Saturday, November 28, 2015

Evacuation Day - November 25, 1783

New York City was occupied by the British for over seven years during the War for Independence.  It was an insult to the residents of New York State, who viewed the city as their capital and their link to commerce.  Retaking the city was General Washington's objective for most of the war.  During the last three years of the war, the main army wintered in a horseshoe pattern surrounding the city, waiting for an opportunity to attack. It never happened.

Sitting at the "handle" of the horseshoe was Newburgh.  Washington made this area his headquarters towards the end of the war.  Joel, the subject of this blog, lived close to Newburgh, and was aware of the desire to reoccupy New York.  Many occupants of the city had fled in 1776 and had been Joel's neighbors during the last seven years.

After the battle of Yorktown effectively ended the war in 1781, the armies waited as peace negotiations slowly proceeded in Europe.  By April of 1783 all hostilities had ceased and the negotiations for the evacuation of New York City began.  It was late in the year before the date of November 25th was agreed upon.

By the autumn of 1783, many refugees had returned to the city.  They were trying to reclaim homes and farms, and for the enterprising, they were already starting a brisk trade, both with the departing British and up and down the coast. One enterprising young man was Joel's neighbor, John Van Arsdale.  John, a teenage veteran of the war, converted a gunboat, the Black Prince, into a cargo ship. He carried out trade between Newburgh and New York City on the newly reopened river.

It is not a tremendous stretch to imagine that every patriot had some desire to be in New York City on November 25th for what was to be the culmination of everything they had fought and sacrificed for. The ceremonies had been planned and dignitaries had been invited.  It is known that John Van Arsdale was there.  Who else had he brought from Newburgh in his ship?  Perhaps Joel or one of Joel's sons who were closer to John's age had accompanied him.

Today, November 25, 2015, two hundred and thirty two years later, I walked the processional route.  I tried to imagine what it was like so many years earlier.

My starting point was Astor Place at the "6" Line subway stop.  This spot was on Bowery Lane, the main thoroughfare through the farms of Manhattan up into Harlem and eventually across the Harlem River to the road to Boston. Walking down Cooper Square, one encounters the intersection with 5th Street, 3rd Ave, and the section of the old road that still retains the name of "Bowery."  Here sat a military post where Major General Henry Knox waited with the American troops who were to secure the city prior to the official entry of Washington.  They halted here early in the morning of the 25th after marching from McGowan's Pass (in current Central Park).  The forces waited at this post with their British counterparts.  At one o'clock the British forces headed down Bowery, turned on Queen St (now Pearl) and boarded a ship to sail away.

Several blocks further down Bowery Lane stood the Bull's Head Tavern.  Its location was at about 50-52 Bowery, just south of Canal St. Here Washington waited with the main entourage.  They had descended from Day's Tavern in Harlem (about 126th St and 8th Ave) and had followed Knox part way to the old city boundary.  It was about 2 pm when Knox returned to Bull's Head to give the signal that the city was secure, and the grand entrance began.

Evacuation day procession route on modern map.  Bull's Head Tavern is red marker in upper left.  Procession followed the blue line.

Drawing of Bull's Head Tavern on Bowery Lane

Construction at site of Bull's Head Tavern (50-52 Bowery Lane) just south of Canal Street.

It takes some imagination to see what the procession of 1783 saw. Today the road is packed with storefronts instead of farms, most of them with signage in Mandarin. Occasionally a view will open up to the left, and the East River can be seen. Gazing back, the Met Life clock tower is visible as Bowery Lane fades into the distance.

Storefronts on Bowery Lane
1776 map of New York City.  Current City Hall Park is located in upper middle of the map inside the triangular open space.  The wide road in the upper right is Bowery Lane.  Bull's Head Tavern is further up this road.  North of this map is largely farm land. Queen Street (now Pearl) proceeds south from outlet of Fresh Water Pond.

The entourage stopped briefly "near the tea-water pump." This was a source of drinking water that was at the south end of the Fresh Water Pond (now totally filled in; see in 1776 map above). This location at the corner of Pearl Street and Park Row, still feels the effects of the old spring if the "DANGER Sinking Ground " sign is any indication.

"Danger, Sinking Ground" Sign near site of old Tea Water Pump.  Pearl Street and Park Row.
Artist depiction of a "Tea Water Pump."  After one enterprising water salesman christened his water source with this name, it appears to have been used generically for any water that made good tea.

Here the public joined in the procession. George Washington and New York Governor Clinton on horse back led the procession onto Queen Street (now Pearl).

Pyle Painting of soldiers in procession.

The path of the procession was designed to parade in front of the finest homes in the city.  One of those was the Depeyster House. It was located on Queen Street (now Pearl) approximately opposite to where Cedar Street intersects. This Dutch family of merchants had a long history in the city. British officers had made this home their headquarters and Governor Clinton would make it his also. The Depeysters were loyalists and left with the British, forfeiting their vast wealth. [Catherine Depeyster would marry Peter Dubois and make her home in the same tract of land where Joel's father settled in Ulster County... the Wileman patent]

Depeyster House on Queen Street (now Pearl Street)

Looking at site of Depeyster House from Cedar Street.  It says "80 Pine" on the front, but that side of the building faces Pearl Street.

The parade turned from Queen Street onto Wall Street, which also contained many fashionable residences. Citizens cheered from the windows of those homes. They passed the City Hall where Federal Hall now stands.  The columned structure would be home to an American Mayor for the first time in over seven years.

Washington and Clinton proceeding down Wall Street.  City Hall on left (now Federal Hall)

Looking down Wall Street 232 years later.  Site of City Hall on left.

The procession turned right up Broadway and stopped in front of Cape's Tavern. Cape's Tavern stood on the west side of Broadway about opposite the intersection with Pine St. Here the procession stopped for short speeches from the "welcoming" committee and Washington and Clinton. A feu-de-joie was fired off by the troops. In a few years this Tavern would change its name to City Arms Tavern.

Cape's Tavern was located just past the Northeast corner of the Trinity Church Cemetery.  There is a marker on the side of the Building that is just beyond the large one that takes up most of the frame.
Another depiction of Washington in the procession.

The crowd then turned around and headed to the center of power of the city, Fort George. Fort George stood where the US Customs Building (Museum of the American Indian) now stands. The procession ended here with the raising of the American flag over the fort. The British had left their colors flying and greased the pole. This is the setting for the legendary tale of John Van Arsdale, spoken of earlier. John was the enterprising sailor who scaled the pole and raised the stars and stripes. The hour long ceremony included a thirteen gun salute from the cannons of the fort.

1776 Ratzer map of New York City.  Fort George is the structure on the left labeled "1". The triangular park above it is Bowling Green.  The wide road leading NE from Bowling Green is Broadway. The next structure on the left is Trinity Church.  Cape's Tavern was located on Broadway at the top edge of this map.

Looking from the top of Bowling Green at the site of Fort George, now the US Customs Building.

The procession disbanded to the various establishments of the city for drinking and dancing. The dignitaries gathered at Fraunces Tavern for a dinner hosted by Governor Clinton. Fraunces Tavern stood at the same location as it does today.

Fraunces Tavern at same site as 232 years ago, Dock Street (now Pearl Street) and Broad Street.

The evening ended with fireworks over the harbor.

I stopped at a few other sights that some of the soldiers of the Revolution would have remembered. The first was the site of the Friends Meeting House that was used at a prison hospital (NE corner of Liberty and Broadway). The second was the site of Livingston's Sugarhouse, used as a prison for American soldiers (Liberty Street between Nassau and William). In back of the Sugarhouse was the Dutch Church where the Depeysters and Dubois worshiped.

Livingston Sugarhouse (Revolutionary War Prison) with Dutch Church in background.

Site of Livingston Sugarhouse on Crown Street (now Liberty Street).

The Brick Church was another prison Hospital (NW corner of Nassau and Beekman).  The site of the notorious Provost prison is marked by a stone table in the fenced off grass area east of City Hall.  My last stop was at the window from the Rhinelander Sugarhouse that is memorialized in an alley behind the Municipal Building.  Sadly, all of these sites require a bit of imagination.  The only physical evidence of any of these structures is the Rhinelander window.

Window from Rhinelanders Sugarhouse.  Displayed in alley behind Municipal Building.

Rhinelanders Sugarhouse.

For many years Evacuation Day was celebrated in grand style in New York City on November 25th. Who could forget the culmination of the War for Independence? It was the moment that the greatest city on earth was reoccupied by Americans. Sadly, it has been largely forgotten. There were no patriotic crowds as I walked the route. Bowery Lane looked more like China than the US. Strangely, a British drum and fife group performed at Federal Hall. There is one advantage to the disappearance of "Evacuation Day":  I had no problem getting a table at Fraunces Tavern.

Meal at Fraunces Tavern.

P.S.  A map of the my route and related sites along the way is available here.

Procession followed the blue line.  "D" is Depeyster House, "S" is Fraunces Tavern, "F" is Fort George, "E" is Cape's Tavern, "Q" is the Friends Meeting House (Prison Hospital), "O" is Livingston's Sugarhouse (Prison), "T" is the John Street Methodist Church.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Chemung (Wellsburg) Baptist Church

[Saturday August 4, 1804]   The Chemung Baptist Church, Chemung, Tioga, New York

On this date, Eunice Campbell, the wife of Joel Campbell Jr, was received into full fellowship in this congregation of the Chemung Baptist Church in recognition of a letter of Dismission from the Baptist Church at Brookfield.[i]

There are at least two interesting conclusions from this fact.  Firstly, the Campbells were in the valley of Bentley Creek (future Ridgebury) prior to 1805.  All of the written histories say 1805 or later.

Secondly, at least one Campbell had association with the Baptists while living in Orange County. 

Joel and Eunice were living in the town of Mamakating in 1800 and were probably in the area of current Bloomingburg/Wurtsboro (then called Mamacotten Hollow).  From there it would have been a ten mile journey to worship at the Brookfield church.  There was a closer congregation at New Vernon (about three miles from Bloomingburg) and perhaps the congregations shared the same minister.  The New Vernon Primitive Baptist Church was erected in 1800 and David Campbell (nephew of Joel Sr, the namesake of this blog) is buried there.

Area of Deerpark and Mamakating.  The cluster of pins on the left is the settlement of Peenpack in Deerpark.  The pin labeled "J" is where Jonathan Campbell had his farm on the Neversink River.  The purple pin at the top is the location of Bloomingburg and Wurtsboro (Mamacotten Hollow).  The Brookfield Baptist Church is the lowest purple pin.  The middle puple pin labelled "R" is the New Vernon Baptist Church.  "L" is the Mt Hope Cemetery were Nathaniel Campbell is buried.  The village of Montgomery is seen on the far right.  The ridge of mountains passing to the SW is called the Shawangunk Ridge.  You can see a zoomable version of this map at this link.

The origins of the Chemung congregation dated to fifteen years prior to Eunice's arrival.  In 1789, a group of settlers who had belonged to Baptist churches in the east, now "having our lots cast in the wilderness land in the town of Chemung," founded a church.  It was the first church of any denomination in the Tioga (now Chemung) River Valley.  Apparently they met in a church structure which was perhaps one and the same as the log home of Roswell Goff, the first pastor.   It was located south of the river just east of the current village of Wellsburg.  A marker on the farm of Smith Burt, Wilawanna Road, indicates the location was about a quarter mile north in what is currently a field (north of the railroad tracks).  (GPS location:  42.019061, -76.701263)  (Marker at: 4045 Wilawanna Rd, Elmira, NY 14901  42.015285, -76.701163)

Location of Chemung (Wellsburg) Baptist Church.  "A" (red pin) is the location of the marker on Wilawanna Rd.  "B (yellow pin) is the area of the main meeting place of this church until 1812.  "C" (green pin) is the location of the new church built in 1812.  "D" (blue pin) is approximate location of the Fuller farm on Bentley Creek.   Campbell farms are further south on the creek.  The Chemung River (then called Tioga River) at the top flows east to join with the Susquehanna.  New York-Pennsylvania border bisects this map.  A zoomable version of this map is here.

Did other Campbells join this church?  More later.

[i] Records of the Chemung [Wellsburg] Baptist Church, p. 78,, accessed 2015-07-24; The Brookfield Church was located in what is now Slate Hill, Wawayanda, NY.  It is about 10 miles from Peenpack or "the lower neighborhood" and slightly closer to Deerpark settlements on the east of the ridge.  This area was part of the town of Minisink in 1800.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Smithfield, Wells, Ridgeberry, Ridgebury, or Bentley Creek? All the same place?

The Fullers and Campbells arrived at the Pennsylvania valley in 1805 where they would build their homes, clear land, and farm.    A man by the name of Green Bentley lived on the creek that exited the valley at its northern end.  His residence was near the settlement of Southport (now Wellsburg).  It is possible that by the arrival of the Campbells and Fullers in 1805, the valley stream was already being called "Bentley Creek" as it is today.

1819 Assessment for Wells Township where the entry of Nathaniel Campbell is crossed out as he is really in the new "Ridgebury" township.

The early history of the Campbells was one of taking residence in rapidly growing parts of the country.  These were frontier areas where the county and town boundaries changed rapidly to accommodate the increase in population.  That was true in Wallkill/Hanover/Montgomery and in Mamakating/Deerpark.  It would be no different in the valley of Bentley Creek.

Prior to 1804, this area was part of Luzerne county.  As part of a large redistricting in 1804, this small part of Luzerne that contained the current townships Athens, Ridgebury, South Creek, and Wells, was moved to Lycoming.

In 1805, Bentley Creek valley sat in the township of Tioga in the county of Lycoming.  The county at that time was massive, comprising, in whole or in part, the current Pennsylvania counties of Armstrong, Bradford, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Indiana, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango, and Warren.

Between 1808 and 1810, the township of Smithfield was formed.  It appears to be merely a renaming of Tioga Township.  If it was done to reduce confusion, it has not worked.

1820 Federal Census for "Ridgbury"

A new county was formed from parts of Lycoming and Luzerne on February 21, 1810.  It was named "Ontario."   Despite passage by the legislature, the civil organization of this county would not occur until 1812.  For that reason the federal census of 1810 for the inhabitants of the valley of Bentley Creek fell within Smithfield Township in Lycoming County.  Joel is not specifically mentioned in this census, but the Fullers are enumerated as are many of Joel's sons.  When the county was finally organized in 1812, its name was changed from Ontario to Bradford.  They also renamed the area that was "Smithfield" to Athens and Ulster.  Athens being the northern most strip in the county and Ulster the next most northern.

A new township of Wells was taken out of Athens in 1813.  It included the Bentley Creek area. The local assessments for Fullers and Campbells for the years 1813 to 1819 are registered in Wells Township, Bradford County.

It was not until 1818 that the township of Ridgeberry was formed from parts of Wells and Athens. The spelling varied in the early years.  The spelling used in the legislative creation of the township has not been consulted, but here are a few examples of the spelling in early documents.  In the 1819 assessment for Wells it was spelled "Ridgebury."  In the 1820 Federal Census it was spelled "Ridgbury."  In the Ridgebury assessments between 1818 and 1829 it was spelled "Ridgberry", "Ridgbery", "Ridgbury", "Rigebury", "Ridgebery", and "Ridgebury."

1820 Assessment for "Ridgbery"

The History of Bradford County by David Craft spells it "Ridgeberry" in 1878.

1878 History by David Craft

The meticulous newspaper editor, Clement Heverly, spells it "Ridgebery" in his 1915 Pioneer and Patriot Families of Bradford County.

1915 Pioneer and Patriot Families by Heverly

The concept of "correct spelling" did not really exist until the publication of Webster's Dictionary in 1828 (coincidentally the year of Joel Campbell's death).  Even so, it appears the spelling of this township's name was in debate well into the 20th century.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Newburgh Turnpike

At the end of the American Revolution, land in western New York suddenly became more accessible.  The Indians had been driven out, treaties signed, and threats diminished.  Continental officers (and enlisted men with long service) were awarded lands in the New York military tracts.  Other lands were available from the government at low prices.  Sometimes all that was required was a promise to "improve" the land within a certain time frame.  According the account of Chattie Fuller, the Campbells and Fullers (who settled on Bentley Creek in 1805) obtained their lands "by right of possession."[i]

Signage on Pennsylvania State Road 2034 in Herrick.  Note spelling.

The  main east/west thoroughfare for migration to the newly opened lands was known by many names.  For those pioneers who had already made it to western New York, it was called the Newburgh turnpike, as Newburgh was where the road led.  [Even though maps as far back as 1778 use the current "Newburgh" spelling, the Pennsylvanians still spell it "Newburg Turnpike."]

NY Route 114 at Cochecton.  The "end" of the Newburgh-Cochecton Turnpike.

A zoomable map with annotations is at the link below.  If possible, open it in another window to help you follow the text.

Roads and places mentioned in this blog.  Open in another window.  The yellow marker on the far right is Newburgh on the Hudson River.  The turnpike started at that location and ended at the red marker at Cochecton on the Delaware River.  The road that continued west of the Delaware was often also called the Newburgh Turnpike, but it was chartered as the Great Bend Turnpike.  It ended at the green marker, the Great Bend in the Susquehanna River.  The Fullers and the Campbells were living close to "Peenpack" which is shown by the light green marker (D).  Their destination of Bentley Creek is the dark blue marker on the left side.

For those about to make the trek to the west it might have been called the "Great Bend Turnpike" or the road to Cochecton (pronounced "cuh-SHEK-ton," which was Lenape for "foaming water" or translated by others to mean "low land").  General James Clinton had proposed a similar road in 1805 to the military tracts (never built) which he called the "National Appian Way."[ii] This route took on that nickname.

Signage on Great Bend Turnpike near Pleasant Mount.  The turnpike changed names along the route depending on the "most common destination" of people of the area.

Technically the route was a series of many different roads.  The most easterly was the road that started at Newburgh on the Hudson River and terminated at Cochecton on the Delaware River.  Its official name was the Newburgh-Cochecton Turnpike and was built and operated by a private enterprise, the Newburgh and Cochecton Turnpike company.   Cochecton was chosen as the terminus as it was the site of a ford of the Delaware River to Damascus Manor on the Pennsylvania side.[iii]  But it was also chosen, according to Ruttenber, because the principal stockholders had land in that area on which they had speculated.[iv]

Delaware River from Newburgh-Cochecton Turnpike in Cochecton.

The road from Damascus, Pennsylvania to the Great Bend in the Susquehanna River was called the Great Bend Turnpike.  The enterprise that would build and operate this road was called the Company of the Coshecton [another common Pennsylvania spelling] & Great Bend Turnpike Road.[v] 

One share of Coshecton & Great Bend Turnpike Stock.

At Great Bend the road connected with other well-used trails/roads that Indians had used for centuries and on which Sullivan's army had left its marks with over-packed supply wagons and artillery.  The Old Lakawana Trail led from New Milford to the Great Bend.  From there the well-traveled paths on either side of the Susquehanna River led to Newtown (now Elmira) and Tioga Point.[vi]

Signage from Pennsylvania TR 945 in Gibson Township.

Two ferries operated across the Susquehanna at Great Bend until the first bridge was built in 1814.[vii]  I suspect the Campbells made use of the ferries at that location and traveled on the north side of the Susquehanna which flows westward almost along the NY/PA border.  They would have passed through the ancient Indian town of Owego, a small pioneer and merchant village in 1805. 

About 50 miles from Great Bend the Susquehanna River is joined by the Tioga River flowing from the west (now called the Chemung River) and the combined rivers turn south.  At some point the Campbells and Fullers needed to cross the Tioga River (Chemung River).  The river is only fordable at a few spots.[viii]  One spot was a mile further upstream from where Bentley Creek entered.  If they arrived in the Fall when the water was low, they may have selected this option.  Another option would have been to hire a ferry which operated at the town of Chemung about five miles downstream of the junction with Bentley Creek.

In 1805, the road up Bentley Creek was probably no more than a trail.  If the Campbells and Fullers had followed the common practice of pioneers preparing for a move, then they had likely built this trail in a prior year.  It was common for men to leave their families for the summer to clear land and plant at a new location.  Often they would build the start of a new home, then return home for the harvest and spend the winter with their family.  Sometimes this routine would be repeated for multiple years until the new land could support the move.  This might be the case if their specialty was orchards that took many years to develop. 

At the crest of a hill, before reaching Pleasant Mount, PA,, the travelers could look back and see the Catskills of New York for the last time.

The distance between Peenpack and Bentley Creek is about 170 miles.  On horseback this could be done in 4 or 5 days.  Walking with light provisions would take 8-10 days.  With families, heavy supplies, and the droving of cattle/hogs/sheep, this distance could take 20-40 days to accomplish.

We have no record of the route taken by the Campbells and Fullers.  We don't know how long it took them or what time of year they traveled.  There is no indication of them arriving as one large group or making the migration in several groups over a few years.  What we do know is that the route of the Newburgh Turnpike led a continuous stream of settlers to the western frontiers from 1800 until the age of the railroad.


The Newburgh & Cochecton Turnpike company received its charter from the state on April 7, 1800.[ix]  In reality much of this road was already there at a much earlier date.  The company was now chartered to improve what was only a trail in places and authorized to collect tolls.  The same can be said for the Cochecton & Great Bend Turnpike Company which received its charter on March 29, 1804.[x]  Although the road was not "completed" until six years after the Fullers and Campbells had made their journey, the road was laid out and was frequently traveled.  It had not been improved to its specification of  "twenty foot width."  Could this mean that the Campbells and Fullers escaped paying the tolls on the unfinished sections?

The settlement at Peenpack, where most of the Campbells were living in 1804, was not on the turnpike.  They lived two miles from the Old Mine Road, a road believed to have been built by the Dutch in the mid 1600s.  The current Route 209 traces this route towards Kingston, NY.  The intersection with the Newburgh-Cochecton turnpike was ten miles NE along this "Old Mine Road."  This is the route I think most likely for the start of the Campbell-Fuller trek.  However, there was another "Cochecton" road in Peenpack.

Peter Gumaer writes in his History of Deerpark that a road to Cochecton was built in 1803 from the grist mill of Captain William Rose.[xi]  Captain Rose married Mary, the daughter of Egbert DeWitt, and inherited the DeWitt grist mill that was near the aquaduct of the D&H canal over the Neversink River.[xii]  This location is in the current hamlet of Cuddebackville on the Old Mine Road (209). The road referred to, however did not really go to Cochecton.  Its route is explained by Norma Schadt in the September 2008 issue of the Deerpark Diary.

She refers to a newspaper article from 1933 that states that the "Old Cochecton Road ... ran from Roses Point to Cahoonzie, then to Mongaup and then to Ten Mile River ...  What they called the Cochecton road turned off and went up to Cochecton."[xiii]  "Roses Point" is the home of Captain Rose and his grist mill spoken of by Gumaer.  The road ran west up Prospect Hill then continued to Peenpack Trail road, then joined existing trails when it reached the Delaware River at the confluence of the Mongaup River.  (see purple line in map.)  This point was still thirty miles downriver from Cochecton.  The Cochecton "road" continued up the river about 18 miles to the entrance of "Ten Mile River" into the Delaware.  Its location is about ten miles downriver from Cochecton.

I have often wondered if the Campbells were employed in road building.  In 1773, Joel's father's farm straddled the road to Wilemanton (Route 208).  As such he was required to maintain the road and the small bridge that ran over a minor stream. In 1790, Joel's location in the census is almost right on the Newburgh Turnpike in the town of Montgomery.  In 1800, Jonathan's farm is where the Lumberland Turnpike was planned and close to the 1803 "Cochecton Road" from the Rose grist mill.  Their proximity to these roads makes one think they could have worked on them.


Addition roads of interest...

In 1807, the Milford and Owego Turnpike was incorporated.[xiv]  This route started at Milford on the Delaware River which was about 15 miles SW down the Old Mine Road from the Campbell farm in Peenpack.  The old road took a direct route to Owego, passing much north of Wilkes-Barre and the Wyoming valley route into western New York.  Perhaps this would have been an option for the Campbells if they had left a few years later.

Another road ran past the "Campbell Flats" in Peenpack.  It would be known as the Mount Hope and Lumberland turnpike in 1812.[xv]  It went from the current Otisville to Forestburgh.  It does not appear to have continued to Cochecton, but eventually went to a new crossing of the Delaware at Narrowsburgh.  This turnpike passed through Campbell Flats on what is now Oakland Valley Road.  Gumaer refers to the bridge where this turnpike crossed the Neversink as being close to where Captain Abraham Westfall built a sawmill in the 1700s "on a brook at that time termed Bush-kill."[xvi]  This is known to be on Oakland Valley Road.

[i] Charity "Chattie" Fuller (1850-abt1920) was a granddaughter of the Fuller patriarch who settled on Bentley Creek, Abiel Fuller.  She wrote a record of Fullers and Campbells in her family.  This is from page 2 of her account in the possession of Sandra Ball.
[ii] Ruttenber, E.M., Clark, L.H., History of Orange County, Everts & Peck, Philadelphia, 1881, p. 112.
[iii] A Brief History of Damascus Township,, accessed 2015-06-27
[iv] Ruttenber, E.M., Clark, L.H., History of Orange County, Everts & Peck, Philadelphia, 1881, p. 111.
[v] From Image of Stock sold for the financing of the Great Bend Turnpike
[vi] Bruce, Robert, Ancient Trails Which are Now Modern Roads, American Motorist, March 1917, p. 17., accessed 2015-06-27.
[vii] Egle, William Henry, History of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Civil, Political and Military ..., E. M. Gardner, Pennsylvania, 1883, p. 1089.
[viii] Friends of the Chemung River Watershed, "The Historical Story of the Chemung River",, accessed 2015-06-27.
[ix] Palmer, Richard F., Turnpike Corporations in New York State,, accessed 2015-06-27
[x] Mathews, Alfred, History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania, R.T. Peck & Company,  - Monroe County (Pa.), 1886, p222, available at
[xi] Gumaer, Peter, A History of Deerpark, Minisink Valley Historical Society, Port Jervis, 1890, p. 136.
[xii] Gumaer, Peter, A History of Deerpark, Minisink Valley Historical Society, Port Jervis, 1890, p. 65.
[xiii] Schadt, Norman, Deerpark Diary, September 2008,, accessed 2015-06-27.
[xiv] Gordon, Thomas, A Gazetteer of the State of Pennsylvania, p.476,, accessed 2015-06-28
[xv] Schadt, Norman, Deerpark Diary, March 2008,, accessed 2015-06-27.
[xvi] Gumaer, Peter, A History of Deerpark, Minisink Valley Historical Society, Port Jervis, 1890, p. 169.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The 1760 Farm of Samuel Campbell - His neighbors, the McCollams

The properties to the south of the Campbell Farm were discussed in a previous post.  The main property to the south was purchased by John Perry in 1760, passed to the Wood family, and was deeded to Obadiah Newkirk in 1843.

The property to the northwest of the Obadiah Newkirk property (and presumably to the west of the Campbell Farm) is labeled as 99 acres belonging to E.B. Littell.  Also bordering on the north at the eastern edge is the James Beattie property (Campbell Farm?).  These two properties are mentioned in the 1843 deed to Newkirk as the "John Arthur and James Beattie" lands.

1862 Farm Map of SE Wileman and NE Brashier patents in Town of Montgomery, Orange County, NY.  The line above Francis Littell, Hammer, and Newkirk farms is the dividing line between the Wileman and Brashier patents.

A description of the James Beattie lands is given in a 1815 deed from Robert Beattie to James.  ["New York, Land Records, 1630-1975," images, FamilySearch (,358689801 : accessed 28 May 2015), Orange > Deeds 1827-1828 vol GG-HH > image 135 of 545; county courthouses, New York.   1815 NOV 20 Robert Beattie to James Beattie Deed,  Liber GG, p.210 )
Bob Goodwin wrote "How this land came into the possession of Robert Beatty is long and complicated and will have to be the subject of another post."  We look forward to that.

The Littell lands were received by deed in 1850 from John Arthur.  [1850 Elias B. Littell from John Arthur, Liber 105, p. 65, Image 316,359419301]  The deed further states that these lands "were lately owned and occupied by Doctor Henry W. Hornbeck deceased."

The Hornbecks appear to be living on this land at least since 1820 when they appear in the Montgomery federal census.  However, this land is deeded to them in 1808 by Matthew McCollam. ["New York, Land Records, 1630-1975," images, FamilySearch (,358577401 : accessed 28 May 2015), Orange > Deeds 1807-1809 vol K-L > image 153 of 485; county courthouses, New York.   1808 deed from Matthew and Elizabeth McCollam to Henry Hornbeck, Liber K, p. 297]

I believe the census takers had problems with the McCollam name.  In the 1790 census the name appeared as "John McClannen" (could he be the son of Samuel McCollam who witnessed Samuel Campbell's will in 1773?).  In the 1800 census the widow McCollam was known as "Elizabeth Montfort" (this is confirmed in the deed).

The property is described as:
" ... known and distinguished in the map or plan of Wilemanton by the name of Lot number thirty and is bounded as follows that is to say,
Beginning at a small black oak sapling marked with two notches and a blaze on four sides being the southwesterly corner of lot number twenty and runs from thence
South twenty degrees West, thirty six Chains
to a stake and heap of stones on the easterly side of a hill in the line of the tract thence
South seventy degrees East, along said line twenty seven Chains and fifty links thence
North twenty degrees East, thirty six Chains and thence
North seventy degrees West, twenty seven Chains and fifty links (as the needle pointed in the year 1794) to the place of Beginning containing ninety nine acres of Land... "

This shape, size, and location match the Littell plot shown in the 1862 farm map.

It is likely the McCollams and the Campbells were neighbors for many years and maybe knew each other prior to the move from NJ to NY.  As mentioned, Samuel McCollam was a witness to the will of Samuel Campbell.  Perhaps there was even some intermarrying.

Another piece of the puzzle falls into place.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The 1760 farm of Samuel Campbell - REVISITED

You may have seen the discussions on the Joel Campbell Family Facebook page regarding the location of the first New York farm of Joel's father, Samuel.

I had presumed the farm was close to the still-standing 1760 home of Benjamin Haines.  The Campbell name appeared very close to the Haines name in the 1790 census.

Bob Goodwin placed it about 3 miles further north.  A 1783 deed between Israel Brown and Benjamin Wood mentions the Campbell lands.  The Brown/Wood property is in the "Brashier patent" which is north of the Haines home.  In fact, it shares a common border with the north edge of the Brashier patent.  The 1783 deed says the Campbell lands were north of that line.

The commonality between the family names in the 1790 census and the names of farms in the "Brown/Wood" section of the Brashier patent supports Bob's argument that the Campbell farm was in this area.  Indeed it is about 3 miles northeast of the still-standing Haines home.  It is about that same distance from Samuel's second farm on Rt 208 (the one mentioned in the 1793 deed.)

The false lead with the Haines home was due to the size and number of Haines properties and homes.  It appears that by the 1790 census, Haines had moved from the historic 1760 home on Coleman Road to another one of his properties to the north.

The location of the 1760 Campbell farm is about 10 miles from the commercial centers of Newburgh and New Windsor on the Hudson river to the East.  There were also mills on the Wallkill River less than 3 miles to the West, but the markets for goods were reached via the Hudson, not the Wallkill.

Location of Campbell Farms on a modern map.  Newburgh, New York to the right on the Hudson River.
The placement of the 1760 farm can be fine-tuned by using some old maps and deeds.  Let's start with a 1862 map of this area.  The red lines show the extent of the Brashier patent.  All early properties were laid out with respect to these borders.  More than 100 years after the patent was surveyed, very few properties overlapped those borders.

1862 "Farm Map of  the Town of Montgomery, Orange Co., N.Y., Surveyed Drawn & Published by Michael Hughes, N Friend Lith, 332 Walnut St., Philadelphia" with extent of Brashier Patent outlined in red.
As you can see, by 1862 there were no Woods, Perrys, or Campbells on the map.  A few names from the 1790 census survive.  For example, there is a "Haines" home on 40 acres where the Tin Brook makes a turn from SW to NW (it flows west to the Wallkill).  The "McKenny's"  (or McKinney) are also in the 1790 census and have three properties on this map.  The property to the north where the Tin Brook makes a loop across the "Newburgh-Ellenville Turnpike" (also known as S Plank Rd and Rt 52) contains the McKinney Home.  The "Brown" name appears in the lower right and the road bounding it to the West is still called "Brown Road."

The 198 acres owned by Obadiah Newkirk (at the crossroads of the Turnpike and the Road to St. Andrews) was acquired in 1843 from the heirs of Abraham Wood.  Abraham had apparently died and his descendents had scattered.  One of his sons signed the deed from his home in Michigan.  The guardian of his "Crowell" grandchildren also signed.  Abraham's late daughter had married a "Crowell."  [his pension application says that his oldest brother's daughter married a Crowell.]  Note the placement of the Crowell property on the map.  The description of the Wood/Newkirk property is given in the Orange County Land Records, Liber 78, p. 42 (Image 26).
" ... beginning at the corner of the lands of James Beattie and John Arthur, and runs from thence North sixty nine and one quarter degrees West forty seven chains and twenty two links, thence South twenty two and one quarter degrees West, forty four chains and fifty five links, then South sixty seven and a half degrees East, seventeen chains and ten links; thence South twenty two and one quarter degrees West, twenty seven chains and thirty six links; thence South sixty seven and one quarter degrees East, eight chains and forty three links; then North twenty two and one quarter degrees East, forty four chains and seventy eight links; thence South seventy degrees East, twenty two chains and one link; thence North twenty one and a half degrees East twenty seven chains and sixty seven links to the place of beginning; Containing one hundred and ninety eight acres and thirty four rods of land ... "
The shape of this parcel matches exactly the parcel labeled Obadiah Newkirk in the 1862 map (see blue outline).

1862 Map with Obadiah Newkirk purchase from Wood heirs outlined in blue.
This "Wood" property, however does not match the shape of the two Wood purchases in the 1700s.  Are they related?  Here is my working hypothesis:

First, the slender piece of property extending to the south, is part the purchase mentioned earlier that Benjamin Wood made from Israel Brown.   [Deed of Israel Brown to Benjamin Wood, 2 Nov 1783, Ulster Co., Deeds, Vol II, page 23.   (note that "Vol. II" comes after "HH" and before "KK".  It is not a Roman numeral.)  It is out of order in the Book of Abstracts.  In the microfilm it is located as Image 189 where page 32 should be:,360657301]

This 1783 purchase was tall (1.6 miles) and very slender (about 200 yards).  It stretched from top to bottom of the Brashier patent.  I have colored that parcel in green.  Other hints in the description say the NW corner was at a "Rode" which matches with the placement of this plot on the road to St Andrews.  It also says that his existing property borders to the east.  Which brings us to the 1771 deed in which Wood purchases his original farm from Tuthill.

Parts of the Brashier patent had been purchased by speculators, Samuel Tuthill and Benjamin Brown.   The line that divided their purchases ran north and south.  The line was marked "T.BB" (Presumably for Tuthill/BenjaminBrown).  The line became less important in 1783 when Benjamin Wood owned property on both sides of the line.  But in 1771, Wood purchased a parcel which sat in the Tuthill lands and bordered the Brown lands.  It also shared a border with the southern border of the Brashier patent.  Like the other parcels it was tall (0.9 miles) and slender (300 yards).  It is shown on the map in yellow.  [Deed of Samuel Tuthill to Benjamin Wood, 7 Jun 1771, Ulster Co., Deeds, Vol II, page 30 (Image 188),360657301]

This deed also tells us that it was bordered on the north by "a lot of one hundred acres formerly granted to John Perry."  Perry's lot was not quite as tall (0.7 miles) and not quite so slender (~400 yards).  [See  Deed from Samuel Tuthill to John Perry, 4 Dec 1760, Book GG, p.388  (Image 568 at,360654001)]  Its shape fits nicely to the north of the original Wood purchase.  It is shown in blue.  The "swamp" mentioned in the NW corner, still exists today.

1862 map with 1783 Wood (green), 1771 Wood (yellow), and 1760 Perry (blue) deed information.  The estimate of the Campbell property is in purple at the very top and extends off the map.
The Campbell property is mentioned in both the 1783 Wood Deed (" ... Beginning at a Maple Tree standing in the Line between the said lot and a lot belonging to one Cammel being the Northeast corner of the said Tract ...") and in the 1784 Deed where he gave part of the former property to, Abraham Wood (his brother?) (" ... Beginning at a Maple Tree standing in the Lane [Line?] between the said Land & a Lot of Land belonging to one Camel [Campbell] being the North East Corner of the said Lands ...").  Daniel Campbell is a witness to the 1760 Perry deed, adding credence to the proximity of Campbell lands.   No deed exists for the Campbell purchase but as it was north of the Wood and Perry land it is estimated to be where the purple rectangle sits and extends off the map northward.

Some areas of further research are obvious from this.  For example, is there a deed from Wood to Whigam (or Wickham or Wigham) in the Abstracts?  Or is there a deed from Perry to Wood?  I have searched for both of those without success.

Is there a deed from Perry to Snyder or from Perry to Brannan (the two small parcels in blue)?  These I have not searched for.  [See addendum below!]

I am sure there is something missing here.  For example, were there other relatives of Samuel Campbell with property in this area in 1760?  We know there was one other Campbell in this area at the time who cavorted with Arthur McKinney (McKenny).  (See McKinney lands on the map.)  More on that story in a future blog.

[See my google map doodles of the Brashier Patent.]


Shortly after this was published, Robert Goodwin shared the will of Joseph Hunt which locks down with certainty that this is the location of the Wood and Perry tracts.  The Campbells were to the north of these tracts, but the exact property lines have not been confirmed.  They are likely where the Beattie property is in the 1862 farm map, just to the north of the Newkirk property.

The will is that of Joseph Hunt of Montgomery, Orange Co., NY made 9 March 1807 found in Will Book D, pages 9 to 13.
In it he leaves the following bequest:
"Thirdly I give devise and bequeath unto my son Joseph Hunt and my daughter Lydia the present wife of William Brannon Jr. the farm I purchased of David and John Perry containing fifty acres of land and lot Number thirty six commonly called King’s hill lot which I purchased of James Duane containing forty five acres of land to be equally divided between them share and share alike Together with the appurtences to have and to hold the same for and during their natural lives and at their decease to their heirs and assigns forever.”
In Robert Goodwin's words, "Apparently Joseph Hunt bought from David and John Perry the south half, 50 acres, of the John Perry 1760 purchase of 100 acres. He then left his land to his son Joseph Hunt and daughter Lydia who was the wife of William Brannon. Lydia and her husband kept their half of that farm, and were apparently still residing on it in 1862. Joseph Hunt Jr. sold his portion to Abraham Snyder (Snider) 9 Dec 1848 Deed Book 98 page 94, who was still in possession when the 1862 farm map was made.  This would be the W. Brannen and A Snyder, as listed on the map and represents the south half of the John Perry 1760 farm. The importance of this is that it positively locates where in the Brashier patent the John Perry, and the Abraham Wood/Benjamin Wood farms were."

Friday, May 22, 2015

More DNA - "The Abigail DNA Project"

A previous blog discussed the Y-DNA signature of a common male ancestor shared by all paternal descendants of Joel Campbell.  Joel was born in about 1735 and is the grandson of Robert Campbell who was banished from Scotland to New Jersey in 1685.

I also wrote about the use of Y-DNA to identify other Campbell lines with whom we share "recent common ancestors."

What about our maternal line?  Just imagine what your last name would be if ten generations ago everyone decided that offspring would assume the family name of the mother.  This is sometimes called the "matriname" or "matrilineal surname."
Image from
Personally, I can only trace my matriname five generations.   [First name and country of birth is known for six generations.] I have no clue what my matriname would be at 10 generations, except that it was very likely Scottish as my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th maternal ggmothers were all born in Scotland.

But let's get back to Joel as he is my current obsession and the namesake of this blog.  His wives and the mother(s) of his children are still a source of genealogical confusion.  What were their names?  Rebecca, Nancy, Abigail, or all of the above?  Did he have two?  or was it three?  What were their maiden names?  What were their origins?  When and where did they die?  I could write several pages on all of those questions, but today I am proposing a different approach.  I am calling it "The Abigail DNA Project."

"The Abigail DNA Project" will award $500 to the person who can identify a living maternal descendant of the mother of Joel's children and convince that person to submit a sample for mtDNA testing.

I am calling it "The Abigail DNA Project" because "Abigail" is the only wife of Joel whose name is confirmed.  She may not be the mother of his children, but I needed a name and did not want to call it the "Wife of Joel Campbell DNA Project."   I did think about using "The Mother of Jemima Campbell DNA Project," but it did not sound right to me, although probably more accurate.

So here is the deal.  Joel and his wife had a daughter named Jemima (presumably the only daughter?). Jemima had several named Rebecca.  Rebecca had several named Roxy.  Roxy had a daughter named Ella.....and so on.  You must document a maternal line until you reach a living son (sons carry the mtDNA, but they don't pass it on)  or daughter of a direct maternal ancestor of Jemima.  You must contact that person and convince them to submit a mtDNA test and share the results.

Why do I want to do this?  The jackpot would be if we had a complete match with a family name in Newark in the 1700s.  Such a match would suggest a finite possibility that Joel's wife was one of that family's daughters or granddaughters.  I don't expect that to happen.  More likely we will get matches that indicate heritage (Scottish, Irish, etc) or a haplogroup that confirms or disproves European origins.

At the least we will know a little more about the woman from whom we all have a small piece of DNA.  In fact, it is just as likely that we are genetically closer to her than to Joel even though many of us carry his patriname.

Someone should be able to crack this one quickly!  Good luck!


Maternal lineage is the line that follows mother to daughter.  It consists entirely of women.

mtDNA or mitochondrial DNA is passed from a mother to her offspring.  It is passed largely intact.  Mutations occur randomly at a low enough frequency that people with a recent common maternal ancestor usually have identical mtDNA signatures.

Hence your mtDNA links your mother, her mother, her mother’s mother, and so forth, and offers a clear path from you to a maternal ancestor who is the origin your unique mtDNA signature.

A complete match between two participants using FamilyTreeDNA's mtFullSequence gives a 50% chance of a common ancestor in the last 5 generations.  The probability goes up to 95% that a common ancestor exists in the last 22 generations (about 550 years).

Suppose your maternal ancestor 22 generations ago (your 20th greatgrandmother) had 2 daughters and they each had two daughters, and so on for 22 generations.  How many is that?  It is over four million.  We could possibly have matches with four million people most of whom probably can only only trace their maternal line back 4 or 5 generations, which is not a big help from a genealogical standpoint.  Hopefully the "Abigail mtDNA signature" is only about 10 generations old (not 22) and one of the matching participants can trace their maternal line back that far.

Jemima's maternal ancestors passed down their mtDNA generation after generation. The line began with a common maternal ancestor in Africa until it ultimately reached Jemima (albeit with unique mutations that occurred about every 10-20 generations).  mtDNA marks the path from our maternal ancestors in Africa to their locations in historic times.  Because maternal descendants of Jemima carry the record of  the path of this journey, their DNA tells of something about the origins of Jemima even if we don't find any matches.

As more people are tested that path should become more detailed.  At this point, the most it can tell us is whether the maternal line took the migration path of the native americans, europeans, or africans.  It currently cannot distinguish more "recent" migrations such as migrations from the european continent to the UK after the last ice age.

You can read more about mtDNA at this link

Another good source is The Seven Daughters of Eve, Bryan Sykes.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Alexander Campbell - Sentenced to Death for "Holding Correspondence with the Enemies of the American States"

[Wednesday, April 30, 1777] Fort Montgomery, New York

In the Spring of 1777, the American Rebels in New York State were rapidly forming new militia companies as well as signing up for service in the "regular" army under General Washington.

The British were also recruiting.  They gave incentives to not-so-rebellious Americans to form loyalist companies or to defect to the British army in New York City.  Wannabe captains of loyalist companies were actively pursuing young loyalists in Ulster county and beyond.

Early in the week of April 27, 1777, a band of Tory recruits was marching through Hanover (the site of the farm of Joel Campbell's late father, Samuel) on their way to join the British in New York.  They moved quietly through this unfriendly territory. The band included about ten young men, their leader, Captain Rose, and several recruiters.

Tired from their night’s travels and eager to conceal themselves during the day, they sought shelter at two nearby farms. They happened to be the farms of Alexander Campbell and Arthur McKinny.    It is likely that these farms were in the area of the 1760 farm of Samuel Campbell and where at least two of Joel's brothers were living in 1777.

Arthur McKinny's name is listed in this area on early maps and censuses.  In the 1779 Property assessment of Hanover McKinny is listed with 160 acres in close proximity to Levi and Nathan Campbell (brothers of Joel), as well as the Haines, Woods, and Perrys (the latter two properties being adjacent to the Campbell farm).

According to testimony, Alexander Campbell led the party of Tories to a brush fence where they lay safe for a day.  His wife brought them rum at two different times and "a pail of Butter Milch Popp. [i]" Unfortunately for Alexander, the Tories had been spotted.  Before evening the militia of New Windsor had arrested all of them.  The prisoners were loaded on a sloop and taken down the Hudson River to Fort Montgomery.

On this day, Wednesday, April 30, 1777, a court martial was held at the Fort presided over by General George Clinton.  The charge for most of the recruiters was "levying War against the State of New York with being adherent to the King of Great Britain & with being an enlisted Soldier in the Service of the King of Great Britain when owing Allegiance to the State of New York."  Alexander was charged with "holding Correspondence with the Enemies of the American States giving them Intelligence & adhering to and giving them Aid & Comfort & Secreting them."  Fourteen including Alexander and his neighbor, Arthur McKinney, were sentenced to death.[ii]

Joel Campbell's relationship with Alexander is unknown.  We know he is not a brother as he is not listed in the will of Joel's father.  Perhaps he is an uncle or cousin.  Another coincidence that may indicate a relationship is an entry in the Day Book at Cadwallader Colden's store located about two miles from the subject farms.  On January 1, 1768 Alexander made a purchase at the store at the same time Joel’s brother Jonathan made a purchase.  Perhaps they had traveled to the store together?

I would tell you how this story ends, but then you would have less reason to read my book... if it ever gets finished.

[i] Clinton, George, Public Papers of George Clinton, Vol I  to 1777_06, State of New York, Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., New York, 1899, p. 791.
[ii] Clinton, George, Public Papers of George Clinton, Vol I  to 1777_06, State of New York, Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., New York, 1899, p. 789.