Nicholas Sharp was an Oneida Indian also known as Saucy Nick. His Indian name was Loghtandye, which means ‘He Continues Speaking’. Nick was probably born around 1755 and lived a very interesting life in and around Oneida Castle. It is easy to imagine one does not earn a nickname like Saucy Nick without good reason.
Nick has been credited with several deaths, sometimes during warfare, sometimes not. He seems to have been a very passionate character, acting sometimes with haste and impulse.
It has also been said that Saucy Nick may have been the muse for the character Wyandotte (Hutted Knoll) in James Fenimore Cooper’s book by the same name, published in 1843.
Saucy Nick also served as a scout for James Dean, an Indian agent during the Revolutionary War period.
There are many stories credited to Saucy Nick, here is one taken from the book Forgotten Allies, by James Kirby Martin and Joseph T. Glatthaar.
In early November 1778, an Oneida warrior named Nicholas Sharp (aka Saucy Nick or Loghtaudye (He Continues Speaking)), conveyed important intelligence to Peter Gansevoort, commanding at Fort Schuyler. Word had been relayed to Nick from an Onondaga that had just returned from the Susquehanna Valley who had described a “great meeting” in which Indians and Tory Rangers had decided to attack the village of Cherry Valley. After hearing of this news, Nick immediately went to Gansevoort to let him know of the impending attack. Gansevoort rushed the information to the Rebel Commander at Cherry Valley, Colonel Ichabod Alden.
However, with gross incompetence, Alden refused to believe the information, calling it Indian humbug and did not act on it. When asked to allow the village residents to be protected in the fort, Alden refused and he and other officers kept their billets in a private residence some distance away.
Shortly after dawn on November 11, 1778, British forces, led by Captain Walter Butler, attacked Cherry Valley. Those within the fort were able to repel the assault. Those left outside the Fort were massacred by Tory and Pro-British Indian forces. 31 residents, mostly women and children, were killed, 71 had been captured as prisoners, 26 Rebel officers lost their lives (including Alden) and 14 became prisoners.
Mohawk Joseph Brant was with Butler when the village was attacked, and blame was placed by the other for the massacre of women and children. Nicholas Sharp may have been credited with avoiding the disaster had his intelligence been believed.
Nick Sharp was involved in many battles and incidences during his lifetime. To read more about Nick’s life click on the links below.
Saucy Nick and Hendrick Wemple
It has been told that Saucy Nick was responsible for the death of Hendrick Wemple in 1790 in Oneida Castle. The story tells that Wemple had witnessed Nick kill a man and when Wemple went to retrieve the magistrate to have Nick punished, Nick turned the tables on him in a most unsuspecting way!!
To read the full story, click here.
(History of the Pioneer Settlement of Phelps & Gorham’s Purchase and Morris’ Reserve, 1852, Google Books)
Saucy Nick and the Stolen Steer
It is pretty well-known that the Oneida Indian Nation and Hamilton College have always been friends. However, we do not know much about the relationship between the residents in the village of Clinton and the Oneidas. This account of Saucy Nick occurred around 1789 when Nick and some other Oneida decided to go and dig for ginseng about 2 miles west of the village of Clinton and gives us a good glimpse into the intricate relationship between these two peoples. A steer belonging to a settler family in Clinton came up missing one day, and this story tells of how the culprit was discovered and how disagreements were settled back then.
To read the full story, click here.
(Annals and Recollections of Oneida County, 1854, Google Books)