The role of the sheriff 200 years ago being repeated??
The story of the rent wars in Columbia county was repeated again a few years later in Delaware county. Again with the death of a sheriff. The patroon system was carried over from the Dutch to the British and then through the efforts of Alexander Hamilton who was to become the nations first secretary of the treasure extended the patroon system in NY. Read your histories, about the Rent wars and why we still have the same issues today because we did not throw out the old system. The people in power have the sheriff to enforce the state law not to protect the people from the state.
As the Police Unity Tour Ride in which Chief Volkmann will ride in honor of Columbia County Sheriff Cornelius Hogeboom on May 9-12, we would like to remind all Columbia County residents of the first US law enforcement Line of Duty Death on October 22, 1791. Sheriff Hogeboom stood his ground as a law enforcement officer. Here is his story…..
After their suppression, in 1766, the anti-rent partisans did not again rally (as such) for a period of twenty-five years. During the Revolution many scenes of violence were enacted within the limits of the county, but these had (or were supposed to have) their origin in party feeling and in the hatred that existed between patriots and Tories, though doubtless the state of affairs then existing was, in many cases, made an excuse for the wreaking of private revenge. After the war, although robbery and other lawless acts†† were frequent enough, the old anti-rent spirit does not seem to have been actively manifested until about 1790, when combinations were again formed to wrest from the Livingston and Van Rensselaer proprietors portions of their lands. In 1791 these combinations took the form of armed resistance to the execution of the laws, and resulted in the shooting of the sheriff of the county, Cornelius Hogeboom, Esq., while engaged in the performance of his duty.
Few occurrences in the history of Columbia county have ever moved the feelings and sympathies of its inhabitants more deeply than this atrocious murder of Sheriff Hogeboom. The following account of the deplorable event appeared in the Albany Gazette of Oct. 31, 1791, being communicated to that journal by a gentleman of Kinderhook:
“Cornelius Hogeboom, Esq., sheriff of the county of Columbia, was shot on his horse on Saturday, the 22d inst., at a place called Nobletown, in the town of Hillsdale, and on Monday his remains, attended by an uncommon number of respectable inhabitants from different parts of the county, were deposited in the family burial-place at Squampommock, where they testified an unfeigned sorrow for the loss of so valuable a citizen.
“Mr. Hogeboom had filled the office of sheriff for upwards of two years; and it was at a very distressing period that he entered on the duties of this office, whereby his unexampled benevolence to the distressed was fully evinced, at the same time that a just degree of promptitude was paid to the interest of his employers. Few men were capable of giving so universal satisfaction. He was a real patriot and a true friend.
“The murder of Sheriff Hogeboom is of such a barbarous and inhuman nature, while at the same time it is so interesting, that we shall give to the public a short and circumstantial account of the horrid deed. A few days previous to the murder one of the sheriff’s deputies was to have held a vendue at Nobletown by virtue of an execution against one Arnold, but on the day of the intended sale the Nobletown people assembled, and with threats deterred the deputy from proceeding in the vendue, who thereupon adjourned it to the Saturday following, informing the people that he should acquaint the high sheriff with what had happened, which he accordingly did. The sheriff attended on Saturday, and after waiting till near four o’clock for his deputy, who had the execution, and he not arriving, and a number of people having assembled in a riotous manner, he concluded to leave, and told the people that since his deputy had not come he would leave it to him to make such return as he thought best. He then, with his brother and another gentlemen, rode off, and when they were opposite the barn young Arnold fired a pistol, at which signal seventeen men, painted and in Indian dress, sallied forth from the barn, fired and marched after them, keeping up a constant firing. Some of the balls passing between them, the companions of the sheriff desired him to spur his horse or they would all be shot; to which he replied that he was vested with the law, and they should never find him a coward.
“Young Arnold seeing those in Indian dress fell astern, then mounted a horse with another fellow and rode up to them; two of whom mounted the horse, and (the sheriff having only walked his) soon came up and dismounted, when one of them leveled his piece, and lodged a ball in the heart of the sheriff; upon which he said, ‘Brother, I am a dead man!’ fell from his horse, and expired. His brother then took him up in his arms and carried him into the house of one Crum, but supposing himself yet in imminent danger rode off.
“Great praise is due to Captain Sloan, of the city of Hudson, who soon afterwards came and took care of the body, and at the risk of his life guarded the papers of the sheriff. Young Arnold went to Crum’s house for the purpose (as is supposed) of putting a period to the existence of the sheriff, if it had not been already done.
“Four of the perpetrators set out the next day for Nova Scotia by way of New London. A reward of two hundred and fifty pounds is offered for apprehending them. A party of men are in pursuit, and, as we hear, were on Tuesday within fifteen miles of them.
“Twelve are lodged in the gaol at Claverack under a strong guard. Jonathan Arnold is not yet taken. It is recommended to all good citizens who wish well to the support of good government to be active in apprehending one who dares to commit such an outrage against civil government and civil society.”
The accused persons were tried at a term of the oyer and terminer, held at Claverack in February, 1792, and “after a long and impartial trial were acquitted.” The murderer was never discovered.
The widow of the victim, Mrs. Sarah Hogeboom, died wholly of grief, on the 16th of January, less than three months after her husband’s murder. The Hudson Gazette of January 26, in noticing her death, said, “It is impossible to describe the extreme distress with which Mrs. Hogeboom hath been afflicted from the moment she received information of the inhuman murder of her husband until the time of her decease.” This unfortunate couple were the grandparents of the late Judge Henry Hogeboom.
After the tragedy of 1791, the most vigorous measures were employed to quell the lawless spirit which had caused it, and although there were afterwards occasional instances of resistance to the payment of manorial rents, yet for more than half a century there occurred in Columbia county no demonstration of sufficient magnitude to be noticed as an anti-rent revolt.
Thank you Hogeboom family for your service to Columbia County.