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Containing A History of the County; its Townships, Towns, 

Villages, Schools, Churches, Industries, etc.; Portraits of 

Early Settlers and Prominent Men; Biographies; 

History of Pennsylvania. Statistical and 

Miscellaneous Matter, etc., etc. 






'?>i jTVl>^ 'y 

JOHN MORRIS auocEssoR to 



IN entering upon the publication of a history of Erie Comity, the difficulty 
and importance of the task were not underestimated by the publishers. A. 
desire for such a work has long existed, a work that would faithfully present 
a correct, concise and clean record of events, beginning with the Indian tribes 
that once inhabited the land, thence tracing its history down to the present 

The burning of the court house, on the 23d of March, 1823, which destroyed 
the records of the first twenty years after the organization of the county, has 
ever been a source of annoyance to those tracing the original titles to lands 
through the names of the first settlers. This work shows where the titles of 
the lands in Erie County originated, to whom the first sales were made, and 
the locations of the earliest pioneers, thus supplying many missing links in 
the fabric of its recorded history. 

The book may be said to have had its inception in 1879, when Mr. Benja- 
min Whitman, having sold the Erie Observer, which he had edited since Jan- 
uary, 1861, made a number of short tours over the county for the joint purpose 
of reviving old friendships and settling his outstanding accounts. After one 
or two trips he commenced vrriting up a series of articles for the Observer under 
the heading of " County Jaunts," and finding them received with favor, con- 
ceived the idea of expanding them into a history of the county. The effort 
of Mr. Whitman was more to give a plain and correct statement of facts than 
to indulge in fine writing, for which, it is needless to add, there is little op- 
portunity in a work of this kind. His manuscript was purchased by tho pub- 
lishers, and is mainly embodied in the book. 

He was largely aided in the collecting of his matter by Capt. N. W. Eussell, 
whose father, Mr. Hamlin Eussell, when on his death bed in 1852, after a res- 
idence of half a century in Erie County, said to him, ' ' I have made, a great 
mistake in not keeping, for the good of future generations, a historical record 
of the advent and progress of the early settlers. Your retentive memory can yet 
collect them, and put them in a shape that will be of great use to the inhabitants 
hereafter. Promise me you will do so." The promise was given, and has been 
fulfilled to a considerable extent in this work. " In the preparation of the 
matter," says Mr. Whitman, " Capt. N. W. Eussell, of Mill Creek Township, 
deserves very large credit. His remembrance of early events is remark- 
able, and to his valuable assistance I owe more than I can express. His fre- 
quent sketches on historical subjects, printed in the newspapers, were really 
the foundation of the book, and in many cases I have not done much more than 
to elaborate his articles. Mr. Eussell has, also, revised all the proof, and 
vouches for the correctness of the historical matter." 

For the convenience of its readers, the book has been divided into five 
parts. The outline history of the State, contained in Part I, is from the pen 


of Prof. Samuel P. Bates, of Meadville. The history of Erie County, included 
in Part II, was compiled by Mr. Whitman, with the aid_ of Mr. Eussell, as 
above stated. The history of the city of Erie, in Part III, was written by Mr. 
E. C. Brown, of Chicago, 111., excepting Chapter IV, which is from the pen 
of Mr. F. B. Weakley, of Lebanon, Ohio. The township histories, in Part IV, 
embrace a portion of the matter furnished by Messrs. Whitman and Eussell, 
with additions by Messrs. P. E. Weakley and J. B. Mansfield; while the bio- 
graphical sketches in Part V, were collected by a corps of solicitors, and a proof 
of each sketch submitted by mail to each subject for correction. It is due to 
Mr. Whitman to add that the township sketches prepared by him were much 
more full than they appear in the book, the limits to which the publishers 
were obliged to confine themselves not allowing space for all of his matter. 

The publication of such a work, for a patronage limited to a single county, 
was a hazardous undertaking, and much solicitude was felt by the publishers 
.on this account during the first stages of the enterprise, but whatever their 
misgivings, they were soon dispelled by the liberal patronage of the people of 
the county. An earnest effort has been made to render the book reliable and 
attractive, and to more than fulfill every promise made in the prospectus. 

Acknowledgments are due to County, Township, City and Borough officials, 
old settlers, members of the various professions and to citizens throughout the 
county, for favors and generous assistance in the preparation of the work. 






CHAPTEEI.—lNTEODUcrOKY.—CorneliB Jacob- 
son Mey, 1624-25. William Van Hulst, 1625- 
26. Peter Minuit, 1626-33 David Petersen 
de Vries, 1632-33. Wouter Van Twiller, 
1633-38 15-23 

CHAPTEEn.— Sir ■William Keift, 1638-47. Peter 
Minuit, 1638-41. Peter HoUandaer, 1641-43. 
Jolin Printz, 1643-53. Peter Stnyvesant, 
1647-54. John Pappagoya, 1653-54. John 
Claude Eysingh, 1664-55 23-33 

CHAPTER in.— John Paul Jaoquet, 1655-57. 
Jacob Alrichs, 1657-59. Groeran Van Dyck, 
1657-58. William Beekman, 1658-63. Alex. 
D'HinoyOBsa, 1659-64. 33-35 

CHAPTER IV.— Eichard Nichols, 1664-67. Rob- 
ert Needham, 1664-68. Francis Lovelace, 
1667-73. John Carr, 166S-73. Anthony 
Colve, 1673-74. PetCT Alrichs, 1673-74. 
! 35-41 

CHAPTER v.— Sir Edmund Andros, 1674^81. 
Edmund Cantwell, 1674-76. John Collier, 
1676-77. Christopher Billop, 1677-81 41-50 

CHAPTER VT.— William Markham, 1681-82. 
William Penn, 1682-84 51-61 

CHAPTER Vn.— Thomas Lloyd, 1684-86. Five 
Commissioners, 1686-88. John Blackwell, 
1688-90. Thomas Lloyd, 1690-91. William 
Markham, 1691-93. Benjamin Fletcher, 
1693-95. William Markham. 1693-99 61-69 

CHAPTER Vin.— William Penn, 1699-1701. 
Andrew Hamilton, 1701-03. Edward Ship- 


pen, 1703-04. John Evans, 1704-09. Charles 
Gooken, 1709-17 69-76 

CHAPTEE IX.— Sir William Keith, 1717-26. 
Patrick Gordon, 1726-36. James Logan, 
1736-38. George Thomas, 1738-47. An- 
thony Palmer, 1747-48. James Hamilton, 
1748-54 75-89 

CHAPTEE X.— Robert H. Morris, 1754-66. Will- 
iam Denny, 1756-59, James Hamilton, 
1759-63 89-97 

CHAPTEE XL— John Penn, 1763-71. James 
Hamilton, 1771. Richard Penn, 1771-73. 
John Penn, 1773-76 98-104 

CHAPTER XII.— Thomas Wharton, Jr.,1777-78. 
George Bryan, 1778. Joseph Reed, 1778-81. 
William Moore, 1781-82. John Dickinson, 
1782-85. Benjamin Franklin, 1785-88 104-114 

CHAPTEE Xin. — Thomas Mifflin, 1788-99. 
Thomas MoKean, 1799-1808. Simon Snyder, 
1708-17. William Findlay, 1817-20. Joseph 
Heister, 1820-23. John A. Shulze, 1823-29. 
George Wolfe, 1829-35. Joseph Ritner, 
1835-39 114-121 

CHAPTEE XIV.— David R. Porter, 1839-45. 
Francis R. Shunk J845-48. William F. John- 
stone, 1848-52. Wmiam Bigler, 1852-55. 
John Pollock, 1856-68. William F. Packer, 
1858-61. Andrew G. Curtin, 1861-67. John 
W. Geary, 1867-73. John F. Hartranft, 
1873-78. Henry F. Hoyt, 1878-82. Robert 

E. Pattison, 1882 122-131 

Gubernatorial Table 132 

PART n. 


CHAPTER I. — Gbnbeal Desckiption, etc.— 


County and Township Organization 137 

Cities, Boroughs and Villages 138 

Distance Table 138 

Organization of Cities and Boroughs 139 

Election Districts 139 

What Township Taken From, etc 140 

Post Offices Ul 

Census 142-144 

County and Township Boundaries 143 

CHAPTER n.— Phtsioai Geography 145-160 

The Land — Its Characteristics and Value 146 

Climate, Geology and Timber 149 

Minerals, Oil Wells, etc 160 

CHAPTEE ni.— Gbolosy 151-166 

CHAPTEE IV. — Streams, Lakes, Bays, 

Bridges and Culverts 156-166 

Principal Settlements, Railroads, etc 156 

Features of theStreams wg 



French Creek and Its Principal Tributaries 160 

The Lake Shore Streams 161 

Lakes and Bays 162 

The Interior Lakes 165 

Bridges, Culverts, etc 165 

CHAPTER v.— Pee-histoeic Eemains and 

Natueal Cdeiosities - 166-172 

Ancient Embankments 169 

More Strange DiscoTeries 170 

Natural Curiosities.'. 171 


Extermination of theEriez 173 

The Six Nations 174 

French and English Intrigues 175 

Pontiac's Conspiracy 176 

Capture of Le Boeuf and Presque Isle 176 

American Occupation ISO 

Threats of an Indian War 181 

Raids by the Savages 182 

Indian Villages and Graveyards 183 

Complanter, The Seneca Chief. 184 

CHAPTER YIL— The Feekch and English 


The First Soldiers 186 

Army of Occupation 186 

Coffin's Statement 189 

Washington's Visit 189 

Progress of the French 191 

French "Village at Presque Isle 191 

Events in 1757 and 1758 192 

The English Gaining 192 

Evacuation of the French 193 

English Dominion 193 

The French and English Forts 194 

The French Road 194 

CHAPTER Vin.— The Teiangle 194-200 

The Western Boundary 195 

The Ne-ff York Line 195 

The Triangle 195 

Release of the Indian Title 196 

Interesting Details .'. 199 

Continental Certificates 200 

CHAPTER IX.— The Ameeican OocnPATiOH 


Protecting the Frontier 202 

Occupancy of Fort Le Boeuf 202 

Interference of the General Government... 203 

Was the Danger Real? 203 

A Lengthy Discussion 204 

An Important Council 204 

Fort Le Boeuf and its Garrison 205 

A Treaty of Peaee 206 

Beginning of the Town of Erie 206 

The Last Indian Murder 209 

CHAPTER X.— ANTHO^•T Wayne 209-212 

Massacre of Faoli 210 

His Western Campaign 210 

Sickness and Death 210 

His Appearance and Bearing 211 

Disinterment of His Remains 211 

Appearance of the Body 212 

Second Disinterment 212 

His Eastern Tomb 212 

CHAPTER XL— Lasd Mattees 213-226 

Pennsylvania Population Company 213 

A Great Land Speculator 214 

Plan of Settlement 214 

Holland Land Company 215 

Tenth Donation District 215 

Harrisburg and Presque Isle Company 216 

The Moravian Grant 216 

The Reservations 216 

Academy Lands 219 

Surveyors and Land Agents 219 

More Land Legislation 220 

Settled at Last 220 

Abstract of Judah Colt's Autobiography 221 

Land Sales 223 

List of Purchasers _ 223 

State Commissioners 224 


Land Litigation 224 

The Speculation of 1836 226 

CHAPTER Xn.— The Piokeees .'. 229-233 

Where the People Came From 230 

Marriages, Births and Deaths 230 

Condition of the People, etc 231 

Game, etc 232 

CHAPTER XIII. — CoMMOH Roads, Stage 

Lines, Mail Routes, Taveens, etc..233-244 

Buffalo Road 234 

The Ridge Road.... 235 

The Lake Road. 235 

Waterford Turnpike 235 

Edinboro Plank Road 236 

Waterfoid Plank Road 239 

The Shunpike 239 

Wattsburg Plank Road 240 

Lake Pleasant Road 240 

The Colt's Station Road 241 

Old Taverns .T. 241 

Travel and Transportation 242 

The Salt Trade 243 

Stage Lines and Mail Routes 243 

CHAPTER XIV.— Religious Oeganizations 

— Chueches— (teavkyaeds, etc. 245-262 

Presbyterian Missionaries 245 

The Erie Presbytery 246 

Permanent Preachers 246 

Rev. Johnson Eaton 246 

The Erie and Other Churches 249 

Methodist Episcopal Church 249 

United Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopa- 
lians, etc 254 

Catholics and other Denominations 255 

List of Churches 255 

Sunday Schools 260 

Bible Society and Y. M. C. A 261 

Graveyards and Cemeteries 261 

CHAPTER XV.— Mills and Factoeies 262-270 

Outside of Erie City 263 

Other Early Mills and Factories 264 

List of Manufacturing Establishments 265 

CHAPTER XVI.— Lake Navigation.... 270-283 

The Merchant Service 271 

The Era of .Steamboats 272 

Propellers and Ships 273 

The Old Times .ind the New 273 

Valuable Statistics 274 

Government Vessels 274 

Disasters on the Bay and Lake 275 

Distances by Lake 276 

Opening of Navigation .T... 279 

Collectors at Erie 280 

Deputy Collectors 280 

Vessels Owned in Erie 280 

Business of the Port 281 

Light-houses and their Keepers 282 

CHAPTER XVIL— County Buildings 283-293 

The County Jail 285 

The Almshouse ■. 286 

County Statistics 291 

"Workhouse 292 

CHAPTER X"VIII.— Peeey's Victoey and the 

Wae of 1812-14 293-820 

Erie's Defenseless Condition 293 

First Stages of the War 294 

Assembling the Militia 295 

A Fleet Arranged For 295 

Perry Reaches Erie 296 

The First Step to Victory 300 

Safely Concentrated 300 

Menaces of the Enemy „ 302 

Getting over the Bar 302 

The First Cruise 303 

Challenging to Fight 304 

Preparing for Battle 305 

Brief Account of the Victory 305 

After the Battle 309 

Victories on Land 8i0 

Perry's Return to Erie 3io 



The Winter of 1813-U 811 

A Fatal Duel 312 

The Campaign of 1814 818 

Incidents of the War 814 

Disposal of the Vessels 314 

American Army Officers 315 

The Story of James Bird 316 

Official Eeport of the British Commander.... 319 

CHAPTER XIX.— Bench amd Bak 320-332 

United States Courts 823 

The Bar 324 

Deaths, HenxovalB, etc 830 

Court Criers, and Other Matters 332 

CHAPTEE XX.— Notable Events 333-840 

The King of France 333 

Lafayette 333 

Horace Greeley 383 

Presidential "Visitors 334 

An Exciting Campaign 835 

The Only Execution 336 

Indictments for Murder 389 

CHAPTER XXI.— Political Histoet— An- 
nual Recokd ;...'. 340-480 

1788 to 180O 340 

1800 to 1802 341 

1803 to 1806 342 

1807 to 1810 343 

1811 to 1816 344 

1817 to 1820 346 

1821 to 1823 846 

1824 to 1825 849 

1826 to 1828 360 

1829 to 18S0 351 

1631 to 1832 852 

1833 to 1836 353 

1836 354 

1837 to 1838 366 

1S39 to 1840 S59 

1841 360 

1842 S61 

1843 to 1844 .%2 

1845 to 1846 :;. 304 

1847 365 

1848 .366 

1849 to 1850 369 

1851 370 

1852 371 

1853 872 

1864 873 

1855 to 1856 374 

1867 376 

1868 379 

1859 to 1860 380 

1861 to 1862 382 

1863 to 1864 383 

1866 to 1866 385 

1867 to 1868 386 

1869 to 1870 390 

1871 to 1872 391 

1873 894 

1874 395 

1875 to 1876 S96 

1877 to 1878 401 

1879 to 1880 402 

1881 404 

1882 405 

1883 406 

List OF Public Offioees 406 

United States Officers 406 

State Officers from Erie County 410 

State Senators 411 

Memhers of the House of Eepresentatives.. 412 
County Officers 414 

CHAPTER XXII.— The Canal and Rail- 
roads 480-444 

The Lake Terminus 431 

Completion of the Canal 431 

Its Abandonment 432 

Railroads 433 

Erie to Buffalo 438 

Erie to aeveland 483 

Consolidation Effected 484 

The Eailroad War 434 


Further Consolidation 435 

Local Features 435 

Distances 436 

Philadelphia & Erie Eailroad 436 

General Description 439 

Other Matters 439 

Erie & Pittsburgh Railroad 440 

Buffalo, Corry & Pittsburgh Eailroad 441 

New York, Pennsylvania &. Ohio Eailroad... 441 

Union & Titusville Eailroad 442 

New York, Chicago &. St. Louis Railroad 

(The Nickel Plate) 442 

Projected Railroads 443 

CHAPTEE XXIII— Physicians and Den- 
tists 444-451 

List of Eegistered Physicians 44B-450 

Erie 445 

Corry 446 

McKean 446 

Wattsburg 449 

Fairview 449 

Girard 449 

Union City 449 

North East 449 

Albion 449 

Waterford 449 

Springfield 449 

Edinboro 450 

Mill Village 460 

Other Localities 460 

Other Matters 450 

Dentists 1 451 

CHAPTER XXIV.— Schools, Academies, etc. 


The County Schools 463 

School Books, etc 453 

Spelling Schools 454 

Academies, etc 454 

General Remarks 455 

Tabulated Statement 456 

CHAPTEE XXV.— Newspapers 459^65 

EarlT Newspapers 459 

The Erie Oazette 459 

The Erie Ohserver 460 

The Erie DUjmtch 461 

Other English Papers 461 

German and Portuguese Papers 462 

Defunct Papers 463 

Miscellaneous 463 

Personal 464 

Papers Outside of Erie 465 

CHAPTEE XXVL— War foe the Union....465-489 

The First Regiment 466 

The Eighty-third Regiment 466 

The One Hundred Eleventh Regiment 469 

The One Hundred Forty-fifth Regiment 470 

The First Draft 470 

Other Matters 471 

The Second Draft 472 

Lively Recruiting 473 

Half a Million More 474 

Nearingthe End 474 

Officers from Erie County 475 

County Finances in Connection with the 

War 476 

Prices Compared 479 

The Erie Regiment — three montlis 479 

The Eighty-third Regiment 481 

The One Hundred Eleventh Regiment 483 

The One Hundred Forty-fifth Eegiment 485 

CHAPTER XXVII.— Miscellaneous 490-500 

Agricultural Societies 490 

Militia and Military Ogauizations 490 

Temperance 492 

Slaves and Slavery 492 

Seal of the County 493 

The Weather 493 

Early Justices 493 

The Cholera 495 

Telegraph Lines 495 

Shows and Circuses; 495 

Cattle Driving 495 



Currency 496 

Soldiers* Mon.uments 496 

The Kevolution 496 

The Mexican War 499 


Anti-Slavery *^* 

Oldest Men and Women 499 

Thanksgiving Day 50a 

The Flood of 18S3 600 

PART ni. 


CHAPTEE I.— HisTORiCAi, o03-ol9 

Scraps of History 512 

mTAPTF.R II. — General Description and 

• Progress 519-534 

Hotels and Public Halls 524 

Pleasure Resorts 524 

F.AilroadB and Shipping Facilities 525 

Bay, Harbor and Peninsula 525 

Life-Saving Service 532 

The Head 532 

Fisheries 533 

CHAPTER III.— MnsiciPAL Government 


Water Works 543 

Fire Department 546 

Markets 546 

Police 549 

Financial Exhibit 549 

CHAPTEP. rv.— CnnRCHES 550-586 

First Presbyterian Church 550 

Park Presbyterian Church 552 

Central Presbyterian Church 554 

Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church 555 

United Presbyterian Congregation 556 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church 560 

St. John's Episcopal Church 563 

Church of the Cross and Crown 564 

First Methodist Episcopal Church 565 

Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church 569 

Tenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church... .570 
The African Methodist Episcopal Church.... 571 

The First Baptist Church 571 

First German Baptist Church 573 

St. John's EvangeUoal Lutheran and Re- 
formed Church " 573 

St. Paul's German Evangelical Church 574 

Salem Church of the Evangelical Association 575 
The English Evangelical Lutheran Church.. 576 
The German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity 

Church 579 

Anschai Chesed Reform Congregation 579 

United Brethren Church 580 

The First Universalist Church 580 

St. Patrick's Catholic Pro-Cathedral 581 

St. Mary's Catholic Church 583 

St. Joseph's Catholic Church 584 

St. John's Catholic Church 585 

St. Andrew's Catholic Church 585 

CHAPTER v.— Education and Societies.. 586-600 

Erie Academy 591 

Erie Female Seminary 592 

Catholic Schools 592 

Secret and Other Societies 594 

CHAPTER VI.— Private Coepokatiohs, Cem- 
eteries AND Charitable Institu- 
tions 600-613 

Erie Gas Ckimpany 600 

Telegraph, Telephone and Express Compa- 
nies 601 

The Erie City Passenger Railway Company 601 

Banks 601 

Insurance Companies 603 

Cemeteries 604 

Charitable Institutions 606 

CHAPTEE VII.— Leading Manufactueing In- 
terests 613-649 

Board of Trade and Business Statistics.. 649-651 


CHAPTER I.— Mill Creek Township 655-666 

Lands 655 

Reservations 656 

Creeks and Bridges 656 

Public Highways 6-59 

Schools 6-59 

Villages and Post Offices 660 

Other Prominent Points 661 

Religious Societies 662 

Mills 663 

Early Settlers 663 

Public Men 664 

Miscellaneous 665 


Boeodgh of Wateeeoed 666-684 

Lands of the Township 666 

Tax List in 1813 609 

Streams and Lakes 670 

Roads, Bridges andMills 670 

Religious Societies 671 

School History 671 

Waterford Station 572 

Borough OF Wateeford 672 

The French Fort 673 

Pontiac's Conspiracy 673 

Beginning of the 'Town 673 

First Settlers 674 

Early Events. 675 

The Lytles 675 

The Boating Trade 676 

Societies, etc 676 

Incorporation 679 

The Academy 680 

The Cemetery 680 

Religious Societies 681 

State and County Officers 682 

Postmasters 683 

Newspapers 683 

Manufactories 683 

Miscellaneous 684 



CHAPTEK III. — Union Township and 

BOEOUGH OF Union City 684-695 

The South Branch and its Tributaries 686 

Bridges and Mills 685 

Churches and Graveyards 686 

Early Settlers 686 

Political 689 

BoKOUGH OF Union City 690 

The Founder 690 

Growth of the Town 690 

Societies 691 

Manufactories 692 

Church Organizations 69S 

Newspapers 694 

Miscellaneous 695 

CHAPTER IV.— Lb BffiUF Township and 

BoEouGH OF Mill Village 696-703 

Early Settlers 696 

Streams and Mills 699 

Valleys and Ridges 699 

Holland Land Company.. 700 

Common Roads 700 

Churches 701 

Schools 701 

Public Men 702 

Villages 702 

Borough of Mill Village 702 

CHAPTER v. — Venango Township and 


Early Settlers 704 

Taxables in 1800 705 

Political 705 

War of 1812 705 

Streams, Lake and Bridges 706 

Public Roads , 706 

Mills, Factories and Schools 709 

Churches 710 

The Mlddlebrook Church — Graveyards 710 

Villages 711 

Becoliections of a Native of the Township.. 711 

Borough of Wattsburg 712 

Incorporation 713 

Religious 713 

Societies, etc 713 

Business Features 714 

Public Men 714 

Schools and Newspapers 714 

CHAPTER VI. — Harbor Ceeek Township 


General Description 715 

Creeks and Gullies 716 

Mills 719 

Roads, etc 719 

Wesley ville 720 

Harbor Creek and Moorheadville 720 

Religious Societies 721 

County Officers 722 

School History 722 

Miscellaneoos 723 

CHAPTER VII.— North East TovrasHiP and 

Borough of North East 728-739 

Early Settlers 724 

First Things 725 

Railroads and Common Roads 725 

The Creeks 726 

Manufacturing Establishments 726 

The Grape Culture 729 

Villages 729 

Cemeteries 730 

Schools '31 

Rev. Cyrus Dickson 731 

Borough of North East 732 

Religious Societies 733 

Pnbfio Schools and College 734 

Hotels, Banks, etc 735 

Newspapers 736 

State and County Officers 736 

Miscellaneous 736 

CHAPTER VIII.— Faieview Township and 

Borough of Faieview 739-749 

General Description 740 

Lands and Streams 741 


Bridges and Mills 742 

Schools - 742 

Common Roads, Railroads and Canals 743 

Political 743 

Religious Societies 744 

Manchester and S-wanville 744 

Other Matters 745 

Borough of Fairview 746 

Early Incidents 746 

Other Churches 749 

Miscellaneous 749 

CHAPTER IX.— Springfield TovrarsHip...760-760 

Lands, etc 750 

Early Settlers 751 

Incidents of the Pioneers 752 

Streams, Mills and Factories 752 

Burial Places 753 

Public Men 754 

Academies and Schools 754 

Railroads, Common Roads and Hotels 755 

Churches 756 

Villages 759 

CHAPTER X. — Conheaut Township and 

Borough of Albion 760-769 

The First Settlers 760 

Creeks and Bridges 761 

Land, Litigation and Pre-Historic Remains. 762 

Rairoads, Canals and Common Roads 763 

Schools, Mills and Burial Places 764 

Villages 764 

Miscellaneous 765 

Borough of Albion 765 

Churches 766 

Business, Schools and Societies 766 

Factories. Newspapers, etc 769 

CHAPTER XL— Elk Creek Township 770-775 

General Description 770 

Roads and Streams 771 

Churches 772 

Schools 772 

Wellsburg 772 

Cranesviller 774 

Pageville 774 

CHAPTER XII. — McKean Township and 

Borough of Middleeoro 775-782 

Streams and Lands 775 

Mills and Schools 776 

Churches, Cemeteries and Road^ 779 

Villages 780 

Early Settlers 780 

Public Officers 781 

Borough of Middlebobo 781 

CHAPTER XIII.— Greenfield Township..782-786 

Beginning the Settlement 783 

Other Matters 784 

Streams and Mills 784 

A^'illage and Churches 785 

Schools 786 

Roads, etc 786 

CHAPTER XIV.— (Greene To-svnship 789-793 

First Settlers _ .789 

Lauds - 790 

Streams and Mills 790 

Roads and Railroad 790 

Hamlets and Churches 791 

Public Men 792 

Schools 792 

CHAPTER XV.— Washington Township and 

Borough of Edinboro 793-802 

First Settlers 793 

Roads 794 

Streams, Lake and Lands 796 

Villages and Churches 795 

Schools 796 

Factories and Mills 799 

Borough of Edinboro 800 

General Description 800 

Churches 800 

Secret Societies, Newspapers and Post Offices 801 

State and County Officers 802 

The Normal School 802 




BoEonGH OF Elgin 803-806 

County Officers 803 

Early Settlers 803 

General Description 804 

Streams 804 

Railroads, Common Eoads, etc 805 

Scliools and Churches 805 

Miscellaneous 806 

BoKOCGH OF Elgin 806 

CHAPTER XVn.— City of Coeet 809-823 

How the City Started 809 

Rapid Growth 810 

Borough and City 810 

The City in General 811 

Oil Works 812 

Other Leading Industries 813 

General Business Features 814 

City Government 814 

School Building 816 

Newspapers 816 

Secret Societies 816 

Gas, Gas Wells and Public Halls 820 

Religious Societies 820 

Miscellaneous - 823 

CHAPTER XVm.— Wayne Township 824-832 

Lands and their Value 824 

The Streams 826 

Village of Beaver Dam 825 

Carter Hill and Hare Creek 829 

Schools, Mills, etc 829 

The State Fish Hatchery 630 

The Pioneers 880 

Prominent Men 831 

The Greeleys -. 831 

CHAPTER XIX.— Amity Township 832-836 

Streams and Bridges 832 


Mills and Roads 833 

Public Schools 834 

Lands, Villages, etc =34 

Early Settlers : 835 

CHAPTER XX.— GiEAED Township and Boe- 

onGHS OF Gikaed and Lockpoet 835-851 

Early Settlers 836 

Lands and Roads 839 

Railroads and Canal 839 

Streams, etc 840 

Mouth of Elk Creek - 840 

Mills and Churches 841 

Schools and Mounds 842 

Miles Grove .- 842 

West Girard. 843 


Churches, Schools, etc 844 

Hotels and Factories 846 

Square, Monuments, etc 846 

.Public Men 846 

Newspapers and Banks 849 

Miscellaneous 850 

Borough of Lockport..... 850 

CHAPTER XXI.— Feanklin Township 851-864 

First Settlements 852 

General Description 852 

Mills and Schools 858 

Churches and Graveyards 853 

Village and Quarry 864 

CHAPTER XXII.— Summit Township 855-860 

The Pioneers 855 

Railroads and Common Roads 855 

Streams and Valleys 856 

Religious Societies 856 

School History 859 

Mills, Quarry, Etc 860 

Miscellaneous 860 



City of Erie (alphabetically arranged) 863-975 

City of Erie (not alphabetically arranged— Hon. S. M. Brainerd) 976 

City of Corry 977-1006 



Amity TownsMp 3 

Concord Township U 

Conneaut Townsmp 16 

Elk Creek ToTynship 29 

Fairview Township 37 

Franklin Township 45 

Girard Township 53 

Greene Township 70 

Greenfield Township 75 

Harbor Creek Township 80 

■ LeBffiiif Township 98 

McKean Township 102 

Mill Creek Township 116 

North East Township 134 

Sprin^eld Township 152 

Summit Township 164 

^ Union Township..... 168 

Venango Township 183 

•Washington Township 203 

-Waterford Township 216 

-Wayne Township 233 




Bennett, J. H., Venango Township 887 

Bowman, Balph, Elk Creek Township 607 

Bowman, Jane, Elk Creek Township 608 

Bowman, LucretiajElk Creek Township 518 

Boyd, Charles C, Waterford Township 727 

Brightman, William, Wayne Township 848 

Brown, Samuel M., Mill Creek Township 668 

Burton, John, Mill Creek Township 468 

Carroll, William, Union Township 238 

Casey, James, Erie 597 

Chambers, James, Harbor Creek Township 187 

Chapin, Pliny, Venango Township 708 

CocUian, Robert, Erie 388 

Colegrove, Isaac, Corry 398 

Cook, J. L., Waterford Township 827 

Custard, Robert, North East Township 927 

Dobbins, Daniel, Erie 79 

Downing, J. F., Erie 657 

Duucombe, Eli, Amity Township 488 

Eagley. John, Sr., Springfield Township 857 

Ebersole, Joseph, Harbor Creek Township 307 

Ebersole, Joseph J,, Harbor Creek Township 697 

EUicott, Andrew, Erie Frontispiece 

Elliott, Thomas, Harbor Creek Township 318 

Farrar, F. F.,Erie 897 

Foot, Jabez B., Venango Township 358 

Foote, David E., Venango Township 578 

Galbraith, John, Erie 227 

Hammond, Paul, Concord Township 427 

Hamot, P. S. v., Erie 134 

Hartleb, Mathiaa, Erie 768 

Hashrouck, William, Concord Township 637 

Haynes, J. H., North East Township 218 

Heoker.A W., Corry 628 

Henderson, Joseph, Erie 807 

Henry, Robert H^ Harbor Creek Township 788 

Kennedy, D. C, Wayne Township 438 

Kincaid, John, Wayne Township 777 

Koch, Moses, Erie 757 

Loop, D. D., North East Township 347 

Lowry, N. D., Harbor Creek Township 558 

Marshall, James C, Erie 497 

Marvin, Ellhu, Erie 327 


McCreary, D. B.,Erie 747 

MoKee, Thomas, Mill Creek Township 268 

Metealf, Presoott, Erie 507 

Moore, M. M., HarborCreek Township 918 

Nash, Norman, North East Township 3.38 

Nicholson, Isabel, Mill Creek Township 867 

Orton, J. R., Conneaut Township 688 

Ottinger, Douglass, Erie 637 

Putnam, William, Dnion Township 878 

Rea, Samuel, Springfield Township 277 

Rea, Johnston. Girard Township 447 

Reed, Seth, Erie 46 

Reed, Bufus S., Erie 157 

Reed, Charles M., Erie 297 

Reeder, Moses, Washington Township 288 

Russell, N. W,, Erie 377 

Salsbury, A. P., Conneaut Township 527 

Sanford, G^ Erie 167 

Sedgwick, John, Waterford Township 367 

Selden, George, Erie 247 

Short, Alfred North, East Township 567 

Sill, Thomas H., Erie 267 

Sill, James, Erie 818 

Smith, Samuel, Wayne Township 407 

Stafford, Henry C, Erie 938 

Staples, F. E., Erie 947 

Storrett, A. J., Erie ■. 738 

Sterrett, Joseph M., Erie 148 

Stinson, Wilham S., Harbor Creek Township 907 

Stranahan, P.G., Union Township 648 

Strong, Martin, Erie 207 

Taylor, Isaac R., Washington Township 547 

Thayer, Alvin, Erie 79T 

Tracy, John A., Erie 417 

Tracy, John F., Erie 617 

Vincent, John, Erie 198 

Vincent, B. B., Erie 457 

Vincent, Strong, Erie 717 

Weed, William B., Greene Township 477 

Weschler, Jacob, Erie 837 

Wheeler, SUas, Corry 178 

Wilson, David, Union Township 587 

Woodruff, S. E., Erie 677 


Errata 12- 

Map of Erie County 13-14 

Map Showing Various Purchases From the Indians 113 

Diagram Showing Proportionate Annual Production of Anthracite Coal Since 1820 118 

Table Showing Amountof Anthracite Coal Produced in Each Region Since 1820 119 


Page 214 — For ** after the last war," read " before the last war." 

Page 2G3— MoCxilloiigh's mills were built In 1802. 

Page 272— The steaniboat Walk-in-the-Water was wrecked in 1821. 

Page 272 — The steamboat Missouri was bought, not built, by Gen. Heed in 1840. 

Page 274 — The V. S. revenue cutter Benjamin Hush was built in 1828. 

Page 293 — The block-house referred to as having been built in 1795 stood on Garrison Hill. 

Page 324 — William Wallace located in Erie in 1798. 

Page 332 — The name of the first court crier was Daniel Nangle, instead of David Langley. 

Page 341 — William Hoge was a resident of Washington County. 

Page 401— The Democratic vote for Congress in Warren County In 1878 was 821, instead of 1821. 

Page 425 — For Sylveras E. Webster, County Surveyor, read Cyrenus E. Webster. 

Page 429— For David Langley, Court Crier, read Daniel Nangle. 

Page 433 — The first passenger train came into Erie -January 9, 1852. 

Page 463 — The Observer office was the first to introduce a power press, not steam power. 

Page 495 — For Isaac Miller read Israel Miller. 

Page 499— For Daniel Stanclifi read Lemuel Stanoliff. 

Page 500 — For Benjamin Colton read Benjamin Collom. 

Page 500— John Te'el, second, died April 21, 1872. 

Page 656— For Benjamin Eussell read N. W. and G. J. Bussell. 

Page 664— For Tract 47 read Tract 247. 

Page 664— For Mr. Martin Stough read Mrs. Martin Stongh. 

Page 675— George W. Reed settled in Waterford in 1810. 

Page 679, also 139— The park in Waterford Borough Is about a mile from Waterford Station on the P. & E. 

road, making the distance by rail from Erie about twenty miles. 
Page 680 — For James Judson read Amos Judson. 
Page 732— Rev. Cyrus Dickson completed bis college course in 1837. 
Page 744 — For John M. Kratz read Joseph M. Kratz. 

In compliance with current 

copyright law, Cornell University 

Library produced this 

replacement volume on paper 

that meets the ANSI Standard 

Z39.48-1992 to replace the 

irreparably deteriorated original. 


(QoritEll UnittcrHtty Siihrarg 

3ti)aca. New f urk 








/ «_ 






Containing A History of the County; its Townships, Towns, 

Villages, Schools, Churches, Industries, etc.; Portraits of 

Early Settlers and Prominent Men; Biographies; 

History of Pennsylvania, Statistical and 

Miscellaneous Matter, etc., etc. 








IN entering upon the publication of a historv of Erie County, the difficulty 
and importance of the task were not underestimated by the publishers. A 
desire for such a work has long existed, a work that would faithfully present 
a correct, concise and clean record of events, beginning with the Indian tribes 
that once inhabited the land, thence tracing its history down to the present 

The burning of the court house, on the 23d of March, 1823, which destroyed 
the records of the first twenty years after the organization of the county, has 
ever been a source of annoyance to those tracing the original titles to lands 
through the names of the first settlers. This work shows where the titles of 
the lands in Erie County originated, to whom the first sales were made, and 
the locations of the earliest pioneers, thus supplying many missing links in 
the fabric of its recorded history. 

The book may be said to have had its inception in 1879, when Mr. Benja- 
min Whitman, having sold the Erie Observer, which he had edited since Jan- 
uary, 1861, made a number of short tours over the county for the joint purpose 
of reviving old friendships and settling his outstanding accounts. After one 
or two trips he commenced writing up a series of articles for the Observer under 
the heading of " County Jaunts," and finding them received with favor, con- 
ceived the idea of expanding them into a history of the coimty. The effort 
of Mr. Whitman was more to give a plain and correct statement of facts than 
to indulge in fine writing, for which, it ia needless to add, there is little op- 
portunity in a work of this kind. His manuscript was purchased by the pub- 
lishers, and is mainly embodied in the book. 

He was largely aided in the collecting of his matter by Capt. N. W. Russell, 
whose father, Mr. Hamlin Russell, when on his death bed in 1852, after a res- 
idence of half a century in Brie County, said to him, "I have made, a great 
mistake in not keeping, for the good of future generations, a historical record 
of the advent and progress of the early settlers. Your retentive memory can yet 
collect them, and put them in a shape that will be of great use to the inhabitants 
hereafter. Promise me you will do so." The promise was given, and has been 
fulfilled to a considerable extent in this work. ' ' In the preparation of the 
matter," says Mr. Whitman, " Capt. N. W. Russell, of Mill Creek Township, 
deserves very large credit. His remembrance of early events is remark- 
able, and to his valuable assistance I owe more than I can express. His fre- 
quent sketches on historical subjects, printed in the newspapers, were really 
the foundation of the book, and in many cases I have not done much more than 
to elaborate his articles. Mr. Russell has, also, revised all the proof, and 
vouches for the correctness of the historical matter." 

For the convenience of its readers, the book has been divided into five 
parts. The outline history of the State, contained in Part I, is from the pen 


of Prof. Samuel P. Bates, of Meadville. The history of Erie County, included 
in Part II, was compiled by Mr. "Whitman, with the aid of Mr. Eussell, as 
above stated. The history of the city of Erie, in Part III, was written by Mr. 
R. C. Brown, of Chicago, 111., excepting Chapter IV, which is froni the pen 
of Mr. F. E. Weakley, of Lebanon, Ohio. The township histories, in Part IV, 
embrace a portion of the matter furnished by Messrs. Whitman and Russell, 
with additions by Messrs. P. E. Weakley and J. B. Mansfield; while the bio- 
graphical sketches in Part V, were collected by a corps of solicitors, and a proof 
of each sketch submitted by mail to each subject for correction. It is due to 
Mr. Whitman to add that the township sketches prepared by him were much 
more full than they appear in the book, the limits to which the publishers 
were obliged to confine themselves not allowing space for all of his matter. 

The publication of such a work, for a patronage limited to a single county, 
was a hazardous undertaking, and much solicitude was felt by the publishers 
on this account during the first stages of the enterprise, but whatever their 
misgivings, they were soon dispelled by the liberal patronage of the people of 
the county. An earnest effort has been made to render the book reliable and 
attractive, and to more than fulfill every promise made in the prospectus. 

Acknowledgments are due to County, Tovmship, City and Borough officials, 
old settlers, members of the various professions and to citizens throughout the 
county, for favors and generous assistance in the preparation of the work. 






Bon Mey, 1624-25. William Van Hulst, 1625- 
26. Peter Minuit, 1626-33 David Petersen 
de Vries, 1632-33. Wouter Van Twiller, 
1633-38 15-23 

CHAPTER n.— Sir William Keift, 1638-47. Peter 
Minuit, 1638-41. Peter HoUandaer, 1641-48. 
John Printz, 1643-63. Peter Stiiyvesant, 
1647-64. John Pappagoya, 1653-54. John 
Claude Eysingh, 1654-55 23-33 

CHAPTER in.— John Paul Jacquet, 1655-57. 
Jacob AMchs, 1657-59. Goeran Van Dyck, 
1657-68. William Beekman, 1668-63. Alex. 
D'Hinoyossa, 1659-«4 33-35 

CHAPTER IV.— Richard Nichols, 1664-67. Rob- 
ert Needham, 1664-68. Francis Lovelace, 
1667-73. John Carr, 1668-73. Anthony 
Colve, 1673-74. Peter Alriohs, 1673-74. 

CHAPTER v.— Sir Edmund Andros, 1674-81. 
Edmund Cantwell, 1674-76. John Collier, 
1676-77. Christopher Billop, 1677-81 41-50 


CHAPTER VI.— William Markham, 
William Penn, 1682-84 

CHAPTER VII.— Thomas Lloyd, 1684-86. Five 
Commissioners, 1686-88. John Blackwell, 
1688-90. Thomas Lloyd, 1690-91. William 
Markham, 1691-93. Benjamin Fletcher, 
1693-95. William Markham. 1693-99 61-i 

CHAPTER VIII.— William Penn, 1699-1701. 
Andrew Hamilton, 1701-03. Edward Ship- 


pen, 1703-04. John Evans, 1704-09. Charles 
Gooken, 1709-17 69-75 

CHAPTER IX.— Sir William Keith, 1717-26. 
Patrick Gordon, 1726-36. James Logan, 
1736-38. George Thomas, 1738-47. An- 
thony Palmer, 1747-48. James Hamilton, 
1748-54 75-89 

CHAPTER X.— Robert H. Morris, 1754^56. Will- 
iam Denny, 1756-59, James Hamilton, 
1769-63 89-97 

CHAPTER XL— .Tohn Penn, 1768-71. James 
Hamilton, 1771. Richard Penn, 1771-73. 
John Penn, 1773-76 98-104 

CHAPTER XII.— Thomas Wharton, Jr.,1777-78. 
George Bryan, 1778. Joseph Reed, 1778-81. 
William Moore, 1781-82. John Dickinson, 
1782-85. Benjamin Franklin, 1785-88 104-114 

CHAPTER Xin. — Thomas Mifflin, 1788-99. 
Thomas MoKean, 1799-1808. Simon Snyder, 
1708-17. William Findlay, 1817-20. Joseph 
Heister, 1820-23. John A. Shulze, 1823-29. 
George Wolfe, 1829-36. Joseph Eituer, 
1836-39 114-121 

CHAPTER XIV.— David R. Porter, 1839-45. 
FranoisR. Shunk, 1845-48. William F.John- 
stone, 1848-62. William Bigler, 1852-55. 
John Pollock, 1856-58. William F. Packer, 
1858-61. Andrew G. Curtin, 1861-67. John 
W. Geary, 1867-73. John F. Hartranft, 
1873-78. Henry F. Hoyt, 1878-82. Robert 

E. Pattison, 1882 122-131 

Gubernatorial Table 132 


CHAPTER I.— General Descriptioh, etc.— 


County and Township Organization 137 

Cities, Boroughs and Villages 138 

Distance Table 138 

Organization of Cities and Boroughs 139 

Election Districts 139 

What Township Taken From, etc 140 

Post Offices 141 

Census 142-144 

County and Township Boundaries 143 

CHAPTER IL— Physical Geography 145-150 

The Land — Its Characteristics and Value 146 

Climate, Geology and Timber 149 

Minerals, Oil Wells, etc 160 

CHAPTER III.— Geology 151-165 

CHAPTER IV. — Streams, Lakes, Bays, 

Bridges and Cdlverts 155-166 

Principal Settlements, Railroads, etc 156 

Features of the Streams 159 



French Greet and Its Principal Tributaries 160 

The Lake Shore Streams 161 

Lakes and Bays 162 

The Interior Lakes 165 

Bridges, CulTerts, etc 165 

CHAPTER v.— Pee-histokic REMiiNS and 

Natural Cueiosities - 166-172 

Ancient Emhankuients 169 

More Strange Discoveries 170 

Natural Curiosities.'. 171 

CHAPTER VL— Indian Histoey 172-186 

Extermination of theEriez 173 

The Six Nations 174 

French and English Intrigues 175 

Pontiac's Conspiracy 176 

Capture of Le Boeuf and Presquelsle 176 

American Occupation 180 

Threats of an Indian War 181 

Raids by the Savages 182 

Indian Villages and Graveyards 183 

Complanter, The Seneca Chief. 184 

CHAPTER VII.— The Feench and English 


The First' Soldiers 186 

Army of Occupation 186 

Coffin's Statement 189 

Washington's Visit 189 

Progress of the French 191 

French Village at Presque Isle 191 

Events in 1767 and 1758 192 

The English Gaining 192 

Evacuation of the French 193 

English Dominion 193 

The French and English Forts 194 

The French Road 194 

CHAPTER VIII.— The Triangle 194-200 

The Western Boundary 196 

The New York Line 195 

The Triangle 196 

Release of the Indian Title 196 

Interesting Details 199 

Continental Certificates 200 

CHAPTER IX.— The Ameeican Occupation 


Protecting the Frontier 202 

Occupancy of Fort Le Boeuf 202 

Interference of the General Government... 203 

Was the Danger Real? 203 

A Lengthy Discussion 204 

An Important Council 204 

Fort Le Boeuf and its Garrison 206 

A Treaty of Peace 206 

Beginning of the Town of Erie 206 

The Last Indian Murder 209 

CHAPTER X.— Anthon-y Wayne 209-212 

Massacre of Paoli 210 

His Western Campaign 210 

Sickness and Death 210 

His Appearance and Bearing 211 

Disinterment of His Remains 211 

Appearance of the Body 212 

Second Disinterment 212 

His Eastern Tomb 212 

CHAPTER XL— Land Mattees 213-226 

Pennsylvania Population Company 213 

A Great Land Speculator 214 

Plan of Settlement 214 

Holland Land Company 215 

Tenth Donation District 215 

Harrisburg and Presque Isle Company 216 

The Moravian Grant 216 

The Reservations 216 

Academy Lands 219 

Surveyors and Land Agents 219 

More Land Legislation 220 

Settled at Last 220 

Abstract of Judab Colt's Autobiography 221 

Land Sales 22S 

List of Purchasers 223 

State Commissioners 224 


Land Litigation 224 

The Speculation of 1836 226 

CHAPTER Xn.— The Pioneers 229-233 

Where the People Came From 230 

Marriages, Births and Deaths 230 

Condition of the People, etc 231 

Game, etc 232 

CHAPTER XIII. — Common Roads, Stage 

Lines, Mail Routes, Taveens, btc..233-244 

Buffalo Road 234 

The Ridge Road... 235 

The Lake Road. — 235 

Waterford Turnpike 235 

Edinboro Plank Road 236 

Waterford Plank Road 239 

The Shunpike 239 

Wattsburg Plank Road 240 

Lake Pleasant Road 240 

The Colt's Station Road 241 

Old Taverns .T. 241 

•Travel and Transportation 242 

The Salt Trade 243 

Stage Lines and Mail Routes 243 

CHAPTER XIV.— Religious Oeganizations 

— Chueches— Geaveyaeds, etc 245-262 

Presbyterian Missionaries 246 

The Erie Presbytery 246 

Permanent Preachers 246 

Rev. Johnson Eaton 246 

The Erie and Other Churches 249 

Methodist Episcopal Church 249 

United Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopa- 
lians, etc 254 

Catholics and other Denominations 265 

List of Churches 255 

Sunday Schools 260 

Bible Society and Y. M. C. A 261 

Graveyards and Cemeteries 261 

CHAPTER XV.— Mills and Factoeies 262-270 

Outside of Erie City 263 

Other Early Mills and Factories 264 

List of Manufacturing Establishments 266 

CHAPTER XVI.— Lake Navigation 270-283 

The Merchant Service 271 

The Era of Steamboats 272 

Propellers and Ships 273 

The Old Times and the New 273 

Valuable Statistics 274 

Government Vessels 274 

Disasters on the Bay and Lake 276 

Distances by Lake 276 

Opening of Navigation .T... 279 

Collectors at Erie 280 

Deputy Collectors 280 

Vessels Owned in Erie 280 

Business of the Port 281 

Light-houses and their Keepers 282 

CHAPTER XVII.— County Buildings 283-293 

The County Jail 286 

The Almsh'ouse -. 286 

County Statistics 291 

Workhouse 292 

CHAPTER XVIII.—Peeey's Victory AND the 

Wae of 1812-14 293-320 

Erie's Defenseless Condition 293 

First Stages of the War 294 

Assembling the Militia 295 

A Fleet Arranged For 295 

Perry Reaches Erie 296 

The First Step to Victory 300 

Safely Concentrated 300 

Menaces of the Enemy „ 302 

Getting over the Bar 302 

The First Cruise 303 

Challenging to Fight 304 

Preparing for Battle 305 

Brief Account of the Victory 305 

After the Battle 309 

Victories on Land 310 

Perry's Return to Erie 310 



The Winter oflSlS-U 311 

A Fatal Duel 312 

The Campaign of 1814 313 

Incidents of the War 314 

Disposal of the Vessels 314 

American Army Officers 316 

The Story of James Bird 316 

Official Beport of the British Commander.... 819 

CHAPTER XIX.— Bench ahd Bab 320-332 

United States Courts 323 

The Bar 324 

Deaths^ Kemovals, etc 330 

Court Criers, and Other Matters 332 

CHAPTEE XX.— Notable Events 333-340 

The King of France 333 

Lafayette 333 

Horace Greeley 333 

Presidential Visitors 334 

An Exciting Campaign 33o 

The Only Execution 335 

Indictments for Murder 339 

CHAPTEE XXI.— Political Histoey— Ah- 

mjAL Eecord ; 340-430 

1788 to 1800 340 

1800 to 1802 341 

1803 to 1806 342 

1807 to 1810 343 

1811 to 1816 344 

1817 to 1820 345 

1821 to 1823 346 

1824 to 1825 349 

1826 to 1828 3B0 

1829 to 1830 351 

1831 to 1832 362 

1833 to 1836 353 

1836 364 

1837 to 1838 355 

1839 to 1840 369 

1841 360 

1842 361 

1843 to 1844 362 

1845 to 1846 .>. 364 

1847 365 

1848 366 

1849 to 1860 369 

1S61 370 

1862 371 

1853 372 

1864 378 

1855 to 1866 374 

1857 376 

1868 379 

1859 to 1860 380 

1861 to 1862 382 

1863 to 1864 383 

1866 to 1866 385 

1867 to 1868 386 

1869 to 1870 390 

1871 to 1872 391 

1873 394 

1874 395 

1875 to 1876 396 

1877 to 1878 401 

1879 to 1880 402 

1881 404 

1882 405 

1883 406 

List or Public Ofeicees 406 

United States Officers 406 

State Officers from Erie County 410 

State Senators 411 

Members of the House of EepresentatiTCS.. 412 
County Officers 414 

CHAPTEE XXII.— The Canal and Eail- 

EOADS 430-444 

The Lake Terminus 431 

Completion of the Canal 431 

Its Abandonment 432 

Eallroads 433 

Erie to Buffalo 433 

Erie to Cleveland *33 

Consolidation Effected 434 

The EaUroad War 434 


Further Consolidation 435 

Local Features 435 

Distances 436 

Philadelphia & Erie Eailroad 4»6 

General Description 439 

Other Matters 439 

Erie & Pittsburgh Eailroad 440 

Buffalo, Corry & Pittsburgh Eailroad 441 

New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Eailroad... 441 

Union & Titusville Eailroad 442 

New York, Chicago & St. Louis Eailroad 

(The Nickel Plate) 442 

Projected Eallroads 443 

CHAPTEE XXIII -Physicians and Den- 
tists 444-451 

List of Eegistered Physicians 446-450 

Erie 445 

Corry 446 

McKean 446 

Wattsburg 449 

Fairview 449 

Girard 449 

Union City 449 

North East 449 

Albion 449 

Waterford 449 

Springfield 449 

Edinboro 450 

Mill Village 450 

Other Localities 460 

Other Matters 450 

Dentists 1 451 

CHAPTEE XXIV.— Schools, Academies, etc. 


The County Schools 453 

School Books, etc 453 

Spelling Schools 454 

Academies, etc 464 

General Eemarks 455 

Tabulated Statement 466 

CHAPTEE XXV.— Newspapers 469^66 

Early Newspapers 459 

The Erie Gazelle 459 

The Erie Observer 460 

The Erie Disjiateh 461 

Other English Papers 461 

German and Portuguese Papers 462 

Defunct Papers 463 

Miscellaneous 463 

Personal 464 

Papers Outside of Erie 466 

CHAPTEE XXVI.— Wae foe the UHION....465-489 

The First liegiment 466 

The Eighty-third Eegiment 466 

The One Hundred Eleventh Eegiment 469 

The One Hundred Forty-fifth Eegiment 470 

The First Draft 470 

Other Matters 471 

The Second Draft 472 

Lively Eecruiting 473 

Half a Million More 474 

Nearing the End 474 

Officers from Erie County 475 

County Finances in Connection with the 

War ; 476 

Prices Compared 479 

The Erie Eegiment— three months 479 

The Eighty-third Eegiment 481 

The One Hundred Eleventh Eegiment 483 

The One Hundred Forty-fifth Eegiment 485 

CHAPTEE XXVII.— Miscellaneous 490-600 

Agricultural Societies 490 

Militia and Military Oganizations 490 

Temperance 492 

Slaves and Slavery 492 

Seal of the County 493 

The Weather 493 

Early Justices 493 

The Cholera 495 

Telegrapb Lines 495 

Shows and Circuses 495 

Cattle Driving 495 



Currency 496 

Soldiers' Monuments 496 

The RevolutioH 496 

The Mexican War 499 


Anti-Slavery 499 

Oldest Men and Women 499 

Thanksgiving Day 500 

The Flood of 1883 500 

PART ni. 


CHAPTER I.— Historical 503-519 

Scraps of History 512 

CHAPTER II.— General Description and 

' Progress 519-534 

Hotels and Public Halls 524 

Pleasure Resorts 524 

Railroads and Shipping Facilities 525 

Bay, Harbor and Peninsula 525 

Life-Saving Service 532 

The Head 532 

Fisheries 533 



Waterworks 543 

Fire Department 546 

Markets 546 

Police 549 

Financial Exhibit 549 

CHAPTER IV.— Churches 550-586 

First Presbyterian Church 550 

Park Presbyterian Church 552 

Central Presbyterian Church 554 

Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church 555 

United Presbyterian 'Congregation 556 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church 560 

St. John's Episcopal Church 563 

Church of the Cross and Crown 564 

First Methodist Episcopal Church 565 

Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church 569 

Tenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church... 570 
The African Methodist Episcopal Church.... 571 

The First Baptist Church 571 

First German Baptist Church 573 

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran and Re- 
formed Church 573 

St. Paul's German Evangelical Church 574 

Salem Church of the Evangelical Association 575 
The English Evangelical Lutheran Church.. 576 
The CJerman Evangelical Lutheran Trinity 

Church 579 

Anschai Chesed Reform Congregation 579 

United Brethren Church 580 

The First Universalist Church 58i» 

St. Patrick's Catholic Pro-Cathedral 581 

St. Mary's Catholic Church 583 

St. Joseph's Catholic Church 584 

St. John's Catholic Church 585 

St. Andrew's Catholic Church 585 

CHAPTER v.— Education AND Societies- 586-600 

Erie Academy 591 

Erie Female Seminary 592 

Catholic Schools 592 

Secret and Other Societies 594 

CHAPTER VI.— Private Corporations, Cem- 
eterie:3 and Charitable Institu- 
tions 600-613 

Erie Gas Company 600 

Telegraph, Telephone and Express Compa- 
nies 601 

The Erie City Passenger Railway Company 601 

Banks 601 

Insurance Companies 603 

Cemeteries 604 

Charitable Institutions 606 

CHAPTER VII.— Leading Manufacturing In- 
terests 613-649 

Board of Trade and Business Statistics.. 649-651 


CHAPTER I.— Mill Ceeek Township 655-666 

Lands G55 

Reservations 656 

Creeks and Bridges 656 

Public Highways 659 

Schools 659 

Villages and Post Offices 660 

Other Prominent Points 661 

Religious Societies 662 

Mills 663 

Early Settlers 663 

Public Men 664 

Miscellaneous 665 

CHAPTER II.— Watekfoed Township and 

BoEODGH OF Watekfoed 666-684 

Lands of the Township 666 

Tax List in 1813 669 

Streams and Lakes 670 

Roads, Bridges and Mills 670 

Religious Societies 671 

School History 671 

Waterford Station 672 

Borough OF Watekfoed 672 

The French Fort 673 

Poutiac's Conspiracy 673 

Beginning of the Town 673 

First Settlers 674 

Early Events 675 

The Lytles 675 

The Boating Trade 676 

Societies, etc 676 

Incorporation 679 

The Academy 680 

The Cemetery 680 

Religious Societies 681 

State and County Officers 682 

Postmasters 683 

Newspapers 683 

Manufactories 683 

Miscellaneous 684 



CHAPTEB III. — Union Township and 

BoEouGH OF Union City G84-695 

The South Branch and its Tributaries 685 

Bridges aud MUls GS5 

Churches and GraTeyards 686 

Early Settlers 686 

Political 689 

BttROVGH OF Union City 690 

The Founder 690 

Growth of the Town 690 

Societies 691 

Manufactories 692 

Church Organizations 693 

KewEpapers 694 

Miscellaneous 695 

CHAPTEE IV.— Le B<edf Toivnship and 

BoEoxjGH of Mill Village 696-703 

Early Settlers 696 

Streams and Mills 699 

Valleys and Eidges 699 

Holland Land Coropany 700 

Common Boads 700 

Churches 701 

Schools 701 

Public Men 702 

Villages 702 

Borough of Mill Village 702 

CHAPTEE V. — Venango Township and 

Borough of Wattsburg 704-715 

Early Settlers 704 

Taxables in 1800 706 

Political 705 

War of 1812 705 

Streams, Lake and Bridges 706 

Public Boads , 706 

Mills, Factories and Schools 709 

Churches 710 

The Middlebrook Church — Graveyards 710 

Villages 711 

BecoUections of a Native of the Township.. 711 

Borough of Wattsburg 712 

Incorporation 713 

Beligious 713 

Societies, etc 713 

Business Features 714 

Public Men 714 

Schools and Newspapers 714 

CHAPTEE VI. — Harbor Creek Township 


General Bescription 715 

Creeks and Gullies 716 

Mills 719 

Boads, etc 719 

Wesleyville 720 

Harbor Creek and Moorheadville 720 

Beligious Societies 721 

County OfBcers 722 

School History 722 

Miscellaneous 723 

CHAPTEE Vn.— North East Township and 

Borough of North East. 723-739 

Early Settlers 724 

First Things 725 

Bailroads and Common Boads 725 

The Creeks 726 

Manufacturing Establishments 726 

The Grape Culture 729 

Villages J29 

Cemeteries '30 

Schools 731 

Eev. Cyrus Dickson 731 

Borough of North East 732 

Beligious Societies 733 

Public Schools and College 734 

Hotels, Banks, etc 735 

Newspapers '36 

State and County Officers 7.36 

Miscellaneous 736 

CHAPTEB VIII.— Faieview TowrssHip and 

Borough or Faieview 739-749 

General Description 740 

Lands and Streams 741 


Bridges and Mills 742 

Schools 742 

Common Boads, Bailroads and Canals 743 

Political 743 

Beligious Societies 744 

Manchester and Swanville 744 

Other Matters 745 

Bokough of Faieview 746 

Early Incidents 746 

Other Churches 749 

Miscellaneous 749 

CHAPTEE IX.— Speingfield Township...750-760 

Lands, etc 750 

Early Settlers 751 

Incidents of the Pioneers 752 

Streams, Mills and Factories 752 

Burial Places 753 

Public Men 754 

Academies and Schools 754 

Bailroads, Common Boads and Hotels 755 

Churches 756 

Villages 759 

CHAPTEE X. — CoNNEAUT Township and 

BoEOUGH OF Albion 760-769 

The First Settlers 760 

Creeks and Bridges 761 

Land, Litigation and Pre-Historic Eemains. 762 

Bairoads, Canals and Common Beads 763 

Schools, Mills and Burial Places 764 

Villages 764 

Miscellaneous 765 

Borough of Albion 765 

Churches 766 

Business, Schools and Societies 766 

Factories, Newspapers, etc 769 

CHAPTEE XI.— Elk Creek Township 770-775 

General Description 770 

Boads and Streams 771 

Churches 772 

Schools 772 

Wellsburg 772 

CranesTille 774 

Pageville 774 

CHAPTEE XII. — McKean Township and 

Borough of Middleboeo 775-782 

Streams and Lands 775 

IMills and Schools 776 

Churches, Cemeteries and Boads 779 

Villages 780 

Early Settlers 780 

Public Officers 781 

Borough of Middleboeo 781 

CHAPTEB XIII.— Greenfield Township..782-786 

Beginning the Settlement 783 

Other Matters 784 

Streams and Mills 784 

Village and Churches 785 

Schools 786 

Boads, etc 786 

CHAPTEB XIV.— Greene Township 789-793 

First Settlers _ 789 

Lands 790 

Streams and Mills 790 

Boads and Bailroad 790 

Hamlets and Churches 791 

Public Men 792 

Schools 792 

CHAPTEB XV.— Washington Township and 

Borough of Edinboeo 793-802 

First Settlers 793 

Boads 794 

Streams, Lake and Lands 795 

Villages and Churches 795 

Schools 796 

Factories and Mills 799 

Borough of Edinboeo 800 

General Description 800 

Churches 800 

Secret Societies, Newspapers and Post Offices 801 

State and County Officers 802 

The Normal School 802 



CHAPTER XYI. — CONCOED Township and 

BoRODGH OF Elgin 803-806 

County Officers 803 

Early Settlers 803 

General Description 804 

Streams 804 

Railroads, Common Roads, etc 805 

Schools and Churches 805 

Miscellaneous 806 

BoEOUGH OF Elgin 806 

CHAPTER XVn.— City of Corey 809-823 

How the City Started 809 

Rapid Growth 810 

Borough and City 810 

The Cftyin General 811 

Oil Works 812 

Other Leading Industries 813 

General Business Features 814 

City Government 814 

School Building 815 

Newspapers 816 

Secret Societies 816 

Gas, Gas Wells and Public Halls 820 

Religious Societies 820 

Miscellaneous 823 

CHAPTER XVm.— Wayne Township 824-832 

Lands and their Value 824 

The Streams 825 

Village of Beaver Dam. 825 

Carter Hill and Hare Creek 829 

Schools, Mills, etc 829 

The State Fish Hatchery 830 

The Pioneers 830 

Prominent Men 831 

The Greeleys 831 

CHAPTER XIX.— Amity Township 832-835 

Streams and Bridges 832 


Mills and Roads 833 

Public Schools 884 

Lands, Villages, etc 834 

Early Settlers 836 

CHAPTEK XX.— GiEAKD Township and Bor- 
oughs of Girard and Lockport 835-851 

Early Settlers 836 

Lands and Roads 839 

Railroads and Canal 839 

Streams, etc 840 

Mouth of Elk Creek ~ 840 

Mills and Churches 841 

Schools and Mounds 842 

Miles Grove 842 

West Girard 843 

BoRonGH of Gikard 844 

Churches, Schools, etc 844 

Hotels and Factories 845 

Square, Monuments, etc 846 

Public Men 846 

Newspapers and Banks 849 

Miscellaneous 850 

Borough of Lockport 850 

CHAPTER XXI.— Franklin Township 851-854 

First Settlements 852 

General Description 852 

Mills and Schools 853 

Churches and Graveyards 8153 

Village and Quarry 854 

CHAPTER XXII.— Summit Township 855-860 

The Pioneers 855 

Railroads and Common Roads 855 

Streams and Valleys 856 

Religious Societies 856 

School History 859 

Mills, Quarry, Etc 860 

Miscellaneous 860 



City of Erie (alphabetically arranged) 863-975 

City of Erie (not alphabetically arranged— Hon. S. 11. Brainerd) 976 

Cityof Corry 977-1006 



Amity Township 3 

Concord Township 11 

Conneaut Township 16 

Elk Creek Township 29 

Fairview Township 37 

Franklin Township 45 

Girard Township 53 

Greene Township 70 

Greenfield Township 75 

Harbor Creek Township 80 

■ Le B(fiuf Township.. 98 

McKean Township io2 

Mill Creek Town ship ...!.."!..,.!!! iiG 

North East Township 134 

Springfield Townsh^) 152 

Summit Township 154 

~ Union Township igg 

Venango Township igS 

•Washington Township 203 

-Waterford Township 216 

-Wayne Township 233 




Bennett, J. H., Venango Township 887 

Bowman, Ralph, Elk Creek Township 607 

Bowman, Jane, £lk Creek Township 608 

Bowman, Lucretia, Elk Creek Township 618 

Boyd, Charles C, Waterford Township 727 

Brightman, William, Wayne Township 848 

Brown, Samuel M., Mill Creek Township 668 

Burton, John, Mill Creek Township 468 

Carroll, William, Union Township 238 

Casey, James, Erie 597 

Chambers, James, Harbor Creek Township 187 

Chapin, Pliny, Venango Township 708 

Cochran, Robert, Erie 388 

Colegrove, Isaac, Corry 398 

Cook, J. t., Waterford Township 827 

Custard, Robert, North East Township 927 

Dobbins, Daniel, Erie 79 

Downing, J. F., Erie 657 

Duncombe, Eli, Amity Township 488 

Eagley, John, Sr.,Springfield Township 857 

Ebersole, Joseph, Harbor Creek Township 307 

Ebersole, Joseph J., Harbor Creek Township 697 

Ellicott, Andrew, Erie Frontispiece 

Elliott, Thomas, Harbor Creek Township 318 

Farrar, F. F., Erie 897 

Foot, Jabez B„ Venango Township 358 

Foote, David E., Venango Township 578 

Galbraith, John, Erie 227 

Hammond, Paul, Concord Township 427 

Hamot, P. S. v., Erie 134 

Hartleb, Mathlas, Erie 768 

Hasbrouck, William, Concord Township 637 

Haynes, J. H^ North East Township 218 

Hecker,A. W., Corry 628 

Henderson, Joseph, Erie 807 

Henry, Robert H., Harbor Creek Township 788 

Kennedy, D. C, Wayne Township 438 

Kincaid, John, Wayne Township 777 

Koch, Moses, Brie 757 

Loop, D. D., North East Township 347 

Lowry, N. D., Harbor Creek Township 558 

Marshall, James C, Erie 497 

Marvin, Elihu, Erie 327 


MoCreary, D. B.,Erie 747 

MoKee, Thomas, Mill Creek Township 268 

Metcalf, Presoott, Erie 507 

Moore, M. M., HarborCreek Township 918 

Nash, Norman, North East Township 338 

Nicholson, Isabel, Mill Creek Township 867 

Ortou, J. R., Conneaut Township 688 

Ottinger, Douglass, Erie 537 

Putnam, William, Union Township 878 

Rea, Samuel, Springfield Township 277 

Bea, Johnston, Girard Township 447 

Reed, Seth, Erie 45 

Reed, Rufus S., Erie 157 

Reed, Charles M., Erie 297 

Reeder, Moses, Washington Township 288 

Russell, N. W., Erie 377 

Salsbury, A. P., Conneaut Township 527 

Sanford, G^ Erie 167 

Sedgwick, John, Waterford Township 367 

Selden, George, Erie 247 

Short, Alfred North, East Township 567 

Sill, Thomas H., Erie 257 

SiU, James, Erie 818 

Smith, Samuel, Wayne Township 407 

Stafford, Henry C, Erie 938 

Staples, F. E., Erie 947 

Sterrett, A. J., Erie ■. 738 

Sterrett, Joseph M., Erie 148 

Stinson, William S., Harbor Creek Township 907 

Stranahan, P.G., Union Township 648 

Strong, Martin, Erie 207 

Taylor, Isaac R.^Washtngton Township 547 

Thayer, Alvin, Erie , 79T 

Tracy, John A., Erie .' 417 

Tracy, John F., Erie 617 

Vincent, John, Erie 198 

Vincent, B. B., Erie 457 

Vincent, Strong, Erie 717 

Weed, William JB., Greene Township 477 

Weschler, Jacob, Erie 837 

Wheeler, Silas, Corry 17S 

Wilson, David, Union Township 587 

Woodruff, S. E., Erie 677 


Errata 1* 

Map of Erie County 13-14 

Map Showing Various Purchases From the Indians ; 113 

Diagram Showing Proportionate Annual Production of Anthracite Coal Since 1820 118 

Table Showing Amountof Anthracite Coal Produced in Each Region Since 1820 119 


Page 214— For " after the last war," read "before the last war." 

Page 263— MoCiilloueh's mills were built in 1802. 

Page 272— The steaim>oat Walk-in-the- Water was wrecked in 1821. 

Page 272— The steamboat Missouri was bought, not built, by Gen. Eeed in 1840. 

Page 274— The U. S. revenue cutter Benjamin P.ush was built in 1828. 

Page 293— The block-house referred to as baring been built in 1795 stood on Garrison Hill. 

Page 324— William Wallace located in Erie in 1798. 

Page 332— The name of the first court crier was Daniel Nangle, instead of David Langley. 

Page 341 — William Hoge was a resident of Washington County. 

Page 401— The Democratic vote for Congress in Warren County in 1878 was 821, instead of 1821. 

Page 425— For Sylveras E. Webster, County Surveyor, read Cyrenus E. Webster. 

Page 429 — For David Langley, Court Crier, read Daniel Nangle. 

Page 433 — The first passenger train came into Erie .Tanuaiy 9, 1852. 

Page 463 — The Observer office was the first to introduce a power press, not steam power. 

Page 495 — For Isaac Miller read Israel Miller. 

Page 499 — For Daniel Stancliflt read Lemuel Stancliff. 

Page 500 — For Benjamin Colton read Benjamin Collom. 

Page 600— John Teel, second, died April 21, 1872. 

Page 656— For Benjamin Paissell read N. W. and G. J. Russell. 

Page 664— For Tract 47 read Tract 247. 

Page 664— For Mr. Martin Stough read Mrs. Martin Stough. 

Page 675— George W. Eecd settled in Waterford in ISIO. 

Page 679, also 139 — The park in Waterford Borough is about a mile from Waterfqrd Statior^oij theP. & E, 

road, making the distance by rail from Erie about twenty milei). '' *" -' ' ■ 

Page 680— For James Judson read Amos Judson. 
Page 732 — Rev. Cyrus Dickson completed his college course in 1837. 
Page 744 — For John M. Kratz read Joseph M. Kratz. 



Introductory — Cornblis Jacobson Mey, 1624-25— William Van Htjlst, 1626- 
26— Peter Mintjit, 1626-33— David Petersen de Vries, 1632-33— Wouter 
Van Tttiller, 1683-38. 

IN the early colonization upon the American continent, two motives were 
principally operative. One was the desire of amassing sudden wealth 
without great labor, which tempted adventurous spirits to go in search of gold, 
to trade valueless trinkets to the simple natives for rich furs and skins, and even 
to seek, amidst the wilds of a tropical forest, for the fountain whose healing 
waters could restore to man perpetual youth. The other was the cherished 
purpose of escaping the unjust restrictions of Government, and the hated ban 
of society against the worship of the Supreme Being according to the honest 
dictates of conscience, which incited the humble devotees of Christianity to 
forego the comforts of home, in the midst of the best civilization of the age, 
and make for themselves a habitation on the shores of a new world, where they 
might erect altars and do homage to their God in such habiliments as they 
preferred, and utter praises in such note as seemed to them good. This pur- 
pose was also incited by a certain romantic temper, common to the race, es- 
pecially noticeable in youth, that invites to some uninhabited j spot, and Ras- 
selas and Robinson Crusoe-like to begin life anew. 

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, had felt the heavy hand of 
persecution for religious opinion's sake. As a gentleman commoner at Ox- 
ford, he had been fined, and finally expelled from that venerable seat of learn- 
ing for non-comf ormity to the established worship. At home, he was whipped 
and turned out of doors by a father who thought to reclaim the son to the 
more certain path of advancement at a licentious court. He was sent to prison 
by the Mayor of Cork For seven months he languished in the tower of Lon- 
don, and, finally, to complete his disgrace, he was cast into Newgate with com- 
mon felons. Upon the accession of James II, to the throne of England, over 
fourteen hundred persons of the Quaker faith were immured in prisons for a 
conscientious adherence to their religious convictions. To escape this harassing 
persecution, and find peace and quietude from this sore proscription, was the 
moving cause which led Penn and his followers to emigrate to America. 

Of all those who have been founders of States in near or distant ages, none 
have manifested so sincere and disinterested a spirit, nor have been so fair ex- 
emplars of the golden rule, and of the Redeemer's sermon on the mount, as 
William Penn. In his preface to the frame of government of his colony, he 
says: " The end of government is first to terrify evil-doers; secondly, to cher- 
ish those who do well, which gives government a life beyond corruption, and 


makes it as durable in the world, as good men shall be. So that government 
seems to be a part of religion itself, a thing sacr(?d in its institution and end. 
For, if it does not directly remove the cause, it crushes the effects of evil, and 
is an emanation of the same Divine power, that is both author and object of 
pure religion, the difference lying here, that the one is more free and mental, 
the other more corporal and compulsive in its operations; but that is only to 
evil-doers, government itself being otherwise as capable of kindness, goodness 
and charity, as a more private society. They weakly err, who think there is no 
other use of government than correction, which is the coarsest part of it. 
Daily experience tells us, that the care and regulation of many other affairs 
more soft, and daily necessary, make up much the greatest part of government. 
Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them, and as govern- 
ments are made and moved by men, so by them are they ruined, too. Where- 
fore, governments rather depend upon men, than men upon governments. Let 
men be good, and the government cannot be bad. If it be ill, they will cure 
it. But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor 
to warp and spoil to their turn. * * * That, therefore, which makes a good 
constitution, must keep it, men of wisdom and virtue, qualities, that because they 
descend not with worldly inheritances, must be carefully propagated by a vir- 
tuous education of youth, for which, after ages will owe more to the care and 
prudence of founders and the successive magistracy, than to their parents for 
their private patrimonies. * * * We have, therefore, with reverence to God, 
and good conscience to men, to the best of our skill, contrived and composed the 
Frame and Laws of this government, viz. : To support power in reverence 
with the people, and to secure the people from the abuse of power, that they 
may be free by their just obedience, and the magistrates honorable for their 
just administration. For liberty without obedience is confusion, and obedi- 
ence without liberty is slavery." 

Though born amidst the seductive arts of the great city, Penn's tastes were 
rural. He hated the manners of the corrupt court, and delighted in the homely 
labors and ianocent employments of the farm. " The country," he said, "is 
the philosopher's garden and library, in which he reads and contemplates the 
power, wisdom and goodness of God. It is his food as well as study, and gives 
him life as well as learning. " And to his wife he said upon taking leave of 
her in their parting interview: " Let my children be husbandmen, and house- 
wives. It is industrious, healthy, honest, and of good report. This leads to 
consider the works of God, and diverts the mind from being taken up with vain 
arts and inventions of a luxurious world. Of cities and towns of concourse, 
beware. The world is apt to stick close to those who have lived and got wealth 
there. A country life and estate I love best for my children." 

Having thus given some account at the outset of the spirit and purposes of 
the founder, and the motive which drew him to these shores, it will be in 
place, before proceeding with the details of the acquisition of territory, and 
the coming of emigrants for the actual settlement under the name of Pennsyl- 
vania, to say something of the aborigines who were found in possession of the 
soil when first visited by Europeans, of the condition of the surface of the 
country, and of the previous attempts at settlements before the coming of Penn. 

The sui-face of what is now known as Pennsylvania was, at the time of the 
coming of the white men, one vast forest of hemlock, and pine, and beech, 
and oak, unbroken, except by an occasional rocky barren upon the precipitous 
mountain side, or by a few patches of prairie, which had been reclaimed by 
annual burnings, and was used by the indolent and simple-minded natives for 
the culture of a little maize and a few vegetables. The soil, by the annual 


accumulations of leaves and abundant growths of forest vegetation, was luxu- 
rious, and the trees stood close, and of gigantic size. The streams swarmed 
with fish, and the forest abounded with game. "Where now are cities and 
hamlets filled with busy populations intent upon the accumulation of wealth, 
the mastery of knowledge, the pursuits of pleasure, the deer browsed and 
sipped at the water's edge, and the pheasant drummed his monotonous note. 
Where now is the glowing furnace from which day and night tongues of flame 
are bursting, and the busy water wheel sends the shuttle flashing through the 
loom, half-naked, dusky warriors fashioned their spears with rude implements 
of stone, and made themselves hooks out of the bones of animals for alluring 
the finny tribe. Where now are fertile fields, upon which the thrifty farmer 
turns his furrow, which his neighbor takes up and runs on until it reaches 
from one end of the broad State to the other, and where are flocks and herds, 
rejoicing in rich meadows, gladdened by abundant fountains, or reposing at the 
heated noontide beneath ample shade, not a blow had been struck against the 
giants of the forest, the soil rested in virgin purity, the^streams glided on in 
majesty, unvexed by wheel and unchoked by device of man. 

Where now the long train rushes on with the speed of the wind over 
plain and mead, across streams and under mountains, awakening the echoes of 
the hills the long day through, and at the midnight hour screaming out its 
shrill whistle in fiery defiance, the wild native, with a fox skin wrapped about 
his loins and a few feathers stuck in his hair, issuing from his rude hut, trot- 
ted on in his forest path, followed by his squaw with her infant peering forth' 
from the rough sling at her back, pointed his canoe, fashioned from the barks 
of the trees, across the deep river, knowing the progress of time only by the 
rising and setting sun, troubled by no meridians for its index, starting on his 
way when his nap was ended, and stopping for rest when a spot was reached 
that pleased his fancy. Where now a swarthy population toils ceaselessly deep 
down in the bowels of the earth, shut out trom the light of day in cutting out 
tbe material that feeds the fires upon the forge, and gives genial warmth to the 
lovers as they chat merrily in the luxurious drawing room, not a mine had 
been opened, and the vast beds of the black diamond rested unsunned beneath 
the superincumbent mountains, where they had been fashioned by the Creator's 
hand. Eivers of oil seethed through the impatient and uneasy gases and vast 
pools and lakes of this pungent, parti -colored fluid, hidden away from the 
coveting eye of man, guarded well their own secrets. Not a derrick protruded 
its well-balanced form in the air. Not a drill, with its eager eating tooth de- 
scended into the flinty rock. No pipe line diverted the oily tide in a silent, 
ceaseless current to the ocean's brink. The cities of iron tanks, filled to burst- 
ing, had no place amidst the forest solitudes. Oil exchanges, with their vex- 
ing puts and calls, shorts and longs, bulls and bears, had not yet come to dis- 
turb tbe equanimity of the red man, as he smoked the pipe of peace at the 
council fire. Had he once seen the smoke and soot of the new Birmingham of 
the West, or snuffed the odors of an oil refinery, he would willingly have for- 
feited his goodly heritage by the forest stream or the deep flowing river, and 
sought for himself new hunting grounds in less favored regions. 

It was an unfortunate circumstance that at the coming of Europeans tbe 
territory now known as Pennsylvania was occupied by some of the most bloody 
and revengeful of the savage tribes. They were known as the Lenni Lenapes, 
and held sway from the Hudson to the Potomac. A tradition was preserved 
among them, that in a remote age their ancestors had emigrated eastward from 
beyond the Mississippi, exterminating as they came the more civilized and 
peaceful peoples, the Mound-Builders of Ohio and adjacent States, and who 


were held among the tribes by whom they were surrounded as the progenitors, 
the grandfathers or oldest people. They came to be known by Europeans as 
the Delawares, after the name of the river and its numerous branches along 
which they principally dwelt. The Monseys or Wolves, another tribe of the 
Lenapes, dwelt upon the Sasquehanna and its tributaries, and, by their war- 
like disposition, won the credit of being the fiercest of their nation, and the 
guardians of the door to their council house from the North. 

Occupying the greater part of the teritory now known as New York, were 
the five nations — the Senaeas, the Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Cayugas, and 
the Onondagas, which, from their hearty union, acquired great strength and 
came to exercise a commanding influence. Obtaining firearms of the Dutch 
at Albany, they repelled the advances of the French from Canada, and by 
their superiority in numbers and organization, had overcome the Lenapes, 
and held them for awhile in vassalage. The Tuscaroras, a tribe which had 
been expelled from their home in North Carolina, were adopted by the Five Na- 
tions in 1712, and from this time forward these tribes were known to the English 
as the Six Nations, called by the lienapes, Mingoes, and by the French, Iroquois. 
There was, therefore, properly a United States before the thirteen colonies 
achieved their independence. The person and character of these tribes were 
marked. They were above the ordinary stature, erect, bold, and commanding, 
of great decorum in council, and when aroused showing native eloquence. In 
warfare, they exhibited all the bloodthirsty, revengeful, cruel instincts of the 
savage, and for the attainment of their purposes were treacherous and crafty. 

The Indian character, as developed by intercourse with Europeans, exhibits 
some traits that are peculiar While coveting what they saw that pleased 
them, and thievish to the last degree, they were nevertheless generous. This 
may be accounted for by their habits. " They b eld that the game of the for- 
est, the dsh of the rivers, and the gi-ass of the field were a common heritage, 
and free to all who would take the trouble to gather them, and ridiculed the 
idea of fencing in a meadow." Bancroft says: " The hospitality of the Indian 
has rarely been questioned. The stranger enters his cabin, by day or by 
night, without asking leave, and is entertained as freely as a thrush or a 
blackbird, that regales himself on the luxuries of the fruitful grove. He 
will take his own rest abroad, that he may give up his own skin or mat of 
sedge to his guest. Nor is the traveler questioned as to the purpose of his 
visit. He chooses his own time freely to deliver his message." Penn, who, 
from frequent intercourse came to know them well, in his letter to the society 
of Free Traders, says of them: "In liberality they excel; nothing is too good 
for their friend. Give them a fine gun, coat or other thing, it may pass 
twenty hands before it sticks; light of heart, strong affections, but soon spent. 
The most merry creatures that live; feast and dance perpetually. They never 
have much nor want much. Wealth circnlateth like the blood. All parts 
partake; and though none shall want what another hath, yet exact observers 
of property. Some Kings have sold, others presented me with several parcels 
of land. The pay or presents I made them, were not hoarded by the particu- 
lar ovmers, but the neighboring Kings and clans being present when the 
goods were brought out, the parties chiefly concerned consulted what and to 
whom they should give them. To every King, then, by the hands of a per- 
son for that work appointed is a proportion sent, so sorted and folded, and 
with th at gravity that is admirable. Then that King subdivideth it in like man- 
ner among his dependents, they hardly leaving themselves an equal share 
with one of their subjects, and be it on such occasions as festivals, or at their 
common meals, the Kings distribute, and to themselves last. They care for 


little because they want but little, and the reason is a little contents them. In 
this they are sufficiently revenged on us. They are also free from our pains. 
They are not disquieted with bills of lading and exchange, nor perplexed 
with chancery suits and exchequer reckonings. "We sweat and toil to live; 
their pleasure feeds themj I mean their hunting, fishing and fowling, and 
this table is spread everywhere. They eat twice a day, morning and evening. 
Their Heats and table are the ground. Since the Europeans came into these 
parts they are grown great lovers of strong liquors, rum especially, and for it 
exchange the richest of their skins and furs. If they are heated with liquors, 
they are restless till they have enough to sleep. That is their cry, ' Some 
more and I will go to sleep; ' but when drunk one of the most wretched spec- 
tacles in the world." 

On the 28th of August, 1609, a little more than a century from the time 
of the first discovery of the New World by Columbus, Hendrick Hudson, an 
English navigator, then in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, hav- 
ing been sent out in search of a northwestern passage to the Indies, discovered 
the mouth of a great bay, since known as Delaware Bay, which he entered and 
partially explored. But finding the waters shallow, and being satisfied that 
this was only an arm of the sea which received the waters of a great river, 
and not a passage to the western ocean, he retired, and, turning the prow of 
his little craft northward, on the 2d of September, he discovered the river 
which bears his name, the Hudson, and gave several days to its examination. 
Not finding a passage to the "West, which was the object of his search, he returned 
to Holland, bearing the evidences of his adventures, and made a full report of 
his discoveries in which he says, ' ' Of all lands on which I ever set my foot, 
this is the best for tillage." 

A proposition had been made in the States General of Holland to form a 
West India Company with purposes similar to those of the East India Com- 
pany ; but the conservative element in the Dutch Congress prevailed, and while 
the G-ovemment was unwilling to undertake the risks of an enterprise for 
which it would be responsible, it was not unwilling to foster private enter- 
prise, and on the 27th of March, 1614, an edict was passed, granting the 
privileges of trade, in any of its possessions in the New World, during four 
voyages, founding its right to the territory drained by the Delaware and 
Hudson upon the discoveries by Hudson. Five vessels were accordingly 
fitted by a company composed of enterprising merchants of the cities of Am- 
sterdam and Hoorn, which made speedy and prosperous voyages under com- 
mand of Cornelia J acobson Mey, bringing back with them fine furs and rich 
woods, which so excited cupidity that the States General was induced on the 
14th of October, 1614, to authorize exclusive trade, for four voyages, extend- 
ing through three years, in the newly acquired possessions, the edict designat- 
ing them as New Netherlands. 

One of the party of this first enterprise, Cornelis Hendrickson, was left 
behind with a vessel called the Unrest, which had been built to supply the 
place of one accidentally burned, in which he proceeded to explore more fully 
the bay and river Delaware, of which he made report that was read before the 
States General on the 19th of August, 1616. This report is curious as dis- 
closing the opinions of the first actual explorer in an official capacity: " He 
hath discovered for his aforesaid masters and directors certain lands, a bay, 
and three rivers, situate between thirty-eight and forty degrees, and did their 
trade with the inhabitants, said trade consisting of sables, furs, robes and 
other skins. He hath found the said country full of trees, to wit, oaks, hick- 
ory and pines, which trees were, in some places, covered with vines. He hath 


seen in said country bucks and does, turkeys and partridges. He hath found 
the climate of said country very temperate, judging it to be as temperate as 
this country, Holland He also traded for and bought from the inhabitants, 
the Minquas, three persons, being people belonging to this company, which 
three persons were employed in the service of the Mohawks and Machicans, 
giving for them kettles, beads, and merchandise." 

This second charter of privileges expired in January, 1618, and during its 
continuance the knowledge acquired of the country and its resources promised 
so much of success that the States General was ready to grant broader privi- 
leges, and on the 3d of June, 1621, the Dutch West India Company was in- 
corporated, to extend for a period of twenty-four years, with the right of 
renewal, the capital stock to be open to subscription by all nations, and 
"privileged to trade and plant colonies in Africa, from the tropic of Cancer 
to the Cape of Good Hope, and in America from the Straits of Magellan to the 
remotest north." The past glories of HoUand, though occupying but an in- 
significant patch of Europe, emboldened its Government to pass edicts for the 
colonizing and carrying on an exclusive trade with a full half of the entire 
world, an example of the biting off of more than could be well chewed. But 
the light of this enterprising people was beginning to pale before the rising 
glories of the stern race in their sea girt isle across the channel. Dissensions 
were arising among the able statesmen who had heretofore guided its affairs, 
and before the periods promised in the original charter of this colonizing com- 
pany had expired, its supremacy of the sea was successfully resisted, and its 
exclusive rights and privileges in the New World had to be relinquished. 

The principal object in establishing this West India Company was to 
secure a good dividend upon the capital stock, which was Subscribed to by the 
rich old burgomasters. The fine furs and products of the forests, which had 
been taken back to Holland, had proved profitable. But it was seen that if 
this trade was to be permanently secured, in face of the active competition of 
other nations, and these commodities steadily depended upon, permanent set- 
tlements must bo provided for. Accordingly, in 1623, a colony of about forty 
families, embracing a party of Walloons, protestant fugitives from Belgium, 
sailed for the new province, under the leadership of Cornel is Jaoobson Mey and 
Joriz Tienpont. Soon after their arrival, Mey, who had been invested with 
the power of Director General of all the territory claimed by the Dutch, see- 
ing, no doubt, the evidences of some permanence on the Hudson, determined 
to take these honest minded and devoted Walloons to the South River, or Del- 
aware, that he might also gain for his country a foothold there. The testi- 
mony of one of the women, Catalina Tricho, who was of the party, is 
curious, and sheds some light upon this point. "That she came to this prov- 
ince either in the year 1623 or 1624, and that four women came along with 
her in the same ship, in which Gov. Arien Jorissen came also over, which four 
women were married at sea, and that they and their husbands stayed about 
three weeks at this place (Manhattan) and then they with eight seamen more, 
went in a vessel by orders of the Dutch Governor to Delaware River, and 
there settled." Ascending the Delaware some fifty miles, Mey landed 
on the eastern shore near where now is the town of Gloucester, and built a 
fort which he called Nassau. Having duly installed his little colony, he re- 
turned to Manhattan; but beyond the building of the fort, which served as a 
trading post, this attempt to plant a colony was futile; for these religious 
zealots, tiring of the solitude in which they were left, after a few months 
abandoned it, and returned to their associates whom they had left upon the 
Hudson. Though not successful in establishing a permanent colony upon the 


Delaware, ships plied regularly between the fort and Manhattan, and this 
became the rallying point for the Indians, who brought thither their commodi- 
ties for trade. At about this time, 1626, the island of Manhattan estimated 
to contain 22,000 acres, on which now stands the city of New York with its 
busy population, surrounded by its forests of masts, was bought for the insig- 
nificant sum of sixty guilders, about $24, what would now pay for scarcely a 
square inch of some of that very soil. As an evidence of the thrift which had 
begun to mark the progress of the colony, it may be stated that the good ship 
" The Arms of Amsterdam, " which bore the intelligence of this fortunate pur- 
chase to the assembly of the XIX in Holland, bore also in the language of 
O'Calaghan, the historian of New Netherland, the " information that the col- 
ony was in a most prosperous state, and that the women and the soil were 
both fruitful. To prove the latter fact, samples of the recent harvest, consist- 
ing of wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, canary seed, were sent forward, 
together with 8, 130 beaver skins, valued at over 45,000 guilders, ,or nearly 
$19,000." It is accorded by another hislorian that this same ship bore also 
" 853-|- otter skins, eighty-one mink skins, thirty-six wi Id oat skins and thirty-four 
rat skins, with a quantity of oak and hickory timber." Prom this it may be 
seen what the commodities were which formed the subjects of trade. Doubt- 
less of wharf rats Holland had enough at home, but the oak and hickory tim- 
ber came at a time when there was sore need of ii 

Finding that the charter of privileges, enacted in 1621, did not give suflB- 
cient encouragement and promise of security to actual settlers, further con- 
cessions were made in 1629, whereby " all such persons as shall appear and 
desire the same from the company, shall be acknowledged as Patroons [a sort 
of feudal loi«l] of New Netherland, who shall, within the space of four yeEirs 
next after they have given notice to any of the chambers of the company here, 
or to the Commander or Council there, undertake to plant a colony there of 
fifty souls, upward of fifteen years old; one-fourth part within one year, and 
within three years after sending the first, making together four years, the re- 
mainder, to the full number of fifty persons, to be shipped from hence, on pain, 
in case of willful neglect, of being deprived of the privileges obtained." * * 
" The Patroons, by virtue of their power, shall be permitted, at such places as they 
shall settle their colonies, to extend their limits four miles along the shore, or 
two miles on each side of a river, and so far into the country as the situation 
of the occupiers will permit." 

Stimulated by these flattering promises, Goodyn and Bloemmaert, two 
wealthy and influential citizens, through their agents — Heyser and Coster — 
secured by purchase from the Indians a tract of land on the western shore, 
at the mouth of the Delaware, sixteen miles in length along the bay front, and 
extending sixteen miles back into the country, giving a square of 256 miles. 
Goodyn immediately gave notice to the company of their intention to plant a 
colony on their newly acquired territory as patroons. They were joined by an 
experienced navigator, De Vries, and on the 12th of December, 1630, a vessel, 
the Walrus, under command of De Vries, was dispatched with a company of 
settlers and a stock of cattle and farm implements, which arrived safely in 
the Delaware. De Vries landed about three leagues within the capes, " near 
the entrance of a fine navigable stream, called the Hoarkill," where he pro- 
ceeded to build a house, well surrounded with cedar palisades, which served 
the purpose of fort, lodging house, and trading post. The little settlement, 
which consisted of about thirty persons, was christened by the high sounding 
title of Zwanendal — Valley of Swans. In the spring they prepared their fields 
and planted them, and De Vries returned to Holland, to make report of his 


But a sad fate awaited the little colony at Zwanendal. In accordance with 
the custom of European nations, the commandant, on taking possession of the 
new purchase, erected a past, and affixed thereto a piece of tin on which was 
traced the arms of Holland and a legend of occupancy. An Indian chieftain, 
passing that way, attracted by the shining metal, and not understanding the 
object of the inscription, and not having the fear of their high mightinesses, 
the States General of Holland before his eyes, tore it down and proceeded to 
make for himself a tobacco pipe, considering it valuable both by way of orna- 
ment and use. "When this act of trespass was discovered, it was regarded by 
the doughty Dutchman as a direct insult to the great State of Holland, and 
so great an ado was raised over it that the simple minded natives became 
frightened, believing that their chief had committed a mortal offense, and in 
the strength and sincerity of their friendship immediately proceeded to dis ■ 
patch the offending chieftain, and brought the bloody emblems of their deed to 
the head of the colony. This act excited the anger of the relatives of the mur- 
dered man, and in accordance with Indian law, they awaited the chance to 
take revenge. O'Calaghan gives the following account of this bloody massa- 
cre which ensued : ' ' The colony at Zwanendal consisted at this time of thirty- 
four persons. Of these, thirty- two were one day at work in the fields, while 
Commissary Hosset remained in charge of the house, where another of the set- 
tlers lay sick abed. A large bull dog was chained out of doors. On pretence 
of selling some furs, three savages entered the house and murdered Hosset 
and the sick man. They found it not so easy to dispatch the mastiff. It was 
not until they had pierced him with at least twenty-five arrows that he was 
destroyed. The men in the fields were then set on, in an equally treacherous 
manner, under the guise of friendship, and every man of them slain." Thus 
was a worthless bit of tin the cause of the cutting off and utter extermination 
of the infant colony. 

De Vries was upon the point of returning to Zwanendal when he received 
intimation of disaster to the settlers. "With a large vessel and a yacht, he set 
sail on the 24th of May, 1632, to carry succor, provided with the means of 
prosecuting the whale fishery which he had been led to believe might be made 
very profitable, and of pushing the production of grain and tobacco. On ar- 
riving in the Delaware, he fired a signal gun to give notice of his approach. 
The report echoed through the forest, but, alas! the ears which would have 
been gladened with the sound were heavy, and no answering salute came from 
the shore. On landing, he found his house destroyed, the palisades burned, 
and the skulls and bones of his murdered countrymen bestrewing the earth, 
sad relics of the little settlement, which had promised so fairly, and warning 
tokens of the barbarism of the natives. 

De Yries knew that he was in no position to attempt to punish the guilty 
parties, and hence determined to pursue an entirely pacific policy. At his 
invitation, the Indians gathered in with their chief for a conference. Sitting 
down in a circle beneath the shadows of the somber forest, their Sachem in 
the centre, De Vries, without alluding to their previous acts of savagery, 
concluded with them a treaty of peace and friendship, and presented them in 
token of ratification, "some duffels, bullets, axes and Nuremburg trinkets." 

In place of finding his colony with plenty of provisions for the immediate 
needs of his party, he could get nothing, and began to be in want. He accord- 
ingly sailed up the river in quest of food. The natives were ready with 
their furs for barter, but they had no supplies of food with which they wished 
to part. Game, however, was plenty, and wild turkeys were brought in weigh- 
ing over thirty pounds. One morning after a frosty night, while the little 


craft was up the stream, the party was astonished to find the waters frozen 
over, and tieir ship fast in the ice. Judging by the mild climate of their own 
country, Holland, they did not suppose this possible. For several weeks they 
were held fast without the power to move their floating home. Being in need 
of a better variety of food than he found it possible to obtain, De Vries sailed 
away with a part of his followers to Virginia, where he was hospitably enter- 
tained by the Governor, who sent a present of goats as a token of friendship to 
the Dutch Governor at Manhattan. Upon his return to the Delaware, De 
Vries found that the party he had left behind to prosecute the whale fishery 
had only taken a few small ones, and these so poor that the amount of oil ob- 
tained was insignificant. He had been induced to embark in the enterprise of 
a settlement here by the glittering prospect of prosecuting the whale fishery 
along the shore at a great profit. Judging by this experience that the hope 
of great gains from this source was groundless, and doubtless haunted by a 
superstitious dread of making their homes amid the relics of the settlers of the 
previous year, and of plowing fields enriched by their blood who had been 
so utterly cut off, and a horror of dwelling amongst a people so revengeful and 
savage, De Vries gathered all together, and taking his entire party with him 
sailed away to Manhattan and thence home to Holland, abandoning utterly the 

The Dutch still however sought to maintain a foothold upon the Dela- 
ware, and a fierce contention having sprung up between the powerful patroons 
and the Director General, and they having agreed to settle differences by 
the company authorizing the purchase of the claims of the patroons, those upon 
the Delaware were sold for 15,600 guilders. Fort Nassau was ac(!ordinglyre-oe- 
cupied and manned with a small military force, and when a party from Con- 
necticut Colony came, under one Holmes to make a settlement upon the Dela- 
ware, the Dutch at Nassau were found too strong to be subdued, and Holmes 
and his party were compelled to surrender, and were sent as prisoners of war 
to Manhattan. 


Sir WrLLiAM Keipt, 1638-47— Peter Minuit, 1638-41— Peter Hollandaer, 1641-43— 
John Presttz, 1648-53— Peter Stutvbsant, 1647-64 — John Pappagoya, 1653-54 — 
John Claude Etsingh, 16o4r-55. 

AT this period, the throne of Sweden was occupied by Gustavus Adolphus, 
a monarch of the most enlightened views and heroic valor. Seeing the 
activity of surrounding nations in sending out colonies, he proposed to his 
people to found a commonwealth in the New World, not for the mere purpose 
of gain by trade, but to set up a refuge for the oppressed, a place of religious 
liberty and happy homes that should prove of advantage to " all oppressed 
Christendom." Accordingly, a company with ample privileges was incorpo- 
rated by the Swedish Government, to which the King himself pledged $400,000 
of the royal treasure, and men of every rank and nationality were invited to 
join in the enterprise. Gustavus desired not that his colony should depend 
upon serfs or slaves to do the rough work. " Slaves cost a great deal, labor 
with reluctance, and soon perish from hard usage. The Swedish nation is 
laborious and intelligent, and surely we shall gain more by a free people with 
wives and children." 


In the meantime, the fruits of the reformation in Germany were menaced, 
and the Swedish monarch determined to unsheath his sword and lead his 
people to the aid of Protestant faith in the land where its standard had been 
successfully raised. At the battle of Liitzen, where for the cause which he had 
espouBed, a signal victory was gained, the illustrious monarch, in the flower 
of life, received a mortal wound. Previous to the battle, and while engaged in 
active preparations for the great struggle, he remembered the interests of his 
contemplated colony in America, and in a most earnest manner commended 
the enterprise to the people of Germany. 

Oxenstiern, the minister of Gustavus, upon whom the weight of govern- 
ment devolved during the minority of the young daughter, Christina, declared 
that he was but the executor of the will of the fallen King, and exerted him- 
self to further the interests of a colony which he believed would be favorable to 
"all Christendom, to Europe, to the whole world." Four years however 
elapsed before the project was brought to a successful issue. Peter Minuit, 
who had for a time been Governor of New Netherlands, having been displaced, 
sought employment in the Swedish company, and was given the command of 
the first colony. Two vessels, the Key of Calmar and the Griffin, early in the 
year 1638, with a company of Swedes and Fins, made their way across the 
stormy Atlantic and arrived safely in the Delaware. They purchased of the 
Indians the lands from the ocean to the falls of Trenton, and at the mouth of 
Christina Creek erected a fort which they called Christina, after the name of 
the youthful Queen of Sweden. The soil was fruitful, the climate mild, and 
the scenery picturesque. Compared with many parts of Finland and Sweden, 
it was a Paradise, a name which had been given the point at the entrance of 
the bay. As tidings of the satisfaction of the first emigrants were borne back 
to the fatherland, the desire to seek a home in the new country spread rap- 
idly, and the ships sailing were unable to take the many families seeking pas- 

The Dutch were in actual possession of Fort Nassau when the Swedes 
first arrived, and though they continued to hold it and to seek the trade of the 
Indians, yet the artful Minuit was more than a match for them in Indian bar- 
ter. William Keift, the Governor of New Netherland, entered a vigorous 
protest against the encroachments of the Swedes upon Dutch territory, in 
which he said " this has been our property for many years, occupied with 
for'is and sealed by our blood, which also was done when thou wast in the 
service of New Netherland, and is therefore well known to thee." But Minuit 
pushed forward the work upon his fort, regardless of protest, trusting to the 
respect which the flag of Sweden had inspired in the hands of Banner and 
Torstensen. For more than a year no tidings were had from Sweden, and no 
supplies from any source were obtained; and while the fruits of their labors 
were abundant there were many articles of diet, medicines and apparel, the 
lack of which they began to sorely feel. So pressing had the want become, 
that application had been made to the authorities at Manhattan for permission 
to remove thither with all their effects. But on the very day before that on 
which they were to embark, a ship from Sweden richly laden with provisions, 
cattle, seeds and merchandise for barter with the natives came joyfully to their 
relief, and this, the first permanent settlement on soil where now are the States 
of Delaware and Pennsylvania, was spared. The success and prosperity of the 
colony during the first few years of its existence was largely due to the skill 
and policy of Minuit, who preserved the friendship of the natives, avoided an 
open conflict with the Dutch, and so prosecuted trade that the Dutch Governor 
reported to his government that trade had fallen off 30,000 beavers. Minuit 


•was at the head of the colony for about three years, and died in the midst 
of the people whom he had led. 

Minuit was succeeded in the government by Peter Hollandaer, who had 
previously gone in charge of a company of emigrants, and who was now, in 
1641, commissioned. The goodly lands upon the Delaware were a constant 
attraction to the eye of the adventurer; a party from Connecticut, under the lead- 
ership of Eobert Cogswell, came, and squatted without authority upon the site 
of the present tovm of Salem, N. J. Another company had proceeded up the 
river, and, entering the Schuylkill, had planted themselves upon its banks. 
The settlement of the Swedes, backed as it was by one of the most powerful 
nations of Europe, the Governor of New Netherland was not disposed to 
molest; but when these irresponsible wandering adventurers came sailing past 
their forts and boldly planted themselves upon the most eligible sites and fer- 
tile lands in their territory, the Dutch determined to assume a hostile front, 
and to drive them away. Accordingly, Gen. Jan Jansen Van Ilpendam — his 
very name was enough to frighten away the emigrants — was sent with two 
vessels and a military force, who routed the party upon the Schuylkill, destroy- 
ing their fort and giving them a taste of the punishment that was likely to be 
meted out to them, if this experiment of trespass was repeated. The Swedes 
joined the Dutch in breaking up the settlement at Salem and driving away the 
New England intruders. 

In 1642, Hollandaer was succeeded in the government of the Swedish 
Colony by John Printz, whose instructions for the management of affairs were 
drawn with much care by the officers of the company in Stockholm. " He was, 
first of all, to maintain friendly relations with the Indians, and by the advan- 
tage of low prices hold their 'rade. His next care was to cultivate enough 
grain for the wants of the colonists, and when this was insured, turn his atten- 
tion lo the culture of tobacco, the raising of cattle and sheep of a good species, 
the culture of the grape, and the raising of silk worms. The manufacture of 
salt by evaporation, and the search for metals and minerals were to be prose- 
cuted, and inquiry into the establishment of fisheries, with a view to profit, 
especially the whale fishery, was to be made." It will be seen from these in- 
structions that the far-sighted Swedish statesmen had formed an exalted con- 
ception of the resources of the new country, and had figured to themselves 
great possibilities from its future development. Visions of rich silk products, 
of the precious metals and gems from its mines, flocks upon a thousand hills 
that should rival in the softness of their downy fleeces the best products of the 
Indian looms, and the luscious clusters of the vine that could make glad the 
palate of the epicure filled their imaginations. 

"With two vessels, the Stoork and Renown, Printz set sail, and arrived at 
Fort Christina on the 15th of February, 1643. He was bred to the profession 
of arms, and was doubtless selected with an eye to his ability to holding posses- 
sion of the land against the conflict that was likely to arise. He had been a 
Lieutenant of cavalry, and was withal a man of prodigious proportions, " who 
weighed," according to De Vries, " upward of 400 pounds, and drank three 
drinks at every meal." He entertained exalted notions of his dignity as Govern- 
or of the colony, and prepared to establish himself in his new dominions with 
some degree of magnificence. He brought with him from Sweden the bricks 
to be used for the construction of his royal dwelling. Upon an inspection of 
the settlement, he detected the inherent weakness of the location of_ Fort 
Christina for commanding the navigation of the river, and selected the island 
of Tinacum for the site of a new fort, called New Gottenburg, which was 
speedily erected and made strong with huge hemlock logs. In the midst of 


the island, he built his royal residence, which was surrounded with trees and 
shubbery. He erected another fort near the mouth of Salem Creek, 
called Elsinborg, which he mounted with eight brass twelve-poundere, 
and garrisoned. Here all ships ascending the river were brought to, 
and required to await a permit from the Governor before proceeding 
to their destination. Gen. Van Ilpendam, who had been sent to drive 
away the intruders from New England, had remained after executing 
his commission as commandant at Fort Nassau; but having incurred the dis- 
pleasure of Director Keift, he had been displaced, and was succeeded by An- 
dreas Hudde, a crafty and politic agent of the Dutch Governor, who had no 
sooner arrived and become settled in his place than a conflict of authority 
sprang up between himself and the Swedish Governor. Dutch settlers secured 
a grant of land on the west bank of Delaware, and obtained possession by pur- 
chase from the Indians. This procedure kindled the wrath of Printz, who 
tore dovra the ensign of the company which had been erected in token of 
the power of Holland, and declared that he would have pulled down the 
colors of their High Mightinessps had they been erected on this the Swed- 
ish soil. That there might be no mistake about his claim to authority, the 
testy Governor issued a manifesto to his rival on the opposite bank, in which 
were these explicit declarations; 

" Andreas Hudde! I remind you again, by this written warning, to discon- 
tinue the injuries of which you have been guilty against the Koyal Majesty 
of Sweden, my most gracious Queen; against Her Eoyal Majesty's rights, pre- 
tensions, soil and land, without showing the least respect to the Royal Majes- 
ty's magnificence, reputation and dignity; and to do so no more, considering 
how little it would be becoming Her Royal Majesty to bear such gross violence, 
and what great disasters might originate from it, yea, might be expected. * 
* * All this I can freely bring forward in my own defense, to exculpate me 
from all future calamities, of which we give you a warning, and place it at 
your account. Dated New Gothenburg, 3d September, stil, veteri 1646. " 

It will be noted from the repetition of the high sounding epithets applied 
to the Queen, that Printz had a very exalted idea of his own position as the 
Vicegerent of the Swedish monarch. Hudde responded, saying in reply: " The 
place we possess we hold in just deed, perhaps before the name of South River 
was heard of in Sweden." This paper, upon its presentation, Printz flung to 
the ground in contempt, and when the messenger, who bore it, demanded an 
answer, Printz unceremoniously threw him out doors, and seizing a gun would 
have dispatched the Dutchman had he not been arrested; and whenever any of 
Hndde's men visited Tinicum they were sure to be abused, and frequently came 
back " bloody and bruised. " Hudde urged rights acquired by prior posses- 
sion, but Printz answered: " The devil was the oldest possessor in hell, yet he, 
notwithstanding, would sometimes admit a younger one." A vessel which had 
come to the Delaware from Manhattan with goods to barter to the Indians, was 
brought to, and ordered away. In vain did Hudde plead the rights acquired 
by previous possession, and finally treaty obligations existing between the 
two nations. Printz was inexorable, and peremptorily ordered the skipper 
away, and as his ship was not provided with the means of fighting its way up 
past the frowning battlements of Fort Elsinborg, his only alternative was to 
return to Manhattan and report the result to his employers. 

Peter Stuyvesant, a man of a good share of native talent and force of char- 
acter, succeeded to the chief authority over New Netherland in May, 1647. 
The affairs of his colony were not in an encouraging condition. The New 
England colonies were crowding upon him from the north and east, and the 


Swedes upon the South River were occupying the territory which the Dutch 
for many years previous to the coming of Christina's colony had claimed. 
Amid the thickening complications, Stuyvesant had need of all his power of 
argument and executive skill. He entered into negi>tiations with the New En- 
gland colonies for a peaceful settlement of their difficulties, getting the very 
best terms he could, without resorting to force; for, said his superiors, the 
officers of the company in Holland, who had an eye to dividends, " War can- 
not be for our advantage; the New England people are too powerful for us." 
A pacific policy was also preserved toward the Swedes. Hudde was retained 
at the head of Dutch affairs upon the Delaware, and he was required to make 
full reports of everything that was transpiring there in order that a clear in- 
sight might be gained of the policy likely to be pursued. Stuyvesant was en- 
tirely too shrewd a politician for the choleric Printz. He recommended to the 
company to plant a Dutch colony on the site of Zwanendal at the mouth of 
the river, another on the opposite bank, which, if effectually done, would com- 
mand its navigation; and a third on the upper waters at Beversreede, which 
would intercept the intercourse of the native population. By this course of 
active colonizing, Stuyvesant rightly calculated that the Swedish power would 
be circumscribed, and finally, upon a favorable occasion, be crushed out. 

Stuyvesant, that he might ascertain the nature and extent of the Swedish 
claims to the country, and examine into the complaints that were pouring in 
upon him of wrongs and indignities suffered by the Dutch at the hands of the 
Swedish power, in 1651 determined to visit the Delaware in his official capac- 
ity. He evidently went in some state, and Printz, who was doubtless impressed 
with the condecension of the Governor of all New Netherland in thus coming, 
was put upon his good behavior. Stuyvesant, by his address, got completely 
on the blind side of the Swedish chief, maintaining the garb of friendship 
and brotherly good-will, and iusisting that the discussion of rights should be 
carried on in a peaceful and friendly manner, for we are informed that they 
mutually promised " not to commit any hostile or vexatious acts against on© 
another, but to maintain together all neighborly friendship and correspond- 
ence, as good friends and allies arc bound to do. ' ' Printz was thus, by this 
agreement, entirely disarmed and placed at a disadvantage; for the Dutch 
Governor took advantage of the armistice to acquire lands below Fort Chris- 
tina, where he proceeded to erect a fort onlj- five miles away, which he named 
Fort Casimir. This gave the Dutch a foothold upon the south bank, and in 
nearer proximity to thei ocean than Fort Christina. Fort Nassau was dis- 
mantled and destroyed, as being no longer of use. In a conference with the 
Swedish Governor, Stuyvesant demanded to see documental proof of his right 
to exercise authority upon he Delaware, and the compass of the lands to 
which the Swedish Government laid claifli. Printz prepared a statement in 
which he set out the "Swedish limits wide enough." But Stuyvesant de- 
manded the documents, under the seal of the company, and characterized this 
writing as a "subterfuge," maintaining by documentary evidence, on his part, 
the Dutch West India Company's right to the soil. 

Printz was great as a blusterer, and preserver of authority when personal 
abuse and kicks and cuffs could be resorted to without the fear of retaliation; 
but no match in statecraft for the wily Stuyvesant. To the plea of pre-ocou- 
pancy he had nothing to answer more than he had already done to Hudde's 
messenger respecting the government of Hades, and herein was the cause of 
the Swedes inherently weak. In numbers, too, the Swedes were feeble com- 
pared with the Dutch, who had ten times the population. But in diplomacy 
he had been entirely overreached. Fort Casimir, by its location, rendered 


the rival Fort Elsinborg powerless, and under plea that the mosquitoes had be- 
come troublesome there, it was abandoned. Discovering, doubtless, that a cloud 
of complications was thickening over him, which he would be unable with the 
forces at his command to successfully withstand, he asked to be relieved, and, 
without awaiting an answer to his application, departed for S9?eden, leaving 
his son-in-law, John Pappegoya, who had previously received marks of the 
royal favor, and been invested with the dignity of Lieutenant Governor, in 
supreme authority. 

The Swedish company had by this time, no doubt, discovered that forcible 
opposition to Swedish occupancy of the soil upon Delaware was destined soon 
to come, and accordingly, as a precautionary measure, in November, 1653, the 
College of Commerce sent John Amundson Besch, with the commission of 
Captain in the Navy, to superintend the construction of vessels. Upon his 
arrival, he acquired lands suitable for the purpose of ship-building, and set 
about laying his keels. He was to have supreme authority over the naval force, 
and was to act in conjunction with the Governor in protecting the interests of 
the colony, but in such a manner that neither should decide anything without 
consulting the other. 

On receiving the application of Printz to be relieved, the company ap- 
pointed John Claude Rysingh, then Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, 
as Vice Director of New Sweden. He was instructed to fortify and extend 
the Swedish possessions, but without interrupting the friendship existing 
with the English or Dutch. He was to aae his power of persuasion in induc- 
ing the latter to give up Fort Casimir, which was regarded as an intrusion 
upon Swedish possessions, but without resorting to hostilities, as it was better 
to allow the Dutch to occupy it than to have it fall into the hands of the En- 
glish, ' ' who are the more powerful, and, of course, the most dangerous in that 
country." Thus early was the prowess of England foreshadowed. Gov. 
Kysingh arrived in the Delaware, on the last day of May, 1654, and immediately 
demanded the surrender of Fort Casimir. Adriaen Van Tienhoven, an aide- 
de-camp on the stafif of the Dutch commandant of the fort, was sent on board 
the vessel to demand of Gov. Rysingh by what right he claimed to dis- 
possess the rightful occupants; but the Governor was not disposed to discuss 
the matter, and immediately landed a party and took possession without more 
opposition than wordy protests, the Dutch' Governor saying, when called on to 
make defense, "What can I do? there is no powder." Rysingh, however, in 
justification of his course, stated to Teinhoven, after he had gained possession 
of the fort, that he was acting under orders from the crown of Sweden, whose 
embassador at the Dutch Court, when remonstrating against the action of Gov. 
Stuyvesant in erecting and manning Fort Casimir had been assured, by 
the State's General and the offices <M the West India Company, that they had 
not authorized the erection of this fort on Swedish soil, saying, " if our people 
are in your Excellency's way, drive them off." "Thereupon the Swedish 
Governor slapped Van Toinhoven on the breast, and said, ' Go! tell your Gov- 
ernor that.'" As the capture was made on Trinity Sunday, the name was 
changed from Fort Casimir to Fort Trinity. 

Thus were the instructions of the new Governor, not to resort to force, but 
to secure possession of the fort by negotiation, complied with, but by a forced 
interpretation. For, although he had not actually come to battle, for the very 
good reason that the Dutch had no powder, and were not disposed to use 
their fists against fire arms, which the Swedes brandished freely, yet, in mak- 
ing his demand for the fort, he had put on the stern aspect of war. 

Stuyvesant, on learning of the loss of Fort Casimir, sent a messenger to the 


Delaware to invite Gov. Rysingh tocometoManLattan to hold friendly confer- 
ence upon the subject of their difficulties. This Rysingh refused to do, and the 
Dutch Governor, probably desiring instructions from the home Government be- 
fore proceeding to extremities, made a voyage to the West Indies for the purpose 
of arranging favorable regulations of trade with the colonies, though without 
the instructions, or even the knowledge of the States -General. Cromwell, 
who was now at the head of the English nation, by the policy of his agents, 
rendered this embassy of Stuyvesant abortive. 

As soon as information of the conduct of Rysingh at Zwanendal was 
known in Holland, the company lost no time in disclaiming the representa- 
tions which he had made of its willingness to have the fort turned over to the 
Swedes, and immediately took measures for restoring it and wholly dispossess- 
ing the Swedes of lands upon the Delaware. On the 16th of November, 1655, 
the company ordered Stuyvesant " to exert every nerve to avenge the insult, 
by not only replacing matters on the Delaware in their former position, but 
by driving the Swedes from every side of the river," though they subsequent- 
ly modified this order in such manner as to allow the Swedes, after Fort Casi- 
mir had been taken, "to hold the land on which Fort Christina is built," with 
a garden to cultivate tobacco, because it appears that they had made the pur- 
chase with the previous knowledge of the company, thus manifesting a disin- 
clination to involve Holland in a war with Sweden. "Two armed ships were 
forthwith commissioned; 'the drum was beaten daily for volunteers' in the 
streets of Amsterdam; authority was sent out to arm and equip, and if neces- 
sary to press into the company's service a sufficient number of ships for the 
expedition." In the meantime, Gov. Rysingh, who had inaugurated his 
reign by so bold a stroke of policy, determined to ingratiate himself into the 
favor of the Indians, who had been soured in disposition by the arbi- 
trary conduct of the passionate Printz. He accordingly sent out on all sides 
an invitation to the native tribes to assemble on a certain day, by their chiefs 
and principal men, at the seat of government on Tinicum Island, to brighten 
the chain of friendship and renew their pledges of faith and good neighbor- 

On the morning of the appointed day, ten grand sachems with their at- 
tendants came, and with the formality characteristic of these native tribes, the 
council opened. Many and bitter were the complaints made against the Swedes 
for wrongs suffered at their hands, " chief among which was that many of 
their number had died, plainly pointing, though not explicitly saying it, to the 
giving of spirituous liquors as the cause." The new Governor had no answer 
to make to these complaints, being convinced, probably, that they were but too 
true. Without attempting to excuse or extenuate the past, Rysingh brought 
forward the numerous presents which he had taken with him from Sweden for 
the purpose. The sight of the piled- up goods produced a profound impression 
upon the minda of the native chieftains. They sat apart for conference before 
making any expression of their feelings. Naaman, the fast friend of the white 
man, and the most consequential of the warriors, according to Campanius, 
spoke: " Look," said he, "and see what they have brought to us." So say- 
ing, he stroked himself three times down the arm, which, among the Indians, 
was a token of friendship; afterward he thanked the Swedes on behalf of his 
people for the presents they had received, and said that friendship should be 
observed more strictly between them than ever before; that the Swedes and 
the Indians in Gov. Printz's time were as one body and one heart, striking his 
breast as he spoke, and that thenceforward they should be as one head; in 
token of which he took hold of his head with both hands, and made a motion 



as if he were tying a knot, and then he made this comparieon: " That, as the 
calabash was round, without any crack, so they should be a compact body with- 
out any fissure; and that if any should attempt to do any harm to the Indians, 
the Swedes should immediately inform them of it; and, on the other hand, the 
Indians would give immediate notice to the Christians, even if it were in the 
middle of the night." On this they were answered that that would be indeed 
a true and lasting friendship, if every one would agree to it; on which they 
gave a general shout in token of consent. Immediately on this the great guns 
were fired, which pleased them extremely, and they said, "Poo, hoo, hoc; 
mokerick picon," that is to say "Hear and believe; the great guns are fired." 
Rysingh then produced all the treaties which had ever been concluded between 
them and the Swedes, which were again solemnly confirmed. " "When those 
who had signed the deeds heard their names, they appeared to rejoice, but, 
when the names were read of those who were dead, they hung their heads in 

After the first ebulition of feeling had subsided on the part of the Dutch 
Company at Amsterdam, the winter passed without anything further being 
done than issuing the order to Stuyvesant to proceed against the Swedes. In 
the spring, however, a thirty-six-gun brig was obtained from the burgomasters 
of Amsterdam, which, with four other crafts of varying sizes, was prepared for 
duty, and the little fleet set sail for New Netherland. Orders were given for 
immediate action, though Director General Stuyvesant had not returned from 
the West Indies. Upon the arrival of the vessels at Manhattan, it was an- 
nounced that " if any lovers of the prosperity and security of the province of 
New Netherland were inclined to volunteer, or to serve for reasonable wages, 
they should come forward," and whoever should lose a limb, or be maimed, was- 
assured of a decent compensation. The merchantmen were ordered to furnish 
two of their crews, and the river boatmen were to be impressed. At this junct- 
ure a grave question arose: "Shall the Jews be enlisted?" It was decided 
in the negative; but in lieu of service, adult male Jews were taxed sixty-five 
stivers a head per month, to be levied by execution in case of refusal. 

Stuyvesant had now arrived from his commercial trip, and made ready for 
opening the campaign in earnest. A day of prayer and thanksgiving was held , 
to beseech the favor of Heaven upon the enterprise, and on the 5th of Septem- 
ber, 1655, with a fleet of seven vessels and some 600 men, Stuyvesant hoisted 
sail and steered for the Delaware. Arrived before Fort Trinity (Casimir), the 
Director sent Capt. Smith and a drummer to summon the fort, and ordered a 
flank movement by a party of fifty picked men to cut off communication with 
Fort Christina and the headquarters of Gov. Rysingh. Swen Schute, the com- 
mandant of the garrison, asked permission to communicate with Rysingh, 
which was denied, and he was called on to prevent bloodshed. An interview 
in the valley midway between the fort and the Dutch batteries was held, when 
Schute asked to send an open letter to Rysingh. This was denied, and for a 
third time the fort was summoned. Impatient of delay, and in no temper for 
parley, the great guns were landed and the Dutch force ordered to advance. 
Schute again asked for a delay until morning, which was granted, as the day- 
was now well spent and the Dutch would be unable to make the necessary 
preparations to open before morning. Early on the following day, Schute went 
on board the Dutch flagship, the jialance, and agreed to terms of surrender 
very honorable to his flag. He was permitted to send to Sweden, by the first 
opportunity, the cannon, nine in number, belonging to the crown of Sweden, 
to march out of the fort with twelve men, as his body guard, fiilly accoutered, 
and colors flying; the common soldiers to wear their side arms. The com- 


mandant and other officers were to retain their private property, the muskets 
belonging to the crown were to be held until sent for, and finally the fort was 
to be surrendered, with all the cannon, ammunition, materials and other goods 
belonging to the "West India Company. The Dutch entered the fort at noon 
with all the formality and glorious circumstance of war, and Dominie Megap- 
olensis, Chaplain of the expedition, preached a sermon of thanksgiving on the 
following Sunday in honor of the great triumph. 

While these signal events were transpiring at Casimir, Gov. Rysing, at his 
royal residence on Tinicum, was in utter ignorance that he was being despoiled 
of his power. A detachment of nine men had been sent by the Governor to 
Casimir to re-enforce the garrison, which came unawares upon the Dutch lines, 
and after a brief skirmish all but two were captured. Upon learning that the 
fort was invested. Factor Ellswyck was sent with a flag to inquire of the in- 
vaders the purpose of their coming. The answer was returned ' ' To recover 
and retain our property." Rysingh then communicated the hope that they 
would therewith rest content, and not encroach further upon Swedish territory, 
having, doubtless, ascertained by this time that the Dutch were too strong for 
him to make any effectual resistance. Stuyvesant I'eturned an evasive answer, 
but made ready to march upon Fort Christina. It will be remembered that 
by the terms of the modified orders given for the reduction of the Swedes, 
Fort Christina was not to be disturbed. But the Dutch Governor's blood was 
now up, and he determined to make clean work while the means were in his 
hands. Discovering that the Dutch were advancing, Rysingh spent the whole 
night in strengthening the defenses and putting the garrison in position to 
make a stout resistance. Early on the following day the invaders made their 
appearance on the opposite bank of Christina Creek, where they threw up de- 
fenses and planted their cannon. Forces were landed above the fort, and the 
place was soon invested on all sides, the vessels, in the meantime, having been 
brought into the mouth of the creek, their cannon planted west of the fort and 
on Timber Island. Having thus securely shut up the Governor and his garri- 
son, Stuyvesant summmoned him to surrender. Rysingh could not in honor 
tamely submit, and at a council of war it was resolved to make a defense and 
" leave the consequence to be redressed by our gracious superiors." But their 
supply of powder barely sufficed for one round, and his force consisted of only 
thirty men. In the meantime, the Dutch soldiery made free with the property 
of the Swedes without the fort, killing their cattle and invading their homes. 
"At length the Swedish garrison itself showed symptoms of mutiny. The 
men were harassed with constant watching, provisions began to fail, many 
were sick, several had deserted, and Stuyvesant threatened, that, if they held 
out much longer, to give no quarter." A conference was held which ended 
by the return of Rysingh to the fort more resolute than ever for defense. 
Finally Stuyvesant sent in his ultimatum and gave twenty-four hours for a 
final answer, the generous extent of time for consideration evincing the humane 
disposition of the commander of the invading army, or what is perhaps more 
probable his own lack of stomach for carnage. Before the expiration of the 
time allowed, the garrison capitulated, " after a siege of fourteen days, dur- 
ing which, very fortunately, there was a great deal more talking than cannon- 
ading, and no blood shed, except those of the goats, poultry and swine, which 
the Dutch troops laid their hands on. The twenty or thirty Swedes then 
marched out with their arms; colors flying, matches lighted, drums beating, 
and fifes playing, and the Dutch took possession of the fort, hauled down the 
Swedish flag and hoisted their own." 

By the terms of capitulation, the Swedes, who wished to remain in the 


country, were permitted to do so, od taking the oath of allegiance, and righta 
of property were to be respected under the sway of Dutch law. Gov. Ry- 
singh, and all others who desired to return to Europe, were furnished passage, 
and by a secret provision, a loan of £300 Flemish was made to Bysingh, to be 
refunded on bis arrival in Sweden, the cannon and other property belonging 
to the crown remaining in the hands of the Dutch until the loan was paid. 
Before withdrawing Stuyvesant offered to deliver over Fort Christina and the 
lands immediately about it to Rysingh, huk this offer was declined with dig- 
nity, as the matter had now passed for arbitrament to the courts of the two na- 

The terms of the capitulation were honorable and liberal enough, but the 
Dutch authorities seem to have exercised little care in carrying out its provis- 
ions, or else the discipline in the service must have been very lax. For By- 
singh had no sooner arrived at Manhattan, than he entered most vigorous pro- 
tests against the violations of the provisions of the capitulation to Gov. Stuy- 
vesant. He asserted that the property belonging to the Swedish crown had 
been left without guard or protection from pillage, and that he himself had 
not been assigned quarters suited to his dignity. He accused the Dutch 
with having broken open the church, and taken away all the cordage and sails 
of a new vessel, with having plundered the villages, Tinnakong, Uplandt, Fin- 
land, Printzdorp and other places. " In Christina, the women were violently 
torn from their houses; whole buildings were destroyed; yea, oxen, cows, hogs 
and other creatures were butchered day after day; even the horses were not 
spared, but wantonly shot; the plantations destroyed, and the whole country 
so desolated that scarce any means were left for the subfsistence of the inhab- 
itants." "Your men carried off even my own property, " said Bysingh, 
" with that of my family, and we were left like sheep doomed to the knife, 
without means of defense against the wild barbarians." 

Thus the colony of Swedes and Fins on the South Eiver, which had been 
planned by and had been the object of solicitude to the great monarch himself, 
and had received the fostering care of the Swedish Government, came to an 
end after an existence of a little more than seventeen years — 1638-1655. But 
though it no longer existed ao a colony under the government of the crown of 
Sweden, many of the colonists remained and became the most intelligent and 
law-abiding citizens, and constituted a vigorous element in the future growth 
of the State. Some of the best blood of Europe at this period flowed in the 
veins of the Swedes. "A love for Sweden," says Bancroft, "their dear 
mother country, the abiding sentiment of loyalty toward its sovereign, con- 
tinued to distinguish the little band. At Stockholm, they remained ' for a 
century the objects of disinterested and generous regard; affection united them 
in the New World; and a part of their descendants still preserve their altar 
and their dwellings around the graves of their fathers." 

This campaign of Stuyvesant, for tbe dispossessing of the Swedes of terri- 
tory upon the Delaware, furnishes Washington Irving subject for some of the 
most inimitable chapters of broad humor, in his Knickerbocker's New York, to 
be found in the English language. And yet, in the midst of his Bide-splitting 
paragraphs, he indulges in a reflection which is worthy of remembrance. 
"He who reads attentively will discover the threads of gold which run 
throughout the web of history, and are invisible to the dull eye of ignorance 
* * * By the treacherous surprisal of Fort Casimir, then, did the crafty 
Swedes enjoy a transient triumph, but drew upon their heads the vengeance 
of Peter Stuyvesant, who wrested all New Sweden from their hands. By the 
conquest of New Sweden, Peter Stuyvesant aroused the claims of Lord Balti- 


more^ who appealed to the cabinet of Great Britain, who subdued the whole 
province of New Netherlands. By this great achievement, the whole extent of 
North America, from Nova Scotia to the Floridas, was rendered one entire 
dependency upon the British crown. But mark the consequence: The hith- 
erto scattered colonies being thus consolidated and having no rival colonies to 
check or keep them in awe, waxed great and powerful, and finally becoming 
too stjong for the mother country, were enabled to shake off its bonds. But 
the chain of eflects stopped not here ; the successful revolution in America pro- 
duced the sanguinary revolution in France, which produced the puissant 
Bonaparte, who produced the French despotism. " 

In March, 1656, the ship "Mercury," with 130 emigrants, arrived, the 
government at Stockholm having had no intimation of the Dutch conquest. 
An attempt was made to prevent a landing, and the vossel was ordered to 
report to Stuyvesant at Manhattan, but the order was disregarded and the col- 
onists debarked and acquired lands. The Swedish Government was not dis- 
posed to submit to these high-handed proceedings of the Dutch, and the min- 
isters of the two courts maintained a heated discussion of their differences. 
Finding the Dutch disposed to hold by force their conquests, the government 
of Sweden allowed the claim to rest until 1664. In that year, vigorous meas- 
ures were planned to regain its claims upon the Delaware, and a fleet bearing 
a military force was dispatched for the purpose. But, having been obliged to 
put back on account of stress of weather, the enterprise was abandoned. 


John Paul Jacquet, 1655-57— Jacob Alrichs, 1657-59— Goekan Van Dyck, 1657 
_58— William Beekman, 1658-63— Alexander D'Hinoyossa. 1659-64. 

^T^HE colonies upon the Delaware being now under exclusive control of the 
I Dutch, John Paul Jaquet was appointed in November, 1655, as Vice 
Director, Derek Smidt having exercised authority after the departure of Stuy- 
vesant. The expense of fitting out the expedition for the reduction of the 
Swedes was sorely felt by the West India Company, which had been obliged 
to borrow money for the purpose of t'je city of Amsterdam. In payment of 
this loan, the company sold to the city al) the lands upon the south bank of 
the Delaware, from the ocean to Christina Creek, reaching back to the lands 
of the Minquas, which was designated Nieur Amstel. Again was there di- 
vided authority upon the Delaware. The government of the new possession 
was vested in a commission of forty residents of Amsterdam, who appointed 
Jacob Alrichs as Director, and sent him with a force of forty soldiers and 1 50 
colonists, in three vessels, to assume the government, whereupon Jaquet relin- 
quished authority over this portion of his territory. The company in commu- 
nicating with Stuyvesant upon the subject of his course in dispossessing the 
Swedes, after duly considering all the complaints and remonstrances of the 
Swedish government, approved his conduct, " though they would not have been 
displeased had such a formal capitulation not taken place," adding as a paren- 
thetical explanation of the word formal " what is vreitten is too long preserved, 
and may be produced when not desired, whereas words not recorded are, in the 
lapse of time, forgotten, or may be explained away." 


Stuyvesant still remained in supreme control over both the colony of the 
city and the colony of the company, to the immediate governorship of the lat- 
ter of -which, Goeran Van Dyek was appointed. But though settlements in 
the management of afifairs were frequently made, they would not remain set- 
tled. There was conflict of authority between Alrichs and Van Dyck. The 
companies soon found that a grievous system of smuggling had sprung up. 
After a searching examination into the irregularities by Stuyvesant, who vis- 
ited the Delaware for the purpose, he recommended the appointment of one 
general agent who should have charge of all the revenues of both colonies, 
and "VTilliam Beekman was accordingly appointed. The company of the city 
seems not to have been satisfied with the profits of their investment, and ac- 
cordingly made new regulations to govern settlement, by which larger returns 
would accrue. This action created discontent among the settlers, and many 
who were meditating the purchase of lands and the acquisiti6n of homes, de- 
termined to go over into Maryland where Lord Baltimore was offering far more 
liberal terms of settlement. To add to the discomforts of the settlers, " the 
miasmH which the low alluvial soil and the rank and decomposed vegetation 
of a new country engenders, ' ' produced wasting sicknesses. When the planting 
was completed, and the new soil, for ages undisturbed, had been thoroughly 
stirred, the rains set in which descended almost continuously, producing fever 
and ague and dysentery. Scarcely a family escaped the epidemic. Six in 
the family of Director Alrichs were attacked, and his wife died. New colo- 
nists camo without provisions, which only added to the distress. " Scarcity of 
provisions," says O'Calaghan, " naturally followed the failure of the crops; 
900 schepels of grain had been sown in the spring. They produced scarcely 
600 at harvest. Rye rose to three guilders the bushel; peas to eight guilders 
the sack; salt was twelve guilders the bushel at New Amsterdam; cheese and 
butter were not to be had, and when a man journeys he can get nothing but 
dry bread, or he must take a pot or kettle along with him to cook his victuals." 
" The place had now got so bad a name that the whole river could not wash it 
clean." The exactions of the city company upon its colony, not only did not 
bring increased revenue, but by dispersing the honest colonists, served to 
notify Lord Baltimore — who had laid claim to the lands upon Delaware, on 
account of original discovery by Lord De la War, from whom the river takes 
its name, and from subsequent charter of the British crown, covering territory 
from the 38th to the 40th degree of latitude — of the weakness of the colonies, 
and persuade him that now was a favorable opportunity to enforce his claims. 
Accordingly, Col. Utie, with a number of delegates, was dispatched to demand 
that the l3utch should quit the place, or declare themselves subjects of Lord 
Baltimore, adding, " that if they hesitated, they should be responsible for 
whatever innocent blood might be shed." 

Excited discussions ensued between the Dutch authorities and the agents 
of the Maryland government, and it was finally agreed to refer the matter to 
Gov. Stuyvesant, who immediately sent Commissioners to the Chesapeake to 
settle differences, and enter into treaty regulations for the mutual return of 
fugitives, and dispatched sixty soldiers to the Delaware to assist in preserving 
order, and resisting the English, should an attempt be made to dispossess the 
Dutch. ^ 

Upon the death of AlricLs, which occurred in 1659, Alexander D'Hinoyossa 
was appointed Governor of the city colony. The new Governor was a man of 
good business capacity, and sought to administer the affairs of his colony for 
the best interests of the settlers, and for increasing the revenues of the com- 
pany. To further the general prosperity, the company negotiated a new loan 


■with which to strengthen and improve its resources. This liberal policy had 
the desired effect. The Swedes, who had settled above od the river, moved 
down, and acquired homes on the lands of the city colony. The Fins and dis- 
contented Dutch, who had gone to Maryland, returned and brought with them 
some of the English settlers. 

Discouraged by the harassing conflicts of authority which seemed inter- 
minable, the West India Company transferred all its interests on the east side 
of the river to the colony of the city, and upon the visit of D'Hinoyossa to 
Holland in 1663, he secured for himself the entire and exclusive government 
of the colonies upon the Delaware, being no longer subject to the authority of 

Encouraged by liberal terms of settlement, and there being now a prospect 
of stable government, emigrants were attracted thither. A Mennonite commu- 
nity came in a body. " Clergymen were not allowed to join them, nor any 
' intractable people such as those in communion with the Eoman See, usurious 
Jews, English stiff-necked Quakers, Puritans, foolhardy believers in the mil- 
lennium, and obstinate modern pretenders to revelation.' " They were obliged 
to take an oath never to seek for an oflSce; Magistrates were to receive no com- 
pensation, " not even a stiver. " The soil and climate were regarded as excel- 
lent, and when sufficiently peopled, the country would be the " finest on the 
face of the globe." 


Richard Nichols, 1664-67— Robert Needham, 1664-68— Francis Lovelace, 
1667-73— John Carr, 1668-73— Anthony Colve, 1673-74^Peter Alrichs, 

AFFAIES were scarcely arranged upon the Delaware, and the dawning of 
a better day for the colonists ushered in, before new complications 
began to threaten the subversion of the whole Dutch power in America. The 
English had always claimed the entire Atlantic seaboard. Under Cromwell, 
the Navigation act was aimed at Dutch interests in the New World. Captain 
John Scott, who had been an officer in the army of Charles I, having 
obtained some show of authority from the Governor of Connecticut, had visited 
the towns upon the west end of Long Island, where was a mixed population of 
Dutch and English, and where he claimed to have purchased large tracts of 
land, and had persuaded them to unite under his authority in setting up a 
government of their own. He visited England and ' ' petitioned the King to be 
invested with the government of Long Island, or that the people thereof be 
allowed to choose yearly a Governor and Assistants." By his representation, 
an inquiry was instituted by the King's council, " as to his majesty's title to the 
premises; the intrusions of the Dutch; their deportment; management of the 
country; strength, trade and government; and lastly, of the means necessary 
to induce or force them to acknowledge the King, or if necessary, to expel 
them together from the country. " The vi3it of Scott, and his prayer to the 
King for a grant of Long Island, was the occasion of inaugurating a policy, 
which resulted in the overthrow of Dutch rule in America. But the attention 
of English statesmen had for some time been turned to the importance of the 
territory which the Dutch colonies had occupied, and a belief that Dutch trade 
in the New World was yielding great returns, stimulated inquiry. James, 


Duke of York, brother of the King, who afterward himself became King, was 
probably at this time the power behind the throne that was urging on action 
looking to the dispossession of the Dutch. The motive which seemed to actuate 
him was the acquisition of personal wealth and power. He saw, as he 
thought, a company of merchants in Amsterdam accumulating great wealth out 
of these colonies, and he meditated the transfer of this wealth to himself. _He 
was seconded in this project by the powerful influence of Sir George Downing, 
who had been Envoy at The Hague, under Cromwell, and was now under Charles 
II. "Keen, bold, subtle, active, and observant, but imperious and unscrupulous, 
disliking and distrusting the Dutch," he had watched every movement of the 
company's" granted privileges by the States General, and had reported every- 
thing to his superiors at home. "The whole bent," says O'Calaghan, '' of this 
man's mind was constantly to hold up before the eyes of his countrymen the 
growing power of Holland and her commercial companies, th'eir immense 
wealth and ambition, and the danger to England of permitting these to pro- 
gress onward unchecked.'' 

After giving his testimony before the council, Scott returned to America 
with a letter from the King recommending his interests to the co-operation and 
protection of the New England colonies. On arriving in Connecticut, he was 
commissioned by the Governor of that colony to incorporate Long Island under 
Connecticut jurisdiction. But the Baptists, Quakers and Menuonites, who formed 
a considerable part of the population, " dreaded falling into the hands of the 
Puritans." In a quaint document commencing, "In the behalf e of sum hun- 
dreds of English here planted on the west end of Long Island wee address," 
etc.," they besought Scott to come and settle their difficulties. On his arrival 
he acquainted them with the fact, till then unknown, that King Charles had 
granted the island to the Duke of York, who would soon assert his rights. 
Whereupon the towns of Hemstede, Newwarke, Crafford, Hastings, Folestone 
and Graveseud, entered into a ' ' combination " as they termed it, resolved to 
elect deputies to draw up laws, choose magistrates, and empowered Scott to 
act as their President; in short set up the first independent State in America. 
Scott immediately set out at the head of 150 men, horse and foot, to subdue 
the island. 

On the 22d of March, 1664, Charles II made a grant of the whole of Long 
Island, and all the adjoining country at the time in possession of the Dutch, 
to the Duke of York. Borrowing four men-of-war of the king, James sent 
them in command of Col. Richard Nicholls, an old officer, with whom was as- 
sociated Sir Robert Carr, Sir George Cartwright, and Samuel Maverick, Esq. , 
and a force of 450 men, to dispossess the Dutch. To insure the success of the 
expedition, letters were addressed to each of the Governors of the New England 
colonies, enjoining upon them to unite in giving aid by men and material to 
Nicholls. The fleet sailed directly for Boston, where it was expected, and 
whence, through one Lord, the Dutch were notified of its coming. The great- 
est consternation was aroused upon the receipt of this intelligence, and the 
most active preparations were making for defense. But in the midst of these 
preparations, notice was received from the Chambers at Amsterdam, doiibtless 
inspired by the English, that " no apprehension of any public enemy or dan- 
ger from England need be entertained. That the King was only desirous to 
reduce the colonies to uniformity in church and state, and with this view was 
dispatching some Commissioners with two or three frigates to New England to 
introduce Episcopacy in that quarter. " Thrown completely off his guard by 
this announcement, the Director General, Stuyvesant abandoned ail preparations 
for resistance, and indulged in no anticipations of a hostile visitation. Thus 


were three full weeks loet in whicli the coloniea might have been put in a very 
good state of defense. 

Nichoils on arriving in American waters, touched at Boston and Connecti- 
cut, where some aid was received, and then hastened foward to Manhattan. 
Stuyvesant had but a day or two before learned of the arrival, and of the hos- 
tile intent. Scarcely had he issued ordei-s for bringing out his forces and for 
fortifj-ing before Nichoils scattered proclamations through the colony promis- 
ing to protect all who submitted to his Brittanic majesty in the undisturbed 
possession of their property, and made a formal summons upon Stuyvesant to 
surrender the country to the King of Great Britain. The Director found that 
he had an entirely different enemy to treat with from Rysingh, and a few half- 
armed Swedes and Fins upon the Delaware. "Wordy war ensued between the 
Commissioners and the Director, and the English Governor finding that Stuy- 
vesant not in the temper to yield, landed a body of his soldiers upon the lower end 
of the island, and ordered Hyde, the commander of the fleet, to lay the frigates 
broadside before the city. It was a critical moment. Stuyvesant was stand- 
ing on one of the points of the fort when he saw the frigates approaching. 
The gunner stood by with burning match, prepared to lire on the fleet, and 
Stuyvesant seemed on the point of giving the order. But he was restrained, 
and a further communication was sent to Nichoils, who would listen to nothing 
short of the full execution of his mission. Still Stuyvesant held out. The 
inhabitants implored, but rather than surrender " he would be carried a corpse 
to his grava" The town was, however, in qo condition to stand a siege. The 
powder at the fort would only suffice for one day of active operations. Pro- 
visions were scarce. The inhabitants were not disposed to be sacriliced, and 
the disaffection among them spread to the soldiers. They were overheard mut- 
tering, " Now we hope to pepper those devilish traders who have so long 
salted us; we know where booty is to be found, and where the young women 
live who wear gold chains. " 

The Rev. Jannes Myapoleuses seems to have been active in negotiations and 
opposed to the shedding of blood. A remonstrance drawn by him was finally 
adopted and signed by the principal men, and presented to the Director Gen- 
eral, in which the utter hopelessness of resistance was set forth, and Stuyve- 
sant finally consented to capitulate. Favorable terms were arranged, and 
Nichoils promised that if it should be finally agreed between the English and 
Dutch governments that the province should be given over to Dutch rule, he 
would peacefully yield his authority. Thus without a gun being fired, the En- 
glish made conquest of the Manhattoes. 

Sir Robert Carr, with two frigates and an ample force, was dispatched to 
the Delaware to reduce the settlements there to English rule. The planters, 
whether Dutch or Swedes, were to be insured in the peaceable possession of 
their property, and the magistrates were to be continued in office. 

Sailing past the fort, he disseminated among the settlers the news of the 
surrender of Stuyvesant, and the promises of protection which Nichoils had 
made use of. But Gov. D'Hinoyossa was not disposed to heed the demand 
for surrender without a struggle. Whereupon Carr landed hia forces and 
stormed the place. After a fruitless but heroic resistance, in which ten were 
wounded and three were killed, the Governor was forced to surrender. Thus 
was the complete subversion of the State's General in America consummated, 
and the name of New Amsterdam gave place to that of New York, from the 
name of the English proprietor, James, Duke of York. 

The resistance offered by D'Hinoyossa formed a pretext for shameless 
plunder. Carr, in his report which shows him to have been a lawless fel- 


low, says, "Te soldiers never stoping untill they stormed ye fort, and sae con- 
sequently to plundering; the seamen, noe less given to that sport, were quicklv 
within, and have gotten good store of booty." Carr seized the farm of 
D'Hinoyossa, hi; brother, John Carr, that of Sheriff Sweringen, and Ensign 
Stock that of Peter Alrichs. The produce of the land for that year was seized, 
together with a cargo of goods that was unsold. " Even the inoifensive Men-, 
nonists, though non-combatant from principle, did not escape the sack and 
plunder to which the whole river was subjected by Carr and his marauders. 
A boat was dispatched to their settlement, which was stripped of everything, 
to a very naile." 

Nicholls, on hearing of the rapacious conduct of his subordinate, visited 
the Delaware, removed Carr, and placed Eobert Needham in command. Pre- 
vious to dispatching his fleet to America, in June, 1664, the Duke of York had 
granted to John, Lord Berkeley, Baron of Stratton, and Sir George Carteret, 
of Saltrum in Devon, the territory of New Jersey, bounded substantially as the 
present State, and this, though but little settled by the Dutch, had been in- 
cluded in the terms of sun-ender secmred by NichoUs. In many ways, he 
showed himself a man of ability and discretion. He drew up with signal 
success a body of laws, embracing most of the provisions which had been in 
force in the English colonies, which were designated the Duke's Laws. 

In May, 1667, Col. Francis Lovelace was appointed Governor in place of 
Nicholls, and soon after taking charge of affairs, drew up regulations for the 
government of the territory upon the Delaware, and dispatched Capt. John 
Carr to act there as his Deputy Governor. It was provided that whenever 
complaint duly sworn to was made, the Governor was to summon " the schout, 
Hans Block, Israel Helm, Peter Kambo, Peter Cock and Peter Alrichs, or any 
two of them, as counsellors, to advise him, and determine by the major vote 
what is just, equitable and necessary in the case in question. " It was further 
provided that all men should be punished in an exemplary manner, though 
with moderation; that the laws should be frequently communicated to the 
counsellors, and that in cases of difficulty recourse should be had to the Gov- 
ernor and Council at New York, i 

In 1 668, two murders were perpetrated by Indians, which caused consider- 
able disturbance and alarm throughout the settlements. These capital crimes 
appear to have been committed while the guilty parties were maddened by 
liquor. So impressed were the sachems and leading warriors of the baneful 
effects of strong drink, that they appeared before the Council and besought its 
authority to utterly prohibit the sale of it to any of their tribes. These re- 
quests were repeated, and finally, upon the advice of Peter Alrichs, " the 
Governor (Lovelace) prohibited, on pain of death, the selling of powder, shot 
and strong liquors to the Indians, and writ to Carr on the occasion to use the 
utmost vigilance and caution." 

The native mm-derers were not apprehended, as it was difficult to trace 
them; but the Indians themselves were determined to ferret them out. One 
was taken and shot to death, who was the chief offender, but the other escaped 
and was never after heard of. The chiefs summoned their young men, and in 
presence of the English warned them that such would be the fate of all offend- 
ers. Proud justly remarks: "This, at a time when the Indians were numer- 
ous and strong and the Europeans few and weak, was a memorable act of jus- 
tice, and a proof of true friendship to the English, greatly alleviating the 
fear, for which they had so much reason among savages, in this then wilder- 
ness country." 

In 1669, a reputed son of the distinguished Swedish General, Connings- 


marke, commonly called tlie Long Fin, with another of his nationality, Henry 
Coleman, a man of property, and familiar with the language and habits of the 
Indians, endeavored to incite an insurrection to throw off the English rule and 
establish the Swedish supremacy. The Long Fin was apprehended, and was 
condemned to die; but upon reconsideration his sentence was commuted to 
whipping and to branding with the letter E. He was brought in chains to 
New York, where he was incarcerated in the Stadt-house for a year, and was 
then transported to Barbadoes to be sold. Improvements in the modes of 
administering justice were from time to time introduced. New Castle was 
made a corporation, to be governed by a Bailiff and six associates. Duties on 
importations were laid, and Capt. Martin Pringer was appointed to collect and 
make due returns of them to Gov. Lovelace. 

In 1673, the French monarch, Louis XIV, declared war against the Neth- 
erlands, and with an army of over 200,000 men moved down upon that de- 
voted country. In conjunction with the land force, the English, with a power- 
ful armament, descended upon the Dutch waters. The aged Du Ruyter and 
the youthful Van Tromp put boldly to sea to meet the invaders. Three great 
naval battles were fought upon the Dutch coast on the 7th and 14th of June, 
and the 6th of August, in which the English forces were finally repulsed and 
driven from the coast. In the meantime, the inhabitants, abandoning their 
homes, cut the dikes which held back the sea, and invited inundation. Deem- 
ing this a favorable opportunity to regain their possessions wrenched from them 
in the New World, the Dutch sent a small fleet under Commodores Cornelius 
Evertse and Jacobus Benkes, to New York, to demand the surrender of all 
their previous possessions. Gov. Lovelace happened to be absent, and his 
representative, Capt John Manning, surrendered with but brief resistance, 
and the magistrates from Albany, Eaopus, East Jersey and Long Island, on 
being summoned to New York, swore fealty to the returning Dutch power. 
Anthony Colve, as Governor, was sent to Delaware, where the magistrates 
hastened to meet him and submit themselves to his authority. Property in 
the English Government was confiscated; Gov. Lovelace returned to England, 
and many of the soldiers were carried prisoners to Holland. Before their de- 
parture. Commodores Evertse and Benkes, who styled themselves ' ' The honora- 
ble and awful council of war, for their high mightinesses, the State's General 
of the United Netherlands, and his Serene Highness, the Prince of Orange," 
commissioned Anthony Colve, a Captain of foot, on the 12th of August, 1673, 
to be Governor General of "New Netherlands, with all its appendences," 
and on the 19th of September following, Peter Alrichs, who had manifested 
his sabserviency and his pleasure at the return of Dutch ascendancy, was ap- 
pointed by Colve Deputy Governor upon the Delaware. A body of laws was 
drawn up for his instruction, and three courts of justice were established, at 
New Castle, Chester and Lewistown. Capt. Manning on his return to En- 
gland was charged with treachery for delivering up the fort at New York with- 
out resistance, and was sentenced by a court martial "to have his sword broken 
over his head in public, before the city hall, and himself rendered incapable 
of wearing a sword and of serving his Majesty for the future in any public 
trust in the Government. " 

But the revolution which had been affected so easily was of short duration. 
On the 9th of February, 1674, peace was concluded between England and 
Holland, and in the articles of pacification it was provided "that whatsoever 
countries, islands, towns, ports, castles or forts, have or shall be taken, on both 
sides, since the time that the late unhappy war broke out, either in Europe, or 
elsewhere, shall be restored to the former lord and proprietor, in the same con- 


dition they shall be in when the peace itself shall be proclaimed, after which 
time there shall be no spoil nor plunder of the inhabitants, no demolition 
of fortifications, nor carrying away of guns, powder, or other military stores 
which belonged to any castle or port at the time when it was taken. ' ' This 
left no room for conti-oversy about possession. But that there might be no legal 
bar nor loophole for question of absolute right to his possessions, the Duke ot 
York secured from the King on the 29th of June following, a new patent cov- 
ering the former grant, and two days thereafter sent Sir Edmund Andros, to 
possess and govern the country. He arrived at New York and took peaceable 
possession on the 31st of October, and two days thereafter it was resolved in 
council to reinstate all the officers upon Delaware as they were at the surrender 
to the Dutch, except Peter Alrichs, who for his forwardness in yielding his 
power was relieved. Capt. Edmund Cantwell and William Tom were sent to 
occupy the fort at New Castle, in the capacities of Deputy Governor and Sec- 
retary. In May, 1675, Gov. Andros visited the Delaware, and held court at 
New Castle " in which orders were made relative to the opening of roads, the 
regulation of church property and the support of preaching, the prohibition 
of the sale of liquors to the Indiansj and the distillation thereof by the inhab- 
itants." On the 23d of September, 1676, Cantwell was superseded by John 
Collier, as Vice Governor, when Ephraim Hermans became Secretary. 

As was previously observed, Gov. Nicholls, in 1664, made a complete di- 
gest of all the laws and usages in force in the English-speaking colonies in 
America, which were known as the Duke's Laws. That these might now be 
made the basis of judicature throughout the Duke's possessions, they were, on 
the 25th of September, 1676, formally proclaimed and published by Gov. 
Lovelace, with a suitable ordinance introducing them. It may here be ob- 
served, that, in the administration of Gov. Hartranft, by act of the Legislature 
of June 12, ] 878, the Duke's Laws were published in a handsome volume, to- 
gether with the Charter and Laws instituted by Penn, and historical notes 
covering the early history of the State, under the direction of John B. Linn, 
Secretary of the commonwealth, edited by Staughton George, Benjamin M. 
Nead, and Thomas McCarnant, from an old copy preserved among the town rec- 
ords of Hempstead, Long Island, the seat of the independent State which 
had been set up there by John Scott before the coming of Nicholls. The num- 
ber of taxable male inhabitants between the ages of sixteen and sixty years, 
in 1677, for Uplandt and New Castle, was 443, which by the usual estimate of 
seven to one would give the population 3,101 for this district. Gov. Collier 
having exceeded his authority by exercising judicial functions, was deposed 
by Andros, and Capt. Christopher Billop was appointed to succeed him. But 
the change resulted in little benefit to the colony; for Billop was charged 
with many irregularities, " taking possession of the fort and turning it into 
a stable, and the court room above into a hay and fodder loft; debarring the 
court from sitting in its usual place in the fort, and making use of soldiers for 
his own private purposes. " 

The hand of the English Government bore heavily upon the denomination 
of Christians called Friends or Quakers, and the earnest-minded, conscientious 
worshipers, uncompromising in their faith, were eager for homes in a land 
where they should be absolutely free to worship the Supreme Being. Berke- 
ley and Carteret, who had bought New Jersey, were Friends, and the settle- 
ments made in their territory were largely of that faith. In 1675, Lord Ber- 
keley sold his undivided half of the province to John Fenwicke, in trust for 
Edward Byllinge, also Quakers, and Fenwicke sailed in the Griffith, with a 
company of Friends who settled at Salem, in West Jersey. Byllinge, having 


become involved in debt, made an assignment of his interest for the benefit of 
his creditors, and William Penn was induced to become trustee jointly with 
Gowen Lawrie and Nicholas Lucas. Penn was a devoted Quaker, and he was 
of that earnest nature that the interests of his friends and Christian devotees 
were like his own persoDal interests. Hence he became zealous in promoting 
the welfare of the colony. For its orderly government, and that settlers might 
have assurance of stability in the management of affairs, Penn drew up " Con- 
cessions and agreements of the proprietors, freeholders and inhabitants of West 
New Jersey in America" in forty- four chapters. Foreseeing difSculty from 
divided authority, Penn secured a division of the province by " a line of par- 
tition from the east side of Little Egg Harbor, straight north, through the 
country to the utmost branch of the Delaware River." Penn's half was called 
New West Jersey, along the Delaware side, Carteret's New East Jersey along the 
ocean shore. Penn's purposes and disposition toward the settlers, as the 
founder of a State, are disclosed by a letter which he wrote 'at this time to a 
Friend, Richard Hartshorn, then in America: " We lay a foundation for 
after age^fe to understand their liberty, as men and Christians; that they may 
not be brought into bondage, but by their own consent; for we put the power 
in the people. * * So every man is capable to choose or to be chosen ; no man 
to be arrested, condemned, or molested, iD his estate, or liberty, but by twelve 
men of the neighborhood; no man to lie in prison for debt, but that his estate 
satisfy, as far as it will go, and he be set at liberty to work; no man to be 
called in question, or molested for his conscience." Lest any should be in- 
duced to leave home and embark in the enterprise of settlement unadvisedly, 
Penn wrote and published a letter of caution, " That in whomsoever a desire to 
be concerned in this intended plantation, such would weigh the thing before 
the Lord, and not headily, or rashly, conclude on any such remove, and that 
they do not offer violence to the tender love of their near kindred and relations, 
but soberly, and conscientiously endeavor to obtain their good wills; that 
whether they go or stay, it may be of good savor before the Lord and good 


SiK Edmund Andeos, 1674-81— Edmund Cantvvbll, 1674-76— John Colliek, 1676- 
77— Cheistophee Billop, 1677-81. 

WILLIAM PENN, as Trustee, and finally as part owner of New Jersey, 
became much interested in the subject of colonization in America. 
Many of his people had gone thither, and he had given much prayerful study 
and meditation to the amelioration of their condition by securing just laws for 
their government. His imagination pictured the fortunate condition of a 
State where the law-giver should alone study the happiness of his subjects, and 
his subjects should be chiefly intent on rendering implicit obedience to 
just laws. From his experience in the management of the Jerseys, he had 
doubtless discovered that if he would carry out his ideas of government suc- 
cessfully, he must have a province where his voice would be potential and bis 
will supreme. He accordingly cast about for the acquirement of such a land in 
the New World. 

Penn had doubtless been stimulated in his desires by the very roseate ac- 
counts of the beauty and excellence of the country, its salubrity of climate, its 


balmy airs, the fertility of its soil, and the abundance of the native fish, flesh 
and fowl. In 1680, one Malhon Stacy wrote a letter which was largely circu- 
lated in England, in which he says: " It is a country that produceth all things 
for the support and furtherance of man, in a plentiful manner. * * * I 
have seen orchards laden with fruit to admiration; their very limbs torn to 
pieces with weight, most delicious to the taste, and lovely to behold. I have 
seen an apple tree, from a pippin-kernel, yield a barrel of curious cider; and 
peaches in such plenty that some people took their carts a peach gathering; I 
could not but smile at the conceit of it; they are very delicious fruit, and hang 
almost like our onions, that are tied on ropes. I have seen and know, this 
summer, forty bushels of bold wheat of one bushel sown. From May till 
Michaelmas, great store of very good wild fruits as strawberries, cranberries 
and hurtleberries, which are like om- biilberries in England, only far sweeter; 
the cranberries, much like cherries for color and bigness, which may be 
kept till fruit comes again; an excellent sauce is made of them for venison, 
turkeys, and other great fowl, and they are better to make tarts of than either 
gooscDerries or cherries; we have them brought to our houses by thS Indians 
in great plenty. My brother Eobert had as many cherries this year as would 
have loaded several carts. As for venison and fowls, we have great plenty; 
we have brought home to our countries by the Indians, seven or eight fat bucks 
in a day. We went into the river to catch herrings after the Indian fashion. 
* * * We could have filled a three-bushel sack of as good large herrings 
as ever I saw. And as to beef and pork, here is great plenty of it, and good 
sheep. The common grass of this country f^eds beef very fat. Indeed, the 
couatry, take it as a wilderness, is a brave country." 

The father of William Penn had arisen to distinction in tne British Navy. 
He was sent in Cromwell's time, with a considerable sea and land force, to the 
West Indies, where he reduced the Island of Jamaica under English rule. At 
the restoration, he gave in his adhesion to the royal cause. Under James, 
Duke of York, Admiral Penn commanded the English fleet which descended 
upon the Dutch coast, and gained a great victory over the combined naval 
forces led by Van Opdam. For this great service to his country, Penn was 
knighted, and became a favorite at court, the King and his brothor, the Duke, 
holding him in cherished remembrance. At his death, there was due him 
from the crown the sum of £16,000, a portion of which he himself had ad- 
vanced for the sea service. Filled with the romantic idea of colonization, and 
enamored with the sacred cause of his people, the son, who had come to be re- 
garded with favor for his great father's sake, petitioned King Charles II to 
grant him, in liquidation of this debt, " a tract of land in America, lying 
north of Maryland, bounded east by the Delaware Eiver, on the west limited 
as Maryland, and northward to extend as far as plantable." There were con- 
flicting interests at this time which were being warily watched at court. The 
petition was submitted to the Privy Council, and afterward to the Lords of 
the committee of plantations. The Duke of York already held the coanties of 
New Castle, Kent and Sussex. Lord Baltimore held a grant upon the south, 
with an indefinite northern limit, and the agents of both these territories 
viewed with a jealous eye any new grant that should in any way trench upon 
their rights. These claims were fully debated and heard by the Lords, and, 
being a matter in which the King manifested special interest, the Lord Chief 
Justice, North, and the Attorney General, Sir William Jones, were consulted 
both as to the gi-ant itself, and the form or manner of making it. Finally, 
after a careful study of the whole subject, it was determined by the highest 
authority in the Government to grant to Penn a larger tract than' he had asked 


for, and the charter was drawn with unexampled liberality, in unequivocal 
terms of gift and perpetuity of holding, and with remarkable minuteness of 
detail, and t'h-at Penn should have the advantage of any double meaning con- 
veyed in the instrument, the twenty-third and last section provides: "And, 
if perchance hereafter any doubt ur question should arise concerning the true 
sense and meaning of any word, clause or sentence contained in this our present 
charter, we will ordain and command that at all times and in all things such 
interpretation be made thereof, and allowed in any of our courts whatsoever 
as shall be adjudged most advantageous and favorable unto the said William 
Penn, his heirs and assigns." 

It was a joyful day for Penn when he finally reached the consummation of 
his wishes, and saw himself invested with almost dictatorial power over a 
countay as large as England itself, destined to become a populous empire. 
But his exultation was tempered with the most devout Christian spirit, fearful 
lest in the exercise of his great power he might be led to do something that 
should be displeasing to God. To his dear friend, Robert Turner, he writes 
in a modest way: "My true love in the Lord salutes thee and dear friends 
that love the Lord's precious truth in those parts. Thine I have, and for my 
business here know that after many waitings, watchings, solicitings and dis- 
putes in council, this day my country was confirmed to me under the great seal 
of England, with large powers and privileges, by the name of Pennsylvania, a 
name the King would give it in honor of my father. I chose New "Wales, be- 
ing, as this, a pretty hilly country; but Penn being Welsh for a head, as Pen- 
mamnoire in Wales, and Penrith in Cumberland, and Penn in Buckingham- 
shire, the highest land ia England, called this 'Pennsylvania, which is the high 
or head woodlands; for I proposed, when the Secretary, a Welshman, refused 
to have it called New Wales, Sylvania, and they added Penn to it; and though 
I much opposed it, and went to the King to have it struck out and altered, he 
said it was past, and would take it upon him; nor could twenty guineas move 
the TJndor Secretary to vary the name; for I feared lest it should be looked on 
as a vanity in me, and not as a respect in the King, as it truly was to my 
father, whom he often mentions with praise. Thou mayest communicate my 
grant to Friends, and expect shortly my proposals. It is a clear and just 
thing, and my God, that has given it me through many difficulties, will, I be- 
lieve, bless and make it the seed of a nation. I shall have a tender care to the- 
government, that it be well laid at first." 

Penn had asked that the western boundary should be the same as that of 
Maryland; but the King made the width from east to west five full degrees. 
The charter limits were " all that tract, or part, of land, in America, with the- 
islands therein contained as the same is bounded, on the east by Delaware- 
Eiver, from twelve miles distance northwards of New Castle town, unto the 
three and fortieth degree of northern latitude. * * * * 

The said land to extend westward five degrees in longitude, to be computed 
from the said eastern bounds; and the said lands to be bounded on the north 
by the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude, and, 
on the south, by a circle drawn at twelve miles distance from New Castle 
northward and westward unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of northern 
latitude; and then by a straight line westward to the limits of longitude above 

It is evident that tne royal secretaries did not well understand the geogra- 
phy of this section, for by reference to a map it will be seen that the begin- 
ning of the fortieth degree, that is, the end of the thirty-ninth, cuts the 
District of Columbia, and hence Baltimore, and the greater part of Maryland 


and a good slice of Virginia would have been included in the clear terms of 
tho chartered limits of Pennsylvania. But the charters of Maryland and Vir- 
ginia antedated this of Pennsylvania. Still, the terms of the Penn charter 
were distinct, the beginning of the fortieth degree, whereas those of Maryland 
were ambiguous, the northern limi t being fixed at the fortieth degree ; but whether 
at the beginning or at the ending of the ■ fortieth was not stated. Penn 
claimed three full degrees of latitude, and when it was found that a contro- 
versy was likely to ensue, the King, by the hand of his royal minister, Con- 
way, issued a further declaration, dated at Whitehall, April 2, 1681, in which 
the wording of the original chartered limits fixed for Pennsylvania were 
quoted verbatim, and his royal pleasure declared that these limits should be 
respected " as they tender his majesty's displeasure." This was supposed to 
settle the matter. But Lord Baltimore still pressed his claim, and the ques- 
tion of southern boundary remained an open one, causing much disquietude 
to Penn, requiring watchful care at court for more than half a century, and 
until after the proprietor's death. 

"We gather from the terms of the charter itself that the King, in making 
the grant, was influenced "by the commendable desire of Penn to enlarge our 
British Empire, and promote such useful commodities as may be of benefit 
to us and our dominions, as also to reduce savage nations by just and gentle 
manners, to the love of civil society and Christian religion," and out of "re- 
gard to the memory and merits of his late father, in divers services, and par- 
ticularly to his conduct, courage and discretion, under our dearest brother, 
James, Duke of York, in the signal battle and victory, fought and obtained, 
against the Dutch fleet, commanded by the Herr Van Opdam in 1665." 

The motive for obtaining it on the part of Penn may be gathered from tho 
following extract of a letter to a friend: "For my country I eyed the Lord in 
obtaining it; and more was I drawn inward to look to Him, and to owe it to His 
hand and power than to any other way. I have so obtained and desire to keep 
it, that I may be unworthy of His love, but do that which may answer His 
kind providence and people." 

The charter of King Charles II was dated April 2, 1681. Iiest any 
trouble might arise in the future from claims founded on the grant previously 
made to the Duke of York, of "Long Island and adjacent territories occupied 
by the Dutch," the prudent forethought of Penn induced him to obtain a deed, 
dated August 31, 1682, of the Duke, for Pennsylvania, substantially in the 
terms of the royal charter. But Penn was still not satisfied. He was cut off 
from the ocean except by the uncertain navigation of one narrow stream. He 
therefore obtained from the Duke a grant of New Castle and a district of 
twelve miles around it, dated on the 2-lth of August, 1682, and on the same 
day a further grant from the Duke of a tract extending to Cape Henlopen, 
embracing the two counties of Kent and Sussex, the two grants comprising 
what were known as the territories, or the three lower counties, which were 
for many years a part of Pennsylvania, but subsequently constituted the State 
of Delaware. 

Being now satisfied with his province, and that his titles were secure, Penn 
drew up such a description of the country as from his knowledge he was able 
to give, which, together with the royal charter and proclamation, terms of 
settlement, and other papers pertaining thereto, he published and spread 
broadcast through the kingdom, taking special pains doubtless to have the 
documents reach the Friends. The terms of sale of lands were 40 shillings for 
100 acres, and 1 shilling per acre rental. The question has been raised, why 
exact the annual payment of one shilling per acre. The terms of the grant by 


the royal charter to Penn were made absolute on the " payment therefor to us, 
our heirs and successors, two beaver skins, to be delivered at our castle in 
Windsor, on the 1st day of January in every year, " and contingent payment 
of one-fifth part of all gold and silver which shall from time to time happen 
to be found clear of all charges." Penn, therefore, held his title only upon 
the payment of quit-rents. He could consequently give a valid title only by 
the exacting of quit-rents. 

Having now a great province of his own to manage, Penn was obliged to 
relinquish his share in West New Jersey. He had given largely of his time and 
energies to its settlement; he had sent 1,400 emigrants, many of them people 
of high character; had seen farms reclaimed from the forest, the town of 
Burlington built, meeting houses erected in place of tents for worship, good 
Government established, and the savage Indians turned to peaceful ways. 
With satisfaction, therefore, he could now give himself to reel-aiming and set- 
tling his own province. He had of course in his published account of the 
country made it appear a desirable place for habitation. But lest any should 
regret having gone thither when it was too late, he added to his description a 
caution, " to consider seriously the premises, as well the inconveniency as 
future ease and plenty; that so none may move rashly or from a fickle, but from 
a solid mind, having above all things an eye to the providence of God in the 
disposing of themselves." Nothing more surely points to the goodness of 
heart of William Penn, the great founder of our State, than this extreme 
solicitude, lest he might induce any to go to the new country who should af- 
terward regret having gone. 

The publication of the royal charter and his description of the country 
attracted attention, and many purchases of land were made of Penn before 
leaving England. That these purchasers might have something binding to 
rely upon, Penn drew up what he termed " conditions or concessions " between 
himself as proprietor and purchasers in the province. These related to, the 
settling the country, laying out towns, and especially to the treatment of the 
Indians, who were to have the same rights and privileges, and careful regard 
as the Europeans. And what is perhaps a remarkable instance of provident 
forethought, the eighteenth article provides " That, in clearing the ground, 
care be taken to leave one acre of trees for every five acres cleared, especially 
to preserve oak and mulberries, for silk and shipping." It could be desired 
that such a provision might have remained operative in the State for all 

Encouraged by the manner in which his proposals for settlement were 
received, Penn now drew up a frame of government, consisting of twenty- 
four articles and forty laws. These were drawn in a spirit of unexampled 
fairness and liberality, introduced by an elaborate essay on the just rights of 
government and governed, and with such conditions and concessions that it 
should never be in the power of an unjust Governor to take advantage of the 
people and practice injustice. " For the matter of liberty and privilege, I pur- 
pose that which is extraordinary, and leave myself and successors no power of 
doing mischief, that the will of one man may not hinder that of a whole coun- 
try. This frame gave impress to the character of the early government. It im- 
planted in the breasts of the people a deep sense of duty, of right, and of obli- 
gation in all public affairs, and the relations of man with man, and formed a 
framework for the future constitution. Penn himself had felt the heavy hand 
of government for religious opinions and practice' sake. He determined, for 
the matter of religion, to leave all free to hold such opinions as they might 
elect, and hence enacted for his State that all who " hold themselves obliged 


in conscience, to live peaceably and justly in civil society, shall, in no ways, 
be molested, nor prejudiced, for their religious persuasion, or practice, in mat- 
ters of faith and worship, nor shall they be compelled, at any time, to fre- 
quent, or maintain, any religious worship, place, or ministry whatever. " At 
this period, such govermental liberality in matters of religion was almost un- 
known, though Roger Williams in the colony of Rhode Island had previously, 
under similar circumstances, and having just escaped a like persecution, pro- 
claimed it, as had likewise Lord Baltimore in the Catholic colony of Mary- 

The mind of Penn was constantly exercised upon the affairs of his settlement. 
Indeed, to plant a colony in a new country had been a thought of his boyhood, 
for he says in one of his letters: "I had an opening of joy as to these parts in 
the year 1651, at Oxford, twenty years since." Not being in readiness to go 
to his province during the first year, he dispatched three ship loads of set- 
tlers, and with them sent his cousin, William Markham, to take formal pos- 
session of the country and act as Deputy Governor Markham sailed for New 
York, and upon his arrival there exhibited his commission, bearing date March 
6, 1681, and the King's charter and proclamation. In the absence of Gov. An- 
dros, who, on having been called to account for some complaint made against 
him, had gone to England, Capt. Anthony Brockholls, Acting Governor, re- 
ceived Markham's papers, and gave him a letter addressed to the civil officers 
on the Delaware, informing them that Markham's authority as Governor had. 
been examined, and an official record made of it at New York, thanking them 
for their fidelity, and requesting them to submit themselves to the new author- 
ity. Aimed with this letter, which was dated June 21, 1681, Markham pro- 
ceeded to the Delaware, where, on exhibiting his papers, he was kindly re- 
ceived, and allegiance was cheerfully transferred to the new government. In- 
deed so frequently had the power changed hands that it had become quite a 
matter of habit to transfer obedience from one authority to another, and they 
had scarcely laid their heads to rest at night but with the consciousness that 
the momirig light might bring new codes and new officers. 

Markham was empowered to call a council of nine citizens to assist him in 
the government, and over whom he was to preside. He brought a letter ad- 
dressed to Lord Baltimore, touching the boundary between the two grants, and 
exhibiting the terms of the charter for Pennsylvania. On receipt of this let- 
ter. Lord Baltimore came to Upland to confer with Markham. An observation 
fixing the exact latitude of Upland showed that it was twelve miles south of 
the forty-first degree, to which Baltimore claimed, and that the beginning of 
the fortieth degree, which the royal charter explicitly fixed for the southern 
boundary of Pennsylvania, would include nearly the entire State of Maryland, 
and cut the limits of the present site of the city of Washington. ' ' If this be 
allowed," was significantly asked by Baltimore, "where is nay province?" 
He returned to his colony, and from this time forward an active contention 
was begun before the authorities in England for possession of the disputed 
territory, which required all the arts and diplomatic skill of Penn. 

Markham was accompanied to the province by four Commissioners sent 
out by Penn — ^William Crispin, John Bezer, William Haige and Nathaniel 
Allen. The first named had been designated as Surveyor General, but he 
having died on the passage, Thomas Holme was appointed to succeed him. 
These Commissioners, in conjunction with the Governor, had two chief duties 
assigned them. The first was to meet and preserve friendly relations with the 
Indians and acquire lands by actual purchase, and the second was to select th& 
site of a great city and make the necessary surveys. That they might have a 


suitable introduction to the natives from him, Penn addressed to them a deo- 
laratitm of his purposes, conceived in a spirit of brotherly love, and expressed 
in such simple terms that these children of the forest, unschooled in book 
learning, -would have no difficulty in apprehending his meaning. The refer- 
ring the source of alljpower to the Creator was fitted to produce a strong im- 
pression upon their naturally superstitious habits of thought. " There is a 
great God and power, that hath made the world, and all things therein, to 
whom you and I, and all people owe their being, and well being; and to whom 
you and I must one day give an account for all that we do in the world. This 
great God hath written His law in our hearts, by which we are taught and com- 
manded to love, and help, and do good to one another. Now this great God hath 
been pleased to make me Concerned in your part of the world, and the King 
of the country where I live hath given me a great province therein; but I de- 
sire to enjoy it with your love and consent, that we may always live together, 
as neighbors and friends; else what would the great God do to us, who hath 
made us, not to devour and destroy one another, but to live soberly and kindly 
together in the world? Now I would have you well observe that I am very 
sensible of the unkindness and injustice that have been too much exercised 
toward you by the people of these parts of the world, who have sought them- 
selves, and to make great advantages by you, rather than to be examples of 
goodness and patience unto you, which I hear hath been a matter of trouble 
to you, and caused great grudging and animosities, sometimes to the shedding 
of blood, which hath made the great God angry. But I am not such a man, 
as is well knovm in - my own country. I have great love and regard toward 
you, and desire to gain your love and friendship by a kind, just and peaceable 
life, and the people I send are of the same mind, and shall in all things be- 
have themselves accordingly; and if in anything any shall offend you or 
your people, you shall have a full and speedy satisfaction for the same by an 
equal number of just mea on both sides that by no means you may have just 
occasion of being offended against them. I shall shortly come to you myself, 
at which time we may more largely and freely confer and discourse of these 
matters. In the meantime, I have sent my Commissioners to treat with you 
about land, and form a league of peace. Let me desire you to be kind to 
them and their people, and receive these presents and tokens which I have sent 
you as a testimony ot my good will to you, and my resolution to live justly, 
peaceably and friendly with you." 

In this plain but sublime statement is embraced the whole theory of Will ■ 
iam Penn's treatment of the Indians. It was the doctrine which the Savior 
of mankind came upon earth to promulgate — the estimable worth of every 
human soul. And when Penn came to propose his laws, one was adopted 
which forbade private trade with thenatives in which they might be overreached; 
but it was required that the valuable skins and furs they had to sell should be 
hung up in the market place where all could see them and enter into compe- 
tition for their purchase. Penn was offered £6,000 for a monopoly of trade. 
But he well knew the injustice to which this would subject the simple-minded 
natives, and he refused it saying: " As the Lord gave it me over all and 
great opposition, I would not abuse His love, nor act unworthy of His provi- 
dence, and so defile what came to me clean "—a sentiment worthy to be treas- 
ured with the best thoughts of the sages of old. And to his Commissioners he 
gave a letter of instructions, in which he says: "Be impartially just to all; 
that is both pleasing to the Lord, and wise in itself. Be tender of offending 
the Indians, and let them know that you come to sit down lovingly among 
them. Let my letter and conditions be read in their tongue, that they may see 


we have their good in our eye. Be grave, they love not to be smiled od." 
Acting upon these wise and just considerations, the Commissioners had no diffi- 
culty in making large purchases of the Indians of lands on the right bank of 
the Delaware and above the mouth of the Schuylkill. 

But they found greater difficulty in settling the piace for the new city. 
Penn had given very minute instructions about this, and it was not easy 
to find a tract which answered all the conditions. For seven weeks they kept 
up their search. Penn had written, " be sure to make your choice where it is 
most navigable, high, dry and healthy; that is, where most ships may bestride, 
of deepest draught of water, if possible to load and unload at the bank or 
key's side without boating and lightening of it. It would do well if the river 
coming into that creek be navigable, at least for boats up into the country, 
and that the situation be high, at least dry and sound and not swampy, which 
is best known by digging up two or three earths and seeing the bottom." By 
his instructions, the site of the city was to be between two navigable streams, 
and embrace 10,000 acres in one block. " Be sure to settle the figure of the 
town so that the streets hereafter may be uniform down to the water from the 
country bounds. Let every house be placed, if the person pleases, in the 
middle of its plat, as to the breadth way of it, that so there may be ground on 
each side for gardens or orchards or fields, that it maybe a green country town, 
which will never be burnt and always wholesome." The soil was examined, 
the streams were sounded, deep pits were dug that a location might be found 
which should gratify the desires of Penn. All the eligible sites were inspected 
from the ocean far up into the country. Penn himself had anticipated that 
Chester or Upland would be adopted from all that he could learn of it; but 
this was rejected, as was also the ground upon Poquessing Creek and that at 
Pennsbury Manor above Bristol which had been carefully considered, and the 
present site of Philadelphia was finally adopted as coming nearest to the 
requirements of the proprietor. It had not 10,000 acres in a solid square, but 
it was between two navigable streams, and the soil was high and dry, being for 
the most part a vast bed of gravel, excellent for drainage and likely to prove 
healthful. The streets were laid out regularly and crossed each other at 
right angles. As the ground was only gently rolling, the grading was easily 
accomplished. One broad street, Market, extends from river to river through 
the midst of it, which is crossed at right angles at its middle point by Broad 
street of equal width. It is 120 miles from the ocean by the course of the 
river, and only sixty in a direct line, eighty-seven miles from New York, 
ninety-five from Baltimore, 136 from Washington, 100 from Harrisburg and 
300 from Pittsburgh, and lies in north latitude 39'" 56' 54", and longitude 75° 
8' 45" west from Greenwich The name Philadelphia (brotherly love), was 
one that Penn had before selected, as this founding a city was a project which 
he had long dreamed of and contemplated with never-ceasing interest. 



William Maekham, 1681-82— William Penn, 1683-84. 

HAVING now made necessary preparations and settled his affairs in En- 
gland, Penn embarked on board the ship Welcome, in August, 1682, in 
company with about a hundred planters, mostly from his native town of Sussex, 
and set his prow for the New World. Before leaving the Downs, he addressed 
a farewell letter to his friends whom ho left behind, and another to his wife 
and children, giving them much excellent advice, and sketching the way of 
life he wished them to lead. With remarkable care and minuteness, he points 
out the way in which he would have his children bred, and educated, married, 
and live. A single passage from this remarkable document will indicate its 
general tenor. " Be sure to observe," in educating his children, " their genius, 
and do not cross it as to learning ; let them not dwell too long on one thing ; 
but let their change be agreeable, and let all their diversions have some little 
bodily labor in them. When grown big, have most care for them ; for then 
there are more snares both within and without. When marriageable, see that 
they have worthy persons in their eye ; of good life and good fame for piety 
and understanding. I need no wealth but sufficiency ; and be sure their love 
be dear, fervent and mutual, that it may be happy for them." And to his 
children he said, " Betake yourselves to some honest, industrious course of 
life, and that not of sordid covetousness, but for example and to avoid idle- 
ness. ***** Love not money nor the world ; use them only, 
and they will serve you ; but if you love them you serve them, which will 
debase your spirits as well as offend the Lord. ***** Watch 
against anger, neither speak nor act in it ; for, like drunkenness, it makes a 
man a beast, and throws people into desperate inconveniences." The entire 
letters are so full of excellent counsel that they might with great profit be 
committed to memory, and treasured in the heart. 

The voyage of nearly six weeks was prosperous ; but they had not been 
Jong on the ocean before that loathed disease — the virulent small-pox — broke 
out, of which thirty died, nearly a third of the whole company. This, added 
to the usual discomforts and terrors of the ocean, to most of whom this was 
probably their first experience, made the voyage a dismal one. And here was 
seen the nobility of Penn. " For his good conversation " says one of them, 
" was very advantageous to all the company. His singular care was manifested 
in contributing to the necessities of many who were sick with the small-pox 
then on board." 

His arrival upon the coast and passage up the river was hailed with dem- 
onstrations of joy by all classes, English, Dutch, Swedes, and especially by his 
own devoted followers. He landed at New Castle on the 24th oE October, 1682, 
and on the following day summoned the people to the court house, where pos- 
session of the country was formally made over jO him, and he renewed the 
commissions of the magistrates, to whom and to the assembled people he an- 
nounced the design of his coming, explained the nature and end of truly good 
government, assuring them that their religious and civil rights should be re- 
spected, and recommended them to live in sobriety and peace. He then pro- 


ceeded to Upland, hencefoward known as Chester, where, on the 4th of Novem- 
ber, he called an assembly of the people, in which an equal number of votes 
was allowed to the province and the territories. Nicholas Moore, President of 
the Free Society of Traders, was chosen speaker. As at New Castle, Penn 
addressed the assembly, giving them assurances of his beneficent intentions, 
for which they returned their grateful acknowledgments, the Swedes beiag 
especially demonstrative, deputing one of their number, Lacy Cock, to say 
" That they would love, serve and obey him with all they had, and that this 
was the best day they ever saw. " We can well understand with what satisfac- 
tion the settlers upon the Delaware hailed the prospect of a stable government 
established in their own midst, after having been so long at the mercy of the 
government in New York, with allegience trembling between the courts of 
Sweden, Holland and Britain. 

The proceedings of this first assembly were conducted with great decorum, 
and after the usages of the English Parliament. On the 7th of December, 
1682, the three lower counties, what is now Delaware, which had previously 
been, under the government of the Duke of York, were formerly annexed to the 
province, and became an integral part of Pennsylvania. The frame of govern- 
ment, which had been drawn with much deliberation, was submitted to the 
assembly, and, after some alterations and amendments, was adopted, and be- 
came the fundamental law of the State. The assembly was in session only 
three days, but the work they accomplished, how vast and far-reaching in its 
influence ! 

The Dutch, Swedes and other foreigners were then naturalized, and the 
government was launched in fair running order: That some idea may be had 
of its character, the subjects treated are here given: 1, Liberty of conscience; 
2, Qualification of oificers; 3, Swearing by God, Christ or Jesus; 4, Swearing 
by any other thing or name: 5, Profanity; 6, Cursing; 7, Fornication; 8, In- 
cest; 9, Sodomy; 10, Rape; 11, Bigamy; 12, Drunkenness; 13, Suifering 
drunkenness; 14, Healths drinking; 15, Selling liquor to Indians; 16, Arson; 
17, Burglary; 18, Stolen goods; 19, Forcible entiy; 20, Eiots; 21, Assaulting 
parents: 22, Assaulting Magistrates; 23, Assaulting masters; 24, Assault and 
battery; 25, Duels; 26, Eiotous sports, as plays; 27, Gambling and lotteries; 
28, Sedition; 29, Contempt; 30, Libel; 31, Common scolds; 32, Charities; 
33, Prices of beer and ale; 34, Weights and measures; 35, Names of days and 
months; 36, Perjury; 37, Court proceedings in English; 38, Civil and crim- 
inal trials; 39, Fees, salaries, bribery and extortion; 40, Moderation of fines; 
41, Suits avoidable; 42, Foreign arrest; 43, Contracts; 44, Charters, gifts, 
grants, conveyances, bills, bonds and deeds, when recorded; 45, Wills; 46, 
Wills of non compos mentis; 47, Registry of Wills; 48, Registry for servants; 
49, Factors; 50, Defacers, oorruptors and embezzlers of charters, conveyances 
and records; 51, Lands and goods to pay debts; 52, Bailable offenses; 53, 
Jails and jailers; 54, Prisons to be workhouses; 55, False imprisonment; 56, 
Magistrates may elect between fine or imprisonment; 57, Freemen; 58, Elec- 
tions; 59, No money levied but in pursuance of law; 60, Laws shall be printed 
and taught in schools; 61, All other things, not provided for herein, are re- 
ferred to the Governor and freemen Erom time to time. 

Very soon after his arrival in the colony, after the precept had been issued, 
but before the convening of the Assembly, Penn, that he might not be wanting 
in respect to the Duke of York, made a visit to New York, where he was kind- 
ly received, and also after the adjournment of the Assembly, journeyed to Mary- 
land, where he was entertained by Lord Baltimore with great ceremony. The 
settlement of the disputed boundaries was made the subject of formal" confer- 


enee. But after two days spent in fruitless discussion, the weather becoming 
severely cold, and thus precluding the possibility of taking observations or 
making the necessary surveys, it was agreed to adjourn further consideration 
of the subject until the milder weather of the spring. We may imagine that 
the two Governors were taking the measure of each other, and of gaining all 
possible knowledge of each other's claims and rights, preparatory to that 
struggle for possession of this disputed fortieth degree of latitude, which was 
destined to come before the home government. 

With all his cares iu founding a State and providing a government over a 
new people, Penn did not forget to preach the "blessed Gospel," and wherever 
lie went he was intent upon his " Master's business." On his return from 
Maryland, Lord Baltimore accompanied him several miles to the house of 
William Eichardson, and thence to Thomas Hooker's, where was a religious 
meeting, as was also one held at Choptauk. Penn himself says: "Ihave 
been also at New York, Long Island, East Jersey and Maryland, in which I 
have had good and eminent service for the Lord." And again he says: "As to 
outward things, we are satisfied— the land good, the air clear and sweet, the 
springs plentiful, and provisions good and easy to come at, an innumerable 
quantity of wild fowl and fish; in fine, here is what an Abraham, Isaac and 
Jacob would be well contented with, and service enough for God: for the 
fields are here white for the harvest. O, how sweet is the quiet of these parts, 
freed from the anxious and troublesome solicitations, hurries and perplexities 
of woeful Europe! * * * Blessed be the Lord, that of twenty- three ships, 
none miscarried; only two or thi-ee had the small-pox; else healthy and swift 
passages, generally such as have not been known; some but twenty-eight days, 
and few longer than six weeks. Blessed be God for it; my soul fervently 
breathes that in His heavenly guiding wisdom, we may be kept, that we may 
serve Him in our day, and lay down our heads in peace." And then, as if re- 
proached for not having mentioned another subject of thankfulness, he adds in 
a postscript, "Many women, in divers of the ships, brought to bed; they and 
their children do well." 

Penn made it his first care to take formal possession of his province, and 
adopt a frame of government. When this was done, his chief concern was 
to look to the establishment of his proposed new city, the site of which had 
already been determined on by his Commissioners. Accordingly, early in 
November, at a season when, in this section, the days are golden, Penn em- 
barked in an open barge with a number of his friends, and was wafted 
leisurely up the Delaware to the present site of the city of Philadel- 
phia, which the natives called Coaquannoek. Along the river was a bold shore, 
fringed with lofty pines, which grew close down to the water's edge, so much 
so that when the first ship passing up with settlers for West Jersey had brushed 
against the branches, the passengers remarked that this would be a good place 
for a city. It was then in a wild state, the deer browsing along the shore and 
sipping the stream, and the coneys burrowing in the banks. The scattered 
settlers had gathered in to see and welcome the new Governor, and when he 
stepped upon the shore, they extended a helping hand in assisting him up the 
rugged bluff. Three Swedes had already taken up tracts within th e limits of 
the block of land chosen for the city. But they were given lands in exchange, 
and readily relinquished their claims. The location was pleasing to Penn, and 
was adopted without further search, though little could be seen of this then 
forest-encumbered country, where now is the home of countless industries, the 
busy mart, the river bearing upon its bosom the commerce of many climes, 
and the abiding place of nearly a million of people. But Penn did not con- 


aider that he had as yet any just title to the soil, holding that the Indians 
were its only rightful possessors, and until it was fairly acquired by purchase 
from them, his own title was entirely void. 

Hence, he sought an .3arly opportunity to meet the chiefs of the tribes and 
cultivate friendly relations with them. Tradition fixes the first great treaty 
or conference at about this time, probably in November, and the place under 
the elm tree, known as the " Treaty Tree, " at Kensington. It was at a sea- 
son when the leaves would still be upon the trees, and the assembly was called 
beneath the ample shade of the wide-sweeping branches, which was pleasing 
to the Indians, as it was their custom to hold all their great deliberations and 
smoke the pipe of peace in the open air. The letter which Penn had sent had 
prepared the minds of these simple-hearted inhabitants of the forest to regard 
him with awe and reverence, little less than that inspired by a descended god. 
His coming had for a long time been awaited, and it is probable that it had 
been heralded and talked over by the wigwam fire throughout the remotest 
bounds of the tribes. And when at length the day came, the whole popula- 
tion far around had assembled. 

It is known that three tribes at least were represented — the Lenni Lenape, 
living along the Delaware; the Shawnees, a tribe that had come up from the 
South, and were seated along the Lower Susquehanna; and the Mingoes, 
sprung from the Six Nations, and inhabiting along the Conestoga. Penn was 
probably accompanied by the several officers of his Government and his most 
trusted friends. There were no implements of warfare, for peace was a cardi- 
nal feature of the Quaker creed. 

No veritable account of this, the great treaty, is known to have been madej 
but from the fact that Penn not long after, in an elaborate treatise upon the 
country, the inhabitants and the natives, has given the account of the manner 
in which the Indians demean themselves in conference, we may infer that he 
had this one in mind, and hence we may adopt it as his own description of the 

" Their order is thus: The King sits in the middle of a half moon, and 
hath his council, the old and wise, on each hand; behind them, or at a little 
distance, sit the younger fry in the same figure. Having consulted and re- 
solved their business, the King ordered one of them to speak to me. He stood 
up, came to me, and, in the name of the King, saluted me; then took me by 
the hand and told me he was ordered by the King to speak to me; and now it 
was not he, but the King that spoke, because what he would say was the 
King's mind. * * * * During the time that this person spoke, not 
a man of them was observed to whisper or smile; the old grave, the young 
reverant, in their deportment. They speak little, but fervently, and with ele- 
gance. " 

In response to the salutation from the Indians, Penn makes a reply in 
suitable terms: "The Great Spirit, who made me and you, who rules the 
heavens and the earth, and who knows the innermost thoughts of men, knows 
that I and my friends have a hearty desire to live in peace and friendship 
with you, and to serve you to the uttermost of our power. It is not our custom 
to use hostile weapons against our fellow-creatures, for which reason we have 
come unarmed. Our object is not to do injury, and thus provoke the Great 
Spirit, but to do good. We are met on the broad pathway of good faith and 
good will, so that no advantage is to be taken on either side; but all to be open- 
ness, brotherhood and love." Having unrolled his parchment, he explains to 
them through an interpreter, article by article, the nature of the business, and 
laying it upon the ground, observes that the ground shall be fur the use of 


both people. " I will not do as the Marylanders did, call you children, or 
brothers only; for parents are apt to whip their children too severely, and 
brothers sometimes will differ; neither will I compare the friendship between 
ns to a chain, for the rain may rust it, or a tree may fall and break it; but I 
will consider you as the same flesh and blood with the Christians, and the same 
as if one man's body were to be divided into two parts." Having ended his 
business, the speaker for the King comes forward and makes great promises 
"of kindness and good neighborhood, and that the Indians and English must 
live in love as long as the sun gave light." This ended, another Indian makes 
a speech to his own people, first to explain to them what had been agreed on, 
and vhento exhort them "to love the Christians, and particularly live in peace 
with me and the people under my government, that many Governors had been 
in the river, but that no Governor had come himself to live and stay here be- 
fore, and having now such an one, that had treated them well, they should never 
do him nor his any wrong." At every sentence they shouted, as much as to 
say, amen. 

The Indians had no system of writing by which they could record their 
dealings, but their memory of events and agreements was almost miraculous. 
Heckewelder records that in after years, they were accustomed, by means of 
strings, or belts of wampum, to preserve the recollection of their pleasant in- 
terviews with Penn, after he had departed for England. He says, " They fre- 
quently assembled together in the woods, in some shady spot, as nearly as pos- 
sible similar to those' where they used to meet their brother Miquon (Penn), and 
there lay all his words and speeches, with those of his descendants, on a 
blanket, or clean piece of bark, and with great satisfaction go successively 
over the whole. This practice, which I have repeatedly witnessed, continued 
until tha year 1780, when disturbances which took place put an end to it, ■ 
probably forever." 

The memory of this, the "Great Treaty," was long preserved by the na- 
tives, and the novel spectacle was reproduced upon canvas by the genius of 
Benjamin West. In this picture, Penn is represented as a corpulent old man, 
whereas he was at this time but thirty-eight years of age, and in the very 
height of manly activity. The Treaty Tree was preserved and guarded from 
injury with an almost superstitious care. During the Revolution, when Phila- 
delphia was occupied by the British, and their parties were scouring the coun- 
try for firewood. Gen. Simcoe had a sentinel placed at this tree to protect it 
from mutilation. It stood until 1810, when it was blown down, and it was 
ascertained by its annual concentric accretions to be 283 years old, and was, 
consequently, 155 at the time of making the treaty. The Penn Society erected 
a substantial monument on the spot where it stood. 

Penn drew up his deeds for lands in legal form, and had them duly exe- 
cuted and made of record, that, in the dispute possible to arise in after times, 
there might be proof definite and positive of the purchase. Of these purchases 
there are two deeds on record executed in 1683. One is for land near Nesha- 
miny Creek, and thence to Penypack, and the other for lands lying between 
Schuylkill and Chester Eivers, the first bearing the signature of the great 
chieftain, Taminend. In one of these purchases it is provided that the tract 
"shall extend back as far as a jian could walk in three days." Tradition 
runs that Penn himself, with a number of his friends, walked out the half this 
purchase with the Indians, that no advantage should be taken of them by mak- 
ing a great walk, and to show his consideration for them, and that he was not 
above the toils and fatigues of such a duty." They began to walk out this 
land at the mouth of the Neshaminy, and walked up the Delaware; in one day 


and a half they got to a spruce tree near the mouth of Baker's Creek, when 
Penn, concluding that this would include aa much land as he would want at 
present, a line was run and marked from the spruce tree to Neshaminy, and 
the remainder left to be walked when it should be wanted. They proceed- 
ed after the Indian manner, walking leisurely, sitting down sometimes to 
smoke their pipes, eat biscuit and cheese, and drink a bottle of wine. In the 
■day and a half they walked a little less than thirty miles. The balance of the 
purchase was not walked until September 20, 17b3, when the then Governor of 
Pennsylvania offered a prize of 500 acres of land and £5 for the man who 
would walk the farthest. A distance of eighty-six miles was covered, in 
marked contrast with the kind consideration of Penn. 

During the first year, the country upon the Delaware, from the falls of 
Trenton as far as Chester, a distance of nearly sixty miles, was rapidly taken up 
and peopled. The 1 arge proportion of these were Quakers, and devotedly attached 
to their religion and its proper observances. They were, hence, morally, of the 
best classes, and though they were not generally of the aristocracy, yet many 
of them were in comfortable circumstances, had valuable properties, were of 
respectable families, educated, and had the resources within themselves to live 
contented and happy. They were provident, industrious, and had come hither 
with no fickle purpose. Many brought servants with them, and well supplied 
wardrobes, and all necessary articles which they wisely judged would be got 
in a new country with difficulty. 

Their religious principles were so peaceful' and generous, and the govern- 
ment rested so lightly, that the fame of the colony and the desirableness of 
settlement therein spread rapidly, and the numbers coming hither were unpar- 
alleled in the history of colonization, especially when we consider that a broad 
ocean was to be crossed and a voyage of several weeks was to be endured. In 
a brief period, ships with passengers came from London, Bristol, Ireland, 
Wales, Cheshire, Lancashire, Holland, Germany, to the number of about fifty. 
Among others came a company of German Quakers, from Krisheim, near 
Worms, in the Palatinate. These people regarded their lot as particularly 
fortunate, in which they recognized the direct interposition and hand of Provi- 
dence. For, not long afterward, the Palatinate was laid waste by the Freach 
army, and many of their kindred whom they had left behind were despoiled of 
their possessions and reduced to penury. There came also from Wales a com- 
pany of the stock of ancient Britons. 

So large an influx of population, coming in many cases without due pro- 
vision for variety of diet, caused a scarcity in many kinds of food, especially 
of meats. Time was required to bring forward flocks and herds, more than 
for producing grains. But Providence seemed to have graciously considered 
their necessities, and have miraculously provided for them, as of old was pro 
vision made for the chosen people. For it is recorded that the "wild pigeons 
came in such great numbers that the sky was sometimes darkened by their 
flight, and, flying low, they were frequently knocked down as they flew, in 
great quantities, by those who had no other means to take them, whereby thej 
supplied themselves, and, having salted those which they could not immedi- 
ately use, they preserved them, both for bread and meat." The Indians were 
kind, and often furnished them with game, for which they would receive no 

Their first care on landing was to bring their household goods to a place 
of safety, often to the simple protection of a tree. For some, this was their 
only shelter, lumber being scarce, and in many places impossible to obtain. 


Some made for themselves caves in the earth until better habitations could be 

John Key, -who was said to have been the first child born of English par- 
ents in Philadelphia, and that in recognition of which William Penn gave 
him a lot of ground, died at Kennet, in Chester County, on July 5, 1768, 
in the eighty-fifth year of his age. He was born in one of these caves upon 
the river bank, long afterward known by the name of Penny-pot, near Sassa- 
fras street. About six years before his death, he walked from Kennet to the 
city, about thirty miles, in one day. In the latter part of his life he went 
under the name of I'irst Born. 

The contrasts between the comforts and conveniences of an old settled 
country and this, where the heavy forests must be cleared away and severe la- 
bors must be endured before the sun could be let in sufficiently to produce 
anything, must have been very marked, and caused repining. But they had 
generally come with meek and humble hearts, and they willingly endured 
hardship and privation, and labored on earnestly for the spiritual comfort 
which they enjoyed. Thomas Makin, in some Latin verses upon the early set- 
tlement, says (we quote the metrical translation): 

"Its fame to distant countries far has spread, 
And some for peace, and some for profit led; 
Born in remotest climes, to settle here 
They leave their native soil and all that's dear. 
And still will flock from far, here to be free. 
Such powerful charms has lovely liberty." 

But for their many privations and sufferings there were some compensat- 
ing conditions. The soil was fertile, the air mostly clear and healthy, the 
streams of water were good and plentiful, wood for fire and building unlimit- 
ed, and at certain seasons of the year game in the forest was abundant. Rich- 
ard Townsend, a settler at Germantown, who came over in the ship with Penh, 
in writing to his friends in England of his first year in America, says: "I, 
with Joshua Tittery, made a net, and caaght great quantities of fish, so that, 
notwithstanding it was thought near three thousand persons came in the first 
year, we were so providentially provided for that we could buy a deer for 
about two shillings, and a large turkey for about one shilling, and Indian com 
for about two shillings sixpence a bushel." 

In the same letter, the writer mentions that a young deer came out of the 
forest into the meadow where he was mowing, and looked at him, and when 
he went toward it would retreat; and, as he resumed his mowing, would come 
back to gaze upon him, and finally ran forcibly against a tree, which so 
stunned it that he was able to overmaster it and bear it away to his home, and 
as this was at a time when he was suffering for the lack of meat, he believed 
it a direct interposition of Providence. 

In the spring of 1683, there was great activity throughout the colony, and 
especially in the new city, in selecting lands and erecting dwellings, the Sur- 
veyor General, Thomas Holme, laying out and marking the streets. In the 
center of the city was a public square of ten acres, and in each of the four 
quarters one of eight acres. A large mansion, which had been undertaken be- 
fore his arrival, was built for Penn, at a point twenty-six miles up the river, 
called Pennsbury Manor, where he sometimes resided, and where he often met 
the Indian sachems. At this time, Penn divided the colony into counties, 
three for the province (Bucks, Philadelphia and Chester) and three for the 
Territories (New Castle, Kent and Sussex). Having appointed Sheriffs and 
other proper oflacers, he issued writs for the election of members of a General 


Aseembly, three from each county for the Council or Upper House, and nine 
from each county for the Assembly or Lower House. * 

This Assembly convened and organized for business on the 10th of Jan- 
uary, 3683, at Philadelphia. One of the first subjects considered was the 
revising some proviRions of the frame of government which was effected, re- 
ducing the number of members of both Houses, the Council to 18 the As- 
sembly to 36, and otherwise amending in unimportant particulars. In 
an assembly thus convened, and where few, if any, had had any experience in 
serving in a deliberative body, we may reasonably suppose that many crude 
and impracticable propositions would be presented. As an example of these 
the following may be cited as specimens: That young men should be obliged 
to marry at, or before, a certain age; that two sorts of clothes only shall be 
worn, one for winter and the other for summer. The session lasted twenty two 

The first grand jury in Pennsylvania was summoned for the 2d of Feb- 
ruary, 1683, to inquire into the cases of some persons accused of issuing 
counterfeit money. The Governor and Council sat as a court. One Picker- 
ing was convicted, and the sentence was significant of the kind and patriarchal 
nature of the government, "that he should make full satisfaction, in good 
and current pay, to every person who should, within the space of one month, 
bring in any of this false, base and counterfeit coin, and that the money 
brought in should be melted down before it was returned to him, and that he 
should pay a fine of forty pounds toward the building a court house, stand 
committed till the same was paid, and afterward find security for his good 

The Assembly and courts having now adjourned, Penn gave his attention 
to the grading and improving the streets of the new city, and the managing 
the affairs of his land office, suddenly grown to great importance. For every 
section of land taken up in the wilderness, the purchaser was entitled to a 
certain plot in the new city. The Biver Delaware at this time was nearly a 
mile broad opposite the city, and navigable for ships of the largest tonnage. 
The tide rises about six feet at this point, and flows back" to the falls of 
Trenton, a distance of thirty miles. The tide in the Schuylkill flows only 
about five miles above its confluence with the Delaware. The river bank along 
the Delaware was intended by Penn as a common or public resort. But in 
his time the owners of lots above Front street pressed him to allow them to 
construct warehouses upon it, opposite their properties, which importunity in- 
duced him to make the following declaration concerning it: " The bank is a 
top common, from end to end; the rest next the water belongs to front-lot 
men no more than back- lot men. The way bounds them; they may build stairs, 
and the top of the bank a common exchange, or wall, and against the street, 
common wharfs may be bailt freely; but into the water, and the shore is no 
purchaser's." But in future time, this liberal desire of the founder was dis- 
regarded, and the bank lias been covered with immense warehouses. 

*It may be a matter of curiosity to know the names of the members of this first regularly elected Legis- 
lature in Pennsylvania, and they are accordingly appended as given in official records : 

Council: William Markbam, Christopher Taylor, Thomas Holme. Lacy Cock, William Haige, John Moll, 
Ralph Withers, John Simeock, Edward Cantwell, William Clayton, William Biles, James Harrison, William 
Clark, Francis Whitewell, John Richardson, John Hillyard. 

Assembly: From Bucks, William Yardly, Samuel Darke, Robert Lucas, Nicholas Walne, John Wood, John 
Clowes, Thomas Fitzwater, Robert Hall, James Boyden; from Philadelphia, John I^nghurst, John Hart, Wal- 
ter King, Andros Binkson, John Moon, Thomas Wynne (Speaker), Griffith Jones, William Warner, Swan Swan- 
son; from Chester, John Hoskins, Robert Wade, George Wood, John BluDston, Dennis Rochford, Thomas 
Bracy, John Bezer, John Harding, Joseph Phipps; from New Castle, John Cann, John Darby, Valentine Holi- 
ingsworth, Gasparus Herman, John Dchoaef, James Williams, William Guest, Peter Alrich, Henrick Williams ; 
from Kent, .Tobn Biggs, Simon Irons, Thomas HafTold John Curtis, Robert Bedwell, William Windsmore, John 
Brinkloe, Daniel Brown, Benony Bishop ; from Sussex, Luke Watson, Alexander Draper, William Futcher, 
Henry Bowman, Alexander Moleston, John Hill, Robert Bracy, John Kipshaven, Cornelius Verhoof. 


Seeing now his plans of government and settlement fairly in operation, as 
autumn approaolied, Penn wrote a letter to the Free Society of Traders in 
London, which had been formed to promote sattlement in his colony, in which 
he touched upon a great variety of topics regarding his enterprise, extending to 
quite a complete treatise. The great interest attaching to the subjects dis- 
cussed, and the ability with which it was drawn, makes it desirable to insert 
the document entire; but its great length makes its use incompatible with the 
plan of this work. A few extracts and a general plan of the letter is all that 
can be given. He first notices the injurious reports put in circulation in En- 
gland during his absence: " Some persons have had so little wit and so much 
malice as to report my death, and, to mend the matter, dead a Jesuit, too. 
One might have reasonably hoped that this distance, like death, would have 
been a protection against spite and envy. * * * However, to the great sorrow 
and shame of the inventors, I am still alive and no Jesuit, and, I thank God, 
very well." Of the air and waters hH says: " The air is sweet and clear, the 
heavens serene, like the south parts of Prance, rarely overcast. The waters 
are generally good, for the rivers and brooks have mostly gravel and stony bot- 
toms, and in number hardly credible. We also have mineral waters that 
operate in the same manner with Barnet and North Hall, not two miles from 
Philadelphia. " He then treats at length of the four seasons, of trees, fruits, 
grapes, peaches, grains, garden produce; of animals,beasts, birds, fish, whale fish- 
ery, horses and cattle, medicinal plants, flowers of the woods; of the Indians 
and their persons. Of their language he says: "It is lofty, yet narrow; but, 
like the Hebrew, in signification, full, imperfect in their tenses, wanting in their 
moods, participles, adverbs, conjunctions, interjections. I have made it my busi- 
ness to understand it, and I must say that I know not a language spoken in Europe 
that hath words of more sweetness or greatness in accent and emphasis than 
theirs. " Of their customs and their children : "The children will go very young, 
at nine months, commonly; if boys, they go a fishing, till ripe for the woods, which 
is about fifteen; then they hunt, and, after having given some proofs of their 
manhood by a good return of skins, they may marry, else it is a shame to think 
of a wife. The girls stay with their mother and help to hoe the ground, plant 
corn and cany burdens. When the young women are fit for marriage, they 
wear something upon their heads as an advertisment; but so, as their faces hardly 
to be seen, but when they please. The age they marry at, if women, is about 
thirteen and fourteen; if men, seventeen and eighteen; they are rarely elder." 
In a romantic vein he speaks of their houses, diet, hospitality, revengefulness 
and concealment of resentment, great liberality, free manner of life and 
customs, late love of strong liquor, behavior in sickness and death, tlieir re- 
ligion, their feastings, their government, their mode of doing business, their 
manner of administering justice, of agreement for settling di£Sculties entered into 
with the pen, their susceptibility to improvement, of the origin of the Indian race 
their resemblance to the Jews. Of the Dutch and Swedes whom he found set- 
tled here when he came, he says: " The Dutch applied themselves to traffick, 
the Swedes and Finns to husbandry. The Dutch mostly inhabit those parts 
that lie upon the bay, and the Swedes the freshes of the Delaware. They are 
a plain, strong, industrious people; yet have made no great progress in culture 
or propagation of fruit trees. They are a people proper, and strong of body, 
so they have fine children, and almost every house full; rare to find one of them 
without three or four boys and as many girls — some, six, seven and eight sons, 
and I must do them that right, I see few young men more sober and laborious." 
After speaking at length of the organization of the colony and its manner of 
government, he concludes with his own opinion of the country: "I say little 


of the town itself; but this I will say, for the good providence of God, that 
of all the many places I have seen in the world, I remember not one better 
seated, so that it seems to me to have been appointed for a town, whether we 
regard the rivers or the conveniency of the coves, docks, springs, the loftiness 
and soundness of the land and the air, held by the people of these parts to be 
very good. It is advanced within less than a year to about fourscore bouses 
and cottages, where merchants and handicrafts are following their vocations 
as fast as they can, while the countrymen are close at their farms. * * * I 
bless God I am fully satisfied with the country and entertainment I got in it; 
for I find that particular content, which hath always attended me, where God in 
His providence hath made it my place and service to reside. " 

As we have seen, the visit of Penn to Lord Baltimore soon after his arrival 
in America, for the purpose of settling the boundaries of the two provinces, after 
a two days' conference, proved fruitless, and an adjournment was had for the 
winter, when the efforts for settlement were to be resumed. Early in the 
spring, an attempt was made on the part of Peun, but was prevented till May, 
when a meeting was held at New Castle. Penn proposed to confer by the aid 
of counselors and in writing. But to this Baltimore objected, and, complain- 
ing of the sultryness of the weather, the conference was broken up. In the 
meantime, it had come to the knowledge of Penn that Lord Baltimore had 
issued a proclamation offering settlers more land, and at cheaper rates than 
Penn had done, in portions of the lower counties which Penn had secured 
from the Duke of York, but which Baltimore now claimed. Besides, it was 
ascertained that an agent of his had taken an observation, and determined the 
latitude without the knowledge of Penn, and had secretly made an ex parte 
statement of the case before the Lords of the Committee of Plantations in En- 
gland, and was pressing for arbitrament. This state of the case created much 
uneasiness in the mind of Penn, especially as the proclamation of Lord Balti- 
more was likely to bring the two governments into conflict on territory mutu- 
ally claimed. But Lord Baltimore was not disposed to be content with diplo- 
macy. He determined to pursue an aggressive policy. He accordingly com- 
missioned his agent. Col. George Talbot, under date of September 17, 1683, 
to go to Schuylkill, at Delaware, and demand of William Penn " all that part 
of the land on the west side of the said river that lyeth to the southward of 
the fortieth degree." This bold demand would have embraced the entire colony, 
both the lower counties, and the three counties in the province, as the fortieth 
degree reaches a considerable distance above Philadelphia. Penn was absent 
at the time in New York, and Talbot made his demand upon Nicholas Moore, 
the deputy of Penn. Upon his return, the proprietor made a dignified but 
earnest rejoinder. While he felt that the demand could not be jvistly sus- 
tained, yet the fact that a controversy for the settlement of the boundary was 
likely to arise, gave him disquietiide, and though he was gratified with the 
success of his plans for acquiring lands of the Indians and establishing friendly 
relations with them, the laying-oat of his new city and settling it, the adop- 
tion of a stable government and putting it in successful operation, and, more 
than all, the drawing thither the large number of settlers, chiefly of his own 
religious faith, and seeing them contented and happy in the new State, he 
plainly foresaw that his skill and tact would be taxed to the utmost to defend 
and hold his claim before the English court. If the demand of Lord Balti- 
more were to prevail, all that he had done would be lost, as his entire colony 
would be swallowed up by Maryland. 

The anxiety of Penn to hold from the beginniog of the 40° of latitude was 
not to increase thereby his territory by so much, for two degrees which he 


securely had, so far as amount of land was concerned, would have entirely 
satitsfied him; but he wanted this degree chiefly that he might have the free 
navigation of Delaware Bay and Eiver, and thus open communication with the 
ocean. He desired also to hold the lower counties, which were now well 
settled, as well as his own counties rapidly being peopled, and his new city of 
Philadelphia, which he regarded as the apple of his eye. So anxious was he 
to hold the land on the right bank of the Delaware to the open ocean, that at 
his second meeting, he asked Lord Baltimore to set a price per square mile on 
this disputed ground, and though he had purchased it once of the crown and 
held the King's charter for it, and the Duke of York's deed, yet rather than 
have any further wrangle over it, he was willing to pay for it again. But this 
Lord Baltimore refused to do. 

Bent upon bringing matters to a crisis, and to force possession of his 
claim, early in the year 1684 a party from Maryland made forcible entry 
upon the plantations in the lower counties and drove off the owners. The 
Governor and Council at Philadelphia sent thither a copy of the answer of 
Penn to Baltimore's demand for the land south of the Delaware, with order's 
to "William Welch, Sheriff at New Castle, to use his influence to reinstate the 
lawful owners, and issued a declaration succinctly stating the claim of Penn, 
for the purpose of preventing such unlawful incursions in future. 

The season opened favorably for the continued prosperity of the young 
colony. Agriculture was being prosecuted as never before. Goodly flocks 
and herds gladdened the eyes of the settlers. An intelligent, moral and in- 
dustrious yeomanry was springing into existence. Emigrants were pouring 
into the Delaware from many lands. The Government was becoming settled 
in its operations and popular with the people. The proprietor had leisure to 
attend to the interests of his religious society, not only in his own dominions,, 
but in the Jerseys and in New York. 


Thomas Lloyd, 1684-86— Five Commissioners, 1686-88— John Blacktell, 168S 
-90— Thomas Lloyd, 1690-91— William Markham, 1691-93— Benjamin 
Fletcher, 1693-95— William Markham, 1693-99. 

BTJT the indications, constantly thickening, that a struggle was likely soon 
to be precipitated before the crown for possession of the disputed terri- 
tory, decided Penn early in the summer to quit the colony and return to En- 
gland to defend his imperiled interests. There is no doubt that he took this 
step with unfeigned regret, as he was contented and happy in his new country, 
and was most usefully employed. There were, however, other inducements 
which were leading him back to England. The hand of persecution was at 
this time laid heavily upon the Quakers. Over 1,400 of these pious and in- 
offensive people were now, and some of them had been for years, languishing 
in the prisons of England, for no other offense than their manner of worship. 
By his friendship with James, and his acquaintance with the King, he might 
do something to soften the lot of these unfortunate victims of bigoti-y. 

He accordingly empowered the Provincial Council, , of which Thomas 
Lloyd was President, to act in his stead, commissioned Nicholas Moore, Will- 
iam Welch, William Wood, Bobert Turner and John Eckley, Provincial 


Judges for two years ; appointed Thomas Lloyd, James Claypole and Robert 
Turner to sign land patents and warrants, and "William Clark as Justice of 
the Peace for all the counties; and on the 6th of June, 1684, sailed for Europe. 
His feelings on leaving his colony are exnibited by a farewell address which 
he issued from on board the vessel to his people, of which the following are 
brief extracts: "My love and my life is to you, and with you, and no water 
can quench it, nor distance wear it out, nor bring it to an end. I have been 
with you, cared over you and served over you with unfeigned love, and you 
are beloved of me, and near to me, beyond utterance. I bless you in the 
name and power of the Lord, and may God bless yon with His righteousness, 
peace and plenty all the land over. * * * Oh! now are you come to a 
quiet land; provoke not the Lord to trouble it. And now liberty and author- 
ity are with you, and in your hands. Let the government be upon His 
shoulders, in all your spirits, that you may rule for Him, under whom the 
princes of this world will, one day, esteem their honor to govern and serve in 
their places * * * And thou, Philadelphia, the virgin settlement of 
this province, named before thou wert born, what love, what care, what serv- 
ice and what travail has there been, to bring thee forth, and preserve thee from 
such as would abuse and defile thee! * * * go, dear friends, my love 
again salutes you all, wishing that grace, mercy and peace, with all temporal 
blessings, may abound richly among you — so says, so prays, your friend and 
lover in the truth. William Penn." 

On the 6th of December of this same year, 1684, Charles II died, and was 
succeeded by his brother James, Duke of York, under the title of James II. 
James was a professed Catholic, and the people were greatly excited all over 
the kingdom lest the reign of Bloody Mary should be repeated, and that the 
Catholic should become the established religion. He had less ability than 
his brother, the deceased King, but great discipline and industry. Penn en- 
joyed the friendship and intimacy of the new King, and he determined to use 
his advantage for the relief of his suffering countrymen, not only of his sect, 
the Quakers, but of all, and especially for the furtherance of universal liberty. 
But there is no doubt that he at this time meditated a speedy return to his 
province, for he writes: "Keep up the peoples' hearts and loves; I hope to be 
with them next fall, if the Lord prevent not. I long to be with you. No 
temptations prevail to fix me here. The Lord send us a good meeting." By 
authority of Penn, dated '18th of January, 1685, William Markham, Penn's 
cousin, was commissioned Secretary of the province, and the proprietor's Sec- 

That he might be fixed near to court for the furtherance of his private as 
well as public business, he secured lodgings for himself and family, in 1685, at 
Kensington, near London, and cultivated a daily intimacy with the King, who, 
no doubt, found in the strong native sense of his Quaker friend, a valued ad- 
viser upon many questions of difficulty. His first and chief care was the set- 
tlement of his disagreement with Lord Baltimore touching the boundaries of 
their provinces. This was settled in November, 1685, by a compromise, by 
which the land lying between the Delaware and Chesepeake Bays was divided 
into two equal parts— that upon the Delaware was adjudged to Perm, and that 
upon the Chesapeake to Lord Baltimore. This settled the matter in theory; 
but when the attempt was made to run the lines according to the language of 
the Royal Act, it was found that the royal secretaries did not understand the 
geography of the country, and that the line which their language described was 
an impossible one. Consequently the boundary remained undetermined till 
1732. The account of its location will be given in its proper place. 


Having secured this important decision to his satisfaction, Penn applied 
himself with renewed zeal, not only to secure the ' release of his people, who 
were languishing in prisons, but to procure for all Englishmen, everywhere, 
enlarged liberty and freedom of conscience. His relations with the King fa- 
vored his designs. The King had said to Penn before he ascended the throne 
that he was opposed to persecution for religion. On the first day of his reign, 
he made an address, in which he proclaimed himself opposed to all arbitrary 
principles in government, 'and promised protection to the Church of England. 
Early in the year 1686, in consequence of the King's proclamation for a gen- 
eral pardon, over thirteen hundred Quakers were set at liberty, and in April, 
1687, the King issued a declaration for entire liberty of conscience, and sus- 
pending the penal laws in matters ecclesiastical. This was a great step in ad- 
vance, and one that must ever throw a luster over the brief reign of this un- 
fortunate monarch. Penn, though holding no official position, doubtless did 
as much toward securing the issue of this liberal measure as any Englishman. 

Upon the issue of these edicts, the Quakers, at their next annual meeting, 
presented an address of acknowledgment to the Ring, which opened in these 
words: " "We cannot but bless and praise the name of Almighty God, who 
hath the hearts of princes in His hands, that He hath inclined the King to hear 
the cries of his suffering subjects for conscience' sake, and we rejoice that he 
hath given us so eminent an occasion to present him our thanks." This ad- 
dress was presented by Penn in a few well -chosen words, and the King re- 
plied in the following, though brief, yet most expressive, language: "Gentle- 
men — I thank you heartily for your address. Some of you know (I am sure 
you do Mr. Penn), that it was always my principle, that conscience ought not 
to be forced, and that all men ought to have the liberty of their consciences. 
And what I have promised in my declaration, I will continue to perform so 
long as I live. And I hope, before I die, to settle it so that after ages shall 
have no reason to alter it." 

It would have been supposed that such noble sentiments as these from a 
sovereign would have been hailed with delight by the English people. But 
they were not. The aristocracy of Britain at this time did not want liberty of 
conscience. They wanted oomformity to the established church, and bitter 
persecution against all others, as in the reign of Charles, which filled the 
prisons with Quakers. The warm congratulations to James, and fervent prayers 
for his welfare, were regarded by them with an evil eye. Bitter reproaches 
were heaped upon Penn, who was looked upon as the power behind the throne 
that was moving the King to the enforcing of these principles. He was ac- 
cused of having been educated at St. Omer's, a Catholic college, a place which 
he never saw in his life, of having taken orders as a priest in the Catholic 
Church, of having obtained dispensation to marry, and of being not only a 
Catholic, but a Jesuit in disguise, all of which were pure fabrications. But in 
the excited state of the public mind they were believed, and caused him to be 
regarded with bitter hatred. The King, too, fell rapidly into disfavor, and so 
completely had the minds of his people become alienated from him, that upon 
the coming of the Prince of Orange and his wife Mary, in 1688, James was 
obliged to flee to France for safety, and they were received as the rulers of 

But while the interests of the colony were thus prospering at court, they 
were not so cloudless in the new country. There was needed the strong hand 
of Penn to check abuses and guide the course of legislation in proper chan- 
nels. He had labored to place the government entirely in tlie hands of the 
people — an idea, in the abstract, most attractive, and one which, were the entire 
- 4 


population wise and just, would result fortunately; yet, in practice, he found 
to his sorrow the results most vexatious. The proprietor had not long been 
gone before troubles arose between the two Houses of the Legislature relative 
to promulga!ting the laws as not being in accordance with the requirements of 
the charter. Nicholas Moore, the Chief Justice, was impeached for irregular- 
ities in imposing fines and in other ways abusing his high trust. But though 
formally arraigned and directed to desist from exercising his functions, he suc- 
cessfully resisted the proceedings, and a final judgment was never obtained. 
Patrick Bobinson, Clerk of the court, for refusing to produce the records in the 
trial of Moore, was voted a public enemy. These troubles in the government 
were the occasion of much grief to Penn, who wrote, naming a number of the 
most influential men in the colony, and beseeching them to unite in an endeavor 
to check further irregularities, declaring that they disgraced the province, 
" that their conduct had struck back hundreds, and was £10, 000 out of his 
way, and £100,000 out of the country." 

In the latter part of the year 1686, seeing that the whole Council was too 
unwieldy a body to exercise executive power, Penn determined to contract the 
number, and accordingly appointed Thomas Lloyd, Nicholas Moore, James 
Claypole, Eobert Turner and John Eckley, any three of whom should consti- 
tute a quorum, to be Commissioners of State to act for the proprietor. In 
place of Moore and Claypole, Ai-thur Cook and John Simcock were appointed. 
They were to compel the attendance of the Council; see that the two Houses 
admit of no parley; to abrogate all laws except the fundamentals; to dismiss 
the Assembly and call a new one, and finally he solemnly admonishes them, 
" Be most just, as in the sight of the all-seeing, all-searching God." In a 
letter to these Commissioiiers, he says: " Three things occur to me eminently: 
First, that you be watchful that none abuse the King, etc. ; secondly, that you 
get the custom act revived as being the equalest and least offensive way to 
support the government; thirdly, that you retrieve the dignity of courts and 

In a letter to James Harrison, his confidential agent at Pennsbury Manor, 
he unbosoms himself more freely respecting his employment in London than 
in any of his State papers or more public communications, and from it can be 
seen how important were his labors with the head of the English nation. " I 
am engaged in the public business of the nation and Friends, and those in au- 
thority would have me see the establishment of the liberty, ttiat I was a small 
instrument to begin in the land. The Lord has given me great entrance and 
interest with the King, though not so much as is said; and I confess I should 
rejoice to see poor old England fixed, the penal laws repealed, that are now 
suspended, and if it goes well with England, it cannot go ill with Pennsyl- 
vania, as unkindly used as I am; and no poor slave in Turkey desires more 
earnestly, I believe, for deliverance, than I do to be with you." In the sum- 
mer of 1687, Penn was in company with the King in a progress through the 
counties of Berkshire, Glocestershire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Cheshire, 
Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire, during which he 
held several religious meetings with his people, in some of which the King ap- 
pears to have been present, particularly in Chester. 

Since the departure of Penn, Thomas Lloyd had acted as President of 
the Council, and later of the Commissioners of State. He had been in effect 
Governor, and held responsible for the success of the government, while pos- 
sessing only one voice in the disposing of affairs. Tiring of this anomalous 
position, Lloyd applied to be relieved. It was difficult to find a person of 
sufficient ability to fill the place; but Penn decided to relieve him, though 


showing his entire confidence by notifying him that he intended soon to ap- 
point him absolute Governor. In his place, he indicated Samuel Carpenter, 
or if he was unwilling to serve, then Thomas Ellis, but not to be President, his 
will being that each should preside a month in turn, or that the oldest mem- 
ber should be chosen. 

Penn foresaw that the executive power, to be efficient, must be lodged' in 
the hands of one man of ability, such as to command the respect of his people. 
Those whom he most trusted in the colony had been so mixed up in the wran- 
gles of the executive and legislative departments of the government that he 
deemed it advisable to appoint a person who had not before been in the col- 
ony and not a Quaker. He accordingly commissioned John Blackwell, July 
27, 1688, to be Lieutenant Governor, who was at this time in New England, 
and who had the esteem and confidence of Penn. With the commission, the 
proprietor sent full instructions, chiefly by way of caution, the last one being: 
" Rule the meek meekly; and those that will not be ruled, rule with authority." 
Though Lloyd had been relieved of power, he still remained in the Council, 
probably because neither of the persens designated were willing to serve. 
Having seen the evils of a many-headed executive, he had recommended the 
appointment of one person to exercise executive authority. It was in con- 
formity with this advice that Blackwell was appointed. He met the Assembly 
in March, 1689; but either his conceptions of business were arbitrary and im- 
perious, or the Assembly had become accustomed to great latitude and lax 
discipline; for the business had not proceeded far before the several branches 
of the government were at variance. Lloyd refused to give up the great seal, 
alleging that it had been given him for life. The Governor, arbitra- 
rily and without warrant of law, imprisoned officers of high rank, denied the 
validity of all laws passed by the Assembly previous to his administration, and 
set on foot a project for organizing and equipping the militia, under the plea 
of threatened hostility of Prance. The Assembly attempted to arrest his 
proceedings, but he shrewdly evaded their intents by organizing a party 
among the members, who persistently absented themselves. His reign 
was short, for in January, 1690, he left the colony and sailed away for En- 
gland, whereupon the government again devolved upon the Council, Thomas 
Lloyd, President. Penn had a high estimation of the talents and integrity 
of Blackwell, and adds, "He is in England and Ireland of great repute for 
ability, integrity and virtue. " 

Three forms of administering the executive department of the government 
had now been tried, by a Council consisting of eighteen members, a commission of 
five members, and a Lieutenant Governor. Desirous of leaving the government 
as far as possible in the hands of the people who were the sources of all 
power, Penn left it to the Council to decide which form should be adopted. 
The majority decided for a Deputy Governor. This was opposed by the mem- 
bers from the provinces, who preferred a Council, and who, finding themselves 
outvoted, decided to withdraw, and determined for themselves to govern the 
lower counties until Penn should come. This obstinacy and falling out be- 
tween the councilors from the lower counties and those from the province 
was the beginning of a controversy which eventuated in a separation, and 
finally in the formation of Delaware as a separate commonwealth. A deputa- 
tion from the Council was sent to New Castle to induce the seceding members 
to return, but without success. They had never regarded with favor the re- 
moval of the sittings of the Council from New Castle, the first seat of gov- 
ernment, to Philadelphia, and they were now determined to set up a govern- 
ment for themselves. 


In 1689, the Friends Public School in Philadelphia was first incorporated, 
confirmed by a patent from Penn in 1701, and another in 1708, and finally, 
with greatly enlarged powers, from Penn personally, November 29, 1711. The 
preamble to the charter recites that as "the prosperity and welfare ot any 
people depend, in great measure, upon the good education of youth, and their 
early introduction in the principles of true religion and virtue, and qualifying 
them to serve their country and themselves, by breeding them in reading, 
writing, and learning of languages and useful arts and sciences suitable to 
their sex, age and degree, which cannot be effected in any manner so well as 
by erecting public schools," etc. George Keith was employed as the first mas- 
ter of this school. He was a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, a man of learning, 
and had emigrated to East Jersey some years previous, whore he was Surveyor 
General, and had surveyed and marked the line between Bast and West New 
Jersey. He only remained at the head of the school one year, when he was 
succeeded by his usher, Thomas Makin. This was a school of considerable 
merit and pretension, where the higher mathematics and the ancient lan- 
guages were taught, and was the first of this high grade. A school of a pri- 
mary grade had been established as early as 1683, in Philadelphia, when 
Enoch Flower taught on the following terms: "To learn to read English, 
four shillings by the quarter; to write, six shillings by ditto; to read, write and 
cast accounts, eight shillings by the quarter; boarding a scholar, that is to 
say, diet, lodging, washing and schooling, £10 for one whole year," from which 
it will be seen that although learning might be highly prized, its cost in 
hard cash was not exorbitant. 

Penn's favor at court during the reign of James II caused him to be sus- 
pected of disloyalty to the government when William and Mary had come to 
the throne. Accordingly on the 10th of December, 1688, while walking in 
White Hall, he was summoned before the Lords of the Council, and though 
■nothing was found against him, was compelled to give security for his appear- 
ance at the next term, to answer any charge that might be made. At the sec- 
ond sitting of the Council nothing having been found against him, he was 
cleared in open court. In 1690, he was again brought before the Lords on 
the charge of having been in correspondence with the late King. He ap- 
pealed to King William, who, after a hearing of two hours, was disposed to 
release him, but the Lords decided to hold him until the Trinity term, when 
he was again discharged. A third time he was arraigned, and this time with 
eighteen others, charged with adhering to the kingdom's enemies, but was 
cleared by order of the King's Bench. Being now at liberty, and these vexa- 
tious suits apparently at an end, he set about leading a large party of settlers 
to his cherished Pennsylvania. Proposals were published, and the Govern- 
ment, regarding the enterprise oE so much importance, had ordered an armed 
convoy, when he was again met by another accusation, and now, backed by 
the false oath of one William Fuller, whom the Parliament subsequently de- 
clared a "cheat and an imposter." Seeing that he must prepare again for his 
defease, he abandoned his voyage to America, after having made expensive 
preparations, and convinced that his enemies were determined to prevent his 
attention to public or private affairs, whether in England or America, he with-' 
drew himself during the ensuing two or three years from the public eye. 

But though not participating in business, which was calling loudly for his 
attention, his mind was busy, and several important treatises upon religious 
and civil matters were produced that had great influence upon the turn of 
public affairs, which would never have been written but for this forced retire- 
ment.- In his address to the yearly meeting of Friends in London, he says: 


" My enemies are yours. My privacy ia not because men have sworn truly, 
but falsely against me. " 

His porsonal grievances in England were the least which he suffered. For 
lack of guiding influence, bitter dissensions had sprung up in his colony, 
which threatened the loss of all. Desiring to secure peace, he had commis- 
sioned Thomas Lloyd Deputy Governor of the province, and William Mark- 
ham Deputy Governor of the lower counties. Penn's grief on account of this 
division is disclosed in a letter to a friend in the province: "I left it to them, 
to choose either the government of the Council, five Commissioners or a deputy. 
What could be tenderer? Now I perceive Thomas Lloyd is chosen by the 
three upper but not the three lower counties, and sits down with this broken 
choice. This has grieved and wounded me and mine, I fear to the hazard of 
all I * « * fQf eigg tijg Governor of New York is like to have all, if he 
has it not already." 

But the troubles of Penn in America were not confined to civil affairs. 
His religious society was torn with dissension. George Keith, a man of con- 
siderable power in argumentation, but of overweaning self -conceit, attacked the 
Friends for the laxity of their discipline, and drew off some followers. So 
venomous did he become that on the 20th of April, 1692, a testimony of de- 
nial was drawn up against him at a meeting of ministers, wherein he and his 
conduct were publicly disowned. This was confirmed at the next yearly meet- 
ing. He drew off large numbers and set up an independent society, who 
termed themselves Christian Quakers. Keith appealed from this action of the 
American Church to the yearly meeting in London, but was so intemperate in 
speech that the action of the American Church was confirmed. Whereupon 
he became the bitter enemy of the Quakers, and, uniting with the Church of 
England, was ordained a Vicar by the Bishop of London. He afterward re- 
turned to America where he wrote against his former associates, but was final- 
ly fixed in a benefice in Sussex, England. On his death bed, he said, " I wish 
I had died when I was a Quaker, for then I am sure it would have been well 
with my soul. " 

But Keith had not been satisfied with attacking the principles and prac- 
tices of his church. He mercilessly lampooned the Lieutenant Governor, say- 
ing that ''He was not fit to be a Governor, and his name would stink," and of 
the Council, that " He hoped to God he should shortly see their power taken 
from them." On another occasion, he said of Thomas Lloyd, who was reputed 
a mild-tempered man, and had befriended Keith, that he was " an impu- 
dent man and a pitiful Governor," and asked him " why he did not send him 
to jail," saying that "his back (Keith's) had long itched for a whipping, and 
that he would print and expose them all over America, if not over Europe. " 
So abusive had he finally become that the Council was obliged to take notice 
of his conduct and to warn him to desist. 

Penn, as has been shown, was silenced and thrown into retirement in En- 
gland- It can be readily seen what an excellent opportunity those troubles 
in America, the separation in the government, and the schism in the church, 
gave his enemies to attack him. They represented that he had neglected his 
colony by remaining in England and meddling with matters in which he had 
no business; that the colony in consequence had fallen into great disorder, 
and that he should be deprived of his proprietary rights. These complaints 
had so much weight with William and Mary, that, on the 21st of October, 1692, 
they commissioned Benjamin Fletcher, Governor of New York, to take the 
province and territories under his government. There was another motive 
operating at this time, more potent than those mentioned above, to induce the 


King and Queen to put the government of Pennsylvania under the Governor 
of New York. The French and Indians from the north were threatening the 
English. Already the expense for defense had become burdensome to New 
York. It was believed that to ask aid for the common defense from Penn, 
with his peace principles, would be fruitless, but that through the influence of 
Gov. Fletcher, as executive, an appropriation might be secured. 

Upon receiving his commission, Gov. Fletcher sent a note, dated April 19, 
1693, to Deputy Gov. Lloyd, informing him of the grant of the royal commis- 
sion and of his intention to visit the colony and assume authority on the 29th 
inst He accordingly came with great pomp and splendor, attended by a 
numerous retinue, and soon after his arrival, submission to him having been 
accorded without question, summoned the Assembly. Some differences having 
arisen between the Governor and the Assembly about the manner of calling and 
electing the Eepresentatives, certain members united in an address to the Gov- 
ernor, claiming that the constitution and laws were still in full force and 
must be administered until altered or repealed; that Pennsylvania had just as 
good a right to be governed according lo the usages of Pennsylvania as New 
York had to be governed according to the usages of that province. The Leg- 
islature being finally organized. Gov. Fletcher presented a letter from the 
Queen, setting forth that the expense for the preservation and defense of Albany 
against the French was intolerable to the inhabitants there, and that as this 
was a frontier to other colonies, it was thought but just that they should help 
bear the burden. The Legislature, in firm but respectful terms, maintained 
that the constitution and laws enacted under them were in full force, and 
when he, having flatly denied this, attempted to intim^idate them by the threat 
of annexing Pennsylvania to New York, they mildly but firmly requested that 
if the Governor had objections to the bill which they had passed and would 
communicate them, they would try to remove them. The business was now 
amicably adjusted, and he in compliance with their wish dissolved the Assembly, 
and after appointing William Markham Lieutenant Governor, departed to his 
government in New York, doubtless well satisfied that a Quaker, though usu- 
ally mild mannered, is not easily frightened or coerced. 

Gov. Fletcher met the Assembly again in March, 1694, and during this 
session, having apparently failed in his previous endeavors to induce the Assem- 
bly to vote money for the common defense, sent a communication setting forth 
the dangers to be apprehended from the French and Indians, and concluding in 
these words : " That he considered their principles ; that they could not carry arms 
nor levy money to make war, though for their own defense, yet he hoped that 
they would not refuse to feed the hungry and clothe the naked; that was to 
supply the Indian nations with such necessaries as may influence their contin- 
ued friendship to their provinces." But notwithstanding the adroit sugar- 
coating of the pill, it was not acceptable and no money was voted. This and a 
brief session in September cloued the Governorship of Pennsylvania by 
Fletcher. It would appear from a letter written by Penn, after hearing of 
the neglect of the Legislature to vote money for the purpose indicated, that 
he took an entirely different view of the subject from that which was antici- 
pated; for he blamed the colony for refusing to send money to New York for 
what he calls the common defense. 

Through the kind offices of Lords Rochestei , Ranelagh, Sidney and Somers, 
the Duke of Buckingham and Sir John Trenchard, the king was asked to 
hear the case of William Penn, against whom no charge was proven, and who 
would two years before have gone to his colony had he not supposed that he 
would have been thought to go in defiance of the government. King William 


answered that William Penn was his old acquaintance as well as theirs, that 
he might follow his business as freely as ever, and that he had nothing to say 
to him. Penn was accordingly reinstated in his government by letters patent 
dated on the 20th of August, 1694, whereupon he commissioned William Mark- 
ham Lieutenant Governor. 

When Markham called the Assembly, he disregarded the provisions of the 
charter, assuming that the removal of Penn had annulled the grant. The 
Assembly made no objection to this action, as there were provisions in the old 
charter that they desired to have changed. Accordingly, when the appropria- 
tion bill was considered, a new constitution was attached to it and passed. 
This was approved by Markham and became the organic law, the third consti- 
tution adopted under the charter of King Charles. By the provisions of this 
instrument, the Council was composed of twelve members, and the Assembly 
of twenty-four. During the war between Prance and England, the ocean 
swarmed with the privateers of the former. When peace was declared, many of 
these crafts, which had richly profited by privateering, were disposed to con- 
tinue their irregular practices, which was now piracy. Judging that the peace 
principles of the Quakers would shield them from forcible seizure, they were 
accustomed to run into the Delaware for safe harbor. Complaints coming 
of the depredations of these parties, a proclamation was issued calling on 
magistrates and citizens to unite in breaking up practices so damaging to the 
good name of the colony. It was charged in England that evil-disposed per- 
sons in the province were privy to these practices, if not parties to it, and that 
the failure of the Government to break it up was a proof of its inefficiency, 
and of a radical defect of the principles on which it was based. Penn was 
much exercised by these charges, and in his letters to the Lieutenant Governor 
and to his friends in the Assembly, urged ceaseless vigilance to effect reform. 


William Penn, 1699-1701— Andrew Hamilton, 1701-3— Edward Shippen 
1703-4— John Evans, 1704-9— Charles Gookin, 1709-17. 

BEING free from harassing persecutions, and in favor at court, Penn de- 
termined to remove with his family to Pennsylvania, and now with the ex- 
pectation of living and dying here. Accordingly, in July, 1699, he set sail, 
and, on account of adverse winds, was three months tossed about upon the 
ocean. Just before his arrival in his colony, the yellow fever raged there with 
great virulence, having been brought thither from the West Indies, but had 
been checked by the biting frosts of autumn, and had now disappeared. An 
observant traveler, who witnessed the effects of this scourge, writes thus of it 
in his journal: " Great was the majesty and hand of the Lord. Great was 
the fear that fell upon all flesh. I saw no lofty nor airy countenance, nor 
heard any vain jesting to move men to laughter, nor witty repartee to raise 
mirth, nor extravagant feasting to excite the lusts and desires of the flesh 
above measure; but every face gathered paleness, and many hearts were hum- 
bled, and countenances fallen and sunk, as such that waited every moment to 
be summoned to the bar and numbered to the grave. " 

Great joy was everywhere manifested throughout the province at the arriv- 


al of the proprietor and his family, fondly believing that he had now come to 
stay. He met the Assembly soon after landing, but, it being an inclement 
season, he only detained them loQg enough to pass two measures aimed against 
piracy and illicit trade, exaggerated reports of which, having been spread 
broadcast through the kingdom, had caused him great uneasiness and vexation. 
At the first monthly meeting of Friends in 1700, he laid before them his 
concern, which was for the welfare of Indians and Negroes, and steps were 
taken to instruct them and provide stated meetings for them where they could 
hear the Word. It is more than probable that he had fears from the first that 
his enemies in England would interfere in his affairs to such a degree as to re- 
quire his early return, though he had declared to his friends there that he 
never expected to meet them again. His greatest solicitude, consequently, 
was to give a charter to his colony, and also one to his city, the very best that 
human ingenuity could devise. Aji experience of now nearly twenty years 
would be likely to develop the weaknesses and impracticable provisions of the 
first constitutions, so that a frame now drawn with all the light of the past, 
and by the aid and suggestion of the men who had been employed in acteiin- 
istering it, would be likely to be enduring, and though he might be called 
hence, or be removed by death, their work would live on from generation to 
generation and age to age, and exert a benign and preserving influence while 
the State should exist. 

In February, 1701, Penn met the most renowned and powerful of the In- 
dian chieftains, reaching out to the Potomac, the Susquehanna and to the Ononda- 
goes of the Five Nations, some forty in number, at Philadelphia, where he 
renewed with them pledges of peace and entered into a formal treaty of active 
friendship, binding them to disclose any hostile intent, confirm sale of lands, 
be governed by colonial law, all of which was confirmed on the part of the In- 
dians "by five parcels of skins;" and on the part of Penn by " several English 
goods and merchandises. " 

Several sessions of the Legislature were held in which great harmony pre- 
vailed, and much attention was giving to revising and recomposing the consti- 
tution. But in the midst of their labors for the improvement of the organic 
law, intelligence was brought to Penn that a bill had been introduced in the 
House of Lords for reducing all the proprietary governments in America to 
regal ones, under pretence of advancing the prerogative of the crown, and 
the national advantage. Such of the owners of land in Pennsylvania as hap- 
pened to be in England, remonstrated against action upon the bill until Penn 
could return and be heard, and wrote to him urging his immediate coming 
hither. Though much to his disappointment and sorrow, he determined to 
go immediately thither. He promptly called a session of the Assembly, and 
in his message to the two Houses said, "I cannot think of such a voyage 
without great reluctancy of mind, having promised myself the quietness of a 
wilderness. For my heart is among you, and no disappointment shall ever be 
able to alter my love to the country, and resolution to return, and settle my 
family and posterity in it. * * Think therefore (since all men are mortal), 
of some suitable expedient and provision for youi- safety as well in your privi- 
leges as property. Keview again your laws, propose new ones, and you will 
find me ready to comply with whatsoever may render us happy, by a nearer 
union of our interests." The Assembly returned a suitable response, and then 
proceeded to draw up twenty-one articles. The first related to ttie appoint- 
ment of a Lieutenant Governor. Penn proposed that the Assembly should 
choose one. Buf this they declined, preferring that he should appoint one. 
Little trouble was experienced in settling everything broached, except the 


union of the province and lower counties. Penn used his best endeavors to 
reconcile them to the union, but without avail. The new constitution was 
adopted on the 28th of October, 1701. The instrument provided for the 
union, but in a supplementary article, evidently granted with great reluctance, 
it was provided that the province and the territories might be separated at any 
time within three years. As his last act before leaving, he presented the city 
of Philadelphia, now grown to be a considerable place, and always an object 
of his affectionate regard, with a charter of privileges. As his Deputy, he ap- 
pointed Andrew Hamilton, one of the proprietors of East New Jersey, and 
sometime Governor of both East and West Jersey, and for Secretary of the 
province and^ Clert of the Council, he selected J ames Logan, a man of sin- 
gular urbanity and strength of mind, and withal a scholar. 

Penn set sail for Europe on the 1st of November, 1701. Soon after his 
arrival, on the 18th of January, 1702, King William died, and Anne of Den- 
mark succeeded him. He now found himself in favor at court, and that he 
might be convenient to the royal residence, he again took lodgings at Kensing- 
ton. The bill which had been pending before Parliament, that had given him 
so much uneasiness, was at the succeeding session dropped entirely, and was 
never again called up. During his leisure i hours, he now busied himself in 
writing ' ' several useful and excellent treatises on divers subjects." 

Gov. Hamilton's administration continued only till December, 1702, when 
he died. He was earnest in his endeavors to induce the territories to unite 
with the province, they having as yet not accepted the new charter, alleging 
that they had three years in which to make their decision, but without success. 
He also organized a military force, of which George Lowther was commander, 
for the safety of the colony. 

The executive authority now devolved upon the Council, of which Edward 
Shipper) was President. Conflict of authority, and contention over the due in- 
terpretation of some provisions of the new charter, prevented the accomplish- 
ment of much, by way of legislation, in the Assembly which convened in 1703; 
though in this body it was finally determined that the lower counties should 
thereafter act separately in a legislative capacity. This separation proved 
final, the two bodies never again meeting in common. 

Though the bill to govern the American Colonies by regal authority failed, 
yet the clamor of those opposed to the proprietary Governors was so strong 
that an act was finally passed requiring the selection of deputies to have the 
royal assent. Hence, in choosing a successor to Hamilton, he was obliged to 
consider the Queen's wishes. John Evans, a man of parts, of Welsh extrac- 
tion, only twenty -six years old, a member of the Queen's household, and not a 
Quaker, nor even of exemplary morals, was appointed, who arrived in the col- 
ony in December, 1703. He was accompanied by William Penn, Jr., who was 
elected a member of the Council, the number having been increased by author- 
ity of the Governor, probably with a view to his election. 

The first care of Evans was to unite the province and lower counties, 
though the final separation had been agreed to. He presented the matter so' 
well that the lower counties, from which the difficulty had always come, were 
willing to return to a firm union. Bat now the provincial Assembly, having 
become impatient of the obstacles thrown in the way of legislation by the dole- 
gates from these counties, was unwilling to receive them. They henceforward 
remained separate in a legislative capacity, though still a part of Pennsylvania, 
under the claim of Penn, and ruled by the same Governor, and thus they con- 
tinued until the 20th of September, 1776, when a constitution was adopted, 
and they were proclaimed a separate State under the name of Delaware. 


Dunng two years of the government of Evans, there was ceaseless discord be- 
tween the Council, headed by the Governor and Secretary Logan on the one 
side, and the Assembly led by David Lloyd, its Speaker, on the other, and 
little legislation was effected. 

Eealizing the defenseless condition of the colony, Evans determined to 
organize the militia, and accordingly issued his proclamation. "In obedience 
to her Majesty's royal command, and to the end that the inhabitants of this 
government may be in a posture of defense and readiness to withstand and 
repel all acts of hostility, I do hereby strictly command and require all per- 
sons residing in this government, whose persuasions will, on any account, per- 
mit them to take up arms in their own defense, that forthwith they do pro- 
vide themselves with a good firelock and ammunition, in order to enlist them- 
selves in the militia, which 1 am now settling in this government. " The Gov- 
ernor evidently issued this proclamation ia good faith, and with a pure pur- 
pose. The French and Indiana had assiuned a threatening aspect upon the north, 
and while the other colonies had assisted New York liberally, Pennsylvania had 
done little or nothing for the common defense. But his call fell stillborn. 
The " fire- locks" were not brought out, and none enlisted. 

Disappointed at this lack of spirit, and embittered by the factious temper of 
the Assembly, Evans, who seems not to have had faith in the religious prin- 
ciples of the Quakers, and to have entirely mistook the nature of their Christian 
zeal, formed a wild scheme to test their steadfastness under the pressure of 
threatened danger. In conjunction with his gay associates in revel, he agreed 
to have a false alarm spread of the approach of a hostile force in the river, 
whereupon he was to raise the alarm in the city. Accordingly, on the day of 
the fair in Philadelphia, 16th of March, 1706, a messenger came, post haste 
from New Castle, bringing the startling intelligence that an armed fleet of the 
enemy was already in the river, and making their way rapidly toward the city. 
Whereupon Evans acted his part to a nicety. He sent emissaries through the 
town proclaiming the dread tale, while he mounted his horse, and in an ex- 
cited manner, and with a drawn sword, rode through the streets, calling upon all 
good men and true to rush to arms for the defense of their homes, their wives 
and children, and all they held dear. The ruse was so well played that it 
had an immense effect. " The suddenness of the surprise," says Proud, " with 
the noise of precipitation consequent thereon, threw many of the people into 
very great fright and consternation, insomuch that it is said some threw their 
plate and most valuable effects down their wells and little houses; that others 
hid themselves, in the best manner they could, while many retired further up 
the river, with what they could most readily carry off; so that some of the 
creeks seemed full of boats and small craft; those of a larger size running as 
far as Burlington, and some higher up the river; several women are said to 
have miscarried by the fright and terror into which they were thrown, and 
much mischief ensued." 

The more thoughtful of the people are said to have understood the 
deceit from the first, and labored to allay the excitement; but the seeming 
earnestness of the Governor and the zeal of his emissaries so worked upon the 
more inconsiderate of the population that the consternation and commotion 
was almost past belief. In an almanac published at Philadelphia for the next 
year opposite this date was this distich: 

"Wise men wonder, good men grieve, 
Knaves invent and fools believe." 
Though this ruse was played upon all classes alike, yet it was generally 
believed to have been aimed chiefly at the Quakers, to try the force of thoir 


principles, and see if they would not rush to arms when danger should really 
appear. Eut in this the Governor was disappointed. For it is said that only 
four out of the entire population of this religious creed showed any disposition 
to falsify their faith. It was the day of their weekly meeting, and regardless 
of the dismay and consternation which were everywhere manifest about them, 
they assembled in their accustomed places of worship, and engaged in their 
devotions as though nothing unusual was transpiring without, manifesting 
such unshaken faith, as Whittier has exemplified in verse by his Abraham 
Davenport, on the occasion of the Dark Day: 

', Meanwhile in the old State House, dim as ghosts, 
Sat the law-givers of Connecticut, 
Trembling beneath their legislative robes. 
'It is the Cord's creat day! Let us adjourn,' 
Some said; and then, as with one accord. 
All eyes were turned on Abraham Davenport. 
He rose, slow, cleaving with his steady voice 
The intolerable hush. ' This well may be 
The Day of Judgment which the world awaits; 
But be it so or not, I only know 
My present duty, and my Lord's command 
To occupy tin He come. So at the post 
Where He hath set me in His Providence, 
I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face. 
No faithless servant frightened from my task. 
But ready when the Lord of the harvest calls; 
And therefore, with all reverence, I would say. 
Let God do His work, we will see to ours. 
Bring in the candles.' And they brought them in." 

In conjunction with the Legislature of the lower counties, Evans was in- 
strumental in having a law passed for the imposition of a tax on the tonnage 
of the river, and the erection of a fort near the town of New Castle for com- 
pelling obedience. This was in direct violation of the fimdamental compact, 
and vexatious to commerce. It was at length forcibly resisted, and its impo- 
sition abandoned. His administration was anything but efficient or peaceful, 
a series of contentions, of charges and counter-charges having been kept up 
between the leaders of the two factions, Lloyd and Logan, which he was pow- 
erless to properly direct or control. " He was relieved in 1709. Possessed of 
a good degree of learning and refinement, and accustomed to the gay society 
of the British metropolis, he found in the grave and serious habits of the 
Friends a type of life and character which he failed to comprehend, and with 
which he could, consequently, have little sympathy. How widely he mistook 
the Quaker character is seen in the result of his wild and hair-brained experi- 
ment to test their faith. His general tenor of life seems to have been of a 
piece with this. Watson says: 'The Indians of Connestoga complained of 
him when there as niisbehaving to their women, and that, in 1709, Solomon 
Cresson, going his rounds at night, entered a tavern to suppress a riotous as- 
sembly,' and found there John Evans, Esq., the Governor, who fell to beat- 
ing Cresson.'" 

The youth and levity of Gov. Evans induced the proprietor to seek for a 
successor of a more sober and sedate character. He had thought of proposing 
his son, but finally settled upon Col. Charles Gookin, who was reputed to be a 
man of wisdom and prudence, though as was afterward learned, to the sorrow 
of the colony, he was subject to fits of derangement, which toward the close of 
his term were exhibited in the most extravagant acts. He had scarcely ar- 
rived in the colony before charges were preferred against the late Governor, 
and he was asked to institute criminal proceedings, which he declined. This 


was the occasion of a renewal of contentions between the Governor and his 
Council and the Assembly, which continued during the greater part of his ad- 
ministration. In the midst of them, Logan, who was at the head of the Coun- 
cil, having demanded a trial of the charges against him, and failed to secure 
one, sailed for Europe, where he presented the difficulties experienced in ad- 
ministering the government so strongly, that Penn was seriously inclined to 
sell his interest in the colony. He had already greatly crippled his estate by 
expenses he had incurred in making costly presents to the natives, and in set- 
tling his colony, for which he had received small return. In the year 1707, 
he had become involved in a suit in chancery witbi the executors of his former 
steward, in ihe course of which he was confined in the Old Baily during this 
and a part of the following year, when he was obliged to mortgage his colony 
in the sum of £6,600 to relieve himself. Foreseeing the great consequence 
it would be to the crown to buy the rights of the proprietors of the several 
English colonies in America before they would grow too powerful, negotia- 
tions had been entered into early in the reign of William and Mary for their 
purchase, especially the "'fine province of Mr. Penn." Borne down by these 
troubles, and by debts and litigations at home, Penn seriously entertained the 
proposition to sell in 1712, and offered it for £20,000. The sum of £12,000 
was offered on the part of the crown, which was agreed upon, but before the 
necessary papers were executed, he was stricken down with apoplexy, by which 
he was incapacitated for transacting any business, and a stay was put to fur- 
ther proceedings until the Queen should order an act of Parliament for con- 
summating the purchase. 

It is a mournful spectacle to behold the great mind and the great heart of 
Penn reduced now in his declining years, by the troubles of government and 
by debts incurred in the bettering of his colony, to this enfeebled condition. 
He was at the moment writing to Logan on public affairs, when his hand was 
suddenly seized by lethargy in the beginning of a sentence, which he never 
finished. His mind was touched by the disease, which he never recovered, 
and after lingering for six years, he died on the 30th of May, 1718, in the 
seventy-fourth year of his age. With great power of intellect, and a religious 
devotion scarcely matched in all Christendom, he gave himself to the welfare 
of mankind, by securing civil and religious liberty through the operations of 
organic law. Though not a lawyer by profession, he drew frames of govern- 
ment and bodies of laws which have been the admiration of succeeding gener- 
ations, and are destined to exert a benign influence in all future time, and by 
his discussions with Lord Baltimore and before the Lords in Council, he 
showed himself familiar with the abstruse principles of law. Though but a 
private person and of a despised sect, he was received as the friend and confi- 
dential advisee of the ruling sovereigns of England, and some of the princi- 
ples which give luster to British law were engrafted there through the influ- 
ence of the powerful intellect and benignant heart of Penn. He sought to 
know DO philosophy but that promulgated by Christ and His disciples, and 
this he had sounded to its depths, and in it were anchored his ideas of public 
law and private and social living. The untamed savage of the forest bowed in 
meek and loving simplicity to his mild and resistless sway, and the members 
of the Society of Friends all over Europe flocked to his City of Brotherly Love. 
His prayers for the welfare of his people are the beginning and ending of all 
his public and private correspondence, and who will say that they have not 
been answered in the blessings which have attended the commonwealth of his 
founding? And will not the day of its greatness be when the inhabitants 
throughout all its borders shall return to the peaceful and loving spirit of 


Penn ? In the midst of a licentious conrt, and with every prospect of advance- 
ment in its sunshine and favor, inheriting a great name and an independent 
patrimony, he turned aside from this brilliant track to make common lot with 
a poor sect under the ban of Government; endured stripes and imprisonment 
and loss of property, banished himself to the wilds of the American continent 
that, he might secure to his people those devotions which seemed to them re- 
quired by their Maker, and has won for himself a name by the simple deeds of 
love and humble obedience to Christian mandates which shall never perish. 
Many have won renown by deeds of blood, but fadeless glory has come to 
William Penn by charity. 


Sib William Keith, 1717-25— Patrick Gordon, 1726-36— James Logan, 1736-38 
— G-EORGE Thomas, 1738-47— Anthony Palmer, 1747-48— James Hamilton,' 

IN 1712, Penn had made a will, by which he devised to his only surviving 
son, "William, by his first marriage, all his estates in England, amounting 
to some twenty thousand pounds. By his first wife, Gulielma Maria Springett, 
he had issue of three sons — ^William, Springett and William, and four daugh- 
ters — Gulielma, Margaret, Gulielma and Letitia; and by his second wife, 
Hannah Callowhill, of four sons — John, Thomas, Eichard and Dennis. To 
his wife Hannah, who survived him, and whom he made the sole executrix of 
his will, he gave, for the equal benefit of herself and her children, all his 
personal estate in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, after paying all debts, and 
alloting ten thousand acres of land in the Province to his daughter Letitia, by 
his first marriage, and each of the three children of his son William. 

Doubts having arisen aa to the force of the provisions of this will, it was 
finally determined to institute a suit in chancery for its determination. Before 
a decision was reached, in March, 1720, William Penn, Jr., died, and while 
still pending, his son Springett died also. During the long pendency of this 
litigation for nine years, Hannah Penn, as executrix of the will, assumed the 
proprietary powers, issued instructions to her Lieutenant Governors, heard 
complaints and settled di£&cu]ties with the skill aiid the assurance of a veteran 
diplomatist. In 1727, a decision was reached that, upon the death of William 
Penn, Jr., and his son Springett, the proprietary rights in Pennsylvania de- 
scended to the three surviving sons — John, Thomas and Eichard — issue by the 
second marriage; and that the proprietors bargain to sell his province to the 
crown for twelve thousand pounds, made in 1712, and on which one thousand 
pounds had been paid at the confirmation of the sale, was void. Whereupon 
the three sons became the joint proprietors. 

A year before the death of Penn, the lunacy of Gov. Gookin having be- 
come troublesome, he was succeeded in the Government by Sir William Keith. 
a Scotchman who had served as Surveyor of Customs to the English Govern- 
ment, m which capacity he had visited Pennsylvania previously, and knew 
something of its condition. He was a man of dignified and commanding 
bearing, endowed with cunning, of an accommdating policy, full of faithful 
promises, and usually found upon the stronger side. Hence, upon his 
arrival in the colony, he did not summon the Assembly immediately. 


assigning as arBason in his first message that he did not wish to inconvenience 
the country members by calling them in harvest time. The disposition thus 
manifested to favor the people, and his advocacy of popular rights on several 
occasions in opposition to the claims of the proprietor, gave great satisfaction 
to the popular branch of the Legislature which manifested its appreciation of 
his conduct by voting him liberal salaries, which had often been withheld from 
his less accommodating predecessors. By his artful and insinuating policy, 
he induced the Assembly to pass two acts which had previously met with un- 
compromising opposition — one to establish a Court of Equity, with himself as 
Chancellor, the want of which had been seriously felt; and another, for organ- 
izing the militia. Though the soil was fruitful and produce was plentiful, 
yet, for lack of good markets, and on account of the meagerness of the cir- 
culating medium, prices were very low, the toil and sweat of the husbandman 
being little rewarded, and the taxes and payments on land were met with great 
difficulty. Accordingly, arrangements were made for the appointment of in- 
spectors of provisions, who, from a conscientious discharge of duty, soon 
caused the Pennsylvania brands of best products to be much sought for, and 
to command ready sale at highest prices in the West Indies, whither most of 
the surplus produce was exported. A provision was also made for the issue of 
a limited amount of paper money, on the establishment of ample securities, 
which tended to raise the value of the products of the soil and of manufact- 
ures, and encourage industry. 

By the repeated notices of the Governors in their messages to the Legis- 
lature previous to this time, it is evident that Indian hostilities had for some- 
time been threatened. The Potomac was the dividing line between the 
Northern and Southern Indians. But the young men on either side, when out 
in pursuit of game, often crossed the line of the river into the territory of the 
other, when fierce altercations ensued. This trouble had become so 
violent in 1719 as to threaten a great Indian war, in which the pow- 
erful confederation, known as the Five Nations, would take a hand. 
To avert this danger, which it was foreseen would inevitably involve 
the defenseless familes upon the frontier, and perhaps the entire colony, 
Gov. Keith determined to use his best exertions. He accordingly made 
a toilsome journey in the spring of 1721 to confer with the Governor of 
Virginia and endeavor to employ by concert of action such means as would 
allay further cause of contention. His policy was well devised, and enlisted 
the favor of the Governor. Soon after his return, he summoned a council of 
Indian Chieftains to meet him at Conestoga, a point about seventy miles west 
of Philadelphia. He went in considerable pomp, attended by some seventy 
or eighty horsemen, gaily caparisoned, and many of them armed, arriving 
about noon, on the 4th of July, not then a day of more note than other days. 
He went immediately to Capt. Civility's cabin, where were assembled four 
deputies of the Five Nations and representatives of other tribes. The Gov- 
ernor said that he had come a long distance from home to see and speak to 
representatives of the Five Nations, who had never met the Governor of Penn- 
sylvania. They said in reply that they had heard much of the Governor, and 
would have come sooner to pay him their respects, but that the wild conduct of 
some of their young men had made them ashamed to show their faces. In the 
formal meeting in the morning, Ghesaont, chief of the Senecas, spoke for all 
the Five Nations. He said that they now felt that they were speaking to the 
same effect that they would were William Penn before them, that they had not 
forgotten Penn, nor the treaties made with him, and the good advice he gave 
them; that though they could not write as do the English, yet they could keep 


all these transactions fresh in their memories. After laying down a belt of 
wampum upon the table as if by way of emphasis, he began again, declaring 
that "all their disorders arose from the use of rum and strong spirits, which 
took away their sense and memory, that they had no such liquors," and desired 
that no more be sent among them. Here he produced a bundle of dressed 
skins, by which he would say, ' ' you see how much in earnest we are upon this 
matter of furnishing fiery liquors to us." Then he proceeds, declaring that 
the Five Nations remember all their ancient treaties, and they now desire that 
the chain of friendship may be made so strong that none of the links may 
ever be broken. This may have been a hint that they wanted high-piled 
and valuable presents; for the Quakers had made a reputation of brightening 
and strengthening the chain of friendship by valuable presents which had 
reached so far away as the Five Nations. He then produces a bundle of raw 
skins, and observes ' ' that a chain may contract rast with laying and become 
weaker; wherefore, he desires it may now be so well cleaned as to remain 
brighter and stronger than ever it was before." Here he presents another par- 
cel of skins, and continues, " that as in the firmament, all clouds and dark- 
ness are removed from the face of the sun, so they desire that all misunder- 
standings may be fully done away, so that when they, who are now here, shall 
be dead and gone, their whole people, with their children and posterity, may en- 
joy the clear sunshine with us forever." Presenting another bundle of skins, 
he says, ' ' that, looking upon the Governor as if William Penn were present, 
they desire, that, in case any disorders should hereafter happen between their 
young people and ours, we would not be too hasty in resenting any such acci- 
dent, until their Council and ours can have some opportunity to treat amicably 
upon it, and so to adjust all matters, as that the friendship between us may 
still be inviolably preserved." Here he produces a small parcel of dressed 
skins, and concludes by saying " that we may now be together as one people, 
treating one another's children kindly and affectionately, that they are fully 
empowered to speak for the Five Nations, and they look upon the Governor as 
the representative of the Great King of England, and therefore they expect 
that everything now stipulated will be made absolutely firm and good on both 
sides." And now he presents a diflferent style of present and pulls out a 
bundle of bear skins, and proceeds to put in an item of complaint, that ' ' they 
get too little for their skins and furs, so that they cannot live by hunting ; 
they desire us, therefore, to take compassion on them, and contrive some way 
to help them in that particular. Then producing a few furs, he speaks only 
for himself , "to acquaint the Governor, that the Five Nations having heard 
that the Governor of Virginia wanted to speak with them, he himself, with 
some of his company intended to proceed to Virginia, but do not know th© 
way how to get safe thither." 

To this formal and adroitly conceived speech of the Seneca chief, Gov. 
Keith, after having brought in the present of stroud match coats, gunpowder, 
lead, biscuit, pipes and tobacco, adjourned the council till the following day, 
when, being assembled at Conestoga, he answered at length the items of the 
chieftain's speech. His most earnest appeal, however, was made in favor of 
peace. " I iave persuaded all my [Indian] brethren, in these parts, to con- 
sider what is for their good, and not to go out any more to war ; but your 
youncr men [Five Nations] as they come this way, endeavor to force them ; 
and, because they incline to the counsels of peace, and uhe good advice of their 
true friends, your people use them ill, and often prevail with them to go out 
to their own destruction. Thus it was that their town of Conestoga lost their 
good king not long ago. Their young children are left without parents ; 


their wives without husbands ; the old men, contrary to the course of nature, 
mourn the death of their young ; the people decay and grow weak ; we lose 
our dear friends and are afflicted. Surely you cannot propose to get either 
riches, or possessions, by going thus out to war ; for when you kill a deer, you 
have the flesh to eat, and the skin to sell ; but when you return from war, you 
bring nothing home, but the scalp of a dead man, who perhaps was husband 
to a kind wife, and father to tender children, who never wronged you, though, 
by losing him, yoa have robbed them of their help and protection, and at the 
same time got nothing by it. If I were not your friend, I would not take the 
trouble to say all these things to you." When the Governor had concluded 
his address, he called the Senaca chieftain (Ghesaont) to him, and presented a 
gold coronation medal of King George I, which he requested should be taken 
to the monarch of the Five Nations, " Kannygooah," to be laid up and kept as 
a token to our children's children, that an entire and lasting friendship is now 
established forever between the English* in this country and the great Five 
Nations." Upon the return of the Governor, he was met at the upper ferry of 
the Schuylkill, by the Mayor and Aldermen of the city, with about two hun- 
dred horse, and conducted through the streets after the manner of a conqueror 
of old returning from the scenes of his triumphs. 

Gov. Keith gave diligent study to the subject of- finance, regulating the 
currency in such a way that the planter should have it in his power to dis- 
charge promptly his indebtedness to the merchant, that their mutual interests 
might thus be subserved. He even proposed to establish a considerable settle- 
ment on his own account in the colony, in order to carry on manufactures, and 
thus consume the grain, of which there was at this time abundance, and no 
profitable market abroad. 

In the spring of 1722, an Indian was barbarously murdered within the 
limits of the colony, which gave the Governor great concern. After having 
cautioned red men so strongly about keeping the peace, he felt that the honor 
of himself and all his people was compromised by this vile act. He immedi- 
ately commissioned James Logan and John French to go to the scene of the 
murder above Conestoga, and inquire into the facts of the case, quickly appre- 
hended the supposed murderers, sent a fast Indian runner (Satcheecho), to 
acquaint the Five Nations with his sorrow for the act, and of his determination 
to bring the guilty parties to justice, and himself set out with three of his 
Council (Hill, Norris and Hamilton), for Albany, where he had been invited 
by the Indians for a conference with the Governors of all the colonies, and 
where he met the chiefs of the Five Nations, and treated with them upon the 
subject of the murder, besides making presents to the Indians. It was on this 
occasion that the grand sachem of this great confederacy made that noble, 
and generous, and touching response, so different from the spirit of revenge 
generally attributed to the Indian character. It is a notable example of love 
that begets love, and of the mild answer that turneth away wrath. He said : 
" The great king of the Five Nations is sorry for the death of the Indian 
that was killed, for he was of his own flesh and blood. He believes that the 
Governor is also sorry ; but, now that it is done, there is no help for it, and 
he desires that Oartlidge [the murderer] may not be put to death, nor that he 
should be spared for a time, and afterward executed ; one life is enough to be 
lost ; there should not two die. The King's heart is good to the Governor and 
all the English." 

Though Gov. Keith, during the early part of his term, pursued a pacific 
policy, yet the interminable quarrels which had been kept up between the As- 
sembly and Council during previous administrations, at length broke out with 


trL.f 'i-^ ^iiPlKiAC- 




more virulence than ever, and he who in the first flush of power had declared 
' ' That he should pass no laws, nor transact anything of moment relating to 
the public affairs without the advice and approbation of the Council," took it 
upon himself finally to act independently of the Council, and even went so 
far as to dismiss the able and trusted representative of the proprietary inter- 
ests, James Logan, President of the Council and Secretary of the Province, 
from the duties of his high office, and even refused the request of Hannah 
Penn, the real Governor of the province, to re-instate him. This unwarranta- 
ble conduct cost him his dismissal from office in July, 1726. Why he should 
have assumed so headstrong and unwarrantable a course, who had promised at 
the first so mild and considerate a policy, it is difficult to understand, unless it 
be the fact that he found that the Council was blocking, by its obstinacy, 
wholesome legislation, which he considered of vital importance to the pros- 
perity of the colony, and if, as he alleges, he found that the new constitution 
only gave the Council advisory and not a voice in executive power. 

The administration of Gov. Keith was eminently successful, as he did not 
hesitate to grapple with important questions of judicature, finance, trade, 
commerce, and the many vexing relations with the native tribes, and right 
manfully, and judiciously did he effect their solution. It was at a time when 
the colony was filling up rapidly, and the laws and regulations which had been 
found ample for the management of a few hundred families struggling for a 
foothold in the forest, and when the only traffic was a few skins, were entirely 
inadequate for securing protection and prosperity to a seething and jostling 
population intent on trade and commerce, and the conflicting interests which 
required wise legislation and prudent management. No colony on the Ameri- 
can coast made such progress in numbers and improvement as did Pennsylvania 
daring the nine years in which William Keith exercised the Gubernatorial 
office. Though not himself a Quaker, he had secured the passage of an act of 
Assembly, and its royal affirmation for allowing the members of the Quaker 
sect to wear their hats in court, and give testimony under affirmation instead 
of oath, which in the beginning of the reign of Queen Anne had been with- 
held from them. After the expiration of his term of office, he was immedi- 
ately elected a member of the Assembly, and was intent on being elected 
Speaker, " and had his support out- doors in a cavalcade of eighty mounted 
horsemen and the resounding of many guns fired;" yet David Lloyd was 
elected with only three dissenting voices, the outdoor business having perhaps 
been overdone. 

Upon the recommendation of Springett Penn, who was now the prospective 
heir to Pennsylvania, Patrick Gordon was appointed and confirmed Lieutenant 
Governor in place . of Keith, and arrived in the colony and assumed authority 
in July, 1726. He had served in the army, and in his first address to the 
Assembly, which he met in August, he said that as he had been a soldier, he 
knew nothing of the crooked ways of professed politicians, and must rely on a 
straightforward manner of transacting the duties devolving upon him. George 
I died in June, 1727, and the Assembly at its meeting in October prepared 
and forwarded a congratulatory address to his successor, George 11. By the 
decision of the Court of Chancery in 1727, Hannah Penn's authority over the 
colony was at an end, the proprietary interests having descended to John, 
Eichard and Thomas Penn, the only surviving sons of William Penn, Sr. 
This period, from the death of Penn in 1718 to 1727, one of the most pros- 
perous in the history of the colony, was familiarly known as the " Eeign of 
Hannah and the Boys." 

Gov. Gordon found the Indian troubles claiming a considerable part of his 


attention. In 1728, worthless bands, who had strayed away from their proper 
tribes, incited by strong drink, had become implicated in disgraceful broils, in 
which several were killed and wounded. The guilty parties were apprehended, 
but it was found difficult to punish Indian offenders without incurring the 
wrath of their relatives. Treaties were frequently renewed, on which occa- 
sions the chiefs expected that the chain of friendship would be polished " with 
English blankets, broadcloths and metals." The Indians found that this 
" bricrhtening the chain " was a profitable business, which some have been un- 
charitable enough to believe was the moving cause of many of the Indian diffi- 

As early as 1732, the French, who were claiming all the territory drained 
by the Mississippi and its tributaries, on the ground of priority of discovery 
of its mouth and exploration of its channel, commenced erecting trading posts 
in Pennsylvania, along the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, and invited the Indians 
living on these streams to a council for concluding treaties with them at Mon- 
treal, Canada. To neutralize the influence of the French, these Indians were 
summoned to meet in council at Philadelphia, to renew treaties of friendship, 
and they were invited to remove farther east. But this they were unwill- 
ing to do. A treaty was also coocluded with the Six Nations, in which they 
pledged lasting friendship for the English. 

Hannah Penn died in 1733, when the Assembly, supposing that the pro- 
prietary power was still in her hands, refused to recognize the power of Gov. Gor- 
don. But the three sons, to whom the proprietary possessions had descended, 
in 1727, upon the decision of the Chancery case, joined in issuing a new com- 
mission to Gordon. In approving this commission the King directed a clause 
to be inserted, expressly reserving to himself the government of the lower 
counties. This act of the King was the beginning of those series of encroach- 
ments which finally culminated in the independence of the States of America. 
The Judiciary act of 1727 was annulled, and this was followed by an attempt 
to pass an act requiring the laws of ail the colonies to be submitted to the 
Crown for approval before they should become valid, and that a copy of all 
laws previously enacted should be submitted for approval or veto. The agent 
of the Assembly, Mr. Paris, with the agents of other colonies, made so vigor- 
ous a defense, that action was for the time stayed. 

In 1732, Thomas Penn, the youngest son, and two years later, John Penn, 
the eldest, and the only American born, arrived in the Province, and were re- 
ceived with every mark of respect and satisfaction. Soon after the arrival of 
the latter, news was brought that Lord Baltimore had made application to have 
the Provinces transferred to his colony. A vigorous protest was made against 
this by Quakers in England, headed by Richard Penn; but lest this protest 
might prove inefi'ectual, John Penn rery soon went to England to defend the 
proprietary rights at court, and never again returned, he having died a bach- 
elor in 1746. In August, 1786, Gov. Gordon died, deeply lamented, as an 
honest, upright and straightforward executive, a character which he expressed 
the hope he would be able to maintain when he assumed authority. His term 
had been one of prosperity, and the colony had grown rapidly in numbers, 
trade, commerce and manufactures, ship-building especially having assumed ex- 
tensive proportions. 

James Logan was President of the Council and in effect Governor, during 
the two years which elapsed between the death of Gordon and the arrival of 
his successor. The Legislature met regularly, but no laws were passed for 
lack of an executive. It was during this period that serious trouble broke out 
near the Maryland border, west of the Susquehanna, then Lancaster, now 


"Sork County. A number of settlers, in order to evade the payment of taxes, 
had secured titles to their lands from Maryland, and afterward sought to be 
reinstated in their rights under Pennsylvania authority, and plead protection 
from the latter. The Sheriff of the adjoining Maryland County, with 300 
followers, advanced to drive these settlers from their homes. On hearing of 
this movement, Samuel Smith, Sheriff of Lancaster County, with a hastily sum- 
moned posse, advanced to protect the citizens in their rights. Without a con- 
flict, an agreement was entered into by both parties to retire. Soon afterward, 
however, a band of fifty Marylanders agaiu entered the State with the design 
of driving out the settlers and each securing for himself 200 acres of land. 
They were led by one Cressap. The settlers made resistance, and in an en- 
counter, one of them by the name of Knowles was killed. The Sheriff of 
Lancaster again advanced with a posse, and in a skirmish which ensued one 
of the invaders was killed, and the leader Cressap was wounded and taken 
prisoner. The Governor of Maryland sent a commission to Philadelphia to 
demand the release of the prisoner. Not succeeding in this, he seized four of 
the settlers and incarcerated them in the jail at Baltimore. Still determined 
to effect their piu:pose, a party of Marylanders, under the leadership of one 
Higginbotham, advanced into Pennsylvania and began a warfare upon the 
settlers. Again the Sheriff of Lancaster appeared upon the scene, and drove 
out the invaders. So stubbornly were these invasions pushed and resented 
that the season passed without planting or securing the usual crops. Finally 
a party of sixteen Marylanders, led by Richard Lowden, broke into the Lan- 
caster jail and liberated the Maryland prisoners. Learning of these disturb- 
ances, the King in Council issued an order restraining both parties from fur- 
ther acts of violence, and afterward adopted a plan of settlement of the vexed 
boundary question. 

Though not legally Governor, Logan managed the affairs of the colony 
with great prudence and judgment, as he had done and continued to do for a 
period of nearly a half century. He was a schol&r well versed in the ancient 
languages and the sciences, and published several learned works in the Latin 
tongue. His Experimenta Meletemata de plantarum generatione, written in 
Latin, was published at Leyden in 1739, and afterward, in 1747, republished 
in London, with an English version on the opposite page by Dr. J. Fothergill. 
Another work of his in Latin was also published at Leyden, entitled, Canonum 
pro inveniendis refractionum, turn simplicium turn in lentibus duplicum focis, 
demonstrationis geometricae. After retiring from public business, he lived at 
his country seat at Stenton, near Germantown, where he spent his time among 
his books and in correspondence with the literati of Europe. In his old age 
he made an English translation of Cicero's De Senectute, which was printed at 
Philadelphia in 1744 with a preface by Benjamin Franklin, then rising into 
notice. Logan was a Quaker, of Scotch descent, though born in Ireland, and 
came to America in the ship with William Penn, in his second visit in 1699, 
when about twenty-five years old, and died at seventy- seven. He had held the 
ofBces of Chief Commissioner of property. Agent for the pm-ohase and sale of 
lands, Eeceiver General, Member of Council, President of Council and Chief 
Justice. He was the Confidential Agent of Penn, having charjre of all his vast 
estates, making sales of lands, executing conveyances, and making collections. 
Amidst all the great cares of business so pressing as to make him exclaim, " I 
know not what any of the comforts of life are," he found time to devote to the 
delights of learning, and collected a large library of standard works, which he 
bequeathed, at his death, to the people of Pennsylvania, and is known as the 
Loganian Library. 


George Thomas, a planter from the West Indies, was appointed Governor 
in 1737, but did not arrive in the colony till the following year. His first care 
was to settle ttie disorders in the Cumberland Valley, and it was finally agreed 
that settlers from either colony should owe allegiance to the Governor of that 
colony wherever settled, until the division line which had been provided for 
was surveyed and marked. War was declared on the 23d of October, 1739, 
between Great Britain and Spain. Seeing that his colony was liable to be 
encroached upon by the enemies of his government, he endeavored to organ- 
ize the militia, but the majority of the Assembly was of the peace element, and 
it could not be induced to vote money. Finally he was ordered by the home 
government to call for volunteers, and eight companies were quickly formed, 
and sent down for the coast defense. Many of these proved to be servants for 
whom pay was demanded and finally obtained. In 1740, the great evangelist, 
Whitefield, visited the colony, and created a deep religious interest among all 
denominations. In his first intercom-se with the Assembly, Gov. Thomas en- 
deavored to coerce it to his views. But a more stubborn set of men never met 
in a deliberative body than were gathered in this Assembly at this time. 
Finding that he could not compel action to his mind, he yielded and con- 
sulted tbeir views and decisions. The Assembly, not to be outdone in mag- 
nanimity, voted him £1,500 arrearages of salary, which had been withheld be- 
cause he would not approve their legislation, asserting that public acts should 
take precedence of appropriations for their own pay. In March, 1744, war 
was declared between Great Britain and France. Volunteers were called 
for, and 10,000 men were rapidly enlisted and armed at their own expense. 
Franklin, recognizing the defenseless condition of the colony, issued a pamph- 
let entitled Plain Truth, in which he cogently urged the necessity of organ- 
ized preparation for defense. Franklin was elected Colonel of one of the 
regiments, but resigned in favor of Alderman Lawrence. On the 5th of May, 
1747, the Governor communicated intelligence of the death of John Penn, the 
eldest of the proprietors, to the Assembly, and his own intention to retire from 
the duties of his office on account of declining health. 

Anthony Palmer was President of the Council at the time of the with- 
drawal of Gordon, and became the Acting Governor, The peace party in the As- 
sembly held that it was the duty of the crown of England to protect the colony, 
and that for the colony to call out volunteers and become responsible for their 
payment was burdening the people with an expense which did not belong to 
them, and which the crown was willing to assume. The French were now 
deeply intent on securing firm possession of the Mississippi Valley and the en- 
tire basin, even to the summits of the Alleghanies in Pennsylvania, and were 
busy establishing trading posts along the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers. They 
employed the most artful means to win the simple natives to their interests, 
giving showy presents and laboring to convince them of their great value. 
Pennsylvania had won a reputation among the Indians of making presents of 
substantial worth. Not knowing the diiTerence between steel and iron, the 
French distributed immense numbers of worthless iron hatchets, which the 
natives supposed were the equal of the best English steel axes. The Indians, 
however, soon came to distinguish between the good and the valueless. Un- 
derstanding the Pennsylvania methods of securing peace and friendship, the 
the natives became very artful in drawing out " well piled up " presents. The 
government at this time was alive to the dangers which threatened from the 
insinuating methods of the French. A trusty messenger, Conrad Weiser, was 
sent among the Indians in the western part of the province to observe the 
plans of the French, ascertain the temper of the natives, and especially to 


magnify the power of the English, and the disposition of Pennsylvania to give 
great presents. This latter policy had the desired effect, and worthless and 
wandering bands, which had no right to speak for the tribe, came teeming in, 
desirous of scouring the chain of friendship, intimating that the French were 
making great offers, in order to induce the government to large liberality, 
until this "brightening the chain," became an intolerable nuisance. At a sin- 
gle council held at Albany, in 1747, Pennsylvania distributed goods to the 
value of £1,000, and of such a character as should be most serviceable to the 
recipients, not worthless gew-gaws, but such as would contribute to their last- 
ing comfort and well being, a protection to the person against the bitter frosts 
of winter, and sustenance that should minister to the steady wants of the 
body and alleviation of pain in time of sickness. The treaty of Aix-la-Oha- 
pelle, which was concluded on the 1st of October, 1748, secured peace between 
Great Britain und France, and should have put an end to all hostile encoun- 
ters between their representatives on the American continent. Palmer re- 
mained at the head of the government for a little more than two years. He 
was a retired merchant from the West Indies, a man of wealth, and had come 
into the colony in 1708. He lived in a style suited to a gentleman, kept a 
coach and a pleasure barge. 

On the 23d of November, 1748, James Hamilton arrived in the colony from 
England, bearing the commission of Lieutenant Governor. He was born in 
America, son of Andrew Hamilton, who bad for many years been Speaker of 
the Assembly. The Indians west of the Susquehanna had complained that set- 
tlers had come upon their best lands, and were acquiring titles to them, where- 
as the proprietors had never purchased these lands of them, and had no claim 
to them. The iirst care of Hamilton was to settle these disputes, and allay the 
rising excitement of the natives. Richard Peters, Secretary o£ the colony, a 
man of great prudence and ability, was sent in company with the Indian in- 
terpreter, Conrad Weiser, to remove the intruders. It was firmly and fear- 
lessly done, the settlers giving up their tracts and the cabins which they had 
built, and accepting lauds on the east side of the river. The hardship was in 
many cases great, but when they were in actual need, the Secretary gave 
money and placed them upon lands of his own, having secured a tract of 
2,000,000 of acres. 

But these troubles were of small consequence compared with those that 
were threatening from the West. Though the treaty of Aix was supposed to 
have settled all difficulties between the two courts, the French were determined 
to occupy the whole territory drained by the Mississippi, which they claimed 
by priority of discovery by La Salle. The British Ambassador at Paris entered 
complaints before the French Court that encroachments were being made by 
the French upon English soil in America, which were politely heard, and 
promises made of restraining the French in Canada from encroaching upon 
English territory. Formal orders were sent out from the home government to 
this effect; but at the same time secret intimations were conveyed to them that 
their conduct in endeavoring to secure and hold the territory in dispute was 
not displeasing to the government, and that disobedience of these orders would 
not incur its displeasure. The French deemed it necessary, in order to estab- 
lish a legal claim to the country, to take formal possession of it. Accordingly, 
the Marquis de la Galissoniere, who was at this time Governor General of 
Canada, dispatched Capt. Bienville de Celeron with a party of 215 French and 
fifty-live Indians, to publicly proclaim possession, and bury at prominent 
points plates of lead bearing inscriptions declaring occupation in the name of 
the French King. Celeron started on the 15th of June, 1749, from La Chine, 


following the southern shores of Lakes Ontario and Erie, until he reached a 
point opposite Lake Chautauqua, where the boats were drawn up and were taken 
bodily over the dividing ridge, a distance of ten miles, with all the impedimenta 
of the expedition, the pioneers haviujf first opened a road. Following on down 
the lake and the Conewango Greek, they arrived at Warren near the confluence 
of the creek with the Allegheny Eiver. Here the first plate was buried. 
These plates were eleven inches long, seven and a half wide, and one-eighth 
of an inch thick. The inscription was in French, and in the following terms, 
as fairly translated into English: "In the year 1749, of the reign of Louis 
XIV, King of France, We Celeron, commander of a detachment sent by 
Monsieur the Marquis de la Gralissoni^re, Governor General of New France, 
to re-establish tranquillity in some Indian villages of these cantons, have 
buried this plate of lead at the confluence of the Ohio with the Chautauqua, 
this 29th day of July, near the Biver Ohio, otherwise Belle Riviere, as a mon- 
ument of the renewal of the possession we have taken of the said River Ohio, 
and of all those which empty into it, and of all the lands on both sides as far 
as the sources of the said river, as enjoyed or ought to have been enjoyed by 
the King of France preceding, and as they have there maintained themselves ' 
by arms an^ by treaties, especially those of Ryswick, Utrecht and Aix-la- 
Cliapelle." The burying of this plate was attended with much form and cer- 
emony. All the men and officers of the expedition were drawn up in battle 
array, when the Commander, Celeron, proclaimed in a loud voice, " Vive le 
Roi," and declared that possession of the country was now taken in the name 
of the King. A plate on which was inscribed the arms of France was affixed 
to the nearest tree. 

The same formality was observed in planting each of the other plates, the 
second at the rock known as the "Indian God," on which are ancient and un- 
known inscriptions, a few miles below Franklin, a third at the mouth of 
Wheeling Creek; a fourth at the mouth of the Muskingum; a fifth at the mouth 
of the Great Kanawha, and the sixth and last at the mouth of the Great Miami. 
Toilsomely ascending the Miami to its head-waters, the party burned their 
canoes, and obtained ponies for the march across the portage to the head- waters 
of the Maumee, down which and by Lakes Erie and Ontario they returned 
to Fort Frontenac, arriving on the 6th of November. It appears that the In- 
dians through whose territory they passed viewed this planting of plates with 
great suspicion. By some means they got possession of one of them, gener- 
ally supposed to have been stolen from the party at the very commencement of 
their journey from the mouth of the Chautauqua Creek. 

Mr. O. H. Marshall, in an excellent monograph upon this expedition, made 
up from the original manuscript journal of Celeron and the diary of Father 
Bonnecamps, found in the Department de la Marine, in Paris, gives the fol- 
lowing account of this stolen plate: 

" The first of the leaden plates was brought to the attention of the public 
by Gov. George Clinton to the Lords of Trade in London, dated New York, 
December 19, 1750, in which he states that he would send to their Lordships 
in two or three weeks a plate of lead full of vreiting, which some of the upper 
nations oE Indians stole from Jean Coeur, the) French interpreter at Niagara, 
on his way to the Eiver Ohio, which river, and all the lands thereabouts, the 
French claim, as will appear by said writing. He further states ' that the load 
plate gave the Indians so much uneasiness that they immediately dispatched 
some of the Cayuga chiefs to him with it, saying that their only reliance was 
on him, and earnestly begged he would communicate the contents to them, 
which he had done, much to their satisfaction and the interests of the English.' 


The Governor concludes by saying that ' the contents of the plate may be of 
great importance in clearing up the encroachments which the French have 
made on the British Empire in America.' The plate was delivered to Colonel, 
afterward Sir William Johnson, on the 4th of December, 1750, at his resi- 
dence on the Mohawk, by a Cayuga sachem, who accompanied it by the follow- 
ing speech: 

"' Brother Cor lear and War-ragh-i-ya-ghey! I am sent here by the Five 
Nations with a piece of writing which the Senecas, our brethren, got by some 
artifice from Jean Ooeur, earnestly beseeching you will let us know what it 
means, and as we put all our confidence in you, we hope you will explain it 
ingeniously to us.' 

" Col. Johnson replied to the sachem, and through him to the Five Na- 
tions, returning a belt of wampum, and explaining the inscription on the 
plate. He told them that ' it was a matter of the greatest consequence, involv- 
ing the possession of their lands and hunting grounds, and that Jean Coeur 
and the French ought immediately to be expelled from the Ohio and Niagara.' 
In reply, the sachem said that ' he had heard with great attention and surprise 
the substance of the "devilish writing " he had brought, and that Col. Johnson's 
remarks were fully approved.' He promised that belts from each of the Five 
Nations should be sent from the Seneca's castle to the Indians at the Ohio, to 
warn and strengthen them against the French encroachments in that direc- 
tion." On the 29th of January, 1751, Clinton sent a copy of this inscription 
to Gov. Hamilton, of Pennsylvania. 

The French followed up this formal act of possession by laying out a line 
of military posts, on substantially the same line as that pursued by the Cele- 
ron expedition; but instead of crossing over to Lake Chautauqua, they kept 
on down to Presque Isle (now Erie), where was a good harbor, where a fort 
was established, and thence up to Le Boeuf (now Waterford), where another 
post was placed; thence down the Venango Eiver (French Creek) to its mouth 
at Franklin, eetablishing Fort Venango there; thence by the Allegheny to 
Pittsburgh, where Fort Du Quesne was seated, and so on down the Ohio. 

To counteract this activity of the French, the Ohio Company was char- 
tered, and a half million of acres was granted by the crown, to be selected 
mainly on the south side of the Ohio, between the Monongalia and Kanawha 
Elvers, and the condition made that settlements (100 families within seven 
years), protected by a fort, should he made. The company consisted of a 
number of Virginia and Maryland gentlemen, of whom Lawrence Washington 
was one, and Thomas Hanbury, of London. 

In 1752, a treaty was entered into with the Indians, securing the right of 
occupancy, and twelve families, headed by Capt. Gist, established themselves 
upon the Monongalia, and subsequently commenced the erection of a fort, 
where the city of Pittsburgh now is. Apprised of this intrusion into the 
very heart of the territory which they were claiming, the French built a fort 
at Le Boeuf, and strengthened the post at Franklin. 

These proceedings having been promptlj^ reported to Lieut. Gov. Dinwid- 
die, of Virginia, where the greater number of the stockholders of the Ohio 
Company resided, he determined to send an official communication — protesting 
against the forcible interference with their chartered rights, granted by the 
crown of Britain, and pointing to the late treaties of peace entered into be- 
tween the English and French, whereby it was agreed that each should respect 
the colonial possessions of the other— to the Commandant of the French, who 
had bis headquarters at Fort Le Boeuf, fifteen miles inland from the present 
site of the city of Erie. 


But who should be the msBsenger to execute this delicate and responsibla 
duty ? It Wtts winter, and the distance to be traversed was some 500 miles, 
through an unbroken wilderness, cut by rugged mountain chains and deep and 
rapid streams. It was proposed to several, who declined, and was finally 
accepted by George Washington, a youth barely twenty-one years old. On 
the last day of November, 1753, he bade adieu to civilization, and pushing on 
through the forest to the settlements on the Monongalia, where he was joined 
by Capt. Gist, followed up the Allegheny to Fort Venango (now Franklin) ; 
thence up the Venango to its head-waters at Fort Le Boeuf, where he held 
formal conference with the French Commandant, St. Pierre. The French 
officer had been ordered to hold this territory on the score of the dis- 
covery of the Mississippi by La Salle, and he had no discretion but to execute 
his orders, and referred Washington to his superior, the Governor General of 
Canada. Making careful notes of the location and strength of the post and 
those encountered on the way, the young embassador returned, being twice 
fired at on his journey by hostile Indians, and near losing his life by being 
thrown into the freezing waters of the Allegheny. Upon his arrival, he made 
a full report of the embassage, which was widely published in this country 
and in England, and was doubtless the basis upon which action was predicted 
that eventuated in a long and sanguinary war, which finally resulted in the 
expulsion of the power of France from this continent. 

Satisfied that the French were determined to hold the territory upon the 
Ohio by force of arms, a body of 150 men, of which Washington was second 
in command, was sent to the support of the settlers. But the French, having 
the Allegheny Eiver at flood-tide on which to move, and Washington, without 
means of transportation, having a rugged and mountainous country to over- 
come, the former first reached the point of destination. Contracoeur, the 
French commander, with 1,000 men and field pieces on a fleet of sixty boats and 
300 canoes, dropped down the Allegheny and easily seized the fort then being 
constructed by the Ohio Company at its mouth, and proceeded to erect there 
an elaborate work which he called Fort Da Quesne, after the Governor Gen- 
eral. Informed of this proceeding, Washington pushed forward, and finding 
that a detachment of the French was in his immediate neighborhood, he made 
a forced march by night, and coming upon them unawares killed and captured 
the entire party save one. Ten of the French, including their commander, 
Jumonville, were killed, and twenty-one made prisoners. Col. Fry, the com- 
mander of the Americans, died at Will's Creek, where the command devolved 
on Washington. Though re -enforcements had been dispatched from the sev- 
eral colonies in response to the urgent appeals of Washington, none reached 
him but one company of 100 men under Capt. Ma^kay from South Carolina. 
Knowing that he was confronting a vastly superior force of the French, well 
supplied with artillery, he threw up works at a point called the Great 
Meadows, which he characterizes as a " charming field for an encounter," nam- 
ing his hastily built fortification Fort Necessity. Stung by the loss of their 
leader, the French came out in strong force and soon invested the pi ace. Unfor- 
tunately one part of Washington's position was easily commanded by the artil- 
lery of the French, which they were not slow in taking advantage oE. The ac- 
tion opened on the 3d of July, and was contmued till late at night. A capit- 
ulation was proposed by the French commander, which Washington reluctantly 
accepted, seeing all hope of re-enforcements reaching him, cut off, and on the 
4th of July marched out with honors of war and fell back to Fort Cumberland. 

Gov. Hamilton had stronglyrecommended.before hostilities opened, thatthe 
Assembly should provide for defense and establish a line of block-houses along- 


the frontier. But the Assembly, while willing to vote money for buying peace 
from the Indians, and contributions to the British crown, from which protec- 
tion was claimed, was unwilling to contribute directly for even defensive war- 
fare. In a single year, £8,000 were voted for Indian gratuities. The proprie- 
tors were appealed to to aid in bearing this burden. But while they were 
willing to contribute liberally for defense, they would give nothing for Indian 
gratuities. They sent to the colony cannon to the value of £400. 

In February, 1753, John Penn, grandson of the founder, son of Richard, 
arrived in the colony, and as a mark of respect was immediately chosen a mem- 
ber of the Council and made its President. In consequence of the defeat of 
Washington at Fort Necessity, Gov. Hamilton convened the Assembly in extra 
session on the 6th of August, at which money was freely voted; but owing to 
the instructions given by the proprietors, to their Deputy Governor not to sign 
any money bill that did not place the whole of the interest at their disposal, 
this action of the Assembly was abortive. 

The English and French nations made strenuous exertions to strengtnen 
their forces in America for the campaigns sure to be undertaken in 1754. The 
French, by being under the supreme authority of one governing power, the 
Governor General of Canada, were able to concentrate and bring all their 
power of men and resources to bear at the threatened point with more celerity 
and certainty than the English, who were dependent upon colonies scattered 
along all the sea board, and upon Legislatures penny-wise in voting money, 
To remedy these inconveniences, the English Government recommended a con 
gress of all the colonies, together with the Six Nations, for the purpose of con 
certing plans for efficient defense. This Congress met on the 19th of June, 
1754, the first ever convened in America. The Representatives from Pennsyl 
vania were John Penn and Richard Peters for the Council, and Isaac Norris 
and Benjamin Franklin for the Assembly. The influence of the powerful 
mind of Franklin was already beginning to be felt, he having been Clerk of 
the Pennsylvania Assembly since 1736, and since 1750 had been a member. 
Heartily sympathizing with the movers in the purposes of this Congress, he 
came to Albany with a scheme of union prepared, which, having been pre- 
sented and debated, was, on the 10th of July, adopted substantially as it came 
from his hands. It provided for the appointment of a President General by 
the Crown, and an Assembly of forty-eight members to be chosen by the sev- 
eral Colonial Assembliea The plan was rejected by both parties in interest, 
the King considering the power vested in the representatives of the people too 
great, and every colony rejecting it because the President General was given 
" an influence greater than appeared to them proper in a plan of government 
intended for freemen." 


EOBEKT H. MOKRIS, 1754^56— WILLIAM Dennt, 1756-59— J AMES HAMILTON, 1759-63. 

FINDING himself in a false position by the repugnant instructions of the 
proprietors, Gov. Hamilton had given notice in 1753, that, at the end oi 
twelve months from its reception, he would resign. Accordingly in October, 
1754, he was succeeded by Robert Hunter Morris, son oi Lewis Morris, Chief 
Justice of New York and New Jersey, and Governor of New Jersey. The son 


was bred a lawyer, and was for twenty-six years Councilor, and twenty Chief 
Justice of New Jersey. The Assembly, at its first session, voted a money bill, 
for £40 000, but not having the proviso required by the proprietors, it was 
vetoed. ' Determined to push military operations, the British Government had 
called early in the year for 3,000 volunteers from Pennsylvania, with subsis- 
tance, camp equipage and transportation, and had sent two regiments of the 
line under Gen. Braddock, from Cork, Ireland. Landing at Alexandria, 
Va ' he marched to Frederick, Md., where, finding no supplies of 
transportation, he halted. The Assembly of Pennsylvania had voted to borrow 
£5,000, on its own account, for the use of the crown in prosecuting the cam- 
paign, and had sent Franklin, who was then Postmaster General for the colo- 
nies, to Braddock to aid in prosecuting the expedition. Finding that the army 
was stopped for lack of transportation, Franklin returned into Pennsylvania, 
and by his commanding influence soon secured the necessary wagons and beasts 
of bm-den. 

Braddock had formed extravagant plans for his campaign. He would 
march forward and reduce Fort Du Quesne, thence proceed against Fort Ni- 
agara, which having conquered he would close a season of triumphs by the 
capture of Fort Frontignace. But this is not the first time in warfare that 
the result of a campaign has failed to realize the promises of the manifesto. 
The orders brought by Braddock giving precedence of officers of the line over 
provincials gave offense, and Washington among others threw up his commis- 
sion; but enamored of the profession of arms, he accepted a position offered 
him by Braddock as Aide-de-camp. Accustomed to the discipline of military 
establishments in old, long-settled countries, Braddock had little conception of 
making war in a wilderness with only Indian trails to move upon, and against 
wily savages. Washington had advised to push forward with pack horses, and, 
by rapidity of movement, forestall ample preparation. But Braddock had but 
one way of soldiering, and where roads did not exist for wagons he stopped to 
fell the forest and construct bridges over streams. The French, who were 
kept advised of every movement, made ample preparations to receive him. In 
the meantime, Washington fell sick; but intent on being up for the battle, he 
hastened forward as soon as sufficiently recovered, and only joined the army 
on the day before the fatal engagement. He had never seen much of the pride 
and circumstance of war, and when, on the morning of the 9 th of July, the 
army of Braddock marched on across the Monongahela, with gay colors flying 
and martial music awakening the echoes of the forest, he was accustomed in 
after years to speak of it as the "most magnificent spectacle" that he had ever 
beheld. But the gay pageant was destined to be of short duration; for the 
army had only marched a little distance before it fell into an ambuscade skill- 
fully laid by the French and Indians, and the forest resounded with the un- 
earthly whoop of the Indians, and the continuous roar of musketry. The 
advance was checked and thrown into confusion by the French from their well- 
chosen position, and every tree upon the flanks of the long drawn out line con- 
cealed a murderous foe, who with unerring aim picked off the officers. A res- 
olute defense was made, and the battle raged with great fury for three hours; 
but the fire of the English was ineffectual because directed against an invisi- 
ble foe. Finally, the mounted officers having all fallen, killed or wounded, 
except Washington, being left without leaders, panic seized the survivors and 
"they ran," says Washington, "before the French and English like sheep be- 
fore dogs." Of 1,460, in Braddock's army, 456 were killed, and 421 wounded, 
a greater mortality, in proportion to the number engaged, than has ever oc- 
curred in the annals of modern warfare. Sir Peter Halkett was killed, and 


Braddock mortally wounded and brought off the field only with the greatest 
difiSiculty. When Orme and Morris, the other aids, fell, Washington acted 
alone with the greatest gallantry. In writing to his brother, he said: "I have 
been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four 
bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me; yet I escaped unhurt, 
though death was leveling my companions on every side." In after years, 
when Washington visited the Great Kanawha country, he was approached by 
an Indian chieftain who said that in this battle he had fired his rifle lAany 
times at Washington and had told his young men to do the same; but when he 
saw that his bullets had no apparent effect, he had bidden them to desist, be- 
lieving that the Great Spirit was protecting him. 

The panic among the survivors of the English carried them back upon the 
reserve, commanded by Gen. Dunbar, who seems himself to have been seized 
with it, and without attempting to renew the campaign and return to the en- 
counter, he joined in the flight which was not stayed until Fort Cumberland 
was reached. The French wero anticipating a renewal of the struggle; but 
when they found that the English had fled leaving the frontier all unprotected, 
they left no stone unturned in whetting the minds of the savages for the 
work of plunder and blood, and in organizing relentless bands to range at 
will along all the wide frontier. The Indians could not be induced to pursue 
the retreating English, but fell to plundering the field. Nearly everyth ing 
was lost, even to the camp chest of Braddock. The wounded General was 
taken back to the summit of Laurel Hill, where, four days after, he breathed 
his last. He was buried in the middle of the road, and the army marched 
over his grave that it might not be discovered or molested by the natives. 
The eajy victory, won chiefly by the savages, served to encourage them in 
their fell work, in which, when their passions were aroused, no known people 
on earth were less touched by pity. The unprotected settler in his wilder- 
ness home was the easy prey of the torch and the scalping knife, and the burn- 
ing cabin lit up the somber forests by their continuous blaze, and the shrieks 
of women and children resounded from the Hudson to the far Potomac Be- 
fore the defeat of Braddock, there were 3,000 men capable of bearing arms 
west of the Susquehanna. In six months after, there were scarcely 100. 

Gov. Morris made an earnest appeal to the Assembly for money to ward off 
the impending enemy and protect the settlers, in response to which the As- 
sembly voted £50,000; but having no exemption of the proprietor's estates, 
it was rejected by the Governor, in accordance with his original instructions. 
Expeditions undertaken against Nova Scotia and at Crown Point were more fortu- 
nate than that before Du Quesne, and the Assembly voted £15,000 in bills of credit 
to aid in defraying the expense. The proprietors sent £5,000 as a gratuity, 
not as any part of expense that could of right be claimed of them. 

In this hour of extremity, the Indians for the most part showed themselves 
a treacherous race, ever ready to take up on the stronger side. Even the Shaw- 
anese and Delawares, who had been loudest in their protestations of friendship 
for the English and readiness to fight for them, no sooner saw the French vic- 
torious than they gave ready ear to their advice to strike for the recovery of 
the lands which they had sold to the English. 

In this pressing emergency, while the Governor and Assembly were waging 
a fruitless war of words over money bills, the pen of Franklin was busy in in- 
fusing a wholesome sentiment in the minds of the people. In a pamphlet 
that he issued, which he put in the familiar form of a dialogue, he answered the 
objections which had been urged to a legalized militia, and willing to show 
his devotion by deeds as well as words, he accepted the command upon the 


frontier. By his exertions, a respectable force was raised, and though in the 
dead of -winter, he commenced the erection of a line of forts and block-houses 
along the whole range of the'Kittatinny Hills, from the Delaware to the Po- 
tomac, and had them completed and garrisoned with a body sufficient to with- 
stand any force not provided with artillery. In the spring, he turned over the 
command to Ool. Clapham, and returning to Philadelphia took his seat in the 
Assembly. The Governor now declared war against the Indians, who had es- 
tablished their headquarters thirty miles above Harris' Ferry, on the Susque- 
hanna, and were busy in their work of robbery and devastation, having se- 
cured the greater portion of the crops of the previous season of the settlers 
whom they had killed or driven out. The peace party strongly objected to the 
course of the Governor, and voluntarily going among the Indians induced 
them to bury the hatchet. The Assembly which met in May, 1756, prepared a 
bill with the old clause for taxing the proprietors, as any other citizens, which 
the Governor was forbidden to approve by his instructions, "and the two 
parties were sharpening their wits for another wrangle over it," when Gov. 
Morris was superseded by William Denny, who arrived in the colony and as- 
sumed authority on the 20th of August, 1756. He was joyfully and cordially 
received, escorted through the streets by the regiments of Franklin and Duch6, 
and royally feasted at the State House. 

But the promise of efficient legislation was broken by an exhibition of the 
new Governor's instructions, which provided that every bill for the eniission of 
money must place the proceeds at the joint disposal of the Governor and As- 
sembly; paper currency could not be issued in excess of £40,000, nor could ex- 
isting issues be confirmed unless proprietary rents were paid in sterling 
money ; proprietary lands were permitted to be taxed which had been actually 
leased, provided that the taxes were paid out of the rents, but the tax could 
not become a lien upon the land. In the first Assembly, the contention be- 
came as acrimonious as ever. 

Previous to the departure of Gov. Morris, as a retaliatory act he had 
issued a proclamation against the hostile Indians, providing for the payment 
of bounties: For every male Indian enemy above twelve years old, who shall 
be taken prisoner and delivered at any forts, garrisoned by troops in pay 
of this province, or to any of the county towns to the keepers of the common 
jails there, the sum of one hundred and fifty Spanish dollars or pieces of eight; 
for the scalp of every male Indian above the age of twelve years, produced as 
evidence of their being killed, the sum of one hundred and thirty pieces of 
eight; for every female Indian taken prisoner and brought in as aforesaid, 
and for every male Indian under the age of twelve years, taken and brought 
in, one hundred and thirty pieces of eight; for the scalp of every Indian 
woman produced as evidence of their being killed, the sum of fifty pieces of 
eight." Liberal bounties were also offered for the delivering up of settlers who 
had been carried away captive. 

But the operation which had the most wholesome and pacifying effect upon 
the savages, and caused them to stop in their mad career and consider the 
chances of war and the punishment they were calling down upon their own 
heads, though executed under the rule of Gov. Denny, was planned and 
provided for, and was really a part of the aggressive and vigorous policy of 
Gov. Morris. In response to the act of Assembly, providing for the calling 
out and organizing the militia, twenty- five companies were recruited, and had 
been stationed along the line of posts that had been established for the defense 
of the frontiers. At Kittanning, on the Allegheny River, the Indians had one 
of the largest of their towns in the State, and was a recruiting station and 


rallying point for sending out their murderous bands. The plan proposed and 
adopted by Gov. Morris, and approved and accepted by Gov. Denny, 
was to send out a strong detachment from the niilitia for the reduction of this 
stronghold. Accordingly, in August, 1756, Col. Armstrong, with a force of 
three hundred men, made a forced march, and, arriving unpercei ved in the neigh- 
borhood of the town, sent the main body by a wide detour from above, to come 
in upon the river a few hundred yards below. At 3 o'clock on the morning of 
the 7th of September, the troops had gained their position undiscovered, and 
at dawn the attack was made. Shielded from view by the tall corn which cov- 
ered all the flats, the troops were able to reach in close proximity to the cabins 
unobserved. Jacobs, the chief, sounded the war-whoop, and made a stout re- 
sistance, keeping up a rapid fire from the loop holes in his cabin. Not desir- 
ing to push his advantage to the issue of no quarter, Armstrong called on the 
savages to surrender: but this they refused to do, declaring that they were ■ 
men and would never be prisoners. Finding that they would not yield, and 
that they were determined to sell their lives at the dearest rate, he gave orders 
to fire the huts, and the whole town was soon wrapt in flames. As the heat 
began to reach the warriors, some sung, while wrung with the death agonies; 
others broke for the river and were shot down as they fled Jacobs, in attempt- 
ing to climb through a window, was killed. All calls for surrender were re- 
ceived with derision, one declaring that he did not care for death, and that he 
could kill four or five before he died. Gunpowder, small arms and valuable 
goods which had been distributed to them only the day before by the French, 
fell into the hands of the victors. The triumph was complete, few if any 
escaping to tell the sad tale. Col. Armstrong's celerity of movement and 
well conceived and executed plan of action were publicly acknowledged, and 
he was voted a medal and plate by the city of Philadelphia. 

The finances of the colony, on account of the repeated failures of the 
money bills, were in a deplorable condition. Military operations could not 
be carried on and vigorous campaigns prosecuted without ready money. Ac- 
cordingly, in the first meeting of the Assembly after the arrival of the new 
Governor, a bill was passed levying £100,000 on all property alike, real and 
personal, private and proprietary. This Gov. Denny vetoed. Seeing that 
money must be had, the Assembly finally passed a bill exempting the proprie- 
taiy estates, but determined to lay their grievances before the Crown. To 
this end, two Commissioners were appointed, Isaac Norris and Benjamin 
Franklin, to proceed to England and beg the interference of the royal Gov- 
ernment in their behalf. Failing health and business engagements of Norris 
prevented his acceptance, and Franklin proceeded alone. He had so often de- 
fended the Assembly in public and in drawing remonstrances that the whole 
subject was at his fingers' ends. 

Military operations throughout the colonies, during the year 1757, con- 
ducted under the command of the Ear) of Loudoun were sluggish, and resulted 
only in disaster and disgrace. The Indians were active in Pennsylvania, and 
kept the setilers throughout nearly all the colonies in a continual ferment, 
hostile bands stealing in upon the defenseless inhabitants as they went to 
their plantings and sowings, and greatly interfering with or preventing alto- 
gether the raising of the ordinary crops. In 1758, Loudoun was recalled, 
and Gen. Abercrombie was given chief command, with Wolfe, Amherst and 
Forbes as his subordinates. It was determined to direct operations simul- 
taneously upon three points— Fort Du Quesne, Louisburg and the forts upon 
the great lakes. Gen. Forbes commanded the forces sent against Fort Du 
Quesne. With a detachment of royal troops, and militia from Pennsylvania 


and Virginia, under command of Cols. Bouquet and Washington, his column 
moved in July, 1758. The French were well ordered for receiving the attack, 
and the battle in front of the fort raged with great fury; but they were finally 
driven, and the fort, with its munitions, fell into the hands of the victors, and 
was garrisoned by 400 Pennsylvanians. Beturning, Forbes placed his remain- 
ing forces in barracks at Lancaster. 

Franklin, upon his arrival in England, presented the grievances before the 
proprietors, and, that he might get his case before the royal advisers and the 
British public, wrote frequent articles for the press, and issued a pamphlet 
entitled " Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsyl- 
vania." The dispute was adroitly managed by Franklin before the Privy 
Council, and was finally decided substantially in the interest of the Assem- 
bly. It was provided that the proprietors' estates should be taxed, but that 
their located uncultivated lands should be assessed as low as the lowest uncul- 
tivated lands of the settlers, that bills issued by the Assembly should be re- 
ceivable in payment of quit rents, and that the Deputy Governor should have 
a voice in disposing of the revenues. Thus was a vexed question of long 
standing finally put to rest. So successfully had Franklin managed this con- 
troversy that the colonies of Massachusetts, Maryland and Georgia appointed 
him their agent in England. 

In October, 1759, James Hamilton was again appointed Governor, in place 
of Gov. Denny, who had by stress of circumstances transcended his instruc- 
tions. The British Government, considering that the colonies had borne more 
than their proportionate expense in carrying on the war against the French 
and Indians, voted £200,000 for five years, to be divided among the colonies, 
the share falling to Pennsylvania being £26,000. On the 25th of October, 
1760, George II died, and was succeeded by his grandson, George III. Early 
in 1762, war was declared between Great Britain and Spain, but was of short 
continuance, peace having been declared in November following, by which 
Spain and France relinquished to the English substantially the territory east 
of the Mississippi. The wise men of the various Indian nations inhabiting 
this wide territory viewed with concern this sudden expansion of English 
power, fearing that they would eventually be pushed from their huntincf 
grounds and pleasant haunts by the rapidly multiplying pale faces. The In- 
dians have ever been noted for proceeding against an enemy secretly and 
treacherously. Believing that by concerted action the English might be cut 
off and utterly exterminated, a secret league was entered into by the Shawa- 
nese and the tribes dwelling along the Ohio Eiver, under the leadership of a 
powerful chieftain, Pontiac, by which swift destruction was everywhere to be 
meted out to the white man upon an hour of an appointed day. The plan was 
thoroughly understood by the red men, and heartily entered into. The day 
dawned and the blow fell in May, 1763. The forts at Presque Isle, Le Boeuf. 
Venango, La Eay, St. Joseph's, Miamis, Onaethtanon, Sandusky and Michili- 
maokinack, all fell before the ^unanticipated attacks of the savages who were 
making protestations of friendship, and the garrisons were put to the slaugh- 
ter. Fort Pitt (Du Quesne), Niagara and Detroit alone, of all this line of 
forts, held out. Pontiac in person conducted the siege of Detroit, -which he 
vigorously pushed from May until October, paying his warriors with promises 
written on bits of birch bark, which he subsequently religiously redeemed. It is 
an evidence of his great power that he could unite his people in so gen- 
eral and secretly kept a compact, and that in this siege of Detroit he was able 
to hold his warriors up to the work so long and so vigorously even after all hope 
of success must have reasonably been abandoned. The attack fell with great 


severity upon the Pennsylvania settlers, and they continued to be driven in 
until Shippensbung, in Cumberland County, became the extreme outpost of 
civilization. The savages stole unawares upon the laborers in the fields, or 
came stealthily in at the midnight hour and spared neither trembling age nor 
helpless infancy, firing houses, barns, crops and everything combustible. 
The suffering of the frontiersmen in this fatal year can scarcely be conceived. 

Col. Armstrong vyith a hastily collected force advanced upon their tov^ns 
and forts at Muncy and Great Island, which he destroyed; but the Indians 
escaped and withdrew before him. He sent a detachment under Col. Bouquet 
to the relief of Fort Pitt, which still held out, though closely invested by the 
dusky warriors. At Fort Ligonier, Bouquet halted and sent forward thirty 
men, who stealthily pushed past the Indians under cover of night, and reached 
the fort, carrying intelligence that succor was at hand. Discovering that a 
force was advancing upon them, the Indians turned upon the troops of Bou- 
quet, and before he was aware that an enemy was near, he found himself sur- 
rounded and all means of escape apparently cut off. By a skillfully laid 
ambuscade, Bouquet, sending a small detachment to steal away as if in retreat, 
induced the Indians to follow, and when stretched out in pursuit, the main 
body in concealment fell upon the unsuspecting savages, and routed them with 
immense slaughter, when he advanced to the relief of the fort unchecked. 

As we have already seen, the boundary line between Maryland and Penn- 
sylvania had long been in dispute, and had occasioned serious disturbances 
among the settlers in the lifetime of Penn, and repeatedly since. It was not 
definitely settled till 1760, when a beginning was made of a final adjustment, 
though so intricate were the conditions that the work was prosecuted for seven 
years by a large force of surveyors, axmen and pioneers. The charter of Lord 
Baltimore made the northern boundary of Maryland the 40th degree of lati- 
tude; but whether the beginning or end of the 40th was not specified. The 
charter of Penn, which was subsequent, made his southern boundary the 
beginning of the 40th parallel. If, as Lord Baltimore claimed, his northern 
boundary was the end of the 40th, then the cil-y of Philadelphia and all the 
settled parts of Pennsylvania would have been included in Maryland. If, as 
Penn claimed by express terms of his charter, his southern line was the begin- 
ning of the 40th, then the city of Baltimore, and even a part of the District of 
Columbia, including nearly the whole of Maryland would have been swal- 
lowed up by Pennsylvania. It was evident to the royal Council that neither 
claim could be rightfully allowed, and nence resort was had to compromise. 
Penn insisted upon retaining free communication with the open ocean by the 
Delaware Bay. Accordingly, it was decided that beginning at Cape Henlopen, 
which by mistake in marking the maps was fifteen miles below the present 
location, opposite Cape May, a line should be run due west to a point half way 
between this cape and the shore of Chesapeake Bay; from this point " a line 
was to be run northerly in such direction that it should be tangent on the west 
side to a circle with a radius of twelve miles, whose center was the center of 
the court house at New Castle. From the exact tangent point, a line was to be 
run due north until it should reach a point fifteen miles south on the parallel 
of latitude of the most southern point in the boundary of the city of Phila- 
delphia, and this point when accurately found by horizontal measurement, was 
to be the corner bound between Maryland and Pennsylvania, and subsequently, 
when Delaware was set off from Pennsylvania, was the boundary of the three 
States. From this bound a line was to be run due west five degrees of longi- 
tude from the Delaware, which was to be the western limit of Pennsylvania, 
and the line thus ascertained was to mark the division between Maryland and 


Pennsylvania, and forever settle the vexed question. If the due north line 
should cut any part of the circle about New Castle, the slice so cut should be- 
long to New Castle. Such a segment was cut. This plan of settlement was 
entered into on the 10th of May, 1732, between Thomas and Richard, sons of 
William Penn, on the one part, and Charles, Lord Baltimore, great grandson 
of the patentee. But the actual marking of the boundaries was still deferred, 
and as the settlers were taking out patents for their lands, it was necessary 
that it should be definitely known in which State the lands lay. Accordingly, 
in 1739, in obedience to a decree in Council, a temporary line was run upon a 
new basis, which now often appears in litigations to plague the brain of the 

Commissioners were again appointed in 1751, who made a few of the 
measurements, but owing to objections raised on the part of Maryland, the 
work was abandoned. Finally, the proprietors, Thomas and Kichard Penn, 
and Frederic, Lord Baltimore, entered into an agreement for the executing of 
the survey, and John Lukens and Archibald McLean on the part of the Penns, 
and Thomas Garnett and Jonathan Hall on the part of Lord Baltimore, were 
appointed with a suitable corps of assistants to lay off the lines. After these 
surveyors had been three years at work, the proprietors in England, thinking 
that there was not enough energy 'and practical and scientific knowledge mani- 
fested by these surveyors, appointed Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, two 
mathematicians and surveyors, to proceed to America and take charge of the 
work. They brought with them the most perfect and best constructed instru- 
ments known to science, arriving in Philadelphia on the 15th of November, 
1763, and, assisted by some of the old surveyors, entered upon their work. By 
the 4th of June, 1766, they had reached the summit of the Little Allegheny, 
when the Indians began to be troublesome. They looked with an evil eye on 
the mathematical and astronomical instruments, and felt a secret dread and 
fear of the consequences of the frequent and long-continued peering into the 
heavens. The Six Nations were understood to be inimical to the further prog- 
ress of the survey. But through the influence of Sir William Johnson a 
treaty was concluded, providing for the prosecution of the work unmolested, 
and a number of chieftains were sent to accompany the surveying party. 
Mason and Dixon now had with them thirty surveyors, fifteen axmen, and fif- 
teen Indians of consequence. Again the attitude of the Indians gave cause of 
fear, and on the 29th of September, twenty-six of the surveyors abandoned the 
expedition and returned to Philadelphia. Having reached a point 244 miles 
from the Delaware, and within thirty-six miles of the western limit of the 
State, in the bottom of a deep, dark valley, they came upon a well-worn 
Indian path, and here the Indians gave notice that it was the will of the Six 
Nations that, this survey proceed no further. There was no questioning this 
authority, and no means at command for resisting, and accordingly the party 
broke up and returned to Philadelphia. And this was the end of the labors of 
Mdson and Dixon upon this boundary. From the fact that this was subse- 
quently the mark of division between the Free and Slave States, Mason and 
Dixon's line became familiar m American politics. The line was marked by 
stones which were quarried and engraved in England, on one side having the 
arms of Penn, and on the opposite those of Lord Baltimore. These stones 
were firmly set every five miles. At the end of each intermediate mile a 
smaller stone was placed, having on one side engraved the letter P., and on the 
"P'^ noo® o^^^ ^^^ ^®**®^ ^- '^^^ remainder of the line was finished and marked 
m 1782-84 by other surveyors. A vista was cut through the forest eight yards in 
width the whole distance, which seemed in looking back through it to come to a 


point at the distance of two miles. In 1849, the stone at the northeast corner 
of Maryland having been removed, a resurvey of the line was ordered, and 
suryeyors were appointed by the three States of Pennsylvania, Delaware and 
Maryland, who called to their aid Col. James D. Graham. Some few errors 
were discovered in the old survey, but in the main it was found to be accurate. 
John Penn, grandson of the founder, and son of Richard, had come to the 
colony in 1753, and, having acted as President of the Council, was, in 1763, 
commissioned Governor in place of Hamilton. The conspiracy of Pontiac, 
though abortive in the results contemplated, left the minds of the Indians in 
a raost dangerous state. The more resolute, who had entered heartily into the 
views of their leader, still felt that his purposes were patriotic, and hence 
sought, by every means possible, to ravage and destroy the English settlements. 
The Moravian Indians at Nain and "Wichetunk, though regarded as friendly, 
were suspected of indirectly aiding in the savage warfare by trading firearms 
and ammunition. They were accordingly removed to Philadelphia that they 
might be out of the way of temptation. At the old Indian town of Conestoga 
there lived some score of natives. Many heartless murders had been com- 
mitted along the frontier, and the perpetrators had been traced to this Con- 
estoga town ; and while the Conestoga band were not known to be impli- 
cated in these outrages, their town was regarded as the lurking place of roving 
savages who were. For protection, the settlers in the neighboring districts of 
Paxton and Donegal, had organized a band known as the Paxton boys. Earnest 
requests were made by Eev. John Elder and John Harris to the Government 
to remove this band at Conestoga ; but as nothing was done, and fearful 
depredations and slaughter continued, a party of these Paxton rangers attacked 
the town and put the savages to the sword. Some few escaped, among them a 
known bloodthirsty savage, who were taken into the jail at Lancaster for pro- 
tection ; but the rangers, following them, overpowered the jailer, and breaking 
into the jail murdered the fugitives. Intense excitement was occasioned by 
this outbreak, and Gov. Penn issued his proclamation offering rewards for the 
apprehension of the perpetrators. Some few were taken ; but so excellent was 
their character and standing, and such were the provocations, that no convic- 
tions followed. Apprehensions for the safety of the Moravian Indians induced 
the Government to remove them to Province Island, and, feeling insecure 
there, they asked to be sent to England. For safety, they were sent to New 
York, but the Governor of that province refused them permission to laud, as 
did also the Governor of New Jersey, and they were brought back to Philadel- 
phia and put in barracks under strong guard. The Paxton boys, in a consider- 
able body, were at that time at Germantown interceding for their brethren, 
who were then in durance and threatened with trial. Franklin was sent out 
to confer with them on the part of the Government. In defending their course, 
they said : " Whilst more than a thousand families, reduced to extreme dis- 
tress, during the last and present war, by the attacks of skulking parties of 
Indians upon the frontier, were destitute, and were suffered by the public to 
depend on private charity, a hundred and twenty of the perpetrators of the 
most horrid barbarities were supported by the province, and protected from 
the fury of the brave relatives of the murdered." Influenced by the persua- 
sions of Franklin, they consented to return to their homes, leaving only 
Matthew Smith and James Gibson to represent them before the courts. 



John Penn, 1763-71— James Hamilton, 1771— Richard Penn, 1771-73— John 

Penn, 1773-76. 

A DIFFERENCE having arisen between the Governor and Assembly on the 
vexed question of levying money, the Assembly passed a series of reso- 
lutions advocating that the " powers of government ought to be separated from 
the power attending the immense proprietary property, and lodged in the 
hands of the King. " After an interval of fifty days — that time for reflection 
and discussion might be given — the Assembly again convened, and adopted a 
petition praying the King to assume the direct government of the province, 
though this policy was strongly opposed by some of the ablest members, as 
Isaac Norris and John Dickinson. The Quaker element was generally in 
favor of the change. 

Indian barbarities still continuing along the frontier, Gov. Penn declared 
war against the Shawanese and Delawares in July, 1765, and sent Col. Bouquet 
with a body of Pennsylvania troops against them. By the 3d of October, he 
had come up to the Muskingum, in the heart of the most thickly peopled 
Indian territory. So rapid had been the movement of Bouquet that the savages 
had no intelligence of his advance until he was upon them with no preparations 
for defense. They sued for peace, and a treaty was entered into by which the 
savages agreed to abstain from further hostilities until a general treaty could 
be concluded with Sir William Jolmson, the general agent for Indian affairs 
for all the colonies, and to deliver up all English captives who had been carried 
away during the years of trouble. Two hundred and eight were quickly 
gathered up and brought in, and many others were to follow, who were now 
widely scattered. The relatives of many of these captives had proceeded with 
the ti-ain of Bouquet, intent on reclaiming those who had been dear io them. 
Some were joyfully received, while others who had been borne off' in youth had 
become attached to their captors, and force was necessary to bring them away. 
" On the return of the army, some of the Indians obtained leave to accompany 
their former captives to Fort Pitt, and employed themselves in hunting and 
carrying provisions for them on the road. " 

The great struggle for the independence of the colonies of the British 
crown was now close at hand, and the first sounds of the controversy were be- 
ginning to be heard. Sir William Keith, that enterprising Governor whose 
head seemed to have been full of new projects, as early as 1739 had proposed 
to lay a uniform tax on stamped paper in all tiie colonies, to realize funds for 
the common defense. Acting upon this hint, Grenville, the British Minister, 
notified the colonists in 1763 of his purpose to impose such a tax. Against 
this they remonstrated. Instead of this, a tax on imports, to be paid in coin, 
was adopted. This was even more distasteful. The Assembly of Bhode 
Island, in October, 1765, submitted a paper to all the colonial assemblies, with 
a view to uniting in a common petition to the King against parliamentary 
taxation. This was favorably acted on by the Assembly .of Pennsylvania, and 
Franklin was appointed agent to represent their caase before the British Par- 
liament. The Stamp Act had been passed on the 22d of March, 1765. Its 
passage excited bitter opposition, and a resolution, asserting that the Colomal 


Asaemblies had the exclusive right to levy taxes, was passed by the Virginia 
Assembly, and concurred in by all the others. The Massachusetts Assembly 
proposed a meeting of delegates in New York on the second Tuesday of October, 
1765, to confer upon the subject. The Pennsylvania Assembly adopted the 
suggestion, and appointed Messrs. Fox, Morton, Bryan and Dickenson as dele- 
gates. This Congress met according to the call and adopted a respectful pe- 
tition to the King, and a memorial to Parliament, which were signed by all 
the members and forwarded for presentation by the Colonial Agents in En- 
gland. The Stamp Act was to go into effect on the 1st of November. On the 
last day of October, the newspapers were dressed in mourning, and suspended 
publication. The publishers agreed not to use the stamped paper. The 
people, as vnth one mind, determined to dress in homespun, resolved not to 
use imported goods, and, to stimulate the production of wool the colonists cov- 
enanted not to eat lamb for the space of one year. The result of this policy 
was soon felt by British manufacturers who became clamorous for repeal of 
the obnoxious measures, and it was accordingly repealed on the 18th of March, 

Determined in some form to draw a revenue from the colonies, an act was 
passed in 1767, to lay a duty on tea, paper, printers' colors, and glass. The As- 
sembly of Pennsylvania passed a resolution on the '20th of February, 1768, 
instructing its agent in London to urge its repeal, and at the session in May 
received and entered upon its minutes a circular letter from the Massachusetts 
Assembly, setting forth the grounds on which objection to the act should be 
urged. This circular occasioned hostile feeling among the ministry, and the 
Secretary for foreign affairs wrote to Gov. Penn to urge the Assembly to 
take no notice of it; but if they approved its sentiments, to prorogue their 
sittings. This letter was transmitted to the Assembly, and soon after one 
from the Virginia Assembly was presented, urging union of all the colonies 
in opposing the several schemes of taxation. This recommendation was 
adopted, and committees appointed to draw a petition to the King and to each 
of the Houses of Parliament. To lead public sentiment, and have it well 
grounded in the arguments used against taxation, John Dickinson, one of the 
ablest of the Pennsylvania legislators at this time, published a number of 
articles purporting to come from a plain farmer, under the title of the Farmer^ s 
Letters, which became popular, the idea that they were the work of one in 
humble life, helping to swell the tide of popularity. They were republished 
in all the colonies, and exerted a commanding influence. Alarmed at the 
unanimity of feeling against the proposed schemes, and supposing that it was 
the amount of the tax that gave offense. Parliament reduced the rate in 1769 
to one sixth of the original sum, and in 1770 abolished it altogether, except 
three pence a pound on tea But it was the principle, and not the amoant 
that was objected to, and at the next session of the Assembly in Pennsylvania, 
their agent in London was directed to urge its repeal altogether. 

It would seem incredible that the colony of Connecticut should lay claim 
to any part of the territory of Pennsylvania, but so it was. The New En- 
gland charters gave limitless extent westward even to the shores of the Pacific 
Ocean, and south to the northern limits of the tract ceded to Lord Baltimore — 
the territory between the 40th and 46th degrees o! north latitude, and from 
ocean to ocean. To encroach upon New York with its teaming popu- 
lation was not calculated to tempt the enterprise of the settler; but 
the rich virgin soil, and agreeable climate of the wide Wyoming Val- 
ley, as yet unappropriated, was likely to attract the eye of the explores 
Accordingly, at the general conference with the Indians held at Albany 


in 1754, the Connecticut delegates made a purchase of a large tract in 
this valley; a company, known as the Susquehanna Company, was formed in 
Connecticut to promote the settlement of these lands, and a considerable im- 
migration commenced. The proprietors of Pennsylvania had also made pur- 
chase of the Indians of these identical lands, and the royal charters of Charles 
and James covered this ground. But the Plymouth Charter antedated Penn's. 
Eemonstrances were made to the Governor of Connecticut against; encroach- 
ments upon the ten-itory of Pennsylvania. The answer returned was under- 
stood to disclaim any control over the company by the Connecticut authorities; 
but it subsequently appeared that the Government was determined to defend 
the settlers in the possession of their lands. In 1768, the proprietors of Penn- 
sylvania entered into treaty stipulations with the Indians for all this tract cov- 
ered by the claim of the Susquehanna Company. Pennsylvania settlers, 
attracted by the beauty of the place, gradually acquired lands under Penn- 
sylvania patents, and the two parties began to infringe on each other's claims. 
Forts and block-houses were erected for the protection of either party, and a 
petty warfare was kept up, which resulted in some loss of life. Butler, the 
leader of the Connecticut party, proposed to settle their differences by per- 
sonal combat of thirty picked men on each side. In order to assert more direct 
lecal control over the settlers, a new county was formed which was called 
Northumberland, that embraced all the disputed lands. But the Sheriff, even 
with the aid of the militia, which he called to his assistance, was unable to 
execute his processes, and exercise legal control, the New Englanders, proving 
a resolute set, determined to hold the splendid farms which they had marked 
out for themselves, and were bringing rapidly under cultivation. To the re- 
monstrances of Gov. Penn, Gov. Trumbull responded that the Susquehanna Com- 
pany was proceeding in good faith under provisions secured by the charter of 
the Plymouth Colony, and proposed that the question be submitted to a com- 
petent tribunal for arbitrament. An ex parte statement was submitted to 
Council in London by the Connecticut party, and an opinion was rendered 
favorable to its claims. In September, 1775, the matter was submitted to the 
Continental Congress, and a committee of that body, to whom it was referred, 
reported in favor of the Connecticut claim, apportioning a tract out of the 
very bowels of Pennsylvania nearly as large as the whole State of Connecticut. 
This action was promptly rejected by the Assembly of Pennsylvania, and a 
final decision was not reached until 1802, when Congress decided in favor of 
the integrity of the chartered rights of Penn. 

Eichard Penn, son of the founder, died in 1771, whereupon Gov. John 
Penn returned to England, leaving the President of the Council, James Ham- 
ilton, at the head of the Government. John Penn, eldest son of Eichard, suc- 
ceeded to the proprietary interests of his father, which he held in conjunction 
with his uncle, Thomas, and in October of the same year, Eichard, the second 
son, was commissioned Governor. He held the oifice but about two years, and 
in that time won the confidence and esteem of the people, and so much attached 
was he to the popular cause, that upon his return to England, in 1775, he was 
intrusted by Congress with the last petition of the colonies ever presented to 
the King. In August, 1773, John Penn returned with the commission of 
Governor, superseding his brother Eichard. Soon after his arrival, the Gov- 
ernor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, issued his proclamation, laying claim to a 
vast territory in the Monongalia Valley, including the site of the present 
city of Pittsburgh, and upon the withdrawal, of the British garrison, one Con- 
nolly had taken possession of it in the name of Virginia. Gov. Penn issued a 
counter-proclamation, calling on all good citizens within the borders of Penn- 


sylvania, to preserve their allegiance to his Government, seized and imprisoned 
Connolly, and sent Commissioners to Virginia to effect an amicable settlement. 
These, Dunmore refused to hear, and was preparing to assert his authority by 
force; but his Council refused to vote him oioney for this purpose. 

To encourage the sale of tea in the colonies, and establish the principle of 
taxation, the export duty was rem.)ved. The colonies took the alarm. At a 
public meeting called in Philadelphia to consider the subject, on the 18th of 
October, 1773, resolutions were adopted in which it was declared : " That the 
disposal of their own property is the inherent right of freemen; that there can 
be no property in that which another can, of right, take from us without our 
consent; that the claim of Parliament to tax America, is, in other words, a claim 
of right to levy contributions on us at pleasure." The East India Company 
now made preparations for sending large importations of tea into the colonies. 
The ships destined for Philadelphia and New York, on approaching port, and 
being advised of the exasperated state of public feeling, returned to England 
with their cargoes. Those sent to Boston came into the harbor; but at night a 
party disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded the vessels, and breaking open 
the packages, emptied 300 chests into the sea. The ministry, on being apprised 
of this act, closed the port of Boston, and subverted the colonial charter. 
Early in the year, committees of correspondence had been established in all 
the colonies, by means of which the temper and feeling in each was well un- 
derstood by the others, and concert of action was secured. The hard condi- 
tions imposed on the town of Boston and the colony of Massachusetts Bay, 
aroused the sympathy of all ; for, they argued, we know not how soon the heavy 
hand of oppression may be felt by any of us. Philadelphia declared at a pub- 
lic meeting that the people of Pennsylvania would continue firmly to adhere 
to the cause of American liberty, and urged the calling of a Congress of dele- 
gates to consider the general interests. 

At a meeting held in Philadelphia on the 18th of June, 1774, at which 
nearly 8,000 people were convened, it was decided that a Continental Congress 
ought to be held, and appointed a committee of correspondence to communi- 
cate with similar committees in the several counties of Pennsylvania and in the 
several colonies. On the 15th of July, 1774, delegates from all the counties, 
summoned by this committee, assembled in Philadelphia, and declared that 
there existed an absolute necessity for a Colonial Congress. They accordingly 
recommended that the Assembly appoint delegates to such a Congress to 
represent Pennsylvania, and Joseph Galloway, Samuel Ehoads, George Ross, 
Edward Biddle, John Dickinson, Charles Humphries and Thomas Mifflin were 

On the 4th of Septemoer, 1774, the first Continental Congress assembled m 
Philadelphia. Peyton Randolph, of Virginia, was called to preside, and 
Charles Thomson, of Pennsylvania, was appointed Secretary. It was resolved 
that no more goods be imported from England, and that unless a pacification 
was effected previously, no more Colonial produce of the soil be exported 
thither after September 10, 1775. A declaration of rights was adopted, and 
addresses to the King, the people of Great Britain, and of British America 
were agreed to, after which the Congress adjourned to meet again on the 10th 
of May, 1775. 

In January, 1775, another meeting of the county delegates was held in 
Philadelphia, at which the action of the Colonial Congress was approved, and 
while a restoration of harmony with the mother country was desired, yet if 
the arbitiary acts of Parliament were persisted in, they would at every hazard 
defend the "rights and liberties of America." The delegates appointed to 


represent the colony in the Second Congress were Mifflin, Humphries, Biddlp, 
Dickinson, Morton, FranJilin, Wilson and Willing. 

The government of Great Britain had determined with a strong hand to 
compel obedience to its behests. On the 19th of April, 1775, was fought the 
battle of Lexington, and the crimson fountain was opened. That blow was 
felt alike through all the colonies. The cause of one was the cause of all. 
A public meeting was held in Philadelphia, at which it was resolved to organize 
military companies in all the counties. The Assembly heartily seconded these 
views, and engaged to provide for the pay of the militia while in service. 
The Second Congress, which met in May, provided for organizing a continental 
army, fixing the quota for Pennsylvania at 4,300 men. The Assembly adopted 
the recommendation of Congress, provided for arming, disciplining and pay- 
ing the militia, recommended the organizing minutemen for service in an 
emergency, made appropriations for the defense of the city, and offered a pre- 
mium on the production of salt peter. Complications hourly thickened. Ticon- 
deroga was captured on the 10th of May, and the battle of Bunker Hill was 
fought on the 17th of June. On the 15th of June, George Washington was 
appointed Commander-in-chief of the Contiaental Army, supported by four 
Major Generals and eight Brigadiers. 

The royal Governors were now an incumbrance greatly in the way of the 
popular movement, as were also the Assemblies where they refused to represent 
the popular will. Accordingly, Congress recommended that the several col- 
onies should adopt such government as should " best conduce to the happiness 
and safety of their constituents in particular and America in general." This 
meant that each colony should set up a government for itself independent of 
the Crown. Accordingly, a public meeting was held in Philadelphia, at 
which it was resolved that the present Assembly is " not competent to the pres- 
ent exigencies of affairs," and that a new form of government ought to be 
adopted as recommended by Congress. The city committee of correspondence 
called on the county committees to seciu'e the election of delegates to a colonial 
meeting for the purpose of considering this subject. On the 18th of June, 
the meeting was held in Philadelphia, and was organized by electing Thomas 
McKean President. It resolved to call a convention to frame a new con- 
stitution, provided the legal forms to be observed, and issued an address to 
the people. 

Having thus by frequent argumentation grown familiar with the declara- 
tion of the inherent rights of every citizen, and with flatly declaring to the 
government of Great Britain that it had no right to pursue this policy or that, 
and the several States having been recommended to absolve themselves from 
allegience to the royal governments, and set up independent colonial govern- 
ments of their own, it was a natural inference, and but a step further, to de- 
clare the colonies entirely independent of the British Government, and to or- 
ganize for themselves a general continental government to hold the place of King 
and Parliament. The idea of independence had been seriously proposed, and 
several Colonial Assemblies had passed resolutions strongly recommending it. 
And yet there were those of age and experience who had supported independ- 
ent principles in the stages of argumentation, before action was demanded, 
when they approached the brink of the fatal chasm, and had to decide 
whether ts take the leap, hesitated. There were those in the Assembly of 
Pennsylvania who were reluctant to advise independence; but the majority 
voted to recommend its delegates to unite with the other colonies for the com- 
mon good. The convention which had provided for holding a meeting of del- 
egates to frame a new constitution, voted in favor of independence, and au- 
thorized the raising of 6,000 militia. 


On the 7th of June, 1778, Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, introduced in 
Congress the proposition that, "the United Colonies are, and of right ought to 
be, free and independent States, and that all political connection between 
them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." 
It was impossible to mistake or misinterpret the meaning of this language. 
The issue was fairly made up. It was warmly discussed. John Dickinson, 
one of the Pennsylvania delegates, and one who had been foremost in speak- 
ing and writing on the popular side, was not ready to cut off all hope of rec- 
onciliation, and' depicted the disorganized condition in which the colonies 
would be left if the power and protection of Britain were thus suddenly re- 
moved. The vote upon the resolution was taken on the 2d of July, and re- 
sulted in the affirmative vote of all the States except Pennsylvania and 
Delaware, the delegates from these States being divided. A committee con- 
sisting of Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Livingston and Sherman had been, some 
time previous, appointed to draw a formal statement of the Declaration, and 
the reasons "out of a decent respect to the opinions of mankind, " which led 
to so important an act. The work was intrusted to a sub-committee consisting of 
Adams and Jefferson, and its composition was the work of Mr. Jefferson, though 
many of the ideas, and even the forms of expression, had been used again and 
again in the previous resolutions and pronunciamentoes of the Colonial Assem- 
blies and public meetings. It had been reported on the 28th of June, and was 
sharply considered in all its parts, many verbal alterations having been made in 
the committee of five; but after the passage of the preliminary resolution, the 
result was a foregone conclusion, and on the 4th of July it was finally adopted 
and proclaimed to the world. Of the Pennsylvania delegation, Franklin, 
"Wilson and Morton voted for it, and Willing and Humphrey against, Dickin- 
son being absent. The colonial convention of Pennsylvania, being in session 
at the time, on receiving intelligence that a majority of its delegates in Con- 
gress had voted against the preliminary resolution, named a new delegation, 
omitting the names of Dickinson, Willing and Humphrey, and adding others 
which made it thus constituted — Franklin, Wilson, Morton, Morris, Clymer, 
Smith, Taylor and Boss. An engrossed copy of the Declaration was made, 
which was signed by all the members on the 2d of August following, on 
which are found the names from Pennsylvania above recited. 

The convention for framing a new constitution for the colony met on the 
loth of July, and was organized by electing Franklin President, and on the 
28th of September completed its labors, having framed a new organic law 
and made all necessary provisions for putting it into operation. In the mean- 
time the old proprietary Assembly adjourned on the 14th of June to the 26th 
of August. But a quorum failed to appear, and an adjournment was had to 
the 23d of September, when some routine business was attended to, chiefly 
providing for the payment of salaries and necessary bills, and on the £8th of 
September, after a stormy existence of nearly a centiu-y, this Assembly, the 
creature of Penn, adjourned never to meet again. With the ending of the As- 
sembly ended the power of Gov. Penn. It is a singular circumstance, much 
noted by the believers in signs, that on the day of his arrival in America, 
which was Sunday, the earth in that locality was rocked by an earthquake, 
which was intei'preted as an evil omen to his administration. He married the 
daughter of William Allen, Chief Justice of the colony, and, though at times 
falling under suspicion of favoring the royal cause, yet, as was believed, not 
with reason, he remained a quiet spectator of the great struggle, living at his 
country seat in Bucks County, where he died in February, 1795. 

The titles of the proprietors to landed estates were suspended by the action 


of the convention, and on the 27th of November, 1779, the Legislature passed 
an act vesting these estates in the commonwealth, but paying the proprietors a 
gratuity of £130,000, " in remembrance of the enterprising spirit of the 
Founder." This act did not touch the private estates of the proprietors, nor 
the tenths of manors. The Britioh Government, in 1790, in consideration of 
the fact that it had been unable to vindicate its authority over the colony, and 
afford protection to the proprietors in the enjoyment of their chartered rights, 
voted an annuity of £4,000 to the heirs and descendants of Penn. This annuity 
has been regularly paid to the present time, 1884. 


Thomas Wharton, Jr., 1777-78— Gjkoege Bryan, 1778— Joseph Reed, 1778-81— 
William Moore, 1781-82— John Dickinson, 1782-85— Benjamin Peanklin, 

THE convention which framed the constitution appointed a Committee of 
Safety, consisting of twenty-five members, to whom was intrusted the 
government of the colony until the proposed constitution should be framed and 
put in operation. Thomas Eittenhouse was chosen President of this body, 
who was consequently in effect Governor. The new constitution, wiich was 
unanimously adopted on the 28th of September, was to take effect from its 
passage. It provided for an Assembly to be elected annually; a Supreme Ex- 
ecutive Council of twelve members to be elected for a term of three years; As- 
semblymen to be eligible but four years out of seven, and Counoilmen but 
one term in seven years. Members of Congress were chosen by the Assembly. 
The constitution could not be changed for seven years. It provided for the 
election of censors every seven years, who were to decide whether there was 
a demand for its revision. If so, they were to call a convention for the pur- 
pose. On the 6th of August, 1776, Thomas Wharton, Jr., was chosen Presi- 
dent of the Council of Safety. 

_ The struggle with the parent country was now fnjly inaugurated. The 
British Parliament had declared the colonists rebels, had voted a force of 
55,000 men, and in addition had hired 17,000 Hessian soldiers, to subdue them. 
The Congress on its part had declared the objects for which arms had been 
taken up, and had issued bills of credit to the amount of $6,000,000. Par- 
liament had resolved upon a vigorous campaign, to strike heavy and rapid 
blows, and quickly end the war. The first campaign had been conducted in 
Massachusetts, and by the efficient conduct of Washington, Gen. Howe, the 
leader of the British, was compelled to capitulate and withdraw to Halifax in 
March, 1776. On the 28th of June, Sir Henry Clinton, with a strong detach- 
ment, m conjunction with Sir Peter Parker of the navy, made a combined 
land and naval attack upon the defenses of Charleston Harbor, where he was 
met by Gen. William Moultrie, with the Carolina Militia, and after a severe 
battle, in which the British fleet was roughly handled, Clinton withdrew and 
returned to New York, whither the main body of the British Army, under Gen. 
Howe, had come, and where Admiral Lord Howe, with a large fleet directly 
from England, joined them. To this formidable power led by the best talent 
m the British Army, Washington could muster no adequate force to oppose, 
and he was obliged to withdraw from Long Island, from New York, from 


Harlem, from White Plains, to cross into New Jersey, and abandon position 
after position, until he had reached the right bank of the Delaware on Penn- 
sylvania soil. A heavy detachment under Cornwallis followed, and would 
have crossed the Delaware in pursuit, but advised to a cautious policy by 
Howe, he waited for ice to form on the waters of the Delaware before passing 
over. The fall of Philadelphia now seemed imminent. Washington had not 
sufficient force to face the whole power of the British A.rmy. On the 2d of 
December, the Supreme Council ordered all places of business in the city to 
be closed, the schools to be dismissed, and advised preparation for removing 
the women and children and valuables. On the 12th, the Congress which was 
in session here adjourned to meet in Baltimore, taking with them all papers 
and public records, and leaving a committee, of which Robert Morris was 
Chairman, to act in conjunction with Washington for the safety of the place. 
Gen. Putnam was dispatched on the same day with a detachment of soldiers 
to take command in the city. 

In this emergency the Council issued a stirring address: "If yoa wish 
to live in freedom, and are determined to maintain that best boon of heaven, 
you have no time to deliberata A manly resistance will secure every bless- 
ing, inactivity and sloth will bring horror and destruction. * * * May 
heaven, which has bestowed the blessings of liberty upon you, awaken you to 
a proper sense of your danger and arouse that manly spirit of virtuous resolu- 
tion which has ever bidden defiance to the efforts of tyranny. May you ever 
have the glorious prize of liberty in view, and bear with a becoming fortitude 
the fatigues and severities of a winter campaign. That, and that only, will 
entitle you to the superlative distinction of being deemed, under God, the 
deliverers of your country." Such were the arguments which our fathers 
made use of in conducting the struggle against the British Empire. 

Washington, who had, from the opening of the campaign before New 
York, been obliged for the most part to act upon the defensive, formed the 
plan to suddenly turn upon his pursuers and offer battle. Accordingly, on 
the night of the 2oth of December, taking a picked body of men, he moved up 
several miles to Taylorsville, where he crossed the river, though at flood tide 
and filled with floating ice, and moving down to Trenton, where a detachment 
of the British Army was posted, made a bold and vigorous attack. Taken by 
sm:prise, though now after sunrise, the battle was soon decided in favor of 
the Americans. Some fifty of the enemy were slain and over a thousand 
taken prisoners, with quantities of arms, ammunition and stores captured. A 
triumphal entry was made at Philadelphia, when the prisoners arid the spoils 
of war moved through the streets under guard of the victorious troops, and 
were marched away to the prison camp at Lancaster. Washington, who was 
smarting under a forced inactivity, by reason of paucity of numbers and lack 
of arms and material, and who had been forced constantly to retire before a 
defiant foe, now took couraga His name was upon every tongue, and foreign 
Governments were disposed to give the States a fair chance in their struggle 
for nationality. The lukewarm were encouraged to enlist under the banner of 
freedom. It had great strategic value. The British had intended to push 
forward and occupy Philadelphia at once, which, being now virtually the cap- 
ital of the new nation, had it been captured at this juncture, would have given 
them the occasion for claiming a triumphal ending of the war. But this ad, 
vantage, though gained by a detachment small in numbers yet great in_ cour- 
age, caused the commander of a powerful and well appointed army to give up 
all intention of attempting to capture the Pennsylvania metropolis in this 
campaign, and retiring into winter cantonments upon the Earitan to await 


the settled weather of the spring for an entirely new oast of operations. 
Washington, emboldened by his success, led all his forces into New Jersey, 
and pushing past Trenton, where Cornwallis, the royal leader, had brought 
his main body by a forced march, under cover of darkness, attacked the 
British reserves at Princeton. But now the enemy had become wary and vig- 
ilant, and, summoned by the booming of cannon, Cornwall is hastened back to 
the relief of his hard pressed columns. Washington, finding that the enemy's 
whole army was within easy call and knowing that he had no hope of success 
with his weak army, withdrew. Washington now went into winter quartersat 
Morristown, and by constant vigilance was able to gather marauding parties 
of the British who ventured far away from their works. 

Putnam commenced fortifications at a point below Philadelphia upon the 
Delaware, and at commanding positions upon the outskirts, and on being 
summoned to the army was succeeded by Gen. Irvine, and he by Gen. Gates. 
On the 4th of March, 1777, the two Houses of the Legislature, elected under 
the new constitution, assembled, and in joint convention chose Thomas 
Wharton, Jr., President, and George Bryan Vice President. Penn had expressed 
the idea that power was preserved the better by due formality and ceremony, 
and, accordingly, this event was celebrated with much pomp, the result being 
declared in a loud voice from the court house, amid the shouts of the gathered 
throngs and the booming of the captured cannon brought from the field of 
Trenton. The title bestowed upon the new chief officer of the State was fitted 
by its length and high-sounding epithets to inspire the multitude with awe and 
reverence: "His Excellency, Thomas Wharton, Junior, Esquire, President of 
the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, Captain General, and Com- 
mander-in-chief in and over the same. " 

While the enemy was disposed to be cautious after the New Jersey cam- 
paign so humiliating to the native pride of the Britain, yet he was determined 
to bring all available forces into the field for the campaign of 1777, and to 
strike a decisive blow. Early in April, great activity was observed among the 
shipping in New York Harbor, and Washington communicated to Congress his 
opinion that Philadelphia was the object against which the blow would be 
aimed. This announcement of probable peril induced the Council to issue a 
proclamation urging enlistments, and Congress ordered the opening of a camp 
for drilling recruits in Pennsylvania, and Benedict Arnold, who was at this 
time a trusted General, was ordered to the command of it. So many new ves- 
sels and transports of all classes had been discovered to have come into New 
York Harbor, probably forwarded from England, that Washington sent Gen. 
Mifflin, on the 10th of June, to Congress, bearing a letter in which he ex- 
pressed the settled conviction that the enemy meditated an immediate descent 
upon some part of Pennsylvania. Gen. Mifflin proceeded to examine the de- 
fensive works of the city which had been begun on the previous advance of 
the British, and recommended such changes and new works as seemed best 
adapted for its protection. . The preparations for defense were vigorously pros- 
ecuted. The militia were called out and placed in two camps, one at Chester 
and the other at Downington. Fire ships were held in readiness to be used 
against vessels attempting the ascent of the river. 

Lord Howe, being determined not to move until ample preparations were 
completed, allowed the greater part of the summer to wear away before he 
advanced. Finally, having embarked a force of 19,500 men on a fleet of 300 
transports, he sailed southward. Washington promptly made a corresponding 
march overland, passing through Philadelphia on the 24th of August. Howe, 
suspecting that preparations would be made for impeding the passage of the 


Delaware, sailed past its mouth, and moving up the Chesapeake instead, de- 
barked fifty-four miles from Philadelphia and commenced the march north- 
ward. Great activity was now manifested in the city. The water-spouts were 
melted to furnish bullets, fair hands were busied in rolling caitidges, power- 
ful chevaux-de-frise were planted to impede the navigation of the river, and 
the last division of the militia of the city, which had been divided into three 
classes, was called out. Washington, who had crossed the Brandywine, soon 
confronted the advance of Howe, and brisk skirmishing at once opened. See- 
ing that he was likely to have the right of his position at Bed Clay Creek, 
where he had intended to give battle, turned by the largely superior'force of 
the enemy, under cover of darkness on the night of the 8th of September, he 
withdrew across the Brandywine at Chad's Ford, and posting Armstrong with 
the militia upon the left, at Pyle'sFord, where the banks were rugged and pre- 
cipitous, and Sullivan, who was second in command, upon the right at Brin- 
ton's Ford under cover of forest, he himself took post with three divisions. 
Sterling's, Stephens', and his own, in front of the main avenue of approach at 
Chad's. Howe, discovering that Washington was well posted, determined to 
flank him. Accordingly, on the 11th, sending Knyphausen with a division of 
Hessians to make vigorous demonstrations upon Washington's front at Chad' s, 
he, with the corps of Comwallis, in light marching order, moved up the Brandy- 
wine, far past the right flank of Washington,~crossed the Brandywine at the 
fords of Trumbull and Jeffrey unopposed, and, moving down came upon 
Washington's right, held by Sullivan, all unsuspecting and unprepared to re- 
ceive him. Though Howe was favored by a dense fog which on that morning 
hung on all the valley, yet it had hardly been commenced before Washingtoa 
discovered the move and divined its purpose. His resolution was instantly 
taken. He ordered Sullivan to cross the stream at Brinton's, and resolutely 
turn the left flank of Knyphausen, when he himself with the main body would 
move over and crush the British Army in detail. Is was a brilliant conception, 
was feasible, and promised the most complete success. But what chagrin and 
mortifi(!ation, to receive, at the moment when he expected to hear the music of 
Sullivan's guns doubling up the left of the enemy, and giving notice to him 
to commence the passage, a message from that officer advising him that he had 
disobeyed his orders to cross, having received intelligence that the enemy were 
not moving northward, and that he was still in position at the ford. Thus 
balked, Washington had no alternative but to remain in position, and it was not 
long before the guns of Howe were heard moving in upon his all unguarded 
right flank. The best dispositions were made which time would permit. His 
main body with the force of Sullivan took position along the brow of the hill 
on which stands the Birmingham meeting house, and the battle opened and 
was pushed with vigor the whole day. Overborne by numbers, and weakened 
by losses, Washington was obliged to retire, leaving the enemy in possession 
of the field. The young French nobleman, Lafayette, was wounded while gal- 
lantly serving in this fight. The wounded were carried into the Birmingham 
meeting house, where the blood stains are visible to this day, enterprising 
relic hunters for many generations having been busy in loosening small slivers 
with the points of their knives. 

The British now moved cautiously toward Philadelphia. On the 16th of 
September, at a point some twenty miles west of Philadelphia, Washington 
again made a stand, and a battle opened with brisk skirmishing, but a heavy 
rain storm coming on the powder of the patriot soldiers was completely ruined on 
account of their defective cartridge boxes. On the night of the 20th, Gen. 
Anthony Wayne, who had been hanging on the rear of the enemy with his 


detachment, was surprised by Gen. Gray with a heavy column, who fell sud- 
denly upon the Americans in bivouac and put them to the sword, giving no 
quarter. This disgraceful slaughter which brought a stigma and an indelible 
stain upon the British arms is known as the Paoli Massacre. Fifty-three of 
the victims of the black flag were buried in one grave. A neat monument 
of white marble was erected forty years afterward over their moldering 
remains by the Republican Artillerists of Chester County, which vandal hands 
have not spared in their mania for relics. 

Congress remained in Philadelphia while these military operations were 
going on at its very doors; but on the 18th of September adjourned to meet 
at Lancaster, though subsequently, on the 30th, removed across the Susque- 
hanna to York, where it remained in session till after the evacuation in 
the following summer. The Council remained until two days before the fall 
of the city, when having dispatched the records of the loan ofSce and the more 
valuable papers to Easton, it adjourned to Lancaster. On the 26th, the British 
Army entered the city. Deborah Logan in her memoir says : " The army 
marched in and took possession in the city in the morning. We were up-stairs 
and saw them pass the State House. They looked well, clean and well clad, 
and the contrast between them and our own poor, bare-footed, ragged troops 
was very great and caused a feeling of despair. * * * * Early 

in the afternoon, Lord Comwallis' suite arrived and took possession of 
my mother's house. " But though now holding undisputed possession of the 
American capital, Howe foand his position an uncomfortable one, for his fleet 
was in the Chesapeake, and the Delaware and all its defenses were in posses- 
sion of the Americans, and Washington had manned the forts with some of 
his most resolute troops. Varnum's brigade, led by Cols. Angell and Greene, 
Rhode Island troops, were at Fort Mercer, at Red Bank, and this the enemy 
determined to attack. On the Slst of October, with a force of 2,500 men, led 
by Count Donop, the attack was made. In two colums they moved as to an 
easy victory. But the steady fire of the defenders when come in easy range, 
swept them down with deadly effect, and, retiring with a loss of over 400 and 
their leader mortally wounded, they did not renew the fight. Its reduction was 
of prime importance, and powerful works were built and equipped to bear upon 
the devoted fort on all sides, and the heavy guns of the fleet were brought up 
to aid in overpowering it. For six long days the greatest weight of metal was 
poured upon it from the land and the naval force, but without effect, the 
sides of the fort successfully withstanding the plunging of their powerful 
missiles. As a last resort, the great vessels were run suddenly in close under 
the walls, and manning the yard-arms with sharp-shooters, so effectually 
silenced and drove away the gunners that the fort fell easily into the Brit- 
ish hands and the river was opened to navigation. The army of Washing- 
ton, after being recruited and put in light marching order, was led to German- 
town where, on the morning of the 3d of October the enemy was met. A 
heavy fog that morning had obscured friend and foe alike, occasioning con- 
fusion in the ranks, and though the opening promised well, and. some progress 
was made, yet the enemy was too strong to be moved, and the American leader 
was forced to retire to his camp at White Marsh. Though the river had now 
been opened and the city was thoroughly fortified for resisting attack, yet 
Howe felt not quite easy in having the American Army quartered in so close 
striking distance, and accordingly, on the 4 th of December, with nearly his 
entire army, moved out, intending to take Washington at White Marsh, sixteen 
miles away, by surprise, and by rapidity of action gain an easy victory. But 
by the heroism and fidelity of Lydia Darrah, who, as she had often done before 


passed the guards to go to the mil] for flour, the news of the coming of Howe 
waF communicated to "Washington, who was prepared to receive him. Finding 
that he could effect nothing, Howe returned to the city, having had th,e weari- 
some march at this wintry season without effect. 

Washington now crossed the Schuylkill and went into winter quarters at 
Valley Forge. The cold of that winter was intense; the troops, half clad and 
indifferently fed, suffered severely, the prints of their naked feet in frost and 
snow being often tinted with patriot blood. Grown impatient of the small 
results from tte immensely expensive campaigns carried on across the ocean, 
the Ministry relieved Lord Howe, and appointed Sir Henry Clinton to the 
chief command. 

The Commissioners whom Congress had sent to France early in the fall of 
1776 — Franklin, Dean and Lee had been busy in making interest for the 
united colonies at the French Court, and so successful were they, that arms and 
ammunition and loans of money were procured from time to time. Indeed, so 
persuasive had they become that it was a saying current at court that, ' ' It was 
fortunate for the King that Franklin did not take it into his head to ask to 
have the palace at Versailles stripped of its furniture to send to his dear 
Americans, for his majesty would have been unable to deny him." Finally, 
a convention was concluded, by which France agreed to use the royal army and 
navy as faithful allies of the Americans against the English. Accordingly, a 
fleet of four powerful frigates, and twelve ships were dispatched under com- 
mand of the Count D'Estaing to shut up the British fleet in the Delaware. The 
plan was ingenious, particularly worthy of the long head of Franklin. But 
by some means, intelligence of the sailing of the French fleet reached flhe 
English cabinet, who immediately ordered the evacuation of the Delaware, 
whereupon the Admiral weighed anchor and sailed away with his entire fleet to 
New York, and D'Estaing, upon his arrival at the mouth of the Delaware, found 
that the bird had flown. 

Clinton evacuated Philadelphia and moved across New Jersey in the direc- 
tion of New York. Washington closely followed and came up with the enemy 
on the plains of Monmouth, on the 28th of June, 1778, where a sanguin- 
ary battle was fought which lasted tha whole day, resulting in the triumph of 
the American arms, and Pennsylvania was rid of British troops. 

The enemy was no sooner well away from the city than Congress returned 
from York and resumed its sittings in its former quarters, June 24, 1778, and 
on the following day, the Colonial Legislature returned from Lancaster. Gen 
Arnold, who was disabled by a wound received at Saratoga, from fleld duty, 
was given conmiand in the city and marched in with a regiment on the day 
following the evacuation. On the 23d of May, 1778, President Wharton died 
suddenly of quinsy, while in attendance upon the Council at Lancaster, when 
George Bryan, the Vice President, became the Acting President. Bryan was a 
philanthropist in deed as well as word. Up to this licue, African slavery had 
been tolerated in the colony. In his message of the 9th of November, he said: 
' ' This or some better scheme, would tend to abrogate siavery — the approbrium 
of America — from among us. * * * In divesting the State of slaves, you 
will equally serve the cause of humanity and policy, and offer to God one of 
the most proper and best returns of gratitude for His great deliverance of ub 
and uur posterity from thraldom; you will also set your character for justice 
and benevolence in the true point of view to Europe, who are astonished to see 
a people eager for liberty holding negroes in bondage." He perfected a bill 
for the extinguishment of claims to slaves which was passed by the Assembly, 
March 1, 1780, by a vote of thirty-four to eighteen, providing that no child 


• of slave parents born after that date should be a slave, but a servant till the 
age of twenty-eight years, when all claim for service should end. Thus by a 
simple enactment resolutely pressed by Bryan, was slavery forever rooted out 
of Pennsylvania. 

In the summer of 1778, a force of savages and sour- faced tories to the num- 
ber of some 1,200, under the leadership of one Col. John Butler, a cruel and in- 
human wretch, descending from the north, broke into the "Wyoming Valley on 
the 2d of July. The strong men were in the army of "Washington, and the 
only defenders were old men, beardless boys and resolute women. These, to 
the number of about 400, under Zebulon Butler, a brave soldier who had won 
distinction in the old French war, and who happened to be present, moved 
resolutely out to meet the invaders. Overborne by numbers, the inhabitants 
were beaten and put to the sword, the few who escaped retreating to Forty 
Fort, whither the helpless, up and down the valley, had sought safety. Here 
humane terms of surrender were agreed to, and the families returned to 
their homes, supposing all danger to be past. But the savages had 
tasted blood, and perhaps confiscated liquor, and were little mindful of capita- 
Jations. The night of the 5th was given to indiscriminate massacre. The 
cries of the helpless rang out upon the night air, and the heavens along all 
the valley were lighted up with the flames of burning cottages; " and when the 
moon arose, the terrified inhabitants were fleeing to the "Wilkesbarre Mount, 
ains, and the dark morasses of the Pocono Mountain beyond. " Most of these 
were emigrants from Connecticut, and they made their way homeward as fast 
as their feet would carry them, many of them crossing the Hudson at Pough- 
keepsie, where they told their tales of woe. 

In February, 1778, Parliament, grown tired of this long and wasting war, 
abolished taxes of which the Americans had complained, and a committee, 
composed of Earl Carlisle, George Johnstone and "William Bdfen, were sent 
empowered to forgive past offenses, and to conclude peace with the colonies, 
upon submission to the British crown. Congress would not listen to their 
proposal?, maintaining that the people of America had done nothing that 
needed forgiveness, and that no conference could be accorded so long as the 
English Armies remained on American soil. Finding that negotiations could 
not be entered upon with the government, they sought to worm their way by 
base bribes. Johnstone proposed to Gen. Reed that if he would lend his aid 
to bring about terms of pacification, 10,000 guineas and the best office in the 
country should be his. The answer of the stern General was a type of the 
feeling which swayed every patriot: "My influence is but small, but were it 
as great as Gov. Johntone would insinuate, the King of Great Britain has noth- 
ing in his gift that would tempt me." 

At the election held for President, the choice feH upon Joseph Reed, with 
George Bryan Vice President, subsequently Matthew Smith, and finally "Will- 
iam Moore. Reed was an erudite lawyer, and had held the positions of Pri- 
vate Secretary to Washington, and subsequently Adjutant General of the 
army. He was inaugurated on the 1st of December, 1778. Upon the return 
of the patriots to Philadelphia, after the departure of the British, a bitter 
feeling existed between them and the tories who had remained at their homes, 
and had largely profited by the British occupancy. The soldiers became dem- 
onstrative, especially against those lawyers who had defended the tories in 
court. Some of those most obnoxious took refuge in the house of James Wil- 
son, a signer of the Declaration. Private soldiers, in passing, fired upon it, 
and shots were returned whereby one was killed and several wounded. The 
President on being informed of these proceedings, rode at the head of the 


city troop, and dispersed the assailants, capturing the leaders. The Academy 
and College of Philadelphia required by its charter an oath of allegiance to 
the King of Great Britain. An act was passed November 27, 1779, abrogating 
the former charter, and vesting its property in a new board. An endowment 
from confiscated estates was settled upon it of £15,000 annually. The name 
of the institution was changed to the " University of the State of Pennsyl- 

France was now aiding the American cause with money and large land 
and naval forces. While some of the patriots remained steadfast and were 
disposed to sacrifice and endure all for the success of the struggle, many, who 
should have been in the ranks rallying around Washington, had grown luke- 
warm. The General was mortified that the French should come across the 
ocean and make great sacrifices to help us, and should find so much indiffer- 
ence prevailing among the citizens of many of the States, and so few coming 
forward to fill up the decimated ranks. At the request of Washington, Presi- 
dent Eeed was invested with extraordinary powers, in 1780, which were used 
prudently but effectively. During the winter of this year, some of the veteran 
soldiers of the Pennsylvania line mutinied and commenced the marcb on 
Philadelphia with arms in their hands. Some of them had just cause. They 
had enlisted for "three years or the war," meaning for three years unless 
the war closed sooner. But the authorities had interpreted it to mean, three 
years, or as much longer as the war should last. President Reed immediately 
rode out to meet the mutineers, heard their cause, and pledged if all would re- 
turn to camp, to have those who had honorably served out the full term of 
three years discharged, which was agreed to. Before the arrival of the Presi- 
dent, two emissaries from the enemy who had heard of the disaffection, came 
into camp, offering strong inducements for them to continue the revolt. But 
the mutineers spurned the offer, and delivered them over to the officers, by 
whom they were tried and executed as spies. The soldiers who had so patriot- 
ically arrested and handed over these messengers were offered a reward of fifty 
guineas; but they refused it on the plea that they were acting under authority 
of the Board of Sergeants, under whose order the mutiny was being conducted. 
Accordingly, a hundred guineas were offered to this board for their fidelity. 
Their answer showed how conscientious even mutineers can be: "It was not 
for the sake, or through any expectation of reward; but for the love of our 
country, that we sent the spies immediately to Gen. Wayne; we therefore 
do not consider ourselves entitled to any other reward but the love of our 
country, and do jointly agree to accept of no other." 

William Moore was elected President to succeed Joseph Eeed, from No- 
vember 14, 1781, but held the office less than one year, the term of three years 
for which he had been a Councilman having expired, which was the limit of 
service. James Potter was chosen Vice President. On account of the hostile 
attitude of the Ohio Indians, it was decided to call out a body of volunteers, 
numbering some 400 from the counties of Washington and Westmoreland, 
where the outrages upon the settlers had been most sorely felt, who chose for 
their commander Col. William Crawford, of Westmoreland. The expedition 
met a most unfortunate fate. It was defeated and cut to pieces, and the 
leader taken captive and burned at the stake. Crawford County, which was 
settled very soon afterward, was named in honor of this unfortunate soldier. 
In the month of November, intelligence was communicated to the Legislature 
that Pennsylvania soldiers, confined as prisoners of war on board of the Jer- 
sey, an old hulk Ijing in the New York Harbor, were in a starving condition, 
receiving at the hands of the enemy the most barbarous and inhuman treat- 


ment. Fifty barrels of flour and 300 bushels of potatoes were immediately 
sent to them. 

In the State election of 1782, contested with great violence, John Dickin- 
son was chosen President, and James Ewing Vice President. On the 12th of 
March, 1783, intelligence was first received of the signing of the preliminary 
treaty in which independence was acknowledged, and on the 11th of April 
Congress sent forth the joyful proclamation ordering a cessation of hostilities. 
The soldiers of Burgoyne, who had been confined in the prison camp at Lan- 
caster, were put upon the march for New York, passing through Philadelphia 
on the way. Everywhere was joy unspeakable. The obstructions were re- 
moved from the Delaware, and the white wings of commerce again came flut- 
tering on every breeze. In June, Pennsylvania soldiers, exasperated by delay 
in receiving their pay and their discharge, and impatient to return to their 
homes, to a considerable number marched from their camp at Lancaster, and 
arriving at Philadelphia sent a committee with arms in their hands to the 
State House door with a remonstrance asking permission to elect officers to 
command them for the redress of their grievances, their own having left them, 
and employing threats in case of refusal. These demands the Council rejected. 
The President of Congress, hearing of these proceedings, called a special ses- 
sion, which resolved to demand that the militia of the State should be called 
out to quell the insurgents. The Council refused to resort to this extreme 
measure, when Congress, watchful of its dignity and of its supposed supreme 
authority, left Philadelphia and established itself in Princeton, N. J., and 
though invited to return at its next session, it refused, and met at Annapolis. 

In October, 1784, the last treaty was concluded with the Indians at Fort 
Stanwix. The Commissioners at this conference purchased from the natives 
all the land to the north of the Ohio Eiver, and the line of Pine Creek, which 
completed the entire limits of the State with the exception of the triangle at 
Erie, which was acquired from the United States in 1792. This purchase 
was confirmed by the Wyandots and Delawares at Port Mcintosh January 21, 
1785, and the grant was made secure. 

In September, 1785, after a long absence in the service of his country 
abroad, perfecting treaties, and otherwise establishing just relations with other 
nations, the venerable Benjamin Franklin, then nearly eighty years old, feel- 
ing the infirmities of age coming upon him, asked to be relieved of the duties 
of Minister at the Court of France, and returned to Philadelphia. Soon after 
his arrival, he was elected President of the Council. Charles Biddle was 
elected Vice President. It was at this period that a citizen of Pennsylvania, 
John Fitch, secured a patent on his invention for propelling boats by steam. 
In May, 1787, the convention to frame a constitution for the United States 
met in Philadelphia. The delegation from Pennsylvania was Benjamin Frank- 
lin, Robert MoitIs, Thomas Mifflin, George Clyraer, Thomas Fitzsimons, Jared 
Ingersoll, James Wilson and Gouverneur Morris. Upon the completion of 
their work, the instrument was submitted to the several States for adoption. A 
convention was called in Pennsylvania, which met on the 21st of November, and 
though encountering resoluteopposition,itwas finally adopted on the 12th of De- 
cember. On the following day, the convention, the Supreme Council and offi- 
cers of the State and city government, moved in procession to the old court 
house, where the adoption of the constitution was formally proclaimed amidst 
the booming of cannon and the ringing of bells. 

On the 5th of November, 1788, Thomas Mifflin was elected President, and 
George Eoss Vice President. The constitution of the State, framed in and 
adapted to the exigencies of an emergency, was ill suited to the needs of State 


in its relations to the new nation. Accordingly, a convention assembled for 
the purpose of preparing a new constitution in November, 1789, which was 
finally adopted on September 2, 1790. By the provisions of this instrument, 
the Executive Oouncil was abolished, and the executive duties were vested in 
the hands of a Governor. Legislation was intrusted to an Assembly and a 
Senate. The judicial system was continued, the terms of the Judges extend- 
ing through good behavior. 


Thomas Mifflin, 1788-99— Thomas MoKean, 1799-1808— Simon Sntdee, 1808-17— 
William Findlay, 1817-30— Joseph Heister, 1830-23— John A. Shulze, 1823 
-39— GrEOBGE Wolfe. 1829-35— Joseph Eitnee, 1835-39. 

T H HI first election under the new Constitution resulted in the choice of 
Thomas Mifflin, who was re-elected for three successive terms, giving him 
the distinction of having been longer in the executive chair than any other 
person, a period of eleven years. A system of internal improvements was now 
commenced, by which vast water communications were undertaken, and a moun- 
tain of debt was accumulated, a portion of which hangs over the State to this 
day. In 1793, the Bank of Pennsylvania was chartered, one-third of the cap- 
ital stock of which was subscribed for by the State. Branches were established 
at Lancaster, Harrisburg, Reading, Easton and Pittsburgh. The branches 
were discontinued in 1810; in 1843, the stock held by the State was sold, and 
in 1857, it ceased to exist. In 1793, the yellow fever visited Phila- 
delphia. It was deadly in its effects and produced a panic unparalleled. 
Gov. Mifflin, and Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the United States Treasury, 
were attacked. " Men of affluent fori.unes, who gave daily employment and 
subsistence to hundreds, were abandoned to the care of a negro after their 
wives, children, friends, clerks and servants had fled away and left them to 
their fate. In some cases, at the commencement of the disorder, no money 
could procure proper attendance. Many of the poor perished without a hu- 
man being to hand them a drink of water, to administer medicines, or to per- 
form any charitable office for them. Nearly 5,000 perished bv this wasting 
pestilence. " 

The whisky insurrection in some of the western counties of the State, 
which occurred in 1794, excited, by its lawlessness and wide extent, general 
interest. An act of Congress, of March 3, 1791, laid a tax on distilled spirits 
of four pence per gallon. The then counties of Washington, Westmoreland, 
Allegheny and Fayette, comprising the southwestern quarter of the State, 
were almost exclusively engaged in the production of grain. Being far re- 
moved from any market, the product of their farms brought them scarcely any 
returns. The consequence was that a large proportion of the surplus grain 
was turned into distilled spirits, and nearly every other farmer was a distiller. 
This tax was seen to bear heavily upon them, from which a non-producer of 
spirits was relieved. A rash determination was formed to resist its collection, 
and a belief entertained, if all were united in resisting, it would be taken oft; 
Frequent altercations ocoiured between the persons appointed United States 
Collectors and these resisting citizens. As an example, on the 5th of Septem- 


ber, 1791, a party in disguise set upon Eobert Johnson, a Collecfcor fur Alle- 
gheny and Washington, tarred and feathered him, cut off his hair, took away 
his horse, and left him in this plight to proceed. "Writs for the arrest of the 
perpetrators were issued, but none dared to venture into the territory to serve 
them. On May 8, 1 792, the law was modified, and the tax reduced. In Septem- 
ber, 1792, President Washington issued his proclamation commanding all per- 
sona to submit to the law, and to forbear from further opposition. But these meas- 
ures had no effect, and the insm-gents began to organize for forcible resist- 
ance. One Maj. Macfarlane, who in command of a party of insurrectionists, 
was killed in an encounter with United States soldiers at the house of Gen. 
Neville. The feeling now ran very high, and it was hardly safe for any per- 
son to breathe a whisper against the insurgents throughout all this district. 
" A breath," says Brackenridge, " in favor of the law, was sufficient to ruin 
any man. A clergyman was not thought orthodox in the pulpit unless against 
the law. A physician was not capable of administering medicine, unless his 
principles were right in this respect. A lawyer could get no practice, nor 
a merchant at a country store get custom if for the law. On the contrary, to 
talk against the law was the way to office and emolument. To go to the 
Legislature or to Congress you must make a noise against it. It was the Shib- 
boleth of safety and the ladder of ambition " One Bradford had, of his own 
notion, issued a circular letter to the Colonels of regiments to assemble with 
their commands at Braddock's field on the 1st of August, where they appoint- 
ed officers and moved on to Pittsburgh. After having burned a barn, and 
made some noisy demonstrations, they were induced by some cool heads to re- 
turn. These turbulent proceedings coming to the ears of the State and Na- 
tional authorities at Philadelphia, measures were concerted to promptly and 
effectually check them. Gov. Mifflin appointed Chief Justice McKean, and 
Gen. William Irvine to proceed to the disaffected district, ascertain the facts, 
and try to bring the leaders to justice. President Washington issued a proc- 
lamation commanding all persons in arms to disperse to their homes on or be- 
fore the Ist of September, proximo, and called out the militia oE four States 
— Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia — to the number of 13,000 
men, to enforce his commands. The quota of Pennsylvania was 4,500 infan- 
tr., 500 cavalry, 200 artillery, and Gov. Mifflin took command in person. 
Gov. Eichard Howell, of New Jersey, Gov. Thomas S. Lee, of Maryland, and 
Gen. Daniel Morgan, of Virginia, commanded the forces from their States, 
and Gov. Henry Lee, of Virginia, was placed in chief command. President 
Washington, accompanied by Gen. Knox, Secretary of War, Alexander Hamil- 
ton, Secretary of the Treasury, and Eichard Peters, of the United States Dis- 
trict Court, set out on the Ist of October, for the seat of the disturbance. On 
Friday, the President reached Harrisburg, and on Saturday Carlisle, whither 
the army had preceded him. In the meantime a committee, consisting of 
James Koss, Jasper Yeates and William Bradford, was appointed by President 
Washington to proceed to the disaffected district, and endeavor to persuade 
misguided citizens to return to their allegiance. 

A meeting of 260 delegates from the four counties was held at Parkinson's 
Ferry on the 14th of August, at which the state of their cause was considered, 
resolutions adopted, and a committee of sixty, one from each county, was ap- 
pointed, and a sub-committee of twelve was named to confer with the United 
States Commissioners, McKean and Irvine. These conferences with the State 
and National Committees were successful in arranging preliminary conditions 
of settlement. On the 2d of October, the Committee of Safety of the insur- 
gents met at Parkinson's Ferry, and having now learned that a well-organized 


army, with Washington at its head, was marching westward for enforcing 
obedience to the laws, appointed a committee of two, William Findley and 
David Eeddick, to meet the President, and assure him that the disaffected were 
disDosed to return to their duty. They met Washington at Carlisle, and sev- 
erai conferences were held, and assurances given of implicit obedience; but 
the President said that as the troops had been called out, the orders for the 
march would not be countermanded. The President proceeded forward on the 
11th of October to Chambersburg, reached Williamsport on the 13tb and Fort 
Cumberland on the 14th, where he reviewed the Virginia and Maryland forces, 
and arrived at Bedford on the 19th. Remaining a few days, and being satis- 
fled that the sentiment of the people had changed, he returned to Philadel- 
phia, arriving on the 28th, leaving Gen. Lee to meet the Commissionejs and 
make such conditions of pacification as should seem just. Another meeting of 
the Committee of Safety was held at Parkinson's Ferry on the 24th, at which 
assurances of abandonment of opposition to the laws were received, and the 
same committee, with the addition of Thomas Morton and Ephriam Douglass, 
was directed to return to headquarters and give assurance of this disposition. 
They did not reach Bedford until after the departure of Washington. But at 
Uniontown they met Gen. Lee, with whom it was agreed that the citizens 
of these four counties should subscribe to an oath to support the Constitution 
and obey the laws. Justices of the Peace issued notices that books were opened 
for subscribing to the oath, and Gen. Lee issued a judicious address urging 
ready obedience. Seeing that all requirments were being faithfully carried 
out, an order was issued on the 17th of November for the return of the army 
and its disbandment. A number of arrests were made and trials and convic- 
tions were had, but all were ultimately pardoned. 

With the exception of a slight ebulition at the prospect of a war with France 
in 1797, and a resistance to the operation of the " Homestead Tax " in Lehigh, 
Berks and Northampton Counties, when the militia was called out, the re- 
mainder of the term of Gov. Mifflin passed in comparative quiet By an act 
of the Legislature of the 3d of April, 1799, the capital of the State was re- 
moved to Lancaster, and soon after the capital of the United States to Wash- 
ington, the house on Ninth street, which had been built for the residence of the 
President of the United States, passing to the use of the University of Pennsyl- 

During the administrations of Thomas McKean, who was elected Governor 
in 1799, and Simon Snyder in 1808, little beyond heated political contests 
marked the even tenor of the government, until the breaking-out of the troub- 
les which eventuated in the war of 1812. The blockade of the coast of France 
in 1806, and the retaliatory measures of Napoleon in his Berlin decree, swept 
American commerce, which had hitherto preserved a neutral attitude and prof- 
ited by European wars, from the seas. The haughty conduct of Great Britain 
in boarding American vessels for suspected deserters from the British Navy, 
under cover of which the grossest outrages were committed, American seaman 
being dragged from the decks of their vessels and impressed into the English 
service, induced President Jefferson, in July, 1807, to issue his proclamation 
ordering all British armed vessels to leave the waters of the United States, and 
forbidding any to enter, until satisfaction for the past and security for the 
future should be provided for. Upon the meeting of Congress in December, 
an embargo was laid, detaining all vessels, American and foreign, then in 
American waters, and ordering home all vessels abroad. Negotiations were 
conducted between the two countries, but no definite results were reached, and 
in the meantime causes of irritation multiplied until 1812, when President 


Madison declared war against Great Britain, known as the war of 1812. 
Pennsylvania promptly seconded the National Government, the message of 
Gov. Snyder on the occasion ringing like a silver clarion. The national call 
for 100,000 men required 14,000 from this State, but so great was the enthu- 
siasm, that several times this number tendered their services. The State force 
was organized in two divisions, to the command of the first of v^hich Maj 
Gen. Isaac Morrell was appointed, and to the second Maj. Gen. AdamsonTan- 
nehill. Gunboats and privateers were built in the harbor of Erie and on the 
Delaware, and the defenses upon the latter were put in order and suitable 
armaments provided. At Tippecanoe, at Detroit, at Queenstown Heights, at 
the Eiver Eaisin, at Fort Stephenson, and at the Eiver Thames, the war was 
waged with varying success. Upon the water. Commodores Decatur, Hull, 
Jones, Perry, Lawrence, Porter and McDonough made a bright chapter in 
American history, as was to be wished, inasmuch as the war had been under- 
taken to vindicate the honor and integrity of that branch of the service. Napo- 
leon, having met with disaster, and his power having been broken, 14,000 of 
Wellington's veterans were sent to Canada, and the campaign of the next year 
was opened with vigor. But at the battles of Oswego, Chippewa, Lundy's 
Lane, Fort Erie and Plattsburg, the tide was turned against the enemy, and 
the country saved from invasion. The act which created most alarm to 
Pennsylvania was one of vandalism scarcely matched in the annals of war- 
fare. In August, 1814, Gen. Boss, with 6,000 men in a flotilla of sixty sails, 
moved up Chesapeake Bay, fired the capitol. President's house and the various 
offices of cabinet ministers, and these costly and substantial buildings, the nation- 
al library and all the records of the Government from its foundation were utterly 
destroyed. Shortly afterward, Ross appeared before Baltimore with the design 
of multiplying his barbarisms, but he was met by a force hastily collected under 
Gen. Samuel Smith, a Pennsylvania veteran of the Revolution, and in the brief 
engagement which ensued Ross was killed. In the severe battle with the 
corps of Gen Strieker, the British lost some 300 men. The fleet in the mean- 
time opened a fierce bombardment of Fort McHenry, and during the day and 
ensuing night 1, 500 bombshells were thrown, but all to no piu;pose, the gal- 
lant defense of Maj. Armistead proving successful. It was during this awful 
night that Maj. Key, who was a prisoner on board the fleet, wrote the song of 
the Star Spangled Banner, which became the national lyric. It was in the ad- 
ministration of Gov. Snyder in February, 1810, that an act was passed making 
Harrisburg the seat of government, and a commission raised for erecting public 
buildings, the sessions of the Legislature being held in the court house at Har- 
risburg from 1812 to 1821. 

The administrations of William Findley, elected in 1817, Joseph Heister, 
in 1820, and John Andrew Schulz in 1823, followed without marked events. 
Parties became very warm in their discussions and in their management of po- 
litical campaigns. The charters for the forty banks which had been passed in 
a fit of frenzy over the veto of Gov. Snyder set a flood of paper money afloat. 
The public improvements, principally in opening lines of canal, were prose- 
cuted, and vast debts incurred. These lines of conveyances were vitally need- 
ful to move the immense products and vast resources of the State 

Previous to the year 1820, little use was made of stone coal. Judge 
Obediah Gore, a blacksmith, used it upon his forge as early as 1769, and 
found the heat stronger and more enduring than that produced by charcoal. 
In 1791, Phillip Ginter, of Carbon County, a hunter by profession, having on 
one occasion been out all day without discovering any game, was returning at 
night discouraged and worn out, across the Mauch Chunk Mountain, when, in 
































































G 331,934 




































































Total Tons. 

































































































the gathering shades he stumbled upon something which seemed to have a 
glistening appearance, that he was induced to pick up and carry home. This 
specimen was takea to Philadelphia, where an analysis showed it to be a good 
quality of anthracite coal. But, though coal was known to exist, no one knew 
how to use it. In 1812, Col. George Shoemaker, of Schuylkill County, took 
nine wagon loads to Philadelphia. But he was looked upon as an imposter 
for attempting to sell worthless stone for coal. He finally sold two loads for 
the cost of transportation, the remaining seven proving a complete loss. In 
1812, WhiLe & Hazard, manufacturers of wire at the Falls of Schuylkill, in- 
duced an application to be made to the Legislature to incorporate a com- 
pany for the improvement of the Schuylkill, urging as an inducement the im- 
portance it would have for transporting coal ; whereupon, the Senator from 
that district, in his place, with an air of knowledge, asserted " that there was 
no coal there, that there was a kind of black stone which was called coal, but 
that it would not bum." 

White & Hazard procured a cart load of Lehigh coal that cost them $1 a 
bushel, which was all wasted in a vain attempt to make it ignite. Another 
cart load was obtained, and a whole night spent in endeavoring to make a fire 
in the furnace, when the hands shut the furnace door and left the mill in de- 
spair. "Fortunately one of them left his jacket in the mill, and returning for 
it in about half an hour, noticed that the door was red hot, and upon opening 
it, was surprised at finding the whole furnace at a glowing white heat. The 
other hands were summoned, and four separate parcels of iron were heated 
and rolled by the same fire before it required renewing. The furnace was 
replenished, and as letting it alone had succeeded so well, it was concluded to 
try it again, and the experiment was repeated with the same result. The 
Lehigh Navigation Company and the Lehigh Coal Company were incorporated 
in 1818, which companies became the basis of the Lehigh Coal and Naviga- 
tion Company, incorporated in 1822. In 1820, coal was sent to Philadelphia 
by artificial navigation, but 365 tons glutted the market." In 1825, there 
were brought by the Schuylkill 5,378 tons. In 1826, by the Schuylkill, 
16,265 tons, and by the Lehigh 31,280 tons. The stage of water being in- 
sufficient, dams and sluices were constructed near Mauch Chunk, in 1819, by 
which the navigation was improved. The coal boats used were great square 
arks, 16 to 18 feet wide, and 20 to 25 feet long. At first, two of these were 
joined together by hinges, to allow them to yield up and down in passing over 
the dams. Finally, as the boatmen became skilled in the navigation, several 
were joined, attaining a length of 180 feet. Machinery was used for jointing 
the planks, and so expert had the men become that five would build an ark 
and launch it in forty-five minutes. After reaching Philadelphia, these boats 
were taken to pieces, the plank sold, and the hinges sent back for constructing 
others. Such were the crude methods adopted in the early days for bringing 
coal to a market. In 1827, a railroad was commenced, which was completed 
in three months, nine miles in length. This, with the exception of one at 
Qumcy, Mass., of four miles, built in 1826, was the first constructed in the 
United States. The descent was 100 feet per mile, and the coal descended by 
gravity m a half hour, and the cars were drawn back by mules, which rode 
down with the coal. "The mules cut a most grotesque figure, standing three 
or four together, in their cars, with their feeding troughs before them, appar- 
ently surveying with delight the scenery of the mountain; and though they 
preserve the most profound gravity, it is utterly impossible for the spectator 
to maintain his It is said that the mules, having once experienced the com- 
lort of riding down, regard it as a right, and neither mild nor severe measures 


will, induce them to descend in any other way." Bituminous coal was discov- 
ered and its qualities utilized not much earlier than the anthracite. A tract 
of coal land was taken up in Clearfield County in 1785, by Mr. S. Boyd, and 
in 1804 he sent an ark down the Susquehanna to Columbia, which caused 
much surprise to the inhabitants that " an article with which they were wholly 
unacquainted should be brought to their own doors." 

During the administrations of George Wolf, elected in 1829, and Joseph 
Eitner, elected in 1835, a measure of great beneficence to the State was passed 
and brought into a good degree of successful operation — nothing less than a 
broad system of public education. Schools had been early established in 
Philadelphia, and parochial schools in the more populous portions of the 
State from the time of early settlement. In 1749, through the influence of 
Dr. Franklin, a charter was obtained for a "college, academy, and charity 
school of Pennsylvania," and from this time to the beginning of the present 
century, the friends of education were earnest in establishing colleges, the 
Colonial Government, and afterward the Legislature, making liberal grants 
from the revenues accruing from the sale of lands for their support, the uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania being chartered in 1752, Dickinson College in 1783, 
Franklin and Marshall College in 1787, and Jefferson College in 1802. Com- 
mencing near the beginning of this century, and continuing for over a period 
of thirty years, vigorous exertions were put forth to establish county acad- 
emies. Charters were granted for these institutions at the county seats of 
forty-one counties, and appropriations were made of money, varying from 
$2,000 to $6,000, and in several instances of quite extensive land grants. In 
1809, an act was passed for the education of the "poor, gratia." The Asses- 
sors in their annual rounds were to make a record of all such as were indi- 
gent, and pay for their education in the most convenient schools. But few 
were foimd among the spirited inhabitants of the commonwealth willing to 
admit that they were so poor as to be objects of charity. 

By the act of April 1, 1834, a general system of education by common 
schools was established. Unfortunately it was complex and unwieldy. At the 
next session an attempt was made to repeal it, and substitute the old law of 
1809 for educating the "poor, gratis," the repeal having been carried in the 
Senate. But through the appeals of Thaddeus Stevens, a man always in the 
van in every movement for the elevation of mankind, this was defeated. At 
the next session, 1836, an entirely new bill, discarding the objectionable feat- 
ures of the old one, was prepared by Dr. George Smith, of Delaware County, 
and adopted, and from this time forward has been in efficient operation. It may 
seem strange that so long a time should have elapsed before a general system of 
education should have been secured. But the diversity of origin and lan- 
guage, the antagonism of religious seats, the very great sparseness of popula- 
tion in many parts, made it impossible at an earlier day to establish schools. 
In 1854, the system- was improved by engrafting upon it the feature of the 
County Superintendency, and in 1859 by providing for the establishment of 
twelve Normal Schools, in as many districts into which the State was divided, 
for the professional training of teachers. 



David B. Porter, 1839-45— Francis R. Shunk, 1845-48— William P. Johnstone 
1848-52— William Bigleb, 1853-55— James Pollock, 1855-58 — William F. 
Packer, 1858-61— Andrew G. Curtin, 1861-67— John W. Geary, 1867-73— 
John F. Hartranft, 1873-78— Henry F. Hott, 1878-82— Egbert E. Pat- 
tison, 1882. 

IN 1837, a convention assembled in Harrisburg, and subsequently in. Philadel- 
phia, for revising the constitution, which revision was adopted by a vote of 
the people. One of the chief objects of the change was the breaking up of 
what was known as "omnibus legislation," each bill being required to have 
but one distinct subject, to be definitely stated in the title. Much of the pat- 
ronage of the Governor was taken from him, and he was allowed but two terms 
of thiee years in any nine years. The Senator's term was fixed at three years. 
The terms of Supreme Court Judges were limited to fifteen years, Common 
Pleas Judges to ten, and Associate Judges to five. A step backward was taken 
in limiting suffrage to white male citizens twenty-one years old, it having pre- 
viously been extended to citizens irrespective of color. Amendments could be 
proposed once in five years, and if adopted by two successive Legislatures, 
and approved by a vote of the people, they became a part of the organic law. 
At the opening of the gubernatorial term of David R. Porter, who was 
chosen in October, 1838, a civil commotion occurred known as the Buckshot 
War, which at one time threatened a sanguinary result. By the returns, 
Porter had some 5,000 majority over Ritner, but the latter, who was the in- 
cumbent, alleged frauds, and proposed an investigation and revision of the 
returns. Thomas H. Burrows was Secretary of State, and Chairman of the 
State Committee of the Anti-Masonic party, and in an elaborate address to the 
people setting forth the grievance, he closed with the expression " let us treat 
the election as if we had not been defeated. '' This expression gave great 
offense to the opposing party, the Democratic, and public feeling ran high 
before the meeting of the Legislature. Whether an investigation could be had 
would depend upon the political complexion of that body. The Senate was 
clearly Anti-Masonic, and the House would depend upon the Representatives of 
a certain district in Philadelphia, which embraced the Northern Liberties. 
The returning board of this district had a majority of Democrats, who pro- 
ceeded to throw out the entire vote of Northern Liberties, for some alleged 
irregularities, and gave the certificate to Democrats. Whereupon, the minor- 
ity of the board assembled, and counted the votes of the Northern Liberties 
which gave the election to the Anti-Masonic candidates, and sent certificates 
accordingly. By right and justice, there is no doubt that the Anti-Masons 
were fairly elected. But the majority of a returning board alone have 
authority to make returns, and the Democrats had the certificates which bore 
prima facie evidence of being correct, and should have been received and 
transmitted to the House, where alone rested the authority to go behind the 
returns and investigate their correctness. But upon the meeting oE the House 
the Secretary of the Commonwealth sent in the certificates of the minority of 
the returning board of the Northern Liberties district, which gave the major- 
ity to the Anti-Masons. But the Democrats were not disposed to submit, and 


the consequence was that two delegations from the disputed district appeared, 
demanding seats, and upon the organization, two Speakers were elected and 
took the platform — Thomas S. Cunningham for the Anti-Masons, and "Will- 
iam Hopkins for the Democrats. At this stage of the game, an infuriated 
lobby, collected from Philadelphia and surrounding cities, broke into the 
two Houses, and, interrupting all business, threatened the lives of members, 
and compelled them to seek safety in flight, when they took uncontrolled pos- 
session of the chambers and indulged in noisy and impassioued harangues. 
From the capitol, the mob proceeded to the court house, where a ' ' committee 
of safety" was appointed. For several days the members dared not enter 
either House, and when one of the parties of the House attempted to assemble, 
the person who had been appointed to act as Speaker was forcibly ejected. All 
business was at an end, and the Executive and State Departments were closed. 
At this juncture. Gov. Bitner ordered out the militia, and at the same time 
called on the United States authorities for help. The militia, under Gens. 
Pattiflon and Alexander, came promptly to the rescue, but the Presidentref used 
to furnish the National troops, though the United States storekeeper at the 
Frankf ord Arsenal turned over a liberal supply of ball and buckshot cartridges. 
The arrival of the militia only served to fire the spirit of the lobby, and they 
immediately commenced drilling and organizing, supplying themselves with 
arms and fixed ammunition. The militia authorities were, however, able to 
clear the capitol, when the two Houses assembled, and the Senate signified the 
willingness to recognize that branch of the House presided over by Mr. Hop- 
kins. This ended the difficulty, and Gov. Porter was duly inaugurated. 

Francis E. Shunk was chosen Governor in 1845, and during his term of 
office the war with- Mexico occurred. Two volunteer regiments, one under 
command of Col. Wynkoop, and the other under Col. Koberts, subsequently 
Col. John W. Geary, were sent to the field, while the services of a much 
larger number were offered, but could not be received. Toward the close of 
his first term, having been reduced by sickness, and feeling his end approach- 
ing. Gov. Shunk resigned, and was succeeded by the Speaker of the Senate, 
William F. Johnston, who was duly chosen at the next annual election. Dur- 
ing the administrations of William Bigler, elected in 1851, James Pollock in 
1854, and William F. Packer in 1857, little beyond the ordinary course of 
events marked the history of the State. The lines of public works undertaken 
at the expense of the State were completed. Their cost had been enormous, 
and a debt was piled up against it of over $40,000,000. These works, vastly 
expensive, were still to operate and keep in repair, and the revenues therefrom 
failing to meet expectations, it was determined in the administration of Gov. 
Pollock to sell them to the highest bidder, the Pennsylvania Eailroad Com- 
pany purchasing them for the sum of $7,500,000. 

In the administration of Gov. Packer, petroleum was first discovered in 
quantities in this country by boring into the bowels of the earth. From the 
earliest settlement of the country it was known to exisi As early as July 18, 
1627. a French missionary, Joseph Delaroche Daillon, of the order of Eecol- 
lets, described it in a letter published in 1632, in Segard's L'Histoire du 
Canada, and this description is confirmed by the journal of Charlevois, 1721. 
Fathers Dollier and Galinee, missionaries of the order of St Sulpice, made a 
map of this section of country, which they sent to Jean Talon, Intendent of 
Canada, on the 10th of November, 1670, on which was marked at about the 
point where is now the town of Cuba, N. T., "Fontaine de Bitume." The 
Earl of Belmont, Governor of New York, instructed his chief engineer, 
Wolfgang W. Eomer, on September 3, 1700, in his visit to the Six Nations, 


" To go and view a well or spring which is eight miles beyond the Seneks' 
farthest castle, which they have told me blazes up in a flame, when a lighted 
coale or firebrand is put into it; you will do well to taste the said water, and 
trive me your opinion thereof, and bring with you some of it." Thomas Cha- 
bert de Joncaire, who died in September, 1740, is mentioned in the journal of 
Obarlevois of 1721 as authority for the existence of oil at the place mentioned 
above, and at points further south, probably on Oil Creek. The following 
account of an event occurring during the occupancy of this part of the State 
by the French is given as an example of the religious uses made of oil by the 
Indians, as these fire dances are understood to have been annually celebrated: 
"While descending the Allegheny, fifteen leagues below the mouth of the 
Connewango (Warren) and three above Fort Venango (Oil City), we were 
invited by the chief of the Seneeas to attend a religious ceremony of his tribe. 
We landed and drew up our canoes on a point where a small stream entered 
the river. The tribe appeared unusually solemn. We marched up the stream 
about a half a league, where the company, a large band it appeared, had 
arrived some days before us. Gigantic hills begirt us on every side. The 
scene was really sublime. The great chief then recited the conquests and 
heroisms of their ancestors. The surface of the stream was covered with a 
thick scum, which burst into a complete conflagration. The oil had been 
gathered and lighted with a torch. At sight of the flames, the Indians gave 
forth a triumphant shout, and made the hills and valley re-echo again." 

In nearly all geographies and notes of travel published during the early 
period of settlement, this oil is referred to, and on several maps the word petro- 
leum appears opposite the mouth of Oil Creek. Gen. Washington, in his will, 
in speaking of his lands on the Great Kanawha, says: " The tract of which the 

125 acres is a moiety, was taken up by Gen. Andrew Lewis and myself, for and 
on account of a bituminous spring which it contains of so inflammable a nat- 
ure as to burn as freely as spirits, and is as nearly difficult to extinguish. " 
Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia, also gives an account of a burning 
spring on the lower grounds of the Great Kanawha. This oil not only seems 
to have been known, but to have been systematically gathered in very early 
times. Upon the flats a mile or so below the city of Titusville are many acres 
of cradle holes dug out and lined with split logs, evidently constructed for 
the purpose of gathering it. The fact that the earliest inhabitants could 
never discover any stumps from which these logs were cut, and the further fact 
that trees are growing of giant size in the midst of these cradles, are evidences 
that they must have been operated long ago. It could not have been the work 
of any of the nomadic Indian tribes found here at the coming of the white 
man, for they were never known to undertake any enterprise involving so 
much labor, and what could they do with the oil when obtained. 

The French could hardly have done the work, for we have no account of 
the oil having been obtained in quantities, or of its being transported to 
France. May this not have been the work of the Mound- Builders, or of colo- 
nies from Central America? When the writer first visited these pits, in 1855, 
he found a spring some distance below Titusville, on Oil Creek, where the 
water was conducted into a trough, from which, daily, the oil, floating on its 
surface, was taken off by throwing a woolen blanket upon it, and then wring- 
ing it into a tub, the clean wool absorbing the oil and rejecting the water, and 
in this way a considerable quantity was obtained. 

In 1859, Mr. E. L. Drake, at first representing a company in New York, 
commenced drilling near the spot where this tub was located, and when the 
company would give him no more money, straining his own resources, and his 


credit with his friends almost to the breaking point, and when about to give 
up in despair, finally struck a powerful current of pure oil. From this time 
forward, the territory down the valley of Oil Creek and up all its tributaries 
was rapidly acquired and developed for oil land. In some places, the oil was 
sent up with immense force, at the rate of thousands of barrels each day, and 
great tarouble was experienced in bringing it under control and storing it. In 
some cases, the force of the gas was so powerful on being accidentally fired, 
as to defy all approach for many days, and lighted up the forests at night 
with billows of light. 

The oil has been found in paying quantities in McKean, Warren, Forest, 
Crawford, Venango, Clarion, Butler and Armstrong Coimties, chiefly along 
the upper waters of the Allegheny River and its tributary, the Oil Creek. It 
was first transported in barrels, and teams were kept busy from the first dawn 
until far into the night. As soon as practicable, lines of railway were con'- 
structed from nearly all the trunk lines. Finally barrels gave place to im- 
mense iron tanks riveted upon cars, provided for the escape of the gases, and 
later great pipe lines were extended from the wells to the seaboard, and to the 
Great Lakes, through which the fluid is forced by steam to its distant destina- 
tions Its principal uses are for illumination and lubricating, though many 
of its products are employed in the mechanic arts, notably for dyeing, mixing 
of paints, and in the practice of medicine. Its production has grown to be 
enormous, and seems as yet to show no sign of diminution. We give an ex- 
hibit of the annual production since its discovery, compiled for this work by 
William II. Siviter, editor of the Oil City Derrick, which is the acknowledged 
authority on oil matters: 

Production of the Pennsylvania Oil Fields, compiled from the Derricks 
Hand-book, December, 1883: 

Barrels. Barrels. 

1859 82,000 1873 9,849,508 

1860 500,000 1874 11,102,114 

1861 2,113,000 1875 8,948,749 

1862 3,056,606 1876 9,142,940 

1868 2,611,399 1877 13,052,713 

1864 2,116,182 1878 15,011,425 

1865 3.497,712 1879 20,085,716 

1866 3,597,512 1880 24,788,950 

1867 8,347,306 1881 29,674,458 

1868 3,71.5,741 1882 31,789,190 

1869 4,186,475 1883 24,385,966 

1870 5,308,046 

1871 5,278,076 A grand total of 243,749,558 

1872 6,505,774 

In the fall of 1860, Andrew G. Curtin was elected Governor of Pennsyl- 
vania, and Abraham Lincoln President of the United States. An organized 
rebellion, under the specious name of secession, was thereupon undertaken, 
embracing parts of fifteen States, commonly designated the Slave States, and 
a government established under the name of the Confederate States of America, 
VTith an Executive and Congress, which commenced the raising of troops for 

On the 12th of April, an attack was made upon a small garrison of United 
States troops shut up in Fort Sumter. This was rightly interpreted as the 
first act in a great drama. On the 15th, the President summoned 75,000 vol- 
unteers to vindicate the national authority, calling for sixteen regiments from 
Pennsylvania, and urging that two be sent forward immediately, as the capital 
was without defenders. 

The people of the State, having no idea that war could be possible, had no 


preparation for the event, There chanced at the time to be five companies in 
a tolerable state of organization. These were the Ringold Light Artillery, 
Capt. McKnight, of Reading; the Logan Guards, Capt. Selheimer, of Lev?is- 
town; the "Washington Artillery, Capt Wren, and the National Light Infan- 
try, Capt. McDonald, of Pottsville; and the Allen Eiflas, Capt. Yeager, of 

On the 18th, in conjunction with a company of fifty regulars, on their way 
from the West to Fort McHenry, under command of Capt. Pemberton, after- 
ward Lieut. Gen. Pemberton, of the rebel army, these troops moved by rail 
for Washington. At Baltimore, they were obliged to march two miles through 
a jeering and insulting crowd. At the center of the city, the regulars filed 
off toward Fort McHenry, leaving the volunteers to pursue their way alone, 
when the crowd of maddened people were excited to redoubled insults. In the 
whole battalion there was not a charge of powder; but a member of the Logan 
Guards, who chanced to have a box of percussion caps in his pocket, had dis- 
tributed them to his comrades, who carried their pieces capped and half 
cocked, creating the impression that they were loaded and ready for service. 
This ruse undoubtedly saved the battalion from the murderous assault made 
upon the Massachusetts Sixth on the following day. Before leaving, they were 
pelted with stones and billets of wood while boarding the cars; but, fortu- 
nately, none were seriously injured, and the train finally moved away and 
reached Washington in safety, the first troops to come to the unguarded and 
imperiled capital. 

Instead of sixteen, twenty-five regiments were organized for the three months' 
service from Pennsylvania. Judging from the threatening attitude assumed 
by the rebels across the Potomac that the southern frontier would be con- 
stantly menaced. Gov. Curtin sought permission to organize a select corps, 
to consist of thirteen regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and one of artillery, 
and to be known as the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, which the Legislature, in 
special session, granted. This corps of 15,000 men was speedily raised, and the 
intention of the State authorities was to keep this body permamently within 
the limits of the Commonwealth for defonse. But at the time of the First 
Bull Run disaster in July, 1861, the National Government found itself with- 
out troops to even defend the capital, the time of the three months' men being 
now about to expire, and at its urgent call this fine body was sent forward and 
never again returned for the execution of the duty for which it was formed, 
having borne the brunt of the fighting on many a hard-fought field during the 
three years of its service. 

In addition to the volunteer troops furnished in response to the several 
calls of the President, upon the occasion of the rebel invasion of Maryland in 
September, 1862, Gov. Curtin called 50,000 men for the emergency, and 
though the time was very brief, 25,000 came, were organized under command 
of Gen. John F. Reynolds, and were marched to the border. But the battle of 
Antietam, fought on the 17th of September, caused the enemy to beat a hasty 
retreat, and the border was relieved when the emergency troops were dis- 
banded and returned to their hom^s. On the 19th of October, Gen. J. E. B. 
Stewart, of the rebel army, with 1,800 horsemen under command of Hampton, 
Lee and Jones, crossed the 'Potomac and made directly for Chambersburg, 
arriving after dark. Not waiting for morning to attack, he sent in a flag of 
truce demanding the surrender of the town. There were 275 Union soldiers in 
hospital, whom he paroled. During the night, the troopers were busy picking 
up horses— swapping horses perhaps it should be called— and the morning saw 
them early on the move. The rear guard gave notice before leaving to re- 


move all families from the neighborhood of the public buildings, as they in- 
tended to fire them. There was a large amount of fixed ammunition in them, 
which had been captured from Longstreet's train, besides Government stores 
of shoes, clothing and muskets. At 11 o'clock the station house, round house, 
railroad machine shops and warehouses were fired and consigned to 
destruction. The fire department was promptly out; but it was dangerous to 
approach the burning buildings on account of the ammunition, and all 

The year 1862 was one of intense excitement and activity. Prom about the 
1st of May, 1861, to the end of 1862, there were recruited in the State of Penn- 
sylvania, one hundred and eleven i regiments, including eleven of cavalry and 
three of artillery, for three years' service; twenty-five regiments for three months; 
seventeen for nine months; fifteen of drafted militia; and twenty-five called out 
for the emergency, an aggregate of one huudred and ninety-three regiments — a 
grand total of over 200,000 men — a great army in itself. 

In June, 1863, G-en. btobert E. Lee, with his entire army of Northern Vir- 
ginia, invaded Pennsylvania. The Army of the Potomac, under Gen. Joseph 
Hooker, followed. The latter was superseded on the 28th of June by Gen, George 
G. Meade. The vanguards of the army met a mile or so out of Gettysburg on the 
Chambersburg pike on the morning of the 1st of July. Hill's corps of the 
rebel army was held in check by the sturdy fighting of a small division of 
cavalry under Gen. Buford until 10 o'clock, when Gen. Reynolds came to his 
relief with the First Corps. While bringing his forces into action, Reynolds 
was killed, and the command devolved on Gen. Abner Doubleday, and the 
fighting became terrible, the Union forces being greatly outnumbered. At 2 
o'clock in the afternoon, the Eleventh Corps, Gen. O. O. Howard, came to the 
support of the First. But now the corps of Ewell had joined hands with Hill, 
and a full two-thirds of the entire rebel army was on the field, opposed by 
only the two weak Union corps, in an inferior position. A sturdy fight was 
however maintained until 5 o'clock, when the Union forces withdrew through 
the town, and took position upon rising ground covering the Baltimore pike. 
During the night the entire Union army came up, with the exception of the 
Sixth Corps, and took position, and at 2 o'clock in the morning Gen. Meade 
and staff came on the field. During the morning hours, and until 4 o'clock in 
the afternoon, the two armies were getting into position for the desperate 
struggle. The Third Corps, Gen. Sickles, occupied the extreme left, his corps 
abutting on the Little Round Top at the Devil's Den, and reaching, en echelon, 
through the rugged ground to the Peach Orchard, and thence along the Em- 
mettsburg pike, where it joined the Second Corps, Gen. Hancock, reaching 
over Cemetery Hill, the Eleventh Corps, Gen. Howard, the First, Gen. Double- 
day, and the Twelfth, Gen. Slocum, reaching across Culp's Hill — the whole 
crescent shape. To this formation the rebel army conformed, Longstreet op- 
posite the Union left. Hill opposite the center, and Ewell opposite the Union 
right. At 4 P. M. the battle was opened by Longstreet, on the extreme left of 
Sickles, and the fighting became terrific, the rebels making strenuous efforts 
to gain Little Round Top. But at the opportune moment a part of the Fifth 
Corps, Gen. Sykes, was brought upon that key position, and it was saved to 
the Union side. The slaughter in front of Round" Top at the wheat-field and 
the Peach Orchard was fearful. The Third Corps was driven back from its 
advanced position, and its commander. Gen. Sickles, was wounded, losing a 
leg. In a more contracted position, the Union line was made secure, where it 
rested for the night. Just at dusk, the Louisiana Tigers, some 1,800 men, 
made' a desperate charge on Cemetery Hill, emerging suddenly from a hillock 


just back of the town. The struggle was desperate, but the Tigers being 
weakened by the fire of the artillery, and by the infantry crouching behind the 
stone wall, the onset was checked, and Carroll's brigade, of the Second Corps, 
coming to the rescue, they were finally beaten back, terribly decimated. At 
about the same time, a portion of Ewell's corps made an advance on the ex- 
treme Union right, at a point where the troops had been withdrawn to send to 
the support of Sickles, and unopposed, gained the extremity of Gulp's Hill, 
pushing through nearly to the Baltimore pike, in dangerous proximity to the 
reserve artillery and trains, and even the headquarters of the Union com- 
mander. But in their attempt to roll up the Union right they were met by 
Green's brigade of the Twelfth Corps, and by desperate fighting their further 
progress was stayed. Thus ended the battle of the second day. The Union left 
and right had been sorely jammed and pushed back. 

At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 3d of July, Gen. Geary, who had been 
ordered away to the support of Sickles, having returned during the night and 
taken position on the right of Green, opened the battle for the recovery of his 
lost breastworks on the right of Gulp's Hill. Until 10 o'clock, the battle raged 
with unabated fury. The heat was intolerable, and the sulphurous vapor 
hung like a pall over the combatants, shutting out the light of day. The 
fighting was in the midst of the forest, and the echoes resounded with fearful 
distinctness. The Twelfth Corps was supported by portions of the Sixth, 
which had now come up. At length the enemy, weakened and finding them- 
selves overborne on all sides, gave way, and the Union breastworks were re- 
occupied and the Union right made entirely secure. Comparative quiet now 
reigned on either side until 2 o'clock in the afternoon, in the meantime both 
sides bringing up fresh troops and repairing damages. The rebel leader hav- 
ing brought his best available artillery in upon his right center, suddenly 
opened with 150 pieces a concentric fire upon the devoted Union left center, 
where stood the troops of Hancock and Doubleday and Sickles. The shock 
was terrible. Rarely has such a cannonade been known on any field. For 
nearly two hours it was continued. Thinking that the Union line had been 
broken and demoralized by this fire, Longstreet brought out a fresh corps of 
some 18,000 men, under Pickett, and charged full upon the point which had 
been the mark for the cannonade. As soon as this charging column came into 
view, the Union artillery opened upon it from right and left and center, and 
rent it with fearful effect. When come within musket range, the Union 
troops, who had been crouching behind slight pits and a low stone wall, 
poured in a most murderous fire. Still the rebels pushed forward with a bold 
face, and actually crossed the Union lines and had their hands on the Union 
guns. But the slaughter was too terrible to withstand. The killed and 
wounded lay scattered over all the plain. Many were gathered in as prisoners. 
Finally, the remnant staggered back, and the battle of Gettysburg was at an 

Gathering all in upon his fortified line, the rebel chieftain fell to strength- 
ening it, which he held with a firm hand. At nightfall, he put his trains 
with the wounded upon the retreat During the 4th, great activity in build- 
ing works was manifest, and a heavy skirmish line was kept well out which 
resolutely met any advance of Union forces. The entire fighting force of the 
rebel army remained in position behind their breastworks on Oak Ridge until 
nightfall of the 4th, when, under cover of darkness, it was withdrawn and 
before morning wa.s well on its way to Williamsport. The losses on the Union 
9Ql«T''^'.fu ^t'"^^' lp'J09 wounded, and 6,643 missing, an aggregate of 
/d,l»b. Of the losses of the enemy, no adequate returns were made. Meade 


reports 13,621 prisoners taken, and the losses by killed and wounded must 
have been greater than on the Union side. On the rebel side, Maj. Gens. 
Hood, Pender, Trimble and Heth were wounded, Pender mortally. Brig. 
Gens. Barksdale and Garnett were killed, and Semma mortally wounded. 
Brig. Gens. Kemper, Armistead, Scales, G. T. Anderson, Hampton, J. M. 
Jones and Jenkins were wounded; Archer ,wa8 taken prisoner and Pettigrew 
was wounded and subsequently killed at Falling Waters. In the Union army, 
Maj. Gen. Reynolds and Brig. Gens. Vincent, "Weed, Willard and Zook were 
killed. Maj. Gens. Sickles, Hancock, Doubleday, Gibbon, Barlow, Warren 
and Butterfield, and Brig. Gens. Graham, Paul, Stone, Barnes and Brooke 
were wounded. A National Cemetery was secured on the center of the field, 
where, as soon as the weather would permit, the dead were gathered and care- 
fully interred. Of the entire number interred, 3,512, Maine had 104; New 
Hampshire, 49; Vermont, 61; Massachusetts, 159; Rhode Island, 12; Con- 
necticut, 22; New York, 867; New Jersey, 78; Pennsylvania, 534; Delaware, 
15; Maryland, 22; West Virginia, 11; Ohio, 131; Indiana, 80; Illinois, 6; 
Michigan, 171; Wisconsin, 73; Minnesota, 52; United States Regulars, 138; 
unknown, 979. In the center of the field, a noble monument has been erect- 
ed, and on the 19th of November, 1864, the ground was formally dedicated, 
when the eminent orator, Edward Everett, delivered an oration, and President 
Lincoln delivered the following dedicatory address: 

" Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this conti- 
nent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that 
all men ai-e created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing 
whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long en- 
dure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We are met to dedi- 
cate a portion of it as the final resting place of those who here gave their 
lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we 
should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot conse- 
crate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who 
struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. 
The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can 
never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedi- 
cated here to the unfinished work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. 
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — 
that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which 
they here gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve 
that the dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation shall, under God, 
have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the 
people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.'' 

So soon as indications pointed to a possible invasion of tlie North by the 
rebel army under Gen. Lee, the State of Pennsylvania was organized in two 
military departments, that of the Susquehanna, to the command of which 
Darius N. Couch was assigned, with headquarters at Harrisburg, and that of 
the Monongahela, under W. T. H. Brooks, with headquarters at Pittsburgh. 
Urgent calls for the militia were made, and large numbers in regiments, in 
companies, in squadrons came promptly at the call to the number of over 36,- 
000 men, who were organized for a period of ninety days. Fortifieations 
were thrown up to cover Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, and the troops were moved 
to threatened points. But before they could be brought into action, the great 
decisive conflict had been fought, and the enemy driven from northern soil. 
Four regiments under Gen. Brooks were moved into Ohio to aid in arresting a 
raid undertaken by John Morgan, who, with 2,000 horse and four guns, had 
crossed the Ohio River for a diversion in favor of Lee. s 


In the beginning of July, 1864, Gen. Early invaded Maryland, and made 
his way to tlie threshold of Washington. Fearing another invasion of the 
State, Gov. Cnrtin called for volunteers to serve for 100 days. Gen. Couch 
was still at the head of the department of the Susquehanna, and six regiments 
and six companies were organized, but as fast as organized they were called to 
the front, the last regiment leaving the State on the 29th of July. On the 
evening of this day. Gens. McCausland, Bradley Johnson and Harry Gilmore, 
with 3,000 mounted men and six guns, crossed the Potomac, and made thei, 
way to Chambersburg. Another column of 3,000, under Vaughn and Jackson 
advanced to Hagerstown, and a third to Leitersburg. Averell, with a small 
force, was at Hagerstown, but finding himself over-matched withdrew through 
Greencastle to Mount Hope. Lieut. McLean, with fifty men in front of Mc- 
Causland, gallantly kept his face to the foe, and checked the advance at every 
favorable point. On being apprised of their coming, the public stores at Cham- 
bersburg were moved northward At six A. M. , McCausland opened his bat- 
teries upon the town, but, finding it unprotected, took possession. Einging the 
court house bell to call the people together, Capt. Pitzhugh read an order to 
the assembly, signed by Gen. Jubal Early, directing the command to proceed 
to Chambersbtirg and demand $100,000 in gold, or 1500,000 in greenbacks, 
and, if not paid, to burn the town. While this parley was in progress, bats, 
caps, boots, watches, clothing and valuables were unceremoniously appropriated, 
and purses demanded at the point of the bayonet. As money was not in hand 
to meet so unexpected a draft, the torch was lighted. In less than a quarter 
of an hour from the time the first match was applied, the whole business part 
of the town was in flames. No notice was given for removing the women and 
children and sick. Burning parties were sent into each quarter of the town, 
which made thorough work. With the exception of a few houses upon the 
outskirts, the whole was laid in niins. Retiring rapidly, the entire rebel 
command recrossed the Potomac before any adequate force could be gathered 
to check its progress. 

The whole number of soldiers recruited under the various calls for troops 
from the State of Pennsylvania was 366,000. By authority of the common- 
wealth, in 1866, the commencement was made of the publication of a history 
of these volunteer organizations, embracing a brief historical account of the 
part taken by each regiment and independent body in every battle in which it 
was engaged, with the name, rank, date of muster, period for which he en- 
listed, casualties, and fate of every ofBcer and private. This work was com- 
pleted in 1872, in five imperial octavo volumes of over 1,400 pages each. 

In May, 1861, the Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania, an organiza- 
tion of the officers of the Revolutionary war and their descendants, donated 
$500 toward arming and equipping troops. By order of the Legislature, 
this sum was devoted to procuring flags for the regiments, and each organiza- 
tion that went forth, was provided with one emblazoned with the arms of the 
commonwealth. These flags, seamed and battle stained, were returned at the 
close of the war, and are now preserved in a room devoted to the purpose in 
the State capitol — precious emblems of the daring and suffering of that great 
army that went forth to uphold and maintain the integrity of the nation. 

When the war was over, the State undertook the charge of providing for 
all soldiers' orphans in schools located in different parts of its territory, fur- 
nishing food, clothing, instruction and care, until they should be grown to 
manhood and womanhood. The number thus gathered and cared for has been 
some 7, 500 annually, for a period of nineteen years, at an average annual ex- 
pense of some $600,000. 



At the election in 1866, John W. Geary, a veteran General of the late war, 
was chosen Governor. During his administration, settlements were made with 
the General Government, extraordinary debts incurred during the war were 
paid, and a large reduction of the old debt of $40,000,000 inherited from the 
construction of the canals, was made. A convention for a revision of the con- 
stitution was ordered by act of April 11, 1872. This convention assembled in 
Harrisburg November 13, and adjourned to meet in Philadelphia, where it 
convened on the 7th of January, 1873, and the instrument framed was adopted 
on the 18th of December, 1873. By its provisions, the number of Senators 
was increased from thirty-three to fifty, and Eepresentatives from 10ft to 201, 
subject to further increase in proportion to increase of population; biennial, 
in place of annual sessions; making the term of Supreme Court Judges twenty- 
one in place of fifteen years; remanding a large class of legislation to the ac- 
tion of the courts; making the term of Governor four years in place of three, 
and prohibiting special legislation, were some of the changes provided for. 

In January, 1873, John P. Hartranft became Governor, and at the election 
in 1878, Henry F. Hoyt was chosen Governor, both soldiers of the late war. 
In the summer of 1877, by concert of action of the employes on the several 
lines of railway in the State, trains were stopped and travel and traffic were in- 
terrupted for several days together. At Pittsburgh, conflicts occurred between 
the railroad men and the militia, and a vast amount of property was destroyed. 
The opposition to the local military was too powerful to be controlled, and 
the National Government was appealed to for aid. A force of regulars was 
promptly ordered out, and the rioters finally quelled. Unfortunately, Gov. 
Hartranft was absent from the State at the time of the troubles. 

At the election in 1882, Eobert E. Pattison was chosen Governor, who is the 
present incumbent. The Legislature, which met at the opening of 1883, having 
adjourned after a session of 156 days, without passing a Congressional appor- 
tionment bill, as was required, was immediately reconvened in extra session by 
the Governor, and remained in session until near the close of the year, from 
June 1 to December 5, without coming to an agreement upon a bill, and 
finally adjourned without having passed one. This protracted sitting is in 
marked contrast to the session of that early Assembly in which an entire con- 
stitution and laws of the province were framed and adopted in the space of 
three days. 





Thomas Mifflin 27,725 

Arthur St. Clair 2,802 


Thomas Mifflin 18,590 

F. A. Muhlenberg 10,706 


Thomas Mifflin 30,020 

F. A. Muhlenberg 1,011 


Thomas McKean 38,036 

James Ross 32,641 


Thomas McKean 47,879 

James Ross, of Pittsburgh 9,499 

James Ross 7,538 


Simon Snyder 67,975 

James Ross 39,575 

John Spayd 4,006 

W. Shields 2 

Charles Nice 1 

Jack Ross 2 

W. Tilghman 1 


Simon Snyder 52,319 

William Tighlman 3,609 

Scatt' record for whom 1,675 


Simon Snyder 51,099 

Isaac Wayne 29,566 

G. Lattimer 910 

J. R. Rust 4 


William Findlay 66,331 

Joseph Hiester 59,272 

Moses Palmer 1 

Aaron Hanson 1 

John Setter 1 

Seth Thomas 1 

Nicholas Wiseman 3 

Benjamin R. Morgan 2 

William Tilghman 1 

Andrew Gregg 1 


Joseph Hiester 67,905 

William Findlay 66,300 

Scattering (no record) 21 


J. Andrew Shulza 81,751 

Andrew Gregg 64,151 

Andrew ShuTze 112 

John Andrew Shulze 7,311 

Andrew Gragg 53 

Andrew Greg 1 

John A. Shulze 754 

Nathaniel B. Boileau 3 

Capt. Gloaseader 3 

John Gassender 1 

Isaac Wayne 1 

George Bryan 1 


J. Andrew Shulze 72,710 

John Sergeant 1,175 

Scattering (no record) 1,174 


George Wolf. 78,219 

Joseph Ritner 51,776 

George E. Baum 6 

Frank R. Williams 3 


George Wolf. 91,335 

Joseph Ritner 88,165 


Joseph Ritner 94,023 

GoorgeWolf. 65,804 

Henry A. Muhlenberg 40,586 


DaTid R. Porter 127,827 

Joseph Ritner 122,321 


David R. Porter.. 136,504 

John Banks _ 113,473 

T.J. Lemoyne 763 

George F. Horton 18 

Samuel L. Carpenter 4 

Ellis Lewis 1 


Francis R. Shunk 160,322 

Joseph Markle 156,040 

Julius J. Lemoyne 10 

John Haney 2 

James Page 1 


Francis R. Shunk 146,031 

James Irvin 128,148 

Emanuel 0. Reigart 11,247 

F.J. Lemoyne 1,861 

George M. Keim 1 

Abijah Morrison 3 


William F. Johnston 168,522 

Morris Longstreth 168,225 

E. B. Gazzam 43 

Scattering (no record) 24 


William Bigler 186,489 

WUliam F. Johnston 178,034 

Kimber Cleaver 1,850 


James Pollock 203,822 

William Bigler 166,991 

B. Rush Bradford 2,194 


William F. Packer 1SS,846 

David Wilmot 149,139 

Isaac Hazlehurst 28,168 

James Pollock 1 

George R. Barret 1 

William Steel 1 

F. P. Swartz 1 

Samuel McFarland 1 

George F. Horton 7 


Andrew G. Curtin 262,346 

Henry D. Foster 230,239 


A. G. Curtin 269,506 

George W. Woodward 254,171 

John Hickman 1 

Thomas M, Howe 1 


John W. Geary 307,274 

Hiester Clymer 290,097 

Giles Lewis 7 


John W. Geary 290,552 

Asa Packer 285,956 

W. D. Kelly 1 

W. J. Robinson 1 


John F. Hartranft 353,387 

Charles R. Buckalen 317,760 

S. B. Chase 1,197 

William P. Schell 12 


John F. Hartranft 304,175 

Cyrus L. Pershing 292,145 

R. Audley Brown 13,244 

James S. Negley 1 

Phillip Weudle 1 

J. W. Brown 1 

G. F. Reinhard 1 

G. D. Coleman 1 

James Staples 1 

Richard Vaux - 1 

Craig Riddle 1 

Francis W. Hughes 1 

Henry C. Tyler 1 

W. D. Brown 1 

George V. Lawrence 1 

A. L.Brown 1 


H. M. Hoyt 319,490 

Andrew H. DUl 297,137 

Samuel R. Mason 81,758 

Franklin H. Lane 3,763 

S. Matson 2 

John McKee 1 

D. Kirk 1 

R. L. Miller 1 

J. H. Hopkins 1 

A. G. Williams 1 

Samuel H. Lane 1 

John Fertig 1 

James Musgrove 1 

Silas M. Baily 1 

A. S. Post 9 

0. A. Cornen 3 

Seth Yocum 1 

Edward E. Orris 1 


Robert E. Pattison 355,791 

James A. Beaver 315,589 

John Stewart 43,743 

Thomas A. Armstrong 23,996 

Alfred C. Pettit 5,196 

E. E. Pattison 1 

R. E. Beaver 1 

J. H. Hopkins 1 

W. H. Hope 1 

R. H. Patterson 2 

— Stewart 2 

J. A. Brown 1 

R. Smith 1 

— Cameron 1 

James McNalis 1 

T. A. Armstrong 1 

Thomas Armstrong 16 

R. E. Pattison 1 

William N. Drake 1 

John McCleery 2 

John A. Stewart 1 

G. A Grow 1 



History of Erie County 



General Description, Etc. 

ERIE COUNTY constitutes the extreme northwestern point of Pennsylvania, 
and is the only portion of the State that borders on Lake Erie. It is 
bounded on the north by Lake Erie, on the east by Chautauqua County, N. 
Y. , and Warren County, Penn. , on the south by Crawford County, Penn. , and on 
the west by Ashtabula County, Ohio. The length of the county along the lake is 
about forty-five miles, along the Chautauqua and Warren County lines thirty- 
six miles, along that of Crawford County forty- five miles, and along the Ohio 
line nine miles. It contains 745 square miles, or 476,515 square acres. Its 
mean or center latitude is forty-two degrees north, and its longitude is three 
degrees west from Washington. 

JU Up to the 24th of September, 1788, all of the State lying west of 
the Alleghany Mountains was embraced in Westmoreland and Washington 
Counties. On that date, the section north of the Ohio and west of the 
Allegheny to the Ohio line was set off as a new county, which was named 
after the latter river. Pittsburgh was designated as its county seat. The popu- 
lation was sparse, and it was not until ten years later that a necessity arose 
in the Northwest for a separate governmental organization. On the 4tb 
of April, 1798, Erie Township was erected with the identical limits of the 
present county. 


The counties of Erie, Butler, Beaver, Crawford, Mercer, Venango and 
Warren were created by an act of the Legislature of March 12, 1800, their 
seats of justice being named at the same time. Being unable to sustain a 
separate organization, five of these, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango and 
Warren, were united in one organization for governmental purposes, with the 
general title of Crawford County, under an act passed April 9, 1801. The 
county seat was at Meadville, and one set of county officers and one member 
of the Assembly served for the whole five. This relation continued until 1803, 
when the first county officers were elected in Erie County. 

The townships originally established in Erie County were sixteen in num- 
ber, as follows: 

Brokenstraw, Beaver Dam, "Coniaute," "Conniat," Elk Creek, Fairview, 
Greenfield, Harbor Creek, "LeBoeuff," Mill Creek, McKean, North East, 
Springfield, Union, Venango, Waterford. 

The following townships have been added, making twenty-one in all: 
Amity, Franklin, Girard, Summit, Wayne; 

The name of Brokenstraw was changed to Concord in 1821. 



Amity was taken from Union in 1826. 
Wayne was formed out of Concord in 1826. 

Girard was set off from Elk Creek, Fairview and Springfield in 1832. 
The name of "Coniaate" was changed to Washington in 1834. 
That of Beaver Dam was changed to Greene in 1840. 

Franklin was created out of parts of Washington, McKean and Elk Creek 
iu 1844. 

Summit was formed out of Greene, Waterford and McKean in 1854. 


The following is a list of the cities, boroughs and villages in the county, 
with their distances from Erie by railroad and common road. The distances 
by common road are by the most direct routes, measuring from the city parks. 
Those by rail, via the Philadelphia & Erie road, are from the water's edge at 
the foot of State street, and those by the Lake Shore and Erie & Pittsburgh 
roads are from the Union Depot. The stars (*) in the first column of figures 
indicate that the towns are not upon the lines of railroad, but can be reached 
from Erie partly by rail and partly by common road. In such cases the dis- 
tances are given as by the railroad station that is generally used, as, for in- 
stance, Girard, West Girard and Lockport by way of Miles Grove; Albion, 
Wellsburg and Cranesville by way of Albion Depot; Wattsburg and Lowville 
by way of Union City, and so on. Where but one set of figures is opposite a 
name, it is an indication that the place is reached by common road only: 




s te s 

Albion Depot 

Albion Borough* 


Belle Valley* 


Beaver Dam* 

Cherry Hill* 






East Springfield* 



Fairview Borough*. . . 

Franklin Centre .' 

Girard Borough* 


Greenfield Village* 

Harbor Creek Village . 

Hatch Hollow* 





Lovell's Station 

Le Boeuf Station 

McLellan's Corners.... 




E. &P. 
E. &P. 
L. S. & E. & P. 
P. &E. 

P. &E. 

L. S. & E. & P. 

P. &E. 

E. &P. 

P. &E. 

L. S. 
P. &E. 

L. S. 
L. S. & E. & P. 

8. & E. & P. 

L. S. 

L. 8. 

L. S. 

P. &E. 

E. &P. 

L. S. 
P. &E. 
P. &E. 
P. &B. 

L. 8. 































Miles Grove 

Mill Town 

Mill Village 



North East Borough. 

North Si)ringfleld 





St. Boniface 

Union City 

West Greene 



West Girard* 

West Springfield*. . . . 



Waterford Borough*. 
Waterford Station. . . 


L. S. & E. & p. 

p. & E. & A. & G. W. 

L. S. & E. & p. 

L. S. 

L. S. 

L. S. 

E. &P. 

'l.'s.'&'e. &'p.' 

"" R &'e. 

L. S. 
S. & E. & P. 
S. & E. & P. 

E. &P. 

P. &E. 

P. &E. 

P, &E. 









S H o 











All points in the county accommodated by the Lake Shore Bailroad can 
also be reached by the N. Y., C. & St. L., or "Nickel Plate " road. 

The classification of the above places is as follows: 

Cities — Erie and Cony, 2. 

Boroughs — Albion, Edinboro, Elgin, Fairview, Girard, Lockport, Middle- 
boro, Mill Village, North East, Union City, Wattsburg and Waterford, 12. 

All of the rest are unincorporated villages, ranging in extent from a dozen 
to a hundred buildings, with a population of 50 to 450. 


Erie was incorporated as a borough in 1805, having previously formed a 
part of Mill Creek Township; divided into two wards in 1840; granted a city 
charter in 1851; and divided into four wards in 1858. South Erie was set off 
from Mill Creek Township and incorporated as a borough in 1866; consoli- 
dated with the city in 1870, and became the Fifth and Sixth wards, some addi- 
tions having been made from Mill Creek. 

The following shows the years in which the boroughs were incorporated: 

Waterford, 1833; Wattsburg, 1834; North East, 1834; Edinboro, 1840; 
Girard, 1846; Albion, 1861 ; . Middleboro, 1861; Union Mills, 1863 ; Fairview, 
1868; Mill Village, 1870; Lockport, 1870; Elgin, 1876. 

Corry was established as a borough in 1863, and granted a city charter in 
1866. It is divided into the First and Second Wards, each constituting an 
election district 

The name of Union Mills Borough was changed to Union City July 4, 


Below is a list of the election districts In the county, alphabetically ar- 
ranged. They are fifty in number: 



Albion Borough. 
Amity Township. 
Concord Township. 
Conneaut Township. 
Corry City — 

Pirst Ward. 

Second Ward. 
East Mill Creek. 
Edinboro Borough. 
Elgin Borough. 
Elk Creek Township. 
Erie City- 
First Ward, First Dist. 

First Ward, Second 

First Ward,Third Dist. 

Second Ward, First 

Second Ward, Second 

Second Ward, Third 

Third Ward.First Dist. 
Third Ward, Second 

Third Ward, Third 

Fourth Ward,r'st Dist. 
Fourth Ward, Second 

Fourth Ward, Third 

Fifth Ward. 
Sixth Ward. 
Fairview Township 
Fairview Borough. 
Franklin Township. 
Girard Township. 
Girard Borough. 
Greene Township. 

Greenfield Township. 
Harbor Creek Township. 
LeBoeuf Township. 
Lockport Borough. 
McKean Township. 
Middleboro Borough. 
Mill Village Borough. 
North East Township. 
North East Borough. 
Springfield Township. 
Summit Township. 
Union Township. 
Union City Borough. 
Venango Township. 
Washington Township. 
Waterford Township. 
Waterford Borough. 
Wattsbnrg Borough. 
Wayne Township. 
West Mill Creek. 

The First, Second, Third and Fourth Wards of Erie were divided into 
three election districts each in 1876, the limits of the several districts being 
as follows: 


First District — East of Parade, between the bay and lake and Eighth street. 
Second District — Prom State to Parade, between Fifth and Eighth ritreets. 
Third District— From State to Parade, between the bay and Fifth street. 


First District — East of Parade, between Eighth and Eighteenth streets. 

Second District — From State to Parade, between Eighth and Twelfth 

Third District — From State to Parade, between Twelfth .and Eighteenth 


Pirst District — Prom State to Chestnut, between Twelfth and Eighteenth 

Second -District — Prom State to Chestnut, between Eighth and Twelfth 

Third District — West of Chestnut, between Eighth and Eighteenth streets. 


First District — West of Chestnut, between the bay and Eighth street. 
Second District — Prom State to Chestnut, between Fifth and Eighth streets. 
Third District — From State to Chestnut, between the bay and Fifth streets. 
Mill Creek was divided into the East and West Election Districts in 1864. 
They choose the same township officials, but separate election officers. 


The townships from which the cities and boroughs have been taken, and 
of which the unincorporated villages still remain a part, are as follows: 

Cherry Hill Conneaut. 

Corry (city) Wayne and Concord. 

Cranesville Elk Creek. 

Draketown Washington. 

Edenboro (borough) Washington. 

Edenville Le Baeuf. 

Albion Depot Conneaut. 

Albion (borough) Conneaut. 

Avonia Fairview. 

Belle Valley Mill Creek. 

Branchville McKean. 

Beaver Dam Wayne- 


East Springfield Springfield. Mill Town Amity. 

Elgin (borough) Concord. Mill Village (borough) LeBoeuf . 

Erie (city) Mill Creek. Manchester Fairview. 

Freeport North East. Northville North East. 

Fairview (borough) Fairview. North East (borough) North East. 

Franklin Centre Franklin. North Springfield Springfield. 

Girard (borough) Girard. Phillipsville Venango. 

Grahamville North East. Pageville Elk Creek. 

Greenfield Greenfield. Sterrettania McKean. 

Harbor Creek Harbor Creek. Swan ville Fairview. 

Hatch Hollow Amity. St. Boniface Greene. 

Kearsage Mill Creek. Union City (borough) Union. 

Keepville Conneaut. West Greene Greene. 

Lockport (borough) Girard. Weigleville Mill Creek. 

Lowville Venango. Wesleyville Harbor Creek. 

Lovell's Station. Concord. West Girard Girard. 

Le Boeuf Station Le Boeuf. West Springfield Springfield. 

McLallen's Corners Washington. Wellsburg Elk Creek. 

Moorhead ville Harbor Creek. Wattsburg (borough) Venango. 

McLane Washington. Waterf ord (borough) Waterf ord . 

Middleboro (borough) McKean. Waterf ord Station Waterf ord. 

Miles Grove Girard. Warrentown Mill Creek. 


Below is a list of the post offices in the county. The figures annexed to 
some of the names indicate the years when the offices were started: 

Albion, Avonia, Belle Valley, 1856. 

Branchvillef, *Carter Hillf, Cherry Hill, Corry, 1862. 

*East Greene, 1830. 

E. Springfield, Edinboro, 1836. 

Elk Creek (Craneaville), Erie, Elgin, Fairview, Franklin Corners, Girard, 
Greenfield, *Godard, 1883. 

Harbor Creek, *Hamot (St. Boniface), 1881. 

*Hatch Hollow, Hornby, 1883. 

Kearsage, Keepville, LakePleasant (Mill Town), LeBoeuf, Lovell's Station, 
Lowville, 1867. 

Lundy's Lane (Wellsburg), McKean, 1836. 

(Middleboro), McLane, McLallen's Corners, Mill Village, Miles Grove, 
Moorheadville, North East, 1812. 

North Springfield, Northville, Phillipsville, 1829. 

Platea (Lockport), Six Mile Creek, 1878. 

Sterrettania, Swanville, Tracy, 1883. 

Union City, Waterford, 1801. 

Wattsburg,^ 1828. 

Wayne (Beaver Dam), Wesleyville, West Greene, *West Mill Creek, West 

Of the above, all except those marked with a star (*) have been sufficiently 
described. The others are located as follows: Carter Hill in Wayne Town- 
ship; Godard in Summit; East Greene and Hamot in Greene; West Mill 
Creek in Mill Creek; Six Mile Creek in Greene, and Hornby in Greenfield. 

Erie, Corry, North Bast and Union City are what are known as " Presiden- 
tial offices, " their incumbents being appointed by the President and subject 
to confirmation by the Senate. The salaries attached to them are: Erie, 
$2,600; Corry, $2,400; North East, $1,600; Union City, $1,600. The Post- 
master General appoints to all the remaining offices, and his nominations do 
not have to go before the Senate. 

+BrancliYille and Carter Hill were discontinued in October, 1883. 



The following are money order offices : Albion, Corry, East Springfield, 
Edinboro, Erie, Fairview, Grirard, Lundy's Lane, Mill Village, North Bast, 
Union City, "Waterford, Wattsburg, West Springfield. 

Erie is the only letter carrier office. 


The first census of the county was taken in 1800, and has been renewed 
every ten years under th e auspices of the United States authorities. Up to 
1840, the enumeration was made by one person for the whole county. In the 
latter year the county was cut up into two districts, and since then the num- 
ber of enumerators has been regularly increased at each census. The county 
contained 1,468 inhabitants in 1800, and 3,758 in 1810. Below is the result 
of the enumerations from 1820 to 1880, inclusive of both years: 



Conneaut (a) 

Concord (J) 






Fairview Township {d). . . 

Fairview Borough 


Girard Township («) 

Girard Borough 

Greene (/) 


Harbor Creek 


LeBoeuf iff) 

McKean {g) 


Mill Creek {h) 

Mill Village 

North East Township (i). 

North East Borough 

Springfield (j) 


Union Township (Jc) 

Union City 

Venango (l) 


"Waterford Township (m). 

Waterford Borough 

Washington (n) 

Wayne (o) 

Total county. 

























































































































(a) Reduced by adding a portion to Springfield in 1835, and by the incorporation of Albion Borough in 

,r,.,ii.^^^ ,11= °ff 'O.ISM- A slice taken off to form Corry Borough in 1863, and another when Corrv was 
made a city in 1866. Eton Borough incorporated in 1876. The towusTilp was kiown MBrokenstraw tin 1821 
M A slice taken of to form girard Township in 1832, and another to tonnFrrnkUn in iS 
id) A part of Girard cut off in 1832. Fairview Borough created in 1868 '^'""'"° '° ^»«- 
(e) Girard Borough incorporated in 1846 and Lockport in 1870 

W-.^T-Si? ^*''^'' °^™ ."^'J" l^"- ^ P*'^ of Summit takei off in 1854. 

Crj Mill Village incorporated m 1870, after the census was taken 

(y) A portion of Franklin cut off in 1844 and of Summit in 1854. Middleboro incorporated In 1861 



The following was the population of Erie City by wards in 1870 and 1880: 

TT . fTT J 1870 1880 

First Ward 3,364 4,629 

SecondWard 6,031 6,583 

Third Ward 3,730 5,378 

Fourth Ward 4,526 5,799 

Fifth Ward 1,497 2,348 

Sixth Ward 1,498 3,000 

19,646 37,737 
The population of Corry by wards in the same years was as follows: 

■rn. T^ , 1870 1880 

First Ward 3,559 2,758 

SecondWard 3,350 3 519 

6,809 5,277 


The following was the population in 1880 of the unincorporated villages 
named. They are included in the census of their respective townships as 
given above: 

Lowville 99 MillTown 92 

Mt. Hickory Ironworks 137 East Springfield 102 

Miles Grove 448 SwanviUe 98 

Wellsburg 366 West Girard 135 


The true boundary line between Erie and Crawford Counties was long a 
subject of dispute. To settle the question, the Legislature passed an act at 
the session of 1849-50, providing for three Commissioners to run a new line, 
who were given full power to act, and whose decision should be final. In 
1850, Humphrey A. Hills, then of Albion, was appointed Commissioner for 
Erie County; Aidrew Ryan was appointed for Crawford, and they two named 
H. P. Kinnear, of Warren, as the third member. Wilson King was chosen 
Surveyor on the part of Erie, and Mr. Jagger on that of Crawford, but David 
Wilson, as deputy for Mr. King, did most of the work. The party had some 
difficulty in finding a starting point, but after this was agreed upon, it only 
took about six weeks to complete their task. A perfectly straight line was 
run from east to west, and marked by stones set two miles apart. The Com- 
mission added a long, narrow strip of territory to Erie County, which is 
usually outlined upon the county and township maps. A number of persons 
found themselves in Erie who had supposed they were citizens of Crawford, 
and a less number in Crawford who had imagined they belonged to Erie. A 
Mr. Reeder, of Washington Township, had been so anxious to be a resident of 
Erie County, that he left his original house and moved into a new one 
which he supposed to be at a safe distance from the boundary. When the 
final line was run, the second building was found to be in Crawford, and he 
was compelled to erect a third one in order to secure the desired residence. 

(A) South Erie incorporated as a borough in 1866, and a^ded to Erie in 1870, when another slice was taken 
from the township. By tne census of 1880, East Mill Creek contained a population of 1,206 and West Mill Creek 
of 2,069. 

(t) North East Borough incorporated in 1834, 

(j) A portion of Girard taken off in 1832, and of Conneaut added in 1835. 

(*) Amity taken off in 1826. Union Borough in 1863. 

(/) Wattsburg incorporated in 1834. 

(m) Waterford Borough incorporated in 1833. A part of Summit taken off in 1854. 

in) Known as Conneauttee till 1334. Edinboro incorporated in 1840. A portion of Franklin cut off in 

(o) A slice cut off to form Corry Borough in 1863, and another in the creation of Corry City in 1866. 



The population by race in Brie County: 

White— In 1860, 49,251; in 1870, 65,584; in 1880, 74,345. 

Colored— In 1860, 181; in 1870, 389; in 1880, 332. Of the number in 
1880, 222 were in Erie City. 

Chinese— In 1880, 2; all in Erie City. 

The population of Erie County by nativity: 

Native— 40,758 in 1860; 52,699 in 1870; 61,543 in 1880. 

Foreign— 8,674 in 1860; 13,274 in 1870; 13,145 in 1880. 

The population of Brie and Corry, by nativity, with number of dwellings 
and families in Erie in 1880: 

Erie— 1870, 12,718 native, 6,298 foreign; 1880, 20,031 native, 7,706 
foreign; dwellings, 4,903; persons to a dwelling, 5.66; number of families, 
5,294; persons to a family, 5.24. 

Corry— 1870, 5,080 native, 1,729 foreign; 1880, 4,250 native, 1,012 

The places of birth of the inhabitants of Brie County in 1880: 

Native born — Pennsylvania, 47,446; New York, 9,260; New Jersey, 170; 
Maryland, 102; Ohio, 1,645; Virginia, 93. 

Foreign born — British America, 1,436; England and Wales, 1,257; Ire- 
land, 3,403; Scotland, 263; German Empire, 5,831; France, 144; Sweden and 
Norway, 123. 

The sex and age of the inhabitants of Erie County in 1880 : 

Males, 37,303; females, 37,295. 

Five to seventeen inclusive — Males, 10,947; females, 10,654. 

Males twenty -one and over — 19,779. 

The farm areas and values in Erie County in 1880: 

Farms, 5,579; improved land, 301,669 acres; value of farms, including 
fences and buildings, $21,613,613; value of farming implements and machin- 
ery, $941,725; value of live stock on farms, $2,209,900; cost of building and 
repairing fences in 1879, $88,398; cost of fertilizers purchased in 1879, 
$52,002; estimated value of all farm products in 1879, $3,028,260. 

The principal vegetable productions of Erie County in 1880: 

Barley, 195,646 bushels; buckwheat, 52,955 bushels; Indian corn, 713,749 
bushels; oats, 657.179 bushels; rye, 4,876 bushels; wheat, 256,224 bushels; 
value of orchard products, $125,550; hay, 100,195 tons; hops, 3,048 pounds; 
common potatoes, 502,400 bushels; sweet potatoes, 954 bushels; tobacco 
2,730 pounds. 

The live stock on farms, and dairy products and wool products, i n Erie County 
in 1880: 

Live stock— horses, 13,160; mules and asses, 124; working oxen, 815; 
milch cows, 25,425; other cattle, 28,497; sheep, exclusive of spring lambs, 
33,411; swine, 18,324. 

Dairy products— Milk, 1,893,631 gallons; butter, 2,201,141 pounds; cheese, 
72,796 pounds. 

Wool— 158, 116 pounds. 

The following are the manufacturing statistics of Erie County in 1880: 

Establishments, 559; capital, $6,424,413; average number of hands em- 
ployed: males above sixteen years, 4,554; females above fifteen years, 257; 
children and youth, 397; amount paid in wages during the year, $1,869,466; 
materials, $6,646,427; products, $10,463,906. 



Physical GEoaEAPHY. 

THE surface of Erie County is divided into five distinct sections, viz. : The 
Lake Shore plain, the series of dividing ridges, the valleys between the 
ridges, the valleys of French Creek and its tributaries and the high lands 
south of the last-named stream. 

Four spparaie ranges of hills extend across the county from east to vs^est, 
known respectively as the First, Second, Third and Fourth Ridges. The First 
Eidge rises to a height of 100 to 150 feet above Lake Erie, the Second to 
about 400, and the height of the Third and Fourth Kidges varies from 600 
to 1, 200 feet, their most elevated summits being in the eastern portion of Mo- 
Kean, the western portion of "Water ford, the northern portion of Venango and 
the southern part of Greenfield. The separation of the ridges becomes more 
clearly defined along a line drawn through Harbor Creek, Mill Creek, Sum- 
mit, Waterford and McKean Townships than further east, but from there 
westward each ridge is as distinct as though it belonged to a system of its 
own. As the Third and Fourth Ridges extend westward they recede from the 
lake, until they run into Crawford County. 

Three continuous valleys cross the county between the ridges, from the 
line above mentioned, broken in places by slight elevations, and known in 
succession as the Mill Creek, the Walnut Creek and the Elk Creek 
Valleys. These streams rise on the high ground of the 'Third and Fourth 
Ridges, and, after flowing westward for some distance down their respect- 
ive valleys, suddenly turn to the north and break through the First and 
Second Ridges by a series of deep "gulfs" or gullies, which are a striking 
feature of the region. North of the First Ridge and between it and Lake 
Erie is a broad alluvial tract, from two to three miles in width, which extends ' 
along the whole water front of the county. Its general height above the lake 
is from fifty to sixty feet, but in the eastern part of Harbor Creek Township 
its elevation suddenly rises to nearly 100 feet and so continues almost to the 
New York line. 

South of the dividing ridges are the valleys of French Creek and of the 
streams which empty into it, and still beyond are the hills which form the 
water-shed between that stream and Brokenstraw, Spring and Oil Creeks. 
The water on the north side of the main ridge flows into Lake Erie and on the 
pouth side to the Allegheny River. The dividing line between the waters is 
some eight miles south of Lake Erie in Greenfield and Greene Townships, 
twelve mile, in Summit, fourteen in Waterford, McKean and Washington, and 
sixteen in Franklin and Elk Creek. Along French, Walnut^ Elk, Conneaut, 
Mill, Big Conneauttee, Little Conneauttee and LeBoeuf Creeks, Hatch Hol- 
low Alder Run, Beaver Dam Run and the outlet of Lake Pleasant are very 
handsome valleys, from a quarter of amile to more than a mile in width. 
The elevation between the Walnut Creek Valley and that of the West Branch 
of LeBoeuf Creek, both rising in Summit Township, is quite low; so moderate, 
indeed, that it is barely noticeable. The sides and summits of the ridges are 
much cut up with ravines, though considerable stretches of country are as level 
as the valleys. 


The Pennsylvania State Geological Eeport gives the following as the 
elevation above tide-water of the points named: Surface of Lake Erie, ol6j\ 
feet, Philadelphia & Erie Eailroad summit between Walnut and LeBoeuf 
Creeks, 1,229; hill-tops on each side of the same summit, 1,355; hill-tops m 
western Waterford and eastern McKean, 1,470; Philadelphia & Erie Bail- 
road station at Union City, 1,270; hill-tops southwest of Union City, 1,301; 
railroad station at Corry, 1,431; hill-tops east of Corry, 1,500; hill-tops south 
of Corry, 1,725; hill-tops along the Little Conneauttee, 1,196; hill- tops south- 
west of Bdinboro, 1,400. 

Jutting out from the mainland, in Mill Creek Township, is the penninsula 
of Presque Isle, which forms the bay of Presque Isle, the harbor of the city of 
Erie. It is a low sand bank, washed up by the action of the -waves, some sev- 
en miles in length, and varying in width from a few rods to a mile and a 
half. Except at its head and foot, it is covered with trees and shrubs of al- 
most every variety that grows in this latitude. The peninsula is indented 
with several shallow ponds, one or two of which run half way across Long 
Point. A peninsula of similar character, but much longer and wider, juts out 
from the Canada Shore opposite, making the space between the narrowest por- 
tion of Lake Erie. 


The Lake Shore Plain has in general a sandy soil, while immediately south 
of it, along the First Ridge, is a wide and continuous strip of gravel. The 
valleys between the ridges are a mixture of clay and sand, making a mellow 
soil that is easy to work On the high lands and slopes of the ridges, the soil 
is mostly of a clayey nature, somewhat damp and cold. That of the valleys of 
the French Creek system is a rich alluvial deposit corresponding in character 
to bottom lands the country over. 

The lands which are generally regarded as the best in the county for farm- 
ing purposes are those bordering upon Lake Erie. This favored section 
produces every kind of grain, fruit, vegetable, etc. , common to the temperate 
regions. The lake tempers the climate so that it is less troubled by frosts 
than regions many miles south, and as fine melons, grapes, peaches, strawber- 
ries, etc., are raised as in any part of the State. A belt of swamp land about 
half a mile wide originally extended along the Lake Shore Plain, in an east and 
west direction, from Twelve Mile Creek to the Ohio boundary. Most of this 
has been drained, and is now fertile land. East of Mill Creek, on the line of 
the swamp, the rock comes nearer to the surface than west, and the results 
have been less gratifying. 

The valleys of the French Creek system are equally fertile, perhaps, but 
are subject to frosts, which prevent the successful culture of the more delicate 
fruits. On the high lands the frosts are less troublesome, but the nature of 
the soil adapts them best for grazing. Fruits of most kinds do better than in 
the valleys, but wheat, except in detached spots, does not succeed as well, and 
some of the more elevated townships do not raise enough of that grain to sup- 
ply them with bread. Off of the lake shore the attention of the farmers is 
mainly given to dairying, which may be said to be the leading industry of the 
county. Aside from wheat, every other kind of grain does well in all sections. 
That grain has of late years, however, been grown with considerable success 
in various portions of the county south of the lake shore, and it is possible 
that in time it will be generally cultivated. The apple crop is everywhere 
sure and prolific. Large quantities of this fruit and of potatoes are annually 
shipped to the Southern and Eastern markets. A good deal of hay is baled in 


tJ'Cn^ -^, ic/^i'VoeXX' 


the southern townships and shipped by rail. Hundreds of tons of butter are 
sent from the county to the large cities, where the Erie County make ranks 
with the best. Within the last ten years, cheese factories have been started in 
almost every township, which manufacture irmnense quantities of that product. 
The price of land differs very much, according to its location. Along the 
lake shore, speaking only of farms that are outside the influence of the 
towns, very little land can be purchased for less than $75 an acre, and its 
value runs from that to 1200. On the bottoms of French Creek and its tribu- 
taries, the price is from $50 to $100. The high lands are estimated to be worth 
as low as |25 and as high as $75. In a few choice spots, the value of the latter 
is little less than that of the valley lands, but, as a rule, they bring a lower 
price. The highest priced farming lands are in the vicinity of Erie, Girard, 
North East, Fairview and Waterford, and the lowest priced are in Greenfield, 
Elk Creek, Franklin and Wayne. 


The climate is more moderate than would be thought from the high northern 
latitude. The county lies within the same isothermal lines as Philadelphia 
and Eastern Pennsylvania generally, but, while the average temperature corre- 
sponds with that section, there is less sultry weather in summer and more 
piercing wind in winter and spring. This is due to the proximity of Lake 
Erie, which has a wonderful effect upon the atmosphere. To the same influ- 
ence is due the fact that the seasons are from one to two weeks earlier on the 
lake shore than they are in the southern part of the county, and that peaches, 
melons and grapes grow suecesafuUy in the first section, while they are almost 
a total failure in the other. It sometimes happens that good sleighing prevails 
in the southern townships when the ground is bare along the lake. In the 
spring, especially if ice is on Lake Erie, the winds are somewhat trying to 
those who are not acclimated, but this brief period of unpleasant weather is 
more than recompensed by the delightful summers, the freedom from fogs and 
miasma, and the parity of the water. On the south side of the dividing 
ridge frosts are frequent in the late spring and early fall, but nothing of the 
kind is known along Lake Erie, except at the seasonable period of the year. 
The winters and summers are about of equal length, but it is seldom that 
either are extreme or unendurable. For at least six months in the year, the 
county is as delightful a place of residence as the most fastidious could desire. 

A peculiarity of the county is the scarcity of stone, of which barely 
enough is found for ordinary home use. The entire lake front is under- 
laid to a height of four to seven feet above the water's edge with a body 
of soft slate, which is practically valueless for building purposes. The only 
quarries of much account are in Franklin, Le Bcsuf, Summit and Waterford 
Townships, and these do not consist of vast masses of rock, but are merely 
thin layers, oae above the other, ranging from five to twenty feet in total thick- 
ness. The stone is hard, of good quality and easily worked, but is saturated 
with oil, which causes it to blemish after exposure. Small quarries are found 
in Fairview, Washington, Amity, Venango, McKean and Union, but are rarely 
worked to advantage. There is little surface stone, and the most that is found 
consists of bowlders that have been thrown up by some convulsion of nature. 

When the county was first opened to settlement it was covered with a dense 
forest, consisting mainly of pine, hemlock, chestnut, walnut, cucumber, beech 
and maple. Perhaps two-thirds of the land has been cleared, and but little 
good timber is left. The pine and hemlock of the French Creek Valley were 
largely rafted to Pittsburgh. That of the lake shore was shipped to Cleve- 


land, Buffalo and the New York markets. The county does not furnish build- 
ing material enough now for home use, and at the rate the forests are disap- 
pearing it will not be long until there will be barely sufficient for ordinary 
farm purposes. 


No minerals of any kind have ever been found in the county, except small 
deposits of iron, of the grade known as bog ore, in Mill Creek and Elk Greek 
Townships, and a few unimportant beds of marl in "Waterford, Wayne and Le 
Bceuf. None of these are extensive enough to be considered worth working 
at present, though the iron ore was used to a slight extent during the early 
history of the stove manufacture. 

Mineral springs, the waters of which are of a medicinal character, have 
been discovered in different localities. One in Elk Creek Township has con- 
siderable reputation and is much visited. Another in Erie, near the corner of 
Eighth and Chestnut streets, was once quite widely known. 

Before the days of canals and railroads, a number of salt wells were put 
down at various points, and the manufacture of salt was carried on to a con- 
siderable extent. The most valuable of these were along the East Branch of 
Conneaut Creek, near Wellsburg. A salt spring still flows in Springfield, and 
salt licks prevailed in almost every township. 

A great many test wells for oil have been bored, nearly every section hav- 
ing had from three to half a dozen experiments of that character. With 
scarcely an exception, a small yield of oil has resulted, but not enough to en- 
courage the belief that it will be found in paying quantities. The most prom- 
ising territory is in Union. Franklin and along Mill Creek, in Erie City. 
The Althof well in Erie produced oil enough for many years to warrant the 
expense of pumping. The oil that has been got in the county is of the heavy 
kind used for lubricating purposes. Natural gas is found almost everywhere 
by boring. The wells put down for oil have invariably yielded gas in a heavy 
volume, and in Erie it has been used in a number of instances for light and 
fuel. In the course of time, the gas diminishes and the wells lose their value. 

Several extensive sink holes have been encountered, the best known of 
which is on the line of the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad, near Waterford. 
They undoubtedly mark the beds of small lakes. 

The most interesting natural curiosities are the " gulfs," or gullies, of the 
lake shore creeks, and the " Devil's Backbone" in Girard Township. Winter- 
green Gulf, in Harbor Creek Township, five miles southeast of Erie, and the 
gulf of Six Mile ("reek, near the CJark settlement, in Harbor Creek Township, 
are the most interesting of the gullies. The first of these has become a pop- 
ular picnic resort. The views from the ridges overlooking Lake Erie are very 
fine at some points, especially about sunset. 

Tamarack Swamp, in the northeast part of Waterford and the eastern part 
of McKean Townships, is about two miles long by 100 rods wide. Its waters 
flow into Le BcBuf Creek. Portions of the swamp have been drained, leaving 
a rich, black mold that is very productive. 




THE geological formatious are comprised within the Devonian period, and in- 
clude in the nomenclature of the State geological report, in dencending order, 
Cony and Cussewago Sandstone, Venango Oil Sand Group, Chemung forma- 
tion, Girard shales and Portage flags. The age of the upper strata has not 
been definitely determined. The Corry and Cussewago beds belong either to 
the Po<;ono, No. X, or Catskill, No. IX, formation, and the Venango Group is 
by different geologists ascribed to both Catskill and Chemung ages. 

Topography. — The mean level of Lake Erie above the ocean in New York 
Harbor is 573 ^ feet. Facing the lake, a steep terrace of sand and clay, from 
50 to 100 feet high, rises, and through this terrace break three or four fair sized 
streams and numerous smaller ones, descending a slope which extends upward 
from the lake terrace to a line which, may be drawn from the northeast corner 
of Greenfield Township, through Greenfield, Greene, Summit, McKean and 
Franklin. The slope is high and short at the New York line, hence the lake 
streams in the east part of the county are short and rapid. Along the Ohio 
line, the slope is long and low, and the streams here are larger. "Walnut 
Creek heads only eight miles from the lake shore, but is fifteen miles in 
length. Elk Creek is thirty miles long, yet its head is only ten miles 
back from the shore. Conneaut Creek runs twenty-six miles in Pennsylvania, 
then crosses into Ohio. The course of all these streams is the same, tirst 
down the upper part of the slope toward the lake, then westward in a deep 
gully parallel to the lake, then out through a ravine straight to the lake shore. 

South of the divide, French Creek is the largest stream in Erie County. 
The valleys are flat, one or two miles wide, and are bordered by low and 
gently rounded hill slopes, separated by low, flat table-lands. Swamps occur 
along the South Branch of French Creek, and Tamarack Swamp stretches across 
the water-shed of the divide, on the highest land of the Waterford (McKean) 
Township line; elsewhere in Erie County, swamps are rare. Several lakes are 
found in the low valleys. 

Drift Period. — There is little land in the county that has not been affected 
by the great ice-sheet which in glacial times moved southeastward over the 
entire county, except possibly the hilltops which rise 1,200 feet above the level 
of the lake; in them no erratic bowlders have been observed. While the ice 
wa*s smoothing down the lower flat country of the western townships, it was 
operating through the deep and narrow vales of the eastern ones, leaving the 
high hill-tops comparatively untouched. The character of drift deposits can 
be studied along the shore of Lake Erie toward the Ohio line, where they 
constitute a terrace bluff fifty to eighty feet high, out of which the waves are 
constantly removing the clay and fine sand, leaving the coarse sand, pebbles 
and bowlders to be daily rounded and polished on the beach. The matrix is a 
bluish-white tough clay, imbedding fragments, mostly angular, of all kinds of 
crystalline rocks, with sandstone, shale, black slate and limestone, and occa- 
sionally a large bowlder of granite or gneiss. Quicksand is abundant in the 
drift deposits of the townships back from the lake. 

Buried Valleys. — Scarcely a stream of any considerable size in Erie 


County flows over a rock bed except those which cut deep ravines in the lake 
slope The present water-coui-ses meander along the upper surfaces of drift 
deposits, which fill up the ancient valleys to various heights above the old rock 
beds, even in some places where no living stream now flows. Bed rocks are 
seen along French Creek at Union, Mill Village, Le Boeuf and elsewhere, but 
the flood plain being two miles wide, there is ample space for a buried valley 
between the two wall slopes. v -u i 

The most remarkable of these buried valleys are those through whicii two 
streams now flow in opposite directions from a common divide scarcely more 
elevated than other parts of the flood plain. 

These ancient valleys were excavated, first, either by ancient rivers flowing 
from 100 to 400 feet below the present floors; or, second, by the great south- 
ward moving Canadian ice sheet, which as it retreated filled them up again 
with debris; or, third, they were first excavated by pre-glaoial rivers, then 
deepened and widened by the moving ice and filled with its moraine to the 
present level. J. C. White, who made the geological survey of Erie County, 
ascribes the buried water ways to the plowing power of ice. The State Geol- 
ogist, Prof. J. P. Lesley, takes exceptions to this view, and assigns the val- 
leys to ancient rivers draining Northwestern Pennsylvania toward Lake Erie. 
Recent discoveries confirm this latter opinion. Prof. Spencer, cif King's Col- 
lege, Windsor, Nova Scotia, has shown that a submerged valley bed crosses Lake 
Erie transversely, entering the present lake basin from the north, and by a 
bend northward and extending beneath the present drift filled water bed of 
Grand Eiver, Upper Canada, then passing eastward into the head_ of Lake 
Ontario. Into this river channel, before the basin of the lake was filled, the 
Allegheny, French Creek, Mahoning and other streams doubtless poured their 
waters. Then came the glacial winter, and a thousand feet of snow and ice 
from the Laurentian Mountains moved slowly southward, filled the channel of 
this ancient river, damming back its waters and converting the forest -covered 
plain into an inland sea, banking itself against the Pennsylvania upland, and 
sending long glaciers across the country. By the melting of these glacier.s, 
the valleys were filled with debris and a new topography formed. Lake Erie 
and the upper lakes were formed; the direction of Pennsylvania and Ohio 
rivers was reversed to the south. The pent-up waters of the inland sea found 
new outlets. The waters were lowered from terrace to terrace, and Niagara 
River was rapidly cut back till the present lake level was reached. 

Terraces. — Along Lake Erie, there are many fragmentary remains of old 
terraces, marking ancient higher levels of the lake surface. From the top of 
the blufif east of the Ohio line the land slopes up regularly and very gently, 
covered with a continuous beach sand and shore shingle to 225 feet above the 
present lake level. This sloping plain east of Erie, near Belle Valley, Ipe- 
comes a continuous flat at an elevation of 425 feet above the lake, covered in 
places with beach sand, etc. On the irregular escarpment of higher land, 
which rises from this flat on the south, no shore deposits were found. In Har- 
bor Creek and western northwest townships, is the nearest approach to a series 
of terraces; three miles back from the lake, at 577 feet elevation, is a wide 
level, destitute of beach deposits; an abrupt descent to about 500 feet eleva- 
tion reaches to the remnant of a terrace, covered with beach sand and shingle; 
then follows a rapid descent, wholly destitute of beach deposits to 300 feet 
elevation, to a broad sloping plain, covered with beach sand, etc. At the 
northern edge of this plain, 220 feet above the lake, is a genuine terrace of 
beach sand forty feet high, from the foot of which a plain one mile wide ex- 
tends to the top of the bluff, 170 feet high, which descends steeply to the 
water's edore. 


Dip of the Rocks. — Everywhere throughout Erie County the strata appear 
to be horizontal, but in reality they possess a slight dip southward and west- 
ward. Along the Corry meridian it is twenty-five feet per mile; from Erie to 
the Ohio Eiver, it is twenty feet per mile, and farther west it is slighter. The 
dip westward along the parallel of Wattsburg is eleven feet per mile, and 
along the southern line of the county seven feet per mile. Two miles south 
of Middleboro, there is a slight northward fall of the rocks. Manyf other 
slight variations and undulations may exist, but if so they have not been 

The Shenango Group.— This group probably representing the Pocono form- 
ation, No. X, is the highest geological strata found in Erie County. The She- 
nango Shale deposit generally consists of bine, gray and brown clay-shales and 
in Crawford County varies from thirty-six to sixty feet in thickness; if found 
in Erie County at all, its bottom layers are left on the highest hill-tops. The 
Shenango sandstone, immediately below the shale, is from fifteen to thirty-five 
feet thick in Crawford County, and in Erie County caps two or three isolated 
knobs in Concord Township. 

The Meadville Group, immediately below, and with the Shenango corre- 
sponding to the Cuyahoga Shales of Ohio, in Crawford County, consists of 
Meadville Upper Shales, Meadville Upper Limestone, Meadville Lower Shales, 
Sharpsville tipper Sandstone, Meadville Lower Limestone, Sharpsville Lower 
Sandstone and Orangeville Shales. In Erie County they have scarcely an 
existence. The Sharpsville Upper Sandstone crops out in the east end of the 
county in a few isolated knobs. 

The Oil Lake Group, a part of Pocono Sandstone, No. X, and supposed by 
Mr. White to be identical with the Berea grit of Ohio, includes the Corry and 
the Cussewago Sandstones and the Oussewago Limestone and Shale. The 
Corry Sandstone is found in a few of the highest hills in the southern parts of 
Concord, Union and LeBoeuf Townships. One mile south of Corry, about 
300 feet above the city, and 1, 160 feet above Lake Erie, are two quarries. Only 
eight feet of the sandstone have escaped erosion, and four feet are so shattered 
that the lower four feet only can be used. The Cussewago Limestone is 
exposed in D. Matterson's ravine, near the center of Concord Township, where 
it is a foot thick. 

Beneath the Cussewago sandstone and down to the Venango group, a dis- 
tance of about eighty feet, occurs a series of very fossiliferous drab, bluish and 
gray sandy shales, sometimes shaly sandstone, called the Eiceville Shale. 

The Venango Oil Sand Group includes the most important strata of Erie 
County. It varies in thickness from 250 to 350 feet, and crops out over most 
of the surface south of the great divide. In the counties farther south, it is 
this group buried far beneath the surface that yields petroleum. The First, 
Second and Third Oil Sands there correspond with the Venango Upper, Middle 

and Lower Sandstones. 

Venango Upper Sandstone.— A coarse BsnAstone is the only reservoir of 

free petroleum, and a loose gravelly sandstone the only kind from which an oil 
producer expects a free flow in large quantities. The Upper and Middle 
Venango sands of Erie County are in the form of compact, fine grained, 
muddy flagstones, and consequently contain little or no oil. The Venango 
Upper Sandstone lies high up the hills and the flags are often grayish- white. 
Two miles west of Edinboro, at Anderson's quarry, they are bluish- white, 
smelling of petroleum. AtBussell's quarry, just north of Corry, a bluish- 
white sandstone lies at 1,070 feet elevation above the lake, the seams and 
crevices of which hold petroleum. Underlying the Upper sand are pale blue 
shales, 90 to 100 feet thick, containing fossil shells of the Chemung type. 


The Venango Middle Sandstone makes little show in Erie County, _ being 
merely marked by a greater number of sandy shales or flagstone layers in the 
mass of softer shales. At Harry Comer's' quarry, however, in Washington 
Township, are exposed twelve feet of bluish- white sandstone, smelling strongly 
of petroleum. In the Maynard's Eun bluffs, Amity Township, the same flags 
crop out 125 feet above the Le Boeuf Conglomerate. (Venango Lower Sand- 
etoQe.) In the interval of from 100 to 125 feet between the Venango Middle 
and Lower Sandstones lie blue, gray and brown shales, very fossiliferous. 

Venango Lower Sandstone. — This i^amous " Third Sand" of the old oil 
regions outcrops on the great divide, and may also be seen in French and Le- 
Bceuf O'-eek Valleys at the head of Elk Creek and Black Run and along 
Conneaut Greek, four miles above and below Spring Post Office. Its exposures 
always show it charged with petroleum, even where it is a sand and not a 
gravel rock. Its lower layers yield excellent building stone nearly everywhere, 
and it is the principal quarry rock of Erie Couaty. There is often a division 
into an upper gravel or pebble rock and a lower sandstone. Petroleum per- 
vades both, but there is more in the gravel rock Among the quarries where 
it is taken out for building purposes are the Carroll quarries, Le Boeuf Town- 
ship; Doolittle's quarry, Amity Township; Allen's quarrj-, two and one-half 
miles from Doolittle's; Reynolds' quarry. Summit Township; Howard's quarry, 
Franklin Township, and Goodman's^ northeast from Howard's. 

Its frequent exhibitions of petroleum with the numerous oil springs along 
its outcrop through Erie County have been a fruitful source of vain hope to 
explorers. Little supposing that the show came from the outcrop itself, 
and had nothing to do with the under rocks, explorers have drilled in almost 
every township to depths varying from 100 to 1,800 feet. Probably a half 
million dollars have been thus wasted in Erie County, sunk through measures 
underlying the exposed third oil sand, which the drillers were seeking far be- 
low. The whole petroleum deposit in Erie seems now to be practically voided, 
but a residuum of oil, lowered in gravity and partly oxidized, still remains, 
sufficient in places to unfit the stone for building purposes. 

Below the Venango group are found 325 feet of typical Chemung strata, 
alternate groups of shale and sandstone, fossiliferous, with a thin limestone 
layer at the bottom. Some tolerably massive sandstone layers occur in the up- 
per part of the series, but no pebbles, nothing coarser than sand grains, have 
been noticed. It outcrops along the Lake Erie slope, and the top layers are 
exposed also in the valley of French Creek. 

Beneath this is the Girard shale, a transition series between Chemung and 
Portage, a successioQ of ashen gray and bluish shales, with only an occasional 
sandy stratum. It is without fos.'iils, except fucoids, and has a thickness of 
about 225 feet. It forms the drift-covered rock surface of Western Erie 
County facing the lake, and is finely exposed in every ravine which descends 
northward from the great divide, but especially along Elk Creek, above Gi- 
rard. Seen from a distance, its bluff slopes look remarkably like the bowlder 
clay of the drift and sometimes like vast banks of gray coal ashes. Its base 
or lowest layer is at lake level at Raccoon Creek, near the Ohio line, and 475 
feet above lake level at the New York line. 

The Portage Flags, the lowest strata of Erie Couuty, consist of alternate 
layers of gray shale and thin layers of hard sandstone with no fossils except 
fucoids. The top layers rise from the water's edge two miles from the Ohio 
line, and slope up along the lake front until at the New York line they reach 
an elevation of 475 feet. Petroleum and gas issue from some of the thin sand 
layers. Collections of condensed gas undoubtedly exist, and in quarries not in- 


frequently cause explosions. The gas and oil wells of Erie varv in depth 
from 450 to 1,200 feet. 

The following is a list of barometric elevations above Lake Erie of various 
points throughout the county: 

Feet. Feet 

Corry (depot) 854 Cross Roads at Cranesville 382 

Union City (P. &. E. depot) 728 Girard Junction (E. & P. R. R.) 124 

North East(L. S. & M. R. R.) 231 Crosses (E. & P. R. R.) 192 

Moorheads (L. S. & M. R. R) 195 Albion (E. & P. R. R.) 284 

Harbor Creek (L. S. & M. R. R.) 157 Belle Valley (Phila. &. E. R. R.) 434 

"Wesleyville (L. S. & M. R. R.) 124 Langdon's (Phila. & E. R. R.) 562 

Erie(L. S. & M. R. R.) 113 Jackson's (Phila. & E. R. R.) 657 

Swanville (L. S. & M. R. R.) 152 Waterford (Phila. & E. R. R.) 630 

Fairview(L. S. & M. R. R.) 163 Le Boeuf (Phila. & E. R. R.) 644 

Girard (L. S. & M. R. R.) 144 Lovell'a (Phila. & E. R. R.) 791 

Springfield (L. S. & M. R. R.) 90 Cedar Ridge, Concord Township 1385 

Concord Station (N. Y.,P. & O. R. R.)..788 Greenfield P. 852 

■Union City (N. T.,P. & O. R. R) 738 Wattsburg 752 

Mill Village Station(N. Y.,P. & O. R. R.)643 Cross Roads at Middleboro 497 

Beaver Dam 862 Franklin P. 667 

Eagle Hotel, Waterford 612 


Streams, Lakes, Bays, Bridges and Culverts. 

THOUGH one of the best-watered sections of the State, Erie County has no 
rivers and few streams of importance. A large number of creeks and runs 
have their origin on the dividing ridges, and course through the county in all 
directions, so that almost every farm has its running water, but only three or 
four are of sufficient size to be given a place on the general map of the com- 
monwealth. The dividing ridges separate the water system of the county into 
two distinct divisions, which may be classed for the present purpose into the 
Northern and Southern. All of the streams which form on the north side of 
the main ridge flow into Lake Erie, and thence, through Niagara River, Lake 
Ontario and the St. Lawrence, to the Atlantic Ocean. Those on the south side 
invariably unite with the Allegheny Eiver, which in turn pours its waters into 
the Ohio, the Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico. Of the southern streams 
the most important is French Creek, the common receptacle of all the rest, 
with the exception of the Brokenstraw, which flows through a corner of Wayne 
Township, and the head-waters of Spring Creek and Oil Creek, which have 
their sources, the former in Concord and the latter in that and Union Town- 
ship. The principal tributaries of French Creek, within the county, are the 
South Branch, the Outlet of Lake Pleasant and Le Bceuf Creek. The Con- 
neauttee, which rises in Franklin Township, and the Cussewago, the sources 
of which are both in that township and Elk Creek, join the same stream in 
Crawford County. 

Of the lake shore streams, the leading ones are as follows: Conneaut, 
Crooked, Elk, Trout, "Walnut, Mill, Four Mile, Six Mile, Twelve Mile, Sixteen 
Mile and Twenty Mile, the five last mentioned being named according to their 
distance from Erie city. The smaller streams which empty directly into Lake 
Erie, are Raccoon and Turkey Runs, in- Springfield Township; Fort Run, in 
Fairview Township; Danford Run, the Head Run, and One, Two and Three 


Mile Creeks, in Mill Creek Townsliip; Cascade and Garrison Euns in Erie 
City; Five Mile Creek, Elliott's Eun and Scott's Eun, in Harbor Creek Town- 
ship; Spring, Spafiord and Averill Euns, in North East Township; and sev- 
eral rivulets, the titles of which are variously given. 


The tributaries of the above streams are as follows, the terminus of each 
being in the township indicated: 

French Creek — In Greenfield Township, a number of creeks and runs; in 
Venango Township, Middlebrook Alder Eun and Fritts Eun of the West 
Branch, and Spafford Eun of the East Branch; in Amity Township (East and 
"West Branches unite), the Outlet of Lake Pleasant, Jones' Brook, Henry 
Brook, the Hubbell Alder Run, Deerlick Eun, the Hatch Hollow Alder Eun and 
Duncombe Eun; in Waterford Township, Davis Eun; in LeBoeuf Township, 
the South Branch, LeBoeuf Creek, Trout Brook, Colt Eun, Mill Eun, Mora- 
vian Eun, Gill Brook and Mallory Eun. 

Le Boeuf Creek. — In Waterford Township, the West Branch, Boyd Eun, 
Trout Eun and Benson Eun. (Boyd and Trout Euns empty into Lake Le- 
Boeuf, which is really no more than an expansion of the creek). 

The South Branch of French Creek.— In Concord Township, Scotch Eun, 
Spring Brook, Lilly Eun, Beaver Dam Eun, Spencer Eun, Baskin Eun and 
Slaughter Eun; in Union Township, Scotchman's, Wilson, Mulvin, Carroll, 
Pine, Tolbert and Benson Euns. 

Conneaut Creek. — In Conneaut Township, the East Branch, the West 
Branch and Marsh Eun. The tributaries of the East Branch are Frazier's 
Eun in Elk Creek Township, and Crane and Jackson Euns in Conneaut 

Elk Creek. — In McKean Township, the South Branch; in Fairview Town- 
ship, Fall Eun and Little Elk; in Girard Township, the West Branch, Hall's 
Eun, Brandy Eun and Spring Ean. 

Walnut Creek. — In Mill Creek Township, McNair and Nece Euns ; in Fair- 
view Township, Bear and Beaver Dam Euns. 

Mill Creek. — In Mill Creek Township, Bladen's Eun. 

Four Mile Creek. — In Harbor Creek Township, McConnell Eun. 

Sixteen Mile Creek. — In Northeast Township, the Borough Branch. 

Hare Creek, the only tributary of the Brokenstraw flowing from the county, 
joins that stream in Warren County, below Corry. Its chief inlets are Bear 
Creek and Scioto Eun. 

The Conneauttee is joined by the Little Conneauttee a short distance across 
the line, in Crawford County, and by Pratt and Herbert Creeks in Washing- 
ton Township. 


Most of the cities, towns, villages and important settlements are looatfid 
upon these streams, having originated in numerous cases in consequence of 
the early establishment of mills. Mill Creek, Cascade and Garrison Euns flow 
through the city of Erie, and Hare Creek with two of its branches, through the 
city of Corry. Belle Valley is located along the banks of Mill Creek; Wes- 
leyville on Four Mile Creek; Harbor Creek Village on Elliott's Eun; Moor- 
headville on Twelve Mile Creek; North East and Preeport on Sixteen Mile 
Creek; East Springfield on a branch of Crooked Creek; West Springfield on 
Turkey Eun; Greenfield Village and Lowville on the West Branch of French 
Creek; Wattsburg at the junction of the East and West Branches of the latter 



stream; Mill Town on the outlet of Lake Pleasant; Beaver Dam on the run 
after which it was named; Elgin and Union City on the South Branch of 
French Creek; Mill Village on Mill Run branch of French Creek; Waterford 
on Le Boeuf Creek and Lake; Branchville on the South Branch of Elk Creek; 
Middleboro at the union of the South Branch with the main stream; Bdinboro 
on Conneauttee Lake and Big Conneauttee Creek; McLallen's Corners and 
Draketown on the Little Conneauttee; Albion and Wellsburg on the East 
Branch of the Conneaut, and Keepville on the main stream; CranesviMe on 
Crane Eun; Sterrettania and West Girard on Elk Creek and Girard Borough 
on the eastern bluff overlooking its valley; Lockport on Hall's Run; Kearsage 
and Manchester on Walnut Creek; and Pairview and Avonia on Trout Eun. 

The Erie & Pittsburgh Eailroad, after leaving the lake shore, crosses 
Crooked Creek, into the Conneaut Valley, and follows it into Crawford Coun- 
ty; the Philadelphia & Erie rises from the level of Lake Erie to the Walnut 
Creek Valley, pursues the same to the Le Bceuf Valley, continues down the 
latter, crosses French Creek in Le Boeuf Township, and then runs up the South 
Branch to Corr^' ; the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio follows the route of the 
South Branch to a point near its junction with French Creek, and from there 
keeps close to the banks of the main stream to a point below Meadville; the 
route of the Buifalo, Pittsburgh & Western road is along the head -waters of 
the South Branch in Concord Township. The abandoned Erie Canal entered 
the Elk Creek Valley in Girard Township, passed over the stream by a lofty 
aqueduct, and then followed Hall's Eun and Crane Eun to Conneaut Valley, 
which formed its route into Crawford County. 


The most striking feature of the lake shore streams is the deep channels 
they have cut in their passage from the high ground where they originate to 
the level of Lake Erie. These ravines or "gulfs" attend them all, to some 
extent, but are deepest and most picturesque along Elk Creek, in Girard and 
Fairview Townships, Walnut Creek in Fairview, Four Mile Creek in Harbor 
Creek, Six Mile Creek in the same township, and Sixteen and Twenty Mile 
Creeks in North East. The " gulfs " of Four and Six Mile Creeks, where they 
have worn a course through the First and Second Eidges, are from 100 to 150 
feet deep, and are well worth a visit by those who enjoy novel scenery. In Girard 
Townsihip, at the union of the West Branch with Elk Creek, is the natural 
cariosity known as the "Devil's Backbone," which is yearly visited by many 
seekers after the picturesque. Another feature of the lake shore streams 
deserving of mention is the fact that, while those eastward from Erie City flow 
directly to the lake in a general northwesterly course, those in and west of the 
city, run almost exactly westward until within a short distance of the lake, when 
they suddenly turn to the north and soon after unite with the great current 
which pours over Niagara. This is the more noticeable of Mill Creek, which 
rises in Greene and empties into the lake at Erie; Walnut Creek which also 
rises in Greene, flows across Summit, Mill Creek and Fairview Townships, and 
terminates at Manchester; and Elk Creek, which rises in Waterford, crosses 
McKean, Fairview and Girard Townships, and enters the lake below Miles 
Grove. Conneaut Creek is to some extent an exception to the rule, rising as it 
does in Crawford County, flowing nearly due north through Conneaut Township 
to within a short distance of the Girard line, and then bending abruptly west- 
ward, forming the boundary between that and Springfield Townships, finally 
entering Ohio, and, after a devious course, becoming the harbor of Conneaut 
in that State. The peculiarity here noted is due to the successive hills, making 


up what is known as the Dividing Ridges, each one of which forms a separate 
valley in which it is claimed the water was originally confined until a break 
or gulf was created through which a passage was found to the lake. The 
streams of the northern division have a rapid current and abound in tiny water 
falls, while the flow of those in the southern division is comparatively gentle. 
The latter are usually bordered by narrow strips of flat land, and the scenery, 
though of a pleasing pastoral character, affords little that is novel or inspir- 
ing. French Creek, all three of its branches — the East, West and South — 
and Le Bceuf Creek, were at one period navigable for rafts and flat-boats, and 
before the building of good roads were the chief avenues for bringing goods 
and provisions into the county. There has been no rafting to speak of on the 
branches of French Creek for forty years, while the business on the main stream 
may be said to have suspended about the time of the outbreak of the last war. 
All of the streams in the county were formerly much larger and more re- 
liable. The cutting off of the timber has had an alarming effect in drying 
up the streams, and the seasons of high water which were once of two or three 
weeks' duration now last only a few days. There being no forests to retain the 
rain, the water runs off very rapidly, causing floods that sometimes do conoid- 
erable damage in the southern part of the county. All of the streams were at one 
time full of trout and other fish. 


It is not the purpose of this chapter to describe any of the minor streams, 
an account of which will be given in the township sketches, to which the reader 
who wishes to know more about them is directed. Only those streams will be 
referred to here which possess something of a general interest by reason of 
their relation to two or more townships, or in consequence of their historical 

French Creefc.— This stream — the most important in the county — was 
variously known to the Indians as the Toranadakin and Innungah, the latter 
word having some reference to " a rude and indecent figure carved upon a 
tree," which the Seneca tribe found when they came to this region after having 
conquered the Eriez. The French at first gave it the name of the River Aux 
BcBufs, but changed it to the River Venango, being a corruption of the Indian 
word Innungah. When the Americans occupied the country, they dropped 
both the Indian and French names, and gave the stream the plain appellation 
of French Creek. The main stream is created by the junction of the East 
and West Branches in Amity Township, just south of the borough limits of 
Wattsburg. The East Branch takes its rise in Chautauqua County, ,N. Y., 
near the village of Sh(irman, and the head of the West Branch is usually said 
to be in Findley's Lake, about two miles over the New York line, in the same 
county. The former has a length of more than twenty miles, and flows through 
a corner of Venango Township. The length of the latter is about the same, 
crossing in its course the whole width of Greenfield and Venango. Both 
streams were navigable in the beginning of the centmy for canoes and rafts 
as far north as the New York line, but the erection of dams and the drying 
up of the water made Wattsburg in later years the practical head of navigation. 
After the junction of the East and West Branches, the creek traverses Amity, 
Waterford and Le BcEuf Townships, leaving the county to enter Crawford in 
the last named. It passes through the whole width of Crawford County from 
north to south, nearly in the center of the county, and after watering half of 
Venango County unites with the Allegheny at Franklin. Its length from 
Wattsburg to Franklin cannot be less than a hundred miles, or a hundred and 


t-wenty or twenty-five, measuring from the mouth to the source of either of the 
branches. By the time French Creek joins the Allegheny, it has become a 
good-sized stream, which deserves the title of river better than many that 
figure more prominently upon the maps. It was along the valley of thid creek 
that Washington traveled on his visit to the French at Fort Le Boeuf, and he 
descended the stream in a canoe on his return journey. The last rafting from 
above the mouth of Le Boeuf Creek was done in 1862. 

dutlet of Lake Pleasant. — This stream, as its name indicates, carries off 
the excess of water in Lake Pleasant. It issues from the foot of the lake, in 
Venango Township, and empties into French Cr^ek in Amity, after a course 
of some three miles. 

The South Branch. — The South Branch of French Creek rises in Concord 
Township, flows through that and Union, and unites with the main stream in 
LeBoeuf, a short distance below the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad bridge. It 
has a course of perhaps twenty miles. The valley of the South Branch forms 
the route in part of no less than three railroads, the Philadelphia & Erie, 
the Buffalo, Pittsburgh & Western, and the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio. 

LeBoeuf Creek was known to the French as the river Aux Bceuf s and was at 
first supposed to be the main stream. It was so named from the number of 
cattle discovered by them on the flats near its mouth. The creek is formed 
by two stems, the eastern one of which rises on the Venango Township line, 
and flows across Greene Township, while the western has its source in Summit 
Township, the two coming together on the northern boundary of Waterford 
Township. On the edge of Waterford Borough the creek enters Lake LeBceuf, 
from which it issues somewhat increased in size. It joins French Creek in 
LeBceuf Township. From the head of the East Branch to the mouth of the 
creek, the distance is about twenty miles. The head of navigation was at 
Waterford Borough, just above the lake. 


Conneaut Creek, the second largest in the county, rises south of Con- 
neautville, Crawford County, flows in a general northerly direction through 
Conneaut Township, nearly to the Springfield line, then turns abruptly west- 
ward and continues into Ohio. After changing its course it forms the bound- 
ary line between Conneaut and Springfield. In Ohio it flows nine miles west- 
ward to Kingsville, then makes another sudden bend to the east, and comes 
back eight miles to Conneaut, where it turns again to the north, and, after a 
further course of about a mile, empties into Lake Erie not far from the Penn- 
sylvania line, forming Conneaut Harbor. It is a very crooked stream, the 
length from head to mouth being fully seventy miles, while the distance by an 
air line is not more than twenty-five. More costly bridges cross this creek 
than any other in Erie County. The East Branch of Conneaut Creek rises on 
the northern edge of Crawford County, flows through Elk Creek Towuship, 
and unites with the main stream a mile or so northeast of Albion. In the 
latter borough it is joined by Jackson Creek, which rises on the Elk Creek and 
Conneaut line, near Crawford County. The East Branch is about ten miles 
long and Jackson Creek some five miles. 

Elk Creek rises in Waterford Township and flows in a general westerly 
coarse through McKean, Fairview and Girard Townships to Lake Brie, north of 
Miles Grove. The length of Elk Creek is between twenty -five and thirty miles. 
An effort was made to have the mouth of this stream made the terminus of the 
canal, and various projects have been advocated for establishing a harbor 
there. The name of Elk Creek was given from the number of elk found in its 


valley. Falls Bun starts in Franklin Township and joins Elk Creek in Fair- 
view. Brandy Eun rises in Fairview Township and unites with Elk Creek in 
Girard. The West Branch, which also joins the same stream in ihe latter 
township, rises in Elk Creek Township. They are all small. 

Walnut Creek, so named because its banks were lined with walnut trees, 
rises on the western edge of Greene Township, and flows through Summit, 
Mill Creek and Fairview, entering the lake at Manchester. Its length is 
about fifteen miles. 

Crooked Creek rises in Lockport Borough, and flows through Girard and 
Springfield to Lake Erie, a short distance from North Springfield. It is about 
ten miles long. 

The Head Eun is the small stream that enters Presque Isle bay just above 
the Massassauga pleasure ground. 

Cascade Eun is historical because a portion of Perry's fleet was built at its 
mouth. It falls into the bay at the Pittsburgh docks, in Erie City. 

Mill Creek is formed by two branches, the one rising in the extreme south- 
eastern section of Mill Creek Township, and the other in the northwestern 
part of Greene. They unite near the southeastern line of the first-named 
township, and the stream enters the bay within the city limits of Erie. Mill 
Creek cannot be less than eight miles long. 

Four Mile Creek rises in Greene, runs through the western edge of Harbor 
Creek, and enters the lake in the northeastern corner of Mill Creek Township, 
after a course of about eight miles. 

Twelve Mile Creek heads on the line of North East and Greenfield Town- 
ships, and joins the lake in Harbor Creek. Its length is about seven miles. 

Twenty Mile Creek rises in Chautauqua County, N. Y., and empties 
into the lake in North East Township, near the State line. It is from sixteen 
to eighteen miles long. 


Lake Erie. — The whole northern front of the county is bordered by Lake 
Erie and Presque Isle Bay, giving a shore line, with ih& various indentations, 
of fully forty-five miles. Lake Erie is one of the chain of " Great Lakes," con- 
sisting, besides itself, of Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, St. Clair and On- 
tario. No one of these, except St. Clair, is excelled or equaled in size by any 
body of fresh water elsewhere in the world. The name Erie has been "held to 
mean ' cat,' thus giving the title of Cat to the tribe of Eries, and Cat Lake to 
the body of water." This, however, is disputed by one writer, who claims 
that the word ' ' means raccoon in the original, and that the error as to meaning 
came into vogue by the confounding by the early French explorers of the wild 
cat with the raccoon, both of which animals abounded, but the latter being the 
most numerous." Eecent measurements give the following results: 

"The greatest length of Lake Superior is 335 miles; its greatest breadth, 
160 miles; mean depth, 688 feet; elevation above the ocean, 602 feet; area, 
82,000 square miles. 

"The greatest length of Lake Michigan is 300 miles; its greatest breadth, 
108 miles; mean depth, 600 feet; elevation, 581^ feet; area, 23,000 square 

"The greatest length of Lake Huron is 200 miles; its greatest breadth, 
169; mean depth, 600 feet; elevation, 581^ feet; area, 23,000 square miles. 

"The greatest length of Lake Erie is 250 miles; its greatest breadth is 80 
miles; its mean depth is 84 feet; elevation, 573 i^ feet; area, 6,000 square miles. 

"The greatest length of Lake Ontario is 180 miles; its greatest breadth, 


65 miles; its mean depth is 500 feet; elevation, 246J feet; area, 6,000 square 

" The length of all five is 1,265 miles, covering an area of upward of 135,- 
000 square miles." 

Lake Erie receives the outflow of Lake Huron through the St. Clair 
Eiver, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, aad empties itself through the 
Niagara Eiver into Late Ontario. The outlet of the latter is the St. Law- 
rence Eiver, which, after a course of some five hundred miles, falls into the 
Atlantic Ocean within the Dominion of Canada, the volume of water which it 
carries down being greater than that of the Mississippi. By some geographers, 
the lakes are regarded as expansions of the St. Lawrence, which would give 
that river a length, from the source of the St. Louis, the most remote tributary 
of Superior, of about twenty-one hundred miles. Lake Brie is the fifth and 
most southerly of the chain. Its breadth varies from thirty to eighty miles. 
The narrowest part of the lake is between Long Point, Canada, and Presque 
Isle, and the widest is between Ashtabula, Ohio, and Port Stanley, Canada. 
The average depth of Lake Erie is less than that of any other of the chain, 
except St. Clair, which renders its navigation the most dangerous. It has 
few natural harbors, that of Erie being the best, but the mouths of a number 
of the larger streams have been dredged and protected by breakwaters, offering 
good facilities for shipping. 

In commercial importance, Lake Erie excels any other of the chain. The 
Falls of Niagara, twenty miles below its foot, forbid direct navigation between 
Erie and Ontario. This has been remedied by the construction of the Welland 
Ship Canal. Vessels pass through this artificial channel to and from Lake Onta- 
rio, the St. Lawrence Eiver and the Atlantic Ocean.* The lake seldom freezes 
over more than a few miles from shore, but instances have been known of the ice 
being clogged between Long Point and Presque Isle so that teams and wagons 
have crossed. Navigation usually closes about the 1st of December and opens 
early in April, though it has sometimes begun much sooner. Several winters 
are recorded when vessels have sailed every month of the year. The streams 
that flow into Lake Erie are small, scarcely adding as much to its supply 
as it loses by evaporation. The body of water that flows over Niagara Falls 
is estimated not to exceed that received by the lake through the Detroit Eiver. 
The lake abounds in fish, the most common varieties being white fish, pickerel, 
bass, perch, herring, sturgeon and mutton-heads. 

It is subject to fluctuations of several feet in the height of the water, ac- 
cording to the direction of the wind. The general surface is also higher in 
some seasons than in others, depending on the winter and spring weather 
along the upper lakes. 

Some unaccountable phenomena are reported by old settlers along the 
shores of the lake. Just after sunset on the 30th of May, 1823, several swells 
were observed at the mouths of Otter and Kettle Creeks, Canada, being twen- 
ty miles apart, and the water suddenly dashed to a height of nine feet at the 
former point and of seven at the latter. The weather was fine and the lake 
had previously been calm. A similar incident was witnessed at the mouth of 
Sixteen Mile Creek, in 1820, at that of Cunningham Creek, Ohio, in 1826, and 
again at that of Grand Eiver, Ohio, in 1830. At the second point named, the 
water rose fifteen and at the third eight feet. Water-spouts are of frequent 
occurrence, and as many as three have been seen at one time. A whirlwind 
was experienced at Conneaut, Ohio, in September, 1839, which lifted the 
water of the lake to a height of thirty feet. Three monster waves are reported 

*The Welland Canal was begun in 1324 and opened In 1829. 


as having dashed upon the dock at Madison, Lake County, Ohio, the first of 
which was fifteen or twenty feet high. " In 1844 or 1845, a wave came into 
Euclid Creek fifteen feet in height, carrying everything before it. On Novem- 
ber 18, 1845, the water at Cleveland suddenly fell two and eight-tenths feet 
during a high wind from the southwest. The Toledo Blade records a change 
of ten feet on December 5, 1856." 

A remarkable phenomenon occurred at Cleveland in July, 1881, which ie thus 
described by the Signal Service officer at that port : " At 5 :30 in the 
morning there was a slight breeze from off land in a southerly direction, and at 
6 o'clock there was almost a calm, while to the northward a dark cloud appeared 
like a curtain, and at the same time was heard a rumbling sound. At 6:20 
there came up a large green colored wave, with no crest, which approached 
from the northwest with great rapidity, and soon after the passage of the wave 
the wind returned to its original quarter. The cloud, wave and wiad seemed 
to travel together. The wave was about nine feet above the present level of 
the lake. The highest barometer in the country occurred in the city yesterday 
morning, viz., 30.15. The recoil of the wave along the line of the shore caused 
two smaller receding waves, parallel to the shore, and from fifty to seventy- 
five feet apart. " 

Similar occurrences are reported as having happened on the other lakes. 
Col. Charles Whittlesey, of Cleveland, has kept a record of some of the most 
prominent of these events, from which 'we learn that " on Lake Superior, in 
1879, opposite Isle Royal, there was a sudden fall of four feet in the waters. 
When they returned, they did so with a rush, the vibration continuing for 
several hours. In 1834, the waters above the Sault Eapids suddenly receded, 
and in half an hour returned with great velocity. In August, 1845, Dr. 
Foster states that while in an open boat between Copper Harbor and Eagle 
River, an enormous surge, twenty feet in height and crested with foam, rolled 
toward the shore, succeeded by two or three swells. Dr. Foster observed 
repeated flows and reflux of the waters in 1847, 1848 and 1849, which preceded 
or followed storms on the lake. In 1858, D. D. Brockway reported, in a per- 
fect calm, a sudden rise of one foot and three inches, and in another two and 
one-half feet. The Lake Superior News of July 17, 1855, reports extreme 
fluctuations between the hours of nine in the morning and four in the evening. 
Father Andre, in 1670, while on Green Bay, reported a three-feet rise, but 
this was accompanied by a northwester. On April 14, 1858, the Milwaukee 
Sentinel reported a change of level in Lake Michigan of six feet." 

Bay of Presque Isle. — The Bay of Presque Isle, forming the harbor of 
Erie — the only one in the county — is a quiet and beautiful body of water, 
aboat five miles long, with a breadth ranging from a mile and a quarter to 
nearly two miles. The long and narrow sand bank which divides it from the 
lake is known as the Peninsula, or in French as Presque Isle, meaning " nearly 
an island." Within a hundred years, the bay extended by a narrow channel 
half a mile further westward than it does now, the action of the sands and 
the earth brought down by the two little streams at the head having caused the 
restriction of its limits. The entrance to the bay is at its eastern end, between 
two long piers which create an artificial channel 200 feet wide. Before the 
Government improvements were made, the mouth of the bay was nearly a mile 
in width, and obstructed by a bar which afforded only six to eight feet of 
water. Now the largest vessels upon the lake can enter easily, and when with- 
in the bay are secure against the worst storms. Two noble lighthouses direct 
mariners to the entrance, while the course of the channel is made clear by a 
series of range lights. At the head of the bay, the peninsula is only a few 


rods in width, and so low that the water sometimes washes over during 
winter gales. Within a few years, this neck has been protected by a barrier 
of piles and heavy timbers, at the cost of the General Government. A channel 
was opened across this portion of the peninsula many years ago, and several 
vessels passed through, but the experiment was unsatisfactory, and the passage 
was allowed to close up. The greatest depth of water in the bay is nearly 
opposite the Pittsburgh docks, where the lead touches bottom at twenty-seven 

Misery Bay is a small subdivision of the bay proper at its northeastern 
extremity. Its name was suggested by Lieut. Holdup during the war of 1814, 
when the vessels of the Lake Erie squadron were anchored there. The gloomy 
weather that prevailed, and the uncomfortable condition of the crews made the 
title eminently appropriate. Within this little bay were sunk two of the ves- 
sels of Perry's fleet, the Lawrence and Niagara. The former was raised and 
taken to the Centennial Exhibition in 1876; the latter still lies at the bottom 
of the bay on the side next to the lighthouse. Both of the bays freeze over in 
winter, and usually continue closed until about the 1st of April. They 
abound in fish, and are a famous resort for anglers. A number of pleasure 
yachts ply upon the quiet waters of the bays, and sail boats and row boats are 
always to be had at the boat houses along the public pier. (For a further ao 
count of the bay and harbor, see Erie City.) 


In the interior of the county are three small lakes — LeBceuf , Pleasant and 
Conneauttee — all of which lie on the south side of the dividing ridge, and 
empty into French Creek. 

Lake LeBceuf . — This lake is in Waterf ord Township, on the southwestern 
edge of Waterford Borciugh. It is about two-thirds of a mile long, by half a 
mile wide. The lake is fed by LeBoeuf Creek and Boyd and Trout Runs. Its 
outlet fails into French Creek in LeBceuf Township. 

Lake Pleasant, in the southwestern corner of Venango Township, is about 
two-thirds of a mile long by a third of a mile wide, with a depth of five to 
fifty feet. It has no tributary streams except two tiny rivulets, and is appar- 
ently fed by springs in the bottom. The outlet joins French Creek in Amity 

Lake Conneauttee lies on the northern side of Edinboro, and is partly in 
that bor.ough and partly in Washington Township. Its length is about a mile, 
and its width a little over a half mile. The deepest water is about fifty feet. 
Big Conneauttee Creek enters at its northern extremity, and leaves at the 
southern, continuing on to Crawford County, where it unites with French 


Where there are so many streams, it follows as a consequence that there 
must be a great number of bridges. None of these are very extensive or cost- 
ly compared with the immense structures that are found in other parts of the 
Union. The most important public bridges are those which span French 
Creek in Amity, Waterford and LeBoeuf Townships; Conneaut Creek in Con- 
neaut Township, and upon the line between that township and Springfield; 
the South Branch of French Creek in Union City and Township; Elk Creek 
in Fairview and Girard Townships; Walnut Creek in Fairview and Mill 
Creek Townships; the Big Conneauttee at Edinboro; and LeBceuf Creek in 
Waterford Tovraship. 


The iron bridges of the "Nickle Plate " railroad over Crooked, Elk, Walnut 
and Twenty Mile Creeks, are the longest and costliest in the county. This 
company have made use of iron almost entirely in crossing the numerous 
streams along the lake shore. State street in Erie is spanned by three good 
iron bridges belonging to the raibroad companies. The Philadelphia & Brie 
Eailroad has a lofty trestle work over Mill Creek, near Belle Valley, and fine 
wooden bridges over LeBceuf Creek, in Waterford Township; Prench Creek in 
LeBoeuf ; and the South Branch in Union and Concord. 

On the line of the Erie & Pittsburgh road, Crooked Creek is spanned by 
a formidable bridge and trestle work in Girard Township, while other bridges 
of importance cross Conneaut Creek in the township of the same name. The 
townships which are subjected to the most expense on account of bridges are 
LeBceuf, Conneaut and Springfield. 

The Lake Shore Eailroad formerly overcame the gullies of Twenty Mile 
Creek, Sixteen Mile Creek, Walnut Creek, Elk Creek and Crooked Creek by ex- 
tensive trestle works, which have been replaced by substantial culverts and em- 
bankments that cost many thousands of dollars. Most of the streams upon 
the line of this road are now spanned by stone culverts or iron bridges. It is 
not to be doubted that wherever culverts are practicable the example of the 
Lake Shore Company will eventually be imitated by the other railroad cor- 

Within the limits of Erie almost all the city bridges over Mill Creek have 
given way to durable stone culverts. An elegant culvert was thrown across the 
East Branch of Conneaut Creek, in Conneaut Township, for the use of the 
canal, which still remains, and is used for a public road. 

The aqueducts of the canal over Walnut Creek, in Fairview Township, and 
Elk Creek in Girard, were at one time looked upon as wonders of engineering 
and mechanical skill. 


Pke-Histoeic Remains and Natdeal Curiosities. 

MANY indications have been found in the county proving conclusively that it 
was once peopled by a different race from the Indians who were found here 
when it was first visited by white men. When the link of the Erie & Pitts- 
burgh Railroad from the Lake Shore road to the dock at Erie was in process 
of construction, the laborers dug into a great mass of bones at the crossing of 
the public road which runs by the rolling mill. Prom the promiscuous way 
in which they were thrown together, it is surmised that a terrible battle must 
have taken place in the vicinity at some day so far distant that not even a tra- 
dition of the event has been preserved. The skulls were flattened, and the 
foreheads were seldom more than an inch in width. The bodies were in 
a sitting posture, and there were no traces that garments, weapons or orna- 
ments had been buried with them. On account of the superstitious notions 
that prevailed among the workmen, none of the skeletons were preserved, the 
entire collection as far as it was exposed being thrown into the embankment 
further down the road. At a later date, when the roadway of the Philadel- 
phia & Erie road, where it passes through the Warfel farm, was being 
widened, another deposit of bones was dug up and summarily disposed of as 
before. Among the skeletons was one of a giant, side by side with a smaller 



one, probably that of his wife. The arm and leg bones of this native Amer-, 
ican Goliath were about one-half longer than those of the tallest man' among 
the laborers; the skull was immensely large; the lower jawbone easily slipped 
over the face and whiskers of a full-faced man, and the teeth were in a per- 
fect state of preservation. Another skeleton was dug up in Conneaut Town- 
ship some years ago which was quite as remarkable in its dimensions. As in 
the other instance, a comparison was made with the largest man in the neigh- 
borhood, and the jawbone readily covered his face, while the lower bone of the 
leg was nearly a foot longer than the one with which it was measured, indi- 
cating that the man must have been eight to ten feet in height. The bones of 
a flat head were turned up in the same township some two years ago with a 
skull of unusual size. Kelics of a former time have been gathered in that 
section by the pailful, and among other cinriosities a brass watch was found 
that was as big as a common saucer. 

An ancient graveyard was discovered in 1820, on the land now known as 
the Drs. Carter and Dickinson places in Erie, which created quite a sensation at 
the time. Dr. Albert Thayer dug up some of the bones, and all indicated a 
race of beings of immense size. 


Equally curious are the pre-historio mounds and circles found in Wayne, 
Harbor Creek, Conneaut, Girard, Springfield, LeBoeuf, Venango and Fair- 
view Townships. The principal one in Wayne Township, which is still in 
a fair state of preservation, is in the valley of the South Branch of 
French Creek, near the road from Corry to Elgin, and but a short dis- 
tance east of the large springs which furnish water for the State fish-hatch- 
ing establishment. It consists of a vast circle of raised earth, surrounded 
by a trench, from which the earth was unquestionably dug, the whole 
enclosing about three acres of unbroken ground. The embankment has been 
much flattened and reduced by the elements, but is still from one to two feet high 
and from three to four feet wide at the base. When the first settlers discov- 
ered it, the intei'ior of the circle was covered with forest trees, and stumps are 
still to be seen on the embankment, the rings of which represent an age of 
several hundred years. Half a mile west, a little to the north of the road, on 
a slight eminence, was another and smaller circle, which has been plowed 
down, leaving no vestige behind. 

The circles in other portions of the county are or were similar in their 
general features, with one exception, to the above. Those in Harbor Creek 
Township were situated on each side of Four Mile Creek, slightly southeast 
of the big curve of the Philadelphia & Erie road, on points overlooking and 
commanding the deep gulf of that stream. The one on the west side of the 
creek is still in a good state of preservation, but the other has been obliter- 
ated. The two Conneaut circles were near together, while those in Girard and 
Springfield, four in number, extended in a direct line from the western part 
of the former township to the southwestern part of the letter. One of the 
circles partially occupied the site of the cemetery at East Springfield. In 
Fairview Township, there was both a circle and a mound, the first at the mouth 
of Fort Run and the second at Manchester. The latter, at the close of the 
last century, was about six feet high and fifteen feet in diameter. Somebody 
had the curiosity to open it, in the hope of finding treasure, but was rewarded 
with nothinc more than a small quantity of decomposed bones. A tree was 
cut on one of the embankments in Conneaut that had attained the age of 500 
years. The circles in LeBoeaf and Venango were very much like those above 
described. 10 


The position of some of these embankments woiild seem to favor the idea 
that they were provided for warlike purposes, while no speculation of that 
character is warranted by the location of others. That they were not the work 
of the Indians, as our fathers knew them, is the only thing of which we can 
be positively certain. The knowledge we possess of the red men assures us 
that they had neither the. will nor the skill to provide such inclosures, either 
for defense or as places of worship. Every instinct of the mind impels us to 
the belief that they are the remains of a superior race to the Indians, who dis- 
appeared so completely and mysteriously that no trace of their numbers, their 
habits, their character, their origin, or their destiny exists in history or in 


Other evidences of a different population from the red men, as well as of 
an utterly distinct animal kingdom, have been found in the county. In the 
year 1825, while one Francis Carnahan was plowing along the lake shore in 
Harbor Creek Township, he turned up a strange looking bead, which he 
cleaned and carefully preserved. It fell into the hands of L. G. Olmstead, 
LL. D., a traveler and archaeologist of some reputation, formerly a resident of 
Erie City, but later of Fort Edward, N. Y. , who unhesitatingly pronounced it 
to be one of the celebrated " Chorean beads" of ancient Egypt, and kept it 
until his death as a relic of rare interest and value. Similar beads taken from 
tombs near the Nile are in the Egyptian collection in New York City, one 
other is in a like collection in Boston, and altogether, there are some thirty in 
the great museums of antiquity in Europe. They were employed in worship 
and worn as amulets, and were among the most cherished possessions of the 
ancient people of Pharaoh. Presuming the Harbor Creek bead to be genuine, 
of which Mr. Olmstead was thoroughly convinced, how came it there and what 
is its history? To say the least, it adds additional testimony to the proof fur- 
nished us by the mounds and circles that a race of people inhabited this section 
anterior to the red men, who were far in advance of, them in progress and in- 
telligence. Who they were, where they came from, and what became of them 
remains an unsolved problem. 

The skeletons of extinct species of animals have frequently been found in 
the county, but perhaps the most extraordinary discovery of that nature was 
made near Girard Borough in the early part of May, 1880. A man in the 
employ of Mr. W. H. Palmer, while plowing, turned up some bones of a 
mammoth, which, upon investigation by scientific persons, were thought to 
indicate an animal fifteen feet long and from twelve to thirteen feet high. 
One of the teeth weighed three and a half pounds, having a grinding surface 
of three and a half by four inches, and pieces of the tusks led to the opinion 
that they must have been eight or ten feet long. The most curious feature of 
the case is that animals of this class at the present day are natives of the 
tropics and require the equatorial heat and vegetation of the same region to 
enable them to reach maturity. 

An equally puzzling revelation occurred some twenty-five years ago in 
digging a ditch on the Strong place, in Girard Township, near the Springfield 
line. During the work, a basswood stump was removed, and the men employed 
at the task were surprised to find beneath it a black ash pole nearly fourteen 
feet long, sharpened and burned at one end, and smoothed and rounded at the 
other. The pole lay in a [horizontal position, four feet below the surface of 
the ground, where it could not have been possibly placed at a recent d ay with 
out some mark remaining of its method of burial. Nothing of the sort was 


visible, the earth being clay, as firmly compacted as if it had been deposited 
on the spot at the creation of the world. 


While the county is bare of objects of striking natural interest, such as 
are usually to be met with in districts of a mountainous character, it still con- 
tains some curiosities that are worthy of notice. Among these are the immense 
" gulf s " or gullies through which the lake shore streams descend from the 
dividing ridges in the south to the level of the lake. The gulf of Four-Mile 
Creek, which is partially seen from the cars of the Philadelphia & Erie road 
at the sharp curve a little east of Erie City, extends from nearthe crossing of 
the Station road, about half a mile south of Wesleyville, to Ripley's mill, in 
Greene Township, a distance in a direct line of about four miles, and by the 
course of the stream of about one-half more. Its depth varies from fifty to a 
hundred and fifty feet, with sides that are almost perpendicular at some points, 
and its width is from one to two hundred feet. It is very crooked and irreg- 
ular, and so dark and gloomy at certain points that the rays of the sun seldom 
penetrate it, and the grass and leaves are covered with almost perpetual dew. 
The deepest part is at a spot locally known as Wintergreen Gulf, some four 
and a half miles southeast of Erie, which has become a popular resort, and 
richly repays a visit from those who delight in the sublime and curious freaks 
of nature's handiwork. A.s the creek makes its'way down the "gulf" it is varied 
by numberless pools and waterfalls, some of which are as pretty as the imagina- 
tion can conceive. The " gulf," however, is very difficult to explore, and it 
will only be when some enterprising person or firm establishes more convenient 
means of ingress and exit that its interesting features will become generally 

The ■• guif " of Six-Mile Creek, which is wholly in Harbor Creek Township, 
is very similar to the other, and equally deserving of a visit. It commences 
about half a mile south of the Buffalo road and terminates a little north of the 
Station road, being aboat the same length as the gully of Four Mile Creek. 
Its deepest and most picturesque point is at the Clark settlement, where the 
banks are not far from a hundred and fifty feet high. Gulfs of a like nature 
attend every one of the lake shore streams, but are less picturesque, generally 
speaking, than the two above named. The most interesting are those of Twelve 
Mile Creek, near the lake; of Sixteen Mile Creek, on the southern part of North 
East Township; of Twenty-Mile Creek, near the New York line; of Walnut 
Creek, where it was crossed by the old aqueduct; of Crooked Creek, in Spring- 
field Township, and of Elk Creek, in the sotithern part of Fairview Township. 
In the vicinity of Girard Borough, the gulf of Elk Creek broadens out into a 
very respectable little valley, which, with its abrupt banks, sparkling streams, 
richly cultivated farms, and numerous buildings, forms one of the neatest bits 
of scenery in the county. 

On Falls Run, a small stream that flows into Elk Creek from Franklin 
Township, is a cascade, some fifty feet in height, which is said to be quite at- 
tractive at certain seasons. In Girard Township, south of the borough, is the 
"Devil's Backbone," which owes its novelty, as in the other cases mentioned, 
mainly to the long continued action of water. The West Branch of Elk Creek 
winds around the base of a ridge for about one- fourth of a mile until it reaches 
its point This it suddenly turns, and then runs in the opposite direction 
along the same ridge. The constant washing of the base has reduced the 
ridge to very slender limits, so that it has a width on top, in some parts, of 
barely two feet. The summit being about a hundred feet above the bed of the 


creek, and the sides of the ridge nearly perpendicular, few persons have the 
courage to risk life and limb by venturing along the narrow footway. 

A. beautiful waterfall formerly existed on the bank of the bay at the mouth of 
Cascade Eun, but was destroyed in the building of the Erie & Pittsburgh 
Railroad and dock, to the inexpressible regret of many admiring citizens. 
The mineral spring in Elk Creek Township should not be forgotten in a re- 
cital of the natural objeccs of interest in the county. It is situated a mile or 
more up Frazier's Eun, a tiny stream that empties into the East Branch of Con- 
neaut Creek at Wellsburg, and is reached through a deep, wide and peculiar 
gorge, which is a favorite spot in that section for picnics and camp meetings. 
The water is strongly impregnated with iron, and beneficial in several kinds 
of disease. 

Neither should the glorious sunsets along the lake shore be omitted in this 
connection. A gentleman who has traveled over the most attractive sections of 
Europe informed the writer that he never saw, not even at the most renowned 
places along the Mediterranean, more charming and inspiring sunsets than he 
witnessed from the ridges back of Erie during the summer and autumn. 
The best elevation from which to view the setting of the sun, as well 
as the lake shore country in general, is from the top of Gospel Hill, south of 
Wesleyville, but line views may also be had from Eussell Hill, between Erie 
and Belle Valley, from Nicholson's Hill on the road to Edinboro, and from a 
point on the Ridge road between Fairview and Girard. 


Indian History. 

IN the State Library of Pennsylvania at Harrisburg, are two old French 
maps, one printed in 1763 and the other in 1768, in which rude at- 
tempts are made to show the leading geographical features of portions of the 
United States and Canada. Both represent the south shore of Lake Erie as 
having been peopled by a tribe or nation of Indians known as the " Eriez." A 
note on the margin of each reads as follows: "The ancient Eriez were 
exterminated by the Iroquois upwards of 100 years ago, ever since which time 
they have been in possession of Lake Erie." On the earliest of the maps the 
following is printed at a point along the lake between Cleveland and San- 
dusky: " The seat of war, the mart of trade, and chief hunting grounds of the 
Six Nations on the lakes and the Ohio. " 

The information above given in regard to the Eriez is corroborated in a 
French book printed in 1703, describing the voyages of Le Baron deLahonton 
an adventurous Frenchman, who spent ten years among the Indians, com- 
raencmg in 1683. "The shores of Lake Erie," he says, « are frequented by 
the Iroquois, the Illinois, the Oumanies, etc., who are so savage that it is a 
nsk to stop with them. The Errieronens and the Andestiguerons, who formerlv 
inhabited the borders of the lake, were exterminated bv the Iroquois " Inci' 
dentally it may be added, he refers to the Massassaugues as a tribe living 
somewhere near the western end of the lake. The latter are also alluded to in 

iA'S?"'°'r^r • '^T^'J,"*^'^'''' Prepared by M. DuChisneau, at Quebec, in 
1681. Their principal village, according to this author, was upon a beauti- 
ful island twelve leagues above Detroit, where they numbered sixty to eicrhty 


men. Frequent reference is also made in the letters and memoirs of French- 
men -who visited this section, to the Flatheads, who would seem to have been 
settled somewhere south or west of the lake. All of the authorities agree that 
the date of the extermination of the Eriez was somewhere about 1650. It is 
claimed by most historians, that the word Eriez was the Indian expression for 
wild cat, but a recent writer contends that " this is a mistake, that it does not 
mean wild cat, but raccoon. The latter were abundant upon the lake shore, 
while the former were rarely seen." A French memoir, written in 1718, re- 
lates that one island in the upper part of the lake was infested to so great an 
extent by wild cats, that " the Indians killed as many as 900 of them in a very 
short time." It is possible that the French explorers, from whom the sup- 
posed meaning of the word has descended to us, mistook raccoons for wild cats. 
Kecords are in existence which show that the Eriez were visited by French 
missionaries as early as 1626. They were found to be living on terms of 
amity with the surrounding warlike tribes, and henCB they were designated by 
the French, "The Neutral Nation." They were governed by a queen, called 
in their own language, Yagowania, and in the Seneca tongue, Gegosasa, who 
was regarded as "the mother of nations," and whose office was that of "keeper 
of the symbolic house of peace." The chief warrior of the tribe was Ragnotha, 
who had his principal location at Tu-shu-way, now Buffalo. 


The Eripz were able to preserve their, neutral character until 1634, when a 
bloody dissension brcike out between the several branches of the Iroquois 
family. During its progress two Seneca warriors appeared at Gegosasa's 
lodge and were hospitably received. They were preparing to smoke the pipe 
of peace when a deputation of Massassaugues was announced, who demanded 
vengeance for the murder of their chief's son at the hands of the Seneca tribe. 
This the queen, in her mediatorial capacity, was prompt to grant. She even 
set out with a large body of warriors to enforce her decree, and dispatched 
messengers to Ragnotha to command his assistance. The visiting Senecas 
flew to their friends to notify them of the queen's course, and a body of light- 
ing men was hastily gathered in ambush on the road which her army was 
obliged to travel. The Eriez had no anticipation of trouble at that point, and 
the iirst they knew of the presence of the Senecas was when they heard their 
dreadful war-whoop. The contest that ensued was one of desperation. At 
first the queen's forces gained the advantage, but the Senecas rallied and com- 
pelled the Eriez to flee, leaving 600 dead upon the field of battle. No accounts 
have been preserved of any further hostilities at that time, and it is probable 
that peace was effected upon the Queen's agreement not to enforce her plan 
of revenging the grievance of the Massassaugues. 

The war of extermination between the Eriez and the Iroquois occurred 
about 1650, and was one of the most cruel in aboriginal history. From the 
opening it was understood by both sides to mean the utter ruin of one tribe or 
the other. The Eriez organized a powerful body of warriors and sought to 
surprise their enemies in their own country. Their plans were thwarted by a 
faithless woman who secretly gave the Iroquois warning. The latter raised a 
force and marched out to meet the invaders. The engagement resulted in a 
complete victory for the Iroquois. Seven times the Eriez crossed the stream 
dividing the hostile lines and they were as often driven back with terrible loss. 
On another occasion several hundred Iroquois attacked nearly three times 
their number of Eriez, encamped near the mouth of French Creek, dispersed 
them, took many prisoners, and compelled the balance to fly to remote regions. 


In a battle near the site of tlie Cattauraugas Indian mission house, on the Al- 
legheny River, the loss of the Eriez was enormoas. Finally a pestilence 
broke out among the Eriez, which "swept away greater numbers even than the 
club and arrow." The Iroquois took advantage of their opportunity to end 
all fear of future trouble from the ill fated Eriez. Those who had been 
taken captive were, with rare exceptions, remorselessly butchered, and their 
wives and children were distributed among the Iroquois villages, never again 
to be restored to their husbands and brothers. The few survivors "fled to dis- 
tant regions in the West and South, and were followed by the undying hatred 
of the Iroquois. * * * Their council fire was put out, and their name and 
language as a tribe lost." Sculptures and embankments on Kelly's Island, in 
the upper end of the lake, lead to the impression that it may have been the 
last stronghold of the Eriez. 

Traces of the tribe were occasionally found by the French Jesuits in their 
wanderings through the western wilderness. A number were living as helots 
among the Onondagas of New York. They appealed to the missionaries to 
aid them in securing their freedom, but abandoned all hope when the request 
was refused. An early French writer, describicg the Christian village of La 
Prairie, says a portion of the settlement was made up of fugitive Eriez. 
Students of Indian history are generally of the belief that the tribe was at 
one time considerably ahead of the other aborigines of North America in pro- 
gress and intelligence. 


After the extermination of the Eriez, the country on the south side of the 
lake was possessed by the Iroquois, as thej' were called by the French, or the Six 
Nations, as they were known to the En'^lish. The Six Nations were originally 
a confederacy of five tribes — the Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, Oneidas and 
Mohawks — and were then styled the Five Nations. In 1712, the Tuscaroras, 
being expelled from the interior of North Carolina and Virginia, were adopted 
as a sixth tribe. Their territory stretched from Vermont nearly to the upper 
end of Lake Erie, embracing the head-waters of the Allegheny, Susquehanna 
and Delaware Rivers, and the seat of their " great council tire " was in the 
Onondaga Valley. The Senecas, who were the most powerful tribe, occupied 
the western part of the domain, having their headquarters on the Allegheny 
River, near the line between New York and Pennsylvania. The Indians 
in the northwestern part of this Stat^ were Seuecas, intermixed with stray 
members from each of the other tribes. " The Historical Collections of Penn- 
sylvania," a very reliable and valuable work, published in 1843, contains 
the following: 

" The peculiar location of the Iroquois gave them an immense advantage. On 
the great channels of water communication to which their territories were contig- 
uous, they were enabled in all directions to carry war and devastation to the neigh- 
boring or to the more distant nations. Nature had endowed them with height, 
strength and symmetry of person which distinguished them at a glance among 
the individuals of other tribes. They were brave as they were strong; hut 
ferocious and cruel when excited in savage warfare; crafty, treacherous and 
overreaching, when these qualities best suited their purposes. The proceed- 
ings of their grand council were marked with great decorum and solemnity. 
In eloquence, in dignity and profound policy, their speakers might well bear 
comparison with the statesmen of civilized assemblies. By an early alliance 
with the Dutch on the Hudson they secured the use of firearms, and were thus 
enabled, not only to repel the encroachments of the French, but also to extermi- 
nate, or reduce to a state of vassalage, many Indian nations. From these 


they exacted an annual tribute, or acknowledgment of fealty, permitting them 
however, in that condition, to occupy their former hunting grounds. The 
humiliation of tributary nations was, however, tempered with a paternal regard 
for their interests in all negotiations with the whites, and care was taken that 
no trespass should be committed on their rights, and that they should be justly 
dealt with." 

Jean de Lambertville, a French officer in the Indian territory, writing 
under date of January 10, 1684, said: "Presents, conjoined with kindness, are 
arms which the Iroquois scarcely ever resist; on the other hand, threats, or 
even war, would have been equally fatal to the colony. * * The Iroquois is 
daring, well armed, and makes war like a thief." M. Denonville, writing a 
year later, said of the various Indian tribes: " The Iroquois are the most for- 
midable; they daily make prisoners among their neighbors, whose children 
they carry off at an early age and adopt. " 


When the French and English began to extend their settlements westward, 
the lake region was under the full dominion of the Iroquois, with the Senecas 
as the immediate possessors of the soil. Both nations appreciated the im- 
portance of having the good will of the Indians, but the adroit French were 
more successful in winning their friendship tha,n their blunt and less politic 
competitors. As far back as 1730, the French Indian agent, Joncaire, pene- 
trated this section, adopted the habits of the natives, became one of their num- 
ber, and " won them over to the French interest." The French built up a con- 
siderable trade with the Indians, which yielded an immense profit. It con- 
sisted largely of beads, knives, trinkets and other articles of small value which 
were exchanged for skins, and the latter sent to Europe. The English viewed 
the projects of the French with mingled jealousy and alarm, sent out numer- 
ous agents, and succeeded in some quarters in estranging the Indians from 
their rivals, but not to any extended degree. Some of their traders were lo- 
cated at LeBoeuf (Waterford) when the advance troops of' the French reached 
that point in 1753. 

Friendly as the Six Nations were toward the French in a commercial 
sense, they did not take kindly at first to the occupation of their country by 
armed bodies of the latter. The expedition of Sieur Marin (or Morang), in 
1753, and the erection of forts at Presqae Isle and LeBoeuf, worked them up 
to a spirit of bitter resentment. A delegation of Senecas waited upon that 
officer at LeBoeuf to inquire of him " by a belt " whether he " was marching 
with a banner uplifted or to establish tranquillity." He answered that his pur- 
pose was to support and assist them in their necessities, and to drive away the 
evil spirits that encompassed them and disturbed the earth, meaning the En- 
glish. His manner and conduct appeased them, so that the Allegheny Eiver 
Senecas zealously assisted the French with horses and provisions. Dar- 
in:T the fall of the year, the chiefs of the several tribes bordering on the 
lake and the Allegheny Eiver were called together at LeBoeuf, told by the 
French commander that he could advance no further on account of the winter, 
but would be on hand in the spring with a strong force, and threatened with 
vengeance if they took sides with the English. On Washington's visit to 
LeBoeuf, in 1753, he learned that in addition to the Senecas, the Chippeways, 
Dela wares, Chaounans, Ottaways and Orandeeks, tribes in the interior, were all 
in league with the French; 600 Indians took part with the latter at Brad- 
dock's defeat. The Indians of Western Pennsylvania were generally favorable 
to the French throughout the war. 


M. de Vaxidreil. in a letter from Montreal, dated ^August 8, 1756, wrote 
that " the domiciliated Massassaugues of Presque Isle have been out to the 
number of ten against the English. They have taken one prisoner and two 
scalps, and gave them to cover the death of M. de St. Pierre." This was the 
officer who commanded at LeBoeuf when Washington was there, and who was 
killed in battle near Lake George in 1754. A large body of Indians was 
gathered at Presque Isle in the same year. The small-pox breaking out among 
them caused so much alarm that they made haste to return to their homes. 

In 1757, the English seem to have won some of the tribes over to their 
side, for we learn from the Pennsylvania Archives that the French kept "100 
men in garrison at Presque Isle, being apprehensive that the English and 
the Indians might attack them there," and by 1759 the nation had reached 
the conclusion that they could very well dispense with the presence of both. 
M. de Vaudreil, writing from Montreal, on March .31 of that year, stated 
that "There is reason to presume that the Indians would wish there were 
neither French nor English at the beautiful river (the Allegheny), and that 
they are heartily tired of the war" — a wish that is not surprising, as they 
were the greatest sufferers. 


The war closed in 1760, leaving the whole Western country under the do- 
mination of the English. Presqu<^ Isle was the last of the French forts south 
of Lake Erie to be abandoned. The parting between the French and the 
Indians was extremely affecting. The Indians called them their " brethren," 
and invoked the aid of the Great Spirit to give them a speedy retura. Mat- 
ters went along in comparative harmony between the English and the Indians 
for some time, but the latter were never hearty in their friendship. They 
liked the French better than the English, had been told that they would soon 
come back, and awaited the event with unconcealed anxiety. This feeling 
was encouraged by the French agents, and at last led to one of the most wide- 
spread, successful, and diabolical conspiracies on record. The most powerful 
and influential of the "Western chiefs was the renowned Pontiac, head nf the 
Ottawa tribe. When the English assumed domination of the country he was 
at first distant and sullen toward them, but in time his prejudices seemed to 
be conquered, and he even rendered some service that led them to believe that 
they could rely upon his co-operation. His friendship proved, however, to be 
assumed, and he was quietly at work fomenting a spirit of hostility among 
the several tribes, and organizing them for concerted action. His plan in- 
cluded a union of all the tribes west of the AUeghanies, including the Six 
Nations. The conspiracy was conducted with such secrecy and planned with 
so much skill, that almost before the English knew that hostile measures were 
on foot nine of the thirteen western forts had been captured, among the num- 
ber being Presque Isle, LeBoeuf and Venango. Niagara, Pittsburgh and the 
two other forts were invested, " but withstood the attacks until relief ar- 
rived from the Eastern settlements." 


Fort Le Boeuf was assaulted on the 17th of June, 1763. It was com- 
manded by Ensign Price, who had a force of thirteen men. Finding it im- 
possible to hold the post, they crept out at night, managed to elude the savage 
enemy, and escaped to Pittsburgh. From Le Bceuf the Indians, consisting of 
about 200 Senecas and Ottawas, marched immediately to Presque Isle, which 
surrendered on the 22d of the same month. This fort stood upon the bank 




of the bay, on a point of land just west of the mouth of Mill Creek, that has 
been mainly dug away for railroad purposes. The following account of its 
capture is from Parkman's History of the " Conspiracy of Pontiac; " 

" There had been hot fighting before Presqu'ile was taken. Could courage 
have saved it, it never would have fallen. * * At one of its angles was a 
large block -house, a species of structure much used in the petty forest warfare 
of the day. It was two stories in height, and solidly built of massive timber; 
the diameter of the upper story exceeding that of the lower by several feet, 
so that through the openings Id the projecting floor of the former the defend- 
ers could shoot down upon the heads of an enemy assailing the outer wall 
below. The roof being covered with shingles might easily be set on fire, but 
to guard against this there was an opening through which the garrison, par- 
tially protected by a covering of plank, might pour down the water upon the 
flames. * * And now the defenders could see the Indians throwing up 
earth and stones behind one of the breastworks; their implacable foes were 
laboring to undermine the blnck-house, a sure and insidious expedient, against 
which there was no defense. There was little leisure to reflect on this new 
peril, for another, more imminent and horrible, soon threatened them. The 
barrels of water always kept in the block-house were nearly emptied in extin- 
guishing the frequent fires, and though there was a well in the parade ground, 
yet to approach it would be certain death. The only recourse was to dig one 
in the block-house itself. The floor was torn up, and while some of the men 
fired their heated muskets from th« loopholes to keep the enemy in check, the 
rest labored with desperate energy at this toilsome and cheerless task. Before 
it was half completed, the cry of fire was again raised, and, at the imminent 
risk of life, they tore off the blazing shingles and arrested the danger. By 
this time, it was evening. The little garrison had fought from earliest day- 
light without a minute's rest. Nor did darkness bring relief, for the Indians' 
guns flashed all night long from the intrenchments. They seemed determined 
to wear out the obstinate defenders by fatigue. While some slept, others in 
their turn continued the assault, and morning brought fresh dangers. The 
block-bouse was fired several times during the day, but they kept up their for- 
lorn and desperate resistance, The house of the commanding officer sank into 
glowing embers. The fire on both sides did not cease till midnight, at which 
hour a voice was heard in French, calling out that further defense was useless, 
since preparations were made to burn above and below at once. Ensign 
Christie, the officer in command, demanded if any one spoke English, upon 
which a man in Indian dress came forward. He had been made a prisoner in 
the French war, and was now fighting against his own countrymen. He said 
if they yielded they would be saved alive, if not, they would be burned. 
Christie resolved to hold out as long as a shadow of hope remained, and while 
some of the garrison slept, the rest watched. They told them to wait until 
morning. They assented, and suspended their fire. When morning came, 
they sent out two persons, on pretense of treating, but in reality to learn the 
truth of the preparations to burn the block-house, whose sides were pierced 
with bullets and scorched with fire. In spite of the capitulation, they were 
surrounded and seized, and, having been detained for some time in the neigh- 
borhood, were sent as prisoners to Detroit, where Ensign Christie soon made 
his escape and gained the fort in safety." 


A more vivid, shocking, and altogether different account of the affair was 
written upward of forty years ago by Mr. H. L. Harvey, and has appeared in 


several historical sketches of the county, but, after comparisoa with the official 
reports of the day, as published in the Pennsylvania Archives, the present writer 
is led to believe that Parkman has stated the facts correctly. The account of 
Mr. Harvey is to the tenor that three Indians appeared at the gate of the fort 
claiming to be on the way to Niagara with furs — that, upon the pretence that 
their canoes were bad, and that they wished to sell him their stuff, they in- 
duced the Ensign in command to visit their camp, a mile east, vsrith his clerk — 
that, after a due season of absence about a hundred and lifty Indians reached 
the fort, bearing what appeared to be packs of furs — that, upon being admitted, 
they drew their tomahawks and rifles, butchered those who resisted, and tor- 
tured to death those who were taken prisoner — and that only two persons of 
all the inmates of the fort escaped, the one a soldier who had gone into the 
woods, and the other a woman who hid in the wash house at the mouth of the 
creek, was discovered the next day, taken prisoner, and ultimately ransomed. 
This story, though blood-curdling enough to please the most distempered 
mind, is hardly consistent with itself, and is not borne out by the official docu- 
ments. It is said that an occurrence somewhat similar to the account of Mr. 
Harvey actually transpired at Venango, and his informant, in some way, prob- 
ably, got the two affairs mixed. The history of the event., as given by Park- 
man, agrees with that of Mr. Thatcher in his "Life of Pontiac." 

For some time after the capture of the forts, the sparsely settled western 
country was a "dark and bloody ground" indeed. Hundreds of traders and 
settlers were shot, tomahawked and scalped, and no mercy was shown even to 
the women and children. Many babes had their brains knocked out before the 
eyes of their terror-stricken mothers; many shrieking wives were ravished and 
murdered in the presence of their tortured and helpless husbands. It was one 
of the most terrible episodes in border history, and seemed for the time to have 
crushed out all hope of the advance of civilization into the interior of the 
country. A covenant with the Indians of New York and Western Pennsylvania 
was made in the fall of 1763, but hostilities, though not upon an extended 
scale, were soon renewed. Early in 1764, a British Army of 3,000, under com- 
mand of Gen. Bradstreet, passed up the lake in canoes. They stopped at 
Presque Isle and dragged their canoes across the neck of the peninsula to avoid 
paddling several miles around. After relieving Detroit, Bradstreet returned to 
Presque Isle, where on the 12th of August, 1764, he made a treaty of peace 
with the Delawares and Shawnees, which was scarcely signed till it was broken. 

No authentic record of events in this section can be found from that date 
until 1794. The fort appears to have been abandoned, and it is probable that 
the English made no attempt to exercise more than nominal control over the 
country. A few traders wandered back and forth, but there is no knowledge of 
any permanent settlement. The whole region along the south shore of Lake 
Erie, and for many miles south and west, was known as the Indian country. 
Pittsburgh was the nearest white settlement on the south, and Cherry Valley, 
New York, on the east. 


The treaty of Peace with Great Britain, which secured the independence 
of the United States, was made in 1783. By its provisions the British Gov- 
ernment abandoned all claim to the western country, and agreed to withdraw 
its troops and yield up possession of the forts, block-houses and other mili- 
tary structures. In October, 1784, a treaty was made with the Six Nations by 
which they relinquished to the State of Pennsylvania all of the Northwest to 
a line parallel with the southern boundary of New York. By another treaty, 


made on the 9tli of January, 1789, with a part only of the Six Nations, they 
acknowledged "the right of soil and jurisdiction to and over" the Triangle 
"to be vested in the State of Pennsylvania." Some dissatisfaction having 
arisen among the Seneca tribe in consequence of this act, the Legislature em- 
powered the Governor to draw a warrant for S800 in favor of Gornplanter, Half 
Town and Big Tree, in trust for the use of the tribe and in full satisfaction of 
all demands, in consideration of which the said chiefs, on the 3d of February, 
1791, signed a release of all claims against the State for themselves and their 
people forever. On the 3d of March, 1792, the Triangle was purchased from 
the United States by the Commonwealth, and a month later an act of Assembly 
was passed to encourage its settlement by white people. State troops, to fa- 
cilitate this purpose, were first stationed at LeBoeuf early in May, 1794. It 
was the intention to establish a post at Presque Isle forthwith, but events 
that will be related hereafter delayed the enterprise. 

The treaties and deed referred to above were distasteful to a large element 
of the Six Nations, and even some of the Senecas refused to acquiesce in 
them, charging that Gornplanter and the other chiefs had been bribed to give 
the documents their signatures. The Indians regarded the presence of the 
State troops with great disfavor, and determined, if possible, to prevent the 
settlement of the territory. They were incited to this course by English emis- 
saries, who hoped that by a rising of the Indian tribes they might cripple the 
infant government of the Union, and perhaps restore the western territory to 
the British crown. Among the most hostile to the progress of the Americans 
was the notorious Brandt, head of the Mohawk tribe, who still cherished the 
idea, originated by Pontiac, of building up a great Indian confederacy and re- 
stricting the control of the Union to the country east of the Allegheny. The 
following letter, written by him on the 19th of July, 1794, to Gov. Simcoe, of 
Upper Canada, shows in a clearer light the aid extended to the hostile Indians 
by the British authorities : 

"In regard to the Presque Isle business, should we not get an answer at 
the time limited, it is our business to push those fellows hard. * * Should 
those fellows (the Americans) not go off, and O'Bail (Gornplanter) continue in 
the same opinion, an expedition against those Yankees must of consequence 
take place. His excellency has been so good as to furnish us with a cwt. of 
powder, and ball in proportion, which is now at Fort Erie, opposite Buffalo; 
but, in the event of an attack upon LeBoeuf people, I could wish, if consist- 
ent, that his excellency would order a like quantity in addition to be at B'ort 
Erie in order to be in readiness; likewise, I would hope for a little assistance 
in provisions." 

It may be stated here that the Six Nations were dissuaded from joining the 
confederacy of Western Indians to oppose the Americans chiefly by the in- 
fluence of Gornplanter. His course cost him the confidence of his people, but 
he was rewarded by the thanks of the United States Government, and received 
liberal donations of land at its hands. 


The above letter from Brandt anticipates our story somewhat, and requires 
an account of some preliminary events in order to be correctly understood. 
Early in 1794, an Indian council was held at Buffalo, where there was a con- 
siderable Seneca village, to protest against the settlement at Presque Isle, on 
the result of which, it was given out, would depend the issue of peace or war. 
To this council Gornplanter, whom Brandt was seeking to win to his side, was 
invited. Meanwhile, an Indian had been killed in a drunken fray by a State 


soldier at or near Pittsburgh, which gave the hostiles an excuse for their in- 
cendiary conduct. The State officials " settled " the trouble by paying 1100 to 
"replace" the dead Indian, and it is quaintly stated in the chronicles of the 
day that " many of his tribe were sorry that it was not their relative, that they 
might have got a share of the money. " Soon after this, two canoes were fired 
into by the Indians as they were floating down the Allegheny, and four men 
were killed and three wounded. The officials of the General Government were 
fearful of an extended war, and urged Gov. Mifflin to suspend operations at 
Presque Isle, while the State authorities, on the contrary, were confident 
that the best way to avert the strife was to garrison the place with a respect- 
able force. After considerable correspondence, including a personal letter from 
President Washington, operations were sulkily suspended by order of Gov. 
Mifflin, who was harshly criticised for it by the leaders of public opinion in 
the West. 

The council at Buffalo was attended by Gen. Israel Cbapin, U. S. Super- 
intendent of the Six Nations, who wrote to the Secretary of War: " I am afraid 
of the consequences of the attempt to settle Presque Isle at present. The In- 
dians do not acknowledge the validity of the Cornplanter sale to Pennsyl- 
vania." By request of the council, he went to LeBoeuf on or about the 26th 
of Jiine, 1794, accompanied by Mr. Johnson, British Indian Agent, and twen- 
ty-five chiefs and warriors, to remonstrate with the State officers at that post 
against the placing of garrisons in the Northwest. The representatives of the 
Six Nations claimed to be anxious to live at peace with the United States, but 
pretended to be much disturbed by the presence of the troops, fearing that it 
would involve them in strife with the hostile Indians. They were assured by 
Ellicott and Denny, the State officers at LeBceuf, that the soldiers could not 
move from there till ordered, and that they would await the commands of 
their superiors in authority. The council adjourned without accomplishing 
anything of a definite character. During its continuance, it was reported that 
two armed British vessels were lying off Presque Isle, evidently for the pur- 
pose of intimidating the State officials. 

Another Indian council was held at LeBoeuf on the 4th of July, 1794, at 
which the chiefs reiterated their purpose of preventing a garrison being 
stationed at Presque Isle. 


The savages contim^ed to be sullen and threatening for some months, and 
many persons looked upon war as imminent. Several raids were made upon 
the southern settlements, among others on Cussewago, near the Crawford 
County line. A Mr. Dickson, living near there, was fired upon by a party of 
Indians on the 10th of September. Twelve soldiers, sent from LeBoeuf for 
the protection of the settlement, were fired upon, and the Indians drove off 
several horses. Matters remained in this alarming condition till October, 
when news reached LeBceuf of Wayne's victory on the Maumee. This had a 
wonderful effect upon the Indians of our vicinity. A number of warriors of 
the Six Nations had taken part in the fight, and the reports they brought back 
of Wayne's daring had a disheartening effect upon their comrades. The Sen- 
ecas, who had been strongly urged to go into the war, gave the messengers a 
peremptory refusal. Notwithstanding this decision, disturbances broke out on 
several occasions, which continued to delay the establishment at Presque Isle. 
On Saturday, the 29th of May, 1795, four men who were journeying from 
LeBcBuf to the latter point, were attacked near the present Union depot 
in Erie, by a party of Indians, in retaliation, it is supposed, because some 


of their friends had been fired upon by whites along the Allegheny. Ealph 
Eutledge, one of the number, -was killed and scalped, and his body, be- 
ing afterward found, was interred on a piece of rising ground on the west side 
of State street, near its junction with Turnpike. His son was also shot and 
scalped, but lived to be taken to the fort at LeBoeuf, where he died. This is 
the last Indian difficulty known to have taken place in the county. 

A treaty of peace was effected with the Western tribes by Gen. Wayne at 
Greenville, Ohio, on the 3d of August, 1795, and another was made with the 
Six Nations at Canandaigua, N. Y., on the 9th of November ensuing. At 
this latter, which was described in the annals of the day as " the Great Coun- 
cil," 1,600 Indians were present, including Cornplanter, who was at the head 
of 400 of the Allegheny portion of the Senecas. 


Singular as it may appear, considering the fertility of Erie County, and 
the splendid facilities it must have furnished for hunting and fishing, there is 
no evidence that any large number of Indians ever made their abode within its 
limits after it became known to the whites. In 1795, there were Indian vil- 
lages on Mill Creek, and at the head of the bay, each numbering from twenty 
to thirty families. Their corn fields were on the flat lands above, about 
half a mile southwest, partially covering the farms of James C. Marshall 
and A. J. Kelso. Other villages were located at Waterford and Cranesville. 
The latter was there when Mr. (Jolton, the earliest settler of Elk Creek Town- 
ship, made his location in 1797. From all that we can learn through the an- 
cient records, the village at Waterford was and had long been the most im- 
portant in the county. Traces of the settlement existed until about forty 
years ago. The villagers had a burial place, orchard, extensive corn fields and 
vast herds of cattle. 

On the Scouiler farm, directly south from the Martin Warfel place, and in 
the southeast corner of the city limits, was an Indian graveyard, where the 
boys of forty years ago used to irreverently dig into the mounds and gather 
bones as relics. The first field east of the burial ground was cleared in 1821, 
and for some years after it was a frequent thing to find stone hatchets and 
other rude implements of the aborigines. It was the custom for many years 
after the incoming of the whites, Eor parties of Indians to camp near by and 
indulge in peculiar rites in commemoration of their ancestors. The last Indian 
encampment was in June, 1841, when about a dozen Indians spent a couple of 
days on the site. The mounds have all been plowed down, and no traces exist 
of this once sacred spot to the red men. 

Numerous Indian graves, arrow heads, pieces of pottery, and other curios- 
ities have been found in a grave on the Hunter place, bordering French Creek, 
in LeBoeuf Township. A graveyard' was opened on the Ebersole farm, east of 
Erie City, which contained numerous bones, beads and other Indian remains. 
All of the bodies were in a sitting position. Graves have been found in 
spots all along the Ridge road from Ebersole's woods to State street in Erie. 

As to the number of Indians in this section, the only authority we have is 
a letter from Andrew Ellicott to Gov. Mifflin, written from LeBoeuf, in 1794. 
In this epistle he said: "When I was at Niagara, in 1789, Mr. Street, who 
stored the presents from the British Government for the Six Nations, handed 
me a census of their numbers, which had just been taken, and on which the 
decision was to be made, and it amounted only to between 3, 200 and 3, 300 
men, women and children." What became of the Indians, it is diffi- 
cult to state. Many undoubtedly went westward, while -others took up their 


homes on the reservations along the Allegheny. Early in the century, bodies 
of Indians passed through the county occasionally on friendly visits between 
New York and "Western tribes. Maj. G. J. Ball informs us that when a boy he 
saw parties of 100 to 150 red men, women and children, encamped on the 
parks in the city of Erie. 

In an appendix to his published oration at the dedication of the monument to 
Cornplanter, in 1867, Hon. J. E. Snowde'n gives the following, as the location 
and number of the Seneca Indians at that date: 

"On the Allegheny Kiver, in Pennsylvania, fifteen miles above Warren, at 
Cornplanter's town (Jennesadaga), 80; acres of land owned, 300 ; on the 
Allegheny Reservation, in New York, a few miles above the Pennsylvania line, 
900; acres of land owned, 26,600; on Cattaraugus Reservation, in Erie and 
Cattaraugus Counties, N. Y., about 1,700; acres of land under cultivation, 
5,000; at Tonawanda, in New York, about 700; acres of land owned, 7,000. 

" The Oneidas at the same time numbered 1,050. Some 250 were located 
in Oneida and Madison Counties, N. Y., and the balance of the tribe were in 
Brown County, "Wis. The Onondagas and Tuscaroras were each 350 in 
number, the former living about six miles south of Syracuse, N. Y. , and the 
latter about seven miles northeast of Niagara Falls." 

Mr. Snowden adds: " The present condition of these remnants of the Six 
Nations is quite respectable. In most of the reservations they have schools 
and places of public worship. Many of them belong to the Methodist and 
Baptist Churches. The chief of the Six Nations, Stephen S. Smith, who made 
a speech at the inauguration of the Cornplanter Monument, is a minister in 
the Baptist Church." 

The reservations occupied by the Senecas include about 40,000 acres. 
" They own the land in common, and are governed by a President and a Board 
of Counselors. Very few white people live among them. They are all civil- 
ized, and all have embraced the Christian religion, except a few who cling to 
the old Indian religion, and are called ' pagans.' " 


This chapter would not be complete without a short sketch of Cornplanter^ 
the distinguished chief of the Seneca tribe, to whom reference is so frequently 
made above. He was a half-breed, the son of John O'Bail (or A'Beel), a trader 
in the Mohawk Valley, by an Indian mother. His English name was the same 
as his father's, and his Indian name was Gyant-wachia or Cornplanter. At the 
age of twenty, he was with the French at Braddock's defeat, and he partici- 
pated in the various Indian campaigns that occurred during and after the 
Revolution, always against the Americans. As Cornplanter advanced in years, 
he grew to rflalize the strength of the Union, and from being its relentless foe, 
became its admirer and fast friend. His influence largely brought about th& 
treaties of peace at Forts Stanwix and Harmar, in consequence of which he 
partly lost the confidence of the Senecas, and was supplanted by the more art- 
ful and eloquent Red Jacket, who had long been his rival. In return for his 
services upon these and other occasions, the State of Pennsylvania granted him 
a fine reservation on the Allegheny River above Warren, where he spent the 
balance of his years. Although he participated. in the councils at Bufi"alo, to 
take measures for preventing the establishment at Presque Isle, it is claimed 
by his biographer that he was at heart friendly to the Americans and had 
pledged himself that the Senecas should not " take up the hatchet." His 
death occurred on the 18th of February, 1836, after he had passed the one- 
hundredth year of his age. He was a man of more than ordinary eloquence. 


although not equal to his rival, Red Jacket. The following is a brief sample 
of his style: 

' ' I thank the Almighty that I am speaking this good day. I have been 
through all nations in America, and am sorry to see the folly of many of the 
people. What makes me sorry is, they all tell lies, and I never found truth 
amongst them. All the "Western nations of Indians, as well as the white 
people, have told me lies. Even in council I have been deceived, and been 
told things which I have told to my chiefs and young men, which I have 
found not to be bo, which makes me tell lies by not being able to make good 
my word; but I hope they will all bee their folly and repent. The Almighty has 
not made us to lie, but to tell the truth, one to another; yet, when two people 
meet together, if they lie, one to the other, these people cannot be at peace; 
and so it is with nations, and that is the cause of so much war." 

In 1866, the Legislature of Pennsylvania appropriated 1500 to build a 
monument to Cornplanter at Jennesedaga, Cornplanter Town, Warren County, 
the place of his last residence. The monument was erected in 1867, and dedi- 
cated on the 18th of October of the same year. 


The French and English. 

THE French were the first white men who made explorations in the lake 
region. As early as 1611—1 2, Sieur de Champlain ascended the chain of 
lakes as far as Lake Huron. At a period extending from 1620 to 1640, the 
Indians were visited by numerous French Catholic priests, among whom were the 
celebrated Joliet and Marquette, on the double mission of spreading the Gospel 
and promoting the interests of their king and nation. In 1679, La Salle 
launched the schooner Griffin in Niagara River, and sailed with a picked body 
of men to Green Bay, in Lake Michigan, as will be found more fully detailed 
in the chapter on lake navigation. A French post was established at Mackinaw 
in 1684, and a fort and navy on Lake Erie were proposed by M. de Denonville 
in 1685, but the idea was not carried into effect. The dominion of the country 
was not wholly given over to the French until 1753. They did a large trade with 
the Indians by exchanging beads, goods, provisions, guns and ammunition for 
furs, which were shipped across the ocean and sold at an immense profit. 
Although their possession was undisturbed, it must not be inferred that it was 
quietly acquiesced in by the English. The French claimed that their dis- 
covery of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi entitled them to the ownership 
of the territory bordering upon those streams and their tributaries. The 
English claim was based upon a grant by King James I, in 1606, to " divers 
of his subjects, of all the countries between north latitude 48° and 34°, and 
westward from the Atlantic Ocean to the South Sea," and also upon purchases 
of Western lands made from the Six Nations by Commissioners from Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland and Virginia, representing the mother country. A long and 
sometimes acrimonious controversy was waged between the foreign departments 
of the two nations over the question, and the leading officers in America, on 
both sides, looked upon it as certain to eventually result in war. 



Previous to 1749, the French had done nothing of an official nature look- 
ing to the occupation of the country between Lake Erie and the Ohio. Their 
discoverers had taken possession of it long before in the name of the King, 
and from that time it had beei? a sort of common tramping ground for advent- 
urous traders of both nations, without being directly subject to the control of 
either. In the year named, Capt. Celeron, with a detachment of 300 men, 
was sent by the Captain General of Canada to " renew the French possession " 
of the Ohio and its tributaries. He came up Lake Erie to the mouth of Chau- 
tauqua Creek, from which point he crossed over to the Allegheny, by way of 
Chautauqua Lake and the Conewango. Descending the Allegheny and the 
Ohio as far as the mouth of the Muskingum, he deposited leaden plates at the 
mouths of some of the most important streams, as a " monument of renewal of 
possession," and as a mark for the guidance of those who might follow him. 
One of these plates, buried at the confluence of French Creek with the Alle- 
gheny, was foimd afterward. The expedition caused much alarm among the 
Indians, who regarded it as the beginning of a scheme to " steal their 
country," and also created much commotion throughout the English colonies, 
whose officials saw in it a purpose to maintain by force what the French had 
before contented themselves with claiming in argument. An extensive corre- 
spondence ensued between the Governors of the several colonies, stirring letters 
were forwarded to the home Government, and the movement was universally 
regarded as the precursor of a long and sanguinary war. Among other plans 
proposed on the English side, Gov. Shirley of Massachusetts suggested the 
building of one or two war vessels each on Lakes Erie and Ontario, for the 
purpose of keeping the French in check. 

In 1751, an expedition of French and Indians was organized in Canada to 
proceed to the " Beautiful " or Ohio River, and in May of that year a part of 
the force was reported to have passed Oswego in thirty canqes. For some rea- 
son the venture was abandoned, but warlike threats and preparations continued 
for two years. 


Finally, in the spring of 1753, the long threatened occupation began. 
Quite a full account of the expedition is given in a let er preserved among 
the Pennsylvania Archives, from M. DuQuesne, General-ij-chief at Montreal, 
to the French minister at Paris. It was in charge of tliree young officers — 
Sieur Marin, commander, and Maj. Pean and the Chevalier Mercier, assistants 
— and consisted of 250 men. The little army marched up Lake Erie by land 
and ice to Presque Isle, where it was decided to build a fort and establish a 
base of supplies. The reasons which prompted the selection of Presque Isle 
were the short portage to Lake Le Boeuf and the facility with which canoes 
could be floated down French Creek from the latter to the Allegheny. M. Du- 
Quesne's letter describes the bay of Presqae Isle as "a harbor which the larg- 
est vessels can enter loaded, and be in perfect safety. It is," says he, ''the 
finest spot in nature, a bark could safely enter— it would be as it were in a 
box." On the 3d of August the fort at Presque Isle was finished, the portao-e 
road, SIX leagues loLg, was "ready for carriages, " the storehouse, half way across, 
was in a condition to receive stock, and the fort at LeBoeuf was nearly com- 
pleted. No serious trouble was apprehended from the Indians, who were will- 
ingly assisting in the transportation of the stores. 

From the same and other authorities we learn that it was the original pur- 
pose to establish the base of supplies at the mouth of Chautau<iua Creek but 

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that when Marin reached there he did not like the position. He accordingly 
ordered Mercier, who was the engineer of the expedition, to groceed to Presque 
Isle and report upon its merits. The latter was gone three days, and gave 
such a glowing account of the advantages of the location that the army was 
immediately ordered forward. Among the members of the expedition was one 
Stephen Coffin, an Englishman, who had been taken prisoner by the French 
and Indians in 1747, and carried to Canada. When the expedition left Que- 
bec he enlisted in it, and accompanied his command to Presque Isle. After 
a military experience of less than a year he deserted to the English, and on 
the 10th of January, 1754, made a deposition in which he alleges that the 
army reached Presque Isle over 800 strong, a statement that doen not corre- 
spond with the report of DuQuesne. The following is an abstract of his 
story : 

coffin's statement. 
When they arrived at Presque Isle, work was almost immediately com- 
menced on the fort. It was of chestnut logs, squared, and lapped over each 
other to the height of fifteen feet, about 120 feet on the sides, with a log 
house in each Corner, and had gates in the north and south sides. When the 
fort was finished, they began cutting a wagon road to LeBoeuf, where they 
commenced getting out boards and timber for another fort. Presque Isle was 
left in command of Capt. Deponteney, while Marin, with the rest of the troops, 
encamped at LeBceuf . From the latter point a detachment of fifty men was 
sent to the mouth of French Creek, but finding the Indians hostile to the 
erection of a fort, it returned, capturing two English traders on the way, who 
were sent to Canada in irons. A few days later, 100 Indians " called by the 
French Loos," visited LeBceuf and arranged to carry some stores to the Alle- 
gheny, which they never delivered, greatly to the disappointment of the French. 
This and other causes, including the failure to build the third fort at the 
mouth of French Creek, disheartened Marin, who feared that he might for- 
feit the favor of the Governor General in consequence. He had been sick for 
some time, and had to be moved about in a carriage. Eather than return to 
Canada in disgrace, he begged his officers to seat him in the center of the fort, 
set it on fire, and let him perish in the flames, which they of course, refused 
to do. Marin, according to the deponent, was of a peevish and disagreeable 
disposition, and extremely unpopular among his brother officers. Late in the 
fall, Chevalier Le Crake arrived at Presque Isle in a birch canoe worked by 
ten men, bearing, among other things, a cross of St. Louis for Marin, which 
the other officers would not allow him to take until the Governor General had 
been acquainted with his conduct. Near the close of October, all but 300 men 
to garrison the forts, were ordered back to Canada. The first detachment went 
down the lake in twenty-two batteaux, each containing twenty men, and were 
followed in a few days by the balance — 760 in number. A halt was made at the 
mouth of Chautauqua Creek, where, with 200 men, a road was cut in four days 
to Lake Chautauqua, in the expectation that it might be a more feasible route 
to the Allegheny than the one by LeBceuf. Reaching Niagara, fifty men were 
left there to build batteaux for the army in the spring, and to erect a building 
for storintr provisions. Coffin places the total number of men who reached 
Presque Isle during the year at 1,500. 

Washington's visit. 
Marin died at Le Boeuf soon after the main body of the troops departed, 
leaving the forts at Presque Isle and Le Boeuf respectively in charge of Capt. 
Eiparti and Commander St. Pierre. The latter was visited during the winter 


by a gentleman who afterward rose to tlie first place in American love and 
history. This was no less a personage than George Washington, then in his 
twenty-first year, who was accompanied by Christopher Gist, an experienced 
white frontiersman, and one Indian interpreter. They reached Le Boeuf on 
the 11th of December and remained till the 16th, during which time Capt. 
Riparti was called over from Presque Isle to confer with Washington and 
St. Pierre. Washington's treatment, though Eormal, was courteous and kind, 
and he has left on record in his journal a warm compliment to the gentlemanly 
character of the French officers. The object and result of Washington's mis- 
sion are given in the following letters, the first being the one he was charged 
with delivering to the Commander-in-chief of the -French forces by Gov. Din- 
widdle, of Virginia, and the second the reply of St. Pierre: 

OCTOBBH 31, 1753. 
Sir: The lands upoa the River Ohio, in the western part of the colony of Virginia, 
are so notoriously known to be the. property of the crown of Great Britain that it is a 
matter of equal concern and surprise to me to hear that a body of French forces are erect- 
ing fortresses and making settlements upon that river within His Majesty's dominions. 
The many and repeated complaints I have received of these acts of hostility lay me under 
the necessity of sending in the name of the King, my master, the bearer hereof, George 
Washington, Esq., one of the Adjutants General of the forces of this dominion, to com- 
plain to you of the encroachments thus made, and of the injuries done to the subjects of 
Great Britain, in violation of the law of nations and the treaties subsisting between the 
two crowns. If these facts are true and you think fit to justify your proceedings, I must 
desire you to acquaint me by whose authority and instructions you have lately marched 
from Canada with an armed force and invaded the King of Great Britain's territory, in 
the manner complained of; that, according to the purport and resolution of your answer, 
I may act agreeably to the commission I am honored with from the King, my master. 
However, sir, in obedience to my instructions, it becomes my duty to require your peace- 
able departure; and that you would forbear prosecuting a ]Durpose so interruptive of the 
harmony and good understanding which His Majesty is desirous to continue and cultivate 
with the most Christian King, etc. Robert Dinwiddib. 

Feom the Fort on the Riveb ah Bceup, ( 
December 15, 1753. f 
Sir: As I have the honor of commanding here as chief, Mr. Washington delivered to 
me the letter which you wrote to the commander of the French troops. I should have 
been glad that you had given him orders, or that he had been inclined to proceed to Canada 
to see our General, to whom it better belongs than to me to set forth the evidence and the 
reality of the rights of the King, my master, to the lands situate along the River Ohio, and 
to contest the pretensions of the King of Great Britain thereto. I shall transmit your 
letter to the Marquis Du Quesne. His answer will be a law to me. And if he shall order 
me to communicate it to you, sir, you may be assured I shall not fail to dispatch it forth- 
with to you. As to the summons you send me to retire, I do not think myself obliged to 
obey it. Whatever may be your intentions, I am here by virtue of the orders of my Gen- 
eral, and I entreat you, sir, not to doubt one moment but that I am determined to conform 
myself to them with all the e.xactness and resolution which can be expected from the best 
officer. I do not linow that in the progress of this campaign anything has passed which 
can be reputed an act of hostility, or that is contrary to the treaties which subsist between 
the two crowns; the continuance whereof interests and pleases us as much as it does the 
English. Had you been pleased, sir, to descend to particularize the facts which occa- 
sioned your complaint, I should have had the honor of answering you in the fullest, and, 
I am persuaded, the most satisfactory manner, etc. Legardbur db St. Pierre. 

Washington did not extend his journey to Presque Isle, feeling, perhaps, 
that duty compelled him to report the French answer as speedily as could be 
done. Both sides were busily engaged during the winter in preparing for the 
war which was now inevitable. The French plan was to establish a chain of 
fortifications from Quebec along Lakes Ontario aud Erie and the waters of 
French Creek and the Allegheny to the junction of the last-named stream with 
the Monongahela, where Pittsburgh now stands, and from there alono- the Ohio 
and Mississippi, to the Gulf of Mexico. Of these, we have already described 
the progress at Presque Isle and Le Boeuf. The forts at Niagara, the mouth 
of French Creek and the head of the Ohio were constructed early in 1754. 


The one at the juDction of French Creek and the Allegheny was known as 
Fort Machaiilt or Venango, and the one at Pittsburgh as Fort DaQuesne. Pro- 
visions and ammunition were sent from Quebec to Presque Isle, and from there 
distributed to the lower forts. 


As sooD as ihe weather would permit in the spring of 1754, troops were 
moved by both sides in the direction of the Ohio. The first French detach- 
ment to reach Pittsburgh, then known as the "Forks of the Ohio," was on the 
17th of April. It was commanded by Contreceur, and consisted of 1,000 
French and Indians, with eighteen cannon. Their voyage from Le Bceuf 
down French Creek and the Allegheny was made in sixty batteaux and 300 
canoes. The English had put up a stockade at the Forks, during the winter 
which was unfinished and guarded only by an ensign and forty-one men. 
This small body, seeing the hopelessness of defense, immediately surrendered. 
On the 3d or 4th of July, 500 English capitulated to the French at Fort 
Necessity, in Fayette County, after an engagement of about ten hours. The 
French seem to have been uniformly successful in the campaign of 1754. 
Deserters from their ranks reported that the number of French and Indians in 
the country during the year was about 2,000, of whom five or six hundred had 
become unfit for duty. 

The records of the campaign show that Presque Isle was regarded by 
both the French and English as a post of much importance. DuQuesne, in a 
letter from Quebec of July 6, 1755, says: "The fort at Presque Isle serves as a 
depot for all others on the Ohio. * * The efiects are put on board pirogues 
at Fort Le Boeuf. * * At the latter fort the prairies, which are extensive, 
furnish only bad bay, but it is easy to get rid of it. * * At Presque Isle 
the hay is very abundant and good. The quantity of pirogues constructed on 
the River AuBoeuf has exhausted all the large trees in the neighborhood." 
It was on the 9th of July, 1755, that Braddock's defeat took place near 
Pittsburgh, an event which raised the French hopes to a pitch of the utmost 
exultation, and seemed for the time to destroy all prospect of English ascen- 
dency in the West. From 2,000 to 3,000 French and Indians are supposed to 
have passed through Presque Isle during the season. 


An official letter dated at Montreal, August 8, 1756, says: " The domi- 
ciliated Mississaugues of Presque Isle have been out to the number of ten 
against the English. They have taken one prisoner and two scalps, and gave 
them to cover the less of M. de St. Pierre." This officer had been ordered 
East in the winter of 1758, and was killed in battle near Lake George the 
ensuing summer. The same letter reports the smalJ-pox as having prevailed 
at Presque Isle. A prisoner who escaped from the Indians during this year 
described Fort Le Boeuf as " garrisoned with 150 men, and a few straggling 
Indians. Presque Isle is built of square logs filled up with earth; the barracks 
are within the fort, and garrisoned with 150 men, supported chiefly from a 
French settlement begun near it. The settlement consists of about one hun- 
dred families. The Indian families about the settlement are pretty numerous; 
they have a priest and schoolmaster, and some grist mills and stills in the 
settlement." The. village here referred to was on the east bank of Mill Creek, 
a little back from the lake, almost on a line with Parade street. 


EVENTS IN 1757 AND 1758. 

No events of importance occurred in this section in 1757. The only chron- 
icle we find relates that some of the Indian warriors aiding the French sent their 
families to the neighborhood of Presque Isle for the purpose of planting corn. 
A captured French ensign reported in his examination on the 20th of June 
that 100 men were in garrison at Presque Isle, and that apprehensions were 
felt by them of an attack by the English and Indians. The transportation 
from Canada for the troops was mainly by canoes, which were obliged to keep 
close to the south shore of the lake. Fort LeBoeuf was in charge of an ensign 
of foot. There were from 800 to 900, and sometimes 1,000 men between 
the forts, 150 of whom were regulars and the rest Canadian Indians, who 
worked at the forts and built boats. There were no settlements nor improve- 
ments near the forts, which would indicate that the village at Presque Isle 
had been abandoned. The French planted corn about them for the Indians, 
whose wives and children came to the forts for it, and were also furnished 
with clothing at the King's expense. Traders resided in the forts who bought 
peltries of them. Several houses were outside the forts, but people did not 
care to occupy them for fear of being scalped. One of the French batteaux 
usually carried sixty bags of flour and three or four men; when unloaded they 
would carry twelve men. 

A journal written in November, 1758, gives this description of the two 
forts, on the authority of an Indian who had just come in: " Presque Isle has 
been a strong stockaded fort, but is so niuch out of repair that a strong man 
might pull up any log out of the earth. There are two officers and thirty-five 
men in garrison there, and not above ten Indians, which they keep constantly 
hunting for the support of the garrison. The fort on LeBcBuf Eiver is in 
much the same conditiou, with an officer and thirty men, and a few hunting 
Indians, who said they would leave there in a few days." 


During the year 1758, the English made sufficient progress in the direction 
of the Ohio to compel the French to evacuate Fort DuQuesne on the 22d of 
November, their artillery being sent down the river, and the larger part of the 
garrison retiring up the Allegheny. A letter dated Montreal, March 30, 1759, 
announces that the French troops at Detroit had been ordered to rendezvous 
at Presque Isle, in order to be ready tn aid Fort Machault if necessary, the 
commander at the latter being required, if too hard pressed, to fall back on 
Le Boeuf. The Indians, by this time, had lost confidence in the triumph of 
the French, and many were either siding with the English or pretending to be 
neutral. One of them, employed by the English as a spy at the Jakes, reached 
Pittsburgh during March, and gave some additional particulars of the fort at 
Presque Isle. "It is," he said, "square, with four bastions. * * The 
wall is only of single logs, with no bank within — a ditch without. * * * 
The magazine is a stone house covered with shingles, and not sunk in the 
ground, standing in the right bastion, next the lake. * * The other houses 
are of square logs." Fort Le Boeuf he described as of "the same plan, but 
very small— the logs mostly rotten. Platforms are erected in the bastions, and 
loopholes properly cut; one gun is mounted in a bastion, and looks down the 
river. It has only one gate, and that faces the side opposite the creek. The 
magazine is on the right of the gate, going in, partly sunk in the gi-ound, and 
above are some casks of powder to serve the Indians. Here are two officers, a 
storekeeper, clerk, priest, and 150 soldiers, who have no employment. * * '* 


The road from Venango to LeBoeuf is weJl trodden; from there to Presque 
Isle is very low and swampy, and bridged most of the way." 


The tide of battle continued to favor the English, and they finally besieged 
Fort Niagara below Bufi'alo. compelling the French to withdraw 1,200 men 
from Detroit, Presque Isle and Venango for its defense. Its capture by the 
English astonished and terrified the French in this section. A messenger 
reached Presque Isle from Sir "William Johnson, the victorious English com- 
mander, notifying the oificer in charge that the other posts must surrender in 
a few days. The French knew that their force was too small to cope with the 
enemy, and began making hasty preparations for departure. Their principal 
stores at Presque Isle were sent up the lake August 13, 1759, and the garri- 
son waited a brief time for their comrades at Le Boeuf and Venango, when the 
entire army left in batteaux for Detroit. An Indian, who arrived at DuQuesne 
soon after, reported that they had burned all of the forts, but this is questioned 
by some of the authorities. Upon taking their departure, they told the abo- 
rigines that they had been driven away by superior numbers, but would return 
in sufficient force to hold the country permanently. 


The English did not take formal possession of Forts Presque Isle and Le 
Boeuf until 1760, when Maj. Rogers was sent out for that purpose. Hostilities 
between the two nations continued, but the bloody wave of war did not 
reach Western Pennsylvania. A treaty of peace was signed at Paris in 
1763, by which the French ceded Canada and confirmed the Western country 
to the British Crown. The Indians did not take kindly to the British. They 
were hopeful of the return of the French, and meditated the driving of their 
victorious rivals out of the country. In June, 1763, the great Indian uprising 
known as " Pontiac's Conspiracy " occurred, which resulted in the destruction 
of all but four of the frontier posts. Fort Le Boeuf fell on the 18th and Fort 
Presque Isle on the 22d of that month, as will be found more fully described 
in the chapter devoted Lo the Indians. Col. Bradstreet, with a small army, 
arrived at Presque Isle on the 12th of August, 1764, and met a band of Shaw- 
nees and Delawares, who agreed to articles of peace and friendship. Prom 
there he marched to Detroit, v^here another treaty was made with the North- 
western Indians. These proceedings seem to have been entered into by the 
savages merely as a deception, for in a short time they renewed hostilities. 
Another expeditionj under Col. Boquet, was fitted out, and punished the 
troublesome tribes so severely that they were glad to accept the conditions 
offered them. 

The independence of the United States was acknowledged by Great Brit- 
ain in 1783. By the treaty of peace the mother country abandoned all pre- 
tensions to the western region. Her officers in Canada, however, still retained 
a hope of the ultimate return of the colonies to the protection of the British 
Crown. The English had, by this date, won the confidence of the Indians, 
who were kept hostile to the Americans by representations that Great Britain 
would yet resume possession of the country. As late as 1785, Mr. Adams, our 
minister at London, complained to the English Secretary of State, that 
though two years had elapsed since the definitive treaty, the forta of Presque 
Isle, Niagara, and elsewhere on the Northern frontier were still held by British 
garrisons. The actual American occupation dates from 1795. 



Little remains to be added to the various statements above, descriptive 
of the French forts. Fort Presqae Isle stood on the bluff overlooking the 
mouth of Mill Greek, on the western side, about 350 feet back from the shore 
of the bay. The British put it in repair and occupied it till after our inde- 
pendence was acknowledged, by which time it had almost gone to ruin. Its 
site was easily traceable as late as 1863, by mounds and depressions on the 
bank of the lake near the mouth of the creek. 

The fort at LeBoeuf stood within the present limits of Waterford Bor- 
ough, on the brow of the hill above LeBoeuf Creek nearly in line with the 
iron bridge across that stream. A ravine, which has since been partially tilled 
up, extended along its north side, down which flowed a rivulet, leading 
Washington to describe the fort as standing on "a kind of an island." 
Praccically the same site was successively occupied by the English and 


The French road commenced at the mouth of Mill Creek, where a ware- 
house stood, extended up that stream a short distance, and then struck off to 
the higher land, nearly following the line of Parade street, on its west side, 
through the city limits of Erie. A branch road led from the south gate of 
the fort, and connected with the main road in the hollow of Mill Greek. From 
the southern end of Parade street the latter ran across Mill Greek Township 
to the present Waterford plank road. The road that begins in Marvintown, 
opposite the old Seib stand, and terminates at the farm of Judge Souther, 
is almost identical with the French thoroughfare. Leaving the Waterford 
plank, the French road took across the hills into Summit Township, which it 
crossed entirely, entering Waterford Township on the Charles Skinner place, 
and terminating at the gate of Fort LeBoeuf, about where Judson's Hotel 
stands. The route known as the French road in Summit is understood to be 
exactly on the line of its historical original. The road was laid out thirty 
feet wide, and was "corduroyed" throughout most of its length. It was easily 
traced when the first American settlers came in, was partially adopted by them, 
S'ld portions of it, as above stated, are in use to this day. 


The Triangle. 

IN the charter granted by King Charles II to William Penn, dated the 4th of 
March, 1681, the limits of Pennsylvania are described as " three degrees of 
latitude in breadth, and five degrees of longitude in length, the eastern bound- 
ary being the Delaware River, the northei'n the beginning of the three and 
fortieth degree of northern latitude; on the south a circle drawn at twelve 
miles distance from New Castle (Delaware) northward and westward uuto the 
beginning of the fortieth degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight 
line westward to the limits of longitude above mentioned." 

Distinctly as these lines are stated, the boundaries of the State were long 
a subject of earnest and sometimes bittet controversy. Fifty years before the 
grant to Penn, King James I granted to the Plymouth Company " all the land 


lying in the same latitude with Connecticut and Massachusetts, as far west as 
the Pacific Ocean, not previously settled by other Christian powers." Under 
the construction placed upon this clause by Connecticut, more than one-third 
of Pennsylvania, including the whole northern part, belonged to that province. 
The dispute was finally settled by the action of Congress, which appointed 
Commissioners in 1782 to investigate the subject, who reported that " Connec- 
ticut has no right to the land in controversy," and that " the jurisdiction and 
pre-emption of all lands within the charter limits of Pennsylvania do of right 
belong to that State." 


A contentiou of almost like character took place with Virginia in regard to 
the western boundary of Pennsylvania. The former claimed the entire territory 
embraced in Penn's charter west of a line drawn a little to the east of the 
Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. This controversy was settled in 1786, 
by agreeing that the western boundary of Pennsylvania should commence at a 
point on Mason and Dixon's line, five degrees west from the Delaware River, 
and extend from there directly northward to Lake Erie. 

The land in the northern and northwestern parts of the State was purtmased 
from the Six Nations by Commissioners appointed by the Legislature, who met 
in conference with the Indians at Fort Stanwix (now Rome), N. Y. , and con- 
cluded a treaty in October, 1784. The action of the Six Nations was confirmed 
by a treaty made with the Delawares and Wyandots at Fort Mcintosh in Jan- 
uary, 1785. Neither of these purchases covered the territory known as "The 


By mutual agreement between New York and Pennsylvania, Commissioners 
were appointed in 1785 to determine and establish the east and west boundary 
line between the two States, being the Forty-second degree of latitude. David 
Eittenhouse was the Commissioner on the part of Pennsylvania, and Samuel 
Holland on that of New York. These gentlemen merely took measurements 
to locate the point in the Delaware River where the line should begin, when 
cold weather came on and compelled the work to cease. Rittenhouse and Hol- 
land were succeeded in 1787 by Andrew Ellicott on the part of Pennsylvania, 
and James Clinton and Simeon DeWitt on that of New York. They surveyed 
the entire line from the Delaware to Lake Erie, planting a stone every mile, 
with the distance from the river marked upon it, and marking mile trees in the 
same manner. The distance from the point of departure to where the north 
line of Pennsylvania terminated on the shore of Lake Erie in Springfield Town- 
ship, this county, was found to be 259 miles and 88 perches. The report of 
the above Commissioners was confirmed by the Legislatures of both States, and 
has ever since been accepted as the true northern boundary of Pennsylvania. 


The charter of New York defined its western boundary as extending from 
the south shore of Lake Erie to the forty- second degree of latitude, on a line 
drawn from the western extremity of Lake Ontario. In determining this line 
it became necessary to agree whether the ' ' western extremity of Lake Onta- 
rio " included Burlington Bay, or was at the peninsula dividing the latter 
from the lake. Andrew Ellicott and Frederick Saxton, the surveyors sent out 
to establish the boundary, decided upon the peninsula as the proper point from 
which to draw the line, and the western boundary of New York was therefore 
fixed at twenty miles east of Presque Isle. This left a triangular tract, which 


was not included in the charter of either State, and which was variously 
claimed by New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

During or some time after the Eevolution, Gen. William Irvine was sent 
to the Northwest by the authorities of Pennsylvania, to examine into the qual- 
ity of its lands and report upon the best manner of putting them into the 
market. While upon this tour be was struck with the fact that the State had 
no harbc>r upon the lake, and the great desirability of securing the one at 
Presque Isle. On his return to the East he interested a number of intelligent 
and progressive citizens in the project of purchasing the Triangle. After a 
protracted negotiation, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut released 
their claims to the United States Government, and the latter, in turn, conveyed 
the tract to Pennsylvania. The deed of cession by New York, was made on 
the 1st of March, 1781, and that of Massachusetts on the 19th of April, 1785. 
In the release by Connecticut she reserved 120 miles lying west of Pennsylva- 
nia's western boundary, within the present limits of Ohio, which became 
known as, and retains the title to this day of " The Western Reserve." The 
contract for the sale of the Triangle, made between the Representatives of the 
United States and Pennsylvania was ratified by Congress on the 4th of Sep- 
tember, 1788. On the 18th of April, 1791, the Governor was authorized by 
the Legislature to complete the purchase. March 3, 1792, a patent was 
issued to the State, signed by George Washington as President, and Thomas 
Jefferson as Secretary of State. The consideration was 1151,640.25. Below 
is a copy of the bill of sale from the General Government to the commonwealth: 

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for the pm'chase of the Lake Erie tract In account 
with the United States, Dr. 

July 19, 1792. To general account of sales of the Western lands, the property of the 
XTnited States: 

For the purchase or consideration money of the tenitory and tract of land on 
Lake Erie, of which tract a survey and retm'n hath been made and lodged 
in the office of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States by An- 
drew Ellicott. pursuant to a resolution of Congress passed in August, 1789, 
by which return the said tract is found to contain 202,187 acres, at three- 
fourths of a dollar per acre, payable in gold or silver, or in certificates of 
the debt of the United States, bearing interest, according to the terms pro- 
posed by William Bingham and James R. Reid, delegates in Congress, to 
the late Board of Treasury, on behalf of the said commonwealth, and 

accepted by the said board on behalf of the United States $1.^1 640 25 


By one certificate of registered debt, No. 558, dated 28tli February, 1792, with 

interest from 16th August, 1779 85,032 08 

By ditto, on interest from 21st August, 1783 4*285 20 

Principal amounting to | 89,317 28 

By interest arising thereon, calculated to 10th .June, 1791, being the time Sec- 
retary of the Treasury informed he was ready to settle the account for said 
purchase 62,322 97 

1^ T^ -r, , ^ 1151,640 25 

Treasury Department, Register s Office, ) 

6th September, 1796. ( 

Joseph Nourse, Register. 


Pending the negotiations with the General Government, the State authorities 
proceeded to secure a release of the Triangle tract from the Six Nations, which 
was only effected after a protracted effort. The conference for this purpose 
with the chiefs and warriors of the several tribes was held on the 9th of Jan- 
uary, 1789. and the deed from the Indians appears to have been signed some- 
time during the same month. The following is a copy of the document- 


Know all men by these presents, that we, the undersigned, chiefs, warriors and 
others, representing the following named tribes of the Six Nations, to wit : The 
Ondawagas or Seneeas, Cayugns, Tuscaroras, Onondagas and Oneidas, for and in con- 
sideration of the sum of 13,000, to ua in hand paid, bv Eichard Butler and John Gib- 
son, Esquires, Commissioners tor and in behalf of 'the State of Pennsylvania, the 
receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge, and we for ourselves, our tribes, our and 
their heirs and successors, are therewith fully paid and satisfied, have granted, bar- 
gained, sold and assigned over, and by tliese presents do grant, bargain, sell, remise, 
release, quit claim and assign over unto the said Slate of Pennsylvania, all our right, 
title, cliiim and interest of. m and to all that tract of country situate, lying and being 
within the territory of the United States, bounded on the south by the north line or 
boundary of Pennsylvania; on the east by the western boundary of the State of New 
York, agreeably to an act of cession of the said State of Ncav York and the State of 
Massachusetts to the "United States; and on the north by the southern shore or 
margm of Lake Erie, including Presque Isle and all the bays and harbors along the 
shore or margin of the said Lake Erie from the west boundary of the said State of 
Pennsylvania to where the west line or boundary of the Stale of New York may 
cross or intersect the southern sliore or margin of the said Lake Erie ; to have and 
to hold, etc. 

In testimony whereof, we, the said chiefs, have hereunto set our hands and 
seals this — day of January, in the year of our Lord 1789 : 

Seneeas— Gyantwachia, or the Cornplanter; Gyashota, or the Big Cross; Kanas- 
see, or the New Arrow; Achiont, or the Half Town; Anachkont, or the Wasp; 
Chishekoa. or the Wood Bug; Sessewa, or Big Bale of a Kettle; Sciawhowa, or the 
Council Keeper; Tewanias, or the Broken Twig; Souachshowa, or the Pull Moon; 
Cacliunevasse, or Twenty Canoes 

Tuscarora Chief — Hichonquash, or Tearing Asunder. 

Seneeas— Cageahgea, or Dogs about the Fire; Sawedowa, or the Blast; Klonda- 
showa, or Swimming Fish. 

Onondaga Chief— Oncheye, or the Dancing Feather. 

Cayuga Chiefs— Soahaes, or Falling Mountain; Otachsaka, or Broken Toma- 

Oneida Chief— Tekcliiefs, or the Long Tree. 

Seneca Chief— Onesechter, or the Leaded Man. 

Munsey Chiefs — Kiatulahoh, or the Snake; Aqueia, or Bandy Legs. 

Seneeas— Kiandock-Govva, or Big Tree; Owenewah, or Throw into the Water. 

N. B. — The two Munseys signed as being residents Of the land, but not owners. 

K. Butler. 
In the presence of A, St. Clair, Joseph Harmar and others. 

Twelve hundred dollars were also paid by the United States Government 
for the extinguishment of the Indian titles. 

The cession of the Triangle gave great offense to a portion of the Indians, 
who claimed that they had not been fairly represented in the council. There 
was a good deal of talk among them of resisting its occupancy by the State, 
and at one time matters looked really serious, but by wise efforts what might 
have been a long and murderous border war was avoided. On the 3d of Feb- 
ruary, 1791, Cornplanter, Half Town, and Big Tree executed a second instru- 
ment, in which, after reciting the dissatisfaction that existed among the 
Seneca nation, they acknowledged the receipt of $800 as full satisfaction 
of all claims and demands by their nation against the commonwealth, and 
" fully, clearly, and finally remised and forever quit-claimed" their interest in 
the Triangle to Gov. McKean, " from the beginning of the world to the date 
of these presents. " It was several years after the signing of this deed, how- 
ever, before the Indians became sufficiently quieted Ix) enable settlements to 
be made with safety, as will be more fully related in another part of these 


The territory above purchased extends some forty miles in a straight line 
along the lake, and is about eighteen miles in breadth along the New York 
boundary, tapering from there to a point in Springfield Township, between four 
and five miles east of the Ohio line. It embraces 202,187 acres, and the United 


States received pay for it at the rate of three-fourths of a dollar per acre. The 
townships embraced in the Triangle are North East, Greenfield, Venango, Har- 
bor Creek, Greene, Summit, Mill Creek, a small portion of Springfield, about 
two-fifths of Girard and McKean, and four-fifths of Fairview. The terminus 
of the Triangle on the shore of Lake Erie was marked by a stone on the Jo- 
seph Hewitt farm in Springfield, which has disappeared. 

The old State line forms the southern boundary of Venango, Greene and 
Summit Townships, and the northern of Waterford and Amity. It passes 
through the boroughs of Girard and Middleboro nearly in the center. The 
portion of the county within the original limits of the State is some forty- 
five miles long from east to west, by ten miles in width from north to south, 
being about two-thirds of the whole. The townphips wholly in it are Wayne, 
Concord, Amity, Union, Waterford, LeBceuf, Washington, Franklin, Elk 
Creek and Conneaut. 

A corps of engineers have recently been at work renewing the mon- 
uments marking the boundary between New York and Pennsylvania, many of 
which had been destroyed or lost sight of. In the execution of their task 
they make use of blocks of Quincy granite, about four feet long and six inches 
square at the top. The stones ' ' are dressed one foot down, that distance be- 
ing left above ground. Heavy creases are cut at right angles across each. 
The letters 'Pa.,' and 'N. Y.,' about two inches long, face Pennsylvania and 
New York respectively. At highways, street and railway crossings, the tops 
of the stones are one foot by six inches in size, and in other particulars like 
the rest. Those of the ordinary size are set just oup mile apart." 


In explanation of the " certificate " mentioned in the bill of sale, it should be 
stated that in the contract for the purchase of the Triangle, it was stipulated that 
the Commonwealth might make payment "in gold or silver or in public securities 
of the United States, bearing interest." "When the time came for closing the 
transaction, the State, with Quaker shrewdness, offered one of the funded 
bonds of the General Government, commonl/ known as "Continental certifi- 
cates," which were then in decidedl}^ bad credit, and demanded that interest 
should be allowed, according to the terms of _ its face. This was rather a sur- 
prise to the Federal authorities, and a long correspondence ensued, in which 
the Commonwealth seems to have had the better of the argument. After con- 
siderable delay, her legal right to pay in the manner proposed was conceded, 
and she turned over the bond and received credit for the accumulated interest, 
as is shown in the bill of sale above printed. It is apparent that the State 
drove a y&rj sharp bargain, but whether the transaction was much to her 
honor, may admit of some debate. 



The American Occupation. 
■ '"pHE first stop in the actual settlement of Erie County by white people was 
-L taken in 1785, when David Watts and William Miles were sent under the 
auspices of the State to survey the Tenth Donation District, embracing portions 
of Waterford, Wayne and Amity Townships. On the completion of their 
labors, they returned to the East, and gave such a flattering account of the 
country that much interest in it was excited among the adventurous people of 
that region. March 24, 1789, it was resolved by the General Assembly that 
not exceeding 3,000 acres should be surveyed at Presqne Isle, LeBceuf, and 
two other places for the use of the commonwealth. In 1790, Gov. Mifflin, by 
authority of the Legislature, appointed Timothy Matlack, Samuel MoClay and 
John Adlum to examine the western streams of the State for the purpose of 
ascertaining whether " any nearer and more feasible communication could be 
had between the Allegheny Eiver and Lake Erie." They examined French and 
LeBceuf Creeks up to Waterford, traversed the portage to Presque Isle, and on 
going back made a report which resulted in £100 being appropriated for the 
improvement of the streams named. This was followed by the settlement law 
of the 3d of April, 1792, which provided for the survey of all the lands north 
and west of the Allegheny and Ohio Kivers and Conewango Creek, and their 
sale upon terms that will be stated in another chapter. 

The Pennsylvania Population Company, formed at Philadelphia March 8, 
1792, purchased a large tract of land in the Triangle with the object of selling 
it at a profit, and inducing settlement. On the 8th of April, of the same year, 
the Legislature passed and Gov. Mifflin approved a bill for laying out a town 
at Presque Isle, which was a part of the general plan for the occupation of the 
Northwest. This act was as follows: 

Section 1. Be it enacted, etc.. That tbe Governor be and is hereby empowered to 
cause to be surveyed the tract reserved at or near Presque Isle by the act entitled, " An act 
for the sale of the vacant lands within this commonwealth," passed the 3d day of April, 
1792; and at the most eligible place within the said tract he shall cause to be laid out and 
surveyed sixteen hundi-ed acres of land in town lots of not more than one-third of an acre 
each; and also three thousand four hundred acres adjoining the same, in outlets, not less 
than five acres nor more than ten acres each. Provided always. That the Governor shall 
reserve out of the lots of the said town so much land as he shall deem necessary for public 
uses; also, so much land within or out of the said town as may, in his opinion, be wanted 
by the United States for the purpose of erecting forts, magazines, arsenals and dock-yards. 

Sbc. 2. That the first two hundred persons that shall actually inhabit and reside, on 
or before the 1st day of January next, within the said town, shall each and every of them 
be entitled to one unappropriated town lot, to be ascertained by lottery, for which they 
shall respectively receive a deed, clear of all charges; Provided, That such persons respect- 
ively, or their respective representatives, or assignees, shall inhabit and reside in the said 
town for the term of three years, and also, within the said town build or cause to be built, 
a house at least sixteen feet square, and containing at least one brick or stone chimney, on 
the town lots to be granted in pursuance of this act. 

Sec. 3. That the Governor is hereby authorized to sell two hundred of the town lots 
exclusively of those granted by the next preceding section, and the whole of the other out- 
lots, in such manner as he shall think most to the advantage of the State, and make con- 
veyance of the same; excepting, always, such as shall be made upon this condition; that 
the respective purchasers shall and do, within the term of threeyears, erect and build one 
house, at least sixteen feet square, and containing at least one brick or stone chimney, on 
each and every town lot by them purchased; and no deed of conveyance shall be gi-anted 


by the Governor to any purchaser, nor, after the expiration of the said term of three years, 
shall the said sale be deemed or construed to vest any title, claim or demand in any pur- 
chaser, unless satisfactory proof be first given that a house has been erected or built on the 
town lots sold as aforesaid; that the streets, lanes and alleys of the said town shall be 
common highways forever; and that, previous to the sale or sales of the said town lots and 
outlots, notice shall be given of the same in at least three of the newspapers of the State at 
least ten weeks previous to such sale or sales. 


On the 25th of February, 1794, another act was passed which authorized the 
Governor "to detach from the several companies of artillery and infantry 
raised by the State ' ' for the security of the port of Philadelphia and the 
defense of the Western frontier, " as many men as can be conveniently spared 
from the specific objects of protection and defense for which the companies 
were particularly destined, and to station the detachment so made at such 
place or places at or near Presque Isle, on Lake Erie, as shall in his judgment 
be best calculated to carry into effect the act " just quoted. This measure was 
called forth by the menaces of the Indians, who had learned of the proposed 
settlement at Presque Isle, and knowing that it would cause a break in their 
communications between the East and West, were determined to prevent it if 
possible. In accordance with its provisions, Gov. Mifflin, on the 1st of March, 
1794, issued a circular to the Brigade Inspectors of Washington, Westmore- 
land and Allegheny Counties, requiring them to raise men to serve eight 
months, unless sooner discharged, with a stipulation that, if necessary, they 
should continue in service till the next meeting of the Legislature. Each man 
who took his own rifle was to be allowed $2 for its use, and to have a reasona- 
ble equivalent if it was lost or destroyed in the public service. Four compa- 
nies were to be organized within the district stated, of whom one Captain, one 
Lieutenant, two Ensigns, six Corporals and six Sergeants and ninety-five privates 
were to be detached for the Presque Isle expedition. The command was given 
to Gapt. Ebenezer Denny, of Allegheny County, who is-presumed to have seen 
service in border warfare. 

Gen. William Irvine and Andrew Ellicott had been appointed Commission- 
ers some time before to lay out a road from Reading to Presqiie Isle. On the 
same day the above-mentioned circular was issued they were notified that 
Albert Gallatin had been associated in their appointment, and that they three 
were to lay out the town contemplated by the act of 1793. The Governor's 
instructions desired them to " promote peace, order and friendship with the 
peaceable Indians or British garrison, should any intercourse * * be pro- 
duced by accident or necessity." Capt. Denny was required "to comply with 
every lawful request of the Commissioners," and was further reminded that 
the objects of his appointment were "strictly those of protection and defense. " 


Boats and canoes left Pittsburgh on the 16th of April, by way of the Alle- 
gheny Eiver, the stores and provisions having been sent in advance. By the 
25th of April, three officers and seventy-seven men had reached Franklin, at the 
mouth of French Creek. On the same date, a report reached headquarters at 
Pittsburgh that the Indians, incited by British agents, were " meditating an 
opposition to the designs of the Government respecting Presque Isle," and a 
week later Denny wote to the Governor his apprehensions that "a council 
holding at the mouth of Buffalo Creek between the chiefs of the Six Nations 
and the British may terminate unfavorably to our establishment. " On the 1st 
of May, a Munsee Indian was killed at Franklin in a drunken row by a white 


man named Kobertson. This added greatly to the feeling among the aborig- 
ines. The affair was settled by the party at Franklin raising a purse of 1100 
and paying it to the relatives of the dead man, in satisfaction of their wrong, 
according to an old custom among the Indians. 

The troops took possession of "the forks of French Creek, about two miles 
below the old post of LeBoeuf," on or near the llt^ of May, where they built 
a small block-house, pending the cutting out of the logs which obstructed the 
navigation of the stream. From this point, Gen. John Wilkins, of Pittsburgh, 
who accompanied the expedition, wrote on the day of their arrival that ' ' the 
British axe determined to oppose the progress of the State troops from LeBceuf 
to Presque Isle by sending a number of Indians and English to cut them oif. " 
In a few days more the detachment reached LeBceuf, where they immediately 
erected two small picketed block-houses, which, Wilkins reported, " will make 
them sufficiently strong until the re-enfoireement arrives under Capt. Denny.'' 
The latter event did not occur until the 24th of June. A draft of 1,000 mili- 
tia from the brigades of Westmoreland, Washington, Allegheny and Fayette 
Counties was ordered by the Governor in the latter part of May, to co-operate 
with Denny's detachment under command of Gen. Wilkins. On the day the 
order was issued, the Governor wrote to Wilkins warning him of "the critical 
state of our Presque Isle settlements," which, he added, "calls for an exercise 
of judgment, prudence and spirit." 


While the events here mentioned were in progress, a letter reached Gen.- 
Knox, Secretary of War undor President Washington, from Gen. Israel 
Chapin, the United States Commissioner to the Six Nati'ons, to the effect that 
the British "feel very much alarmed at the garrisoning of Presque Isle. * * 
If the garrison destined for that place," wrote Chapin, " is not very strong, 
it is doubtful whether it will not be attacked." On the 9th of May, Gen. 
Knox wrote to Wilkins and Denny, cautioning them to "proceed with the 
utmost vigilance and precaution." The next day, he addressed a communica- 
tion to Gen. Mifflin, stating that " affairs are critically circumstanced between 
the United States and the Six Nations," and giving it as the opinion of the 
President, "on mature reflection, that it is advisable to suspend for the pres- 
ent the establishment of Presque Isle." On the very day this epigtle was re- 
ceived, the Governor notified the Brigade Inspectors of the four western coun- 
ties that he had been induced to suspend the execution of the act for laying 
out a town at Presque Isle. He therefore rescinded all orders for drafting men, 
directed the Commissi oners, who had not yet left Pittsburgh, to postpone further 
proceedings, and commanded Denny's detachment to remain at LeBoeuf, "un- 
less it should be found necessary to retire from the station in order to prevent 
an actual contest with the friendly Indians." The Commissioners were asked 
to remain ' ' in such a situation as will enable them on short notice to resume 
the execution of their mission." 


The correspondence that has been preserved on the subject indicates that 
the fears of an Indian war were well founded and quite universal among those who 
had the best means of information. Gen. Wilkins wrote from LeBceuf: " The 
Indians contrive to make opposition to the establishment at Presque Isle. The 
Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada and an Indian agent were visiting all 
the Indian towns westward, exciting the Indians to oppose the Americans and 
assuring them of support from the King. * * * Advices from the Gene- 


see country state that every industry is being made by the British to put the 
Indians on us." The chief men of the Six Nations, he concluded, held a 
council at Buffalo Creek about the middle of May. In a letter of June 5, 
from David Eeweck to Gov. Mifflin, he says of Presque Isle: "I have not 
doubted but that the British wish seriously to possess it. * * * It is 
pretty certainly known that for a considerable time past no vessel (British) has 
gone up or down the lake without instructions to put in at Presque Isle and 
see whether we were there or no." About the same time, John Polhemus, com- 
manding at Fort I'ranklin, reported:- "From the best information that I have 
received this day, I have reason to believe the Indians will attempt to make 
themselves masters of this post." A week later, he forwarded the tidings that 
three men on their way to Pittsburgh from Franklin were attacked by the savages, 
two of whom were killed. D. Bansom, a trader with the Indians, deposed on 
the 11th of June that he "had been told by the Broken Twig that the British 
and Indians were to land at Presque Isle and form a junction with Cornplanter 
on French Creek and were then to clear it by killing all the white people and 
taking all the posts on it." 

It is but fair to the Senecas and their chief to state that in a letter from 
Capt. Denny, dated at Franklin on the lUth of June, he says : ' ' The Corn- 
planter has gone to another council at Bufl'alo. * * * jj^ is extremely 
concerned at the account given of their going to take up the hatchet; says they 
are bad men that report it; that it's a lie." 

In a communication of the 12th of June from Gen. Chapin to the War 
•Department, he declares: "I am afraid of the consequences of the attempt to 
settle Presque Isle at present. The Indians do not acknowledge the validity 
of the Cornplanter's sale to Pennsylvania." 

We have gathered the testimony on this point at more length than may seem 
necessary, because of its relation to other events that will be detailed in a sub- 
sequent chapter. 


The people of the western counties were highly indignant at the suspen- 
sion of the proceedings for settlement, and, without knowing the reason that 
prompted Gov. Mifflin, hotly condemned what they called his timidity. The 
Governor, however, soon righted himself by spreading the intelligence abroad 
that he had acted in pursuance of a special request from President Washing- 
ton. He was of the belief, in common with most of the citizens of the State, 
that there was more bluster than sincerity in the threats of the Indians, and 
that the best way was to go right on, and, if necessary, whip them into acqui- 
escence. Gen. Irvine wrote from Pittsburgh: "People here are astonished at 
the course of the General Government. I could have taken 500 — some mounted, 
some riflemen, of such as would have effectually awed the savages and 
British.'' A long correspondence took place between Mifflin and the Federal 
authorities, in which the Governor argued earnestly in favor of the right of 
the State to protect its own territory and endeavored to convince the Cabinet 
of the folly of suspending the operations. 


The council referred to by Denny was held at the mouth of Buffalo Creek 
on the 18th of June. It was attended by Gen. Chapin, as representative of 
the United States, who found the Indians " much agitated with regard to the 
movements made by the State of Pennsylvania." He left Buffalo on the 19th, 
m company with sixteen chiefs and warriors and a British Indian agent, who 


acted as interpreter, for Presque Isle, which they reached on the 24th. Find- 
ing no person there, they proceeded to LeBcBuf that evening, where they met 
Capt. Denny and Mr. Ellicott, one of the State Commissioners, who had re- 
cently come up from Pittsburgh. In the consultation which ensued, the Indians 
objected to the establishment of garrisons in this quarter in the professed be- 
lief that it would involve them in a war with the Western Indians. They 
also claimed that the lands were not legally purchased from them by Pennsyl- 
vania. Ellicott and Denny replied that the purchase was as openly and fairly 
made as any that had ever taken place. The Indians returned to Buffalo, 
where another council was held on the 4th of July, at which it was determined 
to maintain their rights by force. In a communication of July 17, from the 
Secretary of War to the Governor, he reported that Ohapin had sent word that, 
had he not proceeded to LeBoeuf and the surveyors not suspended operations, 
blood would certainly have been shed. 


Denny begged of Gen. Gibson on the 27th of June for " a few militia," on 
the ground that a number of his men at Le Boeuf were ill with the flux and 
others had to be detached. To the Governor he reported on the 4th of July : 
" Have been busy erecting a stockade post. Moved the detachment in yester- 
day. Am now beyond the power of any body of hostile Indians. None have 
been around §ince the party on the 24th. Hear firing almost daily, but whether 
friends or foes is uncertain." Ellicott wrote on the 1st of August: "The In- 
dians consider themselves as our enemies and that we are theirs. From this 
consideration they never come near the garrison except as spies and then es- 
cape as soon as discovered." Denny notified the Governor on the same date 
that they had four block -houses at LeBceuf, on two of which a six-pounder was 
mounted, the others not being calculated for cannon. Over each gate was a 
swivel. The officers occupied their tents in the absence of more agreeable 
quarters. The situation he regarded as eicellent, except that there was a hol- 
low way parallel with the rear of the works and within gunshot that would 
" cover any number of Indians." This was examined every morning before 
the gates were thrown open. A few days previous, two or three Indians were 
seen "reviewing the plan," who seemed disappointed when a white flag was 
hoisted. The troops at the post numbered one hundred and ten, inclusive of 
officers. Ellicott regarded the garrison as being " in excellent order," and 
that it could, "if supplied with provisions, safely bid defiance to all the In- 
dians between the Genesee and Mississippi Elvers." 

On the 10th of September, a man named Dickson was fired at by a party of 
Indians and wounded in two places, while working in a field within a hundred 
and fifty yards of the settlement at Cussewago, below LeBoeuf. The news of 
the atrocious act spread like wildfire, and excited a universal desire among the 
whites for retaliation. 

Denny complained to the Governor, on the 1st of October, that " the men 
are very naked; few of them have anything but their summer dress, and that 
in rags, and the most of them are barefooted." Again, on the 1st of November, 
he sent word: " For want of clothing, particularly shoes, there are numbers of 
the men who are almost useless. * * The fellows who are barefooted suffer 
with the snow." A letter from Wilkins, of the 10th of October, gave more 
favorable accounts from LeBoeuf and Franklin. The British influence over 
the Six Nations, he stated, had been greatly affected by the defeat which the 
Western Indians sustained from Gen. Wayne's army in August. A number of 
Six Nation Indians were in the battle at Titaumee, and on getting back to their 


homes told the most terrifying stories of Wayne's skill and bravery. Mr. 
Ellicott set out for the older sections of the State on the 23d of October, and 
was in Philadelphia on the 30th of December. An order was issued by the 
Governor to Gen. Wilkins on the 26th of October to raise one hundred and 
thirty men for six months, after the expiration of the service of the detachment 
at LeBoeuf , for the maintenance of that post and the completion of the Presque 
Isle enterprise. Each private was to receive 50 shillings a month, besides 
the customary rations. The old detachment was relieved by the new recruits 
in the closing part of December. 


By the efforts of Timothy Pickering, representing the United States, a 
treaty of peace was concluded with the Sis Nations at Canandaigua, N. T., on 
the 11th of November, in which they unreservedly acknowledged the title of 
Pennsylvania to the Triangle, and for themselves and their successors released 
all claims upon the lands within its limits. This happy conclusion was much 
hastened by the terror of Anthony Wayne's name and victories. As soon as 
tidings of the treaty reached Washington, word was sent by the President tc 
Gov. MiiBin that the temporary obstacles to the establishment were removed. 
It being too late in the season when the good news arrived at Le Bceuf to do 
any effective work at Presque Isle, the detachment remained at the former 
post until early spring. The force there on the 27th of March, 1795, consisted 
of ninety-nine in all. 

While Ellicott was at Le Bceuf, in the summer of 1794, he laid out the 
town of Waterford, the plan of which was afterward sanctioned by the Legis- 
lature. An act for laying out towns at Presque Isle, Le Bceuf, Venango and 
Conewango (Erie, Waterford, Franklin and Warren) passed that body in April, 
1795, being the second in regard to the first-named place. This law also 
repealed the one of April 8, 1793, quoted in the beginning of this chapter. 

Maj. Craig, of the United States Army, stationed at Pittsburgh, reported to 
the Secretary of War on the 24th of May, 1795, that "the State troops at Le 
Bceuf are nearly all disbanded. Capt. Buchanan," he says, "who commanded 
at that post (Denny having left), arrived here yesterday with the greater part 
of the men under his command, who are all discharged." In Buchanan's 
communication to the Governor, of June 19, he states, however, that Lieut. 
Mehaffey, with twenty-six men, marched from Pittsburgh with Commissioners 
Irvine and Ellicott toward Le Bceuf. He, Buchanan, expected to start that 
day with the balance of the escort. This would imply that a new set of men 
had been enlisted for the purpose. In Denny's report of his operations, he 
thus describes the location at Presque Isle: "A mile and a half in some 
directions from the old French fort the land appears to have been under culti- 
vation, or at least cleared, but is now grown up thick with young chestnut and 
linn. The fort has been a regular pentagon, but the work was very light. The 
parapet don't exceed five feet, and the ditch not more. The walls of the mag- 
azine, of stone, are standing, and may be repaired. The well may also be 
easily made fit for use." He mentions that " among the stores sent up by the 
State" was " a complete set of irons for a saw mill." 


Some two hundred men from Wayne's army landed at Presque Isle early in 
the spring of 1795, under command of Capt. Russell Bissell. They set to work 
at once, cutting timber for block-houses, of which two were erected on the bluff 

,y^^i^,dL-^:y(^ L.~7^ 


overlooking the entrance to the harbor, just east of the mouth of Mill Creek.* 
They also cleared a good deal of land to raise corn for the use of the garrison. 
In June, Ellicott and Irvine, Commissioners, arrived, accompanied by a corps 
of surveyers, and escorted by State troops under command of Capt. John Grubb, 
to lay out the town of Erie as required by the act of Assembly. Hov? long they 
remained it is impossible to ascertain. The troops under Bissell built a saw 
mill the next season at the mouth of Mill Creek, which was the first in Erie 
County, and gave name to the stream. The command would seem to have been 
kept up until about 1806, being successively in charge, after Bissell, who con- 
tinued until 1799, of Capts. Hamtramck, Lyman and McCall, and Gen. Callen- 
der Irvine, a son of Commissioner Irvine. 


A bloody incident occurred on the 22d of May, 1795, which was afterward 
the cause of much discussion and litigation, on account of which we will give 
the cotemporary statements in regard to it found in the Pennsylvania Archives. 
Denny wrote to the Governor from Pittsburgh on the 29th of May. ' ' Four men 
were attacked on Saturday last by a party of Indians lying in wait on the road 
two miles from Presque Isle. One was found scalped; the fate of the other 
three is not known." A letter from the Secretary of War to Gov. Mifflin, 
dated the 5th of June, referring to the occurrence, says: "It is not improbable 
that the attack was in retaliation, because a family of friendly Indians on the 
Allegheny, returning from their winter hunt, had been fired upon in May by a 
party of white men, and two of the Indians badly wounded." The man who 
was killed was named Ralph Kutledge, and one of the other three was his son, 
who was found scalped but living, and was carried to the fort at Waterford for 
medical treatment, where he died shortly after. These were the first known 
deaths in the county. The body of the elder Kutledge was found near the site 
of the Union depot in Brie, and was buried on the spot where he died. 


Anthony Wayne. 

^^]~0 work upon Erie County would be complete without a sketch of the 
_LN career of Gen. Anthony Wayne, who^e last sickness, death and burial are 
inseparably associated with its history. He was born in the township of 
Eastown, Chester County, Penn. , on the 1st of January, 1745, being the son 
of Isaac Wayne, who served several terms as a member of the Provincial Leg- 
islature and took part in one or more Indian expeditions. After receiving a 
good education, Anthony embraced the profession of a surveyor, at which he 
was engaged for a brief period in his native county. In 1765-66, he visited 
Nova Scotia as the agent of a Philadelphia land association, and on returning 
home was elected to several county offices. He formed an early friendship 
with Dr. Franklin, and, like him, was one of the first to espouse the cause of 
American independence. A member of the Assembly in 1774, and of the Pro- 
vincial Convention in the same year, to consider the troubles with Great Brit- 

♦ The troops merely erected quarters-that year ; the warehouse and stockades were not completed until the next 
year, after the saw mill was placed in operation. The supplies for the command were brought by vessel from Detroit. 



ain, he became one of the Committee of Safety in 1775. Believing war to be 
inevitable, he resigned his civil office in September, and, after some time spent 
in military study and practice, raised a regiment, of which he was commis- 
sioned Colonel. His first service was with Gen. Sullivan in the spring of 1776, 
and he bore a brilliant part in the battle of Three Rivers, Canada. When the 
expedition returned, he was placed in charge of the posts of Ticonderoga and 
Mt. Independence. In February, 1777, he was commissioned a Brigadier 
General, and served with Washington in the New Jersey and Delaware Valley 
campaign. On the 20th of September, 1777, while stationed at Paoli, near his 
Chester County home, with a detachment of 1,500 men, his position was be- 
trayed by some tories to the enemy, who fell upon him during the night and 
killed and wounded one-tenth of his command. By Wayne's coolness and 
bravery, his little army was rallied, and retreated to a place of safety. This 
was the affair generally known as the 


" A court-martial convened by Gen. Washington, at Wayne's urgent re- 
quest, decided, after minute investigation, that he did everything that could 
be expected from an active, brave and gallant officer under the orders which he 
then had. " He led the attack of the American right wing at Germantown, and 
received the special applause of Washington for his conduct at Monmouth. 
His surprise and capture of Stony Point, one of the strongest British positions 
on the Hudson, was among the most gallant events of the war, and elicited res- 
olutions of thanks from Congress and the Legislature of Pennsylvania. After 
other valuable services in the North, Wayne was transferred to the South, 
where he co-operated with marked skill in the operations which led to the sur- 
render of Cornwallis. His last sphere of duty during the Revolution was in 
Georgia, from which he succeeded in driving the enemy. He was distinguished 
in all councils of war for supporting the most energetic measures, from which, 
and from his wonderful dash and courage, he won the popular appellation of 
" Mad Anthony." At the close of the war, he retired to his farm in Chester 
County. He was called in 1789 to serve in the Pennsylvania convention, and in 
that body advocated the adoption of the United States Constitution with all of 
his old-time earnestness and patriotism. 


In the year 1792, Wayne was commissioned a Major General, and assigned to 
the Northwestern frontier, for the purpose of forcing the Indians into subjec- 
tion. After various minor engagements, he gained a signal victory over the 
savages on the Maumee, in August, 1 794. His skill, promptness and bravery 
made a strong impression among the hostile tribes, and they hastened to sue 
for forgiveness. He was then appointed sole Commissioner to deal with them 
on the part of the United States, and effected a treaty of peace at Greenville, 
Ohio, m 1795, which paved the way for the settlement of Northwestern Penn- 
sylvania and Northern Ohio. 


Gen. Wayne's mission being fulfilled, in the fall of 1796 he embarked in a 
small vessel at Detroit for Presque Isle, now Erie, on his way homeward. 
During the passage down the lake, he was attacked with the gout, which had 
^icted him for some years, and been much aggravated by his exposure in the 
Western wilds. The vessel being without suitable remedies, he could obtain no 
relief, and on landing at Presque Isle was in a dangerous condition. By his 


own request, he was taken to one of the block houses on the Garrison tract, the 
attic of which bad been fitted up as a sleeping apartment. Dr. J. C. Wallace, 
who had served with him as a surgeon during his Indian campaign, and who 
was familiar with his disease, was then stationed at Fort Fayette, Pittsburgh. 
The General sent a messenger for the doctor, and the latter started instantly 
for Erie, but on reaching Franklin was astonished to learn the news of his 
death, which occurred on the 15th of December, 1796. During his illness 
every attention was paid to the distinguished invalid that circumstances would 
permit. Two days after his death the body was buried, as he had directed, in 
a plain coffin, with his uniform and boots on, at the foot of the flagstaff of the 
block-house. Among those who helped to lay out and inter the remains was 
Capt. Daniel Dobbins, long one of the best known citizens of Erie. The top 
of the coffin was marked with the initials of his name, "A. W.," his age and 
the year of his decease in round-headed brass tacks, driven into the wood. 


An account of Gen. Wayne at the age of thirty two describes him as 
"about middle size, with a firm, manly countenance, commanding port and 
eagle eye. His looks corresponded well with his character, indicating a soul 
noble, ardent and daring. In his intercourse with his officers and men. he was 
affable and agreeable, and had the art cf communicating to their bosoms the 
gallant and chivalrous spirit which glowed in his own. * * * jjig dress 
was scrupulously neat and elegant, his movements were quick, his manners 
easy and graceful." 


In the fall of 1808, Gen. Wayne's daughter, Mrs. Altee, was taken serious- 
ly ill. While upon her sick bed, she was seized with a strong desire to have 
her father's remains moved to the family burying ground. Eealizing that it 
was her last sickness and anxious to console her dying moments, Col. Isaac 
Wayne, the General's son, consented to come ou to Erie for the purpose of 
complying with her wishes. The journey was made in the spring of 1809, 
through what was then a wilderness for much of the distance, with a horse and 
sulky. On arriving in Erie, Col. Wayne put up at Buehler's Hotel, and sent 
for Dr. Wallace, the same one who had been called to minister to the General. 
The Doctor agreed to attend to the disinterment and preparation of the re- 
mains, and Col. Wayne gave him entire charge of the operation, declining to 
witness it on the ground that he preferred to remember his father as he knew 
him when living. Thirteen years having elapsed, it was supposed that the 
corpse would be decomposed," but, on opening the grave, all present were 
amazed to find the body petrified wiih the exception of one foot and leg, which 
were partially gone. The boot on the unsound leg had decayed and most of 
the clothing was missing, Dr. Wallace separated the body, into convenient 
parts and placed them in a kettle of boiling water until the flesh could be re- 
moved from the bones. He then carefully scraped the bones, packed them in 
a small box and returned the flesh, with the implements used in the operation, 
to the coffin, which had been left undisturbed, and it was again covered over 
with earth. The box was secured to Col. Wayne's sulky and carried to East- 
ern Pennsylvania, where the contents were deposited in a second grave among 
those of the General's deceased relatives. In the labor of dissection, which took 
place on the garrison grounds, Dr. Wallace was assisted by Eobert Murray, Rob- 
ert Irwin, Eichard Clement and perhaps others. Gen. Wayne's sound boot was 
given to James Duncan, who found that it fitted him, had a mate made for it 
and wore the pair until they could no longer be used. 



At the time of the disinterment, Oapt. Dobbins and family were living on 
the Garrison grounds in a large building erected for the use of the oomr^and- 
ing officer. Mrs. Dobbins was allowed to look at the body, with some of her 
lady acquaintances, and obtained a lock of the dead hero's hair. She had a vivi d 
recollection of the incident when nearly in her one hundredth year. The body, 
she said, was not hard like stone, but was more of the consistency of soft chalk. 
The hairs of the head pulled out readily, and the general appearance of the 
corpse was m.uoh like that of a plaster of Paris cast. 

In explanation of Dr. Wallace's course, it is argued that he acted in accord- 
ance with what the circumstances of the case seemed to require. It was 
necessary that the remains should be placed in as small a space a? possible, to 
accommodate the means of conveyance. Col. Wayne is reported to have said, 
in regard to the affair: "I always regretted it; had I known the state the 
remains were in before separated I think I should certainly have had them 
again deposited there and let them rest, and had a monument erected to his 

William H. Holstein, a grandson of Gren. Wayne, in a letter printed in the 
Erie Observer of February 13, 1880, states that "Col. Wayne was not aware 
of the condition of his father's remains until all was completed or he would 
not have consented to the removal.'' 


Some years ago, Dr. Germer, of Erie, who has a profound veneration for 
Wayne's memory, read a sketch of the burial and removal, and was prompted 
to look up the place of the grave. He first ascertained the site of the block- 
house, which had long before disappeared with the other structures, and dig- 
ging down at the probable foot of the flagstaff readily found the grave and 
coffin. The lid of the coffin, with the initials, etc., before described, upon it, 
was fairly preserved, but the balance had mostly rotted away. Largely through 
the efforts of Dr. Germer and Capt. Welsh, an appropriation was obtained 
from the Legislature, with which a substantial log block-house in imitation of 
the original was built to mark the site, and the grounds were surrounded by a 
railing with cannon at each of the four corners. The grave has been neatly 
and substantially built up with stone, and the coffin lid, with other relics of the 
early days, is carefully sheltered within the block-house — the whole forming 
as appropriate a monument to the hero as could well be devised. 


The Wayne family burial ground, where the bones of the gallant General 
repose, is in the cemetery attached to St. David's Episcopal Church, at Rad- 
nor, Delaware County, not fai- from the Chester County line, less than an 
hour's walk from Wayne Station, on the Pennsylvania Eailroad, and fourteen 
miles west from Philadelphia. Not far distant is Paoli, the scene of the mas- 
sacre which was so brilliantly avenged at Stony Point. The Pennsylvania 
State Society of the Cincinnati erected a monument over the grave on the 4th 
of July, 1.809, which is still in position. In close proximity are the last 
resting places of Gen. Wayne's wife, son and daughter, and of numerous re- 
lations. The house where Wayne was born, near Paoli, is still standing, or 
was in 1876, and his descendants, who occupy it, have collected and preserved 
many articles of interest as having been associated with his long and illustri- 
ous career. 



Land Matters. 

ON the 3d of April, 1792, one month after the cession of the Triangle, the 
General Assembly passed an act for the encouragement of emigration to the 
newly acquired territory. This measure, generally known as the "actual set- 
tlement law," was in substance as follows: 

The lands north and west of the Rivers Ohio, Allegheny and Conewango 
are to be sold to any person who will cultivate, improve and settle the same, 
or cause them to be improved and settled, at £7 10 shillings for every hundred 
acres, with an allowance of six per cent for roads, etc. 

On application to the Secretary of the Land Office, giving a description of 
the lands applied for, a warrant is to be issued to the applicant for any quan- 
tity not exceeding 400 acres. 

The lands are to be divided into proper districts and one Deputy Surveyor 
is to be appointed for each district. 

No title shall vest in the lands unless the grantee has, prior to the issuance 
of his warrant, made or caused to be made, or shall, within two years next 
after the same, make or cause to be made an actual settlement thereon, by 
clearing, fencing and cultivating at least two acres for every hundred in one 
survey, and erected a house, and resided or caused a family to reside on the 
same for the five years immediately following; and in default thereof new war- 
rants shall be issued to actual settlers; provided, that if any such actual settler 
or grantee "shall, by force of arms of the enemies of the United States, be pre- 
vented from making such settlement, or be driven therefrom,, and shall persist 
in his endeavors to make such actual settlement, then, in either case, he and 
his heirs shall be entitled to have and to hold such lands in the same manner as 
if the actual settlement had been made." 

The lands actually settled and improved are to remain chargeable with the 
purchase money and interest, and if the gi-antee shall neglect to apply for a 
warrant for ten years after the passage of this act, unless hindered by death or 
the enemies of the United States, the lands may be granted to others by war- 
rants reciting the defaults. The lands settled under this legislation are to be 
free from taxation for ten years. 


Soon after the " actual settlement law " was enacted, the Pennsylvania 
Population Company was formed at Philadelphia, the avowed purpose of 
which was to settle the lands of the Triangle. John Nicholson, the famous 
land speculator, was elected President, and Messrs. Cazenove, Irvine, Mead, 
Leet, Hoge and Stewart, managers. The stock of the corporation consisted of 
2,500 shares, each of which represented or was intended to represent 200 acres. 
The title to the lands purchased was to be vested in trustees, to be held in 
common, and the proceeds were to be divided, pro rata, among the stockhold- 
ers. Previous to the organization of the company, Mr. Nicholson had applied 
for 390 warrants in the Triangle, and 250 on the waters' oE Beaver Eiver, to 
be located in his own name. These he transferred to the corporation, which 


paid for them and perfected the title. The company also took up about 500 
additional warrants in Erie and Crawford Counties. The lands located by the 
Population Company embraced the whole Triangle except the Brie and Garri- 
son State Reserves and Irvine's Reservation. The corporation was dissolved 
in 1811, after the last war with Great Britain, and the remaining lands and 
unsettled contracts for the sale of lands passed into the hands of the individual 


" John Nicholson," says the author of the Historical Annals of Pennsyl- 
vania, "was Comptroller of the State from 1782 to 1794, during which time 
$27,000,000 of public money passed through his hands under circumstances 
of peculiar complication and difficulty, arising from the then state of paper 
money and the Government credit. He became the object of political perse- 
cution, and resigned his office. His private transactions were very extensive. 
At this period he was the owner of about 3,700,000 acres of land in Pennsyl- 
vania, besides large possessions, real and personal, elsewhere. To meet his 
various pecuniary engagements for these lands, he formed joint-stock compa- 
nies, to which he conveyed a large portion of them. His affairs became em- 
barrassed; he was committed to prison, and died in confinement and insane 
during the year 1800. So early as the 17th and 18th of March, 1797, deeds 
had been made to the Pennsylvania Land Company, and individual creditors 
had obtained judgments against him. The commonwealth had an immense 
claim against him for unsettled land warrants, stock accounts, and other items, 
in liquidation of which the vast amount of lands held in his name, throughout 
thirty-nine counties, reverted to the commonwealth, and were taken or pur- 
■ chased hy others. claims, besides that of the State, were previ- 
ously existing, and tended greatly to complicate the title of these lands. The 
matter was several times closed and as often re-opened by legislative enact- 
ments, special writs and new lawsuits, and, later, a sweeping claim was made 
by the individual heirs of Nicholson to an immense amount of land through- 
out the State — attempting to unsettle claims supposed to have been quieted 
many years since." A fuller account of a part of the agitation here referred to 
will be found in another place. 


The Population Company, on the 8th of March, 1793, issued instructions 
to their agents, offering the following inducements to settlers in Erie County: 

A gift of 150 acres each to the iirst twenty families that shall settle on 
French Creek. 

A similar gift to the first twenty families that shall settle in the Lake Erie 

A gift of 100 acres each to the nest fifty families (after the first twenty) 
who shall settle on French Creek. 

A similar gift to the next fifty families (after the first ten) who shall settle 
in the Lake Erie territory. 

The settlers were privileged to locate on any lands of the company they 
chose, and if they cleared at least ten acres, and erected a comfortable house 
thereon, in which they resided, were to have a deed after two years. In case 
they were driven off by the Indians, no part of the two years was to run 
against them, and no title was to vest in any person or his heirs who aban- 
doned the lands before receiving his deed. 

Thirty thousand acres were offered for sale to actual settlers, in tracts not 


exceeding 300 acres, at $1 per acre, payable at the option of the purchaser, 
in three years, with interest the last two years. The surveys were to be made 
under the direction of the company, at the expense of the grantee or purchaser. 


The Holland Land Company was an organization of twelve wealthy gentle- 
men living in Holland, who advanced several millions of dollars to the Gov. 
ernment during the Revolution, through the influence of Robert Morris. This 
debt was liquidated after the establishment of independence, by the Government, 
transferring to the company vast tracts of land in Western New York and 
Northwestern Pennsylvania. The company also took up by warrant numerous 
tracts of land in Erie and Crawford Counties. These were issued to them at 
various times in 1793, 1794 and 1795, and numerous sales were made. In con- 
sequence of the Indian troubles, the settlers upon some of the tracts were pre- 
vented from making the improvements required by law within the two years 
prescribed, and the titles became involved in litigation, the same as in the case 
of the Population Company. The lands of the Holland Company lay south 
of the triangle line, across the entire width of the county. Maj. Alden, the 
first agent of the company, had his headquarters in Crawford County. He was 
succeeded by William Miles, of Union Mills. In 1815, H. J. Huidekoper, a 
member of the corporation, came on from Holland, took charge of the com- 
pany's affairs, and established his ofiSce in Meadville. The lands remaining 
unsold were bought by Mr. Huidekoper in 1838, and helped to create the large 
fortune which he left at his decease. 


By an act of March 12, 1783, the Legislature directed the laying-out of a 
district in the Northwest, to be bounded " by the Allegheny River on the south- 
east as far up as the mouth of the Conewango; thence by a line due north to 
the New York line; thence by the northern and western boundaries of the 
States, and south " by what was known as the Depreciation District, which ex- 
tended up the Beaver to the mouth of the Mahoning. These lands were ap 
propriated to fulfill the promise of the commonwealth, made on the 7th of 
March, 1780, "to the of&cers and privates belonging to this State in the Fed- 
eral armv, of certain donations and quantities of land, according to their sev- 
eral ranks, to be surveyed and divided off to them, severally, at the end of the 
war. They were surveyed in lots of from 200 to 500 acres each, enough of 
each kind to supply the different ranks. A Major General was entitled to 
draw four tickets, by lottery, for 500 acres each; a Brigadier General, three of 
the same; and soon down to the drummers, lifers, corporals, and 'private 
sentinels,' who drew one ticket of 200 acres each." The Donation District was 
divided into sub- districts, each of which was known by its number. The 
Tenth District commenced about a mile east of the borough of Waterford and 
extended eastward across the present townships of Amity and Wayne to the 
Warren County line. It was surveyed on the part of the State in 1785 by 
David Watts and William Miles, who came on from the East for that purpose, 
and returned home on the completion of their labors. In laying out the dis- 
trict they made several provoking errors, among others running^ their lines 
into Greene and Venango Townships, which did not belong to the State. This 
blunder was corrected, however, upon the purchase of the Triangle, but some 
of the other faults of the survey led to much litigation and hard feeling. Few 
of the soldiers for whose benefit the lands were set aside, moved on to them, 
the patents having generally been disposed of at a small price to speculators. 


The object of the law was fulfilled without using the entire district specified 
for donation purposes, and the balance of the lands, including all ihat part of 
Erie County not named above and in the several grants and reservations, re- 
verted to the State. 


On the 13th of August, 1796, an association was formed at Harrisburg, 
under the title of the Harrisburg and Presque Isle Company, for the purpose 
of " settling, improving and populating the country near and adjoining to 
Lake Erie." It was limited to ten persons, whose names were Eichard Swan, 
Thomas Forster, John Kean, Alexander Berryhill, Samuel Laird, John A. 
Hanna, Robert Harris, Eichard Dermond, William Kelso and Samuel Ains- 
worth. The capital of the company consisted of $10,000, of which no member 
was entitled to more than five shares of $200 each. The money paid in was 
to be " common stock," and was to be invested in the purchase of " inlots and 
outlots in the town of Erie and others," and of lands north and west of the 
Ohio and Allegheny Eivers. The company purchased thirty seven Erie in- 
lots and eight outlots at the public sale at Carlisle in August, 1796. They 
also obtained possession of 430 acres at the mouth of Walnut Creek, and of 
some land at Waterford. Mr. Forster came on as agent, in company with 
Mr. Swan, in the spring of 1797, and located on the Walnut Creek property. 
By the fall of that year, they had a saw mill erected, and the next year a grist 
mill was commenced, which was not completed, however, till the fall of 1799. 
They laid out a town at tlie mouth of the creek and called it Fairview. Both 
Forster and Swan took up large tracts in the vicinity on their own account. 
The title to a portion of the company's property was disputed by the Popula- 
tion Company, and, after long litigation, the WaJmit Creek site was sold at 
Sheriff's sale. 


The "Society of the United Brethren for Propagating the Gospel among the 
Heathen" — commonly known as the Moravians — had long maintained mission- 
aries at its own expense among the Indians, who contributed largely by their 
Christian example and teachings to the peace of the frontier. In recognition 
of their services, the State, on the 17th of April, 1791, voted the association 
two grants of land of 2, 500 acres each, with allowance, to be located respect- 
ively on " the Kiver Connought, near the northwestern part of the State," and 
on "the heads of French Creek." The society located 2,875 acres in LeBoeuf 
Township, which they named the "Good Luck" tract, and 2,797 in Springfield 
and Conneaut Townships, to which they gave the title ot " Hospitality." 
These lands were leased until 1850, when they were purchased by N. Blickens- 
derf er and James Miles. The first agent for the Moravians was William Miles, of 
Union, who was succeeded by his son James as manager of the " Hospitality," 
and by John Wood, of Waterford, as manager of the "Good Luck" tract. 


The Eeservations in the county were four in 'number, viz.: Irvine's 
Eeservation, the Erie State Eeserve, the Waterford State Eeserve, and the 
Garrison Eeserve. 

Irvine's Eeservation consisted of 2,000 acres in Harbor Creek Township, 
donated by the commonwealth to Gen. William Irvine as a special reward for 
his services during the Eevolution. He located the tract while here t6 lay out 
the town of Erie. It was reserved in the grants to the Population Company. 





I 1 "." 


In the grants to that company, the State also reserved a tract around the 
harbor of Erie, which became known as the Erie State Eeserve. It commenced 
at the head of the bay and ran south three miles, then eastward, parallel with 
the lake, eight miles, then back to the lake shore three miles, making altogeth- 
er some twenty-four square miles. An act passed the Legislature in April, 
1797, providing for the sale of these lands. They were first surveyed by 
George Moore in 1795, again by John Cochran in 1796-97, and finally by 
Thomas Bees in 1799. The latter laid them out in three tiers— the one 
furthest from the lake consisting of 150-acre tracts, the second mainly of 130- 
acre tracts, and the last, or nearest to the lake, of tracts ranging from 100 to 
50 acres. This, of course, did not include the inlots and outlets of the town 
of Erie. None of the lands were sold until 1801, and but few before 1804. 
Those who bought earliest paid from $3 to $4 per acre, one-fifth in hand, the 
balance in four equal annual payments. One party who owned 411 acres 
deeded the whole of it, in 1804, for a male slave. The final sale of the Reserve 
lands took place on the first Monday of August, 1833, when fifty- acre tracts 
on the bank of the lake west of the city were purchased at from 19 to |22 per 

The Eeserve at Waterford, like that at Erie, was set apart by the State 
with a view to getting increased prices from the expected rapid growth of 
that town. It consisted of 1,800 acres in "Waterford Township, and 400 in 
LeBoeuf. Provision for its sale was made in the act of 1799, and most of 
the tract had passed into private hands by 1804. 

The Garrison tract was provided for in the act of 1794, for laying out a 
town at Presque Isle, which directed the Governor to reserve "out of the lots 
of the said tovra so much land as he shall deem necessary for public uses; also, 
so much land, within or out of the said town, as may, in his opinion, be wanted 
by the United States for the purpose of erecting forts, magazines, arsenals 
and dock-yards." It lies on the bank of the bay on the east side of Erie City, 
and is now in the possessioa of the United States Government. 


The act of 1799 provided that in the sales of land 500 acres should be held 
back from each of the Eeserve tracts at Erie and Waterford ' ' for the use of 
such schools and academies as may hereafter be established by law" in those 
towns. The lands that fell to the share of Waterford Academy lie in LeBoeuf 
Township, at the mouth of LeBoeuf Creek. They were sold ofT about 1840. 
The Erie Academy grant was in Mill Creek Township, and extended some dis- , 
tance along the Waterford Turnpike, commencing near the present southern 
boundary of the city. The land has passed into the hands of private owners. 


As already stated, the first survey in the county was that of the Tenth Do- 
nation District, made by Watts and Miles in 1785. Under the act of 1792, the 
territory north and west of the Ohio, Allegheny and Conewango Elvers, was 
divided into five districts, each of which was assigned to a Deputy Surveyor. 
District No. 1 was thus described: "Beginning on the bank of Lake Erie at 
the northeast corner of the tract purchased by the State of Pennsylvania of 
the United States; from thence extending due south to the northern boundary 
of the State of Pennsylvania, and along the same upon the same due south 
course ten miles; from thence to run a due west course to the western boundarjj 
of the State; thence by the same north to Lake Erie; thence along the margin 
of said lake to the place of beginning." Thomas Eees was appointed Deputy 


Surveyor ob the 16th of May, 1792, with " full power to execute all warrants 
and surveys " to him directed by the Land Department of the State. He 
set out for his mission immediately, but learning that the Indians on Lake 
Erie were hostile, came no further than Northumberland County, where he 
opened an office. During his stay there warrants were filed by the Pennsyl- 
vania Population Company for the whole of the Triangle. He left for Presque 
Isle in the spring of 1793. On reaching Buffalo Creek (now the city of Buf- 
falo), he was met by a delegation of Indians, who refused to let him proceed 
further, threatening that he would be killed if he did. After long delay, a 
number of warrants were surveyed for the Population Company in 1794, but 
the attitude of the Indians was so hostile, and reports of Indian murders so 
frequent, that Mr. Rees abandoned the Held and returned to the East. 


The Legislature passed an act on the 22d of April, 1794, which pro- 
vided that no further applications should be received by the land office for any 
imimproved land within the Triangle. This was after it had been ascertained 
that the teiritory was not suflicient to supply the warrants issued to the Popu- 
lation Company. The same act directed that no warrant should issue after 
the 15th of June of that year, for any land within the Triangle except in favor 
of persons claiming by virtue of some settlement and improvement having been 
made thereon, and that all applications remaining in the land office after that 
date for which the purchase money had not been paid, should be void. It was 
stipulated, however, that applications might be " received and warrants issued 
until the 1st of January, 1795, in favor of any persons to whom a balance 
might be due in the land office on unsatisfied warrants issued before the 29th 
of March, 1792, for such quantities of land as might be sufficient to discharge 
such balances;" provided, that the act should not be "so construed as that 
any warrants, except those wherein the land is particularly described, should 
in any manner affect the title of the claim of any person having made an act- 
ual improvement before such warrant was entered and surveyed in the Deputy 
Surveyor's books." Another act, passed in September of the same year, made 
it unlawful for any application for lands to be received at the land office, after 
its passage, ' ' except for such lands where a settlement has been or hereafter 
shall be made, grain raised and a person or persons residing thereon." 


The difficulty with the Indians, related in a previous chapter, delayed fur- 
ther operations until the spring of 1795, wLen Mr. Eees came on again, put 
up a tent at the mouth of Mill Creek, and resumed his duties as a surveyor. 
About this time he was also appointed agent for the Population Company, which 
renewed the instructions of 1793. Tlie Rutledge murders happening soon after 
the arrival of Rees, kept emigration from the Triangle for awhile, but by fall 
quite a number of people had come into the county. Mr. Eees employed 
several Surveyors during the season, among whom were George Moore and 
David McNair, and by fall reported the sale for the company of 74,790 acres 
to some 200 different persons. Few of these, however, made an immediate 
settlement upon the land, through fear of Indian depredations. Mr. Rees re- 
signed both as Deputy Surveyor and agent for the Population Company at the 
beginning of 1796, and from that date until the spring of 1802 served the 
S^ate as Commissioner for the sale of lots, etc. He was succeeded in the first 
position by John Cochran, and in the second by Judah Colt. Mr. Rees took 
up a large tract in Harbor Creek Township, about one mile south of the pres- 


ent Buffalo road, to which he cut a highway in 1797. After leaving 
the,he cleared up several large farms, on one of which he resided until 
his death in May, 1848. He was the first Justice of the Peace in this county, 
his appointment bearing date March 31, 1796. 

Judah Colt, who had been appointed to succeed Mr. Rees as agent of the 
Population Company, came on in that capacity on the 1st of July, 1796. His 
duties and experience are best told in the memoir he left for the use of his 
family, an abstract of which is here given: 


I was born at Lyme, Conn., July 1, 1761. In August, 1795, in company 
with Augustus Porter, came to Erie to purchase land. At Presque Isle found 
a number of men encamped, United States troops erecting a fort, and Com- 
missioners for the State, Gen. William Irvine and Andrew Ellicott, laying out 
the town of Erie. They had about 100 militia troops in their employ. Thom- 
as Rees was acting as agent for the Pennsylvania Pbpulation Company in the 
survey and sale of lands. Porter and I took two certificates of 400 acres each 
at $1 per acre, payable in five annual installments. We made but a brief 

On the 3d of March, 1796, went to Philadelphia for the purpose of getting 
the lands purchased of Mr. Rees at Erie confirmed. The principal proprietors 
of the Population Company resided there. Offered to buy 30,000 acres at $1 
per acre, but they declined to sell in so large a body. Col. Aaron Burr, who 
was one of the proprietors, informed me that they were in need of a more act- 
ive agent, and offered me the position. A contract was entered into by which 
they agreed to pay me $1,500 a year, besides board, traveling expenses, etc. 
This was raised to $2,500 in 1798. Money was advanced with which to pro- 
cure supplies and hire laborers, and in the month of April I started to return 
to my home in the Genesee country, New York. At New York City, 
I laid in provisions, sundry kinds of goods and farming utensils, such 
as were needed in a new country. They were shipped under the care 
of Enoch Marvin, up the river to Albany, across the portage by wag- 
ons to the Mohawk, up the latter by batteaux, then by wagons again to 
Oswego, and from there by lake and wagon to Presque Isle. Mr. Marvin ar- 
rived at the latter place on the 22d of June, 1796, but the boats did not reach 
Presque Isle till the 1st of July. He found a Captain's command stationed 
there in a garrison laid out and built in 1795. His tent or marquee was 
erected near the old French garrison. During the season, he met with consid- 
erable opposition from advance settlers, " a company known as Dunning Mc- 
Nair & Co., from the neighborhood of Pittsburgh." Leaving the agency in 
charge of Elisha and Enoch Marvin, I set out on the 4th of November for 
Philadelphia, returning to the mouth of Sixteen Mile Creek May 31, 1797. 

June 1, rode out to where Elisha Marvin was stationed, who had charge of 
the men employed by the agency, nine miles south of Lake Erie, known after- 
ward as Colt's Station. Made this my headquarters until the 10th of November. 
The season was one of much business. The opposition of advance settlers 
caused me much trouble. I had to keep from forty to one hundred men in 
service to defend settlers arid property. More than once mobs of twenty to 
thirty assembled for the purpose of doing mischief. Went to Pittsburgh with 
witnesses and had a number indicted by the grand jury of Allegheny County. 
On my return, loaded a boat with stores to take to the Sixteen Mile Creek, and 
put it in charge of four men. On their way up the lake, a storm upset the 
boat and three of the men were drowned. During the seRson, the building of 


a vessel of about thirty-five tons was commenced at the mouth of Four Mile 
creek. The L0W17S and others were the indicted parties. Their disturbances 
took place in the months of June and July. 

Went East in the fall, and set out to return to Erie in April, 1798. At New 
York, purchased supplies, which were sent forward in charge of B. Saxton and 
Eliphalet Beebe. Arrived at Presque Isle the 31st of May, and at Greenfield 
on the 3d of June. Brought my wife along for the first time. Resided at 
Colt's Station with my family until the 7th of November. The vessel, begun 
the year before at the mouth of Pour Mile Creek, was completed in time to make 
a trip to Port Erie. It was named the Sloop Washington. On the 10th of 
October, I accompanied about sixty-five of the settlers to Erie to attend an elec- 
tiou, all of whom voted in favor of a Pederal Eepresentative. On the 7th of 
November, with Sirs. Colt, set out for Pittsburgh, on horseback. Our baggage 
was taken down Prench Creek in boats. Arrived at Pittsburgh the 9th of Jan- 
uary, 1799. Shortly after our arrival, the weather became very warm, the 
frost came out of the ground, and the farmers began their plowing. Did not 
return to Erie County until May, 1801. During a part of 1800 and 1801, the 
peace of the county was much disturbed by the adversaries of the company. In 
the summer and fall of 1800, the settlement was visited by a number of clergy- 
men who were sent out by the Ohio and Redstone Presbyteries, who preached 
in a number of places and took much pains to establish churches. Among 
them was Rev. Mr. McCurdy. 

During the year 1801, some progress was made in organizing the militia of 
Greenfield. Elisha Marvin was chosen Captain. He had about eighty men 
in his company. During 1802, considerable progress was made in the county, 
military, civil and religious. In the month of June, 1808, aided by a Deputy 
Marshal of the United States Court, removed sundry intruders against whom 
ejectment had been brought, some of whom were obstinate aud gave much 
trouble. During the same month, Mary Marvin arrived in company with her 
brother Elisha. September 24. purchased of James Wilson four lots, on 
which was a small house, in the town of Erie, for the sum of $490. On the 
L16th, set out for Pittsburgh by way of the new State road. Returned to Green- 
field February 24, 1804. Dui-ing the month of April, 1804, was again in Phil- 
adelphia as a witness in the United States Court relating to the lands of the 
Population Company, and in which the company was successful. On the 6th 
of August, 1804, began to improve my Erie property, to which I removed my 
family on the 21st of November. 

The country in 1805 was still far from tranquil. People continued to take 
unlawful possession of lands claimed under warrants, and were encouraged by 
others for political purposes. The company brought sundrj' ejectments. Dur- 
ing the summer we were called upon by a number of clergymen. In the month 
of December, James and Ezekiel Graham, who had unlawfully settled on the 
tract of the Population Company, purchased 100 acres each at $3 per acre, pay- 
able in installments. 

November 20, 1806.— News came of a decision in the land case in United 
States Court at Philadelphia. Robert Penn, plaintiff; Adam Arbuckle, de- 

July 1, 1807. — The obstinacy of adverse settlers renders my employment 
in some respects unpleasant. The Erie & Waterford Turnpike is in process of 

Mr. Colt made frequent trips to Philadelphia, New York and Pittsburgh on 
the business of the company, being absent from his family much of the time. 
On one occasion he was gone fifteen months. He died in 1832, and left a large 


estate. His saccessor for most of the members of the company was Judah C. 
Spencer. A few of the members placed their interests in charge of Thomas H. 

Dunning MoNair established an agency for the company on Oonneaut Creek 
in 1797, and made contracts with most of the early settlers of that region. 


Among those who took np large bodies of land at an early date were David 
Watts and William Miles, the first surveyors, who located 1, 400 acres at Watts- 
burg, and 1,200 acres at Lake Pleasant, in 1796. Mr. Miles also purchased 
four tracts on the lake shore from the Population Company, on which he agreed 
to place settlers. Martin Strong, who came to the county in 1795, as a surveyor 
for the Holland Land Company, took up a large tract on the Eidge, in Water- 
ford and Summit Townships. David McNair chose 800 acres of the Walnut 
Creek flats, at Kearsarge, besides other extensive tracts. He at one time owned 
some of the most valuable property in the county, including half of what is 
now South Erie. George Fisher, of Dauphin County, secured a vast body of 
land in Waterford and Washington Townships, and William Wallace, who was 
the first lawyer in the county, became possessor of numerous tracts in various 
townships. The inducement that caused the late Dr. W. A. Wallace to locate 
in Erie was to take charge of his father's estate. Many sales were made by 
the different companies between 1796 and 1799, and by 1800 a good share of 
the county had passed into the hands of actvial settlers, or persons who in- 
tended to become such. 


The following is a list of parties who entered into agreements with the 
Population Company for the purchase of lands in 1796-97 and 1798, all be- 
ing for full tracts except the one in the name of George Hurst, which was for 
200 acres: 

James Baird, George Balfour, Russell Bissell, Negi-o " Boe," Richard Cle- 
ment, Isaac Craig, Joshua Fairbanks, Thomas Forster, Thomas Gallagher, 
Thomas Greer, John Grubb, Samuel Holliday, Thomas P. Miller, Francis 
Brawley, Thomas Rees, Jr., Abraham Custard, Beriah Davis, Miles Crane, 
Elihu Crane, Abiathar Crane, Patrick Kennedy, John Sanderson, Morrow 
Lowry, William Lee, Rowland Rees, Robert Lowry, William M. Grundy, 
John Mill, James O'Harra, Judah Colt, Laton Dick, Charles John Reed, Ben- 
jamin Richardson, Benjamin Russell, David Hays, Anthony Saltsman, Francis 
Scott, James Herman, Joseph McCord, Azariah Davis, George Hurst, Arnold 
Custard, William Paul, William Barker, Israel Bodine, Samuel Barker, John 
Kennedy, Israel Miller, George Nicholson, George Lowry, Thomas Dunn, 
James Dunn, Henry Hurst, Ezekiel Dunning, Wiliam Dunn, William Parcell, 
Martin Strong, Hugh Spears, Richard Swan, Elihu Talmadge, J. F. VoUaine, 
Alex. Vance, John McKee, Hugh McLaughlin, John Oliver, Rufus S. Reed, 
Mary Reed, Stephen Oliver, Milhall Condon, Alex. McKee, David Long, 
Stephen Forster, Peter Grasoss, James Greer, Joseph L. Rowley, James Foulke, 
William G. Tysner, John Hay, Freeman Tuttle, Bernard Tracy, Hamilton 
Stone, Zelmar Barker, John Anderson, Daniel Dobbins, John Shafier, John 
Cummings, Thomas Hughes, John Daggett, David Seely, Samuel Holliday, 
John Morris, Patrick McKee, David ]V[cOullough, Henry Strowman, William 
Sturgeon, Jeremiah Sturgeon, Hugh Trimble, James Leland, Robert Brown, 
Peter Prime, John Nichols, John Gordon, Robert Mclntire, George W. Reed, 
Samuel Barker, John Cochran, George Tracy, William Weed, Oliver Dunn, 
William Baird, Oliver Thornton, Thomas Greer, Timothy Tuttle. 



Below are transcripts from the papers on file in the State department at 
Harrisburg, relative to the land sales in Erie Coujity: 

April 18, 1800 — Under consideration of the act of April 11, 1799, Thomas 
Eees, Jr., was appointed Commissioner for the town of Erie to sell the reserved 
lands and the in and outlets of Erie, David McNair for the town of Waterford, 
and John Kelso for the town of "Warren. 

April 25, 1800 — Wilson Smith appointed Deputy Surveyor for the towD 
of Erie. 

July 1, 1800 — John Kelso and David McNair resigned as Commissioners 
for the sale of lots, etc. 

April 30, 1802 — Thomas Rees' commission for sale of inlots superseded 
and annulled. 

May 31, 1802 — John Kelso appointed Commissioner, etc., to sell lands in 
room of said Thomas Rees, removed. 

July 20, 1802 — Thomas Rees, Jr., failed to pay over moneys received for 
sale of lands, and refused to deliver books, papers, etc., to his successor, his 
bond was ordered to be prosecuted by the Governor. 

December 23, 1805 — Thomas Forster appointed to sell in and outlots in 
the town of Erie, to supply vacancy occasioned by the removal of John Kelso 
by supersedeas. 

March 29, 1809 — Charles Martin for Waterford, and Conrad Brown for 
Erie, were appointed Commissioners of sales of lands in room of Thomas 
Forster, superseded. 

February 3, 1810 — John Kelso appointed Commissioner of sales in place 
of Conrad Brown, who declined to act. 

April 13, 1811 — Robert Knox and James Boyd, Commissioners of sales. 


Reference is made in Mr. Colt's autobiography to the serious disturbances 
and costly litigation which attended his career as agent of the Population 
Company. These difficulties assumed so threatening a character, that, as 
stated by him, he was obliged at times to keep a force of forty to sixty men in 
his employ to maintain the rights of the corporation. The causes of the troub- 
les, in brief, were as follows: 

It will be remembered that the law of 1792 provided that any actual set- 
tler, or grantee in any original or succeeding warrant, who should be driven 
from the country by the enemies of the United States, and who should persist 
in the endeavor to make a settlement, should be entitled to hold his lands in 
the same manner as if an actual settlement had been made. The Population 
Company and the Holland Company claimed that by their several efforts to 
occupy the lands in 1793, '94 and '95, they had fulfilled all the conditions of 
the law. In the spring of 1795, a proclamation was issued by the Governor 
declaring that the Indians had been conquered, and stating that the north- 
western section of the State was open to settlement. The effect of this was to 
induce a number of people to emigrate to the county, some of whom purchased 
from the agents, while others set up adverse claims, asserting that the com- 
panies had forfeited the lands. The clause of the law on which the latter de- 
pended was that one which provided that settlements must be made prior to 
the date of the warrants, and requiring two acres to be cultivated, a house to 
be built and a family to be living on the claim five years after the issuing of 
the same. 


The companies alleged that peace was not really secured until 1796, citing 
the Eutledge murder as proof. To this the adverse claimants replied that the 
murder was not really committed by the Indians, but was the deed of white 
men in the pay of the company, to relieve them from their eibbarrassment. 
This view found a good many supporters, even long after the occurrence. The 
question, "Who killed Rutledge?" was once as much used aa the more modern 
phrase "Who struck Billy Patterson?" The adverse claimants were wrought 
up to a high state of feeling and determined to hold their settlements by force 
of arms. The principal seat of the troubles was in Greenfield and North East 
Townships, but they extended in some degree to Conneaut, Harbor Creek and 
other sections. As usual, in American affairs, the difficulty finally entered the 
political field. Those who sustained the companies were classed as Federalists; 
their antagonists as Democrats. 

It will be understood that the disputes here referred to mainly related to 
the Population Company, whose interest in the lands of the county was ten 
times as extensive as that of the Holland Company. The latter, however, had 
difficulties with various parties who claimed to be actual settlers. Among 
those who became involved in litigation with them was William Miles, who 
had located and placed settlers upon lands which the company complained 
had been allotted to them. The Miles suits were ultimately settled by ami- 
cable arrangement, and he became the agent of the company. As a rule, the 
Population Company were more lenient in their treatment of the adverse 
claimants than the Holland Company. 

The opponents of the companies appealed to the State authorities for pro- 
tection in their claims, alleging that they had been induced to settle upon the 
lauds by the proclamation of the Governor. Their case was frequently con- 
sidered by the State Government, but nothing decisive was done until 1799, when 
Samuel Cochran, brother of John Cochran, the surveyor, was called into Gov. 
McKean's cabinet as chief of the land department. The question was then 
promptly taken up, and the cabinet decided that " the company warrants were 
null and void, and the land open to actual settlers." This decision was spread 
broadcast over the commonwealth, and led to another extensive emigration of 
persons who made settlements adverse to the company. Disputes in regard 
to titles being quite general throughout the country west of the Ohio, the Leg- 
islature, on April 2, 1602, passed an act directing the Supreme Court to de- 
cide the questions involved, which all grew out of the act of 1792. The law 
provided further that the Secretary of the Land Office should not grant any 
new warrants for land which he had reason to believe had been taken up un- 
der former warrants, but whenever applications of that character were pre- 
sented, the original should be filed in the office, and a duplicate furnished 
the applicant. Every such application was to state under oath that the person 
applying was in actual possession of the land applied for, and the time when 
possession was taken, and wa^ to be " entitled to the same force and effect and 
the same priority in granting warrants to actual settlers as though the warrants 
had been granted when the applications were filed. " Under this act hundreds 
of emigants poured into the Northwest, who located lands, had them surveyed, 
and made actual settlements upon them, trusting to the decision of the Su- 
preme Court to establish them in their possessions. 

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided against the adverse claimants, 
creating such a feeling of indignation and disappointment throughout the 
Northwest as has never been known since. This settled the business, so far as 
the Population Company were concerned, it being a State corporation, wholly 
composed of citizens of Pennsylvania. The Holland Land Company, being a 


foreign concern, brought their action in the United States Cirenit Court, where 
the decision was precisely like that of the State Supreme Court, It was ap- 
pealed to the Supreme Court of the Uaited States, where the other courts were 
fully sustained in an opinion rendered by Chief Justice Marshall in 1805. In 
each instance, the clause of the act of 1792, providing that warrantees should 
not lose their rights if driven away by the enemies of the United States, was 
cited as the basis of the decision. 

This result settled the dispute for good. There being no further questions 
of title, the county began to till up rapidly. Some of the adverse settlers left 
in disgust and despair, but the majority entered into arrangements with the 
companies to purchase the land which they had improved. The- Population 
Company generally treated its grantees with commendable liberality, and in- 
stances occurred where parties were allowed forty years in which to pay up 
their articles. 


The most extensive land speculation known in Erie County took place in 
1836, being confined mainly to the borough of Erie and vicinity. It grew out 
nf the important internal improvements conceived and set in operation about 
that time, added to a tremendous over-issue of paper money. The canal to 
Beaver had been surveyed, a charter had been granted for the railroad to Sun- 
bury, and considerable work had been done by the United States Government 
in building piers and deepening the harbor. A widespread impression sprung 
up that Brie was speedily destined to become a great city. The charter of the 
United States Bank at Philadelphia expired in 1836, In the spring of that 
year, the State Legislature chartered the United States Bank of Pennsylvania 
with a capital of $35,000,000. This institution established a branch at Erie, 
erecting the present custom house and the Woodruff residence adjoining, for a 
banking office and cashier's residence. The stock of the Erie branch, amount- 
ing to $200,000, was announced as having been taken on the 27th of February, 

All of these matters combined gave an extraordinary impulse to real estate 
in the borough of Erie. On the receipt of tidings that the canal and bank bills 
had passed, the price of town lots jumped up 100 per cent. In a single week 
the sales of real estate amounted to over half a million dollars. Prices were 
still rising on the 1st of March, and the total sales during the week were re- 
ported as a million and a half in amount. One lot, purchased in February for 
110,000, was resold in Buffalo within a month for $50,000. Every sort of 
wild enterprise was devised and found eager promoters. The speculation 
lasted until 1837, when the banks failed throughout the Union, causing a ter- 
rible revolution. As late as June 11 of that year, twelve water lots, of thirty- 
two feet front each, changed hands at $40,000. "The mania for speculation 
attacked all classes, and men bought and sold with almost wanton recklessness, 
finally bringing woe upon those in whose hands the property remained when 
the bubble burst. Some of these unfortunate persons never recovered from 
that catastrophe. Of course many profited by the speculation and got rich. 
On the whole, however, the general prosperity of the country, and of this 
county in particular, was severely retarded." 


^'■'i-^- ■"'?'i ,4 H HUc'l^-'^^ 





The Pioneebs. 

''T^HE first known American citizens who located permanently within the bounds 
X of Erie County were Thomas Eees and John Griibb, who reached Erie 
in the spring of 1795, the one as Deputy Surveyor for the State, and the other 
as a Captain of militia, and remained until their deaths. In June of the same 
year, William Miles and William Cook, with their wives, made a settlement in 
Concord Township, near the Crawford County line, where they were the sole 
residents for some years. A month or so later, Col. Seth Eeed, accompanied 
by his wife and sons. Manning and Charles John, came to Erie in a sail boat 
from Buffalo, which was piloted by James Talmadge, who took up lands during 
the season in McKean Township. These three ladies were the first white persons 
of their sex who were known to have resided in the county. The other set- 
tlers during 1795 were Rufus S. and George W. Reed, James Baird and 
children, Mrs. Thomas Rees, and Mrs. J. Fairbanks, at Erie; Amos Judson, 
James Naylor, Lieut. Martin, and Martin Strong, at Waterford; John W. 
Russell, George Moore and David McNair, in Mill Creek; Capt Robert King 
and family, William and Thomas Black, and Thomas Ford and wife, in Le- 
BcEuf; Jonathan Spaulding in Conneaut; Michael Hare and two men named 
Ridue and Call, in Wayne; James and Bailey Donaldson in North East, and 
James Blair in Girard. So far as the records show, these were the only white 
people living in the county that year, though a good many persons were tem- 
porarily here during the season, prospecting for lauds. Among the settlers 
during the interval between 1795 and 1800 were the following: 

1796 — Washington Town.ship, Alexander Hamilton and William Culbert- 
son; Erie, Capt. Daniel Dobbins; Mill Creek, Benjamin Russell, Thomas P. Mil- 
ler, David Dewey, Anthony Saltsman and John McFarland; Greenfield, Judah 
Colt, Elishaand Enoch Marvin, Cyrus Robinson, Charles Allen, Joseph Berry, 
John Wilson, James Moore, Joseph Webster, Philo Barker, Timothy Tuttle, 
Silas and William Smith, Joseph Shattuck, John Daggett, John Andrews and 
Leverett Bissell; McKean, Thomas and Oliver Dunn; Fairview, Francis Scott, 
Summit; George W. Reed; North East, William Wilson, George and Henry 
Hurst, and Henry and Dyer Loomis; Springfield, Samuel Holliday, John 
Devore, John Mershom, William Mclntyre and Patrick Ager; "Venango, Adam 
and James Reed, Buirill and Zalmon Tracy; Waterford, John Lytle, Robert 
Brotherton, John Lennox and Thomas Skinner. 

1797 — Waterford. John Vincent aud Wilson Smith; Wayne, Joseph Hall 

and Pressor; Unioa, Hugh Wilson, Andrew Thompson, Matthew Gray, 

Francis B. and Robert Smith; Elk Creek, Eli Colton; Venango, Thomas, John 
and David Phillips; Springfield, Oliver Cross; Fairview, Thomas Forster, 
Jacob Weiss, George Nicholson, John Kelso, Richard Swan, Patrick Vance, 
Patrick and John McKee, Jeremiah and William Sturgeon and William Hag- 
gerty; LeBoeuf, Francis Isherwood, James, Robert and Adam Pollock; Con- 
neaut, Col. Dunning McNair; Mill Creek, John Nicholson, the McKees and 
Boe Bladen; Washington, Job Reeder, Samuel Galloway, Simeon Dunn, John 
and James Campbell, Matthias Sipps, Phineas McLenethan, Matthew Hamil- 
ton, John McWilliams, James, John, Andrew and Samuel Culbertson, and 


Mrs. Jane Campbell (widow); North East, Thomas Eobinson, Joseph McCord, 
James McMahon, Margaret Lowry (widow), James Duncan, Francis Brawley 
and Abram and Arnold Castard; Harbor Creek, William Saltsman, Amasa 
Prindle and Andrew Elliott. 

1798— Erie, William Wallace; Wayne, William Smith and David Find- 
ley; Union, Jacob Shephard, John Welsh, John Fagan and John Wilson; 
Elk Creek, George Haybarger and John Dietz; Venango, William Allison and 
wife; Springfield, Nicholas LeBarger; Fairview, John Dempsey; Conneaut, 
Abiathar and Elihu Crane; Washington, Peter Kline; Girard, Abraham and 
William Silverthorn; North East, Thomas Crawford, Lemuel Brown, Henry 
and Matthew Taylor, William Allison, Henry Burgett, John, James and 
Matthew Greer; Waterford, Aaron Himrod. 

1799 — Waterford, John, James and David Boyd, Capt. John Tracy, M. 
Himebaugh, John Clemens, the Simpsons, and Lattimores; Erie, John Teel; 
McKean, Lemuel and Russell Stancliff; Summit, Eliakim Cook. 

It is not claimed that the above is a complete list of the settlers up to 
1800, but it is as nearly full as can now be obtained. Emigration was slow 
the first five years in consequeuce of the land troubles. After 1800, the coun- 
ty commenced to fill up more rapidly, and to attempt to give a roll of the set- 
tlers would exceed the limits of a work like this. 


The early settlers were mainly New Englanders and New Yorkers, inter- 
spersed with some Irish from the southern counties of Pennsylvania, and a 
few persons of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. The New Yorkers were in gen- 
eral from the interior of the State, and the Pennsylvanians from Dauphin, 
Cumberland, Lancaster and Northumberland Counties, The Irish emigration 
fell off almost entirely in a few years, and the Pennsylvania Dutch took its 
place. The Eiblets, Ebersoles, Loops, Zucks, Browns, Stoughs, Zimmermans, 
Kreiders, and others of that class, came in at a period ranging from 1801 to 
1805. From that time, the people who settled in the county were almost uni- 
versally of New England and New York origin until about 1825, when another 
emigration of Pennsylvania Dutch set in, which continued until 1835 or 
thereabouts. Among those who located in the county during this period were 
the Wei gels, Warfels, Mohrs, Metzlers, Bergers, Brennemans, Charleses and 
others whose names are familiar. The later foreign element began to come in 
at a comparatively recent date— the Irish about 1825, and the Germans about 
ten years after. 

The first settlers were a hardy, adventurous race of men, and their wives 
were brave, loving and dutiful women. It was to their superior intelligence 
and determined energy that we owe the fact that the county is so far ahead 
of many others in the State in schools, churches and all that goes to make up 
the comforts and afibrd the consolations of life. 


The earliest marriage was that of Charles J. Eeed, of Walnut Creek 
(Kearsage), to Miss Eachel Miller, which occurred on December 27 1797 
The second was that of William Smith to Miss Elizabeth Wilson, in' Union 
Township, in 1799; the third, that of Job Eeeder to Miss Nancy Campbell in 
Washington Township, in 1800; and the fourth, that of Thomas King to Sarah 
Wilson, m Union, the same year. 

The earliest recorded births were as follows: 

John R., son of William Black, in Fort LeBoeuf, August 29, 1795. 


Mr. Boardman, of Washington Township (recently deceased), claimed to 
have been born in the Conneauttee Valley the same year. 

Jane, daughter of William Culbertson, Edinboro, fall of 1797. 

David M. Dewey, Walnut Creek, December 15, 1797. 

Matilda Eeed, Walnut Creek, 1798. 

Elizabeth Holliday, Springfield, May 14, 1798. 

Hannah Talmadge, McKean, 1798. 

William Dunn, Summit, March 14, 1798. 

Henry Wood, Conneaut, 1798. 

Elizabeth and Euth, daughters of the brothers Abiathar and Elihu Crane^ 
Conneaut (both in the same h(juse and on the same day), April 20, 1799 

William E. McNair, Mill Creek, 1799. , 
•Robert, son of William Allison, Venango 1799. 

William Bladen, Mill Creek, 1800. 

Edwin J. Kelso, Mill Creek, 1800. 

Sarah, daughter of Amasa Prindle, Harbor Creek, 1799. 

Katharine, daughter of Aaron Himrod, Waterford, 1799. 

Joseph Brindle, Springfield, March 1, 1800. 

Mrs. George A. Elliot, Girard, 1800. 

William Nicholson, Fairview, 1800. 

Martha, daughter of Hugh Wilson, Union, August 18, 1800. 

John W., son of William Smith, Wayne, 1800. 

John A. Culbertson, Washington, 1800. 

The earliest known deaths occurred in the years below: 

Ralph Rutledge, killed by the Indians at Erie, May 29, 1795. His son was 
fatally shot at the same time, and died shortly after, in the fort at LeBceuf . 

Gen. Anthony Wayne, in the block house at Erie, December 15, 1796. 

Col. Seth Reed, Walnut Creek, March 19, 1797. 

John Wilson, Union, June, 1799. 

Mrs. Thomas Alexander, Conneaut, 1801. 

Mrs. William Culbertson, Washington, 1804. 

Adam Reed, Venango, 1805. 

John Gordon, Fairview, 1806. 


Most of the people were in moderate circumstances, and were content 
to live in a very cheap way. A majority had to depend mainly on the produce 
of their little clearings, which consisted to a large extent of potatoes and corn. 
Mush, corn bread and potatoes were the principal food. There was no meat 
except game, and often this had to be eaten without salt. Pork, flour, sugar 
and other groceries sold at high prices, and were looked upon as luxuries. In 
1798-99, wheat brought $2.50 per bushel; flour, $18 a barrel; corn, $2; per 
bushel; oats, $1.50; and potatoes, $1.50. Prices were still higher in 1813-14, 
com being $4 per bushel and oats, $3. The mills were far apart, the roads 
scarcely more than pathways through the woods, and the grists had to be 
carried in small quantities on the backs of men or horses. Few families had 
stoves, and the cooking was done almost entirely over open fires. The beds 
were without springs and were made up in general by laying coarse blankets 
upon boxes or rude frames. All clothing was home made. Every house had a 
spinning wheel, and many were provided with looms. Liquor was in common 
use, and there was seldom a family without its bottle for the comfort of the 
husband and the entertainment of his guests. 

The first buildings were low cabins constructed of unhewn logs laid one 


upon another with the crevices filled up with mud. These gave way, as the 
condition of the people improved, to more artistic structures of hewn timber 
in which mortar was substituted for mud. Hardly any were plastered. Many 
were without window glass, and wall paper was unknown. As saw mills in- 
creased, frame buildings of a better character were substituted for the log cab- 
ins, and occasionally a brick or stone structure was erected, whicb was talked 
about in all the country round as a marvel of architecture. The people were 
separated by long distances ; for years there were few clearings that joined. 
In every house there was an immense fire-place, in which tremendous amounts 
of wood were consumed. When a new residence or barn was to be erected, the 
neighbors were invariably invited to the raising. On such occasions, liquor or 
cider was expected to be freely dispensed, and it was rarely the case that the 
invitations were declined. These raisings were the merry-making events of 
the day, and generally brought together twenty-five to fifty of the settlers, who 
worked hard, drank freely, and flattered themselves when they were through 
that they bad experienced a jolly good time. A writer in one of the local 
papers says: 

" Eighty years ago not a pound of coal or a cubic foot of illuminating gas 
had been burned in the country. All the cooking and warming in town as 
well as in the country were done by the aid of a fire kindled on the brick 
hearth or in the brick ovens. Pine knots or tallow candles furnished the light 
for the long winter nights, and sanded floors supplied the place of rugs and 
carpets. The water used for household purposes was drawn from deep wells 
by the creaking sweep. No form of pump was used in this country, so far as 
we can learn, until after the commencement of the present century. There 
were no friction matches in those early days, by the aid of which a fire, could 
be easily kindled, and if the fire went out upon the hearth over night, and the 
tinder was damp, so that the spark would not catch, the alternative remained 
of wading through the snow a mile or ho to borrow a brand from a neighbor. 
Only one room in any house was warm, unless some member of the family was 
ill; in all the rest the temperature was at zero during many nights in winter. 
The men and women undressed and went to their beds in a temperature colder 
than our barns and woodsheds, and they never complained." 

Churches and schoolhouses were sparsely located, and of the most primi- 
tive character. One pastor served a number of congregations; and salaries 
were so low that the preachers had to take part in working their farms to pro- 
cure support for their families. The people went to religious service on foot or 
horseback, and the children often walked two or three miles through the woods 
to school. There were no fires in the churches for a number of years. When 
they were finally introduced they were at first built in holes cut in the floors, 
and the smoke found its way out through openings in the ^roofs. The seats 
were of unsmoothed slabs, the ends and centers of whifih were laid upon blocks, 
and the pulpits were little better. Worship was held once or twice a month, 
consisting usually of two services, one in the forenoon and one immediately 
after noon, the people remaining during the interval and spending the time in 
social intercourse. It is much to be feared that if religious worship were at- 
tended with the same discomforts now as it was eighty to ninety years ago, 
the excuses for keeping away from the house of God would be many times mul- 


When the county was opened to settlement, it was covered with a dense for- 
est, which abounded with deer, bears, wolves, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, squir- 


rels, opossums, minks and martens. * This was a fortunate circumstance for 
the people, as the flesh of the wild beasts afforded them the only fresh meat 
many could obtain. Every man kept a gun and went into the woods in pur- 
suit of game whenever the supply of food in his household ran short. Deer 
were abundant for jears. There were numerous deer-licks, where the animals 
resorted to find salt water, at which the hunters lay in wait and shot them 
down without mercy. Bears were quite numerous, and did serious mischief to 
the corn fields. Wolves were also plenty, and committed much havoc. Packs 
of these animals often surrounded the cabins and kept their inmates awake 
with their howling. A bounty was long paid for their scalps, varying in 
amount from $10 to $12 per head. Accounts are given of sheep being killed 
by wolves as late as 1813. Occasionally a panther or wild cat terrified whole 
neighborhoods by its screaming. The last panther was shot at Lake Pleasant 
by Abram Knapp in 1857. 

Besides the animals, the coiintry was full of pigeons, ducks, geese, part- 
ridges and turkeys, in their season, all of which were more tame than now. 
and fell easy victims to the guns or trap3 of the pioneers. The lake, of course, 
contained plenty of fish, and most of the small streams abounded in trout. 
The rivulets emptying into French Creek were particularly famous for this 
favorite fish, and the stories told of their size and readiness to leap into the 
sportsman's hands are enough to drive an angler wild with enthusiasm. It 
does not appear that the county was ever much troubled with poisonous 
snakes. There were some massassaugies and copperheads on the peninsula, 
but the interior seems to have been remarkably free from dangerous reptiles. 

Taken altogether, while they had to endure many privations and hardships, 
it is doubtful whether the pioneers of any part of America were more fortu- 
nate in their selection than those of Erie County. Every one of the settlers 
agrees in saying that they had no trouble in accommodating themselves to the 
situation, and were, us a rule, both men and women, healthy, contented and 


Common Koads, Stage Lines, Mail Eodtes, Taverns, Etc 

THOSE who have familiarized themselves with the preceding chapters willre- 
member that the French cut a road from Presque Isle to LeBoeuf in 1758, 
the first year of their occupation, and kept it up as long as they maintained 
posts in Western Pennsylvania. This was the first, and for more than forty 
years the only road in Erie County. The French road began at the mouth of 
Mill Creek, ran south on a line parallel with Parade street, in Erie, to the 
corners in Marvintown, and then across Mill Creek Township, by the farms of 
George Killing, Judge Vincent, Judge Souther, and others, to the "Waterford 
Plank Eoad near the George Woods pump factoiy. From the plank road it 
extended across the hills to the Turnpike, and continued partly on the same 
route as the latter to LeBoeuf Creek in Waterford Borough. Although rough 
and hilly, it was perhaps the most practicable line that could have been adopt- 
ed at the time. Wherever necessity required, the road was "corduroyed" — 

* A TrpDch memoir, written in 1714, says: "Bnffaloare found cd the south shore of Lake Erie, but not on the 
north ahore," 


that is, trunks of small trees were cut to the proper length and laid crosswise, 
close together — making a dry and solid, but very uneven surface. When the 
first settlers came in, the traveled road was pretty much in the same location 
as the old French route. The latter was still easily traceable, but was much 
grown up with trees. 

An act passed the Legislature of Pennsylvania in 1791 to open a road 
from Presque Isle to French Creek, and another in 1795 for the survey of a 
route from LeBceuf to the Juniata River in Mifflin County. The Susquehanna 
& Waterford Turnpike was located by Andrew Ellicott in 1796, from Lake Le 
Boeuf Clearfield County, by way of Meadville and Franklin. 
Its purpose was to give a continuous road from Brie to Philadelphia. 

The earliest road opened after the American occupation was by Judah 
Colt, as agent of the Population Company, in 1797, from Freeport, on the 
lake near North East, to Colt's Station, and from the latter place to the Forks 
of French Creek, or Wattsburg, late in the season of 1798. The Eastern road 
through Greenfield, from North East to Wattsburg, was laid out about 1800; 
the ones from Waterford to Cranesville through Washington Township, and 
from Waterford to Bdinboro, about 1802, and the road from North East to 
Waterford, by way of Phillipsville, in 1804. 

The State opened a road through the northern tier of counties, from the 
head- waters of the Delaware River, in almost a direct line, to Ohio, in 1802 or 
1803, which is still known as the State road. 

So far as can be ascertained by the writer, these were the first roads in the 
county, though others may have been opened at a date not much later. The 
burning of the court house in 1823 destroyed all of the original surveys' and 
records. An act of Assembly was obtained, legalizing a re- survey of the roads 
in the county. Three parties of surveyors were set to work, headed respect- 
ively by William Miles, Thomas Forster and Elisha Marvin. The first took 
charge of the eastern part of the county, the second of the central, aad the 
last of the western. Every one of the roads originally provided for in the 
county now follows,' in the main, the route marked out by these gentlemen. 

Below is a historical sketch of the principal roads leading into the county 
from the city of Erie: 


The route from Erie to the New York State line, through East Mill Creek, 
Harbor Creek, and North East, became known from the very start as the Buffalo 
road. It begins at the intersection of Peach and Eighteenth streets in Erie, 
and extends, at an almost uniform distance of about two miles from the lake, 
to the Niagara River at Buffalo. The road was surveyed by James McMahon 
. in 1805, and appears to have been ready for travel in the same year. For 
some cause, the road was only opened westward in a direct line to Wesley ville, 
at which place travel diverged by a cross-road to th-- Lake road, and reached 
Erie, which consisted of a small collection of houses at the mouth of Mill Creek, 
by the latter thoroughfare. On petition of the farmers between Wesleyville 
and Erie, the court, in 1812, ordered the completion of the road to the latter 
place, and it was thrown open tc travel some time in that year. The Buffalo 
road generalljr follows a nearly straight line, but there is an abrupt jog at the 
Saltsman place, on the east side of the city, the reason for which has been a 
puzzle to many. It is said to be due to two causes, first, there was an ugly 
swamp on the straight line, south of the present road; and, second, it was con- 
sidered desirable to enter the city on the line of Eighteenth street. John 
Ryan kept a public house in the old building which still stands on the east 
Bide of the jog, and it is possible that his influence had something to do with 


the location. The Buffalo road forms the principal street of the borough of 
North East, and of the villages of Wesleyville, Harbor Creek, IMooreheadville, 
and Northville. The distances from the park in Erie by this route are as fol- 
lows: Buffalo, 90 miles; Northville, 19; North East, 15; Mooreheadville, 10|; 
Harbor Creek, 7J-, Wesleyville, 4J. 


The Eidge road is practically a continuation of the Buffalo road, and is 
connected with it by the southern part of Peach street in the city of Erie. It 
follows the line of the First Kidge and traverses the western part of Mill 
Creek, and the entire width of Fairview, Girard and Springfield Townships to 
the Ohio line. It was opened in 1805, the same year as the Buffalo road. The 
purpose of making the jog at Peach street is not exactly known, but it is sup- 
posed to have been done to avoid the swamps, which approached the foot of 
the ridge more closely than in the eastern part of the county. These have 
since been effectually drained, but in those days of poverty they seemed an 
insurmountable obstacle to a good road. Whatever the cause, the projectors 
of the route deserve the everlasting gratitude of the people of the county, as 
the hard, gravelly bed over which the road passes makes it the beet in the 
county, seldom becoming muddy in winter or dusty in summer. The Eidge 
road passes through and constitutes the principal streets of Girard and Pair- 
view Boroughs and the villages 'of Weigleville, Swanville, West Girard, East 
Springfield, and West Springfield. It is 100 miles by this route to Cleveland, 
25 to West Springfield, 21 to East Springfield, 16^ to West Girard, 16 to 
Girard, 12 to Fairview, 9 to Swanville, and 2^ to Weigleville, measuring 
from the parks in Erie City. 


The Lake road crosses the entire county from east to west, at a distance 
from Lake Erie varying from a few rods to half a mile. It enters Erie on 
the east by Sixth street, and leaves on the west by Eighth street. It becomes 
merged into the Eidge road at or near Conneaut, Ohio. It was laid out in 
1806, and opened partly in that year and at intervals of several years after, as 
the county became settled. The only place directly reached by the road is 
the village of Manchester, at the mouth of Walnut Creek, ten miles west of 
Erie. Although passing through a good country, the Lake road is less traveled 
than either the Buffalo or Eidge roads. 


The Erie & Waterford Turnpike was originated by Col. Thomas Forster 
who seems to have been the foremost man in most of the early improvements., 
Previous to its completion, the travel between Erie and Waterford was wholly 
over the old French road, which had been but slightly repaired and was in a 
horrible condition. The turnpike company was formed in 1805, its avowed 
object being the building of a link in the great contemplated thoroughfare 
from Erie to Philadelphia by way of the French Creek, Juniata and Susque- 
hanna Valleys. The first election for officers was held at Waterford, and 
resulted in the choice of the following: President, Col. Thomas Forster; 
Treasurer, Judah Colt; Managers, Henry Baldwin, John Vincent, EalphMar- 
lin, James E. Herron, John C. Wallace, William Miles, James Brotherton and 
Joseph Hackney. Work was commenced in 1806, and the road was completed 
in 1809. It was a herculean undertaking for the time. In laying out the 
road, a circuitous course was taken to accommodate the settlers, many of 


whom were stockliolderB in the company. The turnpike was a paying property 
until 1845, when it ceased to be remunerative to the stockholders. It was 
soon after abandoned by them and accepted as a township road. 

Judge Cochran opposed the building of the " pike " on the ground that it 
was unconstitutional to make the public pay toll. The right of way was taken 
through his farm against his protest, and when the road was iinished his hos- 
tility was aroused to such a degi-ee that he felled trees across it. The toll 
question was tested before the County Court, and Judge Moore gave an opin- 
ion sustaining the constitationality of the act of incorporation. None of the 
other settlers opposed the right of way, and most of them looked upon the 
enterprise as one that would open up the country and add to their worldly 

The turnpike originally ended at Waterford, but twenty years later the 
Waterford & Susquehanna Turnpike Company was organized, which extend- 
ed the route by Meadville and Franklin to Curwensville, Clearfield County, 
where it connected with another turnpike running across the State, making a 
good wagom road from Erie to Harrisburg and Philadelphia. In laying out 
the " pike," fifty feet of land from the center were taken on each side of the 
road. The first toll gate out of Erie was kept by Robert Brown, near Dins- 
more' s mill, and the second by Martin Strong, on the summit of the Main Ridge. 

The pike commences on the southern border of the city, at the Cochran 
farm, and from there extends past the coffin factory and over Nicholson's hill 
to Walnut Creek. A little south of the crossing of that stream it ascends the 
Main Ridge, and from there to Strong's there is a contimial up grade. Leav- 
ing Strong's, there is a regular descent to Waterford, in the LeBoeuf Valley. 
The elevation of the road at Strong's is upward of eight hundred feet above 
Lake Erie. The only village on the route is Kearsage. The distance from 
Erie to Waterford by the turnpike is fourteen miles. 


The Erie & Edinboro Plank Road Company was organized in 1850, with 
Hon. John Galbraith as President. The road was completed in 1852. It fol- 
lowed the course of the Waterford Turnpike to a point a little south of Wal- 
nut Creek, where it branched off and adopted a route partly new and partly the 
old Edinboro road. The road bed was covered, as the name indicates, with 
heavy planks, and the grade being iu general quite moderate, furnished an 
easy and pleasant thoroughfare. The Edinboro & Meadville Plank Road, 
completed simultaneously, with Hon. Gaylord Church as President of the com- 
pany, formed a smooth, continuous route from the lake to the county seat of 
Crawford County.^ Though the travel was large, neither rohd proved a profit- 
able investment, and both were abandoned as plank roads and became 
township roads in 1868 or 1869. The Edinboro Plank Road passes through 
Middleboro, Brancbville and McLane. The distances are eighteen miles to 
Edinboro, fourteen to McLane, twelve to Branchville, ten to Middleboro and 
four to Kearsage. 

The following amusing story in connection with this road was related in 
the Erie Observer of October 20, 1880: 

"Mr. Eeeder, the stage driver between this city and Edinboro, tells a funny 
story about an Irishman who traveled with him last summer, and who, never 
having gone over the road before, did not understand the ' lay of the land' 
A httle south of Kearsage, where the plank road diverges from the pike the 
sign board reads: '9 miles to Waterford.' ' 



•' Going a few miles farther, they came to the sign board in the valley of 
Elk Creek, which also reads, ' 9 miles to Waterford.' 

" This seemed to strike the son of Erin as something curious, but he gave 
no audible utterance to his sentiments, Reaching Branchville, another sign 
board was seen bearing the familiar legend: ' 9 miles to Waterford. ' 

I' By this time the passenger's curiosity was strained to the highest pitch. 
He jumped out of the stage while the mail was being changed, and walking 
close to the inscription read over to himself several times, ' 9 miles to Water- 
ford,' as if to make sure that his eyes did not deceive him. The conveyance 
started toward Edinboro and when McLean was reached, once more rose up 
the strange words : ' 9 miles to Waterford. ' 

"The Irishman could contain himself no longer. He rose up in his seat 
in a state of great excitement, and stretching his neck outside of the stage as 
far as it would safely reach, yelled to the driver: 

" ' Be Gorra, what sort of a place is that Waterford, anyhow ? It seems to be 
nine miles from everywhere? ' " 


The Erie & Waterford Plank Road was commenced in 1850 and completed 
in 1851, one year in advance of the similar improvement to Edinboro. Ool. 
Irwin Camp was President of the company; John Marvin had the contract 
for building the road; Wilson King was the chief engineer, and David Wil- 
son was the first assistant. In laying out the road an entirely new route was 
adopted, following the valleys of Mill Creek, Walnut Creek and LeBosuf Creek, 
and obviating the heavy grades of the old turnpike. The road, for a good 
part of its length, is nearly or seemingly level, and the only grades of conse- 
quence are at the' summit hills between the streams, which, are overcome by 
comparatively easy approaches. So skillfully was the engineering and grading 
performed, that a horse can trot most of the length of the road. The stranger 
traveling over this easy route would scarcely believe that at the Walnut Creek 
summit he was about 500 and at Graham's summit between 650 and 700 feet 
above the level of Lake Erie. There were three toll gates on the line — one 
a short distance north of Waterford, another at Capt. J. C. Graham's, in Sum- 
mit, and the third near Eliot's mill, a mile or more outside of the then city 
limits. The road never paid a profit, and was abandoned to the townships in 
1868 or 1869. No towns or villages are located along the line of the road, un- 
less the little settlement at the Erie County Mills might be classed as such. 
The distance between Erie and Waterford is slightly more than by the turn- 

About the same time that the above plank roads were built, another was 
pushed through from Waterford to Drake's Mills, Crawford County, to prevent 
the diversion of travel that was feared from the opening of the Erie & Edin- 
boro and Edinboro & Meadville roads. This enterprise was no more of a 
financial success than the others, and, like Chem, was given up to the townships. 


The stace company owning the line between Erie and Waterford had a 
quarrel over tolls with the turnpike company in the winter of 1827-28, which 
resulted in the construction by the former, at considerable expense, through 
Summit, Greene and Waterford Townships, of a new road, to which was given 
the suggestive name of the Shunpike. The route adopted commenced at 
Waterford, where the plank road and turnpike separate, followed the line of 
the former to a run on the Jesse Lindsley place, up that one-half or three- 


quarters of a mile to the Summit Township boundary, across Summit to the 
L. A. Hull place, and from there by the old French road to Erie. That por- 
tion of the road from Graham's Corners to near Waterford, being the Shun- 
pike proper, is still in use as a township road. Through Summit Township 
the Shunpike is nearly midway between the turnpike and plank road. 


A road was opened in 1809 from Erie to Wattsburg, through Phillipsville. 
It was poorly located in spots, and in 1828 a re-survey was made under the 
authority of the State, which appropriated a small sum for the purpose. This 
resulted in some changes in the location. In 1832, the road being in a bad 
condition, the citizens of Erie, Wattsburg and along the line made a subscrip- 
tion for its improvement. The road continued unsatisfactory until 1851, when 
the Erie & Wattsburg Plank Eoad Company was formed, with J. H. Williams 
as President. The plank road was completed in 1853, a year after the one to 
Edinboro, and two years after the one to Waterford. In the adoption of a 
route the old road was pretty closely pursued to the Dief enthaler place in 
Greene Township, where a diversion was made to the Bailey farm. There it 
struck the original line and afterward either followed or ran parallel with the 
old road to the farm of C. Siegel. From Siegel's an entirely new route was 
adopted through Lowville, leaving the balance of the old road undisturbed. 
The course of the plank road is southeasterly, across Mill Creek, Greene and 
Venango Townships. The highest points are at the H. L. Pinney and Bailey 
places, in Greene Township, the elevation being some five hundred feet at the 
former and six hundred at the latter. Conrad Brown and George W. Barr 
were the constructors of the road and owned most of the stock, which they sold 
in a few years to John H. Walker. 

There were three regular toll gates — at Lowville, kept by William Black; 
at Diefenthaler's, kept by Mr. Clute, and at Marvintown, kept by P. E. Ger- 
lach. The rates of toll charged were 31 cents for a double team from 
Erie to Wattsburg, and 25 cents for a single team. The farmers having 
found a way of avoiding the toll gate at Lowville, by driving over the 
Blore road; in the winter of 1852-53 a fourth toll gate was put up at Oscar 
Sears', in Venango Township, but the next spring it was abandoned. From 
the start the road was a non-paying enterprise, and it was allowed to run down 
though toll was still exacted. In the spring of 1865, public feeling became so 
much excited that a party of farmers was formed who started at Erie and tore 
down every gate on the road. Though they were severely threatened, none of 
the party were tried or punished, and no toll has been charged on the road 
since. It is now kept up by the townships through which it extends. Besides 
the village of Lowville, the road passes through Belle Valley and St. Boniface. 
The distances from Erie are: To Wattsburg, twenty miles; to Lowville, eight- 
een miles; to St Boniface, seven and a half miles; and to Belle Valley four 
miles. It is said to be a mile further by this route to Wattsbuvg than by the 
old road. Phillipsville, on the remaining portion of the latter, after it 
branches off at Siegel's, is fourteen miles from Erie. 


The first road in the direction of Lake Pleasant was opened in 1821-22 
from Erie to a point near the Martin Hayes farm, in Greene Township, about 
a mile beyond the line of Mill Creek Township. In 1826-27, at a heavy ex- 
pense for the period, the county continued the road past Lake Pleasant to 
i<rench Creek, where it meets the thoroughfare between Union and Wattsburg. 


At the era last spokfn of, the country south of the Hayea place was almost an 
unbroken forest clear through to Lake Pleasant. The distance from Brie to 
Lake Pleasant is twelve miles, and to French Creek two and a half miles 
further. It is said to be two miles shorter from Erie and Wattsburg by this 
road than by the plank road. The road branches off from the Wattsburg plank 
at the Davidson place, about two miles outside of Erie, and running in a gen- 
eral southwestern course passes through the corner of Mill Creek Township, 
enters Greene, which it cuts through the center from northwest to southeaHt, 
traverses the southwestern corner of Venango and terminates in the north- 
western corner of Amity. 

THE colt's station ROAD. 

The road from "Wesley ville to Colt's Station, through parts of Harbor Creek 
and Greenfield Townships, was once of more consequence, comparatively, than 
now, but is still considerably traveled. It was laid out about 1813, to give a 
route between Erie and Mayville, N. Y. At Colt's Station, an intersection is 
made with the North East & Wattsburg road. 


The first public house on the south shore of Lake Erie, west of Buffalo, 
and the first building erected within the limits of Erie City, was the Presque 
Isle Tavern, built by Col. Seth Reed in July, 1795. It stood near the mouth 
of Mill Creek, and was a one- story log and stone structure. The next year. 
Col. Eeed built a two-story log building on the southwest corner of Second and 
Parade streets, which he turned over to his son, Rufus S. Reed, who kept a 
store and tavern in it for many years. 

The third tavern was built in Erie by George Buehler in 1800. Needing 
larger accommodations, he erected another at the northeast corner of Third 
and French streets, which afterward became known as the McConkey House. 
This building was occupied as Perry's headquarters in 1813. It was standing 
till a few years ago. Mr. Buehler moved to Harrisburg in 1811, and estab-' 
lished the well-known Buehler House in that city, the name of which was 
afterward changed to the Bolton House. 

Outside of Erie, the earliest public house was opened in Waterford by 
Lieut. Martin in 1795. Public houses were establisLed by Richard Swan at 
Manchester in 1805; by Henry Burgett at North East in 1806; by Lemuel 
Brown on the site of the Haynes House, in the same place, in 1808 ; by John 
Eyanonthe Buffalo road, near East avenue, Erie, in 1809; by George W. Reed 
in Waterford in 1810; and by John and David Phillips at Phillipsville in the 
same year. After Mr. Ryan's death, his widow kept the house till 1820, when 
she married Wareham Taggart, who assumed charge of the property, and gave 
it the name of the Taggart House. In 1835, Anthony Saltsman, son- in-law of 
Mr. Taggart, became the landlord, and served in that capacity a number of 
years. It was once a noted stand, being the site of the militia trainings for 
Mill Creek Township, and a sort of political center. 

Before the introduction of railroads, the Buffalo and Ridge roads were 
among the busiest thoroughfares in the country, being the great avenues for 
emigration and trade between the Northeastern States and the West. Num- 
erous public houses sprung up and did a good business., The tavern keepers of 
those days were usually men of much force of character, and wielded wide 
political influence. It is said that at one time there was not a mile along the 
roads named without a public house. Many of the buildings are standing, 
but have been converted to other purposes. The completion ,of the Lake Shore 


Railway caused a diminution of travel almost instantly, and it was not long 
before the emigrant, cattle, and freight business fell off entirely. One by one 
the public houses closed, and by 1860 there were none left in operation except 
in the towns and villages. Among the most noted of the old lake shore taverns 
were the Doty and Keith Houses at East Springfield; the Martin House at 
Girard; the Fairview House atFairview; Swan's Hotel at Swanville; the Half- 
way House, a little west of the county almshouse; the Weigleville House; the 
Taggart House above referred to; Puller's Tavern at Wesleyville; and the 
Brawley House at North East. A number of these are yet in operation, and 
will be mentioned in connection with the places where they are located. 

Back from the lake shore the best known of the older hotels were Mai-tin 
Strong's, at the summit of the Waterford Turnpike; the Eagle Hotel at Wa- 
terford; the Robinson House at Edmboro; the Sherman House at Albion; the 
Wattsburg House at Wattsburg; and the Lockport House at Lockport. 

The Erie City hotels, and the more recent ones outside, will be described 
in their proper connections. 


Up to 1800, a good share of the travel and transportation was by means of 
small boats on the lake from Buffalo, and by way of French Greek from Pitts- 
burgh. Judah Colt's colony at Greenfield was supplied in this way for sev- 
eral years. The goods that came by lake for the Greenfield colony were landed 
at Freeport, and from there were transported on horseback or by ox teams. 
The boats on French Creek generally went uo farther up than Waterford, but 
in times of good water they were poled to Greenfield Village. They were 
either canoes or flat-bottomed vessels^ the latter being something like the mud 
scows now seen on Presque Isle Bay, but small and shallow, drawing bat a 
trifling amount of water. Those or the lake were (jriginally propelled by 
oars, but it was not long till sails were introduced. The passengers generally 
acted as a crew, and were glad of the privilege. In winter many persons came 
into the country, either on foot or in sledges, by traveling on the ice of the 
lake. There was more of a beach along the whole length of the lake than 
now; and, until roads were opened, this was much used during the summer. 

By 1810, there were roads to all points south, east and west, and the op- 
portunities for travel and transportation became greatly improved. The roads 
however, were still rough and muddy, and horseback riding was the favorite 
mode of travel. Many instances are related where emigrants came in with 
their few household goods loaded on horses' backs, the wife riding one, the 
husband another, and the children, if any, a third animal. Sometimes they 
were too poor to own more than one horse, in which case the wife and small 
children rode, and the husband walked by their side with his gun or ax over his 
shoulder. As the roads became better, the once familiar two-horse wagons 
were introduced. These were covered with cotton cloth stretched over hickory 
ribs, and furnished shelter for the whole family, besides cariying their goods. 
There being few public houses up to 1820, each party brought their provis- 
ions along, stopping at meal times by the springs, and doing their cooking 
over open fires. From the direction of Pittsburgh the French Creek route con- 
tinued to be the one used till some time after the second war with Great Brit- 
ain. The supplies for Perry's fleet, including the cannon, were largely trans- 
ported in flat boats to Waterford, and from there by the turnpike to Erie. 
Most of the roads in the county were in poor coudition as late as 1830. 

The introduction of stage coaches was a great step ahead. After that came 
the steamboats, which carried hundreds of passengers on each trip. For a 


number of years succeeding the opening of the canal, thousands of emigrants, 
bound for the West, reached Erie by steamboat, and from there went by canal- 
boats down to the Ohio. The packet boats on the canal, the steamboats and 
the stage coaches all did a good passenger business until the completion of 
the railroads, which speedily put an end to their business. 


One of the leading industries of the early days was the transportation of 
salt for the Southern markets. This trade was commenced by Gen. James 
O'Hara, of Allegheny County, about 1800, and continued until 1819, being at 
its height probably about 1808 to 1812. The salt was purchased at Salina, N. 
Y., hauled from there to Buffalo in wagons, brought in vessels to Erie, un- 
loaded in warehouses at the mouth of Mill Creek, and from there carried by 
ox teams to Waterford, where it was placed in flat-boats and floated down 
French Creek and the Allegheny to Pittsburgh and the country beyond. The 
growth of the trade, as shown by the custom house records, was from 714 bar- 
rels in 1800, to 12,000 in 1809, which amount was increased at a later period. 

The hauling of the salt over the portage between Erie and Waterford and 
the floating of it down French Creek gave employment to many citizens of the 
county. To some farmers the trade was really a Godsend, as their land barely 
furnished food for their families, and, no markets being near for the little 
they had to sell, they were obliged by necessity to spend a part of their time 
at some other employment to raise money for taxes, groceries and clothing. 
This was especially the case just before and immediately after the war. when 
the times were very hard. It is estimated that when the trade was at its best, 
one hundred teams and as many persons were constantly on the road between 
Erie and Waterford. The time for making each trip was calculated at two 
days and the average load for a four ox team was fourteen barrels. The price 
paid at first was $1, 50, and then $1 per barrel, which was reduced by the 
close of the business to 50 cents. As may be imagined, the road was 
always bad, and it was not unusual for a wagon load of freight to get 
stuck in the mud, and be four days in crossing the portage. On many 
occasions, a part of the burden had to be abandoned on the way, and a second 
trip made to get it to its destination. A number of warehouses were erected 
on the bank of LeBceuf Creek at Waterford for storing the salt until the water 
was at a suitable stage for floating it down French Creek. The salt was bought 
at Salina for 60 cents per bushel, and the price at Erie and Waterford 
ranged from $5 to $12 a barrel, It required from two to three months 
to convey it from the place of manufacture to market at Pittsburgh. 
There was a period when salt was almost the only circulating medium in the 
county. Oxen, horses, negro slaves and land were sold to be paid for in so 
much salt. As a sample, Hamlin Russell, father of N. W. Eussell, of Belle 
Valley, exchanged a yoke of oxen for eight barrels, and Eufus S. Eeed pur- 
chased of Gen. Kelso a colored boy, who was to be held to service under the 
State law until he was twenty-eight years old, for one hundred barrels. The 
price that season was 15 per barrel, making the value of the slave 1500. The 
discovery of salt wells on the Kiskiminitas and Kanawha, about 1813, cheap- 
ened the price of the article at Pittsburgh, so that Salina could not compete, 
and the trade by way of Erie steadi ly diminished until it ceased altogether 
in 1819. 


In 1801, a route between Erie and Pittsburgh, via Waterford and Meadville, 
was opened, to carry the mail once a week. By 1803, it had been reduced to 

244 HiSTOur OF ekie county. 

once in t,wo weeks, but was soon changed back to the original plan. The 
mode of transportation was on horseback for some years, and later by a horse 
and common wagon. At what time a regular stage line commenced running 
is not known to the writer, but it was probably about the date of the comple- 
tion of the turnpike. In 1826, stages began running each way three times a 
week, carrying a mail every trip. This was increased to a daily mail, each 
direction, which continued until the day of railroads. 

A route was established between Erie and Buffalo in 1806 to carry the 
mail once a week. Mr. Knox, Postmaster at Erie, stated to a friend that the 
mail was often taken in the driver's breeches pockets. During a good share 
of the time before coaches were introduced, the pouch was carried on the back 
of a single horse; then it was increased in size so that two horses were 
required, one carrying the driver and the other the mail. 

The first line of stages between Erie and Buffalo was established by 
Messrs. Bird & Deming, of Westfield, N. Y., and commenced making weekly 
trips in December, 1820. At the beginning, a stage left Buffalo every Satur- 
day at noon and reached Erie the next Monday at 6 P. M. ; returning, it started 
from Erie at 6 A. M. every Tuesday and arrived at Buffalo on Thursday at 
noon. By January 8, 1824, a stage with mail was making semi-weekly trips 
between Erie and Cleveland. On the 10th of February, 1825, a mail coach 
commenced running daily between Erie and Buffalo. The stage line to Cleve- 
land consisted for a time of a single horse and wagon. \ 

It was considered a great stride forward when a line of four-horse coaches 
was placed on the road between Buffalo and Cleveland by a company of which 
RufuB S. Reed and Ira E. Bird were the chief men. This event, which took 
place in 1827, was as much talked about, and, if anything more, as the open- 
ing of a new railroad would be to-day. The new line carried a daily mail 
each direction and was a source of large profit to its owners. Eighteen hours 
were allowed as the time between Biiffalo and Erie, but bad roads and acci- 
dents often delayed the coaches much longer. 

The mail route to Jamestown, N. Y., via Wattsburg, was established in 
1828. At the start a man or boy on foot carried the pouch once a week. The 
route to Edinboro was established in the winter of 1835-36, and the pouch was 
carried weekly on a horse's back. A weekly mail was carried over the Station 
road more than forty years ago. Stages still carry the mails to Wattsburg, 
Edinboro, Greenfield, Lake Pleasant, Franklin Corners and intervening post 

The arrival of the stages in old times was a much more important event 
than that of the railroad trains to-day. Crowds invariably gathered at the 
public houses where the coaches stopped, to obtain the latest news, and the 
passengers were persons of decided account for the time being. Money was 
so scarce that few persons could afford to patronize the stages, and those who 
did were looked upon a fortunate beings. The trip to Buffalo and Cleveland 
was as formidable an affair as one to Chicago or Washington is now by 
railroad. The stage drivers were men of considerable consequence, especially 
in the villages through which they passed. They were intrusted with many 
delicate missives and valuable packages, and seldom betrayed the confidence 
reposed in them. They had great skill in handling their horses, and were the 
admiration and envy of the boys. Talk about the modem railroad conductor 
—he is nothing compared with the importance of the stage coach driver of 
forty years ago. 




Eeligiods Oeganizations, Chtteches, Graveyards, Etc. 

WHEN the Freacli army penetrated this section in 1 753, th ey were accompan- 
ied by several Catholic priests, who served in the double capacity of chap- 
lains and missionaries. They erected a small log chapel at Erie, on the right 
side of Mill Creek, near its mouth, and another within the walls of I'ort Le- 
Boeuf, at "Waterford, in which the solemn rites of the mother church were 
regularly administered until the departure of the invading forces in 1759. 
So far as any record exists, these were the only religious services held within 
the bounds of Erie County previous to the year 1797. It is not known 
whether the chapels were torn down when the French left the country, were 
destroyed by the Indians, or fell into decay, but no trace of either is mentioned 
by the early American settlers. 

The first Protestant exercises we have any account of took place at Colt's 
Station, in Greenfield 1 ownship, where Judah Colt had established the most 
important settlement then in the county, on Sunday, the 2d of July, 1797. 
About thirty persons assembled in response to a general invitation. No minis- 
ter was located within the bounds of the county, and the services were led by 
Mr. Colt, who read a sermon from Dr. Blair's collection. 


Most of the colonists were Presbyterians from New England and the valley 
of the SusquehaEuaa, and it was no more than natural that that denomination 
should have been the first to look after the spiritual welfare of the promising 
settlemenL In 1799, a tour that is somewhat celebrated in the annals of the 
church was made througn this section by Revs. McCurdy and Stockton, two 
missionaries who were sent out by the Ohio and Eedstone Presbyteries. They 
visited Erie, Waterford and North East, and preached at each place to the de- 
light of the pious people of the community, many of whom had not been 
afforded an opportunity to attend public worship for a number of years. A 
period of two years ensued before the colonists were favored with another min- 
isterial visitation, when Mr. McCurdy was again sent forth, assisted by Revs. 
Satterfield, Tate and Boyd, all of the Presbyteries above named. The first two 
reached Middlebrook, in Venango Township, in August, 1801, and preached 
with great acceptance in a chopping that had been prepared for the purpose on 
the bank of French Creek. They were accompanied by their wives, and trav- 
eled on horseback. No roads had been opened in that part of the county and 
the party had to find their way by marked trees and trails through the woods. 
The efforts of the two ministers met with such marked favor that it was re- 
solved upon the spot that a meeting house should be put up within the ensuing 
week. On the next Thursday, the population for miles around gathered 
at the site that had been chosen, on a knoll near the first place of worship, cut 
down the forest trees, hewed them into shape, and at night had a rough log 
building under roof, the first house for Protestant worship erected in Erie 
County. This structure was succeeded by another and better one in 1802, 
known to every old settler as the Middlebrook Church, which stood until decay 


compelled it to be taken down some twenty years ago From Middlebrook 
after oreanizin? a congi-egation of eighteen members, Messrs. McOurdy ana 
Satterfield continued their journey to Colt's Station and North East, where 
they were joined by Messrs. Tate and Boyd. At the latter place, these four 
participated in the first sacrament of the Lord's Supper ever administered m 
Erie Countv, according to Protestant forms. The scene of this eventful cere- 
mony was at the house of William Dundas, within the present limits of Nort^ 
East Borouo-h, and the date was the' 27th of September, 1801. An audience of 
about 300 had assembled, of whom some forty sat down to the tables. A con- 
gregation with the title of " The Churches of Upper and Lower Greenfield 
was organized at the same time. 


The whole of Western Pennsylvania this side of the Allegheny River was 
at that time within the jurisdiction of the synod of Virginia. On the 2d of 
October, 1801, in response to the petitions of those who foresaw the coming 
importance of the field, that synod set off the territory between the Ohio and 
Allegheny Eivers and Lake Erie, extending some distance also west of the Ohio 
line,''into a Presbytery, to which the name of Erie was given. The new Pres- 
bytery met at Mt. Pleasant, Beaver County, on the 13th of April, 1802, seven 
ministers only being in attendance. Supplications were filed from Upper and 
Lower Greenfield, Middlebrook and Presque Isle. Revs. McCurdy, Satterfield 
and McPherrin were chosen missionaries, and, it is presumed, visited Erie 
County during the year, but no evidence of the fact is to be found. 


Rev. Robert Patterson, who had accepted a call from " The Churches of 
Upper and Lower Greenfield," was received by the Presbytery on the 30th of 
September, 1802. He returned to North East, and entered upon his pastoral 
work on the 31st of December, bat was not ordained until September 1, 1803. 
The congregation were still without a building, and the ordination exercises 
were held in John McCord's bark house. Mr. Patferson's contract was to 
preach two-thirds of his time lor the congregation, and the balance was spent 
by him in riding the county from place to place, holding services in the 
woods, barns, sheds and private houses. During these trips, he had numerous 
startling adventures, and suffered many privations. An effort was made to 
have him devote one-third of his time to Erie, but failed for want of an ade- 
quate subscriptioQ. A log church was built at North East in 1804, on the 
knoll now occupied by the cemetery of that borough. Mr. Patterson preached 
at Springfield during that year, and organized a preaching point there. The 
first church in the latter township was built in 1804 on the site of the ceme- 
tery at East Springfield. Mr. Patterson was unable to stand the fatigues of 
frontier duty, and in April, 1807, applied to the Presbytery for a release from 
his charge, which was granted. 


During the year 1805, Rev. Johnson Eaton came on from the southern 
part of the State, and preached for some time at the moutli of Walnut Creek 
and in Springfield. In the fall of that year, he went back to his home, re- 
turning in 1806 with a bride, and settling permanently in Fairview Township. 
The devotion of the young wife, and the earnestness of the minister can only 
be appreciated when it is remembered that they rode on horseback through. 



the woods the whole way from the Ohio River to Lake Erie, with nothing but 
a trail to guide their course, and with scarcely a house on the route at which 
to obtain shelter and refreshments, to take up their abode in what was almost 
an unbroken wilderness. Mr. Eaton immediately entered upon his pastoral 
duties, having the whole county for his field, but giving special atten- 
tion to the people at Fairview and Springfield. In 1807, he succeeded 
Mr. Patterson at North East, and he also held occasional services for 
several years at Colt's Station, Middlebrook, Waterford and Erie. He 
was not ordained, however, till June 30, 1808, the ceremony, for lack of a 
church building, taking place in William Sturgeon's barn, in or near the 
limits of Fairview Borough. A church was built at the mouth of Walnut 
Creek in 1810. During the war with Great Britain, Mr. Eaton gave his serv- 
ices to the Government as a Chaplain, besides ministering to his congregation 
with as much regularity as the unsettled condition of the time would allow. 
By 1816, the population of Erie had increased sufficiently to enable an arrange- 
ment to be made by which he gave one-third of his time to the congregation 
there, which had been organized by him September 15, 1815. He continued 
as pastor of the Erie congregation until 1823, and of the Fairview Church un- 
til his death, on the 17th of June, 1847. The first year of Mr. Eaton's resi- 
dence in the county, his salary was $860 a year, one-half of which was to be 
taken in produce. 

In 1808, supplies were granted by the Presbytery to " Upper Greenfield, 
Middlebrook, Waterford and Erietown, " and in 1809 it was reported to that 
body that none of these places could support a pastor. It must have been due 
to the poverty of the people, though, rather than to their want of religious 
principle, for we find that in 1808 one Jared Goodrich, of Greenfield, was 
fined 14 by Justice Marvin, of the same township, for driving his ox team to 
Erie on Sunday. If every ofi^ense of a similar nature were punished now, the 
offices of Justice and Constable would be more profitable than that of Sheriff. 


No regular preaching of any kind was had at Erie until Mr. Eaton was 
called to give one-third of his time, as before stated, the people who were 
piously inclined being compelled to attend worship at North East and Fairview. 
A faithful few rode their horses to these places every Sabbath when service 
was held, regardless of the weather, and for a number of years the churches 
were not even warmed in winter. Men, women and children in those prim- 
itive days thought nothing of riding ten to twenty miles over rough forest 
roads in the middle of winter to attend Divine worship, which meant a good 
deal more to them than an opportunity to show off their fine clothes, or a mere 
compliance with the mandates of fashionable society. 

The Presbyterian congregation of Waterford was organized in 1809, and 
that at Union in 1811, being the first in those places. Rev. John Matthews 
was settled as pastor of the Waterford and Gravel Run (Crawford County) 
congregations October 17, 1810. The Union congregation did not put up a 
building till 1881, and that of Waterford till 1834. In 1817, Rev. Mr. Camp 
was employed as a missionary to supply the churches unable to support a pas- 
tor, and served in that capacity for two years. The minutes of the Presbytery 
in 1820 show congregations at Springfield, North East, Waterford, Middle- 
brook, Union, Fairview and Erie. 


The Methodists held occasional worship at an early date in various por- 



tionsof the county, but principally in the western and southwestern town- 
ships The first service of which there is any positive knowledge was led by 
Eev Joseph Bowen, a local preacher, at the house of Mrs. Mershon, near West 
Springfield, in September, 1800. A class was organized near Lexington, in 
Conne'aut Township, in 1801, and the same year a great revival was held at 
Ash's Corners, ^Yashington Township. The first church building was erected 
in 1804, about a mile south of West Springfield, and soon after its dedication 
was the'scene of a famous revival, during which Eev. Andrew Hemphill was 
the instrument of converting about 100 souls. The first quarterly meeting 
was held in that church in July, 1810. Meetings of the denomination in Erie 
were held by circuit preachers, at long intervals, commencing in 1801. Wor- 
ship took place in the winter of 1810-11, in a tavern on the west side of 
French street, between Sixth and Seventh. A congregation would seem to 
have been partially established soon after the beginning of the century, but 
was probably unable to support a pastor until 1826, at which period the First 
Church of Erie City dates its organization. The earliest of the other congre- 
gations in the county were those at Mill Village, organized in 1810; North 
East, in 1812; Fair Haven, Girard Township, 1815; Girard Borough, 1815; 
Waterford Borough, 1816; Union City and Fairview, 1817; Middleboro, 1819; 
Northville, 1820; Wattsburg, 1827; Wesleyville, 1828. 

The following interesting incidents relative to the history of the Methodist 
Church in Erie County were contributed by Mr. Frank Henry to the Erie Ga- 
zette : 

At the annual session of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, held at TJniontown, Fayette County, Penn., in the month of Au- 
gust, 1830, the following resolution was passed, viz. : 

Resolved, that a new circuit be formed, and called Erie Circuit. That it shall com- 
prise that part of North East Circuit lying west of North East, Greenfield and Venango 
Townships, and that part of Meadville Circuit lying north of Waterford and east of Spring- 
field Townships, in Erie County. 

I have the original minutes of the new circuit up to the time when it was 
again subdivided and "Wesleyville Circuit was formed. Also, the complete 
minutes of Wesleyville Circuit to the present time. 

Nearly all the preachers who met in conference in Uniontown in 1830 went 
there on horseback over mountains and through the wildnerness, fording or 
swimming over creeks and rivers, and often camping out at night. Some were 
too poor to own a horse, and went to conference on foot. They were indeed 
heroes and those were "the heroic days of Methodism," What a wonderful 
change has been wrought in the half century thathas passed away. There 
are only a few — perhaps half a dozen members of the conference in 1830 — 
who are now living. Nearly all the persons whose names are recorded in the 
minutes have passed "from labor to reward," but their names are written in 
the Book of Life. Many readers of the Gazette well remember these old 
pioneers, and will be interested to have the work of the fathers recalled to 
memory, and will doubtlesss be pleased to read a few extracts from the old 
" log book: " 

First auarterly Conference for Erie Circuit held at Harbor Creek, September 13, 1830. 
Present, William B. Mack, Presiding Elder, Jose^ A. Barrass and A. Young, circuit 
preachers. Fwoll call, present: Local preachers, N.W. Curtis, Barney Bert, William Staf- 
ford ; exhorters, Luther Stone, D. D. Daniels, Y. Wilkins, Joseph S. Buck, Justus Os- 
burn ; class leaders, David Burton. A. Bowers, William Allen, William Campbell, Edmund 
Brace ; circuit stewards, James Flowers, Sturkely Stafford, John Wheaton. James Mc- 
Conkey, Recording Steward. Voted unanimously, that the members of this Quarterly 
Conference will do all they can to establish ' weekly class collections on this circuit. 
Signed : W. B. Mack, P. E. 

A. Young, Sec'y." 


During this conference year, Eev. Mr. Barrass, preacher in charge, received 
his salary in full, viz., 1167. The salary now paid the pastor of one of the 
charges— in the city of Erie — would have endowed a college professorship in 
those primitive times. This meeting was held in warm weather and the doors 
and windows were open. An enterprising and devout cat persisted in annoy- 
ing those having charge of the communion basket, causing merriment among 
some of the young people present, and disturbing the meeting. Finally, 
]3rother Barrass took the cat outside and beat its brains out against the corner 
of the house. It is said that that cat was none of the nine-lived species. This 
act filled the hearts of some of the "beam in their own eye" ones with holy 
indignation and horror. The storm eventually subsided and the good brother 
was not " cast oub of the synagogue." 

On the 26th of December, 1830, at the close of a meeting in the court 
house, where the Methodists then worshiped, a subscription paper was circu- 
lated to raise money to pay the preacher. We notice the names of Georo-e 
Moore, Captain AYright, Albert Kelso, J. Lantz, Pressly Arbuckle, Willia^i 
flimrod and Thomas Moorhead. Jr., on the paper. At the nest meetincr $4 
were raised to pay for wood and candles. 

The second quarterly meeting was held in West Mill Creek in December 
1830. Josiah Flower was one of the exhorters present. John Brace, of Beaver 
Dam; Timothy Clark, of North East, and Thomas Stephens, of Erie, were 
added to the Board of Stewards. 

The third quarterly meeting was held in Harbor Creek, February 19, 1831. 
Stephen Stuntz, A. C. Barnes, Watts B. Lloyd and Josiah Flower were among 
the exhorters present at this meeting, and James McConkey was Secretary. 

The fourth quarterly meeting was held in connection with a camp meeting 
in a grove on the farm of Judge Sterrett, in Harbor Creek, near Wesleyville, 
June 25, 1831. James Flower, a Steward, resigned, and John Shadduck was 
appointed. The following local preachers were present: Barney Bort, William 
Stafford, John Keese Hallock, N. W. Curtis, Philip Osborn, William Burton, 
Titus Cook. Josiah Flower joined the Annual Conference. Exhorters present: 
Justus Osburn, Luther Stone, D. D. Daniels, Nehemiah Beers, Stephen Stuntz, 
David Burton, John McClune, Joseph S. Buck, Watts B. Lloyd, Freeman 
Palmer and Franklin Vandoozer. 

The first annual meeting of the Erie District Bible, Tract and Sunday 
School Society was held at the brick meeting house, Harbor Creek, July 4, 1836, 
Kev. W. B. Mack, Chairman; James McConkey, Secretary; and John Shad- 
duck, Treasurer. Managers, Stephens Stuntz, John Whealon, Stukely Staf- 
ford, J. S. Buck, Thomas Adams, Timothy Clark, David D. Daniels, George 
Walker, James Flower, E. N. Hulburt, John Richards and David Sterrett. The 
meeting adjourned to meet at Wheaton's meeting house in Mill Creek July 4, 
1832. Almond Fuller and Stewart Chambers were among the subscribers to 
the funds of the society. All the members of this society are now dead except 
Stewart Chambers, of Wesleyville, Penn., and George W. Walker, of Marquette 
County, Wis. 

The first quarterly conference of Erie Circuit ever held in the borough of 
Erie, met November 19, 1831, W. B. Mack, Presiding Elder; John P. Kent 
and A. Plimpton were circuit preachers. Peter Haldeman acted as Secretary, 
pro tempore. James Flower, Peter Haldeman, John Magee, A. Bowers, James 
Boyle, and — Sweetland were the class leaders present. Watts B. Lloyd was 
by verbal consent allowed to preach for the time being. Stephen H. Wilcox 
was licensed to preach. 

The next meeting was held in Wesleyville, and Ezekiel Chambers was 


licensed to preach. The fourth quarterly conference was held at Peter Hime- 
baugh's, ia Beaver Dam, July 28, 1832. David Vorse, Asa White and Ed- 
mund Brace were among the exhorters, and William Chambers, James Bail, 
William B. Weed, Luther Lewis and B. Deighton, claps leaders. A com- 
mittee to build a meeting house in McKean was appointed, viz.: John K, 
Hallock, Ezra White and James Bail. The following local preachers' licenses 
were renewed: Barney Bort, William Stafford, Philip Osborn, Josiah Flower, 
Nehemiah Beers, David Vorse and Peter Haldeman. At this meeting Watts 
B. Lloyd was licensed to preach, and Capt, Thomas Wilkins was licensed to 
exhort. At their own request, the papers of Stephen Stuntz and Justus Osborn 
were not renewed. 

Second quarterly conference was held in Wesleyville, February 9, 1833, J. 
S. Barrass, Presiding Elder; John Chandler and E. P. Stidman, circuit preach- 
ers. Luther Stone was silenced and expelled from the church. Edmund Brace 
and F. Vandoozer returned their licenses to exhort. A committee was ap- 
pointed to estimate the expense of building a meeting house in Erie, viz. : J. 
MoConkey, T. Stephens and B. N. Hulburt; Trustees for same, E. N. Hulburt, 
J. McConkey, T. Stephens, David Burton and John Richards. 

The third quarterly meeting was held in Erie April 18, 1883. W. 
Kogers, J. Hay and J. McCoy were made an estimating committee to build a 
meeting house in Fairview. 

The fourth quarterly meeting was held on the camp ground in Fairview 
June 22, 1833. F. Vandoozer was expelled from the church, after trial by a 
committee, viz. : W. S. Chambers, N. Beers, William May, Solomon Eiblet, 
George W. Walker, P. Cauffmaa, Eobert Ferguson and Alva Phelps. An 
appeal of Barney Deighton was laid over. 

" At a regular meeting of the Stewards of Erie Circuit, held in Erie Sep- 
tember 21, 1833, to take into consideration the proper amount of money to be 
collected from each class for the support of the preachers, the following ap- 
portionment was made, viz. : 

^■4 "Wesleyville, $40; Erie, $55; Haybarger's, $8 ; Burton's, $10; Brown's, $10; 
McKean, $12; Bean's (3), $12; Lake Pleasant, $10; Adam's, $10; Wheaton's 
$30; Fairview, $30; Bradish, $6; H. Clark's, $6; Backus's$12; T. Clark's, $8; 
Haldeman's, $8; Eees Hill, $18; Gospel Hill, $18." 

Rev. J. Chandler and Samuel Gregg were the ' ' circuit riders, " and the 
amount estimated for the support of the two men and their families for an en- 
tire year was $343. During the conference year, beginning September, 1879, 
and ending September, 1880, the combined salaries of the Methodist Episcopal 
preachers within the limits of this same territory, including house rent, was 
$8,054. ^ 

The second quarterly conference for the year 1833 met at the Wheaton 
Meeting House (now Asbury) in West Mill Creek. Rev. Hiram Kinsley was 
Presiding Elder. The minutes are in the peculiarly illegible handwriting of 
Rev. Samuel Gregg, author of "History of Methodism Within the Bounds of 
Erie Conference." Jam«s McConkey tendered his resignation as Steward, and 
George W. Walker was elected Recording Steward. 

The following trustees were "appointed to secure a proper location and 
build a meeting house in Fairview Township," viz. : James McClelland, or 
Miller, Henrj Rogers, John McKee (?), Stephen Stuntz, James Morton. 

The fom-th quarterly meeting met in Wesleyville July 7. 1834, Rev. Hiram 
Kinsley, Presiding Elder, in the chair. The name of Audley McGill appears on 
the minutes as class leader. Also the name of Christian Bort. Local preach- 
ers, Capt. Thomas Wilkins and Philip Osborn, were also present. E. N Hul- 


bert was appointed a Steward for Erie, and Henry Rodgers Steward for Fair- 
view. The decision of the committee in the case of John Dillon was sustained 
A committee was appointed to biiild a parsonage for the use of the circuit, viz • 
George W. Walker, Thomas Rees and William Chambers. This committee was 
authorized to apportion to each class the amount expected from them to pay 
for the same. The parsonage was built in Weslevville, and has been used for 
that purpose ever since. Rev. Noble W. Jones and family are its present 

The preachers were paid in full. The account reads as follows : "Preach- 
ers—John Chandler, $100; ^^ife, $100; child, $16; total, $216. Paid. Sam- 
uel Gregg, $100. Paid." The Recording Steward very properly classed Mrs. 
Chandler and child as preachers, and paid them accordingly. There is no 
class of women on earth more earnestly devoted and self-sacrificing than the 
wives of Methodist preachers. Many successful men owe more to their wives 
than to their own unaided exertions, but are not magnanimous enough to ad- 
mit the fact. 

The next quarterly meeting was held in Fairview, Rev. Alfred Brunson, 
Presiding Elder; P. D. Horton, circuit preacher; Harry Rogers, Christian 
Bort, F. Dixon, M. Haybarger, R. Weeks and J. Bradish were the class lead- 
ers present. 

The second quarterly meeting was held in Wesleyville December 6, 1834. 
George W. Walker was released from the Parsonage Building Committee, and 
Rev. P. D. Hortr>n appointed to fill the vacancy. 

Thp third quarterly conference met at Wheaton's meeting house February 
28, 1835. David Chambers appealed from the decision of the committee at 
Wesleyville, and the committee were not sustained G. Hawly was chosen 
Recording Steward, in place of George W. Walker, resigned. 

The fourth quarterly meeting was held in McKean May 23, 1835. U. 
Gittings. D. Ray, George Deighton, S. Brace, William Kinnear, Philip Osborn 
and William Stafford were the local preachers present. 

At the session of Pittsburgh Conference, held in the summer of 1834, a new 
circuit called Wesleyville Circuit was set off, and the rest of the old Erie Cir- 
cuit left to take care of themselves. The minute book was left for use of the 
Wesleyville Circuit, and the last record is in the hand vsriting of William P. 
Trimble, Recording Steward, and bearing the date of January 25, 1862. I 
believe, however, that Wesleyville Circuit contained for a long time all the ter- 
ritory of the old Erie Circuit outside the borough of Erie. 

A quarterly conference for Wesleyville Circuit was held at Backus School- 
house, in South Harbor Creek, March 12, 1836; Isaac Winans, Presiding Elder; 
Thomas Graham and P. D. Horton, circuit preachers. 

A new committee, Stutely Stafford, Ezra White and James Bayle, was ap- 
pointed to build a new meeting-house at or near MuKean Corners. 

The next quarterly conference was held in Wesleyville June 25, 1836. 
Philip Osborn and Barney Bort were recommended to the annual conference 
for admission to the "traveling conexion." The preachers were paid in full 
— $124 each for a year's hard work. Some of the membership charged the 
preacher's family with extravagance in using up so large a salary ! It was not 
considered advisable to pay the preachers much money in those days. It had 
a tendency to make them "stuck up and worldly-minded. '' Any unmarketa- 
ble produce, such as rancid butter or lard, moldy hay, or wilted potatoes, etc., 
was often taken to the parsonage as "quarterage," and the preacher and his 
wife were expected to receive these tokens of brotherly thoughtfulness with 
becoming humility and thankfulness. I called at the parsonage in Wesley- 


ville many years ago, and while there a good brother brought in a cheese. He 
did not inquire whether the preacher wanted it or not but laid it on the table, 
with a sanctimonious grin on his weazened face. At that time good cheese 
could be bought for 8 cents per pound. ''Brother, how much shall I credit 
yoti for this ? " inquired the preacher. ' " I took it on a debt, and will not be 
hard with you. Call it 10 cents per pound," was the projnpt reply. The 
preacher's son, a promising lad of twelve summers, inspected the cheese very 
closely. In a few minutes he came in with a piece of his mother's new clothes' 
line in his hand. ''Why, my son! what in the world are you going to do?" 
his mother inquired. ' ' Going to tie up pa's cheese to keep it from crawling 
away,'' was the laconic reply. The cheese was a living, loathsome mass of 
maggots, and the old rascal knew it before going to the parsonage. The good 
layman sneaked off, and was that preacher' s enemy ever after. If such fellows 
succeed in dodging into heaven, then the doctrine of universal salvation will 
■ be " the correct thing. " 

In 1836, J. Chandler, L. D. Mix and Albina Hall were the circuit preachers. 

At the meeting held in Wesleyville January 21, 1837, David W. Vorse, of 
McKean, was licensed to preach. At a meeting held in MoKean July 4, 1837, 
he was recommended to the annual conference for admission to the itineracy. 
David Chambers was made an agent of the circuit to build the parsonage. 
This enterprise seemed to move along slowly, A resolution to sustain him 
unanimously passed. 

The next meeting was held at Hoag's Schoolhouse, in South Harbor Creek, 
September 30, 1837. A committee on temporal interests was appointed, viz. : 
William Campbell, George W. AV alter and David Chambers. This committee 
was directed to notify subscribers to the parsonage fund that they must pay 
up or be dealt with according to discipline. D. Preston and D. Pritchard were 
the preachers. March 3, 1838, at a meeting held in Fairview, Peter Haldeman 
was licensed to preach. 

At the meeting held in McKean June 2, 1838, Philip Osborn was recom- 
mended to the annual conference for deacon's orders. All that part of Wes- 
leyville circuit west of the Waterford Turnpike, was formed into a new circuit, 
to be called McKean Circuit. The following is the first official board of Mc- 
Kean Circuit: Joel Stafford, Eecording Steward; Joseph S. Buck, Lewis 
Calder, John L. B. , Philip Osborn, George Deigh ton and John Palmiter. 

At a meeting held in Wesleyville June 15, 1839, Mathias Himebaugh was 
licensed to preach. David Preston and Theodore D. Blinn were the°circuit 
preachers. The former received a salary of $109.58, and Mr. Blinn received 


Rev. Robert Eeid, a minister of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian 
Church, gathered a congregation in Erie in 1811, "which was the first regularly 
organized religious body in the city. Services were held in a schoolhouse 
until 1816, when a church building was erected, eight years in advance of that 
of the First Presbyterian congregation. These two were the sole religious 
organizations in the city in 1820. A second .society was organized by Mr. 
Keid at Waterford in 1812, three years after tbe Presbyterian body of the same 
place. The denomination became known as the United Presbyterian Church 
in 1858, as will be explained below. 

In the year 1815, llev. Charles Oolson, a Lutheran minister from Germany, 
came to the Northwest and organized four congregations of that church, one 
each at Meadville, French Creek, Conneaut and Brie. The Erie society' died 


out very soon, and does not appear to have been revived until many years later. 
The earliest Lutheran Church in Brie City was built in 1835. 

The first knowledge we have of the Episcopalians is through a paper, a 
copy of which has been preserved, drawn up in 1803, and signed by fourteen 
citizens, agreeing to contribute the sum of $83 annually "to pay one third of 
Eev. Mr. Patterson's time in Erie, until a Church of England clergyman can 
be placed. " Mr. Patterson, it will be recollected, was the Presbyterian minis- 
ter in charge at North East. Among the signatures are the familiar names of 
Eeed, Kees and "Wallace. No organization of the , denomination was effected 
till March 17, 1827, when a number of persons withdrew from the Presbyterian 
Church and became united as St. Paul's Episcopal congregation. About the 
same time. Rev. Charles Smith came on from Philadelphia and assumed charge 
as rector. Services were held in the court house till a building was completed 
in November, 1882. The Waterford society, the second in the county, was 
organized the same year as the one at Erie. 

The first building of the Christian denomination was erected at East 
Springfield in 1826, and the second in Fairview Township in 1835. 


The Roman Catholics had no organization in the county until 1833, when 
a church was erected in the northern part of McKean Township, and occupied 
until the new one was put up in Middleboro. St. Mary's and St. Patrick's 
congregations in Erie dute from 1833 and 1837 respectively. The Catholics 
now number more communicants than any single denomination in the county. 

The Lake Erie Universalist Association was organized in Wellsburg in 
1839, where a church had been established the preceding year. The Erie 
church was not organized until 1844. 

The earliest Baptist congregation was in Harbor Creek Township in 1822. 
This was followed by societies at Erie in 1831, and in North East and Water- 
ford Townships in 1832. 

The United Brethren, the Adventists and the other denominations are com- 
paratively new to this section. 

Some of the churches are large, handsome and expensive structures, while 
about one-third are plain wooden buildings that cost less and are less impos- 
ing than many of the barns in the county. The most elaborate churches are 
in Erie, Corry, North East, Union, Girard, Fairview, Miles Grove, Harbor 
Creek, Waterford and Mill Village. The Cathedral church of the Roman 
Catholics, at the corner of Tenth and Sassafras streets, in Erie, which has been 
building for several years, will, when completed, be the most extensive, costly 
and handsome religious edifice in this part of Pennsylvania. 


Below is a list of the various congregations in the county in 1880, with the 
year each one is supposed to have been organized. Any additions that have 
been made since that year will be mentioned in the township sketches: 

Presbyterian a9).— Belle Valley, 1841; Beaver Dam, "Wayne Township, 
about 1820; Central Church, Erie, 1871; Chestnut street, Erie, 1870; Corry, 
1864; East Spri ngfield, 1804; Edinboro, 1829; Fairview Borough, 1845; First 
Church, Erie. 1815: Girard Borough, 1835; Harbor Creek, 1832; Mill Village, 
1870; NorthEast Borough, 1801; Park Church, Erie, 1855; Union City, 1811, 
"Waterford Borough, 1809; "Wattsburg, 1826; "^Westminster, Mill Creek Town- 
ship, 1806-1851; "^^ales, Greene Township, 1849. 

The Presbyterian Churches of Erie County are within the bounds of the 


Synod of Pennsylvania and of the Presbytery of Erie. The Synod was con- 
stituted in 1881, and embraces the four old Synods of Philadelphia, Harris- 
burg, Erie and Pittsburgh. The Presbytery embraces Erie, Crawford, War- 
reQ, Venango and Mercer Counties, and contains sixty-two churches and about 
fifty ministers. 

United Presbyterian (6).— Beaver Dam, Wayne Township, 1859; First 
Church, Erie, 1811; Five Points, Summit Township, 1842; Mission Church, 
Erie, 1874; "Waterford Borough, 1812; Whiteford's Corners, Summit Town- 
ship, 1876. 

The name of this denomination in Erie County was originally the Asso- 
ciate Eeformed Presbyterian Church. On the 26th of May, 1858, the Associ- 
ated Presbyterian and the Associated Reformed Presbyterian societies oE the 
Northern States consolidated under the name of the United Presbyterian 
Church. The churches of this county are attached to the First Synod of the 
West and to the Lake Presbytery. The Synod embraces all of the churches in 
Pennsylvania west of the Allegheny and portions of Ohio and Michigan. The 
Presbytery covers Erie and Crawford Counties, a portion of Mercer and a 
small part of Trumbull County, Ohio. 

Episcopal (8). — Emanuel, Corry, 1864; Cross and Crown, Erie, 1867; 
Miles Grove, 1862; Mission of the Holy Cross, North East, 1872; St. Paul's, 
Erie, 1827; St. John's, Erie, 1867; Union City, 1875; St. Peter's, Waterford 
Borough, 1827. 

The churches of Erie County are embraced in the Diocese of Pittsburgh 
and in the Erie Deanery. The Diocese includes all of Pennsylvania west of 
the Eastern lines of Somerset, Cambria, Clearfield, Elk, Cameron and McKean 
Counties; the Deanery comprises Erie, Crawford, Venango, Lawrence and 
Mercer Counties. The Pittsburgh Diocese was organized November 15, 1865, 
on which date Eev. John B. Kerfoot was elected Bishop. His consecration 
took place on the ec suing 26th of January. He was succeeded by Rev. Dr. 
Cortland Whitehead, who was consecrated on January 25, 1882. The Erie 
Deanery was erected on the 12th of June, 1874. The Deans have been as fol- 
lows: 1st, Eev. J. F. Spaulding, Erie; 2d, Rev. W. H. Mills, Brie; 3d, Rev. 
Henry Purdon, Titusville. 

United Brethren (13).^ — Branchville, McKean Township, about 1866; 
Corrv, ■ 1864 ; Clark settlement, Harbor Creek Township, 1856 ; Erie, 
1878; Elk Creek and Girard line, 1870; Elk Creek Township, 1853; Fairview 
Township, about 1857; Greene and Venango line, 1871; Macedonia, Venango 

Township, ; New Ireland, LeBoeuf Township, 1876; Shattuck's Corners, 

Greenfield Township, about 1874; Union City, 1872; Wayne Valley, Wayne 
Township, 1S70. 

Roman Catholic (16).— Albion, prior to 1850; St. Mary's, Erie. 1883; St. 
Patrick's, Erie, 1837; St. Joseph's, Erie, about 1853; St. John's, Erie, 1869; 
St. Andrew's, Erie, 1871; St, Thomas, Corry, 1860; St. Elizabeth, Corrv, 
1875; St. John's, Girard, 1853; St. Boniface, Greene Township, 1857; S't. 
Peter's, Greene Township, 1870; St. Matthew's, Summit Township, 1867; St. 
Francis Xavier, Middleboro, 1833; St. Gregory's, North East, 1854; St. Tere- 
sa's, Union City, 1857; St. Cyprian's, Waterford Station, 1878. 

The Erie Diocese comprises the counties of Erie, Crawford, Mercer, 
Venango. Forest, Clarion, Jefferson, Clearfield, Cameron, Elk, McKean, Potter 
and Warren. It was established in 1853, Rt. Eev. Michael O'Conner being 
the first Bishop. He was transferred from Pittsburgh in 1853, and re-trans- 
ferred in 1854. His successor, Rt. Rev. J. M. Young, was consecrated April 
23, 1854, and died September 18, 1866. Rt. Rev. T. Mullen, present Bishop, 
was consecrated August 2, 1868. 

/ r >> -^ 

^ /■rr.'^y^- /^^ 


Methodist Episcopal (55). — Albion, prior to 1850; Ash's Corners, Wash- 
ington Township, 1867; Asbury, Mill Creek Township, 1846; Asbury, Union 
Township, 1840; Beaver Dam, 1838; Carter Hill, about 1835; Corry, 1862; 
Cherry Hill, 1858; Concord Township, 1879; Cranesville, about 1830; Crane 
road, Franklin Township, 1867; East Springfield, 1825; Edinboro, 1829; 
Edenville, LeBoeuf Township, 1839; Elgin, 1854; Eureka, 1867; First 
Church, Erie, 1826; Fair Haven, Girard Township, 1815; Pairplain, Girard 
Township, 1840; Fairview Borough, 1817; Franklin Corners, 1866; Gospel 
Hill, Harbor Creek Township, 1816; Greenfield, 1836; Girard Borough, 1815; 
Harbor Creek, 1834; Hatch Hollow, Amity Township, prior to 1835; Hamlin, 
Summit Township, 1837: Keepville, about 1867; Lowville, 1875; Lockport, 
1843; Miles Grove, 1867; McLane, Washington Township, 1863; Mill Vil- 

lege, prior to 1810; JEiddleboro, 1819; Macedonia, Venango Township, ; 

North Corry, 1870; North East Borough, 1812; Northville, about 1820; Phil- 
lipsville, prior to 1848; South Harbor Creek, Harbor Creek Township, prior 
to 1830; Simpson Church, Erie, 1858; Sterrettania, 1842; South Hill, McKean 
Township, about 1860; Sharp's Corners, Waterford Township, 1838; Sherrod 

Hill, ; Tower Schoolhouse, Venango Township, ; Tenth Street, Erie, 

1867; Union City, 1817; Waterford Borough, 1814; Wellsburg, 1833; Watts- 
burg, 1827; West Springfield, 1801; Wales, Greene Township, about 1850; 
West Greene, 1827; Wesley villa, 1828. 

The Methodist Episcopal Churches in Erie County are attached to the Erie 
Conference, organized in 1836, the bounds of which extend on the west to the 
Ohio State line, on the east to a line running slightly beyond Jamestown, N. 
Y. , and Ridgway, Penn. , and on the south to a line running east and west be- 
low New Castle, Penn. The Conference is subdivided into six Presiding 
Elders' districts, viz. : Erie, Clarion, Franklin, Jamestown, Meadville and 
New Castle. The Erie District includes the churches of Erie, Mill Creek, 
Fairview, Girard, Greene, Greenfield, Harbor Creek, McKean, North East, 
Summit, Springfield, Wesleyville and Waterford; the Meadville District those 
of Albion, Edinboro, Lockport, Mill Village, Union and Wattsburg; the 
Jamestown District those of Corry. The Presiding Elders of these districts 
have been as follows: 

Erie District— G. Fillmore, 1821-24; W. Swayze, 1825-27; W. B. Mack, 
1828-31: J. S. Barris, 1832; H. Kinsley, 1833; J. Chandler, 1836-38; J. C. 
Ayers, 1839-42; T. Goodwin, 1843-44; J. Kobinson, 1845-48; B. O. Plimp- 
ton, 1849; E. J. L. Baker, 1850-53 and 1865-68; J. Leslie, 1854-57; J. 
Flower, 1858-61; J. H. Whallon, 1862-64; D. M. Stever, 1869-72; R. M. 
Warren. 1873-75; W. F. Wilson, 1876-78; R. W. Scott, 1879-80. 

Meadville District— Z. H. Coston, 1832; A. Brunson, 1833-84; I.Winans, 
1835; J. S. Barris, 1836-37: H. Kinsley, 1838-39, 1843-45 and 1855-58; J. 
Bain, 1840-42; B. O. Plimpton, 1846-48; W. Patterson, 1849-52; E. J. 
Kenney, 1853-54; N. Norton, 1859-62; J. W. Lowe. 1803-66; G. W. Maltby, 
1867-70; W. P. Bignell, 1871-74; J. Peate, 1875-78; F. H. Beck, 1879-80. 

Jamestown District— H. Kinsley, 1834-36; R. A. Aylworth, 1837-38; D. 
Preston 1839^1; J. J. Steadman, 1842-43; D. Smith, 1844-47; W. H. 
Hunter, 1848-51; J. H. Whallon, 1852-55; B. S. Hill, 1856-58; J. W. Lowe, 
1859-62; G. W. Maltbv, 1863-66; J. Leslie, 1867-70; A. Burgess, 1871-72; 
N. Norton, 1873-75; 0." G. McEntire, 1876-79. 

Universalist (5).— Corry, 1877; Erie, 1844; Girard, about 1850; Wellsburg, 
1838; West Springfield; 1848. 

Evangelical Association (6).— Emanuel, Summit Township, about 1838; 
Salem, Fairview and Mill Creek line, 1833 ; Salem, Erie, 1833 ; Mt. Nabo, Fairview 
Borough, 1833; North East Borough, 1870; congregation at Sterrettania. 


Lutheran (11). — St. John's Evangelical Lutheran and Eeformed, Erie, 1835; 
St. Paul's German Evangelical, Erie, 1850; German Evangeliaal Lutheran 
Trinity, Erie, 1881; First English Evangelical Lutheran, Erie, 1861; Evan- 
gelical Lutheran, Girard Borough, 1866; Evangelical Lutheran, Pairview, 1856; 
St. Paul's German Lutheran, Mill Creek Township, about 1836; St. Paul's 
German Evangelical, North East, 1864; St. Jacob's Evangelical United, Fair- 
view Township, 1852; Franklin Township Church, 1871; German (Lutheran), 
Corry, about 1874. 

Baptist (16).— Corry, 1863; Edinboro, 1838; Franklin and Elk Creek 
line, 1866; First Church, Erie, 1831; German Church, Erie, 1861; Lowrey 
settlement, Harbor Creek Township, 1822; McLane, Washington Township, 
1838; North East, 1832; Newman's Bridge, Waterford Township, 1832 or 
1833; Pageville, 1839; Second Greenfield Union Free-Will Baptist, Greenfield, 
Township, 1881; Union City, 1859; Waterford and Amity line, about 1835; 
West Springfield, 1826; Wattsburg, 1850; Wellsburg, 1839. 

Christian {8).— Corry, 1864; Draketown, 1877; East Springfield, 1826; 
Pairview Township, 1835; Girard and Franklin line, 1872; Hare Creek, 
Wayne Township, 1877; McLallen's Corners, 1828: Oak Hill, Waterford 
Townahip, 1854. 

Disciple (2). — Albion, 1880; Lockport, 1877. 

Congregational. — Corry, 1874. 

Hebreu-.—Erie, 1858; Corry, about 1873. 

Advent. — Edinboro, 1863. 

Wesleijan Methodist (3).— Concord Township, 1840; Erie. 1847; Keep- 
ville, 1854. 

African Methodist Episcopal. — Erie, re-organized, 1877. 

Union. — Manross Church, LeBcBuf Township, erected 1869. 

Recapitulation. — Presbyterian, 19; United Presbyterian, 6; Episcopalian, 
8; United Brethren, 13; Roman Catholic, 16: Methodist Episcopal, 55; Con- 
gregational, 1; Advent, 1; African Methodist Episcopal, 1; Universalist 5; 
Lutheran, 11; Evangelical A.ssociation, 6; Baptist, 16; Christian, 8; Disciple, 
2; Hebrew, 2; Wesleyan Methodist, 3; Union, 1; total, 174. 


The first Sunday school in the county was founded by Rev. Mr. Morton 
and Col. James Moorhead at Moorheadville, in 1817. In 1818, Mrs, Judah 
Colt returned to Erie after a visit to New England, where schools for the 
religious instruction of children on the Sabbath had recently been introduced, 
and by the aid of Mrs. R. S Reed and Mrs. Carr established a class for girls, 
which met alternately at the houses of the two ladies last named. After a 
time the brothers of the girls asked to be admitted, but fears were entertained 
that they would be hard to control, and it was only after much debate and 
hesitation that they were allowed to enjoy the benefits of the class. Col. 
Thomas Forster became interested in the enterprise, and in 1820 tendered 
the ladies a room, which was gladly accepted. A public meeting was held in 
the courthouse on the 25th of March, 1821, to consider the project of reo-ularly 
organizing " a Sunday School and Moral Society." Resolutions in" f^vor of 
the same were di-afted and introduced by R. S. Reed, Thomas H. Sill and 
George A. Eliot— one capitalist and two lawyers— and solemnly adopted by the 
audience. A paper for contributions was passed around, and the munificent 
sum of i?26. 50 subscribed to procure suitable books. This subscription paper 
1^ now hanging up in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church of Erie 
The school commenced in May with an attendance of sixty-four, big and little 


who had increased to eighty-one at the end of six months, of whom twenty-one, 
or nearly one-fourth, were colored. Horace Greeley, then an employe in the 
office of the Erie Gazette, was one of the scholars in the winter of 1830-31. 
A second school was started in September, 1830, by the ladies of St. Paul's 
Episcopal congregation, and held its sessions in the court house until their 
church building was completed. The first schools had to encounter some 
opposition, even from zealous Christian citizens. A Sabbath school is now 
connected with almost every church in the county. 


The Erie County Bible Society was established in 1824, and has been in 
continuous operation ever since. Its mission is to distribute the Holy Book 
free of cost to those who aie too poor to buy, and at a moderate price to persons 
in better circumstances. The first officers were Kev. Johnston Eaton, Presi- 
dent; Rev. Robert Reid, Vice President; George Selden, Secretary; and E. 
D. Gunnison, Treasurer. Its annual meetings are held on the first Wednesday 
after the second Tuesday in May. 

The only Young Men's Christian Association in the county is in Erie, 
and was organized in September, 1860. The society owns a fine build- 
ing at the comer of Tenth and Peach streets, which is conveniently fitted 
up for its purpose. Its library of nearly six thousand volumes is free to all 
who visit the reading rooms, and, for a moderate sum per annum, the holders 
of tickets are allowed to take books to their homes. Aside from its religious 
influence, the association has done a good work among the young men and 
women of the city by increasing their literary taste, and giving them the op- 
portunity to read good books instead of the trashy stuff that floods the land. 
It also maintains a Railway Employes' Reading Room in the building on 
Peach street, opposite the northern entrance to the Union depot. 


As death and religion are always associated to a certain extent, this seems 
to be the proper place to give a brief sketch of some of the old graveyards in 
the county, which, thanks to an improved taste, are fast giving way to neat 
and ornamental cemeteries. The first burial place of which there is a record, 
was established at Colt's Station in Greenfield Township on the 6th of July, 
1801. A party of fifteen met and cleared off an acre for the intHrmeut of the 
dead, which has remained as a graveyard to this day, though in a sadly neg- 
lected condition. Their example led the people at Middlebrook to follow suit, 
and a burial place was begun there in the following month. Most of the bodies 
in the latter have been removed within the last thirty years, and the spot is 
now used for farming purposes. A graveyard was establisheil at Erie nearly at 
the same time, on the bank of the lake, east of Parade street, but was aban- 
doned about 1805. Others were located at an early day at Waterford, North 
East, Fairview, Springfield and elsewhere. In 1805, three lots were set aside 
for a graveyard at the southeast corner of French and Eighth streets, Erie, 
which was used by all denominations until 1827, when it became the property 
of the Ilnited Presbyterian Church, whose building adjoined the premises on the 
east. The property was sold in 1862, the bodies were removed to the cemetery, 
and the site is now covered with dwellings. The Presbyterians purchased four 
lots at the southeast corner of Seventh and Myrtle streets, in Erie, in 1826, 
and used them for burial purposes for upward of twenty years, when the 
bodies were carefully removed to the cemetery and the land was sold to pri- 
vate purchasers. 


The Episcopal Graveyard was also on Seventh street, nearly opposite the 
gas house. Besides the above, there was a graveyard on Third street, east of 
the Catholic school, on the north side, which was used for burial purposes as 
late as 1837. The Catholic burial grounds on Twenty- fourth, between Sassa- 
fras and Chestnut streets, still contain numerous bodies, which will probably 
be removed some day to the cemetery west of the city. An unused graveyard 
is also attached to St. John's Church in South Erie. The various cemeteries 
in present use will be described in connection with the city. 

As" the county increashd in population, graveyards were located in every 
section, some of which continue, while the sites of others have almost or en- 
tirely been forgotten. Many families chose burial places on their farms, 
and some of these still exist. The old-style graveyards were, and those 
that remain are, generally speaking, dismal and forbidding places, the tomb- 
stones dingy and often tottering, the fence sides grown up to brambles, the 
gi-aves and walks in a horrible state of neglect, and the whole aspect well cal- 
culated to encourage the belief in ghosts, goblins and demons, which was quite 
universal forty years ago. 

The establishment of the cemetery at Erie, which was dedicated in May, 
1851, and speedily became one of the tastiest in the Union, has had a gratify- 
ing effect upon the whole county. People of refinement from the neighboring 
towns, comparing it with the neglected graveyards at their homes, became 
ashamed of the contrast, and efforts, some successful and others futile, have 
been made to secure creditable places of burial in almost all sections. Corry, 
Union City, North East, Waterford, Girard, Fairview, Springfield, Sterret- 
tania and Lowville have cemeteries that speak well for the taste of their citi- 
zens, and at Erie the new Catholic cemetery near the Head is fast assuming a 
first rank. The writer hopes to be spared long enough to see every vestige of 
the old-style graveyard removed from the face of the earth, and each town and 
township in possession of a cemetery that will be an honor to the living and 
afford a proper resting-place for the dead. 


Mills and Factories. 

THE first mill in Erie County of which there is any record was built at the mouth 
of Mill Creek in 1795-96, under the direction of Capt. Eussell Bissell, 
of the United States Ai-my, to supply timber for barracks, dwellings, etc, for 
the use of the troops who had been sent forward as a protection to the settlers. 
It gave name to the stream, and stood until 1820, when it burned down. An- 
other saw mill was bull-, upon its site in 1831, by George W. Eeed and Will- 
iam Himrod, the frame of which stood till some time after 1861. The second 
saw mill within the city limits was erected on the same stream, at or near 
where the Hopedale Mill stands, by Robert Brotherton, in 1806, and the third 
at the Eighth street crossing in 1807 or 1808, by William Wallace and 
Thomas Forster. About 1810, the Wallace & Forster mill privilege was 
bought by E. S. Eeed, who added a grist mill. The property fell into the 
hands of George Moore in 1822, and a carding machine and fulling mill were 
added. They were purchased by P. & O. E. Crouch in 1859, who improved 


the grist mill from time to time and continued to operate it. In 1815, two more 
grist mills rose upon Mill Creek, the one built by R. S. Reed at the Parade 
street crossing, and the other by Mr. Large near the corner of French and Elev- 
enth streets. Mr. Reed put up a distillery near his mill, and both concerns were 
run by him until his death. The mill building, an unusually large one, stood 
until about ten years ago. The mil] erected by Mr. Large was allowed to go down, 
and its site was adopted by Vincent, Himrod & Co., for the establishment since 
known as the Erie City Iron Works. The fourth grist mill in the city was put 
up by the McNairs in 1827, on State street, south of the Lake Shore Railroad 
track, using the water of Ichabod Run for power. It went down, and in 1849 
the Erie City Mill was built by McSparren & Dumars, to use the water of 
the same stream. The building wds sold, moved further south, and is still 
standing. The Hopodale Mill was built by Henry Gingrich, on the site of 
the Brotherton Saw Mill, about 1850, and was operated for a time by Oliver & 
Bacon. These gentlemen in 1865 secured the Canal Mill, built by William 
Kelly, under the supervision of Jehiel Towner, on Myrtle street, near Sixth, 
to use the surplus water of the canal, and have managed it ever since. 

At one period there were no less than half a dozen distilleries within the 
city limits, and perhaps as many saw mills, the latter all driven by the 
water of Mill Creek, which was quite a strong, steady stream. Mr. Russell, 
in one of his valuable contributions to the Gazette, says: "When there was 
not one-fifth of the population, a distillery was to be found in almost every 
neighborhood. Most families were as particular in laying in their barrel of 
whisky as their barrel of pork, and would rather be without the latter than 
the former." 

Of mills in the vicinity of the city, the earliest were erected by John Coch- 
ran, who put up a saw mill in 1800, and a grist mill in 1801 on the site of the 
present Densmore Mill. Three miles south of the city, on what is now the 
Waterford Plank Road, Robert McCuUough, in 1802 or 1804, put up a saw and 
grist mill, which are still in operation under the title of the Erie County Mills. 
All of these used the water of Mill Creek. In 1814, a small grist mill was 
built by Thomas Miller, on the little stream which empties into the bay at the 
Head, to which he soon after added a mill for making linseed oil. The ruias 
remained until quite recently. 


The second and third saw mills in the county were put up in 1797 — one by 
Thomas Forster at the mouth of Walnut Creek, and the other by Robert Broth- 
erton, on LeBoeuf Creek, near the Waterford Station of the P. & E. road. 
The latter added a grist mill in 1802. In 1798, a fourth saw mill was built 
near the mouth of Four Mile Creek by Thomas Rees, for the Population Com- 
pany. The fifth was built by Leverett Bissell, on French Creek, in Greenfield 
Township, in 1799. 

During the year 1798 the first grist mill in the county was built at the 
mouth of Walnut Creek under the superintendence of Thomas Forster. The 
other mills established outside of Erie City before the last war with Great 
Britain were as follows: 

One on Spring Run, Girard Tovmship, by Mr. Silverthorn, in 1799. 

A grist and saw mill by William Miles, at Onion, in 1800, now known as 
Church's mill. In the same year, a small grist mill, by James Foulk, at the 
mouth of Six Mile Creek. 

A saw mill by William Culbertson, in 1801, and a grist mill in 1802, at 
Edinboro, now known as Taylor & Reeder's mills. 


A saw mill bv Capt. Holliday, in 1801, and a grist mill in 1803, at the 
mouth of Crooked Creek, in Springfield Township, both of which have gone 

A saw mill in 1802 or 1803. by John Riblet, Sr., on Four Mile Creek, 
half a mile south of Wesleyville. No vestige of this remains. 

Lattimore's and Boyd's saw mills, in Waterford Township, about 1802. 
Urist mills were added to each at a later date, and allowed to go down some 
forty years ago. 

A grist and saw mill, in 1803, by Capt. Daniel Dobbins and James Foulk, 
near the mouth of Twelve Mile Creek, since known as Neely's mill. 

A grist mill on Sixteen Mile Creek, in North East Township, by Col. Tut- 
tle, in 1807, now known as Scouller's. 

The following shows when the mills mentioned were erected, and will be 
found convenient for comparison: 

1814— The West Girard Grist and Saw Mill, on Elk Creek, by Peter Wool- 
verton. A saw mill where Lines' mills stand, on Crooked Creek, in Spring- 
field, by Amos Remington and Oliver Cross. 

1815— A saw mill by William Saltsman, at the foot of the gulley of Four 
Mile Creek, in Harbor Creek Township. 

1816 — A saw mill by James Love, on Walnut Creek, in Mill Creek Town- 
ship. A saw mill on Mill Creek, by Foote & Parker. 

About 1820— The Strong Grist* Mill, on Crooked Creek, in Springfield,' by 
Andrew Cochran. 

1822— The Lowville Mills, by Samuel Low. The Wattsburg Mills, by Will- 
iam Miles. 

1823 — The Nason Mill, on Bear Eun, in Fairview, by Daniel Bear. The 
Porter Mill, on Conneaut Creek, in Springfield, by Comfort Hay. Two mills in 
Amity Township, near Milltown, one by Capt. James Donaldson. The grist 
mill at Wesleyville, by John Shattuck. 

1824 — A saw mill in the south part of Greenfield, by John Whiteside. 

1825 — Shattuck's saw mill at Wesleyville. The mills at Wellsburg, by 
Samuel Wells. 

1826 — The old Cooper Mill, on Four Mile Creek, by W^illiam Saltsman. 

The Burger Grist Mill, on French Creek, in Le Boeuf Township, was built by 
George Burger about 1830; the Line Grist Mill, in Springfield, by Mr. Case, 
about 1832; the Sterrettania Mills, on Elk Creek, by David S. Storrett, in 
1839; the Moore Saw Mill, in Le Bceuf, about 1840; and the Branchville Mill, 
about 1850. 


Among the earliest mills were Weigle's, at the crossing of Walnut Creek 
by the Eidge road, in Fairview Township, built by S. F. Gudtner; the Elgin 
Mills, on Beaver Dam Run, by Joseph Hall; the grist mill on LeBoeuf Creek, 
in Greene, by Jacob Brown; and the Backus Mill, on Six Mile Creek, in 
Harbor Creek. All of these were established in the beginning of the centrury, 
but the writer has been unable to obtain the exact dates. A saw mill was built 
at an early period by Michael Jackson, and a grist mill by Amos King, at Al- 
bion. In 1810, there was a carding and woolen mill on the site of the Cass 
factory in Harbor Creek. 

Soon after the war of 1812-14, a perfect mania arose for buildiug saw mills, 
and every stream that could be turned to use was employed to drive from one 
to a dozen wheels. The county was still largely covered with forest trees, and 
all of the streams contained more water than now. The cutting of the timber 
was followed by the drying up of the streams. Most of the mills have gone 


down, and those that remain generally use steam. With few exceptions, 
the grist mills remain on the sites originally adopted. Hubbard B. Burrows 
was a noted millwright and constructed a good share of the early mills. 

The first concern in the county for the manufacture of iron goods was a 
foundry at Freeport, North East Township, built in 1824, by Philetus Glass. 
The next of any consequence was the establishment of Vincent, Himrod & Co. , 
in Erie, who engaged in the manufacture of stoves, using the site of Large's 
grist mill, and the water-power of Mill Creek. The concern began operations 
in the winter of 1840-41, and has continued ever since under several changes 
of name and management. The Erie City Iron Works cover a portion of the 
site of the old mill, and the Chicago & Erie Stove Company and Erie City 
Boiler Works are offshoots from the original establishment. 


Below is as nearly as could be ascertained in 1880 a list of the mills and 
factories in the county outside of Erie and Corry. Any omissions or changes 
that are discovered before this book is published will be noted in the township 
and borough sketches: 

Creameries — Amity Creamery, near Wattsburg. 

Cheese Factories — West Springfield, Springfield Township; Phillipsville, 
Venango Township; Wellsburg, Elk Creek Township; Steadman's, Franklin 
Township; West Union, Union Township; Waterford; Concord, Concord Town- 
ship; Beaver Dam, Wb,yne Township; Carter Hill, Wayne Tovraship; Kennedy, 
Wayne Township; Calbertson's, Union City; Jones', Union City; Beao's, 
Summit Township; Excelsior, Summit Township; Grahamville, North East 
Township; Heed's, McKean Township; Bean's, near Middleboro; Little Hope, 
Greenfield Township; Lockport, Lockport Borough; Wellman's Washington 
Township; McLallen's Corners, Washington Township; Phelp's, Edinboro; 
West Greene, Greene Township; Newman's Bridge, Waterford Township; 
Brown's, Conneaut Township; Keepville, Conneaut Township; Wheeler's, 
LeBoeuf Township; Mill Village; Excelsior, Cherry Hill. 

Grist Mills — Eichard's, Amity Township; Nason's, Fairview Township; 
Weigle's, Fairview Township; Oriental, Fairview Township; Lohrer's, Fair- 
view Township; Porter, Springfield Tciwnship; Lines', Springfield Town- 
ship; Strong's, Springfield Township; Lowville, Venango Township; Watts- 
bui-g; Long, Wells & Co.'s, Wellsburg; The Old Spires, Wellsburg; Steen- 
rod's. Union Township; Anchor, Union City; Church's, Union City; Judson 
& Hippie's, Waterford Township; Williams & Dewey's, Waterford Borough; 
Elgin; Densmore's, Mill Creek Township; Erie County, Mill Creek Township; 
Kocher's, Mill Creek Township; William H. Cooper's, Wesleyville; the Old 
Cooper, Harbor Creek; Neely, Harbor Creek; Sterrett & Barron's, Sterrettania; 
Hilliker's, Branchville; Guy & Beatty's, North East Township; Jones', North 
East Township; ScouUer's, North East Township; Little Hope, Greenfield 
Township; Strickland & Nason's, Girard Township; WestGirard, Girard Town- 
ship; Eeeder & Taylor's, Edinboro; Thornton's, Albion; Burger Mill, LeBcBuf 
Township; Irving's, Union City. 

Tanneries— Yetnei'B, Fairview Township; Wells & Sons', Wellsburg; 
Smith & Shoppart's, Waterford Borough; Bolard & Hayes', Waterford Bor- 
ough; Sterrettania; Chisholm's, McKean Township; Eappold's, near Ster- 
rettania; Eoher's, McKean Township; Scouller & Tyler's, North East Town- 
ship; Nason's, North Bast; St. John's, Washington Township; Eossiter's, 
Girard Township; Aldrich's, Lockport; McWilliam's, Edinboro; Terrill's, 
Union City. 


Saiv, Shingle, Lath and Heading MZZs— Shove's, Amity Township; Wheel- 
er's, Amity Township; Doolittle & Chaffee's, Amity Township; Donaldson's 
(saw and shingle). Amity Township;' Richard's, Amity Township; Cox's, Am- 
ity Township; Eater & Kelsey's (shingle), Amity Township; Ruhl's, Fairview 
Township; Kreider's, Fairview Borough; Comer's, McKean Township; Pro- 
peck's, McKoan Township; Porter's, Springfield Township; Lines', Springfield 
Township; Strong's, Springfield Township; Eeed's, Springfield Township; 
Lowville (saw, shingle and heading); Phillipsville (saw and shingle mill); 
Wattsburg (saw mill); Bowman's, Wellsburg; Pageville, Elk Creek Township; 
Mohawk, Franklin Township; Sweet & Alden's, Franklin Township; Mish- 
ler's, Franklin Township; Gimber's, Franklin Township; Fenno's, Union 
Township; Bentley's (saw and shingle). Union Township; Kamerer's, Union 
Township; Vermilyea's, Union Township; Miller's, Union Township; Har- 
rison's, Union Township; one on the South Branch, Union Township: 
Brunsteter's, Union City; Carroll's (saw and shingle), Union City; 
Clough's (shingle), Union City; Kimball & Harrison's (shingle) Union City; 
Church's, Union City; Clark & Son's, Union City^ Pratt & Son's, Union City; 
Davis', Waterford Township; Benson's, Waterford Township; Lattimore's, 
Waterford Township; Brotherton's, Waterford Township; Judson & Hippie's, 
Waterford Township; Himrod's, Waterford Township; Boyd's, Waterford 
Township; Hull's, Waterford Township; Marsh's, Waterford Township; Dew- 
ey's (saw and lath), Waterford Borough; Young's, Concord Township; 
Crowell's, Concord Township; Ormsby's, Concord Township; Lovell's Station, 
Concord Township; Elgin (saw-mill); naw-mill on the Brokenstraw, Wayne 
Township; two shingle-mills on the Brokenstraw, Wayne Township; two saw- 
mills on Hare Creek, Wayne Township; shingle-mill on Slaughter Run, Wayne 
Township; saw-mill near the New York line, Wayne Township; Erie County 
Mill, Mill Creek Township; Russell's, Mill Creek Township; Nece's, Mill 
Creek Township; Geist's, Mill Creek Township; Stroher's, Mill Creek Town- 
ship; Thomas's (saw, shingle and feed). Mill Creek Township; Balkey's, 
(shingle and feed). Mill Creek Township; William H. Cooper's, Wesleyville; 
the old Cooper, Harbor Creek Township; Dodge's (saw and shingle). Harbor 
Creek Township; Neeiy, Harbor Creek Township; another mill. Harbor Creek 
Township; Jackson's, Summit Township; Sterrett & Barron's, Sterrettania; 
Wood's, McKean Township; Osborn's, McKean Township; Decker's, McKean 
Township; Leland's, McKean Township; Lampson's (saw and shingle), Mid- 
dleboro; Guy & Beatty's (saw and shingle), North East Township; Freeport, 
North East Township; Applebee & Butts's, North East Township; mill near New 
York line (saw and heading), North East Township; three portable mills, Green- 
field Township; Raymond's, Greenfield Township; Little Hope, Greenfield 
Township; West Girard, Girard Township; Gudgeonville, Girard Township; 
Pettis', Girard Township; Herriok's, Girard Township; Shipman's, Girard 
Township; Godfrey's, Girard Township; one saw-mill at Lockport; Wait & 
Ensign's (saw and lath), Washington Township; Wellman's (saw, shingle and 
lath), Washington Township; Reeder's, Washington Township; Davis & 
Rider's, Washington Township; Black's, Washington Township; Gardner's, 
Washington Township; Wade's (saw, shingle and lath), Washington Town- 
ship; Sherwood's, Edinboro; Reeder's, Edinboro; Brown's (saw and lath), 
Greene Township; Kane's, Greene Township; Eijiley's, Greene Town- 
ship; two mills on Six Mile Creek, Greene Township; Spalding's, Conneaut 
Township; one portable mill, Conneaut Township; Albion Saw Mill; Moore's, 
Le Boeuf Township; Manross', Le Boeuf Township; Wheeler's, Le Boeuf 
Township; Fogle's, Le Boeuf Township; Dunlap's, Le Boeuf Township; 

le^i-'y^-cc^ <:-yVL^ 


Waterhouse's, Le Bceuf Township; Robinson's Corners, Venango Township; 
Henderson's (shingle), Venango Township; Bennett's, Venango Township; the 
Gillett Mill, Mill Village; George Burger's (saw and shingle). Mill Village. 

Cider, Jell and Vinegar Factories — Glazier's, Fairview Borough ; 
Galyard's, Fairview Borough; Lowville Cider Mill; Bennett's, Venango Town- 
ship; Wager's, Union Township; Carroll's, Union City; Rice's, Waterford 
Township; Hare's, Waterford Township; Belle Valley; Tompkins', Mill 
Creek Township; Balkey's, Mill Creek Township; Thomas', Mill Creek Town- 
ship; Cooper's, Wesleyville; Troop's, Harbor Creek Township; Hauck's, Ster- 
rettania; Leland's, McKean Township; Smith's, McKean Township; Wiswell's, 
McKean Township; Wagner's, McK^an Township; Rhode's, cider and vinegar. 
North East Township; Green & Chase's, cider and vinegar, North East Town- 
ship; Brown's, Girard Township; Moseman's, Greenfield; West Girard, 
cider and plaster, Girard Township; Lockport; Waterhouse's, LeBceuf Town- 
ship; McLelliin's Corners, Washington Township; Anderson's, Washington 
Township; Mitchell's, Mill Village. 

Planing Mills, Sash, Door and Blind Factories — Kreider's, Fairview 
Borough; one at Lowville; two planing mills at Wattsburg; one sash factory 
at Wattsburg; Mills', Franklin Township; Cooper's, Union City; Clark & 
Son's, Union City; Jenkin's, Union City; Hunter's, Union City; Dewey's, 
Waterford Borough; one at Middleboro; Green's, North East Township; West 
Girard, Girard Township; one at Lockport; one at Girard Borough; Wade's, 
Washington Township; Taylor & Reader's, Edinboro; Mickel's Planing and 
Spoke Mill, Mill Village; Beardsley's Stave Mill, Mill Village. 

Woolen, Carding and Fulling Mills — Thornton's, Albion; Lewis', Wash- 
ington Township; Thornton's, Girard Township; Grimshaw's, North East 
Township; Irving's, Union Township; Cass', Harbor Creek; one in Wayne 

Paper Mills — Franklin, North East Township; Watson & Morgan's, Fair- 
view Township. 

Brick and Tile Works — Seigel's, Fairview Township; Thomas', West 
Springfield; Kilpatrick's, North East Township; Kane's, North East Township; 
Dyer Loomis', North East Township; West Girard, Girard Township; Barton 
& Kelly's, Waterford Borough; Kennedy's, Conneaut Township. 

Wooden Articles — Pease's Tub and Firkin Factory, North East Borough; 
Jones' Barrel Factory, North East Township; New Era Organ Factory, North 
East Township; Grape Basket, Fruit and Cigar Box Factory, North East 
Township; Stetson's Handle Factory, North East Township; Freeport 
Table Factory, North East Township; Freeport Turning Works, North 
East Township; Coffman's Pump Factory, North East Township; Brown's 
Hand Rake Factory, Girard Township; Lockport Oar Factory; Girard 
Furniture Factory; White's Factory, Washington Township; Taylor & Read- 
er's Pump Factory, Edinboro; Wells & Andrews' Oar Factory, Albion; VanRi- 
er's Horse Rake, Wheelbarrow and Shovel Factory, Albion; Dodge's Handle 
Factory, Harbor Creek; Troop's Basket Factory, Harbor Creek; Elgin Barrel 
Factory; Coffin Factory, Mill Creek Township; Gunnison's Pump Factory, 
Mill Creek Township; Blanchard & Hanson's Furniture Factory, Union City; 
Wescott's Dowel Pin Factory, Union City; Clark & Son's Stave and Handle 
Mill, Union City; Hunter's Pump Factory, Union City; Hatch's Broom Fac- 
tory, Union City; Jones' Cheese Box Factory, Union City; Manross' Stave 
Works, Union City; Thompson's Water Wheel Works, Union City; Woods & 
Johnson's barrel factories. Union City; Chair and Furniture Factory, Union 
City; Westcott's Broom Handle Factory, Union City; Wheeler's Chair 


Factory, Union City; Woods' Stave Factory, Union City; Sulky Hay Rake 
Factory, Waterford Township; Hasfcing's Tub and Firkin Factory, Waterford 
Township; Wattsburg Handle Factory; Wattsburg Furniture Factory; Wells- 
burg Furniture and Coffin Factory; Zeigler's Broom Factory, Wellsburg; 
Keeler's Furniture Factory, Wellsburg. 

Beer Breweries — Wager's, Union City; Mill Creek Brewery; Bannister's, 
North East Township. 

Carriage and Wagon Works — Griffith's, North East Borough; Fromeyer's, 
North East Borough; Mattison's, LeBceuf Township; Sterrettania Wagon 
Shop; two wagon shops at Middleboro; Lamphier & Brower's, Union City; 
Morton's, Union City; two wagon shops at Beaver Dam; Howe & Son's, Water- 
ford Borough; Taylor's, Waterford Borough; Emanuel Ziegler's, Wellsburg; 
Fargo's, Fairview Borough; Wurntz's, Fairview Borough; Williams', Amity 

Miscellaneous — Glass's Foundry, North East Borough; North East Canning 
Factory; Girard Wrench Factory; Miles Grove Iron Foundry; Denio's Agri- 
cultural Tool Works, Miles Grove; Pettibone's Limekiln, Girard Township; 
Mount Hickory Iron Works, Mill Creek Township; Dunmyer's Iron Works, 
Union City; Union City Iron Works; Johnson's Boot and Shoe Factory, 
Waterford Borough; Wattsburg Feed Mill; Purcell's Spring Bed Factory, 

Recapitulation — Creamery, 1; cheese factories, 28; grist mills, 36; tan- 
neries, 14; saw, shingle, lath and heading mills, 117; cider, jell and vinegar 
factories, 27; planing mills and sash, door and blind factories, 17; woolen, 
carding and fulling mills, 6; paper mills, 2; brick and tile works, 8; manu- 
factories of wooden articles, 39; beer breweries, 3; carriage and wagon shops, 
11; miscellaneous, 12; total, 316. 

As the list stands above, with Erie and Corry added, there are fully 450 
concerns in the county that can properly be classed as mills and factories. 
Their number, extent and variety will be as much of a surprise to the reader 
as they were to the vyriter in making up this chapter. 


Lake Navigation. 

THE first vessel to sail the waters of Lake Erie was built by Robert Cava- 
lier de la Salle, an adventurous Frenchman, on the Niagara River, six 
miles above the Falls, in the year 1677. She was named the Griffin, and was 
of sixty tons burthen. La Salle navigated Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan, 
to Green Bay, in the present State of Wisconsin, where, with a picked num- 
ber of men, he left the vessel and marched overland to the Mississippi. The 
remainder of the crew attempted to return to the Niagara, and are supposed 
to have been lost in a storm, as neither vessel nor men were heard from after- 
ward. Nearly a hundred years later the French built another sailing vessel 
with which they undertook to navigate the lake. This second venture was as 
unsuccessful as the first, the vessel having foundered and forty-nine of her 
crew having been drowned. 

No record is to be found of any other sailing vessel on the lake until 1766, 
when the British, who had secured possession of both shores, built and 


launched four. They were of light bui-then, and ware chiefly used for carry, 
mg ti-oops and army supplies. All transportation of a commercial character, 
and all of the very limited passenger business was carried on by batteaux until 
after the close of the Kevolutionary war. They kept close to the shore were 
mainly propelled by paddles or oars, and if a sail was used it was simply a 
blanket fastened to a pole, to take advantage of favorable winds. The earliest 
American sailing vessel on the lake was a small boat, owned and run by Oapt 
Wilham Lee, in which he carried passengers and light articles of freio-ht be' 
tween Buffalo and Erie. She was constructed to use oars in going against the 
wmd, and had no crew, the passengers bein^ obliged to work for their passage 

The first sailing vessel built on the south shore of Lake Erie was the sloop 
"Washm .ton, of thirty tons, under the superintendence of Eliphalet Beebe at 
the mouth of Four Mile Creek, for the Pennsylvania Population Company 
owners of^the bulk of the land in the Triangle." She was launched in Sep- 
tember, 1798, was employed for some twelve years in the service of the com- 
pany, and was removed on rollers across the Niagara Peninsula, to Lake 
Ontario in 1810, where she was lost. The first vessel launched at Erie was 
built at the mouth of Mill Creek, in 1799, Capt. Lee and Rufus S. Beed being 
her principal owners. She was named the Good Intent and sunk at Point Abino 
in 1806, with all on board. The Harlequin, built at Erie in 1800, by Mr. 
Beebe, was also lost the first season, with her entire crew. About 1801, the 
Wilkinson, of sixty-five tons, was owned at Erie. Sha was commanded by 
Capt. Daniel Dobbins, in 1805. Another early Erie vessel was the schooner 
Mary, of 100 tons, built by Thomas Wilson, in 1805. 

The British kept a fleet of armed vessels on the lakes from 1792 until 
Perry's victory in 1813, and in 1810 had as many as seven of this class in 
commission. They were called the "provincial marine service," and were 
manned mostly by Canadians. To counteract their movements, the United 
States Government, at various times up to 1809, had placed four vessels of 
war upon the lake, the most formidable of which was the Detroit, the one that 
brought Gen. Wayne to Erie on returning from his Western expedition. She 
was wrecked off Presquo Isle the next fail. Of this class of vessels the only 
one that was in service on Lake Erie at the outbreak of the last war with 
Great Britain was the Adams, of 150 tons, which was captured by the British 
in 1812. The brigs Lawrence and Niagara, and the schooner Ariel, of Perry's 
fleet, were constructed at the mouth of Cascade Creek (the site of the Erie and 
Pittsburgh docks), and three gunboats at the mouth of the old canal, in 1813. 
In 1794, two British armed vessels lay outside the harbor of Erie for some 
time, as a menace against the occupation of the/ lake shore region by the 


Previous to the war of 1812-14, a dozen or more vessels comprised the 
whole merchant fleet of the lake, averaging about sixty tons each.* The chief 
article of freight was salt from Salina, N. Y. , which was brought to Erie, 
landed on the beach below the mouth of Mill Creek, hauled in wagons to 
Waterford, and from there floated down French Creek and the Allegheny 
Eiver to Pittsburgh. As the trade progressed, three large buildings were 
erected on the beach for storing the salt. In 1806, 6,000 barrels were regis- 
tered at the Erie custom house, and the amount increased to 18,000 barrels at a 
later period. Commerce was suspended on the lake during the war, but it 
revived immediately after, and has steadily grown year by year.f The dis- 

*Tlie Buffalo Express of October 10, 1811, contained the following: " The schooner Salina, Daniel Dobbins, 
master, arrived at this port on tlie 31st iilt., having on board a cargo of fur, estimated at 8150,000." 

fCol. Foster, collector of Presque Isle, writing under date of July 28, 1815, said : " Lake Erie is crowded 
with small craft, generally of five to twenty tons." 


covery of salt in the vicinity of Pittsburgh put an end to that branch of the Jake 
traflSc about 1819. 

Among the pioneer lake captains were Daniel Dobbins, William Lee, 
Thomas Wilkins, Seth Barney, C. Blake, James Rough, John F. Wight. Levi 
Allen, John Richards, George Miles and Charles Hayt. Capt. Richards quit 
sailing and went to ship-building with considerable saccess. Oapt. Wilkins 
commenced with the Reeds in 1822, and was long one of their most popular 
commanders. Rufus S. Reed owned vessels at an early day, and continued in 
the business during the balance of his life. In 1809, he and Capt. Dobbins 
purchased the schooner Charlotte, of ninety tons, from a Canadian. She was 
long sailed by Capt. Dobbins. The Charlotte was at Mackinaw when that 
place surrendered to the British in 1812, and Capt. Dobbins, Rufus S. Reed, 
W. W. Reed and the crew became prisoners of war. She was sent by the 
enemy to Detroit, where Gen. Hull included her in the general surrender. 


The first steamboat to navigate Lake Erie was the Walk in-the-Water, of 
342 tons, built on the Niagara River, between Black Rock and Tonawanda, 
and launched on the 28th of May, 1818. On her first trip it took from 7.30 
P. M., on Monday, to 11 A. M. on Tuesday, to reach Cleveland from Erie, 
and the entire voyage from Buffalo to Detroit required forty-one hours and ten 
minutes, the wind being ahead all the way up. She carried quite a number 
of passengers, and having pleasant accommodations, they enjoyed the trip 
mightily. As the boat neared the head of the lake, the Indians ran down to 
the water's edge, and gave utterance to their amazement by repeated signs and 
shouts. The Walk-in-the-Water made regular trips each season between 
Buffalo and Detroit, on each of which she stopped at Erie. She was stranded 
in Buffalo Bay in 1822, and her engines si-ere removed and put into the Supe- 
rior, which was her immediate successor. 

The first steamboat launched at Erie was the William Penn, of 200 tons, 
in May or June, of 1826. She was the sixth on the lake, and was built by the 
Erie & Chautauqua Steamboat Company, the original managers of which were 
Walter Smith, E. L. Tinker and Charles Townsend, of New York, and R. S. 
Reed, P. S. V. Hamot, Josiah Kellogg, John F. Wight, Daniel Dobbins and 
Peter Christie, of Erie. The association was organized in 1825 and contin- 
ued until some time after 1832. The William Penn was commanded bv Cant 
Thomas Wilkins in 1827. '' ^ 

Gen. C. M. Reed's first steamboat was the Pennsylvania, Capt. John Plee- 
harty, master. She was launched near the foot of Sassafras street, in July, 
1832, and towed to Black Rock, where her engines were put in. The General 
built the Thomas Jefferson in 1834 and the James Madison in 1837, both at 
Erie, in about the same locality as the Pennsylvania, Capt. Wilkins being 
placed in command of the former and Capt. R. C. Bristol of the latter A 
writer m the Erie Gazette makes this statement: "On the 25th of Mav 1837 
Gen. Reed's steamboat James Madison came into this port from Buffalo with 
upward of one thousand passengers and a heavy cargo of freight The Madi 
aon cleared $20,000 on this single trip. She was 700 tons burthen Those 
«arly steamboat days, before the time of railroads and palace cars, were the 
most prosperous times ever known on the lakes. Very often a steamboat would 
more than pay for herself in one season. " 

In 1837, the ill-fated Erie was built at the foot of French street, by the 
Erie Steamboat Company-Thomas G. Colt and Smith I. Jackson being the 
chief men-and the Missouri followed, built by Gen. Reed in 1840 The 


Erie was subsequently purchased by Gen. Eeed, who owned the vessel until 
her destruction by fire. All of these were large, elegant, rapid and popular 

In 1826, three steamboats entered and cleared from Erie Harbor every week, 
and from two to ten schooners. The opening of the canal between Erie and 
the Ohio River, in the spring of 1845, gave an immense impetus to the lake 
trade at this port. Tens of thousands of emigrants were brought from Buffalo 
each year, taking the canal route to the Ohio Valley, and the harbor of Erie 
was one of the liveliest on the lake. The tide of travel by way of the lake 
continued until the completion of the Lake Shore Railroad to Toledo in 1853, 
when the emigrant business dropped off and the steamboats were compelled to 
depend mainly upon the freight business, to and from the upper lakes. In one 
of Mr. Prank Henry's valuable series of reminiscences, printed in the Erie Ga- 
ze<fe, he says: 

" As late as the year 1850, there were no railroads in this region of country. 
The only public means of conveyance between the East and West was by stage 
coaches on land, and steamboats on the lakes during the months of navigation. 
There were many competing lines of steamers, strongly built and fitted up 
and furnished in princely style, regardless of expense, and commanded by the 
most capable and experienced men that could be found. The arrival of one of 
these 'floating palaces' in port was an event of ,more importance and interest 
than a circus would be in these days. Scores of sight-seers would crowd the 
decks and cabins, closely inspecting every nook and corner. * * These 
steamboats all used wood for fuel, and were propelled by steam, the exhaust of 
which could be heard far over the hills on the mainland, striking terror to the 
hearts of timid people who never heard such sounds before. The highest am- 
bition of many a country boy was to find employment in any capacity on one 
of these boats. Many of these lake captains were very popular with the trav- 
eling public, an d were better known, either personally nr by reputation, than 
many a United States Senator of the present day. The boats of these favorites 
were generally crowded to their utmost capacity." 


The first propeller on Lake Erie was the Vandalia, of 150 tons, built at 
Oswego and brought through the Welland Canal in 1842. Two others appeared 
the same season. The propellers have entirely taken the places of the old style 
steamboats, being found more safe, economical and reliable. 

The first full-rigged ship on the lake was the Julia Palmer, of 800 tons, 
launched at Buffalo in 1836. The ship Milwaukee was built in the same year 
at Grand Island, in the Niagara River. 


In an address delivered by Mr. Martin, of Buffalo, at Niagara Falls on the 
11th of August, 1881, he made these striking statements: 

" In 1855, the average wheat-carrving capacity of a sail vessel was from 
16, 000 to 18,000 budhels; in 1865, 25,000 to 30,000 bushels; in 1875, 40,000 to 
50,000 bushels; and now 50,000 to 70,000 bushels. The largest sail vessel now 
on the lakes carries 2,300 tons of freight; in 1855, the average wheat-carrying 
capacity of a propeller was 18,000 bushels; in 1865, 25,000 to 30,000 bushels; 
in 1875, 40,000 to 50,000 bushels, and now, from 70,000 to 80,000 bushels. 

" Iron ship building was commenced in 1862. * * The propeller and 
consoi-t system was first established in 1870, and has become a great factor in 
solving the question of cheap transportation." 


In connection with the above, the following from the Erie Gazette of May 
22, 1881, will be of interest: 

" The five-masted schooner David Dows, Capt. Skeldon, master, was in port, 
taking in a cargo of coal, during the week. She is the largest sailing vessel 
ever built on the lakes. She is 287 feet over all in length. The Dows car- 
ries 7,484 yards of canvas. Her tallest spar is 170 feet high from the deck. 
Her largest anchor weighs 4,320 pounds. One chain is one and a half inch 
links and 450 feet in length. The Dows was built in Toledo, and this is her 
first trip. She will carry 3,000 tons or ISO carloads. She can carry three 
kinds of grain at once. The Dows can carry 130,000 bushels of wheat." 


The following statistics of the vessels on Lake Erie at various periods show 
the progress that was made in sixty years: 

In 1810, eight or nine sailing vessels, averaging 60 tons. 

In 1820, one small steamboat and thirty sailing vessels, averaging 50 tons. 

In 1831, eleven steamboats aggregating 2,260 tons, and one hundred sail- 
ing vessels, averaging 70 tons. 

In 1845, forty-five steamboats, aggregating 30,000 tons, and two hundred 
and seventeen other vessels aggregating 20,000 tons. 

In 1847, sixty-seven steamers, twenty-six propellers, three barks, sixty-four 
brigs and three hundred and forty schooners. 

In 1860 (including Lake Ontario), one hundred and thirty- eight steamers, 
one hundred and ninety-seven propellers, fifty-eight barks, ninety brigs and 
nine hundred and seventv-four sloops and schooners. Total tonnage, 536,000; 
valuation, $30,000,000. " 

; •4; The Government statistics of 1870 showed that the marine commerce of 
the lakes in 1869 exceeded the whole American coasting trade on the Atlantic 
and Pacific oceans. 


The United States Steamer Michigan, the only vessel of war now on the chain 
of lakes, was launched at Erie on the 9th of November, 1843, and accepted 
and commissioned by the Grovernment on the 15th of August, 1844. She is of 
538 tons burthen, is wholly built o£ iron excepting the spar deck, and is pierced 
for twelve guns, but only carries eight. The Michigan is a side- wheeler, with 
a length over all of 167 feet, an extreme beam of 47 feet, a depth of hold of 
14 feet, a registered tonnage of 450 tons and a displacement of 685 tons. She 
was built at Pittsburgh, transported in pieces to Cleveland, brought from that city 
to Erie in a steamer, and put together at this harbor, being the first iron hull 
ever set afloat on the lakes. The crew of the Michigan averages ninety -eight 
persons, including eleven officers. Her tonnage, armament and crew are regu- 
lated by treaty with Great Britain, which is also authorized to place a vessel 
of the same character on the lakes. Erie has always been the headquarters for 
the Michigan. The successive commanders of the vessel have been as follows: 

William Inman, Stephen Champlin, Oscar Bullus, Biglow, McBlair, 

Nicholas, Joseph Lanman, John C. Carter, Francis A. Roe, A. Breyson, 

James E. Jouett, Brown, Gillis, Wright, Cushman, G. 

W. Hayward and Albert Kautz. Several of these officers have risen to the rank 
of Commodore, and one of them, Joseph Lanman, to that of Rear Admiral. 

Erie has been the station for the United States Revenue Cutters ever since 
that branch of the Government service was established on Lake Erie. The first 
cutter was the Benjamin Rush, of thirty tons, built at this port by Capt. John 
Richards, about 1827, and tii-st commanded by Capt. Gilbert Knapp, who was 


succeeded by Capt. Daniel Dobbins. The second was the Erie, of sixty-two 
tons, launched at Eeed's dock, in March, 1833, and placed in charge of Capt. 
Dobbins, with the present Capt. Ottinger as his Second Lieutenant, The lat- 
ter made his first oraise upon the lake in the Benjamin Eush, with Capt. Dob- 
bins as his chief officer, in 1832. The Erie was succeeded in 1846 by the iron 
steamer Dallas, of which Michael Conner was Captain, and Douglas Ottinger 
First Lieutenant This vessel was removed to the Atlantic coast, by way of 
the Canadian canals and the St. Lawrence Eiver, in 1848. The Jeremiah S. 
Black was one of six steam ciitters built by the Government, being one for each 
lake, in 1857, and was placed under the command of Capt. Ottinger, who had 
been promoted. At the outbreak of the civil war, these vessels were moved to 
the Mlantic coast under the direction of Capt. Ottinger, by way of the St. Law- 
rence Eiver. In 1864, Capt. Ottinger superintended the construction of the 
steam catter Perry, which is still in service and of which he was the command- 
er, with the exception of two years, until 1881, when he was placed on the re- 
tired list. This vessel, which was built on the Niagara Eiver, on her trial 
trip, for more than two hours moved at a speed of upward of nineteen miles 
an hour, and has made headway, in a winter gale, on the open lake against 
wind blowing fifty -five miles per hour. The Perry carries two rifled Parrott 
twenty-pounders, and two brass howitzers, twenty-pounders, and is manned by 
one Captain, three Lieutenants, three Engineers and thirty shipped men. She 
is 170 feet long, 24 wide, lOJ deep, and draws 1^ feet. Her capacity is 404 
tons, old measurement. The revenue service is a branch of the United States 
Treasury Department, and has no connection with the navy. The duty of the 
cutters is to enforce the laws for the collection of the revenue, and to afford 
relief to vessels in distress during the storms of autumn. They have rendered 
valuable service in this way, saving many lives and a vast amount of property. 


Some of the most appalling marine disasters on record have taken place on 
Lake Erie, causing sorrow to hundreds of homes and involving the loss or ruin 
of many brave and enterprising citizens. The early disasters have already 
been recited, and it is unnecessary to repeat them. The following are some 
of the most terrible incidents that have happened in later years on the bay and 

The schooner Franklin, owned by P. S. V. Hamot, loaded at Buffalo for an 
upper port, left Erie on the 16th of October, 1820, and was never seen after- 
ward. Capt. Hayt and three men, all residents of Erie or vicinity, were lost. 

In April, 1823, four men — Hutchinson, Zuck, Fox and Granger — started 
to cross the bay in a boat. The water was rough, the boat capsized, and all 
but Granger were drowned. 

The steamboat Washington burned off Silver Creek in 1838, and sixty per- 
sons lost their lives. 

Eleven men left the wharf at Erie in a small boat on the 14th of May. 
1834, to go to the steamboat New York, lying at the outer pier. A blinding 
snow storm prevailed and the boat was upset. Nine of the party were drowned, 
among them Thomas McConkey, Deputy Collector of the port. 

One of the most di-eadful calamities in the history of lake navigation oc- 
curred on the 9th of August, 1 841, and is still remembered with horror by our 
older citizens. The steamboat Erie, of Erie, owned by Gen. Eeed, com- 
manded by Capt. Titus, and bearing a large party of emigrants, was coming up 
the lake from Buffalo, and when off Silver Creek was discovered to be ablaze. 
The fire is supjjosed to have been caused by the bursting of some demijohns of 


turpentine on board, which ignited by coming in contact with the coals of the 
furnace. The Erie having been newly painted and the wind being high, the 
flames spread with amazing velocity, and in an inconceivably brief period of 
time the boat was burned to the water's edge. Two hundred and forty-nine 
persons were lost, of whom twenty-sis were residents of Erie. Between 120 
and 130 bodies rose to the surface and were recovered. An act of heroism oc- 
curred in connection with the disaster which deserves to be handed down to 
the farthest generation. The wheelsman, Augustus Fuller, of Harbor Creek, 
on the discovery of the fire, immediately headed the boat for the shore, and 
stood at his post till surrounded by flames, when he fell dead from suffocation. 
The Erie was valued at $75,000. Her cargo was worth about $20,000, and the 
emigrants, it is calculated, had with them $180,000 in gold and silver. 

Another calamity of an equally horrible nature took place in 1850. The 
steamboat G. P. Griffith burned near Chagrin, Ohio, and 250 souls were lost. 

The propeller Henry Clay foundered in 1851, and nothing was ever heard 
of any one on board. Nineteen lives were lost by the foundering of the 
propeller Oneida in 1852. 

In the summer of 1852 the steamboat Atlantic collided with another vessel, 
and sunk off Long Point, opposite Erie. One hundred and fifty lives were lost. 

The propeller Charter Oak foundered in 1855. Eleven persons were 

Fifty six persons met with an untimely end in 1856 by the burning of the 
Northern Indiana. 

The aloop Washington Irving, of Erie, Capt. Vannatta, left this port for 
Buffalo on the 7th of July, 1860, and was never heard from again. She is 
supposed to have foundered. All on board — seven persons — were drowned. 

The steamer Morning Star was sunk by a collision with the bark Cortland 
in 1868, and thirty-two persons were lost. 

The loss of life on all of the lakes in 1860 was 578, and of property over 

Coming down to the season of 1882, the notable disasters were the found- 
ering of the Canadian steamer Asia, in Georgian Bay. on the 10th of Septem- 
ber; the wreck of the schooner Henry Folger, on Salmon Point, on the night 
of December 3; the burning of the steamer Manitoulin, in Georgian Bay, on 
May 18; and the burning of the steam barge Peters, on Lake Michigan, in 
December. The loss of life was as follows: In connection with the Peters, 13; 
the Manitoulin, between 30 and 40; the Asia, upward of 100, and the Folger, 9. 

One of the severest gales ever known occurred in November, 1883, lasting 
from the 11th for several days, and extending over the whole chain of lakes. 
Nothing like it had been seen for many years. From fifty to sixty vessels were 
lost, and the damage was scarcely less than a million dollars. 


The following are the distances by water in miles from the harbor of Erie: 

Alpena, Lake Huron 578 

Bay City, Lake Huron 407^ 

Bayfieki, Lake Superior 376 

Buffalo, Lake Erie 79 

Chicago, Lake Micliigan 827 

Cleveland, Lake Erie 100 

Coburg. via Welland Canal 173 

Copper Harbor, Lake Superior 727 

Detroit, Detroit River 188 

Duluth, Lake Superior 933 

East Saginaw, Lake Huron 431 




Hamilton, Lake Ont.irio 130 

Marquette, Lake Superior 694 

Milwaukee, Lalce Michigan 762 

Port Saruia, Lake Huron 3531 

Sanrluskj', Lake Erie ' ISO 

Sault Ste. Marie, Lake Superior ......'.'. n-Mi 

Superior City, Lake Superior 933 

Toledo, Lake Erie 197 

Toronto, via AVelland Canal ..............'.'.'. 126 


The season of 1834 was unusually backward. Navigation opened the 24th 
of March, but was much retarded by ice and storms. On the 14th of May, snow 
fell along the south shore of the lake to the depth of six inches. 

The lake was open and navigation was in full operation between Erie and 
Detroit in April, 1835, but Buffalo Creek was closed till the 8th of May. 

The Eevenue Cutter Erie sailed from the port of Erie to Buffalo about the 
last of December, 1837, without interruption. In February, 1838, the steamer 
Dewitt Clinton came into Erie from Buffalo and went from Erie to Detroit 
without obstruction. 

In the winter of 1844-45, the steamer United States made a trip every 
month between Buffalo and Detroit. 

On the 13th of December, 1852, a steamboat passed up the lake and another 
on the 10th of January, 1853. Generally speaking, the port' of Erie is open 
about two weeks before that of Buffalo, as is shown by the following table: 



























M arch 





Day. Month. 













































































6t 1 






















































































Navigation on Lake Erie usually closes about the 1st of December, but is 
sometimes extended to the middle of the month. Ice, as a rule, forms first in 


the shoal water of the western part of the lake. Vessel insurance begins 
generally on the 1st of May and always closes on the 30th of November. 


The collection district of Presque Isle embraces the whole coast line of 
Pennsylvania on Lake Erie. Below is a list of the collectors, with the dates 
of their cummissions: 

Thomas Forster, March 26, 1799; Edwin J. Kelso, July 1, 1836; Charles 
W. Kelso, July 10, 1841; Murray Whallon, June 19, 1845; William M. Gal- 
lagher, April 29, 1849; James Lytle, April 22, 1853; John Brawley, October 
15, 1857; Murray Whallon, March 11, 1859; Charles M. Tibbals, Novejnber 1, 
1859; Thomas Wilkins, June 22, 1861; Richard F. Gaggin, May 7, 1869; 
James R. Willard, February 19. 1874; Hiram L. Brown, March 22, 1878; 
Matthew R. Barr, December 1, 1880; H. C. Stafford, July 17, 1883. 


Under Col. Forster, Thomas MeConkey, James Maurice; under E. J. Kelso, 
Murray Whallon; under C. W. Kelso, A. C, Hilton: under M. Whallon, first 
term, A. P. Durlin; under W. M. Gallagher, William S. Brown; under Messrs. 
Lytle, Brawley, Whallon (second term) and Tibbals, W. W. Loomis; under 
Thomas Wilkins, R. F. Gaggin; under R. F. Gaggin, Thomas Wilkins; under 
J. R. Willard, William F. Luetje; under Messrs. Brown and Barr, R. F. Gaggin; 
under Mr. Barr, from March, 1883, Andrew H. Caughey; under Mr. Stafford, 
E. H. Wilcox and Alfred King. 

The Collectors are appointed by the President for a term of four years, 
unless sooner removed. Messrs. Forster, Edwin J. Kelso, Whallon, Lytle, 
Brawley and Tibbals wpre appointed as Democrats; the others as Whigs or 
Republicans. The emoluments of the office are as follows: Collector, |1,000 
salary, and fees not to exceed $1,500 (averaging $1,800 in all); Deputy Col- 
lector, 11,600; Inspectors, $3 a day during the season of navigation. 

Collector Forster's salary for the year 1817 was as follows: Regular pay, 
$250; fees, $267.95; emoluments, $8.01. 


The following lists of vessels owned in Erie at the opening of navigation 
in 1860 and 1880 are given for the purpose of comparison: 


Brigs. — Paragon, 212 tons, Andrew Scott and William Christian. 

Barques. — American Republic, 459 tons, Charles M. Reed. 

Schooners.—'^. M. Arbuckle, 170 tons, C. M. Tibbals and John M. Gray; 
West Chester, 208 tons, E. L. Nason; Armada, 235 tons, John Dunlap and 
G. J. Morton; W. A. Adair, 82 tons, E. Longley; Post Boy, 95 tons, Andrew 
Scott and Mary Day; Huntress, 351 tons, W. A. Brown & Co. ; E. C. Williams, 
157 tons, J. Hearn and W. L. Scott; Pacific, 186 tons, George J. Morton; 
Washington Irving, 111 tons, A. Scott and James Marshall; St. James, 286 
tons, Charles M. Reed; Columbia, 166 tons, J. Hearn and W. L. Scott; St. 
Paul, 304 tons, Charles M. Reed; Mary Morton, 246 tons, George J. Morton; 
Arrow, 281 tons, J. Hearn and W. L. Scott; N. G., 61 tons, A. R. Reynolds & 
Brother; Mary M. Scott, 361 tons, J. Hearn and W. L Scott; Susquehanna, 
271 tons, Charles M. Reed; Milton Courtright, 389 tons, J. Hearn and W. L. 
Scott; L. D. Coman, 178 tons, J. Hearn and W. L. Scott; Citizen, 150 tons, 
Charles M. Reed; St. Andrew, 444 tons, Charles M. Reed ; Illinois, 110 tons E. 


L. Nason and T. "W. Roberts; Storm Spirit, 214 tons, A. Scott and J. H. Ran- 
kin; Geneva, 19T tons, J. Hearn and W. L. Scott. Total, 5,924 tons; valua- 
tion about $300,000. 


Propellers. — Alaska, 1,288 tons. Anchor Line; Annie Young, 1,007 tons 
Anchor Line; Arizona, 924 tons, Anchor Line; China, 1,239 tons. Anchor 
Line; Coneinaugh, 1,610 tons, Anchor Line; Conestoga, 1,726 tons, Anchor 
Line; Delaware, 1,732 tons, Anchor Line; Gordon Campbell, 996 tons, Anchor 
Line; India, 1,239 tons. Anchor Line; Japan, 1,239 tons, Anchor Line; Juni- 
ata, 1,709 tons, Anchor Line; Lehigh, 1,705 tons, Anchor Line; Lycoming, 
1,610 tons. Anchor Lino; Philadelphia, 1,464 tons, Anchor Line; R. Prinda- 
ville, 246 tons, Anchor Line; Winslow, 1,049 tons. Anchor Line; Wissa- 
hickon, 1,620 tons. Anchor Line; City of New York, 417 tons, A. E. Shepard. 

The China, India, Japan and Winslow are elegant passenger boats. 

Tug Propeller. — Erie, 58 tons, Anchor Line. 

rwgrs. —Hercules, 8 tons, £l. O'Brien; Thomas Thompson, 19 tons, J. & T. 

Steamer. — -Mary Jarecki, 646 tons, A. E. Shepard. 

Sloop. — Eambier, 11 tons, A. Stein metz. 

Schooners. — Allegheny, 664 tons. Anchor Line; Annie Sherwood, 622 tons. 
Anchor Line; Charles H. Weeks, 325 tons. Anchor Line; Keepsake, 287 tons. 
Anchor Line: Schnykill, 472 tons, Anchor Line; Thomas A. Scott, 741 tons, 
Anchor Line; Charles H. Burton, 515 tons, Thomas White; John Sherman, 
322 tons, James McBrier; Frank W. Gifford, 452 tons, J. C. Van Scoter and 
Levi Davis; J. S. Richards, 311 tons, J. C. Van Scoter and George Beriimaa; 
Harvest Queen, 299 tons, Margaret Christie; Julia Willard, 214 tons, H. W. 
Spooner and Samuel Rea, Jr.; \^anderer, 11 tons, E. D. Ziegler; James F. 
Joy, 583 tons, R. O'Brien and M. Christie. 

Steam Pleasure Yachts. — Emma V. Sutton, 23 tons, J. D. Paasch; J. H. 
Welsh, 14 tons, John and William Stanton; Mystic, 75 tons, W. L. Scott; S. 
H. Hunter, 27 tons, James Hunter. _ . 

Total — Propellers, 18; tug propellers, 1; tugs, 2; steamer, 1; sloop, 1; 
schooners, 14; steam yachts, 4; in all 41; enrolled tonnage, 28,690; cash 
valuation, $1,675,000. 


The entrances at the port of Erie during I860 were 655, and the clearances 
678, with a total tonnage of about 300,000. The following persons and firms were 
in the lake business in that year: Coal and shipping, Walker & Gilson, John 
Hearn & Co., Charles M. Reed, Josiah Kellogg, Starr & Payne, George J. 
Morton, Scott & Rankin; coal and iron, Curtis & Boyce; grocery and ship 
chandlery, Andrew Hofsies. Besides these there were about half a dozen 
saloons in operation on the docks, and a grocery at the mouth of the canal. 

During the season of 1880, the entrances were 1,025, and the clearances 
999, with a total tonnage of 1,565,183. The revenue collected for three years 
was, from July 1, 1878, to June 30, 1879, $9,163; from July 1, 1879, to June 
30, 1880, $4,910; from July 1, 1880, to December 31, 1880, $19,448. The 
largely increased receipts of the last year were owing to heavy importations 
of barley from Canada. With the exception of the lumber business, the whole 
trade of the port is now done by the Anchor Line and W'illiam L. Scott & Co. 
The former do ail the grain and miscellaneous business, and the latter firm 
control the entire coal and iron ore trade. 



The first light-house upon the chain of lakes was erected at Erie in 1818, 
CD the blaff overlooking the entrance to the harbor, a tract of land for the pur- 
pose having been ceded to the United States Government by Gen. John Kelso. 
A new structure was built of Milwaukee brick in 1858, but proved to be defect- 
ive, and it was replaced by a third building of stone in 1866, at a cost of $20,- 
000. For some unexplained reason, and against the protests of all the lake 
men at Erie, the officer in charge of light-houses upon the lakes concluded to 
abandon it; the buildings and grounds were sold at public auction on the 1st 
of March, 1881, and the light-house was demolished. 

About the year 1830, the Government added a beacon light on the north 
pier at the entrance to the harbor of Erie. It consisted of a tall wooden tower, 
resting upon a heavy bed of masonry. This structure was carried away by 
a sailing vessel in the summer or fall of 1857, and was replaced by the pres- 
ent wrought iron tower in the summer of 1858. The light-house was modeled 
and forged into form in France, reaching Erie with nothing to be done except 
to bolt the pieces into their proper positions. A neat frame dwelling for the 
keeper, the same that still exists, was erected while the tower was being put 
together, John Constable and Ed. Bell being the contractors. Five different 
lights are maintained at this station, all fixed, white, sixth order lenses, and 
used as ranges. In addition to these and for the farther protection of navi- 
gators, there is a 1,200-pound Meneely fog bell, which is operated by clock 
work, and tolls three times each minute in snowy and foggy weather. 

A third light-house station was established on the north shore of the penin- 
sula, and a handsome brick tower erected for the purpose, from which the first 
light was exhibited on the night of July 12, 1873. It is known as the Flash 
Light, and cost the Government 115,000. The keeper's family are provided 
with a snug residence, but the isolated situation renders their life anything 
but a cheerful one. 

No regular journal seems to have been kept by any of the keepers until 
1872, when Mr. Frank Henry commenced a daily record, which, it is to be 
hoped, will always be continued as a part of the duties of the position. By 
the kindness of various gentlemen, we have been able to make up the following 
partial list of keepers. 


1818-1833— Capt. John Bone, of Erie. 

1833 — Eobert Kincaide, of Erie. 

1841— Griffith Hinton, of Harbor Creek. 

1845— Eli Webster, of McKean. 

1849— James W. Miles, of West Mill Creek. He died in the summer of 
1853, and the duties were performed by his wife, Isabel Miles, till the ensuing 

April 1, 1854— John Graham, of Erie. 

April 1, 1858— Gen. James Fleming, of Erie. 

October 27, 1858— A. C. Landon, of Erie. 

July 15, 1861— John Goalding, of Erie. 

April 1, 1864 — George Demond, of Erie. 

August 1, 1871— A. J. Fargo, of Fairview. 

Mr. Fargo retained the position, with his wife as assistant, until the light- 
house was abandoned. The pay was $560 per year to the principal and $400 
to the assistant. 


William T. Downs, Erie, years unknown. 


Benjamin Fleming, Erie, years unknown. 

John Hess, Erie, years unknown. 

Leonard Vaughn, Summit, years unknown. 

George W. Bone, Erie, appointed July 19, 1861. 

Eichard P. Burke, Erie, March 1, 1863. 

Frank Henry, Harbor Creek, May 1, 1869. 

In June, 1873, upon the addition of another light, James Johnson, of 
Erie, was appointed assistant keeper. He was succeeded in September of the 
same year by 0. E. McDannell, of EasfMili Creek, who still holds the position. 
The pay is $520 per year to the keeper and $400 to the assistant, 


July 12, 1873— Charles T. %Valdo, of Fairview. 

Spring of 1880 — George E. Irvin; A. J. Harrison. 

Fall of 1880— O. J. McAllister, of Wattsburg. 

Fall of 1880— George E. Town, of North East. 

Spring of 1883— Clark Cole, of Erie. 

Messrs. Waldo, McAllister and Town all resigned, finding the lonely life 
incident to the position more than they could stand. The pay of the keeper 
is $520 per year. 


County Buildings. 

THE first court in the count}' was held in the "big room" of Buehler's 
Hotel, at the corner of French and Third streets, Erie, which was then and 
for many years afterward the central portion of the town. Prom there the place 
of holding the court was changed to the log jail on Second street, and the 
quarters in that modest structure being found too small, another removal was 
made to apartments in Conrad Brown's building, on the opposite corner of 
Third and French streets from Buehler's. These premises were occupied 
until the completion of the first court house in 1808. The latter was a small 
brick building that stood in the West Park, at Erie, a little north of the soldiers' 
and sailors' monument. The county was too poor to afford the total expfinse, and 
the State generously granted $2,000 toward the erection of the building. On 
Sunday morning, March 23, 1823, between the hours of 12 and 3 o'clock, this 
court house was destroyed by fire, with all the books, papers and records, 
inflicting a loss to the county which cannot be measured in dollars and cents, 
and the effects of which were felt for fully a generation after the event. The 
fire was caused by taking ashes out of a stove on Saturday, throwing them into 
a nail keg and neglecting to move them out of doors. When -the flames 
were discovered, they had advanced too far to permit the saving of any of the 
contents of the building. The ensuing May term of court was held in the 
Erie Academy, and that edifice was rented for county purposes and occupied 
by the various county officials for two years. 

On the 2d of April, 3823, P. S. V. Hamot, Eufus S, Eeed, Thomas Laird, 
Eobert Brown, James M. Sterrett, John Morris and Thomas H, Sill entered 
into an agreement to advance $2,000 for one year, without interest, to the 
county for the purpose of rebuilding the court house. This proposition was 
accepted by the Commissioners, who advertised at once for proposals. The 


lob of filling tbe cellar of the old buildiDg, and packing it with clay, was let 
to Abiather°Crane on the 21st of April ensuing. On the 24th of May, a con- 
tract for rebuilding the walls on the old foundation was let to Thomas Me- 
haffey and Joseph Henderson for $1,950. The carpenter work and furnishing 
was awarded on the lith of January, 1824, to William Bejisou and William 
Himrod, of Waterford, for S2,000. September 7, 1824, the Commissioners 
contracted With Thomas Mehaffey to lath and plaster the building, and on the 
same day with John Dunlap to finish the carpenter work, the consideration 
being $434 in the first instance, and $100 in the second. 

The new building was completed and occupied in the spring of 1825. It 
stood nearly on the site of its predecessor, and was a two- story brick structure, 
suriuounted by a wooden cupola. The entrance fronted the south, and 
opened into a vestibule, from which three other doors gave access respectively 
to the court room proper and to the galleries. The interior consisted of one 
room, with galleries around three sides. For nearly thirtj- years, this was the 
principal hall of the town, being used miscellaneously for religious worship, 
political meetings, entertainments, and in fact for almost every public purpose. 
The building was long the most elegant court house in Northwestern Pennsyl- 
vania, and its erection was a heavy burden upon the county. The County 
Commissioners'hesitated for some time about levying a tax to meet the expendi- 
ture, the credit of the county fell to a low figure, and no improvemeat took 
place until a member of the laoard was elected who was not afraid to do his 
duty. In the cupola of the court house hung a bell which bad quite an in- 
teresting history. It belonged originally to the British ship Detroit, captured 
by Perry in the battle of Lake Erie. From that vessel, it was tr'ansferred to 
the United States brig Niagara, one of the lake fleet, where it was in xise till 
1823, when it was placed in the navy yard at Erie. On the abandonment of 
the navy yard in 1825, when most of the material was sold at auction, the old 
bell was bought by R. S. Eeed, who disposed of it to the County Commission- 
ers, by whom it was hung in the cupola of the court house. In 1854, after 
the arrival of the bell for the present court house, the old bell was stolen, but 
was recovered in the coui'se of a few months, and finally purchased by the city 
of Erie for the sum of $105. 

A little to the west of the com't house was a two-story building containing 
the county offices. 

The corner- stone of the third and present court house was laid on Tuesday, 
August 17, 1852, at 2 P. M,, an address being delivered on the occasion by 
Hon. John Galbraith, President Judge. The building required nearly three 
years to complete, the first court held therein being on the 7th of May, 1855. 
It was modeled upon the court house at Carlisle, Penn., after plans by Thomas 
H. Walter, an architect of considerable celebrity. The Commissioners under- 
took to do the work without contract, and to that end employed John Hill to 
superintend the carpenter work and William Hoskinson the mason work, both 
at $3 per day. Daniel Young, of Erie, furnished the brick; William Judson 
& Co., of Waterford, the timber and lumber; Levi Howard, of Franklin Town- 
ship, the stone; and Cadwell & Bennett, of Erie, did the roofing. On May 1, 
1854, after about $30,000 had been expended, a contract was made with Hos- 
kinson & Hill to finish the building, put up the fence, grade the grounds, and 
do all work pertaining to the completion of the edifice, for $61,000, deducting 
what had already been expended. Afterward, there was an allowance of 
$2,392 to these parties for extras, making the cost of the building when ac- 
cepted by the Commissioners over $63,000. Subsequent repairs, additions 
and improvements have increased this sum to about $100,000. 


The court house is 61 feet by 132 in size, and contains all the county offi- 
ces, each in a separate fire-proof room. The first story, apart from the en- 
trance hall, is equally divided by a vestibule running the full length, which is 
crossed by another in the center. At each end of the two vestibules is a door, 
making four in all, opening into the building. On the right hand, entering 
from the front, are the Prothonotary's and Recorder's offices, and on the left, 
those of the Sheriff, Treasurer, County Commissioners and Clerk of the Courts. 
The court room, a large apartment capable of holding nearly a thousand per- 
sons, with high, plainly frescoed walls and ceilings, is in the second story, be- 
ing reached by two flights of stairs beginning in the hall on the first floor and 
terminating in another on the upper. The part of the room assigned to the 
bench and bar, which is at the north end, opposite the entrance, is railed off 
from the balance and neatly carpeted. The seats for spectators rise gradually 
from the bar to the door, and are more comfortable and convenient than usual 
in buildings of this sort. 

Portraits of some of the former Judges and older members of the bar 
adorn the walls. The room is an excellent one for the purpose, aside from a 
defect in its acoustic properties, to remedy which several attempts have been 
made without avail. In the rear of the court room are the grand jury room — 
which is also the receptacle of the law library — two other jury rooms, a ladies"^ 
room, wash room, etc. A narrow stairway back of the court room is used by 
the officers and attorneys and for bringing in prisoners. The building is heat- 
ed by steam, lighted with gas, and supplied with water by the city water system. 
Taken altogether, with several serious defects, it is one of the handsomest and 
most convenient court houses in the State, a credit to the county and an orna- 
ment to the city of Erie. 

A tasty brick building for the janitor was erected during the year 1880, 
between the court house and jail, at a cost of about $800. The lot on which 
the court house stands was purchased for the County Commissioners in 1804 
by Judge John Vincent, who was present at the dedication of the building in 
1852. It was upon this lot within the old jail ground that Henry Francisco, 
the only person ever executed in the county, was hung by Sheriff Andrew Scott, 
in 1838. 


The first jail was a small log building, erected soon after the organization 
of the county, on the southwest corner of Holland and Second streets. It was 
in this modest structure that court was once held, as before stated. A sec- 
ond jail, of brick, was put up on the site of the present court house in 1830. 
The third and existing jail was erected in 1850, and remodeled in 1869 at an 
expense of $39,671, under the superintendence of R. C. Chapman. It con- 
sists of a Sheriff's residence and jail combined, both three stories high, front- 
ing on Fifth street, in the rear of the court house. In a wing on the west, 
side is the office of the warden, through which all persons have to pass on en- 
tering or leaving the jail. A high stone wall completely incloses the jail 
proper, leaving a small yard, where the prisoners are allowed to exercise. The 
interior of the jail is divided into six rows of cells, two rows to each story, 
and each cell is closed with a heavily grated door. In front of ^ the cells, on 
the first and second floors, at a distance of about three feet from the line of 
doors, runs an iron grating, which answers the double purpose of keeping the 
prisoners more secure and giving them a narrow pathway in which to stretch 
their limbs. The cells on the third story do not have this extra grating, and 
are used for women and the milder class of criminals. Every cell is alike in 
its contents, being provided with two iron frames attached to the walls for 


bedsteads, a mattress and blankets, a water closet, and a supply of city water. 
The floors and stairways are of iron, the walls are of stone, and no wood is 
seen in the building aside from the tables and seats. On the third floor of the 
Sheriff's house is the hospital, in which is a bath tub and other conveniences 
for the sick. 

The regular bill of fare for the prisoners is as follows: Breakfast — a loaf 
of bread and cup of coffee; dinner — meat, potatoes, and sometimes other vege- 
tables; supper — a cup of tea and the balance of the bread left from breakfast 
and dinner. The meals are handed in to the prisoners through a narrow open- 
ing in the wall between the jail and the Sheriff's kitchen. To the above is 
frequently added some palatable dish, through the kindness of the Sheriff's 
family, and on holidays the prisoners are usually treated to roast turkey. The 
average of inmates in about twenty. This number is generally doubled two 
or three weeks before the Court of Quarter Sessions, and correspondingly re- 
duced after they adjourn. Prisoners of the worst class are sentenced to the 
Western Penitentiary at Allegheny City; young men who are convicted of the 
first offense, to the Allegheny County Work House; and boys and girls to the 
State Eeform School at Morganza, Washington County. 

The first jailer was Eobert Irvin, who was succeeded by John Gray, James 
Gray, William Judd, Eobert Kincaid and Cornelius Foy. John Gray held 
the position, off and on, for many years. The first Sheriff who acted in the 
capacity of jailer was Albert Thayer, who was elected in 1825. For some 
years past the Sheriff's duties have been too onerous to allow of his taking im- 
mediate charge of the jail, and the institution has been in care of a warden, 
acting under and responsible to that officer. J^o employment is given to the 
prisoners, and they spend the day time in reading, chatting, mending their 
clothing and concocting mischief. 


In the year 1832, while John H. Walker was a member of the Assembly, 
he procured an act ceding the third section of two thousand acres of State land 
in Mill Creek Township, west of Erie, to the borough, the proceeds to be used 
in constructing a canal basin in the harbor. It was stipulated in the act that 
one hundred acres should be reserved to Erie County on which to erect an alms- 
house, the land to be selected by three commissioners appointed by the County 
Commissioners. The latter olScers, on Mav 7, 1833, named William Miles 
George Moore and David McNair, who chose the piece of ground on the Eidge 
road, three miles west of Erie, which has ever since been known as the " poor 
house farm." The original tract was increased to about one hundred and thir- 
teen acres mcludmg the allowance by the purchase of a small piece from Mr. 
\A ar f el m 1&78. 

Soon after the selection of the farm, an agitation began for the erection of a 
county almshouse on the property. A proposition to that effect was submitted 
f 1^! ^^^u^i""- ^839, and, after a hard fight, was voted down by a maiority 
of 154 The friends of the measure claimed that the question had not 'been 
fairly treated, and it was again brought before the people at the spring elec- 
tion of 1840, when it was carried by the close vote of 1,599 in favor to 1,594 
in opposition. Three Directors of the Poor were elected the same year Con- 
tracts were soon after let for the construction of a building, and by the fall of 
and totrb^nT ^V ' ^^^'?^P^i°^ °f '^^ P-^Pers. Beforl that, each borough 

eWted bv L ° r' '1°'"'' ?°°'' ^'^"^"^ ^^" supervision of two oversefrs 
e e.ted by their citizens. The original building was of brick, and for the 
time, was one of considerable magnitude. , u lui 


»" • 





The present large and imposing edifice was comraenced in 1870 and sub- 
stantially completed in 1871, though the finishing and furnishing continued 
until 1873. Its cost, as shown by the requisitions upon the County Commis- 
sioners from 1869 to 1873, was $118,000. A further sum of $10,000 was voted 
in 1874, of which, perhaps one half was applied to the improvement of the 
building and grounds. About $3,000 of the balance are understood to have 
been used in building the barn, and nearly $2,000 in putting down gas wells 
upon the farm. The building for insane male persons was added in 1875, at 
a cost of about $2,000. 

The almshouse stands on a rise of ground between the Ridge road and 
Lake Shore Railroad, facing the former, with which it communicates by a wide 
avenue lined on both sides with young trees. The main building is of brick, 
four stories high, 188 feet long by 44 to 46 wide, with a cupola in the center 
and another at each end. Extending from the center on the north side is a 
three-stury brick wing, 86x30 feet, and a short distance to the west is the small 
two-story brick building above referred to, for the care and safe-keeping of 
insane males. On the first floor of the main building are the Steward's office 
and family apartments, the men's sitting room, store room, bath room, etc. 
The three other floors are divided into sleeping rooms, except that a large space 
at the west end of the second story is used as the female hospital. The north 
wing contains the paupers' dining room and kitchen on the first, the women's 
insane department on the second, and the men's hospital on the third floor. 
The capacity of the building is for about four hundred inmates. All the cook- 
ing for the paupers is done by steam. The heating is efi'ected mainly by steam 
generators, in part by natural gas from wells on the farm, which also supply the 
light. The water is pumped from a spring to a tank on the fourth story, from 
which it is distributed over the entire building. Attached to the building is a 
medical depository and a small library, the latter the contribution of Hon. 
Henry Souther. 

The food supplied to the inmates is clean and abundant, though plain. 
Breakfast is made up of beef soup, meat, potatoes, bread and tea or coffee, as 
the parties choose. For dinner, they are furnished coffee with sugar and milk, 
one kind of meat, potatoes or beans, wheat bread, and frequently soup, turnips, 
beets and other vegetables. To this bill of fare is added on Sundays ginger 
cake and some kind of pie. Supper usually consists of bread, coffee and cold 
meat, with occasionally a bowl of rice. Each pauper is given a jpint of coffee 
and helps him or herself to the other articles on the table unless incapable by 
weakness or deformity. The hours for meals are: Breakfast at 7:15, dinner at 
12:30, and supper at 5:80 or 6. Every inmate is obliged to be in bed by 
9 o'clock P. M., and to rise by half past six in the morning. Those who are 
over thirty-five years of age are allowed a certain quantity of tobacco each 
week. Few of the paupers are able to work and those who are have to make 
themselves useful, the men by helping in the garden or on the farm, and the 
women by sewing or doing household service. 

The sleeping apartments are plain, but comfortable. Each inmate is pro- 
vided with a cheap bedstead, straw tick, two sheets, either a feather or straw pil- 
low, and in winter with two comforters. They generally sleep a dozen or two 
in one large room. Great care is taken to keep the bedding clean, in order to 
prevent the spread of disease. 

The poor house farm is one of the best in the county, and has generally 
been kept under fine cultivation. A few rods north of the buildings is a large 
spring, which will furnish an ample supply of water for all the needs of the 
institution to the end of time. The barn is of the modern style, with base- 



ment stable. A little to the east, inclosed by a neat fence, is the new pauper 
burial ground, which already contains the bodies of about 100 unfortunates. 
Each grave is marked by a stone and a number corresponding with the one in 
the death book. 

The charity system of the county is in charge of three Directors of the 
Poor, one of whom is elected annually. They employ a Steward of the alms- 
house, a Secretary and Treasurer, an Attorney, a Physician for the almshouse 
(who also attends to the Erie poor), and one physician each at Oorry, North 
East, Union, Waterford, Albion, Harbor Creek, Edinboro, Mill Village, Gi- 
rard, Wat.tsburg, Middleboro, Springfield and Fairview. The subordinate em- 
ployes at the almshouse are one engineer, two farmers, one keeper and one 
nurse for the insane men, one keeper of the hospital, one janitor at the office, 
two keepers for the insane women, and four female servants. Only those who 
are thought to be incurably insane are kept at the institution. Those for whom 
there is still hope are sent to the State hospital at Warren. 

The number of paupers in the almshouse on the 1st of January, 1881, 
were— white male adults, 136; colored male adults, 1; white female adults, 
77; colored female adults, 1; white children, 5; colored children, 1; total, 
221; of whom 81 were natives and 140 foreigners. Of the above there were — 
insane males, 20; insane females, 21; total, 41; natives, 26; foreigners, 15; 
2 males and 3 females were blind, and 2 males were idiotic. 

During the quarter ending on the 3 J at of December, 1880, the Directors 
gave outdoor relief to 214 families, located as follows: * Erie, 157; Corry, 20; 
Union, 10; North East, 3; Wattsburg, 5; Edinboro, 1; Lockport, 2; Girard, 
5; Conneaut, 4; Elk Creek, 4; Le BcEuf, 1; Washington, 1; and Waterford, 
1. From the Ist of January to April 1, 1881, the number of tramps kept 
over night was 149. They were given supper, lodging and breakfast, and 
then obliged to "move on." Their lodging room is in the basement. The 
Directors of the Poor furnish the coal for the tramp rooms in the police sta- 
tions at Erie and Corry, as well as the crackers and cheese which are given 
the tramps to eat. 

The keeper of the City Hospital at Erie is paid by the Directors of the 
Poor, who also furnish the coal for the building. The regular pay of the 
keeper is $22.50 a month. In case he has a small-pox patient this is increased 
to $3 a day. 

By way of showing how pauperism has increased since the war for the 
Union, some figures for 1860 and 1880 are taken from the official reports: 

1860 — Population of Erie County, 49,432. Inmates of the almshouse at 
the beginning of the year, 107. Total expense for the support of the poor of 
the entire county, including some old debts on building, $7,629. 

1880 — Population, 74,573. Paupers in the almshouse, 221. Total expense 
for the whole county, $28,659. Increase of indoor paupers, double; of ex- 
pense, nearly four times. 


The following statement from the Erie Dispatch of October 20, 1882, de- 
serves a place in this connection : 

' ' Yesterday there died at the almshouse one of the most notable cases on 
record, a case which has caused a vast amount of discussion among the differ- 
ent physicians under whose observation it has fallen from time to time. The 
deceased's name is Clara McArthur, who was born in Tionesta, Venango 
County, fifty-six years ago. When a girl, she was very bright and active until 
twelve years of age, when she lifted her sick mother from the bed, then imme- 
diately picked up a large kettle of hot water which she placed by the bedside. 


"While in the act of raising the latter weight some chord, in her own words, 
appeared to give way, and in consequence of the strain, which affected the 
heart, she was unable to take a dozen steps or sit up more than a few minutes 
at a time until her twenty- seventh year. During these fifteen years the heart 
almost ceased to throb, and any eifort to walk or take a sitting posture brought 
on an attack of fainting. 

""While in her twenty^eighth year, she recovered sufficiently to be taken to 
church, and while sitting in the pew met a friend she had not seen for many 
years, who carried a child in her arms. Miss McArthur, forgetting her con- 
dition of weakness, lifted the child into her own lap and fell to the floor un- 
conscious, the exertion having proved too much for her strength. Since that 
unfortunate moment, the poor woman was unable to sit up longer than an hour 
at a time for more than six years, after which time, the malady growing worse, 
this change of position had to be discontinued. Lying helpless from that time 
on she was admitted to the almshouse sixteen years ago, and has not occupied 
any position other than reclining on the hack to the hour of her death. The 
pulse could scarcely be detected by the most delicate touch, and in consequence 
of the heart's feeble action she was so keenly sensitive to the slightest breath 
of chilliness that artificial means for keeping any degree of warmth in the body 
were continually employed. For months at a time she was unable to speak. 
Dr. Lovett, the county physician, believed she would have died in a very short 
time if compelled to assume a sitting or standing attitude. 

"Miss McArthur was very intelligent and passed the hours in perusing relig- 
ious tracts, periodicals and the Bible. A Christian more devout never lived, 
and an unwavering trust in the Creator enabled her to bear her affliction with 
resigned patience, an expression of cheerfulness never being absent from her 
face. Amiable in disposition, she never had a complaint to make, and was a 
favorite with every inmate of the building, while those to whom she was in- 
trusted took pleasure in administering to the wants of the helpless woman." 


Year. "i'ear. 

1845 i? 5,000 1870 ©20,000 

1850 l.-^OO 1873 38,000 

1855 4500 1875 45,(>00 

I860 8,000 1878 35,000 

1868 8.500 1880 20,000 

1865 11,000 1888 35,000 

1867 30,000 

The following are extracts from the report of the Board of Public Charities 
of Pennsylvania, of January 1, 1883: 


Persons charged with crime 295 

Bills laid before the grand jury 144 

True bills 102 

ignored ^^ 

Presentments made 9° 

Bills tried 56 

Acquitted ^0 

Convictions ^" 

Nolle proseques ^2 

Plead guilty 19 

In prison, September 30, 1882 12 

Recognizances forfeited -11 

Amount of recognizances ®900 


Nature of offenses for which convictions were had: Aggravated assault, 2; 
arson, 2; assault, 1; assault and battery, 3; assault to kill, 2; burglary, etc., 
4; disorderly breach of the peace, 2; false pretense, 2; fornication, etc., 2; 
larceny, 13; misdemeanors, 2; robbery, 2; vagrancy, 6; violation of the 
liquor law, 6. 


Maintenance S3,318 00 

Salaries, wages, etc 400 00 

Fuel and liglit 432 00 

Clothing, etc 160 00 

Repairs 98 00 

Transportation 1,000 00 

Other expenses 169 00 

Total expenses 5,578 00 

Average number of inmates 38 

Annual cost of provisions and clothing jpw capita 135 00 

Weekly cost jjer capita 2 41 


Whole number 40 

Average number 34 

Received during the year (all white) 7 

Could read and write 6 

Days supported 8,751 

Value of convict labor $2,177 

Charged to county, being deficiency of support by labor .$788 


Boys, 8, girls, 8 11 

Illiterate 4 

Read imperfectly 3 

Read and write imperfectly '. 2 

Read and write well 1 

Read, write and cipher 1 

Number of inmates from county at the end of the vear (bovs, 16, 
girls, 4) ; ." 20 


The number from Erie County in the Allegheny County Work House, for the 
last quarter of 1880, was thirteen. This is not a State institution, and the pris- 
oners from Erie are kept under a special contract between the Commissioners 
of the two counties. 


Indigent insane from Erie County at Dixmont, Sept 30, 1882.. 3 

Indigent insane in the State Hospital at Warren (males, 39, 

females, 30) 69 

Inmates of the Training School for Feeble Minded Cliildren 

from Erie County (boys, 3, girls, 2) 5 


Whole number in almsliouse 182 

Sane (men, 81, women, 57, children ,2) '. 140 

Insane and idiotic (men, 31, women, 19, children, 2) 42 

Blind (men, 3, women, 1) 3 

Natives 70 

Foreigners 112 

Hospital cases (men, 17, women, 8) 25 

Expenses for 1882 (total in-door) '$39 925 

Expenses for 1882 (total out-door) v'lgg 

Expenses for 1883, provisions V 8093 


Expenses for 1883, salaries, wages and fees fi,973 

Expenses for 1883, fuel and light 2 200 

Expenses for 1882, clotliing and bedding 727 

Expenses for 1882, insane m hospitals 4 471 

Expenses for 1882, repairs 1453 

Expenses for 1882, extraordinary 4'568 

Expenses for 1882, all other 1618 

Receipts .' ' ' 2744 

Net cost of almshouse and out-door relief .'.'.'.. ......... 34J140 


Peehy's Victory akd the War of 1812-14. 

AFTEE submitting to a galling train of annoyances and indignities for a 
period of twenty-nine years, war was declared for the second time by the 
United States against Great Britain on the 18th of June, 1812. 

At that time the Canadian territory bordering the lakes and the St. Law- 
rence was far in advance of the opposite side of the United States in popula- 
tion, commerce and agriculture. The British were also much better prepared 
for war, having kept up a series of military posts from Niagara to Sault Ste. 
Marie, which were well supplied with men, arms and provisions, and being 
provided with a "Provincial Navy," which gave them the mastery of 
the lakes. They were on the best of terms with the Indians on both 
sides of the water, whose co- operation they artfully managed to retain dur- 
ing the progress of the war, and whose reputation for cruelty kept the Amer- 
ican frontier in a constant state of terror whenever their warlike bands were 
known or supposed to be in the vicinity. On the American side, the popula- 
tion was sparse, the settlements were small and widely scattered, and the mili- 
tary posts were few, Wfak, and either insufficiently defended or left without 
protection of any kind. There was no navy or regular army. The military of 
the several States were poorly organized and without suitable equipments, and, 
to make a bad condition worse, the Indians were everywhere hostile, treacher- 
ous, and ready at the expected signal to combine for the purpose of driving 
the white men out of the country. 

eeie's defenseless condition. 

Erie, then a mere handful of rude buildings, from its position near the 
center of the lake and the excellence of its harbor, was regarded as one of the 
most important of the Western military posts. On the east, there was no village 
of any size nearer than Buffalo, and the country between scarcely contained 
ten families to the square mile. Westward the greater portion of the region 
remained an unbroken forest, the only settlements along the lakes worthy of a 
name being those which surrounded the military posts at Cleveland, Sandusky, 
Toledo and Detroit. The latter was then the chief town of the " far West," 
the center of barter, (iommerce and political influence, and was naturally looked 
upon as the principal strategic point of the frontier. So utterly defenseless 
was Erie at the outbreak of the war, that it could and probably would have 
been easily captured by the British had they known its actual situation. The 
only semblance to a fortification was an old, almost ruined block-house on the 
eastern part of the peninsula, built in 1795, which was without a soldier, a 


gan, or a pound of ammunition. The most formidable instrument of war in 
the town was a small iron boat howitzer, owned by Gen. Kelso, which was used 
in firing salutes on the Foui-th of July, and other patriotic and momentous 


Although war had been dreaded for several years, when hostilities did act- 
ually commence, they were so little expected on the frontier that Oapt. Daniel 
Dobbins, Eufus Seth Keed and W. W. Reed sailed in a trading vessel for 
Mackinaw soon after the openinjr of navigation, confident that they could make 
the venture in safety. The first knowledge they and the people of Mackinaw 
had that peace was at an end, was the landing of a body of British and Indians 
upon the island, who demanded the surrender of the post and of the vessels in the 
harbor. The Erie party thus found themselves, much against their will, pris- 
oners of war. Their vessel, the Salina, with the others captured by the ene- 
my, was made a cartel to convey the prisoners and non-combatants to Cleve- 
land, but on reaching Detroit was taken possession of by Gen. Hull, and fell 
again into the hands of the British, upon the disgraceful surrender of that 
officer. Through the influence of a British military man with whom Capt. 
Dobbins was acquainted, they were allowed to depart, and reached Cleveland 
in open boats by crossing from island to island. At Cleveland, they fell in 
with a small sloop bound down the lakes, which Capt. Dobbins navigated to 

Previous to the war, a small military company had been organized at Erie, 
under the command of Capt. Thomas Forster. The members immediately ten- 
dered their services to the President and were accepted for the time being. 
In anticipation of the conflict, Gov. Snyder, who was a warm friend of the ad- 
ministration, had organized the militia of the State into two grand divisions 
— one for the east and one for the west. The western division was under the 
command of Maj. Gen. Adamson Tannehill, of Pittsburgh; the brigade of which 
the Erie Coanty militia formed a part, was commanded by Brig. Gen. John 
Kelso, and the Erie County regiment was under the command of Dr. John C. 
Wallace. Among the officers of the regiment were Capts. Andrew Cochran, Ze- 
lotus Lee, James Barr, M'illiam Dickson, Robert Davison, Warren Foote, John 
Morris, — Smith and — Donaldson. Capt. Barr and his men volunteered for 
the campaign, were ordered to Sandusky, spent the winter of 1812-13 there, 
and returned in the spring. Robert Moorhead was a Sergeant in the company 
and accompained them through the campaign. The estimation in which these 
and tho other Pennsylvania troops, in what was then the "far West," were 
held by their commanders, is shown by an extract from a letter sent by Gen. 
Harrison to Gov. Snyder: ''I can assure you," he writes, "there is no corps 
on which I rely with more confidence, not ouly for the fidelity of undaunted 
valor in the field, but for those virtues which are more rarely found amongst 
the militia — patience and fortitude under great hardships and deprivations — 
and cheerful obedience to all commands of their officers." Capt. Cochran's 
Springfield company kept guard along the lake for some months, and was fre- 
quently called out at later stages of the war. The company commanded by 
Capt. Foote, was assigned, in the beginning, to " keep sentry at the head of 
the^ peninsula, three by rotation to stand a tour of twenty-four hours. " In 
giving special mention to these parties and others that may be named 
liereafter, no discrimination is intended against others who rendered as much 
or greater service. The writer can only relate such matters as he knows to be 
authentic, and the records are very meager and uncertain. 



Before the close of June, Gen. Kelso ordered out his brigade for the de- 
fense of Erie. This was quickly followed by a general call for the Sixteenth 
Division, the State having by this time been apportioned into more numerous 
military districts. The brigade rendezvous was on the farm of John Lytle, upon 
the flats near Waterford. Great excitement was caused by a rumor after Hull's 
surrender that the enemy were coming down the lake to take all the important 
places, as also by the news that a large British and Indian force was being 
organized on the opposite side of Lake Erie, whose special object was a de- 
scent upon Presque Isle. The whole Northwest was aroused, and very soon 
upward of two thousand men were collected from Erie, Crawford, Mercer and 
the adjoining counties. 

On the 23d of July, notice was sent to William Clark, of Meadville, Bri- 
gade Inspector, that 505 muskets had that day been forwarded from Harris- 
burg, with a supply of Hints, lead and powder. August 13, a detachment of 
2,500 of the Northwestern militia — increased in September by 2, 000 more — 
were ordered to march to Buffalo, which was menaced by the enemy. Their 
places of rendezvous were fixed at Meadville and Pittsburgh, and they were re- 
quired to be at the scene of hostilities by the 25th of September. The division 
elected Gen. Tannehill Commander-in-chief, who remained in charge during 
the campaign. They continued at Buifalo the winter through, and it is re- 
lated to the credit of Erie County, that while many others deserted not one 
man of Col. Wallace's command shirked his duty. When 4,000 New York 
militia refused to cross into Canada to attack the foe, the gallant Pennsylva- 
nians under Tannehill promptly obeyed the order, although not obliged to by 
the terms of their enlistment. Among those who were called out for the 
emergency, were Capt. Thomas Foster's company of the " detached volunteer 
corps." The following in relation to intermediate events is from ofl&cial 
sources : 

" August 25 — Expresses were sent over the country saying a number of the 
enemy' s vessels had been seen, and that a descent would be made on Erie. 

" September 4 — The Governor directed thai the State field pieces be sent to 

" September 15 — The Secretary of War was notified by the Governor that 
Gen. John Kelso had transmitted him a communication, signed by gentlemen 
of the first respectability at Erie, requesting that some efficient measures for 
the protection of the frontier may be speedily taken. 

" September 16 — Gen. Kelso wfis notified that one brass field-piece, and 
four four-pounders were on the way to Erie. 

" September 18 — Wilson Smith, of Waterford, was appointed Quarter- 
master General of the State. 

" October 21 — Gen. Snyder ordered Gen. Kelso to employ volunteers, if 
practicable, for the defense of Erie, not exceeding a Major's command." 

The summer's campaign along the lake was a series of disasters to the 
Americans. The surrender of Detroit by Hall, the defeat of Van Rensselaer 
at Niagara in October, and the capture of the Adams, the only armed vessel 
that had been left to us, gave the British full control upon the lake, and it be 
came apparent to those who looked at the situation intelligently that without 
a fleet to cooperate with our Western and New York armies, the cause of our 
country in this direction was hopeless. 


When Capt. Dobbins reached Erie from his unfortunate trip to Mackinaw, 


he found Gen. David Mead, of Meadville, in immediate command of the post. 
After spending a few days with his family, he was sent by that ofiicer to 
Washington Giu as a bearer of dispatches, and was the first person who gave 
the Government reliable information of the loss of Mackinaw and Detroit. 
At a meeting of the Cabinet called immediately after his arrival, the Captain 
was asked to give his view of the requirements on Lake Erie. He earnestly 
advocated the establishment of a naval station and the building of a fleet pow- 
erful enough to cope with the British upon the lake. These suggestions were 
adopted. A Sailing Master's commission in the navy was tendered to him and 
accepted, and he was ordered to proceed to Erie, begin the construction of 
gunboats, and report to Commodore Chauneey, at Sackett's Harbor, for further 
instructions. He returned home, and late in October commenced work on two 
gunboats.* . ' 

Soon after Dobbins' arrival at Erie, he received a communication trom 
Lieut. J. D. Elliott, through whom his correspondence with Commodore 
Chauneey had to pass, dated at Black Rock, deprecating the adoption of Erie 
as the place for building the fleet, alleging that there was not a sufficient depth 
of water on the bar to get the vessels out of the harbor into the lake, and 
claiming that should there be water the town was "at all times open to the 
attacks of the enemy." To this Dobbins replied that there was "a sufficiency 
of water on the bar to let the vessels in the lake, but not a sufficiency to let 
heavy armed vessels of the enemy into the bay to destroy them," a conclusion 
in which he was signally sustained by later occurrences. Nothing further be- 
ing heard from Elliott, Dobbins went to Black Rock, intending to employ 
skillful ship carpenters, but only succeeded in finding one, with whom he 
came back to Erie, determined to do the best he could with house carpenters 
and laborers. The winter was severe and retarded his operations to a provok- 
ing extent. 

Commodore Chauneey visited Erie officially about the 1st of January, 1813, 
accompaaied by a United States naval constructor, and, after approving what 
Dobbins had done, ordered him to prepare for the building of two sloops of 
war in addition to the gunboats. The keels of these vessels were ready to lay 
and much of the timber on hand about the 10th of March, when a gang of 
twenty-five carpenters, in charge of Noah Brown, a master ship builder from 
New York, reached Erie. In a letter to the Navy Department, under date of 
March 14, Dobbins stated that " the gunboats are ready for calking, and every- 
thing looks encouraging in that respect," but the absence of a sufficient guard 
led him to fear that his labor might be destroyed by " the secret incendiary." 
To obviate this danger as nearly as he could, a temporary guard was impro- 
vised, consisting of Capt. Forster's voluntary military company, who had got 
back from Buifalo, and the workmen at the station. This small force was, for 
some weeks, the sole protection for the fleet and the town. 


The Government had in the meantime assigned the command on Lake Erie 
to Lieut. Oliver Hazard Perry, who arrived at Erie on the 27th of March, ac- 
companied by his brother, a lad of thirteen, making the trip from Buffalo in a 
sledge on the ice.f Perry had served as a midshipman in the war with Trip- 

*Capt. Daniel I)obbins was born in Mifflin County, Penn., .July 5, 1776. He came to Erie with a party of sur- 
Teyors in 1796. After Perry's victory, lie rendered efticient service in the expedition against Mackinaw. He re- 
signed from the navy in lS-26. In 1S29, he was appointed by President Jackson to the command of the United 
State3 revenue cutter FiU:sh, on Lake Erie. He left active service in 1849, and died in Erie February 29, 1856. 
His marriage took place at f:anonsburg, Penn.. in laoo. Mrs. Bobbins was the mother of ten children. She 
died in her one hundredth year, on the 24th of January, 1879. 

t Perry's headquarters were establlBhed at Duncan's Hotel, at the corner of Third and French streets, Erie 

''^^''■yruh Cu PlnU'd'.tplii^- 


oli, and had recently been in charge of a flotilla at Newport, E. I. He was 
but twenty-seven years of age, and was full to the brim with energy, enthusi- 
asm and patriotism. His lirst step was to provide for the defense of the posi- 
tion. To that end he sent immediately for Gen. Mead. Their consultation 
resulted in a thousand militia being ordered to rendezvous at' Erie on or be- 
fore the 20tli of April. Among the number that responded was an artillery 
company from Luzerne County, who were authorized to take charge of the 
four brass field-pieces belonging to the State, which had been stored at Water- 
ford. Reese Hill, of Greene County, was constituted Colonel by the Governor, 
and given command of the regiment. The old American block-house of 1795, 
which had nearly gone to ruins, was hurriedly restored, as was also the one 
on the point of the peninsula. 

With the facilities of the present day, it is scarcely possible to conceive of 
the embarrassment that attended Dobbins and Perry in their work. Of practi- 
cal ship-builders there were very few in the country, and their places had to 
be taken by house carpenters and blacksmiths gathered from every part 
of the lower lake region. The timber for the vessels had to be cut in the for- 
ests near by and used while yet gi-een. Iron was scarce, and had to be picked 
up wherever it could be found — in stores, warehouses, shops, farm buildings 
and elsewhere. A considerable stock was brought from Pittsburgh by flat-boats 
up French Creek, and some from Buffalo by small boats creeping along the 
south shore of the lake. Perry wrote to Washington that more mechanics 
were needed, and Dobbins was dispatched to Black Rock for seamen, arms 
and ordnance. The transportation of the latter was extremely slow, owing to 
the miserable roads. Some of the cannon were brought up in sail boats, mov- 
ing at night only, to avoid the enemy's cruisers. 

Fortunately for the Americans, the Allegheny River and French Creek 
continued at a good boating stage until August, an occurrence so unusual that 
it would seem to imply that Providence was on their side. Had these streams 
become low at the ordinary time, the fleet could not have been rigged in 
season to meet the enemy under advantageous circumstances. 

Sailing Master W. V. Taylor having arrived on the 30th of March with 
twenty seamen, he was left in command in the absence of Dobbins, while Perry 
proceeded to Pittsburgh to arrange for supplies, and hurry forward a gang of 
carpenters who had been promised him from Philadelphia. While there, he 
purchased canvas, cables, anchors, and other necessaries, procured four small 
field-pieces and some muskets, and employed an ordnance officer to oversee the 
casting of shot and carronades. Returning to Erie about the middle of April, by 
the aid of the land forces he threw up redoubts on Garrison Hill, and on the 
bank of the lake, where the land light-house stands, built a block house on the 
bluff overlooking the place where the sloops of war were building, and con- 
structed another redoubt above the yard where the gunboats lay upon their 
stocks. The Lawrence and Niagara, sloops of war, and the pilot boat Ariel, 
schooner-rigged, were built on the beach at the mouth of Cascade run, now 
occupied by the Erie & Pittsburgh docks, and the Porcupine and Tigress, gun- 
boats, on a beach that jutted out from the mouth of Lee's Run, afterward the 
terminus of the canal. On the light-house redoubt, two twelve-pounders were 
placed that had been forwarded hj Dobbins from Black Rock, and the four 
field -pieces which Perry had brought on from Pittsburgh were mounted upon 
the one on Garrison Hill. The main body of the troops was encamped at the 
mouth of Cascade Run. Carpenters, blacksmiths, sail makers, riggers, and 
other workmen soon came on from New York and Philadelphia, infusing new 
energy into the operations, and from this time forward matters were more en- 


couraging. It would appear that the call for the militia to report was not 
obeyed with alacrity, for we learn from official suuices that on the I8th of IMay 
complaint was made to the Governor by Gen. Mead that some of the men had 
refused obedience to his orders. 


Perry departed in a four-oared boat, on the evening of the 23d of May, to 
participate in the contemplated attack on the Canadian Fort George, at the 
foot of the Niagara River, in which he was to lead the seamen and marines. 
He took Dobbins with him as far as Fort Schlosser, at the head of the Niagara 
Eapids, on the American side, where a detachment of officers and men arrived 
on the 28th, fresh from the capture of the first-named fortification on the pre- 
vious day. Perry, who had borne a gallant part in the fight, proceeded thence 
to Black Rock, while Dobbins escorted the detachment to the same place. 
Their defeat at Fort George compelled the British to abandon the Niagara 
frontier, and afforded an opportunity to get the vessels up to Erie that had 
been purchased and prepared for war by the Government, and which had been 
blockaded in Gonjaquades Creek by the batteries of the enemy on the opposite 
shore. These consisted of the brig Caledonia, the sloop Trij^pe, and the 
schooners Ohio, Amelia and Somers, five in all. They were drawn up the 
rapids by ox teams, assisted by some two hundred men, including the detach- 
ment of Dobbins and a detail for the purpose from Gen. Dearborn's army, an 
operation that required six Jays of hard work. The soldiers, by Perry's re- 
quest, were allowed to remain on board to assist in navigation and defense on 
the way to Erie. The British fleet, consisting of five vessels much superior to 
the American squadron, were cruising the lake, and the utmost vigilance was 
necessary to elude them. By good fortune, Perry reached Erie on the morn- 
ing of June 17, having sailed from Baffalo on the 13th, and being detained on 
the way by head-winds, without having been seen by the British. How nar- 
row an escape the Americans made will be understood when it is stated that 
while they lay in the offing at Dunkirk, a man came on board who notified 
Perry that the British had been at anchor off Twenty mile Creek the night 
before, and that from a neck of land which jutted into the lake he had both 
fleets in sight at the same time. The British rendezvous at the lower end of 
the lake was usually in Mohawk Bay, on the Canada side, where they could 
readily watch the movements of the Americans. They felt sure of nabbing 
PeiTy's squadron on its upward voyage, and when they learned that they had 
been given the slip, were extremely surprised and mortified.* 


The entire fleet with which Perry was expected to humble British pride on 
the lake was now concentrated in the harbor of Erie. It consisted of the Law- 
rence and Niagara, both sloops of war, built after the same model, being 100 
feet straight rabbit, 100 feet between perpendiculars, 30 feet beam, 9 feet 
hold, flush deck, and pierced for 20 guns, with two stern ports; the schooners 
Ariel and Scorpion, each of 63 tons; the Porcupine and Tigress of about 50 
tons; the British brig Caledonia, which had been taken by Lieut. Elliott 
from under the guns of Fort Erie, of 85 tons; the sloop Trippe, of 63 tons, 
and the schooners Amelia, Somers and Oliio, of 72, 65 and 62 tons respect- 
ively. Considering the national importance of the victoi-y gained, the size 
of these vessels, compared with the war vessels of this day, seems absurdly 
small. The Lawrence a nd Niagara, however, were immense vessels for the 


time. .They had been given a shallow depth of hold by Mr. Brown, the master 
builder, so as to secure a light draught of water and avoid showing a high 
side to the enemy's marksmen. 

" The frames of all the vessels built at Erie were of white and black oak 
and chestnut, the outside planking was of oak and the decks were of pine." 

Though stoutly put together, there was no attempt at ornament, Mr. Brown 
having prophetically remarked : "Plain work is all that is required; they 
will only be wanted for one battle. If we win, that is all that will be wanted 
of them; if -we lose, they are good enough to be captured." The Lawrence 
was named after the heroic Capt. .fames Lawrence, who was killed in the en- 
counter between the Chesapeake and Shannon, and whose last words, "Don't 
give up the ship," were inscribed by Perry on his fighting flag. One of the 
schooners brought up from Black Eock, the Amelia, was condemned as worth- 
less and sunk in the harbor. The Porcupine and Tigress, which had been 
launched about the 15th of June, were now equipped,- and, with the other 
boats, sailed to the vicinity of Cascade Eun to defend the sloops of war, 
which still remained on the stocks, in case of an attack. The Lawrence was 
launched on or about the 25th of June, and the Niagara on the 4th of July. 

The essential business now was to man the vessels. Up to the 25th of 
Jane something like a 150 men and officers had arrived for service on the fleet 
of whom many were on the sick list.* To make the situation more perplex- 
ing, the 200 soldiers of Dearborn's command who had come from Black Eock, 
and whom Perry desired to retain as marines, were ordered to return, and act- 
ually did leave in small boats, with the exception of Capt. Brevoort, who had 
seen service upon the lake in command of the United States brig Adams. 
While thus embarrassed, the Navy Department was constantly urging Perry to 
expedite matters in order that he might act with Gen. Harrison, who led the 
Western army in a combined move by land and water against the enemy. 
After many urgent appeals for men, the welcome tidings came, about the 
middle of July, that a draft had been forwarded. Mr. Dobbins, who jjos- 
sessed the whole confidence of Perry, was again dispatched to Buffalo to bring 
them on. They reached Erie in boats collected in Buffalo Creek, on or about 
the 25th of July. About this date, Perry received word from Gen. Harrison 
that the British would launch their new ship, the Detroit, in a few days. 
This added to his anxiety, as the Detroit would be more than equal to any sin- 
gle vessel of his fleet, and he redoubled his energies in the hope of getting out 
and meeting the enemy before they could have her powerful aid. 

The Government made a grave mistake in not giving Perry an independent 
command, instead of obliging him to act under the instructions of Commodore 
Chauncey, who was hundreds of miles away, and in not investing him with full 
power, and granting him ample means to prosecute his purposes to the utmost 
of his skill and energy. Had this been done, the fleet would have been ready 
to sail two months before it did, the risk of fighting a superior vessel like the 
Detroit would have been avoided, PeiTV and Harrison could have co-operated at 
an earlier date, the British would have been compelled to abandon the frontier, 
and the war in the West would have ended long before it did, at a great saving 
of life and money. It is not generally known that at one period Perry's pa- 
thetic calls for re -enforcements drew from Commodore Chauncey a sarcastic 
letter, which led the former to ask to be " detached from the command on Lake 
Erie," for the reason that it was unpleasant to serve under a superior who had 
so little regard for his feelings. This brought back an appeal to his patriot- 

* There were three hospitals — in the court house, on the point of Miserj- Bay and neav the site of Wayne's 


ism from the depaiiment, and the matter was eventually arranged so that 
kindly relations were restored between Chauncey and Perry. 


It must not be supposed that the construction and equipment of Perry's 
fleet was allowed to progress in Erie Harbor without an endeavor to check them 
by th(i enemy. The latter anchored in the roadstead several times, and would 
, have entered the bay but for the shallow water on the bar, thus confirming 
Capt. Dobbins' argument to Lieut. Elliott. Sometimes the Queen Charlotte, 
the British flagship, would appear alone, and at others the whole squadron. 
On the 15th of May, the wildest alarm was created by a false report that 600 or 
700 British and Indians had landed on the peninsula under cover of a thick 
fog, and got off again without being seen by tlie American forces. July 19, 
six of the enemy's vessels were in sight outside the harbor, where they lay be- 
calmed for two days. Perry went with three giinboats to attack them, and a 
few shots were exchanged at a mile's distance. A breeze springing up, the 
enemy sailed away, evidently desiring to avoid a fight. All this time the 
meager land force at Erie was kept busy parading the bank of the lake, to give 
the impression to the enemy of a much larger army than was really the case. 
Perry does not seem to have had an apprehension at any time of danger from 
the British while his fleet lay in the harbor. He knew that the enemy's vessels 
could not cross the bar with their heavy armament, and he informed the de- 
partment that even if a force should land and capture the village, he could 
easily defend the fleet from its anchorage in the bay. 

The troubles experienced by Perry were shared, to some extent, by the ofB. 
cers of the land forces. The State Archives contain a letter sent hj Gov- 
Snyder to Col, John Phillips, paymaster of Col. Hill's regiment, in which he 
regrets that no provision had been made for paying the Pennsylvania militia 
then in service at Erie, and that it could not be remedied by any constituted 
State authority. On the 2d of August, the Governor's Secretary wrote that 
some men in Mead's division had at fijst refused to obey orders, but subse- 
quently marched to the defense of Erie. The difiioulty about the pay of the 
troops seems to have been at least partially arranged, for, on the 16th of Au- 
gust, we find that Wilson Smith was appointed paymaster of the militia called 
into service by Gen. Mead for the defense of Erie, before the arrival of Col. 
Hill's command, and that a warrant for §2,500 had been forwarded to him. 
This gentleman had previously been Quartermaster General of the State. On 
the 27th of August, Brigade Inspector Clark reported that upward of sixteen 
hundred men had rendezvoused at Erie in pursuance of the more recent orders 
of Gen. Mead. So little has been preserved in regard to the land operations 
of the day, that auy account of them must necessarily be brief and disconnected. 


Meanwhile Perry had received one hundred landsmen from the militia, and 
enlisted some forty marines, making a total force of about three hundred. On 
Sunday, the 1st of August, the vessels were moved to the mouth of the bay, 
then free from piers, and preparations were made for getting them over the 
bar and for defending them in case of an attack while the operation was in 
progress. Gen. Mead and staff visited Perry in the afternoon of the same day, 
and the latter took occasion to thank the commander of the land forces for the 
valuable assistance he had rendered him. The guns, ballast and other heavy 
material were removed from the Lawrence to the sand beach, being so adjusted 
as to be readily replaced, and the ship was lifted over the bar by the aid of 


" camels" invented by Mr. Brown. One "camel'' was floated on each, side of 
the Lawrence and sunk to the level of the port holes. Timbers were thnist 
through, on which the ■vessel rested, the plugs were re-inserted in the bottoms 
of the '' camels," and the water was pumped out of them, raising the Lawrence 
as it was discharged. This proceeding was considerably delayed by an un- 
favorable wind, and it was not until the morning of the 4th, after two nights 
and days of wearisome labor, that the Lawrence was floated to her anchorage 
in the roadstead. The Niagara was lifted over by the same process a few days 
after, the smaller vessels crossing without serious trouble. 

Before the work of moving the Niagara over the bar was completed, the 
enemy appeared early one morning, and hove to about eight miles out for the 
purpose of reconnoitering. Fearing they might attack him while in this posi- 
tion. Perry made hasty arrangements for defense, purposing, if necessary, to 
run the Lawrence ashore under the guns of the redoubts on the light-house 
grounds and Garrison Hill. For some reason, after looking over the situation 
for an hour or so, the British bore up and stood across the lake. The efforts 
to get the Niagara across the bai- were redoubled, and the Ariel and Scorpion 
were sent to follow the course of the enemy, her commander reporting on his 
return that they had gone to Long Point. From there, after landing a cou- 
rier to notify the commander of the British land forces of what had been dis- 
covered, they bore up the lake for Detroit River. The Niagara was got afloat 
in the open lake the day after the enemy leEt. It is a part of the tradition of 
the time that when the British squadron was at Port Dover, a complimentary 
dinner was given to her officers, at which Commodore Barclay, in response to 
a toast, said : " I expect to find the Yankee brigs hard and fast aground on the 
bar at Erie, in which predicament it will be but a short job to destroy them." 
The enemy were at this time endeavoring to concentrate an army at Port 
Dover, to act in conjunction with the fleet in a move upon Erie, but failed be- 
cause the troopB_ could not be got up in season. 


Smarting under the frequent complaints of delay from official quarters, 
Perry resolved to make a cruise rather than wait for re-enforcements, in the 
hope that he might encounter the foe before the Detroit could be made ready 
for service. He set sail at 4 o'clock on the morning of the 6th of August, 
with all the vessels of the fleet except the Ohio and Trippe, which were left 
behind for want of crews. A cruise was made to Long Point and the main- 
land near by, and nothing being seen of the British, the fleet returned to 
Erie on the 6th. On the 9th, to the joy of all, the little band of volunteers 
was joined by Lieut. Elliott * with some officers and ninety men, most of 
whom were experienced sailors. The squadron, though still lacking a proper 
equipment, was now thought to be ready for active service, and, on the morn- 
ing of the 12th of August sailed up the lake in search of the enemy. A din- 
ner was given to Perry, just before his departure, by the citizens of Erie, at 
which he expressed a desire to return a victor or in his shroud. The fleet 
consisted of nine vessels, officered and armed as follows: Flagship Lawrence, 
Master, Commander Perry, eighteen 82-pounder carronades and two long 12- 

• Jesse D Elliott was born in Maryland in 1785. He entered the United States Navy as a Midshipman in 
1806 and wai promoted to a Lieutenancy in 1810. On the 7th of October, 1812, he won great honor by leading 
an expedition which captured the British vessels Adams and Caledonia from under the guns of Fort Erie. For 
this he wa^ awarded a sword, and the thanks of Congress. July 13, 1813, he wi^ appointed to be a master com- 
mandant over the heads of thirty other lieutenants. In 1814, he was transferred to Lake Ontario. He did 
good service in the Mediterranean in 1815. In 1818, he was promoted to be a Captain, and subsequently had 
fommand of squadrons on several stations. He was tried for niisoonduct in 1840 and sentenced to four years' 
sumTnsion from the navy. President Jackson, in 1843, remitted the balance of his sentence. He died on the 
18th of December, 1845. 


pounders; Niagara, Master, Commander Elliott, the same armament; Caledo- 
nia, Purser Magrath, three long 12-pounders; Ariel, Lieut. John Packett,* 
four long 12-pounders; Trippe, Lieut. Smith, one long 32-pounder; Tigress, 
Lieut. Conklin, one long 32-pounder; Somers, Sailing Master Almy; one long 
24 and one long 12-pounder; Scorpion.f Sailing Master Champlin, same 
armament; Ohio, Sailing Master Dobbins, one long 24-pounder; and Porcu- 
pine, Midshipman Senat, one long 3'2-pounder. In explanation of the change 
of Perry's and Elliott's titles, it should be stated that commissions had been 
received shortly before their departure granting both of them promotions. 
Most of the officers were young men — the average ages of the commissioned 
ones being less than twenty-three, and of the warrant officers less than twenty 
years. With very few exceptions, they had no acquaintance with the naviga- 
tion of the lakes. 


On the 17th, the squadron anchored off Sandusky, where Perry notified 
Gen. Harrison of their presence, and was invited on board the Lawrence the 
next day by that officer, attended by his staff and accompanied by some twenty 
Indian chiefs, who were taken on board that they might report the wonders they 
had seen and be deterred from joining the enemy. The astonishment and 
alarm of the red men when the salute was fired in honor of Gen. Harrison is 
said to have been indescribably comical. 

Eight days later the fleet sailed to the head of the lake and discovered the 
British at anchor in the mouth of Detroit River; but failing to draw them out, 
returned to Put-in-Bay. On the 31st a re- enforcement of fifty volunteers was 
received, making a total muster roll of 470. Most of the new men were Keu- 
tuckians who had experience as watermen on the western and southern rivers, 
and they proved to be a valuable acquisition. About this juncture, however, 
there was much biliousness and dysentery in the squadron, principally among 
those from the seaboard, caused by the change from salt to fresh water. Among 
the number who were taken dovm was Perry himself, who was unable to per- 
form active service for a week. As soon as he could take the deck again, he 
sailed for the second time to the mouth of the river, where it was learned that 
the new British ship was ready for duty. Failing to draw the enemy from his 
anchorage, Perry returned to Sandusky and renewed his communication with 
Gen. Harrison. Here the command of the Trippe was transferred to Lieut. 
Holdup X and that of the Caledonia to Lieut. Turner, while Mr. Dobbins was 
ordered to Erie with the Ohio " for the purpose of taking on board provisions 
and other articles." The latter hastened back to find that the pork find beef 
left on board the fleet had become putrid on account of the carelessness of the 
contractors, and was immediately ordered to Erie again for a fresh stock. The 
battle took place while the Ohio was at anchor in the harbor of Erie, much to 
the regret of Mr. Dobbins and his gallant crew, who had to submit to some un- 
just criticism for what was no fault of their own. They distinctly heard the 
firing on the 10th of September. 

*Lieut. Packett resided at Erie after the battle, and died there. 

.»„=fS^°tw "P'"^ returned to Erie, in 1845, as Commander of the United States steamer Michigan. He