We think of the Revolutionary War as a conflict between rebellious American colonists and the British Empire. But in the Mohawk Valley it was largely a civil war between neighbors, between siblings, and between fathers and sons, depending on who sided with the Revolutionaries and who with the Royalist cause.
General Nicholas Herkimer led the 800-strong Tryon County Militia force in relief of Fort Stanwix. Yet his own younger brother Johan Jost Herkimer was a captain in the Indian Department with Barry St. Leger’s British force that laid siege to the fort and participated in the ambush known as the Battle of Oriskany, one of the bloodiest battles in the entire eight year conflict.
On Sunday, February 5th at 2 pm the New Scotland Historical Society will host Terry McMaster with a slide show that looks at the events that led up to the battle, the battle itself, and the battle’s tragic outcomes for Haudenosaunee/Iroquois, Royalist, and Revolutionary families, as well as its overall part in the Saratoga Campaign.
McMaster will discuss the Herkimers, Johnsons, Brants, Butlers, the Palatine German, Dutch and Scots-Irish factions of settlers, and the Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca and other Native participants.
Bring your knowledge, questions, and ancestral stories to the event. The New Scotland Museum is located in the Wyman Osterhout Community Center on Old New Salem Road just off Route 85 in New Salem, Albany, NY.
A wounded Nicholas Herkimer at the Battle of Oriskany, August 6 1777, from a painting by Frederick Coffay Yohn.
Norma Coney says
It would be so nice if more advance notice of these events was given. I almost always get them too late to plan to attend any of them!
John Warren says
Be sure you are signed up to receive the daily email at 6 am.
You might also consider contacting the event organizers and ask them to present it virtually as well. At this point, there really is no reason why these events have to be limited to whoever can make into the room on any given day.
Thanks for reading,