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Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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Submitted by Linda Robinson, August 23, 2004

THE ANTI-RENT WAR: HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THOSE EXCITING EVENTS---
NAMES OF SOLDIERS ENCAMPED IN DELHI IN 1845

(As printed in the Unadilla Times and re-printed in the Stamford Mirror, August 10, 1886 issue page 1 columns 2-5. Transcribed from microfilm purchased from the NYSHA.)

This country has witnessed several wars and insurrections, but none of them were enacted nearer the town of Unadilla than the one here described. Many still living were in the battalion called into service at that time, and the publication of a historical sketch, together with a list of names of the soldiers, will be of interest to our readers.

The Anti-Renters were a political party, which, in the four years between 1843 and 1847, made much commotion in that part of the State of New York comprised in the counties of Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene and Rensselaer. In these counties land had been royally granted in the old colonial times to "lords of the manor," who were usually called "patroons." The tracts of land so granted were enormous in extent, and made leases in perpetuity, with the ground-rent payable generally in "kind," in corn, grain, skins of animals, and products of the soil or chase. As civilization extended and population increased, such a possession of their lands by tenants in this nature of feudal possession grew irksome to them. While nominally owning their farms they were not the real owners. From complaining, the tenants turned to resisting, and especially upon farms which were handed down through families from generation to generation, until finally the tenants in those counties which have been named banded themselves in associations, in order to attempt to break their leases. Their appeals to the law courts were, however, ineffectual. Then the question entered into the domain of politics, as it has similarly entered in England and Ireland. Great meetings were held in these counties. Agitators who had no particular interest in the anti-rent meetings, as well as tenants who had the greatest interest, organized and addressed these meetings, at which there was more or less "sedition" and much rash talking, perhaps natural under the circumstances. Sometimes tenants would refuse to pay even a nominal rent or to recognize the "landlordism" in their cases, and then, of course, resort would be had to the courts for eviction procedures, to which there would be resistance. From legal resistance the tenants went on to armed and belligerent resistance. They would dress like Indians and disguise their faces with paints, and tar and feather them in one or two instances extreme violence was resorted to, and all this resistance led to the passage of a stature against men appearing in public in disguise.

COLUMBIA COUNTY
During the summer of 1845 some alarming outrages were committed by "Indians" of the anti-rent associations in Columbia county, and the law to prevent people appearing disguised and armed did not have the effect to prevent outrages. A deputy sheriff was shot at and wounded. Dr. Boughton, one of the most active agents in exacting these disturbances, was arrested and brought to trial, but the jury would not agree to convict him. On a second trial, however, Boughton or "Big Thunder," was convicted and sentenced to the state prison.

DELAWARE COUNTY
In Delaware county the Hardenburgh patent, embracing ten miles square, lying south of the east branch of the Delaware was granted April 10, 1707, to Johannes Hardenburgh, of Kingston, Ulster county, and associates, who had previously purchased the lands of the Indians. A tract of 250,000 acres between the west branch of the Delaware and a line a mile east from the Susquehanna, was bought from the Indians at "Johnson Hall," Montgomery county, June 14, 1787, by John Harper, Sr., Gen. William, Joseph, and Alex. Harper and others. On the southeast side it extended from Utsayantho Lake down the Delaware to the mouth of a small stream called Camskutty. Within this tract, five towns, with full privileges of township, were created by patent in 1770; but in none of them was an organization ever effected under this authority.

Under this grant of ten miles square the proprietors of the Hardenburgh patent claimed all the land between the branches of the Delaware, and leased it to actual settlers.

A select committee of the assembly, in 1846, reported the following tracts under lease in this county: Kortright patent, 20,000 acres, mostly leased in fee, at sixpense sterling per acre. It was offered for sale at two dollars per acre. Desbrosses tract, (Hardenburgh patent) 60,000 acres, mostly leased in fee between 1790 and 1807 at one shilling per acre after the first seven years. Farms from 100 to 200 acres. Morgan Lewis estate, 20,000 acres, about 15,000 perpetual lease, at twenty bushels of wheat per 100 acres after fifteen years; for the first five of fifteen years it was rent free, five years one-half rent, and five years for three-quarters. G. and S. Verplanck, three tracts, originally 50,000 acres of which less than 20,000 were under lease. R.R. Livingston and Mrs. Montgomery, 20,000 acres, under perpetual lease, on rent of twenty bushels of wheat per 100 acres. General Armstrong, 8,000 acres, under lease for three lives, at twenty bushels of wheat per 100 acres. Hunter's and Overing's large tracts in this county, Sullivan and Green, in fee, with a rent of twelve and one-half to fifteen or nineteen cents per acre.

In 1844, the settler, who had previously paid annual rents, refused longer to submit to what they believed to be a wrong and fraud, and they called for legislative and judicial aid. In the meantime, the lessors prosecuted for rent. In 1845, associations were formed to prevent the collection of rent; and when the sheriff attempted to make a levy, or to sell property for rent, men disguised as Indians appeared to prevent the sale, determined thus to stay proceedings until the question of title should be legally settled. An act was passed, January 25, 1845, forbidding persons from appearing disguised and armed, under a penalty of imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding six months. Persons thus armed and disguised might be prosecuted under the fictitious names they assumed, if their real names could not be discovered; and such persons assembling in public houses or other places to the number of three or more might, upon conviction, be imprisoned one year in the county jail. If convicted upon an indictment for a conspiracy or riot or misdemeanor, in which offense they were armed with deadly weapons, they were further liable to a fine not exceeding $250, with or without a year's imprisonment. In a few cases these laws were disregarded; several arrests were made, and the county was declared in a state of rebellion. August 7, 1845, Sheriff More, accompanied by P.P. Wright, went to the town of Andes to sell the property of Moses Earl, upon execution for rent. There he found 176 men armed and disguised, who told him to do his duty and they would protect him; "but," said they, "let bidders beware." The sheriff and Indians drove the cattle near the road, the Indians forming a semicircle about the property. At this crisis Deputy Sheriffs Osman N. Steele and R. Edgarton (whom Sheriff More had requested not to come to the sale) appeared on horseback, jumped their horses over the feoce (force? Fence?), were joined by Wright, and rode into the midst of the Indians, flourishing their revolvers and firing several shots. The Indians gave ground; but their chief ordered them to shoot their horses. Several shots were fired killing the horses of Steel and Edgarton, and mortally wounding Steel, who survived but a few hours.

About 90 persons were indicted for the murder of Steele, of whom one-third were arrested. Two (O'Connor and VanSteenburgh) were convicted and sentenced to be executed, but their punishment was commuted to State prison for life by Governor Wright, and they were fully pardoned by Gov. Young. The county remained under martial law from Aug. 18 to Dec. 22, 1845. The murder of Steele led to the speedy abandonment of secret organizations and Indian costumes.

The Governor immediately issued a proclamation declaring the county to be in a state of insurrection, and placing it, under martial law. A battalion of 300 militia, one-half of whom were mounted, were called out and placed at the disposal of the local officers. They continued in service several months. The mounted men were actively employed the first two or three months in small detachments aiding the civil authorities in making arrests, and in patrolling day and night such districts as the exigency of the service required. The residue was employed in guarding the jail, and as foot patrols in the vicinity of Delhi on the occasion. On two occasions detachments of troops attended the sheriff to State prison with prisoners.

The excitement finally subsided and no further collision ensued. But for several years thereafter the anti-rent question continued to agitate the public mind in all sectors of the State where the leasehold tenure prevailed. After a time most of the land was conveyed in fee to the leasees, and at the present time the whole question is almost entirely amicably arranged in like manner.

NAMES OF SOLDIERS
Following is a complete list of the names of soldiers comprising the battalion alluded to, one of the companies---that of Capt. Bolles, called the Unadilla Light Infantry, and belonging to the 151st Reg. of the State Militia---being principally from the town of Unadilla.

They were stationed at Delhi and called into service by proclamation of Gov. Wright, Aug. 27, 1845, and discharged Dec. 24 of the same year, being in service 119 days:

Field and Staff:
Thomas Marvin, Major, Walton
Fletcher Palmer, Adjutant, Deposit
Daniel Shepard, Chaplain, Delhi
Weyman Ferris, Drum-Major, Unadilla
Schuyler Merriman, Fife-Major, Unadilla
John Gray, Sergeant-Standard-Bearer, Unadilla

Capt. Cook's Company of Mounted Light Infantry:
Benjamin T. Cook, Captain, Franklin
William Buckingham, Lieutenant, Harpersfield
Angus McDonald Jr., Ensign, Stamford
Henry G. Hull, Sergeant, Roxbury
Isaac N. Rowland, Sergeant, Roxbury
Charles O. Wright, Sergeant, Delhi
George N. Doolittle, Sergeant, Meredith
Charles E. Parker, Corporal, Delhi
James Herring, Corporal, Delhi
Robert Brown, Corporal, Franklin
William H. Whitney, Corporal, Oneonta
Orange Graves, Musician, Harpersfield
William Parker, Musician, Franklin
Solomon, P. Moffatt, Private, Roxbury
Alfred Hull, Private, Roxbury
George Barkley, Private, Roxbury
John Lawrence, Private, Roxbury
Aaron B. Daniel, Private, Roxbury
C.P. Moffatt, Private, Roxbury
E.C. Burroughs, Private, Roxbury
J.K. Benjamin, Private, Roxbury
James H. Bouton, Private, Roxbury
James S. Patterson, Private, Roxbury
F.B. Burhans, Private, Roxbury
Jonas M. Follett, Private, Roxbury
Whitacar Burhans, Private, Roxbury
Jesse M. Benjamin, Private, Roxbury
C.S. Patterson, Private, Roxbury
Hiram Daniel, Private, Roxbury
Stephen J. Davis, Private, Roxbury
John M. Benjamin, Private, Roxbury
William D. Reed, Private, Roxbury
Amos B. Sines, Private, Roxbury
Daniel Rowland, Private, Roxbury
Asa Dann, Private, Franklin
Stephen M. Betts, Private, Franklin
Casper Freer, Private, Franklin
William Shephard, Private, Franklin
Levi Burdick, Private, Franklin
Itha Shephard, Private, Franklin
Jerome Signor, Private, Franklin
Henry Swart, Private, Franklin
Minard Freer, Private, Franklin
Alanson Cagwin, Private, Franklin
William Dart, Private, Franklin
John P. Shaw, Private, Franklin
Ira Willis, Private, Franklin
Henry Boyd, Private, Franklin
Marcus Bronson, Private, Franklin
John Miller, Private, Franklin
Peter Van Hosen, Private, Franklin
Reuben Parish, Private, Franklin
Samuel F. Miller, Private, Franklin
Ira Parish, Private, Franklin
Henry J. Radeker, Private, Colchester
John Campbell, Private, Colchester
William Horton, Private, Colchester
Henry J. Johnson, Private, Colchester
Perry Radeker, Private, Colchester
Alexander Elwood, Private, Colchester
Albert Hodge, Private, Colchester
George W.P. Horton, Private, Colchester
George P. Gregory, Private, Colchester
Nelson Sampson, Private, Sanford
Isaac A. Burrows, Private, Sanford
Alonzo A. Taylor, Private, Harpersfield
William Wilcox, Private, Harpersfield
Noah W. Davenport, Private, Harpersfield
Richard B. Gibbs, Private, Harpersfield
Isaac Dayton, Private, Harpersfield
Benjamin F. Gibbs, Private, Harpersfield
Moses Knowlton, Private, Harpersfield
William Dayton, Private, Harpersfield
Ephraim Winchel, Private, Harpersfield
R.N. Merwin, Private, Harpersfield
Robert N. Berry, Private, Walton
William St. John, Private, Walton
Truman Guild, Private, Walton
Gilbert Wakeman, Private, Walton
Hiram Olmstead, Private, Walton
Joseph T. Marvin, Private, Walton
N. Curtiss Marvin, Private, Walton
John St. John, Private, Walton
Benjamin W. Niles, Private, Walton
Dudley Taylor Jr., Private, Walton
Henry St. John, Private, Walton
Charles Howland, Private, Walton
Orrin Mayo, Private, Tompkins
Charles E. Freeman, Private, Tompkins
George Porter, Private, Delhi
John E. Smith, Private, Delhi
Albert Flint, Private, Delhi
William Flower Jr., Private, Delhi
Harvey S. Brown, Private, Delhi
Joseph B. Stalker, Private, Delhi
J. Ives Fitch, Private, Delhi
John H. Gould, Private, Delhi
David D. Carpenter, Private, Delhi
Stephen Loudon, Private, Delhi
Charles Ogden, Private, Delhi
Erastus S. Edgerton, Private, Delhi
John McDonald, Private, Delhi
Arnold Woolerton, Private, Delhi
Clinton Thompson, Private, Delhi
Henry Salisbury, Private, Delhi
Valentine Levalley, Private, Delhi
William H.H. Bortel, Private, Middletown
Daniel Todd, Private, Shandaken
John K. Odell, Private, Stamford
Charles B. Clark, Private, Stamford
Charles W. Griffin, Private, Stamford
Harvey Gilbert, Private, Masonville
James W. Ramsdell, Private, Masonville
Stephen Van Dusen, Private, Meredith
Allen J. Stilson, Private, Meredith
William Valentine, Private, Meredith
Jonathan B. Carpenter, Private, Meredith
Harvey Mackey, Private, Davenport
Timothy Murphy, Private, Davenport
Henry Bradley, Private, Sidney
James McCabe, Private, Andes

Captain Bolle's Company:
Frederick A. Bolles, Captain, Unadilla
William E. Webster, Lieutenant, Franklin
Levi B. Woodruff, Ensign, Unadilla
Ira E. Sherman, Sergeant, Sidney
Charles S. Betts, Sergeant, Sidney
O.C. Hough, Sergeant, Unadilla
Marcus S. Kellogg, Sergeant, Unadilla
William D. Gallup, Corporal, Unadilla
Charles S. Smith, Corporal, Unadilla
John W. Woodruff, Corporal, Unadilla
Jacob B. Kettel, Corporal, Unadilla
Jefferson Carley, Corporal, Sidney
Charles M. Burgin, Corporal, Unadilla
John G. Lamb, Musician, Unadilla
Henry Briggs, Musician, Unadilla
O.T.W. Crane, Musician, Unadilla
Daniel C. Wilbur, Private, Sidney
John Radcliff, Private, Sidney
Charles Fletcher, Private, Sidney
Joseph Fletcher, Private, Sidney
William Baker, Private, Sidney
James Warring, Private, Sidney
Delos Bailey, Private, Sidney
William P. Shaw, Private, Sidney
Levi Beardsley, Private, Sidney
Henry Finch, Private, Sidney
Martin A. Bartlett, Private, Sidney
Seely Wood, Private, Sidney
John L. Osgood, Private, Unadilla
Elijah Judd, Private, Franklin
James W. Perkins, Private, Franklin
Andrew J. Bugbee, Private, Franklin
Alonzo A. Bugbee, Private, Franklin
Francis P. Waters, Private, Franklin
Porter G. Nortrhup, Private, Franklin
John Bissel, Private, Franklin
Ira Carley, Private, Sidney
Porter Dewey, Private, Sidney
Samuel Cranston, Private, Unadilla
Horace B. Eells, Private, Unadilla
Thomas Graham, Private, Unadilla
Loyd L. Woodruff, Private, Unadilla
John Hanford, Private, Unadilla
William Hoag, Private, Unadilla
Enoch B. Thomas, Private, Unadilla
Francis Noble, Private, Unadilla
David Weidman, Private, Unadilla
George W. Thomas, Private, Unadilla
Charles G. Fancher, Private, Unadilla
Lyman Bunnel, Private, Unadilla
H.I. Marsh, Private, Unadilla
George Crandall, Private, Unadilla
Andrew I. Hemmenway, Private, Unadilla
Luke Kellogg, Private, Unadilla
Lawrence Ostrander, Private, Sidney
John Pooler, Private, Sidney
John Rider, Private, Sidney
David Osborn, Private, Sidney
Charles Dewey, Private, Sidney
George Scofield, Private, Unadilla
Marcus Wilbur, Private, Unadilla
Francis Wilbur, Private, Unadilla
Cyrus S. Haynes, Private, Unadilla
Benjamin F. Buckley, Private, Unadilla
Laban Crandall, Private, Unadilla
William Limberger, Private, Unadilla
Thomas Limberger, Private, Unadilla
David Myers, Private, Unadilla
David P. Spencer, Private, Unadilla
Edwin B. Olmsted, Private, Unadilla
Alexander P. Gray, Private, Unadilla
Horatio Failing, Private, Franklin
Frederick Failing, Private, Franklin
James Wakeman Jr., Private, Sidney
Elijah H. Evans, Private, Unadilla
Willis Lasure, Private, Unadilla
Willard Stedman, Private, Unadilla
Miles Hinman, Private, Unadilla
Clark A. Wright, Private, Unadilla
Benjamin W. Warring, Private, Unadilla
Andrew Hanford, Private, Franklin
William T. Buell, Private, Franklin
George W. Reynolds, Private, Franklin
Matthew L. Barnes, Private, Franklin
Marcus Scotte, Private, Franklin
Lester Ward, Private, Franklin
William Abell, Private, Franklin
Joseph Hodges, Private, Sidney
Joseph Bissell, Private, Franklin
William Hodges, Private, Sidney
Giles G. Fancher, Private, Unadilla
Seth Bartlett, Private, Sidney
Cyrenus Hickok, Private, Unadilla
Alfred Freer, Private, Franklin
William Youmans, Private, Otego
Alexander Kilpatrick, Private, Unadilla
Deming Fitch, Private, Otego
Oliver Place, Private, Unadilla
Franklin R. Buckley, Private, Unadilla
Erastus Hawks, Private, Unadilla
William Hall, Private, Sidney
William C. Shannon, Private, Sidney
Levi Place, Private, Otego
Ripley Sherman, Private, Franklin
Abiathar A. Millard, Private, Delhi
James L. Briggs, Private, Unadilla
Lewis Lamb, Private, Unadilla
Thomas Noble, Private, Sidney
James Cavin, Private, Delhi
Jabez B. Oles, Private, Franklin
Lucellas Chamberlain, Private, Franklin
Isaac Hall, Private Unadilla
Orson Perkins, Private, Franklin
John Townsend, Private, Delhi
Caleb R. Burger, Private, Delhi
John A. Peck, Private, Delhi
A.P. Grey, Private, Delhi
James Phillips, Private, Unadilla
Wilson Vandyke, Private, Unadilla
Chester Carpenter, Private, Unadilla
Ira G. More, Private, Delhi
Elijah W. Goodrich, Private, Delhi
Osman Crane, Private, Meredith
Charles R. Sheldon, Private, Delhi
Henry Beardsley, Private, Sidney

Captain Baldwin's Company:
John R. Baldwin, Captain, Stamford
Thomas E. Marvin, Lieutenant, Walton
Palmer L. Burrows, Ensign, Tompkins
William H. Copley, NCO, Delhi
Willis C. Ripley, NCO, Franklin
John Caid, NCO, Delhi
Robert B. Leal, NCO, Delhi
Lafayette Walker, NCO, Tompkins
Russel W. Morgan, NCO, Davenport
Isaiah P. Marks, NCO, Delhi
Adelbert F. Barnes, NCO, Franklin
Henry Jones, Musician, Meredith
Lewis B. Strong, Musician, Meredith
James Bates, Musician, Delhi
Rensellaer F. Thurber, Musician, Delhi
David Cotrell, Musician, Meredith.
Oliver F. Cannon, Private, Delhi
Joseph Sweet, Private, Sidney
Marcellus Burrows, Private, Tompkins
Smith P. Townsend, Private, Walton
Martin Kellogg, Private, Franklin
Ansel F. Wattles, Private, Franklin
Samuel R. Smith, Private, Davenport
Benjamin Z. Rouse, Private, Hancock
James M. Colter, Private, Franklin
Stephen Ramsey, Private, Meredith
Benjamin Benedict, Private, Meredith
Henry W. Rosakrans, Private, Delhi
William W. Woodworth, Private, Delhi
John Redmond, Private, Delhi
Joseph P. Parsons, Private, Franklin
Erastus R. Burdick, Private, Franklin
Isaiah Houghtaling, Private, Roxbury
Gideon McDonald, Private, Stamford
Linus Holt, Private, Walton
Edward Holt, Private, Walton
Isaac B. Smith, Private, Meredith
Homer Frink, Private, Meredith
William J. Epps, Private, Meredith
Richard B. Jackson, Private, Meredith
Lyman Packard, Private, Delhi
Andrew T. Treadwell, Private, Franklin
William Betts Jr., Private, Franklin
Aaron S. Walker, Private, Tompkins
Edward M. Hulce, Private, Tompkins
Henry Crawford, Private, Tompkins
J.W. Owen, Private, Tompkins
Stephen Dennis, Private, Hancock
James Henderson, Private, Walton
Addison P. Parsons, Private, Franklin
William S. Hanford, Private, Walton
Michael Odell, Private, Harpersfield
David P. Bouton, Private, Middletown
William W. Marvin, Private, Walton
William P. More, Private, Walton
Charles S. Thurber, Private, Delhi
Thorn More, Private, Delhi
Lewis More, Private, Delhi
George Jones, Private, Walton
Linus Demander, Private, Tompkins
Charles Stiles, Private, Tompkins
John B. Fisk, Private, Delhi
Abraham Rogers, Private, Tompkins
Eli H. Nickerson, Private, Delhi
Delos Gager, Private, Sidney
Thomas Shimers, Private, Hancock
Revillo Knowles, Private, Meredith
Samuel H. Orr, Private, Meredith
Benjamin B. Akerley, Private, Delhi
Allen Knapp, Private, Delhi
Morris Eldred, Private Hancock
John H. Cobine, Private, Meredith
George W. Marvin, Private, Walton
Henry Jones, 2d, Private, Walton
Hiram S. Mayo, Private, Tompkins
Hiram Bridges, Private, Laurens
William S. Crawford, Private, Delhi
William Bogg, Private, Delhi
Gilbert Chadwick, Private, Stamford
Benjamin T. Cannon, Private, Tompkins
Peter Dunn, Private, Walton
Ebenezer Chadwick, Private, Stamford
Henry Blish, Private, Stamford
Smith H. White, Private, Walton
Warren Ellison, Private, Franklin
Orris Bailey, Private, Delhi
Herman Kentfield, Private, Masonville
George H. Winsor, Private, Masonville
Alexander Levalley, Private, Colchester
Joseph P. Shaw, Private, Meredith
Henry Smith, Private, Delhi
William A. Claghorn, Private, Masonville
Andrew Huyck, Private, Tompkins
George E. White, Private, Walton
G.W. Gordon, Private, Franklin
James Murphy, Private, Delhi
Charles C. Sloote, Private, Delhi
John M.Brandow, Private, Delhi
Calvin H. Bell, Private, Delhi
Isaac J. Townsend, Private, Walton
Benjamin B. Eells, Private, Walton
Thomas W. Ostrom, Private, Tompkins
Dyer D. Bullock, Private, Davenport
Robert E. Walter, Private, Delhi
Albert Smith, Private, Delhi
Valentine Bradd, Private, Meredith
William Mayo, Private, Tompkins
A.T. Burrows, Private, Tompkins
Charles A. Edgerton, Private, Delhi
Robert Houghtaling, Private, Davenport
Daniel M. Leal, Private, Delhi
Thomas M. Platner, Private, Delhi
Samuel Loyd, Private, Franklin
Thomas Raymond, Private, Delhi
Rufus S. Eells, Private, Delhi
Green More, 2d, Private, Delhi
Samuel Cuyle, Private, Masonville
Levi D. Wicks, Private, Delhi
Philip Sloat, Private, Delhi
Stephen D. Eells, Private, Walton
Linus Brownson, Private, Meredith
William Newcomb, Private, Delhi
E. Sheldon Sawyer, Private, Walton
Royal Prime, Private, Franklin
Eli Hodges, Private, Stamford
Henry L. Stoutenburgh, Private, Delhi
A. Cook Edgerton, Private, Delhi
John L. Carpenter, Private, Meredith



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