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Schell's Bush, New York

Schell's Bush, New York

SCHELL'S BUSH, NEW YORK. 6 August 1781. Donald McDonald, with sixty Indians and Loyalists, surprised this small community while its inhabitants were working in the fields. Most settlers ran for Fort Dayton, five miles to the south, but John Christian Schell, a wealthy German, made a stand in his fortified home. Two sons who had been with him in the fields were captured, but Schell, his wife, and six other sons made it to the blockhouse and held off the raiders, who were unable to set the place on fire. McDonald was wounded and dragged inside after trying to force the door with a crowbar; he died the next day. The frustrated enemy finally withdrew. Patriots claimed that eleven assailants were killed and six wounded, and the captured boys said another nine died of wounds before reaching Canada. The defenders suffered no casualties. John Schell was mortally wounded and one of his sons killed a short time later while in their fields.

SEE ALSO Border Warfare in New York.

                            revised by Robert K. Wright Jr.

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