IN DEFENSE OF THE FACTS
AN ONGOING SEARCH
FOR
FORT PLANK


Since the initial publication of the "The Bloodied Mohawk" a plethora of new data has been collected. All reviews of the tome, with the exception of two - by the same critic, the first dated November of 2001 and the second written in August of 2010, have been positive. However, his criticisms have led the author to carefully reexamine his own work, and after much consideration the author has found a need to arise "In Defense of the Facts" in "An Ongoing Search For Fort Plank".

Over the succeeding 225+ years since its construction in 1778, Revolutionary War historians have stated multiple locations for Fort Plank [see "Fort Plank's Stated Locations"]. William W. Campbell (1806-1881) is the first known non-contemporary to have stated a location for Fort Plank: (1)


Sir John Johnson settled at Fox's Mills. about eight miles above Fort Plank, (or as it now called Fort Plain), and two miles below the upper Mohawk castle.


Campbell was later quoted by Colonel William L. Stone (1792-1844); who, when writing his Life of Brant, employed Thomas Sammons, (2) a Tryon County militiaman who had taken part in the defense of Fort Plank on August 2, 1780 to review the truth and veracity of William W. Campbell's, The Annals of Tryon County. (3) And thus the controversy began.

It seems quite astonishing that Stone not only copied Campbell's statement concerning the location of Fort Plank, but universally accepted it as true, despite his independent review of the facts. One must note, with curiosity, that these great authors wrote and published their histories during a period when many of the veterans who had served within Forts Plank and Plain, were yet alive, and remarkably knowledgeable about the topography and posts in question.

Historians whose personal work followed Campbell's and Stone's, have since offered up a host of locations for Forts Plank, Plain, and Rensselaer.

The first to openly criticize the writings of Campbell [1831] and Stone [1838] seems to have been Benjamin Lossing, writing in his 1851, Pictorial Field Book of the American Revolution: (4)


There is considerable confusion in the accounts concerning Fort Plain, for which there is no necessity. There was a stockade about two miles southwest of Fort Plain, called Fort Clyde, in honor of Colonel Clyde, an officer in the Tryon County Militia; and another about the same distance northwest, called Fort Plank, or Blank, from the circumstances that it stood upon land owned by Frederic Blank. The latter and Fort Plain have been confounded. Mr. Stone erroneously considered them as one, and says, in his Life of Brant (ii., 95), "The principal work of defense, then called Fort Plank, and subsequently Fort Plain, was situated upon an elevated plain overlooking the valley, near the site of the village still retaining the name of the fortress." Other writers have regarded the block-house as the fort, when, in fact, it was only a part of the fortifications. The drawing here given is from one published in Stone's Life of Brant, with a description from the Fort Plain Journal of December 26th, 1837. Mr. Lipe considered it a correct view, except the lower story, which, it was his impression, was square instead of octagonal, and had four port-holes for heavy ordnance. (5)


The foregoing passage by Lossing served to fuel a controversy over the locations of these forts which continues unabated today.

After much public criticism and censorship, Campbell defended the accuracy of his work in a letter to the Honorable William W. Kent on January 1, 1849: (6)


My Dear Sir:--Eighteen years ago the following - "Annals of Tryon County" were dedicated to your illustrious father. . . . To you, his son, my early professional instructor and my friend, I now present this new edition of a work, which, though it has but little intrinsic merit, either in its style and arrangement, possesses, perhaps, some interest, from the fact that it was the pioneer history of the border wars of our native State. For me it has a melancholy interest, because all the actors in the Revolutionary drama who were living at the time of its first appearance, in 1831, and from whose lips the personal narratives were gathered, have gone the way of all the living, and are now numbered with the dead. Of the then aged men and women scattered along the valley of the Mohawk and the head-waters of the Susquehanna, with whom it was my good fortune to sit down and listen to the stories of their trials and their triumphs, not one survives.

The materials were, at the time, collected . . . from the correspondence of the principal actors, and from the oral statements of those who survived to my day . . . . and were in all essential particulars correct. When first published, the whole history of the border wars of New York scarcely made up a page in any then existing historical work. As this book was the first, and was prepared from materials in a great degree new, succeeding writers on the same subject drew largely upon it, and, in some instances, made extensive extracts without credit or reference. My first intentions was, in presenting a new edition, to revise and alter, but upon reflection I determined to leave the work substantially in its original form. Since its first publication I have at various times examined many additional documents, and prepared articles which throw some new light upon portions of the work, and which tend to confirm its positions and statements. The original text will be left as it was, and these articles, even at the expense of some repetition, will be inserted in the Appendix . . . [of his, Campbell's, work]


In 1882, Jeptha R. Simms, in his The Frontiersman of New York, Volume One, pages 573-4, noted:


Fort Plank.--This post established in 1776, was situated two miles and a half westward of Fort Plain, and one and a quarter miles in a direct line southerly from the Mohawk. Here, then, dwelt Frederick Plank, a whig, whose house was palisaded in a square inclosure with block-house corners. From its contiguity to the settlements of Dutchtown and Geissenburg, it served a safe retreat for a score or two of families. Capt. Joseph House, a militia officer who was living with Plank, usually commanded this post in the absence of field-officers. Col. Stone copying from Campbell's Annals, supposed Fort Plank and Fort Plain were synonymous names for the same fort. More or less troops were kept at this station through the war; and it is believed that for the first few years, it was regarded as of greater importance than Fort Plain, while the latter from 1780, became the head quarters of the commanding officer, for several military posts in its vicinity, Fort Plank included. Facts from Lawrence Gros and Abram House, the last named residing, in 1846, on the old Plank farm, now owned by Adam Failing.


In describing Fort Plain, Simms wrote: (7)


Fort Plain was also established in 1776, but whether Col. Dayton or any continental officer was consulted in relation to it, is now unknown. Eye witnesses have assured me that the structure was found too limited for the public need. It was situated on the next eminence westward of the cemetery hill, (8) and directly above a living spring; and was made by inclosing less than half an acre of ground with palisades, with bastions or block-houses in two diagonal corners, each constructed to as with cannon to command two sides of the inclosure . . . This church seen on the right, was one-third of a mile distant from the fort . . . (9)

Fort Plain Block-House.--This was erected in the fall of 1780 and spring of 1781, and was constructed of pine timber 8X14 inches square, dovetailed at the ends, and Thomas Morrel, of Schenectada, father of the late Judge Abram Morrel, of Johnstown, superintended its erection. It was octagonal in form, three stories in height, the second projecting five feet over the first, and the third five feet over the second, with port holes for cannon on the first floor, and for musketry on all its surfaces; with holes in the projecting floor for small arms, so as to fire down upon a closely approaching foe. The first story is said to have been 30 feet in diameter, the second 40 and the third 50, making it look top heavy for a gale of wind. It mounted several cannon for signal guns and defense--one of which was a twelve pounder--on the first floor; where was also an immense oven. . . . It stood upon a gentle elevation of several feet--which at the of an hundred years, the plow and the cultivator have nearly obliterated--and about 20 rods from the palisaded inclosure, which was constructed mainly by the farmers. The block-house was not palisaded, but a ditch or dry moat several feet deep and ten feet wide, extended around it, requiring a draw bridge to gain its entrance.

The land upon on which the defenses at Fort Plain were erected, was owned by Johannes Lipe in the Revolution, and afterward by his son David. The ownership is now in Seeber Lipe, a son of David. . . .


The final word on Fort Plain by Mister Simms reads: (10)


The land on which the defenses at Fort Plain were erected, was owned by Johannes Lipe in the Revolution, and afterward by his son David. The ownership is now in Seeber Lipe, a son of David. With his approbation and that of his brother William, who owns part of the ground which the Fort proper inclosed, August 30, 1882, Homer N. Lockwood, Esq., and myself, placed small marble monuments upon the sites of those structures, designating the Fort as erected in 1776; and the block-house in 1781. The stones were firmly set by the united labor of Mr. Seeber Lipe, Mr. Lockwood, Mr. Harvey Wick and the writer; Hon. P. J. Wagner, in his 88th year, being present in a carriage, he having seen the block-house in his boyhood. Mr. Lipe has agreed to protect those monuments for the benefit of posterity. Mr. Lockwood generously defrayed the expense of them.



For years the exact placement of this stone was unknown as shortly after it was placed it was moved despite reassurances by the Lipe Family. To clear up this controversy Mister Rufus Grider was noted, by Samuel Ludlow Frey, to have inscribed upon a painting of the Fort Plain marker the following notation:


The present substantial marker or monument, west of the old cemetery [emphasis added by the author], (11) which marks the site of the old Fort Plain blockhouse or fort, the gift of Hon. Homer N. Lockwood, and, with Jeptha R. Simms, he placed the stones in position not long before the death of Mr. Simms. (12)


F. W. Beers & Company made their contribution to the controversy in 1878, stating in their History of Montgomery County and Fulton Counties, N.Y. (13)


The fortification called Fort Plank was situated on elevated ground, nearly four miles south-west from Fort Plain, and consisted of a small palisaded enclosure embracing a dwelling, which has for years been known as the late Chauncey House place, and is now owned by Reuben Failing, and occupied by his son Joseph. When fortified it was owned by a family named Plank, on which account it was thus named. . . . This fort is supposed to have been established in 1777, and well did it answer its purpose.


Washington Frothingham, in his History of Montgomery County, added his own twist to the location controversy in 1892:


In common with other towns in the Mohawk Valley, the settlements in Minden were ravaged by Brant and Johnson in 1870. At the time of Brant's incursion the men mostly absent, the women were shut up in the forts for safety. There were several of these forts located near Fort Plain. The fort which gives the place its name was erected on the summit of a hill half a mile northwest of village. It was probably built under the direction of Colonel Willett and was considered one of the strongest fortifications in the valley. It has been erroneously stated that this fort was built during the French war, by a French engineer. . . . At the time of its erection, Lawrence Gross was a boy living near by. He states the fort received its name "because, from the eminence upon which it stood, there was such a plain or prospective view." Mr. Gross also said that the workmen who had its erection in charge were permitted to the name the fort. It was elevated more than fifty feet above the Mohawk and its palisade enclosed about one-third of an acre, with an entrance upon the southeasterly side. In the diagonally opposite corners of this enclosure were erected two small block-houses each containing cannon and projecting far enough to command two sides of the fort. Within a distance of two or three rods, on the side of the hill was a living spring which was of great boon to the garrison. It is not known who was first in command, but Colonel Willett was certainly there during the summer of 1780 and 1781, and then occupied the most eastern of three or four little huts built on the side of the hill below the pickets, and within a short distance of the spring. Their erection was required by the limited amount of room within the palisades . . .

One writer has confounded this fort with another called "Fort Plank," assuming that they were one and the same. This, however, was not the case, for the latter was a distinct fortification, situated nearly four miles southwest of Fort Plain. . . .

Fort Plank, which was another historic place of defence, occupied, as has been stated, a commanding position on elevated ground four miles southwest of Fort Plain and was originally the residence of a respectable German family whose name it bore. . . . The fort comprised a block-house and also a palisade, which surrounded a dwelling known for many years after as the Chauncey House place, and in later years owned by Reuben Failing, and occupied by his son Joseph. (14) The fortification of the place is said to have been made in 1777, one year after the erection of Forts Plain, Herkimer, and Dayton . . .


In 1903, Francis B. Heitman published the Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903. (15) In Volume Two he dedicated a portion of his work to Forts, etc., and locations. In the right hand column of each page he dealt with where the posts were situated and stated the location of Fort Plank was: On [the] Mohawk River, about 10 miles northwest of Fort Plain.

On a 1905 Map of the Village of Fort Plain, the site of Fort Plain, and thus Fort Plank, appears on the "Old David W. Lipe Farm" which was then owned by Charles McCarthy. (16) Interestingly enough though, is the fact that sometime between 1868, (17) and 1905, the "site" of the Old Fort Plain Church is noted to have been identified. However, that the Church not only appears to the west of the fort versus easterly of the fort as in earlier sketches, but the site is shown to be well over one half of mile south of the site of the Bleeker Patent Church Lot.

Nelson Greene, in 1947, made his contribution to the debate, writing that Fort Planck was located . . . near present Route 5S about three miles west of Fort Plain. (18)

Even more confusing is Henry Allen's 1957 typescript, "Historic Forts of N.Y. State: a brief study."


. . . Canajoharie is beyond, Palatine Bridge opposite. The former was burned in the first raid. Here was a stone house at first named Fort Plain or the Rensselaer; this is now the home of the club of the same name. Beyond the present village or Fort Plain was a fort of the same name. An old print of this survives. This was substantial work, square, with a palisade and towers. It may have been strengthened with a mound and it had a blockhouse in the center. To this fort came Washington in 1783, where he was received with military honors by Colonel Clyde. Much of this still remains. Beyond on the south side were Fort Plank and Fort Willett, these [were] probably fortified houses.

Colonel Charles B. Briggs, Curator of Johnson Hall State Historical Site in Johnstown, New York, in March of 1970, published his opinion of the location and description of Fort Plank: . . . 1 mile west of Fort Plain, NY. . . . And was a . . . Fortified wooden farm house. No longer standing. Owned then by Plank Family.

In the early 1970's, several men began an attempt to archeologically discover "Fort Plain" which resulted in an Amsterdam Recorder Newspaper series reporting that Mr. Wayne Lenig, an instructor at the Fulton-Montgomery County College, had identified the site of Fort Plain well over a half a mile due south of the fort location identified by J. R. Simms, W. L. Stone, and Benjamin Lossing; (19) and upon Home Lot Two of the Otsquago Patent which was owned during the American Revolution by Johannes Lipe despite the fact that a sketch of the enlarged Erie Canal refuted to have been prepared in 1834 showed the Site of Old Fort Plain upon Home Lot Three of the Otsquago Patent which was possessed during the Revolution by Captain Adam Lipe. (20)


Don Tuttle, director of the Fort Plain Museum, and Wayne Lenig, an archeologist and instructor at Fulton-Montgomery County Community College, have in the past year made significant advances in their search for the truth about historic Fort Plain.

With monies from state grants [and] matching money from FMCC the men launched a renewed search for the actual fort site. Through the utilization of infra red aerial photography, archeological excavations, piecing together at best sketchy Revolutionary written accounts, and educationed guesses formed from existing information about other revolutionary fort sites, the two men are now in a position to dispell some of the most prevalent myths which for years have grown up around Fort Plain.

The exact location, configuration, and rough dimensions of Fort Plain have been determined. It was previously believed that the fort covered the entire hilltop because of the discovery of a blockhouse site on the far northeastern corner of the hill; it was assumed that the blockhouse was contained inside the fortification, and subsequent excavations were centered on the gently rolling, grassy hilltop near the blockhouse. Nothing was uncovered except an Indian burial site. . . .

The men knew the fort site was not adjacent to the blockhouse; several secondary reference materials such as letters made hazy references to that particular site, and a few artifacts (21) had been recovered from the area.

The work went slowly during the short summer months, with only the discovery of Indian refuse pits and artifacts as a reward. Then with time growing short, the men contracted to have a bulldozer come onto the site and make wide, panning six inch deep swaths about the site, in a "last ditch effort" to find some part of the elusive fort site.

The attempt was successful. Right away, before trenching, two barrack sites, part of the fort wall, four bastions, trench works, several fire place pits, a wealth of Indian pits, and an extremely subtle, vague hint of what may eventually prove to be the near mythical octagonal blockhouse were discovered . . . .

It is believed, on the basis of military strategy that the gates of the fort were located facing the southwest . . . (22)

The blockhouse plans have been found in the archives of the Massachusetts Antiquarian Society; the design calling for a square blockhouse, and they have been validated by archeological excavations in the early 1960's, according to Fort Plain Museum Director Don Tuttle, who laments that the plans for the fort have never been recovered. . . . (23)


The search for Fort Plank's Site has also been further complicated by historical documentation, such as the following from the Journals of the New York State Senate: (24)


Monday Morning, February 23, 1780.

. . . Petition of Joseph House praying some Recompense for the Use of his House and other Buildings, occupied by the Troops as a fortified Place, commonly called Fort Plank, . . . read and referred to Mr. Fonda and Mr. Klock. . . .


This aforesaid historical document led Lenig, to state in 2001, that without the slightest doubt, Fort Plank was located on the now Lynden Failing Farm on Paris Road in Minden Township of Montgomery County. To prove his theory correct, he cited Mister Herbert Schrader's 1999, typescript entitled, "18th Century Land Patents in the Town of Minden":


We also know where Joseph House lived. Through the diligent efforts of Mr. Herbert Schrader of Utica, New York, we have an excellent picture of the location of many of the 18th-century residents in the Town of Minden, drawn from early land records. In the course of his research Mr. Schrader discovered that Lot #2 in a patent granted to Conrad Weiser, John Weiser, John Lawyer, and Johan Peter Wagner (1725) was sold by Johan Peter Wagner, Sr. To Johan Jost House and his wife Oletea on 04/01/1750. Johan Jost House subsequently died, and his widow remarried Frederick Plank. By 1778, title to the home and home lot, had passed to Johan Jost's House's son, Captain Joseph House, but the fortified home became known as Fort Plank, rather than Fort House, because Joseph's mother, Oletea and step-father, Frederick Plank continued to live there. This also explains the subsequent confusion over whether the property was owned by a family named Plank or House. (25)


Unfortunately, Mister Schrader apparently failed to reveal to Lenig the source of his data on the sale of Lot 2 of the Weiser/Wagner Patent to Johan Jost House in 1750. (26) If one were to check with Mister Schrader and Marilyn J. Cramer of Silver Spring, Maryland, it would be quickly learned that the locator of the aforesaid document was this author. In his letter describing the document to Mister Schrader, Johnson made note that in 1803, Otillia Blank, widow of Frederick, deeded to her sons, Johan Jost House and Jacob Wright, Lot 2 of the Wagner Patent which she and her first husband, Jost House [Senior], had purchased from her father, Peter Wagner, in 1750. (27)

And tough it is not known for certain, it appears that Mister House may have been compensated by the State Legislature for the usage of his properties in 1780. In the Papers of Commissary General of Issues Colonel Charles Stewart is a request is an April 19th, 1780 request by Doctor James Gray for reimbursement of 70 Pounds Stirling he paid unto Joseph House, who had served as Fort Plank's Commissary of Issues from July 2, 1778 through October 31, 1778 per a claim found in the Papers of Colonel Charles Stewart, for House's "own contingencies".

A document in the Continental Congress Papers also proves that Frederick Blank was alive and quite capable of traveling long distances as late as May 19th, 1775, when he and several other residents of the Theobald Young and Hartman Windecker Patents, testified that while transporting wheat to Albany when waylaid by Indians east of Guy Johnson's home. (28) Legal documents also demonstrate that Blank was living as late as January 18th, 1778, when he signed two receipts for payments made to his step-daughter, Margaret Witmosure, the former widow of Theobald Young. From this one could conclude that neither Joseph House or his half-brother, Jacob Wright, held any right or title to the said Lot 2 during the American Revolution and thus would not be legally entitled to make claims against the State for usage of the same. (29)

During the American Revolution, Frederick and Delia Blank also occupied the southernmost 25 acres of Lot Two of the Hartman Windecker Patent. An 1808 lawsuit brought by Jacob Wright in the Albany Circuit of the New York State Court for the Trial and Impeachments and Correction of Errors, notes that Lot Two of the Hartman Windecker Patent was conveyed by Hartman Windecker to his daughter, Gertrude on March 28, 1754, and that she and her husband, Jacobus Pickerd, in turn, conveyed their acreage to Frederick Blank in 1765 and that the ownership remained in Blank until May of 1803. (30) This fact is also borne out in Montgomery County Deeds 13:174 & 13: 400 (Isaac & Catharine Wright to Jacob H. Myer; & Delia Blank to Joseph House and Jacob Wright, consecutively), & Montgomery County Will 8: 376 (Abraham House, deceased). These are proven to have shared a common border with Lot Three of the Peter Waggoner Patent. Interestingly, the partial owner of Lot Three of the Windecker Patent was the same Henry Walrath who was appointed an ensign in Captain Joseph House's Company of the Canajoharie District Regiment of Tryon County Militia in 1780. Thus, Delia Blank and Henry Walrath were "next door neighbors." The juxta-positioning of the homes of Delia Blank and Henry Walrath, whose home was fortified and an known as Fort Walrath would seem to suggest that Fort Plank and Fort Walrath should have only been separated by a few hundred yards versus the nearly two miles stated by Revolutionary War Pensioners.

With Lenig's identification of Lot 2 Wagoner's Patent as the "true" site of Fort Plank, it comes as a complete surprise that Catherine Gansevoort states that the majority of the women and children made it into Fort Plank for safety on August 2, 1780. It is surprising that Thomas Sammons would state that a woman in Fort Plank raised the alarm, and that Colonel Abraham Wemple would note that Fort Plank was filled with women and children. It is surprising that of the 52 women and children taken prisoner on that fateful day, all but one, were from a family headed by a member of Captain Joseph House's Company. It is surprising that of the known locations of these families, the bulk of them were living at or near the Geisenburgh Settlement, stated to have been three to four miles from Fort Plank. And, it is shocking that the inhabitants of Fort Walrath on that fateful day would have been "driven out from their fort" and to make there way to Fort Plank some one and a half to two miles distant if indeed Fort Plank did stand upon the property adjoining Walrath's.

Also unaddressed in writing is the identity the wife of Captain Joseph House. Joseph's wife was none other than Elizabeth Young, sole surviving daughter of Johan Adam Young. Who was, by virtue of her father's Loyalty to the British Crown, heir to large tracts of land in the Theobald Young Patent, the Philip Livingston Patent, the Frederick Young Patent, and, the Rutger Bleeker Patent. (31) These facts make it highly probable that Fort Plank was located on lands held by or possessed by Frederick Blank, Johan Adam Young, Frederick Young at the outset of the American Revolution. Thus, Fort Plank could have been located anywhere on the Bleeker Patent, the Theobald Young Patent, the Frederick Young Patent, the Philip Livingston Patent, or any other patent to which the aforesaid parties held title.

Thus, Identifying the true site of Fort Plank is comparable to identifying the whereabouts of the Scarlet Pimpernel: (32)


They seek him here. They seek him there. Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven? Or, is he in hell? That damned elusive Pimpernel.


In the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones, Junior relates to his class of archeology students the following axiom: (33)


Archeology is the search for FACT -- not truth . . . seventy percent of all archeology is done in the library -- research -- reading -- we cannot afford to take mythology at face value -- we cannot afford to take mythology at face value . . .


Early Mohawk Valley maps, (34)contemporary documents, and an early sketch by William L. Stone [see "Stone's 1838 Sketch of Fort Plank"], (35) suggest that Fort Plank was built upon or very near the Bleeker's Patent Church Lot on three acres of land excepted by Surveyor Jeremiah Van Rensselaer for public usage [see "Bleeker's Expense Lot A"] . (36) Indeed, John Yordan, stated that when Joseph Brant attacked the Upper Canajoharie Settlements he destroyed the church (37) which was within gunshot of Fort Plank. (38) And, indeed Governor DeWitt Clinton's Erie Canal Journal, (39) supports the idea that Fort Plain, or as it will be shown later in this article, was earlier known as Fort Plank, was near the Church in his 1810 Erie Canal Journal.


[July 7, 1810] . . . passed Fort Plain on the south side and in Minden. It derives its name from a block-house which was formerly erected here. There was a church near it, and it is marked erroneously in Wright's map Canajoharie (sic)"

Indeed, even the great Revolutionary War Historian Benjamin Lossing's description of Fort Plain fits only a site on the Church Lot or Expense Lot "A" of the Bleeker Patent: (40) [see "Lossing's Fort Plain Plan", followed by "The Site Today"]


. . . Its form was an irregular quadrangle, with earth and log bastions, embrasures, at each corner, and barracks and a strong block-house within. The plain on which it stood is of peninsular form, and across the neck, or isthmus, a breast-work was thrown up. The fort extended along the brow of a hill northwest of the village, and the block-house was a few rods from the northern declivity . . .

Some time after the completion of the work, doubts were expressed of its being cannon-ball proof. A trial was made with a six pounder placed at a proper distance. Its ball passed entirely through the block-house, crossed a broad ravine, and lodged in the hill on which the old parsonage stands, an eighth of a mile distant . . . (41)

This place was included in the Canajoharie settlement, and in 1780 felt severely the vengeance of the Tories and Indians. . . . The approach of the dreaded Thayendanegea . . . was announced to the people, . . . by a woman who fired a cannon at the fort. . . . In their approach the enemy burned every dwelling and barn, destroyed the crops, and carried off every thing of value. Regardless of the strength of the fort, they marched boldly up within cannon-shot of the intrenchments, burned the church, the parsonage, and many other buildings, and carried off several women and children prisoners.


Sworn depositions by Revolutionary War soldiers and other contemporary documents clearly suggest that Fort Plank was in use as a military depot as early as June of 1777, when members of the companies of Captains Henry Diefendorf and Robert Crouse garrisoned the site . . . where Fort Plank was later built. (42) The site was also used by Captain Samuel Pettingell's Company in early August of 1777 to rendezvous with the Mohawk District Regiment of Tryon County Militia during their westward trek to Fort Schuyler and the Battle of Oriskany. (43)

Perhaps a more suitable explanation for the early usage of this site resides in the fact that the road from Otsego Lake to the river terminated near Fort Plank. (44)


. . . on the 20th, they made excursion upon another settlement, called the Coile, (lying on the road from Fort Plank to Lake Otsego . . .


A review of contemporary maps of the era, show that only one led road from the Mohawk River to Lake Otsego and that it wasn't until after Clinton's Expedition of 1779, (45) that one could reach Lake Otsego from any road other than the one originating from near the mouth of the Otsquago Creek [see "Wintersmith's Central Mohawk Valley"; followed by "Pownall's 1768 Canajoharie District"]. (46)

Another critically important road ran from near Fort Plank to the Oneida's Castle at Kananwalohare (47) in modern Lenox Township, Oneida County, New York [see "The Path to Oneida"] . (48) Thus, the Fort could be easily used as a layover for both military and civilian goods being transported to and from distant settlements such as the Kyle, Springfield, Cooperstown (49), and Stone Arabia. And, as center for the gathering of information on the movements of the enemy in the west. (50)

Another clue as to the fort's site resides in the locating of Johannes Walrath's Ferry [see "Walrath's Ferry"]. (51)


We the Supervisors of Tryon County do hereby certify that the Place of John Walrad is very convenient to be an establish'd Ferry, and at this Time highly necessary to preserve a Communication between Forts Plank and Paris, and do hereby recommend the said John Walrad to his Excellency Governor Clinton, for a License for a Ferry across the Mohock River. Given under our Hands the 6th Day of April 1780.

Jelles Fonda, Chris'r P. Yates, John Pickerd, Augustinus Hess, Henrick Staring.


John M. Dake, stated in 1832, that Walrad's ferry was located nearly opposite the fort. Thus, it becomes imperative to positively identify the site of this ferry. (52) Fortunately, Wright's 1803 Survey of the Mohawk River shows that the ferry was located very near the southern tip of Abeel's Island and thus nearly opposite the foot of Sand Hill, on Lot 4 of the Francis Harrison Patent. The Survey also represents the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie to be nearly dead west of the ferry site. These facts further support the idea that Fort Plank was located upon Expense Lot "A" of the Rutger Bleeker Patent.

An article published on December 26, 1837 notes that the Fort Plain Blockhouse [built at Fort Plank in 1779] was used as a storehouse for military supplies for several years after the Revolutionary War. (53) Further evidence of the site's usage in later years as a military depot is found in a land deed between Jacob Abeel, Jr. and the People of New York which transfers 375 square feet of land on the south-side of the Dutchtown Road, approximately one mile westward of the Village of Fort Plain, for use as a Gun House site. (54) Further confirming the Church Lot as the site of this gun house is Montgomery County Deeds 42:515, in which Peter Harder of Morristown Township, Saint Lawrence County, New York of the first part and the Trustees of Fort Plain Village in the County of Montgomery, New York of the second part for 10.00 transfers:


. . . All that certain piece or parcell of Land situate in Minden and County last aforesaid about one mile northwesterly of the Village aforesaid and is known as the Fort Plain Burial Ground in Former Times is situated at or near and was connected with the old Fort Plain Church for many years before it was pulled down, the parcel now conveyed containing about three or four acres, also a Road or communication to and from it from at or near the site of said old church which said Road and parcel of Land were reserved in deeds of this grantor to Jacob Abeel Jur and John J. Lipe and this grant is made Explicity to said Corporation and their assigns as a cemetery or burial ground . . .


A letter written by Garret Abeel, a cousin of John Abeel, also gives us a clue as to Fort Plank being upon Expense Lot "A" of the Bleeker Patent. In his letter to his wife, Mary, Abeel states that his Cosn Abeel's house is located, but a single stone's throw from the tavern of William Seeber. (55) It thus comes as no surprise that the officers who were to sit as witnesses and Judges against Captain Daniel Lane at his Fort Plank Court Martial should be summoned to Seeber's Tavern to rendezvous . (56)


After orders January 26. 1779

Capt Daives

Capt Titus

Lieut Dunscomb

Lieut Gray

Lieut Hunt

Lieut Barret

Lieut V.Hovanburgh

To be to Morrow morning at Eleven oClock at Seabers Tavarn to a Genl Court martial If there is any Brimston wonting in the Regment they may apply to the Docter

The Court which is warned to Set to Morrow Morning at Eleven OClock in the Fort and the officers are Desired to attend


On June 7, 1832, the United States Government passed into law an act authorizing lifetime pensions to any individual who could prove a total of at least six months of military service during war. (57) Due to the loss of many crucial Revolutionary War Records in the War of 1812, and the attrition of other critical papers which were considered the sole property of the individual officers who produced them, it became necessary for each and every person applying for benefits to carefully review his memory and attest to the facts of his service under oath in an open court. Witnesses were also required to verify the facts presented by the deponents in their sworn accounts. This alone created a vast, but often untapped, bank of raw data from which it is possible to reconstruct the day-to-day events of the Revolutionary War. Well over two hundred and fifty soldiers who had served at Forts Plank and\or Plain applied for benefits under this program. Of these men, six specifically state in the course of their sworn depositions that what they knew to be Fort Plank was now known as Fort Plain. (58) In additional to these statements, William Berry swore that while engaged in the company of Captain Garret Putman they were marched in mid July 1780 to Fort Plank (then so called) and performed duties there until sometime in September of 1780. (59) William Snook stated that in early August of 1777 his company, while marching en route to the Battle of Oriskany, rendezvoused at Fort Plank, a little above the place now called Fort Plain. (60) Henry J. Diefendorf, states that he was generally stationed in the years 1776 and 1777 at Fort Plank, but when the new fort, Fort Plain, was built in 1778 he then served in Fort Plain and was from there marched to the assistance of the survivors of the Cherry Valley Massacre under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Clyde. (61) And, last, Jacob J. Failing states in his sworn deposition of March 12, 1833 that on May 2, 1781 he began service at Fort-Plain then called commonly Fort Plain. (62)

Assuming that Fort Plank was renamed Fort Plain, one would also expect to find a similar change in the surname "Plank" to "Plain". And indeed there is evidence of such a change in Revolutionary War Muster Rolls. Amongst the receipt of payments to the men of Captain Joseph House's Company of the Canajoharie District Regiment of Tryon County Militia in 1784, are two made out to Private John Plane who was paid 4-10-4 & 4-14-2 (National Archive's Series M246, Reel 72, Jacket 89). A John Plank who appears as a private under Captain Joseph House on Page 447 of Volume 15 of Documents Relating To The Colonial History Of The State of New York. And a John Plantz is noted to have served within Captain Joseph House's Company for 12 days as a private between July 28th, 1780, and May 28th, 1780, per Captain House's original Payroll on display in the Fort Rensselaer Club of Canajoharie, New York, and whom was said by J. R. Simms to have married Catherine Countryman, a daughter of Lieutenant George Countryman.

Additionally suggestive of the Fort Plank and Fort Plain being one and the same is Jeremiah Van Rensselaer's drawing of Expense Lot "A" of the Bleeker Patent. (63)

By itself, the diamond marking shown on Van Rensselaer's sketch seems innocuous. However a letter from Major [Powell] of the British Army bemoans the difficulty of protecting a fort he is currently fortifying. Accompanying his letter is a sketch of the works of which he speaks and shown in it is a nearly identical diamond lying with an "L" shape possibly designating the location of a military work which is surrounded on two sides by an earthwork [see "The Works at Oswego"]. (64)

Positive proof of another fort in the area of modern day Fort Plain Village is found in the following statement. (65)


That about the last of June [1777] following I was again Called into Service by my Said officer and marched to Sharon in the County of Schoharie for the purpose of detecting and Securing a number of tories that we took & brought over to the Mohawk River about thirty of them, Confined them in a Stone house near where Fort Plain was afterwards built . . . (66)


In the spring of 1779 [sic], members of the Tryon County Militia under the immediate command of Captain Jacob Diefendorf, along with the company of Captain Abraham Coapman, and Continentals under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Regnier de Roussi marched to a site approximately two miles south of Fort Plank, where one Mister Egence was planning and constructing a fort at Fort Plain. (67) Evidence of this activity is also located in the Orderly Books of the Fourth New York Regiment (68) and in various other pension depositions. (69) However, only the pension file of Joseph Degolyer gives a name to the newly constructed blockhouse: "Fort Plain". It is thus clear that for the soldiers of Fort Plank to have assisted in the building of a 'new' fort, "Fort Plain", it could not have been then or now, the place called by Campbell and Stone, Fort Plain.

In Jeptha R. Simms' The Frontiersman of New York, it is stated that Fort Plain was renamed Fort Rensselaer (70) by General Robert Van Rensselaer who desired to memorialize himself. (71) Yet, Simms in his own personal copy of Frontiersman, hand wrote in a margin in reference to Fort Rensselaer: Where was this fort located? (72)

Recently discovered Revolutionary War Pension Applications reveals interesting details on the naming of Fort Rensselaer, Fort Plain, and Fort McKean. I close reading of the following quotes raises the question: Are pre-August 1780 references to Fort Plain a reference to an actual fortress named Fort Plain or are they to an area served by a 'new' post office near the mouth of the Otsquago Creek called Fort Plain? The first of these applications was that of Asa Ripley, who stated on September 5, 1832: (73)

. . . That in the year 1781 in the month of August he enlisted in the New York State Troops called the New Levies under Captain Thomas Skinner and served in a Regiment and Served in a Regiment commanded by Colonel Marinus Willett in which Aaron Rowley was Major - marched to Albany from there to Schoharie thence to Turlough or Tilow where they had a battle with the Tories and Indians - from thence to Fort Plain and assisted in building Fort Plain thence to Fort Herkimer where about the 17th of October 1781, our troops had a battle with the tories and Indians commanded by Major Butler a tory - that said Major Butler, about two days after the battle, was killed by one of our Indians at West Canada Creek - . . .


Due to the rejection of his initial application, Ripley went on to swear out two more supplementary affidavits. The first dated September 4, 1833 and the second dated June 24, 1835:


. . . That in the year 1781, in the month of August, he thinks, he volunteered under Capt.  Samuel   Thomas Skinner - went to Albany - thence to Schoharrie thence to Turlough or Tilow where they had a battle with the tories and indians, called Turlough battle - was then under said Capt. Skinner, & Col. Willett who was present at the battle - thence marched to Fort Plain & built Fort Plain - thence to Fort Herkimer, then back to Fort,   after the fort was completed    Plain, & thence to Johnstown . . .

--------

. . . that he was once more out as a volunteer he thinks in the year 1781 or 1782 he Joined an embodied Corps of Columbia County Militia of the State of New York under Capt Thomas Skinner of said County and was ordered on a march from thence to Albany and from thence right up the Mohawk River to a Station where Fort Plain was afterwards built and from thence to Fort Herkimer on said River where he joined formed a junction with a body of American Troops under the Command of Col Marinus Willet and from Fort Herkimer he was marched back with a Detachment of troops to where Fort Plain was to be erected where he and his fellow Soldiers were ordered to Commence building the Said Fort called Fort Plain . . .

In light of Mister Ripley's statements we find evidence that the fortress that Ripley referred to building at Fort Plain was originally christened Fort McKean. In his Revolutionary War Pension Application affidavit, Orderly Sergeant Immanuel Deake testified in references to his services in the Mohawk Valley: (74)


. . . that last work we did there was to build a Block house -- After it was completed we dug up the body of Capt McKean who had been killed by the Indians & buried his body at the step of the door & the called the building fort McKean. The timber which composed this building was got out & drawn principally under the direction of Declarent Veeder & Smith were contractors to supply our regiment with provisions & there partner one Skinner acted as commissary. . . .


The aforesaid testimony of Mister Ripley is substantiated by Edward Evans' letter dated Vernon Trumbull County Ohio May 8th 1835: (75)


. . . That among the Documents removed from Albany is a power of attorney of Edward Evans (who subscribed it with a cross mark) and in favour of Capt Jonathan Pearsee for his pay from May 1st 1782 to January 1st 1783 dated Fort Ranselaer  dated    April 1st 1783 I have no distinction of the transaction but have an impression of something of the kind taking place that he was going to Phillidelphia & was disposd to make an effort for our Relief as we then had been in service about one year & had Received no pay but I think it must have passed in the negative as I received no pay But I distinctly Recolect that he went out to the south about that time & was absent from the Regiment I should Judge between two & three months As it Respects the execution by a cross mark I can only say that at its date & prior I had never written & of course it would have been the only way which I could execute that or any other instrument in writing

As to the Name of the place where it was alone the history is the following Late in autumn 1782 the Major part of the Regiment commanded b[y] Col Willet with one or two companies of Artillerymen were stationed at a place call Fort Plain & it appeared that there had some time previous been slain by the enemy a Capt McKeen whose remains were taken from the place where they had been deposited & removed to the burying ground near the Fort & Reintared with Military Hounors & the firing of cannon & in general orders Read at the head of the by order of the commandant that the fort should from hence forth be known & call'd by the name of Fort McKeen & of course for a time all official writs were dated & Recorded don at Fort McKeen but how long the order remaind in force I do not recolect but subsequently another order probibaly from higher authority but without any publick exhibition at least upon the Ground it was deemed that it should be known & calld by the name Fort Renslear & I believe as long as the Regiment remainded the place all official proceedings were dated at Fort Renslear but the original name it appears is most formilliar & signifficant & I believe as universally known & calld by the Name of Fort Plain which is also the name of the Post office in the place I have written to my son at Brock port to forward my original Declaration & sent to your office . . .


Mister Evans' account would seem to explain the following orders found in the Orderly Book of William Scott: (76)


Garrison Saratoga Octr 26th 1782

Parole   Via  [ unreadable ]  Viominel C Sign Burdow

Nantes

Extract from Lord Sterlings orders dated Head Quarters Albany Octr 22d 1782

Some confusion and inconveniencies have arrisen from Some of our posts being called by a veriety of Names particulary at Canajohary where the fort and works originaly called Fort Ranselair and has by Some Since ben called Fort Plain - in order such inconvenience  in   for the future that post with its appendages is by all persons belonging to the army within this department and all those opperating with it either in the Military or civil Branches in all their Reports Returns and letters on business to be called Fort Ranseleir and no other _____


But, equally confusing is a September 9th, 1780, accounting of the Fort Plank Massacre taken from Almon's Remembrancer which proves that the area surrounding Fort Plank at Canajoharie was renamed, Fort Rensselaer, shortly after the August 2nd, 1780 Raid:


The following account may be depended upon - At the fort now called fort Ransalaer Sir John Johnson and Captain Brant have burnt 51 houses 42 barns killed 17 [and have taken] 52 prisoners


We know from the letters of Catherine (Van Schaick) Gansevoort to Colonel Peter Gansevoort, (77) Colonel Abraham Wemple to General Abraham Ten Broeck, (78) Colonel Samuel Clyde to Governor George Clinton, (79) and Guy Johnson to General Frederick Haldimand; (80) that it was Fort Plank and its surrounding settlements, not Fort Rensselaer, which were attacked on August 2nd, 1780.

The Papers of Colonel William Malcom, who was ordered to secure operations in the Mohawk Valley by General Washington, show that Fort Rensselaer was, at the time of his arrival there, incapable of housing troops or supplies through a winter.


Dear Governor Fort Ranselaer Sepr 25 1780

. . . am adding something to the expense of this little fort -- it the only thing that Keeps the inhabitants dry & there must be something to cover a few troops in Winter and to hold their provisions -- a few boards /which we impress/ & nails is all the charge -- . . .


This brings one to the conclusion that Fort Plank and Fort Rensselaer were not one and the same. This seems to make the true identity and location of Fort Rensselaer a mystery also. (81)

While Fort Plank was thought to have stood on or near the Bleeker Patent Church Lot; [see "the Bleeker Church Lot]" another fort, which would later be known by Revolutionary War Pensioners as Fort Plain, was built near . . . where the Otsquago Creek empties into the Mohawk River. (82) This leads one to question: Where did the Otsquago Creek empty into the Mohawk River? Nelson Greene, the author of several area histories, states that prior to the

ion of the Erie Canal, the course of the Otsquago Creek made a gross deviation in course and flowed northerly for more than a mile to empty into the river at the base of what is now known as Cemetery Hill and just to the east of the Fort Plain Museum. (83) Douglas Ayres, a local historian and retired teacher, when confronted with the idea that the creek's course had not been grossly altered, stated: (84)


The creek flowed northeast across the following streets: South, Division, Mohawk, Washington, Centre, Home, Prospect and Orchard then towards Herkimer St., who's west end was near the canal, entering the river near Lock 15. Course was roughly NE from the junction of Highway's 80 & 163 to Lock 15. The creek was straightened and moved so that a dam would allow the canal boats to cross. About 1841, an aqueduct was built. The creek was moved so that only one bridge would be needed across the creek.


However, a close and careful examination of contemporary maps and deeds indicates the location of the creek's mouth was not grossly altered by the building of the canal, as previously believed, but remains at or near its pre-Revolutionary War site [see "The Otsquago's 1772 Course"]. (85) Thus, the fort referred to as Fort Plain in many pension applications cannot be the same blockhouse shown in William L. Stone's sketch of Fort Plank or referred to in Lossing's Pictorial Field Book of the American Revolution, as Fort Plain.

A possible name for this other fortification, which does not makes its debut in Revolutionary War documents until September 4, 1780, is Fort Rensselaer. (86) The flood of refuges into Fort Plank after Brant's 1780 raid made it quite likely that General Van Rensselaer desired another, less crowded, location for his Mohawk Valley Headquarters.

Simms, in his Frontiersman of New York, provides only a cursory clue to the location of this second fort. (87)


An Interesting Paper Disclosing a Secret.--Since the above was written, the following document preserved among the papers of the late William H. Seeber, has come to my observation:

"By virtue of the appointment of his Excellency, George Clinton, Esq., Governor of the State of the New York, etc., etc.

"We do hereby in pursuance of an act entitled an act to amend an act, entitled an act to accommodate the inhabitants of the frontiers with habitations and other purposes therin mentioned, passed the 22d day of March, 1781 -- Grant unto William Seeber, Peter Adame, George Garlock and Henry Smith, license and liberty to cut and remove wood or timber from the lands of John Laib (or Lail), George Kraus, John Fatterle, John Plaikert, Wellem (William) Fenck, George Ekar, John Walrath, and Henry Walrath, lying contiguous to Fort Plain, being a place of defense, for fuel, fencing and timber for the use of the first above mentioned persons.

Given under our hands at Canajoharie this 8th day of November, 1782.

Christian Nellis,

M. Willett, Commissioners


This instrument was drawn up in the hand-writing of Esq. Nellis, and taken to Col. Willett to sign. In the hand-writing of the latter and with the ink of his signature, he crossed off the word Plain and interlined the name Rensselaer. It seems surprising that Col. Willett, who so disapproved of changing the name of Fort Stanwix, should have connived at changing the name of Fort Plain; and it can only be accounted for by presuming that he was thereby courting the influence of wealth and position. (88)


Of the persons in the document quoted above: [see "Marilyn J. Cramer's Map of the Bleeker Patent" and "M. J. Cramer's Freysbush"] William Seeber lived upon Lot 6 of the Arent Bradt-Philip Livingston Patent; (89) George Garlock lived upon Lot 3 of the Arent Bradt-Philip Livingston Patent; (90) [Hans] Henry Smith owned Homestead Lot 10 of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent, Lowland Lot 10 of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent, the Plumb Plain Lot of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent (91), a portion of Lot 9 of the 1772 Division of the Bleeker Patent, & Lot 19 of the 1772 Division of the Bleeker Patent; (92) John [Johannes] Lipe, Sr. possessed Homestead Lot 2 of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent, Lowland Lot 2 of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent, 21 acres in Expense Lot B of the 1772 Division of the Bleeker Patent, & Lot 15 of the 1772 Division of the Bleeker Patent [all of which was left to him in his father Casper Lype's Will] (93), but lived upon Upper Woodland Lot 5 of the Bleeker Patent [See "Johannes Lipe's Quit Rent Receipt"]; (94) George Kraus owned Homestead Lot 5 of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent, Lowland Lot 5 of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent, Lot 9 of the 1772 Division of Bleeker's Patent, & Lot 14 of the 1772 Division of Bleeker's Patent; (95) John Walrath owned part of Lot 20 of the 1742 Division of Bleeker's Patent; (96) Henry Walrath owned Lot 2 of the 1742 Division of the Bleeker Patent; (97) John R. Bleeker owned Lot 18 of the 1772 Division of the Bleeker Patent; (98) and, John Bleeker [Plaikert in the above instrument] owned Lots 4, 7, 12, & 17 of the 1772 Division of the Bleeker Patent. (99) A careful review of the land holdings of the aforementioned individuals clearly points to a site east of the Plumb Plain Lot and somewhere in the neighborhood of Homestead Lot 8 which was owned by Adam Countryman, (100) a son-in-law of Caspar Lipe. (101) Collectively, this would seem to suggest that Fort Rensselaer was situated in the southern segment of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent.

Yet another important clue to the location of Fort Rensselaer are the words of Major Christopher P. Yates of the Canajoharie District: (102)


Fort Rensselaer Octr 21 1780

Dear Sir

I imbrace this first Moment of Leisure to acquaint you that we are all safe and have escaped the Burning -- . . .

The Night when the enemy laid at the Nose  I br   at 12 OClock I got my wife &ca. in a Waggon and brot them here this Morning I sent her back --


Fortunately we know where Major Yates lived during the war thanks to a Quit Rent Remission Certificate, which states that he lived upon lands in Lots 28 & 29 of the Arent Bradt-Livingston Patent (a.k.a. "The Freysbush Patent"). (103) To thus have traveled to the currently accepted site of Fort Rensselaer or Plain, Yates would have to have moved his family in the darkness nearly three miles and would have also had to have crossed the Otsquago Creek. It seems highly unlikely that the Major would have risked such an adventure with the enemy known to be lurking about the area [see MJC's Patents Map].

In his critique of the first printing of the Bloodied Mohawk, Wayne Lenig states:


. . . we know for certain that Fort Rensselaer was located on the Johannes Lipe Farm, currently owned by the Fort Plain Cemetery Association and the Fort Plain Museum. We know this because, once again, we have a copy of the property owner's bill to the state for damages incurred during the period that his property was confiscated for use: (104)


Mister Lenig then goes on to quote a document taken from the writings of Rufus Grider as proof of his contention that the fort site was owned by Lipe Family descendants: (105)


Fort Rennselaer Augst 22, 1786.

State of New York ................................. Dr. To John Lipe Senior

For Timber Building the Blockhouse, for fire Wood, Fencing and possession of the place by the Troops of the United States under the Command of Colonel Willett, One hundred & fifty Pounds, being the amount of my damages.

his

John X Lipe

Mark

Witness Present

B. Hudson


Lenig also goes on to state that this proves that Fort Rensselaer was located "at the foot of Sand Hill," the site of the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie. However an examination of the surveyor's maps in the Rutger Bleeker Papers reveals that Mister Lipe's Farm could not have been located any where near the base of Sand Hill for several reasons:


1. John Lipe Senior's Claim for damages was rejected by both the State of New York and the United States House of Representatives.

2. The line separating Lowland Lot 1 and Homestead Lot 1 of the Rutger Bleeker Patent two lots was formed by none other landmark than the easternmost escarpment of Sand Hill. These two lots are well known to have been in the possession of Johannes Abeel throughout the length of the American Revolution..

3. All of the "Homestead Lots" of the Rutger Bleeker Patent were laid out upon lands above the Mohawk River escarpment. These lots included those of Johannes Abeel, Casper Lipe, and Adam Lipe.

4. The Garret Y. Lansing Papers in the New York State Library at Albany, demonstrates that two Johannes Lipes were alive during the American Revolution. The first possessed 40 acres of land in Lowland Lot 2 [and Home Lot 2] of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent, 70 acres of land in Lot 15 of the 1772 Division of the Bleeker Patent, 21 acres of land in Expense Lot B of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent, and 20 acres in Lot 10 of the 1772 Division all of which had once belonged during the war to his father, Casper. But, during the American Revolution Johannes, per his quit rent receipt resided on the south-easternmost half of [Upper Woodland] Lot 5 of the Rutger Bleeker Patent. The southern bounds of these 100 acres in Lot 5 abut the northernmost bounds of Expense Lot "B", which were owned by one Johannes Wolgemuth [one should also note that the south-westernmost corner of Expense Lot "A" abuts the north-westernmost corner of Lot B]. The other surviving Johannes Lipe was John A. Lipe, a son of Adam Lipe, who possessed 100 acres of land in Lot 5 of the 1739 Division of the Bleeker Patent [the southernmost tier of the patents Woodland Lots], as well as 21 acres of Expense Lot B of the Bleeker Patent which the Rutger Bleeker Papers show had previously belonged to [Captain] Adam Lipe.

5. The 10+ acre Church Lot (Sand Hill) of Expense Lot "A" of the Rutger Bleeker Patent comprised the north-westernmost portion of Expense Lot "A" of the Rutger Bleeker Patent and was located approximately 16 chains westerly of the southern bank of the Mohawk River. Long after the end of the American Revolution, Margaret Charlesworth stated that she witnessed the burning of the German Reformed Church at Canajoharie and the home of the Reverend Johan Daniel Gross from the home of her father, Johannes Lipe. (106) Due to the topography of the lands in discussion (see the 1943 U.S. Geographical Survey of the Fort Plain Quadrangle), it would seem nearly impossible for Misses Charlesworth to have witnessed the burning of these structures if her father had indeed live upon the lands of Casper Lipe. Yet, if her father had been the Johannes whom had possessed the eastern half of Upper Woodland Lot 5 of the Rutger Bleeker Patent, her home would have been near the site of Fort Plank, which was located across a ravine to the west of and within "gun-shot" of the German Reformed Church at Canajoharie. (107)

6. The Johannes Lipe living nearest Sand Hill possessed Upper Woodland Lot Five which adjoined the western bounds of Expense Lot "A" (S. L. Frey Papers, Box 4 Folder 94).

7. The probated will of Johannes Lipe, Montgomery County Wills 2:419, leaves to his son, David Lipe, the Homestead upon which he, Johannes now lives (Homestead Lot 2, Lowland 2, and the northernmost 21 acres of Expense Lot B) , suggesting that he, Johannes, had previously lived elsewhere. The probated will of (Captain) Adam Lipe, Montgomery County Will 1:330, which leaves to his son, Daniel Lipe, the Homestead Farm upon which he, Adam, resides. Daniel Lipe later on April 21, 1830, sold his interest in his father's Homestead (Homestead Lot 3, Lowland 3, and the southernmost 21 acres of Expense Lot B) to David Lipe, son of Johannes (Montgomery County Deed 27:452). This explains how David W. and Seeber Lipe, sons of David, came into possession of the lands of Captain Adam Lipe and how they in turn could assume that the fort site was upon lands they owned and believed had once belonged to their grandfather.

8. An analysis of the distances shown upon Colonial Surveyor's Maps of the Rutger Bleeker and Otsquago Patents, dated 1772, reveal that the distance from the southernmost bounds of the Church Lot of Expense Lot "A" to the southernmost bounds of Casper Lipe's portion of Expense Lot "B" is approximately 33.095 chains. And, the distance from the southernmost bounds of the Church Lot of Expense Lot "A" to the southernmost bounds of Adam Lipe's portion of Expense Lot "B" is approximately 42.73 chains as shown on the 1772 maps of Expense Lot "A"and Expense Lot "B". Yet the distance from the Fort Plain Site listed in the Register of National Historical Sites to the known site of the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie is approximately 38.712 chains, placing the site of Fort Plain Museum well in the center of the lands of [Captain] Adam Lipe versus those of Johannes Lipe.


Shortly after the Fort Plank raid of August 2, 1780, a plan was devised to resupply Fort Schuyler. In this manuscript is a list of posts and stages along various routes in Upstate New York: (108)


From New York to Albany 165, to Saratoga 36, to Fort Edward 14, to Lake George 14, to Ticonderago 40, to Crown Point 15, to St Johns 110, to Montreal 26, to Three Rivers 90, to Quebec 90 In all 600 Miles

A Route from Schenectady to Fort Schuyler with the Posts on the Communication & a few Stages

From Schenectady to Whemps 8 miles. Van Olindas 3. Fort Hunter 11, Fort Rensalear 21. Fort Plank 3. & something out of the public way, Little Falls 12 a carrying Place of a Mile. Fort Herkimer 6 Do German Town 7. no body there. Old Fort Schuyler 9. New Fort Schuyler 18. The above Posts are on the South side of the River. There is a small Post about 3 Miles from Fort Ranselear called Fort Clayd same side the River -- Fort Johnstown 28 Miles from Schenectady 5 Miles from Major Fondas. From Johnstown to Fort Paris 14 Miles through the upper Road. Fort House 10, Fort Dayton 13

The above Posts are on the westside of the Mohawk River. . . .


This accounting of distances coincides with the account of mileages in the Historical Collections of New York which shows the corresponding intervals as follows: Albany to Schenectady 15 miles; Albany to Canajoharie 55 miles. Albany to Fort Plain Village 60 miles; Albany to Little Falls 74 miles. (109)

According to the three accounts above, it should be approximately 58 miles from Albany to Fort Rensselaer; 15 miles from Fort Rensselaer to the Little Falls (a permanent landmark); and, about 61 miles from Fort Plank to Albany. The distances shown in the Historical Collections of New York thus suggest that Fort Rensselaer was located approximately 1 miles east of the corporate limits of present-day Fort Plain Village, and that Fort Plank was three miles up river on or near the Bleeker Patent Church Lot, about 1 miles above modern Fort Plain Village.

Indeed it is of interest to note that in his, Struggles Through Life, Exemplified In the Various Travels and Adventures in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America of Lieut. John Harriot, in 1793, Harriot states that while: "proceeding fifteen miles from the falls [emphasis added by KDJ], we were brought to Fort Plain, where [there] are two log-forts". (110)

The above being noted, it would seem that Fort Rennselaer was south or east of the mouth the Otsquago Creek, a fact which is suggested by Revolutionary War Pensioner Jacob Gaudinier, RWPA #S15583 of the Town of Charlestown in Montgomery County stated, in his November 7, 1832 deposition, that while serving in Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett's Corps he was stationed . . . At Fort Plain which is now in Canajoharie in said . . .

The list of posts above combined with the Writ of Sequestration, Harriot's narrative, and the voice of Mister Gaudinier would seem to focus the search for Fort Rensselaer on the southern portion of the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent.

Item Number Seven of the Rutger Bleeker Papers clearly demonstrates the presence of two pre-Revolutionary War structures of significance on the highlands directly above the Mohawk River escarpment, and nearly in line with a group of islands in the Mohawk River at that juncture in its course [see "Bleeker Patent Cleared Lands]. A close examination of Item Number Four of the same series suggests the two structures were built near Lot 19 of the 1742 Division of the Bleeker Patent. (111) Could one of these structures be the "Stone House" spoken of by Nicholas Dunkle?

At the same time that the British write of Fort Plain being opposite Stone Arabia, American accounts speak of Fort Rensselaer being opposite Stone Arabia. On September 17, 1780, Henry Glen wrote Colonel William Malcom: (112)


From H Glen For Colonel Wm Malcom Commanding ND

17 Septr 1780

. . . -- Princeble people Names whose in fluence & Inclenation Cane be Depened upon -- Major Fonda -- Agent Col. Jacob Clock in F paris Major Nucker Col. Peter Waggoner upside F Rennseleir (113) Z Betchell Esqr Superviser Col. Voukert Vadder Conauagh -- John Fonda Esqr Col. Cloyd in F Plank -- Captain Gardeneer Major Fry Major Yates Superviser Col. Peter Pellinger F. Dayton -- Peter Tygert Esqr Superviser The Revd Daniel Gross in F Rensselir a Good Men to Society & of Great Service in Tryon County Anthony V Vyhten Esqr Agent Captain Vadder Symon Vadder Samuel Gardenier Captain John Bradpeck Two McMasters in Warensbush -- Hans Pellinger -- A. Van Horn Esqr -- do Peter Warmut -- B. Schuyler Esqr -- do Christiyon Nellis -- G. V Alstyn Esqr -- Conajohary Christopher Fox Johanes Lyp -- Wm Fox -- Adam Lyp -- Lips Fox -- Jacob Mattis -- Peter Wagoner Junr Esqr Capt Abr Copman -- . . .


Equally important in ascertaining the locations of Forts Rensselaer and Plank is the location of the Klaisburg. This settlement had for years been used as a rendezvous for military parties and was a site of great importance to the Mohawk Nation. By July 15, 1780 the British high command had targeted the site for destruction. (114) Despite its importance, no map shows its location and once again multiple clues are needed to pinpoint its site.

On August 2, 1780 Joseph Brant reached the Klaisburg and carried into effect a plan to raze the settlements there and destroy any military units found: (115)


Niagara Septr 18th 1780.

Sir,

Yesterday afternoon I was honor'd with your Excellencys Secret & Confidential Dispatch of the 31st ulto and you may rely on my best efforts to assist the proposed Expedition . . . I have the pleasure of informing your Excellency that one Object of it has been already achieved. The Oneida Village, with the Fort, Church &ca, and also the Tuscarora Town near it having been burnt, the beginning of last Month, also Two Stoccaded Forts below Fort Stanwix, and Soon after the party's that were with Capt Brant destroyed the Kleysbergh &ca containing a Church, 100 Houses and as many Barns besides Mills, and 500 Cattle and Horses, and on the 2d inst Capt Nelles marched with 100 Indians to Conajohary, who has probably struck a blow ere now, and shall be advised to Joyn Sir John, -- . . .


The first helpful clue in searching for the Klaisburg (116) seems to be the statement of Ensign Derick Van Vechten: (117)


. . . in the Year 1780 he with his own & several other Companies were ordered out upon an Alarm created by a party of Indians to Johnstown from Johnstown they proceeded to Canajoharie some depredations were committed & from thence to a place farther west called Claysberg, or Clay Hill, where they remained a short time & returned home . . .


Obviously if left alone, Van Vechten's word is of little help other than to establish a site some miles west of modern Canajoharie Village. However, concerning his service in November of 1778, William Feeter states: (118)


. . . the militia was ordered to go from Fort Herkimer to Glaisburgh in the (now) Town of Minden in the County of Montgomery about two miles west of Fort Plain, the Militia at that place were under the Command of Col. Jacob Klock. they lay at the latter place till the massacre & destruction of Cherry Valley in the Now County of Otsego that Joins Montgomery County on the southwest the first of November the news Spread through the County & the militia at Glaisburgh went in pursuit of the enemy -- . . .


Another more substantial hint is found in Daybold Moyer's sworn testimony: (119)


In the year 1778 or 9 in the month of October at the time Cherry Valey was burned our whole regiment was ordered out & he deponent marched under Col. Klock & Capt House for that place -- we were called out four or five days before that place was burned because an attack was expected but whether on the Mohawk or more south we did not know -- we were a little south of fort Plank & near fort Plain that we might march either way -- the first news of the out break was that Cherry Valley was burned That he was then Marched towards that place . . .


From the latter two statements it is established that Klock's Regiment was garrisoning the Klaisburg on the day(s) proceeding the Cherry Valley Massacre. With this in mind, one must turn to the word of Colonel Jacob Klock for his opinion of his location on that fateful day. (120)


Hartman Dorff November 11th 3 OClock P. M.

Sir

This moment one Mr Thompson arriv'd here who informs me that he with several other Gentlemen  was   were on their way to Cherry Valley when they heard the report of about 30 Canon but they still proceeded as far as John Moors place being about 4 Miles this Side Cherry Valley they then hear a smart firing of small arms.

I am in great haste Sir

Your humble Servent.

Jacob Klock


Obviously the settlement called The Klaisburg was also known as Hartman's Dorf. However, tradition holds that the only place known as Hartman's Dorf was located deep in the Schoharie Valley, dozens of miles south-east of Forts Plank and Rensselaer. Fortunately a March 1, 1796, land deed places Hartman's Dorf on the river flats south of the Otsquago Creek in the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent: (121)


. . . All that certain Lot of Land situate lying and being in the County of Montgomery on the South side of the Mohawk river at Canajohary and within the limits and Boundaries of a patent known by the name of Otsqaugo patent, heretofor granted to Rutger Bleecker, Nicholas Bleecker and others, to wit Lot number nine Low land on Hartman's Flatts, beginning on the bank of the river in the division Line of Lots number eight and nine, and runs thence down the river as the same winds and turns to the division line between the Lots number nine and ten, and thence South Eighty degrees and thirty minutes west to the foot of the Hill then up along the foot of the hill as the same winds and turns to the division line of Lot number eight, thence North Eighty degrees east to the river and contains twenty five acres, be the same more or less, together with the Homestead there to belonging . . .


However, in keeping with a tradition of two witnesses being necessary to establish a truth; the probated will and contemporary land deeds of Adam Countryman also place his war-time home upon the river flats of Hartman's Dorf. (122)

These items together establish the location of Hartman's Dorf or the Klaisburg to be in the 1730 Division of the Bleeker Patent, south of the mouth of the Otsquago Creek. This places Fort Plank on the northerly side of the Otsquago Creek, and places Fort Plain (or Rensselaer) nearby on the southerly side of the creek.

The occurrence of a place name such as the Klaisburg also suggests that a settlement or geographical landmark was located nearby which was well known by both the Indians and the British. And indeed Caldawaller Colden's 1726 Map of the Mohawk River Settlements shows there to be a substantial Indian Village, the Canajoharie Castle, located in the north-eastern corner of a triangle formed by the junctions of the Mohawk River and the southern bank of the Otsquago Creek [see "Tarajoharies Castle"]. (123) Evidence of this supposed village is found in the National Archives of Canada in a set of documents which suggests that an Indian Settlement was located near the mouth of the Otsquago Creek: The first, dated October 28th, 1731, is an order for a government representative to visit with the Canajoharie Indians and to investigate the loss of livestock owned by Hartman Windecker, Coenradt Countryman, and Hendrick Schremling (124). And the second a document dated November 5th, 1731, noting that the Palatines: Johans Keyser; Hend Frey; Johs Kreemer; Peter Teygaert; William Wormwood; Jacob Bouman; Hendk Walraet; Jacob Goltman; Karell Eerhart; and Peter Wagenaer had also lost livestock to the Indians of the Tarajoharies. (125) An early map of the DePeyster-Van Slyck Patent in the Town of Palatine show that shows that the Indian Village of Tarigioris was located at or near the place known as the Klaisburgh or Hartmansdorf [see the Western Van Slyck Patent]. (126)

On February 24, 1783, Major Alexander Thompson wrote his brother a letter from Fort Rensselaer which also is supportive of a southerly 1730 Division site for Fort Rensselaer: (127)


. . . This fort is situated on a height about half a mile from the river, which affords a beautiful prospect of the country around, and shows you at one view, as far as the eye will carry, fine fields like those of Bottle Hill . . .


Thompson's description of the view is hardly possible from the site stated by Lossing and Simms to have been the hallowed ground of Fort Plain. Standing on the site assumed to be that of Fort Plain, directly above the escarpment from the Fort Plain Museum, the author noted:


. . . the northerly view reached the bend of the Mohawk River as it turns back westerly; the easterly view extended only to the highest hills of Stone Arabia; northerly, the low hill located just to the south of the site of the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie, totally obscures the tall pine trees surrounding the cemetery; to the south the line of sight is obscured by a hill less than a half mile distant, and finally, the view westerly extends itself only to the plains of the Windecker Patent.


The view, as described by Thompson, is even less likely to have been from the known site of the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie, as the line of sight is severely restricted to the north, and is totally impeded by a low hill to the south. However, the river is still visible to a degree today, as are the hills of Stone Arabia. The author has noted from his many trips to the sites of Fort Plank and to the Fort Plain Museum that it was highly unlikely that there could be a house located immediately above the fort, as suggested in Marinus Willett's Orders Book: (128)


. . . Kilborn says he was on Centinel at   my    Marque from 11 till 1 oClock during the whole of which time   he heard    their was a Noise in the house back of the Marque by a number of men who appeared to playing of Cards, and that when the Colonel sent   the Corporal some person    a man to speak to em he heard em say they would be damned if they were to out Which words he heard repeated several times

John Kilborn

Daniel Holes says he commanded the Quarter Guard last night. That he heard a Noise in a house just back of the Colonels Marque from early in the morning untill two OClock in the Morning that about 12 OClock he was Ordered by the Colonel to go see what the Noise was and have a stop put to it . . . that Some of them told him that was their Quarters and said that they would be as still as they could -- And upon his repeating his message They asked him if the Colonel did not live down the hill under a Stack of hay . . .

F Renselear Daniel Olds

5th Sepr 81


One should also note that very few military documents mention Fort Plank after the great raid of August 2, 1780. Yet Fort Rensselaer is mentioned numerous times up through the early 1790s. (129) It is also interesting to note that Fort Plain does not make its appearance in British Military document(s) until October 27, 1780, when it is noted that 400 troops were encamped at Fort Plain opposite Stone Arabia. (130) Yet the first American Military mention of Fort Plain does not occur until March 12, 1781, in the minutes of the Court Martial of Brigadier General Robert Van Rensselaer. (131)

Of the first three documents dated Fort Plain, aside from the Haldimand Papers and the Court Martial of Robert Van Rensselaer, all were written after the date(s) that Revolutionary War Pensioners swear that Fort Plank had been renamed Fort Plain; and two of these four can be attributed to letters written by Colonel Marinus Willett who was, according to his own letter-book, at Fort Rensselaer. (132)


Fort Plain Sept. 7, 1781.

By information from Fort Herkimer the enemy are down in force. I am collecting the Militia and shall pursue them as soon as possible. You will inform Genl. Stark of this as soon as possible . . .


Willett's Letter Book contains a similar letter written to an unknown correspondent with the same date: (133)


Fort Renselear 7th Sept 81

Sir

By accounts this moment received the enemy appear to be in Considerable force at the German flats I wish you to March your regiment this way with as much expedition as possible & as much Provision as they can furnis themselves with - without being detained

I am &c


The next two references to Fort Plain have the same similarity. Both are dated by Willett, Fort Rensselaer, and both are quoted by their recipients to have been originated from Fort Plain.

Another hint at the reluctance of soldiers to call Fort Plain - Fort Rensselaer, (134) is found in the journal of Ensign John Barr, who had been promoted from sergeant to ensign while stationed at Fort Plank in 1779. In his journal, Barr, notes that the Fourth New York Regiment arrived at Fort Plank on January 6, 1781 and the following day, he dined at Fort Plains with Captain Wright at the Reverend Mister Gross'; (135) suggesting the Reverend Mister Gross was living at Fort Rensselaer as in the above quoted letter by Mr. Glen. (136)

Revolutionary War Pensioners who claim to have served at both Forts Plank and Plain universally agree that one could not reach Fort Plank from the east without having first marched to or past Fort Plain. Yet, of the many dozen soldiers who claim to have served at Fort Plain under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett, only four: Conrad Edick, Jacob Esselstyne; John Hermance and Eliphalet Kellogg mention having served at Fort Rensselaer. Of the aforesaid four men; Edick, Esselstyne, and Kellog state that they had served at both Fort Rensselaer and Fort Plain. (137)

Contemporary evidence [circa 1782-4] supports the theory that Fort Rensselaer and Fort Plain were not one and the same. Moses Dusten, a captain in the Second New Hampshire Regiment which was stationed in the Mohawk Valley to support Willett, notes in his personal orderly book, activities at both Forts Rensselaer and Plain in 1782. (138) Lieutenant Lawrence Tremper also notes having been stationed at both Forts Rensselaer and Plain while serving under Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett in 1783-4. (139)

Thus ongoing research continues to suggest that Fort Plank was built either on or very near the Church Lot (Expense Lot A) of Bleeker's Patent (140) in Minden Township, Montgomery County, New York. If this is so, other documentation should be supportive.

On August 2, 1780, Captain Joseph Brant with 350 troops swept through the area settlements from the river south to Kley's Barrick to the southern escarpment of the Otsquago Creek on eastward to modern Fort Plain Village. While thus engaged, Brant's raiders destroyed the house of one Henry Walrath, called Fort Walrath, (141) sending the inhabitants fleeing about two miles eastward to Fort Plank for safety. (142)

Unfortunately, no contemporary map(s) exist which show the location of Fort Walrath or confirm its distance from Fort Plank. However on March 1, 1802 Henry Walrath sold a portion of his interest in Lot Three of Windecker's Patent, approximately two miles west of the Church Lot, to Jacob H. Diefendorf. (143) As this deed alone cannot prove that this lot was the site of Fort Walrath, other clues must be considered.

In Joseph Clement's letter of August 14, 1780 to Sir Guy Johnson, (144) Brant is noted to have destroyed two mills. However on August 3, 1780 Jellis Fonda wrote Henry Glen of Schenectady with news that only Lansen's Mill had been destroyed in Brant's raid. (145) This apparent discrepancy is addressed in a letter from Colonel Jacob Klock to Governor George Clinton on April 18, 1781 in which he notes only two mills remain on the Tryon County frontiers; these being at Forts Walrath and Nellis. (146) The presence of a mill near the house of Henry Walrath would suggest a house site on or very near a creek. After carefully reviewing all land deeds dealing with land(s) owned by Henry Walrath(s) it becomes obvious, using patent maps contemporary to the period, that only a lot on the eastern end of Windecker's Patent would qualify as the site of such a mill, and thus as the home of Henry Walrath. The sale of two tracts of land in Lot Three of the Windecker Patent by a Henry Walrath contemporary to the period, (147) leads to a Fort Walrath, Lot Three Theory.

Support for this Fort Walrath, Lot Three Theory, exists in a Tryon County deed, dated May 27, 1773, laying out a new road to run from Fall Hill to the King's Highway to the eastern border of the Canajoharie District: (148)


The Commissioners have altered and laid out the following roads in the District: 1) Public highway beginning in the division line between the Districts of Canajoharie and the Germanflats, near the house of Warner Deychert running thence to the foot of the Fall Hill, then with an alteration northward in a straight line to join the former road where one Peter Hunt formerly lived, thence along to or near the Canajoharie or Indian Church, thence with an alteration southward to where it joins a former Kings Road at the house of Hendrick Walrath, thence to the division line of Joost Lipe and John Abeel, thence to and past the house of John Abeel, (149) where it joins the former Kings Road called the River Road, thence to the division line of Mohawk District and Canajoharie District, except a small alteration between the house of Johannis Smith and the lower part of his farm . . .


A careful review of the 1766 Tax List of the Canajoharie District precisely identifies the area residents living along the above road in the following order, along with the tax owed by each: (150)


. . . Andrew Dussler 1 Marcus Cunterman 8 Hendk. Wallrad junr. 12 Hendk. Ekler 2 Hendk. Ekler junr. 1 Jacob Haber 1 Martin Sparbeck 1 Adolph Wallrad 13 Christian Young 3 Hendk. Mayer 18 Peter Miller 8 Peter Gerlagh 8 Jacob Dieffendorff 18 Hendk. Dieffendorff 2 Thomas Deby 2 Francis Ute 2 Andrew Keller 12 . . .


The location of various people on this list can be easily identified by using Certificates of Quit Rent Remission from the period circa 1786-1792, Quit Rent Receipts, early Patent Maps, and Montgomery County Land Deeds. These documents clearly show the residence of Henry Moyer to have been on Lot Seven of the First Allotment of Van Horne's Patent, (151) Peter Miller on Lot Two of Windecker's Patent, (152) Hendrick Diefendorf on Lots Four and Five of Windecker's Patent, (153) and Andrew Keller on Lot One of the First Allotment of Van Horne's Patent. (154) Of the above mentioned lots; Windecker's Lot Two, Van Horne's First Allotment Lot Seven, and Windecker's Lot Three all share a common border [See "Van Horne's Patent"] .

The location of the Geisenburg Settlement at the intersections of Lot Three Waggoner's Patent and Lot Five Lansings Patent (155) negates any assertions that Fort Plank was built at or near the Geisenburg. The statements of those who reportedly marched from Fort Plank three to four miles west-southwesterly to perform guard duty at the Geisenburg, (156) and the accounts of Abraham Wemple and his troops, (157) clearly contradict any Fort Plank/Geisenburgh Theories.

In 1781, Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett took command of the troops guarding the western frontiers and established his command at Fort Rensselaer on the Mohawk River. While in command there he states he twice visited the home of George Herkimer near the Little Falls in Herkimer County, New York. On both occasions, Willett notes that he passed by Fort Willett, on Lot Six of Windecker's Patent, (158) and Fort Plank; both going to and returning from his host's abode. (159) This scenario is supportive of the Church Lot Theory in the sense it appears that the colonel was traveling upon the Dutchtown Road which traverses the Windecker's Patent from east to west. (160) Thus, it would seem clear that Fort Plank was located above the River Road on an alternate route to Herkimer's at the Little Falls.

The location of Fort Plank on the Dutchtown Road would account for the statement by Robert H. Wendell, who in speaking of the August 2, 1780 raid stated . . . A number of houses were then burning, among them John Abeel's. From thence we proceeded to Fort Plank a short distance further . (161)

This description of Fort Plank's location also coincides with the description of forts and stages on the road from Schenectady to New Fort Schuyler: (162)


. . . Fort Hunter 11, Fort Rensalear 21. Fort Plank 3. & something out of the public way, Little Falls 12 a carrying Place of a Mile. Fort Herkimer 6 Do . . .


In June of 1990 the author, armed with these clues as to the location of Fort Plank, traveled to the Mohawk Valley of New York in hopes of being able to walk upon the site of Fort Plank. Prepared with the knowledge that the Church Lot's north-east corner was located six chains from the mouth of the Kahowegheron Creek on the Mohawk River, (163) the author set out to find this creek and retrace a path up its banks to the Church Lot. Upon his arrival at Old Canajoharie, he found his task complicated by the alterations of the topography of the land from the

ion of the Erie Canal, the West Shore Railroad, the New York State Turnpike, and the resulting re-situating of many roads from their former courses. Unable to find anyone locally who knew the location of the Kahowegheron Creek, the author resorted to wading down the local creeks until he found one whose mouth was located at the southern-most end of a large island in the Mohawk.

On a cool Saturday morning, the author left his vehicle on what is now known as the River Road, and waded down the Kahowegheron Creek. Upon exiting from the waters of the Mohawk, the author marched resolutely westward looking for the site of his prey. While thus engaged, he noted an open field with several older pine trees growing in an open square arrangement similar to that described by Nelson Greene in 1913. Spotting a small white residence south of the trees, the author met with Mr. Raymond Luft, a kindly gentleman of many years residence along the Mohawk. Luft stated he believed he owned the graveyard I sought and pointed out the only remaining gravestone.

It would seem odd that only one stone would remain in a graveyard as large as the records of the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie indicated, however, in a letter addressed to the author by Lora M. (Flint) Bowman, the following was revealed: (164)


There was a big Cemetery behind the church on Sand Hill (1750) -- burned 1780 -- they kept interring there until about 1840.-- I spent several hours in this cem. looking for headstones.-- I found about 12 -- Douglas Ayres -- maybe about 86 years old? -- when he was about 18 years old?-- he saw a farmer take all the stones in a big wagon and dumped them in his barnyard. I had a hard time believing him but I really do now. The people that died in what they called Minden Section were buried there & Fort Plain. We have a very large village cemetery, chartered 1850 but I see a few burials before that -- then they didn't use the old Sand Hill Cem. anymore.


On June 4, 1991, the author returned to the Luft Property and with the express permission of Mr. Luft, (165) went down to the site of the old cemetery to photograph this remaining stone in hopes of proving it belonged to a person known to have been buried in the graveyard of the German Reformed Church at Canajoharie. This stone was found to be that of Robert McFarlan's, and this confirms the identity of this graveyard to be as theorized [see "Robert McFarlan's Grave"]. (166) In 2005, it came to the author's attention that the Church's Cemetery (three acres with a thirteen foot lane leading into it from NYS Route 5-S) has been possessed by the Trustees of the Village of Fort Plain since February 12th, 1838. (167) As of May 12th, 2005, the Real Property Division of the Montgomery County Assessors Office was redesigning its tax records and maps to reflect the Village's responsibility for its care.

Looking directly westward from Mr. McFarlan's grave, one can see a peninsula of land similar to the one spoken of by Mr. Lossing. The site matches the topography demonstrated by Stone in his Life of Brant; the sole difference after 211 years, being the loss of several feet of subsoil from the eastern half of the site.

The site spoken of is now believed to be in the possession of Mr. George W. Collins of New York City, New York. Collins purchased his 22 acre farm from Richard and Ruth Welch in 1976. Mrs. Welch was born Ruth Klock, a daughter of Irvin Klock. Ruth states her father only owned the 22 acres on the north side of Route 5S, the remainder of his farm being on the south-side of the road.

It would seem that an ongoing search for Fort Plank, both documentary and archeological, should now be directed upon the "Expense Lot "A" site, to either prove or disprove the Church Lot Theory. Further research on a site in the southeastern corner of the Otsquago Patent for Fort Plank's sister fort, Fort Rensselaer, should also be undertaken. Until such investigations indicate differently, no other option seems plausible than to stand in defense of the facts.


CONCLUSIONS THUS DRAWN BY THE AUTHOR


1. Fort Plank/Plain was on Expense Lot A of the Rutger Bleecker Patent.


2. That Fort Plank became known as Fort Plain shortly after the August 2, 1780 Raid.


3. Prior to August of 1780, there was Fort Plank and ONLY FORT PLANK. In other words, THERE WAS NO Fort Plain prior to August of 1780.


4. That in the summer of 1779 Fort Plank's large blockhouse, which housed the cannon which surprised Joseph Brant on August 2, 1780, was built.


5. That Fort Rensselaer was built by the troops of Fort Plank in the summer of 1780. Three miles to the south-southeast of Fort Plank on or very near Lot 20 Woodland of the 1742 Division of the Rutger Bleecker Patent, and near the mouth of the Katzeburg Kill which forms the south-easternmost corner of the Rutger Bleecker Patent.


6. After September of 1780, there were only two Continental Fortresses in the Canajoharie District: Fort Plank [by then called Fort Plain] and Fort Rensselaer.


7. On September 17, 1780, Fort Rensselaer was not yet completed and was incapable of housing more than a few troops.


8. That Fort Rensselaer was primarily known in contemporary Revolutionary War documents known as Fort Rensselaer, with two exceptions: 1. Two letters in the George Clinton Papers an officer, in Albany, copying letters addressed from Fort Rensselaer, changed the place-name to Fort Plain. 2. In 1782, upon the removal of the remains of Major Robert McKeen from the "burial ground and re-interment in the works of the new blockhouse at Fort Rensselaer, the fortress' name was changed to Fort McKeen by Lieutenant Colonel Willett, which order was shortly thereafter remanded by Lord Sterling.


9. There are only five men mention Fort Rensselaer by name in the well over 2500 Revolutionary War Pension Applications reviewed. Of these four men, three mention serving within both Fort Plain and Fort Rensselaer, and one states that it was renamed Fort McKeen.


11. That events stated by pensioners, some fifty years after the War, to have occurred at or in Fort Plain prior to August of 1780 occurred at or within Fort Plank unless otherwise proven.


12. That events stated by pensioners, some fifty years after the War, to have occurred at or in Fort Plain after August of 1780 occurred at or within Fort Rensselaer, unless otherwise proven.


13. That there was two and only two forts which shared the name Fort Plain during or after the American Revolution. Fort Plank from August of 1780 until 1832; and, Fort Rensselaer from 1832 till modern times.


BIBLIOGRAPHY


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Ayres, Douglas. Telephone Interview. 18 Jun. 1989.

Barr, John. John Barr's Diary, 1779-1782. ms. New York State Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection

Bleeker, Rutger. "Papers Relating to the Otsquago Patent." Mss. #10816. Rare Books and Manuscripts Department. New York State Library, Albany, New York. 18 items. Copies courtesy of the State Library and David Kendall Martin.

Bowman, Laura May. Letter to the author from Mrs. Laura May Bowman.

Claus, Daniel. The Claus Family Papers. MG19, F1. Volume 25. The National Archives of Canada. Ottowa, Ontario, Canada. Copies courtesy of the Archives.

Draper, Lyman C. The Draper Manuscripts. Microfilm Edition, 1980, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Copies courtesy of the Society.

Fisher, Colonel Frederick. Colonel Frederick Fisher's Letter Book. ms. The Rome Historical Society. Rome, New York. Copies courtesy of the Rome Historical Society.

Fox, Christopher. An undated muster roll of Captain Christopher W. Fox's Company of the Palatine District Regiment of Tryon County Militia which seems to pre-date the Battle of Oriskany (Revolutionary War Rolls, Jacket 121). Note with interest the fact that many of the names found on this roll fail to appear in Revolutionary War Records after the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777.

Frey, S. L. The S. L. Frey Papers [or Samuel Ludlow Frey Papers]. mss & tss. Rare Books and Manuscripts Department. New York State Library. Albany, New York. Collection #SC9829. Copies courtesy of the N. Y. State Library. Gansevoort, Peter and Catharine. "The Gansevoort-Lansing Collection". Peter Gansevoort [Senior's] Papers. mss. Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library, New York, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

Gansevoort, Peter. The Peter Gansevoort Military Papers. tss. New York State Archives. Albany, New York. Manuscript Collection #AO131:D20616. [These papers were transcribed, under authorization of the 1895 State Legislature and recorded in Chapter 393, from the original manuscripts which were destroyed in the New York State Library Fire of 1911]. Copies courtesy of the N. Y. State Archives.

Glen, Henry. The Henry Glen Papers. mss. Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

Glen, Henry. The Henry Glen Papers. mss. New York State Historical Association, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections. Cooperstown, New York. Copies courtesy of the New York State Historical Association.

Glen, Henry. Henry Glen Letterbook. mss. New York State Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections. Albany, New York. Maunuscript #16410. [This volume was extensively damaged in the New York State Library Fire of 1911]. Copies courtesy of the N. Y. State Library.

Gross, The Reverend Mister Johann Daniel. Letter of August 12, 1777. Miscellaneous Tryon County Documents. mss. The New-York Historical Society. New York, New York. Copies courtesy of the New-York Historical Society.

Haldimand, Sir Frederick. The Sir Frederick Haldimand Papers. The Manuscripts Collection of the British Library, Great Russel Street, London, England WC1B 3DG. Copies courtesy of the British Library.

Hand, General Edward. The Edward Hand Papers. Collection #ZZ-12015. mss. Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

Klock, Jacob J. Interrogation of Jacob J. Klock, et al. Mss. #231950. New York Historical Society. New York, New York. Copies courtesy of the New-York Historical Society.

Lane, Daniel. "Journal of Captain Daniel Lane of Buxton, Maine." The Thomas Sewall Papers. Manuscript Collection #499, Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine. Copies courtesy of the Maine Historical Society.

Lansing, Garret. "Certificates of Quit Rent Remission." Mss. Garret Lansing Papers. New York State Library, Albany, New York. Manuscript Collection #KT13324.

Livingston, J. H. Letter of November 23, 1778 to [-] Livingston, posted Albany, New York. Mss #40. New York State Library, Albany, New York.

Montgomery County Land Deed Records. mss. & tss. Montgomery County Clerk's Office, Fonda, New York.

New York State Comptroller. Audited Accounts Book A. New York State Archives. Albany, New York. Copies courtesy of the New York State Archives.

New York State Land Papers, Series I. mss. New York State Archives. Albany, New York. Copies courtesy of the New York State Archives.

The Papers of the Continental Congress. mss. Record Group 15, Microfilm Publication M247. The United States Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D. C.

"Records of the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie." ms. Rare Manuscripts Collection. Utica, New York Public Library. Copies courtesy of the Utica, New York Public Library.

Revolutionary War Manuscripts Collection. "Miscellaneous Numbered Records (The Manuscript File) in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, 1775-1790s". mss. Record Group 93. Microfilm Publication M859. The National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Revolutionary War Pension Application Files. mss. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Record Group 15. Microfilm Publication M804; Reel Numbers: 0009, 0017, 0040, 0068, 0069, 0076, 0093, 0114, 0129, 0131, 0135, 0137, 0145, 0140, 0150, 0161, 0178, 0195, 0198, 0205, 0206, 0207, 0208, 0211, 0212, 0213, 0214, 0215, 0216, 0218, 0219, 0220, 0225, 0221, 0224, 0228, 0229, 0230, 0248, 0265, 0267, 0285, 0286, 0287, 0291, 0319, 0324, 0349, 0350, 0357, 0358, 0370, 0404, 0422, 0432, 0442, 0446, 0447, 0450, 0473, 0493, 0495, 0496, 0497, 0499, 0502, 0524, 0527, 0533, 0541, 0566, 0576, 0584, 0623, 0628, 0630, 0652, 0655, 0660, 0663, 0665, 0673, 0679, 0691, 0702, 0715, 0742, 0778, 0783, 0787, 0788, 0790, 0803, 0805, 0809, 0815, 0820, 0824, 0839, 0852, 0857, 0859, 0864, 0865, 0867, 0876, 0882, 0883, 0890, 0893, 0898, 0907, 0908, 0912, 0914, 0915, 0916, 0917, 0919, 0928, 0934, 0937, 0948, 0961, 0963, 0969, 0974, 0975, 0985, 0986, 0988, 0989, 0991, 0995, 0997, 0998, 0999, 1002, 1012, 1014, 1015, 1020, 1024, 1025, 1027, 1028, 1032, 1037, 1045, 1046, 1048, 1050, 1061, 1063, 1071, 1085, 1098, 1109, 1104, 1111, 1116, 1129, 1150, 1151, 1154, 1182, 1206, 1207, 1209, 1221, 1246, 1247, 1249, 1253, 1262, 1266, 1267, 1268, 1269, 1270, 1271, 1274, 1278, 1280, 1282, 1323, 1329, 1330, 1336, 1339, 1353, 1354, 1364, 1417, 1434, 1447, 1448, 1449, 1457, 1462, 1464, 1474, 1475, 1476, 1477, 1478, 1479, 1480, 1481, 1482, 1497, 1504, 1508, 1509, 1512, 1515, 1524, 1538, 1548, 1551, 1562, 1569, 1574, 1576, 1588, 1593, 1594, 1604, 1606, 1607, 1631, 1646, 1656, 1597, 1646, 1684, 1684, 1687, 1689, 1690, 1696, 1702, 1704, 1719, 1720, 1724, 1727, 1728, 1747, 1749, 1759, 1762, 1765, 1769, 1781, 1784, 1788, 1794, 1795, 1798, 1799, 1805, 1812, 1838, 1839, 1845, 1846, 1848, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1870, 1880, 1883, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1903, 1919, 1920, 1926, 1932, 1937, 1939, 1943, 1974, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2112, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2033, 2034, 2039, 2043, 2048, 2052, 2056, 2057, 2080, 2089, 2093, 2094, 2098, 2099, 2103, 2106, 2107, 2109, 2112, 2114, 2116, 2117, 2131, 2132, 2136, 2141, 2142, 2145, 2147, 2151, 2155, 2156, 2157, 2159, 2168, 2169, 2175, 2177, 2178, 2181, 2279, 2290, 2291, 2193, 2208, 2212, 2213, 2227, 2236, 2241, 2244, 2247, 2251, 2254, 2258, 2260, 2267, 2274, 2279, 2280, 2290, 2291, 2299, 2296, 2301, 2303, 2305, 2306, 2311, 2314, 2315, 2324, 2328, 2333, 2340, 2356, 2357, 2360, 2375, 2377, 2379, 2382, 2391, 2426, 2429, 2434, 2439, 2440, 2441, 2442, 2443, 2444, 2445, 2446, 2447, 2448, 2449, 2450, 2451, 2452, 2453, 2456, 2461, 2464, 2465, 2467, 2468, 2471, 2472, 2484, 2512, 2513, 2531, 2542, 2544, 2551, 2571, 2575, 2464, 2480, 2481, 2483, 2484, 2486, 2496, 2502, 2542, 2597, 2606, 2616, 2624, 2625, 2626, 2627, 2628, 2641, 2642, 2643, 2645, 2646, 2659, 2661, 2664, 2665, 2667, 2668, 2669, 2759, 2760 [451 reels]. The National Archives, Washington, D.C. 2760 Reels.

Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. Microfilm Series M246; Reels 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, and 122. The National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Schrader, Herbert. Letter to the author. 26 Oct. 1989.

Schuyler, Peter. Indian Affair Papers. mss. New York Historical Society, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections. New York, New York. Copies courtesy of the New York Historical Society.

Sewall Papers. The Thomas Sewall Papers. Collection #499. The Maine State Historical Society. Portland, Maine.

Stewart, Colonel Charles. The Colonel Charles Stewart Papers. mss. New York State Historical Association, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections. Cooperstown, New York. Copies courtesy of the New York State Historical Association.

Tallmadge, Second Lieutenant Samuel. Diaries of Samuel Tallmadge, 1780-1782. ms. New York State Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection. Albany, New York. Copies courtesy of the New York New York State Library.

Tallmadge, Second Lieutenant Samuel. Orderly Books of the Fourth New York Regiment, 1778-1780. ms. New York State Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection. Albany, New York. Copies courtesy of the New York New York State Library.

Titus, Captain Jonathan. Captain Jonathan Titus' Orderly Book. mss. New York State Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections. Albany, New York. Copies courtesy of the New York New York State Library.

Tremper, Lawrence. The Journal of Lawrence Tremper, 1782-1784. mss. The Library of Congress, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection. Washington, D. C. Copies courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Tryon County Deeds. mss. Montgomery County Clerk's Office, Fonda, New York.

Van Dyck, J. North. "The Red Brick Mansion." ts. Cherry Valley Museum, Cherry Valley, New York. Copies courtesy of the Cherry Valley Museum.

Van Rensselaer, Jeremiah. "Map of the 1772 Division of the Rutger Bleeker Patent." Map 160 ms. "Map Collection." Albany County, New York Clerk, Albany, New York.

Van Slyke, Captain Jesse. Revolutionary War Rolls. United States National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D. C. Jacket 170.

Vosburgh, Royden Woodward, ed. "Records of the Lutheran St. Paul's Church in the Town of Minden otherwise known as the Geisenberg Church formerly at Hallsville, in the Town of Minden, Montgomery County, New York." ts. New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York, New York, 1914. [The original being housed in the Rare Manuscripts Collection of the New York State Historical Association Library. Cooperstown, New York].

Vosburgh, Royden Woodward, ed. "Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Fort Plain, in the Town of Minden, Montgomery County, New York, formerly known as the Reformed Calvinistic Church of Canajohary." ts. New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York, New York, 1918.

Vrooman, Isaac. "A map of the County of Albany, Tryon, and part of Charlotte made at the request of his Excellency George Washington Esqr. General, and Commander in Chief of all the land and naval forces of [the] thirteen United States of America. Protracted and laid down from actual surveys which are chiefle preformed by me Isaac Vrooman, June 7th Anno 1779." Copies courtesy of the New York Historical Society.

War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records. mss. Microfilm Publication M859. The United States National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Washington, George. Papers of George Washington. mss. The Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. Copies courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Willett, Marinus. Colonel Marinus Willett's Regimental Orders and Letter Book. ms. New York State Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection. Albany, New York. Mss #SC15705. Copies courtesy of the New York State Library.

Willett, Marinus. Colonel Marinus Willett's Letter Book. ms. New York State Library's Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection. Albany, New York. Mss #16670. Copies courtesy of the New York State Library.



BIBLIOGRAPHY TO THE ADDENDUM


PUBLISHED SOURCES

Atlas of Montgomery and Fulton Counties New York From actual Surveys by and under the

direction of B. Nicholas Assisted by H. B. Stranahan W. A. Sherman H Loomer P. A. Cunningham and S. W. Fosdick. New York: J. Jay Stranahan & Beach Nichols. 1868.


Burr, David H. An atlas of the state of New York: containing a map of the state and of the

several counties / projected and drawn . . . under the superintendence and direction of Simeon de Witt. Ithica, New York: Stone and Clark. 1839. 1829.


New Century Atlas of Montgomery and Fulton Counties New York 1905. By the Publishers Corps

of Surveyors and Draughtmen. Philadelphia: Century Map Company. 1905.


Pownall, Thomas. The provinces of New York, and New Jersey; with part of Pensilvania, and the

governments of Trois Rivières, and Montreal: Drawn by Capt. Holland, Surveyor General of the Northern District in America Corrected and Improved from the Original Materials, By Governr Pownall Member of Parliament. 1776.


Spielberg, Stephen, dir. "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", with Harrison Ford, Sean Connery,

and Allison Doody. Paramount Pictures. 1989.


UNPUBLISHED SOURCES


Dusten, Moses. The Orderly Book of Captain Moses Dusten of the Second New Hampshire

Regiment. ms. New York State Library's Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection. Albany, New York. Mss #16670.


The Governor George The Public Papers of George Clinton. Wisconsin State Historical Society.

Madison, Wisconsin.


Malcom, William. Letters of William Malcom to Governor George Clinton. The New York

Historical Society.


Petrie Family Papers. Onedia County Historical Society, Utica, New York.


Revolutionary War Application Files. The United States National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Microfilm Series 804:Reels 0013, 0077, 0078, 0131, 0135, 0141, 0146, 0147, 0148, 0160, 0170, 0171, 0172, 0175, 0176, 0214, 0284, 0440, 0441, 0442, 0443, 0445, 0692, 0694, 0695, 0696, 0703, 0704, 0705, 0786, 0789, 1018, 1019, 1020, 1026, 1028, 1029, 1031, 1033, 1036, 1037, 1038, 1039, 1040, 1041, 1044, 1045, 1050, 1051, 1053, 1054, 1054, 1056, 1057, 1058, 1059, 1060, 1062, 1063, 1064, 1065, 1066, 1125, 1130, 1133, 1137, 1141, 1204, 1205, 1208, 1225, 1363, 1386, 1471, 1473, 1474, 1475, 1479, 1483, 1484, 1485, 1486, 1487, 1488, 1491, 1492, 1493, 1495, 1645, 1646, 1649, 1638, 1639, 1640, 1641, 1642, 1643, 1758, 1869, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1993, 2003, 2014, 2033, 2034, 2073, 2132, 2133, 2137, 2138, 2185, 2186, 2187, 2188, 2189, 2189, 2190, 2324, 2328, 2334, 2338, 2410, 2411, 2412, 2480, 2584, 2659, 2667 [N.B. The film reels listed in this bibliography and the earlier bibliography have been studied only for those pensioners who have been designated in the National Archive's index as having served in the War's New York Theater. Additional M804 Applications have been abstracted, but the entire reel upon which they appear has not, thus their film numbers are not listed].


Scott, William. Brigade Major William Scott, Orderly Book of the New Hampshire Brigade, Mss. #Am 6344, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


The Surveyor General's Maps. The Maps of the Commissioners of Forfeitures in the New York

State Archives in Albany, New York Collection #AO273, Portfolio E.




1. Annals of Tryon County, page 175. Note well: In "A Manuscript Plan to Resupply Fort Schuyler", found within the New-York Historical Society's Collections, a mention of the mill(s) of Philip W. Fox on the "south-side" of the Mohawk River. And, it is noted in the Garret Y. Lansing Papers in the New York State Library (Box 9, Folder 4), that a Philip W. Fox possessed 115 acres in Lots Number 4 of the First and Second Allotments of Van Horne's Patent during the American Revolution. Thus, Campbell may very well been referring to the mill(s) of Philip W. Fox versus the mills of Christopher W. Fox on the north-side of the Mohawk River.

2. William L. Stone, xxi.

3. The Mohawk Valley Democrat, July 13, 1913:8; Thomas Sammons, RWPA #W19000.

4. Benson J. Lossing, 1:262, Footnote 1.

5. Lossing goes on to note in his footnote #2 that . . . An aged resident of Fort Plain, Mr. David Lipe, whose house is near the canal, below the old fortification, went over the ground with me, and I made a survey of the outlines of the fort according to his directions. He aided in pulling down the block-house when it was demolished after the war, and his memory seemed to be very accurate. I am indebted to him for much of the information here recorded concerning Fort Plain.

6. Annals of Tryon County, 1851 Edition: pages, 4-6.

7. The Frontiersman of New York, 1:573.

8. Ibid: 128.

9. There was a Lipe Family Graveyard located in the far northeastern corner of the current Fort Plain Cemetery that on the 1905 Atlas of the Village of Fort Plain was designated the site of the German Reformed Church. The site of "Fort Plain" was also moved to the east of the Cemetery in an attempt to justify the belief that the fortress stood on the lands which they thought belonged to Johannes Lipe during the Revolution. As already revealed, the lands on which this small cemetery rests were owned during the American Revolution by Captain Adam Lipe.

10. Simms. Frontiersman of New York. Volume One: 570.

11. This "old cemetery" is the burial ground of the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie. The source of this knowledge is the August 21, 1851 & October 2, 1851, Minutes of Meetings of the Trustees of the Village of Fort Plain housed in the Fort Plain Village Offices, respectively:


Resolved that Urilus Birge Superintend & have the Old Burying ground lot of the Village of Fort Plain Surveyed & Staked, out, which was conveyed to said Village by Peter Harder on the 12th of February 1838 the Same being that portion of ground connected with the old Fort Plain Church containing about 3 or 4 acres & a right of Way Unto the same having been deeded for burial ground purposes.______


Resolved that Nathan Davis furnish & set stones of Nine feet in length at the angles of the old burial ground on Sand Hill, And that the same be set 2 feet in the ground.

12. The Rufus Grider Collection, New York State Library, Manuscript Collection #VC22932, Box 1, Item #39.

13. Ibid: 221.

14. This farm is now owned by Lynden Failing.

15. The Frontiersman of New York 2:534.

16. The "New Century Atlas of Montgomery and Fulton Counties New York. 1905.

17. Atlas of Montgomery and Fulton Counties New York. 1868.

18. Greene, Nelson. Fort Plain - Nelliston History, 1580 -1947, page 40.

19. "Old Fort Plain: What Is Fact, and What Is Fancy?" Monday, November 17, 1975. The Amsterdam Recorder of Amsterdam, New York. Repeated requests by the author to see the field notes generated by either Mr. Tuttle or Mr. Lenig have been denied by the staff of the Fort Plain Museum. Similar requests to view the infrared photography prints have also been denied.

20. http://iarchives.nysed.gov/PubImageWeb/viewImageData.jsp?id=147154.

21. The artifacts displayed in an accompanying newspaper photograph included; a straight razor, three two-tined cooking forks with their wooden handles nearly intact, a butcher knife with its wooden handle nearly intact and a few fragments of a pottery plate.

22. Lossing's 1848 Concept of Fort Plain Valid Based on Recent Research". Tuesday, November 18, 1975. The Amsterdam Recorder of Amsterdam, New York.

23. Evidence shows Fort Plain Blockhouse Rectangular, Not Octagonal. Wednesday, November 19, 1975. The Amsterdam Recorder of Amsterdam, New York. 24. Votes and Proceedings of the Senate of the State of New-York; At Their Third Session, Held at Kingston, In Ulster County, Commencing, August 24, 1779 (Fish-Kill: Printed by Samuel Loudon, MDCCLXXIX), 87.

25. Wayne Lenig. "Fort Plain, Fort Plank, Fort Rensselaer, and Canajoharie". 17 Nov 2001. Page 26-7.

26. See Montgomery County Deed 13:400: Delia Blank to Joseph House and Jacob Wright.

27. Though it is not known for certain, it appears that Mister House may have been compensated by the State Legislature for the usage of his properties in 1780. In the Papers of Commissary General of Issues Colonel Charles Stewart is a request is an April 19th, 1780 request by Doctor James Gray for reimbursement of 70 Pounds Stirling paid to Joseph House for House's "own contingencies".

28. The Papers of the Continental Congress, Reel 66, Item 53, Page 17.

29. Will of Delia Blank, Montgomery County Wills, 1:283; Montgomery County Land Deeds, 13:400. The interaction between Jost House [Sr.] and Henry Walrath in the Sanders Brother's Account Books, and between Captain Jost House and Henry Walrath in commanding a company of the Canajoharie District Regiment of Militia, appears to suggest Henry Walrath and Jost House were neighbors.

30. Jackson ex dem. Wright and others, against Diefendorf and Zoller. The Supreme Court of Judicature and in the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors, in the State of New York, Volume 3:269.

31. Frederick Young, brother of Johan Adam Young, passed away in the King's Garrison at Niagara in December of 1777. As he died without issue, Frederick's siblings fell heirs to estate. Thus, Elizabeth (Young) House became entitled to at least one-fourth of her father's share of the Frederick Young Estate.

32. Harold Young, dir.

33. This quotation is found within the 14th minute of the film.

34. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer's Map of the 1772 Division of the Rutger Bleeker Patent, found within the Albany County Clerk's Office and matching a map of the said 1772 Division found within the Rutger Bleeker Papers (NYSL MSS #SC10816-5), represents a potential fort site on the western edge of Expense Lot "A" with a small black diamond within three acres which Van Rensselaer had stated was set aside for a public road (Field Book of the 1772 Division of the Rutger Bleeker Patent within the NewYork State Archives). This potential site is located very near the southwest corner of the "Church Lot" and the northeastern corner of Upper Woodland Lot 5 of the Rutger Bleeker Patent

35. Stone's, Life of Joseph Brant, Volume One. Author's note: The depiction of mountains being in the background in Stone's sketch of Fort Plank and copies of the sketch reproduced both Lossing and Simms seem to suggest that the view of the fortress and the church is in a south to north direction. From the church yard of the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie, mountains are only visible in the back ground when looking from south to north and when looking from west to east. The theory of a south to north view is also supported by Jeptha R. Simms' statement that the fortress was located on the next eminence westward of "the Cemetery Hill" ( The Frontiersman of New York, 1:573).

36. Surveyor's Field Book of the 1772 Division of the Otsquago Patent: Field Book Number 16, Subdivision A, formerly in the Office of the Secretary of State, but now in the New York State Archives,

37. This refers to the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie whose surviving records are housed within the Utica, New York Public Library.

38. John Yordan, RWPA #S26982.

39. William Campbell, editor. Dewitt Clinton's Private Canal Journal. Joel Munsell: Albany. 1849. Page 40. This quotation was taken from Mister Lenig's critique of "The Bloodied Mohawk".

40. Benjamin J. Lossing's Pictorial Field Book of the American Revolution, 1:261-3. N.B. Lossing includes in his work a copy of the Fort Plank Sketch found in Stone's 1838, Life of Brant, Volume 2: Appendix A.

41. The author has not been able to find any evidence that this test actually occurred. Thus, this statement is included only to place the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie in a geographical relationship with the fortress.

42. John Jacob Moyer, RWPA #S13960; Johannes Dufendorf, RWPA #W24061; and Nicholas Dunkle, RWPA #S21164.

43. Henry Snook, RWPA #S11435.

44. Pennsylvania Packett of January 7, 1779, page 4; Wintersmith's Map.

45. Interestingly, Isaac Vrooman's "Map of the County of Albany, Tryon, and part of Charlotte made at the request of his Excellency George Washington" in 1779, shows only Fort Plank as being the only Continental Fortress in the Canajoharie District. This raises the question of why, if it existed and it was the headquarters fort, does Fort Rensselaer [or Fort Plain] not appear on the map. One should also note that Vrooman's explanation of his map states that the settlements are shown in exploded view..Finally, it also of interest to note that Vrooman, using his scale one will note that the steeple of the Reformed German Church at Canajoharie is represented to be well over three eights of a mile or 1980 feet tall.

46. Thomas Pownall's 1767 Map (Library of Congress Maps Collection); Carl Wintersmith's Map of Upstate New York.

47. This village was located near modern day Canastota, New York.

48. Vosburgh's Records of the Lutheran St. Paul's Church in the Town of Minden.

49. Henry Glen Letterbook, NYSL.

50. Lane's Journal.

51. The Public Papers of George Clinton, Volume 5:593.

52. John M. Dake, RWPA #S19272.

53. Barber & Howe: 279-80.

54. Montgomery County Deeds, 40:355.

55. Garrett Abeel, NYSL Mss. #13936.

56. Samuel Tallmadge's Orderly Book; Captain Daniel Lane's Journal.

57. Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications in the National Archives.

58. Geradus Clute, RWPA #S23160; Peter Conrad, RWPA #W16543; Peter Walradt, RWPA #S11684; Jesse Stewart, RWPA #S23014; Moses Stewart, RWPA #S11461; and, William Van Slyke, RWPA #W2461.

59. William Berry, RWPA #S10366.

60. William Snook, RWPA #S11435.

61. Henry J. Diefendorf, RWPA #S12772.

62. Jacob J. Failing, RWPA #W21092.

63. Rutger Bleeker Papers Item #5.

64. Haldimand Papers Add Mss. #21759:40 [document #2, the sketch of the works]]; Haldimand Papers Add Mss. #21760:208-9 [document #3].

65. Nicholas Dunkle, RWPA #S21164. The same pensioner also states . . . that in July [of 1779] following he was again Called to Fort Plank by his said Capt, their kept on duty & at building a block house in which to place a Canon and that during this tour of Service he served fourteen days . . .

66. There are several stone houses known to have been in existent prior to 1800, amongst these was the stone house of Nicholas Van Slyke which is described in Montgomery County, New York Deed at this point in time. Of these, one seems to have been associated with the Failing Family. In an indenture between Daniel Wood of the County of Onondago of the first part to James and Archibald Kane of Mohawk Township, Montgomery County, New York of the second part on June 19, 1798, a . . . certain House and Lot ground situate lying and being in the town of Canajohary and County of Montgomery lately in the occupation of Samuel Inglis Junior by Johannis Fetterly, and is comprehended within the bounds of a patent granted to Rutger Bleeker and others, which said piece of ground hereby granted begins at a point from which the South west corner of Nicholas Van Slykes Stone House bears North sixty seven degrees fifty minutes east, the mouth of the ditch between him and Peter Ehe north forty seven degrees fifteen minutes East, the South Edge of Andreas Failings barn South forty five degrees east, and forty feet distant on a north course sixty degrees east from a Hickory tree standing within the bounds of the said piece of Land, and runs thence North forty one degrees fifteen minutes   East West    twelve rods and then at right angles to the last course seven rods to the place of beginning, the said distances to be taken horizontally and the courses as the needle pointed in 1793 excepting and reserving to John Loucks his heirs and assigns forever the liberty and privilege of taking up and carrying away water for drinking and cooking out of and from a spring in the said piece of ground nearest the road . . . See also Montgomery County Deeds 6:284. 67. Henry Murphy, RWPA #W18543. It should be noted that Captains Coapman and Diefendorf had overseen the construction of Fort Plank in the spring of 1778 (Frederick Bronner, RWPA #W477; Christopher Eckler, RWPA #R3239; Peter Eckler, RWPA #R3217; and Jacob Garlock, RWPA #S13119).

68. Tallmadge Orderly Book.

69. Henry Murphy, RWPA #W18543; and George Ransier, RWPA #S28849.

70. This post appears to have been a picket fort as evidenced by the following:


Fort Renselear 5th Septr 81

Garrison Orders

Captain Livingston Captain Whelp and Lieutenant Bloodgood of the York levies and Capt Lieut Waldron of the Artillery are to consider them selves in arrest . . . they are to   be confine    Confine themselves to Quarters within the Picquets of the fort . . . (NYSL, Mss #SC15705).

71. The Frontiersman of New York, 2:455.

72. Samuel Ludlow Frey Papers, 2:111.

73. Asa Ripley, RWPA #W22077/BLWt #27654-160-55.

74. Immanuel Deake, RWPA #S16105. N. B. Philip Austin, RWPA #S16035, states that he was stationed within Fort. And, Budd Stuart, RWPA #W1662, states concerning the Battle of Turlough and the death of Captain Robert McKean that . . . Deponent assisted Corporal Scott & two others to carry Captain McKean from the field of Battle and was afterwards present at his burial at Fort Rensselaer . . .

75. Edward Evans, RWPA #S3487.

76. Brigade Major William Scott, Orderly Book of the New Hampshire Brigade, Mss. #Am 6344, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

77. Colonel Peter Gansevoort's Private Correspondence in the New York Public Library.

78. The Public Papers of George Clinton.

79. Ibid.

80. Sir Frederick Haldimand Papers.

81. From the above it would seem that any bill submitted to the State of New York for damages incurred to property used by the Army of the United States would be dated Fort Rensselaer.

82. Lieutenant Abraham D. Quackenboss, RWPA #W16688.

83. Fort Plain-Nelliston History: 1850-1947, page 2.

84. Douglas Ayres, Telephone Interview with the author on May 20, 1989.

85. Albany County, New York Clerk's Office, New Map Number 160, Old Map Number 58, Benjamin Wright's 1803 Survey of the Mohawk River.

86. The Public Papers of George Clinton, 6:169.

87. The Frontiersman of New York, 2:455. The above mentioned event is quite understandable, if one assumes that Colonel Willett was indeed aware of the location of Fort Rensselaer in relation to the premises he was ordering to be seized and used for government purposes. If not, one must question the motivation of the writer in inscribing Lieutenant Colonel Willett's express orders with the name of another fort. One must also assume that Simms, who had an established record of changing the names of places and events to substantiate his version of the facts, did not change Fort Rensselaer to Fort Plain when transcribing this document.

88. The above mentioned event is understandable, if one assumes that Colonel Willett was indeed aware of the location of Fort Rensselaer in relationship to the premises he was ordering to be seized for government usage. If not, one must question the motivation of the writer in inscribing Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett's express orders with the name of another fortress. One must also assume that Simms, who has a well pattern of changing the names of places and the dates of events to substantiate his own personal opinion of the facts, did not change Fort Rensselaer to Fort Plain when transcribing this document.

89. Montgomery County Deeds, 3:162; Montgomery County Deeds, 5:520.

90. Montgomery County Deeds, 3:162.

91. Tryon County Deeds, 23.

92. Montgomery County Deeds, 46:320.

93. New York City Surrogates Wills 33:420

94. Samuel Ludlow Frey Papers, Box 5 Folder 94.

95. Rutger Bleeker Papers, Item 5.

96. Rutger Bleeker Papers, Item 13.

97. Montgomery County Deeds, 6:1.

98. Rutger Bleeker Papers, Item 14.

99. Ibid.

100. Ibid; Albany County Mortgages, 2:336.

101. New York City Surrogates Wills 33:420

102. Henry Glen Papers, NYSHA.

103. Montgomery County Deeds, 3:162.

104. Wayne Lenig. "Fort Plain, Fort Plank, Fort Rensselaer, and Canajoharie". 17 Nov 2001. Page 27.

105. Ditto, page 28. He sites as his reference: "Rufus Grider, Historical Scrapbooks, microfilm, Manuscripts and Special Collections, New York State Library."

106. George Waggoner, RWPA #S23989.

107. John Yordan, RWPA #S26982.

108. "Plan for the Relief and Provisioning of Fort Schuyler [1780]", NYHS.

109. Barber & Howe, Historical Collections of New York, pp. 195, 274, 279, 509.

110. Volume Two, page 141.

111. Rutger Bleeker Papers.

112. Henry Glen Papers, NYSHA. At first glance this would suggest Fort Rensselaer was located as far north and westward as Lot 6 of the Harrison Patent; however a deed dated April 29, 1802 states that at least a portion of Lot 3 of Harrison's Patent belonged to Colonel Peter Waggoner (Montgomery County Deeds (Montgomery County Deeds 8:364). Apparently, Peter allowed his son George to occupy the land during the American Revolution (Certificates of Quit Rent Remissions, Mss #A1211, Box 7816(D)). Burr's Atlas of New York also clearly suggests that Lot 3 was, in its entirety, located south of the mouth of the Otsquago Creek. 113. Colonel Peter Waggoner resided upon Lots 5 & 6 of the Harrison Patent (Certificates of Quit Rent Remissions, NYSL Mss #7816(D); however, Montgomery County Deeds 8:364, specifically shows a tract of 150 acres in Lot 3 of the Harrison Patent to have been owned by Peter Waggoner and occupied by his son George Waggoner during the war (Certificates of Quit Rent Remissions, NYSL Mss #7816(D).

114. Haldimand Papers, Add Mss #21760:318.

115. Haldimand Papers, Add Mss #21767:129.

116. In writing about the August 2nd, 1780, attack on Fort Plank, WL adds his own interpretation of the place name: Cleysburgh, Kleysbergh, or Klaisbergh, by employing the "high Dutch" [sic: German] word "Clawburgh" to make the case that this place was also known as "Clay Hill". However, if one consults a German Dictionary they will find that there is a distinct difference between the words berg and burg. The Berg spelling refers to a fortress or castle while the word Burg other refers to a mountain; a significant difference in meaning depending on the spaelling. Could the name Kleysburgh instead refer to Kley's Castle or settlement?! We will probably never know.

117. Ensign Derick Van Vechten, RWPA #S23047.

118. William Feeter, RWPA #S13013.

119. Daybold Moyer, RWPA #W15789.

120. Draper Papers, 20F:12.

121. Montgomery County, NY Deed #5:360.

122. Albany County Mortgage, 2:336; Montgomery County Wills, 1:311; Montgomery County Deeds, 15:101 & 15:103; The Public Papers of George Clinton, 6:694, 6:698, 6:699.

123. Henry E. Huntington Library, Mss Map #15440.

124. Public Archives of Canada Record Group Ten: Volume One: Page 349).

125. Public Archives of Canada Record Group Ten: Volume One: Page 250a)

126. The Commissioners of Forfeitures Maps from the New York State Library, Albany, New York.

127. Letter signed by Alexander Thompson, and addressed to his brother on February 24, 1783, housed in Washington's Headquarters, Newburgh, New York. Transcript taken from the S. L. Frey Papers in the New York State Library.

128. Willett Letterbook, NYSL Mss #SC15705. A marquee: is a large tent often used by senior officers (Webster's Dictionary, et al).

129. Fort Plank is mentioned five times, between November 14, 1778 and August 1, 1782: Fort Plain, once, on December 19, 1784; and Fort Rensselaer nine times, between November 2, 1781 and 1785. All of these references are located in the Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. Interestingly, Fort Plank is mentioned on the same date, August 1, 1782 thus proving they were not one and the same.

130. Haldimand Papers, Add Mss #21787:184.

131. The Public Papers of George Clinton, 6:692.

132. The Public Papers of George Clinton, 7:327.

133. Willett Letterbook, NYSL Mss #SC15705.

134. One must note that after the Battle of Klock's and Failing's Field on October 19, 1780 the name of Robert Van Rensselaer was greatly loathed by the inhabitants of the Mohawk Valley (Simms) and is still so even today [2000]. Thus, it hardly seems likely that many persons, if any, would voluntarily conform to calling Fort Plain, or the Village, Fort Rensselaer in honor of a man so despised.

135. John Barr's Journal.

136. During the American Revolution the Reverend's brother, Lawrence Gross, resided upon 100 acres & 3 roods of land in Lot 14 of the 1739 Division of the Bleeker Patent and on 48 acres in Lot 15 of the [1739] Division of the Bleeker Patent (Garret Y. Lansing Papers, Box 8:10).

137. Conrad Edick, RWPA #W2084; John Hermance, RWPA #S13376 ;and, Eliphalet Kellogg, RWPA #S2692.

138. Orderly Book of Captain Moses Dusten of the Second New Hampshire Regiment, NYSL Mss #11391.

139. Lawrence Tremper's Journal in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

140. For an overview of the locations of the various lots here mentioned, see "Bleeker Patent Expense Lots A & B" on the "Mohawk Valley Maps and Sketches" page of www.fort-plank.com.

141. Haldimand Papers, Add Mss #21767:109.

142. Nicholas Countryman, RWPA #R2367; Johannes Duesler, RWPA #W16244; Cornelius Van Camp, RWPA #W19569; the Personal Papers of Peter Gansevoort, NYPL.

143. Montgomery County Deeds, 8:470.

144. Haldimand Papers, Add Mss #21767:109.

145. Henry Glen Papers, NYSHA. Lansen's Mills was located upon six acres of land adjoining the Otsquago Creek in the Conrad Counderman Patent. A January 15,1772 mortgage notes that this mill was owned by Gerret A. Lansingh, Johannes Conterman, and Abraham Oothout, each holding a one-third share in the property (Montgomery County, Mortgages Book A: 1).

146. The Public Papers of George Clinton, 6:789-90.

147. Montgomery County Deeds, 8:470; Montgomery County Deeds, 19:289; and Montgomery County Mortgage, 3:12-7

148. Tryon County Deeds: 53.

149. Homestead Lot One of the 1730 Bleeker Patent.

150. Philip Schuyler Papers.

151. 1764 Van Horne Patent Map, & Garret Y. Lansing Papers Box 9:4.

152. Tryon County Deeds: 23.

153. Montgomery Deeds, 16:411.

154. 1764 Van Horne Patent Map.

155. Vosburg's Church Records; The Frontiersmen of New York, 2:362.

156. Jacob Garlock, RWPA #S13119; Cornelius Van Camp, RWPA #W19569; Peter Eckler, RWPA #R3239; Peter Young, RWPA #S11922; and Robert H. Wendell, RWPA #R11321.

157. The Public Papers of George Clinton, 6:77; John Etting, RWPA #W19231; and Robert H. Wendell, RWPA #R11321.

158. Countryman Genealogy, 115.

159. Willett's Letterbook, NYSL Mss #SC15705.

160. Tryon County Deeds: 53.

161. Robert H. Wendell, RWPA #R11321.

162. [Robert Van Rensselaer], Manuscript plan to resupply Fort Schuyler.

163. Assuming the darkened diamond on the Bleeker Patent Map Number 4 designates a fort site.

164. On November 4, 1991 the author received a letter from Mrs. Lora M. Bowman of Franksville, Wisconsin, in which she stated she was born and raised in the Mohawk Valley. In late June of 2005, David Manclow, Minden Township, Montgomery County, New York Historian, informed the author that prior to his Douglas Ayres, had informed him that it was the "Lipe Family" that had removed the Sand Hill Gravestones.

165. In one of his many visits with the author, Mr. Luft stated the gravestones were removed by Mr. Irvin Klock and transported to his dairy farm across Route 5S to fill in a small ravine. To date no attempt has been made to excavate any of the stones from the barnyard.

166. Beer's History of Montgomery And Fulton Counties, N.Y., demonstrates that this is indeed the grave of Robert McFarlan, assuming that the stone was not molested prior to 1878, for on page 131, it is stated: "On a marble slab in the old graveyard attached to the Sand Hill may yet still be seenalthough it is half downthe following inscription: "In memory of Robert McFarlan, Esq., who departed this life July 14, 1813, in the 49th year of his life."

167. Montgomery County Deed 42:515.



Copyrighted 08 September 2010

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