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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 58: 1775. Schenectady at the Beginning of the Revolution.

[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 739-754 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]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 57 | ahead to: Chapter 59

1775, May 6, formation of the Schenectady Township Committee of Safety — its members and early patriot activities — Fort Schenectady — The barracks and hospital — Schenectady, haven of refuge for the wounded and homeless from the ravaged Mohawk Valley to the westward — Washington's first visit to Schenectady in 1775.

When the Revolution broke out Schenectady was (for that time) an ancient American city — over 110 years old.

During the Revolution, Schenectady was the river starting point for several American military expeditions. The most important was that which left Schenectady for Canajoharie, about May 1, 1779, under the command of Gen. James Clinton. Clinton's army of 2,000 went west over the south shore road and river, carrying their supplies in 200 batteaux. This expedition made an overland journey from Canajoharie to Otsego Lake, went down the Susquehanna and joined General Sullivan's army and together successfully invaded the Seneca country.

At the outbreak of the Revolution the inhabitants of the town of Schenectady were mainly Dutch, with a sprinkling of English, Irish and Scotch. The Dutch, almost to a man, were Whigs, and early espoused the cause of the Colonies. The English and Scotch were mostly Tories, and the Irish, who were all north of Ireland men, or Protestants, were firm in their adherence to the cause of the Colonies.

As early as 1775 a Committee of Safety and Correspondence was formed and troops were raised for the defense of Ticonderoga. The Schenectady and Albany committees frequently cooperated with the Tryon County committee. Later, when the Continental Line was organized, the men from Schenectady who enlisted for the war were assigned to the First New York Line, Colonel Van Schaick's regiment. This regiment was recruited entirely from Albany County, of which the borough of Schenectady then formed a part. It served with Washington during the entire war with credit and distinction. Cornelius Van Dyck of Schenectady was its lieutenant colonel and later its colonel.

Col. Abraham Wemple's regiment, the Second Albany County Militia, also saw service and especially distinguished itself at the battle of Saratoga. Christopher Yates of Schenectady was its lieutenant-colonel. Col. Abraham Oothout of Schenectady was the regiment's colonel toward the end of the war. The Second Albany County Militia was the Schenectady Revolutionary regiment, both officers and men to the number of 600 being residents of the Schenectady district, then comprising the present city and township of Schenectady, and the townships of Rotterdam and Glenville, all now (1925) located in Schenectady County.

Considering its population, the Schenectady district furnished a large number of soldiers to the state militia and line (regular) Revolutionary armies. See "Schenectady During the Revolution," by Willis T. Hanson.

The town was fortified and garrisoned during the war, a stockade enclosing the village, with block houses at the angles, and a fort at the junction of Ferry and Front Streets. The General Hospital for the Northern District was located here, at the junction of Union Street and what is now known as Lafayette Street, and near this point was also the barracks for the troops.

Numbers of American soldiers, who were wounded in the Revolutionary valley fighting westward, were brought to Schenectady by river for treatment.

Schenectady was a haven of refuge, during the Revolution, for the people of the Mohawk Valley farther west who fled before the British-Indian raids along the river. Patriot Oneida Indians lived here during the Revolution and fought as scouts with American armies. Washington visited Schenectady in 1775, 1782 and 1783.

Many of the Revolutionary soldiers of Schenectady and elsewhere are buried in the Vale Cemetery, where a monument records their services to the cause of American liberty.

The following forms part of Chapter 8, entitled "Schenectady in the Revolution," in Maj. Austin A. Yates' "Schenectady County":

"The patriotism of Schenectady was pure, unadulterated and unselfish. Stamp act and tea taxation worried the burghers less than any other people in America. Stamped papers, checks and drafts, they used, of course, but less of it than the commercial seaports. The Mohawk Dutchman was a strangely unambitious soul of extremely contented disposition. The moment the genuine Hollander acquired that simple revenue which, ridiculously small as it may appear in these days, was sufficient for the modest demands of his quiet home, he was content to sit on his stoop built in youth or maturity for the rest of old age, and watch the procession of the hunters of wealth or power go westward. Schenectady was then, as now, on the very highway of progress, the turnpike laid out by nature, for the journey then beginning from New York around the globe. He saw it all, joined in it rarely, wanted to live his uneventful life, and calmly wait for its peaceful end.

"He had never suffered from active wrong done him by the Englishman as others had. It was the passive injury of her shameful neglect that had been his worst complaint. No troops of the King were ever quartered upon him in any unwelcome form. The fort had in fact never been garrisoned enough to give him a feeling of security against blood-thirsty white and red men.

"All the British officers and men quartered here seemed always to have mingled with and been part of the people. They were victims of the horrors of the massacre of February 9th, helped to hunt down the Indian assassins on every occasion, in the chase of the perpetrators of the Beukendaal massacre, and did all they could to rescue the captives. Sir William Johnson, ruler of the district, his Majesty's representative, was to the manor born, not of their own race but of their own neighbors in the valley, and in spite of his Mormon tendencies and his bold assumption of the divine right of kings in the manner of morganatic marriages with squaws, was popular, a brave, warmhearted man. Schenectady was often his military headquarters. From here came the Fondas, his commissaries, fathers and sons — his officers were largely from here. The Yates brothers, Stoeffel and Jellis, had fought under him, the elder, a lad in his teens, wounded at Ticonderoga and promoted at Sir William's suggestion for bravery at Fort Niagara. Campbell, Duncan, the Van Slycks, Bradts, Vielies, Vanderbogarts, Vedders, Veeders. Wemples, Mynderses, Barhydts, in fact all the Dutch families of the valley were on the rolls of his battalions and companies. And the loyal element at Schenectady was not made up of unpopular men by any manner of means. The Yankee was not worshipped here, and the Englishmen were not hated. The latter had touched elbows with the early settlers in many of the alarms constantly sent out, until comradeship had become close. Sir William's heart was true. That he stood staunchly by the King who had honored him with a baronetcy, and the command of all his forces west of Albany, from a strict sense of duty, while his heart was divided with love for both, is an open secret of history.

"Officers and soldiers of great local renown in Colonial wars dropped off the rolls in the Revolution. Campbells, Duncans and the Glens, with the exception of the staunch old Quartermaster Glen, well and widely known, and others who had fought for the King from a decade to a quarter of a century, did not take up arms for the Colonies. The Sanders were staunch friends of King George. But these men could hardly be called by the offensive name of Tory, with the exception of Duncan, and even he was forgiven. As a rule they were allowed to be quiet and silent, and as long as they were so, there was none to molest or make them afraid. Schenectady was, however, intensely loyal without that murderous bitterness that revelled in battle, murder and sudden death. Here our ancestors had not the personal insult of being spurned from the foot of the throne, there was no Boston massacre, no fights like that of Golden Hill in New York, no shooting down of rebels as at Concord and Lexington. The English garrison had always been welcomed, and its officers and men had always been in comradeship and good favor with the people.

"There were full confidence and faith in the great Sir William, his Majesty's viceroy. In his heart no one doubted in all the stern days that followed, that he would have been in many instances in warm sympathy with his fellow soldiers of other days. There were no battlefields in Schenectady County, no raids on the lovely hill slopes and smiling valleys. * * *

"In one respect the Tories of the Revolution and the copperheads of 1861 are strikingly similar. They seem to have died childless. No one today admits that he is a descendant of a Tory, and we cannot find anywhere about us those who are confessedly possessed of copperhead blood, and if the old soldier of the Civil War will occasionally meet, in his daily walk, his old neighbor, who sympathized with the rebels against the flag for which he fought, he is kindly oblivious to the fact, bestowing the mercy of silence and lets the oblivion of years blot out the stain of treason. There were none of the genuine breed of Tory in Schenectady of whom history, tradition, or official record makes any mention, but there were men who had made gallant records in the Colonial wars, who, while they took no active part in behalf of the nation and the sovereign to whom they undoubtedly had a loyalty in their hearts, never turned their guns against the scarlet uniform of the King.

"Ellice, Phynn, Duncan, Campbell and Morrison were closely watched. They were not Tories, but British subjects, or sons of British subjects. A Tory was the American whom the American patriot hated, but the British Loyalist seems to have been treated with indulgence by his fellow citizen. The English born, who remained faithful to an English monarch, was tolerated and afterwards freely forgiven. The Tory's life was safe nowhere. There were others to whom the situation at the outbreak of the war was most distressing. Many of them undoubtedly felt, in their hearts, that it was the battle between inclination and duty that worried the soul of Sir William Johnson.

"The Glens, the Fondas, the Vanderbogarts, the Van Schaicks, the Van Slycks, the Vielies, the Bradts, the Yateses and others had all done service in rank or file, as officers, or as soldiers under King George, and the disruption of the Empire, proclaimed by the Declaration of Independence, came upon them as a shock. It was a particularly distressing situation for the Yateses whom King George II had honored with commissions and with grants of land. It was especially painful to the Glens, to whom his Majesty's governors had given authority in Schenectady; to the Bradts and Vroomans who had been official surveyors, and had laid out the territory of the King's dominion, but to the honor of all, or almost all, of the manor born, not one of them but rallied to the standard of George Washington. In fact, the elder Yates was a member of Congress of '76, his term expiring but six days before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Though lieutenant-colonel of Wemple's regiment, his relation with the British officers seems to have been close to the last, for his daughter, shortly after the Revolution, married Johnson Butler, the nephew of the infamous Walter Butler, and Captain Alexander of the British army. It is a singular fact that the records show that "Col. Stoeffel," as he was often and affectionately called, loyal enough to fight in the Colonial wars for the King of England, went at once upon the staff of Schuyler, as Glen did on quartermaster duty, and the records of the Revolution, from which the information in this chapter is strictly derived, do not show anywhere that he ever leveled his gun at a British soldier. His younger brother Jellis, however, was a fighter all the way through as private and lieutenant of the line.

"The precise situation can best be told in what follows, in the extracts from the records of the Committee of Public Safety. It will be seen that the people fully and thoroughly trusted these men, as ardent as they had been in the cause of England, for it will be seen that they were members of the Committee of Public Safety. In the story of what transpired in the official action of the village authorities, in support of their brave country, the historian is deeply indebted to the Hon. John Sanders, who has in his industrious research and judicious selection collated the interesting facts which follow.

"It must, as honest history, be stated as connected with our great revolutionary struggle, that the mass of the inhabitants of Schenectady were devotedly the sons of liberty, and intensely in earnest; but it must be confessed that a few of our most wealthy men were prudent and non-commital, and unexceptionally, from habit, would pray for the King.

"The first gun was fired and the first blood flowed at Lexington, on the 19th day of April, 1775, and on the 6th of May [1775] following, at a meeting of the freeholders and inhabitants of the township of Schenectady, the following persons were unanimously chosen to be a committee of correspondence, safety and protection for the township:

"Rinier Mynderse, James Wilson, Hugh Mitchell, Henry Glen, Harmanus Wendell, Abraham Oothout, John Roseboom, Christopher Yates, Cornelius Cuyler and Jacobus Teller. Christopher Yates (father of Governor Joseph C. Yates), was made chairman; Hugh Mitchell was made clerk.

"A minute book of 162 closely written pages was kept by the committee and their successors, now belonging to the library of Union College, having been presented to that institution as a valuable relic of our revolutionary trials by the late Edward Rosa, Esq., and although deeply interesting on each page, few important items are selected as extracts, to show how patriotic, multiform and extensive were the duties and labors of that committee; and, in the mass of interesting detail, even that selection is difficult.

"This committee met often, and on the 8th of May, 1775, resolved that their future meetings should be held at the house of William White, located on Church Street, where is now the residence of the Hon. John A. Deremer. The building was burned down in the disastrous conflagration of 1819.

"It was further resolved, that all members of the committee attend the general meeting of the committees of safety, to be held at Albany, on the 10th inst."

From the minutes of May 16th, 1775:

"Received a letter from the chairman of the committee at Albany acquainting this board that Daniel Campbell, Esq., has a quantity of gunpowder in store at Albany, which he wishes to take out, but this committee refused him that liberty until they acquainted this board of the same.

"Having taken the contents of said letter into consideration, and foreseeing the evil consequences that may attend the powder falling into the hands of our enemies,

"Resolved, that this board do now purchase 335 lbs. of gunpowder from Daniel Campbell, Esq., at 3s. per lb.

"Resolved, That said powder be delivered in custody of John Post and John G. Lansing, and that they dispose of it to the public as hereinafter directed. Said Post and Lansing are ordered to dispose of the powder at 3s. 9d. per pound; 3s. 10d. by the half-pound; 4s. by the quarter, and not to dispose of any of it to any person who lives out of the township without an order from a member of the committee."

From the minutes of May 28th, 1775:

"A sub-committee from the County of Tryon waited on this board to inform us of the state of affairs in that county, which they looked upon to be dangerous in respect to the Indians, and requested a supply of powder.

"Resolved, To furnish them with fifty pounds of powder."

From the minutes of May 29th, 1775:

"In consequence of a request of the committee of Albany to raise one company of men for the Continental service to go to Ticontarog (Ticonderoga), consisting of one captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, three sergeants, three corporals, one drummer, one fifer and fifty privates.

"Resolved, That Cornelius Van Dyck is appointed captain, Benj. Hilton, lieut., and Cornelius Van Slyck, ensign, and that the utmost dispatch be made in raising said company; their pay to be as follows, viz.:

"Captain, per month, 6 pounds; lieut., per month, 4 pounds; ensign, per month, 3 pounds; sergeants, per month, 2 pounds, 8 shillings; corporals, per month, 2 pounds, 4 shillings; drummer, per month, 2 pounds, 4 shillings; fifers, per month, 2 pounds, 4 shillings; privates, per month, 2 pounds, all lawful money of New England.

"Resolved, That every officer and soldier belonging to any of the companies now raised or to be raised within this township, sign the association recommended by the honorable the Continental Congress, and that no person muster or appear under arms in any of the companies who do not comply with this resolve.

"Resolved, That instructions be immediately given to Captain Van Dyck for raising his company."

From the minutes of May 31st, 1775:

"Captain Van Dyck made application to this board for provision for his men.

"Resolved, That Captain Van Dyck's men be boarded for the present at the houses of John Wilson and Robert Moston (Moyston), at the rate of one shilling, New York currency, per day per man."

From the minutes of 4th August, 1775:

"This board being informed that Daniel Campbell, Esq., and Alexander Ellice intend going up to Niagara and from thence to Montreal,

"Resolved, That Messrs. Campbell and Ellice be sent for and examined relative to their intentions of going up the country.

"Said Campbell and Ellice being sent for and present, declared upon their honor that they were going up the country on their private business, and that they would not carry any letters or messages of news to or from any person who was inimical to the American cause.

"Resolved, That Messrs. Campbell and Ellice be permitted to go, and that a certificate be given them."

It will be seen that Messrs. Campbell and Ellice did not possess in any eminent degree the confidence of their fellow citizens. They have left no descendants. If they had there would be no occasion for shame. They were honest, loyal-hearted Englishmen and never in any way betrayed their adopted country.

Under date of December 29, 1775, the Schenectady Committee resolved that the usual firing of guns on New Year's Day be stopped as it was a waste of powder at such a critical time.

On January 14, 1776, the minutes read that:

"Captain John Mynderse, with the officers of the Minute Men, made their appearance before the board with a number of men and set out immediately in sleighs for Albany.

"Resolved that the following letter be immediately sent to James McMaster and the committee of Warrensbush:

"Sir, we being suspicious that news may be carried to Johnstown of what is now going on here, we are about to place guards on both sides of the river to prevent any persons from passing upwards who are not known to be friends of the American cause; we therefore request you will take such steps as will prevent any news passing through Warrensbush, and that you will examine all letters you are suspicious of."

This is followed by entries of the apprehension and trial of several persons charged with being enemies to the American cause, and resulted in committing some of them to jail at Albany.

The foregoing extracts from the minutes, etc., are from Yates' chapter on "Schenectady in the Revolution", as previously mentioned. The minutes of the committee, up to the end of the war, are concerned with the unlimited details of the War of Independence, in relation to the important but tiny township of Schenectady. Although there was no actual warfare here, yet the little city and its neighborhood expected war and bloodshed in its midst throughout the conflict. Had the enemy ever broken through the defenses along the middle and upper Mohawk River, Schenectady would probably have been destroyed. However, the history of actual Revolutionary warfare in the Mohawk Valley belongs to the section west of the Schenectady district and to the Schoharie Valley.

One of the interesting incidents in connection with the committee's activities was the arrest of John Empie for receiving "hard money" in payment for yeast, during the year 1779. The committee compelled Empie to pay back all the "hard money" and a warning was issued against a repetition of the offense. The use of hard money was absolutely forbidden.

Yates says:

"Great efforts were made by the real friends of our revolutionary struggles to maintain 'the continental paper currency' at the standard value of gold and silver; but gold and silver, as far as was known, had not a physical existence in the country in any quantity equal to the demands of the war, and therefore, as a means to sustain the value of their paper, the government prohibited the circulation of coin altogether."

The depreciation, consequent upon the use of paper money, is shown in [David] Ramsay's "History of the American Revolution," which says (Vol. II, pp. 112 to 122): "The depreciation began at different periods in different states, but became general about the beginning of the year 1777, and progressively increased for three or four years. Toward the end of 1777, the depreciation was three for one; in 1778, it was six for one; in 1779, twenty-eight for one; in 1780, sixty for one, in the first four or five months. Its circulation was afterwards partial, but where it passed it soon depreciated to 150 for one. In some few points it continued in circulation for the first four or five months of 1781, but, in this latter period, many would not take it at any rate, and they who did received it at a depreciation of several hundreds for one."

It is needless to say that the bloodsucker, the grafter, the slacker, the usurer and the profiteer flourished in the American population during the Revolution, as in all our nation's wars. These vultures and the Tories were, to the Revolutionary War, what similar noxious breeds and copperheads were, in the later War of the Rebellion and similar defectives in the World War.

The following names of members of the Schenectady Committee of Safety are taken from Hanson's "A History of Schenectady During the Revolution." They include the known members, who served at different periods of the Revolution: Aaron Van Patten, Cornelius P. Van Slyck, Alexander Vedder, Nicholas P. Veeder, Isaac Vrooman, John B. Vrooman, Abraham Wemple, Hermanus H. Wendell, Ahasueras Wendle, William White, James Wilson, Christopher Yates, Benjamin Young, Cornelius Cuyler, John Cuyler, Abraham Fonda, Henry Glen, Gerrit G. Lansing, Andrew McFarlan, Albert Mebie, Hugh Mitchell, Reimer (Rinier) Mynderse, Abraham Oothout, John Peek, John Roseboom, William Schermerhorn, Jacobus Teller, Myndert Ten Eyck, Cornelius Van der Volgen, Henry Van Driesen, Dirk Van Ingen.

In 1775, while on a mission to the headquarters of the Army of the North at Albany, General Washington paid a visit to Schenectady. His errand was doubtless concerned with the defenses of the Albany-Schenectady district and the Mohawk Valley, but there are few details of his Schenectady trip. He came again in 1782 and 1783. Of these later journeys we have more information.

The further story of Schenectady in the Revolution is contained in subsequent chapters dealing with the yearly course of the war in the Mohawk Valley.

May 27, 1775, a preliminary organization of Schenectady County Militia was formed by the Committee of Safety. Three companies of minute men were provided for, to be raised in Schenectady Township; two companies in the town and the third in the Westina [Woestina] (Wilderness), as that part of the district to the west of the village was called. Each company was to consist of a captain, two lieutenants, four sergeants, three corporals, a drum and fifty privates, sixty-one officers and enlisted men to the company, one hundred and eighty-three soldiers in all. The officers chosen for the three companies were the following:

First Company. Captain, Jellis J. Fonda; First Lieutenant, Andrew Van Patten; Second Lieutenant, Myndert A. Wemple.

Second Company. Captain Cornelius Van Dyck; First Lieutenant, John Mynderse; Second Lieutenant, Gerrit Veeder.

Third Company. Captain John Van Patten; First Lieutenant, Cornelius Van Slyck; Second Lieutenant, Myndert R. Wemple.

On May 10, 1775, Ethan Allen captured Ticonderoga and the next day Seth Warner's men took Crown Point from the British. Albany raised two companies to defend these forts and Schenectady raised one company, of which Cornelius Van Dyck was made captain. On June 17, fifty guns were issued for the use of Captain Van Dyck's company.

On June 28, 1775, under a resolution of the New York Provincial Congress, four regiments of infantry and one company of artillery were organized. These troops were known as the New York Line, corresponding to regular army troops for service at any needed point, while the militia was intended primarily to repel invasion. Provision was made at the same time for raising State militia regiments.

The first New York Line was recruited at Albany and many Mohawk Valley young men hastened to enlist in its ranks. It was a splendid regiment which served with honor and distinction throughout the war. Cornelius Van Dyck of Schenectady became its lieutenant-colonel, November 21, 1776, serving as second in command throughout the war. Van Dyck became colonel of the First New York in 1783. He was one of the Mohawk Valley's most gallant Revolutionary officers.

September 2, 1775, the Schenectady District Militia met at the Dutch church for a general organization. Besides the three companies, two others were formed, of which Abraham Wemple and Thomas Wasson were made captains.

Hanson's "Schenectady During the Revolution", says:

"The companies of Captains Fonda and Mynderse retained their classification as minute men and as such served until the spring of 1777, when they were incorporated with the regular militia. The motto of these companies, as noted on their flags, was 'Liberty or Death', and, because of the colors of the uniforms worn by their members, Captain Mynderse's company was known as 'The Blues' and Captain Fonda's as 'The Greens'.

"At the direction of Congress, commissions as field officers of the Schenectady militia (later known as the Second Albany County) were, on October 20 (1775), issued as follows: Colonel, Abraham Wemple; Lieutenant-colonel, Jacob Schermerhorn; First Major, Abraham Swits; Second Major, Nicholas P. Veeder; Adjutant, Aaron Van Patten; Quartermaster, John Peek."

For a very complete account of the part played by Schenectady city and township in the Revolution, the reader is referred to "A History of Schenectady During the Revolution", by Willis T. Hanson, Jr., A. M., of Schenectady. The editor of the History of the Mohawk Valley — Gateway to the West, expresses his obligation to the foregoing valuable work for much of the data, regarding Schenectady's Revolutionary history, which is contained within these pages.

[Photo: John Glen House, 1740.]

[Photo: Robert Sanders House, 1750.]

* * * * *

General Washington first visited the Mohawk Valley in 1775, when he made a hurried visit to Schenectady to inspect that city's fortifications and probably also to confer with the Schenectady Committee of Safety as to defensive measures. He then dined and lodged at the home of Quartermaster John Glen, present 58 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, where he occupied the west chamber on the second floor. This was also the home of Henry Glen, brother of John. Washington also took tea at the home of John Sanders, present 43 Washington Avenue. Both of these houses, erected about 1750, are still standing, although the Glen house has been hideously disfigured by "improvements". There are no further existing details of this visit by the American commander. Washington visited Schenectady again in 1782 and made a tour of the entire Mohawk River section in 1783. Both of these visits are covered in subsequent chapters.

* * * * *

[Photo: The Col. Yates House, 1735.]

The chief Revolutionary figures of Schenectady were Colonels Van Dyck, Wemple, Oothout and Lieutenant-Colonel Yates. The following brief biographies of these gallant officers is taken from "A History of Schenectady During the Revolution", by Willis T. Hanson.

Van Dyck, Cornelius: Born October 8, 1740; died June 9, 1792. Buried in Vale Cemetery. On May 27, 1775, he was appointed captain of militia by the Committee of Safety. On May 29 he was given orders for recruiting a company for the defense of Fort Ticonderoga, and on June 29 was commissioned captain by the Provincial Congress and assigned to the Second New York Line. He served with distinction under General Montgomery and, during the remainder of the Canadian campaign, as a military aide-de-camp. On May 7, 1776, he was elected a member of the third Committee of Safety. On November 21, 1776, he was commissioned a lieutenant-colonel and assigned to the First New York Line. During this year he was at one time acting as commandant at Fort George. On August 21, 1777, he was a member of a council of war held at German Flats, under the presidency of Major Arnold. He was at the battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778), and on December 23 was in command of Fort Schuyler [Stanwix]. He was in command of Fort Schuyler [Stanwix] on October 25 of the following year and on April 17, 1780. He served at the end of the war, and on September 30, 1783, was appointed colonel of the First New York Line.

Wemple, Abraham: Born about 1728; died near Albany in 1799. On September 7, 1775, the Committee of Safety applied to the Albany Committee to assign him a commission as captain of militia. On October 5, 1775, he was recommended to the Provincial Congress for the office of colonel among the field officers to be assigned to the Second Albany County Militia, and on October 20, 1775, he was commissioned colonel, being reappointed on June 20, 1778, and serving in this capacity until near the end of the war, when he resigned from the service. On November 7, 1775, he was elected a member of the second Committee of Safety and on December 29, was appointed deputy chairman of the Board. On July 26, 1779, he was again elected a member of the Committee. Colonel Wemple served with his regiment on the various occasions when called out and was throughout the war a zealous and active adherent of the American cause.

Oothout, Abraham: Born May 27, 1744; died in July, 1822. On May 6, 1775, he was elected a member of the first Committee of Safety. He served also on the second Committee and the Committees taking office January 15, 1777, June 2, 1777, and January 5, 1778. He was a deputy from Albany County to the first Provincial Congress. He served throughout the war as a captain in the Second Albany County Militia, being appointed soon after January 26, 1776. On June 27, 1775, he was appointed to attend the council with the Indians at German Flats, and on February 24, 1776, he was appointed with Christopher Yates to collect donations from the inhabitants to pay for sleds to transport the troops from Albany to Lake George. In the fall he was in command of a detail to Fort Ann, Fort Edward and Skenesborough. On April 24, 1777, he was detailed as a wagoner for duty from Albany to Lake George. On May 21, 1777, he was a member of a court-martial at Albany. He served with the troops against General Burgoyne at Saratoga, Stillwater and Bemis Heights. * * * On June 20, 1778, he was regularly commissioned captain, and in the summer commanded a detachment to Stone Arabia. On June 24, 1779, he was again appointed a member of the Committee of Safety, and on June 2 was appointed chairman of the Board, which office he resigned on July 8, because of the pressure of public business. On July 1, 1780, he was appointed one of the Commissioners of Conspiracies. In August, 1780, he marched with the troops to Fort Plain (after the raid on that section) and in the fall of 1781 was stationed at Fort Hunter. After the battle of Johnstown he marched in pursuit of the enemy. Towards the end of the war he was promoted to the rank of colonel in the 2d Albany County Militia to succeed Colonel Wemple, resigned.

Yates, Christopher: Born July 8, 1737, at the old homestead in Alplaus; died September 1, 1785. Buried in Vale Cemetery. During the Revolution he lived in the house built by himself now No. 26 Front Street. In this house was born his son, Joseph C., first mayor of Schenectady (1798) and governor of New York State (1823-1824). Christopher Yates was a surveyor by profession and "one of the best informed and most efficient patriots in the Mohawk Valley." On May 6, 1775, he was elected a member of the first Committee of Safety and at the first meeting on the ninth was chosen chairman of the Board. On May 24 he was appointed one of a committee to go to Guy Park to deliver an answer to a speech made by the Mohawk Indians. On June 30 he was appointed by the Provincial Congress one of a committee to determine the ranks of the various officers serving in the New York regiments. On July 26 a letter was addressed to him by the Committee asking whether or not he had resigned from the Board, and on August 9 he tendered his resignation. On November 7 he was elected a member of the second Committee of Safety, and on December 29, was appointed deputy clerk of the Board. On January 13, 1776, he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 2d Albany County Militia, and on March 5, Henry Glen was instructed to apply to Congress for his commission. On May 7, 1776, he was elected a member of the third Committee of Safety. From the fall of 1776 to July 8, 1777, he was in command when detachments of the regiment were on duty at Fort Ann. It is claimed that about this time Yates served on the staff of General Schuyler as a deputy quartermaster-general and that he was afterwards promoted to the rank of colonel. The evidence to support this claim is contained in letters from General Schuyler, Benedict Arnold, Governor Morgan Lewis, etc., which were at one time in the possession of Judge A. A. Yates of this city. No evidence of this detail and appointment is to be found on the regimental rolls. After the evacuation of Fort Ann (July 8, 1777) he had command of a body of Schenectady militia engaged in felling trees to stop the progress of General Burgoyne's army. He served throughout the campaign and with General Arnold selected the American position at Bemis Heights. On October 19, 1777, he was appointed by the State Committee of Safety one of a committee to repair to Albany to confer with General Philip Schuyler regarding means for checking the advance of the enemy on the northern and western frontiers. He served during the rest of the war in the Quartermaster's Department as a deputy, for the most part of the time stationed at Saratoga. In June, 1779, he was engaged in forwarding the baggage of General Clinton's brigade to Canajoharie, preparatory to Clinton's portage march from the Mohawk River to Otsego Lake.

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