The Letters of Joseph G. Klock

Compiled by

His Great-Great grandson

Earl Herbert Klock

In the following letter Grandfather Joseph G. Klock says, "I have watched the times since the Stamp Act &", and then a few blurred words look like it says "wore a uniform." (How about the war of 1812 -- Nellis). In a later letter, he says he helped put down the stamp act. From these statements it proves he was in the Revolution, and might have been a drummer boy. In the history of Col. Jacob Klock's Regiment, two certain Klocks are mentioned one of whom I think must have been Joseph G. Klock. One is Jost Klock whom I have been told was a brother of the Colonel. The other, Joseph Klock, I am sure was the author of these letters. He was a close friend of the Colonel, as he was one of the Colonel's witnesses to his last will, and therefore likely a comrade of his. He was a man who would not keep out of things; and I presume, as a boy, carried the same nature. Furthermore, in times of war, men of previous experience are picked out for officers. Great grandfather Joseph G. Klock became a Captain in the War of 1812; and therefore, I am sure had had previous war experience, namely in the Revolution. He likely helped put down the Tories and Indians during these terrible, bothersome times in the Mohawk during the War for Independence.

Authors Note: Joseph G. Klock, born April 3, 1769. Was only 13 years old on April 5, 1785, the end of the Revolutionary War, but Joseph G. Klock's father was in the Revolution.

Letter No. 12

St. Johnsville, September 25th, 1839

Dear Sir:

I take pen in hand this Wednesday morning to inform you and yours that Peggy and Caty arrived safe at our house at about 4 o'clock P.M. on Saturday the 21st instant and it seemed of all luck met Daniel and his wife Nancy and their two youngest children at our house, so that I had all my children once more together, which I expect will never happen on this side of Eternity, which gave great joy. We made a visit on Sabbath to Uncle Peter Klock and went to meeting twice to hear the Rev. Mr. Myers preach the Dutch Reform preacher, as we had no preaching on that day. On Monday, the 23rd, Daniel harnessed his horses in his wagon, and me, Peggy, Caty, and his wife to their uncle and aunt, Peter P. Walrath, Stone Arabia, and we came back in the evening, except Peggy and Caty who stopped over night to see Catherine, the widow Benjamin Fox; and Daniel harnessed his wagon and fetched them up to our house next morning. We then went to our village to General Training, and made Capt. Jonas Snell and his wife a visit. His wife is a daughter of your brother Christian Klock. From there 24th, they, Peggy & Caty, were taken or to be taken by their uncle John G. Klock, who married their mother's sister, Cartrout Zimmerman, to see them and their uncle, John Vedder and his wife, Ourozine (?) in Yonker's Bush. From there I expect they are to be brought to our house tomorrow. Then, I think, the Lord willing, and if I can get a one horse wagon, as I have none, and my Chair almost too old to go a journey, I think I and Peggy shall go to see the farm I wrote you about in my last letter. Isaac Finehart said, in coming home from Saratoga Springs, in stopping at a tavern near the farm, the man at the tavern mentioned to him that his neighbor with an English family who were no farmers, wanted to sell and go live in some village on their money, and he thought said farm might be bought for $10 or $12 per acre. 260 acres; 60 under improvement, the remainder well timbered, mostly beach and maple wood, which should lay about 8 miles north of Amsterdam village where wood now fetched $3 a cord, and I expect in a few years will fetch $4 or $5 per cord. The railroad cars I think will make wood scarce and dear among us soon. It is almost all cut off back of us already. I think this may be an object worth notice. Daniel said land was on the rise among them in Jefferson county. Improved farms now sold for 20 or 30 per acre, and is no wonder as it seems almost everybody is going there. They raise such good wheat there, and I think it is getting before Genesee. They thresh, he said from 7 to 9 bushels from the hundred sheaves. He said Esqr. Thomas Getman from our place, with family moved out there poor about three years ago, has now about a thousand bushels of wheat, and Daniel himself has something he thinks, about 250 bushels off 20 or thereabouts sewing. I heard Daniel tell Brother Lasher, who wants to go out to buy him a place, that there was a farm joining Daniel, that might be bought for about $23 per acre. I think Daniel said it contained 250 or 260 acres. That a man need not look for any better. But if you should buy land, mind and buy that is a little roling. If it lays too level, there may be hard bank on which the water will stand and drown out the wheat. I think I would rather have you would move this way than farther off, but you must know best what to do for you and your children. Doctor Barry Caldwell and Family moved from our place, I think, the 8th of May last to Missouri, and yesterday one of the doctor's brothers told Daniel that he had received a letter from the Doctor's family that the Doctor was dead; that he had been taken with fever and ague, and that the spotted fever sot in and that he died the 7th or 9th day. Still I have seen it recommended healthy there, and fine land. We saw your brother George and wife in going to Walrath's and Lana, David's mother, came to our house yesterday and saw the girls. Daniel said their corn was equal to ours on the Flatts, and completely ripe; that he had flax 4 feet 2 inches long, that the country was good for all kinds of grain and grass. I think he said he had sixty loads of hay made this last summer.

We are all well as usual, and I think a general time of Health among us, for which praised be the name of the Lord. Peggy has desired me to write to you and aquaint you that she intends to leave us on Monday the 7th day of October next for home, and that she and Caty expect to arrive at Richard Failing's near Buffalo on the ensuing Saturday. From there I expect they calculate you to fetch them home. Make it a matter of prayer, and the Lord may direct you which way to go. If you want to write to Daniel direct your letter to Orleans town, Jefferson county, Black River, and to be left at Perch River post office. I have understood of Peggy that you still support the Federal ticket, or that assumed name of Whig name. I think it can't be possible that any Methodist can be so belied, as to beleive in such a mixture of men, of whom some of them have wanted to add church and state together, and many of them have rejoiced in our downfalls of the last War. The Governor and others have acknowledged that our treasury was full and needed no replenishing when the Whigs came at the helm. Col. Young, one of our senators, was chairman of the committtee on finances. Last April the amount of Debt created by the issue of stocks on the Credit of the State & the amount authorized to be issued by existing statutues make together $18,000,000 and additional sums which will be necessary to finish the work, will it is beleived exceed $30,000,000.
Enlargement of Erie canal say 25,000,000.
Genisee(sp) valley, Do. 4,000,000
Black River, Do. 2,000,000
(Note: Do. was an abbreviation signifying "ditto".)

Liabilities for previous loans, 18,262,406. Total, $49,262,406 & 82 cents. Law after law has been erected appropriating million upon million in defiance of the constitution. In a Whig paper published at Fort Plain, it is stated that Gov. Seward says in his message on the subject of the 40,000,000 debt alluding to Mr. Ruggles report showing the opinion therein expressed of the ample resources and ability of the state in its progress of internal improvements. He says that the subject of the finances is discussed with eminent ability, and it shows that canals are a property substantially unincombered (sp), and their productiveness would warrant the State in expending in internal improvements 40,000,000 annually for a period of ten years, and it is also stated from good authority, that he with some others have recommended 3 rail roads, from tide water to the Lakes, which, to be completed with other work, would run us in debt 70 to 80 millions of dollars. What makes the Whigs in favor of those works is to get votes, of those counties where these railroads are to run through. Now it is stated that they want our state to take it in hand to make these roads, or some of them. Now look at it; if we go on in this way, which will do us no good, what will become of us? It is stated, I think from our treasury report, at a close calculation, that all our income from all sources, salt and canal, would not more at the highest, pay the interest of 15 or 20 million of dollars, let alone the principle. This cannot be paid without we being heavily taxed which would depreciate the value of Lands. I wish you wuld ask for Mr. Duncan's speech last winter, or spring, or it may be last year, from Ohio. Therein you would see how they lie about the administration, and also in the Argus paper. They have charged Government with stopping the bank, of giving out specie. There is not one word of truth therein. It has been done by large issues of mostly the United States bank and retraction, and by the bank leting out our deposit money & the great speculating that was carried on among us on that money, who run the banks. Do you not recall how the president called Congress together to help the people, and recommended a sub-treasury to keep our money, and if Congress could devise a better plan, he would be glad. They had tried the U. S. and deposit banks. They have all failed, and dare not recommend a U. States Bank for they know the people did not want anything to do with banks. Now it is bank or a United States treasury. Have you not read how Republicans are coming? Right, Tennessee has gained since '37 from 40 to 42 thousand.

John B. Klock Junr.             Joseph G. Klock

P.S. There is a great gain in Alabama, Michigan, South Carolina, Vermont, Maine & I beleive some others, so you may sure that there will be a Republican president elected next year, even if we should lose York State; but if people should get their eyes open on the subject of banks, and of getting involved, and over head and ears in debt under our Whig administration of our state, they would see their mistake. I saw a statement taken from a Whig paper how that Pennsylvania was over head and ears in debt. The state had not credit enough to borrow a few thousand dollars to carry on their improvements and works & that some works had stopped already. I have to stop. I am tired writing, but I might tell a great deal more. I have watched the times since the Stamp Act, & (wore uniform?), and know for certain that the Republican cause is right.

The following letter proves, without a doubt to my mind, that Joseph G. Klock was in the Revolution. In part of this letter he is berating my grandfather on his attitude toward political matters, and says, "Do you think there is a man of my age, and one that helped bring down the Stamp Act, and that has watched the times, equal to me?"

He was then 71 years of age.

Great grandfather mentions the slavery question also, and proved he was not an Abolitionist - not at that time anyway. He feared the people of the south, slave owners, might come north and "shoot us", if their Black were freed, or slavery molested.

Joseph G. Klock was strictly against a United States bank. He held with the opinions and doctrines of Andrew Jackson; and his ideas along banking lines are very interesting. His predictions were also almost a prophecy of what was to happen in later years if the Government did establish a Bank. "The Bank goes up; our liberties go down", he said, and in the light of recent events, his idea seems to have almost proved true.

In a later letter, written in 1842, he speaks further on this Bank matter, quoting Jackson as saying "such a Bank would make the rich richer & the poor poorer."

Letter No. 13

St. Johnsville, August 12th, 1840

Dear Sir:

I received your letter dated the 4th inst. We and your friends here are about as usual for what we know, except our Maria, was taken sick about the first of July, the day after returning home from Daniels' and his family whom we found & left well. I been thinking why you did not buy there instead of Ohio. Daniel is doing well & crops look well, and many good chances to buy. A farm adjoining him, he said first rate farm for $20 per acre; buildings poor. Daniel owns now I beleive 172 acres, all paid for except about $390, and of Finehart, I beleive, $86. If nothing happens, Daniel will get rich. He and William have their farm first order. Maria is now taking Moffett's Pills, and since gaining. My complaint rather worse. Annabe, Peteris Wolrath's wife, would be glad to hear from her sister, I beleive Catherine, Mary (?) Rice. I saw her Monday. I and Maria were down. They are all well. We are very dry with us. No rain to wet potato hills, in about 8 weeks. Very poor hay, about half crop. Pastures, oats, very short. As to my coming up, it is out of my power for several reasons. This summer, or fall. I saw Finehart this morning. He seems to care little what you do, yet if you take him up at this offer, he will do as he proposed. Did you think me so foolish to sell my farm to Finehart? No. He proposed I might keep the farm in my hands as long as I lived and be Master of it. He wanted to take care of the farm and wood, and make stone walls and save the wood, but he talked with the Zimmermans about their giving up the farm, but got no answer as yet. I beleive one will stay and the other will leave next spring, and what can be done about it, I do not know. I was to give Finehart a due bill on my farm after my decease for money he paid to you. We have received no letter from Daniel to know what he will to do, nor from David. I beleive we had some talk that Daniel got more than his share, and that he ought to give something out. I think directly after Peggy and Caty left us, I made a will & authorized the executors to pay each of the Girls $25 apiece out of Daniel's share. It may be there was something mentioned that she ought to have something more out of my personal property. It will be three years from next spring before Zim's lease runs out. As to paying for your tax, will not be convenient for me. You must do as I have had to do. I sent my money with Jeremiah Nellis * a member, two years ago, and he paid it for me; but if you send, mind to mention all particulars, where the land lays, what Patent, what number of great lot and number of small lot etc.

(* Father of John C. Nellis; grandson of Christian Nellis Jr.)

You say in your letter, one word in relation to Gen. Harrison. He is not the man that I represent him to be. I am astounded that you would believe other people, and likely lieing Whigs, before me. Do you think that there is a man my age, and one that has helped to bring down the stamp act, and that has watched the times equal with me? If you do, you might be very much mistaken. You said that he is a sound Republican. That's the first that I have ever heard that, as much as I read. It has been stated, from documents, too, that he held offices under both Adams. It has been sworn that he wore the black cockade, and approved of very measure brought forth by Webster & Clay, & his committee say his sentiments are not changed. If not, then he is a Federal still. Would you dare vote for a man that dare not let his sentiments be known, kept by a committee who would run him if he should get to be President? When he is with the Abolitionists, he is in their favor, and when with Anti-Abolitionists, in their favor, and when he writes to one or to the other, he is of the same side with his correspondant, cautioning him, however, not to let his letter find its way to the public prints. It has been made out that he belonged to an Abolitionist society. Now suppose he should get to be President, then there might be a law passed to free the Blacks. Clay said a year ago last winter, in Congress, to Adams, who was handing in petitions for that purpose, "if that's your mind, I will go home; then the Union is dissolved." We have no right to meddle with their slaves. They provided for the security of the slaves when the Constitution was formed, in compact. If we meddle with them, they will be likely to come out with their rifles, and kill us. Of the two evils, chose the least. Neither will he say that he wants a U. S. Bank. Van Buren did not keep himself behind a veil, but his sentiments were all known before hand. The documents sent from Indiana, show that while H. was Gov. of that state, that he approved and signed a law to have white men sold as slaves. If they could not pay a small, or large fine, to serve to a master till it was paid, and if they left their master to have 39 stripes, & double servitude for time lost. He also was against the Sufrage (sp) of Poor people, that a man must have 50 acres of Land worth $100 before he be allowed to vote. Those things have been made out to the satisfaction of, I beleive, to every man except John. You say he is the peoples' choice. I will show you whose choice. Mr. Waterman in Congress, began at the state of Maine, and named every man by name, and one a Federalist, such as one an Adams man, till he went through the whole of the states, and they were found all, except a few, to be old Federalists and Adams men. Now you may know the choice who nominated Harrison. As to your great majority, you may judge these facts. Gen. Averilll was over heard who said "it will go dammed hard for us this fall". H. Ehol said in P.P. Walrath's hearing, "we give it up for this fall". (Note: we're breaking up the original long paragraph here)

I could mention, if minded, 200 names, and great many of the first men in the states that have come over on the Van Buren side, & why? because Harrison, he keeps people in the dark. You seem to make Van Buren an Federalist. That's the first that ever I read of such a thing. As your saying the Herford men, or some of their leading men, are now great champions in the Van Buren ranks. I have a statement before me which will show. C.P. VanNess (I wish I could read it) said at a meeting of Vt. lately, 95 voted in favor of giving God thanks for the victory obtained by the American army at the river Thames, in 1813; 108 war Federalists (that is for War with their own Government) voted against the resolution, and said, I affirm that but of these have come over to our party. I also find that 33 of them are dead, but of the 75 living ones, every man except the one, is a thorough going modern Whig. There you have what you disown. Some Federalists went in a school house in Snell's Bush the time Hull surrendered our army, took wine and brandy and drank hurrah. I could tell you a great deal more, if time and paper would admit, but you may be sure they are in the Whigs ranks. As to relegious(sp), do you know what is now called Godlike Webster making a speech on Sabbath, 2 or 3 years ago? Do you know that ministers of your party rebuke the doing of your party? Drinking hard cider on Sundays, keeping sacrement with cider, bringing folks over to tip, and who swore so dreadful at a meeting, & took God's name in vain, and had to go next morning and make acknowledgement & said he did wrong. Gen. Charles Hale said he had been praying for him. You say your cause is of God. I say No, it is of the devil for he is the father of lies. (Note: the original long paragraph is being broken here.)

Do you not know that these Bankmen, speculators, Brokers, Merchants, etc. wants the U. States money in Banks instead of a Treasury so they can have the handling of it to speculate and shave the people? The Banks and Brokers have it together. The banks dare not shave. John Zimmerman went to a Bank to borrow $100, but it was said to him he could not have it & they sent him to a broker. They gave him an order on the same bank, and the money was counted out to him, but mind the shave. I have seen published some years ago, and lately again, what a sight of money some of our congressmen got of the Banks. I can mention the sums. I well remember in Jackson's time, that one member from Maine, 2 from Jersey, 1 from Ohio, Republicans, turned in favor of the Bank, and you may well think for what, for the old addage (sp), "Money makes the mare go". That brought the House a tie, and if it had not been for the veto, the Bank would have been rechartered that time. I remember of a certain co. in N.Y. making application to have a bank chartered, and offered to pay in our treasury $200,000 but it seems could not be done, as there were too many banks already. The next year, Lewis got to be Governor. That same bank was chartered for half that sum. Now you may judge where the other $100,000 went to. I fully beleive that Lewis, and the members that voted in favor of that Bank, shared that money, and that's the way these Banks make many of our first men Whigs. Beware of banks. I understand at that time, or about, that Judge Snell, Zeiley, Gros voted for the Bank, and I beleive from that time became Whigs. If Harrison is elected, a U. States bank goes up, & our liberties go down. It is strange that you can't see into it. (Note: original long paragraph being broken here.)

You may hereby see how money will influence elections. D. Webster, Henry Clay and many others, in years past and gone, spake against such an institution, and that Govmt. had no right, according to our constitution, to take any money for revenue but specie. Banks belong to states, and Gov't. has no controll over them. All our Gov't wants is to have the Banks established that when a man presents their Bills, that they shall be obliged to change them, and we all may know, that ought to be so. Hard times are made by Banks, one time letting out much money, and another time drawing in to make distress on purpose to make people vote for a bank, and then again, won't suspend. I have a statement of all their contractes. It is, or has been stated that our Merchants, Etc. owed 200 millions to England and else where. These run the Banks for specie. You mentioned a man in Illinois said of having paper money enough to pay for their Lands but Gov't would not take it. I read the sub-treasury report this morning, the one fourth in payments from 30th June last must be in specie. Every year 1/4 more for 4 years, then all specie. As to the complaints against Gov't. that they wanted wages down, etc., has all been fairly contradicted, and as to the waste of our money, a Mr. Davis, in his speech in Congress, has shown that Adams in his four years lost to the Government, $2,278,558 & 47 cents, while all the rest of the administrations, in 43 years, lost $5,570,960 & 42 cents. Hereby you may see what lies are sent out. The money put in Banks could not be got out when Gov't. wanted it. Mr. Man from Onida (sp) county, said in his speech in our assembly, the 24th of April, 1840, that the indebtedness of the State of New York was 21 million of dollars, he said taken from treasury reports, on the table. Pennsylvania was run in debt by the Whigs $34,141,663 & 8 cents, and a law already passed to tax the people. What will become of us? if you vote the Whig ticket and they should have the rule of us much longer. The Rough Haver gives a fair statement, IF THE WORKS ARE (can't read) AND TAKE IT OUT $63 Millions, our land in York State (is) valued 150 million, and if we get in debt 50 millions, a quarter of our Land stands mortgaged. Our revenue won't pay more than the interest of 14 million. Where is the rest - the principal and interest to come from? I say by taxing the people. That will enslave us and our children. So if you know what is for your good and your children, you will beware how you vote. I will promise you if Van Buren gets in, it will go good. I could write as much more but have no room. I would just say to my children that I am trying to make my way to Heaven, & hope we shall so lived & conduct that we may all meet in Heaven. Let David see this letter. My best respects to you all.

John B. & David Klock             Joseph G. Klock

P.S. Objections to Harrison. 1 -- He is an ancient Federalist; 2 -- He supported the elder Adams; 3 -- He apposed a reduction of the standing army; 4 -- He approved an act, as Governor of Indiana, for selling white men & whipping them; 5th -- he voted for a similar law when a member of the Legislature of Ohio; 6th -- he supported the younger Adams and the coalition administration; 7th -- He now tampers with the Abolitionists at the North, and the slave holders at the South; by circulating private letters, declaring on these opposite quarters opinions favorable to each of the contending parties; 8th -- he refuses to disclose his principals to the people whose sufferage he asks; Van Buren made his sentiments known, but Harrison dare not. If he sould say he was an Abolitionist, the south would not vote for him, and if an Anti-Abolitionist, the north would not vote him. He once belonged to an abolition society. Now if he should be elected, the Bank, I think, would be rechartered, the slave law passed; then our Union would be disolved. H. Clay said a year ago last winter in Congress, to Adams who was handing in petitions to that effect, "if that's your mind, I will go home; then the Union is disolved; out of two evils, choose the least." I sent you two papers a few days ago & now sent you one.

Continue on to Part 5, the 5th installment of the letters of Joseph G. Klock.

More Klock letters will be posted in January. There are 18 full letters, two partial letters, and a letter written by Margaret (Peggy) Klock, Joseph G. Klock's daughter. These will be posted up through February 1998. The spellings and punctuation are those of the writer of the letters, Joseph G. Klock.

Back to Montgomery County NYGenWeb

Last Updated: 12/14/97
Copyright ©1997 - 2011 Earl Herbert Klock
All Rights Reserved.