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districts, by the Johnsons. Guy Johnson, finding the people of the valley resolute in their determination, and becoming more united, as correct information was circulated among them of the true state of the controversy between the colonies and mother country, had made up his mind to quit the country and retire to Canada. Under the pretence of holding a council with the Indians, he had left Guy Park, with his family and dependants, and stopped at a Mr. Thompson's, on Cosby's Manor, a few miles above German Flats, where this committee addressed to him a spirited, but firm and temperate letter, in which they placed before him their views of the controversy between the two countries; disabused themselves of " false and malicious" charges that had been injuriously circulated against them, and announced their resolution of standing by the country until all grievances were redressed. They besought him, as superintendent of the Indians, "to dissuade them from interfering in the dispute with the mother country and the colonies." This letter was communicated to Johnson by Edward Wall and Gen. Nicholas Herkimer, who waited upon him at Cosby's Manor. The answer to the committee's letter, dated Cosby's Manor, June 6th, 1775, was characteristic of a man who had resolved on what he would do; but, in view of the great interests he had at stake in the country, and the critical position of Sir John Johnson, whom he had left behind, its asperity was very much softened. Col. Johnson went to Fort Stanwix, from the Manor, thence to Ontario and Oswego, and after holding councils with the Indians of the Six Nations, and attaching them firmly to the interests of the English, by his promises and rewards, finally retired to Montreal, where he continued, during the war, to discharge the duties of his agency, with a fidelity to his government that inflicted upon his former neighbors unutterable sorrows and sore desolations.
The whole country was unprepared for the crisis then fast approaching—destitute of arms, and without munitions of war—no public treasury, nor organized governments—no trained soldiery, or equipped navy; and without officers versed in the science of war. Three millions of people, scattered over a wide extent of country, reaching from Maine to Georgia, and from the Atlantic ocean to the Alleghany mountains, are seen preparing for a contest in arms, with the most powerful and wealthy nation in the civilized world; and who but the descendants of the resolute Anglo-Saxon iace could thus resolve and thus achieve a nation's freedom? No one of the twelve colonies afforded so many and influential adherents to the royal cause as New York; and in no other were the severities, that particularly characterized the border warfare of the times, more effectually inflicted, for years in succession, than upon her northern and western frontiers; the inhabitants of the upper and lower Mohawk valleys often drinking deep of the bitter cup.
The colonists, fully aware of their position, and of the exposed condition of the inland border settlements to Indian warfare, took early measures to dissuade the five nations, inhabiting western New York, from taking any part in the approaching contest between them and the mother country. A council was held at German Flats, on the 28th of June, 1775, with the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, who were met by the inhabitants of the district, and a deputation from Albany, which resulted in a pledge of neutrality by most of the Indians present.
About this time, the supplies of provisions intended for Col. Guy Johnson's journey had been stopped at Mr. Thompson's, Cosby's Manor, by the inhabitants of the Kingsland district, and by a note or memorandum of a council held between the inhabitants and Oneidas, July 1st, 1775, in which the reasons for doing so were fully explained, it seems that the Indians were dissatisfied, claimed that the stores were intended for the Five Nations, who might suffer by being deprived of them, and insisted that Col. Johnson's designs were not then known, but when they were found out they would assemble and consider about them. The provisions were sent forward to Johnson, then at Fort Stanwix.
On the 15th and 16th of August, 1775, a preliminary council was held, at German Flats, attended by Messrs. Turbot, Francis, and Volkert P. Douw, on behalf of the Indian commissioners of the northern department, and several sachems of the Six Nations, and among them was Little Abraham of the Mohawks. The object of this meeting was to induce the Six Nations to send deputies to Albany to meet the American commissioners, where it was proposed "to kindle up a great council-fire." The people of the valley were even then suspicious of the Indians, and gave some indications of a resolution which created apprehensions among the Indians that they might be molested on their journey. They mentioned this to Col. Francis, who promised them the road should " be open for them to go to Albany."
The council at Albany commenced on the 23d, and closed on the 31st of August. And although the Indians had been kindly treated, furnished plentifully with provisions, during the three weeks occupied at German Flats and Albany, and on their departure manifesting much good will, being bountifully supplied with presents, still this was the last time the council-fire was opened with the Six Nations until after the close of the war. The result of this conference, although not fully attended by any but the Oneidas and the lower Mohawk clan, was for a time beneficial to the country. The engagements of peace and neutrality, then made, relieved the frontier inhabitants from apprehensions of immediate danger. It was not many months, however, before the great body of the Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas gave undoubted indications of attachment to the royal cause.
The state of affairs in Tryon county strongly admonished the county committee of safety to prepare for coming events; that body therefore organized the militia of the county into four battalions, one in each district, and transmitted tho return, through Nicholas Herkimer, the chairman, on the 26th August, 1775, to the general committee of safety, in session in the city of New York, during the recess of. the provincial congress. This return was laid before the general committee, on the 6th of September following, and approved. To conform to the regulations established by the continental congress, the nomination of four additional majors and four quarter-masters, one for each battalion, was called for. The names of only the field officers of the first three battalions are here given.
First battalion, Canajoharie district.—Nicholas Herkheimer, colonel; Ebenezer Cox, lieutenant-colonel; Robert Wells, major; Samuel Clyde, adjutant.
Second battalion, Palatine district.—Jacob Clock, colonel; Peter Waggoner, lieutenant-colonel; Harmanus Van Slyck, major; Anthony V. Vechten, adjutant.
Third battalion, Mohawk district.—Frederick Fisher, colonel; Adam Fonda, lieutenant-colonel; John Bliven, major; Robert Yates, adjutant.
Fourth battalion, German Flats and Kingsland.—Hanyoost Ilerkheimer, colonel; Peter Bellinger, lieutenant-colonel; Hanyoost Shoemaker, major; John Demooth, adjutant.
1st company.—John Eisenlord, captain; John Keyser, 1st lieutenant; Adam Bellinger, 2d lieutenant; John Smith, ensign.
2d company.—John Petry, captain; Hanyoost Mx. Petry, 1st lieutenant; Hanyoost H. Petry, 2d lieutenant; William Empie, ensign.
3d company.—Daniel Petry, captain; Peter Volts, 1st lieutenant; Marx Raspach, 2d lieutenant; George Helmer, ensign.
4th company.—Frederick Bellinger, captain; Henry Herter, 1st lieutenant; John Demooth, 2d lieutenant; Peter Ja. Weaver, ensign.
5th company.—Peter Bellinger, captain; Jacob Baschawn, 1st lieutenant; Nicholas Staring, 2d lieutenant; John P. Bellinger, ensign.
6th company.—Hanyoost Herkheimer, captain; Frederick Ahrendorf, 1st lieutenant; Tinus Clapsaddle, 2d lieutenant.
7th company.—Rudolph Shoemaker, captain; Deiterick Stale, 1st lieutenant; Frederick Shoemaker, 2d lieutenant.
8th company.—George Herkheimer, captain; Frederick Fox, 1st lieutenant; Archibald Armstrong, 2d lieutenant; Hanyoost Tygert, ensign.
9th company.—William Tygert, captain; Jacob Volts, 1st lieutenant; George Wents, 2d lieutenant; Frederick Frank, ensign.
The county committee, at this time, seeing the necessity of having some tribunal for the determination of petty disputes and controversies, in civil matters, to the amount of twelve and a half dollars, adopted a resolution, investing its members with a sort of civil jurisdiction, and sent it to the provincial congress for approval. The general committee of safety in reply to it say:
"The congress of this colony have hitherto avoided interfering in the administration of justice in civil matters, or arresting the cognizance from the officers of justice. We cannot, therefore, approve of the resolve by you entered into, respecting the trial of civil causes in your county, and find it highly expedient to recommend its repeal."
This was a serious detriment to the inhabitants of this remote part of the colony, where there were only a few officers of justice, and those few being strongly attached to the interests of the crown, felt no inclination to hold the scales of justice even, between a loyalist and a man he deemed a rebel.
It was for a time doubtful, whether some marked demonstration unfavorable to the cause of the twelve provinces, would not be made in the colony of New York. The intrigues of the artful and menaces of power were not vainly exerted and unfelt, and disaffection appeared openly in the