People vs. Christopher Service, deposition in support of indictment for adhering to enemies of this state; and
People vs. Duncan M. McDougall, depositions in support of indictment for adhering to enemies of this state
— Supreme Court of Judicature, October Term, 1782
John McDonald (also McDonnel), once a tenant on Sir William Johnson’s estate, became a captain in “Butler’s Rangers,” a Loyalist-Indian force that terrorized the New York frontier during the Revolutionary War. McDonald found supporters in the hill country south of the Mohawk Valley, as an Albany County grand jury was informed in October 1782. Andries Ritter, who lived in the Charlotte River Valley (near modern Oneonta), declared that his neighbor Christopher Service (or Servos) helped McDonald plan an attack on Schoharie in August 1777. Service “was Inlisted in the Service of the King . . . with the Indians,” and urged Ritter to join them. (His brother Daniel became a captain in Butler’s Rangers.) Another witness, Peter Ziele, produced a letter, found by an Indian, written to McDonald by Duncan M. McDougall of German Flatts on the Mohawk River, providing intelligence about the activities of the Schoharie militia as British forces under Burgoyne and St. Leger advanced toward Albany. McDougall was summoned before the Schoharie Committee of Safety. “In the most panack [panic] struck manner” he confessed the letter was his. Service was indicted and convicted for “adhering to enemies of this State.” McDougall apparently was not indicted.