An Old Resident of Oswego
His Recollections of the Battle of Oswego
Day before yesterday a gentleman apparently about sixty years of age was introduced into our editorial sanctum as one who was one of the first inhabitants of Oswego, and who could remember farther back than any person now living in Oswego. His name is William Rasmussen, and he resides in Greenboro, Montcalm County, Michigan. He came to Oswego with his parents, in the year 1800, when he was six years of age.
The first winter they lived here thee was but one family in Oswego, that of Archibald Fairfield.. Mr. Rasmussen was born in Geneseo, but his parents came here from Hamburg. Notwithstanding he is eight-two years of age, he is remarkably active both in body and mind, and, ad we said before, does not appear to be more than sixty. His recollection of events in the early history of Oswego is remarkably vivid, and his description of the battle of Oswego as he witnessed it was spicy and entertaining.
His family first located in a house which stood where Crocker & Bronson's store subsequently stood - at the corner of Water and Cayuga streets. At that time there were a sergeant and half a dozen men in the old fort which was an earth-work.
Mr. Rasmussen subsequently lived at what is now Fair Haven, and lived there during the War of 1812, where he belonged to a company of minute men commanded by Captain Divine. When the British attacked Oswego this company was called here but were unable to cross the river and hence did not participate in the fight, though they were eye witnesses of it. When the company was marched down to the river to cross (which they did not do because they had no boats) he said the captain was called away and the first lieutenant had important business elsewhere!
Many of the incidents related by Mr. Rasmussen of this battle and other experiences he had in Oswego would be interesting if they could be written as he told them, but they lose half their force in being transferred to paper. He saw the first bridge built, and distinctly remembers old Deacon Mix, who "tended" it. he related in a forcible manner the efforts (which were successful) made by him and three other men to save the crew of a vessel which had started from Oswego to go to Sackets Harbor but had put back on account of a storm and struck on a bar outside.
The father of Mr. Rasmussen was killed on board the schooner Pert in the Niagara River, in July, 1813, as shown by the following document in the possession of Major William Rasmussen, a nephew of the subject of this article:-
July 22d, 1813:
Andrew Erasmus (Rasmussen) was shot at the Battle of the Four Mile Creek at 15 minutes Past six P.M., and died one hour afterword.
Schr. Pert, Lieut. Adams
Wm. Tracy, M. Mate.
We copy this from the original note certifying the death of Andrew Rasmussen. Accompanying this document is another in the hand writing of Andrew Rasmussen certifying that John Dirck, Andrew Rasmussen jr., father of Major Rasmussen., was born in the city of Hamburg on 20th of May 1791. It is written in German and English. These two documents are inclosed in a large-sized leather pocket-book which was brought from Hamburg by Andrew Rasmussen when he came to this country more than eighty years ago.