudge, which remained until the year 1850. In that 
year, Judah Burton, the son of the original settler, built the fine structure 
at present occujiicd by J. \V. &. N. H. Mcriness. Burton, after building 
the mill, larried on the business until 1854, when he sold nut 10 Smith 
Colyer, who continued it for two years, .and was then succeeded by Charlci 
M. Sitlerley, who sold out in the year 1876 to the present firm J. W 
Meriness came to tlie town in 1854, and was employed in the mill when it 
was in the hands of Colyer. He has been here in the buiiness Mncc that 
time, with the exception of four or hvejears. 

In 1810, Joseph Blanchard erected a carding machine and fulling mill. 
where he carried on business for a number of years. In 1844, A. G. Ran- 
dall commenced the business of manufacturing woolen goods at Biirton- 
ville, and four years thereafter built the mill now occupied b\ himself and 
his son, who are now dcjing a first class trade. In connection with the 
business of manufacturing woolens, they make grape, honey, and packing 
boxes, and also have a patent right for manufacturing spring beds. 

In 1812, a nail factory was erected here, but the business was carried on 
only for a short time. 

In 1817, a tannery was erected at this point by Benjamin Davis. He 
was succeeded in iSi6 by Benjamin Palmer, who continued the business 
until 1863, when the tannery was aba^idoned. 
, The first blacksmith shop in the village of Burtonville was put up in 
1812, by John Walker, although one had been built previous thereto, about 
a (Quarter of a mile outside of the village limits. 

The first hotel at this [loint was established shortly after the commence- 
ment of the present century, by Captain .^bram Mudge, and in connection 
with this business he kept a general store for the accommodation of the 
resident farmers. From him the settlement took its first name, .Mudge 
Hollow, but when the post-office was established here, the more attractive 
I name of Burtonville was conferred upon it. 

In addition to these business enterprises, there are at Burtonville at the 
present time, a hold, two siorcs, a saw-mill, a wagon shop, a harness shop, 
and two blacksmith shops. A sash and blind factory was formerly among 
the industries of the place, but was abandoned in 1S62. 

"fhe first hotel at Ch.vri.kstdn Foir Corners was kept by Philip 
Young, who began the business about the year 1810. Young also kept a 
blacksmith shop in connection with the hotel, and in this shop Isaac S. 
Frost, now of Canajoharie, established a store. Shortly after this Young 
built a hotel on the site of the one occupied by John H. Smith, but soon 
sold out to Captain Carl. The hotel thereafter frequently changed hands, 
among those who succeeded Carl being David Gordon, John and .Andrew- 
Frank, Edward Potter, Philip Rockafcliow. Conrad Kellers, William Haz- 
ard, and John H. Smith, the house at |)resent being under the efficient 
management of the latter. Mr. Smith, although he has not the facilities 
for accomodating a large number of guests at one time, has the happy facul- 
ty of making every one who visits him feel very much at home. 

Isaac S. F'rost, who established the first store at Charleston Four Corners. 
was sui cecded by Jesse F.aton. F^.aton then took in a partner named I.ovell. 
the firm name being I.ovell & Katon. Jas. Frost was the nevt occupant of 
the store, .and he was succeeded by Charles Mclnstrey. Th : establishment 
was carried on as a tmion store, and afterward James Ford kept it for a year. 
After Ford. Wm. Ma.xwell 1 arried on the business for eight or nine years, 
and was succeeded by Judson McDuffee. .McDuffee built up a large tr.ide. 
and did a thriving business until the year 1876. when the store was humeri 
i down. A store was afterwards openid by H. S Simmonds in the lower 

I part of an old wagon shop. 

j There have been a host of ksmilhs at the l-oiir Corners sm. .; I'hilip 

I Young first swung the pledge, .\lonzo .M. s, ott, " the vilhige bl.u k-niith" 

I at the present lime, is a naii\e of the tonn of K.,ni, .mil «,is l.nrn m tlic 

year 1S42. He came to Charleston in 1 .S57, .nnl « unl to larming .it the 
Four Corners, hut mii ye.irs .i-n ,i|..,nil<inc.l the |iln« f,,r ihc l..rgc. Mr. 
Scott was a member of tlic lilhllcny Arliil.i-v diinnj, the rebeliion. and 
served until the close of the war 

The other branches of business earned c.n at the Four I .irner^. ,ire a 
cheese fad.iry. a wagon shop, .and an iindcrl ikiug est.iMishiiieni .\llhough 
it does not show on the siirf.u e, there lsc|inlc an ai live 1hi..uu-s preset uted 
at this point. 

The first hotel at 1 in kl 1 -ion, (.r. asil iimonU kiin«n. Kii.kk's 

CoKNi-ks, cipcueil shorllv alter the close of llie List iciuiin It is not 
known definitely wh.i was the I'lrst proprietor, but among the first was U'm. 

Shaw, who was followed by a man named Wolverton. The hotel then 
passed successively into the hands of Elisha Wilcox, Richard Carley, Row- 
land Rider, Joseph Steel, Priest Rider, John .\ Perkins, Daniel Schuyler, 
(ieo. Fero, John A. Perkins, Wm. J. Rider, and the present owner and 01 - 
> upant, C. I). Hall. Formerly quite an extensive trade was carried on at 
this pomt. .\t one time about 25 years ago, there were two stores, a hotel, 
a millinery establishment, a blacksmith shop, two shoe shops, and a tannery 
The tannery was established before the commencement of the present cen- 
tury by a man named Picrson, who was succeeded by his son, and the latter 
by Jacob Van Duysen. Jacob died and left the business to his son Joseph, 
«ho carried it on until about two years ago, when he closed it up. The 
store at this place was given up about eight years ago. Jacob Montanyr 
was the last store keeper, and the business was formerly conduitcd in the 
building now owned by Mrs. Rebecca Rider. 

.\t 0.\K RiDciE a store has been established for a number of years. The 
present merchant. Wasson C. Barlow, has by strict attention to business, 
and his courteous bearing toward his customers, established a large trade 
Mr. Barlow is a native of the town, and is well known for many miles arouml 
He served his country in the civil war, h.aving enlisted in the 13th Heav j 
.\rtilery in December, 1863. 

Formerly the farmers of Charleston devoted their lands to dairying pur- 
poses, but the high prices obtainable for hay for several years past induced 
many of them to sell off their cows and devote their attention to the rais- 
ing of hav. Two years ago, after his store had been burned, (udson Mc- 
Duffee went into the hay business. He purchases the hav from the 
farmers and ships it to buyers in New York and other large cities. 
Mr. McDuffee handles from four to five thousand tons of hay annually 
He was born in the town in 1846, and has always lived in it. His father, 
William, owns three farms in the town at the present time, comprising, in 
all, 200 acres. 


Previous to the year 1790 the only way of crossing the Schoharie creek 
was by fording it, and during seasons of high water communication be- 
tween one shore and the other was necessarily interrupted. In year 
the first bridge across the creek was erected at Burtonville. It was an ordin- 
ary wooden structure, and remained until the year 1814. In that year, 
while John Eaton and a boy named Raymond Barlow were crossing the 
bridge in a wagon, it gave way. Eaton had been warned of the dangerous 
condition of the bridge previous to driving upon it. but replied that he 
would risk it. When about in the middle of the bridge the accident 
occurred, and Eaton was caught by the timbers, forced under the water 
and drowned. Barlow escaped uninjured, and is now living in the town 
It was not until the year 1820 that another bridge supplied the place of 
the one thus destroyed. It was a simple wooden truss bridge, and re- 
mained until the year 1841, when it was carried off by a freshet. Two 
years thereafter a fine substantial iron bridge was erected, and [lart of it is 
still standing; but in the year 1869, the western part, from the island to 
Burtonville, was carried away, and in 1870 the bridge assumed the form it 
now wears. 


The first school house in the town was located at the present site of 
School No. 8, and was built about the year 1800. .Among the earlie-t 
teachers in the town was .Antlrew Biggam, the father of Dr. Higgam at 
Rider's Corners. The first school house in District No. 3 was built about 
the year 1S05; and about the year i.SoS the first school house in District 
No I was erected. In the year i.Sio the first school house in the eastern 
|)art of the town was built, about a mile and a-half north of the ullage c:l 
Burton\ille It twenty feet sipiare. and the roof came to a point over 
the centre of the lunlcluig. The present building was erected in 1842 
Scpiire D. C. Chase, the present teacher of the school, began teaching here 
in 1840. in the old building, and taught until the year 1855. He then 
ceased for ten years. In [."^es he c ommenccd again, and t.uight eigia 
years; since which time he has been teaching during the winter term onl\ 
Squire Chase also holds the oftices of justice of the peac e and postmaster, 
and at his fine residence in the village of lUirlonviUe he has three ac res c' 
land which he devotes to the purpose c.f raising Jirapts, pears and clhcr 




Previous to the commencement of the present century. Dr. Lathrope 
an<i l>r. Babbitt ^^e^e the only practicing physicians in the town. Their 
district, however, covered a much larger field than the dttctors of the present 
tlav find, as these two practitioners had patients throughout all that section 
trmbraced in the jiresent town^ of Charleston, (lien. Root, and Florida. 
It is true there were other doctors practicing here, but these two were the 
(inly resident physicians. About the commencement of the present centnr\' 
I»r. Wm. Smith began practicing in the town. He was living near Davis" 
Comers at the time, and when he was riding through the woods would cut 
a poplar switch for a ndmg whip, and when he arrived at home plant it. 
i he row of i>oplar tree> at this point is composed of Dr. Smith's old ridmg 
whips. Among those who in the earlier history of this town took their 
saddle bags and traveled about, restoring the sick and wounded to health 
and strength, was Dr. .\lexander Sheldon. He came to the town about 
the year 1804, and shortly afterward erected the dwelling house occupied 
by him until his death, and which is now owned and occupied by Mrs. 
Rider. Dr. Sheldon had a large practice in Charleston, Glen and Root 
for about forty years. 

Dr. Wm. t^arlisle began practicing medicine in the town about the year 
1823, and about seven years afterward Dr. Henry Belding moved here 
from the town of Flonda. 

In the year 1835 Dr. Burton opened an office here, but after a few years 
removed to the village of Fultonville. 

About this time, or short!); after. Dr. Vine A. Allen, and Dr. Heath 
were located here, but neither remained longer than a year or two. 

Among the pre.^ent physicians of the town is Dr. W. H. Blggam. who 
began practicing at Rider's Comers, about the year 1842. Dr. Biggam is 
a hale, hearty looking man. 63 years of age, and is prohaijly the best known 
man in the town. A skillful physician, and a kind, genial neighbor, he has by 
patient attention lo business gained a name and a success he well deserves. 

Dr. J. J. Miller, whose " Cottage Home " at Charleston Four Corners is 
well known to residents of the town, was born in Tompkins county, in 
1S35. During the early years of the war he was with the army, in the 
employ of the Christian Commission. He was at that time a minister of the 
(iospel, but eight or ten years after he took up the practice of medicine, 
and has been engaged in it ever since until the fall of 1877, when he started 
on a lecturing tour throughout the country. He has been a resident of 
(!harleston for fourteen years. 

Among the other physicians at present practicing in town are Dr. Henry 
Shibley, Dr. Palmer and Dr. I.umis. 




This is the oldest church in the town, and one of the oldest in this sec- 
tion. It was organized in 1703. The first building was erected on the 
site of the present strurturtr It a frame edifice, and remained until 
the year 1833, when it was torn down and the present building erected in 
Its place, much of the timber in the old church being used in the construc- 
tion of the new one. Rev. Elijah Herrick was the first minister, and he 
was succeeded by his son Calvin. The present pastor is Rev. Alexander 
Macltey, and the membership numbers about So, 



Thus so<iety was organized by an association of Free Will Baptists, on 
thf 9th of December, 1813, with thirteen signers of the church roll. James 
Wilson was the first pastor. The society was without a church edifice until 
tliL- year 1819, when a building was erected about a mile west of Oak Ridge, 
and was u'ied freely by all denominations. Previous to this time the chiirrh 
•n-x-tings had been hfid in the school house. In 1822 Elder John Ross, 
til" n iH years of age, »n-> railed to preside over the church, and for half a 
" ntiiry this faithful man of (lod filled his important offire. The present 
' I'lirch edifuc was erected in the summer of 1834. In the fall of 1872 El- 
'h r Rnss resigned the pastorate, and Rev. He/ekiah I.eonardson was railed 
•'■ < ccu|>y the place He remained for two years, when the jirt-sent pastor. 


Rev. James Wright <.uc Ltrciltrd him There are at present on the church 
roll the names of 165 memhers- 

The Methodist Church at Biirionvillc was organized m the year 1857. 
The menil)ershi[) is in the neighborhood of 100. The present pastor is the 
Rev. Mr. Browne. 

The "Christian" Church ol BurtonMlle was organized December 23d, 
1865, and at that time there were eighteen names on the church roll. The 
membership at present is about 60. 


The first post office in the town was established at Charleston fRider's 
Corners . previous to the year 1807. In that year, which is as far back as 
the record extends, Levi Pettibone was appointed postmaster, his ap- 
pointment bearing date October ist. Since that time the names of the 
different postmasters and the dates of their appointment have been as 
follows : John Guernsey, January ist, 1809. .Adam Smith, January 10th, 
TS14. Moses N'ash, (Jctolier ist, 1816. .Adam Smith, June 3d, 1818. 
Benjamin Sheldon, November 2d, 1822. Peter S. Wyckook, December 
iSth, 1823. Wm. Carlisle, March 14th, 1827. Henry H. Helding, Febru- 
ary 20th, 1834. Darius J. Hewett, March 19th, 1836. Thomjison Burton, 
November 26th, 1836. Wm. H. Biggam, August 12th, 1845. Elisha H. 
Brumley, July 27th, 1S49. Wm. H. Biggam, June iSth, 1853. Daniel W. 
Schuyler, .March 29th, 1855. Wm. H. Biggam, November 3d, 1855. Char- 
les H. Van Dusen, December 4th, 1S62. Wm. H. Biggam, October 30th, 
1867. Cornelius D. Hall, January 2d, 1873. 

U'hen the post-office was first established at Burtonville, it was named 
" Eaton's Corners," and Ebenezer Knibioe was, on .April 13th, 1825, ap- 
pointed the first postmaster. David Eaton was his successor, October 
27th, 1828, and he was followed by Geo. E. Cady, May 23d, 1831. 
Brownell was the successor of Cady, his appointment bearing date October 
20, 1837, and at this time the name of the office was changed to Burton- 
ville. The postmasters and the dates of their appointment from that time 
to the [jresent have been as follows; Judah Burton, May i8th, 1841. Ste- 
phen Hoag, .August 1 2th, 1845. David M. Scott, October 15th, 1S45. J. 
D. Bowman, February 5th, 1S50, David M. Scott, July 6th, 1853. J. 
Rockwell, .August 6th, 1857. David M. Scott, February 19th, 1858 ; and 
De Witt C. Chase, April 19th, 1S61. 

The post-office at Charleston Four Corners was established, and Isaa:: S. 
Frost appointed postmaster, March 5th. 182S. His successors have been 
as follows: Jesse N. Eaton, .Mav 12th 1832. Isaac S. Frost, November 
Sth, 1833. Judson McDuffee. May 21st, 1874. Horace S. Simmens, May 
J2d, 1876. 


In giving the history of the town of Charleston, it becomes necessary to 
speak of the great drawback to the advancement of the town in wealth and 
population, and the reason which in great part prevents it from taking a 
position equal with or in advance of other towns in the county. Naturally, 
the town of ('harleston is as well adapted to the purposes of dairying or 
raising grain as any other in the county, if not better. As the traveller, 
however, passes through the town, over ro.ids which, for the most part, 
are kept in much better order than those in adjoining towns, he sees in 
many places, notably in the central, northern and western portions, traces 
of destruction and devastation, which at first he would find difficult of ex- 
planation. He sees charred ruins and blackened chimneys where once 
happ) families were accustomed to gather at the fireside. He sees fen< es 
thrown down, and the fine fields formerly enclosed by them laid waste and 
fast retrogr.iding into their original state. If he should ask an explana- 
tion of these signs of desolation, the answer would be given that these 
farms are on " (.'larke's lands." 

The t ircumstances attending the acquisition of these possessions by the 
Clarke family, and the legal jihases of the matter, have been discussed in 
the chajiter on lands, and need not be here detailed. The raising of rents 
at the extinction of the original le.ases which limited the rent to a shilling 
per acre , inaugurated a state of warfare between the proprietor ami the 



occupaDls, with the unhappy results above described. The tenants who 
are driven off by the increased rents, which they cither cannot or will not 
pay, have no disposition to leave to the landlord the houses and barns 
which they or their fathers built; rather than do so they apply the torch to 
the homestead they have been forced to leave. For five years or more this 
work of destruction has gone on, and in the mean time the reputation of 
the town has suffered and its interests have languished. 


Jacos M. Bairi> has resided on the fami oct upied b\ him for nine years. 
He was bom in the town in 1822, His father, Benjamin Baird, was a 
native of New Jersey, and moved to the town of Charleston in 1794, with 
his father. He resided here until 1867, when he moved to Port Jackson, 
where he died four years ago. In 1846 he was a member of the State 
Legislature. His son Jacob now carries on a farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres. 

James P. Butler was born on the farm now occupied by him, March 26, 
i8tr. He was married to Miss Mary Bell. December 15, 1S31, and has 
now five children living, one of whom, Benjamin F., served in the navy for 
nineteen months during the rebellion, and was then taken sick and sent to 
a hospital. Mr. Butler has a fine farm of fifty acres, mostly under cultiva- 

Nelson Overbauch came into possession of the farm now occupied by 
him in 1850, purchasing it from .\llen Overbaugh, who had received it 
from his father Christian, in 1847. Christian had owned it for fortv j'ears. 
The farm consists of 207 acres, located along Schoharie creek, the house 
being situated within twenty-five feet of the stream, which has frequently 
overflowed the grounds, and on one occasion covered the lower floor of 
the house with water to the depth of eight inches. 

Francis Hoa(; has lived on his place for thirty-five years. His father, 
Francis, moved into the town from Dutchess county about the commence- 
ment of the present century. .\t first he had 100 acres, but kept adding to 
his original purchase until his possessions amounted to 600 at res. He died 
in 1854. Francis, jr., was married in 1840, to Miss Nancv M Gordon. 
He has two children, a son, F'rank J., who is located in Toledo, and a 
daughter, who is living at home with her parents. 

I). J. Bowi>i>H bought the farm now occupied by him in 1857. and has 
lived on it since that time. He has fifty acres in all. but four or five of 

nc specimen of the 

which are under cultivation. His son. John M-. is a fine sp. 

true farmer, and has several fine swarms of bees, which he makes a special 

feature of his business. 

Nathamkl B0W111-.H moved from Dutchess county to the town of Char- 
leston in 1806, and cleared his farm. Mr. Thomas \V. Bowdish. his son, 
has always lived upon the place, and at the death of his father in 1853, he 
came into full possession. The farm consists of 98 acres, .ibniit 20 of 
which are wood land. .Mr. Bowdish has a grandson named lior.w F.. Cass 
now living with him. 

Hkskv G- SrALKV settled on the farm now occupied lu his nephew. 
Eugene W. Staley, in 1S03. He ( learcd the farm and lived on it up to 
the time of his death in 1837, when the pro]jerty fell to his brothers 
(Jeorge and Jacob. George bought Jacob's share, and in 1872 Eugene 
W. and Loduski Staley, the son and daughter of Jacob, bought the farm 
from George. It contains 127 acres, too of which are under cultivation. 
Eugene and his sisters loduski and Josephine now occupy the farm. 
Their father Jacob is living in Man|uctte county, .Michigan, where he owns 
a farm of two hundred acres. 

HosRA Davis was burn on the farm now oc. iipicd by him. September 
16. iSii. He was the youngest of fourteen children, twelve of whom 
grew to maturity. His f.ather, Ric hard, was born in Millord. Fairfield 
county. Connecticut, and moved to Montgomery county in 1797. Hosea 
was married in 1S32 to .Miss Phiebe Wands, and has seven ihildren. three 
of whom are living at home. The brii k house now occupied by .Mr. 
Davis was built in the year 1850. and the bricks of whiih it is composed 
were manufactured on the premises, 

Mmse>, P11.RMJN came to Charleston in 17()7 or 1798. and took up 150 
acres on the Stonc-hcap Patent, His son. Uilli.iin \ . born on tlie 
farm in 1821. and came into possession in i86j, upon the death of his 
father. He has two children, a son and a daughter. 

(f AHRKT I, I.ANsiNc. came from Cohoes about 1794. and took up 200 acres 

on Corry's Patent, Garret G , his son. who succeeded him. has 240 acres, 
mostly under cultivation. His home is now on the newer part of the 
farm, where he has built a very neat and pretty house; but such is the 
fore e of old associations and habits, that Mr, Lansing spends most of his 
time on the old homestead, 


The biography of Elder John Ross, of Charleston Four Corners, is the 
record of a remarkably long and useful life. He was born in the town of 
Galway, Saratoga county, October 7, 1794. His early years were spent on 
the farms owned by his father at different times in that town and several 
other towns of the same county. His education, so far as it was obtained 
in schools, was confined to those of the neighborhoods in which he lived 
The first which he attended — he being then a small bov — was one taught 
by a master named Spencer, some two miles from his home in the town of 
Charlton. The county had not then been districted for educational pur. 
poses, and school houses were built .-ind schools assembled wherever they 
seemed to be demanded. While Elder Ross was still a boy. his father 
removed to Cooperstown, Otsego county, but shortlv returned to Saratoga 
county, locating in the town of Ballston or Ballstown. as it was then 
spelled . where our subject grew up to manhood. 

He was living here in 1813. when the neighborhood was favored with a 
great revival of religion. Young Ross was among the converts, and in Sep- 
tember of that year united with a church of the Christian denomination, 
which had just %een organized at the "Burnt Hills" neighborhood in 
Ballston. He was at this time enrolled among the militia of Saratoga 
county. When they vvere summoned to the field in the war then beini: 
waged with Great Britain, many of them prayed the Government to have 
them excused; but Ross, fired vvith patriotic enthusiasm, j)romptIy went 
forward with Captain Cordon's company of Col. Rogers' regiment, show- 
ing his interest by fumisning his own knapsack, which was made of tovv- 
cloth and [tainted. Part of "the regiment to which he belonged was seni 
to the northern frontier, but his company was ordered to Brooklyn to aid 
in the defense of the metropolis, which was threatened liy the British, anil 
where a number of .\merican shi[)s were blockaded. This company was 
employed in the construction of Fort Greene. They leveled a corn fiehl 
for their parade ground, and for barracks occupied a deserted ropewaik 
They were repeatedly called out in anticipation^of an attack, but partici- 
pated in no actual engagement. When young Ross had been in the ser- 
vice nearly three months he was disabled by typhus fever, and was honor- 
ably dis( barged. .\s soon as he could leave the barracks he embarked for 
home on a North River sloop, which consumed five davs in the voyage to 
.\lbany. .\fter a tiresome land journey of twenty-eight miles he reai heti 
home, where, under the tender c.ire an invalid gets onlv at home, ht 
entirely recovered. 

The young soldier left the field of arms to enter upon a nobler warfare, 
whose weapons are not carnal, but spiritual. The converts in the reviv.ii 
of 1813 were encouraged to take part in the conference meetings of tli' 
church, and Mr, Ross's participation in these services'showed gifts and de- 
votion that seemed already to mark him for the sacred office vvhich he sub. 
sequently exercised for such an extraordinary length of time. He hiniscli 
was led to believe it his duty to enter the ministry, and not long after his 
conversion began holding meetings in his neighborhood. He was regular. 

use on the old " court lioiisi 

in Montgomery county, Flclc 
miles east of his present res 
t an expense of not more th.ii 
ling used by whatever lie 
I. ipjllv l.v Ihe Christians 1 In 
lis 1 ciniined to this poinl, Im 

ly ordained March 7. 1819. at a schoorhu 

Seeing a chance for ministerial usefulness 
Ross in 1822 removed to a point some two 
dence, where a small church had been built .i 
S300, chiefly borne by one man. This ImiK 
nominations wished to worship in 11. but prir 
ministrations of Elder Ross were by no nic.i 
he preached to « ongregations over a wide extent of muntrv. from Flor"! ' 
on the east to Cherry Valley on the west. In spite of the abundance of hi- 
clerical labors he had no stated salary, but was obliged to support hinis, li 
in part by secular work, among other things teai hing quite a l.irge s. Im-'l 
in which there vvere seven or eight children of one f.tiuilv. 

In 1851 Elder Ross bought seven and three-fourths at res of land.'" 
which his present house was built in that he himself doing part ot I'l' 
work, and his equally industrious wife making the carpets before the ronu'* 
were ready for them. Wise provision was made for the beauty of the pi" ' 



1**-':^ I'i 



F^es'.oj: ELDERJOHN ROSS.„Charleston Fcuc' Corners, Ho ntg ornery Co N 




by the planting of the now large and handsome trees before the house, 'to 
be seen in the accompanying engraving , which Elder Ross brought as sap- 
hogs on his back from a neighboring swamp. Soon after the original pur- 
chase, he bought a small lot containing the beautiful grove to the west of 
bis barn, and subscquentiv fitty ai res more in the same direction. From 
ibe farm thus made up he ha-, sold one acre for an addition to the cemetery 
jdjoining his church, which is rei)resented m the illustration on another 

This church was built in 1834, though KIdcr Ross had been the pastor 
of a congregation here since his removal 10 this county. This pastorate 
be held for the extraordinary period of fifty years, when in 1872 he fell 
obliged by advancing age to resign it. This was reluctantly permitted by 
his people, with the condition that he should sujiply the pulpit vmcil the 
dioice of his successor. This he did, and also officiated from the removal 
of the latter until the arrival of the present pastor, a period of over six 
aonths. It would certainly be tlifficult. if not impossible, to match this 
record of more than half a centur)' of ministerial labor by one man for one 
congregation. The value and acceptability of the i)astor*s ser\ices which 
are implied in it, need hardly be pointed out. It would be impossible to 
estimate in words or figures the fruits of these fifty years of pastoral work. 
.\s one item it may be mentioned that thirteen young men from among El- 
der Ross's panshioners have gone forth to preach the gospel of which he 
was so long a minister. The Christian church at Rural Grove has been 
largely recruited from this one since its organization in 1854, seventy-seven 
members from Charleston Four Corners joining it in 1865, as it was nearer 
their homes. Up to that time Elder Ross had pastoral charge at both 
pbces. As this faithful soldier of his country and the cross took up arms 

in his youth to defend the nation from foreign invaders, so in his age hv 
raised his voice against its destruction by domestic traitors. He tiHjk 1 
firm stand in favor of the war for the L'nion, holding meetings in hisihun h 
in favor of the cause. On the 7th day of October, 1877, he celebrated hi^ 
83d birthday by preaching in the evening to a large congregation 

Elder Ross was married Sept. 16, 1819.10 Miss I.ovina .\nics, .,( |i,,n. 
ston, Saratoga county, where he was then living. Their son and onlyihild. 
bom June 25, 1821, went to Hamilton, Ohio, in 1843, where he was f,,r 
some time engaged m teaching. He intended devoting his life to the min- 
istry, and was a licentiate when the hopes of the church and his many per- 
sonal friends were blasted by his untimely death in February. 1849, ,jkw 
to a relapse after an attack of the measles from which it was thought he 
recovered. He was a young man of high character and great promise .\ 
cortege of eight hundred jiersons followed his remains to the grave. 

The golden wedding of Elder and Mrs. Ross ga\e opportunity for tho^- 
who, with their parents, had enjoyed his ministrations and her cheering and 
helpful presence among them to show their appreciation. This was done 
by f large and most interesting social gathering, at which feeling letters 
from distant friends were read, and valuable gifts presented to the loved 
and honored servants of God, who have done so much gotid in the neigh, 
borhood and made so many friends. They are nearing the close of their 
useful lives with intelligence unimpaired and a good measure of healih 
and strength. Elder Ross still takes the necessary care of his livestoi k, 
and with his good wife receives the visitor with cheerful hos|iitality ; ihe 
venerable couple are spending in comfort and honor, and with the best 
wishes of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, the rest thev have s.i 
well earned. 




This town, the most south -easterly of .Montgomery county, is bounded 
northerly and easterly by the Mohawk river, southerly by the line of 
Schenectady county, and westerly by the Schoharie creek. It coniains 
alrout 39,436 acres of land, and but few of these are untillablc. It is the 
second town of the countv in point of area — Root only being larger. It 
has a variety of soils, and yjossesses some of the richest lands of the county. 
It contains the highest table lands — Bean Hill — in the county; the same 
range is also called Shellstone. The town, while pleasantly i Uilating, 
has no savage bluffs nor barren ledges to mar its surface. The Mohawk 
river, with its varying band of rich flats, forms its entire northern bound; 
while its western is the famed Schoharie creek, a stream of quite respect- 
able volume, affording numerous water privileges, several of which are 
fairly utilized and others waiting to be occupied. The stream takes its among the spurs of the Catskill range in Greene county; it traverses 
the whole length of Schoharie and southern part of Montgomery counties, 
till it debouches into the Mohawk river at Fort Hunter. It is a passionate 
giant, often, at si»ring-flood or sudden freshets, sweeping down a mighty 
volunit.-, fiercely its ordinary channel. It is crossed at Fort Hun- 
ter by a fine a<|ueduct of fourteen stone arches, bearing a wooden trunk 
for the channel of the F.rie canal. A slight dam of the creek at this point 
makes it also, i)y means of a portion of the old canal, a valuable feeder for 
the present Krio canal. The town is also traversed by the Chuctenunda, 
a small but pretty stream that flows from a body of water called Maria's 
I'ond; itself connected with a more secluded lakelet known as Feather- 
stonehaugh's Lake, which is popularly supposed in places to be fathomless. 
Maria's Fond is about one by three miles m area, and furnishes a \aluable 
water power, ne\er yet fully employed. The Chuctenunda, after a course 
ot about fifteen miles, empties into the .Mohawk river at Port Jackson. A 
smaller and inconstant stream also falls into the river nearly opposite 
Cranesville. A quiet little mirror, known as Young's Lake, nestles in a 
dell on the margin of the Schoharie creek. 

The town is mainh- agricultural, and is well adajjted to a varied range 
of products, well able to keep pace with varying markets. Wheat was 
formerly its staple and largely remunerative crop. Then barley became 
the monopolist, to be svicceedeil by oats and other cereals. A good deal of 
fine fruit is also yearly produced for market, and home consumption. 
Apples, pears and [jbims find a congenial home, while smaller fruits are 
not neglected. Most of the alluvial flats of the river and Scoharie creek 
are devoted to broom corn ; a considerable amount of cheese is annually 
produced by several factories, which stands well in market, and which con- 
stitutes no mean item in the town's exchequer. 


Within the borders of this town, at the 1 onfluencc of the S, hohanc wiih 
the Mohan k, vvjn located the lower Mohawk caMle, a centre for the tribal 
gjlherini:^. dis' u^sions and decisions, and later allaining eminent e as 
historic grciiiid. I'he Mohocs, or Mohawks as the n.ime is now written, 
are commonly rcgarile.l by historians .is among Uu- 111. .m powerful md 
intelligent of our savage aborigines; of good siature, anil .uhlelii fr.inu-s, 
n.iturally warlike and brave, they possessed in large incisure all the cpiali- 
tics making ii|i the savage's highest type of a man. The tribe held e.xten- 
sive hunting grounds, which they jealously guarded, and were not over 
p.irti' ular in the matter of encroai linicnt upon the territory of weaker 
neighbors. 'Ihis lower castle, called by them Tion.mderogM. written also 
Dyiondarogon, became early an important centre, radiating its influence for 

peace or war upon savage and ci\'ilized life over a wide extent. Went, 
worth (Ireenhalgh, describing the Mohawk villages in 1677, says of thu 
one: " Tionondogue is double stockadoed around; has four ports, lour 
foot wide apiece; contains abt 30 houses; is situated on a hill a bow shoit 
from y' River." This Indian village was destroyed by the French in 1O67. 
and again 1693; the inhabitants in each case escaping and returning to the 


.As early as 1642, certain French Jesuits undertook missionary work 
among the Mohawks, but their efforts did not result in their obtaining any 
permanent foothold among the swarthy natives. The Rev. Isaac Jogues, 
the first intrepid missionary of this society, fell a martyr to his zeal and 
devotion, as has been elsewhere related. Not daunted by his fate, througli 
the following years there were found courageous men to take their lives ip 
their hands fo"" their Master's sake — Francois Joseph Bres.saue, in 1644, 
Simon Le Moyne, 1655-7 ; Jacques Fremin, 1667-72 ; Jean Pierron, 
1667-8; Francois Boniface, 1668-73; Francois Valliant De Gueslis, 1674; 
and Jacques De I.ambervillc, 1675-8. 

Doubtless the prominence of this village as an Indian stronghold ami 
centre of influence had weight in directing thither, also. English mission 
ary zeal, and the pious an.xiety of her Majesty Queen .Anne to exert her 
divine prerogative as defender and propagator of the faith. .\n 
society in England was incorporated by royal charter from King William 
III., June 16. 1701. known as the " Society for the Propagation of the Gos- 
pel in Foreign Parts." It had as one of its objects the conversion of the 
Indians, and attracted the careful .ittention of "Good (Jueen .\nne" fniin 
the first of her reign. In 1702, or 1703, the Ke\. .Mr. Talbot came a^ i 
missionary to the Mohawks. He was the first clergyman of the English 
Church in these parts. His stay was short, and he «as succeeded by the 
Rev. Thoroughgood Moore, who arrived in New York in 1704, and pro 
ceeded thence to .Mbany to .ict as a misMoii.irv to ;he Iiuliaiis. Owing u< 
the influence of the fur traders, or some oihcrs. he was unsure cssful an. I 
returned to New York. 

Rev. Thomas Barclay was chaplain to llic fort at .\lbany in 1708. and 
acted also as missionary to the Mohawks until No\cniber. 1712. when lb'- 
Rev. William Andrews was sent out by the society as a successor to Mr 
Moore. By order of the (lueen. a fort was built for his security in the 
discharge of his duty, and as a protection for the Mohaw ks against the 
French, it was called Fort Hunter after (he governor of !he colony, ami 
had a garrison of twenty men. The liberality of ihe ijiiccn aK.i causcu 
the erection and endowment of a chapel and man^e Ihe manse is siill 
standing in sturdy strength. It is a,ir> ston.' binldiiig. .ib.Mit 2.; bv 
35 feet, and is, periiaps. the oldest slnuturc in tin Mnhawk dalles, wcsl , 1 
Schenectady. A glebe o( 300 a. res was als.. itta. bed to it. There lo 
yet m.any undimmed eyes that might ha^c seen llu . li.ipcl ilcsliovcd .1. 
1820 Mr. Davi.l Cady, of Amsierd.iin. speaks ni iKumg lic.ird will' 
.merest his gr.indmother, long a dweller near 11. des, nl.e her allendim, 
Chrisinias services in that church; its quaint arrangement and ap|..iinl 
mcnts; .md the wondrous dignity of an old .oh. red man. m a s,,rt ..f Ir.ciy 
of scarlet coat, etc., wh.. was the chief offii pew .opener and organ. blower 
It IS matter of great regret thai this i liiirch. so xivi.l .1 niciuenl.) "' 
the iMst. was not spared, as it might well have been b> a slight and unim 
portant divergeni e of the line of the Erie Canal, «hi. h was cut directly 
through its site. It had a bell, which now does service daily in the academy at 



Johnstown village. The entrance to the chapel was on the north side. The 
pulpit stood at the west end, and was prmidcd with a sounding board. 
Directly opposite were two pews with elevated floors; one of which, with 
a wooden canopy, in later times was Sir William Johnson's; the other was 
for the minister's family. The rest of the congregation had movalile 
benches for seats. 

This chapel contained a veritable organ, the very Christopher Columbus 
of its kind; in all probability the first instrument of music of such dignity 
in all the wilderness west of .Albany. It was over fifty years earlier than 
the erection of the Episcopal Church at Johnstown, which had an organ 
brought from England, of very respectable size and great sweetness of 
tone, which continued in use up to the destruction of the church by fire 
in 1836. 

Queen Anne in 1712 sent as furniture for the chapel a communion 
table cloth, two damask napkins, a "carpet for the communion table," an 
altar cloth, a pulpit cloth, a large tasseied cushion for the pulpit, and a 
small one for the desk; a Holland surplice, a large Bible, two Common Prayer 
Books, one of them for the clerk ; a Book of Homilies, a large silver 
salver, two large silver flaggons, a " Silver dish." a silver chalice, four paint- 
ings of her Majesty's arms on canvas, one for the chapel and three for the 
different Mohawk castles; twelve large octavo Bibles, very finely bound, for 
the use of the chapels among the Mohawks and Onondagas, wirh two paint- 
ed tables containing the Lord's Prayer. Creed and Ten Commandments, "at 
more than 20 guineas expense." To which the society having charge of 
the mission added a table of their seal finely painted in proper colors, to 
be fixed likewise in the chapel of the Mohawks ; all of which safely arrived 
with Mr. Andrews in the fall. On the 15th of Nov., 1712, Rev. \Vm. An- 
drews was officially received at .Mbany by the Commissioners of Indian af- 
fairs and the Mohawk sacliems. The commissioners promised to procure 
" men, slees, and horses for conveying the goods of the Rev. W'm. .Andrews 
to the Mohawks country." Mr. Andrews was no more successful than his 
predecessors, and in 1719 abandoned his mission. 

The Reformed Dutch Church at .\lbany had sent its ministers occasion- 
ally to instruct the Indians in the Christian faith, the Rev, Ciodcfridus 
Dellius being the first, who was succeeded by the Rev. Johannis Ljdius. 
.\ petition to "his Excellency, Edward Lord Viscount Cornbury, her 
Ma;e's. Cap'n Cien'l and (iov'r in Chief. Otc, ts:c," dated .Mbany, Dec. 
30, 1703, signed Johannis Lydius, asks for an order on the Collector or 
Receiver General for ^60, " one year's salary in ye service as aforesaid, 
which is expired November ist, 1703." Mr. Lydius continued his mission- 
ary labors until his death. March t, 1710. His successor, representing the 
.same church, was the Rev. Petriis \'an firiesen. who was still with the 
mission in 1722. 

The most cordial relations existed between the ministers of the Reformed 
Dutch and Episcopal churches in their Indian mission work. ,\fter the 
Rev. W'm. .\ndrews had abandoned his mission, the Church of England 
had no resident missionary among the Mohawks until the Rev. Henry Bar- 
clay came in 1735, tieing appointed caterhist to the Indians at Yon Hunter. 
His stay with them was made very uncomfortable by the French war and 
thi- attitude of his neighbors. He had no interpreter, and but a poor sup- 
port, and his life was frequently in danger. In 1745 he was obliged to 
leave Fort Hunter, and in 1746 was appointed rector of Trinity Church, 
New York, where he died. 

Lieutenant (lovernor Clarke, in 1736, directed the attention of the .As- 
sembly to the dilapidated condition of the military works at Fort Hunter, 
and suggested that a new fort be built at the carrying place between the 
Mohawk river and Wood creek, afterwards the site of Fort .Stanwix. and 
the garrison transferred from Fort Hunter to this new position. The car- 
rving out of this project was not acceptable to the Mohawks, for in 1739 
they demanded that the defences of Fort Hunter be rebuilt and a garrison 
continued there, under a threat that they would leave their own country 
and remove to Canada. The post become an important one to them. 
The Colden says : " .\n ofS< er of the regular troops told me 
that while he was commandant of Fort Hunter, the Mohawks nn one of 
these occasions (a war d.ince] told him that they expei ted the usual mili- 
tary honors as they pas^eil the garrison. The men presented their pieces 
as the Indians p.assed. and the drum beat a m.if h ; and with less re'.pe. t 
the said they would have been diss.itisiied The Indians pa-.ed in 
single row, one after the.ither. with great gravity and pniloiinil silence, and 
every one of them, as lie |i.assed the ofti. er, took his gun from his shoulder, 
and fired into the ground near the olficer's foot. 'I'hey marched in this 

manner three or four miles from their castle. The women, on these occa- 
sions, follow them with their old clothes, and they send back by them their 
finery in whith they man hed from the castle." 

Sir W'm. Johnson, writing to Lieutenant-Governor De Lancey, under date 
of " .Mount Johnson, 6 June. 1755," sjieaks as follows : 

" I returned last night from the Conogohery Indian Castle, having first 
been at the .Mohock Castle. .\t both Settlements I have fixt on Places to 
build them Forts. -At the hither Castle I propose it to be nearly on a Line 
with Fort Hunter, to take in the Church as a Bastion & to have a com- 
munication Pallisado between the two Forts, whichwill be a small exjience 
& in case of an .\ttack may be of great Service by mutually assisting each 
other, and if drove to the necessity of (piiting the One they may still main- 
tain the other." 

Eleven days later Johnson writes De Lancey : 

" I have last Night with much Difficulty agreed with three Men. to build 
the two Forts at the Mohawk Castles ; .As wood fitt for that Purpose is 
very scarse thereabouts, I could hardly get them to undertake the work for 
yt. Sura." 

Rev. John Ogilvie was Dr. Barclay's successor in this mission. He com- 
menced his work in March. 1749. and succeeded Dr. Barclay also at Trinity 
Church. New Vork, after the latter's death in 1764. An effort was next 
made to introduce converted Indians as missionaries and school teachers, 
to reclaim the natives from their savage life. In .August, 1769, there was 
an Indian school in operation at Fort Hunter, and a list of the scholars may 
be found in the Documentary History of .N'cw Vork. 

Sir Wm. Johnson, writing to Lord Hillsborough from Johnson Hall, .August 
14, 1770, says : "The Mohocks have had Missionaries of the Church of 
England amongst them from the Reign of Queen .Anne till within these 
few years, they are now without any, "S: from the scarcity of Clergymen or 
some other cause, the Society cannot procure them on the Sallary which 
their small funds have limitted them to, whilst at the same time the Ind'. 
find that their Brothers in Canada \", who were our F^nemies, are regu- 
larlv supplied, &: one lately appointed in Nova Scotia at the Expence of 
Government as lis said, I therefore cannot help at the Intreaty of the Ind'. 
humbly recommend' to his Majestys consideration the afford' some al- 
lowances for the Mohock Mission which has always been under the im- 
mediate protection of the Crown, declaring it as my belief that if any far- 
ther provision could be made to employ others in so good a work it would 
increase their reverence for the Crown, and their attachment to the British 

Pursuant to this apjical, the last missionary to the Moli.iwks was ap- 
pointed, namely, the Rev. John Stuart, who .arrived at Fort Hunter Dec. 
2, 1770. He prejiared, with the assistance of the celebrated Joseph Brant, 
a Mohawk translation of the Gospel of St. Mark. At the breaking out of 
the Revolution he made himself obnoxious to the yeomanry of the Mohawk 
valley bv his relations to the Johnson family and the Indians, and his un- 
compromising loyalty to the crown. It is said his house was attacked and 
plundered, his church turned into a tavern, and, in ridicule and contempt, 
a barrel of rum placed on the reading desi;. Mr. Stuart was thus necessi- 
tated to remove, .and in June, 177.S, was reported to be in Schenectady. 

At the opening of the Revolution F'ort Hunter was in a state of delapi- 
dation. The remains of its walls were then pulled down and a palisade 
thrown about the chapel, which was also defended by block houses mount- 
ing cannon. A garrison was stationed here toward the close of the war. 


Next to Queen .Anne's Chai>el, .so historic, the first house of worship in 
Warrenshurgh appears to have been a log church standing near what is 
known as Snook's Corners. .\ll tr.icc of it is now gone. Faithful itiner- 
ant ministers occasionally held services in barns and dwellings. .At one 
such service a lad of eight or ten years was to receive the ordinance of 
baptism, but when the time for the rite arrived the frightened and truant 
candidate had to be pursued among the rafters of the barn, where he had 
sought refuge. In the log chur. h Rev James Dempster otiii lated some 
time; no re. ord of his ministry cin now be found. He left a char.u Icr 
for sterling piety, coupled with ctivity an. I no little edentncity. 

In 1769 a German named L.iwreme Sluiler. originally from Wurteui- 
burgh, but for some years a resilient of Catskill, located upon a fertile 
farm of three hunilred acres, now one mile east of Minaville. He reared 



a family of sixteen children. **A man distinguished for good sense, tem- 
pered by a spirit of piety and benevolence, and diffusing an influence of 
goodness and liberality through his family circle as well as in the neigh- 
' borhood. The first Reformed Dutch church in the town was erected upon 
his Unds, as was also the neighborhood school-house, he contributing lib- 
erally towards the erection and support of both." To this church the 
Rev. Thomas Romeyn, of Caughnawaga. was called to minister in 1784, 
and he served it acceptably some years. Ihis church continued in use 
until 1808, when another was erected at the "street." one mile west, and 
only occasionally was service held in the old church thereafter, until the 
frame was sold and removed from its site. The burial ground around had 
become populous, and it now contains many ancient head-stones, with 
quaint inscriptions. 


Maps illustrating this topic will be found on the page with the outline 
map of Montgomery and Fulton counties. In 1703 the land about f~ort 
Hunter and extending across the Schoharie creek was granted to John 
Peterson Maibee. This was the first grant in Tryon county. 

October i6th, 1753, Walter Butler purchased from the Indians a tract of 
86,00c acres, which began on the south side of the Mohawk river. " at the 
land in possession of one David Cavill, and running thence along said 
river to the flats or lowlands of Tienonderogo ; thence around said flats 
to Tienonderogo creek; thence along said creek to Schoharie; thence along 
said Schoharie as they run southerly and easterly: thence to the bounds 
of Schenectady, and around other patented lands to beginning." This 
was divided into six tracts, one of which was transferred to Charles Wil- 
liams and others, Augujit sglh, 1735, and comprised the principal portion 
of what is now the town of Florida. It began at a certam marked tree 
standing "on the cast side of Schoharie river, opposite the dwelling house 
of Wm, Bowne, and running thence north, 40° 30' east, 277 chains, to 
Mohawk's river; then down the stream, as it runs» to a certain place on 
the south bank of said river, which is 461 chains, measured on a straight 
line, distant from the end of the line running north, 40^* 30' east; then 
south, 6j** 30' west. 612 chains, to Schoharie ri\er; then down said river, 
as it runs, to the place where said 14,000 acres began; e.xcepting out of 
said tract the lands formerly granted to Henry Huff and the lands called 
the village lands." AH trees 24 inches in diameter and upwards, at 12 
inches from the ground, were to be reserved for masts for the Royal Navy. 
The parties taking possession of this tract were to pay the yearly rent of 2 
shillings, 6 pence for each roo acres at the Custom House in New York. 
and agreed to settle and cultivate at least 3 acres out of everv- 50 within 
the next three years. 

This was the tract aflenvard owned by Sir Peter Warren, and known as 
Warrensbush, [)robal)ly purchased by him in 1737; as a petition to be al- 
lowed to purchase 6.000 acres of land is filed by him in the Secretary of 
State's office, dated May 5th, 1737. This land remained in the Warren 
family for nearly sixty years. Peter Warren was bom in Ireland in 1704. 
and was trained to the nautical profession. In 1727 he was appointed to 
the command of the " Grafton," and, after a brilliant career, was made 
admiral in 1747. Ouring part of this time he lived in New York, where 
he built the house No. i Broadway, afterwards known as the Washington 
Hotel, and married Susannah, eldest sister of Hon. James Delamey. 

After the death of Sir Peter Warren, Warrensbush, as he had named it, 
was divided into three parts : one part was conveyed to Charles Fitzroy, 
otherwise called Lord Southampton, a grandson of (iov. Cosby, and Ann, 
his wife ; one part to the Earl of .\bingdon, and the third to Henry (lage 
and Susannah, his wife. Kitzroy conveyed his part to Col. MacCiregor, a 
merchant of the city of New York, May 29. 1795, who had a survey made 
July 6, 1795 Iiy Lawrence Vrooman. and he to Leonard (iansevoort of 
Albany. April 8, 1796. The Earl of Abingdon and Henry and Susannah 
Gage conveyed their two shares to John Watts, of New York, who was 
formerly their attorney, and was also a bmther-in-law to Sir Peter Warren, 
they having married sisters, daughters of J.imcs Delant y. l)a\id Cady was 
agent for John Watts in Warrensbush. 

The same year (1735 that Charles Williams received his graniuf 14.000 
acres, patents were given to Edward and Phill.i^ Harrisnn, Anne Wihnut. 
Maynard and Elizabeth (;uerin. Hcniy Cosby and Wm Co^hy. jr. which 
comprised, with those before mentioned, all the land of the town of 

In the spring of 1738, Wm. Johnson, then a young man 23 years of age. 
was sent by his uncle, Sir Peter Warren, to take charge of and form settle- 
ments upon the tract he Warren had lately purchased. He first located 
on the south bank of the Mohawk, on what is now known as the Blood 
farm, about a mile below the village of Port Jackson. Here he opened a 
little country store, his uncle furnishing the money to the amount of ^200. 
Cioods were purchased in New York, and included everything that would 
sell well on the frontier, not forgetting rum. Johnson's customers were 
both whites and Indians, and the trade in furs was considerable. Sir 
Peter attended to the shipping of them to England. The means of both 
at this time were limited, and Sir Peter saw the advantage to be gained 
by setllmg his lands as rapidly as possible. In a letter to young Johnson, 
from Boston, dated Nov. 20, 1738, commencing. "Dear Billy." he recom- 
mends planting a large orchard in the following spring, and girdling trees 
for clearing. " In doing which." he says. " I would be regular and do it 
in square fields, leaving hedge rows at each side, which will keep the land 
warm, be very beautiful, and subject you to no more expense than doing 
it in a slovenly, irregular manner" In 1742 Johnson began to make 
preparations to move to the north side of the river, which coming to his 
uncle's knowledge, ([uitc displeased him, as he supposed his own lands 
would be neglected. However, the young trader did move, and in 1744 
built the stone house in the town of Amsterdam known as Fort Johnson, 

The first settlements in the town of Florida arc supj)osed to have been 
made bv Germans from Schoharie, in the reign of Queen Anne, 


The clerk's office of the town of Florida has an ancient looking, parch- 
ment-bound volume of somewhat coarsish paper, upon each leaf of which 
is a large watermark representing in a circle a sitting figure holding in the- 
left hand a lance and in the right a plant, the circle surmounted by the 
regal crown. The first record in this book is of a town meeting, held in 
and for the town of Mohawk, on the first Tuesday in April, 1788, about 
a month after the town was formed. The entries are quaint and the 
verbiage and spelling often quite original. "Opened the poll," says the 
record, " and adjourned to the church. After reading the laws, proceeded 
to choose town officers." At this election were chosen a supervisor, two 
collectors, five assessors, five constables, three overseers of the poor, 
eight fence-viewers, four pound-keepers and eleven path-masters. The 
next election was "ordered at the house of John Visscher, town clerk. 
¥oTi Hunter." Thirty-one path-masters were this year elected. It was 
" (joncJuded by majority of votes in the town of Mohawk, that hogs sliall 
be confined in pastures." Then follow the oaths of oflncials. 

That of the supervisors might well be commended for use in these later 
days: " I do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that 1 will in all 
things, to the best of my knowledge and ability, faithfully and impartially 
execute and perform the trust re[)Osed in me as Supervisor of the I'own nf 
Mohawk; that I will not pass any account or any article thereof where- 
with I shall think the said county is not chargeable, nor will I disallow any 
account or article thereof wherewith I think the said county is justly 
chargeable." The town clerk and overseer of the poor took similar oaths. 
Minute descriptions of marks upon horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, are 
numerous in the records, as "horses branded on the left thigh, letters C. 
D. The mark of cattle, sheep and hogs, a s<)uare crop of left ear, and 
a slit in the right;" "a crop of the left air, and a sijuar hoel in the 

We find here the undertaking of a certain person by way of [lublic auc- 
tion "to maintain one of the poor of Mohawk town, for the rerm of one 
year," the consideration being in this case "the sum of eight pounds 
nineteen shilling;" and in another, "eleven [)nunds fourteen shilling" 
This last named jtarty was the next year undertaken for the sum of "nine 
pounds, seventeen shillings and sixpence" 

Notice is given for holding an " P^lcction for the Mnhawk Town, 27ih 
April, 1790, of one Representative to the Con^^ress of the Cniled Staic'* 
from the counties of Montgomery and Ontario, and that part of the louniv 
of Albanv which lies at the west side of Hudson river; three senators f<>r 
the western distrit t of the State of New York, and six members to repre- 
sent the county of Montgomery in the House of .\ssembly." 

September 19, 1790. the commissioners of highways ordered the sum o( 
ten pound-, to be raised by lax for the exf.ense of three-inch plank '*for 
the use of the bridges on public highways in said town, to wit, the Tugh- 



tenando bndge, and the high bridge al the upper side of Mr. Elliot's." 
The varied spelling of the names of the "twin sisters" creeks, running 
through the towns of Amsterdam and Florida — "Ouctenunda," " Tinten- 
unda," "Tughtcnando," "Chuctenunda " — will have been noticed, and is 
easily traced to the difficulty of fixing the guttural Indian tones in our less 
flexible orthographv- 

In the year 1791, we hnd a list of licenses and permits given, thirty- 
three in number, amounting to ^64 ids. The entry ([uite innocently 
oraits to say for what such permits were given. Perhaps tradition may 
help us to conjecture. In 17S7, we find enitiTcd, tn exUris" : "Received 
June 4th, 17S7. of Mr. Paschal N. Smith, thirty-three pounds in full for 
the commutation of quit rent on two thousand acres of land in a patent 
granted the 12th of November, 1737, to James De Lancy, Paschal Nelson, 
Jacob Glen, and others, the aforesaid two thousand acres being the original 
patentee right of Paschal Nelson, and lays on Auneskill near the Mohawk 
river, formerly Albany county, now Montgomery county." Signed, Peter 
Curtenius. R. Q. R. 

Other entries of similar character testify to the early an.xiety to get rid 
of the vexatious ground rents. But the lease system was well entrenched, 
and the owners knew well their value ; only slowly and gradually was the 
right to the soil obtained. A lease, dated "20th Feb., 1789," represents 
the lessee as obtaining from "the Right Honorable the Earl of Abingdon, 
of the Kingdom of Great Britain, for the consideration of tiv' hillings, lot 
sixty-five in a map of Warrensburgh, made by John R. Bleeker, 1766, con- 
taining one hundred acres, yielding and paying the yearly rent of one 
peppercorn if demanded." It bears the signature of Willoughby, Earl of 
Abingdon, and is sealed with wax, with the impress apparently of an in- 
taglio ring. The paper has the regal water mark. 

Here also may be cited a quit-claim of certain leaseholds of which we 
have spoken : " Whereas, John Watts of the city of New York, and Jane. 
his wife, did purchase from the Earl of Abingdon, of Great Britian, and 
from Henry Gage and Susanna, his wife, and others their trustees, two 
tracts or parcels of land situated at a place called Warrens!ii:rgh, in the 
town of Mohawk, county of Montgomery. State of New York, formerly 
part of the estate of Sir Peter Warren, and being two-thirds which, on a 
partition thereof, fell to and were severally conveyed to the said Earl of 
.\bingdon. and to said Henry and Susanna (iage; and whereas, since such 
purchase, said John Watts hath sold and conveyed sundry lots thereof to 
David C'ady, Nathan Stanton. Ezra Murray, Phillip and Peter Frederick. 
William and Peter Youngs, George and Jacob Staleys, John Van Derveer, 5 
Peter and Jacob Houck, ElishaCady. George. Christian and Peter Service, 
RooIeitTe Covenhoven, Asa Waterman, John (^uackenboss. Ephraim 
Brockway, Lewis Phiilij). Phillip Doty, and sundry others, with covenants 
on the part of said John Watts to convey the same in full to them on pay- 
ment of certain sums in the -^aid demises mentioned. And, whereas, it 
was intended, and it is just and reasonable, that the said several persons 
and their heirs and assigns, to whom such con\eyances have been alreadv 
made, should hold the same free, clear and discharged of dower, or cl.iim 
of dower of said Jane Watts in the same ; Now. in consideration of the 
premises, and to carry the same into effect, and also for and in considera- 
tion of the sum of ten shillings, with which the said Jane doth acknowledge 
herself satisfied and paid, she the said Jane, by and with the consent of her 
.said husband, signified by his being a party hereto, hath remised, released. 
and forever quit-claimed unto the said I.'avid Cady, and the se\eral others 
above named, the said lands and premises, free and clear of all dower and 
claim of dower of her. said Jane Watts, of and in the same." 

"Signed and sealed this thirteenth day of November, in the year one 
thousand seven hundred and n nety-three." Both signatures ha\e wax 
seals, showing very clearly the Watts i rest, with its motto : " /""/-// ///'*t 
deficit tel urn." It would seem prol)able this quitclaim may cover a large 
part of the two-thirds of the original estate of Sir Peter Warren, the estate 
which brought his nephew, afterwards Sir William Johnson, to become a 
resident here. A daughter of this John Watts became the wife nf Sir John 
Johnsim, the Baronet's only son. 

In 1792. as the poll list shows, path-masters had increased to the num- 
ber of fift>-fovir, and as we might e\pc( t. the office of commis>,if)ner of 
highways becomes a most important one, and many entries and pages at- 
test the ariiiin of such commissioners in the laying out new and establish- 
ing existing highways. Advam ing ( ivilization demanded better routes of 
transit than Indian trail, or narrow bridle path. It would be utterly im- 
possible now to trace any of these highway by the land marks given. What 

was then clear, is now vague and indefinite ; thus, under date of May 7, 

"Be it remembered that we, the Commissioners of the Mohawk distrii i 
and county of Montgomery, have laid out a common road from two rods 
below the block house, now in possession of Birenl Hansen, along down 
the banks of Schoharie creek, down along the Mohawk River, until ii 
comes to the convenient place to ford the river to John Pulman's. and allow 
three swing gates in that distance." Oct. 15, 1787, the commissioners, hav- 
ing viewed and found it necessary, laid out a road, " beginning at 
Richard Van Veghten's fence aua small birch tree marked ; from then* e 
by marked trees to the lane between William Vintons on to Nicholas Spore, 
and thence along said lane to a large hemlock tree marked ; from thence 
by marked trees to John ^''an Wormer's pasture, and along the creek to the 
outside of the pasture; from thence by marked trees to the old road market! 
out ; thence along said road to the road come by Martin Bovee," and so 
ordered it to be recorded. Very quaint, very simjile are many of these 
descriptions, often " as near the creek, or the side of the hill, as the make 
of the land will admit of." Generally four rods, but sometimes three and 
even two rods are permitted as the width of roads, to enable the settler "to 
get out to mill and to market." We quote but one more of these reconl^, 
that of a " Public road four rods wide, beginning on Albert Frank's land 
on the now public road, from thence on the south side of a Red Oak Saplin, 
marked with a cross and S S, thence near a westerly course on the north 
side of the Babtist Meeting, with a straight course forward on the north 
side of Albert Frank's house to black cherry Saplin marked H, on the 
south side of said tree from thence a westerly course to hickory Saplin, on 
south side of said Saplin marked H. from thence forward a westerly to a 
beach Saplin on the north side marked H, thence forward until it strikes 
the divison line of .Andrew Franks and Peter Hycks, thence on said divi- 
sion line to a hemlock tree marked H, on the south side of said tree on 
Andrew Frank's land over the height of ground, until it intersects the 
public mad" 


Florida was formed from Mohawk. March \2. 1793. The first annual 
town meeting was held at the house of Ezra Murray, on the first ruesilay 
m .\pril, 1794, when the following officers were elected for the year: 
David Cady, supervisor ; Stephen Reynolds, town clerk ; George Servoss. 
William Phillips and David Beverly, assessors ; Lawrence Shuler and 
Bernard Marten, overseers of the poor; David Cady, John T. Visscher anil 
Benjamin Van Vlcck. commissioners of highways; Christian Servoss. Col- 
lector ; John Cady, and Caleb P. Brown, constables. 

The orderly condition that had become the routine of Mohawk was ^o 
well understood, that little change was necessitated in the management of 
town affairs, .\mong other regulations enacted at the first tcmn meeting, 
was the provision, "that if any person, between the 15th of May and the 
15th of June in any year, shall kill any crow or blackbird, within the limits 
of the Town, and shall produce the heads thereof to the supervisor, he 
shall be entitled to receive from the su[iervisor the sum of one siiiliing for 
each crow, and four i)ence for every blackbird, to l»e i>roved. if disputed, 
by the oath of the person applying for the same " 

At the same meeting it was "enacted that the sujjervisor of this Town 
pay unto Ezra Murray the sum of one pound five shillings, as a reward for 
the use of his house this day." The next meeting was voted to he held 
at the dwelling of Eben Chase. Next year the crow and blackbird bount> 
was repealed. Four pounds were ordered erected, and localities assigned; 
each was to be forty feet scpiare, with "five posts on a side, three feet in 
the ground." The next place of meeting was voted on, and oftenest thcv 
seem to have been jtrivate dwellings, in various localities. In 1799 is 
entered. " Amount of si hool money allotted for the Town of Florida is 
yj> dollars. _^S cents 

Following .1 very s.dcmn oath, signed by the commissioners <..f excise. 
" that we will not on any account, or jfrc-tence whatsoever, grant anv license 
to any person within said toun, for the i)urpose of keeping an Inn or 
Tavern, but only in such cases as appear to us to be absolutely nc< esv.uv 
for the benefit of travellers," we have the names of three persons .ertnicd 
as "of good moral character, and of sufficient ability to keep an Inn or 
Tavern." to whom svh h lie ensfs were issued. 

In our venerable rerord we find. A|'ril ;. iSii. the en.K tment. "that no 
cattle, horses, or sheep iie allowed to haunt taverns, grist mills or other 



public plai-es to the damage of an> owner of any wagon or sleigh that may 
stand waiting at suih plaic. after the first day of Ncn., until the first day of 
April following : and siuh cattle, horses or sheep intruding on Muh place 
to the detriment or ttaniage of an\ customer or person at such place in 
wailing, shall he linlile to lie impoundeil, and the u«ner<)f such cattle or 
creature to pay the owner or oct tipant of such public stand the sum of 
twenty cents, and the further sum of eighty cents to the pound keeper." 
In 1S12, "hogs, shotes or pigs, are forbiildcn to run at large under penalty 
of fifty cents ;" a still later ordinance forbids, under penalty of ten dollars, 
any owner or occupant of land " to suffer or permit any stalk or plant of 
the Cadada thistle to grtiw and blossom upon their lands.'" and it further 
directs overseers of the highways " to cause any plant of the Canada thistle 
growing in the highway to be cut down at least once in the months of June, 
July and August, under a like penalty." Krom this time the brief records 
of the town become yearly more terse and definite. The grooves that 
custom forms become worn, and are easier kept. On through the pages 
appear names of those whose lives honored themselves, and were a blessing 
to their day. 

In turning these yellow and olden leaves, in scanning the records of 
hands so long folded, in conning these lists of names, one goes out into a 
new, though so old a world. Other times are li\ed. other scenes are pass- 
ing; the long past is the real, the present has for the moment vanished. 
Names here so oft recurring are known no more in all the region. Large 
families have dwindled and wasted, and no representative of name or race 
can now be found. Pages could be easily filled with worthy names of 
those who here had homes, those whose brawny arms hel|)ed to level 
forests, and bring into productiveness and beauty the primitive wilderness. 
The Shulers, Ovcrbaughs. Senisses. Ruffs, Pettengiils, Cadys, Jacksons, 
Staleys, Schiiylers, Reynoldscs, Hills. Bents, Smiths, ,Stantons, Vandcrveers, 
Hales, V'oorheeses. \)c La Maters, Johnsons, Greens, Ellises, Herricks, De 
Clraffs, Choletts, Murrays, Covenhovens, Earls, Claytons, Quackenbosses, 
Snooks, Gordons, Mudges. Youngs — many of these lived brave, noble lives, 
and left spotless names as an inlieritance for their children. 

tar. Then the wide fire-place was universal; the huge brick oven indis. 
pensablc. Stoves were not, though an occasional Franklin was jmssesscd 
The turkey was oft cooked suspended before the crackling fire; the corn 
cake baked in the low, coal-covered bake kettle; the potatoes roasted be- 
neath the ashes, and apples upon a ledge of bricks; nuts and cider wi-ic 
in store in ever\" house. .\s refinement progressed, and wealth advanie.! 
from the fireside wall extended a sipiarc cornice, perhaps six feet deep In 
ten feet wide, from which depended a brave valance of gay printed chintz, 
or snowy linen, perchance decked with mazy net-work and tasseled fring, . 
wrought by the cunning hand of the mistress or her daughter. These, 
too, have we seen. Possibly the household thrift of the last century was 
not greater than that of the present time, but its field of exertion wa^ 
va.stly different. The hum of the great and the bu/z of the little spinnin, 
wheel were heard in e\ery home. By the great wheels the fleecy rolls oi 
wool, often hand-carded, were turned into the firm yarns that by the 
motions of deft fingers grew into warm stockings and mittens, or by the 
stout and clumsy loom became g.iy coverlet of scarlet, or blue and white, 
or the graver " press cloth " for garb of women and children, or the butter- 
nut or brown or black home-spun of men's wear. The little wheel loainlv 
drew from twirling distaff the thread that should make the " fine twined 
linen," the glory and pride of mistress or maid, who could show her handi- 
work in piles of sheets, table-cloths and garments. L'pon these, too, was 
often lavished garniture of curious needlework, hemstitch and herring- 
bone and lace-stitch. Plaid linseys and linen wear were, too, fields for 
taste to dis])ort in, while the patient and careful toil mu>t not go unchron- 
icled that from the wrecks of old and worn out clothes, produced won- 
drous resurrection in the " hit-or-miss," or striped rag carpet, an accessor) 
of so much comfort, so great endurance, and often so great beauty. Horse- 
back was the most common style of traveling. The well-sweep or bubblini: 
spring supplied the clear cold water. Such was the /Aea, we know the 
fti/Tt'. In modes of life, in dre^s and eq'.:;page, in social and politic-: 
habits, in locomotion, in comforts, in commerce, one needs not to drau 
the contrast; more wide and striking it scarce could be." 



With the opening of the nineteenth century, we seem to come a long 
step toward the present. It seems a great mile-stone in history, di\ iding a 
fading past from the fresher present. The long, doubtful struggle with 
England had resulted in a dearly bought, dearly prized peace, with its 
beautiful victories. Local tradition has not yet lost the memory of the 
suffering that followed the infamous raid of Brant and Butler through this 
neighborhood in 1680; and still treasures tales of hair-breadth escapes, of 
families that found darksome homes in the cellars of their burned dwell- 
ings, of the fearful hushing of children lest their voices should betray the 
places of concealment, of the hiding of plaie and valuables, tea kettles 
freighted with spoons being hid in such haste as to dciv future unearthing. 
Such hallowing as the carnival of Indian warfare could give has Florida to 
boast But at last "the land had rest." The red man, once sovereign 
lord, had disappeared; the powerful Johnson family was exiled, its homes 
sequestered, and in other hands. Sturdy toil and earnest labor won their 
due return, and thrift and competency were everywhere attested by hos- 
pitable homes and well stored bams. .\Ibanv was the main market for the 
products of the town: forming the mo^t lonsiderable item. School 
houses and churches now dotted the lamlsc.ipe, and busv grist and saw- 
mills p.erchcd on m.iny streams. I'he Dutch language much spoken, 
but many Connecticut anil New F^nglanri settlers never .Tcipiired it, and 
theirs became the most common tongue. 

Not alone h.ive the "bla/ed." or marked, tries .iiid saplings, which indi- 
<-ated the lines of roails or farm bound.incs. long -.ince decayed, but 
"block house" anil log 1 abin haw also di-appeared, and it may bo 
doubled if five spei imcns of these earh hi.nicN 1 .m now be found » illim 
thi iH.unils of Florida. Vet ^till there rcmciuber the old- 1 
f:i>hloned hoiises. Says Mr. DaMd Caili ,1.. ivh.iiii. «iih Mr. J Cadi ' wc arc indebted for the l.irgcr |.,irr o: ..ur hi-t..ry of Honda': 
" We h.uesecii the Ispe. and w.irnu-d ,)arscli c^ .1: ihc gre:it hospil.ililc hre- 

pl.ace, with crane, pol-lio.ik, and tr.iinnuls. .|,ung nearly the side of 

the room; while outer doors were so opposed that 1 horse miglil draw in 
the huge log by one entrance, leading b\ the other. Strange, too. 10 our 
childish eyes w-ere the curious chininies of tree limbs encruNted with mor- 

While, as we have seen, in its earliest days the town recognized and 
cared for those w-hom w-e "have alway with us," the poor, by "undenak- 
ing " them at public auction, it was not unmindful of the orphaned or help- 
less waif. We think deserving of place this " Indenture maid this 25th 
day of Oct., 1791, between .Albert Covenhoven and Jacob Fenders, over- 
seers of the town of .Mohawk, and .Amos Clark, of the town and couni> 
aforesaid," which, " witnesseth that the said overseers of the poor, by aril 
with the consent and allowance of William Harper and John J. Visschcr, 
Esip, tw-o of the justices of the peace for the town aforesaid, have put. 
placed, and bound, Peter Hart, aged one year and eight months, a])pren- 
tice to the said .Amos Clark, for the term of nineteen years and lour 
months, to commence on this date, which time expires in the year 1811 <'* 
these presents, during of all week time and term the said Peter Hart hi- 
said master and mistress well and faithfully shall serve, in all such lawiui 
business as the said apprentice shall be put into, according to the best ": 
his powers, wit and ability; his secrets shall keep; his command lawfullv 
and honestly everywhere he gladly shall do; he shall do no hurt or dama;jc 
to his said m.aster nor mistress nor consent to be done by others, but 1" 
the best of his [lovver shall hinder the same, or faithfully give notis to b-* 
master thereof; he shall not waist the goods of his said master or lend thini 
to any person without his consent. He shall not frequent ale houses"' 
play houses, or to play at cards or other unlawful games. Fornication he 
shall not commit, matrimony he shall not contract, neither shall he ali-c^i 
himself da\ nor night Ircmi his master's service, but in all things as a fail' 
fill ser\ant .md a[iprentu e. shall demean himself towards his saul masl' ' 
and all his during the term afores.iid. 

".And s.iiil .\mos Clark, for his part, 1 ovcnantclh. promisseth and agic.rf: 
that he. the said .\mos Clark, the s.aid apprentice will teach or cause hrn 
to be taught, the art, skill and Iraid of husbandry which he now nsailh. " 
the best manner he m.ay or can teach or cause to be taught, and infuriin'l 
as much as thereto belongih. and he said .Amos Clark knowcth. and ^h. : 
teach and in^irui t or laiisc to be instructed the said apprentiie. well an-! 
siifiiiiently to re:ul and virile, and also shall find for the .ipprcntice siifiu u ' ' 
app.irel, meat, drink, washing and lodging, and other things necessary t'"^ 


•e:;- > ^Q?« 


Fi.Es. OF John h.Swobe,westPerth,F(jltonCo.,n.y. 

1^* W 

S 1 

e r n « 

"X.a J. 





Lumber&CoalYard of Mr J F Brown, Port Jackson, Florida, n r. 



«uch as apprentice during the term aforesaid, and at the expiration of said 
term, s^all give unio the said a|i|jrcmice one good new sule of waring ap- 
partl, both linen ami wollen com|)lcat, over and above his now waring ap- 
parel. In witness whereof, the parlies aforesaid lo these present inden- 
tures ilieir hands and seals interchangeably have set, the day and year 
first above written." 

A ipit" siin lir in l.-:itur.: "do'.h p\il, place and bind, Ilanna Fedcl. 
r.ged four years and eight months, an afiprentice to William Harper and 
Margaret hi-s wife, to dwell with ihem or ihc survivors of tlumforlhe 
term of thirteen years and four months from the date of these presents." 

I'erhais IK> more appropriate [liace can offer than this connection for in- 
sertion of a copy of an insirumcnt haiipily now no mure lu be uriucn. a 
co\enjnt for the sale of to mu(h human sinew and bone, so much of the 
sweat and toil, so much of the immortal soul as human bonds could con- 
vey. No picture of the period would be complete that should be un- 
shaded by this blot, or fail to notice the horrible inconsistency of such a 
love ol freedom as had lately imperilled all, and consecrated life and goods, 
to win and maintain a liberty free from [letty encroachment, while yet a 
race was held in domestic thrall, and life-long servitude. 

" Km* all m.'n by these presents, that I, Samuel Do Reimer, of the 
town of Mohawk, county of .Montgimiery, State of New York, for ,ind in 
consideration of the sum of fifty pounds, current money of the State afore- 
said, lo me in hand paid at or before the ensealing and deli\ery of these 
presents, by David Cady, Esq., the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowl- 
edge, have liargained and sold, and by these pre.sents do bargain and sell 
unto the said David Cady, a certain negro wench called Cate, being of the 
aje of twenty-four years (or thereabouts), now being in the possession of 
said David, to have and to hold the said negro wench hereby bargained 
and sold lo him the said David, his executors and administrators and as- 
signs, against me the .said Samuel, my executors, administrators and as- 
signs, and against .ail and ciery other person and persons whatsoever, 
shall and will warrant and defend by these presents, and I do further say, 
that the said negro wench is no the best of my knowledge.) honest and 
sober. In witness whereof. I hereunto put my hand and seal, this twentv- 
third day of .\ugust, one thou^and seven hundred and ninety-one. 

Saml'ei. Df. Riimer." 
"John Watts, I ... . 

JoHS StULVl KR, y 

No doubt that then, as in later times, it was said, " They can't tjke care 
of themselves. They are happier with their misters." Vet when in 
i.Sj4 the act of emancipation took effect, they gladly went from under 
the yoke, to establish homes of their own, and none but the hojjclessly 
infirm or aged sought to remain with their late owners. 


Among the pioneer settlers on the east of Schoharie creek were 
Martinus Cline and l-rancis Saltz.who, about tlie middle of the last century, 
leased two farms in Warren's I'.itent, now the Henry (". IVltlngill and Wil- 
liam Voorhc-cs pla< es, opposite Mill I'oint. It is said that when Ihey ar- 
rived on the ground they flipiHila penny for the choice of plai es, and Sail z, 
winning the toss, took the soulhcrnmust or Voorhees farm. His oldest 
•l.iiighter married I'hilii) Frederick, and they settled on the creek at the 
place since called IJuchanan's Mills, where Frederick cleared a farm and 
built a house and mill. Here in a few years ipiite a settlement sprung up, 
.\ni)thcr of the pioneers who settled on the creek within the present town 
"f Florida was IVter Young. He camu from New Jersey, and laiupeil ncir 
<"'irrct D.-rveer's place. Learning from s,)mj In, bans, while hiiiiiing 
cne day, a wliite family who had made a rlearing over l.v llie . reck I,, id 
I'll 'line di^cdiiraged and abandoned it, he t..r,k po.s, ,,im;i ..i ilie f.irm. ihe 
n.\: a'nvj l-'.-.-.L-ri-'i's m II. T.i.- pi e-.- w i, m Sr IV;, r W'.irre I's ( 
and Voung paid 5s. lod. rent fur ten \c.irs. .m.l .Htirviai.l J ;. Ilu 1 
>ias remained in ]ios-essum of ibe N oiing f.iiiiih fioin ,1 .a ii.iy i„ ih,s, il.c 
ITcscnt owner being Mi,sAnna Young.^'.mn- hid s..ns. the 
"Mest of whom, (k-orge, married a daughter of S.ill/ nii.i m,,\ed ,11 rn'.s liic 
't'cl, ; William m.irried a Cardinier and,;cl in r|.,ri,l,L IVkt. jr., 
nurricd .M.irgarct S. rvi^s. and kei.t the home^icad. 

I'uringthe> war the, w.i, the "I the mm-, .,ii,l,.ii.ii,i^ 
'n the- neighborhood when threatened by the saeage encinv. 1 lu-y loriu.d 
arauipbackof the lake on the farm, slullered b;. a seiiii-i ir.le 01 high, ste.p 

hills. Mrs. Young, whose relatives were lories, and who was in no fear cf ' 
them or the Indians, cooked and carried food lo the refugees. Another 
hiding place was on the high point of land on the bank of the creek. At 
one time there was a large company of women and children encamped here. 
as Indians had been seen up the stream. It was in the autumn and i|uite 
cold, and they had risked building a fire. One morning the watchman spied 
a company of men hing o\er the hills to the east of the camp. 
I'licy were supposed to be the enemy, and a |ianic was created. Some lied 
to the lakeside camp ; others tried to put out the fire, which would betray 
their position, but ihey had no water, and the more they raked it, the more 
it smoked. They were soon delightfully relieved by the arrival of the 
party, who proved to be their soldier friends, home on a furlough. 

After the war, Mrs. Young's tory brothers, John and Suflle Servis-s c.-me 
from Canada to pay her a visit. .Mr. Young was at the barn threshing, 
and happening to come to the house was met at the door by his wife, who 
told him of the arrival of her brothers. He stepped in, took down his old 
musket, and turning to John Serviss, said, " I am going to the bam to 
thresh ; in an hour I shall come back, and if I find you here I will shoot 
you down." The tory naturally bade a prompt f.irewell to his sister and set 
out for Canad.a. The suffering and loss of life and treasure amon" the 
frontier patriots at the hands of their tory neighbors could not be forgot- 

Mrs. Voung a great nurse, and returning one night from a visit across 
the creek In that capacity, saw the only ghost she ever met. Having pad- 
dled her canoe to the homeward side of the stream, she was making her 
way through a cornfield to ihe house, when an apparition tall and pale 
loomed up before her. After staring at it in alarm for a moment, she re- 
solved to pass around it through the corn, but as she attempted to do so, 
the old white horse put himself also in molion and she recovered from her 

There is a grave-yard on the Voung homestead, which is the resting place 
of several generations of ihe family, and probably the oldest burial ground 
in the town. There is a maple tree on the estate from which five genera- 
tions have made sugar. 

.\bout a mile south of Ihe Young farm settled .\braham Van Home. He 
was sheriff at the beginning of the Revolution. His wife, whose maiden 
name was Hannah Hoff, was always generous and helpful to the neighbors 
when in need or trouble, and was, of course, a favorite among them. A 
plot was once formed by the lories 10 kill the sheriff, who was a leading 
patriot. The assassins gathered round his house by night, proposing to 
shoot him through a window as he lay asleep ; but fearing they could not 
do so without killing his wife, they postponed the deed. The plot was re- 
vealed; a block house was built in the neighborhood to protect the patriots. 
Sheriff Van Home after the war removed to Herkimer county. Hisoidest 
I son, Cornelius, kept the place. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Peter 
j Young, and their children still own the property. 

; Still further south there were a few settlers.who were troubled by losing 

their cattle. At length a hunter found them all herded in a clearing across 

the creek, belonging to a widow, who had stolen not only the cows, but 

other pro])erty of her neighbors. The latter were so enraged by the dis- 

' eo'.ery that they went over .and shot the woman, and recovered their prop- 

I erty. Sheriff Van Home and his next-door neighbor, J.acob liunn, on 

I hearing of the affair, saddled their horses, and fording the creek, buried 

\ the victim of lynch-law, flooring the grave and covering the body with 

bark before shoveling in the earth. In crossing the creek on the return, 

I'.inn. whowM, "a gro,, fit mm," slip^uj friii his h-irse in th- djep 

,ater. and was n 
ima-hore. 1 le 

iiied by seizing the tail of the animal, whicn drew 
served for a still mure dangerous adventure. He 
n^pertion, mounted to the upper scaffold used by 
li.i^a birn for liiiu and had it nearly done. The 
• men of hi^ ligiirc and gave way, the bulky projirie- 
1 win. h ..irrie.l hnu ihr.ingh two scaffolds be lew it 



This farm »a 

s alterw.ini i 


,V 11.111 

witii his grand-i 

liildren. A 

■la, e 1 

elow ll 

■ho.'tly alier the 


.v Dav 

id I'm 

^■..aug for a f. 

iin in Char 


now ll 

\,.ang sold hi 

new a..|ii 


to Will 

mill at Ihe falls. 

It was kep 

up f, 

r m.iii 

Ihe dcslriie 


Ihc 1 

el \'. 


who b. 

, at Ibe falls, was pur, h. 

He soon traded with I' 

IVter Van Home pi.,,,-. 

s. but was 
at p. 

vho liUlll 

.is abaniln 



This was a great fishing |jlace for the Indians, who reserved it in their 
negotiations with the whiter In the ■'i'nng. when the MRker> «_anie up the 
stream to deposit their eggs, great t|uantities were caught here by the fisher- 
men, who were on hand day and night. The current was so swift that the 
fish could pass up only near the shore A sort of pound was built out 
from the bank, enclosed, except for a space at the lower end. into which 
the fish flocked and were taken out with a net. Hooks and lines were also 
used. The construction of the dam at ?'ort Hunter prevented the fish 
from ascending the stream, and spoiled the fishing ground. 

The Frederick mills were leased, with eight acres of land, to Thomas 
Tollman and James I'ersons. who built a grist mill, a carding machine, an 
oil mill, and a blacksmith shop, with a trip hammer. They did a thriving 
business, until they were entirely burned out in 1H06. They rebuilt, but 
soon sold out to Wareham Scott, he to Lyndes Jones, he to Samuel Jack- 
son, and the last to John J. Wells, an active, enterprising man, who built 
a saw mill in 1828, and afterward a plaster mill, a di>lillery, and several 
houses. The dams which he built for the use of his mills were repeatedly 
swept away by freshets, and finally the distillery, plaster mill and a large 
bam were destroyed by the same agency. Mr. Wells was near!\ bankrupted 
by his loss, and a store owned by him was sold out to his creditors at high 
prices: in the stock were two beaver fur caps, and the men who got them 
used to boast of wearing forty dollar caps. Wells sold the rest of his 
property here in 1861 to Charles Fieldhauer, who beside running the mills, 
manufactured brooms. The whole establishment was burned out in 1863, 
and the ground sold to a Mr. Veeder, who built grist and saw-mills, which 
he sold to Mr. H. Buchanan, the present owner. 

Very early in this centun,-, Henry, son of Peter Voorhees, built a store 
at the Florida end of the bridge then spanning the Schoharie at Mill 
Point. In 1816 the building was taken down and removed to Minaville. 


The first frame school house in the northern part of Florida was built 
in 1806, at Belding's Comers, on the site of the present school house of 
District No. 3. The Methodists of the neighborhood contributed toward 
its erection, in order that they might use it also as a meeting-house. John 
Van Derveer. Daniel Herrick and Squire John Cireen, were the building 
committee. Bartholomew Helding, in whose barn religious meetings had 
been held, took an active part in behalf of the church in the construction 
of the new edifice. The only survivors among the first pupils who studied 
in this building are Garret Van Derveer. of Florida, and John Herrick, who 
now lives in Otsego county. Two of their school mates have recently 
died — Isaac De draff and his sister, Mrs. Jennie Barkhoff. 

The first school-house in the southwestern i)art of tht town was a log 
one, built about 17S5. on what is now (ieurge Serviss' farm. The first 
teacher was a man named Wright. 

The first frame school house in this region was built on the site of the 
present No. 9. 


We ought not lo forbear mention of the worthies whose good deeds and 
upright lives have come down to us as examples of the good and true, for 
" — When a good man dies. 

For years beyond our ken. 
The light he leaves behind him lies 
Upon the jaths of men " 
David Cady. a young survevor from Stnnington. Conn probably about 
17S0. found his way to this pan nf Mnh.Twk district, as alrc.uiv stated. 
He became agent fur Walts, whfi sult^e«|ticntly purchased the Karl of 
Abingdon's lands, and relatit)ns of intmiary and confidence subsisted 
between the two until death interrupted them. David Cady married Ann. 
daughter of Lawrence Shukr, in f;S_^ Ihenc eforward he rcsideil in 
Flonda, until hi> death in 1818. He be< anie a leading man in the tt^wn as 
merchant and farmer, honorably set uicd a large property, filled for a long 
time the offices of district justice, supervisor, and county jud;.'e. vvas a 
member of the Legislature, and held a commis^iion as captain of militia 
under C,ov. C.eorge Clinton, 1792. The house built liy Judge Cady was 
regarded as .|utte a wonder. The carpenter's wife came to see it when 
done, and when the mistress remarked that their furniture had not yet 

arrived from Albany, e.xclaimed, " () dear, if I had such a house I wi.ii.j 
not I are if 1 had'nt any furniture I" 

The famous jurist, Daniel Cady, was in his youth for some time an in- 
mate of this house. To that same house came alscj a voung Knglislim,, 
who had been a commercial lra\eler in his early home, and here cmbarki .; 
in a small way at first, in the line he knew the best, winning by indusir\ 
and intelligence daily a larger sphere. Samuel Jackson, for this was In^ 
name, became a successful merchant, a wealthy capitalist and a large laiul 
owner, and won a respected place for the qualities he evinced, and that Kil 
him to so large success. He filled acceptably various town offices andw.u 
member of the Legislature, and Presidential elector. He maintained an 
elegant home in the town of his adoption through a very long life, and his 
ashes now repose in the Minaville cemetery. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Cadv 
became partners in mercantile affairs, bought and shipped wheat to New- 
York, receiving generous returns for their ventures. Mr. Jackson married 
and settled in the near vicinity, and built a fine residence, that yet wear\ 
bravely its years. He brought the first piano into the town, for the use of 
his family. Mrs. Jackson, a woman of energy, tact and judgment, "looked 
well to the ways of her household." She had a great fondness for fiowers„ 
and rare plants, and was most successful in their culture. For years her 
garden was a thing of beauty, and she transferred o it many a neglected 
wild flower that developed in new and greater beauty under her care. 
Her husband gratified this passion by seeds and plants from distant locali- 
ties. A package of nameless seeds thus sent, she planted in boxes in her 
house, and cared for the tender seedlings all winter, and from those seeds 
came the first locusts in the town, and doubtless the stock of all the later 
progenv. Her wilderness of roses, and gay beds of gorgeous colors, at- 
tracted passers by to stop and admire. She survived her husband several 
years, and now lies beside him. 

Doctor John De La Mater, bom and reared in this town, became a 
physician of eminence. For many years he was an able professor ::i hi.> 
calling, at Fairfield, and at Cleveland. Ohio. He died there, a " beioved 
physician" for his amiable disposition, gentle manners and goodness of 

George Smith occupied a prominent place in the social and political 
annals of the town. He filled usefully and ably several town oflices, and 
was a courteous and successful merchant. He gave the name of Minaville 
to the little hamlet of his residence. He married two daughters of Judge 
Cady, and built a residence, at the time of its erection regarded the finest 
in the county — a dwelling carvings and enrichments constitute u ;i 
good evidence of his fine taste and generous views. Mr. Smith was a man 
of natural polish, always the gentleman as well as an intelligent business 
man. He subsequently purchased and improved Fort Johnson, antl 
dwelt there until his death. 

Doctor Stephen Reynolds resided at Mina\iile. and was a man of gene 
ral int'ormation, an ardent agriculturist, even iniblishing some small works 
upon the subject, and bv his thrift and acumen amassed a hand.sonie 
propertv. Me was the father of Mr Man us T Ruvnolds. the .listingui^!.- 
ed lau\er. who r.-.i, he.l .1 foremost in his pn.fe-i.m. and obtaine-l .: 
large pra< tice at .\mslerdam. and at .\lbany. where he died, ripe in 

Horn and reared in ibis town, Samuel \'oorhees and John Watts Caib 
were school-mates together at the old stone manse at Fort Hunter, were 
fitted for college, entered and graduated at I'nion. Doctor Vonrhee- 
studied medicine with Doctor Re> nolds, married his daughter and settled 
early at Amsterdam, where he reside.l until hi> death, t'ull of years. Hew ■.- 
always ha|ipy to tell his boyhond ]tranks and li\e o\ er .igain his cirlii-' 
years. John Watts after his graduation, entered the office of Daiu. i 
Cady. at Johnstown, and was afterwards his partner h.r s-.nie years. nK^.n- 
his esteemed friend and associate through life. Me r^teived'.> 
e\ idem e of jiopular favor, being elected superv i>..r, jiistu e, member of il.- 
legislature, and representative in Congress. He resided always at John- 
town until his death, scarcely past his prime, in 1S54, a genial, gencroi:- 
man, always reg.irdeil of strictest integrity, of liberal views, and unblemish- 
ed honor. 

To this namesake Mr. John Watts presented a large Hible. Loiulon. 
'75.V Upon the cover are the Walts coat of arms, and the ins( ription- : 
" New York, 20th July. 1790. Presented to the congregation m Warrtii- 
burgh, of which Rev. Mr. James Dempster is now minister." "i,Sr4, I'rc 
sented lo J.ihn Watts Cady. of Johnstown, by his friend John Watts. New 
York." It is in excellent preservation, and an interesting relic of ]'."'' 
years. Mr. Watts, besides the Hible, presented to Mr. Deinjister's congre- 



tfation a piece of land, which is still known as the Dempster lot. 

The Hon. Piatt Potter, now Judge of the Supreme Court, passed his 
6r»t professional years in Florida, and was the boon companion of a kin- 
dred circle. He removed to Schenectady, where he still resides. Henry 
p. Voorhees, Tunis Hubijard. Cornelius Phillips and John Barlow were 
men worthy of note; and Col. Peter Voung, an intelligent and upright man. 
spent a well-lived lite in this town. His home was a secluded one, in a 
<lell nenr the Schoharie creek and a small sheet of water bearing the name 
of •' Voung's Lake." The farm is still in possession of members of the 
family, and boasts of a monster maple tree, that has been tapped yearly 
over a century, and still yields generously its sweets. Col. Voung wa^ 
esteemed in the community for his probity and christian character. He 
held various town offices, and also represented his district as member of 
.\.>scnil»ly. He raised a large family, and died in the liuiiic he so long 

Rev. Nicholas Hill, originally from Schenectady, was long a resident of 
the town, and made a lasting impress upon his time. At the early age of 
len years he became a drummer in the army, and so served until the close 
of the Revolutionary war, when he took up his life's work. A man of 
vigorous mind, of executive force and determined zeal, he became a Metho- 
dist preacher of wide note. He preached in dwellings and barns, and 
reared churches, and beat the ra-eille that aroused many a hardened sin- 
ner. He owned a fine farm, and reared a large family upon it; but he 
never forgot his higher calling, and for a half century or more never feared 
to declare " the whole counsel of (iod." and to invite the thirsting to the 
"river of the waters of life." He was the father of Mr. Nicholas Hill. jr.. 
who reached eminence as a lawyer, residing in .\lbany, and well known by 
his voluminous and able law reports. 

This town was the native place of one of the most eminent ministers of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. John Dempster, D. D. He was 
bom about 179J, entered the ministry at the age of twentv-two, and was 
appointed presiding elder at thirty-five. He won a great name and ex- 
erted a powerf'jl influence by the stirring eloquence with »vhich he preached 
among the pioneer posts of Methodism in Central New York and else- 
where. At the age of forty-two he went as a missionary to Buenos Avres, 
His father, Rev. James Dempster, the Scotch Presbyterian clergyman else- 
where mentioned, was educated at Edinburgh University, but his son's 
education was neglected until after his conversion, in his eighteenth vear. 
From that time forward he studied with extreme diligence in all the oppor- 
tunities he could snatch from his arduous ministerial labors. He thus 
overcame his early disadvantages, and his rank is with the scholarly men 
of the church. Returning from South America, he spent the last twenty 
years of his life in founding and in professorships at several theological in- 
stitutions of his church, including one at Concord, N. H., and was acting 
as president of (larret Biblical Institute, at Evanston. III., when he died. 
in 1863. 

Entering the store of his bruiher-in-law, (leorgc Smith, at twelve, Jav 
Cady early gave evidence of more than ordinary capabilities. Absent 
f'tr a lime from the town, he returned in 1S26, and for manv vears held a 
leading place in its affairs. .\ merchant of sagacitv, a wise t ounsellor, pub- 
li« spirited and far seeing, he exerted his influence alwavs for good. He 
removed to St henectady, as [tresident of the Schenectady Bank, holding 
the position until his death in 1874. He accumulated a large fortune, 
which he used generously. The needy never appealed to him in vain. 

\tlla(;es of the town. 

Four post offices supply the maij facilities of the town. Pour J.acksun, 
the largest of the villages, lies upon the canal and river opposite .\nisler- 
dam, and affords pleasant homes for many persons doing busmess at that 
place, besides other inhal>itant.s, numbering in all about 500. 

It hasone church. Reformed, built in 1850. in good repair, and well at- 
tended. A commodious public school-house, coal yards, grocery stores, 
and mechanics' shops, supply well the wants of its people and vicinity. .\ 
•'parious dry dock affords godd fa< ilities for repairs of canal boats, and 
the freighting interests of the canal form no inconsider.Thle item in the 
business of the place, large quantities of coal, iron, flax-seed. Hnseed oil 
«ake, machinery, grains, .ind heavy merchandise, being ret eived here in 

Prominent among the enterprising residents of thv luh 

' portion of 

I the town of Florida, are the members of the firm of Van Buren \- Put- 
man, who located in Port Jackson, in 1861, succeeding Van .\ntwcrp jnd 
Van Buren in the flour, feed and grain business. They now do an annual 
business of $123,000. 

J. A. Eldrett has an extensive manufactory of carriages and slctgh- jt 
the same place, and J. W. Perkins a superior foundry and machme <\\'>u 
Lewis Phillips is engaged in the grocery business, as well as attcndm • to 
his farm on the river. 

\V. H. Moore, through his well kept hostelry, attends to the wants ui ihc 
traveling public. 

Chauncey Munsell is an educator of the tastes of the people, in the c-ro - 
tion of model dwelling houses for their comfort and convcnieni c. 

Port Jackson stands on land which, at the time of the construciimi uf 
the Erie Canal along here, was owned by Ephraim Brockwav and|^ 
Phillips. There were then only three houses at this point, whith 
spoken of by the people of the neighborhood as "down to the ferrv," ihc 
ferry being then in operation. Soon after the canal was opened, b-lin 
Stilwell erected a brick store building now occupied by Van Buren ,V 
Putman as a feed store, in which he for several years carried on a lar 'c 
trade. He also did an extensive business in lumber. A few vears lau-r 
George Warwick started an opposition store. 'I'he only stores in this 
region in the first years of this century, were one carried on bv a man 
named De Forest, just below the Blood farm ; another on ^■ankee Hill, 
kept by one Hall, on the place now owned by John Dean, and a third on 
the property now owned by N. J. Becker. Ephraim Brockwav. above- 
named, kept a tavern on the place belonging to J. J. (irav. at Port 
Jackson. There were others on Lewis Phillips' farm and at Yankee Hill, 
the last kept by Hallet Greenman, and standing on the farm now owned 
by J. Walrath. 

SlOtchbush Post-office, perhaps better known as Powder Spring, is a 
small hamlet of private dwellings, with a school-house and some shops, ()n 
the eastern border of the town, near a powder spring of considerable local 
notoriety and resort. Its waters have been analyzed, and are deemed etti- 
cacious in rheumatism and cutaneous diseases. The spring is nicely curl-eil 
and pavilioned. The flow, though not copious, is constant, and cattle seek 
the milky stream with avidity. A hotel and bath-houses have been pro- 
jected here, but not constructed. 

MiNAvii.L.F. nearest the geographical centre of the town, received its 
name in 1818. replacing the not very distinctive title "The Street." or us 
less elegant form of " Yankee Street," by which it was long known. It 
was early and for many years iiuite a centre of country trade. It is preltily 
situated in a wide, verdant bowl, whose southern rim is the Shellstone 
and Bean Hill ranges, and its northern horizon a lower line of ridges, form- 
ing a woody fringe. Through it flows the winding Chucteniinda. The 
ipiiet air of thrift and comfort that rests upon the place is not tinaiirat ;i\e, 
and one could find here a pleasant home if seeking seclusion, "the world 
forgetting, by the world forgot." Two churches, stores, a hotel, m hool- 
house, a cheese-factory and several shops are comprised in the \illam.-. 
The Reformed church was built in iSo8. The residence now occupied by 
Gen. E. .\. Brown was erected in 1811, and was then famous as the hnc-'l 
jirivate residence in the county of Montgomery. 

Dr. Z. H. Barney, of Minaville, is a native of Vermont. He gr.i.ln- 
ated at Castlcton College in that State, and began the practi* e of nu-dn mc 
in Saratoga county, N. V., whence he removed to Port Jacks<»n in iXj't. 
and two years later to Minaville, where he has since followed his profes- 
sion. He is seventy-eight years of age, and probably the oldest prnrtu ing 
physician in the c oiinty. 

The Methodist Episcopal church of Minaville was organized about i-*<;5, 
and the present building erected. The men chiefly instrumental in found- 
ing this church were Rev. Nicholas Hill. Samuel R. Grithth. Henry Peitm- 
gill, Benjamin Herrick, William Thayer and Marcus P. 
the preachers here have been Revs. Henry Stead, Henry L. Si.irks. Stcb- 
bins Joseph Connor. Ripley. Warner. J. W. Devendorf, Clark. Joseph 
Cope. Witherell. Jarvis. Duval!. Townsend and J. Hull, the latter no» in 

Soon after the organization 'if the sr cie v a great revival oci iirrcd. under 
the labors of the Re\, Mr. Starks, which .added largely to the onginatlv 
small membership of the church. It was again reduced, however, bv ilie 
formation of the Methodist societies at Fort Hunter and eUewhore. and 
there are now only about fifty members. Jacob Earnest, one of the stew- 
ards, has held the positiim some forty years. A ])ar.sonage was built ab<nit 



the year 1840, and the total value of the church property is estimated at 
froon $3,500 to ^,000. 

At a place tormcrly railed Mudgk Hollow, on Chuctenunda creek, 
about a mile and a half from its mouth, there were, about the beginning of 
this century, two grist-mills and a tannery, the mills owned by one Rowland 
and Mudge & McDonald, and the tannery by Bethuel Dean. *i"hese 
buildings, together with a saw-mdl at the same place, have passed away. 
On the site of the latter, which was owned by Andrew Frank, now stands 
the Serviss saw-milK Haslelt li: Curtis were hatters in the Hollow in the 
time of its prosperity. 



This is popularly known as the Scotch Church. Its founders were Scotch 
people who settled here toward the close of the Revolutionary war. The 
cfanrch is known to have been in existence in 179S, and was probably or- 
ganized at least ttn years earlier, though the year is not positively known. 
The following were the first members: John Adair. John Milminc, John 
McKerlic, John McKie, Alexander Murray. John Lyle, Wm. Lander, 
Daniel .Munson, John McGloch. John Smeallie, Alexander Ke" hie, An- 
drew Crawford, James Murray and Diniel Morrison. 

Tlie first house of worship was built in 1800, on a plot of ground which 
belonged to the farm cf Mr. Derrick Van Vecliten, in the eastern corner 
of the town. The jiresent house was erected on the same site in 1S46. 
The first interment in the burying ground attached, was made in 1S02. 
The church lot was gi\(.n Ity Mr, \'an V(.chLcn in consideration of five 
ihilliags and a pew in per[)etuity. 

Probably one of the first preachers to this society was Rev. James fJemp- 
^ter, elsewhere spoken of. Dr. John Hanks was pastor for 1S02 till 1S16; 
the Kcv. Mr. Dunaldson from 1S17 to 1S20 ; Rev. Peter Campbell from 
1S23 10 1S43 ; Rev. tieorge M. Hall from 1849 to 1S63 ; Rev. R. D. Wil- 
liamson from iHGz to 1S70. The present pastor, Rev. R. Rogers, took 
charge in 1871. 

The present membership is aiiout 150. The Sunday school was organ- 
ized in 1850. The scholars at present number about go. 


The Methodist Episcopal society of Fort Hunter was organized by the 
Rev. Mr. Parks in 1S56. Meetings were at first held in the school house 
south of the present church. Mr. Parks was followed by Rev. Messrs. A. 
G. DcTcndorf, Craig, Rose, Deli. Clark, Cope, Wilhercll. Duvall, 
T'own^nd. Word an. I H.ill. 

The present < hurch w.i^ luiilt in 1S60, atul dedicated in January, 1S61, 
during the i).Lsti)rate of the Rev. .Mr. Cr.iig. The tru>:eesat that time were : 
John I- VoorhccF, Cnrruliiis Wur.ple, John W. Uriggv, Spencer \"oorhees, 
Giles Ohlen, NiLhubs Wukirk, John .McGr.uv, Nebon Reese, and H. A. 
De\endorf. The 1 iiurt h is a \\i>oden building, 30 by 40 feet, and cost 
§1,450. The lot of half .111 acre cost 5:50. 


William McClu.mi'HA in 1S57 located on, and has since owned, one 
hundred and ten acres of land, known as the P>elding farm. 

I,. Piiii Lii's owns a farm of some three hundred acres, which Lewis 
Phillips settled on about 1770. It was afterward owned by Philip, John 
and David I'hillips. 

The farm of A. ('. Piui i irs was in the pos--cs>ion of three generations 
of the f.THiily before him. It was originally settled and owned by Cor- 
nelius Philips, wh.. was killed at Oriskany. His son, William, was the 
next proprietor, and h;inded down the estate to his son, Cornelius, on 
Tvhose death, in 1S65, it ft.!l to his si,x\, the present owner. 

The farm now owned by Hiram Hubds was first occupied by JacoI> 
Vandervcer after the Revolution, and next by his son, Asher. Corneliur<j^ 
and John Hubbs then owned the place until the present proprietor camc^ 
into po-session. A family burial ground on the farm contains the remains 
of the former generations of the family. 

R. M. Harilkv's farm was something of a business centre about a cen- 
tury ago, there being a grist mill, potash works, a small store, etc., at thii 
point, no traces of which remain. 

L. CoNOVER is the third of the name who ha\e owned the farm or> 
which he now lives. The first was Ruloff Conover, from New Jersey, who ' 
purchased it, about 1 790. from one Fhillips, and occupied it until his death 
in 1823. It then pa-,-<ed into the hands of his son, Cornelius, who died in 
1865, leaving the property to the present owner. 

Richard Davis is the proprietor of a farm owned by one Kline during 
the Revolution, afterward by Benjamin Petlingill, and then by C. Bent, 
until it came into the possession of Clark Davis about 1835. From him it 
passed, in 1865, to his son, who has since owned and occupied it. 

J. Q. Johnson owns a farm, part of which was the old Johnson home- 
stead, the buildings on which stood south of the present ones, and on ihc 
opposite side of the creek. Andrew Johnson located here about 1790, 
and remained until his death in 1S06. William and Daniel Schuyler 
bought out his heirs and kept the place until 1S28, when Jacob, a son of 
Andrew Johnson, purchased it. He lived in the old house until 1832, 
when he bought the adjoining property, on which he lived uiuil his death 
in 1874. The estate then fell to the present owner. His house was built 
by Dr. Stephen Reynolds in 1804, and is thus of the oldest in the 
town. 'Ihe ground for the Chuctenunda Ct-meCery was bou;^ht cff tins 
farm in 1^60. 

Daniel Schuyler's farm was owned by William Schuyler about the 
time of the Revolution. It fell to Jacob Schu>Ier in 1789, and on hi* 
death in 1S06, to his son, Daniel, from whom it descended to the present 
owner in 1862. 

A. Sekviss is the great-grandson of the original owner of his farm, which 
was also the property of his grandfather, Christopher, and his father, Law- 
rence Serviss. The present owner inherited the property in 1S4S, and has 
since occupied it. 

J. H. Stalev's farm was taken up by one Bunn. It was aftenvard 
owned by John Staley until 1862, when it came into the hands cf the 
present proprietor. 

The place owned by James Ca>ev was settled scon after the Revolution 
by Robert Casey, and remained in his hands until his death in 1841, when 
it fell to the present owner, who has made it his home from that time. 

The farm of W. A. Mu mine was bought from Anne Wilinot's patent by 
Gerrit Van Sente, jr., of .Mbany. He deeded it to John Stratc, who first 
settled on the place, which he occupied until 1802. He then sold it U* 
John M limine, whose descend.ints have since held the jiroperty. John 
Milmine's lon .Alexander inherited the farm in 1828, and owned it until 
1834, when the present owner came into possession. 

.\n instance of long tenure of an estate in the same family, not very r.irj 
in this old county, is seen in the case of the farm now owned by J. H. V.w 
Vechtfn. It was cleared by his great grandfather, Hubarlas Van Vcchltn, 
who took possession of the land about 1770. His son Derrick was hi^ 
successor in the ownership of the |)Iace, and bonded it down to his son 
David. From him the present owner bought part of the estate about i846» 
and inherited the remainder in 1S72. In the family cemetery on the farm 
the remains of the original owner and his wife havu lain about a hundred 

A similar case is that of the Keachik farm, which was first occupied by 
Andrew K.e.ichie, before the Revolution, and on his d--.\th in 1825 fell U> 
his son John, who. after cultivating it for thirty-eight years, kft it to hi5 
three sons, two of whom, F. and A. Keachie, still ocrupy it. 

J. Rellev's place is another that has been cultivated from before the 
Revolution, when it was owned by William Stewart. After the war it w.n 
the property successively of Wni. Bigham, his son John, and John Ki.!l)V 
before it came into the hands of the present owner in 1S40. 





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The town of Glen was formed from the town of Charleston, on the loth 
^ay of .April, 1823, On the first Tuesday in the month, the town organi- 
tation was formally completed by the election of the following board of 
officers : William Putman, supervisor ; Ebenezer Green, clerk ; James 
Voorhees, Thomas Van Derveer, and Jacob F. Starin, assessors ; Jacob 
F. Lansing and Henry .\I. Gardenier, commissioners of highways ; Elijah 
Mount and Christian Enders, overseers of the poor; John C. Van .-Vlstine 
»nd Honland Fish, commissioners of schcols ; Cornelius C an Home, 
inspector of schools ; .\brahcm .\i:macl;, collector; John C. Smith, Wil- 
liam I.. Hollady and IJtment Sloan, constables. The name of Glen was 
chosen in honor of Jaccli Saunders G!cn. cne of the principal residents, 
who had a land grant of ten thousand acres, comprising a considerable 
part of the (own, and was also the pro])rictor cf a large store, now oc- 
cupied by J. V. S. Edwards, within the present village of Glen. Mr. 
Edwards is also the occupant of the old homestead which erected by 
Mr. Glen, in the jear 161S. The surface of the town is hilly, but the soil, a 
clayey loai'.i, is \ery productive. Formerly the attention of the farmers 
was largely devoted to the raising 01 cattle for dairy purposes, and 
numerous cheese factories throughout the town attest the e.\tent to which 
this industry was carried. Latterly, however, on account of the high 
price obtainable for hay, the farmers have sold their cows, and the busi- 
ness of the cheese factories has shown a marked falling off. 

.Yurie's creek, which iIdws into the .Mohawk, and Irish creek, a tributary 
of the Schoharie, are the principal streams of the town. Numerous at- 
tempts have been made to obtain iron, but these efforts l.ave not been 
attended with any marked success. .X chalybeate sjiring, a mile east of 
Glen village, is about the only natural curiosity to be foimd in the town. 
One other, however, should be mentioned, namely, the stee[>bank upon the 
west side of the Schoharie creek, n little below Mill I'oint. This bluff 
retains the name by which it was called by the Indians — Ca-Jiiui^/i-irh.ox 
"pjrpendicular wall." Th:: hill of w'.iich this is on.- fare end; all round in 
similar steep banks, and is about fit'ty feet high, with a diamond-shaped 
area of some three acres. It is level on the top, and presents a very singu- 
lar appearance as seen from the hills to the south-east. It is visible for 
m.iny miles along the bank of the Schoharie. 

The si)ring above mentioned furnishes a small but steady stream in all 
seasons and weathers, flavored vvith iron and sulphur. ,\ succession of 
bubbles of gas rises with the water from the earth. The water is cool and 
refreshing. Animals are very fond of it, and at the settlement of the 
county, the resort of deer to this spot m.ide the vicinity a famous hunt- 
ing ground. The water is considered to have medicinal value in cutane- 
ous diseases. Man and beast, however heated, may drink it freely without 


In 1722 and 1723, Lieutenant Jolm Scott and his son took patents for 
•he lands between Aurie's creek and the Vates and Fonda line, near where 
Fultonville stands. .\urie'screek was so named by the Dutch, with whom 
Aaron is .\urie. after an old Indian warrior named .\aron, who lived many 
years in a hut standing on the flats on the east side of the creek. The ad- 
joining village of Auriesvdlc was named from the stream. Early in the century, three brothers n.imed Quackenboss emigrated from Holland 
to the . ..lony of New York. One of them remained at New York city; the 
other two went to .Miiany, and one of them, named Peter, removed to Scott's 
patent shortly after it was located. He settled near .Vurie's creek, on the 

site of the Leslie Voorhees place of recent years. Mr. Quackenboss had 
several < hildrcn grown ep when he arrived in this country, and David, his 
elder son, after a courtship on the John .Alden plan, married Miss Ann 
Scott, a daughter of the Lieutenant, who commanded Fort Hunter, and 
also settled on Scott's patent. \ young officer under the command of 
Lieutenant Scott, had requested Quackenboss, then in the employ of his 
superior, to speak a food word for him to Miss Ann, which he readily 
promised to do. The fact of his own partiality for the maiden, however, 
came out more strongly in his interview with her than the suit of her mili- 
tary admirer. She was all the better pleased, for she preferred the agent 10 
the principal. Learning lhi.s, he proposed, and was .accepted, and in due 
time the twain were made one. Their son John, born about the year 1725, 
was, it is believed, the first white child born on the south side of the Mo- 
hawk, between Fort Hunter and the neighborhood of Canajoharie. 

About the year i7.)o, a colony of si.\teen Irish families was |)lanted, un- 
der the patronage of Wm. Johnson, afterward baronet, on lands now owned 
by Henry Shelp, a few miles south-west of Fort Hun er, once a part of 
Corry's patent. 

Several years after, when they had built huts and cleared some land, a 
disturbance arose between the Indians of New York and those of Canada, 
and the immigrants, fearing trouble, broke up their settlement and returned 
to Ireland. 

Previous to the Revolution, Richard Hoff and Marcus Hand had erected 
dwellings and cleared land on the west side of the Schoharie, about four 
miles from For