HTML by, Jan 2006









































"Closely allied to love of country is gratitude to its benefactors."









No. 103 Fulton street, New York.












Entered according to Act of Congress, the 7th of July, in the year 1846,




In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of













111 Nassau street, N. Y.







IT is a common remark, that whatever relates to the early history of our country possesses a peculiar interest. The writer of the following narratives, having often listened with intense interest to the thrilling events which occurred on the frontiers of Wawasink, in times “which tried men’s souls,”—and, as Paulding adds in his Life of Washington, “their bodies too,”—and to the striking inter­positions of Divine Providence, has thought that their publication would be interesting to the public—and especially to that portion who are descended from, or are connected with, the early settlers of Wawasink. But as the occurrences here were links in the great chain of events by which our national independence was achieved, we trust its perusal will be interesting to all.

It is hoped that the contemplation of those scenes through which our patriotic ancestors were called, in the providence of God, to pass, in order to secure the enjoyment of those precious rights and privi­leges which they esteemed of more value than life itself, will rekindle afresh the patriotic flame in the bosom of their sons, and nerve them to resist, with an unflinching arm, any attempt to prostrate or undermine our glorious national fabric, or any of our civil or reli­gious rights and privileges, which cost them so mach blood and treasure, and which it is our solemn duty to transmit unimpaired to posterity.

It is an interesting thought, and one intimately associated with the early settlement and defence of our country, that the great and paramount [p. iv] aim of the great mass of its early settlers was, to secure for themselves and their descendants the inestimable privilege of worshipping God according to the dictate of consciences enlightened by his word. This was especially the case with the French Huguenots and the Dissenters, or Puritans, of England. It was this great object which nerved them to endure all the hardships and privations incident to a settlement in an unbroken wilderness, and arising from savage barbarity and treachery. It is to our pious and intelligent ancestors that we are indebted, under Heaven, for the establishment of those unparalleled civil and religious institutions which we enjoy, and which distinguish us above every other nation under heaven.

Some of the Huguenots who fled from France, before the revocation of the Edict of Nantz, (1685,) tarried some time in Holland where they enjoyed that precious boon of liberty which they desired. But “the place was too strait for them” to think of making it their permanent abode. They obtained letters of introduction and recommendation from the Dutch in Holland, to their Dutch brethren who had already immigrated to Kingston, Ulster county, with whom they became amalgamated; and by them the valleys of the Rondout, Walkill, and Plattekill, have been chiefly settled.

The writer of the following narratives, being fully convinced of the truth of the maxim laid down by the great father of his country, in his Inaugural Address of 1789, “That there is an indissoluble union in the economy and course of nature, between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage,” has made it a point to notice the plans sentiments and practices of our devoted ancestors, and also the signal interposition of Divine Providence, as brought to view in these narratives. Many striking events have occurred, in the history of our country, which teach us that important truth, that “God is in history,” and which we think are sufficient to convince even the atheist, that there is a sovereign Disposer of events, who presides over the destinies of men and nations. Witness, for example, the case of the immortal Washington, when exposed to seventeen fair shots of an Indian, whose rifle was not wont to miss its mark, and our hero escaped [p. v] unhurt. {NOTE: Paulding informs us, in his Life of Washington, “that his clothes were completely perforated with bullet‑holes, and that he preserved that suit as a memorial of his miraculous preservation.”} What can be more clear, to an unprejudiced mind, than that Washington was raised up, and protected by Omnipotence, for the express purpose of delivering our country from the galling yoke of a foreign despot, and establishing a government that should be a model for all the world?

We might also allude to the wonderful escape of Colonel Mor­gan, in two instances, by means of the sudden rising of a river, which averted his capture by General Cornwallis, while marching with five hundred prisoners from South Carolina to Virginia. This event had an important bearing upon the operations of the armies in the South, which soon resulted in the surrender of Cornwallis, and the close of the war.

Although the following narratives do not present such extraordinary instances of divine interposition as the above, still the thoughtful reader will find much to elicit his gratitude to that Almighty Being who has provided for us, in this western world, an asylum from the galling yoke of civil and religious despotism.

As respects his materials for this little work, the author would say that he has been mostly indebted to tradition. Something, however, has been obtained from those who were actors in those scenes, and much from those who were then in boyhood. Having lived for many years in the vicinity where most of the events occurred, and having often heard them related by the old people, and having had the spots pointed out where they transpired, the writer has enjoyed advantages in this respect over many others, in getting the incidents correct. It is not expected, however, that a work of this kind should be perfect. Notices of errors, or any further interesting details, con­nected with these narratives, will be thankfully received and acknowledged, and may be addressed to the publisher. It has been the great aim of the author to present a plain statement of facts, accord­ing to the best authenticated accounts which have fallen within his [p. vi] reach—to applaud and commend the conduct of those who acted well their part in the great drama through which they were called to pass—and to exhibit the cowards and Tories, in all their naked deformity, to the derision and contempt of the world, that others might be deterred from walking in their steps.

The author can most heartily subscribe to the suggestions contained in an article published in the Christian Intelligencer of the 7th of September, 1844, extracted from the Christian Parlor Magazine wherein the writer advocates the propriety and utility of having a history of our country, “that would reveal the beatings of the common heart in the cause of liberty—that would lead us into the domestic circle,” and inform us of what passed there, in those days of darkness, that tried men’s and women’s souls, as well as those great achievements which decided the fate of armies in a day. Such a his­tory the author trusts he has been enabled to present of the town of Wawasink; and if similar histories should be written of other towns, equally rich in revolutionary lore, materials would be furnished for such a work as is recommended in the article alluded to above. The author feels that he owes an apology to the general reader for his minuteness in pointing out particular localities and family connexions. He has been induced to do so by the conviction, that the work would lose much of its interest to the descendants of the first settlers of Wawasink, (for whom it is particularly designed,) if this feature were omitted.

[pp. vii-viii]


INTRODUCTION,                                                                                                                                      9


Osterhout and Anderson taken Prisoners near Binghampton

They kill the Indians and Escape—Strange Conduct of Anderson.                                                          15


Murder of Shurker and Miller—Baker taken Prisoner—Three

Barns and one House Burnt—Pursuit by Capt. Kortright—­

Massacre of Lieut. John Graims, at Graimsville—Burial of

the Dead,                                                                                                                                                     20



Narrow Escape of Three School‑children from the Indians,                                                                     25


Massacre at Fantinekill—Widow of Isaac Bevier and two Sons

killed—Magdalene taken Prisoner and Released—Michael

Socks’ whole family killed—Narrow Escape of Jesse Bevier

and family—Wonderful Sagacity of a Dog—Bold and Heroic

Conduct of Lewis Bevier and Conradt Bevier—Arrival of

Col. Cortland’s Regiment—Flight of the Women and Children

to the Mountain—Laudable Conduct of Capt. Kortright,                                                                        26



Murder of John and Elsie Mack, by the Indians, in the Shawan­gunk

Mountain—Narrow Escape of John Mans and Col. Jan­sen,                                                                     38


Burning of Wawasink—Murder of Kettle—Noble Conduct of

Captains Kortright, Hardenbergh and Pierson—Capture of Hine

and Bouck—Their Sufferings and Escape—End of the War,                                                                   42



Treatment of Tories after the War by the Whigs,                                                                                      63

Treatment of the Tory Vanvleet, of Newtown,                                                                                          65

Contest between the Tories and Republicans, at the first Training

after the War,                                                                                                                                               65


Topatcoke,                                                                                                                                                  67

Ice Cave,                                                                                                                                                      67

The Honk Falls,                                                                                                                                           68

The Old Church of Wawasink,                                                                                                                   69

The Old Cannon,                                                                                                                                         73

Taxation of America,                                                                                                                                  75




   WHEN this country was discovered by Europeans, it was found to be inhabited by a brave and warlike people. Their immense numbers, and the extent of their settlements, (which were found to be co‑extensive with the bounds of the continent,) evince that they must either have immigrated to this country in considerable numbers, or they must have found their way to this continent at an early period, and spread by natural increase. The latter would appear most probable. Their universal acknowledgment of a “Great Spirit,” or Supreme Being, and their comparative exemption from the degrading and abominable sin of idol worship, would lead us to infer that they derived their origin from a people that had a knowledge of the true Jeho­vah—perhaps from the patriarchs, as early as the time of Jacob. We read in Genesis, 48th chapter, that Jacob, after blessing the sons of Joseph, prophesied that the “seed of Ephraim should become a multitude of nations.” Perhaps this prediction has been fulfilled in the American Indians, who are a multitude of distinct tribes, or “nations,” having peculiarities common to all; which would lead us to suppose that they all have one common origin. As respects the manner of their getting across the ocean, the most credible supposition, [p. x] in the opinion of the writer, is, that they have crossed from Asia at Bhering’s Straits, which are said to be but forty miles wide, and might be crossed with canoes; and besides that, it is sometimes frozen over. They may also have crossed part of the way on the ice, and part of the way in a canoe. But all attempts to arrive at certainty in this matter, have ever proved futile, and probably will, to the end of time.

It does not appear that the whites purchased the land of the Indians west of the Shawangunk, as they did the Old Paltz patent. This however, is not certain. Their settlements were scattered along the streams and brooks, where they cultivated small patches of corn and some other vegetables, on soil the easiest to be subdued; having, until the whites came amongst them, no axes but those of stone, and no arms but bows and arrows, pointed with flint, which are still found occasionally by the ploughman. Their principal game was deer, which abounded in the boundless forests about them.

As the pale‑faces encroached upon them, they removed farther into the wilderness; but they carried on a traffic in furs, on their part, with the whites, in exchange for blankets, trinkets, ammunition, and intox­icating drinks, and were on amicable terms until the French war, when, it appears, that one family was mas­sacred at the county line, seven miles south of Napo­noch. After that, it does not appear that any depre­dations were committed on this frontier until the com­mencement of the Revolution. At that time the British agents, taking advantage of their fondness of war, and of their too just reason to complain of the encroachments of the whites, and also of their cupidity, (by offering them a guinea for every white scalp they obtained,) induced them to take part with them in an attempt to subdue the sons of liberty. Had it not been for this [p. xi] disgraceful act of the British, of forming a contract with savage tribes who could not be governed by the rules of civilized warfare, the inhabitants of this frontier might have reposed in security. But as it was, their lives were in constant jeopardy. At night they assem­bled in stockade forts, or several families would assem­ble in a common dwelling‑house, all of which, however, had their widows blockaded, and double doors, suffi­cient to stop a bullet. Their arms, also, must always be at hand. When they went to church, they carried their armor with them. When they were ploughing in the field, it was necessary to have a sentinel. Some removed their families across the mountain, into the towns of Shawangunk and Paltz, for safety. The State usually afforded some troops for the protection of the frontier; but they were often inadequate to the exigencies of the times, and the inhabitants had to depend mainly on their own resources for security and defence. In consequence of this state of things, the soil was but partially cultivated; whilst the price of all imported articles raised, and the taxes of the people were increased enormously; and to this may be added the depreciation of the continental money. Such were the burdens and privations in the Revolution. But all this was borne with patience, on account of the love they bore to the goddess of Liberty.

Although the Tories were not so numerous here, as in many other parts, still there were enough to apprise the Indians when there was a favorable opportunity of striking a blow on the whites, when there were but few troops on the line, &c. The most bitter animosity, (as the reader will readily apprehend,) existed between them and the Whigs; and when they fell into the power of the latter, even after the close of the war, they were treated with every insult, which justly, incurred enmity [p. xii] could devise, as will appear in the sequel of this work.

It was exceedingly difficult to convict them of Tory­ism, unless taken in the act of open hostility. They would live on the frontier, be much out in the woods, and communicate secretly with the Indians, and at the same time profess allegiance to the whites. The strong­est evidence against them, in most cases, was, that their property was not destroyed. When they went out with the Indians, they painted their faces, to avoid detection; but they could not paint their eyes, by which they were sometimes distinguished. In point of barbarity, they were even worse than the Indians, as will appear from the following circumstance, which occurred along the Mohawk River, and was related afterwards by one of those demons in human form, whilst under the influ­ence of strong drink.

The Indians and Tories gained access to a dwelling, and they found an infant laying in a cradle. As the Indian approached the child with his tomahawk, it smiled, and he shrunk back from the deed. Although he had, doubtless, often plunged the fatal instrument of death into the bosom of hardier foes, without compunc­tion, the stout heart of the savage warrior gave way before the penetrating smile of infant innocence: the infernal Tory then advanced, and executed the fatal deed.

The Indian settlements being far remote from the frontier, there was not much danger from them in the winter season; but as soon as the strengthened rays of the vernal sun had dissolved the snows on the sides of the western hills, they had to be on their guard. For their better security, it was customary to have out spies, or rangers, between the frontier and the settlements of the Indians, to watch the movements of the enemy, and [p. xiii] give notice of their approach; but in consequence of the subtle character of the enemy, but little benefit was derived from this measure.

The Indians have left an everlasting remembrance of themselves in the names which they have given to places in this town; such as Wawasink, Lackawack, Honkhill, Naponoch, Sockanisank, {NOTE: The name of a spring in the Shawangunk mountain} Tapatcoke, {NOTE: The name of a lot of low‑land near Naponoch} Poyenhook, &c.

Although our fathers were severely tried by pri­vations and hardships, they were not cast down. A kind providence gave them strength according to their day; and their common afflictions only served to strengthen the bond of affection between them. The following anecdotes will serve to show the good spirits of the people, and also their readiness for mutual defence.

Two men were ploughing on a farm, now owned by Mr. Simpson, one mile south of Naponoch—a third man was stationed as a sentinel, to watch the Indians. He became weary of watching, and strolled off along the creek, amongst some trees; the ploughmen deter­mined to put a trick upon him, and at the same time punish him for his indolence. They seized their guns, and fired over his head in the bushes. Not doubting that a host of Indians were on hand, he laid his course for the Naponoch, and the ploughmen in full pursuit. “The race went hot” for about a mile, when he came to the Naponoch Creek, into which he bounded like a deer closely pursued by hounds. Here he found some soldiers bathing; but before he could communicate the matter, the ploughmen came up and explained the riddle.

[p. xiv] On another occasion, some neighbors and soldiers were assembled at Capt. Andrew Bevier’s, at Napo­noch, in the evening, and they determined to put a trick upon Johannis Bevier, who lived where the Female Seminary now stands; so they mounted the old cannon on some kind of a carriage, loaded it, and drew it slily immediately in front of Bevier’s house, in the street. One of the company went into the house, to prevent him from injuring them, and to see how he would act. He was sitting by the fire, rather in a sleepy mood. The moment the cannon was fired, he sprang up and seized his gun, which lay over his head against the beam, and sprang to the window, ready to pour the leaden death into his supposed adversaries, when his hand was stayed by the man who had been sent in for that purpose.



NOTE.—A man by the name of Conradt Vernooy was shot by the Indians, in the French war, as he was riding along the road near the house of John G. Hardenbergh, Esq. He rode to the Esquire’s. On loosening his clothes, the blood gushed out, and he died suddenly. He was an ancestor of Simon Vernooy, now living in the town of Shawangunk, Ulster county.







Osterhout and Anderson taken Prisoners, near Binghampton—They

Kill the Indians and Escape—Strange Conduct of Anderson.


IT is the unanimous testimony of tradition, that the following events occurred a little before, or about the commencement of the American Revolution—the pre­cise date is not known.

There was a widow lady living at Lackawack, about four miles from Naponoch, who had lost her second husband. Her first husband’s name was Osterhout, and she had a son by the name of Jacob Osterhout. She kept a public house at that place; and it appears that either Osterhout or Anderson had, on a previous occa­sion, offended the Indians, by telling her not to let them have any more liquor. The Indians were deter­mined on revenge; and a favorable opportunity occur­ring when George Anderson and Jacob Osterhout were both at this tavern in the night, three Indians entered it, took them both prisoners, and carried them off towards Binghampton, in Broome county. It appears that whilst they were securing the prisoners, the woman fled, with no other clothing about her than her night clothes. She was out all night in the woods, and in a shower of rain. The next day she came to Wawa­sink, and gave the alarm. Whether the Indians were [p. 16] pursued or not, the writer has not been able to ascertain—the probability is, that they were.

The prisoners were taken to within thirteen miles of the place of destination, where they effected their escape. George Anderson could understand the Indian dialect, and on their last day’s march he gathered from the conversation of the Indians that it was their design to scalp Osterhout, he being a weakly man, and not able to travel fast. That said his scalp would fetch more than he would be worth alive. Anderson made this known to his companion in tribulation, and endeavored to inspire him with a determination to make a desperate effort to escape. At night, in the providence of God, an opportunity offered. The Indians, as their custom was, after taking supper and securing the pris­oners, retired to rest by the side of a large fire provided for the purpose. Before the Indians retired, a knife had been used either by them in securing the prisoners, or by the prisoners, in eating. Anderson succeeded in covering it slightly in the leaves with his feet, without being discovered by the Indians. They looked for it before retiring to rest, but not finding it readily, gave up the search. Tired by the avocations of the day, they soon fell into a deep sleep; but sleep was too “coy a dame to be wooed by the prisoners that night.” With the assistance of the glimmering embers, Ander­son found the knife, with which he cut loose the fetters of his fellow prisoner, who then cut him loose. The next thing was to despatch the Indians, two of whom lay an one side of the fire, and one on the other. The understanding was that Osterhout should kill the one, and Anderson the other two. Each took the hatchet to give the fatal blow. Anderson commenced; but in his haste, he struck the first Indian rather slightly, when he rose up and fell into the fire; the next blow finished [p. 17] the other. Osterhout not doing his part, he crossed over to the other side of the fire, and killed the third Indian. In the mean time Osterhout had pulled the first Indian out of the fire, instead of helping to destroy them. This conduct of Osterhout appears surpassing strange, and can only be accounted for on the ground that he, being a weakly, timid man, was completely disconcerted and unnerved, and for the time being, did not know what he was doing. There were two squaws with the Indians, who woke up, and made the forest resound with their frantic yells. One tradition of this event says that the agreement between Osterhout and Anderson was, that the former was to kill the squaws, and the latter the Indians. Could this have been effected, their subsequent danger of arrest by other Indians would not have been half so great. But as it turned out, they were well aware that the squaws would inform the nearest Indians of what had occur­red; and if they should be so unfortunate as to fall into their hands, alter having killed three of their num­ber, the most awful torture that savage barbarity could invent, embittered by revenge, (the darling passion of the Indian,) would be their inevitable doom. Nerved by this reflection, as well as encouraged by what they had already, with the blessing of Heaven, been enabled to accomplish, by which they were relieved from imme­diate danger, they made every preparation in their power for their return, taking from the slaughtered Indians all the food which they had with them, and such other articles as might be useful to them in their journey, which lay most of the way through an unbroken wilderness, frequently traversed by parties of hostile Indians. Never was the influence of that immortal passion which a benignant Creator has im­planted in the breast of every human being, more [p. 18] necessary than on this occasion. Well has the poet said:—


“Hope, of all passions, most befriends us here;

Passions of prouder name befriend us less;

Joy has her tears, and Transport has her death;

Hope, like a cordial, innocent, though strong,

Man’s heart at once inspirits and serenes.”


From the part Osterhout had acted, and from the fact that he was naturally a timid, weakly man, Anderson was well aware that their escape, if effected, would depend mostly on his own vigilance and perseverance. His speed was much retarded by the slow movements of his companion, and self‑preservation doubtless dictated to him to leave him behind—but this, every feeling of humanity and affection, strengthened by their being companions in suffering, forbade. Besides this, how could he ever approach the presence of that tender and heart‑broken mother, yearning over the fate of her unfortunate son! Their scanty supply of provisions was soon exhausted, and torturing hunger, the usual scourge and accompaniment on such occasions, began to pierce their very vitals. Although they had arms and ammunition, they dared not fire at any game, for fear of being heard by Indians. In the course of their march, they fell in with a horse, which they killed with a spear, and cut the flesh out of the thighs to eat. They were obliged to avoid the usual route, and often to secrete themselves in the day time and travel at night, in order to avoid detection, and on one occasion Ander­son had to swim a small river with Osterhout on his back.

After suffering more than tongue can tell, or pen describe, they arrived at a house on Honkhill, where Chester L. Dudley now lives, then owned by a [p. 19] man named Timmerman. {NOTE:  This Timmerman was such a notorious old miser, and had such a faculty for arousing the sympathies; that a brief notice of him, it is believed, will be interesting to the reader. He owned a house and farm, and had one or more boys to assist him in working it; but in preference to that, he went begging all around the country, and in large towns and cities. He was a very pitiful looking man, and could invent a most plaintive story: he also possessed the uncommon faculty of crying whenever it would assist him in arousing the sympathies of the people and accomplishing his ends. A more despica­ble character can scarcely be imagined to exist in human form, than the above. He carried the leg of an old stocking for his money-purse. When his old chimney was torn down, a few years since, by John Christie, four or five hard dollars were found between the stones.} This place was, or be­came soon after, the site of a stockade fort, and was occupied by a garrison, as will appear in the next narrative.

Osterhout and Anderson were so nearly exhausted with hunger that it would have been death to them both, to have eaten a full meal. Anderson had still self government enough to manage his own case. He took a crust of bread and eat it, and kept walking across the floor. Osterhout was fed like a child. His slender constitution survived the shock but a short time, and he was numbered with his fathers.

The conduct of George Anderson after this time became surpassing strange, and we can no longer contemplate him as the brave and undaunted hero. It was no doubt the result of physical disease, caused by his extraordinary sufferings. He appeared to be constantly in fear, and apprehensive of some imminent danger. He left Wawasink and went across the Shawangunk Mountain, and took up his abode in a cave, from which he would sally out in the night and take things that were not his own, to satisfy his wants. He became [p. 20] quite a pest to the people, but they forbore to arrest or punish him, from the consideration of what he had suffered, and that it was supposed he was not in his right mind. The last that the writer has been able to learn of him, he was journeying towards the West. It has been intimated that the ground of his mental distress was a guilty conscience, for having killed the Indians; but it appears to the writer that he was justifiable, both in the sight of God and man; and that his fears were the result of mental derangement.




Murder of Shurker and Miller—Baker Taken Prisoner—Three Barns

and one House Burnt—Pursuit by Capt. Kortrite—Massacre of

Lieut. John Graims, at Graimsville—Burial of the Dead.


THE events of this narrative took place next in the order of time to the preceding one, but the precise date, the writer has not been able to ascertain. It must have been in the early part of the war; probably in ‘77 or ‘78. There were three families living at that time in the vicinity of Pinebush, in the town of Rochester, where Mr. Churchill now lives, by the name of Shurk­er, Miller and Baker. It appears that Shurker was suspected of being a Tory; and that a short time previous to the occurrence of the following events, a Whig neighbor had been at his house, and intimated as much to him, personally; and that he then made the strongest attestations of fidelity to the cause of liber­ty; and that this was overheard by some Tories, and communicated to the Indians. Living thus on the out­posts, and in imminent danger from both Indians and Tories, those people had strong temptations to keep the [p. 21] good will of the enemy, in order to save their lives and property, though at heart they were Whigs. But if they had had the disinterested patriotism of a Wash­ington, who reproached his steward for furnishing sup­plies to the British when their fleet lay near his premi­ses, (although by that means he saved his buildings from the devouring element,) they would never have tamper­ed with the enemy in that way. At dawn of day the alarm of “Indians,” was heard at the military posts at Pinebush. The report of firearms was heard, and the flames were seen through the twilight, ascending from burning buildings, in awful grandeur, to the heavens, telling, in unequivocal terms, that the destroyers were there. Capt. Benjamin Kortrite, father of Cornelius Kortrite now living at Pinebush, on the old homestead—a man who knew not what fear was, and who was always ready at the call of his country—marshalled his patriotic band, with his usual agility, and marched to the scene of action. When they came in sight, they saw the enemy retiring from the house, which was on fire. They halted a moment, extinguished the fire, and saved this house; but another house and three barns were consumed. Here they found Shurker, with his brains dashed out. Whilst they were here, the enemy fired a volley on the hill near by. After putting out the fire, they pursued the enemy. When they came on the hill, they found Miller, literally perforated with bullet‑holes. It is remarkable that the women and children were not injured on this occasion; which may be accounted for by the consideration, that a large proportion of the enemy were Tories; that they may have had some ties of relationship, or affinity, which restrain­ed them, in this case, from their usual barbarity.

Capt. Kortrite pursued them until he came to the Vernooy Creek, when, his provisions being exhausted, [p. 22] he returned home to Pinebush. On their return, they buried the unfortunate Shurker and Miller, who fell martyrs to the cause of liberty.

The fate of Baker is wrapt in impenetrable mystery. Nothing has ever been seen or heard of him. He was the stoutest man of the three. It is not improbable that he was reserved by the Indians as the object on which to wreak their vengeance for the three red men killed by Anderson, as mentioned in the preceding narrative. There is one consoling reflection connected with this and similar tragedies recorded in this little work, an that is—that whatever pains they may have inflicted on the bodies of their victims, they could not kill the immortal soul; and that if they have had an interest in they great Redeemer of mankind, they will be raised to immortality and glory at the last great day, and be again united in everlasting bonds of love and affection with those they loved below.

At the time of this massacre, there was a body of two or three hundred troops laying at the Fort on Honkhill, where C. L. Dudley now lives. On learn­ing the facts above stated, it was resolved by the officer in command, to fit out an expedition to waylay the Indians on their return, at the Chestnut Woods, (now called Graimsville,) in Sullivan county, about thirteen miles from Naponoch. The officer called out for volun­teers, when Lieut. John Graims, or Grahams, stepped out. He was asked how many men he would have; to which he replied, that he would take no more than “his honor” gave him, which was eighteen privates, with one sergeant and corporal. This, it appears, was called a Lieutenant’s guard. He was offered more men, but refused to take them. In this he exhibited more valor, than prudence or skill in fighting Indians, as the event will show.

[p. 23] He marched on immediately, and reached Graimsville in advance of the enemy. He selected his posi­tion at the foot of a steep hill. They were all raw recruits from the old towns on the east side of the Shawangunk, and knew nothing about Indian warfare—­fit subjects to give the Indians sport. Abraham Vancampen, the only good marksman amongst them, Graims had imprudently sent a hunting, to get them some fresh meat. Before he returned, the Indians came. They had discovered the plot of the whites; and the skill and ingenuity manifested in their attack, is seldom surpass­ed in the annals of warfare, savage or civilized. One Indian only was sent forward on the regular path in front of Graims’ garrison. All the rest had approached undiscovered from the opposite side of the hill, and lay ready with their fingers on the triggers of their guns to send the leaden death into the bosoms of their unsus­pecting foes. Mr. Graims had just been very deliber­ately taking a drink from a crystal rivulet, which flowed in gentle murmurs near his camp, harmonizing with the calm and quiet frame of his mind, and as he rose from drinking, he saw an Indian in the path, and directed his men to fire. A volley was discharged at him without effect. As my informant says, “he jumped up sound.” Now was the time for the Indians on the opposite side to perform their part in the game. The attention of the whites was all directed to the one Indian, and their guns discharged. At their first fire Graims fell, and most of his men. For the remnant to protract the contest, under such circumstances, would have been the height of folly. Two men, besides Van­campen, made their escape to the fort, to tell the hor­rid tale. Never was a flock of partridges more effectu­ally and skilfully taken in a fowler’s net, than were the [p. 24] inexperienced and unfortunate Lieut. John Graims and his unsuspecting guard.

The greatest care should ever be exercised in selecting officers to conduct an expedition against Indians, and none should ever be entrusted with that service who are not qualified by nature and a thorough knowledge of Indian traits, and their peculiar modes of warfare. Every attempt that was made in this quarter to surprise or intercept the Indians, failed of success. When the Indians were strong enough, they would attack and defeat the whites. If too weak, they would evade them, or retreat; and one might as well attempts to stem the foaming current of Niagara at the summit of the falls, as to think of overtaking them in the woods.

As soon as the necessary preparations could be made, a force of three hundred men went up to Graimsville to bury the dead. They found them all scalped, and di­vested of every article that could be put to any use; but their bodies were not mangled, as was frequently the case. They were buried in several separate trenches in the place where they fell. The troops had consider­able sport with one of the men who escaped. In his haste, in jumping across a brook, his bayonet had struck into the ground, and he had left his gun, not taking time to pull it out. It was found to be loaded and all the cartridges were in his cartridge‑box, so it was evident that he had not once fired his gun. It may be proper here to observe that the place where Graims fell, is called Graimsville, after his name, and serves to com­memorate that event. It was called the “Chestnut Woods” before.


[p. 25]



Narrow Escape of Three School‑children from the Indians.


THE following incident also occurred, it is believed, in the early part of the American Revolution, and is trea­sured up in the minds of the descendants of the sub­jects of this happy escape from savage barbarity, as a precious reminiscence of the trials and dangers through which our fathers had to pass, and of the goodness of that God whose direction and blessing they did not fail to implore, in those “times of need.”

Three children started from Jacob Bevier’s, who lived in Naponoch, in the lane where Job Crum now lives, in the old stone house, to go to school at Wawasink, near where Jacob S. Vanwagnen now lives. One of those children was Jacob Bevier’s son, and father of Andries Bevier of Tuthilltown, lately deceased. His name was Abram, and from his being a bright and shrewd child, he had received the nickname of Lawyer‑um, by which he was generally known amongst the old Dutch people. The other two, it is believed, were his sisters. In those times there was a footpath which left the road a little east of where Abm. G. Bevier now lives, and struck the road again about half a mile further east. Soon after leaving this path Lawyer‑um discovered two or three Indians sitting by the wayside, either engaged in eating a piece, or mending their moccasons. He imme­diately sung out “Indians,” but having been in the habit of making false alarms, in order to frighten his schoolmates, was not heeded at first; but they soon perceived [p. 26] by his countenance, which spoke a language not to be misunderstood, that it was now in earnest. They dropped their dinner baskets and ran for life. A little knoll intervening between them and the Indians, they could not keep sight of them. The children took the footpath, and were happy in reaching home in safety. The men then went after the Indians. They saw by their tracks in the road where the footpath intersected it, that they had been at a loss to ascertain which the children had taken, and whilst they dallied the children got beyond their reach, and were happily restored to the bosom of their parents and friends.




Massacre at Fantinekill—Widow Isaac Bevier and two sons Killed—

Magdalene taken Prisoner and Released—Michael Socks’ whole

family Killed—Narrow Escape of Jesse Bevier and Family—Wonderful

Sagacity of a Dog—Bold and Heroic Conduct of Louis Bevier

and Conradt Bevier—Arrival of Col. Cortland’s Regiment—

Flight of the Women and Children to the Mountain—Laudable

Conduct of Capt. Kortrite.


THE following narrative is full of interesting incidents. It occurred in the midst of a settlement of the descendants of the French Huguenots, and the distinguishing traits of that people are brought to view in this narrative. They were bold, persevering and resolute—were firm believers in the doctrine of a particular providence, which they did not forget to invoke in every time of need. The three families mentioned above lived at the Fantinekill, near each other; about three quarters of a mile northeast of Ellenville. It appears [p. 27] that the attack was simultaneous on those three fami­lies; in fact, they lived so near each other that the one could not be assaulted without alarming the other two. As usual, the assault was made just at the dawn of day. It would appear to be characteristic of the Indians, when they have the opportunity, to commence their assaults at that time. It was the case at the burning of Wawasink, in 1781. The crew of the ship “Tonquin,” belonging to John Jacob Astor, were destroyed at the break of day by the Indians on the north west coast, in 1810. And the attack upon Gen. Harrison at the Tippicanoe River was made a little before day. One exception occurs to the mind of the writer, which is the slaughter of the Virginians in 1824, under the command of the successor of Powhaten, this commenc­ed precisely at 12 o’clock, M.—There was a young negro, by the name of Robert, living at the widow Isaac Bevier’s. He heard an unusual tramping around the house, early in the morning, like that of horses. He got up and listened, and soon found out that it was Indians. He opened the door, and taking a little start, jumped out and ran. As he was going, he received a wound from a tomahawk in his head, and a ball was fired through the elbow of his roundabout, but did not hurt him. The Indians sung out, in their native tongue—­“Run, you black! run, you black!” It does not appear that he was pursued by them. He made his escape over the low‑land to Naponoch; but tarried a while in the field, at a stack, in order to stop the blood which was flowing profusely from his wound. Wheth­er the Indians met with much resistance or not at this place, does not appear; but we know that the widow and both her sons were killed. The house was set on fire, and the women went into the cellar. The daughter Magdalene took the Dutch family Bible with her. [p. 28] When the flames approached them there, they chose rather to deliver themselves up to the savages than to endure a horrible death by fire—and then, too, they could not know but that God, who can turn the hearts of all men, “even as the rivers of water are turned,” would interpose in their behalf. The event proved that “the one must be taken, and the other left.” They made their way through the cellar‑window—the mother in advance. The daughter threw her apron over her head, so as not to see her mother killed. What tongue can describe the feelings of that mother and daughter at that moment! It is in vain for me to attempt to describe them. Language fails—words are inadequate to express them—and I must leave it to the reflections of the reader. The Indians were ready to receive their unfortunate and unoffending victims. The mother instantly became a prey to the ruthless tomahawk whilst the daughter was retained as a prisoner. It is said that a young Indian manifested a strong attachment to her, and interposed in her behalf, but this is not certain. Some of the old people say that she was saved on account of her not being altogether sane; which was the case. The Bible was wrested from her hands and stamped in the mud. When the Indians left the place they took her a short distance into the woods, and they sent her back with a war‑club, and a letter written by the Tories to Capt. Andries Bevier, at Naponoch. The club was stained with fresh blood and hair. It was long in the family of the Beviers, but is now lost.

In the letter they invited the old Captain to dine with them the next day at Lackawack. There was an allusion in it to the club—that so they meant to serve him. On her return she recovered that invaluable treasure which she had preserved from the flames—some of the leaves were soiled by the mud, but not materially. It is [p. 29] still preserved as a precious relic in the family of her connections.

Whether the two boys perished in the flames, or were tomahawked, the writer has not been able to learn. This widow Bevier had a daughter by the name of Catharine. She had been lately married to Abm. Jan­sen, whose father lived about four miles southwest of Fantinekill, and was strongly suspected of being a Tory, and of assisting and communicating with the Indians. The following are some of the circumstances on which this suspicion rested. 1. His premises, although on the outposts, and unguarded, were not molested. 2. The moccason tracks of the Indians were seen about his premises. 3. His daughter, who was at a neighbor’s house, was importuned to return home the night before Fantinekill was burnt. 4. It was so managed that his daughter‑in‑law was at that time on a visit to Jacob Bevier’s, at Naponoch. By the death of his daughter­-in‑law’s family, his son fell heir to the estate at Fantine­kill. * * * * If he was guilty of participation in so foul a plot, he has had to account for it to Him who “judgeth righteous judgment,” and who will bring every secret thing into judgment, whether it be good or evil. May this reflection warn us all to “beware of covet­eousness; for a man’s life consisteth not in the abun­dance of the things which he possesses.

The family of Michael Socks were all killed. As none survived to tell the awful tale, no particulars can be given here. There were a father, a mother, and two sons who were young men; and it is believed that there were two other members in the family. {NOTE: Since writing the above, I have learned from an unquestionable source that there were two children in this family; so the whole number lost was eleven.} One young [p. 30] man, either a Socks or a Bevier, had run some distance from the house into a piece of plowed ground, where appears that a desperate contest had taken place between him and an Indian. A large patch of ground was trodden down; and the scalped and mangled corpse of the young man lay upon it—he had several wounds from a tomahawk in his arms. A few days before this there had been a training at Naponoch, and one of those boys boasted that he was not afraid of the Indians. We may learn from this how vain it is to put confidence in an arm of flesh, instead of the “mighty God of Jacob.”

At the house of Jesse Bevier there were some “mighty men of valor,” and the enemy accordingly met a warm reception. The first salute which the old man received was, the blocks in the window were stove in, and two or three balls were fired above his head, as he lay in the bed. He sprang from the bed and seized his axe, with which he prevent them from entering the window, at the same time calling to his sons David and John, who were soon in readiness, and a desperate action ensued. Those Beviers were all famous marksmen, and extraordinarily fond of hunting, especially David, who had some choice powder for that purpose, which his mother brought forward in the course of the action. He declined to use it; thinking that common powder was good enough to shoot Indians with. * * * They had their powder loose in basins on a table, for the sake of convenience and measured their charges only in their hands. It appears that the women assisted in loading—it being common to have a double stock of arms. But the enemy fired the old log house at a point where the little band of Huguenot heroes could not bring their guns to bear. Their situation now became alarming in the [p. 31] extreme. Every drop of liquid in the house was applied to retard the progress of the flames, by the women. They took milk, and even swill, in their mouths, and spirted it through the cracks of the logs, hoping in this way to protract their existence until relief might come from Naponoch. At this awful crisis, when death in its most awful form was staring them full in the face, that pious mother, knowing that “with God all things are possible,” and that man’s extremity is his opportu­nity, proposed that they should suspend hostilities, and unite in petitions to the throne of grace for mercy. David replied that “she must pray, and they would continue to fight.”—Although his name was “David,” and he was “the son of Jesse,” he evidently possessed more of the spirit of “Nimrod” than of Israel’s king. But perhaps he thought of the words of Solomon, “that there is a time for every work and purpose under the sun;” and that now was the time for “his hands to war and his fingers to fight.” But that mother prayed, and the sequel will show its efficacy, in connection with the verification of the promises of God to those who call on him in sincerity and truth. Wherever this narra­tive is read, “there will this also which this woman did,” be read, “for a memorial of her,” and for encourage­ment to those who shall come after, to follow her ex­ample.

We frequently meet with accounts in the public prints of the sagacity of dogs—some indeed that are very remarkable—but it is believed that the following, taking all the circumstances into consideration, is without a parallel in the history of that animal. In the course of the morning, after the battle commenced at Fantinekill, Jesse Bevier’s dog, without any sign or motion from his master, or having been trained to any thing of the kind, came to Naponoch, a distance of two miles, to the [p. 32] house of Lewis Bevier, his master’s brother. He came to him and jumped up against his breast, and looked at him, and then ran to the gate which led to his master’s looking back to see if he was coming;—this he did several times. Lewis could distinctly hear the firing at Fantinekill, and could easily guess what was going on, but fear had hitherto deterred him from going; but now he resolved to go, if he should go alone. He took his arms and hastened to his neighbor’s, Johannis Bevier’s, who lived where the Female Seminary now stands, and told him that his brother’s dog had come to call him, and he would go to his relief; that “it was too much for flesh and blood to stand;” and wanted him to go with him; but he thought it not prudent to go, as the Indians were expected there every minute, and it was almost certain death for them to go alone. But there was standing by, a youth, by the name of Conradt, son of Johannis, whose patriotism and courage, kindled into a lively flame by the pathetic address of his friend, rose superior to all fear, and he determined to go with him. In addition to his courage and martial skill, this youth was extremely fleet on foot, like Asahel of old, “he was light of foot as a wild roe.” He boasted that no Indian could outrun him. Those two set out over the low‑lands for Fantinekill. When they came near, the Indian sentry on the hill fired an alarm. The Indians and Tories, not knowing how large a company was coming, immediately withdrew from the house, and they rushed in. The flames at this moment had extended, in spite of all their exertions, to the curtains of the bed. The door was now thrown open, and the women rushed down the hill to the spring, for water to extinguish the flames, whilst the men stood at the door with their arms in their hands, to protect them.

Amongst the women who went to the spring was Jesse’s [p. 33] daughter Catharine, mother of Mrs. Daniel Hoorn­beek, now living at Wawasink. Whilst at the spring she heard the groans of the dying in the swampy ground near by. Tories were also recognized, by their striped pantaloons, and also by the streaks which the Sweat made in their painted faces. The fire was hap­pily extinguished, and this family saved from an awful catastrophe. Had not assistance arrived from Napo­noch, precisely when it did, we cannot see how they could have escaped; and the writer thinks that he can­not justly incur the charge of fanaticism, in ascribing this wonderful deliverance to the direct interposition of divine providence, in their behalf, in answer to prayer. That God who commanded the ravens to feed the pro­phet Elijah at the brook Cherith, in a time of persecu­tion and famine, and who caused the beasts to go into Noah’s ark—the clean beasts by sevens, and the un­clean by twos—could, and doubtless did, direct that dog to do as above stated; and which resulted in their deliverance.

We must now ask the attention of the reader to what transpired at Naponoch. Col. Cortland’s regiment had been lying in the vicinity of Naponoch for some time previous to this event, but their time of service had expired a few days before the assault was made at Fan­tinekill; and it was supposed that the Tories had found this out, and made it known to the Indians. But the soldiers, having received some money, had got into a frolic at a tavern in Wawasink, and were there on the morning of the alarm. They were mustered with all possible speed, and when they came to Naponoch, were joined by Capt. Andries Bevier’s company, and marched to the scene of action. When they came to the Naponoch Creek, the Indian yells and war‑whoops were heard on the western hills, and the [p. 34] savages fired at them as they were crossing the stream, and continued to fire on them from the woods, as they passed on towards Fantinekill. Their fire was promptly returned by the regiment. It is not known that any loss was sustained an either side, at this stage of the action; but there is no doubt that Jesse and his sons killed some of them, as before intimated. The Indians made their way off to the west, firing the woods as they went, to avoid pursuit.—When the war‑whoop was heard on the hills west of Naponoch, and the soldiers were seen leaving the place to go to Fantinekill, the women, children and invalids, made a precipitate flight to the Shawangunk Mountain, expecting that the Indians would enter, and burn the place—which, indeed, they might have done with ease, had they known the situation of it. Two sons of Andries Bevier, lads of 12 or 14, ran across the mountain, through the burnt woods, bare-footed, a distance of not less than five miles. The first came to the residence of a Mr. Manse on the east side of the mountain; from thence they made their way to the Shawangunk village, and gave the alarm. Their names were Samuel and Cornelius. Several members of Jacob Bevier’s family also made their way across the mountain; but some of the neighbors missed their way, got lost, and were all night in the mountains, which was full of people from both sides, with horns, hunting for them. The little ones, and those who were feeble and infirm, went only to the base of the mountain, and secreted themselves amid the craggy rocks which nature has provided there in great abundance, especially along the sides of a noted ravine in the mountain, opposite to Naponoch, commonly called “Louis’s Ravine.” In their flight to the mountain they were joined by the young black, (Robert,) who escaped from Fantinekill. In crossing the Rondout, a child of [p. 35] Andrew Bevier, by the name of Lewis, came near going down with the current. He was caught by a friendly hand, and helped ashore. When they came to the foot of the mountain, an invalid soldier climbed up a tree to see if Naponoch was on fire. He heard the firing of Cortland’s regiment, and said he could distin­guish it from the firing of the Indians, “because they fired by platoons.” Towards night the men came to look for their families; but, apprehending that they might be Tories, they gave no heed to their calls until they were sure they were their friends.

The most solemn and affecting scene in this part of our narrative remains to be told.

Mr. Jacob Bevier, mentioned in the preceding narra­tive, lay sick, and unable to move. All the family had fled across the mountain, except an insane brother, by the name of Daniel, who was sitting on the fence, unconscious of his danger, and a daughter, who had resolved not to leave her father. The father expostulated with her; telling her that if the Indians came, she could not save him—that they must both inevitably fall before the tomahawk and scalping‑knife. But how could she leave a dear and tender father alone upon a sick bed, without any one to smooth his pillow or admin­ister to his necessities? Every feeling of humanity and affection rose in opposition to the disinterested exhorta­tions of a tender father. Violent indeed must have been the struggle that agitated the bosom of that daugh­ter, and which could only find relief in a flood of tears. No doubt her feelings were such as were expressed by Ruth to Naomi, on a similar occasion—“Where thou lodgest I will lodge; where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried.” At last, the sound seasonings of the father, seconded by that strong innate principle implanted in the bosom of every human being by an [p. 36] all‑wise Creator, which prompts us to efforts for self-preservation, prevailed, and she made her way for old Shawangunk, through dense thickets and over awful precipices, “where hills on hills, and Alps on Alps arise.” Being more fortunate than her sisters, who had started before, in finding the path; and having no child, as they had, to carry, she arrived first at the place of destination.

Andries Bevier’s black woman, “Nan,” put over the dinner pot, and built a good fire under it, and then secreted herself along the creek, a short distance from the house. Knowing that the Indians were not disposed to injure blacks, and being able to speak their dialect, she had but little to fear from them.

We must now notice the noble conduct of Capt. Coutrite on this occasion. As soon as he heard of the affair at Fantinekill, he directed his sergeant, (without waiting for orders from his superior officer,) to order out all his company, (about 70,) to be at his house the next morning at daylight, armed and equipped, with provisions for two days. The summons was promptly obeyed. He stepped at the head of those “hearts of hickory,” into whom he had, by his bold and soldier-like deportment and address, infused the same spirit, and marched them up to Graimsville, a distance of 18 or 20 miles, with a view of intercepting the Indians on their return from Fantinekill. He selected a suitable place, arranged his men in order, and awaited the arrival of the Indians. But, as usual, the Indians discovered him first; and instead of coming on the usual route, they passed by on his rear.

The first salute he received, was a volley from the Indians; and one ball struck within six inches of the old captain’s head; but they kept at a proper distance; knowing they had a giant to grapple with. Not an [p. 37] Indian could be seen. As my informant says, who was present at the time, “You can’t see an Indian in the woods.” An incident occurred here, which gave the soldiers some sport. A man by the name of Johan­nis Vernooy, affirmed that a ball had touched him. The soldiers, thinking it only the result of his fears, sung out, “Where has it touched you, Honsum? Where has it touched you, Honsum?” At last it was discover­ed that the strap which held the buckle to his knee, was actually cut off by a bullet from the enemy.—The Indians soon made their way off, filling the woods with their yells and war‑whoops, and the whites returned home. Thus ended another fruitless attempt to inter­cept the wily foe of the white.

The writer has been credibly informed that six of the individuals who perished at Fantinekill were buried in one grave, near the place where they lived and died. If those six were all of the Sock’s family (which is be­lieved to be the case,) then there were nine who lost their lives at this time, of the whites. The loss of the enemy is not known. The only house, which stood where the village of Ellenville is situated, was burnt. Its occupants made a narrow escape. It was owned by John Bodly. They, in common with several other fam­ilies in the neighborhood of Loorenkill, fled to the mountain, and secreted themselves; but fortunately the enemy did not reach that place.

In concluding this narrative the writer would simply ask if it would not be an act worthy of the “sons of noble sires,” who lost their lives in procuring for us the inestimable boon of liberty, to erect a marble slab, with some suitable inscription, to perpetuate their memory? We ask not a monument like that on Bunker Hill, or the one contemplated to the memory of Washington. Then, when our children shall ask us in time to come, [p. 38] “What means this stone?” we will tell them that our fathers were bondmen to King George, and that he made them “serve with rigor” in his wars; by sea and land—that he enacted laws, unwholesome and tyrannical, and laid heavy taxes upon them without their consent—that the “Publicans,” like the frogs of Egypt, come up over all the land—and that beneath this soil lays the honored dust of some who fell in obtaining redress for all those grievances.




Murder of John and Elsie Mack, by the Indians, in the Shawangunk

Mountain—Narrow Escape of John Mans and Col. Jansen.


THE writer is well aware that a detailed account of this massacre, and all the circumstances connected with it, has long since been published, though he has never been able to procure a copy of it; and knowing that a desire to see it in print exists, especially amongst the connections of John Mack, the writer has been induced to give a sketch of it in this place. He is indebted for the materials to two individuals who had the statement direct from the lips of John Mans, with whom they were both well acquainted.

Mr. John Mack, mentioned above, lived in Wawasink; he had a son‑in‑law named John Mans, who lived on the east side of the Shawangunk. Sometime during the war he resolved to go over to visit his daughter accompanied by another daughter, named Elsie. In the morning, as they started, they called at Peter Vernooy’s. [p. 39] Elsie, who was dressed in white, looked in the glass and observed, that she “looked like a corpse.” This has always been considered very remarkable.

There was at this time a footpath crossing the moun­tain. It began on the west side, at a place called Port Hyxon, and ended at Col. Jansen’s afterwards General Jansen, west of the Shawangunk village. They cross­ed the mountain in safety, and made the contemplated visit. On their return his son‑in‑law accompanied him with two horses, as far as the top of the mountain, for him and Elsie to ride on, the old man being rather infirm. John Mans proposed to take his rifle with him, but his father warmly opposed it, saying it was not necessary. When they arrived at the top of the hill, where they were to separate, they dismounted, and the old man seated himself on a log and smoked his pipe. Whilst setting here, Mans discovered by the horses’ ears that they saw something, and looking round he discovered two men advancing in the path which they had just left, and another, whom he recognized as a notorious Indian, called Shanks Ben, taking a circuitous route through the woods, in order to get in advance, and so surround them. {NOTE: It may be proper here to state that John Mans and Shanks Ben had been well acquainted before the war;—had lived on terms of intimacy with each other—had often joined in the chase, for which both were famous, and also for running; but a quarrel about a dog, and the war, had broke up this intimacy, and they were now bitter enemies.} Mans understood his design, and was aware of the imminent danger that awaited him. It was then that he regretted bitterly that he had not taken his rifle. He said he might have shot the Indian, if he had had it. The other two were Tories. They had with them two young negroes which they had taken prisoners at Col. Jansen’s. Mans started with Elsie by the hand, in a direction so as to elude the design of his [p. 40] enemy. The old man, knowing it would be vain for him to attempt to flee, sat still, resigned to his awful fate. Mans ran with the girl until he came to a precipice of about twenty feet perpendicular, down which he jumped. Here he was obliged to leave the girl, notwithstanding her earnest entreaties to the contrary. He thought he might have saved her, had it not been for a little dog which followed them, and kept constantly barking, by which the Indian could follow. In jumping down the precipice he sprained his ancle, which troubled him considerably. He was obliged to take off his shoe and stocking, and go bare‑footed, on account of the swelling of his foot.

When he came in sight of Col. Jansen’s, he saw a number of men around, and not knowing whether they were friends or foes, he tarried some time, until he discovered they were whites. He then approached, and related the awful tale; but the fatal blow was struck—the scalping‑knife and tomahawk had done their work—his father‑in‑law and the blooming maiden were found side by side, covered with purple gore, and their immortal spirits fled for ever.—The scene was solemn and affecting beyond description. It was with difficulty, in after times, that Mans could be persuaded to relate this melancholy tale; and he could never do it without shedding a flood of tears; and the recital of which usually affected his auditors in the same way. Hard indeed must be the heart of that man in whose eye the tear will not start at scenes like this.

Intimately connected with this narrative is the account of the narrow escape of Col. Jansen from being taken by the same party who killed Mr. Mack and daughter.

A desperate effort was made by Shanks Ben and others, to take Col. Jansen, and some other distinguished [p. 41] individuals who lived in that vicinity. It is probable that a large reward was placed on their heads by the British. That notorious Indian, as has since been ascer­tained, had been laying for whole days and nights in places of concealment, waiting for an opportunity to take those distinguished “sons of liberty,” but a kind providence would not permit him to accomplish his nefarious design.

Early one morning the Colonel went to his barn, to see to his stock, and discovered Shanks Ben in the stable. He ran for the house with all his might, and the Indian in close pursuit. The black woman, who was in the stable milking, saw the race. She said that the Indian came so close that he grasped after the skirts of his coat—but he reached the house in safety, closed the door, and secured it. The Indian, disappoint­ed of his prey, and exasperated, seized an axe which happened to lay near by, and began to work his way through the door, the Colonel then called to his wife to fetch him his pistols, which he fired, or intended to fire through the door. The Indian however desisted, and went into the kitchen, where he and the two Tories, (who were recognized as such by the black woman, who observed that they had blue eyes and painted faces,) helped themselves to the best that the house could afford, not forgetting the cider, of which the Indians are excessively fond.

Whilst the enemy were thus engaged, a white girl by the name of Goetches was observed by the black woman coming to the house. She made signs to her to go back, but she misunderstood them, thinking she meant her to come, which she did, when she was taken prisoner. The enemy took her a short distance; but she being un­willing to go with them, they dragged her along for some time and then killed and scalped her. They took two [p. 42] young negroes of Col. Jansen’s, who have never been heard of since. They were seen by Mans in the mountain. An alarm was given at Jansen’s, either by blowing a horn or firing a gun, and the neighbors come to his relief; but, as usual, the work of death was done, and the enemy were beyond the reach of pursuit.

Such are some of the miseries of war. May we, by contrast, learn to appreciate the blessings of peace, and all those invaluable institutions for which our venerable ancestors pledged their “lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor;” and which they so nobly won.




Burning of Wawasink—Murder of Kettle—Noble Conduct of Captains

Kortrite, Hardenbergh and Pierson—Capture of Hine and

Bouck—Their Sufferings and Escape—End of the War.


THIS last attempt of the savages, under the command and direction of British authority, to exterminate the inhabitants of this frontier, occurred on the 12th of August, 1781, and was the most extensive invasion since the commencement of the war. The design was bold and well concerted; but a kind and gracious providence, to whom they were much more indebted than to the efficiency of their sentinel, would not permit them to accomplish it, as will be seen in the sequel. This expedition against the frontier inhabitants, was fitted out at one of the northern British posts, and put under the command of a white man by the name of Caldwell, with directions to commence his assault at Capt. Andries [p. 43] Bevier’s at Naponoch; and to kill or capture all the inhabitants, and to destroy or carry off their property until they came to the widow Hasbrouck’s 12 miles northeast of Naponoch—commonly known in those times as the “rest place,” from its being the half‑way house, or place where travellers usually called, on their way to Kingston—if he thought he could get back alive; and if he did not, he should be tried for his life on his return.

It will now be necessary to give an account of the spits, or rangers, as they were sometimes called, who were captured by the Indians; and of the intelligence given to the Indians by the Tories, through which they were taken. As has been stated in the Introduction, it was the practice to keep out spies in the direction from which the enemy was expected, in order that they might not be taken by surprise. In preparing for one of these “scouts,” Philip Hine had occasion to pur­chase some meat of Jeremiah Kettle, who resided in the vicinity of Newtown. He made particular inquires of Mr. H, as to where he was going, &c., to which he gave honest replies, not suspecting it would appear at the time that he was a Tory. No sooner did he know his intentions, than he found some means of communicat­ing it to the enemy.—[It should be remembered here, that the neighborhood of Newtown abounded with To­ries, that they had frequent intercourse with the Indians, and joined with them in their assaults on the whites.] Mr. Hine, accompanied by Mr. Bouck, went on the contemplated cruise. When they came along the Neversink creek, 20 odd miles southwest of Naponoch, they discovered a body of Indians and Tories {NOTE: The traditionary accounts of the number of the enemy vary from 392 to 500} advancing. [p. 44] They watched their course secretly until they saw that their place of destination was Wawasink; they then took a circuitous route, and struck the road, as they supposed, far in advance of the enemy; but in this they were mistaken. The Indians having been apprised by the Tory Kettle that spies were out, were on the alert, and discovered some footmarks where the spies had crossed a stream of water. With all the dispatch characteristic of that wily foe, runners were sent in pursuit, and soon overtook them. My informant says it was not more than half an hour after the spies struck the road before they were taken by the Indians. At this period of our narrative the reader will be ready to exclaim with David—“all these things are against me!” but there was a providence in this; and out of this apparent evil, the Lord brought much good to his people.

The prisoners were required, on pain of death, to give a correct account of the fortifications, and other means of defence on the frontier at Wawasink. They told them there was a cannon at Capt. Bevier’s at Naponoch. On account of this intelligence they did not commence their attack at that place, and consequently much property, and perhaps precious lives, were saved. As those Indians were part of the confederated Six Nations who took part in the French and Indian war of 1755, it is probable that some of them at least had witnessed the destructive power of grape‑shot and cannon balls; and also in the expedition of Gen. Schuyler against them, in the war of 1776. But in this case they would not have been injured, for the old cannon laid on the wood pile without a carriage, and could have been of no use in defending the fort, or the place. The fort also was unfinished.

The prisoners were tied hand and foot, apart from each other. In this situation they were compelled to [p. 45] remain for the most part of three days and nights, without any thing to eat or drink, until the Indians returned.—Whoever has experienced the sensation caused by holding the limbs in one position for a length of time—and then add to that, hunger and thirst, fear from wild beasts, and the well‑founded apprehension that the wives of their bosom, their children, and all that were dear to them by the ties of nature and affec­tion, would in all probability fall a prey to the ruthless tomahawk and scalping‑knife—may form some idea of their awful sufferings.

I should be guilty of injustice to the memory of a noble and virtuous man, if I omitted to relate the following circumstance, which occurred at this time. It had been the intention of the Indians to dispatch one hundred of their troops, under the command of Shanks Ben, across the forest, from the Delaware river to New­town, to commence the work of death there, and meet their comrades at some place in the valley of the Ron­dout. But by an accident which occurred in drying some powder which had been wet, Shanks Ben and seve­ral others were burnt, so that he was unable to perform that service. Hereupon, the Indians proposed to Silas Bouck that if he would perform that service, they would grant him his liberty the moment he came to Newtown. This proposal he nobly rejected, with disdain. He said “they could but kill him,” and he would rather die on the spot than be accessory to the death of his countrymen! How unlike the conduct of Benedict Arnold is this, who, for a little paltry dust, was willing to sacrifice an army of patriots, and the cause of liberty.

After securing the prisoners, and obtaining informa­tion from them, as above stated, they set forward for Wawasink. On that ever memorable Sabbath, the 12th of August, 1781, early in the morning, they arrived at [p. 46] the old Stone Fort in Wawasink, which was situated on the present site of B. C. Hoornbeek’s house, near the old church. Having taken the spies, no notice had been received at the fort of their approach, and most of its occupants were yet in their beds. Two individuals, however, had left the fort that morning, viz., Mr. Johanis Hoornbeek, and a colored man named Flink. A young woman named Catharine Vernooy, was also about leaving the fort, to go and milk, when she saw the Indians coming. She returned to the fort, closed the door, and called to Chambers to assist her in getting the huge brace against it. This Chambers was stationed on the sentry‑box at the time, but being somewhat deranged, he did not fire his gun. Fortunately, however, he sung out, “vyand, vyand,”—enemy, enemy. No sooner had they secured the door, than the Indians came against it with all their might, in order to burst it in. Had not the door been secured at that instant, the enemy would inevitably have gained admittance to the fort, and the fate of its inmates would have been sealed.

The Atheist and the Epicurean may attribute this narrow escape to the influence of that imaginary being whom they call Fortune, or Chance, but the Christian sees and acknowledges in this the hand of an over-ruling providence, without whose sovereign will and pleasure not so much as a sparrow can fall to the ground. It is due to the memory of our Huguenot and Dutch ancestors to state that they have always acknowledged the hand of God in this preservation, and given Him the glory.

The negro Flink soon discovered the Indians approaching the fort, after he left it. He concealed himself until he saw that they did not obtain an entrance into the fort, and then left his milk‑pail and made his way with all possible speed to the fort at Naponoch, to [p. 47] inform them of the arrival of the enemy. Mr. Hoornbeek, the other individual who left the fort to see to his corn‑field, heard the alarm when about a mile from the fort. Being a large fleshy man, and not able to travel fast on foot, he succeeded in catching a horse owned by Mr. Bruyn, which he mounted, and made off to his father’s, Benjamin Hoornbeek, who lived at Rochester, where Deyo now lives. When he came there, he was so completely exhausted by excitement and fatigue, that he fell upon the floor as dead, but recovered sufficiently to be able to return home in the afternoon, in company with the troops who went in pur­suit of the Indians.

The old stone fort was now the scene of active opera­tions. The men leaped from their beds, and without much attention to dress, as the reader will readily ima­gine, seized their guns, which were always at hand, and commenced their defence. John Griffin was the first who fired, and he brought one of the sons of the for­est to the ground. Another Indian came to remove him from the ground, and just as he stooped to raise him up, Cornelius Vernooy gave him a charge of shot, having had his gun loaded with shot to kill a duck which came in his mill‑pond. The other Indians soon hurried them both away, and they were seen no more. It is probable that they were both killed. Finding it “was vain to fight when lead was all their booty,” the Indians dispersed through the neighborhood—some to plunder and fire buildings, and others to attack other fortified posts.

At Peter Vernooy’s, who lived about a quarter of a mile southeast of the fort, they made an attack, but were bravely repulsed by the little garrison, which consisted of but one efficient man, and two others who were not able to afford much assistance. On the first [p. 48] advance of the Indians, Vernooy shot one from a window in the southeast side of the house. One of the men went into the garret to try to get a crack at them. He discovered some of them behind a ledge of rocks northeast of the house, watching for an opportunity to fire, when any one came before the port‑holes. Whilst he was preparing to fire at them, he saw the flash of their priming—he drew back his head suddenly, and the ball just grazed his face. An old hat which hung up in the garret had been mistaken for a man’s head and was full of bullet‑holes.

The conduct of the women at this place was worthy of the daughters of liberty, and deserves to be noticed. It appears there were three in the house—Mrs. Peter Vernooy and two of her connections from Lackawack. Some of them loaded the guns for the men (of which it appears they had a double set) whilst others stood with axes, determined to plunge them into their foes, if they should attempt to break through the windows, which were fortified with blocks of oak, or other hard wood. Mrs. V. had a family of small children at this time. Some of them were laying in the bunk, and became very uneasy at the unusual proceedings about them, but the ­heroic matron addressed them in language so decided and unequivocal as instantly to secure their quiet.

At Cornelius Bevier’s, where E. Vernooy now lives, the enemy found none to oppose them. They entered the house, built a fire on the floor, with some of the fur­niture; and then left it, taking with them a colored woman and two deformed colored boys a short dis­tance, when they let them return home. The fire had progressed but little, and they succeeded in putting it out.

It does not appear that the Indians had any desire to kill the blacks—probably because they were slaves, and [p. 49] no bounty was paid by the British for their scalps. It is evident that the Indians used to regard the negroes as a race of beings far inferior to themselves. They used to designate them by an opprobrious epithet, which modesty forbids me to mention.

The next assault was made at Cornelius Depuy’s, where a few neighbors were assembled, as the custom was, for mutual safety, and defence. The enemy ad­vanced from the hills southeast of the house. The person who acted as commander of this little garrison ordered them not to fire until they came quite near, but a lad of 16, named Garret Vanwagenen, full of enthusiasm and patriotic fire, could not wait for the word of com­mand. He had his old Holland gun well charged, and levelled at one of them. He fired, and brought him to the ground. The Indians then fled in another direc­tion. Some shots were discharged at them, but with what effect is not known.

The next attack was at the stone house of John Ket­tle, where John Stall now lives.

It will now be necessary to give a sketch of the noble conduct of Capt. J. L. Hardenbergh, on this occasion. He was at Esq. J. G. Hardenbergh’s at the time of the alarm, one mile east of Kettle’s, with only six men with him—(some say but two.) He determined to go to the relief of his countrymen, notwithstanding the imminent danger which he had to face. When he came in sight of Kettle’s house, he saw a number of Indians in ad­vance, in the road. To attempt to fight them with so few men, without any fortification, was vain, and there was no time to be lost‑all depended on the decision of the moment. His vigorous and active mind furnished a stratagem which answered his design to admiration. He turned aside into the woods, with his little band of Spartan heroes, so that their numbers could not be perceived [p. 50] by the enemy, took off his hat, huzzaed with all his might, and advanced towards Kettle’s house, which was in the same direction as the Indians. The enemy, supposing that a company of Tories were coming from Newtown, or, what is more probable, that the troops were coming up from Pinebush, skulked off in every direction. This gave the captain time to reach the house. Just as he reached the door, the Indians, discovering the trick, poured a shower of bullets at him; which struck against the door and sides of the building, but our heroes escaped unhurt. They broke holes through the rear of the house, with an axe, which fortunately had remained in the house, and also through the roof, for port‑holes, and then defended themselves without much difficulty. Some Indians were killed here. The captain found the house occupied by three soldiers, one of whom was Henry Kettle, son of John Kettle, whom the Indians murdered.

The Indians proceeded as far as the Cohonkson, a small stream, about three and a half miles northeast of the old fort at Wawasink, near which they shot John Kettle, the father of Henry Kettle, above mentioned. Jocobus Bruyn had removed with his family over the mountain, for safety from the Indians, and it appears that Mr. Kettle had been about his premises, to see to some of his things, and was there at the time when the alarm occurred. He took a route over the fields to go to the fort at Pinebush, and struck the road near the Cohonkson, where he was shot. His was the only scalp which they took in this expedition.

While the above mentioned events were transpiring the forts at Naponoch and Pinebush were the scenes of intense interest and suspense. When the firing ceased for a moment, they were ready to conclude that the Indians had gained the ascendency, and that they were [p. 51] engaged in scalping and mangling the dead bodies of their friends and brethren. Then again they would hear the report of one of the old Holland guns which could be plainly distinguished from the light arms of the Indians, and told in unequivocal terms that all as yet was well; and then they would break forth in fervent ejaculations thanking God for their preservation. The first firing in the morning, at Wawasink was distinctly heard at Pinebush; and as it was unlawful to fire a gun, except in self‑defence, or as an alarm, they immediately knew that the enemy were there. Alarm‑guns were immediately fired at Pinebush, at Millhook, and so along the frontier towards Kingston. Col. John Cantine of Marbletown was then the first in command at Pinebush. It appears that this officer possessed a large share of prudence and caution—but whether his prudent movements were “ill‑timed” or not on this occasion, or whether he deserved the charge of cowar­dice I shall leave the reader to conclude, and shall con­tent myself with stating the facts, as given by one then in the service.

There was a Capt. Barnet from Little Britain, then in the service at Pinebush, under Col. Cantine. Capt. Benjamin Kortrite, of Rochester, was a brave and res­olute officer‑willing to stare danger in the face, and go wherever duty and his official oath required, and the writer feels a pleasure in bearing testimony to his noble and soldier‑like deportment on this occasion. He and Barnet, had their men in readiness at an early hour, anxious to proceed to the scene of action, but Cantine made no move to that effect. When the flames of the burning buildings were seen ascending in the lower part of Wawasink, either Barnet or Kortrite addressed Col. Cantine as follows: “How can you remain here, when, in all probability, the Indians are murdering our [p. 52] friends at Wawasink? How can you stand it?” Then and not until then, he put the troops in motion for Wawasink. He sent a guard in advance, and when they arrived at the place where the Middleport School‑house now stands, the guard returned, and told the Colonel that the Indians were at the Cohonkson. He immediately wheeled about, with a few others, and went back to the fort. Capts. Burnet and Kortrite marched their companies to the summit of the hill, southwest of the school‑house, ready to meet the enemy, if they should advance, at the same time making the greatest possible show of numbers, by marching in columns to the brow of the hill, then wheeling suddenly in the rear, and then advancing again to the summit, from which they might be seen by the enemy. The Indians not making their appearance, and apprehending that they might take a circuitous route and pass them unnoticed, they returned to the fort, and addressed Col. Cantine as follows:— “This will not do; the Indians may pass the fort on either side, and murder the women and children below the fort.” Then Col. C. ordered out a guard some distance from the fort on each side, to watch the enemy. It is said that Capt. Kortrite was indignant at the tardy movements of the Colonel.

We must now give an account of the proceedings at the fort at Naponoch, where the widow of Conradt Bevier now lives. It has already been stated that the negro Flink escaped to this place, from whom they obtained some account of the number of the enemy, &c. The conduct of Capt. Pierson on this occasion, is ­worthy of particular notice. Although he had been “laboring under an indisposition for some time when the ­alarm came at Naponoch, he left his bed, took off his handkerchief from his head, stepped out in front of the fort, and called out for volunteers. He said he did not [p. 53] want a man to go that would not face the enemy, and fight like a hero. He was solicited by the women, and others to remain for their protection, {NOTE: In the midst of this deep suspense and alarm, when the enemy were hourly expected, a man by the name of De Witt, very deliberately strap­ped his razor and commenced shaving! He was asked by another “if he wanted to have a nice scalp for the Indians?”} but he replied that he was bound by his official oath, to go where the enemy was, and go he would. [The reader will observe the contrast between the conduct of this officer, and that of Col. Cantine, in precisely similar circumstances.] Among the first who responded to this call, were Con­radt Bevier and Jacobus De Witt—two of the bravest of the brave. Both had served in the regular army, and were present at the surrender of Burgoyne. The writer regrets that he is not able to ascertain, at this late day, the number who volunteered on this occasion. It was probably not more than 12 or 13. A negro servant having a particular attachment to C. Bevier, resolved that he would go with him, and die in his defence, if circumstances should require it! This little band of veterans, resolving to live or die together, set forward for the scene of action. When they came to the school­house, half a mile from the fort at Naponoch, they found it on fire—no doubt fired by the Indians. They carried water in their hats, and put it out. They then advanced cautiously over the lowland, until they came in sight of the fort. About this time an Indian sentinel who had been stationed on a hill, to give notice of the arrival of reinforcements at the fort, fired his gun, which made the Indians withdraw farther from the fort. At this moment those within the fort discovered Capt. Pier­son and his volunteers, and made signs for them to ap­proach and enter, an undertaking which they effected with safety. Encouraged by this addition to their force, [p. 54] the besieged men waxed bold, and went out of the fort, and fought the Indians from behind trees, out‑buildings, &c. In the mean time the Indians entered the church, and amused themselves by throwing their tomahawks at the numbers, which, according to the custom of the times, were placed on the panels of the pulpit, designating the psalm or hymn to be sung. This served as a mark to throw at. Two or three gashes were made clear through the pulpit, which was never repaired, but left as a memorial, like the gashes in the door of Col. Jansen’s house in the town of Shawangunk, made by Shank’s Ben. But in compliance with the orders “of our most gracious Lord and Sovereign, King George,” the building was not destroyed. He probably thought that after his refractory subjects had been sufficiently chastised for their rebellion, and had returned to their allegiance, they might want it to worship in. Two Indians were seen standing in the church door, and Wm. Bodly and Conradt Bevier, determined to have a crack at them. They crept along the fence in the bush until they came within gun‑shot. Bevier levelled his piece and drew the trigger, but unfortunately it snapped. The Indian looked round as though he heard it. He tried it again, and again it snapped. Bodly then fired, and they both ran for the fort, about a quarter of a mile. As Bevier passed under the boughs of an apple tree, a shot from the Indians cut off a limb just above his head. It is remarkable that Bevier’s gun missed fire at this time, as he said it was very sure at other times. We may suppose that God, whose providence extends no less over savage than civilized man, had something more for him to do in this world. Perhaps he was to be the instrument of wrath, in the hands of God, on some of his disobedient children. Bodly’s shot struck in the door post, just grazing the crown of the Indian’s head.

[p. 55] A circumstance occurred, long after, which may be interesting to the reader, as it shows a peculiar trait in the character of a “warrior.” Long after the war, a brother of Jacobus De Witt was in the western part of New York, and accidentally met with the Indian who made so narrow an escape in the church door. On hearing that De Witt was from Wawasink, he asked him if he knew who it was that shot at him while stand­ing in the church door. De Witt told him it was Wm. Bodly; whereupon he said, “It was a good shot, and that if ever he met with that man, he would treat him well.”

Towards noon, when most of the Indians were in the lower part of the town, Cornelius Bevier went from the fort to water his cattle, where E. Vernooy now lives, and Jacobus De Witt went with him. While there, he ascended the hill towards the old burying ground. Here he discovered two Indians walking directly from him, in Indian file; he thought he could shoot them both at once, but just as he got ready to fire, they step­ped aside of each other; so he shot one of them, and then ran for the fort. His corpse was afterwards found near the place. He had put on new moccasons, and other apparel, before he died—doubtless as a prepara­tion for entering upon those Elysian fields and spa­cious hunting grounds, which the Indian imagines will be his place of abode in a future state of existence. In passing under an apple tree, De Witt stubbed his toe, and fell. Just at that instant, the shot from the surviving Indian passed directly over his head. Here again, we are called upon to adore and magnify that al­mighty Being, who presides alike over the fate of em­pires and individuals, and in whose hands our breath is.

An Indian was seen from the fort, going with a fire­brand to burn the house where C. Hoornbeek now [p. 56] lives. Benjamin Hoornbeek, brother of Daniel, now living, having one of the long Holland pieces, fired at him. The ball struck a stone on the hill, and bounded against the house in contact with his majesty’s person. He dropped his fire‑brand, gave a tremendous leap, and suddenly disappeared in the woods. This single shot was the means of saving that house from the general conflagration of that eventful day.

The old neighborhood of Wawasink, on the morning of that day, must have been the scene of sublime and awful grandeur. Five or six dwelling houses, seven barns, and one grist‑mill, were all enveloped in flames, which mounted up in curled columns to the clouds of heaven, sweeping all before them—no one being able to offer any resistance to their raging fury. The houses were stored with the products of the industry of many years; consisting of the articles requisite for the comforts and conveniences of civilized life; and the barns had just been filled with a plenteous harvest.

Such are the effects and consequences of war. May God save us from another scene like this.

About Monday, the Indians left the town, heavily laden with spoils, consisting of stock, bedding, wearing apparel, &c. They took some lime, or plaster, supposing it to be flour, as far as Graimsville, where they tried to make bread of it, and found out their mistake.

At Esquire Hardenbergh’s, it is said, they fared sumptuously. They took the whortleberry pie, of which there was a good batch on hand, and broke it up in tubs of sweet milk, and then ate it. The Esquire had barely time to escape with his family and two teams, which carried them to Old Hurley.

Large quantities of clothing were taken from this place, some of which was left by the Indians when closely pursued, as the reader will see in the sequel. [p. 57] The Indians were very intent on getting as much plun­der as possible. Had they not occupied so much of their time in this, they might probably have gotten more scalps. Some individuals, who had concealed themselves in the brush, along the fences, made narrow escapes, when the Indians came to drive the cattle from the fields—some threw little sticks at the cattle, in order to turn them away from the places where they were concealed. When the Indians were leaving the place, a personage of no ordi­nary appearance and pretensions was seen emerging from the woods into the highway near the old church. The sight was truly imposing. He was mounted on a no­ble steed, which they had taken from Esq. H.’s, and was arrayed in gorgeous apparel, according to In­dian notions. He had silver bands about his arms—had on silver broaches; and a bunch of some forty silver broaches hanging about his majesty’s person. He was discovered by some soldiers who were constantly on the alert, watching for a chance to get a crack at the enemy, as they were leaving the town. John Mack, brother of Jesse Mack, levelled his rifle at him, and fired. He was seen to sag over on his horse, but the other Indians soon turned the horse into the woods, and for the pres­ent he disappeared. Some time afterward, Cornelius Bevier found his corpse in the woods, near the place where he was shot. His ornaments and trinkets were still about him. It is probable that the loss of this chief did much to intimidate the Indians, and hasten their re­treat from the town.

  In the course of the afternoon, Capt. Paulain, of the State troops, came up with his company from Hurley, and was joined by Col. Cantine’s troops at Rochester. Among the Captains were Barnet, J. L. Harden­bergh, and Kortright. They lodged at the old stone fort on Sunday night. Early on Monday morning, the [p. 58] 13th of August, they set out in pursuit of the enemy. My informant, who was in the service at the time, thinks that their whole force did not exceed 400 men, including those who went from the fort at Wawasink.

I should have stated before, that one of the British troops, a German, by the name of Vrooman, deserted the Indians on Honkhill, and surrendered to the whites. He left his gun at a distance, and thus approached, making signs of peace. Some of the soldiers were indignant at him, and wished to kill him, but this would have been murder. From this man, and from the spies, who both returned, much of the matter embodied in this narrative has been obtained.

When the troops came to Graimsville, they saw where the Indians had lodged on Sunday night—where they had tried to make bread of lime, &c. Towards night they got to Peenpeck, along the Delaware. The advance guard returned, and informed the officers that they came to fire kindled of small sticks, and they were not burnt through. This was evidence that the Indiana could not be far in advance. It was proposed to double the advance guard. Capt. Kortright offered to go with his whole company. While a consultation was going on among the officers, an accident occurred, which was very unfortunate in its results. Dr. Vanderlyn, of Kingston, was sitting on a log, with his gun in his hands, when by way of amusement, he unthinkingly cocked it, and on returning it to its place it was discharged. The Indians were alarmed, and instantly fled in small parties, leaving their white commander alone with the Tories and the prisoners—Hine and Bouck. At this place large packages of spoils were left by the Indians, in their hasty flight, but these were not found by the whites until several months afterwards. The result of the consultation of the officers, was to return home. [p. 59] Capt. J. L. Hardenbergh, and some other brave spirits, who knew not what fear was, were anxious to pursue; but Col. John Cantina opposed it. In an interview on this occasion between Col. Canting, who manifested as usual, a very reluctant disposition, or, to say the least, a very questionable prudence, like General Lee in his retreat before the British in New Jersey, in the Amer­ican Revolution, he was told by Capt. H., “that he could not die before his time came;” to which he replied, that “if the Indians had their tomahawks above his head his time would be there.” The reader will per­ceive that he did not put much faith in the doctrine of predestination. Had they advanced, they might have taken Colwell and the Tories, and released the prisoners. One thing is certain, they would have recovered a large portion of the spoils.

It is said that the efficiency of the Indians was greatly impaired by eating soft corn, raw, or but partially cooked, which they had taken from the corn‑fields at Wa­wasink; that they were scant of food, and much intim­idated by the loss of their chief, as before intimated; but all this was not known to the whites at the time. The squaws met them, on their return, with parched corn.

The commander, Colwell, being forsaken by his In­dian guides, told Silas Bouck that if he would pilot him through to Niagara, he would do all in his power to save him from running the gantlet when he came to the fort. This he consented to do. On their arrival at Niagara, Philip Hine proposed allegiance to the British Crown, and was permitted to have some liberty, and went with the British troops to Troy. It does not appear that he served in any engagement against the Americans. One tradition says that he came back after peace was restored; another, that he escaped under [p. 60] pretence of going on a hunting expedition. Be this as it may, in the good providence of God, he arrived safe among his friends, and was received as from the dead.

His brother prisoner, Silas Bouck, met with quite a different fate. He was taken to Montreal, and put in a log hut, or prison, with two other prisoners, and kept scant in provisions, and that of the filthiest and meanest kind.

They succeeded in raising up one of the boards of the floor, and dug a hole under the side of the building, with the help of an old knife which they found in the building. In the day time they lay still and peaceable—at night they dug, carefully concealing the dirt under the floor, and replacing the board before morning. Having some reason to apprehend that the time of their execution was at hand, and a dark night coming, they made their exit through the subterraneous passage, and entered the St. Lawrence. Bouck was ahead. They had not gone far, before one cried out, in anguish, that he was sinking; but no assistance could be afforded—each had work for himself. When nearing the opposite shore, the same cry was heard from the other. Bouck was growing very weak as he advanced towards the shore. He thought perhaps he might reach the bottom, but was afraid to try. At last he attempted and found it, and soon after reaching the beach, he made his way into the wilderness, not knowing where he was going. At length morning came, the sun rose, and by the assistance of that celestial luminary, he was enabled to direct his course with more certainty. Never were his benignant rays more welcome to a traveller, than on this occasion. But hunger soon began to torture his already emaciated frame; and then it was that He who “hears the ravens when they cry,” and who “satis­fies the desire of every living thing,” interposed in his [p. 61] behalf. He saw a rattle‑snake in his path. Fortunate­ly he had preserved his jack‑knife, with which be cut a crotched stick and put it over his neck, and then cut off his head. This snake he dressed and ate, raw. But this did not last long, and hunger again began to pinch him hard. In this extremity he came in sight of a small house. He watched it closely, and discovered that its occupants consisted of a man and woman only. He resolved to wait until the man should leave the house, when he would rush in, kill the woman, get provisions, and then be off. He had not waited long before the husband left the house and went off in an opposite di­rection. He then went to the house. The moment he entered the door, the woman screamed out, “you are a deserter!” There lay some bread and meat on the table, which she told him to take, and be off, or he was a dead man. She told him that there was a large body of Indians near by, and that her husband was gone to them. He took the bread, and hastened into the woods, where seeing a hollow tree lying down, he crawled into it,—a hole towards the top serving for air and light. He had been here but a short time, when he heard the Indians traversing the forest in search of him. In the night he came out and resumed his journey; and after enduring a degree of suffering seldom equalled, he arriv­ed at Catskill, along the Hudson River, about fourteen months after he was taken by the Indians.

The freemen of Rochester were assembled at a pub­lic house, situated on the present stand, in front of the Rochester Parsonage, to transact some public business. The long and bloody war with Great Britain was about coming to a happy and glorious termination, and every patriot’s pulse beat high with the bright and animating prospect of domestic happiness and peace, and national honor and glory. In the midst of this “feast of reason [p. 62] and flow of soul,” one was discovered in the distance, having the appearance of “a wayfaring man” As he approached, some dared to hint that it might be Silas Bouck. As he advanced it became more evident that they were not mistaken—they thought it was possible that he was yet alive. But they were not long in sus­pense; the joyful news resounded throughout the assembly that Bouck was coming, when with one simultaneous rush, they left the house and went to meet him. They could scarcely believe their own eyes. They seized him, and carried him into the house, {NOTE: Intoxicating drinks were, in those times, the universal badge of friend­ship. My informant says, “he believes they would have given him five quarts, if he would have swallowed it.”} while the air resounded with their shouts of joy. If ever there was perfect joy on this side of heaven, it was felt on this occasion. They had been partners in the trials and vicissitudes of a seven years’ war; and now they were to enjoy, in common, the dear‑bought and blessed boon of liberty.

On the return of the Indians to Niagara it was ascer­tained that eighteen of their number were missing; one of them, however, returned late in the fall, having driven a cow all the way and lived on the milk; making their loss in this expedition, seventeen men.

Thus ended the depredations of the Indians on this frontier.


[p. 63]



NO. I.




IT has already been stated in the Introduction that the most bitter animosity existed between the Tories and the “sons of liberty,” as those were called who were in favor of the “Revolution,”—the long and patriotic struggle for achieving political independence of Great Britain. The reader will readily apprehend. that that feeling did not subside immediately at the close of the war. The inhabitants of the frontier could not soon for­get how they had taken their smiling infants out of the cradle, and dashed out their brains against the wall—­how they had fed and harbored the Indian who acted as spies for them, and joined them in their expeditions against the whites, and even excelled them in acts of cruelty. This being the case, the reader will not be surprised to learn that they were treated rather roughly when they fell into the power of the heroes of ‘76, after the cessation of hostilities.

The following events occurred probably in ‘82 or ‘3, before the treaty of peace was ratified between the two nations.

A notorious Tory, by the name of Joe Westbrook, on his way home from the war to Minisink, where his father [p. 64] John Westbrook lived, called at Andries {NOTE: The names Andrew and Andries, as used in this publication, denote the same individual. This is true also of the names Kortrite, Kortright, and Coutrite.} Bevier’s at Na­ponoch, and made some inquiries as if he were a stranger. It has been well observed, “that there would be little chance for detecting hypocrisy, were it not always addicted to overact its part;” and a few warm‑hearted patriots made suitable preparations, and embarked in a wagon in time to reach Minisink early in the evening. They looked through the window, and saw the old man and his son Joe sitting at the fire, much engaged in conversation. It was supposed that Joe was telling of his exploits in the war. They surrounded the house, and Jacobus Chambers, a brave and hardy veteran, went in. Joe went into an adjoining room the moment he heard the tap at the door. The old man was asked where his son Joe was, to which the old hypocrite replied with an interjection, that “he had not seen his son since the war.” Chambers told him if he would give him a can­dle, he would show him his son. He said he had no candle. Chambers swore he did not want his candle, for he had one in his pocket, which he then lit, and went to the door. The old Tory then sung out in Dutch, Loop, jongen, loop!” (run, boy! run!) He start­ed to escape out of the window, but it was well guarded, and he cried out, “Yes, dad, but it is full here too.” He was taken to Naponoch, where a council was held over him. Some were for hanging, others for tarring and feathering. At last they decided on the latter. It is said that he shivered and shook like Belshazzar when he saw the hand‑writing on the wall of his palace, and was extremely glad to see the tar bucket and feathers come. This was judiciously applied to his person, in preference to the paint with which the Tories used to [p. 65] disguise themselves. A hog‑yoke and a bell were then fastened to his neck, from which a rope passed to a man on horseback, by which he was led out of town. On being released, he hired a negro in Rochester for fifty cents to clean him, and returned home. Afterward he was retaken, and put into jail in Kingston.






This Tory, it is said, lived back of Newtown, in the town of Rochester. He was taken at Minisink, and forwarded by the Captains from one military post to another until he came to Capt. Kortright’s, at Rochester, it appears, without much ceremony; but the old Cap­tain’s feelings would not permit him to pass his hands without some ceremony suitable to the occasion. He ordered out a few of his company with drum and fife. Vanvleet received the marks of attention due to his honor. He was tarred and feathered, yoked and belled. A negro then went ahead with a rope attached to the yoke, by which he led him along to the next station, which was at Millhook. The Rogue’s March was played, and a few soldiers with charged bayonets marched be­hind, to spur him up occasionally. Sometimes the negro would give the rope a jerk, when the bell would tinkle; blending beautifully with the martial music.







   THE following affray will show the bitter feelings which were still cherished by the Tories and Republicans [p. 66] against each other after the war. At the militia training in Rochester, several of those who were well known to be Tories, attended. The soldiers were indignant at them, and only wanted the slightest pretence to abuse and insult them. They did not hesitate to call them Tories to their face. At last, near the close of the day, one of the Whigs gave a Tory a kick. This was returned by a blow. Others fell in on both sides, and a desperate skirmish ensued. At length they were parted, and the Tories bent their way to their homes in New­town. On their way they met a Whig, and abused him. He brought the word to the other Whigs, and informed them that the Tories were loading their pieces with balls. The Whigs instantly loaded also and went in pursuit, and fired on them; but fortunately none were killed.

This state of feeling gradually wore away, but the old people were accustomed, long after, to look with suspicion on all who bore the name of men who had been Tories in the War, and even at the present day there are old people in whose breasts such prejudices exist. This may be natural, but it is decidedly wrong. It is a principle both of divine and human law, “that the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son,” “but whosoever doeth righteously shall be accepted.” Ezek. ch. xviii.


[p. 67]





THIS, as before observed, is the Indian name of a remarkable spring in the Shawangunk mountain, about one mile from its base. It is situated in a small gully or hollow, which extends along the mountain towards the southwest, a few rods southwest of the great ravine before mentioned, called Louis’s Ravine, or Gully. It contains excellent water, and is remarkable because it boils up but does not run over. This is said to be the signification of the Indian word Topatcoke. It is one of the boundaries of the Patent purchased by Joachim Staats, and is referred to by many of the old deeds and writings. It undoubtedly has a subterraneous outlet. There is a little rivulet which heads in the gully some distance southwest of the spring. About a mile south of Topatcoke is the famous




WHICH contains abundance of ice at all seasons of the year. The mountain in that vicinity abounds in awful chasms, which appear to have been caused by some convulsion of nature; but of which there is no account, verbal or written. Some of those chasms are so narrow that a man can step over them; others are [p. 68] from 8 to 12 feet wide, and extend about half a mile up and down the mountain. In some places there are winding paths, by which one can descend into those caverns, under the projecting rocks, where there are perpetually large masses of ice. It is a place of much resort, as a natural curiosity, and as a repository of ice in the warm season. In some places the chasms are probably 200 feet deep, although not more than 3 or 4 feet wide.




ARE also an object of some interest, and are much frequented by visitors at Naponoch, and others. They are situated about three quarters of a mile north of Naponoch, on the Naponoch Creek. They are said to be 75 feet in height; and when the river is swollen, they present an aspect truly magnificent.

The scenery around is of the most romantic kind. The craggy rocks on each side of the stream extend to a very great height, and those along the bed of the stream are wrought into every imaginable variety of shapes and forms, by the action of the water, assisted by loose stones or gravel, which in working or whirling round by the action of the water, have, in some places, worn deep cavities into the solid rock, which are truly remarkable. In one place there is a species of stone or rock resembling a honey‑comb. In the middle of the stream, at the top of the Falls, there is a rocky promon­tory, which divides it into two parts, and extends for some distance up the stream. A rainbow can always be seen when the sun shines at these Falls. It is also one of the great original landmarks, and one which “neighbors will not” easily “move.”

[p. 69]



THIS old edifice was erected about one hundred years since, by the first settlers, who were mostly from France and Holland, as before stated. About four years since, it was abandoned as a place of public worship, and a new and more commodious building erected at Napo­noch. It was with great reluctance that the old settlers left the sacred spot where their fathers, and their fathers’ fathers had worshipped the great “I AM,” for the past century, and for the enjoyment of which sacred privi­lege their ancestors had sacrificed their estates in a for­eign land, and endured unparalleled privations and suffer­ings; all of which they might have avoided, by consent­ing to have “the mark of the Beast in their foreheads or their right hands,” but they chose rather to die than to deny their Saviour. In 1843, on the 12th of June, it was destroyed by fire. It had become private property, and was used at the time for kill‑drying boards, from which it took fire. The old stone walls are still stand­ing, and although to the thoughtless and inconsiderate those old remains are an object of little interest, to the reflecting and contemplative mind they open a wide field for meditation. As you pass the hallowed spot, thoughts crowd thick upon the mind—thoughts which it is not easy to express. Our reflections naturally flow in a channel corresponding with the character of the object we contemplate; for example, when we think of the broken‑down walls of Jerusalem, we think of the stubbornness and grievous backslidings of ancient Israel, which drew down upon them the wrath of God in the overthrow of their city and nation. Similar reflections crowd upon the mind when we think of Babylon, Nineveh, and other ancient cities now in ruins. [p. 70] And when we think of the tower of Babel, we are led to consider the consummate folly of man, in attempting to evade the judgments and designs of the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. But the reminiscences which the object now before us brings to the mind are of quite a different character.

First of all we are instinctively led to inquire, what was the motive in erecting this edifice? It was no small work to be done by so few—(tradition says that it was built by twelve or thirteen individuals.) It was the same that animated the heart of David, when he said to Nathan the prophet—“I dwell in a house of cedars, whilst the ark of God remaineth between curtains.” It was erected for the sole purpose of worshipping and honoring the great Jehovah. It was the fruit, or effect, of that same principle of love to God which constrained them to resist all the efforts which were made by the Pope of Rome and his emissaries to compel them to bow down and worship the Beast with seven heads and ten horns, “whose name is Blasphemy.It is to that divine principle implanted in the heart of man, through the word and spirit of God, that we are indebted for all our civil and religious rights and privileges, by which we are elevated above every other nation on the face of the globe.

Another reflection is, the solemn exercises that have been conducted there. There the faithful servants of God have stood up, as it were between the living and the dead, warning sinners to repent and flee from the wrath to come‑there saints have had their times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord—have had fresh supplies of grace, enabling them to run the Chris­tian race—there they have united in commemorating a Saviour’s dying love,—there have been poured forth the sweet and melodious songs of Zion. Never can the [p. 71] writer forget those “old familiar tunes” which he has heard within those sacred walls, or the solemn prayers and exhortations that have been offered there.

While to some those solemn exercises have proved a savor of life unto life, to others they have proved a savor of death. To some the preacher has been “as the voice of one that could play well on an instrument;” his words only reached the ear, while their thoughts were about their farms, or merchandise, or roving with the eyes of the fool, to the ends of the earth. It is a solemn reflection, that however those means of grace have been received, they have now ceased forever; as far as this place of worship is concerned the “die is cast”—so far as respects the privilege of the means of grace there, the vision is “sealed up,” for those who enjoyed them, as effectually as if an angel had already set one foot on the sea and the other on the land, and sworn by Him that sitteth on the throne, that time should be no longer.

But there is another consideration—the influence exerted there will not cease until the end of time; and hence the propriety and justice of the great God, in fixing the judgment after that period. The apostle, speaking of one who had departed this life, says, “he being dead yet speaketh.” Thus the influence of the writings and lives of those who have been connected in that place will continue to flow on, augmenting in its course, from generation to generation, until the end of time. On the other hand, the evil consequences re­sulting from the disobedience of others to the com­mands of God, will continue to the same period. We need no better illustration of this point than that which we have in the history of the churches in our own land, blow clearly are the lineaments of that little band of Puritans, who embarked in the Mayflower, in 1620, and [p. 72] landed at Plymouth, seen, after the lapse of 226 years, in the evangelical churches of New England. That stern and rigid piety—that inflexible adherence to all the laws and ordinances of God, which characterized that little company, has been impressed upon each suc­ceeding generation, until the present time, and been incorporated into all their institutions. But how great­ly have their numbers increased, as the stream of time rolls on; and who can calculate the influence on the immortal destinies of man, which had its origin in that little band of Dissenters, and which will continue to flow on, augmenting in its course after the manner of geometrical progression, until the end of the world?

The same observations will apply to the Reformed Dutch Church, and others in our own land.

Such are some of the reflections which have often occurred to the writer, on passing the uncovered walls of the old church at Wawasink. Never, while the pur­ple current courses its way through my veins, will I forget that sacred spot. {NOTE: The writer does not wish to be understood as attaching any super­stitious idea of sanctity to any spot or article, such as Romanists attach to certain places and things; but as being sacred only on account of the sol­emn exercises attended to there, and the hallowed reminiscences associated with them, in the same sense as the ground where Moses stood when he saw the burning bush was “holy ground.”}

It was contemplated to remove the old pulpit (which tradition affirms was brought from Holland,) to the basement of the new church at Naponoch, that it might be preserved as a precious relic of our ancestors, and that we might point the rising generation to the marks of the Indian tomahawk in its side, which, like the twelve stones which Joshua caused to be set up in Jor­dan, to show where they lodged the first night after crossing, might serve to remind them of the great mercy [p. 73] and goodness of God in delivering us from all our ene­mies and giving us peace through our borders. But while we slept it fell before the devouring element. The writer hopes by this notice in some degree to ac­complish the object so unhappily defeated.




THE reader will perhaps smile at my making this the subject of a notice. But to one acquainted with its his­tory, it gives rise to some interesting reflections calcu­lated to arouse a feeling of patriotism and gratitude, entitling it to a notice in the history of this neighbor­hood. It was obtained from the State Arsenal, for the defence of the frontier. In 1781, when the Indians burnt Wawasink, it was made the means, in a remarka­ble manner, of deterring the Indians from commencing hostilities at Naponoch, according to the design of the enemy; and so, in all probability, much property and many lives were saved. It has been used ever since on the anniversary day of our National Independence, and on other festival occasions. Many an aged patriot will recollect the jovial times which he used to have on the hill at Capt. Simon Bevier’s, in marching round the lib­erty‑pole, while the “star‑spangled banner” was float­ing to the breeze, and the loud roar of the nine‑pounder reverberated along the Shawangunk, and at intervals, the old “Taxation,” {NOTE: As copies of that old song are rather scarce at the present day, and believing it to be admirably calculated to arouse and inspire patriotic feelings, I will here insert it.} or some other patriotic song was sung; bringing vividly to mind the great events in the history of our country, and the noble deeds of our ven­erable sires in the cause of liberty.

[p. 74] But in the “midst of this laudable emotion,” this “feast of reason and flow of soul,” there was one thing to be regretted. A canker was at work at the very vitals of our republic, in whose prosperity they were rejoicing; and they were not aware of it. Men were not contented with the spirits that flowed from prosperi­ty and health, alone—the intoxicating bowl was freely passed around, and many a giant intellect fell a vic­tim to its bewitching influence, and their mortal remains now fill a drunkard’s grave. Blessed be God, that the eyes of this nation have been opened to see its danger, and that so much success has attended the efforts to expel this fell monster from the land. Had it not been for the glorious temperance reformation, our noble republic might now have lain by the side of the ancient republics of Greece and Rome, buried in undistinguish­able ruin; for it is a settled principle, that a nation of drunkards are incapable of self‑government.


[p. 75]



WHILE I relate my story, Americans give ear;

Of Britain’s fading glory you presently shall hear;

I’ll give you a true relation, attend to what I say,

Concerning the taxation of North America.


O the cruel lords of Britain who glory in their shame,

The projects they have lit on they joyfully proclaim;

Tis what they’re striving after, our rights to take away,

And rob us of our charter in North America.


There are two mighty speakers, who rule in Parliament,

Who always have been seeking some mischief to invent,

Twas North, and Bute, his father, this horrid plan did lay,

A mighty tax to gather in North America.


He searched the gloomy regions of the infernal pit,

To find among those legions one who excell’d in wit,

To ask of him assistance, or tell them how they may,

Subdue without resistance this North America.


Old Satan, the arch traitor, resolved a voyage to take,

Who rules sole navigator on the burning lake;

For the Britannic ocean he launches far away,

To land he had no notion, in North America.


He takes his seat in Britain, it was his soul’s intent,

Great George’s throne to sit on, and rule the Parliament,

His comrades were pursuing a diabolic way,

For to complete the ruin of North America.


He tried the art of magic to bring his schemes about,

At length the gloomy project he artfully found out;

The plan was indulged, in a clandestine way,

But lately was divulged in North America.


[p. 76]

These subtle arch contrivers addressed the British court,

All those were undersigners, for to observe report—

There is a pleasant landscape that lieth far away,

Beyond the wide Atlantic in North America.


There is a wealthy people, who sojourn in that land,

Their churches all with steeples most delicately stand;

Their houses, like the lilies, are painted red and gay;

They flourish like the gallies in North America.


Their land with milk and honey, continually doth flow,

The want for food and money they seldom ever know

They heap up gold and silver, they have no debts to pay,

They spend their time in pleasure in North America.


On turkeys, fowls and fishes, most frequently they dine,

With gold and silver dishes, their tables always shine,

They crown their feasts with butter, they eat, and rise to play,

In silks their ladies flutter in North America.


With gold and silver laces, they do themselves adorn,

The rubies deck their faces, refulgent as the morn!

Wine sparkles in their glasses, they spend their happy days,

In merriment and dances in North America.


Let not our suit offend you, when we address your throne,

O king, this wealthy country and subjects are your own,

And you their rightful sovereign, they truly must obey,

You have a right to govern them in North America.


O king, you’ve heard the sequel of what we now subscribe,

Is it not just and equal to tax this wealthy tribe?

The question being asked, his majesty did say,

My subjects shall be taxed in North America.


Invested with a warrant, my publicans shall go,

The tenth of all their current they surely shall bestow;

If they indulge rebellion, or from our projects stray,

I’ll send my whole batallion to North America.


[p. 77]

I’ll rally all my forces by water and by land,

My light dragoons and horses shall go at my command;

I’ll burn both town and city, with smoke becloud the day,

I’ll show no human pity for North America.


Go on, my hearty soldiers, you need now fear no ill—

There’s Harly, Hills, and Roger’s, and Johnson will fulfil

They tell such ample stories, believe them sure we may,

That half of them are Tories in North America.


My gallant ships are ready to hoist you o’er the flood,

And in my cause be steady, which is supremely good;

Go ravage, steal and plunder, and you shall have the prey;

They quickly will knock under in North America.


The laws I have enacted, I never will revoke,

Although they are neglected, my fury to provoke,

I will forbear to flatter, I’ll rule with mighty sway;

I’ll take away the charter from North America.


O George! you are distracted, by sad experience find;

The laws you have enacted are of the blackest kind,

I’ll make a short disgression, and tell you by the way,

We fear not your oppression in North America.


Our fathers were distressed, while in their native land;

By tyrants were oppressed, as I do understand;

For freedom and religion they were resolved to stray,

And trace the desert regions of North America.


Heaven was their sole protector while on the roving tide,

Kind fortune their director, and providence their guide,

If I am not mistaken, about the first of May,

This voyage was undertaken for North America.


To sail they were commanded, about the hour of noon,

At Plymouth shore they landed, the twenty‑first of June;

The savages were nettled, with fear they fled away,

And peaceably they settled in North America.


[p. 78]

We are their bold descendants, for liberty we’ll fight,

The Game of independence we challenge as our right,

What heaven has freely given, no one can take away,

Kind heaven, too, will save us in North America.


We never will knock under, O George, we do not fear

The rattling of your thunder, nor lightning of your spear;

Tho’ rebels you declare us, we’re strangers to dismay;

You cannot therefore scare us in North America.


To what you have commanded, we never will consent;

Although your troops are landed upon the continent;

We’ll take our swords and muskets, and march in bright array,

And drive the British rustics from North America.


We have a bold commander, who fears not sword nor gun;

The second Alexander, his name is WASHINGTON;

His men are all collected, and ready for the fray,

To fight they were directed for North America.


We have Green, Gates and Putnam, to manage in the field,

A gallant train of footmen, who had rather die than yield;

A stately troop of horses train’d in a martial way,

For augmenting our forces in North America.


Proud George you are engaged all in a dirty cause,

A cruel war hath raged repugnant to all laws,

Go tell the savage nation you’re crueller than they,

To fight your own relations in North America.


Ten millions you’ve expended, and twice ten millions more;

Our riches you intended should pay the mighty score;

Who now will stand your sponsors, your charges to defray?

For sure you cannot conquer this North America.


I’ll tell you George, in metre, if you attend awhile,

We forced your own St. Peter at Sullivan’s fair isle;

At Monmouth too we gained the honor of the day—

The victory obtained in North America.


[p. 79]

Surely we were your betters hard by the Brandywine;

We laid him fast in fetters, whose name was called Burgoyne,

We made your horse to tremble with terror and dismay,

The heroes we resemble in North America.


Confusion to the Tories, that black infernal name,

In which Great Britain glories for ever to their shame

We’ll send each foul revolter to smutty Africa,

Or noose them in a halter in North America.


A health to our brave footmen, who handle sword and gun,

To Green, Gates and Putnam, and conquering Washington;

Their names be wrote in letters which never shall decay,

While sun and moon cloth glitter in North America.


Success unto our allies, in Europe and in Spain,

Who man their ships and gullies, our freedom to maintain,

May they subdue the rangers of boasting Britannia,

And drive them from their anchors in North America.


Success unto our Congress of the United States,

Who glory in the conquest of Washington and Gates

To all, both land and seamen, who glory in the day

When we shall all be freemen in North America.


Success to the legislation that rules with gentle hand,

To trade and navigation, by water and by land;

May all with one opinion our wholesome laws obey,

Throughout this whole dominion in North America.


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