Here are the opening lines of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1861 poem of that epic night. It was learned by rote among all school children for generations:
- Listen, my children, and you shall hear
- Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
- On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five;
- Hardly a man is now alive
- Who remembers that famous day and year
Revere is shown to the left at his prime and, again, below and to the right in 1813 after he had grown old, but not forgotten. Ironically, he is beginning to look like his depiction of King Philip whose war and the colonists' own response would lay waste to much of New England between 1675 and 1678. While the hottest period involving Massachusetts was during the first year or so, the war continued on in Maine intermittently until the latter date.
Your mother and I once lived in East Machias, Maine. I was there for nearly two years. After our wedding, we lived there until I spent the last nine months of my seven year naval enlistment in the Brooklyn Shipyards and at the Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. (Now you know why I am such a fan of NCIS.) We often went on mini-pilgrimages to the various historical sites along the coast down to South Carolina in the time that we lived on the eastern seaboard.
My point? In Frederick Albert Bulman's list, that is, the list of Verona Irene Bulman's father, are found three cryptic statements.
Having introduced Peter (Patrick Bulman) and his wife Sarah (Vale) Bulman, FAB notes:
Jerrymeth Vale killed in Cherry Valley massacre, King Philips War.
Then, two more comments after he has listed the children of Patrick and Sarah:
Sarah Vale's father cam from Holland to U.S.A. after 1794 and was in the French and Indian Wars. Was prisoner 18 months with the Indians.You should be able to see the problem. King Philip (1675-1678), French and Indian Wars (1754-1763) and the Cherry Valley Massacre (Central New York, 11 November 1778) were all before 1794. A scene of the latter depicted on the right.
Jeremiah Vale (Killed in the Cherry Valley Massacre)
One other girl
One other boy
The latter was an engagement between British forces and their Indian allies and Captain Icabod (God's Glory Has Departed) Alden of the 7th Massachusetts Regiment. The latter was out numbered and out commanded by his enemies. The Oneida's and other tribes friendly with the Continental Army would come to the rescue of those who were made captive. Dozens of people were killed, but there are scanty records to determine who. They are probably out there, but not digitised as yet.
Just so you know; Icabod died with a tomahawk in his forehead which may have been thrown by Joseph Brant, Mohawk leader.
I can find no record of a Vale being involved in the encounter. However, I have recently learned that the area was attacked again in 1780. I have yet to find any significant information. In any case, if Sarah's father arrived from Holland after 1794, then none of this is plausible. However, if you change 1794 to 1749, it is possible. But, he would have been a very old man by the time that Sarah was born in 1795.
So, that has had me thinking for some time. What if FAB had some of this confused? Perhaps, without prejudice to other possibilities, these are Bulman stories. I must admit that I have never found a Jeremiah, much less a Jerrymeth, Veile (Dutch spelling) in any of the records. I have found a few Jeremiah Vales and Vails, but not in this area at these times. What does strike me is the fact that Patrick had a brother named Jeremiah and one wonders if he might have had an uncle named Jeremiah, and cousins, as well.
So, I have been trying to see if anything fits from the Bulman side. We do know that there were Bullman/Bulman families in Massachusetts and this might fit the Cherry Valley Massacre in terms of the Continental Army soldiers. Again, I am not aware of a complete list of enlisted or civilian casualties. I have found a reference to a John Bullman of Boston, Massachusetts being made a captive during the French and Indian War. I do not have access to the book; but, I have asked for a look up in the States. We can await that communication.
It may be that the King Philip's war connection is the result of a faulty memory that had once learned its lessons by rote. Not that such learning is entirely a bad thing. It at least puts pegs into the grey matter upon which to hang a few cloaks of learning. Most people's intellectual dress lies in the front hallway for lack of such conveniences. I may not remember all of Longfellow's poem, but I do remember "Listen my children and you will hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere."
I note that he wrote the poem on the eve of the great cataclysm that changed forever the landscape of the American imagination which soon became all too preoccupied with bureaucracy, efficiency and indecency. Any legacy of the vision of Washington (shown to the right in his colonel's uniform having belonged to a Virginia regiment during the French and Indian War--however the painting was done in 1772), Cooper or Clinton which so influenced the citizens of New York in preceding generations was soon to be dissipated.
Did I mention in my previous post, I think not, that the Stockbridge Indians of western Massachusetts fought with the Continental Army against General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga?
The Battle of Oriskany (6 August 1777) to the west in Oneida was part of this suite of events as well. It resulted in the eventual death of the Continental General Herkimer and cost nearly 450 of his men killed or wounded. They had fought a much larger British and Indian force which included those who would later be involved in the Cherry Valley Massacre (Mohawk leader, Joseph Brant, and Ranger colonel, John Butler). Herkimer found himself fighting his own brother who had sided with the Loyalists. While this battle devastated the local militias and the Oneidas lost members of their tribe supporting the Continental Army, it did help to prevent St. Leger from being able to support General Burgoyne at Saratoga. Herkimer is painted critically wounded, but courageously directing his men in the chaos of battle on the left. They had been on the way to lift the siege at Fort Stanwix in Oneida.
The events were depicted in the book, Drums along the Mohawk, by Walter Dumaux Edmonds (check out chapters three and four especially), and in the John Ford directed movie (poster to the right and trailer below for the movie and an introduction by Scorsese). Of course, this is another memory from my days watching rerun movies in black and white on the television. This was usually done when I was home sick from school in the afternoons.
Of course, the navy named two ships after the battles (actually more, as ships are decommissioned and the names reused). The USS Saratoga (CV-60), a Forrestal-class supercarier and the USS Oriskany (CV/CVA-34), an Essex-class aircraft carrier. Both ships were in operation during my time in the navy. Sadly, they like the USS Savannah (AOR-4), a Wichita-class fast-attack replenishment ship, that I served on have all been decommission. They have been either sold for scrap or made tourist attractions, of one sort or another.
I am afraid, it will take a great deal of looking to find anything more out about these mysteries. We have the good folks at the Marshall Historical Society in Oneida County looking and the Dean papers in Indiana have a great deal of information on life in and around Deansville which we need to find a way to peruse. Perhaps, through this means or through some unknown, as yet, relative, we will find answers.
FAB listed his father, Patrick, as having been born in New York on 4 July 1792. This is ten years after he lists John Bulman as having been married. By my calculations from census data for Jeremiah and Abigail, Jeremiah may have been born in 1782 or 1783.
On last thing, I should point out, while I can only agree with his later views, when he finally understood the importance of the Federalist stance of Washington and others in the aftermath of the French Terror, Patrick Henry was considered a founder of America. Yet, he opposed the United States Constitution. He died on 6 June 1799 which is about the time that some suggest Henry Bulman was born. He is supposed to have said the following in a speech at the House of Burgess (state assembly) depicted by the painting to the right:
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!In any case, we can still remember the dead who shaped our living through the context they moulded for our ancestors. There is plenty of work to follow all the other tributaries of the Bulman family and their associated clans.