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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 28: Schenectady and the Mohawk Valley, 1693-1701.

[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 417-429 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. Some images have been relocated to the area in the text where they are discussed. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Biographies | Illustrations | Maps | Portraits

Go back to: Chapter 27 | ahead to: Chapter 29

Desertion of Schenectady garrison, 1696 — Battle between deserters and militia — Frontenac destroys Onondaga and Oneida castles — End of King William's War, 1698 — Lord Bellomont, governor of New York, visits Schenectady in state, 1698 — Return of former settlers and increase in population after the war — New Mohawk castles built at present Fort Hunter, Fort Plain and Indian Castle, 1700.

During the summer of 1693, there was quiet in the Albany-Schenectady section, following the disastrous Canadian raid against the Mohawks the previous winter. With the coming of cold weather, there was again apprehension along this exposed frontier, always the first to feel the blows of the aggressive "Old Man of Canada". Albany had a garrison of 300 men, which Governor Fletcher wrote the Board of Trade, was not half enough for this key position of the English Colonies. Fletcher also wrote that the Provincial militia numbered less than 3,000 in 1693, whereas it had been 5,000 before the war. People were moving from the colony almost every day, and the situation in the Province was discouraging.

The winter of 1693-4 was quiet in Albany County and no aggressive movements were made from or against this important section. The French attempted to conciliate the Iroquois so that they could attack the English and Americans unhampered by fear of the warriors of the Five Nations. The English authorities and the Albany magistrates worked to counteract this French diplomacy and to keep their red brethren in alliance with the English Crown. The succeeding summer of 1694 passed without any serious military movements by either side in this section. Ill-fated Schenectady did not get through the year without disaster for, about October 15th, 1694, there was a disastrous "fire att Schenectady which burnt 1000 skippel of wheat." Small scalping parties of Canadian Indians committed murders and atrocities about Schenectady and Albany in 1694 and until the end of the war.

Since the massacre of 1690 and the slaying of Dominie Tesschenmaecker, the Schenectady Nether Dutch Church had been without a regular pastor. People who wished to attend church service were compelled to go to Albany, where Dominie Dellius preached in the Albany Nether Dutch Church. In 1694, Dellius began to minister to the people of Schenectady. He came on the 11th of April and the 9th of October, 1694, when new members were added to the Schenectady church society and children baptized. There was no church building then in existence. In 1695, the Albany Dominie visited Schenectady on January 2nd, March 27th, June 26th, and October 9th. Dellius labored as a missionary to the Mohawks, in which work Hilletje (Van Slyck), wife of Pieter Danielse Van Olinda, acted as his interpreter. Hilletje was the daughter of Cornelis Antonise Van Slyck, the celebrated Indian trader, and his French-Mohawk wife, Otstoch. Hilletje was herself a zealous Christian and greatly aided Dominie Dellius and his successor, Dominie Freeman, in their work with regard to the religious education of the Mohawks. Dellius continued his occasional visits to Schenectady until his return to Holland in 1699, when he was succeeded by Dominie Johannes Petrus Nucella. Nucella continued the visits until the arrival of Dominie Barnardus Freeman, who became the second regular minister of the Schenectady church in 1700.

The smallness of the Schenectady population and the general stagnation during the war is shown by the fact that Dellius and Nucella added only 25 members to the Schenectady congregation in the seven years of their visits. In the same time, they baptized 76 children, of whom seven were Indians. Dominie Dellius married five couples and Johannes Sanderse Glen, "Justis Vandepeace" married seven couples in this period. Some Schenectady couples probably journeyed to Albany to be married, during this stormy period.

Rev. John Miller, who was chaplain of the British garrisons of New York, visited the Hudson River posts as far north as Albany and came to Schenectady in 1695. He returned to England in 1695 and wrote a manuscript entitled "Description of the Province and City of New York, with plans of the City and several Forts as they existed in the year 1695. By the Rev. John Miller, London. Printed and Published for the Enlightenment of such as would desire information Anent the New-Found-Land of America." This valuable document is now in the British Museum. Miller illustrated his work with plans of fortifications, among them that of Schenectady, of which he says, "Dependent on this city [Albany] and about twenty miles northward from it is the Fort of Scanectade, quadrangular with a treble stockade with a new blockhouse at every angle and in each blockhouse two great guns." Miller's plan of Fort Schenectady in 1695, is doubly interesting because it not only shows the fortifications but the town as well, for, at that time practically all of the town was contained within the stockade. This map, which is illustrated here, shows the stockade to be oblong, with its greater dimension northward and southward. There are 29 buildings shown in the palisade, besides two large Mohawk long houses which probably date from the time of the massacre, when the Mohawks came to the ruined town and showed their faith in Schenectady's future by living in these cabins. Aside from the stockade, with its four blockhouses, the settlers' buildings and Mohawk long houses, there are a considerable number of pig sties shown standing along three sides of the stockade. Pearson's Schenectady Patent (quarto edition, Munsell, 1883) has interesting notes regarding details of the Miller map on pages 310, 312, 313.

There is no record of the palisade having been destroyed in 1690, at the time of the massacre and burning of Schenectady. Probably it was then largely destroyed and a new one built. In 1695, the people of Schenectady were ordered to renew the stockade. Ryer Schermerhorn, the surviving active trustee of the Schenectady Patent of 1684, refused to cut and draw his quota of logs, whereupon Justice Johannes Glen issued the following formidable document:

"William, by ye grace of God of England, Scotland, france & Irelande Kinge defender of ye faith, to John Mebee and Dirack Brat, Constables of Scanectedy, yu are in his Majestyes name to requier & commande Ryer Jacobse Schermerhorn to pay ye sum of twellve shillinges for ye Disobayinge my formur warande in not adinge & assistinge ye rebuelldinge of ye forte of Scanectedy, wh. are for his Majestyes sarvis & ye Publick good: I do fourder commande yu yt with in fouer dayes from ye dayte of thes presants yt yu leed & bringe ye complyment of Stockades as I have given yu formur notis as is Aloted yu for yr share & yt yu do mount & fix ye sd Stockades answerabell to ye rest of ye inhabitants at yr parill as yu will answer ye neglect. given under my hande ye furst day of Novbr in ye seventh yeare of his majestyes reane Anno dom: 1695.

Johannes Sanderse, Justes."

Schermerhorn was a man of considerable ability but he also seems to have been of a self-seeking nature and a somewhat disturbing factor. This is shown more fully in the legal turmoil aroused by Schermerhorn's conduct as the trustee of the 1684 patent, which is noted later.

In January, 1696, Schenectady was excited by the desertion of the majority of the garrison. About midnight of January 10th the guard and others of the redcoats here stationed to the number of sixteen broke through the northwest blockhouse and got away, having previously withdrawn the charges in the cannon of the fort. Lieutenant Bickford was in command. He called for volunteers from the militiamen of the town's small population and ten men responded — "Harmen Van Slyck, ensigne of the trained bands of Schenechtide and Gerryt Simons Veeder, Peter Simons Veeder, Albert Veeder, Gerryt Gysbert (Van Brakel), Jan Danielse Van Antwerpen, Dirck Groot, Jonas De Roy, John Wemp, Daniel Mutchcraft (Mascraft) & Thomas Smith." Lieutenant Bickford notified Colonel Richard Ingoldsby, the commander at Albany, of the desertion and started in pursuit, with the remaining twelve men of the garrison and the ten militia volunteers. "The serjeant & seven red coats soon gave out and were left behind. At four in the afternoon the lieutenant and his 14 men came up with the 12 diserters; ordering them to lay down their arms; they answered with a volley and both sides continued to fire until five of the diserters were killed and two wounded when the remainder surrendered." They were tried by court martial and condemned to death. One, a chief ringleader, was shot and the other eight were pardoned. There were no more wholesale desertions after that from Fort Schenectady.

In a report of the desertion, Lieutenant Bickford says: "Here is a strong and regular fort, built by the inhabitants with foot works and a stone magazine fitt for this garrison."

The Iroquois had kept up a constant warfare against the French during 1695 and Frontenac now decided to strike crushing blows against the Oneidas and the Onondagas. He collected a force of 1,400 French and 460 Indians and set out from Montreal where four Onondagas were burned as the old savage (Frontenac) reached that place from Quebec. Frontenac frequently ordered Iroquois captives to be burned and in one instance, Parkman says, to be burned and eaten. The Old Man of Canada was as much of a savage at heart as any of his fierce red warriors. Even the Jesuits would not intervene to spare an Iroquois prisoner from death by burning or torture. This savagery on the part of the French Canadians was probably partly responsible for the terrific barbarism with which the Mohawks and other Iroquois treated French and Canadian Indian captives. They refused to let their northern white enemies out-do them in savage atrocities and fiendish tortures.

Frontenac was carried in a chair through the wilderness from Oswego to the Onondaga castle, which the French found burned and deserted by the Iroquois, with the exception of one old Christian Onondaga man and one squaw. The old man, said to be nearly 100 years old, had been kind to French visitors and priests in previous years. One account says that the Canadian Indians wished to kill him at once and that the French insisted on slow torture by fire. The official account claims that the savages could not be restrained, which is difficult to believe, considering the general merciless attitude of the French toward Iroquois captives. The old man was slowly tortured to death, the old squaw was killed by a blow on the head. A detachment of the French army then marched to the Oneida castle and burned that, without a battle, most of the tribe having fled. This expedition left Lachine on July 4th and returned to Fort Frontenac on August 15th, 1696. Oneida castle was burned August 7th and the Canadians left there August 9th, 1696. The invasion had caused great property loss to the Iroquois but had not lessened their fighting strength. In many respects it was a failure and showed that Frontenac's powers were evidently on the wane. The English Provincial government of New York assisted the destitute Oneidas and Onondagas with supplies and food.

News of the invasion of the Iroquois country by this then great military force was brought to Schenectady by Indian runners and Albany and Schenectady were fearful that the invaders would march down the Mohawk and attack them. The Albany force was insufficient to repel such an invasion. Frontenac's age and weakness prevented any further activity although his officers wished to strike some decisive blows. And so the feeble old man went back to Canada with his big army and an Oneida captive was burned at Montreal.

There was great need of men in the colony's military forces and, in 1696, Governor Fletcher offered a bounty of 3 pounds and four pence per day and provisions for all men who would enlist as soldiers for one year. The bounty was later raised to £4, 6s.

The officials of Albany city and county appealed to Governor Benjamin Fletcher, on September 30th, 1696, asking him to spend the winter at Albany and to supply it with sufficient troops, saying that the militia and regular garrison combined amounted to not more than 200 men.

Desultory warfare continued between the Canadians and the Iroquois during 1697. Albany, Schenectady and the Mohawk Valley, as well as the Mohawk Indians, expected a raid from Canada during the winter, which fortunately did not occur. The Mohawks took peace belts to Canada but nothing came of these overtures. Canadian scalping parties continued to lurk along the Mohawk and the upper Hudson rivers. On the 6th of May, eight Canadian Indians killed an Onondaga while he was on his way from Albany to Schenectady. Later in the day, they attempted to take a young white settler prisoner near the Willigen on the southern Mohawk shore, about opposite present Cranesville. He fought the savages off for some time, when a party of Onondagas happened along and came to his rescue. Another party of French regulars and Canadian Indians captured a prominent Onondaga chief at the very gate of Schenectady.

This guerrilla savage warfare kept up during 1697. The Iroquois and the Canadian Indians stalked each other, attacked in small parties, pounced upon each other from ambuscades and slashed, tomahawked, scalped and killed. King William's war had become a true barbaric conflict in the wilderness to the north and west of Albany and Schenectady. Only the bravest of the settlers remained, the population daily lessened, civilization was turning into savagery just as the wilderness was again claiming the cultivated farmlands for its own. No section of the English colonies in America welcomed peace more heartily than the sparse populations of America's most advanced and savage frontier — that about Albany and Schenectady. "For nearly ten years the Mohawk Valley had been the scouting ground of the two hostile parties. The husbandman had labored with his musket by his side and made his dwelling literally his castle."

King William's war, with all its futile horrors and savage atrocities, had been a lesson in united and independent action on the part of the Colonies of New England and New York. During Leisler's rule, for two years these colonies had waged war against Canada on land and sea, practically independent of England. They had deposed their English governors and had ruled themselves in an independent American manner. King William's war may be justly regarded as a great step toward American independence.

The Mohawks were probably saved from extermination by the very deep snow which covered the wilderness trails, between the St. Lawrence and the Mohawk River in the winter of 1697-8. The snow lay seven feet deep everywhere on the level, a thing unheard of before and probably since. Frontenac planned to attack Ogsadaga, the Mohawk tribal castle, during the winter but was prevented by the persistence of this heavy snow blanket, which made travel impossible even with snowshoes.

England and France concluded the treaty called the peace of Ryswick, on September 20th, 1697. News of this peace reached New York in May, 1698, and was sent from there to Canada — probably by way of Schenectady. In the same manner, news of the cessation of hostilities, at the end of the Revolutionary war in 1783, first reached Canada, from New York, being sent by Washington, at his Newburgh headquarters, to Colonel Willett, at his Mohawk Valley headquarters of Fort Plain. From there Willett sent a messenger to the British post of Oswego, whence the news was dispatched to Montreal and Quebec.

Although England and France were now at peace the situation on this New York frontier was not greatly changed because New France still menaced the Iroquois and desultory warfare continued between the Canadian Indians and the Five Nations. The Iroquois seemingly wished peace, which evidently was not in Frontenac's scheme of things and he kept planning invasions of the Iroquois country until his death in 1698. As long as Canada and the Five Nations were at war, peace between the French and English colonies of America was impossible and everyone in the New World fully realized it. It was also evident to the wise, that there could be no permanent peace until either New France or the English Colonies should win the mastery of North America. All subsequent peaces were nothing but truces in America.

During the year 1697-8, Lieutenant Daniel Hunt commanded the garrison at Schenectady.

Governor Fletcher was recalled in 1695, but his successor, George Boote, the Irish Earl of Bellomont, did not arrive until April, 1698. Fletcher was displaced because of his direct and indirect connection with the pirates which swarmed off the Atlantic Coast, his petty tyranny, his universal unpopularity and his participation in land frauds. In one of the latter, he had acted in partnership with Dominie Dellius of Albany, and this land scandal probably influenced the return of Dellius to Holland in 1699, when Schenectady lost her visiting pastor who had supplied her with her only religious services during the previous six years.

In July of 1698, Bellomont visited Albany and Schenectady, bringing his coach and six horses from New York by boat and traveling in regal style for the time and place. At Schenectady, Bellomont gave orders for the repair of the barracks. As he paid Captain Johannes Sanderse Glen £8-9s-3d for provisions, the Governor and his lady probably stayed at Glen's town house while his escort found quarters elsewhere. The Earl traveled to and from Schenectady in his coach and six and while in the town, the Schenectady train band or militia company was called out in full force and probably paraded with the garrison. Each of the 63 militiamen received a shilling from the Governor. At that time Schenectady's total military force, including the red coats and the militia numbered about 90 men, which was more than in previous years and which would indicate that old settlers had returned or new ones had come in. The population of the Schenectady district was then about 300 people and probably most of them, as well as the greater part of the Mohawks, were on hand to see the brilliant official party on its visit to the little frontier town. Bellemont's writings show that he was pleased both with the beautiful situation and strategic position of Schenectady.

As the attitude of Canada toward the Five Nations continued warlike, Governor Bellomont on this visit ordered the Albany and Schenectady militia to be ready to join the regulars against the French at a moment's notice. The strong part and the defense afforded the English Colonies by the citizen soldiers of the Colonial key position of Albany and Schenectady, during those most critical years, is but little appreciated by writers of American history. Bellomont considered the Albany and Schenectady fortifications most weak and planned to strengthen them. In writing the Lords of Trade, after his visit in 1698, Governor Bellemont said:

"I shall propose a fund for building the Forts at Albany and Schenectady, which are so necessary for the defense of this and the neighboring Provinces. " * * If such were built and well garrisoned the French could never make any impression on this Province. * * * They are both of them very well seated for frontier places: Albany for covering all the Province from attack on Canada side and Schenectady for doing that in part and for covering the Mohacks, it being very commodiously seated on the Mohacks River and much more pleasantly than Albany." As usual, however, with the coming of the sham peace, both the government and the local authorities allowed both the Albany and the Schenectady forts to go to decay.

In spite of the probability of an early renewal of war with Canada, old settlers began returning to the Albany-Schenectady district. New settlers also came in and the ending of King William's war marked the beginning of Schenectady's new growth and a renewal of its prosperity and importance as a river trading post. It was some time, however, before Schenectady and Albany and Albany County regained what they had lost during the disastrous war. The renewed growth was cumulatively rapid and, until the beginning of the "Old French War" in 1744, the Albany and Schenectady districts experienced a comparatively great growth and an abundant prosperity. This half century of peace developed much of the later character of the Mohawk Valley.

The ravages of war can be plainly seen in the population figures of Albany County in 1689 and 1698. The total population in 1689 was 2,016 and in 1698, 1,459. Eighty-four people had been killed by the enemy and 16 taken prisoner, while 419 people had left the county. The foregoing figures of the killed and wounded are evidently put too low.

If the white pioneer population had suffered great loss, that of the Mohawks along our river was proportionately much greater. Where the Mohawks had 270 braves at the beginning of the war, they now could muster only 110 fighting men. Nearly two-thirds of the Canienga warriors had been either killed or captured. The French raid of 1693 had dealt the Mohawks a blow from which they never fully recovered.

The Iroquois held a council with Governor Bellomont at Albany on August 20, 1700. There were 50 sachems of the Five Nations present. As usual at the Albany councils, the Mohawks were prominent in the proceedings. They said that they had persuaded "Brandt and three others, who were going to Canada, to remain and become Protestants." There were then estimated to be 350 "praying Indians" (Catholic Iroquois) at the various Canadian missions. The Albany people opposed the Onondaga fort as they wished to keep the trade at Albany, where the Indian trade was then very slack and their influence prevented its building. Although the Mohawks had been greatly weakened by the war the terror of their name still remained strong. They threatened the New England Indians with attack, if they would not live in peace with their Yankee neighbors and the eastern redmen obeyed their Mohawk masters.

Peace was made between New France and the Iroquois at Montreal, September 8, 1700. French Jesuit priests now returned to the Onondagas and Senecas and some remained among them until 1709. All of these important Iroquois councils are of interest because they concerned the Mohawks and are thus a vital part of our Valley history.

Since the French foray of 1693 had destroyed their castles, we have seen the Mohawks living in one tribal village at Ogsadaga, where the little old village of Tribes Hill now stands. Meanwhile, the tribe had been building strong new castles at Iconderoga, at the lower side of the junction of the Schoharie with the Mohawk. This was the lower castle of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk tribe, and was palisaded. The Turtle Clan located a small village on Prospect Hill at the southern limits of the present village of Fort Plain, known as Tarajorees, meaning "Hill of Health." This was the middle town but whether it was ever stockaded is a question. It had no palisade in later years and was abandoned in 1755, when its small population moved up the river and joined the Bear Clan in their upper Mohawk castle which was also called the Canajoharie Castle. This was now the greatest division of the Mohawks and they were also frequently called the "Canajoharies," while the Iroquois of the Lower Castle were called Mohawks, although they, of course, all belonged to the Mohawk tribe and the designations, Canajoharies and Mohawks, were merely an easy way of differentiating between the Indians of the two chief towns. The Canajoharie Castle was at present Indian Castle on the site of the (1924) farm of Willis Greene, where the long house is said to have been located on the site of the farm greenhouses. The Mohawks called the entire river district, from the Noses to Fall Hill, by the name of "Canajoharie," and hence the name Canajoharie Castle. When the white settlers began to come into this section, they considered themselves as living in "Canajoharie." General Herkimer dated letters from his home at Fall Hill as from "Canajoharie." All of this has caused much confusion among historians who consider that the "Canajoharies" of old must, of course, refer to the site or neighborhood of present Canajoharie village. There were four known Mohawk towns using some form of the name Canajoharie and the Sand Hill section of present Fort Plain was so called on some maps, while its church was known as "the Reformed Dutch Church of Canajoharie."

At the time of the Mohawks' occupancy of these three new towns, they had lived along our river far more than a century. In that long time, the position of the clans seems always to have been the same. The Turtle Clan occupied the lower or eastern position, the Bear Clan the middle castle or castles and the Wolf Clan the upper or western position. The upper or Wolf Clan castle, up to the raid of 1693, seems to have been the largest Mohawk town and to have been considered the Mohawk tribal capital.

In the building of the new Mohawk towns on the south shore just prior to 1700, a new arrangement was made. The Bears took the upper or western castle, which became the largest and principal Mohawk castle. The Wolves had the lower or eastern castle, while the once great Caughnawagas took the middle position. These changes of arrangement were probably caused by the varying losses sustained by the three Mohawk clans in the great French invasion of 1693, which so severely crippled the might of the Caniengas. The three south side Mohawk towns, which the Mohawks now occupied — Iconderoga, Tarajorees and Canajoharie — were their final locations in the Valley and two were occupied for three-quarters of a century, or until the Mohawks left for Oswego to side with the English, at the beginning of the Revolution. These Mohawk castles played an important part in the great French war. Their story is told on later pages.

The Canajoharie castle of the Mohawks formed the most western location of a main town of the Mohawks along our river, during their occupancy of the Valley. Although the Mohawks usually had three chief towns or castles, they also always had some smaller groups of cabins. The sites of these, of course, are not known as well as those of their main castles, with which we are generally familiar. At the time of the location of the Mohawks in their three new south side clan towns, in 1700, they had other smaller settlements along the Mohawk and one or more on the Schoharie. Besides these more or less permanent abodes, our Caniengas (Mohawks) had fishing, hunting and farming cabins at various points. As we have previously noted, prior to 1700, the Mohawks' favorite fishing place was at the mouth of the Tawasentha, or the Normanskill at its junction with the Hudson below present Albany. Their favorite hunting grounds were in the Saratoga neighborhood.

When the upper castle of the Wolf Clan was located at Teonnontogen, at present Sprakers, 1642-1666, and at the later Teonnontogen or Tionondogue, near present Wagner's Hollow (1667-1693), the main trail to the west then left the Valley trails over the present Dutchtown road, at present Fort Plain, and ran over the hills along the Mohawk-Susquehanna divide to the Oneida Castle and thence on to the Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca castles. This was the Iroquois Trail prior to 1700 and was the one followed by Van den Bogaert in 1634, and most subsequent travelers through the Mohawk Valley. There were minor trails which ran through the Valley westward to present Utica and Rome, following both sides of the Mohawk River. After the Bear Clan of the Mohawks located at present Indian Castle the main Valley trail continued westward to this location which was about 55 miles west of Schenectady and about 70 miles west of Albany along the Mohawk River trail. Although the hill route west was still followed, the river trails were now more used and later the south side river path became the main route west to the British forts at the Carrying Place at present Rome. It is probable that this southside road at first was passable only for men on foot, horsemen, packhorse trains and carts. It was later that the road was made passable for wagons. The river continued to be the great freight route throughout the Eighteenth Century.

The closing year of the Seventeenth Century was important to the inhabitants of Schenectady for it marked the coming of the second regular pastor to the Schenectady Reformed Dutch Church who was Dominie Barnhardus Freeman or Freerman, his name having both spellings.

Dominie Freeman was a native of Gilhuis in the county of Benthem, Holland, and was a man of mature age when he came to Schenectady. On the 28th of July, 1700, he reached Schenectady and began his work as pastor of the Nether Dutch Church and also as missionary among the Mohawks.

Governor Bellomont had promised the Mohawks a minister and he accordingly sent them Dominie Freeman, whom Governor Bellemont describes as "a very good sort of man." Freeman remained at Schenectady for five years and ministered successfully to both the Dutch-speaking Americans of Schenectady and the Iroquois-speaking "brethren" of the Mohawk castles. In a letter to Bellomont dated January 6th, 1701, the Dominie says that he had converted ten of the Mohawks and that there were then thirty-six Christians out of the one hundred Mohawk adults. He does not specify but he probably refers to the Lower Mohawk castle only. Dominie Lydius of Albany also gave religious instruction to the Mohawks and other Iroquois and Hilletje Van Slyck, the famous Indian interpreter, who was the wife of Pieter Van Olinda of Schenectady, was assigned to Lydius as an interpreter to aid him in his work among the Iroquois. State Street, Albany, at one time bore the name "Lydius Street" in honor of this Dutch Dominie. He is still remembered with a Lydius Street in Fort Plain, named not in honor of Lydius but from a miniature resemblance to Lydius (now State) Street in Albany.

The blockhouse, at the corner of Church and State streets, had been used as a church building since the rebuilding of the town after 1690, and this was probably the first church used by Dominie Freeman until the erection of the second Dutch Church in 1703. Freeman did important work in Schenectady and the Mohawk country, of which Pearson writes as follows:

"In the five years spent at Schenectady, Do. Freeman became well versed in the Indian tongue, so as not only to preach but to write it. In this he was assisted by the Provincial interpreter, Lawrens Claes (Van der Volgen), a member of his church. And, so attached were the natives to him, that five years after he left Schenectady, they petitioned Governor Hunter for his reappointment, 'and that he live (with us) at our castle and not at Schenectady nor Albany.'

"Probably his was the first attempt to translate the church service or portions of the Holy Scriptures into the language of the Mohawks. In addition to the morning and evening prayers, Do. Freeman translated 'the whole of the Gospel of St. Matthew, the first three chapters of Genesis, several chapters of Exodus, a few of the Psalms, many portions of the Scriptures relating to the birth, passion, resurrection and ascension of our Lord, and several chapters of the first Epistle of the Corinthians. * * *'"

Dominie Freeman's translations of the Gospel into the Mohawk language were printed in New York in 1714, by Rev. William Andrews, a missionary sent to New York by the English "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts."

The first ministers of the Schenectady church received a salary of 100 pounds (about $250 in today's currency) besides "house and garden rent free, pasturage for two cows and a horse, and sixty cords of wood delivered at the parsonage." Dominie Freeman's salary began from the day he left Holland and his expenses for the voyage had to be met by the Schenectady church, which was done with difficulty. Freeman was promised a salary of 60 pounds for his missionary work among the Mohawks as well as 15 pounds for expenses and a salary of 25 pounds for Van der Volgen, his interpreter and assistant. Freeman had difficulty in collecting for these missionary services. The foregoing salary figures seem small today, but they were quite liberal for their time and Dominie Freeman was probably regarded as one of the well-to-do men of the little town. Freeman's later services and the building of the second Schenectady Nether Dutch Church are described in the following chapter, which deals with Queen Anne's war and the opening years of the Eighteenth Century in Schenectady and the Mohawk Valley.

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