The main cause of the King George's war had to do with events that occurred in Europe, the War of Jenkin's Ear and the War of the Austrian Succession. The conflicts of the War would eventually spread to the colonies in the form of territorial disputes between the British and their Indian allies and the French and their Indian allies. It was the third of four French and Indian Wars and took place mainly in Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and Nova Scotia.
|The British siege of the French fortress at Louisburg in Nova Scotia was one of the hallmarks of King George's War. British forces captured the fort in 1745 after a six week siege. Courtesy of Wikipedia.|
Another scare came to Schenectady in 1746 when two slaves were captured by a party of French Indians. A party of men from Albany and Schenectady pursued the raiding party and came upon the house of Simon Groot. The raiding party had set fire to Groot's house, taken a prisoner, murdered and scalped a boy, and shot a man who was attempting to escape. The militia was unable to further track the raiding party. The raid on Groot's house and the increasing amounts of violence in the area was likely a cause of Abraham Glen requesting permission to raise a company of 100 volunteers for the defense of Schenectady and the frontier. There wouldn't be any battles near Schenectady until July 18, 1748 when three Schenectady men were attacked by French Indians in Glenville. This would spark the events of the Battle of Beukendaal.
Much of what we know about the Battle of Beukendaal comes from a letter to William Johnson from Albert Van Slyck who who fought in the battle, but there have been several other accounts. Van Slyck wrote that a group of men gathered to raise the frame for a barn by the Mohawk River in Scotia on July 18, 1748. Three of the men, Captain Daniel Toll, Dirk Van Vorst, and Toll's slave, Rykert departed to gather some horses that wandered off. Shortly afterward, the others raising the barn heard gunshots and Albert's brother, Adrian, sent his slave to Schenectady to warn the residents there and to try to gather men.
|The DeGraaf Barn that Toll, Van Vorst and Rykert were working on was eventually raised after the Battle of Beukendaal. Courtesy of the Grems-Doolittle Library Photo Collection.|
|Corn growing at the site of the Beukendaal Battle in 1997. Courtesy of the Grems-Doolittle Library Photo Collection.|
|Photo of the DeGraaf house where the Schenectady Militia defended themselves against the French Indian attackers. The house was demolished in 1915. Courtesy of the Grems-Doolittle Library Photo Collection.|
|In 1929, the Schenectady Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution installed this monument to those who were killed during the Beukendaal Battle. Courtesy of the Grems-Doolittle Library Photo Collection|