Skip to main content

Herkimer, Nicholas

Herkimer, Nicholas

HERKIMER, NICHOLAS. (1728–1777). New York militia general. Born near the present town of Herkimer, New York, Nicholas Herkimer was a militia lieutenant during the Seven Years' War. When the Revolution began he was active in patriot affairs in politically divided Tryon County, serving as chairman of the Committee of Safety. In 1776 he was promoted from colonel of militia to brigadier general. In July 1777 he led 380 militia to Unadilla, New York, for a conference with Joseph Brant, who had 130 Mohawk warriors with him. Herkimer hoped to work out some arrangement to keep Brant's Mohawks neutral, but the conference did not accomplish this purpose. After learning that a British expedition led by General Barry St. Leger was approaching, and after getting little response from the militia when efforts were made to turn out 200 men for the defense of Fort Schuyler (Stanwix), Herkimer issued a proclamation on 17 July calling on all adult males to appear for service. Eight hundred men responded, and Herkimer led them to the relief of Fort Schuyler. Two days later, on 6 August, he led them into the tragic Oriskany ambush. Herkimer was seriously wounded and his army routed. About ten days later his leg was unskillfully amputated by a French surgeon of Benedict Arnold's command, who could not stop the bleeding. He died 16 August 1777.

SEE ALSO Brant, Joseph; Oriskany, New York; St. Leger's Expedition; Tryon County, New York.


Cowen, Phoebe Strong. The Herkimers and the Schuylers. Albany, N.Y.: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1903.

                              revised by Michael Bellesiles

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Herkimer, Nicholas." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . 25 Sep. 2018 <>.

"Herkimer, Nicholas." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . (September 25, 2018).

"Herkimer, Nicholas." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . Retrieved September 25, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.