History of Delaware County
Border Wars of New York.
A SKETCH OF THE EARLY SETTLEMENTS IN THE COUNTY,
A HISTORY OE THE
LATE ANTI-RENT DIFFICULTIES IN DELAWARE,
Other Historical and Miscellaneous Matter,
NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED.
BY JAY GOULD.
KEENY & GOULD, PUBLISHERS.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year of our Lord 1866,
BY JAY GOULD,
In the District Court, for the Eastern District of New York.
Robb, Pile & McElroy, Pr-.
Lodge Street, Philada.
HON. A. J. PARKER,
This work is respectfully Dedicated,
BY THE AUTHOR.
It is usual for authors, in the preface to their productions, to cite to the reader all the good qualities of their writings, and especially those which their own imaginations suggest, and which, unless mentioned, might otherwise have been passed over unnoticed.
I shall then deviate from this ancient established usage of writers, for various, and to myself obvious reasons, the most prominent of which is, that I esteem that class of persons into whose hands this work may fall, as an intelligent and reading people, better prepared to pass judgment than myself, who, if they utter criticism, will base their opinions upon the merit of the work itself, aside from the self-eulogistic encomiums of the author. I do not claim that this work is free from error; perfection, in a history of this character, where much of the information to be relied upon is of an oral and indefinite nature, is an impossibility. I have been careful to weigh all the statements presented—to discriminate between truth and fiction—and have suppressed much apparently interesting matter, which lacked the proper authenticity, or conflicted with truth; still, doubtless, there is room for improvement.
I claim no honor for having been the tell-tale of the past. The having simply told what others have done, is far from implying, that had we been placed in the same situation, and affected by the same circumstances, we would have acted the same noble part. It is one thing to write, another to do:—"Give honor to whom honor is due." And if, after perusing what we have been enabled to glean of the history of the acts and actors of the past, you are enabled to discern in them anything noble—anything worthy of your admiration and emulation, then treasure up for the hardy and industrious pioneer a kind and grateful remembrance—then cherish in sincerity, long after the author has said his say, a fond appreciation of those Spartan sires, whose ashes are now mouldering in the tomb, and whose tongues have become silent and speechless, palsied by death.
I would take this opportunity of returning my sincere thanks to all who have interested themselves in furnishing material for the completion of this work.
History—Its origin—Causes of its development—Its Influence on a free government—Divisions of history in point of time— Divisions in regard to subject—General history—Particular history—History of Delaware county; a particular history—Early purchases made of the Indians—Their dissatisfaction—Deed of purchase of 1768 — Extent of the purchase—Consideration paid—Effects produced by the final adjustment of Indian claims—Commencement of emigration.
Indian character—Suppositions of the origin of the race—Enumeration of the Six Nations, who formerly owned a large portion of the State—Their union in cases of emergency—Date of the admission of the Tuscaroras into the confederacy—Power and influence of the Iroquois—Success in battle—Agriculture prosecuted to some extent—Love of war—Torture of their victims—Weapons of warfare—Introduction of fire-arms among the Indians—First settlement at Albany—Estimate of the number of Indians east of the Mississippi at that period—Number of distinct^languages—Enumeration of the different tribes—English Settlements in 1664—Conquest of New Netherlands by the English—Its capture—Dutch again obtain possession of it—Its final restoration to the English the following year — English conciliate the favor of the Indians by presents—Early missionaries among the Indians—Information derived of the Indians respecting the Susquehanna country—Indians desire the English to establish trading posts on the Susquhanna—Jealousies of New York in relation to Penn's trading with the Indians—Final adjustment of the difficulty.
New York in 1770— Total popnlation of the colony at that period— Tryon and Charlotte counties erected— Their extent— Population of Tryon— First settlement German Palatines— Settlements made by them— Heldeburgh Hills— Origin of the name— Schoharie valleyIts settlement— Settlement at Cherry Valley— Privations of the settlers the first winter— Hair-breadth escape from starvation— Succored by a friendly Indian— Nativity of the early settlers— Harper family— Settle in Cherry Valley— Their influence with the Indians Harpers found a new settlement—Called Harpersfield—Obtain a patent—Surveyed—Mrs. Harper, the first white woman in the town—Constructs a log-house with her own hands—The first house in Harpersfield—Privations the following winter—^Providential relief from starvation— Slow progress of the settlement—Reception of new settlers—Settlement in Middletown, before the Revolution — Death of Dumond, by the Schoharie Guard—Brugher shot by the Indians while threshing buckwheat—His son taken prisoner—Release and return of the son to Middletown—Drowned while crossing the Delaware some years after—^Indian villages on the East Branch—Milling stories—Indian hunting-grounds—Beaver; peculiarities of the animal—Ancient apple-trees; anecdotes concerning—Pakatakan, an Indian village—Supposed signification of the name—Tribes of Indians who occupied Papagouck and Pepacton, other Indian villages—Historical communication of Dr. 0. M. Allaben.
Repose of the frontier settlements— Scout under Colonel Alexander Harper— Sent out to Harpersfield- Harper returns to Schoharie — Ilis return to Harpersfield— Capture of the party by Brant>— Recognition between Brant and Harper— Death of several of the party — Inscription on the Hendrys' tombstones in the Harpersfield buryingground—Young Lamb attempts to escape—Is overtaken and captured—Questions put by Brant to Harper—Harper's shrewd reply — Indian Council—Debate in regard to the fate of the prisoners — Party decamp for Niagara—Obtain provisions of a miller on the Delaware—Inhumanity of this man and his daughters to the prisoners—Incidents of the Journey—Murder of Mr. Brown—Arrival of the party at Fort Niagara—Harper finds friends—Prisoners run the gauntlet—Expedient of Brant to alleviate their sufferings—Reception of the party at the Fort—Imprisonment in Canada—Return of the survivors of the party to Harpersfield. Punishment afterward inflicted on Beacraft, a tory—Bennett family—Early settlers—Capture of by a party of Indians—Incursion of the Indians into Colchester — Capture of Rose—Interesting incident—Correspondence in relation to the war—Indians capture Beach and family—Encounter a scout below Ilobart—John Hagidore wounded—Company of troops pursue the Indians—Overtake and release the captives.
Adventufes and final settlement of Timothy Beach in Sidney—Eeminiscences of John Wickham, an early settler of Harpersfield—Names of early settlers—Privations to which they were subjected—Adventure of James Gordon with a bear, while crossing the Charlotte Eiver—First Church in Harpersfield—Manner of its erection — Church-raising—Whipping-posts and stocks erected in Harpersfield — Other whipping-posts in the county—How Harper caught his wife—^Persons punished by this ordeal—First settled minister in Harpersfield—Maple-sugar-making—Scotchman's idea of making maple-sugar—Information derived from Stephen Halt of Stamford — Settlements made in 1789—Information derived from David Squires—Discovery of and first settlement in Roxbury—Interesting information in relation to—Anecdotes—Information derived principally from Cyrus Burr—^Early settelements in Middletown and Andes—Hall's adventure with Mr. Earl—His discovery that he had neighbors—Catamount-killing in Andes.
The lost manuscript—Early organization of religious societies—Report of the first missionary—Summary of report—Different sects in the county—Educational interests of the county, and other information.
Anti-rent difilculties—Early grants of land within the limits of the county—Hardenburgh patent—Dispute in regard to the western limits of the patent— Survey of the patent—Protest of the Indians — Indian deed of the land between the branches of the Delaware to Johanus Hardenburgh—Bradt patent—Enumeration of the other patents in the order in which they were granted—Land monopoly — Early restrictions placed upon grants—How eluded—Views of the early legislatures—Recognition of the grants prior to the revolution—Validity of the manorial titles—Leasehold system—Systematic classificatioii' bf deeds—Durable lease—Redemption lease — Three life lease—One and two life lease—Yearly lease—Seven year proviso—Claims of the tenants—History of the excitement — Grievances of the renters.
Action of the Executive—Proclamation of county in a state of insurrection-^Copy of the same—Its reception in Delhi—Arrival of Adjutant General Farrington—Organization of an armed force— Officers chosen—^Extract from a letter—Mode of operating—Erection of temporary log-jails—Convening of the court—Grand jury—Judge Parker's able charge—Allusion in the same to the demoralizing influence of the excitement upon the county—Result of the trials—number of convictions—O'Connor and Van Steenburgh convicted of murder—Sentence of the prisoners—Court adjourns—Attempt on the life of a guard—Reprieve of the sentences of O'Connor and Van Steenburgh—Revocation by the governor, of the declaration " declaring the county in a state of insurrection"—Close—Closing remarks.
The following sketch of the services of the late Timothy Murphy in the border warfare of the revolution, were kindly furnished the author, and although in some respects they deviate from what he / conceives to be truth, in the main he has ascertained them to be correct.
The following interesting production, from the pen of a daughter of E. B. Fenn, Esq., is inserted, at the request of numerous friends.
Obituary notices—Captain Abraham Gould—Aaron Hull—Gabriel North—Rev. Stephen Fenn—Hon. Roswell Hotchkiss—^Rev. Daniel Shepard—James Hughston—Hon. Samuel A. Law—Daniel Gould — Col. Adam Shaver—T. H. Rathbun—Simeon Mcintosh—Richard Peters—Thomas Hamilton—Major Joseph Duren—William C. Chrisiiani—Abel Gallup—Jacob Every—Pierce Mitchell—Margery Walcott — Edmund Kelly—Abram Thomas—Gen. Orrin Griffin—Claudius Flansburgh—Levi Hanford—Abigial Marvin e—Hon. Selah R. Ho^bie — Frederick L. Hanford—George B. Foote— Peter Penet—"William Holliday—Col. Amasa Parker—Joel T. Headley.
Delaware Gazette—The Central Sun—The Deposit Courier—The Deposit Union Democrat—Delaware County Courier—Bloomville Mirror—Weekly Visitor—Delaware Bank—Deposit Bank—Secret organizations; Freemasonry, Odd Fellowship—Iodine Spring — The Delaware Literary Institute—Fergusonville Boarding Academy — The Social League.