« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
This patriarch of the Petrie family died before the commencement of the revolutionary war, leaving a large number of descendants, although he had but one child, a son, when he first came to the German Flats. Nearly all the inhabitants of the name in the county were descended from the same stock.
Mrs. Petrie, the wife of Johan Jost, was a lady of education and considerable refinement, far above what was found in the German peasantry of that day. It has always been believed that her father was a man of wealth and distinction in Germany, and that her marriage with Mr. Petrie was not in accordance with the wishes and feelings of her family.
I am somewhat perplexed in having to deal so much with probabilities, but the great lapse of time that has intervened since the happening of the events I have undertaken to write an account of and the present period, and the want of precise, accurate recorded information in respect to those events, compels me to assume as probable facts, what may be, after all, a pure fiction. My intention is not to place on these pages any matter resting wholly on vague tradition, unsupported by cotemporaneous testimony having strong marks of authenticity.
Finding the name of Johan Jost Petrie among those who were for a time seated on Livingston's manor; finding in the Documentary History of the state, that those Palatines who had been temporarily lodged on the east side of the Hudson river had given the existing government but little trouble about a permanent settlement, and that many of them had volunteered under British officers to fight the battles of their adopted country; and finding Gov. Burnet, at a later day, declaring in an official letter he had given about sixty Palatine families "who had been most hearty for the government," permission to settle on a tract by themselves, I feel authorized to say what I have in respect to Mr. Petrie, the patentee, and the Petrie mentioned in the Documentary History, being the same man. But, after all, this seems irreconcilable with the idea that he was a married man in 1711, and if he was not, the lady he did marry must have joined him in this country, where a long contemplated union took place. This corresponds with the family legend of a young lady leaving country, home and parents, defying old ocean's storms, cleaving to the man of her choice in his rude wilderness home. The crown land commissioners bestowed the Stone Ridge lot upon this lady as a token of respect and mark of special consideration.
John Petrie, a son of the patentee, was a member of the Tryon county committee from the German Flats and Kingsland.district, which met in June, 1775, to consider the state of affairs between the mother country and the colonies, then rapidly approaching a crisis. In a letter addressed to Guy Johnson, the committee say they had met " to consult the common safety of our rights and liberties, which are infringed in a most enormous manner, by enforcing oppressive and unconstitutional acts of the British parliament, by an armed force in the Massachusetts Bay."
The same gentleman was appointed by the Tryon county committee, on the 16th August, 1779, one of the delegates from the county to a state convention, called to consider proper measures "for appreciating the currency, restraining extortion, regulating prices and other similar purposes."
I have been shown a commission granted by Sir Henry Moore, bart., captain-general and governor-in-chief, &C., <fec., issued to Ded'k Marcus Petrie, gentleman, dated October 13th, 1768, in the eighth year of the reign of George III, by which Mr. Petrie was appointed "to be Ensign of a company of Militia Foot in a regiment in Albany county, of which company George Henry Bell Esq. is Captain." Mr. Petrie continued to hold this commission till the country changed rulers, when he was appointed a lieutenant in the Tryon county militia. He was killed in the Oriskany battle, being then attached to Col. Peter Bellinger's regiment. At the time of writing this notice his widow was still living, an aged and venerable matron. It was thus early and effectively that we find the members of this family "doing battle for the right," and one of them laying down his life in defense of the just rights of his country. Surely such deeds ought neither to be blotted out or forgotten.
John M. Petrie, who represented the county in the assembly of this state, in 1808, and 1809, with Westel Willoughby Jr. and Aaron Budlong, was a nephew of Lieut. Petrie, the son of the patentee, Mark Petrie, and consequently the grandson of Johan Joost. John M. occupied the Burnetsfield lot, number 46, some time. It was owned by his father when he died. This son afterwards changed his residence to a farm on Glen's purchase, a few miles north of the Little Falls, where he died, respected, full of years, and his loss regretted, leaving several descendants. Two brothers of the Petrie family, Jost D. and John D., sons of Ded'k Marcus Petrie, are yet in the recollection of the writer. They each possessed a goodly share of sundry broad acres, which were inherited by their children after their deaths. Daniel Petrie, one of this family, was killed in the attack upon and destruction of the mills at Little Falls, in 1782.
John Conrad Petrie, who is described as an orphan, twelve years old in 1710-11, was a brother of Johan Joost, and remained on the manor when the latter came to the German Flats. We find John Conrad still at the camps in November, 1715.
The Reelle Family.
I do not find this name on Livingston's manor, or New York list of Palatine emigrants. Lot number 15 lowland, 30 acres, and 15 woodland, 70 acres, at the German Flats, were granted to Godfrey Reelle, and lot number 10, on the south side of the river, was granted to Godfrey Reele, Jr. This name is not familiar in the county. Christian Reall, settled, near Deerfield Corners, Oneida county, with several other Germans from the upper valley, before the revolution. In the second year of the war, the settlement was destroyed by the enemy, but the inhabitants escaped to a stockade fort, below, in the now town of Schuyler. After the war, Mr. Reall returned to Deerfield, and occupied the farm he had been driven from by the tories and Indians. There is a small stream in Deerfield called Reall's creek, which empties into the Mohawk. Not long after the revolutionary war, some members of the family, or all of the then survivors, removed to the "western country," now Onondaga county, and settled on the Military tract, where several of the descendants now reside. One of this family has recently returned to the county, and is now a resident of Little Falls; but he comes under the name of Reals. Eighty years have passed, and we again see a descendant of this Palatine stock among us. Christian Reall, moved to Onondaga and was there when quite an old man.
There were two brothers of this name, in the list of patentees; Ludolph, afterwards called Rudolph, and Thomas. They were, both of them, young and unmarried, when they came to the German Flats. Rudolph had several sons, and one of them, Johan Jost, married the daughter of an Englishman, in 1775, by the name of Smith, the fame of whose eccentricities and devotion to the British crown still occupies considerable space in the unwritten history of the valley.
At the commencement of the revolution, Johan Jost had been one of his majesty's justices of the peace in Tryon county. He was not friendly to the cause of the colonists, and it was at his house that Lieutenant Walter N. Butler, Hanyost Schuyler, and a number of white soldiers and Indians were taken prisoners, in the night, by a party of American troops sent from Fort Daytan by Col. Weston.
Butler, soon after the Oriskany battle, had been sent down to the German Plats, on a secret mission, with the appeal of Sir John Johnson, Claus, and the elder Butler, to the inhabitants of the Mohawk valley, inviting them to give in their adhesion to the crown, and send a deputation of their principal people, in order to compel an immediate surrender of Fort Schuyler: promising kind treatment, and protection from Indian vengeance and retaliation for losses at Oriskany, in case of compliance. It was this address which drew from Gen. Arnold the denunciatory proclamation noticed in a former chapter. Some vigilant friend of the country had given notice of this clandestine meeting, and the tory caucus was broken up in the midst of Butler's midnight harangue.
Mr. Shoemaker, although disaffected, was not molested in person or property, and we must therefore conclude he was rather a passive than active adherent of the king. Brant halted near his house in 1778, the night before he with his Indians fell upon and destroyed the property of the inhabitants at the German Flats, but took no scalps or prisoners. With the exception of one member of the Herkimer family, I do not find any other name of note belonging to the Palatine emigrants or their descendants who faltered in their duty to the country and the cause of humanity.
Rudolph I. Shoemaker, born in 1776, who represented this county in the assembly of this state during the session of 1812-13, was the son of Johan Jost, before named. He was a farmer, and lived and died in the present town of German Flats, not far from the present village of Mohawk. He was a man of ardent temperament, and a warm supporter of the war of 1812.
Robert Shoemaker, a younger brother of Rudolph I., was appointed sheriff of the county in 1817, and held that office several years under the old council of appointment. He was often a contestant for popular favor in his native town, German Flats, against General Christopher P. Bellinger, and sometimes came off victorious, but he has often told me his victories were hard won. He was a gentleman of considerable general intelligence, and a prompt, efficient officer. Inheriting a portion of the paternal estates, gath