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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 56: 1774. Palatine District Committee Formed.

[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 712-724 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Organization of the Palatine District Committee of Safety at Louck's tavern in Stone Arabia, August 27, 1774 — Nucleus of the Tryon County Committee of Safety — Christopher P. Yates, John Frey, Isaac Paris, Jacob Klock, Peter Wagner, Andrew Fink, George Ecker, Harmanus Van Slyck, Anthony Van Vechten, Christopher W. Fox, Andrew Reber and Daniel McDougall compose the committee — Account of the first meeting from "the Colonel and the Major", by Samuel Ludlow Frey of Palatine Bridge — Lossing's account of the origin of the words, "Whig" and "Tory".

The two parties — Whig and Tory — in the American colonies were now aligned and faced each other grimly ready for the decisive struggle which the wisest saw could now be avoided only by a miracle. The Whigs and Tories had long been at swords' points in the Mohawk Valley. The Tories were the Johnson family, their followers and tenantry. The Whigs comprised the greater part of the descendants of the Hollanders, Palatines, Scotch and New Englanders then resident in the Mohawk Valley. The chief patriots of the Valley will be found hereinafter listed among the members of the Tryon County and Schenectady township Committees of Safety and the rosters of the Tryon County Militia, the Schoharie militia and the names of the Schenectady soldiers. With the death of Sir William Johnson, July 11, 1774, the last link which bound the two Valley factions together was severed. The Whig element immediately became active and the first sign of its growing combativeness was in a meeting of patriots of the district of Palatine, Tryon County, which met at the tavern of Adam Loucks in Stone Arabia, August 27th, 1774. Here the Palatine District Committee of Safety was formed and a set of resolutions adopted condemning the oppression of the British government, while still voicing loyalty to the British Crown. This meeting was the beginning of the later famous and important Tryon County Committee, which exercised military, civic and judicial function during the first years of the War for Independence in the Mohawk Valley.

The account of the first meeting of the Palatine Committee of Safety is taken in part from Chapter five of a very interesting book written some years ago by the late Samuel Ludlow Frey of Palatine Bridge, recounting the history of the committee. Mr. Frey's story, entitled "The Colonel and the Major", had to do with two branches of the Frey family — Colonel Hendrick Frey, the loyalist, and Major John Frey, the patriot.

Mr. S. L. Frey was the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Advisory Editors of the History of the Mohawk Valley — Gateway of the West, from the beginning of this work in October, 1923, until his death, March 6th, 1924. The account is only slightly fanciful in part, as the main features are historical facts. The extracts from Mr. Frey's chapter follow:

* * * * *

One day early in August, succeeding the death of Sir William Johnson, a number of the prominent men of the Palatine district were gathered at an inn in the hamlet of Stone Arabia, kept by one Adam Loucks, who having paid his excise tax was entitled to sell wine, spirits and beer to such customers and guests as chance brought to him or fortune threw in his way.

As to the landlord, he was a short, stout, red faced man who made his guests welcome and minded his own affairs, and as to the inn itself it was long and low and rambled around as a pleasant hospitable tavern should. There was a wide open stoop before the door of the travelers' room. As it was summer and a warm day, this door stood open, and looking in there could be seen the bar with its array of bottles, glasses and decanters, its pewter mugs for beer and jugs of Schiedam schnaps. On one side of the room was the fireplace, flanked to right and left with a cupboard, through the glass doors of which could be seen in all the glory of the blue and white of Holland sundry great punch bowls of delft and plates on which were pictures of the Prince and Princess of Orange in flaring and vivid yellow. Besides these were various Bellarmines and drinking mugs of stoneware and earthen vessels out of which would come strong beer and the hard cider of the Mohawk potent enough to cause the knees of a modern man to tremble.

The mantel piece was a fine specimen of the finicky carpentry then prevailing, curious elaborate patterns and mouldings, showing patience and industry and in the center a "Sunburst", an attempt to represent by carved flutings the glories of the rising sun.

Over the mantel piece against the chimney were two very long Queen Anne muskets, a cartridge box and one of those necessary and always present powder horns, covered with designs incised by some soldier fond of the grotesque. It was smooth and yellow from long use, and on it might be seen a fairly correct map of the Hudson and Mohawk with the forts, blockhouses and settlements; likewise the owner's name with the commemorative legend "Made at Lake George, September 17, 1755", and below this the lines, "I, Powder, with my Brother Ball, a hero like, do conker all".

On the wall hung prints of Martin Luther, Frederick the Great, George III, and Louis, the latter put in the frame upside down and under it these lines in German:

"This is the man we all should hate;
Who drove us from our home;
Who burned the Old Palatinate
And sent us forth to roam."

Through an open door at one end of the bar another long low room was seen, where two men were seated busily engaged in writing, while others were standing about engaged in animated conversation.

These were the yeomen of the Palatine district of Tryon county, who had come together to discuss the alarming situation of the country and to take measures to assert their rights and to protest against the more and more aggressive acts of the British parliament.

They were either those Palatines themselves or their sons who fifty years before had sought freedom of conscience and freedom of action in the wilds of the Mohawk valley, buying, it is true, for a somewhat paltry consideration a tract of twelve thousand acres of land of the Indians.

We may look with considerable wonder at the equivalent given for this noble domain, but as both parties to the transaction were satisfied — it was "so stipulated in the bond" — we ought not to look upon the ethics of the transaction as questionable; at any rate they did not steal the land as many other patentees did.

Here in 1723 they found rest, and their great Patent had turned into cultivated fields. They were an industrious, hard working people, somewhat clannish, and disposed to carry through life their theological antagonisms; but although Lutherans and Calvinists were about equally divided, and each had a church in the little hamlet, still there was a common churchyard, in which both sects were content to mingle their dust after they had done with the controversies.

When a common danger threatened them they forgot their squabbles over transubstantiation and original sin, and came together as one man for the general good.

Although they were far from the centres of information and activity, and lived on the most exposed frontier of the colonies, still they were well informed in regard to all the political movements of the day, and took an absorbing interest in all that was going on.

The other districts of Tryon county were more divided and torn by factions; they swarmed with Tories, followers of Sir John Johnson. This was specially true of the Mohawk district, the seat of the great Johnson family. Here stood all the great manor houses built by Sir William Johnson. Johnson Hall, Mount Johnson, Claus' Manor and Guy Park; here also lived the Butlers, intensely partisan — the "Dogs of the Johnson family". Here was being founded an aristocracy of wealth in its most offensive form, with its arrogance, its protensions, its sycophants, its retainers, its vassals. Religious factions, too, prevented the people from becoming a homogeneous body; Catholic Irishmen and Scotchmen; English Episcopalians, and Dutch and German Calvinists, and Lutherans. All this led to discord, and filled the Tory ranks with men who hated their neighbors even more than they loved King George.

This was not so in any measurable degree in the district of Palatine; so that the meeting called at the old inn in Stone Arabia was attended by all the principal inhabitants — with few exceptions — and they were inspired by common motives. Their sober looks and earnest conversation showed that they did not underrate the dangers of the situation, or fail to fully understand the serious questions that had brought them together. They did not enter blindly into the contest; they saw clearly the dilemma that confronted them.

On the one hand, were they willing to be taxed without their consent? If they were not, on the other — what? Then they were confronted with a danger, the formidable and ferocious nature of which they well understood; they had not lived for fifty years with the Mohawks not to know them well; they had not gone through the French wars not to have become fully aware of these savage neighbors. They also understood Sir John Johnson; his arrogance, and his contempt for the common people. They knew that many of their neighbors would be found on the side of the king. Then, too, they lived on the borderland of a great wilderness tenanted by the hosts of savages, and they were the barrier that in case of war would hold back from the seaboard these savage foes, and the British power in Canada.

New England had dangers of its own, an exposed seacoast with its towns open to attack; good roads over which an enemy might pass; wealthy merchants always conservative and opposed to an interruption of trade; but at the worst they would only have to meet a civilized foe on the battle fields. There were no Indians at their doors, for the bones of King Philip and his warriors were dust. Others of the colonies had Indians within their borders, near at hand or far off, and whether near or far they were enemies to be feared; but no other section had — "The Mohawk". And although as we have seen, greatly weakened and fallen from their once proud estate, they were not an enemy to be despised. The Mohawk Valley found to its sorrow that the poor savages were just as wily and vindictive as ever.

These men then at the old inn in Stone Arabia, in the district of Palatine, were thoughtful, earnest men, who have come together on very urgent and sober business that summer day in 1774.

At the head of the table sat a large fine looking man, busily engaged in writing. He was in the prime of a vigorous manhood, and was dressed with more regard to elegance than many of the farmers around him. By profession a lawyer and more of a scholar than most of the others; and also by reason of a prominent personality, he was looked upon as a leader. This man was Christopher P. Yates. He was not one of the Palatines, but had come into the district from Schenectady, married a sister of Major Frey and was thoroughly identified with the interests and life of his district. He was to occupy in the coming years many offices of trust and responsibility; among which offices were — deputy to the first and third provincial congresses; member of assembly from 1784 to 1802; first county clerk of Montgomery county, which office he held for twenty years, surrogate from 1778 to 1787; a member of the convention that ratified the federal constitution; one of the regents of the university under the act of 1784. He was also high in military affairs, commissary of General Herkimer's brigade, captain in the Second New York Line in 1775 and major in the First New York, 1776, and he also went as a volunteer to Ticonderoga and Canada under General Montgomery, raised a company of rangers, besides organizing, directing and advising the committee of safety, and acting many times as its chairman

And yet this man, too, met with suspicion, detraction and obloquy, from many of his own party; was called a Tory, and accused of conspiring with Colonel Hendrick to betray the colonial cause.

At the other end of the table sat his brother-in-law, Major John Frey, also busy with his pen. They were drafting a set of resolutions to be submitted to the meeting, to which duty they had been assigned by the others, as being the best qualified, on account of education and ability for this difficult task; for these resolutions must state their grievances plainly, while at the same time, they must affirm their love and allegiance for King George and the British government; for it must be understood, that at this time, neither here nor anywhere else, was the idea of absolute rebellion and separation entertained. They were all loyal yet, and supposed that their reasonable protests against wrong would be heeded.

Who were these men now seated around the tables and who are bold enough to speak out to King George and insist upon their rights? The manuscript minutes of the meeting are still in existence and we can read the names as they were written down that day:

Christopher P. Yates, John Frey, Isaac Paris, Andrew Fink, Jr., Andrew Reber, Peter Waggoner, Anthony Van Vechten, Daniel McDougall, Jacob Klock, George Ecker, Jr., Harmanus Van Slyck, and Christopher W. Fox.

There were many more present, but these twelve men took the initiative in this aggressive protest and affixed their signatures to the minutes * * *

The chairman read the resolutions one by one — his own and those framed by the major. They were discussed and finally adopted. It is well to read them carefully and to consider the date, the 27th of August, 1774. These men of Palatine were among the first in America to speak out boldly. Historians have given them little notice or credit. The resolutions were as follows:

"Whereas the British parliament has lately passed an act for raising a revenue of our representatives, abridging the privileges of the American Colonies and blocking up the Port of Boston; the freeholders and inhabitants of the district of Palatine, of the county of Tryon aforesaid, looking with concern and heartfelt sorrow on these alarming and calamitous conditions, do meet this 27th day of August, 1774, on that purpose at the house of Adam Loucks, Esq., at Stonearabia, and conclude the resolves following, viz:

"I. That King George the Third is lawful and rightful lord and sovereign of Great Britain and the dominions thereto belonging, and that as part of his subjects we hereby testify that we will bear true faith and allegiance to him, and that we will with our lives and fortunes support and maintain him upon the throne of his ancestors, and the just dependence of these his colonies upon the crown of Great Britain.

"II. That we think and consider it our greatest happiness to be governed by the laws of Great Britain, and that with cheerfulness we will always pay submission thereto, as far as we consistently can with the security of the constitutional rights and liberties of English subjects, which are so sacred that we cannot permit the same to be violated.

"III. That we think it is our undeniable privilege to be taxed only with our own consent, given by ourselves or by our representatives. That taxes otherwise laid and exacted are unjust and unconstitutional. That the late acts of parliament declarative of this right of laying internal taxes on the American Colonies are obvious encroachments on the rights and liberties of the British subjects in America.

"IV. That the act for blocking up the port of Boston is oppressive and arbitrary, injurious in its principles and particularly oppressive to the inhabitants of Boston, whom we consider as brethren suffering in the common cause.

"V. That we will unite and join with the different districts of this country in giving whatever relief it is in our power to the poor distressed inhabitants of Boston; and that we will join and unite with our brethren of the rest of this country in anything tending to support and defend our rights and liberties.

"VI. That we think the sending of delegates from the different colonies to a general Continental congress is a salutary measure and absolutely necessary at this alarming crisis, and that we entirely approve of the five gentlemen chosen delegates for this colony by our brethren of New York, hereby adopting and choosing the same persons to represent this colony at the congress.

"VII. That we hereby engage faithfully to abide by and adhere to such restrictions and regulations as shall be made and agreed upon by the said congress.

"VIII. That we conceive it necessary that there be appointed a standing Committee of this County, to correspond with the Committees of N. York and Albany, and we do hereby appoint

  • Christopher P. Yates
  • Isaac Paris
  • John Frey &
  • Andrew Finck junr.

who, together with persons to be appointed by the other District of this County, shall compose a Committee of Correspondence to convey the sentiments of this County in a Sett of Resolves to New York —

"IX. It is voted, by this meeting, that Copies of the proceedings of this Day, Certified by the chairman, be transmitted to the Supervisors of the different Districts of this County. — And we recommend it to the Inhabitants of the said Districts to appoint persons, to compose also a Committee of Correspondence."

After much animated discussion, in which all took part, the meeting adjourned, and as far as is known from the minutes they did not come together again until May, 1775. This meeting was held at the same old inn at Stone Arabia, and from that time on frequent meetings were held. It was the summer of Lexington and Concord, and war had begun in earnest.

This Committee of Tryon County was instantly on the alert. They organized the militia, held councils with the Indians, arrested spies, corresponded with the Johnsons, deposed the loyalist sheriff White and elected Major John in his place. Their actions were restrictive and very aggressive.

Early in the summer of 1775 each of the five districts of Tryon county had its committee, and the meetings were held in various places, sometimes at the house of Warner Dygert at Fall Hill, sometimes at Frederick Bellinger's at the German Flats, or at William Seeber's on Sand Hill, near the place where Fort Plain was built the next year. More often, however, they met at the house of Gose Van Alstine, on Scrembling's Kill, [on Canajoharie Creek in present Canajoharie village] as being more central. The manuscript records of the proceedings of thirty-one meetings of the committee are still in existence, the last date being November 24, 1775. The records for the succeeding years are lost.

It is not to be supposed that in the excitement of the time all the measures of the committee were just and wise; it was but natural that some personal spite and animosity should find vent; that some members should be narrow minded; that jealousy and suspicion should take the place of patriotism, and that mistakes should have been made. But when all due allowance has been made for the fallability of human nature and the weakness of individuals the fact remains that the Tryon County Committee of Safety did most loyal work for the colonial cause and that against an almost overwhelming Tory influence they maintained the cause of liberty in the Mohawk valley. Many of them died in battle; many were wounded and suffered the horrors of British prisons. All of them lost friends and property, and none of them through the long struggle either flinched or wavered.

* * * * *

The foregoing covers the actual historical part of Mr. Frey's description of this momentous meeting of the committee of Palatine patriots which was destined to be the nucleus of the Tryon County Committee of Safety. State Historian Alexander J. Flick has compared the resolutions of the Palatine Committee as equal in historical importance with the compact drawn upon the Mayflower. The meeting, at Louck's tavern in Stone Arabia on August 27, 1774, certainly forms one of the high spots in the history of the Mohawk Valley. It was one of the first local district Committees of Safety formed in New York Province.

Mr. Frey speaks as though the Whigs who met at Stone Arabia, were all Palatine Germans or of Palatine German descent. This was not so as only half of them were of that racial strain. Of the twelve members at the first meeting, six were Americans of Palatine ancestry or birth — Fink, Rebert, Wagner, Klock, Ecker, Fox; two were of Holland Dutch descent — Van Slyck, Van Vechten, while Yates was of Dutch and English stock; Paris was Alsatian; McDougall was Scotch and Frey, Swiss and Palatine in ancestry. The name Eker or Ecker is both Palatine and Holland Dutch. All, however, were good Americans in every sense of the word. The feeling of Americanism was just as strong or stronger than it is today, regardless of the racial stock from which the people sprang.

The population of the Palatine district was composed of elements similar to those represented in this Committee. The Mohawk District was more strongly Holland Dutch, while the Canajoharie District seems to have had relatively more Americans of Palatine ancestry than its opposite Palatine District. The German Flats District was more Palatine in its blood than the others. The German Flats and Kingsland districts of Tryon county are generally considered as one, under the name of the German Flats District, in our consideration of Revolutionary Mohawk Valley history.

Mr. Frey's sketch gives the names of twelve members of the Palatine Committee, as being signed to the minutes of this first meeting. There are no such signatures appended to the minutes of the first meeting. The only names there appearing are those of the committee of correspondence: Christopher P. Yates, Isaac Paris, John Frey, Andrew Finck, junr.

The names of the aforementioned twelve committeemen appear on the minutes of the second meeting held early in May, 1775, at the Loucks tavern. As they appear in the minutes they are:

Christopher P. Yates, John Frey, Isaac Paris, Andrew Fink, Jr., Andrew Reber, Peter Waggoner, Daniel McDougall, Jacob Clock, George Eker, junr., Harmanus V. Slyck, Christopher W. Fox, Anthony V. Fechten.

Wagner was the general spelling of the name even during the Revolution. Waggoner sounds like an attempted Anglicization. Fink and Finck are spellings of the same name. Clock is now Klock. Clock also sounds like an Anglicization of the Palatine German name of Klock. "Harmanus V. Slyck" stands for Harmanus Van Slyck, "Anthony V. Fechten" is more commonly known as Anthony Van Vechten. The name Eker was also spelled Ecker and Eacker. Many Mohawk Valley men of that day spelled their names carelessly and variously. General Herkimer was one of the worst performers along these lines.

All of the original members of the Palatine Committee saw active military service. Klock became colonel and Wagner lieutenant-colonel of the Palatine District Regiment of Militia. Both served with distinction throughout the Revolution. Frey was brigade major of the Tryon County Militia, serving under General Herkimer at Oriskany, where he was captured and taken to Canada. Van Slyck was major of the Palatine Regiment and was killed at Oriskany. Van Vechten was adjutant of the Palatine Regiment. Yates was commissary of the Tryon Brigade until 1776, when he was made a major in the First New York Line. Paris was a volunteer serving in the Palatine Regiment at Oriskany, where he was captured and killed by the Indians. Christopher W. Fox was a captain in the Palatine Regiment and was wounded at Oriskany. Reber and McDougall were privates in the Palatine Regiment. Finck was a famous Revolutionary soldier. He started as a lieutenant in the line and became a major, serving under General James Clinton. In 1781 he returned to the Mohawk Valley and became a major, serving under Colonel Willett at Fort Plain. George Ecker was an ensign in the Palatine Regiment.

* * * * *

This Palatine patriot committee was probably far from being united in its sentiments as to the proper course of action to pursue. Like the later Tryon County Committee, and the population along the Mohawk, there were all shades of opinion represented in both the Whig and Tory parties. Men like Yates deplored the violence of the more rabid Whigs, which drove many good men away from that patriot party. It is said that there were as many Tories as Whigs in the Province of New York, at the outbreak of the Revolution. The patriot cause was stronger in the vicinity of Albany and in the Mohawk Valley than elsewhere in the Colony. However, it is said that more than one-third of the people of the Mohawk Valley were Tories. Only the righteousness of the patriot cause and the undying courage of the patriots won the War for Independence and America.

The activities of the Tryon County Committee of Safety are described and the complete minutes printed in "The Minute Book of the Committee of Safety of Tryon County." This work was compiled by Mr. Samuel Ludlow Frey of Palatine Bridge and J. Howard Hanson of Amsterdam. Mr. Frey was a great-grandson of Major John Frey, one of the leading patriots of Tryon County, who was active in the organization of the Palatine Committee in 1774. The book was handsomely printed by Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, in 1905.

On August 27, 1924, the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Palatine District Committee of the Tryon County Committee of Safety, was celebrated at the Van Alstyne House, headquarters of the Fort Rensselaer Club in Canajoharie. The Van Alstyne house is closely associated with the Tryon County Committee. It was centrally and favorably located for the Committee members and sixteen meetings of the Tryon County Committee are known to have been held there — more than in any other place. Many more meetings were doubtless held in the Van Alstyne House, and it was probably the accepted convening place of the Committee.

* * * * *

The First Continental Congress which met at Philadelphia, September 5, 1774, was a group of committees, such as that which we have just seen formed, at Stone Arabia in the District of Palatine, County of Tryon, Province of New York. The idea of advising together as to the general welfare of the Colonies was the cause of its assemblage. It had no delegated authority and no power to act for the Provinces, collectively or individually. Nevertheless, it was the first nationally organized step in the direction of American independence. The tendency of the Whig influence in this Congress was away from compromise and toward the course of the Sons of Liberty. The Continental Congress signed the Articles of Association, October 20, 1774. James Duane, later of Schenectady County, was one of the delegates to this Congress from the city of New York.

The effect of this Congressional session, was the formation of further committees. The first meeting of the Albany County Committee of Safety was held in Albany, November 23, 1774.

* * * * *

Lossing gives the following origin of the terms, Whig and Tory:

"They were copied by us from the political vocabulary of Great Britain and were first used here to distinguish the opposing parties in the Revolution about 1770. The term originated during the reign of Charles II, or about that time. Bishop Burnet, in his History gives the following explanation: 'The southwest counties of Scotland have seldom corn (grain) enough to serve them round the year; and the northern parts, producing more than they need, those in the west come in the summer to buy at Leith the stores that come from the north; and from a word "whiggam", used in driving their horses, all that drove were called "whiggamores" and shorter, "whigs". Now in that year after the news came down of Duke Hamilton's defeat, the ministers animated their people to rise and march to Edinburg, and then came up marching at the head of other parishes, with unheard of fury, praying and preaching all the way as they came. The Marquis of Argyle and his party came and headed them, they being about six thousand. This was called the Whiggamores' inroad, and ever after that all that opposed the courts came, in contempt, to be called Whigg; and from Scotland the word was brought into England, where it is now one of our unhappy terms of distinction. Subsequently, all whose party bias was democratic were called Whigs. The origin of the word Tory is not so well attested. The Irish malcontents, half robbers and half insurgents, who harassed the English in Ireland at the time of the massacre in 1640, were the first to whom the epithet was applied. It was also applied to the court party as a term of reproach."

The majority of the citizens of Schoharie were Whigs, although there, as elsewhere in the Mohawk Valley, the patriots had a strong Tory element to contend with. The American faction along the Schoharie River organized a committee of safety, in 1774, but shortly after the Palatine committee was formed, as previously related. [Ellsworth] Vrooman's "Schoharie Valley Lore" has the following:

"The patriotic and military spirit of Colonel Vrooman, Christian Strubeck and Dr. Budd, the leading revolutionists of the valley, aroused the people to prepare for the vivid contest. The companies were thoroughly drilled. When the stormy period of the Revolution commenced a few of the people espoused the cause of the British, but the majority were ardent patriots. In many instances members of the same family were arrayed against each other, and the struggle assumed all the horrors of a Civil War, aggravated by Indian barbarities. A committee of safety was chosen in 1774, of which Johannes Ball was chairman until the close of the war. It consisted of the following, who were members during the war: Joseph Borst, Joseph Becker, Col. Peter Vrooman, Col. Peter Zielie, Peter Swart, William Zimmer, William Dietz, Samuel Vrooman, Nicholas Sternberg, Adam Vrooman, George Warner and Jacob Zimmer. Col. Vrooman did most of the writing for the board.

"At an early period of the difficulties, an effort was made by the settlers to induce the Indians to remain neutral. A meeting was held for that purpose at the old Council ground in Middleburgh. It is said that Brant and several other Mohawk chiefs were present and a Mrs. Richtmyer acted as interpreter. The Indians agreed to remain neutral or join the Americans. But they were too fond of war to remain inactive, and yielded to the inducement offered by the agents of the British government. Mr. Ball, the Chairman of the committee, had two sons, Peter and Mattice, who engaged with their father in their country's cause, while two other sons espoused the cause of the British."

The following is the oath of allegiance, which was taken by the patriots: "You shall swear by the holy evangelist of the Almighty God to be a true subject to our continental resolve and Provincial Congress and committees in this difficulty existing between Great Britain and America and to answer upon such questions as you shall be examined in, so help you God."

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