23. Hewing Their Way to the Mohawk Valley. -- The immigrants had been promised prosperity; but the English officials were actuated by selfish motives and shamefully exploited the colonists. They were ordered to engage in the production of tar and pitch, and were treated as slaves and Redemptioners, i.e., emigrants, shamefully defrauded by "the Newlanders (Neulaender)," as Muhlenberg designated the conscienceless Dutch agents who decoyed Germans from their homes and in America sold them into slavery, at least temporarily. The contract for provisioning the Palatinate colonists was let to Livingston, a cruel and greedy Scot, from whom (Governor Hunter had purchased the land on which the Palatinates were settled. Livingston now sought to enrich himself by reducing both the quantity and quality of the food furnished to the colonists. Hunger was common among the settlers, becoming especially acute in winter, as they had not been given sufficient time to plant crops for themselves. Dissatisfaction spread throughout the ranks of the Palatinates, and when the Governor refused to heed their appeal for relief, fifty families left the settlement and hewed their way through the primeval forest to the Mohawk Valley, where they obtained fertile lands from the Indians and founded the Schoharie congregation in the winter of 1712/13. The governor declared the fugitives rebels; but still more followed in March, making their way through three feet of snow. The Lutherans of Schoharie were the first white people to live at peace with the Indians. In order to obtain a clear title to the lands in the Schoharie Valley, which the governor refused to grant them, John Conrad Weiser was sent to England. On his way he was plundered by pirates; in England he was thrown into a sponging house on account of debts. After regaining his liberty, he was compelled to return to Schoharie broken in health and without accomplishing his purpose. The result was that 33 families left Schoharie and settled in Tulpehocken, Pa., in 1723. Among those who remained in West Camp was Pastor Kocherthal. He continued faithfully to serve his congregations, including Schoharie, until his end, December 27, 1719. He lies buried in West Camp. A weather-beaten stone slab marks his resting-place. The inscription calls him "The Joshua and pure Lutheran pastor of the High Germans in America on the east and west bank of the Hudson." In the original the epitaph reads complete as follows: "Wisse Wandersman Unter diesem Steine ruht nebst seiner Sibylla Charlotte Ein rechter Wandersmann Der Hoch-Teutschen in America ihr Josua Und derselben an Der ost und west seite Der Hudson Rivier rein lutherischer Prediger Seine erste ankunft war mit L'd Lovelace 1707/8 den 1. Januar Seine sweite mit Col. Hunter 1710 d.14 Juny Seine Englandische reise unterbrach Seine Seelen Himmlische reise an St. Johannis Tage 1719 Begherstu mehr zu wissen So unter Suche in Welanchtons vaterland Wer war de Kocherthal Wer Harschias Wer Winchonbach B. Berkenmayer S Heurtein L Brevort MDCCXLII." (111.) The successors of Kocherthal were: Justus Falckner, until 1723; Daniel Falckner, the brother of Justus, who had served several German congregations along the Raritan, till 1725; Berkenmeyer; and from 1743 to 1788 Peter N. Sommer, who preached in thirteen other settlements and baptized 84 Indians. He died October 27, 1795. Sommer's aversion to the Halle pastors probably was the reason why he took no part in the organization of the New York Ministerium at Albany in 1786.