In the Hands of the Senecas

In the Hands of the Senecas

In the Hands of the Senecas

In the Hands of the Senecas

Excerpt

DYGARTSBUSH was the last settlement on the west of the Little Lakes District; but there was not a spot in it from which two cabins could be seen at the same time. It was too new for that. Most of the people had come in just before 1776, and their cabins stood in isolated clearings connected only by footpaths to the narrow track that led northeastward twenty miles to Fort Plain.

Altogether there were fifteen families. Though most of them were Scotch-Irish, they had arrived too late to come under the dominance of the Loyalist Johnsons and Butlers. There were also a few Palatine Germans from Schoharie, like Nicholas Dygart from whom the settlement took its name; but most of them were young married couples, like John Borst and his wife, Delia.

Westward the wilderness was unbroken Indian country except for the Edmeston Patent on the Unadilla. But the Edmeston people were king's people, and there was no intercourse between the two places. Dygartsbush was so hidden away that the first year of the war affected it almost not at all. A few of the young men joined the militia; one of the Kelly boys was killed at Oriskany. The Kellys, however, were not the kind of people to be greatly missed in a community. They were perpetually skirting the edge of trouble, either running the woods like Indians with their wild dark faces, or drinking their father into a stupor, or making up to the younger women.

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