Borrowing from the title of John N. Hubbard's "Sketches of Border Adventures in the Life and Times of Major Moses VanCampen," the following "sketches" or short stories help chronicle the "life and times" of Moses Van Campen. The sources are far and wide; reflecting the varied places, communities and people to which Moses contributed throughout his long life.

November 1, 2013

Combining the knowledge from Contributions to the Family History and Genealogy of the Van Campen Family of America Ulster County, N.Y., Branch, Volume II and the D. Stanton Hammond Hunterdon Co., NJ, Land Owner Maps, the birthplace of Moses Van Campen can be narrowed to the highlighted area on this detail of Hammond Map D.

In April of 1888, Mary Lockhart wrote to the The Historical Record, A Quarterly Publication Devoted Principally To The Early History of Wyoming Valley And Contiguous Territory, sharing her knowledge of Moses and his descendants. Her letter is presented below as it appeared in The Historical Record of 1888.

The early settlements of Columbia County, Pennsylvania include those of the Van Campen, Salmon and Aikman families. Published in 1915, "Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania," details the location of their homesteads and their struggles as pioneering settlers of the region.

The story of the March, 1780 attack on Moses, his Father, Brother, Johan Rogers, and Peter Pence has been chronicled many times. The following version appeared in the 1858 book, Wyoming by George Peck, D.D..

A revised edition of "Otzinachson: A History of the West Branch Valley of the Sesquehanna" by John Franklin Meginness was published 1889. This edition expanded considerably from the sketch of Moses Van Campen that appeared in the original 1857 edition of similar title. "Moses Van Campen and His Thrilling Adventures" from Chapter 26 appears below in its entirety. The picture of the tomahawk and that of Moses Van Campen appear in the original article. The others have been added herein.

Published in 1903, "Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society - Volume VI" includes a brief yet spirited biography of Moses Van Campen followed by superb story telling of the 1780 and 1782 capture of Moses Van Campen by the Indians; both of which lead to his initial meeting of and resulting life-long friendship with the renowned Horatio Jones.

On August 25, 1808, Moses Van Campen and a number of other Masonic brethren gathered for the installation of the Angelica Lodge, No. 167; their Petition of January 9 of the same year having been granted by the Grand Lodge of New York.  

The following article is from an 1847 issue of The Freemason's Monthly Magazine.

The 1905 History of Bucks County Pennsylvania reveals that Moses Van Campen served in the Revolutionary War with the brothers William and Samuel Doyle; both being the son William Doyle for whom Doylestown, Pennsylvania is named.

Moses' first-hand account of his Revolutionary War service, as detailed in his 1838 petition to Congress for his pension, is captured in this excerpt of the Otzinachson; Or, A History of The West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna, published in 1857.

The following article is from the Friday, August 2nd, 1844 issue of the Utica Daily Gazette.

The Ovid Bee published the obituary of Moses Van Campen on October 31, 1849.

The Ovid Bee
Vol. 12. No. 36. Ovid, Seneca County, N.Y. Oct. 31, 1849.

“His Christianity was pure,
his views of religion sound
and scriptural, and his fidelity
and integrity of character
were like his own well aimed rifle,
true to the mark.”


– Rev. Thomas Aitken

Obituary of Moses Van Campen

"I was nurtured in the school of the rifle and the tomahawk."


- Moses Van Campen

“The notes of war are hushed,
The rage of battle o’er,
The warrior is at rest,
He hears our praise no more.
The soldier nobly fought
For all we dearly love,
He fought to gain a heavenly crown,
And now he reigns above.”


- Rev. Thomas Aitken
Inscription, Moses Van Campen's Headstone