Search billions of records on

The Van Tassel Family History Homepage

"A Pedigree Partly Indian, Partly Batavian"

1777, July 7 - Van Tassel Family Houses Burned, Five Brothers taken P.O.W*
[Pro-British newspaper uses racial slurs to describe Van Tassel patriots]"

1777, July 7 - Last Thursday night Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton marched with a detachment of cavalry, and early in the morning attacked a party of the rebel Nags, commanded by a Colonel Sheldon, in the neighbourhood of Bedford, distant about 32 miles from the British advanced post; the enemy's situation was in a wood, with a morass on each side which was intersected by a road, along which they, with great precipitancy retreated. The rebel officers and men quitted their Jades and threw themselves over the fences to gain the swamp; by so sudden a flight, in such a narrow road, no great impression could be made only on the rear, of whom about 22 were killed and wounded; two corps of rebel militia which had formed on their rear at the approach of the Legion, quitted their post, retreating to the morass, the Colonel finding it impracticable with his fatigued horses, to pursue them further, returned to the camp of the rebels, burned and destroyed their whole baggage, and brought off a standard, about an hundred helmets and seventeen prisoners, with the loss of one corporal of the Legion killed and one light-horseman wounded by some skulking militia firing from the fences on his return. They cautioned by the commanding officer to desist from firing on pain of their houses being consumed, but still fool-hardily persevering in their hostility, he was constrained to carry his menaces into execution, and several houses were accordingly destroyed. Amongst the prisoners is one of the Vantassel's from near Tarry-town, of a pedigree partly Indian, partly Batavian, this despicable caitiss has of late amused himself with cruelly flagellating numbers of inoffensive women, whom he had suspected of frequenting the New York markets; four of this handy varlet's brothers also are in safe custody, held as hostages for four men of the provincial corps who had been made prisoners on the North River, tried and destined to the cord by their new republican legislature. We are assured the enemy has been formally apprised that the fate of the Van Tassel fraternity will depend immediately upon that of the Loyal Provincials. When once the gallows of a castigation shall be erected on the side of loyalty, a period to the public and wanton Murder of the King's friends will most assuredly follow. One Hunt, formerly a breeches maker of this city, but of late a vendor of the confiscated estates of loyal refugees, an orator, a messenger employed by the Congress, he was at the same time delivered to the custody of Mr. Cunningham to sympathize at leisure, in provost, with his mongrel friend Vantassel on the disastrous condition of their paper piastres, the dwindled number of Mr. Washinton's fool'd miserables, and shop-fallen countenance of each delegate at this time composing the distracted Continental Congress.

*Rivington's New-York Loyal Gazette


Back to the Van Tassel Documentary Homepage

Back Home