Margrietje FONDA

Female 1733 - 1818  (84 years)

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  • Name Margrietje FONDA 
    Born 21 Nov 1733  Caughnawaga, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 12 Mar 1818 
    Person ID I1747  Wemple Family Ancestry
    Last Modified 13 Dec 2017 

    Married 29 Oct 1725  New York State Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F527  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Barent WEMPLE,   b. Bef 02 Apr 1732,   d. 04 Jul 1771  (Age > 39 years) 
     1. Myndert WEMPLE,   b. Bef 16 Nov 1755,   d. Bef 1763  (Age < 7 years)
     2. Douw WEMPLE,   b. Bef 11 Dec 1757,   d. Bef 1769  (Age < 11 years)
     3. Alida WEMPLE,   b. 07 Jun 1760,   d. 19 Jun 1800  (Age 40 years)
     4. Myndert B. WEMPLE,   b. 07 Jul 1763, Fonda, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jul 1838, Fonda, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     5. Peter WEMPLE,   b. 01 Jan 1767,   d. 13 May 1787  (Age 20 years)
     6. Douw WEMPLE,   b. 30 Jul 1769, Fonda, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Aug 1850, Mohawk, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
    Last Modified 13 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F494  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • The following was sent to me by William Westbrook Wemple, Jr. on April 27, 1996. William obtained the story from Mary Hayes of Fonda, NY.

      In the town of Fonda there's a Wemple Street down by the Mohawk River. Behind it to the east is a . . . old, broken down small wooden house belonging to Mary Hayes. (I went to Mary's house), I knocked on the door, explained who my brother and his wife, and my wife and I were (and) they invited us in. (The old house turned out to be Margaret Fonda Wemple's.) (Margaret) Peggy was apparently very well known. In late December of 1994 I got a bulky envelope from her and in it was a hand written account of a newspaper article re; Peggy Wemple: It follows:

      She's the most beautiful red haired woman in the the Mohawk Valley. These were the sentiments of many patriots in the reference to Margaret (Fonda) Wemple, widow of Barent Wemple of Caughnawaga.

      Barent Wemple was accomplished in the Seneca Indian tongue and conducted numerous missions to the Indians on behalf of the white settlers and acted many times as an interpreter. Barent was one of one hundred patentees to whom one hundred thousand acres of land was granted November 30,1769. This land was on the south side of the Mohawk River. On April 29 and May 22,1765, he attended a conference with the Six Nations and the Delawares at Johnson Hall, Johnstown, NY in the capacity of interpreter.

      Peggy Wemple became a widow when her husband, Barent, died on July 4, 1771, four years prior to the Revolutionary War. She was left with unusual cares and responsibilities which she met with remarkable energy and heroism. After the death of her husband, she kept a tavern in Fonda, NY near Cayadutta Street. This house/tavern was later moved to its present location (where William saw it) on the corner of Cayadutta Street. George Mills, who lived in the red brick house on Mills Terrace and Putman Avenue, had it moved because it blocked his view of the Mohawk River.

      Peggy also operated a grist mill near Cay Creek, across from the tavern. Her son, Myndert, also helped her.

      The story is told of how, one winter night, she had to go to the mill on an errand and found an Indian blocking her path. She was relieved although a little startled to find it was a stiff corpse, placed there to intimidate her.

      During the frightful raid by Sir John Johnson, on the Caughnawaga settlement in May 1780, Peggy Wemple suffered with the other patriots. The enemy took her son, Myndert, a prisoner, shut her up in her tavern and set fire to it.

      From the upper window she made the valley echo with her cries of help, help, murder, murder. John Fonda heard her cries and sent a slave around the knoll which stood west of the Fonda Hotel, to learn the cause fo the alarm. But, hardly had the slave returned before the enemy's advanced taking Fonda a prisoner and burning his dwelling. Peggy Wemple was finally released and saved from her burning tavern.

      Douw Fonda b. 1700 d. 1780, Peggy's father, was murdered at this time by an Indian, named one arm Peter, to whom he had often shown much kindness. He was led to the river and there slain.

      When Douw Fonda died he willed to his daughter, Margaret, one hundred pounds of current money of New York, also one forth of all the rest of the estate, including all his Negroes; Africa, Jacob, Catherine and his horses, except one horse (which) he granted to his son, Jelles Fonda, as his birthright, cows, oxen, calf, sheep, hogs, pigs, etc., including all his livestock of every kind, also his farming utensils and household goods.

      The boy, Myndert Wemple, was released by the Indians in Johnstown, NY and allowed to find his way home to his mother in Caughnawaga. Undismayed by the damage done to her tavern and mill, Peggy built again and in the winter of 1780, she ground and boulted 2700 skepples (2025 bushels) of wheat at the order of the Tryon County Committee for the use of the Colonial soldiers at Forts Ticonderoga, Hunter, Plank and Stanwix.

      Margaret died March 12, 1819, age eighty-five years, three months, and twenty-two days. She had been a widow for forty-seven years. Her remains were buried in the old cemetery which was originally just east of the Montgomery County Agricultural Society grounds on the river flats, near the Mohawk River.

      A gravestone in excellent preservation marked the spot. Some years ago, when the abandoned burial grounds were in danger of being destroyed, Peggy Wemple's remains and her red sandstone tombstone were taken up and moved to a Wemple lot in the Evergreen Cemetery near Fonda, NY where she now rests. This work was done by Clarence Wemple of Chicago, Illinois, descendent of Barent M. and Peggy Wemple.

      So ends the tale of Margaret (Peggy) Wemple, courageous and fearless woman patriot who is revered still by her descendants in the Mohawk Valley.

      Source --
      Taken from the Fonda Library 3/10/1960

      By Mary W. Hayes
      20 Mills Terrace
      Fonda, NY 12068-2052

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