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Forges and Furnaces 

in the 

Province of Pennsylvania 






















THIS book, a tribute of the Pennsylvania Society to 
"the days of old, the years of ancient time," is the 
labor of love of our own members. As far as possible we 
have gone to original sources for information and verifica- 
tion, and have consulted many living authorities, whose 
valuable counsel has been freely given us. We wish to 
express our indebtedness particularly to Mr. James M 1 . 
Swank, the Hon. S. W. Pennypacker, President of the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Dr. John W. Jordan, 
the Hon. E. W. Biddle, Dr. Chas. F. Himes, Mr. H. C. 
Grittinger, Mr. B. F. Fackenthal, the Hon. W. U. Hensel, 
Mr. J. A. Anderson, Mr. W. M. Mervine, Miss Martha 
Bladen Clark, Mrs. A. Saunders Morris, Col. Henry D. 
Paxson, Mr. Thomas Eakins, Mr. P. Hollingsworth 
Morris, Mr. Ernest Spofford, Mr. B. F. Owen. 

" If you're off to Philadelphia this morning 
And wish to prove the truth of what I say 
I pledge my word you'll find 
The pleasant land behind 
Unaltered since Red Jacket rode that way. 

" Still the pine woods scent the noon 
Still the cat bird sings his tune 
Still autumn sets the maple-forest blazing. 
Still the grapevine through the dusk 
Flings her soul-compelling musk 
Still the fire flies in the corn make night amazing! 

u They are there, there, there, with Earth immortal 
(Citizens I give you friendly warning). 
The things that truly last when men and times have 

They are all in Pennsylvania this morning." 

Rudyard Kipling. 




Nearly two hundred years ago, in the early days of the 
"Holy Experiment," the wonderful natural resources of 
the province of Pennsylvania, the great ore beds, the 
thickly wooded country giving endless charcoal, and the 
strong streams promising water power, impelled many 
capable and hopeful men to attempt the making of iron. 
Besides capacity and hope, however, money was needed for 
even the smallest beginnings; and in going over the records 
one finds, in many cases, that a few years sufficed to bring 
the undertaking either to permanent grief or to a new 
owner. While this was the fate of some, others, faithful 
to the early visions of being great ironmasters, held on their 
way and realized their dreams ; handing down to our day 
their names, their industries, and their fortunes. We still 
have with us the descendants of Thomas Rutter, and 
Thomas Potts, and Anthony Morris; of James Logan, and 
Peter Grubb, and Robert Coleman; and of many others. 

Of those who fell by the wayside, the " iron band of 
Circumstance" being too much for them, the most noted 
possibly is Henry William Stiegel; and why should we 
doubt that the place he occupies in our tradition and his- 
tory ; picturesque, brilliant, unfortunate, may be to him 
some compensation if his shade ever returns for the yearly 
Giving of the Red Rose in his memory? 

As far as it is possible, some account of each of these 
pioneers will be given in the sketches which follow, of 
the forges and furnaces started in Pennsylvania before 


17 %6.> l : -\^e;rffiist Hiclaim however any intention to touch 
on the scientific side of the making of iron ; that is utterly 
beyond our scope: we shall be satisfied if we are able to 
give glimpses of the life on these great estates (for 
" great" many of them grew to be), and to put on record 
the names more or less important, of the founders of the 
early wealth of Pennsylvania. 

Until 1682, the year of Penn's arrival, the settlers on 
the Delaware, under the Swedes, the Dutch, and the Duke 
of York, seem to have made no effort to manufacture iron 
in any form. The energy of Penn changed all that. He 
wrote in 1683 f the existence of "mineral of iron and 
copper in various places." Having iron furnaces himself 
at Hawkhurst in England, he naturally wished to encour- 
age the manufacture of iron in his own province. Al- 
though there is no record of the Proprietor's connection 
with any iron making in Pennsylvania, there are a few allu- 
sions to a mining venture of which he had great hope, 
which seem of sufficient interest to mention. 

A contemporary English historian, John Oldmixon, 
gives some side lights on Penn's more practical and worldly 
outlook, of a kind not freely afforded us by his biographers, 
but which tally with much in his letters to his Secretary 
Logan, and others, when dealing with personal and bus- 
iness matters. Oldmixon visited the Colonies while Penn 
was here, and also made extensive journeyings in the West 
Indies. In speaking of the notable men who had wel- 
comed him on his arrival he says, 1 " Mr. Docwra and Dr. 
Cox were both so kind as to inform me fully of the Jerseys, 
and Mr. Pen did me the same favor for Pennsylvania. 
those three gentlemen doing me the Honour to admit me 
into their Friendship." " Mr. Pen," he continues, "was 
a very sanguine person: he was generous and free of his 

1 British Empire in America, II, London, 1741. 


Thoughts and Expressions, which were not always suffi- 
ciently guarded/* In speaking of the early settlements 
here he says, "Sir William, Mr. Pen's Father, had a 
Kinsman who was one of the first planters at New England, 
and it was from him doubtless that he had exact and partic- 
ular Information of the Advantages that might be made 
of Lands and Settlements in this Continent of America ; but 
young Mr. Pen having filled his head with Quakerisms did 
not for some years apply himself strenuously to solicit the 
promised Grant, till at last finding his friends the Quakers 
were harassed all over England by Spiritual Courts, he 
resolved to put himself at the head of as many of them as 
would go with him and remove to the Country of which 
he obtained the Grant" (in I68I). 1 Dean Swift said of 
this many-sided Penn that he talked very agreeably and 
with great spirit. While dwelling on his gayer side, 
the comment of Friends in Reading Meeting might be 
recalled: that he was "facetious in conversation." He 
rarely made use of the terms "Thee" and "Thou," 
and as is well known he wore buckles and wigs; the 
latter from necessity, it is said, having early lost his 
hair. With much political acumen and experience he was 
not a skillful judge of character; hence arose many of his 
difficulties. A fortunate man in many respects, he was for 
years especially favored in the devotion of the Secretary 
of the Province, James Logan, who agreed and remon- 
strated with him, advised and obeyed him, in the most 
faithful and patient fashion. 

Anxious and harried as Penn was in his later years by 
stress of political, financial, and family troubles, he seems, 
at this time, to have had a short period of confident expec- 
tation as to the relief that might come to him if mines of 
value were actually discovered in his Pennsylvania domin- 

1 British Empire in America, II. 


ions. Rumors reached him in 1708, only four years be- 
fore his final breakdown from paralysis, that the King of 
the Shawnee Indians was quietly working mines for 
Mitchel, a "Swiss acquainted with mining " and others, 
including Governor Evans. His eager pleasure is shown 
in the following letter to Logan: "I am glad . . . that 
mines so rich are so certainly found, for that will clear the 
country and me of all other encumbrances, and enable me 
to reward those that have approved themselves faithful to 
me and my just interest. Clap somebody upon them, as 
servants for me, and by next opportunity send me some of 
the ore, to get it tried by some of the ablest separators 
here." And later he writes : " Pray go to the bottom with 
Colonel Evans about the mines, and what has become of 
Mitchel? Who are let in the secret where they are?" 

To this Logan replies, in due time, that he is trying to 
get the desired information. It must be remembered that 
the path of the faithful Secretary was seldom other than 
thorny: constant watchfulness was needed as early as 1707 
to circumvent the French in their efforts to undermine 
the allegiance of the Indians to their English neighbors, 
and trading among the Indians was not allowed except 
under special license. Despite prohibitions the Frenchmen 
crept in, as traders, miners, or colonists. 1 A few of them, 
James Le Tort, for example, and Peter Bezalion (whose 
grave is in the Episcopal Churchyard at Compass, in Lan- 
caster county; he died in 1742, aged eighty years) were 
licensed and valuable traders ; valued, that is, except when 
they seemed to swerve from their allegiance, in which case 
they were called to Philadelphia and given a taste of jail 
life. Mitchel and T. Grey are also mentioned in the 
Colonial Records as fellow workers. 

Disappointment, his usual portion in his later years, was 

1 Lancaster County Indians, by H. Frank Eshleman, p. 173. 


again meted out to Penn : and he writes to Logan early in 
the next year: "Mitchel has been with me, and by him 
and T. Grey I learn the misunderstanding between the late 
Governor and thy self, if they say true, has cost me dear: 
for they assure me he and company may, and they believe 
do, make 100. if not twice told, weekly. The Indians 
chiefly discovered the mine and work it on the spot, and 
he told me the way of it. It is the King of the Shawnee 
Indians, and some few of his subjects that perform the 
business for him, viz., Colonel Evans." 

Logan somewhat later writes of Evans, "That story of 
his getting, by the mines, I believe to be very fiction. Evans 
has been very free with me upon that head (mines). 
There has been none opened, and I f ear Mitchel has tricked 
us all, he has gone over to England with an intention 
we believe of putting his countrymen, the Swiss, upon pur- 
chasing from the Queen a tract beyond the Potomac, 
where, he thinks, they lie. It will therefore nearly con- 
cern thee to have an eye to all his motions. He is subtile 
and scarce to be trusted." 1 

These debatable mines may possibly have been the cop- 
per mines on Mine Ridge, a few miles south of Lancaster, 
near the Philadelphia Pike, where, " in 1843 tne remains of 
an ancient shaft were visible. They were supposed to 
have been opened by French adventurers or persons from 
Maryland, about the time of Penn." 2 An early mention 
of iron in the Province is in a " Description of Pennsyl- 
vania " by courtesy called "rhymed," written in 1692 by 
Richard Frame, and published by Bradford : 

"A certain place here is where some begun 
To try some mettle and have made it run, 
Wherein was iron absolutely found 
At once was known about some forty pound." 

1 Logan and Penn Correspondence, Vol. II. 

2 Day's Historical Collections, p. 388. 


But just where this " mettle " was found he does not say. 

Although we avoid entirely, and that for the best of 
reasons, the scientific and technical side of iron making, it 
seems advisable to give, as concisely as possible, the prim- 
itive processes of the early forges and furnaces and the 
usual method of charcoal burning. 

Early bloomaries in Pennsylvania were very like the 
Catalan forge or bloomary which originated in Catalonia, 
Spain, about the tenth century. They were not unlike a 
large blacksmith fire with a deep fire pot, in which the 
blast was introduced at the side instead of the bottom of 
the fire, and while yielding but a small output a day they 
were used on account of the small expense and labor in- 
volved in their erection. 1 

In the fires of the forges pig iron was converted into 
blooms which were usually round pieces of metal, about a 
foot long. The word bloomary was often used to describe 
a forge. This was because the product derived from the 
heated ore was obtained in the form of a lump or bloom 
of malleable iron. The word is derived from the Anglo- 
Saxon bloma, a lump. The product of the early forges 
was blooms and hammered iron in the shape of flat or 
square bars ; these were shaped into vessels by blacksmiths 
and skilled artisans, who made a specialty of that class 
of work. 

As a rule the old furnaces were built into the side of a 
hill, in order that the ore, limestone, and charcoal could 
be filled from the upper level into the stack. Built upon 
one general principle, the charcoal furnaces varied ma- 
terially in size and appearance. "The interior of the 
furnace-stack was lined with a wall of fire brick, or else 
with fine-grained white sandstone, both of which were well 
adapted to resist the extraordinary heat to which it was 

1 Cornwall Furnace and Ore Banks, by H. C. Grittinger. 


exposed. The lining was constructed a few inches from 
the main stack, the space between being filled with frag- 
ments of stone, sand, and occasionally coarse mortar. This 
served to protect the stack from the decomposing effect 
of heat. The furnace stack was, moreover, secured from 
expansion by strong iron girders embedded in it. The 
quantity of material filled in the top of the furnace stack 
was measured and called a charge. There were two charges 
or heats in the twenty-four hours. 

The iron, melted in the furnace and run into " pigs " in 
the sand bed was not fit for other than casting use until it 
had been re-heated, puddled in a forge, and hammered 
into blooms. Puddling meant stirring and turning it with 
long iron bars in a small oven. In this way certain im- 
purities were eliminated. 

Two and one-half tons of ore, and 180 bushels of char- 
coal produced about one ton of metal. The output of iron 
was about 28 tons a week, as against the 75 to 600 tons 
a day produced by the modern furnaces. The limestone 
introduced was for fluxing or eliminating impurities, and 
the quantity used depended on the richness or metallic con- 
tent of the ore. " Before using the ore it was washed by 
a big water wheel attached to a long lateral shaft which 
had heavy iron teeth running around it spirally and which 
revolved in a trough. The teeth stirred the ore in the 
water and finally threw it out in a pile from which it was 
gathered up in a cart. Lumps of ore that were too large 
to wash were purified and reduced by burning. They 
were stacked in the oven, charcoal filled between, and the 
huge pieces heated enough to break them." 1 Besides the 
ordinary furnacemen, cast boys, miners, and colliers, there 
were two keepers who took turns of twelve hours each to 
watch the furnace, a master miner, a chief collier, and a 

1 Pictorial Sketch Book of Pennsylvania, by Eli Bowen. 


Charcoal burning required both skill and patience. The 
process was intricate, depending for success on the state of 
the weather as well as on the watchfulness of the colliers. 
Necessarily there was great difference in the value of wood 
for making charcoal ; the more compact and fine-grained it 
was the better coal it yielded, chiefly because of its contain- 
ing less water and sap. Tough oak, therefore, was worth 
more than pine. "The trees were felled, and trimmed, 
and cut into lengths four feet long, and ranked in cords, 
by the wood choppers, who were paid so much a cord. 
They were followed by the colliers, who stacked the wood 
in a conical shape, standing the sticks on end. The cones 
at the base were about 25 feet in diameter, and up through 
the middle the sticks were put sufficiently far apart to form 
a chimney. After the wood was thus carefully arranged, 
brush wood and loose earth were thrown over the pile, so 
as to smother the flame, and prevent it bursting out from 
the mass of wood. For the purpose of attracting the fire 
all around the wood, holes were made in the sides to create 
draft through which the watery elements of the wood 
were expelled, by the heat of the hydrogen, oxygen, and 
carbon, which was, in turn, held in check by the exclusion of 
atmospheric air. Were the air allowed to circulate the 
entire mass of wood would be reduced to ashes. The 
burning lasted two or three days and nights, according to 
the nature of the wood, and the success attending the 

Nearly all Colonial Furnaces cast stoves, and "hollow 
ware," commonly called pots and kettles. Of the deco- 
rations of these early stoves we cannot do better than quote 
Mr. Henry C. Mercer, an authority on the subject. He 
speaks of " the existence of plates of cast iron about two 
feet square, elaborately decorated with Biblical scenes, 
hearts, tulips, mottoes, and Scriptural quotations," which 


within the last twenty-five years have been rescued from 
scrap heaps, or " found as pavings for fireplaces, smoke 
houses, and bake ovens, or as the sluices of dams and the 
bridges of gutters." 1 The most valued plates found now 
are those of the five-plate jamb stove, or wall warming 
stove. " Made of five plates, sometimes without, some- 
times with a sheet iron pipe, and sometimes connecting its 
smoke egress with an adjoining chimney through the wall 
brick end, it was cast at the old furnaces in Pennsylvania 
from the year 1741 or earlier until about the year 1760. 
Built with an open end against a wall through which its 
fuel was introduced from outside the room into which the 
stove protruded, it is to this wall box that most of the 
important decorated plates pertain." 2 These stove plates 
were evidently intended, as the tiles of the times were, to 
instill moral lessons, and, with the accompanying texts or 
mottoes, they undoubtedly served as object-primers for 
young intelligences. 

Carrying their moulds from furnace to furnace, the Ger- 
man workmen wrought well: Many of their designs are 
imaginative and fine, if primitive, and the elastic and pho- 
netic spelling on the plates is more than interesting; to de- 
cipher it is an art. The names of the German peasant 
artists have almost entirely perished ; the gathered-up rem- 
nants, " iron heirlooms," show indeed a " leaven of art " in 
even the early household necessities of the Province. 

Firebacks as well as stoves were made at an early date. 
These were placed at the back of the open fireplaces, to 
protect the bricks or mortar; often there were side pieces 
as well, forming a fireplace lining. Illustrations of these 

/* The Decorated Stove Plates of the Pennsylvania Germans, by H. 
C. Mercer. 

2 The Decorated Stove Plates of the Pennsylvania Germans, by H. 
C. Mercer. 


and the stove plates will be given in connection with the 
furnaces where they were made, as far as we have been 
able to procure them. The process of moulding firebacks 
is interesting. The patterns were made in wood, and then 
pressed into sand which had been wet and pounded, to 
make it hard and unyielding enough to retain the impres- 
sion of the wooden pattern, which was then carefully re- 
moved, and the melted iron allowed to flow into the im- 
pression thus made. 

It may be well to begin our chronicles of the early iron 
works and their owners, with a quotation from J. Leander 
Bishop's "History of American Manufactures": "There 
are," he says, " few reliable statistics either of the number 
or product of iron works in any of the States in the eight- 
eenth century." With these chastening words perpetually 
in mind, we go on, having in view two objects; the first, to 
be accurate as far as possible within our narrow limits; 
the second, to bring together, in fairly chronological order, 
some of the overlooked and forgotten details of early pro- 
vincial existence, in the great State of which we are so 
justly proud. 

Augusta M. Longacre. 



The first successful attempt to establish iron works 
in Pennsylvania was that of Thomas Rutter, an English 
Quaker, who about 1716 built a bloomary forge called 
Pool on Manatawny Creek, near Pottstown. Jona- 
than Dickinson writing in 1717 says, "This last summer 
one Thomas Rutter, a smith, who lives not far from 
Germantown, hath removed further up in the country 
and of his own strength hath set about making iron. 
Such it proves to be as is highly set by, by all the 
smiths here, who say that the best of Sweeds' iron doth not 
exceed it, and we have heard of others that are going on 
with the iron works. It is supposed there is stone (ore) 
sufficient for ages to come and in all likelihood hemp 
and iron may be improved and transported home . . . if 
not discouraged." 

["American iron was sent to England in 1717 and so 
much jealousy was excited by it in the mother-country that 
in 1719 a bill was introduced into Parliament to prevent 
the erection of rolling and slitting mills here; it was then 
rejected, but in 1750 such an act was finally passed; the 
exportation of pig metal to England free of duties was 
however, allowed."] 1 

The original patent of William Penn to Thomas Rutter, 
of three hundred acres in Manatawny, issued in 1714-15 
is still in the possession of a descendant. Two Pool 
Forges existed here, within a few miles of each other, for 
a short time. The authorities differ as to their dates and 

1 Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr., p. 26. 


precedence, and it seems probable that one simply suc- 
ceeded the other, under the same owners. Situated about 
three miles above Pottstown, on the Manatawny, this 
bloomary forge was probably of the most primitive de- 
scription, iron being made directly from the ore, as in an 
ancient Catalan forge. 

In a list of passengers from London to Barbadoes in 
1635, is the name of Thomas Rutter aged 22. 1 Whether 
this Rutter is in any way related to the first ironmaster of 
the same name is dubious. The marriage of Thomas 
Rutter and Rebecca Staples took place in Friends' Meeting 
at Pennsbury, loth month, nth, i685. 2 On Holmes's 
map printed in Penn's time Thomas Rutter is mentioned 
as the owner of a tract of land bordering on Germantown, 
opposite Cresheim Creek, adjoining that of Thomas Mas- 
ters. The place was called Bristol township, and is not 
far from Milltown, now Abington. Rutter and his wife 
became members of Abington meeting in 1685. He was 
a Public Friend and an active member there until the 
schism among the Quakers, led by George Keith in 1.691. 
At that date he subscribed his name, with sixty-nine others, 
to the paper issued at Burlington in defence of Keith: a 
document not sufficiently well known. Rutter was bap- 
tized in 1691 by the Rev. Thomas Killingworth, and as he 
was already a preacher, he now set forth the doctrines of 
Keith, who taught that Christ the external Word, and the 
visible sacraments He commanded, were of higher value 
than the "inward light." Rutter organized several so- 
cieties of this persuasion, among them being one at Lower 
Dublin in 1697 in the house of Abraham Pratt, which, 
after vicissitudes, seems to have developed into Trinity 

1 John Camden Hotten, The Original Lists of Persons of Quality, Emi- 
grants, Religious Exiles, etc., 1600-1700. 

2 Records of Middletown Monthly Meeting, Bucks County. 


Church, Oxford, one of our most venerated churches, 
which possesses a chalice of silver presented by Queen 
Anne. Evidently a man of general interests, Rutter suc- 
ceeded Pastorius in 1705-6 as Bailiff of Germantown. 

In 1717 he removed "up the Schuylkill" and was for 
years active in every phase of iron making as then under- 

When Rutter and Nutt settled on the Manatawny and 
French Creeks, they were in the midst of the Delaware or 
Lenni Lenape Indians: the "original people." In deal- 
ing with them, Penn, Pastorius, Rutter and Nutt had been 
friendly and earned their good will. William Penn's 
estimate of the Indian character, as he found it, is so 
fine, even if rose colored, that part of it must be quoted 
here. Writing to the Society of Free Traders, he says: 
"In liberality they excel; nothing is too good for their 
friend ; give them a fine gun, coat, or anything, and 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 circulateth like the blood. None 
shall want what another hath, yet exact observers of prop- 
erty. Some Kings have sold, others presented me with 
several parcels of land; the pay or presents I made them 
were not hoarded by the particular owners. . . . 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; if they are ignorant of our pleasures, 
they are also free from our pains. They are not dis- 
quieted with bills of lading or exchange, nor perplexed 
with chancery suits or exchequer reckonings. We sweat 
and toil to live; their pleasure feeds them, I mean their 
hunting, fishing and fowling, and this table is spread 
everywhere. They eat twice a day, morning and evening, 


their seats 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 rich- 
est of their skins and furs. If they are heated with liquors, 
they are restless, till they have had enough to sleep; that 
is their cry, Some more and I will go to sleep. Biit< 
when drunk they are one of the most wretched spectacles 
in the world." 

After the noted attack on Pool Forge in May, 1728, 
by unfriendly Indians, when they were repulsed with 
small loss, by the workmen, there was a call sent out by 
Governor Gordon, to Sassoonan, the King of the Dela- 
wares, and the other chiefs, to a council or treaty at Phil- 
adelphia ; presents were prepared for them, and they were 
hospitably entertained during their stay. At the first meet- 
ing, in the Court House, many Indians, Government offi- 
cials, inhabitants and interpreters being present the Gov- 
ernor made a high flown and conciliatory speech, gave 
presents of blankets (Strouds, a kind of blanket made at 
Stroudwater 4 in England), shirts, powder, lead, knives, 
scissors, and finished by giving to the relations of the 
deceased Indians "these six handkerchiefs to wipe away 
their tears"! Another meeting was held the next day, 
but the excitement was so great that the Court House was 
too small, and they adjourned to the great Meeting House, 
a vast audience filling the house and all its galleries. 
Sassoonan, on being called to speak, asked his friend 
Thomas Rutter, Sr., "to sitt near him," and spoke warmly 
of what he would do to clear the path between the place 
where he lived and this town, he would "cutt up every 
bush and grub that may stand in the way." As applied to 

1 " A town long famous for its woolens, and supposed to owe much of 
its prosperity to the peculiar qualities of the stream called Stroudwater, 
which is admirably adapted for dyeing scarlet." Lewis, Topographical 
Dictionary of England. 

The Arms of Great Britain, painted on the panel in the Court House, 
behind the Judge's chair, 1707. Presented to the Historical Society of 
Pennsylvania when the Court House was taken down, 1837. 

Stoveplate from old house, Chestnut Hill. 

The Seal of the City of 


Rutter, this language seems to show his standing with 
neighboring Red men. 

Besides the first forges, Thomas Rutter with others 
erected the first blast furnace, Colebrookdale, in the prov- 
ince. The original owners of Pool Forge and Colebrook- 
dale Furnace were almost identical. 

In 1731 Pool Forge was owned by 

Anthony Morris % part 

Alexander Wooddrop % part 

Samuel Preston %e part 

William Attwood %e part 

Jno. Leacock VIQ part 

Nath 1 . ffrench %6 part 

Geo. Mifflin VIQ part 

Tho 3 . Potts and G. Boon . . M.6 part 
The other % belonged to the Rutters. 1 

This man of many interests and enterprises did not live 
out his allotted years. The Pennsylvania Gazette, Phil- 
adelphia, March 13, 1729-30, has this entry: "On Sun- 
day night last died here Thomas Rutter senior. He was 
the first that erected an iron work in Pennsylvania." At 
this date he was probably a little over sixty. Among the 
great names in our early iron industry, those of Rutter and 
Potts stand preeminent; their descendants have intermar- 
ried for six generations, during a period of one hundred 
and forty years. The list of forges and furnaces on the 
Manatawny and its branches, owned by the families of 
Rutter and Potts, before the Revolution, is most imposing. 
It includes Mount Pleasant Furnace and Forge, Spring 
Forge, Colebrookdale Furnace and Forge, Amity Forge, 
Rutter's Forge, Pool Forges, Pine Forge, Little Pine 
Forge and McCall's Forge. 2 Augusta M. Longacre. 

1 Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr., p. 26. 

2 Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr., by Mrs. James. 




The beginnings of this noted forge on French Creek are 
somewhat misty. Evidently the earliest venture of Sam- 
uel Nutt, 1 it was a Catalan forge, and dates from 1718 or 
1719. By 1724, the iron made there was in demand. 

Just when William Branson became a partner with Sam- 
uel Nutt is uncertain, but it was before 1728, for there is, 
in an early newspaper, the offer of a reward of forty 
shillings, under their joint names, on March 29 th of that 
year, for one Richard Snaggs, who the Weekly Mercury 
of Philadelphia stated had deserted from the works on 
French Creek. The following winter, Nutt at the iron- 
works, and Branson at Philadelphia, offer the same sum 
for the recovery of John Bartam, a tailor, and Nathaniel 
Ford, who both ran away from the works. 2 

In the oldest Coventry Ledger extant, there are entries : 

" Sept. 9, 1727 To William Branson " etc 
His name occurs frequently. 

"March 7, 1727. 

To bringing up a Cag of Rum by Anne Robert's Cart 

6d n 
"March 27, 1728. To the weaving of n yds and J^ 

Stuff by John Hibbert, omitted last reckoning, " 
"Nov. 27, 1729. By a Bridal for the Mrs." 

" To one qt. malossos for Indian Daniel taking up your 

pocket book." 

1 For Samuel Nutt, see Reading furnace. 

2 Futhey and Cope, Chester County, 344. 


The keeper at the works was paid twenty shillings per 
week. An ore bed was discovered at Coventry in the early 
days, by an Indian. The reward, which was given to his 
daughter, was an iron pot, of the value of two shillings. 1 
There was an agreement, March 15, 1736, between 
Samuel Nutt and William Branson of the first part, and 
John Potts, of the second, in which the latter agrees to 
carry on a furnace called "Redding" recently built near 
Coventry, for the two former, who are "joint owners." 
William Branson had taken out warrants for additional 
land in 1733. Some of this property adjoined that of 
Samuel Nutt, which may have been a reason, both for 
their partnership and for the disagreement which was being 
adjusted at the time of Samuel Nutt's death. In connec- 
tion with the surveys, a correspondent writes to the sur- 
veyor, November 26, 1735 : " I have not seen Samuel Nutt 
since I received thy letter, which informs me of his returns 
being sent up. I hope that Wm. Branson's are also sent, 
that thereby the long-depending affair between them may 
be at length settled." 2 A man of enterprise, Branson, 
on the dissolution of partnership with the heirs of Samuel 
Nutt in 1739, is said to have taken Reading Furnace as his 
share; and a little later, in 1742, he became the owner of 
Windsor in Caernarvon township, and built a forge and 
the mansion. 3 He was also the pioneer in steel, being the 
owner in 1737, of the Vincent Steel Works on French 
Creek in Chester county. Just when Branson's steel fur- 
nace was started in Philadelphia is not certain, but it is said 
to have been "near where Thomas Penn first lived on 
Upper Chestnut street." The other one, Stephen PaschaFs, 
was built in 1747, and stood on a lot at the northwest cor- 

1 Book B. Ledger, Coventry, in collection of the Hon. S. W. Pennypacker. 

2 Pott Memorial. 

3 See Windsor Forges. 


ner of Eighth and Walnut Streets. To complete the list 
of steel works in Pennsylvania at that time, we must men- 
tion a plating forge with tilt hammer in Byberry, Philadel- 
phia county, owned by John Hall, who was a grandson of 
Thomas Rutter, son of Joseph and Rebecca Rutter Hall. 
Of the Vincent works, Acrelius says in 1756: " At Branz's 
works there is a steel furnace, built with a draught hole and 
called an * air oven.' In this, iron bars are set at a distance 
of an inch apart. Between them are scattered horn, coal 
dust, ashes, etc. The iron bars are thus covered with 
blisters and this is called * blister steel.' It serves as the 
best steel to put upon edge tools." 1 

William Branson was the son of Nathaniel Branson, of 
the parish of Soning, in Berkshire, England. Nathaniel 
Branson had purchased of William Penn twelve hundred 
and fifty acres in Pennsylvania, but he never came out to 
claim his tract. By deed of August 28, 1707, this tract 
was conveyed to his son, William Branson, who the next 
year became a passenger on the Golden Lion and who took 
up his property by two separate warrants. For many 
years he lived in Philadelphia, occupying a house on the 
east side of Second street. His four daughters became the 
wives of well-known Pennsylvanians : Samuel Flower, 
Bernhard Van Leer, Lynford Lardner, and Richard Hock- 
ley. He died in 1760. It is so difficult to obtain any 
clear information as to the ownership of the Coventry 
Iron Works from 1740 on, that one may be pardoned for 
a final impression that "Anna Nutt and Co.," were large 
owners; they are mentioned in a petition, 1741, as " owners 
of ironworks at Coventry and Warwick " and Mrs. James 
tells us that Mrs. Robert Grace bought back part of the 
Coventry estate. Thomas Potts (1735-1785) married 
Anna Nutt at Coventry in 1757, and established himself 

1 Iron Making in Pennsylvania, Swank, p. 23. 



Stoveplate supposed to have been cast at Coventry. wY B.'= William 
Branson. K. T. F. = Coventry Furnace. Owned by Mr. A. J. Steinman, 


in business in Philadelphia, for the sale of iron, with his 
uncle, Thomas Yorke. By his marriage a share in the 
forges and furnaces of the two Samuel Nutts on French 
Creek came into his hands. In 1765 he bought from his 
wife's mother and her husband, Robert Grace, all their 
rights in Coventry. The winter house of Thomas Potts 
and his wife was in Front Street, Philadelphia, then a 
fashionable quarter of the city. He was one of the orig- 
inal members of the American Philosophical Society, was 
interested in the navigation of the Schuylkill and other 
large State interests, and a warm adherent of the patriotic 
side, on the breaking out of the trouble with the Mother 
country. He removed to Pottstown in 1768, where 
Washington was frequently his guest at the Mansion. 1 
For years he was a member of Assembly. Mrs. Grace 
entertained officers of the Army at Coventry Hall, during 
their stay at Valley Forge. 

1 See Pottsgrove Forge. 





Those enterprising colonists, Thomas Rutter and 
Thomas Potts, having demonstrated beyond a doubt that 
the early experiments at the mouth of the Manatawny 
could be developed into a great iron industry, went to Phil- 
adelphia to seek capital for investment in their new enter- 
prise. The time had come when they could no longer 
work single handed. The expense of building a furnace in 
those early days was about five hundred pounds. To this 
must be added the wages of men employed, and the cost 
of horses, oxen and wagons to transport the wood and 
iron. An area of woodland two miles square was sufficient 
to feed the furnace, but this had to be cut and made into 
charcoal. Without capital it was impossible to venture 
farther. Accordingly we find that about 1720, new fur- 
naces were projected along the Manatawny, and one on 
Iron Stone Creek, a branch of the former. This was 
called Colebrookdale, and was managed by a company in- 
cluding Rutter and Potts and the Philadelphians Anthony 
Morris and James Lewis. The original lease is in- 
teresting : 

"Lease Dated the 13 th day of January 1724 Between 
Thomas Rutter sen r of the I st part, Tho 8 Rutter and John 
Rutter of the 2 nd part, and Evan Owen, Maurice Morris, 
James Lewis, Robert Griffith and Thomas Marke of the 
third part 

" For a certain tract of Land Scituate upon Ironstone 
River in Manatawny in the County of Philadelphia con- 
taining 100 acres, To hold from the date above, for, and 

Stove plate cast at Colebrookdale Furnace. Owned by the Pennsylvania 
Museum in Memorial Hall. 

Elijah fed by ravens. Mate of the " Seal of Philadelphia " plate. 


during, and unto the full end and Term of 28 years from 
thence next ensuing and fully to be complete and ended 
under the yearly rent of L 30 

"Also a deed of copartnership Between the said parties. 
The above Lease and Deed are Left in the hands of 
Charles Brockden to be kept indifferently between the 
parties " 

2nd "Thomas Potts sen r Leased Colebrookdale Fur- 
nace Jan y 13 th 1724 at the rate of 48 Tonn piggs pr annum 
Each Tonn being valued at L 5 How much does the Rent 
amount to to the 13 th of January 174% being 24 years?" 1 

Swank's "History of Iron Making in Pennsylvania" 

"The first furnace in England to cast pots and kettles 
and other hollow ware by the use of sand moulds, was 
Abraham Darby's Colebrookdale furnace in Shropshire, 
which he leased in 1709. It was a small charcoal fur- 
nace and had been in existence for a century. He died in 
1717. As he was a Contemporary pioneer in the iron 
business and a Friend or Quaker, as were most of the 
pioneer iron masters of Pennsylvania, it is easy to imagine 
that our colonists should have called their first furnace 
after the Colebrookdale furnace in Shropshire." 

Famous as the first blast furnace in Pennsylvania, Cole- 
brookdale had a long and prosperous career. It is men- 
tioned in the Potts Memorial as still standing in 1785 
though not in active operation. Though Thomas Rutter 
was the largest owner, the management from the first 
seems to have devolved on Thomas Potts. Thomas 
Rutter died in 1730, and in the following years the com- 
pany was reorganized by the persons whose names are 
here given and the proportion of shares held by each 

1 Ledger of Colebrookdale Furnace, in collection of the Hon. S. W. 
Pennyp acker. 


Nath 1 ffrench % 2 , Alex. Wooddrop % 2 , Sam 1 Preston 
y 2 W m Attwood % 2 , Anth Morris %2, Jno Leacock % 2 , 
Geo Mifflin K 2 , T. Potts and G. Boon #2. 

Mrs. James in the Potts Memorial copies the record of 
the cost of this rebuilding verbatim, the oldest document 
she is able to discover. It is written very handsomely on 
a folio sheet of paper, and is Thomas Potts's account with 
the company. Among other items we find 

" % gallon of Rum given to the workmen at the Limekiln, 
% Gallon of Rum given to the workmen helping up with 

the girders, 

To paid Timothy Miller for dyett, and customary allow- 
ance of Rum to the workmen when getting Inn Wall 
stones over the Schuylkill 1-5-8. 

An interesting item in the Company's minutes reads as 

" To the Persons in this minitt named, viz : Alex a Wood- 
rupps, W m Attwood, W m Pyewell for Thomas Rutter, 
Anth. Morris, George Mifflin and Thos Potts, Being a 
majority of the Proprietors of Colbrook ffurnace Mett 
This 16 day of 6 mo 1736. 

" And on a Complaint y* some of the Own ra of sd ffurnace 
were deficient in finding their proportion of wood for Coal 
for Carrying on the Blast of sd ffurnace According to 
articles of Agreement with Thomas Potts, Therefore made 
Inquiry Thereunto And find that there is a deficiency 
Chargable upon the Persons under named And it is now 
Agreed & Concluded that they & every of them Immedi- 
ately find & Provide the Quantity of Woodland annexed 
to their Names and y* y e possess Thos. Potts with the 
wood thereon Standing for the use of the sd. Colebrook 
ffurnace the next ensuing Blast. On failure whereof 'tis 
Concluded & Agreed y* the sd. Thomas Potts reserve & 
Sell so much of their part & share of the Pigg Iron Cast, 
or to be runn & Cast as shall or may fully purchase or pay 


for their full Proportion of wood according to the und r 
Estimate made the day and date above, viz 

Thomas Rutter, deceased to make good 5 5 acres woodland 

John Rutter deceased & Thomas Potts 75 Ditto 

Samuel Preston 75 Ditto 

Edw'd ffream 75 Do 

Nath 1 ffrench 75 D 

Jno Leycock 75 Do 

Geo. Boom 37% Do 

Capt Attwood. 

Taken from the Minutes of sd Comply and signed by us. 


The amount of wood consumed by these charcoal fur- 
naces was simply enormous. Some of them when in blast 
used from five to six thousand cords of wood annually, 
the product of about two hundred and forty acres of wood- 
land. This was an advantage to the infant colony, since 
lands were thereby rapidly cleared which might be used for 

No doubt Indians were employed to some extent at the 
forges since their names are found in lists of workmen as 
"Indian John" and " Margalita " : 1728. Though 
Thomas Potts was connected with many of the furnaces 
in the Manatawny region, Colebrookdale was the scene of 
his greatest activities. He became possessed of g|reat 
estates and built not far from the furnace a fine mansion, 
still standing, called Popodickon, from an Indian King, 


Popodick, who is buried under a magnificent chestnut tree 
about five hundred yards from the house. Tradition says 
the Ironstone Creek was originally called the Popodick. 
When in 1732 Benjamin Franklin established the Phila- 
delphia Library Company Thomas Potts was one of the 
fifty subscribers to the project, thus indicating his interest 
in literary matters as well as in extending his material pos- 
sessions. Before his death in 1752 in the seventy second 
year of his age, he saw all his sons and daughters married 
and settled around him, and engaged in the iron business 
he had assisted in establishing. In his will he leaves his 
two thirds of Colebrookdale furnace and iron mines to his 
son Thomas, who by his marriage with Rebecca Rutter 
was already part owner in the Colebrookdale plant. 
Thomas was married twice and had seven children who 
lived to grow up. In his will he says: "I order my 
part of the furnace with lands, together with house and 
lands I now live on, to be rented out till my son David 
arrives at the age of twenty one years, and if he inclines to 
rent, to have the refusal." But David did not take the 
Colebrookdale furnace, nor did any of the others so far as 
we can learn, succeed to this fine old patrimony. In Nich- 
olas Scull's map of Pennsylvania, 1759, Colebrookdale 
furnace is located, and that was probably the period of its 
greatest activity. A stove plate cast at the furnace in 
1763 was exhibited at the World's Fair in Philadelphia. 

Mary E. Mum ford. 



Reading or Redding Furnace so the name is spelled on 
old plans and maps on French Creek, Chester county, 
the second in Pennsylvania, was built probably in 1720. 
It is said its site was at or near Coventry forge of earlier 
date. 1 For a time it was very productive, but the ore ran 
out and it was then dismantled and vacated. This is the 
short story of the original Reading Furnace. The second 
of the same name, built in 1736 or 1737, was a mile distant 
from the first. 

Their founder has a lasting record. As the quality of 
the root or the seed determines after growth, so does Sam- 
uel Nutt, land-buyer, iron worker and untiring builder of 
forges and furnaces focus in himself, as it were, all the pos- 
sibilities of Pennsylvania's present iron industry. He was 
a member of the Society of Friends. Advanced religious 
thought and convictions doubtless helped to draw him to 
Penn's colony, but before leaving England and his town of 
Coventry on the 4th of May, 1714, he bought of Benjamin 
Weight of the same place 1250 acres in Pennsylvania, 
some of which were laid out in Sadsbury township. 2 A 
characteristic act this, and before touching American soil 
he was already land-owner by purchase, not by grant. His 
certificate from the monthly meeting of Coventry dated 
Second month, Seventh day, 1714, was presented to Con- 
cord, Pa., meeting on the Tenth month, Thirteenth day 

1 History of Chester County, by J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, p. 


2 Ibid., p. 670. 


of the same year. 1 There followed years of extraordinary 
initiative and accomplishment ; his energy turned the hidden 
ore of the primeval forest into marketable iron. He soon 
came in touch with Thomas Rutter and Samuel Savage, 
Rutter's son-in-law. These men, Rutter and Savage and 
Nutt, are the three pioneers of Pennsylvania's greatest in- 
dustry her earliest " Iron Kings." Nutt probably in his 
work was not directly associated with the two others, but 
similar interests and experiences in the wild region of the 
upper Schuylkill welded these men together. 

In Virginia English capitalists helped the early iron 
workers; these of Pennsylvania were men of means, as well 
as of ability, and they seem to have had, and to have asked 
no outside aid. 

Having taken up land on the west bank of the Schuyl- 
kill, Nutt went thither in 1716 or 1718, and built there 
as already stated, Coventry Forge and later Reading fur- 
nace. He is said to have returned early to England com- 
ing back with skilled workmen, and at French Creek the 
first steel in America was made. 2 The . following letter 
proves that he had set up a forge on French Creek before 
July, 1720: 

"PHILADELPHIA, July 2nd 1720. 
"My Good friend 

" I was in hopes I should have seen thee at the Forge 
before this time but suppose some other Important affairs 
Prevented it however since I had not that happiness; I 
make bold to Trouble thee with a ffew Lines; to acquaint 
that Wee proceed on; In our Intentions of putting up an- 
other fforge this ffal upon the ffrench Creek a Little above 
James Peughs upper Line and shall Dam up above the 
fforks of the North & South Branches; so that we shall 

1 Ibid., p. 670. 

2 " Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr.," by Mrs. Thomas Potts James, p. 31. 


be under an absolute necessity of taking up all that Tract as 
lyes betwixt the said James Peughs line & Phillip Rodgers 
upon the North branch & although I do not think the Land 
is Inviting to any other body to meddle with it yet if any 
one should attempt to do so ; I desire thee to Interpose thy 
good offices In our favour & in doing so thou will In a 
Perticuler manner obleige thy ffr to serve thee at all times 

"Sam. Nutt 

" I intend to take a turn Down Into Chester County In a 
Little time & to pay thee a visit. In the mean time pray 
give my Respects to thy wife & family and accept or the 
same Thy Self . . . vale 


"To Doctor Isaac Taylor at his House in Thornbury in 

Chester County" 

From 1717 to 1721, the "absolute necessity" noted in 
the letter to Dr. Taylor, of taking up land, came frequently 
upon him and "very inviting" were the forest acres for 
on October 2, 1717, he obtained survey for two hundred 
and fifty, an iron mine therein included. This tract was 
patented to him in 1718 and the warrant for taking it up 
dated September 18, 1718, called for four hundred acres. 
Another warrant October 2, 1718, called for eight hundred 
acres near the branches of the French Creek; three hundred 
acres of this were laid out in Coventry two years later. 
Six hundred and fifty acres on French Creek including the 
subsequent site of the Warwick furnace, were conveyed to 
him on May 2, 1719, and one hundred and fifty acres more 
on October i, 1720. On May 23, 1721, he purchased 
from James Peugh three hundred acres on French Creek 
in Coventry. 1 

Years elapse and no more is heard of land ventures until 

1 History of Chester County, by J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, 
P. 344- 


January 6, 1732 or 1733, when James Steel wrote from 
Philadelphia to John Taylor, the surveyor : 

" Our ffrd Saml Nutt having paid a Good sum of money 
to me for the Prop's use hath requested a further addition 
to his Lands to accommodate his Iron Works, which the 
Proprietary was pleased to Grant him. I doe therefore 
request thee to make such surveys for him as may answer 
his purpose." 

Long before this latest purchase, iron interests came 
still closer to him, in fact, iron entered into his heart 
happily not into his soul for in 1720, or soon after, he 
married Anna, daughter of Thomas Rutter and widow of 
Samuel Savage, and thus Anna Nutt was daughter of one 
of the pioneers, wife, and for a short time, widow of the 
second, and wife of the third whom she also survived. 1 

Some of the acres referred to in the following order 
have special interest in connection with the marriage : 

" To JACOB TAYLOR Surveyor. General. 
" By the commissioner of Property. Pensihania. ss. 

" At the request of Samuel Nutt now of Chester County 
that we would Grant him to take up near the Branches of 
the ffrench Creek the quantity of Eight hundred acres of 
Land for which he agrees to pay to the use of the Trustees 
Eighty pounds money of Pensilvania for the whole, and the 
yearly quit rent of one Shilling Sterling for each hundred 
acres. These are to authorize and require thee to Survey 
or cause to be Surveyed unto the said Samuel Nutt at or 
near the place aforesaid according to the method of ye 
Townships appointed, the said quantity of Eight hundred 
acres of Land that has not been already surveyed nor 
appropriated nor is Seated by the Indians, and make re- 
turns thereof unto the Secretary's office, which Survey in 
case the said Samuel fulfil the above agreement within .... 

1 Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr., p. 29. 


months after the Date hereof shall be valid, otherwise the 
same to be void as if it had never been made, or this War- 
rant ever Granted. Given under our hands and Seal of 
the Province of Philadelphia ye 2d October. Anno D'ni 


To part of this tract Nutt gave the name of Coventry 
and from it to Philadelphia " a distance of 40 miles he laid 
out, it is believed, and made at his own expense the first 
road of any extent in the Province. It is still called by 
aged people in the neighborhood the Nutt or Great Road; 
it passes through Valley Forge, crossing the creek of that 
name near Washington's Headquarters." 1 

On a hillside within these acres, near the branches of 
the French Creek, he built a home for his Anna and him- 
self like the old houses in his English town the frame of 
great hewn logs between which were cemented stones. No 
children were born to him in Coventry Hall but devotion 
to his wife's daughter, Ruth Savage, caused him to summon 
from England his nephew, Samuel Nutt, Jr., to be her hus- 
band. Fortunately the young people approved the match 
and the wedding took place Fifth month, seventeenth day, 
Z 733- The bride could not have been sixteen years old; 
her wedding dress was of brocade with high heeled buckled 
shoes to match, and tradition says, "her rich dowry was 
far outweighted by her personal and mental charms." 
Tradition also affirms that her step-father, Samuel Nutt, 
was the younger son of a baronet and the coat of arms he 
brought from England has on it a crescent, the mark of a 
second son. 2 

1 Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr., p. 32. 

2 Ibid., p. 31. 


In the imagination of Mrs. James the historian of the 
Potts family Samuel Nutt is pictured as " a fine English 
gentleman with no sign of the Quaker garb and plainness ; 
the careful appointments of his magnificent horse, his lace 
ruffles and cocked hat, all show that he was a man having 
authority." 1 Authority in reality he had, for he was mem- 
ber of Assembly from Chester county from 1723 to 1726 
and when a new Commission of Peace was issued on Pat- 
rick Gordon's becoming Governor, Nutt was appointed one 
of his Majesty's Justices. Other indications of his high 
standing as a citizen are found. In 1728, he was chosen 
with eleven others by the Governor and Council to run a 
division line to separate Lancaster county for the old 
Chester county, though he does not appear to have acted 
in this matter. His name heads a list of taxables in 1724. 
Emanuel Swedenborg, in 1734, in a Latin treatise on Iron 
writes: U A works was built on the Schuylkill River by 
Master Samuel Nutt with furnaces and hearths." In 
Bishop's "History of American Manufactures," we read: 
"In 1718, Jonathan Dickinson mentions in a letter that 
the iron works forty miles up the Schuylkill are very 
great." The historian adds: "the reference here was 
probably to the Coventry forge on French Creek in Coven- 
try township, Chester Co. This bloomery was built by a 
person named Nutt who made other large improvements 
at the place." 

The nearness of Nutt's furnace and home to the scene of 
the only hostility of the period in Pennsylvania between 
Indians and settlers, explains the following letter. Mal- 
anton, the place from which it was written, is a misprint for 
Morlatton, near Colebrookdale ; part of it is now called 
Douglassville. It is forty-four miles from Philadelphia, 
on the Reading Railroad. It was settled early by the 

1 ibid., p. 51. 


Swedes, and the name is supposed to be derived from a 
district in Sweden. An old Swedish church still stands 
there, called St. Gabriel's. The Governor of the Province, 
news of trouble having reached him, had visited the region. 
Believing that affairs were again peaceful, he was about 
to return to Philadelphia when Nutt's communication 
reached him by express : 

"MALANTON, May n 1728 
"May It Please The Governour 

"Just now I RVed the Disagreeable news that one 
Walter Winter and John Winter have Murdered one In- 
dian Man and Two Indian Women without any cause 
given by the sd Indians; and the said Winters have brought 
two girls (one of which is Crippled) to George Boon's to 
receive some Reward. I desire the Governour may see 
after it before he goes Down, for most certainly such 
actions will create the greatest antipathy between the Sev- 
eral Nations of Indians and the Christians. The Bearer 
John Petty has heard the full relation of this matter, to 
whom I shall refer the Governour for a more full account 
and remain the Governour's most hearty friend and Serv't 
to Command. 


Immediately upon the receipt of this letter, the Governor 
issued a proclamation, commanding the people, in his 
Majesty's name, " to levy Hue and Cry with Horse and 
with Foot within the Province of Pennsylvania," for the 
apprehension of these murderers who were afterwards 
tried, convicted and hanged. 

The circumstances connected with this one unfortunate 
episode in the otherwise peaceful relations of the Penn- 
sylvania colonists and the Indians are strikingly picturesque 
and rich in the coloring of the wild places and the time. 

In 1736, the second Reading furnace recently built, was 


handed over by Samuel Nutt and Wm. Branson, joint 
owners, to John Potts, to carry on upon the following 
terms. 1 He was " to cast the quantity of twenty-eight 
hundred weight of Cart Boxes, Sash Weights or any other 
Particular small Castings every Month during the Contin- 
uance of the said Blast. . . . And they also covenant that 
ye said Owners or their Clerks or Agents for the Time 
being, shall deliver no Quantity of Rum to any of the 
People Belonging to the Furnace or therein concerned, 
without a Note or Token from the said John Potts or his 
Agents or Assistants." 2 

In an inventory taken of the estate of Nutt when start- 
ing his partnership with Branson, mention is made of " a 
ring round the shaft at the old furnace." and of u one tonn 
of sow mettle at the new furnace." 

Over Nutt's signature we have a glimpse of labor 
conditions in an advertisement from the Pennsylvania 
Gazette, July 1737, for a run-away. The man was a Re- 
demptioner or Redemptionist, the name used to designate 
persons sold on arrival by contractors or captains of ships 
to pay for their passage from abroad. 


"July 3 4 d 1737. 

" Run away from the iron works aforesaid, a servant- 
man David McQuatty; by trade a Hammerer & Refiner, 
but has forermly followed shaloping up & down the Bay 
from Egg Harbor. He is a Scotchman but speaks pretty 
good English, middle siz'd about 28 years of age of a 
thin visage & a little pockpetten, with a Roman nose & a 
few spots of Gunpowder under his right eye. 

He is a talkertive man, given to liquor, & then very 
quarrelsome He has such a trembling in ther nerves that 

1 Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr., pp. 34 and 35. 

2 Ibid., p. 51. 


he can hold nothing in his hands steadily, he has a very 
small mouth and thin lips. He had on when he went away, 
a new drugget coat & jacket of a kind of yellowish or snuff 
color a good new fine shirt a new castor hat a dark- 
ish silk handerkerchief a cotton cap a pair of new linen 
drawers or a pair of Osenbrigs trowers, & a pair of Irge 
carved brass buckles in his shoes. 

"Whoever secures the said servant so that his master 
may have him again, shall have 3 if taken up in this Prov- 
ince, or 5 if taken up in any other Province & all reason- 
able charges paid by 


Samuel Nutt was busied with his chosen work until the 
end, for he died in 1737. The inventory of his estate 
taken in May, 1738, is divided into two parts. That 
which he held in company with Wm. Branson amounted to 
2912; to be divided equally between them. His private 
estate amounted to 5444. 

The following extract from the inventory of the private 
estate contains items characteristic of the time : 

One tonn of sow mettle at new ffurnace L 5-105.0 

18 Stove plates 10 cwt. L.8-i6s.o 

The mine trace containing 250 acres of land L 1500-0.0 
650 acres of land in Nantmill on which the 
new ffurnace is building with Sundry out- 
houses L 5 25-0.0 
267 acres of land in Coven tyr being the land 

on which Samuel Nutt's house stands L 300.0.0 

A negro boy named " Cudjo " L 30.0.0 

A negro boy named "George" L 15.0.0 

2 hhds Rum L.26-is.o 

78 ells Oxenbrigs 2 L 7-75.0 

1 Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr., pp. 51-52. 

2 Ozenbriggs. A very heavy linen, made originally at Osnabruck, 
Hanover, used in great quantities in America during Colonial times for 
shirts, breeches and clothing for hard use. It was sold in large bales, 
particularly in the South, for use by the slaves. 



His will, dated September 25, 1737, bequeaths one half 
of his estate in Reading furnace and Coventry forge to 
Samuel Nutt, Jr. and Rebecca, his wife, and the other 
half after payment of some legacies, to his own wife, 
Anna. He particularly directs that she is to have one hun- 
dred and twenty acres of land on the South Branch of 
French Creek one hundred and thirty perches in length on 
which to build a furnace, and leave to cut as much timber 
upon the lands adjacent as would suffice to erect the same. 
His idea seemed to be that she and her sons might carry on 
this establishment while her son-in-law managed Cov- 
entry. 1 

Nutt's busy brain glowed, while his mortal life flickered, 
with thoughts of the furnace that his wife and her sons 
were yet to build. He then lighted fires which burned for 
many decades and the land on which stood Warwick fur- 
nace, is still owned by the descendants of Anna, wife of 
Samuel Nutt, Sr. 2 

For forty years, from the time of Nutt's death, little or 
nothing is found recorded of the Reading furnace. In 
1777 it blazes forth with unexpected brilliancy; for a 
letter from Washington written on his memorable way 
between Brandywine and Valley Forge with an impover- 
ished army, is dated : 

"19 September 1777. 
" READING FURNACE, 6 o'clock P. M. 

"Dear Sir. I have received yours of half past 3 o'clock 
having wrote to you already to move forward upon the 
enemy, I have but little to add Generals Maxwell & Potter 
are ordered to do the same, being at Potts' Forge. I could 
wish you and these generals would act in conjunction to 

1 Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr., p. 53. 

2 History of Chester County, by J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, 
p. 211. 

Stoveplate, Reading Furnace, 1772. Owned by the Pennsylvania 
Museum in Memorial Hall. 

Plate", 1766. 


make your advance more formidable, but I would not have 
too much time delayed on this account. I shall follow as 
speedily as possible with jaded men some may probably 
go off immediately if I find they are in condition for it. 
The horses are almost all out upon the patrol. Cartridges 
have been ordered for you. Give me the earliest informa- 
tion of everything interesting, & of your moves, that I may 
know how to govern mine by them. 

The cutting off the enemy's baggage would be a great 
matter, but take care of ambuscades, 

Yours sincerely 
Gen. A. Wayne 

Baker's Itinerary gives details of Washington's move- 
ments at this time 2 but makes no mention of Reading; 
this letter proves his presence there. 

Here its story ends for us. Upon the foundations of 
Colonial government and English traditions rises the 
changing order of a new nation, the home of all races, 
the land of the people's rule. Let it not be forgotten, now 
that Pennsylvania's iron wealth is one of the largest mate- 
rial assets of our great Republic, that Washington, when 
his faith in its future was most sorely tried, tarried awhile 
at Reading Furnace. 

Eliza B. Kirkbride. 

1 Ege Genealogy, p. 79. The original letter is in the Wayne Collection, 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

2 Itinerary of Gen. Washington, by Wm. S. Baker, p. 91. 




Sir William Keith, the last deputy governor of Penn- 
sylvania appointed by William Penn, was born in England 
in 1680 and died in that country in 1749. He was heir to 
an empty Scotch title, being descended through the re- 
nowned Keiths of Ludquahairn from many of the nobility 
of North Britain, his own family having been formerly rich 
and powerful, and at one time reckoned amongst the great- 
est in the Kingdom of Scotland. 

Sir William had been well educated by an uncle, and in- 
herited much of the ability and statesmanship characteristic 
of his race and name. 

He was early in life appointed by Queen Anne, Surveyor- 
general of the royal Customs in the American Colonies at a 
salary of 500 pounds per annum. He spent many of his 
days at this time in the colony of Virginia where the gen- 
erous mode of living of the wealthy planters, and the 
beauty of the Southern women were much to his taste. 

The accession of the Hanoverian line to the throne cast 
Keith out of office, and he came north to Philadelphia. 
Shortly after this, having obtained through the influence 
of his friends the appointment of deputy governor of 
Pennsylvania, he immediately brought his family from 
England, arriving in Philadelphia on the 3ist of May 

The governor's household consisted of his second wife, 
Lady Keith, her daughter by a former marriage, Anne 
Diggs, his three sons, Alexander Henry, Robert, and Wil- 
liam Keith and his young kinsman, a Scotch physician, 

Weather Vane from Residence of Sir William Keith, Graeme Park. 
Owned by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 


Thomas Graeme, who later married his stepdaughter, 
Anne Diggs. 

In 1719 Sir William Keith bought a large tract of 
twelve hundred acres of what was then wild land, nineteen 
miles from Philadelphia in Horsham township, Mont- 
gomery county, two miles northwest of the Doylestown and 
Willow Grove turnpikes, and in 1721 built a house sixty- 
five by twenty-five feet in size, two stories high with a 
gambrel roof, the walls of stone and over two feet in thick- 
ness, the kitchen and offices detached and flanking each 
side of the main building. The drawing room is a fine 
room for those times, twenty-one feet square, with a fire 
place having the coat of arms over it, and adorned with 
marbles brought from England. Dutch tiles, then much 
in fashion in the colonies, were used in the other rooms. 
The house is panelled throughout in oak, and has 
a good colonial stairway. It was probably finished in 
1722, this being confirmed by the old iron weather vane 
formerly upon it. This old vane was in 1855 in the pos- 
session of Hugh Foulke of Gwynedd, who is said to have 
purchased it from the Lukens estate in 1829 for old iron. 

" It was of wrought iron, thirty-eight inches in length. 
The part bearing *W. K. 1722' which was seventeen 
inches in length was cut out in it after the manner of a 
stencil. At the lower part was a screw with which it 
might be secured to its place." 

There is also an iron plate in a hearth in a second-story 
bedchamber bearing the date of 1728. On this estate Sir 
William Keith lived in great style with seventeen slaves, 
four horses for his coach, seven riding horses and nine for 
farm work. The grounds were mostly maintained as a 
hunting park and stocked with deer and other game. 

This mansion and grounds were later bought by Keith's 
son-in-law Thomas Graeme, and were known as " Graeme 


Park." The house is still standing though in very bad 
repair, and the grounds left to run wild. Sir William 
Keith's granddaughter, Mrs. Fergusson, inherited the 
estate, and it was finally sold to Samuel Penrose whose 
family still own it. 

Sir William Keith's administration as Governor of Penn- 
sylvania lasted from June 1717, to 1726. Probably about 
1724 he bought a tract of land in Delaware (then part of 
Pennsylvania) at Iron Hill on Christiana Creek, near 
Newcastle, where he built the first iron furnce and forge in 
Delaware. In 1717 he wrote to the Board of Trade in 
London that u he had found great plenty of iron ore in 

Emmanuel Swedenborg in his "DeFero" printed in 
1734, mentions smelting works on Christiana Creek built 
by Sir William Keith in the latter part of his administra- 
tion, which produced large quantities of iron in the first 
two years of their existence, but were abandoned the next 
year owing to the difficulty of smelting the ore. All traces 
of this forge and furnace seem to have disappeared, nor is 
there to be found any specimen of the work. 

Margaret C. Yarnall Cope. 




Along the banks of the Manatawny Creek, which rises 
in Rockland township, Berks county, and empties into the 
Schuylkill River at Pottstown, several furnaces were sit- 
uated, among them McCall's Forge or Glasgow Forge, by 
either of which names, according to Colonial records, the 
place seems to have been equally well known. The 
tract of land containing it was conveyed in trust by William 
Penn to his son John, October 25, 1701, and comprised all 
of the present township of Douglas and the upper half of 
Pottsgrove; and the whole of Pottstown to the Schuylkill, 
14,600 acres in all. This was sold by John Penn, June 
20, 1735, for the sum of two thousand guineas, $9>333 
to George McCall, the son of Samuel McCall of 
Glasgow, Scotland. 1 " Fully ten years before the date of 
this purchase, in company with Anthony Morris, 3rd, 
George McCall had erected an iron forge (called 
"McCall's Forge," on Scull's map of 1759) at Glasgow 
on Manatawny Creek, which he named for the place of 
his nativity. Some time after, he engaged Nicholas Scull 
to survey plantations on a certain part of his property for 
which he permitted his five sons to draw lots." 

He had also an interest in Colbrookdale Furnace, then 
managed by Thomas Potts, Jr., which supplied McCalPs 
Forge with pig iron. 2 Thomas Potts, Jr., was acting for 
Anthony Morris, who was a relative of his, and also for 
George McCall, in the management of McCalPs Forge. 

1 McCall Family, by Frank Willing Leach. 

2 History of Montgomery County, by W. J. Buck. 


A merchant of note and enterprise, McCall rapidly ac- 
quired a fortune. He had a store and wharf at Plum 
Street ; and was said to have invested largely in real estate. 
In 1722, he was elected a member of the City Council. He 
married Anne Yeates in 1716; was a vestryman of Christ 
Church, and in 1718, a tenant of the parsonage house, con- 
tributing largely to the rebuilding of the church. 1 He died 
in 1740, and by his will, dated September 21, 1739, be- 
queathed 500 acres of what, until 1753, was known as 
McCall's Manor, to his son, Alexander McCall, and which 
subsequently became known as the Forge Tract. Here 
the McCalls, Samuel, Archibald and Alexander, engaged 
extensively in manufacturing interests, and operated the 
old forge and a grist and saw mill. Samuel McCall, on 
September 8, 1752, sold the old forge property to Joseph 
and John Potts and James Hockley, and in 1789, it was 
sold at Sheriff's sale to David Rutter and Joseph Potts, Jr. 
Later in the same year Rutter sold his share to Samuel 
Potts, and it continued in the Potts family until 1832. 

In 1820, there were at the place a small sheet iron mill, 
two bloomeries, a grist mill, a saw mill, two mansion 
houses, ten log tenant houses, and two stone tenant houses, 
and at the present time work is carried on there by the 
Glasgow Iron Works and Rolling Mills. 

As the name Manatawny (meaning, "the place where 
we drink ") , indicates, there were a number of Indian tribes 
in the neighborhood, who viewed with dismay the large 
amount of wood used to make charcoal for the furnaces. 
To their far-sighted Chiefs, this wholesale destruction of 
woodland presented a melancholy picture and possibly con- 
tributed not a little to their disaffection. 

Probably the life at forge or furnace in those days dif- 
fered not materially from that of the sixties in the last cen- 

1 Descendants of Joran Kyn, by Gregory B. Keen, p. 7& 


tury, when the workmen lived scattered over several miles 
of country, and were wakened to come to work by one 
long blast of five minutes, blown at four o'clock in the 
morning. So much a subconscious part of the day's rou- 
tine had this whistle become, that the manager of one iron 
works was startled awake one morning by the fact that the 
whistle had not blown, and by inquiring the reason from 
the engineer later in the day, confirmed the impression that 
"it was no use trying to fool * Mister' even when he was 

Margaret Wister Meigs. 


Kurtz, possibly an Amish Mennonite, is supposed to 
have established iron works in Lancaster county in 1726. 
Egle says on Octorara Creek. These works are said by 
Day to have been the first in the county although Peter 
Grubb's were a close second. Information about this 
undertaking is not to be found in the usual records. 




In 1701 Welsh settlers coming to Delaware from the 
"Welsh Tract" in Pennsylvania, obtained from William 
Penn a grant of three thousand acres of land which was 
known as the "Welsh Tract." Most of this Welsh 
Tract, of the lower counties, is in Pencader Hundred. 

One of these settlers, James James by name, selected 
Iron Hill and the land northward to Christiana Creek, 
twelve hundred and twenty-four acres in all, and had deed 
for it from William Penn in 1703. 

Iron Hill is the most marked feature of the neighbour- 
hood, and is mentioned by name in a letter of May, 1661, 
in which Vice Director Hinijossa relates the killing there 
of four Englishmen by the Indians. 

Part of this land coming to Samuel James, son of James 
James, he built upon it a forge about 1723. His success, 
and the iron ore near by attracted the attention of some of 
the leading iron masters in Pennsylvania, eight of whom 
formed a company of which Thomas Rutter was one, and 
in 1726 erected on Christiana Creek a furnace and forge to 
be called "Abbington Iron Works." They, however, 
never made a success of it; Samuel James continued the 
works until 1735, when they were finally sold out by the 
sheriff. Since that time saw mills and grist mills were 
operated there until a fire in 1883 made an end of the 
whole plant. 

Curiously enough, (1913) the site of these old iron 
works, three miles from Newark, Delaware, has been 
bought by a Philadelphia capitalist, and is now in the hands 
of experts, German and American, who confidently expect 
to make these old pits profitable, in the production of 
platinum and gold. 

Margaret C. Yarnall Cope. 




From time immemorial, whenever a new country has 
been about to be settled, there has been included in its con- 
cessions, charter rights or other legal agreements, some 
mention, at least, of the mineral wealth which later occupa- 
tion of the territory might disclose. The " Conditions or 
Concessions " which accompanied William Penn's " Frame 
of Government," in the sixth clause, reads : " That notwith- 
standing there be no mention made in the several Deeds 
made to the purchasers, yet the said William Penn does 
accord and declare, that all Rivers, Rivulets, Woods, and 
Underwoods, Waters, Water-courses, Quarries, Mines, 
and Minerals (except Mines Royal) shall be freely and 
fully enjoyed and wholly, by the purchasers into whose lot 
they fall." 1 But however far-reaching their outlook, Wil- 
liam Penn and his associates little dreamed of the vast 
stores of wealth and energy locked up in the coal and iron 
mines of his beloved Pennsylvania. It is certain that the 
earliest settlers in the province, the Swedes, were in- 
formed of the existence of iron ore in several parts of the 
eastern division of Pennsylvania, but meagre resources did 
not permit of any development of mining, in the modern 

Of the three counties into which Pennsylvania was orig- 
inally divided, Bucks was the easternmost. The subdi- 
visions of this county into townships, left one of the small- 
est of these, known as Durham, in the extreme northeast- 
ern corner. Much earlier in date than its neighbor, 

1 Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, Vol. I, p. xix. 


Northampton, [Easton], which was not settled until 1752, 
there were white settlers in the township of Durham in 
1682. James Claypoole wrote on June 4th of that year: 
"We are to send one hundred men to Durham to build 
houses, to plant and improve land, and to set up a glass- 
house for bottles and drinking glasses, and we hope to have 
wine and oil for merchandise, and hemp for cordage, and 
iron and lead and other minerals." 1 A beautiful stream, 
known as Durham Creek, enters the Delaware in the ex- 
treme northern portion of the county, and about a mile 
and a half from its mouth are the remains of a curious cave, 
which is the earliest relic of the white man's effort to heat 
and mould iron near the spot. This great natural cavern 
was regarded as a wonder, and visited by every newcomer 
or prospective settler, and famed afar, before it was blasted 
and its beauty ruined in order to quarry its limestone. 
The frequent Indian village sites in the township furnish to 
the antiquarian many fine specimens of pipes, pottery and 
stone, important for the use of the student. 

It is interesting to note that William Penn became an 
owner of land in New Jersey, Andover Township, in what 
is now Sussex County, by a warrant from the Council of 
Proprietors dated March 10, 1714. Later on, about 1760, 
this region, containing one of the richest mines of iron ore 
in New Jersey, was opened up and a furnace set in opera- 
tion. The product of these Andover Iron Works was 
carried upon pack-horses and carts down the valley of the 
Musconetcong to Durham on the Delaware, and thence 
transported on "Durham Boats" to Philadelphia. 

In the year 1717 (September 8th), a portion of Dur- 
ham township was patented to Jeremiah Langhorne, and 
John Chapman. Another, of twelve hundred acres, was 
deeded to Langhorne alone, but the larger part, by warrant 

1 Penn-Logan Correspondence, II, p. 323. 


and survey, became the property of James Logan. A 
famous Indian Treaty was begun at Durham in 1734, ad- 
journed to Pennsbury, and finally concluded in Philadel- 
phia, August 25, 1737. The infamous "Walking Pur- 
chase " was completed through this section, September 2Oth 
of this year. 

The iron ore in the neighborhood drew the attention of 
the settlers, and in 1726 a company was formed to erect a 
blast furnace, manufacture pig-iron, cast pots and pans, 
and make firebacks. The furnace was located at the vil- 
lage of Durham, near a school and church, and was prob- 
ably the second erected in Pennsylvania. James Logan 
in 1728 wrote to William Penn, "There are four furnaces 
in blast in this colony." One of these we know to have 
been Colebrookdale ; it is probable that the others, besides 
Durham, were located on French and Christiana Creeks. 

Among the fourteen original owners, James Logan is 
said to have held one fourth part. Jeremiah Langhorne 
of " Trevose," Bensalem Township, " Gentleman," was 
another large owner, and others were Anthony Morris, 
brewer, Chief Justice William Allen, from whom Allen- 
town takes its name, Joseph Turner, Robert Ellis, George 
Fitzwater, Clement Plumsted, John Hopkins, and Charles 
Read, father-in-law of James Logan, all described as 
"merchants." To these were joined Andrew Bradford, 
the famous Colonial printer, and Thomas Lindley, " an- 
chorsmith." Griffith Owen and Samuel Powel were 

A visitor to the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 
1876 might have seen among the curiosities connected with 
the manufacture of iron and the industries, an old stone of 
peculiar shape bearing the date 1727. This was the key- 
stone of Durham Furnace, of honorable history. Opera- 
tions were begun at the new furnace in the autumn of 


1727, and in November of the following year James 
Logan shipped three tons of pig-iron made at Durham to 
England. The furnace is described 1 as built of stone, 
thirty five to forty feet square, widest at bottom, and thirty 
feet high. The large leather bellows used to increase the 
blast was operated by a water-wheel turned by the creek. 
The iron was dug close by the furnace, and the charcoal 
fuel used in the process was made in pits, which being lo- 
cated close at hand, filled the air with a disagreeable odor 
from the wigwam-like structures which covered them, and 
in which the wood for the charcoal was burned. From the 
top of the furnace, into which were poured the ore, char- 
coal and limestone, issued at intervals bright flames which 
lighted up the picturesque surroundings when the blast was 
forced, and illumined the dark forest and its darker negro 
and Indian inhabitants, as the twilight shadows fell. The 
intermittent character of the work permitted the farmhands, 
who were negro slaves during most of the colonial period, 
to pursue their work on the farm near by in the interval 
of filling and drawing off the ore. When the iron was 
ready to be tapped, a horn was blown and the slaves 
presented themselves. The foreman or founder, with an 
iron pole or bar, opened or " tapped the bottom of the fur- 
nace, allowing the molten iron to run into the moulds of 
sand below. Durham turned out about two tons of iron 
in the day of twenty-four hours. Two tons of iron ore 
yielded one ton of pig-iron." Acrelius, writing in 1758 
says, " Durham may be regarded as the best ironworks in 
the country. It has a rich supply of ore, water, sand and 
limestone. The ore is so near the furnace and the furnace 
so near the forges, that there is not three quarters of a mile 
of hauling about the works. The forges are little more 
than a mile to the station on the Delaware River, whence 
the iron is conveyed by water to Philadelphia." 

*V. Von A. Cabeen, The Colonel and the Quaker, p. 81. 


Dr. John W. Jordan furnishes an interesting item, show- 
ing the varied existence of one of the Durham slaves called 
Joseph, or " Boston." Born in Africa in 1715, at the age 
of twelve he was taken with a cargo of slaves to Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, where he was sold to a sea captain, 
who took him to England in 1727. In 1732 he was sold 
to the Island of Montserrat, and thence with a new master 
was brought to Durham Furnace, with ten other slaves. 
In 1747 he was living in the household of Squire Nathaniel 
Irish, and while there was married to "Hannah," but his 
master hired him to a furnace in New Jersey. In 1752 he 
was baptized by the Moravians at Bethlehem, and his 
owner, John Hackett, of the Union Iron Works, Hunter- 
don County, New Jersey, in 1760 sold him for fifty pounds 
to the Moravians. He died on September 29, 1781. 
"Hannah" was born July n, 1722, at Esopus, New 
York, and in 1748, with her son, was sold to the Morav- 
ians for seventy pounds. She died November 24, 1815. 

In locating their furnaces through the wilderness, as was 
necessary in order to procure fuel supplies, these pioneer 
iron-masters were obliged to reckon with the Indians, who 
were becoming increasingly dangerous upon the frontier. 
Nevertheless, the peaceable Quaker tactics pursued by the 
furnace owners appear to have succeeded in gaining for 
them general immunity from disturbance. There was a 
good deal of traffic with the Moravians near the middle 
of the century. One Durham memorandum reads 

May 28, 1745. 
The Moravian Company, 

Dr. To Robert Ellis & Co. 
For i ton 15 Ibs. Bar Iron 30 4" 

There is reason to suppose that as early as 1734 there 


were two furnaces here, 1 but the fact that Durham was 
owned by a large company may partially at least account 
for its neighborhood being very sparsely settled before the 
period of the Revolution. There was local government, 
and the furnace formed not only the industrial but the 
financial and social centre, around which all the interests of 
the community, simple and primitive to a degree, revolved. 
Accounts were kept here, as in all the iron manufactories in 
the colony, with every purchaser, and the transactions were 
in kind. Trade was in every possible commodity, from 
tobacco, bonnets, shoes and tea, to oxen and hides, wood 
and lumber. The remarkable collection of ledgers and 
account books of the old Pennsylvania furnaces, owned 
by ex-Governor Pennypacker, shows an almost patriarchal 
system of life going on in the country regions about these 
great iron centres, each a complete community within itself, 
supplying all the actual necessities of life, and for those 
days, even some of the luxuries, if among these we include 
molasses, rum, and tobacco! The private account books 
of Richard Backhouse, who bought Durham Furnace when 
it was confiscated during the Revolution, are among the 
oldest original records connected with Durham, and were 
given to ex-Governor Pennypacker in 1862 by his grand- 
father, one of the owners. They begin with the accounts 
of a village store keeper in Anne Arundel County, Mary- 
land, and name payments for " Rumm, striped linen, osna- 
briggs, flannel, and a Boyes Hatt," the latter probably of 
beaver, at " Three and six." Osnabrigg was a heavy home- 
spun linen, named from the German town whence it came, 
and largely used for shirts in the Colonial period. 

Firebacks and stove plates were made at Durham from 
its first year, 1727, until 1794, when operations were sus- 

*J. M. Swank, Iron Making in Pennsylvania, p. 17. Scull's Map of 
Pennsylvania for 1759 shows an old and a new furnace at Durham, as well 
as a forge a second forge was built before 1770. 

'>' t 4 

Fireback at Stenton, the residence of James Logan. Made at 
Durham Furnace. 


pended. A fine example of a Durham fireback is at Swift- 
water Inn, near Pocono, in Monroe County. The earliest 
examples, however, of Durham firebacks are undoubt- 
edly those at Stenton, the home of James Logan near 
Philadelphia. Here may be seen today eight of these 
early backs. Three of them bear date 1728, at which time 
James Logan was owner of one fourth part of Durham 
Furnace; this was also the year in which was made the 
first foreign export. On one of the backs are the initials 
"I L." Stenton was built in this year and there is no 
reasonable doubt that the backs are genuine Durham pro- 
ductions. In order, however, to render assurance doubly 
sure, the committee were gratified to be able to refer the 
question to an expert. Mr. B. F. Fackenthal of Riegels- 
ville, 1 for years a student of the history of the iron indus- 
try, and a scientific chemist in this department of the arts, 
kindly examined into the matter for us, and we are glad to 
be able to quote his authority. Borings were carefully 
made by him September 12, 1912, and the chemical analy- 
sis that followed proved clearly that the iron from which 
the interesting old backs were made, was of the same com- 
position as that produced at Durham. 

The decorative stove plates of a rather later date are 
even more attractive to the antiquarian than the firebacks. 
Many of these have inscriptions in German, and some 
light is cast upon this feature when we recall that the Deed 
of Partition for the Durham tract was drawn in 1773 ; that 
administration as a township began in Durham June 13, 
1775 ; and that after one thousand acres were reserved for 
the purpose of the furnace and iron manufacture, the re- 
maining portion of the tract was largely settled by Ger- 
mans. Many of the inscriptions on these old stoves run 

1 Mr. Fackenthal was until recently president of the Thomas Iron Com- 
pany, of Easton, Pennsylvania. 


around all the sides, and are in German. One, for in- 
stance, known as the "Adam and Eve," reads, "Die 
Schlang Adam und Efa Betrug." (The snake betrayed 
Adam and Eve). Another is the "Cain and Abel"; 
" Cain Seinen Bruter Awel tot Schlug." (Cain killed his 
brother Abel) . Both of these date from 1741, the earliest 
preserved, and show the Durham analysis. Some of the 
plates bear towering grenadiers, and refer to the Hessians 
who frequently settled in this country, many of whom never 
returned to their native land. An interesting journal of 
this period is the "Travels Through Berks County in 
1783," by Dr. John D. Schoepf, Surgeon of German 
Auxiliary Troops in the Service of England. 1 

Travelers on the way from distant points often made 
detours to see the wonders of the furnace, even at some 
expense of time and trouble, for colonial roads were bad 
indeed. Thus Elizabeth Drinker, whose Diary is a mine 
of information as to the mode of life at this period, men- 
tions a visit to Durham. Her distances are not accurate, 
but the trip was by chaise to Brunswick, New Jersey, with 
digressions for visits. She writes under date 

"September 3, 1764. 

^ " Left home after dinner, R. Booth on Horseback, and 
his man Robert, H. Drinker and Elizabeth" (herself and 
husband) "in chaise: Drank tea at Red Lion, 13 miles 
from Philadelphia, lodged at Alex. Brown's 13 miles from 
town: good accommodations. Breakfasted there y e 4th: 
then went to James Morgan's at Durham Iron Works, 48 
or 50 miles from home. Roads very bad: stayed there to 
dinner : walked to the furnace, where we saw them at work 
casting iron bars, &c." 

The pig-iron and other products of Durham furnace 
must, when completed, be transported to Philadelphia, as 
the nearest distributing centre. The broad Delaware 

1 Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. V, p. 74. 


|^ " ^y^- > 


%lM%& &3&.M 

.''tefcZ'Si .-, ... t il V: -**# 

7 ** f|, . .<- ' /r i '***'! '= 1 - I f *' **i * 

Hi , ijy 

:; - : " ! 1 ^*^**> 

Cain and Abel. Durham Fvirnace. Owned by Pennsylvania Museum 
in Memorial Hall. 

Stoveplate, Durham Furnace. Owned by Mr. H. C. Mercer. 


offered of course the only means of transportation, but 
there lay between the tidal river, which begins below 
Trenton, and the reaches of the upper Delaware, at " The 
Forks" (the early name for the point where the Lehigh 
enters the Delaware, at what is now Easton), a succes- 
sion of rapids and falls dangerous in the extreme for 
the ordinary boats for burden-carrying, then known to the 
Englishman. Wells Falls, Foul Rift and Rocky Falls, 
still bear their ancient reputation for the modern canoeist. 
An old map published in London, in 1648, calls the Falls 
at Trenton "The Falls of Charles River," by which name 
the early navigators knew the Delaware. These later be- 
came the " Falls of Delaware." Fallsington still lingers in 
memory of this. The rocky channel, in a distance of 
thirty-five hundred feet, has a fall of ten feet. No ordi- 
nary craft could carry a load through this rapid. 

In the solution of the problem Indian woodcraft, as 
often before, was applied, and the graceful canoe of the 
aborigines became the model for what is still known as the 
" Durham boat." Abraham Haupt, a German blacksmith 
whose shop stood near the original furnace, some distance 
back from the river, gives the earliest information regard- 
ing these interesting boats. It was in Haupt's shop that 
the date-stone referred to was found, used by his men for 
cracking nuts, which accounts for the depression plainly 
shown in the photograph! Haupt asserted that the first 
Durham boat was built near the mouth of the cave by 
Robert Durham, engineer and manager of the furnace, 
after the model of an Indian canoe, and that the works 
were probably named after the builder of the boat. The 
boats were in use within ten years after the first shipment 
was made, and the Durhams were settled in Bucks County 
as early as 1723. These boats were used on the Delaware, 
and also on the Susquehanna, for more than a century, for 
every purpose of freight and produce-carrying. The raft 


and the coal "ark" could make the descent of the river, 
under skilled guidance, but they were unable to perform 
the return journey, and were themselves sold as a part of 
the cargo upon arrival at their destination. Only the 
staunch and sharp Durham craft could be forced up against 
the swift and dangerous current. 1 The shape of the Dur- 
ham boat was very long in proportion to its width, its sides 
being nearly vertical, a slight curvature only meeting a 
similar curve at the bottom, which was quite flat. Fore 
and aft, the sides were straight and parallel, curving in to 
meet the stem and stern posts at about fourteen feet from 
the end, at which point the boat was decked over, the 
middle of the boat being open. The usual length was 
sixty feet, width eight feet, with a depth from top of gun- 
wale to the twelve inch keel-plank of forty two inches, 
with the additional height of some ten inches at the ends. 
These flat boats, with no loss of space, usually carried from 
fifteen to twenty tons down the river. The return journey, 
with the load consisting of products for home consumption 
and Indian trade or barter, was reduced to about two tons, 
from the necessity to maintain the readiest response to 
guidance possible. 

Coming down stream, the boat floated with the current, 
aided if necessary, by a pair of eighteen-foot oars. Mov- 
ing up-stream, the boat was propelled by "setting poles," 
twelve or thirteen feet long, and shod with iron. On the 
thwarts was laid on each side a plank twelve inches wide. 
Along these walking-boards two members of the usual 
crew of three, starting at the forward end, with poles on 
the river bottom, the tops set against their shoulders, 
walked to the stern, pushing the boat forward, and rapidly 
returning to repeat the process. The captain steered, using 
an oar on a pivot to hold the boat from going back with 

1 We are indebted for the description of the Durham Boats to Navi- 
gation on the Upper Delaware, by J. A. Anderson. 


the current, or when necessary, pushing it forward by 
"setting" with a pole in the short distance which the 
length of the stern deck permitted. The steering oar was 
thirty three feet long, with a blade twelve inches in width. 
In addition to this equipment, each boat carried a mast 
with two sails, and with a fair wind could outsail all other 
craft on the river. The lack of a center-board, as well as 
the great proportionate length, prevented sailing to wind- 
ward, but with two men to steer, it was possible to sail up 
the rapids with a fair wind. 

The Durham boat was generally painted black, prob- 
ably with due regard to the effect of its usual inky cargo on 
any other color ! The boat-horn was a prominent feature 
of the equipment. Accommodations for the crew were of 
the most primitive character, and the furniture carried of the 
simplest. A large iron pot, with a side hole near the 
bottom for draught, served as a cook-stove, with pieces of 
flat iron to hold the pan. There was a coffee pot, a water 
bucket, and for each man a tin cup, plate, knife, and pos- 
sibly a fork, with the unfailing gallon jug of whiskey for 
all. An old boatman has stated that drinks were only 
taken at certain places on the river. The men slept on 
" barn feathers " or straw, in the forward end under the 
deck, dignified by the name of " cabin." 

The men who formed the crews of these romantic boats 
were a hardy lot. Their labor was severe at times, but they 
toiled through the livelong day with the poles at their mus- 
cular shoulders, forcing their way against a rapid current 
at the rate of from one to two miles an hour. The boats 
drew but twenty inches of water when loaded with fifteen 
tons of iron, and in appearance were not unlike the keel 
boats of the western rivers. Jest and song beguiled the 
weary hours of the long journey, and it was usual for sev- 
eral of the boats to go in company, sometimes as many as 
twenty-five at once dotting the sweeps of the river under 


sail in a fair breeze, when the effect was extremely pictur- 
esque. The Durham boat moved so easily through the 
water that she left the run aft in passing almost as still 
as she found it. Clawson's Tavern, on Water Street 
above Vine, was the popular resort of the Durham boat- 
men, 1 who made fast their craft below this point, and spent 
here the interval before their return. 

The Durham boat figures in an important incident of the 
Revolution, and was evidently known favorably to General 
Washington who, when preparing to abandon the line on 
the Hudson, and make his way across the Jerseys, wrote 
from New Brunswick ordering boats to be collected for the 
expected crossing at Trenton. Trevelyan states 2 that he 
made a point of securing the Durham boats, and his order 
mentions the fact that one of these could carry a regiment 
a pitiful intimation of the depleted state of the American 
army. These boats were again brought into requisition at 
McKonkey's Ferry for the attack upon Trenton, and about 
forty were on the Delaware at the time. The form of the 
boat as shown on the Trenton Battle Monument is more 
nearly that of the Durham boat than those drawn in E. 
Leutz's picture of the crossing. 3 Besides being active 
and hardy to an unusual degree, these boatmen were fear- 
less, sportive and trustworthy. One authority states that 
their faithfulness became a proverb, and that their stern 
honesty was such that no single instance of defalcation is 
known in the heavy remittances which they carried. 4 

During the War of the Revolution, shot and shell were 
made at Durham in large quantities. 5 In the year 1789 
twelve slaves escaped from Durham Furnace to the Brit- 

1 A. Ritter, Philadelphia and her Merchants. 

2 G. M. Trevelyan, History of the American Revolution, II, p. 21. 
Washington to Col. Hampton, 1776. 

8 J. A. Anderson, Navigation of the Upper Delaware. 

* J. A. Anderson, Ibid. 

5 Ringwalt, Transportation Systems in the United States. 

Durham Boats. Continental Army crossing the Delaware. Bronze Relief 
by Thomas Eakins. Trenton Battle Monument. 

Stoveplate door, Durham Furnace. Owned by Mrs. Arthur Maginnis. 



ish lines. 1 During this year, over two tons of shot and 
shell shipped to the Continental army in November alone 
were valued at 25 per ton, and the total for the year was 
1,076, is. 2.i/2d. Three and nine pound shot were cast, 
and some double-headed. The shell weighed from twenty 
to sixty or more pounds each. A quantity of these were 
left until so late as 1806, piled against the old furnace 
walls. Specimens of them may be seen in the Bucks 
County Historical Society's collection at Doylestown, 

The partnership of 1726, with which our history began, 
and of which on March 4, 1727, Griffith Owen and Samuel 
Powel became trustees, was to continue, according to the 
agreement, for fifty one years. Before that period of time 
had expired, the property had been freed of the trust, and 
none of the original owners remained, having been re- 
moved by death, failure, or the sale of their interests. An 
amicable Deed of Partition was therefore executed, Decem- 
ber 14, 1773, and the property, which had been added to, 
then comprised over eight thousand acres, including the 
entire township of Durham and one tier of farms in North- 
ampton County. Included in the tract which thus fell to 
Joseph Galloway and his wife Grace, the daughter of 
Lawrence Growden, were the eight hundred and eighty 
nine acres and forty eight perches which practically consti- 
tute the Durham furnace of today. Joseph Galloway thus 
became the first individual owner of the furnace. 

At this period, for five years, the furnace was leased to 
George Taylor, for two hundred and fifty pounds per 
annum. Taylor was born in Ireland, came to Pennsyl- 
vania as a " Redemptioner," and at one time was a " filler" 
at Durham furnace, which he finally leased and conducted 
alone. At the summit of his career, he had the honor of 
signing his name to the Declaration of Independence. 

1 Pearce, Annals of Luzerne. 


While lessee of Durham, he cast stoves bearing the in- 
scription "Durham Furnace, 1774." A plate of one of 
these stoves, thus inscribed, is fastened against one of the 
walls of the Post Office at Easton. George Taylor died hi 

The disturbances of the Revolution rendered business 
very uncertain. Upon the charge of treason against Gal- 
loway, who allied himself with the British, his property 
was confiscated and sold by the Commissioner of Forfeited 
Estates and confirmed by the Council, to Richard Back- 
house, September 14, 1779, for the sum of i2,8oo. 1 The 
latter appears for some time previous to have had an offi- 
cial connection with the works, and was a Justice of the 
Peace. His account books have been quoted. 

The period of the Revolution finds several well known 
names in the history of the country directly connected with 
this old furnace. There is a long list of the forges which 
Durham supplied with pig-iron for manufacturing pur- 
poses. Besides George Taylor, the name of George Ross, 
another signer, meets us at Bloomsbury Forge, New Jersey, 
near by, where much material was sent ; Ross was a prom- 
inent owner. James Morgan, of an old Welsh family of 
the name, " Iron master," was an owner of Durham before 
the partition. His home was near the banks of Durham 
Creek, not more than three quarters of a mile from the 
works, where he would appear to have been actively em- 
ployed. Here his son Daniel was born in 1736, destined 
to become one of the distinguished generals of the Revolu- 
tion. As a boy, Daniel assisted his father at the furnace, 
and tradition even makes him a charcoal-burner. When 
the war broke out, Daniel enlisted and his later career 
is matter of history. It is interesting to note that the 
General's father, James Morgan (who may or may 
not have held an interest in Valley Forge as well), in 
1762, which is remarked as a year of unusual building 

1 Colonial Records, Vol. XII, p. 104. 


activity in the Colonial period, built a beautifully simple, 
but plain and substantial house for himself at Lower Prov- 
idence, Montgomery County, in that neighborhood, which 
he called " Mill Grove." The date-stone in the gable re- 
mains, and the house is the shrine to which pilgrims come 
to revere the memory of a later distinguished resident, 
John James La Forest Audubon, the great ornithologist. 1 

At one period after the death of James Logan, the 
works were operated under the name of William Logan 
and Company. Part owners at times more or less briefly, 
are Richard Peters, Edward Shippen, Israel Pemberton, 
and Hon. James Hamilton, who for a time held an interest 
when Lieutenant Governor, in 1749. Lawrence Growden 
was a prominent owner; his daughter, Mrs. Joseph Gal- 
loway, died in 1782. Her trustees in 1803 succeeded in a 
suit against the heirs of Richard Backhouse (died 1793), 
who were dispossessed because of proof that Joseph Gal- 
loway, who devised his property to his daughter E. Roberts 
of London, held the property only in right of his wife, 
Grace Growden. An Act of Legislature in 1808 appropri- 
ated $415 to reimburse Mary, widow of R. Backhouse, to 
compensate her for cost of defending herself in the pro- 

Durham remained in active operation, with occasional 
periods of suspension during the hard times of the war and 
after, until 1794, when it finally "blew out." In 1829 
the old furnace was demolished to make room for a grist 
mill. Just before the Civil War two new furnaces were 
built, using anthracite coal, and these in turn made way 
for a large new furnace in 1874. 

Amelia Mott Gummere. 

1 Thomas, brother of James Morgan, at one time kept an inn here. In 
1771, the property was sold to Rowland Evans. It was bought in 1776 by 
John Penn, and after several transfers, was in 1789 sold by Augustine 
Prevost to John Audubon, the Admiral, and father of the famous orni- 
thologist. (See Eberlein and Lippincott, "Colonial Homes of Philadelphia 
and its Neighborhood," p. 1991.) 




Though this forge was of undoubted importance among 
the primitive iron works, we do not find much data relating 
to it in the early records we have been able to consult. 
The date of its construction seems to have been 1729, 
and on a map dated 1792 and dedicated to Thomas 
Mifflin, Governor* Spring Forge is indicated on the Mana- 
tawny Creek, just on the dividing line of Amity and Dis- 
trict townships. 

It seems to have been the personal financial venture of 
Anthony Morris of Philadelphia, but there is no indication 
that he specially managed the works in the capacity of 
director or iron-master. His interest in the development 
of the iron industry was so keen, and his help of such im- 
portance that it may be well to sketch briefly the life of this 
typical colonial citizen. 

Anthony Morris, 3rd, the son of Anthony Morris, 2nd, 
and Mary Jones his wife, was born in London, March 16, 
1 68 1, and brought by his parents to America when he 
was about ten months old. He was destined to be an 
important member of the infant colony. His youthful 
education was probably under the guidance of Enoch 
Flower, master of a public school which the early Friends 
had founded. 

In the simple annals of the day we are told that he was 
at the age of fourteen apprenticed for a period of seven 
years to learn the " art and mistery of brewing." In the 
indenture, still extant, he promises his master and mistress 
that " he will well and faithfully serve them, their secrets 


he shall keep, their commands lawful and honest every 
word he shall obey, their hurt or damage he shall not con- 
trive or do, nor suffer to be done ; and the said master and 
mistress, beside teaching all the mistery and art of brew- 
ing, promise that he shall be allowed sufficient meat, drink, 
washing, lodging, and mending of his linen and woolen 
cloathes, and that they shall not put him to drive the dray 
or cart, carrying of casks, grinding at the hand-mill, or 
such like slavish work not fit for an apprentice of his 

Young Anthony "served his time" to such good pur- 
pose that at the age of twenty-five he became part owner 
of the " brew-house and utensils" of his father, building 
up a business which has since been carried on by the lineal 
descendants of these pioneer brewers. 

At twenty-three he married Phoebe Guest, whose parents 
were among the settlers who lived for a time in caves in 
the bank of the Delaware until they could build houses to 
dwell in. 

Before he was thirty he was elected to the common coun- 
cil of the infant city, an office of much greater dignity than 
now, the tenure of which was for life. His biographer says 
of him, " he was a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, 
and estimation and filled many offices with credit." He 
represented his city in the Provincial Assembly, was Asso- 
ciate Justice of the local court and was one of the com- 
mittee who drew up an address to Governor Gordon on 
his arrival in Philadelphia. 

At the age of forty, then, Anthony Morris might have 
been described as a "man of parts." With a goodly for r 
tune acquired in the brewing house, a broad outlook as a 
foremost citizen and enterprising business man, no doubt 
he had a keen eye to the possibility of developing large 


fortunes through the rich natural resources of this favored 

We can fancy with what interest he followed the venture 
of Thomas Rutter and Thomas Potts when they opened 
up the iron mines in the trackless forest which bordered 
the Schuylkill and its tributaries, and we are not surprised 
to find him furnishing the capital which should give their 
enterprise success. He was part owner of Colebrookdale 
Furnace in Berks county, one of the fourteen founders of 
Durham Furnace, Bucks county, also a shareholder in 
Pool and other forges. 

No family is more closely connected with the early his- 
tory of Pennsylvania than that of Morris, and none has 
been more valued for its business ability and its sturdy and 
loyal citizenship. It is said that the Anthony Morris now 
living is the eighteenth of the name. 

Mary E. Mumford. 

Fireback, 1734. Found in West Chester by Dr. Wm. T. Sharpless. 
Design somewhat similar to that of fireback in residence of Mr. Joseph Ury 
Crawford, Ury, Foxchase. 




One of the most interesting firebacks in Pennsylvania is 
in the ancient fireplace of the entrance hall at Harriton. 
Bryn Mawr. The house was built in 1704 by Rowland 
Ellis, one of the settlers of the Welsh Tract, and has 
since fortunately undergone very little alteration. In 1719 
Richard Harrison, son-in-law of Isaac Norris, came from 
Maryland and bought the estate. Upon the marriage of 
Hannah Harrison, his daughter, to Charles Thomson, the 
distinguished Secretary of the Continental Congress, the 
latter, in 1774, became master of Harriton, which has 
since remained in the possession of his wife's relatives, in 
the Morris line. 

The fireback bears the date MDCCXXVI, with a very 
interesting design somewhat resembling a true lover's knot 
at the side. There is as yet uncertainty as to its origin. 
If it was brought from Maryland, it probably came with 
Richard Harrison, fifteen years after the house was built. 
Its rough form would indicate an early experiment in the 
moulding. Several of the owners of the furnace at Dur- 
ham were relatives or intimate friends of the Harrisons, 
and it is possibly one of the first made at that place. It is, 
at all events, noteworthy, as among the most curious speci- 
mens which have so far been found in Pennsylvania. 

Another fireback bearing date 1734, was brought to our 
notice by Dr. William T. Sharpless, of West Chester. It 
resembles in shape and general decoration, the Durham 
fireback, of 1728, at Stenton. We cannot, however, say 
that it was made at Durham furnace. 





While the exact date of the construction of Pine Forge 
is not known, it was, no doubt, among the earliest of those 
erected in the Manatawny district. The tradition per- 
sists in the Rutter family that here the pioneer iron-master 
Thomas Rutter made himself a home and laid out an 
estate. The original patent of W m- Penn conveying these 
lands to Thomas Rutter is preserved among the archives 
of the family. The present owner of the property says: 
" It is supposed that Thomas Rutter (I st ) must have come 
from Warwickshire, England, as the many old homes on 
the estate were named for Warwickshire places, as War- 
wick, Stowe, Coventry, Stratford, and Colebrookdale. 
Also that he chose this grant of land because of its resem- 
blance to the Warwickshire district, a similarity often 
noticed by our friends. Another tradition we cherish is 
that he crossed the ocean on the good ship ' Amity ' and 
named the pretty little village nearest us ' Amityville.' ' 
Thomas Potts, who was associated with Rutter in the iron 
industry, had an interest in the Forge, and carried on the 
business, while his son John in his will, 1767, gives the 
following description of the acres accumulated under his 

" Item: whereas I stand seized in fee simple of a forge 
in the County of Berks by the name of Pine Forge, with the 
following tract of land thereunto belonging; viz. 300 acres 
which I purchased from Mary Rees, 150 acres which I 
bought from Seeny Savage, 200 acres which I bought from 
John Jones, 150 which I bought from Marcus Rulings Jr. 

The stream at Pine Forge, named by the Indians " Manatawny," the 
place where we drink. 

Mansion, Pine Forge. 


125 acres which I bought from the Trustees of the Loan 
Office, and 100 acres whereon the said house now stands, 
containing in the whole 1280 acres of land." 

If he had an idea of establishing a great barony after 
the custom of his English forbears his plan was not real- 
ized, for after his death the lands were divided and sold in 
.separate lots. The Forge with three hundred and fifty 
acres surrounding it was bought by David Potts for the 
sum of two thousand pounds. In the previous year he had 
married his cousin Anna, daughter of John, and the newly 
wedded pair settled at Pine and lived there until they died. 
Their heirs were two daughters, and the property was 
again sold, August, 1783, this time to David Rutter, the 
great-grandson of both Thomas Rutter and Thomas Potts. 
He married about this time his cousin, a daughter of John 
Potts the royalist. David repaired and partially rebuilt 
the house, and carried on the works until his death in 1815. 
It is a singular fact that in this country where no entail 
exists, the old demesne at Pine (with the exception of 
about sixty years, 1844 to 1907, when it was in possession 
of the Bailey family) , has been owned and occupied by the 
descendants of the original purchaser. Constant inter- 
marriage of the families has brought this about, the latest 
occurring in 1913, when the son of the present owner mar- 
ried a direct descendant of Margaret Rutter, who was 
born at Pine, October 15, 1790, one hundred and twenty- 
three years ago. 

There is every evidence that the group of early forges 
and furnaces including Pine, Pool, Colebrookdale, War- 
wick had a general interchange in their business affairs. 
Their old day-books and ledgers in the possession of ex- 
Governor Pennypacker, at Schwenksville, Pa., show that 
the owners of these plants were almost identical. 

In one of the Pine ledgers we find a statement of the 


output of Pool Forge from May to November, 1734, to 
be one hundred and twenty tons of bar iron distributed 
among the following men: Capt. Atwood, Alex Wood- 
ropp, George Mifling, Thomas Yorke, Anthony Morris, 
Nathaniel French, John Leacock; while the owners of Pine 
Forge about the same date are Thomas Potts, Geo. Boone, 
John Leacock, George Mifflin, Alex Woodropp, Edward 
Farmer, W m- Atwood, Morris Morris. 

W m - Bird at this time, 1733, was cutting wood for the 
use of Pine Forge at two shillings ninepence a day. Ten 
years later, 1743, we find him renting one eighth of Pine 
Forge at forty pounds per annum the modest beginnings 
of one who later became an important factor in the iron 

Thomas Yorke, after a few active years in the forge 
country, settled in Germantown where he became a sort of 
factor or agent for the iron interests. In an entry in his 
day book, February 7, 1748, he speaks of his one third 
interest in Pool Forge as yielding 6 2 %oo tons of " Barr 
Iron," and his yield from % of Pine Forge as 6 tons. 

His business transactions for the Pine Forge Colony, 
aside from his iron commissions, cover a wide field of 
domestic needs. Under date of January 3, 1 75 2, he charges 
the estate of Thomas Potts with : 

Shillings. pence. 

3 yds Muzling 8 4 

1 2 Ibs muscovado sugar 8 6 

i . Ib Bohea tea 7 

Ditto for Edward West 7 

J4 Ib cinnamon . 6. 8 

i oz cloves 2. 6 

i pair of gloves 2. 6 

i oz of mace 3. 6 

Coffin handle & Screws. 4 .5 

Sent per Tommy West for ye funeral. " 

Meadows of the Manatawny, Pine Forge. 

Oldest building at Pine Forge, showing gong. 


He also charges shoes and gloves and other articles 
bought for "Miss Fanny" and her bills for board in 
Germantown are also paid by him. In May, 1753, he 
notes " paid for a Quarters' Schooling of your sons Samuel 
and Johnny at G. Academy 2. is." 

The management of the old forges was patriarchal in its 
character. The Grist mill, saw mill, and village store were 
all under the control of the Company. One could recon- 
struct the domestic life of the colonial period from the old 
accounts preserved in day book and ledger. One learns the 
cost of foods and fabrics, and notes the frequent use of 
strong drinks, especially of rum. One finds what wages 
were earned, and what was spent for daily needs down 
to the item of " a bleeding one shilling." The region of 
the old Pine Forge is teeming with the human interests of 
an earlier day. 

Mary E. Mumford. 




This forge, on Perkiomen Creek, twenty miles north of 
Norristown, was built in 1733 by Thomas Maybury, 
" The foliage covering the rocky hills north and west of 
Perkiomen Creek, and the narrow crooked lane that led 
from the highway around the base of the hills," to the 
forge, are responsible for the attractive name. 

The earliest settler in Marlborough township was 
Thomas Maybury, who bought in 1730 a tract of 
land, twelve hundred and forty acres, on which he erected 
this forge, which before 1747 was supplied with pig iron 
from Durham furnace. He married a descendant of the 
first Thomas Rutter. 

Green Lane Forge was owned by Rev. George Michael 
Weiss before 1763. The workmen here, at one time, 
were chiefly negro slaves. "For many years the best 
blooms in the market were produced here. In those days 
the country blacksmith purchased his bar iron at the forge, 
and converted it into the hardware used in building houses, 
from the wrought nails in the floors, to the hinges, and 
latches of the doors. Iron was a commodity that eighty 
years ago was fashioned into a thousand forms by the vil- 
lage smith ; forms which are now produced by the foundry, 
and sold at the village store." The transition has changed 
the face of affairs at this village. The forge has long 
since gone into decay; "the old water wheel, the huge 
bellows, the ore crushers, the cone-like charcoal kilns, the 
famous weekly teamsters who made their trips to town and 
back ; the huntsman and his hounds ; these are all gone ; 
and Green Lane is an ordinary railroad village." 1 

1 T. W. Bean, History of Montgomery County, p. 721. 



David Jones, who built one of the first furnaces of Co- 
lonial Days in eastern Pennsylvania, emigrated from Mer- 
ionethshire in Wales in 1721 and settled upon the Welsh 
reservation at Radnor in Chester county, Pennsylvania, 
where that clannish people, to use their own language, " de- 
sired to be by themselves, for no other reason or purpose 
but that they might live together as a civil society, to en- 
deavor to decide all controversies and debates amongst 
themselves in a Gospel order, and not to entangle them- 
selves with laws in an unknown tongue, and also to preserve 
their language that they might ever keep correspondence 
with their friends in the land of their nativity." 

David Jones with many of his countrymen removed 
from Radnor in 1730 to the valley of the Conestoga, in 
Caernarvon township, Lancaster county, where he became 
an extensive land owner and iron-master, and where 
there are old mines which still bear his name. The site 
of the old Jones furnaces, or "Jones's mine holes" as they 
were called in the quaint language of that day, is most 
picturesque. In this place his three sons were born : John 
Jonathan and Caleb. John was a major of the committee 
of safety in 1774 and a major in Grubb's battalion of 
militia. Caleb was a justice of the Peace. Jonathan 
Jones was born in 1738. He was appointed a captain in 
the regular Continental Army, October, 1775 promoted 
to rank of major after active service in Canada in 1776, 
and to lieutenant-colonel of his regiment, March, 1777. 
His constitution was so shattered by the hardships and ex- 


posure of the campaign against Canada, that he was 
obliged to return home in the winter of 1776-77. He re- 
joined the regiment in the spring of 1777, the command 
of which devolved upon him, after the resignation of Col. 
James Irvine. Increasing ill-health obliged him to resign 
his commission in the latter part of July. In December, 
1778, he was a member of the General Assembly of Penn- 
sylvania. His health continued to decline, and he was 
shortly afterwards stricken with paralysis, of which he 
died in September, 1782, at the early age of forty-four. 
He was buried in the Bangor churchyard at Churchtown. 
His family had been wardens and vestrymen of this church 
from its earliest foundation. 

Katharine Jones Wallace. 




Samuel Nutt, who died in 1737, directed in his will that 
his wife, Anna, " shall have one hundred and twenty acres 
of land on the South branch of French Creek, on which 
to build a furnace, and also leave to cut as much timber on 
lands adjacent as shall suffice to erect the same." 1 This 
furnace, called Warwick, was begun the same year, and 
became one of the greatest iron works of Pennsylvania. 
When in blast, from five to six thousand cords of wood 
were used there annually, the product of about two hun- 
dred and forty acres of woodland. The cost of the large 
bellows, run by an immense water wheel, was nearly two 
hundred pounds. Twenty-five tons of iron a week was 
the usual product. In an "Account Book of Warwick 
Furnace" 2 we find sundry entries, such as " 1759 April 23 
Paid the County Tax, four shillings." " Provincial 
Tax four shillings." " Potts and Rutter, to loads pigg 
iron from 27th April to loth May 1759, n tun." "To 
Sarum Forge, from 4th April to 3rd May 1759, 13 tuns 
and 15 Ibs. pigg iron." 

This furnace produced both pig iron and castings, the 
latter being stoves, pots, kettles, andirons, smoothing irons, 
clock weights and other articles. 

William Branson 3 had been a partner with Samuel Nutt 
for years. This partnership was continued at Warwick 
by Anna Nutt and her son-in-law, who was also her step- 

1 Potts Memorial, 53. 

2 Collections of the Hon. S. W. Pennypacker. 

3 See Coventry Forge. 


son, Samuel Nutt, Jr., until the death of the latter in 1739, 
the value of the property having in the meantime greatly 
increased. This is the period when the partnership was 
dissolved, Branson taking Reading alone, and Warwick 
going into the care of the firm trading as Anna Nutt and 
Company, with the addition of Robert Grace, who mar- 
ried the young widow of Samuel Nutt, Jr., in 1740. The 
name of Nutt then became extinct. 

Next year, the new partners brought suit against Bran- 
son, charging him with taking iron ore from their property, 
while Branson, by John Kinsey, brought a counter suit for 
a suitable accounting for the time " when they were baliffs 
to him, the said W. B." They made the defense that they 
had never been his bailiffs, and John Tench Francis, their 
attorney, appears to have settled the matter finally, for no 
other proceedings are traceable. 

War was declared with Spain in 1739, and in response 
to a call for enlistments, which Governor Thomas in his 
proclamation of April 14, 1740, called: "a Glorious un- 
dertaking," many of the indentured servants at the fur- 
naces and in other employ departed unceremoniously. 
Since the Governor did not discountenance this proceeding, 
the Assembly could only endeavor to reimburse the mas- 
ters, and on June 4, 1741, there is record of a petition 
from Anna Nutt and Co. for several hundred pounds dam- 
ages because of the enlistment of ten servants at one time, 
some of them colliers, whose abrupt departure had put a 
stop to the works. 1 

The name of Robert Grace has an additional interest as 
the friend of Benjamin Franklin and the first manufacturer 
of the noted Franklin stoves. Born in 1709, of fine Irish 
stock, Grace was brought up in the house of his grand- 
mother, whose second husband was Hugh Lowden. The 
house was on the north side of High Street, below Second, 

1 Futhey & Cope, History of Chester County, p. 49.. 


then the most eligible part of the city. The Town Hall 
or Court House stood in the center of the street, nearly op- 
posite, where all royal or colonial proclamations were read 
to the people from the balcony. When Grace was seven- 
teen, this house became his property, and here the warm and 
lifelong friendship with Franklin was begun. Franklin, in 
his Autobiography, describes Grace as a young man of some 
fortune, generous, lively, witty, fond of epigrams but more 
fond of his friends. In the well-appointed rooms of this 
house the Junto met, and the first public library in Amer- 
ica was organized and maintained for ten years. In the 
inventory of furnishings the parlor has: " i 8 day clock, 
2 black walnut tables, carpet and looking glass, writing 
desk and spice box. 20 leather chairs, couch and Squabb, 
i Skreen, i great Bible and stand, 2 pr. dogs, fire shovel, 
Tongs, Poker, bellows and fender, i Jappanned Montiff, 1 
a lamp, glass and Earthernware." 2 

Franklin's gratitude to Grace must be recorded here. 
Franklin and Meredith, his partner (about 1729) had 
been sued for 100. u ln this distress," he says, "two 
friends, whose kindness I never have forgotten, nor ever 
shall forget while I can remember anything, came to me 
separately, unknown to each, and without any application 
from me offered each of them to advance me all the money 
that should be necessary to enable me to take the whole 
business upon myself, but they did not like my continu- 
ing the partnership with Meredith. . . . These two friends 
were William Coleman and Robert Grace." 

Franklin mentions, in the codicil to his will, that his 
reason for leaving 2000 sterling to the cities of Boston 
and Philadelphia for the purpose of setting up young mar- 
ried artificers in business was because " I was assisted to set 
up my business in Philadelphia by kind loans of money 

1 Query, were monteiths ever japanned? 

2 Potts Memorial. 


from two friends there, which was the foundation of my 
fortune and of all the utility in life that may be ascribed 
to me." 1 

The Autobiography of Franklin has the following entry : 
" . . . Having in 1742 invented an open fireplace for 
the better warming of rooms, and at the same time saving 
fuel, as the fresh air admitted was warmed in entering, 
I made a present of the model to Robert Grace, one of 
my early friends, who having an iron furnace, found the 
casting of the plates for these stoves a profitable thing, as 
they were growing in demand." 

These stoves were manufactured at Warwick, and had 
the words " Warwick Furnace " cast on the front plate in 
large letters. 3 They were very popular with the well-to-do 
for the next fifty years, and some fine examples of them are 
still extant. Their manufacture was evidently remunera- 
tive, as also their final sale, if one may judge from an 
"Account with Benjamin Franklin," in a Ledger of War- 
wick Furnace. 2 


Oct. 5 To one Tun Fireplaces pr 

Henry Snyder. 

1751 July 15 To two tonn Fire Places 

pr. Owen Richards. 
Aug. 3. To one tonn Fire places pr. 

Andrew Sping. 

" 6 " " " ditto pr. Mathias Brooks. 
" 19 " " " pr. Wm. Ball's team 

20 " " " per Saml. Cryble. 
Oct. 26, To 4 plates of ye Neweste Fashion Stove 

1752 Nov. 4. To 22 Fireplace plates 

per Owen Rodgers." 

1 Potts Memorial. 

2 Collections of the Hon. S. W. Pennypacker. 

3 See Sequence of Franklin Fireplaces. 

Stoveplate, John Potts, 1757. "The life of Jesus what a light." 

****" * 'V* 


Christopher Sauer was one of the first agents for the sale 
of these stoves. 

Towards the close of the eighteenth century Franklin 
stoves were much used in Paris. One of the French min- 
isters was asked whether he had, as yet, put them into his 
reception rooms. "No," he replied, "for the English 
Ambassador would not then consent to warm himself at 
my fire." 1 In the eulogy pronounced by Dr. William 
Smith, first Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, on 
the death of Dr. Franklin, he speaks of "the New In- 
vented Pennsylvania Fireplace, the open stoves now in gen- 
eral use, to the comfort of thousands who, assembled round 
them in the wintry night, bless the name of the inventor, 
which they yet bear! " At the end of this book a short 
sequence of Franklin fireplaces will be found. It is an 
imperfect effort to show the earlier shape and style of 
these stoves, and the improvement in appearance as they 
were gradually made at many different furnaces. 

During the Revolution, the furnace at Warwick was 
busily engaged in casting cannon and shell for the govern- 
ment. Some imperfect cannon are said to be still im- 
bedded in the bank of French Creek. The fact that it 
was such an arsenal of supplies led to its choice by Wash- 
ington as his headquarters after the battle of Brandywine, 
from the eighteenth September, 1777, until the twentieth, 
when he crossed the Schuylkill at Parker's Ford, in at- 
tempting to interfere with Howe's march to Philadelphia. 
The soldiers took from the inhabitants everywhere, all the 
leaden clock-weights upon which they could lay their hands, 
in order to run them into bullets. They were replaced by 
iron ones, which were cast at Warwick in great numbers. 

1 The American Revolution, by Sir George Otto Trevelyan, III, p. 459. 



"Wednesday Sept 17 1777 

At Yellow Springs. 

"Yesterday the enemy moved from Concord by Edge- 
mont Road with the evident design to gain our right Flank. 
This obliged us to alter our position and march to this 
place, from whence we immediately proceed to Warwick. 
We Suffered much from the severe weather yesterday and 
last night, being unavoidably Separated from our tents 
and baggage." 

On the 1 8th September, 1777, at Warwick, Washington 
wrote: "The army here is so much fatigued, it is impos- 
sible I should move them this afternoon. 1 ' 1 

("Part of the army went to Warwick Furnace on the 
1 7th. Warwick is 8 miles North of Yellow Springs & 9 
Miles from Schuylkill. They were joined by rest of army 
on day following. Warwick Furnace was a depot of manu- 
facture of cannon of which 60 were cast for Continental 
army of 12 to 1 8 Ibs calibre in 1776 

From note "Itinerary.") 

Warwick Furnace and its adjoining lands have never 
been out of the possession of the descendants of the elder 
Samuel Nutt, but are held by members of the Potts family : 
although in 1771 Thomas Rutter purchased therein a half 
interest from Samuel Potts. 

Amelia M. Gummere, 
Augusta M. Longacre. 

1 Washington's Itinerary, by W. S. Baker, p. 91. 




Situated only a mile apart, on Perkiomen Creek, about 
thirteen miles above Pottstown, this furnace and forge 
were undoubtedly under the same management, although 
there is little definite knowledge of their early history. 
Mrs. James quotes from a family document: "In 1743 
Thomas Potts, Jr., gave to his son David 1 one full and un- 
divided sixth part in a certain furnace and forge com- 
monly called Mount Pleasant, and of and in several tracts 
of land thereunto belonging." No remains of this old 
forge are now visible. David Potts, born 1722, carried 
on the Mount Pleasant works until his death in 1752. 
His wife was Rebecca Rutter, granddaughter of the first 
Thomas. Of the frequent intermarriages in the iron- 
making world of " the good old Colony times," it is surely 
not censorious to suggest that the background of many 
acres and active furnaces undoubtedly enhanced the charms 
of the daughters of Pennsylvania. 

Little is known of the subsequent history of Mount 
Pleasant. "A few feet of crumbling walls" mark the 
site. Both furnace and forge are mentioned in a list of 
the iron industries, compiled by Samuel Potts, for the in- 
formation of Congress when it was enacting a tariff law in 
1789. It must therefore have been active at that date. 

1 Memorial of Thomas Potts, Jr., p. 120. 




William Bird, whose marriage is recorded in the old 
Swedish church register at Morlatton, now Douglassville, 
in 1735, to Brigetta Hulings, daughter of Marcus Hul- 
ings, built the first of these forges in 1740, on Hay Creek 
near its entrance into the Schuylkill River in Berks County. 
There is nothing left now of the early forges. 

He obtained, by warrant and survey much property in 
this section and at his death his estate is reported to be 
"three messuages (dwellings) 3 forges, . . . 2400 acres in 
Union and Robeson townships ; one messuage, one iron fur- 
nace and two thousand acres in Heidelberg township." 
The latter is the Berkshire Furnace. We find according 
to Montgomery 1 " The Berkshire Furnace was erected by 
William Bird about 1760 . . . the name first given to it 
was Roxborough." 

William Bird's widow married in 1762 John Patton, 
whose name appears in partnership with George Ege in the 
running of the furnace. 

We find William Bird's tombstone at Douglassville 
which is four miles from Birdsboro. " In memory of W m 
Bird Esq. who departed this life Nov. 16. 1761, aged 55 

The residence built by William Bird is still standing, 
though much depreciated in value by the encroachments 
of the town and of the Schuylkill Canal. Mark Bird, his 
son, was probably born here. At that time, it is said, the 

1 History of Berks County. 



house was surrounded by a deer park, sloping to the river, 
which must have been a means of communication with 
other places, as well as a natural beauty of the property. 
Watson, in his "Annals of Philadelphia," mentions the 
interesting circumstance that upon the occasion of thle 
wedding of Magdalena Hulings, a native of Morlatton, 
and daughter of one of the early settlers, Marcus Hulings, 
to Matthias Holstein, of the Swedes Ford, the bride 
with her entire retinue made the journey thither in the 
canoes. So cannot we picture Marcus Hulings* other 
daughter on her way to the Bird Iron Works ? 

Mark Bird, according to Montgomery, 1 "after his 
father's death, took charge of the estate, and by partition 
proceedings in the Orphans Court came to own the proper- 
ties. ... By the time the Revolution broke out, he had 
enlarged his possessions very much and had come to be 
one of the richest and most prominent and enterprising 
men in this section of the state. . . . In 1775 and '76 Mark 
Bird was the Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Battalion of 
the County Militia, which was formed out of companies 
in the vicinity of Birdsboro; and in August, 1776, as a col- 
onel he fitted out three hundred men of his battalion with 
uniforms, tents, and provisions, at his own expense." 

The disturbance of business by the Revolution, and the 
monetary troubles after its close, brought about his failure. 

"At the Sheriff's Sale in 1788 the forge property was 
purchased by Cadwallader Morris, James Wilson and 
others of Philadelphia; and in 1796 John Louis Barde 
became the owner. Matthew Brooke married a daughter 
of Barde and subsequently purchased the property. It 
has since remained in the Brooke family." 2 We find in 
Mr. Swank's "Iron Making in Pennsylvania," page 30: 

1 Berks County in the Revolution. 

2 Montgomery, History of Berks County. 


" Mark Bird built a rolling and slitting mill and a nail 
factory at Birdsboro about the time of the Revolution. 
He also built Spring Forge in Oley Township and Gibral- 
tar forges in Robeson Township. At Trenton, New Jer- 
sey, he manufactured wire. The town of Birdsboro, in 
Berks County now the seat of the extensive iron works of 
Messrs E. & G. Brooke was named after William Bird." 

Mark Bird's wife was Mary Ross, daughter of Rev. 
George Ross. His daughter married James Wilson, the 

About 1788 Mark Bird moved to North Carolina, 
where he died. We find his name, together with that of 
his brother-in-law, Edward Biddle, and of his step-father, 
Colonel John Patton, very prominent in the early Revolu- 
tionary era. 

Cornelia L. E. Brooke. 



Information as to these forges in Union township has 
been gathered exclusively from the "Cole Book" and 
ledgers in the manuscript collections of the Pennsylvania 
Historical Society. Evidently William Bird was the owner, 
and the records mention a Lower, Middle, and Upper 
forge. One of the earliest books is entitled "New Pine 
Forge Cole Book," 1744-1760. A coal book gave de- 
tails of the making and hauling of charcoal and its later 
disposal. A heading, for a carefully spaced page runs: 
"Account of Coles made and sent to Hopewell Forge by 
John Surrie for the year 1744." " Pigg Iron from War- 
wick Furnace upon acco tt of Mr. Robert Grace. For the 
Euse of Mr. W m Bird at Hopewell Forge for the year 
1744." "Account of Pigg Iron sent to Hopewell Forge 
anno 1745, since Silvanus Maybury came to work." 

Another: "Oct. 1756. New Pine Forges to Rokx- 
burry Furnace, D r ." 

An interesting entry is: " Compiled by John Fegan, for 
the Middle Forge; an account of the building of the 
Middle Forge. The first stone laid on Foundation July 
the 29 th , 1757. The raffters raised August 19 th , The Fore 
Bay made August 26 th . The Covering finished September 
5 th . The geers raised October the fifteenth. The Anvil 
Block fixed October 25*. The shafts fixed the 29 th d. 
The Chiefry and hammer wheel finished November the 
19 th ." 

From New Pine Wast Book: "Dec. 1757. John 
Huling D r to 23 Shovel plates. 

" Francis Morris IX to i Bake Plate 


"Yorke & Potts D r . to i ton Barr Iron by Andrew 

From Cole Book: "The new wagon measured at the 
Lower Forge, and it measured 8 Seams. Each seam 
Eleven Bushel." 

" Memorandum, that I have this 14 th day of November, 
1757 agreed with William Bird Esq r . to begin ... to 
serve him as carter for i year, at the rate of L 19 per year, 
meat, drink, washing & lodging. 


his mark" 
Witness present 

John Fegan 

On fly leaf: "Day Book, Kept at New Pine, Union 
Township, County of Berks, for William Bird Esq. 1759." 

" John Lincoln Cr. by self and boy taking 3 tunn barr 
iron in a canoe to Spring Mill, Feb. 1760." 

"Patton and Bird" the owners of "Rocksburry" Fur- 
nace a frequent term from 1760: and in 1763, "Patton 
and Bird D rs for the stock received from W m Bird." 

" 1760. Jacob Lenan got stoves, midlen and small." 

"Paid Mr. Mark Bird's expences to Phil a i-n-6 
Sept. 1760." 

"22 July 1761, Nicholas Scull for hauling i Hhd Rum 


" Roxberry " Furnace frequently bought bar iron, items 
at store, etc. in 1760-61-62. 

" Wood taken up by Stephen Doughten on Abram Lin- 
coln's Plantation for the year 1760." 

"Reading, March 17, 1764. Mark Bird . . . from 
the time his partnership broke off, at 14 Feb. art the 
Forge " etc. 

In the New Pine Forge Ledger, 1775-1777, the follow- 


ing names, (with others) are mentioned under Forge 
Charge. John Patton, Paul Zantzinger, Curttis Grubb, 
George Ege, Adam Kalbach, Joseph Krebs, Hanes Zerby, 
Charles Stedman, James Old, George Veneada, Thomas 
Mayburry. The entries in this book end April, 1778. 
The rest of the volume is filled with Charming Forge 
accounts, beginning January, 1823. 

Additional entries: 


"Lawrence Doyle, Dr. to rum when you was sick. . 4 

to syder when you was ditto. 3" 

"Agreement made 29th of February 1762 with James 
Foley and Patton and Bird to do team work for one year." 

"Agreement on the part of Gabriel Hughes of Exeter 
township Berks Co. July ist 1762 to deliver wood to 
John Patton." 

"Oct. 6th 1762 Agreement between John Boyer and 
Patton and Bird to drive team one whole year from the 
date hereof, for the due performance of which said Patton 
promises to pay him the sum of twenty six pounds and 
two pair of shoes." 

"Agreement with John Shaw July 23rd 1761 to stock 
the upper Forge, and at any time to assist in stocking at 
any of the other two forges when he has not stocking to do 
at the said upper forge. The said Shaw is to be paid for 
the faithfull performance of the above agreement eighteen 
pounds and a pair of shoes, and if he does not get drunk 
above once in three months, a pair of stockings and his 

"By Negro Dick's board 21 Nov. 17 to 14 Feb. 1763 

New Pine Forges D r . to Rocksburry Furnace April 29, 
1760. Mark Bird, To Cash paid at Roxburry Furnace 


20. Bird & Patton D r . To hauling 3 tun of Stoves from 
the furnace 60-0. 

An interesting question arises from the finding of these 
old ledgers and the quaint Cole Book. Were these the 
original iron works of William Bird (Hay Creek or Birds- 
boro forges) under a name unknown until now? The 
writer of the articles on Hay Creek Forges and Hopewell 
Furnace is quite confident they are the same. 

Augusta M. Longacre. 



Peter Grubb erected this forge on Hammer Creek, six 
miles southeast of Cornwall, before building the large 
blast furnace at the latter place. He had taken up the 
land in 1737. Hammer Creek was the largest stream in 
the neighborhood and furnished excellent water power. 
Two Hopewell forges were built here, but at what time is 
not known. Mr. Grubb may have run one as a bloomary 
or Catalan forge, bringing the ore from Cornwall for that 
purpose. 1 Here Peter Grubb had his home. He was 
born at Marcus Hook, 1707-8, and died in 1754. Com- 
ing into possession of Curtiss and Peter Grubb at their 
father's death, these forges became finally the property of 
Robert Coleman when he bought Cornwall. In early 
life he had been here as a clerk with the Grubb brothers, 
but soon, by rapid steps, became himself an iron master. 

1 H. C. Grittinger, Cornwall Furnace and Ore Banks, p. 14. 

Stoveplate, Joseph and Potiphar's wife, 1749. 

Curtiss Grubb's Furnace. " In God is my Salvation. 



Foremost among the natural glories of Pennsylvania are 
the great ore banks of Cornwall. Before the develop- 
ment and opening up of our western country, no traveler 
from foreign lands was content until he had seen these 
mountains of magnetic iron ore; three solid hills, from 
which rich ore was dug, at very low cost. They were 
called the Large Iron Hill, Middle Hill and Grassy Hill. 
Roughly speaking, the total area of these ore mines is some- 
thing approaching one hundred and ten acres, and now, 
after having been worked for one hundred and seventy 
years, they seem inexhaustible, and require no mining, 
simply to be quarried. 

Acrelius, the Swedish historian, writing in 1756, of 
" Cornwall, or Grubb's Iron Works in Lancaster County," 
said: "The mine is rich and abundant, forty feet deep, 
commencing two feet under the earth's surface. . . .Peter 
Grubb was its discoverer." And this statement of the old 
Swede seems to be the final verdict to-day, as to the first 
recognition of the possibilities of these wonderful hills. 
Mr. H. C. Grittinger, in his able monograph on " Corn- 
wall Furnace," says: " It is to be presumed . . . that it was 
Peter Grubb who first developed and used the ore, as the 
two individuals who preceded him in the ownership of the 
land, and who both sold their holdings for nominal amounts, 
evidently knew little or nothing of the ore deposits; and 
they were both iron masters, and members of the com- 
pany that had built and were operating Durham Furnace 
in Bucks County in 1727." 

On the 8th day of May, 1732, John, Thomas, and 


Richard Penn, for the sum of 500, money of Pennsyl- 
vania (a pound Pennsylvania currency being worth $2.66- 
2/3 of our present money) granted a warrant for five 
thousand acres of land in the Province of Pennsylvania to 
Joseph Turner of the city of Philadelphia, who afterwards 
assigned it to William Allen. By agreement, April 5, 
*734> William Allen sold three hundred of the five thou- 
sand acres of the land called for in the warrant, to Peter 
Grubb for the sum of 135, who procured a patent deed 
for it from the proprietaries on the 3Oth day of November, 
1737. This grant, however, did not entirely embrace the 
ore hills, so the evidently clear-sighted Peter Grubb made 
two other purchases of land from the Proprietaries, which 
made him sole owner. The two brothers, Peter and Samuel, 
were the sons of John Grubb, who came from Cornwall, Eng- 
land, in 1692, landing near Wilmington, Lower Counties, 
on a spot afterwards called Grubb's Landing. He was a 
member of the Provincial Legislature of Pennsylvania 
from 1694 to 1698. He is buried in the Swedes' grave- 
yard, Wilmington. Mr. James M. Swank, the great au- 
thority on iron, thinks that Peter Grubb's first essay in iron 
making was with a bloomary forge in 1735, near the site 
of the later Cornwall Furnace. The existence of this 
early bloomary is attested by the traditions of Cornwall. 
About a mile from the great furnace, small pieces of slag 
and several pieces of white iron were found by Mr. Grit- 
tinger, one of which he presented to the Lebanon county 
Historical Society as a sample of the first iron made in 
Lebanon county. From this small beginning and it was 
so small that the spring run on which it was situated was 
too insignificant to furnish water power to run the bellows, 
so that it must have been worked by hand from this has 
come the greatest of Pennsylvania iron industries. 

Cornwall Ore Banks. View from Big Hill. 

Cornwall Ore Banks, Robesonia Cut and Hoist. 


An indenture in possession of the Grubb family, reads as 
follows : 

"On the 22nd day of September in the thirteenth year 
of the reign of King George the Second over Great Britain, 
France &c, Anno Domini 1739, between Peter Grubb of 
the township of Warwick in the County of Lancaster, of 
the Province of Pennsylvania, Iron Master, with Samuel 
Grubb of East Bradford, in the County of Chester, a Char- 
coal Furnace to be built, & to be called Cornwall " 

Planned thus in 1739, and first in blast in 1742, Corn- 
wall furnace, about the size of Warwick furnace, began its 
long existence, being named for Peter Grubb's ancestral 
county in England. Having been blown by its owner 
for three years, it was, in 1745, along with the Hopewell 
forge which belonged to Mr. Grubb, leased to twelve per- 
sons, 1 who managed it for a few years only, under the 
name of the Cornwall Company. For the remainder of 
the term it was conducted by Jacob Giles, a Quaker of 
Baltimore. 2 

Peter Grubb remained sole owner of the ore banks un- 
til his death, in 1754, when they became the property of 
his two sons, Curtis and Peter, Curtis as elder son, under 
the intestate law of that day, receiving two thirds and Peter 
one third. These men have a patriotic record, having 
both been colonels in the Revolution. To judge from an 
account of the gayeties of Hessian prisoners, at Hebron, 
Lebanon county, in August, 1777, the officer in charge, 
Col. Curtis Grubb, must have had his own trials. Much 
to the distress of church members, the prisoners were quar- 
tered in churches. The Moravian church seems to have 
suffered most, as the Hessians destroyed fences and other 
property, and taking the Church violins, solaced themselves 
with playing and dancing. 3 

1 Acrelius, 1756, speaks of its being rented then to Gurrit & Co. 

2 Bishop, American Manufactures. 

3 Publications of the Lebanon County Historical Society. 


Under the ownership of these patriotic colonels, Corn- 
wall furnace, during the war, cast cannon, shot, shell, and 
stoves for the Continental Army. A letter relative to 
cannon cast at Cornwall is interesting. 

"PHILADELPHIA 18 September 1776 
" To Col. Peter Grubb, 

" Sir, By Capt. Joy I understand you have at last made 
some i2-Pounders, but I fear they are heavier than they 
ought to be. Those made by Col. Bird weigh but 27 c and 
some under. 

" You have drawn on the Committee for 1500, it is not 
sent because the matter is not understood. We can't sup- 
pose you want such a sum to carry on the Works, & you 
certainly don't desire the Cannon to be paid for before they 
are delivered. 

" The sum you draw for is the value of the Guns already 
made, & as the contract was made with your Brother, Col. 
Curtis Grubb (Tho' you may be equally interested with 
him), yet I should like to hear from him before so large 
a sum was paid; however, I have sent you by Capt. Dan'l 
Joy one thousand dollars. I mentioned to Congress your 
inclination to have some of the prisoners from Lancaster to 
work for you, but it was supposed the Committee of Lan- 
caster would object to it. I hope you will make all ex- 
pedition in making the Cannon & getting them down, for 
they are much wanted. 

" The Cannon must be proved with two shott, or they 
will never be put on board the Ships. I am your hum'l 

Serv't." R. T. PAINE." 1 

In 1783 Curtis granted and conveyed inter alia to Peter 
Grubb, his eldest son, and to his heirs and assigns forever, 
the full equal undivided one-sixth part of all his estate, 
including the Cornwall ore banks or mine hills. In 1785, 
Peter Grubb, 3rd, son of Curtis Grubb, entered into articles 
of agreement with Robert Coleman to sell and convey 
to him, all his right, title and interest of, in and to the 

1 Egle, History of Lebanon County. 

Front plate of Stove. Cornwall Furnace, 1772. 

Cornwall Furnace, 1776. 


said undivided one-sixth part of the estate above referred 
to. In 1798 Robert Coleman had purchased from the 
various Grubb heirs five-sixths of the ore banks the re- 
maining one-sixth being held by Henry Bates Grubb. 

It is now more than a century and a quarter since Robert 
Coleman became the chief owner of this great mine so 
identified with his name and that of his heirs. Although 
his children and descendants have lived at Cornwall, he did 
not. In the history of his life, in his own handwriting 
(the property later of his grandson, George Dawson Cole- 
man) Robert Coleman states that he was born near Castle- 
finn in County Donegal, Ireland, on the fourth day of 
November, 1748, and in 1764, when sixteen years of age, 
came to America to seek his fortune. His capital then 
consisted of a sound body and a good education, the latter 
not a common thing in those days. He brought a letter 
of introduction to Blair McClenachan and the Messrs. 
Biddle, and by them was recommended to Mr. Read, Pro- 
thonotary, Reading, Pennsylvania, in whose employ as 
clerk he remained nearly two years. The young man, 
however, had higher ambitions than being a clerk in an 
office, and like many of his day and since, started out into 
the wild country to seek his fortune. He quickly found 
himself in the iron ore district and obtained work from 
the Grubbs at Hopewell Forges. Six months after he got 
a better position at Quittapahilla Forge (afterward known 
as New Market Forge) , about eight miles west of Lebanon, 
then operated under a lease by James Old, who was also 
the owner of Speedwell Forge, located on Hammer Creek, 
a short distance below the Hopewell Forges. Mr. Old 
found the young man so intelligent, industrious and gen- 
erally satisfactory, that when he moved to Reading 
Furnace on French Creek he gave Coleman a higher posi- 
tion and took him with him. While at this furnace Robert 
Coleman married Anne Old, a daughter of his employer, 


October 2, 1773. Soon after, finding that he had accumu- 
lated enough capital to set out for himself, he rented Sal- 
ford Forge, near Norristown, for a term of three years. 

From Salford Forge he removed in 1776 to Elizabeth 
Furnace, where he lived until 1809. He never made his 
home at Cornwall, although his interests there were great, 
extending even to the beautiful gardens which were planned 
under his direction, by a Frenchman, who also laid out 
the gardens at his home, the Mansion, at Elizabeth, which 
Mr. Coleman practically built after purchasing the 
property. 1 

A man of strong character, and great capacity, Robert 
Coleman was the most noted iron master in Pennsylvania. 
For an estimate of his business ability by a contemporary, 
we cannot do better than quote from Hazard's Register of 
1831 : " R. Coleman Esq., became the most successful pro- 
prietor of iron works: to untiring industry and judicious 
management he added the utmost probity and regularity in 
his dealings, and to him Lancaster county is especially in- 
debted for the celebrity it has acquired from the number 
and magnitude of its iron works and the excellence of its 
manufacture." While, during the struggle of the Col- 
onies with the Mother country the Grubb brothers were 
eminently patriotic, Robert Coleman, then at Elizabeth 
Furnace, was in no whit behind them. 

He was an officer in the Pennsylvania militia during the 
Revolutionary War, a member of the State Convention 
which framed the Constitution of 1790, and a member of 
the Legislature. He raised and commanded a troop of 
cavalry during the Whiskey Insurrection, was twice a Pres- 
idential elector, and an Associate Judge in Lancaster for 
nearly twenty years. 2 

notes furnished by Mrs. Horace Brock, great-granddaughter of 
Robert Coleman. See Salford Forge. 

2 See Elizabeth Furnace and Salford Forge. 


He retired from business and moved, in 1809, to Lancas- 
ter, where he died on the I4th August, 1825. 

His son, James Coleman, inherited Elizabeth, while the 
younger sons, T. Bird Coleman and William, were settled 
at Cornwall. Later Robert Coleman's grandson, Robert 
Coleman, with his brother, G. Dawson Coleman, removed 
to Lebanon and built furnaces there on the Union Canal, 
which was then the great means of transportation. Coal 
could be received and iron shipped from there better than 
from Cornwall or Elizabeth, whence they had to be hauled 
by teams; and by that time charcoal furnaces were going 

" Both Cornwall Furnace and the early bloomary were 
near the old road that had been the original thoroughfare 
through the southern part of what is now known as Leb- 
anon county between Harris's Ferry and Philadelphia. 
On some of the old maps this is called 'The Paxton 
Road': tradition says the name was given because 'The 
Paxton Boys' had marched over it on their way to Phil- 
adelphia at the time of their insurrection in February 

Of the output of these great mines we are told that 
" prior to the development of the Lake Superior iron ore 
region the Cornwall mines were annually the most produc- 
tive group of all the iron ore mines in this country and this 
distinction they held for several years after Lake Superior 
ores came into general use." 

"Down to 1908 these mines had produced more iron 
ore than any other single iron ore property in the United 
States, including the most productive of the Lake Superior 

mines." 2 

Augusta M. Longacre. 

1 Grittinger, Cornwall Furnace and Ore Banks, p. 14. 

2 Swank, Progressive Pennsylvania, p. 2191. 




Every good American associates with Valley Forge 
events which deal with military rather than industrial his- 
tory. Yet an early forge was located in Chester County 
on the western side of Valley Creek, a little more than 
half a mile from its mouth. The "mountain" opposite, 
from which the forge first took its name, is said to have 
been named "Mount Joy" by William Penn, who also 
owned a manor so named on the Schuylkill. The tradition 
is that a nearby hill was called Mount Misery by the 
Founder, as the ascent was most difficult. 

Evan- Ap-E van, a Welshman, in the year 1686, emi- 
grated from his native land to take up and occupy a tract 
of land comprising some two thousand acres, including 
what is now known as Valley Forge. Some of the de- 
scendants are still in possession of a portion of the original 
grant of 1684, to Evan-Ap-Evan by the proprietor. 1 
Early data regarding the founders are very difficult to ob- 
tain. It is certain that there was some manufacture of iron 
products at this spot in the early years of the eighteenth 
century. Mr. J. M. Swank 2 mentions an early and misty 
tradition that the forge was built by an Englishman named 
Walker, who came over with William Penn. Possibly 
this was a relative of the later owner, for there are in the 
possession of ex-Governor Pennypacker, who owns a large 
and priceless collection of original ledgers and accounts, 
connected with some of the earliest Pennsylvania iron- 

1 Henry Woodman, in Bucks County Intelligencer and Moorestonvn 
Herald, 1*971 Art, " Valley Forge." 

2 Ironmaking in Pennsylvania, p. 28. 


works, the ledgers of this forge, showing the ownership 
after 1742. 

In that year a forge was erected under the firm name 
of Walker and Company, by Daniel Walker, Lewis Evans 
and Joseph Williams. They sold out on March 12, 1757, 
to John Potts, of Potts Grove. Indications are that there 
was an earlier forge, for Acrelius 1 mentions two iron works 
in 1759 in the "Great Valley," and Futhey and Cope, 2 re- 
ferring to these, say that this may have been in the neigh- 
borhood of Valley Forge. They add, "September 26, 
1751, a Stephen Evans and Joseph Williams advertise for 
sale a two thirds interest in three hundred and seventy five 
acres near the mouth of Valley Creek, with forge and saw 
mill thereon." 

The earliest entry in the account book referred to is 
dated March 18, 1757. The firm owned two hundred 
acres of land in Chester County, and one hundred and 
seventy-five in Philadelphia County. A forge and saw 
mill stood on the south side of the creek, on the latter tract. 
Daniel Walker had held a mortgage on one third of the 
tract, which he had foreclosed. Ex-Governor Penny- 
packer owns an interesting " peel," made by Walker and 
Company, at the Valley Forge of Mount Joy. It is a 
spade-shaped implement, with a very long handle, used by 
housewives to take from the oven the bread and pies which 
could not otherwise be reached in its depths. Under the 
Potts ownership, James Hockley was put in charge. His 
name occurs in a cash account so early as 1738, and he had 
probably occupied that position under former owners. 
"James Hockley, Cr. by cash paid toward getting Wag- 
gons to go to Ohio, two and six. June 7, 1738." " Cash 
paid to yr. Wife five shillings." 

1 History of New Sweden. 

2 History of Chester County, Pa., p. 316. 


John Potts immediately began improvements on the 
property. He erected a grist mill, a blacksmith shop, a 
cooper shop, and started a store. Samuel Watkins, a 
blacksmith, was paid thirty pounds a year. People as far 
away as Coatesville bought their shoes at the forge store, 
while four tons of iron at a time were piled up, and hauled 
by wagon to Philadelphia. The work was done by negro 
slaves and by two white men classed as " servants" on the 
books, and who were really " redemptioners," named 
Thomas Connor and Henry Seligman, who had been 
bought for thirty pounds each. Teamsters were paid 
twenty pounds a year. Candlesticks, sleeve buttons, " mo- 
haire," camblet, and " callicoe," " green Knap," molasses, 
jacket buttons, men's shoes and snuff boxes, molasses and 
" garters for your wife " are all jumbled up promiscuously 
and delightfully in the accounts. Philip Piner bought a 
" bake-plate " weighing twenty-seven pounds at three pence 
per pound, for which he paid six shillings and nine pence. 
The hire of a pair of negroes for "Negro Strephon" 
(probably to assist him) cost one shilling and six pence. 

On the tenth of August, 1758, " a heifer hyde, wt. 371 
Ibs." was sent to Isaac Wayne, and October 24 of the same 
year, "hydes" were sent to Isaac Wayne's son, afterward 
famous as " Mad Anthony " Wayne. The " First Artikel " 
at Mount Joy Forge is noted as having cost " two hundred 
shillings," but very unfortunately, we are not told what 
the " artikel " was. 

From the year 1771 Colonel William Dewees, son of 
William Dewees, Sheriff of Philadelphia, was associated 
with the Potts family, and appears to have been a resident 
manager at Mount Joy. In 1773 he bought an interest in 
the business, but the manufacture of iron ceased to flourish 
on Valley Creek after the outbreak of the Revolution. 
The iron used at Mount Joy was brought from the furnace 


at Warwick by heavy teams over a road which Samuel 
Nutt, Jr., of the latter place, had been at great pains to 
open and improve. Another road in the county which was 
located and built through his father's efforts in 1735, still 
bears his name. 

For several years during the Revolution the forge at 
Mount Joy, so sadly misnamed, became the scene of far 
other incidents. Its history takes on the red hue of " battle, 
murder and sudden death," rather than the fiery glow of 
a great iron industry. The battle of the Brandywine was 
fought September n, 1777. The British army under 
General Howe lay for a few days in Tredyffrin township, 
and while there, a detachment was sent to the Valley 
Creek, which destroyed Mount Joy Forge, together with 
property belonging to William Dewees to the amount of 
4171 or $11,000 Pennsylvania currency, including u two 
large stone dwelling houses, two coal houses, four hundred 
loads of coal and twenty two hundred bushels of wheat and 
rye in the sheaf." The detachment that committed this 
depredation was in charge of Colonel Gray, the superior 
officer of Major Andre, at Paoli. One historian of this 
disaster tells us that his mother, as a young girl, accom- 
panied her aunt in a frightened search for her cousin John, 
and upon their return, beheld the forge a smoking ruin. 
The conflagration was witnessed from the top of Mount 
Joy, the hill from which the forge took its name, by 
Colonel Caleb North, of the Continental forces. One or 
two venerable trees were spared, which were recently living. 

The massacre at Paoli followed in a few days (Septem- 
ber 19) and this enabled Howe to move unmolested. On 
the twenty-third, after a futile attempt to cross the Schuyl- 
kill at Swede's Ford, he made a successful effort by divid- 
ing his forces, one half crossing at what is now Phoenixville, 
and the other at Fatlands Ford, close under Mount Joy, 


after which the united army successfully moved toward 
Philadelphia, which it triumphantly entered September 26. 

The greater interest for Valley Forge, however, comes 
to us for far other reasons than that an invading army 
crossed the Schuylkill at this point. General Washington, 
encamping for a time near the Perkiomen Creek, at Penny- 
packer's Mills, disputed the possession of Philadelphia with 
the British at Germantown in October, and eventually re- 
tired for the winter to those quarters which have since 
made Valley Forge a spot so famous and so sad. The se- 
cluded situation was probably the chief reason for its 
selection. General Washington made his headquarters in 
the house of Isaac Potts, and the property remained in the 
possession of that family for many years after. 

The firm of Potts and Rutter, in 1757, cast at War- 
wick a bell, marked P. R. 1757 which was used to call the 
men to work for more than a century. 'In May, 1874, 
it was sent to Colonel J. M. Fager by Thomas W. Potts, 
Jr., and interest is doubly given to this old bell by the fact, 
that while Washington was at Valley Forge, it was rung 
to assemble the citizens to bury the cannon, that they might 
not fall into the hands of the enemy. This bell was pres- 
ented by Colonel Fager to the city of Philadelphia, and 
was an object of great interest at the recent reopening of 
Congress Hall. 

Directly opposite Valley Forge stands a fine estate, 
called Fatlands, or Vaux Hill, from the name of the owner, 
James Vaux, who came to America from England just be- 
fore the outbreak of the Revolution, and located at this 
point. The ford leading to Valley Forge is that where 
General Sullivan was deputed by Washington to construct 
a pontoon bridge. Over this, at the evacuation of Valley 
Forge, the army crossed, passing up the lane near the man- 
sion. The dam constructed for the later forge obliterated 

Bell rung at Valley Forge as signal to bury the cannon on alarm of 
approach of enemy. Cast at Warwick Furnace, 1757. Now in Congress 
Hall, the gift of Col. Fager. 


the ford, and the point where stood the bridge is marked 
by a small monument. 

James Vaux was a Quaker, and with the non-partisan 
sentiments of his sect although he was all along a patriot, 
and afterward joined the militia his house was open to 
all comers. After the retreat from Brandywine, while 
the Continentals were lying at Pottsgrove, the British lay 
at Valley Forge. Washington, with the intention of in- 
specting the enemy, arrived at the house of James Vaux on 
the afternoon of September 21 and obtained an excellent 
view of the opposing forces. He supped and passed the 
night with his host, and left after breakfast next morning. 

That same afternoon, Sir William Howe arrived, re- 
marking to his host that from what he had seen through 
his glass, he thought some distinguished rebel officer must 
have been there the night before. On being told that it 
was Washington himself, he was greatly vexed, declaring 
that had he known his identity, he would have tried to 
make him prisoner ! Howe also supped and remained over 
night, sleeping in the same bed occupied by the "rebel" 
the night before. 

The close of the Revolution saw a revival of the iron 
industry, and a second forge was erected on the Valley 
Creek, three quarters of a mile farther down the stream. 
The building of a new dam raised the water above the 
level of the old site, and Mount Joy Forge became sub- 
merged. The later industry which sprang up on the 
new site was hereafter known as Valley Forge, and the old 
name was forgotten. 

Amelia Mott Gummere. 




At an early day between 1740 and 1750 there were two 
iron enterprises, a forge on Crum Creek, and a rolling and 
slitting mill on Chester Creek, in Thornbury township, 
where Glen Mills now stand, built by John Taylor. These 
were named Sarum Ironworks. 

In September, 1750, John Owen, Sheriff of Chester 
County, certified to the Lieutenant Governor that Sarum 
had been in operation until June of that year. After this 
time the British government had interdicted the further 
employment of rolling and slitting mills in the Colonies. 

We cannot learn whether Mr. Taylor long obeyed this 
decree, but it is said that his works were carried on with 
energy until his death in 1756. 

Acrelius, writing about the time of Taylor's death, says : 
" Sarum belongs to Taylor's heirs, has three stacks and 
is in full blast." 

Peter Kalm states that at Chichester (Marcus Hook), 
" They build here every year a number of small ships for 
sale, and from an iron work which lies higher up in the 
country they carry iron bars to this place and ship them." 
This "iron work" was probably Sarum. 

John Taylor was the descendant of an English settler in 
the province. His rolling and slitting mill was the first in 

Margaret C. Yarnall Cope. 


Stoveplate, about 1756. 

Stoveplate, 1742. The Pharisee and the Publican. 




John Crosby and Peter Dicks built this forge on Crum 
Creek near Chester, about 1742. In Kalm's Travels into 
North America, 1749, we find: "About two miles behind 
Chester I passed by an iron forge; the ore however is not 
dug here but 30 miles hence where it is first melted in the 
oven and carried to this place. The bellows were made of 
leather and both they and the hammers and even the hearth 
were but small in proportion to ours. All the machines 
were worked by water, the iron was wrought into bars." 

Peter Dicks, a Friend, son of an early settler in Bir- 
mingham, married Sarah Powell in 1716, and became a 
man of note in his neighborhood. In 1756, he and three 
others vacated their seats in the Assembly at the request 
of the Council, in London, as it was desirable that there 
should be no Quaker in the Assembly during the War. 1 
He was also the owner of Peter Dick's Bloomary in York 

1 Hazard's Register, V, p. 115. 




Although the Province of Pennsylvania may not have 
boasted a Tubal Cain as early as Virginia, for so Colonel 
William Byrd facetiously dubbed Governor Spotswood, it 
appears that she outstripped the latter colony in the manu- 
facture of bar iron which was made in Pennsylvania in the 
first quarter of the eighteenth century. In Colonel Byrd's 
entertaining account of "A Progress to the Mines," he re- 
corded in September, 1732, that as yet there was no forge 
erected in Virginia, adding that Mr. Chiswell, manager 
at one of the Virginia furnaces, had told him that " There 
was a very good one set up at the head of the Bay in Mary- 
land that made exceedingly good work. He let me know 
that the duty in England upon Bar Iron was 24 shillings a 
Tun and that it sold there from 10 to 16 pounds a Tun. 
This would pay the charge of Forging abundantly, but he 
doubted the Parliament of England would soon forbid us 
that improvement lest after that we shou'd go forth, and 
manufacture Our Bars into all Sorts of Ironware as they 
already do in New England and Pennsylvania." 

Most of the early Pennsylvania furnaces had forges con- 
nected with them, and in some cases forges were built 
without furnaces, as were Pool Forges, Coventry, and 
Windsor Forges, all in Lancaster County. 

During the summer of 1910, an iron marker was placed 
near the high road at Coventryville, and a granite boulder 
in a field nearby, where are still to be seen the remains of 
an old forge. The tablet and boulder were erected by 
the Chester County Historical Society to commemorate the 


founding of Coventry Forge, which played an important 
part in the iron industry of Pennsylvania, being the second 
in the Province! 1 To add a touch of picturesqueness to 
the historic interest of Coventry Forge Mr. George B. 
Johnson tells us that Mordecai Lincoln, ancestor of Presi- 
dent Lincoln, was part owner and blacksmith at Coventry 
in 1725.2 

Of somewhat later date was Windsor Forges, which 
with its post office, Churchtown, is situated near the center 
of Caernarvon Township, in the northeastern portion of 
Lancaster County, bounded on the north by the Forest 
Hills and on the south by the Welsh Mountains. In 
among these mountains are the head-waters of the Con- 
estoga, the Crooked Creek of the Indians of this region. 
As its name indicates, Caernarvon Township was settled by 
a colony of Welshmen, some of whom had emigrated to 
Chester Valley in 1700. Tempted by a desire to further 
explore this beautiful and fertile region, these pioneers 
pushed on to Lancaster County; among them was John 
Jenkins, son of David Jenkins who came to Philadelphia 
from Wales in 1700. John Jenkins and his family are 
said to have lived in a cave until he was able to build a 
block-house for their accommodation. Upon the Windsor 
Forges property the remains of this cave, or dugout, are 
still to be seen, and also a substantial little stone house 
which was once used for the storing of ammunition and 
food in case of an attack from the Indians. Mrs. John 
W. Nevin, a direct descendant of the first John Jenkins, in 
her sketch of Windsor Forges, tells of an Indian settle- 
ment under the brow of Maxwell's Hill between Church- 

1 The writer had the pleasure of seeing both the tablet and the boulder 
in September, 1913. A. H. W. 

2 Address delivered at Phoenixville, July &, 1910, upon early iron in- 
dustries of Chester County and their relation to American Independence, 
by George B. Johnson, Esq. 


town and Morgantown. These were friendly Indians, she 
says, as her father, the Honorable Robert Jenkins, told her 
of hunting and fishing with them in his boyhood. This 
Indian settlement finally became a part of the farm of Mr. 
Jenkins, and the ploughshare of the white man, now and 
again, turned up Indian relics. At a solitary place on the 
edge of the mountain a large stone was found, some years 
since, bearing a rough sketch of an Indian profile and 
tomahawk with the words " Wymus grave." " Most prob- 
ably," says Mrs. Nevin, "Wymus was 'the last of the 
Mohegans.' "* 

Nine years later Mr. John Jenkins sold this property to 
William Branson, of Philadelphia, who then owned Read- 
ing Furnace. This was December 28, 1742, and soon 
after this, Branson built on this property the lower Wind- 
sor Forge, the date on the stone over the door was 1743. 
The upper forge and the mansion house were built a little 
later. This house was substantially built, as its appear- 
ance to-day testifies, and not being disposed to belittle the 
importance of his possessions, Mr. Branson named his 
residence Windsor after the palace of the King of England. 
The old house has evidently been added to at different 
times, but a portion of the mansion belongs to the earliest 
period, and although both forges have long since disap- 
peared, it is still in excellent condition. The lawn at the 
back of the house is terraced down to the Conestoga, mak- 
ing with its shrubbery, fine trees and parterres of old fash- 

John W. Nevin, whose narrative has been quoted frequently in 
this sketch, said of it: "You may depend on this account being thoroughly 
accurate, as it is taken directly from the old account books. David Jenkins 
was my grandfather. My father, Robert Jenkins, inherited Windsor from 
his father. I was born there." The writer of this paper regrets that she 
has not been able to consult the " account books " of which Mrs. Nevin 
speaks. No one at Windsor Forges, at present, seems to know of their 

The Mansion, Windsor Forges. 

Stone house built at Windsor Forges for protection from Indians. 


ioned flowers a charmingly picturesque setting for the long, 
low mansion with its many latticed windows. This fine 
old house, with its extended facade which looks out upon 
the road, and its wide, hospitable doorway, is redolent of 
cherished memories of the past. These memories, the 
present owner of Windsor Forges has gathered together, 
and in some verses in which she laments the loss of a beau- 
tiful old tree on the lawn, she has taken occasion to cele- 
brate the virtues of several chatelaines of the mansion 
house. 1 Of Martha Armour of Pequea, wife of David 
Jenkins who worked the forges in 1773, herself of Scotch 
Irish ancestry, and a valiant soul like many of her race, 
Miss Nevin has given a spirited picture. 

" Martha Armour. She who put to flight 
And foiled by strategy the Doanes one night. 

" Coming one day from harvesting the hay 
Men found her by the old well, where she lay 
In a dead faint, her baby in her arms 
Held tight, and screaming, full of vague alarms. 
They ' brought her to,' 

But all she knew was that she saw her child 
Fall in the well. Then she went wild, 
This only she remembered, nothing more; 
But both were wringing wet, and bruised and j&ore. 
How she got up none knew. Twas thought 
Climbing, the baby in her teeth was brought." 

With Mr. Branson were associated in his business at 
Windsor Forges, Samuel Flower, Richard Hockley, and 
Lynford Lardner. 2 These three gentlemen afterwards 

1 These verses and others used in this paper were written by Miss 
Blanche Nevin, the well-known sculptress, who still lives in the beautiful 
home of her ancestors where she cherishes the traditions of the house, and 
exercises a hospitality like that of an earlier time. 

2 Mr. Lardner married Mr. Branson's daughter Rebecca, and lived in 
Philadelphia. Among other claims to distinction he was one of the 
founders of the first Dancing Assembly of that place. 


bought out Mr. Branson's interest and carried on the work 
at Windsor Forges for thirty years. In 1773, David 
Jenkins, son of the original owner John Jenkins, bought a 
half interest in the company for 2500 pounds, and later 
when the war of the Revolution was imminent, the remain- 
der, including the negro slaves and the stock used in the 
business, was sold to him for the sum of two thousand 
four hundred pounds. David Jenkins carried on the works 
successfully there until his death, in 1779, when he left 
them and about 3000 acres of land to his son Robert Jen- 
kins, including the upper and lower forges on the Con- 

The other sons of this family were William, an eminent 
lawyer, and David, a farmer. Both David Jenkins and 
his son Robert were members of the Pennsylvania Legis- 
lature, and the latter from 1807 to 1811 represented his 
state in the Congress at Washington, or as his biographer 
expresses it more picturesquely, " sat in the halls of Con- 
gress." Mr. Jenkins' services were given during the im- 
portant years before our second war with Great Britain, 
and in the heated discussions of that period his voice, it is 
said, was ever raised in the cause of justice and true 

There seems to have been an unwritten law in the Jen- 
kins family that the eldest son of David should be Robert 
and vice versa, consequently we find Davids and Roberts 
alternating quite regularly in the ownership of Windsor 
Forges. The Honorable Robert Jenkins was in possession 
of the forges from 1799 until his death in 1848, his son 
David in turn carrying on the works until his death in 

The establishment of iron furnaces drew to Caernarvon 
County, at an early date, a large population of Welsh 
workmen, who were skilled operators. The first David 


Jenkins who emigrated from Wales in 1700 married Re- 
becca Meredith of Philadelphia, whose ancestry is given 
in the following lines written by one of her descendants : 

"... grandchild of Colonel Rush, who fled 
After the Roundheads cut off King Charles' head 
Of Cromwell's army he, of stubborn faith, 
Whose daughter so the ancient Bible saith 
Was the first white girl born of Englishmen 
Within the settlement of William Penn." 

Sarah Aurelia Rush, said to be the first girl born in 
Philadelphia, was the mother of Rebecca Meredith who 
married David Jenkins. 

The Honorable Robert Jenkins married Catherine M. 
Carmichael, daughter of the Rev. John Carmichael, of 
Chester County. The history of this lady, says Mr. 
W. U. Hensel, is one of the unwritten romances of Lan- 
caster County. 1 The Rev. John Carmichael, who was 
pastor of the Presbyterian Church at the Forks of the 
Brandywine during the war of the Revolution, illustrated 
upon many an occasion a strength and loyalty of char- 
acter which proved his daughter's most precious heritage. 

While the patriot army was encamped at Valley Forge, 
during the severe winter of 1777 and '78, Mr. Carmichael 
preached to the soldiers whenever occasion offered. He 
also impressed upon his congregation the importance of 
giving everything at their command to General Wash- 
ington's destitute army, himself setting them an example 
by stripping his own home of every commodity that could 
be spared. Upon one occasion Mr. Carmichael appealed 
to the women of his flock, insistently calling upon them 

1 To the Honorable W. U. Hensel, whose learning and accuracy have 
made him par excellence the historian of Lancaster County, the writer is 
indebted for valuable data and suggestions during the preparation of this 


to divest themselves and their children of all superfluities 
in the way of clothing and food for the benefit of the suf- 
fering soldiers at Valley Forge. To this eloquent appeal 
the women replied that they had given everything that they 
could spare except their flannel petticoats. " Cut them 
off and send them," was the resolute answer. 

Although we may be at a loss to know what use soldiers 
could make of flannel petticoats, there can be no doubt of 
the patriotism and self sacrifice of a pastor and people who 
could so deprive themselves of the necessities of life, and 
as a proof that the devotion and patriotic service of this 
pastor and his flock were appreciated by the commander- 
in-chief, there has been preserved a letter from General 
Washington in which he thanks Mr. Carmichael and his 
congregation for their generous and timely donations of 
clothing and other necessities for the use of his army. 

Mr. Carmichael died while still in the prime of life, 
leaving his daughter Catherine, aged eleven, in the care of 
her uncle, the Reverend Robert Smith, D.D., pastor of the 
Presbyterian Church at Cedar Grove. After the death of 
her granduncle, Dr. Smith, in 1793, Catherine Carmichael 
lived for several years with a relative at Strasburg, Lancas- 
ter County, and later receiving a cordial invitation from 
Mr. and Mrs. Buckley to make her home with them, she 
removed from Strasburg to the vicinity of Pequea. Mr. 
and Mrs. Buckley treated Miss Carmichael as their own 
daughter and in their hospitable home, which was the 
resort of many interesting people, she enjoyed a delightful 
social life. Here Miss Carmichael met one of the favo- 
rite habitues of the house, Mr. Robert Jenkins of Windsor 
Forges, whom she afterwards married. The marriage 
was from the home of Mr. and Mrs. Buckley in Septem- 
ber, 1799. 

During her residence at Windsor Forges, Mrs. Jenkins 


took great pleasure in entertaining pious and learned men, 
and in elevating the character and improving the condition 
of her dependents. Her husband being engaged in cul- 
tivating the land and carrying on the forges, had neces- 
sarily a number of hands in his employ. In all his en- 
deavors to do them good he was assisted by his wife's 
counsel and cooperation. The following anecdote, which 
illustrates Mrs. Jenkin's strength of character and high 
principles, was related by the Rev. John B. Laman in a 
sermon delivered at the funeral of this estimable lady, in 
September, 1856, at Cedar Grove Presbyterian Church. 

" At this period and in this section of our country, vice 
and immorality stalked abroad in high and low places. 
The wine-cup and the gambling-table were the chief sources 
of amusement among many of the rich and influential ; and 
the rum-bottle, among those in the humbler walks of life. 
In the midst of all this, what could a tender female do? 
With that energy and decision which had attended her 
during all the vicissitudes of the past, Mrs. Jenkins re- 
solved to do what she could. An opportunity soon pre- 
sented itself to call forth her efforts. The hands engaged 
about the farm and forges frequently came to the table at 
their boarding-house, in a state of intoxication. Mr. Jen- 
kins, learning this fact, had endeavored to reform them in 
this respect, but the temptation was too strong to yield to 
his efforts. Mrs. Jenkins, at length, came to his assistance, 
and, with all the influence of female eloquence, portrayed 
to the offenders the injury they were doing to themselves, 
and the great sin they were committing against that kind 
Being whom she adored as her God. These admonitions 
proving ineffectual, she resolved to employ more decisive 
means. ^ She obtained, through one of the domestics, the 
bottles in which the hands kept their rum. When the din- 
ing hour arrived that day, they were surprised and cha- 
grined to see their bottles standing in a row upon the table, 
with their precious contents reflected through the glass. 
At this moment Mrs. Jenkins enters the room, and in her 


usual cheerful manner, says, that she is in possession of a 
number of bottles belonging to them, which she desires to 
restore to their respective owners, and hopes they will now 
come and take them. As none of the offenders were will- 
ing to acknowledge the ownership of the bottles, under the 
circumstances, she says : ' They are now in my possession, 
and, as you will not take them, they are, of course, at my 
disposal. 1 She then conveys them to an open window, and 
strikes them against the wall until they fall in shivers upon 
the ground. The bottles being demolished and their con- 
tents thus destroyed, she turns to the men and says, in a 
mild but decided manner, ' If they be replaced by others, 
they shall share the same fate.' " 

In the winter of 1808, while Mr. Jenkins was a member 
of Congress, Mrs. Jenkins accompanied him to Washing- 
ton, and entered into the social life of the capitol. This 
was during President Jefferson's administration. To quote 
again from Mr. Laman: 

"In the autumn of 1824, during the triumphal passage 
of Lafayette through the country, he was invited by the 
inhabitants of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to visit their place. 
Mrs. Jenkins met him at the baptismal ceremony at the 
house of George B. Porter whose child was named for the 
great man. Mrs. Jenkins, always interested in the relig- 
ious views of famous people, took this occasion to inform 
Lafayette that she was the daughter of a clergyman who 
fiad taken a very active stand in the cause of liberty; she 
was accordingly delighted to hear the great man's freely 
expressed admiration for the American clergy and their 
high moral influence." 

I have dwelt at some length upon the characteristics of 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jenkins because they are notable 
types, admirably representative of a distinct phase of Penn- 
sylvania life in the last century, a life which no longer exists, 
which indeed was possible only in earlier days, before rail- 


roads, telegraphs, and telephones had brought the whole 
world in touch. In that earlier time, the iron furnace with 
its u big house," its workmen's houses, and several depend- 
encies, formed a little world in itself. Indeed the relations 
then existing between the old iron master and his workmen 
were of a character that would be little understood by the 
operator in iron and steel industries of to-day. The work- 
men's homes were erected on " the Bank " near the furnace, 
that being the name commonly given to this settlement 
whether really on the bank or by the side of a level road. 
The workmen's houses at Windsor, of which two are still 
standing, were built near the winding Conestoga. In these 
settlements they lived their lives and brought up their 
families, father and son working for the iron master and 
his son, and often entertaining for them an affection and 
loyalty very like that of the retainer of an older time. 

Only those who have lived at an old iron furnace have 
any adequate conception of the almost feudal relations ex- 
isting between the employer and employed. It was a con- 
dition of interdependence with an underlying sense of pro- 
tection and friendliness. If these workmen had been 
called upon to arm themselves and go forth to fight for 
their chief, as in feudal times, they would doubtless have 
gone without a murmur. As it was, the only lists that 
they were called upon to enter were to be found at the 
polls. At election times the hands were all sent in huge 
wagons to vote for whatever candidate represented the pro- 
tective tariff, the fetish of the iron industry in the early 
years and in the middle of the last century, as it has been 
in later times. Even if the farmers in the surrounding 
country represented other shades of political belief, the 
hands at the furnace were true blue to a man, not in any 
sense feeling that they were " taking orders" from their 
employer, but rather as reflecting the opinion of one whom 


they looked up to and considered much wiser than them- 
selves. In material things these work people were child- 
like in their dependence upon the "big house," as the pro- 
prietor's mansion was called. Their supplies came from 
the store, which was not called the company store in those 
days, but simply the store, and was an actual necessity as 
the nearest town and base of supplies was often separated 
from the furnace by from twelve to twenty miles of heavy 
clay or mud roads. To the wares in this store the pro- 
prietor, in many cases, gave his personal supervision, and 
there being no middle man the workman whose flitch and 
flour, coffee and sugar, did not please him had only to 
speak to the manager or to the iron master himself. 

In some of its phases the life at the old iron furnaces of 
Pennsylvania was like that upon a southern plantation. 
Indeed, the early iron masters frequently spoke of their 
estates as plantations, including as they did many acres 
upon which, in early times, slaves were employed. The 
old account books of Windsor Forges give a long list of 
slaves employed at the works and upon the farm. These 
slaves, who were usually Guinea negroes, were frequently 
named from the place where they were bought, as " Phila- 
delphia Jim," "Lunnon Boat" and "Slave Boat Swain," 
names indicating purchase from a slave ship. Other 
negroes were given or retained such odd names as 
"Quash" "Cooba" and "Negro Mig." In the second 
generation, the classic names of Greece and Rome prevailed 
and "Pompey," "Caesar," and "Scipio" were among the 
names at Windsor Forges. The women slaves were often 
given names immortalized by English poets in addresses to 
their mistresses, as "Chloe," "Phyllis," " Priscilla," 
"Clarissa," "Diana" and "Venus." By the laws of 
Pennsylvania there was gradual emancipation for these 
slaves, their children served until they were twenty-eight, 


the children of the third generation were born free but were 
bound to the former owner's family until they were eight- 
een or twenty-one. Every family had at least two of these 
servants who were usually faithful and took great pride in 
the members of the family to which they belonged, and 
by whom they were generally treated with great kindness. 
One of the oldest inhabitants of Churchtown recently re- 
called a wedding at Windsor, with " Quash " as the groom, 
when the fair bride, whose name she forgot, was arrayed 
in a white frock with low neck and short sleeves, a wreath 
of marigolds adorning her head. This wedding was 
attended by members of the Jenkins family who provided 
a generous collation. 

In cases of illness the "big house" was invariably ap- 
plied to, and severe indeed were those ailments which the 
iron master's wife was not considered able to relieve with 
the remedies that she was always expected to have within 
reach. One of my own earliest recollections is of hearing 
the wives of two iron masters comparing notes with regard 
to their medical practice among the furnace hands. One 
of these lovely ladies, whose face rises before me as I write, 
had supplied herself with Dr. Hering's book, and a box of 
tiny bottles warranted to cure all ills to which the flesh is 
heir, with these, she was wont to say that she practiced 
with considerable success. The other lady, being the 
daughter of a physician of the older school, adhered, in 
the main, to the more heroic system of her fathers. Both, 
being wise women, used, in the treatment of the cases 
brought to them, their native wit and common sense in a 
larger measure than the drugs in their medicine closets. 

After the death of the Honorable Robert Jenkins the 
work at the forges at Windsor was carried on by his son 
David Jenkins, who was, like his father, a kindly and 
benevolent employer, deeply interested in the wellfare of 


his workmen and their families. Mr. David Jenkins was 
not married, and after his death in 1850 the work at Wind- 
sor Forges seems to have been abandoned chiefly on account 
of sharp competition in the iron business, the lack of facili- 
ties for transportation, and the more modern machinery 
with which some of the neighboring furnaces were 
equipped. In addition to these causes, the scarcity of 
wood, which seriously interfered with the iron industry in 
certain localities of Pennsylvania, may have had much to 
do with the abandonment of the forges at Windsor. The 
charcoal used in these old furnaces and forges naturally led 
to the despoiling of large tracts of woodland. At one 
Pennsylvania furnace, where the writer of this little paper 
spent many years of her childhood, the coal for the fur- 
nace was charred in the South mountain and carted across, 
miles of bad roads to the furnace, which was then sur- 
rounded by arable land. This carting of the charcoal, of 
course, added materially to the expenses of the making and 
moulding of iron. 

In the course of years Lancaster, which was at one time 
a great iron-making county, became one of the richest of 
Pennsylvania's agricultural counties. The Indian trails, 
over which the German, French, and English artisans 
transported their iron upon pack horses to the neighbor- 
ing forges, became in time the high roads over which grain 
was conveyed to the commercial centers of the Middle 
States. With the abandonment of the old charcoal fur- 
naces and forges there passed away a picturesque and in- 
dividual phase of the rural life of Pennsylvania. 

Anne Hollingsworth Wharton. 




When the forges built on the Manatawny Creek had 
been in operation a few years, and had demonstrated that 
there was "money in it" for the canny investor, Phila- 
delphia capital began to flow in that direction and in 
1744 one John Ross, "Gentleman," formed a company 
and took into partnership two men from the iron region, 
John Yoder and John Lesher of Oley. About ten miles 
from the confluence of the Manatawny with the Schuylkill 
was a little hamlet called "Oley Churches" and the place 
selected for the new Forge was about one quarter of a mile 
south of the quaintly named village. They purchased 
from Sebastian Graeff a tract of one hundred and ninety- 
seven acres situated along the Manatawny Creek, adjoin- 
ing lands of Robert Stapleton and John Yoder, and upon 
the "Great Road" leading to Philadelphia. Here they 
erected a forge for the purpose of "manufacturing pig 
metal into bar iron," constructed a water pond, water 
courses and the necessary buildings, and they also looked 
to their future supply of wood for charcoal by purchasing 
warrants for taking up lands on the adjacent hills. 

In 1750 John Yoder sold out his one-third interest to 
John Lesher, and Lesher and Ross kept their respective 
holdings until the death of the latter. John Lesher 
(17111794) was born in Germany and came to Penn- 
sylvania in 1734. Settling in Berks County near the Oley 
Churches, he became one of the strong men of that neigh- 
borhood and for fifty years was identified with iron inter- 


ests. He represented the county in the Constitutional 
Convention of 1776, and served in the General Assembly 
from 1776 until 1782. While in the Convention he was a 
member of the important committee which prepared and 
reported the " Declaration of Rights." During the 
Revolution he acted as one of the commissioners for pur- 
chasing army supplies. Suffering, as did many others, 
from the unceremonious manner in which supplies for the 
army were demanded and taken, John Lesher wrote to 
the Supreme Executive Council on the 9 January, 1778 : 

" I conceive it to be my duty to acquaint you that I am 
no more master of any individual thing I possess ! for be- 
sides the damages I have heretofore sustained by a number 
of troops and Continental wagons in taking from me 8 tons 
of hay, destroyed apples sufficient for 10 hhds. of cider, 
eating up my pasture, burning my fences, etc. and two 
beeves, I was obliged to buy at i sh. per Ib. to answer 
their immediate want of provisions,, and at several other 
times since, I have supplied detachments from the army 
with provisions. There has been lately taken from me 
14 head of cattle and 4 swine. The cattle at a very low 
estimate, to my infinite damage, as they were all the beef 
I had for my workmen for carrying on my iron works. 

" I had rather delivered the beef and reserved the hides, 
tallow, etc., but no argument would prevail! all must be 
delivered to a number of armed men at the point of the 
bayonet. As my family, which I am necessitated to main- 
tain consists of nearly thirty persons, not reckoning colliers, 
wood cutters, and other day laborers ! My provision and 
forage being taken from me, my forge must stand idle! 
My furnace (which I am about carrying on) must of con- 
sequence be dropped ! which will be a loss to the public as 
well as myself as there is so great a call for iron at present 
for public use, and some forges and furnaces must of nec- 
essity fail for want of wood and ore. The case in this 
neighborhood is truly alarming when the strongest exer- 
tion of economy and frugality ought to be practiced by all 


ranks of men! Thereby the better to enable us to repel 
the designs of a daring Enemy who are now in our land. 

" It strikes me with horror to see a number of our own 
officers and soldiers wantonly waste and destroy the good 
people's properties by such conduct. They destroy the 
cause they seek to maintain. Instead of judicious men 
appointed in ever} 7 township, or as the case may require, to 
proportion the demands equal according to the circum- 
stances of every farmer and the general benefit of the 
whole, these men under the shadow of the bayonet and 
the appellation * Tory ' act as they please. Our wheat, rye, 
oats and hay taken away at discretion and shamefully 
wasted and our cattle destroyed. I know some fanners 
who have not a bushel of oats left for seed, nor beef suffi- 
cient for their own consumption, while others lose nothing 
as a man who had 100 head of cattle lost not one. 
Such proceedings I think to be very partial. Many far- 
mers are so much discouraged by such conduct that I have 
heard several say they would neither plow nor sow. If 
this takes place the consequence may be easily foreseen, 
unless some speedy and effectual method be taken to put 
a stop to such irregular proceedings, and encouragement 
and protection extended to the good people of the Com- 
monwealth. I shudder at the consequences. I humbly 
submit the whole to your serious consideration." 1 

John Ross was a rather picturesque character, an officer 
of the King and a half brother of George Ross, Signer of 
the Declaration of Independence. Graydon says of him: 
" Mr. John Ross, who loved ease and Madeira much better 
than liberty and strife, declared for neutrality, saying, that 
let who would be king, he well knew that he would be 
a subject." 

In the settlement of his estate litigation arose with 
Lesher, and while this was going on Lesher sold out his 
two-thirds to his son Jacob, an iron master, and his sons-in- 

1 M. L. Montgomery's History of Berks County in the Revolution. 


law John Potts, and Jacob Morgan. After a number of 
changes, Frederick Spang of Oley became the owner in 
1794, and he and his descendants carried on the iron busi- 
ness here for seventy years; the plant being known as the 
Spang Forge. 

Before the country was cleared of its forests the Mana- 
tawny and its affluents had a sufficient volume to operate 
numerous mills and small factories, some of which are still 
carried on. The stream at Oley Forge afforded a strong 
water power, the dam covering about forty acres. This 
perhaps explains why Oley Forge had a continuous history 
and was in active operation for one hundred and twenty 
years. 1 

Mary E. Mumford. 

1 M. L. Montgomery, History of Berks County. 

Harpsichord of H. W. Stiegel, 1765. Presented by the family of Mrs. 
Henry Morris, his great-granddaughter, to the Historical Society of 




A forge was built on Tulpehocken Creek, some miles 
north of Womelsdorf in 1749, by John George Nikoll, 
a hammersmith, and Michael Miller. Calling it Tulpe- 
hocken Eisenhammer, they immediately " at their joint ex- 
pense erected an Iron work, or Forge and Dam, and dug a 
Race or water-course, and made other great improvements 
for the commencing of forging and the manufacturing of 


A worn account book, alphabetically divided, in the 
Mss. of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has this 
inscription, in German writing; "Tulpehocken Eisenham- 
mer, 1757, Michael Reis and [?] brenner in company." 
Another, similar, dates back to 1754, and a third, dated 
1760, has the name Stein added: a possible partner. 

About 1762 Henry William Stiegel bought lands adja- 
cent, from Michael Reis and Garrett Brenner, and in 
February, 1763, he bought an undivided half of the Forge 
with appurtenances and eight hundred and fifty-nine acres 
of land from C. and A. Stedman. 1 By 1770 he had added 
to his holdings of land here so largely that he owned 
thirty seven hundred acres. 

Stiegel called this Forge, Charming; the name being 
simply descriptive of the great natural beauty of the neigh- 
borhood. In his desire for land he more than once ex- 
changed tons of iron bars for coveted acres. An undoubt 
edly industrious man, able and hopeful, he was a stimulant 
in many ways to his contemporaries. His workmen, who 

1 Ledger of Charming Forge, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 


were always well treated, loved him, and tried, as they 
could, when his evil days came, to help him. The musical 
interest was great, between them. One can imagine the 
pleasure of being summoned from the heat of forge and 
furnace, to welcome the Master on his return home by 
"playing on instruments." And these same instruments 
seem to have cost something. In a valuation of his pos- 
sessions, in his own handwriting, one finds: 

L S d 

" By Musical Instruments 375 12 2 
House Furniture 483 o 5" 


" My clear estate after deduction 

of debts is worth this day, July i, 

1763, 9891 o 5" 

Landed property (enumerated) 4540 o o" 1 

Of all these musical possessions two only seem to be 
extant. In one of the Museum rooms of the Pennsylvania 
Historical Society is a plain oddly shaped harpsichord on a 
curious trestle support. The shape really is not sc odd, as 
it strongly resembles that of a "Baby grand," and the 
smooth brown wood shows no breaks or marks. Pur- 
chased by Stiegel about one hundred and fifty years ago, it 
became later the property of his daughter Elizabeth who 
married William Old, son of James Old, the noted iron- 
master. Descending finally to her granddaughter Caro- 
line Old, who, in 1830 was married to Henry Morris, so 
well known to Philadelphians of a generation or so ago, it 
rested for many years at Solitude the charming! "coun- 
try in city" home of Mr. Morris. At Mrs. Morris's 
death, 1889, tne harpsichord was given by the family to 
the Historical Society. A Stiegel guitar or lute also the 

1 Ledger, Elizabeth Furnace 1762^-65, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 


property of Mrs. Morris, is now in the possession of her 
daughter, Mrs. James Wood of Mount Kisco. 

On July, i, 1763, he values his Manheim town and lands, 
" 10 lots Heidelberg and others," enumerated, at 4540. 

Two or three of Stiegel's own entries in the day book are 
interesting: as, a long account with " Curtis Grubb," in 
1773: "By Pigg Mettal." And, much later, when he 
no longer owned the forge, in 1779, "Daniel Benezet's 
Account, lent by Mr. George Ege, pro memoria, 

L S d 

Bonds and Mortgages 3000 

To 4 years interest on same 720 

Ditto, bill the Day (illegible) 540 

Ditto, to September 1779, Interest 900." 

By 1772 his financial embarrassments were beginning to 
crowd around him. In a Day Book of Charming Forge 
we find an entry showing the lease on May i, 1772, of 
" one full undivided half part of Charming Forge with all 
the lands and estates thereto belonging for a yearly rent to 
Mr. Paul Zantzinger . . . and whereas said Paul Zant- 
zinger and George Ege by another instrument in writing 
hath mutually agreed to carry on the said Forge in Com- 
pany, preparations were made . . . for accounts of said 
company the transactions and accounts of which are as 
follows." 1 

By I 775> possibly earlier, George Ege was the sole pos- 
sessor of Charming Forge, as the inscription in one of the 
Day Books in the Pennsylvania Historical Society shows : 

" Charming Forge 

Day Book, May I st 1775 
George Ege Proprietor." 

1 See Elizabeth Furnace. 


The George Ege here mentioned, was Stiegel's nephew 
by marriage, the son of Michael Ege, who served in the 
French and Indian Wars, and grandson of Bernhard Ege, 
who came to this country in 1738 from Wurtemburg. On 
the death of George Ege in 1759 his widow and two sons, 
George and Michael, were most hospitably taken into 
Stiegel's family at Elizabeth Furnace, George then being 
eleven years old. These boys were carefully trained by 
Stiegel in the best methods of iron making, and in after 
years did his teaching great credit, becoming, the one in 
Berks county, the other in York and Cumberland, two of 
the greatest iron masters in the country. 

In July, 1776, the Executive Council of Pennsylvania 
passed a resolution authorizing the employment of Hessian 
prisoners of war, at Lancaster and Reading, and in the 
furnaces of Chester, Lancaster and Berks counties, which 
were casting cannon and shot for the government. Early 
in 1777 Mr. Ege purchased from Congress the services of 
thirty-four Hessian prisoners for the purpose of cutting a 
channel through a bed of rock to supply his slitting mill 
with water power. The mill race, about twenty feet wide, 
was cut through a mass of solid slate rock as smoothly as 
if done by a broad-axe. It was used until 1887 when the 
forge was abandoned. 1 For the services of these channel 
cutters he allowed the United States Government, Novem- 
ber 5, 1782, the sum of iO2O. 3 

Augusta M. Longacre. 

1 Pennsylvania, Colonial and Federal, by Jenkins. 

2 Ibid. 



About 1750 a small furnace was built by John Jacob 
Huber, a German, on a tributary of Conestoga Creek, near 
Brickersville, in Lancaster county. An earlier date might 
possibly be given, as, in Wast Book A, Elizabeth Furnace, 
1756* there is an entry evidently taken from another book, 
" Began to take the hearth out of the Furnace, Oct. 6, 


Of Huber, personally, little is known, except that on a 
stone in this furnace he had these words inscribed : 

"Jacob Huber, der erste Deutsche Mann 
Der das Eisenwerk vollfuhren Kann." 

One other title to fame he has: that, on the 7th of 
November, 1752, his daughter, Elizabeth, was married to 
Heinrich Wilhelm Stiegel. This small furnace had the 
fortune to be owned by two men, Stiegel and Robert Cole- 
man, whose names, for different reasons, are to-day per- 
haps the best known among the earlier Pennsylvania iron 

Many tales and traditions have come down to us, of the 
prosperities and adversities of Henry William Stiegel, 
popularly called Baron, one of our few upper class Ger- 
man settlers. Evidently an interesting and impressive 
personality, he, for years supplied his simple country neigh- 
bors with dazzling glimpses of the " pride of life"; and it 
is small wonder that they should consider him an amazing 
and marvellous creature, of a kind not usually abounding 

1 Manuscript Collections, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 


among Pennsylvania Germans. His later misfortunes 
have overshadowed the remembrance of his follies, and 
with the latent perfume of the yearly Feast of Roses, his 
name seems to come softly and pleasantly down to our 

Henry William Stiegel came to Philadelphia in August, 
I 75> by the ship Nancy , from Rotterdam and Cowes. 
He was then about twenty years old. Sifting the evidence 
for and against the traditional title of Baron, which per- 
sonally he does not appear to have claimed, it is possible 
that he came from Mannheim, Baden, Germany, after hav- 
ing quarrelled with his family ; a proof of this is, that while 
in after life, he went once or oftener to England, he seems 
to have made no effort to go to his early home. He 
brought with him, to Pennsylvania, a considerable sum of 
money. The estimate of one writer, that the sum was 
40,000 is questionable, even when compared with Stiegel's 
lavish outlay later, in lands and buildings. 1 If, he were 
of noble birth he must have changed his name, as " Stiegel " 
is not to be found in the nobility lists of Germany. He 
may have belonged to the Stengels. An interested inves- 
tigator, Dr. J. H. Dubbs, found that a young Stengel had 
left Mannheim for America shortly before the date of 
Stiegel's landing here, and that a younger line of the 
Stengels belongs in Baden, their ancestral home, Strengel- 
hof, being near Mannheim. Once, in America, Stiegel 
signed his name "Henrich (sic) von Stiegel," to the con- 
stitution of the old Lutheran Church in Brickersville. Or- 
dinarily, his signature was simply Stiegel, or Henry Wil- 
liam Stiegel. However this may be, his birth, noble or 
simple, was not a matter of great moment to him, in his 
stirring life in America. Of good family he undoubtedly 

1 C. F. Hucfy Mitteilungen Des Deutschcn Pionier Vereins von Phila- 
delphia, Fiinftes Heft, 1907. 

House of Henry William Stiegel, Elizabeth Furnace. His offices 
at rear of house. 

House where the charcoal was stored at Elizabeth Furnace. 


was. He had had an excellent education, and was a man 
of cultivation and taste : this is shown in his technical and 
musical knowledge, 1 and later in his mode of life and the 
equipments of his residences. Of distinct capacity and en- 
terprise, he was also sanguine, credulously trustful, and 
with a great love of ostentatious living. These latter ten- 
dencies, together with outward circumstances utterly be- 
yond his control for who could foresee the Revolutionary 
War? brought on his mortifying failures. 

StiegePs married life, with Elizabeth Huber, was happy 
and short. In 1757 he bought Huber's furnace, and built 
on the old site a much larger one, naming it for his wife, 
Elizabeth. She died in February, 1758, leaving two 
daughters, Barbara and Elizabeth. 

There is in existence a stove plate 2 decorated with Heart 
and Tulip, bearing thd inscription: 

H. William Stiegel und Compagni for Elizabeth 1758. 

That the words " for Elizabeth " are to honor the mem- 
ory of his dead wife, one can hardly doubt; even though 
within the prescribed year of mourning after her death 
he should have paid her that subtlest of all compliments 
according to some philosophers, a speedy remarriage, and 
with another Elizabeth Elizabeth Wood, or Holz, of 
Roxborough, near Philadelphia. This marriage is said to 
be on record at St. Michael's Church, Germantown. They 
had one son, Jacob. 

In buying Elizabeth Furnace, Stiegel had partners; John 
Barr and the Stedman brothers, Alexander and Charles; 
the latter of Canadian origin, being well-to-do merchants 
in Philadelphia. An unfortunate connection this seems to 

1 c. F. Huch. 

2 In collection of G. H. Danner, Manheim, Pa. 


have been. In his transactions with the Stedmans, 
through a number of years, their business shrewdness was 
greatly superior to his. They apparently tied him up with 
contracts in which the advantage was generally on the Sted- 
man side, while Stiegel's industry and enterprise were no 
match for their clever astuteness. They were presumably 
men of importance in Philadelphia, as their names, as also 
others of the early iron masters, are on the Assembly lists 
of the time. 

Another hindrance to Stiegel's permanent success, was 
the buying of land, in unnecessary quantities. Evidently, 
he brought with him from Germany traces of the tendency 
called there Erd-hunger; and this adding of acre to acre 
was one of the causes of his financial embarrassment and 
downfall. For a period of at least ten years, however, he 
prospered greatly. A sister of StiegePs second wife, 
named Anna Catherine Holz, had married George Michael 
Ege. At the latter's death in 1759, his widow and two 
sons, George and Michael, were taken into the family at 
Elizabeth Furnace. Stiegel, the guardian of his nephews, 
educated them, and had them trained in the rudiments of 
iron making, in which they became later, experts. Pros- 
perity marked Elizabeth Furnace from 1760 on. Seventy- 
five persons were employed, and, near by, twenty-five work- 
men's houses were built, some of which are still there. In 
autumn and winter, many of the workmen were busy felling 
wood in the neighboring hills, for charcoal burning. 

A list of all Stoves cast at Elizabeth Furnace, 1771, 

L S d 

Bigg 10 plate 5 10 

Small d. 5 

Bigg 6 plate 5 

Middle ditto 3 



TrWf.^ v .l;r.'-"j^ 

jB-4^V^ii*: T?~ 
& f*;2T 

<&. - ^-~~~*~~*~ 


* fr 1 *- I ' -, ' IMF* W'J iP * 

?: S^TJ S ! f iJ^"J- ; ; 


Mansion of H. W. Stiegel, Manheim. 

Stoveplate, called the Medallion plate, Elizabeth Furnace, 1769. Owned 
by Mr. M. H. Banner, Manheim. 


L S d 

Small ditto 2 5 

Bigg 5 P\ate 5 

Middle ditto 4 

Small " 3 

Moravian Stove 3 

An open 6 plate half Stove 4 IO 1 

On the 20 September, 1762, Stiegel bought two hundred 
and forty three acres of land from C. and A. Stedman and 
speedily laid out a town, calling it after his supposedly 
native place, Manheim. All that had stood there before 
this ambitious planning, were two little block houses; by 
Stiegel's energy and exertion, however, in a short time a 
number of buildings were erected (sold on the ground 
rent plan), and early in 1763 he began to build his own 
mansion. This not very imposing "castle" as the neigh- 
bors called it, was a strong, well-built brick house, forty 
feet square. The bricks were possibly imported, but cer- 
tainly were brought from Philadelphia in his own wagons. 2 
The interior ornamentation, tiles and furnishings, probably 
came from England, as Stiegel was there on business in 
that year. One of these blue tiles is to be seen at the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania and at the Museum of 
Mr. G. H. Banner in M'anheim are many memorials of 
Stiegel. It is a curious thing that no likeness of this 
widely known man is in existence, or, if in existence, it is 
practically unknown. One large room in his house was 
fitted up as a chapel where he held religious services for 
his family and workmen, and also for the neighbors, who 
came, many of them, on foot, and often from a distance 
of ten or more miles. 

Early in 1763 Stiegel bought lands adjacent to Tulpe- 

1 Ledger of Elizabeth Furnace, in Manuscript Collections, Historical 
Society of Pennsylvania. 

2 C. F. Huch. 


hocken Eisenhammer, near Womelsdorf in Berks county. 
On the fifth of February, 1763, he bought an undivided 
half of that forge, with eight hundred and fifty nine acres, 
from C. and A. Stedman. He later added largely to 
these holdings of land, and called the Forge Charming. 
The Stedmans retained the other half of the property. 

Extravagant, kindly and sanguine, Stiegel's life for 
some years now was outwardly prosperous, and his period 
of ostentatious living came to its height. He provided his 
German workmen with musical instruments, which, with 
the inborn musical talent of the race, they used with skill 
and pleasure. The story goes, that when he returned to 
Manheim from a journey, in his coach and four, a cannon 
was fired, at some distance from the house, and, on arriv- 
ing he was greeted by favorite airs, played by his work- 
man band, gathered in the large balcony on the roof of 
the mansion. An attractive picture, if somewhat vain- 
glorious. He built also, a tower, on a hill not far from 
Elizabeth Furnace, called to this day Tower or Cannon 
Hill, which, except the foundations, was of heavy timber, 
fifty feet at base, seventy-five feet high and ten feet square 
at the top. It contained a number of rooms. He built 
this, Heaven alone knows why, unless possibly to enter- 
tain friends, or to have a retreat for himself; as, with all 
his open heartedness he was suspicious of his surroundings, 
fearing robbery, or danger to life. 1 On this structure, he 
had one of his favorite cannon for salutes. 

In 1772 he gave to the Lutheran congregation in Man- 
heim a piece of ground on which to build a church, taking 
the sum of five shillings to make the transaction legal, and 
exacting an annual rental of " one red rose, when the same 
shall be legally demanded. " After disuse for many years, 

1 Ege Genealogy. 

Cannon Stove made by Stiegel, 1759. Owned by the James Spear 
Stove and Heating Company, Philadelphia. 


this custom was taken up about twenty-five years ago, and 
on the second Sunday in June, now, the " Feast of Roses " 
attracts crowds to the "Baron Stiegel Memorial Church" 
(erected in 1857), in whose tower a peal of ten bells has 
been dedicated to his memory. At these services, a de- 
scendant of StiegePs receives the red rose, addresses are 
made, and the chancel is often filled with red roses, 
dropped there by the audience, individually, as a tribute. 

First in Pennsylvania to attempt the making of flint 
glass, he did more than attempt, he succeeded; and for 
ten years his factory made bottles, tumblers, wine glasses, 
vases, jugs, dishes, playthings and colored glass, supplying 
the needs of the distant colonies as well as his own. Bear- 
ing the general title, "American Flint Glass," there are 
three old account books in the manuscript collections of 
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The earliest one 
is inscribed "Ledger A. No. i. Begun the 6th of Octo- 
ber, 1764, for Manheim Glass House, by Henry William 
Stiegel." This is probably the date of the formal opening 
of the works. As usual, in building this factory his ideas 
were bold, and too great for his pocket. On the corner 
of Charlotte and Stiegel Streets, in Manheim, he erected 
a brick building so large that a double team could drive 
in and turn around. The height, to the top of the dome 
was one hundred feet. 

To quote an authority, Dr. Edwin Atlee Barber: "He 
secured skilled workmen from the best factories of Europe, 
and the wares produced after the most approved methods 
of the period, found their way into the homes of the well- 
to-do people of that day, and many examples are still 
preserved. Improvements were made in the manufacture 
from time to time, as is shown by an original agreement 
dated June 4, 1773, in possession of Mr. George H. 


Banner of Manheim, between Henry William Stiegel, 
owner of the American Flint Glass Manufactory and Laz- 
arus Isaac, glass cutter of Philadelphia, described as ' cutter 
and flowerer ' who was to receive wages of five pounds ten 
shillings a month. By the term Gutter' we do not un- 
derstand that this workman actually cut and polished 
glass in the modern sense, as no examples of true cut glass 
have come to light, which could be attributed to this fac- 
tory, but numerous specimens of blown glass, ornamented 
with surface etched or engraved designs of tulips and other 
floral devices have survived, which were made at these 
works. In these pieces the ' cutting ' and * flowering ' have 
been done with a wheel or sharp instrument, the strokes 
of the hand work being distinctly visible, and entirely dis- 
tinct from the frosting produced by means of acids. The 
Stiegel glassware was of better quality than any produced 
elsewhere in the colonies down to the period when its man- 
ufacture ceased. A considerable quantity of glass must 
have been produced, as many identified pieces are to be 
found in the possession of collectors. Mr. Robert Cole- 
man Hemphill of West Chester, Pennsylvania, possesses a 
set of the dark blue sugar bowls, which, without their lids, 
now serve the purpose of finger bowls. These were made 
for his ancestor, Robert Coleman." 1 As a modem touch 
one might say that a Stiegel tumbler sold in New York 
recently (1913) for $21 and a Stiegel mug for $19. A 
number of letters of Stiegel's to John Dickinson (evidently 
his creditor, but, as evidently, a kindly one), are among 
the Logan Papers in the Historical Society of Pennsyl- 
vania. The following letter is inserted, to show his pleas- 
ure and interest in his newest venture, the Glass Works, 
and his amazingly care-free outlook, even when telling Mr. 

1 Bulletin of Pennsylvania Museum, January, 1906. 

Stove door plate, cast at Elizabeth Furnace. Owned by the Pennsylvania 
Museum in Memorial Hall. 


Dickinson to sell the iron works, on which the latter prob- 
ably had a mortgage with Daniel Benezet. 

"ELIZABETH FURNACE, June 24 th 1771 

"Your favour of the ist instant I Received and am 
obliged to you, I make no Doubt but you Recomand and 
Encourage the Manufactory all you can as an undertaking 
so advantageous to the Good of the province and Country 
I now go on with great perfection in that Art so that 
Alexand 1 ". Bartram who was here and Viewed the same 
aknowledged that it was equal with any that ever he saw 
from Great Brittain and Agreed with me for a large Quan- 
tity with a resolution to stop his importation and Take all 
from me. Concerning the works they are too High and 
no body at present times will give near the price for them, 
if you can sell them, I have no objection, any thing I can 
serve you In you will freely command Mrs Stiegel joins 
me in our best Compliments to you and Spouse and am 


" Your most Humble Servant 

" To John Dickinson Esq*-" 1 


The care-free days were nearly over, however. His 
reputation as a rich iron-master was a soon pricked bubble. 
Daniel Benezet held a mortgage for 3,000 on Stiegel]s 
share of Elizabeth Furnace, from 1768; and in 1770 his 
entire Manheim estate was mortgaged to Isaac Cox for 

He was active in getting up a Lottery in 1765 for the 
benefit of the Pennsylvania German Society, and in 1773, 
one seems to have been opened to which his own name was 
attached, and which was for the benefit of his private un- 
dertakings. There is a Broadside in the Historical Soci- 
ety's Collections, running thus : 

1 Logan Papers, Vol. 38^ no. 87-, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 



" 1/3 part of Elizabeth Furnace seized and taken in Ex- 
ecution of the above writ, being late the property of H. W. 
Stiegel ; to be sold by 



"August I3th, 1774" 

It is useless to detail the business embarrassments which 
were now overwhelming him. From his letters one 
gathers that among his creditors, Daniel Benezet and John 
Dickinson treated him with great consideration and for- 
bearance. Others were not so forbearing, and in the 
autumn of 1774 he was arrested for debt, and lodged in 
jail. He was liberated by special act of Legislature passed 
December 24, 1774. Under the title Warrants to affix the 
Great Seal we find the following : 

"To Edmund Physick, Keeper of the Great Seal of 
Pennsylvania, 28 April 1775. These are to authorize and 
require you to affix the Great Seal to .... an act for the 
relief of Henry William Stiegel, a languishing prisoner in 
the Gaol of Philadelphia County, with respect to the im- 
prisonment of his person. 


"Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province 
of Pennsylvania." 1 

Just why four months should elapse between passing the 
Act which promptly liberated the prisoner, and the affix- 
ing of the Great Seal, is a question. 

Early in 1777 great anxiety was felt in Philadelphia as 
to the possible approach of the British forces, and on April 
14 Mrs. Robert Morris wrote to her mother, Mrs. Thomas 

1 Manuscript Collections, Pennsylvania Historical Society. 

Residence of Robert Coleman, Elizabeth Furnace. 

A corner of the Coleman garden, Elizabeth Furnace. 


"We are preparing for another flight, in packing up 
our furniture and removing them to a new purchase Mr. 
Morris has made 10 miles from Lancaster no other than 
the famous house that belonged to Stedman and Stiegel at 
the Iron Works, where you know, I spent six weeks ; so am 
perfectly well acquainted with the goodness of the house 
and the situation. The reason Mr. Morris made this pur- 
chase, he looks upon the other not secure if they come by 
water. I think myself very lucky in having this asylum it 
being but eight miles, fine road, from Lancaster, where I 
expect Mr. Morris will be if he quits this, besides many of 
my friends and acquaintances. So I will now solicit the 
pleasure of your company at this once famous place, in- 
stead of Mennet, where perhaps we may yet trace some 
vestages of the late owner's folly and may prove a useful 
lesson to his successors." 1 

In a private record, Mr. Robert Coleman, of Lebanon, 
wrote : 

" In the year 1776, possessed of but a small capital, and 
recently married, I took a lease for the Elizabeth Furnace 
estate for the term of seven years, not anticipating at that 
time that before the expiration of the lease I should have it 
in my power to become owner in fee simple of the whole or 
a greater part of the estate. Success however crowned my 
endeavors. A new and regular system was adopted, by 
which the business of ironwork was made to resemble more 
a well-conducted manufactory than the scenes of confusion 
and disorder which had before that time prevailed in that 
business. During the continuance of the lease I made 
several purchases of lands contiguous to the estate, and in 
the year 1780 I purchased from John Dickinson, Esq. the 
one undivided third part of the Elizabeth Furnace and 
lands thereunto belonging, he having before that time be- 
come the owner of all the estate and interest which Alex- 
ander Stedman held in the same. In the year 1784 I pur- 
chased out Mr. Charles Stedman, who also held an undi- 
vided third part of the estate. The remaining third part 
of the original estate was not purchased by me from Daniel 

1 Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, I, p. 225. 


Benezet until the year 1794, he either not being inclined to 
sell or asking more than I thought it expedient to give." 1 

Having been placed by Robert Coleman at Elizabeth 
Furnace as foreman, Stiegel wrote to Jasper Yeates of his 
precarious position, and soon after, large orders were re- 
ceived from the government for shot and shell. In the 
spring of 1777 the furnace became overtaxed and he sug- 
gested to the authorities that more power could be had by 
conducting the water from Saw Hole around the base of 
Cannon Hill to Furnace Run. The government sent him 
about two hundred Hessian prisoners, taken at Trenton, 
to dig this canal, over a mile in length. Many of the 
Hessians remained and became good citizens; it is just 
possible that they may have been induced by the offer of 
Congress of 29 April, 1778, under which "50 acres of 
land were granted to any private soldier who deserted 
from a foreign regiment in British pay. The execution 
of this project was confided to Benjamin Franklin, who 
speedily had the eloquence of Congress translated into 
very plain and intelligible German, and printed inside the 
covers of parcels of tobacco made up in imitation of those 
which were sold across the counters of a rural store. 
Franklin contrived that a number of these packages should 
fall into the hands of General Von Hiester's foragers, and 
the event showed that many a Hessian grenadier, as he 
ruminated over his pipe, had dwelt lovingly on the tempt- 
ing offer which he found within the wrappers." 2 In pay- 
ment for the work done at the furnace for the govern- 
ment, Hessian prisoners were sent there. In the Pig 
Iron Book, under date of August 14, the management 
is credited to twenty- two prisoners, six months, twenty- 
four and one-half days at eight shillings per week, and 
four prisoners at forty-five shillings per month. 

1 Iron making in Pennsylvania, by James Swank. 

2 The American Revolution, Sir George Otto Trevelyan, III, p. 29. 


Stiegel left Elizabeth finally in 1778, and shortly after, 
his connection with iron making ended. Few and evil, from 
a worldly point of view, were his last years. His nephew, 
George Ege, had been the owner of Charming Forge since 
1774. Stiegel seems to have found work and a home 
there, as book-keeper. Later, for a while, he tried to 
support himself and his wife by teaching school. His 
former workmen did all they could; they cared much for 
him, and sent their children to be taught. He struggled 
manfully against poverty and disaster, until the death of 
his wife; he seems, then, to have gone back to Charming 
to die. The end came in 1783, when he was nearly fifty- 
four years old. 

In 1776 Robert Coleman's residence at Elizabeth Fur- 
nace began. His patriotism has been spoken of else- 
where. 1 Of thd other aspects of his life there, the verse 
"Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit" might be 
quoted as a condensed description. A Sunday School was 
kept up there for the children on the place : when no clergy- 
man was available, Mr. Coleman read the service. When 
a visiting clergyman arrived, he had a hearty welcome 
(a shade less warm perhaps, if he happened to have Tory 
leanings) and immediately the unbaptized children on the 
place, whether Mr. Coleman's or those of his workmen, 
were summoned to be christened. When the reverend vis- 
itor left Elizabeth his usually lean pocket book was com- 
fortably filled and he was sent on his way rejoicing. 

Robert Coleman had the honor and pleasure of enter- 
taining Washington there, as friend and guest, and at the 
request of his host, Washington, later, sat for a portrait 
to Gilbert Stuart, which is now owned by Mr. B. Dawson 
Coleman. On retiring from business, in 1809, Mr. 
Coleman, with his family, removed to Lancaster, where for 

1 See Cornwall Furnace and Salford Forge. 


years his house was a centre for the social life of the time. 
It was probably a matter of the slightest moment to him, 
that he was a handsome man, with the Irish beauty of 
blue eyes, dark lashes and hair, which some of his children 
inherited. There are many traditions yet told over Lan- 
caster tea cups, of the lovely Coleman sisters, Robert's 
daughters, two of whom died young. It is said, one can- 
not say how truly, that the Rev. William A. Muhlenberg 
later the founder of St. Luke's Hospital, New York, who 
was engaged to Sarah Coleman, threw into her grave the 
engagement ring and the rough copy of a hymn he had 
just written, " I would not live alway." 

In these days, when people are so afraid to take stands, 
or make public their religious beliefs and practices, it is 
well to remember that our grandmothers were not. Robert 
Coleman and his wife, Anne, were very religious and not 
ashamed of their religion. They were liberal supporters 
and devoted parishioners of St. James' parish. As there 
were no bishops of the Episcopal Church until after the 
Revolution, Anne had never been confirmed. The first 
time a bishop came to St. James', Lancaster, she said she 
wished to be confirmed. The bishop suggested a private 
service for her; but she would have none of it. So at 
eighty years of age, she, who had been a communicant and 
leading parishioner for years, came up with all her children 
to receive the grace of confirmation. 1 Robert Coleman's 
active and beneficent life ended on the fourteenth of August 
1825. He is buried in St. James' Churchyard, Lancaster. 

Elizabeth Furnace was in almost continuance operation, 
until 1856, when it was abandoned. The property is still 
in the possession of the Coleman family. 

Augusta M. Longacre. 

1 Notes furnished by Mrs. Horace Brock, great-granddaughter of Robert 

Ten Plate Stove cast at Hereford Furnace, 1768, by Thomas Maybury. 
Owned by Col. Henry D. Paxson. 




For this paper we wish to give full credit to Mr. H. 
Winslow Fegley, of Reading, from whose article, "Old 
Charcoal Furnaces in Eastern Berks County," it is taken. 

"The first map made of Hereford township is in exist- 
ence, the property of Horatio K. Schultz. It was made 
by David Schultz ( 17 17-1797) , an able colonist, surveyor, 

Hereford Furnace stood on the west bank of the west 
branch of Perkiomen Creek. It was in blast in 1753, and 
stoves were cast there as late as 1767. Of Thomas May- 
bury's early history little is known. 1 The first settlers of 
Hereford of whom we have a record are mentioned in 
Rupp's History as settling here as early as 1732, being 
the time when the Schwenkf elders the pilgrims of the 
Perkiomen Valley arrived from Europe. Maybury was 
a power in the neighborhood and, at one time, a rich man, 
employing fifty to one hundred men. Some of them were 
wood choppers, who got from thirty to fifty cents a cord for 
cutting. Then came the teamsters, who, with either a pair 
of mules or a yoke of oxen hauled the logs together. 
Each boasted as to his ability to drive a mule through the 
cutting over stumps and stones to the coal hearth without 
upsetting his load. Some of the haulers used a horse and 
sled, the runners of which were well greased with bacon 
so as to slide the load over the small stones and brush, to 
the hearth. 

The charcoal burners always travelled in pairs, and as the 

1 See Green Lane Forge. 


charring needed constant watching, they were obliged to 
remain with the burning heap. While one was on active 
duty for twelve hours his partner was in the hut, sleeping. 
These huts were made of saplings and the interstices filled 
with leaves and earth. In such huts they spent many days. 
Their bill of fare was not elaborate. It consisted gen- 
erally of breakfast, flitch and potatoes; dinner, potatoes 
and flitch, and for supper, meat and potatoes. A stove 
was exhibited at the World's Fair Chicago, 1893, which 
was three feet long, one foot wide, box shape, with an 
oven above. On both sides this inscription is cast : " Here- 
ford Furnace, 1767, Thomas Maybury." A placard 
below said " The Oldest Cooking Stove in America." It 
is owned by the Michigan Stove Company. Besides 
stoves, Maybury manufactured everything the earlier 
settlers needed. In his palmy days, on his trips to Phil- 
adelphia, he would get ten dollar bills changed into small 
coin. On returning to the furnace he would call the child- 
ren of the workmen together, and, taking one handful of 
coin after another, throw them broadcast, much as one 
feeds chickens. In this his delight is said to have almost 
equalled that of the children. He died poor, after many 
years of toil. His bones now rest beneath large trees, just 
such trees as he had cut down for his industries and on the 
very land where his men burned the charcoal. Although 
unmarked, generation after generation respects this ground 
as the Maybury burial plot." 




This forge, called afterwards Newmarket, was built 
about 1750 on land taken up on a warrant granted to 
Gerrard Etter, a German, December 16, 1747. It was 
owned and partially operated by him and his son, until 
1793) when it was sold to Adam Orth. 

Leased by James Old in 1767, it was operated by him 
for several years, and is chiefly noted in these days as a 
place where Robert Coleman learned much of the mys- 
tery of iron making, and also where he probably first met 
Anne Old, who later became his wife. 



Little is known of this forge beyond the name, and the 
fact that it was situated on Poco Creek near Weissport. A 
blast furnace was built later, which was finally abandoned 
in 1861. The owner, Rev. George Michael Weiss or 
Weitzius, was a native of the Palatinate on the Rhine. 
Coming to America in 1727, he settled at Skippack, Mont- 
gomery county, and seems to have been interested in both 
iron making and the cure of souls, as he had charge of 
various Reformed congregations in Pennsylvania and New 
York. He died about 1763, and is buried in the church at 
New Goshenhoppen. On his tomb are these words : 

" Hier ruhet der Ehr 

Herr Weiss!" 1 

!Life of Rev. Wra. Smith, p. 89. 




On Furnace Run, a small branch of Pequea Creek which 
runs into the Susquehanna, near the village of Coleman- 
ville, in Lancaster county, may be seen to-day an old cinder 
heap. Inquisitive minds questioning the placing of the 
cinders there, will find that this is all that remains of the 
old furnace with the odd name " Martic." 

It was originally called Martock, for a village of that 
name in Martock hundred, Somerset, England, evidently 
named by an early settler, with the feeling of the immigrant 
for the old country. "The name is said to be derived 
from mart and oak, from the fact of the market having 
formerly been held under an oak tree in the old English 
town, the site of which tree is now occupied by an elegant 
fluted column." 1 

Martic Furnace was built in 1751 and 1752. It was 
built and run by the brothers, Thomas and William Smith. 2 
In 1752, Thomas was sheriff of the county and in 1769 
he was put in jail for debt. Edward Shippen writes 
" Tom Smith, the Sheriff, was almost ruined by the office " ; 
those holding such an office to-day seldom have this ex- 

In the same year, 1769, Martic Furnace and Forge were 
sold by the sheriff, the advertisement reading thus : 

" By virtue of a writ to me directed, will be exposed to 
sale by public vendue, on the 30 day of January inst., at 
10 o'clock in the morning at Martic Furnace in Lancaster 

1 Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England. 

2 History of Lancaster County, by Ellis and Evans. See Chain of Title 

Stoveplate, Martic Furnace. Owned by Mrs. A. J. Steinman, Lancaster. 


County, the said furnace and forge, together with upwards 
of 3,400 acres of land thereunto belonging. The improve- 
ments at both furnace and forge are very good, viz. : At 
the furnace, a good dwelling house, stores, and compting 
house, a large coal house, with eight dwelling houses for 
labourers, a good gristmill, Smith's and Carpenter's shops, 
6 good log stables, with 4 bays for hay, a number of pot 
patterns, and some flasks for ditto ; stove moulds, &c., &c., 
a good mine bank abounding with plenty of ore, so con- 
venient that one team can haul three loads a day; about 
15 acres of good watered meadow, and as much adjoining 
may be made : The Forge is about 4 miles distant, now in 
good order, with four fires, two hammers, and very good 
wooden bellows, a dwelling-house, store and compting 
house, with six dwelling houses for the labourers, two very 
good coal houses, large enough to contain six months' stock, 
three stables, Smith's and Carpenter's shops, two acres of 
meadow made and about 1,500 cords of wood, but in the 
woods at both places; there is plenty of water at said works 
in the driest season, and they are situated in a plentiful 
part of the country, where they can be supplied with neces- 
saries on the lowest terms : And to be sold the same day, a 
very good plantation, containing 200 acres of patent land, 
clear of quit-rent, adjoining the lands of Benjamin Ashle- 
man, the Widow Haiman, and others, in Conestoga town- 
ship. Also two slaves, one a Mullatoe man, a good forge 
man, and the other a Negro man, and three teams of horses 
with waggons and gears &c. All late the property of 
Thomas Smith, James Wallace, and James Fulton : seized 
and taken in execution, and to be sold by 

James Webb, Sheriff." 

A glimpse of the tragic and historic side of Martic is 
given in the following story related by Ellis and Evans in 
their History of Lancaster County. 

" In and about Lancaster County, there was a group of 
men banded together to drive out the Indians, and under 
Capt. Lazerus Stewart, these men,, who were called the 


Paxton Boys, in Dec. 1763, started toward Conestoga, an 
Indian town, purposing to destroy it and its people. 
They did murder six Indians and burned their buildings. 
One boy made his escape and gave the alarm at the place 
of Capt. Thos. McKee, manager of the ' Indian Farm.' 
The same day, Bill Sock, an Indian famous in those parts, 
having committed numerous murders and much feared and 
hated by his neighbors, went with several other Indians to 
sell baskets and brooms at the Iron Works of Thomas 
Smith, (Mar tic Furnace.) When Sock and those who 
accompanied him did not return, other Indians who lived 
near Harrisburg Turnpike became much alarmed and 
decided to go to Lancaster here they were put in the 
work-house for safety The work-house was attached to 
the jail. The Paxton Boys had murdered the others and 
Herr, who resided in the Manor House, brought news of 
the dreadful massacre. On Dec. 27, 1763, Sheriff Hay 
wrote Gov. John Penn that fifty or sixty Indians had been 
killed by the Paxton Boys. This band of men became so 
vicious and so vindictive that the Indians were afraid to 
hunt and finally were driven out altogether, and the iron- 
workers at Martic saw no more of the red men." 

The furnace went out of blast during the Revolution, al- 
though it was in existence as late as 1793. 

The forge in connection with Martic Furnace was 
started in I755- 1 In 1760, the whole property was sold 
to William and Samuel Webb and Ferguson Mclllvaine. 
The latter became manager. 

Many times did the property change hands between 
1760 and 1883, when it was last in operation. 

Robert S. Potts, who died in 1886, the last owner of the 
Forge, wrote: 

" There used to be a small rolling mill near the Forge 
that stopped running some fifty years ago. There was also 
a charcoal furnace called Martic Six miles east of the 

1 Swank, Progressive Pennsylvania, p. 187. 

Complete Fiveplate Stove, 1760. Martic Furnace. Owned by Col. 
Henry D. Paxson. 


Forge, but I have been unable to ascertain its history be- 
yond the fact that it was owned and operated by the 
Martic Forge Company; when that was, however, or how 
long it was in blast, I can not learn. The old cinder bank 
is still visible. During the Revolution round iron was 
drawn under the hammer at the forge and bored out for 
musket barrels at a boring mill, in a private road, doubtless 
with a view to prevent discovery by the enemy." 

One thing more told by Robert S. Potts is that negro 
slaves were employed at Martic from the very beginning, 
and it is interesting to know that until it ceased operation 
in 1883, negroes continued to be the chief workmen. A 
long row of stone houses was occupied by these men. 

Through the interest and courtesy of Col. Henry D. 
Paxson we are able to give a complete Chain of Title of 
Martic Forge. 


6th Sept'r James Webb, Esq., Sheriff, sold Furnace and 

Forge and 3404 acres of land in Martic 

Township to Ferguson Mcllvaine, as the 

property of Thos. Smith & Co. 

1 2th Sept'r Ferguson Mcllvaine sold Furnace and Forge 

to Adam Hoopes. 

2nd June. Adam Hoopes and wife conveyed Furnace 
and Forge to John Malcolm, George Mun- 
roe, Samuel Patterson and John McCalmont, 
to each one-fourth. 

25th May. John Malcolm and others sold the one-eighth 
part of Martic Forge and 1275 acres of land 
to Joseph Musgrave. 

22nd June. John Malcolm and others sold the one-fourth 
part of Martic Forge, &c., to John Fox and 


Daniel Longstreth, in trust, for William Juto, 
Robert Harris, James Haldane, William 
Hazlewood, Nicholas Barnard, Stacy Ne- 
pham, Peter Sutter, James Fulton, Alexander 
Graham, John Kidd, Peter Young, Anthony 
Yeldale, James Bernwick, James Longhead, 
John Clark, Zachariah Nieman, Robert 
Graves and the said John Fox and Daniel 
Longstreth, William Hazlewood, Peter Sutter 
and Alexander Graham each to have one- 
thirty-five part, the rest to have two-thirty-five 
parts each. 


1 8th Feb'y John Malcolm and others sold one-fourth part 
of Martic Forge, &c., to William Montgomery 
and Matthew Wilkin to each a moiety of 
the fourth part. 

do. John Malcolm and others sold one-eighth part 
of Martic Forge, &c., to Michael Hillegas. 

23d Feb'y. John Malcolm and others sold one-eighth part 

of Martic Forge, &c., to John Welsh. 

28th Sept'r Matthew Wilkin sold a moiety of one fourth 
part of Martic Forge, &c., to William Mont- 
gomery, who then held one-fourth part of the 
Forge, &c. 
8th Dec'r. William Montgomery sold his one-fourth part 

of the Forge and lands to Michael Hillegas. 

5th Sept'r. Joseph Musgrave and wife sold his one-eighth 
part of Martic Forge, &c., to Michael Hille- 

In the preceding conveyances to Michael Hil- 
legas, the one undivided fourth part of Martic 
equal to six-twenty-fourths, purchased from 
William Montgomery; the one-eighth part, 
equal to three-twenty-fourths, purchased from 


Joseph Musgrave: and the one-fourth part, 
equal to six-twenty-fourths, purchased from 
James Fulton and others, amounting in the 
whole to fifteen-twenty-fourth parts, were 
purchased by the said Michael Hillegas in 
partnership with Matthias Slough and George 
Ege, tho' the Deeds were in the name of M. 
Hillegas alone. These are only conveyances 
for twenty-one thirty-five parts of the fourth 
purchased from James Fulton and others the 
remaining fourteen-thirty-five parts being 
claimed or released. 


26th June. Geo. Ege conveyed his interest, amounting to 
five-twenty-fourth parts, to Matthias Slough, 
who then held ten twenty-fourth-parts. 

27th Sept'r. Michael Hillegas conveyed to Richard Foot- 
man and others, surviving assignees of Mat- 
thias Slough, then a Bankrupt, the interest 
which Matthias Slough owned in the works 
and the title to which was in his own name, as 
well as Mr. Ege's share, which had previously 
been sold by him to Slough, amounting in the 
whole to ten twenty-fourth parts of the Forge, 


nth March. Richard Footman and others, surviving 
assignees of Matthias Slough, sold his share in 
the estate (viz: ten-twenty-fourth parts 
thereof to Geo. Ege) . 

1 3th March. Michael Hillegas sold to Robert Coleman 
and George Ege the one-eighth part, equal to 
three-twenty-fourths, purchased from John 
Malcolm and others, and his third part of 
fifteen twenty-fourths, equal to five twenty- 
fourths, which he held in partnership with 
Matthias Slough and Geo. Ege, the whole 
amounting to eight-twenty-fourth-parts. 



3Oth Sept. John Miller, Sheriff, sold the one-eighth part 
of Martic Forge and land, to Robert Cole- 
man and Geo. Ege, late the property of John 

8th July. Geo. Ege sold to Robt. Coleman his one-half 
of all the Martic Lands purchased and held 
by Robt. Coleman and Geo. Ege in Company 
or granted and conveyed to them in Fee as 
tenants in common purchase money 2500. 
Same day. Geo. Ege sold to Robt. Coleman all the share 
and interest in the Martic property which for- 
merly belonged to Matthias Slough and which 
he purchased from his assignees considera- 
tion 4000. 

3Oth Jany. Robt. Coleman his one undivided half part of 
Forge and lands to Edward Brien for 6500. 

One does not easily fathom the motives and intentions of 
those who preceded us in Pennsylvania by a century or so, 
but to a casual reader of the names of purchasers of Martic 
on June 22, 1772, in the foregoing Chain of Title, it seems 
as if taking a " share " in an iron property had been a rather 
popular kind of speculation. Reading further on, we find 
a name, known to students of American History, but not so 
familiar as it should be in our own state. Michael Hillegas 
was a Philadelphian who, distinguished early for his per- 
sonal gifts, his success as a merchant, and his philanthropy, 
became later the first Continental Treasurer (in 1775). 
In 1777 he was appointed the first Treasurer of the United 
States, 1 and continued in that responsible office until 1789. 

Mabel Rogers Balrd. 

1 Journals of Congress, III, 301. 





This ancient forge takes its name from the Potts family, 
whose annals might almost be said to cover the history of 
the iron industry in eastern Pennsylvania. The name is 
connected with the first furnace erected by the earliest 
settlers under William Penn, and in continuous line they 
followed the manufacture of iron, until the annual output 
of their industries was reckoned in the millions. 

The German colonists, under their leader Pastorius, 
must be credited with the enterprise which first opened up 
the rich iron deposits of eastern Pennsylvania. Letters of 
William Penn, written to James Logan early in 1700, refer 
often to the iron mines in the Schuylkill region, and express 
a great desire to have them opened, but it was not until 
1716 or 1717 that Thomas Rutter, a man of much ability, 
who had succeeded Pastorius as chief magistrate, left the 
German settlement and went to the banks of the Man- 
atawny, a stream which joins the Schuylkill about thirty- 
five miles above Philadelphia. 

In the Germantown colony was a family by the name 
of Potts recently come from Wales. Their little son, 
Thomas, though born across the ocean, was brought up 
among these Germans who had transplanted a bit of the 
fatherland to this country. Their language was to him 
like his native tongue, and his marriage at the age of 
nineteen to Martha Keurlis (Kerlin), a member of one of 
the twelve families who came with Pastorius to America, 
allied him still closer to their interests. He was educated 
as a Quaker and from the record of his marriage it would 


appear that both he and his bride were members of meet- 
ing. We know that his uncle, Thomas Potts, senior, was 
an active Friend, and that Peter Keurlis was nominally one, 
and that the young people conformed to Friends' custom. 
They passed, as it is called, two meetings, and at a monthly 
meeting at Abington, third month, 1699, were formally 
joined " in the unity of Friends." 

After he married, young Thomas held several posts of 
honor in the settlement. The German tongue was uni- 
versally used, and yet the presence of English Quakers 
made it important to have officials who could speak both 
languages. He was influential with both parties, and lived 
happily in or near Germantown, until the death of his wife, 
which took place about 1716. It was probably while his 
family was broken up by this affliction that he was induced 
by Thomas Rutter to emigrate to the M ana tawny. Here 
he purchased lands married a second time (Magdelen 
Robeson) about 1718, and, after the death of Rutter, 
became the principal owner and manager of the iron works 
on the M ana tawny. 

History gives us only the merest glimpses of the exist- 
ence of this early forge; the " Potts Memorial" says: "A 
large tract of land was owned by the family, and it is be- 
lieved that here they had early a forge or furnace, some 
remains of which a local antiquary said he had seen near 
the river." Andrew Robeson, whose sister was the second 
wife of Thomas Potts, wills to his son in 1719, "that 
Foundement and the house where John Owen lives " the 
word foundement being an obsolete word for foundry. It 
was rebuilt in 1752, by John Potts the great proprietor 
(son of Thomas Potts, Junior). Confirmation of this is 
to be found in the following entry in the old Day Book of 
the Potts Iron Works. 1 

1 Now in possession of Ex-Governor Pennypacker. 


"March 1759 Credit Henry Read hauling one day 
with his team at the new Forge los." 

And that it was in use contemporaneously with the larger 
enterprises of the Valley, Warwick and Pine forges, is 
shown by this record, 

" April 3rd 1758. 

Credit Martin Glass for sundry work 
86% days at Pottsgrove 
2iy 2 " " Warwick 
117% " " the Valley 
Making four Racks 

a garden at Pine " 

Another entry Jan. 1758 

" Smith Shop Dr. to Bar Iron L S d" 

made and drawn at Pottsgrove 112 

"Jan. 1758 

" Sundry accounts Dr. to Michael Paul 

Mt Joy Forge for hauling 1 8 tons Pigg Iron 
Pottsgrove Forge for hauling 2 tons Pigg Iron " 

The old forge did not fade from memory, even when its 
usefulness was passed for it gave its name to the district 
at the confluence of the Schuylkill and the Manatawny, and 
the town laid out there by John Potts in 1752 was called 
Pottsgrove. 1 This town was! laid out after the manner 
of Germantown in one long street a hundred feet wide, 
called after the English custom, High Street. The lots 
were sixty feet in front, extending back three hundred feet 
At the end nearest the river was the mansion of the 
founder, looking down upon the town. The houses 

1 Afterwards changed to Pottstown. 


erected by himself and his sons were large stone buildings, 
intended to serve many generations. John Potts 7 son 
Thomas, at his father's request, occupied the mansion, and 
was living there in 1774. No doubt during the years of 
the Revolution Washington was often his guest, and it was 
here perhaps that the great Commander formed the plan 
to winter his army at Valley Forge on the property of 
Thomas's brothers and cousins who seem to have willingly 
relinguished their houses to accommodate the general and 
his officers. 1 

A granite tablet has been recently erected by the Mont- 
gomery County Historical Society (1913) to commemo- 
rate the Continental Army's stay at Camp Pottsgrove in 
1777. The tablet erected reads thus: 

" Camp Pottsgrove. General Washington's Continen- 
tal Army occupied this and adjoining farms September 18 
to 26, 1777. The outposts were at Washington Hill, 
Pottstown, Jackson Hill, near Sanatoga ; Swamp-door, east 
of Fagleysville. Washington's headquarters with Colonel 
Frederick Antes and Samuel Bertolet, Frederick, Pa. 
Erected by the Historical Society of Montgomery County, 

Mary E< Mumford. 

*Mrs. James' Memorial. 




In the middle of the eighteenth century there appear to 
have been three "iron works" in the city proper of Phil- 
adelphia. Two of these were the steel furnaces of Paschal 
and Branson. The third was an important and conspic- 
uous feature of the iron industry of the town, and was 
known far and wide as the "Anchor Forge" of Daniel 
Offley, who manufactured anchors for a thriving maritime 
trade, and who was succeeded by his son, the famous 
Quaker preacher of the same name. 

Daniel Offley (1724-1789) established this business on 
the Front Street bank of the Delaware River, opposite 
Union Street, about 1750-55. His father, Caleb Offley, 
of Duck Creek, Newcastle County, was the son of Michael 
Offley, who in 1687 took patent of the Duke of York to a 
tract of land in the Lower Counties, which he called " High 
Offley." Except for two years, 1848-50, this estate has 
remained in the possession of the family, the present owner 
being John S. Stockley, Esq., whose mother was Margaret 
Offley. 1 

Daniel Offley, Jr., the noted Quaker preacher, was prob- 
ably early trained in his father's business, the making of 
anchors, many being made by them for the use of the 
government. Daniel, Jr., and his brother Caleb signed 
the " Remonstrance " to the Governor's Council presented 

1 See Family Chart of Michael Offley, in Mss. at the Historical Society 
of Pennsylvania. This chart was prepared by Mr. Richard P. Tatum, to 
whose courtesy the writer is indebted for the genealogical material here 


by the Friends, September 6, 1777, against depriving cer- 
tain of their fellow-citizens of their liberty, and sending 
them unheard into exile. 1 On July 4, 1789, Daniel Offley, 
Jr., Caleb Offley and Henry Shaw were imprisoned by 
Captain John McCalla for a refusal to pay the militia tax. 
Caleb was discharged a few days later, but Daniel re- 
mained in prison for over a month, when Captain Mc- 
Calla, on August 9, went to the prison between eight and 
nine at night and discharged him without demanding either 
fee or fine. 

The personal appearance of the Quaker ironmaster must 
have been striking. Several traditions unite in describing 
him as a handsome, powerfully built, blond man, with 
regular features and muscular body, strong and broad- 
shouldered, five feet ten inches in height. His voice was 
noted for its quality and power. It rose above all the din 
when the iron rang upon the anvil; and when speaking 
under deep emotion, the rich melodious tones in which his 
sermons were delivered lent great impressiveness to his 

Speaking of the forge, John F. Watson remembered 
"looking through the Front Street low windows down 
into the smoking cavern below, fronting on Penn Street, 
where, through the thick sulphurous smoke, aided by the 
glare of light from the forge, might be seen Daniel Offley, 
directing the strokes of a dozen hammer-men, striking with 
sledges on a welding heat produced on an immense un- 
finished anchor, swinging from the forge to the anvil by 
a ponderous crane, he at the same time keeping his pierc- 
ing iron voice above the din of the iron sound." 2 Watson 

1 Gilpin's Exiles in Virginia. 

2 John Fanning Watson, Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, I, 
p. 430. 


quotes, with no clue to the author, the following lines 
written upon Offley at his forge: 

"The high sun sees not on the earth such fiery, fearful show; 
The roof-ribs swarth, the candent hearth, the ruddy, lurid row 
Of smiths that stand, an ardent band, like men before the foe, 
As, quivering through his fleece of flame, the sailing monster, slow 
Sinks on the anvil ; all about, the faces fiery glow ; 
' Hurrah ! ' they shout, ' leap out, leap out ! ' bang, bang, the sledges go ! 
A hailing fount of fire is struck at every squashing blow, 
While Offley sternly cries, ' Strike ! Strike ! while yet our heats do glow.' " 

Daniel Offley was a well-known minister among the 
Friends. In 1783, in company with George Dillwyn, he 
traveled through New England, and through the neigh- 
boring states of Virginia, New York and New Jersey, 
with the endorsement of his own meeting. In November, 
1786, he went with Samuel Emlen to the Barbadoes, where 
they found all the five Quaker meeting houses destroyed 
by a recent hurricane, but were aided in their attempt to 
hold public meetings by the kind attentions of the governor. 
The ship they made the voyage in was the Cyrus of White 
Haven. Before returning, Daniel Offley included in his 
ministerial visits Antigua, Tortola and Santa Cruz. 

The yellow fever appeared in Philadelphia in August 
1793, and by the end of that month its spread had become 
so rapid and so fatal, that most of the well-to-do citizens 
left for the country. Certain persons, however, volun- 
teered to assist the guardians of the poor, whose hands 
were too full to care for all the destitute. Daniel Offley 
was not at first one of these, but at the end of a few days 
he joined the faithful band. Very soon he devoted every 
moment of his time to attendance on the sick and the 
dying. On September 17, he called on Miss Sarah Rod- 
man, of Newport, Rhode Island, who was near her end, 
and on the twenty-fifth he comforted her sister, Hannah 


Fisher, with the remark, "She is the Lord's: let Him 
take her." He watched her breathe her last next day, and 
assisted at the interment which followed a few hours later. 

There are horrors of that period in Philadelphia yet 
unwritten, when so many died quite unattended. Wives 
fled from husbands on their deathbeds, and husbands 
abandoned wives; parents left their dying children, and 
children neglected aged parents in distress. The cour- 
age of those who remained in the plague-smitten city may 
be imagined, when the bells were finally forbidden to toll 
their ceaseless lament, and great composure was needed 
merely to walk down the street, where the sick-cart and 
the hearse were met at every hand. Daniel Offley joined 
Doctor Wistar, and these two were together faithful at- 
tendants on the victims, until the doctor was smitten; he 
recovered, and survived for many years. Fatigued by six 
weeks of strenuous labor, under such awful circumstances, 
Daniel Offley finally fell ill on the third of October, and 
lay, patiently awaiting his expected end. On the seventh 
he told his distressed wife that he was comfortable in mind 
and ready to go, and on the eleventh, he died at the early 
age of thirty-six. 

He is said to have made a prophesy regarding the 
scourge of which he died, in a letter to Dr. Peter Yarnall 
at Concord, Pennsylvania, dated 8mo. 7, 1781. He 
wrote: "Oh, Philadelphia! Had the many powerful vis- 
itations which have been extended to thee been reached 
forth to Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have repented 
long ago in dust and ashes. ... It would be no marvel 
at} all to me if the Lord's anger should rise yet higher, 
and he should pour out the' vials of his wrath upon the 
inhabitants of this once favoured city!" 1 Margaret 
Morris, the widowed daughter of Dr. Richard Hill, wrote 

1 Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of Friends, pp. 1316^137'. 


to her son, Richard Hill Morris, from Philadelphia, under 
date "twelfth of tenth month, 1793, " herself stripped of 
her children by the plague, "Last night D. Offley was 
carried to the silent grave." 

Amelia Mott Gummere. 



In starting this forge, about 1755, on a branch of Co- 
dorus Creek, Peter Dicks, 1 of Chester County, opened ore 
mines along the Southeast slope of the Pigeon Hills near 
Hanover. No information seems attainable as to this 
enterprise, except that Spring Forge, III, is said to have 
taken the place of it, a few years later. 

1 Prowell, History of York County. 





William Bird, an Englishman, built this furnace in Hei- 
delberg township just south of Wernersville. Most 
authorities give 1760 as the date, but an entry in a ledger 
of the New Pine Forges, 1 which were also his enterprises 
gives: " Oct. 1756. New Pine Forges to Roxkburry Fur- 
nace D r .," which makes 1755 a reasonable inference. Foe 
a few years Wm. Bird was sole owner here; he died how- 
ever, in 1761, in middle life, like many other early iron- 
masters. They worked hard in those days, and lived well, 
they hunted, and, at times, drank deep; need this have 
shortened their lives? 

Sometime in the next year John Patton married the 
widow of Mr. Bird, and from that time seems to have 
been more or less in authority, although from 1764 George 
Ege is said to have carried the furnace on, under a lease 
with Mrs, Bird-Patton, until he purchased the property 
in 1790. There are ledgers and journals of Berkshire 
Furnace in the collections of the Historical Society of 
Pennsylvania, from which we give some extracts. 

"1767. Nov. 9. Spring Forge, D r . 
i o Beef cattle 33-0-0. 
Mark Bird n ditto, 33-15-0 

1769. John Old, to pigg mettal 
Great Spring D r . to P. Herlinger 
Spring Forge, D r . to castings 

1 Manuscript Collections, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 


1774. Anthony Rush, work and wages for 15 months & 

20% days in the Mine Hole 43-6-3 

"April 1774, John Lesher D r . to Pigg Mettle Charm- 
ing Forge D r . to Pigg Mettle pr. the Forge Team Mark 
Bird Esq. D r . to Pigg Mettle for 3 tons Piggs for John 
Old, pr. Furnace Teams sent to the care of Mr. Fricker 
in Reading. May 1774, Curtis Grubb D r . to forge cast- 
ings sent to Womelsdorf." 

There is evidently a close connection with a "Spring" 
work of some kind. The "Spring Book" is constantly 
alluded to, also a mention of harvest at Great Spring. 

" To sundrie in old Spring Book 

1776. Sept. Geo. Ege D r . to Pigg Iron delivered this 
month, 1 6 tons 112. 

1776. Aug. Owen Biddle, D r . for ace*. Committee of 
Safety To Cannon Shot, 18 p'd'rs, I2d. 32 d. 24 d. 
6 d. 4 d. 

1777. March 31. To Cannon Shot sent by Conrad 
Wanamaker to Reading." 

In 1783 George Ege rendered an account to the " United 
States " for shot and shell furnished the government, Nov- 
ember 14, 1780, to the value of 2894-11-6. 

John Patton in a letter to the Board of War dated 
"Berkshire Furnace, 12 Aug. 1780," speaks of it conclu- 
sively as "my Furnace." It is said that Ege removed 
" Berkshire " to Robesonia, towards 1800. Just when the 
change of name occurred it is difficult to determine. In 
the Ledgers of New Pine Forges, " Roxkburry " Furnace 
is mentioned from 1756 to 1763, possibly later. The led- 
gers and journals of Berkshire Furnace run from 1767 on. 

Augusta M. Longacre. 




The early pre-Revolutionary history of the furnace is 
somewhat shrouded in obscurity. Tradition gives the date 
of 1759 for the building of the furnace and the iron mas- 
ter's house. Mr. Swank, in his " Ironmaking," says: 
"Hopewell Furnace was built in 1759 by William Bird." 
A forge was evidently in operation before the furnace and 
we have interesting proof of the early date of the same, as 
it is spoken of in the article in this volume entitled New 
Pine Forges. In this old record we have account of iron 
delivered to Mr. William Bird at Hopewell Forge, from 
Warwick Furnace, a near neighbor, in 1744. In 1772, 
after the death of Wm. Bird, when his son Mark had ac- 
quired the property, we have evidence of a prosperous iron 
business by the stoves, cast with much-detailed designs, 
and marked with Mark Bird's name. The Revolutionary 
spirit is shown in a motto on one of these which reads " Be 
Liberty Thine." 1 

On Scull's map of 1759, we find the old road running 
from Lancaster through what is now Morgantown, and 
then down the French Creek Valley to Valley Forge. The 
first twenty miles from Lancaster, it is marked " to Wind- 
sor Forge." 

After this is passed it is marked " to Reading Forge." 
This was evidently the old highway between the French 
Creek Iron Works, both to Lancaster and to Philadelphia. 
Hopewell is four miles from this road, and the stoves made 
there were transported by wagon from the furnace, not set 
up, but in their separate parts, through the neighborhood, 
and to Philadelphia. The road is now called the Ridge 
Road, before reaching Morgantown, where the old Cones- 

1 See Sequence of Franklin Fireplaces. 

Hopewell Blast Furnace. Built by William Bird, 1759. 


toga Road runs into it, and from there to Lancaster, the 
Conestoga Turnpike. 

In Irving's Life of Washington, 1 we find an account 
of Washington's troops, after the battle of Brandywine, 
and before the battle of Germantown, in September, 1777 : 
"All day, and for a great part of the night they marched 
under a cold and pelting rain, and through deep and miry 
roads to the Yellow Springs, thence to French Creek. A 
weary march in stormy weather for troops destitute of 
every comfort, and nearly a thousand of them actually 
barefooted. At Warwick Furnace ammunition and a few 
muskets were obtained to aid in disputing the passage 
of the Schuylkill, and the advance of the enemy on Phil- 

Warwick Furnace is about seven miles from Hopewell, 
and at both of these places cannon were cast for the Revo- 
lutionary Army, and buried for safe keeping, when the 
arrival of the British was feared at the time of their ad- 
vance up the Schuylkill River. 

"On the 2ist, Sir William Howe made a rapid march 
high up the Schuylkill on the road leading to Reading, as 
if he intended either to capture the military stores there, 
or to turn the right flank of the American Army. Wash- 
ington kept pace with him on the opposite side of the river 
up to Pottsgrove, about thirty miles from Philadelphia." 2 

The iron ore which supplied the furnace was derived 
from the Hopewell Mine, nearby. The fuel was charcoal. 
Some of the iron from the furnace was worked in forges at 
Birdsboro, four miles away. At a later date, we have this 
description, taken from a local paper. "The land cdn- 
nected with the furnace property was 5,163 acres, prin- 
cipally woodland. It was a cold blast one-stack furnace. 
Hematite and magnetic ores were used. Fifteen thousand 

1 Page 214. 

2 Irving's Life of Washington, p. 217. 


cords of wood were consumed annually in creating char- 
coal, and 170 men and boys were employed. The dwell- 
ers in this little town were iron moulders, furnacemen, 
wood cutters, charcoal burners and teamsters. Fifty years 
ago the village contained two hundred souls. The making 
of pig iron smelted from ore dug in underground mines, 
which were scarce two miles away, and converting this iron 
into ten-plate stoves was its chief industry. A charcoal 
furnace stood almost in the center of the village, at the 
foot of the Hopewell hills, and here the raw ores were con- 
verted into the, at that time, celebrated Hopewell stoves. 
These stoves were used in the kitchen and parlor and 
sometimes in the bed room, by rich and poor alike, until 
supplanted, some years later, by the cook stove, the range 
and the heater. Water from the Hopewell Creek fur- 
nished the motive power. A dam was constructed one 
quarter of a mile above the furnace, and from there the 
water for power purposes was directed into a race, and 
carried with slight incline to the big water wheel, with 
sufficient force to keep it in motion and drive the machin- 
ery of the entire plant." 

To revert to the Revolutionary time; we find two 
records of supplies forwarded by Mark Bird. 1 On May 
1 8, 1776, he addressed a letter to the Committee of Safety 
of Philadelphia, in which he made mention of muskets, 
etc., as follows: 

" If the Committee of Safety will send me the price of 
100 muskets and accoutrements, with orders on the Com- 
missioners to deliver to me such as they have ready on my 
paying what they cost, I am of the opinion in two weeks 
after the receipt of their orders and cash, I shall be able to 
deliver in Philadelphia the number mentioned. If each 
County will do the same, all the troops now in the pay of 
the Continent and this Province may be armed in three 

1 Montgomery, Berks County in the Revolution. 





weeks from this date. I mean Continental troops in the 
barracks at Philadelphia. I am convinced you may col- 
lect in the different counties one thousand muskets, but 
few accoutrements. If you send the cash to the different 
counties to some person you can confide in, the arms will be 
ready immediately, but till you send the cash to pay the 
smiths, they will deny giving up the muskets. They like 
to see the cash without having the trouble of going so far 
as Philadelphia for it." 

Also February 19, 1778, a report was made to the Ex- 
ecutive Council that Colonel Mark Bird had sent by water 
to Philadelphia one thousand barrels of flour during some 
time previous. 

We also have an account in Montgomery's " History of 
Berks County" of Mark Bird's embarrassments. The 
first mention of Hopewell Furnace is suggested in a mort- 
gage dated 1772, made by him to his sister Maria and 
brothers William and James, to secure the payment of cer- 
tain trust moneys. Becoming subsequently embarrassed 
he, in 1785, was first compelled to borrow money (200,- 
ooo Spanish milled dollars) from John Nixon, a merchant 
of Philadelphia, on a mortgage in which, among other 
properties, he describes the Birdsboro Iron Works and 
eight thousand acres of land, which included the Hopewell 
Furnace property; and then, finding he is insolvent, he, in 
1786, transferred the property to Nixon in trust to sell 
and satisfy debts, etc. Nixon, accordingly, exposed it to 
public sale and in 1788, transferred one-third to Cad- 
walader Morris and two-thirds to James Old, both iron 
masters. At that time the furnace lands comprised five 
thousand one hundred and sixty-three acres. In 1790, 
Cadwalader Morris sold his one-third of the premises to 
Benjamin Morris, and in 1791, James Old sold his two- 
thirds to the same person. In 1793, Benjamin Morris re- 
sold the entire furnace property to James Old. After the 


lapse of seven years, Old became embarrassed, and was 
forced to yield up his title through the law and the sheriff 
to his creditor, Benjamin Morris, who bought it at the 
sale. This was in 1800. In August, 1800, Morris sold 
it to Daniel Buckley of Lancaster county, Thomas Brooke 
of Montgomery county and Matthew Brooke, Jr., of Berks 
county for 10,000 pounds. The furnace was rebuilt in 
that year. 

Matthew Brooke died in 1821, after which time the 
Hopewell estate was divided, and one-third of the land 
was given to Birdsboro. The furnace and surrounding 
woodlands, farms, etc., are now the personal property of 
Mrs. Edward Brooke of Birdsboro, great-granddaughter 
of Thomas Brooke. 

Hopewell Furnace to-day is not dismantled, although 
idle for many years. The iron master's house is in good 
repair, and the village street of iron workers' homes is 
much as it must have been in Revolutionary times. 

Cornelia L. E. Brooke. 




This forge was situated on Pine Creek, a branch of the 
Manatawny, four miles north of Oley Churches in District 
Township. "Its history is obscure. In 1760 Rebecca 
Potts purchased at sheriff's sale a one-sixth interest in it. 
In 1773, her executor sold it and a like interest in six tracts 
of land together containing eight hundred and thirty eight 
acres to John Old, an iron master of District Township. 
In 1778, a part interest passed to Mark Bird." 1 

1 M. L. Montgomery, History of Berks County. 

The Mansion, Hopewell Furnace. 

Village street, with workmen's houses, Hopewell Furnace. 




On Hammer Creek, a short distance below the Lower 
Hopewell Forge, James Old, about 1760, erected this 
chafery or bar iron forge, on land bought from David 
Caldwell, who had purchased it from Jacob Huber, the 
warrantee who had first owned Elizabeth Furnace. The 
name of James Old Stands high in the record of the early 
iron masters. A native of Wales, he developed rapidly 
into a man of enterprise and ambition. He married Mar- 
garetta, daughter of Gabriel Davies, and had at least two 
noted ironmasters as sons-in-law, Cyrus Jacobs, of Pool 
and Spring Forges on Conestoga Creek, and Robert Cole- 
man, both having been in his employ. Coleman came to 
Speedwell as clerk from Quittapahilla, and made such a 
good impression on Old that when the latter removed in 
1768 or thereabouts, to Reading Furnace, he took Coleman 
with him, and at Reading Furnace, in 1773, Coleman mar- 
ried Anne Old. Margaretta Old married Cyrus Jacobs, and 
her brother William married Elizabeth, daughter of 
Henry Wm. Stiegel, on March 23, 1773; and, in the end- 
less sequence of " iron " marriages, William's son Joseph 
married later Rebecca, the only daughter of George Ege. 
James Old was a member of the Legislature in 1791-92- 
93. His son William seems to have inherited Speedwell 
and to have lived here. We have the testimony of Haz- 
ard's Register that " the Olds were known as industrious, 
punctual and prudent ironmasters." 




Three noted men, patriots and statesmen, were interested 
in the building and early running of this, the first blast 
furnace west of the Susquehanna, George Ross the 
Signer, George Stevenson, one of the first lawyers in York 
county, and William Thompson, Stevenson's brother-in- 
law, later distinguished as a general in the Revolution. 
From an entry in a "Mary Ann Wast Book, No. i. Jan. 
1762 J>1 to the effect that "Cash was debtor to Messrs. 
Stevenson and Ross for 50 rec'd of George Ross last 
Dec 1 ". " it is evident that this furnace was established in 

The four-acre tract of land on which it was built had 
been leased by Ross, probably from John Hunseker, a 
German, who had it by grant from the Penns. Furnace 
Creek ran through the property which had been named by 
William Matthews, the Quaker surveyor, "Friendship." 
The title of the furnace " Mary Ann " is said to have been 
given by Ross to combine the names of his wife Ann Law- 
ler, with that of his mother-in-law, Mary Lawler of Lan- 
caster. This is just possible! In 1763, the owners peti- 
tioned the York County Court for a road from their " fur- 
nace lately built at great expense" to connect with the 
road to the Conewago settlement, leading to Baltimore, 
and in 1766, they petitioned for another road from their 
furnace to the Monocacy Road. 

A few entries in the Mary Ann Account Books are of 
interest: "March 1762. To Cash Received of George 

1 Manuscript Collections, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 


Stevenson Esq r . by William Thompson, L5 " "Feb. 
1762. Store D r . to George Stevenson Esq r . for i Hhd 
Molasses, 109 gallons, 17. n. 3. To D i Hhd Whis- 
key, 99 g 118 12-7-6" There is also an "Account of Sun- 
drys in Stock rec'd from George Stevenson Esq r . viz, Jan- 
uary 12 1762, i Feather Bed Bolster and Pillows, i 
Sute courtains, i new Bed Tick, i Bed quilt, 3 Rugs, I 
Bedstead and Cord, i Trunk, i Canister, i Tea pot, 3 
stone cups and saucers, 3 axes, i Table cloath." 

In combination with the names and date of the Mary 
Ann Stove plate, the following entry seems to settle defi- 
nitively the fact of Ross, Stevenson and Thompson being 
the first owners of this furnace : 

" I promise to pay, or cause to be paid to Messrs. Ross, 
Stevenson and Thompson, ironmasters in Comp a , the full 
sum of Jacob Miller's debt in Their Book at Mary Ann 
Furnace, the eighth day of January, 1763. . . . N. B. 
This note is on condition that any of the above Comp a does 
not take said Miller before he gets to Lancaster. 

Thomas B. Barr " 

It is probable that this early partnership was of short 
duration; the ledgers preserved at the Historical Society 
of Pennsylvania, are naturally not consecutive as to date, 
and as George Stevenson removed permanently, in 1765, 
to Carlisle, Cumberland county, where he took later an 
active interest in iron works, his connection with this fur- 
nace had then very likely ended. 

On the stove plate made at Mary Ann Furnace in 1763, 
the placing of the names of the proprietors is more than 
ingenious. The heart and tulip design so evidently be- 
loved of the German workman, is there, as well as the 



arch and columns; "Mary Ann Furnace" in the middle 
line, is placed correctly. Then begins the trouble to put 
Ross, Stevenson and Thompson in the cramped space left. 
The result is not exactly happy, but with effort one can 
decipher, on the upper line, " George Ross George Stev " 
and as "William Thompson" fills the lower line neatly, 
the remainder of Stev comes in above, EN and SON on 
either side of the conventional tulip. 

George Ross (1730-1779), son of George Ross, "the 
Rector," of Newcastle, Lower Counties, and Catherine 
Van Gezel, was of excellent Scotch stock (the family 
traced their descent from the Earls of Ross), a man of 
parts, who had had a classical education. He read law 
with his half brother John, and was admitted to the Lan- 
caster bar in 1750. Marrying in 1751, he rose rapidly in 
his profession, which did not prevent an interest in the 
making of iron. The records show that he was an iron 
master when he died. In 1768 he was chosen a member 
of the Assembly of Pennsylvania, and from this time on, 
his short life of forty-nine years was crowded with civic 
and patriotic duties, while the state and general govern- 
ments honored him with many positions of trust. He was 
a leader in the Assembly in encouraging measures for the 
defense of Pennsylvania against British encroachments. 
In 1775, Governor Penn having written a message disap- 
proving any protective measures on the part of the colonies, 
Mr.; Ross drew up a strong and convincing reply. 1 He 
was a steadfast friend of the Indian, serving as Commis- 
sioner at Fort Pitt in 1776, a member of the Committee of 
Safety for Pennsylvania, Vice-President of the Constitu- 
tional Convention, Colonel of the First Battalion of Asso- 
ciators for Lancaster county, Member of the Continental 

1 From paper by Charles Willson Peale,* read before the Sons of the 
American Revolution. 


Congress, and as a fitting climax, he signed the Declara- 
tion of Independence. He took his seat in Congress on the 
twentieth of July, 1776, and he signed his name on the 
second of August. 

George Ross as a signer did not sit in the Continental 
Congress from November 3, 1775, to July 20, 1776, in 
which interval the vote of adoption took place. Not alone 
from Pennsylvania, but from other colonies as well, dele- 
gates who occupied seats on the Fourth of July and voted 
for the adoption of the Declaration, ceased to be members 
before the second of August, when the signing took place, 
while some who were not members on the fourth of July, 
became members before the day of signing. 

Ill health forced him to retire in January, 1777. On 
leaving office the citizens of Lancaster voted him a piece of 
silver to cost 150, which he declined to receive. In the 
minutes of the Supreme Executive Council, Philadelphia, 
March i, 1779, we find: 

"Resolved, That the Honorable George Ross, Esquire, 
be commissioned Judge of the Admiralty of this State, 
under the late Act of Assembly : That this Board highly 
approve the firmness and ability he has hitherto shown in 
the discharge of his said office." 

His house in Lancaster stood on the site of the present 
Court House, East King and Duke Streets, and his coun- 
try home was a farm in what was then a suburb of Lan- 
caster, now a part of the city, and called in his honor, Ross- 
mere. He was a Churchman by inheritance, and was 
vestryman and warden of St. James' Church, Lancaster, 
contributing liberally to its various interests. Genial, kind 
and considerate, his sense of humor evidently lightened the 
cares of his strenuous life. He died on July 14, 1779. 
A Philadelphia newspaper 1 of July 15 has this entry: 

1 Pennsylvania Packet, July 15, 1779. 


" Yesterday died at his seat near the city, the Honorable 
George Ross, Judge of Admiralty of this state." He was 
interred in the church yard of Christ's Church, Philadel- 
phia. 1 

From the Minutes of the Executive Council, Philadel- 
phia, Wednesday, July 14, 1779: 

"Information was received of the death of the Hon- 
ourable George Ross Esquire, Judge of the Court of Ad- 
miralty, and an invitation to his funeral, to-morrow, at 
nine o'clock in the forenoon. 

"Resolved, That this Board will attend the said funeral, 
and proceed from the Council Chamber to the late dwell- 
ing house in North St. Hudson's Square." 2 

A letter from Edward Burd to Jasper Yeates, July, 
1 779, says: 

" Poor Mr. Ross is gone at last. I was one of his Car- 
riers. He said he was going to a cooler climate, and be- 
haved in the same cheerful way at his exit as he did all thro 
the different trying scenes of life." 3 

George Stevenson, who was born in Ireland, in 1718, 
of excellent parentage, had been destined by his fam- 
ily to the ministry. He studied at Trinity College, but, 
not taking kindly to an ecclesiastical life, he left Ireland 
abruptly for America about 1741, where school teaching at 
Newcastle, Lower Counties, occupied him for a short time. 
He soon found a larger field for his capacities. " It is said 
that Thomas Cookson, deputy surveyor of Lancaster 
county, who surveyed the York townlands in 1741, never 

1 Records of Christ Church. 

2 Colonial Records, XII. 46. 

3 Burd Papers, p. 112. 


returned the survey into office. To supply this deficiency 
George Stevenson resurveyed them in December, I742." 1 
He is mentioned as a deputy surveyor under Nicholas 

He married Jane Geddes, daughter of Henry Geddes, 
of Mill Creek Hundred, and moved to York in 1744. 
She died before 1748, as Stevenson is mentioned in a deed 
recorded at Newcastle in that year, as "George Steven- 
son Esq. of York Co. Pa., as guardian of his sons Henry 
and George by late wife, Jane Geddes." Some years 
after, he married Mary Thompson, widow of Col. Thomas 

Many offices and honors in the newly created York 
county fell to Stevenson in 1749. He was made justice 
of the peace, register of wills, clerk of orphans' court, pro- 
thonotary 2 and clerk of quarter sessions, and in the next 
year was given a title which is probably unique in this coun- 
try, and never used, before or since that of Chief Ranger 
of the Province of Pennsylvania. To quote again the 
History of York County. 3 

" George Stevenson who was so much honored in the 
early days of this county, supported an office which is now 
unknown to our laws. James Hamilton, deputy Governor 
of Pennsylvania, constituted him 7 th January, 1750, Chief 
Ranger of and for the Country of York granting * full 
power and authority to range, view & inspect all our woods 
& lands within the said county & to seize, take up & ap- 
propriate to our use all & every such wild colts & young 
horses, cattle & swine as shall be found ... not marked, 
etc/ ' 

There is another commission extant beginning " George 

1 York County, by Carter and Glossbrenner, p. 37. 

2 Commission now owned by his great-granddaughter, Miss Anne Mc- 

3 Carter and Glossbrenner, p. 138. 


the Third, etc. etc. to Robert Strettell, William Till, Ben- 
jamin Shoemaker, Lawrence Growden, Joseph Turner, 
.William Logan, Richard Peters, Lynford Lardner, Ben- 
jamin Chew and Thomas Cadwallader Esq rs , members of 
the Proprietary and Governor's Council, and to Thomas 
Armor, John Blackburn, Patrick Watson, George Steven- 
son, John Pope, Hance Hamilton, Richard Brown, Hugh 
Whiteford, Michael Banner, Martin Eykelburger, Archi- 
bald McGrew, David Kirkpatrick and Abraham Noblitt 
of the County of York and Province of Pennsylvania, 
Esquires, greeting " "which, with many words, goes on 
to make the above named, Justices, of the Peace, and of the 
County Court of Common Pleas etc., the date being 23 rd 
day of April 1761 "and in the first year of our Reign" 
It is signed by James Hamilton, and although under 
glass, is crumbling. 

As his letters in the " Colonial Records " and 
" Archives " show, he was active in the troublous times of 
1755-6, and was appointed by Sir Jeffrey Amherst, then 
Commander-in-Chief of the King's forces in America, on 
a commission to audit accounts of Fort Duquesne. 

On Scull's map of 1759 " Stevenson's" is just north of 
York. Removing about 1765 to Carlisle, he became one 
of the leading lawyers there, and was largely interested in 
iron-making ventures in the neighborhood, chiefly at Pine 
Grove, where, according to the records, he was an owner 
for eight or ten years from 1764. He had one son, 
George, afterwards so well known for his service during 
the Revolution, and as a leading citizen in Pittsburgh and 
Wilmington; and three daughters: Nancy, married to 
John Holmes of Baltimore; Catherine, married to John 
Wilkins of Pittsburgh, and Mary, who became the wife of 
Dr. James Armstrong, son of General John Armstrong. 

Of Brigadier General Thompson, the third of these 


early partners, our knowledge is limited, but full of inter- 
est. Born about 1736, his birthplace is not known. He 
owned and lived upon, a farm near Carlisle, on the Con- 
odoguinet Creek, and probably belonged by family or 
personal ties to the group of Scotch-Irishmen of the better 
class, who fought so bravely and persistently as frontiers- 
men, for "their hearthstones and their fires" against the 
slowly retreating but naturally vindictive Indians. When 
twenty years old Thompson served under Colonel John 
Armstrong in the noted fight at Kittaning, and in 1758 was 
made a Captain of Light Horse. The relations of these 
three partners were evidently friendly, as on March 29, 
1762, Thompson (then Stevenson's brother-in-law) mar- 
ried Catherine Ross, a sister of George Ross. 

" In the public library of Carlisle, Cumberland County, 
there is hanging upon the wall, the commission issued to 
William Thompson on June 25th, 1775, as "Colonel of 
the Battalion of Rifle Men Rais'd in the Province of Penn- 
sylvania " This was probably the first commission issued 
to a Colonel, and was certainly the first one that was issued 
and made operative by acceptance. I think that Colonel 
Thompson's troops were the first that were mustered in by 
order of Congress, and they were the first soldiers to reach 
Boston from south of the Hudson River." 1 

These riflemen are described by Thatcher as being re 
markably stout and hardy men, many six feet in height, 
dressed in white frocks or rifle shirts and round hats, and 
of great accuracy of aim, striking a mark with certainty at 
two hundred yards distance. One company, while on 
quick advance fired their balls into a target of seven inches 
diameter at a distance of two hundred and fifty yards. 
"On the 20th April, 1776, Congress urged Washington 

i Letter of the Hon. E. W. Biddle, Carlisle. 


to hurry troops destined for Quebec, and on the 2ist he 
despatched four battalions under Thompson of Pennsyl- 
vania as Brigadier." Of the Canadian campaign, a for- 
lorn hope, indeed, though so bravely contested, no more in- 
teresting account can be found than that of Bancroft. For 
our purpose, a few words will suffice to tell of the disaster 
at Three Rivers : 

"As day began to appear (June 8th, 1776) the Ameri- 
cans who were marching under the bank of the River were 
cannonaded from the ships; undismayed, they took their 
way through a thickly wooded swamp, above their knees in 
mire and water, and after a most wearisome struggle of 
four hours, reached an open piece of ground where they 
endeavored to form. Wayne began the attack . . . they 
displayed undisputed gallantry, but being outnumbered 
more than three to one, were compelled to retire. . . . 
Thompson and Irvine, who were separated from the rest 
of the party, were betrayed by the Canadians, and taken 
prisoners." 1 

The next mention we have is " As prisoners, I3th June, 
General Thompson and Mr. Bird ordered on board Blonde 
ship of War," and on the twenty-fifth General Thompson 
transferred to the Union transport." 2 Although not 
regularly exchanged until October 26, 1780, General 
Thompson was paroled and allowed to return to his family 
in I777- 3 He died at Carlisle September 3rd, 1781 and 
is buried in the old graveyard. His widow Catherine 
drew a pension from the State. 4 

Definite information as to the later proprietors of 
" Mary Ann " is to be had in a Day Book for 1773? 

1 Bancroft, V, pp. 291-29$. 

2 Journal of Colonel William Irvine, of the Sixth. 

3 History of Cumberland County, by C. P. Wing, p. Six. 
* Colonial Records, XV, p. 286. 

5 Manuscript Collections, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 


L S d. 

"March 31. To George Ross, for half 357 10 o34 
To George Ege for d 

Then in a Day Book, 1774 "George Ross and George 
Ege, joint Proprietors." And on March 3ist, 1775, 
" George Ege, D r . to George Ross, for i year's rent, Fur- 
nace and Forge Lcoo. 

L S d. 

To George Ross for half the profits 361 5 

George Ege for t'other half 361 5 " 

According to entries found in these books the relation 
between this furnace and Spring Forge on the Codorus, 
some miles above York, were close, and possibly the 
"Forge" mentioned above was Spring Forge; as in some 
books the entries for either are mingled indiscriminately. 
For instance, March, 1772, "Spring Forge D r . to John 
GigerL66 Si" 

Like most of the furnaces during the Revolutionary 
period " Mary Ann " manufactured cannon balls and grape 
shot for our army and navy. Some balls were found on 
the farm where the furnace had been. They varied in size 
from a minie ball to a four-inch cannon ball. In operation 
for over fifty years, and having passed through the own- 
erships of John Steinmetz and John Brinton, both of Phil- 
adelphia, and finally of David Meyer, these noted iron 
works ceased to exist early in the nineteenth century. In 
the pits where the charcoal was burned, the soil is yet black 
along the hillside, and the race through which the water 
passed, is still there. 

Caroline Hale Steinman. 
Augusta M. Longacre. 

1 See Charming Forge. 





A valuable ore bed called the " Moselem mine " was 
known as early as 1750 to the iron workers of the M ana- 
tawny region, and contributed of its rich deposits to the 
Oley, Spring and other forges. 

Finally a forge was erected on Moselem Creek near by, 
in the township of Richmond, Berks county. The date 
is not known, but it must have been considerably earlier 
than 1767. 

For we find from the records that in August, 1767, 
" Jacob Shoffer of Manatawny, yeoman, for the considera- 
tion of five hundred pounds sold one undivided fourth part 
of a tract of land containing one hundred and seventy five 
acres situate on the Moselem Creek in Richmond township, 
also one fourth part of all forges, mills, etc thereon erected, 
to Christian Lower of Tulpehocken, a blacksmith." 1 

The forge is also referred to in a description of a road 
laid out in 1768 leading from the Moselem Forge to Read- 
ing. The records of its history are very meagre. 

1 History of Berks county, by M. L. Montgomery. 




It seems evident that this forge on the Codorus, some 
miles above York, was in close relations with the Mary 
Ann Furnace, and was probably owned by George Ross, 
with or without the other partners. A " Spring Forge" is 
frequently mentioned in the Mary Ann Ledgers and account 
books and the expression " at the Spring " is used. Entries 
in a Mary Ann Ledger run : 

" March 1772. Spring Forge to John Giger Dr. 66-1- 
Spring Forge to Edward Musgrove Dr. 5-1-4" 

Michael Ege, George Ege's brother, afterwards of 
note as an iron-master in Cumberland County, worked 
here as a youth; and married Dorothea Wolff, of this 
neighborhood. One authority says briefly, of this forge, 
that it was built to take the place of Peter Dick's bloomary, 
and was active many years. 




An early forge, built probably after 1750, is said to have 
preceded this well-known furnace. In 1762, Richard 
Peters, of Philadelphia, obtained a patent for three hun- 
dred and eighty-eight acres of land called Boiling Spring, 
and immediately executed a deed to John S. Rigby and 
Company for twenty-nine acres "on which they had al- 
ready commenced the erection of a blast furnace." At the 
same time they bought two ore banks at the foot of South 
Mountain, and shortly after added sixteen hundred and 
fourteen acres of land, so situated that they embraced all 
the land between these ore banks. These tracts were then 
called the Carlisle Iron Works. Shortly after, John Arm- 
strong and Robert Thornburg became part owners, and to 
Thornburg's skilled management much of the success of the 
works is due. He died in 1774. 

As so often happened in Pennsylvania, the iron-making 
interest of a father, in this case Anthony Morris, 3rd, 1 the 
well-known iron investor, was reproduced here in his sons, 
Samuel and John, who with Francis Sanderson and Robert 
Thornburg bought this furnace from Rigby in 1764. It is 
said that in 1768 Michael Ege, Amos Stilwell and Robert 
Thornburg bought out the former owners, and that finally in 
1792, Michael Ege became sole owner. 2 Boiling Springs 
produced twelve to fifteen tons of metal a week, making as 
did most of the early furnaces " loops " and blooms chiefly, 
but also stoves, fire backs and hollow ware. The illustra- 

1 See Spring Forge and Colebrookdale. 

2 Blast Furnaces of Cumberland County, by B. K. Goodyear. 

Stoveplate cast at Carlisle Iron Works, 1764. Owned by the Historical 
Society of Pennsylvania. 


tion, a stove plate, shows the usual irregular and quaint 
style of inscription of the travelling German workman, and 
may be deciphered thus : 


Mr. Thornburgh, A for Armstrong. M for Morris, 
and Seandson for Sanderson. It looks as if Thornburg 
and Sanderson loomed larger in the minds of the workmen 
than did either Armstrong or Morris, but in one way or 
another all the partners are commemorated. 

Writing to James Young, Esq., Paymaster, from Phila- 
delphia on January 28, 1764, John Penn, Esq., Lieuten- 
ant-Governor, says: "When you arrive at Carlisle you 
will immediately engage the gunsmiths or armourers in 
and about that place, and order them to repair such arms 
of the Provincial troops as are out of order, as fast as 
they arrive there." 1 

In 1776 and throughout the War, anthracite coal was 
taken in arks from the Wyoming mines, above Wilkes- 
Barre, down the Susquehanna, to the Armory at Carlisle. 
The first cargo sent down the Susquehanna is said to have 
been the first shipment of anthracite coal made in this 

" During the Revolution the Continental Congress es- 
tablished and maintained an Armory at Carlisle where 
muskets, swords and wrought iron cannon of great strength 
were made." 2 In an unfinished] paper by the late' C. P. 
Humrich, Esq., on " Washingtonburg " the early name for 
the Carlisle Barracks, it is stated that a company of Artific- 
ers were stationed there from 1777 to 1781 and probably 
later, whose "duties were to cast cannon, bore guns, and 

iRupp's Cumberland County, p. 401. 

2 Jenkins, Pennsylvania Colonial and Federal. 


prepare ammunition for the use of the Army." A com- 
pany with similar duties was also located in Philadelphia. 1 

And just here let us try to clear up the insistent tradi- 
tions of the wonderful wrought iron cannon of Cumberland 
county. Many of the books on Pennsylvania mention 
them, with varying details. Briefly, the tale is, that Wil- 
liam Dunning of Middlesex, in this county, made, presum- 
ably about 1776, two wrought iron cannon of great 
strength, one of which was in use at the battle of Brandy- 
wine, was captured by the British, and deposited finally in 
the Tower of London. The story runs that the British 
government offered a large sum of money and an annuity 
to the person who would instruct them in the manufacture 
of that article; Dunning's patriotism, however, withstood 
the alluring offers. He attempted another and larger 
cannon, but could get no one to assist him who could endure 
the heat, which was so great as to melt the lead buttons on 
his clothes. This unfinished piece is said to have a resting 
place, now, near Carlisle, but just where, no one knows. 

William Dunning died December 19, 1830, aged 93, at 
his home near Newville. 2 To settle the question of the 
wrought iron cannon reposing in the Tower of London, 
the authorities there were written to, who promptly replied, 
in the following courteous letter: 

12. 3- 13- 

" The Governor of the Tower has handed me your letter 
of the 4th March. I regret to say that I cannot trace the 
cannon which you mention. 

1 The Hon. E. W. Biddle, Carlisle. 

2 Hazard's Register, VII, p. 48. 


" It is more than probable that it was destroyed in the 
fire of October 3Oth, 1841, which destroyed the Grand 
Storehouse which contained the "Train of Artillery." 

"Yours faithfully, 

Mrs. Longacre 

In any event we have the glory of the tradition, and 
possibly a cannon. 

Michael Ege, brother of George, the noted ironmaster 
of Berks county, was born 1753, and brought up at 
Charming Forge, by his Uncle Stiegel. He was employed 
first at Spring Forge, York county, and at the age of nine- 
teen married Anna Dorothea Wolff, daughter of a well-to- 
do German farmer. Soon after his marriage he settled at 
Boiling Springs, Cumberland county. By 1786 he was 
part owner of the Carlisle Iron Works, there, and in 1792, 
became sole owner. A few years later he built a mansion, 
beautiful for situation, with graduated terraces leading 
down to the Boiling Springs lake and stream. He brought 
up three sons in the iron interest, and had several other 
ventures himself, notably Pine Grove Furnace. He died 
at the age of sixty-two in 1815, leaving a comfortable for- 
tune to his children. 

Augusta M. Longacre. 




About the year 1760 a valuable deposit of iron ore was 
found on Furnace Creek, a branch of the Little Mana- 
tawny, in Oley township, a short distance north of Fried- 
ensburg, and near the line between Oley and Ruscomb- 
Manor townships. This ore was doubtless used in the 
forges in that vicinity, notably the "Oley" and the 
" Spring." A few years later, probably in 1765, a furnace 
was erected near the mountain, known as the Oley Furnace. 
It was built most probably by Dietrich Welcker, 1 an iron 
master of Skippack, and it is possible that William May- 
bury was a joint owner in the beginning. In 1768 the fur- 
nace was certainly in existence and in operation, for 
Welcker at that time borrowed one hundred pounds from 
John Lesher, iron master, of Oley Forge, and executed a 
mortgage to him, in which the furnace is mentioned, and 
five tracts of land. 

During the Revolution Oley Furnace became the prop- 
erty of General Daniel Udree, and was carried on in con- 
nection with the Rockland Forges situated several miles to 
the northeast. Eventually the works passed into the 
hands of the Clymer family, and was known for some time 
as the Clymer Iron Works. A plate with " 1770 " on it is 
built into the stack, but it must relate to some other fact 
than the beginning of the furnace. Beside that obtained 
from its own mine, ore was supplied to it from the Mose- 
lem mine, in Richmond township, lying eight miles to the 
northwest. 2 

1 He may have been a son of Dietrich Welcker, who in 17516 kept an 
inn at Skippack, Montgomery county, where the sign, a Weeping Willow, 
hung for many years. 

2 Berks County, by M. L. Montgomery. 




A furnace and forge were erected by William Bennett 
on Codorus Creek near its junction with the Susquehanna, 
in Hellam township in 1765, and continued under his 
management until May, 1771, when they were sold by the 
sheriff to Charles Hamilton. Hamilton in turn sold them, 
November, 1771, to James Smith, the Signer, who besides 
his mental capacity and learning had a great fund of humor. 
This seems to have sustained him in that bitter school of 
experience, iron making. Many were the gibes and jests 
he directed against the two managers he had at Codorus 
Forge. One, he said, was a knave, and the other a fool. 
After losing 5000 in this venture, James Smith, in April, 
1778, sold the forge and furnace to Thomas Neil. 1 These 
works are said to have made ammunition for the army 
during the revolution. 

1 York County, by Carter and Glossbrenner. 





With the enterprising industry so characteristic of the 
German, many of the settlers of Berks County undertook 
almost single handed the manufacture of iron wares, most 
of them of simple domestic use, but cast in forms of real 

One of these settlers began his work so early that his 
little enterprise gave its name to the pretty stream he made 
use of under the shadow of Blue Mountain, and which is 
still known as " Furnace Creek." In course of time the 
water power was further utilized; and when, in 1768, the 
estate was sold to Jacob Winey, of Philadelphia by one 
Henry Moll, who had bought it at sheriff's sale from Fred- 
erick Delaplank, a reputed iron-master, it is described as 
comprising one hundred and seventy-six acres of land, to- 
gether with a forge for the manufacture of bar iron, a 
grist-mill and a saw-mill. 

After this sale, work at the forge seems to have been 
discontinued for a time, and we next learn of the establish- 
ment of a small charcoal furnace on the site, by Valentine 
Eckert, an enterprising iron master in the northern part of 
the county. Later George Reagen became the manager, 
and the plant was operated in connection with Union Fur- 
nace and the forges in Albany township. 1 

Though the furnace has had a checkered existence, and 
has been out of commission at times, it is entitled to special 
consideration for remarkable artistic work, done\ early in 

1 Berks County, by M. L. Montgomery. 


Crucifix cast at Windsor Furnace, Berks County. Owned by Mrs 
George de Benneville Keim. 


the last century, under the management of Jones, Keim 
& Company. This firm made castings of various; kinds 
with definite artistic intention, one of its most admired 
productions being a copy of the Last Supper after the 
celebrated painting at Milan by Leonardo da Vinci. This 
was presented to the Philadelphia Exchange by D. M. 
Keim. Cast directly from pure ore, in common sand, and 
oiled, it was the first attempt to bring to perfection cast- 
ings of this description. A crucifix, also of great beauty, 
is given among our illustrations, as showing the height 
to which Pennsylvania finally attained in this art. While 
this work was done long after our colonial date, yet the 
furnace which had the honor of accomplishing it was dis- 
tinctly a colonial furnace ; so, technically, we are within our 
limits, and the beauty of these castings is an ample excuse, 
if any is needed. Mr. George May Keim (1805-1861), 
a well-known Philadelphian, was an owner of Windsor Fur- 
nace, and a member of the Keim family so long identified 
with the State. 




Gulf Forge, on Gulf Creek in upper Merion township, 
Montgomery County, near the village of Gulf Mills, is 
mentioned as existing in 1768, and shown on Scull's map 
of 1770, but no trace of it is now to be found, nor is any 
information obtainable on the subject. By those who know 
this beautiful neighborhood, a description of " The Gulf," 
from Buck's History of Montgomery County, will not be 
considered too irrelevant. 

"The Gulf is where the Gulf Creek passes thro' the 
Gulf Hill and for the purpose of a passage, has cleft it to 
its base. The stream and the wood by its side wind 
thro' it somewhat in the shape of an S, and at the nar- 
rowest part there is just room enough for both, the whole 
width not being more than forty feet. The hills on either 
side are pretty steep and are covered with rocks, bushes, 
and trees to their summits. Near the old Gulf Mill on 
the South side of the entrance, a rock juts out at the road- 
side to an elevation of about fifteen feet, which has shel- 
tered people from the rain." 

Harriton, Bryn Mawr. Showing cheese-room. Residence of Charles 
Thomson, Secretary of Continental Congress. Now owned by George 



The furnace I knew best was Pine Grove, with its 
twenty-seven thousand acres of woodland, nestled in the 
South Mountain, midway between Carlisle and Gettysburg, 
about fifteen! miles from either. In placing charcoal fur- 
naces, streams and forests were the first consideration, 
the one to furnish power, and the other to provide char- 
coal. The next essential, iron ore, could be hauled from 
adjacent mines. At Pine Grove this was found in the sur- 
rounding hills. A vivid recollection remains with me of 
the working of the furnace, the molten iron and all that, 
but as the early process is given in our introduction, I shall 
not repeat it. In making charcoal the chestnut, oak, and 
hickory of the forest were cut into prescribed lengths by 
the wood-cutters, to be later piled on end in a cone-shaped 
stack about six feet high and slowly charred for a week 
or so, for use in the furnace. The wagons that brought 
it in, were long with high sides, and drawn by six mules. 
Each board of the bottom was moveable with a heavy 
iron ring in the end. These were drawn by detaching the 
leading mules from the tongue of the wagon and hooking 
their chains into the rings in the board at the back of the 
wagon and thereby drawing out of the bottom a board at 
a time, which deposited the coal where it was wanted, at 
the " coal house." 

Furnaces were often called by women's names, a compli- 
ment personally to members of the family, and the fires, 
when convenient, lighted by women. I know of an in- 



stance during the Civil War, when, at the " blowing in " of 
a furnace great care was taken not to light the fire with a 
Democratic newspaper ! When a bride visited a furnace, 
her slipper was taken (ladies did not wear shoes) and kept 
by the men until she promised a "treat." 

While my recollection, naturally, does not go back to 
colonial days, I am sure the life was not changed in any 
particular from the building of the furnace in 1770 to the 
begininng of the Civil War. My personal knowledge 
begins with 1848. There were no railroads, and a journal 
of my grandmother's records long journeys to Baltimore or 
Philadelphia in carriages, or on horseback, with servants in 
charge of the luggage. Our old carriage at Pine Grove 
had a large trunk rack behind, which was strapped up 
against the back when not in use. 

Iron was conveyed from place to place in wagons or on 
the backs of mules. In some instances the bars of iron 
were bent to fit over the mule's back. Canals were a 
welcome improvement in transportation, till railroads 

Laborers at the four furnaces in the South Mountain, 
Pine Grove, Mt. Alto, Caledonia, and Katocktin in Mary- 
land, were nearly all English ; there were few Irish names 
and almost no Germans. They were the same race as those 
found in the West Virginia and Tennessee Mountains ; the 
mountains are of the Blue Ridge chain in which the old 
furnaces were, and the lives they lead to-day are just as I 
am trying to describe, except for the feuds. At the Penn- 
sylvania furnaces they were tamer and gentler people, from 
the influence and contact with the family of the Big House, 
but their primitive instincts and superstitions were the 
same. The Tennessee mountaineers are said to be of the 
purest, most unmixed blood in this country and are a most 
interesting people. Craddock uses a word " survigerous " 


the Pine Grove people said " savagerous " for 

Mr. Jas. M. Swank, in his "History of Iron," tells us: 
"The authority of those old Pennsylvania iron masters 
was indeed baronial, but it was also patriarchal. A tie 
of common interest closer than exists to-day under similar 
relations, bound master and workman together." They 
were dependent on the Big House for everything concern- 
ing their welfare, and were looked after in their births, 
marriages and deaths, with most affectionate interest, giv- 
ing in return unbounded loyalty and affection. An old 
man I know after an interval at other work, thought he 
would return to a furnace, and told me later he could not 
stand it, he was only known by a number and was simply 
part of a machine, this describes modern conditions, the 
old personal element no longer exists. To quote again 
from Swank those " good old Colony Times, when Penn- 
sylvania was still a British province, are gone and their 
medieval flavor, their picturesqueness, and their placidity, 
are also gone." 

The cottages of the laborers were logs and plaster, with 
stone chimneys, simply furnished with painted wooden fur- 
niture and huge feather beds, and their prosperity was 
gauged by the number and variety of their patchwork 
quilts. There was a good deal of the joy of life in the mak- 
ing of these, the various patterns had names, "The 
Garden of Eden," "Sunrise," etc. The designs took 
months to accomplish, and the final quilting was an occa- 
sion of merrymaking. The food and clothes of the people 
were provided at the "store." (The wagons that took 
away iron, brought back these necessities.) Calico for 
their dresses and sun-bonnets, linsey-woolsey (a rough 
woolen material) for their petticoats; they spun and dyed 
the wool for their stockings which they knitted themselves. 


Coarse, heavy shoes came from the "store," also flour, 
"flitch" (salt pork), molasses and tobacco. Many of 
the women smoked. The more thrifty of the families had 
cows, which roamed at will, procuring such food as they 
could, and at milking time they were easily followed and 
recovered, by the sound of their tinkling bells. Each cot- 
tage had a garden, and they all had chickens and eggs; 
and again, the more thrifty had pigs. 

Apple-butter boiling, spelling bees, in addition to the 
quilting bees, made up their amusements. These festiv- 
ities generally ended with a dance, on the sanded floor, 
when the young men arrived to take the young women 
home. The music was provided by a self-taught fiddler 
with probably a home-made fiddle, and the lights were 
tallow candles. Brides drove away with their swains to 
the nearest " preacher," to be married, and were greeted on 
their return by a " charivari," or as they called it a " cala- 
thumpian," ending in a "treat." 

These mountaineers were very religious, and held what 
were called "protracted meetings" on which occasions 
they all became converted, or as they expressed it, " found 
religion." But as they had generally lost it when meet- 
ing time came around again, there were always candidates 
for the "mourners' bench." Most of them were very 
restless and loved the excitement of a flitting, with neigh- 
bors all gathered in, and a feast at both ends of the line, 
to say nothing of the six-mule wagon with a turret of gay 
bells and red flannel streamers on the harness. The four 
furnaces I have mentioned as neighbors, were visited in 
turn, but they were people of strong affections, and a little 
grave on the hillside often held them, or brought them 
back. It was a sweet God's acre, in the primeval forest, 
with the sunshine slanting between the big trees standing 
guard, and year after year, covering those sleeping there 


with their softly falling leaves. It was a strong magnet 
for them all, as you see by the interesting tales of the 
Tennessee Mountains. It was the custom, after a burial, 
for all the friends for miles around, to return to the house 
of the mourning family for the " funeral baked meats," 
and great were the preparations, and many and various 
were the pies and jams. 

Christmas Day was always looked forward to, with 
much excitement, for the children on the place got all the 
apples and cakes they could carry when they came to visit 
the Children's Tree, at the " Big House," and the heads of 
families longest on the place were given their Christmas 
dinner. Of course there were not then the endless books 
and toys that children have now. Our old rag dolls had 
clean faces and new dresses for the occasion, and we loved 
them dearly and were proud of their new looks. 

The old house was very large, and the situation beau- 
tiful. We had only wood for fuel, and the big blazing 
fireplaces are a charming recollection. We were lighted 
by lard lamps except on occasions of entertaining, when 
candle-boards were fixed over each door-way, decorated 
with evergreens, and a row of wax candles in each. Part 
of the work of the house-hold was moulding candles, 
pounding spice with a mortar and pestle, and cutting the 
white sugar which came in a " loaf." In the nursery a 
thing called a "witch" made a night-light, it was a piece 
of paper twisted and lighted, floating on melted lard. AU 
house supplies were bought in large quantities, barrels of 
crackers and sugar, boxes of tea and coffee, and wines in 
proportion, for there were no shops where such things 
could be obtained. Nutmegs were sold for their weight in 
silver. Flour was ground at the mill on the place, for 
there were many acres under cultivation to supply the fam- 
ilies and animals. The haymaking was done by a long 


line of mowers, twenty or more, with scythes, stepping in 
a rhythmic movement; and in the same way, the wheat 
and oats were cut with " cradles." There was a carpenter 
shop and a blacksmith shop ; and the trade of wheelwright 
was in much demand for the only power known was water 
power which meant a big wheel. We are told that Egyp- 
tains 1500 B.C. blew their furnaces by artificial wind de- 
rived from treading on goat skins filled with air. Modern 
furnaces are operated by powerful gas engines. 

No one thought the distance from Carlisle too great for 
driving, so there was always plenty of company, and of 
course they came for the night or for several days. The 
old garrison in Carlisle added too, to the gaiety. In those 
days, when there were fewer people in the world, all per- 
sons of consequence knew each other, if not actually, at 
least by reputation, and they were expected to stop if they 
came into the neighborhood as a matter of course, and it 
was a source of mutual pleasure and satisfaction. 

The recorded ownership of this old furnace dates from 
a Proprietary Grant, 1762, for four hundred and fifty 
acres on Mountain Creek to Thomas Pope ; thence by deed, 
1764, to George Stevenson, who, in 1772, conveyed it to 
Finley McGrew, who in turn, 1773, conveyed it to Jacob 
Simon. The furnace was built probably in 1770 by 
Robert Thornburg and John Arthur. In 1782 Jacob 
Simon conveyed Pine Grove Furnace and land to Michael 
Ege and Thomas and Joseph Thornburg, sons of Robert. 
In 1803, Michael Ege became sole owner. 1 Operated 
chiefly by the Ege Family until 1838, the property then 
came into the hands of Mr. C. B. Penrose and the Hon. 
Frederick Watts. Finally, in 1845, Mr. Wm. M. Watts 
took possession, and operated furnace, forge and farms 

1 Ege Genealogy, pp. 90 and 93. 


very successfully until 1864, when Mr. Wm. G. Moore- 
head became the owner. 

" Perhaps the most royal hospitality of all dispensed at 
any residence in the county was that of the Peter Ege 
family who lived at Pine Grove. Connected by ties of 
blood and friendship with Carlisle and its people, Mr. 
Ege and his wife, a Miss Arthur of Virginia, have left 
many traditions of their princely manner of entertaining. 
In later years the spirit of hospitality was fully sustained 
by William M. Watts, Esq., who succeeded Mr. Ege in 
this place of delightful memories, so picturesquely located 
on the sloping sides of the South Mountain, and so inter- 
woven with the social life of the town as to have been prac- 
tically a part of it." 1 

It is pleasant to be able to say that this fine property 
has fallen into good hands. Some years ago it was pur- 
chased by the State Forestry Association. 

Sarah R. Watts Rose. 

1 Carlisle, Old and New, p. 139. 




The fact of Robert Coleman's connection with this forge 
is its chief interest. His first venture for himself, he came 
here shortly after his marriage in 1773, when the trouble 
with England was brewing. Mr. Coleman's grandson 
has a document of rare interest illustrative of Revolu- 
tionary experiences at Salford Forge. It is endorsed 
" Robert Coleman's memorial, presented August 26th 
1776, asking permission for his clerk and three forgemen 
to be exempted from marching with army to Amboy " ; it 
sets forth that he had rented a forge for three years at a 
rental of two hundred a year, the lease of which would ex- 
pire in three months; and that the "principal part" of his 
workmen were Associators, who, if obliged to march with 
the militia, would cause him great loss and entirely prevent 
him from working up his stock in hand. The request of 
Mr. Coleman was granted the same day by the Council of 
Safety to whom it was addressed. While at this forge he 
manufactured chain bars, which were designed to span the 
Delaware for the defense of Philadelphia against the 
approach of the enemy's fleet. 1 

1 Ironmaking in Pennsylvania, by James Swank, p. 27. 


Franklin's First Model. 

From " An account of the new invented Pennsylvanian Fireplace, 
delphia, Printed and sold by Benjamin Franklin, 1744." 


A Franklin Model. The original in possession of the American 
Philosophical Society. 

Franklin's Model for Stove in the form of an Urn. Full description in 
"Transactions of the American Philosophical Society," Vol. II, 1786. 

Judge Jasper Yeates, writing from Lancaster, December 26, 1777, to 
Col. Burd at Tinian, says : " Hon'd Sir, ... I also enclose you a copy of 
verses on the celebrated urn of Doctor Franklin. They are, in my opinion, 
exceedingly well wrote and contain the true Attic salt. 1 

" Inscription on a curious stove in the form of an urn, contrived ini 
such a manner as to make the flame descend instead of rising from the- 
fire ; invented by Dr. Franklin. 

" Like a Newton sublimely he soared 
To a summit before unattained, 
New regions of science explored 
And the palm of philosophy gained. 

" With a spark which he caught from the skies 
He displayed an unparalleled wonder, 
And we saw with delight and surprise 
That his rod could secure us from thunder. 

" Oh ! had he been wise to pursue 
The track for his talents designed 
What a tribute of praise had been due 
To the teacher and friend of mankind. 

" But to covet political fame 

Was in him a degrading ambition. . , 

The spark that from Lucifer came I *\ * t * 

Enkindled the blaze of sedition. "o" ' V -. 

" Let candor then writ* 1 on his urn ,""-, ^ ^ ^ "*"'"' 

Here lies the renowned inventor n > ?*"*,! *il '-. 

Whose flame to the skies ought to burn 
But, inverted, descends to the centre." 1 

These verses are supposed to have been written by Hannah Griffiths, 
granddaughter of the first Isaac Norris. 

1 Shippen Papers, by Thomas Balch, p. 264. 

1 Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin, by Albert Henry Smyth, I, 
P 130. 

Fireplace of primitive design. From Lossing's Field Book of the 

Fireplace in Mansion, Pine Forge, owned by Mrs. David Rutter. Made at 
Warwick Furnace, probably from earliest design. 

it Stenton. the home of James Logan. 1/50 to 1760. 

Fireplace. About 1750. Harriton. 



Fireplace from home of Susanna Wright, Wright's Ferry, 1760. Owned 
by Mr. S. F. Houston. 

Fireplace Top, 1772. Hopewell Furnace Berks County. Owned by the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

Fireplace, Hopewell Furnace, showing style of design after 1776. 
The motto " Be Liberty Thine " on a fireplace, fixes its date as after the 


Fireplace owned by Mr. A. J. Steinman, Lancaster. " Be Liberty Thine." 
Hessian andirons were much in use at the time. 

Fireplace owned by Dr. William T. Sharpless, West Chester. 
Made shortly after the Revolution. 

Fireplace in residence of Mr. J. H. Osborne, Summerseat, Morrisville, 
once Washington's Headquarters. " Isaac Potts, 1795-" 


Abbington Iron Works, 42 
Allen, Chief Justice William, 45 
Allen, William, warrant to, for 

5000 acres of land, 84 
Amboy, march of Army to, 188 
American flint glass, 125 
American Philosophical Society, 19 
Amherst, Sir Jeffrey, 166 
Ammunition for Army, 173, 174, 


Anchor Forge, 147 
Andover Iron Works, 44 
Andre, Major, 93 
Antes, Colonel Frederick, 146 
Anthracite coal, first shipment of, 


Arks for shipping coal, 52, 173 
Armor, Thomas, 166 
Armory at Carlisle, 173 
Armour, Martha, 101 
Armstrong, Dr. James, 166 
Armstrong, Brigadier General John, 

166, 167, 172, 173 
Army supplies during Revolution, 

Art in early iron work, 9, 127, 178, 


Arthur, John, 186 
Artificers, company of, 173 
Artificers, Franklin's bequest to, 71 
Ashleman, Benjamin, 137 
Assembly of Pennsylvania, 68, 97, 


Associators, 162, 188 
Attwood, Capt, 23, 64 
Attwood, William, 15, 22, 23, 64 

14 191 


Backhouse, Mary, 57 

Backhouse, Richard, 48, 56, 57 

Bailey family, 63 

Ball, Wm., 72 

Bar iron, duty on, in England, 98 

Barde, John Louis, 77 

Barnard, Nicholas, 140 

Barr, John, 121 

Barr, Thomas B., 161 

Barracks at Philadelphia, 157 

Bartram, Alexander, 127 

Battalion of Associators for Lan- 
caster Co., 162 

Bees, quilting and spelling, 184 

Bell at Valley Forge, 94 

Benezet, Daniel, 117, 127, 128, 130 

Bennett, William, 177 

Berks County, forges and furnaces 
in, 11, 20, 58, 62, 75, 76, 79, 111, 
115, 118, 133, 152, 154, 158, 170, 


Bernwick, Jas., 140 

Bertolet, Samuel, 146 

Bezalion, Peter, 4 

Biblical scenes as decoration of 
stoves, 8 

Biddle, Edward, 78 

Biddle, Owen, 153 

Bird, Col., 86 

Bird, James, 157 

Bird, Maria, 157 

Bird, Lieut-Col. Mark, 76, 77, 78, 
80, 81, 152, 153, 154, 156, 157, 

Bird, Mr., a prisoner, 168 



Bird, William, 64, 76, 79, 80, 82, 

152, 154, 157 
Bird Iron Works, 77 
Bird and Patton, 82 
Birdsboro and Hopewell estate, 158 
BIRDSBORO FORGES, 76, 82, 155. See 

Birdsboro Militia, 77 
Blackburn, John, 166 
Blast furnace, first west of Susque- 

hanna, 160 
Blister steel, 18 
Blonde, the, ship of war, 168 
Boats, Durham, 51, 52 
Boiling Springs, 172, 175 
Boom, Geo., 23 
Boon, Boone, G., 15, 22, 31, 64 
Boone, George, 64 
Booth, R., 50 
Boyer, John, 81 
Bradford, Andrew, printer, 45 
Brandywine, the, battle of, 34, 73, 

93, 155, 174 

Brandywine, retreat from, 95 
Branson, Nathaniel, 18 
Branson, Rebecca, 101 
Branson, William, 16, 17, 18, 32, 

33, 69, 70, 100, 101 
Branz's works, 18 
Brenner, Garrett, 115 
Brewing, " art and mistery of," 58 
Brickersville, Lutheran Church in, 


Brien, Edward, 142 
Brinton, John, 169 
British, capture of cannon by, 174 
Brockden, Charles, 21 
Brooke, Mrs. Edward, 158 
Brooke, E. & G., iron Works of, 78 
Brooke, Matthew, 77, 158 
Brooke, Thomas, 158 
Brooks, Mathias, 72 
Brown, Alex., 50 
Brown, Richard, 166 

Buckley, Daniel, 158 

Buckley, Mr. & Mrs., 104 

Bucks County, forges and furnaces 

in, 43, 51 

Burd, Edward, 164 
Byberry, plating forge in, 18 

Cadwallader, Thomas, 166 

Caldwell, David, 159 

Camp Pottsgrove, memorial tablet 

at, 146 

Canadian Campaign, 168 
Canals for transportation, 182 
Candles, moulding of, 185 
Cannon, burial of, at Hopewell and 

Warwick, 155 
Cannon, burial of, at Valley Forge, 

Cannon, casting of, 73, 86, 118, 153, 

155, 169 

Cannon, wrought iron, 174 
Cannon Hill, 124, 130 
Capital invested in forges, 20, 110 
Carbon County, 135 
Carlisle, 161, 166, 181 
Carlisle, social life of, 186, 187 
Carlisle Barracks, 173 
Carmichael, Catherine M., 103, 104 
Carmichael, Rev. John, 103 
Catalan forge, 6, 12, 16, 82 
Chain bars, manufacture of, 188 
Chalice, silver, presented by Queen 

Anne, 13 

Chapman, John, 44 
Charcoal burning, 6, 8, 133 
Charcoal, charring and carting of, 

Charcoal furnaces, abandonment of, 

89, 110 
Charcoal furnaces, construction of, 6 



Charcoal furnaces, consumption of 

wood in, 23, 156 

Charcoal furnace, working of, 181 
Charles River, the Falls of, 51 
CHARMING FORGE, 115, 153, 175 
Chester County, 16, 25, 67, 69, 76, 

90, 96, 97, 118, 151 
Chew, Benjamin, 166 
Chiswell, Mr., 98 

Christ Church, Philadelphia, 40, 164 
Christiana Creek, 38, 42 
Church, Baron Stiegel Memorial, 

Church, Lutheran, at Brickersville, 


Church, Lutheran, at Manheim, 124 
Church, St. Gabriel's at Morlattan, 

31, 76 
Church, St. James', Lancaster, 132, 


Church, Trinity, at Oxford, 12 
Churches, Hessian prisoners in, 85 
Churchtown, 68 

City Council of Philadelphia, 40 
Clark, John, 140 
Clawson's Tavern^ 54 
Claypoole, James, 44 
Clymer Iron Works, 176 
Codorus Creek, 151, 177 
" Cole Book," 79, 82 


Coleman, Robert, 1, 82, 86, 87, 119, 
126, 129, 130, 159 

Coleman, Robert, at Quittapahilla 
Forge, 135, 141, 142 

Coleman, Robert, at Salford Forge, 

Coleman, Robert, entertainment of 
Washington by, 131 

Coleman, Sarah, 132 

Colonial furnaces, casting in, 8 

Committee of Safety for Pennsyl- 
vania, 162 

Committee of Safety of Philadel- 
phia, 156 

Company, a, store in provincial 
times, 108, 183, 184 

Concord Meeting, 25 

Conewago Settlement, 160 

Conestoga Creek, forges on, 102, 159 

Conestoga, Settlement, attack on, 138 

Conestoga Turnpike, 155 

Conestoga Valley, 67 

Connor, Thomas, 92 

Conodoguinet Creek, 167 

Continental Army, accoutrements 
and arms for, 156, 157 

Continental Army at Camp Potts- 
grove, 146 

Continental Congress, 61 

Continental Congress, delegates to, 

Continental Congress, establishment 
of Armory by, 173 

Constitutional Convention, 162 

Cookson, Thomas, deputy surveyor, 
164, 165 

Copper mine, old, near Lancaster, 5 


Cornwall Furnace, indenture con- 
cerning, 85 

Cornwall Mines, product from, 89 

Counties, lower, 36, 42 

Court House at Philadelphia, 14 

COVENTRY FORGE, 16, 25-27, 33, 34 

Coventry Hall, 19, 29, 62 

Cox, Dr., 2 

Cresheim Creek, 12 

Crosby John, 97 

Crum Creek, 96 


Cryble, Saml., 72 

Cumberland County, 171, 172, 181 

Cumberland County, cannon made 
in, 174 


Danner, George H., 126 



Danner, G. H., museum of, 123 
Danner, Michael, 166 
Darby, Abraham, 21 
Davies, Gabriel, 159 ' 
Davies, Margaretta, 159 
Decorations on stoves, 8, 49, 50, 121, 

161, 173 

Delaplank, Frederick, 178 
Delaware, discovery of iron ore in, 


Delaware, Welsh, settlers in, 42 
Delaware County, iron works in, 96, 


Delaware Indians, treaty with, 14 
Delaware River, chain bars to span, 

Dewees, Col. William, Sheriff of 

Philadelphia, 92 
Dickinson, John, 126, 128, 129 
Dickinson, Jonathan, 11, 30 
Dicks' Bloomary Forge, 97, 151 
Dicks, Peter, 97, 151 
Diggs, Anne, 36, 37 
Dillwyn, George, 149 
Docwra, Mr., 2 
Doughten, Stephen, 80 
Doyle, Lawrence, 81 
Drinker, H., 50 
Dunning, William, cannon made by, 


Durham boats, 51, 52, 54 
Durham firebacks, 48, 49, 61 
Durham, Robert, 51 
Dutch settlers, 2 

Eckert, Valentine, 178 
Edgemont Road, 74 
Ege, Bernhard, 118 
Ege, George, 76, 81, 117, 118, 141, 
142, 152, 153, 159, 169, 171 

Ege, George Michael, 122 

Ege, Michael, 118, 171, 175, 186 

Ege, Rebecca, 159 

Egle, Dr., 41 

Election times in iron regions, 107 

ELIZABETH FURNACE, 119, 121, 122, 

Ellis, Robert, 45, 47 

Ellis, Rowland, 61 

Emlen, Samuel, 149 

England, first furnace in, for cast- 
ing pots and kettles, 21 

Etter, Gerard, 135 

Evan-Ap-Evan, 90 

Evans, Governor, as mine operator, 4 

Evans, Lewis, 91 

Evans, Stephen, 91 

Executive Council of Pennsylvania, 
118, 157 

Export of iron, restriction of, 11 

Eykelburger, Martin, 166 

Fager, Col., J. M., 94 

Fagleysville, 146 

Falls of Delaware, 51 

Farmer, Edward, 64 

Fatlands Ford, 93 

Fegan, John, 79, 80 

Fergusson, Mrs., 38 

Ferree, John, 128 

ffream, Edw'd, 23 

ffrench, Nath., 15, 22, 23, 64 

Firebacks, early, 48, 49, 61, 172 

Firebacks, moulding of, 10 

Fireplaces, Sequence of, 189 

Fisher, Hannah, 150 

Fitzwater, George, 45 

Flint glass, manufacture of, 125 

Flower, Enoch, 58 

Flower, Samuel, 18, 101 

Foley, James, 81 

Footman, Richard, 141 



Ford, Nathaniel, 16 

Forge Tract, 40 

Foul Rift, 51 

Foulke, Hugh, 37 

Fox, John, 139, 140 

Frame, Richard, 5 

Francis, John Tench, 70 

Franklin, Benjamin, 24, 70, 71, 130 

Franklin fireplaces, 73 

Franklin stoves, 70, 72 

French, the, early mining ventures 

of, 5 
French Creek, 13, 16, 19, 25, 26, 

27, 28, 29, 34, 69, 87 
French Creek, Cannon imbedded in, 


French Creek Iron Works, 154 
French, Nathaniel, 64 
Fricker, Mr., of Reading, 153 
Fulton, James, 137, 140, 141 
Furnace Creek, 160, 176, 178 
Furnace Run, 130, 136 

Galloway, Joseph, 55, 57 

Geddes, Henry, 165 

Geddes, Jane, 165 

George the Third, commission from, 

German iron workers, artistic wares 
of, 9, 161, 178, 179 

German settlers, 49 

Germantown, 65, 143, 144 

Giger, John, 169, 171 

Giles, Jacob, of Baltimore, 85 

GLASGOW FORGE, 39. See also Mc- 

Glass, Martin, 145 

Glassware, Stiegel, 126 

Glen Mills, 96 

Gold in Delaware, 42 

Golden Lion, 18 

Gordon, Patrick (Governor of Prov- 
ince), 14, 30, 59 

Government, shot and shell for, 130 

Governor's Council, "Remon- 
strance " to, 147 

Grace, Robert, 18, 19, 70, 71, 72, 79 

Graeff, Sebastian, 111 

Graeme, Thomas, physician, 37 

Graham, Alex., 140 

Graves, Robt., 140 

Gray, Colonel, 93 

Great Spring, 152, 153 

Great Valley, 91 


Grey, T., 4 

Griffith, Robert, 20 

Growden, Grace, 55, 57 

Growden, Lawrence, 55, 57, 166 

Grubb, Col. Curtis, 81, 82, 85, 86, 
117, 153 

Grubb, Henry Bates, 87 

Grubb, John, 84 

Grubb, Peter, 1, 41, 82, 84, 85 

Grubb, Peter, Jr., 86 

Grubb, Peter, 3rd, 86 

Grubb, Samuel, 84 

Grubb's Iron Works, 83 

Grubb's Landing, 84 

Guest, Phoebe, 59 


Guns, boring of, 173 


Hackett, John, 47 

Haiman, Widow, 137 

Haldane, James, 140 

Hall, John, 18 

Hall, Joseph, 18 

Hamilton, Charles, 177 

Hamilton, Hance, 166 

Hamilton, James, deputy Gov. of 

Pennsylvania, 57, 165, 166 
Hammer Creek, 82, 87, 159 
Hanover, 151 
Harris, Robert, 140 
Harrison, Hannah, 61 



Harrison, Richard, 61 

Harriton, Bryn Mawr, 61 

Haupt, Abraham, 51 



Hay, Sheriff, 138 
Hazlewood, Wm., 140 
Hebron, Hessian prisoners at, 85 
Heidelberg, 76, 117, 152 
Herlinger, P., 152 
Hessian prisoners, 85, 118, 130 
Hessian prisoners, channel cutting 

by, 118 

Hibbert, John, 16 
Hill, Richard, 29, 150 
Hillegas, Michael, 140, 141, 142 
Hockley, James, 40, 91 
Hockley, Richard, 18, 101 
Hollow ware, casting of, 8, 172 
Holmes, John, 166 
Holstein, Matthias, 77 
Holz, Anna Catherine, 122 
Holz, Elizabeth, 121 
Hoopes, Adam, 139 
Hopewell Creek, 156 
HOPEWELL FORGE, Grubb's, 82, 87 
Hopkins, John, 45 
Howe, Sir William, at Valley Forge, 

93, 95 
Howe, Sir William, march of, to 

Philadelphia, 73, 94, 128, 155 
Huber, Elizabeth, 119, 121 
Huber, Jacob, 159 
Huber, John Jacob, 119, 121 
Hughes, Gabriel, 81 
Ruling, John, 79 
Hulings, Brigetta, 76 
Hulings, Magdalena, wedding of, 77 
Hulings, Marcus, 76, 77 
Hulings, Marcus, Jr., 62 
Hunsecker, John, grant of land from 

the Penns, 160 

Indentured servants, desertion and 
enlistment of, 70 

Indian barter, 52 

Indian character, Penn's estimate of, 

Indian Commissioner at Fort Pitt, 

Indian Council at Philadelphia, 14 

Indian pottery, 44 

Indian trails as highroads for grain, 

Indian Treaty, 14, 45 

Indian woodcraft, 51 

Indians as mine workers, 5 

Indians at Manatawny, 40 

Indians employed in forges, 23 

Indians, hostility of, 30, 31, 47 

Indians, lands seated by, 28 

Indians, murder of, 31, 137, 138 

Intermarriages in iron-making 
world, 63, 75 

Irish, Nathaniel, 47 

Iron, export of, in 1717, 11 

Iron, importation of, 127 

Iron industry in 1789, 75 

Iron in Province, early mention of, 5 

Iron, manufacture of, primitive proc- 
esses, 6 

Iron masters, patriarchal life under, 

Iron ore in Pennsylvania, early 
knowledge of, 43 

Iron works, early, statistics concern- 
ing, 10 

Iron workers, skilled, brought to 
America, 26 

Iron Hill, 38, 42 

Iron Stone Creek, 20, 24 

Irvine, Col. James, 68 

Isaac, Lazarus, 126 



Jacobs, Cyrus, 159 

James, James, 42 

James, Mrs., the historian, 18, 22, 


James, Samuel, 42 
Jenkins, David, 99, 101, 102, 109 
Jenkins, John, 99, 102 
Jenkins, Hon. Robert, 102, 103, 106, 


Jenkins, William, 102 
Johnson, George B., 99 
Jones, Caleb, 67 
Jones, John, 62, 67 
Jones, Lieut.-Col. Jonathan, 67 
Jones, Keim & Company, 179 
Jones, Mary, 58 
Jones's mine holes, 67 
Joy, Capt. Dan'l, 86 
Juto, Wm., 140 

Kalbach, Adam, 81 

Kalm, Peter, 96 

Keim, D. M., 179 

Keim, George May, 179 

Keith, Alexander Henry, 36 

Keith, George, 12 

Keith, Sir William, Governor of 

Pennsylvania, 36, 37 
Keith, Sir William, furnace of, 36 
Kerlin. See Keurlis. 
Keurlis, Martha, 143 
Keurlis, Peter, 144 
Kidd, John, 140 
Killingworth, Rev. Thomas, 12 
Kinsey, John, attorney, 70 
Kirkpatrick, David, 166 
Krebs, Joseph, 81 
Laman, Rev. John B., 105 
Lake Superior iron ore, 89 
Lancaster, old copper mine near, 5 

Lancaster, road from Philadelphia 

to, 154 
Lancaster County, 41, 67, 82, 85, 98, 

118, 119, 135, 136, 158 
Lancaster Co., first Battalion of As- 
sociators of, 162 

Land grant to soldiers, 130 

Langhorne, Jeremiah, 44 

Lardner, Lynford, 18, 101, 166 

Lawler, Ann, 160 

Lawler, Mary, of Lancaster, 160 

Leacock, Jno., 15, 22, 64 

Lebanon County, forges and fur- 
naces in, 82, 89, 135 

Lenan, Jacob, 80 

Lenni Lenape Indians, habits and 
traits of, 13, 14 

Lesher, Jacob, 113 

Lesher, John, 111, 113, 153, 176 

Le Tort, James, 4 

Leutze, E., 54 

Lewis, James, 20 

Leycock, Jno., 23 

Lincoln, Abram, 80 

Lincoln, John, 80 

Lincoln, Mordecai, 99 

Lincoln, President, 99 

Lindley, Thomas, 45 

Logan, James, 1, 29, 45, 46, 49, 57 

Logan, James, as Secretary of the 
Province, 2, 3 

Logan, William, 57, 166 

Longhead, Jas., 140 

Longstreth, Daniel, 140 

Lower Counties, 36, 42 

Lowden, Hugh, 70 

Lower, Christian, 170 

Lower Forge, 80 

Lower Hope well Forge, 159 
Lower Providence, 57 




Malcolm, John, 139, 140, 141 
Manatawny Creek, 11, 15, 20, 39, 

58, 62, 111, 143, 144, 145, 158, 170 
Manheim, 117, 123, 127 
Manheim Glass House, 125 
Marcus Hook, 82, 96 
Marke, Thomas, 20 
Marriages among the iron masters, 


Masters, Thomas, 12 
Matthews, William, the Quaker 

surveyor, 160 
Maxwell, General, 34 
Maybury, Silvanus, 79 
Maybury, Mayburry, Thomas, 66, 

81, 133 

Maybury, William, 176 
McCall, Alexander, 40 
McCall, Archibald, 40 
McCall, George, 39, 40 
McCall, Samuel, 40 
McCalla, Capt. John, 148 
McCalmont, John, 139 
McClenachan, Blair, 87 
McGrew, Archibald, 166 
McGrew, Finley, 186 
McKee, Capt. Thos., 138 
McKonkly's Ferry, 54 
Mcllvaine, Ferguson, 138, 139 
McQuatty, David, 32 
Mennet, 129 
Meredith, Rebecca, 103 
Meyer, David, 169 
Middle Forges, 79 
Mifflin, Geo., 15, 22, 23, 64 
Mifflin, Thomas (Governor), 58 
Mifling, George, 64 
Military service, exemption from, 


Miller, Jacob, 161 

Miller, John, 142 

Miller, Michael, 115 

Milltown (Abington), 12 

Mine Ridge, 5 

Mitchel, a Swiss miner, 4, 5 

Moll, Henry, 178 

Monocacy Road, 160 

Montgomery County, forges in, 37, 

39, 57, 66, 143, 180, 188 
Montgomery, Wm., 140 
Moorehead, Wm. G., 187 
Moravian stove, 123 
Morgan, General Daniel, 56 
Morgan, Jacob, 114 
Morgan, James, 50, 56, 57 
Morgantown, 154 
Morlatton, Malanton, 30, 76, 77 
Morris, Anthony, 1, 15, 20, 22, 23, 

39, 45, 58, 60, 64, 172, 173 
Morris, Benjamin, 157, 158 
Morris, Cadwallader, 77, 157 
Morris family, 61 
Morris, Francis, 79 
Morris, Henry, 116 
Morris, John, 172 
Morris, Margaret, 150 
Morris, Maurice, 20 
Morris, Morris, 64 
Morris, Richard Hill, 151 
Morris, Robert, purchase of Stiegel 

home by, 129 

Morris, Mrs Robert, letter of, 128 
Morris, Samuel, 172 
Moselem Creek, 170 
Moselem mine, 170, 176 

Mount Joy Forge burned by the 

British, 93 
Mount Joy Forge, submerging of, 





FORGE, 75 

Muhlenberg, Rev. William A., 132 
Mules, transportation of iron by, 182 
Munroe, George, 139 
Musgrave, Joseph, 139, 140 
Musgrove, Edward, 171 
Musket barrels, boring of, during 

Revolution, 139 
Muskets for Continental Army, 156, 

Muskets from Warwick Furnace, 



Navy, cannon and shot for, 169 

Neil, Thomas, 177 

Nepham, Stacy, 140 

New Goshenhoppen, 135 

New Market Forge, 87, 135 


Nieman, Zachariah, 140 

Nikoll, John George, 115 

Nixon, John, 157 

Noblitt, Abraham, 166 

Norris, Isaac, 29, 61 

North, Col. Caleb, 93 

Nutt, Anna, 18, 28, 34, 69, 70 

Nutt, Rebecca, 34 

Nutt, Samuel, 16, 17, 19, 27, 33, 69, 


Nutt, Samuel, Jr., 29, 34, 70, 93 
Nutt's dealings with Indians, 13 
Nutt Road, 29 


Octorara Creek, 41 

Offley, Caleb, 147, 148 

Offley, Daniel, 147, 148, 149, 150, 


Offley, Margaret, 147 
Old, Anne, 87, 135, 159 

Old, Caroline, 116 

Old, James, 81, 87, 116, 135, 157, 


Old, John, 152, 153, 158 
Old, Joseph, 159 
Old, William, 116, 159 
Oley Churches, 111, 158 
OLEY FORGE, 111, 170 
Ore, discovery of, reward for, 17 
Ore, iron, washing of, 7 
Orth, Adam, 135 
Osenbrigs, Oxenbrigs, Ozenbriggs, 


Owen, Evan, 20 
Owen, Griffith, 45, 55 
Owen, John, 96, 144 

Paine, R. T., 86 

Paris, Franklin stove used in, 73 

Parker's Ford, 73 

Paschal, Stephen, 17, 147 

Pastorius, bailiff of Germantown, 13 

Pastorius, German colonists under, 

Patchwork quilts, 183 

Patterson, Samuel, 139 

Patton and Bird, 80 

Patton, Colonel John, 76, 78, 81, 152 

Paul, Michael, 145 

Paxton Road, 89 

" Peel," use of, 91 

Pemberton, Israel, 57 

Pen, Sir William, 3 

Penn, Governor John, 39, 57, 83, 84, 
128, 138 

Penn, Richard, 83, 84 

Penn, Thomas, 83, 84 

Penn, William, 36, 39, 42, 143, 162 

Penn, William, dealings of, with In- 
dians, 13 

Pennsbury, Indian treaty at, 45 



Pennsylvanian Fireplace, 73 

Penrose, C. B., 186 

Penrose, Samuel, 38 

Pequea, 104, 136 



Peters, Richard, 57, 166, 172 
Petty, John, 31 
Peugh, James, 26, 27 
Philadelphia, approach of British to, 

73, 94, 128, 155 
Philadelphia, early iron masters in, 

121, 122, 147 

Philadelphia, hauling of iron to, 92 
Philadelphia, historic bell presented 

to, 94 
Philadelphia, old highway to, 89, 


Philadelphia, sale of iron in, 19 
Philadelphia County, forges in, 11, 

20, 39, 62, 75, 111, 143 
Physick, Edmund, Keeper of the 

Great Seal, 128 
Pig iron, 66, 79 

Pig iron, conversion of, into blooms, 6 
Pig iron, exportation of, 11, 46 
Pig-iron, transportation of, 50 
Pigeon Hills, 151 
Pine Creek, 158 
PINE FORGE, 62, 63, 145 
Pine Grove, 166, 187 
Plumsted, Clement, 45 
Poco Creek, 135 

Pontoon bridge at Valley Forge, 94 
POOL FORGE, 11, 60, 63, 64, 159 
Pool Forge, Indian attack upon, 14 
Pool Forge, original owners of, 15 
Pope, John, 166 
Pope, Thomas, 186 
Popodick, Indian King, 24 
Popodickon, 23 
Porter, George B., 106 
Potter, General, 34 

Potts, Anna, 63 

Potts, David, 24, 62, 63, 75 

Potts, John, 17, 40, 62, 63, 65, 91, 
92, 114, 144, 146 

Potts, Joseph, Jr., 40 

Potts, Rebecca, 158 

Potts, Robert S., 138, 139 

Potts, Samuel, 40, 65, 74 

Potts, Thomas, 1, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 
24, 60, 62, 63, 64 

Potts, Thomas, as host to Washing- 
ton, 146 

Potts, Thomas, Jr., 39, 75, 144 

Potts, Thomas, Sr., 144 

Potts, Thomas W., 94 

Potts' Forge, 34 

Pottsgrove, 39, 145. See also Potts- 


Pottstown, 39, 75, 145 

Powel, Samuel, 45, 55 

Powell, Sarah, 97 

Pratt, Abraham, 12 

Preston, Samuel, 15, 22, 23 

Prisoners of war, Hessian, 85, 118, 

Prisoners quartered in churches, 85 

Profits from iron making, 111 

Proprietary and Governor's Coun- 
cil, members of, 166 

Provincial troops, arms of, 173 

Public Library, first in America, 71 

Puddled iron, 7 

Pyewell, Wm., 22, 23 

Quakers absent from Assembly, 97 
Quakers as ironmasters, 11, 21 
Quakers, non-partisan sentiments of, 


Queen Anne, silver chalice pre- 
sented by, 13 




Ranger, Chief, of Province of Penn- 
sylvania, 165 

Read, Charles, 45 

Read, Henry, 145 

Read, Prothonotary, 87 

Reading, 170 

Reading, march of British to, 155 

READING FURNACE, 16, 17, 25, 34, 70, 
100, 159 

Reading Furnace, second, 31 

Reagan, George, 178 

Redding Furnace. See Reading 

Redemptioners, 32, 55, 92 

Red Lion, 50 

Rees, Mary, 62 

Reis, Michael, 115 

Richards, Owen, 72 

Ridge Road, 154 

Rifle Men, Battalion of, 167 

Rigby, John S., 172 

Robert, Anne, 16 

Roberts, E., 57 

Robeson, Andrew, 144 

Robeson, Magdelen, 144 

Robesonia, 153 

Rockland Forges, 176 

Rodgers, Owen, 72 

Rodgers, Phillip, 27 

Rodman, Sarah, 149 

Rolling Mills, 40, 96, 138 

Rose, red, as annual rental, 124 

Roses, Feast of, 120, 125 

Ross, Catherine, 167, 168 

Ross, George, the Signer, 56, 113, 
161, 162, 169, 171 

Ross, George, the Rector, of New- 
castle, 78, 162 

Ross, John, 111, 113, 162 

Ross, Mary, 78 

NACE, 76, 79, 80, 81, 152, 153 

Royal proclamations, reading of, 71 
Rum, restrictions concerning, 32 
Rush, Anthony, 153 
Rush, Colonel, 103 
Rush, Sarah Aurelia, 103 
Rutter, Anna, 28 
Rutter, David, 40 
Rutter, John, 20, 23 
Rutter, Margaret, 63 
Rutter, Rebecca, 18, 24, 75 
Rutter, Thomas, 1, 12, 15, 18, 20, 
21, 22, 23, 26, 42, 60, 63, 66, 144 
Rutter, Thomas, Jr., 74, 75 


Sanatoga, 146 

Sanderson, Francis, 172, 173 


Sassoonan, King of the Delawares, 

Sauer, Christopher, 73 

Savage, Anna, 28 

Savage, Ruth, 29 

Savage, Samuel, 26 

Savage, Seeny, 62 

Saw Hole, 130 

Schoepf, Dr. John D., 50 

Schultz, David, 133 

Schuylkill Canal, 76 

Schuylkill River, crossed by invad- 
ing army, 93, 94 

Schuylkill River, navigation of, 19 

Schuylkill region, iron mines in, 143 

Schwenkfelders' arrival from 
Europe, 133 

Scotch-Irish frontiersmen, 167 

Scriptural texts on stoves, 8, 9 

Scull, Nicholas, surveyor, 24, 165 

Scull's maps of Pennsylvania, 24, 
39, 48, 154, 166, 180 

Seligman, Henry, 92 

Shaw, Henry, 148 



Shaw, John, 81 

Shawnee Indians, King of, 4, 5 

Shell, casting of, 54, 55, 73, 86, 153 

Ship " Amity," 62 

Ship Cyrus, 149 

Ship Nancy, 120 

Shippen, Edward, 57, 136 

Shoemaker, Benjamin, 166 

Shoffer, Jacob, 170 

Shot, casting of, 54, 55, 86, 118, 
153, 169 

Simon, Jacob, 186 


Slitting mills, 96 

Slough, Matthias, 141, 142 

Smith, James, the Signer, 177 

Smith, Rev. Robert, D.D., 104 

Smith, Thomas, 136, 137, 138, 139 

Smith, Dr. William, first Provost of 
University of Pennsylvania, 73 

Smith, William, 136, 161 

Snyder, Henry, 72 

Society of Free Traders, 13 

South Mountain, 172, 181, 182, 187 

Spain, origin of bloomary in, 6 

Spang Forge, 114 

Spang, Frederick, 114 


Sping, Andrew, 72 

Spotswood, Governor, 98 

Spring Book, 153 



SPRING FORGE, III, 151, 169, 171, 

Staples, Rebecca, 12 

Stapleton, Robert, 111 

State pension, 168 

Stedman, Alexander, 121, 129 

Stedman, C. and A., 115, 123, 124 

Stedman, Charles, 81, 121, 129 

Steel first made in America, 26 

Steel furnace, pioneer, in Philadel- 
phia, 17 

Steel, James, 28 

Stein, , 115 

Steinmetz, John, 169 

Stengel family, 120 

Stenton, firebacks at, 49, 61 

Stevenson, Catherine, 166 

Stevenson, George, 160, 161, 165, 

166, 186 
Stevenson, George, as Chief Ranger 

of York Co., 165 
Stevenson, Henry, 165 
Stevenson, Mary and Nancy, 166 
Stewart, Capt. Lazerus, 137 
Stiegel, Barbara, 121 
Stiegel, Elizabeth, 116, 159 
Stiegel glassware, 126 
Stiegel, Henry William, 1, 115, 119, 


Stiegel, Jacob, 121 
Stockley, John S., 147 
Stove bearing patriotic motto, 154 
Stove invented by Franklin, 70, 72 
Stove, wall warming, 9 
Stove plates, decoration of, 9, 121 
Stove plates, decoration of, Biblical, 


Stoves, casting of, 8, 133 
Stowe, 62 
Stratford, 62 
Strettell, Robert, 166 
Stroudwater blankets, 14 
Stuart, Gilbert, portrait of Wash- 
ington, 131 
Sullivan, General, 94 
Supreme Executive Council, 163, 164 
Supreme Executive Council, Lesh- 

er's letter to, 112 
Surrie, John, 79 
Susquehanna River, boats used on, 

Susquehanna River, shipment of 

coal, down, 173 
Sutter, Peter, 140 
Swede's Ford, 77, 93 



Swedes, settlements of, at Morlat- 
tan, 30 

Taylor, George, 55, 56 

Taylor, Isaac, 27 

Taylor, Jacob, Surveyor-General, 28 

Taylor, John, 28, 96 

Tariff law in 1789, 75 

Tariff, protective, votes for, 107 

Tennessee mountaineers, 182, 185 

Thomas, Governor, proclamation of, 

Thompson, General William, 160, 
161, 168 

Thompson, General William, Col- 
onel's commission to, 167 

Thompson, Mary, 165 

Thomson, Charles, Secretary of the 
Continental Congress, 61 

Thornburg, Robert, 172, 186 

Till, William, 166 

Tower Hill, 124 

Tulpehocken Eisenhammer, 115, 123 

Turner, Joseph, 45, 84, 166 


Udree, General Daniel, 176 

Union Canal, 89 

Union Furnace, 178 

Union Iron Works, 47 

Union, transport, 168 

United States, first Treasurer of, 142 

VALLEY FORGE, 29, 34, 56, 90, 145, 
154. See also MOUNT JOY FORGE. 

Valley Forge, Continental Army at, 
19, 146 

Valley Forge, evacuation of, 94 

Valley Forge, headquarters of Wash- 
ington at, 94 

Valley Forge, preaching at, 103 

Van Gezel, Catherine, 162 

Van Leer, Bernhard, 18 

Vaux, James, 94 

Vaux, James, Washington at house 

of, 95 

Veneada, George, 81 
Vincent Steel Works, 17, 18 
Von Hiester, General, 130 


Walker, Daniel, 91 
Wallace, James, 137 
Warwick, Washington at, 74 
WARWICK FURNACE, 63, 69, 154, 155 
Washington, General George, and 

Canadian Campaign, 167 
Washington, Gen'l George, as guest 

of James Vaux, 95 
Washington, General George, as 

guest of Robert Coleman, 131 
Washington, General George, as 

guest of Thomas Potts, 19, 146 
Washington, General George, at 

Valley Forge, 95, 103, 104 
Washington, Gen'l George, letter 

of, to Gen. Wayne, 34 
Washington, Gen'l George, letter 

of, to President of Congress, 74 
Washington, Gen'l Geoege, march 

of, to French Creek and Potts- 
grove, 155 

Washington's Headquarters, 29, 73 
Washingtonburg, 173 
Watson, John F., 148 
Watson, Patrick, 166 
Watts, Hon. Frederick, 186 
Watts, William M., 186, 187 
Wayne, General Anthony, 35, 92 
Wayne, General, at Three Rivers, 


Wayne, Isaac, 92 
Webb, James, 137, 139 
Webb, Samuel, 138 



Webb, William, 138 

Weight, Benjamin, 25 

Weiss, Weitzius, Rev. George 

Michael, 66, 135 
Welcker, Dietrich, 176 
Wells Falls, 51 
Welsh, John, 140 
Wernersville, 152 
West, Edward, 64 
West, Tommy, 64 
Whiskey Insurrection, 88 
White, Thomas (Mrs.), 128 
Whiteford, Hugh, 166 
Wilkes-Barre, 173 
Wilkin, Matthew, 140 
Wilkins, John, 166 
Williams, Joseph, 91 
Willow Grove turnpike, 37 
Wilson, James, the Signer, 78 
WINDSOR FORGES, 17, 98, 154 
Winey, Jacob, 178 
Winter, John and Walter, 31 
Wishon, Conrad, 80 
Wistar, Doctor, attendance of, on 

fever victims, 150 
Wolff, Anna Dorothea, 175 
Womelsdorf, 115, 124, 153 

Women's work at furnaces, 181 
Wood, consumption of, in furnaces, 

23, 110, 156, 181 
Wood, Elizabeth, 121 
Wooddrop, Alexander, 15, 22, 23, 64 
Woodland, destruction of, 40 
Woodman, Henry, 90 

Yarnall, Dr. Peter, 150 

Yeates, Anne, 40 

Yeates, Jasper, 130, 164 

Yeldale, Anthony, 140 

Yellow Springs, 74, 155 

Yoder, John, 111 

York, 169 

York County, 97, 118, 151, 160, 171, 


Yorke & Potts, 80 
Yorke, Thomas, 19, 64 
Young, James, Paymaster, 173 
Young, Peter, 140 

Zantzinger, Paul, 81, 117 
Zerby, Hanes, 81 




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on the date to which renewed. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 


APR 2 9 1959 






OCT 9 '68 

LD 21A-50m-9,'58 

General Library 

University of Californu 


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