History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Frontiersmen of New York
by Jeptha R. Simms
Albany, NY 1883
Volume II, Page 585
Christopher P. Yates, was one of the best informed an most efficient patriots in the Mohawk Valley.
Footnotes: Col. Stone, in his Life of Brant, speaking of the acts of the first meeting of the Palatine district, thus observes: "The original draft of the proceedings of that meeting is yet in existence, in the hand writing of Col. Hendrick Frey, a patriot who lived to a great age, and is but recently deceased." "This," says the memoranda of H. F. Yates, "is a total and entire mistake. The draft was made by Christopher P. Yates, and is in his hand writing. Col. Stone meant John, instead of Hendrick Frey. The latter was a Tory, and was one of the disaffected sent by the Tryon County Committee to Hartford, Connecticut. The whole of those papers (the early correspondence of the Tryon County Committee), were drawn and written by C. P. Yates. He was the only scholar among them; and was a man of strong mind, much reading, and very forcible writer. He was the competitor at the bar of Montgomery county, of the late Abram Van Vechten, from the year 1787, till the Legislature by law, prevented the clerks from practicing law in their respective counties."
As in the Schoharie, so it was in the Mohawk Valley in the Revolution, Many of the most influential families were not only related to each other, but were often divided in their political opinions; and not infrequently members were found in hostile array. Major Frey had a brother named Bernard, who joined the enemy, and with some of his former neighbors of the Mohawk valley, doubtless assisted in desolating portions of it. Col. Hendrick Frey married a sister of Gen. Herkimer, and his patriot brother Maj. Frey, married another relative of the General. The wife of Christopher P. Yates was the youngest sister of the Freys named. The Finks, Coxes, Klocks, Bellingers, Parises, Feeters, Nellises, Foxes, Groses, Eckers, Wagners, Seebers, Helmers, Eisenfords, Snells, Nestells, Sprakers, Zielies, Sammonses, Van Alstynes, Roofs, Van Slykes, Difendorfs, Fondas, Veeders, Visschers, Harpers, Putmans, Quackenbosses, Van Eppses, Wemples, Hansons and Groats were also among the patriotic citizens of the Mohawk valley; not a few of whom were connected by ties of consanguinity.
Of Gen. Herkimer, it may be well here to remark, that he was much better informed than many suppose. Says the Manuscript of Yates, " I claim not for the General, that he was versed in Latin and Greek, or in the philosophy of the German school; but I claim for him, that no German immigrant was better read in the history of the Protestant reformation, and in the philosophy of the Bible, than Gen. Herkimer." I may add, in truth he possessed largely those sterling qualities, good common sense, sympathy, honor, and a spirit of bravery in a just cause, unrivaled by that of a Montgomery or De Kalb. He was, however, a very indifferent English scholar.
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