News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Letters To The Editor

Want To Revive Baseball? Make It Kid-Centric Again
LETTER from KEVIN GRADY

Want To Revive Baseball?

Make It Kid-Centric Again

To the Editor (and baseball fans everywhere):

Kudos to former Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson for co-founding Grassroots Baseball, an effort to connect young kids to what at one time was our National Pastime. When my generation was growing up, we would race home after school to catch the World Series at about the third inning, creating fond, lifelong memories.

My kids didn’t have that opportunity. For too long, all MLB playoff and World Series games start past Little Leaguer bedtimes. As usual in our country, the almighty dollar runs the show.

On another note, I read the other day of MLB’s plans to have the White Sox and the Yankees play A REGULAR SEASON GAME at the corn field in Iowa where “Field of Dreams” was filmed. I hope it’s a day game.

The Yankees and Red Sox played TWO REGULAR SEASON GAMES in London earlier this year and there are plans for games in Williamsport, Pa., and Omaha, Neb. I think it’s wonderful that MLB is taking the initiative to reconnect people to baseball.

Once upon a time for more than 50 years, two Major League teams played AN EXHIBITION GAME every year on Doubleday Field to celebrate the induction of baseball’s greatest players into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Commissioner Manfred, would you care to comment about any of this?

KEVIN GRADY
Cooperstown

Brooks Robinson Photo Recalls Best Play Ever

LETTER from JIM FRANCIS

Brooks Robinson Photo

Recalls Best Play Ever

To the Editor:

Re: Brooks Robinson photo on recent front page:

I watched a lot of baseball on TV around 1970. The single best play I ever saw was in the 1969 All-Star Game.

Johnny Bench hit a rocket down the third-base line. Brooks dove flat out to glove it and threw the ball to first while airborne. It was high and a bit on the second-base side.

Carl Yastrzemski leaped off the bag to catch the throw and swipe-tagged Bench out.

JIM FRANCIS
Oneonta

Lack Of Energy Trumps ‘Economic Independence’

LETTER from BOB HARLEM

Lack Of Energy Trumps

‘Economic Independence’

To the Editor:

Adrian Kuzminski’s article on “Economic Independence” was very interesting.  I’m happy to see that reality is setting in and there is an awareness that “until we begin to make products replacing at least some of those we import we will remain far from economic independence, and true prosperity will continue to elude us.”

An economy based on “Beds, Meds and Eds,” is not sustainable.  The “Beds” portion is not only based on discretionary income but is also subject to trends, which can be fleeting.  There is the seasonable aspect which produces temporary jobs which are generally lower paying and provide minimal benefits.

The “Meds and Eds” portion of our economy, while creating economic opportunities, has created other issues.  The simple fact that these institutions do not pay taxes, many do not use local suppliers or services and often those who work for the “Meds and Eds” don’t even live in the area, puts an unstainable burden on the host community.

One need only to look at the City of Oneonta, where more than half the property is tax exempt resulting in the other 47 percent paying 100 percent of the tax burden for the necessary services such as police and fire, etc.  The City of Oneonta has the 13th highest cost for rental housing of all cities in Upstate New York while having one of the lowest per capita incomes.

As was so accurately pointed out, the answer is to create opportunity by building on what we have.  The farm community is a good place to start, as the “multiplier” (the number of times a dollar changes hands in the local community) of a farm dollar is one of the highest, between 5-6 times.

In other words, when a farmer receives a milk check for $4,000, it will put between $20,000 and $24,000 in the local community.  Farmers spend their money on feed (maybe from Lutz Feed) and vet bills, they buy local supplies and local insurance, use local banks, and the milk is trucked by local haulers who buy many of their services locally.

It should be noted that Lutz Feed not only supplies feed, it also buys the farmers’ corn and processes it for sale.  In all these instances, there is a need for reliable energy.  Energy is needed to milk the cows, harvest the hay and corn, transport the milk, deliver the feed, and process the feed and corn.

Opportunities also exist in the logging industry.  There’s Wightman Lumber, Leatherstocking Timber and F.S. Forestry LLC, which all do some form of logging and, in the case of Wightman’s and Leatherstocking,  process, manufacture and export finished products out of this locality.  Their process is energy dependent as they need kilns to dry the wood and trucks to move the products.  Both these businesses use their by-products to supplement their energy needs but they still require a reliable power source.

It should also be noted that other industries export products and import dollars into our region. Oneonta Block manufactures concrete block, both regular and archictural, which are used throughout Upstate New York and beyond.  They are used in schools, hospitals, housing projects, malls, wastewater facilities, etc.  Simply put, 95 percent of what Oneonta Block manufactures goes 60 miles or further, while the raw materials used to produce are purchased within a three-county area.  These products require a kiln and trucks to move the product, all of which require a reliable energy source.

So to have “Economic Independence” for a sustainable local economy, it is imperative that we stress the need to develop and expand the local production capabilities.  For this to occur, there needs to be a reliable and affordable source of energy.  Renewable energy such as solar and wind are a part of the solution but unfortunately they are not a 24/7 source of energy.

There are also other issues that limit the use of each.  Solar takes up a lot of space and will result in many acres of land becoming virtually useless for such things such as farming and forestry.  Wind mills can only be used in areas when there is the proper wind currents and they require large setbacks.  Wind doesn’t eliminate the land from use as much as solar.

Two other sources are water and biomass.  Hydroelectric power has been in the area for decades at the Goodyear Lake Dam.  This could be expanded or a series of smaller dams could be developed, but this would require the DEC to allow for temporarily disturbing the river and the aquatic life, not to mention the potential of “flooding” large areas to store the water to guarantee the flow.  The other source of water energy is geothermal.  This can be done in situations when a steady source of lower temperature energy is needed.

The last source locally would be biomass.  This opportunity was presented to us years ago, but the naysayers shouted it down.  Biomass may be one of the best sources, as it would incorporate our local area strengths by allowing our farm community to develop an additional crop, switch grass, which is grown and used to power biomass facilities.

Unfortunately, there are many in this county who are against anything and everything no matter the consequences of their negativity.  The biomass plant, the pipeline, the compressor station, the re-development of the rail yards, the baseball parks, housing developments, and the list goes on.

The benefits of these projects would not only have been jobs but also increased school and local tax revenue, lower energy cost, create spin off businesses, better housing options and a brighter future for our children.

The failure to have the pipeline has resulted in the creation of the “virtual pipeline” which is the trucks that are carrying the CNG to the markets where it is needed without providing any additional energy or revenue to the local community.

The end result being during the severe winter days the hospitals and educational community are forced to burn a much dirtier and more expensive fuel in order to sustain their operations.

Once one starts to understand the local situation, one cannot help but realize why it is so difficult for those in the “Meds” and “Eds” field to recruit doctors, nurses, teachers and other professionals.  This is part of the reason why many commute into the area from Binghamton, Utica and the Capital District rather than call our county home.  If these trends continue then “true prosperity will continue to elude us.”

The choice is yours, you can find a way to make things happen by being part of the solution and support the efforts such as the rail yards or be against everything and continue to offer no real solutions.

BOB HARLEM

Oneonta

 

 

 

Confederate Flag Putrid Reminder Racism Festers

LETTER from DAVID HAYES

Confederate Flag

Putrid Reminder

Racism Festers

To the Editor,

I read Jennifer Hill’s confederate flag story in its entirety and found the piece well written and sensitive to differing views. My objection is your newspaper’s implied endorsement of a hate symbol by front page placement.

This was the standard held high by treasonous men who shot and killed U.S. Army soldiers. It remains a putrid reminder of this country’s festering racism, and was more recently displayed by mass murderers with machine guns.

I have little patience with the heritage trope and see the stars and bars as glorifying white nationalism, anger and raw hatred.

DAVID HAYES

Coventry, Conn.

Rebel Flag Ominous To Many; Do We Want It At Fairs? NO!

LETTER from PAUL CONWAY

Rebel Flag Ominous To Many;

Do We Want It At Fairs? NO!

To the Editor:

Jennifer Hill’s article “… A Matter of Freedom,” raised the issue of whether Confederate flags should be marketed at county fairs such as ours, in Morris.

One side of the issue is well stated there. The vendor quoted was a reasonable individual who articulated the rights of all citizens to symbolically express themselves with displays of flags. There is “more and more buying both the rebel flag and the American flag together,” he remarked.

Historically, Confederate flags have symbolized support for slavery and secession from the USA. Most recently the flag in question has become a symbol that inspires defiance by Alt-Right and White Nationalist groups that promote random violence against non-white people.

Recall the photos of Dylan Roof in Charleston, S.C., and recent mass murders in other American cities. Just as the Nazi flag is seen as a dangerous perversion of contemporary German nationalism, the Confederate “rebel” flag is now ominous for many of us, a symbolic perversion of American nationalism.

No one should question the Constitutional right of individuals in this country to possess or display confederate flags: They still mean many things to different people.

Rather, given the context of increased polarization and mass murders by domestic terrorists, the question is simply: Do we want our county fair(s) to permit the display and sale of Confederate flags? For many of us here, as in Delaware County and throughout the state, the answer is NO!

PAUL CONWAY

Oneonta

Candidate Goss Remains ‘Fervent Oneonta Advocate’
LETTER from JACOB SACKETT

Candidate Goss Remains

‘Fervent Oneonta Advocate’

To the Editor:

I write to you in light of the June 25 Democratic primary election for Oneonta Common Council. I wish to convey to the voters of Oneonta who Mr. Jerid Goss is as a candidate, member of Oneonta’s community, and also as an individual.

I have known Jerid my entire life, having grown up alongside him, and cannot speak higher of his moral character and ambition.

Over the years, Jerid and I have shared our views through friendly banter, and whether these views are political or not, Jerid is passionate and unwavering.

For as long as I can recall, Jerid’s political ideology has not changed or been influenced by others; though the evolution of his political outlook has adapted to the times.

Jerid is a fervent advocate for the City of Oneonta, with a vast playbook of ideas and goals that he wishes to implement to encourage the city’s development.

At the individual level, Jerid has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and aspires to create an environment within Oneonta that is welcoming to similarly minded folks.

These ambitions are not simply talking points that Jerid has come up with to develop his campaign – these are genuine objectives that he, even before deciding to run for Common Council, has conveyed to me (and I am sure to others) in everyday conversation.

This is the type of passion that Jerid offers as a candidate and member of the Oneonta community.

Despite not being a resident of Oneonta, I have been following the election for Common Council there quite closely, as Jerid and I have discussed the developments every week over the past few months.

As a resident of Delhi, I believe that the people of Delaware and Otsego counties all benefit from the success of Oneonta as an economic driver for the area. As such, I cannot think of a better person to help advance the City of Oneonta and hope that the voters will consider what Jerid has to offer as a candidate.
Jerid is a confident and motivated young member of the Oneonta community and offers to the Common Council a distinct quality of character that should be strongly considered by the voters.

JACOB SACKETT
Delhi

Editor’s Note: While Jerid Goss lost the June 25 Democratic primary in Oneonta’s Ward 4, he will appear on the Republican and Independence lines

Can Four-Way Stops Reform Bad Drivers?
LETTER from CATHE ELLSWORTH

Can Four-Way Stops

Reform Bad Drivers?

To the Editor

According to the article “4-Way Stop Sign Eyed For Glen, Grove Corner,” found at allotsego.com, a proposal is being made by the Village Board to help eliminate accidents at that location by making it a four-way stop.  The article points out that Glen and Grove has the second most accidents of all the intersections in the village.

It is also noted in the article that the intersection of Susquehanna Avenue and Beaver Street has the most accidents, a rather ironic circumstance given that the Susquehanna and Beaver intersection has been a four-way stop for years.  Old timers in the village will no doubt remember that the change was made to a four-way stop to help eliminate accidents at that intersection.

Evidently, when it comes to eliminating accidents, the four-way stop has not worked particularly well at the corner of Susquehanna and Beaver.  It makes one wonder why it is thought a four-way stop would work any better to help eliminate accidents at the corner of Glen and Grove.

In fact, it might well be thought, that the problem with accidents at these intersections has less to do with traffic regulations and more to do with the motorists passing through the intersections.

CATHERINE LAKE ELLSWORTH

Mount Vernon, Ohio

If Dogs, Why Not Cuddly Rabbits?
LETTER from R. SCOTT DUNCAN

If Dogs, Why Not

Cuddly Rabbits?

To the Editor:

Bassett Medical Center adds dogs to its security patrol.

You can’t be serious? Safety of patients? Dogs carry many diseases as well as ticks. Some people are allergic to dogs and dog hairs. Yet another disease in the hospital environment to be wary of.

So now when we go into the hospital, we will see attack dogs patrolling the hallways with armed officers, and this is supposed to be a secure healing environment?

I go into a hospital for compassion and to be in a caring environment, to seek guidance, not to feel like I am in police state. Putting K-9 unit in hospitals is just one more step closer to living in a police state. It only exacerbates a violent mentality by using power games.

A real healing center would know how to handle disruption with compassion and other methods. There is a reason people get unreasonable in a medical settings. Medicine is not doing a very good job. Look at the statistics. We have a right to be hostile and angry.

There is a difference between controlling society and educating and empowering individuals to feel part of society and safe. Armed units only polarize people by intimidation. That will only make the irritated more irritated and more violent. What we have here is just power game, it has nothing to do about security of the sick person.

It is sad to see where medicine is heading: Some are so busy trying to protect their empire they are missing out on their real job – healing the sick in mind and body. They have lost their way.

Hey, let’s add cats … to catch the mice…!! Oh, and rabbits to cuddle … a good cuddle is always healing, It’s hard to be angry when you are in a cuddle!!

R. SCOTT DUNCAN

Hartwick Forrest

 

Hospital, Country Going To The Dogs
Letter from TOPHER HAMMOND

Hospital, Country

Going To The Dogs

To the Editor:

I read the article about the new K-9 security dog at Bassett Hospital, and felt the article was deceptive.  The article emphasized how friendly this dog supposedly is, and how it could be approached by children as long as they first got an “affirmative response” from the dog’s handler.

Presumably, if they don’t obtain such consent, they might be attacked.

If you read between the lines, it is apparent that this is a potentially aggressive animal, and not a cuddly seeing-eye dog that would not hurt a fly.  If you want to see how brutal these dogs can be, look up “when Malinois attack” on YouTube.

Should we expect children to understand that they need to ask permission to go up to a dog and pet it?  I hope Bassett is ready to be sued when its K-9 dog attacks and mauls a child who did not read the article warning them that permission from the handler was required to approach this dog.

The wisdom of having one of these animals prowling the hallways of a hospital is questionable at best, especially since many people are afraid of dogs.  Some sick person trying to walk down the hall or being pushed on a hospital bed might get a dangerous shock from seeing this potentially vicious dog approaching them.

In the article, there was no mention of the purpose of K-9 dogs, or why they are part of the “security system” at Bassett, or how they “promote safety” at the hospital.

K-9 dogs are usually trained to sniff out drugs or explosives.  There was absolutely no mention of this in the misleading article.  Another primary purpose of these dogs is to attack people, or to intimidate people with the threat that the handler might let the dog loose on them.

Use of a dog for security purposes is essentially a threat to use excessive force.  A security officer or police officer can be convicted for using excessive force, but a dog can’t.

What is the purpose of having a dog trained to attack people or to sniff out drugs at Bassett Hospital?  To deter drug addicts from seeking treatment at the hospital?  To increase the tragic drug overdoses that afflict Otsego County?

What exactly can a dog do to promote security?  How does it “calm a highly charged situation?”  By being ready to bite and maul people?  None of this was explained in the article.

The article did state that the dog is the hospital’s “liaison with local law enforcement,” suggesting that the purpose of the dog is indeed to arrest people.

Even if this dog was not trained to sniff out drugs, it is going to deter drug addicts from seeking treatment at the hospital, since historically the main purpose of K-9 dogs has been to arrest people for drugs.

I wrote previously about the K-9 search at Milford BOCES in April 2017 that subjected students there to random unconstitutional searches of their knapsacks and other belongings.  It is all part of the government’s attempt to abrogate the Bill of Rights and subject us to random searches in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects us from “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

We don’t need Russia or “Islamic terrorists” to threaten our freedom, because our own government is doing a much better job of it on its own.

This country is going to the dogs, and random K-9 searches of people seeking treatment for drug overdoses, or students at school, is a good start to turn us into a country that has no more freedom than China, Saudi Arabia, or Russia.

TOPHER HAMMOND

Cooperstown

 

 

Put Up Your Own Sign, But Leave Others’ Alone
Letter from MARY ANNE WHELAN

Put Up Your Own Sign,

But Leave Others’ Alone

To the Editor:

The grassy, rather triangular-shaped space at the junction of Route 80 and the Pierstown Road has always been used as a place for various signs – the TANNER HILL HERB FARM.  GRANGE BARBEQUE!  BOOK SALE! And, in political seasons, postings for various candidates.

On Sunday, June 30, a sign in patriotic colors promoting the election of ANY FUNCTIONAL ADULT IN 2020 was up; on Wednesday, July 3, between 12:30 and 4:15 pm, someone got rid of it.

I hadn’t put it there, but was glad to see it. It was both amusing, which most political signage is not, and message-bearing.

Over the years there have been signs for political candidates that I liked, and others that I didn’t, placed there.  But as far as I know they were always left alone until removed by their owners. That is, or was, a tribute to the expression of free thought in a civilized and democratic society.

Our Editor Jim Kevlin publishes letters ranging from the sane and opinionated to the virtually insane but also opinionated, because he sees it as the right thing to do. Just destroying an expression of opinion which you don’t like is thuggish and profoundly saddening.

It violates values that as Americans I believe we hold dear.   Go put up your own sign if you want, but leave the others alone.

MARY ANNE WHELAN

Cooperstown

Take Care Of Yourself – Now; If You Get Sick, It’s Too Late
Letter from R. SCOTT DUNCAN

Take Care Of Yourself – Now;

If You Get Sick, It’s Too Late

To the Editor:

Who in their right mind would want a one-payer healthcare system? That is not the root problem of the healthcare system.

money is not the problem. Americans deserve a free healthcare system.

Where does our ill health come from? Answer that and you know who should pay!

Thanks to Kaiser and Nixon, healthcare was removed from non-profit status to a for-profit system. That means the sicker you are the more money is made. Where is the motivation and incentive for wellness?

Thanks to Carnegie and Rockefeller; due to their desire to create a monopoly with the drug industry we are stuck with allopathic medicine. They figured if they drove out the use of herbs and homeopath (which they could not patent and control) and pushed drugs, they could make huge profits.

Then they went to educational institutions and gained control of the type of medicine that doctors were taught. A monopoly … based on financial gain … not on wellness and quality of life.

It is not about science. Half the world uses other forms of medicine. Some forms of medicine have been used for thousands of years, successfully.

People say how free we are….we are being maimed and killed by what is called “medicine” in this country. It is time that we are treated better. We should not just be income makers for a few who control the healthcare system.

The first step is to take control of your own heath and question your healthcare providers. Demand proof that their treatment plans work.

The best course of action is to take care of yourself now. When you are sick it is hard to sort out and find a solution to your problem while you are in pain and fear.

R. SCOTT DUNCAN
Hartwick Forrest

We Need More Natural Gas? For What?
LETTER from AL COLONE

We Need More Natural Gas?

For What?

To the Editor:

Why does our area need more natural gas?  Since the ’50s and ’60s, our area industries have, for the most part, shrunk in size, while employment levels have been buoyed by the growth in the “not for profit” service sector.

Our area has had no population growth since the Civil War!  Indeed, we’ve lost population since the 1960s; our young people have out-migrated, leaving for opportunity in other places; and they’re never coming back.

So, why do we need more natural gas?

The standard argument for natural gas expansion is that we need the resource to lure new business to the area and that natural gas is a key promotional asset.

Gosh, we’ve had multiple generations with sufficient levels of natural gas to have promoted all kinds of new business growth, with virtually nothing to show for it.

With the prospect of further slowing of area business, with little anticipation of significant area business expansion, it would seem our current levels of supplied energy can continue to adequately sustain our area, perhaps occasionally augmented with the incremental addition of renewables – primarily solar, wind and perhaps biomass.

I think the natural-gas limitation argument is simply an excuse for doing nothing; so too are the arguments towards the lack of trained workforce, workforce housing, and other excuses.

ALBERT COLONE

Oneonta

Read Declaration Of Independence; Then, Stand Up For It
Letter from JAY FLEISHER

Read Declaration

Of Independence;

Then, Stand Up For It

To the Editor:

The Fourth of July has come and gone.  Mine was special.  It wasn’t the parade or the fireworks.  It was the reading of the Declaration of Independence by 46 community volunteers at the Shakespeare & Company facility in Lenox, Mass.

If you haven’t read the Declaration of Independence for many years (I sure haven’t) it was a real eye opener.  Phrase after phrase, line after line, document the reasons for why the 13 colonies chose to declare independence from the King of Great Britain, George III.  Each reason rang true with stunning clarity.

In this document our Founding Fathers enumerated multiple examples of oppression that sadly apply as well today as they did in 1776.  Reference to freedom of speech, equality for all regardless of race and religion, respect for the rights of immigrants, refusal to assent to laws, obstructing the administration of justice, cutting off trade with foreign nations, and excited domestic violence.

All of these oppressive acts continue today, and are defended by many current elected officials who function with a greater interest in their own political careers than that of the people and the nation they were elected to represent.

Do I sound angry?  You’re damn right, I am angry.  Angry with elected officials, Republican and Democrat, who ignore the principles and guidance of the Declaration of Independence.

If you haven’t read the Declaration of Independence recently, I encourage you, even challenge you to read it with an open mind, then ask yourself if America is currently living up to the tenets described by this historic declaration.

Stand proud by standing up for America – an America described by the Declaration of Independence.

JAY FLEISHER

Town of Milford

 

The Grove Would Improve Site
Letter from RICHARD BLABEY

The Grove Would Improve Site

To the Editor:

At the Cooperstown Village Board meeting Monday, June 24, many residents voiced concern regarding a proposed project to build a 12-unit apartment building at 10 Chestnut St.

A core complaint was that this high-density residential project was too massive and not compatible with their neighborhood.

The proposed planned development contains two properties. Construction is only being proposed for the larger of the two. It is 50 feet wide and 280 feet deep.

Currently, two structures having a combined footprint of 8,730 square feet are located on this parcel of 14,000 square feet. So, over 62 percent of its area is built upon.

These buildings are to be  demolished and in their place an apartment building having a footprint of 6,084 square feet is being proposed. This will cover 43 percent of the lot.

Therefore, the area covered by buildings will be reduced by almost 20 percent.

Viewed from Chestnut Street, the structure to be removed is 48 feet wide. The proposed apartment will be 26 feet wide. That is more than a 50-percent reduction. The proposed apartment will be two stories high, but so are the adjacent homes.

RICHARD BLABEY
Cooperstown

Upstate Massacres Convinced Washington To Retaliate
Letter from BUZZ HESSE

Raiders’ Brutality

Spurred Washington To Act

Editor’s Note: As recounted here, life – and death – in the former frontier where we live could be brutal, and is reflected in this letter. Please proceed with that understanding.

To the Editor:

The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta editions of June 13-14, 2019, published a letter written by Zachary Aldridge headlined, “Article complicit in suffering of Native Americans”. This letter was in reference to Jim Kevlin’s May 23 article regarding the Sullivan/Clinton expedition of 1779-80, and
Mr. Aldridge’s was a narrow, one-sided view of the expedition.

Keep in mind that the Fort Stanwix Treaty Line, established in 1768 between Native Americans and Great Britain, formed a boundary that demarked the westernmost edge of what was later to become the United States in 1783 when the signing of the Treaty of Paris separated the Colonies from Great Britain.

The Stanwix treaty, which allowed colonists’ settlement eastward of the treaty line, was not honored by the Native Americans. In fact, the Iroquois nations – excepting only the Oneidas – along with Butler’s Rangers and some British Tories, wreaked untold havoc on the early colonial settlers of this region who by virtue of the treaty had been authorized to settle here.

Numerous Iroquois raids upon those early settlers – in violation of the Stanwix treaty – resulted in innumerable deaths and great devastation to individuals, their farms and fledgling communities as documented in the accounts of the Wyoming Valley Massacre and, later, the Cherry Valley Massacre of 1778 in what is now Otsego County. As noted by Capt. Benjamin Warren, American colonial officer, and witnessed by him at Cherry Valley, “the mutilation and scalped bodies”… “of men, women and children, corpses with their heads crushed” … “charred bodies remains” … “a shocking sight of savagery and brutality” were acts perpetrated upon the colonists by the Iroquois at Cherry Valley. Some 46 people were killed and nearly 200 others were left homeless.

This massacre, led by Little Beard of the Senecas, Capt. Walter Butler of Butler’s Rangers, and Joseph Brant of the Mohawks, culminated in Gen. George Washington establishing the Sullivan/Clinton Expedition to end these atrocities.

Another noted illustration of the extent of the savagery of the Iroquois toward the Americans is an account chronicled in William L. Stone’s “Border Wars of the American Revolution,” Vol. II, published in 1843 regarding the capture of Lieutenant Boyd of the Rifle Corps of the Sullivan/Clinton force, along with eight other men.

Capt. Walter Butler delivered Boyd “to Little Beard and his clan, the most ferocious of the Seneca tribe. … Having been denuded, Boyd was tied to a sapling, where the Indians first practised upon the steadiness of his nerves by hurling their tomahawks apparently at his head, but so as to strike the trunk of the sapling as near to his head as possible without hitting it; … His nails were pulled out, his nose cut off, and one of his eyes plucked out. His tongue was also cut out, and he was stabbed in various places. …
His sufferings were terminated by striking his head from his body.”

This took place on the 13th of September 1778. Eight other individuals were included in the capture, and all eventually were killed, including Honyerry, an Oneida Indian, who was “hacked to pieces”.

To conclude, we should look at as many facts about issues as we can and try to be open-minded.
Several years ago, I wrote an article for inclusion in the Otsego County Tourism booklet. In that article I referred to Joseph Brant as a famous person. I guess I was naïve as I received several calls rebuffing me and stating that I surely must have meant that Brant was infamous. Well, I guess it showed a lack of open-mindedness on the parts of all parties.

I must admit that based on the prowess of Joseph Brant, I still think of him as a remarkable individual, despite his alliance with the Crown. We all need to be more retrospective. Great people have existed on both sides of the fence whether we agree or not with the side of the fence they have chosen to be on.

BUZZ HESSE
Otego

 

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