The following captivity narrative was related by Robert Brice and includes an account of the September 1781 “Dietz Massacre” that took place a few miles south of the Village of Berne, Albany County, NY. This story was taken down from Robert Brice when he was still living by Josiah Priest and published in his Stories of the Revolution in 1836 as “The Captive Boys of Rensselaerville – John and Robert Brice.” This version has been lightly edited for easier reading, but has retained much of the tone and style, including the use of disparaging terms to refer to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people who took part in these events. Additional details and background about this event can be found here. New York Almanack is presenting this story to illustrate historical attitudes about these events from a victim’s perspective.
The Brices had migrated from their native country of Scotland in the year 1774 and settled in a new place, southwest of the city of Albany. At this place, a few families had chosen a residence, which was then called Van Rensselaer’s Patent, but now Rensselaerville. Here the newcomers erected a few log houses. [Read more…] about The Captive Boys of Rensselaerville: John and Robert Brice