“In the autumn of 1778, Brant, the famous Mohawk chief, made a descent from the borders of Canada into the Minisink valley, at the head of about a hundred Indians and Tories. They confined their atrocities chiefly to the settlements north of the Jersey boundary. ….In July, 1779, he reappeared with a larger force, and effected the destruction of the Neversink settlement, at what is now Port Jervis, in Orange Co. N.Y. The scene of massacre enacted here beggars description. One writer says, “While the inhabitants were attending the funeral of a deceased neighbor at the church, and when the procession was leaving for the burying-ground, the Indians came down upon their settlement, and before they had time to reach their homes the flames of the church gave signs of their narrow escape, and the smoke of their mills, barns, and houses forshadowed the doom of Neversink. Some of the whites—the number is unknown—were massacred in the most merciless manner; others—and among them mothers with their children in their arms or by their sides—fled to thickets, swamps, and standing grass for concealment and safety….
…. Brant shows a bit of Compassion
On their approach to the heart of the village the Indians found the rising hope of the colony in the school-house, under the tuition of Jeremiah Van Auken. The teacher soon fell a victim to their fury, and was dragged, a corpse, from the school-house, and also some of his pupils. Meanwhile, the rest of the boys fled to the woods for safety, while their sisters stood trembling and weeping by the lifeless remains of their teacher. At this instant a savage whoop was heard that reverberated through the forest and seemed like the signal to renewed deeds of cruelty. But even in the bosom of an Indian there still glowed one spark of sympathy that kindled at the scene. A brawny form sprang from the woods, where he had witnessed the tragical event, and with utmost speed approached the little group, with his horn by his side and his brush in his hand, and, dashing his paint-brush across their aprons, cried, ‘Little girls, hold up that mark when you see an Indian, and you are safe,’ and uttering a terrible yell, he plunged into the forest and disappeared. It was Brant. The life-mark was upon the little girls. The ruthless savage, when he saw it, smiled and passed by. The will of the chief was law.” History of Sussex and Warren, compiled by James P. Snell, Everts and Peck Philadelphia 1881. p 55