Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

Note: I found this on one of my old backups and thought it would be informative. I don't remember who gave this to me or the source but if someone out there knows, please let ME know. My mind has gone, long ago gone. ajberry, webmaster

Land and the Palatines

Land was of the utmost importance to the Palatines, especially since it seemed to be without end in the new country. In Europe, land was very dear and very scarce, so the bounty in this country could not help but grab the attention of the Palatines. To secure a piece of land, one could purchase it from a white person who owned the parcel or apply for a patent. To use the patent method, first a settler must secure an Indian deed for the land and then within the space of a year, complete the extensive process which included a survey, various documentation on the land and then apply to the crown or representative of the crown for approval. If this was not completed within a year, the application for the patent was forfeited. The applicant could once again repeat the process.

Some of the Palatines used unusual methods to secure their lands. One very determined man was a Klock, George Klock. Let me explain this was NOT the Colonel or Johannis who built this farm. Every family has to have one self serving individual in the family, and George was the one belonging to the Klocks. Even the Colonel complained about his brother at times.

One interesting tale concerns the application, or applications for the old Livingston or Canajoharie patent, the planting grounds of the Mohawks including the lands around Indian Castle Church, obtained by; Philip Livingston, the father of William.

This patent the Mohawks had long considered of no validity. It had originally been obtained by virtue of an old Indian deed, signed by five Indians of no influence; whereas in order to constitute it & valid, conveyance, it was essential that the sachems of the whole nation should affix their signatures in full council. The tract of land thus conveyed had been, moreover, artfully increased by a surveyor by the name of Collins, who, one moonlight night, in 1733, went to Canajoharie and ran a course that included the land now in dispute. At the congress in Albany, in 1754, the Mohawks, through Hendrik, complained of the injustice of this patent, which they heard had been recently taken out; and William Alexander, (Lord Sterling) and William Livingston appeared, on that occasion, so well convinced of the justice of the claim, that they offered on the spot to relinquish all right and title to the land. Many of the heirs of the original patentees, however, being minors, nothing definite was then arrived at. Meantime, the lands were settled by industrious Germans, who paid the Indians for their use an annual rent, either in corn or money. Thus matters had remained for several years, until in the winter of 1762, the settlers were served with ejectments by the order of Mr. Livingston. Attorney General Kemp was employed by the governor and council on behalf of the Indians, and William Smith, jun., at the instance of the Baronet, was retained for the Germans.

While the ejectment suits were pending, the affair was rendered still more complicated by the rascally conduct of one, George Klock-a German residing at Canajoharie- who owned a share in the patent, and acted as the agent of Mr. Livingston and the other claimants. The Mohawks having forwarded a statement of the fraudulent manner in which the lands had been obtained to the governor and his council, Klock invited several of the Canajoharies to his house, and having made them drunk, persuaded them to sign a declaration relinquishing their right to the lands in dispute, and acknowledging the legality of the original purchase. The declaration, obtained in this villainous manner, was thereupon sent to the governor, together with two new Indian deeds of the lands to Gelles Funda and Klock, obtained by the same base means.

"This day appeared before me Sir William Johnson, Bart., one of his majesty's council for the province of New York, William Wormwood of Canajoharie, in the county of Albany, who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists, deposeth and sayeth that many years ago, Mr. Collins, surveyor, and Peter Waggoner came to the house of said Waggoner when the deponent there was, and then told the deponent that they had been up to survey the land at Canajoharie for Mr. Livingston, and that they had proceeded up the river during the night, which was moonlight, to a creek called, Onaradaga on the west shore ; that whilst David Schuyler and Peter Waggoner were asleep, the said Collins fixed his compass at the mouth of said;- creek and took a course up into the woods ; that before day next morning said Collins waked David Schuyler and Peter Waggoner, who were surprised to see the compass fixed ; that thereupon said Collins bid them make haste and embark in their canoe for fear the Indians should discover them as they would knock them on the head; that on embarking in a hurry, a bag with Waggoner's" name on it, and an axe was left behind, which Waggoner was desired to go fetch, but Collins prevented it, saying, that those who had got the land could easily afford to pay for them."-Extract from manuscript affidavit of Wm. Wormwood, sworn to before Sir William Johnson; also manuscript affidavit of David Schuyler taken before Sir William Johnson.

"You are to know that in the year 1754, Billy Alexander and Billy Livingston, did in the presence of the commissioners of the several governments assembled then at Albany, offer to give up their title or claim to the land now in dispute, rather than it should be productive of any dispute, or give the Indians uneasiness. I was present at the time, so was old Mr. Smith and Mr. John Chambers as counsellors. The reason that there was nothing more done in it there, was, that several of the heir & were minors." Manuscript letter; Sir William Johnson to Mr. Corey.

"As soon as the Indians discovered the affair [i. e. the moonlight survey by Collins] they publicly disavowed it, and that in such a manner as occasioned Mr. Livingston [Philip] to drop proceedings therein, perhaps to wait the dissolution of the Indians at that castle, for many years after, some of the first German settlers went to Mr. Livingston to know whether he would give them deeds, and divide (he same, whom he put off, Mrs. Livingston saying to him, he must not pretend to attempt doing anything therein so long as any of the Indians were alive. On the Indians finding that the lands were settling they applied to the settlers for rent, who accordingly - have ever since paid it to them in corn or otherwise, as they desire." Manuscript letter; Sir William Johnson to Wm. Smith, jr., 11th May 1763.

Upon the reception of the declaration and deeds, Governor Monckton, with the advice of his council, forwarded a copy of each to Sir William, with the request that he would, as soon as convenient, convene the sachems and Indians of the Canajoharie castle, and having explained to them the purport of the declaration, ascertain their true sentiments in the most explicit manner.

The tenth day of March was set for the meeting at the Canajoharie castle, at the same time setting forth its object.

On the appointed day, all the sachems and chief men of the castle were in attendance, together with thirty-three of the principal women. The chief sachem of the Onondagas and a few of the Oneidas and Cayugas were also present, drawn hither by the interest which they all felt in the result of an affair that was to effect so materially their Mohawk brethren. Notwithstanding the streams were swollen and the roads nearly impassable, Sir William was also prompt, together with two of his deputies, Captain Claus and Lieutenant Guy Johnson, the latter of whom had, but a few days previously, been united in marriage to the Baronet's youngest daughter Mary. The meeting having been opened in the presence of the superintendent and eight justices, by the reading of the order of the council, the former arose, and after briefly stating to the Indians the object of calling them together, requested that they would, after hearing the declaration read, frankly state, whether or not it expressed the real sentiments of their castle; "and," continued he, "I wish you now to lay before me and his majesty's justices here assembled, the whole matter of complaint relative to the lands in dispute, that I may immediately transmit the same to his excellency the governor, who, you may rest assured, will, on a just presentation of the same, procure you all the justice which the case shall appear to deserve." As soon as he had finished, the declaration and the two Indian deeds were interpreted to the sachems, who, thereupon, withdrew to consider their reply.

In about two hours they returned. The reply of Cayenguiragoa, their speaker, is truly affecting. Adorned with no flowers of rhetoric, it presents in a simple and artless manner a summary of the wrongs and injustice, practiced upon them by the whites, aided by the demon fire-water-nor can any one, with the faintest spark of moral feeling, rise from its perusal without burning with indignation at the base means by which a noble race was brought to irretrievable ruin.

After stating that they had attentively considered, all that had been said to them, and that after the most diligent inquiry, they could not learn who were the authors of the declaration, sent to the council by Klock, the speaker continued:

"As I have already mentioned, in answer to you, we cannot find any one acquainted with these transactions, unless it be Cobus, whose mother declared she was in want of land as well as ourselves, but upon the strictest inquiry, we find that liquor must have been the cause of the whole, and we now deliver you a bottle of liquor with which we were beguiled by George Klock."

"Brother: Liquor hath been always our ruin, for whenever any of our people go over to the house of George Klock, and we send for them from there, he fills them with more, and by that means detains them, let their presence be required on matters of ever so much importance. This liquor, hath, as I have said, been always our ruin, as none of our people would otherwise have so acted, neither was it likely that any of our people would have sold their lands twice, for if the land in question had been formerly sold, we should not have asked a second price for it."

At this point, John Duncan, who acted on this occasion as the attorney for Mr. Livingston and the other claimants, having asked if there was not some sachem present who knew of the original purchase, he replied-" I am very glad you have mentioned this, as it affords us an opportunity of laying open the affair. This is the cause" (offering another bottle) "which has produced it." Thereupon, Araghiadecka, an old sachem, whose name it was alleged was upon the original deed, arose and spoke as follows:

"Brother : for my part I only know by hearsay that I have signed it. I know nothing of any purchase, as at that time I was young and did not mind such matters. It is probable that I might have formerly signed it when in liquor, as 'tis said I have lately done so. I speak of the old affair, as I have not since signed it as reported. I have been often urged to sign it by George Klock, and offered sixty dollars for that purpose, which I always refused. This is all I have to say or know of the affair."

"It goes very hard with us, and gives us great uneasiness, as none of the rest of the Germans have used us as George Klock, as you may see by this other bottle," (presenting a third). "In this, manner he has gone on since he was concerned in the land, and in this manner he has acted for a year or two, constantly enticing all our people who passed by, giving us these bottles to induce us to sign the papers. I have now done with the affair of the liquor which we have had from George Klock the governor, who says that he is greater than the governor of New York.

"Brother: We now shall make an end. Our case is very hard, and it would be very difficult to sum up all the endeavors which have been made use of to seduce us, and make us in liquor, for when one bottle was emptied, another was always filled, and would require a large vessel to contain all that has been given us. This same George Klock has, we find, given out that he has given us five hundred and sixty-five dollars. If this is so, it must have been seen on us. It is very strange what should have become of it. You may see we are all naked, and must have spent it in the taverns, which is not the case, and may be inquired into. Here we are now all assembled, and we beg that you will inquire what has become of that sum." Being asked whether he knew that they had ever received that sum, he answered: "It is very hard you won't credit me, as I have repeated to you that there was no other consideration given but rum." In answer to the question, who were the persons of their castle in whom was vested, the power to transact public business, he replied: "Those who are here are the chiefs for all such matters, being the sachems for the transaction of all matters of importance, and as such, are known to the whole of the Six Nations;" and on being farther asked, if the women were looked upon as having any right in the disposal of lands, he answered, that " they were the properest owners, being the persons who labored on their lands, and were therefore esteemed in that light."

(They were a matrilineal society, the women held the land and provided the necessities because the men were away for long periods of time. Upon marriage the male came to the woman’s longhouse to live.)

"We have now, brother, done with this affair, and I have now to observe, that we have frequently requested you would endeavor to see us righted, and as the governor is a very good man, we must beg he will interpose and put a stop to such proceedings, by preventing our being seduced by Klock. If not, it may prove a means of making us drunk, and I am heartily glad that so many justices are now present to hear and bear testimony of what we have said. It is particularly hard on us also, as we have not that authority for preventing our people from such actions as you have, and we therefore beg you will put a stop to the selling of rum, which alone is in your power; for whilst they can come at liquor we can have no influence or authority over them."

"We are determined to hold fast by the covenant chain, but are also determined to do the same by our land. We love the covenant chain as we do our lives, and we do the same by our lands, which we are determined to die by rather than give up. You must not think I am alone, or that I speak for myself. I speak in the name of the whole, not only for the men, but for the women who are here present, and should there be any here present who disapprove of what I have said, let them speak their sentiments." At this point of the speech, all the women present unanimously corroborated what he had said, declaring that they did not choose to part with their lands and be reduced to make brooms for a living." "I have now no more to say but to request that you will be steadfast in observing the covenant, which shall be faithfully observed on our parts, as it has always been; for should Klock be permitted to turn us off our possessions, our fire must inevitably become extinguished."

As soon as Cayenguiragoa had finished, Mr. Duncan requested that the Indians might be informed that the land in question was not claimed through Klock, but from the governor's patent, and the old deed signed by their forefathers, and farther, that there was a living witness who saw the consideration paid. Upon this being interpreted to Cayenguiragoa, he said that if it was so, the witness ought to be produced, and then added:

"We should be very glad if those who are concerned in this land would give up their claim, as they must know the same was stolen, and privately surveyed in the night. I have observed to you already, that we heartily desire you will desist from all thought concerning the land, and stick to everything for the public good. I must say that it is very hard that children and unqualified persons should be introduced as persons signing that paper, since they could have no right so to do. It was reported by George Klock that we were in the French interest, and that we had taken his brother and killed his son; here is the man himself now present who knows whether it was so or not, and can prove the falsity thereof. By such evil reports and proceedings we are rendered very uneasy, and beg you will for the future pay no regard to any papers said to be signed by us, but that you will apply to ourselves, and thus learn the particulars thereof, except such as are done in a public meeting."

Mr. Duncan here endeavored to pacify the Indians, by telling them that nothing more was desired by the claimants than to arrange the affair amicably, and that he had now some proposals to make on behalf of himself and the rest. This attempt, however, to smooth over matters was promptly foiled by Cayenguiragoa, who peremptorily replied, that "they would attend to no farther proposals on paper, but desired that the whole might be transmitted to the governor." The Baronet, thereupon, dissolved the assemblage, by stating that the justices and himself had faithfully attended to all of their remarks, and that after they had been drawn up and signed, they should he carefully forwarded to the governor and council.1

To what extent Mr. Livingston was personally implicated in these fraudulent transactions does not appear. He certainly gave them his countenance, and to say the least, he erred greatly in allowing his name to be used in connection with a patent, which had been obtained by his father and others in such a surreptitious manner. Nor is it at all creditable to his character of integrity and love of fair dealing, that he should have retained, as his acknowledged agent, a man whose infamous dealings were well known.

The promise made to the Indians by Sir William was faithfully performed; and the result was, that Mr. Livingston and the other claimants, either through shame at the infamous practices of their agents being thus brought to light, or perhaps-may we hope-actuated by a sincere desire to repair the wrong done, executed a release to the Mohawks of their lands. George Klock alone refused to relinquish his share ; and although, during the life time of the Baronet, he remained comparatively quiet, yet after his decease he renewed his claim, but without success.

To further complicate matters, George had given some of the land to his children, which is why he probably didn’t want to relinquish his share.

From the Johnson Papers, Pg. 993 Vol. X AFFIDAVIT OF AN UNKNOWN PERSON
Dec. 1763

About eighteen or nineteen years ago Mr. Edward Collins Surveyor [David Schuyler], & Peter Waggoner told the Dept. at ye House that they [had] been up to survey the land at Conajoharee for Mr. (Philip) Livingston -- that they had proceeded up the river [in a Canoe] during the night [for that purpose, & that they came down the said River to the House of David Schyler] which was moonlight [that said Collins had his Compass on Schuyler in a Canoe in which said Collins had his compass fixed, and the Canoe, & on coming down the River he look the several Cour(ses) thereof, & of the shore.] to a Creek called Onondaga on the Western Shore, that whilst Davd Schyler, & Peter Waggoner were asleep the said Collins fixed his Compass at the Mouth of said Creek, & took a Course up into the woods, that before day next morning said Collins waked Davd Schyler, & Peter Waggoner, who were surprised to see the Compass fixed, that thereupon said Collins bid them make haste, & embark in their Canoe for fear the Ind(ns) should discover them as they would knock them on the head - that, on embarking in a hurry a Bag with Waggoners name on [it] & an axe were left behind which Waggoner was desirous to go fetch, but Collins prevented it saying, that those who had got the Land could easily afford to pay for them - That they then proceeded [to the house down the River near to the where David Schyler now lives], said Collins having his Compass fixed in the Canoe all the way, and took the several Courses of the shore, that he desired said Schyler & Waggoner to make haste, & paddle briskly without [making a noise] touching ye. Canoe least the Indians Should hear them and that on coming to the place aforementioned they landed & [proceeded] said Collins & Waggoner proceeded to the house of said Waggoner where the Dep(t) then was, & when they informed him



1 it is unprecedented to make 2d. purchasing [from] ] Ind(s). for Lands Pattented formerly, as also to run line [ ] & that unknown to the Indians, & they after doing [ ]

2 Klock never paid y(e). consideration money mentioned [ ] Deeds, not withstanding w(h). Tillebagh (3) then Justice [ ]

3 with Klock) was an Evidence to them - Here I think Tilleba[gh] was wrong In signing w(t) he must know to be false -

4th. The Deeds had no certificates or other Proof on y(e). R [ ] Deeds Signed by Several, who have no right to sign them,

5th. Such as Shawanese, Oneidaes, Lower Mohawks & Children. w(h). I can prove, as can also y(e) Sachims & Klock must own it -

6th. Ury Klock (4) was y(e) Person who helped to Settle the Rent w(h). the Tenants pay to the Ind(s) these many Years - this can be proved by the Tenants -

7th. Not one Principal Sachim of Conajohare Signed y(e). first Deed, as can be proved by y(e). Ind(s). and Eve Pickard.(5)

8th. The Deed on w(h). the Pattent is founded does not Comprehend half the Land now claimed, as Said Deed will appear, neither are the bounds by S(d). Deed, either clear or ascertained

9th. if M(r) Livingston(1) &c knew their Title to be good, why would they not give Klock & Fonda(2) a Warrantee, y(e). Deeds will Shew that they have only given a quit Claim - or why not divided as yet in 88 years. -

10th. Jacob G. Klock is Son to George Klock, & not qualified to interpret - Jacob Forbes another of their Interpreters declared to me he did not understand enough of y(e) language to interpret between KIocks Party, & the Ind(s). on y(e). 9th. of December as his Affidavit will appear, & y(t). y(e) Ind(s) all but one were unwilling to Sign S(d). Declaration

Justice Klock(3) says S(d). Ind(s). except one (Colins alias negroe, [Klock] a Creature of KIocks) also were unwilling to sign S(d). Declaration

11th. The Declaration of y(e). 9th. Decb(r). on w(h). much Stress is layed was Signed by 2 Men, their Wives, 2 of their small Children & two Lads under Age, and those are called in S(d). Declaration the Majority of the Indians of y(e). Conajohare Tribe - these [ one in S(d). Declaration Said to [ ] [ y(e). General Meeting of y(t). Castle y(e). 10th. of last [ ] [ to say as will appear by the Minutes of 3d. [ ] by order of the Gov(r) & Council in mine & the presence [ ]of his Majestys Justices of the Peace.

12th. M(r). Duncan (4) one of the Party acknowledged in y(e). presence [ ] the Justices y(e). 10th. of March (5) that Klock was a great Rog[uej that he plainly saw there had been a great deal of dirty work made use of [to carry their point] in the Affair, & was sorry he was concerned in it - his Letter of y(e)1st

Ury KIocks reporting among his Neighbours, that he had bought of the Livingston Family, that Pattent, which includes their Castle, and planting Lands, and which occasioned so much disturbance this time past, added new fuel to the fire, in all my life I never saw People so enraged as they were at it, when they came to inform me of it at my Quarters, and to know whether I knew anything of it. on my telling them I had heard something of it, & had reason to think it was so, they said, it was such treatment as they could not expect, as a return for the tenderness, & severall Services they had from the first Settlement of the Country by White People shown & done them. and for their firm Attachment to his Majestys Interest, by which they had lost the most & best of their Men, and were ready to Sacrifice the remainder in his cause, had it been necessary, & concluded it was better for them all to dye at once, than to live in misery, & at last starve, which they foresaw was to be their fate.—

After the forfeiture of the Loyalist and Indian lands upon losing the war, the way was opened at last for George Klock to own the land he so desired. In the end, he won.

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