The Coxsackie Declaration of Independence

The Coxsackie Declaration of Independence
Donated by the Durham Center Museum
Written by Olive N. Woodworth

On May 17, 1775, more than a year before the Declaration of Independence 
was presented in Philadelphia, the inhabitants of Coxsackie signed a 
Declaration of Independence of their own. The faded yellow parchment, 
found in an Albany attic some years ago, bears the names of 225 signers, 
most of them Dutch names of freeholders from the Coxsackie District of 
the Colony of New York.

Within a month after this historic event on the Hudson, the Battles of 
Concord and Lexington had been fought, the British force had attacked 
Bunker Hill, and Washington had been summoned to lead the American army 
surrounding Boston. Much of the excitement of the times can be felt 
when this document is read; and history records that the revolutionary 
fever reached a peak thirteen months later, at Philadelphia, the 
Declaration of Independence was signed by all the colonies.

The Coxsackie Declaration was discovered by Mr. John M. Clark, then 
president of the Albany Institute and History and Art Society, who 
presented it to the Institution, where it remains. The document was 
pronounced authentic by Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Wyer, who served, 
respectively, as State Historian and State Librarian at that time, and 
by the State Archivist. It was displayed among other selected material 
on the New York Freedom Train when it toured the State. Over the years, 
the writing on the document, faded and somewhat illegible; of the 225 
signatures, only 211 are decipherable and presumed accurate. Some of the 
patriots, unable to write their names, signed with an "+" . The first 
signer, John (Johannes) Schuneman, was undoubtedly the fighting "Dutch 
Dominie of the Catskills", for the letters V.D.S., meaning Verbum Dei 
Servus (Minister of the Word of God) appear after his name. And there 
is enough authentic data on the Dominie to provide assurance that he 
drew up the Declaration personally.

Anthony Van Bergen, the eighth signer, and Henry Van Bergen, the fourth 
signer, were Colonel and captain, respectively, of the Coxsackie militia 
during the Revolution.

The Declaration

PERSUADED that the Salvation of the Rights and Liberties of America, 
depends, under God, on the firm union of its Inhabitants, in a vigorous 
prosecution of the Measures necessary for its Safety, and convinced of 
the Necessity of preventing the Anarchy and confusion which attend the 
Dissolution of the Powers of Government:

THAT the Freeholders and Inhabitants of Coxsackie District, in the County 
of Albany, being greatly alarmed at the avowed Design of the Ministry 
to raise a Revenue in America, are shocked by the bloody Scene acting 
in the Massachusetts Bay; Do in the most solemn manner, resolve never 
to become Slaves; and do also associate under the Ties of Religion, 
Honor and Love of our Country to adopt and endeavor to carry into 
Execution whatever Measures may be rendered by our Continental Congress, 
or resolved upon by our Provincial Convention for the purpose of 
preserving our Constitution and apposing the Execution of several 
arbitrary and oppressive Acts of the British Parliament, until a 
reconciliation between Great Britain and America or constitutional 
principles (which we most ardently desire) can be obtained; and that 
we will, in all Things, follow the advice of our general Committee, 
respecting the purpose aforesaid, the preservation of Peace and good 
Order, and the Safety of Individuals and private property.

Dated at Coxsackie the Seventeenth of May in the Year of our Lord, One 
Thousand seven hundred and seventy five. (signed by 225 citizens of 

John Schuneman V.D.S.
Theunis Van Vechten
James Barker
Henry Van Bergen
John L. Bronck
Jacob + Hallenbeck
William + Hallenbeck
Anthony Van Bergen
John A Whitbeck
Samuel Van Vechten
Pieteer Conyne
Thomas Hoghtelen
Michael + Collyer
Francis Salisbry Jr.
Johannes + Jansen
Lambert Van Valkenburgh
Casper Hollenbeck
Myndert V. Schaick
William Van Bergen
Casperse Hallenbeck
Peter Bronck
Leonard Bronck
Abraham Hallenbeck
Peter + Vanette
Wilhelmus Vandenburg
John Vanette
Wessel Salisbury
Carperse Halenbeck
John Groog
Abraham Salisbury
Reychert Van den Berk
Richard Johnson
John Vosburgh
Richard + Vandenberg
Henry Wabber
Arout Van Schaick
Jacob Van Loon
Jacob Hallenbeck
A. Doonhalten
Ebenezer Stanton
William Brandow Jr.
Edward Groom
Haedirick + Schram
Clement Overbagh
Benjamin van Gerdener
Frederick Schram
William Jones
Reuben Stanton
Reuben van der Berk
Wilhelme Sammon
Jno Moore + John
John + Goes
Cornelius Connine
Richard Ten + Broeck
John + Hallenbeck
John + Munday
James Donney
Joseph Groom
Albert Van Loon
Joachim + Ryal
David Rose
Gererdus Neukirk
Matthias + Hallenbeck
Storm Prosa
Christian Blodaar
John Persaly
Burent Albartsen
Benjamin Cornelius Dubois
Benjam Dubois
Henry Irison
Nikasas Yare
Matthias Van Con Jan
Caspar Pare
John Romear
Benjamin+ Essex
John van Steinburg
Gared Peresen
John C. Claus
Jeremiah + Steenbergh
John + Wall
James + White
John + Snyder
Nicholas Van Loon
Martin Hallenbeck
John V. Schake
John W. Bught
Nickolas V. Schake
Peter Van Burgan
John Parree
Isaac + Collyer
Jacob + Livingston
Thomas + Templar
Joseph Nesbit
William Groom
Henry Knoll
Isaac Witbeck
William Wells
Samuel Stogles Salisbury
Hendrick + Smith
William + Smith
George Rosa
Martin G. van Bergen
Wilhelmus + Dederick
Jary Van Loon
Johan Wesdernich
Solomon Schut
Nicholas V. Scake
Dirk Van Veghten
John + Vosburgh
Frederick Dederick
Johan Niew
J. Wood
Wilhelmus + Oorbagh
Laurance Dubois
John Van Housen
William + Klauw
Jon Spoor
Johannis Sousa
Petrus Van Loon
Albertus Van Loon
John Rouge
Pet + Schram
Dirck Spoor
Andres + Eaghler
William + Cudney
Frederick Scheck
John Bronck
John Van Loon
Casper Hallenbeck
Matthias + Boom
Pete + Janson
John H Schurmerhorn
Hugh Denniston
Laurence Winney
Stephen Haight
Thomas Garnett
John Ellis
John + Lampman
Mod. Van Sand
Henry Oothoudt
Samuel Allen
Abraham Camer
Wilhelmus Lampman
Herman + Becker
Casper Hallenbeck
Nicholas Van Loon
Robert Thomas
Jacob + Shoup
Peter Van Loon Jr
Abraham Van Loon
Hendrick + Rose
William Rea
Philip Conyne
Reychert van den Berk
John + Schrader
Arent + Cooss
Philip Conine Jr
John van den Berk
Peter Conine
Jam. Hearn
Benjamin Smith
Peter Smith
John + Curby
Francis Salisbury
Cornelius Dubois
John Dubois
Thouny D. van Veghten
Cornelius Schermerhorn
Jacob Egbertsen Jun.
Thomas Fish
Peter Bogardus
Thomas Aston
Johannes + Brandow
John Casper + Van Hoefer
Thomas Burdick
Arent + Fedder
Peter Soufer
William Schutt
Jacob + Cook
Coenrad Flaake
Coenraet + Hoghtaline
Richard + Houghtaline
Baltus Van Slyk
Jeremiah + Conine
Peter Van Slyk
Philip Bronck
Martin V. Bargen
Petrus + Brandow
Jacob Van Vechten
Abraham Salisbury
Heiybartus Dubois
Benjamin Dubois
William + Brandow
Gysbort Oosterhoudt
Garret P. + Steenbergh
Egbert Bogardus
Johannes + Van Garde
John Person
Johannis Conyn
Nicholas + Planke
Abraham Van Garde
Jam. C. Van Waganen
Richard Conways
John Taylor
Goefrie Brandow

This web page is dedicated to two of my ancestors who were signers of the  
Coxsackie Declation:

James Barker, an English lawyer,  was born in London in 1727.  "He was a  
prominent member of the English Bar, and his wife," Elizabeth Wooer, "was 
a lineal descendant of the Tudors."  He arrived in New York just after 
the French and Indian War, purportedly settling Woodstock in the town of 
Cairo with 23 "former tenants" brought over from England.  For this, he 
was known as "the Patroon".  The Barker Patent covered 6,000 acres of 
land and extended from Woodstock nine miles north to the town of Durham 
on both sides of the Katksill.  Mr. Barker died in 1820.

Andres + Eaghler, who signed with a mark, was also known as Andrus Eiklor  
and Andrew Ecklar.  He was born in Catskill, New York in 1732.  He 
married Maria Schramm in March 1749.  His will was probated on January 
17, 1807.

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page 3 of the Tudor descendants: descendants of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois
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