ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

thelivyjr
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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:40 p

To a State Convention, called to devise measures "for appreciating the currency, restraining extortion, regulating prices, and other similar purposes," Frederick Fisher, John Frey, Christopher W. Fox, Crowneage Kincade, John Petrie, and Werner Deygert were elected by the people of the Mohawk valley, as certified to by Jacob G. Klock, chairman of Tryon county committee. Dated Committee Chamber, August 16, 1779.

In October of this year, the enemy, about two hundred strong, under Major Monroe, consisting of British regulars, tories, and Indians, entered the Ballston settlement.

Most of the early settlers of Saratoga county were from New England, and were good livers.

An invasion had been anticipated, and two hundred Schenectada militia were sent to aid in protecting the settlement.

A church, called afterwards the red meeting-house, was being erected at the time, and opposite and near it, a dwelling owned by a Mr. Weed was inclosed in pickets, at which place the Schenectada militia were stationed.

About the same time the Ballston militia, thinking the troops sent to aid them were not sufficiently courageous, erected a small defence on Pearson's Hill, afterwards called Court House Hill, nearly two miles in advance of the stockade named, and where the invaders were expected to enter.

The little fortress on the hill was guarded for several nights, but as the enemy did not appear, it was abandoned.

The second night (Sunday night) after the Ballston troops dispersed, the enemy broke into the settlement.

They made their first appearance at Gordon's Mills, situated on a stream called the Morning kill, entering the public road at the foot of the hill noticed.

Col. James Gordon, who commanded the Ballston militia, and Capt. Collins, an active partizan officer, living near him, were both surprised at their dwellings, and borne into captivity, with nearly thirty of their neighbors.

On the arrival of the enemy at the house of Capt. Collins, Mann Collins, his son, escaped from it, and gave the alarm to John and Stephen Ball, his brothers-in-law.

The latter mounted a horse, and rode to the house of Maj. Andrew Mitchell, (Major under Col. Gordon,) who, with his family, fled into the fields, and escaped.

The Balls also communicated intelligence of the enemy's proximity to the Schenectada troops at the Fort.

At Gordon's Mills, one Stowe, his miller, was captured on the arrival of Monroe's party, and, for some reason, soon after liberated.

Feeling himself obligated to Col. Gordon, he thought it his duty to inform him of his danger, and afford him a chance of escape.

Crossing a field with that laudable intent, he met an Indian, who, seeing a fugitive, as he supposed, attempting to escape, thrust a spontoon through his body, and instantly killed him.

Great numbers of cattle and hogs were driven away at this time, or killed, several dwellings and out-buildings burned, and the whole settlement greatly alarmed by the invaders, who proceeded directly back to Canada by the eastern route.

Among the dwellings burned were those of one Waters, one Pearson, several Spragues, and several Patchins.

Two dwellings, a little north of the present residence of Judge Thompson, owned at the time by Kennedys, escaped the torch, as they had a friend among the invaders.

The troops assembled in the neighborhood were on their trail by daylight on Monday morning, and followed some distance; but meeting a liberated captive, who bore a message from Col. Gordon advising the Americans to abandon the pursuit, it was given over.

Why the message was sent, I am not informed, but presume he either thought the enemy too strong to warrant it, or the prisoners in danger of assassination if a hasty retreat was necessary.

Col. Gordon was an Irishman by birth, and a firm patriot.

He was confined in a Canadian prison for several years, and was one of a party of six or eight prisoners, who effected their escape in the latter part of the war, and after much suffering succeeded in reaching home.

Henry and Christian Banta, Epenetus White, an ensign of militia, and several others, neighbors of Col. G., and captured subsequently, also escaped with him.

Procuring a boat, the fugitives crossed the St. Lawrence, and from its southern shore directed their steps through the forest, coming out at Passamaquoddy Bay, in Maine, where they found friends.

Before reaching a dwelling the party were all in a starving condition, and Col. Gordon gave out, and was left, at his request, by his friends, who proceeded to a settlement, obtained assistance, returned, and bore him in a state of entire helplessness to a place of safety, where he recovered.

While the party were journeying, they agreed that if either of them obtained any thing to eat, he should be permitted to enjoy or distribute it as he chose.

In the forest, to which the trapper had not been a stranger, one of the number found a steel-trap, in which an otter had been caught, and suffered to remain.

It was mostly in a state of decomposition.

The leg in the trap was whole, however, and a sight of that, Col. Gordon afterwards assured his friends, looked more inviting to him than the most savory dish he had ever beheld; but pinching hunger did not compel a violation of their agreement - his mouth watered in vain, and the finder ate his dainty morsel undisturbed.

When the fugitives arrived at a house, and asked for bread, the woman told them she had not seen a morsel in three years.

After crossing the St. Lawrence, two Indians accompanied them as guides, but under some pretext left, and finally abandoned them.

The party, after suffering almost incredible hardships, all reached their homes in Ballston to the great joy of their friends. - Charles and Hugh, sons of Major Mitchell.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:40 p

In the fall of 1779, several stockades in the vicinity of the Mohawk river were under the command of Col. Fr. Fisher, as appears by a journal of that officer's military correspondence, placed in the hands of the author by his son, Maj. Daniel Visscher.

Col. Fisher established his head quarters at Fort Paris.

The following facts are gleaned from the memoranda.

His first patrol for the several garrisons was "Washington," and countersign "Sullivan."

Subject to his direction were the troops stationed at the Johnstown Fort, Fort Plank, and the block-houses at Sacandaga, and Reme Snyder's bush.

The last named was a little distance northeast of Little Falls.

About the 10th of November, as reported to Gen. Ten Broek, then commanding at Albany, Col. Fisher mentions the burning of a dwelling in the back part of Mayfield.

The owner, Harmanus Flanke, suspected of disaffection to the American cause, was then living in Johnstown.

The house was supposed to have been destroyed by some one from the block-house at Sacandaga.

The roof of another house, the owner of which was of similar politics, was torn off, such was the spirit of party animosity.

In a letter to Maj. Taylor, then commanding the Johnstown Fort, dated November 27, Col. Fisher states that he is under the necessity of convening a court martial on the following day, and that he, the Major, should attend, bringing with him another officer, also to act as a member.

The same letter states that an accident happened at that fort the same morning, by which two men were wounded - one mortally.

The nature of the accident is perhaps explained in a letter from Col. Fisher to Gen. Ten Broek, dated the 28th instant.

In it he states, that during his absence to visit Fort Plank, a detachment of men from Col. Stephen J. Schuyler's regiment mutinied, and expressing a determination to leave the fort, charged their pieces with ball, in presence of the officers.

They were at first persuaded to unsling their packs and remain until Col. Fisher returned, but seeing Captain Jelles Fonda, (known afterwards as Major Fonda,) then in temporary command of the garrison, writing to Col. F., the mutineers again mounted packs, and knocking down the sentinels in their way, began to desert in earnest.

Capt. Fonda ordered them to stand, but not heeding his command they continued their flight, when he ordered the troops of the Fort to fire upon them; the order was obeyed, and Jacob Valentine, one of the number, fell mortally wounded, and expired the next morning.

The letter does not so state, but I have been advised that the deserters considered their term of enlistment at an end.

The court martial, I suppose, convened to try Capt. Fonda, as I have been credibly informed that he was thus tried for a similar offence, and honorably acquitted.

Early in December, as the season was so far advanced that an enemy was unlooked for, and provisions were becoming scarce, it was resolved, at a meeting of Colonels Fisher, J. Klock, and Lt. Col. B. Wagner, with the sanction of Gen. Ten Broek, to dismiss the three months militia from further service; and some of the garrisons were for a time broken up.

The early and energetic measures adopted in 1779, against the enemy, prevented the sallies of the latter upon most of the frontiers of New York, and that year was one in which the pioneers suffered comparatively but little, from the tomahawk and scalping knife.

At this period of the contest the states were beginning to gain favor in Europe.

Early in 1779, the king of Naples opened his ports to the striped bunting of the United States; and in the course of the season Spain declared war against England.

John Jay was appointed by Congress, of which he was then a member, a minister to the court of Spain.

Although no great enterprises were achieved to the United States during this season, if we except the destruction of the Indian possessions in western New York; still many events occurred in the length and breadth of the land, to raise and depress the hopes of the Americans.

The south became the theatre of some of the most important events.

An attempt was made by the American troops under Gen. Lincoln, and the French under the Count d'Estaing, to take Savannah; not withstanding the allied forces displayed great bravery, they were repulsed with a loss of 1000 men.

Several good officers were killed in this unfortunate attack, among whom was the noble and generous Pole, Count Pulaski, then a brigadier-general.

Although several brilliant exploits were performed at the south by the American troops, still the year closed without any event transpiring to greatly accelerate the close of the contest.

In the course of the season, Gen. Tryon and Gen. Garth wantonly destroyed much property along the coast of Connecticut.

After sacking New Haven, they laid Fairfield and Norwalk in ashes, committing numerous outrages upon the helpless citizens.

As the militia turned out promptly on those occasions, the British sought safety on shipboard.

While the enemy were thus engaged in Connecticut, Gen. Wayne most gallantly stormed the fortress of Stony Point in the Highlands of the Hudson.

It was also in the autumn of this season that Com. John Paul Jones, a meritorious and distinguished naval officer in the American service, alarmed several towns in Scotland, and in an engagement off that coast, took the British frigate Serapis, after one of the most bloody battles ever fought upon the ocean.

Both ships were repeatedly on fire, and when the enemy struck his colors, the wounded could scarcely be removed to the conquered vessel, which was also much crippled, before the Bon Homme Richard, Jones's ship, went down.

At the close of the season, part of the northern army went into winter quarters under Gen. Washington a second time at Morristown, New Jersey, and the remainder in the vicinity of West Point.

Owing to the almost valueless currency of the country, which would not buy provisions, a want of proper management in the commissary department, a lack of suitable clothing, and the extreme severity of the winter, the American troops suffered incredible hardships.

But this suffering was endured, for their beloved commander suffered with them, and the object for which the soldier had taken up arms, had not yet been accomplished.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:40 p

CHAPTER XI

If the Indians had been severly chastised in New York in 1779, and had been obliged to seek out new habitations for their families, and consequently were not very troublesome that season; they were early treading the war path the succeeding year, to revenge the lasting injuries done them.

The following incident transpired in the spring of 1780, in the Mohawk valley.

The facts were related to the author by John S. Quackenboss, and Isaac Covenhoven, the latter one of the actors:

George Cuck, a tory who had become somewhat notorious from his having been engaged with the enemy at Oriskany, Cherry-Valley, and elsewhere, entered the valley of the Mohawk late in the fall of 1779, with the view of obtaining the scalps of Capt. Jacob Gardiner, and his Lieut. Abraham D. Quackenboss, (father of John S.,) for which the enemy had offered a large bounty.

Cuck was seen several times in the fall, and on one occasion, while sitting upon a rail fence, was fired upon by Abraham Covenhoven, a former whig neighbor.

The ball entered the rail upon which he sat, and he escaped.

As nothing more was seen of him after that event, it was generally supposed he had returned to Canada.

At this period, a tory by the name of John Van Zuyler, resided in a small dwelling which stood in a then retired spot, a few rods south of the present residence of Maj. James Winne, in the town of Glen.

Van Zuyler had three daughters, and although he lived some distance from neighbors, and a dense forest intervened between his residence and the river settlements, several miles distant, the young whigs would occasionally visit his girls.

Tory girls, I must presume, sometimes made agreeable sparks, or sparkers, especially in sugar time.

James Cromwell, a young man who lived near the Mohawk, went out one pleasant summer evening in month of March, to see one of Van Zuyler's daughters.

Most of the settlers then made maple sugar, and Cromwell, found his fair Dulcinea, boiling sap in the sugar bush.

While they were sparking it, the term for courting in the country, the girl, perhaps thinking her name would soon be Mrs. Cromwell, became very confiding and communicative.

She told her beau that the tory Cuck, was at their house.

Cromwell at first appeared incredulous - "he is surely there," said she, "and when any one visits the house, he is secreted under the floor."

The report of his having been seen in the fall instantly recurred to his mind, and from the earnestness of the girl, he believed her story.

Perhaps Cromwell was aware that the girl when with him was inclined to be whiggish - be that as it may, he resolved instantly to set about ascertaining the truth or falsehood of the information.

In a very short time he complained of being made suddenly ill, from eating too much sugar.

The girl whose sympathy was aroused, thinking from his motions that he was badly griped, finally consented to let him go home and sugar off alone.

Away went Cromwell pressing his hands upon his bowels, and groaning fearfully until he was out of sight and hearing of his paramour, when the pains left him.

Taking a direct course through the woods, he reached the dwelling of Capt. Jacob Gardinier, some four miles below his own, and within the present village of Fultonville, about 12 o'clock at night, and calling him up, told him what he had heard.

Capt. Gardinier sent immediately to his Lieut. Quackenboss, to select a dozen stout hearted men and meet them as soon as possible at his house.

The lieutenant enquired what business was on hand -- the messenger replied --"Capt. Gardinier said I should tell you that there was a black bear to be caught."

In a short time the requisite number of whigs had assembled, and the captain, taking his lieutenant aside, told him the duty he had to perform.

He declined going himself on account of ill health, and entrusted the enterprise to his lieutenant.

He directed him to proceed with the utmost caution, as the foe was no doubt armed, and as his name was a terror in the valley, to kill him at all hazards. the party well armed, set off on the mission.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:40 p

The snow yet on the ground was crusted so hard, that it bore them, and having the advantage of a bright moon-light night, they marched rapidly forward.

Halting a quarter of a mile from Van Zuyler's house, the lieutenant struck up a fire, and as his men gathered round an ignited stump, he addressed them nearly as follows: "My brave lads!"

"It is said the villian Cuck, is in yonder house, secreted beneath the floor."

"The object of our visit is to destroy him."

"He is a bold and desperate fellow -- doubtless well armed, and in all probability some of us must fall by his hand."

"Those of you, therefore, who decline engaging in so dangerous an undertaking, are now at liberty to return home."

"We are ready to follow where you dare to lead!" was the response of one and all.

It is yet to early, said the lieutenant, and while they were waiting for the return of the day, the plan of attack was agreed upon.

At the stump was assembled Lieut. Quackenboss, Isaac and Abraham Covenhoven, twin brothers, John Ogden, Jacob Collier, Abraham J., and Peter J. Quackenboss, Martin Gardinier, James Cormwell, Gilbert Van Alstyne, Nicholas, son of Capt. Gardinier, a sergeant, Henry Thompson, and Nicholas Quackenboss, also a sergeant.

It was agreed that the party should separate and approach the house in different directions, so as not to excite suspicion.

The appearance of a light in the dwelling was the signal for moving forward, and selecting Ogden, Collier, and Abraham J. Quackenboss to follow him, the lieutenant led directly to the house.

As they approached it, a large watch dog met them with his yelping, which caused the opening of a little wooden slide over a loophole for observation, by a member of the family; but seeing only four persons, the inmates supposed they were sugar-makers.

On reaching the door and finding it fastened, the soldiers instantly forced it - the family, as may be supposed, were thrown into confusion by the unexpected entrance of armed men.

"What do you want here?" demanded Van Zuyler.

"The tory George Cuck!" was the lieutenant's reply.

Van Zuyler declared that the object of their search was not in his house.

The three daughters had already gone to the sugar-works, and their father expressed to Lieut. Quackenboss, his wish to go there too.

He was permitted to go, but thinking it possible that Cuck might also have gone there, several men then approaching the house, were ordered to keep an eye on his movement.

Abraham Covenhoven was one of the second party who entered the house.

There was a dark stairway which led to an upper room, in which it was thought the object of their search might be secreted.

Covenhoven was in the act of ascending the stairs with his gun aimed upward, and ready to fire, as Abraham J. Quackenboss, drew a large chest from the wall on one side of the room, disclosing the object of their search.

Discharging a pistol at Nicholas Gardinier, the tory sprang out before Quackenboss, who was so surprised that he stood like a statue, exclaiming, "dunder! dunder! dunder!"

The wary lieutenant was on his guard, and as Cuck leaped upon the floor from a little cellar hole, made on purpose for his secretion, he sent a bullet through his head, carrying with it the eye opposite.

He fell upon one knee, when the lieutenant ordered the two comrades beside him to fire.

Ogden did so, sending a bullet through his breast, and as he sank to the floor, Collier placing the muzzle of his gun near his head, blew out his brains.

Thus ended the life of a man, who, in an evil hour, had resolved to imbrue his hands in the blood of his former neighbors and countrymen.

When the first gun was fired. Covenhoven said the report was so loud and unexpected that he supposed it fired by Cuck himself, and came near falling down stairs.

Had the party not divided into several squads, the peep from the slide window would have betrayed the object of their visit, and more than one would doubtless have fallen before the villain had been slain, for he had two loaded guns in the house, and a brace of well charged pistols, only one of which he had taken into his kennel.

They also found belonging to him, a complete Indian's dress, and two small bags of parched corn and maple sugar, pounded fine and mixed together, an Indian dish, called by the Dutch quitcheraw - intended as food for a long journey.

After his death, it was ascertained that Cuck had entered the valley late in the fall - that he had been concealed at the house of his kindred spirit, who pretended neutrality in the contest, whose retired situation favored the plans of his guest, and was watching a favorable opportunity to secure the scalps mentioned, and return to Canada.

The making of maple sugar he had supposed would favor his intentions, as an enemy was unlooked for so early in the season, and the persons whose scalps he sought, would probably expose themselves in the woods.

He had intended, if possible, to secure both scalps in one day, and by a hasty flight, pursue the nearest route to Canada.

As the time of sugar making had arrived, it is probable his enterprise was on the eve of being consummated; but the goddess of liberty, spread her wings in his path, and defeated his hellish intentions.

Van Zuyler was made a prisoner by the party, and lodged in the jail at Johnstown; from whence he was removed not long after to Albany.

When they were returning home with Van Zuyler in custody, as they approached the sugar bush of Evert Van Epps, near the present village of Fultonville, one of them, putting on the Indian dress of Cuck, (which, with the guns and pistols were taken home as trophies,) approached the sugar makers as an enemy, which occasioned a precipitate retreat.

The fugitives were called back by others of the party, when a rope being provided, their prisoner was drawn up to the limb of a tree several times by the neck; but as he had been guilty of no known crime, except that of harboring Cuck, although suspected of burning Covenhoven's barn in the fall, his life was spared and he was disposed of as before stated.

Cuck was a native of Tryon county, and was born not many miles from where he died.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:40 p

On the 2d day of April, 1780, a scout of fourteen individuals, commanded by Lieut. Alexander Harper, (not Col. John Harper as stated by some writers,) were sent from the Schoharie forts by Col. Vrooman into the vicinity of Harpersfield, to keep an eye on the conduct of certain suspected persons living near the head waters of the Delaware, and if possible to make a quantity of maple sugar.

The party were surprised after being there a few days, by a body of Indians and tories under Joseph Bryant, and hurried off to Canada.

The scout consisted of Lt. Harper, Freegift Patchin, 1 Isaac Patchin his brother, Ezra Thorp, Lt. Henry Thorp, Thomas Henry, afterwards major, and his brother James Henry, Cornelius Teabout, one Stevens and five others.

About the time they arrived at their place of destination, a heavy snow fell, and not anticipating the approach of a foe, they began their sugar manufacture.

The preceding winter has justly been designated in the annals of mercury as the cold winter, and the spring was very backward.

They were busily engaged in sugar making -- which can only be done while the weather thaws in the day time and freezes in the night -- from the time of their arrival until the 7th, when they were surprised by forty-three Indians and seven tories.

So unlooked for was the approach of an enemy, and so complete was their surprise, that the Americans did not fire a gun.

Two of them were shot down, and eleven more, who were in the sugar bush, surrendered themselves prisoners.

Poor Stevens, who was on that day sick in bed, and unable to proceed with the prisoners, was killed and scalped in cold blood.

Brant, on recognizing Harper, approached him.

"Harper!" said he, "I am sorry to find you here!"

"Why" -- asked the latter.

"Because" replied he, "I must kill you, although we were once school mates!"

The ostensible object of Brant's mission had been, to lay waste the Schoharie settlements.

Confronting Harper, with his eyes keenly fixed upon him, he enquired -- "Are there any troops at Schoharie?"

Harper's anxiety for the settlers promoted the ready answer -- "Yes, three hundred continental troops from the eastward, arrived at the forts but three days since."

The intelligence -- false, although the occasion justified it -- was unwelcome to the great chief, whose countenance indicated disappointment.

The eleven prisoners were then pinioned, and secured in a hog-pen.

Several tories were stationed to guard them during the night, among whom was one Beacraft, a notorious villain, as his after conduct will show.

The Indians built a large fire near, and were in consultation for a long time, about what disposition should be made with the prisoners.

Harper could understand much of their dialect, and overheard several of the Indians and tories urging the death of the prisoners, as they did not consider the enterprise sufficiently accomplished.

The opinion of Brant, which was that the party return immediately to Niagara, finally prevailed.

Often during the night, while an awful suspense was hanging over the fate of the prisoners, would Beacraft comfort them with this and similar salutations -- "You d--d rebels! you'll all be in hell before morning."

Lieut. Harper discovered, while the enemy were consulting the preceding evening, that his word was doubted by many of the party, and early in the morning he was ordered before an Indian council consisting of Brant and five other chiefs.

He was told that his story about the arrival of troops at Schoharie was unbelieved.

The question as to its truth was again asked, while the auditors -- tomahawk in hand -- awaited the answer.

Harper, whose countenance indicated scorn at having his word thus doubted, replied that what he had before told them was true, and that if they any longer doubted it, they should go there, and have their doubts removed.

Not a muscle of the brave man's countenance indicated fear or prevarication, and full credit was then given to the statement.

Fortunate would it be if every falsehood was as productive of good, for that alone prevented the destroyers from entering the Schoharie valley, when it was feebly garrisoned, and where they intended to strike the effectual blow in revenge of the injuries done them the year before, by the armies under Van Schaick and Sullivan.

The rest of the prisoners were now let out of the pig-stye, when Brant told them in English that the intended destination of the party was Schoharie, which he had been informed was but feebly garrisoned -- that his followers were much disappointed at being obliged thus to return -- that it had been with difficulty he and his chiefs had restrained the desire of their comrades too kill the prisoners and proceed to the Schoharie valley -- that if they would accompany him to Niagara, they should be treated as prisoners of war, and fare as did their captors.

The latter expressed a willingness to proceed.

They were compelled to carry the heavy packs of the Indians, filled with plunder taken at the destruction of Harpersfield but a few days before, and all set forward for Canada.

They were still bound, and as the snow was several feet deep, they at first found it very difficult to keep up with the Indians, who were provided with snow-shoes.

Some ten or fifteen miles from the place of capture, the party halted at a grist-mill upon the Delaware river, owned by a tory.

This royalist told Brant he might better have taken more scalps and less prisoners; and his daughters, sensitive creatures, even urged the more generous chieftain to kill his prisoners then, lest they might return at some future day and injure their family.

The enemy obtained of this tory about three bushels of shelled corn, which was also put upon the backs of the prisoners, and they resumed their march.

They had proceeded but a few miles down the river, when they met Samuel Clockstone, a tory well known to Brant and most of the prisoners.

When Brant made known to him the intended expedition, and its termination from what Lieut Harper had told him, Clockstone replied "depend upon it, there are no troops at Schoharie - I have heard of none."

With uplifted tomahawk Brant approached Harper, who was confronted by Clockstone.

"Why have you lied to me?", asked the Indian, with passion depicted in every feature and gesture.

Harper, apprised of what the tory had said, in his reply, thus addressed the latter.

"I have been to the forts but four days since, the troops had then arrived, and if Capt. Brant disbelieves me, he does so at his peril."

Noble, generous hearted fellow, thus to peril his own life to save the lives of others.

He had alone visited the forts after the party were at the sugar-bush, which Clockstone happened to know, and the latter admitted that possibly troops had arrived.

Brant was now satisfied that his prisoner had not deceived him, and the march was resumed.

1 Mr. Patchin was a fifer during the war, and a general of militia after its close. He was a very worthy man, and once represented his county in the Legisture.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:40 p

In the vicinity of Harpersfield the Indians made prisoners an aged man named Brown, and two little boys -- his grandsons.

On the day after the party met Clockstone, as the traveling was very bad, Brown, having also a heavy pack to carry, found himself unable to keep up with the company, and begged permission of his captors to return; telling them that he was too old to take any part in the war, and could not injure the King's cause.

On his making this request, the party halted and the old gentleman's pack was taken from him.

Knowing the Indian character, he read his fate in the expressive gestures of his silent masters, and told his grandsons, in a low voice, that they would never see him again, for the Indians were going to kill him.

He took an affecting leave of the boys and was then compelled to fall in the rear, where he was left in the charge of an Indian, whose face, painted black, denoted him as being the executioner for the party.

In a short time this Indian overtook his comrades with the hairless scalp of the murdered prisoner, hanging at the end of his gun.

The party proceeded down the Delaware river to the Cookhouse flats, from whence they directed their course to Oquago.

Constructing rafts, they floated down the Susquehanna to the mouth of the Chemung.

The prisoners were unbound when on the raft, but rebound on leaving it.

The Indians, capable of enduring more fatigue than their prisoners on a scanty supply of food -- being provided with snow-shoes, and having little baggage to carry, would probably have wearied out most of the prisoners, whose bodies, like that of poor Brown, would have been left to feast wild beasts, and their bones, like his, to bleach upon the mountains, had not Brant providentially fallen ill of fever and ague, which compelled the party for a time to lay by every other day on his account.

They had been journeying about a fortnight, and were approaching a warmer latitude, when a rattlesnake, which had left its den in a warm spot, was killed, and soup made of it, a free use of which effected a cure for the invalid.

The corn obtained near the head of the Delaware, was equally distributed among the whole party, by an allowance of about two handfuls a day, which was counted out by the berry to deal justice.

This is a noble trait of the Indian character.

He never grudgingly gives a scanty allowance to his prisoner, and satiates his own appetite, but shares equally his last morsel with him.

The corn was boiled in small kettles carried by the Indians preparatory to eating.

While in the vicinity of Tioga-Point, the prisoners came near being sacrificed, to gratify the savage disposition to revenge, even on the innocent, an injury done to a friend.

While the Indians were on their way down the Chemung, Brant detached ten of his warriors, mostly Senecas, to a place called Minisink, 2 an old frontier settlement on the borders of New York and Pennsylvania, in the hope of making prisoners and plunder.

They arrived in due time at the place of destination, and succeeded in obtaining several scalps and five prisoners, three men and two small children.

The following particulars of their capture and escape, I find in a note subjoined to Treat's Oration, delivered at Geneseo in 1841, on exhuming the remains of Lieut. Boyd and his command.

"The father of Major Van Campen was thrust through with a spear; and whilst the red warrior was, with his foot on the breast of his victim, endeavoring to extricate his spear, another savage had dashed out the brains of Moses Van Campen's brother with a tomahawk, and was aiming a blow at Moses' head."

"He seized the Indian's arm, and arrested the descending blow."

"Whilst thus engaged, his father's murderer thrust his spear at his side."

"But he avoided the weapon, being only slightly wounded."

"At this moment the chief interfered, and his life was spared."

"After several days' march, the party of Senecas above mentioned, arrived near Tioga point, with Lieut. (now Major)Van Campen; a Dutchman by the name of Pence; Pike, a robust Yankee; and two small children."

"During the day, these prisoners marched with the party, bearing the baggage; and at the evening halt, were made to carry the wood for the fires."

"Van Campen had, for some time, urged upon the two men, prisoners with him, to make an attempt to escape during the night, by tomahawking the Indians whilst sleeping."

"He depicted to them the horrors of a long captivity, and of the agonizing tortures to which they would probably be subjected."

"His companions, however, were at first alarmed at the danger of a contest with ten warriors."

"During the afternoon preceding the eventful night of their delivery, he succeeded in persuading them to join him in the meditated blow, before they crossed the river and their retreat was thereby cut off."

"He advised them to remove the Indians' rifles; and with the head of the tomahawks, dash out their brains; for if the edges of the weapon were used, the time required to extricate the hatchet after each blow, would prove a dangerous delay."

"He was over-ruled by his comrades; and after some discussion among them, that plan was adopted, which was finally acted upon."

''At evening, the savages, according to their custom, lighted their fires, and bound the arms of the captives behind their backs."

"They then cut two forked stakes for each side of the fire, and placed between them (resting on the forks) two poles, against which they could lean their rifles."

"During the evening meal, one of the savages, after sharpening a stick on which to roast his meat, laid down his knife in the grass, near the feet of Van Campen, who saw it, and so turned his feet as to cover it, hoping the Indian would forget it before going to rest."

"After the meal was finished, the ten Indians having first examined their prisoners to ascertian if they were fast bound, lay to sleep."

"Five were on each side of the fire - their heads under the poles, and his rifle standing at the head of each, ready to be grasped at the instant."

''About midnight, Van Campen sat up and looked around, to learn if all were asleep."

"Their loud snoring told him the hour to strike had arrived."

"He then, with his feet drew the knife within reach of his pinioned hands."

"Rising cautiously, he roused his companions."

"Pence cut the bands from Van Campen's arms, and the latter then cut loose his two comrades."

"There had been a slight fall of snow, which had frozen among the leaves, and rendered every footstep fearfully audible."

"But they succeeded in removing all the rifles to a tree at a short distance from the fire, without awaking one of the warriors."

"During the afternoon, several of the rifles had been discharged in killing a deer, and, through forgetfulness, left unloaded."

"The plan proposed was, that Pence, who was an excellent marksman, should lie down on the left of one row of Indians, with three rifles; and, at the given signal, fire."

"They supposed the same ball would pass through at least two savages."

"In the mean time, Van Campen should tomahawk three of those on the other side and Pike, two."

"Then there would be but three Indians remaining, and each of the captives was to fasten on his foe - Van Campen and Pike with their tomahawks, and Pence with one of the undischarged rifles."

"Fortunately, for their safety, Pence had taken the two unloaded rifles."

''All things being ready, Van Campen's tomahawk dashed out the brains of one of the Indians at a single blow; but Pence's rifle snapped without discharging."

"At the noise, one of the two assigned to Pike's charge, with a sudden 'ugh!' extended his hand for his rifle."

"Pike's heart failing him at this awful crisis: he crouched to the ground and stirred not."

"But Van Campen saw the Indian starting to his feet; and, as quick as thought, drove the tomahawk through his head."

"Just as the fifth blow of Van Campen had despatched the last savage on his side of fire, Pence tried the third rifle, and the ball passed through the heads of four."

"The fifth on that side, John Mohawk, bounded to his feet, and rushed towards the rifles."

"Van Campen darted between him and the tree, and Mohawk turned in flight."

"Van Campben pursued him, and drove the tomahawk through his shoulder."

"Mohawk immediately grappled his adversary; and, in the struggle, both fell -- Van Campen undermost."

"Each knew his life depended on the firmness of his grasp; and they clung to each other with unrelaxed nerve, and writhed to break free."

"Van Campen lay under the wounded shoulder, and was almost suffocated with the Indian's blood which streamed over his face."

"He eagerly stretched his hand around Mohawk's body to reach the knife of the latter; for the tomahawk had fallen from his hand in the struggle."

"But as they fell, the Indian's belt had been twisted around his body, and the knife was beyond his reach."

"At length they break away, and both spring to their feet."

"Mohawk's arms had been round Van Campen's neck, and the arm of the latter over the back of the former."

"As they gained their feet, Van Campen seized the tomahawk and pursued the again retreating Indian."

"His first impulse was to hurl the hatchet at his foe; but he saw at once the imprudence of the course."

"If it missed its object, it would be turned in a moment against his own life; and he therefore gave over the pursuit, and one alone of the ten Senecas escaped."

"On returning to his comrades, he found Pike on his knees begging of his life, and Pence standing over him with loaded rifle ready to fire."

"Pence answered V.C.'s inquiry into his conduct, by saying, "De tam yankee bee's a cowart, and I must kill um."

With difficulty Van Campen prevailed upon the Dutchman to spare the frightened and dastardly Pike.

They then scalped their victims; and, taking their rifles, set forward with the two boys, on their return home, which they reached in safety.

Among the scalps which were strung to the belt of one of the warriors, were those of Van Campen's father and brother.

2 This word signifies, as I have been told, "The water is gone."

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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:40 p

Mohawk, the sachem who had escaped from Van Campen, was occupying a little hut near Tioga Point, where the Minisink party were to await Brant's arrival, endeavoring to cure his wound, when he returned with his prisoners.

As the party under Brant drew near that place, the war whoop was sounded, and was soon answered by a pitiful howl -- the death yell of the lone Indian.

The party halted in mute astonishment, when the Indian, with the nine pairs of mocasons, taken from the feet of his dead comrades, came forward and related the adventures of himself and friends, and the terrible disaster that had overtaken them.

Instantly, the whole band under Brant seemed transformed to so many devils incarnate, gathering round their prisoners with frantic gestures, and cutting the air with their weapons of death.

At this critical moment, when the fate of the prisoners seemed inevitable from the known rule of Indian warfare, Mohawk threw himself into the midst of the circle, and made a signal for silence.

This Indian knew most of the prisoners, having lived about Schoharie before the war.

He told his attentive auditors, that the prisoners were not the men who had killed his friends, and that to take the lives of innocent men to revenge the guilt of others, could not be right: he therefore desired them to spare their lives.

The storm of passion which seemed ready but a moment before to overwhelm the prisoners, now yielded to the influence of reason, and the tomahawks of the savages were returned to their girdles.

The company again moved forward, the prisoners grateful to the Almighty for their deliverance from such obvious perils.

On arriving near Newtown, the whole party, Indians as well as prisoners, were on the point of starvation, when an unusual number of wolf-tracks arrested their attention.

They led to the half-devoured carcase of a dead horse, supposed to have been a pack horse, left by accident the fall before by the army under Gen. Sullivan.

The under side of the animal, frozen, and buried in snow, was found in a good state of preservation.

It was instantly cut up, and equally distributed, even to the fleshless bones, among the whole party.

Fires were built -- the meat cooked -- and the nearly famished travelers feasted upon the remains of this horse, with far more satisfaction than would the epicure upon his most dainty meats.

In the present county of Steuben, the prisoners saw the "Painted Post," which had been erected by the Indians, to commemorate some signal battle fought upon the spot.

Leaving the route of Sullivan on the Chemung, they proceeded farther north.

On their journey, the tories, Beacraft, 3 and Barney Cane, boasted of the acts of cruelty each had then perpetrated during the war.

The party descended to the Genesee river nearly famished, and there met a company of Indians that had arrived to make preparations to plant corn.

The latter had brought with them from Niagara, a fine looking horse, which Brant instantly ordered killed, and distributed to his again starving men and prisoners.

No part of the animal, not even the intestines were suffered to be lost.

They roasted the meat, using white ashes as a substitute for salt.

They also found upon the Genesee flats, small ground nuts, which they roasted and ate with their horse flesh.

From this place, Brant sent forward a runner to Niagara, a distance of eighty miles, to announce the result of his expedition, the number of prisoners, and their character.

Brant was in possession of a secret which he kept in his own breast, that doubtless operated as an incentive for him to save the life of Lieut. Harper and his men.

Among the prisoners taken at the massacre of Cherry-Valley, in the fall of 1778, was Miss Jane Moore, whose mother was a sister of Harper.

Not long after her arrival at Niagara, she was courted, and became the wife of Capt. Powel, a British officer of merit. 4

Brant suggested to his runner to the fort, that Capt. Powel should send the warriors from both Indian camps contiguous, down the lake to the Nine Mile Landing - there to await his arrival with the prisoners.

Having obtained permission from Col. Butler to do so, Powel gave the Indians a quantity of rum to aid, as they supposed, in their celebration, and away they went.

The danger Brant justly apprehended, was, from the impossibility of restraining the violent acts of many of the Indians, while the prisoners were running the gantlet, knowing that relations of the Minisink party would be present burning with revenge, and all were smarting under the chastisement they had received the preceding year.

He knew that no act, however atrocious, would be considered by many of his warriors, too severe to inflict at this time on the prisoners.

That Harper was a relative of Mrs. Powel, Brant concealed from every individual of his party.

Four days after the messenger had been sent forward, they arrived near Niagara, when the tories began to tantalize the prisoners, by telling them that in all probability few of them would survive running the gantlet.

On arriving at the first encampment the prisoners were as happily disappointed to find that the lines through which they were to pass were composed of old women and children, who would not be likely to inflict much injury, as were the tories to find the revengeful warriors all absent.

Most of the prisoners escaped with little injury, except Freegift Patchin.

He was approached by an old squaw, who, as she exclaimed "poor shild," gave him a terrible blow upon the head.

As the prisoners drew near the second encampment, they were gratified to perceive that, through the policy of Capt. Powel, a regiment of British troops was thrown into parallel lines to protect them.

When Patchin had arrived within a few rods of the gateway, an Indian boy ran up and gave him a blow on the forehead with a hatchet, which had nearly proven fatal.

A soldier standing by, snatched the weapon from the hand of the young savage and threw it into the lake.

The unexpected meeting of Harper with friends among the enemies of his country, was no doubt very gratifying.

3 Priest states, the Beacraft boasted at this time of killing a Vrooman boy in Schoharie. He had no lack of evil deeds at that period, but that writer must have misunderstood Gen. Patchin in that part of the narrative. Beacraft did kill a boy named Vrooman in Schoharie in the manner there described, but it was not until the 9th day of the following August, as will be shown. He also boasted of the act after it was committed. He was a notorious villain, and partial justice was awarded him subsequently.

4 In person, Brant was about the middling size, of a square, stout build, fitted rather for enduring hardships than for quick movements. His complexion was lighter than that of most of the Indians, which resulted, perhaps, from his less exposed manner of living. This circumstance, probably, gave rise to a statement, which has been often repeated, that he was of mixed origin. [The old people in the Mohawk valley to whom he was known, generally agree in maintaining that he was not a full blooded Indian, but was part white.] He was married in the winter of 1779, to a daughter of Col. Croghan, by an Indian woman. The circumstances of this marriage are somewhat singular. He was present at the wedding of Miss Moore from Cherry-Valley, who had been carried away a prisoner, and who married an officer of the garrison at Fort Niagara. Brant had lived with his wife for some time previous, according to the Indian custom, without marriage; but now insisted that the marriage ceremony should be performed. This was accordingly done by Col. Butler, who was still considered a magistrate. After the war he removed with his nation to Canada. There he was employed in transacting important business for his tribe. He went out to England after the war, and was honorably received there. Joseph Brant died on the 24th November, 1807, at his residence near the head of Lake Ontario, in the 65th year of his age. Not long before that event, the British government refused, for the first time, to confirm a sale of lands made by that chief, which mortified him very much. The sale was afterwards confirmed, at which he was so much elated, that he got into a frolick, that is said to have laid the foundation for his sickness, and resulted in his death. The wife of Brant, who was very dignified in her appearance, would not converse in English before strangers, notwithstanding she could speak it fluently.

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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:40 p

On arriving at the fort, the prisoners were brought before several British officers, among whom sat Col. John Butler as presiding officer.

The colonel put several abusive questions to the prisoners, and addressing Freegift Patchin, who stood nearest his seat, he asked him "if he did not think that by and by his Indians would compel a general surrender of the Yankees?"

Smarting under his wounds, he replied that "he did not wish to answer for fear of giving offence."

The unfeeling officer insisted on an answer, and the young American, whose patriotic blood was rising to fever heat, replied -- "If I must answer you, it is to say, No -- you might as well think to empty the adjoining lake of its waters with a bucket, as attempt to conquer the Yankees in that manner."

Butler flew into a passion, called Patchin "a d--d rebel" for giving him such an insolent reply, and ordered him out of his sight.

At this instant, a generous hearted British officer interfered.

Said he to Col. B., "the lad is not to blame for answering your question, which you pressed to an answer: he has no doubt answered it candidly, according to his judgement."

Extending a glass of wine to Patchin, whose spirit he admired -- "Here, my poor fellow," said he, "take this glass of wine and drink it."

Such unexpected kindness received his grateful remembrance.

The examination of the prisoners having ended, Mrs. Nancy Bundy, 5 who was also a prisoner at the time, prepared as speedily as possible, a soup made of proper materials for them.

The captors received as their reward for the delivery of the Schoharie party eight dollars per head.

This it is believed was the stipulated reward for American scalps or prisoners, to be paid for by Co. John Butler, 6 the British agent for that business, during the war: but it was often the case that the delivery of a committee-man's scalp or his person, or that of an officer or noted soldier, entitled the possessor to a larger sum.


From Niagara, the prisoners, except Harper, were sent from post to post, and finally lodged in prison at Chamblee.

Here they remained in irons nearly two years, suffering most acutely for the necessaries of life.

Free. Patchin was reduced to such a state, as to be unable to rise from the floor without the aid of one of the Thorps.

Doctor Pendergrass, a physician who had the care of the prisoners, totally neglected to require into their real condition, the consequence was that some of them became objects of loathing, even to themselves.

Of the latter number was Free. Patchin.

A worthy physician at length succeeded Pendergrass in his station, and the sufferings of the prisoners was at once mitigated.

On his first visit to the prisoners confined in the room with the Patchins, Steele, the commanding officer of the fort, accompanied him.

The doctor proceeded to examine the prisoners singly.

Ashamed of being seen, Free. Patchin was occupying the darkest corner of the room, and had thrown an old blanket around him, to hid his naked limbs.

The doctor at length approached him.

"Well, my lad," he asked, "what is the matter with you?"

"Nothing, sir," was the reply.

"Then get upon your feet," added the doctor.

"I cannot do it," replied Patchin.

The former then thrust the end of his cane under the blanket and removed it, discovering his pitiful condition.

The doctor possessed a humane heart, and his sympathy for the prisoner was instantly aroused.

Turning to Steele, with a look that denoted surprise and anger, he demanded to know why this prisoner had been so cruelly neglected, ordering his shackles instantly removed.

The language and treatment of this medical officer was so unexpected, and so different from what he had previously experienced, that Patchin could not refrain from weeping like a child.

With proper treatment his health was soon improved.

From Chamblee the prisoners were taken to Rebel Island where they remained until peace was proclaimed.

From that place they were sent to Quebec, via Montreal, and put on board of a cartel ship bound for Boston: where they arrived nearly three years after their capture.

Gen. Patchin was married after the war, and settled in Blenheim, Schoharie county, where he resided until the close of his life.

His widow assured the writer, that Mr. Patchin's constitution received a shock while a prisoner, from which he never entirely recovered.

5 This woman stated to Freegift Patchin, "that herself, her husband, and two children were captured at the massacre of Wyoming, and brought to the Genesee country." There she had been parted from her husband, the Indians carrying him she knew not where. She had not been long in the possession of the tribe with whom she had been left, when the Indian who had taken her prisoner was desirous of making her his wife; but she repulsed him, saying, very imprudently, she had one husband, and it would be unlawful to have more than one. This seemed to satisfy him, and she saw him no more for a long time. After a while he came again, and renewed his suit, alleging that now there was no objection to her marrying him, as her husband was dead, 'for', said he, 'I found where he was, and have killed him.' She then told him, if he had killed her husband he might kill her also, for she would not marry a murderer. When he saw that his person was hateful to her, he tied her, took her to Niagara, and sold her for eight dollars. The fate of her children she did not know. --Priest.

6 This man, who died some years after the war near Niagara, partially received punishment in this life for his cruelties in the Revolution, for he was six weeks dying -- or rather continued to breathe in the most acute suffering for that length of time, every hour of which it was thought would prove his last. A fact communicated by a friend who was in Niagara at the time.

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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:40 p

A large body of the enemy having been seen in the latter part of March, in the vicinity of Putnam's creek, as stated in a letter from Co. Van Schaick, of Albany, to Col. Fisher, the former recommended sending a reasonable force to the Sacandaga blockhouse.

Co. Fisher accordingly despatched to that post one-third of his regiment, and ordered Lieut. Col. Veeder to repair thither, and take the command.

The remainder of the regiment was ordered out, and stationed at Fort Johnson and other commanding points near the Mohawk, until the 1st of April, and then dispersed.

The enemy, however, had lingered about the settlements, as the following letter will show:

Caughnawaga, 3d April, 1780

"Sir -- On Tuesday night last, the block-house [at Sacandaga] was attacked by a scouting party of Indians, to the number of seven, as near as could be ascertained, [proved to be five] and endeavored to set it on fire in two different places, which they would have effected had it not been for the activity of one brave man who lived there, named Solomon Woodworth, who, although alone, sallied out and extinguished the fire."

"Whilst he was doing it, five shots were fired at him, one of which only touched him."

"On his return into the house he fired at them, one of whom he wounded in the thigh, on which the rest fled and took the wounded Indian with them."

"The reason of the block-house being without men at that time, was through the neglect of one of the militia officers, which I have taken notice of already in a particular manner."

"I immediately sent out a party after them, who returned without success for the want of snow shoes."

"Seven volunteer [six, as stated in a subsequent letter] turned out on last Thursday, and came up with them on Saturday about 12 o'clock, when five of the Indians fired upon my men, and the whole missed, upon which the brave volunteers run up and fired upon them with buck-shot and wounded every one of them, took, and killed the whole, and brought in all their packs and guns without ever receiving the least hurt."

"This intelligence I just received from Co. Veeder, by express from the block-house, where commands sixty men."

"You'll please order up some rum and ammunition for the use of my regiment of militia, being very necessary as the men are daily scouting."

"Your commands at any time shall be punctually obeyed, by

"Your most humble servant,

"FREDERICK FISHER, Colonel.

"Col. Goshen Van Schaick--sent by express."

In a letter from Co. Fisher to Col. Van Schaick, dated April 13th, the names of the volunteers in the above enterprise are given, and are as follows: Solomon Woodworth, John Eikler, Peter Pruyn, David Putnam, Rulf Vores, and Joseph Mayall.

The Indians were overtaken and killed about forty miles north of Sacandaga.

At this period of the war, Marcus Bellinger was supervisor, and William Dietz, a Justice of the Peace for Schoharie.

Agreeable to an act of Congress, passed Feb. 12, 1780, assessors were appointed in the frontier districts to ascertain, as nearly as possible, how much grain each family might need for its consumption, that the remainder of the stock might be in readiness for their less provident neighbors or the army.

Bellinger gave written certificates to the requisite quantity for each family in his district, and Dietz gave written permits to such as had not a supply, to draw one.

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Re: ON THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:40 p

The following particulars were narrated to the author in 1841, by Moses Nelson, then a resident of Otsego county.

He stated, that on the morning Cherry-Valley was destroyed, in the fall of 1778, he, then in his 14th year, was at the fort; that when the alarm was given of the enemy's approach, he ran home -- some half a mile distant -- and, with his mother, then a widow with whom he was living, fled to Lady hill, east of the village; where they remained concealed until the enemy had left.

Nelson had four half-brothers at the time, older than himself, who were all in the service of their country.

In the month of March following, he enlisted in the bateau service, for a term of ten months, on the Hudson river, rendezvousing at Fishkill.

After the time of his enlistment expired, he again returned to Cherry-Valley, and was living with his mother at that place, where a few daring spirits still continued their residence, when, on the 24th of April, 1780, a party of seventy-nine hostile Indians and two tories, broke in upon the settlement.

One of the latter, named Bowman, a former resident of the Mohawk valley, was the leader of the band.

They had previously been to the vicinity of the Mohawk, where they had made several prisoners; and passing along Bowman's creek -- called at its outlet the Canajoharie creek -- they captured several more, among whom were two persons named Young.

This party killed eight individuals and took fourteen prisoners in this expedition, among the former was the mother of my informant, whose bloody scalp he was compelled to see torn off, and borne off as a trophy.

This band of furies consisted of warriors from various tribes; and among the number were two Stockbridge Indians, one of whom claimed Nelson as his prisoner.

The route pursued by the enemy, after completing the work of destruction at that doomed place, was down the Cherry-Valley creek: and from Otsego lake, down the Susquehanna to the Tioga, and thence westward via the Genesee flats to Niagara.

The enemy while returning to Canada, separated into small parties, the better to procure the means of subsistence.

The two Stockbridge Indians with whom he journeyed, made a canoe from a bass-wood tree, in which, with their prisoner, they floated down the Susquehanna.

At Indian villages, the party usually assembled.

At two of those, Nelson had to run the gantlet, but he escaped with little injury.

One of the prisoners, an aged man, who ran with a heavy pack on his back, was nearly killed.

When Nelson was about to run, his master, who was called Capt. David, took off his pack to give him a fair chance for his life; and on one occasion placed himself at the entrance of a wigwam to which the prisoners were to flee, to witness the feat.

Owing to his fleetness, he was not much injured.

Said his master as he approached the goal, you did run well.

Many of the party -- and among the number was his master David, tarried nearly two weeks to plant corn, in the Genesee valley -- at which time he was sent forward with David's brother to Niagara, where he arrived after a journey of eighteen days from his captivity.

As one of the Stockbridge Indians was an excellent hunter, Nelson did not suffer for the want of provisions, such as they were.

The party, on their start from Cherry-Valley, took along several hogs and sheep, which were killed and then roasted whole, after burning off the hair and wool.

On his arrival at Niagara, Nelson was told by his master that he was adopted as an Indian, and was at liberty to hunt, fish or enlist into the British service.

Not long after this he was sold into the forester service of the enemy, the duties of which were "to procure wood, water, &c., for the garrison, and do the boating;" being attached to what was called the Indian department.

He was sent on one occasion with a party to Buffalo.

He was for a while, with several other captives whose situation was like his own, in the employ of Col. John Butler.

More than a year of his captivity was spent in the vicinity of Niagara.

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