Author Archives: Brian Barrett

Brian Barrett

About Brian Barrett

Brian S. Barrett is a Revolutionary War historian. His article describes an episode about his ancestor, Sgt William Fowler, who served in NYC in Ward's Co., Wooster's First Connecticut Provincial Regiment. His upcoming book, Wooster's Invisible Enemies will be available on soon.

Tis’ Death to Counterfeit: New England Counterfeiters in NY

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Albany County District Lines courtesy earlyamericancrime.comWhile an ongoing border dispute took place between the governments of New York and Massachusetts, Ichabod Miller eked out a living on his farm in West Stockbridge, Mass. On December 20, 1772, his pastoral life was turned upside down.

Miller was awoken to the commotion of an angry mob at his door. In a moment they had broken in the door and he faced the business end of a loaded musket. He was accused of counterfeiting. This crime could be heart stopping. If proven, the sentence was death.

Counterfeiting was fairly prevalent in the colonies at this time. It was relatively easy to do, it was extremely profitable, hard to discover, and even harder to prosecute. Continue reading

Wooster’s Bowery Hangout During Summer of 1775

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HMS Asia in Halifax Harbour, 1797Bowery in Dutch means a colonial plantation or farm. In late June 1775 – Connecticut Provincials made farm fields on Bowery Lane in New York their temporary home while British soldiers made a hasty retreat to ships in the East River.

The presence of General David Wooster and 1500 to 2000 of his men made the occupants of the King’s garrison near Battery Park uncomfortable. Connecticut men were there at the request of the New York Provincial Convention and their mission was to protect city residents from British and Tory aggression. Continue reading

American Revolution:
Trouble at Poughkeepsie and Peekskill

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American Revolution ShipsA loyalist is a man with his head in England, his body in America, and a neck that needs to be stretched.  – an anonymous patriot.

Late in June of 1776, the New York Provincial Convention (NYPC) received a troubling report from the Dutchess County Committee of Safety. It said that Poughkeepsie officials and patriot warships were being threatened by loyalists, so-called Tories. Continue reading

The Misnamed Columbia County ‘Battle of Egremont’

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MilitiamenA small, but important part of the American Revolutionary War took place during 1777 at Livingston Manor, Albany County (now Columbia County), New York. The few historical references about this event identify the event as the Battle of Egremont, implying that it happened in Massachusetts.

While it was customary to name a battle after its location, participants or some other feature, these conventions were overlooked in this case and the involvement of Egremont, Massachusetts militiamen seems to be the primary reason for the naming of the battle. However, many participants were from New York militia units, and the battle actually took place in New York. The battle was actually a series of four skirmishes that occurred over two-days. Continue reading

Schaghticoke: An American Revolution Militia Rendezvous

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sgtkesauthierAt the juncture of well worn roads and trails, Schaghticoke became a hub of activity during September and October 1777. Schaghticoke is located east of the Hudson River in what was at the time Albany (now Rensselaer) County, opposite the hamlet of Stillwater. It was a stopping place for hundreds of militiamen who came and went to battle stations in the area.

Like other nearby communities, Schaghticoke was all but abandoned during late summer and fall of 1777. An 8,000 man British Army, invading the Hudson River Valley, was reason enough for most residents to flee to safer places. Many of these refugees went to Albany to escape the threats of war. This article describes the activities of New England militiamen in and around Schaghticoke during the Saratoga Campaign. Continue reading