The following Montgomery County/Towns portions of French's Gazetteer was made available to you through the efforts of Shirley Farone, a native of Jefferson County, N. Y. Shirley has been interested in our county ever since reading Drums Along the Mohawk at the age of 13, at that time not realizing her ancestors lived here. She writes:

"Like so many of you, my family tree has roots in Montgomery County, N. Y. Four of my ancestral families - Padgetts, Lingenfelters, Winnes, and Van Burens - lived in this county. As far as I can determine, their period of residency spanned from the Pre-Revolutionary times to 1838."

"For those of us whose ancestors lived along the Mohawk, French's Gazetteer of New York State should not be overlooked as a very good informational source. Its pages have provided me a deep insight as to what life was like in this area during the county's early period. After reading French's accounts (mostly in the footnotes), I marveled that my ancestors even survived - a miracle indeed. I then felt a huge sense of respect and admiration for people whom I only knew thru that intangible called "heritage."

"So, in order that my grandchildren may someday be so enlightened, I decided to type this out for inclusion in my Family notebook. Yes, it could have been copied, but that would have been cumbersome and difficult to read, to say the least. After I finished the project, it occurred to me that perhaps other people would enjoy it via the Internet and the Montgomery County site, if only they would agree to post it. I'm most grateful to them for their acceptance and the work they've done in order that it may appear. We hope that you will enjoy what we've brought you and I know you will refer to it often."

"One more thing - if you're a descendant of my families - Padgetts, Lingenfelters, Winnes, or Van Burens, I'd very much like to hear from you. My fellow Lingenfelter researchers, of whom there are only three, need help in determining a relationship, if there was one, between the New York Lingenfelters and those from PA and MD. We have read that our New York line came from Germany, but from where in Germany did they emigrate? Did they come directly to the Kayaderosseras/Sacandaga Patents? Maybe you can help us. I'd love to find some new cousins, too. Thank you."

Shirley C. Farone
April 4, 1998


from the


by J. H. French
Published by R. Pearsall Smith
Syracuse, N.Y. 1860

Bracketed material in most cases represents that which appeared in the form of footnotes.

This county was formed from Albany, March 12, 1772, under the name of "Tryon Co". {Named from Wm. Tyron, Colonial Governor. Present name given in honor of Gen. Richard Montgomery, of the Revolution. As first formed, this co. embraced all of the State W. of Delaware River and a line extending N. through Schoharie, and along the W. (?) lines of the present cos. of Montgomery, Fulton, and Hamilton, and continuing in a straight line to Canada.} Its name was changed April 2, 1784. Ontario was taken off in 1789, Herkimer, Otsego, and Tioga in 1791, Hamilton in 1816, {Taken off with Herkimer in 1791, and restored to Montgomery March 31, 1797}and Fulton in 1838. It lies on both sides of the Mohawk, centrally distant 39 miles from Albany, and contained 436 sq. mi. The general system of highlands which forms the connecting link between the northern spurs of the Alleghany Mts., on the S., and the Adirondacks on the N. extends through this co. in a N. E. and S. W. direction. Mohawk River cuts through the upland, and forms a valley 1 to 2 mi. wide, and 200 to 500 ft. below the summits of the hills. The valleys of several of the tributaries of the Mohawk extend several miles into the highland district at nearly right angles to the river valley. The hills bordering upon the river generally rise in gradual slopes, and from their summits the country spreads out into an undulating upland, with a general inclination toward the river, into which every part of the surface of the co. is drained. The principal tributaries of the Mohawk are the East Canada, Caroga, Cayadutta, Chuctenunda Creeks, and Evas Kil, on the N. and Cowilliga, Chuctenunda, Schoharie, Auries, Flat, Canajoharie, and Otsquaga Creeks, on the S. The highest point in the co. is Bean Hill, in Florida, and is estimated to be 700 ft. above tide, and the lowest point is the bed of the Mohawk, on the E. line of the co., 260 ft. above tide.

Gneiss, the only primary rock in the co. is found in patches, the principal locality being at "The Noses," on the Mohawk. {This rock here contains pink colored garnets.} Resting directly upon this are heavy masses of calciferous sandstone, appearing mostly on the N. bank of the river and extending into Fulton Co. {This rock often contains in its cavities quartz and modules of anthracite coal, which has led to foolish expenditures of large sums in mining for coal. Near Sprakers Basin traces of lead have been found.} Next above this are the Black River and Trenton limestone, not important as surface rocks, but furnishing valuable quarries of building stone. The slates and shales of the Hudson River group extend along the S. border of the co. and are found in a few places N. of the river. Drift and boulders abound in various places. The soil along the river consists of alluvial deposits and a deep, rich, vegetable mold, and upon the uplands it is mostly a highly productive sandy and gravelly loam. The productions are principally grass and spring grains. The uplands are finely adapted to pasturage, and dairying forms the leading pursuit. Upon the Mohawk Flats immense quantities of broomcorn are raised. There are several important manufactories in the co., consisting chiefly of woolen goods, carpets, paper, agricultural implements, sash and blinds, and castings. Quarrying is extensively carried on. {Stone from these quarries were used in the construction of canal locks and other public works.}

The principal public works are the Erie Canal, extending along the S. side of the Mohawk, and the N. Y. Central R. R., {Formerly "Schenectady & Utica R. R." The Catskill & Canajoharie R. R., Incorp. in 1830, was opened to Cooksburgh from Catskill at a cost of $400,000. In 1842 it was abandoned, the track sold for $11,000 and taken up.} on the N. bank. A wire suspension bridge crosses the Mohawk at Fort Hunter, and wooden bridges at Amsterdam, Fonda, Canajoharie, Fort Plain, and St. Johnsville. An iron bridge was built at Fort Plain, in 1858.

The county seat is located at Fonda, a pleasant village on the Mohawk built on the site of the ancient Dutch settlement of "Caughnawaga." {"Caughnawaga" was one-half mi. E. of the courthouse, but is now included within the incorporation of the village of Fonda. The co. seat was removed from Johnstown in 1836. The conditions of the removal were that a subscription of $4500 should be raised, and a site of not less than 3 acres donated to the co. This removal occacioned great dissatisfaction, and led to the division of the co. in 1838.} The courthouse is a fine brick edifice, containing the usual co. offices. {By an act passed March 19, 1778, the sheriff's mileage in Tyron co. was directed to be reckoned from "The Noses," which practice appears to have been continued for some time.} The jail is a stone building, adjacent to the courthouse. {The jail is so constructed as not to answer the requirements of the law in the classification of prisoners. The courthouse and jail were erected at a cost of $300,500.} The co. poorhouse is located upon a farm of 150 acres situated in Glen, about 3 mi. E. of Fonda. The building is old and poor, and has few arrangements for the health, comfort, or convenience of its inmates. The average number of inmates is 125. The farm yields a revenue of $1,000.

The first newspaper in the co. was established at Fort Plain, in 1827.

The following appeared in the book as Endnote material:

The Watch Tower was begun at Fort Plain in 1827 by S. M. S. Gant, who was succeeded by John Calhoun & ____ Platt. In 1830 it was published as
The Fort Plain Sentinel.
The Fort Plain Gazette was begun in 1833 by H. L. Gros.
The Fort Plain Republican was begun in 1835 by E. W. Gill.
It was succeeded by
The Tocrin (?) in 1836, H. Link, publisher.
The Fort Plain Journal was commenced in 1838 by W. L. Fish.
It changed owners several times, and was finally merged in
The Lutheran Herald, which continued a short time.
The Students Gleaner, by students of the Fort Plain High School, was issued from The Journal office.
The Montgomery Phoenix was begun at Fort Plain Feb. 3, 1841,
by L. F. Backus, publisher, and D. F. Young, editor.
In Feb. 1854 it was changed to
The Mohawk Valley Register, under which name it is now published by Webster & Wendall.
The Mohawk Farmer was published at Caughnawaga at an early period.
The Canajoharie Telegraph was published by Henry Hooghkirk in 1825-26.
The Canajoharie Sentinel was published in 1827; Samuel Caldwell, editor.
The Canajoharie Republican was published in 1827-28; Henry Bloomer, editor, and afterward John McVean & D. F. Sacia.
The Montgomery Argus was published by J. McVean in 1831-32, and continued by S. M. S. Grant till 1836.
The Canajoharie Investigator was published from 1833 to '36 by Andrew H. Calhoun.
The Radii was begun in 1837 by Levi S. Backus, a deaf mute; In Nov. 1840, it was burned out, and removed to Fort Plain; in 1854 it was removed to Madison co., but has since returned to Fort Plain. For several years the State made appropriations for sending this paper to deaf mutes throughout the State.
The Mohawk Valley Gazette was published at Canajoharie by W. H. Riggs from 1847 to '49.
The Montgomery Union was published at Canajoharie by W. S. Hawley, 1850-63. Four numbers of another paper were published at the same place in 1854 by S. M. S. Gant.
The Mohawk Advertiser, published at Amsterdam by Darius Wells, was changed to
The Intelligencer and Mohawk Advertiser in 1834. In 1835 it was published by John J. Davis,
L. H. Nicholds, editor. In 1836 it was published by S. B. March, and, after several changes,
it was changed in 1854 to
The Amsterdam Recorder, which is now issued by H. Hayward, editor and publishers.
The Mohawk Gazette was published at Amsterdam by Josiah A. Nooman in 1833-34.
The Fonda Herald was issued by J. Reynolds, Jr. in 1837.
The Fonda Sentinal was begun in 1845; it is now published by Clark & Thayer.
The American Star, commenced at Canajoharie April 5, 1855, by Wm. S. Hawley, was removed to
Fonda May 17, 1855. In 1857 it was changed to
The Mohawk Valley American and published by C. B. Freeman. In 1858 this title was changed to
The American Star, which is now published by Wm. S. Hawley, original proprietor.
The Montgomery Whig was begun at Fultonville in 1840 by B. F. Pinkham. It passed into the hands of
Thos. Horton, and in 1855 its name was changed to
The Montgomery Republican, and is now published by P. R. Horton.
We are indebted to Prof. O. W. Morris, of New York, and to the files of The Phoenix, for the above list. Many changes of ownership are not stated.

The early history of this co. is full of incident and interest. At the time of the first advent of the whites it was the principal seat of the Mohawks, one of the most powerful tribes of the Five Nations. The policy adopted by the early Dutch settlers of the colony, and continued by their English successors, strongly attached a majority of these savages to their interests; and the unprovoked attack of Champlain, in 1609, made them hate the French in Canada with intense bitterness. In the wars that ensued, the Five Nations proved faithful allies to the English, and on many occasions shielded them from hostile attacks. In 1665-66 a French expedition, consisting of 600 men, under De Courcelles and De Tracy, was sent against the Indians, and proceeded as far as Schenectady; but, after much suffering and the loss of many men, the army returned to Canada without affecting any thing. Within the next few years several French expeditions were sent against the western tribes of the Five Nations, and in return the Indians made a descent upon Montreal in 1689, laid waste whole plantations, and destroyed many lives. (1) {Obiden's Five Nations; Smith's Hist. N. Y.} In retaliation, Count Frontenac sent several expeditions against the Indians and English, one of which destroyed Schenectady in 1690. (2) {See p. 598 - Schenectady County - not included here) In the winter of 1692-93 the French again invaded the Mohawk country, surprised and destroyed two of their three castles, (3) {The "Lower Castle" was situated at the mouth of Schoharie Creek, the "Middle Castle" at the mouth of the Otsquago, and the "Upper Castle" at the mouth of the Now-a-da- ga or Indian Castle Creek, in Danube, Herkimer Co.} and took about 300 prisoners. In the engagement at the third castle they lost 30 of their number; and in their retreat they were pursued by Maj. Peter Schuyler at the head of 200 regulars and militia, who succeeded in killing 33 and wounding 26 of their number and in rescuing 50 prisoners. Favored by the severe cold, the remainder escaped and fled to Canada through the great northern wilderness. Their sufferings on this journey were intense. As early as 1642-43, a French Jesuit visited the Mohawk settlements; and between that date and 1678, 10 missionaries of this order labored to bring over the Indians of this region to the French interests and the Catholic religion. Though attended with great hardships, and in one or two instances with death, these labors were in some measure successful, and in 1671 a large number of Indians removed from Caughnawaga to Canada. (4) {An Indian village named Caughnawaga, 9 mi. above Montreal, is the result of the emigration.}

A military post, known as Fort Hunter, was established near the mouth of Schoharie Creek in 1711. About the same time a large number of German Palatinates, sent over by Queen Anne, settled upon the Hudson, and shortly after removed to Schoharie and the Mohawk Valley and settled upon lands given them by Government. At about the same period a considerable number of Holland Dutch, from Schenectady and vicinity, found their way into the co. and extended their improvements up the valley. In 1730 the first mill, N. of the Mohawk was built on the site of "Cranes" Village by two or three brothers named Groat; and this for a time served the settlements at German Flats, 50 mi. beyond. (6) "Simms's Hist. Schoharie."

The land grants in this co. were made in comparatively small tracts. The first were issued as early as 1703. On the 19th of Oct. 1723, a patent of 12,000 acres, called "Stone Arabia," N. of the Mohawk, was granted to John Christian Garlock and others for the benefit of the Palatinates. The principal grants were made between 1730 and 1740; and in 1762 there remained little if any, unpatented land in the co.

About the year 1735, the British Admiral, Sir Peter Warren, acquired the title to a large tract of land known as "Warrensbush," mostly in the present town of Florida, and sent out his nephew, Wm. Johnson, then but 21 years of age, as his agent. Johnson first located at the mouth of Schoharie Creek: afterward he removed to 3 mi. above Amsterdam, and finally to Johnstown. Through the influence of his uncle he received the appointment of Agent of Indian Affairs, which gave him great facilities for intercourse and traffic with the natives. Applying himself industriously to the study of the character and language of the Indians, and adopting their habits and dress whenever it suited his convenience, he gained an ascendency and influence over them never before enjoyed by any white person. His easy and obliging manners made him equally a favorite with the white settlers; and until his death, which took place on the 24th of June, 1774, the event of his life are intimately interwoven with the history of the co. (For his service while in command of the expedition which resulted in the defeat of the French under Dleskau, at the head of Lake George, he received the title of Baronet and a gift of 5000 from Parliament. From this time until his death he lived in ease and opulence, devoting his time to the management of public affairs and the improvement of his estate.} His title and estates descended to his son, Sir John Johnson; but his commanding personal influence could not be inherited. Guy Johnson, son-in-law of Sir William, {Succeeded Sir William as Indian Agent} Col. Daniel Claus, and Col. John Butler, were attached to the interests of the Johnson family, possessed large estates, and lived in what were then considered sumptuous residences in the Mohawk Valley. They had considerable influence with both whites and Indians. In the controversy between the colonists and the mother country which resulted in the Revolution, the Johnsons and their adherents strongly espoused the cause of the King, from whom they had received so many favors.

As a class, the German Palatinates sided with the colonies, and a majority of the other settlers entertained similar sentiments; but for a long time they were overawed, and their efforts at organization were thwarted by the zeal and activity of the tory leaders. In the spring of 1775, while the court was in session at Johnstown, through the influence of the tories the signatures of most of the grand jurors and magistrates were procured to a document opposing the measures of the Continental Congress. {Annals of Tryon co., p. 46 ) This proceeding, coupled with others of a more aggressive and personal character, tended greatly to organize the opposition forces, to separate the friends and enemies of freedom, and to kindle feeling of bitter and vindictive hatred, which naturally led to all the horrors of civil war.

"Tryon co" was divided into 6 districts; {These districts were "Mohawk," adjoining Albany, "Canajoharie," on the S. side of the Mohawk, and "Palatine," on the N., extending up the river to Little Falls, "German Flats," and "Kingsland," still father up the river, and "Old England District" W. of the Susquehanna. The first 5 of these districts were formed March 24, 1772. On the 8th of March, 1773, the original name -- "Stone Arabia" -- was changed to "Palatine," "German Flats," to "Kingsland," and "Kingsland," to "German Flats." Old England Dist. was formed April 3, 1775.}; and for the purpose of a more thorough organization, delegates were appointed in each by the Patriots to form a committee of public safely. Upon a meeting of these delegates a significant remonstrance was addressed to Col. Guy Johnson, Indian Agent, for his aggressive and partisan acts; he withdrew in June, 1775, to Cosbys Manor, above German Flats, under pretense of holding a council with the Indians in the W. part of the co; and in a short time he fled to Montreal, by the way of Oswego, accompanied by a large number of dependents and followers. He continued to act as Indian Agent during the war, and by liberal rewards and still more liberal promises he greatly stimulated the natural ferocity of the Indians, and incited them to more active hostitility. He was joined in Canada by Joseph Brant, a distinguished and educated Mohawk chief, and John and Walter N. Butler, 2 tories who afterward gained an infamous notoriety. At the head of marauding parties of tories and Indians, they afterward returned and committed the most inhuman atrocities upon their old friends and neighbors. Sir John Johnson remained at "Johnson Hall," but continued active in his intrigues, and kept up a correspondence with Col. Guy Johnson in Canada. His preparations to fortify "Johnson Hall" excited alarm; and in Jan. 1776, a committee, consisting of Gen. Philip Schuyler, Gen. Ten Broeck, and Col. Varick, was despatched (sic) from Albany to consult with the local committee of safely and satisfactorily arrange matters. Gen. Herkimer called out the militia; and the affair was finally settled by the surrender of Sir John as prisoner, and an agreement that his Scotch tenants should be disarmed. He was sent to Fishkill, but being released on parole, he soon returned to Johnstown and resumed his intrigues. In May, Col. Dayton was sent with a regiment to again arrest him; but, being warned of their approach, Sir John and his follwers fled to the woods, and finally reached Canada by the way of Sacondaga and Racket Rivers, after 19 days of fasting and suffering. {The Indians at St. Regis still preserve a tradition of this event, and state that the party was reduced to the utmost extremity before they reached the inhabited region.} Sir John received a commission as colonel in the British service, raised a regiment of tories known as "Johnson's Greens," and was active and bitter in his hostility throughout the war. {Annals of Tryon Co: Simms's Hist. Schoharie Co: Hough's Hist. St. Law. Co; Dunlap's Hist. of N. Y.; Benton's Hist. Herk. Co.} Through the influence of the Johnsons, all of the Five Nations, with the exception of a portion of the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, {About 150 Oneidas and 200 Tuscaroras joined the British, -- Annals of Tyron Co.} were attached to the British interests, and were liberally aided by arms and provisions in their frequent incursions into the frontier settlements under the Butlers and Brant. {The Americans made several efforts to attach the Six Nations to their interets, or at least to induce them to remain neutral. In the winter of 1776-77, Col. Harper was sent to ascertain the object of the assembling of a large body of Indians at Oquago, on the Susquehanna. In the succeeding June, Brant, with a party of Indians, made a levy upon the settlers of the Unidilla; and many fled to a place of safety. Gen. Herkimer, at the head of 380 militia, marched to meet him; and on the 27th of June, 1777, a conferences was held between the general and the chief, but without producing any definite results. All efforts to propitiate the Six Nations were then abandoned, and all conference ceased until the close of the war, when the Indians were called upon, as vanquished enemies, to confirm the surrender of most of their lands as an atonement for their hositility.}

In the summer and fall of 1777, this co. in common with the whole northern and western frontier, was the scene of great alarm and of stirring military events, produced by the expedition of Burgoyne. Gen. St. Leger, at the head of a large body of tories and Indians, was dispatched by the way of Oswego to reduce the rebel posts and settlements on the Mohawk and join the main army at Albany. On the 3d of Aug. they laid siege to Fort Schuyler, upon the site of the present village of Rome. The militia of Montgomery co. were called out, and under Gen. Herkimer, marched to the relief of the fort. On the way the bloody battle of Oriskany was fought, in which 200 of the brave patriots of the co. were killed and as many more carried into Indian captivity. {There was scarcely a hamlet in the valley that did not lose one or more of its inhabitants.} In the latter part of the same month, Genls. Arnold and Learned, at the head of 900 troops, marched up the river, and St. Leger hastily abandoned the siege and fled. {For further particulars concerning these transactions, see Fulton County, which may be found elsewhere.) The destruction of the valley was thus averted, and for several months the inhabitants were allowed to remain undisturbed, save by small scalping parties, that hung round the unprotected frontiers and cut off the defenseless inhabitants.

In the spring of 1778, Gen. La Fayette, accompanied by Gen. Schuyler and Col. Duane, went to Johnstown and held a conference with a body of Indians, which resulted in a treaty of considerable subsequent benefit to the settlers. In the following summer the horrible butcheries at Wyoming, Harpersfield, German Flats, and Cherry Valley were perpetrated; and in the summer of 1779 the army of Gen. Clinton marched from this co. to join Gen. Sullivan's expedition against the chief villages and farming grounds of the Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senacas. On the 21st of May, 1780, Sir John Johnson, at the head of 500 Indians and tories, suddenly made his appearance at Johnson Hall. He arrived about sunset on Sunday, and dividing his force into two parties, at daylight the next morning he made a simultaneous attack upon Tribes Hill and Caughnawaga. Several persons were killed and others taken prisoners, and every building upon the route, except those belong to tories, was burned. The militia began to collect in considerable numbers, and toward night Sir John hastily retreated, and safely reached Canada by the way of the wilderness W. of the Adirondack Mts. {The principal object of this incursion was to obtain the silver plate which had been buried by Sir John on his first hasty flight from Johnson Hall. The plate was recovered and carried to Canada in the knapsacks of 60 men.} Near the last of the July succeeding, the militia of the co. were employed to convey a provision train sent to the relief of Fort Schuyler; and on the 2d of Aug., while they were absent, Brant, at the head of 500 Indians and tories, made an attack upon the settlements in the neighborhood of Fort Plain. Fifty-three dwellings were burned, 16 persons slain, and 60 women and children carried into captivity. Upon the approach of the militia from Johnstown and Schenectady, the party retreated. On the 15th of the following Oct. a large party of tories, Indians, and Canadians, under Sir John Johnson, Brant, and Cornplanter, made their appearance in the Mohawk Valley, at the mouth of Schoharie Creek, after having laid waste the Schoharie settlements above. From this point they marched up the valley, burning the houses, destroying the property, and murdering or taking prisoners all that they met. The militia under Gen. Robert Van Rensselaer hastily came together and marched to attack the invaders. On the 18th of Oct., Col. Brown, who commanded a small stockade fort at Stone Arabia, acting under the order of Van Rensselaer, marched out with 150 men to attack the enemy; but, receiving no support from the main army, the little detachment was soon routed, with the loss of the commander and 30 to 40 men killed. Sir John halted at Fox's Mills, about 8 mi. above Fort Hunter, in the town of St. Johnsville, and erected a temporary breastwork. At a late hour in the day he was attacked by a detachment under Col. Dubois, and the Indians under his command were defeated. {This engagement is known as the battle of "Klock's Field."} The Americans, under Van Rensselaer fell back 3 mi. and encamped; and the next morning, upon marching forward to renew the attack, they found that the enemy had fled. {Du Bois had nearly gained the victory, when Van Rensselaer came up and gave orders not to renew the battle until the signal should be given from headquarters. The forces of the former were under arms all night, momentarily expecting the promised signal; and they had the inexpressible mortification and chagrin to see the beaten foe slipping through the net in which they had been caught, without the possibility of preventing their escape. Had it not been for the indecision or cowardice of Gen. Van Rensselaer, the whole party might have been taken. At the time, he was openly charged of cowardice or treachery by the Oneida chief, and he entirely lost public confidence.} Sir John finally succeeded in making his escape though his force was greatly reduced by hunger, fatigue, and the continual, harassing attacks of the militia, which hung upon their rear.

The prospects of the Mohawk Valley were now gloomy in the extreme. Nearly every settlement had been desolated, and nearly every family had lost some of its members. {Some idea of the extent of these ravages may be formed from a statement prepared by the supervisors of "Tryon co," dated Dec. 20, 1780, and addressed to the legislature. They therein stated that 700 buildings had been burned within the co; that 354 families had abandoned their habitations and removed; 613 person s had deserted to the enemy; 197 had been killed, 121 taken prisoners; and 1200 farms lay uncultivated by reason of the enemy. This statement did not include Cherry Valley, Newton-Martin, Middlefield, Springfield, Harpersfield, and Old England District, which had been totally deserted and abandoned. The population of the co. at the beginning of the war was about 10,000. While the sufferings of the colonists were thus great, the Indian loss was much greater. Their whole country had been ravaged, their homes and crops destroyed, and a large portion of their number had died in battle or by starvation. At the close of the war the miserable remnant of the once powerful nations humbly sued for peace, and were content to accept terms that deprived them of almost their entire country.} In the spring of 1781, Col. Willett assumed the command of the American forces on the Mohawk, and, by his military skill, daring, and knowledge of Indian warfare, he not only successfully repelled all attacks made upon the Mohawk settlements, but carried the war into the enemy's own country.

On the 9th of July, 1781, 300 Indians, under a tory named Doxtader, made a sudden attack upon the settlement of Currytown, (in the town of Root.) After burning the buildings and collecting a large amount of booty, they retreated. Col. Willett, at the head of 150 militia, immediately pursued and overtook them at "Durlah," (Dorlach,) a few mi. over the line of Schoharie co. A severe skirmish ensued, when the Indians fled, leaving 40 of their number dead on the field. {By strategem Col. Willett succeeded in drawing the Indians into an ambuscade. They fled so hastily that all their baggage and plunder was captured. On their retreat they murdered a number of prisoners to prevent their escape.} The final incursion into the Mohawk Valley was made Oct. 24, 1781, by a party of 600 British and Indians, under Maj. Ross and Walter N. Butler, and made their first appearance in the neighborhood of Warrensbush. They marched to the vicinity of Johnson Hall and commenced the usual work of plunder and murder, but were arrested by a sudden attack by forces under Cols. Willett, Rowley, and Harper. A severe engagement ensued, resulting in the retreat of the enemy. Col. Willett pursued, and coming up with the rear guard at West Canada Creek, another skirmish took place, in which the infamous Walter N. Butler was killed. {Walter N. Butler was one of the most inhuman wretches that ever disgraced humanity. Ferocious, bloodthirsty, and cruel, he seemed to revel in perfect delight at the spectacle of human suffering. He surpassed the savages in barbarity; and many a victim was saved from his clutches by the interposition of the Indian Chief Brant.} The shattered remnant of the British forces escaped by way of Oswego. This affair practically ended the war in Tryon co., and the remaining citizens, stripped of almost every thing except the soil, were allowed to resume in peace their accustomed employments. {Special acts were passed in 1780, '81, and '83, directing the commissioners of sequestration to relieve certain distressed families. Rev. Daniel Gros, of Canajoharie, acted as almoner of the commissioners; and his acts are preserved among the public papers of the State.} In a few years the ravages of the war were completely obliterated, and the fertile regions of Central and Western N. Y., which had become known through the military expeditions that had traversed them, soon began to fill up with a New England population. The splendid domains of the Johnsons and other royalists were confiscated, and the feudal tenants of the colonial period were replaced by enterprising freeholders under the new government. {For several years after the war, ghosts were reported as frequently seen stalking about the old residences of the royalists. The appearances which gave rise to these reports were doubtless the tories themselves, returned in disguise to obtain valuables which had been secreted upon their previous hasty flight. The settlers, who had suffered so much, were slow in forgetting the injuries they had received; and for many years after, few, either Indians or tories, who had been engaged in the war, could show themselves in the settlement with safety.}


AMSTERDAM (1) -- was formed from "Caughnawaga," (2) March 12, 1793. Perth (Fulton co.) was taken off in 1838. It lies on the N. bank of the Mohawk, in the N. E. corner of the co. Its surface consists of the intervale along the river, and a rolling upland gradually rising for the space of 2 mi. and attaining an elevation of 300 to 500 feet. The principal streams are the Kayaderosseras, 3 mi. W. of Amsterdam Village, Chuctenunda (3) at the village, and Evas Kil (4) near the E. border. The soil in the valley is a deep, rich alluvium, and upon the hills it is a fertile, gravelly loam. Near Tribes Hill are extensive stone quarries. A considerable amount of manufactures is carried on in town, consisting of mill machinery, agricultural implements, carriages, car springs, and carpets, at Amsterdam Village, and of woolen goods at Hagemans Mills. Amsterdam (5) (p.v.,) incorp., April 20, 1830, contains 4 churches, the Amsterdam Female Seminary, a bank, printing office, and several manufactories. Pop. 2044. Hagamans Mills (p.v.) has 124 inhabitants, Cranesville (6) (p.v.) 92, and Mannys Corners 8 houses. Tribes Hill, (7) (p.o.,) on the line of Mohawk, is a hamlet. A wire suspension bridge here crosses the Mohawk to Florida (8). The first settlement was commenced about 1710, by Dutch and Palatinates. About 1740, Sir Wm. Johnson built a large stone mansion upon the W. side of the Kayaderosseras, 3 mi. W. of Amsterdam Village (9). This building was fortified and named "Fort Johnson." Col. Daniel Claus and Guy Johnson, sons-in-law to Sir William, occupied fine mansions respectively 1 and 2 mi. below Fort Johnson (10) previous to the Revolution. The first settlers at Amsterdam Village were Albert Veeder, E. E. De Graff, Nicholas Wilcox, and Wm. Kline. The first church (Ref. Prot. D.) was formed in 1792 (11). The first settled minister was Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck, in 1799. There had been preaching in town at a much earlier period.

1 Named by Emanuel E. De Graff, a Hollander and early settler.
2 On the 9th of March, 1780, the portion of Mohawk district N. of the river was set off and named "Caughnawaga." The first town meeting was held at the house of John B. Wimples. "Caughnawaga" was formed as a town, March 7, 1788. It embraced all that part of Montgomery co. lying N. of the Mohawk and E. of a line extending from The Noses N. to Canada. This town was divided in 1793 into Amsterdam, Mayfield, Broadalbin, and Johnstown.
3 Signifying "Twin Sisters," and applied to the streams flowing into the Mohawk on opposite sides; in some documents spelled Chuct-to-na-ne-da.
4 Pronounced E-vawa-kil; named from Mrs. Eva Van Alstyne, who was wounded and scalped by the Indians in 1755, while crossing this stream.
5 Formerly called "Veedersburgh".
6 Named for David Crane who settled here in 1804.
7 So named because the Indians were wont to assemble here.
8A Remington suspension bridge built here some years since fell of its own weight before it was finished.
9 This ediface was richly ornamented with carvings of oak and mahogany; and at the time of its erection it was one of the finest mansions in the colony. It is still standing, and is the property of Algneyson Young, Esq. Sir William lived here for many years, surrounded by numerous dependents, and was frequently visited by great numbers of Indians, by whom he was highly esteemed. He built a mill upon the Kayderosseras, near his mansion.
10 The former of these was burned and its site is now occupied by the hotel of Chas. Chase. The latter, known as "Guy Park," is still standing between the R.R. and the river, 1 mi. W. of Amsterdam. It is now owned by Jas. Stewart. A tract 1 mi. square was originally attached to each of these residences, but the whole was confiscated and sold with the estates of the tories.
11 This church became Presb. in 1803. There are ow 8 churches in town: 2 Presb., 2 M. E. Bapt., Ref. Prot. D, Prot. E., and Evang. Luth.

CANAJOHARIE (1) -- was formed as a district March 24, 1772, and as a town March 7, 1788. Minden was taken off in 1798, a part of Root in 1823, and a part of Minden in 1849. It lies on the S. border of the co. W. of the center. The surface consists of the intervale of Canajoharie or Bowmans Creek, (2) and undulating uplands 200 to 600 feet above the valley. The soil is a gravelly loam, derived from the disintegration of the underlying slate, in some places intermixed with clay. The cultivation of hops receives some attention. A small woolen factory is located on Bowmans Creek. Canajoharie, (p.v.,) incorp. April 30, 1829, contains 5 churches, the Canajoharie Academy, and a bank; pop. 1500. A bridge crosses the Mohawk at this place, connecting it with the village and R.R. station of Palatine Bridge. Ames, (3) (p.v.,) in the S. part of the town, contains an academy and 204 inhabitants, and, Buel, (4) (p.v.,) in the S.W. part, 25 houses. Spout Brook, (p.o.,) Mapleton, and Marshville are hamlets. The first settlement in town was commenced in early colonial times; but the precise date is not known. (5) During the Revolution the people warmly espoused the American cause, and were afterward among the greatest sufferers in the Mohawk Valley. (6) Gov. Clinton, while marching to join Sullivan in 1779, made this place his headquarters for some weeks. (7) In Aug. 1780, Brant made an incursion into the valley and destroyed nearly the whole settlement. (8) During the war several other incursions were made; and the people were often driven to the utmost extremity. Several small forts were built in the town, which afforded some protection to the people. (9) In 1795, Archibald and James Kane established themselves as merchants at this place, and commenced a business which soon grew to be one of the largest in the interior of the State. (10) In 1823, the "Central Asylum for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb" was located near Buel, in this town; but in 1836 it was united with the one previously established in New York City. (11) The first church (Free Will Bapt.) was organized at Ames, in 1796-97, by Rev. George Elliott. (12 )

1 "Canajozharie" in the act of incorporation. Indian name, Ca-na-jo-hi-e said to signify "a kettle-shaped hole in the rock," or "the pot that washes itself," and refers to a deep hole worn in the rock at the falls on the creek 1 mi. from its mouth.
2 It is said that the Indian name of this stream is "Ta-ko-ha-ra-wa." The falls on this creek, about 1 mi. from its mouth, are interesting to scientific men for the different geological formations there exposed and the holes of various sizes worn in the rocks.
3 Named in honor of Fisher Ames.
4 Named in honor of Jesse Buel, of Albany.
5 An Indian school was taught at Canajoharie, in 1764, by Philip Jonathan.
6 At the battle of Oriskany many of the prominent citizens of the place were killed.
Among them were Col. Cox, Lieut. Col. Hunt, Maj. Van Slyck, Capt. Henery Devendorf, Robert Crouse, Jacob Bowman, Andrew Dillenback, Capt. Jacob Leeber, Charles Fox, and Lieut. Wm. Leeber.
7 While Gov. Clinton was at this place, Henry Hare and Wm. Newbury, two notorious tories, were arrested, and executed as spies. They had formerly been citizens of the town. A deserter named Titus was also shot here.
8 See previous account in County Portion.
9 A fort was built here at an early period as one of the chain of fortifications to Oswego. It was 100 feet square, 15 ft. high, with bastions at the angles and was armed with several small cannon. In 1781 the house of Philip Van Alstyne was palisaded, and named Fort Van Rensselaer. It is still standing. Fort Ehla stood 1 mi. E. of Canajoharie. A Indian burial ground occupied the hillside just W. of the village, and several skeletons have been found, in sitting posture, facing the E.
10 In 1799 their purchase of potash and what amounted to $120,000.
11 This asylum was established mainly through the instrumentality of Robt. Bowman, of this town, and its course of instruction was modeled after that at Hartford, Conn. Prof. O. W. Morris, now of the New York Asylum, was its last principal.
12 The census reports 11 churches; 3 M.E., 2 Ref. Prot. D, 2 Evang. Luth, Presb. F. W. Bap., True Dutch, and Union.

CHARLESTON--was formed from Mohawk, March 12, 1793. (1) Glen and a part of Root were taken off in 1823. It is the most southerly town in the co., and the only one not bordering upon the Mohawk. It lies upon the high plateau region immediately W. of Schoharie Creek; and the greater part of the surface is an undulating upland. On the E. it descends in steep declivities to the valley of the creek, which is here a narrow ravine. Its streams are small. The soil is generally loam intermixed with clay, and is particularly adapted to spring grains and dairying. The town has a limited amount of manufactures, consisting principally of sash and blinds, woolen goods, and flour. Burtonville, (2) (p.v.,) on Schoharie Creek, in the S. E. corner of the town, contains 32 houses; Charleston Four Corners, (p.v.,) in the S.W. corner, 30; and Charleston, (p.v.,) near the N. border, 20. Carytown and Oak Ridge are hamlets. A portion of this town was included in the patent of 24,500 acres granted to Wm. Corry in 1637; and others were portions of the "Stone Heap Patent," granted to John Bowen and others in 1770, and Thomas Machin's Patent of 1787. The first settlements were probably made previous to the Revolution. (3) The census reports 5 churches in town. (4)

1 By an act bearing this date, the old town of Mohawk was abolished and in its territory was erected into Floirda and Charleston. The present town of Mohawk is of much more recent origin.
2 Buckwheat flour for the New York market is extensively manufactured at this place.
3 Robt. Winchell, Nathan Tracy, Aden Brownley, and Joseph Burnhap settled near Kimballs Corners, Abia Beaman, near Charlestown P. O., Henry Mapes, Abner Throop, and David and Nathan Kimball at Charleston. Thomas Machin, Capt. John Stanton, John Eddy, and Ezekiel Tracy were also early settlers.
4 Bap. M. E., Ref. Prot. D, Christian, and Union.

FLORIDA -- was formed from Mohawk, March 12, 1793. It embraces that part of the co. lying S. of the Mohawk, and E. of Schoharie Creek. The greater part of the surface is a rolling upland, 600 ft. above the valley. Bean Hill, in the S.W. part, is the highest land in the co. The declivities bordering upon the streams are usually steep. The two principal streams within its borders are Chuctenunda and Cowilliga (1) Creeks. The soil and productions are similar to those of neighboring towns. Several sulphur springs are found in town, the most noted of which is near Scotch Bush. The Erie Canal crosses the Schoharie Creek between this town and Glen, on a costly aqueduct. Broomcorn is one of the principal agricultural products, and brooms are extensively manufactured. Port Jackson (p.v.) is a canal village on the Mohawk, opposite Amsterdam. Pop. 369. Minaville, (p.v.,) on Chuctenunda Creek, near the center, contains 95 inhabitants. Fort Hunter, (2) (p.o.,) at the mouth of Schoharie Creek, and Scotch Bush (p.o.,) near the S. border, are hamlets. One of the Mohawk castles was situated at the mouth of Schoharie Creek at the first advent of the whites. The first white settlement in this co. is supposed to have been made in this town. Fort Hunter (3) was built here by the whites in 1711. Queen Anne's Chapel was soon after erected, and was furnished with a valuable set of communion plate by Queen Anne. (4) The fort was garrisoned until after the French War, when it was abandoned. During the Revolution the chapel was enclosed with palisades, and converted into a strong fortress defended by cannon. In Oct. 1780, several houses were burned on the opposite side of the creek by the forces under Sir John Johnson, but the fort was not molested. Before the close of the war several newly arrived German emigrants settled in the town, and they were followed soon after by Scotch and Irish families. (5) The first preacher after the war was Rev. Thos. Romeyn, (Ref. Prot. D.,) in 1784. The census reports 5 churches in town. (6)

1 Said to signify "Willow."
2 The Indian name for this place was I-can-de-ro-ga or Te-con-da-to-ga, "two streams coming together." The first Indian castle, which stood near this place, was called "Os-sev-ne-non," or "on-e-on-gon-re" -- N. Y. Colonial Hist.
3 The contracts to build this fort, and one at Oswego, were taken Oct. 11, 1711, by Gerret Symouses, Barent and Hendrick Vroman, John Wemp, and Arent Van Patten, of Schenectady. The walls of the first were 150 feet square and 12 feet high, and were formed of logs pinned together. It was afterward enlarged and strengthened.
4 This chapel was for a long time under the charge of the "Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts," and a missionary and Indian school were supported here. The chapel was demolished in 1820 to make room for the canal. The parsonage, still standing, is probably the oldest building W. of Schenectady. It was sold a few years since of $1500, and the proceeds were divided between the Prot. E. churches at Port Jackson and Johnstown.
5 Wm. Bent kept the first store at Port Jackson. The first bridge of any importance over Schoharie Creek was built in 1796, by Maj. Isiah De Puy. The route S. of the Mohawk was the one principally traveled for a great number of years. An Indian school was taught at Fort Hunter in 1769.
6 Ref. Prot. D, M. E., Assoc. Preby., and R. C.

GLEN (1) -- was formed from Charleston, April 10, 1823. It lies in the S.W. angle formed by the junction of Schoharie Creek and the Mohawk. Its surface consists principally of uplands about 600 feet high, descending by abrupt declivities to the narrow intervales along the streams. The principal streams are Auries (2) Creek, a tributary of the Mohawk, and Irish Creek, a branch of the Schoharie. (3) The soil is generally clayey loam. One mi. E. of Voorheesville is a chalybeate spring. (4 ) Fultonville (5) (p.v.) is situated on the Mohawk and the Erie Canal. Pop. 850. Voorheesville, (Glen p.v.,) near the center of the town, contains 40 houses, and Auriesville, (p.v.,) a canal village near the mouth of the Auries Creek, 170 inhabitants. The land bordering upon the river was granted in 10 patents to different persons in 1722 to 1726, and the greater part of the remainder to James De Lancey in 1737. Peter Quackenboss settled on Scott's Patent, near Auries Creek, soon after it was secured, and was probably the first white inhabitant of the town. About 1740, 16 Irish families, under the patronage of Sir Wm. Johnson, settled on Corry's Patent, a few mi. S.W. of Fort Hunter. After making considerable improvements, they abandoned their location and returned to Ireland in consequence of threatened Indian disturbances. (6) The first church (Ref. Prot. D.) was formed at Glen; Rev. Henry V. Wyckoff was the first pastor. (7) This town was the scene of many interesting incidents connected with the war. It furnished its full proportion of victims at the battle of Oriskany, and sustained an equal share in the losses and sufferings from Indian incursions. (8) The last council, within the co. previous to the Revolution was held between the Indians and Americans Oct. 13, 1775, on the farm now owned by John S. Quackenboss, on the Mohawk Flats, 2 mi. E. of Fultonville.

1 Named from Jacob S. Glen, a prominent citizen of the town
2 Auries Creek is the Dutch for "Adrians (?) Creek." It was named from an Indian in the vicinity. The Indian name was Ogh-rack-ie.
3 Upon Schoharie Creek, about 2 mi. above the mouth, is a high bank formed by a landslide, and called by the Indians Co-daugh-ri-ty, signifying "steep bank," or "perpendicular wall" -- Simm's Hist. Schoharie.
4 In early days fruitless attempts were here made to obtain iron.
5 Named in honor of Robert Fulton. The village site was known as "Van Epps Swamp" during the Revolution -- Simms's Hist. Schoharie.
6 A son of the first settler married Annie, daughter of Capt. John Scott, the patentee, and settled on the site of the present co. poorhouse. Their son, John, born about 1725, was the first white child born on the S. side of the Mohawk, between Fort Hunter and German Flats. Cornelius Putnam settled at Cadaughrity, Richard Hoff 1 mi. W. of Glen, Nicholas Gardiner and John Van Eps on the Mohawk, and Charles Van Eps at Fultonville. Near the house of the Van Eps a small blockhouse was erected toward the close of the Revolution -- Hazard taught the first school, at the house of J. S. Quackenboss; Wm. Quackenboss kept the first inn at Auriesville, in 1797, and Myndert Starin, one still earlier at the present village of Fultonville. John Smith opened the first store in Glen, in 1797. Peter and Simon Mabie built the first sawmill and carding machine, in 1797, and Peter Quackenboss a gristmill, on Auries Creek, soon after.
7 The census reports 4 churches in town; 2 Ref. Prot. D, M. E., True Dutch.
8 In the fall of 1779 George Cuck, a noted tory, who had often led scalping parties of Indians to the homes of his old neighbors, was seen luking about, and at one time was fired upon and narrowly escaped. It was supposed that he had returned to Canada; but toward spring it became known that he was concealed at the home of John Van Zuyler, a kinsman and brother tory. A party surrounded the house, dragged Cuck from his hiding place and shot him, and arrested Van Zuyler and sent him prisoner to Albany. In the fall of 1780 the whole settlement was ravaged and many of the people were murdered. One day Isaac Quackenboss, while out hunting, discovered three hostile Indians sitting upon a log. He fired, and killed two, and mortally wounded the third.

MINDEN -- was formed from Canajoharie, March 2, 1798. Danube (Herkimer co) was taken off in 1817. It lies upon the S. bank of the Mohawk, in the extreme W. part of the co. Its surface is principally an undulating upland, with steep declivities bordering upon the streams. The principal streams are the Otsquaga (1) and its tributary, the Otsquene. Prospect Hill, called by the Indians "Ta-ra-jo-rhies" (2) lies upon the Otsquaga opposite Fort Plain. The soil is a fine quality of gravelly and clayey loam, and is particularly adapted to grazing. (3) Fort Plain, (p.v.,) incorp. April 5, 1832, is situated upon the Mohawk, in the E. part of the town. It contains an academy, (4) bank, printing office, and 4 churches. Pop. 1502. Mindenville, (p.v.,) on the Mohawk, in the W. part of the town, contains 30 houses, and Fordsborough, (Minden p.o.,) on the W. border, 25. Hallsville, (5) (p.o.) Freysbush, (6) (p.o.,) and Hessville, are hamlets. In this town are found the remains of one of those ancient fortifications which are so common in Central and Western New York and throughout the Western States, showing that the co. was inhabited long prior to the advent of the Indians. (7) During the French War, Fort Plain was erected on the summit of the hill, half a mi. N. W. of the village. (8) During the Revolution, several other forts were built to protect the people from the attacks of the Indians. (9) The first settlements in this town were among the first in the co. The early settlers were Germans, among whom were the Devendorf, Waggoner, and Gros families, Andrew Keller, and Henry H. Smith. (10) John Abeel, an Indian trader, settled here in 1748. (11) In common with the other valley towns, these settlements were ravaged by Brant and Johnson in 1780. At the time of Brant's incursion the men were mostly absent, and the women were shut-ins in the forts for safety. Upon the approach of the enemy the women showed themselves dressed in men's clothes, and the Indains thereupon kept a respectful distance. The first church (Ref. Prot. D.) was organized at Fort Plain, long before the war. The census reports 9 churches in town. (12)

1 Mohawk, Osquago, signifying "under the bridge"
2 Said to signify, "Hill of Health," or "Fort on a hill."
3 The diary products of this town are greater than those of any other in the co. Hops are largely cultivated.
4 The "Fort Plain Seminary and Female Collegiate Institute" is chiefly under the patronage of the M. E. denomination. The academic building is a fine structure, situated upon a commanding eminence overlooking the village and valley.
5 Named for Capt. Robert Hall.
6 Named for John Frey, a lawyer and leading patriot who resided here during the Revolution.
7 These mounds and ruins are the most easterly of any of the kind yet discovered. They are situated 4 mi. S. of Fort Plain, on a tongue of land formed by the valleys of Otsquaga Creek and one of its tributaries. The tongue is 100 ft. above the streams, and the declivities almost precipitous. Across the tongue, at the narrowest part, is a curved line of breastworks 240 ft. in length, inclosing an area of about 7 acres. A gigantic pine, 6 ft. in diameter, stands upon one end of the enbankment, showing that the work must have been of great antiquity. Smithsonian Contributions, Vol. II, Art. 6.
8 This fort was built by a French engineer for the Government, and was the finest fortification in the valley. It was octagonal, 3 stories high, each story projecting beyond the one below. In the lower story was a cannon, which was fired in cases of alarm to notify the people of danger.
9 Fort Plank was situated about 2 mi. N. W. of Fort Plain, on the farm now occupied by C. House. Fort Clyde was situated 2 mi. S.W. of Fort Plain, near the residence of Peter Devendorf, at Freysbush. Fort Willett was W. of Fort Plank.
10 Henry Hayes, a German, taught the first school; Isaac Countryman built the first gristmill, soon after the war, and Isaac Paris kept the first store, about the same time. A large stone dwelling was erected here for the sons of Gov. Clark in 1738, but was soon abandoned. It obtained the reputation of being haunted, and was given away, 50 years ago, on condition that it should be demolished.
11 In his previous intercourse with the Indains, Abeel had married the daughter of a Seneca chief, after the Indian fashion. A child of this marriage was the famous chief Cornplanter. Abeel subsequently married a white woman, and at the commencement of the war was living upon his farm. During the Incursion of Oct. 1780, Abeel was taken prisoner by a party of Indians, and while momentarily expecting death, Cornplanter addressed him as father and assured him of his safety. He was given his choice either to accompany the Indians under the protection of his son, or to return to his white family. He chose the latter; and after the war Cornplanter visited him and was received by his Fort Plain relatives with the civilities due his rank and manly bearing. The chief died at his residence in Penn., March 7, 1836. Stone, in his Life of Brant, says that Cornplanter was more than 100 years old at the time of his death. Mr. Webster, of Fort Plain, a descendant of John Abeel, states that Abeel did not make his appearance in the Indian country until 1748, and that Cornplanter was born about 1750. This would make his age about 30 when he accompanied the expedition that took his father prisoner, and but 86 when he died. (12) 3 Evan. Luth., 3 M. E., Ref. Prot. D., 2 Univ.

MOHAWK -- was formed from Johnstown, April 4, 1837. (1) It lies upon the N. bank of Mohawk River and near the center of the N. border of the co. The surface is uneven, and gradually rises from the river to the N. line, where it attains an elevation of about 400 ft. above the valley. Its principal streams are Cayadutta and Da-de-nos-ca-ra (2) Creeks. The soil is generally a good quality of gravelly loam. Fonda, (3) (p.v.,) pleasantly situated upon the Mohawk, is the co. seat. Besides the co. buildings, it contains 2 churches, a bank, printing offices, and several manufactories. Pop. 687. Tribes Hill, (p.v.,) on the border of Amsterdam, contains 327 inhabitants. The site of the present village of Fonda was called "Caughnawaga" (4) by the Indians, and was one of the favorite resorts of the Mohawks. It was the scene of some of the earliest labors of the French Jesuits among the Five Nations, two of whom lost their lives here in 1646. The names of the first actual white settlers are not known. Nicholas Hausen (5) settled at Tribes Hill before 1725, and others, by the name of Fonda, Vanderworker, Doxtader, and Fisher, at an early day. (6) Among the other residents of the town before the Revolution were Col. John Butler and his son Walter N., who afterward attained an infamous notoriety for their inhuman atrocities and for the vindictive hate which they seemed to cherish against their old whig neighbors. (7) The principal weight of the incursion of Sir John in May, 1780, fell upon the two settlements of Tribes Hill and Caughnawaga. (8) In the autumn of the same year the second incursion of Sir John swept over the town, destroying the greaterpart of the property that escaped the first. A stone church (Ref. Prot. D.) erected in 1763 is still standing. (9) Rev. Thos. Romeyn was the first pastor. In 1795 he was succeeded by Rev. Abraham Van Horne. (10) The census reports 3 churches in town; Ref. Prot. D., True D., M. E.

1 Care should be taken not to confound this town with one of the same name S. of the river, abolished in 1793. See Note 1 in Charleston.
2 Signifying "trees having excrescences."
3 Named from Douw Fonda, who removed from Schenectady and settled here in 1751. At the time of the Revolution he was living on the flats, between the present turnpike and the river, a few rods E. of the road leading to the bridge, at which place he was murdered by the Indians under Sir John, May 22, 1780. At the time of his death, he was 84 years old. In former years he had greatly befriended the Johnson family, but the ruthless savages led by Sir John spared neither friend nor foe. His three sons, John, Jellis, and Adam, were staunch whigs, residing in the neighborhood. Indian name, Ga-na-wa-da, "on the rapids."
4 Meaning "stone in the water," or "at the rapids."
5 Patents of 1000 acres each, on the Mohawk, were granted to Nicholas Hausen and his brother Hendrick, July 12, 1713.
6 The first birth N. of the river, of which there is any record, was that of Henry Hausen . -- Collins taught a school in 1774. Jellis (Giles) Fonda is said to have been the first merchant W. of Schenectady. He carried on an extensive trade with the native tribes, and with the whites at Forts Schuyler and Stanwix and the forts at Oswego, Niagara, and Schlosser. His sales consisted chiefly of blankets, trinkets, ammunition, and rum, and his purchases of peltries, ginseng, and potash. At one time before the Revolution his ledger showed an indebtedness of over $10,000 in the Indian country. John Chaley was an early settler of Tribes Hill. He was in the war, and found his own brother arrayed against him.
7 Alexander White, Colonial Sheriff of Tryon co., resided on the present site of the courthouse. He was a zealous tory, and was obliged to flee to Canada. He was succeeded by John Frey, appointed by the Provincial Congress.
8 The detachment against Tribes Hill was led by Henry and Wm. Bowen, who had lived in the vicinity. Passing the tory settlement of Albany Bush (in Johnstown) without molestation, they proceeded to the home of Gerret Putnam, a staunch whig at Tribes Hill, and there by mistake murdered two tories, who had hired the place a short time before. From this place they went up the river, plundering the houses and murdering their old friends and neighbors. Every building was burned except the church and parsonage, and several slaves and white male prisoners were carried to Canada. The women were not particularly molested on this occasion. At the house of Col. Fred Fisher they were warmly received by the Col.'s family, consisting of himself, his mother, and his two brothers, John and Harmon. The Col.'s wife and children had been sent to Schenectady for safety; and his two sisters and an old negro, on the first alarm, fled to the woods and escaped. The Indians made a desperate attack upon the house, and a constant firing was kept up by the inmates until their ammunition was exhausted. They then all retreated to the chamber except John, who stood in the stairway and defended it with a hatchet until he had killed 7 Indians. He then retreated above, and, slipping upon some peas which lay upon the floor, he fell, and was dispatched with a tomahawk. Harmon jumped out of the window to put out the fire that had been applied to the roof, and while standing on the fence he was shot, and fell across the fence dead. The mother was knocked down with the breech of a gun, and left for dead. The Col. was also knocked down by a tomahawk, dragged down stairs by his hair, and thrown upon the ground, when an Indian jumped upon his back, drew a knife across his throat, as was supposed, cutting it from ear to ear, then cutting round the scalp, seized it by his teeth and tore it from his head, and finally gave him a blow in the shoulder with his hatchet and fled. The Col. had not lost his senses through all this mangling, and his throat, being protected by a leather belt worn inside of his cravat, was only slighly wounded. As soon as the Indians disappeared, he arose, went up stairs and brought down his mother, placed her in a chair and leaned her up against the fence; returned, and brought down the body of his brother John and laid it on the grass; then, becoming exhausted from loss of blood and the effect of the scalping, he lay down upon an old rug that lay out of doors--as he supposed, to die. The old negro and girls soon returned, and found the house burned down and the dead and wounded as described. By signs the Col. made known to the negro that he wanted water, who immediately brought it from the creek near by and gave it to him to drink, and also bathed his head, which restored his speech. A tory named Clement, passing by, the negro asked what he should do; the reply, given in German, was "Let the d--d rebel die." According to the directions of the Col., the negro caught the colts, which had never been broken, harnessed them to the wagon, and took him to the house of Putnam, at Tribes Hill. From there he, together with his mother, sisters, and the bodies of his brothers, was conveyed across the river to Wemples, and down, and he had his wounds dressed for the first time. After five years' suffering, he nearly recovered from the effects of his wounds. He built a new house on the site of the old one, and lived 29 years after he was wounded, -- for several years holding the office of First Judge of the co. His mother also recovered from her wounds, and lived with him. After the war the Indian who scalped him returned to the settlements and stopped at a tavern kept by a tory at Tribes Hill. The wife of the landlord, who was a whig, sent word immediately to the house of Col. Fisher that the Indian was there and would soon call at his house. The family, knowing that the Col. had sworn revenge, and wishing to prevent any more bloodshed, kept the news from him. As they were all in the front room, about the time the Indian was expected, they overset a pot of lye upon the hearth, and pursuaded the Col. to go into the back room, and lie down until they cleaned it up. While the Col. was gone, the Indian came to the door, where he was met by the old lady, who addressed him in the Indian tongue, told him her son's intentions, and pointed to a gun which was always kept loaded in readiness for him. The Indian listened, gave a grunt, and ran away with all speed.
9 In 1845 it was fitted up as an academy; but the school was soon after discontinued. 10He died in 1840, at an advanced age. During his ministry he married 1500 couples. -- Simms's Schoharie.

PALATINE -- was formed as a district, by the name of "Stone Arabia," March 24, 1772, and its name was changed March 8, 1773. It was formed as a town March 7, 1788, embracing all the territory between "Little Falls and The Noses," and extending from the Mohawk to Canada. Salisbury (Herkimer co.) was taken off in 1797. Stratford (Fulton co.) in 1805, Oppenheim (Fulton co.) in 1808, and Ephrata (Fulton co.) in 1827. It lies along the N. bank of the Mohawk W. of the center of the co. Its surface is mostly an upland, 200 to 500 ft. above the valley, much broken by deep, narrow ravines, and descending irregularly toward the river. The principal streams are the Kau-a-da-rauk, (1) in the E. part of the town, and the Garoga, in the W. The soil is fertile, and well adapted to grazing. (2) Stone Arabia, (p.v.,) near the center of the town, contains about 50 houses, and Palatine Bridge, (p.v.,) on the Mohawk opposite Canajoharie, 40. Palatine Church, (Palatine p.o.,) on the W. border, is a hamlet. The first settlement was made in town in 1713, by German Palatinates, who came over in 1710. The larger part of the Stone Arabia Patent was within the limits of this town. (3) Wm. Fox settled near Palatine Church, and Peter Waggoner a little below, on the Mohawk, in 1715. The early records of the settlement are lost. (4) A stockade called Fort Paris, the ruins of which are still visible, was built at Stone Arabia, and another, called Fort Keyser, 1 mi. N. The disastrous engagement resulting in the death of Col. Brown was fought within this town, between Stone Arabia and the river. (5) The Ref. Prot. D. church at Stone Arabia is one of the oldest in the valley. (6) The stone church (Luth.) at Palatine Church was built in 1770.7 The census reports 3 churches in town; 2 Ev. Luth., Ref. Prot. D.

1 Said to signify "broad."
2 More cheese is made in this town, than in any other in the co. The aggregate is more than 500,000 lbs.
3 This purchase extended along East Canada Creek, in the rear of Hausen's and Van Slyke's patents.
4 The German was the language taught in the first schools. ---Robinson taught an English school in 1782, and Alexander Ewing in 1783. Chris. Fox built a gristmill in 1750, which was burned in 1780.
5 See page County Section.
6 The records of this church commence in 1739, when it had but 10 members. The present ediface was erected in 1785, and the church was reorganized in 1790. A Luth. church built at Stone Arabia in 1770 was burned in 1780.
7 The subscriptions for this church were mostly furnished by the Nellis families, who became tories; and in consequence the church was not burned. Several shots were fired into it by the party under Sir John Johnson, one of the shot holes being still visible.

ROOT (1)-- was formed from Canajoharie and Charleston, Jan. 27, 1823. It lies upon the S. bank of the Mohawk, near the center of the co. The hills which border upon the river rise abruptly to a height of 630 feet, (2) and from their summits the country spreads out into an undulating upland. The high hills just below Sprakers, on opposite banks of the river, are called "The Noses." The high ridge near the E. border is known as "Stone Ridge." The principal streams are Platte Kil, and Lashers and Flat Creeks. Mitchells Cave, (3) in the vicinity of the Noses, consists of several apartments, with the roof hung with stalactites. The soil is fine, gravelly loam. Leatherville (Root p.o.) contains 15 houses, and Currytown, (4) Sprakers Basin, (p.o.,) Flat Creek, (p.o.,) and Browns Hollow, about a dozen each. Yatesville is a hamlet on the canal. The first settlers were Jacob Devendorf, at Currytown, Rudolph Keller, David and Fred. Luce, and Jacob Lainner. (5) The first church (Ref. Prot. D.) was formed at Currytown. Rev. Peter Van Buren became its pastor in 1806. (6) The principal incursions into this town during the war were those made in the summer and fall of 1781. The weight of the first of these, led by the tory Doxtader, July 9, 1781, fell upon the settlements in and near Currytown. (7) In Oct. of the same year Ross and Butler passed through the town, but committed no depredations, except capturing part of a funeral procession, and taking a few prisoners at Stone Ridge.

1 Named in honor Erastus Root, of Delaware co.
2 As surveyed by Capt. Thomas Machin.
3 Named from the former owner of the farm on which the cave is situated.
4 Named from Wm. Curry, the patentee.
5 The first schools were German. -- Glaycher taught an English school at The Noses in 1784. Albert Vanderworker kept the first inn, at an early day.
6 The census reports 3 churches in town; Christian, M. E., Ref. Prot. D.
7 Upon the alarm being given, the settlers hastened to a picketed blockhouse near the dwelling of Henry Lewis, closely pursued by the enemy. Every house in the village except one was set on fire; but the flames were extinguished by the vanguard of Col. Willett's forces, under Capt. Robert Kean. Frederick, son of Jacob Devendorf, was scalped, but he recovered. Jacob, Jr., another son, was taken prisoner, and was scalped on the retreat of the Indians. He also recovered, and lived to the age of 85 years. He died in 1854, one of the wealthiest farmers in the valley. Mary Miller, a little girl, was scalped and found alive, but died soon after. Several other prisoners were murdered. Most of the cattle driven away were abandoned, and found their way back to the settlement.

ST. JOHNSVILLE (1) -- was formed from Oppenheim, (Fulton co.,) April 18, 1838. It lies upon the No. bank of the Mohawk, in the W. part of the co. Its surface consists of a broad river intevale and a broken upland gradually rising N. of it. Its streams are East Canada, Crum, Fox, Zimmermans, Caldwell, and Mother Creeks. Upon East Canada Creek, 1-1/2 mi. from its mouth, are a succession of falls and rapids descending 75 feet in a distance of 80 rods. The soil is a fine quality of gravelly loam. St. Johnsville, (p.v.,) on the Mohawk, was incorp. in 1857. It contains a woolen and pitchfork factory, and is an important station on the Central R. R. Pop. 648. The first settlement at the village was made by Jacob Zimmerman, in 1776. (2) During the Revolution the house of Christian Klock, three-fourths of a mi. W. of Palatine Church, was stockaded and named "Fort House." (3) The house of Jacob Zimmerman was also stockaded. These forts were both attacked, but never taken. Fort Hill, situated on an eminence E. of East Creek, was erected during the French War. It was repaired and used during the Revolution. The battle between the forces of Sir John and the advanced guard of Van Rensselaer's army, under Col. Dubois, was fought at "Klocks Field," near "Fort House," Oct. 18, 1780. The enemy forded the river, and retreated up the valley during the night following. The Indians, in small parties, continued to prowl about the settlement during the war, and shot and captured several of the inhabitants. (4) A church was built by Christian Klock in 1756; the Rev. Mr. Rosekrantz was the first preacher, and John Henry Disland the second. The census reports 2 churches; Ref. Prot. D. and Union.

1 Named from St. John's Church, built in the village at an early day.
2 The first settlers of the town came in long prior to this, but the precise date is unknown. They were Germans, and among them were families Hellebralt, Waters, German, Van Riepen, Walrath, and Klock. A German school was taught by Henry Hayes at an early day. The first English school was taught by Lot Ryan, an Irishman, in 1792. Chris. Nellis kept an inn in 1783, and a store in 1801. Jacob Zimmerman built the first gristmill, during the Revolution, and Geo. Klock the second in 1801.
3 Named in compliment to Christian House, the builder.
4 In the spring of 1780 Philip Helmer deserted to the enemy. He had previously been paying his addresses to a daughter of Philip Bellinger, and upon a plan being formed to take the family of the latter prisoners, he forewarned them in time to rally a party to their assistance. An ambuscade was formed, and the Indians would have been killed or captured, had it not been for the indiscretion of one of the party, who upon their approach, yelled out, at the top of his voice, "Lord God Almighty, friends, here they are!" The Indians fled with the loss of only one.

This transcription was generously provided to us by Shirley C. Farone, whose original typed version is an exact typographic facsimile of the original book. Although reformatting was necessary for web presentation, all odd spellings and punctuation of the original book have been maintained.

Back to Montgomery County General History Page

Back to Montgomery County NYGenWeb

Created: 4/16/98
Copyright ©1998 - 2012 Shirley C. Farone
Copyright ©1998 - 2012 Montgomery County NYGenWeb
All Rights Reserved.