Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Frontiersmen of New York
by Jeptha R. Simms
Albany, NY 1883

Volume I, Page 638

"The United State of America Dr. New Windsor June 2, 1778. To Davie Sutherland, Jr., and others for their teams employed in drawing Iron from Ringwood, Sterling and Chester, for the use of obstructing the navigation of Hudson's river by order of Maj.-Gen. Putnam, and uner the direction of Capt. Thomas Machin, sup't, from Aug. 20 till Oct. 12, 177, agreeable to the amt. here-under.

"Due as per above Acct. one hundred and three pounds, eleven shillings and eight pence on farthing--a true copy." This account shows over 10 tons of iron drawn to New Windsor, nearly half of which came from Ringwood, N. J. It was probably in bars. Some of it may have been used in making the chevaus-de-frize, but the most of it is believed to have been used on the boom: it having been forged before the West Point chain was determined upon, and intended to supply the place of the weaker boom obstruction of Fort Montgomery.

Here is an account current of a part of the expense in preparing the timber for West Point chain and boom.

"A geneal Abstract of several companies of Artificers employed in the works obstructing the navigation of Hudson's River, under the direction of Capt. Thomas Machin, Sup't.

The next abstract show a part of the expenses for teaming, while the timer and iron were being drawn to New Windsor, for the river obstructions at West Point. It will be seen that a man with two yoke of oxen then commanded four dollars a day.

"The United States of America Dr. for a Bridgade of teams under Joseph Robins, conductor, Employed on the works for obstructing the navigation of Hudson's River, by order of Brig. Sam'l H. Parsons, and under the direction of Capt. Thos. Machin, Sup't, commending 1st day of February, and ending 1d day of march, 1778, inclusive.

"New Windsor, March 2d, 1778.

"Due per above acct. four hundred and eleven pounds, twelve shillings-a true copy."

This account is footed ten pounds too much: and would be $1,004, in currency. This bill appears in a general abstract given in this connection.

I have shown that the first boom of much importance placed in the Hudson, was at West Point. I have before me a pay roll, showing the services of Benjamin Thorne, a master carpenter and 14 men, from September 1, to October 1, 1777 :

"Employed at building the Capson, Dock, Anchor and Boom for obstructing the river at Fort Montgomery, etc." This shows as I infer, that these preparations making for the new boom, were not in readiness nearly up to the time when the enemy passed that point: besides, the boom the British spoke of destroying, could not have been a very reliable obstruction.

The chain at West Point was completed on the first of May, and a previous Abstract given, embraced the services of the artisans during that month,. which was upon the boom. Here is another Abstract for labor mostly on the boom, which may have been completed in August, yet some of its pay rolls end in September, and October:

"An Abstract of money due to the Artificers, Boatmen, etc., Employed in the works near New Windsor, obstructing the navigation of Hudson's River, under the direction of Capt. Thomas Machin, Superintendent, from the 1st June till October 13, 1778."

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