Journal of Sanford Porter, Pg. 29-30, Residing in Rhode Island, approx. 1780's
Thare was a gang of robbers and cheats in the State of Rhode Island that had bound themselves to father in bonds to rob or plunder whare ever they could get a chance, any boddy and every boddy and if any one of them betrayed the company or any of them, he was to suffer death and thare was four or five of them that went onto Long Island and thare lived an old mizer, very ritch. They went one night in order to rob him and before they went to his house, they jumped into the sea with their clothes on and come out and went to the house an told them that they ware sea fairing men and the vessel they ware on had foundard and sunk and that the whole crew that was in the ship was lost but just themselves and that they had ben with out anything to eat for a number of days and was nearly starved. One must have something to eat and they wanted a good warm super. Thare was only the old man and his wife and one daughter and the women went to cooking. They had an iron shovel stood thare and one of the robbers struck it into the fire and left thare and after they had done eating, they fastened the dore and sat guard at the windows and one of them took that hot shovel and held it over the old man and demanded all his money. He wont not give it up and he burnt him awhile and said, “give it up,” and they cept on burning him, but he would not give up and they burnt him to death. Then they demanded the old woman and the girl to give up the money or they would receive the same. They gave up all and the robbers plundered the house, took all their silver dishes and plates and cups and tankards. They had a great quantity of silver cups, plates and spoons and news of the robbery spread all over the country. The women buried their cups and plates but they could not tel who the robbers ware. Thare was some of their cups and plates and dishes branded with the old mans name in some secret place that could not be seen unless they ware closely searched. Thare was a silver tankard with a handle some like a teapot. The hold was probably open and then inside was the two first letters that belonged to the gang but they only got three of them, Ray Coone and Church and Lane. Lane and Church was the chaps that cheated father out of abut a thousand dollars or out of his farm and broke father up or was the sole cause of his being broke up. Father sold his farm to them in Rhode Island and went up to old Brimfield and bought a farm. He had taken Coons notes payable at different times and agred with the man he _____ wait on him and take his pay as he got pay from Coone but after awhile Coone forged receipts that he said he could prove that he had paid father up in full for all he owed him. Fathers name was signed to the receipts and witnessed by some of the gang and father could do nothing with them and the man father bought of struck on him for his pay and he could not pay him. Others found that he had hot into the ____and how to git out he could not tel. He could see no way, only to flee from that country and he fled and went to York State to his brother Sam and took a parcel of land ajoining uncles and went to work on it, a chopping and thrashing up. He was gone then about two years and cleared and fenced abut ten acres. I havnt heard how mother was with her children and he left York State an came to us in the State of Vermont. He was calculating to move us to the Oneida whire he had ben to work, but when he found how mother had got things fixed, that he could not sell the farm that we ware on, he gave up the notion and they stay in Vermont.