In the Hands of the Senecas by WALTER D. EDMONDS An Atlantic Monthly Press Book Little, Brown and Company Boston 1947 1937 BY THE CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY CC Y IGHT I947 BY WALTER D. EDMONDS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO REPRODUCE THIS BOOK OR PORTIONS THEREOF IN ANY POB. M ATLANTIC-UTTLE, BROWN BOOKS ARE PUBLISHED BY LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS PRINTED N THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AMERICAN BOOK-STRATFORD PRESS. INC.. NEW YORK TO CHAPLES STETSON CONTENTS The Captives 3 Caty Breen 34 Delia Borst 69 Martha Dygart 103 Ellen Mitchel 133 Dygartsbush 172 IN THE HANDS OF THE SENEGAS THE CAPTIVES DYGARTSBUSH was the last settlement on the west of the Little Lakes District but there was not a spot in it from which two cabins could be seen at the same time. It was too new for that. Most of the people had come in just before 1776, and their cabins stood in isolated clearings connected only by footpaths to the narrow trr. ck that led northeastward twenty miles to Fort Plain. Altogether there were fifteen families. Though most of them were Scotch-Irish, they had arrived too late to come under the dominance of the Loyalist Johnsons and Butlers. There were also a few Palatine Germans from Schoharie, like Nicholas Dygart from whom the settlement took its name but most of them were young married couples, like John Borst and his wife, Delia. Westward the wilderness was unbroken Indian country except for the Edmeston Patent on the Unadilla. But the Edmeston people were kings people, and there was no intercourse between the two places. Dygartsbush was so hidden away that the first year of the war affected it al most not at all. A few of theyoung men joined the militia one of the Kelly toys was killed at Oriskany. The Kellys, however, were not the kind of people to be greatly missed in a community. They were perpetually skirting the edge of trouble, either running the woods like Indians with their wild dark faces, or drinking their father into a stupor, or making up to the younger women.