Once again, I have been greatly privileged to receive a fine contribution for the Patriot's War pages.

of Liverpool and Onondaga County, N. Y.

Transcribed from the "Recollections" of the Liverpool Telegraph by
Gary L. Heinmiller
Archivist, Onondaga & Oswego Masonic Districts Historical Societies



To Revolutionize Canada

Of the old 149th Regiment of State militia he was lieutenant and acting captain. A secret order, known as the "Hunters and Chasers" [see OMDHS file Patriot.doc, "Patriot’s War (Rebellion) - 1837 (1838-9)"], the object of which was to revolutionize Canada during the commotion of 1830, was Mr. Gardner’s first secret society, and he confessed years afterward that his enthusiasm was deeply stirred over the scheme. After a brief and fruitless life the government extinguished the small body.

From The Evening Herald obituary of George Judd Gardner, b. Boston, MA, 19 Jul 1818, d. 26 Oct 1902 in the Adirondacks, at Spring-Cliff, Jay, Essex County, while recuperating from ‘cardiovascular disease.’ {a life-long residence of Syracuse & Fayetteville, NY}


Patriot’s War

Recollections from the Liverpool Telegraph, 1894


Gleason’s Store & the Patriot War

William Gleason was at his store for the "last twenty-one years" when he recollected in 1894 that near where his desk stands (in his store on the southeast corner of First and Tulip Streets in the Village of Liverpool) there used to be a staircase leading to the basement. In that basement the bullets were molded that were used in the Patriot War. In the same basement, patriot meetings were held attended by E. (Ebenezer) C. Adams, Caleb Hubbard, Joseph and Israel Hasbrouch, Nathan Coffin, Leman Leach, Marcus Calley and others.

Just before the expedition started, Leman was standing by the counter in the old store, young William was standing by his side. He pulled a big jack-knife out of his pocket and turning said, "Here boy, take that and be a good boy."

General Von Scho(u)ltz, a Polish officer, was at the head of the movement. Bill Johnson was also identified, but when it collapsed he escaped to the Thousand Islands and was taken from island to island by his daughter to keep him from the British, who offered a reward for him, dead or alive. The British vessel, Robert (Peel?)______________ was burned, and to retaliate, the American vessel, Caroline, was cut loose and passed over Niagara Falls. Mr. Leach was charged with complicity in the burning of the former vessel and was executed. *

* Gleason, William, from the Liverpool Telegraph, January 20, 1894

Ibid, Paper 1-1


Mr. Marcus CALLEY was born in a long double framed house back of the present post office on October 30, 1818. Mr. CALLEY’s father afterwards bought the Dr. STERLING house before the ‘new’ part was put on and there he lived most of his boyhood. The house was then called about the finest house in town. It was built by the HAWLEY who with his bride started across the lake on the ice for Johnstown and never returned.

The Oswego Canal and Canalers

The Oswego canal was dug in about 1825. Mr. CALLEY says the laborers were mostly Irishmen. They bunked in what is the STERLING barn on 1st Street, which is still standing. One evening they undertook to whip out the citizens. Mr. CALLEY is moderate in language, but he describes it as an awful fight. The scene of battle was 1st Street near the town pump. The three mighty men were King ALLEN, Nate WHITING, and George O’NEIL, father of James and Robert. The citizens were victorious.

The Patriot War

The participants in the Patriot War from here (Liverpool) that Mr. (Marcus) Calley recalls were Nathan Whiting, banished to Van Deman's Land (Transylvania); David Allen, brother-in-law to Gideon Hill, banished; High [Hiram] Loop, banished and never came back; Lyman Leach, Mr. Calley's stepfather; Nathan Coffin, a brother of Mrs. David Brown, killed by a stone in the mill building when struck by a cannon ball; William McKellop, James Pease, and James Miller.

The expedition embarked from Oswego on the steamer United States. They were transferred to another vessel, got stuck on a bar and were pulled off by the United States. Mr. Calley got on to the latter that was chased down the river as far as the rapids by a British vessel. The United States, brought to bay, turned to run down its antagonist. The latter turned, and the chaser became the chased. The channel led to the Canadian side, and when the American swung around for the other shore the Britisher again gave chase. A cannon ball struck the pilot of the United States and split his head open as with an ax. The British vessel then put after a rowboat filled with men and shot them down with bullets after the men had thrown up their oars and surrendered.

Mr. Calley met Lyman Leach in Ogdensburg. He advised him to go home as soon as possible. Leach said he could not as he was one of the leaders. Mark (Calley) took his stepfather's (Leach's) advice after witnessing the battle from the American side. Leach lost his life finally and so did Von Scho(u)ltz. Von Scho(u)ltz he says was a Polish refugee and a fine looking man he was. *

* Calley, Marcus (Mark), from the Liverpool Telegraph,

January 27?, 1894. Ibid. Paper 2-1


Regarding the above mention Canalers ‘brawl,’ another recollection notes:

Early Liverpool Pugilistics

It may not be amiss to mention the men of muscle, of pugilistic tendencies in the early times. My memory recalls King ALLEN, Geo. O’NEIL and Nate WHITING. These three with but little help from others ‘knocked out’ a whole gang of men who were at work on the canal then being dug through here. I think this was in 1828. I remember that fearful night when the battle raged all through the village. The combatants didn’t confine themselves to the Marquis of Queensbury rules but took a rough and (tumble?) all around fight to the finish. Sled state and oven wood were at a premium and were freely used a weapons of offense and defense and many blows were given and taken below the belt. An ox sled was standing near our house fully equipped with stakes and in the morning they were found scattered over the field of battle. Lewis Keith.

Recollections of Lewis Keith

Column 9, Liverpool Telegraph, March (?), 1894


Recollections of

Miss Hannah Sturges

BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS of the old family Bible of Miss Hannah STURGES it reads that her father Wm. STURGES was born June 19, 1789. Christina, his wife, was born October 7, 1799. Mr. STURGE’s mother’s name was Sally DANFORTH; her sister Polly DANFORTH became Mrs. LAMB, the mother of Samuel, James and Handl(e)y LAMB. Christina with her parents, Elijah and Eleanor TOLES, moved from the town of Lysander when she was 7 years old. On April 10, 1817, she was married to Wm. STURGES by Squire Henry CASE. Their daughter Sally married Harry PEASE and was the mother of James PEASE. Another daughter, Hannah, married Sewell PEASE and was the mother of Charles PEASE [#95]. Their son, Edmond TOLES, was the sexton of Liverpool cemetery for 40 years, and it was said he knew the names of every grave and what the person died of. Another daughter, Rhoda, married Nathan WHITING, who went to the Patriot War.

The Patriot War

The explanation given by Miss STURGES as to why some of the patriots were executed and some banished is this: It appears that they were being led out one by one and shot. When Chauncey SHELDON’s turn came, and he was on his knees waiting for the signal, he made a Masonic signal of distress. This saved his life with that of Nathan WHITING and his brother-in-law who were to follow him. The with others were banished to Van Dieman’s land [Tasmania]. WHITING’s wife, who had made every effort in her power to save his life, was left by the law free to marry again. Never expecting to see her husband again, she married a man named Richard GOODWIN.

They had two children, Jueiette (who married Ed. CROSS) and Mortimer. In process of time Goodwin died. A rumor that WHITING was coming back from Australia developed into something more tangible, for in truth the day came when the banished patriot again appeared in Liverpool and was again united to his twice widowed wife.

Column 3, Liverpool Telegraph, February (?), 1894


During the "Patriot War" of 1838-9, Liverpool contributed both men and means in aid of the Patriot cause. The most conspicuous character in the drama here was Lyman Leach. He was a man of fair standing, but given to adventure, and that war or invasion afforded him a good opportunity to indulge his propensity.

In the Village there also resided Dr. Pettit, an Englishman, who many years previously had emigrated to this country and settled on a farm at Cold Spring. The doctor was a firm believer in John Bull, and during this war espoused with ardor the cause of the British. He and Leach were often brought face to face in wordy combat and many battles of this kind were fought between them during the period of the struggle along the Canadian border. During the heated controversies, neither could find the words corresponding to their hot tempers and their feelings toward one another. The village Post Office was usually the scene of these encounters, which often ended in the doctor's prediction that if Leach ever ventured across the border he would be caught and hung, and "d-n you, Leach," he would declare, "I Hope they will string you up without judge or jury." Leach did cross the fatal line, as we all know, was captured at Windmill Point, and was among the victims executed at Kingston.

The Patriots of Liverpool had a [Hunter’s] Lodge and their place of meeting was in the old brick store built and first occupied by Theodore Wood (on the southeast corner of First and Tulip Streets). During the war, Mr. E. A. Akin sold goods in the building. Among his stock there was a pipe of port wine on tap in the cellar. This wine had a good flavor, a fact which the members of the Lodge were not long in discovering, and it seemed to exert great influence in drawing the members of the Lodge together.

The winter of 1838-9 was an eventful one along the northern border and the members were by no means inactive spectators of the exciting occurrences that were transpiring. Before the spring time had blossomed into summer, the fatal battle of the Windmill had been fought. Dr. Pettit had had occasion for rejoicing over his prediction in the sad and cruel fate of Leach and his misguided compatriots. The last blow for Canadian freedom had been struck, and the Liverpool [Hunter’s] Lodge dissolved leaving the wine cask empty and nothing to the landlord for rent in exchange for his liberal contributions to the "Lost Cause." *

* Agan, Mr., from the Liverpool Telegraph, June 8, 1894

Ibid, Paper 20-2.


Old Houses, the Brick Yard, Leman Leach and ‘Chesapeake

Mr. Godard says the McQUEEN house is probably the oldest now standing and the John KURTZ house on 4th Street, which used to be a part of the GLEASON homestead on Sycamore Street, is the next. The CHRONKHITE tenant house on Brow Street was there as long as he can remember. He thinks the famous fight with the canal gang was in ’23, and the first brick pit was not far from the middle of 1st Street, west of Balsam and about opposite the east end of Mrs. ACKERS’S red house, now occupied by Albert DAY. The mud was mixed by oxen treading in it. The yard was run by Leman LEACH, who went to the Patriot War and perished in ’38 (see pages 3, 4, 7-9). He had a fine stallion named "Chesapeake,’ a splendid animal but treacherous as the man eater of the Indian jungle. He was kept in the barn back of the STERLING house.

This barn by the way, with the back part of the house, must be according to Mr. CALLEY about as old as any of them. Mr. LEACH was leading ‘Chesapeake’ across to the CHRONKHITE well on First Street one day to water him. After letting him drink he allowed him to play a little at the end of his halter stake, remarking that NELLRACKER (the man who tended him) claimed he was so ugly, but he didn’t believe half of it. ‘Chesapeake’ suddenly made a lunge for him, seized him by the shoulders, carried him across the street and then tried to kneel on him, still holding him in his teeth. Allen CALLEY ran to his assistance and gave the furious beast such a kick in the head that it stunned him and allowed them to drag LEACH away. The horse was driven up to the barn near WILSON’s and ACKER’s line fence and ran loose in it all winter, when [at which time] he was traded off for some sheep.

Recollections of Mr. L(ucius). Godard

Column 12, Liverpool Telegraph, April (?), 1894


25 Jan 2003