History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Annual Meeting of the Mohawk Valley Historical Association
August 6, 1936
What the Klock Papers Reveal, by Hon. Harry V. Bush, President
Through Mr. Lipe Klock, Honorary president of the Klock Family association, our organization has acquired the Fort Klock papers. In inventorying them, I find many interesting facts which will give us a fine insight as to living and business conditions in the days before the Revolution and immediately after. Many of these papers are in the form of letters bearing no stamps, merely folded and fastened with sealing wax in place of envelopes and addressed to Johannes and John J. Klock, Palatine, Canajoharie or Mohawk River.
"Canajoharie" was the name given by the Mohawks to the river section from the Noses to Little Falls. It continued to be so called until the formation of Tryon County in 1772. Letters, from any place in this district, often bore the name "Canajoharie." As Mohawk Upper Castle, at the present Indian Castle, was called the "Canajoharie Castle" and its occupants were referred to Canajoharie Indians, and, as the settlement and creek at Canajoharie were also called "Canajoharie," the name is most confusing, as applied to Colonial and Revolutionary times. "Fort Canajoharie" (1756-1760) was located on the River road, on the south side of the Mohawk river and about opposite the mouth of East Canada creek. "Fort Hendrick" was the British post adjacent to the "Canajoharie Castle."
Before setting up of the County of Tryon, Palatine, on the north side, and Canajoharie, on the south side of the river, comprised the old district of Canajoharie, which, however, seems to have been popularly so called for some time thereafter. The name was spelled "Canajohary" and in various other ways.
There are also old deeds and bonds which go on to describe the boundaries of patents and other lands here in our valley, also many receipts and bills covering business transactions. In 1763 Jacob Klock, Justice, wrote to Henry Frey.: "You are hereby ordered and directed to pass five slaves for to bring down the Bagges of the New York Company on your vessel as far as Schenectady." In 1765 John Klock bought of John Vo Douw, 2 barrels of rum £8. The same year appears the following order: "Permit the bearer James Platton with one batteau and 3 men to pass from this to Schenectady and return with Liquor and supplies for use of the garrison, the behaving as becometh.
"At Fort Brewerton, H. Congalton, Lieut. 60th Regt. Commanding Fort Brewerton."
On Sept 7 Platton and Stockton sold to John Klock at the Royal Block House a freehand batto and on the 16th they received from said Klock one damaged batto, this is evidently a bit of sharp practice by the early traders. The Royal Block House was the English outpost at the east end of Oneida Lake guarding the Wood Creek route to Fort Stanwix and the Mohawk Valley. In 1766 we find an order dated Canajohary "To John Butler at Butlersbury, to pay to John Klock my account. James Platton."
To Capt. John Butler.
Christian Nellis leases to Deobald Nellis land in Canajohary in 1767 and the bounds are defined in the document.
In 1768 Johannes Klock bought of Reyner Mynderse goods to the amount of 12 pounds, 12 shillings which was duly paid and receipted. The bounds of the Brachen patent nearly opposite Fort Hendrick are set up in a survey of 1768 with the necessary comments.
In 1769 Jacob Cuyler of Schenectady receives from John Clock, 2 pounds 19 shillings for goods bought.
Adam Thum writes to John Klock, "Please give Johannes Schall ein sack korn on my account. 1770"
There are several bills of sale for slaves among these papers the first is in 1771, Lewis Cren sold to Johannes Klock one Negro woman for 90 pounds.
In 1796 Chas. Nukirk sold to John J. Klock one Negro man named Hank 21 years old for 120 pounds and in 1807 the last sale was for a Negro woman, Nan, Jost Nellis to John J. Klock, $187.50.
1777 shows receipts for goods from Jacob Cuyler, Schenectady, and Cornelius Cuyler of Albany, and in 1778 from Johannes Nynderse of Schenectady.
In 1779 Harmanus Wendell writes to john J. Klock: "I have sent 80 pounds of square iron to Garret Walrath, blacksmith at Canajohary for you."
In 1782 the following order was sent to John J. Klock: "The muster Master Nicholas Podman requests you to send 3 men to Fort Plain for duty within the next few days. Jacob J. Klock, Col.
A deed of 1787 contains the signature of six pioneer settlers, namely, Johannes Klock, John J. Petri, Jacob J. Klock, Chas. Nukirk, Abraham Oathout and Christopher P. Yates.
Two letters in 1789 and 1790 are very interesting, on "Cataraque, John Klock, Canajohary, There is no trade here at present other than cattle and horses, as the people are only concerned with those who trust them or sell for paper money."
The other, "French River, John Klock, We have sufficient bread but fish is scarce, oxen not sold yet so you can see by that that money is scarce. Henry W. Nellis."
In 1792 Col. Frey, writes to John Fergerson at Albany, that John Klock is interested in purchasing land opposite the Canajohary Castle, formerly the property of George Johnson, son of Sir William.
Another letter the same year is dated Johnson's House and is signed by Jacob Cuyler the Schenectady trader.
The post Revolutionary period was marked by the opening of roads, the building of bridges and the establishing of toll gates and there are many letters relating to this ear.
In 1794 John Beardsley, East Creek, writes to John Klock in regard to opening a road from the bridge north--the Snell's Bush road.
In 1795 the boundaries of the estate of Sir William Johnson are mentioned and in 1796 a receipt shows Klock paid tuition for two scholars at Canajohary.
The same year Jacob Folts writes from German Flatts: "Grandmother and grandfather are both seek with a coaldt fever."
The Oriskany battle is marked by three documents, one a receipt signed "for Isaac Paris by John Eisenlord," both men fell on that battlefield as did Ebenezer Cox, Col. of the Canajoharie Regt.
John J. Klock was appointed executor of his estate and there is another receipt signed by Cox's son for the amount turned over to him.
Among the later documents is one of 1804 when a meeting was called of respectable Republicans to endorse Aaron Buss for Governor, this meeting was in Johnstown.
There are many examples of Phonetic spelling as the receipt of "1785-16 shilling my coasts in a law sute. Abraham Van Hornes, Sheriff."
A very interesting old bill gives you an idea of costs.
John J. Klock bought of Reyner Mynderse, Schenectady, 1768.
Pewter spoons, Tea kettles, Tea.
Blue cloth, Shallon, Silk twist, Gilt buttons, 12 pounds, 12 shillings.
Credit by 42 Beaver skins, 12 pounds 12 shillings.
In 1776 an ox and a cow brought 8 pounds.
One pair oxen brought 14 pounds.
There are many more papers in this collection of unusual interest and these mentioned give you some idea of the life in the early colony.
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