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Court of General Sessions

From Beers, History of Greene County, page 34. Retyped by Annette Campbell.

The following is the record of the first Court of General Sessions held in this county:
"At a Court of General Sessions of the peace held at Cats Kill in and for the County of Greene on the 6th day of May 1800:  Present ,
Stephen Day, Esq.
Thomas E. Barker, Esq.
William Beach, Esq.
Andrew N. Heermance, Esq.
The Court opened, and after reading the Commission, no business coming before them, the Court adjourned to the third Tuesday of September next, at the house of John R. Vandenburg of Coxsackie, the place appointed by law."
In accordance with this adjournment, the court was held on the third Tuesday of September. There were present, Stephen Day and Thomas E. Barker, judges; Philip Conine, Jr., Samuel Reed and Peter A. VanBergen, assistant justices; Deliverance Backus and Josiah Warner, justices of the peace.  The first grand jury of this court was then organized and sworn. It was composed of the following: Andrew N. Heermance, Esq., Foreman; Stephen Truesdell, Innkeeper; Joseph Heath, Waggoner; Peter Bronk, Inn-keeper; Richard Bronk, Yeoman; Leonard Conine, Yeoman; Philip Wossram, Yeoman; Baltas VanSlyck, Yeoman; John Gay, Yeoman; Henry C, Houghtaling, Yeoman; Joseph Sherman, Tanner; Conradt Houghtaling, Yeoman; Isaac Platt, Yeoman; Peter VanSlyck, Yeoman; Jacob Parish, Merchant; Jesse Wood, Yeoman; Robert Burrell, Gentleman; Eliakim Reed, Gentleman; Wilhelmus VanDenBerg, Yeoman; Thomas Clark, Merchant; Richard R. VanDenBerg, Yeoman.  After the grand jury withdrew the court adjourned till afternoon, and from time to time until Wednesday morning, when the grand jury appeared in court with the following indictments:
The People vs. Benjamin B. Boyce:
Indictment for Assault and Battery on Elizabeth Boyce: Bound by Recognizance with Jonathan Cutter.
The People vs. Michael Smith:
Indictment for Assault and Battery on John Simpson. Bench Warrant Issued.
The grand jury then withdrew and the court adjourned from time to time again until Thursday afternoon (Sept. 18th) when the following indictments were brought in:
The People vs. Elizabeth Boyce:
Indictment for Assault and Battery on Benjamin B. Boyce. Bench Warrant Issued.
The People vs. Commissioners of Highways of the Town of Coxsackie.
Indictment for neglect of Duty.  Witnesses, Stephen Truesdell, Joseph Heath.
After the discharge of a prisoner from the jail the court adjourned, to meet at the same place on the first Tuesday in May 1801.
At this time the case of the "People vs. Benjamin B. Boyce" was brought to trial, Mr. Spencer, assistant attorney general (the title then given to the office now known as District Attorney) prosecuting and Mr. Brush defending. The first petit jury of this court was sworn for this case. It was composed of the following men: John Tuttle, John Goodfellow, Jonas Bronk, Casper Spoor, David Rundell, Casper U. Hallenbeck, Nathan Brace, Stephen Truesdell, Jr., Isaac VanLoan, Henry C. VanBergen, James Matthews and Benjamin Hine.  The witnesses for the prosecution were Elizabeth Boyce, Mary Coffin and Mary Miller. The witnesses for the defendant were Stephen Truesdell and James Beach.  The jury returned a verdict of "guilty of the Assault and Battery whereof he is Indicted," whereupon the court passed sentence that he pay a fine of $25.00.
The next case taken up was "The People vs. Elizabeth Boyce," indicted at the last term for assault and battery on Benjamin B. Boyce. The following jury was sworn: Thomas Bedell, John Goodfellow, Jonas Bronk, Zebadiah Dickinson, David Rundell, David Brewster, Ebenezer Booth, Gideon J. Palmer, Casper Spoor, Nathan Brace, James Matthews and William VanOrden. The witnesses for the people were Benjamin B. Boyce, James Beach, Mary Coffin and Polly Beach.  The jury without retiring declared a verdict of not guilty.

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