The Tory Invasion of 1780, and the Gonzalez Tragedy.


"O what are these?

Death's ministers, not men; who thus deal death

Inhumanly to men, and multiply

Ten thousand fold the sin of him who slew

His Brother,"




"O war! thou son of hell!

Whom angry heavens do make their minister."


IT would have been strange if the little settlement of Ball's Town, lying directly on the route between Lake George and Schenectady, had escaped the calamities incident to war. Nor did she. During the Revolution two separate tragedies were enacted within her borders, the first of which was


The Tory Invasion of 1780.


On the afternoon of October 6, 1780, a band of two hundred Regulars and Indians from Canada landed on the shore of Bulwagga Bay (Lake Champlain); and, guided through the woods by several young refugees from the Ball-Town district, by way of the headwaters of the Sacandaga, suddenly made their appearance in the settlement on the night of the 16 th . They were composed in part of Sir John Johnson's corps of rangers, and commanded by Captain Munro, a former merchant in Schenectady. The original design of the expedition was an attack upon Schenectady, but on arriving in the neighborhood of Ball's Town it was deemed prudent to abandon the idea. {This party was a portion of the force of 1,000 men which, in the fall of 1780, Governor Carleton sent from Canada to attack the frontier settlements, under the command of his nephew, Major Carleton. Two hundred of these, as mentioned in the text, landed at Bulwagga Bay, and then proceeded to Ballston, crossing the Sacandaga River near the mouth of Daly's Creek. The larger portion, under Carleton, sailed up the lake to Skeensborough (Whitehall), and thence to Fort Anne, which was taken and destroyed. A detachment was sent from this point across by the "French Mountain," and by a stratagem took Fort George and burned it, capturing prisoners at both forts, and returned to Bulwagga Bay before the Ballston party returned. The father of Hon. George G. Scott, of Ballston, was told the above facts by Nathaniel Mitchell and James Lighthill, who were both captured at Fort Anne on this occasion. The author has reason to suppose, from his other historical investigations, that the route pursued by the Ballston party was the same as that taken by Sir John Johnson, viz., by the foot of "Crane Mountain," near Warrensburgh, Warren County, N.Y.; and thence across the Sacandaga, and through the woods by Lake Desolation to Ballston. - See Life of Sir William Johnson, Bart ., Appendix.} At the time there was a fort at what has since been known as the "Academy Hill," situated on the south-west corner of the square, upon the spot where Peter Roe formerly lived. It was constructed of oak logs, surrounded with pickets, and contained loop-holes for musketry.

The enemy lay encamped for several days in the north-west part of the present town of Milton, during which time they made themselves, through their scouts, thoroughly acquainted with the condition of the fort. To their surprise they found that it had recently been garrisoned by two hundred militia, chiefly from Schenectady. This information changed materially their plans; and, accordingly, they directed their first attack upon the house of General Gordon, on the Middle Line road. {This house stood upon the spot where Major Skinner afterwards lived, being the farm lately owned by William Gordon Ver Planck, and now by Henry Wiswell, Jr.} At about dusk of the evening preceding their appearance at Gordon's, the party halted at the house of a Scotch Highlander, in Paisley Street, named Angus McDiarmid, father of the late John McDiarmid. The Indians were greatly delighted by turning a spinning-wheel, which Mrs. McDiarmid had just been using. The house was so crowded that the floor gave way, and all were precipitated into the cellar.

At early daybreak the following morning, the party were again in motion. They were piloted from the four corners, west of the old Court House Hill, by a Tory named McDonald, who lived in the vicinity. Gordon was roused from his slumbers by the breaking of the windows of his sleeping-room by bayonets thrust through them. He sprang from his bed, in which lay his wife and child, {Mrs. Ver Planck, afterwards Mrs. Waller, who died in Brooklyn, September 14, 1857. She furnished Hon. Judge Scott with the particulars of what took place at her father's, and also with many incidents that occurred during his captivity.} and went into the hall, which by this time was filled with the enemy. As he opened the door, a gigantic savage raised his tomahawk, but before the blow could descend upon his head, the arm of the Indian was caught by one of the officers in command. At this moment the brass clock in the hall struck the hour of twelve, whereupon an Indian standing near shattered it in pieces with his tomahawk, exclaiming, as he did so, "You never speak again!" A scene of indiscriminate pillaging now followed, the squaws especially, who accompanied the party, distinguishing themselves in this part of the performance, and retiring heavily loaded with plunder. The Indians then attempted to fire the house and the barn, but were prevented by the whites in the party. Gordon, Jack Calbraith and John Parlow, servants, and Nero, Jacob, and Ann, negro slaves, were carried off as prisoners. As they were proceeding toward the main road they were met by Stow, Gordon's miller, who, having escaped from his own house, came running toward them, exclaiming, "Colonel Gordon, save yourself! The Indians!" Perceiving the party moving toward him, he hesitated a moment, then turned to the left and ran. An Indian, however, intercepted him, pierced him with a pike, and despatching him with his tomahawk, took his scalp. He thus lost his own life in generously attempting to save Gordon's. Captain Collins, who lived near by, was also taken.

Proceeding up the Middle Line, they made prisoners of Thomas Barnum (who lived where Dorus Hicks now resides), Captain Elisha Benedict and his two sons - one of whom was Caleb {Caleb Benedict came back after the war, but soon returned to Canada. The Indian who had captured him and guarded him during his captivity, heard of his return, and called to see him, manifesting great affection for his former captive. He continued through his life to send Caleb valuable presents.} - Paul Pierson and his son John, Edward A. Watrous, and John Higby and his son Lewis - the latter residing where Pierson Raymond now lives. Moving farther up the road, a detachment of fifty left the main body, and proceeded to the house of George Scott, on the farm where his son, the late James Scott, lived and died. Mr. Scott being awakened by the violent barking of his watch-dog, sprung from his bed, seized his loaded rifle, and opened the outer door. He saw the column advancing in the moonlight, and heard a voice exclaiming, "Scott, throw down your gun, or you are a dead man!" Not instantaneously obeying the command, three Indians threw their tomahawks at his head, each one of which reached its aim, and he fell. They then rushed upon him, and would have taken his scalp, had not Captain Frazer, an old neighbor, and Sergeant Staats Springstead, formerly his hired man, interfered, and with their swords kept the savages at bay. The house was then given up to pillage; but Scott was left behind in, as was supposed, a dying condition. Indeed, when this detachment reached the main body, the prisoners were informed that he was mortally wounded. He, however, ultimately recovered. {The late James Scott, then in his seventh year, saw and ever retained a vivid recollection of seeing his father's face covered with blood. He himself escaped in his night-clothes to the woods, and remained concealed until the party left. He furnished his son, the present Hon. George G. Scott of Ballston, with most of the particulars of this sketch. He died January 18, 1857.}

After leaving Scott, the party proceeded to George Kennedy's. He was taken, and his house burned. The next house attacked was Jabez Patchin's, where Hiram Wood now (1875) lives. He was taken, but his son, Walter, and son-in-law, Enos Morehouse, jumped out of a back window and escaped. One Hollister, who lived a few rods north of Patchin, was also captured and his house burned. Where the late Judge Thompson lived was the dwelling of Ebenezer Sprague. It also was fired, and he, with his two sons, were made prisoners. Thomas Kennedy, who lived opposite to Sprague, was also captured. Opposite to the present residence of Nathaniel Mann, his brother, John Kennedy, resided. He was intending to butcher his swine the following day, and just arisen and kindled a fire when he saw the light of Sprague's burning dwelling. Rightly conjecturing the cause, he extinguished the fire, and, with his wife, escaped by the rear door into the woods. Some of the enemy entered the house, but the darkness preventing a search, they carried away but little. The dwelling was not burned.

Enoch and Stephen Wood lived near the site of the late Presbyterian church. Their houses, and a barn containing eight hundred bushels of wheat, were burned; and Enoch and his hired man, named Fillmore, captured. This was the last clearing in that direction with one exception, and that was owned by a Tory. Fillmore, however, managed to escape before the party had proceeded many rods. Elisha Benedict, and his three sons, Caleb, Elias and Felix, were also taken, together with John Davis, living near by. Joseph Morehouse, however, was more fortunate. Being lame, and at some distance from the house, he said: "If I must go, I must get my horse." He then took his bridle, and started for his dwelling. When at a safe distance, he threw away the bridle and escaped. {Nor was it during this Tory invasion alone that the settlers suffered from fear. When Mr. Warren B.B. Westcott, now of Saratoga Springs, was teaching school opposite the house of Mr. Talcott Morehouse, on the east side of Ballston Lake, he would point out to Mr. Westcott the decaying stump of a tree in the ravine a short distance from the school-house, on "Morehouse Creek," and say: "There stood three or four young hemlocks, under whose branches, during the Tory Terror, my mother and Nathan Raymond's wife would hide themselves and their children in the night, expecting hourly to have their house burned to the ground."

Each prisoner, with his hands tied, barefooted and but partly dressed, was guarded by two men with loaded muskets, one in front and the other in the rear. The weather was bitterly cold. George Kennedy's only covering was a sheet wrapped about him - which to which he suffered greatly from his foot, which he had cut a few days previously. It was daylight when the party crossed the Kayaderosseras at what is now Milton Centre. Upon crossing the spring brook, a few rods north of the former stream, a halt was ordered, that Captain Munro might address his men. He told them that in all probability they would be pursued; and that he expected each man, upon the first intimation of such an event, even the firing of a gun, to kill his prisoner upon the spot. For this inhuman order, it is only just to mention that Munro, upon arriving at Montreal, was summarily dismissed from the service.

The march was then resumed in the same order as before; the prisoners, meanwhile, believing that a rescue would be attempted, looked for death at every moment. They feared that some of the Indians, anticipating a reward for scalps, would fall back and discharge a musket for the purpose of having Munro's order carried into effect. Arriving, at length, at the foot of the Kayaderosseras Mountain, the party halted for breakfast, killing for this purpose the cattle and swine they had driven before them in their retreat.

In the afternoon, having struck a well-beaten Indian trail which crossed the Sacandaga river, near the mouth of Daley's creek, and along which they had passed on their march from Lake Champlain, they began the ascent of the mountain. Before sunset they encamped for the night two miles northeast of Lake Desolation. Here Munro exhibited the first kindness toward the prisoners; for - on George Kennedy, whose wounded foot had become greatly inflamed, begging to be killed on the spot - he permitted him, together with Ebenezer Sprague and Paul Pierson (both old men and nearly exhausted), to return. Previous to this incident, however, Gordon had managed to send a message to the troops at the fort, asking them to abandon all attempts at a rescue. His messenger met them, under command of Capt. Ball, near the site of the late Milton meeting-house, whereupon they returned to the fort. Had it not been for this timely forethought of Gordon, the probability is that a horrid butchery would have occurred. Later in the day, however, a party of volunteers was made up, consisting of Squire Patchin, Kenneth Gordon, and Caleb Holmes, and others from the present town of Charlton. Following on the trail of the retreating enemy they had just begun the ascent of the Kayaderosseras Mountain when Kennedy, Sprague, and Pierson were perceived coming towards them. Not recognizing their old neighbors, but believing them to be the advanced guard of the enemy returning, they quietly filed off on each side of the path into the underbrush, it having been previously understood among themselves that at a given signal they should all fire together. Fortunately, just as the sign was about being made, they discovered their mistake; and, on being informed of Munro's brutal order, they also turned back and escorted the three in safety to their desolated homes. Nor was this the only narrow escape of these three men. Soon after their discharge by Munro, and while they were descending the mountain, six Indians stole away from the encampment for the purpose of taking their scalps. The savages had just caught up with them when, espying the Charlton party ensconced in their ambush, they turned on their heels and fled. This incident was related by the Indians themselves to their captives during the march.

Finally, on the eighth day after leaving Ball's Town, and seventh after crossing the Sacandaga river, the enemy with their captives arrived, after much hardship, at Bullwagga Bay, and proceeded thence in boats to Montreal. The prisoners were at first lodged in the Recollet Convent (a filthy place, abounding in vermin), but were shortly afterward transferred to a prison. Gordon at first was allowed to go out on bail, the latter being fixed at 3,000 - but after a few months he was taken to Quebec and kept in close confinement for two years, when he was again changed and conveyed to the Isle of Orleans.

In the following May, 1781, the notorious Tory spy, Joe Bettys {The skull of Lovelace, another Ballston Tory and renegade, is now in the possession of George Strover, the father-in-law of Dr. C.H. Payn. He was hung on the bluff near the Schuyler mansion overlooking the scene of the "surrender." Mr. Strover's father witnessed the hanging.} - who was afterwards hung at Albany - with the aid of thirty refugees, made a raid on the Ball Town settlement and captured Samuel Nash, Consider Chard, Uri Tracey, Ephraim Tracey, and Samuel Patchin. They were all taken to Canada, except Nash, who escaped near Lake Desolation. At about the same time, also, Judge White, Capt. Ramsey, the two brothers Banta, and John Fulmer - all living on the east bank of Ballston Lake - were taken by a Tory officer named Waltermeyer and marched off to Canada.

When Gordon was removed to the Isle of Orleans he found there Judge White, Higby, Enoch Wood, the two Bantas, and other Ball's Town prisoners. They all contrived to escape from the island, and, landing on the right bank of the river, made their way into the wilderness, preferring the companionship of hunger and wild beasts to the less merciful jailers whom they had left. Their stock of provisions soon gave out, and for several days berries and a species of mussel were their only food. Finally, arriving at the head-waters of the St. Johns, they constructed a rude raft with their hatchets and floated down the river a considerable distance to a point whence they struck across to Passamaquoddy Bay. Here learning that peace had been declared, they proceeded to Halifax, whence they were brought by cartel to Boston.

Nearly three generations have passed away. Not even the child {Mrs. Elizabeth Watrous McMaster, mother of the late Robert P. McMaster, of Ballston Spa, was the last survivor of those who were witnesses of this raid. She was a daughter of Edward A. Watrous. She died in the summer of 1870, in her ninety-first year. On the approach of the enemy, her mother escaped with her, then an infant, to the woods east of the house, and avoided capture. For several years she was the last connecting link in her native town with the exciting days of Munro's and Bettys' raids.} before whose eyes those deeds of violence were performed of which the early Ballston settlers were the victims, survives to tell the tale. {Hon. George Gordon Scott - to whom the writer is indebted for the incidents of this sketch - has in his possession the original diary kept by General Gordon during his captivity. It is to be hoped that Judge Scott will give this valuable document publicity through the pages of the Historical Magazine , or some other kindred publication.}


The Gonzalez Tragedy .


Although the country now forming the county of Saratoga was discovered as early as 1609, and although in the succeeding century its eastern and southern borders were sparingly settled along the borders of the Hudson and Mohawk valleys - yet the interior of the county remained a comparative wilderness, subject to the domain of the Iroquois and the incursions of wild beasts, until after the Revolutionary War. Before that event, however, there were several settlements in old Ballston (south of the present village), and a few daring pioneers had settled in the interior. Such a person was Joseph Gonzalez, who, in 1770, took up his abode in the extreme south-western corner of Saratoga County, in what is now known as the town of Charlton.

Joseph Gonzalez was the son of Emanuel Gonzalez, and in 1775 married Margaret, a daughter of David Dutcher of Dutchess County, who was a direct descendant in the fourth generation from Anneke Jansen. {Anneke Jansen, the first ancestor of Mrs. General Bullard, came to New Amsterdam about 1612, at the age of seventeen. At that time the Patroon of Rensselaerwyck (now a part of Albany) had a young superintendent of the affairs of the "Colonie," named Roeloff Jansen, who was called to New Amsterdam occasionally on business, finally removing thither. On one of his visits during the administration of Van Twiller, he met Anneke, who, not long after, became his wife. They were both members of the Church in New Amsterdam, presided over by Dominie Everardus Bogardus, the first minister who filled a pulpit in the new Dutch city. He was a faithful, outspoken bachelor of thirty when he came, and baptized the four children of Roeloff and Anneke in regular order. At his death Roeloff left to his young widow, among considerable other property, a small farm running on Broadway, from Warren to Duane Street - sixty-two acres "more or less." The widow had no one to look after her property and assist in training her children, and the dominie had no one to look after his clothes. Mutual sympathy in their destitution begat affection between the dominie and the widow, and they were married. Then the dame bore the honors of the double name of Anneke Jansen Bogardus. Thenceforth her landed property was known as "the Dominie's Bowerie" or farm. They lived happily together until 1647, when Bogardus was lost at sea on his passage home from Holland in September of that year. He left his widow with four more children. The farm had been granted to Jansen by Van Twiller, and it was confirmed to Anneke by Stuyvesant in 1654. After the death of her husband Mrs. Bogardus went to Albany to live, where she died in 1663. Her will is among the public records there, dated January 29, 1663, by which she left her children and grandchildren all her real estate in equal shares, with a prior charge of one thousand guilders in favor of the children of the first marriage, "out of the proceeds of their father's place, viz., a certain farm on Manhattan Island bounded on the North River." The title to this farm was confirmed to these heirs by Richard Nicolls, the first English governor after New Netherland and New Amsterdam both became New York. This is the property (now worth many millions) concerning which there is so much litigation by Anneke Jansen's heirs. The curious reader will find other interesting particulars in relation to this matter in "Humbert vs . Trinity Church," 24 Wendell, page 587. Mrs. Waldo M. Potter (the wife of the late long time-honored editor of the Saratogian ) is also a descendant of Anneke Jansen.} Emanuel Gonzalez was immediately descended from a Spanish Huguenot of that name who came from Holland to New York in his own ship about 1690. The first permanent white inhabitant in Sullivan County, New York, is said to have settled there in the year 1700. His name was Don Manuel Gonzalez, and he is supposed to be the same person. {See French's New York Gazetteer , page 642, ed. 1860. The names of Emanuel Gonzalez and his son are found in a list of the freeholders of Ulster County in the year 1728, when they were living in the town of Kingston - The Documentary History of New York , vol. Iii., page 970.

About 1763 a proclamation was issued offering a reward for the apprehension of Jacobus Gonzalez and six others, all of Dutchess County, charged with high treason (Dunlap's History of New York , Appendix cxciii.) This Jacobus was no doubt grandson of the first Don Manuel and a brother of Joseph, and this proclamation may have induced the removal of Joseph from Dutchess County into the wilderness north of the Mohawk.} His grandson, Joseph, with his family, then consisting of his wife and four sons, with one hired man, was quietly residing upon this farm when the tragedy now to be related occurred.

Previous to the Revolution, Joseph had lived on the friendliest terms with the Indians. On the breaking out of the war, however, the Gonzalez family - almost the only one in that section that had espoused the cause of the colonies - became objects of special hate to the Tories, and particularly to the Scotch residents of Charlton, who were generally on the side of the Crown. Indeed, the Tories were more hostile to this one family than the savages themselves; and neglected no opportunity of stirring up the jealousy of the latter against it. In addition to this circumstance, one or two incidents had recently occurred which added intensity to this domestic strife. Emanuel Gonzalez, the oldest son of Joseph, was a man of twenty-two years of age, of great stature and strength, and one who could easily master any two Indians in the country. This had been shown on several occasions; but once, in particular, when attacked in a field by a dozen Indians, he defended himself so vigorously that his assailants were glad to beat a retreat. In the contest he was severely wounded by twisting his neck around nearly to breaking. From this, however, he recovered. This great feat excited still more the hostility of the Indians toward him; and when they appeared the second time, they came with firearms.

Another incident also tended to make the feelings of the Tories still more embittered. A few months previous to the events about to be narrated, Captain Clute, of Schenectady, came up one evening with a few soldiers to arrest one of the Tories, and by the latter was invited to stay all night, under the pretense that Clute had been misinformed, as he was really a stanch friend of the American cause. As soon as his visitors were asleep on the floor, the Tory left the house and notified Gonzalez and his sons that a party of Tories were at his residence on some nefarious errand, desiring them, at the same time, to come with him and assist in killing them. Supposing his story to be true, they returned with him; but when Gonzalez, who was a humane man, saw them asleep, he refused to harm the sleepers, and insisted on keeping guard during the night, and arresting them in the morning. The surprise of Gonzalez was great when the dawn revealed to him in the leader of the party the features of his old and tried friend Clute, whose life he had come so near taking. The tables were at once turned, and the treacherous Tory was arrested, taken to Schenectady, tried, and condemned to be hung. At the intercession of Gonzalez, however, he was pardoned.

It was never ascertained whether the Indians, in the dreadful tragedy soon to take place, were prompted by this Tory element or by the remembrance of the rough handling received by them in their contest with the young Gonzalez giant. It was evident, however, that the Indians, who were St. Regis, after their winter hunting and fishing in the Adirondacks, came nearly one hundred miles south on purpose to capture or destroy the family before their return to Canada.

At the time of the attack, which happened in April, 1782, the elder Gonzalez, the farm hand, the eldest and two youngest sons were burning a summer fallow in a field, while the mother, with her daughter and second son, David, a lad of eighteen, were at the house. As the party came up, Joseph Gonzalez recognized the leader of the band, and extended his hand in his usual friendly manner. In reply to this kindly salutation the Indian, drawing his tomahawk, struck the old man dead at his feet. At the same time the savages seized the other two sons, Emanuel and John, and the hired man. Emanuel, by main strength broke away from his captors and fled towards a piece of woods near at hand; but as he was in the act of scaling the first fence he was again seized. Turning on his pursuer, he easily threw him to the ground, notwithstanding he had received a shot through the hand in ascending the fence. Resuming his flight, he had well-nigh effected his escape; but as he leaped the last fence that separated him from the wood, he was instantly killed by a shot fired by his pursuers. Joseph, the youngest child, aged twelve years, was more fortunate; for while the attention of the party was distracted by the pursuit and the necessity of guarding John, one of the Indians, who had received many kindnesses from the Gonzalez, beckoned him to run to the house. This he succeeded in doing without attracting the attention of the rest, and gave the alarm to the other members of the family. David, the youth of eighteen, fortunately happened to be at home. At once harnessing a horse which stood near to a wagon, he conveyed his mother, Joseph, and the daughter over a rough road through the wilderness to Crane's Village, on the Mohawk, three miles distant.

A few miles east of Crane's Village, Capt. Tunis Swart then resided. On hearing the doleful tale, he lost no time in ordering out his company, but upon their refusing through fear to march, Swart, with young David, returned the same night as far back as the house. This they found undisturbed, but ascertained that the Indians had hastily retreated, bearing with them John and the servant and the scalps of the two victims - the latter being stuck upon two poles and carried in sight of the son. The next morning Swart carried the bodies into the log-house and tenderly covered them with blankets until the rites of sepulture could be properly performed. By this time, the country had been roused, and the settlers and militia, coming up from the Mohawk Valley, followed the retreating Indians as far as the Fish House; but losing the trail at this point, the pursuit was abandoned. {This massacre broke up the Gonzalez family. Rebecca, the oldest daughter, had previously, February 25, 1776, married Emanuel De Graff, who lived two miles east of Amsterdam. The mother and the surviving children removed to Schenectady, and left the farm in the wilderness temporarily abandoned. The younger children continued to reside in Schenectady for many years, but the mother died soon after, broken-hearted on account of the uncertain fate of her son John. The granddaughter of David is now the wife of Commander Constable of the United States Navy, and yet resides in Schenectady. A granddaughter of Rebecca is the wife of Hon. P.R. Toll of Glenville, Schenectady County, N.Y.}

The trip to Canada was made on foot and by forced marches. Fearful of pursuit, the Indians hurried along so fast that they could not tarry either to eat or to kill game. Their youthful prisoner, John, was two days without a morsel of food; and when he lagged behind from exhaustion, his life was threatened and the manner in which his scalp would be taken was kindly explained to him. The first sustenance offered to the captives was the entrails of a cooked squirrel, which they must eat or starve; nor was it until their arrival in Canada that they obtained anything at all palatable. This consisted of a piece of corn bread spread with lard that was given them by a friendly squaw at St. John's. When they laid down for the night, the captives were secured by a long strap placed on their prostrate bodies; several Indians lying upon each end of the strap ready to awaken and tomahawk them upon the least movement looking toward an escape. Frequently, also, his hair would be frozen to the ground when he awoke. Once John secured one of the guns of his captors, and would have attempted an escape had he not been dissuaded from it by his companion. On arriving at the Indian town - the capital of the St. Regis nation - his head was shaved and his face painted. He was forced, likewise, to submit to the terrible ordeals which the Indians inflict upon their prisoners, among other things being compelled to carry the scalps of his father and brother on a pole through the camp. On reaching the British army, although but fifteen years old, he was forced into that. During his stay in the English camp he was an unwilling witness to many cruelties practised upon American prisoners, one of which was the "running of the gauntlet" between two rows of Indians, who were allowed to beat them at every step. Of those who were subjected to this terrible ordeal every one died from its effects, with the exception of one spry Yankee boy, who adroitly dodged most of the blows. Although thus forced into the service, young Gonzalez was not allowed to participate actively in any campaign, from the fear that he would seize the opportunity to escape. He was accordingly confined in the garrison and employed in the manufacture of cartridges, doing, perhaps, in this way more for the American cause than if he had been fighting actively on their side; for he took great care to make them all simply of powdered charcoal. "I was resolved," he said, "that none made by me should ever harm my countrymen." Brave words and worthy of one whose every act was characterized by great and heroic daring!

Although peace was declared about a year after his capture, he was forced to remain two years longer in the service of those he detested, obtaining his release in the spring of 1785. Being a youth of great courage, and unusual intelligence and energy of character, he became a favorite with his officers. With a view to encourage settlers, and perhaps also to make a partial atonement for the sufferings which he had undergone, the British authorities offered land to each soldier who chose to remain under the English rule. The land thus offered to young Gonzalez was upon the site of the present city of Kingston. But although only eighteen years of age, he had seen too much of the Tories to cast in his lot with them. He accordingly rejected their offer with contempt, saying: "All I want of your land is enough to walk on until I get off from it!" and, as good as his word, he straightway returned, yet a mere boy, to the Mohawk valley. {His name was entered on the rolls of the British army as Consalus ; and it has been so spelled by his descendants ever since.} The first relative he found was his sister, Mrs. De Graff, whose descendants yet reside on the same farm near Amsterdam.

His father, who met with so tragical an end, had previously contracted for about fifteen hundred acres of the best land in the county of Saratoga, but not having, at the time of his death, made sufficient payment to secure the title, the estate was lost. John, however, on arriving at his majority, bought a portion of the land, where he and his descendants have since resided. He built the first frame building in the south-west portion of the county. In 1791, he married Dorcas Hogan of Albany, by whom he had twelve children, and died October 8, 1823. He was succeeded in the homestead - near the scene of the tragedy - by his son Emanuel, who died January 31, 1872. {Mrs. E.F. Bullard, of Saratoga Springs, is a daughter of this Emanuel.}



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