Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys


NEW YORKER, May 23, 1835

A Heroine--Died in Greenbush, N.Y., Mrs. Getter Vanderzee aged 84 years. The deceased was the last of four sisters, whom together with a number of other ladies, assisted by an ensign, gallantly defended the Middle Fort at Schoharie during the Revolutionary War. The place was surprised by a large number of British and Indians at a time when the troops and male inhabitants were sent to the Lower Fort, situated about four miles distant, which was expected to be attacked by the enemy. The females with their children repaired to the Fort for protection. It was then under the care of a major, and Ensign Becker was only sixteen years of age. The major insisted on surrendering, but the young ensign objected to such a course. The women joined the ensign, and declared their determination to resist the approach of the enemy. They succeeded in confining the major to the cellar, when they went to work and managed the guns with great bravery and skill. The enemy were kept at a distance, and prevented from taking the Fort until a reinforcement arrived from the other fort below, when the enemy were routed and the fort saved. The major was broke for his cowardly conduct, and the gallant young ensign immediately promoted to his place. The above incident will give some idea of the spirit that animated even our mothers during the critical period of the revolution. It was by such perseverance and bravery that our liberties were obtained.

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