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Delaware County, NY Genealogy and History Site


Anti-Rent War Costume and Horse Anti-Rent War

Copy provided by the Delaware County Clerk's Office, Delhi, NY Electronic Text prepared by Cheryl Jordan, Plainview, Texas, February 11, 1997

Introduction - The history of the Anti-Rent War in this part of New York can be traced to 1708, when Lord Cornbury, the royal governor, granted a patent to the Hardenburgh family. Landlords who represented the wealthy families of the area leased the land to tenant farmers whose objections to the oppressive methods began shortly after the birth of our nation, in 1787.

Anti-Rent sentiment started in the Albany area and spread to adjoining counties, including Delaware. In 1839, Stephen VanRensselaer, a major landholder, died and the actions of his heirs who were very strict about collection of rents caused things to come to a head.

In 1844, a Delaware County group organized in Andes, because Sheriff's men, most flamboyant of whom was Undersheriff Osman "Bud" Steele, had been enforcing sales. They went along with their neighbors in adjoining counties and adopted Indian disguises, which in early 1845 were declared illegal. On August 7 of that year, Anti-Renters from a wide area gathered at the farm of Moses Earl near the foot of Dingle Hill, about a mile and a half southeast of Andes. They had heard that Earle's cattle were to be sold for non-payment of rents and were determined to convince the posse otherwise.

Steele, who earlier in the day at Hunting's Hotel, a center for the pro-rent forces, had boasted his confidence of victory with the words "Lead can't penetrate Steele!" was in charge of the party. Events, later in the day, proved otherwise, the "Anti-Rent War" came to a crisis and the "War" moved into the judicial arena of the Delaware County Courts.


The Delaware County Clerk's Office has original documents, photocopies and typescripts thereof of these events as they moved through the two criminal courts of the time--the Court of Oyer & Terminer (OT) and the Sessions Court (GS). Most of the documentation requires on-site research. However, the Indictments from both the above mentioned Courts are complete in themselves and may be of interest to descendants of those named as well as to researchers. Photocopies of the handwritten (sometimes difficult to read) and the typescripts are available at 50 cents per page. Shirley Houck, Records Clerk, P. O. Box 426; Delhi, NY 13753

Anti-Rent War Indictments in The Court of Oyer & Terminer

OT = Oyer & Terminer
IND = Indictment


1844 Sept 27
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT, ASSAULT & BATTERY vs David Bartley, William Bartley, Corbin T. Bouton, Calvin Chace, Hiram Chace, Jeremiah C. Dart, Almond Hull, Cornelius Keator, Chauncey Morse, Augustus Older, Zera Preston & Samuel Wight. (OT/IND-1)
5 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1844 Sept 27
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT, ASSAULT & BATTERY vs Corbin T. Bouton, Calvin Chace, Hiram Chace, Jeremiah C. Dart & Almond Hull. (OT/IND-2)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1844 Sept 27
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT, ASSAULT & BATTERY vs David Bartley, William Bartley, Stephen W. Chamberlain, Charles Crosby, Russel Hewit, Daniel W. Jaquish, George Lynch, Henry Lynch, Chauncey Morse, John M. Peckham, Daniel W. Squires & Eli Wight. (OT/IND-3)
5 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 24
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Baxter Travis, Lawrence Van Dusen, John Van Steenburgh, Levi Warren & Henry D. Wickham. (OT/IND-4)
20 Handwritten pages - 19 Typed pages

1845 Sept 25
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Moses Earl. (OT/IND-5)
15 Handwritten pages - 8 Typed pages

1845 Sept 26
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs William Brisbane. (OT/IND-6)
15 Handwritten pages - 7 Typed pages

1845 Sept 27
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT & ASSAULT vs Hulbert Barnes, Anthony Crispel, Robert Lathan, William Miller, Jonas Piester, Amos Potter, Jordan Strader, Ransom White, Abraham Wolff & Ira Wolff. (OT/IND-7)
4 Handwritten pages - 2 Typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs John Davis, Adam Scott & Robert Scott. (OT/IND-8)
13 Handwritten pages - 8 Typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT, DISGUISED & ARMED vs Asa Bellows, Stilman Bellows, Alexander Campbell, Silas Carman, David Close, John A. Davis, John N. Davis, Thomas Davis, Isadore Demund, James Dickson, Abel Elijah, Foster Ellison, Abel A. Fuller, Elijah Hull, Levi Jenkins, Thomas Laidlow, Horace Mays, Adam Minzie, William Minzie, John Phoenix, John Rob, Homer Sanford, Jason Sanford, Levi Sanford, Oscar Sanford, Thomas Stanham, Abraham Swart, Peter F. Swart, Nelson Swart, George Tompkins & Thomas Tompkins, Jr. (OT/IND-9)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages - DOCUMENT ONLINE

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR BEING ARMED & DISGUISED, CONSPIRACY & KIDNAPPING vs Alfred Austin, William Austin, Stilman Bellows, Alexander Campbell, Duncan Campbell, Allen H. Davis, Hezekiah Davis, John N. Davis, Thomas Davis, Abel Elijah, Abel A. Fuller, Elijah Hull, Augustus Kettle, William Ladd, Cornelius McGregor, Archibald McNair, William Minzie, & Silas Tompkins (OT/IND-10)
7 Handwritten pages - 4 Typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR ACCESSORY TO MURDER vs John F. Jersey. (OT/IND-11)
12 Handwritten pages - 8 Typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT, DRESSED IN DISGUISE vs Thomas Jefferson Allison, William Bartley, Henry H. Bouton, James O. Burrell, Hiram Chace, Stephen Chamberlin, Henry Davis, Edward Faulkner, Albert Garrison, Hiram Graham, Thomas Jefferson Jackson, Thomas Laidley, George McKeel, James Morse, Keeler Robinson, Aaron Scudder, Warren W. Scudder, John Slaughter, Nicholas Slaughter, Garner Sweet, Nelson Sweet, Peter Tiffany, William Tompkins, John Van Steenburgh, Morgan Whipple & Nathan Williams (OT/IND-12)
13 Handwritten pages - 6 Typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT, DRESSED IN DISGUISE vs Joseph Morse, Avery Mulleneux, Baxter Travis & Darius Travis (OT/IND-13)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT, DRESSED & ARMED vs Alva Baxter, Orrin Bergen, Silas Carman, Hezekiah Davis, Lewis Dibble, Daniel Franklin & Robert Moscript. (OT/IND-14)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR BEING DISGUISED AND ARMED vs Robert Frank, Robert Frank, Jr., James Hill, John Moseman, Jr. & Morehouse Townsend. (OT/IND-15)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR BEING DISGUISED & ARMED, CONSPIRACY, KIDNAPPING & FALSE IMPRISONMENT vs Lewis Delamarter, Abraham Delamarter, Jefferson T. Ellison, Valentine Kettle, Abraham Kittle, Joseph Morse, Erastus Northrop, John Northrop, John Oliver, William Reside, Jason Sanford, Levi Sanford, Oscar Sanford, Darius Travis, Ethel Travis & James Weaver. (OT/IND-16)
5 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR ACCESSORY TO MURDER vs Daniel W. Squires. (OT/IND-17)
13 Handwritten pages - 7 Typed pages

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR BEING DISGUISED & ARMED (Stodard Sale) vs David Close, Abel Gould, Augustus Kittle, Thomas Laidlow, Joseph Morse, Levi Sanford, Riley Sanford, Smith Sanford, Abraham Swart, Peter F. Swart, Garner Sweet, Baxter Travis, Darius Travis & Ethel Travis (OT/IND-18)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages - DOCUMENT ONLINEnewJan 9

1845 Sept 29
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY vs John Beardsley (Barsley), John P. Benjamin, James Coulter, Benjamin P. Roberts, Charles T. Shaver & George Thompson. (OT/IND-19)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Oct 2
INDICTMENT FOR ATTEMPT TO RESCUE vs Henry Forman. (OT/IND-20)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Oct 2
INDICTMENT FOR ATTEMPT TO RESCUE vs John Gemmel. (OT/IND-21)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Oct 2
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY vs Richard Morse. (OT/IND-22)
7 Handwritten pages - 4 Typed pages

1845 Oct 2
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY TO RESIST EXECUTION OF PROCESS vs John Davis, Adam Scott & Robert Scott. (OT/IND-23)
6 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Oct 2
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT DISGUISED & ARMED vs Thomas Vroman, John Franklin & William Baker. (OT/IND-24)
4 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Oct 3
INDICTMENT FOR ROBBERY vs Daniel W. Squires. (OT/IND-25)
5 Handwritten pages - 4 Typed pages

Anti-Rent War Indictments in the General Sessions Court

GS = General Sessions
IND = Indictment


1843 Dec 14
INDICTMENT FOR ASSAULT & BATTERY vs Oscar Howe, George A. Parker, Henry G. Smith & Osman N. Steele. (GS/IND-1)
3 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Feb 27
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT, ASSAULT & UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY vs Charles Anthony, Joel M. Bailey, Thomas H. Bell & John H. Rutherford. (GS/IND-2)
5 Handwritten pages

1845 Apr 3
INDICTMENT FOR ASSEMBLING DISGUISED & ARMED vs Anson K. Burrell, Ezekiel C. Kelley, Lewis Knapp & Silas Tompkins. (GS/IND-3)
5 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 12
INDICTMENT FOR APPEARING DISGUISED & ARMED, CONSPIRACY & RIOT vs Jefferson T. Allison (Allison), Alva Baxter, Robert Brisbin, William Bryant, Homer Burgin, Peter Calhoun, Henry Davis, Abraham Delamater, Lewis Dibble, John Dickson, Thomas Dickson, Jefferson T. Ellison (Allison), Daniel Franklin, Jr., John Gladstone, John Jackson, Jr., Augustus Kettle (Kittle), John Oliver, John H. Rutherford, John S. Rutherford, Riley Sanford, Smith Sanford, William Smith, Garner Sweet, Darius Travis, Asa Werden & Ira Werden. (GS/IND-4)
17 Handwritten pages - 8 Typed pages

1845 Sept 12
INDICTMENT FOR ASSEMBLING IN DISGUISE & ARMED, CONSPIRACY & RIOT vs Israel Barnhart, Jacob Barnhart, James Barnhart, Jeremiah Barnhart, Alexander Beckwith, Silas R. Carman, John Cranston, David Ferguson, John Gregory, Andrew Liddle, John O. Liddle, Joseph Morse, Robert Moscript, Erastus Northrop & John Whitson, Jr. (GS/IND-5)
12 Handwritten pages - 5 Typed pages

1845 Sept 12
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY, RIOT, ATTEMPT TO RESCUE PRISONERS & APPEARING DISGUISED & C. vs William Bartley (Barlly), Alvah F. Crosby, Jefferson Ellison, Augustus Kittle, Joseph Morse, Daniel Northrop, Erastus Northrop, Zadoc P. Northrop, Elias Osterhout, John D. Reside, Warren W. Scudder, Baxter Travis & Daniel Whipple. (GS/IND-6)
16 Handwritten pages - 8 Typed pages

1845 Sept 12
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY, ATTEMPT TO RESCUE & BEING DISGUISED & ARMED vs Elijah Hull, Avery Kelly, Ezekiel Kelly, Augustus Kettle, Valentine Kettle, Horace Mays, Joseph Morse, John Phoenix, John D. Reside, Jason Sanford, Smith Sanford, Warren W. Scudder, Morris Townsend, Baxter Travis, Ethel Travis & William Weaver. (GS/IND-7)
13 Handwritten pages - 7 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR ATTEMPTING TO RESCUE PRISONERS vs Alexander Austin. (GS/IND-16)
6 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY, RIOT, ATTEMPT TO RESCUE & APPEARING DISGUISED & ARMED vs. Jefferson T. Allison, William Austin, Jesse Ballard, John Ballard, John M. Barsley, David Bartley, Stephen Chamberlain, John Crosby, Hopkins Dean, Moses Elmore, Abel A. Fuller, Jasper Fuller, Richard Halcott & Harvey (Henry) Hubbell. (GS/IND-17)
12 Handwritten pages - 7 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACIES, ARMED & DISGUISED vs Calvin Bellows, John Delamater, Avery Kelly, Charles Kettle, Joseph Morse, Elias Osterhout, Alonzo Sanford & Baxter Travis. (GS/IND-18)
7 Handwritten pages - 4 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Charles Bellows, Lafayette Bellows, William Brisbane, James Clayton, David Close & Thomas Dickson. (GS/IND-19)
13 Handwritten pages - 15 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Francis Baker, John Bellows, Robert Brisbane, Isaac L. Burhans, John Burtch & Alexander Campbell. (GS/IND-20)
12 handwritten pages - 14 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR ATTEMPT TO RESCUE PRISONERS vs. Cantine Connolly. (GS/IND-21)
6 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20 INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Hezekiah Davis, Jacob Delamater, John Delamater, Moses Earl, William Ferdon & Archibald Gemmel. (GS/IND-22)
12 Handwritten pages - 15 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY, RIOT, ATTEMPT TO RESCUE & APPEARING DISGUISED & ARMED vs Nicholas Blish, Clark Breman, Henry Crook (Cook), John Crook (Cook), Haynes Denton, Thomas Deury (Dreury), Clark Ellice, Hiram Graham, Hiram Griffin, David Hallock, James Hayes (Hays), David Hinckley (Hinckly), Joseph Jenkins, Deliverance (Eliphalet) King, Abel Lawrence, George Platt & Nathan Williams. (GS/IND-23)
11 Handwritten pages - 5 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Jefferson T. Allison, Smith Davis, Abraham Delamater, Charles Delamater, Charles Dibble, Lewis Dibble, & John Dickson. (GS/IND-24)
12 Handwritten pages - 15 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Richard Davis, Wesley Dunham, Alonzo Sanford, Philip Warren, Ira Weaver & John Whitson, Jr. (GS/IND-25)
12 Handwritten pages - 15 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR ATTEMPTING TO RESCUE PRISONERS vs Asa B. Fuller. (GS/IND-26)
6 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR ATTEMPT TO RESCUE PRISONERS CONFINED ON CRIMINAL CHARGE vs Abel Gould. (GS/IND-27)
6 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR ROBBERY, ARMED & DISGUISED vs John Hendricks, Nathaniel Hendricks & Jason Sanford. (GS/IND-28)
8 Handwritten pages - 4 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Thomas Hadley, Silas D. Hilton, James M. Hitt, Eliphalet Hotckiss, Elijah Hull & Abraham Mackey. (GS/IND-29)
Missing

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs William Joscelyn, Dennis Kelly, Augustus Kittle, John Lathan, William Miller & Robert Moscript, Jr. (GS/IND-30)
12 Handwritten pages - 15 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR RIOT, CONSPIRACY TO RESCUE & C & APPEARING ARMED & DISGUISED vs Darius Davis, Benjamin Jenkins, Warren Keator, John Lockwood, George Lynch, Alfred Mead, Avery Mullinix, David Scudder, Warren Scudder, Paul Sweet, Thomas Sweet, George Tompkins, Thomas Tompkins, Jr., Ethiel Travis, Nathaniel Travis & Jacob Turk. (GS/IND-31)
18 Handwritten pages - 9 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Avery Kelly, William Kelly, John Lunn, Calvin Madison, Edwin Mason & Andrew Moscript. (GS/IND-32)
13 Handwritten pages - 15 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR ATTEMPT TO RESCUE PRISONERS vs Sniffin Kelley. (GS/IND-33)
6 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Valentine Kettle, James A. Mills, Joseph Morse, Zadoc P. Northrop, Elias Osterhout, Riley Sanford, Smith Sanford & Ethel Travis. (GS/IND 34)
11 Handwritten pages - 6 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY, DISGUISED & ARMED vs John Burnside & William McIntosh. (GS/IND-35)
Missing

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR ATTEMPTING TO RESCUE PRISONERS vs Alexander Mitchell. (GS/IND-36)
6 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR ATTEMPTING TO RESCUE PRISONERS vs William Morrison. (GS/IND-37)
5 Handwritten pages - 3 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY, RIOT, APPEARING DISGUISED & ARMED vs Alexander Campbell, Duncan Campbell, William Elmore, Cornelius McGregor, Joseph Morse, Daniel Northrop & Martin Worden (GS/IND-38)
11 Handwritten pages - 6 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR APPEARING DISGUISED & ARMED & FOR CONSPIRACY vs Nathaniel Hendricks, Joseph Morse, Daniel Northrop, Jason Sanford & Baxter Travis. (GS/IND-39)
11 Handwritten pages - 6 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs William Menzie, William Moscript, Daniel Northrop, Roswell Northrop, Zadoc P. Northrop & Cornelius Osterhout. (GS/IND-40)
13 Handwritten pages - 15 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Moses Northrop, John Palmateer, John Phoenix, Robert Post, Zera Preston & John D. Reside. (GS/IND-41)
12 Handwritten pages - 14 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Francis Reside, Smith Sanford, William Slead, Abraham Stansbury, Abraham Sweet & Garner Sweet. (GS/IND-42)
Missing

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Edward O'Conner, William Reside, Amasa Reynolds, Henry D. Russell & Nelson Sweet. (GS/IND-43)
13 Handwritten pages 15 Typed pages (see additional information at bottom of this website page)

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY DISGUISED AND ARMED vs Henry L. Russell. (GS/IND-44)
7 Handwritten pages - 4 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Jason Sanford, Minard Scutt, Samuel Shaver, Jr., Milton Sprague, Elijah Stansbury & Barbour Stafford. (GS/IND-45)
12 Handwritten pages - 15 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Warren W. Scudder, Robert Scutt, Cyrus B. Slead, James Steele, Jr. & Samuel Steele. (GS/IND-46)
12 Handwritten pages - 15 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR MURDER vs Daniel W. Squires, Darius Travis, Thomas Whipple, William Whitney & William Woodard, Jr. (GS/IND-47)
13 Handwritten pages - 14 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR CONSPIRACY, RIOT, APPEARING DISGUISED & ARMED vs Thomas Davis, Cornelius McGregor, Darius McKeel, George McKeel, William L. More, Warren W. Scudder, Samuel J. Shaver, William Shaver, Abraham Stansbury, Elijah Stansbury, Nelson Sweet, Darius Travis, John Van Steenburgh, Asa Worden & Ira Worden. (GS/IND-48)
12 Handwritten pages - 5 Typed pages

1845 Sept 20
INDICTMENT FOR KIDNAPPING & ATTEMPTING TO KIDNAP vs Caleb Travis. (GS/IND-49)
6 Handwritten pages - 4 Typed pages


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION October 2006 e-mail from Tom L. Sawyer, Clear Lake, IA
According to the court records I observed in Delhi, my g-g-grandfather was involved in the Anti-Rent war. Robert Sawyer was indicted for murder on Sept. 20, 1845 along with Amasa Reynolds, William Reside, Henry Russell, Edward Conner and Nelson Sweet in the Court of General Sessions. Somehow he was left out when the transcription was done for the website.
Read about the Anti-Rent Wars in Gould's History of Delaware County, Chapters XI, XII, and XIII. Now online at this website.

NOTE: You can read more about these events in the novel Crisis in the Catskills, by Mary Bogardus and in the non-fiction Tin Horns & Calico, by Henry Christman & The Catskills, from Wilderness to Woodstock by Alf Evers. A new book, being written by Dorothy Kubik, will be available by mid-summer.




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