FISH HOUSE AND MAYFIELD INVADED
by James F. Morrison
On June 2, 1778 a raiding party of about 100 Indians
and Loyalists under Lieutenant John Ross of the 34th Regt., appeared in Mayfield.
On passing through Philadelphia Bush [Perth] the enemy captured Charles Marinus
and his son John, George Cough and his son Henry and Augustus Eikler. A party
of Indians attacked the Mayfield grist mill, and then they set the mill on
fire. Mrs. Henry Kelly escaped into the woods and made her way to Fort Johnstown.
The enemy then proceeded to Fonda's Bush [Broadalbin] and there they captured John Putman, Joseph Scott, John Reese, Herman Salisbury and Andrew Bowman. After leaving there they captured Edward Conner, Michael Carman, Hendrick Wormwood, Robert Martin and David Harris. The enemy encamped for the night at Sir William Johnson's Summer House at the Vlaie. Here Augustus Eikler, who was too old to travel, Hendrick Wormwood, who was too lame to travel, Edward Conner and Michael Carman were released.
Sergeant Solomon Woodworth while on a scout to the Fish House [Northampton] that afternoon, discovered the house of Robert Martin empty and on discovering the tracks of a large raiding party immediately headed for the home of Godfrey Shew to warn him of a possible attack on his house.
Woodworth arrived at the Shew home near night and on informing Godfrey of the possible attack they prepared to receive the enemy. Woodworth and the Shews stood guard all night and the next morning June 3rd, Woodworth, Godfrey and John Shew went out to find the whereabouts of the enemy. Stephen and Jacob Shew stayed behind to guard the house.
After traveling some distance, the scouting party was surprised and taken prisoners by a party of Indians and they were taken to the enemy's nearby encampment. Jacob, who had been stationed on a knoll near the house that overlooked the nearby Sacondaga River, saw a canoe coming down the river, and he ran back home to inform his mother about the presence of the enemy. On reaching the house, Jacob was taken prisoner with his brother Stephen by another party of the enemy that came from another direction.
The Shew house and barn were set on fire, leaving Mrs. Shew with her smaller children homeless. The enemy took Jacob and Stephen to the main encampment where the other prisoners were held. Mrs. Shew with her children started for Johnstown and they reached Fort Johnstown on June 4th.
The enemy with their prisoners went up the Sacondaga River in canoes until they reached the present day Conklingville where they encamped for the night. That night Woodworth escaped by pretending to be sick and he was allowed to go down to the river alone to vomit. Seizing this opportunity, Woodworth made his escape and he reached Johnstown late on June 4th.
In the afternoon of June 3rd, John Littel, Lieutenant John Higgins, Commissary of Issues Isaac DeGraff and Private Thomas Butler who were at Fort Johnstown when Mrs. Kelly arrived, immediately went to Mayfield and Fish House and found many of the houses empty and some burned but because the raiding party was so large, they returned to Fort Johnstown and Littel went to Caughnawaga for additional help, but the enemy was too far ahead to be caught.
In the morning of June 4th, the enemy broke camp after searching for Woodworth and again started on their journey to Canada. On reaching the Caughnawaga Indian Village about nine miles about Montreal, John Shew, Joseph Scott, Andrew Bowman, George Cough and his son Henry were kept by the Indians while Godfrey Shew, Jacob Shew, Stephen Shew, John Putman, Herman Salisbury, John Reese, Robert Martin, David Harris, Charles Marinus and his son John were given to the British troops as prisoners of war.