Printed at St. Johns, Quebec in the year 1899
Valentine Mock lived before and at the commencement of the American Revolution of 1777, at Rhinebeck on the Hudson River. He was a farmer, was married and had several children. He had for years traded in furs, made trips to the far West, and enjoyed the confidence of the Indians.
When New Amsterdam became a British colony the Dutch settlers were compelled to take an oath of allegiance to their new master, the King of England and his successors. These deeply religious and simple people remained true to their oath during the war and ranged themselves under the King's banner. They were United Empire Loyalists for conscience sake. Mock was an active and ardent Tory and a willing subject of his King.
The Indians no doubt committed many savage cruelties during the war, in consequence of which the Revolutionists were much exasperated against them and they were more bitter still against any white man who might be in communication with their dusty foes.
A considerable reward was offered by the American authorities for the capture, dead or alive, of any of the Colonists known to be in league with the Indians. When General Cornwallis surrendered in New York State, Mock was with his Indian allies, who retired to their Western haunts, but Mock and a number of the other Dutch colonists,who had been attached to the British forces and were not among the prisoners of war, decided to make their way through the forests to Montreal. Although Mock knew if he fell into the hands of the American troops and more especially into the hands of the Irregulars, then called "coyboys," he would have a "long rope and a short shrift," he visited his wife and family before leaving.
The work on the farm was performed by his wife and children during his absence. He was a small man. There was some work which then needed to be done and required a man to do it, so he disguised himself in women's clothing and went to work in the field near the house. In a short time a number of Americans appeared in sight. He went into the house and hid in the cellar. His wife drew something over the trap-door in the floor which concealed it from view. When the Americans appeared at the house she received them with smiles although she knew they were seeking the life of her husband. She gave them food and drink freely, especially the latter. They plied her with questions as to her husband's whereabouts, but by her ready answers and woman's wit she lulled their suspicions. The food was so good and the welcome so genuine and hearty, that they decided to remain there that night, no doubt thinking that now the British army was captured and its allies dispersed Mock would likely return at any time to his family for supplies.
As night came on, a full stomach and plenty of rum produced their usual effects. The soldiers soon became sleepy, they placed a sentinel at the door, stretched themselves upon the floor and in a brief time their regular and heavy breathing told that they were in a drunken slumber. Mock's wife quietly uncovered and opened the trap door and handed her husband his hunting suit of buckskin, his gun, axe and knife and knapsack filled with provisions, then she went outside and entered into whispered conversation with the sentinel and gradually drew him away from the door. At a given signal, Mock crept from the cellar, passed the sleeping soldiers, and almost succeeded in leaving without detection, when the sentinel turned towards the door and saw a man coming out of the house. He stepped close to Mock, apparently to see if he was one of their party, but his move was fatal. Mock was striking for his life. He knew if he was to fall into the enemy's hands his doom was sealed. The object of war was to kill. One sudden gleam of the knife in the practiced hand of an Indian fighter and the sentinel sank to the ground without a groan. He was merely another unit added to the thousands who perished in the sad and sanguinary Struggle.
A bound, a short swift run and our hero was again in those haunts that always had a charm for the adventurous race to which he belonged. Once again he was free. But not so his heroic and devoted wife; all the pentup fury of this lawless and reckless gang was poured upon her devoted head. The falling of the sentinel, the precipitate dash of the fugitive and that nameless awe which strikes the hearts of the most hardened when death is in their midst, suddenly roused the heaviest sleeper. They sprang to their feet. the open cellar, the pale and trembling wife, the dead body of their comrade told them that they had been duped, and that by a woman. that their prey whom they had been hunting for years, had again escaped their vengeance. Their pride was humbled and their avarice was unsatisfied. All the vile passions of evil men who had been familiar with the horrors of war, whose hands had often been stained by bloody deeds, were let loose.
They forgot their manhood, forgot that the woman was fighting for the life of her mate and the father of her children.They asked where her husband intended going, but as she did not know she told them the truth when she so informed them. They would not believe her and scoffed at her feigned ignorance.
They put a rope about her neck. threw it over a limb of a tree and drew her up until nearly suffocated. They then let her down and asked her where her husband had gone, she could not tell them, again they drew her up and let her down, this they continued to do until they left her apparently dead. The children, at the first sight of the Americans, went to the neighbors who were known to be in active sympathy with the revolution. but whose sense of justice was stronger than political bias, and where they were safe from insult or injury. As soon as the Americans had departed the children returned home and found their mother still alive all though injured by the brutal treatment she had received that her recovery for months was slow and painful.
Mock knew that he would never be allowed to live again among his old neighbors. He hung about the mountains west of the Hudson river for some time, met a number of his old comrades, thirteen in number, and they left their country, homes and families and tramped through the forest to the British posts at lsle-aux-Noix and St. Johns. They suffered many hardships on their journey, but on their arrival in British territory they were again attached to the British army until the close of the war.
When disbanded a number of them settled in St. Armand and Caldwell's Manor. Among the number were Mock, Beerwort, Hauver, Rosenberger, Dedreick, in fact nearly, if not all of those bearing Dutch names in St. Armand and Clarenceville were descendants of that party.
Mock lived near Philipsburg. His family left their home on the Hudson River and joined him there. For a time the nearest mill was at Plattsburg, N.Y. In those days they pounded their grain in a wooden trough. Subsequently Mock went to New York and engaged a young man by the name of George Mitchell from Dalbori, South end parish, Argylshire, Scotland, and brought him to St. Armand. He was a millwright, and a mill was built by him on a stream near the village where the sawing and grinding were done for several years. Mitchell married one of the daughters of Mr. Mock and true to the characteristics of his countrymen, he not only got the daughter but acquired the homestead as well. His son Archibald was born on the old place and must have been among the first children born in the parish. One of the daughters married John Savage, who settled at Savages Mills in North Shcfford. Another married a Beerwort of Clarenceville.
A descendant of Mock's son, called Valentine Mock, lived a few years ago near Granby Village.
Hoping this may be of interest to those interested in the history of Missiquoi.
I beg to sign.
EDITORIAL NOTE.- In submitting the above article, along with the one which follows. Mr. Ian Smith points out that the two pieces are different in nature. We quote from his covering letter: "I could have made a better story by intertwining the strands of the two: but I preferred to keep them separate, as the former one is anecdotal and third-hand, whereas the latter is factual, being based on legal documents"
Ian R. Smith.
We suggest the reader keep Mr. Smith's note in mind as he follows these two fascinating accounts of the Mock Family.
JOHANNES MOCK-----Missisquoi Loyalist