River Vale in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Propaganda: The Mighty Pen
“There is certain intelligence arrived this day in town that the brave Colonel Baylor, after being twice bayoneted, still survives & is in a fair way of recovery, but that Major Clow [Clough], a gallant officer, with sundry others of his regiment, were slain, being put to the sword, & butchered in the most cruel & rascally manner by the British peace-keeping savages.”
Virginia Gazette, October 23, 1778
Massacre or Tactical Success? Was the attack on Baylor’s regiment a massacre? Not surprisingly, contemporary reports of the event are conflicting, depending upon the loyalties of the reporter:
By a well projected plan of Lord Cornwallis’s, almost an entire regiment of the enemy’s light dragoons were
Sir Henry Clinton to Lord George Germain, October 8, 1778
[The enemy] after Butchering in a most inhuman manner a number of the Light Horse and militia who had surrendered themselves prisoners, they turn’d their Cruelties to Woman and Old men; whom thy treated with every kind of brutality their Perfidiousness could inveny.
From a petition by citizens of Orange County to Governor Clinton, October 18, 1778
The Major-general [Grey] conducted his march with so much order and so silently…that he entirely surprised [the dragoons], and a very few escaped being either killed or taken.
General Cornwallis to Sir Henry Clinton, September 28, 1778
Our cavalry being in a situation which did not admit of a successful defence, a considerable part of the regiment unavoidably fell a sacrifice to those cruel and merciless men.
New Jersey Gazette, October 7, 1778
…a part of Sir James Baird’s company was detached to a barn where sixteen [American] privates were lodged, who, discharged ten or twelve pistols, and striking at the troops sans effect with their broadswords, nine of them were instantly bayoneted, and seven received quarter. Major Mairland’s force coming
Rivington’s Royal Gazette, October 3, 1778
What Do You Think?
Erected by Bergen County.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • War, US Revolutionary.
Location. 41° 0.787′ N, 74° 0.511′ W. Marker is in River Vale, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker is at the intersection of Red Oak Drive and Rivervale Road, on the right when traveling east on Red Oak Drive. Marker is in Baylor Massacre Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Westwood NJ 07675, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Night of “Savage Cruelty” (here, next to this marker); “The Baylor Massacre” (here, next to this marker); The British General (here, next to this marker); The Third Continental Light Dragoons (here, next to this marker); The Price of Freedom: A Patriot’s Grave (here, next to this marker); 200 Years Later (here, next to this marker); Baylor Massacre Park Gravesite (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in River Vale.
More about this marker. The bottom left of the marker features the famous 1770 engraving by Paul Revere (1735-1818) entitled “’The Bloody Massacre’ at Boston, March 5th, 1770.” after a drawing by Henry Pelham. The engraving, supplied by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has a caption of “Paul Revere, the American patriot, silversmith and master propagandist, shows evil-looking British soldiers slaughtering innocent, helpless Bostonians. The episode, like the Baylor incident termed a ‘massacre,’ occurred when British soldiers fired into am unruly crowd, killing five men. The cartoon helped Boston radicals reinforce American fears about the presence of the British army in the Colonies.”
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This series of markers tell the story of the Baylor Massacre of September 28, 1778.
Also see . . . OVERKILL: Revolutionary War Reminiscences of River Vale. Bergen County Historical Society. (Submitted on June 22, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,700 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 22, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.