In the early 1750s, the French were establishing trading posts and building forts along western the frontiers of the British colonies. In the fall of 1753, in part to protect his own land claims, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie had sent 22-year-old George Washington (then a militia leader and surveyor) to deliver a letter to Fort Le Boeuf at what is today Waterford in northwest Pennsylvania, demanding they stop. [Read more…] about The French and Indian War: A New York Perspective
There was a story that had been passed down in the Minthorn family for generations. It told of how an ancestor had hidden her two infants under the roots of a tree to save them during the Revolutionary War attack on Cherry Valley, NY, in 1778. It was said that in her zeal to quiet her children, the youngsters were rendered unconscious, being revived only after the attackers had departed.
While this story is most likely fiction, there is some truth mixed in. [Read more…] about The Mystery of Joseph Brant’s Watch
On October 19, 1780, Loyalists, Native Allies and British soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Johnson and Captain Joseph Brant began destroying farms in Stone Arabia, a village about a mile north of Fort Keyser, in what was then Tryon County (today, Palatine Township in Montgomery County).
Colonel John Brown, leading a force of New York and Massachusetts revolutionaries left Fort Paris in Stone Arabia in an attempt to attack what he believed was a smaller, isolated enemy force. [Read more…] about Battles of Stone Arabia, Klock’s Field Archeological Study Complete
A recent article in the Albany Times Union, “The Enduring Mystery of a Mohawk Warrior Bust at the Capitol,” (online edition, July 22, 2022) noted that there is a sculpted face of Joseph Brant on the exterior of the State Capitol building in Albany, New York.
Researched and written by journalist Chris Carola, it questions why Brant, a Native American who supported the British during the American Revolution – and who wreaked havoc on a number of white settlements – was honored by having his visage on such a prominent edifice. [Read more…] about Joseph Brant’s Face: A State Capitol Mystery
The British and their Indigenous allies repeatedly attacked the communities in the Schoharie Valley to the west however, despite the presence of a large militia and three forts to protect the people of Schoharie. [Read more…] about When History Is Wrong: The Albany County ‘Dietz Massacre’
During the Revolutionary Era much of New York State was a heavily forested frontier, sparsely populated but bitterly divided.
Although the only major campaign in the Adirondacks would end at the Battle of Saratoga, factional raiding parties traversed the mountains and valleys of the Adirondacks throughout the war.
Author Marie Danielle Annette Williams details many of those frontier raids in her new book The Revolutionary War in the Adirondacks: Raids in the Wilderness (Arcadia Publishing, 2020). [Read more…] about The Revolutionary War in the Adirondacks
This week on The Historians Podcast, archaeologist and historian Wayne Lenig discusses Mohawk chief Joseph Brant’s 1780 raids in the Mohawk Valley. Lenig will be one of the speakers at next month’s American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley Conference at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
Listen to the podcast here. [Read more…] about Joseph Brant’s 1780 Mohawk Valley Raid
The American Revolution Round Table (ARRT) of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys will host Wayne Lenig, who will give a presentation entitled Joseph Brant’s 1780 Attack on Canajohary.
Original accounts of the August 2nd raid began appearing in major newspapers about two weeks after the attack. A newspaper account dated September 9, 1780 stated the following: “At the fort now called fort Ransalaer (Fort Plain), Sir John Johnson and Captain Brant have burnt 51 houses, 42 barns, 17 killed, and 52 prisoners.”
Joseph Brant of the Mohawk Nation was born in what is now Ohio in 1743 and Martin was fascinated by Brant’s life. The younger brother of Sir William Johnson’s longtime consort Molly Brant, Joseph Brant and Sir William’s son John led devastating raids in the Mohawk Valley during the American Revolution.
Sir William, Britain’s Indian agent in our region, died in 1774 before the war. However, his good relations with the Iroquois Confederacy kept most of them on the side of the British during the Revolution. [Read more…] about The Oneida Nation Supported American Rebels