Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

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

Volume II, Page 534. Murder of Capt. Jacob Small, and Capture of Jacob Casler. Equidistant between Herkimer and Little Falls, seven miles apart, was a small blockhouse and stockade for the convenience of several patriotic families. It stood on what was long known as the Eldredge farm. In the golden days for teamsters, before the canal and railroad were constructed, there stood a tavern near the site of the old block house, with a good run of custom. A little distance from the blockhouse and on the Eldredge farm were several apple trees planted many years before. In the fall of 1781, Jacob Small, a Captain of militia, and Jacob Casler were gathering apples in this orchard,when three hostile Indians approached them. Fearing if they captured both they might not be able to convey them to Canada, they resolved to kill the one they supposed might given them the most trouble. Accordingly, they shot Capt. Small, who was in the branches of a tree, which, in 1846, was still standing, and when he fell to the ground they secured his scalp, capturing Casler and hurrying him off to Canada, where he remained a prisoner nearly two years, to the end of the war. A sagacious dog belonging to the Small family, first communicated the fate of his owner. He ran home with blood on his body, obtained by caressing his dying master, moaning piteously. Capt. Small was a good soldier, a worthy citizen, and his loss was severely felt. He was interred near the Fort Herkimer church. He left a wife and six children, three sons and three daughters. From Frederick and Jacob, sons of Capt. Small, at an interview in 1846, corroborated by others.

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