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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 59: 1776, Tryon County Militia Organization — Johnson, Disarmed, Flees to Canada.

[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 755-769 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]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

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General Schuyler's troops and the Tryon County Militia, under Col. Herkimer, concentrate at Caughnawaga — Review of 3000 troops, January 18, 1776 — Sir John Johnson and his Tory followers disarmed — Colonel Dayton sent to arrest Johnson, who flees to Canada with Tories — route taken through the heart of the Adirondacks — August 22, 1776, Tryon County Militia brigade organized — September 5, 1776, Col. Nicholas Herkimer commissioned brigadier-general of the Tryon County Militia by the state convention at Fishkill — Text of commission — Notable service of the Tryon County Militia — Record of Revolutionary service of militiaman George Bush — National events of 1776 — Biographical sketch of Gen. Philip Schuyler.

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

"In spite of his promises, Sir John Johnson continued to cause trouble throughout the remainder of the summer and autumn of 1775, and, in December, the Continental Congress resolved to send General Schuyler to Tryon County under orders to secure the arms and stores of the Tories and 'to apprehend their chiefs.'

"On January 13, 1776, word of the intended expedition was received by the Schenectady Committee, the letter containing a request that the Board send immediately to Albany a 'company of 60 men completely armed, with proper officers to command them and four days provisions.' Orders were at once given to the officers of the 'minute' companies to have the necessary men ready for the march, with further instructions to include besides the number required any who wished to go as volunteers, and on the next day the expedition set out for Albany in sleds, there to join the militia already assembled.

"In order that the Indians might not be alarmed at seeing troops in the Valley (this being a direct violation of the treaty entered into with them at Albany the previous autumn, whereby it was solemnly agreed that the Mohawk River should be open for trade, that no troops should be sent into those parts and that Sir John should remain unmolested), General Schuyler dispatched a messenger to the Lower Mohawk Castle to explain that he was marching to Johnstown in order to ascertain the condition of affairs.

"Without waiting for the return of his messenger General Schuyler went forward. At Schenectady he was met by a delegation of the Mohawks under Little Abram, who reported in substance that the coming of an armed force had alarmed the Indians and that the delegation wished to be present at any interview that might take place between General Schuyler and Sir John in order that they too might know the true state of affairs. At the request of the Indians, General Schuyler wrote to Sir John Johnson from Schenectady on the sixteenth, requesting Sir John to meet him at any place between Schenectady and Johnstown, whither he would set out on the following day.

"On the seventeenth General Schuyler, his force constantly increasing until it numbered nearly three thousand men, had proceeded some sixteen miles beyond Schenectady before the meeting with Sir John took place (near present Amsterdam). Sir John asked until the evening of the next day to consider the proposals placed before him by General Schuyler and his request being granted he returned to Johnstown. It was not until the eleventh hour that the terms proposed were acceded to, and, on Sir John's agreement to surrender all his arms and military stores and to use his influence to induce all the Loyalists in the county to do the same, he was released on parole."

On Jan. 18, 1776, Gen. Schuyler, in command of 2,000 American soldiers, met Col. Herkimer and the Tryon county regiment of 1,000 militiamen at Caughnawaga, prior to their movement on Johnstown the next day, where they disarmed Johnson and his Tory force of 400. On this day (Jan. 18) a review of this brigade of 3,000 men was held here on the ice of the river. This was the largest American Revolutionary force ever gathered in the valley.

It was on the occasion of the review of the American troops on the ice at Caughnawaga that Robert Crouse of Fort Plain gave an exhibition of one of his great feats of strength. Crouse was the strong man of the Mohawk Valley in that day. He was a giant in stature and tremendously powerful and he was then renowned throughout the Valley for his prowess. Robert Crouse was the standard bearer for the Canajoharie District Regiment of the Tryon County Militia. Crouse's strength was so great that he easily waved the regimental flag with one hand, a difficult feat for a strong man using both hands. General Schuyler was struck with admiration at the power of the mighty militiaman and is said to have offered the flag bearer a commission, which Crouse is said to have politely declined. This soldier-Hercules of the Revolutionary Mohawk Valley, was captured at the battle of Oriskany and subsequently tortured and killed by the Indians, as described in a later chapter.

"On the 20th day of January, 1776, General Schuyler and Col. Nicholas Herkimer, with a force of over three thousand troops, moved into Johnstown. The surrender took place the following day. Awed by the overwhelming force of Americans, but not subdued either in spirit or sympathies, between two hundred and three hundred haughty Tories, mostly Highlanders, moved forward on William Street, and grounded their arms in front of the court house. Sir John Johnson was permitted to keep his family arms and placed on his parole of honor. General Schuyler delivered a brief but forceful address, declaring that no evil was intended on the part of the Americans, and assuring the Tories that they would be fully protected, both as to their persons and property, so long as they remained peaceful, so long as they attempted no violence toward their Whig neighbors, so long as they raised no hostile hand against the Provisional government, or the cause of American liberty. The conciliatory words of General Schuyler fell on listless ears and heedless minds, however, and here, on this occasion, were sown some of the seeds of bitterness and hatred that found fruition a few years later, subsequent to the flight of Sir John Johnson to Canada, when these same Tories returned to this section and under the leadership of Johnson perpetrated crimes and outrages unparalleled in the annals of so-called civilized warfare." (John T. Morrison).

Mr. John T. Morrison, the historian of Johnstown, has furnished this work with the following interesting account of the flight of Sir John Johnson to Canada:

"Following the disarmament of Sir John Johnson and his followers, just described, Indians and Tories continued to flock into this section clandestinely from Canada by the Sacandaga route and the Fish House road, supplying the Royalists with arms and ammunition, and giving every possible aid and comfort to the enemy, alarming the Whigs to the extent that, at the behest of the Committee of Safety, Col. Elisha Dayton was directed to proceed to Johnstown with a part of General Schuyler's regiment and place Sir John Johnson, the master mind of these pernicious activities, under arrest. Forewarned by some friends from Albany that Col. Dayton was enroute for Johnstown for the purpose of arresting him, Sir John broke his parole of honor, and in the night surreptitiously fled. Accompanied by a large body of retainers and some Indian guides, he proceeded to the Sacandaga River, following the Fish House road. From this point the party followed an ancient Indian trail, running along the bank of the river, skirting the northerly shore of Lake Pleasant, and the southerly shore of Raquette Lake; thence to Lake Nahasane; thence cutting across what is now the northeasterly corner of Herkimer County into what is now St. Lawrence County; thence to Russell; thence to the St. Lawrence River, and by way of the river to Montreal. The journey occupied nineteen days, and as many of the men were poorly clad and the entire party illy supplied with food, they suffered indescribable hardships.

"When Johnson and his followers left Johnstown the ground was covered with snow and the men wore snowshoes. At Raquette Lake the party was overtaken by the spring thaw and forced to discard their snowshoes, throwing them on the ground, making a large pile, and it was from this incident that Raquette Lake derived its name.

"Something over a quarter of a century ago, two old English cannon were discovered in proximity to the route followed by Johnson in his hasty flight, one in the Anthony's Pond clearing at the outlet of Long Lake, the other about two miles south of Big Tupper Lake, very near the boundary line between Hamilton and St. Lawrence counties. Both of these cannon had fallen to pieces as a result of age; the wood had turned to mold, the iron to rust; only the brass barrels had resisted the ravages of time.

"A very curious and significant thing had happened to the Big Tupper Lake cannon. It seems that after it had fallen to pieces from age and decay, a beech tree had grown up within the circle of the iron tire of one of the wheels. In 1900 this tree measured more than two feet in diameter, and at that time, according to experts in forestry, was more than one hundred years old. In view of the fact that the wheel could not have fallen from the gun carriage until decay had set in, and the fact that the tree was more than one hundred years old a quarter of a century ago, it is morally certain that these cannon were abandoned about the time of the flight of Sir John Johnson; and it is morally certain also that this cannon and its mate at the Anthony's Pond clearing were abandoned by Johnson and his followers. In corroboration of this, it is a well established fact that two cannon identical with those found stood in front of Johnson Hall at the outbreak of the Revolution, and it is a well established fact also that these two cannon disappeared very mysteriously at the time of Johnson's flight. If it were necessary for the men to discard their snowshoes at Raquette Lake, by the same token, and for an even greater reason, it would have been necessary to abandon the cannon also. The remains of these two old cannon should find their way back and be placed in the museum at Johnson Hall."

Lady Johnson was removed to Albany where she was held as hostage for her husband's actions. Johnson took a commission as colonel under the British and organized two battalions, from the Tories who followed him, which were called the Royal Greens. These Tryon county Tories surpassed the Indians in their barbaric acts on subsequent raids into the Mohawk valley. A large part of the Tory population soon left Tryon county for Canada. Sir John's estate and that of some sixty other Tories, were confiscated by the patriot government.

The patriot militia had, doubtless, had an organization since 1775. Our first record of this military force is its organization in 1776. The different district regiments were organized under the supervision of the Tryon County district committees of safety. This Tryon County Militia was probably only the Colonial Valley Militia with the Tories left out.

On Aug. 22, 1776, the following were named, by a majority of votes, as field officers for the different districts:

Canajoharie, 1st Regiment — 1st Col., Nicholas Herkimer; Lieut.-Col., Ebenezer Cox; major, Robert Wells; adjutant, Samuel Clyde.

Palatine, 2nd Regiment — Col., Jacob Klock; Lieut.-Col., Peter Waggoner (Wagner); major, Harmanus Van Slyck; adjutant, Anthony Van Vechten.

Mohawk, 3rd Regiment — Col., Frederick Fisher; Lieut.-Col., Adam Fonda; major, John Bliven; adjutant, Robt. Yates.

Kingsland and German Flats, 4th Regiment — Col., Han Yost Herkimer, Lieut.-Col., Peter Bellinger; major, Han Yost Shoemaker; adjutant, Jno. Demooth.

At the same time Nicholas Herkimer was appointed "Chief Colonel Commander of the County of Tryon."

Four weeks after the Tryon county militia organization was effected, a battalion of "Minute men" (scouts or rangers) was formed with George Herkimer, brother of Nicholas, as its colonel and Samuel Campbell as its lieutenant-colonel.

The roster of the Tryon County Militia is given, together with that of the Schenectady Township (Albany County) Militia and Schonarie (Albany County) Militia in Chapter 76, at the end of the series of chapters dealing with the Revolutionary war in the Mohawk Valley. The roster in the latter chapter is somewhat different from the officers named above, inasmuch as a number of the foregoing officers were killed and one, at least, Col. Johan Jost Herkimer of the German Flats Regiment, turned Tory and fled to Canada.

The Tryon County militia regiments averaged between 200 and 300 men — a fair-sized regimental militia quota for Revolutionary days.

Col. Johan Jost, or Hanyost, Herkimer was a brother of General Nicholas Herkimer and his defection hurt the General's prestige considerably. However, the majority of the Valley families had one or more Tory relatives and family and even marriage relationships were then shattered and broken by the bitter political divisions then prevailing throughout the Colonies. In spite of the Valley Tory element and the danger it was to this exposed frontier the Whigs of the Mohawk Valley always remained in control and in the majority even in the darkest days of the Revolution.

In 1773, the Weaver, Reall and Damuth families settled present North Utica at Deerfield Corners. They were driven out and their homes burned in 1776 by hostile Indians. They returned and settled permanently on their old lands in 1784, as stated later. This settlement of 1773 was the first settlement within the borders of present Utica, aside from the occupation of the small British military post of Fort Schuyler from 1758 to 1760.

The Germans who had settled present Schuyler and East Schuyler in 1760, probably abandoned their settlements about the same time as the pioneers of Deerfield Corners left their homes. The Schuyler settlement was known as New Peterboro and consisted of about thirty houses and a blockhouse, which were burned by Indian and Tory raiders during the Revolution.

[Photo: Commission of General Nicholas Herkimer.]

On September 5, 1776, the Convention of the Representatives of the State of New York commissioned "Nicholas Herkimer" a Brigadier General to command the Tryon County Militia. This commission is one of our most valuable Revolutionary documents. An engraving from this historic paper is printed here and its wording is given in type below. This is the first printing of this historic document, within the knowledge of the editor of this history. The reader will note that the head military authority from whom Herkimer is to take orders is the "Commander in Chief for the time Being of the Army of the United States", as well as the "Executive Authority of the State", etc. After the Revolution, and until the present federalization of the National Guard of the various States, militia officers took orders from the governors of their respective states. This long document consists of only four sentences, the second one consisting of 191 words. While our Revolutionary forefathers could write concisely about ordinary matters, when it came to documents, like this commission or legal papers, the conventional procedure was to create a lot of almost senseless rigamarole. This commission is brief and to the point compared with some documents of the time.

Major General Sir William Johnson, of the French and Indian War 1754-1760, and Brigadier General Nicholas Herkimer of the Revolutionary war, were the only Mohawk Valley soldiers who held the rank of General, from the settlement of Schenectady in 1661 to the War of 1812, a period of 161 years.

Captain George Herkimer, brother of the General, inherited the greater part of the latter's property, as well as the General Herkimer homestead, after his death from a wound received at the Battle of Oriskany. This paper, together with others, descended through the Captain George Herkimer family, which occupied the Herkimer home from 1777 until about 1815, a period of nearly forty years. Through this family, the commission descended to the editor of this work. Following is the wording of this document:

In Convention of the Representatives of the State of New York to Nicholas Herkimer Esquire Greeting.

WE reposing Especial trust and Confidence in your Patriotism Valour Conduct and Fidelity DO by these presents constitute and appoint you the said Nicholas Herkimer Brigadier General of the Brigade of Militia of the County of Tryon Embodied for the defense of American Liberty and for repelling Every Hostile Invasion thereof you are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of Brigadier General by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging and we do strictly charge and Require all officers and Privates under your Command to be obedient to your orders as Brigadier General And you are to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time as you shall receive from the present or any future Congress of the United States of America or from this or any future Convention of the Representatives or future Executive Authority of this STATE or from the Commander in Chief for the time Being of the Army of the United STATES or any other your Superior Officer According to the rules and Discipline of War in pursuance of the Trust Reposed in you PROVIDED such orders and directions of the said Commander in Chief or of such Superior Officer be granted on the Authority of the present or any other future Congress of the United American STATES or the present or any future Convention of the Representatives or other Executive Authority of the STATE Or their Respective Committees of Safety. This Commission to Continue of force untill Revoked by this or a future Convention of this STATE Given at Fishkills, the fifth Day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and Seventy Six.

By Order
Abm. Yates Junr., President

Attest
John McKesson Secry.

* * * * *

The service of the Tryon County Militia in the Revolution forms a most interesting chapter of the War for American Independence. No frontier was more exposed and none was more valiantly defended. Their record of patriotic service will be found most thrilling. While the Mohawk River militiamen were unruly, insubordinate and undisciplined at the beginning of the war, as at Oriskany, they became seasoned soldiers in time, fully the equals of the men of the Line, who corresponded to our later regulars. As shown in the following Revolutionary chapters, these Mohawk Valley militiamen participated in some severe fighting, and several pitched battles. This, however, formed only part of their service. Some detachments of the militia were constantly on duty. The men not only went out to fight on the battlefields of the Valley, but they garrisoned and manned the Valley forts, and were scouting and ranging continually. Some of their most severe duty was in going after large and small bodies of Tories and Indians, who were constantly breaking out of the woods, burning, murdering and scalping and then getting away before the militia could reach the stricken spot. These forays were numberless. Many of them are given in detail in Simms' "Frontiersmen of New York", where the reader will find many thrilling stories and incidents of the Revolution.

The following affidavit and record of Revolutionary War service of George Bush shows clearly the active duty performed by these valiant farmer soldiers of the Mohawk Valley. Bush was a settler in the village of Springfield, prior to the Revolution, and served from there in its early days. He was probably burned out by Brant and his raiders in 1778, when Springfield was raided and burned. George Bush then moved to present Minden township and later to Palatine. The Editor is indebted to Mr. Harry V. Bush of Canajoharie, the historian, who is a descendant of Militiaman Bush, for the use of this interesting service paper, which were drawn up to certify to a pension application, following the U. S. pension law, enacted in 1832. George Bush's record in the Canajoharie District Regiment and the Palatine District Regiment of the Tryon County Militia, is as follows:

State of New York, Montgomery County,

Personally appeared before me the undersigned one of the Judges of the Court of Common pleas of the County of Montgomery, George Bush who being duly sworn Deposeth and Saith, that, by reason of old age and the consequent loss of memory he cannot swear positively as to the precise length of his service but, according to the best of his recollection, he served not less than the period mentioned below and in the following grades: For five months I served as a private in the year 1776.

For three months and twenty-nine days I served as a private in 1777.

For thirteen days I served as a private in 1778.

For one month and four days I served as a private in 1780.

For seven days I served as a private in 1781.

And in addition to the services above mentioned I did other service during the different seasons of the hostilities, that I was the most of the time in service from spring to fall up and down the Mohawk River during the different seasons from 1777 to 1781 the particulars of which service I cannot now give, but that I did as I am well satisfied full six months service besides what I have above specified, I have served my Country faithfully and this is the best statement I can give at this late day and in my declining age, of those services.

Whatever pension therfor this statement may entitle me to I shall be pleased to have and for that service I claim a pension.

Signed and sworn to this 1st day of July, 1833, before me.

David Spraker,
a Judge of the Montgomery County Courts.

George Bush.
X His Mark

State of New York,

County of Montgomery.

On the 19th. day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, personally appeared in open court before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of said county, now sitting, George Bush, a resident of the town of Minden, in the County and State aforesaid, aged eighty-seven years in June last, Who being duly sworn according to Law doth, on his oath, make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefits of the act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as hereinafter mentioned. That in 1776, thinks in the month of June, he enlisted in the service of his Country during the pleasure of Congress under Captain John Winn, Lieutenants Laurence Gros and he thinks Peter Schrembling, that under the above named officers he served in scouting from Cooperstown in the County of Otsego down the Unadilla and Susquehanna Rivers and to the north of the Mohawk River toward the head of the West Canada Creek, that some of the time he and others of the same company were stationed at Cooperstown on duty and on guard, while others of the company went out scouting in other directions. That he continued so to serve about five months and then procured one William Sixbury to take his place and he was discharged.

That afterwards about the first of January 1777 he was drafted and called to service in a Company commanded by Captain Nicholas Wiser, the Regiment after commanded by Col. Ebenezer Cox — that they soon thereafter left the Mohawk River at Canajoharie went to Ticonderoga where they with some regular troops were commanded by General Hay, remained there in building fortifications and works for the better defense of Country, until the fore part of April following, when we were discharged and that about a week thereafter he arrived at Springfield the place of his then residence.

That afterwards and about the last of July in the same year, on a call of the Militia to rout the enemy, he was again called into service and marched under the command of his said Captain to Fort Plain where they joined several other Companies under the command of Col. Ebenezer Cox, and they marched up the Mohawk River to Oriskany in the County of Oneida, then commanded by General Nicholas Herkimer, that he was then engaged in the Oriskany battle and was employed in the battle, marching to and from the place of battle and until he arrived home, at least two weeks.

That about the middle of July, 1778, he was called out from near Fort Plain where he then resided by Captain Adam Lipe and marched to Springfield on receiving the alarm that the Indians and Tories were destroying that settlement, that they arrived at the place about fifteen miles from Fort Plain after it was destroyed and then pursued the party of Indians and Tories west to what was called Young's Lake but did not come up with them and then returned to Fort Plain, that he was out on duty at that time about six dayes.

That in November following when the alarm came that the Indians and tories were destroying Cherry Valley he was called out and marched to that place about fifteen miles south of Fort Plain, when we arrived after it was destroyed, many men, women and children murdered and the party had moved off, that he staid and assisted in burying the dead and then returned to Fort Plain, and that he was out in that service about a week.

That in the month of October, 1780, he was again called out with the Company to which he then belonged, commanded by Captain Sufrinus Cook in the Town of Palatine, where he then lived to assist Col. Brown, who had the command for about nine months, in an attack upon Sir John Johnson who was then destroying up the north side of the Mohawk River with a party of British troops, Indians and tories, that he was engaged in the battle under Col. Brown against Sir John at Stone Arabia near the Mohawk River, when Col. Brown was killed, and that he was out in service at that time before and after the battle about two weeks.

That soon after he was drafted by a draft of every third man out of Captain Cook's Company the men so drafted were marched under command of Captain Cook to a place called the Royal Grant in the County of Herkimer, north of Little Falls and about thirty miles from where he resided in Palatine, that they were stationed and kept on duty better than two weeks and that he was in service at that time about twenty days.

That, in the Month of July, 1781, he was again called out by his said Captain Cook, marched with some troops and militia men then commanded by Col. Willett to a place called Durlach in the Town of Sharon in the County of Schoharie, there engaged with, fought and routed about three hundred Indians and tories commanded by a tory by the name of Dockstatter and that he was in service at that time a week or more.

That, besides the service of his in the revolution above mentioned, he was called out by his officers at many times and at many places up and down and north and south of the Mohawk River in cases of alarm by the repeated depredations of the Indians and tories during the war, that it is entirely out of his power to state the times and places they were so frequent indeed the savage depredations were almost constant during the summer and fall seasons from 1777 to 1781.

That the service he did during those years, which he cannot particularly state, did, as he fully believes, amount to at least six months actual duty in the service of his Country and that of the most severe and perilous kind.

That he has no documentary evidence and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to all his service.

That he was born in Germany in June, 1745 came to the province of New York about nine years before the Revolution.

That he has no record of his age.

That he was living in Springfield in the County of Otsego and State aforesaid when called in to service, that during the war he moved to Minden in the County of Montgomery, then to Palatine in said County where he lived to the end of the war then moved to Minden aforesaid where he has lived since.

That he was called into service at the times and in the manner above mentioned.

That he cannot state the names of the officers of the regular troops, Continental or other regiments or the general circumstances of his service then as the same is by him above stated and that he never received a written discharge.

That George D. Fergerson and Peter Young, are the names of persons to whom he is known in his present neighborhood who can testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution, and that there is no clergyman residing in his vicinity.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid, George Ferguson, Clerk.

George Bush.
X His Mark

Following this is an affidavit by George Ferguson and Peter Young, as to Bush's veracity, etc., a form common to these pension papers. In 1832, when the pension act was passed, but few surviving soldiers of the Revolution were living.

* * * * *

Following are Revolutionary War dates of national events of the year 1776: Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776; evacuation of Boston by British, March 17, 1776; American defeat on Long Island, August 27, 1776; American defeats of Fort Washington, Manhattan, and Fort Lee, New Jersey, in fall of 1776, and retreat across New Jersey; American victory at Trenton, December 26, 1776.

* * * * *

Gen. Philip Schuyler, who disarmed Johnson and his followers at Johnstown in 1776, was connected with many of the military movements in this locality through being the commander of the American army of the north during the early part of the war with headquarters at Albany. He was born in Albany, 1733, and came of a Dutch family which had been prominently connected with the affairs of the city and the colony from its earliest days. Schuyler joined the British Colonial forces during the French war and became a major. Two days after the battle of Bunker Hill, congress made him a major-general and placed him in command of the northern department. In the expedition against Canada, Schuyler commanded that by way of Lake Champlain. He was compelled, owing to ill health, to relinquish his command to Montgomery after taking Isle au Noix, on Sorel river. The failure of the Canadian expedition excited much hostility to Schuyler and insinuations were made against his loyalty. This became so offensive that he sent congress his resignation which that body declined to accept in the autumn of 1776. In April, 1777, Schuyler demanded a court of inquiry, which approved his management. During this time he had continued in command at Albany and his influence with the Indians is said to have been of great value to the American cause. Gen. Schuyler sent aid, in August, 1777, to Fort Stanwix, under Arnold. Gen. Schuyler's wise and energetic action in promptly dispatching this relief force probably saved the fort, the Valley and the Nation.

Fort Stanwix was renamed Fort Schuyler, in 1776, by Col. Dayton who began its repair and reconstruction. The fort is so called in Revolutionary army orders. Soldiers and officers and the Continental Congress referred to it throughout the war as Fort Stanwix and this popular name is generally used in this work to avoid confusion with Old Fort Schuyler of 1758, at present Utica. Fort Stanwix is described in the next chapter covering the erection of Mohawk Valley American Army forts.

Schuyler resisted Burgoyne's advance but was superseded by Gates at the mouth of the Mohawk, where he had taken up a fortified position in September, 1777. Thus he was robbed of the fruits of the victory at Saratoga. 1778-81 he was a member of congress and in 1789 and 1797 went to the United States senate from New York. In the New York senate he contributed largely to the code of laws adopted by the state and was an active promoter of the canal system. The Western Inland Lock Navigation Co. was incorporated in 1792, for the improvement of the Mohawk river traffic, and Gen. Philip Schuyler was elected its president.

General Schuyler was an enthusiast on the development of inland waterways, and was far ahead of his time in his realization of their possibilities. He spent a considerable time in the Mohawk Valley during the surveys and construction work connected with the Inland Lock Navigation Co., as well as after the waterway was in operation. Gen. Schuyler was a frequent visitor at the Palatine Church home of his sister, Gertrude, who married Gen. John Cochran, Director-General of Revolutionary American Army hospitals. General and Mrs. John and Mrs. Gertrude (Schuyler) Cochran lived in the Cochran house, now standing on the Mohawk Turnpike about one-quarter mile west of Palatine Church. General Cochran was a close friend of General Washington and, when the latter broke up his headquarters near Newburgh at the end of the Revolution, he gave General and Mrs. Cochran a considerable part of his furniture, which stood in the Cochran house for the fifteen years of its family occupancy.

One of General Schuyler's daughters married Alexander Hamilton. Schuyler died in Albany in 1804, aged 70. He is considered one of the leading figures of New York's Revolutionary period.

General Philip Schuyler was descended from Philip Pietersen Schuyler, the ancestor of the family, who came to New Netherland from Holland in 1650 and settled at Fort Orange. This pioneer married Margritta Van Slichtenhorst. A branch of the Schuyler family settled in present Herkimer county prior to the Revolution and the Schuylers are now well represented all along the Mohawk Valley. The Schuyler family is one of the most prominent in the history of New York State.

Captain George Herkimer, brother of General Nicholas Herkimer, married Alida Schuyler who is said to have been a niece of General Philip Schuyler.

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