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

Utica Daily Gazette
August 2, 1844

A Revolutionary Patriot Speaks!

Major Moses Van Campen's Repudiation of British Free Trade and Texas Annexation!

Utica cThe Utica Daily Gazette. Published in Utica, NY from 1842-1857.There is no man now living in the State of New York who rendered more valuable service, endured more privations and hardships, or shed more precious blood, in the Revolutionary War, than the venerable Major MOSES VAN CAMPEN, of Livingston County. In Western New York, where he has always lived, and where his services and character are known, no man is more beloved and venerated. There, every citizen is familiar with the history of his valor and his suderings. There, every nursery has thrilled with the relation of his gallant escape from the Indians, while pinioned between two Warriors, seizing the scalping knife belonging to one of them to cut the cords which bound him, and then with the rifle of one of his captors, fighting his way through them.

Major Van Campen has always been a Republican. He supported Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and though not approving all they did, went for Jackson and Van Buren. The Locofocos, knowing the respect and veneration in which he is held, sought to press him into the service of Pulk, Texas, Free Trade, &c. &c. But they presumed too much upon the old Veteran. In attempting to place him in a false position, they have rekindled the patriot fires of 1776 in the hero's bosom. The Whig spririt of the Revolution burns as brightly as ever. The frosts of 87 winters are upon his head, but the heart warms as in his youth to the country for which he fought and bled.

But we are detaining in our readers too long from the old Veteran's Letter. It is addressed to the Editor of the Locofoco paper in Dansville – Albany Evening Journal.

Dansville, July 18, 1844.

To the Editor of the Dansville Republican:

Sir – In justice to my own feelings, I must request that you not make use of my name as President of the "Young Hickory Association," in this village. In your paper of this date, I find an address purporting to have been made by myself, at the meeting of that Association on Saturday last, at the Committee Room. I pronounce that statement false. Those words are not mine; and I must particularly notice the following expression in your statements as especially offensive to my feelings:

"He," Major Van Campen, "said the enthusiasm and spirit which prevailed, reminded him of the days when the Democrats erected Liberty poles, and were called Whigs, and those who have now 'stolen the Livery of Heaven to serve the Devil in,' were called Tories."

I never used the language, and I disown the sentiment. I request you to retract the statement; and I insist that you shall not make use of my name in future in favor of any political party without my permission.

I had hoped that the increased infirmities of age might furnish an excuse for my withdrawing myself from the political contests which divide my friends and fellow citizens, and for my being satisfied with a silent vote for the man and measures, whose success will in my opinion best secure the good of the country. But I will not permit my love of quiet to be abused in this manner. My character is more precious to me than my repose. I desire to leave this world with my good wishes to all -- at peace with all parties – and that I hope I may still do, when under these peculiar circumstances I feel compelled to clear my character from the imputation you have thrown upon it by stating my views upon the great questions to be decided at our next election.

I am opposed to the immediate Annexation of Texas. I would consider it as a violation of our Treaty with Mexico and a Declaration of War against that Government.

I am in favor of the present Tariff; and opposed to its repeal or reduction.

In conclusion, I implore my fellow citizens of all parties to leave me in the peace and quiet that best suit my years, and which I supposed I had fairly purchased by my humble and faithful service to the cause of Liberty in many bloody scenes of suffering and danger throughout the whole Revolutionary War. If by that free offering of the best strength and blood of my best days, I have not earned riches or fame from my countrymen, surely I have a least deserved, that, at Four Score Years and Seven, my infirmities should not be thus abused, nor my gray hairs dishonored, by being thus falsely represented to the world as uttering against those whom I love and honor, the language of vulgar profanity and wanton insult.


Sketches Home

“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