History of Schoharie County, and border wars of New York

Comparatively few persons ever read the preface of a book, although every one should who would peruse the contents of the latter understandingly: for as a door serves us to enter the dwelling of our neighbor, so a preface is given by the writer of a volume as its entrance. That individual who does not read what an author says of his own book, can never fully appreciate its merits or demerits. Says Phillips in his Million of Facts: "Let us garner up our notices of past ages, and preserve them in the archives of the country : we shall please and instruct ourselves by so doing, and make posterity lastingly indebted to us for the deed. To transmit the honors of one age to another is our duty; to neglect the merits of our fathers is a disgrace." Actuated by corresponding motives, I commenced collecting historic matter in 1837, with the view of making it public.

From the lips of many hoary-headed persons of intelligence then living, whom I visited at their dwellings at no little sacrifice of time, the matter presented in the following pages was taken down; which individuals could say of numerous important transactions —

I was au actor in, or I witnessed them.

The collection of materials for this volume began just before it was publicly announced, that Col. Stone's forthcoming Life of Brant would serve up many border transactions, but rightly conjecturing that not a few would escape that writer's notice, particularly of a personal character, which might prove highly interesting to the general reader, I continued my gleanings; with what success the following pages will show. This volume does not profess to contain a detailed narrative of all the tragic scenes enacted on the frontiers of New York; for the reader is aware that several large books filled with such matter have already been published. I have aimed, therefore, to present incidents which have escaped the knowledge of previous waiters, or trans- actions to which I could add new facts, generally noticing in their place, however, the most important events published by other authors.

When writers are obliged to rely principally on oral testimony for what they publish, they are liable, from the treachery of memory in some, and the fondness for the marvelous in others, to imposition, to be practiced in turn upon their readers. Aware of this, in matters of importance I have principally confined my inquiries to individuals sustaining a character of conscientious regard for the truth. More than this, I have had the same stories related by as many different persons as possible, often strangers to each other ; and then, on carefully examining their testimony, have been enabled to arrive, as I believe, very satisfactorily at the truth. These antiquarian researches should have been made at an earlier day, but the stale maxim, " better late than never," will surely hold good in this instance if any.

When I commenced collecting materials for this work, I had not designed to make it so extended, but incidents of real interest coming to my knowledge, which transpired in sections remote from the Schoharie settlements, where those researches began; I resolved to enlarge it so as to garner up as many unpublished events as possible, particularly of the Revolution; in pursuance of which plan I visited not a few aged persons in the Mohawk valley. To render the book generally useful, believing it would fall into the hands of some who might never read an elaborate history of the American Revolution, I concluded to incorporate from the most authentic sources, a brief sketch of the principal causes which brought about that Revolution, adding to it the Declaration of our Independence, a document, which, though now in the possession of comparatively few, should be in the hands of every American citizen.

Since the subject matter of the volume has taken a wider range than was at first anticipated — in truth, not a few novel and important facts have come to hand since a prospectus was issued for it, the author has thought seriously of changing the title because too local; but as often has the question of the poet arisen — "What's in a name?" and not fastening on anyone more satisfactory, it has been retained. That portions of the volume may be found obnoxious to criticism, I do not doubt, as it has mostly been written in the midst of the family circle and domestic cares. Indeed, had it been penned under more favorable auspices, I am not quite certain it would have been pronounced a very classic production; for, having been bred behind a counter, much of my early life was devoted to merchandising instead of letters. A friend who has often seen me in my studio, surrounded by my family, has wittily suggested the propriety, not inaptly I must confess, of dating this volume in the kitchen, and dedicating it to my better-half.

The reader may expect to discover some little repetition, and a want of smoothness and harmony in its parts, since portions of this work have been added as new light has been cast upon them, long after others were written: besides, some of it has undergone a hasty abridgment to bring it within the volume, which now by far exceeds its intended limits. Care has been taken to correct several errors into which previous writers have fallen, from their not sufficiently authenticating what they publish- ed j and it is very possible with all my pains-taking, that I have fallen into some. If an essential one should become apparent to any reader, he will confer a favor on the author by pointing it out; as also he will by transmitting ancient writings, or interesting unpublished facts to his address. A true history of the Revolution cannot be written until the epitaphs of all the actors in that great struggle for civil liberty shall have become moss-bound; for as the several parts of a body serve to make up its whole, I conceive it necessary to bring together those scattered parts before it can be pronounced complete. Frequently do historic facts spring into life on the death of a scarred veteran, when, perhaps, for the first time his old papers fall under the observation of individuals who can appreciate their worth.


Table of Contents

Origin and signification of Schoharie — Schoharie tribe of Indians, how formed and distinguished — Location of Mohawk Castles — Indian Confederacy of New York and policy of the Albanians — Course of the Confederates in the Revolution — Arts of the aborigines — Mysterious pit — Indian customs and worship — Proper use of tobacco — Indian villages — Residence of Karighondontee — Indian Castle at the Wilder-Hook — Indian name of mountains — Number of Schoharie Indians — Their coat of arras — Their foot-paths — North America peopled by religion — Policy of Queen Anne towards German emigrants — Schoharie settled by Germans — Their passage from Eu- rope — Encamp on the Hudson — Arrive at Albany — Distinction between German and Dutch — Messengers sent to Schoharie — Party remove thither — Incidents on the way — Origin of the word Helleberg — Location of Schoharie settlers — Their names — Probable number. 21

Poverty of Schoharie Germans — Birth of four children — First wheat sown in Schoharie — Milling done at Schenectada — Industry and Bravery of the women — Physicians and Ministers — First horse — Settlement in Vrooman's Land — Indian titles at that place — Murder of Truax — Its object how revealed — Arrival of Bayard — Nature of his visit mistaken — Attempts to capture him — He escapes to Schenectada — Schoharie lands sold at Albany to seven partners — Foot race at Weiser's dorf — Battle between Captain Hartman and his Indian neighbors — Puts a spell upon their guns — Smoking of the calumet — Sheriff Adams arrives at Weiser's dorf — Rides upon a rail — Returns to Albany — Delegates sent from Albany to England — Are committed to the Tower — Their return home — Weiser and others remove to Pennsylvania — Origin of Cook-house — Horses return to Schoharie — Instances of brute instinct — Justice Garlock removes to the Mohawk valley — Evidence of his justice. 51

Ancient apple trees — First grist-mill in Schoharie county — Cobel's mills — In- dian name of Cobelskill — Old mill-stone — Introduction of bolting-cloths — Schoharie fashions — Profitable women — Buttons — Dandies — Long beards — First cider made in the county — First wheel-wright — First German school in America — Schools in Schoharie — First black-smith in Schoharie — Domestic beer — Dutch pride and prejudice — Introduction of slaves and their treatment — Farming utensils — Mode of threshing with horses — Shoe- makers — Tailors — Hatters — Abundance of fish — How exterminated — Wild animals — A German killed by a bear — Anecdote of the bear-catcher — A bear killed by a German — Hunt on Fox's creek — A tartar caught — Prominent hills east of Middleburgh — A panther story — Beavers and their dams — Doct. Moulter kills a wild-cat — First distillery in Schoharie — Fate of its owner — An Indian shoots six deer with arrows — Rattle snakes — How destroyed — Indian courtship — Schoharie Indians sell lands — Ancient bond — Purchases of Indians how legalized — Royal permit to purchase of Indians — Sale of lands in New Dorlach — Reservations to government — Sales made in presence of Sir William Johnson — Certificate of Thomas Bradstreet— Certificate of Mayor of Albany respecting sale of slaves — The King's highways, how obstructed — First merchant in Schoharie — Anecdote of his marriage — His portrait — The second merchant — His will — A cannon, to whom presented and when used — Origin of Punchkill — Anecdote of John J. Lawyer — Liquor drank at funerals — Indian murders — Savage act of a father — An Indian marries his prisoner. 79

Groat family settle in the Mohawk valley — Erect a gristmill — Highland troops arrive at Fort Johnson — Lewis Groat captured in the French war — Incidents on his way to Canada — His return home — Murder of Mrs. Van Alstyne and captivity of her daughter — Sir William Johnson — His birth — Is agent for Sir Peter Warren — Establishes himself at Warren's Bush — Becomes an Indian agent for the British government — Obtains a house-keeper — His marriages — Is created a Baronet — Erects Fort Johnson — Builds mansions for his sons-in-law — Removes to Johnson Hall — Sir John Johnson — His marriage and subsequent conduct — Sir William's death — Guy Johnson succeeds him as Indian agent — Johnson mansions by whom occupied in the Revolution — Their confiscation — Commissioners for selling confiscated personal properly in Tryon county — Confidential slave of Sir John Johnson — His recovery — Sale of Johnson Hall — Spook stories — Sir William Johnson a great land-holder — His fondness for women — Lives with Molly Brant — Pleasing anecdotes of the Baronet — Notices of him from the Gentleman's Magazine — His coffin made into bullets — Place of his burial — His portrait — Old King Hendrick — Dreams with Sir William Johnson — Commissioners of the colonies and Chiefs of the Six Nations meet at Albany — Speeches of Hendrick and other chiefs — Capt. John Scolt erects Fort Hunter — Queen Anne's Chapel and Parsonage — Indian war dances, how observed at Lower Mohawk Castle — Rev. John Stuart removes to Canada — Sells a slave — Scott's Patent — Marriage of Ann Scolt — An Irish colony — Jelles Fonda an early tradesman on the Mohawk — A match at boxing — Smoking at funerals — Boating on the river — Names of rapids — Little Falls — Gen. Schuyler constructs inland Locks — Evidence of his prudence — Durham boats on the river — Difficulties to encounter — Accidents — First bridges in the Mohawk valley — Early merchants at Canajoharie — A duel — The Yankee Pass — Caughnawaga Church — Indians obtain a church bell at the Upper Mohawk Castle — Location of Forts Herkimer, Dayton and Plain — Land speculations — Tragic adventure at the Devil's Hole — Ancient tax-lists — Large bill of rum — First Court held in Tryon county — Herkimer county organized — Public punishment — Changes in Western N. York. 105

Strength of the Vrooman family — A load of wheat — Women go to market and work in the field — Dutch fondness for horses — Feats of strength — Trial of strength and speed — Charitable act of Miss Vrooman — Weddings how celebrated — Gifts to intended brides — Horning at weddings — Playing cards — Fiddlers — Frolicking — Female ball dress — Dancing fifty years ago — Anecdote of Judge Brown — Supawn how eaten — Dutch eat their plates — New Year's day how observed — Christmas, Paas and Pinkster — Early farming — Dutch butter — Sour-crout how made — Dutch dishes — More witchcraft — How to get rid of rats — Schoharie invaded in the French war — An Indian treaty — A jubilee — Riding on horseback — Sparking — Why Americans de- generate — First Schoharie tea-party — Causes of the American Revolution — Ignorance of the British ministry — Opposers of British tyranny — Freedom of opinion by whom established — English policy for raising a revenue — Debt of England — Tax imposed — Gov. Bernard issues a pamphlet — Stamp duties — Virginian boldness — Franklin in England — Perseverance of Grenville — Barre's reply to Townsend — Sayings of Franklin — Friends of Stamp Act how treated— Virginia resolves — Continental Congress — Death and resurrection of liberty — Sons of liberty — Patriotic ladies — Speech of Pitt — Franklin interrogated — Repeal of Stamp Act — Popularity of Gov. Bernard — Domestic looms resumed — India tea rejected — British troops sent to New York and Boston — Dickinson's Essays — Gov. Bernard returns to England — Convention at Annapolis — Troops at Boston fire on the citizens — Event how celebrated — Extract from Dr. Warren's Oration — Tax on tea retained. 155

A contest approaches — Burning of the Gaspee — Gold versus liberty — Prediction of Patrick Henry — Espionage of Gov. Hutchinson — Town Committees organized — Franklin sends home letters — East India Company in trouble — It sends tea to America — Its destruction at Boston — Unwise acts of the British government — Predictions of Gov. Johnson and Gen. Conway — Just views of Bishop Shipley — Effect of Boston Pert-Bill — Call for a Congress — Patriotic mottos — Proceedings of Congress — Allan's comment on the ability of that Body — Warm discussions in Parliament — Speech of Lord Chat- ham — Expedient of Lord North — Origin of the terms Tory and Whig — Cod-fishing prohibited — Battle of Lexington — Its effect on the country around — Capture of the northern military posts — Ethan Allen's authority — Preparations for war — Washington is appointed to command the array — Battle of Bunker's Hill — Death of Warren — Anecdotes of the battle — Arrival of Washington — Proceedings of Congress — Post-office established — Gov. Penn interrogated by the House of Lords — Hessian troops employed — American flag — Colonial Governors — Boston evacuated — Defense of Fort Moultrie — Intrepidity of Jasper and McDonald — Their dying words — Argument for education — Mrs. Elliot — Story of Jasper and Newton — Com- missioners sent to Canada — Declaration of American Independence. 182

Committees formed in frontier settlements — Indian treaty in Schoharie — Brakabeen Castle — Contagious disease — Schoharie Indians go to Canada — Death of granny Warree — A matricide — Schoharie Council of Safety — Ball family divided in politics — Organization of Schoharie militia — Resolution of New York Committee of Safety — Oath of allegiance — Record of Judge Swart — His personal services — Chairman Ball's sons perform extra labor — Accident on the Hudson — Anecdotes of Ball — Attempt to take his life — Character of Col. Vrooman — Attempt to capture him — Designs upon Washington — Commissioners sent to France — Events of 1776 — Anecdote of a piquet guard — Washington's retreat from Long Island — Battles of Trenton and Princeton — Sufferings of Washington's army — His remarks to Colonel Reed — A singular requisition — Plan of the enemy for 1777 — Arrest of Col. Huetson — Tories in Schoharie — Brant at Unadilla — Interview between Gen. Herkimer and Brant — Affidavit of Col. Harper — Particulars of the interview from Joseph Wagner — False impression of Herkimer's character corrected — Harpersfield exposed — Cherry Valley threatened — Rangers to be raised — Letter from Chairman Bail to New York Congress — Reply of that Body — They write to the Albany Committee — Geographical ignorance of State Council — Frontier how protected — Albany Committee write General Schuyler — Same Body censure New York Council — Schuyler writes Albany Committee — His apprehensions — New York Council of safety write Albany Committee, evincing warmth — Girls murdered at Fort Schuyler — Glance at the enemy's movements — Letter from Albany Committee to New York Council — Schuyler to same Body — Schoharie messenger — New York Council to Gov. Clinton — Albany Committee write the Council — Clinton's letters ordering troops to Schoharie. 206

McDonald invades Schoharie — Patriotism of Henry Hager — Messengers dispatched to Albany — Col. Harper visits Schoharie — Starts for Albany — Is visited in the night — Next day is pursued by Indians — Escapes from them and reaches Albany — Notice of his arrival — New York Council forward letters to Col. Pawling — Harper obtains a company of Cavalry — Captain Mann how concealed — Barracks how constructed — Troops bait at Snyder's — Effect of music — Death of an Indian — Novel confinement — Madam Staats — Battle of the Flockey — Citizens accompany McDonald in his flight — Concealment and surrender of Capt. Mann — Chairman Ball to Schoharie Committee — Mann's property not confiscated — Col. Harper writes Council of Safety — Reply of that Body — Extract from Journal — Commissioners of Tryon county how instructed by New York Council — Remarks of Rev. Daniel Gros — Expedition to Norman's-kill — Advertisement (,by Chairman Ball — Citizens of Schoharie transport provisions to Stillwater — Anecdote of the Patroon — New Dorlach — Money buried in Albany — Burgoyne's surrender how celebrated in Albany — Anecdote of Evert Yates — Incident of the French war — A spy in Burgoyne's camp — Death of Gen. Eraser — By whom killed— Retreat of Burgoyne how cut off — Anecdote to show skill of Morgan's riflemen — Anecdotes of the Oriskany battle — Death of Gen. Herkimer — Indians in a cellar — Corps of Invalids — British enter Philadelphia — Sufferings of the American army at Valley Forge — Anecdote of Washington — Acts of Gov. Tryon — Arrival of Lafayette — Con- spiracy against Washington — A female spy and Maj. Tallmadge — Schoharie Forts when and how constructed. 237

Interesting incidents now lost — Fortune how fickle — Last effort of Chatham — Acts of Parliament rejected — Treaty with France — Its effects — Settlement on Cobelskill — Organize a militia company — Lieut. Borst shoots an Indian — Cobelskill battle — Death of Capt. Patrick — Names of Cobelskill militia engaged — Escape of Belknap — Escape of Henry Shafer — Burial of the dead — Subsequent celebration — Designs on Cherry Valley how thwarted — Destruction of Wyoming — Dastardly act of a Tory — Invasion of the German Flats — Walter Butler imprisoned — Escapes and leads the enemy to Cherry Valley — Pleasing anecdote of Brant — England declares war against France — Battle of Monmouth — Capt. Molly — Col. William Butler goes to Schoharie — Heroic Soldiers — Fate of a Scout — Capt. Long intercepts and kills Capt. Smith — Death of Christopher Service — His confiscated property recovered — His remains how honored — Lower Fort garrisoned — Col. Butler destroys Indian towns on the Susquehanna — Col. Duboise winters in Schoharie — Gerard arrives in the States as Minister from France — Dr. Franklin goes to France as American Minister — Price of American scalps — British possess Georgia — Washington's winter quarters — Jay chosen President of Congress. 272

Captivity of Cowley and Sawyer — Escape from their enemies and return to Schoharie — Murder of Durham and his wife — Capt. Hager on the Delaware — Mohawk river settlements invaded — Anecdote of Cornplanter and his Father — Contemplated invasion of the Indian settlements — Execution of Hare and Newbury — Signification of Caughnawaga — Arrest of the Spies — Burial of Hare — Clinton's army at Cooperstown — Moves down the creek — Industry of Beavers — Death of a Deserter — Anecdotes of Colonel Rigne — Col. Butler leaves Schoharie — The Boyd family — Lieut. Boyd and his sweet-heart — She invokes a Curse upon him — Marriage of her Daughter — Elerson surprised by Indians — Kills one and escapes — Brown's Mills why not burned — His house plundered while he is in it — A wedding — Source of water how discovered — Anecdote of a Sentinel in a tree — Battle of Newtown — Sullivan's signal guns — Rescue of a Prisoner made at Wyoming — Destruction of Indian property — A Child found — Its Death — Scout under Lieut. Boyd — Death of an Oneida — Two of Boyd's party set out for the Camp — Murphy shoots an Indian — Scout surrounded by the Enemy — Capture of Boyd and Parker — Escape of Murphy and two others — Death of Boyd and Comrade — Fate of Han-Yerry — Indians die of Scurvy — Justice to Boyd's memory — Schools in the Revolution — Delegates from Tryon County to State Convention — Invasion of Ballston — Capture of Col. Gordon — He escapes with others and returns home— Command of Col. Fisher — Capt. Fonda shoots a deserter — Is tried and acquitted — John Jay sent as Minister to Spain — Attack of the Americans and French on Savannah — Death of Count Pulaski — Gov. Tryon burns several towns in Connecticut — Stoney Point stormed by Wayne — Acts of Paul Jones — Winter quarters of Gen. Washington and sufferings of his army. 291

The enemy moving — Death of a Tory named Cuck — Imprisonment of Van Zuyler — Sugar makers frightened — Lieut. Harper and friends captured by Brant at Harpersfield — Harper saves the Schoharie settlements by duplicity — Tory consultation — Harper's word doubted — March begun — Harper confronted by a Tory — Murder of an aged prisoner — Efficacy of rattle- snake soup — Enterprise to Minisink — Schoharie captives in danger of being murdered — Are saved by an Indian who escaped from Van Campen — Party feast on horse flesh — Boast of Tories — Ashes used for salt — A runner sent to Niagara — Kind object of Brant in forwarding a messenger — Running the gantlet — Prisoners before Col. Butler — Price of American blood in Canada — Condition of prisoners at Chamblee — Attack on the Sacondaga block-house — Letter of Col. Fisher — Indians pursued and killed by Solomon Woodworth and party — Public officers in Schoharie — Second invasion of Cherry Valley — Captivity of Moses Nelson— Fort Orange rebuilt — Willet's attempt to take it — Letters to Col. Fisher showing an expected invasion — Enemy enter Johnstown — Murder of the Putmans and Stevens — Fate of two Tories — Fisher family — Troops arrive in Johns- town — Death of Capt. Hanson — Signification of Ca-daugh-ri-ty — Course of the enemy — Attack on the Fisher dwelling — Fortunes of Col. Fisher and fate of his brothers — Fonda brothers— Sheriff White and his neighbors — Furniture destroyed in Maj. Fonda's dwelling — Murder of Douw Fonda — Pleasing incident — Acts of the party under Johnson — Escape of George Eacker — Johnson's confidential slave — Boys liberated near Johnstown — Invaders return to Canada — Escape of young Hanson. 321

Captivity of William Hynds and family at New Dorlach — An Indian attempts to surprise a sentinel at the Upper Schoharie Fort — Captivity and rescue of William Bouck and others — Seth's Henry in Vrooman's Land — Is at a spring — Resentment of the Indian William — Indians in the dwellings of the pioneers — Captive negroes liberate themselves — Attempt to capture Capt. Richtmyer — Mohawk valley invaded — Schoharie scout fall in with the enemy — Alarm guns how fired — Brant invades Vrooman's Land — Fate of the settlement- Character of Col. Vrooman — Indian grudge — Infant smiles save a father — Escape of Pull-foot Vrooman — Names of captives — Several citizens escape in a wagon— Number of houses burnt — Judge Swart's horse by whom rode — War-club of Seth's Henry — Escape of the Hager family — Old gentleman throttles his dog — His capture and treatment — Burning of Crysler's mill — Mill-stone recovered — Two Tories join the enemy — Hager family reach the Fort — Burial of the dead — Singular presentiment — Fate of the Vrooman infant— Brant releases part of the prisoners — Destructives assemble at Oquago — Prisoners divided — Boyd's scull — Lieut. Vrooman about to be murdered — Henry Hager insulted — Efficacy of tobacco — Prisoners run the gantlet — Attempt to fire the magazine at Quebec — Negro prisoners adopt the Indian's life — Loss of British ship Seneca — Schoharie prisoners lodged at South Rakela — Their return home — Particulars from whom derived. 365

Romantic courtship and marriage of Timothy Murphy — The bride's first interview with her mother— The reconciliation — Duty of Rangers — Their music when on a scout — Dancing at the Middle Fort — Rival dance of the soldiers — Ballstou settlement invaded — Attempt to capture Maj. Mitchell — Enterprise of Jo. Bettys — Absence of a Schoharie scout protracted — Sir John Johnson leaves Niagara to invade the frontiers of New York — Names of hills — Johnson's army discovered — A pack horse taken — Torch of destruction first applied— Volunteers meet the enemy — Daring of Murphy — Burning of Middleburgh Church — Powder how sent up from Lower Fort — Volunteers under Capt. Lansing — Escape of Elerson — Stand made by the enemy — Mrs. Richtmyer frightened to death — How to start a bachelor — A flag of truce how attended — Is fired on by Murphy — Conduct of Major Woolsey — Surrenders his command to Col. Vrooman — Firing renewed — Loss of the Americans — Wilbur scalps an Indian — A dead Indian is found in the woods — Enemy move down the valley — Anxiety at the Upper Fort — A heroine — Lower Fort how garrisoned — Scout from that Fort meet the enemy — Death of Van Wart — Fate of Anthony Witner — Firing heard in Cobelskill — Preparations to defend Lower Fort — Salute from a grass-hopper — An ancient apple tree — War's beverage — A presumptuous Indian — Adventure of Enders — An Indian killed at a well — Fate of a deer — Mortar abandoned— A Tory arrives at the Fort. 388

Schoharie militia pursue the enemy — Schoharie fires seen at Fort Hunter — Cadaughrity destroyed — Enemy encamp near the Nose — Americans encamp in Florida — Battle of Stone Arabia — Death of Col. Brown — His remains honored— Pleasing anecdote of an Indian and a colt — Skirmish near St. Johnsville — Cowardly conduct of Gen. Van Rensselaer — Climax of his management — Anecdote of Capt. Vrooman — Willing captives — Schoharie horses recovered— Novel manner of carrying bread — Incidents from John Ostrom — Grain how saved — Maj. Woolsey leaves Schoharie — Death of a spy — Invasion of New Dorlach — Death of Michael Merckley and his niece Catharine— Murder of John France and providential escape of his brother Henry — Burial of the dead— A reason for Merckley's death — Number of buildings burnt in Schoharie county — Extract of a letter from James Madison — Continental money — Charleston captured — Kniphausen invades New Jersey — Arrival of French troops — Retreat of Gates and death of DeKalb — Treachery of Benedict Arnold. 421

Mutiny at Head-Quarters — Erection of block-houses — Fort Duboise — Capture of Jo. Bettys and two associates — Col. Livingston's regiment in the Mohawk valley — Conduct of Maj. Davis — His death — Brant surprises a party of wood-choppers near Fort Schuyler — Americans pursue and recover shoe-buckles — Prisoners go through the manual exercise to gratify Brant — Boys captured near Fort Herkimer — Invasion of Curry Town — Escape of the Tanner family — Death of Jacob Moyer and son — Prisoners made in the settlement — Capt. Gros sent to New Dorlach — Discovers the enemy's trail and sends word to Willet — Sharon battle — American loss and death of Capt. McKean — The captive Jacob Dievendorf — A religious meeting broken up — Murder of Hoffman and wife — Capture of William Bouck and other citizens of Schoharie in a wheat field — Indians eat a hedge- hog — Escape of Lawrence Bouck — Fare of prisoners on their journey — Their return home — Ulster county invaded — Troops sent to Schoharie — Capture of Lt. Borst an 1 others in Myndert's valley — Death of Borst — Capt. Wood- worth and company surprised on West Canada creek and most of them killed — Incidents in the vicinity of Fort Dayton. 450

Invasion of Maj. Ross — Death of Myers of Curry Town — Other citizens captured — Village of Fultonville — Escape of a prisoner — Willet pursues the enemy — Battle near Johnson Hall — Incidents of the battle — Retreat of Maj. Ross — Manner of crossing creeks — Death of Walter Butler — Captivity and return of prisoners — Brant again invades Vrooman's Land — Death of Adam Vrooman — Enemy are pursued — Fate of Richard Haggidorn — Murphy fortune's favorite — A dead Tory — Capt. Hager pursues the enemy — A rum-keg how guarded— Battle of Lake Utsayantho — Cowardly conduct of Capt. Hale — An incident which followed — Fruitless expedition of several Tories — Unexpected meeting of Capt. Eckler and Brant — Former escapes by flight -How concealed— A prisoner captured near Fort Plank — Escapes in the night — Is concealed and nearly suffocated in a log — Events of 1781 — Military enterprises in the Southern States — Abortive plan to capture Arnold — Siege of York Town — Capture of Cornwallis and his army — Event how celebrated — British standards to whom delivered — Anecdotes of stealing in the Revolution — Arnold destroys New London— Death of Ledyard and Montgomery — Conduct of Col. Gallup — Massacre in the Fort and attending incidents — Anecdote of a petticoat. 470

Predatory warfare continued in 1782 — Murder of the Dietz family — Captivity of Capt. Dietz and the Bryce boys — Captivity of McFee's children — Character of Gen. Herkimer and others — Murder of Adam Vrooman — Invasion of Fox's creek — Murder of Young Zimmer and capture of his brother — Death of a Hessian — The Becker family — John Becker how killed — Escape of Jacob and Wm. Becker — Indians discovered by boys — Attack on the Becker house — Eccentricity of Shell — Attempt to fire the building — Ingratitude of a Tory — Capture of several prisoners — Novel torture — Virginian spirit — A Tory wedding — Cobelskill again invaded — Several citizens killed or captured — Capture of the elder George Warner and son Nicholas — Escape of Joseph Earner — Meat how cooked and divid- ed — Escape of Nicholas Warner — Kind treatment of George Warner — Indian reverence of a Deity — Warner returns home — Gen. Washington visits Schenectada — Burning of that place by the French and Indians — Washington's treatment of Col. Fisher — His letter to the officers of Schenectada — Anecdote of his visit — Murphy takes a prisoner who escapes with his rifle — A Tory how concealed — Anecdote of Murphy and his cow — Notices of Timothy Murphy — Inscription on his tomb-stone — Incident at Fort Duboise and death of a calf. 490

Ratification of Peace — Gen. Washington resigns his Commission — Lands forfeited — Tories return to the States and boast of their deeds — Indians return to Schoharie — Fate of Seth's Henry — Attempt to kill Abram — He disappears at a Bee — Indians become alarmed — Beverages drank in the war — Incidents in the life of Capt. Eben Williams — Conduct of Col. Vose in Gates' campaign — Anecdote of Col. Scammel — Gen. Montgomery's widow how honored — Army at Budd's Huts — Duty of Col. Laurens at York Town — Anecdote of an Irish Lieutenant — Incidents of the siege — Officers killed in duels — Celebration at West Point — Cincinnati Societies organized — Habits of Capt. Williams— Military Journal of Maj. Tallmadge — Incident in the river Bronx — Tallmadge commands a squadron of horse— Corresponds with Washington— Loses his horse— Enterprise against Lloyd's Neck — Surprise and capture of Fort St. George — Washington's letter respecting it — How noticed in Congress — Capture of Fort Slongo — Enterprises how thwarted — London trade an incident o — An English Sloop captured in the Sound — Society of the Cincinnati how organized — Spies in New York how protected — Order in which the Americans entered New York after its evacuation by the British — Last interview of Gen. Washington and his officers — Maj. Tallmadge returns home — Marries and settles for life. 528

Capt. Thomas Machin — Battle of Minden — The Duke of Bridgewater's Canals — Machin arrives at New York — Locates in Boston — Is one of Boston Tea Party — Plans fortifications near Boston — Is sent by Gen. Washington to the Highlands of the Hudson — Cooperates with Gen. Clinton — Request of Gen. Schuyler — Putnam's Rock — Council of Safety recognize acts of Capt. Machin — Orders to be observed by artificers — Washington's letter to Gen. Knox — Kingston how fortified — Correspondence showing the preparations making to receive the enemy — Machin a recruiting officer — Attack on Fort Montgomery— Death of Capt. Milligan— Letters of Gov. Clinton — Expense of Iron used in obstructing the Hudson — Capt. Machin writes N. York Council of Safety — Officers above their business — Letter from Gen. Parsons about fortifying West Point — Col. Hughes' letter respecting cord- age — Gen. Clinton wants fish — Gov. Clinton's letter relating to lead mines — Gen. Parsons wants timber — Capt. Machin writes Gen. McDougal about river chain — Gov. Clinton will purchase a phaeton — He certifies to the acts of Capt. Machin — Chain of what iron wrought — Statement showing who fortified the Highlands and obstructed the river — Letter from Doct. Freeman — Letter from Peter Woodward — Machin's private expenses — Disburses large sums of money — Importance of the works — Importance of securing the Hudson— Expedition of Col. Van Schaick to Onondaga — A plan for supplying Albany with water — Machin in Sullivan's expedition — Letters from Doct. Young — Letters from Henry Rutgers, jr. — Death of Kayingwaurto, a Seneca Chief— Receipt for scalps — Capt. Greg and his dog — Surrender of a Wyoming Fort — Table of distances in Western New York — Letter from Gen. Clinton — Cupid in the camp — Letter from Henry Rutgers respecting sufferings of the army — Doct. Young writes on the same subject — Ezra Patterson writes from Fort Pitt — Instructions to a Committee of Officers sent to the Legislature — Letter from Lt. Bradford showing condition of the army — Capt. Hubbell wants money — Difficulties attendant on recruiting service — Capt. Machin at York Town — Maj. Popham parts with his sword — Letter from W. Morris — Machin about to marry — Recruiting orders from Gen. Washington — Extract from Parker's letter — Machin is slandered — A messenger sent to Boston — Machin marries Miss Van Nostrand — Popularity of Machin— Gen. Clinton out of money — Correspondence of Joseph Wharton respecting lands at Cooperstown — Value of Western lands — Letter from Gov. Clinton about land — Machin settles at New Grange — Order of Timothy Pickering — Certificate of Gen. Clinton — Extent of Machin's business — Great copper-firm — Machin removes to Montgomery county — His patrons and friends — He is a Freemason — Obtains a pension — His death. 550

Schoharie County when formed and how bounded — Its towns — New era in its history — First Attorneys — Neatness of Schoharie women — Want of taste among the Germans and Dutch — Out buildings in New England how adorned — Statistics of the county — Schoharie Judges — Lime-stone and fossils — The county interesting to Geologists — Turnpike roads — Canajoharie and Catskill Rail-Road — Congressional and Senatorial Districts — Sources and outlet of the Schoharie — Extent and formation of Schoharie fiats — Public executions — Trial of Van Alstyne — Establishment and history of the Lutheran Church — Singular incident in the life of Domine Sommer — Some notice of the Reformed Dutch Church — A faithful church officer — Ministerial fees — Churches when first warmed — Tidingraen and their authority — Blenheim — Statistics of the town — Jacob Sutherland once a resident — Statistics of Broome — David Elerson — How he obtains a carriage and horses — His death — David Williams — Notice of Gen. Shays — Indian war-path — Statistics of Carlisle — Town by whom settled — Its rocks and caverns — Indian's cave — Statistics of Cobelskill — Incidents in the life of Gen. Dana — Gen. Wm. Eaton — Anecdote of Gen. Lee — John Redington — Monumental inscriptions — Statistics of Conesville — Statistics of Fulton — Bouck's Falls — Ex-Governor Bouck — Abraham A. Keyser — Statistics of Jefferson — Statistics of Middleburh — The Vlaie — County Poor-house — Statistics of Schoharie — Indian mound — Gebhard's Cavern — Otsgaragee Cavern — Nethaway's Cave — Schoharie minerals — Monumental inscription — Statistics of Seward — New Dorlach — Monumental inscription — Statistics of Sharon — New Rhinebeck — Sharon Springs — Analysis of water — Rare mineral — The Pavilion — Statistics of Summit — Lake Utsayanlho. 601

Ancestry of David Williams — His biography — Capture of Maj. Andre — Cowboys — Courtship of Williams — How he chanced to be one of the captors — The object of the captors' expedition — Incidents attending the arrest of Andre — A singular dream — Congress how apprised of Andre's capture — Resolution of that Body on the subject — Marriage of Williams — He participates in a celebration at New York — How honored — His death — Obituary notice of his death — His burial — Incidents connected with the arrest and execution of Andre — Instructions of Sir Henry Clinton — Papers found on Andre's person — Conduct of Col. Jamieson — Extract from the Journal of Maj. Tallmade — Joshua H. Smith is suspected and tried — Board convened to try Andre — Manner of his execution — Champe's attempt to arrest Arnold — Capt. Nathan Hale — Bold exploit of his — His arrest and execution — Confession of Cunningham — Fate of Andre and Hale contrasted — Andre's remains taken to England — Character of Andre over-rated — Proof of his character — His poem called the Cow-Chase — Somewhat phophelic — Arnold how respected in England — An acrostic to his fame — Monuments to Paulding and Van Wart — Efforts to obtain a monument for Williams. 646


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The border wars of New York, in the great struggle with England for American nationality, originated some of the most thrilling incidents that ever did or ever can stamp the page of history. Many of those transpired in that part of Albany county now known as Schoharie; while events of no less interest were enacting in Tryon, and other frontier counties. Some of them have already been published, but there are not a few, especially of those which occurred in the Schoharie settlements, that have either not been presented to the American reader at all, or if they have, but partially and inaccurately so.