It is usual for authors, in the preface to their productions, to cite to the reader all the good qualities of their writings, and especially those which their own imaginations suggest, and which, unless mentioned, might otherwise have been passed over unnoticed.
I shall then deviate from this ancient established usage of writers, for various, and to myself obvious reasons, the most prominent of which is, that I esteem that class of persons into whose hands this work may fall, as an intelligent and reading people, better prepared to pass judgment than myself, who if they utter criticism, will base their opinions upon the merit of the work itself, aside from the self- eulogistic encomiums of the author. I do not claim that this work is free from error; perfection, in a history of this character, where much of the information to be relied upon is of an oral and indefinite nature, is an impossibility. I have been careful to weigh all the statements presented - to discriminate between truth and fiction - and have suppressed much apparently interesting matter, which lacked the proper authenticity, or conflicted with truth; still, doubtless, there is room for improvement.
I claim no honor for having been the tell-tale of the past. The having simply told what others have done, is far from implying, that had we been placed in the same situation, and affected by the same circumstances, we would have acted the same noble part. It is one thing to write, another to do: - "Give honor to whom honor is due." And if, after perusing what we have been enabled to glean of the history of the acts and actors of the past, you are enabled to discern in them anything noble - anything worthy of your admiration and emulation, then treasure up for the hardy and industrious pioneer a kind and grateful remembrance - then cherish in sincerity, long after the author has said his say, a fond appreciation of these Spartan sires, whose ashes are now mouldering in the tomb, and whose tongues have become silent and speechless, palsied by death.
I would take this opportunity of returning my sincere thanks to all who have
interested themselves in furnishing material for the completion of this work..............THE AUTHOR
History - Its origin - Causes of its development - Its Influence on a free government - Divisions of history in point of time - Divisions in regard to subject - General history - Particular history - History of Delaware county; a particular history - Early purchases made of the Indians - Their dissatisfaction - Deed of purchase of 1768 - Extent of the purchase - Consideration paid - Effects produced by the final adjustment of Indian claims - Commencement of emigration.
Indian character - Suppositions of the origin of the race - Enumeration of the Six Nations, who formerly owned a large portion of the State - Their union in cases of emergency - Date of the admission of the Tuscaroras into the confederacy - Power and influence of the Iroquois - Success in battle - Agriculture prosecuted to some extent - Love of war - Torture of their victims - Weapons of warfare - Introduction of fire-arms among the Indians - First settlement at Albany - Estimate of the number of Indians east of the Mississippi at that period - Number of distinct languages - Enumeration of the different tribes - English Settlements in 1664 - Conquest of New Netherlands by the English - Its capture - Dutch again obtain possession of it - Its final restoration to the English the following year - English conciliate the favor of the Indians by presents - Early missionaries among the Indians - Information derived of the Indians respecting the Susquehanna country - Indians desire the English to establish trading posts on the Susquehanna - Jealousies of New York in relation to Penn's trading with Indians - Final adjustment of the difficulty.
New York in 1770 - Total population of the colony at that period - Tryon and Charlotte counties erected - Their extent - Population of Tryon - First settlement German Palatines - Settlements made by them - Heldeburgh Hills - Origin of the name - Schoharie valley - Its settlement - Settlement at Cherry Valley - Privations of the settlers the first winter - Hair-breadth escape from starvation - Succored by a friendly Indian - Nativity of the early settlers - Harper family - Settle in Cherry Valley - Their influence with the Indians - Harpers found a new settlement - Called Harpersfield - Obtain a patent - Surveyed - Mrs. Harper, the first white woman in the town - Constructs a log-house with her own hands - The first house in Harpersfield - Privations the following winter - Providential relief from starvation - Slow progress of the settlement - Reception of new settlers - Settlement in Middletown, before the Revolution - Death of Dumond, by the Schoharie Guard - Brugher shot by the Indians while threshing buckwheat - His son taken prisoner - Release and return of the son to Middletown - Drowned while crossing the Delaware some years after - Indian villages on the East Branch - Milling stories - Indian hunting-grounds - Beaver; peculiarities of the animal - Ancient apple-trees; anecdotes concerning - Pakatakan, an Indian village - Supposed signification of the name - Tribes of Indians who occupied Papagouck and Pepacton, other Indian villages - Historical communication of Dr. O.M. Allaben.
Revolution - Early conflicts - Eloquence of Pitt in parliament - Advocates the cause of American rights - His efforts unavailing - Provincial Congress assemble - Eloquent appeal of Patrick Henry - Effect of his speech - Resolution of continental congress - George Washington unanimously chosen commander-in-chief of the American forces - His acceptation - Meetings of the inhabitants to express their sentiments - Vigilant committees - Organization of, in Tryon county - Influences brought to bear - Sir Wm. Johnston espouses the royal cause - His sudden death - His successors in office - Patriotism of the inhabitants of Harpersfield and Cherry Valley - First open act of hostility - Organization of a vigilant committee in Harpersfield - Their service to the American cause - The names of members - The chairman - Col. John Harper dispatched by Congress on a mission to the Indians - His apparent success - Reception by the Indians - Great feast and other ceremonies - Harper returns - Intimacy between Brant and Harper - Copy of a letter - Indians prove treacherous - Affidavit of the Rev. Wm. Johnston - Driven with his family from Sidney Plains - Obituary notice of Capt. Hugh Johnston - Effect of the intelligence communicated by Johnston along the frontiers - Letter from Harpersfield vigilant committee - Herkimer's mission - Singular interview between Gen. Herkimer and Brant - Speech of Brant - Failure of the expedition - Evacuation of Harpersfield - John Moore an early settler - Warned of danger - Journey to Catskill - Accident - Enumeration of the inhabitants before the war - Scotchmen settle in the Valley of Wright's Brook - Story of the Scotchman and his gold - Capture of a party of Indians by Col. Harper - McDonald, a tory, invades Schoharie - Exposed situation of the settlement - Harper volunteers to go to Albany - Procures a company of cavalry - Marches to Schoharie - Disperses the enemy - Letter from Harper to Congress.
St. Leger Cowley- Contention between himself and a tory - Dispute settled by his wife - Capture of Cowley and Sawyer on the West Branch - Indian sports - Journey of the captives toward Niagara - Murder of their captors - Pursued by the Indians - Miraculous escape - Narrowly escape starvation in the wilderness - Arrival at a frontier settlement in Pennsylvania - Recruit and return to Schoharie - Procure a company of troops to aid in the removal of their families - First grist-mill on the West Branch - Death of Cowley - Indian revenge - Murder of McKee family - Capture of Miss Anne McKee - Compelled to run the gauntlet - Fort Niagara - Retaliatory expedition to the Indian territory - General Sullivan appointed to command - Detachment under Clinton - March down the Susquehanna - Union of Clinton and Sullivan near Tioga Point - Complete annihilation of Indian settlements - Expedition of Sullivan an expedition of discovery - Minisink an ancient Indian settlement - Massacre of the inhabitants - Battle of the Delaware - Defeat of the inhabitants - List of the killed - Burial services performed in 1820 - Statement of Benjamin Whitaker - General outlines of the campaign of 1779.
Repose of the frontier settlements - Scout under Colonel Alexander Harper - Sent out to Harpersfield - Harper returns to Schoharie - His return to Harpersfield - Capture of the party by Brant - Recognition between Brant and Harper - Death of several of the party - Inscription on the Hendrys' tombstones in the Harpersfield burying- ground - Young Lamb attempts to escape - Is overtaken and captured - Questions put by Brant to Harper - Harper's shrewd replay - Indian Council - Debate in regard to the fate of the prisoners - Party decamp for Niagara - Obtain provisions of a miller on the Delaware - Inhumanity of this man and his daughters to the prisoners - Incidents of the Journey - Murder of Mr. Brown - Arrival of the party at Fort Niagara - Harper finds friends - Prisoners run the guantlet - Expedient of Brant to alleviate their sufferings - Reception of the party at the Fort - Imprisonment in Canada - Return of the survivors of the party to Harpersfield . Punishment afterward inflicted on Beacraft, a tory - Bennett family - Early settlers - Capture of by a party of Indians - Incursion of the Indians into Colchester - Capture of Rose - Interesting incident - Correspondence in relation to the war - Indians capture Beach and family - Encounter a scout below Hobart - John Hagidore wounded - Company of troops pursue the Indians - Overtake and release the captives.
Declaration of Peace - Its joyful reception by the colonies - Early Settlements at Sidney Plains and along the Susquehanna - Inconveniences to which the inhabitants were obliged to submit - Ruins of an ancient Indian fort - Sidney Plains - First death that occurred in Sidney - Great famine in 1787 - First grist-mill on Susquehanna - First raft of lumber on the Susquehanna - Geographical boundaries of Sidney - Origin of the name - Ouleout Creek - Indian signification - Original land- owners - First settlements in Franklin - Information derived principally of Joshua Pine, in relation to early settlers in Walton - Account of a duel fought in Walton - Early settlements and settlers at Deposit, Chehocton, and in the Western part of the country - Dickinson's City - Hunting stories - Indians who remained after the war - Old Abraham - Canope, Ben Shanks and Haycou - Tragical murder of the former and latter.
Adventures and final settlement of Timothy Beach in Sidney - Reminiscences of John Wickham, an early settler of Harpersfield - Names of early settlers - Privations to which they were subjected - Adventure of James Gordon with a bear, while crossing the Charlotte River - First Church in Harpersfield - Manner of its erection - Church-raising - Whipping-posts and stocks erected in Harpersfield - Other whipping-posts in the county - How Harper caught his wife - Persons punished by this ordeal - First settled minister in Harpersfield - Maple-sugar-making - Scotchman's idea of making maple sugar - Information derived from Stephen Hait of Stamford - Settlements made in 1789 - Information derived from David Squires - Discovery of and first settlement in Roxbury - Interesting information in relation to - Anecdotes - Information derived principally from Cyrus Burr - Early settlements in Middletown and Andes - Hall's adventure with Mr. Earl - His discovery that he had neighbors - Catamount-killing in Andes.
Increase of population in the interior of the State - Necessary alterations of the civil divisions from time to time - Erection of Otsego in 1792 - Petition for the erection of a new county in 1796 - New county erected in 1797 - Called Delaware - Number of towns at the erection of the county - Enumeration of the other towns in the order of their erection - Names of the first supervisors - First representatives to the assembly - First court held in the county - First judges - First sheriff - Court-house and jail erected - Murder of Cameron and McGilfry - Arrest of the murderer - Escape of the prisoner from jail - Re-arrested on Cabin-hill - Tried and found guilty - Sentenced to be hung - Execution a public one - Description by an eye-witness of the execution - Execution of Foster in 1819 - Burning of the court- house and jail - One man burned - Legislative act - Erection of the Delaware Academy - Its founder - Manner of its endowment - Geological society formed in Delhi - Its short existence - Matter in relation to the formation of the county - Extract from the Diary of Judge Foote - Obituary notice - List of assemblymen since the formation of the county - Surrogates and county judges - sheriffs - county clerks.
The lost manuscript - Early organization of religious societies - Report of the first missionary - Summary of report - Different sects in the county - Educational interests of the county, and other information.
Anti-rent difficulties - Early grants of land within the limits of the county - Hardenburgh patent - Dispute in regard to the western limits of the patent - Survey of the patent - Protest of the Indians - Indian deed of the land between the branches of the Delaware to Johanus Hardenburgh - Bradt patent - Enumeration of the other patents in the order in which they were granted - Land monopoly - Early restrictions placed upon grants - How eluded - Views of the early legislatures - Recognition of the grants prior to the revolution - Validity of the manorial titles - Leasehold system - Systematic classification of deeds - Durable lease - Redemption lease - Three life lease - One and two life lease - Yearly lease - Seven year proviso - Claims of the tenants - History of the excitement - Grievances of the renters.
Introduction of the excitement into Delaware county, 1844 - Roxbury - First public meeting - Description of the costume worn by an Indian - Molest John B. Gould - Second attempt to enforce submission - Tar and feather H. More - Tar and feather T. Corbin - Sheriff's papers taken and destroyed - First equal rights' convention - Legislative proceedings - Passage of an act preventing persons appearing in disguise - Copy of the same - An act of D. W. Squires - Extract from a letter to the adjutant general - Organization of an armed force by the sheriff - Steele in limbo at Andes - His defence - Letter to the sheriff - His release - Antipathy of anti-renters against Steele - His courage - Their threats - Shacksville battle - Particulars of the same - Names of prisoners - Sale in Andes - Painful death of Steele - His last moments - Extract from the correspondence of the Albany Evening Journal - Funeral services - Indignation meetings at various places - Resolution passed - Summerset of anti-rentism.
Action of the Executive - Proclamation of county in a state of insurrection - Copy of the same - Its reception in Delhi - Arrival of Adjutant General Farrington - Organization of an armed force - Officers chosen - Extract from a letter - Mode of operating - Erection of temporary log-jails - Convening of the court - Grand jury - Judge Parker's able charge - Allusion in the same to the demoralizing influence of the excitement upon the county - Result of the trials - number of convictions - O'Connor and Van Steenburgh convicted of murder - Sentence of the prisoners - Court adjourns - Attempt on the life of a guard - Reprieve of the sentences of O'Connor and Van Steenburgh - Revocation by the governor, of the declaration "declaring the county in a state of insurrection" - Close - Closing remarks.
The following sketch of the services of the late Timothy Murphy in the border warfare of the revolution, were kindly furnished the author, and although in some respects they deviate from what he conceives to be truth, in the main he has ascertained them to be correct.
The following interesting production, from the pen of a daughter of E.B. Fenn, Esq., is inserted, at the request of numerous friends.
Obituary notices - Captain Abraham Gould - Aaron Hull - Gabriel North - Rev. Stephen Fenn - Hon. Roswell Hotchkiss - Rev. Daniel Shepard - James Hughston - Hon. Samuel A. Law - Daniel Gould - Col. Adam Shaver - T.H. Rathbun - Simeon McIntosh - Richard Peters - Thomas Hamilton - Major Joseph Duren - William C. Christiani - Abel Gallup - Jacob Every - Pierce Mitchell - Margery Walcott - Edmund Kelly - Abram Thomas - Gen. Orrin Griffin - Claudius Flansburgh - Levi Hanford - Abigal Marvine - Hon. Selah R. Hobbie - Frederick L. Hanford - George B. Foote - Peter Penet - William Holliday - Col. Amasa Parker - Joel T. Headley.
Delaware Gazette - The Central Sun - the Deposit Courier - The Deposit Union Democrat - Delaware County Courier - Bloomville Mirror - Weekly Visitor - Delaware Bank - Deposit Bank - Secret organizations; Freemasonry, Odd Fellowship - Iodine Spring - The Delaware Literary Institute - Fergusonville Boarding Academy - The Social League.