Formation of Albany County

THE BORDER WARFARE

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THE BORDER WARFARE OF NEW YORK
DURING THE REVOLUTION
OR THE ANNALS OF TRYON COUNTY

by WILLIAM W. CAMPBELL

"The whole confederacy, except a little more than half of the Oneidas, took up arms against us. They hung like the scythe of death upon the rear of our settlements, and their deeds are inscribed with the scalping-knife and the tomahawk, in characters of blood, on the fields of Wyoming and Cherry Valley, and on the banks of the Mohawk."

DE WITT CLINTON.

Published in 1849 at New York by BAKER & SCRIBNER, 145 Nassau Street, and 36 Park Row. ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849, by BAKER & SCRIBNER in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York. EDWARD O. JENKINS, PRINTER, 114 Nassau St., New York.

To HON. WILLIAM KENT.

MY DEAR SIR: Eighteen years ago the following "Annals of Tryon County" were dedicated to your illustrious father. He, who was regarded by you with such deep filial affection, and who was the object of veneration to his friends, has recently, after a long sojourn upon the earth, been gathered to his fathers in peace. It is source of unaffected gratification to me, that I was permitted, when a young man, to form his acquaintance, and from that period down to the close of his life, continued to share somewhat of his notice and his friendship. 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 or 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 manuscripts of the Committee of Safety on the borders, from the correspondence of the principal actors, and from the oral statements of those who survived to my day. While several large volumes have since been written, covering the same ground, it is believed that the Annals, as originally drawn and published by me, contained all the principal events which occurred upon the frontier of New York during the Revolution, 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 intention 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. Such is the "Memoir of General James Clinton," read before the New York Historical Society in 1837; also, the article on the "Direct agency of the British Government in the employment of the Indians in the Revolutionary war," read before the same Society in 1845, and the "Centennial Address," delivered at my native town of Cherry Valley, in 1840.

The novelist and the poet have embellished and adorned the annals of our brave and patriotic borderers. My ambition was to rescue from oblivion, materials for the future historian of the Empire State. Like the wandering Arab, who, as he passes, lays a stone upon his father’s grave, to mark the place of his sepulture, I bring my contribution, my rough block, in the hope that it may be hewn into shape and polished by others, and form a part of that historic column, upon which our children and their descendants may read the record of the struggles and the patriotism of those ancestors, to whom we and they are and will be indebted for our liberty and our Republic.

I am, respectfully, your friend,
WILLIAM W. CAMPBELL.
 
NEW YORK, January 1st, 1849.

TO THE
HON. JAMES KENT, LL.D.
LATE CHIEF JUSTICE AND CHANCELLOR OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
AND PRESIDENT OF THE NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY,

THE FOLLOWING PAGES ARE RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED<>

"Historia, testis temporum et nuntia veritatis, præclari facinoris famum, posteritatis memoria tradet."

That the evening of your life may be as serene and happy as its meridian
had been useful and distinguished, is the sincere wish of

THE AUTHOR
NEW YORK, 1831

Transcribed from the original text and html prepared by Bill Carr. Please provide him with any feedback you may have concerning errors in the transcription or any supplementary information concerning the contents. wcarr1@nycap.rr.com

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this page last edited 10 Sep 2018