Boyd-Parker Torture site

Other names:Genesee Castle

What: 16 Sep 1779, Lt. Boyd & Sgt Parker tortured & killed after Groveland Ambuscade by Little Beard (Seneca)

42.776574, -77.862998 Boyd - Parker Memorial Park

Maps: [map notes]


  • Coordinates provided by Elvin Birth.

  • Conover, George S., compiler Archive Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan Against the Six Nations Indians in 1779.., Auburn NY: Knapp, Peck & Thomason, 1887. Selections by Elvin Birth.
    p.32, The whole army was out this morning cuting corn which we left as we was going, our brigade crossed the river to cut...
    p.99, ...of the twenty-nine that went out, eleven returned; sixteen were killed, and two are now missing.
    p.163, Fourteen, including those six mentioned in my journal of the 13th, were found, and buried with military honours
    p. 133 ...found Lieut. Boyd and one soldier whom they had murdered in an inhuman manner.
    p. 99 The savages had the day before burned a house in the ashes of which were the bones of several men, which were doubtless savages killed by the riflemen. Burning with them is frequently a substitute for interment.

    Birth comment: Gray Road is just North across the small ravine from the monument.

  • Boyd - Parker Memorial Park
    Elvin Birth, The 1779 Western Campaigns, Raleigh: 2003, privately published, "Journals.pdf", p.145.
    Marker "Boyd - Parker"
    Torture tree and burial mound. Western limit Sullivan's Expedition 1779. Seneca village, Little Beard town
  • The Torture Tree

  • Wiki Boyd and Parker ambush
    The Boyd and Parker ambush was a minor military engagement in Groveland, New York on September 13, 1779, during the American Revolutionary War. A scout group of the Sullivan Expedition was ambushed and captured by Loyalists and their Seneca Indian allies led by Little Beard. ...

    Iroquois Chief Joseph Brant and British Colonel John Butler had some 800 men and were in defense of the region. Sullivan marched from Easton, PA through Pennsylvania and into Western New York. They camped at the site of Foot’s Corners in Conesus on Sunday, September 12, 1779, after traveling from Honeoye Lake. That night Sullivan ordered Lt. Thomas Boyd to organize a scouting party to discover the location of the Seneca village. Boyd took 23 men with him including Sergeant Michael Parker. They left late that night and passed by Butler’s ambush party without either group knowing of the other.
    During the next day the scouting party spotted a group of four Indians along the trail and a brief gun fight occurred. One Indian was killed, and Boyd and Parker started to return to Sullivan. On the trail they spotted five Indians who fled. Boyd’s guide told him not to follow, for it was a trap, but he ignored the warning. They were led into the enemy’s lines, surrounded, and outnumbered. Fifteen of Boyd’s men were killed, eight escaped, while Boyd and Parker were captured. Estimates from contemporary Journals is that the Boyd party numbered 29 of whom 17 were killed; 5 returned and 7 escaped.[1]
    Besides Boyd and Parker, there are 12 known names of Boyd-Parker party who were killed. [2] ...
    The two were taken to Little Beard's Town
    [also known as Chenussio (in Seneca) and "Genesee Castle"], now Cuylerville, where Brant questioned them. After he left, Little Beard and his men tortured and executed Boyd and Parker in anger over the presence of American troops in the area. Boyd was tied to a tree by his own intestines and forced to run around the tree until he fell dead. The tree is still located in the commemorative park.
    Two days later the ambush site was discovered by Sullivan’s army and the men were buried with military honors. The army went on, as instructed by George Washington,[3] to destroy acres of crops and burn Little Beard’s town to the ground.

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
    Sep 1779 listing. Not found.

    Related locations:
    Adjusta,   Groveland Ambuscade Obelisk

  • Acme Map showing Boyd-Parker torture (Genesee Castle), Groveland Ambuscade, Adjusta (left to right)