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The murder of Parmenas by Thompson 1843
The murder of Parmenas by Jones 1879

 

REVOLUTIONARY INCIDENTS of QUEENS COUNTY
By Henry Onderdonk Jr.; 1846

On the night of January 10, ‘81, the family of Parmenas Jackson at Jerusalem were aroused by the entrance of John Degraw and 6 other soldiers, who shutting up the rest of the family, demanded of Mr. J. his money, and on his refusing to discover it, they hacked him so terribly on his head and arm (as it was uplifted to ward off the blows) that the wall overhead was spotted with blood, but he, continuing resolute and hoping each blow would be the last, held out too long.

They left him for dead, and attacked his father-in-law, Thomas Birdsall, an aged man, when his wife, to save her husband’s life, disclosed the hid treasure in a bottle under the hearth. The robbers carried off $3000 in gold and silver, with divers articles of dress and furniture. The only words the wounded man ever spoke were "Lloyd’s Neck! Lloyd’s Neck!"  Judging from this that they were soldiers from Col. Ludlow’s garrison, the neighbors forthwith posted off to Lloyd’s Neck.  One Voorhies rode a fleet horse* to Capt. Van Wyck’s at E. Woods, who instantly ordered his servant to saddle his swiftest horse, and guided them to Lloyd’s Neck, where they arrived before daylight.  The roll was called, and a guard set on the narrow passage to the Neck, when the robbers soon came up and were secured, with their booty on them.

Mr. J. had a good deal of stock which he fattened on the Plains.  From the sale of this he had amassed a large sume of money, which coming to the knowledge of the servant girl, she revealed the secret to Degraw, her brother, a soldier in Delancy’s 3d battalion.  The robbers were put on shipboard and sent to New-York for trial.  Elgar, the worst one, jumped overboard, and was drowned.  Degraw died in Provost.  The fate of the rest is unknown, though it is said they were sent to the mines on the Spanish Main or to Honduras. 

Drs. Searing and Seabury attended Jackson and took off pieces of the skull to relieve the pressure on the brain, which was so exposed that its motions were visible.  He survived nine days, when died very hard, gasping for breath a long time, --aged 37.

*This was Jacob Seaman’s horse, Sloven, which was so broke down by this ride that he never recovered his former speed.

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To Thomas Van Wyck, Esq, Captain in the Loyal Queens County Militia:
City Hall, New-York, Feb. 23, ‘81
Sir: It is with pleasure I sit down to inform you that I am desired by the Court to assure you that your humane, generous and manly exertion, in bringing to light the perpetration of so horrid a crime as the robbery and murder of Parmeanas Jackson, of Jerusalem, now before us, not only demands the thanks of this Court, but merits also the love and esteem of every neighbor and fellow-citizen.
I am, sir, with the highest respect,
Your most obedient humble servant,
John Breese,
Major 54th Regiment, President.

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Contributed by Frank Jackson


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