Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The History of Montgomery Classis, R.C.A.
by W.N.P. Dailey,
Recorder Press, Amsterdam, NY 1916
To which is added sketches of Mohawk Valley men and events of early days, the Iroquois, Palatines, Indian Missions, Tryon County, committee of Safety, Sir Wm. Johnson, Joseph Brant, Arendt Van Curler, Gen. Herkimer, Reformed Church in America, Doctrine and Progress, Revolutionary Residences, Etc.

General Nicholas Herkimer

Gen. Nicholas Herkimer was the foremost American in the Mohawk Valley, if not in the Province of New York, during the quarter-century preceding the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He was the eldest son of Johan Joist and Catherine Herkimer and was born, as were his twelve brothers and sisters, in the log house, built in 1721 by his father when he settled at Burnetsfield. Documentary proof is lacking as to the racial ancestry of the Herkimers, but the preponderance of opinion is that the General's father, Johan Jost, and his grandfather, Jurgh (George) Herkimer emmigrated to Holland from the Lower Palatinate, and came to America in 1710, and to the present Fort Herkimer in 1721. His first house was of logs, just east of the village, but about 1740 a stone structure was built about fifty rods west of the present Dutch Reformed church. It was forty feet wide, seventy feet. long, with walls two feet thick, two stories, with steep roof covered with three foot long shingles. This house was torn down about 1812, many of the stones being used in the second story of the Fort Herkimer church which at that time was enlarged. The earliest name of the place was Kouari (Oquari), a Mohawk term for "bear." When the 1740 Herkimer house was fortified (about 1756 when Sir William Johnson also fortified the church) it was called Fort Kouari, later Fort Herkimer. The General Herkimer home was built in 1764. Here General Herkimer died in 1777, aged fifty, ten days after the Battle of Oriskany. His brother, Captain George Herkimer, and, after his death in 1786, his widow, Alida Schuyler Herkimer and her sons, Major John and Joseph Herkimer, lived in this house until 1817, in which year it passed out the family. In 1914 it was bot by the State of New York. In 1848 Warren Herkimer (son of Joseph), who died at Janesville, Wis., in 1878, marked what he believed to be the grave of Gen. Herkimer, and in 1896 an obelisk sixty feet high was placed on the spot by the U. S. Government. Herkimer was the personification of a fearless Independent, the living embodiment of a sturdy American, the most prominent among the first contenders of those democratic ideals that in time created out of the colonies a Nation that today stands first among the world powers.

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