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Profile of Henry King and the Revolutionary War

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Henry King and the Revolutionary War


On a roadside near Sacandaga in the Town of Northampton is a blue and yellow sign that had been erected in 1936 by the New York State Education Department. Beneath an arrow pointing toward a cemetery are the words:

KING CEMETERY HENRY KING AND SON JOHN SETTLED ON THIS SITE AND ARE BURIED HERE. GRAVES OF REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIERS AND PIONEERS OF 1788-1816. STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT 1936 Our friends John and Dorothy Baker advised me that the [1]. John Baker found listed in the Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications in the National Archives the name [2] The temptation is strong to conclude that here we have found Henry's parents and birthplace. Unfortunately, however, Dr. John King and his sons belong to a completely different although contemporary family. They were natives of Newton, Massachusetts, where they returned and continued to live for the rest of their lives.

In the late eighteenth century, when Henry King settled in Northampton, the Sacandaga Valley and uplands were roadless wilderness areas with a few pioneers already opening the land. [3] Perhaps Henry had been paid this way. The files at the Department of Education appeared to be a likely source of information for where and when Henry had enlisted for the War of Independence and, therefore, where he had been raised.

I wrote to the State Archives at the Office of Cultural Education in Albany, New York, on February 9, 1987, for information in their files about Henry King. For this purpose I included in the letter the material on the roadside sign. After several weeks I received a reply. Due to staff shortages they were taking longer than usual to respond. Finally, on August 1, 1987, that office sent me a form letter stating: "Using the information you included along with your request, we have consulted relevant available finding aids and indices to series in the Archives but have been unable to locate any information that pertains to your search." However, I had already received another form letter from the same office dated June 5, 1987. It, too, mentioned the lack of appropriate records; but stated further that my letter was being forwarded to the Historical and Anthropological Services of the New York State Museum in Albany.

Curiously, I had heard from a Mr. Robert E. Mulligan, Associate Curator in History at the New York State Museum, fairly promptly in response to my letter of February 9, 1987. After some delay and a telephone call he wrote on March 10 to report that the King Cemetery was incorporated as a Cemetery Association and that it contains reburials from other old cemeteries in the area flooded by the Sacandaga Reservoir, now called Greater Sacandaga Lake. Also he suggested that I write to the Cemetery Bureau, New York State Department of State. This I did on March 13.

In the end I was referred to a Larry Hackman at the Cultural Education Center to whom I wrote on April 10. He turned my letter over to Senior Historian Edmund i. Winslow of the Division of research and Collections at the New York State Museum and from him I received, at last, an answer to my initial query in a letter dated lune 23, 1987. Here I quote the pertinent parts.

Our office has the original application for the Historic Marker "King Cemetery." Usually there are bibliographic references to prove the statements hut not in this case. The application was submitted by E. i. Ruleffsore, Historian for the Town of Mayfield. He/she may have had hard data but was not included. The application indicates that Henry King has a cabin there and gave the plot for burials - hence the name King Cemetery. It also indicates that when the Great Sacandaga Reservoir was built that some remains from other cemeteries were moved to the King Cemetery. The Town Historian indicated that the reference sources are tombstone inscriptions and testimony given by family descendents. The historian also commented that: "Three Revolutionary soldiers and a number of well known in the early history of this region rest here. Based on prior use of this material, I would conclude that Henry King was probably not a Revolutionary War soldier. If he had been, some reference to that fact probably would have been made. I would recommend that at some point that you check the deed held by Henry King. It is also possible that he served in the militia and is unlisted in a formal roll. As we discovered later, Henry King was married, had a family of several children, and was living in Rhode Island during the Revolutionary War. Whether he served there in the militia or army is still open to question. Unfortunately, many of the records for Rhode Island soldiers are incomplete or lost.

November 3, 1987 written and researched by Allen Lewis King





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