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Full text of "History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Including its early settlement and progress to the present time; a description of its historic and interesting localities; its cities, towns and villages; religious, educational, social and military history; mining, manufacturing and commercial interests, improvements, resources, statistics, etc. Also ... biographies of many of its representative citizens"

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CHICAGO, ill: 

A. WARNER & CO., Publishers, 


Copyright 1889, by A. Warner & Co. 



THE story of the struggle for empire in the Mississippi valley, stretching 
away from the line of the Alleghanies to the farthest summits of the Rocky 
mountains, which had its rallying point and termination at Fort Duquesne, has 
often been told in a more or less fragmentary way. In view of the local impor- 
tance of this event it has been thought proper by the f>ublishers of this work to 
give it here complete, making brief statements of the parts which, fi'om frequent 
repetition, have become hackneyed, and giving with more fullness of detail the 
other portions. 

The controversy between Pennsylvania and Virginia, inaugurated by the 
Ohio Company under charter of the British Parliament — the uncertain track of 
the southern line of the state — the long and wasting wars with the natives of the 
forest, luminous with deeds of savagery novel even in a barbarous age — the part 
taken by the bounty in the revolutionary war, the war of 1812, the Mexican, 
and the recent civil war — the material resources in soil and mineral treasures — 
the vast manufacturing interests — the tonnage upon river and rail — the hand 
which the county has shown in state and national policy — the educational and 
religious interests of its people — and its eleemosynary institutions, have all been 
treated with the care and fullness of detail which the plan of the work would 

The plan was settled and work begun in the spring of 1887, and has been 
carried to completion by the following-named corps of writers: 

Dr. Thomas Cushingi, of Barre Centre, N. Y. , general supervisor, and writer 
of Chapters X, XII, XVII, XXXVII, and parts of XXXIV and XXXVI. 

A. A. Lambing, LL. D. , Chapters I to VIII inclusive. 

Hon. Russell Ereett, Chapters IX, XIII, XIV, from XIX to XXXIII 
inclusive, and parts of XXXIV and XXXVI. 

Mr. R. H. Kelley, Se. , of Verona, Pa. , Chapter XI. 

Rev. W. J. Holland, Ph. D. , History of the Presbyterian, Reformed Pres- 
byterian, Cumberland Presbyterian and Reformed (German) Churches. 


Ukv. J. C. Boyd, D. D., the United Prosbytcrinii Chinch. 

Rev. M. Byllesby, the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

Rev. C. W. Smith, D. D., the Methodist Churcli. 

Rev. B. F. Wooi>bui!N. D. D., the Cliurch. 

Rev. W. F. Cowden, the Disciph^s of Christ. 

Rev. a. a. Lambing, LL. D., the Catholic Church. 

Prof. T. J. Vandergrift, Chapter XVIII, with diagiam. 

George J. Luckev, A. M., first part of Chapter XXXV. 

John Morrow, M. S., last part of Chapter XXXV. 

Mr. H. C. Bei.l, of Waynesburg, Pa., township and borough histories. 

Acknowledgments are due to the Hon. John Harper, and N. B. Hooo, 
Esq. — to the secretary of the board of trade for courtesies extended — to Messrs. 
Snowden & Peterson for use of cuts — to the public press of Pittsburgh, the 
Gazette, the Chronicle, the Post and the Dispatch, and other of the daily and 
weekly issues for access to their files — to the Pittsburgh Library association for 
the use of its historical collections — to the officers and teachers in the various lit- 
erary institutions, the officers of the benevolent and charitable institutions, and 
to the many intelligent citizens throughout the county for the valuable aid which 
they gave to the writers. 

The part devoted to biography and genealogy includes representatives of 
nearly every important calling in the country. The large number of sketches 
necessitated brevity of treatment. They were submitted for correction before 
printing, and constitute an interesting portion of the work, which will increase in 
value with the lapse of time. 

Trusting that it may prove satisfactory to the citizens of the county, it is 
submitted to their considerate judgment. 




CHAPTER I.— Eakliest Times to the 
French War. — Aborigines and Pioneers — 
Indian Villages and Trails — Royal Land Pat- 
ents — Adventurers — Land Companies — In- 
dian Treaties — Forts — Settlements 9-33 

CHAPTER II. — Contest for the Ohio Val- 
ley. — War-Clouds — French and Eujjlisli 
Claims — Defeat of the Colonial Forces — Gen. 
Braddock's Defeat — Gen. Forhes' Operations 
— Destruction of Fort Duquesne — End of 
French Rule in Pennsylvania 23- 4i 

CHAPTER in.— Ali.eohext from 1759 to 
1779.— The Fourth Treaty— Fort Pitt— Con- 
centration of Forces — Chief Pontiac — The 
Shawanese and Delawares — Advent of Set- 
tlers-Land Sales 45-61 

CHAPTER rV'.— The Boundary Dispi te.— 
Territory Grants— The Ohio Company— Earl 
of Duumore — Subdi\isious of Virginia and 
the Disputed Territory- Dr. John Connolly 
— Fort Pitt the Bone of Contention — The 
Manor of Kittanning — Mason and Dixon 

CHAPTER v.— The REvoLtTioxARY Period 
— News of the Battle of Leximrton — Meetings 
at Hannastown and Pittsburgh — Fort Pitt in 
the Struggle — Gen. Hand — Gen. Mcintosh — 
Regiments Ordered to Fort Pitt — Concentra- 
tion of Storehouses at Fort Pitt— Fort Mc- 
Int'ish — Fort Laurens 74- 91 

CHAPTER VL— The Revoli tio.vary Period 
(Co.vcn ded). — Fort Crawford — Fort Arm- 
strong — Brodhead's Expedition — Capt. Isaac 
Craig — Defeat of the Delawares — Col. 
Clarke's Expedition — Internal Di-affiction 
— Crawford's Expedition — His Fate — Indian 
Attack on Hannastown and Miller's Station 

CHAPTER Aai.— From 1784 TO the Erection- 
op THE CorxTY. — Conflicting Claims — Penn- 
sylvania's Last Treaty with the Natives — 
"The New Purchase" — Settlements and 
Land-Titles — Depreciation and Reservation 
Lands — .\dministratioa of Justice — Court- 
houses, Jails, etc. — Erection of County — 
First County Officers, etc 109-122 

CHAPTER VIIL— Pioneer Life. — High- 
ways — Early Preaching — "Whisky Path" — 
Homes of the Pioneers — Caravans — Taverns 
— Scarcity of Mechanics — Primitive Mill.'' — 
Sports, Weddings, etc.— Witches and Wiz- 
ards — Religion and Education — Conclusion 

CHAPTER IX.— The Whisky Ixsurrec- 
Tiox. — Condition of Things in Western Penn- 
sylvania in 1791 — Surplus Produci — Distil- 
leries— Tax on Spirits— Public M.i-tiiigs— 
Condition of Affairs from 1792 to 1794— The 
Revolt — ^Arrival of Troops — Elcetion.s — Re- 
trospect 149-1 73 

CHAPTER X.— The War of 1812— Prelim- 
inaries of the Struir^le — .\lle!^heny County 
in the War— The Pittsburgh Blues— BriL'ade 
of Militia at Pittsburgli— Rigging for Flur- 
ry's Fleet 174-179 

CHAPTER XL— Mexican- War.— Soldiers 
from Allegheny Conntv — ^Siege of Vera Cruz 
—Battle of Plan del "Rio— Capture of the 
City of Mexico — Peace Proclaimed — Return 
of the Troops— Losses 179-183 

CHAPTER Xn.— War of the Rebellion. 
— Regiments from Allegheny — Relief and 
other Committees — Military Supplies — The 
1863 "Scare" — Defense of Pittj-burgh- 
SkeUhcs of RcgimenU li*4-323 

CH-\PTER XIIL— Politics— Early Elec- 
tions — Gallatin and Brackenridge — Party 
Politics — Volunteer Candidat«.s — The Jones 
and Po.stlethwaite Contest — The Slavery 
Question — The Anti-Masonic Party — Elec- 
tion Returns 323-341 

CHAPTER XIV— Bench and Bar.— Early 
Courts — Judicial Officers — Stocks and Pil- 
lory — William Penn's "Peacemakers" — Cir- 
cuit and Judicial Districts — The Bench — The 
Bar 341-280 

CH.\PTER XV.— Churches. — Presbyt»?rian 
— United Presbyterian — Reformed Presbyte- 
rian— ^Cumberland Presbyterian — Reformed 
(German) 380-329 



CIIAP'I'KK .\\1.— I'm liciiKs (CciNTi.rnET.). 
— I'rnlrstiuil Ki,iM..|,;il-K..nn:ili..ii ..f tin- 
Diocsc (if I'ittsl.urL'li-.M'tlinilist Epis.MiiKil 
—Till- Bunk Dtpusiliiry— licniiim Cciii'Trga- 
tiou— Luthuruu— Baptist^Disciples of Christ 
— t'litliulie-Tjcwish Congregation 339-411 

CHMTEK XVII.— Tiiii-K' TssTiTrTioxs.— 
Tli(M,l,..M,;il S.-iiiirKirifs— IVuf ;iih1 Dunil. In- 
slitutiun— Wcslrni l',-iiiis,vlv:iiii;i Jlo^pitul— 
Tli.^Couiilv lloiiK— \Vurkl.(m.-.c:uulI'Liiitrn- 
tiary ." -"1^34 

CHAPTER XVIIT.— (Jeoi.ooy axo Topog- 

KAiMiY.— InlrDihi.tiirv— (■ohniiii:ir Sc^cticiii— 
Tl.c- E:irUrs Crust— TIm- I'ittsUui -1. Bitumi- 
uous Coal— IVtrdUuni ami Natural (ias— 
Samlstoni-s, etc.— tieuural Toposrapliy. .-tio-ia- 

CIIAPTER XIX.— The Centennial Cele- 
BmTioN.— OUl and New County Buildings— 
The Celebration— Object of the Parades- 
Dedication of New Buildings— Civic and 
Military Procession 427^.« 

CHAPTER XX.— PiTTSBi'KGn.— Advantages 
of the Site of Pittsburgh— McKee's Rocks 
and "The Forks "— Eorts-Intlux of Settlers 
— C<d. Campbell's Town— Early Growth of 
Pittsburgh— Fort Pitt— Temperanceville— 
The Pontiac Conspiracy— Siege of Fort Pitt 


i;ed).— Pittsburgh from 1763 to 1768— Coal 
Hill— Land-Claim Disinites— Tlie Manor of 
Pittsburgh— Sale of Fort Pitt^Pittslnirgli in 
and after the Revolution— The Penns' Sale 
of Lands 4'>(M75 


-Divesting the Penns of their Title— Sur- 
vev of the Town of Pittsburgh— Vickroy's 
I),-'po.Mtiun— The Town in 1786— Bracken- 
rid^i's Description of It— Comments .. .476-509 

gheny.— From 1786 to 17(M:.— Rcdemptioners 
—Early Schools and Professions— Mail and 
Postofiice Established- High Freights— Mar. 
ket-Housc— Lotteries, etc.— F.>rniation of 
Allegheny City — Chartering of Pittsburgh 
as a Borough 510-533 

gheny (CoNTiNiEO). —Effect of Wayne's 
Victorv — First (ilasshousc — Paper-mills- 
Pittsburgh in 17Hli — Boat-buildiu^' — Oriiriuof 
the Coal Trade- Pittsburuli from 1810 to 
1830— In 1828— Mrs. Royall's Account of the 
Place 53^-557 

CHAPTER XXV.— PiTTsBiuGn and Alle- 
gheny (CoNTixrEii).— Transjiortation— 
Earliest Modes— First Stau'cs Pitts- 
burgh — Canals — Railroads — Steamboats- 
Bridges 557-.576 

CHAPTER XXVI.— PiTTsniKGH and Alle- 
gheny (CoNTiNi!Ei>).—Floods— Disappear- 
ance of Smoky Island- Low Water— Fires- 
Conflagration of 1845— Relief Appropria- 
tions— 1.09ses 57ft-582 

ClIAn'ER XXVIl— I'lTTsTU-non and AllS- 
oiiF-.NV (CiiNTiM i:oi, — BaiiKinL.'— TbcPitts- 
liuri;li Manufacturiim- (.mipanv— Insurance 
—Manufactures ami Trade, 18<>1-13— Manu- 
facturing Advantages of Pittsburgh — General 
Business — Statistics .585-614 

CHAPTER XXVITL— PiTTsniBon and Ai.le- 

(iiiENY (Contixiedi. — Lost Indiistri's of 
Pittsburgh — First Oil-Burings— Gaswclls— 
Sources of Sujiply — .\rliliiial m. Natural 
Gas — Decrease in the Amount of Coal Used 
—Qualities of the Gas 014r-t!20 

CHAPTER XXIX.— PiTTsniKGii and Alle- 
gheny (Ciintixi;ed).— Pujiulatinii — Health 
— W.alth — Water — Strc-ts— Debt- City 
Boundaries- The Wards— Additions . . . .620-636 

Chapter XXX.— Pittsburgh and Alle- 
gheny (Continied). — Fire Department — 
Its History— The Bucket Brigade— FireEn- 
gines— The Paid Department — Police De- 
partment — Its Growth in Numljcrs and Effi- 
ciency : 636-047 

gheny fCoNTiNVED). — The Medical Profes- 
sion — First and Other Early Pliysicians of 
Pittsl)urLrb— -VUcuhcny Comity Medical So- 
ciety — Medical Colleges — Homeopathic 
Pliysicians and Hospital 648-653 

CHAPTER XXXII.— Pittsburgh and Alle- 
gheny (Continied). — The Press — The 
Pittsliurgh Giuitte and Mr. Scull— Subse- 
qent Newspapers — Contrast Between the 
Press of 1786 and That of 1889 6>4-<Jt)0 

LEGHENY (Continced). — The Riots of 1877 
— Origin of tlie Outbreak— Destruction of 
Property and Loss of Life — Sympathy with 
the Rioters— Outrages 6»i(>-(><K; 

CHAPTER XXXIV.— Pittsburgh and Alle- 
gheny (Continied). — Principal Officers of 
Pittsburgh from its Incorporation — Princi- 
pal Officers of Allegheny as Borough and 
tity.... 666-669 

CHAPTER XXXV.— Pittsburgh and Alle- 
gheny (Continued). — Educational — Pitts- 
burgh Public Schools— Private Schools— 
Academy— Classical School— Allegheny Pub- 
lie Schools— High-School 669-687 

CHAPTER XXXVL— Pittsbuhoh and Alle- 
gheny (Continued).— Public Institutions 
— Literary Societies — Universities — Com- 
mercial— Scientific — Military— Bcneliccnt— 
Hospitals and Dispensaries 687-714 

CHAPTER XXXVai.— Cemeteries.— Home- 
wood Cemetery— Allegheny Cemetery . .717-730 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. — McKeesport.— The 
McKee Faniilv— Early History of McKees- 
port- Original" Lot-Owners— The Place in 
1830— Early Trade, Commerce and Manu- 
factures—Growth of the Town 733-740 

CHAPTER XXXIX. — McKeesi'Out (Con- 
cluded). — Additions — Incorporation- List 
of Burgesses— I'uliliilnii.n.venients— Banks, 
etc. —Population — Ncwsjiapers — SihooLs— 
Secret Societies- Churches 741-758 



Batclielor, Charles W 413 

Beilstein, J. F 551 

Beymer, Simon 517 

Booth, .James .J 573 

Breading, James E 117 

Brown, A. M 451 

Brown, James 67 

Brown, William H 325 

Brunot, Felix, M. D 17 

Brunot, Felix R 217 

Brunot, Hilary 137 

Bushnell, Daniel 473 

Clarke, Thomas S 307 

Converse, E. C 539 

Copley, Josiah 337 

Coursin, B. B 715 

Cox, John F 633 

Croghan, William 37 

Cunningham, D. 627 

Dabbs, B. L. H : .... 583 

Dalzell, John .507 

Davis, John .53!) 

Dickson, John, M. D 319 

Dravo, John F 363 

Edwards, Riehard 347 

Eiehbaum, William 87 

Errett, Russell 341 

Evans, Oliver 737 

Flagler, J. H 441 

Flemiui;, Huffh S 479 

Frew, William 385 

Goff, M. B 671 

Gourley, Henry I , 693 

Harbaugh, William 495 

Harper, Albert M 197 

Harper, John.. _ 187 

Hartmau, William, Sr 683 

Hays, Abraham 419 

Herron, Rev. Francis 47 

Herrou, John 147 

Herron, William A 347 

Hofmann, H. H., M. D 639 

Hosrg, George 97 

Hostetter, David, M. D 391 

Howe, Thomas M 257 

Hukill, Edwin M 567 

Hutchinson, F. M 611 

Hussey, Curtis G 277 

Ingham, John B 661 

Inskeep, A 6,55 

Jennings, John F 303 

Johnston, Samuel R 157 

Jones, B. F a53 

Jones, William R 501 

Kier, Samuel M 375 

Lambing, Rev. A. A 407 

Liggett, Thomas 137 

McClelland, J. H., M. D 485 

McClurg, Alexander 107 

McCIurg, Joseph 167 

McCIurff, Thiimas B 605 

Mc( 'ully, William 337 

Mellon,' TIk.tuh.s 297 

Messier, Thomas D 457 

Metcalf, Orlando : 177 

Moorhead, J . K 267 

0' Hara, James 27 

Penney, Tliomas 74S 

Pitcairn, Robert .561 

Porter, J. W .523 

Reel, Casjier, Sr 77 

Rook, A. W 331 

Ryan, M. F 705 

Sadler, O. W., M. D 649 

Scott, Graham 589 

Simon, Michael 677 

Spang, Charles F 369 

Stewart, John W 699 

Stowe, Edwin H 439 

Taggart, Jolin .545 

Thaw, John .57 

Thaw, William 387 

Vandergrif t, J.J 435 

Vandergrift, T. J 617 

Varner, Thomas 309 

Verner, James 463 

Wampler, W.P 595 

Wells, Calvin 397 

White, James P 737 

White, T. L., M. D 749 

Williams, James Clark Til 


Bouquet's Redoubt 439 

First Pittsburgh Bank Building 585 

First Postofflce 513 

Geological Diagram opposite 435 

Map of Allegheny County opposite 9 

Map of Pittsburgh in 1795 4»i 

New Postoffice 513 

Old Almshouse 698 

Old Courthouse and Market ,516 

Old Town Hall, Allegheny 668 

Old United Evangelical Church 377 

Pittsburgh in 1817 Frontispiece. 



Moon (C'oraopolis) — Findlay — Crescent. 5- 16 

CHAPTER II.— Townships and Boroughs 
(Continued). — North Fayette — South Fay- 
ette— Collier Iti- 38 

CHAPTER III.— TowNSHirs and Bokoighs 
(Continued). — Robinson (Chartiers) — 
Stowe— Neville 28-43 

CHAPTER IV.— TowNSHii'.s and Boroughs 
(Continued). — Upper St. Clair — Snowden — 
Betliel 43-49 

CHAPTER v.— Townships and Boroughs 
(Co.vtinued). — Lower St. Clair (Beltzhoover 
—West Liberly—Knoxville)— Baldwin.. 49- 55 

CHAPTER VI.— Townships and Boroughs 
(Continued). — Chartiers — Union (Green 
Tree)— Seutt (Mansfield) 55-71 

CHAITER VII.— Townships and Boroughs 
(Continued). — Mifllin(Homestead) — Jeffer- 
son (West Elizabeth) 71-84 

CHAPTER VIII.— Townships and Boroughs 
(Continued).— Elizabeth (Elizabeth) — For- 
ward — Lincoln (Reynoldton) 84^110 

CHAPTER IX.— Townships and Boroughs 

(Continued). — Versailles — North Versailles 
—South Versailles 110-115 

CHA1>TER X.— Townships and Boroughs 

(Continued). — Willvin.s- Stcrrctt (Willvius- 
burs)— Braddock (Braddoclc) 115-137 

CHAPTER XL— Townships and Boroughs 
(Continued).— Plum— Patton—Peun (Vero- 
ua) 138-137 

CHAPTER XIL— Townships and Boroioiis 
(Continued). — West Deer — Richland — 
Hampton 137-144 

CHAPTER XIII.— Townships and Boroughs 
(Continued). —East Deer (Tarentuni)— 
Fawn — Harrison 144-153 

CHAPTER XIV.— Townships and Boroughs 
Continued).— Indiana — O'Hara (Sharps- 
burg) 154-163 

CHAPTER XV.— Townships and Boroughs 
(Continued).— Harmar—Spriugdale.. . . 163-168 

CHAPTER XVI. — Townships and Bor- 
oughs (Continued). — Pine — McCandless 

CHAPTER XVIL — Townships and Bor- 
ouGHS (Continued). — Ross (Bellcvue) — Re- 
serve (Spring Garden) — Shaler (Etna — Mill- 
vale) 17:J-1S5 

CHAPTER XVIIL— Townships and Bor- 
oughs (Continued). — Ohio — Kilbuek — 
Aleppo (Gleulield— Oslwrn) 185-193 

CHAPTER XIX. —Townships and Bor- 
oughs (Continued). — Franklin — Marshall 

CHAPTER XX.— Townships and Boroughs 
(Concluded). — Sewickley — Leet (Sewiek- 
ley) 196-308 


INDICES 777-790 


Anderson, W. B 13 

Brown, Col. Joseph 305 

Burns, Andrew 195) 

Calhoon, D. K 79 

Calhoon, John K 35 

Cochran, H. B 45 

Courthouse, Pittsburgli (View of), opposite 1 

Graham, R. T 177 

Heinz, H. J 161 

Hezlep, Joseph B 189 

Hickey, Very Rev. John 117 

Jamison, John C 311 

Kennedy, John, Jr 145 

Kenny, Thomas J 73 

McClure, Abdiel 67 

McKown, John 33 

McRoberts, John 183 

Meek, Jeremiah 7 

O'Neil, J. N 101 

Orr, William 321 

Pollock, D. H 95 

Porter, A. A opposite 230 

Prager, Peter 167 

Reynolds, Thomas Ill 

Risher,J.C 51 

Risher, Rev. Levi 139 

Roberts, George W 89 

Sample, William, Sr 155 

Sharp, T. W 123 

Spahr, Jesse 29 

Tomlinson, W. A 133 

West, Lowry H 57 

History of Allegheny County, 



Aborigines and Pioneers— Indian Villages and Trails— Royal Land Pat- 
ents— Adventurers— Land Companies— Indian Treaties — Forts— Set- 

THE growth and development of our country, especially west of the Alle- 
gheny mountains, has been something phenomenal. Where, a century 
ago or less, nothing was to be seen but vast primeval forests or boundless 
prairies, inhabited by wild animals and savages only a little less ferocious, all 
has been changed by the rapid march of civilization. The few villages that 
dared to spring up at that early day have become populous cities, the solitary 
cabins of the hardy adventurers have given place to thriving towns and 
villages, the forests and prairies have been transformed into rich agricultural 
districts, and in every direction lines of railroad are seen threading their 
coui'ses to carry the fi-uits of industry to a ready market. Telegraphic lines 
facilitate communication, and over all religion spreads her peaceful influence, 
education sheds her cheering light, and a popular government secures for all 
equal rights. The peoples of the Old World, confined to traditional grooves, 
contemplate with wonder the gigantic strides of the Great Republic of the 
West, and speculate on what is to be the end of this onward march of national 
prosperity and domestic happiness. 

Nowhere, perhaps, is this extraordinary growth more marked than in 
Southwestern Pennsylvania, nearly all of which was once included in Allegheny 
county, where nature has been unusually lavish of her choicest gifts. Mineral 
wealth in coal, oil and natural gas has given to this section of country a 
prominence that leaves it without a rival; while water and railroad communi- 
cation unites it with every part of the world. But while the present arrests 
the attention of all, the past, to those who wish to inquire into its historic 
wealth, affords a field for investigation very pleasing to the student of history. 


coi;ntry around the beatlwaters of the river, named it the 0-he yii, which in 
their dialect signifies the Beautiful river, and which the French simply 
translated into La Bello Kivif-re. The English took the sound rather than 
the sense of this Indian term, and named the river Ohio, a designation which 
was at first applied to the entire stream, but which came, in process of time, 
to be applied to that part of it only which lay below its confluence with the 

It would be impossible to form anything like an accurate estimate of the 
number of Indians of the several tribes living in "Western Pennsylvania at the 
time of the first appearance of the whites, both because no reliable record was 
ever kept, and because their residence was not permanent; suffice it to say 
that, considering the extensive territory, the population was very sparse. 

The character of the Indians naturally gave rise to numerous towns and 
villages, or what were popularly designated as such, composed sometimes of 
the members of one tribe, and at other times of the members of several tribes 
living together in harmony. These villages, usually quite small, consisting at 
times of only a few cabins, were situated for the most part along streams, and 
were frequently removed from one place to another as necessity or caprice 
dictated. Only a few of them will be mentioned in this place, on account of 
the part they played in the country's history. One of the principal of these 
was Kittanning, which was known to the French as Attiqu6, situated where 
the town of the same name now stands, and which figured conspicuously in 
the French war prior to its destruction by Col. Armstrong, in September, 1756. 
Another was Shannopinstown, located on the eastern bank of the Allegheny 
about two miles above its confluence with the Monongahela; and C^loron, in 
the journal of his expedition, to be referred to later, declares it to have been 
the most beautiful place he saw on his journey. But it was of little or no 
historic importance. Eighteen miles further down on the north bank of the 
Ohio stood Logstown, the most important of all the Indian towns, as will be 
seen in the sequel. It was the principal point in the western part of the 
colony for trading and conferring with the whites. A mile below the 
mouth of the Beaver river stood Sakunk, seldom mentioned in pioneer his- 
tory; and about four miles below the present New Castle was situated Kiska- 
kunk, a name variously spelled, which, though of considerable size, was rather 
a place of meeting for the Indians themselves than of importance to the whites. 
Besides these there were other villages, but so insignificant as not to be 
deserving of mention. 

The nomadic life of the Indians and the fact that they had certain points 
where they were accustomed to assemble from time to time naturally led to 
the formation of paths or trails, which traversed the countiy in various direc- 
tions. While afi'ording means of easy communication for the natives, they 
were scarcely less advantageous to the early traders and explorers, and were 
particularly useful in showing the best routes for military and national roads, 


especially in the iiiouutainous parts of the country. The most noted, and per- 
haps the most ancient, of these pathways was the old Catawba or Cherokee trail, 
leading from the Carolinas and Georgia through Virginia, Western Penn- 
sylvania and Western New York to Canada. It was intersected by the Warrior 
branch, another path which, coming from Tennessee through Kentucky and 
Southern Ohio, entered oiu- state and united with it somewhere in Fayette 
county. These two were the only important trails that traversed the country 
north and south. Of greater importance, however, both to the Indians and to 
the whites, were the numerous trails which led east and west, one of the most 
noted of which was Nemackolin's path, afterward adopted and improved by 
Gen. Braddock and Washington, and known as Braddock's road. Starting 
from the mouth of Will's creek, where the city of Cumberland now stands, it 
crossed the mountains to the Monongahela river at the mouth of the Redstone 
creek, at the present Brownsville; while a branch leaving it near Uniontown 
continued on to the forks of the Ohio. It was not, however, used by the 
explorers or traders to the west until after Braddock's ill-fated expedition. 
Dunlap's path was also a very early one. Starting from in the vicinity of 
Winchester, Va. , it crossed the mountains to the mouth of the creek of the 
same name, immediately above Brownsville; and as Braddock robbed Nemack- 
olin of the name of his path, so did Dunlap of the name of his creek, which 
had been previously known as Nemackolin's creek. But perhaps the most 
important of all the Indian trails was the Kittauning path, which, coming up 
the Juniata and crossing the Allegheny mountains at Kittanning Point, passed 
westward by a somewhat northerly route to the Allegheny at the village of the 
same name, and thence west to Detroit. A trail extended also from the forks 
of the Ohio down the northern bank of the river to Beaver, and continued on 
into Ohio; and another from Logstown north to Lake Erie and the country 
of the Iroquois. Besides these there were numerous other trails of minor 
importance, which we shall not pause to consider. 

The better to understand the gradual development of the country from a 
forest wilderness to its present advanced condition it will be necessary to go 
back to the time when the territory first came into the possession of 'the white 
man. Naturally enough strange errors were committed in the portioning out 
of the New World among the powers of Europe, and by them in turn among 
their favorites. The ignorance of the geography of the recently discovered 
continent, the thirst for dominion, and the fabulous mineral wealth which was 
b elieved to lie concealed beneath the surface of the New World were elements 
of confusion that can hardly be appreciated at their proper value in the present 
advanced state of civilization. Add to this that the revival of learning was 
then beginning to dawn, thanks to the invention of printing, and men were 
not as yet fully released from the strange notions that had long prevailed re- 
garding what lay beyond the " Gloomy Ocean." Evidences of this are found 
in abundance in the early accounts of the newly discovered continent, and in 


the grotesque figures that adorn some of the earlier maps, which endeavored 
to convey some idea to kings and people of what explorers had seen, or im- 
agined they had seen, beyond the waters. AVhile the thoughtless may smile at 
this display of ignorance, the philanthropist rejoice at the amelioration of man' s 
condition, and the philosopher mark with pleasure the development of the 
human mind, the student of our history will discover in it a source of both 
pleasure and perplexity — of pleasure that some record, however imperfect, 
of the past has come down to us of the ideas entertained by the early ad- 
venturers, and of perplexity to solve the historical and geographical problems 
upon which, unfortunately, they shed so little light. Nor is the territory now 
under consideration free from these. "What a variety in the early maps; what 
conflicts in the early claims! Yet we must address ourselves to the task of 
unraveling them as well as circumstances and the information obtainable from 
every source will permit. 

As early as March, 1564, Queen Elizabeth granted to her favorite. Sir 
Walter Raleigh, a patent for a vast tract of land extending along the Atlantic 
seaboard of the New World, and back from it to an indefinite distance; but 
whether it could be so construed as to include the territory now embraced in 
Allegheny county, or not, it would be difiicult to determine, owing to the im- 
perfect knowledge then had of the geography of this continent, and the con- 
sequent indefinite terms of the patent. Be that as it may, it is not a matter 
of importance, inasmuch as no permanent settlement was ever made under the 
patent, which soon lapsed, while he in whose favor it had been granted fell 
from the loyal favor. Permanent possession dates from the charter granted 
May '23, 1009, by James II, to a company at the head of which appeared the 
name of the successful rival and inveterate enemy of Raleigh, Robert Cecil. 
Earl of Salisbury. That Allegheny county was embraced within the limits of 
this charter there can be no doubt, for the territory granted to the company 
extended two hundred miles north and as many south of Old Point Comfort, 
"up into the land throughout from sea to sea, west and northwest," as the 
charter expressed it. Thus was the claim to Southwestern Pennsylvania 
established in favor of Virginia. But owing to the still indefinite knowl- 
edge of America, the rapacity of adventurers and the desire of crowned heads 
to please their favorites at little cost to themselves it need not be a mat- 
ter of surprise that charters were granted which conflicted with each other, 
and that the same lands were bestowed upon two or more persons or com- 
panies. A notable instance of this is the territory around the head of the 
Ohio; for while it was granted to a Virginia company in 1609, it was after 
ward included in the charter granted to William Penn by Charles II, March 
4, 1681. By this instrument he was constituted sole proprietary of certain 
lands which, in the terms of the charter, were to extend westward five degrees 
of longitude from the Delaware river, and to include all the territory from 
the beginning of the fortieth to the beginning of the forty-third degree of 


northern latitude. Whether it was the royal will to take from Virginia part 
of her territory and bestow it upon Peun, or that the king was ignorant 
of the exact terms of the charter of that colony, it matters little; both 
colonies continued to claim the territory by virtue of a grant from the crown, 
and a long and bitter contest arose, which will form one of the most interest- 
ing chapters of this history. 

Although the English adventurers did not push into the forests with the 
same intrepidity as the French, they were early in the country west of the 
' ' Allegheny hills, ' ' as the range of mountains was at first called. Col. Ward, 
who lived at the falls of the James river, sent one Mr. Needham, in 1654:, on 
an exploring expedition, who, crossing the mountains, entered the country of 
the Ohio, and in ten years' time is said to have discovered several branches, 
not only of that river, but also of the Mississippi. 

Thomas Woods and Robert Pallam were commissioned by Maj.-Gen. 
Woods, of Virginia, "for ye finding of the ebbing and flowing of ye waters be- 
hinde the mountains in order to the discovery of ye South Sea." These men, 
with an Appomattox Indian and one servant and five horses, started from the 
Appomattox town in Virginia on Friday, September 1, 1671, crossed the mount- 
ains and descended to what is known as the falls of the Kanawha, where they 
marked some trees with marking-irons on September 17th. They returned to 
the Appomattox town on Sunday morning, October 1st. 

In 1674 Caj)t. Botts made another tour through the same country. As 
early as 1715 Father Marmet, at Kaskaskia, wrote to the governor of Canada 
that " the encroaching English were building forts on the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi rivers;" and^ though this is incorrect, it shows the presence of the 
English in the vicinity at that time. "Gov. Spottswood, of Virginia, made 
an effort, as early as 1711, to resist French encroachments, by attempting to 
establish the line of Virginia settlements far enough to the west to interrupt 
the contemplated chain of communication between Canada and the Gulf of 
Mexico. For this purjiose he also caused the passes of the mountains to be 
examined; desired to promote settlements beyond them, and sought to concen- 
trate within his province bands of fi'iendly Indians. Finding other measures 
unavailing, he j)lanned the incorporation of a Virginia Indian company, which, 
from the emoluments of the monopoly of the traffic, should sustain forts in the 
western country. Disappointed by the determined opposition of the people to 
a privileged company, he was still earnest to resist the encroachments of the 
French. But from Williamsburg to Kaskaskia the distance was too wide; and 
though, by a journey across the mountains, the right of Virginia might be sus- 
tained, yet no active resistance would be possible till the posts of the two na- 
tions should be nearer." In 1719 Gov. Keith urged upon the lords of trade 
the erection of a fort on Lake Erie. No settlements, however, had as yet been 
made in the territory embraced within the limits of Allegheny county; and 
little precise knowledge was had of the geography of that section of country. 


But a short time before the middle of the last century greater activity began 
to be manifested; land companies were formed, and adventurers began to look 
wistfully to the country immediately west of the mountains. But the mount- 
ains themselves presented a barrier to the progress of settlement. Though not 
elevated, the land on their summit was not so well suited for agricultural pur- 
poses as that on the hills and in the valleys beyond; yet, unless the consent of 
the Indians could first be obtained and forts erected for the protection 
of the pioneers against the inconstant and vacillating savages, it would be 
impossible to occupy the land, even granting that the formality of an 
extinction of the Indian claim had been effected, both on account of the rapac- 
ity of the whites and the reluctance with which the Indians saw their hunting- 
grounds come into possession of the palefaces. Companies might be formed 
and lands located, but no permanent settlements could be effected without 

The savages naturally enough tolerated the traders for the need they had 
of them, and they on their part were not slow in perceiving the advantages they 
could derive from traffic with the simple, unsophisticated natives. They were, 
in fact, an early and natural outgrowth of the eastern colonies, and they jsene- 
trated the pathless wilderness far in advance of the foremost settlements. 
Though paying little heed to the laws enacted to restrain their greed for gain, 
they did not wholly forget their allegiance to the nation that had fostered 
them; and they generally prepared the way for the hospitable reception of the 
more permanent class of the frontier community. The more adventurous of 
this class had already reached the lakes on the north and the Miami on the 
west, and suggested the plan by which the English could hope more success- 
fiilly to contest the possession of the Ohio vallej^ with the French. 

The gradual occupation of the country east of the moimtains seemed to 
have brought the time for the settlement of the temtory west of them: and a 
number of land companies were formed, the most important of which was the 
Ohio Company, organized in 1748 by Thomas Lee, president of the Virginia 
assembly, Lawrence and Arthur Washington, and ten other Virginians, who, 
with a Mr. Hanbury of London, joined in a jaetition to the crown for the grant 
of an extensive tract of land in the Ohio valley. Their petition was favorably 
received, and they were granted live hundred thousand acres of land south of 
the Ohio and between the Monongahela and the Great Kanawha, with the 
further privilege of locating also north of that river. The company was 
required to pay no quitrent for ten years, but must select two-thirds of its ter- 
ritory at once, and at its own cost construct and garrison a fort. Other com- 
panies also came into existence, but soon died out. 

Negotiations had already been commenced with the Indians for the two- 
fold purpose of preserving friendly relations with them and of obtaining per- 
mission to erect one or more forts on the Ohio for the protection of the traders 
and pioneers. These would serve also to check the threatened encroachments 


of the French till possession should be gradually taken of the country, aad 
the Indians, seeing themselves no longer able to hold it, would sell it, as they 
had other large tracts east of the mountains; for the boast that Pennsylvania 
never took any of the lands of the Indians without paying for them is to a 
great extent an empty mockery. The people of the province lirst occiipied the 
lands and then purchased them from the natives, who thought it better to sell 
for something than be driven off for nothing; the taking possession of the 
lands and keeping possession was a foregone conclusion, the obtaining of a 
title for them was a secondary consideration. The Indians were not slow to 
see this, and frequently protested; and their threatening attitude at times 
alarmed the colonies. The fears of the latter were only too well founded; for 
the colonies were still weak, while the power of the natives had not yet been 
broken. At the treaty of July 7, 1742, Canassatego introduced the claim of 
the Indians to the lands in Maryland, desiring to know what had been done in 
the matter, saying to the commissioners : ' ' You will inform the persons whose 
people are seated on our lands that that country belongs to us by right of con- 
quest — we have bought it with our blood and taken it from our enemies in a 
fair war ; we expect such consideration as the land is worth ; press him to send 
us a positive answer; let him say yes or no; if he says yes, we will treat with 
him; if no, we are able to do ourselves justice, and we will do it by going to 
take payment ourselves." This threat led to the convention at Lancaster, one 
of the most important held with the natives within the limits of our state. 
The preliminaries were arranged by Conrad Weiser, the Pennsylvania colonial 
interpreter, who met the delegates of the Six Nations at Lancaster, with the 
commissioners of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, June 22, 1744. The 
confereuce lasted twelve days; did little credit to the commissioners, who dis- 
tributed intoxicants very freely, and kept the Indians constantly more or less 
under their influence; and the result was that, while they gained their point, 
they gave occasion for bitter complaints for years to come, and have left a 
stain on their memory that would be a dark page in our history if it were not 
that such stains are so common. The good will of the Six Nations was secured 
for a time to the English and against the French, and a stimulus was given to 
settlement east of the mountains. But the occupation of the valley of the 
Ohio was still desired, and negotiations were carried on, by both Pennsylvania 
and Virginia, looking to the erection of forts and the taking possession of the 

The lirst person to meet the Indians on the Ohio as the representative of 
the colony of Pennsylvania was Conrad Weiser, who was commissioned by 
Anthony Palmer, president of the executive council, in August, 1748, to treat 
with the Indians at Logstown. He was at the same time made the bearer of 
valuable presents, which had been promised the representatives of the Indians 
in the previous November. Among other instructions which he received were 
these: "You are to use the utmost diligence in acquiring a perfect knowledge 


of the number, situation, disposition and strength of all the Indians in or near 
those parts, whether they be friends, neutrals, or enemies, and be very par- 
ticular in knowing the temper and influence of the tribes of Indians who send 
deputies to receive you." He was also to strive earnestly to turn the Indians 
against the French and attach them to the English cause, and to use the 
utmost diligence to ascertain the movements and designs of the French. In 
his investigation, which was to be thorough, the instructions remind him 
that: " You are not to satisfy yourself with generalities, but inform yourself 
truly and fully of the real disposition of the Indians, and what dependence 
can be had on them for the security of this province, and for the total 
prevention of hostilities within our limits. . . . You are to take special 
care not to disoblige the Indians, or in any wise diminish their hearti- 
ness for his Majesty's cause against the French. You will therefore 
speak to them by themselves, and give them such a quantity of goods 
as uj3on their present temper and the frankness of their submission you 
shall think they deserve. " Having made all necessary arrangements, Weiser 
set out from his home in Berks county, crossed the Susquehanna, and came 
by Huntingdon, or Standing Stone as it was then called, to Frankstown, about 
three miles down the Juniata from the spot occupied by the present Hollidays- 
burg, of which he makes this quaint entry in his journal : ' ' August 20th. Came 
to Frank's Town, but saw no houses." Crossing the movmtains, he continued 
by a western route for a distance, and then, turning to the southwest, crossed 
the Kiskiminetas, a few miles above its mouth, and pursued his journej' till he 
reached the Allegheny twenty miles above its confluence with the Monongahela. 
On the 27th he dined with the Seneca queen, Aliquippa, at Shannopinstown. 
on the east bank of the Allegheny about two miles above its mouth, and the 
same evening arrived at Logstown, where he immediately set about the execu- 
tion of the task assigned him by the executive council. His efPorts were suc- 
cessful in strengthening the bond of friendship between the colony and the 
various tribes, and winning them from their adherence to the French. The 
presents were next distributed, and the conference broke up. He returned 
September 20th, and gave in his report of the proceedings. From this time 
communication between the east and the Indians on the Ohio became frequent. 
But the French were not in the meantime idle spectators of the action of 
the English. Claiming by the right of discovery all the lands drained by the 
Mississippi and its tributaries, they fixed the limits of their possessions at the 
summit of the Allegheny mountains, and prepared to make good their claim 
by the erection of a line of fortifications that should extend from the mouth of 
the St. Lawrence to that of the Mississippi. It is not the intention to enter 
in this place into a discussion of the claim made by some writers in favor of 
La Salle's discovery of the Allegheny and upper Ohio in the winter of 1669- 
70; it is highly improbable, and the best avithorities reject it. The better to 
become acquainted with the geography of the country, drive out the English 


traders, and secure the attachment of the Indians, the governor-general of 
■Canada despatched Louis de C^loron, in the summer of 1749, with a detach- 
ment of soldiers and friendly Indians, to make an excursion down the Alle- 
gheny and Ohio. His mission, as he acknowledges in the journal of the 
expedition, was but partially successful; everywhere he found a strong feeling 
in favor of the English; and he was on more than one occasion in danger of 
being attacked, notwithstanding the strength of the detachment under his 
command. The first symptoms of the struggle that was inevitable between 
the French and English began to manifest themselves, but the treatment of 
this part of our subject will be reserved for a future chapter. 

George Croghan, with the Indian interpreter, Andrew Montour, was again 
with the tribes at Logstown in December, 1749, where he found that the 
French had endeavored, but without siiccess, to win the natives to their cause. 
The Indians were at that time in favor of the English erecting a fort some- 
where on the headwaters of the Ohio to protect their traders against the 
French. Croghan was again sent with presents by the governor of Pennsyl- 
vania in the early part of the following year, and the joiu-nal which he kept 
■of his conference with the chiefs is still extant. The half-breed, Joncaire, 
who was the agent of the French, was there at the same time; but his overt- 
ures were contemptuously rejected by the chiefs of the Six Nations. As 
visual, the Indians signified their desire to trade with the colonists, but not to 
part with their lands. 

Measures having for their object the settling of families south of the Ohio 
were now inaugurated by the Ohio Company, as a preliminary to which they 
sent Christopher Gist, a noted adventurer, to explore the country. On the 
last day of October, 1750, he left the frontier of civilization, crossed the 
mountains by the Juniata and Kiskiminetas route, and came to Shannopins- 
town. Thence he proceeded to Logstown, but it is remarkable that in doing so 
he passed down the north side of the Allegheny, behind what is now known as 
Monument hill, in Allegheny City, and thus remained ignorant of the exist- 
ence of the Monongahela river, which forms its junction with the Allegheny 
at that point. From Logstown he proceeded by way of the mouth of the 
Beaver to the Muskingum, where he met Croghan. Parting from him in Jan- 
uary. 1751, he explored the country to the mouth of the Scioto, and thence 
across the Little Miami to the larger stream of the same name. From there 
he retraced his steps to the Ohio, where he checked his course and ascended 
the valley of the Kentucky river, where he found a pass to the Blue Stone, 
and returned to his principals by way of the Eoanoke. In the November fol- 
lowing he is found in another expedition, but this time in the country south 
of the Ohio, which he explored as far as the Great Kanawha during the 

In April, 1751, Croghan was again at Logstown, and obtained formal per 
mission for the English to erect a fort at the mouth of the Monongahela. 


This, from motives of economy, the Pennsylvaaia assembly refused to do. In 
fact each of the colonies sought to evade the burden of securing the valley of 
the Ohio, though all recognized the necessity of doing so, and the propriety 
of losing no time in the matter. The proprietaries and assembly of Pennsyl- 
vania tossed the subject from one to the other in fruitless disputes as to where 
the responsibility rested. New York would remonstrate with the governor of 
Canada; and Virginia, limited in resources, was equally reluctant to assume 
the expense involved in such an undertaking. The key to the Ohio valley was 
the forks of the Ohio river, and Virginia's accessibility and the extent of her 
charter claims at length devolved the initiative upon her. 

In the meantime the French were steadily pushing their claims, and the 
dexterity with which they were generally able to manage the Indians, as well 
as the imjjortant fact that they did not want to occupy the country, but only to 
hold dominion over it and monopolize the Indian trade, enabled them to win 
the natives, and to turn them against the English, whom they never really 
loved, but with whom they saw they could trade with advantage. Time wore 
on, and the spring of 1753 saw the French actively engaged in carrying out 
their purpose of erecting a chain of forts through the we^t. Presqu ' Isle and 
Le Bceuf, in Northwestern Pennsylvania, were built in the early part of that 

Before entering upon the important history of the struggle between the 
French and English for the possession of the rich valley of the Ohio, and the 
key to it, the site of the present city of Pittsburgh, a hasty glance will be cast 
at the progress made thus far in planting settlements west of the mountains. 
Prior to the occupation of the forks of the Ohio by the French the territory 
west of the Alleghenies had become familiar to the colonists, thanks to the 
land-grabbers, traders, and other adventurers; and a number of frontier 
cabins sent their curling smoke toward the sky through the forest trees. 
C61oron informs us, in the journal of his expedition, that he found an English 
trading-house on the Allegheny soma distance above the mouth of Oil creek, 
and that of John Eraser, the gunsmith, at the mouth of French creek. 
There were also several cabins in the vicinity of the forks, one standing at the 
present Sharpsburg, another at Emsworth, below Allegheny City, one in the 
vicinity of Sewickley. besides others. The most important settlement, how- 
ever, was that of Christopher Gist at the spot on the Chestnut ridge known 
as Dunbar's Camp, which consisted of about a dozen families. Such was the 
condition of the tei'ritory embraced within the limits of Allegheny county at 
the date of the commencement of the French war, a contest of vast importance, 
not only to the colonies but to the world. 




W.vr-Cloxjds— French and English Claims— Defeat or the Coloxial 
Forces— Gen. Braddock's Defeat— Gen. Forbes' Operations- Destruc- 
tion OF Fort Duquesne— End of French Rule in Pennsylvania. 

THE rising mists of war alluded to at the close of the last chapter soon 
became threatening clonds, growing more dark and lowering every mo- 
ment. It is not the intention to enter into a lengthy account of the complica- 
tions of European politics, or the circumstances that led to a declaration of war 
between France and England, so disastrous for the former in the loss of her 
possessions on this side of the Atlantic, and scarcely less so for the latter in 
schooling her colonists in the art of war, removing by the destruction of French 
power the only check she had on their dependence, and training a leader for 
them whose name is as imperishable as the everlasting hills, the illustrious 
Washington. To every reflecting mind a struggle between the two powers 
over their American possessions was inevitable. Time might be required 
before the cloud of war should burst upon the New World, but that time was 
certain to come, and it could not be long delayed. The pioneers cared little 
what disposition might be made by the crowned heads of old Europe of the 
territory here. Being an agricultural people, they must in the nature of 
things move westward, slowly, it might be, and frequently checked and 
driven back by the natives ; but move they would, and no jjower could resist 

By the treaty of Utrecht, signed April 11, 1713, England acquired large 
tracts of territory from the French in America ; but by far the most important 
of these was that lying south of Lake Ontario, upon which the Six Nations 
lived, and which included a recognition of that famous confederation as En- 
glish subjects. This grant not only curtailed the territory of the French, but 
also cut off all hope of a direct line of communication with the valley of the 
Mississippi, and left their route by way of the lakes oj)en to attack. Still 
further, this concession made the English heirs to the Iroquois conquests in 
the west, an advantage of the first importance, which they ultimately improved. 
As yet, however, they seemed utterly indifferent to the possession of the interior. 
The charters of the seaboard colonies granted the territory "from sea to sea," 
but, separate in organization, and jealous of each other, as well as of the crown, 
their policy was narrowed and their strength weakened. Living by agriculture 


1111(1 irndo, tlu>ir oxpiiiisioii, Ui<Mif;[h cortiiiii, wiis iioccssarily hIuw. A powerful 
iiicoiitivo for tlio Hpeoily iicquiHitioii of t(>rritory for nctiial B(>ttloin(>nt in the 
proHeiit wiiH UiuH luckiii^j diiriiifj i,bo ourly poriod of Eiij^liHli coloiiiitl Listory, 
luul for luoro tlmii a coutury their W(>Ktorn boumlnry was tho mountains. The 
Fr(Micli, on tho otbor hand, woro grwuly of dominion, hut not for purposes of 
sottlonuMit. KiU'h nation oyod tho otlior with joalonsy as it gazed on the wide 
expanse of country between the Alleghenies and tlie groat river of the 
Tiie treaty of Utr(>cht had effected no permanent peace between thorn, but 
only a truce which eacli was taking advantage of to prepare for whatever 
furtlii<r deveU)pm(<nts time miglit have* in store. It defined nothing : settled 
notliing permanently with regard to tlieir possessions in tho Now AVorld. 
The tnMif.y of Aix la-Chapelie, conclud(>(l in October, 1748, as far as it referi-ed 
to AnH>ricH only h»ft the possessions of the respective (towers "the same as 
Ix^foro tho war." This was but an evasion of the point at issue, which sooner 
or later must demand adjudication ; and it left a peaceful adjustment of con- 
flicting claims raised by the former treaty out of the question. 

It is dilVicnlt to describe aecnratoly the geographical scope of tho early 
French and Fnglish claims in America. Generally stated, the former included 
the entire basin of tho St. Lawrence and tho Mississippi and the extensive 
region around tlio great lakes; but tho details of this l)road claim were as ill 
defined in the minds of tho claimants as they were in those of the English. 
In Western Pennsylvania tho Allegheny mountains formed a natural boundary, 
which was fixed upon by tho French as tho western limits of their rival in that 
section. Tho terms of the various charters were more or less vague, as has 
lieen stated; and while tho colonies were united in disputing tho pretensions of 
the French, they had disputes, sometimes very bitter and long continued, 
among thenjselvos. Indeed, might was the only recognized basis of right 
ovorywhore in the New World, and each nation was eager to anticipate the 
other in establishing its power within the coveted limits before trying conclu- 
sions. Many circumstances united in transferring the inevitable struggle 
between tho rivals to the valley of the Ohii>; and here it is that we shall lirietly 
review tlu> actions of tho twt) groat nations. 

Taking up the history of this section of country at the point wheii" it was 
dropped at the dose of tho last chajiter, it will bo remembered that at the 
beginning of the year 175-1 a few colonists' cabins began to appear on the 
western side of tho Allegheny mountains, and principally along the course of 
tho rivers, which gave evidence of awakening activity in extending the border 
settlements. Negotiations were also being actively carried on with the aborigi- 
nes, with the odds apparently in favor of the English; permission bad been 
obtained for erecting a fort on the headwaters of the Ohio; and, all things 
considered, tho prospects were as enconraging as could be expected. But the 
agents of tho French were also on tho scene; and to their acknowledged supe- 
rior tact in niiumgiug the Indians thev added tho argument, which the conduct 


of tlioir rivals only toiulod to coiilinu, Umt tlio Erii^liuli won* iift-fM' iht' Inuitiiif^- 
i^roiindH of tlio IiidiimB, find wore f^oini^ to forct* llicin buck, littlo by liltli", lis 
tliey Imd doiio wiHtof tho nioniifuins. Add toMiiH tliiit tlio Fr(>rich Iwid idicudy 
hnilt. two forts in tbo iiorthwcwtcrn puil of i'l'iinHylvnniii, with ii view of con 
n<«!tiiig Lako Erie with tho Alh^f^hony rivoi' by ninunH of L(( Uonif river, or 
FnwK^h creek, as it has since l)(>en called; and that they w(?re lu^gotiatiuf^ witii 
the Indians for the site of another fort at tlie conf!nenc(( of the two sti'oains,' 
thus ainiinf; at securiiifj coniniuiiication l)y water from the nioutli of tim St. 
Lawrence and the Mississippi, as well as from the lakes, witli the coveted 
strategic point, the forks of tll<^ Ohio, which tliey hoped soon to gi'asp. 
(2ui(»tly they wore pre|iariiig a fleet of canoes and battcaux to carry tlnur forces 
down the Boantifnl rivei', and with a favorable stage of water, snch as was 
natnrally to be expected in the spring, they could reacli tint forks in hiss than 
two days, the distance being only 121 miles, and before word of their (i|)proach 
(ronld be sent across the mountains. Once in possession, it would be didicidt, 
if not imi>ossible, to dislodge them; for before troops could be lironght from 
the east of the mountains, ovctr which a road niiist first be opened for their 
passage, a strong forlification could be erected at t\w forks, forces could bo 
concentrated from Detroit, the Illinois country and the forts to the noilh ; and 
in the meantime the enemy could be harassiMl on the nnirch. 

The colonies were not insensible to the dangers to which they were exjiosed; 
but apathy and a lack of harmony jxcevented concfuted action. Now York had 
suilli^ietit to engage hor attcuition in protecting her own frontier from Mie 
inroads of th(i French, who lay along so wide a stretch of her border; iinii in 
Pennsylvania there existed a protracted quarrel between the ))roprietaries and 
the assembly, m whicli the ol)ject seemed to be first to beat the governor and 
then light the French. It was only the Scotch governor of Virginia, Jtolxtrt 
Dinwiddle, who took the cause of the crown in hand. Acting upon instruc 
tions received from the mother-country, ho prepared to examinii into the move- 
ments and purposes of the enemy, as the territory around the h<(adwaters of 
the Ohio, to which their movements were directed, lay within the charter daiiu 
of the Old Dominion. For the arduous task of investigating the actions of the 
French ho selected a man who, though scarc(fly I)eyond the years of boyhood, 
was ecjual to the impf)rtant duty assigned him, being n<j other than (ieorge 
Washington, whose training in the art of war was to bo perfected mainly in the 
territory now engaging our attention. At that time ho was one of the thi'ee 
commanders of the militia of Virginia. Ho received his instructions an<l cre- 
dentials on the iiOth of October, 1703, and was ordered to proceed with all con- 
venient dispatch to Logstown, where he should consult with the Indians, and 
learn what he could of the designs of the French, and the best route by wliich 
he could reach their nearest fort. His interesting journal of the exp(fdition is 
preserved, from which it is learned that he arrived nt Will's crecik, where the 
city of Cumberland, Md., now stands, Novemljer 14th, whence he proceeded to 


Gist's plantation on the Chestnut ridge. Taking that fearless explorer with 
him, he reached Logstown on the 23d, after pausing to examine the land at 
the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, and the site three 
miles further down on the southern bank of the Ohio where the Indians wanted 
the traders to erect a fort. But the site did not please Washington so well as 
that at the forks. It was not until the 3()th that he was able, after much time 
spent in deliberation, to induce a small number of Indians to accompany him 
to the French post. The party arrived at Venango, at the mouth of French 
creek, December 4th, where, after wine had been drunk deeply, the French 
began to talk freely of their determination and ability to descend the river with 
the opening of spring, and take possession of the entire valley. Making care- 
ful notes of all that he saw and heard, Washington set out on his journey to 
Fort Le Boeuf, where he should meet the commander of the forts and deliver 
his message. But he encountered no little difficulty in keeping the Indians 
sober, and preventing them from being influenced by the wily Joncaire. He 
finally got under way on the 7th, and reached the terminus of his journey four 
days later. He remained at Le Bceuf till the 23d, occupying himself in keep- 
ing the Indians sober, preventing them from being drawn over to the cause of 
the enemy, making close observations and taking copious notes of what passed 
tinder his notice, and attending the councils for the transaction of the business 
ixpon which he had been sent. It was with the greatest difficulty that he suc- 
ceeded in getting his party on the road to return, but he at length succeeded. 
Arriving at the forks on the 29th, he continued his journey, and reached Will- 
iamsburg on the 16th of January. 1754. 

With the retiu-n of W^ashington the colonists were not only assured of the 
intentions of the French but also of their ability to carry them into execution 
itnless the most prompt and energetic measures were taken to prevent it. And 
these the colonists were not disposed to adopt. The matter was left entirely 
in the hands of Virginia: and Capt. William Trent was appointed to lead out a 
detachment of soldiers and workmen to build a fort with all dispatch at the 
forks. Washington had met, on his return, the vanguard of these forces, con- 
sisting of a train of packhorscs with materials for the fort; but it was doubt- 
ful whether it would arrive in time to throw up a fortification, as the movements 
of the enemy depended on the opening of the river, which might take place at 
any time. Trent an-ived at the forks on the 17th of February, 1754, from 
which dates the permanent occupation by the whites of the spot upon which 
the city of Pittsburgh now stands. Work was immediately commenced on a 
fort at the confluence of the rivers: but the small number of men engaged on 
it, together with the severity of the season, retarded its progress, and the 
spring opened to find it only partially completed, and with no garrison to 
make a successful defense against such a force as that of the French. 

The French had been very active on the upper waters of the Allegheny 
during the winter. Finding the Indians too much opposed to the building of 


a fort at the mouth of French creek, in the autumn of 1753 the greater part 
of the soldiers were sent back to pass the winter in Canada, leaving the two 
forts already erected garrisoned by a small force, while the shrewd Joncaire 
was left with the Indians at their village of Ganagara'hare, where the town of 
Franklin now stands, to spend the winter with them and endeavor to obtain 
their consent for building the desired fort at that place. His efforts were 
successful; the fortification was undertaken without opposition early in the 
spring, and the work was pushed forward with so much energy that it was 
completed before the middle of April. The object of these forts was not so 
much to form centers of defensive or aggressive warfare as depots for the stores 
landed from the lakes for transportation to the lower waters of the Alle- 
gheny, where the seat of war was soon to be located; and for that reason they 
were not remarkable for either strength or engineering skill. Their occupants, 
with the exception of a small garrison, were generally workingmen, but this was 
more especially true of Le Bceuf, at the head of canoe navigation on French 
creek, where the canoes and batteaux were prepared for the transportation of 
troops, provisions and munitions of war down the river. This part of the 
French operations was, properly speaking, only the preparation for what they 
had in view; the real work was to be performed at the confluence of the Alle- 
gheny and Monongahela, a most important affair, which is now to engage our 

With the opening of spring the French marshaled their forces to the num- 
ber of about one thousand, including French Canadians, and Indians of various 
tribes, with eighteen pieces of cannon, in all a flotilla of about sixty batteaux 
and three hundi'ed canoes, and descended the Allegheny. Arriving on the 
evening of the 16th of April, under the command of Capt. Contrecoeur, they 
summoned Ensign Edward Ward, who commanded in the temporary absence 
of Trent, to an immediate surrender. Having only thirty-three men with 
him, he was reluctantly compelled to obey. The 17 th has frequently been 
given as the date of the surrender, but this is an error, as is proven by the 
document itself. This summons, being an important historical document, is 
reproduced entire. It may also be taken as a fair sample of the fulsome style 
in use at that early day, and as such it will be as interesting as it is instructive. 


Bt Ordee of Monsieur Contrecceur, Capt.\i>i of the Companies of the De- 
tachment OF THE French Marine, Commander-in-Chief of His Most Chris- 
tian Ma.jesty's Troops, now on the Beautiful River, to the Commander of 
Those of the King of Brit.wn, at the Mouth of the River Monon- 
Sir — Nothing can surprise me more than to see you attempt a settlement upon the 

lands of the king, my master, which obliges me now, sir, to send you this gentleman. 

Chevalier Le Mercler, captain of the artillery of Canada, to know of you. sir, by virtue of 

what authority you are come to fortify j'ourself within the dominions of the king, my 


master. This aclion seems so contrary to the last treaty of peace, at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
between his most Christian majesty and the l^ing of Great Britain, that I do not know to 
wliom to imimle such an usurpation, as it is incontestable that the lands situated along 
the Beautiful river belong to his most Christian majesty. 

I am informed, sir, that your undertakinc has been concerted by none else than by a 
company, who have more in view the advantage of a trade than to endeavor to keep the 
union and harmony which subsists between the two crowns of France and Great Britain, 
although it is as much the interest, sir, of your nation as ours, to preserve it. 

Let it be as it will, sir, if you come out into this place, charged with orders. I sum- 
mon you in the name of the king, my master, by virtue of orders which I have got from my 
general, to retreat peaceably with your troops from off the lands of the king, and not to 
return, or else I shall find myself obliged to fulfill my duty, and compel you to it. I hope, 
sir, j'Ou will not defer an instant, and that you will not force me to the last e.xtremity. 
In that case, sir, you may be persuaded that I will give orders that there shall be no dam- 
age done by my detachment. 

I prevent you, sir, from asking me one hour of delay, nor to wait for my consent to 
receive orders from your governor. He can give none within the dominions of the king, 
my master. Those I have received of my general are my laws, so that I can not depart 
from them. 

On the contrarj', sir, if you have not got orders, and only come to trade, 1 am Sorry 
to tell you, that I can not avoid seizing you, and to confiscate your effects to the use of the 
Indians, our children, allies and friends, as 30U are not allowed to carrj' on a contraband 
trade. It is for this reason, sir, that we stopped two Englishmen last year, who were 
tradiug upon our lands; moreover, the king, my master, asks nothing but his right: he has 
not the least intention to trouble the good harmony and friendship which reigns between 
his majesty and the king of Great Britain. 

The governor of Canada can give proof of his having done his utmost endeavors to 
maintain the perfect union which reigns between two f riendl)- princes. As he had learned 
that the Iroquois and the Nipissings of the Lake of the Two Mountains had struck and 
destroyed an English family, toward Carolina, he has barred up the road, and forced them 
to give him a little boy belonging to that familjv. and which M. Ulerich, a merchant of 
Montreal, has carried to Boston; and what is more, he has forbid the savages from exer- 
cising their accustomed cruelly upou the English, our friends. 

I could complain bitterly, sir, of the means taken all last winter to instigate the In- 
dians to accept the hatchet and strike us, while we were striving to maintain peace. I 
am well persuaded, sir, of the polite manner in which you will receive M. Le Mercier, as 
well out of regard to his business as his distinction and personal merit. I expect 30U will 
send him back with one of your officers, who will bring me a precise answer. As )'0U 
have got some Indians with you, sir. I join with M. Le Mercier an interpreter, that he 
may inform them of my intentions upon that subject. 
I am, with great regard, sir. 

Your most humble and most ob't serv't. 


Done at our camp, April Kith. IT.W.* 

On tbe morning of the ITtb the colonial soldiers were permitted to with- 
draw; and they went itp the Monongahela to the month of the Redstone creek, 
where the Ohio Company had a trading-post. 

The die was cast; the two nations were at war, although it had not been 
formally declared. The French followed up with alacrity the advantagea 
they had gained. The fort was completed early in June, and named Duquesne,. 

•Craig's "History of Pittsburgh," pp. 23-25. 


in honor of the governor-general of Canada; troops fi'om the Illinois country 
were hastily brought up the Ohio to inoi'ease its garrison; spies were sent 
among the neighboring Indian tribes to tell them of the triumph of the French 
and win them back to their cause; and a close watch was kept of the move- 
ments of the colonial forces. 

Washington was at Will's creek pushing forward the preparations to 
reinforce the frontier fort, when the news of. its capture was brought hirn. 
Scouts continued to bring information of the enemy's movements, but the 
tedious preparations for the march were not allowed to cease. The line of 
march lay over a broken, mountainous country, to the north of Redstone creek, 
and thence down through the country to the mouth of the Monongahela. 
Eoads had to be cut for the artillery and provision trains, and progress was 
made at the slow rate of from two to four miles a day. On the 27th of May 
the English had reached a place known as the Great Meadows, when the 
scouts brought word that the French forces were in the vicinity. Washing- 
ton, fearing a sui'prise, started out on the following morning to ascer- 
tain the strength of enemy, when an engagement took place in which the 
French lost their commander, M. de Jumonville, and nine men, the Ameri- 
cans losing but one. This was the first act of open hostility between the 
regularly arrayed forces of the two nations in the valley of the Ohio, and it 
was held by the French as the commencement of the war. The march of the 
colonial forces was continued without fui'ther incident until the latter part of 
June, when the report came in that the enemy was approaching in full force. 
A council of war was held, and it was resolved to retreat to a more defensible 
point. The Great Meadows was reached on the 1st of July, and here the ex- 
hausted condition of the provincials determined Washington to take a stand. 
Here, as he reported, with nature's assistance, he made a good entrenchment, 
and prepared a charming field for an encounter, to which, owing to the cir- 
cumstances in which his people were placed, he gave the name of Fort Neces- 
sity. The enemy appeared on the 3d, and opened the attack. For nine 
hours an inefPectual resistance was made against overwhelming odds, when a 
capitulation was agreed upon, the colonials being permitted to retire with 
everything save the artillery, only one piece of which they were allowed to 
take with them. This action was one of the causes assigned by George II 
for a declaration of war. For Washington it was perhaps the most humiliat- 
ing scene in his entire career. How differently he celebrated the Fourth of 
July forty years later ! But reverses sometimes bring out better than success 
what is in a man. 

With this victory on the part of the French the whole frontier became ex- 
posed to their inroads; the Indians who till then had faltered were won over 
to the French; the settlements were in the utmost alarm, and a series of mur- 
derous incursions was begun, and continued for four years, checked for a brief 
space by the march of Gen. Braddock, only to burst forth with rekindled fm-y 


after his disastrous defeat. The massacred pioneers, the smoldering ruins of 
their frontier cabins, and the large number of prisoners taken, some to be tort- 
ured at the stake with the utmost refinement of savage cruelty, others to live 
in degradation worse than slavery, to be rescued years later by a Bouquet, or 
to die of hardship and exposure, tell the tale of the relentless fury of the 
natives. How far the French are to be held responsible for the blood that was 
shed and the barbarities inflicted it were difficult to determine; but the scenes 
described by such prisoners as James Smith seem to attach some blame at least 
to them. 

The colonists were powerless to dislodge the French from their stronghold 
at the forks, or to keep them in check on the frontier so long as they held it; 
and the season was too far advanced to expect assistance from the mother- 
country. Besides, England and France, though both were actively preparing 
for war, professed to be at peace. Thus matters stood at the close of this dis- 
astrous year, only to be followed, could the future have been penetrated, by a 
year still more disastrous. Negotiations between the two nations continued in 
Europe. France proposed to restore the American boimdary lines as they had 
been before the war of the Spanish succession, and refer all matters of dispute 
to the commissioners at Paris; England refused to go back to the treaty of 
Utrecht. France rejected this basis of discussion, and offered another com- 
promise — that both nations should retire fi'om the country between the A.lle- 
ghenies and the Ohio. To this England agreed, stipulating, however, that the 
French should destroy all their forts on the Ohio and its branches; but this 
the French refused to accept. Like nearly all such negotiations, it was an 
attempt on the part of each nation to outwit the other, and on the part of both 
to conceal, rather than manifest, their real intentions. The insincerity of the 
desire they mutually expressed to preserve peaceful relations is seen in the fact 
that, though the decision referred to was not reached till the latter part of 
March, 1755, yet in Febi-uary Gen. Braddock had landed in Virginia in com- 
mand of a strong force, with additional powers to compel the colonists to join 
him in an expedition for the reduction of all the French posts on the frontier. 
French fleets, too, with provisions and men, were on the ocean, crowding every 
sail to come to the rescue. But war was not even yet declared. Braddock 
had planned a threefold campaign against the enemy's posts — in Nova Scotia, 
at Crown Point and Niagara, by way of Fort Duquesne. He did not, indeed, 
meditate the conquest of Canada, but simply acted in obedience to his instruc- 
tions to resist encroachments on English territory. It is not the intention to 
give in this place an account of these several expeditions, but to treat only of 
the one which was sent into Western Pennsylvania. 

Gen. Braddock was everywhere beset with difiiculties, which retarded his 
movements and i-uffled his by no means placid temper. He had, besides, a 
contempt for everything colonial, which he made no effort to conceal. This 
antijiathy was not without its effects on the colonial troops, who, besides 


being trained to Indian warfare, knew it to be the best, and felt that a leader 
trained according to other methods must find himself at sea among the red- 
skins. This ignorance of Braddock's, coupled with his peculiar disposition, 
caused him to make numerous blunders, none of which escaped the attention 
of the self-reliant frontiersmen. Among the forces under the immediate com- 
mand of the general were two regiments commanded respectively by Sir 
Peter Halket and Col. Thomas Dunbar, and which were attended with a suita- 
ble train of artillery. The landing in Virginia instead of Pennsylvania was 
the first of a series of unfortunate mistakes, as neither adequate forage, pro- 
vision nor transportation could be easily procured; and it is said that, if the 
latter province had been selected as the point of debarkation, a saving of 
forty thousand pounds would have been effected, and the march shortened by 
six weeks. It is well known that when the army was detained at Will's creek 
for lack of means of transportation the general was only relieved by resources 
drawn from Pennsylvania. The general established his headquarters at Alex- 
andria, and spent the time from February 20th to the middle of April in elab- 
orating his plans and preparing his forces to move to the rendezvous at Will's 
creek. The army reached that point after a tedious march of four weeks, and 
there received such forces from New York and Virginia as raised the number in 
the command to two thousand men. Here it was that he encountered the most 
exasperating difficulties. Instead of the one hundred and fifty wagons and 
three hundred horses promised him, with ample supplies of forage and pro- 
visions, he found only fifteen wagons, hardly a third of the horses expected, 
and a scanty supply of damaged provisions. It was only by the tact and 
influence of Dr. Franklin that he was finally rescued from his trying posi- 
tion. He began to feel keenly the effect of his constant disparagement of the 
provincial officers and militia; but his eyes were not opened, and he made no 
effort to correct his mistake. Indeed it is much to the credit of* the colonial 
officers and men that they did not utterly abandon a leader who was so little 
able to conceal the contempt in which he held them. He declared that he 
saw little courage in them, and expected only indifferent military service fi'om 
them. Besides, he had orders from England that all officers of whatever rank 
bearing royal commissions were to take precedence of those holding commis- 
sion under the provincial governments. Such arbitrary folly gave great offense 
to the provincials, both officers and men; and among others, even Washing- 
ton, whose self-possession never forsook him, threw up his commission, but 
without abandoning the expedition. While no one at all acquainted with the 
history of Gen. Braddock has ever doubted his courage or bravery, all agree 
that a worse choice could hardly have been made of a leader. Another and, 
if possible, a greater blunder was the contempt in which Braddock held the 
enemy he was sent to conquer. 

Space can not be given for a full account of this important expedition ; but 
it is necessary to know the leader of it, if we want to arrive at a correct esti- 


mate of the cause of his disastrous failure, by which the enemies, not onh' of 
England and the colonies, but of humanity itself, were emboldened to perpe- 
trate deeds of cruelty which are an indelible stain upon the pages of the 
world's history. With what feeling do the Americans of to-day compare these 
words of Braddock to Franklin, who in his inimitable way attempted to give 
the general a timely warning: "The savages maybe a formidable foe to 
your raw American militia, but upon the king's regular and disciplined troops 
it is impossible they shoiild make any impression," with the account of his 
ignominious defeat and tragic death within a few miles of the enemy he so 
much despised ? 

The superiority of Washington's judgment appeared here, as on so many 
other occasions, and had his advice been followed the result of the expedition 
would doubtless have been other than it was. Accustomed to travel in the 
backwoods, he advised a rapid march by such trails as could be made practi- 
cable for an army with a pack- train; but the general, unable or unwilling to 
accommodate himself to circumstances, determined to proceed upon the plan 
to which he had been accustomed in his European campaigns. Five hundred 
men were sent forward to Little Meadows to open a wagon-road, and store pro- 
visions, following closely Nemackolin's path, of which mention has already been 
made. Sir Peter Halket followed with the first division of the army; but some 
delays intervened before the general was in motion with the second. The bal- 
ance of the army, under Col. Thomas Dunbar, was left behind to follow by 
slower marches. Owing to the difficulty of making a road the army moved 
slowly, leaving the enemy time to concentrate his forces. On the 30th of June 
the army crossed the Youghiogheny river at Stewart's crossing, about half a 
mile below the present town of Connellsville, and held a council of war to 
determine upon future movements. It was resolved not to await the arrival of 
Dunbar, but to push forward with the forces composing the first detachment. 
The route of the army lay toward the headwaters of Turtle creek, which it 
struck and followed till near the mouth, when it took a southern course to 
avoid the steep hills, and came to the Monongahela a little below the mouth of 
the Youghiogheny. Here the troops arrived on the morning of July 9th. 
The river was crossed, and the army moved down the western bank to a point 
opposite the mouth of Turtle creek, where the second fording was to be made. 
The general, not doubting that French spies were watching his movements, 
made this fording in such a manner as to present his forces to the best advan- 
tage, and make a deep impression of the strength of his command; and Wash- 
ington, who had been detained by sickness, and but lately joined the advance, 
declared in after life that it was the grandest spectacle he had ever witnessed. 
It was about noon, and the last of the forces reached the eastern bank of the 
river before 1 o'clock. The soldiers were in the best of spirits, and the play- 
ing of the July sun upon their polished weapons seemed but to be a reflection 
of the cheerfulness and hope that animated them. Only ten miles, and victory, 
with rest and the spoils, was theirs. 


The French had kept themselves accurately informed of the movements of 
the English; but what they should do under the circumstances vras an inquiry 
to vrhich no satisfactory answer was forthcoming. And here a question arises 
in regard to which there has long been great difference of opinion, namely: 
Who was in command of Fort Duquesne at that time? Some authorities 
affirm that it was Contrecceur, while others maintain that it was Beaujeu. 
The following entry in the register kept in the chapel of the fort places the 
question beyond doubt: 

lu the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-five, on the ninth of July, was 
killed in the battle fought with the English, and the same day as above, Mr. Leonel Dan- 
iel, Esquire. Sieur de Beaujeu, captain of infantry, commander of Fort Duquesne and of 
the army, who was aged about forty-five years, having been at confession and performed 
his devotions the same day. His remains were interred on tlie twelfth of the same mouth, 
in the cemetery of Fort Duquesne, under the title of the Assumption of the Blessed 
Virgin at the Beautiful river, and that with the customary ceremonies by us, Recollet 
priest, the undersigned chaplain of the king at the above-mentioned fort. In testimony 
whereof we have signed: 

Fk. Denys Baron, P. R., Chaplain. 

The conflicting statements may perhaps be reconciled in one of two ways. 
Either Beaujeu had not yet assumed command, and then he is spoken of in 
the register as commander by anticipation, as one who held the commission 
but had not yet begun to exercise the duties of his office; or else he was act- 
ually in command, as is stated in the register, but, he being dead, Contrecceur 
could, without fear of contradiction, take the honor of victory to himself, and 
claim recognition from the home government for his eminent services. The 
reader need not be surprised at this statement, for it is well known that verac- 
ity was not one of the most eminent virtues of man)' of the first adventurers in 
the New World. Nor would the governor of Canada be likely to refuse to 
countenance the fraud, if proper influence were brought to bear upon him. 
The reader may choose for himself which of these two theories seems most 
probable ; but whatever may be said of the commander at the time of the battle, 
it is certain that Contrecceur resumed command after that time. M. Dumas 
was the first subordinate officer under Beaujeu at the battle, and for his gallant 
conduct on the occasion he was promoted to succeed Contrecceur in the com- 
mand of the fort and the army before the middle of the following September. 

For the French to abandon the fort without a struggle was to abandon the 
valley of the Ohio without hope of again recovering it; yet the probabilities 
were against them. The Indians began to waver in their allegiance, and could 
not be relied on; while it appeared rash in the extreme to attack the trained 
forces of Great Britain with the small army at the fort. With difficulty Beau- 
jeu prevailed on the Indians to join him; two days were spent in preparation; 
and it was not until the morning of the 9th that he, at the head of about two 
hundred and fifty French and Canadians and some six hundred Indians, set out 
to meet the enemy. The French had been so long delayed that the English 


were crossing the river as they reached the ravine on the side of the hill that 
sloped toward the stream ; and abandoning the idea of contesting the passage, 
Beaujeu disposed of his command in tho ravines where it was entirely concealed 
from the English. The position selected by the French was admiral)]y adapted 
to an ambuscade. Down the inclined surface which the English were ascend- 
ing extended two ravines, beginning near each other at al)out one hundred and 
fifty yards from the foot of the hill, and extending in different directions till 
they terminated in the valley below. In these ravines the French and Indians 
were concealed and protected, they being from eight to ten feet deep, and suf- 
ficiently large to contain at least ten thousand men. 

The signal for attack was the approach of the English to the place of con- 
cealment. The first onslaught was made on the front of the advancing column; 
but it was repelled by so heavy a return from the British that the Indians at 
once showed signs of wavering. The French commander was killed at the 
first fire while bravely cheering on his men; but Dumas, rallying the Indians, 
directed them to attack the English on the flank while he maintained the resist- 
ance in the front with the white men of the force. The attack soon became 
general. The vanguard was thrown back upon its supports in confusion, leav- 
ing two pieces of artillery in the hands of the enemy, and throwing that portion 
of the British troops already engaged into a very exposed position. Braddock 
did not allow his men to go behind the trees and fight the Indians in their own 
way, but compelled them to march in a body, while the Indians spread them- 
selves on every side behind trees and logs and whatever would afford them 
protection. Invisible, yet making the woods resound with their fiendish war- 
whoop, they fired with deadly aim at the compact body of the enemy. None 
of the English could say they saw a hundred of the enemy, and many of the offi- 
cers who were in the heat of the engagement the whole time would not assert 
that they saw even one; and they could only fire at random in the direction from 
which they were fired upon. The combat continued for two hours with scarcely 
a change in the disposition of either side. The regulars, terrified by the yells 
of the Indians, and dispirited by a style of fighting such as they had never 
imagined, gathered themselves into a body, and fired at random. The officers 
bravely advanced, sometimes at the head of small bodies, sometimes separately, 
but were sacrificed by the soldiers, who refused to follow them, and who even 
fired upon them fi-om the rear. Of eighty-six officers, twenty-six were killed, 
among whom was Sir Peter Halket, and thirty-seven were wounded, including 
Gage and the field officers. Of the men one-half were killed or wounded. Brad- 
dock braved every danger. Both his English aids were disabled early in the 
engagement, leaving Washington alone to distribute his orders. "I expected 
every moment to see him fall, ' ' said one whose eye was on him. He had two 
horses shot under him and four bullets through his coat, yet escaped with- 
out a wound. "Death," he wrote, "was leveling my companions on every 
side of me; but, by the all-powerful dispensation of Providence, I have been 

^1^ ^^;f^^"T^ 


protected." Many persons predicted a great future for Washington, seeing, 
as they believed they did, that a special providence had him under its protec- 
tion. The Virginia troops showed great valor, and of three companies scarcely 
thirty men were left alive. The regulars, having wasted their ammunition, 
broke and ran, leaving the artillery, provisions, baggage, and even the jirivate 
papers of the general a prey to the enemy. All attempts to rally them were 
vain. After having five horses shot under him unharmed, and tempting 
fate by his heroic service in the face of the terrible discharge of the enemy's 
musketry, a ball entered his side, and Braddock was borne from the field 
mortally wounded. With the remnant of his command he was carried across 
the river, and the ilight to Dunbar's camp on the Chestnut ridge was continued 
with all possible speed. Summing up the results of the battle, seven hundred 
and fourteen privates were killed or wounded, together with the army chap- 
lain ; while of the French and Indians only three officers and thirty men fell, 
and but as many more were wounded. On the 11th the retreating army reached 
the camp, which the news of the disaster had converted into a scene of confu- 
sion. On the following day the remaining artillery, stores and heavy baggage 
were destroyed and the retreat begun, Dunbar, who now assumed command, 
having determined to retire to Philadelphia for the winter. Braddock died on 
the 13th and was buried not far from the Great Meadows, where his grave 
may still be seen. 

The French did not pursue the retreating army across the river; the plun- 
der of the battle-field and the scalps proved too great an attraction for the 
savage allies; and with the exception of a visit to Dunbar's camp, they made 
no immediate efPort to reap the full advantages of victory. Had they pur- 
sued the English they could have cut them utterly to pieces. 

The effect of Braddock' s defeat was widespread and disastrous to the col- 
onies of Pennsylvania and Virginia; and nothing could exceed the terror with 
which the news filled the frontier, and reached even to Philadelphia, where 
some too sanguine persons were actiially engaged in collecting money to cele- 
brate the victory they felt certain would soon be gained over the French. 
But where victory and deliverance had been confidently expected, consternation 
alone appeared, and the tomahawk and scalping- knife were already seen in 
imagination to glitter at every cabin door. Nor did it require a violent stretch 
of the imagination; for from that day there was no security for hiiman life 
west of the Susquehanna. All that was ferocious in the breasts of the savages 
was roused to new life; the Canadians, not a few of whom were little less cruel, 
were ready to join them in the general devastation, while even the French 
soldiers felt a fresh impulse added to the race and national hatred with which 
they had for centuries regarded the Engish. 

Whence was relief to be expected ? All the forces of the colonies, suppos- 
ing that harmony reigned between them and between their respective governors 
and assemblies, would not be sufficient to check the elated victors; and assist- 


aace. could not be expected from the mother country before the middle of 
another year. In May, 1T5G, George II declared war against France; and 
both as a protection of the colonies and a means of dividing the forces of the 
enemy he planned an American campaign. But its management was a pitia- 
ble manifestation of military impotence. The commander-in-chief, the Earl 
of Loudon, did not arrive till the latter part of July. The only single ray of 
light shed upon the page of this year's history emanated from the action of the 
colonial militia. 

One path of the hostile Indians led from Kittanning east across the mount- 
ains, and down the Juniata; and it was felt that no security could be had till 
that base of supplies was destroyed. This was Kittanning, an important 
Indian town, situated on the east bank of the Allegheny river, fifty-five miles 
above the forks, where the town of the same name now stands. Lying on the 
line of communication between the east and the west, it was important for the 
Indians, and being on the route of the French from the lake to Fort Duquesne, 
it was no less so for them. It was known to the latter as Attiqu6, and is men- 
tioned as a considerable town in Chlorous journal. Col. John Armstrong, 
who commanded the forces that garrisoned the forts in the region of the Juni- 
ata, determined to strike a blow at this rendezvous, and the more so as it was 
the home of the noted Delaware chief, Capt. Jacobs, one of the most ferocious 
of the leaders of the savages against the fi-ontier settlements. Hopes were also 
entertained of rescuing a large number of prisoners held by the Indians there. 
All necessary preparations having been made. Col. Ai-mstrong set out from 
Fort Shirley, a frontier post situated on Aughwick creek a short distance south- 
east of Huntingdon, on the 30th of August, 1756, with a force of three hundred 
men. The course of the expedition led up the Juniata, across the mountains, 
and west by the well-known trail to the town. A march of four days brought 
the troops to the close vicinity of the place, -unobserved, when one night they 
discovered a party on their path. Turning aside, they were enabled to come 
without 'further danger of alarm to the river. We can not pause to enter into 
details regarding this important engagement; suffice it to say that the town 
was destroyed, with its vast stores of ammunition, Capt. Jacobs was killed, 
many prisoners were rescued, and the enemy was frustrated in the execution 
of a well-planned attack on the frontier forts that was to have been undertaken 
in a few days. Col. Armstrong received a slight wound, but was enabled to 
lead off his forces with the most gratifying success. Altogether it must be 
regarded as the most successful expedition ever led against the enemy in this 
part of the country, and well did the colonel deserve to have the county in 
which it took place named after him, that future generations might revere his 

In the French account of the affair, which was dispatched to Canada the 
next day, the credit of leading the colonial forces is attributed to " Le 
G6n6ral Wachington," whose name was already a tower of strength on the 


The results of this well-planned and admirably executed attack were not 
of lasting importance, for, though it broke up the great Indian stronghold in 
Western Pennsylvania, it counted for little in the struggle between the two 
most powerful nations of Europe for the possession of the valley of the Ohio. 
Its results were only tem]-)orary, and could not be followed up. The blow 
sustained by the savages gave the frontier only a moment's repose. The En- 
glish forces in America were at that time under the command of an incompetent 
general, and the result was that the year 1757 only added to the disasters 
which had attended the British arms since the opening of the war. In the 
western part of our state the French and Indians had it all their own way; 
and whatever check they met with anywhere was from the provincials when 
they were permitted to follow the dictates of their own knowledge and expe- 
rience, untrammeled by the arbitrary authority of leaders unacquainted with 
the tactics necessary to be adopted with the enemy they had to contend against. 
The territory around the headwaters of the Ohio received comparatively little 
attention this year, the efforts of the commander-in-chief being directed toward 
the reduction of the French posts at the head of Lake Champlain. At the 
end of the year the cause of the enemy seemed everywhere triumphant; and 
had it not been that Pitt was restored to the ministry, the situation of the 
colonies would have been truly deplorable. But with the opening of the 
spring of 1758, the presence of that great statesman began to be felt in the 
British councils, and signs of healthy activity began to appear in America. 
Loudon was recalled and Abererombie, seconded by Lord Howe, succeeded 
him ; and while Amherst and Wolfe were sent to join the fleet in the northeast, 
and the commander-in-chief directed the movements against Tieonderoga and 
Crown Point, Gen. John Forbes was placed in command of the army that 
was to operate in the west. With his campaign only are we concerned here; 
and considerable space mxist be given to its details, for with it ended the 
ascendancy of the French not only in the valley of the Ohio, but, it may be 
said, within the territory of the United States. 

After long delays Forbes saw 1,250 Highlanders arrive fi'om South Caro 
lina. They were joined by 350 royal Americans. Pennsylvania, animated with 
an unusual military spirit, raised for the expedition 2,700 men. Their senior 
officer was John Armstrong. Virginia sent two regiments of about nineteen 
hundred men with Washington as their leader; yet vast as were the prepara- 
tions Forbes would never, but for Washington, have reached the Ohio. '' The 
Virginia chief, who at first was stationed at Fort Cumberland, clothed a part 
of his force in the hunting-shirt and the Indian blanket, which least impeded the 
progi'ess of the soldiers through the forest, and he entreated that the army 
might advance promptly along Braddock's road. But the expedition was not 
merely a military enterprise; it was also the march of civilization toward the 
west, and was made memorable by the construction of a better avenue to the 
Ohio. This required long-continued labor. September had C(jme before 


Forbes, whose life was slowly ebbing, was borne on a litter as far as Rays- 
town (now Bedford). But be preserved a clear head and a tine will, or, as he 
himself expressed it, was actuated by the spirit of William Pitt; and he 
decided to keep up the direct communication with Philadelphia as essential 
to present success and future security."* 

At the same time the events of the year seemed to promise success to an 
embassy to the western Indians, if the proper messenger could be found. The 
influence of the Quakers, together with the campaign of Armstrong, had 
induced the Indians located in the eastern part of the province to confer with 
the whites at Easton in November, 1756. The contracting parties were Gov. 
Denny on the part of the province, and the noted Delaware chief, Tedyuscung, 
on the part of the aborigines. Each party was attended by a considerable 
retinue. When questioned as to the cause of the dissatisfaction and hostility of 
the Indians, the chief mentioned the overtures of the French and the ill-usage 
of the provincial authorities. He boldly declared that the very land on which 
they stood had been taken from the rightful owners by fraud, and not only had 
the country fi'om Tohickon creek to Wyoming been thus taken, but several 
tracts in New Jersey had been similarly stolen from his people. And subse- 
quently, when the Six Nations had given the Shawanese the country on the 
•Juniata for a hunting-ground, with the full knowledge of the governor, the lat- 
ter permitted settlers to encroach upon their lands. Again, in 1754, the gov- 
ernor had gone to Albany to purchase more lands of the Six Nations, describ- 
ing the lands sought by points of the compass, which the Indians did not 
understand, and by the profusion of presents obtained grants for lands which 
the Iroqtiois did not intend to sell. When these things were known to the 
native occupants they declared they would no longer be fiiends with the 
English, who were trying to get all their country. 

This council lasted nine days, and resulted in a treaty of peace between the 
two parties, and the former differences were amicably adjusted. Another 
council for settling certain other questions was held in July, 1757. These con- 
ferences did not, however, include the Indians on the Ohio, who were under 
the immediate influence of the French, but Tedyuscung promised to endeavor 
to bring them into friendly relations with the English. His efforts did not, 
however, avail, and the western tribes contimted their hostilities. But in 
1758, with Forbes' army on the point of marching against Fort Duquesne, the 
provincial authorities determined to make one more effort to alienate the Ohio 
Indians from their allegiance to the French. Accordingly Christian Frederic 
Post, a Moravian missionary, who was held in high esteem by the Indians in 
the east, was sent out in July. He proceeded by way of Venango to Kiska- 
skunk on the Beaver, a short distance below New Castle, and was accom- 
panied by several Indians to insure him a favorable reception. He was 
well received, though the Indians refused to hear of Tedyuscung or the Easton 


treaty. He remained about a week and made a favorable impression upon all, 
till a French officer arrived with an Indian delegation from Fort Duquesne, 
which caused the Indians to waver. An effort was also made to bring him near 
enough to the fort to capture him; but he escaped through the influence of his 
friends, and after an anxious delay, so skillfully managed his cause as to get an 
agreement from the chief men that, if all the nations agreed to join the English 
in a treaty of peace, they would also join. He set out on his return journey 
on the 8th of September, and reached the east some two weeks later. A severe 
blow was then struck at the confidence of the Indians in the ultimate success 
of the French, which was destined to be deeply felt by the latter. 

A grand council was accordingly held at Easton in the fall of the same 
year for the adjustment of the whole question of Indian grievances, in which 
all matters were amicably settled, though not without difficulty. When the 
Indians dispersed it seemed advisable to send a messenger with the delegation 
fi'om the west to negotiate with the wavering tribes on the upper Ohio and 
claim the fulfillment of their promise. No one being so well suited as Post, 
he was again sent out. 

The army under Forbes had been making slow progress westward; audit 
was September before he reached Raystown, where Col. Bouquet awaited his 
arrival. Bu^t this very tardiness was not without its effect. It gave Post an 
opportunity of perfecting his negotiations with the already wavering Indians; 
it exhausted their patience and made many of those assembled around Fort 
Duquesne withdraw; and it worked the consumption of the provisions at the 
fort, and made it expedient to reduce the forces there; and in this way it ren- 
dered the capture of the fort more certain and less difficult. Washington joined 
the army with his command at Raystown, and Bouquet with a force of two 
thousand men was sent forward to the Loyalhanna. Every day seemed to seal 
more certainly the fate of the French, who were beginning to be disheartened 
by the success which attended the British arms on the lakes. Their distance 
from their base of supplies was another difficulty they had to contend against, 
which, with the mutual jealousies of the rulers in Canada, rendered the posi- 
tion of the garrison at Fort Duquesne far from enviable. Gen. Montcalm, 
writing at this time to his friend the Chevalier de Bourlamaque, gives this jjict- 
ure of the condition of affairs at the fort: "Mutiny among the Canadians, 
who want to go home ; the officers busj"^ with making money, and stealing like 
mandarins. Their commander sets the example, and will come back with 
three or four hundred francs; the pettiest ensign who does not gamble will 
have ten, twelve or fifteen hundred francs. The Indians do not like Ligneris, 
who is drunk every day."* Insignificant successes served in a measure to keep 
up the spirit of the French ; but the entire policy of that nation in the New 
World was erroneous, and the fall of their power was only a question of time. 
The defeat of Maj. Grant within a mile of the fort, to which he had been 


sent with eight hundred men, was due rather to his imprudence than to the 
valor or vigilance of the enemy; while the attack of the French and Indians 
on Fort Ligonier produced no permanent result. The fall of Fort Frontenac, 
at the outlet of Lake Ontario, August '27th, by cutting off supplies, made it 
impossible to hold Fort Duquesne long. All hope being lost, on the 24th of 
November, 1758, when the English were within ten miles of the fort it was 
blown up and the buildings around it, to the number of about thirty, were 
l)urnt. The French, who counted about four hundred, besides a large force 
of Indians of several tribes, withdi'ew. Some of the former went down the 
Ohio to the Illinois country, others across the country to Presqu' Isle, 
and part with their commander, De Ligneris, up the Allegheny to Fort Ma- 
chault, at the mouth of French creek. On Saturday, November 25, 1758,. 
the English moved in a body, and at evening the yolithful Washington could 
point out to officers and men the meeting of the waters. The hand of the 
veteran Armstrong raised the British flag over the ruins of the fort; and as the 
banner floated to the breeze, the place, at the suggestion of Forbes, was 
named Pittsburgh. 

But all danger had not been removed by the capture of Fort Duquesne. 
That part of the French forces which retreated up the Allegheny halted at 
Fort Machault; that fortification was strengthened, and it was the intention 
to remain there during the winter, defend the place in case of an attack, and 
descend the river in the spring with a view of recapturing S"'ort Duquesne. 
L'nder favorable circumstances this would not have been difficult; for the 
British, after throwing vip a little fortification not far from the captured strong- 
hold, retired to Philadelphia, leaving a garrison of not more than two hundred 
men. In case of a sudden attack these could not be reinforced in time to 
hold the place. Having collected a force of about seven hundred French and 
Canadians, and a thousand Indians, with batteaux and canoes for their trans- 
portation, toward the end of June, 1759, the French were about to embark 
for the forks, when word was received that Fort Niagara was besieged. The 
importance of holding that point induced them to abandon Machault and 
hasten to concentrate all their available forces at Niagara. They saw their 
route to the Mississippi cut off by way of the Ohio, and if Niagara should fall 
into the hands of the enemy, all communication with the west would be broken 
off. The stores and munitions of war prepared for the expedition to the forks 
were hastily destroyed or distributed among the Indians, while the large fleet 
of batteaux and canoes was burnt. Forts Le Bceuf and Presqu' Isle, having 
served as relays during the occupation of Duquesne, lost their importance, 
and were evacuated, and the power of the French in Pennsylvania was 
extinguished forever. 

The subsequent history of the French in North America is soon told. Fort 
Niagara was captured on the 5th of August, 1759, and with it the French were 
cut off from all communication with the west; Quebec fell with the death of 


Montcalm, September 14th, of the same year; and with the capitulation of 
Montreal, September 8, 1760, all the possessions of the French east of the 
Mississippi fell into the hands of the English. But as the star of the French 
sank behind the western horizon, the sun of American Independence rose 
gloriously in the east. 

A word on this apparent triumph of England. Long before the expulsion 
of the FreDch from Canada, thoughtful minds on both sides of the Atlantic 
foresaw that such an event must be the prelude to the fi'eedom of the colonies. 
The presence of the French there retarded their progress, trained them to 
war, and made them feel their dependence on the mother-country; and no one 
understood this better than the French themselves. ' ' We have caught them 
at last," said Choiseul, on the definite surrender of New France; and at once 
giving up Louisiana to Spain, his eager hopes anticipated the speedy struggle 
of America for separate existence. So soon as the sagacious and experienced 
Vergennes heard of the conditions of the peace, he said: " The consequences 
of the entire cession of Canada are obvious. I am persuaded England will 
ere long repent of having removed the only check that could keep her colonies 
in awe. They stand no longer in need of her protection; she will call on them 
to contribute toward supporting the burdens they have helped to bring on her, 
and they will answer by striking off all dependence. ' ' Sixteen years later the 
hall in Philadelphia resounded with the Declaration of Independence; and 
less than seven years afterward Great Britain acknowledged the independ- 
ence of the colonies she had made every effort to defend. 



The Fourth Treaty— Fort Pitt— Concentration of Forces— Chief Pon- 
TiAC — The Shawanese and Delawares— Advent of Settlers— Land 


TT^VERY obstacle to the colonization of the territory west of the mountains 
-*-—' was not removed with the overthrow of French rule in the valley of the 
rivers. Two formidable barriers still remained: the presence of the aborigines, 
and the claim of Virginia to the soil. The Indians were more jealous of the 
English taking possession of their hunting-grounds than of the French; and 
they still entertained the hope that the latter would soon retm-n, as the French 
continued to assure them. For this reason they entered only half-heartedly 
iato terms of peace with the dominant party; and the little gan-ison left at the 
frail Fort Pitt during the winter of 1758-59 was in a very precarious condition. 


Any considerable force of Indians could easily have cut o£P all communication 
with the east, and have destroyed it: while the French at Fort Machault, who 
doubtless kept themselves well informed of the slate of affairs at the forks, 
could descend the river, should it break up in the winter, as it often does, 
and retake their former stronghold. The opening of the spring of 1759 was, 
therefore, looked forward to with apprehension, by the garrison and the front- 
ier settlers, lest the French should execute their threat before assistance could 
reach the garrison from beyond the mountains; and had it not been for the 
siege of Fort Niagara, referred to at the close of the last chapter, their fears 
woiild have been only too well groiinded. 

At the second treaty held at Easton, in October, 1758, and known in history 
as the "fourth treaty," the natives were represented by the chiefs of the Six 
Nations and of the Delawares, and Pennsylvania and New Jersey by George 
Croghan, the agent of Sir William Johnson. The causes of the late war were 
discussed at length, the complaints of the Indians concerning the taking pos- 
session of their lands were heard, and the chiefs of the Six Nations were pre- 
vailed upon to use their influence, which was supreme, to induce the Shawanese 
and Twigtwees to desist from their hostilities on the Ohio. By far the most 
important end attained was the gaining possession of a large tract of country 
by the proprietaries in the southern half of the colony, extending west from the 
Susquehanna river and the Kittatinny mountains to the summit of the Alleghe- 
nies. Besides the territory which the colony thus gained, it was enabled, as time 
went on, not only to extend its settlements on it, but to trespass, as usual, on 
lands beyond its boundaries, till the savages, seeing they could no longer hold 
the occupied territory, would be disposed to part with some of it by a so-called 
purchase, and the fair fame of Pennsylvania would go down untarnished on the 
pages of history for having obtained from the natives by purchase all the ter- 
ritory she claimed as her own. 

The English having gained a footing on the Ohio, the next step was to enter 
into more amicable relations with the tribes of the vicinity, both for their own 
seciu-ity and to hinder them fi-om aiding their enemies, the French. But in 
order to do this successfully it was necessary to lead the savages to believe that 
they had not come to take jjossession of their lands, but only to establish 
trading-posts by means of which the wants of the Indians could be more easily 
supplied, and a more ready market prepared for their peltries: for the Indians 
were always suspicious, and with good reason, as long experience had taught 
them that the real object of the English was permanent settlement. For this 
purpose a conference was held by Col. Bouquet with the chiefs of the Delaware 
Indians "at the Pitts-Bourgh,"' December 4, 1758, at which were present, be- 
sides the colonel — who appears to have been left in command by Forbes. Ijefore 
the arrival of Col. Hugh Mercer — Col. Armstrong and several officers, with 
George Croghan, deputy agent of Sir William Johnson, and Capt. Henry 
Montour, the interpreter. In the course of his speech Col. Bouquet said; 


wm^^ W'&ti&T^ 


" 15r(4hi(Mi, \v(i liiivo not come horo to take |)os80HHi()ii of yoiu- limiljrig country 
in a lioHtilo niiiunor, uh the French did when they ciinie mnoii^ yuii, but to open 
a Iiirf^e and exteiiHive trade with you and all other uationa of Indians to the 
woHtward who choose to live in friendHhip with uh. You are Hensible wo are 
at war with the French and can not Heud tradern among you, as, we formerly 
did, to be robbed and murdered by the enemy, an our traders formerly wore to 
your knowledge, for which reason the general has left here two hundred men in 
order to ))rotect our traders, and I can assure you that as soon as gcjods can be 
brought up you will see a large trade o])ened for you, and all other nations in 
alliance with you, and yon may di^pend on it, your brethren, the English, are 
not only the most powerful ])ooplo on this continent, but the most wealthy and 
best inclined to sei've you in every necessary you want, and on the cheapest 
terms; therefore the general ox|)octs, as you value the friendship of your 
brethren, the English, that you will treat those men he leaves here as your 
brethren, and supj)ort them, in case the enemy should come and attempt to 
drive them away, and as the enemy can do nothing in your country without 
your knowledge, ho expects you will give the commanding oflicer notice, from 
time to time, of the enemy's movements, or what they are doing." They 
were also earnestly recommended to drivo the French out of their country, as 
"they are a restless and mischievous people," and oblige them to destroy their 
forts. They wore further urged to koifj) their ])romise to send back the pris- 
oners they had taken in their repeated raids on the frontier. In thoir reply, 
which according to thoir wise custom was not delivered until the following 
day, they oxprossod thoir readiness to comply with the demands of the colonel, 
thanked him, and enlarged on the pleasure thoy felt on seeing the English 
come to trade with thom. But they would not promise to protect the garrison 
till they had conf(u-ro(l with the tribes further to the west. 

The iirst Fort Pitt was iinislied, most probably, al)out the 1st of January, 
17oU, and was placed under the command of (Jol. Hugh Mercer, who wrote 
under date of January Sth; " The garrison now consists of two hundred and 
eighty men, and is capable of some dofcuise, though huddled up in a very 
hasty manner, the weather being very severe." Ho was succeeded about July 
of the same year l)y Gen. John Stanwix, who built the larger Fort Pitt, which 
was to figure so prominently in frontier history. It is said to have cost the 
British government .£()0,0()0. Writing of the measures taken by Gen. Stan- 
wix at this time, Smollot, in his " History of I'jngland," says: "The h&ppy con- 
setjuouces of those measures were soon apparent in the pro<lucti(.)n of a con- 
srderablo trade between the natives and the merchants of Pittsburgh, and in 
the perfect security of about tour thousand settlers, who now returned to the 
quiet possession of lands they were driven from on the frontiers of Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland and Virginia." Unless a very large tract of country is 
embraced in this estimate of the number of inhabitants, it must be regarded 
as exaggerated. 


Gen. Stanwix weat to Philadelphia- early in the yeai- 1760, leaving Maj. 
Tulikens in command of the fort, the garrison of which consisted at that time 
of one huncb-ed and fifty Virginians, as many Pennsylvanians, and four hun- 
dred of the first battalion of Koyal Americans. Gen. Stanwix soon afterward 
sailed for London, where he arrived some time in July. 

Gen. Monckton arrived at Fort Pitt on the 29th of June, and immediately 
gave orders for the march of a large detachment of the army to Presqu" Isle; 
and on the 7th of July foiu- companies of the Royal Americans, under com- 
mand of Col. Bouquet, marched from Pittsburgh toward that point, as did 
also Capt. McNeil's company of the Virginia regiment. On the Wednesday 
following Col. Hugh Mercer, with three companies of the Pennsylvania regi- 
ment, under Capts. Biddle, Clapham and Anderson, and two days afterward 
two other companies of the same regiment, under Capts. Atlee and Miles, 
were to follow. A letter fi-om Philadelphia, dated July 31st, says: "From 
Pittsburgh we learn that Maj. Gladwin had ariived at Presqu' Isle with four 
hundred men from the northward, and that our troops from Pittsburgh would 
be at the same place by the 15th of this month." These movements were all 
made with a view of taking possession of Detroit and Mackinac, which had 
been sm-rendered along with Montreal on the Sth of September, 1759. 

After the fall of the French power in North America. • ' the whole of the 
forces raised by the province of Pennsylvania had been discharged . . . except 
150 men, a part of whom were employed in transporting provisions from Niagara, 
and in garrison at Presqu' Isle and Le Bceuf. These were detained until they 
should be relieved by a detachment of the Royal Americans, but such was the 
weakness of that regiment that this had hitherto been impracticable . . . The 
province of Pennsylvania now looked for the enjoyment of a long and undis- 
turbed peace, since her mild and forbearing policy had conciliated the Indians, 
and their dangerous neighbors, the French, were removed. But the sources 
in which they sought for safety were fruitful of dangers. The unprotected 
state of the frontiers, consequent on the discharge of the forces of the middle 
and southern colonies, held forth irresistible temptations to the whetted appe- 
tite of the border savage for plunder. Their hostility had been rewarded 
rather than chastised by Pennsylvania; every treaty of peace was accompanied 
by rich presents, and their detention of the prisoners was overlooked upon 
slight apologies, though obviously done to afford opportunities for new treaties 
and additional gifts. The mistaken and perverted humanity of the Quakers 
had softened down their offenses, and its apologies gave them contidence in 
their allegations of injuries received from the whites. These reasons, how- 
ever, are insufficient to account for the wide extension of the Indian confederacy, 
which was probably caused by motives of profound policy. The aborigines 
beheld the French driven out of their whole country, themselves threatened by 
forts commanding the gi'eat lakes and rivers, and thev felt that an immediate 


and mighty effort was necessaiy to restrain the tide which now, unimpeded, 
would spread itself over the continent."* 

The hopes of peace upon which some of the more sanguine relied proved 
delusive. The opening of Braddock's and Forbes' roads prepared the way 
for an easy emigration from the whole east of the mountains, and the Indians 
soon became conscious of the fact that the English, though professing to have 
driven oiit the French for the benefit of the natives, had in reality oulj' done so 
that they themselves might the more successfully take possession of the rich 
hunting-grounds. Something must be done to arrest this influx of population, 
this threatened overrunning of their lands. The fi-ontier settlements were as 
yet weak, and a well-directed effort might drive the whites beyond the mountains, 
if not entirely out of the country. So thought the Indian sages. All that was 
required was a leader equal to the emergency; and, unfortunately for the pio- 
neers, such a leader was found in the person of Pontiac, the chief of the 
Ottawas. Far-seeing and diplomatic to a degree that is truly surprising in a 
rude son of the forest, he not only saw the danger of extermination that 
threatened his people, but he also saw the only remedy, if remedy at all 
existed; and he alone had the ability and influence to apply it. He was ably 
seconded by Kiashuta (a name variously spelled), a chief of the Seneca tribe 
of the Six Nations. Had the execution of the assault on the frontier forts 
and settlements been equal to the planning of it, it is hardly too much to say 
that they would have realized their determination of diiving the palefaces into 
the sea. It was nothing less than inducing all the tribes to forget for the present 
their party strifes ^nd animosities, and combine to strike a blow at the palefaces 
from which they would never be able to recover. So secretly and yet so per- 
fectly was this plan laid that, had it not been for an accidental circumstance, 
to which reference will presently be made, it would have met with such a 
measure of success as would have necessitated a general war against the sav- 
ages to subdue them, and would have retarded settlement for an indefinite 

ilessengers were sent to all the tribes of the west to interest them in the 
scheme of these Napoleons of the western wilderness to destroy the whites 
and leave their settlements a smoldering ruin. The plan was entered into 
with a will by the savages, and a certain day was set apart by those who 
arranged the plans for a general assault. All the forts were to be simultane- 
ously attacked, as well as the settlements, and all individuals whom they could 
come upon ; and with one bold sweep, as it were, raze to the earth everything 
bearing the mark of their doomed enemies. The season of harvest was 
chosen, that the attention of the people at the time might be drawn to their 
crops, as well as that the work of havoc might then be greater by the destruc- 
tion of them. But a circumstance, trifling in itself, in a measure frustrated 
the plan. When the attack was made it was found not to be simultaneous. 

* Egle. 


That on Fort Pitt aiul vicinity was made two or throe days Ijefore the time 
agreed upon for the general attack, although it was done in the belief that 
the day had arrived. The misunderstanding is said to have proceeded from 
the officiouaness of a Delaware squaw, who was desirous that their plans might 
be deranged. At the grand council held by all the tribes for the appointment 
of the dciy for the general uprising and making the necessary arrangements 
for it, a bundle of rods had been put into the hands of every tribe, each bun- 
dle containing as many rods as there were days till the day when the assault 
was to be made. One rod was to be drawn from the bundle every morning, 
and when a single one remained, it was to be the signal for the outbreak. 
The squaw referred to had purposely extracted two or three rods without the 
knowledge of the tribe, thinking it might materially disconcert, if not defeat, 
their project. From this circumstance the attack on Fort Piit and vicinity 
was precipitated, although it was simultaneous on all other posts and settle- 

The Shawanese and Delawares, who were the most affected by the en- 
croachments of the settlers, appear to have been the most active in urging on 
the attack; and they hailed with exxiltation the day when it was to deluge the 
frontier with blood, and bring them sweet I'evenge with a plentiful retm-n of 
scalps so dear to the Indian brave. It would be interesting to pause here and 
inquire into the causes which led to the alienation of these two tribes from the 
English; for of all the nations they had been the most steadfast. It is in gen- 
eral to be attributed to the encroachments of the settlers, the claims of land 
companies and the extortion of the traders. , 

So well planned and formidable was the attack that of all the frontier posts 
only three were able to withstand it — Detroit, Niagara and Pitt. All the 
others fell; some at the first assault, others after a short resistance; and their 
garrisons were butchered on the spot or carried ofP to be tortured with a 
greater refinement of cruelty. Great skill was manifested in the carrying ont 
of the plan of attack. At one place the savages filed off the ends of their gun- 
barrels, that the squaws might be able to conceal them under their blankets: 
then the braves invited the garrison of the fort out to witness a game of ball, 
as they had often done before; the squaws were instructed to place themselves 
near the gate of the fort; and in the course of the game the ball, as it were by 
accident, was thrown near the gate of the fort; the contestants ran after it, got 
their weapons from the squaws and cut off the garrison from entering or get- 
ting their arms for defense, and thus placed them at the mercy of their assail- 
ants. Again, a fort was attacked by stealth in the night or early morning. 
At another time ingress was gained under some pretext, and the gate was 
opened for the assailants. Or, as in the case of Fort Pitt, the stronghold was 
stealthily surrounded, the warwhoop was raised, and an attempt was made to 
carry the works by storm. Mr. Parkman has admirably portrayed the scenes 
of this frontier war in his ' ' Conspiracy of Pontiac, ' ' where the student of our 
history will find the most glowing descriptions in the most classic language. 


The shock of this attack was the most terrible ever felt on the frontier, so 
used to war's alarms. During the French ascendancy raids on the frontier 
were naturally to be expected; but when their power was destroyed a respite 
was looked for. But the backwoodsmen were a sturdy race, and soon recov- 
ered their self-possession, and with it a renewed hatred of the redskins, with the 
determination to wage war on them to extermination. Fort Pitt, the main 
reliance, not only for the western part of the province, but also for the entire 
western country, was placed in a most hazardous position, and serious fears 
were entertained of its ability __to hold the enemy at bay until relief could be 
despatched. And, although a full account of this attack will be found in 
another part of this history, a brief notice will be given in this place to preserve 
the thread of the narrative. The attack on the fort, of which Simon Ecuyer was 
then in command, was made on the afternoon of June 22, 1763, and all com- 
munication was immediately cut off. For several days the fate of the garrison 
was unknown. Fort Ligonier, though a place of no importance in itself, was 
an intervening post, which aided in keeping up communication with the east; 
and its preservation was for that reason very necessary at that juncture. Be- 
sides, large quantities of provisions and ammunition were stored in it at that time, 
which must at all cost be kept out of reach of the Indians. Characteristic 
a2:)athy marked the proceedings of the Pennsylvania assembly; but the com- 
mander at Bedford, or Raystown, as it was then called, despatched a small 
force of picked men to reinforce the garrison at Ligonier, while Col. Henry 
Bouquet was ordered to hasten to the relief of Fort Pitt. It was the most 
perilous period in the history of Western Pennsylvania; and, though a centiu'y 
and a quarter with marvelous changes have elapsed since those eventful days, it 
chills the blood to read of the trials of our grandsires of that time. All hope 
was centered in the reinforcement of Fort Pitt, and no better leader could have 
been chosen for the hazardous undertaking than Col. Bouquet. This point 
for defensive and aggressive warfare was then in the hands of the provincials; 
yet the garrison 'was small and exhausted, and the store of provisions and am- 
munition was so limited as to create serious alarm. Bouquet set out on the 
old Forbes road with the scattered remnant of the Forty-second and the Seven- 
ty-second regiments, lately returned from the West Indies, comprising in all 
scarcely five hundred men, not a few of whom were invalids, who had to be 
conveyed in wagons. These, however, he hoped to leave as garrisons at some 
of the posts on the way. He had also with him a large quantity of provisions 
and ammunition. To his forces were added six companies of rangers, amount- 
ing to two hundred men. The little army pressed forward with all speed, the 
fate of the fort being all the while uncertain. Passing Ligonier he came to 
the headwaters of Turtle creek, a tributary of which, named Bushy run, was 
reached on the 5th of August, after a march of seventeen miles. It being yet 
early in the afternoon, it was determined to halt and rest the troops till toward 
evening, and pass the Turtle creek delile during the ensuing night. "But 


when within half a mile of the creek, the advance guard of the army was sud- 
denly surprised by an ambuscade of Indians opening a brisk tire of musketry 
upon them. Being speedily and tirmly supported, by bringing up the rear, a 
charge of bayonets was ordered, which efpectually routed the savages, when 
they were pursued a short distance. But no sooner was the pursuit given up 
than they returned and renewed the attack with redoubled vigor, while at the 
same moment a most galling fire was opened by parties who had been concealed 
on some high ground that skirted the flanks of the army. A general charge 
with the whole line was now made, which proved effective, and the savages 
were obliged to give way; but withal to no purpose, for no sooner was the 
pursuit again given up than the Indians renewed the attack with their wonted 
ferocity. The action continued without intermission the whole afternoon — a 
confused and irregular attack by the forces of both parties. The enemy, routed 
from one skulking-place, would retreat to another. But Col. Bouquet made it 
an object as much as possible to keep his troops collected, that they might not be 
br.iken in upon and dispersed by the enemy. The battle ended with the day. 
without any decided advantage to either. With the first dawn of morning the 
warvvhoop was again raised, and in a moment there seemed a thousand start- 
ling yells to break in every direction around. At this signal a rush was made 
by the Indians on all sides, but the lines ready formed were not to be taken 
by surprise, and effectually repulsed the savages in every attempt. Betaking 
themselves to the trees, the Indians poured an incessant fire with great precision 
into the little army. Fatigued with the previous day's march and the battle 
of the preceding evening, combined with the exposure to a hot August sun, 
with no water within their reach, they began indeed to be dispirited. Attacked 
with a dogged determination, and tired upon without intermission, they could 
neither retreat nor proceed. It became obvious, therefore, that a desperate 
effort must be made to save the army from total destruction. The commander 
happily bethought himself of a stratagem that might prove successful, which, 
as the troops were still disposed in a circle from the previous night, consisted 
in making a maneuver of the appearance of a precipitate retreat from 
one side, so as to entrap the assailants in pursuit, who would rush as 
thoughtless within the enclosure of lines which lay in ambuscade. The snare 
was set in the direction of the enemy's deadliest tire, and most happily suc- 
ceeded in enticing them from their place of concealment. Before being aware, 
they were under a most destructive tire of the troops; and ere they could retreat 
they received so deadly a charge from the regulars that they fled with the 
utmost precipitation. This secured the victory. The woods around were 
immediately abandoned by the others, and the conflict ceased.* 

The victory gained on this memorable occasion was nothing less than the 
defeat of all the forces that had been besieging Fort Pitt for the last two 
months. They had long been undisputed masters of the country, carrying 


death and destruction wherever they pleased; and they hoped, by defeating 
the forces coming to the relief of the fort, to reduce it also, and carry away 
as rich trophies the scalps of its unfortunate garrison. But they began to feel 
the ability of Bouquet to cope with them, and they were soon to experience it 
still further in the very heart of their own country. Bouquet lost about fifty 
killed and sixty wounded; the savages had some sixty of their best warriors 
killed, with many of their most distinguished chiefs. A few scattered shots 
were tired at Bouquet during the rest of his march, but they amounted to 
little; the Indians were thoroughly disheartened, and no general attack was 
ever again made on the settlements . It must not, however, be imagined that 
an uninterrupted peace began to dawn upon the frontier; far from it. The 
confidence and the main strength of the savages were indeed broken; but they 
continued to be savages with all their cruel instincts and thirst for revenge on 
those who dared to trespass on their broad domain. Still it was not probable 
that they would attack any place in considerable numbers; only a small party 
was likely to fall upon any of the settlements. The foothold of the whites 
was becoming more firm, and the day of their final triumph was dawning 
apace. Still the road to Fort Pitt was a favorite scene of sudden attacks by 
the savages, who, after the Indian fashion, would strike a blow and disappear 
before the settlers could meet to retaliate. For this reason communication 
with the fort was at times almost cut off. 

Settlements would have flourished better had it not been for the supineness 
of the Pennsylvania assembly and the blindness of the Quakers, by whom its 
action was controlled, who seemed more solicitous for the welfare of the 
Indians than for that of the whites. Justly exasperated at this, Gen. Amherst 
wrote : ' ' The conduct of the Pennsylvania Quakers is altogether so infatuated 
and stupidly obstinate that I find no words to express my indignation. ' ' And 
Mr. Parkman says : ' ' The Quakers seemed resolved that they would neither 
defend the people of the frontier nor allow them to defend themselves, vehe- 
mently inveighing against all expeditions to cut off the Indian marauders." 
At length the attitude of the Indians became so threatening, and their attacks 
on the settlements so fi-equent, that in 1764 Gov. John Penn offered, by public 
proclamation, the following rewards for the scalps or the capture of Indians: 
For every male above ten years of age, captm-ed, $150; or for his scalp, being 
killed, $134. For every female or male under ten years old, captured, $130; 
or for the scalp of such female killed, $50. 

The only security for the frontier lay in the striking of such a blow against 
the Indians of the west as would not only inflict a temporary injury, bu.t would 
also be felt for years to come, and inspire them with a lasting sense of the 
prowess of the white man. No person better fitted for leading such an ex- 
pedition could be found than Col. Bouquet, to whom the colony was already 
so deeply indebted, and who had shown himself so capable of coping with the 
Indians under the most vinfavorable circumstances. To no other man does 


Western Pennsylvania owe so much. Such a campaign into the western 
country, the present state of Ohio, was phmned by Gen. Gage, at that time 
the commanch^r-in-chief of the British forces in North America, who deter- 
mined to attack the Indians from two different points. A corps under com- 
mand of Col. Bradstreet was to proceed by the lakes, to act against the Wyan- 
dots, Ottawas, Chippewas and other tribes living on or near Lake Erie, and at 
the same time prevent the Six Nations from forming a junction with those 
tribes, in case they felt disposed to aid them ; while the corps under the com- 
mand of Col. Bouquet should attack the Delawares, Shawanese, Mingoes, 
Mohicans and other nations between the Ohio and the lakes. The two corps 
were to act in concert; but owing to the facilities for transporting troops by 
the lakes, and the distressing delays experienced by Bouquet, Bradstreet 
reached Presqu' Isle before Bouquet arrived at Fort Pitt. But Bradstreet 
was deceived by the specious promises of a delegation of savages, and, with- 
out proper authority, made a treaty with them which Bouquet did not think 
himself obliged to abide by, and which was afterward annulled. 

Col. Bouquet, having with great difficulty at length collected his forces, 
consisting of regulars and provincial troops, with a small number of friendly 
Indians, amounting in all to about fifteen hundred men, and having formed 
his magazines, and provided for the safety of the posts he was to leave behind, 
was ready to march on Wednesday, October 3, 1764. He proceeded with great 
caution down the north bank of the Ohio, omitting nothing that could con- 
tribute to the safety of his men and stores and the success of the expedition, 
familiar as he was with the Indian modes of attack. When near the mouth of 
the Beaver he struck out into the country toward Central Ohio, where some of 
the principal Indian towns stood, which it was his intention to visit, and, if 
necessary, destroy. Another important object of the expedition was the rescu- 
ing of a large number of prisoners, taken by the savages in their frequent 
raids on the frontier. His fb'mness struck terror into the hearts of the Indians, 
who could neither deceive him by promises nor intimidate him by threats, and 
who were unable to cope with him in battle. Holding on his course to the 
termination of his journey, he persisted in refusing to treat with them till he 
had reached it; and not then till they had delivered up all the prisoners, 
for the due fulfillment of which he held some of their messengers as hostages. 
Although not a blow was struck, nor a shot fired, it was the most crushing de- 
feat the Indians had ever experienced. Many were the touching scenes wit- 
nessed in the delivering up of the prisoners; wives recognizing their husbands 
after long years of separation, which had wrought their changes; parents re- 
ceiving once more their captive children whom they had long mourned as lost; 
and others seeking in vain for members of their families, who, alas! were now 
numbered among the dead, having paid the debt of nature at the hands of the 
most cruel torturers the world has ever seen. But there were not wanting 
those who would fain have remained among the Indians, for whom civilized 


society possessed no charms, and who had to bo led away by force. Never 
had that vast wilderness witnessed such a scene. Having taught the savages 
a salutary lesson, impressed them with both the courage and the determination 
of the whites, and extorted from them a promise of preserving the peace, 
which, for once, they were only too willing to make, Bouquet set out on his 
homeward march on the 16th of November, and arrived on the 26th. The 
frontier was now permitted to enjoy a season of comparative security. But 
the pioneers had long since learned not to place too much confidence in the 
pacific dispositions of the savages. It was easy to make a raid on a settlement, 
and, when called to account for it, blame it on the young warriors, who would 
not be advised. This was a favorite way of getting revenge without being 
held responsible; and it was about as true and as honorable as the conduct of 
many of the whites themselves, who would settle on the lands not yet secured 
from the natives, and then offer to buy them, when the natives saw they could 
no longer hold them. There was about as much trickery on the one side as 
on the other. 

Settlers continued to take up lands west of the mountains, although the 
title to them had not as yet been extinguished, and the Indians complained of 
the encroachment to the king and to the governors of Pennsylvania and Vir- 
ginia. As early as 176-1: the king sent instructions to Gov. Penn informing 
him that several persons from his province and also from Virginia had crossed 
the mountains and located on lands lying not far fiom the Ohio, in express 
disobedience to a proclamation, issued on the 7th of the previous October, 
prohibiting all governors from granting warrants for lands to the westward of 
the source of the rivers which flow into the Atlantic, and forbidding all per- 
sons purchasing such lands or settling on them withovit special license fi-om 
the crown. The governor was enjoined to use all the means in his power to 
prevent this emigration, and to cause such persons as had actually settled in 
the trans-Allegheny country to be removed. In compliance with this order. 
Gen. Gage instructed Alexander Mackay, who commanded a detachment at 
Redstone, the present Brownsville, to require the settlers to withdraw from 
the lands they occupied ; and the latter issued an order dated June 22, 1766, 
to all those who had settled west of the mountains, as he informs them : " To 
collect you together and inform you of the lawless and licentious manner 
in which you behave, and to order you all to return to your several provinces 
without delay, which I am to do in the presence of some Indian chiefs now 
along with me." He further informs them that, in case they refuse to comply 
with his demand, he will be compelled to drive them back by force, and confis- 
cate their goods. Gen. Gage wrote to John Penn on the same subject on the 2d 
of September. All their efforts were not, however, successful ; the pioneers 
were not remarkable for their respect for the law, especially when it would 
force them to relinquish their lands and leave them in the possession of the 
natives whom they hated so cordially, and from whom they had suffered so 


much. And Penu was compelled to write to the Earl o£ Shelbourne, January 
'21,1 707, after recouuting what he and the governor of Virginia had attempted: 
' ' I am at a loss to know what more can be done by the civil power. ' ' And 
Gage wrote on the 27th of December of the same year: "You are witness 
how little attention has been paid to the proclamations that have been pub- 
lished, and that even the removing these people from the lands last summer 
by the garrison of Fort Pitt l)as been only a temporary expedient; as they met 
with no punishment, we learn they are again returned to Redstone," etc. 
More stringent measures were now adopted, and on the 3d of February, 1708, 
au act was passed inflicting the penalty of death, without benefit of clergy, 
upon any person settled upon lands not purchased from the Indians, who 
should refuse after a certain number of days' notice to quit the same, or, having 
removed, should return to the same or other unpurchased lands. But it was 
all to no purpose; for those who were removed returned again as soon as the 
troops were withdrawn. 

The Indians, on their part, continued to complain, and a conference was 
held at Pittsburgh in April and May of this year, with the Six Nations, the 
Delawares, Shawanese, Munsies and Mohicans, at which eleven hundred and 
three Indians were present, besides women and children: but nothing effect- 
ual was done to remedy the evil. 

To complicate matters still more the old Ohio Company sought a perfection 
of their grant; the Virginia volunteers of 1754, who had enlisted under a 
proclamation offering liberal Ijouuties of lands, were also clamorous; individ- 
ual grants were urged; even Sir Willian Johnson was ambitious of becoming 
governor of an armed colony south of the Ohio river, upon a model proposed by 
Franklin in 1754; and the plan of another company, led by Thomas Walpole, 
was submitted to the English ministry. Under these circumstances but one 
course could be pursued; the title to the country must be purchased from the 
Indians. Accordingly, on the 24th of October, 1768, a council was held at 
Fort Stanwis, now Rome, N. Y., with the Six Nations and their confed- 
erates, and also with some independent tribes, although, as a matter of fact, 
it was a conference with the Iroquois exclusively, as none others signed the 
articles finally agreed upon. The general government was represented by Sir 
William Johnson, and there were commissioners present from New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania and Virginia. The result of the treaty was that the Indian 
claim was extinguished to all the country of the Six Nations lying to the east- 
ward of the Allegheny river, as far north as what is now Kittanning, and all 
lying to the southward and eastward of the Ohio from Pittsburgh down to the 
mouth of the Tennessee river, "and extending eastward from every part of the 
said line as far as the lands betweeen the said line and the purchased lands 
and settlements," except such tracts in Pennsylvania as had previously been 
sold by those Indians. The lands in Pennsylvania east of that line were at 
the same time purchased by that province. These embraced, among others. 


the first land lying within the limits of Allegheny county the Indian title to 
which had been extinguished. The way was now clear for the march of civ- 
lization to the Allegheny and Ohio, from Kittanning soath as far as settlers 
were prepared to go. 

" The title being thus acquired, measures were immediately taken to pre- 
pare the newly purchased lands for sale. On the 23d of February, 1769, an 
advertisement was published for general information that the landoffice would 
be opened on the 3d day of the ensuing April, at 10 o'clock A. M to receive 
applications from all persons inclined to take up lands in the new purchase 
upon the terms of five pounds sterling per hundred acres, and one penny per 
acre, per annum, quitreut. This quitrent was afterward abolished by the act 
vesting in the commonwealth the title of the Penns, commonly called the 
divesting act, passed on the 27th of November, 1779. In Washington county, 
and in portions of Allegheny, west of the Monongahela river, many settlements 
were also made under Virginia titles, so that there was a raj)id increase of the 
population from 1770 to 1775. Much of the very best land in that quarter is 
held by titles based on Virginia entries; "which, by the compromise of 1779, 
are recognized as equally good as Pennsylvania warrants. A large portion of 
the land along Chartier's creek is thus held by entries between 1769 and 
1779."* It is clear, however, from the journal of George Washington's tour 
down the Ohio in 1770, that no settlements had been made up to that time on 
the south side of that stream below a point only three miles west of Pittsburgh. 

But another dif3ficulty, the rumblings of which had long been heard, now 
arose, and disturbed the tranquillity of the territory around the headwaters of 
the Ohio, the tracing of which will form the subject of the next chapter. 



Tkkritory Grants— The Ohio Company' — Earl of Dunjiore— .Svbdivisions 
OF Virginia and the Disputed Territory— Dr. .John Connolly— Fort 
Pitt the Bone of Contention— The Manor of Kittanning— Mason and 

IT was stated in a previous chapter that King James I, in 1609, granted to a 
company by royal charter a large tract of country, including the territory, 
among others, now embraced within the limits of Southwestern Pennsylvania; 
and that Charles II included the same territory in his charter to William 
Penn, in 1681. Hence arose a dispute regarding the boundary between the 

* Craig's " History of Pittsburgh." 


two grants, which grew more interesting and bitter in the country began to be 
settled and the value of the property became better known. The purpose of 
this chapter will be to trace the history of that dispute from its inception to its 
final settlement, with such reference as may be necessary to questions of minor 
importance connected with it. 

The boundary question iirst began to come into prominence when it became 
necessary for the colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia to take active measures 
to secui'e the valley of the Ohio against the encroachments of the French, in 
the middle of the last century; and Virginia took the initiative, as we have 
seen, although the charter of the company to which the territory had been 
granted was dissolved, and the land had reverted to the crown. So long as 
the French war continued the colonies were too busily engaged in striving to 
repel the common enemy to consume much time in disputing among them- 
selves, though even then they were not in perfect harmony; and when the 
French were finally expelled troubles with the Indians engaged no little of 
their attention for many years. The way was at length clear for settlements 
east of the Ohio and Allegheny ri\»ers; Pittsburgh became the center of the 
Indian trade, and of those who came out many began to take up lands, more 
especially along the military routes, in the valleys of the Monongahela and 
Youghiogheny, and in the vicinity of Pittsburgh. The Ohio Company, too, 
revived its claim, and settlers moved onto the territory embraced within its 
grant. In general it may be said that the settlers were, for the most part, 
from Virginia, while the Indian traders were Pennsylvanians; and that while 
it was to the interest of the former to drive the natives back, exterminate .or 
get rid of them by any means, and the more summary the better, the latter 
wished, on the contrary, to cultivate friendly relations with them. This gave 
rise to a conflict of interests; and, though the Virginians seemed to have the 
better of it in the possession of the lands, the Pennsylvanians held the center 
of trade and population with its celebrated fort, which commanded the water- 
courses, a matter of the greatest importance in those early days. But in the 
nature of things the Indian trade must diminish, as the aborigines retired 
before the advance of civilization; the settlers must multiply, and every day 
must bring nearer the inevitable conflict between the two colonies regarding 
the boundary line. The conflict was, however, precipitated by a circumstance 
which was in itself an evidence of peace and security. Without trenching on 
the history of Fort Pitt, which belongs to another part of these annals, it may 
here be stated, briefly, that Maj. Edmondson, who then commanded the little 
garrison of Fort Pitt, received orders from the commander-in-chief, in Octo- 
ber, 1772, to dismantle the fort and withdraw. 

Unfortunately for the peace of the colony, Virginia at that time possessed 
a governor who was moi-e remarkable for his avarice than he was for his patri- 
otism. The Earl of Dunmore was appointed governor of the colony in July, 
1771; and no soDner was he in possession of authority than he began to use it 


in taking np lands for himself. He may bo regarded as the prince of land- 
grabbers in North America. Says Mr. Bancroft: "No royal governor showed 
more rapacity in the use of official power than Lord Dunmore. He reluctantly 
left New York, where, during his short career" — of less than a year and a 
half — "he had acquired lifty thousand acres, and, himself acting as chancellor, 
was preparing to decide in his own court, in his own favor, a large and un- 
founded claim which he had preferred against the lieutenant-governor. Upon 
entering on the government of Virginia, his passion for land and fees out- 
weighing the proclamation of the king and the reiterated and most positive 
instructions from the secretary of state, he advanced the claims of the colony 
in the west, and was himself a partner in two immense purchases of land from 
the Indians in Southern Illinois. In 1773 his agents, the Bullets, made 
surveys at the Falls of the Ohio, and a part of Louisville and of the towns 
opposite Cincinnati are now held under his warrant. The area of the Ancient 
Dominion extended with his cupidity. ' ' So great was the antipathy of the 
Virginians to him that in a few years he thought himself only too fortunate in 
escaping their fury with his life; and Washington, who was not given to the 
utterance of ultra opinions, said, in December, 1775: "Nothing less than 
depriving him of life or liberty will secure peace to Virginia. ' ' Such was the 
man whose machinations, seconded by an unprincipled tool, were to bring 
upon Western Pennsylvania the last serious distiirbance to which it was des- 
tined to be exposed. At the same time he involved all Northwestern Virginia 
and Southwestern Pennsylvania in an Indian war which forced the settlers 
who were so fortunate as to escape with their lives to retire to the east of the 
mountains from the valley of the upper Monongahela and the adjacent coun- 
try, and which seriously interfered with the Indian trade of Pittsburgh. 

Having given the general outline of the territories claimed by the two 
provinces, and the grants upon which those claims were based, it will be nec- 
essary, before entering upon a narrative of the events which precipitated the 
adjustment of the dispute, to glance at the subdivisions of the territory made 
by the provinces, prior to that date, irrespective of the rights of each other. 

It is difficult to determine the exact boundaries of the subdivisions of that 
part of the country made by Virginia; but the whole would appear to have 
been included in Spottsylvania county, which was erected May 1, 1721. In 
1734 this county was divided, and the western portion of it was formed into 
Orange county. The western part of it, however, soon came to be known as 
the district of West Augusta; but just when, or for what reason, is not ascer- 
tained, only that it was prior to September, 1776. In October of that year 
the legislature of Virginia passed an act to ascertain the boundary between 
Augusta county and the district of West Aiigusta, in the preamble of which it is 
declared that, among other tracts, " all the territory lying to the westward of 
the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania shall be deemed, and is hereby 
declared to be, within the district of West Augusta. " The name Pennsylvania 


is here t<iken, of course, as Virginia then understood it. By another act, to take 
effect November Nth of the same year, 177(5, the district was subdivided into 
three counties, Youghioj^bania, Ohio and Monongalia, to the first of which the 
territoiy embraced in Allegheny county belonged. This division remained 
unchanged until the boundary dispute was finally settled. But after that time 
Virginia retained the names of Ohio and Monongalia for two of hor western 
counties, now in West Virginia, and the name of Youghioghania was dropped, 
which has, for that reason, been called ' ' the county. ' ' 

With regard to the subdivisions of the disputed territory made by Pennsyl- 
vania: As early as January 27, 1750, Cumberland county, the sixth county of 
the province, was formed, which included "all and singular the lands lying 
within the province of Pennsylvania, to the westward of the Susquehanna, and 
northward and westward of the county of York," to which the claims of the 
Indians had been up to that time extinguished. To this was added the territory 
acquired by the treaty of 1758. As yet the Indians had not relinquished their 
claim to any part of the territory now included within the limits of our coimty. 
By the treaty of Fort Stanwix, of October 24, 1768, already referred to. the 
Six Nations ceded a large tract of country, including all that part of Allegheny 
county oast and south of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, from Kittanning 
down, which became, for the time being, a part of Cumberland county. It 
may be here remarked, parenthetically, that, in the study of our early history, 
it is necessary to bear in mind that almost all the counties lirst formed have 
been divided and subdivided until they are only the merest fi'actions of what 
they were originally. March 9. 1771, Cumberland county was divided by the 
erection of Bedford county, which included all the western and southwestern 
parts of the province already' secured from the aborigines; and consequently that 
part of Allegheny county included in the treaty of 1768. A further subdi- 
vision of this territory was made by the establishment of Westmoreland, Feb- 
ruary 26, 1773, which included all the western part of the province east and 
south of the rivers. Washington county was formed from Westmoreland by 
an act of the legislature, dated March 28, 1781, and included all the territory 
west of the Monongahela and south of the Ohio rivers. No further division 
of counties was made until after the settlement of the boundary question. 

In the division of Westmoreland county into townships, the tract of coun- 
try now engaging our attention was included in Hemptield and Pitt townships, 
but principally in the latter, which included the incipient city of Pittsburgh. 
Hempfield took in all that part of Allegheny on the east side of the Youghio- 
gheny river fi'om its movith to the county line. The boundaries of Pitt town- 
ship are thus described: "Beginning at the mouth of the Kiskiminetas and 
running down the Alleghenj- river to its junction with the Monongahela, then 
down the Ohio to the western limits of the province, thence up the western 
boundary {i. e. , south) to the line of Springfield township" (which was a line 
drawn due west from the mouth of Bedstone creek to the western boundary of 


the province), " thence with that line to the mouth of Redstone creek, thence 
down the Monongahela to the movith of the Youghiogheny, thence with the 
line of Hempfield to the mouth of Brush run, thence with the line of said town- 
ship to the beginning," which was a straight line from that point to the mouth 
of the Kiskiminetas. 

Fort Pitt was evacuated by the British forces, as we have seen, in October, 
1772, and soon afterward it was occupied by forces sent from Virginia by Lord 
Dunmore under command of Dr. John Connolly. Says Mr. Craig, in his 
"History of Pittsburgh: " " Early in 1774 Dr. John Connolly, a Pennsylvanian 
by birth, but a partisan and friend of Lord Dunmore, came here from Virginia 
with authority from that nobleman to take possession of the fort, calling it Fort 
Dunmore, and issued a proclamation calling the militia together on the SOth of 
January, 1774. For so doing, Arthur St. Clair, a magistrate of Westmoreland 
county. Pa., issued a warrant against him, and had him committed to jail at 
Hanna's Town, which was then the seat of justice for all this country. Con- 
nolly was soon released by entering bail for his appearance. He then went to 
Staunton, and was sworn in as a justice of the peace of Augusta county, Va., 
in which, as it was alleged, the country around Pittsburgh was embraced. 
Toward the latter part of March he returned to this place, with both civil and mili- 
tary authority, to put the laws of Virginia in force. About the 5th of April the 
court assembled at Hanna's Town. . . . Soon after, Connolly, with about 
one hundred and lifty men, armed and with colors flying, appeared there; placed 
sentinels at the door of the courthouse, who refused to admit the magistrates, 
unless with the consent of their commander. A meeting then took place 
between Connolly and the magistrates, in which the former stated that he had 
come there in fulfillment of his promise to the sheriff, but denied the authority 
of the coiirt, and declared that the magistrates had no right to hold a court. 
He added, however, that, to prevent confusion, he agreed that the magistrates 
might act as a court in all matters which might be submitted to them l^y the 
acquiescence of the people, until he should receive instructions to the contrary. ' ' 
This compromise, however, was of short duration, for, on the 8th of April, the 
justices returned to Pittsburgh, where most of them resided, and were arrested 
the next day by order of Connolly. They were soon released, but on the 
19th of April intelligence of the arrest of the justices reached the governor of 
Pennsylvania; and on the 21st, at a meeting of the council, it was determined 
to send two commissioners to Virginia to represent to the government there the 
ill consequences that might ensue if an immediate stop was not put to the dis- 
orders which then existed in the west, and to consult upon the most proper 
means for establishing peace and good order in that quarter. James Tilghman 
and Andrew Allen were appointed, with instructions, first, to request the gov- 
ernor of Virginia to unite with the proprietaries of Pennsylvania to petition his 
majesty in council to appoint commissioners to run the boundary line, the 
expense to be equally borne by the two colonies; second, to use every exertion 


to induce the governor to agree to some temporary line, but in no event to 
assent to any line which would give Virginia jurisdiction of the country on the 
east side of the Monongahela river. The commissioners arrived at Williams- 
burg on the 19th of May, and on the 21st an oral conference was held with the 
governor, in which he expressed his willingness to join in an application to the 
king to appoint commissioners to settle the boundary, but also declared that 
Virginia would defray no part of the expenses. As to the temporary line, he 
desired the commissioners to make their proposition in writing. In compliance 
with this request they, on the 23d, addressed him a letter containing the fol- 
lowing proposition: " That a survey be taken by surveyors, to be appointed by 
the two governments, with as much accuracy as may serve the present purpose, 
of the courses of the Delaware, from the mouth of Christiana creek, or near it, 
where Mason and Dixon's line intersects the Delaware, to that part of said river 
which is in the latitude of Fort Pitt, and as much further as may be needed for 
the present purpose. That the line of Mason and Dixon be extended to the 
distance of five degrees; a line, or lines, corresponding to the courses of the 
Delaware be run to the river Ohio, as nearly as may be at the distance of five 
degrees fi'om said river in every part." And that extension of Mason and 
Dixon's line, and the line or lines corresponding to the courses of the Delaware, 
be taken as the line of jurisdiction, until the boundary can be run and settled 
by royal authority. Lord Dunmore, in his reply, dated May 24th, contended 
that the western boundary could not be of " such an inconvenient and difficult- 
to-beascertained shape" as it would be if made to correspond to the courses 
of the Delaware. He thought it should be a meridian line, at the distance of 
five degrees from the Delaware, on the forty-second degree of latitude. He 
further insisted that, unless the commissioners jaroposed some line that favored 
the Virginians as much as the Pennsylvanians, "he saw that no accommoda- 
tion could be entered into previous to the king's decision." The commission- 
ers, in their reply of the 26th, say that for the purpose of producing harmony 
and peace, ' ' we shall be willing to recede from oui' charter bounds so as to 
make the river Monongahela, from the line of Mason and Dixon, the western 
boundary of jurisdiction, which would at once settle oiu- present dispute, with- 
out the great trouble and expense of running lines, or the inconvenience of 
keeping the jurisdiction in suspense." On the same day Lord Dunmore 
replied in a very characteristic and haughty manner, remarking, as his final 
conclusion, "Your resolution with regard to Fort Pitt puts an entire stop to 
further treaty;" and the commissioners in their turn replied, the next day, 
that ' ' the determination of his lordship not to relinquish Fort Pitt puts a 
period to the treaty. ' ' The possession of Fort Pitt was the gi'eat difliculty in 
the way of an agreement. Both wanted it; the Pennsylvanians for purposes 
of trade and defense; the governor of Virginia for the advancement, it appears 
as certain, of objects of personal ambition. Says the accurate historian from 
whose narrative the above has been taken in a great measure: "After a careful 

lA^^^^ '^o^nrwiyi^ 


perusal of this correspondence, and an attentive consideration of Lord Dun- 
more's conduct in 1774 and 1775, the conclusion is forced on the mind that he 
was a very weak and arbitrary man, or else that the suspicions then entertained 
that he wished to promote ill-will and hostility between Pennsylvanians and 
Virginians, as well as between the Indians and the whites, was well founded. ' ' 
This negotiation having failed, Connolly continued to domineer and cany 
things with a high hand in the country around the head of the Ohio, so much 
so that iEneas Mackay, a prominent citizen in this part of the province, wrote 
to Gov. Penn: " The deplorable state of afPairs in this part of your government 
is truly distressing. We are robbed, insulted, and dragooned by Connolly and 
his militia in this place and its environs. ' ' 

The people were driven to the last extremity, and though a hardy race, and 
accustomed to take their own part, they had no court to which an appeal could 
be made, and were too weak to have recourse to arms. The trade upon which 
the town of Pittsburgh especially depended was utterly prostrated: and the 
traders contemplated a number of plans for their relief. One of these was to 
surround the town with a stockade; but this was hardly practicable so near the 
fort, where Connolly's men could harass them all the while. A second was to 
build another town on the manor of Kittanning, about two miles below the 
present tovrai of that name, where Manorville now stands. The manor of Kit- 
tanning did not, as many suppose, embrace either the Indian or the more 
receht town of that name, but extended north on the east bank of the Allegheny 
river fi-om the mouth of Crooked creek to about the middle of the present 
Manorville. Active measures were taken for the carrying out of this intention, 
as appears from the proceedings of the Pennsylvania council, as well as from 
letters addressed to it and the governor from the western part of the province. 
It was the intention to name the town Appleby. This name was probably se- 
lected because of its being the name of the principal town in Westmoreland 
county. England. The following extracts from state papers show how far the 
project was carried before it was abandoned. At a council held at Philadel- 
phia on the 4th of August. 1774, "the governor laid before the board two let- 
ters, which he received within these three days from Capt. St. Clair, at Ligo- 
nier, dated the 22d and 29th of July, with sundry papers inclosed relative to 
Indian and other afPairs in Westmoreland, and the same being read and con- 
sidered, the council advised the governor to order a town to be immediately laid 
out in the proprietary manor of Kittanning, for the accommodation of the 
traders and other inhabitants of Pittsburgh, who, by Capt. St. Clair's advices, 
would be under the necessity of removing from the town on account of the 
oppressive proceedings of the Virginians. ' ' And on August 6th of the same year 
Gov. Penn wrote St. Clair: " I am now to acquaint you that I approve of the. 
measure of laying out a town in the proprietary manor of Kittanning, to 
accommodate the traders and other inhabitants who may choose to reside there, 
and therefore inclose you an order for that purpose. ' ' Measures were imme- 


diately takeu for carrying the plan into execution; for on the 15th of Septem- 
ber, as we learn from his deposition, in which he relates how he was met aud 
takeu prisoner by the emissaries of Connolly, and treated with great harshness, 
George Ashton says: "On the 24th day of August, 177-t, as I was returning 
fi-om conveying Mr. James McFarlane, who set off before day with eight horse- 
loads of dry goods to be taken to the new town to be built at the Kittanning, on 
the proprietaries' manor, and two hors(^-loads of flour and salt for the use of 
the Pennsylvania troops to be stationed there," etc. . . "The people 

of the town were to meet Capt. St. Clair and a party of soldiers on the Monday 
following at the Kittanning and proceed to building a store and dwelling-house, 
lint the horses were stopped and turned back, and Mr. McCully seized and 
brought prisoner." The Indians, too, especially the Delawares, were informed 
by St. Clair of the erection of the new trading-post, as he writes to Gov. Penn 
under date of August 25th: " At the same time I acquainted them with your 
orders for erecting a trading-place at the Kittanning, for which they are very 
thankful, as they are in want of many things already, aud can not come to 
Pittsburgh to pui-chase, and a number of them will probably be there on Mon- 
day next, which is the time I have appointed for laying out the town. Mr. 
Speare and Mr. Butler set out this day with their goods and other effects. ' ' 
But the fall of the Dunmore government soon afterward left the traders more 
freedom at Pittsburgh, and rendered another post unnecessary. 

Connolly continued, however, to distui'b the peace of the country. In 
November of this year, 1774, and in the following February he went to 
Hanna's Town with an armed force and released certain prisoners detained 
there; and about the same time William Crawford, the president judge of 
Westmoreland county, renounced his allegiance to Pennsylvania and joined 
the Virginians. 

But Dunmore was becoming so odious to the Virginians that his power was 
fast waning — so much so that on the 8th of June, 1775, he was obliged to take 
refuge on a man-of-war, where he was soon afterward joined by Connolly. 
Patriotic citizens of both provinces lamented the continual disturbances, which 
so seriously affected trade and settlement, and exposed the pioneers to the 
incursions of the natives, without their being able to unite in repelling them ; 
and on the 25th of July, 1775, the delegates in Congress, including Thomas 
Jefferson, Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin, united in a circular urging 
the people to mutual forbearance. Yet on the 7th of August the Virginia 
provincial convention passed a resolution to the effect ' ' that Capt. John 
Neville be directed to march with his company of one hundred, and take pos- 
session of Fort Pitt." This action was wholly unexpected by the Pennsyl- 
•vanians, who had hoped for a respite during the absence of Connolly, and it 
created considerable confusion, exasperating all parties, who were prepared to 
entertain more friendly feelings for each other, and preventing the delegates 
fi'om Congress, who were at Fort Pitt to hold a conference with the Indians, 


from doing so. In the meantime the first clouds of war between the colonies 
and Great Britain began to appear above the horizon, and Connolly, true to 
his instincts, was planning a scheme by which Fort Pitt would become an 
important point from which British troops could operate under his direction. 
But the authorities could no longer permit so turbulent a spirit to be at liberty, 
and, accordingly, on the 22d of November, he and two of his associates were 
arrested at Frederick, Md. His papers were seized, his machinations were dis- 
covered and exposed, and by order of Congress he was taken to Philadelphia for 
greater security, and there kept in prison. In time he was released, and after 
the war of the Revolution he resided in Canada, where he enjoyed the eoutideuce 
and liberality of the English government, and where we shall leave him. 

The boundary dispute was still the vexed question which was daily crying 
more loudly for adjustment. Both colonies were anxious to have it settled, 
the only difficulty in the way being the natural unwillingness of both the con- 
testants to make concessions. 

From the foundation of the province of Pennsylvania to the year 1768 the 
dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland had been carried on with such 
feeling that bloodshed not unfrequently resulted; when at length such an 
agreement was entered into by the two colonies as promised a final settlement 
of the long-standing dispute. Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, who drew 
the line which was destined to play a far more important part in American 
history than they could have expected in the wildest flights of their imagina- 
tion, arrived fi'om England November 15, 1763, and commenced their work in 
December. The line begins at the northeast corner of Maryland, in latitude 
39° 43' 26.3", and extends westward two hundred and twenty-four miles from 
the Delaware river. Here the surveyors were compelled to stop, owing to the 
hostility of the Indians, and the line remained unfinished until November, 
1782, when it was completed by Col. Alexander McLean, of Pennsylvania, and 
Joseph Neville, of Virginia. At the end of every fifth mile of the original line 
a stone was planted graven with the arms of the Penn family on the one side 
and of Lord Baltimore on the other. The intermediate miles were marked 
with smaller stones having a P on the north side and an M on the south side. 
All these stones were sent from England. Mason and Dixon, having prose- 
cuted their work as far as it was possible, returned to Philadelphia on Decem- 
ber 26, 1767. The line was tested by astronomical observations, and perma- 
nently marked, in 1874; and in 1849 the former surveys were revised, and 
found correct in all important points. So much for this line, the running of 
which settled the long and bitter dispute between the two colonies ; but, though 
it settled nothing regarding the dispute between the provinces of Pennsylvania 
and Virginia, yet it exercised an influence on that question, as will presently be 
seen. The proprietaries of Pennsylvania claimed, under the royal grant, a 
territory three degrees of latitude in width — that is, in the words of the charter, 
"from the beginning of the fortieth degree of north latitude" to "the begin- 


ning of the tbree-and-fortieth ilegrec of uorth latitude." They contended 
that tho beginning of the first degree of north latitude is the equator, and the 
beginning of the second degree is at the end of the first, or latitude 1° north, 
which is certainly correct; therefore, that "the beginning of the fortieth 
degree is at the ending of the thirty-ninth degree, or latitude 39° north. 
They therefore claimed as their boundary against Virginia the parallel of 39° 
north, which was beyond question in harmony with the terms of their charter. 
If there was a mistake, it was made by the king who granted the charter, not 
by them. This claim, however, would have given to Pennsylvania a strip 43' 
26 " in width south of Mason and Dixon's line, in that part west of the western 
boundary of Maryland. But Virginia, on the contrary, claimed that the 
boundary between the two states should be the parallel of 40° north latitude. 
This would have given to Virginia a strip 16' 34" wide north of the present 
state boundary, along the southern boundary of Greene and Fayette counties, 
as far east as the western limits of Maryland. 

Another proposition for the settlement of the boundary dispiite is found in 
n resolution passed by the Virginia legislature on the ISth of December, 1776, 
which authorized the Virginia delegates in the Continental Congress to propose 
the following plan: "The meridian line di-awn from the head of the Poto- 
mac to the northwest angle of Maryland be extended due north until it inter- 
sects the latitude of forty degrees, and fi'om thence the southern boundary 
shall be extended on the said fortieth degree of latitude until the distance of 
five degrees of longitude fi-om the Delaware shall be accomplished thereon, 
and fi'om the said point five degrees, either in every point, according to the 
meanderings of the Delaware, or (which is perhaps easier and better for both) 
from j^roper points or angles on the Delaware, with intermediate straight lines. " 
This was identical with the plan before mentioned, by which Pennsylvania 
would lose a strip of considerable width north of Mason and Dixon's line, 
along the southern boundary of the western part of the province. In fact it 
was almost identical with the proposition made, by Gov. Penn for a serpentine 
line, corresponding to the courses of the Delaware, for the western boundary, 
which Lord Dunmore very sensibly thought was not practicable. But the 
long-drawn struggle was not destined to be settled for a few years, though both 
provinces were suffering from its continuance. The war of the Revolution, 
too, was engaging their attention and seriously affecting the western country, 
as will be seen more at length hereafter. Under these circumstances it is not 
to be wondered at that the settlers felt anxious about a controversy that, it 
was feared, and not without reason, would exercise an influence on the titles to 
their lands. The administration of justice was no less affected by the anoma- 
lous state of affairs where two independent commonwealths claimed and exer- 
cised jurisdiction over the same territory' and the same people. Something 
must be done, and done without delay. 

The first practical oiBcial action toward a definite and final settlement was 


taken in 1779, by the appointment of George Bryan, John Ewing and David 
RittenLouse, on the part of Pennsylvania, and Dr. James Madison and Rob- 
ert Andrews, on the part of Virginia, as commissioners to meet in conference 
and determine the boundary. These commissioners met, Angust 31, 1779, at 
Baltimore, where they made and subscribed to the following agreement: "We 
[naming the commissioners] do hereby mutually, in behalf of our respective 
states, ratify and confirm the following agreement, viz. : To extend Mason 
and Dixon's line due west five degrees of longitude, to be completed from the 
river Delaware, for the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, and that a merid- 
ian drawn from the western extremity thereof to the northern limit of said 
state be the western boundary of said state forever. ' ' 

This agreement of the commissioners was confirmed — upon certain con- 
ditions as to land-titles — by the Virginia legislature June '23, 1780, and by 
the general assembly of Pennsylvania on the 23d of September of the same 
year. The southern boundary, as agreed to by the commissioners, was run 
later, as has been said; and all that remained to complete the boundary of our 
state was the tracing of the western line. And while we are on the subject it 
may as well be told, and further reference to it avoided. On the 9th of April, 
1785, instructions were issued to Dr. John Ewing and Mr. Hutchins to run 
and mark the western boundary. Dr. Ewing, being unable to accept, resigned 
April 18th, of the same year, and Mr. Hutchins being absent, David Ritten- 
house and Andrew Porter took their places. They, with the Virginia com- 
missioners, Andrew Ellicott and Joseph Neville, reported, on the 23d of 
August, that they had carried the meridian line from the southwest corner of 
Pennsylvania northward to the Ohio river, and marked it by cutting a vista 
over all the principal hills, and felling and deadening trees through the lower 
grounds, and placing stones marked on the east side P, and on the west side 
V, accurately on the meridian. Here the duty of the Virginia commissioners 
ended, and the boundary dispute was put to its final rest. The line from the 
Ohio to the northwestern corner of the state was yet to be run, and as it was 
for a time the boundary also of Allegheny county, mention should be made of 
it. By a resolution of May 5, 1785, David Rittenhouse, Andrew Porter and 
Andrew Ellicott were appointed commissioners to continue the western bound- 
ary north of the Ohio to the northwestern corner of the state. They began 
their survey at the Ohio on the 23d of August. After carrying the line north- 
ward about forty or fifty miles they suspended work until the following spring; 
and the siirvey of the remaining portion of the line to Lake Erie was made by 
Gen. Porter and Alexander McLean. By a letter dated at Shenango creek, 
25th of June, 1786, they informed the council that they began the extension 
of the boundary line on the 19th of June. On the 23d of September they 
reached the point 1-13 miles from the southwest corner of the state, and on the 
waters falling into Lake Erie. On Friday, September 15th, they came to 
Lake Erie, a distance of 155 miles and 226 perches from the southwest corner 


of the state. The angle formed with the northern boundary fell a short 
distance within the waters of Lake Erie. The Erie triangle had not as yet 
been purchased, and the state had no harbor on the lake. Thus it was that 
the boundaries of the western part of the state were finally run, after all the 
difficulties presented by the Virginians and the Indians had been overcome, 
and the Keystone State was settled in the possession of her territory. 



News of the Battle of Lexington — Meetings at Hannastowx and Pitts- 
burgh— Fort Pitt in the Struggle— Gen. Hand— Gen. McIntosh— Regi- 
ments Ordered to Fort Pitt— Concentration of Storehouses at Fort 
Pitt— Fort McIntosh- Fort Laurens. 

SETTLEMENTS continued to multiply in Western Pennsylvania, notwith- 
standing the disturbances through which the territory was passing. Prob- 
ably not less than fifty houses, says a well-informed writer,* constituted the 
town of Pittsburgh at the commencement of 1774. From Fort Pitt far up the 
Monongahela, and along many of its branches, were settlements. Upon the 
eastern tributaries of the Ohio, and down that stream for more than a hundi'ed 
miles, were to be seen cabins of fi'ontiersmen ; but not a single settler had yet 
ventured across that river. Small cultivated fields broke in on the monotony 
of the wilderness for a short distance up the east side of the Allegheny from 
the forks, while toward the mountains Forbes' road was, in general, the north- 
ern limit of civilized habitations. Had the frontiersmen cared much for the 
majesty of the law the troubles regarding the boundaries of the province 
would have caused them anxiety ; but, as it was, the only matter that troubled 
them was the title to their lands, and in this they tnisted to future develop- 
ments; still the trouble resulted in checking settlements to some extent. But 
scarcely had Dunmore and Connolly passed from the scene when a more for- 
midable struggle demanded their attention, which was nothing less than the 
severing of their attachment to the mother-country; and right nobly did they 
face it. The day of the Revolution began to dawn. No sooner had intel- 
ligence been received of the battle of Lexington than the fires of patriotism 
were lighted west of the mountains. On the 16th of May, 1775, a meeting 
was held at Hannastown, composed, it may be supposed, entirely of Pennsyl- 
vanians, of which the following interesting report has come down to us. and is 
worthy to be preserved to posterity: 

*C. W. Butterfield, "The Washington-Irvine Correspondence." 


At a general meeting of the inhabitants of Westmoreland, held at Hannastown the 
16th day of May, 1775, for taking into consideration the very alarming situation of the 
country, occasioned by the dispute with Great Britain: 

Resolved, unanimously. That the parliament of Great Britain, by several late acts, 
have declared the inhabitants of the Massachusetts Bay to be in rebellion, and the minis- 
try, by endeavoring to enforce these acts, have endeavored to reduce the said inhabitants 
to a more wretched state of slavery than ever before existed in any state or country. 
Not content with violating their constitutional and chartered privileges, they would strip 
them of the rights of humanity, exposing their lives to the wanton and unpunishable 
sport of a licentious soldiery, and depriving them of the means of subsistence. 

Resolved, unanimously, That there is no reason to doubt but the same system of 
tyranny and oppression will — should it meet with success in Massachusetts Bay — be 
extended to other parts of America. It is, therefore, become the indispensable duty of 
ever}' American, of every man who has any public virtue or love of his country, or any 
bowels for posterity, bj- every means which God has put in his power, to resist and oppose 
the execution of it; that for us we will be ready to oppose it with our lives and our fortunes. 
And the better to enable us to accomplish it, we will immediately form ourselves into a 
militar_y body, to consist of companies to be made up out of the several townships under the 
following association, which is declared to be the Association of Westmoreland Count}'. 

Possessed with the most unshaken loyalty and fidelity to his majesty. King George 
the Third, whom we acknowledge to be our lawful and rightful king, and who we wish 
may be the beloved sovereign of a free and happy people throughout the whole British 
Empire, we declare to the world that we do not mean by this association to deviate from 
loyalty, which we hold it our boundeu dut}' to observe; but, animated with the love of 
liberty, it is no less our duty to maintain and defend our just rights — which with sorrow 
we have seen of late wan tonlj- violated in many instances by a wicked ministry and a 
corrupted parliament — and transmit them entire to our posterity, for which we do agree 
and associate together; 

1st. To arm and form ourselves into a regiment or regiments, and choose officers to 
command us in such proportions as shall be thought necessary. 

'3d. We will, with alacrity, endeavor to make ourselves masters of the manual exer- 
cises, and such evolutions as may be necessary to enable us to act in a body with concert; 
and to that end we will meet at such times and places as shall be appointed, either for the 
companies or the regiment, by the officers commanding each when chosen. 

:^d. That should our country be invaded by a foreign enemy, or should troops be 
sent from Great Britain to enforce the late arbitrary acts of its parliament, we will cheer- 
fully submit to military discipline, and to the utmost of our power resist and oppose them, 
or either of them, and will coincide with any plan that may be formed for the defense of 
America in general, or Pennsylvania in particular. 

4th. That we do not wish or desire any innovation, but only that things may be 
restored to and go on in the same way as before the era of the stamp act, when Boston 
grew great and America was happy. As a proof of this disposition, we will quietly sub- 
mit to the laws by which we have been accustomed to be governed before that period, 
and will, in our several or associate capacities, be ready when called on to assist the civil 
magistrate to carry the same in execution. 

■5th. That when the British parliament shall have repealed their late obnoxious 
statutes, and shall recede from their claim to tax us, and make laws for us in every 
instance; or some general plan of union and reconciliation has been formed and accepted 
b}' America, this our association shall be dissolved; and to the observance of it we bind 
ourselves by everything dear and sacred amongst men. 

On the same day a meeting of the inhabitants of Augusta county, around 
the headwaters of the Ohio, was held at Pittsbitrgh, at which a ccimmittee was 


appointed for tho district. Th(> following report of tbe proceedings of the com- 
mittee bns come down to lis: 

The foregoing gentlemen met in committee, and resolved that John Campbell, .John 
Ormsby. Kdward Ward, Thomas Smallman, Samuel Sample, John Anderson, and Ueve- 
reu.\ Smith, or any four of them, be a standing committee and have full powers to meet 
at such times as they shall judge necessary, and, in case of an emergency, to call the com- 
mittee of this district together; and shall be vested with the same power and authority 
as the other standing committee and committees of correspondence are in the other 
counties within this colony. 

litsolretl, iinani'iiiouslj/, That the cordial and most grateful thanks of this committee 
are a tribute due to John Ilarvie, Esquire, our worthy representative in the late colonial 
convention held at Uichmond. for his faithful discharge of that important trust reposed 
in him; and to John Neville, Esquire, our worthy delegate, whom nothing but sickness 
prevented from representing us in that respectable assembly. 

lifwlettl, uHanii»ou.*li/, That this committee have the highest sense of the spirited 
behavior of their brethren in New England, and do most cordially approve of their 
opposing the invaders of American rights and privileges to the utmost extreme, and that 
each member of this committee, respectively, will animate and encourage their neighbor- 
hood to follow the brave example. 

The imminent danger that threatens America in general, from ministerial and parlia- 
mentary denunciations of o\n' ruin, and is Uow carrying into execution by open acts of 
unprovoked hostilities ,in our sister colony of Massachusetts, as well as the danger to be 
apprehended to this colony in particular from a domestic enemy, said to be prompted by 
the wicked minions of power to execute our ruin, added to the menaces of an Indian 
war, likewise said to be in contemplation, thereby thinking to engage our attentiou, and 
divert it from that still more interesting object of liberty and freedom that deeply, and 
witli so much justice, hath called forth the attention of all America; for the prevention 
of all or any of these impending evils it is 

Jit'solvid. That the recommendation of the Uichmond convention, of the "-Otli of last 
March, relative to the embodying arming and disciplining the militia, be immediately 
carried into execution with the greatest diligence in this county, by the officers appointed 
for that end; and that the recommendation of the said convention to the several commit- 
tees of this colony, to collect from their constituents, in such manner as shall be most 
agreeable to them, so much money as shall be sufficient to purchase half a pound of gun- 
powder, and one pound of lead, flints and cartridge-paper, for every tithable person in 
their county, be likewise carried into execution. 

This committee, therefore, out of the deepest sense of the expediency of this measure, 
most earnestly entreat that every member of this committee do collect from each tithable 
person in their several districts the sum of two shillings and six pence, which we deem 
no more than sufficient for the above purpose, and give proper receipts to all such as pay 
the same into their hands; and the sum so collected to be paid into the hands of Mr. John 
Campbell, who is to give proper security to this committee, or their successors, for the 
due and faithful application of the money so deposited with him for the above purpose, 
by or with the advice of this committee or their successors; and this committee, as your 
representatives, who are luost ardently laboring for j'our preservation, call on you. our 
constituents, our friends, brethren, and fellow sufferers, in the name of God. of every- 
thing you hold sacred or valuable, for the sake of your wives, children, and unborn gen- 
erations, that you will, every one of you, in your several stations, to the utmost of your 
power, assist in levying such sum. by not only paying yourselves, but by assisting those 
who are not at present in a condition to do so. . . . And the committee do pledge 
their faith and fortune to you. their constituents, that we shall, without fee or reward, 
use our best endeavors to procure, with the money so collected, the ammunition our pres- 
ant exigencies have made so exceedinglj- necessary. . . . 


Resolved. That this committee do approve of the resolutions of the committee of the 
other part of this county, relative to the cultivating a friendship with the Indians; and if 
any person shall be so depraved as to take the life of any Indian that may come to us in a 
friendly manner, we will, as one man, use our utmost endeavors to bring such offender 
to condign punishment. 

Ordered. That the standing committee be directed to secure such arms and ammuni- 
tion as are not employed in actual service, or private property, and that they get the same 
repaired, and deliver them to such captains of independent companies as may make appli- 
cation for the same, and taking such captain's receipt for the same so delivered. 

Sneb were some of the meastires adopted by the people of Western Penn- 
sylvania to prepare for the threatened invasion of their rights. Among those 
who took part in these meetings were Arthur St. Clair, subsequently a major- 
general in the revohttionary army, and John Gibson, William Crawford and 
■John Neville, who commanded regiments in the same service. 

At the commencement of the struggle of the colonies for independence the 
settlements to the west of the mountains had little to fear from the invading 
armies of Great Britain. Their dread was of a more merciless foe. Nor 
were their apprehensions altogether groundless; for the restless disposition of 
what might be termed the friendly tribes was well known. Besides, Kiashuta, 
whose name has already occurred in the history of the combination formed by 
Pontiac, and who was, perhaps, the most noted chief that ever figured in the 
history of Western Pennsylvania, declared the intention of the Six Nations to 
remain netttral in the great stritggle of the united colonies for independence, 
although they were afterward induced to side with the British. At a confer- 
ence held at Fort Pitt, just two days after the adoption of the Declaration of 
Independence, and before intelligence of that memorable action could have 
been known with the means of communication to which recotirse had then to 
be had, this noted chief was present, as well as Captain Pipe, a Delaware chief, 
Shade, a Shawanese chief, and several other Shawanese and Delawares, also 
Maj. Trent. Maj. Ward, Capt. Neville and his ofiicers, when Kiashtita pro- 
duced a belt of wampum, which was to be sent from the Six Nations to the 
Shawanese, Delawares, Wyandots, and other western Indians, acquainting 
them that the Six Nations were determined to take no part in the war between 
Great Britain and America, and desiring them to do the same. He was 
especially delegated by the Six Nations to send the belt through the Indian 
countiy. His address to the whites, taking their pectiliar circtimstances into 
account, is worthy of serious consideration: "Brothers," he said, "we will 
not sttfPer either the English or Americans to pass through our country. 
Should either attempt it, we shall forewarn them three times, and should they 
persist, they must abide the consequences. I am appointed by the Six 
Nations to take care of this country; that is, of the Indians on the other side 
of the Ohio ' ' [the Allegheny and Ohio were known at that early day by the 
common name of the Ohio], " and I desire you will not think of an expedition 
against Detroit, for, I repeat, we will not suffer an army to pass through otir 


country." He then addressed the other natives present. Capt. Neville replied 
to his speech, declaring that the colonists would not march an army through 
their territory without first acquainting his people of their intention, but stat- 
ing that in case the English attempted an invasion, " we must make all pos- 
sible haste to march and endeavor to stop them. ' ' But the chief was not to 
be moved from the position his people had taken, and replied that " there is 
not the least danger of that, as the Six Nations would make it their business 
to prevent either an English or an American army passing through their 
country." When it ia remembered that the Six Nations were not only the 
most powerful tribes or confederation of tribes in the entire New World, but 
also that all the nations with whom the jjioneers of Western Pennsylvania had 
to deal were under their dominion, it will be seen that their neutrality meant 
far more than appeared on the surface; it meant that whichever of the con- 
testants secured their favor would have all the Indians with them. 

English influence and English gold were not, all this time, dormant. The 
agents of the mother-country were busy, and their efforts to fasten the fetters 
more securely on the yet feeble colonies were not sparing. Though boasting 
the first place in the ranks of civilized nations, they did not hesitate to appeal 
to the aborigines to assist them in the struggle, which they already felt was to 
be final as regards their hold on the colonies. The pen in our enlightened age 
hesitates to chronicle the means to which they had recourse to enslave the col- 
onies; but fortunately one of her own sons has supplied us with all the argii- 
ments necessary, when he had the courage to declare in her own legislative 
halls that she had let loose the horrible hellhounds of war upon the exposed 
settlements. Painted and plumed warriors soon carried destruction and death 
to the dismayed frontiers, instigated by the agents of the British government. 
The deadly strife thus begun was made u.p largely on the side of the Indians 
by predatory excursions of scalping- parties, after their fashion, into the settle- 
ments; the tomahawk and scalping-knife sparing neither age nor sex, while the 
torch laid waste the rude homes of the frontiersmen. It is difiicult to appre- 
ciate at this distant day, and in this time of peace and security, the appalling 
dangers that beset the frontier in those terrible days ; for to the natural ferocity 
of the Indians was added the powerful support of the English, lavish, in their 
resources, whose western agents, especially at the commencement of the war, 
were noted for their zeal in obeying the behests of their government. 

The principal point of British power and influence in the northwest was 
Detroit, a post founded by the French in 1701, where Lieut. -Gov. Henry Ham- 
ilton was in command, who paid a bounty for scalps,- but withheld it for pris- 
oners. He was captured !)}• the Virginians early in 1779, but not until his 
systematic barbarities, carried on through the savages whom he instigated and 
supported, had caused the blood of uncounted helpless and unoffending pio- 
neers to bedew their dearly bought homes. He was succeeded by Maj. A. S. 
De Peyster, a man zealous in carrying out the policy of his government, but of 


-a more humane disposition. Still the Indian depredations on the frontier drew 
their inspiration from that point. The important post of Fort Pitt was in 
possession of the Americans, and it continued to be the center of government 
authority west of the Alleghenies during the revolutionary period. In West- 
ern Pennsylvania nearly all military operations looked merely to the protection 
of the settlements. Expeditions were made from time to time into the enemy' s 
country, but they were not always crowned with success. Capt. John Neville, 
who was in command at Fort Pitt at this time, tried to observe a strict neu- 
trality with the Indians, but he had little influence with any except the Dela- 
wares, and his influence with them was not sufiicient to control their operations. 
Hamilton of Detroit had, on the other hand, as early as September, 1776, 
organized small parties of the savages against the settlers on the Ohio and its 
branches, though the war on the frontier was not fully inaugurated till nearly 
a year afterward. 

With a view of securing the friendship of the Indians, or at least their neii- 
trality. Congress appointed commisssoners to hold treaties with them at differ- 
ent agencies. Those appointed for Pittsburgh met there in July, 1776, but 
were not able to convene a sufficient number of the tribes until the following 
October. In the meantime a general Indian war was thought to be inevitable, 
owing to the sinister influences of the British at Detroit. Every effort was 
made to put the fort in a state of defense, and an order was issued for the 
assembling of all the militia there that could be spared from other places; for 
if it were to fall the whole country would be at the mercy of the savages. But 
the threatening cloud blew over, and on the 8th of November Col. Morgan, 
the Indian agent for the middle department, wrote to John Hancock, president 
of Congress, the welcome news: " I have the happiness to inform you that the 
■cloud which threatened to break over us is likely to disperse. The Six Nations, 
with the Munsies, Delawares. Shawanese and Mohikons, who have been assem- 
bled here with their principal chiefs and warriors, to the number of six hun- 
dred and forty four, have given the strongest assurance of their neutrality with 
the United States." But the serious question was before the frontiersmen. 
How long could the Indians be trusted, with the tribes further west in the 
interest of the English, and they themselves liable at any time to be approached 
by the agents of the same government, with their proffers of gold and gifts ? 

On the 1st of June, 1777, Brig. -Gren. Edward Hand, of the continental army, 
arrived at Fort Pitt and assumed command. Not long after his arrival he 
resolved on an expedition against the savages — seemingly a timely movement. 
The frontiers of Virginia were, in the meantime, sorely afflicted with savage 
incursions, mostly by a lawless gang of the Mohawk Pluggy, located upon the 
Olentangy, or Whetstone, the principal eastern tributary of the Scioto, some 
distance above its confluence with that stream. This band was without tribal 
organization, and acted independently of other nations, but its incursions were 
none the less dreaded by the outposts of civilization west of the mountains. 


So galling did these incursions become that it was determined to send an expe- 
dition against their towns; but the project was abandoned lest it should arouse 
the ire of the Delawares and Shawanese, whom the colonists desired to keep 
in a state of neutrality if not of friendship. 

The extreme frontier line protection extended from Kittanning down the 
Allegheny and Ohio to the mouth of the Great Kanawha. The important posts 
below Fort Pitt at this time were Fort Henry, formerly called Fort Fincaatle, at 
Wheeling, and Fort Kandolph, at Point Pleasant. The former was built at 
the commencement of Dunmore's war, 1774; the latter was erected a year 
later by the Virginians. Rude stockades and blockhouses were multiplied in 
the intervening distances, and in the most exposed settlements, and were 
defended by small detachments from a Virginia regiment, also by at least one 
independent company, and by squads of militia on short terms of duty. To 
these stockades and blockhouses the settlers were accustomed to hasten when 
the Indians were known to be in the vicinity. But it not unfrequently hap- 
pened that so sudden and stealthy were their raids that the warwhoop was 
the first indication of their presence, and no time was left for escape. Even 
the scouts who patrolled the country did not always discover the enemy in 
time, and the sufPerings of the settlements were in consequence increased. 

Gen. Hand still held to the opinion — and in this his view was correct — 
that nothing would so effectually protect the settlements and bring the Indians 
to terms as penetrating their country with a large force and destroying some 
of the towns. But he appears to have been too sanguine of success in the 
undertaking. The Wyandots, and particularly the Mingoes — Pluggy's Town 
Indians — were the most troublesome. To prepare for the expedition Hand 
demanded two thousand men from the western counties of Pennsylvania and 
Virginia, but his call was not responded to with alacrity, although eight hun- 
dred men were embodied, including regulars at Fort Pitt and Randolph. 
Although he had many difficulties to contend against, he still expressed the hope 
that he would be able before the winter to reach the Sandusky river. But, being 
deceived as to the strength and spirit of his people, he was reluctantly obliged 
to abandon the expedition in the latter part of the fall. One reason for the 
failure was a want of concert between Gen. Hand and the lieutenants of the 
border militia. Another reason was the influence of the boundary dispute, 
which prevented unity of action by the Virginia and Pennsylvania militia. 
The most, therefore, that Hand could accomplish was a partial protection of 
the settlements by acting on the defensive only. " If I can assist the inhab- 
itants to stand their ground, ' ' he wrote, ' ' I shall deem myself doing a great 
deal. ' ' 

The Illinois country, with its old French settlements, was still in possession 
of the English; and in January, 1778, Lieut. -Col. George Rogers Clarke 
planned an expedition for its capture. He came to the west of the mountains 
with a view of enlisting men for the expedition; and by the end of the month 


lie had all his recruiting parties disposed properly, and at Redstone he pre- 
pared boats, light artillery and ammunition. But many of the backwoodsmen 
02:>posed the undertaking, and he could only succeed in raising one hundred 
and fifty men, when, on the 12th of May, he set sail for the Falls of the Ohio. 
The country around the head of the Ohio was greatly distressed by the Indians 
at this time, and it is not to be wondered at that the frontiersmen were reluc- 
tant to leave their homesunprotected while they engaged in a distant expedition, 
the issue of which was very uncertain, with the forces at hand. 

A little before this time, in February, Gen. Hand, having learned that a 
considerable quantity of stores was deposited by the British at an Indian town 
on the Cuyahoga river, which flows into the lake a short distance east of Cleve- 
land, formed a project for capturing them. "Gathering a party of about live 
hundred men, mostly from Westmoreland county, ' ' writes an authority on border 
annals, "he proceeded on the expedition. But heavy rains falling, and the 
snows of winter melting, he was obliged to relinquish his design, after having 
arrived at a point a considerable distance above the mouth of the Beaver, on the 
Mahoning river. Just at this place Indian tracks were discovered, conjectured 
to be of warriors on a marauding expedition into the settlements. These were 
followed to a camp supposed to contain fifty or sixty Indians, which was 
immediately attacked. 'But, to my great mortification,' wrote the commander, 
' only one man, with some women and children, was found. ' The Indian 
and one of the squaws were killed. ' Another woman was taken, ' adds the cha- 
grined and thoroughly disgusted general, 'and with diiSculty saved; the 
remainder escaped.' The prisoner reported that ten Munsie Indians were tak- 
ing salt ten miles further up the Mahoning. A detachment was sent to secure 
them. This enterprise proved even more inglorious than the first. The enemy 
turned out to be four women and a boy, of whom one woman only was saved. 
This, the first expedition to march into the Indian country from 
Pittsburgh after the war began, was long remembered in the west as ' the 
squaw campaign. ' " Gen. Hand was singularly unfortunate in his efforts to 
fight the Indians. 

For some months previous the Indians had become very bold, and the 
fruitless efforts made to protect the settlements by their utter failure only 
tended still more to embolden the savages. Kittanning had been occupied by 
troops from the spring of 1777, but Hand wrote to the commanding ofiicer, 
Capt. Samuel Moorhead, on the 14th of September: " Being convinced that, 
in youi- present condition, you are not able to defend yourself, much less to 
render the continent any service, you will withdraw from Kittanning, bringing 
everything away, leaving the houses and barracks standing." This evacu- 
ation caused the greatest alarm, especially in the northern part of Westmore- 
land county. 

Strong suspicions were entertained about this time of the loyalty of some 
of the inhabitants of Western Pennsylvania and Virginia, and numerous 


arrests were made; but the greater part of those arrested were paroled. The 
most noted of these was Alexander McKee, who had formerly been deputy 
Indian agent at Pittsburgh, and who, as early as April, 1776, had been put 
on his parol, by a committee of whigs, "not to give any aid or comfort" to 
the British. In the meantime he quietly plotted with the Indians for the 
removal of his effects from Fort Pitt across the Allegheny into the Indian 
country. Well had it been for the western country had this arch-traitor been 
secured at once. As it was, he was sulfered to remain at large upon his prom- 
ise not to correspond with or give any intelligence to the enemies of the United 
States, or to leave the neighborhood without permission. He was soon after- 
ward rearrested, and, after being conlined to his own house, was paroled anew. 
Hand afterward ordered him to report at York, Pa., to the continental board 
of war; but he feigned sickness, and remained at home. The excitement 
against the tories subsided after a short time, and in the spring of 1778 all 
was apparently quiet. But it was the lull that precedes the storm. On the 
2Sth of March all was changed; for not only McKee, but Mathew Elliott, who 
had lately arrived from Quebec, claiming to be a prisoner returned on parol, 
but in reality having a captain's commission from the British in his pocket, 
and Simon Girty, an Indian interpreter, fled from the vicinity of Fort Pitt and 
joined the enemy. These three renegades, as H. H. Brackenridge said, "of 
that horrid brood called refugees, whom the devil has long since marked as 
his own," proved themselves active servants of the English, causing untold 
sufferings on the frontier, not only during the war with Great Britain, but so 
long as the war with the Indians continued. Immediately after their depart- 
ure they began to exert a sinister influence on the tribes, mainly the Dela- 
wares, inducing many of them who had remained neutral to become avowed 
enemies of the United States. Their attempts were, however, in a measure, 
frustrated by the exertions of the friends of the Union. With other tribes, 
and especially the Shawanese, they were more successful, and aroused them 
to a desire to harass the settlements. After visiting neighboring tribes they 
made their way to Detroit. The seeds of disorder were rooted more deeply at 
Fort Pitt and in its vicinity than was at tirst supposed, and other traitors were 
soon discovered. On the night of April 20th several persons stole a boat and 
fled down the Ohio. They were, however, overtaken at the mouth of the 
Muskingum by a party sent after them, and the ringleaders were killed or capt- 
ured. Six of the citizens escaped; but of those captured two were shot, one 
hanged, and two whipped, the latter receiving one hundred lashes each. " The 
activity displayed by the British Indians along the western border, during the 
fall of 1777, induced Pennsylvania to bestir herself to protect the distant set- 
tlements. Congress, urgently appealed to by these suffering states, deter- 
mined to make common cause with them against the enemy. Commissioners, 
acting under authority of the United States, were sent to Fort Pitt to inquire 
into the disaffection of the frontier people, and to provide for carrying the 


war into the enemy's country. They reported that the western Indians were 
stimulated in their hostility by the British commandant at Detroit. They 
drew up and presented to Gen. Hand an elaborate plan for the protection, by 
the militia alone, of the frontiers until recommendations made by them to 
Congress could be approved and carried into execution. On the 2d of May, 
1778, Congress resolved to raise two regiments in Virginia and Pennsylvania, 
to serve for one year unless sooner discharged, for the protection of the 
western frontier, and for operation thereon — twelve companies in the former 
and four in the latter state. It was likewise determined that, as Gen. Hand 
had requested to be recalled from Pittsburgh, a proper person should be sent 
to relieve him. Washington was called upon to make a nomination. After 
much deliberation upon the subject, he named Brig. -Gen. Lachlan Mcintosh, 
an officer of worth and merit, a Georgian by birth."* Washington expressed 
the high opinion he had of the integrity and ability of this person, and declared 
that he parted with him with the utmost reluctance. He wrote: "His firm 
disposition and equal justice, his assiduity and good imderstanding, added to 
his being a stranger to all parties in that quarter, point him out as a proper 
person; and I trust extensive advantages will be derived from his command, 
which I could wish was more agreeable." 

Detroit, it was felt, not only by the inhabitants but by the military author- 
ities of Western Pennsylvania and Virginia, was the source whence the Indians 
received their inspiration and support, and Congress was also at length con- 
vinced of the same truth. Accordingly, with the appointment of Gen. Mcin- 
tosh to the command of Fort Pitt and of the forces of the west, it was 
resolved by Congress that an expedition should be undertaken against this 
British stronghold, as the most certain means of overcoming the Indians and 
restoring peace and security to the frontier. It was proposed to enlist three 
thousand men in the expedition. Virginia was requested to call forth as many 
militia, not exceeding twenty-live hundi-ed, as should be judged necessary to 
complete the number appropriated for the undertaking. The continental 
board of war was directed to cooperate with Mcintosh, who had not yet 
entered on the duties of his new appointment, but who was soon to have com- 
mand of affairs in the west, in measures necessary for the enterprise, and 
give him such instructions as might appear best adapted to promote the expe- 
dition. Over nine hundred thousand dollars were voted to defray the expenses, 
and a person was appointed to procure provisions, packhorses and other neces- 
saries for the army. To give effect to the action of Congress, a plan was imme- 
diately set on foot for raising the necessary force and for the purchase of 
supplies for the expedition. Fifteen hundred men were to march by way of 
the Kanawha to Fort Randolph, and a like number was to descend the Ohio fi'om 
Fort Pitt to the same place, whence they were to march into the enemy's 
country. Prior to this Washington, having heard of the ravages of the Indians 


in Western Pennsylvania, had ordered the Eighth Pennsylvania regnneut, a 
choice body of men who had been raised in the west, to prepare to march to 
Pittsburgh. Col. Daniel Brodhoad was at the head of this regiment. That 
part of the Thirteenth Virginia regiment remaining at Valley Forge was also 
placed under marching orders for Fort Pitt, under command of Col. John Gib- 
son. Brodhead did not reach Pittsburgh before the 10th of September. 

The great obstacle to success against the Indians, all this while, was the 
posses.sion of Detroit by the English; and it was felt that so long as they were 
there to back the savages no telling victory could be gained. It was therefore 
determined to lit out an expedition against that post. But the late arrival of 
Brodhead at Fort Pitt and the high price of supplies were insurmountable 
■obstacles; for an expedition, to have well-grounded hope of success, must leave 
Western Pennsylvania not later than the 1st of September. Congress for these 
reasons resolved that the expedition should be abandoned for the present. In 
lieu of it, however, Mcintosh was directed to assemble at Pittsburgh fifteen 
hundred continental troops and militia, and proceed without delay to destroy 
such towns of the hostile tribes as he, in his discretion, should think would 
most effectually tend to chastise and terrify the savages, and check their rav- 
ages on the western frontier. Mcintosh was more ambitious, and declared 
that Detroit and nothing less would satisfy him. Congress asked Virginia to 
supply him with as many militia as he should call for, and it was the inten- 
tion to march the force from that state by way of the Kanawha to Fort Ran- 
dolph to join the forces fi-om Pennsylvania that should descend the Ohio. But 
upon more mature deliberation this plan was abandoned. At the date of the 
arrival of Mcintosh there were only two forts west of the Allegheuies in Penn- 
sylvania occupied by continental troops. These were Forts Randolph and 
Hand. Fort Hand was erected in the spring of 1778, and named in honor 
of the commander of Fort Pitt; it was located in W'estmoreland county, 
about fourteen miles north of Hannastown, at a point described in an old 
manuscript as being " about a mile south of the ford of the Kiskiminetas; and 
the ford was about six miles above the mouth of the stream." It is very dif- 
ficult to understand what the exact position of the fort was from this descrip- 
tion, and it will for that reason be left to the reader to make the most of it. 
Besides these forts there was a large number of smaller stations or forts at 
difPerent times garrisoned by militia; some between Wheeling and Pittsburgh, 
others between the Monongahela and the Kiskiminetas, as well as others scat- 
tered throughout the settlements. These are described as being ' ' fi-equently 
altered, kept or evacuated, according to the humors, fears or interest of the 
people of most influence. ' ' And, however much Gen. Mcintosh may have been 
opposed to this, he was forced to yield to it, as his chief dependence was on 
the militia, who were about as independent a class as could have been found in 
the world in their day. But a new move was now to be made by Gen. Mcintosh. 
The war was to be carried into the enemy's country; and as these forts could 

V- - 


/ r^-/i cYi-a.c^< 


be of no practical service, and their gan'isons seemed unnecessary when the 
eneniy had to defend themselves on their own territory, the general resolved 
to break them up as soon as he could without giving too much offense to the 
people upon whom he depended for the success of his enterprise. It would 
not, however, be prudent to leave the frontier without any protection; for the 
enemy might elude the pursuit of the general and fall upon the defenseless 
settlers and massacre them while the army was marching against their aban- 
doned towns. The lieutenants of Monongalia and Ohio counties, Virginia, 
which comprised the greater part of the valley of the Monongahela river, were 
authorized to raise a ranging company jointly, to scout continually along the 
Ohio river below the mouth of the Beaver, at such places as the savages 
usually forded the river to attack the settlements. At the same time Archibald 
Lochry, a name that figures prominently in the early history of AVestmoreland 
county, was empowered to organize two companies for similar service on the 
northern frontier, as a protection against the scalping-parties that might assail 
the settlers in that direction. Other companies occupied the forts in the 
absence of the regular garrisons. It need hardly be repeated that at this time 
all Western Pennsylvania, purchased from the Indians, was included in West- 
moreland county, although Virginia assumed jurisdiction, as has been shown, 
over certain parts of it. Another prudent move made by Gen. Mcintosh was 
the concentrating of all the storehouses at Fort Pitt. Previous to that time 
there had been a considerable number of such buildings, each of which 
required a small number of men for its defense, and, being situated in differ- 
ent parts of the country, streams had to be crossed with considerable risk at 
certain seasons. By making Fort Pitt what might be called a distributing 
point, provisions could be brought across the mountains, as the expression 
then was, without necessitating the crossing of any considerable stream, and 
they could then be sent to other points from it at such seasons as were most 

As the prosecution of the war was now in the hands of the general govern- 
ment, lately established, efforts were constantly being made to preserve friendly 
relations with some at least of the Indian tribes in Western Pennsylvania and 
beyond, although none could be relied on but the Delawares, and their attach- 
ment was beginning to grow weak. The Shawanese, the last of the other tribes 
to go over to the English, were now known to be unfriendly to the Americans, 
though from motives of interest they tried to preserve the semblance of friend- 
ship. But, however few of the savages might be on the side of the United 
States, they were more or less of a check on the British at Detroit and the 
Indians who drew their inspiration from that point; and, besides, they might 
give some warning of inroads on the settlements. Hence the value of their 
good will. Hence, too, the important part which Fort Pitt played in the great 
struggle for the independence of the colonies, as its predecessor. Fort Du- 
quesne, had played in the French campaign. It is difficult to overestimate the 


importance of the forks of the Ohio during the quarter of a century from 1754 
to 1779 and later. It was a fitting prelude to her present greatness and her 
future prospects. With a view of producing a favorable impression on the 
savages who might still he counted on as favoring the American cause, the com- 
missioners at Fort Pitt, by the advice of Congress, resolved to hold a treaty 
with the Delawares, Shawanese and other Indians at Fort Pitt in the summer 
of 1778. The 28d of July was chosen as the day for the conference, and mes- 
sengers were dispatched to the Delawares and Shawanese with presents and 
invitations. On the part of the whites Virginia was requested to send two 
representatives and Pennsylvania one. The two from Virginia, Andi-ew and 
Thomas Lewis, appeared; but although George Morgan solicited the appoint- 
ment from Pennsylvania that state neglected to send any representative. The 
Delawares sent three of their principal chiefs; but it was September before the 
parties met for consultation, and the treaty was not signed till the 17th of that 
month. It was very favorable ^to the United States, as far as the Delawares 
were concerned ; for not only did they declare themselves in favor of the Union, 
and bury the hatchet, but they also permitted the general government to march 
troops through their hunting-grounds, which was a matter of no small impor- 
tance at that time, when the cause of American freedom was not so hoiaeful as 
could have been desired. They further promised to join the forces of the gen- 
eral government, with such a number of their most noted braves as they could 
spare, consistently with their own safety. A requisition for two captains and 
sixty braves was afterward made upon the nation by the American com- 

The commanding officer at Fort Pitt opened a road to the mouth of the 
Beaver, and just below, on the table-land where the town of Beaver now 
stands, he built Fort Mcintosh, as a post to which loads could be carried 
either by land or water, and where, should there bo a failure of either suffi- 
cient troops or supplies to carry forward the expedition during the autumn, a 
footing at least would be secured, considerably advanced toward the enemy's 
country. This would enable the commander to be better prepared for another 
attempt in the spring, and would show the enemy, at the same time, that he 
was in earnest in his movements. The fort was a regular stockade-work, with 
four bastions, built of hewn logs; its figure was an irregular square, the face 
to the Ohio river being longer than that toward the land; and it is remarkable 
as being the first military post built by the United States on the Indian side of 
the Ohio. On the 8th of October, 1778, the headquarters of the army were 
removed from Fort Pitt to the new fort, where a considerable force, the 
largest collected west of the Allegheny mountains during the Revolution, 
numbering at least thirteen hundred, was assembled, consisting, besides the 
continental troops, of militia, mostly from the western counties of Virginia. 
But the want of supplies prevented any immediate movement forward. On 
the 3d day of November cattle from the mountain arrived, Imt they were 


extremely poor, and could not be slaughtered for want of salt. At that date 
salt sold in Pittsburgh for twenty dollars per bushel. Alarming intelligence 
now reached Mcintosh from the wilderness west. He was reproached for his 
tardiness by fi-iendly Indians, who threatened that all their nation would unite 
in the Tuscarawas valley to give him battle, and oppose his progress to 
Detroit. Orders were therefoi-e immediately issued for twelve hundred men 
to get ready to march. On the 5th of November the movement of the army 
westward commenced, including the whole force, except one company, which 
was left under command of Lieut. -Col. Richard Campbell, of the Thirteenth 
Virginia regiment, to bring on the long-expected supplies. After a march of 
about seventy-live miles he was informed that the Indians had abandoned the 
idea of opposing his progress; and here, too, he learned the more dishearten- 
ing fact that the supplies promised him had not yet reached Fort Mcintosh, 
and that little, if any, could be expected. The result necessarily was that, 
like several other expeditions, this one had to be abandoned, and the army 
returned home, the only result produced being the confirmation of the savages 
in their conviction of the weakness of the Americans, and uniting them still 
more closely with the British at Detroit. A fort, however, was built, which 
was named Fort Laurens, in honor of the president of Congress. Leaving the 
fort with a garrison of one hundred and fifty men, with scant supplies, under 
command of Col. John Gibson, to finish and protect it, the rest of the army 
under command of the general returned to Fort Mcintosh, where the militia, 
who were now in a mutinous condition, were discharged. All that was left 
for the forces west of the mountains now to do was to act on the defensive, 
with such a disposition of men in the local forts and blockhouses as would 
best protect the fi'ontier, and await further developments. 



Fort Crawford— Fort Aumstuong— Brodhead's Expedition— Capt. Isaac 
Craig — Defeat of the Delawares— Col. Clarke's Expedition— Inter- 
nal Disaffection— Crawford's Expedition — His Fate — Indian Attack 
ON Hannastown and Miller's Station. 

^T^HE treason of McKee and his companions was a source of no little 
J- anxiety to the people of the frontier; for their perfect knowledge of 
the strength and condition of the settlements enabled them to give informa- 
tion that might prove very disastrous. About this time a resident of West- 
moreland county wrote: ""What may be the fate of this county God only 


knows; but at present it wears a most dismal aspect." On the 28th of April, 
1778, a settlement at and about Wallace Fort in Westmoreland county was 
attacked, and a body of twenty men who were out reconnoitering the woods 
had nine killed and their captain wounded. Only four of the enemy were 
killed. By the middle of May what was known as the northern road, that is, 
Forbes' route to Fort Pitt — Braddock's route was the southern road — had 
become the northern frontier line of settlement west of the mountains. A 
captain who, with nine men, chiefly continental soldiers, was bringing grain 
from the neighborhood of Fort Hand to Fort Pitt, was surprised, on the 7th 
of July, by a party of savages. Other scalping-parties were frequently found 
on the frontier settlements both of Pennsylvania and Virginia, since the return 
of Mcintosh's unsuccessful expedition into the Indian country. 

But the frontier, as well as the rest of the country, had more enemies than 
the British and the Indians. Money is the sinews of war; and the deprecia- 
tion of the continental currency, which resulted in a great measure fi'om the 
unsuccessful campaign of 1777, had by this time become a very serious burden 
on the people, and all over the country great ingenuity was exercised to dis- 
cover a remedy. Among other devices the prices of commodities were fixed, 
and the Indian traders came in for a large share of public odium, and not 
without reason. A meeting of the officers of the line and staff in the 
western department, held in Pittsburgh in October, 1779, declares that the 
traders ' ' are now commonly known by the disgraceful epithet of speculators. ' ' 
It was also resolved at the same meeting ' ' that a select committee be appointed 
to collect all papers and get whatever information they can possibly obtain 
relative to the regulations which may have taken place down the country, and 
by them endeavor to ascertain the price of goods as they ought to sell at this 
place, and lay them, with whatever matters they may conceive necessary, 
before the committee at the next meeting." The committee, having been 
appointed, met on the 6th of October, and declared "that at the present 
•enormous prices, unless dire and absolute necessity compels, to buy shall be 
deemed as criminal as to sell; and should the traders refuse to sell at the 
regulated prices agreed on and fixed by this committee," they further resolved, 
"that the commandant of the western department be waited upon by a com- 
mittee, and earnestly requested for the good of the community, as well as the 
army, that said traders be immediately ordered to withdraw themselves and 
property from this post, being fully determined to have a reasonable trade, or 
no trade, and live upon our rations and what our country can afford us, and, 
should it be necessary, clothe ourselves with the produce of the forest, rather 
than live upon the virtuous part of the community to gratify our sanguinary 
enemies and enrich rapacity; and it is the unanimous opinion of this com- 
mittee that the specious, designing speculator is a monster of a deeper dye 
and more malignant nature than the savage Mingo of the wilderness, whose 
mischiefs are partial, while those occasioned by the speculator have become 


universal." Much more followed in the same strain, but the portions given 
are sufficient to show the depth and extent of the evil, and the feeling of utter 
abhorrence in which the traders were held. 

Depredations continued, and the Indians, led by Simon Grirty, came within 
a few miles of Fort Pitt and attacked parties of whites, while the little gar- 
rison of Fort Laurens was both reduced to the verge of starvation for want of 
supplies and beseiged by the savages. The latter, however, fortunately aban- 
doned the siege, and the timely aid of Gen. Mcintosh brought provisions to the 
men, who for a long time had subsisted on raw hides. Strangely enough, when 
the relief came and the garrison fired a salute for joy, the packhorses took 
fright and scattered the provisions over a considerable tract of country. 

Gen. Mcintosh was dispirited with the small number of men at his dis- 
posal, the want of proper supplies, and the activity of the Indians, spurred on 
by the British at Detroit; and, his health failing, he requested to be relieved of 
the important duty of commanding the department of the west. He withdrew 
in April, 1779, and this was the abandonment for the time of offensive measures 
west of the mountains. Although he had not succeeded against the Indians, 
his operations were not altogether fi'uitless, and it may be said that in his 
defensive measures he exercised good judgment. One rock, especially, he care- 
fully avoided, which was interfering with the troublesome boundary question, 
although he had often been applied to by both sides. He also preserved cor- 
dial relations with the several county lieutenants, and was active and vigilant 
in protecting the exposed settlements. The erection of Forts Mcintosh and 
Laurens as a precautionary measure was approved by Gen. Washington, who 
wrote " that the establishing of posts of communication, which Mcintosh has 
done for the security of his convoys and the army, is a proceeding grounded on 
military practice and experience. ' ' Congress having directed the appointment 
of a successor to Mcintosh, Washington, on the 5th of March, 1779, made 
choice of Col. Daniel Brodhead, of the Eighth Pennsylvania regiment, who 
was first in rank in the western department under the retiring general. At the 
time of his appointment he was in charge of Fort Mcintosh, to which point 
Washington wrote him: "From my opinion of your abilities, your former 
acquaintance with the back country, and the knowledge you must have acquired 
upon this last tour of duty, I have appointed you to the command." It was 
a selection gratifying to the Pennsylvanians, as Brodhead was a citizen of that 
state. The whole force at his command at the time of his taking charge of 
the department, including continental and independent troops, consisted of 
seven hundred and twenty-two men, stationed at Forts Laurens, IMcIntosh, 
Henry, Randolph, Hand and Pitt. A few other stations were garrisoned by 
small detachments. At the same time Washington planned an expedition 
against the Six Nations, who had been committing depredations on the northern 
frontier, and it was his intention that, while a strong force set out east of the 
mountains, it should be joined by the commander of the western department,. 


who should march up the Allegheny. The latter part of this plan was, how- 
ever, abandoned as impracticable under the circumstances. In his communi- 
cations to Brodhead the couimander-in-chief warned him not to interfere in the 
boundary dispute, as calculated to get him into difficulties without benefiting 
the cause he was sent to promote. Fort Laurens, after being a source of gi-eat 
anxiety to the commander of Fort Pitt, and after its garrison had sufPered 
untold privations, was finally evacuated early in August, 1779. 

"Turning our attention from the wilderness beyond the Ohio to the north- 
ern settlements of Westmoreland, we see that as early as the 26th of February, 
1779, Indian depredations began therein. On that day, about twenty miles 
east of Pittsburgh, on the main road leading over the mountains, eighteen 
persons — men, women, and children — were either killed or taken prisoners. 
It is not surprising, therefore,' that the first care of Brodhead, after assuming 
command in the west, was to protect the northern frontier. His first order 
directed a detachment from Fort Pitt to occupy the vacant Fort Crawford, 
located a few miles up the Allegheny." This fort stood a little above the 
mouth of Puckety creek, on the east side of the Allegheny river, probably on 
the site of the present village of Parnassus, eighteen miles above Fort Pitt. 
"The soldiers were instructed to scout on the waters of the river, as well on 
Puckety creek, and upon the Kiskiminetas as far as Fort Hand, thereby to 
protect as much as possible, from the death-dealing savages of the north, the 
exposed settlements to the eastward of Pittsburgh. Gen. Washington, with ' a 
full sense of the importance, necessity and duty of taking the most vigorous 
and speedy measures for the support and protection of the frontiers," decided 
to order to the westward Col. Moses Rawlings' corps of three companies from 
Fort Frederick, Md. , to assist in protecting the exposed settlements, and, at 
the same time, to promote the cooperation of troops from Fort Pitt with the 
army to be sent against the Indians of the Six Nations, by erecting posts at 
Kittanning and Venango. Although the plan for the movements of a force 
from Pittsburgh was .soon laid aside and the building of the two forts aban- 
doned, the march of the Maryland troops was not countermanded."* 

The Indians seemed to have made Westmoreland, which then included all 
Western Pennsylvania east and south of the rivers, the scene of their greatest 
activity. Here were perpetrated most of their daring and cruel raids upon the 
settlements. Pennsylvania determined to raise five companies to hasten to the 
defense of the west. Fort Hand was attacked on the 26th of April, and though 
Capt. Samuel Moorhead, who was in command, had only seventeen men with 
him, he held out, and the women busied themselves in molding bullets. The 
siege was raised the next day, the garrison during the action not having lost a 
single life. At this time a resident of the county wrote: "The savages are 
continually making depredations among us, not less than forty people having 
been killed, wounded, or captured this spring." The arrival of additional 


forces gave confidence to the frontier ; but the settlements were still the scenes 
of Indian raids in which lives were lost and prisoners taken. 

During all this time the commander of Fort Pitt experienced great difficulty 
in obtaining jjrovisions for his soldiers, as his letters to the commander-in- 
chief amply testify. The presence of the British at Detroit was still the 
gi-eatest source of trouble on account of the use they made of the Ohio Indians 
and the means they employed in winning over the few who remained neutral 
or friendly to the American cause. For this reason it was that Brodhead com- 
plained of his limited resources at a time when it was of the utmost importance 
to rival the English in the value of the presents he gave to the savages, upon 
whom these were known to have a potent influence. He says in one of his 
letters: " The Indian captains appointed by the British commandant at Detroit 
are clothed in the most elegant manner, and have many valuable presents made 
them. The captains I have appointed by authority of congress are naked, and 
receive nothing but a little whisky, for which they are reviled by the Indians 
in general, so that unless some kind of a system is introduced I must expect to 
see all the Indians in favor of the British, despite of every address in my 
power." The Indians from the north had now become more troublesome than 
those of the west, and Brodhead's attention was accordingly directed to them. 
He sent Capt. Samuel Brady with a small party to scout the country up the 
Allegheny and collect such information as he could regarding the savages. 
Near the mouth of Mahoning creek he met a small body of them who had 
made a raid on the settlements, killed some persons, and taken two children 
prisoners, and he killed the leader of the band with others, rescued the pris- 
oners and recaptured the booty. Other adventui'es of this noted scout form 
interesting episodes in our frontier history about this time. But Brodhead 
very properly thought that a station at Kittanning would more effectually hold 
the Indians in check than any other measure he could at that time adopt. 
This place was well known as an Indian stronghold during the French occupa- 
tion of the valley of the Allegheny and Ohio. The provincials did not, how- 
ever, occupy it for many years after its destruction by Col. Armstrong. But 
on June 5, 1776, a memorial was presented to the assembly of Pennsylvania by 
the inhabitants of Westmoreland county that they feared an attack from the 
Indian country west, and that Van Swearingen had, at a considerable expense, 
raised a company of eflFective men which the memorialists had continued and 
stationed at Kittanning, and which they prayed might be continued. Congress 
resolved on the 15th of July that the battalion which was to garrison the posts 
to be established at Presqu' Isle, Le Bceuf and Kittanning be raised in the 
counties of Westmoreland and Bedford, which latter at that date embraced a 
considerable part of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Some time afterward the 
battalion commanded by Col. ^neas Mackay was stationed at Kittanning, 
where it remained till December 15th of the same year, when the commanding 
officer was ordered to collect his scattered forces at some convenient rendezvous 


to march elsewhere. No troop.s %Vere stationed at Kittanning from that time 
till 1779, although some attempt was made to protect the northern frontier by 
other posts and rangers in small detachments in the pay of the state. As 
regards the building of the fort we have the following, which Gen. Washington 
wrote to Brodhead under date of March 22, 1779: "I have directed Col. 
Rawlings' corps, consisting of three companies, to march from Fort Frederick, 
in Maryland ... to Fort Pitt, as soon as he is relieved by a guard of mili - 
tia. Upon his arrival you are to detach him with his own corps and as many 
as will make up one hundred men, should his company be short of that num - 
her, to take post at Kittanning, and immediately throw up a stockade fort for 
the security of the convoys. When this is accomplished a small garrison is to 
be left there, and the remainder are to proceed to Venango." But the fort was 
not built at that time, whatever may have been the reason, for Col. Brodhead 
wrote on the 3d of June to Archibald Lochry, lieutenant of Westmorelan d 
county: "I purpose building a small fort at Kittanning as soon as possible, and 
that will be more effectual seciuity for the inhabitants than all the little posts 
now occupied by the garrisons." On the 23d he again wrote: "Lieut. -Col. 
Bayard is now at Kittanning, and will cover the fi-ontier effectually;" and on 
the 31st of July he wrote to Gen. Washington: "A complete stockade fort is 
erected at the Kittanning, and now called Fort Armstrong." The fort stood a 
little more than two miles below the present town of Kittanning, close on th e 
east bank of the river; and about half a mile further down there was a block- 
house, which was standing as late as 1834. The writer distinctly remembers 
the well of the fort, which, thirty-five years ago, was still visible, though filled 
with stumps from the surrounding field. It would seem that Col. Bayard, who 
built the fort, wanted to name it after himself; for, although his letters are not 
preserved to us, Brodhead' s replies, which we have, plainly imply so much. 
The correspondence was evidently animated, and appears to have had a sarcas- 
tic vein ninning through it as far as the commander of Fort Pitt was concerned. 
In a letter of his dated July 1st, he says: " I think it is a compliment due to 
Gen. Armstrong to call the fort after him; therefore, it is my pleasure from 
this time forward it be called Fort Armstrong, and I doubt not we shall soon 
be in the neighborhood of a place where greater regard is paid to saints than 
at Kittanning, where your sainthood may not be forgotten." And in another 
letter of the 9th of the same month he writes: "I have said that I thoiight it 
a compliment due to Gen. Armstrong to name the fort now erecting at Kittan- 
ning after him ; and I should be very sorry to have the first fort erected by my 
direction in the department named after me. Besides, I should consider it will 
be more proper to have our names at a greater distance from our metropolis. I 
never denied the saintship of Stephen or John, biit some regard to propriety 
must be necessary even among saints." The commander's trouble with the 
fort, however necessary it certainly was for the protection of the northern front- 
ier, was not to end with the naming of it. On the 1st of Augiist Bayard was 


relieved of the command of the post. Early in October Brodhead ordered Capt. 
Irwin to take up his quarters there, but he did not obey the order, and a sharp 
correspondence took place between the two; for in a letter of his, dated Octo- 
ber 13th, Brodhead writes him : ' ' You had my positive orders to wait upon me 
for instructions to govern you at Fort Armstrong, which orders you have been 
hardy enough to disobey and are to answer for." During this dispute Francis 
Mcllvaine was sent to occupy the fort. There was talk of courtmartialing 
Irwin, but it is most probable it was not done. Discipline was at a low ebb in 
the department at that time, owing to the life of the pioneers, and the injurious 
effects of the boundary dispute, which taught the people to disregard the civil 
jurisdiction of one of the states. In the meantime Brodhead wrote to Lieut. 
Glass, or the "commanding officer of Capt. Irwin's company," October 18th: 
' ' You are to march the company under your command to Fort Armstrong and 
there relieve the present garrison under Mr. Mcllvaine. " Still another change of 
officers was found necessary; and on the 27th the commander of Fort Pitt wrote 
to Lieut. John Jameson : "I have received your favor of the 24th inst. I 
am glad to hear you are at length got to Fort Armstrong. ' ' He was to be the 
last commander of the short-lived fort. On the 27th of November Joseph I. 
Finley wrote him: "I am directed by Col. Brodhead to request you to evacu- 
ate Fort Armstrong, and to repair to this post [Fort Pitt] with all convenient 
dispatch, taking care to bring ofP all the stores in your possession and pertain- 
ing to the garrison of whatsoever kind. ' ' The fort was never after occupied 
permanently, although soldiers may have lodged there for a short time occa- 
sionally. Why a post so favorably situated should have been abandoned so 
soon after its construction it is difficult, with the information at command, to 
determine, unless it was that the success attending the expedition up the Alle- 
gheny into the Indian country was thought sufficient to prevent the savages 
from attempting any further raids from that direction for a considerable time. 
Brodhead had long been anxious to carry the war into the enemy's country, 
declaring to the commander-in-chief that he could effect more in this way than 
he could with three times the number of men required if he acted on the 
defensive. With great difficulty he succeeded in obtaining the consent of 
Washington as well as of the state authorities for the expedition; a considera- 
ble force was collected with the usual amount of delays and annoyances of 
other kinds; but a greater difficulty was encountered in securing the necessary 
provisions. At length he was able to inform Gen. Washington of the pleasiire 
he felt in having upward of four hundred head of cattle and nearly a thousand 
kegs of flonr. "The small posts of the department garrisoned by continental 
or provincial troops were evacuated, that their commands might be rendered 
available for the enterprise. As many soldiers as could well be spared from 
the large ones were directed to march to Pittsburgh for the same purpose. 
The provincial companies in Westmoreland were called in. Exertions were 
made to induce volunteering. Militia from the neighborhood were ordered to 


Fort Pitt. By the 11th of August six hundred rank and file, with a number 
of Delawares, were collected. The force began to march that day under the 
lead ol Brodhead, with Col. Gibson second in command. The army, having 
one month's supplies, advanced up the Allegheny — the provisions, except live 
cattle, being transported by water under an escort of one hundred men — to the 
mouth of the Mahoning above Kittanning. The stores were now loaded on pack- 
horses, and the troops continued their march up the river. An advance party 
of fifteen light infantiy and eight Delawares, under command of Lieut. John 
Hardin, of the Eighth Pennsylvania regiment, fell in with thirty or forty war- 
riors, coming down the Allegheny in seven canoes. A sharp contest ensued. 
The enemy were defeated, the savages losing five of their number killed and 
several wounded. All their canoes with their contents were captured. Three 
of the Americans were wounded, also one of the Delawares. 

' ' Brodhead proceeded up the river as far as an Indian village of Bucka- 
loons, its inhabitants fieeing upon his approach. The army threw up a 
breastwork of trees not far away, and a garrison of forty men was left to guard 
the provisions. The remainder of the force marched up the river to the mouth 
of the Conewango, near which was a deserted village of that name." This 
was at the present town of Warren, one hundred and sixty-nine miles above 
Pittsburgh. ' ' The troops then moved up the latter stream to within about 
four miles of the present state boundary line, where several towns were found 
just vacated."* All the villages found were burned, and the cornfields 
destroyed, The army returned by the Venango road, and reached Pittsburgh 
on the 1-lth of September without the loss of a man. On the 27th of October 
Congress passed the following resolution relative to this expedition: 

Resolved, That the thanks of Congress be given to his excellency, Gen. Washington, 
for directing, and to Col. Brodhead and the brave oflScers and soldiers under his com- 
mand for executing, the important expedition against the Mingo and Munsie Indians, and 
that part of the Senecas on the A.llegheny river, by which the depredations of those sav- 
ages, assisted by their merciless instigators, subjects of the king of Great Britain, upon 
the defenseless inhabitants of the western frontiers have been restrained and prevented. 

During all this time, as before, the Indians of the west were a great source 
of trouble, and what to do, with the limited resources at command, was the 
question that perplexed everyone from the commander-in-chief down. Fort 
Laurens had for a long time engaged the attention of the savages, but without 
relieving the commander of the western department, who found the care of that 
post as difficult as that of the frontier had been without it. Even during its 
occupation the frontier was not free from the raids of small war-parties, but 
after its evacuation, up to the setting in of winter, the Indians of the west over- 
ran the whole southwestern part of Pennsylvania, and life was nowhere secure. 
The repetition of these raids, although varying more or less according to cir- 


cumstances, was the everyday expectation of the western population, and the 
mere recital of them became monotonous. 

The population around Forbes' road, in the Monongahela valley, in the 
immediate vicinity of Pittsburgh, and generally throughout the southwestern 
part of the state, had by this time become considerable. But the draft that was 
made on them for the war with England, for the garrisoning of the local forts 
and blockhouses, for the various expeditions into the enemy's country, and for 
the defense of their own homes, left them little time for the care of their farms. 
Yet at no time in the history of the state did this require greater labor. For, 
although the soil was as yet rich and required little cultivation, the forests had 
to be cleared and enclosed, the ground in most cases to be broken up with 
strong teams, which were not at the command of everyone, and when iinder 
cultivation it required constant watching to prevent wild animals, such as deer, 
bears, raccoons, etc., fi'om destroying large portions of the crop. The life of 
the frontiersman was one of great hardship, and though it bred a hardy race 
it frequently taxed them beyond the power of endurance. The women, too, 
lequired courage equally with the men, for it frequently happened that for 
weeks they were left alone with their families in a little ' ' patch ' ' in the forests, 
far from all human succor, and liable at any moment to hear the warwhoop of 
the savage, or discover him hirking around the premises, ready to fall upon 
his victim. Many a descendant of these pioneers remembers the thrilling tales 
of adventure with which his winter's nights were regaled by eyewitnesses of 
them, and actors, too, in the years of his childhood, and how he retired to rest 
afraid of seeing an Indian, in his childish fancy, as he crept into bed. With 
the narrators of those stories this was no fancy, but the sternest reality; and it 
may be truly said of them that they carried their lives in their hands. 

The Indians were again on the frontier earlier than usual in 1780, murder- 
ing and taking prisoners. Among the latter of these was a girl named Cath- 
arine Malott, who afterward became the wife of the notorious Simon Girty, 
whom Heckewelder called "the white savage," and who certainly deserved 
the name. This year threatened to be a sad one for the settlements. Says 
Mr. Butterfield: "By the last of April the Indians had become exceedingly 
troublesome; over forty men, women, and children had fallen victims of their 
ferocity in the country south and southwest of Fort Pitt. These depreda- 
tions were quickly followed by others to the northward. It really began to 
look as though the county of Westmoreland would again become a wilderness. 
A large part of the population north of the Yoaghiogheny were forced to fly 
to the several forts of that locality for safety. The utmost exertions of the 
local companies and of the half-clad, half-starved regulars^now only the 
cullings of last year's men, many having been sent over the mountains on 
account of the pressui'e of the war upon the sealsoard- — were put forth to pro- 
tect the homes of the borderers, but with little effect. The war, if possible, 
the commander realized fully, must be carried to the homes of the savages, 


and, above all, it was now seen, to the homes of the Wyandots, who were more 
powerful for mischief to the border than either of the other tribes acting 
against it. In June Capt. Isaac Craig, with a detachment from the Fourth 
Pennsylvania Artillery, reached Fort Pitt." Mr. Craig and his descendants 
were destined to be among the most intelligent and public-spirited citizens of 
the incipient city of Pittsburgh, and his name is frequently mentioned both 
in military and civic matters later on in our history. His son, Neville B. 
Craig, has put not only Pittsburgh, but the southwestern portion of the state, 
under obligations to him for his seasonable publication of " The Olden Time," 
a collection of original- papers relating to the country around the head of the 
Ohio, and his ' ' History of Pittsburgh, ' ' which relates the annals of ou r city 
with unusual accuracy down to the date of its publication, 1851 . He was 
also the leading newspaper- man of his time, and published the first daily 
paper in Pittsburgh. 

On the 10th of July BroJhead informed the lieutenants of the counties of 
the western department of his intention to carry the war into the enemy's 
country; but told them at the same time that that matter must be kept a pro- 
found secret, and its execution must be made with dispatch. But it was much 
easier under the circumstances to plan an expedition than it was to carry the 
plan into execution, and Brodhead was not the first commander of the depart- 
ment to learn this unpleasant truth. An entire corps from Maryland that had 
been on duty guarding the frontier of Westmoreland county deserted in a body, 
in August; and, to embarrass the commander of the department still more, 
Washington informed him that he could fui'nish no soldiers for the expedition. 
The best that Brodhead could do in these adverse circumstances was to confine 
his efforts to what Washington termed " partisan strokes," to which the com- 
mander-in-chief encouraged him. The creation of the new county of Wash- 
ington, March 28, 1781, which embraced the southwestern portion of Pennsyl- 
vania, and the organization of a body of militia there under James Marshall, 
the lieutenant of the county, increased the force in that part of the country, 
and afforded additional security to the settlers. 

The strenuous efforts of the British at Detroit to win the Delawares, the 
only tribe that could be said to have remained faithful to the Americans, was in a 
measure successful about the close of the year 1780, and the beginning of the 
following year saw every tribe of the west up in arms against the frontier. 
Brodhead, still bent upon a movement into the Indian country, collected a 
small force in April, 1781, and, dropping down to W'heeling, was joined 
by David Shepherd, lieutenant of Ohio county, Va. He led the forces into 
the Indian country, took the savages at Coshocton completely by surprise, 
destroyed their town and a village just below, killed fifteen of their warriors 
and took twenty prisoners. Large quantities of peltry and stores were alsa 
destroyed, and about forty head of cattle killed. The expedition was a very 
decided success; the hostile Delawares fell back further to the west, and never 


again occ iipied the territory from which they had been driven. The few remain- 
ing friendly Delawares placed themselves under the protection of Brodhead ; and 
their assistance and the information they were able fi'om time to time to afford 
of the movements of the hostile savages were of great service to the com- 
mander of the western department. 

Early in 1781 Col. George Rogers Clarke arrived at Fort Pitt on his way 
down the Ohio, in command of an expedition against the Indians of the west, 
principally with a view of capturing the old French posts in the Illinois coimtry 
now in the hands of the enemy. Brodhead, whose forces then consisted of 
not more than two hundred men, was directed by Washington to detach his 
field-pieces, howitzers and train to join him. At that time Fort Pitt was little 
better than a heap of ruins, while the garrison, ill fed and ill equipped, were 
in a very sorry condition to repel an enemy, should the Indians take Fort Mc- 
intosh and attack them. The militia were without proper organization, and, 
when called into service, destitute to a great extent of military knowledge and 
discipline. The civil government was even in a worse condition, on account of 
the excitement regarding the boundary dispute. Both sides before the war 
had asserted their claims to an organized jurisdiction over the disputed territory, 
and exercised them. As between the two commonwealths, the quarrel was 
virtually brought to an end in 1779; but bitter feelings still existed among the 
people, and the line was not yet run. As a consequence, having long con- 
temned the authority of a neighboring state, many had come to open disrespect 
for their own. Hence there was a restlessness, bordering on insubordination, 
prevailing in many parts of the country, and a desire on the part of some to 
emigrate into the wilderness beyond the Ohio to form a new state. 

Troubles between certain of the military oiBcers added to the difficulties of 
the situation. Brodhead, who, according to his ability, was zealous for the 
advancement of the interests of his department, met with considerable opposi- 
tion — so much so that on the 6th of October he wrote Gen. Washington: " Col. 
Gibson still continues to counteract me, and the officers who favor his claim 
reject my orders; others refuse his, and things are in the utmost confusion." 
These unfortunate circumstances rendered it necessary to send some other 
officer to take command of the department; but who this officer should be it 
was not easy to determine. To an unusual degree of prudence he must add 
proper firmness in order to restore discipline, while with these he must possess 
all the qualities necessary to deal with the hostile savages to the north and 
west. After mature deliberation Washington selected Gen. William Irvine. 
Congress confirmed the apj)ointment, and the new commander set out for the 
field of his future operations, where he arrived early in November, 1781. 

Before the arrival of Gen. Irvine, Brodhead had been superseded in the 
command of the western department by his rival, Col. Gibson, and his pred- 
ecessor was submitted to a trial, mainly, it would appear, for his extravagant 
use or waste of the public stores. On this point Irvine wrote to Washington 


under date of December, 1781: " The consumption of public stores, in my 
opinion, has been enormous, particularly military stores, and I fear the reason 
for it will not be justifiable, viz., that the militia would all fly if they had not 
powder and lead given them, not only when in service, but to keep at their 
homes. . . I find that nearly 2,000 lb. of lead and 4,000 lb. of powder 
have been issued to the militia since the dispute between Cols. Brodhead and Gib- 
son, chiefly by orders of the former, besides arms, accouteiments, etc., and 
not a man called into active service." He spoke at the same time of the man- 
ner in which he had re-formed the companies of soldiers at the fort, and also 
of the failure of Gen. Clarke's expedition, to which reference was made above. 
He further noted the encouragement the savages would feel in it, and the 
probability of an attack being made on the fi'ontier, seconded by the British, 
who were still in possession of Detroit. In view of this he thought that the 
site of Pittsburgh was not the best for a fort, and that it should be at the 
mouth of Chartier's creek, below Pittsburgh, on the south side of the Ohio. 
He wrote to the commander-in-chief: "I have been viewing the country in 
this vicinity, and find no place equal for a post to the mouth of Chartier's 
creek, about four miles down the river. Capt. Hutchins pointed that place 
out to me before I left Philadelphia, and says there is no place equal to it 
anywhere within forty miles of Fort Pitt. I think it best calculated on many 
accounts. First, the ground is such that works may be constructed to contain 
amy number of men from five hundred to a thousand. It is by nature almost 
inaccessible on three sides, and on the fourth no commanding ground within 
three thousand yards. Secondly, as it would effectually cover the settlements 
on Chartier's creek, the necessity for keeping a post at Fort Mcintosh would, 
of course, cease. In case of making that the main post, Fort Pitt should be 
demolished, except the north bastion, on which a strong blockhouse should be 
erected. A small party on it would as effectually keep up communication 
with the settlements on the Monongahela as the whole garrison now does; for 
the necessary detachments at Mcintosh, Wheeling, etc., so divide the troops 
that no one place can be held without a large body of troops. Indeed, if the 
enemy from Detroit should undertake to make us a visit, it would be an excel- 
lent place for them to take by surprise, whence they could send out Indians 
and other partisans and lay the whole country waste before we covild dislodge 

Few passages in all the correspondence relating to Western Pennsylvania 
contain more practical wisdom than this. The reader of our early annals will 
not fail to remember that the mouth of Chartier's creek was the very spot 
upon which the friendly Indians wanted the traders to build a fort for their 
protection, just before the breaking out of the French war, though Washington 
thought, af the end of 1753, that it was not so favorably situated as the forks; 
but then he had in view the protection of the mouth of the Monongahela 
ao-ainst the French coming down the Allegheny. Still, it is plain to all that a 


fort on the low ground between the confluence of the two rivers could at any time 
have been easily bombarded from any of the high surrounding hills, without 
its being able to make any effectual defense. And when Fort Duquesne fell 
into the hands of the English there were not wanting those who favored the 
building of a large fort upon what is now known as Boyd's hill, overlooking 
the Monongahela, which, from the name of the principal advocate of the 
measure, a Scotchman by the name of Ayres, was long known as Ayres' hill. 
In connection with this he would have a smaller fort on the hill overlookincr 
the Allegheny. Viewing the matter fi'om this distance only, we can not but 
believe that either this plan or that of Gen. Irvine was preferable to the one 
adopted, as Fort Pitt was iitterly defenseless against artillery, had it been 
brought to bear upon it. 

But brighter days were beginning to dawn for the country, although the 
west would be the last to reap the advantage. The surrender of Cornwallis 
effectually broke the power of the British in her former colonies, and sealed 
the independence of the United States. But Detroit, the instigator of the 
Indians against the western settlements, was for some time longer in her pos- 
session. Upon receiving intelligence of the surrender of the British forces 
Gen. Irvine issued the following order: 

Fort Pitt. November 6, 1781. 

Parole — General. Countersign — Joy. 

Gen. Irvine has the pleasure to congratulate the troops upon the great and glorious 
news. Lord Cornwallis, with the troops under his command, surrendered prisoners of 
war, on the 19th of October last, to the allied armies of America and France, under the 
immediate command of his exellency Gen. Washington. The prisoners amount to upward 
of five thousand regular troops, near two thousand tories, and as many negroes, besides 
a number of merchants and other followers. 

Thirteen pieces of artillery will be fired this day at 10 o'clock, in the fort, at which 
time the troops will be under arms, with their colors displayed. The commissaries will 
issue a gill of whisky extraordinary, to the non-commissioned officers and privates, upon 
this joyful occasion. 

At the beginning of the following year, Gen. Irvine retired for a time to 
Carlisle; but the threatening attitude of the savages on the frontier induced 
the commander-in-chief to v?rite him, under date of March 8th, to hasten back 
to Fort Pitt. He reached it on the 25th to find the settlements in a state of 
alarm. The garrisons, too, of Forts Pitt and Mcintosh were in a mutinous 
condition ; but the firmness of the commander soon restored them to proper 
discipline, though not without the frequent application of ' ' one himdred lashes 
well laid on, ' ' and the execution of two soldiers. 

The settlers were anxious to be led against the Wyandots on the Sandiisky 
river, to which measure the better judgment of Irvine made him opposed ; but 
he finally consented, and did all in his power to insure the success of the expedi- 
tion. The distance, however, was great, and led through the enemy's country 
for the most part, where the little army could be harassed continually, and 


where the difficulty of carrying provisions would be an almost insurmountable 
obstacle to success. The expedition proved unsuccessful: fifty of the soldiers 
lost their lives; William Crawford, the commander, was taken prisoner, and 
afterward burned at the stake. But this unhappy issue of the expedition was 
felt still further in emboldening the savages and convincing them of the inability 
of the whites to protect themselves and their settlements. Notwithstanding 
this, Irvine contemplated another expedition against the same Indian towns, 
and made preparations for it. But on the assurance of the commander of the 
British forces that the savages had all been required to desist from hostilities. 
Gen. Washington directed him to abandon it. 

The unprotected state of the northern portion of Westmoreland county, 
from which many of the soldiers had been withdrawn for the unsuccessful 
expedition into the west, proved too inviting for the savages to permit it to 
pass unprolited of. Accordingly a large war pai-ty, amounting to about three 
hundred, said to be in command of Kiashuta, crossed the Allegheny and pro- 
ceeded to Hannastown, the county seat of Westmoreland coimty, which was 
situated on the old Forbes road, about thirty miles east of Pittsburgh and three 
northeast of Greensburg. They reached this point on the 13th of July, 1782. 
The laborers at work in the harvest field about a mile north of the town spied 
the foremost skulking about the fields. Some, seizing their guns, hurried 
back to the fort, and others carried the news throughout the country. Then 
all flocked together where best they might, and within a few hoiu's the savages 
were around the village of Hannastown. Timely warning had been given to 
the villagers, and all had sought refuge in the fort. But its defenders, 
though brave, were few, its inmates being for the most part decrepit old 
men, women and children. Most of the men were out giving the alarm and 
assisting the helpless. Besides, they had few arms. When the savages came 
up the hill, north of the village, a loud yell indicated that they had been dis- 
appointed in their hopes of securing a rich harvest of scalps. They feared to 
attack the fort, but busied themselves in plundering and burning the village. 
Fears were entertained that the shower of sparks carried about by a strong 
wind blowing at the time would set fire to the fort, but a kind Providence 
averted them, and the garrison escaped the impending danger. While the 
flames were rising the savages held a consultation; a party of about sixtj' then 
broke olf, and, while the rest danced around the burning houses, passed toward 
the south to attack the station at Miller's, about three miles distant. Here 
about a dozen families had collected, whom the Indians hoped to surprise. 
But brave hearts, regardless of danger to themselves, had spread the alarm: 
and no sooner were the savages seen to approach the edge of the clearing at 
the station than Capt. Matthew Jack was gathering the men in. But resist- 
ance against such a body of savages was vain, and those who were most 
familiar with Indian warfare did not resist for fear of bringing on an indis- 
criminate slaughter of the innocent women and children. The whole party 


was bound and carried off toward where the rest of the savages were awaiting 
_them. The Indians retired during the night, with their prisoners and booty, 
and were followed as far as the Kiskiminetas by a small body of men who had 
assembled from the surrounding settlements. This was the last serious attack 
made on the settlements east of the Allegheny, although alarms were fre- 
quent, and minor depredations occasionally took place for a few years longer. 
The winter of 1782-83 was spent in comparative quiet by the settlements, 
the Indians being convinced by this time that the cause of the British, who had 
instigated and supported them, was hopelessly lost. Gen. Irvine, on the let 
of October, 1783, having furlonghed his garrison, and turned over his com- 
mand to a small continental force, took his final leave of the western depart- 
ment. Pennsylvania acknowledged her gratitude for his services by donating 
him a valuable tract of land on Lake Erie, below the city of the same name, 
which was afterward known as ' ' Irvine' s reserve. ' ' 

The conclusion of the war with Great Britain gave a new impulse to settle- 
ment, weakened the confidence of the Indians, and left a body of trained sol- 
diers ready at any time to march against them in case of an outbreak; and an 
altogether new era may be said to have dawned upon Western Pennsylvania, 
so long accustomed to war's alarms. 



Conflicting Claims— Penn.sylvania's Last Treaty with the Natives— "The 
New Purchase "—Settlements and Land-Titles— Depreciation and Res- 
ervation IjAnds— Administration of Justice— Courthouses, Jails, etc. 
—Erection of County- First County Officers, etc. 

THE claim of the Indians to the coiintry west of the Allegheny and north 
of the Ohio had not yet been extinguished, but both the natives and the 
whites saw that the time was at hand for such a move; the whites, because 
they were pushing constantly further west from the mountains, and would not 
be satisfied with small tracts of land, and the Indians, because they perceived 
that, as usual, the palefaces continued to encroach on their domain till they 
were no longer able to hold it. Nor could they rely, as formerly, on the English 
or the French, both of whom had to yield in their turn to the colonists; nor 
could they feel, as in former years, that the settlers were weak and they strong; 
for now they were sensible that their star was fast on the wane, while that of 
the settlers was on the ascendant. It was with feelings like these that both 
parties met in conference at Fort Stanwix in October, 178-1:, the state of Penn- 


sylvania being represented by commissioners appointed by the governor, and 
the tribes of the Six Nations being represented by their chiefs. The deed for 
all the territory west of the Allegheny was signed by the chiefs and commis- 
sioners on the 23d of October, and the claim of the aborigines to the soil of 
Pennsylvania was forever extinguished. This purchase was confirmed by the 
Wyandots and Delawares, at Fort Mcintosh, by a deed executed January 21, 
1785; for though these tribes were not independent of the Six Nations, whose 
will was their law, yet this formality was deemed advisable to prevent future 
cause of complaint. This was the last treaty which Pennsylvania had with the 
natives. She was now in possession of all the territory to which she was enti- 
tled; and however shallow the boast may be that she never occupied any of the 
territory of the aborigines without first purchasing it from them, she had it all 
now without any fear of serious molestation fi-om them. This last extensive 
acquisition was long known as ' ' the New Purchase. " ' Further on an oppor- 
tunity will be offered of treating of the divisions made of this new territory. 

The Indians were loth to permit their vast hunting-grounds to become the 
farms of their enemies, and continued, though not so frequently as before, 
nor in such formidable bands, to infest the settlements and carry off an occa- 
sional prisoner or his scalp. Settlements began to multiply on the Ohio, and 
Indian depredations were restrained to a greater or less degree in that direc- 
tion; but in the north and northwest the natives were very troublesome. It 
became necessary to build new posts on the headwaters of the Allegheny, or 
rather repair and garrison those which had long existed there, but which had 
for some years been evacuated. Accordingly we read in the •"Military Jour- 
nal ■' of Maj. Ebenezer Denny, under date of April 10, 1787, the following entry : 
'■ Fort Harmar, mouth of Muskingum river. . Capt. Heart ordered to 

proceed with his company to a place called Venango, on the Allegheny river, 
about one hundred and fifty miles above Pittsburgh, there to erect a suitable 
work. This place had formerly V>een occupied by the French and English 
troops, but burnt down. " ' The subjoined extracts from the same ' ' Joiirnal ' ' 
will both explain the building of the fort at the mouth of French creek and 
give au interesting picture of the Allegheny at that time. " Sth April. 1788. — 
It was the general's [Harmar" sj intention to spend a day or two here [at Pitts- 
burgh], and proceed up the Allegheny to Fort Franklin [formerly Venango], 
but a continuation of heavy i-ains and consequent high water induced him to 
delay for a more favorable time; but unwilling to be absent too long, we set 
out with high water, and rising. This day we passed seven islands, and gained 
fifteen miles. 18th. — Had severe thunder, with rain. Passed eight islands 
and several lodges of Indians near the Kiskiminetas, Lay five miles above 
the mouth of that river. 29th. — Clear and cold. Kiver still rising. Passed 
seven islands, and encamped a mile above Mahoning. 30th. — Last night the 
contractor' s boat, fi'om Venango, passed down on its way back to Pitt : had a pas- 
sage of fifteen days up. Very hard water to-day. Passed two islands: gained 


twenty miles. May 1st. — Current this day very rapid. Passed Stump creek 
[Clarion] and six islands; made about twenty miles. 2d. — . . Five 

islands this day, and ruin from morning till night. 3d. — About 8 o'clock this 
morning, after passing one island, we entered the mouth of French creek. The 
fort stands half a mile up. Several miles below we were discovered by some 
Indians, who cut across and gave notice to Capt. Heart of our approach. The 
arrival of Gen. Harmar was announced with seven rounds of a six-pounder 
from the fort. Verj' kindly received by the captain and Lient. Frothingham, 
at the head of their command. The company reviewed and dismissed. Spent 
the day in examining Capt. Heart's work, viewing the adjacent countiy and 
the old fortifications of the French and British. There is a fine fiat of good 
land here, altogether on the lower side of French creek, but sufficient for several 
farms. The only flat land from Mahoning or Mohelboteetam up. 
Capt. Heart's fort, or Fort Franklin, as it is called, is built precisely after the 
plan of the one which had been erected by the British, called Venango. It is a 
square redoubt, with a blockhouse, three stories high, in the center; stands 
better than half a mile up French creek, upon very good ground; but the sit- 
uation, in my opinion, by no means so eligible as that of old Venango, built 
by the English. The last work stood upon a commanding ground pretty close 
to the bank of the Allegheny, half a mile below French creek, and a mile from 
Fort Franklin. The cellar wall and huge stack of chimneys of the block- 
house are of stone, and are yet quite entire. The parapet and some other 
parts remain perfect, and the whole work might have been rebuilt with half 
the labor and expense of that built by Heart. The only reason the captain 
could offer for taking new ground was the convenience of timV)er. ' ' This was 
the last fort built in the state of Pennsylvania, and, though a hundred and 
twenty-four miles from Pittsburgh, was yet in Allegheny county. 

A sad change had already come over the Six Nations, the "Eomans of 
America. ' ' The ' ' Journal ' ' continues with regard to the Senecas, at one time 
the most numerous tribe of the confederation: " We see a number of Senecas 
here. The Senecas who inhabit the banks of the Allegheny, some three or 
four days' journey above this, are frecjuently here. They bring their peltry 
and exchange it with the traders for such articles as suit them. We saw 
several families of them; all appeared indolent, dirty, inanimate creatures; 
most so of any Indians I had seen. 4th. — Left Fort Franklin at 5 o'clock. 
Allegheny river flowing brim full; current not less, perhaps, than six miles 
an hour. We worked twelve oars steadily. Had two extra hands that afforded 
some relief; and except about an hour, which was taken up in whole in eating, 
and a little time spent on an island, we lost no time. Arrived and landed at 
the fort on the Monongaheia side precisely at 8 o'clock — fifteen hours' passage. 
Old Kittanning a delightful place. " 

The subjoined extracts from the ' " Journal ' ' seem in place here, as afford- 
ing some idea of the scenes and state of affairs around Pittsburgh: "13th 


[Miiy]. ^Visited my uncle John McClnre's family, nine miles above Fort Pitt, 
on the Monongahehi; spent a very pleasant day. Two or three gentle ae(|uaiiit- 
ances were along; they were formerly from Carlisle. A very r(>spectal)l(> por- 
tion of the society of Pittsburgh are from that place, and this circumstance, no 
doubt, tends to attract and to create the social intercourse and very great 
harmony which prevail among them. ]5th.— A Mr. White, a member of 
Congress, and some gentlemen fi'om Pittsburgh, acconjpanied the general 
[Harmar] in the barge on a visit up the Monongahela to Braddock's Field. 
We viewed the battle-ground. Saw several small heaps of bones which had 
been collected, with a little brushwood thrown over them. The bones of the 
poor soldiers are still lying scattered through the woods, but the ground where 
the heaviest of the action was is now under cultivation.'" 

The piu'chase of the Indian title to the land west of the Allegheny gave 
somewhat greater security to settlements east of that stream and south of the 
Ohio; although the natives were loth to leave their ancient domain, and contin- 
ued to pay it occasional unfriendly visits. Another imjiortant body of men, 
now ajipeared on the scene, the surveyors appointed by the state authorities to 
lay out the land prej)aratory to exposing it to sale. Apart from the ditficulties 
of their position, owing to the fact that almost the entire country was still a 
•wilderness, and the geography of it as to the particulars necessary to facilitate 
a survey in a great measure unknown, it was not unusual to find a lurking 
Indian in search of a scalp in some recess of the forest. The work, however, 
■went on. although interrupted at times; and large tracts of country were taken 
up by emigrants from east of the mountains. 

The large tract purchased from the Indians west of the Allegheny and 
north of the Ohio rivers was divided east and west into two great sections, 
which were afterward surveyed into lots. Says Judge Agnew:* " The com- 
monwealth, having become sovereign proprietor of all the lands within the state-, 
and intending and anticipating the purchase of the Indian title, provided by an 
act of March 12, 1783, for the appropriation of all that portion of the pur- 
chase of 1784 and 1785 north of the Ohio and west of the Allegheny river and 
the Conewango creek, by dividing the same into two large and separate sec- 
tions. These were: 1. For the redemption of the certificates of depreciation, 
given to the oflScers and soldiers of the Pennsylvania line, in pursuance of an 
act of 18th December. 1780, providing that the certificates should be equal to 
gold or silver, in payment of unlocated lands, if the owner should think proper 
to purchase such. 2. In fulfillment of the promise of the state, in a resolu- 
tion of March 7. 1780, to the officers and soldiers of the Pennsylvania line to 
make them certain donations in lands, according to their rank in the service. 
The act of March 12, 1783. therefore divided this territory by a due west line, 
running from Mogulbughtiton creek on the Allegheny river above Kittanning 
(probably Pine creek), f to the western boundary of the state. The course of this 

• " Settlements and Laud Titles of Northwestern Pennsjlvania." + It is Mahoning Creek. 


line runs between seven and eight miles south of the present city of New 
Castle, which lies in the fork of the Shenango and Neshannock creeks. The 
land south of this boundary was appropriated to the redemption of the depre- 
ciation certificates, and became known as the ' depreciation lands.' Out of this 
section were reserved to the state two tracts of three thousand acres each, one at 
the mouth of the Allegheny, where the city of Allegheny now stands ; the other at 
the mouth of the Big Beaver creek on both sides, including Fort Mcintosh 
(now Beaver). The land north of the line above described was appropriated 
to donations to the soldiers of the Pennsylvania line, for their services in the 
revohitionary war, and became known as the ' donation lands. " 

The act of 1783, referred to above, required the "depreciation lands" to 
be laid out by the surveyor-general, under the direction of the supreme exec- 
utive council of the state, into lots of not less than two hundred acres, and not 
more than three hundred and fifty acres, numbering them on the draft or plat 
of the country. As soon as the whole, or at least one hundred lots, shoiild be 
surveyed, the surveyor- general, secretary of the land-office and receiver- 
general were required to proceed to sell, in numerical order, at such times and 
places and under such regulations as should be appointed by the supreme 
executive council; the full sum of each bid to be paid in gold or silver or in 
depreciation certificates. The surveyor was further directed to note on his 
map the courses and depths of the waters, places of mines, sites for towns, 
the quantity of each lot, and a precise description. But those employed in the 
survey were forbidden to give any information of the quantity and advantages 
of the lots, except in the return made to the council. It is generally admitted 
that there were not wanting those among the surveyors who took advantage of 
their knowledge of the country to secure good tracts for themselves. 

The three thousand acres reserved to the state out of the depreciation lands 
opposite the town of Pittsburgh is deserving of more than a mere reference. 
The act provides for the "reserving to the use of the state of three thousand 
acres, in an oblong of not less than one mile in depth from the Allegheny and 
Ohio rivers, and extending up and down the said rivers, from opposite Fort 
Pitt, so far as it may be necessary to include the same." "This reservation 
was surveyed by Alexander McLean, in the month of April, 1785, in pur- 
suance of an order to make the survey, before the other lands were surveyed. 
The northern boundary began on the right bank of the Ohio river, nearly 
opposite the mouth of Chartier's creek, and ran east nine hundred and 
seventy-two perches to a hickory tree, north eighty perches to a sassafras, 
east two hundred and twenty-nine and a half perches to a mulberry, north 
twenty-six perches to a post and stones on the bank of Girty's run, thence 
down Girty's run several courses — in all one hundred and three perches — to 
the Allegheny river. The two rivers constituted the remainding boundaries. 

The following remarks on this reservation, which were made by David Ked- 
ick, then described as a man of mark in Western Pennsvlvania, will be read 


with interest and amvxsement. In a letter to Benjamin Franklin, the presi- 
dent of the execvitive council of the state, and dated February 19, 1788, he 
says, among other matters of minor importance in this connection: "On 
Tuesday last I went with several other gentlemen to fix on the spot for laying 
out the town opposite Pittsbuigh, and at the same time took a general view of 
the tract, and find it far inferior to expectations, although I thought I had 
been no stranger to it. There is some pretty low groi;nd on the rivers Ohio 
and Alleghenia, but there is but a small proportion of it dry land which ap- 
pears anyway valuable, either for timber or soil; but especially for soil; it 
abounds with high hills, deep hollows, almost inaccessible to a survoj'or. I 
am of the opinion that if the inhabitants of the moon are capable of receiving 
the same advantages from the earth which we do from their world, I say, if it 
be so, this same far-famed tract of land would afford them a variety of beauti- 
ful lunar spots, not unworthy the eye of a philosopher. I can not think that 
ten-acre lots on such pits and hills will profitably meet with purchasers, 
unless, like a pig in a poke, it be kept out of view. ' ' 

The following minor reservations are worthy of note in the legislation 
regarding the same tract: "The president or vice-president in council shall 
reserve out of the lots of the said town" — Allegheny — "for the use of the 
state, so much land as they shall deem necessary for a courthouse, jail and 
market-house, for places of public worship, and burying the dead; and without 
the said town one hundred acres for a common pasture; and the streets, lanes 
and alleys of the said town and outlets shall be common highways forever." 

" A noticeable feature," says Judge Agnew, "indicating the views of that 
time, was the inclusion of houses of public worship and burial, as public uses. 
However singular this may appear to men of this generation, having looser 
notions, at that early day this reservation accorded decidedly with their stricter 
notions of religious practice, under a constitution which then required the 
members of the assembly to be sworn to a belief in God and in the divine 
inspiration of the Scriptures, and which declared that all religious societies or 
bodies of men united or incorporated for the advancement of religion and 
learning or other pious or charitable purposes should be encouraged." 

There were certain other reservations in the northern part of the new pur- 
chase, but, though they were then contained in Allegheny, they never figured 
prominently in her history. 

With regard to the depreciation lands the following must be premised in 
order that the reader may have a correct understanding of the subject; the 
words of Judge Agnew are once more the most fitting terms in which to treat 
of this matter. Says the learned jurist: " lu order to encourage enlistment, 
and to reward those who in the revolutionary war entered into the military serv- 
ice in the Pennsylvania line and in the state navy, the state promised to pay them 
in a sound currency, and also to secure to them donations of land. In pursu- 
ance of this patriotic purjiose. and of the recommendation of Congress of the 


15th of May, 1778, recited in the act, the state by the act of March 1, 1780, 
made provision for the state troops, and the officers and marines of the navy, 
and extended these provisions to the widows and children of those killed in 
battle."' In the carrying out of the provisions of this act a number of other 
enactments were found necessary, which it is not necessary to treat of in detail. 

The depreciation and donation lands were the twin progeny of patriotism 
and necessity. The northern portion of the lands of the New Purchase divided 
by the act of March 13, 1783, was ajipropriated to donations to bo made to 
soldiers of the Pennsylvania line. The act provides that all of a certain tract 
beginning at the "mouth of Mogulbughtiton creek; thence up the Allegheny 
river to the mouth of the Cagnawaga creek (Conewango) ; thence due north to 
the northern boundary of this state ; thence south by the western boundary of 
the state to the northwest corner of lands appropriated by this act for discharg- 
ing the certificates therein mentioned; and thence by the same lands east to 
the place of beginning; which said tract of country shall be reserved and set 
apart for the only and sole use of fulfilling and carrying into execution the 
said resolve. . . . The comptroller-general was directed to make out lists of 
persons, stating their rank and quantity of land, to be laid before the council, that 
the surveyor- general might be able to instruct his deputies as to the number and 
contents of the lots. The lots were to be of four descriptions, viz. , five hundred 
acres, three hundred acres, two hundred and fifty acres, and two hundred acres 
each; a quantity laid off in 500-acre lots, equal to what should be necessary 
for major-generals, brigadier- generals, colonels, captains and two-thirds of 
lieutenant-colonels; in 300-acre lots for regimental surgeons and mates, captains, 
majors and ensigns; in 250-acre lots for one-third of lieutenants, sergeants, 
sergeant-majors and quartermasters; and in 200- acre lots for lieutenants, cor- 
porals, drummers, fifers, drum-majors, fife-majors and privates. ... A 
major-general was entitled to di-aw four 500-acre lots; a brigadier-general, three 
500-acre lots; a colonel, t,wo 500-acre lots; a lieutenant-colonel, one 500-acre lot 
and one '250-acre lot; a sergeant, chaplain or majoi', two 800-acre lots; a captain, 
one 500-acre lot; a lieutenant, two 200- acre lots; an ensign or regimental 
sergeant, one 300-acre lot; a sergeant, sergeant-major or quartermaster-ser- 
geant, one 200- acre lot; and a drum-major, fife-major, fifer, corporal or private, 
one 200-acrelot. " Such was the plan adopted by the state for the distribution 
of the lands of this section. It is not necessary to enter into a detailed account 
of the carelessness of the surveyors, nor the causes of it, and the lawsuits that 
followed in the course of time. It may be remarked, however, that the Indians 
still infested the country, and caused considerable fears in the surveyors and 
their aids, fears which were occasionally realized in the loss of some imfortu- 
nate man's scalp. 

The placing of these two districts in the market had the effect of increas- 
ing the number of settlements west of the Allegheny, and rousing the ire of 
the natives, who soon renewed their depredations, till they were finally van- 


quished by Gen. Wayne, in the battle of the Maumee, August 20, 1794. But 
the principal settlements were in the valley of the Monongahela, where the 
country was well occupied, owing to the fact that that stream had become the 
thoroughfare for persons going to the west, who reached it at Brownsville. 
The time had not come, however, for the development of the mineral resources, 
and people were intent on taking up as much land as possible; for by means 
of farming they could best satisfy their few and simple wants. 

But, though the people were an industrious and hardy race, they had been 
so long accustomed to fight the Indians that they had become to a great extent 
reckless; the titles to lands were too often loosely constructed; and the boundary 
dispute had tended so much to complicate matters that fi'equent lawsuits 
varied the monotony of the life of the backwoodsmen. The inconvenience to 
which they were put iu attending court was the principal reason for the erec- 
tion of a new county, with the seat of justice at Pittsburgh. But it will be 
proper to cast a glance at the administration of justice in the district prior to 
that time. And first of the jurisdiction exercised by Virginia. 

The Earl of Dunmore, while governor of Virginia, first organized the courts 
of the West Augusta district at Fort Pitt, in December, 1774; and the first 
court held there was convened February 2l8t of the following year, and the 
last on the 20th of November. A ducking-stool for the district, it may be 
remarked in passing, was erected at the confluence of the Allegheny and 
Monongahela rivers, on the day following the opening of the court. In the 
meantime a primitive courthouse was built for Augusta county at Augusta 
Town, a prospective village about two miles west of the site of the present town 
of Washington. After the formation of Youghioghania county, the seat of 
justice was removed. The records of this county, which are still preserved, 
show that the first court for that county was held at Fort Pitt — now called 
Fort Dunmore — December 23, 1776, and that the courts continued to be held 
there until August 25, 1777. They were then held at the house of Andrew 
Heath for about two months, and after that time, until 1781, at the new court- 
house ' ' on the plantation of Andrew Heath. ' ' This plantation was on the 
west side of the Monongahela, a short distance above and in sight of the pres- 
ent town of Elizabeth. Mr. Creigh, in his "History of Washington County," 
gives the subjoined account of the selection of the site for this courthouse and 
the erection of the buildings, which will be read with interest at a time when 
the citizens of Allegheny county are yet flushed with honest pride at the com- 
pletion and dedication of their magnificent temple of justice. The methods 
adopted by our forefathers and the results are thus given in the words of the 
writer named: "The electors were required to meet on the 8th of December, 
1776, at the house of Andrew Heath, on the Monongahela river, to choose the 
most convenient place for holding courts for the county of Youghioghenia. 
Notices of the election were to be given by the sheriff, ministers and rectors. 
The law also provided that if prevented from holding the election on 



the day aforesaid by rain, snow or rise of waters, the sherifp was authorized to 
adjourn to that day week, or as often as so prevented. . . The electors met 
at the appointed time, and selected the farm of Andrew Heath as the most 
convenient place. . . The court directed Thomas Smallman, John Canon 
and John Gibson, or any two of them, to provide a house at the public expense 
for the use of holding the court, and that the sheriff contract with the work- 
men to put the same in repair. The original records show that the court 
directed Isaac Cox to contract with some person or persons to build a complete 
bar and other work in the inside of the courthouse, to be completed by the 
next court. On the 24th of November, 1778, Messrs. Kuykendall and Newall 
were authorized to contract with some j)erson to chink and daub the court- 
house and provide locks and bars for the doors of the jail, and to build an 
addition to the eastern end of the courthouse and jail sixteen feet square, and 
one story high, with good, sufficient logs, a good cobber roof, a good outside 
chimney, with convenient seats for the court and bar, with a sheriff's box, a 
good iron-pipe stove for the jail-room, and that they have a pair of stocks, 
whipping-post and pillory erected in the courtyard. . . The price paid for 
these articles was two thousand dollars, continental money, which amount was 
equivalent to three hundred and seven dollars. ' ' 

The settlement of the bovrndary dispute put an end to the jurisdiction of Vir- 
ginia, and from it we shall turn to the courts held by the authority of Pennsyl- 

The first court held under the authority of Pennsylvania, in which the set- 
tlers in the western part of the province were interested, was convened at Bed- 
ford, before the establishment of Westmoreland county, on the 16th of April, 
1771. " The scattered settlers of the west," says Judge White, " were rep- 
resented by George Wilson, William Crawford, Thomas Gist and Dorsey Pente- 
cost, who were justices of the peace and judges of the court. The court 
divided the county into townships. Pitt township (including Pittsburgh) 
embraced the greater part of the present county of Allegheny, and portions of, 
Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland, and had fifty-two land-owners, twenty 
tenants and thirteen single freemen." But with the erection of Westmore- 
land county, two years later, jurisdiction over all of the western part of the 
province was transferred to it. The location of the county seat was broiight 
aboiit in this way: Five trustees were named in the act (erecting the county) 
to locate the county seat and erect the county buildings. Robert Hanna and 
Joseph Erwin were two of them; Hanna rented his house to Erwin to be kept 
as a tavern, and got the majority of the trustees to recommend his place — 
where a few other cabins were speedily erected, and the place named Hannas- 
town — for the county seat. Arthur St. Clair and a minority of the trustees 
recommended Pittsbiirgh. Here it was that justice was first dispensed west of 
the Allegheny mountains, April 6, or, as other authorities assert, April 16, 1773, 
by William Crawford. The town was burnt by the Indians, as was stated 


above, July 13, 1782; but the house of Hanna, being near the fort, escaped. 
After the destruction of the town a committee was appointed to locate the 
county seat anew. After mature deliberation they fixed upon Greensburg, and 
to that point Pittsburghers and other settlers west of the mountains had to 
turn for redress of grievances. The first court was held there in January, 
1787. But with the erection of Allegheny county relief came to the inhabitants 
of the western part of the state. 

A petition was presented to the assembly asking for the erection of a new 
county out of the territory around the head of the Ohio, the principal reasons 
adduced being the increase of population and the difficulty of having to travel 
so far in quest of justice. The petition was favorably received and an act was 
passed September 24, 1788, erecting the county of Allegheny, but a far dif- 
ferent Allegheny from the one with which the readers of this history are 
familiar, as the boiindary lines will sufficiently demonstrate. On the 24th of 
September was passed ' ' an act for the erecting of certain parts of the counties 
of Westmoreland and Washington into a separate county. ' ' 

SECTioisf I. Whereas, the iuhabiti^nts of those parts of the counties of Westmoreland 
and Washington which lie most convenient to the town of Pittsburgh have by petition 
set forth that the_y have been long subject to many inconveniences, from their being sit- 
uated at so great a distance from the seat of judicature in their respective counties, and 
that they conceive their interests and happiness would be greatly promoted by being 
erected into a separate county, comprehending the town of Pittsburgh; and, as it appears 
just that they should be relieved in the premises, aud gratified in their reasonable re- 

Section II. Be it enacted, and it is hereby enacted by the RepreMntativex of the Free- 
men of the Oomnionwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, and hy the authority of 
the same. That all those parts of the counties of Westmoreland and Washington lying 
within the limits and bounds hereinafter described shall be and hereb3' are erected into 
a separate county: that is to say, Beginning at the mouth of Flaherty's run on the south 
side of the Ohio river, from thence by a straight line to the plantation on which Joseph 
Scott, Esq., now lives, on Moulure's run, to include the same; from thence by a straight 
line to the mouth of Miller's run on Chartier's creek, thence bj- a straight line to the 
" mouth of Perry's Mill run, on the east side of the Monongahela river; thence up the said 
river to the mouth of Becket's run; thence by a straight line to the mouth of Sewickley 
creek, on the Youghiogheny river; thence down the said river to the mouth of Crawford's 
run; thence by a straight line to the mouth of Brush run, on Turtle creek; thence up 
Turtle creek to the main fork thereof; thence by a northerly line until it strikes Poketos 
creek; thence down the said creek to the Allegheny river; thence up the Allegheny river 
to the north boundary of the state; thence along the same to the western line of the state; 
thence along the same to the river Ohio; and thence up the same to the place of begin- 
ning. . . . To be henceforth known and called by the name of Allegheny county. 

The other sections of the act relate to the offices, privileges, duties, etc. . of 
the inhabitants of the newly formed county. It will be seen from these bound- 
aries that Allegheny county at that time embraced all the territory north and 
west of the Ohio and Allegheny rivers, with a large tract also east and south 
of those streams. It may be remarked, in passing, that Benjamin Franklin 
was then president of the supreme executive council of Pennsylvania, as the 


chief executive officer was at that lime called; but owing to his advanced age, 
and consequent infirmities, the business of the office devolved upon the vice- 
president, Peter Mnhlenberger. 

The boundaries of the county were still further extended by the annexation 
of a considerable tract from the northern part of Washington, which was 
authorized by an act bearing date September 17, 1789, the first section of 
which declares that, "Whereas, the inhabitants of that part of the county of 
Washington which is inchided in the boundaries hereinafter mentioned haye by 
their petition represented to this house their remote situation from the seat of 
justice, and prayed to be annexed to the county of Allegheny, and the prayer 
of the petitioners appearing just and reasonable," it is enacted, by the second 
section, that the territory bounded by the following lines shall be included in 
Allegheny county, namely: '• Beginning at the river Ohio, where the boundary 
line of the state crosses the said river; from thence in a straight line to White's 
mill, on Raccoon creek; from thence by a straight line to Armstrong's mill, on 
Miller's run; and from thence by a straight line to the Monongahela river, 
opposite the mouth of Perry's run." The fourth section of the act author- 
izes and directs Peter Kidd and John Beaver to survey and mark the line of 
the tract; for which they are to receive twenty-five shillings per day, " and no 
more," to be paid by Allegheny county. 

The triangular piece of territory bordering on Lake Erie, consisting of 202,- 
187 acres, was purchased from the United States, March 3, 1792, for the sum 
of $151,640.25, or 75 cents per acre, and annexed to Allegheny county. With 
this addition the county attained its maximum area, and embraced all the ter- 
ritory included in the counties now lying west of the Allegheny and north of 
the Ohio rivers, parts of Armstrong, Venango, Forest and Warren lying within 
the same lines, and that portion of Beaver lying south of the Ohio. But by 
an act passed March 12, 1800, the county was reduced to its present limits of 
seven hundred and fifty square miles, by the formation of the counties lying, 
in whole or in part, west and north of the rivers. The location of the county 
seat will find a place in another chapter; but there are a few points in relation 
to the organization of the county which properly belong to this place. 

The first officer named for the county was the prothonotary, James Bryson, 
who was elected the day after the erection of the county (September, 1788). 
On the 29th of the same September, Samuel Jones was commissioned the first 
register for the probate of wills and granting letters of administration and re- 
cording of deeds, and held the office from February, 1789, until February, 
1818. He was at the same time appointed and commissioned a justice of the 
court of common pleas. The next day Gen. Richard Butler was chosen lieu- 
tenant. October 9th George Wallace was appointed president of the court of 
common pleas and quarter session of the peace, of jail delivery and of the 
■orphans' court. With him were associated John Metzgar, Michael Hillman 
and Robert Richie, who were judges until the reorganization under the new 


state constitution of 1790. On the '21st of November of the same year, 1788, 
John Johnston and Abraham Kirkpatrick were appointed and commissioned 
justices of the peace and of the court of common pleas; and at the same time 
Richard Butler and William Tilton were appointed justices of the court of 
common pleas. 

The division of the county into townships for the better governing of the 
increasing population was a matter of the first importance, and early engaged 
the attention of the court. On the 18th of December, 1788, the court, consist- 
ing of George Wallace, president judge, and Joseph Scott, John Johnston and 
John Williams, justices, divided the county into the following seven townships 
— and it is remarkable that the custom of naming them after the judges of the 
county had not as yet come into vogue — namely: Moon, St. Clair, Mifflin, 
Elizabeth, Versailles, Plumb and Pitt. Their action was confirmed by the 
general assembly under Thomas Mifflin, president, September 4, 1789. 

Of equal importance was the division of the territory into election districts. 
There having been only one at Pittsburgh, a second and third were established 
by an act of September 29, 1789, and a fourth was made by an act of Septem- 
ber 3, 1791. 

John Griffin was named collector of excise for AUeghen}- and Westmoreland 
counties; but the difficulties which culminated a little later in the whiskj' 
insurrection had already began to cast their shadow before, and he declined 
to serve. Kobert Hunter was appointed in his stead September 16, 1789. 
James Morrison was appointed sherifp and David Watson coroner October 30th 
of the same year; and the county was fairly launched out into its career of 
extraordinary development and industrial success. 



HiGHM'AY,s— Early Preaching—" Whisky Path "—Homes of the Pioneeks— 
Caravans — Taverns— Soakcity of Mechanics— Primitive Mills — Sports, 
Weddings, etc. — Witches and AVizards— Eeligion and Education — Con- 

THE impression that prevailed from the earliest times, that the forks of the 
Ohio were the key to the west, was strengthened rather than weakened 
with the lapse of time. If in the beginning it was the key to the Indian trade of 
the western tribes, and if later it was the great strategic point in the conflict 
of the colonies with the French for the possession of the Ohio, and during the 
revolutionary period the point from which the frontier had principally to be 


defended against the border tribes, instigated by the English at Detroit, it 
retained its reputation with the beginning of active emigration to the west. 
A glance at the geography of the county will show this to have been not only 
natural but necessary. As yet wagon-roads were unknown in the western 
wilds, much less the better facilities for travel with which we are so familiar, 
and the water-courses were the much-prized means of intercommunication. 
Brad dock's road led over the mountains and passed in the immediate vicinity 
of Brownsville, from which a road had been cut at a very early day. This 
served as the most convenient route for emigrants fi'om Maryland and Vir- 
ginia, as well as the southeastern parts of Pennsylvania. Once at Browns- 
ville, the emigrants must of necessity pass through Pittsburgh, where a fur- 
ther delay might be rendered necessary by the low stage of water or the 
threatening attitude of the Indians, who might be prepared to attack a single 
emigrant boat, but would hesitate to assail a number of them. On the north 
Forbes' route was the other line of communication between the country east 
and that west of the mountains. Over this a considerable number were accus- 
tomed to pass, though not so many as over the other; but for both Pittsburgh 
was the veritable key of the west. It need not be wondered at that the 
amateur merchants of Pittsburgh, who had been trained in sharp dealing with 
the Indians, practiced their arts on the generally impecunious emigrants to 
the west in a manner that was most irritating. John Pope, who passed 
through the incipient town in the summer of 1790, and who was evidently 
either poor or parsimonious, or both, gives the following picture of the place, 
which will not be devoid of interest: "I viewed the fort aud neighboring 
eminences of Pittsburgh, which will one day or other employ the historic pen 
as being replete with strange and melancholy events. The town at present is 
inhabited with only some few exceptions by mortals who act as if they were 
possessed of a charter of exclusive privilege to filch from, annoy and harass 
theu' fellow creatures, particularly the incautious and necessitous ; many who 
liave emigrated from various parts to Kentucky can verify this charge; 
goods of every description are dearer in Pittsburgh than in Kentucky, which 
I attribute to a combination of pensioned scoundi'els who infest the place. ' ' 
Limestone, now Maysville, Ky. , was the principal point to which emigrants 
to the west at that early day directed their course, though some wended 
their way to the Illinois country and other places. Not a few, also, stopped 
in the Monongahela valley and at Pittsburgh. To give an idea of the magni- 
tude of this immigration— which, be it remembered, must be judged by the 
standard of those days, not of the present time — it may be said that in 1783 
Kentucky alone received an addition to her population of eight thousand. In 
the year following ten thousand more came, and each floodtide of the Ohio bore 
striking evidence to the increasing rage for western emigration. In 1786 an 
observer at the mouth of the Big Miami noted the passage of thirty-four boats 
in thirty-nine days; another at Pittsburgh in the nest year reported the depart- 


lire of fifty flatboats from that point between the first of March and the begin- 
ning of April; and at Fort Harmar the adjutant recorded the number of boats 
passing that post between October, 17S6, and May, 1787, at one hundred and 
seventy-seven, carrying two thousand seven hundred persons. In the year fol- 
lowing it was estimated that not less than ten thousand persons emigrated 
west by Marietta, and in twelve months, comprising portions of the years 1788 
and 1789, the ofKcial register at Fort Harmar showed that twenty thousand 
souls had descended the Ohio in eight hundred and fifty boats, which, more- 
over, contained six hundred wagons, seven thousand horses, three thousand 
cows and nine hundred head of sheep. 

Pittsburgh ^has many historians, and its annals are well known, but few 
persons are acquainted with Brownsville and the important part it played in 
the early history of all the country west of the mountains; and it is no exag- 
geration to say that there was a time when it was a more important place than 
Pittsburgh. A brief glance at its history will be especially interesting to the 
inhabitants of Allegheny county, to which it may truly be said to have been at 
one time a feeder. The history briefly told is this: In 1759, Col. James Burd 
was sent with two hundred men to open a road from Braddock's line of march 
to the mouth of Dunlap's creek, where Brownsville now stands, as a means of 
facilitating communication with Fort Pitt. He also built a fort on the site of 
Redstone Old Fort, which he named Burd's Fort; but the name of Redstone 
was so deeply fixed in the minds of the pioneers that the two terms long dis- 
puted possession. The foit stood on the site of the present town, and may be 
said to have been the first formal step in taking possession. It was also the first 
fortification worthy of the name built by the English west of the mountains. 
But the work of building it was no easy matter, as might be naturally judged 
from the circumstances, and which appears clear from the notes kept by the 
commander. Among other entries he has the following: "I have kept the 
people constantly emp)loyed on the works since my arrival, although we have 
been for eight days past upon the small allowance of one pound of beef and half 
a pound of flour per man a day ; and this day we begin upon one poimd of beef, 
not having an ounce of tionr left, and only three bullocks. I am therefore 
obliged to give over work until I receive some supplies." The supplies soon 
arrived, and he writes in his journal: "October 26th — Sunday— continue on 
the works; had sermon in the fort." The last entry is: " November 4th — 
Sunday — snowed today — no work. Sermon in the fort." As the fort was not 
designed to be a work of great strength, but merely an outpost, Burd gar- 
risoned it with one officer and twenty -five men; but how long the garrison 
remained is not known with certainty. It would seem, however, to have been 
under some kind of military possession in 1774; and during the war of the 
Revolution and the frontier troubles with the Indians, it was used as a store- 
house and a rallying point for defense, supplies and observation by the early 
settlers and traders. Among others Col. James Paul served here for a month 
in 1778, in a drafted militia company, in guarding continental stores. 


With the exception of a few squatters who clustered around the fort for the 
time, there can be no doubt that Michael Cresap was the first white settler on 
the spot where Brownsville now stands, although certain of the Browns, from 
whom the town derived its name, were in the vicinity before Cresap. The 
important role which Michael Cresap played in the early history of the Monon- 
gahela valley entitles him to a brief notice. He was a son of Thomas Cresap, 
of Old Town, Md. , who had been connected with the operations of the Ohio 
Company as its agent, and who by that means became at an early day ac- 
quainted with the country west of the mountains. He was also with Col. 
Burd at the fort which the latter built. Michael appears to have come to the 
Monongahela as a trader about the year 1769, but the precise date of his arrival 
can not be stated with certainty. He became a noted pioneer, and by his 
knowledge of Indian intrigues was able to rescue the settlers on more than 
one occasion from an impending attack. He was quick in perceiving the 
importance to which the site at the mouth of Dunlap' s creek was likely to 
attain as the rendezvous of emigrants to the west, especially to "the dark and 
bloody ground," as Kentucky was then called, and he accordingly secured a 
title to several hundred acres of land, including that upon which the fort stood, 
by what was then known as"tomakawk improvement." He also built a 
house with a shingle roof nailed on, which is believed to have been the first of 
its kind west of the mountains. Mthough the date of its erection is not known, 
it was built most probably about the year 1770. He also figured in the front- 
ier Indian wars, and has been unjustly censured for his connection with Dun- 
more, and still more with regard to the murder of the relatives of Logan, the 
famous Mingo chief. But his character has been vindicated by John Jere- 
miah Jacob, who married his widow and wrote his life. 

In process of time Thomas Brown bought Cresap' s property, as well as 
that of certain other persons adjoining it, and commenced to make improve- 
ments in 1776. The tract was surveyed in 1785, and is described in the sur- 
vey as being " situated on the dividing ridge between Redstone and Dunlap' s 
creek." The tract was designated by the singular name of "The "Whisky 

To this point it was that emigration now set in from the east of the mount- 
ains. The emigrants usually left their eastern homes in the latter part of the 
winter, both because the snow facilitated travel, especially in the mountain 
regions, and also because with the melting of it in the spring the river rose suf- 
ficiently to float their rude boats. But travel was beset with many trials, more 
particularly if the snow fell too deep; for then the unfortunate emigrants were in 
danger of being "snowed in;" and, though it was easy enough to procure 
wood to keep them warm there was serious danger of their provisions failing 
at points where it was impossible to procure more. At other times they would 
find the river too low to be navigated, and would be compelled to await a rise, 
thus causing serious drafts on both their provisions and their generally scant 


supply of money. This constant stream of westward- bound travelers gave rise to 
a brisk trade in boatbuilding, though such of thera as were able usually built 
their own craft. This gave an importance to the mouth of Dunlap's creek 
which induced Thomas Brown to lay out a town on his "Whisky Path." 
This he did in 1785, and named it Brownsville in honor of himself, a species of 
vanity which is not confined to the illustrious familj' of the Browns. An effort 
was made to have the new town named Washington, as is clear from a deed 
executed in 1787, in v^hich the property is said to be " situated in Brownsville, 
alias Washington. " The year after the foundation of the town it is said to have 
had a population of six hundred, which was more than Pittsburgh could boast of 
at the same time. Merchandise was at first brought over the mountains on pack- 
horses. Says an early account of this means of transportation : ' ' Two men 
could manage ten or fifteen horses, carrying each about two hundred pounds, 
by tying one to the other in single file: one of the men taking charge of the head 
horse to pioneer, and the other the hinder one to keep an eye on the proper 
adjustment of the loads, and stir up any that apj^eared to lag. Bells were 
indispensable accompaniments to the horses, by which their position could be 
easily ascertained in the morning when hunting up, preparatory to start. 
Some grass or leaves were inserted into the bell to prevent the clapper from 
operating during the travel of the day." But with the increase of travel and 
settlement of the country, the roads underwent a much-needed improvement, 
which had the efPeet of fitting them for heavy wagons, and whicTi dispensed 
with the more laborious and expensive packhorses. The first wagon-load of 
merchandise brought over the mountains on the southern route, or that trav- 
ersed later by the National road, was in 1789, and was for Jacob Bowman. 
The wagoner was John Hayden, a native of Fayette county, who drove four 
horses, and brought about twenty hundred pounds, for which he received three 
dollars per hundred. He was nearly a month in making the trip to and from 
Hagerstown, Md., a distance of about two hundred and forty miles. 

However primitive may have been the houses, the dress and the manners of 
the emigrants in their eastern homes — and they were doubtless in many 
instances primitive enough — they were from sheer necessity much more so in 
their new homes beyond the mountains. A study of this portion of our 
county's history can not fail to be both interesting and instructive to a people 
who have, by one leap, as it were, placed themselves out of sight of the imme- 
diate past, 'and merged themselves so deeply in the concerns of the present as to 
regard the scenes through which their immediate ancestors passed as almost 
a myth. To others, who will take the time to pause and reflect on it, it will 
appear only a little less marvelous. Let the reader, however, try to forget the 
present for a few moments, and transport himself to the log cabin of his 
grandfather, with its curling smoke striving to make its way through the little 
break in the forest; let him contemplate his grandfather out in the "clearing" 
at work, or seated by the fire of a winter' s evening with a family of far healthier 

aC^^J' f 


// v^X 



children than he can boast of ai'onnd him, and his wife with them, dressed in 
homespun, preparing the evening meal of the simplest articles over a fire 
whose unruly smoke is seriously affecting her vision, and perhaps her temper, 
too. The "big boys" have fed the cattle, and are making ax-handles or scrub- 
bing-brooms around the fire, while the faithful dog by their side pricks his 
ears at every sound, as if placed on guard by the family. How interesting 
those early scenes! Why can we not pause in the hurly burly of busy life 
and contemplate them, if not for the instruction they afford, at least for the 
diversion they would give? Let us pause at the cradle of our marvelous 
county, and take a retrospective glance at those scenes of the days of other 
years; and no guide can be safer for us than Joseph Doddridge, from whose 
entertaining pages much of what follows will be freely taken. 

The most important matter to attract the attention of our pioneer forefathers 
was to defend not only themselves, but also their wives and children, against 
the tomahawk of the savages, who spared neither age nor sex. Not only must 
each settlement be so arranged that there should be a central place of refuge, 
but every man's house must in the truest sense of the word be his castle, and 
all its inmates be trained to perform a part in its defense, if necessary. The 
' ' forts' ' of which we read in pioneer history were not merely places of defense, 
but settlements consisting of cabins, blockhouses and stockades. Says Mr. 
Doddridge: " A range of cabins commonly formed one side at least of the fort. 
Divisions or partitions of logs separated the cabins from each other. The 
walls on the outside were ten or twelve feet high, the slope of the roof being 
turned wholly inward. A. very few of these cabins had piincheon floors; the 
greater part were earthen." A puncheon floor, it may be remarked for the 
information of those who have never seen one, was a floor made of logs split in 
halves, smoothed off with an as, and then laid with the flat surface up. Some 
of the early houses consisted of a story and a half; the upper part or "loft" 
being floored with straight saplings three or four- inches in diameter, laid side 
by side. Windows were not unfrequently made of paper, greased to make it 
translucent. ' ' The blockhouses were built at the angles of the fort, and pro 
jected about two feet beyond the outer walls of the cabins and stockades. 
Their upper stories were aboiit eighteen inches every way larger in dimensions 
than the under one, leaving an opening at the commencement of the second 
story, to prevent the enemy from making a lodgment under their walls. In 
some forts, instead of blockhouses, the angles of the fort were furnished with 
bastions. A large folding gate made of thick slabs, nearest the spring, closed 
the fort. The stockades, Ijastions, cabins and blockhouse walls were furnished 
with portholes at proper heights and distances. The whole of the outside was 
made completely bullet-proof. It may be truly said that necessity is the 
mother of invention, for the whole of this work was made without the aid of a 
single nail or spike of iron, and for this reason, such were not to be had. In 
some places less exposed, a single blockhouse, with a cabin or two, constituted 


the whole fort. Such places of refuge may appear very tritling, but they 
answered the purpose, as the Indians had no artillery. They seldom attacked, 
and scarcely ever took one of them. ' ' In proportion to the extent of the set- 
tlement -would the number of cabins on the farms around the fort be; and so 
attached to their own cabins were the families belonging to these forts that they 
seldom moved into the fort in the spring until compelled by some evidence of 
the immediate presence of the savages. 

The backwoodsman had to suffer many privations, which extended not 
only to the luxuries, or comforts of life, but to its very necessaries. What his 
farm or the chase could not furnish must be procm-ed from east of the mount- 
ains, and everyone must look out for himself, for in those early days there 
were no stores or other centers of supply. The acquisition of the indispensa- 
ble articles of salt, iron, steel and castings presented great difficulties to the 
first settlers of the western country. So difficult was it to procure certain of 
these, that an instance is known of a man west of the Allegheny river giving 
his settler's right to two hundred acres of land for a set of plow-irons. Peltry 
and furs were their only stock in trade, before the settlers had time to raise 
cattle; and of these they had to make the most as a circulating medium. 
Every family collected whatever peltry and fur they could throvighout the year 
for the purpose of sending them over the mountains for barter. 

The departure to "east of the mountains," as the expression was, was an 
event in the settlements. For convenience and safety, at least in the earlier 
times, the men of a settlement, or perhaps several neighboring settlements, 
would set out together. Nor must those who were left at home be neglected. 
A certain number were obliged to remain to protect them against the lurking 
savages. ' ' In the fall of the year, after seeding-time, every family formed an 
association with some of their neighbors for starting the little caravan. A 
master driver was selected from among them, who was assisted by one or more 
of the young men, and sometimes a boy or two. The horses were fitted out 
with pack saddles, to the hinder part of each of which was fastened a pair of 
hobbles, made of hickory withes, and bells and collars ornamented their necks. 
The bags provided for the conveyance of the salt were filled with feed for the 
horses; on the journey a part of this feed was left at convenient stages on the 
way down, to support the retm'n of the caravan; large wallets, well filled with 
bread, jerk" — meat dried in the sun — "boiled ham and cheese furnished pro- 
visions for the drivers. At night after feeding, the horses, whether put in 
pasture or turned out into the woods, were hobbled, and the bells — which had 
been stuffed with leaves during the day — were opened. ' ' The importance of 
these bells, not only for use, but also for ornament, was illustrated in a manner 
that will appear more amusing to the reader of these pages than it was to the 
actors in the scene. During the journey of one of these caravans to the east, 
they put up for the night at a certain lodging-house in the mountains. The 
landlord and his hired man, no doubt thinking it would be the cheapest way 


to get articles so/ necessary as bells, stole two off the horses, and hid them away 
carefully. The/drove had not gone far in the morning before the bells were 
missed; and, not doubting that they had been stolen, a detachment was imme- 
diately sent b£«;k to recover them. And it was no trifle to be accused by a 
party of men who were accustomed to make their own laws and enforce them, 
too, after theii/own fashion. The men were found reaping in the field, and 
were accused 6f the theft, -which they denied, but to no purpose. The torture 
of " sweating/' according to the custom of that time, that is, of suspension by 
the arms pinioned behind their backs, brought a confession. The bells were 
procured and hung around the necks of the thieves; and in this condition they 
were driven on foot before the detachment until they overtook the drove, which 
by this time had gone nine miles. A halt was called and a jury was selected 
to try the culprits. They were condemned to receive a certain number of lashes 
on the bare back from the hand of each drover. When it came the turn of one 
of the men who had lost a bell, and who felt his loss very keenly, he took the 
primitive hickory rod in his firm grasp, and cried, as he applied it to the thief: 
"Now, you infernal scoundrel, I'll work your jacket nineteen to the dozen; 
only think what a rascally figure I should make in the streets of Baltimore 
without a bell on my horse! " And he was in earnest; for he had never seen 
horses used without bells, and thought them essential when a man appeared 
with one in an eastern city. 

The pvu'chases were first made at Baltimore; and later, as settlements and 
especially roads were opened further to the west, they came to be made at 
Frederick, Hagerstown, Oldtown and Fort Cumberland. The common price 
of a bushel of salt, at an early period, was a good cow and calf; and until 
weights were introduced, the salt was measured into the half-bushel by hand 
as lightly as possible. "No one," says Mr. Doddridge, "was permitted to 
walk heavily over the floor while the operation of measuring was going on. ' ' 

The poverty of resources forced upon our ancestors the most rigid sim- 
plicity in furniture, and some of the older residents of the country may 
remember how the house-fui-nishing of their fathers differed from the present 
styles. Mr. Doddridge remarks that " the furnitm-e for the table, for several 
years after the settlement of this country, consisted of a few pewter dishes, 
plates and spoons; but mostly of wooden bowls, trenchers and noggins. If 
these last were scarce, gourds and hard-shelled squashes made up for the 
deficiency. The iron pots, knives and forks were brought fi'om the east side 
of the mountains along with salt and iron on packhorses. These articles of 
furniture corresponded very well with the articles of diet on which they were 
employed. ' Hog and hominy ' were proverbial for the dish of which they 
were the component parts. Johnnycake and pone were, at the outset of the 
settlement of the country, the only forms of bread in use for breakfast and 
dinner. At supper milk and mush was the standard dish. When milk was 
not plenty, which was often the case, owing to the scarcity of cattle or the 


want of proper pasture for them, the substantial dish of hominy had to supply 
the place of them; mush was frequently eaten with sweetened water, molasses, 
bear's oil or the gravy of fried meat. Every family, besides a little garden 
for the few vegetables which they cultivated, had another small enclosui'e con- 
taining from half an acre to an acre, which they called a truck patch, in 
which they raised corn for roasting-ears, pumpkins, squashes, beans and 
potatoes. These, in the latter part of the summer and fall, were cooked with 
their pork, venison and bear-meat for dinner, and made very wholesoine and 
well-tasted dishes. The standard dinner dish for every log-rolling, house- 
raising and harvest- day was a potpie, or what in other countries is called a 
seapie. This, besides answering for dinner, served for a part of the supper 

As for tea and coffee they were for many years unknown; and when intro- 
duced roasted rye-grains or bread-crusts were often used to adulterate the cof- 
fee, or perhaps take its place altogether. Mr. Doddridge's experience with 
his first cup of coffee is worth relating, as it was, doubtless, in manj' of its cir- 
cumstances, that of many another person. He was a youth, and on his way to 
the east stopped at a tavern in Bedford. He continues : ' ' The tavern at 
■which my uncle put up was a stone house, and to make the change from the 
log cabin of the backwoods still more complete it was plastered in the inside, 
both as to the walls and the ceiling. On going into the dining-room I was 
struck with astonishment at the appearance of the house. I had no idea there 
was any house in the world which was not biiilt of logs; but here I looked 
round the house and could see no logs, and above I could see no joists; whether 
such a thing had been made by the hand of man, or had grown so of itself, I 
could not conjecture. I had not the courage to inqiiire anything about it. 
When supper came, my confusion was worse confounded. A little cup stood 
in a bigger one vvith some brownish-looking stuff in it which was neither milk, 
hominy nor broth; what to do with these little cups and the little spoon 
belonging to them I could not tell; and I was afraid to ask anything concern- 
ing the use of them. . 1 therefore watched attentively to see what the 
big folks would do with their little cups and spoons. I imitated them, and 
found the taste of the coffee nauseous beyond anything I ever had tasted in 
my life. I continued to drink as the rest of the company did, with the tears 
streaming from my eyes, but when it was to end I was at a loss to know, as 
the little cups were filled immediately after being emptied. This circumstance 
distressed me very much, as I durst not say I had enough. Looking attentively 
at the grown persons, I saw one man turn his little cup bottom upward and put 
his little spoon across it. I obsei'ved that after this his cup was not tilled again; 
I followed his example, and to my great satisfaction the result as to my cup was 
the same." Tea and coffee were only slops in the opinion of the backwoods- 
men — good enough for peo]3le of quality or for the sick, but not fit for men. 
In their language, they ' ' did not stick to the ribs. 


In a state of society like that of the first settlers, where the most necessary 
utensils were scarce, and were yet required by all, a great deal of borrowing 
and lending was customary; and, while those who borrowed an article did not 
always return it promptly, the owner, though annoyed, did not like to quar- 
rel with his neighbor, for neighbors were scarce. When the season for killing 
the hogs, in the fall, came round, a large iron pot or kettle was very necessary 
to heat the water used in scalding them; and few of these were to be found. 
Still fewer copper kettles were seen, though so much needed in making apple 
butter. The owners of these must therefore expect to be beset with applica- 
tions for them at certain times, and with the accustomed delays in returning 
them. As an illustration of the devices to which an ingenious mind can have 
recourse to avoid a quarrel with a neighbor, and yet teach him a salutary les- 
son, the following is very good: The owner of a copper kettle was greatly an 
noyed by one of his neighbors, who would borrow it on all occasions, and leave 
it to be sent for. Instead of sending one of the boys for it, the owner deter- 
mined once to go himself; and as he approached the house he deliberately took 
out his jackknife and cut a lai'ge sprout from a stump in the clearing in sight 
of the house. He continued to trim the leaves off it till he reached the door, 
where the usual greeting of a thousand excuses for not returning the kettle 
was given, with the further declaration that John was just getting ready to 
take it home, and would have started in a few minutes. The man took the 
kettle without making many remarks, and, holding it up, began to whip it 
with the rod, enjoining on it the while to return promptly the next time it 
went away from home. On his way home, so long as he was in sight of the 
house, he would stop every few rods and give the kettle two or three more 
blows, with, "There! take that, and that. It'.s good for you. Now learn to 
come home." It is needless to say that the lesson was not forgotten. 

The frontiersmen were obliged, owing to the scarcity of mechanics, and the 
lack of money to pay them, had thej^ been found, to become in the true sense 
of the word jacks of all trades. They were constantly called upon to perform 
works of mechanical skill far beyond what a person enjoying all the advantages 
of civilization would expect from a population placed in such destitute circum- 
stances. It is needless to say that their work would not have stood the scru- 
tiny of an expert mechanic; but the people of that day were only too glad to 
have such work performed in any manner, however rude, if it answered the 
purpose. The first device required was some method of preparing the produce 
of the field, wheat, rye, and especially corn, for the table. In this there was 
a gradual ascent from the rudest methods to the present roller system. Says 
the writer fi'om whom we have already quoted: " The hominy-block and hand- 
mill were in use in most of our houses. The first was made of a large block 
of wood about three feet long, with an excavation burned in one end, wide at 
the top and narrow at the bottom, so that the action of the pestle on the bottom 
threw the corn up to the sides toward the top of it, whence it continually fell 


into tbo couter. In consequence of this movement the whole mass was pretty 
equally subjected to the strokes of the pestle. In the fall of the year, while 
the Indian corn was soft, the block and pestle did very well for making meal 
for johunycake and mush, but were rather slow when the corn became hard. 

"The sweep was sometimes used to lessen the toil of pounding grain into 
meal. This was a pole of some springy, elastic wood, thirty feet long or 
more; the butt end was placed under the side of a house or a large stump; 
this pole was supported by two forks, placed about one-third of its length 
from the butt end, so as to elevate the small end about fifteen feet from the 
ground; to this was attached, by a large mortise, a piece of sapling about five 
or six inches in diameter, and eight or ten feet long. The lower end of this 
was shaped so as to answer for a pestle. A pin of wood was put through it at 
a proper height, so that two persons could work at the sweep at once. This 
simple machine very much lessened the labor, and expedited the work. 
A machine still more simple than the mortar and the pestle was used for mak- 
ing meal while the corn was too soft to be beaten. It was called a grater. 
This was a half-circular piece of tin, perforated with a punch from the con- 
cave side and nailed by its edges to a block of wood. The ears of corn were 
rubbed on the rough edges of the holes, while the meal fell through them. 
The hand-mill was still better than the mortar and grater. It was 
made of two circular stones, the lower of which was called the bedstone, the 
upper one the runner. These were placed in a hoop, with a spout for dis- 
charging the meal. A staff was put into a hole in the upper surface of the 
runner, near the outer edge, and its upper end through a hole in a board 
fastened to a joist above, so that two persons could be employed in turning 
the mill at the same time. The grain was put into the opening in the runner 
by hand." Mills similar to these have been in use from time immemorial in 
many oriental countries. 

But the country was rapidly developing, and the improved methods of the 
east of the mountains were fast taking the place of the simple backwoods 
systems. Horse-power was in time made to take the place of handwork in the 
grinding of grain; and soon this was supplanted by water-power. The first 
mills made were operated by a wheel known as the tub-mill, which in time gave 
place to the paddle-wheel, and then to the undershot and the overshot, which 
last was regarded as the acme of perfection. And here two remarks should 
be made which may not have occurred to those whose attention has not been 
called to the fact. The first is the important part the early mills played in 
fixing villages, and postoffices when the latter were first introduced. Every- 
one had occasion to go to the mill more frequently than to almost any other 
place. Hence it was convenient for the blacksmith to locate there, so as to 
shoe the horses while the grist was being ground. The tavern, with its bar, 
was sure to be patronized by a people who regarded whisky not as one of the 
luxuries, but as one of the necessaries of life. The storekeeper, too, when his 


day arrived, found the vicinity of the mill a splendid place to ply his trade. 
The few loafers of the time found the millrace a good place for fishing, or the 
neighborhood of the blacksmith shop the most convenient ground for pitching 
horseshoes. Here, too, the honored seignors would talk politics or argue 
religion. A shoemaker, tinker or spinningwheel-maker might add his mite to 
the prosperity of the little clump of cabins that constituted the town. 

The other observation to he made with regard to the mill is the fact that 
streams which were sufficient to turn a mill wheel in those early days are not suf- 
ficient to do so now. This is not, as many suppose, due to the fact that the 
mills required less water to produce the same power; for, though this is 
undoubtedly true in part, it is not sufficient to account for the evident inability 
of many of these streams to turn anything at present. The real reason is that 
with the clearing of the country far more of the moisture of the earth evapo- 
rates than formerly, when the rays of the sun could hardly find their way to the 
earth on the hundredth part of the siu-face of every acre: whereas now, that 
the land is in a great measure cleared, the greater part of the country's sur- 
face is exposed to the sun, and there is less foliage to cool the air and prevent 
reflection of the sun's rays. 

It would fatigue the reader were we to pause to remark on the various ways 
in which the pioneers dispensed with the tanner, the fuller, the tailor, the shoe- 
maker, and all those mechanics whose presence and skill are deemed so neces- 
sary for the prosperity and happiness of our contemporaries. What has been 
said of a few will apply equally to all. Yet the way was not wholly barred to 
the development of native genius. Although there might be no one at hand to 
guide it to great results, the circumstances were well calculated to develop it until 
it was checked by the rude hand of fate. Geniuses were met everywhere. 
' ' There was in almost every neighborhood someone whose natural ingeniiity 
enabled him to do many things for himself and his neighbors, far above what 
could have been reasonably expected. With the few tools which they brought 
with them into the country, they certainly performed wonders. Their plows, 
harrows with their wooden teeth, and sleds were, in many instances, well made. 
Their cooper-ware, which comprehends everything for holding milk and water, 
was generally pretty well executed. The cedar-ware, by having alternately a 
white and red stave, was then thought beautiful. Many of their puncheon 
floors were very neat, their joints close and the top even and smooth. Their 
looms, though heavy, did very well. Those who could not exercise these 
mechanic arts were under the necessity of giving labor, or barter, to their 
neighbors in exchange for the use of them, so far as their necessities required. 

The circumstances of the people required that they should help each other 
on certain occasions, where one man and his sons could not perform the work. 
Among these were log-rollings, where a man had cut down the trees on a tract 
of ground and burned the brush, but was not able to roll the logs or trunks of 
the trees together to burn; for in those times there was too great a plenty. 


rather than a scarcity of wood, and the point was to get rid of it. The neigh- 
bors would assemble together and with handspikes roll the logs into heaps and 
set tire to them as fast as each heap was made. In this way a considerable 
field could be cleared off in a day. Probably the women would meet at the 
same time at a llax-break or a quilting. In the evening, after the supper, the 
young folks would have a dance. The black bottle was always invited in on 
these occasions, and was always welcome, too. But woe to the man who 
failed, without a good reason, to assist his neighbor; he was sure to "get the 
cold shoulder "' in the hour of his need. 

Another frequent gathering was that for a house-raising. If a couple were 
newly mai'ried, or a family moved into the settlement, and a house must be 
raised, invitations, in a style suited to the character of the people, were 
extended to the neighbors to come to the " raising " on a certain day, and in 
good time an encouraging assembly, with axes, was on the ground. Expe - 
rienced hands were selected to notch the corners; bosses, as they would be 
called to-day, were chosen to superintend the work of selecting the logs and 
moving them to their places, and the work was soon under way. A goodly 
number of the women were likely on hand to help do the cooking, or help 
make something iiseful or necessary for the new house. The supper and dance 
invariably closed the day, though not, perhaps, till the nest day had begun. 
Again it was acorn-husking or an apple-butter boiling that brought the people 
together, and this was generally at night. Here good singers or story-tellers 
were in demand, and speed in husking corn was a passport to the first place. 
When the hands had worked till 10 or 11 o'clock supper was announced; and 
here the men always tried to drink the cooks out of tea or coffee. But they 
often paid for their temerity, for water was used more freely than coffee or 
roasted rye, and the beverage was not unfi-equently little else than warm 
water. The dance was next in order, and the sun might rise on the jovial 
company before their departure. Let us not be too hasty in condemning our 
forefathers, for, however rude their habits and their attire may have been, as 
men they were, beyond question, better specimens of physical humanity than 
we or our descendants can hope to be, while most probably their moral char- 
acter possessed more of the reality and less of the show than ours. There was 
a simple, straightforward manliness about them that it would be well for their 
descendants if they possessed it. 

A number of characters were necessary to complete the backwoods picture. 
Principal among these was the tiddler, who was always in demand upon the 
occasions narrated above, and who must be prepared to appear upon a moment's 
notice, so that "a tiddlers warning" became a proverbial expression. Then 
there was what was often called the ••bully" of the locality, who was noted 
for his pugilistic qualities; but pioneer annals do not say that he followed the 
Marquis of Queensberry's rules, or any other but the rude customs of the 
forest home in which he was raised, with such variations as he himself saw tit 


to introduce with them. Others were noted for their pre-eminence in the labors 
or games of the frontier. But, as might be expected, and as was indeed both 
natural and necessary, the circumstances in which the people were placed gave 
a tone and coloring to whatever they did, whether of work or relaxation. 
"Many of the sports of the early settlers of this country," says our author, 
' ' were imitative of the stratagems of hunting and war. Boys were taught the 
use of the bow and arrow at an early age; but although they acquired consid- 
erable adroitness in the use of them, yet it appears to me that in the hands of 
white people the bow and arrow could not be depended upon for warfare or 
hunting, unless made and managed in a different manner from any specimens 
of them which I ever saw. . . . Firearms, wherever they could be 
obtained, soon put an end to the use of the bow and arrow." 

"One important pastime of our boys," he continues, "was the imitating 
the noise of every bird and beast in the woods. This faculty was not merely a 
pastime, but a very necessary part of education, on account of its utility in cer- 
tain circumstances. The imitation of the gobbling and other sounds of wild 
turkeys often brought those keen-eyed and ever-watchful tenants of the forest 
within the reach of the rifle. The bleating of the fawn brought its dam to her 
death in the same way. The hunter often collected a company of mopish owls 
to the trees aboiit his camp, and amused himself with their hoarse screaming; 
his howl would raise and obtain responses from a pack of wolves, so as to inform 
him of their neighborhood, as well as guard him against their depredations. 
This imitative faculty was sometimes requisite as a measure of precaution in 
war. The Indians, when scattered about in a neighborhood, often collected 
together by imitating turkeys by day and wolves or owls by night. In similar 
situations, our people did the same. . . An early and correct use of this 
imitative faculty was considered as an indication that its possessor would 
become in due time a good hunter and a valiant warrior. . Athletic sports 

of running, jumping and wrestling were the pastimes of boys, in common with 
the men. A well-grown boy, at the age of twelve or thirteen years, was fur- 
nished with a small rifle and shotpouch. He then became a fort soldier, and 
had his porthole assigned him. Hiinting squin-els, turkeys and raccoons soon 
made him expert in the use of his gun. Dancing was the principal amuse- 
ment of our young people of both sexes. . . . Shooting at a mark was a 
common diversion among the men, when their stock of ammunition would allow 
it; this, however, was far from being always the case." 

A wedding has, from the beginning of the world, been celebrated as an 
occasion of joy and festivity; and among our forefathers the rule was to suffer 
no exception, although circiimstances gave their impress to the rejoicing. 
Quoting once more from our author: "A description of a wedding from the 
beginning to the end will serve to show the manners of our forefathers, and 
mark the grade of civilization which has succeeded to their rude state of society 
in a few years. ... In the flrst years of the settlement of this country. 


a wodding engaged the attention of a whole neighborhood: and the frolic was 
anticijiated by old and young with eager expectation. This is not to be won- 
dered at, when it is told that a wedding was almost the only gathering which 
was not accompanied with the lalior of reaping, log-rolling, building a cabin, 
or planning some scout or campaign. 

" In the morning of the wedding-day the groom and his attendants assem- 
bled at the house of his father for the purpose of reaching the mansion of his 
bride by noon, which was the usual time for celebrating the nuptials, which 
for certain must take place before dinner. Let the reader imagine an assem- 
blage of people, without a store, tailor or mantuamaker within a hundred miles, 
and an assemblage of horses, without a blacksmith or saddler within an equal 
distance. The gentlemen, dressed in shoepacks, moccasins, leather breeches, 
leggins, linsey hunting-shirts, and all home-made; the ladies dressed in linsey 
petticoats and linsey or linen bedgowns, coarse shoes, stockings, handkerchiefs 
and buckskin gloves, if any. If there were any buckles, rings, buttons or , 
rutlfles, they were relics of old times — family pieces from parents or grandpar- 
ents. The horses were caparisoned with old saddles, old bridles or halters, 
and packsaddles, with a bag or blanket thrown over them; a rope or string as 
often constituted the girth as a piece of leather. 

"The march, in double file, was often interrupted by the narrowness and 
obstruction of our horsepaths, as they were called, for we had no roads; and 
these difficulties were often increased, sometimes by the good and sometimes 
by the ill will of the neighbors, by falling trees and tying grapevines across 
the way. Sometimes an ambuscade was laid by the wayside, and an unex- 
pected discharge of several guns took place, so as to cover the wedding party 
with smoke. Let the reader imagine the scene which followed this discharge; 
the sudden spring of horses, the shrieks of the girls, and the chivalric bustle 
of their partners to save them from falling. 

' ' Another ceremony commonly took place lief ore the party reached the 
house of the bride, after the practice of making whisky began, which was at 
an early period. When the party were about a mile from the place of their des- 
tination two young men would single out to run for the bottle; the worse the 
path, the more logs, brush and deep hollows the better, as these obstacles 
afforded an opportunity for the greater display of intrepidity and horseman- 
ship. The start was announced by an Indian yell; logs, brush, muddy hol- 
lows, hill and glen were speedily passed by the rival ponies. The bottle was 
always filled for the occasion, so that there was no use for judges; for the first 
who reached the door was presented with the prize, with which he returned in 
triumph to the company. On approaching them he announced his victory 
over his rival by a shrill whoop. At the head of the ti-oop he gave the bottle 
first to the groom and his attendants, and then to each pair in succession to 
the rear of the line, giving each a dram; and then, putting the bottle in the 
bosom of his hunting-shirt, took his station in the company. The ceremony 


always preceded the dinner. During the dinner the greatest hilarity always 
prevailed, although the table might be a large slab of timber, hewed out with 
a broadax, supported by four sticks set in auger-holes, and the furniture some 
old pewter dishes and plates; the rest, wooden bowls and trenchers; a few 
pewter spoons, miich battered about the edges, were to be seen at some tables. 
The rest were made of horns. If knives were scarce the deficiency was made 
up by the scalping-knives, which were carried in sheaths suspended from the 
belt of the hunting-shirt. After dinner the dancing commenced, and gener- 
ally lasted till the next morning." 

Both necessity and policy dictated that the dress, especially that of those 
who engaged much in hunting and scouting, should be rather simple, and as 
much as possible like that of the Indians. It was impossible, indeed, to have 
a very elaborate outfit; and if it had been possible it would have been out of 
place on the hunt; besides, it was advisable for the scouts to dress as nearly as 
might Vie after the Indian style. "The hunting-shirt was universally worn. 
This was a kind of loose frock reaching half-way down the thighs, with large 
sleeves, open before, and so wide as to lap over a foot or more when belted. 
The cape was large, and sometimes handsomely fringed with a raveled piece of 
cloth of a different color from that of the hunting-shirt itself. The bosom of 
this dress served as a wallet to hold a chunk of bread, cakes, jerk, tow for 
wiping the barrel of the rifle, or any other necessary for the hunter or warrior. 
The belt, which was always tied behind, answered several purposes besides 
that of holding the dress together. In cold weather the mittens, and some- 
times the birllet-bag, occupied the front part of it. To the right side was sus- 
pended the tomahawk, and to the left the scalping-knife, in its leathern 
sheath. The hunting-shirt was" generally made of linsey, sometimes of coarse 
linen, and a few of dressed deerskins. These last were very cold and uncom- 
fortable in wet weather. The shirt and jacket were of the common fashion. 
A pair of di-awers and leggins were the dress of the thighs and legs; a pair of 
moccasins answered for the feet much better than shoes. These were made of • 
dressed deerskin. They were mostly made of a single piece with a gathering 
seam along the toji of the foot, and another from the bottom of the heel, with 
gathers as high as the ankle joint or a little higher. Flaps were left on each 
side to reach some distance up the legs. These were nicely adapted to the 
ankles and lower parts of the leg by thongs of deerskin, so that no dust, gravel 
or snow could get within the moccasin." The moccasins were easily made; 
every family had its awl for that purpose, with its buckhorn handle; and the 
evenings were as a rule given to this rude species of shoemaking. For socks, 
deer's hair or dry leaves were used, with which the moccasins were well stuffed, 
and the feet were kept passably comfortable; but in wet weather it was usually 
said that wearing them was ' ' a decent way of going barefooted, ' ' and such 
was the fact, owing to the spongy nature of the leather of which they were 


A comparatively f nil account of the dress, customs, etc. , of our forefathers 
should not be deemed out of place in a history such as this; for, though many 
are yet living who remember something of vt'hat is here described, or who have 
it from their immediate ancestors, these are few and are fast leaving the stage of 
this world, while the younger are too much engaged with the present to expend 
their energies in the study of the past. It is well, then, to put these matters 
on record, for the benefit of future generations who may have the disposition to 
turn aside a little to contemplate the beginnings of our great country. Further 
quotation shall, for that reason, be made from a writer who lived and acted in 
these scenes so different from ours; and the reader can peruse his writings 
with the consciousness that his statements have not been modified by modern 
ideas or notions. And if his pictures sire even crude, it will be to the knowing 
a clearer evidence of their truth. Mr. Doddridge continues in his description 
of the first settlers' dress: 

' ' In the latter years of the Indian war our young men became enamored of 
the Indian dress throughout, with the exception of the matchcoat. The drawers 
were laid aside and the leggins made longer, so as to reach the iipper part of 
the thigh. The Indian breechclout was adopted. This was a piece of linen 
or cloth nearly a yard long, and eight or nine inches broad. This passed under 
the belt before and behind, leaving the ends for flaps hanging before and behind 
over the belt. These flaps were sometimes ornamented with some coarse kind 
of embroidery work. To the same belts which secured the breechclout strings 
which supported the long leggins were attached. When this belt, as was often 
the case, passed over the hunting- shirt, the upper part of the thighs and part 
of the hips were naked. The young warrior, instead of being abashed by this 
midity, was proud of his Indian-like dress. In some few instances I have seen 
them go into places of public worshij) in this dress. 

" The linsey petticoat and bedgown, which were the universal di'ess of our 
women in early times, would make a strange figure in our days. A small 
home-made handkerchief, in point of elegance, would ill supply the place of 
that profusion of ruffles with which the necks of our ladies are now orna- 
mented. They went barefooted in warm weather, and in cold their feet were 
clothed in moccasins, coarse shoes or shoepacks, which would make but a 
sorry figure beside the elegant morocco slippers, often embossed with bullion, 
which at present ornament the feet of their daughters and granddaughters. 
The coats and bedgowns of the women, as well as the hunting-shirts of the 
men, were hung in full display on wooden pegs round the walls of their cabins, 
so that while they answered in some degree the place of paper-hangings or 
tapestry, they announced to the stranger as well as to the neighbor the 
wealth or poverty of the family in the articles of clothing. This practice has 
not yet been wholly laid aside among the backwoods families. " It is to be 
hoped that the good young ladies of these closing years of the nineteenth cent- 
ury will not be displeased at ihe subjoined observations of the truthful annalist 


of those early days, whose remarks are more true of the present time than they 
were of his day. Perhaps they will lind a consolation in comparing the pres- 
ent with the past, and thank their stars that they were not doomed, as doubt- 
less they will put it, to see the light in those primeval days. Says our trusted 
narrator of the past: " The historian would say to the ladies of the present 
time, our ancestors of your sex knew nothing of the ruffles, leghorns, curls, 
combs, rings and jewels with which their fair daughters now decorate them- 
selves. Such things were not then to be had. Many of the younger part of 
them were pretty well grown up before they ever saw the inside of a storeroom, 
or even knew there was such a thing in the world unless by hearsay, and 
indeed scarcely that. Instead of toilet they had to handle the distafP or shut- 
tle, the sickle or weeding-hoe, contented if they could obtain their linsey 
clothing and cover their heads with a sunbonnet made of 600 or 700 linen." 

The sort of life led by the pioneers had its effect on the diseases which 
they contracted, as well as on the other peculiarities of the backwoods life. 
Owing to the circumstances in which they lived their diseases were for the most 
part such as are due to exposiu-e rather than those which are commonly regarded 
as contagious. The defective covering of their feet caused the greater num- 
ber of the hunters and warriors to be afflicted with rheumatism. Of this dis- 
ease they were all apprehensive in cold or wet weather, and therefore always 
slept with their feet to the fire to prevent or to cure it as well as they could. 
This practice had a very salutary effect, and prevented many of them from 
becoming confirmed cripples. The oil of rattlesnakes, geese, wolves, bears, 
raccoons, groundhogs and polecats was ajjplied to swelled joints and bathed in 
before the fire. 

The remedies were of the simplest kind, and were such, as we have just 
seen, as the backwoods afforded. A few more of them may be given here with 
advantage. The pleurisy was the only disease which was supposed to require 
blood-letting, a practice so common a few decades later, as many of our older 
citizens will remember; but, quite naturally, a doctor or other person capable 
of bleeding was not always at hand. Coughs and pulmonary consumptions, 
a species of ailment quite common owing to the kind of life led by the settlers, 
were treated with a great variety of syrups, the principal ingredients of which 
were commonly spikenard and elecampane. The people, too, as all people 
similarly circumstanced, were very superstitious, and resorted to a great variety 
pf charms for the cui-e of diseases, as well as for other purposes. These 
charms were regarded as efficacious not only against diseases and burns — the 
latter of which charms is well known to have existed to a very great extent 
among the people even to a recent period — but also against bullets in battle, 
though many were found who preferred the protecting agency of a good-sized 
tree. Among a simple people it was natural to find these charms extended to 
everything, as they were derived from everything. Says Mr. Doddridge: 
" The erysipelas, St. Anthony's fire, was circumscribed by the blood of a black 


cat. Hence tbere was scarcely a black cat to be seen, whose ears and tail had 
not been frequently cropped for contributions of blood.'' Similar supersti- 
tions existed in regard to many other diseases, as well as other matters. One 
species of superstition — witchcraft — is especially deserving of notice. "The 
belief in witchcraft was prevalent among the early settlers of the western 
country. To the witch was ascribed the tremendous power of inflicting strange 
and incurable diseases, particularly on children, of destroying cattle by shoot- 
ing them down with hair balls, and a great variety of other means of 
destruction; of inflicting spells and curses on guns and other things, and, 
lastly, of changing men into horses, and after bridling and saddling them, 
riding them at full speed over hill and dale to their frolics and other places of 

■' Wizards were men supposed to possess the same mischievous powers as 
the witches; but these were seldom exercised for bad purposes. The powers of 
the wizards were exercised almost exclusively for the of counteracting 
the malevolent influences of the witches of the other sex. 1 ha:ve known sev- 
eral of these witch-masters, as they were called, who made a public profession 
of curing the diseases inflicted by the influence of witches, and I have known 
respectable physicians who had no greater portion of business in the line of their 
profession than many of those witch-masters had in theirs. 

" The diseases of children supposed to be inflicted by witchcraft were those 
of the internal organs, dropsy of the brain, and the rickets. . . Diseases which 
could neither be accounted for nor cured were usually ascribed to some super- 
natural agency of a malignant kind. For the cure of the diseases inflicted by 
witchcraft, the picture of the supposed witch was drawn on a stump or a piece 
of board and shot at with a bullet containing a little bit of silver. This silver 
bullet transferred a painful and sometimes a mortal spell on that part of the 
witch corresponding with the part of the portrait struck by the bullet." Other 
methods were adopted, equally novel, and supposed to be equally efficacious. 
"The witch had but one way of relieving herself of the spell inflicted on her in 
any way, which was that of borrowing something, no matter what, of the fam- 
ily to which the subject of the exercise of her witchcraft belonged. 

"When cattle or dogs were supposed to be under the influence of witch- 
craft they were burned on the forehead by a branding-iron, or when dead 
burned wholly to ashes. This inflicted a spell upon the witch which could only 
be removed by borrowing, as above stated. Witches were often said to milk 
the cows of their neighbors, which they did by fixing a new pin in a new towel 
for each cow intended to be milked. This towel was hung over her own door, 
and by means of certain incantations the milk was extracted from the fringes of 
the towel after the manner of milking a cow. The first German glass-blowers in 
this country drove the witches out of their furnaces by throwing living puppies 
into them." No nation is entirely free fi'om superstitions of this kind, no 
matter how enlightened the people may be. Take two curious examples in our 


day: that of breaking a bottle of wine ou the prow of a newly launched vessel, 
and that of having a woman light the fire for the first time in a blast-furnace. 

The following explanation of the origin of these superstitions may properly 
be appended here: "The greater or less amount of belief in witchcraft, 
necromancy and astrology," says the writer from whom the above extracts have 
been taken, ' ' serves to show the relative amount of philosophical science in 
any country. Ignorance is always associated with superstition, which, present- 
ing an endless variety of sources of hope and fear, with regard to the good or 
bad fortunes of life, keeps the benighted mind continually harassed with 
groundless and delusive, but strong and often deeply distressing, impressions 
of false faith. For this disease of the mind there is no cure but that of phi- 
losophy. This science shows to the enlightened reason of man that no effect 
whatever can be produced in the physical world without a corresponding 
cause. ' ' 

In drawing this portion of the county's history to a close it may be 
remarked that of the inhabitants of Allegheny county, which as yet included 
all Western Pennsylvania, except the southwest corner, neither the descendants 
of the English cavaliers from Maryland and Virginia, who settled mostly along 
the rivers, nor the descendants of the Irish, who settled in the interior parts of 
the country, were remarkable for science or urbanity of manners. The former 
were mostly rude in their manners, and addicted to the exciting diversions of 
horse racing, wrestling, jumping, shooting, dancing and similar amusements. 
These diversions often became serious and ended in quarrels, in which blows, 
kicks, biting, and the still more cruel custom of gouging were indulged in. 
This last consisted in forcing the eyeball out of its socket by means of the 
thumb, was extremely painful, and was only resorted to by the very roughest 
characters in a personal combat. The more common contest was what was 
designated the rough-and-tumble fight. Yet the people were industrious, 
enterprising according to the circumstances of their situations, generous in 
their hospitality, which was one of the noblest characteristics of the back- 
woodsman, and brave even to daring in their defense of the frontier against 
the savages. They formed a cordon on the frontier, advancing year by year 
further to the west, and forcing the aborigines before them. They were alter- 
nately soldiers, hunters and farmers, and possessed a remarkable faculty of 
adapting themselves to circumstances. With the exception of ailments that 
spring from exposure, they were tine specimens of physical development, and 
were noted for the determination with which they engaged in any enterprise 
and the tenacity with which they pursued it. 

By this time a few small villages had begun to spring up, the people being 
attracted by some industry, as boat- building, as at Brownsville and Elizabeth, 
or because the spot was a place where the road crossed the river and necessi- 
tated a ferry, as McKeesport, or for some other cause that ministered to the 
necessities of the people. Many of these villages have grown to flourishing 
manufacturing towns, and will be noticed at length in their proper places. 


Notwith.staiuling the uufavoraljle circuiuHtances in wlncli the pioneers of 
these parts were placed as ref^ards their spiritual concerns, they were naturally 
a religious people. A large proportion of them were from the northern coun- 
ties of Ireland, and belonged to the Presbyterian denomination; and these 
were noted for the uncompromising rigidity with which they held to the strict- 
est interpretation of their religious formulas. These persons began at a very 
early dav to form the nuclei of congregations, which have grown to impor- 
tance in wealth and numbers, the histories of which will form interesting 
poi-tions of this work. The members of other denominations were also found, 
but not in such numbers, nor with such strong adherence to their distinctive 
tenets. Although many of the ijeople of that day were noted for their disre- 
gard of the disciijlinary laws of the church to which they belonged, there was 
not the religious indifference at that time that there is in our day; and when 
men violated a rule they felt they were doing vprong. Scofiing at religion, at 
the idea of the supernatural and of man's duty to God were recognized as 
wrong, if not in all cases avoided. 

Outside Pittsburgh the cause of education could not, under the circum- 
stances, receive much, if indeed any, attention. Those who were able, and 
their number was extremely small, might send their sons and daughters east 
of the mountains to some of the schools of the cities, there to receive a train- 
ing; but for the great majority of the people there was nothing left but to 
give the children s^ich rudiments of education as the parents themselves were 
capable of imparting, or allow them to grow up in utter ignorance. Little 
learning was necessary to transact the simple business of the backwoods, and 
little time was left for reading, if books or papers could have been obtained : 
hence people did not feel the need of learning as it is felt and as it has become 
a necessity in oiu- day. The itinerant pedagog, that crystallization of 
tyranny, had not as yet appeared on the scene, though the day of his advent 
was dawning apace. But the advancement of the population was steadily 
going on, as could be seen in various ways. The days of alarms fi-om the 
Indians may be said to have gone forever; the people began to be better settled 
in their homes, the comforts of life were now becoming for manj- a matter of 
study; and, all things considered, there was evidence that the people were 
entering into a new period of existence. The trades were not all firmly 
established, so that a man could go to a skilled person to have a work done in 
any branch, as at present; but a few of the more necessary were beginning to 
appear on the scene, especially those who ministered to the personal appear 
ance of the people; and the extreme rudeness and half -savage appearance of 
the inhabitants began to give place to a more civilized aspect. Foremost 
among the useful trades were the shoemakers and tailors; not up to the stand- 
ard of the present day, it is true, but far in advance of what the country had 
before known. And if they could not open their own shops or places of busi- 
ness, it mattered little. They were journeymen who traveled from house to 





house, as they might be engaged, and made shoes or clothes in the same room, 
perhaps, where their meal was cooked and eaten. But the journeyman was 
perhaps more important in helping the appearance of the young backwoods- 
man when he felt disposed to visit some of the girls of the neighborhood, and 
when he wanted to appear at his best of an evening at a dance; for there were 
dudes and mashers in those days as well as in the present. Nor did the tai- 
lor escape the suspicions of cabbaging from the cloth of his customers, who 
were the more suspicious as their web was no longer than the number of those 
to be clothed demanded. And the poet's picture is not, perhaps, overdrawn; 
certainly it was not in the estimation of many a frontiersman: 

'■ He cutteth well ye rich man's coate, 
And with unseemlie pride 
He sees ye little waistcoate in 
Ye cabbage bye his side." 

Such were the trials through which our forefathers passed in the early 
years of western life; such the social position to which they attained; and such 
the promise made of the better times that we witness, at the period of the 
formation of Allegheny county. 



€0Ni)rTi0N OF Things in Western Pennsylvania in 1791— Surplus Produce- 
Distilleries— Tax ON Spirits— Public Meetings — Condition of Affairs 
FROM 1792 TO 1794— The Revolt— Arrival of Troops— Elections— Re- 

ALMOST coincident with the establishment of the first western mail, and 
while Gen. Wayne was advancing from Fort Greenville to the Maumee, 
the whisky insurrection broke out at and near Pittsburgh. All governments, 
we suppose, have to go through this experience of local resistance to their laws, 
and they occur, mostly, when the government is young and before it has been 
able to make the power of its hands felt. Shay' s rebellion, in Massachusetts, 
grew out of the derangement^and depreciation of the currency, and was, if we 
understand it, an attempt to cure the evil by new issues of currency. The 
whisky insurrection grew, primarily, out of the want of a market for the 
products of the soil. The western part of Pennsylvania, after the capture of 
Fort Duquesne in 1758 and the termination of French rule in 1763, filled up 
rapidly with settlers, who cleared off the lands and began cultivating the soil. 
So long as settlers were few the local demand absorbed all they had to sell, at 


least within a considerable circle around Pittsburgh. This is shown by the 
correspondence of Col. Brodhead,* who was stationed at Pittsburgh in 1780 
and 1781. In a letter to Gen. Washington, dated October 17, 1780, he writes: 
" I have sent out parties to take cattle and grain from the inhabitants, and ex- 
pect to get a considerable supply of flour as the mills begin to grind. But the 
inhabitants disappoint us of beef by driving their cattle into the mountains 
[hills]; we have neither bread nor meat at present." This was short commons 
for the troops, and a resort to the " help-yourself " policy was justifiable; but 
the fact shows that either the inhabitants had little or nothing to spare or found 
the government a poor paymaster — probably both. The driving of the cattle 
into the hills, to get them beyond the reach of seizure by the government, af 
fords us a rare glimpse into the real condition of this country then. The 
settlers had but little ground cleared, and none of it fenced except the clear- 
ings. The cattle ran at large in the woods, and could easily be hid in the hills 
from the troops, when a raid was apprehended; and if Col. Brodhead' s letters 
are a fair index of a quarrelsome man, the explosion of his wrath, when foiled 
by the settlers, must have been something fearful. In a letter to the quarter- 
master. Col. Ephraim Blaine, j November 3, 1780, he writes: "It is clear to 
everybody that a sufficient supply of meat for half the present consumption can 
not be had here, even for money." Certainly not, for continental money. 
In another letter to Rev. D. Zeisberger, December 2, 1780, he notes a proposal 
fi-om that missionary among the Indians in what is now Coshocton county, 
Ohio, to send fifteen or twenty best [Indian] hunters to Little Kanawha, to kill 
buffalo, elks and bears, to be salted down for the use of the troops. To 
Richard Peters, December 7, 1780, he writes: "For a long time past I have 
had two parties, commanded l)y field officers, in the country, to impress cattle." 
To Col. Blaine, December 16, 1780, he writes: "The troops have not tasted 
meat at this post for six days past, and I hear of none that we can purchase or 
procure by our compulsory means. " In a letter to Gov. Reed, of the colony 
of Pennsylvania, he says that he had contracted with a man named William 
Wilson for one hundred head of cattle, which Wilson had procured in Vir- 
ginia, but was confronted by a law of that colony prohibiting the exportation 
of cattle. He adds: " As the United States in general, and our state in par- 
ticular, are immediately interested in retaining in this district all the grain that 
has been raised in it, it might appear inimical in me were I to remain silent 
respecting certain instructions lately sent by Gov. Jefferson for the purchase 

* There is an old ford on Chartier's creek, at the point where the old Steubenville turnpike crossed that 
creak, called Brodhead's ford, and a postotlice afterward placed there was called Urodhesid. Was this called so 
after Col. Brodhead, or after some settler of that name in that neighborhood? The impression that it was called 
after the colonel has somehow been left on ray mind, but I can give no reason why. 

t Col. Ephraim Blaine was the grandfather of the distinguished James G. Blaine, now of Maine. The 
colonel settled at or near Brownsville. His son was elected prothonotary of Washington county in 1840, and 
the family was living in the town of Washington, Pa., when James G. graduated at Washington College. The 
father of James G. married a Miss Gillespie, and thus the family became related to Thomas Ewing. of Ohio, and 
Gen. W. T. Sherman. 


of two hundred thousaQd rations on tbis side of the mountains, for the use of 
the troops under Col. Clarke, for which purpose he has already advanced 
three hundred thousand pounds,* and promised to furnish, on the first notice, 
any further sum that may be necessarj"^ to complete the payment of that pur- 
chase. Because this contract, together with the consumption of multitudes of 
emigrants arrived and expected in this district (chiefly to avoid military duty 
and taxes), will scarcely leave a pound of flour for the regular or other troops 
which it may be necessary to employ." He adds, further, that he has notified 
Gov. [Thomas] Jefferson that he will not allow these rations to be taken out of 
this district. In a letter of March 10, 1781, to Gen. Washington, he com- 
plains that the troops under his command had been at half allowance of meat 
since December 20, 1780. and had frequently been without any for several days 

From all this it appears that in 1780 and 1781 the western part of Penn- 
sylvania was unable to supply the current demand for provisions, the troops at 
Fort Pitt, as well as the emigrants, consuming all the surplus that was to be 
had. Col. Brodhead hints that most of these emigrants were skedaddlers — 
men who had run away to escape military duty and taxes; but whether or not, 
they were bread-eaters and nearly as destructive as the caterpillar and the 
palmer-worm. This horde of emigi-ants scattered into out-of-the-way nooks, 
in all directions, and in a few years became themselves producers, until, in 
1791, the complaint was just the opposite of what it was in Col. Brodhead' s 
time. From a land of scarcity it had become a land of plenty. There was no 
longer any need for the Virginia law prohibiting the exportation of cattle. 
The problem was to know how and where to export the surplus. Everything 
the farmer had to sell was nearly worthless —flour one dollar a barrel and grain 
at scarcely a quotable price; while everything the farmer had to buy was 
enormously high. The farmer, in such a condition of things, could not sell 
enough to buy what he needed. There was no way of shipping produce east, 
except on packhorses, and that was impracticable. One way remained open — 
the rivers; but their outlet to the sea was closed to our commerce by the for- 
eign possession of Louisiana and the Mississippi below Cairo. Gov. Jefferson, 
whom Col. Brodhead circumvented in the matter of the two hundred thousand 
rations, was not yet president, and nothing had yet been done toward opening 
the navigation of the Mississippi. If the lower rivers had been open in 1791 
all the surplus grain of the west would have found shipment to the eastern sea- 
coast by way of New Orleans, as was afterward done when the new century- 
began and Louisiana had been purchased. A free highway to the ocean wa» 
the great want of the close of the last centui'y, and was clamored for as loudly 
in Kentucky and Tennessee as in Western Pennsylvania. But in 1791, the 
time of which we are writing, this clamor had produced no effect, and the 
farmers of Western Pennsylvania, then mostly within easy hail of Pitts- 

* Continental money. 


hurgh, and eonfiupd mainly to the counties of Alleghem-, Fayette, West- 
moreland and Washington, were reduced to financial distress by want of a 
market for their surplus produce. In this condition of things one door of relief 
stood promisingly open. If they could not sell their grain and flour they could 
convert them into whisky. A keg of whisky was much easier to transport than 
the grain it took to make it under the process then used for distillation. They 
could condense their grain, as it were, into much smaller bulk by converting 
it into spirits. And then, the demand for whisky was much more active than 
that for grain. They were certain of a market for one, and could find no 
market for the other. Why should they not convert their jjroduce into the only 
shape in which it was marketable':' There were no temperance societies in 
those days. Everyone, high and low. great and small, rich and poor, male 
and female, clergy and laity, made fi-ee use of whisky, and it was as common a 
supply upon the sideboard as bread and meat. No one thought it criminal to 
use it, and there was, apparently, much less abuse of it than now. But only 
because there were fewer people here then, and the practice of its iise being 
common to all, the abuse was not specially noted. At any rate, the demand 
for it was active, and the settlers, finding this to be the only open market for 
them, turned their attention generally to its manufacture. So general was 
the resort to its distillation that it has been said of Washington county that 
one could not stand anywhere, in the settled country, and look around, 
without seeing the smoke of a distiller's chimney. The grain was probably 
ground for distilling by horse mills. There were then no steam mills, and no 
water mills except on large streams. Craig & Bayard put up a distillery at the 
point, in this city, in 1784, and justified the use of horse mills in grinding on the 
ground that they were more to be depended on than either wind or water mills. 
Horse mills were in use in Kentucky, in the back country, as late as 1837, and, 
water mills being not very plenty here in 1794, the substitution of horse mills 
by small distillers would save much time and labor that would otherwise be 
lost in transportation to and from the water mills. 

This was the condition of things here when the whisky insurrection broke 
out. As to what led \\p to it, let us go back a little, and bring up the history 
from the start. "In December, 1790," says Craig's history, "'when Con- 
gress assembled, the nation was burdened with the debt contracted during the 
seven years' struggle for independence; the country was involved in war with 
some of the western Indians; Harmar had just returned fi'om his fruitless 
expedition against them; the expenses of the government were necessarily 
large and the revenue but small, so that additional taxes became indispensable. 
No tax seemed more proper than upon spirits, both foreign and domestic. A 
memorial from the college of physicians at Philadelphia advocated such a tax 
as desirable both to the morals and health of the people. Such a bill was 
reported in the house of representatives in January, 1791, in conformity with 
the suggestions of Alexander Hamilton, as advocated by James Madison, and 


passed. It imposed a tax of from nine to twenty-five cents a gallon, according 
to their strength, upon spirits distilled fi'om grain. To secure the collection of 
these duties suitable regulations were made. Inspection districts were 
lished, one or more in each state, and an inspector appointed for each. Dis- 
tillers to fui'nish, at the nearest inspection-office, full descriptions of their 
buildings, which were always siibject to examination, by a person appointed 
for that purpose, who was to gauge and brand the casks. Duties were to be 
paid before removal. But to save trouble to small distillers not in any town or 
village, they were allowed to pay an annual tax of sixty cents per gallon on the 
capacity of the still. ' ' 

Such was the act of 1791. Of course a tax upon a product in such com- 
mon use could not fail of being unpopular: but no one seemed to anticipate 
that it would lead to civil war. John Neville was appointed inspector for 
Western Pennsylvania. He lived, at that time, in a house on the road to 
Washington, Pa., from Pittsburgh, about seven or eight miles out. The estate 
was called Woodville (all estates had names at that time), and facing the house, 
on the opposite side of Chartier's creek, was the estate of Bower Hill. The 
present county home for the poor of the county is just behind the old Neville 
house, now known as the Wrenshall house, and the station on the Chartiers rail- 
road nearest the old Neville mansion is called Woodville, while the one just beyond 
it is called Bower Hill. So that all the old names are still retained, except 
that of the mansion. The present mansion, known as the Wrenshall house, 
stands on the site of the old Neville mansion, which was burned down by the 
insurrectionists, as we shall see further along. 

To those who have comprehended our sketch of the condition of things in 
Western Pennsylvania at that time it will not seem strange that the new law 
was regarded with much disfavor. Shut out from all accessible markets for 
their produce, and finding that they could realize something on it by convert- 
ing it into whisky, it is not to be wondered at that this first act of the new 
national government, laying a tax upon their only article of commerce, should 
seem to them not merely an iinfi'iendly act, but one ruinous to them. The 
study of political economy had not entered into their education, and hence they 
had not learned the lesson that an internal tax comes ofF the consumer and not 
off the producer, nor had they had any experience to teach them that safe conclu- 
sion. They regarded it, foolishly enough, as a tax to be borne by themselves 
exclusively, and consequently prohibitory in its nature. They reasoned like 
children, but according to the best lights they then had. Money, too, was so 
scarce as to make it very hard to get enough to pay the tax. 

The first public meeting in opposition to the law was held at Old Bedstone 
Fort (Brownsville), July 27, 1791, when it was arranged that county commit- 
tees should be convened at the different county seats of Allegheny, Fayette, 
Washington and Westmoreland counties. On the 23d of August one of these 
committees met at Washington, Pa., and passed some very intemperate reso- 


Among the resolutions was one strongly condomning the excise law, and 
declaring that anyone who accepted office under it was inimical to the best 
interests of the country, and recommending the citizens to treat all such officers 
with contempt, to refuse to have any intercourse with them, and to withhold 
from them aid and comfort. The meeting also arranged for the appointment 
of three delegates from each of the four counties to a meeting to be held at 
Pittsburgh on the first Tuesday in September. This meeting took place at the 
time and place named, Albert Gallatin being present and acting as secretary. 

In the same month of September, 1791, a party of armed men, in disguise, 
met at a place on Pigeon creek, Washington county, and securing the person 
of Robert Johnson, collector for that county, cut off his hair, tarred and 
feathered him, deprived him of his horse, and then compelled him, in that 
condition, to travel a considerable distance on foot. Process against three of 
the men engaged in this act was at once issued, and the United States mar 
shal, Clement Biddle, in October, intrusted the writs to his deputy, Joseph 
Fox, to serve them. Upon arriving at Pittsburgh, he was so terrified by the 
accounts given him that he was afraid to risk his personal safety in serving 
them, and adopted the expedient of sending the writs by a private messenger 
under enclosures. The messenger sent with the writs was whipped, tarred 
and feathered, and his money and horse taken from him. He was then blind- 
folded, tied and left in the woods, where he remained for five hours. Mr. 
Wells, collector for Westmoreland and Fayette counties, was ill treated at 
Greensburg and Uniontown, and several other instances of violence took place. 
In the meantime the government, having no legal power then to use the 
army to enforce judicial process, was powerless to take any further steps. 

Congress assembled in October, 1791, and by an act approved May 8, 1792, 
reduced the excise rate, allowed monthly instead of yearly payments by the 
distiller, and made other modifications to obviate various objections to the law. 
But it did not remove Gallatin's main objection to the law, that it made viola- 
tions of the law national instead of state offenses, and compelled offenders to 
go to Philadelphia to be tried. This feature of the law was afterward removed, 
but for the time being the objections to it were urged with great warmth 
and the people kept in a continuous state of hostility to the law. That a 
direct tax should be imposed at all was the main and the real objection to the 
law. The power of Congress to impose it was not denied, but the expediency 
of it was seriously questioned. 

On the 21st of August, 1792, agreeable to previous notice, a number of 
persons, styling themselves "a meeting of sundry inhabitants of the western 
counties of Pennsylvania," assembled in Pittsburgh and passed a series of 
resolutions denouncing all taxes on spirituous liquors, and declaring that they 
considered it their duty to persist in remonstrances to Congress, and in the 
use of every other legal measure that might obstruct the operation of the law. 
It also adopted the resolution passed at the Washington meeting of 1791, as 


Whereas, Some men ma}' be found among us so far lost to every sense of virtue and 
feeling for the distresses of this country as to accept offices for the collection of the dutj'. 

Resolved, therefore. That in future we will consider such persons as unworthy of our 
friendship; have no intercourse or dealings with them; withdraw from them every assist- 
ance, and withhold all the comforts of life which depend upon those duties that, as men 
and fellow-citizens, we owe to each other; and upon all occasions treat them with that 
contempt they deserve; and that it be and it is hereby most earnestly recommended to the 
people at large to follow the same line of conduct toward them. 

" These resolutions," says Mr. John Austin Stevens, in his "Life of Albert 
Gallatin." "were signed by Mr. Gallatin as clerk, and made public through the 
press. Resolutions of this character, if not criminal, reach the utmost limit 
of indiscretion, and political indiscretion is quite as dangerous as crime. The 
petition to Congress, subscribed by the inhabitants of Western Pennsylvania, 
was drawn by Gallatin; while explicit in terms it was moderate in tone. It 
represented the unequal operation of the act. 'A duty laid on the common 
drink of a nation, instead of taxing the citizens in proportion to their property, 
falls as heavy on the poorest class as on the rich;' and it ingeniously pointed 
out that the distance of the inhabitants of the western counties from market 
prevented their bringing the produce of their lands to sale, either in grain or 
meal. ' We are therefore distillers through necessity, not choice, that we may 
comprehend the greatest value in the smallest size and weight. ' ' ' 

In 1795, when Mr. Gallatin made his speech "on the western elections," 
in the house of representatives at Harrisburg, he made the following allusions 
to the Pittsburgh resolutions of 1792: 

I might say that those resolutions did not origmate at Pittsburgh, as they were almost 
a transcript of the resolutions adopted at Washington the preceding year, and I might 
even add that the}' were not introduced by me at the meeting. But I wish not to excul- 
pate myself where I feel I have been to blame. The sentiments then expressed were not 
illegal or criminal; yet I will freely acknowledge that they were violent, intemperate and 
reprehensible. For by attempting to render the office contemptible, they tended to 
diminish that respect for the execution of the laws which is essential to the maintenance 
of a free government; but while I feel regret at the remembrance, though no hesitation 
in this open confession of that, my only political sin, let me add that the blame ought 
to fall where it is deserved. 

And did it not fall where it was deserved when it fell on him ? His was 
not all the blame; but as he was particeps criminis with his colleagues, he 
can not escape from his share of the blame because others partook of it with him. 

On September 16, 1792, the president of the United States, George Wash- 
ington, issued his proclamation earnestly exhorting and admonishing all persons 
to refrain and desist from all unlawful combinations and proceedings what- 
ever, having for their object or tending to obstruct the operation of the excise 
law, inasmuch as lawful measures would be put in operation to bring to justice 
the infractors thereof, and for enforcing obedience to the same, and moreover 
charging and requiring all coiu'ts, magistrates and officers, according to the 
duties of their several offices, to exert the powers in them respectively invested 


by law for the purposes aforesaid; also onjoiriing all persons to be aiding aud 
assisting therein, according to law. 

The United States court was held at York in October, 1 792. George Clymer, 
supervisor of the revenue, reported who composed the Pittsburgh meeting of 
August 21, 1792, and the names of two persons engaged in the outrage upon 
Faulkner. The attorney-general, Edmund Randolph, doubted whether the 
proceedings of the Pittsburgh meeting constituted an indictable offense, but 
instituted proceedings against the men reported as engaged in the Faulkner 
affair. They ended in nothing, as it was discovered that they really had no 
part in the outrage. 

On the night of November 22, 1792, a party of men, armed and disguised, 
called at the house of the collector of Fayette county, compelled him to sur- 
render his books to them, and extorted from him a promise to resign his office. 

In 1793 the law seemed to be growing in favor, and several distillers com- 
plied with it; but in 1794 the inspector at Pittsburgh reports, February 27th, 
that persons living near the line of Allegheny and Washington counties had 
made threats of tarring and feathering one William Cochran, a complying dis- 
tiller, and burning his distillery, also that they would not leave a house standing 
in Allegheny county owned by a person complying with the law. On making 
a personal supervision to find out who were engaged in making these threats, 
he was pursued by a disorderly crowd, which, on their way, called at the house 
of James Kiddoo, another complying distiller, and scattered fire over and about 
his stillhoiise. This violence was repeated in May and June, Kiddoo having a 
part of his gristmill carried away. Cochran, also, had his still destroyed and 
his saw- and grist-mill injured; several similiar outrages were reported. 

On June 5, 179-t, Congress passed an additional act, to render the law more 
effective and secure obedience to its provisions; but no modification of the law 
had any effect on the opposition. The national administration accordingly 
determined upon more active measures. Processes were issued against a num- 
ber of non-complying distillers in Allegheny and Fayette, including writs 
against two of the rioters who had attacked the house of a collector in Fayette. 
The United States marshal, under some local discouragement, executed the 
Fayette writs; but on attempting to execute those for Allegheny offenders he 
was assaulted, July 15, 1794, by a mob of thirty or forty, and fired upon. On 
the 16th the inspector, John Neville, who had just had his horse brought to the 
door for a ride into Pittsburgh, saw a mob of about one hundred men approach- 
ing the house with hostile intent. He returned his horse to the stable, with- 
drew within doors, and barricaded the house at every point. The mob made a 
vigorous attack, but, finding the defense more resolute than was expected, 
withdrew for a season. Neville, dreading another attack, made application to 
the judges, the sheriff and the general of the mUitia for protection. Gen. 
Gibson and John Wilkins, a magistrate, expressed their own willingness to help, 
but declared their inability to use the law or the force at their command for 


his protection. So general was the feeling of disaffection, they declared, 
that even the posse comitatus, if ordered out, would be found unavailable. 
Maj. Butler, the commandant at Fort Fayette, when appealed to, fm-nished a 
detachment of eleven men to aid the inspector. These were joined by Maj. 
Abram Kirkpatrick, whose wife .was a aister-in-law of the inspector. The rest of 
the story, as follows, is qiioted from Hildi'eth's " History of theXTnited States:" 

The ne-xt morning, .July ITlh, the assailants reappeared live hundred strong, led on by 
one Jolin Holcrofl, who, under the assumed name of "Tom the Tinker." had been deeply 
concerned in stirring up previous outrages against officers who attempted to enforce the 
law and distillers who were disposed to submit to it. On the approach of this force, 
Neville escaped from the house, leaving his kinsman, Maj. Kirkpatrick, with the soldiers 
to make such defense or capitulation as might seem expedient. The assailants had 
appointed a committee of three as directors of the enterprise, and they had chosen as 
commander one McFarlaud, formerly a lieutenant in the continental service. The sur- 
render of Neville was demanded, and. on information that he was gone, the admission of 
six men men to search the house for the papers connected with his office was claimed. 
This being refused, a flag was sent for the women to leave the house, soon after which an 
attack was commenced. McFarland was killed, and several other of the assailants were 
wounded, but they succeeded in setting fire to the outhouses, and, as the flames threat- 
ened to spread, the garrison, three of whom had been wounded, found themselves obliged 
to surrender. The men were dismissed without injury, but all the buildings were burned 
to the ground. The marshal and inspector's son, who came up just after the surrender, 
also Maj. Craig and Ensign Sample, were made prisoners. The marshal was subjected 
to a good deal of abuse, and was only dismissed after a promise, extorted by threats of 
instant death, and guaranteed by young Neville, not to attempt to serve any more proc- 
esses west of the mountains. The next day a message was sent to Pittsburgli. where 
the inspector and marshal had taken refuge, requiring the one to resign his office and the 
other to give up the warrants in his possession. This they refused to do. The means of 
protection at Pittsburgh were small, and as the roads eastward would most likely be 
guarded, as the only means of escape they embarked on the Ohio, descended as far as 
Marietta, and thence set out by land for Philadelphia, the greater part of the way through 
a wilderness. 

The next decided step seems to have been a public meeting, held at Mingo Creek 
meeting-house, July 23, in the neighborhood of which most of the late rioters resided. 
Bradford* and Marshall were both present, also Brackenridge. a lawyer of Pittsburgh, 
and who attended, according to his own account, by special invitation of Col. Neville, 
son of the inspector. Bradford was for making common cause with the rioters. Bracken- 
ridge suggested that, however justifiable in itself, their conduct was nevertheless illegal 
and that it was bad policy to draw into the same position those who might otherwise act 
as mediators. It was finallj' agreed to call a convention of delegates from all the townships 
west of the mountains, and from the adjoining counties of Marj'land and Virginia, to meet 
in three weeks, August 14th, at Parkinson's Perry,f on the Monongahela. 

Two or three days after this preliminary meeting, anxious to ascertain liow the late 
proceedings had been represented, Bradford caused the mail from Pittsburgh to Philadel 

* Bradford assumed the boldest front and made the most noise of any of the leaders of this insurrection, 
and yet was the first to run off when he knew it was a failure. Stevens, in his ■' Life of Gallatin," says: •* When 
they went up to the legislature in the winter of n 792-9.3), Br.idford and Smilie accompanied him; Smilie to take 
his seat in the state senate and Bradford to represent Washington county in the house, whore he ' cut a poor 
figure.' Gallatin despised him, and characterized him as a 'tenth-rate lawyer and an empty drum.' " 

t Parkinson's Ferry was afterward known as Williamsport, and is now^known as Monongahela City. Pos- 
sibly Bradford lived here, as it was the center, the very heart, of the insurrection. 


phia to be intercepted. Letters were found in it from young Neville and others, giving 
accounts, by no means satisfactory to the parties concerned, of the burning of the inspect- 
or's house and of the late meeting at Mingo creek. Without waiting for the proposed 
convention, a circular* signed by Bradford, Marshall, f and four or five others, was forth- 
with addressed to the officers of the militia of the western counties, stating that, by the 
interception of the mail, important secrets had been discovered, which made necessary an 
expression of sentiment, not by words but by actions. The officers were therefore called 
upon to muster as many volunteers as thej^ could to assemble on the Isl of August, at the 
usual place of rendezvous, at Braddock's Field on the Monougahela, witli arms and ac- 
coutermeuts, and provisions for four days.:]: 

Meanwhile the mail, with its contents, except the intercepted letters, was sent back to 
Pittsburgh, and the citizens of that town, to pacify the excitement, went through the 
form of expelling the obnoxious letter-writers. 

The summons to the militia, though it had only three days to circulate, and that 
among a population scattered over a wide extent of country, drew together not less than 
seven thousand armed meu.g Many afterward alleged that they went out of curiosity, 

* Issued from Cannonsburg^ Pa. 

tThis Marshall is stated, in Stevens' "Life of Gallatin," to have been " the same who opposed the rati- 
tication of the Federal Couslitutiou." He was a represeaialive of Washington county iu the legislature in 

t It closed in these words: "Here is an expedition proposed in which you will have an opportunity for 
displaying your military talents and of rendcrinj^ service to your country." Nothing less was contemplated by 
the more extreme of these meu than an attack upon Fori Pitt and the sack of Pittsburgh. Thoroughly 
aroused at last, the moderate meu of Washiogton determined to breast the storm. A meeting was held ; James 
Ross, of the United States senate, made au earnest appeal, and was supported by Scott, of the house of repre- 
sentatives, and Stokely.of the senate of Pennsylvania. Marshall and Bradford yielded, and consented to coun- 
termand the order of rendezvous. But the excited population poured into the town from all quarters, and 
Bradford, who found that he had gone too far to retreat, again took the lead of the movements, already beyond 
restraint.— Stevens' '^ Life of (ial latin," p. 72. 

§ This is Brae ken ridge' 8 estimate, never very trustworthy at best. Gallatin says from fifteen hundred to 
two thousand, which is more likely. Stevens gives some additional particulars, not mentioned by Hildreth- 
He says: 

"There was great alarm in Pittsburgh, A meeting was held there, Thursday evening, July :ilsi, at 
which a mes.sage from the Washington county insurgents was read, violent resolutions adopted, and the Oth of 
August appointed as the day for a town-meeting for election of delegates to a general convention of the counties 
at Parkinson's Ferry. Judge Brackenridge, a man of education, influence and infinite jest and humor, was 
present at this meeting. Of Scotch-Irish birth himself, his sympathies of race were with his countrymen, but 
in political sentiments he was not in liarmony with their leaders. They were nearly all republicans [democrats], 
while he had sided with the federalists in the convention which adopted the new couslitutiou of the United 
Stales. He was a man of peace, and of too much sagacity not to foresee the inevitable ruin upon which they 
were rushing. At Mingo creek he had thwarted the plans of immediate revolution. The evident policy of 
moderate men was to prevent any violence beloie the convention at Parkinson's Ferry should meet, and to 
bend all their energies to control the deliberations of that body. The people of Pittsburgh were intensely 
excited by the armed gathering almost at their doors. 

" Brackenridge fell that the only safe issue from the situation was to take part in and shape the action 
of that gathering. Under his lead a committee from the Pittsburgh meeting, followed by a large body of the 
citizens, went out to the rendezvous. Here they found a motley assemblage, arrayed in the picturesque cam- 
paign costum^i which the mountaineers wore wliea they equipped tliemselves to meet the Indians — yellow hunt- 
ing-siiirts, handkerchiefs tied about their heads, and rifles on their shoulders; the militia were on foot, and the 
light-horse of the counties were in military dress. Conspicuous about the field, ' haughty and pompous,' as Gal- 
latin described him in the legislature, was Oavid Bradford, who had assumed theotfice of major-general. Brack- 
enridge draws a lifelike picture of him, as, mounted on a superb horse in splendid trappings, arrayed in ful 
uniform, with plume floating in the air and sword drawn, he rode over the ground, gave orders to the military, 
and harangued the multitude. On the historic ground, where Washington plucked his first military lau- 
rels, were gathered aboutseven thousand men, of whom two thousand militia were armed and accoutered as for 
a campaign— a formidable and remarkable assemblage, when it is considered that the entire male population of 
t>ixteen years of age and upward of the four counties did not exceed sixteen thousand, and was scattered over a 
wide and unsettled country. This is Brackeoridge's estimate of the numbers. Later, Gallatin, on comparison 


and others that their sole intention was to prevent mischief, and this was certainly the 
case with some who were present, among whom was Ross, the United States senator. 
But the very fact of this prompt obedience to their orders could not but inspire the lead- 
ers with a high idea of their power and influence, while it tended also to increase the 
mischief by giving the impression to the public at large of a general unanimity of senti- 
ment. Col. Cook, one of the judges of Fayette county, a member of the first popular 
convention held in Pennsylvania at the commencement of the Revolution, distinguished 
for his opposition to the excise, having repeatedly presided at the public meetings called 
to protest against it, was chosen president of this armed assembly. Bradford, to whom 
everybody cringed, assumed the character of major-general and reviewed the troops. A 
■committee to whom matters of business were referred resolved that two more citizens of 
Pittsburgh should be expelled. The troops then marched into the town [of Pittsburgh], 
and after receiving refreshments, which the terrified inhabitants hastened to furnish, the 
greater part marched on again. The more orderly dispersed, but several parties kept 
together, one of which destroyed a barn belonging to Maj. Kirkpatrick, and another at- 
tempted, but without success, to burn his house in Pittsburgh. 

It was Bradford's design, in calling this armed body together, to get possession of 
Fort Pitt and the arms and ammunition deposited in it; but finding most of the militia 
officers unwilling to coiiperate, that design was abandoned.* Immediately after this 
armed assembly, the remaining excise officers were expelled even from those districts in 
which the opposition had hitherto been less violent. Many outrages were committed, some 
■of the officers being cruelly treated, and their houses burned. The same spirit began to 
spread into the bordering counties of Virginia, and as tlie day for the meeting at Park- 
inson's Ferry approached things assumed a very threatening aspect. However opposition 
to the excise law might have been countenanced by the great body of the population, 
including the principal political leaders, the measuresf of actual resistance to it had been 

■of the best obtainable inforiuation, estimated tlie whole body at from fifteen hundred to two thousand men. 
Whatever violence Bradford may have intended, none was accomplished. That he read aloud the Pittsburgh 
letters, taken from the mall, shows his purpose to iulluenc« the people to vindictive violence. He was accused 
by contemporary authorities of imitation of the methods of the French .Tacobins, which were fresh examples of 
revolutionary vigor. But the mass was not persuaded. After desultory conversation and discussion, the angry 
turn of which was at times threatening to the moderate leailers, the meeting broke up on August 2d; about 
one-third dispersed for their hoiues, and the remainder, marching to Pittsburgh, paraded through the streets, 
and finally, crossing the river, in their turn scattered. They did no damage to ihe town beyoud the burning 
of a larm-building belonging to Maj Kirkpatrick of the garrison- The taverns were all closed, but the citizens 
brought whisky to their doors. Judge Brackenridge reports that his sacrifice to peace on this occasion cost 
him four barrels of his best old rye." 

*Stevens as well as Hildreth speaks of the fort here referred to, as Fort Pitt; but the fort then occupied 
was Fort Fayette. The road from Braddock's Field entered Pittsburgh by Fourth avenue, and Fort Fayette 
was on the corner of Penn street and Garrison alley. By turning to the left, Irom Fourth to the Jlouongahela, 
the militia gave Fort Fayette the needed wide berth. 

tNo mention is made in any of the authorities (except H. M. Brackenridge) to party lines, as having any 
bearing on the questions involved in the whisky insurrection, but it is plain to all who can read between the 
lines that the newly developing party inclinations had much to do with determining the part which prominent 
men took in it. The new constitution of the United States was just going into operation, as this insurrection 
was in the tirst term of the adtuinistratiou of Washington Those who were for a strict construction of the con- 
stitution were known as democratic republicans, while those who favored a liberal construction were called fed- 
eral republicans, and for short were called democrats and federals. Washington and Hamilton, his secretary of 
the treasury, weie federals, and the excise law was a pet measure of Hamilton's. Gallatin, on the other hand, 
was a democrat, and he disliked all such exercise of the taxing power conferred by the constitution. Bradford 
;ind Marshall were both democrats, and so was Hugh H. Brackenridge, although he had sided with the federals 
in advocating the adoption of the constitution. Gov. Mifflin, of Pennsylvania, who was very tardy in calling 
out the militia to put down the insurrection, was also a democrat. The excise law was not, in any sense, a party 
measure; but it was a strong measure, based upon a liberal construction of the constitution, and it naturally 
stirred up the hostility of such men as Gallatin, who deprecated any use of the taxing power that had to be 
backed up by force and was unequal and partial in its operation. This natural bent of the prevalent political 
ideas of the four western counties of Pennsylvania, combined with their anomalous commercial condition, can 


chiefly in the hands of a few violent and reckless individuals, who, sometimes by outrages 
and sometimes by threats, had kept in- awe not only the excise officers, but such of the 
distillers also as were disposed to submit to the payment of the tax. This reign of terror 
was now extended and completely established. No one dared utter a word against the 
recent proceedings for fear of banishment, personal violence or the destruction of his 

News of the bi:rning of Neville's house, of the meeting at Mingo creek, and of the 
robbery of the mail soon reached Philadelphia. In the eyes of the president and his cab- 
inet these incidents assumed a very serious character. 

In the present inflammatory state of the public mind the resistance to the laws in 
Western Pennsylvaniii, if not immediately checked, might find many imitators. Hamil- 
ton, Knox and Bradford, attorney-general, advised that the militia be called out at once. 
But upon a suggestion to Gov. Mifllin to that effect, he expressed apprehension that a 
resort to force might influence and augment the existing opposition and, by connecting 
with it other causes of complaint, might produce such an excitement as to make it neces- 
sary to call in aid from the neighboring states— a step by which jealousy and discontent 
would be still further aggravated. He even questioned whether the militia would 
"pay a passive obedience to the mandates of the government." He doubted also his own 
authority to make a call; for whatever might be the case with the federal judiciary, it did 
not yet appear that the ordinary course of the state law was not able to punish the rioters 
and to maintain order. He was therefore disposed to be content for the present with a 
circular letter already dispatched to the state officers of the western counties expressive of 
his indignation at the recent occurrence, and requiring the exertion of their utmost 
authority to suppress the tumults and to punisli the offenders.* 

easily be understood as iiupelling such men as GallatiD into open opposition to the law, and the people would 
readily follow any bold lead in the direction of their own inclinations; but opposition to the law, to itsorigin, 
design and policy, was one thing, and armed opposition was entirely another. The political instincts of such 
men as Brackeuridge and Galladn must, as it did, make them opponents of the law ; but when this opposition 
took the form of insurrection, they drew off. 

* As there were no "state" oflicers, at that lime, the governor must hare alluded to the "county" officers 
all of whom were appointed by the governor, under the old constitution, down to 18.39, except the sheriff, the 
only county officer chosen by the people. Of these, the only proper peace officer was the sheriU', and, practi- 
cally, the circular of the governor would be con6ned lo the sheriffs of the several counties. The only force of 
the sheriffs, beyond their immediate depulies, would lie the posse comitalus. or the body of the people of the 
county, and the sheriffs of the four westein counties, in calling upon this posse, would be calling upon the 
insurrectionists themselves to put down and su|>press their own violence. The circular of the governor, there- 
fore, while legally correct and proper, was practically a nullity. The sheriffs of the four western counties were as 
powerless as men tied hand and foot. And so are the sheriffs of to-day, under circumstances in any way similar. 
I have never known an instance in which a reliance upon the pos'e coniMus was not trusting to a broken reed. 
In the riotsof l.S77,in this city, every man that could be put into the posse was sure to have some friends in the 
mob he was loth to attack, and in any event service iu the posse was so disreputable that everybody avoided it. 
It was the same with the local militia ; they could not be brought to fire upon their personal friends in the 
ranks of the mob. 

The sheriff, while nominally, both here and in England, the governor or ruler of the shire or county, is, in' 
reality, but the principal executive officer of the courts to serve process and collect debts. His power to call 
out the posse comilalvs remains, hut practically his police power is gone. He is still a reserve police force, for 
extreme contingencies, but one it would be foolish lo depend on. The old time lawyers u<ed to pronounce the 
name of the oBice sher-rec/. the accent on the second syllable, a remnant of the original name of the office— 
shire-reeve. Stormouth says that reeve is from the .\nglo-Saxon gerefa, (lom ro/, active, excellent : Icelandic, 
yre?n", a governor; Dutch, jrae/, German, jrn/, count, a steward or governor. The shire-reeve was therefore 
the governor of the shire. :ind such, in theory, he is yet ; but in fact he is merely the chief court officer. In a 
popular government a sheriff, elected by the people, can not be counted on as a power to put down the people 
when they rise in insurrection. A popular outbreak can nut be put down by those engaged iu it. The force 
for its suppression must come from the outside. Ileuce the fallacy of the governor's reasoning in this 
instance. It was not yet actually demonstrated that "the ordinary course of the slate law was not able to pun- 
ish the rioter.-i and to maiutain order," but he knew it, nevertheless, and knew also that iu calling upon the 
sheriffs to use "their utmost authority to suppress the tumult, and to punish the offenders," he was calling 
upon men utterly unable to do what he asked them to do. 


Mifflin's refusal removed all pretense for alleging that opportunity had not been 
afforded to the state of Pennsylvania to vindicate the authority of the laws by her own 
means. As the case seemed to require immediate interference, Washington resolved to 
take the responsibility on himself, and to act with vigor. A certificate was obtained, as 
the statute required, from a judge of the supreme court, that in the counties of Washing- 
ton and Allegheny the execution of the laws of the United States was obstructed by com- 
binations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. 
A proclamation was put forth August 7, 1794, requiring these opposers of the laws to 
desist, and a requisition was issued to (he governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mary- 
land and Virginia for a body of thirteen thousand men, afterward raised to fifteen thou- 
sand. The insurgent counties could bring into the field about si.xteen thousand fighting 
men.* It was judged expedient to send a force such as would quite discourage any resist- 

This calling out of the militia was not eutirelj' approved by Randolph, the secretary of 
state. He seemed to apprehend, with Mifflin, that an attempt to enforce the authority of 
the government miglit lead to a general convulsion. 

The movement of the troops was fixed for the 1st of September. Meanwhile, three 
commissioners appointed by the president. Senator Ross, the attorney-general, Bradford, 
and Judge Yeates, of the supreme court of Pennsylvania, were dispatched to the insurgent 
counties, with discretionary authority to arrange, if possible, any time prior to the 14th of 
September, an effectual submission to the laws. Chief-Justice McKean and Gen. William 
Irvine were appointed commissioners on the part of the state. Simultaneously with this 
appointment Mifflin issued two proclamations, one calling the legislature together and 
the other requiring the rioters to submit, and announcing his determination to obey the 
president's call for militia. 

The two boards of commissioners crossed the mountains together, and on arriving in 
the disturbed district found the convention called by the meeting at Mingo creek already 
(August 14th) in session at Parkinson's Ferry. It consisted of upward of two hundred! 
delegates, including two from that part of Bedford county west of the mountains and three 
from Ohio county, in Virginia. Almost all the townships of the four western counties 
were fully represented. Cook was chairman and Gallatin, secretary. The delegates were 
convened on an eminence, under the shade of trees, surrounded by a collection of specta- 
tors, some of them armed. Near by stood a liberty-pole, with the motto," Liberty and no 
excise ! No asylum for cowards and traitors ! " A series of resolutions was offered by Mar- 
shall, of which the first, against taking citizens out of the vicinity for trial, passed with- 
out objection. 

The second resolution proposed the appointment of a committee of public safety, 
empowered "to call forth the resources of the western country to repel any hostile attempts 
against the citizens." After a speecht in which he denied any danger of hostilities, the 
only danger being that of legal coercion, Gallatin proposed to refer this resolution to a 
select committee. But though there were many persons present whose chief object, like 

*Tlie male populatioD over sixteen years, in the four counties, was sixteen thousand; but to bring sixteen 
thousand fighting men into the field would have been, literally, to rob both the cradle and the grave. It was 
practically an impossibility. The fighting force, the force willing to fight, could not have exceeded five 

t The real number was two hundred and twenty-six, of whom ninety-three were from Washiugton, forty- 
nine from Westmoreland, forty-three from Allegheny, thirty-three from Fayette, two from Bedford and five 
from Ohio county, Va 

X Bradford also made a speech in which he advocated the formation of a new state. At the raising of the 
libc-ny-pole at the Parkinson's Ferry meeting, the people with the greatest difficulty had been dissuaded from 
hoisting a flag with six stripes— emblematic of the six counties represented in the committee. The flag was 
made, but set aside for the fifteen stripes with reluctance. This is Findley's recollection, but Brackenridge says 
it was a flag of seven stars, for the four western counties, Bedford and the two couoties of Virginia. This, he 
adds, was the first manifestation of a desire to separate from the Union. 


Gallatin's, was to extrirutc the pc;o])lc; from !i disastrous consequence of a violent opposi- 
tion to the laws, wliicli lliey themselves had done much to stimulate, no one dared to sec- 
ond the motion. Marshall, however, already began to waver; and he presently offered to 
withdraw the proposition provided a committee of si.xtj' was appointed, with power to call 
another meeting. This was readilj' agreed to, as was also the appointment of a sub-com. 
miltee of fifteen to confer with the federal and state commissioners. For the purpose of 
being remodeled, the resolutions were referred to a committee, consisting of Bradford, 
Gallatin, Brackenridge and Herman Husbands, then a very old man, a leader formerly 
among the North Carolina regulators. The determination expressed in one of the reso- 
lutions, not to submit to the excise, was struck out on Gallatin's motion. But neither he 
nor anyone else went so far as to advocate obedience to it. A promise to submit to the 
state laws was, however, inserted. This business being disposed of, the exercise of some 
address secured a dissolution of the meeting, the assemblj' of the committee of sixty being 
fixed for September 2d. 

A few days after (August 20th), as had been arranged, the committee of fifteen 
met the commissioners at Pitsburgh. Among the members of this committee were Brad- 
ford. Marshall, Cook. Gallatin and Brackenridge, the whole, except Bradford, being 
inclined to an accommodation. Brackenridge was well aware of the folly and hopelessness 
of their cause, and at bottom not less anxious than Gallatin to escape out of the present 
dilemma. The demands of the commissioners were exceedingly moderate. Thej' required 
from the committee of sixty an explicit declaration of their determination to submit to 
the laws, and a recommendation to the citizens at large to submit also, and to abstain 
from all opposition, direct or indirect, and especially from violence or threats against the 
excise officers or the complying distillers. Primary meetings were required to be held 
to test the sense of the citizens in these particulars. Should satisfactory assurances be 
given on or before the 14th of September the commissioners promised a suspension 
till the next July of all prosecutions for offenses prior in date to this arrangement; and in 
case the law, during that interval, should be generally complied with, in good faith, a 
final pardon and oblivion of all such offenses. 

The committee of fifteen pronounced these terms reasonable; and to give more time 
to carry out the arrangement they agreed to anticipate by four days the calling together 
of the committee of sixty. Meanvvhile a report spread that the conferrees had been 
bribed; indeed that charge was made in express terms in a letter of " Tom the Tinker" to 
the Pittsburgh Gazette, which the printer, as was the case with other communications of 
that anonymous personage, did not dare to omit to publish. While the members of the 
committee of sixty were collecting at Brownsville (August 28th), the place appointed for the 
meeting, an armed party of horse and foot entered the town with drums beating. The 
friends of submission were so intimidated that, but for Gallatin, they would have aban- 
doned all thoughts of urging an accommodation. Bradford insisted on taking the question 
at once; but, by the exercise of some address, the matter was postponed till the next day, 
and meanwhile the armed partj' were persuaded to return to their homes. 

Gallatin opened the business the next morning in a speech in which the motives to 
submission were judicioilsly urged. He was followed by Brackenridge, who now came 
out strongly on the same side. Bradford, in an extravagant harangue, urged continued 
resistance and the organization of an independent state. Xot daring to expose them- 
selves by an open vote, the friends of submission hsid prevailed that the decision should be 
by secret ballot. They were then enabled to carry, by a very lean majority,* a reso- 
lution that it would be for the interests of the people to accede to the terms offered by the 

*Gallatin's accouDt is fuller. " Gallatio dow demanded a vote, but the twelve conferrees alone supported 
him. He then proposed an informal vote, but without result. Finally a secret ballot was proposed by a mem- 
ber. .V hat was passed, and when the slips of paper were taken out there were thirty-four yeas and twenty- 
three nays." 


commissioners. But they did not dare to propose what the commissioners had demanded, 
a pledge from the members of the committee themselves to submit to the law, and arrange- 
ments for obtaining, in primary meetings, a like pledge from the individual citizens. After 
appointing a new committee of conference, the committee of sixty adjourned without day. 

Thenewconferrees asked of the commissiouer.s further delay till the 10th of October, 
to ascertain the sense of the people, but this was declined as being be}'ond their authority. 
They now required that meetings should be held in the several townships on September 
11th, any two or more members of the late committee of sixty, or any justice of the peace, 
to preside, at which the citizens should vote yea or nay on the question of subtnittiug to 
aud supporting the law, all those voting in the affirmative to sign a declaration to that 
effect, which was to secure them an amnesty as to past offenses. The third day after the 
vote the presiding officers were to assemble in their respective county courthouses, to 
ascertain the number of votes both ways, and to declare their opinion in writing whether 
the submission was so general that excise inspection-offices could be re-established with 
safety; all the papers to be forwarded to the commissioners at Union town by the 16th 
of the month. 

Meetings were held under this arrangement in many of the townships, but the result, 
on the whole, was quite unsatisfactory. Most of the more intelligent leaders were careful 
to provide for their own safety by signing the required submission, but many of those who 
had taken no active part in resisting the law refused to attend or to pledge themselves to 
obedience. As they had committed no offense, such was their argument, tliey ought not to 
be required to submit, as if winking at the violation of the law aud neglecting to assist in 
its enforcement were not among the greatest of offenses. In some townships the meet- 
ings were violently broken up and the papers torn to pieces. Such was the case in the 
town in which Findley resided, who, it seems, was personally insulted on the occasion. 
From Allegheny county no returns were received. The judges of the vote in Westmore- 
land expressed the opinion that excise inspection-offices could not be safely established in 
that county. In the other two counties the expression of any direct opinion was avoided;* 
but these counties had always been more violent than Westmoreland. The better dis- 
posed part of the population had begun to form associations for mutual defense, and the 
opinion among them was quite universal that the presence of the troops was absolutely 

Notwithstanding the timidity and alarm of Randolph and others, real or pre- 
tended, the president's call for militia, as on the former appeal to the people in the case 
of Genet, had been responded to with a spirit that gave new strength and confidence ta 
the government. The Pennsylvanians at first were rather backward, aud a draft ordered 
by Miffiin seemed likely, by reason, it was said, of defects in the militia laws, to prove a 
failure. Bui the legislature, on coming together, having first denounced the insurgents 
in strong terms, to save the delays attendant on drafting authorized the government to 
accept volunteers, to whom a bountj' was offered. As if to make up for his former hesita- 
tion, and with a military sensibility to the disgrace of failing to meet the requisition, Mif- 
flin, in a tour through the lower counties, as in several cases during the revolutionary 
struggle, by the influence of his extraordinary popular eloquence soon caused the ranks 
to be filled^up. As a further stimulus subscriptions were opened to support the wives 
and cliildren of the volunteers during their absence. The quotas of the other states were 
promptly furnished, composed in a large part of volunteers. The troops of Virginia, led 
by Morgan, and those of Maryland by Smith, the Baltimore member of congress, form- 
ing together the left wing, assembled at Cumberland, thence to march across the mount- 
ains by Braddock's road; those of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, led b}' Govs. Mif- 

* Gallaiin says that Fayette submitted, which is undoubtedly true, but not in the manner prescribed by 
the coramissioners, nor was anyopiniou expressed, such as the commissioners asked. They submitted to have 
the law enforced, and advised the other counties to do the same, but seemed more anxious to vindicate what 
was done in the past than to malce promises for the future. 


flin iiud Howell in porsdii. and forming the right wing, had their rendezvous at Bedford, 
to cross the mouutains by the northern or Pennsylvania route. The command in chief of 
the expedition was given to Gov. Lee, of Virginia. 

The commissioners liaving returned to Philadelphia September 24th, and made their 
report, the president the next day (September 35th) issued a new proclamation giving 
notice of the advance of the troops — which, in anticipation of the failure of the mission, 
had already' been put in motion — and commanding submission to the laws. There was the 
more need of decisive measures, as the spirit of disaffection was evidently spreading. At 
Greensburg, in Westmoreland county, a house in which the state commissioners lodged 
on their way home had been assailed by a mob, who demanded entrance, broke the win- 
dows, and were only driven away by llireats of being fired upon. The same feeling had 
also spread to the east side of the mountains. At Carlisle, while on their way home, 
Judges McKean and Ycates had required bonds of certain persons charged with seditious 
practices in erecting whisky- or liberty-poles. Hardly had tliey left town when two hun- 
dred armed men marched in, and, being disappointed in seizing the judges, burned them 
in etligy and committed other outrages. There were also signs of similar disturbances in 
the neighboring counties of Maryland ; but these were soon suppressed by a party of 
horse, who made more than a hundred prisoners, most of whom were committed to 
Hagerstown jail. 

Calmer thoughts, and the news that the troops were marching against them, soon 
produced a change of feeling in the western counties. Bradford and others of the more 
violent tied the country to Louisiana, then under Spain. Encouraged by these symptoms 
of returning reason, the better disposed caused a new convention to be held at Parkin- 
son's Ferry-. Resolutions of submission were passed and a declaration was agreed to that 
the late failure in obtaining written pledges was principally owing to the want of time 
and information, to a prevailing sense of innocence, and to the idea thai to sign the pledge 
required would imply a confession of guilt. Findley at last had mustered courage to take 
a decided part on the side of order; and he was dispatched, with one Hedick, to convej- 
these resolutions to the president, and to stop, if possible, the march of the troops. At 
Carli.sle these commissioners encountered the advance of the right wing, five or six thou- 
sand strong. Findley, who has left us a very labored apology for himself and his political 
friends, under the title of a "History of the Insurrection, "If ound the troops, as he tells 
us, in a high state of excitement against the rebels. Two persons had been killed already; 
a man run through the body by a soldier, whose bayonet he had seized when ordered to 
arrest him for insulting an oflScer, and a boy, accidentally shot by one of a party of light 
horse sent to arrest those concerned in the late riot at Carlisle. But in both these cases, 
and this was the only blood shed during the expedition, the parties concerned had been 
delivered over to the civil authorities for trial, and every effort was made by the president 
and secretary of the treasury, both of whom had followed the troops to Carlisle, to pre- 
serve the strictest discipline and to impress the necessity of avoiding all unnecessary vio- 
lence and harshness. Findley, however, who was just beginning to recover from the 
terror of having his buildings burned, or being himself tarred and feathered by men whose 
violence he found it much easier to stimulate than to control, seems to have been not a 
little frightened, on the other hand, at the swagger, bluster and loud words of some of 
the militia officers against the whiskv rebels, whose insolent resistance to the laws had 
made necessary so long and fatiguing a march. 

The president treated Findley and his brother embassador with courtesy, and ad- 
mitted them to several interviews; but did not see fit. from any evidence which they 
exhibited, to countermand the march of the troops. They hastened l>ack. therefore, to 
procure more general and unequivocal assurances, which they hoped to transmit to Bed- 
ford, where Washington was again to meet the right wing, after insjiecting the troops on 
the left. The Parkinson Ferry convention, augmented by many discreet citizens, was 
again called together for the third time. Resolutions were passed declaring the compe- 

r^€^i^^ ^^^ O-l-c^^^ 


tency of the civil autliorities to enforce the laws, recommending all delinquents who had 
not already secured an indemnity to surrender for trial, and expressing the conviction 
that oflSces of inspection might be opened with safety, and that the excise duties would 
he paid. Findley hastened back with these resolutions, but before he reached the army 
the president had already returned to Philadelphia. Hamilton, however, remained be- 
hind, and was believed to act as the president's deputy. The troops crossed the Alle- 
ghenies in a heavy rain, up to their knees in mud, and not without severe sufEering, which 
occasioned in the end a good many deaths. The two wings formed a junction at Union- 
town, and as they advanced into the disaffected counties the re-establishment of the 
authority of the law became complete. Having arrived at Parkinson's Ferry, Lee issued 
a proclamation confirming the amnesty to those who had entitled themselves to it, and 
calling upon all the inhabitants to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. 

A few days after, arrangements having previously been made for it, there was a gen- 
eral seizure, by parties detached for that purpose, of persons supposed to be criminally 
concerned in the late transactions. But as those against whom the strongest evidence 
existed had either fled the country or taken advantage of the amnesty, this seizure fell 
principally on persons who, without taking an active part, bad been content with encourag- 
ing and stimulating others. Many were dismissed at once for want of evidence; and of 
those who were bound over for trial at Philadelphia, the greater part were afterward 
acquitted. Among those thus bound over Brackenridge was one; but instead of being 
tried he was used as a witness against the others. These people complained loudly of the 
inconvenience to which they had been put, and of the harsh treatment which in some few 
cases had been experienced at the hands of the military parties by whom the arrests had 
been made. But such evils were only the natural consequence of lying quietly by and 
allowing resistance to the laws to aggravate itself into rebellion. 

Shortly after the seizure of prisoners the greater part of the troons were withdrawn; 
but a body of 2,500 men under Morgan remained through the, encamped in 
the district. The advances necessary to sustain the troops in the field had been made out 
of a sum in the treasury of about §800,000, the unexpended balance of the foreign loans. 
Congress being trusted to for making good the deficiency.* 

About the time that the troops entered the disaffected counties an election had taken 
place, at which were chosen not only members of the state assemblj', but members of 
Congress also. When the legislature of Pennsylvania met, a question was raised as to 
the validity of these elections. Of those returned to the assembly, Gallatin was one, and 
he had the greater interest in the question, since he had been elected at the same time a 
member of the IVth Congress, and that body might be influenced, perhaps, by the 
example of the Pennsylvania assembly. In the course of an able speech Gallatin con- 
fessed his • political sin" in having been concerned in the preparation and adoption of 
thePillsburgh resolutionsof August 24, 1792, which, though not illegal, he admitted to hav.- 
been " violent, intemperate and reprehensible; "but all the rest of the opposition made t 
the excise law, by means of public meetings, he was inclined to justify, and to shift oil 
the blame of the whole affair upon a few obscure rioters. Order, he maintained, hadbeeji 
substantially re-established before the elections took place. The assembly, however 
judged differently, and a new election was ordered. t 

* Stevens says that the disbursemeDt of this sum by the expenditures of the troops made money plenty 
and enabled the people to pay the excise taxes. They were thus saved from bankruptcy by the money spent 
in subduing them, 

t One thing puzzles us about Gallatiu's election in 1794. He was elected to the legislature from Washing- 
ton county, and to Congress from the district composed of Allegheny and Washington, while he was not a resi- 
dent of either, but of New Geneva, in Fayette county. Fayette was erected in 1783, so that this could not have 
been under an apportionment including Fayelte or part of another county. The election was declared void, 
because the district was in a state of insurrection at the time it was held. When a new election was ordered 
Gallatin wrote t o his friend Badollet, at Greensboro, opposite New Geneva, that an attempt would be made to 



Of all llic prisoners tried before the circuit court at Philadelphia only two were found 
guilty of capital offenses — one of arson and the other of robbing the mail, both of whom, 
from some palliating circumstances, were ultimately pardoned by the president. Accord- 
ing to Findley, Hamilton made great efforts to obtain evidence against himself, ijmilie 
and Gallaliii. But, however reprehen.sible their conduct might have been in encourag- 
ing and stimulating the original opposition to the excise, the late outbreak, as Gallatin 
maintained in his speech, and Findley afterward at great length in his history, seems 
to have been a sudden, unpremeditated and, in its particular circumstances, an accidental 
thing, with which they had no immediate concern.* They had only prepared the com- 
bustibles to which others set the torch; and they seem to have exerted themselves 
with good failli, and Gallatin at some personal risk, and with a good deal of courage, in 
quenching the flame when actually kindled. 

The vigor, energy, promptitude and decision with which the federal authority had 
been vindicated; the general rally in its support, even on the part of many who had 
leaned more or less to the opposition; the reprobation everywhere expressed against 
violent resistance to the law, and the subdued lone, made a great addition to the strength 
of the government. The federalists exulted in this energetic display of authority, and 
Hamilton declared that proof at last had been given of the capacity of the government 
to sustain itself. In that point of view both he and Washington considered the out- 
break, however much to l)e lamented, in other respects as a fortunate occurrence. 

Stevens, in his life of Gallatin, says the $800,000 disbursed to the troops 
who put down the insurrection made money so plenty as to revive biisiness 
and enable the distillers to pay the excise tax; and Mr. Craig mentions the 
fact that among the volunteers who came out to suppress the insurrection were 
many young, enterprising mechanics, young men just passing out of their 
apprenticeships and on the lookout for homes. Many of them were well 
pleased with Pittsbiu-gh or the country around, and large numbers of our citi- 
zens are the descendants of persons who made their first visits here as volun- 
teers in this bloodless war. So that, although the insurrection bade fair to be 
a terrible calamity, it turned out to be a great advantage to Pittsburgh and 
Western Pennsylvania. 

The story of the whisky insuiTection, like all stories, has two sides to it, and 
the absolute truth probalily lies on the side of neither. It has been foolishly 
magnified by dignifying it with the title of "insurrection;" there was, really, 
no "insuiTection." For three years the mob spirit had free sway, and per- 

disatfect tliat assembly district " because none of ttie representatives whose seats had been vacated were resi- 
dents of it. I-"aIl not into the snare; take up nobody from your own district ; re-elect unanimously the same 
membeis.'' This advice was followed. All the old members were re-elected l)ut one, who declined, iu spite of 
their non-residence. This may have been legal, under the old constitution; but It is queer that Washington 
county should go beyond its own l)Ounds to get its representatives, when it had good miUerial at home. 

*rfallatin appears to have excited Hamilton's opposition from haviug been an active and leading demo 
crat, or democratic-republican, as they were then called. Gallatin was a Swiss, with an inborn hatred of des- 
potism in any form, and his great dislike of •* strong" governments, which the federals advocated, naturally 
drove him into the democratic ranks when he came to this country. Like the democrats who framed and 
passed the Virginia and Kentucky resolutious of 1798, he believed in curbing and restricting the national gov. 
ernment within nairow bounds, and the excise law of 1791 seemed to him an unwarrantable exercise of con- 
gressional power. He opjjosed it from the start, denouncing it in its inception, and his political bias carried 
him into opposition to its enforcement. He jirobably took hold early of this opposition in the hope of forcintr its 
repeal ; but when the movement took the form of violence, he abandoned it. The part of his conduct that was- 
wrong he acknowledged, and Hamilton, if he tried, never found any evidence to incriminate Gallatin. 


sonal outrages, togetlior with arson and roljljing the mail, took placo; Ijut whiln 
there was an untloubtecl insurrectionary spirit, as was shown in the military 
gathering at Braddock's Field, there was no military outbreak and no overt 
acts of reVjellion. The military demonstration made by Washington was nec- 
essary as a demonstration of the power of the government to make itself folt and 
respected, and it is plain that nothing less would have subdued the Htnbljorn 
opposition to the excise law; but as a force to put down armed resistance to 
the government, it was totally unnecessary. It found no armed resistance 
anywhere, and before it arrived on the ground all opposition to the law was 
"played out." But for what went before it, the marcli of fifteen thousand 
men from the seaboard to the western wilds to put down an insurrection that 
had no existence would have seemed ridiculous. 

There are various' accounts of this insurrection in print — those of Hugh 
H. Brackenridge and his son Henry M. in extenuation of it; that of Findley 
in bis ^wn vindication, and that of Stevens in his life of Gallatin of the sauie, 
order. On the other side we have the government version from Hamilton's 
hands; Craig's version in his histoiy of Pittsburgh, and the account given by 
Hildreth in his " History of the United States." All of those are in some 
sense partial and one-sided. The account of the two Brackenridges and that 
of Findley are violent, full of personal abuse, and tedious from their extreme 
length; that of Stevens is fair, but not impartial; that of Hamilton is also 
fair, but tinged with the party feeling of his day; Hildreth'a accoutit follows 
that of Hamilton, ia temper and spirit; while Craig's is, like th(! Bracken- 
ridges', personal and bitter, and intended more to vindicate the Nevilles than 
to contribute to the treasures of history. The true account, without bias, 
abundantly vindicates the Nevilles, and does not, in our judgment, in any way 
incriminate Brackenridge. 

Excluding the political bias, the account of Hamilton appears the coolest 
and the truest. It is brief, and recites the facts succinctly. The government 
was veiy young in his day, and such outbreaks, seen through the mists that 
surrounded them, douljtless loomed up in awful proportions before him. Seen 
in the clearer light of our day they Vjecome dwarfed to much smaller propor- 
tions. It was a good thing for the government that it had an opportunity, at 
such an early day, to make a show of the supremacy of its force, but beyond 
that the " incident," as the French say, was a mere local, but turbulent, out- 

The passage of the excise law necessarily developed a great deal of party 
bitterness. Hamilton, in his iinancial policy, had forced the assumption by 
the federal government of the debts of the thirteen states, and this assump- 
tion made more revenue necessary. To get the revenue, recourse was ha<l to 
the passage of an excise law. In all this he had been backed up by the fed- 
eralists and opposed by the democrats, so that when the law came ta be put 
in operation the democrats were hostile to its policy and provisions. In 


Virginia and North Carolina there were local outbreaks against it, which were 
soon subdued; but in the four western counties of Pennsylvania the opposition 
was more stubborn. Their desperate condition for want of a market for their 
produce has been before alluded to, and the open door of relief afforded by distill- 
ing whisky. In their financial poverty and distress the levy of an excise tax by 
the government seemed to them an act of great oppression. In this temper 
of mind nothing was more natural than that the democratic leaders, men like 
Gallatin and Brackenridge,* should take quick hold and strive to mold this 
hostility to their party benefit. Neither of them had any idea of resorting to 
violent means to oppose the law, and neither of them ever countenanced or 
justified such resort. It is true that the Nevilles were federalists, and that 
Brackenridge took great pleasure in opposing and thwarting them; but he 
always kept within the law. It was Bradford and Marshall, and perhaps 
Findley in the earlier stages, who stimulated the people to violence; but Brad- 
ford and Marshall were both cowards, and as vainglorious as peacocks, and it 
was well that such cool heads as those of Gallatin and Brackenridge were to 
the fore to prevent such demagogs from leading the; people into rebellion. 
That they both did this the record fully shows. Of the two, Gallatin was the 
greatest. He was a man of genius, of strong will, and an intense partisan, 
but upright of purpose throughout. Brackenridge was a genial fellow, full 
of fun, but while a man of talents he lacked that concentration of ideas and 
purpose characteristic of Gallatin. It is not to be wondered at that the man 
of genius rather than the man of talent had the most influence; but it is due 
to both of them to say that they rendered essential service in holding the 
people back from disgracing themselves utterly. 

But why did either go into the movement ? To be able to turn it to party 
account; perhaps we may be permitted to add that either or both may have 
hoped to reap political advantage from it. Brackenridge heartily denies this; 
but many a man has been led by such a motive without realizing it. If they 
had kept out of it the thing would have been robbed of the appearance of 
respectability, and in that event it is likely that Bradford would have precip- 
itated it much earlier into its final catastrophe. 

The motive of such men as Gallatin and Brackenridge was, by formal 
meetings of influential individuals, to render the excise law odious and to intim- 
idate individuals from accepting and executing ofiices under the law. So far 
they were within legal bounds; it was only when the passions of the populace 
had been inflamed that they found the movement getting beyond them. It 
was then, and not till then, that they remained in it solely to keep it fi-om 
going wrong. 

The movement of Bradford to establish a new state here in the west could 

* We cite Brackenridge as a democrat because he really was one, but not so ultra as Gallatin. He bad, it is 
true, advocated the adoption of the constitution, along with the federalists, but so had Madison in con- 
juiiCtion with Hamilton ; but that did not make a federalist of Brackenridge. 


have had no motive except to erect a separate state independent of the United 
States government. The new flag with sis stripes or with seven stars was a 
plain evidence of this. We imagine it must have cost Brackenridge all his 
eloquence to save these people from that folly. Their persistence in it would 
have utterly ruined him. Nothing could have saved him from the effects of 
being particeps crimmis. 

So far as to these men. As to the general government its action through- 
out seems to have been well advised and creditable; but one event remains to 
disgrace it. We refer to the action of the troops after they reached Mononga- 
hela City. Both Hildreth and Stevens pass it over with a few words, and 
Hamilton makes no mention of it. The party that was sent out from there to 
make arrests among those who had not formally submitted performed its part 
in a very cruel manner. It arrested from one hundred and fifty to two hun- 
dred men in a needlessly brutal way, treated every one with sharp indignity, 
huddled the prisoners, tied back to back, into a dark and damp cellar, on a 
cold night, without fire or extra clothing, and denied them every little comfort. 
The next day they were marched to Washington, Pa., no regard being paid to 
age or condition, and when they were judicially heard there no case could be 
made out against the great bulk of them. They were, of course, discharged; 
and of those held to bail only two were convicted, and both of these were soon 
after pardoned. So that no object was accomplished by this wholesale arrest, 
and scores of really innocent people were treated worse than if they had been 
beasts. No apology or excuse will wipe off the taint of this criminal proced- 
ure. The troops, it is true, were incensed at being marched over three hun- 
dred miles for nothing, and were thus tempted to vent their spleen on these 
poor people; but it was not a soldierly act, and was totally unworthy of men 
wearing the United States uniform. The policy of the government was to 
conciliate, not exasperate, these people, even if nominally guilty; and this action 
really gave more good reason for an ' ' insurrection ' ' than ever had existed 
before. The really guilty people had run away; it was their victims who were 
made to suffer this indignity. The United States army, in this instance, was 
made to cut a very poor figure. 



THE WAR OF 1812. 

Pkeliminakies of the Struggle — Allegheny County in The War — The 
Pittsburgh Blltes— Brigade of Militia at Pittsburgh— Rigging for 
Perry''s Fleet. 

DURING twenty-nine years the United States submitted to a train of gall- 
ing annoyances and indignities from the government of Great Britain, 
till finally war was declared on the 18th of June, 1812. The immediate 
causes which led to the war were the interference with American trade by the 
blockade system of England, the search of American vessels and the impress- 
ment of American seamen, and the persistent incitement and encouragement of 
Indians in their hostilities and barbarities. 

At the outbreak of the war the advantage was all on the side of Great 
Britain, especially along the northern and western frontier. The Canadian 
territory bordering on the lakes and the St. Lawrence was far in advance of 
that on the south side of these boundaries in population, commerce and agri- 
culture. The British were also much better preisared for war, having long 
maintained a chain of military posts from Niagara to Sault Ste. Marie, which 
were well supplied with men, arms and provisions; and they were provided 
with a provincial navy, which gave them the mastery of the lakes. They had 
cultivated the friendship of the Indians on both sides of the boundary, and 
they artfully managed to retain, during the continuance of the war, the co- 
operation of these savages, whose well-known character for cruelty kept the 
people on the fi-ontier in a constant state of alarm and terror whenever their 
hostile bands were known or supposed to be in the vicinity. 

On the American side the population was sparse. The settlements were 
small and widely separated, and the military posts were few, weak and either 
insufficiently defended or without defense of any kind. 

There was no navy or regular army. The militia of the several states 
were poorly organized and without suitable equipments; and the Indians were 
everywhere hostile, and ready at a signal to combine for the purpose of driving 
the white men out of the country. 

Allegheny county was situated at such a distance from the frontier that it 
was not the theater of active hostilities during the war. Its citizen soldiery, 
however, were early in the field. A company of volunteers known as the 
Pittsburgh Blues, consisting of between fifty and sixty men, commanded by 
Capt. James R. Butler, and another of about the same number under com- 


maiid of Capt. Jeremiah Ferree, went out iu 1812. Of the movemeuts of the 
latter no record can be found. It may have constituted a portion of the force 
of vohinteers that had its rendezvous at Pittsburgh and Meadville. This 
force was called out by a proclamation of Gov. Snyder under the date of 
August 25, 1812. Gen. Adamson Tannehill was made commander, and on the 
25th of October three regiments departed from Meadville for Niagara. They 
were joined on the way by another regiment from Southwestern Pennsylvania 
under Col. Purviance, and the whole force proceeded to Niagara river, where 
an unsuccessful attempt was made to cross and attack the enemy. 

Early in the campaign of 1812 the Pittsburgh Blues, under Capt. Butler, 
joined the army of Gen. Harrison. Late in the month of November a detach- 
ment of six hundred men, of which the Blues constituted a part, under com- 
mand of Lieut. -Col. John B. Campbell, was ordered to march from the 
headquarters at Franklintown and destroy the Indian towns on Mississinewa 
river, one of the tributaries of the Wabash. They encountered great hard- 
ships in passing through the wilderness, and reached the Mississinewa about 
the middle of December. They passed down the river till they arrived within 
twenty miles of the first Indian town, and then a council of war, which was 
held, decided to march all night and surprise the enemy. Says Albach: "Just 
as they were entering the town one of the Kentuckians gave an Indian yell, 
which gave the alarm and prevented the surprise. Notwithstanding this, eight 
warriors were killed and foiiy-two men, women and children taken prison- 
ers. Pressing onward, they destroyed three towns lower down, and returned 
to the site of the first. At this place, on the 18th of December, at 5 o'clock 
in the morning, they were attacked by several hundred Indians, who were con- 
cealed in the edge of the forest behind some fallen timber, and who opened 
a heavy fire on them. 

"They at once sprang to their arms. The battle raged till daylight; the 
dragoons, however, being instantly aided by the Blues, finally dislodged the 
enemy, who were repulsed with great slaughter and driven into the woods. 
A number of dead Indians were left on the battle-ground, but the greatest 
niimber of the dead were probably carried off, according to the practice of the 
Indians. The Americans had twelve killed and about thirty wounded. They 
had also lost a great many horses; for, it being quite dark when the attack 
was first made, so that they could not distinctly see the enemy, they stood 
behind their horses till daylight, so that these were unavoidably sacrificed as 
the means of saving the lives of many soldiers. 

' ' The inclemency of the weather was now so great, and the troops were labor- 
ing under so many disadvantages, being cumbered with the wounded and their 
prisoners, and short of horses and provisions, besides being apprehensive of 
an attack in the rear from the infuriated savages, that they were obliged to 
return without being able to reach or break up the principal Indian town. 
Carrying their wounded on litters, they proceeded as quickly as possible to 


Greenville, which they reached on the 24th of December, and thence In- easy 
marches by way of Dayton, Ohio, to winter quarters. 

"Their suffering had been very great; the roads were much impaired by 
fi'ost and snow, the weather was very cold, and provisions were scarce. No 
less than one hundred and eighty men were more or less frost-bitten.'' 

The Pittsburgh Blues constituted a portion of the force that made the val- 
iant and successful defense of Fort Stevenson, at Lower Sandusky, on the Slst 
of July, 1813. 

The garrison of the little fort was composed of one hundred and tifty 
men, under a commander (Maj. Croghan) just past his twenty-first year, and 
with a single piece of cannon, while the investing force, including Tecum- 
seh's Indians, was, it is said, three thousand three hundred strong, and with 
six pieces of artillery, all of them, fortunately, light ones. 

" Proctor demanded a surrender, and told the unvarying story of the danger 
of provoking a general massacre by the savages unless the fort was yielded, to 
all of which the representative of young Croghan replied that the Indians 
would have none left to massacre if the British conquered; for every man of 
the garrison would have died at his post. Proctor, upon this, opened his fire, 
which, being concentrated on the northwest angle of the fort, led the com- 
mander to think it was meant to make a breach there and carry the works by 
assault; he therefore proceeded to strengthen that point by bags of sand and 
floui-; while, under cover of the night, he placed his single six-pounder, manned 
by a sergeant and six of the Pittsburgh Blues, to rake the angle threat- 
ened, and then, having charged his infant battery with slugs, and hidden it 
from the view of the enemy, he awaited the event. During the night of the 
1st of August, and till late in the evening of the 2d, the tiring on the devoted 
northwest corner continued; then, under cover of the smoke and gathering 
darkness, a column of three hundred and fifty men approached, unseen, to within 
twenty paces of the walls. The musketry opened on them, but with little 
effect; the ditch was gained, and in a moment tilled with men; at that instant 
the masked cannon, only thirty feet distant and so directed as to sweep the 
ditch, was unmasked and fired, killing at once twenty-seven of the assailants. 
The effect was decisive. The column recoiled, and the little fort was saved 
with the loss of one man. On the next morning the British and their allies, 
having the fear of Harrison before their eyes, were gone, leaving behind them 
in their haste guns, stores and clothing. ' ' 

The Pittsburgh Blues were at the siege of Fort Meigs, where, as Thurston 
states, the following incident occurred, which is given in the language of the 
one who related it: 

' ' I had been in attendance on Capt. Butler, lying sick in one of the block- 
houses of Fort Meigs during its siege, and starting out one morning to procure 
some breakfast, saw Sergt. Trovillo cooking coffee over some coals. I told 
him my errand, and he told me to wait a few minutes and he would divide his 




coffee with me. I took a seat, and in a minute or two afterward heard the 
peculiar singing of an Indian bullet that entered the ground a short distance 
from where we were sitting. ' Hurrah ! ' said I ; ' Sergeant, what does that 
mean ? ' He pointed to a tree at considerable distance from the pickets, where 
I observed an Indian perched on one of the branches. He said, with great 
good humor: ' That rascal, George, has been firing at me ever since I com- 
menced cooking my breakfast.' I swallowed my tin cup of coffee pretty 
expeditiously, during which, however, I think he fired once or twice, and told 
Trovillo I was not going to remain a target for the yellow-skins." 

In the autumn of 1812 a brigade of militia was raised in Western Penn- 
sylvania, and had its rendezvous at Pitts biirgh, where it was under the com- 
mand of Gen. Crooks, early in October of that year. They were made a part 
of the force of Gen. Harrison, and went to the Upper Sandusky, where, with 
other troops, they were engaged in the construction of fortifications. From 
that point they went to the rapids of the Maumee, where they remained till 
the expiration of their term of service. 

In the summer of 1813 Commodore Perry was at Presqu' Isle (now Erie), 
building the ships with which, on the 10th of September, he achieved his cel- 
ebrated victory on Lake Erie. At that time the northern frontier was a wilder- 
ness, and the timber for the larger vessels was cut from the neighboring for- 
ests. It is stated in the "Annals of the West: " " The rigging for all the fleet 
was brought from Pittsburgh, where Commodore Perry contracted for it in 
person with John Irwin and Boyle Irwin, who carried on ropemaking sep- 
arately at that place. 

"The Allegheny river this year continued in good keel boat order till 
August, a oircumstance so unusual that it seems providential, and thus the 
means were afforded for the conveyance of the manufactured rigging to Erie, 
while if the river had receded as low as usual, the fleet could not have been 
rigged in time for the glorious victory which followed." 



Soldiers fro.m Allegiienv County— Siege of Vera Cruz— Battle of Plan 
DEL Rio — Capture of the City of Mexico— Peace Proclaimed— Return 
OF THE Troops— Losses. 

IN 1846 the quiet and peaceful citizens of Allegheny county were called on, 
for the first time, to take part in the threatened war between Mexico and 
the United States. The feeling of patriotism was intensified by the appearance 


-on the streets in Pittsburgh of heavy siege guns, mortars and the various muni- 
tions of war that were being hauled from the Allegheny arsenal to the wharf 
for transportation to the seat of war. These movements roused the military 
spirit of the citizens; many companies were organized, and their services were 
proffered to the government; but only one regiment was required from Penn- 
sylvania, and this was rapidly filled. Two companies from Allegheny county 
were accepted: Company A, Capt. Alexander Hay, and Company K. Capt. 
John Herron. These were the only two companies accepted. They were 
mustered in and forwarded to New Orleans in December, 1846, but before they 
departed for the seat of war another regiment from Pennsylvania was called 
for and immediately filled. The onlj' company from'Allegheny county accepted 
in this regiment was Company I, Capt. Robert Porter, which was mustered in 
in January, 1847. It must not be supposed that these three companies alone 
represented Allegheny county, for many had' enlisted in companies fi'om other 
counties. These two regiments organized hj electing the following officers: 
First regiment, colonel, F. M. Wynkoop; lieutenant-colonel, S. W. Black; 
major, — — Bowman. Second regiment, colonel, William B. Roberts; lieuten- 
ant colonel, John W. Geary; major, William Brindle. 

The two regiments came together at New Orleans, and encamped on the 
old battle-ground six miles below the city — Camp Jackson — where they received 
transportation for Lobos island; Gen. Scott's idea being to concentrate his 
army there previous to his attack on Vera Cruz and the invincible castle of 
San Juan de Uloa. On the 9th of March the island was evacuated, and the 
troops were conveyed by the fleet to Anton Lizardo, in sight of Vera Cruz, 
where they disembarked and proceeded immediately to invest the city, and 
they were busily engaged day and night making preparations for the bombard- 
ment. The change of climate and bad water caused many of our men, unac- 
customed to such a life, to break down. 

Gen. Worth having his batteries and mortars in position ready to com- 
mence his bombardment. Gen. Scott demanded a surrender of the city and 
castle, as he did not wish to jeopardize the lives and property of the citizens. 
This was refused by the authorities in command, and the order was given to 
commence the bombardment, which was begun on the afternoon of the 22d, 
and was continued day and night, accompanied with great destruction of life 
and property. On the 24th the Mexicans begged for a cessation of hostilities 
in order to give them an opportunity to bury their dead. A battery of Paixhan 
guns was manned by a squad of sailors and marines, and did most effective 
work. On the 27th the city and castle were both surrendered to the Americans. 
The Pennsylvania troops were well and ably represented in this siege. 

After the surrender of the city a number of sick and disabled of the regi- 
ments were either discharged or resigned, among whom were Capt. Alexander 
Hay and Lieut. Thomas A^ Rowley, of Company A. First regiment, and 
Lieut. Trovillo, of Company K. Gen. Scott remained here completing arrange- 


mentis until the 7th of April, and then took up the line of march for the 

On the evening of the 12th they arrived at Plan del Rio, at the base of 
Cerro Gordo, vrhere the Mexican army under Gen. Santa Anna vvas strongly 
intrenched. General reconnoissance out of position was made, and on the 17th 
the enemy was attacked and an important position gained. On the 18th the 
attack was continued, and resulted in the complete rout of the Mexican army, 
the capture of many prisoners, five thousand stand of small arms and all their 
siege guns; Santa Anna narrowly escaping on a mule, leaving his cork leg and 
a large amount of silver behind. Gen. Scott immediately advanced his army 
to the city of Jalapa. Three companies of the Second Pennsylvania regiment, 
under command of Lieut. -Col. John W. Geary, had been left at quarantine on 
Lobos island on account of smallpox. These three companies now joined 
their regiment, and after remaining at Jalapa until about the middle of June 
they were advanced to the city of Puebla. It was necessary for Gen. Scott to 
keep his line of communication with Vera Cruz open, and additional troops 
were needed. Two other companies from Allegheny county were accepted, and 
credited to Maryland and the District of Columbia. These were raised and 
commanded by Capts. P. N. Guthrie and Thomas A. Rowley, who joined the 
main army at Puebla in July. This made five full companies of Allegheny 
county troops: Company A, Pittsburgh Blues, Capt. Hay, Lievits. Thomas A. 
Rowley, James O'H. Denny and William Charlton; Company K, Duquesne 
Greys, Capt. John Herron, Lieuts. William Ankrim, William Trovillo and John 
W.Hague; Company I, Second regiment, Hibernia Greens, Capt. Robert Porter, 
Lieuts. William Rankin, James Kane and William P. Skelly. Gen. Scott, after 
remaining in Puebla holding out the olive branch of peace in vain, ordered an 
advance of his army, and on the 8th of August moved for the city of Mexico, 
leaving the First regiment in the city of Puebla. Here the two regiments were 
separated for the first time. Several of the First regiment, not relishing this 
order to remain in the city of Puebla, and desirous of participating in the capt- 
ure of the city of Mexico, secured positions on detached service and accompanied 
the Second regiment, among whom were O. H. Rippey (late colonel), killed 
in the rebellion; John Hamilton, Esq., and others. On the morning of the 7th 
of August, an excessively hot day. Gen. Scott commenced the advance of his 
army. About sunrise on the 1 1th, at a bend in the road, the beautiful valley 
of Mexico suddenly burst upon their view. It was at this point where the 
hearts of Cortez and his followers thi'ee hundred years ago were cheered in their 
search for the city of Mexico and its untold wealth. On the evening of the 
l"2th the army encamped at the hacienda called Buena Vista, when a careful 
reconnoissance of the enemy's position showed they were strongly intrenched 
on the national road, and a council of war was held by Gen. Scott and his 
subalterns, and it was decided by a majority to enter and attack the city by 
the Elpinal, which was a very strong fort. Gen. Scott vetoed this decision. 


feeling that he could successfully reduce the fort and take the city, but he 
was not willing to make the sacrifice of life which would ensue; and how would 
he hold a city of two hundred thousand inhabitants with an army of twelve 
thousand, which was his numerical strength at this time ? He made a feint of 
attacking the Elpiual by means of floating batteries on Lake Chalco. He next 
countermarched and made a detour to the left, passing around Lake Chalco 
over a rough pedrigal road. After overcoming most formidable obstacles, he 
found the enemy strongly intrenched at Contratres, and early on the morning 
of the 19th he attacked them, drove them from their trenches, capturing many 
prisoners and munitions of war. The next day he attacked them in their 
strong defenses at Cherubusco. 

He was again victorious, capturing many prisoners. The Mexicans were 
somewhat discouraged and disheartened, and asked for an armistice, which was 
agreed to. This armistice remained in force from August 2'2d to September 
8th. When Gen. Scott discovered they were violating the terms of the armistice 
and were strengthening themselves to renew hostilities, he ordered Gen. Worth 
to attack Molino del Eey, where they were engaged in making cannons and 
balls from the church bells. On the 8th of September, after a hard and bitter 
contest, Worth captured the fort. The next point of attack was the castle of 
Chepultepec, which protected the city. This castle was a military college, sit- 
uated on a rocky eminence, formed perhaps by a volcanic eruption. On the 
11th it was bombarded by our batteries, and on the morning of the l'2th a 
general charge was made, and was successful. The army, following up the 
advantage, pressed forward to the city, distant about three miles, and after a 
bitter conflict, which lasted all the afternoon. Gen. Quitman effected an entrance 
through the walls of the city by the Garita de Bellen, and Gen. Worth's 
division fought its way by Garita Sancosme. On the morning of the 13tb 
of September, 1847, the American army was in possession of the city and its 
castles, and dictating terms of peace to the vanquished in the famous halls of 
Montezuma. We may now pause and take a retrospect of what had been done 
by Gen. Scott and his victorious army. He had entered a hostile country by 
capturing a fort that was considered impregnable, made his way into the inte- 
rior some three hundred miles, captured all their strong forts, this with an 
army of twelve thousand. This was unparalleled in the historj' of war. When 
he entered the valley of Mexico, in August, his army comprised four divisions, 
commanded by Gens. Worth, Quitman, Twiggs and Pillow, making a total of 
twelve thousand men. The Mexican army fought in their own country, at 
points of their own selection, and were well acquainted with the topography 
of the region; Gen Scott did not lose a battle. The army remained in the 
city of Mexico for nine months, till the treaty of peace was signed at Guade- 
lupe Hidalgo, and received orders for marching home May 29, 1848. They 
returned by the same route they went, but the ranks of these two regiments 
were sadly depleted. Many of the men died at Vera Cruz, Jalapa, Perrote and 


Puebla, among them Col. William B. Roberts, of the Second, who died a few 
days after the capture of the city. His remains were brought home by Lieut. 
Kane, of Pittsburgh. B. Alwood and Hugh Bateman, of the First regiment, 
died at Vera Cruz. More died from sickness than casualties in battle. James 
S ample, of Allegheny, lost a leg at Chepultepec, and St. Lenox Rey lost a leg 
at Molino del Rey. Everyone was happy and rejoicing at the thought of 
st arting for home in a few days, and congratulations between comrades were 
many; preparations for the journey were at once commenced. 

It was designed by the members of the regiments to bring home the remains 
of a number of their comrades. Robert D. Nicholson and Joseph Berk, of Com- 
pany I, Second regiment, were detailed to go to Puebla, and prepare the bodies 
of some comrades to be taken to Pittsburgh. They left the camp at San Angel 
on the Ist of June, two days previous to the marching of the regiment. They 
went away in good spirits, expecting to rejoin their regiment in a few days at 
Puebla. This was the last seen or heard of these two men. A number of our 
men had been assassinated by the guerrillas who still infested the mountains 
and passes, and it is supposed these two were murdered, as no tidings were 
heard of them when the regiments reached Puebla. There was still a hope 
that something could be heard or known of them at Jalapa or Vera Cniz, but 
all efForts failed to reveal anything of their fate. The widowed mother of 
Joseph Berk, when she heard of the return of the regiment, hastened to Wheel- 
ing to meet her son, and was overwhelmed with grief in not finding him among 
the retiu-ned. Her grief was so great she lost her mind. The widow of Robert 
D. Nicholson and her son of the same name still reside in the Sixth ward of 

The regiment, on account of the hot weather, after leaving Puebla, rested 
through the day and marched at night. On the 20th of June the regiment 
embarked on the steamer Mary Kingsland for New Orleans; 'some idea of 
the depletion of the regiment may be foimed, when it is remembered that one 
steamer was required to transport two companies on leaving Pittsburgh, but 
on the return one steamer was sufficient for the entire regiment landed at New 
Orleans. This regiment was taken on the steamer Taglioni to Pittsburgh, 
where they landed on the 10th of July, 1848. Company I left Pittsburgh for 
the seat of war with eighty six men for duty, and returned with but thirty. 
This would be a safe standard by which to judge of the fatalities of the other 
companies. The regiment was mustered out of the service on the 18th of July, 




Regiments fkom Allegheny— Relief and other Committees— Military 
Supplies— The 1863 "Sc.^re"— Defense of Pittsburgh— Sketches of 

WITH the j)olitical events which led to the great rebellion every student 
of American history is familiar; it is not necessary to speak here in 
detail of the great war which followed the secession of a portion of the states 
from the Union, a war which severely tested the cohesive force of the gov- 
ernment, and by means of which was accomplished the enfranchisement of 
four millions of negro slaves. 

The brilliant record in that war of Allegheny county, and of the cities of 
Pittsburgh and Allegheny, claims a closer attention. 

When it was rumored on the 24th of December, 1860, that an order for 
the removal of seven hundred tons of arms and war material from the arsenal 
at Lawrenceville to New Orleans had been received, the people of Allegheny 
county were wild with excitement. In the afternoon of the 25th a meeting of 
influential citizens was held at the comptroller's office, and a committee was 
appointed to confer with the officers of the arsenal and request a suspension 
of the execution of the order till communication could be had with the 
authorities at Washington. It was learned that the order for the shipment 
of the guns had been received, and that the steamer Silver Wave was then 
lying at the wharf ready to receive them. 

More than lifty of the first citizens of Pittsburgh signed a request to the 
mayor for the calling of a meeting of the citizens of the city and vicinity, " for 
the purpose of expressing their opinions upon the act of the war department 
in ordering the available ordnance in the arsenal at this city to be forwarded 
to southern ports, also to take such action in the premises, either by memori- 
alizing the president on the subject, or otherwise, as the exigencies seem to 
require. ' ' 

The meeting was held on the 27th, and was the largest that had ever 
assembled in Pittsburgh. A series of resolutions, entirely peaceful in their 
character, were adopted. They set forth that the people had learned with 
STjirprise and indignation that the ordnance was to be removed to points where 
it was not needed, and where it would be exposed to seizure by those who 
were in actual or threatened revolt against the government: that, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that the rulers were disarming the friends to strengthen the ene- 


mies of the government, they had contidence in their abihty to sustain the 
constitution and the laws; that they deprecated any unlawful interference with 
the shipment of the arms, as such interference would imply the same want of 
respect for the laws manifested by the citizens of the seceding states; that 
they deplored the existence of such a condition of things as to have shaken 
the confidence of the people in the just administration of afPairs at the seat 
of government; that in their opinion the president should purge his cabinet 
of everyone who was giving aid and comfort to those in actual or apprehended 
revolt, and calling on him, as a citizen of Pennsylvania, to see to it that the 
republic received no detriment while in his hands. 

Notwithstanding the pacific tone of these resolutions, there was among the 
people an intense feeling of opposition to the shipment of the guns, and 
threats were made of violent resistance to such shipment. 

A meeting was called on the 30th, and while this was in session a detach- 
ment of troops moved from the arsenal in charge of a train of guns that were 
to be taken to the Silver Wave for shipment. By the exertions of influen- 
tial citizens the train was halted to allow time to obtain a communication from 
the government countermanding the order for removal. Messages had for 
several days been passing between Pittsburgh and Washington, with the 
view of obtaining the countermand; but red tape stood in the way of a prompt 
transmission of the order. At this critical moment such a message was 
received from Edwin M. Stanton, then attorney -general, as enabled a com- 
mittee from the meeting to allay the excitement of the people and prevent acts 
of violence. The cannon were conveyed to the wharf, and some of them were 
placed on the steamer; but no more were taken there, and three days later the 
order for their shipment was countermanded. 

" This was the first decided action anywhere in the north against the rebell- 
ion. The movement was in the hands of men fully as determined as Adams 
and his coadjutors, and the public feeling, while awaiting the countermanding 
of the order, was quite as intense as that which pervaded Faneuil Hall." 

On the 12th of April, 1861, the news was received in Pittsburgh that the 
bombardment of Fort Sumter was commenced. As in all parts of the north, 
intense excitement was occasioned by the news. At the theater that night the 
play was interrupted by the outburst of applause on the reception of the news 
that the fort was returning the fire, and the excitement could with difSculty be 
allayed so as to allow the performance to proceed. At the request of more 
than one hundred and fifty citizens the mayor issued a call for a public meet- 
ing on the evening of the 15th. On the 14th the situation was the engrossing 
subject of thought and conversation, and before the time of the meeting on the 
1 5th nearly every militai-y company in the county had tendered its services to 
the government. 

The enthusiasm at the meeting on the loth was greater than had ever 
before been witnessed. Stirring speeches were made and ringing resolutions 


were adojited, and the dift'erent military organizations vied with each other in 
their ahicrity to place themselves in readiness for service. 

By the 17th orders were received by Gen. Negley, the officer in command 
here, to forward two regiments to Washington, which was done as soon as 
practicable, the first detachment starting that evening. 

At the suggestion of many prominent citizens a committee of public safety, 
consisting of some one hundred and fifty, was appointed, and on the ISth it 
first met for organization. Sub- committees were appointed for various depart- 
ments of its work, and it at once entered on its efiicient and useful labors. A 
relief committee was appointed, and in this the work in the different wards was 
assigned to different members. This committee did good service in dispensing 
relief to the families of those who had gone forth to fight the battles of their 

The ladies exhibited no lack of promptitude in tendering such services 
as they could render, as will be seen by the following, which was published on 
the 22d of April, addressed to Gov. Johnson, chairman of the executive com- 
mittee of public safety : 

Dear Sir — The uudersigned tender to j'our committee their services in making band- 
ages, supplying lint and nursing the sick of the volunteers from Pennsylvania or other 
states. We are willing to go where and when called on. Our neighbors, relatives and 
friends are in the ranks, and we are anxious to be useful, as far as we can. to serve the 
cause of our country and humanity. 

This was signed by about one hundred ladies. Their services were accepted, 
and the hope was expressed that similar organizations would be formed through- 
out the country. 

The same alacrity which was shown in Pittsburgh was exhibited through- 
out the county, and within ten days from the outbreak of hostilities notice was 
received that no more troops were wanted under the original call for seventy - 
five thousand. 

The position of Pittsburgh at the head of navigation on the Ohio river, and 
its great railroad facilities, made it the point through which more troops passed 
in their movements between the east and west than through any other. Early 
in the summer of 18(31 the fact became known that a regiment from the west 
had complained loudly of hunger during its passage through the city. The 
patriotic feeling of the citizens would not permit a repetition of this, and a 
subsistence committee was established for the purpose of furnishing meals to 
troops as they passed through the city. The first regiment was regaled by 
that committee in the latter part of July, 1861; and from that time till 1866 
refreshments were offered to every body of troops that passed through the 
city, whether by night or day. More than four hundred thousand soldiers were 
furnished with meals oi; midnight lunches by this committee. The exj^ense of 
thus feeding the defenders of the country was defrayed by voluntary contribu- 

iJ^^?^^:^ A^,i:i^-r^^^^^^ 


In the spring and svimmer of 1864 preparations were made for holding an 
immense sanitary fair, the character and purposes of which were indicated by 
its name. Extensive buildings were constructed in Allegheny City park, cover- 
ing an aggregate of about one hundred thousand square feet of space. Con- 
tributions poured in from all quarters, and on the 1st of June the fair was 
opened, and for the month of its existence it was crowded by thousands of 
people who were anxious to contribute to the fimd which it was proposed to 
raise. A sum amounting to more than $360,000 was realized, of which 
$200,000 remained unexpended at the close of the war. This sum was given 
as an endowment, to the Western Pennsylvania hospital, which had during the 
war been used as a government military hospital. 

An equally good work was done here after the battle of Shiloh. Two 
steamboats were fitted out here to go to Shiloh, carrying with them physicians 
and surgeons and hospital supplies to that battle-field, to gather up the 
wounded and bring them to Pittsburgh for restoration to health. They gath- 
ered up full loads for the two boats, and as the steamers passed up the Ohio 
those who desired it were left at cities and landings as near their homes as 
possible. Fifty-four were brought on to this city. Of these, eight died in the 
hospital; the rest recovered, and were sent home as soon as able to travel. 

It may here be said that the manufacturing facilities of Pittsburgh were, 
during the entire period of the war, utilized by the government for furnishing 
military supplies; shot, shell, cannon, armor-plates, saddles, harness, wagons, 
gun-carriages, caissons, clothing, accouterments and munitions of war were 
produced here on an extensive scale, and the mills and manufactories wore 
the appearance of departments of an extensive arsenal. This condition of 
things, and the almost constant passage of troops through the streets, gave to 
the place more the appearance of an immense arsenal or camp than of a city. 

The reverse which the Union troops encountered at the first Bull run 
battle caused in Allegheny county, as in all parts of the loyal north, an intense 
excitement, but it was of a character different from that produced by the 
attack on Fort Sumter. The people awoke to the fact that they were to face 
the realities of grim-visaged war; that the rebellion was more than a mere 
scare, and that those who enlisted in the army were to go forth to fight 
a determined foe, and possibly to lay down their lives in the effort to main- 
tain the Union. The patriotism of the people, however, did not diminish, 
but l>ecame more intense and determined in its character as the gravity of the 
situation became more apparent. If the reverses which had overtaken the 
Union forces emboldened those who were secretly in sympathy with the rebels 
to give even cautious expressions to their disloyal sentiments, they also inten- 
sified the loyal feeling of unionists. 

At the first meeting of the committee of public safety the organization 
of home guards was resolved on, and a sub-committee on such organization 
was appointed. Within three weeks sixty-four companies, with an average of 


seventy members each, were organized, and the banks of Pittsburgh, through 
the efforts of the venerable John Harper, Esq., president of the Bank of Pitts- 
burgh, contributed a fund for the purchase of the arms and equipments of 
these companies. Although these "stay-at-home soldiers" were sometimes 
made the subjects of unkind jeers, they proved to be the source whence were 
derived many recruits. ' ' There was not one of the companies that did not 
contribute largely of its members, already well drilled in arms, from time to 
time, to the various companies and regiments that under the several calls for 
troops entered active service, while not only regimental commanders, but 
able general officers as well, were furnished from this school of soldiers." 

In 1863 occurred the great " scare " in this county. Some time prior to the 
arrival of Lee in Pennsylvania, in June, 1863, raids of the rebel forces were 
made into Southern Pennsylvania, and rebel scouts came as far inland as 
Mount Union, on the Juniata. Some troops even penetrated as far as McCon- 
nellsburg, in Fulton county, and small bodies of soldiers were as near to us as 
Morgan town, on the upper Monongahela. Before all this haj)pened, however, 
the authorities at Washington became infected with the ' ' scare. ' ' On Sunday 
evening, June 14, 1863, dispatches were received by Maj.-Gen. Brooks, then 
commanding the department of the Monongahela. from Secretary Stanton and 
Maj.-Gen. Halleck, stating that the city was in danger from the rebel forces, 
and advising that this city be put at once into a state of defense. A meeting 
was at once called of the prominent citizens, by Gen. Brooks, for consultation. 
It being Sunday evening, most of the citizens were at church, but messengers 
routed them oiit in a hurry. The meeting lasted till midnight. It was deter- 
mined that the workshops should all be closed, and the men be employed in 
throwing up earthworks around the city, under the superintendence of govern- 
ment engineers. This course was pursued, and the work lasted for two weeks. 
The intrenchments extended from Saw Mill run, on the south side, along the 
top of Coal hill to a point opposite Four Mile run; thence across the country 
from the Monongahela to the Allegheny, and on the Allegheny side, along the 
Ohio river. Parts of these works are still discernible, but they are gradually 
disappearing. The work was well done, and would have been serviceable, if 
ever needed; but no enemy ever appeared. It is probable that, if such a 
design was ever entertained by the rebel leaders, the news of this preparation 
for them deterred them from even trying to carry their designs into execution. 
But no good evidence, beyond the fears of Stanton and Halleck, has ever been 
produced to show that any such design was seriously formed. It may have 
been cheri.shed as a favorite idea by some dreamer, and even canvassed care- 
fully; but it remains to be shown that it was ever seriously thought of. It is 
true that Pittsburgh, as a point for manufacturing guns and other munitions 
of war, would be of great value to the rebels, if they could take it and hold it, 
and Pittsburghers were fond of thinking of the place as essential, for such pur- 
poses, to the rebel leaders; but we doubt if the rebel leaders ever gave as much 


importance to it in regard to these matters as our own people did; and cer- 
tainly its defensible condition was too clear, and its distance from their base of 
action too great, to warrant them in thinking either its capture or retention 
possible. The people showed their willingness and ability to defend them- 
selves, and that was a lesson as good for them as it was conclusive to the rebels; 
nevertheless, the "scare" of Stanton and Halleck seems to have been without 
good foundation. 

Altogether, the military record of Allegheny county is one its citizens may 
justly be proud of. They did their duty manfully in 1812 and 1846; and when 
the unusual circumstances of 1861 made extraordinary demands upon them, 
they responded heartily, and turned out what was equivalent to a small army 
in defense of the government. And the soldiers furnished were all good, effi- 
cient men, not mere militia nor camp-followers. The city prospered, it is true, 
while they were away, but not because they were away, and it contributed 
liberally and manfully to their comfort, welcomed them home when all was 
over, and soon absorbed them as a part of itself, as if they had never been away. 
Thousands of strangers came in to take the places they left, yet they all 
found places when they returned, thus demonstrating its ability not merely to 
furnish an army to the government from among its population, but to rehabil- 
itate all who returned as if their places had specially been reserved for them. 
Beyond the annual Grand Army parade, and an occasional halting step on the 
pavement, or an armless sleeve, and quarter-day at the pension-office, there is 
nothing to show that there ever was any war, or that the city ever had sent out 
the eighth of its citizens as soldiers for the defense of the republic. 

It has already been stated that of the three- months volunteers Allegheny 
county furnished its full quota, and that many offered themselves who could 
not be accepted. Twenty-four companies went from this county, one in the 
Third regiment, three in the Fifth, five in the Seventh, six in the Twelfth, eight 
in the Thirteenth and one in the Fourteenth. Of these regiments only the 
Seventh was in any engagement. On the 2oth of June, 1861, they were 
attacked by rebel cavalry, but the latter were repulsed with the loss of six men 
and three horses. The regiment crossed the Potomac on the 2d of July, 
marched to Martinsburg, captured a quantity of flour, and seized and de- 
stroyed a hundred and fifty barrels of whisky. A detachment afterward capt- 
ured three of the enemy's pickets. The soldiers in these regiments passed 
their terms of enlistment in drilling, guard, picket and fatigue duty, and the 
bloodless service to which they were subjected became to many of them 
exceedingly irksome. Many if not most of these volunteers re -enlisted after 
the expiration of their three -months terms, and able and efficient officers were 
furnished from among them. 


Of the three-years regiments the Eleventh had one company from Alle- 


gheny county. Most of the men of this regimeut had been three-months vohin- 
teers, and re-enlisted. Their first winter was passed at Annapolis, Md. , where 
they were engaged in guard and fatigue duty. In the summer of 1S62 they 
were engaged at Cedar Mountain, at Graveyard hill, on the Rappahannock, 
at Thoroughfare gap, second Bull run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam 
and Fredericksburg. In 1863 the regiment was in action at Chaucellorsville 
and Gettysburg. 

A large portion of the regiment re-enlisted early in 1864, and fi'om that 
time until the surrender near Appomattox, it was actively engaged in the 
operations of the Army of the Potomac, and bore its part in the hardships and 
battles of that army. 


The Twenty-eighth, which was uniformed and equipped at the expense 
of Col. Geary, had three companies from Allegheny county, and from surplus 
recruits Knap's battery was formed. In August, 1861, the regiment entered 
active service in the vicinity of Harper's Ferry, and was engaged in several 
minor actions during the summer. In October a severe battle was fought at 
Bolivar Heights, and in the same month another at Ball's Bluff and Nolan's 
Ferry. During the winter of 1861-62 they frequently skirmished with the 
enemy, and in March, 1862, they assisted in dislodging the enemy from London 
Heights and Leesburg, and occupied the latter from that time till midsummer. 
They had an active part in the operations of the army in Virginia. They were 
engaged in the severe battles of the unfortunate campaign under Gen. Pope, 
and also in those of the Antietam campaign under Gen. McClellan. They 
were at the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and in that of 
Gettysburg in July, 1863. In all these campaigns they were constantly on 
active duty. 

In the autumn of 1863 the corps of which the Twenty-eighth formed a 
part was transferred to the Army of the Cumberland, and in the campaigns of 
the west and south, and in the ' ' march to the sea, ' ' it was constantly active. 
It was said of it that during its four years of service its casualties were equal 
to its original muster; that it served in twelve different states, and was 
engaged in as many skirmishes and battles as any regiment in the United 
States army. 


What were known as the reserve regiments were recruited under a state 
law authorizing the raising of fifteen regiments to meet what was then sup- 
posed to be a threatened emergency. These regiments were afterward mus- 
tered into the service of the United States as Pennsylvania volunteers. l)ut they 
also retained their designation as reserves. 

The Thirty-seventh had three companies from Allegheny county. It went 
to Washington late in July, 1861, and soon afterward went into camp at Ten- 


nalI3'to^vn. In October it moved to Langley, Va. , and established its winter 
quarters there. 

In the spring of 1862 it broke camp and started for the peninsula, where 
it participated in the operations of Gen. McClellan's army. It was in action 
at Mechanicsville, Gaines' mill, White Oak swamp and other places in the 
peninsular campaign. 

In August, 1862, it joined the army of Gen. Pope, and had part in the 
second Bull run campaign. The campaign in Maryland followed, and on the 
14th of September the Thirty-seventh was fiercely engaged at South Mountain, 
and again at Antietam on the 17th. The next severe action was at Fredericks- 
burg, where it lost heavily. In February, 1863, the regiment, with other 
troops, was ordered to the defenses of Washington, where it remained, engaged 
in various duties, till the spring of 1864. In April of that year it started for 
the Wilderness, where it arrived on the 4th of May, and was engaged in the 
actions there and at Spottsylvania. On the 17th, the term of the regiment 
having expired, it was relieved fi'om duty at the front. The veterans and 
recruits were transferred to the One Hundred and Ninety-first regiment, and 
the rest of the men returned to Pittsburgh, where the regiment was mustered 
out of service on the 24th of May. 


Eight of the companies composing this regiment were recruited in Alle- 
gheny county. It was organized on the 28th of June, 1861, and left Pittsburgh 
for Washington on the 23d of July, and was mustered into the United States serv- 
ice on the 28th. At Washington it was engaged in camp, picket and fatigue 
duty till the 9th of October, when it moved into Virginia and established winter 
quarters near Langley. On the Uth of November a detachment went on a 
reconnoissance to Hunter's mills, and on the 20th of December the regiment 
went with its brigade to Dranesville, where it participated in a spii'ited engage- 
ment. It returned to its quarters, and remained till the middle of March. It 
then broke camp, and after several marches and campings embarked for the 
peninsula, where it arrived on the 19th of June. On the 26th it took part in 
the battle of Mechanicsville, and soon afterward was engaged at Gaines' mill. 
For several days it bore an active part in the fighting in that vicinity. 

On the 16th of August the regiment embarked for the Army of Northern 
Virginia under Gen. Pope. It landed at Acquia creek, and after a forced 
march of five days it met the enemy at Groveton on the 29th. On the 31st 
it was engaged at Chantilly. After a brief rest it went forward, and met the 
enemy again at South Mountain on the 14th of September, and on the 17th it par- 
ticipated in the battle of Antietam. It was engaged at Fredericksburg on the 
12th of December, where, as at South Mountain and Antietam, it did excellent 

After the "mud" march the regiment was ordered to Washington, to reor- 


gaoize and recruit. In June, 18fi8, it again entered on active service in the 
movements which culminated in the battle of Gettysburg, in which it was en- 
gaged, and after which it joined in the pursuit of Gen. Lee. 

It entered on the spring campaign of 1864, after resting and recruiting 
during the winter, but while standing in the line ready for action at the Wil- 
derness, it was ordered to Washington. Its term of service had expired, and 
on the 4th of May it started for Pittsburgh, where it arrived on the 8th, and it 
was mustered out of the service on the 18th. 


Company K of this regiment was recruited in part in Allegheny county, 
and joined the regiment in Washington in August, 1861. The regiment was 
organized as the Fifteenth of the reserve corps. The balance of the summer 
of 1861 was passed in drilling and perfecting the organization of the regiment. 
Late in November it entered on active service, and scouted the country toward 
Dranesville, and in the battle at that place a portion was engaged. 

On the opening of the campaign in the spring of 1862 it moved with the 
army toward Manassas. In May it entered on the campaign in the Shenan- 
doah valley, and was constantly engaged in scouting and skirmishing. Late 
in June it returned to Manassas, where it rested two weeks. It then joined 
in the advance of Gen. Pope, and participated in the operations which culmi- 
nated in the second battle of Bull run. In these operations it performed the 
usual service of cavalry, scouting, skirmishing and striking the enemy wherever 
a weak point could be discovered. 

During the campaign in Maryland the regiment picketed the approaches to 
Washington, and sent out occasional detachments. On the close of that cam- 
paign it resumed active duty, which it continued till the battle of Fredericks- 
burg, in which it participated. It then moved to Belle Main landing, where 
it went into winter quarters. During the winter it did picket duty along the 
Rappahannock and sent out occasional scouting-parties. On the r2th of April, 
1863, it entered on the spring campaign, and during the entire summer it was 
on active duty, taking part in several engagements. 

During the winter of 1863-64 there was little rest for cavalry. Scouts and 
raids into the enemy's lines kept the men almost constantly on duty. Of 
scarcely four hundred men present for duty it furnished a daily aggregate of 
ninety-tive for picket duty, with nearly an e(|ual number for scouts, guards 
and other details. 

The spring campaign of 1864 commenced in the latter part of April, and from 
that time till the close of its term of service the First was constantly on duty. 
Of sixty-one days that passed after the commencement of Grant's grand cam- 
paign against Richmond fifty-four were spent by the cavalry in either march- 
ing, scouting, picketing or lighting. It took part in sevei-al severe actions, 
and lost heavily. 


The term of service of the regiment expired in August, 1864. The veterans 
and recruits, numbering four hundred, organized in a battalion, and afterward 
formed a part of the Second Provisional cavalry. The balance of the men 
were mustered out at Philadelphia on the 9th of September. 


Companies B and F of this regiment were recruited in Allegheny county. 
It was organized on the 1st of September, 1861, and soon afterward joined the 
command of Gen. Banks on the upper Potomac. It passed the winter of 
1861-62 in drill and camp duty, and in the spring of 1862 entered on the cam- 
paign of the Shenandoah valley. Three companies of the regiment were 
engaged with the enemy near Kernstown. The entire regiment was engaged 
at the battle of Winchester, and did good service during the retreat from the 

The regiment was next engaged at the battle of Cedar Mountain, where it 
fought bravely and sufFered severely, losing seventy killed, wounded and 
prisoners. It was next in action at Antietam, where its loss was comparatively 
slight. It passed the winter of 1862-63 at Harper's Ferry, Fairfax Station 
and Stafford Court House. It was engaged at Chancellorsville early in May, 
and in that campaign lost four killed and several wounded. It was next 
engaged, July 3d, at Gettysburg, where its loss was not great. 

In the autumn of 1863 the Forty-sixth, with its corps, was transferred to 
Tennessee, and spent some time in guarding the Nashville & Chattanooga 
railroad, which was subject to frequent attacks fi'om guerrillas. 

A large proportion of the regiment re-enlisted early in 1864, and received a 
veteran furlough, fi'om which they returned with ranks recruited. 

Early in May the Forty-sixth, with Gen. Sherman's army, entered on the 
memorable Atlanta campaign. It participated in the engagements at Dallas, 
Pine Knob, Kenesaw mountain and Marietta, and in all these actions its loss 
was fourteen killed and about thirty wounded. It was again in action at Peach 
Tree creek, where it lost ten killed and twenty-two wounded; and in the last 
battle between Sherman and Hood it lost six killed and several wounded. 

The regiment was in Gen. Sherman' s army on its ' ' march to the sea, ' ' 
which was reached on the 21st of December. It then turned northward, and 
was mustered out near Alexandria, Va. , July 16, 1865. 


Company K of this regiment was recruited in Pittsburgh. On the 11th of 
January, 1863, it was consolidated with other companies and became Com- 
pany B. 

The regiment was organized September 14, 1861, and moved to Washing- 
ton on the 22d of the same month. 

On the 10th of March it broke camp and went forward, and on the 4th of 


May it eucouatered the enemy at Williiimsburg, Va. It was again in action 
on the 27th and '28th on Garnett's hill and at Golding's farm. It moved to 
Harrison's Landing, where it suffered much from sickness. 

In August it went to the scene of Gen. Pope's retreat, but did not arrive 
in season to participate in the fighting there. Early in September it started 
on the Maryland campaign. It was in action at Crampton's gap on the 14th, 
and was present, thoagh not engaged, at the Ijattle of Antietacn on the 17th. 
It was again under fire, thoagh not engaged, at Fredericksburg December 13th. 
It also went on the "mud march." It was again in action near Fredericks- 
burg about the 1st of May, 1863. It was under fire, but not actively engaged, 
at Gettysburg, and participated in the pursuit of Gen. Lee. At Rappahan - 
nock Station the brigade of which the Forty-ninth was a part captured four 
guns and caissons, a pontoon, eight battle-flags, two thousand stand of arms 
and sixteen hundi'ed prisoners. 

A portion of the regiment re-enlisted, received a veteran furlough, and 
returned with ranks recruited. It entered on the Wilderness campaign in May, 
1864, and was in action on the 4th and 5th. It was again engaged on the 
9th, with a loss of sixty-four killed. On the 12th it was again engaged at 
Spottsylvania Coiu't House, with heavy loss. It was again in action at Cold 
Harbor, and participated in operations before Petersburg . 

It was with Gen. Sheridan in his Shenandoah valley campaign, and had an 
honorable part in the battle of Winchester. It returned to the trenches in 
front of Petersburg, and went into winter quarters at Fort Wadsworth. 

It entered on its last camjaaign April 1, 1865. Its last fight was at Little 
Sailor's creek, where a large force of the enemy was captured. It was mus- 
tered out on the 15th of July, 1865. 


Companies C and E of this regiment were recruited partly in Allegheny 
county. On the 14th of December, 1861, they moved from Camp Curtin to 
Washington, and encamped during the winter. In February, 1862, they 
joined the Army of the Potomac, and in March went to Fortress Monroe. In 
April they went to Yorktown, where during a month they labored and slept in 
the mud, and engaged in one sharp skirmish. Early in May they went to 
Williamsburg, arriving too late for the battle there, but on the 31st of that 
month they were hotly engaged at Fair Oaks, losing seven killed and forty-nine 
wounded. On the 30th of June they were in action near Charles City cross- 
roads, and lost seven killed and fifty-six wounded. The next day they were 
in action at Malvern Hill. 

In August they joined the army of Gen. Pope in Northern Virginia, and 
participated m the actions of second Biill ran and Chantilly. They were next 
in action at Fredericksburg, where they lost twenty-one killed, seventy-six 
wounded and seventy-eight missing. 




In the latter part of April, 1863, they left their winter quarters, and on the 
3d of May were engaged at Chancellorsville. After a mouth' s rest they started 
on the Gettysburg campaign, and took part in that battle and the pursuit of 
Gen. Lee. They were engaged at Auburn creek October 13th, at Kelley's Ford 
November 7th and at Locust Grove November 12th. 

They went into winter quarters at Culpeper, and in January, 1864, two- 
thirds of their number re-enlisted, and received a veteran furlough. They 
returned with recruited ranks, and in May resumed active operations. They 
were severely engaged on the 4th of May, losing twenty-two killed and one 
hundred and twenty-eight wounded. They were again in action on the 12th, 
but with less of a loss. From that time on through the summer and autumn 
of 1864 they were in active service, marching, fighting, establishing new lines 
and erecting fortifications. 

In January, 1865, they were consolidated with the Eighty-fourth Pennsyl- 
vania. In the spring they entered on the final campaign of the war, in which 
they took an active part up to the time of the surrender of Lee's army. They 
were mustered oirt at Alexandria on the 22d of June. 


This regiment. Company G of which was from Allegheny county, assembled 
at Washington in August, 1861. It passed the balance of the summer in drill- 
ing, and wintered at Camp Marcy, three miles from Chain bridge. 

On the 10th of March, 1862, it started with the army of Gen. McClellan, 
and was actively engaged in scouting, picketing, skirmishing and fighting 
through the peninsular campaign. 

The Third was actively employed in the Maryland campaign, discharging 
the usual duties of cavalry, protecting the flanks of columns and repelling 
attacks fi'om hostile cavalry. The winter of 1862-68 was passed in scouting 
and picketing in the vicinity of Warrenton and the Rappahannock river. It 
made a brilliant dash across the river at Kelley's Ford on the 16th of March, 
1863, and scattered the forces of Fitz Lee and Stuart. In April it went on a 
cavalry raid through Southern Virginia, in which much rebel property was 

The Third bore a prominent part in the maneuvering and skirmishing 
during the invasion of Pennsylvania by Lee, and at the liattle of Gettysburg 
it was engaged in a fierce hand-to-hand fight with the cavalry of the enemy. 
It aided in harassing the army of Gen. Lee on its retreat from Pennsylvania, 
and during the rest of the summer and autumn it was kept constantly on the 
move, sometimes scouting, sometimes disputing the passage of fords, some- 
times fighting guerrillas, and several times it was engaged in severe battles. 

In December it went into winter quarters near Warrenton, Va., but its 
service during the winter of 1863-64 was more severe than its campaign of the 
preceding summer. The re-enlistment of veteran volunteers took place during 


the wintor, and so great had been the suffering of the men in their arduous 
duties, with poor supplies, that only seventy-five were willing to re-enlist. 

In May, 1864, the regiment entered on the Wilderness campaign, in all of 
which it was on active duty. In July the original term of service expired, 
and the two portions of the regiment separated, one part going to Philadel- 
phia, where it arrived on the 20th of August, and was soon mustered out. 
The veteran battalion remained, and was in active service during the rest of 
the summer and autumn. 

In May, 1865, it went to Richmond, and was there engaged in provost 
duty till it gradually drifted out of the service. 


This was recruited in the summer of 1S61, at Pittsburgh, and six of the 
companies were raised mostly in Allegheny county. Before its ranks were 
full it went to Washington, and for a time was engaged in building a fort 
south of the Potomac. Late in March, 1862, it proceeded by transports to 
Fortress Monroe. It marched to Yorktown, and thence, through mud and 
rain, to Williamsburg, arriving too late for the battle at that place. It 
marched up the peninsula, making two reconnoissances on the way, and arrived 
at Seven Pines, where it went into action on the 31st of May. In this severe 
engagement the casualties of the regiment amounted to eleven officers and 
two hundred and sixty-nine men killed, wounded or missing. It was in action 
at Turkey Bend, and the next day it was in the sanguinary battle of Malvern 
Hill, where its loss was two officers and thirty- two men. July 2d it went to 
Harrison's Landing, and thence, August 16th, via Williamsburg to Yorktown, 
whence it soon moved by transports to Alexandria. It went on the Maryland 
campaign, did picket duty along the Potomac, and reached the Antietam 
battle-field on the evening of the 17th— after the battle. It went thence to 
Williamsport, to Downsville, and to the vicinity of Warrenton, where it 
remained till the opening of the Fredericksburg campaign. It was engaged 
in that battle, but did not lose heavily. 

Early in May, 1863, it went with other troops to Marye's Heights, which 
were carried by storm, and soon afterward it was in action at Salem Heights. 
On the 13th of June it marched for Pennsylvania, and arrived on the field of 
Gettysburg in the midst of the battle. Its loss there was not severe. 

After the pursuit of Lee was abandoned the regiment, as a part of a corps 
of observation, made various marches. On the 7th of November it partici- 
pated in a brilliant action at Rappahannock Station, and soon afterward it 
went into winter quarters at Brandy Station. 

During the winter of 1863-64 its numbers were considerably strengthened, 
and on May 4th of the latter year it entered on the Wilderness campaign. It 
was engaged on the 5th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th and 17th. In these actions, 
and the skirmishing which followed during several days, the loss of the regi- 


ment aggregated about thirtj' officers and four hundred enlisted men. On the 
13th of June it marched to the neighborhood of Petersburg, where during 
four weeks it was engaged in the operations of the siege. 

On the 9th of July the regiment started for Washington, where it arrived 
und marched through the city on the 11th, and on the r2th it was engaged in 
a sanguinary battle at Fort Stevens, losing thirty-three men killed and 
wounded. It pursued the enemy some distance and returned, and. during a 
month it marched and countermarched through Maryland and the Shenan- 
doah valley. On the 21st of August it was in action near Charlestown, Va. , 
losing six killed and sixteen wounded. 

On the 3d of September the men whose term of service had expired pro- 
ceeded to Philadelphia and were mustered out. The veterans and recruits 
were consolidated in five companies, known as the battalion of the Sixty-first 
regiment. On the 19th of September it went, under Sheridan, toward Win- 
chester, and was in the battle of Opequan, where it lost twenty-two killed and 
wounded. Following the enemy, it fought again at Fisher's Hill on the 22d. 
On the 19th of October it was in the battle of Cedar creek, which commenced 
with "Sheridan twenty miles away." Its loss here was sixteen killed and 

After this battle it received some accessions to its ranka, and early in 
December took its place in front of Petersburg, where it remained to the end 
of the siege. 

In March, 1865, two companies were added to the command, and on the 
25th of that month it was in action, losing eighteen. Its last fight was at 
Sailor's creek, three days prior to the surrender at Appomattox. It afterward 
marched to Danville, returned to Richmond, then to Washington, where it par- 
ticipated in the " great review. ' ' It was mustered out of the service on the 
2Sth of June, and on its return to Pittsburgh was entertained at a grand 


This was first the Thirty-third Independent regiment, but afterward the 
Sixty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers. Six of the companies — A, B, F, G, K 
and L — were raised in Allegheny county. In August, 1861, the regiment, with 
full ranks, went to Washington, and encamped in the suburbs of the city. After 
several moves and much fatigue duty it established its winter quarters at Minor's 
hill. Here a rigid system of discipline and drill was established and contin- 
ued through the winter. On the 10th of March, 1862, it moved to Manassas, 
then to Alexandria, whence it went on transports to Fortress Monroe, and thence, 
on the 3d of April, to Yorktown, where it was first under fire. On the 8th of 
May it moved up the York river, and on the 27th was in action at Hanover 
Oourt House. A month was spent in picket duty and constructing bridges 
and roads. On the 26th of June it was under fire at Beaver Dam creek, but 
was not actively engaged. At Gaines' mill it was hotly engaged, and its 


colonel, S. W. Black, was killed. On the 31st it was in the battle of Malvern 
Hill, suffering severely. Its entire loss in the engagements on the peninsula 
was two hundred and uinety-eight killed, wounded and missing. 

In the middle of August the Sixty-second left the peninsula, marched to 
Newport News, embarked on transports for Acquia creek, and entered on the 
second Bull run campaign. It was slightly engaged at Gainesville on the 
27th. The Maryland campaign followed, and the regiment was in the battle 
of Antietam. It was next in action in December, at Fredericksbui'g, but its 
loss there was not heavy. It participated in the "mud" campaign, and was 
at the battle of Chancellorsville, but was not largely engaged. It participated 
in the Gettysburg campaign, and lost heavily in the battle at that place. It 
took part in the ''campaign of maneuvers" in the autumn of 1863, and went 
into winter quarters at Licking run. 

With ranks recruited the regiment, on the 1st of May, 1864, entered on the 
Wilderness campaign. It was first engaged on the 5th, and during the rest of 
the month was more or less heavily engaged. At the battle of Bethesda church 
its losses were very heavy. 

On the 16th of June it arrived in front of Petersburg, and on the ISth had 
a sharp light near the Norfolk & Petersburg railroad. It was again engaged 
on the 21st at Jerusalem plank-road with small loss. It then did picket and 
fatigue duty till July 3d, when the term of service of the original companies 
expired. In one month of this campaign it lost one officer and twenty- eight 
men killed, eleven officers and two hundred and twenty seven men wounded, 
and one officer and thirty men missing. It started for Pittsburgh on the 4th 
of July, and was mustered out of service on its arrival. 


Companies A, B, D, E, H, I and K of this regiment were recruited mostly 
in Allegheny county. Alexander Hays, a graduate of West Point and a vet- 
eran of the Mexican war, was the colonel. The regiment went in detachments 
to Washington during the summer of 1861, and early in October it crossed the 
Potomac and went into camp on the road between Alexandria and Mount 
Vernon, where it remained during the entire winter engaged in picket duty 
and drill. A very thorough system of instruction was adopted and enforced, 
and to this the subsequent excellence and good reputation of the regiment were 
largely due. 

At the siege of Yorktown the regiment was posted some two miles from the 
town, in an unhealthful location, and many died from disease. It reached 
Williamsburg May 5th, too late to be engaged. At Fair Oaks it was severely 
engaged and lost heavily. At Charles City cross-roads it was again in action, 
and fought gallantly. At Malvern Hill the Sixty-third was engaged, but its 
part was not so prominent. It wfent into camp at Harrison's Landing and re- 
mained till ordered to the support of Pope, on the Rappahannock. At the 


second battle of Bull run it was fiercely engaged, lost very heavily, and 
covered itself with glory. On the 1st of September it was at the battle of 
Chantilly, after which it went into the defenses of Washington and remained 
till after the battle of Antietam. On the 13th of December the regiment was 
in action at Fredericksburg, and exhibited its usual gallantry. On the 3d 
of May, 1863, it went into action at Chancellorsville, and in that tight lost, in 
killed, wounded and missing, one hiuidred and twenty. 

On the 11th of June, 1863, the Sixty-third started on the Gettysburg cam- 
paign, and arrived on the battleground July 1st. Its loss in this battle was 
slight, considering its exposed position. The regiment joined in the pursuit of 
the retreating foe, and remained at Culpeper till the opening of the fall cam- 
paign, in which it participated. It fought at Auburn Mills, at Kelley's Ford, 
and in two skirmishes at Locust Grove. Winter quarters were established at 
Brandy Station, and during the winter of 1868-64 the regiment was engaged in 
guard and picket duty, and it went with its division on one reconnoissance. 

On the 3d of May, 1864, it moved toward the Wilderness, and on the 5th 
and 6th was heavily engaged, losing in the two days one hundred and eighty- 
six killed and wounded. On the 7th it again fought sharply, but with smaller 
loss. The regiment was also engaged at North Anna and at Polecat river, 
and after marching and intrenching for some days it arrived about the middle 
of June at the front before Petersburg. Here it was engaged in the operations 
of the siege, and was several times in action, losing heavily in prisoners on one 
of these occasions. 

The original term of enlistment having expired, the veterans and recruits 
were transferred to other commands, and on the 9th of September the regi- 
ment, consisting of three oflScers and sixty- four men, was mustered out of the 


The Fourth Cavalry was raised under the direction of David Campbell, of 
Pittsburgh, who became its colonel, and it had three companies from Allegheny 
county! It went to Washington in September, 1861. The following winter 
was spent in drill, and rigid discipline was enforced. 

In May, 1862, the regiment joined McDowell's command on the Rappa- 
hannock and at once entered on its routine of picket and scouting duty. It 
was divided into squadrons, which were sent to different parts of the theater of 
hostilities as exigencies arose which rendered their presence desirable. In the 
peninsular campaign the Fourth did effective service, which for want of space 
can not 1)6 recounted here. By reason of the celerity of its movements the 
cavalry arm of the service supplied a seriously felt want, and as the war pro- 
gressed mounted troops became more and more popular. 

After the fighting in the peninsula was over the regiment went to Yorktown, 
and thence to Washington, but arrived too late to participate in operations at 
second Bull run. 


The Fourth was with the army in the Marylaml campaiga, and participated 
ill the battle of Antietam, where Col. Childs, of Pittsburgh, was killed. In 
the autumn of 1862 the regiment was not on important duty, except brilliant 
dashes and scouts, and it went into winter quarters at Potomac creek station. 

In the winter of 1862-63 the operations of cavalry came to be of more 
importance than previously, and a cavalry corps was established. In the 
Chancellorsville campaign the Fourth, with the other cavalry force, rendered 
valuable service in scouting, guarding fords, etc. 

In the Gettysburg campaign the regiment was constantly active, and had 
a severe fight near Aldie. It arrived on the field of Gettysburg on the 2d of 
July, and was in action on the 3d. It then joined in the pursuit of Gen. 
Lee's army. In October a large number of the regiment were made prisoners 
and sent to southern prisons, where many died. 

In the Wilderness campaign, in the early summer of 1864, and in the sub- 
sequent cavalry operations, the Fourth bore its full share; but space will not 
permit a detailed account of its movements. History has recorded the impor- 
tant part achieved by the cavalry arm of the service in these operations. 

After the surrender the regiment was on duty at Lynchburg, Va. , where its 
colonel was the provost-marshal. It was mustered out at that place on the 1st 
of July, and returned to Pittsbiu'gh, where it was disbanded. 


This regiment was first known as the Cameron Dragoons. It was recruited 
in Philadelphia, except Companies L and M, which were from Pittsburgh. It 
went to Washington in August, 1861, and entered on active duty a month later. 
It scouted along the enemy's line for a time, then went into camp at Alex- 
andria, where it remained till May, 1862. It then moved with the army of 
Gen. McClellan, and during the peninsular campaign it was engaged in scout- 
ing in the rear of the army, with headquarters at Williamsburg. It remained 
here, engaged in the usual duties of cavalry troops, till September, 1863. Sev- 
eral engagements occurred in this time. On the 7th of February, 1863, Com- 
panies L and M went on a scout, and encountered a largely superior force of the 
enemy. They boldly attacked and, though at one time nearly surrounded, 
broke through and escaped with a loss of thirty-five killed, wounded and 

In September the regiment went into North Carolina, and was there engaged 
in scouting. 'A detachment which included companies L and M went to Curri- 
tuck Court House and succeeded in ridding the district of some troublesome 
bands of the enemy that had been engaged in irregular warfare. 

In October the regiment went into winter quarters at Great Bridge, 
and there a part re-enlisted and received a veteran furlough. In November 
ten companies went to Portsmouth, and subsequently the entire regiment pro- 
ceeded to Yorktown, from which point an unsuccessful raid was made toward 


Richmond. Early iu May, 1864. the Fifth was engaged in a successful raid 
on the Petersburg & Weldon railroad, and on the r2th of the same month in 
another, which was also successful, on the Richmond & Danville and the 
South Side railroads. The regiment joined the forces of Gen. Butler at 
City Point, and in the month of June several important and quite successful 
raids were made. 

"From the middle of July till the close of September the regiment was 
kept constantly in motion, frequently meeting and skirmishing with the 
enemy, and doing severe picket duty. ' ' Early in October it took part in , 
several severe actions near Richmond, in which its losses were considerable. 
In the latter part of that month, and again on the 10th of December, it was 
sharply engaged at the Charles City road, losing seven killed and fourteen 
wounded. It remained in that vicinity doing picket duty till the 25th of 
March, 1865, when it entered on its last campaign, in which it was constantly 
active till the time of the surrender of Lee's army. Little of importance 
occurred with the regiment after that, and it was finally mustered out on the 
7th of August. 


One company in this regiment was recruited from Allegheny county. A 
majority of the men in this company were mustered into the service after the 
surrender of Lee's army, and the regiment was mustered out on the 14th of 
July, 1865. Of course they saw no bloody service. 


This was recruited in the summer of 1861. Two companies and a part of 
another were raised in Allegheny county, and included many German citizens. 
Late in September it went to Washington, where it spent the winter in fatigue 
duty and drill. 

In the spring of 1862 it was ordered to West Virginia, where it arrived 
after a very severe march. After a short time spent in picket and fatigue duty 
it marched to Strasburg and joined in the pursuit of Stonewall Jackson up the 
Shenandoah valley. At Cross Keys a severe battle was fought, in which the 
regiment lost six killed and thirteen wounded. It then proceeded to Middle- 
town, where it remained a month, then moved to Cedar Mountain, arriving too 
late for the battle at that place. With the army it fell back toward Manassas, 
Ijut on the way it had a sharp light at Freeman' s ford. It reached Groveton 
on the 28th of August, and during two days was engaged in the second battle 
of Bull run, losing seventeen killed and wounded. It retired to the fortifi- 
cations of Washington, and remained till after the battle of Antietam. It 
went forward to the battle-ground of Fredericksburg, but arrived too late to be 

At the battle of Chancellorsville, in the spring of 1863, the Seventy fourth 
was engaged, with a loss in killed, wounded and missing of sixty-one. On the 


12th of June it left its camp at Stafford Court House for the Gettysburg cam- 
paign. In the battle of Gettysburg it lost in killed, wounded and missing 
one hundi-ed and thirty-six. Two weeks later it went to Warrenton Junction, 
and early in August to Folly Island, South Carolina, and it was on duty in 
that vicinity till August, 1864, participating in the operations for the capt- 
ure of Charleston. In that month it returned to Washington, where it did 
duty as heavy artillery. Late in September it went to West Virginia, where it 
was engaged in garrison, guard and picket duty till the end of its term of serv- 
ice. It was mustered out August 29, 1805. 


A part of Company K in this regiment was raised in Allegheny. In the 
winter of 1861-62 it was in South Carolina, where it remained, participating 
in operations there, till May, ISO-t. It was engaged in the siege of Fort ^^"ag- 
ner, and in an attack on that work it lost eighty-seven killed and wounded, of 
which number fifty-three were killed. 

It went to Virginia and particij^ated in the movements there till December, 
1864, when it formed a j)art of the force sent against Fort Fisher. After the 
capture of that stronghold it was in North Carolina, engaged in guard and 
provost duty till July 18, 1865. when it was mustered out. 


Three companies in this regiment were raised, wholly or in part, in Alle- 
gheny county. It was organized in October, 1861, and on the 18th of that 
month it went to Louisville, Ky. , whence it proceeded by leisurely mai'ches to 
Nashville, Tenn., where it arrived March 2d, 1862. It went forward, and 
was first engaged at Pittsburgh Landing, with a loss of three killed and 
seven wounded. On the 28th of May it had reached the works at Corinth, and 
skirmished with the enemy. After the evacuation of that j)lace by the enemj' 
it moved again into Tennessee, and reached Nashville early in September. 
Thence it went on an expedition to Louisville, but returned and remained till 
the opening of the winter campaign. It went on several reconnoissances, and 
in one of these, near La Vergne, had a sharp skirmish with the enemy. 

On the 26th of December it went with the army toward Murfreesboro, 
and in the battle at Stone river it won from Gen. Rosecrans the praise of being 
the "banner regiment.'' After the battle it did guard, scout and foraging 
duty till the middle of February, 1863. It then went into camp at Murfrees- 
boro, and was employed in building fortifications till the commencement of the 
summer campaign. On the 24th of June it broke camp, and at Liberty gap 
it had a tierce engagement, losing nearly a third of its effective strength. 
After several marches in different directions the enemy was again encountered, 
on the 19th of September, at Chickamauga, and in that action all the field offi- 
cers, seven line officers and seventy men of the regiment fell into the hands of 

a<^^^ — s, 


the enemy. After this battle it went to Whiteside, where it remained till the 
end of 1868. 

In Jannary, 18(34, a large proportion of the regiment re-enlisted and 
received a veteran furlough. They returned, and early in May entered on the 
Atlanta campaign. They were engaged at Rocky Face ridge, at Resaca, 
Kingston, New Hope church, Kenesaw Mountain, Smyrna, Chattahoochie 
river and Peach Tree creek. 

The regiment was constantly employed during the investment of Atlanta. 
On the 25th of August it destroyed a portion of the Montgomery railroad, and 
on the 1st of September it aided in a like work on the Macon road. It was en- 
gaged at Jonesboro, and on the 2d, 3d, 4th and 5th of September at Lovejoy. 

After the fall of Atlanta the Seventy-seventh moved with its corps toward 
Nashville. On the 30th of September it was engaged with the enemy at Frank- 
lin, and the next day retired to Nashville. On the 15th of December Gen. 
Hood was attacked and driven from before that place. The regiment had a 
prominent part in that action, and pursued the retreating foe as far as Hunts- 
ville. Ala. 

The Seventy-seventh was reinforced and reorganized in the spring of 1865, 
and in the summer it was sent to Texas, where it arrived on the 27th of July. 
On the 5th of December it received orders to return home, and on the 16th of 
January, 1866, it arrived at Philadelphia, where it was mustered out of the 


Companies F, H and I of the Seventy- eighth were recruited in Pittsburgh, 
and assigned, with other companies, to the regiment in March, 1865. The new 
regiment, as thus organized, remained on duty at Marshall, Tenn. , and partic- 
ipated with the Army of the Cumberland, under Thomas, in that brilliant 
campaign which swept the rebel army from Tennessee. It was finally mus- 
tered out of the service on the 11th of September, 1865. 


Of the twelve companies in this regiment one was recruited in Allegheny 
county. On the 19th of December, 1861, it left the state for Louisville, Ky. 
After a month in camp of instruction at Jeffersonville, it marched leisurely to 
Nashville. Tenn The three battalions were here separated, and sent in differ- 
ent directions to scout through the country. The enemy was met. and engage- 
ments of greater or less severity were had near Pulaski, at Lebanon, Sweeden' s 
Cove, McMinnville, Reedysville, and on the 13th of July, 1862. at Murfrees- 
boro. The battalions were then employed in protecting the flanks of the army 
from the prowling bands of hostile cavalry. On the 21st of August a severe 
battle was had with the combined forces of the rebels Morgan and Forrest, in 
whicli the Seventh lost forty killed and three hundi-ed wounded and prisoners. 


la September one battalion participated in the battle of Perryville. In Novem- 
ber the battalions were united, and late in December went, with other forces, to 
Miirfreesboro, where a sevei'e battle was fought ou the 31st. A month later' 
the regiment went with its brigade to Rov(>r, where it broke up a rebel out- 
post and scouted for two weeks within the rebel lines. Again at Rover and 
at Unionville the Seventh was sharply engaged. It was engaged with Morgan 
at Snow Hill on the 3d of April, 1863; fought Duke's brigade on the 20th, 
assisted in the captui'e of McMiunville May Hth, was engaged at Murfreesboro 
' May 14th, and fought Morgan at Alexandria on the 3d of June. 

Late in June the regiment was heavily engaged in the battle of Shelby- 
ville. where an important victory was achieved. On the 3d of July it fought 
at Elk river, on the 17th of August at Sparta, and early in September went 
on the Chickamauga campaign, in which, and in the operations immediately 
following, it did important service. 

Early in 1864 a large part of the regiment re-enlisted and was given a vet- 
eran furlough. It returned with ranks recruited, and on the 3d of April 
entered on the Atlanta campaign. It was engaged at Rome May 15th, at 
Dallas and Villa Rica road May 27th, at Big Shanty June 9th. at McAfee 
Cross Roads June 11th, at Monday creek June 20th, at Kenesaw Mountain 
June 27th. Augusta & Atlanta railroad July 18th, at Flat Rock July 28th, 
at Fairburn and Jonesboro August 19th. at Lovejoy's Station August 20th, at 
Rome October 12th and at Leach's Cross Roads two weeks later. 

It then went to Louisville, where it was remounted and equipped, and on 
the 22d of March, 1865, it set oiit with the command of Gen. Wilson on an 
expedition across the gulf states. It fought at Plantersville, Ala., on the 1st 
of April, and soon afterward at Selma, where it lost heavily. It was also 
engaged near Columbus on the 16th of April. On the 20th of August it 
arrived at Macon, Ga., where it was mustered out of service on the 13th of 


Allegheny county was represented in this regiment by Company B. After 
its organization it remained nearly six months in the defenses of Washington. 
In March, 1862, it moved toward Manassas, with the army, and two weeks later 
it went by steamer to Fortress Monroe. It moved to the neighborhood of Lee's 
mills, on the Warwick river, where it remained nearly a month. Thence it 
went to Williamsburg, to the Chickahominy, to Seven Pines, and to Fair Oaks 
station. Here, on the 31st of May, an attack was made by the enemy, and 
the regiment was engaged, with the loss of eight killed and twenty-four 
wounded. On the 1st of July it was again in action at Malvern Hill. Late in 
August it embarked for Alexandria, and it was in the line at Chantilly, but was 
not actively engaged. It went on the Maryland campaign, crossed South 
Mountain the day after the battle, reached the Antietam battle-held ou the 
evening of the 17th of September, and was under fire of the enemy's sharp- 


shooters the next day. It was in action on the 13th of December at Freder- 
icksburg, but its loss was not great. At the battle of Chaucellorsville, in May, 
1863, it was in action at Marye's Heights and at Salem Heights. It went on 
the Gettysburg campaign, and was engaged in the battle, but with only slight 
casualties. It joined in the pursuit of the retreating rebels, and had a skir- 
mish at Funkstown on the 27th of July, with a loss of eight wounded. The 
winter quarters of the regiment were established at Brandy Station, and there 
about half the men re-enlisted and went home on a veteran furlough. During 
the. winter it was sent to Johnson's island, in Lake Erie, to guard rebel pris- 
oners, but returned in May, 1864, soon after the battles of the Wilderness and 
Spottsylvania. At the battle of Cold Harbor it was severely engaged, losing 
in killed, wounded and missing one hundred and seventy-three men, more 
than half its strength. 

The regiment went to the front of Petersbui'g, whence, on the 9th of July, 
it was ordered to Washington to meet a raid through Maryland of the enemy 
under Gen. Early. For some time it was employed in marching, counter- 
marching and skirmishing. In September the original term of service of the 
regiment expired, and it was ordered to Philadelphia, where, on the IGth of 
that mouth, it was mustered out of the service. 

The veterans and recruits were consolidated with other troops under the 
designation of the Eighty -second. It participated in Gen. Sheridan's cam- 
paign in the Shenandoah valley, and returned to the front of Petersburg. It 
was in the campaign of the spring of 1865, was engaged in the battle of 
Sailor's creek on the 6th of April, and on the 9th was at the front when Lee 
surrendered. It was mustered out of service on the 13th of July. 


This regiment was raised at Erie, and entered the service in September, 
1861. Allegheny county was not represented in it till March, 1865, when two 
companies were assigned to it. 

The final campaign opened on the '29th of that month, and the engagements 
at Jones' Farm, White Oak road. Gravelly run, Five Forks, Sutherland 
station, Jetersville and the pursuit to Appomattox Court House followed in 
quick succession, and in all these the regiment had part and sustained well the 
reputation which the veterans had acquired. It was mustered out at Wash- 
ington on the 28th of June, 1865. 


Companies F and G were recruited in Allegheny county in February and 
March, 1865, and were assigned to the regiment in the latter month, after the 
veterans and recruits had been consolidated and reorganized. It participated 
in the camj)aign of 1865, and on the 2d of April had part in a charge on the 
works before Petersburg, losing thirty-three killed and wounded. On the 6th 


it was eni^agcd at Sailor's crook, wboro it had oue man woundod. It was 
miistored out at Alosandria, Va. , on tho 29th of Juno. 


Companies A, E, G and I of this rogiment were raised, wholly or in part, 
in Allegheny county. On the 27th of February, 1862, the regiment went to 
Washington. A month later it went by transports to the peninsula, and on 
the 16th of April went to the front. After spending some time building cor- 
diaroy roads at Yorktown, it went forward with the army, and was first en- 
gaged on the 5th of May, at Williamsburg, and was nest engaged on the 31st 
of May, at Fair Oaks. 

After the close of the peninsular campaign the regiment was engaged mostly 
in fatigue duty and reconnoissances till December, when it went to New Berne, 
N. C. , and on the 14th engaged the enemy at the Neuse river. It was again 
engaged at Goldsboro on tho 17th, and afterward went into winter quarters 
near New Berne. 

During the year 1803 and the spring of 1864 the regiment was engaged in 
fatigue duty, and in scouring the country in various directions, without any 
severe engagements. 

April 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th, 1864, a severe battle was fought at Plym- 
outh, in which this regiment lost five killed, twenty-four wounded and two 
missing, and the rest were made prisoners. They were marched to Tarboro. and 
thence taken by rail to Andersonville, Ga., where the enlisted men were kept 
till the latter part of the summer. A part were sent to Millen and a few to 
Savannah. They were exchanged at Wilmington in the spring of 1865. 
Nearly one-half died before the time of release. The officers were sent, suc- 
cessively, to Savannah. Charleston and Charlotte. Many escaped, some were 
recaptured, and those retained were exchanged in March, 1865. 

Those who were absent on leave or sick at the time of the battle were formed 
into a detachment, and received some recruits. They were mustered out on 
the 25th of June. 1865. 


Col. Thomas A. Rowley, who commanded the Thirteenth, commenced 
recruiting a three-years regiment at Pittsburgh as soon as the Thirteenth 
was mustered out. which was on the 0th of August, 1861. So rapidly were 
the ranks filled that five companies departed for W^asbington on the 21st of 
the same month. Seven other companies soon followed, all recruited in Alle- 
gheny county except Company H, which was partly raised in Butler. The 
field oiiicers were Thomas A. Eowley, colonel; Joseph M. Kinkead. lieutenant- 
colonel, and John Poland, major. The regiment was drilled at Washington 
till March 26, 1862, when it embarked for the peninsula. During the siege at 
Yorktown it was at Warwick Court House. On the 5th of May it was engaged 


in the battle of Williamsburg, losing three killed and thirty-eight wounded. 
It went forward, and on the 30th of May was engaged at Fair Oaks, losino- 
thirteen killed and forty-eight, among whom was Col. Rowley, wounded. It 
was for a time at Seven Pines, doing guard and picket diity, and next met the 
enemy at Malvern Hill, where it lost ten killed and thirty- seven wounded. 
Among the killed was Maj. Poland. 

On its return from the peninsula the regiment met the forces retreating 
from the second Bull run field, and aided in checking the pursuing enemy. 
At Chantilly it acted as support to the batteries, and was not actively engaged. 
At the battle of Antietam it was held in reserve. It was also in reserve at the 
battle of Fredericksburg, but was under artillery tire. 

On the 27th of April, 1863, the regiment left its winter quarters for the 
Chancellorsville campaign. Col. Rowley had been made a brigadier-general, 
Lieut. -Col. Kinkead had become colonel, Maj. John W. Patterson had been 
promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and Adjt. Joseph Browne to major. On the 
3d of May it was furiously engaged in the battle of Chancellorsville, and 
behaved with great gallantry. Its loss was twelve killed, fifty five wounded 
and one hundred missing. Col. Kinkead soon afterward resigned. Lieut. - 
Col. Patterson was appointed colonel, Capt. William Mcllwaine lieutenant- 
colonel, and Capt. Thomas McLaughlin major in place of Maj. Browne, who 

Early in June the regiment left its camp near Falmouth, and moved to 
meet the enemy, who was making his way northward. It reached the battle- 
field of Gettysburg, and was engaged in the action, but without severe loss. 
It joined in the pursuit of the enemy, took part in the action at Rappahannock 
Station, and finally went into winter quarters near Brandy Station. Here 
nearly all the regiment re-enlisted and received a veteran furlough. 

On the 4th of May, 1864, it left its camp, and on the 5th became engaged 
in the battle of the Wilderness. In the fighting of this day it lost sixteen 
killed and one hundred and twelve wounded. Col. Patterson was among the 
killed. On the 6th it was again engaged, but with smaller loss. At Spott- 
sylvania fighting was renewed, and continued for nearly a week. At Cold 
Harbor the regiment was severely engaged on the 3d and 5th of June, losing 
thirty-nine wounded, among them Lieut. -Col. Mcllwaine. mortally. 

On the 15th of June it crossed the James and entered on the siege of Peters- 
burg. On the 9th of July it was ordered to Washington to aid in repelling 
the invasion through Maryland. It joined in the pursuit of the retreating foe, 
and during two months was almost constantly on the march. On the 19th of 
September it crossed the Opequan with Gen. Sheridan, and was engaged in 
the battle of Winchester, in which it lost five killed and twenty-three wounded. 
Again, at Fisher's Hill, the loss of the regiment was thirty-one wounded and 
three missing. On the 19th of October, at Cedar creek, on the occasion of 
Sheridan's famous ride, it lost seven killed and fifty-eight wounded. 


In December the regiment returned to the iiitrenchments before Petersburg. 
On the 25th of March, 1865, it was engaged in a fruitless advance on the 
enemy's works. On the 2d of April it joined in the last race with the enemy. 
A sharp fight occurred at Sailor's creek on the 6th, and on the 9th Lee surren- 
dered at Appomattox. After a move toward Danville the regiment returned to 
the vicinity of Washington, where, on the 28th of June, it was mustered out of 


Company C and parts of companies F, I and K in this regiment were from 
Alleghen)' county. In the latter part of February, 1862, it went to Washing- 
ton, and soon afterward to the peninsula. It participated in the siege of York- 
towQ, and was engaged in the battle of Williamsburg. On the 31st of May it 
was in the battle of Fair Oaks, losing eighty-four killed and wounded. Dur- 
ing a month after this battle it worked on fortifications at White Oak swamp, 
suffering greatly from sickness. 

After the close of the peninsular campaign the regiment went to Suffolk, 
and thence, early in December, to New Berne, N. C. Thence it went on an 
expedition to Kingston, where it was in action and achieved a brilliant suc- 
cess. It returned to New Berne, and dui'ing the spring made fi'equent expe- 
ditions into the surrounding country. In April it removed to Plymouth. On 
the 20th of that month a severe battle was fought at that place, and the regi- 
ment was captured. The men were sent to Andersonville. where one hundred 
and thirty-two died. The officers were taken to Macon, Ga. . and those of the 
highest grade were taken thence to Charleston; where they were placed under 
the fire of the union guns that were bombarding the city. 

At the time of the capture one company was at Roanoke island, and some 
men were absent in hospitals and on furlough, and these continued as the One 
Hundred and Third regiment. They were mustered out at New Berne on the 
25tb of June, 1865. 


Company D of this regiment was recruited partly in Allegheny county. 
It went to Washington in October, 1861, drilled during the winter of 1801-62, 
and on the 17th of March went by transport to Fortress Monroe. It was at the 
siege of Yorktown and the battle of Williamsburg. At Fair Oaks, on the 31st 
of May, it fought desperately, losing forty-one killed, one hundred and fifty 
wounded and seventeen missing. In the battle at Charles City cross roads, 
on the 30th of June, it was sharply engaged, losing, in killed and wounded, 
fifty-six. At Malvern Hill it was under artillery fire, but not closely engaged.. 

After the close of the peninsular campaign the regiment was sent to guard 
the railroad between Manassas and Warrenton Junction, where two companies 
were captured and paroled. At the second battle of Bull run it lost thirteen 
killed aud forty-one wounded. After the close of Pope's campaign it was 


ordered into the defeases of Washington, and remained till after the battle of 
Antietam. It went with the army to Falmouth, and on the 13th and 14th of 
December it was under a severe artillery fire at Fredericksburg, losing thirteen 
wounded, two mortally. 

From the 3d to the 5th of May, 1863, the regiment was engaged in the 
battle of Chancellorsville, and its losses aggregated seventy-seven out of a force 
of three hiindred and forty -seven. On the 11th of June it moved northward, and 
reached the field of Gettysburg on the 1st of July. In that battle it lost an 
aggregate of one hundred and sixty-eight, more than half its entire strength. 
During the remainder of the summer it was moving in different directions, 
and was in action at Auburn, Kelley's Ford and Locust Grove. It went into 
winter quarters at Brandy Station, and here nearly the entire strength of the 
regiment re-enlisted and received a veteran furlough. 

From the opening of the campaign in the spring of 1864 till the 28d of 
May the regiment was constantly on the move, and was almost every day 
engaged. About the middle of June it crossed the James and went on duty in 
front of Petersburg. From that time till winter it was actively engaged in 
operations in that vicinity, and was frequently in more or less severe battles. 
In December it went into winter quarters, and was engaged in drill and 
fatigue duty. 

Late in March, 1865, it resumed active operations, and continued till the 
surrender on the 9th of April. Its last fight was at Sailor's creek on the 6th. 
It participated in the grand review at the capital, and on the 11th of July it 
was mustered out of service. " At the final muster-out not a single officer, and 
but a handful of the men who originally marched with the regiment, remained. ' ' 


This regiment had one company from Allegheny county. Its organization 
was completed in August, 1862. In September it was sent to guard the line 
of the Potomac, and to scout in Loudoun and Jefferson counties. In February, 
1863, it went to Winchester, and was employed in severe guard and scout duty. 
The country was infested with bands of rebel cavalry, and the Thirteenth was 
engaged in picket, scout, patrol and escort duties, and in reconnoissances and 
many skirmishes. On the 12th of June the Thirteenth went on a reconnoissance 
up the Shenandoah valley, on the Strasburg road. A heavy force of hostile 
cavalry was found and attacked near Middletown. The regiment was actively 
engaged during the two following days, and covered the retreat of the retiring 
column. It was not in the battle of Gettysburg, but scouted through the 
country, and on the 12th of October was engaged in a sharp cavalry fight near 
Sulphur Springs, losing many prisoners. 

During the winter of 1863-64 the regiment was assigned to duty on the 
Orange & Alexandria railroad, and in January went on a reconnoissance, in 
which it suffered severely from the cold. 


lu tlio Wilderness campaign it participated in the severe lighting from the 
3d to the 11th of May, and in the operations at Spottsylvauia. In the latter 
part of May it went on Sheridan's cavalry raid toward Richmond, and was 
heavily engaged at Hawe's Shop on the 28th, losing ten killed and thirty-five 
wounded and missing. Soon afterward another raid was made toward Lynch- 

In the latter part of June it went with .Sheridan on an expedition to the 
James. In this campaign much severe lighting was done, and a detachment 
with a herd of cattle was captured. On the 29th of September the regiment 
fought at Wyatt's farm, on the 22d of October at Boydton plank- road; and 
on the Sth and 9th of December at Hatcher's run. 

Early in February, 1865, it went on an expedition to Gravelly rim. Din- 
widdle Court House and Dabney's Mills, at which last place a severe light took 
place. About the middle of the same month it went to Wilmington, N. C. , 
and marched thence to open communication with Gen. Sherman, who was met 
on the 13th of March at Fayetteville. 

After the surrender of Johnston the regiment was engaged for a time in 
clearing the country of irregular bands that were plundering the inhabitants. 
In July it returned to Philadelphia, and on the 27th of that month was dis- 


A call was made by the president on the 1st of July, 1862, for volunteers 
to serve nine months, and the One Hundred and Twenty-first was raised iinder 
this call. The regiment was full in less than a month from the time recruiting 
commenced. The field officers were: Rev. John B. Clark, colonel; Frederick 
Gast, lieutenant-colonel, and Hugh Danver, major. Two of the companies 
were recruited in Tarentum, the others in Pittsburgh and Allegheny. 

It proceeded at once to Washington, and on the 29th of August it was placed 
on picket between Washington and the Bull run battle-ground. On the 14th 
of September it started on the march through Maryland, arriving at Frederick 
on the 16th, and at the Antietam battle-ground on the 18th, too late for the 
battle. It crossed the Potomac and marched to Warrenton. then to a point on 
Potomac creek four miles from Fredericksburg. On the 13th of December it 
was engaged in the battle at that place, with a loss of twenty-one killed and 
one hundi'ed and thirty-one wounded. It returned to its old camp, and in 
January, 1863, moved to a camp nearer Falmouth. On the 28th of May it 
marched toward Chancellorsville. It did good service at the battle there, 
though it was not actively engaged. Its casualties were seven wounded by 
the explosion of a shell and five taken prisoners. It was mustered out at Har- 
risburg on the 13th of May, 1863, and returned in a body to Pittsburgh, where 
it was disbanded. 


Companies E, F, G and H of this, which was a nine-months regiment, were 

C^^^z^ /f^ /^^f^^-^^^^z^ 


recruited in Allegheny county. Its orgaaization was effected on the 2()th of 
August, 1862, by the choice of Thomas M. Bayne, colonel; Isaac Wright, lieuten- 
ant-colonel, and Charles Ryan, of Tioga county, major. It went to Washington 
on the 29th of August, and for a time was posted in detachments along the de- 
fenses of the city. On the 29th of September it went to Frederick, Md. , and two 
weeks later to Sharpsburg. It was afterward encamped at Warrenton, Brooks' 
Station, White Oak Church, and finally near Falmouth. It was engaged at 
the battle of Fredericksburg, losing in killed, wounded and missing one hun- 
dred and forty. 

It returned to its camp near Falmouth, and remained engaged in the usual 
routine of camp and picket duty till the 28th of April, 1863, when it moved 
toward the Chancellorsville field. On the 30th it was under the fire of rebel 
artillery, and several of the men were killed and wounded. Although it par- 
ticipated in the subsequent operations of the battle, it was not .actually engaged. 
On the 5th it returned to its camp. At the conclusion of its term of service it 
returned to Harrisburg, where, on the 2yth of May. 1863, it was mustered out. 


This regiment, which had Companies D, G, I andK from Allegheny county, 
was organized on the 1st of September, 1862, and immediately went to the 
front. It reached Washington on the 3d, and was sent directly to the Bull 
run battle-field, where, diiring three days, it was employed in burying the 
dead of that battle. It then followed the army, which it overtook on the 17th 
at the Antietam battle-field, but it was not engaged. In the battle of Fred- 
ericksburg, on the 13th of December, it was not engaged, but was under a heavy 
artillery fire, and had thirteen wounded. In the battle of Chancellorsville it was 
desperately engaged, losing in killed, wounded and missing one hundred and 
twenty-three. When the battle of Gettysburg opened it was thirty miles away, 
but it hastened forward, and was engaged, though with but small loss. It par- 
ticipated in the campaign which followed, and had part in the affair at Rappa- 
hannock Station. After much marching it went into winter quarters at Har- 
per's Ferry. In March, 1861:, it went to Brandy Station, and in May, with 
recruited ranks, it entered on the Wilderness campaign. In the fighting there 
it lost, in killed and wounded, one hundred and thirty-six, including nearly 
every commissioned officer. It bore its part in the operations about Spottsyl- 
vania Court House, being almost constantly under fire. It was lightly engaged 
at North Anna, but at Cold Harbor it had a bloody fight. It went to the front 
of Petersburg on the 15th of June, and was engaged in operations there till the 
9th of July, when it went to Washington to aid in repelling the invasion through 
Maryland. It bore an honorable part in this campaign, attesting its bravery 
by severe losses on every field. 

On the 1st of December it returned to the front of Petersburg, where it 
remained in comparative quiet during the winter. It was engaged in an assault 


on the enemy's works in March. 1N65, and in the successful assault on Peters- 
burg on the 2d of April. It was in the final race, and after the suirender was 
sent to North Carolina to the supjiort of Gen. Sherman. After the surrender of 
Johnston it returned by way of Richmond to Washington, where, on the 'Jlst of 
June, 1865, it was mustered out of service. 


Of the ten companies composing this regiment eight were from Allegheny 
county. On the 4th of September, 1862, it went to Washington, and was at 
once placed in the defenses of that city. Soon afterward it went forward to 
the field of Antietam, where it arrived too late to have part in the battle. It 
first met the enemy at Fredericksburg, where it displayed great bravery, and a 
bayonet charge made by it with other troops was repelled with terrible slaughter. 

At the battle of Chancellorsville, early in May, 1863, the regiment sup- 
ported batteries, and was not heavily engaged. The enemy was next met at 
Gettysburg, where the regiment was heavily engaged on the 2d of July. In 
the campaign that followed the pursuit of Lee the regiment was engaged at 
Rappahannock Station, Mine Run and other minor skirmishes, displaying its 
wonted gallantry. During the winter of 1863-64 it was on guard duty along 
the Orange & Alexandria railroad. 

On the 5th and 6th of May, 1864, it was engaged at the Wilderness, and in 
the operations near Spottsylvania it sustained its well-merited good reputation, 
and suffered severe losses. It fought again at North Anna and in the bloody 
battles of Tolopotomy and Cold Harbor. 

On the 15th of June it crossed the James, and on the 16th was engaged in 
an assault on the enemy. On the 18th it participated in a charge which res- 
cued a portion of the Suffolk & Petersburg railroad from the enemy. On 
the 18th of August it joined in a descent on the Weldon railroad. On the 18th 
of September it had a sharp fight at Peebles' farm, and it was warmly engaged 
in the battle of Hatcher's run. It also did excellent service at the battle of 
Dabney's Mills. 

On the 29th of March, 1865, the regiment started on its last campaign. At 
Quaker road it routed the enemy and captured some prisoners. In the course 
of its march it fought, and fought well, at Gravelly run, Five Forks and 
Sailor's creek. At Appomattox Court House it was about to attack the main 
line when a white flag was displayed and the intelligence of the surrender was 
received. It returned to Washington, and on the 2d of June was mustered 
out of service. 


This was a "hundred-days" regiment, raised under a call of Gov. Curtin, 
ia July, 1864, to meet an emergency which had arisen. It was organized 
July 19th, by the choice of John B. Clark, colonel; James W. Ballentine, 


lieutenant-colonel, and Horatio K. Tyler, major. Soon after its organization 
it went to Baltimore, where it was drilled dvu'ing two weeiis. On the 10th of 
August one company was sent to Wilmington, Del., and the others were sta- 
tioned as guards along the Philadelphia. Wilmington & Baltimore railroad, 
with headquarters at Havre de Grace. Soon afterward four companies were 
withdrawn from the railroad and placed at Wilmington, under Col. Clark, 
commandant of that district. This distribution of the regiment was not changed 
until the close of its term of service. It was mustered out at Pittsburgh on the 
9th of November. 


A large portion of the men in this regiment were recruited in Allegheny 
county. Its organization was completed on the 10th of September, 1864, and 
soon afterward it went to Washington. It was posted along the line of the 
Manassas Gap railroad for the protection of construction trains on that road. 
In December the cavalry and artillery of Mosby appeared on the line of the 
road, and skirmishing, with some severe fighting, followed. Mosby retired to 
the mountains, and afterward a detachment of the regiment, with a squadron 
of cavalry, moved by night into the mountains and captured his artillery and 
some prisoners. 

After the battle of Oedar creek the regiment returned to the forts north of 
Washington. A few days later it returned to Virginia, and was posted in bat- 
talions at difFerent points, where it was engaged during the winter of. 1864—65 
in bxiilding stockades and blockhouses and drilling. ' ' Expeditions were also 
sent out, in the spring of 1865, to the Bull run battle-ground, where burying 
parties were employed in burying the dead of the second Bull run battle, 
whose bodies had lain ivncared for since the date of the battle. Nearly two 
thousand were buried, and monuments erected over their graves." The regi- 
ment was mustered out at Pittsburgh on the 30th of June, 1865. 


Battery C, Tliompson s. — This was recruited at Pittsbm-gh for three years, 
and was organized November 6, 1861. It was engaged at the sanguinary bat- 
tle of Cedar Mountain, on the 9th of August; at Robinson's river, on the 12th; at 
Kappahannock bridge, on the 21st and 22d; at Thoroughfare Gap; at Bull run 
(second), AiigustSOth; at Chantilly, September 1st; at South Mountain, Septem- 
ber 14th: at Antietam, September 17th; at Fredericksbiu'g, December 13th; 
at Chancellorsville, early in May, 1863; at Gettysburg, July 2d and 3d; at 
Mitchell's ford, October 15th; at Mine Run, November 27th, and at Morton's 
ford, Febi-uary 6, 1864. Hampton's battery (F) was consolidated with it in 
May, 1863. 

The organization was renewed in the spring of 1S64, and during the 


remaindor of its term of service it was retfiined in the defenses of Wasbiiigtoii. 
It was mustered out at Pittsburgh June 30, 1865. 

Battery E, Knap's. — This battery was recruited in 1S61, at Pittsburgh. 
It was first attached to the Twenty-eiglith Pennsylvania Infantry. It was in 
Washington till the 24th of November. It passed the winter of 1861-02 near 
Harper's Ferry, occasionally taking part in a skirmish. It was in the cam- 
paign through the Shenandoah valley in 1802, and lost its guns, which were after- 
ward recovered. It was heavily engaged in the battle of Cedar Mountain, and in 
skirmishes during Pope's retreat. It fought at Antietam, at Chancellorsville 
and at Gettysburg. 

In the autumn of 1803 it went to the Army of the Cumberland. It fought 
at AVauhatchie, Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge. In January, 1804, a 
majority of the men re-enlisted and had a veteran forlough. They returned 
with ranks recruited, and participated in the campaign from Chattanooga to 
Atlanta, constantly at the post of duty, and frequently called to tierce fight- 
ing. It accompanied Gen. Sherman's army on its march to the sea, meet- 
ing with only inconsiderable losses. It marched northward through the Caro- 
linas, halting at Raleigh, then jaroceeded to Washington. Early in June. 1805, 
it went to Pittsburgh, where, on the 14th, it was mustered out. 

Battery F, Hampton's. — This, which was recruited at Pittsburgh, was or- 
ganized in October, 1861, and soon joined the forces on the Upper Potomac. 
It was in action at Dam No. 5 on the 18th of December, and at Hancock, Md. , 
on the 4th, 5th and 0th of January, 1802. It was engaged at Cross Keys on 
the 20th of April, at Middletown on the 24th, and at Winchester on the 25th. 
It also fought at Freeman's ford on the 22d of August, at White Sulphur 
Springs on the 28d and 24th, at Waterloo on the 25th, at Bull run on the 29th 
and 30th, at Chantilly on the 1st of September, at Falls Church on the 2d, at 
South Mountain on the 14th, and at Antietam on the 10th and 17th. It was 
in the affairs at Charlestown November 9th, and at Winchester December 2d. 
It passed the winter of 1862-63 between Fairfax and Acqviia creek. 

On the 1st, 2d and 3d of May it fought bravely at Chancellorsville, and 
Capt. Hampton was killed. It was then consolidated with Battery C, Capt. 
Thompson. Its subsequent actions were at Gettysburg, Blackburn's ford. 
Mine Run and White Hall Church. 

In February, 1864, it was engaged at Morton's ford. In May it went to 
Washington, and was placed in the defenses of that city. In July it went to 
Harper's Ferry and encamped on Maryland Heights, where it subsequently 
went into winter quarters. Here the original members, except veterans, were 
mustered out. About the middle of April, 1805, the veterans and recruits re- 
turned to duty in the defenses of AVashington, and on the 20th of June they 
also were mustered out. 

Battery G, Young's. — This battery was organized on the 21st of August, 
1862, and was principally recruited in Allegheny county. Soon after its 


organization it was ordered to Fort Delaware, where it remained during its 
entire term of service. It was mustered out on the I8th of June, 1865. 

The men composing this battery were mostly young and of more than ordi- 
nary education and ability, and many were detailed or sent away on special 
duty, and many became officers in other organizations. 

Battery H. — This, which was recruited in Pittsburgh and its vicinity, was 
organized on the 30th day of September, 1862. It was at once sent to Hagers- 
town, Md , where it arrived soon after the battle of Antietam. In December 
it was ordered to Camp Barry, in the District of Columbia, where it remained 
through the winter. It then went to Alexandria, and dviring nearly two years 
was engaged in provost duty and in operating against the forces of Stuart and 
Mosby. It returned to Camp Barry in January, 1865, and early in June it 
went to Pittsburgh, where it was mustered out on the 18th of that month. 



Early Elections— Gallatin and Brackenridge — Party Politics— Voltin- 
TEEE Candidates — The Jones and Postlethwaite Contest— The Slav- 
ery- Question — The Anti-Masonic Party — Election Keturns. 

AS Allegheny county was formed out of Westmoreland in 1788, it is 
natural to conclude that the prevailing tone in the politics of the new 
county would be democratic. The Gazette, the only paper published here for 
some years, was mildly federal in tone, and the only elective offices to be filled 
were those of representatives in the state legislature and in congress and 
those of sheriff, commissioner and coroner. There were no conventions to nomi- 
nate candidates for office in those days. The candidates for sheriff and coroner 
were all volunteers, and the most popular man won the office. Each voter 
voted for two of the candidates, and the governor appointed one of the two 
highest. The choice, presumably, fell upon the man best known to the voters. 
The same rule applied to the choice of legislators, except that the voter could 
not vote for both his first and second choice. The aspirants for legislative 
honors announced themselves, and depended, mainly, for election upon the 
knowledge the people had of them. As the voters were not numerous then, 
they were very apt to know all the men likely to offer themselves as candidates. 
For the first seven congresses this county was in the same district with Washing- 
ton. For the IVth, Vth, Vlth and Vllth congresses, strange as it may seem, 
the choice for each congress fell upon Albert Gallatin, a resident of Fayette 
county, and an active democrat. The fact that he did not live in the district 


does Dot seem to have been taken into consideration. Judge Brackenridge, a 
resident of Allegheny, offered himself as a candidate in 1794, against Galla- 
tin, but was beaten; Gallatin, being the abler man of the two, had made a 
greater impression, Ijy his sympathy with the whiskj' insurrectionists in their 
opposition to the whisky excise tax, and the voters chose him, although living 
outside of the district, because they had more confidence in his ability to 
serve them. 

But the line seems to have been less tightly drawn on members of the 
legislature. One of the Nevilles was chosen to the legislature from this county 
in the year before the whisky insurrection, and he was as noted a federalist 
as Gallatin was a democrat. The consideration in the choice of a legislator 
was purely personal. The voters chose the man they knew best, without regard 
to politics. But in the congressional fight the line was strictly drawn between 
Hamilton's financial policy and Gallatin's. The former was iu favor of a 
whisky excise tax, and the latter opposed to it. Brackenridge, too. was 
opposed to it, but not with the steady determination of Gallatin. Hence the 
whisky distillers of Washington and Allegheny naturally "froze" to Galla- 
tin, and nearly every farmer in both counties was a distiller on a small scale. 

The first election retui-n for this county, that we can find, is for 1790, and 
is as follows. On the paper before us the returns are not given by districts; 
only the totals are given. The county, be it remembered, at this time com- 
prised all the territory west and north of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, besides 
what is now contained in Allegheny county. There were polls at Beaver, 
Butler, Franklin, Mercer, Meadville, Erie and Freeport, yet, covering all this 
territory, there were but 701 votes cast in all. After the ' ' Indian country, ' ' 
as it was then called, was thrown open to settlement, settlers crowded in 
rapidly; but it is apparent that they were not yet numerous in 1790, or took 
but little interest in the election. Both causes operated to make the vote small: 

Rtturn of the annual election for the county of Allegany.* in the state of Pennsyl- 
vania, held the second Tuesday of October, 1790: Assembly — John Neville, 701; sheriff — 
James Morrison. 701; William Wilson. 462; coroner — David Watson. 682; William Elliott, 
.588; commissioner— George Wallace. 467; George McCuUy. 193. 

The next rettirn we have is for 179S, when there was an exciting contest for 
sheriff, more exciting, probably, after the election than before it. The papers 
filed in the secretary's office at Harrisbiirg give the vote only for the two high- 
est candidates for sheriff, Jones and Postlethwaite; but the protest of Postle- 
thwaite's friends says that Jones polled only one-fourth of the total poll, from 
which it is inferable that a host of vohinteer candidates divided about 1,800 
votes among themselves, no one of them approaching the total of either Jones 
or Postlethwaite. As each voter voted for two candidates, the total poll would 

*The name of the county is spelled thus in the return, and in a fewoiher ofHcial papers, but the c 
orthography was "Allegheny." Those who spelled by sound wrote "Allegany;" those who spelled after the 
educated fashion wrote ".Allegheny." The nearest to the correct form would be "Alleghany." 


be about 3,600 votes. From the rapid settlement of the " Indian country " 
there was a great clashing as to land titles, and a legal conflict between the great 
land companies and the squatters or settlers. As the sheriff chose the jurors, 
and the jurors tried the land cases, the laud question would unavoidably run 
into the election for sheriff. Jones appears to have had the settlers on his 
side, and Postlethwaite to have been backed by the land companies. Ephraim 
Jones appears to have been the man from whom O' Hara bought the site f oi' the 
tirst glasshouse, just below the present southern terminus of the Point bridge. 
He was the father of Thomas Jones, St., who ran the ferry to Liberty street so 
long, and this Thomas Jones, Sr. , was the father of Ephraim Jones, who also 
ran (and was beaten) for sheriff in 1855, and of Thomas Jones, Jr. , the pilot, 
who was the first one to start the shipment of coal by river to the lower ports. 
Postlethwaite, it is inferred by letters filed in his favor with the governor, 
was a Carlisle man, and probably returned there, as we never hear of him after- 
ward. When the return judges of this election met to foot up the returns it 
was found that three districts made return of the votes in figures, and not in 
words. By throwing these out, Postlethwaite would be elected; by counting 
them, Jones would be elected. The judges would not decide, but made a special 
return, as follows: 

We, the judges of the general annuaj election held for the county of Allegheny, 
within the several districts thereof, on the 9th day of October, in the year of our Ijord 
1798, having met at the courthouse of the said county agreeably to the acts of assembly 
in such cases made and provided, and having added together the number of votes which 
appear to have been given to the different persons in the said respective districts, do cer- 
tif)' that Ephraim Jones and Joseph R. Postlethwaite are dul}' elected to represent the 
freemen of the said county of Allegheny as sheriffs, the said Ephraim Jones having six 
hundred and eighty-four votes returned to us in writing and two hundred and thirty- 
three in figures only, and the said Joseph R. Postlethwaite having eight hundred and 
eight votes returned to us in writing and sixty-four in figures onl}'. In testimony 
whereof we liave set our hands and seals, at Pittsburgh, this 13th day of October. 1798. 

John Cunningham, John Henry, Robert Vance, James McDermott, John Joice, No. 1 , 
Pittsburgh district; Moses Devore, No. 2, Elizabeth district; Thomas McKee, No. 3, Plum 
and Versailles district; Samuel Willson, No. 4, Moon district; John McLure, No. 5, 
Mifflin and St. Clair district; Ephraim Herriott, No. 6, Fayette district; Jolui Power, No. 
7, Mead's (Crawford county) district; Anth. Satterman, No. 8, Erie district; Henry 
Keener. No. 9. Franklin district; J. Coulter, No. 10, Beaver district; James Claris, No. 11, 
Freeport district. 

Postlethwaite' 8 friends, with that facility for using merely technical faitlts 
in election retiu-ns as a reason for their rejection and exclusion which has 
always been resorted to in such cases, contended that these returns in figures 
were illegal, as the election law required returns to be in luords, and that 
they shotild therefore be excluded from the count; while Jones' friends held 
that the error was merely technical, and did not vitiate the return. They filed 
the following, from the return judge of Moon district, to show that, in using 
figures, the election-officers followed the form prevalent for many years: 


Allegheny County, ss. 

Personally appeared before me, one of llie justices of the peace in and for the county 
of Allegheny and state of Pennsylvania, Samuel Willson, one of the judges for the Third 
district, Moon township (the other judge, John Tod, not coming forward), at an election 
held at that place on the 9th day of October, 1798. and being duly sworn according to law, 
doth depose and say that he had known it to l)e the custom of several districts heretofore 
to send the returns in figures. The said Samuel Willson had been a judge for several 
years, and that it was entirely owing to their ignorance that the return was not made in 
writing. And further, that if there should be any dispute with respect to the legality of 
the votes, they have deposited Iheir boxes with a justice of the peace, to be had recourse 
to when required. And further deponent says not. 

Samuel Willson. 

Sworn and subscribed liefore ine this 18lh October, 1798. 

George Nottingham. 

The return judges, it will be seen, refused to decide the question, and 
made a special return of the facts to the governor, v?ith whom, under any cir- 
cumstances, the final decision lay. This transfeiTed the fight to Harrisburg. 
Thomas Collins, on behalf of the Pennsylvania Population Company, wrote to 
the company that Jones was " of depraved mind and manners, grossly ignorant, 
insolent, prejudiced, mean, intemperate, and, I believe, dishonest, and alto- 
gether unlit for the office of sheriff," and he urges upon the company that Jones 
was hostile to it, and would side with squatters against the company. In sup- 
port of this last allegation the following affidavit was submitted : 

Personally came before me, one of the justices of the peace for the county of Alle- 
gheny, James Fulton, who, being sworn agreeable to law, deposeth and saith that on the 
first day of August last, he being at the house of William Brown, for the purpose of choos- 
ing ofiicersof the battalion, a certain Ephraim Jones mentioned lo him that he was a candi- 
date for the sheriff's office, and hoped the said Fulton would give him his interest for, as 
there was a candidate in town, and if they would succeed they would choose juries to suit 
the land-jobbers, iind if he, the said Jones, should succeed he would choose juries from the 
country, or west side of the Allegheny river, to suit the actual settlers, as he. the said 
Jones, was no friend to the land-jobbers. And further this deponent saith not. 

Jame< Fulton. 

Sworn and subscribed before me this 19th day of October, 1798. 

Samuel A. Rippey. 

The friends of Postlethwaite also filed the following with the governor: 
To His Excellency, Thoiitas Mifflin, Esrjuire, Goceriior of the ,State of Pennsylrania: 

The memorial of the subscribers, citizens of Allegheny county, respectfully showeth: 

That Joseph R. Postlethwaite and Ephraim Jones are on the return for sheriff for Alle- 
gheny county for the ensuing three years; that the former is the highest by a majority of 
about one hundred and twenty votes, agreeably to the returns of all the districts of this 
county except three, which were in figures only, and not in writing as the act of assembly 
directs, but which, if admitted as legal returns, will give a balance in favor of Ephraim 
Jones of about forty votes; and that the j\idges deputed from the different districts, not 
having agreed on accepting or rejecting such returns, have made a special return, stating 
the facts, to be submitted to your excellency for your determination. 

It being of the utmost consequence to your memorialists, in common with their fellow- 
citizens of Allegheny county, that the office of sheriff be filled by one in whose upright 

^-^6-^^'^y^/ ^f^^. 



principles, fair character, firmness of mind and respect for order and legal authority just 
confidence maj' be placed, with a knowledge of your constitutional power they (your 
memorialists) respectfully submit a few facts aud observations on this important subject. 
Joseph R. Postlethwaite is of unblemished reputation, and possesses a knowledge of 
business which renders him highly deserving of the appointment: and we are convinced 
he will discharge the duties of the office with ability and integrity and to the general sat- 
isfaction of his fellow-citizens. From our knowledge of Ephraim Jones, we are unable 
to vouch for even his honesty, and believe him vindictive, oppressive, quarrelsome and 
a contemner of the constituted authorities, as appears by the records of the courts of this 
county. And further, exclusive of the objections to his appointment arising from his 
principles, general conduct and character, we represent to your excellency that he has 
not but about one-fourth part of the votes received, and that a very great proportion of 
those were obtained (particularly in the districts of Meadville and Beaver) by promises on 
his part to settlers on land claiming adversely to warrants under the act of assembly of 
3d April, 1792, to summon juries opposed to office- titles and previously determined in 
favor of the claims of the settlers. 

Anxious for the preservation of the trial by jury in its genuine purity, and dreading 
const quences (too evident to need comment) from the appointment to ihe office of sheriff 
of a man shackled with previous engagements to act wrongly in office, in aid of popular 
prejudice already of alarming predominancy, and threatening in this county, as in Wy- 
oming, systematic opposition to legal principles and adjudications, we confidently trust 
and pra}' your excellency will commission Joseph R. Postlethwaite. 

George Wallace, John McDowell, Jno. Gibson, Ebenezer Denny, James Brison, 
Nathaniel Bedford, James G. Heron, John Wilkins, John Woods. George Stevenson, 
Steel Semple, Thomas Collins, H. Morrison, John Irwin. 
October 15, 1798. 

This was followed by the following, from the friends of Jones: 
His Excellency, Thomas Mifflin, Gorerrwr of the State of Pennsylvania: 

We, the undersigned, being well acquainted with ihe character of Ephraim Jones, 
resident of this county for many years, who by industry hath acquired a valuable prop- 
erty, aud who hath lately canvassed for the sheriff's office in the county of Allegheny 
and state of Pennsylvania, and obtained a majoritj- of forty-five votes in said county, do 
recommend him to your notice as a proper person to be commissioned and appointed to 
the office of sheriff, deeming him well qualified to discharge the duties appertaining to 
that office in this county. We are induced to make this representation, as we understood 
an exception is about to be taken against bis being commissioned, because two or three 
of the districts have been returned in figures (as hath hitherto been usual in those dis- 
tricts), and because we think that the ignorance or negligence of the judge of a particular 
district ought not to operate against the reception of the suffrages of the people. 

A. Kirkpatrick, A. Richardson, John Xevill, Abner Barker, Isaac Craig, Jesse 
Barker. Samuel S. Mahon. John Johnston, A. Taunehill, John Hannah. Preslej' Nevill. 
Sa'iiuel Ewalt, Samuel Creigh. 

And this was supplemented by the following letter fi-om Brackenridge: 

• PiTTSBUHGH, October 16, 1798. 

Sir — The election in this county has gone in favor of the republican or democratic 
interest at all points and in almost all particulars. 

In the county of Allegheny a dispute arose among the judges, from one or two of the 
district returns being in figures, and not in letters at length as the law directs. This did 
notaffect the election of anj' officers but that of the sheriff. Being consulted. I advised a 
special return, or a statement of the fact, according to the truth of it. 

230 IllSroitV OK AIJ-KdllKNY COUNTY. 

Al, tlio rt'(Hl«st of llic |mily wlm hears lliin I I'liillu'r nivc my opiniiiii. Iliiil llic liiw in 
IliiH elisor is (liniclory, llic olijecl hcinji lo kccihc! I'rom iilliTalion, bill, Mie rcliiin in li({urc8 
(locH not vitiiilL'. As ill iXw case of the law for llic abolilion of HJavc^iy, wliorc it is made 
a I'utniiaiUi llial. in n^coritlng the iiifc. lownsliip, o('Ciii)alioii of llic owner, etc., be 8i)eci(ie(l. 
ycl. Mil! (iniis.sioii is held nol to be fatal, the object being to establish the identity, and when 
lliut is rendori^d c(M-tain, liy any requisile, llie existence of the whole is not essciilial. 

In this caH(^ the eonimissioiiinK either on the return is within Ihe direelidii of llic 
governor; he will doublless pay the same rcsiiect to (Inures as he uoiilil in Iciurs, where 
then! is no suspicion of allcration. 

The bearer, in whose favor I K've my opinion, was with me in the late election; I am 
therefore the more disposed to wish liim success in oblainiiiK his commission. You will 
obli({e me in n^ndi^riiiH' him any servici! willi Ihe governor that may he judged expedient. 
If it is any olijcci with you lo have an interest in this county al the ensuing election 
for governor, il is of moment thai he be commissioned. 

^'(lu will nppreeiiile llie v.'ihu' of Ibis liinl. ami liiUe measures accordingly. 

^■llu luiiy luive heaid llie lumoi' of Ihe opposilinii In .lobii Woods as a candidate for 
congress. TIk! part lakcn by me has involved me in a quarrel with .ludge Addison and 
others; but after a severe baltli! they have been all routed, liors(!. foot and dragoons. 
John Woods could not have gone to the |st»lc] senate wilhoiil my ae(|uiesceiice. and I 
was struck with his audacity and timt of his connection in .illempliiig anything else, 
until Ihe iieriod for which he was elected had expired. 

If tli(! chief justice |Tli<imas McKean] is olTcred for governor at the next election 
you may be assured I shall take an avowed and decided part in his favor, and one decided 
man that can wrife and speak both is worth a thousand. 

Hut lliis Is running into what does not immedialely reliile lo my nbjeel. and so 1 
have done. I am. sir. with respect. 

Your very liuinble and obedient servant, 

'I'o Ai,Kx.\Ni)i;ii ,1. Dallas. II. II. Brackeniudiik 

Secretary of Ihe Coinmonvveallb. I'liibidclpbia. 

And tilio o;(iv('ruor (mkUhI it. all by this Hii^nilicnut. mlilouilmn : 

liCt a commission issue in favor of Mr. .lones as sherilTof Allegheny counly. he beiii.g 
the highest in vole upon iIh' relurn, 'I'lioMAs Mifflin. 

28th October. IT'.IS. 

Tho facts in the cuso aro jjiveii at sonic length, to show (hat thoro wore 
" toinposts in a teapot," politically, thou as wtill as now, and that tho same 
political methods provailod in thoso days as in those. The letter of Bracken- 
ridge is as adroit a use of political " influence ". as the latter days can 
furnish. It undoubtedly settled Mr. Postlethwaite's ''hasli." 

The returns of tlie election for I7U9 show that for representative at Harris- 
burg Janii<s Sample had 1,887 votes and Dunning McNair l,r)(S'2, and that for 
governor James Itoss, of Pittslmrgh, had 2, HICi and Thomas McKeau ^^l(i. 
Brackenridge's offiM' of his great power in politics to McK(>an, in his kttter to 
Dallas, shows that while the sj)irit was willing the Hesh was weak. As show- 
ing tho pcrsoiuifl of the election boards and the location of the olcctioii dis- 
tricts, we append the signatures to the returns of 17UU: 

William Earl, First district, Pittsburgh; Richard McC'lure, Second district, 
Elizabeth; Thomas McKoo, Third district, Plum and Versailles; John Taylor, 



l''(>iir(li(listrict, Moon; Jolin Kiiilds-id, l''ilUi disl.rici, Millliu and St,, (jliiir; Goorgo 
Dickmin, Sixth diHtrict-, Fnyolt.cs J'}dwiu<l Work, Sovmitli diHtrioi., Mead (Craw- 
ford county); Rohort McNair, Kif^litli dJHtrict, Krio; JaiimH McCIaraii, Ninth diH- 
trict, Fraid<iin (V((nango); David WatHon, Twitii diHtrict, H<«ivnr; .Jain<(H Chirk, 
l'jh)V((nt)idiHtrict, Fr<!(^[)ort (ArniHtrong); J)avi<l Korr, Twc^lfth dlHtrid,, Middlcwox 
(Morcor); Tirnotliy Tiitti(», Tliirt(!(^iitli diHtrict, Orcoiiliohl (MiircAit); Jiiboz (Jolt, 
Foart(mnth diHtriet, (Joiinoant (lOrio county); William HayH, Fift(!ontli diHtrict, 
S[)ringHol(( (JCrio county); Jacob Coiinack, Sixteenth district, Watorford (I'lrio 
county); Saniiicil MciCray, Sovmitofuith diHtrict,OiI Crook (Warron); JaiiiOH Kldor, 
Eightoonth diHtiict, Slipixiry Hock ("Builor); T. McMillan, Ninoto(!ntli district. 
North JSoavor. 

In ISOO tlio " Indian country " was formed into noparato countiiiH, Jii^avcr, 
Butler, Morcor, Armstrong, Venango, Warnui, Crawford and Krio being all 
formed in that year. The return above given was theniforo the hwt in whif^li 
AlloglKtny indudeil all these other countioH. In ISOl tlio vote of Alleghenv 
for electors was r>'20, but there was no opposition. In 1805 there appeared to 
have been a lively skirmish. 




McKocHport. . 









St. Oluir 



Ulniuii Hnyder, 





























A return of the general (ilection held on the second Tuesday of Cctobi^r, 
in the year of our Lord ono thousand eight hundred and seven, from tho 
Hevoral districts within the county of Allegheny, for shcsrilf of said county, 
made iritfj the offico of the clerk of the court of quarter sessions of th(! jjeaco 
of said county, Ijy the judges of the several districts. 


At the itquesl of the party who bears this I further give my opinion, that the law in 
this case is directory, the ol)ject being to secure from alteration, but the return in figures 
does not vitiate. As in the case of the law for the abolition of slavery, where it is made 
a requisite that in recording the age, township, occupation of the owner, etc., be specified, 
yet the omission is held not to be fatal, the object being to establish the identity, and when 
that is rendered certain, by any requisite, the existence of the whole is not essential. 

In this case the commissioning either on the return is within the direction of the 
governor; he will doubtless pay the same respect to figures as he would to letters, where 
there is no suspicion of alteration. 

The bearer, in whose favor I give ray opinion, was with me in the late election; I am 
therefore the more disposed to wish him success in obtaining his commission. You will 
oblige me in rendering him any service with the governor that may be judged expedient. 
If it is any object with you to have an interest in this county at the ensuing election 
for governor, it is of moment that he be commissioned. 

You will appreciate the value of this hint, and take measures accordingij-. 

You may have heard the rumor of the opposition to John Woods as a candidate for 
congress. The part taken by me has involved me in a quarrel with Judge Addison and 
others: but after a severe battle they have been all routed, horse, foot and dragoons. 
John Woods could not have gone to the [state] senate without ray acquiescence, and I 
was struck with his audacity and that of his connection in attempting anything else, 
until the period for which he was elected had expired. 

If the chief justice [Thomas McKean] is offered for governor at the next election 
you may be assured I shall take an avowed and decided part in his favor, and one decided 
man that can wrife and speak both is worth a thousand. 

But this is running into what does not immediately relate to my object, and so I 
have done. I am, sir, with respect. 

Your very hurable and obedient servant. 

To Alexander J. D.\ll.\s. H. H. Br.ackenridge. 

Secretary of the Commonwealth, Philadelphia. 

And the governor ended it all by this significant addendum: 

Let a commission issue in favor of Mr. Jones as sheriff of Allegheny county, he being 
the highest in vote upon the return, Thom.\8 Mifflin. 

39th October, 1798. 

The facts in the case are given at some length, to show that there were 
" tempests in a teapot," politically, then as well as now, and that the same 
political methods prevailed in those days as in these. The letter of Bracken- 
ridge is as adroit a tise of political ' ' influence ' '. as the latter days can 
furnish. It undoubtedly settled Mr. Postlethwaite's "hash." 

The returns of the election for 1799 show that for representative at Harris- 
burg James Sample had 1,837 votes and Dunning McNair 1,582, and that for 
governor James Ross, of Pittsburgh, had '2,10() and Thomas McKean 976. 
Brackenridge's offer of his great power in politics to McKean, in his letter to 
Dallas, shows that while the spirit was willing the flesh was weak. As show- 
ing the personnel of the election boards and the location of the election dis- 
tricts, we append the signatures to the returns of 1799: 

William Earl, First district, Pittsburgh; Richard McClure, Second district, 
Elizabeth; Thomas McKee, Third district. Plum and Versailles: John Taylor, 



Fourtli district, Mood; John Kinkead, Fifthdistrict, Mifflin and St. Clair; George 
Dickson, Sixth district, Fayette; Edward Work, Seventh district. Mead (Craw- 
ford county) ; Robert McNair, Eighth district, Erie; James McClaran, Ninth dis- 
trict, Franklin (Venango); David Watson, Tenth district, Beaver; James Clark, 
Eleventh district, Freeport (Armstrong) : David Kerr, Twelfth district, Middlesex 
(Mercer); Timothy Tuttle, Thirteenth district, Greenfield (Mercer); Jabez Colt, 
Fourteenth district. Conneaut (Erie county); William Hays. Fifteenth district, 
Springfield (Erie county); Jacob Connack, Sixteenth district, Waterford (Erie 
county); Samuel McCray, Seventeenth district, Oil Creek (Warren); James Elder, 
Eighteenth district. Slippery Rock (Butler); T. McMillan, Nineteenth district. 
North Beaver. 

In 1800 the "Indian country " was formed into separate counties, Beaver, 
Butler, Mercer, Armstrong. Venango, Warren, Crawford and Erie being all 
formed in that year. The return above given was therefore the last in which 
Allegheny included all these other counties. In 1804 the vote of Allegheny 
for electors was 526, but there was no opposition. In 1805 there appeared to 
have been a lively skirmish. 


Thomas McKean. 

Simun Snyder. 



























A return of the general election held on the second Tuesday of October, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seven, from the 
several districts within the county of Allegheny, for sheriff of said county, 
made into the office of the clerk of the court of quarter sessions of the peace 
of said county, by the judges of the several districts. 





Plum (.John Little's) 


Rec(lsbui-g (Mifflin) 

Noblesbiirj; (Noblestown, Fa3-ette towuship). 

Roliinsou (William Marks') 

Ohio (.Johu Moore's) 

Moou (John Byers') 

Pine (B.iltzer Good's) 

Deer (Thomas .McCoimell's) 

Pitt (Thomas Wilson's) 

St. Clair (Thomas McCuUy 's) 

Jas. FatlersoD. 

[No return from McKeesporl.] 

























Certified by Presley Neville, Clerk. 

A return of the number of votes given for coroner at a general election 
lield in and for the county of Allegheny on the second Tuesday in October, 
1809: James Kerwin, 1,093; Joseph Curry, 1,27-1. 

A general return of the votes given for a member of Congress in and for 
the congressional district composed of Allegheny, Beaver, B utler. Mercer, 
Venango, Crawford, Warren and Erie counties on Tuesday, the 9th of 
October, A. D. 1810. 



Abner Lacock. Samuel Smith. 






349 99 

735 3 


755 11 

297 77 




222 136 


2,897 1 326 

Vote for sheriff in Allegheny county, 1810: William Westhoff, 1,095; 
William Steel, 695; Thomas Jones, 290. 

coroner's election, 1805. 

Wm. Porter. 


Jas. Kerwin. 

Jos. Curry. 


60 ■ 







Elizabelhtown .' 


Reedsburg (Mifflin) 


Uoblesburg (Fayette) 






35 ! 36 
167 145 
58 1 57 
77 76 




St. Clair 




1,001 960 





Jas. Martin. 

Sam'l Ewalt. 

Thos. Morton. 










.Jacob 1 AbDc.r , Frank 
Macklin. 1 Lacock. McCIure. 








956 1 966 961 
473 1 466 475 
422 1 396 ' 389 




' 799 




1,850 i 1,828 , 1,825 1,790 ! 1,755 


These returns show little, if aay, tinge of party color. They all indicate a 
sparse population. Any one of the old four wards of Allegheny City could now 
poll more votes than the whole county did in the early part of the centurj-. In 
1836 the vote for Harrison for president was 3,622, and for Van Buren, 3,074; 
and in 1838 this vote had increased to 6,000 for Ritner to 4,500 for Potter. In 
1832, for the first time, party lines began to appear. Wirt, the anti-masonic 
candidate for president, had a small majority in that year, and from that time 
to the present party lines have been pretty strictly drawn. Occasionally the 
democrats have carried the county, but as a general rule the county has been 
against the democracy since 1832, at first by a small and fluctuating majority, but 
gradually increasing until at present it is overwhelming. As far as it is pos- 
sible to judge from tradition, the city and county both were democratic until 
about 1832. The whisky insurrection, which grew out of an economical ques- 
tion that appealed strongly to the selfish interests, showed nearly the entire 
people of the county to be upon the democratic side, because democrats like 
Gallatin, Findley and Brackenridge showed sympathy for them, while feder- 
alists like the Nevilles were on the side of the government in enforcing the 
excise law. Men like James Ross and Walter Forward could be elected to any 
office they were willing to stand for; but that was because they enjoyed the 
public confidence, and not because of their politics. James Ross, for instance, 
was president of the select council of the city from 1816 to 1832, although the 
select council was largely democratic during all that period. Politics, in fact, 
until the times of Jackson and the anti-masonic excitement, did not enter, to 
any appreciable extent, into the selection of men for public places. They were 
chosen for their personal rather than their political qualities; and it is safe to 
say that from the time of the expiration of the presidential term of the elder 
Adams, when the federal party came practically to an end, down to the advent 
of the junior Adams in 1824, and the contest with Jackson that followed, there 


was really no such thing as politics, in city or county, in the selection of public 
officers. Voters took sides for and against a man according to their personal 
preferences. There was no political oratory to intluence the public mind, nor 
a political convention to range men by their political convictions. It was the 
' ■ era of good feeling, ' ' and remarkable for the absence of all political animosity. 
The general trend of political feeling was, of course, democratic, as would have 
been shown had any jjolitical question called out an expression of public opin- 
ion; but no such question arose until Jackson's election in 1828, and the war 
upon the United States bank which followed. The anti-masonic question may 
be regarded as an exception ; but it came almost simultaneously with the Jack- 
son and bank questions, and the two, in this section, were so blended together 
as to make it impossible to separate them. 

The opposition to Jackson and to his financial policy had no general organ- 
ization. It started out, in localities, as the national republican party, and 
finally crystallized in the whig party; but in this section the anti-masonic 
organization had the start of both, and being, in itself, strongly anti-Jackson, 
all the thorough anti-Jackson feeling naturally gravitated to it as offering the 
best method of fighting Jacksonism, without regard to its specialty — opposi- 
tion to secret societies. There was no anti-masonic candidate for president in 
1828. The tight that year was a personal one between Jackson and Adams, 
and this city and county were on the side of Jackson in that struggle. But in 
1832 the anti-masons presented William Wirt, of Baltimore, at one time 
previously attorney-general of the United States, as their candidate, and the 
anti-Jackson men, pure and simple, having no other candidate, gave their 
votes to Wirt as the best exponent of their opposition to Jackson. The same 
thing happened in 1836, when men of all shades of the opposition — whigs as 
well as anti-masons — voted for Gen. W. H. Harrison. In 1832 both city and 
county gave a small majority for Wirt. 

The anti-masonic excitement was the first to break into the solidity of the 
democratic ranks. It presented an issue that took a deep hold upon the feel- 
ings of a large portion of the people, particularly in the country districts. 
Quite a number of those who ranged themselves upon the anti- masonic side 
must have been democrats. James C. Gilleland, who started the Mercury, 
a democratic paper, was afterward the publisher of the Times, the anti- 
masonic organ; and A. W. Foster, Jr., who succeeded him, was also of demo- 
cratic antecedents. Many others could be mentioned, but it is not necessary. 
After it had run a course of a few years the United States bank question arose, 
and this, to a great many, was a more absorbing question than Masonry; but 
the anti-masons being against Jackson on the bank issue, the question for the 
anti- Jackson men, outside of the anti-masonic ranks, was whether to organ- 
ize into a third party or vote with the anti-masons, and so make their votes 
count the most against Jackson. Charles Shaler, who, up to that time, had 
been a strong anti- Jackson man. expressed his view and that of many others in 


the declaration that "the curse of Jacksonism was great, but the curse of 
anti-masonry was greater;" and he and those who thought with him became 
democrats from that period onward; but there were others, and by no means 
a few, who simply reversed Shaler' s proposition, and said ' ' the curse of anti- 
masonry is great, but the curse of Jacksonism is greater," and thenceforward 
threw in their lot with the anti-masons, as the only way of testifying their 
disapproval of Jackson and his policy. Hence the opposition vote of Pitts- 
burgh and Allegheny never gave a fair test of the purely anti-masonic feeling; 
it was all thoroughly anti-Jackson, but only partly anti-masonic. 

In 1835 the democrats of this state split into two factions, one run- 
ning George Wolf for governor and the other Henry A. Muhlenberg. The 
anti- masonic candidate was Joseph Ritner. , He had been a candidate on 
the same ticket in 1829 and in 1832. His vote in 1829 was small; in 1832 
it was much larger, but in 1835 the chance of success was so promising that 
all shades of the opposition united on him, tacitly, and he was elected by a 
large majority, slipping in easily between Wolf and Muhlenberg. With him 
was elected a legislature that was anti-masonic in both branches; and this suc- 
cess contributed greatly to the final extinguishment of anti-masonry. For now 
it had everything in its own power. Whatever it was possible to do, politically, 
to put down Masonry, it was in its power to do. And what could it do ? The 
one sole thing it could find to do was to pass an act prohibiting the adminis- 
tration of extra-judicial oaths. After going over the whole ground, this was 
found to be the extent of their power. And this they did. The act was passed 
and approved bj' the governor, and, for all that I know to the contrary, is on 
the statute-books yet, perfectly harmless and inefficient. No secret society 
ever was closed by it, and the opposition to such societies having no other legal 
way to vent its hostility to them, the victory was a barren one. From that day 
forward the secret societies began to renew their strength, and by 1842 all 
traces of the anti-masonic party had passed out of sight. While it lasted it 
had, morally, a strong persecuting force, but legally it could give no expres- 
sion to its power. It contributed, in this section, in conjunction with the anti- 
Jackson sentiment, to break down the democratic majority, and beyond that it 
was a mere political episode, of which this generation has but a limited 

I have dwelt upon this episode because of my personal knowledge of it. It 
had passed its climax and was decidedl}' on the wane when I entered the polit- 
ical field in 1839. An anti- Jackson man, I was tolerant of anti-masonry 
because it was anti- Jackson, and can write impartially of it, now, because all 
feeling concerning it has vanished away. Its chief value, in any political retro- 
spect, arises from the fact that it first broke the solidity of the democratic pha- 
lanx, and because its advent marks the beginning of that hostility to the demo- 
cratic organization which has since made both city and county so remarkable. 

In 1838, in the contest for governor between Kitner and Porter, the county 


gave 1 , 530 majority for Ritner, a majority couiit(>(l huge in those days. la 
1840 this had grown to over 3,000 for Harrison. It gave large majorities for 
Clay in 1844 and for Taylor in 1848, and even in 1852 it gave Ssott 2.800 
majority. In 1856 it gave Fremont about 5,500 majority, and in 1860 it gave 
a round 10,000 to Lincoln. It gave over 13,000 to Garfield in 1880, over 
18,600 to Blaine in 1884, and over 21,400 to Harrison in 1888. From 1838 
to 1888 the transition from a small to an overwhelming majority has been 
noteworthy. Within that fifty years the democrats have carried the city 
occasionally and the county a few times; but these are the exceptions that 
prove the rule; both city and county have been anti-democratic as a rule. 

The city elected its mayor first in 1836, and the mayor was elected annu- 
ally thereafter until 1858, when .the term became biennial. At the first elec- 
tion for mayor, and in 1837 and 1838, Jonas R. McClintoek, democrat, was 
elected mayor; but he was a young man, and very popular with the young men 
of all parties, so that his election proves his own popularity rather than that 
the city was democratic. In 1839 William Little, a whig, but running as a 
volunteer, was chosen. In 1840 (the election being in January) William W. 
Irwin, whig and anti-mason, was elected, and in October of that year he was 
elected to Congress. In 1841 James Thompson, whig, was chosen; in 1842, 
Alex. Hay, whig, who was re-elected in 1843 and 1844 as an independent. In 
1845 the whigs elected William J. Howard, and in 1846 William Kerr, demo- 
crat, was chosen. In 1847 and 1848 Gabriel Adams, whig, was elected, and in 
1849 John Herron, whig. In 1850, in an anti-Catholic furor. Joseph Barker, 
whig, but running as a volunteer, was successful. In 1851 and 1852 John B. 
Guthrie, democrat, was chosen, and from that time on until 1856 the whigs 
elected the mayor; in 1857 the republicans elected Henry A. Weaver, and 
re-elected him for two years in 1858. Since 1860 the democrats have elected 
James Blackmore, Robert Liddell and R. W. Lyon to the mayoralty, and all 
the other mayors within that time have been republican. With rare excep- 
tions, the popular vote has been republican in the city. Occasional variations 
as to persons have occurred, but both here and in Allegheny City the prepon- 
derance has been almost regularly on the republican side. 

Following is a list* of the representatives in Congress from the district in- 
cluding Allegheny county for one hundred years: 

First Congress, Thomas Scott, from 1789-91 ; second, Israel Jacobs, 1791- 
93; third, Thomas Scott, 1793-95; fourth, Albert Gallatin, 1795-97: fifth, 
Albert Gallatin, 1797-99; sixth, Albert Gallatin, 1799-1801: seventh, William 
Hoge, 1801-03; eighth, William Hoge, 1803, resigned 1804; John Hoge, 
elected and took his seat November 27, 1804; ninth, John Hamilton, from 
1805-07; tenth, William Hoge, 1807-09; eleventh, William Hoge, 1809-11; 
twelfth, Abner Lacock, 1811-18; thirteenth, Adamson Tannehill, 1813-15;^ 
fourteenth, Thomas Smith, 1815-17; fifteenth, Henry Baldwin, 1817-19; 

* FuTDiBbed by William B. Negley, Esq. 


sixteenth, Henry Baldwin, 1819-21; seventeenth, Henry Baldwin, 1821, re- 
signed in 1822; Walter Forward, elected and took his seat December 2, 1822: 
eighteenth, Walter Forward, from 1823-25; nineteenth, James S. Stevenson, 
1825-27; twentieth, James S. Stevenson, 1827-29; twenty-first, Harmar 
Denny, 1829-31; twenty -second, Harmar Denny, 1831-33; twenty-third, 
Harmar Denny, 1833-35; twenty-fourth, Harmar Denny, 1835-37; twenty- 
fifth, Richard Biddle, 1837-39; twenty-sixth, Richard Biddle, 1839, resigned 
in 1840; H. M. Brackenridge, elected and took his seat December 10, 1840; 
twenty-seventh, W. W. Irwin, from 1841-43; twenty-eighth, William Wilkins, 
1843, resigned in 1844; Cornelius Darragh, elected and took his seat March 
26, 1844; twenty-ninth, Corneliiis Darragh, from 1845-47; thirtieth, Moses 
Hampton, 1847-49; thirty-first, Moses Hampton, 1849-51; thirty- second, 
Thomas M. Howe, 1851-53; thirty-third, twenty-second district. David Ritchie, 
twenty-third district, Thomas M. Howe, 1853-55; thirty-fourth, twenty -.second 
district, David Ritchie, twenty-third district, Samuel A. Purviance, 1855-57; 
thirty -fifth, twenty-third district, Samuel A. Purviance, twenty-second dis- 
trict, David Ritchie, 1857-59; thirty- sixth, twenty- second district, James K. 
Moorhead, twenty-third district, Robert McKnight, 1859-61 ; thirty -seventh, 
twenty-third district, Robert McKnight, twenty-second district, James K. 
Moorhead, 1861-63; thirty-eighth, twenty-second district, James K. Moor- 
head, twenty-third district, Thomas Williams, 1863-65; thirty-ninth, twenty- 
second district, James K. Moorhead, twenty-third district, Thomas Williams, 
1865-67; fortieth, twenty -third district, Thomas Williams, twenty-second 
district, James K. Moorhead, 1867-69; forty-first, twenty-second district, James 
S. Negley, twenty-third district, Darwin Phelps, 1869-71; forty-second, 
twenty-second district, James S. Negley, twenty-third district, Ebeneezer Mc- 
Junkin, 1871-73; forty-third, twenty-second district, James S. Negley, 1873- 
75; twenty-third district, Ebeneezer McJuukin, 1873, resigned January 1, 1875; 
twenty-third district, John M. Thompson, elected and took his seat January 5, 
1875; forty- fourth, twenty-second district, James H. Hopkins, twenty- 
third district, Alex. G. Cochran, 1875-77; forty-fifth, twenty second district, 
Russel Errett, twenty-third district, Thomas M. Bayne, 1877-79; forty-sixth, 
twenty-third district, Thomas M. Bayne, twenty-second district, Russel 
Errett, 1879-81; forty-seventh, twenty-second district, Russel Errett, twenty- 
third district, Thomas M. Bayne, 1881-83; forty-eighth, twenty-third district, 
James H. Hopkins, twenty-third district, Thomas M. Bayne, 1883-85; forty- 
ninth, twenty-second district,' James S. Negley, twenty-third district, Thomas 
M. Bayne, 1885-87; fiftieth, twenty-second district, John Dalzell, twenty- 
third district, Thomas M. Bayne, 1887-89; fifty-first, twenty-second district, 
John Dalzell, twenty-third district, Thomas M. Bayne, 1889-91. 

A political movement that resulted in the formation of the republican 
party of the United States originated in this city. The old whig party held 
its last national convention in 1852. It nominated Gen. Winfield Scott for 


president, and made a gallant tij^ht for him, but in vain. The effect of the 
anti-slav((ry agitation, which began in 1832, and as it progressed excited more 
and more the fears of the south, was already telling upon the whig party. It 
had elected Taylor to the presidency in 1848, but when its national conven- 
tion met in 1852 it found itself forced to take grounds upon the slavery ques- 
tion. Its southern adherents wanted an outspoken stand taken against further 
agitation of the slavery question, while the more timid northerners were 
for a ' ' straddle, ' ' that could be interpreted both ways. The result was the 
adoption of a platform that was pro-slavery enough to alarm the northern anti- 
slavery whigs, and not enough to satisfy the southern whigs. Neither faction 
being satisfied, the election of 1852 went practically by default. Scott carried 
two northern states and two southern states; all the rest went for Pierce, and 
elected him. This overwhelming defeat broke up the whig party. It never 
rallied again. By 1854 the repeal of the Missouri compromise and the attempt 
to introduce slavery into Kansas drove the anti-slavery whigs into various local 
combinations; in some places they were christened "anti-Nebraska," in others 
"free-soil," and in others by various names; but, meantime, the anti-exten- 
sion-of-slavery feeling was steadily increasing, and in 1855 all thoughtful 
men were convinced that the only way to prevent the spread of slavery into the 
new territories was by forming a new national organization. Hon. Salmon 
P. Chase, being in Pittsburgh in 1855, consulted with David N. White, then 
editor of the Pittsburgh Gazette, and they determined upon calling a national 
convention to form a party to resist the further extension of slavery. Mr. 
White opened a correspondence with the active anti-Nebraska men of the coun- 
try, and the result was the issuance of a call for a national convention, to be 
held in Pittsburgh, February 22, 1856, to form a basis of union for all the vari- 
ous fragments of political organizations opposed to slavery extension. The call 
was signed by representative men from eight states, and the convention met 
here at the time appointed. It was not a delegate convention, but was a 
national mass-meeting, free to all who chose to come. Representatives were 
present from all the northern states and from several of the southern. John 
A. King, of New York, was temporary chairman, and Francis P. Blair, of 
Maryland, was the permanent president. It passed resolutions against the fur- 
ther extension of slavery, and called a national nominating convention to meet 
in June, at Philadelphia, to nominate candidates for president and vice-presi- 
dent. This nominating convention selected John C. Fremont as its candidate 
for president, and William L. Dayton for vice-pi'esident; and they would have 
been elected had Pennsylvania voted with the other northern states. But 
Pennsylvania voted for Buchanan, and saved his election. In 1860, however, 
this party elected Lincoln to the presidency, and all who followed down to 
1880. Thus the little private consultation between White and Chase, in a room 
at the Monongahela House, eventuated in the formation of a national party, 
that succeeded in a few years in winning national power and holding it for 
twenty -four years. 


The success of this political movement demoastrates how thoroughly the 
emotions control human action. The opposition to slavery was purely human- 
itarian in its origin. It appealed to all the better and higher feelings of 
human nature, and, when they were thoroughly worked up, they were irresist- 
ible in their might. While legal obstacles intervened, no attempt was made 
to disturb the institution of slavery in the several states; but as soon as the 
south appealed to the arbitrament of the sword to save slavery, all legal obsta- 
cles disappeared, and slavery went down before the withering breath of an 
excited and determined people. Never before was so great a revolution 
accomplished in so short a time. The movement was successful because it had 
the great heart of the nation behind it. This is written, not from any party 
point of view, but as a fact of history; and it is written here because the move- 
ment had its actual beginning in this city. It did not succeed because it 
began here, but because the elements were simply waiting to be combined 
into a form of movement adequate to its success. 



Early Courts— Judicial Officers— Stock.s and Pi llorv— William Penn's 
" Peacemakers"— Circuit and .Judicial Distriot.s— The Bench- The B.\r- 


UNDER the constitutions of 1776 and 1790, as well as under that of 1838, 
which succeeded them, all judicial officers were appointed for life by the 
governor. So chary were the framers of the first two constitutions of Penn- 
sylvania of trusting power in the hands of the people that all officers within 
the state had to be appointed by the governor. The offices of sheriff and 
coroner were seeming exceptions, but only in seeming. They were the sole 
elective county offices (except commissioners'), but all voters had to vote for 
two candidates for sheriff and two for coroner, and the governor appointed 
whichever one, of the two who received the most votes, that pleased him best. 
Ordinarily, the one highest in vote was appointed, but not always. Gov. 
McKean took the bit in his mouth on one occasion, at least, and appointed 
the lowest of the two candidates. The people, a hundred years ago, were not 
considered the depositories of all political power, as now, and they were trusted 
as little as possible. This was clearly apparent in the appointment of judges. 
A judgeship was not only a life office, but the judges were frequently 
chosen from outside the vicinage in which they were to serve. At one time it 
.seemed that the country east of the Susquehanna was to fuiTiish all the judges 


for Allegheny county. Judge Grier came from Lycoming county, Judge 
Hepburn from Easton, and then Judge Patton from Centre. Even the dis- 
trict attorney f^ this county, who was a deputy of the attorney-general, was 
from Lycoming county for at least one governor's term, and my recollection is 
that the common practice was to quarter the governor's pets as district 
attorneys in counties to which they did not belong. It was not until 1851 
that the power of choosing judges was conferred upon the people: and this, 
being a radical departure from the practice of sixty years, went even further, and 
limited the term to ten years for county judges and fifteen years for judges of 
the supreme court. The constitution of 1878 changed the term of the latter 
to twenty-one years. 

The English system of jurisprudence prevailed in Pennsylvania during the 
proprietary government. It was slightly modified by the constitution of ITTfi, 
and radically changed by the constitution of 1790. To understand our early 
courts we must have some knowledge of the provincial system. 

The act of May 22, 1722, which continued in force, with slight amendments 
and some interruptions, until after the Revolution, established and regulated 
the courts. Each county had a court of ' ' general quarter sessions of the 
peace and gaol delivery, ' ' for criminal offenses, and a court of ' ' common 
pleas," for the trial of civil causes, each court required to hold four terms in 
the year. The governor was authorized to appoint and commission " a compe- 
tent number of justices of the peace " for each county; and they, or any three 
of them, could hold the court of quarter sessions. He was also authorized to 
appoint and commission "a competent number of persons " to hold the com- 
mon pleas. At first the same jiersons were appointed and commissioned for 
both courts. But the act of September 9, 1759, prohibited the justices of the 
quarter sessions from holding commissions as judges of the common pleas. 
That act required " five persons of the best discretion, capacity, judgment and 
integrity " to be commissioned for the common pleas, any three of whom could 
hold the court. These justices and judges were appointed for life or diu-ing 
good behavior. The constitution of 1776 limited them to a term of seven 
years, but the constitution of 1790 restored the old rule of appointment for 
life or good behavior. 

The orphans' court was established by act of March 29, 1713. to be held 
by the justices of the quarter sessions. But the act of 1759 changed this, and 
made the judges of the common pleas the judges of the orphans' court. 

The act of 1722 established a supreme court of three judges, afterward 
increased to four, who reviewed, on writs of error, the proceedings in the 
county courts, and were also judges of the court of oyer and terminer, for 
the trial of all capital felonies, for which purpose they visited each county twice 
a year. The act of May 31, 1718, made the following offenses punishable 
with death: Treason, misprision of treason, murder, manslaughter, sodomy, 
rape, robbery, mayhem, arson, burglary, witchcraft, and concealing the birth 
of a bastard child. 


All this region of the state was then in Cumberland county. Bedford county 
■was erected by act of March 9, 1771, and all west of the mountains was 
included in it. The courts were then held at Bedford. The first covirt held 
there was April 16, 1771. The scattered settlers of the west were represented 
by George Wilson, William Crawford, Thomas Grist and Dorsey Pentecost, who 
were justices of the peace and judges of the court. The court divided the 
county into townships. Pitt township (including Pittsburgh) embraced the 
greater part of the present county of Allegheny and portions of Beaver, 
Washington and Westmoreland, and had fifty-two land-owners, twenty tenants 
and thirteen single freemen. 

Westmoreland county was formed out of Bedford by act of February 26, 
1773, and embraced all of the province west of the mountains. The act 
directed the courts to be held at the house of Robert Hanna, until a court- 
house should be built. Robert Hanna lived in a log house about three miles 
northeast of where Greensburg now stands. 

Five trustees were named in the act to locate the county seat and erect the 
public buildings. Robert Hanna and Joseph Erwin were two of them; Hanna 
rented his house to Erwin to be kept as a tavern, and got the majority of the 
trustees to recommend his place — where a few other cabins were speedily 
erected, and the place named Hannastown — for the county seat. Gen. Arthur 
St. Clair and a minority of the trustees recommended Pittsburgh. This dif- 
ference of opinion, and the unsettled condition of affairs during the Revolution, 
delayed the matter until 1787, when the county seat was fixed at Greensburg. 
In 1775 Hannastown had twenty-five or thirty cabins, having about as many 
houses and inhabitants as Pittsburgh. Now its site is scarcely known. The 
town was burned by the Indians in July, 1782, but the house of Hanna, 
being adjacent to the fort, escaped, and the courts continued to be held at his 
house until October, 1786; the first at Greensburg was in January, 1787. 

During all the time the courts were held at Hannastown, Pittsburgh was in 
Westmoreland county. The first court was held April 6, 1773. William Craw- 
ford was the first presiding justice. He resided on the Youghiogheny, opposite 
where Connellsville now stands. He had been a justice of the peace while the 
territory was in Cumberland county, and afterward when it was in Bedford 
county. In 1775 he took sides with Virginia in the border contest, and was 
removed. He was the Col. Crawford who conducted the unfortunate expedi- 
tion against the Indians on the Sandusky, and suffered such a cruel death at 
their hands. Col. William Crawford was a gentleman of the old school, intel- 
ligent, accomplished, brave, patriotic. He was the personal friend of Wash- 
ington, and served with him under Gen. Braddock. His death cast a cloud of 
sorrow and gloom over all the settlements west of the mountains. 

Under the provincial system the justices selected their own president. By 
act of January 28, 1777, the president and executive council (under the con- 
stitution of 1776) appointed and commissioned one as presiding justice. 


Among the tirst thus regularly appoiutt'tl and commissioned was John Moor. 
John Moor was born in Lancaster county in 1738. At the breaking out of 
the Revolution, in 1775, he lived on a farm of four hundred acres on Crabtree 
run, in Westmoreland county. In 1777 he was commissioned a justice of the 
peace of Westmoreland county, in 177'J a judge of the common pleas, and in 
1785 president judge. Not being a lawyer, be could not hold that position 
after the adoption of the constitution of 1790. 

At the lirst court held at Haunastown a jail was ordered to be erected. It 
was made of round, unhewn logs, one story high, and had but one small room, 
where men and women, whites, blacks and Indians were confined together. 
The jail was mainly to contine the prisoners until trial, for imprisonment was 
not generally a part of the sentence after conviction. Punishments were tines, 
whipping, standing in the pillory or stocks, cropping the ears and branding. 
The whipping- post, which stood in front of the jail, was a stout sapling placed 
tirmly in the ground, with a crosspiece above the head, to which the bauds of 
the culprit were tied, while the lashes were inflicted by the sheriff on his bare 
back. The pillory consisted of a low platform on which the culprit stood, 
with uprights supporting a frame with openings in it through which his head 
and hands projected. At common law every passer-by might cast one stone at 
the projecting head. The stocks were also a rude framework on which the 
culprit sat. his legs projecting through openings in front. When no regular 
stocks were at hand, the custom was to lift the corner of a rail fence and 
thrust the legs between the two lower rails. 

At the October sessions of 1773 James Brigland was convicted on two in- 
dictments for larceny; on the lirst, sentenced to pay a line of twenty shillings, 
and receive ten lashes at the whipping-post; and on the second, twenty lashes. 
Luke Picket, for larceny, twenty-one lashes, and Patrick J. Masterson, for 
the same offense, fifteen lashes. At the January sessions, 1774, William How- 
ard, for a felony, was sentenced to receive thirty lashes ou the bare back, well 
laid on, and afterward stand one hoiu- in the pillory. This was the first sen- 
tence to the pillory. At every succeeding term of court numerous parties re- 
ceived punishments by whipping, standing in the pillory, branding, etc. At 
the April sessions, 1782, James Magill was sentenced to be whipped, stand in 
the pillory, have his right ear cropped, and be branded in the forehead. At 
the April sessions, 1783, John Smith, for a felony, was sentenced to pay a 
tine of twenty pounds, receive thirty-nine lashes on his back, well laid on, 
stand in the pillory one houi', and have his ears cut off and nailed to the 
pillory. At the July sessions, 1788. Jane Adamson, a servant of Samuel 
Sample, had one year added to her indenture for having a bastard child. 
The tirst person convicted of mm-der, and hung, west of the mountains, 
was an Indian of the Delaware tribe, by the name of Mamachtaga. In 1785, 
in a drunken spree at Pittsburgh, he crossed the river to the Allegheny side, 
nearly opposite Killbuck island, and killed a white man by the name of Smith. 


He was tried at Haiinastowu in the fall of that year, bt-fore Chief -Justice 
McKeaa. Hugh H. Brackenridge was his counsel. When brought into court, 
he refused, at first, to plead ' ' not guilty ;' ' for that, he said, would be a lie ; 
he did kill Smith, but said he was drunk at the time, and did not know what 
he was doing. The chief justice, however, held that drunkenness was no 
excuse for murder. 

As there was no courthouse at Hannastown, the courts were always held 
in the house of Robert Hanna. Parties, jurors, witnesses and lawyers were 
crowded together in a small room, nearly all standing. The judges occupied 
common hickory chairs raised on a clapboard bench at one side. 

During the revolutionary war, while the courts met regularly, but little 
business was transacted, and the laws were not rigidly enforced. At the 
October sessions, 1781, only one constable attended, and he was from Pitts- 
burgh. The first courts held in Pittsbui'gh were Virginia courts, administer- 
ing the laws of Virginia. They were held under authority of Lord Dunmore, 
governor of Virginia. The first court was held February 21, 1775. 

As soon as the country west of the mountains began to be settled, a con- 
troversy sprang up between Pennsylvania and Virginia as to which owned the 
territory. The controversy between the two state jurisdictions continued in 
an irregular way for a year. The settlers generally sided with Virginia, for 
the price of lands under the Virginia laws was considerably less than under 
the Pennsylvania laws. 

The governor of Virginia and his agent Connolly enforced their jiretensions 
by holding regular courts in Pittsburgh. The first court was held February 
21, 1775. The justices of the peace of Augusta county, who held this court, 
were George Croghan, John Campbell, John Connolly, Dorsey Pentecost, 
Thomas Smallman and John Gibson. John Gibson was an uncle of Chief- 
Justice Gibson. The court continued in session four days, and then adjourned 
to Staunton, Va. Courts were also held in May and September of that 
year. Connolly attended the court in May, but soon after that the revolu- 
tionary war broke out, when he and Lord Dunmore fled to the British camp, 
never to return. 

The regular Virginia courts continued to be held at Pittsburgh, for West 
Augusta county, as it was then called, until November 30, 1776. The territory 
was then divided into three counties, called Ohio, Yohogania and Monongalia. 
Pittsburgh was in Yohogania county, which embraced the greater portions of 
the present counties of Allegheny and Washington. The courts of this county 
were held regularly until the 28th of August, 1780. They were sometimes 
held in Pittsburgh, sometimes in or near the present town of Washington, but 
the greater portion of time on the farm of Andrew Heath, on the Monongahela 
river, near the present line between Allegheny and Washington counties, where 
a log courthouse and jail were erected. 

For five years, from 1775 to 1780, the jurisdiction of Virginia over Pitts- 


burgh aud all the territory across the Monongahela ami Ohio was supreme, and 
almost undisturbed. Taxes were levied and collected, and all county offices 
tilled by Virginia authority. Courts for the trial of all civil causes, and crimi- 
nal offenses, for laying out roads, granting chartered privileges, settling the 
estates of decedents, etc., were regularly held. 

Negotiations had been going on for several years between the two states for 
settling the boundary question. Terms were finally agreed upon September 
23, 1780. Commissioners were appointed to extend Mason and Dixon's line, 
which thus became the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, and to fix the 
western corner, according to the terms agreed upon. The jiu'isdiction of Vir- 
ginia was withdrawn, and that of Pennsylvania extended over the territory. 
Washington coimty was erected by act of March 28, 1781. It embraced all 
that part of the state lying west of the Monongahela and south of the Ohio. 
But Pittsburgh remained in Westmoreland county. Fayette county was formed 
February 17, 1784. 

Allegheny county was established by act of September 24, 1788. It em- 
braced portions of ^'estmoreland and Washington counties, and all the terri- 
tory north of the Ohio and west of the Allegheny, from which were afterward 
formed the counties of Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, 
Mercer, Venango and Warren, and parts of Indiana and Clarion. 

The county, although it has always had a bar of great eminence, has not 
furnished very much judicial material outside of its own list of judges. Hugh 
H. Brackenridge was appointed a justice of the supreme court in 1799, and 
served until the time of his death, June 25, 1816; John Kennedy was similarly 
appointed November 29, 1S30, and served until 1851 ; Walter H. Lowrie was 
elected a justice of the same court in 1851, and was chief justice fi-om 1857 to 
1863; Henry W. Williams was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the 
resignation of Judge Strong, October 26, 1868, and was elected for fifteen 
years in November, 1869, but died in 1877; James P. Sterrett was appointed 
to fill his place, February 26, 1877, and elected for twenty-one years in No- 
vember, 1878. Various other prominent lawjers have been jJressed for places 
on this bench, but failed to get a nomination. The men here named, how- 
ever, have all won substantial reputations on the supreme bench, and those 
who have passed away are still warmly remembered. Judge Brackenridge won 
a much higher position as judge than he ever could have won as a member of 
Congress, had he been successful in obtaining an election to that place. Galla- 
tin, who defeated him for Congress, was better fitted for political life, and the 
judge for the judicial place that fell to him. 

To the I'nited States bench the county has contributed two eminent mem- 
bers, Henry Baldwin and Eobert C. Grier. The latter was sent here as county 
judge from Lycoming county, but soon took up his permanent residence here, 
and won his judicial spurs by service upon the county bench, aud is therefore 
fairly counted as coming from here. His judicial reputation was so widely 



established that President Polk, in 1846, appointed him a justice of the United 
States supreme court. He died in Philadeljihia in 1870. He succeeded Henry 
Baldwin, who was appointed in 1830, and died in 1846. The older members 
of the bar well remember both of them. Baldwin represented this district in 
Congress from 1817 to 1823, and as a member of the bar he always stood in 
the fi'ont rank. As a judge he was candid, impartial and just, and his opin- 
ions, as rendered, were always clear, concise and easily understood. Judge 
McCandless always pricked up his ears when a decision of Judge Baldwin 
was cited to him, and when he felt compelled to rule differently, protested that 
he still had a high veneration for Judge Baldwin. 

William Penn's idea, when he founded his colony, was that lawyers and 
judges could well be dispensed with. His education as a Quaker naturally led 
him to this. He enjoined upon his county magistrates* to appoint, every three 
months, a court of three "peacemakers," by whom he thought all contro- 
versies coiild be settled satisfactorily. If all his colonists had been Quakers 
this result might have been so attained, but they were not. His Scotch-Irish 
settlers were not of the kind to submit a quarrel to ' ' peacemakers. ' ' His 
whole system failed, insomuch that even Quakers eventually became lawyers 
and judges. The irony of fate was never so marked as in the case of Penn's 
own will, which the English chancery courts spent ten years in construing, 
and it took his heirs half a century to settle his southera boundary with the 
heirs of Lord Baltimore, to say nothing of the Dunmore war and the pro- 
tracted controversy over the western border of his colony. His charter gave 
him five degrees west of the Delaware, and if the western border had been 
settled on this basis it would have been as serpentine as the course of the 
Delaware. Happily for us, it was finally settled upon a more sensible basis, 
and Penn's system of "peacemakers," quarterly appointed, died out before 
Allegheny county was formed. 

The county was organized in September, 1788, and the first court was 
held on the 16th of December of that year. The courthouse was not built 
until some years afterward, and this first court was held in a room on the 
corner of Second and Market. The first execution in the county took place 
January 23, 1793, on Boyd's hill, not far from Fort Fayette. From this it 
is inferable that the county then had no jail and that the fort was used tem- 
porarily as a place of detention for criminals. James Ewalt was sheriff when 
Dunning was hung. Under the proprietary government, as well as under the 
first constitution of 1776, the county court was composed of the justices of the 
peace of the county, and in those times the court sat biit two or three days at a 
time. The executive council of the state designated someone to preside at court, 
and the person so designated was rarely a lawyer. In this county, at this court 
held in 1788, the executive council commissioned George Wallace as president 

* His county magistrates, according to the developments of Indian history, were not of a high order. 
They were of the earth, earthy. 


judge, and be served as such until IT'Jl, when the constitution of lT9il went 
into operation. He was not a lawyer, but a magistrate, appointed originally 
for "Westmoreland county. He was a large landholder and an excellent busi- 
ness man, and gave general satisfaction. The fact that he was not a lawyer 
has led to confusion in the statements as to who was the first judge in this 
county, one set speaking of George Wallace as the first judge, and another of 
Judge Addison as the first. Strictly speaking. Judge Addison was the first 
judge "learned in the law," but Jiidge Wallace was as much a judge lejgally 
as Judge Addison, and is fairly entitled to be classed as the first to exercise 
judicial functions in the county. At the first session of Judge Wallace' s court 
nine persons were admitted to practice law at the Allegheny county bar, five 
of them from Greensburg and Washington and the remaining four fi'om Alle- 
gheny. Three of these four were Hugh H. Brackenridge, James Ross and 
John Woods, but the fourth was "born to blush unseen." James Ross 
appears, in 1794, as being a resident of Washington, Pa., and may possibly 
have kept up a residence in both. Of Brackenridge enough has already been 
said elsewhere in these pages. Ross was elected to the senate of the United 
States in 179i. Albert Gallatin had been elected to this place from March 4, 
1791, but had been ruled out as ineligible, by the senate, in 1793, and Ross 
was chosen for the remainder of his term, and was re-elected in 1797, serving 
till 1803. He was chosen president pro tern, of the senate in 1797, and served 
until 1799. He returned to the practice of the law in Pittsburgh in 1803, and 
was the federal candidate for governor in 1799, against Thomas McKean, 
polling 32,641 votes against 38,036 for McKean. In 1802 he was again a 
candidate against McKean, but apparently without any concert of action among 
his political friends, and in 1808 he was a candidate against Simon Snyder, 
polling 39,575 votes to 69,975 for Snyder. He appears to have been a con- 
sistent but not very active federalist, and was at the head of the Pittsburgh 
bar until he retired in old age./ He was born in 1761 and died in 1847. He 
was a member of the convention which formed the constitution of 1790, and 
always commanded the deepest respect of his fellow-citizens. Of John Woods 
all we can gather from the records is that he was an able lawyer, and was 
elected to Congress from this city in 1814, serving from 1815 to 1817. 

Among the five admitted fi'om the other counties were Alexander Addison 
and David Bradford. The first was appointed judge of the Fifth Judical 
district, when it was organized in 1791, and the other was the Bradford who 
thrust himself into prominence in the whisky insiu'rection, and was the first of 
the recusants to run off to Louisiana. He appears to have been a blatant 
demagog, with treasonable conceptions in his brain, and his escape was no 
loss to Western Pennsylvania. He is said, I can not state upon what authority, 
to have been the grandfather of Mrs. Jefferson Davis. He proposed, as a 
part of his scheme in the whisky insurrection, to erect a new state here, outside 
of the government of the United States, and may thus be regarded as the 


first secessionist. Mrs. Davis, evidently, came legitimately by her secession 

In 1789 the dissatisfaction with the clumsy constitution of 1776 culminated 
in calling a convention to frame a new constitution. Alexander Addison was 
chosen a member from Washington county, and James Ross from this county. 
They were among the ablest members of the body which framed the constitu- 
tion of 1790; and although it was tinctured with the then prevalent distrust of 
the people as a governing power, it was so well framed as to stand unchanged 
from 1790 to 1838, nearly half a century. This instrument pi'ovided for a 
thorough reconstruction of the courts, and the legislature, in 1791, acting 
under its provisions, organized the Fifth Judicial district, to be composed of 
all the counties in Western Pennsylvania. These were then Westmoreland, 
Fayette, Washington and Allegheny, but Allegheny then embraced all the ter- 
ritory west and north of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers from Pittsburgh to 
Lake Erie. Somerset was formed in 1795, Greene in 1796, Armstrong in 
1800, Indiana in 1803, and Jefferson, McKean, Potter and Cambria counties in 
1804, but these were all east of the Allegheny; west and north of that river 
and the Ohio, Butler, Beaver, Erie, Mercer, Warren and Venango were formed 
in 1800. The territory of all these counties was, however, embraced at the 
beginning in the Fifth Judicial district, and Alexander Addison was commis- 
sioned as president judge. 

The first court, quarter sessions, was held December 16, 1788, by George 
Wallace, president, and Joseph Scott, John Wilkins and John Johnson, asso- 
ciates. A letter was read fi'om Mr. Bradford, attorney- general, appointing 
Robert Galbraith, Esq., his deputy, who was sworn in; and on his motion the 
following persons were admitted as members of the bar, viz. : Hugh H. Brack- 
enridge, John Woods, James Ross, George Thompson, Alexander Addison, 
Daniel Bradford, James Carson, David St. Clair and Michael Huffnagle, Esqs. 
The first term of the common pleas was held March 14, 1789. The appear- 
ance docket contained fifty-six cases. The brief minute says the court was 
held " before George Wallace and his associates," without naming them. 

The constitution of September 2, 1790, and the act of assembly following 
it, April 13, 1791, made radical changes in the judicial system of the state. 
Justices of the peace were no longer judges of the courts. The state was 
divided into circuits or judicial districts composed of not less than three nor 
more than six counties. A president judge was appointed by the governor for 
each district, and associate judges, not less than three nor more than four, for 
each county. The associate judges could hold the quarter sessions and common 
pleas. All judges were commissioned for life or during good behavior. The 
constitution did not require any of the judges to be "learned in the law," 
but it was understood that the judges of the supreme coui't and the presi- 
dent judges of the districts were to be experienced lawyers. By act of Feb- 
ruary 24, 1806, the associate judges of each county were reduced to two. 


The state was divided into five circuits or districts. The counties of West- 
moreland, Fayette, Washington and Allegheny composed the Fifth district. 
The new judicial system went into operation September 1, 1791. 

Upon the reorganization of the courts under the constitution of 1790, 
Alexander Addison was appointed president judge of the Fifth district, his 
commission bearing date August 17, 1791. His associates for Allegheny 
county, commissioned the same day, were George Wallace, John Wilkins. Jr., 
John McDowell and John Gibson. 

Alexander Addison was the first law judge of Allegheny county. He was 
born in Scotland in 1759, educated at Edinburgh, and licensed to preach by 
the presbytery of Aberlowe. He emigrated to Pennsylvania in early life, and 
on the 20th of December, 1785, applied to the presbytery of Redstone (Browns- 
ville) to be admitted. He was not regularly received into the presbytery, but 
was authorized to preach within its bounds. He preached for a short time at 
Washington, but read law, and was admitted to the bar of that county in 1787. 
Judge Addison's bold stand in favor of the federal government during the 
whisky insuirection, and his equally bold stand against French emissaries and 
secret political societies, caused him many enemies. H. H. Brackenridge was 
bitter in his hostility. As soon as the new political party got into power, Judge 
Addison was a doomed man. John B. C Lucas was appointed associate judge 
of Allegheny county July 17, 1800. He was a Frenchman, and intensely hos- 
tile to Judge Addison. As soon as he took his seat on the bench he commenced 
to annoy and provoke Judge Addison. Although a layman, he would frequently 
differ with the judge on points of law, and actually charged petit juries in oppo- 
sition to the views of the president judge. He also insisted on reading a written 
harangue to a grand jury, in opposition to some views expressed by Judge Addi- 
son to a previous grand jury. Judge Addison and Judge McDowell, who con- 
stituted a majority of the coui-t on that occasion, remonstrated against such 
conduct on the part of Lucas, and stopped him. 

That gave a prete.xt for legal proceedings against Judge Addison. The first 
movement was an application to the supreme court to file an information, in 
the nature of an indictment, against him for a misdemeanor in office. The 
supreme court dismissed it, saying that the papers did not show an indictable 
offense (4 Dallas, R. 225). The next step was to have him impeached by the 
legislature. The house ordered the impeachment, and the senate tried and 
convicted him. The articles of impeachment contained nothing but the two 
charges: (1) That when Lucas charged the petit jury Judge Addison told 
them they should not regard what he said, because it had nothing to do with 
the case, and (2) preventing him fi'om charging the grand jury, as above 
stated. The sentence was pronounced by the senate January 27, 1803, removing 
him as president judge from the Fifth district, and declaring him forever 
disqualified for holding a judicial office in the state. 

Samuel Roberts succeeded Judge Addison; was commissioned April 30, 


1803, and held the office until liis death in 1820. Judge Koberts was bom in 
Philadelphia September 8, 1763, was educated and studied law in that city, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1793. 

John Tiernan was convicted of the murder of Patrick Campbell, December 
7, 1817. He was tried January 12, 1818, before Judge Roberts, with Francis 
McGlure, associate. Campbell was a contractor on the Pittsburgh and Greens- 
burg turnpike. Tiernan was a laborer on the turnpike, living in a cabin on 
the hill this side of Turtle creek, and Campbell boarded with him. At uight, 
when asleep in his bed, Tiernan killed him with an ax, robbed his body, and 
fled to Pittsburgh, where he was arrested, tried, convicted and hung. 

William Wilkins succeeded Judge Roberts. He was born December 20, 
1779. His father moved to Pittsburgh in 1786. He was educated at Dickinson 
College, and read law with Judge Watt, at Carlisle. He was admitted to the 
bar in Pittsburgh, 1801. He was appointed president judge of the Fifth dis- 
trict December 18, 1820; resigned May 25, 1824, when appointed judge of 
the district court of the United States for Western Pennsylvania. In 1828, 
when on the bench of the United States district court, he was elected a 
member of Congress, but before taking his seat resigned, giving as a reason 
that his pecuniary circumstances were such he could not give uj) the judge- 
ship to accept a seat in Congress. But in 1831 he was elected to the senate of 
the United States for the full term of sis years, and resigned the judgeship. 
In 1834 he was appointed minister to Russia, and remained one year at the 
court of St. Petersburg. In 1842 he was again elected to the house of repre- 
sentatives of Congress. After the explosion of the monster gun on the Prince- 
ton, February 28, 1844, which killed Mr. Upshur, secretary of state, and Mr. 
Gilmer, secretary of war, Mr. Wilkins was appointed by President Tyler 
secretary of war, which office he held until March, 1845. In 1855 he was 
elected to the state senate from this county for one term. 

Charles Shaler succeeded William Wilkins as judge of the county courts. 
He was born in Connecticut in 1788, and educated at Yale. He was recorder 
of the mayor's court of Pittsburgh from 1818 to 1821. June 5, 1824, he was 
commissioned judge of common pleas; occupied the bench eleven years, resign- 
ing May 4, 1835. He was appointed associate judge of the district court of 
the county May 6, 1841, and held that office three years, resigning May 20, 

Trevanion Barlow Dallas succeeded Judge Shaler. He was commissioned 
May 15, 1835. He was born in Philadelphia, Febriiary 23, 1801, and edu- 
cated at Princeton. He commenced reading law with his brother, George 
M., but came to Pittsburgh about 1820, and finished his stiidies with his 
brother-in-law, William Wilkins. He was admitted to the bar in 1822. Pre- 
vious to his appointment as judge he had been deputy attorney-general for 
the county. He remained on the common pleas bench from 1835 to June 24, 
1839, when he resigned to accept the position of associate judge with Judge 


Grier, iu tho district court of the county, which position he held until his 
death, April 7, 1841. 

Benjamin Fatten succeeded Judge Dallas. He was commissioned July 1, 
1839, and resigned in January, 1850. He was born in Belief onte. Pa., July 
21, 1810. His ancestors were among the first settlers on the Juniata and in 
Huntingdon county. His maternal grandfather was a lieutenant under Wash- 
ington at Braddock's defeat, and a grand-uncle, Benjamin Patton, was a 
signer of the Declaration of Independence. He graduated at Dickinson College 
in 1829, and commenced the study of law with Andrew Carothers, at Carlisle. 
He was, when appointed, a young and inexperienced man, and made some 
blunders, but was always fair and honest. He had a crippled leg, and his 
physical appearance did not betoken long life; yet he still survives, hale and 
hearty, and was present at the centennial commemoration of the formation of 
Allegheny county, held in September, 1888. He is now a resident of one of 
the western states. He tried the celebrated ' ' conspiracy ' ' case against the 
canal transportation companies, in which he was blamed for undue severity 
toward the transporters; but that was so long ago that nearly everyone has 
forgotten it. He sent the publishers of the Aurora, William Flinn and Hiram 
Kaine, to jail, for libel on Judge Grier, and was blamed for that, too; but the 
origin of the suit was so funny that, had it been known, they would not have 
been sent to jail. The Aurora was a small jjenny sheet, and resembled the 
Sun so much that, at a distance, it was easy to mistake one for the other. 
Judge Grier, it happened, was being shaved at a barber-shop on the corner of 
Wood and Third, and Flinn was going through the same operation at the same 
time, but was done first, and while putting on his coat glanced at the judge, 
who held a paper in his hand which Flinn took to be the Auroi-a, horn its 
appearance. The judge really had the Sim in his hand, and his attention 
was arrested by a letter fi-om Mr. Recorder Van Amringe, declining a congres- 
sional nomination from the abolitionists because he was a democrat. To this 
the editor of the Sun had appended some remarks which excited the judge's 
ire. " Why," said he, " the editor of this paper must be a /ooL' " Flinn, still 
under the delusion that it was the Aurora he held in his hand, considered this 
personal, clapped on his hat hurriedly, and rushed to the Aurora office to jjour 
his grief into Kaine's ear. The result was the appearance in the Aurora, next 
morning, of the article libeling Judge Grier, and the subsequent trial and 
committal to jail. Had the real facts been known, even Judge Patton would 
have been compelled to laugh the case out of court. 

In sentencing convicted persons the judge occasionally left a wide chasm 
between his premises and conclusions. Smith would be before him, say, con- 
victed a second time of assault and battery. The judge would say to him: 
" Smith, this is the second time yovi have been before this court on this charge, 
and the court is disposed to make an example of you. This thing of wife- 
beating must be stopped. We let you off easily the first time, but you are not 


longer entitled to leniency. The sentence of the court is that jou pay a tine 
of $5 and the costs and stand committed until this sentence be complied with. ' ' 
Then would follow another victim, convicted for the first time of the same 
offense. To him the judge would say: " Jones, you are here for the first time, 
and we are disposed to be lenient with you, but do not let ns catch you here 
again. The sentence of the court is that you pay a fine of $50 and the costs, 
and be imprisoned in the county jail for six months." Query — Did the judge 
get these sentences transposed in his mind? That would be the easiest expla- 
nation. But, aside from all this, the judge was a careful, painstaking, fair 
and just man, and rose, eventually, to the level of his position. 

William B. McClure succeeded Judge Pattoii. He was appointed and 
commissioned by the governor January 31, 1850. That year a constitutional 
amendment was adopted, making the judiciary elective. The first election 
under it was in October of 1851. Judge McClure was elected and commis- 
sioned November 6, 1851, for ten years from December 1, 1851, the first judge 
elected in this county. He was re-elected in 1861, and commissioned for 
another period of ten years, but died December 27, 1861, and was succeeded 
by J. P. Sterrett. Judge McClure was born in April, 1807, at Willow Grove, 
near Carlisle, Pa. He graduated at Dickinson College in 1827. He read law 
in Pittsburgh with John Kennedy, afterward a justice of the supreme court, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1829. From 1850 to 1859 Judge McClure was 
the only law judge in the common pleas, orphans' court, quarter sessions and 
oyer and terminer of the county. The amount of business was enormous for 
one man. He had scarcely a day' s rest or vacation. He was a most laborious 
judge, frequently sitting on the bench from eight to ten hours a day. No 
man ever presided in a court more thoroughly in earnest or conscientious in 
the performance of his duties. The close confinement in the impure air of 
the criminal courtroom, and the excessive labors of his office, gradually ex- 
hausted the vital energies of a naturally vigorous constitution, and carried 
him to the grave when only fifty-four years of age. During the twelve years 
Judge McClure sat on the bench he tried more criminal cases and more homi- 
cides than any other judge in the state. His fame as a criminal jurist became 
almost national. Spotlessly pure in his own character, intensely anxious for 
the public welfare, and profoundly impressed with the responsibilities of his 
office, he bent all his energies to the suppression of crime and the just pun- 
ishment of criminals. He was justly a terror to evil-doers. 

The great increase of business in the criminal court of the county led to 
the act of May 26, 1859, adding an assistant law judge to the court. It 
also enlarged the jurisdiction of the common pleas to all cases where the sum 
in controversy did npt exceed three hundred dollars. This was followed by 
the act of April 11, 1862, adding a second associate law judge, abolishing 
the office of associate lay judge, and extending the jurisdiction, making it con- 
current with the district court, without reference to the amount in controversy. 


The act wiped out of existence, so far as Allegheny county is concerned, an 
institution that had existed in England for many centirries, and was brought 
over by our ancestors at the settlement of this country. 

The earlier lay judges were among the most prominent men of the county, 
and their long experience on the bench added greatly to their usefulness. 
George Wallace was on the bench from 1788 to 1814, John McDowell from 
1791 to 1812. Francis McClure from 1812 to 1838, James Riddle from 1818 
to 1838. These were all men of mark and distinction. So also were Samuel 
Jones, Richard Butler, John Wilkins, John Gibson, George Thompson and 
Hugh Davis. Among the later judges should be mentioned Thomas L. 
McMillan, Gabriel Adams and John E. Parke. 

John Wesley Maynard was the first assistant law judge of the common 
pleas; appointed by the governor April 16, 1859, and commissioned until 
the first Monday of December following. He was admitted to the bar in 
Tioga county, Pa., in 1831, and practiced his profession in that and the 
adjoining counties until 1840, when he moved to Williamsport, in Lycoming 
county, where he has resided ever since, except six years at Easton. Although 
only nine months on the bench in Allegheny county, he made many fi'iends, 
and won the respect and confidence of all, both as a man and a judge. 

David Ritchie was the first associate law judge appointed under the act of 
April 11, 1862. He was appointed by Gov. Curtin, May 22, 1862, and com- 
missioned until the first Monday of December following, when he was suc- 
ceeded by E. H. Stowe, elected for ten years. Judge Ritchie was bom la 
Washington county, Pa, August 19, 1812; graduated at Jefferson college in 
1829; came to Pittsburgh about 1833; read law with Walter Forward, and 
was admitted to the bar in 1835. In 1852 he was elected to Congress, and 
twice re-elected, serving in the XXXIIId, XXXI Vth and XXXV th Congresses, 
during President Pierce' s administration and half of President Buchanan's. He 
died January 24, 1867, unmarried. 

The district court of the county was established by act of April 8, 1833, 
with one judge, having the same jurisdiction as the common pleas, except lim- 
ited to cases where the sum in controversy exceeded one hundred dollars. It 
was limited to a period of seven years. But by act of June 12, 1839, it was 
continued until abolished by law, and an associate judge was added. By this 
act the jurisdiction of the common pleas was limited to cases where the sum 
in controversy did not exceed one hnndred dollars. 

Robert Cooper Grier was the first judge of the district court. He was 
appointed by the governor, and commissioned May 2, 1833. He resigned 
August 8, 1846, when appointed by President Polk an associate justice of the 
supreme court of the United States. 

Judge Grier was born in Cumberland county, Pa., March 5, 1794. He 
graduated at Dickinson College in 1812, taught one year in the college, then 
was principal of his father's academy for three or four years, was admitted to 





the bar in 1817, and commenced practice in Bloomsburg, but soon moved to 
Danville, where he was residing when appointed judge. He came to Alle- 
gheny City in 1833, where he resided till 1848, and then moved to Philadelphia. 
He resigned as judge of the supreme court January 31, 1870, and died Sep- 
tember 25th of the same year. 

Hopewell Hepburn succeeded Charles Shaler as associate judge, and R. C. 
Grier as president judge, of the district court. He was born in Northumberland 
county. Pa., October 28, 1799. He practiced law at Eaaton until appointed 
associate judge of the district court September 17, 1844. When Judge Grier 
was advanced to the supreme court of the United States, he was commissioned 
as president judge, August 13, 1846. He held that position until November 3, 
1851, when he resigned. 

After Judge Hepburn retired from the bench, he practiced law at Pittsburgh 
for a few years, then withdrew from the practice, accepting the presidency of 
the Allegheny bank, which he held for three years, but, his health failing, he 
removed to Philadelphia, and died there February 14, 1863. 

Walter Forward succeeded Judge Hepburn, and was the first president judge 
of the district court elected by the people. He was commissioned November 
7, 1851, and held the office till his death; he died on November 24, 1852. 
Judge Forward was on the bench only one year. Like Lord Eldon, he 
was sometimes called the ' ' doubter, ' ' because he was slow in deciding an 
important question. Weak men jump to a conclusion, for their vision can not 
reach beyond the case in hand. A great man looks beyond, to see how the 
principle will apply to other cases. He is careful that a hasty decision shall 
not establish a precedent to work injtistice in the future. The last case Judge 
Forward tried was an important will case, which took several days. He walked 
in from his country home to the courthouse on Monday, November 24, 1852. 
It was a cold, damp day. The courtroom was very uncomfortable, and he had 
a chill just before charging the jury. The jury retired in the afternoon, and 
he went to his lodgings. Before the jury had agreed upon their verdict Walter 
Forward was dead. Perhaps no man ever died in the county more sincerely 
lamented, or more beloved and esteemed by the people. He was admired for 
his great intellectual abilities and loved for his great moral excellence. And 
Walter Forward loved the people; not as a demagog or office-seeker, but as a 
man and a patriot. His highest ambition was to be a useful man. 

Peter C. Shannon succeeded Judge Forward. He was appointed by Gov. 
Bigler, November 27, 1852, until the first Monday of December, 1853. After 
retiring from the bench he practiced law in Pittsburgh until 1869, when he was 
appointed judge of the United States court in Dakota, and moved to that 
territory, where he has continued to reside. 

Moses Hampton succeeded P. C. Shannon. He was elected in October, 
1853; commissioned November 19, 1853, for ten years from the first Mondajr 
of December, 1853; was re-elected, for a second term of ten years, in October,. 


1863; served the full term, and died June 24, 1878. Judge Hampton was 
born in Beaver county. Pa., October 28, 1803. In 1812 his father moved 
to Trumbull county, Ohio, and commenced farming, living in a log cabin, 
and carrying on his trade of a blacksmith. In his boyhood the judge helped 
his father ou the farm, and also in the blacksmith-shop. In his younger days 
Judge Hampton was an ardent whig, taking an active part in the election of 
Gov. Ritner in 1835, of President Harrison in 1840, and in the presidential 
campaigns of 1844 and 1848. As a campaign speaker he was immensely pop- 
ular, having few equals in the state. As a judge he was distinguished for his 
propriety and dignity on the bench, for close attention to the business of the 
court, for eminent fairness to suitors and counsel, for a high sense of honor 
and justice, for quick and clear perceptions, calmness of judgment, an exten- 
sive knowledge of the law, and the clearness and logical force of his opinions. 

Trevanion B. Dallas was appointed June 22, 1839; died 1841. Charles 
Shaler, May 6, 1841; resigned May 20, 1844. Hopewell Hepburn, September 
17, 1844; appointed jjresident judge in 1846. 

Walter H. Lowrie was appointed associate judge August 20, 1846, and 
held the ofSce until the fall of 1851, when he was elected one of the judges of 
the supreme com't. The five judges elected at that time were required, by 
the law putting in operation the elective judiciary, to cast lots for their terms, 
to serve, respectively, three, six, nine, twelve and fifteen years. Judge 
Lowrie drew the twelve-year term, which expired in 1863. After retiring from 
the supreme bench he practiced law in Pittsburgh for a few years, and then 
moved to Philadelphia. While living there, in 1870, he was elected president 
judge of Crawford county, and moved to Meadville. He died suddenly of 
heart disease, November 14, 1876; was brought to Pittsburgh, and interred in 
Allegheny icemetery. 

Henry W. Williams was elected assistant judge of the district court in 
October, 1851, and commissioned November 7, 1851, for ten years; re-elected 
in 1861, and resigned October 28, 1868, when elected to the supreme court. 
He died February 19, 1877. 

The United States district court for the Western district of Pennsylvania 
was established by act of Congress of 20th of May, 1818, and Jonathan Hoge 
Walker was appointed judge by President Monroe. He held the first court at 
Pittsburgh, December 7, 1818. 

Judge Walker was born in East Pennsboro' township, Cumberland county, 
Pa., in 1756. He was of English descent. His grandfather, William Walker, 
was a captain under the Duke of Marlborough in Queen Anne's wars. His 
mother was a daughter of John Hoge, of Hogestown, in Cumberland county. 
He graduated at Dickinson College in 1787, and read law with Stephen Duncan. 
While Judge Walker was on the bench of the United States district court, 
his second son read law, and commenced practice in Pittsburgh in 1821. 
After his father's death, in 1826, he moved to Natchez. This was Robert J. 


Walker, who subsequently became a distinguished statesman and politician. 
Judge Walker was succeeded by William Wilkins, who held the office until 
1831. when he resigned, being elected to the United States senate. 

Thomas Irwin succeeded Judge Wilkins. Ke was appointed, in 1831, 
by President Jackson, and held the office until 1859, when he resigned and 
retired to private life. He was born in Philadelphia, February 22, 1784. 
His father. Col. Matthew Irwin, was a distinguished soldier of the revolu- 
tionary war, and one of the Philadelphia patriots of that trying period who 
brought relief to the famishing army at Valley Forge, subscribing himself 
15.000 for that purpose. His mother was a daughter of Benjamin Mifflin, 
whose ancestor came to Pennsylvania at an early period. Thomas Mifflin, the 
first elected governor of Pennsylvania, was a relative of Judge Irwin, after 
whom he was named. The Mifflins were known as the "Fighting Quakers," 
from the active part they took in the revolutionary war. 

Wilson McCandless succeeded Judge Irwin; appointed by President 
Buchanan February 8, 1859. He resigned, and retired to private life, July 
24, 1S76, and died at his residence in Pittsburgh June 30, 1882. Judge Mc- 
Candless was born at Noblestown, in Allegheny county, July 10, 1810; was 
educated at the Western university, read law with George Selden, Esq. , and 
was admitted to the bar June 19, 1831. He was in partnership in the prac- 
tice of law, for some time, with W. W. Fetterman, and afterward, for many 
years, with his brother-in-law, William B. McClure. 

Winthrop W. Ketcham succeeded Judge McCandless. He was born in 
Wilkesban-e, Pa., June 29, 1820. In 1848 and 1849 he was a teacher in 
Girard college, Philadelphia. January 8, 1850, he was admitted to the bar 
in Wilkesbarre. In 1855 he was elected prothonotary of Luzerne county for 
three years. In 1858 he was elected to the legislature, and in 1859 elected 
state senator for three years. In 1864 he was appointed by President Lincoln 
solicitor of the United States court of claims, and resigned in 1866. He was 
a delegate to the national republican convention at Chicago in 1860, at Bal- 
timore in 1864, and a presidential elector in 1868. He was elected to Con- 
gress in 1874, and in July, 1876, was appointed judge to succeed Judge 
McCandless. On Saturday, December 6, 1879, he held court in this city, in 
his usual good health, and returned to his room at the St. Charles hotel. At 
5 P. M. he was stricken with apoplexy, and died at 11:50 P. M. , his wife and 
only son at his bedside, with the physicians and friends who had been hastily 
summoned. He died universally lamented and respected. Judge Ketcham 
was succeeded by Marcus W. Acheson, the present incumbent. 

The borough of Pittsburgh was incorporated as a city by act of I8th of 
March. 1816. The act created a mayor's court, composed of the mayor, a 
recorder and twelve aldermen. The recorder and aldermen were appointed 
by the governor during good behavior, and the mayor to be elected annually 
by the city councils from the aldermen. The mayor's court had jurisdiction 


to try forgeries, perjuries, larcenies, assaults and batteries, riots, routs aud 
unlawful assemblies, and generally all offenses committed in the city cog- 
nizable in a court of quarter sessions, besides all violations of city ordinances. 
The causes were regularly trietl before a jury. The mayor presided in the 
court, but the recorder was the law judge or legal officer of the court. The 
mayor or recorder and any three of the aldermen could hold the court. The 
recorder was also vested with civil jurisdiction, the same as the aldermen. 
He was to receive a salary, to be paid by the city. 

Charles Wilkins, son of Gen. John Wilkins, was the first recorder. He 
was admitted to the bar in 1807, appointed recorder in 1816, and died in 
1818. Charles Shaler was recorder from 1818 to 1821. He was succeeded 
by Ephraim Pentland, who was prothonotary of the county fi-om 1807 to 1821. 
Pentland came to Pittsburgh in 1801 or 1802; he had been a printer and 
editor; he was a short, heavy-set man, very fond of jokes, and a noted char- 
acter. He died in 1839. He was succeeded by H. H. Van Amringe, who 
was admitted to the bar in 1837, and appointed recorder in 1839. He held 
the office only a few months, for the mayor's court was abolished by act of 
Jnne 12, 1839. Van Amringe came here from Chester county. He was aa 
excellent lawyer and courteous gentleman, but erratic in his religious notions. 


Judges of the common pleas, quarter sessions and orphans' court prior 
to the constitution of 1790, appointed October 9, 1788: George "Wallace, pres- 
ident; John Metzgar, Michael Hillman, Robert Ritchie, associates. These 
were the judges until August 17, 1791, when the courts were reorganized under 
the constitution of 1790. 

The following were the justices of the peace, entitled to sit in the quarter 
sessions, but not in the common pleas or orphans' court: September 26, 

1788, James Bryson; September 27, 1788, Samuel Jones; November 21, 1788, 
John Johnson, Abraham Kirkpatrick, Richard Butler, William Tilton; No- 
vember 25, 1788, John Wilkins, father of John. Jr, and William; May 21, 

1789, Henry Nesby. 


Laymen appointed during good behavior, until 1851, and then elected for 
a term of five years: August 17, 1791, George Wallace, resigned in 1798 and 
re-appointed; John Wilkins, Jr., resigned February 26, 1796; John McDowell, 
died in 1812; John Gibson, died in 1800; February 26, 1796, George Thomp- 
son, in place of John Wilkins. Jr.; July 17, 1800, John B. C. Lucas, in place 
of Gen. John Gibson; July 24, 1812, Francis McClure, resigned December 
22, 1838; June 3, 1814, George Robinson, died in 1818; September 2. 1818, 
James Riddle, resigned December 25, 1838; December 27, 1838, William 
Hays, resigned April 11, 1840; December 31, 1838, Hugh Davis, resigned ia 


1840; March 20, 1840, William Porter, commission annulled by decision of 
supreme court, and re-appointed February 17, 1843; April 16, 1840, John M. 
Snowden, recommissioned March 31, 1841; April 9, 1845, John Anderson, de- 
clined; April 17, 1845, William G. Hawkins, declined; May 8, 1845, William 
Kerr, recommissioned March 14, 1846; February 28, 1848, Samuel Jones, 
resignedMay 12, 1851; March 18, 1851, William Boggs, recommissioned No- 
vember 10, 1851; June 10, 1851, Thomas L. McMillan, recommissioned No- 
vember 10, 1851, died 1852; April 27, 1852, Patrick McKenna, until Decem- 
ber 1, 1852; November 29, 1852, Gabriel Adams, commissioned for live years; 
November 12, 1856, John E. Parke, commissioned for five years; November 17, 
1857, Gabriel Adams, commissioned for five years; November 13, 1861, John 
Brown, commissioned for five years. John Brown was the last layman com- 
missioned as judge. The law was changed, requiring two associate law judges 
to be elected. 


Appointed by the governor during good behavior, until after the constitu- 
tional amendment of 1850, then elected for a term of ten years: August 17, 
1791, Alexander Addison, impeached and removed in 1803; April 30, 1803, 
Samuel Roberts, died December 13, 1820; December 18, 1820, William Wil- 
kins, resigned May 25, 1824; June 5, 1824, Charles Shaler, resigned May 4, 
1835: May 15, 1835, Trevanion B. Dallas, resigned June 24, 1839; July 1, 
1839, Benjamin Patton, Jr., resigned in 1850; January 31, 1850, William B. 
MeClure, elected in 1851, and commissioned for ten years, re-elected in 1861, 
and commissioned for ten years, died in 1861 ; January 4, 1862, James P. 
Sterrett, appointed in place of W. B. McClure, deceased; elected in 1862, and 
commissioned November 4, 1862, for ten years; re-elected in 1872, and com- 
missioned November 10, 1872, for ten years; resigned in 1877, when appointed 
to the supreme court. E. H. Stowe then became president judge, and was 
re-elected in 1882 for ten years. 


April 16, 1859, John W. Maynard, until first Monday of December, 1859; 
November 8, 1859, Thomas Mellon, elected and commissioned for ten years; 
May 22, 1862, David Ritchie, commissioned until first Monday of December, 
1862; November 4, 1862, Edwin H. Stowe, elected and commissioned for ten 
years; November 26, 1869, Frederick H. Collier, elected and commissioned 
for ten years; November 6, 1872, E. H. Stowe, re-elected and commissioned 
for ten years; March, 1877, Charles S. Fetterman, appointed until first Mon- 
day in December, 1877; November, 1877, John H. Bailey, elected and com- 
missioned for ten years; November, 1879, Fred. H. Collier, re-elected and 
commissioned for ten years. 

2G4: HISTORY or Allegheny county. 


May 2, 1833, Roberh C. Grier, resigaed August 8, 1846; August 13, 1840, 
Hopewell Hepburn, recommissioued February 17, 1847, resigned November 
3, 1851; November 3, 1851, Walter Forward, elected and commissioned for 
ten years, died in 1852; November 27, 1852, P. C. Shannon, appointed till 
first Monday in December, 1853; November 19, 1853, Moses Hampton, elected 
and commissioned for ten years: November 3, 1863, Moses Hampton, re- 
elected and commissioned for ten years; November, 1873, Thomas Ewing, 
elected and commissioned for ten years. 


June 22, 1839, Trevanion B. Dallas, died 1841; May 6, 1841, Charles 
Shaler, resigned May 20, 1844; September 17, 1844, Hopewell Hepburn, 
appointed president in 1846; August 20, 1S46, Walter H. Lowrie, recommis- 
sioued April 17, 1847, elected to the supreme court in 1851; November 7, 
1S51, Henry W. Williams, re-elected in 1861, elected to supreme court in 1868, 
died 1877; November 10, 1868, John M. Kirkpatrick, appointed till lirst Mon- 
day of December, 1869, and elected and commissioned November 23, 1869, 
for ten years, re-elected in 1879, and commissioned for ten years; Novem- 
ber, 1873, J. W. F. White, elected and commissioned for ten years. 

By the constitution of 1873 the district court was abolished, and became 
common pleas No. 2. An*orphans' court was also created by the new consti- 
tution of 1873, and Hon. W. E. Hawkins was elected judge, and re-elected at 
the end of his first term. Afterward a second judge for this court was author- 
ized, and Hon. I. W. Over elected. This court has an abundance of business, 
and is well ofSeered. 

We have thus sketched the history of the bench of this county, covering a 
hundred years. The facts and dates have mainly been collected from Judge 
White's "History of the Judiciary of Allegheny County," in the Pennsyl- 
vania Magazine of History, Volume 7, 1883. It is a bright history, full of 
splendid judicial examples. Judge Addison's reputation is brighter to-day 
than when he was on the bench; and the names of Brackenridge, Kennedy, 
Lowrie, Dallas, Wilkins, Shaler, Grier, Baldwin, Hepburn, Williams, Hamp- 
ton, Forward, McCandless and McClure add luster to a judicial record that 
began brilliantly, and still continues without a blemish. No county in the 
state can present such an airay of illustrious names; and whatever else Alle- 
gheny county may have just cause to be proud of, she can always boast of a 
towering pre-eminence in judicial talents. 

For many years in the early history of the bar, the Fifth Judicial district 
embracing all Western Pennsylvania, the members of the bar practiced in all 
the counties of the district. As soon as court rose in one county the lawyers 


all mounted on horseback and accompanied the judge to the nest county, and 
so on till the round was completed. This was called " riding the circuit," 
and was borrowed from the English practice. Arrived at the point of their 
destination, the lawyers gathered mainly in one tavern, and made a lively time 
of it while court lasted. They were all full of fun, frolic and anecdote, and 
many a funny story has come down to the present day from these quarterly 
gatherings of the lawyers. 

At the present day lawyers are specialists. One is a good criminal lawyer, 
another is a patent lawyer, a third is an adviser or office lawyer, a fourth is 
mainly an advocate, and a fifth has his specialty in land cases, and so on; but 
in the olden times every lawyer was an ' ' all-rounder. ' ' In the fundamental 
and early literature of the law, and in the arts and subtleties and master 
learning of the profession, as it came to them from Europe, they were masters 
— thoroughly informed and always ready equipped. As pleaders they were 
grand; but pleading meant more to and before a jury then than now. They 
have left a recoi'd for eloquence and effectiveness which few of the present day 
can equal. Times have materially changed since those rude days; and any 
one of the leaders of the bar of 1 788 would be lost and bewildered at the bar of 
1888. Nearly a thousand attorneys have, in this century that has passed, been 
admitted to the bar, and about five hundred are in practice now, or are on the 
rolls. The terms of admission have gradually grown stricter, and the exami- 
nations are now an ordeal that none but the well instructed can pass. 

The machinery of justice, when the county was first organized, was of a 
rude and simple kind. Before September, 1788, litigants would have to travel 
either to Greensburg on the one hand, or Washington on the other, if they had 
to undergo a trial in court; and the courts then were composed mainly of 
justices of the peace. In some parts of the state, during the Revolution of 
1776, the local committees of safety assumed judicial power, and tried cases 
of replevin, horse-stealing, and some crimes for which the ordinary courts were 
too slow. A case was tried by the committee of safety in Northumberland 
county, in 1777, upon complaint made by a certain Allis Read that he, the 
said Read, had a horse strayed or .stolen from him which was found in 
the custody of a certain John Drake, when said Read replevied the horse, and 
got him and kept him in his possession for about six months, and then the 
widow of said Drake came and took him forcibly out of said Read's stable. 
Whereupon the committee proceeded to act summarily upon this complaint. 
The courts, too, when people had access to them, were slow — very slow. 
Almost all the actions were ejectments upon disputed original entries. The num- 
ber of witnesses was great, the means of travel scanty, and the districts large, 
so that much allowance had to be made for failure of attendance. The causes 
were, therefore, fi-equently continued, so that they usually stood upon the trial 
list several years before they could be acted on. This, added to the dilatory 
habits always prevalent in fi'ontier settlements, produced a leisurely, time- 


wasting habit of doing business. It is said of the estate of John Lukens. for^. 
merly surveyor-general of this state, that, although he died in 1799, it was 
in 1877 still before an auditor for distribution. There are no instances in 
point of a similar state of affairs in Allegheny county, but it is presumable 
that the same causes produced the same effects. There was none of the 
present hurry in legal matters then prevailing. 

The bar of Pittsburgh, like everything else in the history of the city, grew 
from very small beginnings. At the lirst court held here a number of attor- 
neys, from this and adjoining counties, took the oath, and four of these are 
set down as being from the city; but a close scrutiny reveals but three that 
can be recognized. These are John Woods, H. H. Brackenridge and Alex- 
ander Addison. These three would seem for a few years to have had a mo- 
nopoly of what legal business there was. Woods was rather a scrivener than a 
lawyer, and was depended on mainly for the di'awing of legal documents. 
Brackenridge was, in fact, the chief lawyer here. He was a well-educated 
Scotchman, with a fondness for literature and books, and was also a ready 
writer for the press. His books on "Modern Chivalry" show his literary 
inclination, and his description of Pittsburgh in the first number of the Pitts- 
burgh Gazette evinces his skill as a newspaper writer. But, with all this 
literary inclination, he was a good, faithful and industi'ious lawyer, and must 
have enjoyed the cream of the legal business. But, besides the law. Bracken- 
ridge had still other pursuits. He was a politican, and exercised, within a 
small compass, all the arts of the active politicians of to-day. He knew what 
political ''influence" was, and how to use it: and his course in the whisky 
insurrection lays him open, in a slight way, to the imputation of demagogism. 
He was never openly for the insurrection, and never decidedly against it until 
its weakness was demonstrated. His fate as a candidate for Congress in 1794. 
when, in spite of his great personal popularity, he was beaten out of sight by 
Gallatin, indicates a strong suspicion of the thoroughness of Brackenridge' s 
attitude. Gallatin sympathized with those who resisted Hamilton's or the 
federal method of internal-revenue taxation, but was outspoken in his opposi- 
tion to all efforts at forcible resistance. Brackenridge' s sympathies and con- 
victions ran in the same direction, but he was not so outspoken as Gallatin; 
and the people then, as now, rallied to the support of the most outspoken man. 
Brackenridge, however, never lost the respect of his fellow-citizens. They 
appreciated his talents, and were glad to follow his lead in ordinary politics. 
He continued, until 1799, to be at the head of the bar, and was universally 
esteemed and respected. In that year he was appointed a justice of the 
supreme court, a place he had fully earned by his splendid legal career, and 
remained upon the bench until 1816, when he died. His opinions as a judge 
are still frequently cited, and he maintained, on the bench as well as off of it, 
a high and deserved reputation as a jurist. 

Of Alexander Addison as a lawver it is unnecessary to sav much. He 


shortly afterward became a judge, and when he ceased to be a judge he 
moved to Washington, Pa., so that his connection with the bar of this county 
was short. He was, we judge, a solid rather than a showy lawyer. His learn- 
ing was profound and his knowledge of law precedents very extensive. 

Following this small beginning of the Pittsburgh bar the names of James 
Ross, David Bradford, Steel Semple, Henry Purviance, Thomas Collins and 
John Kennedy are soon found as early additions. Of these, James Ross was 
the first in every respect. He was a very large man, over six feet high, broad 
and full in all his proportions, and with big feet, of which he was not ashamed. 
He came here shortly after the county was organized, and lingered until nearly 
half of the present century was passed. As a lawyer, he was not noted for his 
pleading abilities, but for the soundness of his jtidgment and his full acquaint- 
ance with the law. When he was a candidate for governor in 1808, as we 
learn from "Linn's History of Buffalo Valley," page 372, James Ross was 
declared to be a man of mercenary and avaricious disposition ; accused of blas- 
phemy and mockery of religion, and was said to be the candidate of the nabobs 
and lawyers; that while a member of the United States senate he advocated the 
wresting of New Orleans fi'om the Spaniards by force, instead of acquiring it 
by treaty. The first charge had a bare color of truth in it; the second had 
nothing to sustain it, unless it may have been that, like many public men 
of that day, he was inclined to skepticism; and the third was true; but in 
advocating the acquisition of Louisiana he was but reflecting western sentiment, 
which was clamorous for the opening of the Mississippi to the ocean. With 
regard to his "mercenary and avaricious disposition," this much is true: he 
had money, and he preferred to lend it safelj'. He would never take or charge 
more than legal interest, 6 per cent, and he preferred lending to men in 
extremities, who could secure him for advances made for their relief. It is 
but natural that a man who was careful as to whom he lent money should 
acquire the reputation of being ' ' mercenary and avaricious ;' ' but the fact that 
he never took more than 6 per cent interest, in times when he could have had 
fi'om 10 to 20 per cent, should relieve him fi'om the charge of avariciousness. 
He owned and lived upon a square on Grant' s hill, known then as the " Oregon ' ' 
lot, extending from Fourth to Fifth on Grant aud Ross streets. He sold the 
half of this, from Diamond alley to Fifth, in 1837 or 1838, to the county com- 
missioners, for a courthouse and jail, and they paid him, as it is thought, 
$75,000 for it. The present courthouse occupies the whole of it. The other 
half of the lot he occupied himself until he died, the house standing upon the 
hill, considerably above the grade of Fourth avenue. Within the recollection 
of old citizens, an old orchard occupied at least a part of the remaining half of 
the lot. Besides this Mi-. Ross acquired a considerable part of the O'Hara 
estate, on the Allegheny river, eight or nine miles up; but the money which 
paid for this land saved the O'Hara estate from destruction at a moment of 
great peril to O'Hara' s financial credit. It is not worth while to try to eon- 


eeal the fact that Koss had an eye out, always, to the main chance: but he 
never oppressed anyone, and always maintained his integrity as a man and a 
lawyer. He was, as must be already apparent, prominent as a federal politician. 
Twice he was the federal candidate for governor, not by nomination, for state 
conventions did not then exist, but by general consent of that party; and he 
was twice elected to the United States senate, the lirst time for the unexpired 
term of Gallatin, who was elected in 1792, but ruled out on account of ineligi- 
bility, and was re-elected in 1799. Altogether he was a man of great intellect, 
and a sound lawyer, who left a good reputation behind him. 

The most that can be said of David Bradford has already been said in the 
sketch of the whisky insurrection. He was an able but an insurrectionary 
spirit. Like the petrel, he delighted in storms. That he was a good lawyer 
goes without saying; and that he was glib and persuasive of tongue is shown 
by the inflvience he held over the men he led into insurrection. That he was 
a .demagog, pure and simple, is evinced by his career, and that he was like- 
wise a coward is shown by his speedy departure from the scene of action when 
the insurrection began to collapse. The end of the whisky war ended his 
legal career here. 

Of Steel Semple the most that is known comes down by tradition. He 
was gone fi'om his profession before any of the present generation had a chance 
to know him. But all the accounts that have been heard of him are good. 
He was such a lawyer, in his day, as Henry Baldwin and Walter Forward were 
after him. His specialty, as was the case then with all the bar, was land 
cases. With James Ross, he had pre-eminence in ejectment cases. It is 
enough to say of him, after the lapse of nearly a century, that his memory 
still "smells sweet. " 

Heni-y Purvianee belonged properly to Washington county, but the Wash- 
ington lawyers all practiced at the Pittsburgh bar. He was connected with 
John A. Purvianee, at one time auditor-general, and Samuel A. Purvianee, 
who represented the Allegheny and Butler district in Congress for several terms. 
Both of these gentlemen were from Butler county, originally, but toward the 
end of his life Samuel A. took i;p his abode in Pittsburgh. The old records make 
very kindlj' mention of Henry Purvianee, and both he and Samuel A. built up 
for themselves splendid legal names. 

Thomas Collins, also, was a legal giant in those early days. He was prom- 
inent in legal practice, and for a time there was a pleasant rivalry between 
him and H. H. Brackenridge. He was a more solid and less florid man than 
Brackenridge, and this solidity attracted favorably the more cautious part of 
the community. He was not prominent as a politician; at least but little is 
heard of him in connection with politics. Socially, he stood high. Collins 
township, now a part of the city, was named after him. He had two daugh- 
ters, both noted for their intelligence and beauty. One of them married Wil- 
son McCandless, and the other William B. McClure; and it is noteworthy that 


these two lawyers both becauie judges — McCaodless of the United States dis- 
trict court, and McClure of the county court of common pleas. As both Mc- 
Candless and McClure were originally whigs, although McCandless afterward 
became a democrat, it is inferable that Collins, like most of the lawyers of his 
day, was a federalist. He was, however, a first-class lawyer, and his memory 
is still kept green. 

John Kennedy is better known to this generation as a judge of the supreme 
court of the state, and there are but few traces of him as a lawyer. But he 
must have been a good, safe and sound lawyer or he would not have been 
chosen for this promotion. The appointing power was then in the hands of 
the governor, and the history of our state supreme court shows that that bench 
was always filled by men of great legal stature. Forty years ago John Ken- 
nedy was pleasantly borne in mind by a large circle of personal friends. 

Just here it may be well to mention the name of Sidney Mountain, a mem- 
ber of the bar in its early day, concerning whom nothing remains but tradition. 
He was an eccentric man, of uncertain habits, but a brilliant orator and the 
pet of the populace. He was probably a better talker than lawyer, and his 
name has long since faded into the gloom of a deep obscurity. With country 
juries he was almost omnipotent, when he could be brought to his work. 

Henry Baldwin was, in his day, the most prominent lawyer at the bar. He 
was very successful in his practice, and was elected to Congress in 1816, and 
served fi'om 1817 to 1823. He was appointed a judge of the supreme court in 
1830, and served until 1846, when he died. There was a very strong feeling 
of attachment to him manifest in all who ever knew him, and this fact, alone,. 
shows how very worthy and excellent a man he was. Mrs. Ann Royall, in her 
sketches of her travels in Pennsylvania, in 1828, speaks thus of him: 

Mr. Henry Baldwin is the darling of Pennsylvania and the pride of Pittsburgh. He- 
is about thirty-five years of age, a thin, light figure, of good height, round, delicate face 
and sallow comple.xion; his eye is a keen, or rather sparkling, deep hazel, or what some- 
would call black. His countenance would not indicate talents of the first rate, although 
he certainly does, very justly, rank among the first men of the state. But of all men he 
has the most pleasing countenance and the most fascinating manners. He appears to most 
advantage when pleading. It is impossible to portray the winning smile which plays upom 
his countenance, while his head is elevated and his figure erect and manly. His voice is- 
harmonious and his actions pertinent and graceful. He is said to be an able statesman, 
and of unshaken integrity. Well may Pittsburgh be proud of him. His talents are de- 
voted to it, and have been for some years, while his generosity and goodness of heart 
keep him in the background. On my way to Pittsburgh the people would say, "You will 
see our idol, Mr. Baldwin." 

This, it may be said, is a woman's view, drawn from a female standpoint; 
and so it is. But it is nevertheless a very graphic sketch of the man. His 
face, lit up with a winning smile, won all hearts to him, and his power with a 
jury doubtless flowed from his manly bearing and his thrilling voice, as well 
as fi'om his all-conquering smile. As a lawyer he occupied the front rank, and 


this was eviueeil by his elevation to the l)euch of the United States supreme 
court. He was a partner, for a long time, iu the Union rolling-mill, at Ken- 
sington, and was thus an enterprising citizen as well as a first-class lawyer. 

Walter Forward appears to have attained as high a rank at the bar as Mr. 
Baldwin. Mrs. Koyall speaks of him as "a Yankee;" but he came here from 
Somerset county. He was a man massive in body and in intellect, and impressed 
himself upon the jury rather by the strength of his arguments than by the 
beauty of his diction, differing from Baldwin in this respect. He was a thor- 
ough scholar and student, and bestowed great study and pains in getting up 
his cases. Like Baldwin, he seems to have captured Mrs. Royall. She says: 

Walter Forward is anolher Yankee, and second, if not equal, to 3Ir. Baldwin at the 
bar, and some do say he is superior. >Ir. Forward is another mau of towering talents, 
and a great pleader. He is a brother of Chauncey Forward, of Somerset, member of Con- 
gress, and is a stout, middle-aged man, of fine appearance. His face is round and rather 
sallow; his eyes are full, darlv, keen and intelligent, his countenance open and pleasing, 
his manners manly, though mild and alluring, and, take liim all iu all. one of the most 
higli-spirited and noble-looking raeniu Pittsburgh. This gentleman, as well as Mr. Bald- 
win, seems to have lived for the world and not for himself, both being men of the first 
talents, legal knowledge and e.xlensive practice, but from their excess of good nature and 
generosity have been able to lay up but little for themselves. 

Mr. Forward was a man who carried about with him an air of honest con- 
viction, and he had the profound respect of both the bench and the bar. as well 
as the fullest confidence of his clients. He was a member of Congress from 
1821 to 1825, and was appointed secretary of the treasui-y in 1841, after the 
death of Harrison, serving until 1843. In 1851 he was elected a judge of the 
district court of Allegheny county, being recalled home from Denmark, where 
he was serving as minister, but died after a year's service on the bench, iii 
December, 1852. All the rest of his time he spent in practice at the bar of 
this county, and won a reputation for profundity, close research and unswerv- 
ing honesty second to that of no other member of the bar. As long, at least, 
as the present generation lasts, there will remain a loving remembrance of the 
two greatest men of the Pittsbui'gh bar, Henry Baldwin and Walter Forward. 

Another prominent member of the bar was Samuel Kingston, a native of 
Ireland, and very popular at the bar from his kindness and amiability of tem- 
per. He came to the bar early, and at once attained prominence in his pecul- 
iar line. He was of middling age and height, his face round, thin and fair, 
with a large gi"ay eye. He was a perfect gentleman in his manners, and his 
countenance was peculiarly interesting. While a good lawyer and a safe coun- 
selor, he devoted himself mainly to conveyancing, which was not then a sep- 
arate branch of the legal business. He had trained a daughter to his specialty. 
She wrote a beautiful hand, and up to the time of her father" s death enjoyed 
a large share of the conveyancing business. Poor Kingston ! He fell a victim 
to the fire of 1845. His office was on the corner of Fourth and Smithfield 


streets, and it is supposed that when the lire came sweeping over from Fulton' s, 
on the opposite side of Smithfield street, burying all the houses in the neighbor- 
hood in a dense cloud of smoke and flame, he went into his office to remove the 
valuable papers there, and was smothered before he could get out. At any 
rate, his bones were found there when the debris was cleared away, and, firom 
whatever motive he entered the house, he never came out of it alive. He was 
the only person who lost his life in that destructive fire. It was so slow in 
making its progress that everyone else but him had time to get out of the way. 

There were in the first quarter of this century two gentlemen, of Irish 
birth, named Burke, who afterward rose to considerable distinction at the bar. 
Robert Burke was the eldest, and was probably the most talented and learned 
of the two. But he died early, and Andi-ew became the best known of the two. 
They were both good lawyers and eloquent pleaders. Although Andrew lived 
on the Allegheny side of the river, the democrats nominated him, in 1858, to 
run against Gen. Moorhead for Congress, but the contest was hopeless. Mr. 
Burke was a fine-looking man, and every inch a gentleman. 

Of William Wilkins, in a mere history, it is scarcely wise to speak in the 
loving terms a knowledge of him prompts. No one ever knew him fully who 
did not respect and admire him. He came here at the close of the last century, 
with Trevanion B. Dallas, his brother-in-law, and he soon became prominent. 
Of Dallas, and his elevation to the bench, we have spoken elsewhere. 
Wilkins was a courtly and polished lawyer and statesman, and he became, as 
he grew older, a citizen of commanding influence. In his addresses to the jury 
he did not play the orator, but confined himself to solid talk. A gentleman 
who heard him addressing a jury, in the grand-jury room of the old courthouse 
on Market street, describes him as standing close to the jury, delivering a well- 
studied sentence, and then walking away for a minute to the other end of the 
courtroom and back again, when he delivered another sentence, and then 
walked off again, repeating this till he came to an end. This is not the style 
of a pleader now. But the jury understood him, and so did the court. They 
were used to this style, and thought nothing of it. He served, at various times, 
in the state senate, in the senate and house of representatives at Washing- 
ton, as minister to Russia, as secretary of war, and as judge of the United 
States district court. At some time in 1832 the democrats of Pennsylvania 
refused to accept Martin Van Buren as a candidate for vice-president, and the 
electoral vote of the state was cast in that year for William Wilkins. 

This sketch of the bar is not chronological in its order, and, although out of 
place in point of time, this seems the proper connection in which to speak of 
Charles Shaler. He did not immigrate here until this century had opened, but 
his name is indissolubly connected with the history of the Pittsburgh bar. 
He came here early enough to identify himself with the interests of the city. 
He married a daughter of one of the earliest settlers, Maj. Kirkpatrick, and 
for a long time lived in the old Kirkpatrick house, on the banks of the Monon- 


gahola, bolow Ferry street. His office was on Fourth, between "Wood and 
Market, and he had as partners, for awhile, Edwin M. Stanton and T. C. 
Umbstaetter, both of whom came here from Ohio. He had a very extensive 
practice, was popular at the bar, and was an attractive and effective speaker, 
as well as a very trustworthy lawyer. He served for some years as judge on 
the bench of the district court, and the whole community had unlimited con- 
fidence in his acts as judge. He had what, in these days of tine handwriting, 
would be thought a bleniish; he wrote a shocking bad hand. At one time it 
was said that there were but two men in Pittsburgh who coiild decipher his 
manuscript. One of these was the late Robert Morrow, and the other was an 
editor. How the lawyers got their paper-books printed, when appealing from 
his judicial decisions, is a mystery. Probably the printers guessed at what was 
written, as they often do with much better copy. Judge Shaler retired from 
his practice before he died, and moved to Centre county. One of his sons is 
still living in Pittsburgh, on a part of the old Kirkpatrick place on Mount 

Of John McDonald, George Thompson and Robert Allison the writer of 
this article cannot speak with any certainty. McDonald was spoken of famil- 
iarly as ' ' Jack ' ' McDonald, which would indicate that he was a boon companion 
and good fellow. He is spoken of as a safe lawyer, a good counselor, and wise 
in his profession, and he was a distingviished citizen of the early time. John 
M. Austin practiced here awhile, but eventually removed to Uniontown. His 
son, AVilliam E., came here about 1850, and was a genial, gentlemanly lawyer, 
who attained to considerable eminence at the bar. Thomas M. T. McKennan 
also practiced here for a time, but the scene of his triumph was at the Wash- 
ington county bar. 

Among the men who immigrated here from Philadelphia to jaractice law was 
Richard Biddle, a relative of Nicholas Biddle of the United States bank. He 
was a man of genius, but sluggish in disposition, and remained a bachelor 
until near the close of his life. He was a finished orator, and always com- 
manded the respect of his audience. His reputation as a lawyer was fully as 
great as his fame as an orator. Before a public meeting he was omnipotent: 
and it was this fact, probably, that led to his selection as a candidate for 
Congress, to which he was chosen in 1834, 1836 and 1838. But the lower 
house of Congress was never much of an arena for oratory. Biddle tired of 
serving there, and resigned in 1840, being succeeded for the short term by 
Henry M. Brackenridge. His power over an audience was shown in 1842, at a 
public meeting in the courthouse, called to denounce the Pittsburgh represent 
ative in Congress (William W. Irwin) for ratting to Tyler. The audience was 
in favor of Irwin, and would not allow any vote to be taken nor anyone to 
speak. The meeting turned into a mob, the officers went out of the house by 
the back window, and the clamor and racket were so terrific that fearful citizens 
dreaded a riot. In this emei-gency Biddle was brought in; some of the officers 


resumed their seats, and as soon as Biddle's name was mentioned the audience 
quieted to perfect stillness. They heard him attentively, and allowed him to 
speak twice; but as soon as an attempt was made to read the resolutions the 
racket began again, and ended by the dispersal of the meeting. This audience 
would listen to Biddle as long as he wanted to speak, but it would not permit 
the adoption of resolutions to which it was opposed. Such instances of deep 
personal respect are very rare. 

Neville B. Craig was one of the old-time members of the bar, and well 
qualiiied to shine at it; but he early turned his attention to the press, and dis- 
tinguished himself as an editor. Leonard S. Johns was also a lawyer, but is 
known to the old generation only as an alderman or justice of the peace, to 
which offices he devoted his life. Two names of members of the bar, in the 
earlier part of the century, attract attention because they earned a national 
reputation in other fields. These are Robert J. Walker and Robert McClelland. 
Both of these gentlemen began their legal careers here, but Walker soon after- 
ward moved to Mississippi, and McClelland to Michigan. Walker rose to be 
United States senator, and finally to be secretary of the treasury, and was the 
author of the tariff of 1846, with which Pennsylvania found so miich fault. 
McClelland was elevated to the cabinet by President Pierce, and both he and 
Walker must have attained to great prominence in their new fields to be 
worthy of such promotion. Ross Wilkins also (a half-brother of William) 
began life as a lawyer here, went to Michigan, and was finally made judge of 
the United States district court in that state. Daniel Agnew is another 
who began his legal life here. He afterward migrated to Beaver; has served 
as judge of the state supreme court, and is still, at a hale old age, practicing 
his profession ably and faithfully. 

Among other names of this period we find mention of "Hopkins." Was 
this the man who afterward studied divinity, became rector of Trinity Church, 
and was finally made bishop of Vermont? Not being positively sure of the 
facts, they are given interrogatively. If this was the man, his subsequent 
career proved that a good lawyer was not spoiled by making him a bishop. 
The name also occurs, in this list, of Duncan S. Walker, of whom nothing has 
been gleaned, and that of Joseph Buffington, who belongs properly to the 
Armstrong county bar. All the adjoining counties furnished young recruits 
for the bar by educating them here and taking them home as soon as they 
became promising. 

The far-off counties also furnished their qu^ota of new men to our bar. 
Benjamin Patton, Jr., came here from Union county, and served for awhile as 
United States district attorney. He was finally made president judge of the 
criminal court and court of common pleas, and served as such until the judges 
were made elective. He is still living, in Ohio, and was present at the county 
centennial, in 1888. Two other gentlemen also came in here fi-om Northern 
Pennsylvania, Robert C. Grier and Hopewell Hepburn. Grier came here to 


till the place of judge of the district court of this county, which place he tilled 
with great acceptability to all uutil he was made a judge of the United States 
supreme court, on the bench of which he remained until his death. Hepburn 
came, also, as an appointed judge of the district court, and served until 1851, 
when he was displaced by the judge elected by the people. He afterward 
opened an office and resumed the practice of the law, and was subsequently 
elected president of the Allegheny bank. He was a man of fine legal capac 
ities, but death soon cut his career short. 

Henry C. Moorhead came here from Lycoming county, as prosecuting 
attorney for this county, somewhere between 1840 and 1850; but he was a man 
of very feeble health, and a cripple, and he did not live long. James Dun- 
lap and A. J. Durboraw came about the same time fi-om Franklin county. 
Dunlap was the author of several legal works, and was rated as a sound and 
trusty lawyer. Jasper E. Brady came in later, from the same county, but 
finally moved to Washington, D. C, being a clerk in the pay department for 
several years before his death. He represented the Franklin district in con- 
gress fi'om 18-17 to 18-1:9. 

Edwin M. Stanton must have moved here from Ohio about 1850. He was 
a partner of Charles Shaler, and remained in practice here rmtil the war of 1861 
broke out. He was never what could be called a popular man at the bar. but 
everyone recognized in him a giant intellectually. This recognition begot, 
naturally, in some minds, a wholesome fear of him. 

Marshall Swartzwelder was a young man at the bar in 1840. In 1S44 he 
was elected on the whig ticket, with Thomas J. Bigham, to the state legis- 
lature. He remained in this position for two or three years, but it had not 
the attractions for him it had for Bigham. He devoted himself to the prac- 
tice of the law, and attained to a very high position as one of the best -read 
" black-letter " men of the bar. He was tilled to the brim with a knowledge 
of the old legal authorities, and was a terror, in the criminal court, to all young 
practitioners. He became a great criminal lawyer, and when in his prime 
was on one side or the other of all large criminal cases. Bigham was more 
of a iiolitician than a lawyer. 

Of the other names that recur to the memory, of men who distinguished 
themselves at the bar from 1840 to 1870, mention may be made of John 
D. Mahon, William W. Irwin, Cornelius Darragh, Loomis, Metcalf, J. I. 
Kuhn, Kobert Woods, A. B. Todd, Moses Hampton, Joseph Knox, Samuel W. 
Black, Thomas McConnell, Thomas Mellon, George P. Hamilton, T. J. Fox 
Alden, William M. Shinn, D. W. Bell. John Barton, David Reed and David 

John D. Mahon was a brisk, bustling, active man, and was very generally 
retained in criminal cases. William W. Irwin was chosen mayor of Pittsburgh 
in January, 1840, and in October of the same year was elected to Congress. 
He served but one term, siding with Tyler in 1841, and thus losing the con- 

^yJ. ^ . ^^^^.^^5^^^-^, 


fidence of his constituency. Tyler appointed him minister to Denmark in 
1843, and he never resumed the practice of law afterward. He came of a good 
family, and had a good position at the bar. Cornelius Darragh belonged, also, 
to an old home family, and had a splendid practice. He was elected to Con- 
gress in 1844 and 1846, and was attorney-general of the state under Gov. 
Johnson from 1849 to 1852. Mr. Loomis came here from Ohio somewhere 
about 1850, and entered business with O. Metcalf, Esq. This firm had a 
splendid legal business, and few men ever stood higher at the Pittsburgh bar 
than Mr. Loomis. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the republican 
nomination to Congress in 1858, but his chief distinction lay in his deserved 
reputation as a great lawyer and "pleader. J. I. Kuhn was also a great law- 
yer, but not of any prominence as a talker. He was a close and careful 
student of the law, and always a safe and trusty counselor. Robert Woods 
was a native, and the descendant of an old family. He had a magnificent 
practice, and his aid was always sought in difficult and doubtful cases. He 
cut his life short by overwork. A. B. Todd was another instance of a great 
lawyer concealed by his garb as a counselor. He had a circle of devoted 
legal adherents around him, and, although he made little public record, was 
the trusted counselor of the many who had faith in hira. 

Moses Hampton moved here from Somerset, and at once worked into a 
prominent position as a successful pleader. He was elected to Congress in 
1848 and 1850, and was subsequently elected judge of the district court, 
where he served for twenty years, dying full of years and honor. The old 
law firm of Hampton & Millers, embracing, besides the judge, Jacob Miller 
and Alexander H. , was a celebrated one in its day, all three of its members 
being keen, sharp and practical business-men. 

Joseph Knox is hardly known to the present generation. He was a very 
genial, pleasant gentleman, with some peculiarities, but a well-read lawyer 
and a successful one. He died early. Thomas McConnell was a plain, 
undemonstrative man, but of solid acquirements, profound in his jiidgments 
and convictions, conscientious and just. As a lawyer he acquired a large 
practice through the indomitable honesty of his character. 

Samuel W. Black was the son of Rev. John Black, a well-known Cove- 
nanter preacher, and was a brilliant and very popular lawyer. He went out 
as colonel of one of the Pennsylvania regiments in the Mexican war, and dis- 
tinguished himself there in the siege of Puebla. When the war of 1861 
broke out, he again went out at the head of a regiment, and was killed in the 
stormy battle-year of 1863. He was intensely patriotic. A whig in 1840, he 
became a democrat in 1844, and remained so until his death. 

Of John P. Penney, Hamilton, Alden, Shinn, Bell, Barton, Reed and 
Ritchie, all now dead, it can be said of all, as of each of them, that they were 
ornaments of the bar, successful lawyers and good citizens, who are all still 
affectionately remembered as men who had made their marks in their time. 


To go fiu'ther in the enumeration of the members of the bar would be to 
trench upon the domain of the present, and discuss the characters of men still 
upon the stage of public life, which hardly comes within the province of his- 
tory. The bar, since 1840, has grown rapidly in numbers, and the subject, 
when fairly and fully treated, becomes too voluminous for a volume of this 
character. This chapter is a long one, yet no one name has been dwelt upon at 
any great length, and much has had to be omitted that it would otherwise have 
been desirable to insert. It is enough to say that Allegheny county has always 
been distinguished by the ability of its bar. Men of great national character, 
like Ross, Forward, Wilkins, R. J. Walker, McCelland, Baldwin, Grier, Brack- 
enridge and Addison, have grown to the stature of men, first, in its courts, and 
at no period of its history has it been devoid of distinguishing legal talent. 
It is said of an old Steubenville lawyer that he was once examining a candidate 
for admission to the bar, and asked him the stock question, ' ' What is a 
court?" "A court," said the applicant, pompously, " is a place where justice 
is judiciously administered." "Not always," said the examining lawyer, 
shaking his head, ' ' not alicays. ' ' The answer given in Blackstone is "a 
place where justice is judiciaZZ// administered. " The difference between Jiedi- 
cially sxiA judiciously is a marked one; and yet it can safely be said of the 
Allegheny county courts that, fi'om the tii-st, they have been places where jus- 
tice is both judicially and judiciously administered: and for this reputation the 
courts are indebted, mainly, to the high character of the members of the bar, 
to the reputation of its members for integrity and legal ability, and to the 
ever-present consciousness of their responsibility as the oflBlcers of the courts. 



Presbyterian— United Presbyterian — Reformed Presbyterian — Cumber- 
land Presbyterian— Reformed (German). 


THE reformation in Europe culminated in the development of four great 
groups of Protestant churches, the Lutheran, the Reformed, the Episco- 
palian and the Independent churches. The Presbyterian chiu-ches of the 
world belong to the great family of Reformed churches. Their theology is vari- 
ously denominated by theologians as Pauline, Augustinian or Calvinistie. 
Their polity emphasizes the headship of the Lord Jesus in the Church, the 


parity of the ministry, and the principle of popular representation in the delib- 
erative assemblies of the Church. They hold, with the best-instructed scholars 
of modern Christendom, that the terms episkopos and presbyteros, used in the 
New Testament as titles of the ministry, designated one and the same office, and 
repudiate diocesan episcopacy as unscriptural. The government of the indi- 
vidual congregation is administered by a "session, "composed of the " bishop" or 
' ' pastor' ' of the church and a number of ' ' ruling elders ' ' chosen by the people 
to cooperate with him. The government of the congregations within cer- 
tain territorial limits is committed to the "presbytery," or "classis,"' consisting 
of the bishops or presbji;ers, and one ruling elder from each of the churches. 
Appeals are carried from the session to the presbytery, which has the power of 
review and control over the sessions of all the churches under its jurisdiction. 
Jurisdiction over the presbyteries is maintained by the ' ' synods, ' ' constituted of 
an equal number of pastors and elders representing a number of presbyteries. 
Appeals are taken from the presbytery to the synod. A hnal court of appeal 
is provided among the larger bodies of the Presbyterian order in their ' ' general 
assemblies," which have the authority to review and control the proceedings of 
the lower courts upon proper presentation of cases. The general assemblies 
are delegated bodies, the members of which are chosen by the presbyteries. 

The Reformed churches represented in Allegheny county are the follow- 
ing: " The Presbyterian Church in the United States of America," commonly 
designated simply as "The Presbyterian Church ; " " The United Presbyterian 
Church, " " The Reformed Presbyterian Church, " " The Cumberland Presby- 
terian Church, ' ' and ' ' The Reformed Church in America, ' ' commonly known 
as " The German Reformed Church. " There are also one or two independent 
church organizations claiming the name of Presbyterian. 

In the following pages a brief epitome of the history of each of these de- 
nominations will be given, followed by a short historical account of its growth 
in Allegheny county, accompanied by a list of the congregations, arranged in 
the chronological order of their organization, together with the names and 
terms of service of their respective pastors, and the latest statistical tables of 
their membership and contributions to benevolence. 


The various churches of Great Britain and the continent were transplanted 
to the soil of the New World as the tides of emigration began to flow toward the 
setting sun. In New England the Congregationalists, and afterward less 
prominently the Baptists, wielded influence and laid the foundation of the 
rising institutions of church and state. In New York and New Jersey the Re- 
formed church of Holland held sway. The first colonization of Pennsylvania 
was undertaken by the Quakers. In Delaware Swedish Lutherans, and in 
Maryland Roman Catholics, were the first settlers. Episcopacy was established 
in Virginia by the English, and in the Carolinas the Huguenots, as the mem- 


bers of the Reformed church of France were called, found an asylum fi-om 
persecution. But everywhere along the coast, but more especially in the 
colonies lying to the south of New England, the Presbyterians of Scotland and 
Ireland gradually asserted themselves. From 1629 to 1640 a considerable 
Presbyterian immigration found its way from Great Britain and Ireland to 
New England. The names of many places, especially in Southern New Hamp- 
shire, attest the historic fact that the early colonists were of Scotch or Scotch- 
Irish origin. The first sermon preached in the English language upon Man- 
hattan island was delivered in the Reformed Dutch Church in the fort, now 
the Battery, by Rev. Francis Doughty,* an English Presbyterian. This 
was in the year 1643. In 1644 Rev. Richard Denton, a Presbyterian min- 
ister from Yorkshire, who had removed with a part of his charge to Water- 
town, Mass., became the pastor of the Presbyterian church at Hempstead, 
Long Island. In 1649 a colony of English Presbyterians settled at the mouth 
of the Severn river in Maryland. In 1656 Nathaniel and Daniel Denton, sons 
of Richard Denton, were instrumental in founding a Presbyterian church at 
Jamaica, Long Island, which remains to-day, and is the oldest in the great 
sisterhood of Presbyterian churches in the United States. In 1667 Rev. 
Abraham Pierson, who had thirty years before settled at Lynn, Mass., became 
the pastor of what is now the First Presbyterian Church of Newark, N. J. But 
it was not until the beginning of the eighteenth century that the scattered and 
isolated churches felt the influence of that organizing power which is one of 
the chief characteristics of the Presbyterian polity. The leading sfiirit in the 
movement which looked toward the erection of a presbytery in the colonies 
was Francis Makemie, an Irish Presbyterian, who in 1684 had founded the 
church of Snow Hill, in Maryland. He was greatly aided by Rev. Jedidiah 
Andrews, a graduate of Harvard College, who in 1701 was ordained the pastor 
of the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. 

The ' ' General Presbytery, " as it was called, was organized in the year 
1705-6, and consisted of Ministers Francis Makemie, John Hampton, George 
McNish, Samuel Davis, John Wilson, Jedidiah Andrews and Nathanael Tay- 
lor. Of the churches represented in the presbytery at that time, those of 
Snow Hill, Md., New Castle, Del., Philadelphia, Pa., and Freehold, N. J., 
are still in existence, and flourish in a green old age. The iirst meeting of the 
presbytery was held at Freehold, N. J., in 1706, Francis Makemie presiding 
as moderator. The church now began rapidly to increase. New presbyteries 
were formed fi-om time to time, and in 1717 the "General Synod," consisting of 
the presbyteries of Philadelphia, New Castle, Snow Hill and Long Island, 
met in Philadelphia, and Rev. Jedidiah Andrews was chosen as moderator. 
In 1729 the synod passed what is known as the "Adopting Act," accepting 
the confession and catechisms of the Westminster Assembly as church stand- 
ards, and requiring the personal adoption of these standards by the ministers 

*Au aucestor of the writer. 


of the church. lu 1745 there occurred a division of the general synod into 
the synod of New York and the synod of Philadelphia. The principal point 
at issue concerned the qualifications of candidates for the ministry. The par- 
ties were known popularly as the "Old Side" and the "New Side." The 
Rev. Jedidiah Andrews was recognized as the leader of the former, and the 
Rev. William Tennent, of ' ' log-college' ' fame, was the leader of the latter. In 
1744 the " Old Side " party established an academy, and in 1746 the " New 
Side" founded Princeton College. In 1758 a reunion of the two parties took 
place, and the general synod was thereafter known as the synod of New York 
and Philadelphia. The year 1758 was not only eventful in the history 
of the Presbyterian Church, but also in that of Western Pennsylvania, the ter- 
ritory in which this church was destined to hold at a subsequent time a most 
conspicuous position of influence and usefulness. On Friday, the 24th of 
November, 1758, the French set lire to Fort Duquesne and abandoned it. 
This marked the first step toward that long series of disasters to the French 
arms which led to their final withdrawal fi'om the New World, and the over- 
throw of the influence of the Latin races and of the supremacy of the Church of 
Rome in broad territories to which they had heretofore laid exclusive claim. 

The years which followed were memorable both in church and in state. 
Events crowded rapidly upon each other, and the stream of immigration from 
Scotland and from the north of Ireland began to flow mightily into the central 
and southern colonies of the Atlantic seaboard. The movement to secure 
American independence began. We find the synod of New York and Phila- 
delphia, on May 22, 1775, issuing a pastoral letter to all the churches exhorting 
united support of the colonial cause, and on May 31st of the same year a con 
vention of Presbyterians at Mecklenburg, N. C. , united in a formal declara- 
tion of American independence. A year afterward we find Rev. John With- 
erspoon, the president of Princeton College, who was the only clerical mem- 
ber of the Continental Congress, with impassioned eloquence moving for and 
urging the passage of the Declaration of Independence which had been pre- 
pared by Thomas Jefferson. Many of the members of the Continental Congress 
were Presbyterians, and ruling elders in the churches, among them Richard 
Stockton, of Princeton, N. J., and the celebrated Dr. Benjamin Rush, of 
Philadelphia. It was in these years, when the infant nation was passing through 
the ordeal which attended its deliverance from the tyranny of an insensate king 
and court, that movements began to be made toward the planting of Christian 
institutions in the woodland wilderness of Western Pennsylvania. The pioneers 
in this development were the Presbyterians. 

The rapid growth of the church led to the necessity for a division of the 
synod of New York and Philadelphia, which took place in the year 1788. 
Four synods were erected, to one of which, — the synod of Virginia, — the pres- 
bytery of Redstone, which had been erected in 1781, and which covered the 
region now embraced in Allegheny county, was given. At the same time the 


presont constitution of the Presl)yteiian Church in the United States of Amer- 
ica was adopted, and a meeting of the general assembly was fixed for th(? third 
Thursday of May, 1789, in the Second Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, 
Rev. John Witherspoon, D. D. , to preach the opening sermon and preside un- 
til a moderator should be chosen. At the first meeting of the general assembly, 
which took place on the 21st of May, 1789, Rev. John Rodgers, D. D. , of 
the presbytery of New York, presided. The church at this time numbered 177 
ministers, 431 churches and about 18,000 communicant members. In the 
year 1811 the Cumberland presbytery withdrew. The cause of the separation 
was, among other things, the action of the presbytery in previous years in ordain- 
ing to the ministry persons not properly qualified to exercise the office. This 
action was censured by the higher courts of the church. The final result was 
the dissolution of the Cumberland presbytery by the ecclesiastical authorities, 
but the advocates of the new measui'es refused to recognize the act of the 
synod, and effected an organization of their own, which was the germ of what 
is now known as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 

In the year 1837 took place the great division between what were known as 
the "Old School" and the "New School" parties in the church. The causes 
of this division were largely found in a difference of sentiment as to the manner 
in which the church should conduct her benevolent operations. As early as 
1801 a "plan of union" between the general assembly and the Congregational 
association of Connecticut had been adopted which permitted Congregational 
ministers to serve Presbyterian churches, and vice versa, and permitted congre- 
gations to be represented in the courts of the church either by Presbyterian 
elders or Congregational committees, as the case might be. This affiliation led 
to the espousal by many Presbyterian churches of the work of benevolence as 
carried on by voluntary associations originating among the Congi-egationalists, 
such as the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. A senti- 
ment gradually gained ground among Presbyterians that it would be better to 
have the benevolent work of the church more strictly under ecclesiastical con- 
trol, and this led finally to a disruption. The ' ' New School ' ' party adhered to 
the system of voluntary associations, and continued the alliance with the Con- 
gregational churches; the general assembly adopted the Western Missionary 
Society, which had been organized in Pittsburgh, and established the Presby- 
terian Board of Foreign Missions. In 1838 two assemblies met in Phila- 
delphia, known as the "Old School Assembly'' and the "New School Assem- 
bly," and the division lasted until 1869, when, on November 12th, a reunion 
was consiimmated in the Third Church of Pittslnirgh. On December 4, 1861, the 
' ' General Assemljly of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of 
America " met at Augusta, Ga. It embraced under its jurisdiction the churches 
in the seceding states wp to that time identified with the Presbyterian Chiu-ch 
in the United States of America. Upon the failure of the slaveholders' rebell- 
ion in 1865 the title of this body was formally changed, and it has since been 
known as the "Presbyterian Church iu the United States." 


The Presbyterian Church in the United States of America is the largest of 
all the various Presbyterian churches in this country, and may lay claim, in 
some respects, to be a national church; for, while tracing its pedigree back to the 
Established Church of Scotland, it has drawn to itself elements out of all the 
churches and all the immigrations which have come to our shores, and has 
thus in the lapse of years acquired a development which is strictly its own, and 
peculiar in many respects to the land in which it is found, the institutions 
of which its clergy and laity have had a powerful influence in molding. It is 
a well-known historic fact that the views of some of the ablest among the 
framers of the constitution of the United States were shaped by a careful study 
of the polity of the Presbyterian Church, and many of the features of that 
remai'kable document reflect the influence of that ecclesiastical system which 
is one of the soui'ces of the strength of the reformed churches. 

Statistics of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, 1888: Synods, 
28; presbyteries, 303; ministers, .5,789; licentiates, 314; candidates, 997; churches, 6,543; 
elders, 22,434; deacons, 7,210; communicants, 722,071 ; Sabbath-school membership, 793,- 
442; contributions to benevolence, §4.015,121; contributions to congregational expenses, 
18,803,563; total contributions, $12,818,683. 


On Friday, the 24th of November, 1758. the French set fire to Fort 
Duquesne, and abandoned it. The same night the English and colonial troops 
under Gen. Forbes occuf)ied the place, and gave to it the name of Fort Pitt. 
The Sunday following, the 26th of November, was observed, by order of the 
general, as " a day of public thanksgiving to Almighty God, ' ' and a Presby- 
terian minister, Eev. Charles Beatty* chaplain of Col. Clapham's regiment 
of Pennsylvania troops, preached a thanksgiving sermon. This was the first 
Protestant sermon preached west of the Allegheny mountains. 

In the year 1766 Eev. Messrs. Charles Beatty and George Duiiieldf were 
sent by the synod to explore the region and ascertain what could be done to 
supply the spiritual necessities of the infant settlements. They found a Pres- 
byterian chaplain, by name of McLagan, at Fort Pitt, but elsewhere there were 
no eft'orts being made to preach the gospel. Shortly after the return of these 
two explorers, a Eev. Mr. Anderson was authorized to visit the region, and 
provision was made to recompense him for his labors, but of their results we 
know nothing. In 1769 the synod ordered the presbytery of Donegal to " pro- 
vide the western frontier with ten Sabbaths of ministerial labor." How the 
injunction was obeyed it is impossible now to ascertain. The first of the clergy- 

«The grandfather of the late Eev. C. C. Beatty, D. D., of Steubenville, Ohio, the well-kEOwu educator, and 
munificent benefactor ol Washington and Jefferson College and of the Western Theological Seminary in 

fSubsequently one of the chaplains of the Continental Congress, and the grandfather of the late George 
Duffield, D. D., of Detroit, the author of the well-known hymn, " Stand up. Stand up for Jesus," and the great- 
grandfather of the late Samuel W. Duffield, D. D.,of Bloomfield, N.J. , a distinguished literary critic and author. 


meu who visited the region for the purpose of ultimately making it his home 
was Rev. James Finley, who came across the mountains attended by a single 
companion in the year 1771. He did not, however, permanently settle in Western 
Pennsylvania until in 1788, aliout which time he became the pastor of the 
churches of Round Hill and Rehoboth, in Westmoreland county. In 1774 
Rev. James Power visited the new settlements, and in 1776 returned, bringing 
his family with him, and entered upon his labors as a missionary, becoming 
some years later the pastor of the chvirches of Sewickley and Mount Pleasant, 
in AVestmoreland county. The next of the pioneer ministers to arrive upon the 
ground was Rev. John McMillan, who came to Washington county in 1776, 
but owing to the danger of Indian incursions did not remove his family thither 
until two years later.* In 1777 Rev. Thaddeus Dodd came to the west. 
He labored until his death, in 1793, as the pastor of the congregations of Upper 
and Lower Ten Mile creeks, in Washington county. He was followed by Rev. 
Joseph Smith, who became the pastor of the churches of Cross creek and Buf- 
falo, in Washington county, in the spring of 1780, and remained there until his 
death in 1792. 

John McMillan, James Power, Thaddeus Dodd and Joseph Smith were 
all graduates of Princeton College, and were thoroughly equipped intellectually 
as well as morally for the work to which they had been providentially called. 
With undoubted learning they combined a large degree of practical good sense 
and the most ardent piety, and became the recognized leaders of thought in 
the communities in which they had come to make their homes. All of them 
powerful preachers, they became the instruments in God's hand for preparing 
the way for that great revival of religion which swept, at the end of the last 
and the beginning of the present century, from the woods of Southwestern 
Pennsylvania westward and southward, transfonning many a locality which 
had been a moral and spiritual waste into a " garden of the Lord." They 
were not only great in the pulpit, but they distinguished themselves as the 
friends of education. They planted schoolhouses as well as churches in the 
wilderness, and to their labors are due, directly and indirectly, the establish- 
ment of many of those institutions which are to-daj' and long have been 
fountains of beneficent influence, not only for Western Pennsylvania, but for 
the whole land as well. To these four men, the fathers of the presbytery of 
Redstone, the first organization formed for purposes of ecclesiastical govern- 
ment west of the mountains, the people of the great valley of which Pitts- 
burgh is the eastern gateway owe a debt of gratitude which can never be 
measured. Not only were they the founders of churches, and schools and 
colleges, but in the spirit of a true patriotism sought wisely to mitigate those 
animosities and sectional differences which at one time flamed up into the 
fires of open revolt against the government. In the troublous days of the 

♦The tree under which Dr. McMillan preached his first sermon west of the HoDongahela is still pointed out, 
and stands about six miles southeast of Cannonsburg, Pa. 




" whisky rebellion" " they did much to maintain the public peace, and when the 
people of Western Pennsylvania were roused into bitter opposition to the 
ratification of the treaty with Great Britain, negotiated by John Jay in 1794, 
upon the alleged ground that it sacrificed to England some of their undoubted 
rights, the friends of the measure felt it necessary to secure the approval of 
Dr. McMillan to the terms of the treaty in order to allay the irritation of the 
people. "Cardinal McMillan," as he was facetiously styled by one of the 
leading spirits of the frontier, found himself much courted by politicians at 
that time, and one of them exultingly wrote: "The obtaining of the patronage 
of Kev. John McMillan, whom I denominate the patriarch of the western 
church, was a grand acquisition. It secures our flanks perfectly." 

The presbytery of Redstone was organized in the year 1781. It covered 
all the country west of the Alleghenies and north of Virginia and Kentucky, a 
territory imperial in its dimensions, but at that time populated by wandering 
savages save on the eastern border, where the rising settlements formed a nar- 
row selvage of civilization. The first meeting of the presbytery was not held 
at Laurel Hill church, the appointed place of meeting, but at Pigeon creek, 
"because the circumstances of some of the members, by reason of the incur- 
sions of the savages, rendered it impracticable for them to attend at Laui-el 
Hill;" and the next stated meeting, appointed for April, 1782, was not held at 
all for the same reason. The people who looked to this presbytery for guid- 
ance in their ecclesiastical affairs were mainly of Scotch and Scotch-Irish 
extraction. They were a sturdy, intelligent, liberty-loving race, almost wholly 
given over to agricultural pursuits. At the time of the first settlement the 
vast mineral wealth of the region was unknown, or but dimly suspected. Of 
commerce there was of necessity but little, and what there was was carried 
on in the most primitive manner by means of packhorses, which were led 
through the mountain defiles, conveying the barest necessities from the east- 
ern seaboard, and taking back in return burdens of skins and furs, the product 
of the chase or of barter with the Indians. The first settlers made, homes for 
themselves upon the fertile lands of what are now Fayette, Westmoreland and 
Washington counties. The little village, composed of log cabins and rude 
huts, which had sprung up about Fort Pitt, did not at first furnish gi'eat attrac- 
tion to the better class of immigrants. A change, however, rapidly took place 
when, in 1784, by direction of the agent of the proprietaries, the town of Pitts- 
burgh was surveyed and laid out in lots, and settlement was formally invited. 
It was then first that we find any indication of the fact that the inhabitants of 
the infant community were to any degree possessed with a desire for religious 
instruction. At a meeting of the presbytery of Redstone, held at BufFalo on 
the 13th of April, 1784, it is recorded that "supplications for supplies" were 
presented from Muddy creek, the South Fork of Ten Mile, a vacant congrega- 
tion near Robinson's Run, and Pittsburgh, and on the following day the pres- 
bytery took action, and appointed Rev. Joseph Smith to "preach at Pitts- 


burgh the fourth Sal)bath of August." It must not, howpver. be understood 
that the fathers of that old presbytery had been unmindful before this of the 
spiritual destitution and wants of the people found within the limits of what 
is now Allegheny county. There is reason to believe that as early as 1777 Dr. 
John McMillan had labored among the settlers on the southern borders of the 
county. In 1778 the two churches of Lebanon and Bethel were organized. 
In 1781 they were united under the pastoral charge of Rev. John Clark, 
who labored as the stated supply of the two tields until 1783, when he was 
formally installed as the pastor of the little flocks, remaining in charge until 
April 15, 1789. He died in 1797, at the age of seventy-nine years. The 
churches of Bethel and Lebanon, both of them to this day vigorous and self- 
supporting, are the oldest churches of any denomination in Allegheny county. 
During the fall of 1784 and the spring of 1785 there was occasional preach- 
ing at "Fort Pitt," provided by the presbytery of Redstone. In the fall of 
this year Rev. Samuel Barr, a licentiate of the presbytery of Londonderry, 
Ireland, arrived, and, though not at first formally recognized by the presby- 
tery, began his work as pastor of the joint charges of the First Chui'ch of 
Pittsburgh and the church of Pitt township, now Beiilah Church. On the 
■29th of September, 1787, the " Presbyterian Congregation of Pittsbiirgh " was 
incorporated by act of legislature. The Penn heirs a few days before had 
deeded to the congregation the lots upon which the present First Church edi- 
fice stands, for the "consideration of five shillings as well as the laudable 
inclination they have for encouraging and promoting morality, piety and relig- 
ion in general, and more especially in the town of Pittsburgh." The congre- 
gation proceeded at once to erect a building of squared timbers, and here it 
continued to worship for some years, until the log church gave way to a more 
commodious structvire built of brick, which at a later date was superseded by 
the present imposing edifice. The pastorate of Rev. Samuel Barr, who had 
become a member of the presbytery, closed in 1789, and he removed to Del- 
aware, where he continued to labor in the ministry with acceptance. He died 
on May 31, 1818. The pulpit of the First Church of Pittsburgh, after the 
removal of Rev. Mr. Barr, was filled by various "supplies " until the year 1800. 
The sixteen years which passed from 1784 to 1800, during which the 
Church of Pittsburgh was feebly maintaining its existence, were years in which 
the growth of the church in the regions contiguous to Pittsburgh was vigorous. 
In 1793 the population in the territory covered by the presbytery of Redstone 
had so increased, and churches had multiplied to such an extent that, on the 
25th of September, 1793, the synod of Virginia, under which the presbytery of 
Redstone had been since 1788, resolved to create a new preslaytery, to be known 
as the presbytery of Ohio. It embraced that part of the United States lying 
north of Virginia and Kentucky, and bounded on the east by the Monongahela 
river and a line running in a generally northward direction fi'om its junction 
with the Allegheny to Presqu' Isle, or Erie. Under this arrangement Pitts- 


burgh and wheat is now Allegheny were left in connection with the old presby- 
tery of Redstone. The lirst meeting of the new presbytery took place on the 
22d of October, 1793, at Buffalo. Dr. McMillan was chosen moderator, and 
Rev. John Brice* was chosen clerk. The organization known as the presby- 
tery of Ohio continued to exist until the time of the reunion between the New 
and Old School divisions of the church, though the territory embraced under 
its jurisdiction was gradually diminished from time to time, by the erection of 
new presbyteries and the modification of boundaries, until at last its territory 
came to be practically coterminous with that covered by the presbytery of 
Pittsburgh. For three-quarters of a century the anomaly in nomenclature was 
presented of a presbytery in the state of Pennsylvania bearing the name of 
Ohio. The successive steps by which the territory of the presbytery of Ohio 
came to be reduced and its name changed may be briefly stated as follows : 

1801. On October 2d the presbytery of Erie was created out of the 
presbytery of Ohio by the synod of Virginia. The presbytery of Erie covered 
that part of Western Pennsylvania lying north of the Ohio and west of the 

1802. In May the synod of Pittsburgh was formed by the general 
assembly out of the presbyteries of Redstone, Ohio and Erie. 

1808. On October 7th the presbytery of Lancaster (Ohio) was formed 
from the presbytery of Ohio. 

1819. On October 8th the presbytery of Steubenville and the presbytery 
of Washington, the latter covering the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania 
and the upper part of what is now West Virginia, including Wheeling, were 
formed firom the presbytery of Ohio. 

1822. October 4th so much of the bounds of the presbytery of Redstone 
as were situated north and west of the rivers Ohio and Allegheny, together 
with the ministers John Andrews, Francis Herron, Joseph Stockton, Robert 
Patterson and Elisha P. Swift, with their several charges, were attached by 
the synod of Pittsburgh to the presbytery of Ohio. Prior to this time the 
territory included in the cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny had continued to 
be iinder the jurisdiction of the presbytery of Redstone, as we have seen. 

1837-38. The Third and the Fifth Presbyterian chiirches of Pittsburgh 
seceded, and with several other churches in the bounds of contiguous presby- 
teries organized the presbytery of Pittsburgh (New School). This presbytery, 
with other New School presbyteries, formed the synod of Pennsylvania (New 

1853 — October. The synod of Pittsburgh erected the presbytery of Alle- 
gheny City out of that part of the presbytery of Ohio which lay north of the 
Ohio and the Allegheny. This presbytery remained under the synod of Pitts- 
burgh for several years, when a synod of Allegheny was created, which was sup- 

* The grand-uncle of Hun. Calvin S. Brice. whose father, Rev. William Kirkpatrick Brice, was an 
honored minlBterof the Presbyterian church. 


planted by the synod of Erie at a later date. Just after tbe reunion in 1870 
the general assembly slightly altered the bounds of this presbytery, incor- 
porated with it certain churches which had come over from the Reformed 
presbytery of Pittsburgh, and changed the name to that of "Presbytery of 

1870. At the time of the reunion of the New and Old School branches of 
the church the name " Synod of Western Pennsylvania " of the New School 
party was given up and the name "Synod of Pittsburgh" of the Old School 
branch retained, while the name "Presbytery of Ohio" (Old School) was 
dropped and that of the New School party, ' ' Presbytery of Pittsburgh. ' ' 

Four presbyteries at the present time occupy in part the territory included in 
the bounds of Allegheny county, viz. : The presbytery of Redstone, the pres- 
bytery of Pittsburgh, the presbytery of Allegheny and the presbytery of 
Blairsville, erected in 1830 from the presbytery of Redstone. There are at 
the present time within the limits of Allegheny county eighty-two Presby- 
terian churches and six missions, distributed as follows: 

Churches. Missions. 

Presbytery of Pittsburgli 45 - 6 

Presbytery of Allegheny 31 

Presbytery of Blairsville 5 

Presbytery of Redstone 1 

Totals 83 6 

The year 1800 may be regarded as having marked the turning-point in the 
affairs of the churches in the city of Pittsburgh. At this time occurred that 
wonderful religious awakening known as " The Revival of 1800," the influence 
of which was felt all through the west and the southwest. At this time Rev. 
Robert Steele found his way to Pittsburgh, and began his ministrations in the 
pulpit of the First Church. He had fled from Ireland because of persecution, 
and, owing to delay in obtaining necessary doctiments from that country, was 
not received by the presbytery nor installed until 1802. About this time a num- 
ber of persons withdrew fi'om the First Church, and took steps looking toward 
organization of the Second Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh. This year was 
also memorable because of the organization of the synod of Pittsburgh, which 
held its first meeting in the First church of Pittsburgh. It was also memor- 
able because of the origination in the First Church of ' ' The Western Mission- 
ary Society, ' ' which later became ' ' The Board of Home Missions ' ' of the 
Presbyterian Church, the work of which has assumed national importance. 
For a period of nearly twenty-five years the history of the growth of the 
churches in Allegheny county is almost synonymous with the history of the 
First and Second Presbyterian churches of Pittsburgh. Churches were multi- 
plying all over the western country, but as the population was still sparse they 
were widely separated from each other. In 1800 the chm-ches of Bethel, 


Lebaaon, Mingo, Montours, Plum creek and Pitt township (Beulah) were 
the only Presbyterian churches organized in the county besides the First 
Church of Pittsburgh. In 1803 Hiland Church is reported as being one of 
those " unable to support a minister." In 1807 the congregation of Plains 
is reported as " able to support a minister, " and in 1808 Sewickley is men- 
tioned as unable to do so. In 1814 the churches of Bethany, Alleghenytown 
(First Presbyterian Church of Allegheny) and Pine creek appear to have orig- 
inated. In 1823 Duff's (now Fairmount) had a stated supply. In 1828 the 
East Liberty Presbyterian Chiu'ch and the church of Cross Roads were formed. 
In 1883 the Third Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh was organized. From 
this time forward the increase of population was rapid, and the multiplication 
of churches has gone on withovit intermission. 

The work of the Presbyterian churches in Allegheny county has not, how- 
ever, been confined to the task of building up the denomination within the 
immediate borders of the county. The Presbyterianism of Western Pennsyl- 
vania, characterized by a zealous regard for the principles of the church, has 
always consistently emphasized the duty of caring for the ignorant and destitute 
iu our own country and in other lands. And right here in the city of Pittsburgh 
the two great Boards of Home and Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian 
Church in the United States may be said to have had their birth, and here is 
located at the present day the Board of Missions to the Freedmen, which is 
charged with the duty of seeking to educate and evangelize the colored people 
of the south. The old First Church of Pittsburgh enjoys in this connection a 
peculiarly honorable position. Here in 1802 the ' ' Western Missionary Society, ' ' 
the forerunner of the Board of Home Missions, was formed, and here in 1831 
"The Western Foreign Missionary Society," the parent of the Board of 
Foreign Missions of the church at large, was organized, Hon. ^V alter B. 
Lowrie resigning his position as clerk of the United States senate in order to 
become its first secretary and treasurer. For many years this historical old 
church has been the rallying-point and place of meeting in the interest of all 
causes, denominational and undenominational, which have had in view the 
promotion of the moral and spiritual interests of the cities of Allegheny and 
Pittsburgh, and of Western Pennsylvania in general. 

The work of the church has not been confined simply to movements of a 
strictly religious character. True to the intellectual tendencies of that system 
of doctrines which is one of the chief glories of the Reformed churches, the 
fathers of Presbyterianism in Western Pennsylvania planted the schoolhouse 
beside the church. They founded Washington and Jefferson colleges, and in 
the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh the Western University of Pennsyl- 
vania was born. Here, too, the Western Theological Seminary, which holds a 
foremost place among the theological schools of the land, was formally organ- 
ized, and its first classes recited under the roof of the First church. In the 
First church of Pittsburgh the Allegheny County Bible Society was organized 


in 1818, and Hon. Harmar Denuy, ono of the elders of the First church, was 
its first president; encouraged and aided in his work by his pastor, that great 
and godly man, Dr. Francis Herron, who for forty years was the leader 
among the clergy of the Iron City in all those things which make for righteous- 
ness, having associated with him such noble spirits as Elisha P. Swift D. D., 
the pastor of the First Church in Allegheny, and David H. Kiddle, D. D. , pastor 
of the Third Presbyterian Church, who, in spite of the withdrawal of that church 
into the " New School " body, did not fail to labor in the spirit of fraternity and 
with the utmost zeal and coiirage on behalf of all things calculated to promote 
the welfare of the Christian community. The zeal displayed by the founders 
of the church in this region has not been lost by their descendants, and in 
comparatively recent years the establishment of the Pennsylvania Female 
College and of the Shadyside Academy are evidence of the sincere interest 
which is felt in the higher education of the youth of these cities. 

Within the brief compass of a sketch like the present it is impossible to 
give an adequate idea of all that the church has accomplished in the manifold 
departments of activity which have been opened before her. To a very great 
degree the intelligence, wealth and social prestige of the population of these great 
communities have been represented within the pale of the Presbyterian Church. 
The leading spirits in the organization of the First Church in Pittsburgh repre- 
sented the best elements in the rising community. Many of the founders of this 
chui'ch had been officers in the revolutionary army, among them Gen. James 
O'Hara, Maj. Isaac Craig, Maj. Ebenezer Denny, Col. Stephen Bayard and 
Col. John Gibson. The first elder in the church, Capt. John Wilkins, was a 
man of gi'eat moral force. His son, Hon. William Wilkins, rose to distinc- 
tion in the service of his country, being at different times a judge. United 
States senator, minister to Russia and secretary of war. The first president 
judge of the courts of Allegheny county was Hon. Alexander Addison, who 
in early life was a licentiate of the presbytery, but who forsook the pulpit for the 
bar, and became one of its brightest ornaments. During his long and honorable 
life he was one of the most devoted among the members of that old church, in the 
pulpit of which he had occasionally preached in his youth. Judges Johnston, 
Wallace and Snowden were among the early members of this church. In 
fact, an examination of the records of the churches reveals that a very large 
proportion of those who have been eminent at the bar of this county have been 
actively identified with the work of the Presbyterian churches as elders or as 

In consequence of this close affiliation of the church with the people, through 
their recognized leaders, a happy influence has been exerted, and the re.sult is seen 
in the tempering by the principles of Christian charity of all the great public 
activities of the community to a remarkable degree. The hospitals and asylums, 
the schools and colleges, the Christian associations, the various movements 
begotten during the war of the rebellion for the relief of the wounded and 


sick soldiery, and for their spiritual instruction, the movements on behalf of 
temperance, the execution of the laws as against the lawless — all these have felt 
the vivifying and refining touch of that ecclesiastical life which, born of the 
Holy Spirit under the preaching of McMillan, Patterson, Powers and Dod, 
has been perpetuated under God through the ministrations of such men as 
Herron, the Swifts, Riddle, Howard, Jacobus, Beatty, Wilson and Mcllvaine, 
aided by men in the ranks of the laity whom God endowed with grace, wisdom 
and wealth to a commanding degree. 

Following is a list of the Presbyterian churches in Allegheny county, 
chronologically arranged in the order of their organization, together with the 
names of their successive pastors. This list gives the name of the church, 
preceded by the date of organization and followed by the name of the presby- 
tery to which it belongs. The former name of the church, if it had one, is 
enclosed in brackets. S. S. stands for stated supply. 

1778. Lebanon; Pittsburgh.— John Clark, 1781-89; William Woods, 1796-1830; Thom- 
as D. Baird, 1837-35; Samuel Henderson, 1836-40; William G. Johnston, 1841-45; John 
McConoughy, 1846-48; O. H. Miller, 1848-58; A. O. Rockwell, 1858-69; S. S. Shriver, 
1870-76; R. H. Fulton, 1877-80; G. N. Johnston, 1884^. 

1778. Bethel; Pittsburgh.— Jolm Clark, 1781-96; William Woods, 1797-1831; George 
Marshall, D. D., 1833-72; C. W. Wycoff, 1873-. 

1784. Beulah ["Bullock Pens," "Pitt Township"]; Blairsville. — Samtiel Barr, 
1786-88; supplies, 1788-1804; James Graham, 1804-45; J. M. Hastings, 1846-65; Thomas 
M. Brown, 1866-69; James A. Marshall, 1869-73; James Hunter, 1874-77; William S. 
Miller. 1877-88; W. W. Ralston, D. D.. 1888-. 

1784. First Ghnrch of PiUsburgJi.; Pittsburgh.— Samuel Barr, 1785-89; Robert Steele, 
1803-10; Francis Herron. D. D., 1811-50; William M. Paxton, D. D., 1851-65; S. F. Scovel, 
D. D., 1866-83; George T. Purves, D. D., 1886-. 

1788. Montours; Pittsburgh.— Joseph Patterson, 1789;-99; John, McLean, 1800-08, 
Michael Law, 1811-31; Robert Laird, 1836-38; John K. Cunningham, 1830-40; Thomas 
Gordon. 1843-45; Thomas Stevenson, 1846-54; Isaac N. McKinney, 1854-57; Levi Risher, 
1857-59: H. C. Foulke, 1864-67; J. J. Beacom, 1868-77; H. T. McClelland, 1878-81: R. J. 
Phipps, 1886-. 

1791. Plum Creek ["Ebenezer," " Puckety," or " Ebenezer on Puckety"]; Blairs- 
ville.— Francis Laird, 1800-31; Samuel Montgomery, 1832-34; Samuel McClung, 1837-59; 
G. M. Spargrove, 1861-65; J. D. Moorhead, 1865-73; J. M. Hamilton, 1873-86; T. B. 
Anderson, 1887-. 

1796. Bull Creek; Allegheny.— Various S. S., 1796-1803; William A. Boyd, 1803-33; 
Samuel Caldwell, 1834; John Johnston, S. S., 1838; Thomas W. Kerr, 1840-47; John M. 
Smith, 1848-56; G. W. Taylor, 1856-63; G. W. Jackson, 1863; J. F. Boyd, 1863-66; Thomas 
Johnston, 1871-86. 

1801, McEeesport; Redstone.— Boyd Mercer, S. S., 1803-23, Alex. McCandless, 1835- 
38; William Eaton, 1841^4; Samuel Hill, S. S., 1844-45; Prosper H. Jacob, 1847-51; 
Nathaniel West, Sr., D. D., 1854^56; R. F. Wilson, 1856-67; G. M. Hair, 1869-72; J. W. 
Wightmau, 1872-77; Samuel McBride, 1877-79; George N. Johnston, 1880-84; J. J. 
McCarrell, 1884-. 

1803-05. Second Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh. — Nathanial R. Snow- 
den, May, 1805-December, 1805: John Boggs, October, 1807-December, 1807; Thomas 
Hunt, 1809-18; Elisha P. Swift, D. D., 1819-33; Joseph W. Blythe, 1834-36; Robert Dun- 
lap, 1837-47; WiUiam D. Howard, D. D., 1849-76; W. S. Stites, 1877-79; William 
McKir)biu. 1880-88. 


1803. Hilands; Allegheny.— Robert Patterson, S. 8., 1803-33; Joseph Reed. 1836-39; 
J. Watson Johnson, 1841-49; James R. Smith, 1850-54; J. Arthur, S. S., 1855-56; M. L. 
Wortman, S. S., 1856-57; William B. McKee, S. S., 1857-58; M. L. Wortman, 1858-69; 
James Mclntire, 1869-70; John M. Smith, 1871-74; W. W. Morton, 1875-80; M. L. Wort- 
man, 1880-86; J. J. Graham, 1886-. 

1805-10. Pine Creek Second Church: Allegheny [originally and until 1870 a Reformed 
Presbyterian Churchl.— Matthew Williams. 1809-28; Thomas C. Guthrie, D. D.. 18i8-.56; 
Thomas Johnston, 1856-85. 

1807. PfaiHs; Allegheny.— Reid Bnioken, 1808-19; John Moore, 1828-31; Lelaud R. 
McAboy, D. D., 1837-57; John W. Potter, 1863-66; Samuel R. Kerr, 1868; Levi Risher, 
1870-76; R. J. Creswell, 1876-79; G. M. Potter, S. S., 1882. 

1814. Bethany; Pittsburgh.— Alexander Cook, 1815-20; William Je£Eery. D. D., 
1821-.55; Cyrus G. Braddock, 1855-74; John F. Hill, 1876-84; V. G. Sheeley, 1880-. 

1814. Firat Church of AllegJieny: Allegheny. — There was preaching in Allegheny- 
town from 1814 onward, but the formal organization of the First Church did not take 
place till 1830. Joseph Stockton and others, S. S.. 1814-31; Job F. Halsey, 1831-35; 
Elisha P. Swift, D. D., 183.5-64; Elliot E. Swift, D. D.. 1861-87; David S. Kennedy, 

1815. Phie Creek; Allegheny.— Joseph Stockton, 1815-33; Samuel Caldwell, 1833-34 ; 
James Campbell, 1834-38; Timothy Alden, 1838-40; J. W. Johnston, 1841-48; various S. 
S., 1848-56; John F. McLaren, D. D., 1856-62; G. M. Potter, 1863-79; S. S., 1880-. 

1817. SJiaron [Flaugherty's] ; Pittsburgh.— Andrew McDonald, 1817-; Robert Ruther- 
ford, 1827-28; S. C. Jennings, D. D., 1829-79; S. R. Gordon, 1880-83; J. M. Mercer, 

1832. Fairmount [Duff's Mills Church]; Allegheny.— John Andrews, S. S., 1834-31 : 
John Moore. S. S., 1833-36; Daniel E. Nevin, 1843-46; Robert McPhersou, 1847-50; G. W. 
Shaiffer, 1853-55; Henry R. Wilson. D. D., 18.5.5-59; Aaron Williams, D. D., 1860; Edward 
Swift, licentiate, 1862; Aaron Williams, D. D., S. S., 1863; John Potter, 1864-65; Samuel 
P. Kerr, 1868-69; Levi Risher, 1870-76; B. O. Junkin, 1878-83; Robert McPherson. 1885- . 

1828. East Liberty; Pittsburgh.— William B. Mcllvaine, 1830-70; John Gillespie, D. 
D., 1865-82; B, L. Aguew, D. D., 1883-84; J. P. E. Kumler, D. D., 1884-. 

1828. Cross Roads: Allegheny.— John Moore, 1828-34; Leland R. McAboy, D. D., 
1837-71; James D. Shanks, 1873-74; John W. Little, 1875-83; R. B. Potter, 1882^7. 

April 30, 1830. Mount Pisgah [Chess' Tent] ; Pittsburgh.— Mount Pisgah, under the 
pastorate of R. McPherson, was united with Manstield, and its name changed to Mansfield 
in October, 1855. In 1870 the church now known by the former name of Mount Pisgah 
was formed by a separation of the congregations under the name of Mansfield. S. C. Jen- 
nings, D. D. 1830-48; John B. Graham. 1848-50; Robert McPherson, 1850-68; Ezra R. 
Heany, 1869-73; G. W. Bean, 1874-77; P. S. Jennings, 1877-. 

1833. Tarentum; Allegheny.— Joseph Johnson, S. S., six months; Samuel Caldwell, 
1834-43; James M. Smith, 1855-; W. G. Taylor, 1857-62; Samuel Ramsey, 1863-64: Watson 
Hughes. S. S., 1866; Marcus Wishart, 1867-70; George Scott, 1871-77; W. E. Oiler, 1878- 
82; A. F. Walker, 1884-. 

March 19, 1833. Third Church of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh.- David H. Riddle, D. D., 
1833-57; Henry Kendall, D. D., 1857-61; Herrick Johnson, D. D.. LL. D., 1862-67; Fred- 
erick A. Noble, D. D., 1868-75; 8. H. Kellogg, D. D., January, 1877-October, 1877; Charles 
L. Thompson, D. D., 1878-S3; Edward P. Cowan, D. D., 1883-. 

June 23, 1833. Seventh Church of Pittsburgh [Minersville]; Pittsburgh. — Various 
supplies. 1833-39: S. M. Sparks, 1839-61; supplies, 1861-67; S. M. Sparks, 1867-69; William 
McKibbin, 1873-74; F. L. Senour. 187.5-77; Joseph E. Andrews, 1877-79: R. A. Hill, 1883-. 

1836. Lawrencerille ( Thirty-ninth Street) Church; Pittsburgh.— Richard Lea, S. T. 
D., 1836-83; John Stark McConnell, 1877-87; A. G. Linn, 1888-. 

Feb. 17, 1838. Seicickley; Allegheny. — Services were held at Scwickley by various 

■trie jrmsieri •-'- 



ministers from 1807 and onward, but the formal organization of a churcb did not occur 
until 1838. Daniel E. Nevin. 1838-47; James Allison. D. D., 1849-64; J. B. Bittinger. 
D. D., 1864-85; William O. Campbell, D. D., 188.5-. 

June, 1838, Sharpsburg; Alleghen}-.— James Campbell, 1838-41; J. W. Murray, 1841 
-53; Alex. Shand, 1853-56; Alex. Sinclair, 18.56-58; S. J. Wilson, 1858-61; J. M. Smith, 
1861-67; T. M. Wilson, 1867-70; W. C. Falconer, 1870-72; Thomas Lawrence, 1872-79; 
J. T. Gibson, 1880-. 

1840. Valley; Pittsburgh.— Smith F. Grier, 1842-52; S. C. Jennings, D. D., 1857-68; 
M. N. Cornelius, 1871-73; W. P. Harbison, 1869-70; William Hanna, 1874-80; S. H. Moore, 
1883-85; supplies, 1885-. 

Nov. 9, 1841. West Elizabeth; Pittsburgh.— Various supplies, 1841-69; William Hanna, 
1869-73; William McCrea, 1874-79; Joseph E. Andrews, 1879-85; Robert Boyd, 1887-. 

Spring, 1843. Long Island; Pittsburgh.— S. C. Jennings, D. D.. 1843-57; M. L. 
Wortman, 1858-66; various supplies, 1866-73; M. L. Wortman, 1873-80; supplies, 1880-86; 
M. L. Wortman, S. S., 1886-88; W. 8. P. Cochran, 1888-. 

Octobers, 1843. Second Presbyterian Church of Allegheny [Manchester]; Allegheny. 

—Luther Halsey, 1843-45; Thomas Gordon, 1846-.50; Bennett, 1851-.53; L.L.Conrad, 

1853-67; J. E. Wright, 1866-68; W. P. Moore, 1869-76; J. L. Fulton, 1876-. 

Winter, 1847. Eighth Presbyterian Church o/ P(««J;;r^A [Temperanoeville]; Pitts- 
burgh.— Robert McPherson, 1850-52; A. D. Campbell, D. D., S. S., 1855-56; J. Y. McCart- 
ney, 18.59-64; P. S. Jennings, 1865-69; E. R. Donehoo, 1869-. 

August 22, 18.50. Sixth Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh.— D. McKin- 
ley, 1850-52; T. B. Wilson, 1852-55; Samuel Findley, D. D., 1857-61; S. J. Wilson, D. D., 
LL. D., 1862-76; H. G. Mendenhall, 1878-80; H. T. McClelland, 1881-86; John J. Patter- 
son, 1887-. 

July 21, 1851. First Church of Birmingham [South Side] ; Pittsburgh.— Thomas T. 
Bradford, July, 18.53-September, 18.53; Rev. Mr. St. Clair, S. S., October, 1853-August, 
1854; Rev. Mr. Rowan, S. S., 1855; Rev. J. Dickson, 185.5-58; James Reed, 1858-63; George 
Little, 1863-64; P. S. Davies, 1864-72; G. H. Humphreys, 1874-76; J. C. Ely, 1877-80; G. 
H. Webster, 1880-84; Alex. Jackson, 1885-88. 

January 14, 1852. Mansfield: Pittsburgh.— Robert McPherson, 1853-68; F. R. Wot- 
ring, 1869-78; Joseph M. Duff, 1880-. 

May 7, 1854. Central Church of Allegheny; Allegheny.— W. S. Plummer, D. D., LL, D., 
1854-63; Thomas X. Orr, 1883-69; George P. Hays, D. D., 1869-70; W. H. Gill, 1872-77; 
L N. Hays, D. D., 1878-. 

June 30, 1857. Mount Washington; Pittsburgh.— J. Y. McCartney, 1858-64; James 
Kirk, 1864-65; P. S, Jennings, 1866-83; N. S. Hoey, 1884-86; E. S. Farrand, 1888-. 

June 27, 1859. First German Church of Allegheny ; Allegheny. — Rev. John Launitz, 

September 7, 1860. Emsworth; Allegheny.— M. L. Wortman, 1861-64; A. Williams, 
D. D., S. S., 1864-69; M. L. Wortman, 1869-73; J, S. McConnell, 1873-76; R. M. Brown, 
1877-80; Maurice E. Wilson. 1881-84; H. C. Ferguson, 1885-. 

April 14, 1863. North Church, Allegheny; Allegheny,— C. H. Dunlap, 1864-66; A. A. 
Hodge, D. D., 1866-78; O. A. Hills, D. D.. 1878-82; John Fox, 1883-. 

May 6, 1863. Forest Grove Church'; Pittsburgh.— Henry C. Foulke, 1864-67; John J. 
Beacom, D. D., 1868-. 

October 26, 1863. Mo^mt Olive Church; Pittsburgh.— Samuel Findley, D. D.. S. S., 
1863-65; L. B. Crittenden, S. S., September. October, 1865; William C. Smith, S. S., 1865 
-67; C. V. McKaig, S. S,, 1867-70; S. C. Faris, S. S., 1871-74; Neville B. Craig Comingo, 
August 25, 1874-88. 

April 1, 1.864. Leetsdale; Allegheny.— J. Allison, D. D., A. Williams, D. D., W. W. 
Eells, 8. 8.. 1866; James M. Piatt, 1867-69; R. S. Van Cleve, 1870-86; Edgar F. John- 
ston, 1887-. 


July 15. 1864. Natrona: Allegheny.— J. F. Boyd, 1804-69; George Scott, 1871-77; W. 
E. Oiler, 1878-80; U. J. Creswell, S. S.. 1881; W. E. Oiler, S. S., 1882: John Kerr. S. S., 
1883-8.5: H. R. Johnson. 1886-. 

May 10, 1866. Wilki.nshurg; Pittsburgh.— Samuel M. Henderson, 1867-78; J. C. 
Irwin, 1879-84; Samuel H. Moore, 1885-. 

September 9, 1866. Bellefield; Pittsburgh.— David McKinney, D. D.. S. S., 18e6-June 
2. 1867: D. T. Carnahan, June 2, 1867-August 15, 1873; W. J. Holland. D. D.. Ph. D., 
June 12. 1874-. 

July 8, 1867. Shadyside; Pittsburgh. — Various supplies, Julj'-November, 1867; W. 
T. Beatty, D. U., 1867-81; John M. Richmond, D. D., 1881-December, 1888. 

December 15, 1867. McClure Arenxe Church; Allegheny.— J. Henry Sharp, 1868-69; 
John Kerr, 1872-74; W. C. Burchard, 1874-. 

January 12, 1868. Orace Memorial (colored) ; Pittsburgh. — Various supplies, 1870; 
Charles Hedges, 1870-73; William H. Thomas, 1874-78; William A. Lynch, 1879-83; 
William F. Brooks, 1880-. 

April 17, 1869. Onkdale ; Pittsburgh.— Supplies, 1871; M. X. Cornelius, 1871-75; 
Jesse C. Bruce, 1876-78; J. M. McJunkin, 1879-. 

April, 25, 1869. Prmndence Church ; Allegheny.— J. V. Cellars. 1870-72; W. M. 
Robinson, 1872-. 

July 21, 1869. Hazelwood ; Pittsburgh.— Joseph S. Stuchell. 1870-75; D. K. Xesbitt. 
1875-84: J. S. Plumer, 1884r-. 

August 1, 1869. Millmle; Allegheny.— W. H. Knipe, W. R. Moore. S. S.. 1871; 
McNary Forsythe, 1872-73: J. M. Shields, 1874-83: A. D. Light, 1885-. 

April, 30, 1870. Swissvale ; Pittsburgh.— S. J. Fisher, 1870-. 

June 25, 1871. BeUevue ; Allegheny.— Supplies, 1873; Robert T. Price, 1873-74; 
Samuel H. Holliday, 1875-77; supplies, 1877-. 

February 6, 1871. Verona [Edgewater] ; Pittsburgh. — Various supplies, 1874; John 
Kerr, 1874-81; A. J. DufE, January, 1881-June. 1882; J. R. Stockton, April, 1883-. 

May 20, 1871. Bakerstown; Allegheny.— W. G. Stewart, S. S., 1871-83; E. S. Heaney, 

October 26, 1871. Fourth Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh [Bloomfield] ; Pitts- 
burgh.— John W. Little, 1872-73: C. V. McKaig. 1873-81; J. M. Thompson, S. S., 1882; 
J. O. Gordon. 1884-86; William P. Shroiii, D. D., 1886-. 

September 3, 1872. Braddock ; Blairsville.— William F. Kean, 1873-82; J. B. Dickey, 

April 24, 1873. Bpringdale ; Allegheny.— A. Williams, D. D., 1874-78: George Scott, 
S. S., 1879; G. M. Potter, 1885-86; D. V. Mays, 1887-. 

May 2, 1874. Homestead; Pittsburgh.— James G. Lyle, 1874-79; William E. McCrea, 
1880-85; Frank A. Ramsey. 1886-87; Rufus P. Miller, 1888-. 

November 21, 1874, Amity; Pittsburgh.— Levi Risher, 1877-82 ; Cyrus B. Hatch. 

April 25, 1876. Glenfield; Allegheny.— Supplies, 1877; W. M. Hyde. 1877-80: sup- 
plies, 1880-83: E. P. Walker, 1883-81; Charles M. McNulty. S. S., 1886; D. L. Dickey, 

July 31. 1870. Pleasant Hill; Allegheny.— John Brown. 1877-79; J. R. Creswell. S. 
S., 1880"; B. O. Junkin. S. S.. 1881-84; Robert McPherson. 188.5-. 

September, 1876. Laird: Blairsville. — Stated supplies, 1876-87; T. B. Anderson. 

December 28, 1876. School Street Chapel, Allegheny; Allegheny.— Supplies. 1887: 
■Clarence M. Junkin. July 12, 1887-. 

July 1, 1877. Enoxnlle: Pittsburgh.- F. R. Wotring, 1877-80; A. J. Duff. 1883-87; 
W. P. Braddock, 1887-88, 

September 23, 1877. Bethel Church, Allegheny; Allegheny.— Supplies. 1879; Reuben 


Beaver. 1879-83; John Kerr, S. S., 1883; C. C. Hay.s, S. S,, 1884; Wilson E. Donaldson, 

Novembers. 1877. Californui: PittslnirgU.— E, P. Crane, 1881-83; W. E. Donaldson. 

June 30, 1^79. Riverdale; Pittsburgb.— Rev. S. E.;jennings, D. D., 1879-80; supplies, 
1880-85; W. S. P. Cochran, 1885-. 

July 39, 1879. Hoboken; Allegheny.— G. M. Potter, S. S., 1880; O. H. Miller, S. S.. 
1881; George Scott, S. S.. 1883; various supplies, 1883-87; D. V. Mays, pastor, 1887-. 

April 38, 1881. Park Avenue; Pittsburgh.— George W. Chalfant, June, 1881-. 

December 31, 1883. Middletown: Pittsburgh.— W. S. P. Cochran, May 19, 1884-. 

January 4, 1883. McKeeS Rocks; Pittsburgh.— O. N. Verner, May 11, 1886-. 

March 17. 1883. West Bellevue; Allegheny.— Supplies, 1885; W. P. Stevenson, 
188.5-88; Matthew Rutherford, 1888-. 

April. 1883. Forty-third Street Church, Pitt»t)urgh; Pittsburgh.— Richard Lea, S. T. 
D.. 1884-89. 

December 18, 1884. Central Church: Pittsburgh.— W. P. Chalfant. S. S.. December 
18, 1884-April 30, 1885; W. P. Braddock, 1883-87; A. A. Mealy, 1887-. 

February 36, 1885. Crafton; Pittsburgh.— P. S. Jennings, 1885-. 

May 3, 1885. Olenshaw; Allegheny.— Supplies, 1886; Joseph B. Turner, 1886-. 

September 33, 1885. McDonald; Pittsburgh.— Supplies, 1885-. 

May 6, 1887. Turtle Creek; Blairsville.— J. A. Eakin, S. S., 1887-88; J, W. Wight- 
man, D. D., January 18, 1888-. 

December 5, 1887. Point Breeze; Pittsburgh. — Supplies. 

Reorganized May 10, 1888. Concord; Pittsburgh.— Supplies, 1888-. 

September 30, 1888. Daquesne; Pittsburgh.— Supplies. 1888-. 


McCandlens A-eenue. — 18th ward, Pittsburgh; organized 1886. Morniuyaide. — 18th 
■ward, Pittsburgh; organized 1887. Homeicood. — Homewood avenue, Pittsburgh; organ- 
ized 1886. Greenfield Arenue. — 33d ward, Pittsburgh; organized 1880. Elmer Street. - 
■30th ward, Pittsburgh; organized 1887. North Hiland Avenue. — Organized 1886. 


Statistics of the Presbyterian chnrclies of Allegheny county, Pa. , for the 
jear ending March 31, 1888: 

Whole number of churches and missions in the county 88 

Whole number of bishops, or presb3'ters, in the county 94 

AVhole number of communicants in the county 17,331 

AVhole number of Sabbath-school scholars in the county 31,685 

Total amount contributed during the year for congregational 
e.xpenses, including the erection of new churches within the 
county $394,608 

Total amount contributed for beuevolence: 

To home missions $37,747 

To foreign missions 31,476 

To educate young men for the ministry 9.137 

To board of publication and Sunday-school work 3,075 

To board of church erection to aid feeble churches in 

securing houses of worship 6.139 

Carried forward $77..554 |394,608 


Brought forward 177,554 |294,608 

To relief of aged ministers and widows and orphans of 

ministers 26,523 

To missions among the freedmen 8,888 

To board of sustentalion to supplement salaries paid by 

weak churches 1,701 

To aid in building colleges in the south and west 16, 236 

To expenses of general assembly, presbytery, synods, 

etc 1,.598 

To miscellaneous charities, as the American Bible So- 
ciety, Tract Society, hospitals, American Sunday- 
school Union, etc 15,488 147.988 

Grand total S442,.5y(i 


The United Presbyterian Church was brought into existence by the union 
of the Associate and the Associate Reformed Churches of North America. This 
union was consummated in City Hall. Pittsburgh, May 26, 1858. The twa 
churches that were then united held substantially the same doctrines and 
fonns of worship; neither was required to give up or even modify a single 
important principle of its creed or public testimony. To us, at this distance, 
it seems strange that the union was so long deferred, and that so much nego- 
tiation was reqiiired to bring it about. The constituent elements of the United 
Presbyterian Church organized in Scotland in the latter j^art of the seven- 
teenth and earlier part of the eighteenth centuries. The Reformed Church of 
Scotland was made up of those who were dissatisfied with the ' ' Revolution Set- 
tlement" of 1688. Cameron, Cargill, Renwick and others of like views 
believed that the revolution settlement involved the giving up of some of the 
best attainments of the Church of the Second Reformation, among which were- 
the covenant obligations of the kingdom and Church of Scotland. This body, 
sometimes known as the Covenanter Church, did not assume distinct denomi- 
national form until 1743. The Associate Church was originally formed by a 
secession from the Church of Scotland in 1733. From the time of the settle- 
ment, in 1788, forward, the Church of Scotland rapidly declined in orthodoxy. 
That settlement prepared the way for the introduction of an element into the 
church which had no sympathy with her peculiar doctrines or past history. 

The Erskines and others of their stamp could not remain in a church 
where the rights of congregations were ignored and the doctrines of grace 
denied or corrupted. In the hope of correcting the abuses into which the 
church had fallen, " The Marrow of Modern Divinity, " by Edward Fisher, 
of England, was republished. But the appearance of this work seemed only 
to embitter the dominant party in the church, and increase their aversion to the 
" Marrow Men " and their doctrines. These seceders assumed the name of 
Associate Presbyterians. Ten years after the organization of the Associate 
presbytery the church had so increased that they had a synod, with three pres- 

^{Th^v Cr, ^lOdAyi^v-i-x^.^ 


b yteiies, thirty settled congregations and thirteen vacancies in Scotland, 
besides several congregations in England and Ireland. The principal points 
of difference between the Reformed Presbyterians and their Associate brethren 
were in regard to civil government. 

Members from both these churches came to America in the first part of the 
last century. It was not, however, until the year 1753 that any ministers from 
the Associate synod of Scotland arrived. In that year Messrs. Alexander 
Gellatly and Andrew Arnot came into what is now Eastern Pennsylvania, and 
soon after, on the 2d of November, 1753, organized themselves into a presby- 
tery. On the 5th of August, 1751, Rev. John Cuthbertson, sent over by 
the Reformed presbytery of Scotland, landed at New Castle, Del., and imme- 
diately began exploring his new field. Two other Reformed Presbyterian 
ministers. Revs. Matthew Lind and Alexander Dobbin, joined him in 1773; 
on the 10th of March, 1774, these, with a number of ruling elders, met near 
Harrisburg, Pa., and organized the Reformed Presbyterian Presbytery of Amer- 
ica. In 1782 nearly all of the ministers and members of these churches united 
and constituted the Associate Reformed Church, thus retaining in united form 
the names of both churches. Two ministers of the Associate presbytery, 
Messrs. Marshall and Clarkson, declined to go into the union, and continued 
t he Associate organization. Receiving accessions of ministers and members 
from the Associate synod of Great Britain, the body grew and prospered. 

All of the Reformed ministers entered the united church, but some of the 
members here and there throughout the bounds of the presbytery stood out 
against the union. In the course of time they obtained pastors from Scotland and 
Ireland. Rev. James Reid came from Scotland in 1789, and after a thorough 
inspection of the whole field, north and south, he returned to his native coun- 
try the following year. Rev. Mr. McGarrah, of Ireland, was sent to the scat- 
tered societies in 1791, and was joined by Rev. William King, of Scotland, in 
1792. For some time they simply acted as a committee of the presbytery in 
Scotland, but, receiving accessions of both ministers and people, a new presby- 
tery was organized in 1798. 

The synod of the Associate Reformed Church of North America was 
organized November 1, 1782, in Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. John M. Mason was 
chosen the first moderator. At this meeting nine ministers and six ruling elders 
were present from the three presbyteries composing the synod. These pres- 
byteries were the Associate presbytery of New York, the Associate presby- 
tery of Pennsylvania and the Reformed presbytery. After the union there 
was a change of presbyterial names as well as of presbyterial lines. 

The First presbytery consisted of Revs. John Cuthbertson, John Smith, 
James Proudfit and David Telfair, and the churches in Eastern Pennsylvania. 
The Second presbytery was composed of the following ministers: Revs. Mat- 
thew Henderson, Alexander Dobbin, John Rodgers, Matthew Lind, John Mur- 
ray and William Logan, and the churches west of the Susquehanna river. 


The Thin! pivsbytery embraced all tlie ministers and churelies in N(>w Yoik 
and New England. The ministers were Dr. Jolui M. Vinson and Revs. Kol)- 
ert Annan, Thomas Clarke and David Annan. 

Twenty years after the union tho Associate Reformed Church had eight 
presbyteries, under four synods subordinate to the general synod. In 1786, 
four years after the union, a new presbytery was organized in New En- 
gland, called the presbytery of LondondeiTy. This presbytery, after having 
formed a loose union with the "Presbytery of the Eastward," and this, too, 
without the authority of synod, and having fallen into practices contrary to 
the principles of the Associate Reformed Church, was dropped fi'om the roll 
of synod in 1801. The general synod itself was dissolved in 1822, as was 
also the synod of Pennsylvania. All the existing synods of the church now 
stood independent of each other. They were the synod of New York, the 
synod of the Carolinas and the synod of Scioto. In 1820 the synod of 
Scioto was dissolved, and reconstituted under the name of the Associate Re- 
formed Synod of the West. This synod, in 1839, was divided into the First 
and Second synods of the west. These two synods then organized the gen- 
eral synod, to which they were subordinate. In 1852, the general synod 
ordered the organization of the synod of Illinois from the Second Synod of 
the West. The general synod united with the synod of New York in 1856. 
This general synod of the Associate Reformed Chui'ch of North America 
united with the Associate synod. The union was consummated on the 26th 
of May, 1858, in City Hall, Pittsburgh, Pa., and the United Presbyterian 
Church of North America constituted. 

We now give a brief sketch of the different branches which became the con- 
stituent elements of the United Presbyterian church. 

Efforts looking to the union of the Associate and Associate Reformed 
churches extended over a period of fully forty years prior to the consummation 
of that union in 1858. Nearly all the luinisters and churches of both bodies vyent 
into the union. The harmony and unanimity with which the union was effected 
justified the long-continued and patient efforts by which it was brought aboixt. 
Since the union, thirty years ago, the church has enjoyed as great a degree 
of peace, unanimity and prosperity as either of the antecedent chiirches did in 
their separate capacity; and perhaps as much as other denominations of Chris- 
tians. One thing that has contributed to the homogeneousness of the church, 
and has rendered the maintenance of her principles more easy, was the healthy 
vigor of the great body of the chiirch, by which she has been enabled, through 
a gradual and voluntary sloiighing-off process, to rid herself of what might 
have proven, had it remained in the church, a disturbing and disintegrating 

The United Presbyterian Church was organized upon the basis of the West- 
minster Confession of Faith, with the single exception that that part of the 
confession in regard to the civil magistrate was modified to conform with 


the relatiou of the church to civil government in this coiTotry. In addi- 
tion to the confession, the church sets forth her principles in her testimony, 
which exhibits her views on certain points more fully and clearly than the con- 
fession itself. 

The articles of her testimony which more particularly distinguish her from 
some other denominations who hold the Westminster symbols, treat of the fol- 
lowing subjects, viz. : Psalmody, Communion, Slavery, Secret Societies and 

On the subject of Psalmody she holds : ' ' That it is the will of God that the 
songs contained in the book of Psalms be sung in his worship, both public 
and private, to the end of the world; and in singing God's praise, these songs 
should be employed to the exclusion of the devotional compositions of unin- 
spired men." 

On Communion she affirms: ■" That the church should not extend commun- 
ion in sealing ordinances to those who refuse adherence to her profession, or 
subjection to her government and discipline, or who refuse to forsake a com- 
munion which is inconsistent with the profession that she makes; nor should 
commimion in any ordinance of worship be held under such circumstances as 
would be inconsistent with the keeping of these ordinances pure and entire, or 
so as to give countenance to any corruption of the doctrines and institutions of 

On Slavery she declares: " That slaveholding — that is the holding of unof 
fending human beings in involuntary bondage, and considering and treating 
them as property, and subject to be bought and sold — is a violation of the law 
of God, and contrary both to the letter and spirit of Christianity. 

On Secret Societies her position is thus defined : ' ' That all associations, 
whether formed for political or benevolent purposes, which impose upon their 
members an oath of secrecy, or to obey a code of unknown laws, are inconsistent 
with the genius and spirit of Christianity, and church members ought not to 
have fellowship with such associations." 

On Covenanting, in the seventeenth article of her testimony, she declares: 
"That public social covenanting is a moral duty, the observance of which is 
not required at stated times, but on extraordinary occasions, as the providence 
of God and the circumstances of the church may indicate. It is seasonalile in 
time of great danger to the church — in times of exposure or backsliding — or in 
times of reformation, when the church is returning to God from a state of back- 
sliding. When the church has entered into such covenant transactions, they 
continue to bind posterity faithfully to adhere to and jirosecute the grand 
object for which such engagements have been entered into." 

The Associate Church at the time of the union had 198 ordained ministers, 
33 licentiates, 293 congregations, 10,621 families, 23,505 communicants. 
Her contributions to home and foreign missions amounted to $11,451. The 
total of contributions was $12,585. This did not include pastors' salaries,. 


congregational expenses or general contributions. She had foreign missions 
in India and Trinidad. Her theological seminary was .situated at Xenia, Ohio. 

The Associate Reformed Church had 221 ordained ministers, 32 licentiates, 
307 congregations, 14,787 families, 31,284 communicants. Her contributions 
to home and foreign missions were $9,264. Her foreign missions were in 
Egypt and Syria. When the union was consummated the United church had 
1 general assembly, 4 synods, 49 presbyteries, 419 ministers. 65 licentiates. 
14 foreign missionaries, 661 congregations and 54,789 communicaats. 

The statistics of 1888 show that there are 10 synods in the United Presbyterian 
church, 61 presbyteries, 753 ministers, 51 licentiates, 907 congregations and 
98,992 communicants. In the foreign field — India and Egypt — there are 22 
ordained ministers, 442 laborers, foreign and native; communicants, 6,878; 
scholars in the Sabbath and week-day schools, 16,361; value of mission prop- 
erty, §237,802. In no department of the church's work has there been so 
great progress as in the foreign field. At the time of the union there were 
only about fifty converts in all oiu- missions; the number reported to the last 
assembly was 6,878. The congregations of the United Presbyterian Church 
are scattered over a large part of our country. There are two presbyteries 
in New England and three on the Pacific slope; there is also one in Canada. 
The great body of the church, however, is in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, 
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. 


In no part of the country is the strength of the church in proportion to the 
whole population so great as in Allegheny county, Pa. The United Presby- 
terian Church, or rather the branches from which it originated, was very weak 
in this county one century ago. At the time of the organization of the county, 
September 24, 1788, there were not more than two or three congregations be- 
longing to the Associate and Associate Reformed churches in the county. 

The congregation of Bethesda, in Elizabeth township, was organized before 
that time. Rev. Matthew Henderson became its pastor in 1785. Robin- 
son Run, in South Fayette township, was probably organized about the same 
time. There were a few other congregations in Western Pennsylvania organ- 
ized more than a century ago, but all these were outside the present boundaries 
of Allegheny county. Application was made from Fort Pitt to the Associate 
presbytery of Pennsylvania for the dispensation of gospel ordinances as early 
as 1774. The presbytery, however, was rmable to respond favorably to this 
call, and consequently our church was not planted in Pittsburgh until many 
years afterward. In giving a brief historical sketch of the di liferent United 
Presbyterian churches of the county, they are here presented in alphabetical 
order : 

Allegheny First Church, organized November 4, 1831. Rev. John Taylor Pressly, D. 
D., pastor of this church, 1833-70, was born March 28, 1795, in Abbeville district, S. C. ; 

^Ae<^' M /A. 



was graduated at Transylvania University. Kentucky, in 1813, and studied theology in the 
Associate Reformed Theological Seminary, New York, under Dr. John M. Mason; was 
licensed in the spring of 1815, by the Second Presbytery of the Carolinas, and was ordained 
July 3, 1816, by the same; was pastor of Cedar Springs congregation. South Carolina, July 
3, 1816, to November, 1831; was professor of theology in the Associate Reformed Synod of 
the South, 1835-31; was elected professor of theology by the Associate Reformed Synod of 
the West October 10. 1831, and entered upon his duties in the Allegheny Theological Sem- 
inary on the 5th of January, 1832; was installed pastor of the First Church, Allegheny, 
August 23, 1833, and continued in the service of the seminary and as pastor of the First 
Church until his death, August 13, 1870. Dr. Pressly was a thorough scholar, a plain but 
able gospel preacher, and an eminently successful pastor. As a professor in the theolog- 
ical seminary, particularly in the departments of systematic theology and homiletics, he 
stood pre-eminent. His particular friend and associate in the seminary, the late Dr. David 
R. Kerr, speaks of him in these words: " A man of such prominence among bis brethren 
and such usefulness in the church, it must be believed, had some uncommon elements of 
power. Everything in him and about him as he stood among men, and in ever}' sphere 
in which he moved, marked him as a man above the general average of men. He had a 
commanding personal appearance. He was blessed with great bodily strength, in stately 
form, and moved with a dignity, and even majesty, that commanded attention and admira- 
tion wherever he appeared. In social life his presence was always felt as that of a great 
man, above all as a man of God." In 1873 Rev. W. J. Robinson, D. D., was installed 
pastor, and has still charge of the congregation, which is one of the largest and most 
influential in the church. Its present membership is 530: its total contributions for the 
year ending April 30, 1888, were 117,360. It has a Sabbath-school with 990 scholars and 
75 officers and teachers. 

Allegheny Second Church, organized October 26, 1837. This church has had three 
pastors: Rev. James Rodgers, D. D., Rev. J. B. Clark, D. D., and the present pastor. Rev. 
Dr. W. H. McMillan. Dr. Rodgers' pastorate began in 1838, and continued until 1860. 
Dr. Clark's extended from 1860 to 1873. Dr. McMillan became pastor in 1873, and is still 
in charge of the congregation. Dr. Rodgers was a man of great abilitj- in the scriptures, 
a very earnest preacher, and a most laborious pastor. During the later years of his life 
he suffered greatly from asthma. He was superintendent of the board of publication from 
1859 until his death, July 33, 1868. His successor in the congregation. Dr. J. B. Clark, 
was a popular preacher, and a remarkably successful pastor. He served as colonel in a 
regiment of volunteers, for more than a year, in the war of the rebellion. The congrega- 
tion under its present pastor continues to prosper. It is one of the largest in the church, 
having 733 members, with a Sabbath-school numbering 531 pupils and .50 officers and 

Allegheny Third Chvrch, organized May, 1854. This church has had five pastors: 
Rev. J. Holmes, 18.55-57; Rev. D. G. Bradford, 1857-C3; Rev. J. R. Kerr, 186-1-73; Rev. J. 
W. Bain, 1878-74, and the present pastor. Rev. E. S. McKitrick, since 1875. It has a 
membership of 463, and a Sabbath-school with 879 scholars and 100 officers and teachers. 

Allegheny Fourth Chvrch, organized April 17. 1860. The pastors of this church have 
been Rev. Charles A. Dickey, 1863-69; Rev. William Fulton, 1870-73; Rev. W. G. Moor- 
head. D. D., 1875-76, and the present pastor. Rev. James M. Fulton, D. D., since 1877. 
This church has a membership of 684, with a Sabbath-school of 925 scholars and 102 
officers and teachers. 

Allegheny Fifth Chvrch, organized November 18, 1862. This congregation has had 
but two pastors, Rev. D. M. B. McLean. 1863-65, and the present pastor. Rev. James W. 
Witherspoon, D. D. It has 666 members and 633 scholars in its Sabbath-school, with 53 
officers and teachers. Dr. Witherspoon is the oldest pastor in continuous service in the 
city, having been installed in 1867. 

Allegheny Sixth, organized in 1849. Rev. G. D. Archibald served this church, 1850-55 ; 


Kcv. J. C. Steele, S. S., 1857-09; Rev. A. D. Clarke, I). D., 1801-84; the present pastor, 
Kev. D. F. McGill, since 1885. It lias a membership of ;i09, and 250 scholars in the Sab- 
bath-school, with 30 officers and teachers. 

Alkgheuy Seventh, organized April 21, 1880; G. W. McDonald, pastor; members. 150; 
Sabbath-school scholars, 360; teachers and officers, :!7. 

Allegheny Lombard Street Mission; members, 43; Sabbath-school scholars, 100; officers 
and teachers, 12. 

Allegheny Fourth Wnrd Mission; members, 51; Sabbath-school scholars, 446, with 34 
officers and teachers. 

Allentown, organized August, 1888; members, 29; Sabbath-school scholars, 151; officers 
and teachers, 12. 

Bellevve, organized May 21, 1872; Rev. S. H. Graham is pastor; members, 144; Sab- 
bath-school scholars, 125; officers and teachers. 16. 

Bethel, organized in 1801; the pastors of this church have been Revs. E. Henderson, 
1802-04; Hugh Kirkland, 1820-34; James Kelso, 1852-65; T. F. Boyd, 1867-74; members, 
74. It has been for some years, and still is, vacant. 

Braddock, organized Julj' 27, 1864; members, 192; Sabbath-school scholars, 314: officers 
and teachers, 23. Pastors, Rev. John S. Easton, D. D., 1869-76; Rev. W. S. Fulton. 1877 
-78; Rev. S. J. Shaw, pastor since 1879. 

Buena Vista, organized January 8, 1867; members, 82; Sabbath-school scholars, 30; 
officers and teachers, 5. Pastors, Rev. J. S. Speer, 1867-73; Rev. D. M. Thorn, 1879-87. 
At the present time [1888] a vacancy. 

Chartiers, organized January 18, 1883; members, 76; Sabbath-school scholars. 196; 
officers and teachers, 15. Rev. W. E. Paxton, pastor since 1885. 

Coraopolis, organized September 21, 1886; members, 23; Rev. J. A. Lawrence, pastor 
since 1886. 

Deer Creek, organized in 1802; members, 149; Sabbath-school scholars, 110; officers 
and teachers, 13. Pastors, Revs. J. McConnell, 1811-45; A. G. Shafer, 1847-68; S. M. 
Hood, 1870-. 

East Union, organized June 3, 1850; members, 189; Sabbath-school scholar.s, 100; 
officers and teachers, 12. Pastors, Revs. James Given, 1854-57; E. N. McElree, 186.5-66; 
W. Weir, 1866-69; J. A. Brandon, 1871-76; J. M. Witherspoon, 1877-82; W. F. Miller, 
since 1884. 

Etna, organized February 13, 1868; members, 185; Sabbath-school scholars, 260; 
officers and teachers, 24. Rev. A. H. Calvert, pastor since the organization, 1868. 

Evans City, organized ; members, 158; Sabbath-school scholars, 132; officers and 

teachers, 13. Pastor. Rev. J. M. Dight. 

Fleming, organized November 6, 1869; members, 64; Sabbath-school scholars. 111; 
officers and teachers, 16. Pastors, Revs. D. R. Imbrie, 1872; D. M. Thorn, 1873-76; J. H. 
Veazey, 1877-83; D. R. Imbrie, 1884-86; A Flick, 1887-. 

Glade Run, organized in 1813; members, 146; Sabbath-school scholars, 100; officers 
and teachers, 12. Pastors, Revs. J. Prance, 1820-41; W. Douthett, 1849-54; J. G. Barnes; 
1862-70; I. T. Wright, 1872-81; R. E. Lackey, 1884-. 

narrnurville, organized October 13, 1838; members, 96; Sabbath-school scholars. 49: 
officers and teachers. 8. Pastors, Revs. J. Gilmore, 1842-.56; W. G. Reed, I860-. 

Hebron, organized August 30, 1860; members, 115; Sabbath-school scholars, 160; officers 
and teachers, 19. Pastors, Revs. H. C. McFarland, 1858-64; D. Barclay, 1867-. 

Homestead, organized March 15, 1888: members, 21; Sabbath-school scholars, 30; offi- 
cers and teachers, 6. Pastor, Rev. A. R. Van Fossen. June 26, 1888-. 

/ra^ram, organized September 20, 1887: members, 26: stated supply. Rev. J. A Douthett. 

Jefferson, organized October 30, 1857; members, 100: Sabbath-school scholars.60; officers 
and teachers, 9. Pastors, Revs. John D. Glenn, 1859-61; J. W. McFarland. 1867-69; C. B. 
Hatch. 1872-73: R. B. Stewart. 1875-79; J. C. Hunter. 1881-85; T. W. Young, 1887-. 


Logan's Ferry, organized in December, 1857; members, 45: Sabbatli-scliool scholars, 
36; officers and teachers, 9. Pastors, Rev. James Given, 1859-73; Rev. Alexander Young, 
D. D., LL. D., stated supply, 1875-. 

McKeesport, organized October 10, 1851; members, 174; Sabbath-school scholars, 300; 
officers and teachers, 19. Pastors, Rev. A. G. Wallace, D. D., 1854-57; Rev. M. McKins- 
try, 1857-61; Rev. A. H. Elder, 1863-75; James Kelso, 1877-85; A. I. Young, 1886-. 

Mansfield, organized December 30, 1856; members, 213; Sabbalb-school scholars, 140; 
officers and teachers, 16. Pastors, Rev. Alexander Calhoun, D. D., 1858-61; Revs. Q. K. 
Ormond, 1870-73; C. B. Hatch, 1876-79; T. C. Atchison, 1881-. 

Mifflin, organized in 1803; members, 30; Sabbath school scholars, 53; officers and teach- 
ers, 8. Pastors, Rev. Joseph Kerr, D. D., 1804-18; Revs. S. Weir. 1830-44; J. J. Buchanan, 
1846-49; H. C. McFarland, 1853-57; J. D. Glenn, 1859-61; C. B. Hatch, 1871-75; J. C. 
Hunter, 1881-85; A. R. Van Fossen, June 36, 188S-. 

Mount G-ilead, organized June 37, 1843; members, 52; Sabbath-school scholars, 50; offi- 
cers and teachers, 8. Pastors, Rev. R. Armstrong, D. D.. 1847-53; Revs. J. C. Bryson, 
1855-66; D. K. McKnight, 1873-74; G. H. Getty, 1884-85; J. A. Lawrence, 1886-. 

Mount Nebo, organized in 1838; membei's, 103; Sabbath school scholars, 107; officers 
and teachers, 15. Pastors, Revs. W. Burnett, 184.5-.50; James Greer, 1853-.55; J. L. Fair- 
ley, 1856-69; D. R. Imbrie. 1870-72; W. J. Cooper, 1874-77; D. R. Imbrie, 1878-. 

Mount Wosldngton, organized January 27, 1884; members, 67; Sabbath school schol- 
ars. 164; officers and teachers, 18. Pastors, Revs. D. M. Cleland, 1886-87; M. J. Smalley, 

Noblestown. organized in 1792; members. 71; Sabbath-school scholars, 44; officers and 
teachers, 9. Pastors, Revs. W. Wilson, 1800-30; J. Rodgers, D. D., 1831-38; J. M. French, 
1841-43; F. A. Hutchison, 1850-69; W, P. Shaw, 1870-75; W. B. Cherry, 1878-83; G. T. 
Scott, 1884-85; vacancy, 1888. 

Pine Creek, organized as a Reformed Presb3'terian congregation in 1805; members, 57; 
Sabbath-school scholars, 95; officers and teachers, 13. Pastors fReformed Presbyterian), 
Revs. M. Williams, 1805-25; T. C. Guthrie, D. D., 1827-56; T. .Johuston, 1860-73; (United 
Presbyterian) N. E. Wade, 1875-84; R. H. Park. 1885-. 

Pittsburgh First Church, organized November 24, 1801; members. 418; Sabbath-school 
scholars, 235; officers and teachers, 27. (Oalcland chapel; members, 75; Sabbath-school 
scholars, 150; officers and teachers, 15.) Pastors, Revs. Ebenezer Henderson, 1802-04; 
Robert Bruce, D. D., 1808-46; A. Anderson, 1847-49; H. W. Lee, 1849-55; S. B. Reed, 
18.57-59; W. J. Reid, D. D., 1862. (Rev. John M. Ross, associate pastor, 1888, in charge 
of Oakland Chapel.) Rev. Robert Bruce, D. D., the second pastor of the First Church, 
and who served it nearly forty years, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1776. His 
family, it is said, traced their ancestry back to Robert Bruce, Scotland's bravest king. He 
was fitted for college at the high-school of Perth, where he had for one of his fellow- 
students the late Dr. Alexander Bullion, of Cambridge, N. Y. They both graduated at 
the University of Edinburgh, and spent five }'ears together in the study of theology under 
Rev. Archibald Bruce, of Whitburn. They were both licensed at the same time, and 
came to America together. Dr. Bruce was a man of impressive personal appearance, 
almost six feet in height, and "portly and symmetrical in form." He was sent as a mis- 
sionary to this country in 1806 by the Associate synod of Scotland. After traveling in the 
Carolinas for two or three years he was ordained by the presbytei-y of Chartiers, Decem- 
ber 14, 1808, and installed pastor of the Associate congregations of Pittsburgh and Peter's 
creek. He was released from the Peter's creek branch in 1813, and gave his whole time 
to Pittsburgh until his death, June 14, 1846. Dr. Bruce was perhaps the most eminent of 
the early educators of Allegheny county. He was president of the faculty of the Western 
University from 1830 to 1843, and provost of Diiquesne College from 1844 to 1846. Dr. 
Bruce was a thorough scholar, an able theologian and an acceptable preacher. He received 
the title of Doctor of Divinity from JefEersou College in 1834. His publications are an 


address delivered before the Pitlsburgli Philosophiciil Society, 1828, and a volume of ^^e^- 
mons. When he prepared and delivered his last sermon he iirobably realized the nearness 
of his end, his text being John xiv, 2, " In ray Father's house are many mansions." 

PiUsburgh Second Church, organized in 1815; members, 210; Sabbath-school scholars. 
12.5; officers and teachers, 17. Pastors. Rev. .Joseph McElroy. D. D., 1816-24; Rev. Joseph 
Kerr, D. D.. 1825-29; Rev. J. R. Kerr, 1850-43; Rev. J. F. McLaren, D. D., 1846-51: Rev. 
John Ekin, D. D., 1854-57; Rev. James Prestly. D. D.. 18.58-66; Rev. T. H. Hanna. D. 
D., 1867-75; Rev. J. R. Kyle. 1876-79; Rev. A. IL Harshaw, 1881-83; Rev. D. S. Liltell. 

Pitfsbitrrjh Third Church, organized April 13, 1836; members, 892; Sabbath-school 
scholars. 290; officers and teachers, 25. Pastors, Rev. John Ekln, D. D., 1838-39; Rev. 
W. A. McKinnev, 1840; J. L. Dinwiddle. D. D.. 1843-44; Rev. R. A. Browne, D. D., 
S. S., 1844-45; Rev. John G. Brown. D. D., 1846-73; Rev. S. R. Frazier, 1872-79; Rev. J. 
S. McCrory, 1880-. 

Pittsburgh Fourth Church, organized in 1837; meml)ers. 314; Sabbath-school scholars, 
203; officers and teachers, 13. Pastors. Rev. Moses Kerr, 1837-39; Rev. William Burnett, 
1840^1 ; reorganized in 1849; V.Cockins.l8.5i)-51;R. Graoey. D. D.. 1853-67; J. M. Cockins. 
1868-71 : John Gailey, 1872-77; J. D, Turner, 1878-. 

Pittsburgh Fifth Church, organized in 18.59; members. 178; Sabbath-school scholars. 
65; officers and teachers, 18. Pastors, Revs. S. B. Reed. D. D., 1860-74; Rev. J. M. John- 
ston, 1874-78; Rev. J. M. Hervey, 1879-84; Rev. T. W. Young. 1884-86; J. W. Harsha, 

Pittsburgh Sixth Church, organized September 30, 1856; members, 360; Sabbath-school 
scholars. 290; officers and teachers, 37. Pastors, Revs. H. C. McFarland, 1858-65; J. S. 
Hawk, 1865-69; R. B. Ewing, D. D., 1870-. 

Pittsburgh Secenth Church, organized February 12. 1860; members, 394; Sabbath -school 
scholars. 400; officers and teachers, 39. Pastors, Rev. W. H. Andrew, D. D.. 1860-75; 
Revs. A. G. McCoy, 1876-78; J. D. Sands, 1880-. 

Pittxhui-gh Eighth Church, organized June 31, 1868; members, 200; Sabbath-school 
scholars, 370; officers and teachers, 25. Pastors, Rev. John S. Sands, D. D., S. S., 1868- 
80; Rev. J. M. Wallace, 1882-. 

Pittsburgh Ninth Church, organized in 1841; members, 216; Sabbath-school scholars, 
140; officers and teachers, 16. Pastors, Rev. L. H. Long. D. D., 1848-49; Rev. G. K. 
Ormond, D. D., 18.52-,58; Rev. W. M. Coleman, 1859-75; Rev. J. A. Gordon, D. D., 1876- 
81; Rev. A. E. Linn, 1882-88; vacancy, 1888. 

Pittsburgh Tenth Church (Wylie avenue), organized April 16, 1872; members. 139; 
Sabbath-school scholars, 185; officers and teachers, 18. Pastor, Rev. W. H. Knox, 1873-. 
Pittsburgh Eleventh Church (Temperanceville), organized in 1847; members. 61; Sab- 
bath- school scholars, 1.54; officers and teachers, 12. Pastors, Rev. L. H. Long, D. D., 
1848-49; Rev. Alexander Calhoun, D. D., 1858-61; Rev. G. A. B. Robinson. 1869-72; 
Rev. G. K. Ormond, D. D.. 1874-83; Rev. S. J. S. Moore, 1885-87; vacancy, 1888. 

Robinson Pun, organized in 1790 (the public ordinances were enjoyed here more or 
less regularly a considerable number of years before this date); members. 188; Sabbath- 
school scholars. 303; officers and teachers, 13. Pastors, Rev. J. Riddell. D. D.. 1794- 
1829; Rev. Moses Kerr. 1834-35; Rev. William Burnett, 1836-38; Rev. James Grier. D. D., 
1839-78; Rev. J. W. English, 1879-. Dr. Riddell, who was the first pastor of Robinson 
Run, and who continued in charge of the congregation for thirty-five years, was a small 
man, with piercing black eyes; was a superior scholar and a powerful debater. No one 
among the early ministers of the Associate Reformed Church was more strongly attached 
to the principles of the church, or more able to defend them. Dr. James Grier, another 
pastor of this congregation for thirty-nine years, was a preacher of more than average 
ability, possessed of good social qualities, much beloved by his people, and greatly 
respected bj' all who knew him. 


St. Clair, organized in 1804; members, 183; Sabbatli-school scholai's, 173; officers and 
teachers, 16. Pastors, Rev. Joseph Kerr, D. D., 1804-25; Rev. J. Dickey, 1830-39; Rev. A. 
H. Wright, 1843-46; Rev. Joseph Cloliey, D. D., 1848-55; Rev. C. Boyd, D. D., 1858-. 
Dr. Joseph Kerr, the first pastor of this congregation, was a large man, tall, well pro- 
portioned physically, commanding in personal appearance, affable in his manners, liind 
and sympathetic; "to know him was to love him." As a preacher he stood among the 
foremost of his time. Though not so able in argument as Dr. Riddell, he was his superior 
as an orator, and was therefore the more acceptable preacher of the two. After laboring 
twenty-one years in St. Clair congregation he was, by liis synod, transferred to Pittsburgh to 
take charge of the theological seminary whicli the synod had established there. He was also 
called to the pastorate of what is now the Second United Presbyterian congregation of Pitts- 
burgh. Dr. Kerr was the father of a large family. Three of his sons entered the minis- 
try—Moses, Joseph R. and David R. The last named died October 14, 1887. He was the 
editor of the United Presbyterian for forty years, and a professor in the theological sem- 
inary nearly as long. No other minister in the church was more admired or more ardently 
loved by his brethren. He was a man of noble presence, tall, erect, and moved with a 
majesty that could not fail to attract attention. He was a good preacher. His sermons 
were constructed after the best models. They plainly, clearly, forcibly set forth the great 
truths of the gospel in the most appropriate language that could be chosen. He always 
spoke with genuine earnestness and deep tenderness. In the pulpit and out of it, his 
whole bearing was that of a man of God. He had occupied the highest positions in his 
own church, was twice a member of the Pan-Presbyterian council, and as often presided 
over that most venerable body. No man was ever more universally beloved in life, or 
more deeply lamented in death. 

Sewiekley, organized May 3, 1864; members, 132; Sabbath-school scholars, 100; officers 
and teachers, 13. Pastors, Rev. W. A. McKenzie, 1865-71; Rev. D. S. Kennedy, 1872- 
78; Rev. W. L. "Wallace, D. D., 1879-86; Rev. A. M. Campbell, 1888-. 

Springdale, organized November 14, 1873; members, 48; Sabbath-school scholars, 67; 
officers and teachers, 13. Pastor, Rev. W. G. Reed. 

Talley Cavey, organized July 13, 1868; members, 48; Sabbath-school scholars, 50; officers 
and teachers, 10. Pastors, Revs. D. R. Imbrie, 1878-84; R. H. Park, 1885-. 

Tarentum, organized in 1835; members, 306; Sabbath-school scholars. Ill; officers 
and teachers, 16. Pastors, Revs. .Jonathan G. Fulton, 1838-39; J. Gilmore, 1843-56; J. H. 
Timmons, 1860-84; D. R. McDonald, 1885-. 

Turtle Creek, organized in June, 1839; members, 315; Sabbath school scholars, 300; 
officers and teachers, 19. Pastors, Revs. Mungo Dick, 1839-35; Joseph Osborne, 1836-51; 
Jonathan G. Fulton, 18.52-59; D. H. Pollock, 1860-69; S. A. Taggart, 1870-71; A. I. Young, 
1873-85; R. A. Gilfillan, 1886-. 

Union, organized in 1794; members, 159; Sabbath-school scholars, 137; officers and 
teachers, 30. Pastors, Rev. J. Riddell, D. D., 1794-1816; Rev. Moses Kerr, 1819-38; Revs. 
A. S. Fulton, 1833-39; John Ekin, D. D., 1839-53; William McMillan, 18.5.5-.57; L. Marks, 
D. D., 1860-67; J. D. Turner, 1868-74; J. A. Douthett, 1876-. 

Unity, organized April 3, 1833; members, 302; Sabbath-school scholars, 203; officers 
and teachers, 19. Pastors, Revs. William Conner, 1837-49; James Kelso, 18.52-72; E. Z. 
Thomas, 1873-. 

Verona, organized in 18.57; members, 184; Sabbath- school scholars, 165; officers and 
teachers, 18. Pastors, Revs. H. K. Lusk, S. S., 1858-61; R. H. Boyd, 1864-69; J. D. Irons. 
1873-87; vacancy, 1888. 

West Union, organized in 1843; members, 84; Sabbath-school scholars. 115; officers 
and teachers, 11. Pastors, Revs. James Given, 1854-57; J. G. Barnes, 1863-70: N. B. 
Wade, 1875-84; R. H. Park, 1885-. 

Wilkinsburg. organized November 21, 1882; members, 185; Sabbath-school scholars, 
180; officers and teachers, 34. Pastor. Rev. M. M. Patterson. 


There are thus in Allegheny eouaty '52 congregations, with 11,591 commu- 
nicaats, 11,833 Sabbath-school scholars. 1,'JOl officers and teachers and 02 
ministers of the gospel. 

The value of the church property is not so great as that of some other 
denominations whose numerical strength is much less, as our people have not 
generally taken to the ornate and costly in church architecture. Still, almost 
every congregation in the county has a church building, and the property 
belonging to some of the congregations would be worth from fifty thousand 
to a hundred thousand dollars. 

Four of the most important boards of the church, viz. , the boards of Home 
Missions, Church Extension, Freedmen's Missions and Publication, are located 
in this county, and hold their regular monthly meetings in the Board of Pub- 
lication building, 55 Ninth street, Pittsburgh. 

The Board of Publication owns real estate here to the value of 850,000. 
Its plates, merchandise, etc., are worth §25,000. Its periodicals published 
here, viz., The Evangelical Repository, Bible Teacher, Quarterly Lesson 
Paper, Olive Plants, Youth's Evangelist and Young Christian, have a circula- 
tion of two million and a half copies, and are among the very best publications 
of their class in the countrj'. 

The United Presbyterian Church in Allegheny county is, at the present time, 
in a prosperous and promising condition. Her missionary spirit never was 
better. She is more aggressive in pressing her evangelistic work at all points 
than ever before. She is taking hold of new fields with a vigor and a confidence 
that indicate a determination to do her part in advancing the cause of her 
divine Master. With the blessing of the Head of the church upon her efforts, 
a pro-sparoas future may be confidently anticipated. 

The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland and in the United States 
claims to be the only church legitimately descended from the Church of Scot- 
land in her period of the greatest purity, that of the Second Eeformation. The 
movement which led to the foi'mation of this church was due to the flagrant 
and outrageous violations of his oath and most solemn promises by King 
Charles II, who, after having solemnly sworn to uphold the Presbyterian or 
Established Church of Scotland, and having gained the throne only upon 
condition that he would do this, proceeded as soon as he found himself in 
power to break his oath, and attempted to overthrow the reformation, both civil 
and ecclesiastical. Cameron, Cargill, Renwick and others protested against 
this conduct of the king, and declared him to be a traitor to his country. They 
were outlawed for this and killed. Their followers were cruelly persecuted, 
and only upon the accession of William of Orange to the throne did they 
enjoy liberty of worship. During the " persecuting times," some few of these 
people came to Pennsylvania, and in 1713 met at Middle Octorara and 


solemnly renewed the old Scottish covenant. In 1752 the Scottish church sent 
out Rev. John Cuthbertson to be their minister. In 1774 Rev. Messrs. 
Linn and Dobbin, from the Reformed presbytery of Ireland, immigrated to the 
colony, and the three ministers, veith their people, formed a Reformed Presby- 
terian presbytery. In 1782 these three ministers and the majority of their 
people joined with the Associate Presbyterians, another body on the soil of the 
New World representing Old- World dissent, to form the Associate Reformed 
Presbyterian Church, which in 1858 came to form one of the constituents of 
the United Presbyterian Chui-ch. With characteristic Scotch obstinacy, some 
of the people refused to join with their leaders in the union of 1782, and in 
1792 received again from Scotland a ministry. In 1798 a presbytery was 
organized in Philadelphia under the name of the ' ' Reformed Presbytery of 
the United States of America." In 1809 the church organized itself into "The 
Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America," with three presby- 
teries under its jurisdiction. At this time it undertook, also, the education of 
its own ministry in a theological seminary founded in Philadelphia. From 
the year 1812 the relations of the Covenanting church to the national govern- 
ment were much discussed, it being felt by many that the refusal to allow its 
membership to perform the duties and exercise the privileges of citizenship, 
while possibly justified long before in the days of persecution by a bigoted 
and ungodly king and court, was no longer justifiable under the government 
of the American republic. In 1833 the ' ' New Lights, ' ' as they were called, 
withdrew and formed the ' ' General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian 
Church," taking with them the theological seminary in Philadelphia. The 
remainder at the time of this withdrawal, nowise disheartened, to all appear- 
ance, proceeded to enforce their peculiar views more rigidly than ever, and in 
1840 established a theological seminary in Allegheny, Pa., and in 1871, 
according to their view of the moral duty of covenanting, entered into a cov- 
enant with God and each other to serve God, keep his commandments, and 
adhere to the Reformed Presbyterian principles and testimony. Accordingly, 
no member of this church can become or act as an American citizen. They do 
not vote, enlist in the army, accept of government situations, serve on jiu-ies, 
nor in any way identify themselves with the political system in the United 
States, the constitution of which they hold to be "godless," because neither 
the word ' ' God ' ' nor ' ' Christ ' ' occui's in the body of the instrument. 

' ' The First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, ' ' more commonly 
known as the "Oak Alley Church," was organized in 1799. Rev. John 
Black, a native of Ireland and a Bachelor of Arts of the University of Glas- 
gow, was its first pastor. He was licensed to preach by the presbytery at 
Coldenham, N. Y., in June, 1799, and immediately came to Pittsburgh, where 
he was installed, on December 18, 1800, as pastor of the "First Reformed 
Presbyterian congregation of Pittsburgh, and all the other adherent societies 
in the state of Pennsylvania beyond the Allegheny mountains. ' ' Dr. Black 


was pastor of the congregation until his death, which took phice in Pittsburgh 
on the 25th of October, 1849. At the time of the disruption, in 1833, Dr. 
Bhick adhered to the ' ' New Light ' " party, and what has therefore been said 
as to the peculiar tenets of the Reformed Presbyterians does not apply to 
him or to his successors. Dr. Black was succeeded by Rev. John Douglas, 
D. D. ,* who was ordained pastor of the church in the month of May, 1850, 
and remained in charge for twenty- thi'ee years, when he re.signed and became 
a member of the presbytery of Pittsburgh of the Presbyterian Church. Rev. 
William Young was the next pastor, and served for four or five years, when 
delicate health led him to resign. He shortly afterward died. About this 
time Rev. Nevin Woodside became the candidate of a portion of the church 
for the vacant pulpit. A serious dissension arose, leading to a division. Rev. 
Mr. Woodside was deposed from the ministry by the ecclesiastical courts, but 
has continued to minister to a body of adherents claiming to be the First 
Reformed Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh. This disruption led to pro- 
tracted litigation and caused much scandal. Rev. S. W. Douglas became the 
pastor in the regular succession after Mr. Young, but in 1886 resigned and 
connected himself with the presbytery of Pittsburgh of the Presbyterian Church. 
The church is at present withoi^t a pastor. 

In 1870 a number of chm'ches holding to the jurisdiction of the general 
synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, offended at the action taken in 
subjecting to ecclesiastical discipline Mr. George H. Stuart, of Philadelphia, 
and his pastor, Rev. Dr. Wylie, for using other metrical compositions than 
the psalms of David in divine worship, withdi-ew and united themselves with 
the Presbyterian Church. At this time the Pine Creek Chm-ch, now on the 
roll of the presbytery of Allegheny, took this step. 

The Reformed Presbyterian churches owning allegiance to the "" Synod 
of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States of America " ' are 
represented in Allegheny county by the following organizations, a brief sketch 
of the history of each of which is given: 

Allegheny Reformed Presbyterian Congregatinn. — In 1833, after the announcement of 
the adhesion of Dr. Black and his friends of the "Oak Alley" Church to the "New Side" 
party, a congregation was organized in Allegheny bearing the name of the "Pittsburgh 
and Allegheny Reformed Presbyterian Congregation." The organization took place on 
September 9, and upon May 13 of the year following Rev. Thomas Sproull, D. D.. LL. D., 
was installed pastor. In 1836 a church building was erected in Alleghenj' at the corner 
of Lacock and Sandusky streets. In 186.5 tliis congregation was divided, and a second 
cougregatiou, known as the "Pittsburgh Congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian 
Church," was formed. From this time forward the word " Pittsburgh" was dropped from 
the title of the original church. In October, 1868, Rev. Dr. Sproull resigned his charge 
of the congregation, which upon the December following entered a new church building 
at the corner of Nortli Diamond and Sandusky streets. In November, 1870, Rev. D. B. 

* The writer 19 indebted to Dr. Douglas for the facts as to the church. 



Wilson was installed pastor. Resigned October, 1875. Rev. J. R. W. Sloane, D. D., in- 
stalled pastor June. 1877, and resigned May, 1884. Rev. J. R. J. Milligan was installed 
October, 1885, and is the present pastor. 

First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, O. S., organized 1865. Rev. A. M. 
Milligan, D. D.. was installed pastor in May, 1866, and continued to serve until his death 
in May, 1885. During his pastorate the house of worship on Eighth street was erected. 
In October, 1887, Rev. D. McAllister, D. D., was installed pastor. 

Central Reformed Presbyterian Church of Allegheny, organized October, 1870. Rev. 
J. W. Sproull, D. D., became the pastor, and has remained in charge until the present. 
In 1871 the church on Sandusky street was erected. 

East Liberty Reformed Presbyterian. Church, organized November, 1887. Rev. O. B. 
Milligan installed as pastor in October, 1888. 

Wilkinsburg Reformed Presbyterian Church, organized summer of 1848. House of 
worship erected 1845. Rev. Thomas Hannay, stated supply, 1853; Rev. Joseph Hunter 
installed April, 1853; resigned 1883; Rev. W. W. Carithers installed June, 1883; resigned 
January, 1889. 

Mononyahela Refm-med Presbyterian Congregation, organized 1801, Elizabeth, Pa. 
Rev. William Gibson, 1817-36; Rev. George T. Ewing, 1837-30; Rev. John Crozier, 
1834-65; Rev. J. W. Sproull, 1866-71; Rev. T. C. Sproull, 1871-76; Rev. W. J. Coleman, 
1879-81: Rev. John M. Wylie, 1883-84; Rev. R. Reed, stated supply, and Rev. D. C. 
Martin, stated supply, October, 1888-. 

Pine Creek Reformed Presbyterian Church, O. S., organized not later than 1807, Talley 
Cavey postoffice. Pa. Rev. Matthew Williams, 1807-35; Rev. T. C. Guthrie, D. D.. 
1836-^33; Rev. Hugh Walkinshaw, 183.5-41; Rev. John Galbraith, 1843-70; Rev. Alexander 
Kilpatrick, 1876. 

The educational work of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Allegheny 
county has been mainly confined to efforts to raise up an educated ministry 
for the denomination. 

At the time of the division in 1833 the Old Side party of the church was 
without a theological school, and accordingly in 1836 took steps to organize a 
seminary at New Alexandria, Pa. Eev. J. R. Willson, D. D., was chosen 
professor. In 1838 this action was rescinded, and two seminaries were called 
into being, the Eastern at Coldenham, N. Y., and the Western in Allegheny, 
Pa., Dr. Willson being the professor in the former and Dr. T. Sproull in the 
latter. In 1840 the two seminaries were united in Allegheny under the joint 
professorship of Drs. Willson and Sproull. In 1845 the seminary was removed 
to Cincinnati, Ohio, Dr. Sproull resigning and Dr. Willson remaining in charge. 
The step was unfortunate, and in 1851 the seminary was suspended. In 1856 
the seminary was reorganized in Allegheny, and has remained there ever since. 
At the reorganization in 1856 Drs. Christie and Sproull were made professors. 
Dr. Christie resigned in 1858, and Rev. J. M. Willson, D. D., was chosen his 
successor. Dr. Willson died in 1866, and the next year Rev. S. O. Wylie, 
D. D. , of Philadelphia, was chosen his successor, but declined to serve. Rev. 
J. R. W. Sloane, D. D., was then chosen, and, accepting the position, contin- 
ued to serve in it until his death in 1886. In 1875 Dr. Thomas Sproull was 
made professor emeritus, and Rev. D. B. Willson was elected professor. In 
1886 Rev. .James Kennedy and in 1887 Rev. R. J. George declined a professor- 


ship iu the seminary, but Rev. J. K. McClurkiu accepted it and was installed. 
Dr. Thomas Spronll, at the advanced age of oighty-five years, still hears one 
class in the seminary. 

As a feeder to the theological seminary Westminster College was called into 
being in November, 1848, under the care of the Pittsburgh presbytery of the 
Reformed Presbjiierian Church. It was located in Wilkinsburg. and then, in 
1850, removed to Allegheny, and in 1858 given up and its property devoted to 
the theological seminary. A number of men who have become eminent were 
students in this college. Upon the disorganization of Westminster College, 
Allegheny City College arose in its place, with Rev. John Newell, D. D. , as 
president. In 1860 Prof. J. R. Newell took charge of the school, and in 1863 
it became ' ' The Newell Institute. ' ' 

The official organ of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States 
is The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter. It is edited by Rev. J. W. 
Sproull, D. D. ,* and D. B. Willson. The Central Board of Missions is also 
located in Allegheny, and has charge of the work which is being done by the 
church at home and abroad. The Central Church of Allegheny and the First 
Church of Pittsburgh have very successful schools for the Chinese, in operation. 

At the time of the "Great Revival of 1800," which had its birth in the 
woods of Western Pennsylvania, the presbytery of Transylvania in Kentucky 
appointed a number of persons who had not received a classical education nor 
thorough instruction in theology to act as lay exhorters, and in a few cases to 
preach. In 1802 the synod of Kentucky divided the presbytery of Transyl- 
vania and erected a new presbytery, to which was given the name of the pres- 
bytery of Cumberland. In April, 1803, the new presbytery met, and pro- 
ceeded to ordain Finis Ewing and Samuel King, two of the lay exhorters, and 
to license a number of others. In 1805 complaints were laid before the synod 
of Kentucky declaring these proceedings to have been irregular. A commis- 
sion was accordingly appointed, which visited the region, summoned the pres- 
bytery and the irregularly ordained ministers, and sought to induce the latter 
to submit to an examination. This they refused to do, being supported in 
their determination by the presbytery. The commission accordingly prohibited 
them from further exercising the functions of the ministry' until they should 
submit to examination and an orderly induction into the sacred office. These 
" revival members" of the presbytery, as they chose to call themselves, met 
subsequently as a council, and abstained fi-om presbyterial acts. They sent a 
memorial to the general assembly, but the assembly sustained the action of 
the synod, which subsequently dissolved the Cumberland presbytery and re- 
annexed its members to the presbytery of Transylvania. The council at last 

« The writer is indebted to Dr. Sproull tor the facts .is to the Old Side Covenanter churches embodied in 
the foregoing narrative. 


made an effort at reconciliation, and agreed to submit to an examination of the 
licentiates, upon condition, however, that all should be received in a body. 
This proposal the synod declined. On February 4, 1810, Finis Ewing and 
Samuel King, ordained clergymen, but silenced by the synod, met vs'ith Samuel 
McAdow, an aged minister, and organized themselves into what they called 
the Cumberland presbytery. The presbytery of Transylvania the spring fol- 
lowing suspended Samuel McAdow from the ministry for his schismatical 
conduct. The point really at issue in this controversy was not simply the ir- 
regularity of procedure in admitting candidates to the ministry, but the fact 
that the persons so admitted had taught and continued to teach doctrines at 
variance with the standards of the church. 

The growth of the new body was quite rapid in Kentucky, Tennessee and 
the southwestern states generally. Its polity is strictly Presbyterian. Its the- 
ology, so far as defined, seems to be an attempt to steer a middle course between 
the received theology of the Reformed churches, as represented by the great 
historic confessions of the Reformation period, and the theology of Arminius. 
Revivalistic measures, "protracted meetings," " camp -meetings," and other 
devices, the outgrowth of the early life of the church upon the fi'ontier, are 
.still much resorted to and relied upon. A number of colleges have been 
founded by the church, and are growing in usefulness, and a higher standard 
of education for the ministry than prevailed in the old days of the backwoods 
is being insisted upon. The oldest of the institutions of learning belonging to 
the church, Ciimberland College, at Princeton, Ky., was closed in 1861. 
Waynesburg College, at Waynesburg, Pa., is the only institution for the eduea 
tion of young men in the eastern states belonging to the denomination. 

Statistics of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the United States: 


Whole number of churches 2,648 

Whole number of ministers 1.584 

Whole number of communicants 151,939 

Whole number of Sunday-school scholars 85,890 

Total amount contributed to benevolence f 47,398 

Total amount contributed for congregational expenses 489,320 


In 1831 some members of a Presbyterian church in Washington county. 
Pa., vfiote a letter to the president of Cumberland College, and asked that 
representatives of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination should be sent 
to Pennsylvania that they might become acquainted with its doctrines. The 
matter was laid before the general assembly of the Cumberland Church, 
and Rev. A. M. Bryan was accordingly sent to Pittsburgh. He began his 

♦The writer is indebted for the following narrative to Rev. .1. B. Koehne, the present pastor of the First 
Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, and Rev. J. W. McKay. 


work cas a. street preacher, and in 1S88 a church was organized, which under 
Mr. Bryan's labors grew and prospered. A lot was secured upon Sixth street, 
nearly opposite Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church, and a plain brick church 
capable of seating five hundred persons was erected upon it. Mr. Bryan's 
life was consecrated to this enterprise, and he died during a " protracted meet- 
ing " which he was holding in the church. His death put an apparent end to 
the prosperity of the enterprise. Feuds broke out in the chiu-ch. Its mem- 
bership was decimated by death and removal, and though a long succession of 
ministers has labored in the tield, the old days of prestige and usefulness have 
never returned. The pastors who succeeded Mr. Bryan have been the follow- 
ing: Rev. Mr. Jacobs, Rev. S. T. Stewart, Rev. Dr. E. K. Squiers, Rev. Dr. 
A. Templeton, Rev. W. H. Black, Rev. Samuel S. McBride, Rev. J. M. Hub- 
bert and Rev. N. D. Johnson, the two latter as stated supplies. The present 
pastor is Rev. J. B. Koehne, a graduate of Waynesburg College, who received 
his theological education in the McCormick and the Western Theological sem- 
inaries of the Presbyterian Church, and who was chosen pastor in September, 
1887. In 1886 the old church on Sixth street was sold to the Duquesne club. 
A lot at the corner of Wylie avenue and Congress street was bought in 1888, 
and in 1889 it is hoped that a new church will be erected. The present mem- 
bership of the church is about sixty souls. In connection with this church a 
mission was started, under th^ care of Rev. J. W. McKay, in the fall of the 
year 1888, in East Liberty. 

The other Cumberland Presbyterian churches in Allegheny county are the 
First Ciimberland Presbyterian Church of McKeesport, the Cumberland Pres- 
byterian church of Tarentum, and a mission church in Allegheny City, orga- 
nized in 1883, and at present under the care of Rev. J. H. Barnett. The 
church in McKeesport, which is the outgi'owth of a feud in the First Presby- 
terian church of McKeesport, is numerically the strongest of all these enter- 
prises. The communicant membership of the Cumberland churches in the 
county may be stated as being about three hundred and tifty souls. No relia- 
ble statistics as to benevolent and congregational expenditiires are available. 

The chiu'ch recently known by this name, but more commonly designated 
by the older title of the German Reformed Church, represents the historical 
continuation in the United States of the Reformed branch of the Protestant 
reformation in Germany. 

The Reformed church of Germany had its chief seats in the Rhine prov- 
inces, which, originally accepting the reformation movement as molded by 
Melancthon rather than Luther, in 1559, under Frederick II. surnamed the 
Pious, passed over from the Lutheran to the Reformed faith. The disorders 
of the times, the petty warfares and the endless oppression of the upper classes, 
coupled with the gratuitous offer of land by William Penn, led a good many 



Germans at the beginning of the last centniy to forsake the Rhine provinces 
and come to Pennsylvania. Until 1 747 the religiou.s condition of these emigrants 
was very sad. Without ministers, churches, schools, and even books, except a 
few bibles, catechisms and hymn-books they had brought with them, and widely 
separated by language from those among whom they had settled, they were in 
danger of lapsing into a condition of most profound religious ignorance and 
degradation. For the first twenty years during which a German immigration 
had taken place, i. e. from 17'27-17, there were at no time more than three or 
four ordained German ministers in the entire country. 

In 1746 Rev. Michael Schlatter, a Reformed minister from St. Gall, in 
Switzerland, was sent out by the synods of North and South Holland to labor 
among the German settlers of the Reformed faith. He was a man of great 
energy and zeal, and visited all the German settlements in Virginia, Maryland, 
New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and on September 29, 1747, in the city of 
Philadelphia, brought about the organization of the first coetus or synod of the 
German Reformed Church in the New World. This synod was composed of five 
ministers and twenty-six elders, representing forty-six churches. It stood under 
the jurisdiction of the synod of Holland, and its proceedings for the period of 
forty-six years which followed, or until 1793, were annually submitted to the 
synod of Holland for review and confirmation. In 1793 the coetus assumed 
the right to govern for itself, adopted a constitution of its own, and laying 
aside the name of ' 'coetus ' ' took that of ' ' synod ' ' instead. The ch^^rch became, 
in contradistinction from the Nieder-deutsche or Dutch Reformed Church, the 
Hoch-deutsche Refonnirte Kirche in den Vereinigten Staaten von Nord- 
Amerika. The period which followed this step was characterized by great 
numerical increase in the membership, and a development of financial re- 
sources, but it was also characterized by retrogression in the matter of minis- 
terial qualifications. The clergy were no longer drawn, as had been the case 
formerly, from the ranks of educated men in Europe, but secured an education 
as best they could under the tuition of the pastors and clergy scattered through 
the country. This state of affairs lasted until in 1825, a period of thirty-two 
years, when a theological seminary was established at Carlisle, Pa. , whence 
it was removed in 1829 to York, and then finally established at Mercersburg in 
1835. The period which has followed has been one of constant growth. Con- 
siderable controversy was excited by the attitude of Dr. John W. Nevin, the 
professor of systematic theology at Mercersbiirg, whose views appeared to those 
who did not fully comprehend his spirit to be tinctured by the tractarianism 
of Oxford, with which he was familiar. The discussions aroused now more 
than forty years ago by his teachings have long since died out, not, however, 
without leaving their mark upon the life of the church. The growth of the 
church in the years subsequent to the close of the great civil war has been 
very rapid, owing to immigration, especially in the west. In the eastern part 
of the country English has supplanted the German language in pulpit dis- 


course to a very large degree. In the west, among the newer settlements, 
German is still prevalent. The name of the church was changed by formal 
action of the general synod, in session at Lancaster, Pa., in 1878, by drop- 
ping the word ' ' German, ' ' hitheiio invariably prefixed to the title. 

The statistics of the church throughout the United States show, in 1887, the 
following facts: Number of synods, 7: number of classes or presbyteries, 54; 
number of ministers, 817; number of congregations, 1,481; number of com- 
municants, 183,980; number of Sunday-school scholars, 122,095: number of 
candidates for ministry, 186; amount of contributions for benevolence, $141,- 
122; amount of contributions for congregational support, etc., $804,321; 
total amount of contributions, $945,443. 


The German element in Allegheny county appears at a very early date 
to have been possessed of considerable religious zeal; and the " Smithfield 
Street Church, " as it is commonly known, is the junior of the First Presbyterian 
Church, on Wood street, by only a few years. The rationalizing tendencies, 
which were so powerfully at work among the German churches of Europe, and 
to some extent in those of America, in the first half of the present century, 
having asserted themselves to a large degree in this old church, and a 
considerable popiilation having sprung up which. whOe forgetful of the German 
speech, was found to be attached to the history and traditions of the German 
Reformed Church, an effort was put forth not long prior to the war of the 
rebellion to establish a German Reformed church in Pittsburgh. The result 
was the organization in 1854 of "Grace Reformed Church." The leading 
spirits in the maintenance of this now strong and vigorous organization were 
W. E. Schmertz and wife, George Rauhauser, Rev. D. Diffenbacher, George 
Reiter and wife, Mrs. M. Walker. Rev. Dr. Henry Harbangh presided at the 
organization. Rev. George B. Russell was the first pastor. The first services 
were held in a small church edifice which at the time stood at the corner of 
Smithfield street and Virgin alley, and had been the place of worship for a 
then defunct Unitarian church. 

18,54. Grace Reformed Church, corner Grant and Webster streets, Pittsburgh —Rev. 
G. B. Russell, D. D., May 1. 1854-December 1. 1862; Rev. E. E. Higbee, D. D.. LL. D.. 
February 1, 1863-.January 10, 1866; Rev. J. H. Wagner, February 22. 1866-March 10, 
1870; Rev. L. J. Barkley, June 1, 1670-November 12, 1879; Rev. John H. Prugh, May 1, 

1868. St. Paul's Reformed Church, Forty-fourth street, Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, 
Pa.— Rev. A. Krahn, 1868-70; Rev. J. HetBey, 1870-72; Rev. Mr. Saul, 1873-74; Rev. 
Mr. Ebbingshaus, 1874-79; Rev. M. Dumstrei, 1879-87; J. Harold, July 1, 1887-. 

Juue 19, 1870. Trinity Reformed Church, Wilkinsburg, Pa.— Revs. L. B. Leasure, 
1870-July, 1871; Thomas F. Stauffer, September, 1871-April, 1877; John M. Souder, 
April. 1877-December, 1878; J. William Knappenberger, January, 1879-Xovember, 1883; 
Milton F. Frank, May, 1884-December, 188.5; James S. Freeman, November, 1886-. 

1873. Zion's Reformed Church, East Liberty, Pittsburgh.— Rev. George B. Russell, 


D. D., 1873-75; H. D. Darbaker, 1876-78; J. W. Knappenberger, 1879-83; M. F. Frank. 
1884-85; J. W. Miller, 1886-. 

October 8, 1882. First Reformed Church, McKeesport, Pa. — Rev. H. D. Darbaker. 

1883. First Reformed Church, Turtle Creek, Pa.— Rev. H. D. Darbaker. 1882-88; E. 
S. Hassler, 1888-. 

1888. First Refm-med Church, Braddock, Pa.— E. S. Hassler, 1888-. 

Statistics of the Reformed church in Allegheny county: 

Total number of churches and missions 7 

Total number of ministers 6 

Total number of communicants 928 

Total number of Sunday-school scholars 796 

Total amount contributed to benevolence .|2.260 

Total amount contributed to congregational purposes 7.817 


CHURCHES (Concluded). 

Peotestant Episcopal— Formation of the Diocese of Pittsbiirgh — Meth- 
odist Episcopal— The Book Depository— German Congregation— 
Lutheran— Baptist— Disciples of Christ— Catholic — Jewish Congre- 


The records of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the vicinity of Pitts- 
burgh do not extend beyond the year 1792. There can be little doubt that its 
services and sacraments vpere fi'ec[uently celebrated before that date; for from 
the year 1758 Fort Pitt was occupied as an English military station, and the 
site of the present city of Pittsburgh was laid out and building begun about 
1764, by settlers almost exclusively of English descent. It is hardly probable 
that such an important point was wholly neglected by the clergy of the Estab- 
lished church, or that so many families of church people as then resided in 
the neighborhood would have been content to give up entirely the Christian 
privileges to which they had been used. 

However this may have been, it is certain that no definite attempt was made 
to organize or perpetuate the Chui-ch of England in this part of Pennsylvania 
before the Revolution, or the American Episcopal church after it, until toward 
the closing years of the last century. Even the venerable ' ' Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel," to which we owe so largely the planting and the 
nurture of the church before the separation from the mother-country, appears to 
have made no effort to care for its members in Western Pennsylvania. 

In Bishop Perry's voluminous collection of historical documents relating to 


this time and region there are but two inci<lentHl references to Fort Pitt, and 
they have no connection with the work of the churcii. Tlie farthest station 
westward seems to have been at Carlisle. 

The timidity and inertia of the bishops, clergy and laity in the eastern ]>art 
of the church, during the fifty years following the war of independence, are 
notorious, and would be surprising did we not know the difficulties which they 
had to contend with. The popular prejudice which existed against the clergy, 
who for the most part had adhered to the king's side in the great struggle, 
extended to the liturgy and the whole system of the church to which they 
belonged. The Episcopal church was everywhere on the defensive. It was 
considered as essentially monarchial and aristocratic in its spirit and influence, 
unsuited to the wants of the people of a republic. So strongly did this public 
sentiment affect the rulers of the church that for a long time nothing more was 
done than to keep alive existing congregations. The idea of extending the 
work of the church into new regions was hardly thought of. We are told on 
good authority that up to the year 1811 not only was there no growth through- 
out the United States, but a positive decrease, especially of clergy, and one of 
the foremost of the bishops expressed the opinion that its ultimate extinction 
was only a question of time. Nevertheless, we have unquestionable proof that 
in the whole region west of the mountains, of which Allegheny county is a 
part, there was a numerous body of people by birth and education attached to 
the church, who would have gladly welcomed its services and might easily have 
been kept in its communion. Our principal authority on this point is Rev. 
Joseph Doddridge, M. D. He was himself born in Bedford county. Pa.. 
within 100 miles of Pittsburgh, in 1769, and for some time resided in Washington 
county, in the near neighborhood. To him we owe many interesting details of 
the condition of things' in the church about the close of the last century, and 
it was mainly through his persistent efforts that the attention of eastern church- 
men was gained to the work to be done in this region, He was himself a 
clergyman of the Episcopal church, and spent his life in constant missionary 
labor in Western Virginia and Southern Ohio. In his letters he speaks of the 
great numbers of church people then living in these parts, destitute of all 
pastoral care. In one of them he says : ' ' For the spiritual benefit of the many 
thousands of our Israel, I was most anxious for the organization of the Epis- 
copal church in this' country {i. e. , west of the mountains) at an early period of 
its settlement. How often have these people said to me in the bitterness of 
their hearts, ' Must we live and die without baptism for our children and with- 
out the sacrament for ourselves ? ' " Year after year he continued to plead 
with the authorities of the church in the east to send out a missionary bishop 
to care for these ahepherdless flocks, but without success. His final words on 
this subject are full of despondency and chagrin. ' ' I lost all hope, ' ' he writes, 
" of ever witnessing any prosperity in our beloved church in this part of Amer- 
ica. Everything connected with it fell into a state of langi;or. The vestries 


were not re-elected and our young people joined other societies. I entertained 
no hope that my own remains after death would be committed to the dust with 
the funeral services of my own church." Again he says: "Had we imitated 
the example of other church communities, employed the same means for col- 
lecting our people into societies and building churches, we should by this time 
have four or five bishops in this country, surrounded by a numerous and 
respectable body of clergy, instead of having oiu' very name connected with a 
fallen church. Instead of offering a rich and extensive plunder to every sec- 
tarian missionary we should have occupied the first and highest station among 
the Christian societies of the west." 

When at length, after years of inaction and neglect, the effort was made to 
organize the Protestant Episcopal Church in these parts, the work was far more 
difficult than it would have been had Dr. Doddridge's plea been listened to. 
A great opportunity had been lost and did not return. Not only were the 
thousands of its members, whom Dr. Doddridge assures us then lived in this 
region, alienated from it, but a change had taken place in the character of the 
immigration to this western country. The early settlers at Pittsburgh and in 
its vicinity were very largely members of the Episcopal church. But in after 
years there came an influx of hardy, thrifty Scotch-Irish people, who in a short 
time became the dominant element throughout Western Pennsylvania. They 
brought with them not only their energy and thrift, but a sturdy, aggressive 
Presbyterianism, which was intolerant toward episcopal government and ritual 
worship. In their eyes such things were but little removed from popery itself. 
Under such adverse circumstances it is not to be wondered at that we find no 
organization of the Episcopal church in Allegheny county until the year 1790; 
and it is significant that this was made, not at Pittsburgh, where we would 
naturally look for it, but among a rural population in Chartiers township, about 
six miles from the city, under the name of St. Luke's Church. The records 
read: "'The first Episcopal church west of the mountains was organized and 
the church built by several persons, viz. : Gen. Johnson Neville, his son, 
Pressly Neville, Maj. Isaac Craig and others." The lot, ten perches square, 
was given by William Lea for a site and graveyard. The church building was 
begun in 1790 and fui'nished in the following year, but not entirely finished 
until some time afterward. By whom the services were given, or who had 
charge of the flock, is not mentioned. But we learn that Mr. Francis Reno 
was taken under the care of Gen. Neville and educated and prepared for the 
ministry of the church. In due time he was ordained by Bishop White, of 
Pennsylvania, and called to the rectorship of the church at Chartiers. He 
officiated there for some years, until an insurrection (the whisky insurrection of 
1794) disturbed the public peace and drove the supporters of the church from 
the locality. Some time afterward we find that Mr. Reno was engaged to offi- 
ciate alternately at Chartiers and Pittsburgh, but soon left the neighborhood. 
The church appears to have been closed, and, being built of wood, soon fell into 


decay, and almost every trace of the building was removed. The record goes 
on to state that no decided step was taken to rebuild the church until 1S51. 
However this may be, the insurrection could not have completely discouraged 
the congregation, for we find in Dr. Doddridge's memoirs a report of a con- 
vention of four clergymen held at St. Thomas' church, Washington county, 
Pa., September 26, 1803, Mr. Eeno being one of them, at which it was re- 
solved that the next convention be held at the church near Gen. Neville's old 
place, on Chartiers creek, Pa., to commence the Saturday before Whitsunday. 
In the year 1851, through the efforts of Rev. Dr. Lyman (now bishop), 
then rector of Trinity Church, Pittsburgh, a new church was begun on the site 
of the old one, and regular services resumed. From that time until 1871 the 
church was kept open and the congregation held together by various rectors, 
who seem never to have remained any length of time. Since then only occa- 
sional ministrations have been given. The building up of other centers of 
population at Mansfield and Grafton, and the founding of churches there, have 
divided the already diminished flock until almost nothing remains of what was 
once a numerous congregation. The church building is occasionally occupied 
during the summer months, and, with its old graveyard around it, stands as a 
monument of the first effort of reviving life in the church in Allegheny county. 
What steps were taken to establish the Episcopal church in Pittsburgh 
previous to 1797 is not known. But as Rev. Mr. Reno is recorded to have 
officiated there in connection with Chartiers shortly after 1794, it is likely that 
there was some movement toward that end. In 1797, however, we learn from 
the records of Trinity Church that the members of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church residing in Pittsburgh invited Rev. John Taylor to officiate for 
them; but it was not until September, 1805, that a regular parish organization 
was formed by obtaining from the governor of Pennsylvania a charter ' ■ making 
and instituting Rev. John Taylor, the minister of the congregation of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the borough of Pittsburgh, Pressly Neville and 
Samuel Roberts, the wardens of said church, and Nathaniel Irish, Joseph Bar- 
ber, Jeremiah Barber, Andrew Richardson, Nathaniel Bedford, Oliver Ormsby. 
George McGunnigle, George Robinson, Robert Magee, Alexander McLaughlin, 
William Cecil and Joseph Davis, the vestrymen of said church, and their suc- 
cessors duly elected and appointed in their place, a corporation and body poli- 
tic in law and in fact, by the name, style and title of the minister, church ward- 
ens and vestrymen of Trinity Church. Pittsburgh. ' ' Such was the decisive step 
which gave to the church in Allegheny county a definite standing and a center 
of growth. From this time for many years the history of Trinity Church is 
virtually that of the church in Allegheny county and in Western Pennsylvania. 
From the mother-parish nearly all new enterprises took their start or looked to 
it for support. About the same time with the organization, the building of a 
church was begun. It stood on the triangular lot at the intersection of Sixth 
street with Wood and Liberty streets, now occupied by a business block. In 


order to cotiform with the shape of the lot it was built ia oval form, and was 
known as the Round church. " Father " Taylor, as he came to be called, held 
the rectorship until 1817, when he resigned. But few traditions of his minis- 
try survive. He seems to have been a faithful and devout clergyman, of blame- 
less life, who probably did as much for the church in those days as any ordi- 
nary man could. It is said that he was killed some years afterward by a stroke 
of lightning, near Georgetown, Mercer county, Pa. In the short space of six 
years between Father Taylor's resignation in 1817 and July, 1823, three cler- 
gymen were chosen to the rectorship, served for brief periods, and in turn 
resigned. No statistics of the parish for these years exist. Of the success or 
the growth of the congregation, of its hope and outlook, no records remain. 
But from the fact that in 1823, when after two years' service Rev. William 
Thompson resigned the charge of the parish, no attempt was made to elect a 
successor, it may be inferred that the prospects of the parish were not very 
encouraging. Nor'could it have reasonably been expected that an Episcopal 
church situated in a region so remote as Pittsburgh then was, deprived of the 
care of a bishop and without the privilege of confirmation for its children, by 
which alone new communicants covild regularly be admitted, would make any 
striking progress in a hostile community. It is rather a matter of surprise 
that it survived at all. During this period of twenty-five yeai's or more, 
repeated efforts were made to enlist the sympathy and support of the church at 
the east, and to obtain for the whole region west of the Allegheny mountains 
then settled the erection of a diocese and the consecration of a bishop. Dr. 
Doddridge, though not then residing in Pennsylvania, never ceased to urge it. 
In 1810, at a meeting of Episcopal clergymen held at St. Thomas' church, 
Washington county, he was authorized to open correspondence with Bishop 
White, of Pennsylvania, for the purpose of obtaining through him permission 
fi'om the general convention of the church in the United States to carry out the 
project, such consent being necessary under the canons of the church. The 
petition was presented by Bishop White, and at one time there seemed to be 
hope of its favorable consideration; but the matter was dropped, as usual, and 
the clergy sending the memorial never so much as heard of its fate until nearly 
two years afterward through the chance visit of a clergyman from the east. 
But symptoms of interest in the state of the church west of the mountains began 
to show themselves about the same time. The formation of ' ' The Society for 
the Advancement of Chi-istianity in Pennsylvania" took place in 1812. This 
was the first attempt to make an organized effort to plant the chiu'ch on new 
ground. Shortly after the founding of this society Rev. Jackson Kemper, 
afterward a missionary bishop of the northwestern territories, visited Pitts- 
burgh and its vicinity, and on his return made an interesting report, which has 
been lost. In 1814 Rev. John Clay, D. D., then a deacon from Philadel- 
phia, was sent out on a visit of inquiry, and supplied Mr. Taylor's place at 
Trinity church for thi-ee Sundays, while he made a missionary tour to various 


poiats where services were desired. It is also on record that Kev. Mr. Rich- 
mond, a missionary in the employment of the society, supplied Trinity Church 
with services for a short time. Probably these were the first clergymen from 
the east who had ever seen Pittsburgh, as it was certainly the first and only time 
that Trinity Church received ministrations through the agency of the church at 
the east. Elsewhere the new missionary society had liegun its active opera- 
tions, so efficient and successful in after-time iu planting churches which have 
become strong and flourishing. 

An event now took place which explains partly the failure to elect a new 
rector in the place of Rev. Mr. Thompson, and which is really the first of two 
decisive events in the history of the church in Allegheny county. We are told 
that, at the request of the vestry, after Mr. Thompson resigned in 1S23 John 
H. Hopkins, Esq. , then a layman of Trinity Church, was invited to hold services. 
Years before, Mr. Hopkins had removed to Pittsburgh, studied law, and very 
soon became a prominent member of the bar. It is said that his income at this 
time was $5,000 per annum. He had been brought up in the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, but through friendship and social influence had, like so many 
other members of the church, been led to attend the Presbyterian services. 
His musical abilities led him to take charge of the organ and choir of Trinity 
Church. Very soon he became a communicant, and finally a candidate for holy 
orders. Shortly after, he was invited to read service for the congregation as 
a layman. He was also elected rector of the parish in advance of his ordina- 
tion, which took place December l-t, 1823. A week later he entered upon his 
duties as rector of Trinity Church, and from that time dates a new order of 
things in the church in Allegheny county, and in fact throughout the whole 
of Western Pennsylvania. Almost immediately there were signs of reviving 
hope and courage. The project of building a new church, which had for some 
time been talked of, was put into execution. Mr. Hopkins made the plans of 
the new church, and with his own hands did a large part of the interior decora- 
tion. It was the first example of gothic architecture not only in Pittsburgh 
but in the country. The new church, estimated to seat 1,000 persons, was 
completed and consecrated in June, 1825. It was a great step forward for 
that day, and meant that the church intended to stay and to grow. Up to that 
time no bishop had ever crossed the Allegheny mountains. In 1824 Bishop 
White made an attempt to visit the western part of his diocese, but meeting with 
an accident at Lewistown, he retiu-ned to Philadelphia. In 1825 he made a sec- 
ond effort, and succeeded in reaching Pittsburgh to consecrate the new edifice 
of Trinity Church. During his visit he also confirmed nearly one hundred and 
fifty persons belonging to the congregation, the first time that ordinance had ever 
been administered in the west. Within one year the list of communicants 
belongmg to Trinity Church was increased from forty to about two hundred, so 
that it became at once the third parish in numerical strength within the dio- 
cese. From that time it took its place in the front ranks of influential 


parishes in the country, and was the recognized representative of the church 
west of the mountains, and an important center of expansion. The varied and 
remarkable gifts of the rector, as a preacher, a writer, a theologian, a musician, 
a lawyer and an artist, gave him a wide influence throughout the church, as 
well as in the city of Pittsburgh. Mr. Hopkins did not confine his labors to 
his own parish. He made a missionary totir as far north as Meadville and 
eastward to Greensburg, holding prolonged services in both of these places, 
gathering numbers into the chm-ch (in the former place about sixty), and lay- 
ing the foundations of future parishes. No less than seven new parishes were 
thus established by him in as many years. Not content with such personal 
efforts, he also tried to supply the need of additional workers in the field. He 
saw that if a sufficient number of clergy were to be secured for the then remote 
west it must be done by training them up on the ground. When it took a 
week's time or more to make the journey from Philadelphia or New York to 
Pittsburgh it was in vain to look for any considerable number of promising 
recruits from the east. He therefore began a theological training-school for 
clergymen in his own house. He had, before entering upon the ministry, pur- 
chased a large tract of ground on the Ohio river, in the very heart of what is 
now Allegheny City, but was then open country. On this he built a large brick 
house, which still stands as one of the landmarks of sixty years ago. In this 
house Mr. Hopkins fitted up a chapel and recitation-rooms, and received into 
his family such young men as desired to prepare for holy orders. In 1 829 four 
young men thus trained by him were ordained deacons, and four others were 
among the candidates for orders reported by the bishop in his annual address. 
At the same time he was urging earnestly upon his eastern friends the wisdom 
of establishing a theological seminary under the authority of the diocese in the 
neighborhood of Pittsburgh. A memorial was drawn up and signed by those 
interested, and presented to the convention of the diocese. At one time it 
looked as if something might come of it. The memorial was referred to a 
committee, which reported favorably upon it, and the convention passed a reso- 
lution declaring it expedient to do what was asked. But, like every other meas- 
ure having in view the development of the church west of the mountains, it was 
([uietly smothered in the convention of the next year. Had Mr. Hopkins suc- 
ceeded in carrying out his plan, the whole history of the church in Allegheny 
county would have been different. As it was, however, the vigorous impulse 
already given to church extension west of the Alleghenies never wholly died out. 
In fact Mr. Hopkins virtually performed a large part of the duties of a mis- 
sionary bishop, without the dignity of the office or its authority. Henceforth 
the rector of Trinity Church had to be taken into account in the counsels of 
eastern churchmen. He was a power in the convention of the diocese and in 
the general convention of the church, and very soon he was advanced to the 
episcopate, as were three out of four of his immediate successors in the rector- 
ship, so prominent and lasting was the position which he gave to the parish 

338 msToitv of Allegheny county. 

wbich he practically fouuded. In 1880 Christ Church, Allogheuy City, was 
organized on the north side of the river, to accommodate the growing popula- 
tion of that suburb. Its progress was for a long time slow. Trinity Church 
naturally attracting a large proportion of the new settlers. Among its earliest 
rectors was Rev. Edward Y. Buchanan, the brother of the ex-president of 
the "United States. As late as 1857 Christ Church was still feeble in numbers 
and in pecuniary resources, and the building had a neglected and shabby look. 
But about that time it secured Rev. Dr. David Carter Page as rector, once 
a man of great influence and reputation in the church, but then somewhat past 
the maturity of his powers. He was still, however, of commanding personal 
appearance, distinguished manners, and striking as a reader of the liturgy and 
as a preacher. Under his ministry Christ Church began to show signs of im- 
provement. The old church was remodeled and impi'oved, and in the next 
twenty years it reached a position only second to the more popular of the Pitts- 
burgh churches. 

About the same time with the formation of Christ Church, Allegheny, St. 
Paul's, Laceyville (now part of Pittsburgh), was founded, and had for its rector 
Rev. Dr. C. W. Andrews, afterward the rector of St. Andrew's Church, and later 
on a famous man in the diocese of Virginia. 

In 1837 a still more important step was taken, in the formation of St. 
Andrew's parish, by the union of such churchmen as held what were known as 
" Low Church " views of doctrine and ministry and the minimum of ritual 
observance. At this period party lines were sharply drawn in the diocese of 
Pennsylvania, and it was inevitable that as soon as that element in the church 
became suiiiciently strong and numerous it would set up for itself. The result 
was the foundation of St. Andrew's Church, a congregation which for many 
years had a powerful influence in all church movements, and is still one of the 
wealthiest and foremost in all good works in the two cities. One after another, 
as the population drifted farther and farther from the old centers, new par- 
ishes were organized, iTutil Grace Church, Mount Washington, St. James' and 
St. John's churches, Pittsburgh, and St. Mark's, Birmingham, took their places 
in the ranks. But the most striking example of the rapid growth of the 
church took place afterward. About the year 1850, under the ministry of 
Rev. Dr. (now Bishop) Lyman, the old Trinity church, built in Bishop Hop- 
kins' time, began to be too small for its overflowing congregation. The proj- 
ect of building a new and costly edifice in its immediate neighborhood began 
to be talked of, and was soon carried out. The intention was to provide what 
is known in England as a chapel of ease for the congregation of Trinity. Ac- 
cordingly a site only a few blocks distant from the old church was purchased, 
and St. Peter's Church erected upon it. It was intended that the two churches 
should form but one parish, and be served by the clergy belonging equally to 
both. The new chiirch was built on the strict gothic style, then but recently 
revived in this country. It was modeled after the beautiful building of St. 


Mark's church, Philadelphia, and when completed it was by far the most 
beautiful and costly church edifice within hundreds of miles of Pittsburgh. 
And when, with all its attractiveness of architecture and fiu-nishing. Rev. Dr. 
E. M. Van Deusen, of Wilmington, Del., was called to take charge of it. 
it became something more than the favored daughter of the mother-parish. In 
a short time St. Peter's grew to be by all odds the most flourishing congrega- 
tion of the Episcopal church in Allegheny county. Accessions were numer- 
ous and constant, and perhaps the church was stronger in numbers and wealth, 
relatively to population, daring the time of St. Peter' s palmy days than ever 
before or since. It was not to be expected that an arrangement such as was 
at first contemplated should continue long under these circumstances. St. 
Peter's Church soon sought and obtained a sejaarate organization as an inde- 
pendent parish, and under Dr. Van Deusen' s ministry imtil very near its close 
(when dissension arose, growing out of political questions relating to the civil 
war) it maintained its supremacy. 

But as the facilities for communication increased, the tendency to move out 
of town amounted to something like a general emigration, especially toward 
the little village of East Liberty, which since 1860 has been the most fashion- 
able quarter; the " East End," as it is now called. In 1856 a small parish was 
organized there, and for a while worshiped in a disused Methodist meeting- 
house, little thinking then of the future in store for it. But the growing dis- 
position to remove from the dirt and noise of the business parts of the city 
built up the new congregation, year by year, until Calvary Church, East Lib- 
erty, with its nearly seven hundred communicants, its splendid corps of workers, 
and its thorough organization, is the leading church of the county and diocese. 
But the growth was a serious drain upon the old parishes of the city, and for a 
time materially reduced their numbers, and made manifest the fact that the 
building of St. Peter's so near Trinity was an error, though perhaps it was im- 
possible to forecast what happened in the movement of population. The years 
from 1850 to 1860 were active and encouraging days for the Episcopal church in 
Allegheny county. The rapid grovrth of the two cities of Pittsburgh and Alle- 
gheny had fairly begun, and has ever since been maintained. The parishes were 
filled with rectors who not only drew to themselves the love and confidence of 
their congregations, but also put the church in its best light before the com- 
munity at large. With Dr. Lyman, now bishop of North Carolina, at Trinity, 
Dr. William Preston as the genial rector of St. Andrew's, Dr. E. M. Van 
Deusen, whose memory is still cherished as the model of a parish priest and as 
an eloquent preacher, at St. Peter's, and, for a part of the time, with Dr. D. 
C. Page at Christ Church, the parishes of the city might well congratulate 
themselves on their good fortune at this period. In addition to this, the num- 
ber of influential laymen whose names were enrolled upon its list of commu- 
nicants gave it a standing which has never been surpassed. We find during 
these years the distingtiished names of Judge Wilson McCandless, Judge 


Sbalcr, Gea. George W. Cass, Maj. T. J. Brereton, Hill Burgwin, Esq., John 
H. Shoenberger, F. R. Brunot, Josiah King, George R. White, Joseph H. 
Hill, with others of equal note, whose names any church might be glad to in- 
scribe upon its register. If not so strong numerically as afterward, it may be 
confidently said that it was at the very height of its influence. The new life 
which at this time began to be felt among church people in Pittsburgh very 
soon brought to the front again the question of setting up a separate diocese 
in the counties lying west of the Allegheny mountains. The project had never 
been entirely abandoned, but for a time the increased and rapid means of com- 
munication with the east had rendered the need of a bishop on the groiind less 
urgent. It was now easier to reach the most remote missionar}' station in the 
northwest corner of the diocese than it was to get to Lancaster or Harrisburg 
in the early days when Dr. Doddridge and his friends were pleading for a 
bishop and a diocese for the west. Besides, the consecration of Bishop H. U. 
Onderdonk in 1828 as assistant to Bishop White gave more adequate episcopal 
supervision, and quieted for a time the demand for a separate jurisdiction. 
The election of Bishop Alonzo Potter in 1845, with his splendid physique, com- 
manding powers and untiring labors, still further tended to satisfy churchmen 
in the west with their condition for the time being. But in 1860 came the 
discovery of petroleiim in the northern counties, and with a great rush of fort- 
une-seekers, not only to the oil-producing country, but to Pittsburgh, as the 
center of the trade at that time. The increasing need of episcojjal labor, 
especially in these parts of the state, and Bishop Potter's failing health, led to 
the election of Dr. Samuel Bowman as assistant bishop. From the very first 
he took the liveliest interest in the church in the western counties, and with 
all his might pushed forward the plan for a new diocese with its own bishop. 
His sudden death by the wayside, while making a missionary journey in this 
part of the diocese, did but fix the determination of churchmen in Pittsburgh 
and its vicinity never to give up the agitation until their prayer should be 
granted. For six years longer the conservatism of the east and other influ- 
ences delayed the step. But at length the persistency and skillful manage- 
ment of a few determined men won the day, and in the year 1865 consent was 
reluctantly given to the formation of the new diocese, and what Dr. Doddridge 
and his fellow-workers had sought in vain more than fifty years before was at 
last obtained. 

To this consent, however, was attached the condition that a capital sum of 
not less than thirty thousand dollars should be secured as an endowment for the 
bishopric. The condition was readily complied with, though under protest 
as being unlawful and unwise. All preliminary steps required by the general 
canons of the church having been taken, the primary convention of the 
diocese of Pittsburgh met in Trinity church, Pittsburgh, November 15. 1865. 

It was the second decisive step forward for the church in Allegheny county 
and the western part of Pennsylvania, as Bishop Hopkins' entrance upon the 

^S^' s 



rectorship of Trinity Church had been the first. Many were the prophecies 
of new life and progress, and high were the hopes indulged by the victorious 
churchmen of the west. And on the other hand not a few predicted only 
failure and embarrassment for the diocese. Warm and something more than 
earnest was the canvass that preceded the meeting of the convention and the 
election of a bishop, for, as has been said, party spirit was strong in Penn- 
sylvania in those days, and now that the formation of a new jurisdiction was 
settled upon, those who had opposed it turned their attention toward gaining 
the control of it. The after-results of this struggle of twenty-five years ago 
are felt to-day, and have been sufficiently serious to modify the actual benefits 
realized by the division. The candidates nominated for the bishopric were 
Rev. John Barrett Kerfoot, D. D. , then president of Trinity College, Hart- 
ford, Conn., some of whose devoted students at St. James' College, Mary- 
land, were among the leading spirits in the movement for the division of the 
diocese, and Rev. Frederic Dan Huntington, D. D. , now bishop of Central 
New York. Dr. Kerfoot was elected on the first ballot by a large majority, 
and on the 25th day of January, 1866, he was consecrated first bishop of the 
diocese of Pittsburgh in Trinity church. The event created unusual interest 
throughout the church, being the first case in which a new diocese had been 
formed out of an old one since 1838, when Western New York was sim- 
ilarly formed, and also because of the long contest which had preceded the 
event. All eyes were turned toward the western part of the state, and the 
results of the experiment were warmly watched. 

Bishop Kerfoot entered upon his duties with the energy and abilities which 
belonged to him. His decided character and deep religiousness made a strong 
impression from the start. But he found himself hampered fi'om the outset 
by the want of unity in the counsels and feeling of the churchmen of Pitts- 
burgh. The difPerences of opinion and the sharp controversies which had 
accompanied the formation of the diocese and the election of the bishop could 
not at once be put aside and forgotten, and for a long time interfered with the 
efficient working out of his plans. Very naturally his first thoughts were 
directed to the development of the church in the cities of Pittsburgh and 
Allegheny. To this end, taking up the idea of Bishop Hopkius more than 
fifty years before, he projected the University of St. Augustine, with special 
reference to the training of young men for the ministry; but this plan fell 
through now, as it had in Bishop Hopkins' day. He also organized the City 
Missionary society, intended to carry on the work of church extension in the two 
cities, and the Church Guild, which it was hoped would bring into harmonious 
working the members of the various churches and accomplish miach charitable 
work. A desirable building was purchased, in which the bishop had his office. 
There was a reading-room opened, a night school for young men and a free dis- 
pensary established. For a time everything seemed successful, and promised 
well ; but within two years interest declined, and finally the whole thing was given 


up. Bishop Kerfoot also reorganized and placed on a permanent footing tbe 
Bishop Bowman Institute, a school for girls, which had been started some time 
before with a rather uncertain future. Under the bishop's guidance it has 
grown to be the leading school of its kind in Allegheny county. The City 
Missionary society continued in active operation for about two years, doing 
some work among the poor and neglected, and establishing two missionary 
parishes, one each in Pittsburgh and Allegheny. The former has gone out of 
existence, after experiencing various fortunes; the latter has finally taken shape 
as Emmanuel Church, a rapidly growing parish, with a good prospect of future 
strength and influence. With all the drawbacks mentioned, however, the 
formation of the new diocese more than justified the hopes of those who had 
so earnestly pressed it. Although the numerical growth was not at once so large 
as might have been expected in the two great cities, there was an immediate 
effect in bringing out the dormant powers of the church, especially in its giving 
power. Not only was the support of the bishop easily provided for, but the 
missions of the diocese were liberally sustained and many new points occu- 
pied; the contributions of the churches for general missions and charities were 
at the same time enlarged, and the far larger part of the money for such pur- 
poses naturally came from Allegheny county, where the strength of the church 
was concentrated more than elsewhere. The rate of increase in the church in 
Pittsburgh was also more rapid after the separation, though not so striking 
as in some other parts of the diocese. In order to appreciate the difiference 
we must remember how slow had been the growth in former years. 

When Bishop Hopkins assumed the rectorship of Trinity Church, in 1825, 
there was but the one organization west of the mountains, with 40 communi- 
cants. The impulse given at that time continued long afterward, and in 1840 
the number of organized parishes in Allegheny county had increased to five, 
three of them reporting 416 communicants. In 1850 the list of parishes is 
still the same, but four of them report 520 communicants. In 1860 there 
were twelve parishes, and the number of communicants reported by six of 
them was 750. If the other six had even as many as one-third of those report- 
ing, there must have been 1,000 enrolled communicants at that date. Suppos- 
ing these figures to be accurate, the period from 1850 to 1860 must have been 
the most prosperous in the history of the church in Allegheny county up to that 
time. Part of this growth was doubtless due to the rapid influx of population, 
for Pittsburgh and its suburbs had grown from a town of a few thousand 
inhabitants in 1825 to a great manufacturing city of 150,000 in 1860. But 
it is also true that, but for the new life that bad sprung up in the church, her 
members might have been neglected and lost to her, as they had been before 
Bishop Hopkins' time. 

When the diocese of Pittsburgh was formed, in 1865, there had been no 
increase of parishes since 1859, and the number remained stationary until 
1868. But these same parishes had vastly developed in working power and in 


liberality as well as in numbers. The communicants had grown to 1,300, 
and the money raised for all purposes, which had amounted to $15,000 or 
$16,000, now reached over $40,000. After 1868 the constant supervision of 
the bishop and his incessant labor began to have their efPect upon the church 
in the whole county. New churches came rapidly into existence, and in a few 
years St. Stephen's Church, Sewickley; St. Thomas', Verona; The Nativity, 
at Grafton; St. Luke's, Bloomfield; St. Stephen's, McKeesport, and the Good 
Shepherd, Hazelwood, took their places on the list with the older parishes. 
Nor was this all. St. Andrew's Church replaced its plain old building with a 
costly structure, expending something over $100,000. In 1871 the cathedral- 
like edifice of Trinity, with its beautiful appointments, costing, with chapel, 
$200,000, took the place of the old church, which was the wonder of Bishop 
Hopkins' day. Christ church, which had already been remodeled, was still 
further improved, and Calvary, East Liberty, had to enlarge its proportions to 
accommodate its growing congi'egations. At the time of Bishop Kerf oof s 
death, in 1881, there were sixteen parishes and three mission stations in Alle- 
gheny county. The communicants had increased to more than two thousand 
live hundred, and the contributions had reached an annual average of over 
170,000, rising as high as $150,000 in a single year. While these figures are 
very far from being as they should be, they show a vast improvement over the 
conditions which existed so long. 

The great disappointment of Bishop Kerfoot's episcopate was the failure 
to establish institutions for education and for charity. He found when enter- 
ing upon his work one such agency already existing, the Church Home for Aged 
Women and Children, and at the close of his life it remained the only diocesan 
charity. There are many reasons for this backwardness in a communion so 
wealthy and numerous as is the Protestant Episcopal Church in these cities, but 
the main one is that already mentioned, the want of thorough, united effort in 
such good works. The bishop labored faithfully to realize his hopes for found- 
ing a system of diocesan institutions such as the church should have, but the time 
for them was not yet. Aside from this obstacle it is to be remembered that 
the population of Pittsburgh and Allegheny is overwhelmingly Presbyterian 
and Methodist, and in some sense hostile to the Episcopal church. The ten- 
dency of these denominations is to organize charities and institutions of all 
sorts upon what is called the "non-sectarian " basis. ~ The united wealth and 
social influence of these powerful bodies make it easy to carry out any project in 
which they unite, and as a consequence the members of the church, finding little 
help outside themselves in establishing their own institutions, fall in with the 
prevailing method, and "do in Rome as the Romans do." Enough has been 
contributed by members of the Episcopal church to such charitable projects 
to found at least a part of the institutions so much needed for her own work. 
The laborious and fruitful episcopate of Bishop Kerfoot ended at Meyersdale, 
Somerset county, July 10, 1881. He literally wore himself out in the service 


of the church. His labors were incessant, and at the same time his highest 
pleasure. His memory will long be cherished in the diocese, and the monu- 
ments of his zeal and devotion will tell the story of his unselfish life to other 

Shortly after the death of Bishop Kerfoot a special convention was called 
to meet in Trinity church, Pittsburgh, and at this convention Rev. Cort- 
landt Whitehead, D. D. , rector of the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, 
Pa., was chosen his successor. His consecration took place, as did Bishop 
Kerfoot' s before him, on St. Paul's day, January 25, 1882, in Trinity church, 
Pittsburgh. Since his accession to the episcopate the growth of the church 
in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and Allegheny has been rapid, but it may con- 
fidently be said that it is only beginning to be something like what it should be 
and might have been years ago had it not been for the delay in giving to the 
church in the west a head of its own. The enormous immigration setting 
into the county of Allegheny during the past few years is very largely com- 
posed of ironworkers and glass-blowers, who have been brought up in the 
English church, and naturally belong to the Episcopal church of this country. 
The numbers of workmen of this class employed by the immense establish- 
ments at Braddock and Homestead and McKeesport, to say nothing of Pitts- 
burgh and Allegheny, are counted by thousands. It requires only missionary 
clergy in sufficient numbers and a liberal outlay of money to form them into 
permanent congregations. But for want of prompt looking after, the habit of 
a lifetime and the associations of their old homes are broken up by their new 
surroundings, and to a great extent they become negligent and hard to win 
back when the church does look after them. There are, however, signs of a bet- 
ter state of things. Within the last two years, especially, churches and chapels 
have been rapidly multiplied among the working people in the neighborhood 
of Pittsburgh, and missions begun which will before long have their own places 
of worship. Five such chapels have been opened within a short time, and one 
new church built in a totally different community, at Bellevue; while the new 
Church of the Ascension at Shadyside, now being erected, will add in a few 
years another strong and wealthy parish to the list. Everything points to a 
more rapid development of church extension in Allegheny county than at any 
previous time. 

The statistics taken fi-om the last convention journal are as follows: 
Families, 2,304; confirmations. 354; contributions, $105,233.83; value of church 
property, $601,000. Yet such statistics, impressive as they are compared 
with the state of things when the diocese was formed, give but little idea of 
what they would be if the church in Allegheny county could keep within its 
fold all who rightly belong to her by birth and baptism. In that case its mem- 
bers would be numbered by thousands where it counts hundreds now. There 
are districts in which there are from five to ten times the number reported, 
who ought to be upon its parish lists. And if its numerical strength were com- 

? i/y ,'ohn Sa'taimJ'ftil^ 

^^/^/?^^K^Jf. ^A/^<^~/^7V^ 


puted as the Roman Catholic church counts its membership, the Protestant 
Episcopal Church would stand at any rate third or fourth in the list of ecclesi- 
astical bodies. 



W ell -authenticated tradition says that in the spring of 1784 Mrs. Mary 
Gaut, a widow and a devout Methodist, came from Ireland to the home of her 
brother, Thomas Wilson, in the village of Pittsburgh. Through her influence 
the three daughters of her brother were converted, and these four persons were 
accustomed to hold religious services, which consisted of singing, prayer and the 
readincrof one of Mr. Wesley's sermons. These were probably the first Meth- 
odists in the village, and their meetings the first Methodist services. But the 
entire family shortly afterward removed to the neighborhood of Sandy creek, 
and even these private services ceased in Pittsburgh. The first Methodist ser- 
mon ever preached in Pittsburgh, of which we have any account, was by Rev. 
Wilson Lee, then one of the preachers on the Redstone circuit, who preached 
here in the autumn of 1785, in a tavern which stood on Water street, near 
Ferry street. Biit no organization or regular services followed this. 

Pittsburgh circuit was organized in July, 1788, at a conference held at 
Uniontown, Pa., and Rev. Charles Conaway was appointed the preacher in 
charge. It embraced the village of Pittsburgh and the surrounding country. 
No members were reported at the close of the year. Mr. Conaway was re-ap- 
pointed in 1789, and at the close of that year reported ninety-seven members; 
but there is good reason to suppose that none of these were in Pittsburgh. July 
19. 1789, Bishop Asbury made his first visit to the place. His journal says: 
" Sunday, 19th. — Came to Rowlett' sand dined; thence we set out and reached 
Pittsburgh, twenty-five miles; I preached in the evening to a serious audience. 
This is the day of small things. What can we hope ? Yet what can we fear ? 
I felt great love for the people, and hope God will arise and help and bless 
them. Monday, 20th. I preached on Isa. Iv, 6, 7. Had great zeal, and the 
people were very attentive, but alas! they are far from God and too near the 

savages in situation and manners. We were not agreeably stationed at 's, 

who was continually drunk, and our only alternative was a tavern. Tuesday, 
21st. — I spoke on ' The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was 
lost.' We were crowded, and I felt more courage. The night before the rude 
soldiers were talking and dancing about the door, but now they were quiet and 
mute. This, I judged, might be owing to the interference of the officers or 
magistrates. ' ' He does not say where he preached. The day following this 
last entry he says: " We left Pittsbm-gh and came by the Allegheny river to 
Wilson" s ' ' — the same family, no doubt, as that mentioned as containing the first 
Methodists in Pittsburgh. No mention is made by him of any members in 
Pittsburgh. The preachers who served the circuit during this period were: 


1788, Charles Conaway; 1789, Charles Conaway and Pemberton Smith: 1790,. 
George Callahan and Joseph Doddridge; 179.1, Charles Conaway; 1792, Val- 
entine Cook and Seely Bnun; 1793, Daniel Hitt and Alward White; 1794, 
John Watson and Richard Ferguson; 1795, John Watson and Richard Fer- 
guson; 1796, William Beauchamp. This brings us to the close of the prepar- 
atory period. 

CHURCH 1796 TO 1810. 

Down to the opening of this period there was no organization in this city. 
If there were any converts they were so few that no church resulted. But we 
have positive proof of the organization of a class at this time, of the circum- 
stances of which we now speak. 

In the autumn of 1796 John Englishman, settled in Pittsburgh 
and became a leading merchant and one of its most honored citizens. His store 
was on the corner of Market and Fourth streets. He was the progenitor of a large 
and highly respectable family, some of whom are still here, and among the most 
distinguished of whom is his granddaughter, Mrs. Gen. Grant. Mr. Wrenshall, 
was a convert to Wesleyanism in England, and had been a local preacher there 
for sixteen years. He was a man of culture, deep piety and great earnestness, 
Finding no regialar service here, and the people- destitute of public religious 
privileges, he began to hold meetings himself. It would seem that the itinerants 
came now but irregularly, and the Presbyterian church was without a pastor or 
supplies from 1795 to 1799. Touching these events I quote Dr. F. S. DeHass, 
who has in his possession the manuscript journal of Mr. Wrenshall: "Soon 
after his [Wrenshall's] arrival, as there was no minister or preaching of any 
kind in the place, he commenced holding meetings in an old, deserted log 
church belonging to the Presbyterians, which stood on Wood street near Sixth 
aveniie, where Dr. Herron's church was afterward erected. His first sermon 
was from the text, ' Worship God,' and appeared to be greatly enjoyed by all in 
attendance, many of whom were oflScers and soldiers from the garrison. The 
congregations continued to increase, but after a few Sabbaths a padlock was 
placed on the door of the log meeting- house, and a notice served on Mr. Wren- 
shall that he could not have the nse of the house any longer. In this emergency 
Mr. Peter Shiras, who lived at the Point and owned the site of Fort Pitt, kindly 
offered a room in the barracks of the old fort,\vhich was gladly accepted. Thus 
Fort Pitt, which cost Great Britain over 1250,000, became the first regular 
place for Methodist preaching in Pittsburgh. The society, consisting at first 
of J. Wrenshall, wife and daughter, Peter Shiras and wife, Robert McElhenny 
and wife, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Chess and James Kerr, continued their meetings 
here for six years, when Mr. Shiras, in 1802, sold the fort to Gen. James O'Hara, 
and returned to his former home in New Jersey. The removal of Mr. Shiras, 
their class-leader, was a great loss to the church in the wilderness; but shortly 


after, in the summer of 1803, Thomas Cooper, Sr. , and his family, all Meth 
odists, settled in Pittsburgh, and proved a great acquisition to the little flock, 
now without a fold." 

The coming of Mi'. Cooper put new life and hope into the little band. He 
became their class-leader, instead of Peter Shiras, and the newly organized 
band again began to grow. This event, because it is so marked in the history 
of Methodism in this city, is quite generally supposed to have been its origin, 
but this is an error. This was but a reorganization of the little band gathered 
in 1796, and which had been temporarily disturbed by the loss at the same time 
of its class-leader and its place of worship, and the origin of Methodism in 
Pittsburgh must be dated 1790, and not 1803. Prom this time forward it never 
halted in its march. Mr. Cooper was an Englishman who never lost his English 
accent, nor his love for Englishmen and English ways. He was a devout 
Christian, and a thorough and loyal Methodist who never faltered in his devo- 
tion to the church. He and John Wrenshall kept open hotises to Methodist 
preachers and people. 

Again I quote Dr. DeHass : ' " The circuit preachers still came round and 
held services every other Sabbath, in a small onestory frame building, or 
kitchen, back of Mr. Wrenshall' s store, on the corner of Fourth and Market 
streets. The place, however, was too inconvenient and contracted; other 
places were tried with like results, until in 1806 Sabbath preaching was removed 
from Pittsburgh and given to McKeesj)ort. In October, 1807, Nathaniel 
Holmes and Edward Hazelton, with their families, came from Ireland and con- 
nected themselves with our church. They were men of deep piety and sterling 
integrity, and added very much to the future growth of Methodism in Pitts- 
burgh. In the meantime Thomas Cooper, Jr., who was living in a large stone 
dwelling on the corner of Smithiield and Water streets, opposite where the 
Monongahela House now stands, offered a room in his house for public services, 
and in 1808 Sabbath preaching was re-established in Pittsburgh, half the time 
by the itinerant ministers, the other half by the local preachers." 

Let us pause a moment, for here are names which Pittsburgh Methodists 
should never forget, nor cease to honor. To John Wrenshall belongs the honor 
of founding Methodism in this city. He was born in England December 27, 
1761; came to Philadelphia in 1794, and to Pittsburgh in 1796. For forty- 
one years he was a local preacher, the friend of Asbury, the bishop's host 
when in Pittsburgh, and the first minister ordained by him west of the Ohio. 
He was five feet nine inches in height, slender, a little stooped, of solemn 
countenance and great seriousness of manner, a fine musician; retained his 
English accent to the close. He died September 25, 1821, in a house still 
standing on Fourth avenue, corner of Chancery lane, and sleeps in a vault 
immediately in the rear of the First Presbyterian church, Wood street. 
To Thomas Cooper belongs the honor of bringing new life and hope to the 
discouraged little band in 1803, and becoming for years its leader. He, too, 


was an Englishman, of medium height, tending to corpulency in after years, 
smooth face and bald head. He was a tine singer, Jind occupied a seat in the 
■altar, and " raised the tunes. " We would call him today the precentor. He 
was for years an alderman. He lived until the middle of the century, and was 
biiried in the Methodist buryiug-ground on the hill. With these two English- 
men should be named the no less honored Irishmen, Nathaniel Holmes and 
Edward Hazelton, of the former of whom a sketch may be found elsewhere in 
this volume. Of Mr. Hazeltou I have been able to learn almost nothing in the 
way of biography, but it is certain that he stood among the more honored of 
his brethren. 

But during all this time the little flock was suffering, as we have seen, from 
the inconveniences and uncertainty of having no settled place of worship — no 
church. First they were in the little log church; then in the fort; then in the 
room in the rear of Mr. WrenshalFs store; at another time in the courthouse, 
and again in the residence of Thomas Cooper. They sorely needed some better 
accommodations. In 1803 Bishop Asbury visited Pittsburgh again. Under 
date of Saturday, Axigust 27th, he writes in his journal : ' ' We had a dry, sultry 
ride to Pittsburgh. In the evening William Page preached. In the court- 
house I spoke on Sabbath day to about four hvindred people. ... I would 
have preached again, but the Episcopalians occupied the house. I come but 
once in twelve years, but they could not consent to give way for me. It is time 
we had a house of our own. I think I have seen a lot which will answer to 
build upon." No doubt he did, but the good bishop would tind it far easier to 
see the lot which would be suitable than to find the money with which to pur- 
chase it and erect the needed church. At all events it was not secured, and 
seven years more passed by before this desired end was attained. Then it came. 

The preachers during this period were: 1797-98, Robert Manly; 1799, 
James Smith; 1800, Nathaniel B. Mills and James Quinn; ISOl, Lasley Math- 
ews and Isaac Bobbins; 1802, Benjamin Essex and Noah Fidler; 1803, W^illiam 
Page and Lewis Sutton; 1804, William Page and William Knox; 1805, Jesse 
Stoneman and Thomas Church; 1806, Thomas Daughaday; 1807, K. R. Rob- 
erts and J. W. Hams; 1808, Frederick Stier and Thomas Daughaday; 1809, 
William Knox and Abraham Daniels; 1810, William Knox and Joseph 


1810 TO 1818. 

In June, 1810, a lot was purchased for the first church built in the city. 
It was situated on Front street, now First street, nearly opposite the lower 
end of the present Mouongahela House. The erection of a church was com- 
menced at once, for on August 20th of that year Bishop Asbury preached on 
the foundation of it. His journal says : ' ' Preached on the foundation of the 
new chapel to about five hundred souls. I spoke again at 5 o'clock to about 



twice as many. The .society here is lively and increasing in numbers." The 
building was a plain brick structure, 30x40 feet. We do not know certainly 
when it was completed, but probably in the autumn of 1810. 

In this church the society continued to worship in peace and prosperity for 
eight years. But near the close of this period it had become too small, and a 
new and larger one became a necessity. Consequently, in May, 1817, three 
lots were purchased on the corner of Smithiield and Seventh streets, and the 
erection of a larger church commenced. It was completed the following year. 

The preachers during this period were: 1811, J. M. Hanson; 1812, Jacob 
Dowel; 1813, John Swartzwelder; 1811, L. R. Fechtig; 1815, Jacob Dowel; 
1816, Thornton Fleming and John McElfi'esh; 1817, Andi-ew Hemphill; 1818, 
Lewis R. Fechtig. 

SYSTEM— 1818 TO 1835. 

The second church, on the corner of Smithfield and Seventh streets, was 
dedicated in 1818. It was a large brick structure, having a gallery on the two 
sides and one end, as was the custom of that day. In this ' ' new meeting- 
house, " as it was called for many years, the rapidly growing society worshiped 
and prospered. In 1819-20 the church was visited by a very extensive revival 
of religion under the ministry of Rev. Samuel Davis. The entire commu- 
nity was moved. Business was suspended to a considerable extent, and people 
gave their time and attention to the subject of religion. As a result many were 
added to the society, and the church was greatly strengthened. Not a few of 
those who belonged before and who were added at this time were persons of 
intelligence and culture, and, for that day, of considerable wealth. For years 
they had peace and prosperity. About 1827 a serious trouble arose. At this 
time the "Radical Controversy," which had begun to make itself felt in other 
parts of the chui'ch, appeared here, and this for a time was the theater of some 
of its fiercest struggles. It related to the economy of the chiu'ch, which the 
" Reformers," as they called themselves, denounced as tyrannical and undem- 
ocratic. They demanded lay representation in all the councils of the church, 
and the radical modification, or abolition, of the offices of bishop and presiding 
elder. The " Old Side," or loyal party, were satisfied with the economy as it 
was, and stood up manfully for its defense. The discussions were heated, and 
party spirit ran very high. In May, 1829, the ' ' Reformers ' ' called Rev. 
George Brown, a minister then stationed at New Lisbon, Ohio, to come and 
organize them into a separate church. He accepted, withdrew fi-om the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, and came to Pittsburgh. After some preliminary 
skirmishing and preparation they formally organized as a separate church on 
the 21th of June, 1829. 

From the time of Mr. Brown's arrival until some time in the following 
autumn the two parties both worshiped in the ' ' new meeting-house, ' " the 


"Reformers" on Sundays at i) A. M. and 3 P. M., and the " Old Side'" at 11 
A. M. and 7:30 P. M. But this joint occupancy was terminated before tlie holi- 
days of that year, by Mr. Brown and his followers takinf^f forcible possession of the 
church at the hour of service belonging to the " Old Side," and thus shutting 
them out. The excluded party then repaired to the Front Street church, and 
held services there. After waiting a reasonable time, and seeing no hopes of 
regaining possession of the property, the trustees who remained loyal sued out 
a writ of ejectment, in the name of the Methodist Episcopal Church, against 
those whom they claimed held the property illegally. When the case came to 
trial it was decided in favor of the plaintiffs. The defendants asked a new 
trial, which was refused, when they took an appeal. The supreme court decided, 
on grounds that need not here be traversed, that the Methodist Episcopal 
Church was not entitled to recover, and further, in brief, that the property was 
held by the trustees of the local corporation for the benefit of all its members. 
This included both of the parties to the controversy, so that, as far as they 
were concerned, they came out of court just where they went in. The court 
then granted a new trial, but at the same time advised the litigants to settle 
their differences amicably. This advice was accepted; committees were ap- 
pointed on each side, and a division of the property was made by which the 
Smithfleld Street church was returned to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 
the cemetery, where the Union station now stands, and $2,000 given to the 
Methodist Protestant Church, as it had now come to be called. Thus ended the 
trouble between the parties. This adjustment was made in August, 1833. 
The membership was pretty e<[ually divided between the two churches, proba- 
bly the larger part of the wealth going to the new organization. 

During the pendency of this litigation the third church was erected — Lib- 
erty Street — still standing, on the corner of Liberty and Fourth streets. The 
lot was purchased from Anthony Dravo in March, 1831. The church was 
erected at once, but just when it was completed we can not now determine. 
Kev. Wesley Browning, the junior preacher at that time, was the architect, and 
personally superintended the work. 

After the Smithfleld Street Church was returned to their possession, in 
August, 1833, the members divided between the two places of worship, Smith- 
field Street and Liberty Street, according to preference, thus forming two soci- 
eties; but the original corporation, chartered in 1828, remained unmodified, and 
continued to manage both properties until 1837, when, by an amicable arrange- 
ment, a division was made. Liberty Street Church procured a charter, and its 
property was transferred to it. Henceforth they were two separate societies in 
all respects, as they had been in all other respects since 1832. 

In 1830, and probably as early as 1829, the members living in "Allegheny- 
town" were organized into a class, and soon after into two classes. The first lead- 
ers of these classes were George Adams and William Colledge. As their numbers 
and necessities increased public services were held for them by their pastors 


from the Pittsburgh side. The first place of public worship was a frame build- 
ing on what is now known as Park way. In November, 1831, a lot 60x00 
feet, situated on Beaver street (now Arch street), was purchased fi'om Hugh 
Davis. It was on the corner of what is now known as North Diamond street. 
On this a small frame building was erected, which was the first church owned 
by the denomination in that city. This was afterward enlarged, and served the 
purposes of the growing society until 1838, when, as we shall see presently, 
another was biiilt. The first preacher appointed to ' ' Alleghenytown ' ' was 
Rev. Alfred Brunson, in July, 1832. 

In 1831 a Sunday-school was organized in Birmingham, in Saulsbury Hall, 
situated where the present market-house stands. Soon after this a class was 
organized, and regular preaching was established as early as 1833 by the Pitts- 
burgh preachers. The first church was built on a lot purchased from Hannah 
Duncan, situated on Bingham street, adjoining, on the south, the present 
Bingham Street church. Soon this became too small, and it was exchanged for 
an unfinished Presbyterian church on Center street, which the society completed 
and occupied until it bought the lot and built its present church, on the cor- 
ner of Bingham and Thirteenth streets, in 1857. 

When, therefore, we reach the close of this period, 1835, we find four 
churches — Smithfield Street, Liberty Street, Alleghenytown and Birmingham. 
We have also the Pittsburgh Conference Journal, now a little over a year old; 
and the nucleus of the book depository, started by Rev. Matthew Simpson. 
The church was now in the midst of the most successful decade, so far as the 
increase of membership is concerned, in its history, as may be seen by the 
statistical table appended. 

The preachers during this period were: 1819-20, Samuel Davis; 1821, 
John Baer and T. J. Dorsey; 1822, Richard Tydings and H. B. Bascom; 
1823, Richard Tydings; 1824, Asa Shinn; 1825, William Stevens; 1826, 
Charles Cooke; 1827, John Waterman and Robert Hopkins; 1828, William 
Lambden and Jacob Flake; 1829, Robert Hopkins; 1830, Z. H. Coston and 
Wesley Browning; 1831, Charles Elliott and Wesley Browning; 1832, Martin 
Ruter and Thomas Drummond; 1S33, Martin Ruter, P. M. McGowan and 
Hiram Gilmore; 1834, T. M. Hudson. Matthew Simpson and William Hunter. 


Up to the conference of 1835 all the churches in the city were included in 
one pastoral charge, or circuit, and each was served in turn by one of the three 
preachers assigned to the work. But at this conference this system was aban- 
doned, and each church was made a station, having its own pastor. At the 
opening of the present period, therefore, we have Smithfield Street, Charles 
Cooke; Liberty Street, Matthew Simpson; Birmingham, G. D. Kinnear; Alle- 
ghenytown, C. Jones. 

During the year the foundation of aaother organization was laid, in Bayards- 


towu, afterward the "old Niuth ward,'' which took the name of Wesley 
Chapel. The following year it was connected with Smithlield Street, and re- 
ceived regular preaching from the preachers of that station, Kevs. Charles 
Cooke and "Wesley Smith. A lot was purchased on the corner of Liberty and 
Seventeenth streets, on which a brick church was erected, and this soon be- 
came a strong, flourishing society. About 1882 this property was taken by the 
Penn Incline Company, and the society bought a lot on Penn avenue, near 
Eighteenth street, on which a small church was built, in which it now worships. 
In 1838 the South Common Church was organized in Allegheny, taking its 
name from the street on which it located its chui-ch, that which is now called 
Church avenue. The church was located a few hundred feet east of Federal 
street. Rev. Simon Elliott was the first pastor of the new organization. It 
continued to occupy this chu^rch until it was condemned as unsafe, in 1884, 
when services were held in a hall on Federal street for several years. In 
1886, under the pastorate of Rev. J. J. Mcllyar, a lot was purchased on 
Buena Vista street and the present brick structure commenced. The lecture- 
room was occupied first in May, 1887, and the audience-room in Septembei', 
1888. After the organization of South Common Church, the old church in Alle- 
gheny took the name of Beaver Street, which it retained until the name of the 
street was changed, in 1871, to Arch street, when it took that name. In 1838, 
under the pastorate of Kev. Robert Hopkins, the old frame building was re- 
placed by a brick structure, which in turn was removed, in 1888, under the 
pastorate of Rev. W. F. Conner, to give place to the fine stone structure now 
occupying that site. East Liberty appears first in 1839, although services had 
been held there for some time before that. It was taken out of the circuit and 
made a station in 1863, with Rev. H. Sinsabaugh as preacher, and the name 
was changed to Emory in 1870. In 1840 a class of Primitive Methodists was 
organized at Temperanceviile. Making but little progress, they connected 
themselves with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1845. and became an ap- 
pointment on the Chartiers circuit. This society became a station in 1848, 
with Rev. S. B. Dunlap as pastor. Their first church was built in 1850, and 
it was torn down in February, 1888, under the pastorate of Rev. H. C. Bea- 
com, to make room for the elegant stone structure now nearing completion. 
What is now Fifth Avenue first appears in 1842 as Asbury Chapel. Its 
first church was located on Townsend street, and is still standing. In 1860 
the society removed to its present location and took the name of Pennsylvania 
Avenue. About 1874 the name was changed to Fifth Avenue. Manchester 
became an appointment in 18-16. What organization there may have been be- 
fore this I can not tell. The first church was a small brick. In 1867 the loca- 
tion was changed to the present site and the name changed to Union Church. 
What is now Carson Street received its first appointment in 1848 as South 
Pittsbiu-gh, although it is known that services were held there before that. 
In 1871, the railroad having taken its building, it removed to its present loca- 


tiou and took the name of Carson Street. The Ninth Ward Mission became 
an appointment in 1853. The church was located on Twenty-fifth street and 
the name changed to Trinity in 1856. Christ Church was orsranized in 1853 
or 1854, and built its church at once. It received its first preacher, Rev. 
Alfred Cookman, in 1855. Its church was one of the first, if not the very 
first, of the fine churches, of modern architectiire, built by the Methodists of 
this country. Lawi'enceville received its first preacher in 1855. Its first 
church, a small frame, stood on the south side of Fortieth street, immediately 
below the schoolhouse. It is now occupied by the German Methodists. The 
present site was purchased in 1866, under the pastorate of Rev. J. W. Baker, 
and a subscription for the new church taken. The following year the church 
was built, imder the pastorate of Rev. J. A. Miller. The lecture-room was 
dedicated in February, 1868, and the audience-room in June, 1869. Ames 
Church was organized by members withdrawing from Liberty Street, under 
the lead of ' ' Auntie Adams, ' ' because of their opposition to instrumental 
music, in 1862. They received their tir-st pastor in 1863. In 1876 the charter, 
property and all were removed to Hazelwood, and are still in the present 
church of that name at that place. Centenary, organized by the Ladies' City 
Mission, received its first appointment in 1866. Simpson Church, known as 
Duquesne Borough until 1869, first appears in 1858. The Sunday-school out 
of which Walton Church grew was organized in 1864. Some time afterward 
a class was formed, and in 1870 a preacher was sent. It was then called East 
Birmingham. The following year the church building was commenced and 
the name changed to Walton. The church was built one story high, covered 
in, and left with a heavy debt, under which the people struggled until April 
1, 1881, when by the aid of the Pittsburgh Church Union it was paid off. 
After this Hon. Joseph Walton, who had already contributed liberally to the 
church, put the second story on, and finished it at his own expense. Wood's 
Run became an appointment in 1870; Oakland, 1872; St. Paul, 1872;- Home- 
wood, 1872; and Brown Chapel, then known as Squirrel Hill, in 1876. The 
lot was bought and the Mount Washington church built in the spring of 1866. 
The dedication took place June 10th of that year. A Sunday-school was 
started at once, and an organization effected. It was supplied by James 
Dermitt, a local preacher, until the conference of 1868, when it became a 
regular appointment. South Street was first known as Allentown. A class 
was organized in 1873. It was supplied with preaching by Jacob Shaffer, a 
local preacher, until 1876, when it became a regular appointment. The lots 
for the McCandless Street Church were botight about December, 1882, and 
the building erected during the following summer. In the autumn of that 
year the society was organized. Haven church was built in the summer of 
1880, and a Sunday-school maintained in it from that time, and also occa- 
sional preaching. A class was organized on August 23, 1884, and a preacher 
assigned to it at the following conference. 


In many of these cases it is difficult, if not impossibl(>, to determine exactly 
when the first organizations took place, but the dates given will indicate the 
time at which they attained " churchhood," and are. therefore, sufficiently 

Near the close of the year 1880 a movement was inaugurated which is 
worthy of special mention. For several years prior to this five of the churches — 
Walton, Carson Street, Oakland, Centenary and Fifth Avenue — had been em- 
barrassed by heavy debts, which they were unable to pay. At the time above 
named the presiding elder of the district, who had just been appointed to that 
office, undertook the work of relieving them. The "Church Union," com- 
prising all the churches of the city, was organized, and a central fund started, 
from which help should be given to the needy churches. The result was that 
in less than a year Walton and Oakland churches were fi-eed from debt; 
Carson Street soon followed, and the other two were practically relieved within 
three years, although their debts were not finally all paid for some time after- 
ward. Through the work of this Union, Pittsburgh Methodism was freed 
from debt. 


1790 97 1850 2,643 

1800 478 1860 3,349 

1810 438 1870 4,369 

1820 597 1880 6,682 

1830 633 1888 8,314. 

1840 1,868 


In the year 1838 the English Methodists requested Dr. William Nast, the 
father of German Methodism, to come to Pittsburgh and preach to the Ger- 
mans. He accepted the invitation, came and preached daily for some time. 
He also distributed copies of the discipline of the church and religious litera- 
ture. The result was a gracious revival, and the organization of two classes 
with a total of thirty-five members. Among the converts was Englehardt 
Reimenschneider, a talented yo'ung man, who afterward became an influential 
minister in this country and in Germany. At the close of the year the congre- 
gation numbered one hundred devoted and active members. Pittsburgh had 
at that time thirty-five thousand inhabitants and only one German church, that 
located on the corner of Smithfield street and Sixth avenue. 

At first the services were held in a building which stood where the Union 
depot now stands. The new congregation met with great opposition, and was 
so greatly persecuted, especially by the Roman Catholics, that the police had 
to interfere. Nevertheless it prospered. Both the pastor and people were 
deeply spiritual and intensely earnest. The work spread over a large terri- 
tory, reaching many of the neighboring counties. But, unfortunately, just at 
this time the cause met with a great misfortune in the strange defection of a 


pastor, which retarded its growth for a time. But, providentially. Dr. Doering 
was sent as pastor in time to avert much of the damage and save the little band. 
He rented a chapel on Smithfield^treet, and the cause again began to prosper. 
Soon a church became a necessity, and the English Methodists aided them to 
get it. A lot was secured on Strawberry alley, in the rear of Seventh avenue, 
and a two- story brick building erected on it. But this location was a great 
mistake. The people would not go to a church in an alley. This mistake, and 
the misfortune alluded to above, greatly retarded the growth of the cause for 
many years. 

In 184:0 the work extended to Allegheny City, and grew so rapidly that a 
preacher was sent there that year. Rev. J. Smith. This congregation wor- 
shiped in a little fi'ame church on Chestnut street until 1857, when it secured 
the now valuable property on Ohio street, corner of Union avenue. This soon 
became one of the most influential congregations in the Central German con- 
ference, but during the panic of 1873 it suffered severely in members and 
wealth, and only in the last few years has recovered its strength. 

In 1810 a congregation was started on the South Side. Its first church was 
built upon the hill. Ten years afterward the little brick church was secured 
from the English chirrch, on Bingham street, above Thirteenth. In 1882 the 
third church was built on Sixteenth street, near Carson. 

A society was oi'ganized in 1868 by the members living in Lawrenceville. 
They bought the church formerly occupied by the Butler street English con- 
gregation, and still occupy it. This is a growing and enterprising church. 

The first church, situated on Strawberry alley, removed to Ross street in 
1870, into a building which had been occupied by the English Methodists. 
The property was good, but it was in the midst of an Irish Catholic population, 
so that very little advantage was gained by the change. In a few years this 
society was united with that on the South Side, the Bingham street and Ross 
street properties were both sold, and the proceeds put into the new Sixteenth 
street church. 

A mission was organized in East Liberty in 1885, services being held at 
first in Hall & Nelson's hall, by Rev. C. Golder, of the Lawrenceville church. 
In the autumn of that year Rev. P. Magley was sent as pastor. He re- 
ceived much encouragement and help from the English congregation, under 
the lead of its pastor, Rev. A. L. Petty, D. D. , and built a neat frame church 
on the corner of Park avenue and Carver street. 

The Germans have, therefore, four churches, valued in the aggregate at 
$63,500, and all free from debt. Their present membership is 550. They 
are a liberal, energetic people. They are especially active in the distribution 
of religious literature, circulating four thousand copies of the Haiisbesucher, 
a local paper, every month, carrying them from house to house. 



Until 1881 there was no congregation of colored people in either city 
belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church. There were a number of 
churches of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, but none of the Methodist Episcopal. But 
in the spring of that year Bishop Wiley sent Kev. Benjamin Myers from the 
Washington conference, and he organized the first society during that year. 
Their first place of meeting was on Spring alley. In 1882 Rev. G. W. W. 
Jenkins became pastor, and remained for three years. During his pastorate 
they removed from Spring alley to Eureka Hall, on Arthur street. From 1885 
to 1886 Rev. Henry Sellers was pastor. After that Rev. J. H. Watson, the 
present pastor, was appointed. The congregation removed to the Franklin 
schoolhouse, and November 21, 1888, into its new church, then nearly com- 
pleted, on Fulton street, corner of Clark. 

About the year 1887 Rev. G. W. W. Jenkins commenced to hold serv- 
ices in the lower end of Allegheny City, and shortly afterward organized a 
society among them. It worshiped in the schoolhouse until the latter part of 
1888, when a lot was purchased on Market street, and a neat little church 
commenced, which was dedicated January 13, 1889. The Pittsburgh church 
has 122 members and 125 Sunday-school scholars. The Allegheny church 
has 40 members. 


Total membership of the two cities: English, 8,314; German, 550: col- 
ored, 162: total, 9,026. 


In 1826 a resolution was introduced into the Pittsburgh Conference, by 
Revs. George Brown and Alfred Brunson, in favor of the establishing of a 
religious newspaper in Pittsburgh, but action was postponed until the next 
year. In the meantime the Christian Advocate and Journal had been started 
at New York, and the conference resolved to support it. But the matter did 
not rest long in this way. The question of a home paper continued to be agi- 
tated until 1833, when, on September 15th, the first number of the Pittsburgh 
Conference Journal was issued, with Rev. Charles Elliott as editor. No 
further issue was made, however, until February 1, 1834, when the regular 
publication of the paper commenced. It was known as the Pittsburgh Con- 
ference Journal up to October, 1840, when it was changed to the Pittsburgh 
Christian Advocate, which name it has borne ever since. Dr. Charles Elliott 
continued to edit it from the time it was started until June, 1836, when, hav- 
ing been elected by the general conference editor of the Western Christian 
Advocate, he removed to Cincinnati. For two months Dr. Charles Cooke 
acted as editor, until Dr. William Hunter was elected in August, 1836. He 
served until August, 1840, when Dr. Charles Cooke was elected, and served 



until August, 1844. From 1844 to 1852, Dr. Hunter was again editor; 1852 
to 1856, Dr. H. J. Clarke; 1856 to 1860. Dr. I. N. Baird; 1860 to 1872, Dr. 
S. H. Nesbit; 1872 to 1876, Dr. Hunter again; 1876 to 1884, Dr. Alfred 
Wheeler; 1884 to the present time. Dr. C. W. Smith, whose present term will 
expire in June, 1892. 

The paper was started as the organ of the Pittsburgh Conference, and as 
the teiTitory of that conference has been divided, it has continued to supply 
all the conferences formed out of it, viz. : The Pittsburgh, Erie, West Vir- 
ginia and East Ohio conferences. Its chief circulation, therefore, is in Western 
Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and West Virginia. It has had an honorable 
and successful career, and has been influential in aiding and directing the 
church in this region. 


Rev. Jacob Flake kept the first stock of Methodist books ever offered for 
sale in Pittsburgh, and probably opened it in the year 1831. But it was a 
private enterprise, and was woiind up when Mr. Flake went elsewhere. In 
1835 Rev. M. Simpson, afterward bishop, procured a stock of books and kept 
them for sale. Dr. Charles Elliott, then editor of the Conference Journal, 
soon afterward joined him in the enterprise, and the books were kept at his 
office. When, in 1836, Dr. William Hunter succeeded Dr. Elliott as editor, he 
took charge of the embryotic bookstore. In 1840 a regular depository was 
established, under the superintendency of Rev. Z. H. Coston, who was suc- 
ceeded in a few years by Rev. Robert Hopkins, and he in turn by Rev. J. L. 
Read. At that time the agents were elected annually by the Pittsburgh con- 
ference. Dr. Read served until 1868, when Rev. Dr. Joseph Horner was 
appointed agent by the book-agents at New York, the depository having in the 
meantime passed into their hands. Dr. Horner still holds the position. 

About the year 1868 a new and commodious building was erected on Smith- 
field street, corner Virgin alley, for the accommodation of the depository and 
the Christian Advocate, which is the property of the church. 

This has been one of the most successful depositories in the church. It 
has done a large and profitable business. Its trade is drawn chiefly fi-om 
Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and West Virginia, to all of which ter- 
ritory it supplies the most of its Methodist literature. 


The history of the Baptist denomination is a history of its churches. The 
nearly three million Baptists of the United States are bound together by no eccle- 
siastical organization. They are not independent, but interdependent, joined 
in Christian endeavor, and cooperating in religious and educational enter- 
prises. Their growth is more afPected by contingencies than in the case of 
those of other faiths. Depending largely on individual enterprise and local 


influences, they take root and grow where, iu the movements of population, the 
seeds have fallen and the envirouminit favors and fosters. In Allegheny 
county, and especially in the centers of population, immigration was not favor- 
able to the early planting or the vigorous growth of the faith of this people; and 
hence, in comparison with other parts of our country, the progress of the 
denomination has not been rapid, and in our teeming population the percent 
age of Baptists is very small. In attempting to give a history of the denom- 
ination in this county we will endeavor to adopt, as the guiding thought, the 
figures employed, and note the fall of a seed here and there, and in the cities 
regard the growth as the tracing, from the beginning, of the continuity of the 
trunk, and putting into the picture a sufficient number of the principal branches 
to give some conception of the whole growth. Many things must be passed 
without notice, and wearisome detail avoided. At the close of our sketch we 
will, in a brief summary, give the present numerical strength of the denomina- 
tion in the included limits. 

The pioneer Baptist ministers in Western Pennsylvania were John Sutton 
and John Corbly. The first church organized by them was at Big Whitely, 
Greene county, in 1770. This church still enjoys vigorous life. In 1870 inter- 
esting centennial services were held. Drs. Weston, of Crozer Theological 
Seminary, and Woodburn, of Allegheny City, delivered discourses. A vivid 
picture of that early time was presented in the well-preserved records. At 
that early date churches were also organized at Uniontown, Fayette county, 
and at Turkey Foot, near the modern Confluence, Somerset county. The early 
pioneers endured hardships in the services they rendered to the little bands to 
whom they ministered. Rev. John Corbly, in addition to the hardships of 
frontier life, had a trial of peculiar severity. On a Sunday morning he was 
on his way to a service at Big Whitely, about half a mile from his cabin. He 
was absorbed in the subject of his discourse, and lingered so that his wife and 
five children walked some distance in advance of him. He was aroused fi'om 
his reverie by the shrieks of his family, ran to their relief, and found that they 
were attacked by a number of Indians. He was unarmed, and his noble wife 
called to him to make his escape, which, although closely pursued, he succeeded 
in doing. His family were all left for dead by the savages. Two children, 
however, though tomahawked and scalped, finally recovered, and his descend- 
ants are numbered among the good citizens of Greene county. 

The first church in Allegheny county was organized November 10, 1773. 
It is known as the Peter's Creek Church, and is located at Library, about 
twelve miles south of Pittsburgh. It celebrated its centennial with appro- 
priate services in 1873. It now occupies its third meeting-house, which was 
erected a few years ago, and is one of the most commodious and beautiful 
rural church edifices in the county. Rev. I. K. Cramer is the pastor, and the 
organization is in a flourishing condition. Among those who have served as 
pastors during the life of this church are the names of many of the pioneer 


ministers of Western Pennsylvania. David Pliilips, whose descendants form 
a large circle, was among the first ministers. Dr. James Estep closed his long 
and eminently useful life as pastor of this people; Rev. William Shadrach, 
D. D., who still lives at an advanced age, and whose name is linked with the 
history of many churches and institutions in Pennsylvania, began his ministry 
with this chu.rch. 

The first church in Pittsburgh was organized in April, 1812. The city then 
had about five thousand inhabitants. The nation was agitated by preparation for 
the conflict with England, and the members of the little community at the head of 
the Ohio river were doing their share in furnishing men and material for the 
war. The church was independent in its origin. It was not an outgrowth of 
earlier churches, but the planting of a new seed. Some of the honored min- 
isters of the Redstone association, however, were present and assisted in the 
organization. This was the first "association" west of the mountains, and 
the second in point of age in the state. It embraced a large territory, and in 
the year 1809 had on its roll thirty-three small churches, with an aggregate 
membership of 1,323. The Redstone association is now extinct. Some of 
the churches connected with it were " hyper-calvinist " in doctrine and "anti- 
mission" in spirit, and these have passed away, and with them the association 
to which they adhered. New associations now occupy the territory. The 
Beaver association was formed in 1809, and the Monongahela association in 
1833. The First Church, Pittsburgh, withdrew from the Redstone association, 
and was a member of the Monongahela association, to which all the churches 
in Allegheny county belonged until 1839, when the Pittsburgh association was 
formed. In the latter organization all the churches in the county now nnite 
in cooperative effort. The constituent members of the First Church, Pitts- 
burgh, representing six families and numbering about twelve, had come from 
Old and New England, including Rev. Edward vTones, who was their first pastor. 
The church after its organization had no edifice for some time, but worshiped 
in private houses and rented halls. Its early history was varied by alternating 
periods of prosperity and adversity. The great influence of the celebrated 
Alexander Campbell, who was the founder of the denomination now known as 
"Disciples," or "Christians," caused trouble, and encouraged defection in 
the membership of many Baptist churches, and this influence was felt in Pitts- 
burgh. The church secured its first charter in 1822, and heading the list of 
charter members is the name of Sidney Rigdon, who became afterward a noted 
man from his association with Joseph Smith in the early history of Mormon- 
ism. It is generally regarded as an established fact that the "Book of Mor- 
mon" was given to the world through Rigdon" s cooperation. The unpub- 
lished work of Solomon Spalding, entitled the "Manuscript Found," it is 
asserted, came into the possession of Rigdon, who was a printer by trade, and 
was used in the composition of the " Book of Mormon." It is, however, 
claimed by lifelong friends of Rigdon that he was incapable of deliberate 


fraud. The later years of his life were passed in comparative obscurity, and 
he died, respected by those who knew him, in 1876, at Friendship, Allegany 
county, N. Y. Sidney Rigdon was born and reared on a farm in this county, 
and when quite young was baptized by Rev. David Philips, and became a mem- 
ber of the Peter's Creek Church. He united with the First Church, Pittsburgh, 
in 1822, and became pastor, but before the end of a year trouble arose, and he 
was excluded from the ministry by a council of Baptist ministers for teaching 
"baptismal regeneration" and other erroneous doctrines. From causes which 
have been indicated the growth of the church was retarded. 

When Rev. Samuel Williams became pastor, in 1827, the church had only 
thirty six members, although there were doubtless many more Baptists in the 
community. During the pastorate of Mr. Williams, which continued for 
twenty-eight years, the church prospered; a large number was added to their 
fellowship. In 1843 four hundred and fifteen members were reported, and 
many had been dismissed to form new organizations. Rev. Samuel Williams 
exerted a wide influence, and was an early and ardent advocate of anti-slavery 
principles. His later years were passed in New York city, where he died ifl 
1887, after sixty-three years' service in the ministry, and was buried in this 

Almost all the existing churches in the two cities and suburban localities 
have had in their constituency original members of the First Church, and some 
that were formed in the past have become extinct, or reunited with the parent 
body. In 1841 the Grant Street Church was organized, with Rev. N. G. Collins 
as pastor. Among the leaders in this enterprise were some who have long 
been identified with the business interests and the religious and philanthropic 
movements in this community, such as B. L. Fahnestock and John Owens, 
recently deceased, and Prof. L. H. Eaton, the active and energetic principal of 
the Forbes public schools. During the pastorate of Rev. T. C. Teasdale. in 
1846, the celebrated Elder Jacob Knapp visited the city and preached a series 
of sermons in the Grant Street Church ; two hundred and eight persons were 
baptized, and immediately succeeding this large accession a number withdrew 
and formed the Berean Church, After four years of separate life the two 
interests, the Grant Street and Berean, united and assumed the name of the 
Union Church, This church had a very creditable historj-, numbered in its 
membership many of the prominent workers of the cities, and had for its pas- 
tors many able men, including Rev. Drs. Shadrach, Dickinson, Sawyer, Young 
and Herr. In 1873 a basis of union was adopted, and the Union and First 
churches united to form the Fourth Avenue Church. The united body, accord- 
ing to agreement, was to occupy the building of the First Church, and the 
property of the Union Church was sold, and is now occupied by the Reformed 
Presbyterian congregation, of which Rev. N. Woodside is pastor. Of the pro- 
ceeds of this sale $10,000 was invested as a church extension fund of the Pitts- 
burgh association. The property of the First Church alluded to is located on 


Fourth avenue. The lirst brick buihling occupied by the First Church was 
erected iu 1833, on the comer of Grant street and Third avenue, at a cost of 
11,000. This building was destroyed in the great tire of 1815, and was 
replaced, at an expense of $8,000, by a building which was sold and is now 
occupied by a Jewish congregation. Under the pastorate of Rev. J. S. Dick- 
erson, D. D. , a lot was purchased on Fourth avenue, and a stone chapel was 
erected, at a cost, including lot, of $40,000, and was dedicated in 1867. Under 
the pastorate of Dr. Dickerson and his successor, Dr. Rowland, the church 
prospered, and when the latter resigned to assume the pastorate of the Tenth 
Church, Philadelphia, the "union" to which allusion has been made was 
effected. Rev. R.W. Pearson, D. D., entered on the pastorate of the united 
body — the Foiu-th Avenue Baptist Church— in 1873. He was a very eloquent 
orator, and soon the chapel was insufficient to meet tlie demands of the increas- 
ing congregation, and the main edifice, fronting on Ross street, a magnificent 
structure with a seating capacity of 1,300, was erected, at a cost of $86,000. 
It was dedicated November 28, 1876, Rev. E. G. Robinson, D. D. , LL. D., 
president of Brown University, preaching the sermon. During the pastorate 
of Rev. J. H. Hartman, who succeeded Dr. Pearson in 1879, the entire remain- 
ing debt on the property was liquidated. 

Rev. Lemuel C. Barnes became pastor in 1882, and during his ministry 
the church was greatly strengthened, and its working forces developed to 
an extent unknown in its former history. Large amounts have been given to 
the national societies of the denomination and expended in local work. A 
chapel was erected at Linden Grove, Oakland, and a prosperous mission estab- 
lished, which is under the charge of an associate pastor. After the resigna- 
tion and removal of Mr. Barnes to Newton Centre, Mass., the church called to 
the pastorate Rev. Howard B. Grose, of New York, who, with the associate 
pastor, Rev. E. T. Fox, late of Erie, Pa., has undertaken the work in this 
venerable church, that has maintained a continuous life through seventy-six 
years. The present members number 631. In the records of this body are 
the names of prominent citizens aad the ancestors of those who have exerted 
a large influence in the community. Of the living representatives in the 
present membership the names of Everson, Porter, Lippincott, Lincoln and 
King and many others might be enumerated. 

In 1835 fifteen persons were dismissed from the First Church, who united 
in an organization in the borough of Alleghenytown, which had at that date a 
population of 4,000. The now venerable Dr. Shadrach was then a student at 
the Western Theological Seminary, situated on what is now known as Monu- 
ment hill, and became the pastor of the infant church. Dr. James Estep and 
Rev. Samuel Williams assisted at the organization. This church has had a 
continuous history for tifty-three years. It was named the First Baptist 
Church of Alleghenytown, and it is now known as the Sandusky Street Baptist 
Church. The chmch occupied at first a room in the Pittsburgh Academy 

372 HISTORY OF Allegheny county. 

building, which was located in the present park grounds, near Marion avenue. 
Very soon a frame building was erected on Robinson street. In 1843 a build- 
ing was erected on Sandusky street, which has been remodeled several times, 
and is still occupied by the church. In the early records of this organization 
are the names of prominent workers, such as Wright, Trevor, Lippincott, 
Morgan, Beck and others. Faithful pastors served the church in the inter- 
vening years, such as Collins, Downer, Taylor and Sawyer; but the church has 
enjoyed the largest and most constant prosperity since 1859, when Rev. A. 
K. Bell, D. D., who died in 1888, entered upon his work in this field. Dr. 
Bell was a man of great energy and devotion, and has filled a large place 
in the history of the Baptists here and elsewhere. Diu'ing his pastorate a 
large number were added to the membership, and the work of the church was 
enlarged and extended. He resigned in 1870, and was succeeded by the 
present pastor, B. F. Woodburn, D. D., who is now in the nineteenth year of 
his pastorate. The church is in a prosperous condition, and has a membership 
of 454. 

Among the names of those enrolled in the later history of the church are 
many who were and are well-known citizens, such as Hoskinson, Bown, Eaton, 
Torrance, Myler and Cooper. Representatives of this church in the persons 
of former members are found in many organizations. Two young ladies. Miss 
Zillah Bunn and Miss Agnes Whitehead, are now in Burmah as missionary 

In 1867 the constituent members of the Nixon Street Church, Allegheny 
City, were dismissed from the Sandusky Street Church. This body occupies a 
promising field. Among its ministers Rev. A. G. Kirk, the first pastor, and 
Rev. J. S. Hutson served longest in the pastorate, and have been identified 
with its most prosperous and progressive years. Rev. John Brooks is the 
present pastor, and the membership is 172. 

In 1868 sixteen colored persons who had been members of the Sandusky 
Street Church were dismissed, and formed the fii'st colored Baptist church in 
the county. Since that date five additional organizations have been ett'ected. 
These churches, named in the order of their organization, all support pastors, 
and are prospering: Green Street, Allegheny, Rev. J. J. Jones, pastor, mem- 
bership 66; Ebenezer, Pittsburgh, Rev. J. H. Pryor, pastor, membership 289; 
Tabernacle, Allegheny, Rev. J. C. Taylor, pastor, membership 94; Antioch, 
Pittsburgh, Rev. J. H. Robinson, pastor, membership 39; Siloam, E. E., Pitts- 
burgh, Rev. W. Duvall, pastor, membership 130; Shiloh. Allegheny, Rev. I. 
Lafayette, pastor, membership 35. 

In 1874 a church was organized on Mount Washington, which grew out of 
a mission school established largely through the efforts of Mr. W. T. Bown, a 
deacon of the Sandusky Street Church. This church has had a number of 
faithful ministers, including Revs. Messrs. McKinney, Blaine and Macrory, 
their late lamented pastor; Rev. George T. Street is their pastor-elect. In 


this work some well-known Baptists have shared, such as F. J. Rebbeck, clerk 
of the Pittsburgh association, and Prof. Coffin, of the AVestern University. 

In 1826 a Welsh church was organized in Pittsburgh from members dis- 
missed from the First Church. For a number of years Rev. William Owens 
was pastor, conducting services in the Welsh language in their edifice on 
Chatham street. New life has been infused into this body in recent years 
under the ministry of their present pastor, Rev. D. R. Davies. They have 
erected a new edifice on the old site on Chatham street, and have built a chapel 
and conduct services at Homestead. 

In 1862 a German Baptist church was organized, which has prospered. 
They have a commodious and tasteful edifice on Nineteenth street, South Side. 
They are distinguished for their devotedness and for the amount of their 
benevolent contributions. Rev. E. J. Deckman, recently deceased, was their 
pastor for a number of years, and during his life was called by his associates 
in the ministry "the model pastor of the Pittsburgh association." Rev. L. 
H. Conner is the present pastor, and the church numbers 235. 

In 1876 two churches, known as the South Pittsburgh and East Birming- 
ham churches, united and took the name of the Union Church. During the 
pastorate of Rev. "William Hildreth, D. D., the church erected a convenient 
and commodious edifice. The main audience-room is built in amphitheater 
style, and is seated with chairs. Rev. J. W. Riddle, their present pastor, 
entered upon his work in 1884. The growth and etHciency of the church in 
all departments have been constant in recent years. A mission has beea 
established at Allentown, and a chapel erected. 

In 1859 a church was constituted, now known as the Thirty- seventh Street 
Church, Pittsburgh. It has a good edifice, and a membership of 379. It 
occupies a field second to none in its importance. Rev. A. I. Bonsall was 
pastor when the present edifice was built. Rev. T. H. Chapman served the- 
church for the longest period as pastor. 

In 1873 a church was organized and an edifice partly completed on Penn 
avenue. East End. Rev. J. D. Herr, D. D., was the first pastor of this new 
interest, and was succeeded by Rev. J. S. Wrightnour. After several years*^ 
efforts, owing to the unfavorable location of their edifice, and in view of its 
incomplete condition, the property was disposed of so as to liquidate their in- 
debtedness. Property has been purchased on Shady avenue, and the church 
organized under the name Shady Avenue Church. Under the leadership of 
their present pastor. Rev. E. D. Hammond, they are worshiping in a hall, 
while a new edifice is in process of erection. They number 270 members, and 
in their fellowship there are and have been some of the most efficient workers 
of the denomination, such as Fahnestock, Verner, Lusk, Van Gorder, King, 
Black and Morris. 

Among the churches of this county none is more worthy of mention than 
the McKeesport Baptist Church. In the early records it appears under the^ 


luimo of the " Forks of Yough Church," iind it was organized in 1820. Its 
present pastor, Rev. William Codville, D. D., has been indefatigable in his 
efforts during the twelve yeai's of his pastorate, and has reaped large results. 
It owns a fine property, including the church editice, a parsonage and a 
mission chapel. It numbers four hundred members, including some of the 
most reputable and influential citizens, such as Hon. A. B. Campbell and 
Messrs. Penny, Baillie and Kiggs. Through the cooperation of an efficient 
body of workers three mission interests are maintained. 

In the early records of the Baptists a church at Deer creek is mentioned. 
This early organization is now represented by the Sharpsburg Baptist Church, 
with a membership of 198 and a good church edifice. Faithful men have 
filled the pastorate of this church: Revs. John White, David Williams, T. J. 
Lewis and S. Drummond. Rev. Alex. McArthur has recently removed from 
the field. In the membership appear the names of persons of great worth and 
influence, such as Crowther, Campe, Ingham and others. 

Of the more recent offshoots of the denominational tree we can not speak. 
The churches at Mansfield, Braddoek, Fifth avenue, Pittsburgh, Homestead, 
Sewickley, Fair Oaks, Indiistry and Coultersville, as well as the church at 
Elizabeth, which was organized in 1842, must be omitted to avoid unduly 
lengthening our sketch. 

The following statistical summary has been prepared to represent the exist- 
ing condition of the churches: There are in Allegheny county 27 Baptist 
churches, with 25 church edifices, valued at $318,100, and having a seating 
capacity of 9,6611 The total membership of the churches is 4,544. 

While the details of the settlement of Lutherans in Allegheny county are 
unfortunately wanting, it is certain that a considerable number of them had 
found a home here more than a hundred years ago: for in 1783 Pittsburgh 
was visited by a learned German traveler by the name of Schcepf, who gath- 
ered information about his countrymen in America, and published the result 
in two volumes. He states that in Pittsburgh he saw a small church which 
was used alternately by the Lutherans and the Reformed. And fiuiher proof 
is found in the fact that the heirs of William Penn donated a large lot on the 
corner of Smithlield street and Sixth avenue to ' ' the two German religious 
communions or congregations in the aforesaid town of Pittsburgh and its 
vicinity, one of the said communions or congregations being known and dis- 
tinguished by the name or designation of the Protestant Evangelical Church, 
which adheres to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, and the other of the 
said communions or congregations known and distinguished by the name or 
designation of the Protestant Reformed Church." This document is dated in 
the year 1787. For many years the two congregations worshiped under the 
pastoral care of one minister, whom they jointly elected and supported Some 




of these were Lutheran ministers, as Revs. Stock, Jacob Schnee and Henry 
Geisseuhainer. But, in the course of time, this aiTangement proved iinsatis- 
factory, and the Lutherans longed and labored to secure a spiritual home 
which they could call their own. 


The First English Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh. — As early 
as 1833 the Lutherans residing in Pittsburgh and vicinity were visited by 
Eevs. D. P. Eosenmiller, G. Yeager, Thomas Lape and others, each of whom 
held a few services with them. ' But no serious effort to organize a distinctively 
Lutheran congregation was made until the winter of 1836 and 1837, when 
Eev. F. Heyer, of apostolic spirit, was sent to this city from the eastern part 

[From cut in the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette,] 

of the state to labor among the German Lutherans. On his arrival he entered 
earnestly into his work. Almost immediately an effort was made to induce him 
to hold English services, and to endeavor to organize an English congrega- 
tion. The good man gave his consent, and accepted a call to labor in that 
direction. Public services were now held regularly, and on January 15, 1837, 
the congregation was formally organized. The first entry in the record is as 
follows: " Pittsburgh, January 15, 1837. — Inasmuch as circumstances seem to 
require the immediate formation of an English Evangelical Lutheran congrega- 
tion in the city of Pittsburgh, under the care of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod 
of West Pennsylvania, the following-named persons made application to have 
their names recorded and to be considered as members of the church to be 
organized." The names of twenty-two persons are appended to this brief 
paragraph, and the first on the list is that of George Weyman, of blessed 
memory. The following officers were elected: Elders George Weyman and F. 

378 nisTOKY OF alleuhenv county. 

A. Heisely, Deacons Jeremiah IJitz ami W. J. Ansliutz, and tbcv were 
installed in the evening by the pastor, after he had preached a sermon to the 
little flock. The first communion service was held on Easter Sunday, Maixh 
26th of the same year. Rev. Heyer served the congregation a little more 
than a year, and at the same time ministered to the German Lutherans of thia 
city and Allegheny. The services in both languages were held at first in the 
Unitarian church on Smithfield street, and afterward in the Second Associate 
Reformed church. But this privilege was not of long duration, and the serv- 
ices were next held in a schoolhouse, where the Monongahela House now stands, 
at the corner of Smithfield and Water streets. But soon they were obliged 
to give up this refuge also, and then they assembled in private houses. But 
they were a second time granted the free use of the Unitarian church by the 
kindness of Mr. Benjamin Bakewell, who owned it, the church being at that 
time without a pastor. This privilege was continued until June, 1838, when 
the Unitarians secured a pastor. But when, in the course of a few months, he 
retired from his position, the Lutherans were again permitted to use the church 
for their public services. When they were again compelled to leave this church 
they held their services in the old courthouse, which is described as forbidding 
and gloomy to the last degree. They occupied it only because they could find 
no other place, having been refused the use of other chui'ches. Here the 
services were continued more than two years. January 24, 1838, a committee, 
consisting of George Weyman, Jeremiah Ritz and F. A. Heisely, was ap- 
pointed ' ' to look around for a building lot. ' ' After a long search they finally 
bought the lot at the corner of Seventh avenue and Strawberry alley, now 
Montour way, for $8,400. October 2, 1838, under the guidance of Rev. John 
N. Hoffman, the following action was taken: " Resolved that, in reliance upon 
divine aid, we forthwith commence operations in view of the erection of an 
English Evangelical Lutheran church." 

Rev. Heyer was succeeded by Rev. Emanuel Frey, who served the congre- 
gation only a short time on account of failing health. He was called Novem- 
ber 19, 1838, and closed his ministry before the end of the year. After fruitless 
efforts and weary waiting for a pastor, one was secured in the person of Rev. 
John McCron, who began his labors here May 9, 1839. He was cordially 
received by the congregation, and, on this very day, it was resolved to pro- 
ceed with the building of a church. The new pastor was requested to seek aid 
for this purpose from the older churches in the east, and he made several such 
journeys to collect funds. The erection of the new church was begun in the 
spring of 1840, and finished the following October, at a cost of §14,000. It 
was consecrated on the first Siinday in that month, during the convention 
within its walls of the West Pennsylvania synod. The first sermon was 
preached in the basement, by Rev. Augustus H. Lochman. The sermon at the 
consecration was delivered by Rev. Dr. S. S. Schmucker, who was assisted by 
Rev. C. P. Krauth, Sr., D. D., and the pastor. Rev. J. McCron. The con- 


vention of the synod and the consecration services produced a very happy effect 
on the congregation and the community. But two years later the congregation 
was again left without a pastor by the resignation of Rev. McCron, which took 
effect November 9, 1842. His departure was deeply regretted. 

The purchase of the lot and the building of the church involved the little 
flock in great financial trouble, under which they struggled for a number of 
years. But, by the grace of God, their earnest efforts and self-sacrificing gifts 
enabled them ultimately to free themselves from the oppressive burden. For 
this deliverance great praise is due to George Weyman for his sound judgment, 
earnest personal efforts and extraordinary liberality, and to his wife, who 
encouraged him in every good work. 

The next pastor was Rev. William H. Smith, of Charleston, S. C, whose 
ministry continued from April, 1843, to March 4, 1844, when he withdrew on 
account of ill health. He was a good and faithful man. But the vacancy did 
not last long; for, on the 22d day of April following, Rev. William A. Passa- 
vant, of Baltimore, was elected pastor, and entered on the discharge of his 
duties on the Ist of June. He served the congregation until May 1, 1855, 
with great zeal and marked success. The membership was largely increased, 
and the entire debt provided for. A most worthy successor was found in 
the person of Rev. Charles P. Krauth, Jr., of Winchester, Va. He was 
elected September 1, 1855, and assumed charge of the congregation one month 
later. He rendered this congregation and the Lutheran Church at large 
invaluable service, and left on both an indelible impression of his own exalted 
conceptions of the right faith and life of the true church. He was a giant 
among great men. And when he resigned his office, September 12, 1859, 
and moved to Philadelphia, the people deeply regretted their great loss, and 
followed him to the close of his life with their thoughts and affection, and when 
he died they draped their chancel and bent their heads in sincere sorrow. 

The next pastor was Rev. Reuben Hill, who was called November 16, 
1859, and served his people until July 1, 1866. He proved himself to be a 
faithful, laborious and affectionate pastor. His whole heart was devoted to 
the welfare of the congregation. Rev. Samuel Laird was elected pastor Jan- 
uary 30, 1867, and assumed the office on the 1st day of the following May, 
and remained pastor until August 1, 1879. He was a strong man, and his 
ministry was very acceptable to the congregation and fruitful of happy results, 
and his departure was the source of sincere grief. November 19, 1879, the 
congregation elected Rev. Edmund Belfour, of Chicago. He began his min- 
istry February 1, 1880, and is the present incumbent. 

The long- cherished desire and purpose of the congregation to build a new 
church edifice was brought up for definite action by the proposition to purchase 
the lot at the corner of Grant street and Strawberry alley, having a frontage 
of 120 feet on Grant street and running back to Foster alley. At a congrega- 
tional meeting held August 12, 1885, the council was instructed to make the 


l)nrch.'ise, and this was consummatod ou the Uh day of the following month, at 
a cost of §55,900. In the following December the congregation sold a prop- 
erty, which it had owned for a number of years, on the corner of Penn avenue 
and Ninth street, for $75,000. On the newly acquired lot the congregation 
has built a magnificent gothic church and chapel of gray stone, with tower and 
spire. The interior is finished in hardwood. It lias a large and superior 
organ, and the chancel is adorned with sedilia, lectuni. pulpit, marble altar 
and reredos, and a duplicate of the baptismal font, known as the "Angel of Baj)- 
tism," made by the famous sculptor, Thorwaldsen, for the Metropolitan Lu- 
theran Church in Copenhagen, Denmark. The consecration of the noble edifice 
took place on Sunday. November 4, 1888. The pastor. Rev. Edmund Belfour, 
D. D., presided, and performed the act of consecration, while the sermon on 
the occasion was preached by Rev. Samuel Laird, D. D., and other parts of 
the services were performed by Revs. Reuben Hill and John A. Kunkelman, 
D. D. The cost of the church was $90,000. 

This congregation has been exceptionally liberal in its benefactions, in aid- 
ing missions, the poor, the orphans, the sick, and in the educational work. It 
has sent twelve young men into the ministry. Its life-blood is now flowing in 
congregations in Allegheny City, East Liberty, the South Side, Braddoek, 
McKeesport and many other places. It has two Sunday-schools, two benevo- 
lent societies and a fund for the poor. The congregation adheres strictly to 
the faith of the Lutheran Church, as taught in its confessions, and to its con- 
servative life and work. 

The First German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh. — It has 
already been stated that Rev. Heyer labored among the German as well as the 
English Lutherans. The German services were held in the same places as the 
English, and therefore we need not name them again. Just one week after the 
organization of the English congregation, namely, January 22, 1837, the 
indefatigable pastor organized the first German Evangelical Lutheran congre- 
gation in Pittsbui-gh. The church council was installed February 5, 1837, 
and consisted of the following members: Elders Michael Thomas and Mat- 
thias Kinzer, Deacons Jacob Kuntz, George Grossmann. Matthias Reuschler 
and George Stegmeier. 

Want of means prevented the congregation from securing a church prop- 
erty at an earlier day, but on the 14th of July, 1839, they resolved to build a 
church. They bought a lot on the corner of Sixth avenue and Grant street 
for $4, 500, and consecrated the new church April 5th of the same year. They 
immediately opened a parochial school in the basement of the new biiilding. 
Rev. Heyer resigned his office in the autumn of 1840, and went to another 
field of labor. He was succeeded by Rev. Friedrich Schmidt, who was elected 
October 11th of the same year. It was during his ministry that, January 17, 
1841, the congregation was incorporated. He was succeeded by Rev. Gottfried 
Jensen, who served with fidelity until his death, which occurred Februarj' 19, 


1847. His remains rest in the cemetery of the church, and the spot is marked 
by a monument erected by the congregation. During the next four months 
the pastoral services were performed by neighboring ministers, Revs. Mech- 
ling, Madulet and Hoelsche. June 10, 1847, Rev. Jacob Vogelbach was chosen 
pastor, and continued in the office three years. 

But the prosperity and grovrth of the congregation were such that a larger 
church was needed. In January, 1848, it was resolved to purchase a lot on 
the corner of Wylie avenue and High street, for the sum of $6,000. The 
work of building the new church was prosecuted with energy, and it was con- 
secrated on the first Sunday in Advent. The old church property was sold to 
a Baptist congregation for $5, 500. 

Rev. Vogelbach was succeeded by Rev. J. Gr. Zeumer, November 18, 1850. 
During the pastorate of the latter greater efforts were made to strengthen 
the inner organization of the congregation by the adoption of very strict rules 
regulating all its spiritual affairs. It was decided, among other things, that 
persons belonging to secret societies must not be admitted to membership in 
the congregation, and this rixle is rigidly enforced to this day. The pastor 
resigned June 10, 1856. During the vacancy the congregation was served 
by Rev. A. Ernst. At this time the practice of hearing ' ' trial sermons ' ' 
before electing a pastor was abolished. In the spring of 1857 Rev. E. A. 
Brauer, of Addison, 111., assumed the pastoral office. Various changes were 
now introduced in the services of the church, and the charter and constitution 
were altered. A provision put into the charter will sooner or later make seri- 
ous trouble for the congregation. It is that the divine services of the church 
must never be conducted in any other language than the German. 

The ministry of Rev. Brauer was very acceptable, and it was with great 
regret that the congregation gave him up, when, in the spring of 1863, he 
went to St. Louis, and became professor of theology. He was very soon suc- 
ceeded by Rev. J. A. F. W. Mueller. During his ministry the congregation 
was compelled to seek another location for church, schoolhouse and parsonage. 
A railroad company had built a tunnel which ran under the church and ruined 
it. The company paid the damages inflicted on the church only after a pro- 
longed and expensive litigation, when compelled by the court. For a time the 
congregation worshiped in Lafayette Hall, on Wood street, and when that was 
destroyed by fire they were granted the use of the Third Ward schoolhouse, 
on Grant street. A large lot was bought for $25,000, on High street, near 
Fifth avenue, on which the congregation erected a large gothic church, a three- 
story schoolhouse and a parsonage. The consecration took place August 9, 
1868. The name of the church is now Trinity Chiu-ch. 

In 1871 Rev. Mueller was succeeded by Eev. J. P. Beyer, and he was 
followed in 1880 by Rev. F. A. Ahner, the present incumbent, who is a very 
faithful pastor. While the congregation is very large, four other congrega- 
tions have gone out from it. 


St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Allegheny City. — The 
organizatioa of this congregation is immediately connected with that of the 
two preceding ones, and is the work, under God, of Rev. F. Heyer. At first 
the German Lutherans of Allegheny attended the services held by him in 
Pittsburgh. When the Germans of the two cities began to discuss the proj- 
ect of building a church, a difference of opinion arose in regard to the loca- 
tion. And when the brethren in Pittsburgh insisted that the church must be 
built in that city, those who resided in Allegheny determined to build for them- 
selves in their own city. The precise date of the organization of St. John's 
Church in Allegheny can not be fixed, but certain circumstances indicate that 
it was near the close of 1837. Thus in one year, by the labors of one humble, 
plain servant of the Lord, three churches were founded, which, with their 
offshoots, have grown to be a mighty host and are doing a great and noble work. 
The newly formed congregation, through its trustees, on the 30th of Jan- 
uary, 1838, bought two lots on the corner of Main street and Beach alley for 
$1,100. But it was many years before the amount was paid. On this lot was 
built a small frame church, forty-five feet long and twenty-five feet wide, at a 
cost of $450. These will appear to be small sums, but it must not be forgotten 
that the people were poor and that at that time a laborer received only thirty- 
seven and one-half cents for a day's work. The consecration took place Janu- 
ary 1, 1839. and the services were conducted by Revs. Heyer and Schweizer- 
barth, the latter of Zelienople, Pa. This is the second Luthei-an church built 
in Allegheny county. As Rev. Heyer could not serve the congregation regu- 
larly on account of his labors in Pittsburgh, Revs. J. Mechling and M. J. 
Steck, of Greensburg, Pa., occasionally filled his place. 

In the early part of 1839 Rev. H. P. R. Mueller was elected pastor. He 
served until 1841, when he was succeeded by Rev. W. Bauermeister. He was 
a faithful and energetic pastor, and is still held in kindly remembrance by the 
older members, though his pastorate lasted only about one year. He was fol- 
lowed by Rev. Karl Kobler, who made a bad record, and was soon dismissed. 
During the vacancy Rev. Schmidt, of the Pittsburgh church, rendered the con- 
gregation valuable service. At this time a charter of incorporation was 
secured, which contained important safeguards. 

In 1843 Rev. Herman Eggers became pastor, but he remained only a short 
time, and was followed in 1844 by Rev. Jacob Hoelsohe. In 1846 it was 
resolved to build a new church, as the congregation had outgrown the one it 
had. The frame church was sold to a Methodist congregation and moved to 
the corner of Chestnut street and Carpenter alley. The cornerstone of the 
new church was laid April 15, 1847. The pastor was assisted by Revs. Mech- 
ling and Passavant, D. D. The building was finished and consecrated Sep- 
tember, 1847. The pastor performed the act of consecration and Rev. 
Schweizerbarth preached the sermon. 

Rev. Hoelsche' s ministry in the congregation was brought to an unpleasant 


close in 1848, and he was succeeded by Rev. C. G. Friedrich, of Lancaster, Pa. 
He was an eloqueat preacher, and the congregation prospered under his care 
for some time, when unhappy contentions arose and he was compelled to leave 
his post. He was followed by Rev. C. E. A. Brandt, a thoroughly educated 
minister, who served until 1856, when he withdrew under a cloud. 

The next pastor was Rev. F. Schiedt, who was elected July 6, 1857. He 
filled the position twenty-five years, and exercised a powerful influence over his 
people. Important changes were made for the better administration of the affairs 
of the church, and the progress was very marked. The question about secret 
societies was earnestly discussed, and it was resolved that persons belonging to 
such could not be members of the congregation, but at a subsequent meeting 
this action was rescinded. The membership had greatly increased, and again 
it became necessary to build a larger church. A. lot was bought on the corner 
of Liberty street and Madison avenue, being 82x157 feet, at a cost of $6,800. 
On this the congregation built a large and elegant church, which cost $50,000, 
and a few years later a parochial school at the large outlay of $13,000, and a 
parsonage and teacher's house for $9,000. In 1884 Rev. A. Ebert was called 
as assistant pastor, and shortly thereafter Rev. Schiedt resigned, after a service 
of twenty-five years, and in the autumn the assistant died, greatly lamented by 
the congregation, who had learned to love him. 

In 1885 Rev. H. J. Shuh took charge of the church, having been unani- 
mously elected. The question about secret societies was again brought up, 
and it was decided that members of such societies can not be members of the 
congregation. This resolution is strictly enforced. One result was the with- 
di'awal of a considerable number of members and the organization of another 
congregation. But while this was regretted, the old congregation is now in a 
very flourishing condition. Besides the seceding party, four congregations 
have been formed out of St. John's, and the mother is still the strongest. In 
addition to providing for the living, the congregation owns a large burying- 
ground, or, as the Germans call it, a "God's acre." 

From the time when the laborious and trying work of laying the founda- 
tions of the church in the new territory was accomplished until the present 
day the progress has been very marked and constant. In giving statements 
of this progress we shall not go into the particulars to the extent that we did 
in presenting the history of the three parent churches. 


St. Peter's German Evangelical Lutheran Church, in East Liberty, was 
originally organized in 1839, as a United Church, by Rev. Weitershausen. 
Afterward it was reorganized as a Lutheran church and served by the following 
ministers: Revs. J. Hoelsche, W. Berkemeier, H. L. Hoehn, H. B. Kuhn, R. 
Neumann, J. Kucher,C. Bauman,C. A. Fritze, F. H. Reichman and H. Schmidt, 
the present pastor. At its organization the congregation was very small. The 


membersLip has, however, increased to a marked degree, and now it numbers 
200 heads of families. A parochial school has always been maintained, and 
it now has two teachers and 120 impils, and the Sunday-school numbers 225. 
In 1852 a church was erected on Frankstown avenue, and in 1864 the present 
church edifice was built on the corner of Collins avenue and Station street, 
and a schoolhouse was recently erected near the church. 

St. Paul's German Evangelical Lutheran Church, South Side, was organ- 
ized in 1850, with fourteen voting members. At present it has 980 communi- 
cant members. The following pastors have served it: Revs. G. A. Neuffer, 

C. Popp, J. H. C. Schirenbeck, H. Gilbert, F. A. Herzberger and P. Brand, 
the present incumbent. The lirst church edifice was consecrated in 1850, and 
the present one in 1866; the parsonage was built in 1868, and the school- 
house in 1881. Four teachers are employed, who have 250 scholars under 
their care. 

The Second German Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's Church was formed 
in 1852, under the care of Rev. AV. Berkemeier, with but a few members. 
Mr. Berkemeier was followed by Revs. R. Neumann, G. A. Wenzel, D. D. , 
F. Lindemaa and N. Soergel. The first church building stood on the corner 
of Sixth avenue and Grant street. The present church was built on Pride 
street in 1870, mainly through the efforts of Rev. Dr. Wenzel. The congre- 
gation has 400 members, and a parochial school with two teachers and 112 

Grace English Evangelical Lutheran Church, on the South Side, was 
organized in 1852 by Rev. H. Reck, with sixteen members. The first place of 
worship was a hall, and the present church edifice was built in 1853, on South 
Seventh street. The congregation also owns a parsonage. Their present 
membership is 280. A good Sunday-school is maintained. The following 
have filled the pastoral ofiice: Revs. H. Reck, C. D. Ulery, H. W. Roth, 

D. D., and J. K. Melhorn. 

St. John' s German Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized by Rev. 
Graff in 1857. During the first thirteen years the pastoral changes were very 
frequent. In 1870 Rev. F. Schaeffer was elected, and he was followed by 
Revs. H. E. Seipel, A. Bauer and S. M. Reidenbach. The church, which was 
built in 1862, is located on Fortieth street, below North street. There are 
400 members; two teachers and 60 pupils in the parochial schqol. 

German Evangelical Lutheran Church, on the corner of Thirty-seventh and 
Bank streets, was formed in 1868, as a mission, and in the same year it became 
self-supporting. The pastors have been Revs. C. Engelder, F. Reichman 
and Mr. Hein. The first church was erected in 1868, and the present one in 
1876. The congregation numbers 500 members, and has two teachers and 
150 scholars in its parochial school. 

Christ English Evangelical Lutheran Church was established as a mission 
in 1869 by Rev. J. Q. Waters. At first service was held in a schoolhouse. 

^ "fnjujy--^ 


but a chapel was soon bnilt on the corner of Broad street and Sheridan avenue, 
which is still the place of worship. There are 141 members. The following 
pastors have had charge: Revs. J. Q. Waters, L. Geschwind, J. S. Lawson 
and W. A. Passavant, Jr. 

Bethany Lutheran Church was organized in 1888, with forty members. 
The place of worship is a public hall at the corner of Highland and Ellsworth 
avenues. The pastor is Rev. G. L. Hamm. 

The Swedish Lutheran Church was organized several years ago, and wor- 
shiped in the basement of the First English Lutheran Church, on Seventh 
avenue, but it was not until 1887 that it attained much strength. At that time 
Rev. Nelsenius labored successfully among his countrymen, and helped them 
to build a substantial chvirch on Center street, near Forty-third street. The 
present pastor is Rev. M. J. Englund. 

There is also an English mission on Forty-third street, in charge of Rev. 
C. A. Brick. 


Trinity English Lutheran Church was the outcome of a mission Sunday- 
school held in Friendship engine-house, on Anderson street, in about 1855. 
The congregation which grew out of this work was organized in the' autumn of 
1860, with thirty-two members, by Rev.W. A. Passavant, D. D. A consider- 
able number of members from the First Church in Pittsburgh entered this 
organization. Rev. H. Reck took pastoral charge. The place of worship was 
a frame chapel on Washington street, which was bought fi'om a Presbyterian 
society. The present church edifice was erected in 1872, on Stockton avenue. 
Mr. Reck was succeeded in 1863 by Rev. J. G. Goettman, D. D., who is still 
in charge of the congregation. Recently the twenty-fifth anniversary of 
his pastorate was celebrated with much spirit, and the event was signalized by 
paying off the debt resting on the church, and giving the pastor tangible evi- 
dence of appreciation and affection. The congregation numbers 500 and the 
Sunday-school 600. 

Mount Zion's English Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in 1877 
by Rev. G. H. Gerberding. The church is on the Perry sville road, near West 
View. A parsonage has been built by the side of the church. Rev. Gerberd- 
ing was succeeded by Revs. W. P. Shanor and F. P. Bossart. 

St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in 1873 
by Rev. J. P. Beyer.- It was at first a mission on the corner of Third street 
and Gerst alley. The present edifice, on the corner of North avenue and Middle 
street, was built in 1877, and a parsonage has since been added. Mr. Beyer 
was followed by Revs. A. H. Bauer, F. Wambsganss and E. H. Wischmeyer. 
The number of communicants is 450, and there is attached to the church a 
parochial school with two teachers and 1 30 pupils. 

St. PauVs German Evangelical Lutheran Church was formed in 1880 by 
Rev. Pfeiffer. In the course of one year it became self-sustaining. The 


present house of worship, on the eoriu'r of Chartiers and Adams streets, was 
buijt and donated by Mr. G. D. Simon. Eev. Pfeiffer was succeeded by 
Revs. O. von Zech and A. R. Kuldell. 

St. Faul's English Evangelical Lutheran Church, worshiping on the cor- 
ner of James and Second streets, was commenced by Rev. E. PfeiiTer, who 
held the lirst service in July, 1882, in the Reformed Presbyterian church on 
Sandusky street. The mission was organized to meet the wants of those mem- 
bers of St. John's German Church who need English services. The congrega- 
tion was organized January 7, 1883, with sixteen members, by Rev. G. W. Lose, 
the present pastor. Under his ministry a church was built on the corner of 
James and Second streets, and it was consecrated in September, 1887. 

Memorial English Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized by Rev. W. 
P. Shanor in 1883, and a church edifice was built the same year. The present 
pastor is Rev. W. J. Finck, under whom the work is prospering. 

Emanuel English Evangelical Lutheran Congregation was organized by 
Rev. J. Q. Waters in 1886, and a chapel was built on Juniata street the fol- 
lowing year. Its membership and Sunday-school are prosperous. 

Grace English Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized by Rev. W. J. 
Finck, March 25, 1888. It has a flourishing Sunday school, and is at present 
worshiping in a public hall. 

Trinity German Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in 1888. from 
members of St. Paul's Church, by Rev. A. R. Kuldell, on Wood's Run avenue. 
A church edifice was at once erected and Rev. E. Goessling called as pastor. 

St. Thomas German Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in Novem- 
ber, 1887, by Rev. Ivan Dietrich. A neat church was erected the following 
year, and duly consecrated. A considerable number of members has already 
been gathered. 


There are Lutheran churches scattered over every part of the county, 
which we will enumerate without special descriptions. Chartiers, one En- 
glish church; Natrona, two German and one English; Springdale, one En- 
glish; Greenock, two German; McKee's Rocks, one German; Braddock. two 
English, one German and one Swedish; Tarentum, one German and one 
English; Glenfield, one German; Homestead, one English and one German; 
McKeesport, one English and one Swedish; Franklin township, one German; 
Wilkinsburg, one German; Sharpsburg, one English and one German; Turtle 
Creek, one English; White Hall, one English; Dorseyville, one German; 
Perrysville, one German; Mansfield Valley, one German; Mount Washington, 
one German; near Perrysville, one German and one English. 

There are, hence, in the county, including the cities, fifty-five Lutheran 
churches, of which twenty-three are English, twenty-eight German and three 
Swedish. The number of communicants is over ten thousand. 

There is a hospital in Pittsburgh, and orphans' homes at Rochester and 


-Zelienople, a little beyond the county line, which are connected with the Lu- 
theran Church, and are under the special care of their founder, Kev. Dr. W. A. 
Passavant, who has devoted most of his life to eleemosynary institutions in the 
east and the west. 

- The religious movement with which these churches are identified took its 
rise in the first quarter of the present century. It was in the beginning a 
vigorous protest against the religious intolerance and sectarian spirit which 
then dominated and distracted the religious world. At the opening of the 
century we find a number of small congregations in England and Scotland, 
and three, at least, in this country, one at New York city, one at Danbury, 
Conn., and one at Pittsburgh, Pa., which, having discarded human creeds, 
were endeavoring to build on the Scriptures alone. These churches, though 
very similar, and all tending in the same direction, had but little intercourse 
with each other, and were without unity and concert of action. As a distinct 
historic movement, therefore, we trace its history from the labors of Thomas 
Campbell and his son Alexander, in Western Pennsylvania and Virginia, who, 
more than all others, succeeded in bringing all these separate movements into 
sympathy and cooperation. Thomas Campbell was a minister in the Seceder 
church in Ireland, and in the year 1808 emigrated to this country, and began 
preaching in Washington county, Pa., under the jurisdiction of the local 
Seceder presbytery. Soon he drew upon himself the disapproval and formal 
censure of the presbytery by his very generous and liberal treatment, both in 
teaching and practice, of other religious denominations. However, his bold 
arraignment of the sectarian spirit of the age, and his eloquent appeals for a 
Christianity broad enough to comprehend all believers in Christ, soon gained 
for him an intelligent and enthusiastic following. 

About this time his son. Alexander Campbell, followed him to this country, 
ardently espoused his father's teachings, and became at once the fearless and 
eloquent advocate, and soon the acknowledged leader, of the now rapidly grow 
ing movement. From this time the movement, both in the formulation of its 
principles and its methods of organization, took definite shape, and was called 
by its friends " The Reformation. " Its followers called themselves, not in- 
vidiously, but that they might be scriptural in name, "The Disciples of Christ," 
and their organization ' ' The Christian Church. ' ' The cardinal principle of 
the movement was that sectarianism, in the light of God's word and the light 
of history, was sin, and must be abandoned. It had but one simple plea, 
namely, for the unity of God's people into one body on God's word. It pro- 
tested unceasingly against the projection of human authority into the realm of 
religious faith and practice as treason against Christ. Rigidly rejecting all 
human creeds, confessions, books of discipline, and decisions of synods and 
councils, it steadfastly pushed forward and upward the New Testament Script- 


ures as the only and all-sufficient hook of faith and discipline, and the only- 
basis on which the followers of Christ could be united. It aimed continually 
to reproduce the pure and simple gospel as taught by Christ and his apostles, 
and to restore the primitive integrity of the church as the apostles left it, as 
the only possible fulfillment of the Savior's prayer for the unity of his people 
in order to the conversion of the world. That the Christian world was ri]>e for 
such a movement is evidenced by its marvelous growth. In less than three- 
quarters of a century it numbers, in this country alone, 6,450 churches, 3,000 
preachers, and not less than 750,000 members. It has over forty institutions 
of learning, and from twenty-five to thirty periodicals and magazines, besides 
a large number of Sunday-school and other publications. It is strictly congre- 
gational in its polity, and maintains voluntary associations for missionary pur- 
poses only. Of these, besides state and district, it has three general associations, 
the General or Home society, the Foreign society and the Christian Woman's 
Board of Missions. These societies, during the year ending October, 1888, 
raised for missionary work $232,937.95. Besides home work, missions ar& 
sustained in Jamaica, Scandinavia, Turkey, India, China and Japan. 


The first church of the Disciples in Allegheny county had its origin in an 
independent Baptist congregation of the Haldane school, established in Pitts- 
burgh by George Forister as early as A. D. 1810. A number of members 
residing in Allegheny by mutual consent withdrew, and on the second Lord's 
day in March, 1835, organized the first Christian church in Allegheny City. 
Their first house of worship was a single-story brick building on the bank of 
the Allegheny river below the Sixth street bridge, capable of seating about 
three hundred persons. This building was burned in 1859, and for nine years 
services were held for the most part in Excelsior Hall. In 1868 the church 
completed and occupied its present commodious building on the corner of 
Arch street and Montgomery avenue, adjacent to the North park. The fol- 
lowing have served the church as regular preachers: Samuel Church, William 
James, Walter Scott, J. S. Benedict, W. J. Petigrew, B. F. Perkey, Robert 
Ashworth, Thomas Farley, Theobald Miller, W. S. Gray, Isaac W. Tener, T. 
C. McKeever, Joseph King and William F. Cowden, the present pastor. 
Besides these regular ministrations, the church has been favored at times by 
the presence and preaching of many of the great leaders of the reformation. 
To no service, however, is the church so largely indebted for her growth and 
prosperity as to the long-continued and self-sacrificing ministrations of Samuel 
Church and Joseph King, the former covering sixteen, the latter twenty-two- 
years of her history ; the former laying well the foundations, the latter building 
and embellishing the spiritual temple. During her history the church has 
contributed largely of her membership for the establishment of new churches. 
In October, 1882, a mission school was established on Fifth avenue, Pitts- 


burgh, chiefly through the energetic Labors of Miss Carrie Merrick, since 
deceased, and Mr. Eobert Latimer, for five years its faithful superintendent. 
For the use of this mission a lot has been recently purchased, at a cost of 
$3,500, and buildings are soon to be erected thereon. The church has enjoyed 
almost uninterrupted peace and prosperity, and is now united, active and pros- 
peroiis, with a membership of 925, and church property worth $70,000, free 
from debt. The congregation is characterized by a broad missionary spirit, 
and is doing much to extend the cause of Christ in the city and the surround- 
ing country. 

The Peter's Creek Church. — This church, located near Library, was organ- 
ized by Edward Riggs, with six members, in 1836, and met in his house iintil 
1839, when a house of worship was completed. Its first officers, Elder Riggs 
and Deacons James Boyer, Obadiah Higbee and William Morrison, were 
ordained by Elder Thomas Campbell in 18-10. David Newmire was the first 
preacher. Among the resident preachers the following may be noted: James 
Darsie, "William Lloyd, E. L. Allen, Brother Lawrence and William Loos. 
James Darsie' s work extended over three years. A number of brethren from 
the Allegheny church visited and preached for the infant church, and from 
time to time Edward Riggs, Henry