Forgotten Allies: Oneida Indians in the Revolutionary War – June 25-28, 2014 – PAST TOUR

Forgotten Allies: Oneida Indians in the Revolutionary War – June 25-28, 2014 – PAST TOUR

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 Wednesday, June 25 (7:30pm) – Saturday, June 28 (5pm)

Verona, New York

Registration Fee: $495

Forgotten_Allies_Onedia_Indians_in_the _Revolutionary_WarIn 1777, the Mohawk Valley was seen as a thoroughfare in British Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne’s strategy to capture Albany and divide the colonies. One prong of his campaign plan was led by Brig. Gen. Barry St. Leger. The Oneida Indian Nation played a major role in the defeat of St. Leger’s army, by turning back the invasion at Oriskany, thus helping to raise the siege of Fort Stanwix. Likewise, to understand the divided loyalties of the Mohawk Valley and the importance of its Native residents, it is essential to know about Sir William Johnson, the most powerful man in the region before the American Revolution. Many times, Johnson was at odds with the Rev. Samuel Kirkland who ministered to the Oneidas for ten years prior to the American Revolution. Joseph Brant, the brother of Sir William’s common law wife, Molly Brant also played a major role in the war by supporting the Crown. Sandwiched between the Mohawks to the east and three other nations to the west in the Iroquois Confederacy, the Oneidas have the unheralded distinction of supporting the Patriot cause.

On the tour’s first day, we’ll visit Fort Stanwix (also known as Fort Schuyler), a reconstructed fortification operated by the National Park Service located in Rome, NY. St. Leger’s siege of Fort Stanwix in August 1777 was resisted by a stout defense under Brig. Gen. Peter Gansevoort. During the siege, a relief force of Tryon County militia under Nicholas Herkimer marched to the fort. Herkimer was stopped at Oriskany by a combined force of British regulars, Loyalists, Mohawks and Senecas. It was at Oriskany that Skenandoah and Han Yerry Tehawengaragwen (Doxtader) led a band of Oneidas on the American side. Even though wounded, Han Yerry along with his wife, Two Kettles, a son and his half-brother, Tonyentagoyon (Blatcop) fought bravely in one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War. We will extensively walk the battlefield at Oriskany which remains today a pristine site. After lunch we’ll stop at General Nicholas Herkimer’s home on the Mohawk River where the militia commander died of his Oriskany wounds. We’ll also stop at the site of Oriska, an Oneida town. Our final stop will be the site of Fort Herkimer and the Fort Herkimer Church at German Flats, made famous in Walter D. Edmonds’ best seller, Drums Along the Mohawk. At German Flats in 1778, an Oneida warned settlers that Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant’s raiding party was on its way, giving settlers time to shelter at Fort Herkimer and Fort Dayton on the north side of the Mohawk River.

On the tour’s second day, we’ll head east to visit Fort Klock, the fortified home of George Klock who allied himself with the Oneidas in land acquisitions which pitted Klock against Sir William Johnson and his Mohawks. We’ll also see the little-known Klock’s Field battle site where Oneidas “fought tirelessly” during Sir John Johnson’s Burning of the Valleys campaign in October 1780. Then we’ll visit two of Sir William’s homes, Johnson Hall and Fort Johnson. The latter was also the home of his son, Sir John Johnson who was a major figure during the Revolutionary War in the Mohawk Valley. In addition, we’ll see Guy Park Manor, the home of Sir William’s nephew, Col. Guy Johnson who succeeded his uncle as superintendent of Indian affairs for Great Britain. Near Johnson Hall is the site of the Battle of Johnstown, which some contend was the last battle of the American Revolution. We’ll also explore the hard-hitting raids orchestrated by Joseph Brant and Walter Butler’s Rangers at Cherry Valley, Springfield, and more. Retribution for Native losses at Oriskany was one the rationales for Brant’s 1778 raids.

On our third day we’ll make a stop at the Shako:Wi Cultural Center which exhibits the unique heritage of the Oneida people. Shako:Wi houses part of the New York State Museum’s famous Iroquois diorama which holds many childhood memories for those of us who visited the former museum facility in downtown Albany. At Shako:Wi we will have a special presentation planned exclusively for our group. We will conclude our study of the Oneida’s contribution to the War for Independence by visiting the gravesites of the Rev. Samuel Kirkland and Skenandoah at the Hamilton College, an institution founded by Kirkland to benefit the Oneidas.

While this tour includes some outstanding historic sites, the often overlooked story of the Oneida’s contribution to the American victory over Crown forces and their Native allies will be fully told during our three days together. It is a shining example of loyalty, bravery, courage and sometimes unappreciated assistance to the Patriots by their first but “Forgotten Allies.”

Hotel: We have arranged with the Oneida Nation at Turning Stone Resort for two types of accommodations. You will be able to reserve a room at The Tower on Turing Stone’s campus on 5218 Patrick Road, Verona, NY 13478 at a rate of $149.00 per night plus tax (double or single occupancy.) Or you may stay at The Inn, 5558 West Main Street, Verona, NY 13478 at a rate of $72.00 per night plus tax (double or single occupancy.) Please call Turning Stone Resort at 800-771-7711 and ask for the America’s History tour group’s rate when booking either hotel. These rates will be guaranteed until May 25, so please make your reservations soon. You may view the two hotels online at

Our Tour Leaders:  Dr. James Kirby Martin has taught at the University of Houston since 1980, where he served as Department Chair and is currently the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor of History. Materials in his most recent book, Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution have become the basis for a motion picture project entitled “First Allies.” Jim is the author or editor of twelve books, including A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, and the award-winning volume, Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero.

Dr. Bruce M. Venter is president of America’s History, LLC and an experienced leader of Revolutionary War tours. His article entitled “Behind Enemy Lines: Americans Attack Burgoyne’s Supply Line” appeared in Patriots of the American Revolution magazine. His forthcoming book entitled The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Action That Saved America will be published in 2014 by The History Press. He also serves as 1st Vice President of the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond, Virginia.

Registration Fee: $495

What’s included: motor coach transportation, three lunches, beverage and snack breaks, a map and materials package, all admissions and gratuities, and the services of experienced tour leaders. The Inn will provide a complimentary breakfast each day. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to the headquarters hotels, and securing a room reservation, if necessary. Dinner is on your own. Tour goes out rain or shine. Please see our policy page for information about cancellations.

Register Online:

Register by phone, e-mail or postal mail:

  • Toll-free: 1-855-OUR-HISTORY (687-4478)
  • Email us at:
  • Postal mail: America’s History LLC, P. O. Box 1076, Goochland, VA 23063

Visa, Master Card and Discover accepted. We take checks too!

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