Tyranny by the “Yorkers”
Letter Written by:
Date of Letter: 2011-07-23
This is also a true story, not of the current bankers who congregate in the Manhattan area and have perpetrated some of the more egregious economic crimes in history against the America People. It is an event that happened before the American Revolutionary War, perpetrated by land speculators and the then Governor of New York and his henchmen (Yorkers) centered in Albany, against a group of Congregationalist/Separatists in the region now know as Bennington, Vermont. The Land Grants to this area, made by Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire in honor of whom Bennington was named, were purchased by my 6th great grandfather, Capt. Samuel Robinson and others after fighting in the French Indian Wars. My 5th great grandfather, Silas, his 4th son, was also arrested and held in jail for 8 months by the Yorkers for reported chasing one of the henchman with a hoe and charged with “rioting”. Moses Robinson, another son, became the 2nd Governor of Vermont and all 6 of Samuel’s sons fought in the Revolutionary War as Green Mountain Boys at the famous Battle of Bennington, Saratoga and Fort Ticonderoga. Many historians consider Capt. Samuel Robinson the Father of Vermont.
From the Vermont Historical Society:
In the summer of 1764 a controversy in regard to jurisdiction arose in Pownal [Bennington County] between claimants under New Hampshire, and others under New York, in which the authority of Esquire ROBINSON as a magistrate seems to have been invoked. Mr. ROBINSON being at Pownal was together with Samuel ASHLEY a New Hampshire sheriff a deputy and two other persons arrested by the New York sheriff and his assistants and carried to Albany [Albany County, New York] jail. This collision between the Governors of the two provinces, which appears to have resulted in a sort of compromise by which Mr. ROBINSON and those with him were released on moderate or nominal bail, and though indicted for resisting the New York officers, were never brought to trial.
In December 1765 when it was ascertained by the settlers New Hampshire that their lands were being granted from under them by Lieut. Gov. COLDEN, Mr. ROBINSON was deputed by those of Bennington and the neighboring towns to go to New York for the purpose of trying to persuade him to save their possessions from the grasp of the city speculators, but his efforts were unavailing. He was the next year appointed by the whole body of settlers and
claimants, their agent to repair to England and present their petitions for relief to the king. He left for England late in the fall of 1766 and reached London early in February following . In conjunction with William Samuel JOHNSON, then in London as the agent of the Colony of Connecticut, and with the aid of "the Society for the Propagation of the gospel in Foreign Parts," he so far procured the ear of the crown that Lord SHELBURNE on 11
April 1757 [typo in text for 1767] addressed a letter to Sir Henry MOORE, who had then become governor of the province of New York, forbidding him in the most positive terms from making any new grants of land in the disputed territory, and from molesting any person in possession under a New Hampshire title. On 20 July following , upon a hearing before the king in council an order in council was made prohibiting the governor of New York, "under pain of his majesty's highest displeasure," from making any such new grants. While Mr. [Samuel] ROBINSON [Sr.] was still prosecuting the business of his mission, he unfortunately took the small pox and died in London 27 October 1767.
Mr. [William Samuel] JOHNSON in communicating the intelligence of his decease to his widow under date of 02 November 1767, says of him: "He is much lamented by his friends and acquaintances, which were many. You may rest assured no care or expense was spared for his comfort and to save his life, had it been consistent with the design of Providence. [Part of letter omitted here in the original text.] After his death as the last act of friendship to his memory, I took care to furnish him a decent funeral at which General LYMAN and other gentleman here from America attended with me as mourners. He is interred in the burial ground belonging to Mr. WHITFIELD's
church, where he usually attended public worship."
Capt. [Samuel] ROBINSON was an intelligent, enterprising and energetic man of exemplary moral and religious character, and well suited to be the leader of a band of emigrants to a new country. His loss was deeply felt and deplored by the whole body of settlers on the New Hampshire Grants. Capt. ROBINSON [aka Samuel ROBINSON, Sr.] left six sons and three daughters who were all born at Hardwick, Worcester County, Massachusetts, all emigrated to Bennington [Bennington County], and all became heads of families. His descendants are very numerous, some of them are to be found in almost every state and territory of the Union. Of the sons [of Samuel ROBINSON, Sr.], Leonard, the oldest, and Silas, the fourth, removed from Bennington to Franklin County [Vermont], and died there. Marcy, the eldest daughter, married Joseph, son of Deacon Joseph SAFFORD; Sarah, the second daughter, married Benjamin, son of Stephen FAY, and after his death Gen. Heman SWIFT of Cornwall [Litchfield County], Connecticut. Anna, the youngest, married Isaac WEBSTER of Bennington. The other children were Samuel Jr., aka Col. Samuel ROBINSON], Moses, David, and Jonathan. [Summary: the six sons of
Samuel ROBINSON, Sr. (1705-1767) were Leonard, Silas, Samuel Jr. (1738-1812), Moses (1741-1813), David (1754-1843), and Jonathan (1756-1825), and the three daughters of Samuel ROBINSON, Sr., were Marcy, Sarah, and Anna.