Horton's Historical Articles
by Gerald Horton
Mohawk Valley and National Timeline: 1774 - 1775

Aug 27, 1774

First Committee of Correspondence organized in Tryon County.

Organizers were:

Issac Paris
John Frey
Andrew Finck
Christopher P. Yates

By May of 1775, most Committees of Correspondence had changed their name to Committees of Safety. These committees performed the functions of local government until a formal one could be established.

Source:

Maryly B. Penrose, Mohawk Valley in the Revolution : Committee of Safety Papers…

Apr 19, 1775

Battles of Concord and Lexington.

May 10, 1775

Meeting of Committee of Safety held in Cherry Valley church. Article of Association was drafted. This document (similar ones were developed by other area committees) was used to determine a resident's political leanings. Those who signed the Article of Association were considered Patriots supporting the Continental Congress. Refusing to sign branded the resident as a Loyalist (or Tory).

Sources:

See transcription of Article of Association under Historical Articles on this website.
William W. Campbell, The Border Warfare of New York During the Revolution…

Maryly B. Penrose, Mohawk Valley in the Revolution: Committee of Safety Papers…

May 10, 1775

Fort Ticonderoga captured by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold. Not a shot was fired. Arms and munitions sorely needed by the Rebels were seized.

May 15, 1775

A Liberty Pole was raised eight miles west of Fort Johnson (near present day Fonda, NY). Tryon County Sheriff Alexander White led a posse to disperse the Rebel gathering. No shots were fired. Several accounts say no one was hurt, however, Stone wrote that he had narratives describing the beating of Jacob Sammons by the Loyalists.

Sources:

See an account of the incident in the Sammons Family article on this website.

Robert Venables, Tryon County, 1775 - 1783: A Frontier in Revolution, Phd Dissertation, Vanderbilt Univ., 1967.

William Stone, Border Wars of the American Revolution Vol I, Chapter 3.

May 21, 1775

Palatine Committee of Safety adopted their Declaration of Independence. It was the first such declaration in New York State and issued more than a year before the one adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

Source:

For more information, see Declaration of Independence under Historical Articles on this website.

May 31, 1775

Guy Johnson, British Indian Superintendent, leaves the Mohawk Valley for Canada. Accompanying him were:

John and Walter Butler
Daniel Claus
Barent Frey
Hon Yost Herkimer
Gilbert Tice
Joseph Brant
Two of Sir William Johnson's sons
Approx: 90 Mohawks and 120 whites

Sources:

Ernest A. Cruikshank, The Story of Butler's Rangers.
Barbara Graymont, The Iroquois in the American Revolution.

Jun 15, 1775

Continental Congress appoints George Washington General and Commander-in-Chief of the forces of the United American Colonies.

Jun 17, 1775

Battle of Bunker Hill.

Jun 27, 1775

Guy Johnson holds Indian council at Fort Ontario (present day Oswego, NY). Some 1,458 Indians were present according to Johnson. He called on the Indians to remain loyal to Britain.

Source:

Isabel Thompson Kelsay, Joseph Brant 1743-1807: Man of Two Worlds.

Jul 12, 1775

The Continental Congress authorized the formation of three Indian Departments based on geography. Commissioners of the Northern Department to deal principally with the Iroquois were:

Philip Schuyler
Joseph Hawley
Turbot Francis
Oliver Wolcott
Volkert P. Douw

Source:

Barbara Graymont, The Iroquois in the American Revolution.

Jul 18, 1775

Continental Congress enacts first Militia Law. See transcription of the law under Historical Articles on this website.

Aug 25, 1775

Council of the Six Nations and Northern Indian Department of the Continental Congress was held at Albany NY. Indian Department Commissioners present were:

Philip Schuyler
Oliver Wolcott
Turbutt Francis
Volkert P. Douw

Interpreters were:
Samuel Kirkland
James Dean

The Iroquois at the council agreed to remain neutral. Source: Barbara Graymont, The Iroquois in the American Revolution.

Nov 7, 1775

William Johnson, Jr. son of Sir William by Mary Brant, burst into Col. Jacob Klock's house. Armed with two pistols, a rifle, and a broadsword, he shouted he was a King's man and promised to bring a force of 500 to burn the valley.

Sources:

Barbara Graymont, The Iroquois in the American Revloution.
Maryly B. Penrose, Mohawk Valley in the Revolution: Committee of Safety Papers…

Nov 13, 1775

Montreal captured and occupied by General Richard Montgomery. Montgomery then moved to Quebec to link up with Benedict Arnold's force that was marching north through the Maine wilderness.

Source:

Mark Boatner III, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution.

Nov 17, 1775

John Butler sent to Fort Niagara by Governor General Guy Carleton. Carleton's order to Butler was to keep the Indians in the area neutral.

Source:

Isabel Thompson Kelsay, Joseph Brant 1743-1807: Man of Two Worlds.

Dec 1, 1775

By December 1775, the jail at Albany was so crowded (with Tories) that the Albany Committee of Safety was obliged to provide additional quarters and hire an extra jailer.

Source: Willis T. Hanson, History of Schenectady (NY) During the Revolution.

Dec 31, 1775

Gen Richard Montgomery and Col. Benedict Arnold attacked Quebec under cover of darkness and a snowstorm. The attack failed and Gen Montgomery was killed. Of the 800 Americans who attacked the fort, 426 were captured and another 60 were killed or wounded. A young officer, Aaron Burr, risked his life to carry Gen Montgomery's body back to the American lines.

Source:

Mark Boatner III, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution.

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