Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 601
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SCHOHARIE COUNTY.    601

KJ, through Esperance, Schoharie, Cobleskill, and Richmondville.1 Several turnpikes and lines
of plank road extend across the co.2

About thirty years previous to the advent of the whites, a number of Indians belonging to the
Mohawks, Mohicans, Delawares, Tuscaroras, and Oneidas united together, formed the Schoharie
tribe, and took up their abode along Schoharie Creek.3 Their principal chief was Ka-righ-on-
don-tee, who had been a prisoner of the French in Canada and had married a Mohawk woman.
This tribe was subordinate to the Six Nations. They could bring into the field about 600 warriors,
and in the wars that ensued they steadily espoused the cause of the British. At an early period,
with the aid of the Colonial Government, they erected several strongholds to protect themselves
from the attacks of the Canada Indians. A band of 200 Indians regained in the valley, at peace
■with the settlers, until the commencement of the Revolution. Efforts were made to induce them
to remain neutral during the war; but the offers of the British were so tempting that at last they
took up arms against their neighbors. Previous to this a pestilence had swept off the greater part
of the tribe, though the whites were not in the least affected by it.

The first-white settlement was made by a colony of German Palatinates, in 1711. These people
had previously settled at East and West Camp, on the Hudson. Their number is estimated at 600
to 700. They settled in 7 clusters, or villages, each under a leader or head man, from whom the
dorf, or village,,was usually named.3 The Dutch soon after began a settlement at “
Vroomansland,”
on the w. side of the creek, 2 or 3 mi. above the German settlement.4 The Palatinates at first
did not secure a patent for the lands they occupied, and a short time after their settlement Nicholas
Bayard appeared as agent of the British Government, and .offered to give the settlers deeds for
their lands; but he was assailed by a mob and was obliged to flee for his life. Upon reaching
Schenectady he sent back word that for an ear of corn each he would give a clear title to the land?
occupied by each; but this offer was rejected. He returned to Albany and sold .the tract to 5
persons at that place.6 A sheriff, named Adams, was sent to arrest some of the trespassers; but
no sooner was his business known than he was assailed by a mob and ridden upon a rail. For a
considerable time after this outrage none of the German settlers dared visit Albany; but after a
time they ventured to do so, and were at once arrested and thrown into jail. They were at length
released on making a written acknowledgment of the outrage they had perpetrated.5 The settlers

at length sent an embassy, consisting of Conrad Weiser, Casselman, and another, to England

to petition the king for redress. The ship that took them out carried also a statement of the out
rages, and the ambassadors were at once imprisoned; but after a time they were set at liberty
and permitted to return. Weiser was so chagrined at the result of the controversy that soon after,
with about 60 families, he emigrated to Tulpehocton, Berks co., Penn. Other families removed to
German Flats and others to Stone Arabia.6 Peter Vrooman, with several Dutch families,9 perma-




the present town of Fulton, except Wilder Hook, at which
place was an Indian castle and settlement. His son Peter, for
whom it was bought, built a house, planted corn, and the first
winter left the premises in charge of a man named Truax, and
a negro man and his wife. Truax was murdered, and the negro
and his wife were arrested, tried at Albany, and burned alive;
but years after, one Moore, a resident of
“Weisers-Dorf,” con¬
fessed that he and the negro man committed the deed, and that
the woman was innocent.—
Simms’s Schoharie, p. 56.

6 The purchasers were Myndert Schuyler, Peter Van Brugh,
Robert Livingston, jr., John Schuyler, and Henry Wielman.
They received a patent. Nov. 3,1714, for 10,000 acres, which was
designed to include the flats from “
Vroomansland” to Montgomery
co. line; but on being surveyed by Lewis Morris,jr., and Andrus
Coeyman, it was found that the flats on Fox Creek and at the
mouth of Cobles Kil were not included, and these lands were
secured by the surveyors. In a short time Morris and Coeyman
joined interest with the five proprietors, and the company
became known as the “ Seven Partners.” Final suits for parti¬
tion and settlement were adjusted in 1819, ’25, ’26, ’28, and ’29.

1 After this time a large number of settlers took leases of the
proprietors, thus abandoning their claims to the lands.

8 Among those who removed to the Mohawk was Elias Gar¬
lock, the first and long the only magistrate in Schoharie.

9 Among these were families named Swartz, Ecker, ITagadom,
Feeck, and Becker. Lawrence Schoolcraft made the first cider

in the Schoharie settlements; Brown, in 1752, was the first

wagon maker. John Mattice Junk taught the first German
school at the Camps, about 1740; and schools were taught in
Schoharie soon after. Dutch schools were taught at
“Vroomans¬
land”
at an early period; and about 1760, English was first taught
in schools in. this region. John Ecker was the first blacksmith.
The settlers of the valley resorted to Schenectady to mill, or
used stump mortars, until many years after, when a mill was
built on Mill Creek, near Fox Creek, by Simeon Laraway.
Bolting cloths were first used in this co.. about 1760. John
Lawyer was the first merchant among the Germans.


1

The elevation of this road, where it enters the co. on the E., is
700 ft. above tide; at Schoharie Creek it is 550 ft.; at Cobleskill,
900 ft.; at Richmondville, 1,175 ft.; and at the w. co. line, 1,470 ft.

2

The principal turnpikes in the co. in early times were the
Great Western, extending to Cherry Valley, built in 1802; and
the Charlotte River Turnpike, built in 1809. The latter formed
the great thoroughfare to the settlements in Delaware co. and
adjacent regions. The plank road project was pretty thoroughly
tried, ahd has been abandoned after a sacrifice of nearly all the
capital invested.

3

Six of these leaders were Conrad Weiser, Hartman Winte-
J:er, John Hendrick Kneiskern, Elias Garlock, Johannes George
Smidt, and William Fox; and John Lawyer, who came soon
after, is supposed to have been the seventh. “
Weisers Dorf”
occupied the present site Of Middleburgh Village, and had some
40 dwellings, like the others, built rudely of logs and earth and
covered with bark and grass.
“Hartmans Dorf ” was 2 mi.
below, and had 65 dwellings. “
Bruns Dorf,” or “Brunen Dorf,”
or “Fountain Town,” was near the courthouse. “Smiths Dorf”
was a mi. farther k. “Foxs Dorf ” was still farther down,
about a mi. from Smiths.
“Garlocks Dorf” was 2 mi. below;
and
“Kneiskerns Dorf” 2 or 3 mi. still farther u. Among these
early settlers, besides those above named,' were families named
Keyser, Bouck, Richard, Richtmeyer, Warner, Weaver, Zimmer,
Mattice, Zeh, Bellinger, Borst, Schoolcraft, Crysler, Casselman,
Newkirk, Earhart, Brown, Settle, Merckley, Snyder, Ball,
"VVeidman, Deitz, Mann, Sternberg, Stubrach, linderse, Sidney,
Bergli, and Houck. Within a week after their arrival, Catharine
Mattice, Elizabeth Lawyer, Wilhelmus Bouck, and Johannes

4

Earhart were born. The first wheat was sown by Sternberg,

in 1773; and the first skipple planted like corn yielded 83 fold.

5

1,100 acres, Aug. 26, 1714. His tract was afterward, found to

6

contain 1,400 acres. It embraced the flats along the creek in


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