JOHN JOHNSON, LOYALIST
MABEL GREGORY WALKER A. B. University of Illinois, 1909
in Partial Fulfillment of the
MASTER OF ARTS IN
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 1916
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS o
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
HEREBY RECOMMEND THAT THE THESIS PREPARED UNDER MY SUPERVISION BY
^t^^ JT'al/O^ ^l^ii^Vt
PART OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
Committee on Final Examination
Table of Contents.
Sir John's early environment visits England Johnsons
military activity, 1760-65
Sir John's marriage
Schuyler and the
death of Sir Wil-
Sir John's inheritance tion"
discord in Tryon county
The Six Nations
the grand jury
rise of Whig com-
Guy Johnson withdraws to Canada, May, 1775
Sir John interviewed.
Schuyler's "Peacock Expedition" plans kept secret
Dayton's mission parole
Sir John gives parole
Sir John flees to Canada with Highlanders
treatment of Lady Johnson
- Colonel -
Johnson Hall pillaged.
The "King's Royal Regiment of New York"
rescues Lady Johnson
Campaign of 1777
MacLean's corps -
aeige of Ft. Stanwix -
Discouragement of the Indians
ferings of Mohawk loyalists ....
Sir John visits England, 1781
land makes amends
Sir John's advance
Sir John's second battalion
his fortune ruined -
the Treaty of peace
The Six Na-
given land on the Grand river
Sir John's claims allowed
the settlements in
intendent of Indian Affairs, 1782 tions alarmed
St. Leger's retreat
expedition of May, 1780
invasion of October, 1780
Sir John takes charge of loyalists service
Battle of Oriskany
Digitized by the Internet Archive in
Sir John Johnson was one of those unfortunate men who, at the owt
break of the Revolutionary War, were forced to choose between loyalty to the
English king and rebellion.
Circumstances of birth and training, family hon-
ors and vast possessions, due to the generosity of the British government,
lar& ely decided the question for Sir John, and in the main determined the 1
course which he was to follow.
For his loyalty partisans 2
severely, while on the other hand his admirers
have censured him
him unstintedly for his fidelity to the Mother Country.
somethin6 mi D ht well be said in support of eitfier view; obviously the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. 4
Sir John was born November 5th, 1742.
His father, Sir William
Johnson was a youn^ Irishman who, a few years previous to Sir John's birth, had come to America to take charge of a large estate in the Mohawk valley, 5
owned by his uncle, Sir Peter V.arren. girl named Catherine vVeisenber^,.
Sir John's mother w~s a young' German
On arriving in America she had been sold
for passage money to Alexander Phillips and his brother Hamilton,
See Simms; Frontiersmen, Campbell: Annals of Tryon County, Highlanders, Chap, viii Myers: Loyalists in America, Jones: History of Kew York. De Peyster a great nephew of Sir John has written several short articles in his praise. See Historical Introduction to Orderly Book, Life of Sir Johnson. Le Peyster: Sir -Johnson, Munsell Series, Ho. 11, p. 33. Stone: Sir William Johnson, Vol.1, pp. 60-62. I'.IacLean:
Viiliam first saw -er she was working as a servant for the two brothers, 1
whom he induced to part with her, upon the payment of five pounds. While carin to Ijok out for himself.
for his uncle's lands Sir William had not forgotten
Consequently his prosperity was such that in 1742,
the year of his son's birth, he built a massive stone mansion on the north 2
bank of the tlohawk River, eighteen miles northwest of Schenectady. ilount
Johnson as the place was called, John Johnson spent his childhood. 3
had two sisters, Nancy
and Hazy, younger than himself for playmates, besides
countless numbers of Indian youths, for Sir William had extensive dealings
with the Six Nations, esjecially the Mohawks who made Ilount Johnson a clear5
in6 place for all troubles real or imaginary.
As a youth he did not lack for
His jovial father often called together his Indian and white
neighbors fur celebrations: races were run, the ^reased pi b was caught and 6
other vi b orous sports indulged in, which must have delighted the boy.
also had its serious side, for the period was one of dissension between the
French and English, and Mount Johnson a frontier post of New York, wa s a rme d 7
to the teeth, constantly ready to repell all attacks 'The
youth's early education must necessarily have been by tutors,
and as such inadequate, since as a youth of seventeen, while studying at an
Academy at Philadelphia he was reported to be "still backward in writing and
l.Sir William -Married her on her death bed to legitimize his children. See Simias: Frontiersmen, Vol.1, p. 204. 2. Stone: Sir William Johnson, Vol.1, pp. 65, 81. 3. Kancy married Captain Clans in 17G2. Stone: Sir William Johnson, Vol. II, p. 169. 4. Mary was married to her cousin Guy Johnson in 1763. Cal. of Sir 'Viiliam Johnson LIss. p. 159. 5. In 1746 Sir William succeeded Colonel Schuyler in the management of Indian affairs, Stone: Sir '-Viiliam Johnson, Vol.1, p207 In 1756 he was commissioned as "Colonel, agent, and sole super intend.ent of all affairs of the Six Nations and other Indians." Cal, of Sir William Johnson Mas, p. 76. 6. Stone :Sir William Johnson, Vol.11, pp. 385, 386. 7. Documentary Hist, of N.Y. Vol.1, p. L32.
ciphering" as he had not "hitherto
been much put to it."
was said to be sober and virtuously inclined bein^
At the same time he
constant at Church every
military education was not neglected.
1760, at the a b e of eighteen he was made Captain of a Company of New York 2
This appointment was doubtlessly due to his father's influence,
for Sir William had been successful in ililitary as well as financial affairs. In 1755 he won his military spurs at Crown
Point and was knighted for his
From tiis time the family fortune and
restive was assured, and the
road to preferment made easy for Sir William's son. In the summer of 1761 Sir Will iam went to Detroit to conclude a
peace with the western Indians and to regulate the fur trade.
and Guy Johnson, a nephew of Sir William, were his only companions. Journey, due
the hostile attitude of the Senecas, Shawnees and
was attended with many perils.
Their route was by Oswego to Niagara then on
During this trip the youn&
not only shared his father's
perils but his pleasures likewise; no doubt at the festivities held at the
frontier post of Detroit in honor of Sir William's visit the son danced all ni a ht with
much zest as the father.
The arrangements made on this trip with the Western Indians pro-
cured comparative Indian War.
eace for the frontiers until the close of the Fiench and
Then a feeling of resentment arose amonfe the Western Indians
against the new Ln^lish domination of land which they considered "their sole 4
The Ottawa chief, Pontiac, put himself at the head of the move-
Documentary History of N.Y. Vol. II, pp 785-737. Report of State Historian of N.Y. 1697, p. 786. 3. private Ess. diary kept by Sir William Johnson on his journey to and from Detroit, 1761, printed in Stone: Sir William Johnson, Vol.11, p. 429. 4. Sir William to the Lords of Trade. November 3rd, 1763. Does. Bel. to Col. History of JUT. Vol. VII, p. 5*6. 1.
ment and in 1765 planned the destruction of the Western posts.
Conspiracy failed the Indians continued to plot and hope.
In the winter and
spring of 1764 Sir V.illiam sent out several parties of friendly Indians, led 1
by white officers, against the Deleware
and the Shawnee
John Johnson lead one of the parties and helped to destroy three lar6 e Deleware towns, one hundred and thirty scattered Indian houses and" made peaceable 2
tines" in the Deleware country,
Finally the British Government decided to act, and in the spring, of 1764 two expeditions started for the Ohio country with a determination to
chastize the belligerent redskin.
One force under Colonel Boquet had its
headquarters at Fort Pitt, while the second under Colonel Bradstreet started 3
from Albany with their rendezvous at Niagara. 'Ah en
Colonel Bradstreet arrived at Niagara he found that Sir
William had proceeded him and was busy making a peace with a motley array seaenteen hundred and twenty five Indians.
However the Delewares and Shawnees
did not attend the conference and Colonel bradstreet continued his march west 4 to Letrcit in preparation for co-operation with Colonel Boquet. Captain John
Johnson in command of three hundred Indians joined the expedition at Niagara 5
and accompanied Colonel Bradstreet on his fruitless undertaking.
John's Indian forces made trouble on the exp edition and showed their usual independence of spirit.
3. 4. 5.
When ordered to advance against the Liamas they re-
Sir William to the Lords of Trade. November 5rd, 1763. Do«s. Eel, to Col. Hist, of II. Y. Vol. VII, pp. 624,625. Cal. of Sir Ailliam Johnson Lss. p. 216. Western Reserve, Tract no. 13, p.l. New York Hist. Soc. Col: Vol, XIV, p. 275. Stone; Sir William Johnson. Vol.11, p. 224.
saying they were designated to O o against the Shawnees."
In the end
Sradstrcet, finding himself hampered by lack of horses and by the lateness of the season, jatched up a peace without Jr'ontiac and started home leaving all the work and incidentally the honor to Colonel Boquet.
On the return trip a Lake Erie storm destroyed a number of the
boats which forced a part of the men to walic.
The white troops followed the
shores of the lake until they reached wia^ara, but the Indiana and their of3
ficers took to the woods where they endured ^reat hardships due to hunger and cold.
was late in December before Captain John Johnson and his party reach-
ed the Mohawk valley, bein
delayed by the necessity of carrying the sick
Indians on their backs. In 17L3 Sir William received a jrant of land known as the Kings
borough patent, situated some ten miles west of Mount Johnson.
On this tract
of land in 1763 he built a second mansion which he named Johnson
the samr time the town of Johnstown, about one half mile south east of the 5
Hall, was laid out.
A traveler in the Mohawk valley in the S} rinj of 1765 6
tell3 of dining
Fort Johnson "where Sir William's son lives."
seem from this statement that the son maintained a separate establishment at
old homestead after his father's removal to Johnson Hall and this tends to con-
firm the statements of Simms in re ard to an early love affair of John Johnson. He, according to this author, became infatuated with a Miss Clara Hutman and
made her his housekeeper. She remained at Fort Johnson until 1773 when Sir
John's marriage necessitated her removal with that of her children, to the town
4. 5. 6.
Letter of an officer at Bradsi reefs Camp, Western "Reserve. Tract 13, p. 6. Letter of l3real Putman to Major Durkee, western "esorve. Vrcit 13. p. 5. N. X* Mercury, Mov. 26, 1764, western Reserve, Tract 14, p. 2. Hen l'ort Eerctry, Dee, 31, 1764, Western "Reserve. Tract 14, p. Z. Cal. of Sir William Johnson f.iss. p. 159. Ralph Izzard's Diary. Extracts of which are contained in Buffalo. Hist. Coc. Pub. Vol. XV, pi 340.
In 1765 Sir Adam Gordon of England visited Sir William at Johnson 2
Hall i and when he returned to England in the autumn of the same year he was
accompanied by Captain John Johnson who was sent, according to his father's statement "to acquire some knowledge of the world and wear off that rusticity
which must accompany the action of a young man whose life had "been chiefly 3
spent on the frontiers of America."
Because of Sir William's reputation and
Sir Adam Gordon's influence the
man was cordially received and presented
Later in the year he was knighted and at the same time the red 4
garter was bestowed on Sir William.
Sarly in 1766 he was mentioned for a
governor's post in America and on the whole it appears he was rather well 5
He presented to a committee of the Privy Council his
received in En land.
father's claims to certain lands in the UohawkValley , so successfully that the 7
claim was allowed.
After a trip to Ireland and a narrow escape in the Channel 9
Sir John landed in
York after a years absence.
Later he was given a
cordial welcome home by the Indians who had met for a conference at Johnson 10
On this occasion Sir John spoke "good friendly words"
to the Indians. a
He assured them that he had had an opportunity of hearing his Majesty's fav-
5. 4. 5. 6.
Simms further states that Sir John provided for his children and their mother. The son he established in business in Canada. The daughter died so; n after her marriage. Simms: Frontiersmen, Vol.1, p. 26L.-267. Cal. of Sir William Johnson. Has. pp. 262,285. Documentary Hist, of N,T. Vol.11, p. 822. Cal. of Sir William Johnson. LIss pp. 300-^02. ibid pp. 306, 307. After.vards known as the Royal Grant, Simms from a study of Sir William's will has decided the grant contained nearly 200,000 acres: Simms: Frontiersmen Vol.1 pp. 246, 247. Loes.Rel. to Col. Hist, of I.I. Vol. VII, p. 94b. Cal. of Sir William Johnson Mss. p. 327. ibid p. 373. Eocs- ".el. to Col. Hist, of N.Y. Vol. VIII, p. 40.
orable opinion of all good Indians and his steady resolution to redress your 1
Sir John was a favorite with the Indians and they had fre2
quently inquired about him during his absence in England,
Sir John after his return be^an to busy himself with iocal affairs.
A masonic l^d^e called Saint Patrick was organized in Johnstown and 3
he became the first ^rand master; in 1768 he was made a Colonel, by Sir Kenry Lloore, of a regiment of horse to be formed in the
northern district of
York; the tax receipts of the time show that he was paying considerable taxes;
ail indicative of his ^rowin^, influence and importance in the valley.
Political matters be & an to claim his attention, and in the
election of January 1769, made necessary by the dissolution of the assembly by Covernor lloore, Sir John was urb ed to become a candidate from Albany County 6
to run against Phillip Schuyler who was up for reelection.
Sir John declined 7
and Schuyler was returned, not however before the bad feeling between the 8
Schuyler and Johnson frjuilies was augmented.
In the election Sir William
declined to support Schuyler, because of a motion made by the latter in the 9
due to military affairs.
was also trouble between Sir William and Schuyler
Sir William as Brigadier General of one of two
districts in New York had grown accustomed to heir^ consulted in regard to the
1. Docs. Bel. to Col. Hist, of Hf.T. Vol. VIII, p. 39 2. ibid. 3. Slums : frontiersmen, Vol. I, p. 274. 4. Report of State Historian of N.Y. 1897, p. 887. 5. Tax lists of Albany County cited in Simms: Frontiersmen, Vol.1
pp. 246, 247. of Sir William Johnson Has. p. 415. 7. Jones speaks of the "antipathy and hatred" of Schuyler and "all his connections to the Johnson family," Jones: Hist, of K. Vol.1, p. 73. 8. Cal. of Sir William Johnson Mas. pp. 415, 455. 9. Schuyler "chafed" at 3ome opposition in the election of 1766 "from Sir John", believin Sir William to be responsible, made a motion for an act to prevent any member of the council interfering in future elections. Sir William was at that time a member of the Council. Stone: Sir William Johnson. Vol.11, p. 316.
appointment of the field officers.
Schuyler having influence with Governor
disre arded Sir William's prerogative and "get some principle officers
really were not extremely fitting for it."
The officers had
been selected with what Sir William regarded as "notorious partiality arising in all probability from very interested motives, and
have the greatest
reason to think that Colonel Schuyler made himself very busy on that occasion as he does on many others, and that to his eagerness and ignorance some of the 2 ec,re b ious
blunders nay be attributed."
The trouble between the two families
explains, at least to some extent, the alacrity with which Schuyler later
carried out orders directed against the son of his old opponent. In 1772 Try on County was carved out of the western part of Albany
Johnstown was made the Countyseat, and Sir William built there a jail
and Courthouse, part of which was paid for by
Guy Johnson, a son in law
of Sir William, was made a judge and Sir John a justice of the peace for the
new County in which the Johnson family were the foremost in wealth and influ3
Mohawk Indians considered the family as their special protector
and doubtlessly were ^reatly influenced in the part they followed at the out~
break of the war by the attitude of their benefactors.
Their position was 4 also strengthened by a number of Scotch Highlander:? who settled on Sir William's land
They came from Scotland in 1773 and became deeply attached
Documentary History of H.Y. Vol.11, pi"j.95L>,9;36, ibid, pp. 963,904. Simms: Frontiersmen, Vol. I, p. 324. 4. The exact, number of Highlanders who settled in the Llohawk valley is not known, but their number must have been considerable. In 1774 Captain Alexander Macdonnell states that there were "200 men in the Llohawk valley of my own name." Captain Alexander IJacdonnell s Letter Book, Hew York History: 1.
Soc. Col. Vol. XV, p. 224.
to the interests of Sir
In the winter of 1772-7,5 Sir John spent some time in Kew York
City ne otiating a marriage with Mary Watts, a daughter of John Y/atts, Sir William's friend and colleague in the Council.
Sir John was well received 2
and there seems to have been no opposition to his proposals of marriage.
weddin to took place June 19, 1773 in New York City and the next day they traveled by water to Albany and visited Johnson Hall to receive Sir '.Villiam's blessing, he at this time bein^ confined at home by ill health.
wards they went to Fort Johnson where they made their home until after Sir 3
William's death. The year of 1774 opened with a feeling of unrest in the air.
relations between Great Britain and the American Colonies were growing, more strained, and the ever present Indian question had reached an acute stage. The western Indians goaded to desperation by Cresap's V'ar, and the murder of
2a Id La le, a Leleware chief, were nakin^ overtures tc the Six nations to induce ther. to join against the whites.
As usual the Six Nations appealed to
Sir V.'iliiam and a conference was held in July at Johnson Hall.
On July 11th
Sir William, whose health h&d been failing for some time, overexerted himself and exjured almost before Sir John, who was then at Fort Johnson a distance 4
of nine miles, could be summoned.
1. LlacLean: ili hlanders , p. 197. 2. Letter of Guy Johnson to Sir V.'iliiam, Liyers: Loyalists, Appendix A.
U.Y.City, Feb. 13,1773.
Simms; Frontiersmen. Vol. I, p. 269. Cal. of Sir V.'iliiam Johnson Mss. pp.520,L21. 4. Documentary Hist, of li.Y. Vol.11, pp. 1004-1007 ; Stone: Sir V.'iliiam Johnson, Chap. XX; Sii:ims: Frontiersmen, Vol. I, p. 291. 3.
In his will Sir William made generous provision for his eight half i
breed children by his housekeeper Mary Brant, and for his two sons-in-law, Daniel Clans and Guy Johnson but the bulk of the reai estate j'assed into Sir The estate at Fort Johnson with a tract of land opposite on the
south bank of the Mohawk, the Hall at Johnstown with fifty thousand acres of rant, the right and title to Lake Onondoga and the land surround-
ing it two miles in depth, and various other parcels of land became Sir John's 3
He succeeded hi3 father as Major General of the Militia , but his 4 request to retain his father's seat in the Council , for some reason was not
Guy Johnson who had been closely connected with Sir William in the
management of Indian affairs in accord with the latter' s request was appointb
ed superintendent of Indian affairs. Two months after Sir William's death the first Continental Con-
gress met and adopted an association which they transmitted to the different colonies.
InTryon County, the opposition lead by the Johnsons was able
counteract the German sentiment in favor of the measure.
At a Court held at
Johnstown March 16, 177£ the grand jury drew up a declaration opposing the
3 4. b. 6.
She was a sister of Joseph Brant. Will of Sir William Johnson, printed as an appendix to Stone: Sir William Johnson. Vol. II, p. 492: According to the Returns of "late first batallion Kings Royal "Reg. of W.I." Sir John was in possession of nearly 200,000 acres of land lost by the rebellion. Mac Lean: Highlanders , p. 224. .Stone: Life of Sir William Johnson. Vol.11, p. 103. Does .Bel. to Col. Hist, of B.X. Vol. VlII,p.4y4. ibid. vol. VIII, p. 485. Document ory r ist. N.X. Vol. II , p. 1006-7. Becker: IJ.i. Parties, p.±7i.
association as an "unjustifiable act on the private property of the Indian Company" and resolved to bear faith and true alle iance to their lawful Sover1
King Georb eIII.
signed by most of the
rand jurors 3
and nearly all the magistrates:
in all thirty four names were attached.
distinct parties took shape in the county; the loyalists, led by the Johnsons
and Butlers, whose chief strength lay in the support of the Scotch Highlanders, who were tenants of Sir John, and the Whigs whose radical principles appealed to
the German settlers.
The declaration of the ^rand jury stirred the radical element to 4
and Whig committees in the four districts of Tryon County,
Palatine, Conajoharie, Cerman Flats and L'ohawks, met and declared their "fix5
ed attachment to and entire approbation of the first Continental Conto rcss." In Kay, 1775, the i-'alatine district declared their determination "to wipe off tiie
indelible disgrace brought on us by the declaration signed by our grand
jury and some of our magistrates," declaring their intentions "to be free or 6
Meanwhile the friends of government were not idle. were stron
enough in the New York assembly, which met in January, 1775, to
secure a vote expres2ir.
nental Con ress.
disapprobation of the actions of the first Conti-
Thoy al30 prevented delegates bein^, appointed to the new
1. Am. Arch. 4. Ser. Vol. II, p. 111. 2. ibid. pp. 637-e. Campbell: Annals of Tryon County, p. 33. 3. Am. Arch. 4 Ser. Vol. II, p. 151. 4. The Palatine "hig Committee had met as early as Atig, 27, 1774. It did not however hold a second meeting- until May 11, 177b;
from this time on raeetin s were frequent. Sometimes every week. Simms has printed extracts from the journal of the Tryon County Committee of Vigilance which contains reports of the four districts. From the Journal it appears that the Whig Com; in Tryon County did not become active until after the rand jury drew up its declaration. Journal in Simms. Frontiersman, Vol. I, p. 489 ff. b. Simms: Frontiersman, Vol. I, p. 492. 6. Am. Arch. 4 Ser. Vol.11, pp. 6^7-8.
Con ress which was to meet in
gain their ends, resorted to extra legal devices.
York City, in order to
They called a mass meeting
turn authorized the calling of a convention to elect delegates to
the new Continental Congress.
The invitations were sent out to the Counties
torch 16, the same day that the grang jury of Try on County drew up their declaration,
of the counties responded, but the invitation was apparently a
ignored in Tryon Coiuity, probably because the Whig Committees were not at that time or anized and working effectively. The Convention met April 20th, appointed delegates to the second
Continental Con ress and dissolved on April Z2n&.
The following day the news
of the battle of Lexington reached JMew York City and April 28th the
mittee, which had decided to prevent the meeting of the le al assembly whose
loyalty was well known, sent out a second letter to the Counties, asking them to choose members to a new Provincial Assembly.
The Johnsons in Tryon County 5
opposed these illegal proceeding and for a time were able to prevent deputies About the middle of May the Johnsons "appeared with their de-
bein Q chosen.
pendents armed and dispersed the people" at a "numerous meeting of the Mohawk 6
At the same time it
reported that Johnson Hall had been fort-
ified and that about 250 Highlanders were armed, besides part of Sir John's
Militia, "no doubt," as the Whigs believed,"to prevent the friends of liberty I
their attachment to the world."
is impossible to say how
much truth there was in the report that the Hi hlanders and Militia were in arms, but it is ^.robable that Sir John was using all the influence he could to counteract these extra le^al proceedings, which, 1.
2. ibid. p. 3. Becker:
4. B« b. 7.
strickly speaking, was
186: Am. Arch. 4 Ser. Vol.11, p.lbl. fl.X. Parties, p. ±87. ibid. pp. 1^2-201. The flew Provincial Con ress met May 22. The delegate's from Tryon Co. did not appear until June 21. Am. Arch. 4Ser. Vol.II.pl3C Am, Arch. 4 Ser. Vol. II, p. 6^7-8. ibid.
his duty as a magistrate and as Colonel General of the Militia, There had already been active recruiting
on in the Mohawk
In the winter of 1774-75, Alexander Uacdonnell, of Staten Island, while
awaiting answers to proposals sent to England asking authority to recruit five companies of loyalists, made a trip to the Mohawk region and secretly canvassed the Highlanders of that district where there were two hundred men by the name of 1
Their chief men "cheerfully agreed to be ready at a call." 2 But most of all the .Vhigs in the Mohawk valley dreaded the Indians
and became concerned as to the course likely to be persued by them.
ial Ay feared the influenoe of their new superintendent, Guy Johnson, over them.
The v.higs knew how ardently he disapproved of their measures and they feared
On the other hand
he would influence the Indians to hostilities against them.
Guy Johnson was sure that the
were tryin^ to seize him.
On May 13th
he wrote to the Schenectady Committee of
duty was to promote peace;
declaring that his
at the sane time he mentioned the threats that had
been made against him and the false reports that had been circulated concernirio
himself, and assured them of his ability and intentions
to give a very
hot ana disagreeable reception to any person" wno would attempt to invade his 5
In reply the Palatine Committee passed a set of resolutions on
declaring Guy Johnson's conduct in raisin
his house, and keeping armed men and Indians around him,
"Kind's hi & hway"
stopping men on the
and cutting off communications with Al bany,
to be "arbi-
trary, illegal, oppressive and unwarrantable."
They wrote to the Albany Com-
Letter Book of Captain Macdonneli, K.Y.Hist. Soc. Col. 1882. p. 2^4.
4 Ser. Vol. II, pp. 637-65o. Bel. to Col. Hist, of N.T. Vol. VIII, p. 635-7. 4. Guy Johnson lived in the eastern part of Tryon County and for this reason hi- Albany County neighbors felt that they should keep an eye on him. 5. Am.Arch. 4 Ser. Vol.11, p. 638. 6. Journal of Tryon County Com. of Vigilance, See Simms: Frontieramen. Vol.T, p.43fi. 2. Am.i.rch. 3. Does.
mittee askir^ for powder,
and suggested that it mi u-ht be expedient to open
up communications by force, but the Albany Vhigs advised against the measure. 2
They too were short of powder.
May 25th Guy Johnson held a conference with the Mohawk Indians at Guy ParK at which delegates from Albany and Tryon County were present. Littl
Abraham spoke for the Indians and declared their attachment for their new superintendent.
He insisted that the Indians did not wish a quarrel with the
inhabitants, but if their powder was cut off they would be "distrustful." No-
thing was accomplished at this conference and Guy Johnson, probably dissatis-
fied with the western Indian's failure
to comply with his invitation, with3
drew further west to the German Flatts district takin
his family with him.
From there he callea a second Congress which was destined never to meet, for late in -ay, in accord with secret instructions received from General Ga^e,
Guy Johnson withdrew to Canada by the way of Fort Stanwix with his family and 4
a number of white men and Indians.
A short time after the battle of Bunker Hill, Phillip Schuyler, who hau been electeu a Major f'eneral by the second. Continental Congress, was put in charge of the northern district by General ,7ashin«J ton and amon^ other ,
matters instructed to watch Colonel Guy Johnson and to prevent as far as possible the effects of hi3 influence with the Indians.
However when he reach-
ed Albany he found that the Indian Superintendent had fled leaving "Sir John the most prominent Loyalist and at the same time the most conspicuous friend b
of the Indians in that region
By this time the Mohawk valley was fairly
1. At this
time th^re was only about fifty jiounds of powder in the districts of Palatine, Cotiajoharie and the German Flatts. See Stone: Life of Brant, Vol. I, p. bb.
Annals of Tryon Covmty, pp. 43-7; Stone, Life of Brant Vol. I, pp. 71-2. 4. Doos.Hel. to Col. Hi3t. of H.I. Vol. VIII, pp. 635-37. 5. Am. Arch. 4 Ser. Vol.11, p. 1084-5. 6. Winsor: America, Vol. VI, pp.b24-5.
seethin^ with activity. The Whig committee met often and deliberated lon b 8 X and at times secretly, they arrested, fined, and in some instances iraprisoned their loyalist neighbors; they exercised the pardoning power, in case the
offender promised reformation along lines laid down hy them; called for new 5
elections, when the old officials seemed too loyal to the existing government j 7
met in council with the Indians; appointed committees to
owder and leadj
recommended the inhabitants to have no trade dealings with their Tory neighbors b
who had not entered into the association.
In short for a time they transacted
all sorts of business, legislative, executive, and judicial, and were the princij^le organs of local government, with a wide field for independent action,
but in this they showed respect for the organization above them, the general
committee on 'lories and the .Provincial and Continental Congresses, In June the
County Committee decided to make a list of all
the inhabitants of the Coxvnty and to present the association to all who had
Lists of all those refusing were drawn up and sent to the Provin10
cial Con ress.
The Whigs did not approve of a "middle of the road" position,
and the neutrality which they tried to ur^e upon the Indians was not for the
As far as the Whig Committee were concerned those that were
not for them were considered as enemies.
Sir John occupied a difficult posi-
tion, but he stood his O round ana was not
in the least overawed by the
Journal of Try on Co. Com. of Vigilance, cited in Simms: Frontiersmen, Vol.1 , pp. 495-6. H. ibid. p.LlO. l.
ibid. ibid. ibid. ibid. 7, ibid. a. ibid.
3. 4. 5. b.
p. 521. p. 5lo-4 p. 516. p. 503.
y. Fliclc: Loyalism im li.l. Chap. IV. 10. Journal of Tryon County Committee of Safty. Slams: Frontiersman, Vol.1, p. 501.
In August 1775 he had four hundred men in arms to protect Sheriff
who had been in trouble with the Whigs for some time.
The previous z
Spring he had cut down a liberty pole which the Germans had erected,
noisily boasted on several occasions that "he would fight for the King and swore they would be sure to conquer" and that he of hanging a good many yet."
hoped to have the pleasure
As Sheriff of the County and friend of Sir John
he exercised control over the jail at Johnstown and lodged whigs there without 4 "process." Schuyler was on the lookout but did not interfere being "appre-
hensive of evil consequences from the Indians." However the inhabitants suc-
ceeded in drivinu off
the Sheriff and Sir John promised not to interfere
October 27th the Tryon County committee sent a committee of throe
with a letter to Sir John.
They wished to know if he would permit the inhab-
itants of Johnstown and Kingsbo rough to form themselves into Companies ac-
cording to the regulations of the Continental Congress} they wished to know what part he expected to take in th approaching struggle, and whether or not he pretended a "prerogative" to the jail at Johnstown and would prevent them 7
from usinb it.
»ir John delivered a verbal answer to the committee of three,
he accused the Whigs of forcing two thirds of the people of Conajoharie and
German Platts to sign the association.
He declared^ apparently not at all
mollified by the messenger's contention that it was ridiculous to suppose
1. Am. Arch.
Ser.4. Vol. Ill, p.5U.
2. Stone: Life of Brant, vol.1, p.lU6. 5. Journal of Tryon uounty Committee of
vigilance, simms: Frontiersman, vol.1, p.5i£. 4. ibid. p.5i3. t». Am. Arch, oer.%. Vol. Ill, pp. 50, 223,224. 6. Ebenezer Cox, James Kcllaster and John James Clock were the men sent. See Simms: Frontiersman, Vol.1, p. 520. 7. Am. Arch: Ser.4, Vol. Ill, p. Iiy4.
that one third could make two thirds si^n, that "be fore he would si n any
association or lift his hand up against the King he would rather suffer his 1
head to be cut off: and that he would opjose to his tenants forming themselves
illegal use of the Jail.
into Companies, he said he hau never opposed
them, nor would he, but that he was "sure that they would not" care to do so. The messengers were told point blank: that in his opinion the Boston people 2
were rebels and the other colonics were no better. The
'7hi to s
determined to find out just what Sir John considered an
illegal use of the jail,
"hen Sheriff White was forced to leave the community
he was accompanied for some distance toward Canada by John Bowen and a man
When these two men returned they were promptly arrested and
-hey refused to pay a cent and the committee sent 4 them as prisoners to Albany. The Albany Committee, no doubt bein b crowded
fined twenty five pounds,
for jail room themselves, sent the prisoners back.
decided to try a test case.
The Tryon County Committee
Captain Jacob Seeber with the help of eight men
tried to lodge the prisoners in jail, but the jailor, John Hare, and two com-
panions resisted Captain Seeber and threatened to shoot.
The attempt was
abandoned and the prisoners were turned over to the new "hig Sheriff, John 5
Later at a committee meeting a motion was made to arrest John Hare and 6
his companions, for opposing Captain Seeber, but the motion was negatived.
Probably they too like General Schuyler feared at this time to oppose Sir John and his claims to the jail, on account of the evil consequences such action
might have on the Indians.
Sir John claimed the jail until he was paid 700 pounds. This amount had been advanced by Sir William when the jail was built. 2. Am. Arch. Her. 4. Vol. III,p.l24L. 1.
3. ibid. Vol. II, p. 1726. 4. Simms: Frontiersman, Vol.1, p. 518. 5. Journal of Tryon Co. Com. of Vigilance , Simms Frontiersman, Vol. I, p. 521. 6. ibid, p. 524. :
.„ s b»r»
In the early winter of 1775-76 miners were current to the effect
that Sir John was in correcpondence with the loyalists in
York City and
with Guy Johnson who was in Canada.
A report was made to the Continental
Congress declaring that the Tories had a quantity of military stores hidden in Tryon County; accordingly December to
Con ress instructed General Schuyler
into that section, seize the arms of the Tories and apprehend their
The success of the plan depended to a great extent on secrecy,
but having no men to carry out the orders, General Schuyler was forced to
appeal to the Albany Whig Committee for troops, visin,^ means to collect a body of
while they were secretly de-
men and "much puzzled what reason to give
for doixio it" a letter from the Tryon County Committee was received enclosing an affidavit of Jonathan French to the effect that Sir John was fortitying his
and had three hundred Indians near him; these reports were made the 8
"ostensible reason for raisin^ the militia."
These reports stirred the
people to action and by the time General Schuyler reached Caughnawga he had 4
"near three hundred men," which included nine hundred Tryon County Militia.
Sir John was in correspondence w-ith Governor Tryon. Pie was at this time lining up the Indians and forming a battalion in which all the officers had been named previous to January 5, 1776. Does. He 1. to Col. Hist, of li.Y. Vol. VIII, p. 651. 2« Journal of Congress, 1775 t p, 310, 3. Am. Arch. Ser. 4. Vol. IV, p. 313. 4. ibid. p. 819-321. 1.
The Indians were alarmed by the movement of such a larje body of
men toward their count ry.
An Indian deputation headed by Abraham, a Mohawk
chief, met General Schuyler at Schenectady January 16th and complained bitterly of this invasion of their country.
They pointed out that it broke the
terms of the treaty of August, 1775.
They declared that Johnson Hall was not
fortified, and maintained that Sir John had promised them that he would
not be the a -jressor, but, that in case people came to take away his life he
General Schuyler assured the Indians that his purpose
would defend himself.
was not to interfere with them, but since he "had full proof that many people In Johnstown and the nei hborhood" had been making preparations
into execution the wicked desi ns of the Kind's evil Councillors," by special
order of Congress he was marching up to keep the path open and to prevent the
Johnstown people from cuttin
his march toward Johnstown, havin
nhe next day he resumed
previously dispatched a letter to Sir John,
advisin^ him that by orders of Congress he was marching troops to "contravene 4
the dangerous designs"
ed in Tryon County. to meet
which his information made him beleive had been form-
In order that no blood mi^ht
shed, he invited Sir John
him on the road between Schenectady and Johnstown.
In the same letter 6
he o av e assurance that Lady Johnson would not be molested whatever resulted.
Sir John and some of the leadin
Highlanders met General Schuyler
l.A treaty made at /lbany between Commissioners appointed by Cor^ress and the Six Nations. Ry thi3 treaty the Indians understood that the Mohawk river was to be left o] en for trade, no troops should be sent into the Indian country and that Sir John should not be molested. In return the Indians promised to remain neutral. Does- Bel. to Col. Hist, of N.Y. Vol. VIII, pp 605-651. Z.An.Arch. Ser.4, Vol.IV,pp.0iy-821. 3. ibid. pp. 822-823. 4. ibid. p. 823. 5. Schuyler had an affidavit of a man named Connor in regard to buried arms. Jones: Hist, of L .Y. Vol.1, p.57y. 6. Lady Johnson wa3 General Schuyler's second cousin. r
at Guy Hark sixteen miles west of Schenectady and were presented the following
sir John was asked to surrender all military stores in his possession
or in the county, and all private arms with a few exceptions} to give his
parole of honor not to take up arms against America; the Scotch were required to deliver up all their arms and to give six hostages for their good behavior.
Sir John objected to these terms and asserted that the Indians would support him, somo "bein^ already at the Hall for that purpose, while others v;ere on their way there.
However he asked permission to withhold his
answer until the next day.
After Sir John withdrew, Abraham declared to
General Schuyler that the Indians would not help Sir John and would interfere only as mediators.
Schuyler, with ^ood reasons, doubted this
wily chief that he intended to destroy all who appeared in arms against the He then advanced his army within four miles of Johnstown, where
Sir John sent to him counter proposals,
roved to be unsatisfactory to
An ultimatum was returned to Sir John allowing him until mid-
night to u ive a favorable answer.
At the same time General Schuyler request-
ed that Lady Johnson retire from the Hall. The Indians immediately interceded in behalf of Sir John and ask-
ed that his terms might be accepted.
General Schuyler refused and made known
to them his intentions to use force if a favorable answer was not forthcoming
Finally the Indians begged that the time might be extended that
by midnight •
they might go to Sir John and "shake his head."
The General granted their last
request, but an extension of time was not needed, since Sir John'3 answer was
1. Am.Arch. Ser.4. 2.
Vol . IV. pp. 824-8-5. Sir John objected to bein<_, confined to any certain locality; the Scotch gentlemen insisted on keeping their side arms, and objected to giving hostages* Am.Arch. Ser.4. Vol. IV, pp. 825-6
itid. p. 826. ibid.
delivered before midni ht.
differed very little from General Schuyler's
ori inal proposals and was accepted by him.
By the terms of the agreement
Sir John promised to go no further west than the German Flatts and Kings land 1
He was permitted to retain a few favorite arms and the Scotch 2
were allowed to
ive six -prisoners instead of hostages*
The following afternoon, January iyth, the military stores in Sir
John's possession were given up. The small quantity proved disappointing to
General Schuyler, who had expected a much greater amount. Since the agreement
with Sir John did not include all th» ^ories of the County, but chiefly Sir John's Scotch tenants, various parties were sent out to apprehend and bring into Johnstown all the loyalists they could find,
in the meantime, January
20th, the Scotch Highlanders, between two and three hundred in number, according to the terms of the a reement, paraded in .Johnstown and ground their arms.
Thereupon the General "exhorted" them and pointed out that the only safe course for the Highlanders lay in supporting the colonies.
He then secured
their arms and dismissed them,
Schuyler had brought with him a man named Connor, who had made an affidavit conc3rnin
buried in Tryon County.
The two Highlanders impli-
cated by Connor called him a "perjured wretch" and declared a willingness to be hanged if Connor's charge proved true.
To test the matter General Schuyler
sent several field officers with uonnor to examine the place where the arms
were purported to nave been buried.
He lead them to a small i3land, about
twenty by twenty ei^ht feet in size, in the center of a duck pond.
1776, Governor Tryon wrote to Dartmouth that Sir John had entered into a bond of 1600 pounds sterling. Does.Kel. Feb. 7,
to Col. Hist, of K.Y. Vol. VIII, p. 663. 2. Am./.rch: Ser.4^'pp. 827-8-8. 3. ibid. Vol. IV. p. 828.
was about three feet above the water in the center and gradually sloped down to the water.
When the officers saw the size of the island they became scepti-
cal, but Connor assured them that the arms were stacked in four piles.
ground was cleared and shovels apj^lied, but no arms were found.
The O round
and Connor proved to be what the Scotch had
had not been recently disturbed, 2
maintained, a "perjtired wretch." 3
The parties sent out to apprehend Tories were successful,
General Schuyler estimated that altogether about six hundred Tories were dis4
He left General Herkheimer to complete the work of disamin^ and to 6
select the six Scotch prisoners
while he himself returned to Albany.
1. An. Arch. Ser.4, Vol. IV. p. 828. 2. Schuyler confined Connor as an imposter. ibid. 3. January lbth fifty Tories were barou ht in; on the 21st.
ibid. 4. ibid. 5. The prisoners were Allan
Lie Done 11 ,Sr. , Allan L'cDoneli , Jr. Alexander I.lclonell, Ronald I.lcDonell, Archibald McDonell, and John LIcDonell. They were sent to Headin b ,Penn. and later to Lancaster. HcLean: Highlanders, p. 201. b. On his road to Albany, Schuyler dispatched a letter to Sir John asking why the Scotch had not delivered up their broad sword3 and dirks and insisting that the matter be cleared up. Schuyler explained that he did not say anythin,-, about this matter when the Scotch delivered up their other arms since he was "too apprehensive of the consequences which mi^ht have been fatal to those people to take notice of it on the spot." (Am. Arch. Ser.4, Vol. IV, p. 824.) It is possible that Schuyler with his poorly trained volunteers and militia which on the trip were hard to manage, (ibid.) was not in a possiticn to raise the issue bein,-, "apprehensive" for the welfare of his own troops as well as for the High-
This disarming of the Tories was derisively called by the loyal1
ists "Schuyler's Peacock Expedition."
However it took from the Try on
County loyalists many of their arms, and it must have handicapped Sir John in his plans.
As has already been stated he was at this time raisinj a
battalion, and was waiting only for supplies and some "regulars "before he made an attempt to recapture the northern forts.
cessful in keepiri^ his plans secret from the Whiga«
Sir John had been sucCongress and General
Schuyler were suspicious but they really knew nothing for certain, and the 3
expedition was made on the basis of Knowledge contain ed in two affidavits both of which eventually proved false.
For a few v.eeks after ^ivin^ his parole Sir John was left in peace.
However on l!arch 6th Asa Chadwick made a deposition before John
Collins, a justice of the peace in Tryon County, to the effect that on L.'arch
4th while at Johnson Hall he had heard Sir John say that he had sent
for the Indians and that they would fall on the back settlements in six 4 weeics time "ana
blood will run."
This affidavit was sent to the Albany
Committee who resolved March 11th to lay the whole matter before General
Schuyler to act upon as he saw fit, since Sir John was under parole to him.
1. Jor.es charges that Schuyler's forces pillaged the
inhabitants of Johnstown and Sir John. They destroyed a lar^e flock of peacocks belone,in to Sir John and decorated themselves with the feathers. Jones: N.Y. Vol. I, pp. 73,74. It may be that Jones was wrong in statin^ that the inhabitants were pillaged and confused this expedition with the one made later under Colonel Dayton when Johnson Hall was pillaged* However Cov. Tryon in a letter to Tartmouth, Fab, 1776, in telling of Schuyler's expedition, asserts that 560 guineas were taken from Sir John's desk. Docs. Hel.to Col. Hist, of U.Y. Vol. VIII, p. 663.
2. ibid. 651. 3. Affidavits of
Connor and French. The latter' Jones: Hist, of A. I. Vol. I, pp. 584-5. 4. Ar... Arch. Ser.4, Vol.V, p. iy5. 5. ibid.
proved false also
March 12th Schuyler wrote to Congress, enclosing Chadwick's deposition and asking for advice.
He advised Con res3 however that should he find the
charges true he would not permit Sir John to remain in Tryon County, but
On the same day he
would act without their opinion if safty demanded it.
wrote to Sir John orderir^ him down to Albany to meet his accusers. came on the appointed day, rarch l$th, but Chauwick cuse him.
Schuyler questioned Sir
not appear to ac-
ohn who did not deny that he had said
the Indians had threatened to fall ujon the settlements. that the Whigs in out
He added, however
County knew that the Indians had repeatedly thrown
threats to this effect.
"hatever General Schuyler's personal incli-
nations may have been he permitted Sir John to return to Tryon County, 4
since the evidence against him was not conclusive
and his seizure would
have made the Indians an^ry. On JIarch 17th the British evacuated Boston and as a result the
whi^ Committees were stimulated to
A few weeks later, 5
backed up by the Albany Committee, Schuyler determined to seize Sir John. 6
He said he had received"more information supported by affidavits" against
Sir John, which ho apparently did not see fit to reveal.
singularly unfortunate in havin
He had been
his previous"inf ormation" turn out to be
false, and it would seem that he did not lay much stress on this new evi-
dence, since he considered it necessary to release Sir John from his parole 7
before arresting him, which would not have been the case if there was sufficient evidence that Sir John had broken his parole.
Ser.4. Vol.V.p.iy4. ibid. p. 196. ibid. Jones: Hist, of ti.i. vol.1, p. 583. ibid. p,584« Am. Arch. Ser.4, Vol. VI, p. 642. ibid.
1. Am. Arch. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6. 7.
To catch him un-
aware s the General evolved a wily scheme and set about carry ir^ it out with reat secrecy.
He at this
time was detained at Saratoga and Colonel
Dayton was entrusted with the mission. One of the six
2 jr i
soners taicen in January when the Scotch had been
disarmed was Allan Kcdonnell, head of the clan,
he had written a letter to
Coi^rees requesting that the clan of ncdonnell be removed to Albany and 2
General Schuyler made the removal of the Hi Q hlanders a ruse a
to cover the real purpose of the march into Try on county.
15th he wrote to Sir John and informed him that troops would soon ar4 When Sir John received the letrive to remove the Highlanders to Albany.
ter he assembled his Scotch tenants and they declared that they would not O o to Albany since they were under no obligations to Allan licdonnell.
loth Sir John answered General Schuyler to this effect.
that the Highlanders were indebt to hira "near 2000 pounds
He pointed out
and that they
were in a fair way to discharge it if left in peace."
In the meantime
Sir John's friends in Albany informed him of the real purpose of the march fa
into Try on County, and Just before Colonel Dayton reached Johnstown he
1. Schuyler planned to deliver a letter to Sir John releasing
him from his parole, with the intention of taking feinM} close prisoner as soon as he had read the letter. 4m Arck^pp. b£i-£. Flick speak3 of this ruse as a piece of treachery. Flick: Loyal ism in n.i. p.b7. 2. Am. Arch. Ser.4. Vol. VI, p. 642. 3. ibid. pp. 641-2 4. ibid. p. b42 0. ibid. p. 644. b. Thomas Gumersali was nelpfui in forwarding information,
advanced some money also. Lieutenant Grey, formerly of the 42nd regiment helped to raise the men who went with Sir John. Am. Arch. Ser. 5, Vol.1, p. 066.
started to Canada with "about one hundred and thirty Highlanders and about »i
one hundred and twenty others attached to government.
Colonel Dayton in pursuance of his orders arrived in Johnstown
Following Schuyler's instructions he sent a
May 19th with 500 troops.
messenger to Johnson Hall to ask Sir John when the Highlanders would be ready to be escorted to Albany.
Lady Johnson informed the messenger that
Sir John had "retired into the woods" with the Highlanders and that they were resolved to defend themselves if pursued.
A few days later Lady John-
son was ordered to hand ovar the keys and prepare to O o to Albany.
every roum and drawer in Johnson Hall was searched but no incriminating 4 papers were found. With the advice of the Mohawk Committee Colonel Dayton took possession of Johnson Hall.
He thought it probable that Sir John was
lurking in the woods and mi^ht b ot advice and provisions from the Hall.
However he sent out parties to intercept Sir John if he should attempt to 5
escape by way of Niagara.
1. Historians have
saiu that Sir John broke his parole of honor. See McLean: Highlanders , p. 205; Campbell: Annals of Tryon County, p. 62; Stone: Life of Brant, Vol. I, p. 145; Slums: Frontiersmen. Vol.1, pp. 568-70 j Jones exonerates Sir John. Jones: Hist, of I-.Y.Vol.I, pp. 75, 587. De^eyster claims that Schuyler' 3 letter written Bay 10th to Sir John, even though never delivered, released Sir John. See his address, fl.Y. Historical Society, Jan. 6th, i860; Meyers says the parole was exacted by a display of force authorized by a defacto government. Meyers: lories or Loyalists in America, Mfcnsell Series, I.'o.ll, p. 212a. 2. McLean accuses Sir John of being responsible for the Highlander losin their homes. McLean, Highlanders, p. 205. This seems rather unfair since they had"most cheerfully agreed" to enroll
under Colonel Allan McLean eighteen months before Sir John left for Canada. Mcdonnell: Letter Book, l f I« Hist. Soc. Col. 1882, p. 224. 3. Col.
Dayton to Schuyler May 2£th. Am. Arch. Ser.4, Vol .VI , p. 644. 4. 21mer: Journal, ray 22nd, 1776. 5. Am. Arch. Ser.4, Vol. VI. p. 645.
by Schuyler's orders, was removed to Albany much
against her wishes.
The expediency of removing all the disaffected from
the vicinity was discussed with the Albany and Tryon County Committees.
However they decided to take thirty or forty of the most dangerous and sent 2
then to Albany as hostages.
This was done and Coxonel Payton was ordered
to remain in the iiohawk valley to secure that part of the country and "awe
1. Elmer: 2.
Journal, Ilay 22nd, 1776; Am. Arch. Ser.4. Vol. VI, p. 647 journal. June 5th, 1776.
Sir John did not retire to Canada by way of Niagara as Colonel The Champlain route was also carefully avoided 3inco he
Dayton had predicted.
was uncertain as to whether friend or foe held the Lake. iiio
The usual routes be-
considered unsafe, the party took to the woods by way of the Sacondo^a,
ana travelled in a northwesternly direction until they reached the St. Lawrence River.
Their preparations for the journey had been made Jmrridly and proved to
severe hardships the footsore loyalists arrived
in Montreal early in June, where they were welcomed by Sir Guy Carleton.
John told of the distress and loyalty of the people of his neighborhood and asked permission to raise a battalion for the protection of jects.
His request was immediately granted and on June lyth, Sir Guy Carleton
commissioned Sir John, Lieutenant Colonel, with permission to raise a battalion 3
of five hundred men to be called the "Kind's "Royal Regiment of Uew York."
Sir John took the men he had brought with him as a nucleus and immediately be^an to form his battalion, the expenses of which he for sometime
was obliged to bear.
In July he made application to General Bur^oyne for levy
money, but to no avail.
The General pointeu out that his case was different
1. Stone: Life of Brant. Vol. I,p. 14-4. Z. r.'.r. Siebert puts the date or Sir John's arrival as the last week in June. Thi3 would seem to be a mistake. According to a
letter written by Carleton June 8th, Sir ohn had reached Montreal on or before June 8th. Can. Arch. 1^04. Sessional Papers Nbt 18, App. I. p.3^U. 3. ibid; ibG^, p. 23V. T
from that of Colons 1 Lieutenant McLean whoso corps was to serve whore ever ordered, unu whoso Commander received no advantage of rank.
He explained that in
Sir John's case the corps was raised by an"opulent subject in a time of danger, to protect the rights of the Crown and those of private property, and was to
serve only in America", and only under special exigencies out of its own pro-
said the plan was similar to that of ESoglish .Noblemen, who in 1745
raised regiments in their own counties at their own expense, "receiving military rank in return."
He comforted Sir John by saying that he believed the enlist1
meats could be made with little expense.
From the first Sir John met opposition in increasing the size of April 3rd, 1775, Lieutenant Colonel McLean of Scotland, had been
^iven a "fibyal
to raise a corps of Highlanders in
America to be known as the
Highland immigrant Regiment • " His recruiting activities, even before the
warrant was granted, had carried an agent of his, Captain Alexander I.Iacdonnell, into the Uohawk valley where there were two hundred men of the Hacdonnell clan. The a^ent
oke to their chief men, and they "cheerfully agreed" to be ready
at a call.
However they could not be enlisted since the warrant did not ar-
rive from England until several months later,
'hen Guy Johnson withdrew to 4
Canada in the Spring of 177L a number of Highlanders went with him, and probably However Sir John expected to incorporate those High-
join. d VcLean's corps.
landers whom he had brought with him into his own corps.
him and joined HcLean
is not known, but
According to Captain Alexander Macdonnell
Just how many left
is probable that some of them did.
Colonel nacLean's right hand man in
recruiting," poor old Ronald not only refused Sir John's offer but carried
x. Can. Arch. 1088, pp. 64i^2. z. Docs.Hel. to Cel. Hist, of Vol. VIII, p. ob£. 3. ilacdonnell. Letter .^ook. p.224« 4. L!aj. J. i3rown in a letter written Aug. 14th, 1775, from Crown Point to Gov. Trumbell says, "Col. Vuy Johnson has arrived at f
Montreal with a party of 300 mostly tenants." Am. Arch. Ser.5, p. 13S.fi.
thirty of the Highlanders in spite of all opposition off to Colonel i.lacLcan." This defection occured in the Autumn of 1776 and must have been a rather serious loss since the corps at that time was small.
However the ranks began to be
filled by parties and detached stragglers from new York who escaped over the 2
borders In the Sprin
of 1777 John and Alexander tiacdonneil,
two of the
prisoners taken by General Schuyler in his Johnstown raid, received permission to visit their families.
They violated their agreement; and instead of re turn-
to prison ran off to Canada with a number of Highlanders who still remain-
ed in Tryon County,
On their arrival Alexander was commissioned a Captain and
Lieutenant in Sir John's corps, and at least part of the men
John a Captain
thay brought off joinea the ranks of the Kill's Boyal Regiment of New York. At the time Sir John joined St Lexer's expedition in the Spring of 1777, less b
than a year after the formation cf the corps, it consisted of six companies,
and each company under the terms of the Commission was to consist of fifty 6
After establishing his corps in winter quarters at Lachine, St 7
Ann and Foint Claire, Sir John went to Eew York to secxire if possible his 6
She had been, since her removal from Johnstown in May, virtual
a prisoner of her cousin, General Schuyler. Lady Johnson, on her arrival in Albany, had been permitted to
jMacdonnoll, Letter book. p. 501 Siebert: Am. Loyalists, p. 4. Can. Arch. 1S88. p. 643; Stone: Life of Brant. Vol.1. p. 212. Orderly Eook. June 17, ibid. July 31. t>. 6. The return of officers show that the fir3t battalion, when completed had ten captains. See tables in MacLean's Highlanders, pp. 224, 225. 7. Orderly Book. I'ov, 7. 6. Can. ;rch. ib6L,p.24y. 1. 2. 6. 4.
stay with her relatives Mrs. iiruce and Mrs. stej^hen ue Lancy, with the unaerX
that she was not to leave the city.
brother, Robert watts,
early in June requested General Washington tnat his sister Bight go to lork Gity.
Washin ton was wiilin
referred the matter to General Schuyler
whose prisoner she was.
refused to let her ^o, Deleiving that sir John
"will not carry matters to excess" as lonj as Lady Johnson "is kept a kind of 3
Robert Watts pressed Schuyler repoatediy for ner release Dut to no
avail. to u o to
June 16th Lady Johnson, herself, applied to H'ashin^ton for permission j?iew
she stated that she would "prefer her captivity" un-
der him rather than General Schuyler whose "repeated threats were too indelicate and cruel to be expected of a gentleman" and who acted more uut of ±xi
nature 10 oir <;unn tnan from
see fit to interfere in her behalf
However, '"ashin^ton did not
3he remained in Albany until December,
when Schuyler and the Albany Corxiittee decided that as far as they were concerned she mi e
O o down to the Gity.
They ^ave her a pass to Fishkill where
the Provincial Ccn ress was then sitting and to whom she was obliged to refer
before she could proceed on her journey.
Sometime in December she left Albany
with her sister, a nurse, two servants ana three small children, the youngest 7
only a few months old.
refU3ea to let
They arrived in Fishkill but the Provincial Congress
They, however, gave Lady Johnson a choice of
four places of residence, Fishkill, David Johnson's in Duchess
1. Jones: Hist, of K.Y. Vol. I, p. p. 77, L86. 2. ibid. pp. Li88-b6y. 3. Letter of °chuyler to V.ashin^ton June 15, 4, Voi.VI,p.9l3. 4. ibid; Jones: Hist, of i;.Y.Vol.T,p.58y. b. Am.Arcfu Ser.4, Vol.VI.p.yio. 6. JouiTiai^Trov. Con ress, Vol. II, p. 211. 7.
Journal of N.I. Provincial Congress, Vox .
Am. Arch. Per.
walladef Colden's in Ulser County, or Mr. Barclay's at 7/alkill.
was appointed a committee to devise means to escort Lady Johnson to some "safe He tried to persuade her from „oin
place of residence."
place she haa decided upon, but she was determined to take advanta
Provincial Congress' resolve, and escorted
the reluctant Mr. Tappen she
proceeded to the Barclay farm. Sometime in January, with her family and servants, she eluded the
Provincial Con ress and in ois uise reached the city, vhere she was met by Sir John,
The severe veather proved too much for the youngest child, who died
just before the party reached the city, and a second child died a few weeks 4 3 later. Early in the Sprin^ of 1777 Sir John returned to Canada much embitter-
ed by the treatment which had been accorded to his wife. The Kind's ^oyal "Regiment of New York, quartered on the inhabi5
tants of Lachine, St Ann, and Point Claire passed an active winter.
cruits into shape.
Sir John's absence, tried to whip the new re-
The active men were drilled and initiated into the mystery 7
of marchin^ on snow shoes; at rare intervals they were allowed to have target 8
practice "with balls? able of learnin
Kven the old men attached to the corps, who were incap-
the exercises had their duties, bein
required on fine days
to "air the ammunition^'
1. Journal of BUT. Prov. Congress. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Vol.I,p.3Sl; Jones: ftist. of BUY. Vol.1, pp. 76-81. Journal of BUI, Prov. Con6 . Vol. I, p. 761. The youn D est child was bom in Albany after Sir John went to Canada. See Adventurer, of a Lady, extracts ^iven in App. of Pe Peystor's ado.ress before BUY .Hist. Soc. 1860. Jones: Hist, of fl.Y. Vol.1, pp. 60,81. Orderly Book. ITov.7th. ibid. ::ar.27th. ibid. Jan. 4th. ibid. I.lay 31st; June 2nd. ibid. Hay 6th.
In March the English ministry sent over to Canada the plans for
the summer campaign of 1777.
envolved a movement from the north of an army
under Bur^oyne by the way of Lake Champlain, then down the Hudson to open communications with Hew York City.
To facilitate Bur oyne's advance a second 1
force under St Le er, with a base at Oswego was to sweep down the Mohawk valley atherint, in supplies and the disaffected whom Sir John assured Buigoyne would 2 come rushirio in to swell the ranks of the two armies.
12th Sir John was ordered to hold his corps in readiness to 3
march under St Le u er and in accord with these instructions, June 1st the entire re iment removed to Lachine and was placed under the command of Colonel St Leg4 & He jointed out to the Hoyal er, who proved to be a strict disciplinarian.
Hew Yorkers that the surest method of making the "honorable zeal they had lately manifested to their King" take the effect they wished for "as well as to
repossess themselves of the peace and property which had been most ille ally
wrest from them" was to
ive a constant and unwearied attention to the learn-
in^ of military discipline which would
ive thern a "superiorit;/ over the con6
fused rabble" they would have to deal with.
In accord with these views he re7
required the corjs to begin their exercises at four thirty in the morning, but even then after each soldier had been provided, by St Lexer's orders, with a
a black stock tho paraaes were still slovenly and unsoldierly.
1. Cermain. to Carleton, Mar. 26th, 1777. Can. Arch. 1885. p. 235. 2. Burgoyne, Aug. 26th, 1777 wrote to Sermaine that Sir John's
expectations of loyalty were not well ^rounded. Can. Arch. 3. 4-.
5. 6. 7. 8.
1883, p. 76. ibid. 1585, p. 257. Mr. Siebert states that Sir John's corps joined St Le^er at Oswego. Seibert: Loyalists, p. Y. The Orderly Rook shows that the corps was joined to St Lexer's command at Lachine, almost two months before the expedition reached Oswego* Orderly ?ook, May 31st, June 2nd. ibid. -June 2nd * 3rd. ibid. June 6th. ibid. .June 2nd. ibid June 15th.
June 21st the expedition which at this time consisted of forces Z
from the J4th re
Sir John's corps and a company of Canadians, set out
for Carleton Island at the entrance of Lake Ontario where they were to rendozvous and meet a force from the Sth regiment and some
in forty ei^iht batteaux with
John's corps made the trip up the St Lawrence
four hundred and forty barrels of provisions, the seven barrels of rum allotted 6
to them bein^, placed
with the officers "for sectirity."
July 8th the exjedi-
tion reached Carleton Island where St Le^er was appointee! temporarily, Sri^a-
Sir John was made second in command of the expedition, while
laniel Clatts, Sir John's brother-in-law, who had joined the expedition at Lachine, and who on his trip up the St Lawrence had gathered up one hundred i
and fifty ."Jisstsajues and Six Nation Indians, was placed in charge of all Indie
ians who might join the expedition.
"hey camped on the islana for eleven days, drillin ot mending 11
leaky boats and baking vast quantities cf bread before they set
At the mouth of Salmon Creek about twenty miles east of Oswe-o, St Le er, with the detachments from the 8th and 34th regiments, and about two hundred and
fifty Indians, set out on an alert
across the country, in the hopes that Port 12
might be taken by surprise,
while the remainder of the ex] edition
Orderly Book, June 19th, Orderly Book. June 19th & 21st. 3. Clatts to Sec'y Knox, Oct. 16, 177T. Docs- "el. to Col. Hist, of
jn. i . vol. viii, p. via. 4. Stone says that the Gth probably joined the expedition at OsweO o. See note to Orderly Pook, J\ov.8. This i3 a mistake sinc^ the Sth or King's regiment was at Carleton Island, ibid. July ±10. b. They joined the expedition at Carleton Island, ibid. July 10,1^ 6. ibid. July 19th. 7. ibid. -July Gth. 8. ibid. July 10th. y. Letter of Clatts to Knox. Oct. 10, 1777. DoiS.Hel, to col. hist, of n.i. Vol. VIII, p. 718. 10 * urderly ^ook. July 12th, 11. ibid. July 18th 6 19th. 12. Letter of Clatts to Knox. Oct. 1G, 1777, J)ocs-'
with the artillery and provisions proceeded by way of uswe^o.
Brant with three
hundred half starved Indians Joined the main force at OawegQ and while these
new arrivals were bein u fed and made ready to move, an ur cnt request was received from St Le er ordering Glaus to Join him immediately as his Indians were The messenger, Captain Tice, explained the trouble
that St Le u er had
Indians a quart of liquor each.
where the Indians were ^atherin
a position to leave 0swe o
his control; accordin ly St Le^er was obliged to
Clans was not in in and in need of
ivc up his alert and join the
main body at Oswejo with his unruly allies. July 31st the expedition passed Uswe & o Kails the van ^uard appeared before Fort Stanwix.
and two day3 later
The main body was detained by be-
ino forced to make a detour of twenty five miles through the dense woods, since to delay the enemy's approach had cut trees ana dammed up Wood 4
Creek for twenty iuiles. Fort Stanwix had been notified of the approach of St Le er by an
Oneida half breed named Thomas Spencer, who had come directly from Canada where b
he had been sent to obtain information.
The fort had been rebuilt during the appeared
summer, and on the day St Le cr's van juard^ reinforcements and provisions
arrived, Before they succeeded in
etting the provisions into the fort the
Caj tain of the batteaux was taken prisoner and one of hi3 men killed.
the irovi3ions were saved
and the reinforcements swelled Colonel Cansevoert's
force to seven hundred and fifty men.
Orderly T.ook, July 19th. Letter of Clatts to Knox, Oct. 16,1777. Eoes-Hel. to Col. Hist, of JS.I. Vol. VIII, p. Viy. z. ibid. pp. 7±y-20. 3. Orderly hooJC. July olst. 4. Letter ofClaUs to 7-Inox, Oct. 10, 1777. Docs. "Tel. to Col. Hist, 1.
of ».T. Vol. VIII, p. 72U. D. Simms: Frontiersmen, Vol.11, p. G6. b. Stone: Life of Brant, Voi.l, p.^yy.
Lieutenant Colonel V/illet's account: extracts in Simms: Frontier men, Vol.11, pp. 66,67. 6. Stone: Life of Brant, Vol.I,p.2Hy.
Le^er arrived he ordered, the fort to surrender.
a proclamation which dwelt in gloving terms on the strength of his detachment;
invited the well disposed inhabitants to join his forces and promised
even to the "timid inhabitants" if they remained at home and did not obstruct 1
But the garrison refused to surrender,
the operation of the "King's forces".
The prccUMfttion as so
bombrstie that the beseijed rightly surmised that St
Le er dia not have sufficient forces and artixxery to take the fort.
On the V m
4th and 5th firing be^an and two Americans were killed and seven wounded. For at least a month before St Lexer's appearance
been in a state of panic.
Invaded from the north and west with a large disaf-
fected population, repeated appeals were sent to Washington and to sister states for troops to help repell the invaders.
General Schuyler who was in the
north at Ft. Edward, had at this time less than three thousand Continental troops and about thirteen hundred militia to oppose Burgoyne's advance.
add to his embarrassment Tryon County was constantly callin
on him for some
that their militia wotilo lay down their arms unless sup-
ported by a force of Continental troops. Schuyler recommended that
The situation became so critical that ur<_,ed
to send five hundred regulars
into Tryon County.
However the matter was delayed and the Nhig Committee grew 4
more paniky as St Le er drew nearer.
The disaffected among them were numerous
and even militia men had taken the oath of secrecy and allegiance to Great Britain.
The committees of the different districts sent out to any organiza-
tion whom they thoUoht mi ht help, repeated appeals for aid.
1. St Lexer's Proc'l, printed
Their spirit was
in Campbell: Annals of Tryon County,
pp. 76-70. '"iilet's account. Simms: Frontiersmen, Vol.11, pp.6C,67. Schuyler's letter to Council of Safjjty, July 24, 1777. Clinton papers, Vol.11, pp. l44-5n. John Metres sen to Cov. Clinton, ibid. pp. 144-14 G. 4. John Jay to Grpyern^r Morris July 21, 1777 printed in Stone: Life of Brant, Vol.1, pp. 211-212.
37. so M pusillanimous" that Schuyler declared that nothin
less than marching the
whole army into that quarter woula satisfy them.
August Sad Governor Clinton ordered General nerkheimtr to call out five hundred or more of his militia to protect the frontier.
At the same time
he sent Colonel '.Vynkoop into Tryon Cov.nty to co-operate with General lierlche2
lAer in raising the spirits of the men as well a3 the number required. ever before Governor Clinton's instructions arrived the act on their own initiajive.
had decided to
A letter from Thomas Spencer had been received
be 00 ing them to hasten to the relief of fort stanwix, and pointing out the evil 3 consequences which would follow if the Fort fell into the enemy's hands. The
danger being imminent and no outside help in sight rryon County arose to the occasion, ana on August 3rd General MerJcheMfter left Fort Dayton with a force of militia and some Oneida Indians with a aetermmat ion to relieve the besSiged 4
fort Un the evening of August 5th HerlcheiimCr's forces encamped within ei^ht miles of the i?'ort,at Uriskany, and sent messengers informing the beseiged tnat they would move forward the iieit day when the fort fired a signal of tnree
unfortunately the messengers did not succeed in getting into the fort o
until almost noon on the 6th. rew fi^ety.
In the meantime the militia under Herkheirttft-r
The inferior officers urged an immediate advance.
wished to wait until the signal from the fort should be e.iven. At last, however 6
accused of cowardice he ordered an advance.
1. 2. 3.
Schuyler to Courtland July 18&21, printed in Stone: Life of Brant, Vol.i, pp. 211-212. Clinton Faper3 Vol.11, pp. 164-165. Thomas Sj>encer to Tryon Ciunty Committee, July 29, 1777, printed in Stone: Life of Brant. Vol, I, p. 216. Clinton Papers, Vol.11, pp. 191-192. Willet's Account, Simms: Frontiersmen, Vol.11, pp. 66-67. Clinton Papers, Vol.11, pp. 203*212,213. Simms: Frontiersmen. Vol.11, p.6y.
prised of Herkheiiiter's march the day before /
and to prevent the militia from reinforcing the garrison, Sir John, with a force consisting of about ei ht hundred Indians and a relatively small number 2
of white troops, marched out to dispute the militia's advance.
an ambuscade about a mile east of the Fort where IlerkheMoier 's men had to cross
a ravine in the woods, spanned by a log causeway.
Sir John placed his forces
on both siced of the road on higher ground where they were completely hidden
by the dense woods.
Unconscious of danger the militia started to cross the
ravine and about two thirds of their number had reached the opposite slope before they .ere aware of their hidden enemies.
The baggage wagons with supplies
were on the causeway and prevented the rear from reaching the op-
Under these favorable circumstances Sir John began the attack
and victorywas almost within his grasp when a heavy shower put an end to the fi^htin^ which had been ^oiiio on for almost an hour. The flint lock
henaer had a chance to rally his forces.
work for some time, Ceneral Herk-
Fighting was renewed and, when Sir
John Wuo reinforced by a detachment of the Royal Uew Yorkers whom the militia
men recognized as their former
Tory nei hbors, the conquest became a butchery.
Fortunately for Ho rkhe tiler's forces the uelayec messenger, having reached the Port, a sortie was made under Colonel ""illet to favor the militia's advance. 4 Two encampments were routed ana much plunder was secured.
When the Indians
heard that their camp was attacked they left the fi ht, ana Sir John deserted by his allies retreated,
field in possession of the militia.
1. By I.&ry Brant. See Claui's letter to Sec'y Knox, PocS. 111. Col. Hist, of H.I* Vol. VIII, p. 721. 2. ibid.
Campbell: Annals of Tryon Cotmty. pp. 73, 79. Status I Frontiersmen, Vol.11, pp. 70-76. 4. Clans tc Knox. Decs. Hcl. to Col. Hist, of Vol. VIII, p. 721 Clinton Papers. Vol.11, p. 203, 213; 'Villet's Account, Remonbrancer, 1777, pp. 443-450: Plunder computed to amount to 1000 pounds waj secured. Amonu the articles taken wa.j Sir John's 3.
ever the engagement had proved so disasterous that the advance to the Fort was 1
abandoned. The night Of the "battle, St Lc cr, availing himself of the out-
ain immediate possession of the "fort, but Colonel Gansevoort
come, tried to
refused all offers, and the invaders settled down to prosecute the sei^e.
few days later Sir John proposed that he marcii uown the Mohawk valley with two
hundred men and a force of Indians under Claas, in order to follow up the blow delivered at Oriskany, but St Le er would not permit him, as he could not spare the men.
However a flag was sent under ensign
Butler, ten soldiers 4
and three Indians to invite the inhabitants to submit and come into camp. arrived at Rudolph Layton.
Shoemakers, a Loyalist, who lived about ten miles from Fort
The party h_d succeeded in ^ainin^ some adherents when the Commander
of r'ort Dayton received information concerning Butler's force, and immediately
A few days later General Arnold, advancing with an army
seized them ss s^ies.
to the relief of Fort Stanwix arrived at Fort Dayton and the so called spie3
were condemneu to death.
The disaffected who had not already joined St Le^er b
were forced to return to their alle iance. One of the prisoners condemneu to death was a half witted boy,
Arnold promised him his liberty if he would return to St.
Lexer's camps and make exaggerated statements as to the number of reinforceb
Circumstances favored Hanyost for the Indians had become
1. Clinton Fapers, Vol . II , p. 203. 2. Claitc to Xncx. Does.Rcl. to Col. Hist, of BLI. Vol. VIII, p. 721. 3. Butler had an "address" to the people of Tryon Co;urty signed by Sir John, Claus and Colonel tutler. nhey declared that
they wished to restore peace and would forget the past. They asked the inhabitants to help overcome the "mulish obstinacy" of the O arri3on in order to prevent an Indian massacre. Remembrancer, 1777, Vol. IV, p.3y5 (777 4.Cla»s to Knox, Octl6thA Docs. Rel to Col. Hist, of N«T. Vol. VIII, .
p. 721. b. b.
ibid. Stone: Life of Brant, Vol.1, pp. 215-256. Remembrancer, 1777, Vol.V.xp 447-448.
disc curate d and were anxious to return to Oswego,
"hey had lost many "braves
and no prospect for revenge was in sight*
in the fi u ht,
since St Lexer's
had no effect on the fort, and Colonel Gansvoort could not be
By Colonel's ".'iliet's sortie they had lost all their 4 waist. the "blankets and even their shirts, havin O one into "battle stripped to
scared into surrendering.
The ni hts were chilly in that climate, even in August and food and rum had be-
come scarce, so they welcomed Hanyost with open arms and added to his exagger-
They became so unruly that St Le er afterwards reported that "they b
D rew furious and "became more formidable than the enemy" he had to expect.
the 22nd of August St Le^er raised the seige and retreated in ^reat confusion 6 * toward Oswego leaving behind him his tents and considerable baggage.
Sir John's first attempt to relieve the Loyalists in the Mohawk
valley was a failure.
In fact their position was made much more precarious.
The disaffected who had withdrawn to the woods were fined and punished upon
their return, the militia men bein
sent to the Provincial Con ress for punish-
Notice was posted that no one should sell anything to disaffected per-
The New York Council of Safety sent notice to the Committee of Sequestra-
tion for Tryon County to take charto e of the property of persons -one over to the enemy, and to dispose of it.
At the same time they were impowered to re-
l. Clans to Knox. Does. lei.
to Col. Hist, of Vol. VIII, p. 722. The Indians had 33 killed and 2y wounded ,/Tsenecas lost several of their chief warriors. Butler to Carleton, Aug. 15,1777, printed in Wilkinson's memoirs, Vol . I ,p. 205n. St Le^er had with him two six pounders & 2coho»-»\*. orderly Book, July 17th. He found they had only the "power of teasing". The six pounders were then converted into "howitzers" "but their range was not u reat enough to damage the Fort. St Le^er to w w w /777 Bur^oyne, Au . 27
4. 5. 6. ?. b.
move the "wives and children of the disaffected persons to such place or places 1
as they shall conceive best for the security of the state." The experience throiioh which Tryon County had just passed is the
only defence which can be offered for these narsh measures.
The Tories who re-
mained liveo. in isolation and gave refuge to spies and scoutin majority of the men havin
joined the enemy, many of the Tory families were
destitute and a charge on their whig neighbors who could scarcely be expected to feed the families of men who were in arms against them.
Letter to Committee of Sequestration for Tryon County, Au&. 51, 1777. Printed in Simms: frontiersmen, Vol. II, p. bl. i
After the fruitless seige of Fort Stanwix St Leger retreated to Montreal by way of Oswego.
September 21st he was ordered to join Burgoyne with 1
his own regiment, the German Chasseurs and Sir John's battalion.
reinforcements did not reach Burgoyne and thus escaped the fate of the army
which was surrendered at Saratoga in October.
After Burgoyne' s defeat Sir John's activities were directed to the care of the Loyalists, who at that time began to arrive in Canada in large num3
January 12, 1776 these refugees were attached to Sir John's Corps
until the summer of 1779 the warrants issued for the relief of loyalists were 4 paid to him. "allace estimates that by the autumn of 1778 there were more than one thousand refugees, men, women and children, exclusive of some two thou5
sand who had enlisted.
Many of these refugees were destitute and became a
charge ujon the government.
July 1, 1779 there were eight hundred and fifty 6
three loyalists not enrolled in any corps receiving gratuitous food and shelter. '.hen
4. 5. 6.
the full tide of loyalist emigration set in Sir John asked
Can. :.rch. 188i;, p. 286; ClaaVs letter to Ijiox. Nov. 6, 1777, Loes.Rel. to Col. Hist, of 1J.Y. Vol. VIII, p. 723-5. United Empire Loyalists, p. 91. "'allace: Can. Arch. 1S86. p. 629. Register of warrants issued for extraordinary services of the army. Can. Arch. 1666, p. 655-7. Wallace: United Empire Loyalists, p. 92. Chey were distributed as follows; St John 209; Chambly 27; Montreal 208; Poiot- Claire 126; MacJhich<^ 196 ; SobO. and Nottvelie Beauche 87; total 853. Can. Arch. 1888, p. 742.
permission to form these refugees into a second battalion.
October 15, 1778 rolls were prepared to muster them in but "pretentions" amono them made it necessary to abandon the carrying out of the plan at that 2
Sir John was advised to wait until Spring and in the meantime to 3
observe economy in granting subsidies. Sir John was never permitted to carry 4 The loyalists, instead of beiiio formed into one battalion out this plan. 5
were formed into or joined to different corps.
Sir John's battalion was augmented from time to time by new 6
arrivals from over the borders,
until in the spring of 1779 it had almost
reached its ful^ strength.
In May of the same year Sir John was ordered to
prepare his men for active service.
In order that nothing might interfere
he was ordered to turn over to Captain MacAlpin, who had been appointed to the command of the several irregular corps of loyalists, all lists and papers 8
relating, to them
and to write to the different corps announcing the change.
In accord with these instructions Sir John proceeded from Lachine to Sorel
where he met Captain MacAlpin and delivered to him, June 1st, 1779, the con10
mand of all loyalists.
Can. Arch. 1886, p. 631. Ibid., p. 549. Ibid., p. 405. As late as Feb. 21st, 1780, Sir John complained that the promise to form the loyalists into a second battalion had never been carried out . "an. Arch., 1888, p. 648. Leake's Company was formed May, 1779, Can. Arch. 1887, p. in Feb., 1780, Twiss was ordered to form a corps of 442; loyalists, Can. Arch., 1888, p. 663. Duringthe summer of 1778 ftev. John McKenna brought in loyalists to join Sir John's and McLean's Corps. Can. Arch., 1886, in May Southerland returned with recruits, ibid, p. 655; 1888, p. 645; Garnett during the same summer brought 39 men to join Sir John. Ibid, p. 643. Ibid., p. 644. Ibid., p. 661. Ibid., p. 721. Ibid., p. 684.
General Haldimand had relieved Sir John in order that he might be sent to establish a post at Oswego to secure the Lakes and the country of the
Six Nations, but the General, duped by information circulated by the Americans to the effect that Canada would be attacked by way of the Connecticut Biver,
changed his plan and kept Sir John in the East, leaving Oswego and the sur1
rounding country inadequately supplied with troops. In 1778 the Colonial frontiers were harrowed by many destructive 2
Indian and dory raids.
To prevent a recurrance, Congress directed
to take measures to protect the inhabitants and to chastise the Indians for 3 their depredations. Acting on the recommendation, "ashington sent a force ,
in the summer of 1779, under General Sullivan to "effectually chastise and
intimidate the hostile nations, to countenance and encourage the friendly ones
and to relieve 4ur frontiers from their depredations."
To attain these results
Sullivan was ordered to cut off the Five Nation's settlements, destroy their crops, and "to do them every other mischief which time and circumstances will 4 permit." As has been previously stated General Haldimand expecting an attack
General Haldimand's conference with deputies from Five Nations Quebec, Aug. 20, 1779. Docs. Bel. to Col. hist, of N.Y. Vol. VII p. 776-7. 2. Gov. Clinton wrote John Jay Nov. 17th, 1778 that Cherry Valley was the "seventh valuable settlement destroyed this season if depredations continue this state will be unable to furnish any supplies to the army as hitherto they have depended on it for bread* Clinton Papers, Vol. IV, p. 289-90: Among the settlements destroyed were Andrustown, V'yoming, Springfield, and German Flatts. See Y/insor; America, Vol, VI, p. 633 ff. 3. Washington to Gates, Mar.6, 1779, Ford; Washington, Vol, VII, 354 4. "ashington to Gates, Uar.6, 1779, Ford; Washington, Vol. VII, 354 DePeyster says that Sullivan's ultimate military objective must have been Fort Niagara and that he gave over his plan on account of Sir John's approach from Montreal with troops. De Peyster; Sir John Johnson, p.lv-lvi. '.'ashington' s instructions show that the capture of Niagara was not part of the plan. See above letter to Gates. 1.
from the East, had detained Sir John and his corps and the Lake regions during the summer of 1779 had few troops.
However a small force of Indians and white
troops under Brant and Butler
left Niagara to check Sullivan's advance.
New Town, fine miles from the present town of Elmira, the two forces met and after a sharp skirmish the Indians and their allies were forced to retreat, leaving- the country of the Five Nations free for Sullivan to devastate.
September 1st Sir John was ordered to advance to the aid of the 2
About the middle of September he left Lachine with the Chasseurs
3 the 54th and 47th regiments, and his own battalion, and arrived at Carleton 4 5 Island September 26th with eight hundred and sixty "picked" troops, but too
late to offer any embarrassment to General Sullivan who, having finished his
work of destruction, had started home.
Sir John, erroneously believing that
Sullivan intended to leave a post at Tioga, started for Ascerotous with provisions for fifteen hundred men for six weeks, intending from that central 6
point to make an attack.
However the lateness of the season and the diffi-
culties of transporting artillery causea him to abandon the plan, and to halt 7
at Oswego with the intention of cutting off the Oneidas and their villages,
1. Stone states that Sir John was present at the battle of New
4. 5. 6. 7.
Town, and probably also Col. Guy Johnson, Stone: Life of Brant, Simms states that "Johnson" was present, Simms: Vol. II, p. 19. Frontiersmen, Vol. II, p. 251. Neither Sir John nor Guy Johnson were present, See Can. Arch. 1887, p. 92; J888,p.647. Can. Arch; 1888, p. 662. Bolton who commanded at Fort Niagara was ordered to send a detachment to join Sir John. Can. Arch. 1386, p. 48. Can. Arch. Ib88,p.647. ibid. 1886, p. 48. ibid. 1888, p. 647. ibid. 1888, p. 543; The dneidas" had uniformly and obstantly supported and fought for the rebels, notwithstanding the united remonstrances and threats of the Five Nations joined to every effort on our part to restrain them." Letter of Haldiraand Nov. 2nd, 177a citecin V.'insor: America, Vol. VI, p. 672.
but since the Five Nations wavered and were reluctant to attack their kinsman, 1
nothing was accomplished. General Haldimand did not consider Sir John's expedition a failure He commended him for the "prudence and celerity of his measures" and pointed
out that the purpose of the expedition was accomplished if foundations were laid 2
Late in the autumn,
for operations in the Lake regions the following spring. Sir John returned with his corps to Montreal.
During the winter of 1779-80 Sir John wasplanning to raise a 3
At this time recruiting activities were being pushed aggres-
sively, and in their efforts to expand many rivalries were engendered among the different loyalist corps.
John Butler, Sir John's old neighbor on the Mo-
hawk, was one of the most aggressive in his recruiting methods.
occasions he forcibly detained men intented for Sir John's corps and enrolled 4
them in the "fiangers".
Major Rogers deceitfully promised commissions and 5
large pay to loyalists to induce them to join his corps.
One of his recruit-
ino agents enlisted mere boys who had been brought in as prisoners and for 6
whom Captain Law had found homes. and a
Since every prisoner was a potential soldier
such worth a bounty, the Indians with misguided zeal brought in
unfit to bear arms, some so ola that they have lost all their faculties except 8
the power of eating the King's provisions and wearing out olothes."
1. Can. Arch.
1888, p. 647; 1887, p. 93; In the winter of 1779-80 400 Oneidas were removed from their castles and established near Schenectady at public cost. This measure was taken to prevent the Oneidas from bein^, too greatly tempted to go over to the enemy. T.'insor: America, Vol. VI, p. 672. 2. Can. Arch. 1886, p. 642. 3. ibid. 1888, p. 648. 4. ibid. pp. 643,644,662; 1886, p. 594. ibid. 1888, p. 685, 750. ibio. p. 885. The prisoners who could be trusted were enrolled into the 7. different corps, ibid. p. 646. 8. ibid. 1868,p.887.
In the spring of 1780 word was received in Canada that the loyal-
ists remaining in the vicinity of Johnstown were to he formed into a ccrps of It was
reported that those refusing to enlist would be sent to
"Albany in irons", their houses destroyed and their property confiscated by The Johnstown loyalists
appealed to their friends in Canada, and 1
aslced that a pilot mi^ht be sent to guide them across the borders.
Haldimand at first, planned to send twenty men to inform the loyalists that a 2
vessel would be sent to the "Lake" early in May to receive them,
but, when Sir
John asked permission to lead a force to Johnstown to favor the escape of loyal3
ists and for "other purposes"
Haldimand consented, and the understanding
seems to have been that the rescued loyalists and prisoners who might be taken 4 should enroll in Sir John's new battalion* The success of the plan depended upon secrecy, since the Mohawks
were prone to hold "friendly talk" with members of the Oneida tribe, who promptly reported all gossip in regard tp potential attacks to their allies, the 5
April 6th men were sent to Johnstown to prepare the loyalists for 6
the expedition which was to be sent to their relief.
Since the proposed
route was by Lake Champlain the expedition could not start until the Lake was 7
open for navigation.
1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6. 7.
Consequently it was May before the expedition left
Can.Arch. 1887, p. 347. ibid. 1868, p. 663. ibid. 1888, p. 648; Haldimand wrote that the expedition was sent to harass the enemy and to give the loyalists a chance to escape. Can.Arch. 1887, p. 291. ibid. 1888, p. 664. ibid. 1887, p. 141. ibid. 1888, p. 649. ibid. p. 664.
The force consisted of three hundred white troops and a number of 2
whose recent losses, through Sullivan's invasion of their
The force was well country, made them willing to join the expedition. 4 equipped with arms and munitions, and with dry canteens for their powder and 5
"oiled linen or bladder to mate the corking more effectual."
of the 53rd regiment was 2nd in command.
May 6th the detachment passed
Five days later at West Bay they sank their batteaux to pre-
Points an Fer.
serve them and began their cross country march to Johnstown. 9
May 22nd at daybreak
Sir John fell upon the Mohawk Valley near 10
Johnstown, and proceeded up the river burning as he went.
On the north bank
11 of the Mohawk Valley for a distance of ten miles only a few houses were spared.
1. Can.Arch. 1887, p. 142. 2. ibid. 1888, p. 665; the 300
men were made up of detachments
the 34th, 53d, and Sir John's regiment, Can. Arch. 1887, p. 443. 3. ibid. 1887 t p.l41; Haldimand feared that the Indians would try to retaliate for their recent losses. He wrote Sir John that the Indians must be effectually restrained from injuring women and children. "All men in arms, and particularly those who are known to be most instrumental and active in corrupting the minds of the unhappy people must expect the consequences of their crimes either to fall or be made prisoners. The latter is certainly the most desirable. "Can.Arch. 1888, p. 665. 4. Maj.Carleton wrote that no party could be better equipped. Can.Arch . 1887 , p. 329 .
7. ibid. 1887, p. 329. 8. Cap. Young waited with the ships
near Crown Point in order to meet Sir John on his return. Can.Arch. 1887 t p. 493, 9. Seibert says the inhabitants with the exception of the loyalist* were completely surprised. Seibert; Loyalists p. 23. This seems to be a mistake. May 19ft Van Schaich in a letter to Gov. Clinton enclosed information to the effect that the enemy on May 16th was at Crown Point. Clinton Papers Vol.V. pp. 719-20 ;See also Can.Arch. 1887, p. 275. 10. Letter of John Harper to Col. Van Schaick; May 22d, 1780. Clinton Papers, Vol.V. pp. 737-8. 11. Hough: Northern Invasion, p. 29.
Many disaffected joined Sir John and several prisoners were taken.
ing of the 22d Sir John withdrew in a northerly direction to Mayfield, about 2
ten miles from Johnstown, and encamped,
no doubt waiting to give assistance
to a number of Indians sent out from Carleton Island to cooperate with the 4 3 Sir John moved off by the militia being threatened However, expedition. , 6 5
toward Lake Champlain with his rescued loyalists,
prisoners, and negroes.
Soon after Sir John's return to Canada, a second batallion was
added to the King's Eoyal Eegiment of New York.
Captain Boss was promoted
and became Major of the new corps.
The men to compose the second battallion 8
were ordered to go to Cot eau du lac.
In July 17S0 Major Mac Alpin, who
had charge of the loyalists, died, and Sir John was ordered to take charge
Clinton Papers, Vol. V. p. 745; Hough says that the main object of the expedition was to recover a quantity of plate and treasure buried at Johnson Hall. Hough: Northern Invasion Stone says that two barrels of silver were recovered p. 29. from the Hall and transported to Canada in knapsacks. Stone: Brant Vol.11, p. 80. The story of the silver may be true, but its recovery was not the main object of the expedition. See Can.Arch.1880, p. 648; 1887, p. 291. Sir John's papers had been recovered in 1778. Can.Arch.l888,p.644. 2. Clinton Papers. Vol.V.p.746. 3. A force under Crawford.consi sting of 71 Indians, left Carleton Island about May 9,for the Mohawk to cooperate with Sir John. Can.Arch.l8b7,p.275. 4. Van Schaick in a letter to Gov. Clinton May 27,1780, tells of the trouble he had in"stimulating M the militia to join him.Their reluctance and the lack of supplies made the persxiit after Sir John impossible. Clinton Papers. Vol.V,pp761-2. 5.Haldimand wrote June 6, 1780 that fir John had returned with loO loyalists and many prisoners without the loss of a man. Can* Arch. 1887,pp474 t l/46# Stone states that several Americans were killed by Sir John's troops. "Nine aged men were slain of whom four were upward of eighty years. "Stone : Brant : Vol. 1 1, p. 76 6. Eight negroes were brought in and sold by the Indians. Cau. Arch. 1888,p.649. 1.
Can. Arch. 1887, p. 44, ibid. 1836. p. 607$ The commissions for the 2d battalion were not issued until the following year, ibid. 1888, p. 670. The 2d bat^ talion was not complete in May, 1765. ibid. 1888, p. 682. 9. Can. Arch. 1888, p. 665. 7.
General Haldiraand delayed appointing a successor to Mac Alpin,
since he wished as many loyalists as possible to join Sir John's second battal2 ion.
However, .Major Nairne was finally appointed and took charge of the 3
loyalists September 6, only a few days before Sir John started on a second
expedition to the Mohawk Valley. August 24th General Haldimand wrote to Sir John asking his advice as to means which might best be employed to cut off the Oneidas and to destroy 4 Sir John proposed that he be perthe crops upon which the enemy depended.
mitted to lead an expedition from Oswego, through the Indian country into the Schoharie Valley to devastate the crops in that section.
He suggested that
the expedition return by the way of the Mohawk Valley devastating as it 5
In accord with th*s plan Sir John left Montreal September 11th for 6
Secrecy was considered so essential to the success of the
Can.Arch. 1888, p. 724.
ibid. p. 665. ibid. p. 724. ibid. p. 666. ibid. p. 650: Siebert says that -6113 expedition of Sir John's was one of those sent out for the "express purpose" of rescuing parties of loyalists from hostile communities. Siebert: Dispern sion of the American Tories. Miss. Valley Hist. Bev. Vol. I, p. 186-7. The question of rescuing the loyalists in the expedition must have been of secondary importance, at least. Haldimand wrote Aug. 31, 1780 "In consequence of the treacherous conduct of the Oneidas and the impossibility of effeoting anything against the enemy while they remain in the rebels* interest"he had decided to send a force under Sir John to cut off the Indiana and to destroy the crops in the Mohawk Valley. Can. Arch. 1886, p. 523: On this point see also Can.Arch.l887,p.97;1836,p.694; De Peyster thinks Sir John's expedition was part of a general attack depending on a demonstration from Clinton, which failed, due to Arnold's inability to deliver over 7,'est Point. DePeyster: Fox's Mills p.clviii. This seems impossible. I can find no documentary evidence to support this view. 6. Can. Arch. 1887, p. 142. 7. It was feared that the Caughaau^as would inform the Colonists of the advance of the expedition. Can. Arch. 1888, p. 666.
3. 4. 5.
expedition, that Brigadier Allan Mao Lean, under whose authority Sir John was at that time, was duped by General Haldimand aa to Sir John's intentions, much 1
to the Brigadier* s chagrin.
At Carleton Island a detachment from Frazer's regiment joined the 2
and Sir John continued on to Oswego where they were to rendevous
and to meet the Indians and the white troops from Niagara which were to compose 4 the greater part of the force.
The sickly state of the garrison at Niagara
delayed the march of the troops from that place and the entire expedition was 5
However, on October 2d they left Oswego.
ery and supplies were transported in boats as far as Oswego Creek, while the 6
troops and Indians kept pace on the shore.
On October 6th the expedition
reached Onodoga Creek
and eleven days later they entered Schoharie valley
from the South, and began devastating.
The valley was protected by three forts
and in them the inhabitants were sheltered.
Fortunately for them Sir John in 8
his rapid march did not succeed in capturing any one of the three.
afternoon of the 18th the expedition left the desolated Schoharie valley, passed 9
near the junction of the Schoharie and Mohawk rivers, and marohed
westward up the Mohawk valley burning as
The night of the 18th 10
Sir John encamped on the south side of the river near Anthony's Nose.
4. 5. 6.
Can. Arch. 1888, p. 667. ibid. p. 651. ibid. p. 650. ibid. 1886, p. 52. ibid. 1888, p. 651; 1886, p. 740. ibid. 1888, p. 651; The vessels were ordered to wait off Oswego from Oct. 20th to 30th to receive the expedition on its return. Can. Arch. 1887, p. 279; 1888, p. 651. ibid. p. 651. Letter of Veeder Oct. 17, 1780, Clinton Papers, Vol.VI,p.303:Letter of Clinton to Schuyler Oct .18, 1780, Clinton Papers, Vol. VI, p. 304. Court Martial of Gen. Van Bensselaer, ibid. p. 695. Court Martial of Van Bensselaer. Clinton Papers, Vol. VI, p. 694.
General Van Renssselaer, who had left Schenectady with the intentions of
intercepting the enemy, by forced marches reached the Mohawk River ford about 1
a mile below Port Rensselaer near noon on the 19th.
Sir John had previously
crossed the river and defeated a small force which had cone out from Fort Paris 2
Colonel Brown, the leader, and thirty nine men were
to delay his advance. 3
Van Rensselaer from the south side of the river heard the firing and 4 saw the smoke and flames of burning buildings. His troops, weary and
discouraged by the news of Colonel Brown's defeat crossed the river so "tardily" that Sir John's forces were not engaged until near sunset, when they were over5
The smoke from the burning buildings hastened the
taken at KLock's Place.
On account of the great confusion that ensued among Van
Rensselaer's troops, after about thirty minutes the firing was discontinued, and 6
the American forces were withdrawn to higher ground to enoamp for the night.
Taking advantage of the darkness. Sir John, leaving his artillery, baggage and cattle, crossed over to the south side of the river and began a hurried retreat 7
Early the next morning a detachment, under Colonel Du Bois marched
after Sir John;
Van Rensselaer followed with the remainder of the forces, and 8
on the 21st Governor Clinton arrived and took charge of the pursuit, to no avail.
A force of fifty men under Captain Vrooman made an attempt to
Clinton Papers Vol. VI., p. 701. Van Rensselaer to Gov. Clinton. Oct. 19, 1780. Clinton Papers, Vol. VI. p. 319.
Northern Invasion, p. 135. 4. Van Rensselaer to Clinton, Oct. 19, 1780, Clinton Papers, Vol. VI. 319. 5. Court Mart ial of^ Van Rensselaer. Clinton Papers,Vol.VI.p.702;Van t Rensselaer vr#s^ want of energy in conducting the campaign. He 3. Hou^h:
was vindicated. ibid. p. 698-9. ibid, pp.318, 3^5. Col.DuBois reported that Sir John was woundec in the thi h during the engagement; ibid. p. 318. If so it does not not appear that Sir John mentioned it in his reports. 8. Court Martial of Van Reasselaer. Clint on Papers, Vol. VI. p. 703.
destroy Sir John's boats at Onodoga.
The party not only failed in the attempt 1
but all except two were taken prisoners by Sir John's forces. The expedition returned to Canada having carried out ruthlessly
that part of the plan which called for the destruction of the crops of the
Governor Clinton estimated that "at least one hundred fifty thousand
bushels of wheat were destroyed besides other grain and forage, and two hundred
Schenectady may now be said to become the limits of our western
Sir John with six hundred white troops
reinforced by an unoertain
number of Indians had succeeded in marching' a great distance through the enemy's country, devastating as he marched. At Klock's Place he was attacked 4 by a superior force and succeeded in extricating his little army from a 5
critical situation with small loss.
General Haldimand in a letter to Lord
Germain expressed his "perfect satisfaction" with the "zeal, spirit and 6
activity with which Sir John Johnson has conducted this arduous enterprise."
Clinton Papers, Vol. VI., pp. 332-333.
ibid. p. 346. 3. Can. Arch. 1887, p. 547. 2.
4. On the 19th Gen. Van Ttensselaer wrote that he had 900 men. Clinton Papers. Vol. VI. , p. 320. 5. The returns show 9 killed, 7 wounded, 3 deserted, 53 missing. They made 66 prisoners Almon: ^Remembrancer XI, p. 81. 6. Letter of Haldimand to Geraain, Nov. 2d, 1760, cited in Hough: Northern Invasion, p. 135.
The expedition to Johnstown in the autumn of 1780 was the last that Sir John
led over the borders.
In the summer of 1781 he made arrange1
ments for a raid into the colony of New York, but the plan was abandoned and he remained at his headquarters actively engaged in sending out scouting
as the occasion demanded and dispatching and receiving secret information.
the autumn of 1761, he took advantage of a leave of absence granted the year 4 Ills private affairs were in a "ruinous situbefore and sailed for England. 6
at ion" and his regimen
had never been placed on the establishment.
Cornwaliis's dwfeat the probable outcome of the rebellion could be predicted,
ir John was to secure half pay for himself and his officers, in case
peace was declared and the re Q iment dissolved, it was necessary that the corps 7
be placed on the same footing as the regular British regiments.
Sir John's brother-in-law. Colonel Guy Johnson, had been since the
death of "ir
Superintendent of the Six Nations.
His management of
Indian Affairs was at tnis time severely criticized.
The expences of the de-
partment were enormous and the Superintendent was accused of collusion with 9
Taylor and Forsythe, contractors.
October 23rd, 1781, General Haldimand in a
1. Can. Arch. 1888, p. 654; 1887, p. 143. 2. ibid. 1888, p. 654. 3. ibid. pp. 653,654,668,669. 4. ibid.p.655; 1885, p. 340. 5. Letter of Haldimand to Germain , Nov. 28, 1780. Can. Arch. 1885 p. 335. 6. See register of warrants for extra ordinary service of the
army. Can. Arch. 1886, p. 662ff. Can. irch. 1689, p. 72. 8. ibid. 1887, pp. 99, 100, 102, 106. 9. ibid. pp. 103,104,107,108. 7.
letter to Lord Germain
declared that he could devise no plan to control the
exjencesof the Indian department at the posts, other than to appoint a "person of rank, influence, knowledge, activity and perfect honor."
He suggested that
Sir John Johnson would fulfill these requirements.
In accord with this re-
commendation, Sir John returned to Canada in the summer of 1782 commissioned as "Superintendent General and Inspector General of the Six Nation Indians and 2
those in the Province of Quebec.
He was also given the rank of Brigadier
General in Canada. Soon after his return from England he made a tour of the upper posts in company with Joseph Brant with a view to devise means to enforce econ-
omy in his department, and to concillite the Indians who were alarmed about 4 In accordance with his intheir prospective losses should peace be declared.
structions ana finding on the tcur, Sir John ordered
so material a reduction
that Haldimand doubted the wisdom of carrying it out, since the Indians were
no r^ood to take kindly to measures looking toward retrenchment. In the sprin^ of 1783 the terms of the provisional treaty of 6
peace were received in Canada.
granted away lands claimed by the Six
Nations from time beyond their earliest memory and contained no stipulation 7
in their favor.
So unsatisfactory was the provisional treaty regarded in this
respect, that the men in oharge of the Six Nations tried to keep the terms
from becoming known to the Indians, hoping that something might yet be done to 8
However the news "leaked out" and general alarm and
1. Can. Arch. 1881), p. 341. 2. ibid. 1887, p. 166 3. ibid. 188b, p. 283. 4. ibid. 1387, p. 250, 251. 5. ibid. 1687, p. 151. 6. ibid. p. 259. 7. 8.
ibid. pp. 259,260. ibid. 1886, p. 31, 1887, p. 260.
Joseph Brant claimed that the
dissatisfaction was felt among the Six Nations.
King had sold the Indians to Congress and ceded away what was not his to give. He maintained tJiat the Indians were a free people, subject to no power on earth 2
Brigadier MacLean who at
and that they would not submit to such injustice.
this time commanded at Niagara, where the Six Nations then had their head-
quarters, was placed, in a precarious condition.
He supplied the Indians "a
little more liberally" with rum to keep them in a "good humor" and sent repeat© 3
ed calls for Sir John to come to Niagara as soon as possible.
stated in a letter to General Haldimand, not unwilling to depreciate an old opponent at headquarters, that "one puncheon of rum will have more effect on 4 the Indians than all the ability of Sir John." 5
Sir John arrived at Niagara July 19th, where he met one thousand 6
six hundred and eighty five Indians of the Six Nations and held a council with 8
them from July 22nd to the 31st.
He reconciled them to the "infamous treaty" 9
and to their"uncertain and painful situation."
A month or so later the Six
Nations held a conference with the Western and the Southern Indians at Sand-
usky and formed an offensive and a defensive league and agreed unless attacked 10 to live at peace with the Americans.
The English Government repaid the Six Nations for their aid during the war ana for their losses, by lavish grants of land.
a"80lemn agreement" made with the
Indians asked leave to settle on the
1. Can. Arch. 1886, pp. 32,33,34. 2. MacLean to Haldimand May 18th, 3. ibid. 1886, pp. 31,33,34,35. 4. ibid. 1886, p. 34. 5. ibid. 1886, p. 37. 6. ibid. 1887, p. 1L4. 7. ibid. 1387, p. 198, 8. ibid. p. 153. 9. ibid. p. 154.
ibid. p. 40.
Brant in accord with
1783. Can. Arch. 1886, p. 32-33.
General Haldimand purchased the desired strip and on October 25,
1784 the Mohawks and such others of the Six Nations as wished to settle in that locality were told to take possession of the land
six miles deep from
each side of the river beginning at Lake Erie and extending in that proportion 2
to the head of the said river."
On the banks of the Grand River the greater
part of tne Mohawks, Senecas, Cayugas and"others of the Six Nations" settled.
A small band of Mohawks lead by captain John refused to join their relatives 3
on the Grand River and land was provided for them on the Bay of Quinte.
the Grand River settlement a grist mill and. a saw mill were built. A church 4 was also erected and a schoolmaster provided for the children. The Indian's
losses due to the war were as follows; Mohawks A 8,030 9s; Oneidas ^520 4s; 5
718; Tuscaroras ^201 9s; total, Hew York currency / 9,470 12s.
The Six Nations probably in the long run profitted through their loyalty to
Their paths have fallen in more pleasant places than those of
their old neighbors across the borders. The Indians were not the only ones who found fault with the 6
treaty of peace.
The loyalists felt that they too had been betrayed.
the British made amends by their efforts to compensate the sufferers by giving
them lands and money.
The vast majority of loyalists had lost but little pro-
perty; many of those who left after peacs was declared took their personal
property with them.
Compensation was made to thas class by grants of land
1. Can. Arch,
1887, p. 43. ibid. 1689, p. 109. 3. ibid. 1866, p. 455. 4. ibid. pp. 456, 457. 5* This did not include 3,000 acres of wood land belonging to the Mohawks, ibid. 1887, p. 160. 6. "Tis an honor to serve the best of nations, and be left to be hanged in their capitulations." Cited in Tallace: U.S. Loyalists, p. 49. 2.
either in Canada or Nova Scotia, with seeds, tools and provisions.
of the loyalists who had been wealty and had lost all their property by the re1
bellion claimed a money indemnity.
Sir John belonged to the latter class.
had been attainted in 1779 by an act of the New York legislature
and all his
property, real and personal, had been confiscated. in 1776, Sir John had buried his papers.
Before leaving Johnstown
A party sent out from Canada in 1778
rescued them but they were found to be in a ruinous condition. Sir John esti4 mated that their destruction involved a loss of ^20,000. By the end of the 5
war he wa3 financially ruined.
He had a large family to support and the salary
that he received as Superintendent of Indian affairs in 1782 must have been a
Besides this he claimed compensation for his loyalty and ser-
vice. In July, 1783, a royal commission was appointed to inquire into
the losses of all persons who had suffered in their rights and properties due to the rebellion.
This commission allowed Sir John $221,000, which was the 7
largest amount paid to any New York loyalist.
Besides this he received a
tract of land, such as was given to all officers.
Although Sir John was arduously engaged in conciliating the Indians and in adjusting his own private affairs he did not neglect to provide so far ashe could for the soldiers in his regiment.
In general the govern-
ment allowed 5,000 acres of land to all field officers, captains 3,000,
1. Flick: Loyal ism in New York. pp. 188, 189. 2. ibid. p. 147. 3. The returns of the 1st battalion of the King's Royal regiment
of N.Y. show that Sir John lost nearly 200,000 acres of land by the rebellion. Cited in MacLean's Highlanders, p. 224. 4. Can. Arch. 1888, p. 644. 5. ibid. 1885, p. 335. 6. He had eight sons that
grew to manhood. However some of them were born after 1783. DePeyster: The Johnson Family. Munsell Series No. 11, VI-IX. Aletterfto^^ydney to Sir John Aug. 20, 1785, speaks of the "usual salary a3 beinc AlOOO per annum. Myers: Tories, p. 204.
subaltern £,000, non-commissioned officers and privates 200. a
Haldimand received instructions regarding these land grants
he immediately in 3
the late summer of 1763 began to make surveys of the land around Cafcaraqui.
However baa weather hindered the surveys and winter came on before a great deal 4
At this juncture Sir John was ordered to disband his regi-
ment in mid winter.
He insisted that the men should be allowed provisions and
shelter for the winter and until such a time as they could be settled on their 5
Fortunately for the soldiers this request was granted.
Early in 1784 Sir John began to lay out his new home on the north 7
bank of the St Lawrence River
at a place which was afterwards called Johnstown.
In July of the same year, by General Haldimand *s request, Sir John took charge of 8
the settling of the loyalists in that region.
Five townships were surveyed on
the bay of Quinte and eight on the north bank of the St. Lawrence, west of Lake
Members of Sir John's 1st battalion were given lands in the first
five townships west of the line of the province of Quebec.
townships were settled by a part of Jessup's corps. •John's regiment settlec on township three and
with a band of
The next three
The 2nd battalion of Sir
four of the Catataqui strip
York loyalists under Grass and a part of Jessup's corps
In these thirteen townships there were 3776 original settlers.
Sir John did what he could for the infant settlement; he secured an increase
1. V.allace: W.E. Loyalists, p. 117. 2. Can. Arch. 1885, p. 283. 3. ibid. p. 35. 1887, p. 252.
ibid. 18o7, pp. 253, 263, 265, ibid. 1888, p. 659. 6. ibid. 1887. p. 160. 7. A traveler passing through the country about Johnstown in 1792 described Sir John's house as a small country lodge and stated that ;the garounds were only beginning' to be cleared. V.allace: W.E. Loyalists, p. 126. 8. Can. Arch. 1886, p. 463. 9. 'Vallace: K.E. Loyalists, p. 100. This author gives a good account of the settlement. 10. ibid. p. i04. 4. 5.
in rations, sent to the Mohawks for seed wheat
built saw and grist mills and
busied himself in many ways to aid the settlers. Sir John was a comparatively young man at the close of the war. He had lost financially by his loyalty to the English crown, but long years of 4 He had succeeded in gaining the reshonor and usefullness were before him.
pect and friendship of the crusty old bachelor, General Haldimand, who befriended him on many occasions. thinfc to
fear from the
Secure in the friendship of men in power he had no-
calumny of his former friends and neighbors across the
He inherited from his father, Sir William Johnson, a capability for
6 reat activity.
His ability has, in most cases, been underestimated by American his father has been
iven unstinted praise.
would seem that
an impartial comparison of the careers of father and son would not resxilt un-
favoracly to Sir John.
1. Can. Arch. 1887, p. 164. 2. ibid. p. 164. 3. ibid. p. 165. 4. He died in 1830.
The ?*ememb ranee fc;
Canadian Archives, reports by Douglas Brymner, Archivist.
Clinton, Governor George.
Historical Society Publications.
Public Papers. Printed as appendix n of 3rd
annual report of the New York State Historian, 1902.
Ford, 'Vorthington Chaucjf.
The Writings of George
ashington, 14 Vols.
1889- 1893, 7.
Orderly rook. Annotated by '".L.Stone.
Johnson, Sir John.
No. 11, Albany, 1882. 8.
Johnson, Sir William.
Printed as an appendix: to W.L.Stone's life
of Sir William Johnson. 9.
Johnson. Sir William,
Calander of Sir William Johnson.
Mss. compiled by
Richard E Lay, Albany, 1909. 10. MacLonnelx, Captain Alexander.
New York Historical Society
Collections. 1882. 11. Journal of Provincial Congress, of provincial convention, committee of safety and
council of safety of the State of New York.
1775, 1776, 1776. 12. O'Callaohan, E.B.
Documents relating to the Colonial history of the
State of New York. 13. O'Callaghan, E.B.
Documentary History of the State of New York.
i-apers relating to the expedition of Colonel Bradstreet and Colonel
Boquet in Ohio, 1764.
Tract 13 and 14 of Vestern Reserve and
Northern Ohio Historical Society. 1873. 15.
of State Historian of New York, 1897.
The History of Political Parties in the State of New
Beoker, Carl Lotus.
York, 1760, 1776.
Madison, Wisconsin, 1909.
History of Herkimer County, Albany, 1856.
Benton, Nathaniel S.
Campbell, William W.
LePeyster, John Watts,
Annals of Tryon County, 1848. Life of Sir John Johnson.
An address given before
the New York Historical Society, 1830. 5.
LePeyster, John Watts, Johnson,
Munsell Series, No. 11,
LePeyster, John Watts,
The Battle of Oriskany,
Flick, Alexander Clarence.
Hough, Franklin B.
Journal Of American
Introduction to the Orderly Book of Sir John
Loyalism in New York during the American
Hew York, 1901.
The Northern Invasion of October, 1780. Bradford Club
Series, No, 6, New York, 1866. 9.
History of New York during Revolutionary War.
LeLancey, 2 Vols., New York, 1879. 10.
Lossing, Benson John,
The Life and Times of Philip Schuyler, 2 Vols.,
New York, 1872-3. 11.
MacLean, J. P.
Scotch Highlanders in America,
Sir Fredrick Haldimand, Toronto, 1910.
Mcllwraith, Jean N,
Myers, Theodoras Bailey.
Loyalists in Amerioa.
Munsell Series, No. 11,
Albany, 1662, 14.
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