Following an Indian raid in the Mohawk Valley in July 1781,
American forces made mass arrests of local tenants and freeholders, on
the grounds of an affidavit of an American Loyalist. This article
scrutinizes the affidavit and the justifications for the arrests. The
activities of the Albany Commission for Detecting and Defeating
Conspiracies are critically reviewed. The last part of the article
demonstrates how the tenant and freeholder evictions of the 1781
helped form a rural working class.