Most published accounts of the killing of Harmonus Dumond on 26 August 1778 suggest that it was an "unfortunate case of mistaken identity." It was, indeed, a case of mistaken identity, on the part of Harmonus, but it was because the military organization which he met while removing a wagon-load of personal goods to the safety beyond the East Branch of the Delaware River, deliberately deceived him into believing that they were "Loyalists" who supported the King of England.
I will present the published interpretations and then the actual testimony of those involved, from Governor George Clinton's, and General George Washington's official papers.
I will start with the most recent Thomas Posey biography: GENERAL THOMAS POSEY, SON OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, by John Thornton Posey, Michgan State University Press, 1992 (pp 42-43).
"The first of six known letters Thomas Posey wrote to General Washington during the Revolution was a simple acknowledgement of urgent orders to march his unit northward, along with elements of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel William Butler, Thomas' recent superior in the old Rifle Corps. His second letter of 31 August was directed from Fort Defiance, his new post near the town of Schoharie, located about twenty-five miles west of the state capital of Albany. It confirmed the arrival from army headquarters of a $2,500 warrant drawn on the fort's military paymaster, to cover his battalion's accumulated and subsistence allowances. In this letter, Major Posey apologized to the commander-in-chief for not yet having converted the warrant into cash for distribution to his men, 'as my time has been much taken up with Duty.'
"Although not further explained in Thomas' letter, that risky 'Duty' had been to lead a scouting expedition southward along the east branch of the Delaware River, deep into territory dominated by the hostile Mohawks. Along the way, Posey party of about 150 men entered a settlement of known Tory sympathies, only to find that all its inhabitants had fled, except for a group of uneasy women gathered in one house. Nearby, however two armed men were apprehended. Under questioning, they admitted that they were loyal to the Crown, and had provided beef cattle and other supplies to foraging parties sent into the area by the Tory Colonel John Butler and Chief Joseph Brant. Soon after this interrogation, one of the two loyalist prisoners, by the name of Demond, tried to escape from his three-man militia guard, but was fatally shot. When his family later complained to Governor Clinton of brutality by the troops, the governor ordered the army to surrender the three guards to civil authority for inquiry and possible criminal trial. ( Thomas Posey to Washington 18 September 1778 GW Papers text-fiche - Library of Congress, real 52)
"Military protocol required that Major Posey, the commander of the mission, and other officers in the scouting party submit sworn affidavits describing the circumstances surrounding the incident. But Thomas, obviously concerned that General Washington not form an unfavorable opinion of his young former neighbor's soldierly conduct, was not content to let his formal affidavit speak for itself. He wrote a detailed personal letter of the explanation directly to the commander-in-chief, 'knowing that some of the people ... who are friends of this Demond have been endeavoring to Paint this matter in a very Black Light to the Governor & sundry other People.' (Ibid., Thomas Posey to Washington 23 September 1778) Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel William Butler, Posey's immediate superior, had forwarded the affidavits of all the officers to Washington, informing him that the guards would be turned over to Governor Clinton, 'altho I think the men not the least blamable, but rather a deserve commendation for doing their duty so well.' (Ibid., William Butler to Washington 27 September 1778) There is no record of what, if any, action was taken by the civil authorities against the three militia guards.
"An interesting sidelight on the problem of maintaining military professionalism and discipline among the citizen-soldiers of the Revolutionary army is provided in the affidavit of one of the junior officers who witnessed the Demond incident. He reported that after the scouting party has a Tory settlement Major Posey halted the column and directed that all the men be searched. When some were found to be in possession of various articles of clothing and other items taken from the empty houses of the inhabitants, Thomas ordered that all such property be collected and immediately returned to the women left in the settlement. (Affidavit of Lt. Alexander Ramsey September 16, 1778) The abandoned loyalist village had apparently proved to be too much of a temptation for some of the rank-and-file Continental and militia soldiers in Posey's task force. One can assume that General Washington read the affidavit detailing this occurrence with a gleam of approval in his eye for the young major's vigilant and astute handling of such unmilitary conduct "
If General George Washington read the various reports of this incident with a critical eye, and yet had a "gleam in [that] eye" for young major's vigilant and astute handling" of the situation, then George Washington was not nearly as great man he is portrayed. I cannot understand how George Washington could read these self-serving documents, with all of their contradictions and obvious deception, and not place charges against these men himself. Afterall, Governor Clinton evaluated their conduct as constituting murder and plunder.
John Cantine, who commanded the militia guard that normally patrolled the East Branch of the Delaware River, wrote to Governor Clinton, on 4 September 1778:
"Marbletown 4th Sept. 1778
"Dear Sir, The misfortune of Harmanis Dumon's Death or Being Wounded, I Received the 28th Ultomo which was then Supposed to Be Done By the Enemy, whose Number was Computed (By those who Brought the Intelligence first) to Be about two Hundred, I immediately ordered the Detachment at Little Shandakan of Colo. Sneyder's Regim't to Joyn those at great Shandakan, Being one Company of about fifty men of Colo. Hasbrouck's Regim't and forty out of my own, which whould have made a Body of about one Hundred and thirty men, But the time of Colo. Hasbrouck's men was Just Exspired and those who where to Releif them not yet Come, which freequently is the Case, with those Releifs. So that, all the men on those two posts Could muster But about Seventy or Eighty men, with which I Intended to have marched Immediately to Packatackan, But those of my own Regim't, Colo. Sneyder's Not Being Come, On account of Not haveing a Suffitient Supply of provision Ready, (as they Say). I then was oblidged to send for them a Second time, on which they Immediately Came. I, previous to this, had Sent three men as Spies to that place, who were to meet me four mile from Packatackan. Next morning I proceeded on my way, Came there about four o'Clock in the after Noon with Seventy men with me, Buried Dumon that afternoon, who was Dyed the Night after he was Shot, and By the Best Information I Could git he had Been Shot By our own gaurd from Scohary; there were two men Belonging to the gaurd who where know to Be the Sons, of a man who formerly teatched School at Packatackan, Since moveed to Scohary, and Belong Now to Harper's Rangers, as I have Been Informed by the people of Packatakan. After they had Shot Dumon and was Lying in his Bed, Some of them Said they had a mind to tomahack him; Stript him of his Shouse, Buckles, hat and Some other trifles. I Shall Not Inter Into the perticulars of the Behavour of that gaurd, as I have Directed those of the Inhabitants I Could Deprnd on, to go to Colo. Pawling and make affidavits thereof, who has promised me to transmit them to your Excellency as Soon as he Could Collect them together. I whould only mention that Dumon was & has Been the Cheif man we Depended on for Intelligence from that Quarter, and Petter Burger and Albartus Sluyter were Never known or held to Be Enemys to their Cuntry, who have Been Plundered by them of all ye whearing apparal Belonging to their families. I have Distroyed and Brought of all kind of provisions in that place, Leaving None of ye families or their affects, But ye aforesaid Sluyter and Burger and one Fradrick Kittle (with Bearly So much grain and milk Cattle as to maintain their families) they Solesited it as a favour of me, to Let them Stay. I told them I was willing to Do any thing for the good of their, But, that I Exspected that ye favour they askt whould prove their Ruin. Kittle has promised me to give Intelligenc if I Send to him persons who he Can Depend will Not Deceive him; the Scout I had to Papakton is Returned; they have Brought one Commans, who is a Commarade of Birch whome they Say they have wounded; Hendrick Bush they Happened to See on ye opposite Side of the River; they Endeavoured to make him Stand, But he Steping forward Behind a tree, Seven of them fired and Lodged Seven Balls in the tree he Stud Behind; the River their Being to Deep to waid, made His Escape Leaving his hat Behind him. Thay have Brought of Very Considerable of Sheeps, Hogs, and Cattle also a Quantity of Dears Leather; Destroyed all ye grain on the River for tweenty miles, Exceept Indian Corn (tho they where but thirteen In Number). I will Send a Scout to Destroy that as Soon as possible. There are Some who offer Vollenteryly to go to Aughquago. I whould Be glad to have your opinion wether advisable to Let them go.
I am with Esteem Dear Sir Your affectionate frind & Hum'e Ser't
To his Excellency, Geo. Clinton
The Governor sent the affidavits to "Colo. Wm. Butler Com'g at Schohary" with the following letter:
"Poughkeepsie 6th Sep'r 1778
"Dear Sir, By a Number of Affidavits which will be handed to you by the Bearer you will learn that Hamanus Dumond, late an Inhabitant of Poughetaghten on the Delaware, was lately cruely murdered by a Party of Men supposed to be from the Neighbourhood of Schohary under the Command of Colo. Harper. What adds to the Cruelty of the transaction, is that Dumond had for some Time Passt remained at his Habitation at Poughataghten at the Request of Colo. Cantine, who commands the Militia in actual service on the Frontiers of Ulster and Orange Counties for the Purpose of acquiring & transmitting his Intelligence which he had friequently done. But the Danger increasing in that Quarter, he was now moving into the securer Settlements with his Effects, of which the Party who Shot & plundered him, after he was mortally wounded, even of his wearing apparel, was informed & coud not doubt. You will also perceive by the Affidavits, that several other of the well disposed Inhabitants were plundered of their Effects by the Party. Placing the greatest Confidence in you & considering you as immediately Commanding the Militia in actual Service in your Quarter, I have, therefore, to request that you will cause the Effects of Dumond & the other Persons who were plundered by the above Party, to be restored to the Bearer, for the use of the owners, and that you will deliver the Delinquents over to the Civil Authority to be dealt with according to their Crimes. I am Sir with great Respect Your most Obed't Serv't. [G.C.]
Colo. Wm. Butler Com'g at Schohary."
Col. Levi Pawling also sent word and affidavits to Governor Clinton.
S'r. Inclos'd I Send your Excellency Some affidavits which points out that their has been a party of men from Schohary, to Poughkataken Killd Harmanus Dumon; Carry'd of [off] a Number of Horses and Many other articles which are not Numerated in the affidavits; Dumon was the only Friend we had in that Settlement; he Continued Their as long as he Thought him Self and family Safe; at length thought him Self In danger, moved Down with his family, whent up with his waggon To fetch Some things he had left, was killd by Men who have acted with the greatest Imprudence." (Levi Pawling to George Clinton, No. 1733, vol. III, p. 738)
On September 8 Governor Clinton sent the following letter to Colonel William Butler, in which the Governor, again, referrs to the killing as "murder":
"Poughkeepsie Sept'r 8th 1778
"Dear Sir, I have received your two Letters of the 13th & 31st Ultimo (both whic came to hand much about the same time) & thank you for the Intelligence they contain. In answer to that part of your Letter, which respects the Cattle bro't in by your Scouts I have to inform you that I am not authorized to make any Decision respecting them and altho' I agree with you, that the Troops should have all reasonable encouragem't given them for any extraordinary Exertion; yet I am not without my fears that a Reward arising in this way among the most virtuous Soldiery, might be productive of dangerous Consequences by lead'g them (on the principle of encreasing their Reward) to acts highly prejudicial to the well affected Inhabitants in preference to that of destroying the Enemies of the Country. By the Affidavits which I inclosed you in my Letter of the 6th Inst., w'th respect to the murder of Dumond & the plundering of several of the well affected Inhabitants who were removing with their Effects from the Delaware, I am confirmed in this Opinion. I do not however mean to disapprove of the mode you & the Commiss'rs have agreed upon of selling the Cattle & detain'g the monies aris'g from the sale until the Disposition thereof shall be properly determined.
I am more than ever convinced, that offensive Operations ag't the Savages & Tories is absolutely necessary, & could, therefore, have wished that the plan you proposed to Genl. Starke had been carried into execution, especially as (if I know the man) it must have been much better than any he can devise.
Some short time ago our Guards stationed on the Delaware in Ulster County destroyed the Grain &c. to prevent its falling into the hands of the Enemy, since which a small Party of Indians & Tories who stole past our Guards burnt 3 or 4 Houses & Barns near Rochester, killed two men & carried off another. I have received no Intelligence from the southern or eastern Quarter lately. I remain with great Esteem D'r Sir Your most Obed't Serv't
(PUBLIC PAPERS OF GEORGE CLINTON, pp. 12-13)
John Monroe, in his DELAWARE COUNTY HISTORY (the only source, other than the Clinton, and Washington Papers, to get the story straight) reconstructs the defendant's affivavits in a conversational manner, starting with Captain Alexander Harper. Monroe puts it this way:
"Alexander Harper was a brother of Col. John Harper of Harpersfield, and achieved some fame for himself when he was later capture by Brant and is said to have deceived his captor into the belief that the Schoharie forts were well manned at the time. The mixed troops Schoharie [militia and Riflemen] reached Pakatakan on Wednesday, August 26th, and there, according to Major Posey, acted 'as being in an enemies Country.' The first house they came to was vacant. The second house, that of Simeon VanWaggenen at Arkville, was occupied by women. There Captain Harper, according to his own affidavit, after charges had been made against him, examined Mrs. VanWaggenen:
"I asked the Woman of the House if She was as Great a Tory as She Us'd to be, She Answer'd she was not a Tory, and if I Did not believe her, I might Enquire of Hermanus Demong who was a Tory."
The question Harper says he posed to Mrs. VanWaggenen strikes me as an odd way of questioning someone you expect is a Tory. And what does it mean that: "I might Enquire of Hermanus Demong who was a Tory."
The complete affidavit of Alexander Harper showing clearly how deceptive these officers were, and how, I believe, they were trying to entrap those they were questioning at gunpoint.
Being on a Scout to Paughtaughen with a party of Men under Commd of Major Posey, on Wednesday August 26th 1778 We stopped at a House belonging to Simon Vanwaggoner, which was the second, I asked the Woman of House, if she was as great a Tory as she used to be? She answer'd she was not a Tory, and if I did not believe her, I might inqire of Hermanus Demonge, who was a Tory, we then proceeded about half a mile when we met said Demonge, with his Waggon and horses, and another Man with two horses they being stopped by the front of the Party) I came up and asked him his Name? He replyed Demonge, are you as good a man for the King as you used to Be? Yes! What did you ever do for the King, and how many Cattle did you give Brandt Party? I gave four Cattle, and Supply'd them with all the Provision that lay in my Power! Will you supply them with any more? I would but Rebels, have carried them all to Esopus with my Family! I think you look like a Rebel, and I believe you are one? He replyed no by God I am no Rebel ----- I then ask'd the Man that was with him how many Cattle he had given to Brandt? He said One! I believe you are a churlish Fellow for not giving more! He reply'd it was all he had except Milke Cow And said Deponant Capt. Harper further saith, that he heard Major Posey --- repeatedly forbid the Party of Plundering the Women of any thing belonging to their Apparel or Necessaries whatever, Except the Horses, and caused a search to be made that is any thing had been taken it might be given back if found among the Party ---
Personable appear'd before me a Justice for the County of Albany and State of New York Captain Alexander Harper, and made Oath that the Foregoing is the Truth to the best of his Knowledge 16th September 1778
(Copy) Jonas Vroman Justice for the County of Albany
The following letter, which was sent on Sept. 23, had been preceeded by correspondence between Col. William Butler and Governor Clinton as early as Sept. 6 and 8, when Clinton sent affidavits to Butler, outlining eyewitness accounts of what went on at Pakatakan (these affidavits seem to be missing). The Governor threatened to bring charges against the officers. Butler answered on Sept. 27, and sent his own set of affidavits, written by in response to the charges and eyewitness' affidavits.
Schohary Middle Fort 23 Sept. 1778
May it Please Your Exellency
I make me of the Freedom to Trouble you with a
With a respect to a command, which I ordered out [from?] by
Colo. Butler, Jnr., youl be informed by these lines. That Early in
the morning of the 24th August. I recd Orders from Colo. Butler to
take a command of 60 men with [Proper?] Officers & Proceed with
with all Possible Expedition to Poughataghton & Pepacton. To Try to fall
in with som of the Enemies Parties Known to Frequent these
Settlements in order to Drive off the Stock & make Such Discoveries as they
thought necessary. My Orders Likewise directed me to Drive off all the
Stock & Horses in these Settlements. Accordingly as I have Observed Early
in the morning of the 24th I left Schohary & on the 26th got to Poughataghton
as I had been well informed these Settlements were Chiefly or all together
Inhabited by Tories, I made use of the Precautions [?] [?] in
marching through an Enemies Country, not Long after I had Entered
the Settlements of Poughataghton, some of my Scouting parties met
me, by which I was informed som of the Houses were Evacuated.
I Continued to Keep out my Scouting & proceeded with a
Possible Expedition through the Settlements. After some short time I came
to a House where I found som woman, I askt those woman what had
became of the Inthabtants. They informed me that a Scout had been from Esopus
Esopus, which had taken the Inhabitants & marchd into the Settlement.
I could not [set?] what Dependance to put on what the woman said, Especially
as I well Knew that a number of Tories from the Frontiers Settlements were
daily Flocking to Brandt and Butler. However I did not Take much
time But Proceeded, & within the distance of a Half a mile in
woods I met two men, one Driving a waggon the Other Riding
one Horse & leading another, upon Examination the one Driving
the waggon was Dumond. I askt the said Dumond where he
Going. He said to Esopus. That a Scout had been in the Settlements
& drove of all the Stock & Taken the Inhabitants Prisoners. I askt
him If any scouting Parties had Been from Unadilla lately. Or if
he Knew whether Brandt & Butler, Commonly sent in Scouting
Parties into this Settlement, he said there had. I askt him If he
Assisted them, he Told me he had assisted them in Provition, &
let them have Beef Cattle & that he assisted his King in what he could
the Other man was Examined by Capt. Long of the Rifle Chore
who was found to assisted the Enemie likewise. After having
this confession mad to me. I not Knowing what might be the
Consequence if I let him go, upon consideration. I ordered Capt. Harper
of the Militia, which compose part of my Command, So let three of his
men as a guard over Dumond & the other man named Burrow. The [Rest?]
of the Guard was to take particular care that the prisoners not get away
after which I Proceeded Down the Delaware, Thinking the Report I had Recd
Recd of the men under Guard concerning concerning the scout from Esopus
might only be a [ ?] of Deception. That it was likely it might be a party
of the Enemie which had been in the settlement in order to get the Stock
of there me. After I had proceeded about 6 miles Down the Dellaware,
I was informed the Guard had Come up without the Prisoners. I ordered the
Guard to be brought to me, I Inquired of them where the Prisoners were,
They told me in Bringing them on, the two Prisoners attempted making
there Escape, [two crossed out words] upon which one of the Guard Fired & missed
after which one them was There Escape through the woods. The other
Kep the Rhoad, which after Pursuing near a mile one of the Guard
Fired upon & Shot him, who turned out to be Dumond, after my
Expedition Down the Dellaware, and upon my return, I C[page tear] the House
where I conversed with the woman, at which Home I found [torn] umond
Lying wounded, I askt him his reason for runing from the Guard, he
he thought we were a Party Belonging to Brandt or Butler, I
Told him he had very Little reasons to think so after the Questions I
had askt him Concerning Brandts & Butlers Parties, I askt him If he
did not remember he had said he assisted his King, he said yes.
He remembered it well, & that he realy had assisted his King in what
Lay in his power.
This Letter I make Free to Trouble you with as
Knowing that some of the People about Esopus & other places, who are
Friends to this Dumond have been endeavoring to Paint this matter in
in a very Black Light to the Governor, & sundree Other People, my
affidavit, with the rest of the officers affidavits which was with me
on this Command, Colo. Butler Informs me, he will send inclose
to you for your perusial.
I am with Esteem, Sir
Your Obedient Humble Servt.
A different version of this letter was sent directly to General George Washington by Posey which I have transcribed from the original in the George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 4. General Correspondence. 1697-1799
Thomas Posey, September 16, 1778, Affidavit on Scouting Expedition
To Gen. George Washington
In persuance of Orders Deliverd me by Lieut Col. William Butler
I set out from Schohary 24th August early in the Morning reached Poughkataughten
on the 26th of the Same Month, this Place being pointed out to me, to be chiefly Inhabited by
Tories, and People who had actually been in Armes, against the Country. I made use of
Precautions, with regard to the Command of Party (after being made acquainted with the
People that Inhabited that Quarter) As being in an Enemies Country when I arrived. The first
houses my Scouts came to, they found to be evacuated, upon which they came to me, I immedi-
ately sent out another small party, in order to Reconitre, while I penetrated through the (country-word crossed-out)
Settlement. In some Short I came to a House, wherein I found some Women, I made a
Halt, for some short time, and enquired of the Women, what had become of the People, they
told me there had been a Scout, which had taken them, and what Stock they had, in the
Settlement. I did not take up much time in Questioning the Women, but marched on, and
within the distance of half a mile, in a piece of Woods, met two Men, one driving a Waggon
and the other on Horseback, and leading another Horse, with a gun slung to his back. I
halted my Party, and upon Examination found the Man, with the Waggon, to be one Demon
I asked him where he was driving his Waggon? He said he was moving his Goods into the
Settlement, That a Scout had been from Esopus, which had taken all the Stock, and chief of
the Inhabitants. I asked him, if there had been any Scouting Parties from Unandilla lately
or whether Butler or Brandt, frequently sent Scouting parties into this Settlement? He said
they had Sent Scouting Parties at different times! I asked him (the said Demon) whether
he had assisted the Enemy? He answered he had assisted his King, in whatever he was able
to do! he had given them Beef, Cattle and such things or assistance as he could from time
to time!........................ After I had asked him such Questions as I thought proper, I ordered
Captain Harper of the Militia, to set three of his Men as a guard Demon, and the
Man, who was with him, whom I understand since, is one Burrows. Burrows was
Examind at the same time by Capt Long of the Rifle Corps, and upon Examination was
Found, to have assisted the Enemy in Cattle, he (the said Burrows) had gun with him
which some of the Party had took from him, The Guard took them the said (Demon and
Burrows) into their Custody and was ordered to take Particular care of them ................
I pursued with all Possible Expedition, down the Delaware hunting, as those men
had Demonstrated themselves to be Enemies to the Country, by the Confession they had
made, that they only Intended imposing on me, with regard to moving into Esopus,
that perhaps it might be a Party of the Enemy, which had been there, when I got near the
lower End of the Settlement (which was about 6 miles) I was told that the guard which had
the Prisoners, in Charge was come up without them upon which I ordered them to be brought to
me, and asked them, where the Prisoners were, they told me they (the Guards) had taken the
Horses out of the Waggon, mounted the two Prisoners on a horse, and each of them the Guard-
ding on the other Horses, followed me, That after riding some Distance .........................................
The two Prisoners rode of to try to make their Escape, upon which they (the Guards)
Immediately Pursu'd, and finding they (the Prisoners, were likely to get off thro' the Woods
one of the Guard fired upon them, and missed, they (the Prisoners) then dismounting one of
them made his Escape, thro' the Woods, the other kept the Road, after Pursuing near a
mile, the one who Continued the Road, was fired upon and Shot , who prov'd to be Demon
they (the Guards) left him in a House, and made their Way as quick as possible to
the Party ...............................................................................................................
After my Excursion down the Delaware, in which I gather'd what Stock I
could, which amounted to few, being chiefly drove off by the other Party I return'd to
the House, that I had convers'd with the Women, before mentioned, In which I found
Demon, the Person who was Shot by the Guards, I asked him his reason for running
from the Guard? His excuse was, that he thought we were some of Brandts, or Butlers
Men! I asked him, how he could think so, when I upon meeting him, asked him if
any of Butlers or Brandts, Parties, had been in this Neighborhood, lately, upon which
you replied! there had! And that you had assisted, Brandt and Butler in Beef
I asked him if he could deny what he said to me, upon meeting me first? He said
No! That he acknowledg'd, he said what I asserted, and said he really had assisted
the King, after which I left him, and proceeded to Schohary....
Several of [words "several of" crossed out] The Soldiers might have taken several Things in the Settlement without
my Knowledge, but I made them give them up, and return several things, which I
discover'd them to take....
Thomas Posey Capt Command
Personable approv'd before me a Justice of the Peace for the County
of Albany in the State of New York, Thomas Posey, and Declar'd Purpose of the
foregoing, to be fact, according to the best of his Knowledge...
Given under my Hand this 16th day of Sept
in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven Hundred and seventy Eight
Jonas Vroman Justice
Being on command by order of Lieut Col. William Butler &
abt[?] order the Imediate Command of Major Posey Agust 26th, 1778
We went to Paughtaughen, Stopped at a house belonging to
Simon Vanwaggoner which was the Second house we came to in the
Settlement; I heard Capt. Harper ask a woman, which I understood
was the Landlady of said house & the Said Capt. Harper asked her
if She was as Great a tory as She formerly was. She answer'd She was
not a tory, and if he did Not believe her he Might Enquire of Harmanus
Demunge Who was a tory - we then persued our Rout about half
a mile, where we Met Said Demunge with his Waggon & horses and
another Man Riding one horse and Leading another loaded with
goods Said Demunge being Stopped by the party Capt. Harper came
forward to the waggon & asked sd Hermanus Demunge his Name who
answered that his Name was Demunge, the Said Capt. Harper asked
him if he was as good a man for the King as he used to be, he
answered yes, what have you Done for the King or his party in this
Country & how Many Cattle did you give Brants party; he answered
I gave four head of Cattle & Supplyd them with all the provisions that
lay in My power; Harper asked him again will you Supply them
with any More, he answered he would but the Rebels had carried them
all to Esopus Meaning his Chattles & Provisions as I understood
him with My family -- Harper then asked the Man that was
with Demunge how Many Cattle he had given to Brant he said
one I believe Said Harper you are a churlish fellow; the answer
Said Not hear but Harper Replied that he was a poor Man and had
but one cow left --
On our Return out of Said Settlement Major Posey Stopped his
Command and ordered the Soldiers to be Searched & all the cloathing
or other necessarys belonging to the Inhabitants to be Returned
also My Self ordered the goods that the Musquetree had to be
collected when came to camp & Returned which was done and
left at Major Churchs Marquee --
Alexr Ramsey Lt. [?]
Sworn before Me this 16th day of Sept. 1778
Jonas Vroman Justice in the
Copy County of Albany in the State
of New York --
Published PUBLIC PAPERS OF GEORGE CLINTON, FIRST GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK, Albany, NY, 1900, vol. iv (pages 139-141 (item No.1831)
GOVERNOR CLINTON EXONERATES MAJOR POSEY.
But Believes Captain Harper was Responsible for the Error that Cost Colonel Dumon his life.
Schohary, Middle Fort 23d Sept'r 1778.
May it please Your excellency,
I make free to trouble you with a few lines respecting a
command which I was ordered on by Colonel Butler to Paugha-
taughton, I Can ashure you, I really am unhappy to find you
have that matter Painted to you in so Black a Light as I under-
stand you have, for be ashurd, That on that Expedition, for which
I am Culpable, I took as many precautions as Lay in my Power;
you must be sensible in what manner a man is to act when Pos-
itively Told to be in an Enemies Country, as its Evident the
moost of those Frontier settlements have actualy been in arms
against us, or assisted the Enemy in Provitions, & I have had the
fortune to se & Know a Good Deal about the Disaffected People
in this Countery in Genl. & I Can scarcely se any of them, be them
the Greatest Villains, But what has some one to speak in there
My affidavits, with those of the officers under me upon that Ex-
pedition, Colo. Butler informs me he will send in closd to you for
your Perusial. I am with Esteem Your Obed't Hum'le ser't
P.S. I am informed there is a number of People throughout the
Frontier settlements, which Can Prove Dumond's Carrector to be
Exceeding Bad. Youl se his own Confesion in the affidavits of
His Excellency Governor Clinton.
Pokeepsie 5th October 1778.
Sir, I am favoured with your Letters of the 27th & Major Posey's
of the 23rd Ultimo with several Affidavits accompanying the same
respecting the Death of Dumond. I never understood from the
Complaints made to me of that Unhappy Affair, the least Inten-
tion of charging any of your Officers with Misconduct, and Please
To assure Major Posey that I entertain too good an Oppinion of
him to doubt the Propriety of his Behavior on that Occasion.
It is not, however, so clear to me that Mr. Harper Judging from
his own Account, did not make Use of some Deception which
might have betrayed a better Man than Dumond into Imprudent
Expressions in his Situation which if so is wrong. The Soldiery
Who had Dumond in Charge, were Right in obeying Orders even
tho at the Expense of his Life, as he was wrong in attempting to
Escape out of their Custody. And tho' it is my Duty to guard
the Rights of the Subjects of the State, I shoud be sorry were
they to suffer for doing their Duty. Please to offer my best Re-
spects to Major Posey & believe me your Friend and most Obed't
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