Samuel W Durant.

History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 43 of 192)
Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 43 of 192)
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155



town or Clinton, ten miles west from Fort Schuylefj and oould see the
progress of improvement, you would believe it enchanted ground. You
wouldthere view an extensive, well-built town, surrounded by highly-
cultivated fields, which spot in the year 17S3 was the ' haunt of tribes'
and the hiding-place of wolves, now a flourishing, happy situation,
containing about six thoiiisand people.* Clinton stands a little south ;
of Whitestown, and is a very large, thriving town. After passing
Clinton there are no inhabitants upon the road until you reach Oneida,
an Indian town, the first of the Six Nations. It contains about five
hundred and fifty inhabitants."

WAR OP 1812-15.

We have no satisfactory means of information touching
the troops that were enlisted from Oneida County during
the last war with Great Britain. The muster-rolls are many
of them destroyed, and of those among the files at Albany
it is difficult to find what is required, for the company rolls
are filed in the name of the commanding officer, which it
is necessary to know before the proper rolls can be found.

Oneida County furnished quite a number of men for
the various arms of the service during the contest, mostly
eqlisted for short terms of service. It is stated in Mr.
Jones' annals that the first detachment from the county
went to Sacket's Harbor, under command of Colonel Bel-
linger, in 1812. Major Samuel Dill, of Rome, accompanied
the detachment. Governor Tompkins appointed Joshua
Hathaway quartermaster-general of the State militia, and
ordered him to proceed to Sacket's Harbor."f"

In the fall of 1812 the militia of Oneida County were
called out en masse, probably for thirty days, and ordered
to Sacket's Harbor, and the 157th, commonly known as
the " Rome Regiment," commanded by Colonel John West-
cott, marched to that post. Among the officers were Lieu-
tenant-Colonel Joshua G. Green, Captains Rudd, Fillmore,
Church, Grannia, Hinckley, and Pock, Adjutant Samuel
Beardsley, Paymaster Jay Hathaway, and Surgeon Henry
H. Smith.J

In Dr. Bagg's book we find some interesting items, but
no connected history of organizations. We quote the fol-
lowing from the doctor :

" In the latter pai-t of February, 1813, about 60 volunteers were en-
rolled at Utica, among whom were included some members of its inde-
pendent infantry company. They formed a new company attached to
the l'34th Regiment, and were commanded by Captain William Wil-
liams. Of its men the only names that can be recalled were John
Grove, orderly sergeant, John George, and Theodore S. Faxtori. The
company remained one month at Smith's Mills, when they were paid
off and dismissed. Another company of the 134:th Regiment, termed
the Silver Grays, was commanded by Nathan Seward, of New Hart-
ford, and among its men was Thurlow Weed, from Utica. It was prob-
ably at this time, also, that Nathan Williams went out as major of the
regiment, Nicholas Smith as lieutenant becoming adjutant, and John
£. Uinman as quartermaster.

'* Early in the war a drafting took place at the hotel, when a num-
ber of men were made soldiers. In September, 1814, the regiment
was called out, but continued only a month under arms, and without
active service. At this time Benjamin Ballou was captain of a com-
pany, and Nicholas N. Weaver orderly sergeant, — subsequently pro-
moted to captain, Ballou having been disabled by sicliDeBS. Thomas

* This estimate is probably much too high.

t Mr. Jones states that on his arrival at Sacket's Harbor, Colonel
Mitchell, of the regular army, who was in command, immediately ten-
dered it to him ; but there must be some mistake, as a quartermaster
has no command as a field-officer except over the transportation, and
this in a subordinate capacity.

I Jones' Anaals.



Skinner, of Utica, was commissioned captain in a regiment of ar-
tillery, but declining to scrvOj his place was filled by the first lieuten-
ant. Some half-dozen individuals from Utica had previously volun-
teered at Bufi'alo, and were in the engagements near that place.

"Six young men of the neighborhood were enlisted as midshipmen
during the course of the war, viz. : Samuel Brccse and William In-
man, of Utica; John G. Young, of Whitesboro'; Antill Lansing, of
Oriskany; and Edward and Benjamin Carpender (Carpenter ?), of
Whitesboro'. '

" There was a recruiting station here under the charge of Captain
P. Mills, of the 23d Regiment. The hospital, which was cared for
by Dr. Solomon Wolcott, was on the Kimball farm."

The following items of ihterest, made up from a diary
kept by Dr. Alexander Coventry, of Utica, are taken from
Dr. Bagg. They forcibly illustrate the make-up and be-
havior of the different branches of the service, and the
lights and shadows of incipient military life. The propor-
tion of transportation will strike any soldier who served
during the great rebellion as one of the reasons why the
militia, in particular, were so lax in their discipline and so
totally unreliable in the field :

On the 22d of June, 1812,§ two expresses passed through
Utica, one for Canada and the other fur the frontier, with
news of the declaration of war against Great Britain. On
the 13th of August the first troops, consisting of 130 men
and horses belonging to the fiying artillery, from Lancaster,
Pa., passed through on their way to the seat of war. They
are described as being very dirty, and brown as Indians,
variously dressed, most of them young, and largely made
up of foreigners.

In September, a body of 800 drafted men from Albany
camped at Utica for a week. They are credited with
robbing orchards, potato-fields, and hen-roosts. During
their stay they were increased to 1600, drafted men and
volunteers. They were from the southern and eastern
counties of the State, young and able-bodied, but undis-
ciplined and unmanageable. They were under command of
General Dodge. On their departure, September 15, a
train of 100 wagons followed them, a circumstance in itself
indicative of effeminacy and lack of experience. About
the 20th of September the 5th United States Regiment,
recruited in Maryland, and under command of Colonel
Milton, passed through the place. They are described as
being dirty, and saucy to their officers and clamorous
for their pay, which was six or seven months overdue.
They threatened to stack their arms, and were only pacified
and persuaded to resume their march when the colonel
obtained some money from the bank, and dealt them an
allowance.

On the 22d of September two companies of light artil-
lery, from Baltimore and Philadelphia, marched through
the town ; and on the 30th, 90 sailors passed, on their
way to Sacket's Harbor. Of these the doctor states that
one-thii-d were negroes and the rest mostly foreigners.

On the 5th of October, 150 men, including the crew of
the " John Adams" (sloop of war), under command of
Lieutenant Pettigrew, with 50 wagons, arrived and bivou-
acked in Utica for twenty-four hours, when they passed on
towards Buffalo. These are described by the Scotch doctor
as having " some blacks, some foreigners, and more long-

g War was declared on the 18tb of June.



IJG



HISTORY OP ONEIDA COUNTy, NEW YORK.



spliced Yankees tlian any other parcel." He thinks these
composed the worst set that had yet passed through the
place. " They broke into barns, stole geese, and even stole
from one another. Two of the men were whipped with
the cat." On the day these departed, 130 more, with 20
wagons, marched through. On the 10th of October, 130
United States marines, well uniformed, and pireseuting a
soldierly appearance, passed tlirough ; and on the 13th
another of the same description followed ; and on the 14th
came 190 " Republican Greens," though why they bore
this title we are not informed.

On the 24th of October, the 23d United States Regiment
arrived from Albany. They numbered 300 when they left
that city, though it would seem that they had already
suffered somewhat by desertion. This regiment is described
as wearing a drab uniform with red facings, and having
good warm great-coats. They stacked arms at Utiea, and
complained of receiving no pay. The officers succeeded
in raising sufficient funds to distribute two dollars to each
man, and furnished them a double allowance of grog,
when, ou the 27th, they resumed their march for Niagara.*
About the same date 130 men beloiiging to the field artil-
lery also marched through. The winter mostly put a
stop to the uiovetnents of troops. Scvei'al detachments
were quartered for two winters in and around Utica, — at
the Cofiue-House, in one Potter's barn, on the Hopper
farm, at New Hartford, and in other places.

On the 16th of February, 1813, the Baltimore volun-
teers, to the number of 190, under Captain Moore, broke
in the door of the hotel, and took I'orcible possession.
During this month straggling horsemen were passing, but
nothing of consequence occurred until the Gth of April,
when a detachment of 150 light horse came to Utica from
Sacket's Harbor, from which they were forced to remove
for lack of provisions. On the 13th of the same month
150 more had arrived, and on the 15th several hundred of
the artillery marched towards the west.

On the 24th and 25th, about 500 soldiers were in Utica,
and lOO .sailois, belonging to the famous frigate '• Constitu-
tion," halted at t)uertield Corners. These hitter were prob-
ably being taken west for service on board the lake-fleet.
They departed on foot for Sacket's Harbor. They came
iVoui Boston to Utica in carriages. Following them caiiie
500 horse and foot, who passed ou towards Buffalo. They
were clean and healthy-looking.

During April and May soldiers were constantly passing.
The 2d United States Regiment, under Colonel Burn (or
Burns), " a Southern gentleman of property and acconi-
plishmcnts,' was in Utica o>i the 12tli of May, and on the
14th the high grounds above the village were covered with
tents.

On the 15th and 16th, not less than 900 men are re-



* It is astonishing how strong the lovie of spirits is in the average
suliiier. The writer well recollect^, when Shcruinn's army was en-
c.imped near Raleigh, N. C.,'of , seting the 2d Division, ] 5th Army
Corps/ cnt away an immense causeway for' the purpriso of draining
a mill-pond, covering some 10 or 15 acres, in which some one Tiad
reported there were several barrels of whisky sunk. The failure of
the corps on this occasion was said to have been the Crat c.\penenced
in its military career.



ported as passing through from Massachusetts, a portion of
them under Major Nye. They complained of their rations
like all new soldiers, and claimed that they did not get their
twenty-two ounces of salt meat and one and a half pouuils
of biscuit. They were opposed to the invasion of Canada,
and generally discontented. A large number had been left
sick along their line of march. Four days later they moved
on, accompanied by troops of dismounted cavalry. On the
23d of. May, some 500 or 600 men, mostly belonging to
the 21st United States Regiment, slept in the barns of
Deerfield, grumbling, like the rest, about the war and poor
rations. On the 26th, a colujun, estimated at from 500 to
1000 men, passed through the place, and oh the same day
an aid of General Pike was in the place, on his way east
with the British colors taken at Little Y^orlj (now Toi'onto),
where the gallant general fell mortally wounded in the
moment of victory.

The doctor records that " a blackguard corps" spent two
days, June 4 to 6, at . Deei-field Corners, where they
broke into a house and destroyed the furuituro, under the
plea that the owner was a Tory. About the 15th of June
there arrived 300 of the 14th United States Regiment, and
a rifle company. On the IGth, the 49th English Regiment
passed through as prisoners of war. In the latter part of
the month, and forepart of July, the town was thronged
with sailors on their way to Sacket's Harbor ; and on the
10th of July, 270 men, belonging to the 3d and 25ih Uni-
ted States Regiments, were on the streets. On the 22d, a
salute was fired in honor of the arrival of General Henry
Doarborii, though it was whispered that he was under
arrest or in disgrace, on account of not wearing side-arms.
On the 9th of August, about 100 British prisoners, cimsist-
ing principally of Canadian militia, with a few English reg-
ulars, were in the village, and about a dozeu of them dined
with Judge Miller.

All through the summer and autumn months,, troops
and sailure were passing .and re-passing, and Utica was
stirring with military display. On the 15th of October,
two companies of Wallevillc's (English) Regiment, taken
on board transports on the lake, went through as prisoners
of war. Tl>ese were noticed as being a fine body of men,
some of them being over six feet in height. They all
spoke German, and scuue of theiii French, and were stated
to have belonged to the French service, but being captured
by the English they had enlisted in their service. On the
31st day of October, 700 or 800 regular United States sol-
diers from Fort Goprge passed through the place. The
roads were exceedingly muddy and bad, and they had been
twelve days on the march, and were nearly destitute of
shoes and many of them sick. Two hundred had been left
on the road unable to travel. All the shoemakers' shops in
the place were ransacked to furnish them shoes.

On the 3d of November, Commodore Oliver Hazard
Perry was in Utica, and the citizens honored him with a
grand public dinner.

Additional information^all that we have been able to
obtain — will be found in the history of the various towns of
the county. We have not been able to learn anything of
importance regarding the part taken by the citizens of
Oneida County in the Mexican war.



HISTORY OF Ol^EIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



157



A United States areenal, fully equipped for business, and
including a magazine of supplies, workshops, officers' quar-
ters, barracks, etc., was erected at Rome in 1813. The
work was superintended by Major Dalliba, of the ordnance
department. (See history of Rome.)

MILITIA OFnCERS OP 1811-12.

Tile following list of officers is copied from the rolls on
file in the office of the county clerk at Utica. From a note
at the bottom of the roll it would appear that a part of them
belonged to the Third Brigade :

I}iiffadier-Geiieials.^O\iyer Collins, Joseph Kirkland,
Henry McNeil,

Culnnels. — William Stone, Caleb Clark.
Mojors.^Hmea Dodd, Samuel Dill, David Curtiss,
Gardiner Avery, Jaines Lynch, Eleazer Dickinson, Theo-
dore W. Sill (Artillery), Jonathan Tower, John Westcot.

Captains.- — Francis Brown, Amos Wetmore, William
Ilubliard, Gurdon Caswellj Fortune C. White, Orriti Grid-
ley, John Harris, Joseph Stone, Asa Bullock, James Gar-
diner, Jacob Hovey, Timothy L. Bacoh, Ichabod Davis,
Samuel Shepherd, Jr., Edward Grannis, Zimri Howland,
G. Chamberlain, Rice Austin, Benjamin Rudd, Peleg Mat-
teson, Asa Baker, Daniel Butts, Joshua Nortbrup, Edward
Grannis, Edward Fuller, Ichabod Cole, Enos Gilbert (Ar-
tillery), John Wright (Cavalry).

LieitleiKiiifs. — Amos ^Voodward, Bradford Seymour, Sal-
mon Laird, Nathan Rose, Seth Hastings, Henry Bingham,
Stephen Leonard, Bridge Wakefield, Samuel Comstock,
Nicholas Smith, Albion Smith, W. B. Savage, Abram
Catlin, Abel Dewey, James Lynch, Rollin Blount, Chester
Andrews, Nathan Eells, A. Earms, John Z. Hartwell, Ed-
ward Allen, Dan Bosworth, Calvin Church, Aruiiah
Wright, Jos. A. Clark, J. G. Greene, Ezekiel Clark, Seth
Langdon, Gates Peck, A. Spencer (Cavalry),- Paul- Taft
(Cavalry), Charles Wylie (Artillery), Levi Green (Ar-
tillery).

^;i,s/]5rns.^-Abel Downey, Job Herriok, Saiiil. Comstock,
Frederick Kellogg, Barnabas Cook, Rullin Blount, Oren
Betts, Wm. B. Savage, James Sage, A. \V. GriJley, Amasa
Rowe, Job Herrick, Calvin Pieice, EKphalet Hotehkiss,
Reuben Daggett, Roswell P. H-ayes, A. W. Gridley, Abel
Mosher, Abram Young, Jared Vining, Amasa Hinckley,
Jonathan Tibbita, Hazael Lathrop, Ely Wheelan, .Joseph
llalleck, William Parker, Aaron Suiith, Simeon Fuller.

Comets. — John Williams, Joel Parker.

Ailjvtiaiits. — Timothy L. Bacon, Wm. Williams, Jonah
Bacon, Jo-ihua Bushnell.

Quartt:i-musteri.-^Jon-Ah Bacon, Silas Judson, Waitstill
Wolcott, Warren Kent.

Paymaster. — Jesse Doolittle. -

Surgeons.- — Roswell P. Hayes.

Snrgroris Mate. — Zenas Huntington.

Brigade Inspector. — Richard Sanger.

Names of officers on file in the county clerk's office be-
longing to the One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Regiment
New York Militia in 1818: Colonel, John Westcot;
Lieutenant-Colonel, Benjamin Rudd ; Major, Joshua G.
Green ; Surgeon, George Brown ; Quartermaster, B. B.
Lansing; Paymaster, B. B. Hyde; Adjutant, Robert G.



Clark ; Captains, Wm. Talcott, Jonathan Tibbits, Joseph
Halleck, David Hill, Simeon Fuller; Lieutenants, John
Bailey, James Snyder; James Knox, Miltoii Bird, Abner
Chase ; Ensigns, Chester Ilayden, Peter Hai-twell, James
Powell, Benjamin Wiggins, Harvey Phelps.

Officers of the rifle company attached to the One Hun-
dred and Fifty-seventh Regiment, 1818: Captain, Archi-
bald T. Frink ; Lieutenant, Jay Hathaway ; Ensign, Amos
Flint.

Part of the officers of the Seventy-second Regiment,
1818; Lieutenant-Colonel, Ichabod Davie; Major, Henry
Sheldon ; Lieutenants, Aaron White, Andrew Billings,
Eusebius Ball ; Ensigns, Stephen Brooks, Matthew Buck ;
Surgeon,- Jeremiah Carrier.



CHAPTER XV.



CIVIL OBGANIZATIOSr.



Tho Dutch occupation — Surrender to the English — Organization of
Colonial Government — Original Counties and Subdivisions — Or-
ganization of Oneida County-^Organization of Towns — The ■Courts
— Board of Supervisors — -County Institutions.

The territory now comprising the " Empire State" was
oi-iginally settled by immigrants from Holland or the Nether-
lands, in 1613. Like most nations, the Dutch did not for-
get to be patriotic, and out of respect to " fatherland" they
named their possessions "New Netli.erlauds."*-.

Flourishing settlements were soon springing up, and the
Dutch continued to hold possession of the country until
1664, when the English sent a powerful squadron against
them, and the redoubtable Peter Stuyvesant was compelled
to succumb to superior force, and the colony passed under
the banner of England. The colony was granted to the
Duke of York,f by Charles II., in 1664, and out of com-
pliment to its new proprietor its name (province and city)
was changed to New York. Fort Orange was at the same
time changed to Albany, in honor of the Duke's Scottish
title. The city and colony were taken by the Dutch again
in 1673, and held until the following year, when the juris-
diction was finally transferred to Engl-and, who held control
until the War of the Revolution once more caused a change
of masters

The duke appointed a Governor and Council, and gave
the colonists the right to elect representatives from among
the freeholders of the colony and the freemen of the cor-
porations ; and these were to form a General Assembly, which
was to frame laws fur the government of the proviiice, sub-
ject to the approval of the Governor and Council and the
confiriiiatioii of the duke and the king. - The first Assem-
bly met in October, 1683, Thomas DunganJ being Gover-
nor, and M. Nicolls Speaker of the Assembly,- The first
Asseiilbly consisted of sixteen members.

1(1 Nbvembot of this same year the Assembly divided
the province into twelve counties, as follows : New York,

* The city of New York was called New Amsterdam, after the
commercial capital of Holland,
•f The duke was a brother of the king.
J Written also Dungnn.



158



HISTORY OP ONEIDA COUNTY, NEW YORK.



Westchester, Ulster, Albany, Dutchess, Orange, Richmond,
Kings, Queens, Suffolk, Dukes, and Cornwall. Albany
County, which included the present territory of Oneida,
was bounded in this wise : " To conteyne the towne of Al-
bany, the Colony of Renslaerswyck, Schonecteda, and all
the villages, neighborhoods, and Christian habitacons on
the east side of Hudson's River, from Roeleffe Jansen's
Creeke, and on the west from Sawyer's Creeke to Sarraagh-
t«ga." The country west of Schenectady was at that time
virtually a terra ineognila.

It would appear that most of the legislation of the first
Assembly was repudiated by the duke and king, and the
second Assembly, which convened in 1691, proceeded to
draw up another charter similar to the first one, but it was
repealed by the Crown in 1697.

The colonial government at this date was composed as
follows; Henry Sloughter, Esq., Governor and Commander-
in-Chief; Joseph Dudley, Frederick Phillipse, Stephen
Cortlandt, Chidley Brook, and Gabriel Monville, Council ;
and the following members of the Assembly : City and
County of New York, James Graham (Speaker), William
Merrett, Jacobus Van Cortlandt, Johannes Kipp ; City and
County of Albany, Dirck Wessels, Levinus Van Schaick ;
ULster and Dutchess, Henricus Beekman, William Der-
niere ; Westchester, John Pell ; Richmond, Elias Duksberry,
John Dally ; Suffolk, Henry Pierson, Mathew. Howell ;
Queens, Daniel Whitehead, John Robinson; Kings, Nicholas
Stillwell, John Poland ; Manor of Rensselaerwyck, Killian
Van Rensselaer.*

Notwithstanding the repeal of the Charter of Liberties,
the Assembly remained intact and continued to legislate for
the colony until the year 1773, the last year of its recorded
proceedings.

On the 12th of March, 1772, the Assembly erected a
new county from a portion of Albany County, and named
it Tryon, in compliment to the Royal Governor, William
Tryon, Esq. On the 24th of March, they divided the new
county into five districts. The eastern took the name of
Mohawk district ; the southwestern, Kingsland ; the north-
western, north of the Mohawk River, German Flats; the
centre one, north of the Mohawk, Stone Arabia; and the
one south of the Mohawk, Canajoharie. The Mohawk dis-
trict was bounded on the east by the west boundary of
Schenectady district, in Albatiy County ; on the west by a
north and south line drawn from the pass in the mountains
called "Anthony's Nose," continued to the north and south
bounds of the county ; on the south by the south boundary
of the colony and the county of Albany ; and on the north
by the bounds of the province. Stone Arabia lay next
west of the Mohawk district, the west line being a line
drawn north from Little Falls to the north hounds of the
province; and Canajoharie district was the corresponding
one south of the Mohawk. German Flats was the north-
western district, bounded west and north by the bounds of
the colony, and Kingsland, the southwestern one, was simi-
larly bounded south and west.

On the 8th of March, 1773, the name Stone Arabia
was changed to Palatine, and German Flats and Kingsland



* Journal of Colonial Assembly.



exchanged names. On the same day two market^fairs were
ordered to be held at Johnstown annually, and the repre-
sentatives in the Assembly from Tryon County were allowed
twelve shillings per day while in attendance on the same,
and in going to and returning therefrom.

February 6, 1773, an act was passed authorizing the
authorities of Tryon County to levy a tax sufficient to raise
£1600 to complete a court-house and erect a jail at Johns-
town, and offering bounties for the killing of wolves and
panthers in the county.

On the adoption of the first State constitution, April 20 ,
1777, the counties previously named were recognized, ex-
cept Dukes and Cornwall, the territory of which had been
previously surrendered to Massachusetts, and three others,
Charlotte,'!" now Washington, and several others, and Cum-
berlandf and Gloucester,f since ceded to Vermont. The
convention which framed , the constitution gave Tryon
County six of the seventy assemblymen of which the lower
house was to be composed, and divided the twenty-four sen-
ators into four classes and the State into as many dis-
tricts ; the western, including the counties of Albany and
Tryon, were entitled to six of the senators. The delegates
to this convention from Tryon County were William Har-
per, Isaac Paris, V. Veeder, John Moore, and Benjamin
Newkirk.

Governor Tryon having rendered himself extremely ob-
noxious to the people of the colony, the name of the county
was changed to Montgomery on the 2d of April, 1784, in
honor of the gallant officer who fell at Quebec in the begin-
ning of the Revolution. In 1788 the bounds of the county
were defined as follows : " All that part of this State .
bounded easterly by the counties of Ulster, Albany, Wash-



Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 43 of 192)