History of Columbia County, New York
By Captain Franklin Ellis
Published by Everts & Ensign
Pages 21 to 27
INDIAN INCURSIONS--THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR-THE REVOLUTION
The inhabitants living within the bounds of this county never suffered severely from Indian ravages. When Hudson explored the river he found the natives peaceable, and well disposed towards the whites, and they continued to be so for many years. We find no account of any Indian violence committed against the settlers south of the present line of Rensselaer county until the attack of 1664, to which we have already alluded, in which we are told that they burnt Major Staat's house, and "ravaged the country east of Hudson's river;" but we are not told what particular outrages (if there were any besides that at Staats') they committed in this county, or whether any white blood was shed. This inroad, whatever its extent, was, without doubt, the work of other tribes than the Mohicans, for they were at that time too weak in numbers, and too much cowed by years of subjugation, to undertake offensive warfare, unless incited and supported by other and more powerful bands.
But the raid of 1664, whether it was an extensive and bloody one or not, had, undoubtedly, the effect to make the settlers more distrustful, more fearful of Indian hostility, and to cause them to strengthen their houses, and toe erect buildings to be use as places of common shelter and defense in case of a dangerous outbreak. The Hon. H. C. Van Schaack, of Manlius, N. Y., in his unpublished "Life of Colonel Henry Van Schaack," says,---
"A portion of the old Dutch parsonage still standing in Kinderhook originally formed a part of a fort, with a stockade as an outside barrier. On one occasion, when the men were all absent, Indians appeared in the vicinity; the women repaired to the fort, and having dressed themselves in men's clothes and hats, they, under the lead of Mrs. Hoes, a brave Dutch matron, paraded with shouldered muskets and made greats noises. The Indians, deceived by this appearance of strength, did not venture to attack the feminine garrison. In some of the old Dutch houses, when first erected, there were port-holes in their gable ends, placed there to enable the occupants to defend themselves when attacked by the savages."
The time to which he alludes, however, was probably about 1755, or more than ninety years later than that of which we have written above; and there is no reason to believe that during all that long period the settlers within this county saw any occasion to avail themselves of he defenses which they had prepared.
In Queen Anne's war, in 1704, the Housatonic river was made, by mutual agreement between the Indian belligerents fighting respectively with the French and with the English, the eastern boundary of the neutral ground. In the "Colonial History" (vi. 371) it is stated that "the inhabitants of this province living on the west side of that river* followed all their occupations in husbandry as in time of peace, while at the same time the inhabitants of New England were in their sight exposed to the merciless cruelty of the French and Indians." And this is the explanation of the fact that, through the constantly-recurring wars which succeeded, from that time until 1754 the people inhabiting this section enjoyed entire security from Indian outrage. In the year named, on the 28th of August, about five hundred Indians, who four days before had left Crown Point, on Lake Champlain, on an expedition of rapine and murder to which they were incited by the French, fell upon "Dutch Hoosack," near the Vermont line, destroyed the settlement, and massacred many of the inhabitants. This sharpened their appetite for blood, and, although they did not then wholly ignore the line of neutrality, small parties detached from the main body scoured the country to the south and west, and during all the period of that war's continuance, the settlers at Kinderhook and in other parts of this county lost their previous feeling of safety; though it does not appear that any savage incursions were made here except about the year 1755, nor that these were very bloody or destructive, especially when compared with those which so often occurred in Massachusetts and other parts of New England.
From the New York Mercury of July 14, 1755, we extract the following account of an Indian attack which had then recently been made near Kinderhook:
"We hear from Kinderhook that on Wednesday, the 2d instant, as four men, two boys, and a negro were hoeing corn in a field near that place, they were surprised and fired upon by six Indians and a Frenchman, which wounded one of the men, a boy, and the negro fellow, when they, with the three others, took to their heels; the seventh, named John Gardineer, ran towards their arms, that were nigh at hand, and having dispatched two of the Indians, a third closed in upon him, and in the scuffle the Frenchman came up, and seeing Gardineer get the better of the Indian, he knocked him down with his piece and afterwards scalped him, when the Indians made off and carried their dead with them. Some short time after, Gardineer came to himself, and with some difficulty reached the fort. He was so stunned with the blow he received from the Frenchman that he was insensible of being scalped until he was informed by the people, who discovered the blood, but remembered the whole of their proceedings before, and said he could have killed three of the Indians had not the second gun he took up missed fired.
"On the receipt of the above news the sum of twelve pounds was immediately raised by a few gentlemen in this city, and sent to John Gardineer for his gallant behavior, to support his wife and family during his illness, and 'tis to be hoped that those gentlemen who would willingly infuse a martial spirit in the armies now going against our enemies will follow an example so truly worthy of their imitation."
The same paper, in its issue of July 21, narrates the particulars of a subsequent inroad, probably by the same party, and near the same place, as follows:
"We hear that on Monday last another party of French and Indians, consisting of between thirty and forty, appeared at Kinderhook, and carried off a young boy and wounded a negro man, and that Robert Livingston, Jr., Esq., with about forty men, were gone in pursuit of them."
And again, from the issue of July 27:
"We learn from Claverack that on Wednesday, the 9th instant, in the morning, a party of Indians came to the house of Joachem Vanderberg and carried off a young woman and two of his children. The man himself, lying on a bed unobserved by the Indians, went quietly up-stairs, and after loading his gun with shot fired at one of them who remained somewhat longer than the rest in order to carry off his wife, and killed him on the spot., and at the same time wounded his wife, but so slightly that her life was not in the least danger. . . .We are told that on receipt of the above news at Albany, and the cruelties committed by the savages at Kinderhook, one hundred brave New England men were immediately despatched from the army with orders to scour the woods for six days, and, if possible, to intercept the Indians on their return to Canada. We have advice from Kinderhook that Robert Livingston, Jr., Esq., with his men, were returned, after being out several days in quest of the Indians."
There may have been other Indian forays into this region during the French and Indian war, but we find no account of them, and it will be noticed that those which we have mentioned were but inconsiderable affairs, and could not in any sense be termed massacres. It is very likely that the settlers in the county were protected by their nationality, for it is certain that the savages in this province (excepting at Esopus and below that place, on the river) were disposed to be friendly towards the Dutch, as those of New England were correspondingly hostile to the English-speaking settlers in that region.
It is not known what soldiers were furnished by this part of Albany county for the French war, but several officers in that conflict had their homes here, among the most prominent of whom was Henry Van Schaack, who served under Sir William Johnson in the expedition against Crown Point, in 1775, being at that time a lieutenant in the company which was commanded by Captain (afterwards Major-General) Philip Schuyler. In the campaign against Niagara he was major, and in both these campaigns he gained great credit for soldierly qualities, and was favorably mentioned by Sir William, in general orders, for his part in the battle of Sept. 8, 1775, at Lake George. His father Cornelius Van Schaack, served as colonel in the same war.
In the revolutionary struggle for independence an earnest and patriotic part was taken by the inhabitants of this portion of Albany county.
The heard, as from afar off, the mutterings of discontent which arose at the passage of the Stamp Act of 1764, and the more ominous growling of incipient rebellion, occasioned by the Boston massacre and the forced importation of tea; a growling which deepened into the unmistakable roar of revolution as it rolled across the country from the barren old Lexington common and from the steep sides of Bunker Hill. Then the patriotic flame burst forth and spread through all the colonies, and it burned as brightly here upon the shore of the Hudson and along the slopes of the Taghkanics as it did on the plain of Bennington or the banks of the Brandywine, though here are no historic battle-fields, and the soil has never been pressed by the foot of the invader.†
Committees of safety were formed in this and other parts of Albany county in 1774, and these were associated or consolidated in one early in 1775. A document showing this fact is still in existence in Albany, and a copy of it is given below. Among the names of its signers will be found those of many whose residence was in what is now Columbia county. The document is dated February 24, 1885, and endorsed "A general association, agreed to and subscribed by the members of the several committees of the city and county of Albany:"
"We, the Freemen, Freeholders, and Inhabitants of the City and County of Albany, being greatly alarmed at the avowed design of the ministry to raise a revenue in America, and shocked by the bloody scene now acting in the Massachusetts Bay, do in the most solemn manner, resolve never to become slaves, and do associate, under all the ties of religion, honor, and love to our country, to adopt and endeavor to carry into execution whatever measures may be recommended by the Continental Congress, or resolved upon by our Provincial Convention, for the purpose of preserving our Constitution and opposing the execution of the several arbitrary and oppressive acts of the British Parliament until a reconciliation between Great Britain and America, on constitutional principles (which we most ardently desire), can be obtained. And that we will in all things follow the advice of our General Committee respecting the purposes aforesaid, the preservation of peace and good order, and the safety of individuals and private property.
|John Barclay, Chairman|
|John Bay||Henry I. Bogert|
|James Magee||Abrm. Cuyler|
|Tynsen Colborn||Robert McClellan|
|Jo. Young||Henry Wendell|
|Richard Esselstyn||Corn's Van Santvoordt|
|Othniel Gardner||Rr. Bleecker|
|Baret Dyne||Henry Bleecker|
|Isaac Van Aernum||John H. Ten Eyck|
|Gisbert Marselis||Jacob Bleecker, Jr.|
|Phi. D. Schuyler||Jno. T. Beekman|
|George White||Har. Wendell|
|John McClung||Matthew Adgate|
|Guthorn Woodworth||Abm. Yates, Jun.|
|Bastejaen T. Vescher||John Taylor|
|Flous Bancker||Rutger Lansingh|
|John Knickerbacker, Jr.||Henry Quackenboss|
|Barent Vanderpoel||John M. Beekman|
|William Van Bergen||John D. Fonda|
|John Abbott||John Van Rensselaer, Jr.,|
|Jacobus Williamson||John Price|
|Saml. Van Vechten||Anthony Van Schaick|
|Peter Becker||Dirck Ten Broeck|
|Ebenezer Allen||Reitzert Bronker|
|Simeon Covell||Frederick Beringer|
|Asa Flint||Reyneer Van Aalsteyn|
|James Parrot||Philip Van Veghten|
|Henry L. Leake||Joshua Losee|
|Andries Watbeck||Anthony Van Bergen|
|Mat. Visscher||Albertus Van Loon|
|Saml. Stringer||Mynd. Roseboom|
|Gerrit Lansing, Jun.||John Van Loon|
|John Ten Broeck||Ab. Ten Eyck|
|Robert Yates||Henry Van Veghten|
But it was not all patriotism. Here, as almost everywhere at that time, there were Tories, adherents of the king and haters of the cause of the people; and it is said that in few communities, even along the North river, were they more active and bitter than in Albany county, and in that part of Albany which is now Columbia.
From a fragment (there are but two or three leaves remaining) of an ancient book which contained a journal of the proceedings of the committee of safety we have copied the following, in relation to the establishing and maintaining of a night-watch in the county, for the purpose of guarding and defending the person and property of patriots against the machinations and evil designs of Tories:
"Articles for Regulating the Night Watch in the Manor of Livingston, to commence 27th September, 1776, and to Continue whenever thought proper, according to a Resolve of this Committee.
"Art. 1. That the Guard for every Night consist of twelve men, exclusive of the officer.
"2. That the Guard shall muster at Eight o'clock P. M., at the Guard-House.
"3. That the Guard shall take the first Grand Rounds at 9 o'clock precisely.
"4. That the Guard be dismissed at 5 o'clock A.M.
"5. That the officer of the guard station two men at the house of Dirck Jansen, and two men at the house of Harme Best, which Men shall be relieved Every 2˝ hours.
"6. That the Officer shall take the Grand Grounds, with the Eight remaining Men, every 2˝ hours.
"7. That when any person is seen, the Guard to Challenge them three times distinctly, and if no Answer is returned, or attempts to run, the Guard to have full liberty to fire.
"8. That when any person is taken by the Guard, to be detained there until the Officer of the Guard comes up, when, if he can't produces a certificate, or give satisfaction to the Officer, to be detained till Morning and then brought to the Chairman of the Committee.
"9. That every Centinel that is found sleeping on his post, to be put under Guard till morning, and brought to the Chairman of the Committee.
"10. That every Officer or private Man that Refuses or Neglects to serve, to be dealt with according to the Resolutions of the provincial Congress for Regulating the Night-Watch.
"11. That every Man is to Mount Guard in person, unless prevented by sickness.
"12. That every Man is Excused from serving by being from home; he is to procure a Man for his Night, otherwise to pay the fine."
"Resolved, That the Night-Watch to be kept from Dirck Jansen's to Harme Best, shall consist of eighty-four men, which number is to be divided in seven subdivision.
"Resolved, That twelve men be the guard for a Night, exclusive of the Officer.
"Resolved, That the Night-Watch to be kept at Samuel Ten Broeck's‡ shall consist of twenty-eight men, which number is to be divided in seven subdivisions."
The above was taken from two consecutive pages of the journal; those preceding and following these being missing. It will be noticed that this refers only to the maintenance of a watch in Livingston manor; but as other parts of the (present) county were quite as much infested by Tories as was the manor, there is no doubt that if the remainder of the journal were accessible, it would show that the same precautionary measures were taken in other, if not in all parts of the county; in which case it would appear that the patriotic portion of the people here were compelled, in order to guard their lives and property, to perform service at home nearly as arduous as that which was required of soldiers in the field.
To wreak their vengeance on the Whigs, whom they so bitterly hated (though often their immediate neighbors), these Tories hesitated at no crime, however black; not even at murder, which by them was by no means infrequent, and was always accompanied by robbery and pillage. Two such instances are given below,---one of incendiarism and the other of murder,--committed by Tories, both of which crimes were swiftly and fully avenged, as was always the case in those days whenever the Tory criminals were captured; trial in such instances generally following execution.
the instance of incendiarism and attempt at murder was related by John H. Dickie, in a letter written by him to the Rev. Dr. E. S. Porter, and dated Claverack, Aug. 30, 1867. The account refers to Captain Casparus Conyn, the grandfather of the narrator, and is as follows:
"During the darkest period of our Revolution he (at that time holding a commission of captain) received a furlough, came home to visit his family, and while there, reposing in his own house, about midnight, a noise was heard by his wife. She awoke him, telling him she believed there were robbers in the house. They sprang up and found the house surrounded. Every window had a sentinel, and they found it too late to give an alarm. The robbers, or Tories, as they were called, had already entered the house. They carried away every available thing they could, and such as they could not, destroyed. They emptied the cream-pots upon the floors and the feathers from the beds, mixing them together. They took such articles as jewelry, going to one of the family and, taking hold of her hand, asking her for her diamond ring, she having, while they were there, slipped it from her finger and put it in her bosom. She gave some reason that saved the ring. Among the articles taken by them were a pair of gold sleeve-buttons belonging to grandfather, and eight hundred dollars in money. At last they had grandfather taken into a room, and, with a cord from his drum, fastening to a beam above, hung him by the neck; but in jerking the chair from under him the rope broke, and that saved his life. They then had him, with all the family, taken to the cellar of the house and locked them in. While there they heard the tread of the sentinels passing the window of the cellar. Grandfather about this time, taking an iron bar, broke open the door, ran up, and out the door to the road, found a man just then passing on horseback, caught hold of the bridle, and inquired who he was. He found him to be a neighbor; invited him to come in and see what had been done.
"The following morning, as the family gathered around the breakfast-table, Kasparis Konyne offered thanks to God that they had their barns filled (it being fall, or the forepart of winter); but, sad to say, shortly after, their barns were burnt, with the contents. The barn built by him in its stead is still standing upon the place now occupied by John W. Jenkins. For all this he never received any other compensation than the reward of having a clear consciousness of having served his country during the darkest days of the Revolution.
"Among those guilty of this but two were ever discovered, convicted, and found guilty. Having a flag of his in their possession, they were found guilty and hanged. Others not far off were suspected. I, having had this handed down, have watched the dealings of God in his providence, and think I see a confirmation of the truth 'that the wicked shall not go unpunished.' "
The locality of the above occurrences was in the district (now town) of Claverack. The other event to which we refer, and in which the Tory perpetrators met a similar swift punishment, was the murder of Abraham Van Ness, an officer in the Revolution, in august, 1777. The following description of the locality in which the tragedy occurred is inserted at the request of two prominent gentlemen of the county:
"The highway leading from the present village of Malden Bridge to Chatham Centre passes through a series of fertile farms, which are washed on their eastern border by the Kinderhook creek, the surface sloping gently upward from the stream to the crowns of a range of uneven and picturesque hills.
"On the east side of this road, and at the distance of a little more than a mile from the village of Malden, stood in the year 1777 the homestead of John Van Ness, the pioneer of the Chatham family of that name, who with his wife, Jane Van Alen, removed from Kinderhook and settled there about the year 1749, when he acquired title to what is now divided into several farms, including also the site of the village of Malden Bridge, and extending from the north bounds of the old Van Hoesen farm (now owned by Hon. Perkins F. Cady) the the Rensselaer county line.
"The homestead or dwelling-house, at the date mentioned, was of stone, and pierced with loopholes for defense, being used as a fort or rallying-place, in case of sudden alarm.§ Here were born and reared the family of the proprietor, numbering one daughter and five sons; several of the latter serving as officers in the American army during the Revolution. A portion of the same stone walls now form the lower story of the residence of Samuel Hand, Esq. A small stream, flowing eastwardly into the Kinderhook creek, then as now crossed the road a few rods south of the house, spanned by a road bridge, beyond which and on the west side of the road stood an old-fashioned Dutch barn, with low projecting eaves."
The locality thus described was the scene of the murder of Abraham Van Ness, the circumstances of which are related as follows, by Mr. Jesse Van Ness (now of Wisconsin), a grandson of John Van Ness, and consequently a nephew of the murdered Abraham:
"At the time Burgoyne was making his way south to form a junction with the British commander at New York, the Tories through the region of the Hudson river were collecting in squads to go north to join Burgoyne's army, one lot of whom was composed of men from the region south of grandfather's [i.e., John Van Ness'], and quite a number of them acquaintances of the family; a portion of them, from the Kline Kill neighborhood, were the party that did the robbing and killing. It appears---as I have been informed by my father and Uncle 'Bot' (Bartholomew) Van Valkenburgh and an old gentlemen who belonged to the militia at the time, named John Sluyter (a brother of the late Dominie Sluyter, of Claverack)---that the family of sons of grandfather as well as himself were at work in the harvest at the time, and not having seen any Tories for a number of days, it was supposed that they had left for the north [that is, for Burgoyne's army]. Uncle Abraham held a commission of some kind, and had been absent on duty for some time, and returned on furlough the day before he was killed, and was resting on the day of his death, when suddenly the house was attacked, and the family had barely time to close and fasten the doors, yet the doors were broken open with axes, etc. The Tories having entered the house, Uncle Abraham was taken by them, and after they had him a prisoner, they consulted as to what disposition they should make of him; some of the Tories were for taking him along to Burgoyne's army, while others said that he was acquainted with them, and if he should escape he would inform against them, and that he had better be disposed of, and he was consequently shot.
"Now whether this is wholly correct as to the details I am unable to say, but that he was a martyr to the cause of liberty in undeniable, and that seven of that same band of Tories were executed, near Albany, for that and other acts of like nature is quite certain; and in the a connection, the old gentleman, John Sluyter, was one of the guard around the gallows, and witnessed the execution, as I had it from his own lips, and the old veteran would shed tears profusely while relating the killing of uncle and of the execution,---the latter part would arouse the old man, and he seemed to feel all the ardor of his youth returning at the recital, Uncle 'Bot' (Bartholomew) Van Valkenburgh has frequently told me of the circumstances, and how himself and his brother, the father of John J. Van Valkenburgh,¶ was called and laid out the body of Uncle Abraham, made a coffin, and how he was buried while the party was guarded by armed men."
William I. Van Ness, brother of Jesse, and now a resident of Northampton Co., Va., adds to the above, concerning the murder of his uncle Abraham, as follows: "The active company, at the time of my uncle Abraham's death, had for captain my uncle David; lieutenant, Uncle John; and for ensign, Uncle Abraham. the company, with David as captain, was at Saratoga at the surrender of Burgoyne.
"The Tories at that time considered the rebels as outlaws, and organized bands to rob and to arrest any active Revolutionist. Whole neighborhoods of patriots would join to work, first this and then that man's field, while a small guard would be left at their houses. My grandfather's family were particularly marked for their disloyalty, and one of these bands of Tories (I think eleven of them) watching their chance, fell upon the house when only my grandfather and Uncle Abraham were on guard. Grandfather at the time was at the barn. Resistance was useless. They took my uncle out-doors, and were about to tie him. He broke away, but was fired on by the whole party** while on the bridge, between the house and barn, and fell, pierced by several balls. Grandfather from the barn and grandmother from the house saw their son fall. The Tories hurriedly plundered the house and left.
"Now comes in a little scrap I got just fifty years ago. While yet an apprentice in Troy, I was sent down to the nail-factory to collect a bill from an old man (I regret I have lost his name). On giving him my name he asked my genealogy. When I told him, he at once brightened up to tell one of the descendants of that awful time and scene. He was one of the neighbors in the field. He said, 'We got the alarm, and in three hours we had thirty men after them. Your grandfather knew them (or most of them), and that very night we had three of them hanging on trees, and the next day we caught more. We did not stop to try them. Most of them were hung near Albany.'
"I have told you before that my grandfather was too old to take the field. He had been an active scout in the old French war, some of his exploits furnishing Cooper whole scenes in his 'Last of the Mohicans.' "
Immediately prior to the opening of the Revolution there existed in what is now the county of Columbia an organized "regiment of foot," of which the field-officers were Jeremiah Hogeboom, colonel; Johannes Van Hoesen, lieutenant-colonel; and Jacobus Delamater, major. Solomon Strong was adjutant, and Caspar Huyck quarter-master. We do not know what service they performed in the war (excepting the company of Captain John McKinstry), but it is probable that they saw service of some kind, either in the field or at home, in the equally necessary and scarcely less arduous duty of controlling the troublesome and dangerous Tories. We therefore give the list of officers and men of the different companies, except that of Captain Casparus Conyn, the roll of which is not found with the others, which are in the possession of Mr. Tobias Esselstyn, of Claverack. The composition of the companies was as follows:
CAPTAIN STEPHEN HOGEBOOM'S COMPANY.
Captain, Stephen Hogeboom.
First lieutenant, Cornelius S. Muller.
Second lieutenant, Jogham Muller,
Third lieutenant, Peter Hogeboom.
Clerk, Matthew Scott.
Sergeants, John Juriah Van Hosen, Peter Esselstyn, Juriah Smith, John Nap, Nathaniel Kinney.
Corporals, Broar Janse Dacker, Ament Ostrander, John Van Hosen.
Drummer, Jonathan Pitcher.
PRIVATES.---Abraham Vosburgh, Derrick Muller, Jacob Philip, Jr., Wm. Michel, Samuel Hollinback, John Harder, Hendrick Row, John Morris, Jeremiah (Johs.) Muller, Johannes Muller, Robard Halinback, Peter Harder, Joseph Egelston, Jacob Bout, Jr., Thomas Begraft, Jr., Jacob Hardock, Jacob F. Hardock, Derrick Van Derker, William Rees, John Hardock, Derrick Van Hosen, William Garner, Johannes Skinkle, Jacob Skinkle, Jeremiah Delamter, John Nuttingham, Maties Hollenback, Carilon Stolp, Jr., Jacob Anderson, Peter Bout, Jacob Van Hosen, Jan J. Van Hosen, Peter Smith, Matthew Crum, James Parker, Andrus Ostrander, Hendrick Ostrander, Jacob Risedorf, Peter Muller, Jacob Hogeboom, Abraham Hardock, Samuel Pratt, William Cadman, Jerome Groat, Derrick (john) Muller, Peter (Jonas) Muller, John Halinback, Johannes Smith, Guisbert Turner, Coanrat Shults Samuel Church, Henry Selsberg, John Selsberg, Maties Bout, William Bout, John Warn, Garret Van Hoesen, Jonathan Rees, Daniel Adams.
CAPTAIN JAMES SPENCER'S COMPANY.
Captain, James Spencer.
Lieutenants, Roger Kinne, Jonathan Dean.
Ensign, Stephen Graves.
Clerk, Truman Powell.
Sergeants, Amos Lawrence, Jonah Graves, Judah Lawrence, Jacob Foord.
Corporals, Daniel Bowers, Jonathan Sheppard, Eleazer Spencer, David Pratt.
Drummer, Samuel Foot.
PRIVATES.---Simeon Rowley, Israel Woolsey, Boslion Rosman, John Rosman, Benjamin Allen, Silas Palmer, Eli Reynolds, Eli Reynolds, Jr., David Preston, John Preston, Elihu Lawrence, Ebenezer Soles, Benjamin Richmond, Stephen Richmond, Abel Kidder, Ephraim Kidder, Abraham Chase, Abraham Freese, Harmonous Flock, Moses Spencer, David Spencer, Phineas Spencer, Samuel Spencer, Stephen Kline, Abner Johnson, Eliphas Spencer, Daniel Lee, Roswell Lee, Amaziah Phillips, Richard Phillips, Benjamin Hawley, Israel Holdridge, Daniel Stuart, Matthias Spencer, Eliakim Nichols, James Wallen, John Stedman, Charles Davenport, Ezekiel Palmer, Stephen Palmer, Gaius Dean, Jonathan Chamberlin, Reuben Wetmore, Elisha Chamberlin, John Taylor, Benjamin Chittenden, Caleb Brainard, Hezekiah Doolittle, Jeriah Williams, Elisha Chaddock, Joel Lee, Samuel Dart, Samuel Curtis, Return Holcom, Stephen Holcom, Ebenzer Holcom, Ashbell Goff, Michel Wilson, David Auger, Zebulon Alger, Samuel Williams, Matthew Hatch, Ebenezer Andrews, Allen Graves, Increase Graves, Joseph Mool, Joseph Tillotson, Asa Spencer, Ebenezer Tyler, John Ward, James Hymes, James Andrus, Stephen Chapman, James Ackley, Christopher Brazee, Jr., Gabriel Brazee, Wilson Brazee, Lawrence Brazee, Aaron Taylor, Thomas Jostlin, Beriah Thomas, Timothy Spalding, Ichabod Squire, Ichabod Squire, Jr., Bartholomew Barret, Daniel Messinger, Andrew Messinger, Roderick Messinger, Asel Drake, Asel Drake, Jr., Charles Blum, David Hutchinson, Samuel Hutchinson, Ludlow Owen, Abraham Bliss, Dominy McCollany, Miles Griswold, Elijah Stasson, Richard Soper, Benjamin Bankson, Amos Carver, Lonson Saxton, Ebenezer Saxton, William Saxton, Andrew Quick, Jeremiah Reynolds, Thomas Brown, Jonathan Welch, Barnabas Brunson, William Shapley, Cornelius Fuller, Ichabod Squire, Seth Scudder, Joseph Rodman, John Scudder, Moses Root, Edward Cadmond, Asa Chaddock John Rolin, Thomas Clark, Ephraim Wright, Benjamin Kellogg, Silas Doty, Jediah Graves, Daniel Taylor, Ephraim Leach, Abraham Bliss, Levi Phelps, Amaziah Carver, Joseph Andrus, Oliver Goff, Zephaniah Holcomb, Abel Wright, Abijah Ford, Barnabas Kinne, Amos Story, Benjamin Valentine, William Chamberlin, John Wright, John Wright, Jr., Nathaniel Cross, Jabez Spencer, Joel Pratt, John Griswold, Benjamin Ford, Simeon Dudley, Peter Dinne, Aaron Day, David Day, Caleb Ede, Jonah Phelps, Peter Hizer, Abraham Peutt, Coonrad Rossman.
CAPTAIN JOHANNES PLASS' COMPANY
Captain, Johannes Plass.
First lieutenant, Derick Delamater.
Second lieutenant, William Holinback.
Ensign, Jacob Carter.
Clerk, Peter a. Fonda.
Sergeants, Thos. Everts, Abraham Van Hoesen, Jacob Hallenback.
Corporals, Tobias Bout, Johannis (Jac.) Van Hoesen, Joshua Broeks.
PRIVATES.---Lukes Wilback, Thomas Wilback, Hendrick Rees, Jr., Adam Hudron, Conrot Hydorn, Johannes Van Deusen, Gloudey Van Deusen, Gloudey Delamater, Jr., Donwe Fonda, Nicholas Nichols, Jonathan Begraft, Johannes G. Van Hoesen, Thomas Carter, Thomas Rees, Simon Hoes, Michel Harder, Jr., George Harder, George Dacker, Jr., Henry Dacker, Johanyost Celder, Hendrick Celder, Jr., Frederick Blesing, Samuel Ekens, Moses Ekens, Patrick Cranhyt, Hendrick Halinback, William Halinback, Cornelous (Jac.) Van Hoesen, Jacob Van Hoesen, (the 3rd), Garret Van Hoesen, Jr., Peter Van Hoesen, Jr., Levy Padock, Matthew Everts, Jonas Rees, Adam Kook, John Hardick, Jr., Myndert Bent, Jogham Plass, Andries Halinback, Jacob Harder, Jr., Jonathan W. Rees, Nicholaus Marris, William Calder, John McDonald, William Begraft, Jonathan Rees, Hendrick Wilback, Jr., Joshua Broeks, Jr., SAmuel (Jons.) Ten Broeck, William Schermerhorn, Yeron Halinbeck, Jacob Bows, Andrew Halinback, Benjamin Frear, Abraham Frear, Peter Frear, Aaron Beach, Ayer Curtis, John Speer, Oliver Cool, Ohradirick Cool, Award Petterson, John Vaughn, Richard Vaughn, John Steward, Robard Farnsworth, Joshua Kellogg, Eldert Kellogg, Oliver Taylor, John Cleveland, Isaac Ward, Elisha Ward, Ephraim Brunsen, Thomas Hatch, Lemuel Hill, William Tuknes.
CAPTAIN RICHARD ESSELSTYN'S COMPANY
Captain, Richard Esselstyn.††
First lieutenant, David Bonesteel.
Second lieutenant, William Philip.
Clerk, Claude Delamater.
Sergeants, Simon Shutts, Henry Stever, Simon New, John P. Bortle,
Corporals, William Alsworth, Dirck Smith, Benjamin Beach, Conrat Ree.
Drummer, Martin Ree.
PRIVATES.---Andrew Miller, William Muller, Jacob Muller, Samuel Miller, John Miller, Adam Wagoner, John Esselstyn, Jacob Houghtaling, Abraham Esselstyn, Thomas Whiting, John Coons, George Finkle, Jr., William Clapper, Martin Houghtaling, Frederick Hellekas, John Hellekas, Martin Van Deusen, Abram Van Deusen, Harmon Jacobs, William rodman, Frederick Bonesteel, Hendrick Kelder, Thomas Kelder, Henry Proper, Carlogh Stolph, Jr., Peter Stufflebeen, Henry Stufflebeen, William Philip, Jr., Peter Stolp, Andrew Bamhover, Barent Lyck, Abram Houghtaling, Jacob Semon, Jeremiah Smith, Martin Crom, Frederick Fell, Conrat Schout, George Philip, Jacob Shufelt, H. William Shufelt, Peter Shufelt, John Thurtin, Jacob Deney, Nicholas Deney, George Hener, Christian Ree, Henry Hener, Peter Hener, Peter Bortle, Jacob Best, Henry Bonesteel William Dierik, John Loot, Elisha Demmens, Wm. Semon, Henry, Semon, Jeremiah C. Muller, Jerry Embrigh, John Demmons, Peter Stever.
CAPTAIN THOMAS STORM'S COMPANY.
Captain, Thomas Storm.
First lieutenant, Peter Loop.
Second lieutenant, Isaac J. Vosburgh.
Ensign, Isaac Spoor.
Sergeants, Gershom Darling, Robert Rorabagh, Bartholomew Heath, Samuel Coon.
Corporals, Nathaniel Frisly, Andrew Cool, Thomas Robbins, Andrew Schermerhorn.
Clerk, Evert Heermance.
Drummer, Daniel Kelley.
PRIVATES.---Gilbert Turner, Barent Van Deusen, Jacob Heermance, Jr., Ebenezer Culver, Peter Vosburgh, Peter R. Ludlow, John Hagerman, Charles Boice, Isaac Chase, George Kilmer, Henry Kilmer, Jonathan Rudd, Henry Chrisler, John Loop, William Luycks, Nicholas Luycks, John Rorabagh, Peter Sisson, William Moor, Henry Rorabagh, Anthony Bever, Dirck Miller, Jr., William Miller, Jr., Isaac Grimes, Philip Burch, John Smith, John White, William White, Jr., John White, Jr., Peter White, Israel Walker, Andrew Brasie, Samuel Warner, John Warner, Richard Warner, Gideon Walker, Nicholas Sherts, Aaron Pixley, Jacob Darling, Abram Rees, Philip Rees, Ephraim Witbeck, Cornelius Witbeck, Henry Witbeck, John Ronie, Elisha Pixley, George Alsburg, Gilbert Decker, Jan Hallenbeck, Michael Hallenbeck, William Hallenbeck, Samuel Hallenbeck, Nicholas Hallenbeck, Clark Pixley Thomas Rorabagh, Joseph Boice, Michael Ray, Henry Cline, George Sisson, John McFarling, Jonah Pixley, Cornelius H. Brent, Cornelius McCarter, Joseph Morehouse.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM VAN ALSTYN'S COMPANY.
Captain, William Van Alstyn.
First lieutenant, John Upham.
Second lieutenant, Jeremiah Miller.
Ensign, A. B. Bacon.
Clerk, Tobias Legget.
Sergeants, Peter Van Valkenburg, Frederick Moul, Roeloff Van De. Karr, Lawrence Hogeboom.
Corporals, Jacob Philip, Peter Dingman, Jurrien Yator, Wm. Wood.
Drummer, Michael Lusk.
PRIVATES.---William Martin, Hendrick Van De Karr, Arent Van De Karr, Ezekiel Benewie, Peter Helm, Hendrick Shever, Johannes Van De Karr, Derick Van De Karr, Johannes Van De Karr, Jr., Feyt Miesick, Johannes Miesick, Thomas Miesick, Hendrick Miesick, Johannes Miesick, Jr., Jacob Vosburgh, Martin Vosburgh, Peter Vosburgh, Jacobus Legget, Jonathan Smith, J. A. Smith, Johannes Dingman, Hendrick Skinkle, Jacob Dingman, Andries Dingman, Jurrien Van Valkenburgh, Hans Van Valkenburgh, Wilmelmus Philip, Charles Smith, Johannes Traver, Jacob Cole, Cornelius Hogeboom, Lawrence Scherp, Peter Scherp, Andries Witbeck, Peter Conyn, Benjamin Newkirk, Johannes Hogeboom, Barent Waeger, David Saeger, Michael Saeger, Johannes Foos, Nicholas Groat, Jerome Groat, Jacobus Groat, John Mandigo, John Rossman, David Foot, Michael Foot, Frederick Martin.
LIEUTENANT HENDRICK VAN HOESEN'S COMPANY.
First lieutenant, Hendrick Van Hoesen.
Second lieutenant, Francis Hardick, Jr.
Ensign, Samuel Ten Broeck.
Sergeants, Garret Van Hoesen, Abraham E. Van Alen, Justus Van Hoesen, Justus Folkhamer.
PRIVATES.---Garret Hardick, Justus Hardick, Leonard Hardick, Jonathan Hardick, John Hardick, Jacob F. Van Hoesen, Daniel Young, Jacob Hardick, Jr., Peter Becker, Cornelius Becker, Peter Hardick, John Nicholas Van Hoesen, William Van Hoesen, Cornelius Van Hoesen, Jr., Jacob John Van Hoesen, John Jacob Van Hoesen, John Becker, John Johannes Van Deusen, Isaac Morey, John Hardick, Jr., David Williams, Abel Brockway, Lucas Salsbury, Nicholas Van Hoesen, Benjamin Harder, William Cockren, Alexander Patterson, Timothy Allen, Robert Coventry, John Holmes, John Van Salsburgh, Mathias Hoes, Michael Harder, Jr., peter Harder, John Folkhamer, Andrew Bowman, Johannes Smith, Peter Smith, Johannes Peter Smith, Hendrick Dingman, Andreas Dingman, Adolphus Dingman, Tunis Smith, Thomas Patrick, Johannes Miller, Jr., Abraham A. Van Alen, Jacob L. Winegart, Killian Van Rensselaer, Peter Van Rensselaer, John Miller, William Henry Ludlow, Henry H. Ludlow, Leonard Ten Broek, Christopher Witmore, Jeremiah Adam Smith, Johannes Dingman, Cornelius Fonda.
CAPTAIN JEREMIAH C. MILLER'S COMPANY.
Captain, Jeremiah C. Miller.
First lieutenant, William Van Ness.
Second lieutenant, Hendrick Miller.
Clerk, Christophel Miller.
Sergeants, David Brewer, Hendrick Sholts, John Edmunds.
PRIVATES.---Peter Wisner, Peter Groat, David Hoffman, Darby Nunan, Hendrick Miesick, Jr., William Mickle, Adam Herder, Luke Bowman, Stephen C. Miller, Jr., Jacob Harder, Brower Decker, Hendrick Graat, Christian Haver, Christian Haver, Jr., Nicholas Stupplebeem, John Jerry Covel, Nicholas Simon, Wynaart Mantle, Johannes Holsapple, Johannes Moul, Cornelius J. Miller, Hendrick Philip, Peter Philip, Felta Stopplebeem, Helmas Ostrander, Jacob Conklin, John Rowe, Frederick Lant, George Lant, Bartholomew Van Valkenburgh, John C. Ten Broek, Philip Holsapple, Justus Brockway, Derick Russell, Abram I. Van Valkenburgh, Lawrence Lant, Jeremiah Lant, Mathias Embrigh, Francis Embrigh, Adam Embrigh, Hendrick Snyder, George Embrigh, John P. Van Salisbergh, John Scott, Jr., Stephen S. Miller, Jeremiah Miller, George Cadman, Isaac Lanfear, Christopher Garneright, Leonard Van Hoesen, Nicholas Miller, William Holsapple, John G. Vought, Jacob Sharp, Godfrey Schoomaker, Urquechel Hyser, Alexander McLean, William Rowe, John Conklin.
Another of the companies in this regiment was commanded by Capt. John McKinstry, of Livingston, who fought bravely at the battle of the Cedars, on the St. Lawrence river, May 19, 1776, on which occasion he was captured by the Indians under the famous Thayendanega, or Captain Brant. The Indians having taken Capt. McKinstry, were preparing to murder him by torture, when, having heard that Brant was a Freemason, he bethought himself to give the hailing signal of distress, which the red chieftain recognized, and at once saved and liberated the captive. From that time Brant and Capt. McKinstry were fast friends during life. It is related that whenever afterwards the former came as near as Albany, he never failed to visit the man whose life he had saved, and that in 1805 he, with Capt. (then Colonel) McKinstry, visited the Masonic lodge in Hudson, where he was handsomely received, and was an object of great curiosity.
The following is an abstract of the commissioned and non-commissioned officers and soldiers belonging to Capt. John McKinstry's company in the Fifteenth Regiment, commanded by Col. John Patterson, for the month of September, 1776, which is undoubtedly nearly identical with the company which he commanded at the Cedars, viz.:
Captain, John McKinstry.
First lieutenant, Thomas McKinstry.
Second lieutenant, John Pennoyer.
Ensign, Gerard Fitch.
Sergeants, William Cheney, William Pike, Othniel Phelps, Jesse Hollister, William Roberts.
Corporals, Prosper Polley, John Brown, Samuel Utley, William Roberts, Joel Phelps.
Drummer, Abraham Ackley.
PRIVATES.---Joel Phelps, Isaac Welch, Matthew Hatch, Jonathan Dunham, Stephen Gregory, John Spencer, Mabrra Evins, William Bennett, David Forbes, Malachi Gates, Michael Murray, Samuel Horsford, William Hatch, Isaac Doty, John Stewart, John Limmon, John Connolly, Isaiah Jurdin, Oliver Fletcher, Elihu Parker, Daniel Willer, Josiah Cleveland, Charles Sheffield, David Hunt, Thomas Kinion, Elijah Hatch, Asa Crawfoot, James Hatch, Abel Buck, John Blair, Francis Basherow, Zachariah Newton, David Fletcher, James Russ, David Shepard, David Webb, Morris Roach, Benjamin Wiggins, Joseph Robbins, Michael Willson, Willaim Brisie, Solomon Alexander, Daniel Pathin, Benjamin Graves, John Bentley, William F. Jerts, Jonathan Tillison, Daniel Gray, John Scott, James Coventry, Joseph Hollister, Daniel Avery, Amos Pennoyer.
Capt. McKinstry also served in the campaign on the Mohawk, under Colonel Robert Van Rensselaer, of Claverack. During this service, while the command was marching to the relief of Fort Brown, which was invested and in most imminent danger, the captain took occasion to remonstrate with Colonel Van Rensselaer, on account of the very slow progress which they were making, assuring him that the people at the fort would be overpowered and massacred if they did not reach them soon, and that they were wasting time which was of priceless value. The colonel, instead of heeding McKinstry's protest, deliberately gave the order to halt for dinner, upon which the brave captain passionately broke his sword before the colonel's eyes, saying that under such a commander he had no need of a weapon. Whether he was place in arrest for this insubordination and insult or not we have no account.
Below is given a copy of the "Declaration of the officers of the Regiment of Hillsdale," dated "Claverack District, County of Albany, November 17, 1775," with the names of officers of six companies, as follows:
"We, the subscribers, the officers of the Ninth regiment, in the county of Albany and Colony of New York, do hereby promise and Engage, under all the ties of religion, honor, and regard to our Country, that we will respectively duly observe and carry into Execution to the utmost of our power all and every the orders, Rules, and recommendations made, or to be made, by the Continental Congress and the Congress or Convention of this Colony; that we will also give, in our respective ranks, due obedience to the regulations by them established for the forming of the militia in the Colony, as also due obedience to such officers who either by rank or Superiority are placed above us, in such order as is directed by the said Continental or Provincial Congress.
"Colonell, Peter Van Ness.
"Lieutenant-Colonell, Stephen Hogeboom.
"First Major, Jacob Ford.
"Second Major, David Pratt.
"Adjutant, Bartholomew Heath.
"Captain 1st Company, Philip Bartle.
"First Lieutenant, Cornelius Hogeboom.
"Second Lieutenant, Elias Delong.
"Ensigns, -----Ray; Francis Delong, Oct. 20, 1776.
"Second Lieutenant, Benjamin Allen, Jan. 24, 1777.
"Captain 2d Company, Ithamar Spencer.
"First Lieutenant, Abner Hanley.
"Second Lieutenant, Jonathan Pitcher, Oct. 20, 1776.
"Ensign, Amaziah Phillips.
"Captain 3d Company, Jonah Graves.
"First Lieutenant, Charles McArthur.
"Second Lieutenant, William Fickner.
"Ensign, Stephen Graves, Oct. 20, 1776.
"Captain 4th Company, Bartholomew Barrett, Oct. 21, 1776.
"First Lieutenant, Abner Kellogg, Oct. 21, 1776.
"Second Lieutenant, Daniel Boons, Oct. 21, 1776.
"Ensign, Roswell Lee, Oct. 21, 1776.
"Captain 5th Company, Jonathan Bixby, Dec. 2, 1776.
"First Lieutenant, Abel Whalen, Dec. 2, 1776.
"Second Lieutenant, Joseph Heath, Dec. 2, 1776.
"Ensign, Abram Bliss, Oct. 20, 1776.
"Captain 6th Company, Nathaniel House, Dec. 10, 1776.
"First Lieutenant, Joshua Whitney, Dec. 10, 1776.
"Second Lieutenant, David McKinstry, Jan. 24, 1777.
"Ensign, Johannis J. Van Valkenburgh.
The later dates set against the names of some of the officers lead to the belief that the regiment was not completed and organized until the autumn of 1776. We are told in a general ways that they served in the Mohawk country, but it is believed that a part of the command at least was with Gates' army at Saratoga. A full company was in the service in 1777 under Capt. Tiel Rockefeller, of Germantown, and also a company of nine months' men under Capt. Lothrop Allen.
Dr. Moses Younglove, then of the eastern part of the county, but afterwards of the city of Hudson, was in the service as brigade-surgeon under General Herkimer in the Mohawk valley, and was present at the battle of Oriskany, where he was made prisoner by an Indian, and received harsh usage during his captivity, as appears from an affidavit made by him some months later before the Albany county committee,---John Barclay, chairman,---in which he deposed and said, "that being in the battle of said militia, above Oriskany, on the 6th of August last (1777), toward the close of said battle he surrendered himself a prisoner to a savage, who immediately gave him up to a sergeant of Sir John Johnson's regiment; soon after which a lieutenant in the Indian department came up in company with several other Tories, when said Mr. Grinnis by name drew his tomahawk at this deponent, and with a deal of persuasion was hardly prevailed on to save his life. He then plundered him of his watch, buckles, spurs, etc.; and other Tories following his example stripped him almost naked, with a great many threats while they were stripping, and massacreing prisoners on every side. That this deponent, on being brought before Mr. Butler, Senr., who demanded of him what he was fighting for, to which this deponent answered, 'he fought for the liberty that God and Nature gave him, and to defend himself and dearest connections from the massacre of savages.' To which Butler replied, 'You are a damned impudent rebel,' and so saying, immediately turned to the savages, encouraging them to kill him, and if they did not the deponent and the other prisoners should be hanged on a gallows then preparing. That several prisoners were then taken forward toward the enemy's headquarters, with frequent scenes of horror and massacre, in which Tories were active as well as savages. . . .That the prisoners who were not delivered up were murdered in considerable numbers from day to day round the camp, some of them so nigh that their shrieks were heard. That Capt. Martin, of the bateaux-men, was delivered to the Indians at Oswego, on pretence of his having kept back some useful intelligence. That this deponent during his imprisonment, and his fellows, were kept almost starved for provisions; and what they drew were of the worst kind, such as spoiled flour, biscuit full of maggots and mouldy and no soap allowed or other method of keeping clean; and were insulted, struck, etc., without mercy by the guards, without any provocation given. That this deponent was informed by several sergeants orderly on Gen. St. Leger that twenty dollars were offered in general orders for every American scalp." Dr. Younglove died Jan. 31, 1829, at the age of seventy-seven years, and his ashes lie beneath a handsome monument in the Hudson cemetery.
The most prominent officer from this county who served in the American army during the Revolution was Gen. Henry B. Livingston. His first notable service in that war was at the storming of Quebec, in December, 1775, where he led an assaulting column against the defenses of the upper town. As lieutenant-colonel he commanded a regiment in the battle of Stillwater, in 1777, and was present at the surrender of Burgoyne. He commanded at Verplanck's Point at the time of André's capture and Arnold's escape, in 1780. With but a single light piece---a four-pounder---he audaciously engaged the British frigate "Vulture," and this he did with so much vigor and effect that but for the setting in of the flood-tide the ship must have sunk. As it was, the cannonade, by alarming and delaying André, led to his capture and saved West Point. Speaking of his conduct upon that occasion Gen. Washington said to him, "It is a great source of gratification to me that the post was in the hands of an officer so devoted as yourself to the cause of your country." And says Lossing, "Washington's confidence was not misplaced, for there was not a purer patriot in that war than Henry B. Livingston." He was made a brigadier-general at the close of the war, and afterwards retired to his home in Columbia county, where he died in 1831.
*The territory of New York was at that time supposed to extend east to the Housatonic (or, as it was then called, the Westenhook) river.
† A British detachment under Gen. Vaughan did land at Clermont in 1777, and remained long enough to fire the Livingston mansion at that place, after which they retreated precipitately. This is the only instance of an armed foe ever settling foot within the county. After Burgoyne's surrender he and some of his suite passed as prisoners through Kinderhook, and were hospitably entertained there.
‡Among those who at one time formed the guard stationed at Ten Broeck's are found the names of Nicholas Power, Dirck Jansen, Marks Bladtner, Samuel J. Ten Broeck, Petrus Wynkoop, Jr., Petrus Van Gaasbeck, and Leonard Ten Broeck.
§Probably one of the strong houses built or put in defensible condition during the time of the Indian alarms. the Peckham house, near Chatham Centre, was another of the fortresses.
¶ John J. Van Valkenburgh is still living in Chatham, at the age of ninety-six years.
**It will be noticed that this account of the killing differs slightly but immaterially from that given by Mr. Jesse Van Ness.
†† Promoted afterwards to major.