1775

(Updated 9 / 10 / 2003)


January
The Middlesex County, New Jersey, Committee of Observations counsels all patriots to live frugally and avoid any materials printed by New York City Loyalist printer James Rivington. ** The HMS Kingfisher ties up in New York City's Turtle Bay. Admiral Graves advises captains to stay moored away from piers, to discourage the desertion of crews. ** New York State's Assembly rejects a proposal to consider Congressional proceedings. The vote is 11 to 10.

February
Current expenditures for New York City's water system reach £2,400.

Feb 2
A subcommittee of the Congressional Association in New York City prevents the unloading of cargo from Glasgow, aboard the ship James.

Feb 10
A metal cylinder is cast by the New York Air Furnace company to serve as the boiler for New York City's planned water system.

March
New York's Assembly forwards a Memorial to the House of Lords, a Petition to King George and a Remonstrance to the House of Commons.

Mar 2
John Watkins is granted a patent for 2,000 acres in Washington County.

Mar17
Guy Johnson writes to Lord Dartmouth, describing the situation in the Mohawk Valley.

Mar 29
Guy and Sir John Johnson and their Tory followers attempt to break up a meeting of rebels at a Caughnawaga tavern, causing a brawl with a number of injuries. Threatened by their neighbors over the next several days the Johnsons form a corps of 150 Highlanders to patrol their grounds, giving orders to shoot to kill at any trespassers.

April
Benedict Arnold informs the Committee of Safety at Cambridge that Fort Ticonderoga is in no condition to withstand an assault.

Apr 14
The English dispatch boat Nautilus arrives in Boston from Marblehead, Massachusetts. General Thomas Gage, Royal governor of Massachusetts, receives instructions from Lord Dartmouth, British Secretary of Colonial Affairs and Board of Trade, via Captain Oliver De Lancey, acting governor of New York, to use any necessary force to enforce Parliamentary Acts.

May
The Jackie of Glasgow leaves Stranraer, Scotland, with 81 passengers aboard, bound for New York colony. ** The Reverend Myles Cooper, president of New York City's Kings college and a Tory pamphleteer, is forced to flee his home when confronted with a mob. ** Congress resolves to ban exports to the port of Boston and the British fisheries, excepting St. John's Parish in Georgia. It also decides to abandon Crown Point and Fort Ticonderoga, removing all stores to the southern end of Lake George. ** Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold write to Congress from Crown Point, advocating the retention of the forts at Crown Point and Ticonderoga.

May 9
Mohawk chief Joseph Brant sends a messenger to the Stockbridge Indians of western Massachusetts, asking for their aid against the Americans.

May 10
Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold capture Fort Ticonderoga. ** Stockbridge chief Jehoiakim Mothskin and Oneida chief Hanyerry receive Brant's message. Disliking Brant and Johnson the two men arrange to have the message fall into the hands of Colonel John Patterson and the Oneida chief Ahnyero (Thomas Spender), knowing the message will reach the Americans.

May 12
Seth Warren's troops seize Crown Point on Lake Champlain from the British. They confiscate a schooner from loyalist Major Philip Skeene.

May 23
A provincial congress meets in New York City to oppose the Tory party in the colony.

May 24
Gage sends word to Sir Guy Johnson that he and his family should slip out of the Mohawk Valley.

May 25
Guy Johnson calls an Indian congress at Guy Park. Mohawk Indians under Steyawa, or Little Abraham (all of the Iroquois had been invited) meet with representatives from Albany and Tryon counties. Joseph Brant acts as interpreter. Also present are Tories Colonel John Butler and his son Walter N. Butler. The delegates deny rumors that Johnson is to be arrested. The Indians complain of the cutting off of their ammunition allotment. Nothing is resolved.

May 31
Guy Johnson abandons his home, sets out for Oswego.

June
The Favourite registers a voyage to the colonies at Whitehaven, England.

Jun 3
Chrstopher P. Yates convenes the new Tryon County Committee of Safety meets and writes a letter to Guy Johnson asking him to use his influence to keep the Indians neutral in the disagreement between colonials and crown.

Jun 5
Johnson receives the committee's letter at Cosby's Manor. He immediately sends a reply, declaring he will always promote the true interests of local citizens. He then starts out for Oswego, getting as far as Fort Stanwix (Rome) by night.

Jun 8
Commissioners of the Scots American Company leave New York City to explore lands to the north.

Jun 11
Colonel Guy Johnson writes a report to Lord Dartmouth, Secretary of Colonial Affairs and Board of Trade in London, from Fort Oswego, updating the official on recent happenings. ** Mary "Polly" Johnson, wife and cousin of Guy Johnson and daughter of the late Sir William, dies in her sleep at Fort Oswego.

Jun 12
Joseph Brant, accompanied by Guy Johnson and Colonel John Butler, addresses a council of 1455 Iroquois at Oswego. Brant and the others explain the upcoming rebellion. The Oneidas under Steyawa refuse to fight the colonial forces, the other tribes prepare for possible war. Brant is appointed war chief, the second highest Iroquois office.

Jun 29
Patriot leader Nicholas Herkimer chairs a council of the Tryon County Committee along with committee delegates from Albany and Schenectady, at German Flats, attended by Oneidas, Tuscaroras and a few Mohawks from Canajoharie. Most of the Indian appear amiable.

Jul 1
Guy Johnson leaves Fort Oswego for Montréal.

Jul 5
Lord Dartmouth writes to Indian superintendent Guy Johnson, advising him that settlers loyal to the King will be protected and that they should report any efforts to subvert them.

Jul 24
Dartmouth writes to Johnson, urging him to seek the aid of the Indian tribes against the rebels.

Jul 13
The Continental Congress addresses the Six Nations of the Iroquois, asking for their cooperation in the war.

August
The Favourite reaches New York City. ** American brigadier general Richard Montgomery leaves Crown Point with 1200 men, for Montréal. ** Some New York residents, fearing the city may be attacked by the HMS Asia, evacuate the city. ** The New York Provincial Congress alerts the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety to the danger of war and requests they keep their militia ready to come to New York's aid. ** Virginia-born Nathaniel Rochester, now a resident of North Carolina, attends his colony's first provincial convention, as a member. He's given a major's commission and appointed a justice of the peace. ** New York City's council orders another issue of waterworks banknotes, in the amount of £2,600.

Aug 23
General Schuyler convenes an Indian council at Albany. The Indian turnout is disappointingly light - some Oneidas, Tuscaroras, Caughnawagas, and a few Canadian Iroquois, plus a few Mohawks, including Steyawa. Among those attending for the colony are Colonel Oliver Wolcott, Colonel Turbott Francis, Commisioner Volkert P. Douw, and missionaries James Dean and Samuel Kirkland.

Aug 26
The Albany conference breaks up with the Indians present vowing not to aid the British.

Aug 30
Schuyler, sick with rheumatic pains, arrives in Ticonderoga, finds that Montgomery has departed to attack Montréal.

Aug 31
Schuyler leaves Ticonderoga to catch up with Montgomery.

September
Congress selects New York delegate Samuel Lewis to buy wool to clothe army troops.

Sep 4
The ship Glasgow leaves Fort William, Scotland, with 251 emigrants aboard.

Oct 18
Guy Johnson reports to Dartmouth from Montréal, describing his success in attracting New York's Indians to the Royalist cauase. 3,280 have joined him.

Oct 26
The Tryon County Committee of Safety writes to Sir John Johnson, asking his compliance in forming military companies to serve under the Continental Congress. A copy is sent to the provincial congress.

Oct 31
The Glasgow arrives off New York City and is sent on to Boston by city officials acting on Admiral Graves's orders.

November
James Whitelaw, David Allen and James Henderson begin laying out the site for Ryegate for the Scots American Company. ** Isaac Sears and other Connecticut rebels raid loyalist printer Rivington and remove his type. The General Committee considers a request to investigate.

December
New York governor William Tryon has the colony's public records pertaining to the Crown loaded onto the armed ship Duchess of Gordon. They will remain there until November of 1781.

Dec 9
Congress replies to their copy of the Tryon County Committee of Safety's October 26th letter that the original was too condecending to Johnson but that he has no claim to the courthouse and jail. The committee is advised to leave Johnson alone as long as he makes no hostile moves.

Dec 12
Byberry, Pennsylvania, wheelwright William Cooper marries Willingboro, New Jersey, farmer's daughter Elizabeth Fenimore. The ceremony is performed by New Jersey Royal governor William Franklin, in the governor's Willingboro mansion.

City
The population reaches 25,000. ** German butcher Heinrich Astor, older brother of John Jacob Astor, arrives aboard a Royal Navy warship. ** The Society of Friends (Quakers) build a meeting house on Pearl Street.

State
The Federal government sends agent George Morgan to meet with the Iroquois and try to gain their neutrality in the anticpated conflict with Britain. The Iroquois will attempt to remain neutral. ** French author-traveler John Hector St. John Crevecouer visits Onoquaga. ** Sir Guy Johnson removes the Reverend Samuel Kirkland as missionary to the Oneidas in the spring, provoking the Indians to protest vigorously. ** The Albany Committee of Correspondence is formed. ** The Otsego Patent has 900 settlers, close to a third in Cherry Valley. ** The Tryon County Committee of Safety takes over its local government.

Pennsylvania
New York State pioneer Moses Van Campen takes part in a military expedition against New England settlers in New York's Wyoming Valley, becomes a militia captain, remaining in Pennsylvania.

Vermont
A convention held in Cumberland County advocates a Crown Province separate from New York and New Hampshire, named Vermont.

 

1776

(Updated 11 / 26 / 2003)


January
Colonel Heard of the New Jersey forces arrives in New York State's Queens County by order of Congress, to compel Loyalists to yield their arms, The ringleaders cannot be located. ** New York's council orders another issue of waterworks banknotes, in the amount of £2,000.

Jan 7
General Philip Schuyler and brigadier-general Nicholas Herkimer arrive at Sir John Johnson's home, call on him to surrender. Johnson stalls and a correspondence begins between Schuyler and Johnson.

Jan 13
Schuyler offers to send a passport for Lady Schuyler to leave Johnson Hall.

Jan 17
After several days of negotiations with Schuyler, Johnson surrenders arms to the 700 militia under Schuyler, promises to abstain from further hostile activities.

Jan 24
Colonel Henry Knox arrives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with 43 cannon and 16 mortars captured at Ticonderoga.

February
New York congressional delegate Francis Lewis is authorized to buy shoes for the army. He will find a supplier in New Jersey. ** New York City mayor Whitehead Hicks and other Loyalists leave the city.

Feb 15
James Whitelaw borrows £100 from the Scots American Company treasury to pay for Ryegate's mills.

March
New York's council orders yet another, and final, issue of waterworks banknotes in the amount of £2,000.

Mar 4
Christopher Colles gives the first public demonstrations of the pumping engine of the new waterworks, continues them for the rest of the week.

Mar 20
General John Burgoyne sails from London for North America. ** Joseph Brant meets with British Secretary of State Lord George Germain in London to discuss mutual assistance between the Iroquois nations and the British.

April
Wagons loaded with powder for New York are moved from Boston to Norwich, Connecticut. Private David Howe is part of the escort.

Apr 13
Washington begins moving his troops to New York City to keep General Howe away.

Apr 20
Newly arrived in New York City, Harvard-educated surgeon Isaac Bangs, part of a Massachusetts militia company, visits the Colles waterworks.

May
The citizens of Ryegate meet to select military officers. ** Engine designer Josiah Hornblower is hired, at a fee of £12, to file a report, since lost, on the New York waterworks. ** Mohawk Valley Loyalist Sir John Johnson, learning a patriot force under New Jersey Colonel Elias Dayton has been sent by General Schuyler to apprehend him, flees along with his dependents, to Canada. He has to leave his sick wife behind. ** Tryon County elects a new Committee of Safety, with Sheriff John Frey as chairman.

May 1
Arnold begins moving his troops away from futile siege of Montréal, headed for the Lake Champlain region.

May 17
Botanist-geologist Amos Eaton is born in Chatham, to farmer Captain Abel Eaton and Azuba Hurd Eaton.

May 29
The New York committee advocates independence.

June
John Gansevent sells his property, Oswald Field, south of Albany to John Cumming. ** A council of war meeting in Sorel, Canada, recommends Sullivan and his forces retire to Crown Point. ** New York City's public records are removed to Kingston for safekeeping.

Jun 3
Joseph Brant, Tory leader Guy Johnson and Captain Gilbert Tice sail from Falmouth, England, aboard the packet Lord Hyde, all three returning to New York City.

Jun 4
General Lee arrives in Charles Town, South Carolina, from New York.

Jun 27
Thomas Hickey, one of George Washington's guards, is hanged in New York City for plotting to kidnap Washington for the British, becoming the first person to be executed by the U. S. Army.

Jun 29
General William Howe and his brother, Vice Admiral Richard Howe, arrive off Staten Island, in New York Bay, with a large fleet. ** The Lord Hyde arrives off Staten Island. While Guy Johnson stays aboard with messages for William Howe, Tice nd Brant go ashore, a disguised Tice to head for Fort Niagara with dispatches for John Butler, Brant for the Mohawk Valley to rally the Indians to the British cause.

Jun 30
General Howe disembarks his troops.

Jul 2
Twelve colonies, New York abstaining, vote to support Richard Henry Lee's resolution for independence.

Jul 7
Albany loyalist John Johnson is permitted to form the King's Royal Regiment, of fellow loyalists, in Canada.

Jul 9
New York votes to endorse the Declaration. The Declaration is proclaimed in Philadelphia. ** A provincial congress in the Hudson Valley declares itself to be the legitimate legislature of New York State. ** The equestrian statue of King George III in New York City's Bowling Green is toppled by citizens gathered to hear the reading of the Declaration.

Jul 10
Orders are issued for one New York brigade to b ready to march tomorrow. Rumors say it's for an attack on Staten Island.

Jul 11
The Declaration of Independence is published by New York's Packet and Journal and Annapolis' Gazette.

Jul 12
Vice Admiral Howe arrives east of Staten Island aboard the Eagle with 150 transports of reinforcements, raising the total British forces to 32,000. The arrivals learn of the colonies' independence declaration.The Phoenix and the Rose run past the shore batteries and get north of Manhattan.

Jul 13
The Howe brothers meet aboard the vice-admiral's flagship Eagle to discuss strategy. Governor Tryon also visits the ship. Admiral Howe sends Lieutenant Reeve to Amboy, New Jersey, with dispatches to local governors offering reconciliation.

Jul 14
A hard rain causes the cancellation of Sunday services on board the flagship. Reeve returns, having delivered his dispatches and met with General Hugh Mercer. Lieutenant Brown is dispatched to General Washington but the general's officers refuse to forward his message until it's properly addressed.

Jul 15
The British forces learn through a deserter of the state of U. S. defenses and of possible plans to burn New York City. Governors John Wentworth (New Hampshire) and James Grant (formerly East Florida, now a general) visit the flagship. Washington sends a flag of truce and an answer is promised.

Jul 16
Admiral Molyneux Shuldham visits the fleet. The Americans refuse a flag of truce from General Howe. British army officer John Blennerhasset is killed by a U. S. sniper.

Jul 18
Ambrose Serle, diarist and private secretary to Admiral Howe meets with New York Royal governor Tryon to discuss having an English declaration printed. Tryon is visited by Major Robert Rogers. Serle takes a walk on Staten Island in the evening.

Jul 19
Admiral Howe, the fleet captains, the chaplain and Serle dine aboard the HMS Chatham with Shuldham. General Washington agrees to meet with a General officer tomorrow.

Jul 20
Another flag of truce is sent by the British. Serle reads Tom Paine's Common Sense, believing the unsigned piece was written by John Adams, calls it, "replete with Sophistry, Impudence& Falsehood...". ** Rebel troops in New York hear that Burgoyne has arrived at Albany. ** Washington meets with British colonel Robert Paterson, who is not blindfolded along the way to the American lines. Adjutant general Joseph Reed sits in on the meeting. Both sides end up agreeing to disagree. ** Benjamin Franklin writes to Admiral Richard Howe from Philadelphia, respectfully pointing out that England hasn't the capability to forgive her colonies if peace with them were re-established.

Jul 21
Seven British transports arrive in New York harbor, carrying close to 900 Highlander troops, after a 12-week passage from Greenock, Scotland. Americans fire upon a British vessel from the New Jersey shore but do no serious damage.

Jul 22
A black deserter out of New York City tells the British anchored in the harbor the troops back in Manhattan have lost six men, that they are very discouraged and have heard about Burgoyne. A very hot day.

Jul 23
Tryon visits the British fleet. Serle and the ship's chaplain visit Staten Island in the evening, meet fleeing Loyalists.

August
David Bushnell's prototype submarine American Turtle penetrates the British fleet in New York harbor but his operator Ezra Lee fails to attach his bomb to an enemy ship.

Aug 1
Sir Henry Clinton's forces join those of General Howe on Staten Island after arriving from Charles Town.

Aug 11
One or two new British ships arrive at New York. A fleet of fifty vessels arrives at New Jersey's Sandy Hook.

Aug 12
Richard Fenimore Cooper is born to future judge William Cooper and his wife Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper, in Byberry, Pennsylvania. ** Further British vessels arrive off Sandy Hook.

Aug 22
General Howe moves 20,000 troops from Staten Island to Brooklyn. Fort Defiance, on Brooklyn's Red Hook Point, fires on his ships, preventing them from proceeding further up the East River.

Aug 25
General Howe moves around behind Washington's forces on Brooklyn Heights.

Aug 27
The Battle of Long Island begins. Washington's army, under Israel Putnam, Sullivan and William Alexander, is defeated. The Old Stone House in Gowanus is the center of much of the action.

Aug 29
Without the knowledge of the British, Washington withdraws his army to Manhattan.

Aug 31
A British sergeant in Point aux Trembles, Canada, deserts, heads south for New York.

September
The New York State Convention requests that Washington remove all public bells and move them to New Jersey for safe keeping from the British seeking materials for casting cannon. ** Washington writes from Harlem Heights to general Hugh Mercer in New Jersey, directing him to set up an intelligence network to monitor the movements of Admiral Howe's ships. ** Congress authorizes replacing the phrase "United Colonies" with "United States" in all American commissions and authorizes Washington to abandon New York City if necessary. ** Benedict Arnold calls upon Congress to provide winter clothing, rum and artillery. ** Washington's Council of War begins recommending evacuation of New York City.

Sep 5
The Tryon County Militia resolves to become a separate entity from the Militia of Albany and to elect Nicholas Herkimer as its Brigadier General.

Sep 6
A peace conference is held at the Tottenville home of Loyalist Colonel Thomas Billopp, on Staten Island. General Howe demands the Declaration be revoked; the American commissioners - John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Rutledge - refuse.

Sep 12
Washington decides to evacuate New York City, begins moving troops north.

Sep 15
The British land at Kips Bay, on the eastern shore of Manhattan. Washington retreats to Harlem Heights.

Sep 16
Washington repulses General Howe at Harlem Heights. The battle delays the British advance.

Sep 21
Fire sweeps New York City, destroying 300 buildings, nearly a quarter of those in the city, including Trinity Church. Nathan Hale is arrested by the British.

Sep 22
Nathan Hale is hanged as a spy by the British, in New York City.

Sep 23
Lieutenant colonel Jonathan Baldwin writes from Fort Ticonderoga to Schuyler at Fort Edwards; informs him the British sergeant from Point aux Trembles has arrived, with reports of troop and naval strength and word of a plan to head to Crown Point in the near future. The sergeant also report that a number of deserters had been captured and deported to Senegal.

Sep 25
Delegates from the western slopes of Vermont's Green Mountains, Seth Warner among them, meet at Deacon Cephas Kent's house in Dorset, agree to withhold support from New York State in the revolution, and place themselves directly under the Continental Congress.

Sep 28
Scottish-born physician-politician Cadwallader Colden dies at his Springhill estate near Flushing, on Long Island at the age of 88.

October
Congress discusses uniforms for Rhode Island forces and has $500,000 sent by wagon to New York to pay bounties for reenlistment.

Oct 5
British warships force their way up the Hudson, past the defenses at Fort Lee, New Jersey and Fort Washington, New York.

Oct 11
Arnold's makeshift fleet delays a British Navy under Sir Guy Carleton at Valcour Island, in Lake Champlain.

Oct 12
Clinton takes his forces through Hell Gate to Throg's Neck, Long Island, escorted by the HMS Craysfort. ** Batavia merchant and first postmaster James Brisbane is born in Philadelphia.

Oct 13
The surviving U. S. fleet on Champlain is destroyed at Split Rock.

Oct 18
The British advance out of New York City, transferred from Throg's Neck, is delayed by a U. S. defense at Pell's Point.

Oct 23
Washington evacuates Manhattan, marches toward White Plains.

Oct 28
General Howe defeats Washington at White Plains, forcing him to withdraw to North Castle.

Oct 29
The approximate date the 28-gun frigate Congress is launched at Poughkeepsie.

November
Lord Germain writes from London to Vice Admiral Howe, praising him for his success in New York.

Nov 1
U. S. troops burn barns in White Plains. Washington orders the commander court martialled.

Nov 4
The 24-gun frigate Montgomery is launched at Poughkeepsie.

Nov 16
General Howe and 13,000 troops capture 2,818 Americans at Fort Washington. George Washington abandons Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Nov 18
Washington abandons New York, retreats across the Hudson, starts west through New Jersey.

Nov 26
New York's Committee of Safety meets at Fishkill, decides to build a chevaux de frise across the Hudson River from Pollopel (later Bannerman's) Island to Plum Point, to deny British vessels access to the northern portions of the river.

Dec 30
Tory Joseph Brant writes from Oquaga to Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, reminding the patriot minister and teacher that he'd learned "to honor the King" at Wheelock's Indian School in Lebanon, Connecticut.

 

City
Washington begins strengthening the city's fortifications early in the summer, fortifying Manhattan, Governor's Island, Red Hook, and Brooklyn Heights, as well as areas of New Jersey. ** David Matthews is appointed mayor for the next nine one year terms. ** The British begin construction on Fort Number 8, in Fordham, the Bronx. ** Merchant and former British officer Sidney Breese, grandfather of telegraph inventor Samuel Finley Breese Morse, is buried in Trinity churchyard. ** The cost of the engine for New York City's planned water system, now in operation, has risen to £1,500. ** Troops skirmish near McGown's Pass in Harlem.

State
Andrew Brock is named treasurer of Ryegate. ** John Church sells half of his upstate holdings to John Pagan. ** English Shakers arrive in Albany County from New York City; organize themselves into the Watervliet Society of the United Society of Believers in Christ's First and Second Appearing. ** The first ships of the U. S. Navy are built at Skenesborough (later Whitehall). ** The English drive French settler John La Frombois off his land in the future Clinton County and burn his home. ** French-born illustrator and draftsman Claude Joseph Sauthier draws a map of the Province of New York for Governor Tryon. ** London, England, map sellers Sayer and Bennett publish "A General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America" based on Governor Thomas Pownall's surveys, in The American Military Pocket Atlas. Parts of western New York are included. ** Otsego area patent holder the Reverend John Christopher Hartwick sets up camp at the southern end of Otsego Lake for a brief period. ** Tories in Albany are arrested for toasting the King's health.

Manufacturing
Paper maker Nathan Sellers joins the Continental Army but is soon put to work in his professional capacity, to provide the material for currency.

Medicine
The New York Hospital is founded.

 

1777

( Updated 1 / 23 / 2005 )


January
New York State Loyalist John Cumming goes into New York City to discover how to handle his delicate political situation, refuses a commission in the British army.

Jan 2
Cornwallis heads south out of New York.

Jan 7
The Committee of Safety orders that British prisoners of war be put to work on a chain across the Hudson at Fort Montgomery to halt British ships.

Jan 15
The New Hampshire Grants, claimed by New York and New Hampshire, declare their independence, as the "republic" of New Connecticut.

Jan 29
British general John Burgoyne begins making his plans for the conquest of the colonies. ** General Benjamin Lincoln's division of the Continental Army encamps at Dobbs Ferry.

February
Colonel John Harper, commander of the fort at Schoharie, arrives at the Seneca/Cayuga village of Oquaga and sounds out the inhabitants. He decides there might possibly be trouble from this quarter sometime in the future.While returning from Oquaga he encounters a party of 15 warriors heading there. Suspecting they're a raiding party he moves on to Harpersfield, recruits 14 men and captures the Indians, sending them on to Albany.

Feb 27
Joseph Brant leaves the Montréal area with Sir John Johnson's promise that Brant will regain his Mohawk lands.

Feb 28
Having returned to London from Bath toward the end of the month, Burgoyne meets with Secretary of State Lord George Germain and presents his plan - Thoughts for Conducting the War from the Side of Canada - for an attack on U. S. forces in New York State. Germain will present the plan to George III.

March
John Cumming is arrested and jailed by New York as dangerous to the rebellion.

Mar 26
Lord George Germain writes to General Guy Carleton in Canada with instruction for a two-pronged attack under Burgoyne and St. Leger, to split the rebel army in New York. He then berates Carleton for allowing a number of his forces in New York and New Jersey to desert to the enemy. Germain also writes to Lord Howe explaining the New York campaign. The latter dispatch never goes out.

Mar 28
U. S. general Philip Schuyler assigns Colonel Peter Gansevoort to travel from Fort Edward with a force of 750 and march to Fort Stanwyx (Rome) to make repairs.

Apr 20
A state convention, meeting in Kingston, New York, creates New York State. John Jay drafts a constitution. Almost all civil and military offices, including judges and Secretary of State, are to be chosen and governed by a Council of Appointment. Quakers are required to pay a bond in exchange for militia exemptions. A minimum six-month residency is required for the vote. Property and tax minimums are set for voting in Assembly and Senate elections.

Apr 22
New York Loyalist Anthony Allaire is commissioned a lieutenant in the Loyal American Regiment.

Apr 26
16-year-old Sybil Ludington rides 40 miles warning residents of New York's Putnam County that the British are on their way.

May 12
Burgoyne writes from Montréal to Adjutant General Edward Harvey in England, to try and find out who might have leaked the plans for his invasion of New York.

Jun 1
Burgoyne's forces march out of Montréal, heading for Lake Champlain.

Jun 2
Prepared to use force, Joseph Brant demands confiscated Indian supplies from Unadilla, New York, minister George Johnstone and two other townsmen. They give in, then two-thirds of the population leaves for the Mohawk Valley and the protection of General Herkimer, as Brant's party heads for Oquaga.

Jun 17
Burgoyne begins his campaign south from Canada, along the Champlain-Hudson waterways.

July
George Clinton takes office as New York State's first governor.

Jul 1
Burgoyne's troops arrive at Fort Ticonderoga. He issues a warning proclamation to the colonists.

Jul 5
General St Clair abandons Ticonderoga.

Jul 6
Burgoyne moves into Ticonderoga, capturing important American supplies.

Jul 7
The Americans retreating from Ticonderoga are defeated at Hubbartton, Vermont.

Jul 23
Howe sails from New York to capture Philadelphia.

Jul 26
Colonel Barry St. Leger's army ascends the Oswego River.

Jul 27
Settler Jane McCrea is murdered by Burgoyne's Indians.

Jul 29
Schuyler abandons Fort Edwards, retreats down the Hudson Valley.

August
St. Leger gathers his forces at Three Rivers before proceeding towards Rome.

Aug 1
The approximate date Burgoyne's forces reach the Hudson and take over Fort Edward.

Aug 3
St. Leger begins a siege of Fort Stanwix in the Mohawk Valley (today's Rome).

Aug 6
A force under Nicholas Herkimer, including newly-acquired Oneida Indian troops lead by Honyere Tehawenkarogwen, coming to the aid of Fort Stanwix, is ambushed at Oriskany, New York, by Loyalists, and Mohawks under their chief Joseph Brant. Herkimer is mortally wounded. Honyere and his wife and son kill a dozen of the enemy. St. Leger fails to take Stanwix.

Aug 13
A British-Canadian-Hessian detachment under Lieutenant-Colonel Frederich Baum leaves from Fort Edward to capture American supplies at Bennington, Vermont.

Aug 16
Militia under General John Stark, along with forces of Seth Warner, capture Baum's forces at the Battle of Bennington.

Aug 22
Benedict Arnold arrives at Fort Stanwix with reinforcements. St. Leger ends his siege, returns to Canada.

September
John Cumming escapes and is recaptured.

Sep 1
The approximate date U. S. forces begin fortifying Bemis Heights, above the Hudson River at Stillwater.

Sep 9
The first New York State legislature meets, in Kingston. It soon adjourns.

Sep 14
Burgoyne crosses the Hudson, to the west side.

Sep 19
The first Battle of Saratoga (or Freeman's Farm). General Daniel Morgan and Colonel Henry Dearborn defeat Burgoyne's forces at Bemis Heights in Stillwater. ** The Oneida chief Honyere dines with General Schuyler in Albany and agrees to aid Gates' army.

October
James Whitelaw discovers that the Scots American Company has not honored his 1776 draft to build Ryegate 's mills and has dismissed him as manager, for exceeding his authority. ** The British sail up the Hudson, safely bypassing the chain across the Hudson at Fort Montgomery. Public records in Kingston are removed to the Ulster County town of Rochester.

Oct 3
Sir Henry Clinton moves north out of New York City, captures two forts on the Hudson.

Oct 7
The second Battle of Saratoga (Bemis Heights). Gates, Arnold, Morgan and General Ebenezer Learned defeat, and capture Burgoyne's forces. Arnold is wounded in the leg. ** The U. S. frigates Congress and Montgomery are burned in the Hudson River south of West Point to avoid capture.

Oct 10
Naomi Wolcott, future wife of Geneseo landowner James Wadsworth, is born in South Windsor, Connecticut, to Samuel and Jerusha Wolcott.

Oct 15
Clinton arrives at Esopus (Kingston) New York.

Oct 16
Clinton burns Esopus and, learning Israel Putnam has dispatched 2,000 troops to Peekskill, in his rear, abandons any attempt to reach Burgoyne, and sails for New York City.

Oct 17
Burgoyne formally surrenders his forces to Gates - the Convention of Saratoga

Nov 1
New York City's African Free School is opened.

December
Hartwick preaches to recent German prisoners from Bennington and Saratoga aboard a prison ship in Boston harbor. He's evicted from the ship when he tries to enlist the prisoners for a new settlement on his Otsego lands.

 

City
The Council of Appointment is formed, to appoint the city's mayors. ** The British complete Fort Number 8.

State
The village of Bern raises a militia company of 85. ** A new colony constitution is approved. Governors are to be elected for three-year terms. The crown posts of Secretary of State and Attorney General fall under the jurisdiction of the Council of Appointment. Only the state may buy Indian lands. ** Battle of Whitehall Harbor. ** Claude Joseph Sauthier's map number 12 of the province of New York appears in London, England, map publisher William Faden's The North American Atlas. ** Congress fires director of Continental Army hospitals Doctor John Morgan of Otsego for incompetence and cruelty. ** Louis Brion de la Tour creates a map of northern New York. Most of the lakes and rivers portrayed are imaginary.

Connecticut
Future New York State governor Nathaniel Puicher, Jr. is born to Nathaniel and his wife.

 

1778


January
The New York State legislature convenes in Poughkeepsie, meeting at the Van Kleeck House. They act to strengthen the powers of the state and to ratify the Articles of Confederation. ** Benedict Arnold, his leg saved, is released from an Albany hospital.

Feb 18
New York inventor and gazetteer publisher Horatio Gates Spafford is born in Tinmouth, Vermont.

March
New York 's Secretary of State and various county clerks are advised to pack up all government records, in case it becomes necessary to evacuate them.

Mar 7
The Richmond County (Staten Island) town of Northfield is formed; it includes several small islands in Newark Bay and Staten Island Sound. ** The Westchester County town of Yorktown is founded.

Mar 19
Tryon (later Montgomery) County calls for mileage for the sheriff's department to be calculated from The Noses, two mountains flanking the Mohawk River near Sprakers.

May
Fifty Oneida Indians arrive at Valley Forge and almost immediately participate in the action at Barren Hill under Lafayette.

May 30
300 Iroquois, goaded by the British, burn Cobleskill.

Jun 18
Sir Henry Clinton's forces evacuate Philadelphia, begin marching to New York. U. S. civilians move into the city.

Jul 5
Clinton's forces embark in barges from New Jersey's Sandy Hook, headed for New York City.

Jul 8
Washington sets up headquarters at West Point.

Jul 9
The Articles of Confederation are signed in Philadelphia by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina.

Nov 11
Tories and Iroquois Indians, lead by Captain Walter Butler and Joseph Brant, massacre settlers of Cherry Valley.

State
Future Syracuse pioneer Ephraim Webster enlists in the Continental Army. ** The Willowbend Inn is built, west of Batavia, named for a tree growing in the yard. ** The state's first Militia Act is passed. The fee for Quakers wanting to purchase militia exemption is set at £10 a year. Non-commissioned coroners are exempted from militia duty from this year through 1782. The owner of a mill is exempt; ferrymen must obtain a license from the governor or commander-in-chief before being considered so. All persons working either for the state or for the U. S. are exempted.

New Jersey
William and Elizabeth Cooper move from Byberry to Burlington City with their children Richard Fenimore and Hannah.

Vermont
Connewango pioneer Ralph Williams is born.

 

1779


May
General John Sullivan reaches Easton, Pennsylvania.

May 31
The British under Clinton take Stony Point and Verplanck Point, on the Hudson.

June
The Oneida chief Honyere is commissioned as a captain in the U. S. Army.

Jun 18
The Sullivan expedition leaves Easton, Pennsylvania. Among the expedition is future Le Roy pioneer Captain John Ganson.

July
New York's royal governor Tryon leads an expedition along the Connecticut coast, burning Fairfield, Norwalk, and ships in New Haven harbor.

Jul 15
Mad Anthony Wayne, guided by the black soldier Pompey, retakes Stony Point from the British, capturing the entire garrison.

Aug 11
Sullivan's forces ford the Susquehanna at its junction with the Tioga River, reach the former site of Tioga, march on to the Indian town of Shamong (Chemung), arriving in the evening to find it evacuated. They destroy crops and return to Tioga.

Aug 26
Delayed a day by heavy rain, Sullivan's forces depart Tioga.

Aug 29
John Sullivan and James Clinton defeat Loyalist commander Sir John Johnson and Joseph Brant, at Newtown near Elmira, ridding the colony of Loyalists and their Indian allies. Cornplanter, Red Jacket and Handsome Lake fight on the British side.

Sep 1
General Sullivan begins a two-week series of retaliatory raids against the Seneca and Cayuga Indian villages throughout central New York's Finger Lake region. After the Seneca defeat at Newtown they end up at Niagara. Sullivan arrives at the deserted Indian village of French Catharine (named for a former captive) by midnight.

Sep 2
Lieutenant William Barton, of Sullivan's forces, reconnoitres the area around Seneca Lake.

Sep 5
Sullivan arrives at the village of Appletown (Kendae, Condoy), already fired by the Indians.

Sep 7
Sullivan crosses the outlet of Seneca Lake and arrives at the Indian capital, Kanadasaga (Canadesaga, Cunnusedago, known today as Geneva).

Sep 10
Sullivan reaches Genesee Lake (Canandaigua Lake) burns the village of Kanandarqua (Veruneudaga, today's Canandaigua).

Sep 11
Sullivan reaches Onyauyah (Honeoye).

Sep 12
Sullivan nears Genesee Castle or Little Beard's Town (Cuylerville), named for its chief

Sep 13
Sullivan reaches Canessah (Conesus, or Big Tree's Town), defeating an Indian force there, then forges on to Casawavalatetah, on a small branch of the Genesee River, and encamps. He sends Lieutenant Thomas Boyd to scout the area of Genesee Castle. Boyd takes a party of 28 (including the Oneida chief Honyere (Hanyerry) and Captain Jehoiakim, a Stockbrige Indian). Not knowing the way, they arrive at Gatht-seg-war-o hare, about five miles south-southeast of their goal. Boyd sends four men to report back to Sullivan, and has an Indian horseman killed in the deserted village. Three other mounted Indians escape, sound the alarm. Boyd begins the return to Sullivan, sends two men ahead. They return and advise Boyd that five Indians are ahead on the trail. Despite advice from Hanyerry, Boyd pursues and is ambushed by a party of over 500 Indians and Tories. He and Michael Parker are taken prisoner and taken to Cuylerville. Questioned, they refuse to buy their freedom with information, and are tortured to death, then beheaded.

Sep 14
Sullivan's forces reach Little Beard's Town, find the remains of Boyd and Parker, bury them that night.

Sep 15
Sullivan burns the Indians' crops and food supply. He declares that the objectives of the mission have been met. Mary Jemison flees to Niagara with the remaining Seneca, but she soon returns to the Genesee Valley.

Sep 16
The bodies of the remainder of Boyd's party are found at Canessah (Conesus, or Big Tree's Town), all (including Hanyerry) mutilated. They are buried that day.

Sep 17
Sullivan returns to Honeoye.

Sep 18
Sullivan returns to Canandaigua.

Sep 19
Sullivan returns to Kanadasaga.

Sep 30
Sullivan reports to Congress that his forces have destroyed forty villages and at least 160,000 bushels of corn, losing under forty men. They have also cut down or girdled fruit trees all along the way.

Oct 15
Sullivan and Clinton's forces arrive back at Easton, Pennsylvania.

State
Red Jacket urges neutrality, predicts possible disaster for the Iroquois Nation. ** A patrol of Rangers is ambushed by the Seneca in the spring. A third of the troops are killed and another third, including Horatio Jones, are captured. The rest escape. Jones is taken to Nunda and then on to Caneadea. He runs the gauntlet without a scratch. After one of his companions is killed and beheaded, Jones attempts escape twice but is foiled and settles into Indian life, eventually earning the name Handsome Boy. ** The first church services (Presbyterian) are held at the Orange County village of Hopewell.

Pennsylvania
Militiaman Moses Van Campen joins Washington's army as a quartermaster; marches into New York State with Sullivan.

 

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© 2001 David Minor / Eagles Byte