Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

. (page 7 of 138)
Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 7 of 138)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

(iates should approve. " In September the house of Abraham C. Cuy-
ler (one of the "disaffected ") was taken for sick and wounded officers,
and in the next month it was ordered that any untenanted houses
should be used for hospital purposes. Under date of November (J the
following appears:

Whereas. This Committee .stands indebted to many persons who are in great dis-
tress for want of the money, and as the State Treasury is in a low state:

Resolved. That application be made to the Commissioners for Sequestering the
Assetts of Persons gone over to the enemy in the Middle District of this County, for
the said sum of ,f2,n0().

On the lOth of November a list of "the well-affected persons in this
district " was ordered made and sent to Peter R. Livingston, with a
recjuest to deliver to the order of the chairman of this district a tpian-
tity of salt, " not exceeding two quarts per Head."

The work of the committee for the year 1777 closed with the follow-
ing resolutions, adopted on December 7 and 15 respectively:

Jeremiah Vincent having some time ago received from this Committee the sum of
ten pounds to perform certain secret services, instead of doing which he went over


Resolved, That one of the two Cows on the farm of the said Vincent be sold and
a return made of the said ten pounds, and a return made of the overplus to the wife
of the said Vincent, and that this Committee dispose of the Other cow.

Resolved, That William Gilliland be remanded to prison, as proof has this day
been made before this Board of his further Inimical Conduct to the United States.

Plans were laid by the Americans and numerous efforts made durin"'
the -war to again secure the alliance of the Six Nations. Among- these
was a great council held at Johnstown March 9, 1778. The Continental
Congress was fully represented, and from this county X'olkert \'eeder
and, probably. General Schuyler were in attendance. But the effort
was unavailing and the bloody deeds of the savages- continued.

To chastise the Iroquois in some measure for their atrocities against
the Americans, an expedition was sent against the Onondagas in the
spring of 17T9, under command of Colonel Van Schaick. His force
consisted of 558 men from his own and General Gansevoort's regiments,
which left Fort Schuyler April 19, and penetrated to the heart of the
Onondagas' country, surprised the Indians, destroyed their villages,
burned their property and slaughtered their stock. The expedition
was out six days and returned without the loss of a man. The conse-
quences were not what was anticipated. Instead of terrorizing the
Indians, it only exasperated them to further sa\-agery and led to the
destruction of Cobleskill and attacks upon Canajoharie and other

Another and much larger expedition, and one which, perhaps, had a
more powerful effect upon the Indians, was made in the summer of
the same year. Washington placed Gen. John Sullivan in command of
about I), 000 troops with orders to march into the Senecas' country and
leave nothing but desolation in his path. Sullivan arrived at Tioga
Point August -Vi, and was there joined by Gen. James Clinton with
1,(;0() men. A battle was fought near the site of Elmira in which the
Americans were victorious. The expedition pushed on and repeated
in the rich Genesee valley the operations of Van Schaick in Onondaga.
The destruction was complete and overwhelming; but while it tem-
porarily awed the Indians, it did not crush them. Taking advantage
of the desire for vengeance aroused arhong them by these raids, Sir
John Johnson came down into the Mohawk valley from Crown Point in
May, 1780, and the tomahawk and torch left i-nany desolate homes. At
Johnstown and in that vicinity he burned every house excepting those
of tories, recovered his plate which he had previously buried at John-


sun Hall, took about twenty of his former slaves and escaped to

The proceedings of the Albany Committee during the few months of
its existence in 1??8 can be briefly disposed of here. The new com-
mittee was elected January 2, and the following officers chosen: John
Barclay, chairman; John M. Beeckman, deputy chairman; Matthew
Visscher, secretary; Jacob Kidney, waiter. On the 7th of January a
resolution was adopted that "a subscription be set on foot for the use
of our Ruined Settlers of our Frontiers." On the loth a committee
which had been appointed to collect mone}- for the poor of the second
ward, turned over ^"!)T lis. ^d.

In March Moses R. \'an Vranken confessed that he had bought but-
ter at one shilling per pound in specie, and sold it for ^s. 8c/. per pound
in Continental currency, for which he was deemed "dangerous to the
State, and put in confinement till further orders."

The last entry in that part of the journal of the committee that has
Ix-en preserved is under date of June 10, 1778, and is unimportant.

In April, 1778, the seat of government was temporarily removed to
Poughkeepsie. Although the war was then in progress, Albany city
and the county as far as its present limits are concerned, did not suffer
from it through invasion or battles, nor did it during the remainder of
the struggle. But the vicinity was frequently threatened and alarm
and anxiety were continuous. The city was filled with Continental
troops much of the time; these were sometimes very disorderly and the
administration of the city government was an onerous task. Petty
disturbances were promptly suppressed, while greater ones were vig-
orously dealt with. In the month of May the citizens were greatly
alarmed by the removal of a large part of the soldiers, leaving the
city almost unprotected from rioters and law-breakers. There were
then ten prisoners under sentence of death confined in the city, and
threats of rescue were heard. Mayor Barclay and the council com-
municated with General Stark on the subject as follows:

'l"he Common Council would beg leave to observe, that the many robberies, mur-
ders and other dreadful crimes committed on the inhabitants of this City and
County by deserters and prisoners from Burgoyne's Army, and by the disaffected (if
our own country, who are drove to desperation, and some of them almost to starva-
tion, renders it indispensably necessary to have a large body of regular troops to
keep the villains in subjection, or go in quest of them; for, unless the militia can
remain at home this year, and properly manage their summer crops, little or no sup-
port of flour and other things can the Continent derive from these parts. Last year,


more than one-half of the crops were destroyed by the Army-marauders, and not
more than half the usual quantity sold. If the British prisoners could be moved to
another place, it would break up the alarming connection kept up between them and
the Tories and the negroes.

iVt about the same tiiiie the Britisli prisoners, tories and negroes in
the city organized a plot to rise, murder the guards, and rob and burn
the city; it was fortunately discovered in time to avert the calamity.
Seven of the leaders wei^e seized and executed on Gallows Hill.

On May ;30 of that year a regiment of militia and a body of Conti-
nentals were attacked by tories and Indians at Cobleskill. They
were defeated, many of them killed and the place burned. Albany
was in a fever of excitement, for the British freely threatened to serve
the city in the siame manner. These dangers were, however, happily

'l^he Common C

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 7 of 138)