Harmanus Dumond and others from Pakatakan went down the river to Pepacton on July 8, 1778. There at the
house of John Barnhart they found twenty Indians and an equal number of tories under arms...
Here I insert the actual report of Harmonus Dumond to Governor Clinton, which he dictated to Levi Pawling
in Kingston, after his return from Pepacton, the report says:
"Harmanis Dumon, of Poughkatakan, being Duly Sworn Saith that on Wednesday the Eighth Instant he with Johannis
Vanwagenen and Several other all Residenters of the Settlement, whent Down the River to Papaconk, at the Request of George
Barnard; when they came to Johannis Barnard at Papaconk, they found about twenty Indians all arm'd, and about twenty Tories
who were, (as this Deponant Under Stood) to go Down the River to a place called Willdewemaugh [Williwemack] and their to be
Joynd, by another party, thence To proceed to Laghawock and So on to Rochester and to Destroy all before them; only Such as
Should Joyn them or lay Down their arms; and this Deponent Farther Saith; that he Under Stood That their was a party Under
the Command of Brant (the Indian) gon to Schogery, and another Party to Cherry Vally, and also another party Under the Command
of Butler to Weomie and another party Commanded by one Crum To Manising; the party who Intends for Rochester is to be Joynd,
by forty men Under the Command of Joh's Ostrout, and also another party Under The Command of Samuel Gunsalus.
Sworn before me this tenth Day of July 1778.
Harmanus Dumond's deposition is a remarkable summary of the plans of the tories, since nearly every prediction
came true. And even more remarkable is the fact that he was able to gather so much information and get it to the authorities
in such a short period of time. The Governor, who was in Poughkeepsie had the deposition in his hand on July 11th. He responded:
"Poughkeepsie the 11th July 1778.
"Sir, I have this Moment received your Letter Dated 2 o'Clock this
Morning together with one from Colo. Cantine of yesterday inclosing an Affidavit & a Letter addressed to the Inhabitants
of Kingston &c. (said to be wrote by Order of the Anandago Indians) inclosed containing Accounts of the Hostile Designs
of the Indians & Tories on our Western Frontiers. By a Letter I received yesterday from Colo. Gaansevoort, at Fort Schuyler,
I am informed that a number of Regular Troops from Canada & Indians were assembled at Osewigatje from whence they were
directly to Proceed ag't Fort Schuyler. This Account which came to Colo. Gaansevoort so as to obtain his full Credit induces
me to put greater Faith in Dumond's Affidavit, for I think it more than probable if the Enemy seriously intend any Thing ag't
that Post, they will keep small Parties out on our Frontiers, constantly alarming the Inhabitants to prevent the Militia from
marcking to the Relief of that Garrison, which is, I am sorry to say, neither sufficiently strong or well provided to resist
a formidable attack.
"This is the most critical & unfavorable Period to have the Peace of our Frontiers disturbed.
Genl. Washington's Army not having arrived I dare not withdraw the Militia from the Posts in the Highlands. Harvest being
at Hand forbids the ordering & keeping out the whole or indeed a large Proportion of the Militia for and Space of Time.
I dont know that any Thing more can be done but keep out those already so stationed as to get the earliest Intelligence of
the Enemy's Motions & occasionally to strengthen them, if on the Approach of the Enemy it may appear necessary. I woud
apprize you that strong Detachments are out towards Minissink & Peenpack from MvCaghry's & Allison's Regts., between
whom & Coll. Cantine a constant Communication shoud be maintained, for the Purposes of gaining Intelligence & Cooperating
with each other. I expect Colo. Cantine to whom you will please forward this Letter will increase the Guards on the Frontiers
by ordering out a greater part of the Militia if he shall Judge it necessary, without waiting for further Orders. I must submit
to you & him whether Gonsalus & Oosterhoudt ought not to be immediately secured. This will depend on their Characters
& other Circumstances. I am your most Obed't Serv't [G.C.]
Colo. Levy Pawling & to be forwarded to Colo. Cantine.
ANALYSIS OF DUMOND INFORMATION AND PREDICTIONS:
Harmanus names Johannis Vanwagenen
as one of the Pakatakan residents who who went down river to the meeting in Pepacton. Vanwagenen was one of those earliest
settlers in the Margaretville/Arkville area. George Barnhart, who requested the meeting, was born in 1747 and claimed to be
a large land-owner (actually he leased the land) in the Pepacton area. He had four sons and two daughters. At least two of
the sons were credited with serving with the British -- Jacob, who was born in 1768, and enlisted on 2 Dec 1780; and Nicholas,
born in 1771, and joined at the same time as his brother (being only 9 years old, and 4'6'' tall). (Loyalist records) George
had been involved with the tories for several months, assisting Col. John Butler, and had been imprisoned for a time. He went
on to become a sergeant in the King's Royal Regiment, in which he was officially enlisted on 22 May 1780. He settled in Canada
in 1784. Johannis Barnhart, born in 1746 and served with Brant on scouting expeditions, and was with him at the battle of
Minisink, July 22, 1779, and in one engagement was wounded. He joined the King's Royal Regiment on 1 February 1780, serving
with Munro from 1781-83. He also settled in Ontario, Canada. One of the other men who probably went to Pepacton with Dumond
was "the noted villian" John Snow, who had gone with the tories on their raid of Lackawack, was captured when someone (possibly
Harmanus Dumond) allerted Lieut. Westbrook of Col. Cantine's regiment that he was at Pakatakan. He was captured there just
before July, 30th, as Col. Cantine reported to Gov. Clinton. (vol. III, p. 597)
The tory raiders moved even faster
than the communication from Dumond. They attacked Lackawack on July 9th, killing some and taking others prisoner, along with
farm animals and other plunder. Two of the prisoners were Jacob Ousterhout and George Anderson. (According to Anderson, he
and Ousterhout were taken by three Indian braves and a squaw, to be sold at Niagara. Anderson reported that when they neared
their destination he killed his captors, and the two returned to Hunk on the 19th day after their captivity. On November 4,
1778 the state legislature awarded Anderson the sum of one hundred pounds, "as a gratuity for his valor and resolute conduct
in effecting the escape of Jacob Oosterhout and himself when captivated by the Indians." The legislature's action is interesting
to note in this case, as in some others, where escaping from captivity is rewarded, when we examine the Governors final decision
in the Harmanus Dumond case, where the Governor excused the murderers because Dumond "was wrong in attempting to escape out
of their Custody," even if he was deceived into believing he was in the custody of the enemy -- which to him was the same
tories and Indians who had captured Anderson.)
The "Weomie" (Wyoming), Pennsylvania attack, mentioned in Dumond's
deposition, had taken place on July 3rd, resulting in the infamous "Wyoming Massacre," led, as Dumond stated, by Col. John
Butler (not as fictional accounts relate, and even a letter to Governor Clinton on July 5 informing him of the attack led
by "Butler & Brandt" (vol. III, p. 523), by Brant, who was in the Oquago area at the time. It doesn't appear that Dumond
was aware that the attack on Wyoming had already taken place.) On July 18th Dumond's prediction about Cherry Valley became
reality when Brant led five hundred tories and Indians, burning Springfield and Andrustown.
"By the middle of August
1778, the purpose of the enemy became so definitely revealed that on August 19th Clinton wrote to Colonel Cantine:
am of the opinion that it will be best to remove, if possible, the grain and all kind of provision from the settlements on
the Delaware in Ulster County and if it cannot be effected I think it would be better even to destroy it than let it remain
there and fall into the hands of the enemy.'
He directed that 400 pounds be sent Colonel Cantine for that purpose.
The next day (20th) twenty Indians and a Tory named Mc Donald attacked the house of a man named Brooks, about two
miles from Peenpack (Cuddebackville) and killed Joseph Hubbard, and took five children prisoners. The frontier was in a commotion.
The troops at Shandaken marched up the valley of the Esopus to Paghkatakan and brought down all the patriot families and as
much of their goods as they could bring, and reached Shandakan on the 26th. Dumond turned about immediately, accompanied by
a neighbor named Burrows, and drove right up the valley to secure more of his goods."
(Olde Ulster, Benjamin Brink, 1907,
Kingston, NY, Vol.3, pp. 20-21)