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King Hendrick's Orchard

Apple tree.

Of additional interest in the 1789 survey is that Cockburn considered it worthy of note when describing Lot 20 that "on it is an Orchard planted by the Mohawk Indians." That this orchard remained a remarkable feature along this portion of the Mohawk long after its abandonment by the Mohawks is evident in a traveler's account of an encounter here eight years later, in 1796. This account confirms the survival of both the fort and the orchard, indicates their approximate location, and additionally suggests the site of King Hendrick's residence, i.e., the Upper Castle of 1755.

Breakfasted at Hudson's, at the mouth of East Canada creek, - a good tavern, seated on the same ground where Hendrick lived, the Mohawk sachem who was killed in Johnson's battle, 1755, near Lake George. It is a beautiful eminence, commanding a pleasant prospect, and here are many apple-trees of at least fifty years old, called Hendrick's orchard. We had some of the cider, and it was excellent. Here was a fort, built by the British troops in 1756, called "Fort Hendrick," the rampart, ditch, and glacis of which are visible; and here was found, about four years ago, a golden medal, which it is supposed was the property of some Indian chief. It was worth about seven dollars, had an Indian on one side and emblematic figure on the other. It was sold at Albany to a Mr. Lansing. This place I take to have been the lower Mohawk castle, as marked on Holland's map of New York, though I believe that near Fort Hunter was called the lower castle seventy or eighty years ago. (Belnap 1882:14)

In this traveler's comment from fifty years after the fact we have the singular clue that first suggested the more easterly location for the Mohawk Upper Castle in the 1750s. For in it is mentioned the close association of the ruins of Fort Hendrick, the apple orchard of King Hendrick, and the 1790s riverside tavern known as "Hudson's".

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