History From America's Most Famous Valleys
1780-1980 The Bicentennial Book of The Schoharie and Mohawk Valley Raids
Klock's Churchyard Preservation Group
We dedicate this book to the brave Mohawk and Schoharie Valley Pioneers who fought for Liberty and the hope of Freedom forever.
Klock's Churchyard Preservation Group gratefully acknowledges the financial support ofAmerica the Beautiful Fund of New York and the contributions of the Authors which made this book possible.
The October 1780
Campaign of Sir John Johnson into the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys by James
Colonel Klock's Battalion Palatine District by James F. Morrison
Report of Sir John Johnson's Raid on the Schoharie, Mohawk Country Unpublished Tory Report of the Battle of Klock's Field by Milo Nellis - 1944
Where Our Pioneers Sleep
The Reformed Church and Johnson's Great Raid by Rev. Robert Gram
The Old Klock Cemetery Anthology Play by Elizabeth Bilobrowka
THE KLOCK'S CHURCHYARD STORY
The Klock's Churchyard Preservation Group, inspired by Mrs. Hazel Bode, organized in June 1979 to restore and preserve Klock's Churchyard. this old cemetery one half mile east of St. Johnsville had become overgrown with large trees and brush from years of neglect.
On this site in 1756 a log church was built. It was the first Reformed Church north of the Mohawk River between Caughnawaga (Fonda) and Herkimer. St. Johnsville Town Supervisor, George Matis, the Town Board, and Clarence Walrath Town Highway Superintendent all lent their support to the clean up project. Mr. Walrath and his crew cut down the large trees and brought in fill.
A "Green Thumb" project crew directed by Howard Tabor completed the clean up and planted grass seed. An America the Beautiful Fund of New York grant was gratefully received by the Group for Gravestone Rubbing Workshops and a historic play. "The Klock's Cemetery Anthology." Many village citizens became interested in local projects and gave support. The proceeds from these projects made this book possible. County Historian, Anita Smith has researched and completed the Survey Forms to begin the project review for listing this historic site on the National Register of Historic places. October 19, 1980 is the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Klock's Field- parts of this battle took place in the Old Klock's Churchyard. To commemorate the Bicentennial of the Battles of Stone Arabia and Klock's Field this book was prepared. The lives and deeds of brave Mohawk pioneers have inspired Americans for over 200 years. They live in our memory giving us hope of Liberty and Freedom forever.
The book's contents are a blend of Historic articles, maps, drawings and photographs. James Morrison, a noted Military Historian describes the 1780 Johnson raids into the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys. The Battles of Stone Arabia and Klock's Field described by the use of both British and American reports and pension records. Mr. Morrison also researched and prepared "The Colonel Klock's Regiment." The Haldimand Report is Sir John Johnson's Battle Report to his commanding officer. It was published in the St. Johnsville Enterprise and News in July 1944 St. Johnsville Historian, the late Milo Nellis, using the Haldimand Report, describes the Battle of Klock's Field using 1944 landmarks to better explain where the Battle was fought. This article has been updated by the 1980 footnotes by Anita Smith, Historian.
"Where Our Pioneers Sleep" from the St. John's Reformed Church Records reprinted from the Enterprise and News includes the 1914 R.W. Vosburgh report on Klock's Church and the people buried there. In 1980 after restoration work many of these stones can still be seen.
Reverend Robert Gram, pastor of St. John's Reformed Church, St. Johnsville, writes the early history of the Churches affected by Johnson's 1780 Raid. He gives an insight into the Church life in the Mohawk and Schoharie Valleys during the American Revolution.
"Klock's Cemetery Anthology," a historic play, was written by Mrs. Betty Bilobrowka. She is a Historian, Historical writer, Library teacher and member of the Klock's Churchyard Preservation Group. The play is about the pioneers buried in the cemetery. It was presented November 30, 1980 in the St. John's Reformed Church to a packed house.
Directed by Diane Wagar, the cast members were: Adam Klock as the Grandfather Klock, Jeff Snyder-Grandson, narrator Nelson Green, Joseph Green, Hendrik Klock-Frank Christiance, Johannis Klock-David Crouse, Jacob Klock- Charles Wagar, George Klock- Richard Gillen Jr. Reverend Dysslin- Rev. Robert Gram, Joseph Klock- Lipe Klock- Speaker for youth Carrie Moshinski, Margaretha Klock-Diane Burkdorf, Catherine Klock- JoAnn Warn, Anna Klock- Jennifer Gordon, Dorothy Zimmerman- Darlene Brundage, Elizabeth Devendorf-Thelma Miles.
Youth Choir, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and members of the Tryon County Militia
Montgomery County Historian
Churchyard Preservation Group
Our Appreciation to Angelina De Traglia for the many hours donated typing this book
The October 1780 Campaign of Sir John Johnson into the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys by James F. Morrison
The October 1780 Campaign of Sir John Johnson into the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys deals with Sir John Johnson's second raid of the year into this region.
I am indebted to Lewis G. Decker, Wayne Lenig, Mrs. Anita Smith and many others in the preparation of the manuscript. I am also indebted to the staff of the Montgomery County Department of History and Archives, the Public Archives of Canada, the Gloversville and Johnstown Libraries.
Gloversville, New York. James F. Morrison
The Destruction of Balls Town
On September 27th, Captain John Munro with his detachment of 130 men of the King's Royal Regiment of New York and 31 men of Butler's Rangers arrived at St. John's. On the 28th they sailed to Isle aux Noix in company of Major Christopher Carleton and his detachment of men. On September 29th they left Isle aux Noix and sailed to Isle La Motte where they encamped for the night. On the 30th they sailed as far as Bay de St. Amand where they again put ashore and encamped for the night.
Captain Munro with his men and Major Carleton's detachment remained ashore until the 2nd as the wind was too strong for them to sail down Lake Champlain any further. In the morning of the 2nd they again put afloat and sailed to the Isle of Valcour where they put to shore and encamped for the night. Here Captain John Deserontyon with about 30 Mohawk warriors joined Captain Munro's detachment.
The next several days were spent sailing down Lake Champlain except at night when they put ashore and encamped for the night. On October 6th, they arrived at West Bay near Crown Point. At daylight of October 7th, Captain Munro and his party except for Ensign Oliver Church and Lieutenant Thomas Smith whom stayed with Major Carleton sailed across the bay, put to shore and hid their boats. Captain Munro with his detachment began their march for Balls Town* where they would act as a diversion for Major Carleton who was to attack key fortifications along the Hudson River and he was to join Sir John Johnson who with another force was to raid the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys.
Captain Munro and his party marched only seven miles before they encamped for the night. In the morning it was decided that the men were slowed down by excess weight and each man was to carry fifty rounds of ammunition and 30 days provisions. One days provision and the remainder of the ammunition was left near this encampment and Captain Munro with his men proceeded on their march for Balls Town.
On the morning of the 10th, a man having become sick was left with another man who had injured himself the night before by cutting himself with an axe and a third man was left to take care of them. On the 12th, Lieutenant Smith and Ensign Church, who had remained with Major Carleton now joined Captain Munro and his men. They informed that Major Carleton had destroyed Forts Ann and George and that he returned with his detachment to Crown Point. Captain Monro felt uneasy knowing that Major Carleton had returned to Crown Point combined with two scouting parties had not also joined him this day as agreed upon. The scouting party consisted of three Butler's Rangers and two Indians that had been sent to Johnstown for intelligence and the other party consisted of Lieutenant William Fraser with one Indian was sent to Balls Town for intelligence also.
*Captain Munro was originally to attack Saratoga but on being informed that it was reinforced with 500 men thought it safer to attack the present day Ballston Spa area.
On the 13th, Lieutenant Fraser and the Indian joined Captain Munro and party and informed him that there was no news of Sir John Johnson and also that a deserter from Major Carleton's party gave information as to the strength and intentions of the various raiding parties and that the militia had been ordered to reinforce those areas that were to be attacked. In spite of this news Captain Munro decided to continue his march to Balls Town.
The deserter was James Van Driesen serving in Major McAlpin's Corps with Major Carlton.
On the 16th about midnight, Captain Munro and his men were about ten miles from Balls Town and Captain Munro sent some of the Rangers and Indians to watch and guard the three different roads nearby with orders to secure every person that passed. Shortly afterwards Isaac Palmatier and another man were brought to Captain Munro by some of the Rangers. On questioning them he was told that he was expected and that all the men at Balls Town were at arms. Ensign Church with two Rangers were sent to known loyalist's homes for more information and they were to rejoin Captain Munro on the march to Balls Town.
Captain Munro and his men now resumed their march and soon after they were joined by some of the Rangers and Indians with a prisoner named John Shew. *Upon questioning him Captain Munro learned that Shew had been sent out to discover any signs of enemy which were believed to be near. Shew having been a prisoner before in Canada and having made his escape from the Indians was instantly tomahawked to death and scalped by the Indians.
Soon afterwards Ensign Church with James McDonald, a loyalist friend, rejoined Captain Munro. McDonald informed Captain Munro that there were 150 militiamen from Schenectady under First Major Abraham Swits + stationed at the church at Balls Town and that 100 more were to be raised on the first alarm of trouble.
Captain Munro and his men once again resumed their march guided by McDonald through the loyalists settlements of Pasley and New Galloway.** About one o'clock in the morning on the 17th, Captain Munro and his men arrived at the home of Lieutenant-Colonel James Gordon***who lived near the Mourningkill on the outskirts of Balls Town.
Here Captain Munro split his detachment into groups, Lieutenant Patrick Langan with the Rangers and some of the Indians were to rush the Gordon home, Lieutenant Fraser with a party of men were sent to attack the house of Captain Tyrannis Collins and Captain Munro with the remainder of the men formed a line in front of the Gordon house prepared to reinforce the other parties if necessary.
* John Shew who resided at Fort Johnstown had gone to Balls Town to go hunting with his friend Isaac Palmatier.
This detachment of militia were the Second Regiment of Albany County Militia.
These two settlements were in the present day Town of Milton, Saratoga County.
***James Gordon served in the Twelfth Regiment of Albany County Militia as Lieutenant Colonel. Gordon with his daughter Melinda in his arms, Mrs. Gordon, their son James, Jack Galbraith and John Parlow who was a servant, ****were led outside and put with the other prisoners. Gordon's slaves Nero, Jacob and Ann were also taken prisoners.
Mrs. Gordon with her daughter Melinda were released and they hid in the woods for the night and at daylight they began their journey to a nearby relative. Gordon who had been captured in his night shirt was standing in the cold air shivering and requested of Captain Munro to let him get some of his clothing but the Indians had plundered his house and none of his clothing was left. Lieutenant Langan who was standing next to Gordon took his blanket coat out of his knapsack and gave it to Gordon to wear.
The party sent to Captain Collins house broke down the door and took Captain Collins prisoner. His son Mannassah escaped from the house and went to John and Stephen Ball's home and informed them of the invasion. Collins and John Ball went to the nearby woods and hid while Stephen Ball mounted a horse and rode to Second Major Andrew Mitchell's house and warned him of the enemies presence. Major Mitchell gathered his family with Ball and went into the nearby woods where they concealed themselves.
About five men from the party that attacked Captain Collins house went to the home of Isaac Stowe, Gordon's miller who lived nearby. Stowe on seeing the enemy ran from the house and headed for Gordon's house to warn him but an Indian on seeing Stowe hurled his spear at him and Stowe tumbled to the ground. The Indian rushed to Stowe's body, tomahawked and scalped him. The three parties now reunited and proceeded to carry out their orders of destruction.
The enemy proceeded to the house of Thomas Barnum who was taken prisoner. After Barnum's house was plundered the enemy proceeded to the house of Elisha Benedict. Benedict and his three sons, Elias, Felix and Caleb* were taken prisoners. Benedict's house was plundered and his barn was set on fire.
The enemy proceeded to the house of Edward A. Watrous and he was taken prisoner. Watrous's house was plundered and then went to the home of John Davis who lived opposite to Watrous. Davis was taken prisoner and his house was plundered. The enemy now proceeded to the home of Paul Pierson.
Pierson and his son John were taken prisoners. After plundering Pierson's home they proceeded to the home of John Higby. Higby with his son Lewis were taken prisoners and their home was plundered and set fire. The enemy now proceeded to the home of John Filer.
****John Parlow was a son of a Loyalist who had been captured previously by Oneida Indians was taken to his family in Canada.
*Caleb Benedict at this time was an Ensign in the 12th Regiment of Albany County Militia under Captain Collins. His father Elisha was a Captain and had served in the Second Regiment of the New York Line in 1775 but appears not be serving in a military capacity at this time.
John Filer, who was about early, was looking out his window, saw the flames raising from Higby's house and the light from the fire of Benedict's barn, gathered his family together and went into the woods and concealed themselves. The enemy soon after arrived but to find the occupants gone. They now pillaged the house and set it on fire. Mrs. Leake, Filer's mother-in-law had concealed herself near the house and on seeing the enemy leave went back into the house and succeeded in putting out the fire.
The enemy now proceeded to the house of George Scott about three quarters of a mile north of Filer's house. Scott on hearing his dog barking, seized his musket and opening the door to look out to see what was causing his dog to bark discovered the enemy approaching. Lieutenant Fraser who knew Scott and on seeing him at the door armed with his musket asked him to surrender. Scott instead of surrendering fired at the enemy and three of the Indians threw their tomahawks at Scott striking him on the head knocking him to the floor senseless.
The Indians now rushed to the fallen Scott to scalp him but they were prevented by Lieutenant Fraser and Staats Springstein of Butler's Rangers who also had known Scott before the outbreak of the War of Independence. Mrs. Scott with her son James on hearing the musket fire came down the stairs to find her husband lying on the floor with his face covered with blood. Young James on seeing his father covered with b1ood became frightened and fled from the house.
After plundering the house the enemy left without harming Mrs. Scott and left Scott as they believed dying but he later recovered from his wound. Mrs. Scott after caring for her husband and having become worried about her son being taking prisoner or killed by the enemy started calling for him. Soon after he returned much to his mothers relief from his place of concealment in the nearby woods.
The enemy now proceeded to the home of George Kennedy. Kennedy was taken prisoner but Mrs. Kennedy who was pregnant made her escape into the woods and concealed herself from the enemy. Kennedy's house was plundered and set on fire.
The enemy now proceeded to the house of Jabez Patchen. Patchen was taken prisoner but his son Walter and his son-in-law Enos Morehouse escaped from the back window and hid in a nearby field. After Patchen's house was plundered the enemy proceeded to the nearby home of Josiah Hollister. Hollister was taken prisoner and his house set on fire.
They now went to the home of Ebenezer Sprague. Sprague was taken prisoner along with his two sons Elijah and John. His house was pillaged and then set on fire. The enemy now proceeded to the home of Thomas Kennedy. Kennedy was taken prisoner and the enemy then plundered the house and left without setting it on fire.
John Kennedy who lived nearby was up and preparing to butcher his hogs, had started a fire to boil water for that purpose. Kennedy now spotted the burning house of Spargue and he quickly put out his fire and gathered his family and went to the nearby woods where they hid for the night. The enemy, not finding any of the occupants again plundered the house and once again left without setting it ablaze.
The enemy now proceeded to the home of Enoch Wood who was taken prisoner along with his hired man Sirus Phillmore. Wood's house and barn were set on fire and now went to the home of Stephen Wood. Wood and his family were not home and the house was plundered and se on fire. Shortly after leaving here the prisoner Phillmore made his escape on a narrow part of the path by running into the woods and concealed himself much to the surprise and lament of his captors.
It was now daylight and Captain Munro and his men were now out of the settlement and had carried out their deed of destruction without the loss or injury of a man except Lieutenant Lipscomb who had injured his foot. They obtained a horse for him and he was able to keep up with the raiding party. Munro and his men marched another ten miles before they encamped. Here they slaughtered the cattle they had taken to eat and used the flour they had also taken.
In the morning of the 18th, Captain Deserontyon of the Indians was given permission by Captain Munro to choose from the prisoners that were to be kept by the Indians. He chose Thomas Barnum, John and Lewis Higby, Isaac Palmatier, Elisha, Elias, Felix and Caleb Benedict, Elijah Sprague and Gordon's slave Nero. Munro also released Ebenezer Sprague, George Kennedy, Paul and John Pierson as they were unable to keep up with the raiding party.
Captain Munro decided to return to Crown Point to rejoin Major Carleton as he still had no news of Johnson and therefore there was no chance of joining him now. On October 24th, Captain Munro and his men with their prisoners arrived at Crown Point in a starving condition as they were out of provisions as what provisions they had concealed was either taken by scouting parties coming from Canada or eaten by vermin.
After a few days of sailing up Lake Champlain the raiding parties along with their prisoners arrived in Canada without being pursued by the militia to any extent. Captain Munro with his prisoners continued the journey to Montreal where the prisoners were imprisoned.
On October 1, 1780, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Johnson with fifty men from the 8th Regiment of Foot under Captain Parke, forty men from the 34th Regiment of Foot, 130 men from Butler's Rangers, 250 men from the King's Royal Regiment of New York, thirty men from the Yagers Rifle Regiments, 80 men from the Indian Department under Captain Joseph Brant and 200 Indians comprised of Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas, Delawares and Senecas left Fort Oswego.
They proceeded down Oneida Creek in eighteen boats loaded with provisions, ammunition and artillery with a strong detachment to protect the boats while the Indians with the rest of Johnson's detachment marched along the shore of the creek. On October 5th they arrived at the Onondaga Indian Village where they encamped for the night.
The next morning Colonel Johnson ordered the boats to be concealed and that each man was to have provisions for ten days and as much ammunition they could carry. Here Captain Robert Leake with ten men and 5 Indians who were too ill to continue the march were left to return to Fort Oswego. Colonel Johnson now marched for Schoharie drawing the artillery on sleds.
On October 8th, Johnson and his men arrived at Old Oneida where they were met by a scouting party of fifteen Indians with four prisoners. Johnson on questioning the prisoners learned that the militia had been alerted to his approach but they did not know by what route. Johnson continued his march towards Schoharie and on the 12th he was joined by another scouting party of Indians with four prisoners from the German Flatts. They gave the same information as the previous prisoners did.
On the 13th, 20 Cayuga Indians left for the German Flatts without permission and with much difficulty the rest of the Indians were prevented from leaving. Johnson sent a detachment of men to some loyalists living at Harpersfield to obtain some cattle as their provisions were exhausted. On the 15th they returned with eleven head of cattle and six of the Scotch inhabitants from Harpersfield returned with them also. On the 16th they encamped about three miles from the Upper Fort.
About daylight of the 17th, Colonel Johnson attempted to bypass the Upper Fort without being detected but the rear of the enemy was discovered by Peter Feeck and the alarm gun was fired three times to warn the inhabitants of the enemy's presence. Captain Jacob Hager with about 75 men prepared for an attack but the enemy continued their march towards the Middle Fort. Captain Hager with his son Henry, Lawrance Bouck and Isaac Vrooman followed the enemy for a short distance in hopes of capturing a straggling member of the rear guard but they did not succeed in doing this and returned to the fort.
Colonel Johnson gave the command to burn every rebel building in their path and the first buildings put to the torch were those of Frederick Mattice. The garrison at the Middle Fort on hearing the alarm gun of the Upper Fort had mounted the walls and soon spotted in the distance the light of burning buildings. Major Melancton Lloyd Woolsey who was in command with about 250 men prepared for an attack and a scouting party was ordered out to investigate the cause of the fires.
First Major Thomas Eckerson with First Lieutenant Martinus Zielie, William Loyd, Timothy Murphy, David Ellerson, Philip Hoover, Bartholomer C. Vrooman, Richard Hanson, Peter Van Slyke, John Wilbur, Joachim Van Valkenburg, Adam Shell, Zachariah Tufts and William Leek left the fort and proceeded cautiously towards the Upper Fort.
Major Eckerson and his scouts soon fell in with an advance party of Indians and a skirmish now took place. After several minutes of fighting the scouts discovered a party of Indians attempting to out flank them and Major Eckerson ordered a retreat back to the Middle Fort.
The enemy's entire force now pursued the scouts back to the fort and the scouts reached the fort in safety. The enemy now kept a brisk musket and rifle fire at the walls while Johnson brought up the brass three pound cannon and a four inch mortar to be used on the fort. Much to Johnson's mortification he soon discovered that his artillery had no effect on the square earthen and picket fort.
Colonel Johnson now ordered Captain Andrew Thompson of the Rangers to approach the fort with a flag of truce to demand the garrison to surrender. Major Woolsey decided to allow the three men to enter the fort for a parley but Timothy Murphy who knew what his fate would be along with some others of the garrison if Major Woolsey surrendered, fired at the men bearing the flag of truce. Captain Thompson and his two companions ran for cover. Captain Thompson attempted two more times to approach the fort with a flag of truce but each time fired at them. Major Woolsey ordered a nearby officer to arrest Murphy and the officer was about to execute the command when he was prevented by several friends of Murphy.*
Now a party of Indians were seen approaching the barn of John Becker near the fort and a small party from the fort was sent to attack them. After several shots were fired Sergeant Cooper received a ball in the leg and some of his comrades picked him up and began a retreat back to the fort when Cooper received another ball through the body and after returning to the fort Cooper died from his wounds. Zachariah Tufts was wounded on entering the fort and Samuel Reynolds received a ball in the forehead while entering the fort and fell dead at Jeremiah Loucks feet who also had just entered the fort.
Another small party of volunteers under Lieutenant Zielie while pursuing another band of Indians took one Indian prisoner and took Benjamin Burton of the Rangers prisoner also. The scouts now returned to the fort with their prisoners.
Captain Hager at the Upper Fort sent Ensign Peter Swart, Joseph Evans and William Zimmer to go as close to the Middle Fort as possible to determine if the enemy had taken the fort. The three scouts later returned and informed Captain Hager that the fort had not fallen to the enemy.
Colonel Johnson now decided a siege was futile and ordered everything within fifty yards of the fort to be destroyed including the church. Johnson now resumed the burning of the settlement and about 4 o'clock that afternoon they arrived at the Lower Fort. Lieutenant Colonel Volkert Veeder+ who was in command prepared to defend the fort with about 150 men from the Albany County Militia.
*This incident between Timothy Murphy and Major Woolsey was in the pension application of Nicholas Rightor pension no S14309 (N.Y.).
+ Lieutenant Colonel Volkert Veeder, with a detachment from the Fifth Regiment of Albany County Militia had been sent to reinforce the regular garrison shortly before the invasion of Johnson.
Johnson again had the cannon brought forward and it was fired three times with little effect on the fort. A heavy exchange of musket and rifle fire now took place but again with little effect. Some of the Indians set Tunis Swart's tavern on fire and soon they had set on fire all the buildings near the Lower Fort.
Johnson now ended the attack on the fort and with his troops crossed Foxescreek where there was a blockhouse with a six pound cannon. The men in the blockhouse fired the cannon which was loaded with grape shot at the enemy but with little effect. Captain Brant with some Indians burned the tavern of Jacob Snyder and some other buildings along Foxescreek.
Colonel Johnson with his troops continued their march and encamped for the night near the home of Harman Sidney. Here they burned Sidney's sawmill and all of his other buildings. The enemy now slaughtered some of the captured cattle which they ate, and some of the meat prepared, the troops put it in their knapsacks to be eaten while on the march.
At the Lower Fort Henry Haines, Jr., of the First Battalion of the King's Royal Regiment of New York, surrendered to the garrison as he had burned his feet in a burning building. Colonel Johnson had succeeded in burning 74 houses, 77 barns-, 3 grist mills and one saw mill. Johnson's troops suffered few casualties during his raid into Schoharie and had only two loyalists and one Indian taken prisoner. The American forces in the three forts had three men killed and six wounded.
On the morning of the 18th, Colonel Johnson and his men proceeded on the road on the West side of the Schoharie Creek. The road was so rough that Johnson ordered the mortar slung across a horse but Major James Gray, who was in command of the rear guard and artillery, thought they were closely pursued by the militia and had the mortar with its ammunition buried in a swamp.
While Colonel Johnson and his men were marching up towards Fort Hunter, another party of Indians and Loyalists, under Seth's Henry numbering about 30 men, appeared at Dorlach. The Indians first went to the home of Michael Merckley, who had dismounted from his horse as he returned from a visit at a nearby settlemen. He was shot down, tomahawked and scalped. His niece Catherine Merckly now rode into sight of her uncle's house and saw the Indians. While attempting to escape Seth's Henry shot her and she fell dead from the horse and ran to her limp body and scalped her.
The enemy now went to the home of Bastian France who lived nearby. France on hearing the musket fire at Merckly's grabbed his musket and started through the woods when he discovered the enemy approaching his house but was unable to return to his home to protect his family, and went to the Lower Fort for help. Mrs. France was at neighbors visiting and was not home at this time.
The enemy took John and Henry France prisoners after killing their dog. The rest of the France children on hearing the firing of the musket ran and hid in the woods. An Indian tomahawked John, and Henry made an attempt to escape but was retaken. This same Indian, that tomahawked John, went to the nearby house of Philip Hoffman but Hoffman had already fled. The Indian was enraged and returned to the France home and tomahawked young John who was not dead from the first attack and scalped him. While the Indians were plundering the house Henry again made a run for the nearby woods, this time he reached its safety and hid there during part of the day.
Some of the Indians still at Merckly's set his house on fire and with two daughter's and two son's of Merckly with another boy named Fox and Martin Merckly a nephew they joined the other party at France's and now proceeded to the home of William Spurnhuyer. Spurnhuyer with his family had days before removed to a place of safety. The Indians now plundered the house and set it on fire.
The enemy then marched about two miles from the settlement. When Fox and one of the Merckly boys began to cry and their captor took them aside, tomahawked and scalped them. This same party the next day took Joachim Van Valkenburg and two other prisoners near the Upper Fort, but later released them.
Early that morning of the 18th, Lieutenant Victor Putman and Garret Newkirk, who lived near Fort Hunter, had seen the light of burning buildings in Schoharie the day before, and decided to go to Schoharie to investigate the cause of the fires. The scouts fell in with the advance guard of the enemy near Oak Ridge (in present day Town of Charleston) and Newkirk was taken prisoner. Putman was able to escape back to the settlement named Cadaughrity near Fort Hunter to warn the in habitants of the impending attack. Tthey fled to Fort Hunter.
A scouting party from Fort Hunter consisting of Lewis Pruyne, Thomas Marlat, David Casal and two others were sent to investigate the cause of the fires in Schoharie, and to see if the enemy were approaching by the way of Schoharie. Shortly afterwards the scouts fell in with a party of Indians and after a few minutes of skirmishing Casal was killed, two others captured, Pruyne and Marlat escaped back to Fort Hunter.
Colonel Johnson now ordered Captain Thompson of the Rangers and Captain Brant with 150 Rangers and Indians to cross the Schoharie and attack the Cadaughrity settlement. They destroyed the homes and barns of Cornelius Putman, John Newkirk, Cornelius Newkirk, Peter H. Mabee, Hermanus Mabee and many others. Dewalt Schrembling was killed and his family were taken prisoners, along with the families of Peter Martin and Andrew Young. The raiders now having completed their destruction of the settlement rejoined Colonel Johnson.
That morning at Schenectady Brigadier General Robert Van Rensselaer with about 600 men, three cannons and wagons began their march for Fort Hunter. Before leaving he sent a dispatch ordering Colonel Veeder, at the Lower Fort to send Major Woolsey, with all the troops that could be spared from the forts, to join him as soon as possible at the Mohawk River. General Van Rensselaer arrived later that day at Fort Hunter and learned that the enemy had already passed there earlier in the day.
General Van Rensselaer and troops continued their march and about midnight they halted at Van Epps's. Here Van Rensselaer sent dispatches to Colonel Lewis DuBois, who was in command at Fort Rensselaer, and another letter was sent to Colonel John Brown, who was in command of Fort Paris at Stone Arabia. Lieutenant William Wallace was given the task of delivering the dispatches.
Johnson and his men after leaving the area near Fort Hunter had continued their march up along the Mohawk River burning many houses and other buildings in the present day Town of Glen. Some small parties of Indians forded the river and burned some homes at Caughnawaga. The enemy encamped at Anthony's Nose about midnight and Johnson ordered that the narrow passes on both sides of the river be secured.
During the night two men deserted from Johnson's party and informed the nearby garrison of Johnson's strength and intended route. About sunrise of the 19th, Johnson and his troops were exhausted from marching from Schoharie. In the thick fog the enemy marched to within a mile of Fort Frey. Johnson could see some buildings burning near the opposite shore of the Mohawk River as some Indians had gone off to plunder and burn some easier prey.
Colonel John Brown with about 340 men from the levies and militia marched out of Fort Paris about 9 o'clock and shortly afterwards Ensign George Getman with about 20 men from the militia and rangers from Fort Keyser, joined Colonel Brown and proceeded for the Mohawk River. Colonel Brown had been ordered by General Van Rensselaer to gather all the troops possible and to cross the Mohawk River to Fort Rensselaer. Here he was to join Colonel DuBois with his levies and militia and to march along the south side of the Mohawk River. Joining forces with Van Rensselaer they would attack and defeat Johnson.
Johnson and his men spotted some horsemen watching their movements and the horsemen now took the road to Stone Arabia. The Indians immediately followed in pursuit and soon fell in with the advance guard under Major Oliver Root. Major Root and his men retreated back to the main party under Colonel Brown. Johnson and his men gained the heights of Stone Arabia and the Indians that attacked Major Root and were pursuing him, soon fell in with the entire American force, who were then driven back.
Colonel Johnson with the 8th, 34th and Rangers reinforced the Indians as Major Gray, with the remainder of the troops with the cannon, were at some distance behind them. A hot fight now ensued as Colonel Brown and his men took cover hehind some trees and a fence and Johnson and his men took cover also behind a fence about thirty yards from Colonel Brown's men. Colonel Brown was hit in the heart with a musket ball and he fell from his black horse dead. Jacob Snell who was near him was wounded in the shoulder.
The Indians now began to outflank Brown's men on the left and Colonel Johnson on seeing this ordered Captain John McDonell of the Rangers to attack on the right flank, while he with the 8th and 34th leaped over the fence and attacked the center. Brown's men had several men killed and they started to retreat but Major Root and several other officers attempted to rally their men. A general flight began and the enemy pursued the Americans back to Fort Paris killing many more while they were retreating.
Major Root, at Fort Paris, ordered the four pound cannon loaded and fired the one round shot at the enemy, with very little effect. The second cannon shot sent horse chains singing through the air. Third and final shot, as there was no more powder for the cannon, sent fragments of a huge cast iron dinner pot, which had been broken by order of Major Root, screaming through the air. It succeeded in scaring the Indians into a retreat from the fort.
Colonel Johnson on searching Colonel Brown's body found several letters and one from General Van Rensselaer stated that he was at Fort Hunter with three field pieces and 600 militiamen. Colonel Johnson decided to remove from the battlefield and start their march back to where their boats lay hidden, as the presence a large force of militia was closer than he had thought.
Henry J. Walrath with several other men now arrived on the battlefield in hopes of joining Colonel Brown in his march before he had crossed the river, but much to their dismay they saw several bodies of soldiers being scalped and mutilated by the Indians. Walrath and his party fired on the Indians but were quickly driven back as there was a larger force of the enemy than believed at first.
Colonel Johnson had only one private from the 8th Regiment and three Indians killed, three Rangers wounded and Captain Brant was wounded in the foot. Colonel Brown with about 35 men from the levies and the militia were killed, Stephen Root and another man were taken prisoners and about twelve were wounded.
Colonel Johnson now leaving the battlefield and burned the settlement of Stone Arabia which was quickly accomplished. They now took the road to Foxes Mills along the river avoiding Fort Frey but burning every building in their path.
Colonel DuBois and Colonel John Harper with the levies and Indians and Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Clyde with about 100 men from the Tryon County Militia had gone down to the Mohawk River from Fort Rensselaer about 11 o'clock that morning to join Colonel Brown. On hearing a battle take place on the north side of the river, Colonel DuBois ordered the men to cross the river with all speed possible so they could come to the aid of Colonel Brown.
Now First Lieutenant Samuel Van Etten and several other militiamen who had been with Colonel Brown had just crossed the river and informed Colonel Harper of Colonel Brown's defeat. Colonel Harper now rode to the rear of the detachment and informed Colonel DuBois of Colonel Brown's defeat. Colonel DuBois then ordered all of the Indians and levies that had crossed the river already to return to the south side of the river.
Colonel DuBois and Colonel Harper now rode to meet General Van Rensselaer who was about three quarters of a mile below Fort Rensselaer. They met General Van Rensselaer about 2 o'clock that afternoon and informed him of Colonel Brown's defeat.
General Van Rensselaer ordered the Albany County Militia to cross the river at the nearby ford. General Van Rensselaer ordered Lieutenant John Driskill who was in charge of the artillery to take the artillery to Fort Rensselaer and all the artillerymen were to also go to the fort to prepare for a possible attack from the enemy.
General Van Rensselaer with Aide Major John Lansing, Jr. and Colonel DuBois rode to Fort Rensselaer to dine. On arriving at the fort General Van Rensselaer ordered the levies, Tryon County Militia and the Indians to use the two small boats at Walrath's ferry to cross the river to the north side.
Meanwhile, Colonel Johnson continued his march burning everything in his path but avoiding three fortified homes above the home of George Klock near the Fort Hendrick Ford. A party of Indians attacked Fort Hess but did little damage to its occupants and they had one of their number wounded.
About 4 o'clock, General Van Rensselaer with Colonel DuBois, Aide, Major Lansing went from the fort down to Walrath's ferry to hasten the rest of the troops across the river and they themselves crossed over to the opposite shore. They now separated into three columns, Colonel DuBois with the levies and the Tryon County Militia on the high ground on the right flank, Colonel Abraham Cuyler with part of the Albany County Militia on the left flank on the low ground and Colonel William B. Whiting with the rest of the Albany County Militia in the center.
General Van Rensselaer with his men now resumed the pursuit of the enemy until they caught up with them on Colonel Jacob Klock's and Richard Failing's Flats and Orchard near the house of Colonel Klock. General Van Rensselaer's troops quickly took cover behind trees, barns in houses and behindColonel Klock's house. Then a fierce battle now ensued.
*Daniel Hess in his pension No. S22826 said that one of the Indians that attacked Fort Hess was shot and carried away by some of his companions and that after they left he went out and picked up the Indian's musket which he kept.
Colonel Johnson had the Rangers on the right flank near the bank of the river, the Indians and Yagers on the left flank in Failing's orchard and Johnson with the remainder of the troops in the center. Suddenly most of the Indians that were on horseback became frightened by the size of the American troops and fearing severe casualties or being taken prisoners fled to the river and crossed to the south side leaving Johnson to fight the overwhelming American forces.
Johnson now ordered a house and barn on his left to be taken but they were too late and the militia and levies poured a heavy fire into the left flank and the center that the 34th regiment and part of his First Battalion of the King's Royal Regiment of New York began to retreat but they were soon rallied by Johnson and other officers. Johnson now ordered the cannon to fire grape shot which silenced that American flank.
It was getting very dark about 45 minutes after the battle started. Part of the center column of the American troops began firing on the right flank of their own force under Colonel DuBois. Colonel DuBois then rode to the center column and informed General Van Rensselaer about the militia firing upon his men. General Van Rensselaer after consulting several other officers ordered the troops to cease fire as there was too much confusion in distinguishing their own troops in the darkness.
Colonel Johnson took the advantage of darkness and the lull in fighting fled with his men across the river leaving behind their cannon and its ammunition. The Indians now joined Johnson near the south bank of the river and led them into the woods. Because of the darkness several groups of men became lost and several of them were taken prisoners.
Jacob A. Young with six other militiamen from Fort Windecker on scouting along the south side of the river captured Peter Cass and eight other men and took them back to Fort Windecker. Young and his companions took four more prisoners*, killed an Indian and captured twenty seven horses.
General Van Rensselaer ordered part of Colonel DuBois regiment to remain at Colonel Klock's house to guard and take care of the wounded taken there from the nearby battlefield. General Van Rensselaer with the remainder of the troops marched back to Foxes Mills about three miles below Colonel Klock's house where they encamped for the night.
*Jacob Young in his pension no. R11960 claims one of the prisoners was a waiter to Johnson from whom he took his horse and musket.
About midnight Colonel William Malcom with about 200 levies and militia at Fort Hunter were soon joined by 300 militia and levies from Schoharie under Major Woolsey, Colonel Peter Vrooman and Lieutenant Colonel Barent J. Staats. Colonel Malcom now with about 500 men left Fort Hunter and the next morning they reached Fort Rensselaer and from there they continued up along the river until they joined General Van Rensselaer and troops who now had abo.ut 1,500 men in pursuit of the enemy.
In the morning of the 20th, Captain Parke with a detachment of men who had become separated from Johnson was on the road to Fort Herkimer saw about sixty levies and militiamen also marching towards Fort McDonell now arrived with some Rangers and Royal Yorkers and attacked the American detachment. After a brief skirmish William Beckett, Ezekiel Hines and eight other men were killed, two men were captured and remainder were driven into Fort Herkimer. Captain Parke during the skirmish proceeded on to join Colonel Johnson but Captain McDonell and his men did not join Colonel Johnson until two days later.
Colonel DuBois about 3 o'clock in the morning of the 20th marched to Fort Herkimer with levies, militia and Indians and arrived there later that day. About an hour after sunrise General Van Rensselaer's men after eating began their march at Fort Herkimer where they arrived about 2 o'clock that afternoon. General Van Rensselaer left the fort and again went in pursuit of the enemy to Shoemaker's land. He now realizing he had taken the wrong route in pursuit of the enemy ordered his men back to Fort Herkimer where they arrived soon after dark.
During the day at Stone Arabia some of the militia and levies gathered the bodies of Colonel Brown and his men who had been killed the day before and were buried in a big pit about 2 or 3 rods south east of Fort Paris. About two days later Nicholas Smith, Peter Getman with several others dug up Colonel Brown's body and buried him with military honors in the cemetery behind the Reformed Church of Stone Arabia.
In the morning of the 21st, Governor George Clinton who had arrived at Fort Herkimer the previous night with more troops went in pursuit of the enemy but returned the following day without finding the enemy. Governor Clinton with most of the Albany County Militia left Fort Herkimer on the 23rd and returned to Schenectady and Albany.
On the 22nd, Major James M. Hughes who was in command at Fort Schuyler with about 300 men from Harper's regiment of levies sent a detachment of sixty men under Captain Walter Vrooman to Oneida Lake to destroy the enemy's boats. On October 23rd. Captain Vrooman on passing through the Oneida Indian Village left one of his men who had become sick, continued his march until he arrived at Canaghsioraga where they encamped.
Colonel Johnson a few hours later arrived at the Oneida Indian Village where this soldier was taken prisoner and informed him of Captain Vrooman's mission. Colonel Johnson now hastened his march and about dark arrived at the American camp. The entire party was captured without a shot being fired but some of the men attempting to escape were killed but two escaped back to Fort Schuyler. Captain Vrooman, Captain Joshua Drake, one lieutenant and three privates were killed during the escape attempt.
Johnson arrived the next day where his boats lay hidden and encamped there for the remainder of the day and during the night. On the 25th Johnson and his men in their boats headed for Fort Oswego where they arrived the 27th with sixty-four prisoners.
The following rosters are as accurate and complete as possible. They were obtained from the few sources available with names of both the American and British soldiers who were at the Battles of Stone Arabia and Klock's field.
K - Killed
W - wounded
C - Captured
Roster of the Men of the Battle of Stone Arabia on October 19, 1780 Colonel John Brown's Regiment of Massachusetts Levies
K Colonel John Brown
Major Oliver Root
Surgeon Oliver Brewster
K- Captain Levi Ely
Sergeant Jared Plumm
Captain John Spoor
K- Sergeant Seth Worthington
Lieutenant Isaac Ball
Corporal William Davis
Lieutenant Johnathan Brooks
Corporal Elisha Farmar
Lieutenant Bildad Fowler
Corporal Jeremiah Foster
Lieutenant Martin Smith
K- Corporal Judah Jones
Lieutenant Gideon Stiles
Corporal Abner Miller
Quartermaster Sergeant Johnathan Smith
Corporal Jesse Stewart
Sergeant Joel Dickerman
Corporal Joseph Taylor
Sergeant John Fish
Corporal Russel Tylor
Sergeant William Jones
Corporal Lewis Worriner
Sergeant William Kendal
Drummer Joseph Cetcham
Sergeant Moses Lemmon
Drummer Stephen Ingowol
Sergeant Jacob Noble
Fifer Josiah Jones
Fifer David Smith
K- Ainsworth, Luther
K- Allen, William
Anderson Jr., Samuel
K- Ashley, James
Roster of the Men of the Battle of Stone Arabia on October 19, 1780
Colonel John Brown's Regiment of Massachusetts Levies
K- Bruk, Wainwright
K- Chapin, John
K- Conners, Abraham
Foster Jr., Jeremiah
K- Gaff, Jacob
K- Gleason, Daniel
K- Hatch, Solomon
K- Hewitt, Joseph
K- Lewis, Richard
K- Loomis, Jacob
K- Loyhead, Thomas
K- Lummis, Noah W
Mathew, Nathan I.
K- Meeken, Oliver
K- Noble, Jared
K- Noble, Joseph
W- Slater, James
K- Webb, Will
K- Whitney, David
W- Woodworth, Roznil
W- Thrasher, Charles
Roster of the Men of the Battle of Stone Arabia on October 19, 1780
Battalion of Tryon County Militia
Captain Severinus Klock
Captain Henry Miller
First Lieutenant Richard Coppernoll, Palatine
First Lieutenant Samuel Van Etten
W- Sergeant Jacob Snell, Stone Arabia
Sergeant John Snell, Manheim
Corporal Lodowick Kring
Corporal John L. Nellis, Palatine
Bush, George, Palatine
K- Cook, John
Crouse, Joseph, Palatine
Dygert, Peter, Palatine
Dygert, Severinus, Stone Arabia
Eacker, Nicholas, Stone Arabia
Fox, Peter W., Palatine
Fox, William W., Palatine
Kilts, Conrad, Palatine
Loucks, George, Palatine
Nellis, Joseph, Palatine
Salstman, George, Palatine
Shults, George, Stone Arabia
Shults, Henry, Palatine
Sitts, Henry, Palatine
Spraker, John, Palatine
K- Stam, Lawrance
Walrath, Adolph, Palatine
Walrath, Isaac, Palatine
Zimmerman, Christian, Palatine
John Casselman's Company of Tryon County Rangers
Captain John Casselman, Stone Arabia
Ensign George Getman
K- Sergeant Peter House
Sergeant Adolph Pickerd
Casselman, John, Stone Arabia
Casselman, Pardel, Stone Arabia
Edick, Conrad, Stone Arabia
Getman, Peter, Stone Arabia
Strader, Nicholas, Palatine
Samuel Gray's Company of Boatmen
Captain Samuel Gray, Stone Arabia
Sergeant John P. Gramps, Stone Arabia
Feeter, William, Stone Arabia
Gray, Andrew, Stone Arabia
of New York State Levies
Colonel Lewis Dubois
Lieutenant Simon J. Vrooman, Schenectady
of the Men of the Battle of Klocksfield on October 19, 1780
First Battalion of Tryon County Militia
Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Campbell
Captain Jost Dygert, Fall Hill
Captain Jost House, Minden
Captain Adam Leipe, Village of Fort Plain
Captain Rynier Van Evera, Canajoharie
Lieutenant Lawrance Gross, Minden
Ensign John Pickard, Springfield
Sergeant Peter Van Alstine, Canajoharie
Sergeant Cornelius Van Camp, Minden
Corporal Nicholas Dunckle, Minden
Corporal Martin A. Van Alstine, Canajoharie
Bronner, Frederick, Fort Plank
Dieffendorf, John, Minden
Dusler, Marcus, Fort Plank
Murphy, Henry, Village of Fort Plain
Snyder, John, Minden
Wolleber, John, Minden
Wolleber, Peter, Danube
Yordan, John P., Minden
Yordan, Nicholas, Minden
Battalion of Tryon County Militia
Bush, George, Palatine
Eigenbrodt, George, Palatine
Flanders, Dennis Augustus, Palatine
Fox, Peter W., Palatine
Fox, William W. Palatine
Gramps, Henry, Stone Arabia
Hoover, John, Manheim
Kilts, Conrad, Palatine
Loucks, George, Palatine
Nellis, Joseph, Palatine
Ritter, Henry, Manheim
Shite, Peter, Ephratah
Shults, Henry, Palatine
Van Driesen, Peter, Palatine
Waggoner, Joseph, Palatine
Walradt, Peter, Palatine
Walrath, Adolph, Palatine
Walrath, Isaac, Palatine
of the Men of the Battle of Klocksfield on October 19, 1780
Third Battalion of Tryon County Militia
Lieutenant-Colonel Volkert Veeder
Captain David McMaster, Florida
Ensign Francis Putman
Ensign George Stine, Florida
Ensign Derick Van Vechten
W- Sergeant Hugh McMaster, Florida
Bovie, Nicholas R., Florida
Mason, John, Johnstown
Sammons, Thomas, Town of Mohawk
John Casselman's Company of Tryon County Militia
Sergeant Adolph Pickard, Palatine
Casselman, John, Stone Arabia
Casselman, Pardel, Stone Arabia
Edick, Conrad, Stone Arabia
Samuel Gray's Company of Boatman
Sergeant John P. Gramps, Stone Arabia
Gray, Andrew, Stone Arabia
Regiment of Albany County Militia
Colonel Abraham Cuyler
Adjutant Henry Van Veghten
First Lieutenant Garret W. Van Schaick
Fonda, Jacob G.
Regiment of Albany County Militia
Second Lieutenant Philip Veeder
Degolyer, Joseph, Glenville
Regiment of Albany County Militia
Captain Henry Ostrom
First Lieutenant Jacob Weaver
Schuyler, Philip S., Watervaliet
Regiment of Albany County Militia
Colonel Abraham J. Van Alstine
Regiment of Albany County Militia
Davis, George, Claverack
Regiment of Albany County Militia
Lieutenant-Colonel David Pratt
Major John McKinstry
W- Second Lieutenant Francis Delong, (wounded in the breast and shoulder)
Hogeboom, Peter C., Claverack
Regiment of Albany County Militia
Colonel William B. Whiting
Lewis DuBois Regiment of New York State Levies
Colonel Lewis DuBois
Major Elias Van Bunschoten
Captain John Breadbake, Palatine
Lieutenant John Coppernoll, Palatine
Lieutenant Simon J. Vrooman, Schenectady
Philip, St. Johnsville
Moyer, Lodowick, Fort Plank
Moris Graham's Regiment of New York State Levies
W- Captain Jeremiah Christopher Muller, Claverack, (wounded in the right shoulder)
Roster of the Men of the Battle of Klockfield on October 19, 1780
John Harper's Regiment of New York State Levies
Lieutenant-Colonel John Harper
Captain Robert McKean
W- Lieutenant Joseph Harper, (Wounded in the left shoulder)
Lieutenant Atyataronghta Louis
Brigadier General Robert Van Rensselaer
Aide de Camp Major Lewis R. Morris
Aide Major John Lansing, Jr.
Volunteer Aide William Harper
Roster of the Men of the Crown Forces at the Battle of Stone Arabia on October 19, 1780
King's Royal Regiment of New York - First Battalion
Colonel Sir John Johnson
Colonel John Butler's Battalion of Rangers
Captain George Dame
Captain John McDonell
Captain Andrew Thompson
First Lieutenant Bernard Frey
Eighth Regiment of Foot - (King's Regiment)
Captain Joseph Brant (wounded in the foot at Stone Arabia)
Roster of the Men of the Crown Forces at the Battle of Klocksfield on October 19, 1780
King's Royal Regiment of New York - First Battalion
Colonel Sir John Johnson
Major James Gray
Captain Richard Duncan
Corporal Philip Cook (Taken prisoner that night during the retreat)
Cass, Peter (Taken prisoner that night during the retreat)
John Butler's Battalion of Rangers
Captain George Dame
Captain John McDonel
Captain Andrew Thompson
First Lieutenant Bernard Frey
Eighth Regiment of Foot - (King's Regiment)
Roster of the Men who were Captured at Oneida Lake on October 23, 1780
Lieutenant-Colonel John Harper's Regiment of New York State Levies
Captain Joshua Drake
Captain Walter Vrooman
Lieutenant Cornelius Ackerson
Sergeant William Hatch
Sergeant Francis Lattimore
Sergeant Cornelius Post
Sergeant Andrew Renex
Borst, Jacob J.
Flansburgh, William F.
Truax, Isaac I.
Roster of the Men Stationed at the Upper Fort in Schoharie on October 17,
Albany County Militia - Fifteenth Regiment
Captain Jacob Hager
Ensign Peter Swart
Corporal Abraham Lawyer
Roster of the Men Stationed at the Middle Fort In Schoharie on October 17,
Colonel Morris Graham's Regiment of New York State Levies
Major Melancton Lloyd Woolsey
Adjutant Jellis A. Fonda
Quartermaster David Hunt
Surgeon's Mate Peter Osborn
Captain Jacob John Lansing
Lieutenant Jacob Hochstrasser
Lieutenant Robert H. Livingston
Corporal Johnathan Hilton
Corporal George Hodgeson
John Harper's Regiment of New York State Levies
Roster of the Men Stationed at the Middle Fort on October 17, 1780
Albany County Militia - Fifteenth Regiment
Colonel Peter Vrooman
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Zielie
First Major Thomas Eckerson
Captain George Rightmyer
Second Lieutenant Martinus Zielie
Ensign Jacob Snyder
Borst, John J.
Van Slyke, Peter
Van Valkenburg, Joachim
Vrooman, Bartholomew C.
Vrooman, Isaac Jacob
John Brown's Regiment of Massachusetts State Levies
Captain William Foord
Sergeant Daniel Rothborn
Lieutenant Abel Pearson
Sergeant Eleazer Sloson
Lieutenant Alpheus Spencer
Sergeant Samuel Wheaton
Sergeant Timothy Benden
Drummer Shubael Austin
Fifer Thomas McKnite
The following men were also at the Middle Fort but were not serving in a military capacity.
Fonda, of Albany, Forester
Doctor John King, resided near the fort
Samuel Van Vechten, of Albany, Press-master
These two men I have not been able to place in their correct regiment but they were possibly serving in Colonel Graham's Regiment.
Cooper, wounded and died later that day
Private Samuel Reynolds, killed
A Roster of the Men Stationed at the Lower Fort on October 17, 1780
Albany County Militia - Fifteenth Regiment
Major Jost Becker, Adjutant Lawrance Schoolcraft, Sr.
First Lieutenant Johannes J. Lawyer
First Lieutenant Peter Snyder
Second Lieutenant John Dietz
Second Lieutenant William Kneiskern
Ensign John Enders
Ensign Jacob Lawyer
Ensign Nicholas Warner
Sergeant William Enders
Sergeant Jacob Schoolcraft
Sergeant John Schuyler
Corporal David Lawyer
Corporal Peter Zimmer
Mann, Jr., Peter
Schoolcraft, Jr., Lawrance
Enders, Jacob W.
Shafer, Jacob H.
Ingold Sr., John
Ingold Jr., John
Van Dyck, Jacob
Van Wart, John
County Militia - Fifth Regiment
Lieutenant-Colonel Volkert Veeder
Dr. George Werth who resided near the fort was also in the fort but in a non-military capacity.
The following letters printed in this appendix are only a few of the many letters that were written by American officers concerning Sir John Johnson's campaign into the Mohawk and Schoharie Valleys In appendix D the British reports and letters concerning this campaign will be given.
Palatine Oct, 16th 1780
I recd your Favours of the 14th and that from Billy Van Ingen inclosing some Advertisements which I have dispersed. The news this morning stands as follows- I have seen Colo Dubois myself he informs me that Last Night he recd a Letter from Geo Herckeman* the purpose of which as nearly as I can recollect it that he heard the Swivels at Fort Herckemen ten or twelve Times and among the rest thought he heard one louder than the others from which concluded that the Fort was attacked and that as it was possible an Express could not be sent from thence thought it his Duty to write Colo Dubois -
And Butterfield+ a Lieut in the Levies, whom Colo Dubois had sent to the German Flatts thro the woods, returned half an Hour before the above Letter came to Hand &,reports that the Scout had returned from He suppose, German Town & around the Fort & had discovered nothing -
Word was also brought Colo Dubois by Butterfield that Timber was yesterday to be cut for one Block House - And Colo thinks if the Fort had been attacked whether taken or not some means would & could have been taken to have brought him the Truth - & supposes that what Herckemen heard was the falling of the Timber Trees.
The present Alarm is such that it is impossible to form any conjectures of my own upon it - I feel however pretty well convinced in my Mind that the Enemy are upon the Coast - Arnolds traiterous proceedings with Carltons Attack on the North River confirms me in this opinion - an Attack on Schohar appears proable-
MY Mother in Law who is going down for another while will deliver You 34 Quills, all I have at present - however before those are wore I hope I shall be able to get some more Yours always Chrisr P.Yates
To Henry Glen
Copied from the Henry Glen Papers, New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, New York
*George Herkimer, brother of Brigadier General Nicholas Herkimer who had been wounded at the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777 and died later from the amputation of his leg.
+James Butterfield served as Lieutenant in Captain Hans Marks Demuth's Company and in Colonel Lewis DuBois Regiment of Levies in 1780.
Interrogation of Benjamin Burton, 17 Oct 1780
What is your name?
Ans. Benjamin Burton
Ques. Is Col Butler & Brant along?
Ques. How many Regulars?
Ans. 150 - the 34th Regt & the 8th
Ques. How many Indians?
Ques. How many N. Levies?
Ans. 80 and 60 of the Kings Royal Yorkers and twenty Loyalists
Ques. Who Commands the Levies?
Ans. They are divided into three companies Capt. Alexr McDonald one Capt. Geo Dame & Andw Thompson
Ques. What artillery have you?
Ans. One Brass 31b Grass hopper and one 4 inch Cohorn
Ques. Have you been a Continental Soldier?
Ques. To whose Regt. did you belong?
Ans. I belonged first to Colo Cadwalder I was taken prisoner at Fort Washington was released after 12 weeks & three days & afterwards I inlised into Colo Bradley's Reg't Solomon Strong Company & was afterwards taken at Susquehannah by 3 Indians and 2 White men who convied me to Chemung & from there to Niagara & so down to Canada - at Montreal. I inlisted with Capt Butler the 4th of June 1778
Ques. Why did you inlist?
Ans. I was confined 13 days & inlisted to have an Opportunity of making my Escape
Ques. Where did you come from now?
Ans. from Niagara
Ans. Twenty Six days ago
Ques. Have you taken any Prisoners since you left Niagara & how many?
Ques. Where are these troops going?
Ans. Mohawk River
Ques. To what Part?
Ans. Stone Arabia first
Ques. Where next?
Ans. towards Schenectady till Stopd
Ques. Do you know of any more Parties being out?
Ans. Not this way.
Ques. Which way then?
Ans. from Canada via Ticonderoga under Colo Powel
Ques. What was your Orders Respecting taken Prisoners?
Ans. We were to take all that were not In arms. those that turn'd out to fight and were taken were to be used by the Indians as they tho't proper.
Ques. Which way were your troops to return?
Ans. Sir John is to go across to Canada with the Kings Royal Yorkers the 34th Regt and the Loyalists but what Route I know not Butler is to return via Onadaga lake (to Niagara) where the Batteaus and provisions are left
Ques. Have you plenty of Provisions?
Ans. We had no bread for ten days and have eat horses.
Ques. Have you Ammunition Plenty?
Ans. the men had 50 Rounds dealt out this morning. that is all we have except for the Cannon.
Ques. How much have you for the Cannon?
Ans. 70 case Shott and one Cask of Powder which is to supply the Cohorn
Ques. How many Shells?
Ans. the Indians carried them. I don't know how many!
Ques. Where did you lay last night?
Ans. at the upper end of the settlement - over the mountains abt Six miles.
Ques. Had you fires?
Ans. Yes small ones.
Ques. Had you Beef last night?
Ans. the Scotch people from Harper's Bush brought us 12 head of fat Cattle the night before last.
Ques. How many Scotch were there?
Ques. Did you know their names?
Ques. Did they supply you with flour also?
Ques. What Religion are you?
Ques. Are you willing to take Oath to what you have inform'd me?
Ans. Yes Every word.
Ques. Are there no other Detachments but those you have mention'd?
Ans. I forgot to mention the Green Yagers, there are 25 of them who are also to go with Sr John to Canada.
Ques. What Indians are with you?
Ans. They are chiefly Mohawks, some Onadagas & a few delawares
Ques. are there no Senecas among you?
Ans. I dont know. there may be one or two but not more the Cayugas went back without leave.----
This account I believe to be true, not only from the fellows apparent sincerity but from my own observations as far as I have been able to make any -- I have but one sheet of Paper left hope you can spare me a little- I with difficulty got about 1500 of flour into the fort before the Enemy came on when that is gone I must quit, the mills & grain being burnt.
Copied from the Henry Glen Papers, New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, New York
17th Oct 1780
Your disagreeable Letter Came this Moment to Hand & Have instantly forward'd to his Excellency George Clinton Our Governor who is now in Albany.
This morning the Enemy brock out in Balls Town & have destroyed a Good Many Houses & have takeing Col Gordon Captain Collin Benedick & Several other Prisoners Major Switts was there with half of Col Wimps Regement But did not Brack out ware he was the Major & the Ballstown people are in pursuit of the Enemy 300 men of General Renseliers Brigade are between this and Albany I am of Opinion the People at the Helm will order them your way the news from Fort Schuyler is Nothing I believe Schoharie has Fielt that manuvoer
me hear From you
God Bless you
To Col Vedder
Reverse Side of Letter
Lower Fort Schohary
Copied from the Volkert Veeder Papers, Mohawk-Caughnawaga Museum Manuscripts, Fonda, New York
Lower Fort Schohary Oct'r 17th 1780
The Enemy have burnt the whole of Schohary; the first fire was discovered about the middle Fort 8 o'clock this morning: they passed by this post on both sides at 4 o'clock this afternoon; they took the whole of their booty and moved down to Harmen Sitneys; they have fired two swivel shoots thro' the roof of the church. I have sent three scouts to make some discoveries about the middle Fort at different times this day, and none have as yet returned; no express has arrived at this post from either fort; but what we have seen of the Enemy we suppose their force to be between 5 or 600, mostly regulars & Tories V Veeder Lt. Col. 3 o'clock at night. The express says there were 150 more of the Enemy at the upper part of Schohary.
H Glen EsqrCopied from the Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, ed. Hugh Hastings, J.B. Lyon Company, Albany, 1902, Vol. VI, page 303.
I shall march to Fort Hunter with the Force I can Collect in an hour or two. I wish you to take the Most effectual Measures to advise me as early as possible of the probable Rout of the Enemy and such particulars respecting their strength as may have come to your knowledge since your last.
You will please with as many men as can be Spared from the Fort to march in pursuit of; the Enemy and hange on their Rear (avoiding however an Engagement) until I can come up with them. Let me be informed from Time to Time Particularly of your Situation, Number of Men and the Rout the Enemy Take that I may adapt my Measures to the Circumstances which May occur.
Communicate this to Major Woolsey and request him to Join you with all the Force he can spare without exposing his Garrison too much.
The Intelligence you convey should-be transmitted in duplicate Letters the one to be dispatched by the shortest Rout to Fort Hunter the other by the way of Schenectady & Charge the Expresses not to make a Moments delay
I am Sir
Your humble Servt
Robt Van Rensselaer
Schenectady 18th Oct 1780 9 A.M.
On Reverse Side of Letter
Lt Colonel V. Veeder or Officer Commanding at Lower Fort Schohary
Copied from the Volkert Veeder Papers, Mohawk-Caughnawaga Museum Manuscripts, Fonda, New York.
Lower Fort October 18th 1780
This moment your Excelency's Letter came to hand; two Prisinors from Sir John's army, arived at the same time, with the following Inteligence, that Eight o'clock this morning, Johnson, Butler and Brant, movd with their army from Sidnyes sawmill down the Mohawk Road to the said River, where they where to joyne the Party of the enemy from the Norward, of which their strenght by the account of the Prisoners, is one thousand men, of which where 2 hundred Indians; the Rest Rigular Troops and Torys; another Party of 150 where gone to Katskill; The Posts at this Place are safe.
Barent J. Statts Lut Colo
To his Excelency George Clinton, Esqr.
Copied from the Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, ed. Hugh Hastings, J.B. Lyon Company, Albany, 1902 Vol. VI, page 305
Ranssalear Oct. 18th 1780* Night twelve O'clock
I have just-received Your Note in answer to which I would inform you that I have Ordered Capt. Wright with all the troops belonging to your Regt. over. Have Likewise sent two Expresses to Genl Ransalear. I expect to March the rest of the troops over by break of Day beside Leaving Enough for the Defence of the Garrison.
You will Acquaint me with all the Enemies Movement and I am Oblige
By Order of Col. Duboy
Jacob Bockee MB
To Coll Brown
On Reverse Side of Letter
Copied from The General Frederick Haldimand Papers, Letters from Officers of the Royal Regiment of New York, MG 21 Add. MSS. 21818, Microfilm Reel A-746, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
Van Eps's Caughnawago 19th Oct'r 1780+
We are here with a Force sufficient to cope with the Enemy, But if you can possibly cooperate with us, it will in all probablilty tend to insure us Success. General Rensselaer who commands here, therefore, desires you to march down along the South Side of the river with all the men you have, with as much ExT edition as possible. He intends to attack the Enemy as soon as the Day appears. It depends on your Exertions to favor this Enterprize. I am, Sir, yours,
By order of Genl Rensselaer
J. Lansing Jun'r
Copied from The Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, ed. Hugh Hastins, J.B. Lyon Company, Albany, 1902, Vol. VI, page 692.
*This is the only letter that was taken from Colonel Brown's body that was filed with Sir John Johnson's report of October 31, 1780.
+ A copy of this same letter was sent to Colonel Brown which is the last message Colonel Brown received before the Battle at Stone Arabia
Johnstown 1 O'clock
I have rec'd your two Letters the one dated four and the other five Miles from Fort Hunter. We set out immediately for Colo Klock's. Capt. Gano is with us, and we have replaced his garrison with the lame men and some unarmed. We shall proceed by the River Route, as we are informed by Capt. Gano that it is impossible to take our waggons the other Road, and we cannot spare a guard sufficient for their security if we send them alone. We have had no Intelligence of the Enemy's movements except thro'your Excellency's most obed. ser't
His Excellency Gov. Clinton
Copied from the Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, ed. Hugh Hastings, J.B. Lyon Company, Albany, 1902, Vol. VI, page 318.
A Return of Ordinance & Stores taken from the British army, Comm'd by Sir John Johnston. Fort Rensselaer Oct'r l9th 1780:
1 Piece Brass Ordinance 3 pd. with Emplim'ts Comp.; 23 Rounds, Round Shott fix's; 10 do Canister; 1 Quadrant; 2 Powder measures; 1 hand saw; 1 four pd. wt.; 1 half do; 1 Quart'r do, 1 Scale beam; 1 mallet & set; 20 fuses; 1 Seane marlin; 2 Port fires; 1 Cole Chisel-, 1 augur; 1 Punch;1 Seane Quick match; 100 wt. Corn Powder; Drudging box.
Jo. Driskill Lieut Artillery
Copied from the Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, ed. Hugh Hastings, J.B. Lyon Company, Albany, 1902 Vol. VI, page 323.
Fort Renselaer 11 O'clock 20th Octobr
It is proposed to send a small Party across the Country to destroy the Enemy's Boats which we are well informed are sunk at this End of Onondaga Lake - I think you told me that you was well acquainted with the nearest and best Route to that Place and that you would be willing to conduct a Party for that Purpose
I therefor wish you to wait on Genl Rensselaer & C010 DuBois with the Bearer Major Wollsey & inform on this subject that a proper Party may be dispatched without loss of Time for this Service
I am your
Most Obedt Servt
Copied from the George Clinton Miscellaneous Manuscripts, New York Historical Society, New York City, New York.
Albany 20th Octr 8 O'clock A.M.
Yours of Yesterdays date I have Received this Moment the Night before last the Enemy Burnt Cadarathe & Crossed the Mohawk River. General Rensselaer with a very Considerable Force was then within Six Miles of the Enemy he is in full Pursuit of them & I hope your party from Schohary will come time enough to Support him his Excellency the Governor left Schinectady Yestarday Morning & is gone into Tryon County- I think it is very Probable our Troops will come up with Sir John God Grant they may meet them - it is impossible to make any Arrangement at Present as soon as I can I will let you know. You must not Suffer one Man of the Militia to leave Schohary keep them all there until you Receive my farther Orders I Remain
Your humble Servant
AbM Ten Broeck
Lieut Col Volkert Veeder
On Reverse Side of Letter
Lt Colone Volkert Veeder Public Service
at AbM Ten Broeck
Copied from the Volkert Veeder Papers, P.Mohawk-Caughnawaga Museum Manuscripts, Fonda, New York.
Lower Fort Schohary Octobr 20th 1780
Yesterday morning Old Joacum Van Valkenburg and 2 others was taken prisoners about the upper Fort But where since Let at Liberty, they where taken by a Party of about thirty men, Indians and Tories, this moment I was Informed that the Settlement Thourlough* was Laid into Ashes We here that this was Done By the party that took Joacum prisoner, Nothing New at this Post,
*One of the many spellings of Dorlach which is the present day Sharon, Schoharie County, New York yesterday morning at Day Light Col. Vrooman Col. Staats and Major Woolsey marched from this to fort Hunter in pursuit of the Enemy with three Hundred men. Last night a Deserter from the enemy Came in here By this Deserter I learnt the Strength of the Enemy Which is Seven hundred in number King's Regt 50 men Royal Fusiliers 40 Rangers 130 Yaegers short Riffelmen 30 Johnson's 250 Brant's Volunteers 80 Indians 200, this said Diserter informed me that the enemy are short of ammunition and intend to make a forced march By the Shortest Route to the Oneida Lake where they Left there Boatfs we lost in killed the 17th Instant 3 men on our side the enemy Lost more, the number of houses burnt is Computed to be 74 Barns 77 Grist mills 3 one saw mill of Sitneys Please to Communicate the Contents of this to our Governor and Let me hear the News from your quarter as I am Anxious to hear how Matters are Carried with you, no more
Your Humbl Servant
Volkert Veeder Lieut Col
To Henry Glen, Esqr
Please to give my complyments to Friends in Schenectady
Copied from a photocopy on file at the Schenectady History Center, original in Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., No. Ac 62o6a.
6 miles above Fort Hunter
2 O'Clock AM Oct 20 1780
This moment we have received the following account That the Enemy got to Stone Arabia yesterday morning- the small party of the Levys posted there attak'd them but were too weak to make any impression- In the afternoon the Different detachments under General Ranslaer, Col Dubois, & Major Bunscoten formed a junction near the Enemy- attacked, and drove them over the River, leaving plunder prisoners & baggage behind them-
We expect to reach Fort Ranslaer by 8 O'Clock in the morning with a considerable reenforcement as Major Woolsey from Scoherie found us last evening and are determined to pursue with the greatest rapidity. The Governor requests thet you communicate this agreeable information to Genl Tenbroeck as we have not time to write-push on provisions with the greatest dispatch- it is uncertain how far we may be oblidged to pursue ere we catch the infamous bandittie-every thing except the soil destroyed from Fort Hunter to Stone Arabia-
let the Governors letter to Genl Schuyler be sent on by the nearest & best rout-rout- seal it
Henry Glen Esqr
Q M Geni
Copied from the Henry Glen Papers, New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, New York.
C S S C
With the Detachment of Harpers Corps of 1 2 4 4 50 Rank and file, which you are to Consider under your Command.
Proceed by the nearest Rout to old Oneida or the directest Course to gain the Front of the Enemy, retiring to Onondaga. Take prisoners, gain Intelligence of their Number and Disyns. Interrypt their March by harrassing their Rear, Flank or Front. Taking care at the same time that you do not expose Your Party to surprise; or endanger them by being surrounded. Should you gain Certain knowledge of their not having detached any Body to secure their Boats at Onondaga, you are then with the greatest Expedition proceed to that Place and destroy all their Boats, Baggage and Provision. That you must be well authenicated of this, before the Attempt is made. If your Prisoner afford you any material Intelligence dispatch a Messenger to me with haste.
It is probable you will fall in with a large Body of Militia &c. who are persuing them, provide yourself and Party with Red Boughs, as they have the same. Shew your orders to the Commanding Officer and take further Directions from him. If you do not fall in with the Militia or their is no probability of you proceeding to Onondaga so on to effect the Destruction of their Boats &c. you are to return to this Garrison with all Dispatch. Given at Fort Schuyler
22d of October 1780
James M. Huges
Capt. Vrooman Major Commt
Copied from The General Frederick Haldimand Papers, Letters from Officers of the Royal Regiment of New York, YG 21 Add. IMSS. 21818 Microfilm Reel A-746, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
Poughkeepsie Octr 30th 1780
Sir, I send under the care of Capt. Hendrickson thirty one Prisoners of war taken in Tryon County; which I have to request you will cause to be secured in the Prevost at Fishkill. Capt. Hendrickson will deliver you a List of their names to be reported to the Commiss'y of Prisoners. The(y) were captured by the militia & Levies of this State. I am &c. Geo Clinton
The command'g Officer, Fishkill
Rec'd in Fish Kill, Provost, from Capt. Steephen Hendrickson, thirty Prisoners of war this 30th day of Oct. 1780
Danl Clapp Capt Lt
Copied from The Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, ed. Hugh Hastings, J.B. Lyon Company, Albany, 1902 Vol. VI, page 356.
Crown Point 31 Oct 1780
Brown, Maybee and the others we left behind at Johnstown are returned the 19th. Sir John came down the Schoharie Creek and part of his detachment crossed the river and burnt below Col. Fisher's on both sides of the river up to Van Vectens at the nose. They then proceeded to Stone Araby, burning all before them, and on the advance party's arrival at the town, about 180 of the garrison, these made a sally on them and the party giving way. The others pursued pretty close and those on the flanks halted and fired a volley in which fell five Oneida Indians with Col Brown (I believe the man who took Chambly) and a number of others, only eleven of those sallied returned to the Fort. After giving the gentlemen this drubbing, Sir John continued burning and laid all Stone Arabia in ashes. One Mr. Van Derwarkin, a recruiting Lieutenant of his, is now parleying at Johnstown and will give himself up, if they accept him, and would you suppose the honest Peter Yost who went out with me has done the same and was very near having young Helmer, which I sent to Johnstown made a prisoner and Peter Servis was actually made prisoner through his means but afterwards escaped.
A flag of truce is just returned from this to Br. Gen Ethan Allen of the Grants, in answer to one sent by Major Carleton with assurances from the Brig. that no hostilities shall be commenced from his quarter.
May God bless you
To Col Claus
Copied from the Daniel Claus Papers, Bol. III, pages 199-200, Montgomery County Department of History and Archives, Fonda, N.Y.
The following two obituaries are of Jacob Snell who fought and was wounded at Stone Arabia and the other, Joseph Wagner who fought at Klocksfield- These are the only ones to have been in either battle that an obituary has been found to the present time.
Another Patriot of the Revolution gone - Died at Stonearabia, Montgomery County, on the 28th August last, Jacob Snell, aged seventy-seven years.
The deceased, in the revolutionary struggle, before he attained the age of 16 years, espoused and took up arms in the cause of liberty; and by his activity and zeal soon distinguished himself as one of the most efficient actors, at that place, in the contest which resulted in the achievement of American Independence. Few families sacrificed more to freedom than the family of the deceased.- His father and his only brother both fell in the Oriskany Battle with Gen. Herkimer in 1777; and in the Battle at Stonearabia, where Col. Brown was killed in 1780, the deceased was severely wounded, for which in afterlife he received the bounty of the Government as an invalid pensioner. The activity and services of the deceased in the war, as well as his competency for civil employment, gained for him early in life the attention and confidence of his fellow-citizens, which he preserved until his death. He repeatedly represented 'Montgomery, his native county in both branches of our state Legislature; he held the office of Sheriff, and long occupied a seat upon the bench as a county Judge, besides being honored in various other public stations both civil and military, all which he filled with credit to himself and usefulness to the public. His education and manners were after the Old School. He was dignified as a public functionary, kind and condescending as a neighbor, ardent as a friend, and indulgent as a parent. To a mildness of manner and equanimity of temper which nothing could ruffle, he united on energy and inflexibility of purpose, which enabled him to surmount obstacles of the greatest difficulty in the accomplishment of his purposes. Nor was his usefulness confined to the discharge of those duties which as a public officer devolved upon him. He was equally useful in the more private walks of life. No man took a more active interest, and one exerted a more serviceable influence in the improvement of their condition, both moral and intellectual, of the community in which he more immediately moved. The establishment of schools and churches in the society and neighborhood in which he lived, were among the objects of his earliest and first attention; and through a long and somewhat eventful life he was unremitted in his exertions, and contributed freely and cheerfully of his time and his substance to the cause of education and religion. His last days and several of his last years were employed in procuring for his surviving compatriots of the Revolution and the widows of deceased patriots the Reward of the Govern-ment for Revolutionary services and sufferings. -What is remarkable in the history of the deceased is that he died and through his whole life lived on the same farm on which he was born. He early in life attached himself to the Dutch Church at Stonearabia, of which he continued a permanent and exemplary member until his death. He died the death of the Christian, with the full assurance of being admitted into the Joy and presence of his Lord and Heavenly Father, to celebrate his praises and glory through endless eternity. -Communicated (Indorsed) "Estimated date of birth about 1760."
Dr. Jacob G. Snell's scrapbook, MSS 3-47, Montgomery County Historical Society, newspaper clipping, rear flyleaf, no date (1838).
Another Revolutionary Patriot Gone - -Death of Joseph Wagner
The death of this aged and respected citizen which occurred on the evening of Tuesday, though for some anticipated will be none the less the occasion of sincere regret and sorrow among the large circle of his friends and acquaintances. The pioneer of our growing village, for many years his decaying form and tottering steps have been watched with peculiar interest as he moved amid the population of a thriving town which has literally grown up around him, or occasionally stopped to recognize a friend, and from the stores of a most capacious memory to draw the instructive anecdote, or the wholesome truth learned in the school of experience; and now that his voice is hushed in death, hundreds will regret the departure of one who has borne so prominent a part in the early history and settlement of "Wagner's Village," and yield the tribute of a tear to his memory.
Mr. W., notwithstanding the hardships incident to the settlement of a new country, and a naturally feeble constitution, lived to a good old age; and his strong practical sense, his sound judgement, and his business tact, ever gave him a position of commanding influence among his neighbors and acquaintances. To no other man, perhaps, is Fort Plain so much indebted for its early and rapid-advancement as to the subject of this notice; and his memory, perpetuated in the virtues of a numerous and highly respected circle of relations, will not soon fade from the recollection of our citizens. He had served his country repeatedly and creditably both in the halls of the Legislation and in the war of the revolution, and all times enjoyed the confidence of his constituents and his commanding officer. An incident which we have not time to record, but which may be found in Stone's Life of Brant, attests well the estimate put upon the character of Mr. W. for firmness and integrity by the brave Gen. Herkimer.
But he has gone from our midst. In the 90th year of his age after a long life spent in active exertions, by which he had accumulated an ample property and done much to promote the interest and prosperity of his native town, he has gone to his (maker), leaving us a worthy example of energy and industry, and many evidences of his usefulness.
Dr. Jacob G. Snell's scrapbook MSS 3-47, Montgomery County Historical Society, newspaper clipping, rear flyleaf, dated Thursday August 17, 1848.
Manuscripts, Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, N.Y.
Audited Accounts of the State of New York, 3 vols., State of New York Archives and Manuscript Department, New York State Library, Albany, N.Y.
Daniel Claus Papers, 4 vols. typewritten, Montgomery County Department of History and Archives, Fonda, N.Y.
George Clinton: Miscellaneous Manuscripts, New York Historical Society, New York City, N.Y.
Henry Glen Papers, New York State Historical Association Cooperstown, N.Y.
Sir Frederick Haldimand Papers, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
William Malcom: Miscellaneous Manscripts, New York Historical Society, New York City, N.Y.
Revolutionary War Ross 1775-1783, microfilm roll 74, National Archives Washington, D.C..
Volkert Veeder Papers, Mohawk-Caughnawaga Museum Manuscripts, Fonda, N.Y.
George Washington Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Woolsey Family Papers, Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library, Detroit, Michigan.
William Y., A History of the New York Iroquois, New York State Museum, Bulletin
78, February 1905.
Beers, F.W., History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, New York F.W. Beers Company, 1878.
Booth, John Chester, History of Saratoga County, N.Y., ed. Violet B. Dunn, New York, 1977
Briaddy, Katherine Q., Ye Olde Days, A History of Burnt Hills
Ballston Lake, The Journal Press, New York, 1974.
Bulson, Dorwin W., To-Wor-Scho-Hor: The Land of the Unforgotten Indian, 1961.
Campbell, William W, Annals of Tryon County, The Cherry Valley Gazette Print, New York 1880.
Cartwright, Rev. C.E., Life and Letters of the Late Hon. Richard Cartwright, Belford Brothers, Toronto, Canada, 1876.
Clarke, T. Wood, The Bloody Mohawk, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1940.
Clinton, Public Papers of George, ed. Hugh Hastings, Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., New York, 10 vols., 1901.
Cruikshank, Ernest A., "The King's Royal Regiment of New York" Ontario Historical Society Papers and Records, Vol. XXVII, 1931, pp 193-323.
The Story of Butler's Rangers, Welland, Canada, (Lundy's Lane Historical Society), 1893.
Dailey, W.N.P. , The History of Montgomery Classis, New York.
DePeyster, J. Watts, The Life and Misfortunes and the Military Career of Brig.-Gen. Sir John Johnson, Bart., Chas. H. Ludwig Printer, New York, 1882.
Dunn, Violet B., Historian of Saratoga County and editor of Heritage New York, 1974.
Efner, William. B., Warfare in the Mohawk Valley, New York,1948.
Enys, The American Journals of Lt. John, ed. Elizabeth Cometti, Syracuse University Press, New York, 1976.
Fernow, Bertold, New York in the Revolution, 11,leed, Parsons and Co., New York, vol. 1, 1887.
Frothingham, Washington, History of Montgomery County, D. Mason and Co., New York, 1892.
Galluf, W.H., Life and Adventures of Timothy Murphy, 1839.
Graymont, Barbara, The Iroquois in the American Revolution, Syracuse University Press, New York, 1972.
Greene, Nelson, History of the Mohawk Valley, S.J.Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 4 vols., 1925.
The Story of Old Fort Plain and the Middle Mohawk Valley, O'Conner Brothers Publishers, 1915.
Grider, Rufus A., A Collection of Historic Matter Relating Principally to the Mohawk Valley, Canajoharie, New York 9 vols., 1887.
Halsey, Francis Whiting, The Old New York Frontier, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1917.
Hanson Jr., Willis T., A History of Schenectady During the Revolution, 1916.
Heath, Memoirs of Major-General William, ed. William Abbatt, New York, 1901.
Hough, Franklin B., The Northern Invasion of October 1780, New York, 1966.
Howe, Archibald M., Colonel John Brown, W.B.Clarke Co., Boston, 1908.
Lossing, Benson J., The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution, Harper and Brothers, New York, 2 vols., 1860.
Lupo, Ruth V., Waymarks in Nelliston, New York 1878-1978, Fort Plain Printing, Inc., New York, 1978.
MacWethy, Lou D., The Battle of Klock's Field October 19, 1780, St. Johnsville Enterprise and News, New York 1930.
Massachusetts, State of, Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Wright & Potter Co., State Printers, Boston, 17 vols.
Mattice, Paul B., Life and Adventures of Timothy Murphy, The Middleburgh Gazette, New York, 1912.
Paltsits, ed. Victor Hugo, Minutes of the Commissioners for detecting defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York, New York,3 vols., 1909.
Roberts, James A., New York In the Revolution As Colony and State, Press of Brandow, New York, Second Edition, 1898.
Roof, Garret L., Colonel John Brown, Oneida Historical Society, E.H. Roberts Publisher, 1884.
Roscoe, William E., History of Schoharie County, D. Mason & Co., New York, 1882.
Simms, Jeptha R., History of Schoharie County and Border Wars, J. Munsell, New York 1840.
The Frontiersmen of New York, George C. Riggs Publisher, New York, 2 vols. 1882-1883.
Smith, J.E.A., History of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Lee and Shepard Publishers, Boston, 1869.
Stone, William L., Life of Joseph Brant and Border Wars, J. Munsell, New York, 2 vols. 1865.
Swiggett, Howard, War Out of Niagara, Columbia University Press,1933.
Walker, Mabel G, "Sir John Johnson, Loyalists, "Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 3, 1916, PP 318-346.
Warner, George H. , Military Records of Schoharie County Veterans of Four Wars, Weed, Parsons and Company, New York 1891.
Washington, The Writings of George, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, Washington, D.C. , 1931-1944, 39 vols.
I am indebted for the vast information contained in pension records obtained from the Military Service Records, National Archives, GSA, Washington, D.C. The following names are pensions consulted from the National Archives.
Aaron Mass./Vt. No. W20513;
Flanders, Dennis Augustus -
Ball, Mattice N.Y. No. 92262,13 N.Y. No. S15123
Barhydt, James- N.Y. No. S12948;
Folger, Thomas N.Y. No. S10697
Baum, Frederick - N.Y, No. W15835;
Fonda, Jacob G. N.Y. No. R3632
Bell, Matthew - N.Y. No. W21658;
Forgason, William - N.Y. No. S23224
Bellinger, Christian - N.Y. No. S9277;
Fox Peter W. - N.Y. No. W7294
Bellinger, Frederick - N.Y. No. S12991;
Fox, William W. - N.Y. No. s10690
Bellinger, John - No. R730;
Frank, Henry - N.Y. No. S39544
Bellinger, Peter P. - N.Y. No. R731;
Freligh, Valentine - N.Y. No.W16995
Berry, William - N.Y. No. S10346;
French, Joseph-N.Y. No. S9900
Borst, John J. - No. R1033;
Getman, Peter N.Y. No. W19495
Bovie, Nicholas R. - N.Y. No. S12275;
Giles, James Mass. No. S13148
Bronner, Frederick - N.Y. No. W477;
Graff, Philip N.Y. No. W23154
Bush, George - N.Y. No. S12355;
Gramps, Henry N.Y. No. TY16273
Butterfield, James - N.Y. No. S44351;
Gramps, John P. - N.Y. No. W17959
Campbell, John - N.Y. No-S13667;
Gray, Samuel - N.Y. No. S13221
Carpenter, Thomas - N.Y. No. W18877;
Green, Ebenezer - N.Y. No. W23164
Casselman, John - N.Y. No. W18944;
Grem, Henrich N.Y. No. S23244
Casselman, Pardel - N.Y. No. S29088;
Hart, Daniel N.Y. No. S13293
Christiannce, Isaac - N.Y. No S28678;
Hartman, John Adam - N.Y. No. S22811
Clement, Lambert - N.Y. No. w6 6 9 5;
Helmer, Adam N.Y. No. W17067
Clute, Isaac - N.Y. No. W16212;
Henry, John N.Y. No. R4891
Clute, Jacob P. - N.Y. No S28684
Hess, Conrad N.Y. No. S4927
Connelly Hugh - N.Y. No. S2890;
Hess, Daniel N.Y. No. S22826
Copley, Matthew - Mass. No. S30342;
Hewitt Joseph Conn. No. S43659
Coppernoll, Richard N.Y. No.W16542;
Hogeboom, Peter C. - N.Y. S23266
Cromwell, Hermanus- N.Y. No. W 16222
Hoover, John - N.Y. No. R5203
Crouse, Joseph - N.Y. No. S29181;
Jarvis, Joseph - Mass. No. R5558
Davis, George- N.Y. No. W20948;
Keech, James N.Y. No. R5805
Degolyer, Joseph No. 012744;
Kent, Ezekiel Mass. No. S13596
Dieffendorf, John N.Y. No. W24061;
Kilts, Conrad N.Y. No. S13658
Dockstader, George N.Y. No. W16563;
Kisner, William - N.Y. No. S13642
Dockstader, John N.Y. No. S31654;
Koening, Christopher - N.Y.No.S13677
Dunckle, Nicholas N.Y. No. S21164;
Kretzer, Leonard N.Y. No. W21541
Dusler, Marcus - N.Y. No. S10589;
Kring, Lodowick N.Y. No. slo962
Dygert, Jost N.Y. No. W26546;
Lawyer, Abraham N.Y. No. S23296
Dygert, Peter N.Y. No. S10596;
Lawyer, David - N.Y. No. R6210
Eacker, Nicholas N.Y. W22988;
Lawyer, Johannes J. - N.Y. No. R6208
Eckler Leionard N.Y. No. W15335;
Lepper, Frederick - N.Y. No. W20447
Edick, Conrad - N.Y. No. W2084;
Loucks, Adam A. - N.Y. No. S16637
Eigenbrodt, George - N.Y. No. W21055;
Loucks, George - N.Y. No. S13793
Empie, John F. N.Y. No. S10629;
Loucks, Jeremiah - N.Y. No. W20512
Enders, Jacob -N.Y. No. S12872
Failing, Philip N.Y. No. 11119237
Feeter, William N.Y. No. S13013
Fink, William - N.Y. No. S23218
Loucks, Richard - N.Y. No. R6461
Mason, John - N.Y. No. W18479
McGraw, Daniel No. S9947
McKean, Samuel N.Y. No. S27161
McMaster, Hugh N.Y. No. W16645
McMichael, Daniel - N.Y. No. S13885
Moyer, Lodowick - N.Y. No. S11115
Murphy, Henry - N.Y. W18543
Murphy, Timothy -N.Y.R16668
Nellis, John L. - N.Y. No. S23820
Nellis, Joseph N.Y.-No. S14017
Newkirk, Garret N.Y.No. W24339
Newkirk, Jacob N.Y. No.W19912
Newkirk, William I.-N.Y. No.R7623
Peek, Henry H. N.Y. No.W9219
Phillips, Jacob N.Y. No.S11238
Pickard, Adolph - N.Y.No. Sl8162
Pickard, John N. Y. No. R22
Piper, Andrew N. Y. No . W26993
Pruyne, Lewis N.Y. No. R 8507
Putman, Francis N.Y. No, S16231
Putman, Garret N.Y. No W16687
Reed, Amos - Mass. No. S14274
Righter, Nicholas - N.Y. No. S14309
Ritter, Henry N.Y. No. S19449
Sacia, David N.Y. No.Wl7768
Saltsman, George N.Y. No. 22152
Sammons, Thomas N.Y. No.W19000
Schermerhorn, Bartholomew - N.Y. No. S17078
Schermerhorn, John J. - N.Y. NO. 23411
Schoolcraft, Jacob N.Y. No.W19323
Schoolcraft, John N Y. No. S15221
Schoolcraft, John N.Y. No. S30689
Schoolcraft, Lawrance- N.Y. No. R9267
Schuyler, Philip S. - N.Y. No. R9279
Shafer, Peter - N.Y. No.S15645
Shankland, William - N.Y. No. W19065
Shells, Yarks N.Y. No. S14440
Shelly, Samuel N.Y. No. W24942
Shew, Henry - N.Y. No. S22985
Shew, Jacob - N.Y. No. S29449
Shite, Peter - N.Y. No. S11375
Showmaker, Christopher - N.Y. No- W19031
Shoemaker, John N.Y. No. S29452
Shultis, Jacob N.Y.No. S15233
Shults, George N.Y.No. S14432
Shults, Henry - N.Y. No. S14453
Sitts, Henry - N.Y.No. S42297
Slater, James - Mass. No. S20959
Smith, Henry - N.Y. No. W6126
Smith, Nicholas N.Y. No. S16225
Smith, William N.Y. No. S11420
Snell, Jacob - N.Y. No. S23489
Snell, John - N.Y. No. S10021
Snyder, John - N.Y. No. W16415
Spraker, John - N.Y. No. S14555
Stewart, Jesse - Mass. No. S23014
Stine, George - N.Y. No. S11471
Strader, Nicholas - N.Y. No. W16742
Suits, Peter - N.Y. No. W13941
Thrasher, Charles - Mass. No. S33789
Van Alstine, Martin A.-N.Y. No. S23036
Van Alstine, Peter - N.Y. No. S14762
Van Antwerp, Simon J.-N.Y. No. S28924
Van Camp, Cornelius -N.Y. No. W719569
Van Driesen, Peter -N.Y. No. R10859
Van Eps, John -N.Y. No. W27862
Van Veghten, Derick - N.Y. No. S923047
Veeder, John 3- N.Y. No. R10927
Veeder, Nicholas G. - N.Y. No. S16283
Vrooman, Isaac Jacob - N.Y. No.
Vrooman, Simon J. -N. Y. No. W6370
Waggoner, Joseph -N.Y. No. S26849
Wallace, William-N.Y. No. S26849
Walradt, Peter- N. Y. No. S11684
Walrath, Adolph-N.Y. No. W18275
Walrath, Henry I. - N.Y. No.S28937
Walrath, Isaac -N. Y. No. W18287
Wasson, John - N.Y. No. S11665
Weaver, Geroge Michel - N. Y. No. R11237
Weller, Frederick-N.Y. No. S14816
Wemple, John-N.Y. No .S323490
Wendle, Ahasueras-N.Y. No. W25918
Widrig, Jacob-N. Y. No. S11839
Wilson, Israel-N.Y. No. S40718
Wolleber, John- N.Y. No. W18375
Wolleber, Peter -N.Y. No. W19659
Woolsey, Malancthon Llyod-N.Y. No. W18379
Yordan, John P. - N.Y. No. S26982
Yordan, Nicholas - N.Y. No. R11942
Young, Jacob A. - N. Y. No. R11960
Young, Richard - N.Y. No. S11923
Zielie, Martinus - N.Y. No. S28960
Zimmerman, Christian - N.Y. No. S11928
The following invalid pensions from the State of New York, Archives and Manuscript Department, New York State Library, Albany.
Muller, Jeremiah C.
Jacob Klock's Battalion
Second Battalion Of Tryon County Militia
by James F. Morrison
A Brief Description of the Palatine Battalion
On August 26, 1775 officers were appointed for the four battalions of Tryon County Militia. The officers for the Palatine Battalion were Jacob Klock, Colonel; Peter Waggoner, Sr., Lieutenant Colonel; Harmanus Van Slyke, Major; Anthony Van Vechten, Adjutant; and officers for seven companies were also appointed. on September, 19th, Henry Merchell, Jr., was appointed second major and Jacob Eacker was appointed Quartermaster.
This battalion's district for enlistment and defense was from the Noses to Little Falls on the north side of the Mohawk River and extending north to the Canadian border. This area today is the Town of Little Falls and the Town of Manheim, Herkimer County; Town of St. Johnsville, Stone Arabia, Nelliston, Palatine Bridge and the Town of Palatine, Montgomery County; Town of Ephratah and the Town of Oppenheim, Fulton County.
The forts and fortified homes that were within this district's boundaries and garrisoned by Colonel Klock's Battalion were; Forts Frey, Paris, Remesnyder, Hess, Keyser, Ehle, House, Nellis, Fox, Waggoner, Loucks, Getman, Snell, Walrath. Zimmerman and three Fort Klocks.
This battalion was engaged in several battles and skirmishes during its organization which included the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777. Colonel Klock led about 158 known men into this battle of which 34 men were known killed, 18 men were wounded and 4 were taken prisoners. Many more were there at the battle but are not known at this time and perhaps many more were killed, wounded and captured.
This battalion was engaged at Saratoga in September and October 1777 against General John Burgoyne. They were also engaged in the Battles of Stone Arabia and Klocks Field on October 19, 1780, the Battle of Sharon July 10, 1781, skirmish at Lampman's on July 29, 1781, Battle of Johnstown on October 25, 1781 and skirmish at West Canada Creek on October 30, 1781. They were also engaged in several other minor skirmishes and marched to the relief of Cherry Valley in November 1778 and Caughnawaga in May 1780.
It should be noted, never after the Battle of Oriskany were any battalions of the Tryon County Militia able regain their strength as it was that fateful day.
Colonel Jacob Klock
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Waggoner,
Sr. Adjutant Andrew Irvin
First Major Harmanus Van Slyke
Adjutant Adam I. Klock
Second Major Henry Merchell, Jr.
Adjutant Anthony Van Vechton
Second Major Christopher P. Yates
Quartermaster Jacob Eacker
Major Christian W. Fox
Surgeon William Petry
Major Christoper W. Fox
Surgeon Johannes George Vach
Adjutant Samuel Gray
County Militia - Second Battalion
Fox, Christopher P.
Roof Sr., John
Waggoner Jr., Peter
Van Etten, Samuel
Klock, John James
Bellinger Jr., John
Klock, Jacob John
Scholl, Johan Jost
Klock, Jacob Conrad
Suts, John P.
Van Slyke, Nicholas
Eacker Jr., George
County Militia - Second Battalion
Cook Jr., Severinus
Dygert, Peter H.
Dygert Jr., William
Dygert, William W.
Spraker, Jr. , George
Fink, Han Yost
Van Derwerke, William
Gramps, John P.
Walrath, Henry A.
Zimmerman, Conrad L.
County Militia Second Battalion
Fox, Peter W.
Dygert, Peter S.;
Getman Jr., John;
Keyser, Michael I.
Snell Jr., Adam
Van Slyke, Adam
Van Slyke, Samuel
Van Slyke, William
Walrath, Jacob H.
Nellis, John H.
Nellis, John L.
Nellis, Peter W.
Snell, John I.
Snell, Jr., John
Van Slyke, Nicholas
Bauder Sr., Michael
Bauder Jr., Michael
Baum, John George
Becker Henry B.
Bellinger Adam A.
Bellinger Hendrick I.
Bellinger John Frederi
Broad, George J.
Broad, John J.
Broad, Peter J.
Buyer, John P.
Casselman Jr., John
Clake, Joseph J
Dygert Peter J.
Dygert Peter P.
Dygert Peter W.
Dygert Salbiernus P.
Dygert Sepinus H.
Dygert Sepinus P.
Dygert Jr., Severinus
Dygert Severinus H.
Dygert William H.
Eigenbrodt Peter G.
Eigenbrodt Peter I.
Emge, Jr., Johannes
Empie Jr. John
Empie John F.
Failing John D.
Failing John J.
Fink, Jr., William
Flanders, Dennis Augustus
Fox Jr., Christophel
Fox, Christopher W.
Fox, William C.
Fox, William W.
Frytery, John G.
Fydert, Severinus P.
Garlock George William
Garlock William G.
Garter Sr., John
Garter Jr., John
Getman George G.
Helmer, Leonard L.
Helmer Jr., Philip
Hess Jr., John
Kahn, Christopher C.
Kasselman, John S.
Keyser, Jr., John
Kilts, Peter N.
Klock George G.
Klock, George H.
Klock Sr., Henry
Klock, Henry I.
Klock, Henry J.
Klock, John I.
Koch Jrl, Rudolph
Kring, John L.
Lasher Jr., Garret
Leipe Jr., John
Lerhri, Johannes Caspar
Loucks Adam A.
Loucks Sr., Henry
Loucks, Henry A.
Loucks, Henry W.
Loucks, Jost A.
Loucks, Peter A.
Loucks Jr. , William
Loucks, William G.
Lyke Sr., John
Mc Arthur, Duncan
Mc Arthur, John
Merkell, Henry D.
Neer, Caspar (This is from Bud Neer-"There were 3 Nears serving under Col. Klock, Caspar, his brother Conrad and Caspar's son John. Conrad died Oct. 21, of wounds suffered in the battle of Klock's Field. It is not known why only Caspar was listed as serving." The Schultz and the Near books give reference to this point. Caspar's son John was born in 1764 so he was about 16-17 at the time")
Nellis Henry W.
Nellis John D.
Nellis Jr., Peter
Nellis Peter H.
Nellis, Peter H.
Nestel, Jr., Martin
Pickerd John C.
Saltsman Sr., George
Saltsman Sr., Henry
Shale, John Adam
Sillenbach, Han Yost
Sillenbach, John G.
Smith Baltus S.
Smith Sr., Nicholas
Snell Han Yost
Snell Jacob F.
Snell Sr., John
Snell John F.
Snell John G.
Snell John Jacob
Snell John Job
Snell John L.
Snell John P.
Snell John S.
Spraker Sr., George
Suits, Peter J.
Suts John P.
Suts Peter P.
Timmerman Hendrick L.
Timmerman Jacob I.
Timmerman Jacob L.
Timmerman John G.
Timmerman John I.
Van Aken, Daniel
Van Alstine, Martin C.
Van Alstine, Nicholas
Van Camp, Walter
Van Derwerke, Joacham
Van Derwerke Jr., Thomas
Van Driesen, Peter
Van Etten, Jacobus
Van Etten, Levi
Van Lone, John
Van Slyke, Copes
Van Slyke, Jacobus
Van Slyke, Nicholas G.
Van Slyke, William S.
Van Zichel, Samuel
Walrath, Adam A.
Walrath, John A.
Walrath, Peter, I.
Wassel, George W.
Whigh Jr., John
Wormuth John T.
Wormuth Peter J.
Wormuth Peter T.
Young Jacob A.
Tryon County Militia - Second Battalion
The following lists contains all the men known to have been killed, wounded, captured or injured during their service in Colonel Klock's Battalion. The men will appear with the rank and date at the time they were killed, wounded, captured or injured.
Major Harmanus Van Slyke - August 6, 1777
Andrew Dillenbach - August 6, 1777
Captain John Dygert - August 6, 1777
Captain Christopher P. Fox - August 6, 1777
First Lieutenant John Zimmerman - August 9, 1781
Second Lieutenant John Bellinger, Jr. - August 6, 1777
Second Lieutenant John Van Slyke July 22, 1781
Second Lieutenant Matthew Wormuth- June 2, 1778
Lieutenant Petrus Grant- August 6,1777
Lieutenant Jacob Myers October 25, 1781
Sergeant Uriel Comb - August 6, 1777
Sergeant Johannes Ritter - August 6,1777
Sergeant Jacob Timmerman - August 9, 1791
Sergeant George Snell - August 6, 1777
Corporal Christian Fink - August 6, 1777
Fifer John Snell, Jr. - August 6, 1777
Fifer Nicholas Van Slyke - August 6, 1777
Jacob - April 20, 1779
Baun, John George - August 6, 1777
Bellinger, Frederick - August 6, 1777
Bellinger John Frederick - August 6, 1777
Bellington, James August 6, 1777
Billington, Samuel August 6, 1777
Cook, John - October 19, 1780
Empie, Jacob -August , 1777
Gago, George- August 6, 1777
Gray, Nicholas - August 6, 1777
Hart, Henry - April 20, 1779
Henner, Peter - August 6, 1777
Huffnagel, Christian - August 6, 1777
Tryon County Militia - Second Battalion
Henry - August 6, 1777
Lepper, Jacob - August 6, 1777
Lerheri, Johannes Caspar - July 10, 1781
Merckly, William - August 6, 1777
Paris, Peter - August 6, 1777
Putman, Martines August 6, 1777
Smith Sr., Nicholas- August 6, 1777
Snell, Frederick - August 6, 1777
Snell, Jacob-August 6, 1777
Snell, Jacob F.-August 6, 1777
Snell, Sr., John - August 6, 1777
Snell, Joseph - August 6, 1777
Snell, Suffernus - August 6, 1777
Stam, Lawrance - October 19, 1780
John Breadbake - August 6, 1777
Captain Christopher Fox - August 6, 1777
Captain , Nicholas Rechtor - April 20, 17779
Ensign Henry Timmerman - -August 6, 1777
Sergeant John Cook - August 6,1777
Sergeant Jacob Snell - October 19, 1780
Sergeant Henry A. Walrath - May 26, 1781
Corporal John Bradbuck - August 6, 1777
Corporal Peter Lampman - August 6, 1777
Corporal Jacob H. Walrath - August 6, 1777
Charles August 6, 1777
Empie, John F. October 25, 1781
Loucks, William August 6, 1777
Martin, Alexander - August 6, 1777
Nellis, Philip - August 6, 1777
Philips, James - August 6, 1777
Rasbell, Frederick - August, 6, 1777
Saltsman, John August 1777
Snell, Han Yost- October 5, 1781
Spank, Nebel - August 6, 1777
Sulback, Garret - August 6, 1777
Walrath, Nicholas - August 6, 1777
Walter, George- August 6, 1777
Wormwood, Peter- October 25, 1781
Tryon County Militia --Second Battalion
John Keyser, Sr.,-Taken March 15, 1780 and released September 3, 1781
Captain John Zeely - Taken on October 25, 1781.
Lieutenant Jacob Conrad Klock-Taken on March 6, 1780 and released on May 21, 1783
Ensign Peter Sitts - Taken on June 2, 1778
Sergeant Johannes Peifer - Taken on April 3, 17 and released on May 24, 1783
Sergeant John Shults-Taken on July 26, 1782 and released on December 10,1782.
Sergeant William Shults-Taken on July 26, 1782- released on December 8,1782
Sergeant Jacob Zimmerman-Wounded and taken on August 9, 1781 and released on December 1, 1782.
Corporal John Helmer -Taken on April 3, 1780 and released on May 21, 1783.
Corporal Michael I. Keyser - Taken on March 15, 1780.
Corporal John Kring -Taken on September 5, 1780 and released on May 23, 1783
Corporal Conrad Lawer-Taken on October 17, 1780 and released on December 6, 1782
Thomas - Taken on May 27, 1780 and released on April 19, 1780.
Boyer, Valentine - Taken on May 3, 1791 and released on December 3,1782.
Casselman, Peter - Taken on August 2, 1780 and released on November 2, 1781
Eadle, George Taken on April 3, 1780 and released on October 25, 1780.
Failing, Jacob Taken on August 5, 1780 and released on September 25, 1781.
Failing, John D. - Taken on August 14, 1781 and released on September 5, 1781.
Forbush, Bartholomew -Taken on September 19, 1779 and released on April 21, 1783
Forbush, John - Taken on April 3, 1780 and released on May 21, 1783.
Forbush, Nicholas - Taken on April 10, 1780 and released on May 19, 1783.
Garlock, Adam - Taken on July 30, 1782 and released on December 16, 1782.
Garter Sr., John - Taken on April 3, 1780.
Garter Jr., John - Taken on April 3, 1780.
Hellegas, Peter - Taken on August 9, 1781 and released on May 1l, 1783.
Keyser Jr., John - Taken on March 15, 1780.
Klock, Conrad - Taken on May 27, 1780 and released on April 19, 1780.
Klock, John - Taken on October 17, 1780 and released on December 6, 1782.
Tryon County Militia Second Battalion
John - Taken on October 17, 1780 and released on December 6, 1782.
Lobdell, Daniel - Taken on April 3, 1780.
Lobdell, Isaac - Taken on April 1, 1780 and released on May 21, 1783.
Lobdell, Joseph - Taken on April 1, 1783, and released on May 21, 1783.
Loucks, George - Taken on October 6, 1781 and released on December 6, 1782.
Loucks, Peter - Taken on August 6, 1777.
George - Taken on July 15, 1782 and released on May 21, 1783
Newman, Joseph - Taken on March 2, 1780 and released on May 21, 1783.
Pickerd, Bartholomew -Taken on April 3, 1780 and released on May 1, 1783.
Pickerd, John - Taken on August 26, 1781 and released on November 11,1782.
Rumsnider, Henry -Taken on September 2, 1780 and released on September 2, 1781.
Shafer, Henry - Taken on March 15, 1780.
Shults, Henry -Taken on July 26, 1782 and released on December 10, 1782.
Smith, John - Taken on April 20, 1779.
Sponnable, John - Taken on August 5, 1777.
Staring, Jacob -.Taken on May 21, 1780 and released on May 23, 1783.
Van Slyke, Jacobus -Taken on July 24, 1779 and released on March 20, 1783.
Walrath, Adolph -Taken on May 26, 1781 and released on September 3, 1781.
Walrath, Garret - Taken on August 6, 1777.
Walrath, Henry - Taken on August 6, 1777.
Walrath, John A. Taken on May 26, 1781 and released on December 20, 1782.
Woleber, Nicholas Taken on August 6, 1777.
Youker, Jacob - Taken on April 3, 1780.
Rudolph Kock - Injured in July 1780 by being hit in the eye by a water bucket
while assisting some women in getting water from the well at Fort Paris.
Henry W. Accidently shot in the chest in the summer of 1776 by George Waggoner
at Fort Waggoner.
Nestle, Godliep Injured in summer of 1777 when a wagon was tipped over on him.
REPORT OF SIR JOHN JOHNSON'S RAID ON THE SCHOHARIE, MOHAWK COUNTRY Rendered to General Haldimand of the Canadian Forces Copied from original Haldimand papers in Ottawa, Canada and brought to our attention by John J. Vrooman, author of "Forts and Firesides." A copy from Ottawa archives was sent to Rev. W.N.P. Dailey who sent it on to The Enterprise and News. The following printed by the Enterprise and news July 27, 1944
Report of Sir John Johnson of the October 1780 raid on the Schoharie and Mohawk Valley Country, rendered to General Haldimand of the Canadian forces.
Sir: Montreal 31st October 1780
I have the Honour to acquaint your Excellency that agreeable to the information I gave you in my letter of the lst Instant from Oswego,we marched, and took the Route to Onondaga, where we arrived on 5th after concealing Our Boats and some provision, we marched from thence on the 6th taking with us ten days Provision, the Field Piece and Royal were drawn upon sleds, or drags, made for the purpose, 8th and were met by a Scout of fifteen Indians, with four prisoners, from them we learned that two Oneidays had gone down to Albany from Niagara with the account of Colonel Butler and Captain Brant leaving that Post with eight hundred men for some part of the Mohawk River; and on the 9th an Oneida deserted us, and took with him one of our empty shells; nothing material happened until the 12th when one of our Scouts returned with four prisoners from the German flatts, who confirmed the account of the Oneidas going to Albany but said the enemy had not the least knowledge of our being so near them- the 13th our provision being nearly expended, a party was sent to a Scotch Settlement within twenty miles of Schoharie to bring us some cattle- the same day twenty Cayugas left us, and went off to the German flatts; and it was with some difficulty the whole were prevented from following their example, as they did not like going so low down into the Country, where, it was whispered we would meet with two thousand men to oppose us- on the 15th the Party met us with Eleven Head of Cattle, which were immediately served out to the Party, the 16th we marched to within three miles of the Upper End of the Settlement of Schoharie, and the 17th before day passed their Upper Fort, and a few houses, mostly the property of Friends, that we might not give the Alarm too soon, but our Rear being discovered from the Fort, they instantly fired three-Alarm Guns, upon which we began to set fire to everything before us for three miles, when we arrived at their Middle Fort which appeared to be a Square Work of Picquets and Earth. The Indians drove in some small parties, and fired pretty briskly on the Fort till we had some to bring up Our field Piece and Royal, which I soon had the Mortification to see were of no use, the Men not understanding their business sufficiently to do the Enemy any injury- finding it was only losing time, and hearing that the County was alarmed, Captain Thompson of -the Rangers was sent with a Flag to summon them to surrender, to which they paid no other attention, but that of firing upon him, upon which, I ordered the whole to move forward, burning, killing and destroying every thing within fifty yards of their Forts to the End of the Settlement beyond the Third Fort, where we encamped that night. From thence I thought it most advisable to proceed to the Mohawk River, by the Road leading to it on the West Sides of Schoharie Creek, the road being almost impassable for empty Waggons I ordered the Royal (which had been brought forward in one) to be slung across a horse, but the Rear being thrown into a little confusion by a report that the Enemy were close upon their heels, Major Gray had it buried in a Swamp with all the shells, the Three pounder was brought forward with great difficulty- about half way to the River the Indians fell in with, and took two and killed one of a Scout of five that were going to Schoharie upon observing the great smoke occasioned by the burning of the settlement; they gave us no Intelligence after proceeding a little further I detached Captain Thompson of the Rangers and Captain Brant, with about one hundred and fifty Rangers and Indians to destroy the settlement on Fort Hunter or East Side of Schoharie Creek which they effected without any opposition, the Inhabitants having fled into the Fort, they recrossed the Creek about a mile above the Fort, and joined us near the Bank of the River, from thence we marched on laying waste everything before us on both sides of the River up to the nose where we arrived and encamped at twelve that night, securing the narrow passes on both sides of the river. Two men who had deserted from Fort Stanwix this Spring left us, and went over, to the Enemy at Stone Arabia, and informed Colonel Brown who commanded there, that the Detachment on that side of the River was very weak, which induced him to march out next morning with three hundred and sixty men to attack them. I meant to have crossed over to them in the night, but the Troops were too much fatigued to attempt it till the morning of the 19th when we joined them about sunrise,, in a thick fog we marched on to within a mile of Freys, a few Indians burning along on the opposite shore, have discovered several horsemen watching our movements who all took to the road to Stone Arabia, we followed and soon fell in with their advance, guard, who immediately retired upon the Indians advancing, when we had gained the heights of Stone Arabia the Enemy were discovered and attacked by about fifty Indians who were forced to give way, but we immediately supported them with a part of the 8th, 34th and Rangers, the remainder of the Troops being at some distance, the fire continued very brisk for a few minutes, the Enemy were under cover of a wood, and a fence on one side of a lane, while we had only the fence, and an open field on the other side within thirty yards of them, finding the Indians were endeavoring to flank them on their right, I ordered Captain McDonell with the Rangers-to attempt their left, at the same time leaping over the fence with the 8th and 34th the Enemy immediately gave way, when a General pursuit took place, in which, Colonel Brown, and about one hundred officers and men were slain, Captain MacDonell of the Rangers and Captain Brant exerted themselves upon the occasion in a manner that did them honour, and contributed greatly to our success, we lost only one private of the 8th and three Indians, Captain Brant received a flesh wound in the soul of the foot, near his former wound, and three Rangers were wounded- By papers found in Colonel Browns pocket, I learned that General Ranslaer with six hundred Militia had three field pieces was at Fort Hunter the day before, and of course could not then be very distant, we therefore without loss of time began to burn the settlement, which we completed in a short time, the enemy firing upon us from their fort at the same time, from thence we took the Road to Foxes upon the river, above Freys, which being also fortified, we shunned but burnt everything else about it, and all the way up to George Klocks, near the Fort Hendrick Ford, there we were again obliged to take to the woods to avoid three or four fortified houses that entirely commanded the Road and flatts; that took us till near sunset When we found ourselves opposed in going down to the high road by the enemy from behind fences, house and orchards. I immediately ordered a strong detachment to a height upon our left which commanded the road, with the remainder of the Troops I pushed down the hill, crossed the road, and formed in the open field, the Enemy firing and retreating to some distance under their Fort at Klocks, where they also formed in some force, the Indians who were all on horseback were panic struck, and crossed the river, the Enemy observing them, were encouraged to advance upon our left, under cover of Woods, houses and fences, and began a heavy fire upon us from all quarters, especially upon our left where I ordered a house, barn, etc. to be taken possession of, but the order not being attended to in time the Enemy took the advantage of it and threw in a very heavy fire, which forced the 34th and a -part of my regiment to give way, upon which they gave three cheers; I immediately ordered the three pounder to be fired with grape shott, which was also followed by a discharge of small arms which totally silenced them, but it being dark and the troops in a good deal of confusion and having every reason to think the enemy were collecting from all the Forts, and that Ranslaer must be at hand, if not with them. I thought it most for the good of his Majesty's Service to cross the river without loss of time which was soon effected without any interruption the Indians led us immediately up into the woods, and it being very dark, we were separated, Captain Parke with a large body taking the road to Fort Herkimer where they arrived the next morning, and fell in with sixty of the enemy who were returning home. Captain Parke not knowing their numbers ordered the whole to take into the woods to gain the road we came down upon, but Captain McDonell with his usual spirit attacked them with a few Rangers assisted by some of my men killed ten, and took two of them, driving the rest into the Fort, the front having marched on Captain McDonell lost their track, and was separated from them for two days, when we all met again, excepting Captain Daine and those until the 23rd without anything material happening when we took a prisoner at the Oneida Village, who informed us that he had left Fort Stanwix the day before with the Party mentioned in the enclosed instructions, for the purpose mentioned, and that he had left them eight miles from there that morning being sick- we immediately pushed on with all expedition, intending to detach a party to march all night till they overtook them, but falling in with them on their return at Canaghsioraga, we took and killed the whole party except two who made their escape the same evening, I sent off six Indians and whites on horseback, to secure our boats from two Indians who we were told had been sent to destroy them, they arrived there before day, and found them all safe, amounting to sixty four with a Guard on Board the Sloop Caldwell, and arrived at Carleton Island the same evening, set off at two in the morning, and arrived here yesterday, but too late to write sooner- I expect Major Gray with the detachment tomorrow or next day at furthest, from the great fatigue I have undergone I am induced to hope your Excellency will excuse my not waiting upon you on this occasion, being really much worn down- the amazing loss the enemy have sustained will I hope more than compensate for the loss of the few brave fellows that are missing, many of whom I still expect will make their appearance. Captain McDonell of the Rangers obtained Colonel Butlers leave to come down with me on account of his bad state of health, he hoped your Excellency will permit him to remain here for the Winter, he really merits every indulgence. Your Excellency having been pleased once to give me leave to go to England but having been prevented by the lateness of the Season, and my affairs requiring it now more than ever, I must entreat you to give me that permission should an opportunity offer this fall, which I am told is expected. I mean in that case to take my family with me except the two youngest children, who I shall with my sister. I shall beg to remain in town until I receive your Excellency's answer.
I hope your Excellency will excuse the very great incorrectness of this letter being much hurried. His Excellency General Haldimand
have the honor to be with the greatest respect and Esteem
Sir. Your Excellencys Most Obedient and Most Humble Servant, John Johnson.
Letters from Officers of the Royal Regiment of New York, MG21 Add. Mss. 21818 (microfilm reel A-746) , Public Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
Sir Frederick Haldimand
Sir Frederick Haldimand (1719-1791), a Swiss mercenary and close friend of Henry Bouquet, entered the British Army in 1756, and served with considerable distinction through the -period of upheaval in North America which included the Seven Year's War and the American Revolution. Haldimand arrived at New York in June 1756 with a lieutenant colonel's commission in the Royal American Regiment. In 1758, he joined Major- General Jeffrey Abercromby's expedition against Canada, which failed at the cost of great bloodshed at Ticonderoga. In the following year, Haldimand conducted a distinguished defense of Oswego, and joined Major-General Jeffrey Amherst's expedition against Montreal in 1760. After serving at Trois-Rivieres as commander, and as acting governor, he was transferred to Florida. Recalled to England in 1775, he returned to Canada in 1773 and succeeded Sir Guy Carleton as governor and commander-in-chief. In 1784, he left for England on leave of absence, but never returned to his post, and retired in 1786.
The Haldimand papers, which included the official correspondence and records of his various commands at Trois-Rivieres, Florida, New York and Quebec, were presented to the British Museum in 1957 by philanthropist William Haldimand (1784-1862), nephew and heir of Sir Frederick. The first Dominion Archivist, Douglas Brymner, initiated in 1879 a transcription program, which was completed by 1889. In addition, the originals were microfilmed between 1966 and 1969.
UNPUBLISHED TORY REPORT OF THE BATTLE OF KLOCK'S FIELD
Unpublished Papers in Ottawa Archives of Sir John Johnson's report to General Haldimand, combined with original Harrison Patent Map Showing Road at time of Battle. Gives positive proof of Battle line crossing Route 5 and place of escape of Johnson's Troops.
By- Milo Nellis, Enterprise and News-July 27, 1944
The Battle of Klock's Field, October 19, 1780, at the very edge of our present village has been generally regarded as a skirmish of little importance and is perhaps unknown to many of our citizens of today, but its repercussions were many and it left many valuable items in the records to engage the interest of the students of the history of that time. The 1400 men engaged constituted a sizeable army, considering the period and the remoteness of the occurrence. It is the only place in the valley where the main highway passes directly over a battle line of any war and as such it is unique enough to be plainly marked and featured in our village and valley annals and on auto maps, tourist guides and so forth.
Properly presented the battleground could be made a very potent influence in keeping both our history and our village on the maps and in the minds of tourists and travelers who pass this way. Abundant evidence exists to definitely and accurately locate the actual battle line and authenticate it beyond all doubt and preserve it to posterity.
This letter of John Johnson's to his superior officer, General Haldimand, was mentioned by William L. Stone in his life of Joseph Brant. (Vol. II, page 125) but other writers seem to have entirely missed it.
Lou D. MacWethy's story of the battle, published in the Enterprise and News (Sept. 27 to Oct. 19, 1929) and later in booklet form is very likely the most unprejudiced account of it ever written. His material was based on the court proceedings brought against Gen. Van Rensselaer for his failure to capture Sir John Johnson and his army on this occasion. (Clinton Papers, Vol. VI, pages 692 to 703) and on Gen. Van Rensselaer's own reports made while on his march up the valley from Schenectady trying to overtake Johnson. It was also based on Stone Cambell and other authors' works but, he, too, missed this Johnson letter which helps correct some and confirm other points that have heretofore been obscured. George Klock had been the principal thorn in the Johnson crown for more than 25 years, so there was probably some personal satisfaction to Johnson in reporting having burned everything up to Klock's very door, but it is a bit confusing to us because at the time of the battle old George was living three miles farther west on the bank of Crum Creek where Cecil Hillabrandt 1 now lives. A stone in the southeast corner of that house foundation bears the still legible inscription G.K.- 1760 IBLT. (It was known as Fort House in the Revolution, so named to honor George Klock's lifelong business associate, Christian House.) It is nevertheless, a fact, that old George did own that land, acquired from his father's estate which lay immediately west of Col. Jacob Klock's house around whose building and orchard the principal fighting occurred. It encompassed the knoll 2 involved in the battle and the home of the late Warren Richards and it is quite probably that his son, George G. Klock, who married in 1765, occupied these premises at the time of the battle. Certain it is that George G. Klock passed this land down to his oldest son, Joseph G. Klock, who occupied it at the time of his death in 1846 (age 77). It was this circumstance that led Simms into the error of saying that the land which the battle was fought on was owned by Judge Jacob G. Klock who was an uncle of Joseph G. The latter always wrote his name J.G. Klock, thereby promoting the confusion and error. It is also certain that after the death of his father in 1790, George G. Klock resided where Bert Klock 3 now lives. Possibly he moved there as early as 1790 when his father died and his uncle, Conrad Klock, removed from that vicinity to near the present village of Canastota. Johnson's statement that Colonel Brown was induced to make his disastorous sally forth at Stone Arabia earlier in the day by two deserters from his own army who informed Col. Brown that the attacking force on the north side of the river was weak, rather discredits the off repeated story that VanRensselaer in his letter to Brown promised to attack Johnson's rear and then deliberately neglected to do so and was thereby solely to blame for Brown's disaster. Johnson further states that he got important information from papers (probably including VanRensselaer's letter) taken from Col. Brown's body which induced him to hurry along, stopping only to burn everything except a fortified house at Fox's (on Caroga creek) " but burned everything else about and above Fox's all the way to George Klock's near the Fort Hendrick ford" but was "obliged to take to the woods to avoid three or four fortified houses that entirely commanded the roads and flatts ... where we found ourselves opposed in going down the High Road by the enemy from behind fences and orchards. I immediately ordered a strong Detachment to a height upon our left which commanded the Road, with the remainder of the Troops I pushed down the Hill, crossed the Road, and formed in the open field, the enemy firing and retreating to some distance under their Fort at Klocks". Here is definite identification of the real Fort Klock of the Revolution as Col. Jacob Klock's home located where the late Shelden E. Klock 4 resided at the time of his death. Also the original Harrison Patent map taken from the original Ehle deed to Lot. No. 4 plainly shows this particular variation in the road which figured in the battle and a study of the terrain leaves no room for doubt of its accuracy. The first house Johnson would avoid by taking to the woods would be Fort Hess, (Harrison Patent Lot No. 9) where Effiner Duesler 5 now lives. Next would be the stone house of Johannes Klock (Lot No. 11) now popularly referred to as Fort Klock, situated close to the river on a high rock branch. Papers in the Johannes Klock collection indicate that a trail led between this stone house and the river to Fort Nellis (6) the fortified home of Christian Nellis (Lot No. 12) located three-quarters of a mile up-stream on the flatts, about 300 feet from the river bank. No doubt there was also a connecting trail from this house to the home of Col. Jacob Klock, (Lot No. 13) which Johnson identifies as Fort Klock. The stone house and Fort Nellis commanded the flatts (also the river) but this trail was too boggy for general use and the maift trail was not in sight of Johannes Klock stone house being one-quarter to one-half mile from the river and over heavily timbered land. In the vicinity of Col. Klock's house the main trail evidently skirted the left side of the old church yard and cemetery, crossed the overflow of two strong springs at the rear of his house and then swung sharply to the left to avoid an abrupt rise of the ground just west of the home of the late Frank Jenks. (7)This corroborates Col. Samuel Clyde's and other witnesses as well as Johnson have located them on a hill in a position that commanded the road. Johnson being in the wood was on the right of this main road until he passed Col. Klock's fortified home which brought him to George Klock's as he says, then heading for the river he passed this knoll on his left (between it and George Klock's house) posted his Indians, in the scrub oak that covered the knoll, to ambush VanRensselaer's oncoming troops at this commanding positions, then crossed the road and formed his regulars in a line stretching out to the river penisula frequently referred to in the accounts of this battle. This peninsula did exist and the water around it was swift and deep as any boy who lived in St. Johnsville fifty years ago can testify, for at the downstream tip of this peninsula was the old swimming hole until the Barge Canal digging destroyed it. It was directly opposite the first coal trestle built later by the railroad. The 5-inch pipe lines laid to supply locomotives with water from the spring near Col. Klock's home still exist and can be painly seen where exposed to view in crossing the roadside ditch about 300 feet west of the gas station ( 9) recently operated by the late Warren Smith. ODDLY ENOUGH, THIS PIPE LINE IS IDENTICAL WITH JOHNSON'S BATTLE LINE. Van Rensselaer attempted to form his left on the flatts to oppose Johnson's right on the river bank but they were still at a great distance from the enemy right when the ambushing Indians firelupon Van Rensselaer who testified that he too had taken to the woods and being higher up the hill than Johnson was looking down on Johnson's Indians so that when he ran behind their own lines toward the river and his pursuit of them soon brought him where he was receiving the fire of his own comrades. Dubois also testified very positively that where the enemy crossed the river was not a common fording place and that the "Bank was breast high from the water and the water was as deep." Such conditions existed but a short distance from the peninsula (10) both above and below it. There were many similar places between the peninsula and the regular ford which was nearly one and a half miles upstream and guarded by a fort on either bank. Johnson's own testimony that they crossed the river directly into the woods without delay corroborates this testimony and in his orderly book refers to the "Egyptian" darkness that prevailed. Dubois testified at the Van Rensselaer trial that darkness was upon them within 15 minutes after the battle began and another witness said it was not more than 30 minutes. Evidently the story of Johnson's camp was a myth as was the story of his men racing to the regular ford. It was a surprise and a complete rout forcing the enemy to plunge into the river at the nearest point they were able to reach. They escaped under cover of water, woods and darkness, every man for himself. There was no assembled army for Van Rensselaer to find and any attempt by his exhausted troops to pursue in darkness would have been foolhardy. A period of 15 or even 30 minutes would not have sufficient time for anyone to go upstream any distance and return as some of the Colonial pursurers were assumed by MacWethy to have done. There must have been some grim satisfaction to Col. Jacob Klock to have such a realistic demonstration by a regular army man baffled by the same conditions which had so often baffled his own efforts to collect his unequipped and half-starved men and pursued the wily foe whose aim was the stealthy destruction of lives and property and escape with little risk to their own skins. This the endless forests enabled them to do, leaving their pursuers the victims of bitter criticism by their own people for failure due to circumstances beyond their control.
William Harper, the ambitious Schoharie militiaman had incessantly antagonized and criticized Col. Jacob Klock at every opportunity.
He had practically undertaken to dictate to Gen VanRensselaer. It was his complaints and criticism more than any other that led to the court martial of General VanRensselaer. At the trial he was discredited and the General vindicated, but as MacWethy pointed out the historians continued to besmirch the General's record with Harper's false charges. No trial was ever staged to vindicate Col. Klock but the vindication of Van Rensselaer was an essential vindication of Col. Klock from the many jealous charges brought against him by Harper for similar failures at Cherry Valley and other remote points.
Mac Wethy's able analysis of the Van Rensselaer case is a most hopeful sign that at some future date the record of Col. Jacob Klock and other heroes of the Revolution may yet receive the recognition that their services really merited instead of the false criticisms and jealous attacks of their foes both within and with out their ranks.
Herkimer at Oriskany, St. Calir at Ticonderoga, Phillip Schuyler before Saratoga, Col. Klock at Cherry Valley and Andrustown, and General Van Rensselaer at Klock's field were all the victims of unjust criticisms. They were the real heroes who gave their best and won the Revolutionary War against unbelievable odds and under unappreciated difficulties.
The battle of Klock's field exemplifies this fact and its true story is worthy of a much more wider notice than it has ever received. Marking its actual location would engage much more public interest and stimulate and aid the descendants of Revolutionary ancestry as well as others to a comprehension of what the pioneer, who established this great country of ours, endured.
Footnotes researched and prepared by Anita Smith, Montgomery County Historian and Director of the Klock's Churchyard Preservation Group.
1980 - Residents
1. Home of Marcia Mumma- Hillabrandt Road
2. Home of Eugene Wagner Family
3. Home of Edward Damin Family
4. R. Smida Home
5. Mother Creek Farm
6. Site is southwest of Nellis Tavern (see Rufus Grider picture)
7. Betty Dygert Home
8. Southwest of St. Johnsville town barn
9. Harrison's TV
10. South of Lyon Avenue
WHERE OUR PIONEERS SLEEP
From St. John's Reformed Church Records of St. Johnsville,N.Y.
OLD BURYING GROUND EAST OF VILLAGE-A HISTORIC SHRINE
Graves of Henry Klock and Christian Nellis First Settlers in this Vicinity. Col. Jacob Klock and His Brother George Klock and Rev. John Henry Dysslin Lie Here but Graves are Unmarked. Many Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in This Place. First Grave Yard and Church Site in This Section.
Reprinted from the Enterprise and News, St. Johnsville, N.Y.
A scant half mile east of this village and a few hundred feet to the rear of Leslie M. Nellis' residence is the site of our first reformed church and the burying ground in which at least two pioneer settlers sleep in marked graves. It is also the burial place of Col. Jacob Klock and his brother George Klock and Rev. John H. Dyesslin, first pastor of St. John's Reformed Church of this village. Many graves are here marked only by limestone. slabs upon which no inscription is graven and no way of knowing whose remains repose below. It is a quaint God's Acre and dates back to the first white settlement in 1723 over two centuries ago. Here the primitive log church was built and here the first Christian burials were made. Tradition also maintains that in a portion of this ground Christian Indians were buried and undoubtly the slaves of the early pioneers were interred in this spot. For over 75 years this was used as a burying ground. There were private burials previous to the 18th century as indicated by the many private plots through the countryside, but here around "Klock's Church," were interred the members of Calvanistic faith and here they sleep many in unmarked graves.
In 1914 Royden Woodward Vosburgh edited the old church papers and a copy was placed in the State Library and the Genealogical Society of New York as also with the trustees of St. John's Reformed church of this village. From this we are permitted to copy that portion by Mr. Vosburgh which bears on this first burying ground. The chapter is headed.
CHURCH BURYING GROUND
By- R. W. Vosburgh
At the present day (1914) the burying ground at the site of Klocks' church is the strongest argument that a church stood there. I copied the inscriptions on the grave stones in this burying ground, on May 3, 1914. A considerable number of the graves are unmarked and there are many roughly hewed limestones, not even shaped like gravestones, which bear no traces of inscriptions. The burying ground occupies the central part of the 7.72 acre lot indicated on the map dated April 21, 1842. It adjoins a private burying ground in the rear part of the 3.60 acre lot of Robert Nellis. The ground is now occupied by an orchard. On the rear of the seven acre lot, are several stone terraces extending one above the other on the rising ground. These terraces were constructed while Moses Quinby owned the property and were used in the cultivation of grape vines. In my opinion the orchard was set out by Moses Quinby if not by the Nellis brothers. To the rear of the orchard on the southerly side , is a space about 80 feet square on level ground where there are no trees. Near the center of this space are two stone, broken off or else sunken deep in the ground evidently the head and foot stones of a grave, which faced in an easterly direction.
Tradition has it that the Rev. John Henry Dysslin was buried under the pulpit of Klock's church. Mr. Leslie Nellis pointed these stones out to me, as marking the spot where the Rev. Mr. Dysslin was buried. He stated that his father Reuben Nellis, was the authority for this statement and added that in his opinion this grave marks the spot where the pulpit of Klock's church stood. (It is understood he was buried after the church was torn down-the stone in question has faint marking that may have been a monogram HD-J H D but the site is differently located than where my father located it.) Note by Mr. N.
As the grave stones which were copied seem to be pretty well grouped it is not thought necessary to indicate their position on a map. Particularly as if a map had been made, it would have consisted principally of unmarked graves. The numbers opposite the inscriptions refer to notes which follow after them. There are between 75 and 100 graves that are now visible.
1. Here lies the body of Margaret Klock, widow of Johannes Klock, deceased, who departed this life January 14th, 1800, aged 87 years, 1 month and 11 days.
2. Next inscription, illegible; limestone.
3. In memory of Anna Klock, wife of Jacob I. Klock, who was born February 15th, 1752 and departed this life October 17, 1804. Aged 52 years 8 months and two days.
4. Here lies the body of Dorata Klock, daughter of John I. Klock, she was born the 20th day of September, 1777, and departed this life 4th day of February, 1800, aged 22 years 4 months and 14 days.
5. Dd. this life Jo. Klock 1822.
6. Betty Klock Dd. in 1831 & her age 27 yer. 1 mo. and 22 days.
7. By K. Footstone to No. 6
8. Do. Klock- Dd. 1805 First W. to JGK.
9. * 1802 Eve Klock aged 3 years 6 M. & 6 days
10. Wm. Klock aged 3 Mo. 18 days
11. * Eth Klock, Dd. 1836 - 4th wife to J.G.K.
13. * J.G.Klock, departed this life 1846 his age 77 years months 10 days.
14. N. Klock, Dd. 1828 her age 17 (?) Y. 5 M-23 D.
15. In memory of Elizabeth wife of George Putman who died Feb. lst 1830 Ae. 34 years, 5 months and 4 days.
16. In memory of Catherine wife of Ashbel Loomis, died May 28 1831, in her 41st year.
17. C.L., footstone to No. 16
18. Dewitt C., son of David and Lydia Hose, died Feb. 13th 1847. Ae. 2 yrs. 3 mos. & 28 days.
19. D.C.H. Footstone to No. 18
20. Elisabet D. Nellis, war Gestorben, May 16 im jahr 1793 alt worden 66 jahrs mont.
21. Next stone similar in appearance to No. 20. limestone inscription illegible.
22. Hier Ruhet in Gott Elisa Dedarbol ist geboren im jahr 1758 und gestrobe N Den 18 Merdz. Anno 1790.
23. Christian Nellis, Senior Gestroben ano 1771 (?) alt Worden 74 Jahr.
24. Companion Stone to No. 23; inscription illegible; limestone
25. Here Ley H.K. 1760 92.
26. Here lies the body of Asher Cox who departed this life June ye 30th 1771 in the 28th year of his age. Think of man as you go by As you are now so once was I As I am now so you will be Prepare for death and follow me.
27. Here lies the body of Shephred Cox who departed his Life June ye 3rd 1749 in ye 23 yr. of his age.
From the private burying ground of Robert Nellis:
28. Robert Nellis born May 4th 1785 died oct. 4, 1868.
29. Katie Dysslin, wife of Robert Nellis, born July 2, 1793, Died Nov. 22, 1868.
MR. VOSBURGH's NOTES ON INSCRIPTIONS
1 Gravestones No. 1,3, and 4 are of red sandstone. The type that lasts so well. The inscriptions are perfectly preserved.
5 to 13. This appears to be a group of one family. The stones are of rough limestone of no particular shape. The most pretentious stone is No. 13 which has been cut in the shape of a grave stone. Three of the wives of Joseph G. Klock are buried here. This is the family of Joseph G. Klock a great grandson of Henrich Klock, born 1769, only 9 years after Hendrick Klock's death.
8. The inscription on this stone is copied exactly as it appears.
13 1 have already alluded to my lack of reliable data, concerning the Klock family. This is the gravestone of Joseph G. Klock, who was the son of George G. Klock and grandson of the old George or Urie. He was elected a trustee of St. John's Church on Dec. 26, 1804. He succeeded Andrew Zobriskie as treasurer of the board of trustees, on August 22, 1807. At the time of the incorporation of July 6, 1816 he was the senior elder.
According to the deed from Christian Klock to Jacob Saunders dated June 13, 1820 * * *Joseph G. Klock was the owner of the northwesterly part of lot No. 13 in the Harrison patent, the part which lay to the east and north west of Christian Klock's land. The gravestone of Joseph G. Klock although of comparatively recent date is difficult to read as to the dates. Family Bible record of Joseph G. Klock born 1846, died 1867, age 77 years.
18 and 19. This grave was the last interment that took place in the burying ground. It is in a group of old rough limestones which appear to be among the oldest in the burying ground. This burial was evidently made on top of old graves. Reuben Nellis stated he remembered when a boy interments being made on old graves which were not known to be there till the new graves were dug.
20. Elizabeth D. Nellis has died May 16, in the year 1793. Was aged 66 years 3 months.
21. This stone and No. 20 are isolated by themselves only one other grave near them.
22. (Translation) Here lies in God, Elisa Bedarabol. Is born in year 1758 and died the 18th March, year 1790.
Refer to the copy of the inscription for the name of this person, I am unable to say definitely where the first name ends and the last name begins.
23. Christian Nellis, Died year 1771. Was aged 74 years. Several words are illegible on this stone. This is the gravestone of Christian Nellis, Senior (Can be read on the stone.)
25 Undoubtably the grave of Hendrick Klock who died in 1760 aged 92. Bible record of Joseph G. Klock confirms it.
According to Simms George Klock the elder had a daughter who married Col. Ebenezer Cox( who was killed at Oriskany August 6, 1777. Abstract of the will of Ebenezer Cox, Tryon Co.
Wife Elizabeth, sons and daughters. Real and personal estate. Executors, Robert Cox, Jacob G. Klock and John Frey. No witnesses. Will proven by testimony of William Detry of Kingsland district same county, esquire as to handwriting Dated Feb. 18, 1777; proved March 26, 1779.
Elizabeth Klock, daughter of Jurrie (George) Klock and Maria Catharina Walrad, was baptised in 1750; See Stone Arabia German Reformed records. The above may to some extent explain the presence of these two Cox gravestones in the Klock graveyard.
28 and 29. The graves are the only ones left in the Nellis burying ground All the other bodies have been removed to the village cemetery at St. Johnsville. Katie Dysslin was a daughter of Rev. John Henry Dysslin.
* Moses Quinby was prominent in local affairs in the middle of the last century. He was a bee keeper and an authority on bee culture. His treatise on bee keeping is still consulted. He was first inventor of moveable honey frames. While in possession of the land where the cemetery is located he planted flowering,fruit trees, grapes and other shrubs suitable for bee culture. It was a beauty spot while under his management. The old grape terraces still remain. Quinby is mentioned in obituary notice of his nephew Thomas Underhill, Enterprise and News May 30, 1928.) - Editor.
I would like to thank Anita Smith for her enthusiasm and Gretchen for her patience with a minister who tries to write. Thanks to the staffs at the Montgomery County Archives and the Margaret Reaney Memorial Library, Violet Fallone, JoAnne Warn, Jeanne Brownell, Angelina DeTraglia, Dawn Lamphere, and Ellen Mancini. Thanks to Milford Decker for his help with research, and Jane Goralski, Katherine Feldstein, and Hazel Bode for suggesting this project to me.
I would like to specially thank Wayne Lenig, Whose knowledge of Tryon County
THE REFORMED CHURCH AND JOHNSON'S GREAT RAID
by Reverend Robert Gram,
St. John's Reformed Church, St. Johnsville, New York
Reverend Johann Daniel Gros knew about ecclesiastical hardship long before he settled as pastor of the Reformed Calvinist Church of Canajoharie. Educated at the universities of Marburg and Heidelberg, Gros arrived in America on December 1, 1764. Armed with his diplomas, he had left Webenheim hoping to receive ordination in Holland, the theological stamp of approval he needed to serve a Dutch or German Reformed Church in the New World. The journey from Webenheim was delayed and in order to catch the first outgoing ship, Gros bypassed Holland and church policy. Fortunately for Gros, a classmate of his by the name of Hendel was also on board. In the New World, at a meeting of all the Reformed churches (The Coetus), Hendel, who was properly ordained, vouched for the intellectual fitness and piety of his friend. The Coetus examined Gros, and found that, "His delivery was defective, but his credentials from Marburg and Heidelburg were genuine and fine." (1)
The Coetus ordained Gros, a procedure which was highly suspect by the parent organization in Holland. By the mid 18th Century, the demand for Reformed ministers exceeded the supply Holland could send. Faced with this dilemma, Reformed Churches in the New World banded together and began to ordain ministers on their own. Holland objected to this procedure, but could do little more than watch from a distance. Domine Gros was an example of how the exigence of the colonies outweighed the ecclesiastical formality of the religious mother country.
The churches in Pennsylvania proved to be the second hurdle confronting the newly ordained minister. From the report of the Coetus of September 3--4, 1766, we read that Gros was, "As upright a man as competent, diligent a person as can be desired. He has labored with so much zeal and diligence in his four congregations where many ministers would not have wanted to locate, by reason of the woods, rocks, water, and the rudeness of the people..."(2) The environment and a querelous congregation were not the only problems Gros had to face. The report also notes that the Reverend, "Was with four poor ruined congregations, which were almost completely broken up by Indians and adventurers." (3)
The ecclesiastical obstacles he faced in Pennsylvania may have prepared him for what followed in New York. After a brief stint as pastor of the German Reformed Church at Kingston, Gros was called to the Reformed Calvinist Church of Canajohary, a church which was located west of the present village of Fort Plain. Along with his work in the pulpit, Gros actively took part in the cause for independence. He was a chaplain for the militia, and commander at Fort Plain while the greater part of that garrison was engaged in the Battle of Oriskany. (4) Gros' letter to Captain Dygert, dated August 12, 1777, indicates that he was more than an armchair soldier. The letter reads in part:
Last evening I returned from an Expedition, which I hope will strike terror into our Scandalous Enemies. I took such a Part, that if your Scheme had succeeded would have brought the Enemy entirely into our Hands. We did send out Scouting Parties 'Last Morning to different Places; one in particular to the Jacheiser Kill, who went down 4 miles downward of the Vlys; but could discover nothing. an other Report said that the Enemy was in a Cove on a branch of Ashroake Creek; but we did find upon our return from the Lake, that it was not so, this part having been scouted by the Springfield Men. I must think that the Enemy was at or about Adam Young's, so I took my March to that Place with a Party of 42 excellent Men. We could come so near, that we could discover that no Troops appeared there; therefore I thought, we would bring of (f) Adam Young, his Wife Cattie and family. But Capt. Eckeler & the good People, prayed with Tears in their eyes, that we would desist from doing that, for their own safety. My whole party fell to their side. And so we went up to the House with the whole Body Scaring Adam Young & Wife into the Bush. I endeavored to break the Plot, by promising Pardon, to them who would surrender themselves in about Three Days, by telling the friends of the Tories, that in a short time, at least in 4 days, a Reward would be laid upon every Tory who would be taken dead or alive. That at present the Bush was full of our Militia on all sides, that the(y) must thank our friends, their Neighbors, that not their Persons, Cattle & everything, was not at Present taken or destroyed. I think that this and the like Exertions will strike terror into the Tory Club. (5)
At the close of the letter, Gros implies that the dead or alive bounty on Tories was more than a scare tactic. He suggests that the Indians could be induced by, "A Reward-for the Tories per head." (6) Perhaps Gros' feeling is understandable, if not defensible, given the situation in the Mohawk Valley. Gros' letter, and another, written by the dominie not long after the first, were occasioned by a vicious attack of fifty Indians, and a sizeable number of Tories on Canajohary and its outskirts. People were killed, among them Isaac Paris who seems to have been a friend of the pastor's. Crops were destroyed. People were left hungry. In the later letter, dated September 8, 1777, Gros notes that, "Parts about the Canajohary Castle were on the Brink of Ruin... no force could be collected; I was forced to call upon my Congregation in order to disperse the enemy. (7) The Reformed church could fight as well as worship.
Gros' congregation would continue to fight--and suffer. On August 2, 1780, a Loyalist force of Indians leveled Canajohary. Led by chiefs Joseph Brant and Cornplanter, the raiding party killed 17 (two more were scalped but survived), destroyed 52 houses, 42 barns and the Reformed Church which Gros served. Everything was put to the torch. Fifty-two prisoners; were taken. Of that number, 24 were 10 years of age or younger. Four of the children were a year old. Men discovered their wives and children had vanished with the enemy. Families were splintered; families of Gros' congregation. (8)
The situation was grave. Writing to Governor Clinton four days after the disaster, General Van Rensselaer assessed Canajoharie in particular, and Tryon County in general. He writes; "The number of Widows and orphans who are left in this Country without a Friend to afford them any relief is great, except what little it has been in my Power to grant them, which was small indeed having scarcely sufficient to feed the Troops from Hand to Mouth". (9) As the General indicates, the food situation was desperate. On August 18, 1780, a petition asking for permission to draw provisions was sent to Governor Clinton. The petition represents the plea of 44 women and children. It states:
Humbly Sheweth, That your Poor Petitioners are all Widows, who are left with large Families of Children; our husbands are all killed by the Indians, and now lately, the Indians has Burn'd our houses and -Barns, and taken away, and Destroy'd all our Horses and Cows. And your Petitioners dare not venture home, to get our Harvest in. So that we, and our Fatherless Children are reduc'd to Poverty, and must inevitable want, if not reliev'd by your Excellencies Humanity and Bounty. (10)
Perhaps the flinty congregation of Dominie Gros survived the disaster of 1780 because, in part, they had been through it before. Carrying on without a church, the congregation held services in the nearby barn of Johannes Lipe, (11)
As the church Gros served makes evident, the bloody skirmishes which affected the freedom fighting colonists, also affected the Reformed Church. (12) Siding with the Whigs in the cause for independence meant that the Reformed Church in the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys were subject to the devastation of war. This fact is vividly seen in John Johnson's Great Raid, a campaign which followed shortly after the destruction of Canajoharie. John Johnson, son of Sir William, was heir to his father's holdings in Tryon County. He was forced to flee to Canada because of his Loyalist activities, however, he returned, time and again, to plunder the area. which had been his former home. The raid in October of 1790 was his master stroke. Certainly the Schoharie and Mohawk valleys, breadbaskets of the Revolution, had to be crippled agriculturally. (It is estimated that Tryon County alone lost over 150,000 bushels of wheat during the war. (13) Johnson also realized that a grand slam performance against crops had to be coupled with the destruction of homes and businesses. Johnson's campaign seems to have been of the blitzkrieg kind. The idea was to savage everything, quickly.
On October 16, Brant, Cornplanter, and Johnson began their campaign within three miles of the Upper End of the settlement of Schoharie. (The Upper End was the southernmost section of the settlement.) The collector of Revolutionary War anecdote, Jeptha Simms, notes that Johnson had given instructions to spare the churches. (14) There is reason to believe this bit of information is apocryphal, or at best a half truth. Certainly Reformed Churches were not spared. Johnson, in his report, indicates that little was. He writes: "...I ordered the whole to move forward, burning, killing, and destroying everything within fifty yards of their Forts to the End of the Settlement.." (15)
The first church to experience Johnson's fury was the Low Dutch Church at Middleburgh. A Mrs.Van Slyke told Simms that the church, a wooden structure, was modeled after the Dutch Church in Albany. Painted white, and "well finished within", it was put to the torch.(16) In Annals of Tryon County ,Campbell writes that Johnson had asked the troops to spare the church, however, "He found that with such an army he had only the power of doing injury, and contrary orders were never obeyed-- it too was burned. (17) Simms writes that William Crysler, a Tory, acted as the arsonist because of a personal grudge he had against members of the congregation. In the light of what we know about the Johnson campaign, it is likely that part of his army did the job. And yet the Crysler idea is tantalizing.
Crylser was a leading Tory name in the Schoharie valley, and part of this family settled in Canada after the war.(18) William Crysler saw action in one of the most notorious of British outfits, Butler's Rangers.(19) If Crysler did set fire to the church because of a grudge, his motive may indeed be lost to history. Yet from what we can glean from the ecclesiastical picture in Schoharie let me offer, ever so tentatively, a reason for his action.
The Crysler family seems to have been a pillar of St.Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Schoharie.(20) Like the Cryslers, the minister for many years at St. Paul's, a man named Sommer, was an ardent Tory. An entry in Sommer's Journal, dated April 13, 1767, records the problem the Lutheran pastor faced with individuals of the Reformed faith. Sommer writes:
I rode to Brechebein and although I had resolved before God and also publicly announced that the following Saturday, being the 14th of April, I would hold preparatory service and on the 15th of April, being Quastimodogeneti Sunday, catechize in Joh. Wilh. Bauch's house, no one applied and I only preached, at which service there were from my congregation of Upper Brechebein present only Adam Zahe and Jacob Schafer. The reason was the great schism caused by the people of Upper Brechebein, who of their authority resolved to hold public meetings and divine service on Sundays at which a man of the Reformed faith and a declared enemy of the Lutherans, namely Henrich Johannes Kniskern, was to act as fore-singer. (21)
Rev. Sommer preached at the home of one of his parishioners, and only two were in attendance. The others, it is implied, were lured away by a blend of theology and politics. The "public meetings" may have been in response to the Townsend Acts which were bandied about Parliament as early as January of 1767. (The Acts were designed to suspend the New York Assembly, and to issue a new set of revenue taxes.) (22) Perhaps Sommer was afraid that part of his congregation would desert to the whig cause, a fear which was not unfounded.
The Henrich Heger he mentions in his Journal later did take up arms, along with his four sons, against England. Johannes Kniskern seems to have been a solid member of the pastor's church, (23) and yet three of his nephews sided with the cause for independence-(24) In fact two of them, Jacob and John, served under Heger. John was stationed in the Lower Fort of Schoharie when Johnson passed through the valley. (25) Heger, then, was a sheep stealer.
In this roundabout way, we arrive back to William Crysler. If William did set fire to the Low Dutch Church at Middleburgh-and again this is debatable-- the cause may have been a feud between the Lutheran and Reformed churches. This is not to say that Lutheran churches sided with the Loyalists, or that Lutheran and Reformed churches were always feuding during this period. The Tryon County vigilance shows that Lutherans and those of the Reformed faith plotted together for the cause of independence. In the Schoharie Settlement, however, Sommer's Journal suggests there was friction between denominations.
Leaving the realm of conjecture, I return to the burning church. Nothing could be done for four years, presumably because the economic life of the area had been smashed. However, a petition was written to the state legislature for aid in October of 1784. The petition states:
To the honorable Legislator of the State of New York Convened in Senate and assembly. The petition of the Reformed Low Dutch Congregation of Schohary Most humbly Sheweth That whereas Sir John Johnson with a party of British Regular Tories and Indians on the 17th day of October 1780 Came and allmost Destroy'd the Settlement of Schohary by fire and otherways among which was the Church of your petitioners which was intirely Burnt and Destroyed on the Said day which was valued at five hundred -pounds wherefore your petitioners apply to your honorable houses for Relief, as it is well known to Several of the member of your honorable houses that we are Distress'd to the utmost Degree and not able to Build for themselves instead of a church altho it should be the first thing done to worship the almighty. your petitioners further most humbly implore your honorable houses to take their Case into their Serious Consideration and afford them such Relief in the promises as they shall think meet and your petitioners in Duty Bound shall ever pray. (26)
Whether the petition was ever sent is a moot question; if it was, no tangible results were derived from it.
What is theologically interesting about the letter is that the petitioners felt they had succumbed to human weakness in building homes for themselves before undertaking the construction of a church. This thinking astounds me, living as I do in an age when most people do not give five cents to support the local churches. The letter implies that the edifice is important to the worship of God. Today, on the other hand, we tend to play down the importance of the building. The church we say, is the worshiping human community. Perhaps we (and I am especially talking to ministers) would attach greater theological significance to the church building if, like our forbears, we saw this tangible sign of belief wasted by an enemy.
Six months later, the congregation circulated another petition which raised about 500 pounds for the new building. This document also sheds light on the theological mind-set of the devastated congregation. The petition states, in part: Since we (the Reformed Low-Dutch Congregation of this Place) have been in Want for a public Building for the Service of God, from the Time our Church was burnt and laid into Ashes, until this Day; We thought it proper, that after peace were made with Men, we Should make Peace with our God, which we have so cruelly offended. ( 27)
Although the Tories had visited destruction on the Low Dutch church, nevertheless the congregation believed they, too, shared responsibility for their ruin. They felt they had offended God in some way. Perhaps the congregation conceived of God the same way they viewed Johnson's force--as a symbol of wrath.
On October 17, 1785, the fifth anniversary of the destruction of their church, the Low Dutch congregation circulated a petition asking for assistance from other congregations in New York. The petition states in part: "The Said Congregation have made a beginning to Rebuild the Same again, but having their own private buildings Like wise Laid in ashes and otherways Distressed by the Said Enemy, do not think themselves Capable of performing the Same without the help and assistance of good Charitable people of other Congregations..."(28) The petition indicates that the process of building had already begun. Work on the structure continued through 1786, and on November 18, 1787, the pastor preached the first sermon in the new church. (29)
The High Dutch Church of Schoharie was the second ecclesiastical structure Johnson's troops attacked as they moved northward that day. Unlike the church in Middleburgh, the High Dutch Church was built of limestone and sandstone. Realizing its value as a fort, the patriots enclosed the church with a log stockade. Block houses were erected on the northeast and southwest corners of the enclosure, and, along the west wall, rude huts were thrown up for temporary dwellings in case of attack, (30)
When John did attack, according to Simms, sharpshooters were lodged in the church's tower, women and children sought refuge in the sanctuary, and a magazine was placed beneath the pulpit. Johnson was met with a salvo of grape shot and cannister; the marksmen in the tower also saw action that day. (31) owing to the ineptitude of the mortar squad, Johnson had trouble returning fire.(32) Finally they found the range. Simms notes that Johnson used a brass six-pounder (cannon) and that he hit the church with three shots which"caused the building to tremble like a leaf in the wind."(33) The church's "battle scars" suggest that the church was hit, although evidence does not support Simms' contention that the damage was produced by the brass six-pounder. Johnson had no such weapon. (See Appendix 1)
Realizing time was short, Johnson moved on, sparing the church further damage.
Before passing on to the Reformed churches in the Mohawk valley, it is important to discover what the church records tell us about church life in the two congregations. The High and Low churches were linked collegiately as well as geographically, sharing ministers until a time after the Revolutionary war. Thus during Johnson's invasion, the records of the two churches were combined.
It is interesting to note the statistics in the record book. The number of marriages decreases after 1775, and, in 1779, there is but one marriage recorded. There are no marriages recorded until the year 1782 at which time there was one marriage. The following year also brought one marriage. In 1784 the number increases by two. The minutes of consistory end on August 1, 1778; the next entry is dated February 13, 1784. Six people were brought into the church by confession of faith on August 8, 1779. The next entry is September 18, 1785 when a record number of 43 were taken into the church. The record shows that 6 people were baptized on August 8, 1779; the next recorded baptism takes place in March, 1782. (34)
The records indicate that church life was drastically affected by war, and particularly by John Johnson's October invasion. The church record also reflects the unstable condition of the pastorate, which may or may not be attributed to the war. After the Reverend Johannes Schuyler died on April 16, 1779, the churches were vacant, although they were regularly supplied by four different pastors. Ecclesiastical life seems to have ceased around 1780. And certainly for the Middleburgh church, if not for both, a semblance of normalcy was reached only 5 or 6 years after Johnson's invasion.
At the close of a day filled with rapine, the Johnson force spent the night above the third fort at the northern end of the Schoharie settlement. The next day they entered the Mohawk valley and, as Johnson notes, destroyed everything on both sides of the river from Fort Hunter to the Noses. (35) In May of 1780 Johnson had fallen on Caughnawaga (Fonda); in the fall he was bent on completing his task of destruction. Caughnawaga was ravaged again, but the Reformed church there remained unscathed. The reason for the church's immunity, according to the Reformed church historian W.N.P.Dailey, was that it was located on lands which had belonged to the Butler family.(36) In her history of the Fonda Reformed Church, Lillian Van Dusen notes that the land of the first church may have been part of the Butler estate. (37) One of the most notorious of Tory families, the Butler's lived in Fonda. (38) However, photocopies of deeds for the land upon which the church and parsonage were built make no mention of the Butler name. (39) That the church was spared because it stood on land of a Loyalist family is erroneous. The Butler family was involved with the church, as marriage and baptismal records indicate, but it is debatable whether the Butler influence helped the church. I think there are two reasons why the church escaped destruction. First, it was built of stone. And secondly, as the letter, dated June 3, 1778, indicates, the Caughnawaga church found service as a fort. We were this day in the Fort at Johnstown, with a few invalids. About six o'clock in the evening, one Philip Pillet an old servant of Major Fonda--a worthy man, came and informed that halfway between Sacandaga and Johnstown, in the wood near his house, he saw about 100 Indians painted with their war colours. He knew someone's who were there who took George Cock and his son, Charles Marinus and several others prisoners. While he was swearing to this, two expresses arrived at the Fort, stating that the Indians were destroying all before them in that quarter; and were then near Johnstown. We then went home and brought our families into Caughnawaga Church--leaving only seven men to defend the fort--one militia have all gone to the relief of those at Cobleskill, Cherry Valley, the German Flats & C. We are only ten men strong, in the church, with one hundred women and children and this night from the best accounts expect an attack. For God sake, send a reinforcement or I fear we shall fall on easy prey to the Enemy-we also fear that some of our neighbors will act against us. (40)
I am unsure whether the attack, anticipated by the writer of the letter, occurred. However, the letter points to the likelihood that the church served as a fort during Johnson's invasion. (Also see Appendix I)
The baptismal record of the church indicates that the institution, or at least its pastor, carried on with business as usual after the attack. Less than two weeks after Johnson's force swept through the area, Dominie Romein baptized 4 children. He also baptized 23 more during the last two months of the year. Romein also performed marriages during 1780, although the number performed (4) is a decrease from the number in the previous 8 years of the Dominie's pastorate. (41) We can infer from the marriage record that the war in 1780 affected this social institution.
The earliest minutes we have of the church begin in 1783. They suggest that the organization was effectively carrying on its work, although the raids, and the war itself, were still etched in the church's consciousness-(42) The third item of business at the first meeting is of interest: Dom. proposes to the Consistory that the congregation shall bear the expenses of boards, nails, etc. for the repair of the house etc., whereupon the Consistory orders that an account shall be kept thereof and that this shall be paid. (43)
We know the consistory assembled, "At the house of Dom. Romein". (44) Thus it seems the building in need of repair was the parsonage. Whether the structure sustained damage from the war, I am unable to tell.
After camping for the night at the noses, Johnson's force moved westward, until they engaged Col. Brown's troops in the short decisive battle of Stone Arabia. The Loyalists were victorious, Brown's troops retreated to the fort, and Col. Brown himself was killed. That morning General Van Rennsselaer, who had marched with his troops from Schenectady in pursuit of Johnson, penned the following letter:
This morning about nine I arrived so near the Enemy's Rear as to afford me a prospect of engaging them before Noon. They have, however, by the Celerity of their Movements affected their escape to Stone Arabia, part of which is now in Flames & the whole will probably share the same Fate, before I can possibly support the distressed Inhabitants. I intend to ford the River immediately and march in quest of them, but harassed and fatigued as my Force is by a long March, I am apprehensive I shall not be able to pursue them with that Dispatch which is necessary to overtake them. No exertion, however, shall be wanting on my part to effect it. (44)
The Reformed Church, with the rest of the settlement, was burned. Although there is no eyewitness account, from the journal of accounts for the new church, we can tell that the church was not completely destroyed by Johnson's troops. There are two entries which point to this fact:
By Cash received from Hendrick Markell, Adam Snell &
Thomas O'Byrn for Timber of the Old Church 1 (pound) 12 (shillings) 9 pence)
By Cash received from Johannes Hees for Old Timber of the Church 3 (pounds) 3 (shillings) 9 (pence) (45)
Building operations for the new church began in May 1788, and the roof may have been completed before the winter. The interior work was not finished until the end of 1789. The new church was consecrated by the Rev. Dirk Romeyn and Rev. Pick, the Pastor, on January 31, 1790. Where the congregation worshiped during the decade preceding the new edifice can be inferred from the consistory minutes April 13, 1796: "Rev Pick from the Chair recommended for peace sake, that the Revenue of Said 5 Ackers of Land, might be granted, for this year, to the School, now commended & kept in the formerly Minister house standing on the Church land.(46) Although the church had been destroyed at the Battle of Stone Arabia, the parsonage had not, and it is probable that the congregation worshiped there during its "churchless" period.
Building a new edifice taxed the congregation to no small degree, and yet, about five years after the completion of the church, we read the following in the minutes of consistory:
Resolved, that John Zielley, shall & is hereby appointed for the purpose of receiving the Charity which shall be collected in the Ref: Dutch Church of Stonearabia, for the Purpose of relieving the distressed Prisoners in Algier. (47)
The above quote refers to an event in which individuals were being held for ransom by the Dey of Algiers. On September 5, 1795, a treaty was ratified in which the United States paid about $1000 for the hostages' release. The Stone Arabia congregation contributed a little more than 10 pounds to the cause, a noble sum considering their recent expenditure for a new church.(48)
Although the church records tell us little about the situation after Johnson's invasion, the length of time it took to construct a church points to the obvious; life was not easy for this congregation. Nor was it easy for the Lutherans of that settlement. They too, saw their log church destroyed.
After Stone Arabia, Johnson moved in a southwesterly direction, along the Stone Arabia road. He attacked the settlement around Fox's mills, but spared one of the loveliest treasures of the Mohawk Valley, The Palatine Church. Although I have been dealing with the fate of Reformed churches, let me digress and examine why this Lutheran Church was spared. Unlike the Reformed Church of Caughnawaga, it was not used as a fort. People of the area were probably ensconced in Fort Fox, when Johnson swept through. In an interview he conducted with a Peter F. Nellis, the artist-historian of the Mohawk Valley, Rufus Grider, believed that he had uncovered the reason for the Lutheran church's fortune. Peter Nellis was a descendant of the Nellis clan which sided with the Tories and later settled in Canada after the war. On a visit to the St. Johnsville area, Nellis told Grider that a brave in Johnson's party decided he would shoot a flaming arrow at the roof of the stone church. A British officer foiled his plan saying, "Before we left Canada I promised my friend Nellis that this church should not be burnt. He was one of the chief contributors towards building it, and hopes to return to his farm again when the war is over." (49)
A similar version notes that Henry W. Nellis, an individual who held office under Sir William Johnson, saved the church from the fury of the army. (50) The church stands before us, and perhaps the pleas of Nellis or a friend of Nellis spared it from damage. However, there is no documentation I could find to support these theories.
Let me offer another suggestion. Johnson had little time to dally after Stone Arabia because he knew that Van Rensselaer was on his heels. Johnson simply may not have had time to destroy the stone church, and, with nothing but his brass three-pounder, he did not have the firepower to do so. (51)
Historian Wayne Lenig notes that Johnson must have moved with great haste after attacking the area around Fox's mills, because none of the houses from there to St. Johnsville were touched. On the eastern outskirts of St. Johnsville, the two forces skirmished, then Johnson retreated across the river as night fell.
The last church I wish to cover is Klock's church, the forerunner of St. John's Reformed church, an elemental question looms: Did Klock's church exist at this time? The traditional answer is yes. But the evidence on which this answer is based is meager.
Writing in 1920, Helen E. Horn begins her history of St. John's Reformed Church by noting that in 1722, the Rev. Peter Van Driessen applied to the crown seeking to establish a mission church to the Mohawks. She correctly notes that an Indian deed for land was granted to him, and fellow missionary Ehl, in 1732. However, from this information she writes: "From such a beginning sprang the established Reformed Church in our midst," (52) The Indian deed given to Van Driessen and Ehl in 1732 was for land west of the Francis Harrison Patent. (Lot number 13 of the Harrison Patent was the site of the church,) Thus Van Driessen's land has nothing to do with the site of the earliest church in St. Johnsville. In 1947, the Reverend Norman Thomas wrote an excellent account of the history of St. John's Reformed Church. Although he correctly places the Van Driessen land west of the Harrison Patent, he nonetheless draws Van Driessen into his argument. Because Van Driessen proposed to establish a mission church for the Indians, Thomas believes this pastor may well have helped Hendrick Klock build a church on the latter's property. (53) It is hard for me to think Van Driessen helped Klock because the Dominie did not build the mission church on his own property which he had promised the Indians. In an entry in Sir William Johnson's Indian Journal, dated January 28, 1762 we read:
is another affair very disagreeable to us, and which we shall now lay before
We formerly gave a piece of Land to a Minister, on condition he should build a Church for us, which was never done. This Minister whose name was Van Dreesen deceived us, much in the manner which Klock is now about, He first came to us, told us twas very hard we should be obliged to go down to Albany to have our Children baptised, or to receive the Sacrament, but that if we would give him a piece of land he would build a Church thereon & always reside there and officiate for us, which we agreed to and accordingly gave him as much Land as would make a good large farm & which condition he never fullfilled tho' we constantly expected he would perform his promise, which when we found he was determined not to do, we naturally expected to have the Land given back to us again- We are now without any persons to instruct us in the Christian Religion, excepting three or four Visits in each year from the Rev. Mr. Ehle; and we are informed that Van Dreesen being dead, his heirs have sold the land which we intended for so good a purpose. If the Clergy are thus to deceive us, who can we rely on-he performed his promise we should now have been better people and our Children would become good Christians, but, as it hath fallen our otherwise, we beg you will take this likewise into your Consideration, and procure us justice therein. (54)
The Indians' plea to Johnson makes it plain that Van Driessen was more interested in land than converts. Indeed building churches seems to have been an inducement which the settlers used to confiscate Indian property. The mention of George Klock is germane to Klock's Church because a second theory states that it was not Hendrick, but his son George who erected an ecclesiastical structure in 1756. The earliest information about this theory comes from French's Gazeteer, a source whose reliability is questionable. (55) it is hard for me to believe that George built a church for the Indians unless he did so as a ploy to grab land. (56) The Rev. Albert Dodd Minor, pastor of St. John's Reformed Church from 1879 to 1888 also notes that the church was erected in 1756; Simms adds that it was fashioned to accommodate Indians and slaves as well as the settlers. (57)
French (58)and Minor (59) both state that the first pastor of Klock's Church, built in 1756, was a Rev. Rosenkrantz. However, I have a question whether the two writers are referring to the same individual. (See footnote 59 and Appendix 2). Simms makes no mention of the 1756 date, but he believes that the Rev. Gros preached in Klock's Church before the Revolution.(60) It wasn't uncommon for a minister of a church to preach in a nearby church which was vacant, as the call to Rev. Goetschius from the High and Low Dutch Churches of Schoharie indicates. The call dated November 10, 1757 states:
We promise to allow his reverence three or four Sundays to assist other needy brethren and pastorless Congregations, and to attend to his necessary business.(61)
It is likely that Rosenkrantz or Gros occasionally served Klock's Church if it existed. Both were in the area. (See Appendix 2) However, I have found nothing to indicate they did. Nor have I found primary evidence to indicate that a church was built in 1756. The cemetery may indicate an early church date, and yet it may have been a Klock-Nellis family plot at its earliest stage. Minor writes that Klock's Church was formally organized as a German Reformed Church in 1770. (62) Again, we are faced at this time with a lack of primary evidence.
The first mention of Klock's Church in the Reformed Church records comes from a journal dealing with accounts for the new church edifice on the Zimmerman property. We read:
Palatine January 4th 1805. Recd from John L. Bellinger, Henry Beekman, Adam A. Walrath, Jacob Zimmerman &, A. Zebriskie, Trustees of the Reformed St. Johns Church, the Sum of four Pounds & two Shillings, in full for the account I hold against Klock's Church. (63)
We also find another pertinent entry in this record book. Dated February 4, 1804, it states:
Monies due to Bellinger on a Note given to Jacob Zimmerman by Jacob G. Klock/ Christ. Fox John L. Bellinger, Conrad Lown & Corns. C Beekman for Church land dated 5th day of march 1792. (64)
The Consistory paid Zimmerman for land to build a new church in 1792. Rev. Norman Thomas is correct in thinking this information argues strongly against the possibility suggested by historians Dailey (65) and Vosburgh (66) that Klock's Church was built in 1786. (67) Would the consistory think of building again when the log church was only six years old?
Given the above information, I believe Klock's Church was built shortly before the Revolution, and stood as a mute witness to the Battle of Klock's field. From the report of the battle given at the trial of General Van Rensselaer, it is likely that part of the battle was fought near the area where the church stood. (68) It is doubtful that the British had time to burn anything during the battle. Thus the church was spared. Certainly this is only a guess, and it cannot be substantiated. Someday we may find a document, a deed, perhaps, or a bit of correspondence, which will tell us the true date of the church. Until then we can do no more than guess.
From the evidence of his raid through the Schoharie and Mohawk valleys, one might be led to conclude that Sir John had little use for churches or religion in general. This is untrue as his letter to Col. Claus indicates. (Montreal, October 21, 1786) Johnson writes:
cannot omit mentioning to you for the Information of the Society, and for
the benefit I hope of the Poor People Interested, that there are a large body
of Protestants settled on the South of Montreal, at Shambly St. Johns, Isle
Aux Moix, South River, River laCole (0), Caldwell's Manor and on Mr. Jordan's
Estate Massisomke (P), on the Northwest side, principally composed of refugees
from the Colonies, who have relinquished all they possessed and consequently
not in a situation to defray the Expense of a Minister's attendance on them.
All those settlements are within a day's Journey of Montreal and would be
attended by Mr. Delisle with more convenience and less Expense and trouble
to him than to any other Clergyman on account of their Vicinity to, and his
attendance on the Garrison of St. Johns. I should, therefore, conceive that
he would be a very proper person, and he would readily undertake it would
an allowance of about L 30 pr. Ann. to defray the Expense of travelling, &
c. You may state this matter in such a manner as will be most agreeable to
you; it will be promoting the Protestant Religion and Serving a Man with a
large family. ~We are much surprised not to have heard of any steps being
yet taken for the Establishment of Clergymen, in the Settlement above this--which
are increasing amazingly and improving beyond any thing you can conceive;
it is, therefore, a pitty they should be neglected. (69)
One final note. Johnson was not unfamiliar with the Reformed Church he destroyed at Stone Arabia. He had taken the part of a sponsor for a John Butlar who was born on April 22, 1768, and baptized in the church or parsonage shortly thereafter.(70)
Pamphlet, "The Rev. John Daniel Groslo, Montgomery County
Archives, Fonda, p. 2. N. Berton Alter, "Rev. Johann Daniel Gros; Fighting- Preacher with Mohawk Valley Militia. During the Revolution". The Palatiner, August, 1952, pp. 10-14.
2 Pamphlet, "The Rev. John Daniel Gros", p. 4.
4 Alter, "Rev. Johann Daniel Gros," p. 19.
5 Pamphlet, "The Rev. John Daniel Gros", No page given.
8 The State of New York, The Public Papers of George Clinton, (Albany: J.B. Lyon Company, State Printers, 1902), Vl, pp. 77, 78, 108.
9 Ibid., p. 107.
10 Ibid., p. 123.
11 Royden Vosburgh, ed., Records of the Reformed Dutch Church at Fort Plain: Formerly Known as the Reformed Calvinist Church of Canajohary (N.Y.: Transcribed by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1918), 1, p. Xl.
12 The Dutch Reformed Church, by in large, sided with the cause for independence. Writing in 1876, Professor Scott of Hope College listed 41 ministers of the Protestant Dutch Church in New York and New Jersey. Of this number, four were Tories. Three of the four were foreign born. See Centennial Discourses ( New York: Board of Publication of the Reformed Church in America, 1877), P. 524. While Dutch and German Reformed congregations generally sided with the Whigs, there were also a minority of committed Tories. See A.C. Leiby, The Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1962T and A-lice P. Kenney, " The Albany Dutch, Loyalists and Patriots", New York History October, 1961. Also see John W. Beardslee, "The American Revolution" in Piety and Patriotism, ed. by James W.Van Hoeven (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976).
Division of Archives and History, The American Revolution in New York: Its
Political, Social and Economic Significance(Albany: The University of the
State of New York, 190 ).P. 173. That Johnson's motive was to destroy agriculture
can be seen from a letter, dated November 6, 1780, from D.
Claus to a Mr. Blackburn. About Sir John, Claus writes: "He only returned the Beginning of this month from Laying Waste the Frontiers of Albany and Tryon Countys, the best grain Countys in America and upon wch. the Rebels and French Armies chiefly depend..." See J. Watts de Peyster, Miscellanies: By an Officer: Col. Arent Schuyler de Peyster (New York: C.H. Ludwig, 1888) p. 48. That wheat was a crop which grew well in the Mohawk valley is evidenced by an entry in the journal which a Rev. John Taylor kept during the year 1802. A visitor to the land of the Mohawks, Taylor writest "Having travelled a number of miles back of the river, I find that there is a great similarity in the soil, but some difference in the timber. From Johnstown to Stonearabia the timber is walnut, and. butternut. The fields of wheat are numberous, and the crop in general is excellent. In every thing but wheat, the husbandry appears to be bad. The land for Indian corn, it is evident from appearance, is not properly plowed-- they plow very shallow. Neither is the corn tended--it is in general full of weeds and grass, and looks miserably. Rie is large. Flax does not appear to be good-whether this is owing to the season of the soil, I know not. Pease appear to flourish-- so do oats; but the soil, I believe, is too hard, and clayey for Potatoes--they look very sickly." See E.B. O'Callaghan, The Documentary History of the State (Albany: Weed, Parsons, and Co., Public Printers, 1850), pp. 1130-1131. Sir William Johnson, in a letter dated February 27, 1765, notes that the area is fertile, but that the farmers, "Content with the meer Necessaries of life ... don't chuse to purchase its superfluities at the expence of Labour." See O'Callaghan, "Documentary History", lV, P. 348.
14"The Report to Haldimand", St. Johnsville (N.Y._) Enterprise and News, July 27, 1944, p. 6
16 Jeptha R. Simms, The Frontiersmen of New York (Albany: Geo. C. Riggs, Publisher,3, 2, p. 422.
17 William W. Campbell, Annals of Tryon County (New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1924),p.-143.
18 See File 192-G found in the Montgomery County Archives, Fonda, N.Y. Records of the Crysler family are abstracted from: The Ontario Register , Vol. 1, No. 4, 1968; Janet Carnochan, "Inscriptions and Graves in the Niagara Penninsula" (Niagara Historical Society, No date); The Records of St. Mark's and St. Andrew's Churches, Niagara,Canada (Toronto: Ontario Historical Society, 1901). The leading member of this Tory family was Adam Crysler. He owned a large farm on Vrooman's Patent, and according to the British in Canada, he served, "Under ye Commands of Col. Butler & Johnston, from which he appears to have been much employed & to have been very active & to have gone through a great Deal." Ironically Crysler's mill was burned by mistake by Tory Indians. See Alexander Fraser, Second Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario (Toronto: L.K. Cameron, 1905), pp. 961-962.)
20 Royden Bosburgh, ed., Records of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Town of Schoharie (N.Y.: Transcribed by the N.Y. Genealogical and Biographical Society 1914) Vol. 1,
21 Ibid., P. 304.
22 George H. Warner, Military Records of Schoharie County Veterans of Four Wars (Albany: Weed, Parsons, and Company, Printers, 1891), -P 56.
23 Vosburgh, "Records of St. Paul's Lutheran Church", Vol. 1
24 In Military Records", George Warner notes that three Kniskern brothers served on the Whig side. From Walter Hamlin Kniskern, Some of the Descendants of Johann Peter Kniskern (Petersburgh: Plummer Printing Company, l960,pp. 10-11, we infer that the three were sons of Heinrich, who was the brother of Johannes.
25 George Warner, "Military Records", p. 27.
26 Royden Vosburgh, ed., Record of the Reformed Dutch Church in the town of Middleburgh, Schohaire County, N.Y. Transcribed by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1918) pp. 122-123.
27 Ibid., p. 123.
28 Ibid., p. 124.
30 Chauncey Rickard, The Old Stone Church and Fortress-Catalogue and Historical Notes Schoharie: Schoharie County Historical Society, 1933) pp. 5-6.
31 Jeptha Simms, "The Frontiersmen", 2, pp. 433-434.
32 "The Report to Haldimand",
33 Jeptha Simms, "The Frontiersmen", 2, p. 433
Royden Vosburgh, ed., Records of the High and Low Dutch Reformed Congregation
at Schoharie Now the Revormed Church in the Town of Schoharie (N.Y.: Transcribed
by the N.Y. Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1917), Vol. 1.
35 "The Report to Haldiman"
36 W.N.P. Dailey, The History of Montgomery Classis-R.C.A. (Amsterdam:The Recorder Press, 1916), p.196 .
37 Lillian Dockstader Van Dusen, A History of the Reformed Church of Fonda N.Y. Beginning with the Old Caughnawga Church (Published by the Ladies Aid Society, 1925, p.1.
38 Col. John Butler organized the infamous Rangers. The Rangers were composed of individuals who could fight well in rough terrain, and who were familiar with the language and custom of the Indians. The group commanded high pay. General Haldimand felt that the eight companies of Rangers were worth twenty companies of regular infantry. Col. John was involved in the Wyoming massacre. His son, "Walter, "distinguished" himself at the massacre at Cherry Valley.
39 Photocopies of the deeds are found at the Montgomery County Historical Society at Fort Johnson.
40 Morris and Start Papers, (Concord: New Hampshire Historical Society, p. 213
4l Royden Vosburgh, ed, Records of the Reformed Church Church of Caughnawaga, now the Reformed Church of Fonda N.Y. Transcribed by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1917) Vol. 1.
42 Ibid., p. 217. The minutes of the meeting begin with this statement; "The proceedings of the Rev. Consistory of Caughnawaga, in the year 1783, after the war was ended."
44 "Clinton Papers", Vl, P. 319.
45 Royden Vosburgh, ed., Records of the Reformed Ducth Church of Stone Arabia (N.Y.: Transcribed by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1916), 3, P. 110.
46 Ibid., 2, pp. 158-159.
47 Ibid., 3, PP -157.
48 Ibid., 3, PP - 158.
49 Utica Saturday Globe, August, 1895 quoted in Milo Nellis, The Old Palatine Church ( St. Johnsville: The Enterprise and News, 1930, P. 14..
50 Milo Nellis, "Palatine Church", p. 16.
51 We know from the Haldimand Report that Johnson ditched his 52 mortar in a swamp before entering the Mohawk Valley. Helen E. Horn, "History of the Church" found in The 150th Anniversary of the Organization of Saint John's Reformed Church, Saint Johnsville, N.Y. (St. Johnsville: Enterprise and News, 1920) No page.
53 Norman Thomas, A History of St. John's Reformed Church Formerly The Reformed Clavinist Church of the Upper Part of Palatine in the County of Montgomery (Little Falls: Journal and Courier Company, 1947), pg. 16.
54 Milton W. Hamilton and Albert B. Corey, ed., The Papers of "Sir William Johnson (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 1951) 10, pp. 367-368.
55 J.H. French, Gazeteer of the State of New York (Syracuse: R.P. Smith, Publisher,1860),-P. 417.
56 Klock was adept at getting the Indians drunk in order to get them to sign deeds. See Hamilton and Corey, ed., "Papers", 10, P. 366. on one occasion George persuaded an Indian to accompany him to England where he then, "Exhibited him as a show". On the return ship, he defrauded the Indian of his money. See O'Callaghan, "Documentary History", 2, p. 1006
57 Royden Vosburgh, ed., Records of the Dutch Reformed St. John's Church in the Town of St. Johnsville, Montgomery County, N.Y. (N.Y., The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society)p. Xliv. And Jeptha Simms, "The Frontiersmen", 1. P. 285; 2, p. 383.
58 J.H. French, "Gazeteer", p. 417.
59 Royden Vosburgh, ed., "St. John'.s Church", 1, p. x1v. It must be mentioned that Minor may have been trying to clarify French's statement that the first pastor of Klock's Church was a, "Rev. Mr. Rosekrantz". There was a Rev. Mr. Rosenkrantz who seemed to go by this name (no first name), and who, according to Benton (History of Herkimer County, p. 404) served the Fort Herkimer Church. He was succeeded by his brother Abram who had also served in Canajoharie and Stone Arabia. Rev. Minor believes the first pastor of Klock's Church was Abram. It is uncertain whether French means Abram or whether he is referring to this phantom figure, The Rev. Mr. Rosenkrantz. It seems that Minor makes an effort to distinguish between the two. See Appendix 2.
60 Jeptha Simms, "The Frontiersmen", 2, p. 383.
61 Royden Vosburgh, *Schoharie Records", 2, P-387.
62 Royden Vosburgh, "St. Johnsville Records", 1, p. xlv.
63 Ibid., 1, p.100. The earliest mention of the church which I could find comes from the pen of a Reverend John Taylor, who kept a journal of his travels through the Mohawk and Black River Countries. Taylor writes: "July 26th (1802) ... 4 miles west of Stone Arabia, in the same town of Palatine, is a reformed Lutheran Ch, to whom Mr. Grotz (Philip Jacob Grotz, the Lutheran Pastor at Stone Arabia) preaches part of Presbyterian congregation. The Rev Mr Dosly, German, pastor." See O'Callnghan, "Documentary History", 3, p. 674. Rev.,Taylor means Klock's Church although the distance from the Lutheran Church to Klock's is measured incorrectly. The distance squares with the second edifice (on Zimmerman land) however in July 1802, the second church had not been built.
64 Ibid., 1, P. 97.
65 W.N.P. Dailey, "Montgomery Classis", p. 85
66 Royden Vosburgh, "St. Johnsville Records", 1, p. xvi.
67 Norman Thomas, "St. John's Reformed Church", p. 16.
68 "Clinton Papers", Vl, pp. 692-703.
69 J. Watts de Peyster, Micelllanies: By an Officer: Col. Arent Schuyler de Peyster (New York: C.H. Ludwig, 1888), p. LIX.
70 Royden Vosburgh, "Records of Stone Arabia", l,p.86.
SIMM'S ACCOUNT OF THE DAMAGE TO THE HIGH CHURCH AND THE HISTORIC FACTS
Jeptha Simms notes that Johnson had a brass six-pounder (cannon) and a small mortar when he began his great raid through the Schoharie valley. ("Frontiersmen, 2, P. 423) He notes further that the church was struck three times by cannon balls. The first hit the wall of the church and shattered, the second and third lodged respectively in a rafter and a purlin plate. ("Frontiersmen", 2, p. 434-435) He states that the church was given a new roof in 1830,and two balls, weighing about six pounds apiece, were extracted from the building.. ("Frontiersmen", 2, p. 435)
Simms' account is still accepted, and people today are shown a six pound cannonball supposedly fished out of the church. That Johnson had a brass six-pounder simply does not square with the evidence, and it is impossible for me to believe that the church was hit with cannon fire. John Johnson reports to General Haldimand that he has a Cohorn mortar ("The Royal"), and a brass three-pounder. Nothing else. From the Glen Papers (71,New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown,New York) we find the interrogation of Benjamin Burton, a member of Johnson's force, by Melacton Woolsey, commander of the Middle Fort in October, 1720:
"What artillery have you-"
Answer: "One Brass, Three 1 lb Grass hopper and one 4 inch Cannon."
Question: "How much (ammunition--Mine) have you for the Cannon?"
Answer: "70 Case Shott and One Cask of Powder which is to supply the Cohorn."
Question- "How many Shells?"
Answer: "The Indians carried them. I don't know how many!"
Finally, we have a list of items from Johnson's force which were captured and itemized by the Continentals at Fort Rensselaer on October 19, 1780:
I Piece Brass Ordinance I pd. with Emplimts Comp.,23 Pounds, Round Shott fix'd; 10 do Canister; 1 Quadrant; 2 Pouder measures; 1 hand Saw; 1 four pd. wt.; I half do; 1 Quart'r do; 1 Scale beam; 1 mallet & set; 20 fuses; 1 Seane marlin; 2 Port fires; 1 Cole Chisel; 1 augur; 1 Punch; 1 Seane Quick match; 100 st. Corn Powder; 1 Drudging Box. ("Clinton Papers", 6, p. 323)
The evidence tells us that Johnson had no brass six-pounder. He had a 11. inch Cohorn which fired a shell. The shell, if timed correctly, would explode on impact, and it is this instrument Johnson would have used to attack the church. The three-pound grasshopper", as the evidence shows, was an antipersonnel weapon. Major Cray of Johnson's force buried the mortar and shells before reaching the Mohawk Valley. The Haldimand Report indicates that it was cumbersome, and Gray was fearful that the Continentals were on their heels.
I do not mean to knock Simms. He lived and wrote at an uncritical time when legend was often confused with history. A fossil collector, unsuccessful businessman, and employee of the Erie Canal, and later the New York Central Railroad, Simms took everything at face value. Much of what he writes has been supported by research and primary sources; much is simply legend. The brass six-pounder falls into the latter category.
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO ABRAHAM ROSENKRANTZ AND JOHANN DANIEL GROS
From the Christopher P. Yates Collection, Albany: The State Archives
The Rev. Abraham Rosenkrantz was thought by the Rev. Albert Dodd Minor to have been pastor of Klock's Church around 1756, the time it was supposed to have been built. Rosenkrantz began his ministry at the German Flats church in the summer of 1752. Corwin, the historian of the Reformed Church in the early part of this century, believes that Rosenkrantz supplied Canajoharie, however, this is hard to believe, since there is nothing in the call he exhibited to the Classis of Amsterdam which would indicate this. He stayed in German Flats until he was called to the newly founded German Congregation in New York City in 1756. He stayed there a short time, and returned to the Mohawk Valley where he served as pastor of the Stone Arabia Church from 1759 to 1772. It is possible that Rosenkrantz supplied the Canajoharie Church from 1767 to 1775, but this is only conjecture. At this time perhaps he supplied a Klock's Church. We don't know.
Rosenkrantz married into the Nicholas Herkimer family, and a later source, Benton, indicates the pastor had Tory leanings, but kept out of trouble. One of the documents published here indicates that he was a crafty fellow who was trying to welch on his debts.
Information about Gros has been given in the main body of this chapter. The document published here indicates the relationship between himself and widow of an Isaac Paris.
See: Royden Vosburgh, ed., Records of the Dutch Church of Stone Arabia in the Town of Palatine, Montgomery County Biographical Society, (N.Y.: Transcribed by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1916), 3, pp. 137-140.
Vosburgh, ed., Records of the Reformed Dutch Church at Fort Plain in the Town
of Minden formerly known as The Reformed Calvinist Church of Canajohary (N.Y.:
Transcribed by the New York Genealogical Biographical Society, 1918), 1, p.
Edward Tanjore Corwin, A Manual of the Reformed Church in America (N.Y.:Board of Publication of the Reformed Church in America, 1902), p. 691.
Nathaniel S. Benton, A History of Herkimer County (Albany: J. Munsell, 1856), p. 404.
Tryon Common Pleas - March Term In the Year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine County of Tryon ss. Zephoniah Batcheller complains of the Reverand Abraham Rosekrans on Custody of Alexander White Esquire High Sheriff of the County of Tryon. For that Whereas the said Abraham on the first Day of October in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy two at Canajoharry District in the said County and within the jurisdiction of this Court was indebted unto the said Zephoniah in seventy two pounds seven Shllings and four pence half penny Current money of New York for the Work Labour and Services of him the said Zephoniah for the said Abraham at his special Instance and Request with his Servants in and about the Business of him the said Abraham before that Time done and performed. And the aforesaid Abraham being so indebted in Consideration thereof to wit the same Day and Year abovesaid at the Place and within the said Zephoniah then and there faithfully promised that he the said Abraham the aforesaid seventy two Pounds, seventeen Shillings and four pence halfpenny to the said Zephoniah when he should be afterwards thereto required would well and truly pay and satisfy, And also whereas the said Abraham afterwards to wit this same Day & Year at the Place and within the Jurisdiction aforesaid in Consideration that the said Zephoniah with his Servants had before that Time done and performed for the said Abraham at his like special Instance and Request other Work Labour and Services in and about the Business of him the said Abraham took upon himself and then and there faithfully promised to the said Zephoniah that he the aforesaid Abraham would well and truly pay & satisfy to the said Zephoniah for the said Work Labour & Services last mentioned as aforesaid done and performed reasonably deserved to have when he should be afterward thereto required, And the aforesaid Zephoniah avers that for the Work Labour and Services last mentioned as aforesaid done and performed he reasonably deserved to have of the aforesaid Abraham and the Sum of seventy two Pounds seventeen Shillings and four pence half penny of like Money to wit at the Place and within the Jursidiction aforesaid where of the said Afterwards to wit the same Day and Year above said at the Place and within the Jurisdiction aforesaid had Notice, Yet the aforesaid Abraham not regarding his several Promises and Undertakings aforesaid, in Form aforesaid made, contriving and fraudulently intending craftily and aubtily to deceive and defraud the said Zephoniah in the Behalf hath not paid the said several Sums of Money or any part thereof to the said Zephoniah nor for the same hath any Way satisfied him altho the aforesaid Abraham afterwards to wit the same Day and Year abovesaid at the Place and within the Jurisdiction aforesaid and often after the said Zephoniah has been therto required but to pay or satisfy him for the same he hath absolutely refused and still refuses; Wherefore the said Zephoniah saith that he is injured and demnified to the Value of eighty Pounds and therefore he brings Suit
Chr. P. Yates for Pledges Left in Custody -
Tryon ss. Zephoniah Batcheller puts in his Place Christopher P. Yates his Attorney against Abraham Rosekrans in a Plea of Tresspass upon the Case.
Tryon ss. The People of the State of New York by the Grace of God free and independent To the Sheriff of our County of Tryon greeting we command you that you take Abraham Rosencrantz if he shall be found within your Bailiwick and him safely keep so that you may have his Body before the Judges and Justices of our Inferior of Common Pleas which is to be held in and of our said County on the Second Tuesday in October - next to answer unto John Daniel, Gros Executor and Catharine Paris Executrix of the last will and Testament of Isaac Paris dec'd of a plea that he render unto them one hundred and twenty four pounds eighteen shillings & two pence of Debt which he over and unjustly detains and have you then and there this writ - Witness Jelles Fonda William Schuyler and Frederick Fisher Esquires
Judges of our said Court the twelfth Day of June in the seventh Year of our Independence 1783.
Chris'r P. Yates Clerk
Tryon ss. The people of the State of New York by the Grace of God and independent to the Sheriff of our said County -
Greeting we command you that you take Philip Miller if he shall be found within your bailiwick and him safely keep so that you may have his Body before the Judges and Justices of our Inferior Court of Common Pleas which is to be held in and for our said County on the Second Tuesday in June next to answer unto Catharine Paris and John Daniel Gros Executrix and Executor of the last Will and Testament of Isaac Paris deceased of a Plea of Debt that he render to the said Catharine and John Daniel seventeen Pounds two Shillings and six pence which he unjustly detains as it is said and have you then and there this Writ. Witness Jelles Fonda William Schuyler and Frederick Fisher Esquires Judges of our said Court the twelfth Day of February in the Seventh Year of our Independance 1783.
P. Yates Clerk
Tryon ss. The people of the State of New York by the Grace of God and independent to the Sheriff of our said County -
Greeting we command you that you take Philip Miller if he shall be found within your bailiwick and him safely keep so that you may have his Body before the Judges and Justices of our Inferior Court of Common Pleas which is to be held in and for our said County on the Second Tuesday in June next to answer unto Catharine Paris and John Daniel Gros Executrix and Executor of the last Will and Testament of Isaac Paris deceased of a Plea of Debt that he render to the said Catharine and John Daniel seventeen Pounds two Shillings and six pence which he unjustly detains as it is said and have you then and there this Writ. Witness Jelles Fonda William Schuyler and Frederick Fisher Esquires Judges of our said Court the twelfth Day of February in the Seventh Year of our Independence 1783.
P. Yates Clerk
TITLE: THE OLD KLOCK CEMETERY ANTHOLOGY
Written by- Elizabeth Bilobrowka
Scene: The cemetery, tombstones. (Tombstones may be made of card board or wood, but should be large enough for characters to be seated or kneeling behind them.) Stump of tree or log to one side, in front of curtain. Costumes: Valley people dressed simply: short working skirts for women, brown trousers reaching just below knee for men. (Note: trousers were very wide at the bottom.) Checked skirts.
Characters: If possible, part of boy should be played by an actual descendant of the Klock family.
Narrator, at opening: The playlet we present tonight is dedicated to all Americans past and present who love their country more than self. May we ask that you pledge yourself to this love by reciting with us the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. (flag carried in by Boy Scout Guards.)
Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to rise for our opening ceremony. Our opening prayer is word-for-word the prayer that was offered at the first Continental Congress on September 7, 1774 in the presence of many of' the most illustrious of the Founding Fathers:
READ FIRST PRAYER IN CONGRESS
Please remain standing. The playlet we present tonight is dedicated to all Americans past and present who love their country more than self. May we ask that you pledge yourself to this love by reciting with us the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag
HONOR GUARD OF BOY & GIRL
SCOUTS PRESENT THE FLAG: LEAD
THE GROUP IN RECITING THE PLEDGE
And now, if you will all be seated, our play is about to begin.
AS CURTAIN OPENS, A BOY ( OR GIRL) AND THE GRANDFATHER COME WALKING CASUALLY DOWN THE AISLE (OR ACROSS THE FRONT OF THE STAGE).
Boy: Look, grandpa!, there's an old cemetery. Can I go look at it, can I, can I?
Grandpa: I don't see why not. After all, some of your ancestors are buried there.
Boy: Some of my ancestors? Really and truly, grandpa?
Grandpa: Really and truly. This is the old Klock family cemetery and you're a Klock (or: your grandfather, great aunt, great grandmother, or other relative was a Klock).
Boy: Hey, that's right. Wow, you mean all these people buried here are related to me?
Grandpa- Well, not all of' them, but most of them. All of them though, were pioneers and patriots who helped to create the America we live in today.
Boy: (STROKING ONE OF THE TOMBSTONES, TRACING ITS LETTERING) Boy, if only stones could talk. Bet these stones would have a lot to tell us.
AS BOY MAKES THIS SPEECH, GRANDPA HAS SETTLED UPON THE STUMP OR LOG AT SIDE OF STAGE. AT END OF SPEECH, BOY GOES BACK AND SITS AT GRANDPA'S FEET. AFTER A MOMENT, HENDRICK RISES FROM BEHIND HIS TOMBSTONE.
I am Hendrick Klock, pioneer,
Founding father of the Klock family in America.
My Palatine ancestors had fled the Palatinate
Seeking religious freedom and safety for their families
At place called Hessle Kessle.
But safety did not last long there.
The desperation of new religious wars,
The overwhelming burdens of taxation,
Were followed by the cruel winter of 1708-
The year so cold wine froze in the bottle,
Wood refused to burn even in open air,
And birds on the wing froze in mid-flight
And fell to the ground by scores.
All the dangers of an ocean voyage
Seemed worth risking for the Palatine's dream,
A dream of a free land across the wild Atlantic.
I and my family joined. the great migration to America, And finally to this beautiful valley of the Mohawk. Here we put down our roots again. Here we would stay.
NOTE: AS HENDRICK FINISHES SPEAKING, HE RESUMES PLACE BEHIND HIS TOMBSTONE, AND THE NEXT CHARACTER RISES. THIS CONTINUES UNTIL ALL HAVE SPOKEN.
I am Margaretha, wife of Hendrick,
Mother of his children.
Together with other Dutch pioneers
We came to seek peace in this new land.
We cleared the wild wilderness,
We built our homes,
We planted our crops,
We made a road passable for carts through the wilderness,
We raised our families,
We made friends with our Indian neighbors.
Life was rough and hard.
Every gain we made took its toll.
Yet we found time to be thankful,
Thankful for all our many blessings.
We looked forward to a long life of peace
On this land we had come to cherish.
The land was good to us.
We prospered. And in due time
My Hendrick was able to provide
Generously for our children
In his last will and testament.
HENDRICK RISES AGAIN AND READS FROM DOCUMENT:
Hendrick: To each of my seven children, I bequeath the sum of five pounds each, the three younger ones to receive said sum only when they have reached the age of 21. Also to the three younger ones, I give and bequeath three horses, two cows, two sheep, and when each marries one suit of wedding clothes from head to foot.
HENDRICK AND MARGARETHA BOTH RESUME PLACES BEHIND TOMBSTONES
Christian Nellis is my name.
I too was a Palatine pioneer.
I came to America seeking freedom and peace.
I found my way to the Mohawk Valley,
A place of staggering natural beauty,
A land of' profound solitude,
Abounding with wolves and foxes and bears,
A land where the lofty trees testified
To the richness of the soil below.
And in this land I became fast friends
With the Klocks and other pioneers.
I married Barvalis, daughter of Henrick.
Together we cleared our land
Of beech and maple and hemlock
And planted our fields of wheat.
Life looked good --- for a few short years.
Johannes: I am Johannes, son of Hendrick.
Like my father, I found the land
Along the Mohawk a land of promise.
In 1760 1 bought the island in the river
For a yearly rent of one ear of' Indian corn.
Across from the island
On the banks of the river
I built my home and trading post,
Married Anna Margaretha Fox,
And raised my family.
But the clouds of war began to gather
As the freedom-loving men of the valley
Joined with their freedom-loving brothers
Throughout the new world
In the search for peace with freedom.
But before we could ensure freedom
We had to sacrifice peace.
Our Tryon County issued its own
Declaration of Independence
HENDRICK, CHRISTIAN, JACOB, GEORGE ALL RISE AND IN UNISON WITH JOHANNES RECITE THE TRYON COUNTY DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
JOHANNES, HENDRICK, CHRISTIAN, JACOB, AND GEORGE IN UNISON:
think it is our undeniable privilege to be taxed only with our
own consent. We do solemenly declare and express our confidence in the wisdom and integrity of the present Continental Congress and that we will support the same to the utmost of our power.
is our fixed resolution to support and carry into execution
everything recommended by the Continental Congress and Provincial Congress and to be free or die.
we abhor a state of slavery, we do join and unite together
all the ties of religion, honor, justice, and love for our country,
never to become slaves and to defend our freedom with our lives and fortunes.
RESUME PLACES BEHIND TOMBSTONES. JACOB REMAINS UPRIGHT AS NEXT TO SPEAK.
I am Jacob, son of Hendrick
Colonel of the second regiment, Tryon County Militia,
Whose men I led to join the forces of
General Nicholas Herkimer at Oriskany.
Many brave men I lost that day: (Drum Roll after each name)
Lieutenant Colonel Ebenezer Cox
Captain Andreas Dillenbeck
Captain Chris P. Fox
Lieutenant John Bellinger
John I. Klock
Jacob H. Klock
the war years that followed
The British and Indians succeeded only too well
In their designs to wipe out
The physical possessions of the people of the valley. My Mohawk Militia arrived at Cherry Valley Too late to stop the massacre there. Nor could we stop the Indians in 1780 When they burnt all the houses and barns From Tribes Hill to Anthony's Nose.
But one thing the British could never do-
They could not crush our spirit-
They could not make Us leave the land,
For we were fighting literally
For hearth and home,
But even more so for the right to be free,
To live in peace upon the land we loved.
The land which by the end of the war
Was a charred and barren waste.
Reconstruction became our job.
I am Catherine,
Wife of Colonel Jacob Klock.
I shared with him the growing anxiety,
The unrest in the valley,
In the years that led up
To the outbreak of war.
none of the hardships
Of life on the frontier
Has prepared me for the war itself.
Never were we able to relax our vigilance,
Or forget that we were living on a frontier
Open to the raids of savages,
Aided and encouraged by vindictive loyalists.
My mind recoils in horror when I remember
The atrocities of those years--
Families roused from slumber by horrifying war whoops,
Whole settlements ruthlessly slaughtered,
Men, Women, and children,
Fields and farms fled to the flames,
Horses and cows horribly mutilated.
But all this devastation, all this bloodshed,
Could not shake our determination to be free.
Inch by bloody inch we drove them back.
George: I am George, son of Hendrick,
Brother to Jacob and Johannes,
A thorn in the flesh of Sir William Johnson.
I too settled along the Mohawk,
Though not without a struggle,
For Sir William Johnson disputed the title
Of the land I held.
The great Mohawk chief, King Hendrick, himself,
Appeared in court on my behalf,
Stating that the Indians had promised the land to me,
That I had developed it and worked it.
Sir William claimed the Indians
Had previously given the land to him,
But he forgot to state
That they did so only
After he had made them drunk with rum.
I told Sir William to go hang himself.
The land remained mine, and I fought for it,
From Oriskany to Klock's Field,
Through days filled with musket fire
And the terrible tomahawk,
Through nights illumined by burning homes and barns,
We fought for the land and we won.
I am Anna,
Wife of Jacob I. Klock
I too remember the horrors of the war years
Those years when the Tory and the Indian
Murdered the peaceful farmer and his boys,
Unarmed and defenseless in the fields they plowed.
They butchered the aged and infirm.
They scalped helpless women and children alive,
Or shut them in their houses and burned them.
They left the dead cattle and horses to rot in the fields.
They burned two millions of bushels of grain.
Then, war over, they came creeping back,
Seeking to reclaim lands, to become fellow citizens.
And so we adopted our resolution:
That all those who went off to the enemy
Shall not live in this district
On any pretense whatever,
Or they may expect to feel the just resentment
Of an injured and determined people.
I am the Rev. John Henry Dysslin.
Born in Switzerland, in my youth,
I left my homeland for America.
Shipwrecked in a storm at sea,
And cast upon the water,
I vowed that if rescued I would devote The rest of my life to God's work. Miraculously I was rescued, And returned to Switzerland, There to study for the ministry. Upon my ordination, I again set sail And arrived safely in America. I came to serve at Klock's Church, A Dutch Reformed Church In the land of the Mohawks, in 1788. The war for freedom was over. America thanked God for its victory. our parish was small but very devout, Cherishing the quiet hours of worship, And looking to our God for spiritual guidance Throughout our lives. I moved to Zimmerman's Creek in 1804 When the Reformed Church moved there, And there I stayed until my death in 1812. My faithful followers buried me Here in Klock's churchyard, Beneath the spot where the pulpit of the old church had been, Here on the land we all loved.
I am Joseph G. Klock,
Son of George G. and Catherine Bellinger.
Too young to serve in the Revolution,
I did serve my country as a captain
In the war of 1812 all along the western frontier.
All my life I took an active interest
In neighborhood activities and in politics,
Where I tried always to serve as a peacemaker.
My faith in God sustained me
Throughout my life.
I devoted myself to God's work in St. John's Church.
In 1804 1 was trustee;
In 1807 1 became church treasurer;
And in 1816 1 served as senior elder.
I supported the church generously
I contributed $3.50 yearly
Toward the salary of Reverend Dysslin,
And gave another 50cents to help pay for the cost
Of plowing the minister's land.
Above all, I was a family man,
Loving my home, and raising my children
To love their God and their country.
are the wives of Joseph G. Klock.
I, Dorothy Zimmerman, was his wife for 13 years,
I gave him five children.
I, Elizabeth Moyer, was married to him
For only four years.
I, Christina Borst, was married to him for 8 years.
We also had five children.
I, Elizabeth Devendorf, his last wife,
Was married to him for 18 years, years I suffered
From strange stomach disorders
That were frightening painful and crippling.
Joseph was a loving and devoted husband to me
Throughout all those years,
Always seeking new cures for my troubles,
And sustaining me with his love, A
love I needed to endure the frightful cures One such cure I remember well:
Pulverize the seed on an herb called lobelia.
Take 2/3 teaspoon in warm water and sugar until she would vomit freely;
Then take 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and repeat that taking
To keep her in a sweat two days, to cause action in her stomach.
Believe me, it caused action.
A GROUP OF INDIANS RISE SILENTLY AT VERY BACK OF STAGE
(BEHIND GRAVE STONES, IF DESIRED)
Boy: Look, Grandpa, some of the graves are for Indians. Why are they buried here?
Didn't the Indians have their own burying places?
Grandpa: Indeed they did and most of them were buried in them. But these were Christian Indians, who learned about Christ from the pioneers, and who believed and came to worship with them.
Some of them even came to live with them and help the slaves with the work on the farms.
Boy: Slaves! You mean there were slaves here in New York State?
Oh yes, both black and white slaves. You see, the cost of hiring laborers
was enormous in those days because of the small population. Then, too, some
people became slaves in
exchange for being brought from Europe to this new land.
worked as slaves long enough to pay for their passage
over here. Then they became free.
Boy: But they weren't really slaves, were they, gramps?
Grandpa: Indeed they were, and they could be bought and sold just like the Negro slaves down South. In fact, there were slaves in New York even after the Revolutionary War, the war we fought for freedom. In fact, John J. Klock, one of your ancestors, bought many slaves.
Among his papers, we find that John J. Klock often bought slaves. He mentions buying a Negro man named Hank of the age twenty-one years for the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds, and a Negro woman named Nan for one hundred and 87 dollars and 50 cents lawful money of the states of America. So slaves were quite common and naturally many of them were buried here.
I am DeWitt Hose.
I am the last person to be buried
Here in Klock's churchyard cemetery.
I did not have a chance
To achieve much in my lifetime.
When I died in February 1847
I was only two years old.
There are many young people
Buried here with me,
Mute testimony to the hardship of life
In the early years of our history:
FOLLOWING RISE AND STATE THEIR NAMES AND AGES:
Eve Klock, age three
William Klock, age three
Dorata Klock, age 22
N. Klock, age 17
IN UNISON, DEWITT, EVE, WILLIAM, DORATA, AND N. RECITE THE FOLLOWING: We who died salute those who live, Who made old Hendrick's dream of a land of peace and freedom come true, Who started the Mohawk Valley and New York State On the path to greatness, Whose faith in God and devotion to country Will serve as examples To the generations yet to come.
Grandpa: That's the last of them. They were truly pioneers in every sense of the word. I guess Nelson Greene said it best:
NELSON GREENE EMERGES FROM OPPOSITE SIDE OF STAGE HOLDING HIS VOLUME OF THE MOHAWK VALLEY FROM WHICH HE READS: Nelson: These people were not disposed to submit to new-fledged aristocrats who assumed a high and mighty style in dealing with the Tryon yeomanry. It is difficult to imagine a population better suited to stand the brunt of those early hard ships and struggles. They made ideal frontiersmen, good soldiers and founders of American institutions and liberty in Government, strong in their political and religious ideals. They took their religion seriously. The dominies of that day were men of strong character and fit leaders of the spiritual and intellectual life of their parishioners. The labors of those of the Reformed faith have resulted in making the Mohawk Valley one of the strongest districts of that church. The record of the Mohawk country garrisons and the militia of Tryon County is one of the best of the American soldiery of the Revolution. Whenever the Tryon County men met the enemy on anything like equal footing they had beaten them. The deeds of the American man behind the gun on the fields of Tryon County made stories which will hold the interest of Mohawk Valley fold for centuries to come.
NELSON RETIRES BEHIND STAGE.
Boy: I wish we could be pioneers today, gramps.
Grandpa: Well, maybe we can't be pioneers like them, but we can be patriots like them.
Boy: Yes, and we can love the land like they did. I do, Grandpa I love New York. I love America.
BOY AND GRANDFATHER RISE AND WALK BACK OUT THE WAY THEY CAME IN: BACKGROUND MUSIC OF CHOIR SINGING GOD BLESS AMERICA AS CURTAIN DESCENDS.
(ASK AUDIENCE TO JOIN IN AND SING IT AGAIN)
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