FOOTNOTES to Quinlan's Tom Quick the Indian Slayer.
[Originally among the book's chapters]
1 A man named Thomas Quick, among others, took the "oath of allegiance in ye county of Vlster, by order of His Excelly: ye Gouernor; ye ffirst day of September anno qe: domini 1689." From this it may be inferred that the Quicks came to this country sooner than the family tradition indicates. See the Documentary History of New York, Vol. 1, page 280.
2 The foundation of the dam of his mills, one of his descendents informs us, was visible a few years since.
3 Indian names of rivers, &c. as laid down in a map printed in 1779.
4 Some of the pioneers of Cochecton have been heard to say that they had seen Cashiegtonch island, near the Indian burying ground of that town, "covered with Indians, and some of them were fine, noble fellows."
1 Lossing's Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution.
2 According to Chapman, the "colony" at Cushetunk was commenced in 1757. In 1760, they had thirty houses, a saw and a grist mill, and a block house, together with several large log houses. The number of houses is probably over estimated. The same writer says a settlement was commenced at Menesink about the same time, which was driven off in consequence of the Indian title not having been extinguished.
Daniel Skinner, whose descendants still
live in this region, was one of the pioneers of Cushetunk. He
1 It is said that his dog was of great service to him on such occasions, and that he hated the Indians quite as much as his master.
1 The writer has heard these stories related by some of the old settlers. His only apology for introducing them here is to show some of the incidents of pioneer life in Sullivan, and to make a chapter of more length than the actual incidents of the evening would make.
2 After the war, the whigs of the frontier were in the habit of catching the tories who had rendered themselves peculiarly obnoxious, and treating them in the following manner: 1st. A good and substantial suit of tar and feathers was given them gratis. 2nd. An ornament greatly resembling a hog yoke was placed upon their necks, to one end of which a jewel shaped like a cow bell was attached, and to the other a cord, which, it may well be believed; was not made of silk. 3rd. A sable son of Congo next took hold of one end of the cord, and the culprit was drummed out of the neighborhood to the tune of the "Rogue's March," the African occasionally giving the cord a jerk, and setting the clapper of the bell in motion, while the populace hurled at the returned tory sundry missiles known as rotten eggs, &c., and spurred him forward with bayonets, sharp sticks "and so on." Lynch law is more ancient than many suppose.
1 Shurker was suspected of being a tory. Not long before he was murdered, one of his neighbors told him that he was an enemy of his country. He asserted his innocence so loudly, that it was thought he was overheard by a tory or Indian who was lurking in the woods close by.
1 The facts contained in this chapter are gleaned from a pamphlet written by the late Charles G. DeWitt. Many of the paragraphs we have quoted, making a few unimportant alterations.
1 "We have
advice from Warwarsing in Ulster county, that on
Tuesday last, the 4th inst., a party of the enemy, supposed to be mostly tory inhabitants, burnt four dwelling-houses and five barns
in that neighborhood at the Fantine Kill and killed six people, besides three
or four more who are supposed to be burnt in their houses. Advice of the
mischief being brought to Col. Cortlandt, stationed
there with his regiment, he immediately marched in pursuit of the enemy, whom
he twice got sight of on a mountain, exchanged some shots with them, though at
too great a distance, and endeavored to surround them, but in vain; they all
made their escape. In their flight they left a young woman whom they had taken,
from whom we received the account, that their number was 3 Indians, and 27
1 "Early on
the morning of the 22d ult., a party of Indians and tories, consisting of about 400, entered the beautiful
settlement of Warwarsing, situated on the great road
leading from Minisink to Esopus
about 35 miles from the former; at their first coming to the place, they were
hailed by a sentinel who was at the gate of a piquet fort where was a
sergeant's guard kept, (which were the only soldiers in that quarter;) they not
making any answer, induced the sentinel to fire and run within the fort, which
alarmed the garrison. The enemy kept up a constant fire upon the fort for some
time, but without effect, and at last retired in confusion, with the loss of
three killed and two wounded. They then proceeded to burning and plundering the
place. The inhabitants being alarmed by the firing at the fort, all made their
escape except one John Kettle, whom they killed. The loss of these poor people
is very great; the fate of an hour reduced them from a state of ease and
affluence to want and beggary. Thirteen elegant dwelling-houses, with all the
outbuildings and furniture, 14 spacious barns filled with wheat, besides
barracks, stables, stacks of hay, and grain were all
consumed. Between 60 and 70 horses, mostly very fine, a great number of cattle,
sheep, and hogs, were driven off. Capt. Pauling,
getting intelligence of the above, immediately collected about 200 New York
levies and militia, and pursued them about 40 miles; but was not able to overtake
them. It appeared that they fled in confusion, as they left a considerable
quantity of plunder behind them in many places. By a white man who has been
with them three years, and made his escape while Warwarsing
was in flames, we learn that this party was from Niagara, and that they were 4
weeks and 3 days on their way; that they were exceedingly distressed for want
of provisions, insomuch that they eat up their pack-horses and dogs. He adds
that the garrison of
"Colonel Pauling arrived at the outskirts in time to catch a glimpse of the enemy's rear, and to relieve some of the inhabitants, among whom were a man and his wife, who had conducted themselves with distinguished bravery. His house was constructed of unhewn logs, in the woods, and in advance of all others. On the appearance of the foe, he fled to his castle with his wife, and 'securing it in the best manner he could, gave battle to a party of the Indians who laid seige to his fortress. Being well armed, he defended himself with so much spirit, that they recoiled with loss. Finding, after several attempts, that they could not force an entrance, the Indians collected a heap of combustibles, and set fire to the premises. Retiring a short distance to see the result, the man watched his opportunity, and rushing out with a couple of buckets, he procured water, which was close at hand, and extinguished the fire. The Indians, of course, ran down upon him; but not being quick enough of foot to prevent his gaining the door, hurled their tomahawks at his head—happily without effect. He entered his castle, made fast his sally-port, and re-commenced his defence. Just at this moment Colonel Pauling with his troops appeared in sight, whereupon the Indians raised the seige and departed."—Stone's Life of Brant.
2 The army of
1 Before the war closed, Young lost all he possessed, and was subsequently very poor.
2 This is according to the recollection of our informant, who entertains an unfavorable opinion of the scouts. It is probable that Cooley was well known to some of the party as a man who had committed a great offence.
1 Historical Collections of New-York.
2 Brant made more than one descent upon Minisink. On
Most of the barns and houses in the neighborhood were burnt, and the cattle driven off.
It is probable that Count Pulaski was stationed in Minisink but a few weeks or months.
3 Stone's Life of Brant.
4 Stone's Life of Brant.
5 Stone's Life of Brant.
6 Moses Thomas,
2d, enlisted during the early part of the war, and was with the army some time
7 For the oration delivered on the occasion, see Appendix A.
1 The whole region from Gales to the Delaware Barrens was known to the
hunters, in old times, as the "Foul Woods" - not the "Fowl
Woods," as some now pretend. These woods received their name from a thick
undergrowth of rhododendrons and other dwarfish shrubs, which rendered it
almost impossible to travel through them. Lord's pond is still styled "
2 "Shawan," says one of the authors of the Historical Collections of New-York, "in the language of the Mohegan Indians, means white salt, and gunk, rocks or piles of rocks." It is not probable that the writer alluded to has been misled, and that the mountain received its name from the Shawanese tribe, which once obtained a foothold here? According to another work, "Shawan" is the Indian word for east and "gunk" or "unk," means mountain. May not the signification of Shawangunk be simply "the eastern mountain?"
1 Another account
says that the Indians took the rifle. We suspect, however, that this is a
mistake, as many of the old inhabitants of the
2 The author believes that a part of this chapter is apocryphal. The principal incidents, however, he thinks, actually occurred.
1 Canope was a native of Cochecton.
He and his mother lived with his grandfather, whose name was Abraham, in a
swamp, near the Ruso brook. The locality is known as
Abraham's swamp to this day. Nothing is remembered of his father. When Canope was a pappoose, his mother
took him to the houses of the whites frequently, and as he grew up, he became
an associate of the boys of the neighborhood. He was a fine lad, and was highly
esteemed by the pioneers, particularly by the young men. On one occasion, he
was drowned in the
2 Shimer, we believe, is pronounced Shamer. This is the reason, probably, why those who are conversant with the events of this chapter, from having lived near the place where they occurred, do not agree in regard to his name.
3 Ben Haines has not been dead for many years. Quite a number of men who are yet in the prime of years remember him well. He always considered the murder of Canope a very praiseworthy deed, and boasted of the part he took in the affair. It is singular that our government permitted such a wretch to go "unwhipt of justice."
4 One of our correspondents differs from all the others in describing this affair. He says:
"At the time of the murder of Canope I was between seven and eight years of age ... Some time in 1784, three Indians came to the house of Joseph Ross. Their names were Nicholas, Ben Shanks and Canope. While they staid there they amused themselves by shooting across the river at a large chestnut tree, which is still standing. They several times went from the house of Ross to David Young's. In doing this they passed my father's place, which gave me frequent opportunities to see them. How long they remained in the neighborhood I am unable to say. After they left we heard nothing more about them until the report came that Canope had been killed at Handsome Eddy. The report was that Ben Haines and Shimer, in a hunting expedition, discovered these Indians on the waters of the Shehola, where they had encamped, and were just commencing to trap for beaver. Haines having been well acquainted with them before the war, accosted them in the most friendly manner, calling them brothers, and assuring them that he was overjoyed to find in them his old associates. The Indians having just killed a deer, the whole party heartily and amicably partook of a meal of venison. After this the Indians invited their brother pale faces to visit them again, and Haines invited his brother red men to visit him. They thus parted on apparent friendly terms. The white men had gone but a short distance before Shimer proposed to return, kill the Indians, and take their traps and rifles. To this Haines replied that it would be too dangerous; that they could not expect to kill more than two at the first shot; that there would be one left with three loaded rifles, while theirs would be empty, and that he would shoot both of them before they could reload. "Let them catch the beaver and other game," said he, "and then we can get cousin Tom to help us. He will be delighted to have a chance to kill them." So when they supposed the Indians had caught the game, and prepared the skins, they applied to cousin Tom. To their surprise, he refused to go into the woods where there were Indians. He consented, however, to assist them if Haines would entice the savages to the river. Accordingly Haines prevailed on two of them to come out, by agreeing to protect them and take their furs to Minisink and exchange them for such articles as they needed. After he had got them to his house he induced them to go with him to fish on a certain rock, where, by a preconcerted plan, Shinier and Quick were in ambush. As soon as the Indians were in a convenient position, the two white men fired. Shimer's bullet took effect and wounded Canope, but Quick missed his Indian, who escaped. Canope ran to brother Ben for protection, when the latter said, "Pant, d—n you! for you have not a minute to live!" and then knocked him on the head with a pine knot. Shimer was taken and put in jail, where he remained some time, but was finally liberated. Haines and Tom sculked about from one place to another to keep out of the reach of sheriffs and constables until Shimer was set at liberty, when they again came out boldly among the people. Shimer, while in prison, complained much of the unfairness of keeping him confined, while Ben and Tom, who were equally culpable, were permitted to be at large."
1 The shad fishery at Cochecton
was at one time not altogether despicable. The pioneers caught this delicious
fish by making a "rack" at some convenient place, with wings formed
of cobble stones and extending to each shore. They forced the shad into the
"rack" by drawing an immense "brush net" or
"drag," a mile or two down the stream. The fish were thus driven into
the "rack" in great numbers. After the shad spawned they died; and
their carcasses were thrown upon shore by the water; where they became putrid,
and rendered the air anything but sweet and wholesome. In the fall, a great
many of the young shad, while on their way to the sea; were killed by falling
into "eel racks," or by getting bruised in passing through them. When
they ran down stream they were from four to six inches in length, and so tender
that the least injury was fatal to them. The "racks" probably
2 Daniel Skinner was the first person who
3 One of our correspondents says: "My
father's house at Cushetunk, (or rather the place
where we stayed—for it consisted of a few logs thrown together and covered with
bark,) was for several years a principal stopping place. There were but few
houses in Cochecton where the traveller
could be lodged even on a somewhat primitive floor. Some remained with us two
or three days, and others as many weeks. In those days, there was no way to get
to Cochecton except by pushing a canoe thirty five or
forty miles up the river, or by travelling on an
Indian path the same distance through a wilderness where a carriage could not
be drawn. Yet many found the way to Cochecton by the
powers of feet and legs, or the strength of hands and arms. "Confused,
unnumbered multitudes were found,"—some moving farther up the river; some
on the way to
'Each talked aloud, or in some secret
'And wild, impatient, stared in every face:
"The greater part had been, or intended
to be, concerned in the affairs of the country. Their conversation naturally
led to the transactions and troubles on the
There at one passage, oft you might
A lie and truth contending for the sway;
There various news I heard of love and strife,
Of war and peace, health, sickness, death and life,
Of loss and gain, of famine and of store,
Of rafting down stream—walking up the shore,
Of old possessions occupied anew," &c.
1 Callicoon is a Dutch word, signifying turkey.
1 The pioneers of Mamakating
knew that the Indians obtained their lead not far from Wurtsborough.
The natives always refused to show where it was to be found, and generally
became angry whenever the mine was alluded to. Even the white men who were in part or wholly domesticated with them, could
not get any information from them in regard to it. At last, a white hunter
named Miller dogged them, at the risk of his life, until he ascertained that
they got the ore near a certain clump of hemlock trees, which were the only
ones of the kind within a considerable distance. He heard them at work, but did
not dare to go to the locality until a considerable time afterwards when he was
sure the savages were not in the vicinity. Miller intended to tell this to a man
named Daniel Gunsaulis. He told him the
lead was on the mountain, near the hemlocks, pointed them out from the valley,
and promised to go with him to the mine after he had made a visit to his
2 We have heard the following related of Tom's last sickness, etc., in neighborhoods more than fifty miles from each other:
The Indian Killer caught the small pox when he was quite old, and it was soon ascertained that he could not live more than a few hours. He was told that death would soon seize him, when he expressed sorrow because he had not been able to kill Indians enough to make an even hundred! "And," runs the legend, "he was the means of destroying a much greater number than he wished to kill, for as soon as the red skins learned that he was dead they dug up his body, cut it into small pieces, and sent the pieces to all the Indian villages far and near. They had not an opportunity to burn him while he was alive, so they sent his remains to their friends to be burned after he was dead. By this means the smallpox was spread all over the Indian country, and incredible numbers died with it!"
That Tom died of old age, we have the testimony of a gentleman who was with him at the time, and who attended his funeral.
3 The remains of one of these ancient guns are in the possession of the author. They were found, after this chapter was first published, on land owned by Mr. Hiram Jacoby, of Thompson. They are venerable and somewhat rusty relics of a by-gone age.
4 See Appendix B.
2 It is now supposed that he was of pure Mohawk extraction.
3 "Hapless he falls by wounds which the cruel foe inflicted, looks to heaven for aid, and dying remembers his sweet native plains."