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An Account of the Murder of Parmenas Jackson:

Pages 194

The tory inhabitants, whether natives or refugees, were the constant dread of those on the other side, who had any thing to lose, or who had, by their patriotism, rendered themselves obnoxious to their despicable malice.

Even the more inoffensive, who remained at home with their suffering families, were often harassed, and perpetually exposed to the predatory disposition of the worst men, and could hardly be said to have any thing which they could call their own. In some instance the lives of peaceable citizens were sacrificed in the most unprovoked and wanton manner, disgraceful even to barbarians, because they would not discover their money and other valuable to the robbers.

An appalling instance of this happened in the village of Jerusalem, when Parmenas Jackson, a wealthy and respectable farmer of that place, was robbed and murdered in the most brutal manner. Lloyd's Neck was then a British garrison, commanded by Col. Garbriel Ludlow, of Queens county. One of the soldiers stationed there, of the name of Degraw, had a sister living as a servant in the family of Mr. Jackson, and who, it is supposed, informed her brother of her master's being in possession of a considerable amount of money. On the night of the 10th of Jan., 1781, the family were aroused by the entrance of the said Degraw and six other ruffians, who demanded of Mr. Jackson his money; and upon his declining their request, began the work of death by cutting him in a terrible manner, over his head, arms, etc. Not obtaining what they wished from him, they commenced a like inhuman attack upon Thomas Birdsall, an aged man, the father-in-law of the former-upon which, his wife [Elizabeth], to save the life of her husband, agreed to point the robbers to the place of deposit. The money, to the amount of $3,000 in gold and silver, together with divers articles of apparel and furniture, were carried off. On their departure, information of the facts was conveyed, as soon as possible, to the commanding officer at Lloyd's Neck, who there-

Page 195

upon posted a guard at the only passage to the Neck, and in a short time the robbers, with most, if not all the treasure, were taken. The property was restored, and the villains were sent to the prison at New York. Mr. Jackson survived his wounds till the 19th of Jan. 1781, when he expired, at the age of 37 years, leaving a young and interesting family without their natural protector, and depriving society of one of its most estimable citizens.


From the book, The History of Long Island, from Its Discovery to the Present Time: With Many Important and Interesting Matters, By Benjamin Franklin Thompson, 1843

Transcribed by Jerry Gross*
June, 2007

*I have added my comments in [ ] to provide clarity

Linked toI5593; I924; I931

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