Two of our Brothertown Peacemakers attended Saturday’s dedication ceremony and have graciously shared that experience with me. Peacemaker Dennis Gramentz has also shared the speech that he delivered at the event. I have been promised photos and will add them to this post once they have been received.
Comments from Peacemaker Caroline Andler summarizing her experience at Saturday’s dedication ceremony:
Besides 8 members of the SAR in uniform, there was also the BIN vets, Mohican vets and even the Oneida vets posting their colors. A drum group and singers and a flute player – fantastic!
Judge Buhr, from the SAR gave praise to Jackie Wright for without her dedication and perseverance to honor her ancestor, the Historical Marker would never have been placed. He spoke of hard won freedoms, patriotism and remembering our history and honoring our ancestors.
Jim Vele of the Mohican News took many photos and offered copies to all. The Stockbridge post their newspaper “Mohican News” online. The last one was September 15 so it will likely be a couple of weeks before he posts photos of Saturday. He also asked Dennis Gramentz for a copy of his speech to put in the paper.
All in all a historical day to remember with happiness.
Comments from Peacemaker Dennis Gramentz:
The Bartholomew dedication ceremony was even better then I had expected. Several patriotic groups were involved. A firing squad did a 21 gun salute, and Taps was played. I didn’t count, but there were well over 100 people there. Many of the BIN officers were in attendance. It was a great day.
The Stockbridge-Munsee are going to print the remarks I gave about Bartholomew Calvin’s biography in their local newspaper.
I think it is important for our people to know it was the BIN that worked for the past 9 years to make this ceremony possible. Lots of thanks to Caroline Andler.
A short Biographical Sketch of Bartholomew Calvin’s Life 9/24/2016
My name is Dennis Gramentz of Des Moines, Iowa. I am a Native American mixture of Oneida, Stockbridge & Brothertown. As a Peacemaker of the Brothertown Indian Nation I am a proud direct descendant of Bartholomew Calvin. It is a great honor to be part of this dedication ceremony. Thanks to all who had a part in making today’s event possible.
This has been a long journey that began in 2007. While working in the BIN office in Fond du Lac, I received a call from an elderly lady in Springfield, IL. She asked if someone would visit the Old Indian Cemetery in Stockbridge, WI to gather information verifying that Bartholomew Calvin was buried there. I told her there was evidence and I would send her some photos. She was a member of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) & was persistent and determined to see this day of honoring her great grandfather Bartholomew Calvin come to fruition. Her name was Jacqueline Wright of Springfield, IL. Some of you here today have received friendly phone calls or letters of inquiry from her. She passed away just a few weeks ago on July 31, 2016. I know at this very moment Jacqueline is looking down from heaven with a smile and at the same time tears of joy on her face. We can all be thankful for her persistence & determination. Her son George and granddaughter Leigh from Illinois are with us today.
Let me begin with Stephen Calvin, Bartholomew’s father who was educated by Scottish Presbyterian Missionaries to take the Gospel message to Native Americans. In 1758 he became a preacher, an interpreter and a schoolmaster for an Indian school on the Brotherton Reservation near todays Princeton, NJ. He was a full blooded Delaware Indian.
Stephen was the father of the more noted Bartholomew Calvin who was born in 1756 near Trenton, New Jersey. He was educated at the Scottish Missionary School named Princeton, which today is an Ivy League University. Bartholomew attended Princeton University 1774 & 1775.
At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War Bartholomew left his studies at Princeton and joined General Washington’s Army and was to serve throughout the war, from 1776 – 1781. He served as an interpreter, scout and guide. Being an American, we can be proud & thankful we had Godly men like Bartholomew who were willing to put their lives on the line so that we today have freedom. Since our nation’s founding, the dedication & bravery of US soldiers has been the key pillar on which our country stands.
After the war he was to follow in his father’s footsteps and teach school. Bartholomew was known to be an eloquent – humble person. He acquired a reputation as an excellent teacher and many white colonial families sent their children to Bartholomew’s school. He had as many white students as Indian. The relationship of the Delaware Indians & white settlers had always been friendly. Any disputes or questions were settled by treaty and without bloodshed. Bartholomew was to become the spokesman & leader for the Delaware Indians of NJ for the remainder of his life.
In 1802 the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians living in upstate New York invited the Delaware Indians to come live with them. Bartholomew along with 70 or 80 other Delaware moved to Oneida & Madison County NY.
In 1823 the New Jersey Delaware Indians together with their hosts the Mohicans migrated from New York to a tract of land on the FOX River in Wisconsin. Their descendants today are found among the Stockbridge, Oneida & Brothertown Indians in Wisconsin.
In 1832, at the age of 76, Bartholomew came from Green Bay Wisconsin to the old New Jersey home as the delegate of his tribe, for the purpose of raising funds for the sale of their hunting and fishing rights, which were reserved under the Treaty of Easton. His speech before the Assembly was eloquent & heartfelt. The New Jersey legislative body voted the full sum requested of $2000 for the payment of these claims. Bartholomew expressed his gratitude in a letter praising them for their uniform justice in dealing with his people and ending with the following prayer. “I fervently pray that GOD will have you in His holy keeping. Will guide you in safety through the difficult decisions of this life and ultimately through the rich mercies of our blessed Redeemer will receive you into the Glorious pleasure of His Kingdom above.”
Bartholomew and his wife Mary are both buried here in unmarked graves. Their names are listed on the large sign at the cemetery entrance. Mary died 1837 and Bartholomew died 1840. They had 6 daughters who produced many descendants, and one son, who died at an early age.
I don’t want to close without giving credit & thanks to Caroline Andler a good friend of mine who has been a mentor to me for many years. Most of the information I’ve gathered about Bartholomew Calvin came from her research material. She has been the genealogist & historian for the Brothertown Indian Nation for 25+ years. She has put together a book of Bartholomew’s life and his descendants. It can be accessed on the internet at: brothertowncitizen.wordpress.com
This day has been a mountain top experience. We can all be proud to pass on to our children and grandchildren the story of Bartholomew’s life. We all have stories to tell. Let’s tell them. Let them not be forgotten!