The early history of this co. is full of incident and interest. At the time of the first advent
of the whites it was the principal seat of the Mohawks, one of the most powerful tribes of the Five
Nations. The policy adopted by the early Dutch settlers of the colony, and continued by their
English successors, strongly attached a majority of these savages to their interests; and the unpro¬
voked attack of Champlain, in 1609, made- them hate the French in Canada with intense bitterness.
In the wars that ensued, the Five Nations proved faithful allies to the English, and on many occa¬
sions shielded them from hostile attacks. In 1665-66 a French expedition, consisting of 600 men,
under De Courcelles and De Tracy, was sent against the Indians, and proceeded as far as Schenec¬
tady; but, after much suffering and the loss of many men, the army returned to Canada without
affecting any thing. Within the next few years several French expeditions were sent against the
western tribes of the Five Nations, and in return the Indians made a descent upon Montreal in
1689, laid waste whole plantations, and destroyed many lives.1 In retaliation, Count Frontenac
sent several expeditions against the Indians and English, one of which destroyed Schenectady in
1690.2 In the winter of 1692-93 the French again invaded the Mohawk country, surprised and
destroyed two of their three castles,® and took about 300 prisoners. In the engagement at the
third castle they lost 30 of their number; and in their retreat they were pursued by Maj. Peter
Schuyler at the head of 200 regulars and militia, who succeeded in killing 33 and wounding 20
of their number and in rescuing 50 prisoners. Favored by the severe cold, the remainder escaped
and fled to Canada through the great northern wilderness. Their sufferings on this journey were
intense. As early as 1642-43, a French Jesuit visited the Mohawk settlements; and between that
date and 1678,10 missionaries of this order labored to bring over the Indians of this region to the
French interests and the Catholic religion. Though attended with great hardships, and in one or
two instances with death, these labors were in some measure successful, and in 1671 a large
number of Indians removed from Caughnawaga to Canada.4
A military post, known as Fort Hunter, was established near the mouth of Schoharie Creek in
1711. About the same time a large number of German Palatinates, sent over by Queen Anne,
settled upon the Hudson, and shortly after removed to Schoharie and the Mohawk Yalley and set¬
tled upon lands given them by Government. At about the same period a considerable number of
Holland Dutch, from Schenectady and vicinity, found their way into the co. and extended their
improvements up the valley. In 1730 the first mill n. of the Mohawk was built on the site of
“Cranes” Village by two or three brothers named Groat; and this for a time served the settle¬
ments at German Flats, 50 mi. beyond.1
The land grants in this co. were made in comparatively small tracts. The first were issued as
early as 1703. On the 19th of Oct. 1723, a patent of 12,700 acres, called “ Stone Arabia,” n. of the
The Montgomery Union was published at Canajoharie by W. S.
Hawley, 1850-53. Four numbers of another paper were
published at the same place in 1854 by S. N. S. Gant.
The Mohavik Advertiser, published at Amsterdam by Darius
Wells, was changed to
The Intelligencer and Mohawk Advertiser in 1834. In 1835 it
was published by John J. Davis, L. H. Nicholds, editor.
In 1836 it was published by S. B. Marsh, and, after
several changes, it was changed in 1854 to
The Amsterdam Recorder, which is nowissuedby H.
Hayward, editor and publisher.
The Mohawk Gazette was published at Amsterdam by Josiah A.
Nooman in 1833-34.
The Fonda Herald was issued by J. Reynolds, Jr., in 1837.
The Fonda Sentinel, begun in 1845; changed in 1859 to
Tlie Montgomery Democrat, I. M. Gregory, pub’r.
The American Star, commenced at Canajoharie April 5, 1855, by
Wm. S. Hawley, was removed to Fonda May 17, 1855.
In 1857 it was changed to
The Mohawk Valley^ American, and published by C. B. Freeman.
In 1858 this title was changed to
The American Star, now published by Wm. S. Hawley as
The Montgomery Co. Star.
The Montgomery Whig was begun at Fultonville in 1839 by E.
J. Mills. It passed into the hands of B. H. Pink-
ham, and in 1855 its name was changed to
The Montgomery Republican, and is now pub¬
lished by T. B. Horton.
We are indebted to Prof. O. W. Morris, of New York,
and to the files of The Phoenix, for the above list. Many
changes of ownership are not stated.
1 Colden’s Five nations ; Smith’s Hist. iV. Y.
2 See p. 598.
8 The “ Lower Castle” was situated at the mouth of Schoharie
Creek, the “ Middle Castle” at the mouth of the Otsquaga, and
the “Upper Castle” at the mouth of theNow-a-da-ga or Indian
Castle Creek, in Danube, Herkimer co.
4 An Indian village named Caughnawaga, 9 mi. above Montreal,
is the result of this emigration. »Simms’s “Hist. Schoharie.”
Gant, who was succeeded by John Calhoun & ——
Platt. In 1830 it was published as
The Fort Plain Sentinel.
The Fort Plain Gazette was begun in 1833 by H. L. Gros.
The Fort Plain Republican was begun' in 1835 by E. W. Gill.
It was succeeded by
The Tocsin in 1836, H. Link, publisher.
The Fort Plain Journal was commenced in 1838 by W. L. Pish.
It changed owners several times, and was finally
The Lutheran Herald.
The Students Gleaner, by students of the Port Plain High
School, was issued from The Journal office.
The Montgomery Phcmix -was begun at Fort Plain Feb. 3,1841,
by L. S. Backus, publisher, and D. F. Young, editor.
In Mar. 1854 it was changed to
The Mohawk Valley Register, under which name
it is now published by Webster & Matthewson.
The Mohawk Fanner was published at Caughnawaga at an early
The Canajoharie Telegraph was published by Henry Hoogh-
kirk in 1825-26.
The Canajoharie. Sentinel was published in 1827; Samuel Cald¬
The Canajoharie Republican was published in 1827-28; Henry
Bloomer, editor, and afterward John McVean & D. F.
The Montgomery Argus was published by J. McVean in 1831-32,
and continued by'S. N. S. Gant till 1836.
The Canajoharie Investigator was published from 1833 to ’36 by
Andrew H. Calhoun.
The Radii was begun in 1837 by Levi S. Backus, a deaf mute;
in Nov. 1840, it was burned out, and removed to Fort
Plain; in 1854 it was removed to Madison co., but has
since returned to Canajoharie. For several years the State
made appropriations for sending this paper to deaf mutes
throughout the State.
The Mohawk VaUey Gazette was published at Canajoharie by W.
H. Kiggs from 1847 to ’49.