Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 415
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approach of the enemy the women showed themselves dressed in men’s clothes, and the Indians
thereupon kept at a respectful distance. The first church (Ref. Prot. D.) was organized at Fort
Plain, long before the war. The census reports 9 churches in town.1

MOHAWK.—was formed from Johnstown, April 4, 1837.2 It lies upon the sr. bank of Mo¬
hawk River and near the center of the
n. border of the co. The surface is uneven, and gradually
rises from tbe river to the n. line, where it attains an elevation of about 400 ft. above the valley.
Its principal streams are Cayadutta and Da-de-nos-ca-ra3 Creeks. The soil is generally a good
quality of gravelly loam. Fonda,4 (p. v.,) pleasantly situated upon the Mohawk, is the co. seat
Besides the co. buildings, it contains 2 churches, a bank, printing offices, and several manufactories
Pop. 687. Tribes Hill, (p.v.,) on. the border of Amsterdam, contains 327 inhabitants. The
site of the present village of Fonda was called “
Cauglmawaga5 by the Indians, and was one of the
favorite resorts of the Mohawks. It was the scene of some of the earliest labors of the French
Jesuits among the Five Nations, two of whom lost their lives here in 1646. The names of the first
actual white settlers are not known. Nicholas Hansen6 settled at Tribes Hill before 1725, and
others, by the names of Fonda, Yanderworker, Doxtader, and Fisher, at an early day.7 Among the
other residents of the town before the Revolution were Col. John Butler and his son Walter N.,
who afterward attained an infamous notoriety for their inhuman atrocities and for the vindictive
hate which they seemed to cherish against their old whig neighbors.8 The principal weight of the
incursion of Sir John in May, 1780, fell upon the two settlements of Tribes Hill and Caughnawaga.9
In the autumn of the same year the second incursion of Sir John swept over the town, destroying
the greater part of the property that escaped the first. A stone church (Ref. Prot. D.) erected in
1763 is still standing.10 Rev. Thos. Romeyn was the first pastor. In 1795 he was succeeded by
Rev. Abraham Yan Horne.11 The census reports 3 churches in town; Ref. Prot. D., True D., M. E.

to put out the fire that had been applied to the roof, and while
standing on the fence he was shot, and fell across the fence dead.
The mother was knocked down with the breech of a gun and
left for dead. The Col. was also knocked down by a tomahawk,
dragged down stairs hy his hair, and thrown upon the ground,
when an Indian jumped upon his hack, drew a knife across his
throat, as was supposed, cutting it from ear to ear, then, cutting
round the scalp, seized'it by his teeth and tore it front his head,
and finally gave him a blow in the shoulder with his hatchot
and fled. The Col. had not lost his senses through all this
mangling, and his throat, being protected by a leather belt worn
inside of his cravat, was only slightly wounded. As soon as the
Indians disappeared, he arose, went up stairs and brought down
his mother, placed her in a chair and leaned her up against the
fence; returned, and brought down the body of hig brother
John and laid it on the grass; then, becoming exhausted from
loss of blood and the effect of the scalping, he lay down upon an
old rug that lay out of doors,—as he supposed, to die. The old
negro and girls soon returned, and found the house burned
down and the dead and wounded as described. By signs the
Col. made known to the negro that he wanted water, who imme¬
diately brought it from the creek near by and gave it to him to
drink, and also bathed his head, which restored his speech. A
tory named Clement passing hy, the negro asked what he should
do: the reply, given in German, was, “Let the d—d rebel die.”
According to the directions of the Col., the negro caught the
colts, which had never been broken, harnessed them to the
wagon, and took him to the house of Putnam, at Tribes Hill.
From there he, together with his mother, sisters, and the bodies
of his brothers, was conveyed across the river to Wemples, and
thence in a canoe to Schenectady, where they arrived about sun¬
down, and he had his wounds dressed for the first time. After
five years’ suffering, he nearly recovered from the effects of his
wounds. He built a new house on the site of the old one, and
lived 29 years after he was wounded,—for several years holding
the office of First Judge of the co. His mother also recovered
from her wounds, and lived with him. After the war the In¬
dian who scalped him returned to the settlements, and stopped
at a tavern kept hy a tory at Tribes Hill. The wife of the land¬
lord, who was a whig, sent word immediately to the house of
Col. Fisher that the Indian was there and would soon call at
his house. The family, knowing that the Col. had sworn re¬
venge, and wishing to prevent' any more bloodshed, kept the
news from him. As they were all in the front room, about the
time the Indian was expected they overset a pot of lye upon tho
hearth, and persuaded the Col. to go into the hack rocm and lie
down until they cleaned it up. While the Col. was gone, the
Indian came to the door, where he was met by the old lady, who
addressed him in the Indian tongue, told him her son’s inten¬
tions, and pointed to a gun which was always kept loaded in
readiness for him. The Indian listened, gave a grunt, and ran
away with all speed.

1° In 1845 it was fitted up as an academy; hut the school was
soon after discontinued.

41 He died in 1840, at an advanced age. During his ministry
he married 1500 couples.—
Simms’s Schoharie.


3 Evan. Luth., 3 M. E, Ref. Prot. D., 2 Univ.


Care should be taken not to confound this town with one of
the same name s. of the river, abolished in 1793. See Note 1 to


s Signifying “ trees having excrescences.”


Named from Bouw Fonda, who removed from Schenectady
and settled here in 1751. At the time of the Revolution he was
living on the flats, between the present turnpike and the river,
a few rods e. of the road leading to the bridge, at which place he
was murdered by the Indians under Sir John, May 22,1780. At
the time of his death he was 84 years old. In former years he
had greatly befriended the Johnson family; but the ruthless
savages led by Sir John spared neither friend nor foe. His three
sons, John, Jellis, and Adam, were stanch whigs, residing in


the neighborhood. Indian name, Ga-na-wa-da, “ on the rapids.”


Meaning “ stone in the water,” or “ at the rapids.”


6 Patents of 1000 acres each, on the Mohawk, were granted to
Nicholas Hansen and his brother Hendrik July 12,1713.

1 The first birth n. of the river, of which there is any record,

was that of Ilenry Hausen. Collins taught a school in

1774. Jellis (Giles) Fonda is said to have been the first merchant
w. of Schenectady. He carried on an extensive trade with the
native tribes, and with the whites at Forts Schuyler and Stan-
wix and the forts at Oswego, Niagara, and Schlosser. His sales
consisted chiefly of blankets, trinkets, ammunition, and rum,
and his purchases of peltries, ginseng, and potash. At one time
before the Revolution his ledger showed an indebtedness of over
$10,000 in the Indian country. John Chaley -was an early settler
at Tribes Hill. He was in the war, and found his own brother
arrayed against him.


Alexander White, Colonial Sheriff of Tryon co., resided on
the present site of the courthouse. He was a zealous tory, and
was obliged to flee to Canada. He was succeeded by John Frey,
appointed by the Provincial Congress.


The detachment against Tribes Hill was led hy Henry and
Wm. Bowen, who had lived in the vicinity. Passing the tory


settlement of Albany Bush (in Johnstown) without molesta¬
tion, they proceeded to the home of Gerret Putnam, a stanch
whig at Tribes Hill, and there by mistake murdered two tories,
who had hired the place a short time before. From this place
they went up the river, plundering the houses and murdering
their old friends and neighbors. Every building was burned
except the church and parsonage, and several slaves and white
male prisoners were carried to Canada. The women were not
particularly molested on this occasion. At the house of Col.
Fred. Fisher they were warmly received by the Col.’s family,
consisting of himself, his mother, and his two brothers John
and Harmon. The Col.’s wife and children had been sent to


Schenectady for safety; and his two sisters and an old negro, on
the first alarm, fled to the woods and escaped. The Indians
made a desperate attack upon the house, and a constant firing
was kept up by the inmates until their ammunition was ex¬
hausted. They then all retreated to the chamber except John,
who stood in the stairway and defended it with a hatchet until
he had killed 7 Indians. He then retreated above, and, slipping
upon some peas which lay upon the floor, he fell, and was dis¬
patched with a tomahawk. Harmon jumped out of the window


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