Schoharie in Schoharie County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
David Williams Memorial
Facing Fort Road (Southeast Side):
the Captors of
in Schoharie County
August 2nd, 1831
Aged 76 years
6 m's 8 days.
He with his compatriots, John Paulding and Iassic VanWart
on the 23d of September 1780, arrested Major John Andre
and found on his person treasonable papers in the hand
writing of Gen. Benedict Arnold who sought by treachery
to surrender the military post of West Point. into the
hands of the enemy. In resisting the great bribes of their
prisoner for his liberty they showed their incorruptible
patriotism; the American army was saved, and our
beloved Country became free.
October, 1780 "The party that took Major Andre acted
in such a manner as does them the highest honor,
and proves them to men
Back side (facing the Fort):
Aug. 5, 1844.
aged 87 years
6 m's 8 days.
This monument was erected by the State of New York
From an appropriation made in the centennial year
of 1876 By a bill introduce by Senator W.C. Lamont.
Under the following State Commissioners:
Daniel Knower, Ralph Brewster, Charles Holmes.
[Carved by] H.R & Z.J. Brown.
medal was voted to them and presented
to the captors by Gen. Washington at a
dinner to which he invited them while the
army was encamped near Ver Planks Point.
Erected 1876 by New York State.
Topics. This historical marker and memorial is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Revolutionary. A significant historical date for this entry is September 23, 1780.
Location. 42° 40.641′ N, 74° 18.103′ W. Marker is in Schoharie, New York, in Schoharie County. Marker is on Fort Road, on the right when traveling west. The David Williams Commemorative Memorial is Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 145 Fort Road, Schoharie NY 12157, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Colonel John Harper (a few steps from this marker); David Ellerson (a few steps from this marker); Revolution in the Mohawk Valley (a few steps from this marker); War in Schoharie County (a few steps from this marker); Old Stone Fort Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Col. Peter Vroman (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stone Church Parsonage (about 700 feet away); Bridge No. 1 (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Schoharie.
Regarding David Williams Memorial. Born in Tarrytown, New York, David Williams had been a farmer, but in 1775 he joined the Continental Army. Serving under Gen. Richard Montgomery, he took part in several campaigns but was forced to leave active service in 1779 after his feet were badly frozen, leaving him partially disabled for life. Despite his condition, Williams continued to lend his support to the volunteer forces in his native area: overnight on September 22–23, 1780, he joined militiamen John Paulding
The three men seized British officer Major John André at a site in Tarrytown now called Patriot's Park. It was Williams who physically searched André and discovered, hidden inside his boots, the documents of his secret communication with Benedict Arnold. The militiamen, all local farmers of modest means, refused his considerable bribe, mentioned during Andre's trial as being 1,000 guineas (approximately $5,000 in hard currency). The militiamen delivered Andrea to army headquarters. Arnold's plans to surrender West Point to the British were revealed and foiled, and Williams was among the witnesses when André was hanged as a spy.
With George Washington's personal recommendation, the United States Congress awarded Williams, Paulding and Van Wart the first military decoration of the United States, the silver medal known as the Fidelity Medallion. Each of the three also received federal pensions of $200 a year, and prestigious farms awarded by New York State. The face of the Fidelity Medallion was the inscription FIDELITY, and on the reverse was the motto AMOR PATRIA VINCI, which means: The love of country conquers. The two faces of the medallion are depicted on two opposite sides of the David Williams Memorial.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. The Andre Monument.
Also see . . .
1. Fidelity Medallion. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on December 3, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. The treason of General Benedict Arnold. Public Bookshelf website entry (Submitted on February 11, 2012, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 11, 2012, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 1,025 times since then and 101 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 11, 2012, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.