The Examination or Deposition of William Harper of Tryon County Esquire taken before the Grand Jury of the County of Albany at a supreme Court of Indicature for the state of New York
The said William Harper being duly sworn on the holy Evangalists deposeth and saith that he has known and been acquainted with Duncan McDougal at present of Schenectady in the County of Albany since the fourteenth or fifteenth Day of August one Thousand seven hundred and seventy seven; That the said Duncan McDougal was taken and brought on Examination at the place now called the middle Fort at Schoharie before a Board formed of some members of the Comittee of Schoharie and some field officers of the Militia of Schoharie and some other principal Inhabitants of the Country - That one John McDonald was about that time an officer commanding a party of Men in the service of the King of Great Britain levying War against the State, and came with a party of Men into Tryon County and thence into the County of Albany in levying and carrying on War against the state of New York - That the said John McDonald and his party were defeated by some of the Troops of the United States of America and the Militia of the Country. That after the said Defeat of the said John McDonald and his party the said Duncan McDougall was brought to examination at the place and before the Board above mentioned. That at the time of the said Examination a Letter from the said Duncan McDougall to the said John McDonald was produced and read to the said Duncan McDougall and shewn to him, and given to him in his own hands for Examination and Inspection, which Letter to the best of the Knowledge and belief of the Deponant was in the words and figures following to wit "Schohary Thursday four o'Clock Afternoon 1777." "On my arrival at Adam Creislaer he informs me that all Schohary are to be under Arms to morrow at Capt. Mann's in order to set out then for Stillwater, near which place the British Army now lies being twenty miles distant from Albany, he learned yesterday from undoubted Authority that our Committee and field officers together with Jacob Snider were making ready to push off and nothing prevented it but Hons Ball his waggon not being ready & when those Gentlemen are safely moored their full intention is to send the Yankeys to pay us a visit who lye waiting with impatience at the Mohawk River to hear the Doom of fort Stanwix and if they hear its taken or that the above Gentlemen have evacuated this place, its certain they will destroy this place - Adam Creisler has eighty sure Men who are to be here to morrow and he begs that you will be here with all the People you can possibly Muster to morrow or the day thereafter without fail as our present Happiness and safety depend on it. Your very looks will animate us and your Conduct and Advice we cannot dispense with - The Committee mean by calling the people together to morrow to separate the Sheep from the Goats the former they will leave here to be destroyed by the Yankey Wolves and the latter they will take along to annoy the Britsh Army - The Turloch People are ready at a call, and as they are not yet warned you may send the Bearer to appoint a Meeting with them where you please the sooner the better - If we could depend on your being here to morrow we would at the same time have the Hillbergers & Beaverdamers at this place - This I write at the desire of Adam Criesler, if we get no help the day after to morrow in this place all that will remain in it will be destroyed or taken prisoners & likewise the Grain and live stock - The whigs that leave it are to be paid by the Congress for all the Loss they will sustain - This is from your bedfellow last night that parted with you in Company with Hons Yerrie the Indian after Breakfast to day - I am in great haste sir
To Capt. McDonald at Charlotte River
We will do nothing about John Harper untill we have your Answer (Mr Creisler says the Bearer is very trusty) fearing it might hasten the departure of our great Men whom we will endeavour to detain untill the day after to morrow And the deponent farther saith that at the time of the said Examination of the said Duncan McDougall he the deponant heard and does verily believe that the said Letter was found in part of the Baggage of the said John McDonald, which was taken about the Time of the said Defeat.
That the said Duncan McDougall did at the time of the said Examination and after the reading of the said Letter and after he had seen and inspected the said Letter, confess and Acknowledge that he had written the said Letter to the said John McDonald and that the same Letter was sent to him the said John McDonald.
Sworn to this the 25 Octobr
Wm Harper 1782 in the presence of the Grand Jury before me Abram Schuyler foreman
Source: Jacob Abbott Collection:ALS BA 9691:363, Manuscripts and Special Collections, New York State Library, Albany.