Albert Vedder – Citizen Hero of the Revolution

Daniel T. Weaver

Shortly before one in the afternoon on Sunday, April 11, 1779, Albert Harmanus Vedder, who after the American Revolution would become the founder of what is now the City of Amsterdam, New York headed east from Fort Johnson on the turnpike that paralleled the Mohawk River. He was on his way to see Justice William Harper and Colonel John Harper at Daniel Claus’s house. Claus’s manor, which he called Williamsburg, was about a mile away (near the current Amtrak station) from Old Fort Johnson which Vedder had been renting from The Tryon County Committee of Sequestration since the previous year. A little farther down the valley was Colonel Guy Johnson’s house, occupied by Fergus Kennedy. The Tryon County Committee of Safety had confiscated the three manors because their owners were Loyalists.

Continue reading “Albert Vedder – Citizen Hero of the Revolution”

Samuel Downing One of Last Veterans of American Revolution (History)

Things were relatively quiet in the Mohawk Valley of upstate New York during 1782, even though the American Revolution was not over. Men like Private Samuel Downing of the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment stationed at Fort Plain, also known as Fort Rensselaer, spent a lot of time cutting firewood, going on routine patrols and foraging for food. Late in life, Downing recalled one of those days when he was in Johnstown foraging for food. Continue reading “Samuel Downing One of Last Veterans of American Revolution (History)”

Rip van Winkle from Mohawk Valley some Say (History)

Washington Irving’s famous story, “Rip Van Winkle,” about a fictional man who returns to his village after mysteriously disappearing for twenty years, takes place in the Catskill Mountains along the Hudson Valley. Some people theorize, however, that in real life the story might have been influenced by a man from the Mohawk Valley—Petrus (Peter) Groot of Cranesville, about 25 miles west of Albany. Continue reading “Rip van Winkle from Mohawk Valley some Say (History)”

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