The witness deposed here is Joseph Van Gilder. He was the son of John Van Gilder, a Mohican-Wappinger man, and his German wife Anna Marie Koerner. Joseph was born 14 July 1722. He married Mary Holly Winchell, the daughter of David Winchell and Mary Trumble, 23 May 1748. I will write more about Joseph in my next post.
JOSEPH VAN GELDER – That he is Forty Eight Years of Age He understood the Indian language that he knows a place called Wawanaquasick it lies between Claverack and Sheffield one Breakfast Travel from the River to wawanaquasick. it lies about 9 or 10 Miles East from the River – has seen it often has traveled. It lies upon the East part of a Hill has heard of it high thiry Year ago from old Indians who told him it was wawanaquasick and Said it was an old Place they had there, a great many years ago – Old Nannahaken and old Skannout old Panneyote who were Ancient Indians told him so. Old Skannout was quite grey with Years – Nanahacken about 70 Years then, and old Skannout appeared older then Ampawekine called Sankenakeke who was the Sachem of the Mohickens also told him of it. He was then better than Sixty Years of Age, they were all of the Mowhickens Tribe the Indians told him it was an offering Place of their old fore fathers and a boundary between the tribes Mohickens and the River Indians the Eastern Tribes was called Mohigens and lived at Stockbridge he is sure – the Indians told himWawanaquasick was a boundary between the Mohicken and the River Indians they used to join together when they went to war has heard of Keeswky’s He was a River Indian not a Sachem had erected this place as he knows – that he lived about Claaverack and up towards Albany Indians told him his fore fathers had erected this place and that they had it from them Patenhook is the General name of every fall of Water Papteut is at Claaverack as the Indians told him it is the name of a Particular Place – Has lived in Sheffield and Egremont within 5 or 6 Miles of it almost all his Life Knows of a Large Samuel of a large flat Rock between Sheffield – Knows Samuel Summers he lives near the Large Rock within ¾ Mile and where old Jackson lived it is on the East side of Housitonick River Remembers this Great Rock ever since he can Remember anything from 10 Years old Indians told him it never was a Monument or Boundary he used to play there often when Young lived within a half a Mile of it There never was a heap of Stones on it when he first knew it When he was a little Boy there was a Clift in the Rock the Boys threw stones on the South side to fill up the Clift which hurt their legs in Playing Never heard this Rock Called Wawanaquasick There are two Cracks in the Rock one Runs East and West and had Earth in it the other North and South and had none – He is not sure th which Crack it was [historian James N. Parrish of Great Barrington believes this location is on the west bank of the Green River along the north end of the West Sheffield Road.]Cross-examined – Will not be positive how old he was when he throgh’d the Stones but he was a little Chap his fathers name was John Van Gelder in Indian Toanunck his Fathers Land was near the flat Rock, the Rock fifty or sixty Rods to the East of his Fathers Land His father lived there better than fifty Years as his Mother and father told Schnapk [sic] told him of Wawanaquasick when he was a little Child and so on from time to time the last time he told him so was 10 Years ago but he is not certain Also the time but it may be thereabouts Sowhhaap [sic] he believes he has been dead 4 or 5 Years does not know certain but believes thereabouts He lived at Stockbridge usually Knew Samuel Winchel when he first came to live there about forty Years ago. There were stones on the Rock when